Thread: OBW's Blog
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Old 07-30-2009, 10:39 AM   #24
OBW
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Default Re: OBW's Blog

On the other forum a relative newcomer has started a thread titled “Your concerns for local church members.” In it, this person asks and says the following:
Quote:
What concerns you most about the local churches membership? i.e., if you had a family member in the church, would you be worried about them? concerned for them? constantly trying to get them to quote-un-quote "leave"?

PLEASE, do not post disputes with the church practices or teachings ("I don't like how they say Amen all the time." "I don't think that the issue of locality is important." etc). Teachings concerning the trinity ARE valid. For example... I, personally, would be concerned for the salvation of any family members I had who were Mormons because of their heretical view of the trinity, same goes for Jehovah's Witnesses. But please, only use the trinity concern if you honestly feel Brother Lee was really mistaken and don't just use it as an opportunity (in other words, if you aren't qualified to know the difference between modalism, tritheism, and trinitarianism, please don't bother).

...

Are you worried the members of the Lord's recovery will one day commit suicide? Are you worried they worship idols? Are you worried there's a secret criminal underground drug conspiracy? Are you worried they're part of one big money laundering scheme? Obviously, a lot of people here disagree with Lee, and that's enough for you yourself to leave... but what about the local churches gives you motivation to warn others that it's not healthy? And please, again, be truthful. Don't make up wild accusations.


I have omitted much of the post. And while I have chosen to refrain from active participation in that forum for some time, if not entirely, the question has given me reason to think again. I know that Unto does not like us to duplicate discussions from that forum here. But that is not my intention. I would like to provide as part of my blog, which is sort of like my personal space to think out loud and give somewhat unfiltered thoughts without the necessary intent of discussion, the thoughts that arose from this question.

I have family members in the LC and I am concerned for them. I am not concerned that they will commit suicide, that they will become involved in drugs, or will be knowingly involved in criminal activity. But I actually see the psychological effects of LC membership on them.

First, there is a form of idolatry, or at least a raising of things to places beyond where they should be. Even though they still pray to God and not to a man or an image, and even though they may not have bought into the “apostle of the age” or even the “minister of the age” or “oracle” thing, they clearly held Lee in such high esteem that whatever he said was accepted without consideration. During the one time that we had a lengthy discussion about the LC and some of the things going on there, my mother essentially said that we (meaning people in general) could not really understand scripture and that without Lee’s words she wasn’t sure what it meant. Even if Lee taught nothing but excellent, sound doctrine, that is not a healthy position to take, especially for someone who was fully capable of discerning the meaning of much of the scripture without too much outside help.

If your source is almost entirely transferred from scripture and your own learning to that of another, are you sure what you believe is actually true? And if you believe a lie, then are you worshipping according to a lie. Does that equate to idolatry? I’m not sure. I wouldn’t take it as far as the fiasco of a year ago here, but it does give one pause to wonder.

But it is in the abandonment to a less than ideal condition without a second thought that really concerns me. I have mentioned the months before my mother’s recent death when almost no one came around, and when my dad did talk to some of his more ling-time friends there, he was occasionally asked how things were going in one of those typical upbeat ways with one time getting a question like “How’s it going?” My dad had to respond “well, except for the fact that my wife is dying, I guess OK.” That really took the wind out of the brother’s sails. He was oblivious — not about the fact that my mother was dying, but to the fact that this could affect a good LC member and cause them to not be upbeat. In my Dad’s comments about different things, I keep getting this sense of a hollow cheerfulness that does not recognize pain and sorrow. It provides no hope beyond getting to more meetings where you can ignore your pain and get lost in another group high. Unfortunately, he sees it but is stuck with the "it's the only real place to be" mentality.

And I understand that despite a good face with the family, my brother and his wife were essentially missing-in-action from their meetings for a significant period of time. When I learned this, I was floored because she managed to keep the most pro-Lee, toe-the-line LC culture home environment anyway. Why is it that the LC is considered so much the only way that even when you cannot bear to go to a meeting for weeks, or even just rarely attend, you would rather avoid other Christian association and remain like vagabonds with no connection to anything?

I would be concerned about these things if they were being expressed from family attending a more mainstream church. If my dad was having these experiences with an otherwise sound Baptist assembly, I would express concerns about things at that place. If my brother and sister-in-law were so sold on their Bible church that they would rather avoid it when things got bad while putting on a mask of everything is OK, I would express concerns about what was causing that kind of devotion to something that was not meeting you needs.

And I am concerned that Lee’s doctrines about waiting for more dispensing before trying to overcome that besetting sin, or more accurately, waiting for the level of dispensing to simply make the sin go away, are leaving good Christians with a hamstrung experience of sanctification while they chant over and over about how wonderful their church life is. I am concerned about where good counsel is to be found among people who only want to know the “Christ in you” and not your troubles. I am concerned about the couples who suffer from misconceptions of a healthy married life and are left to suffer quietly while hearing the male-dominated rhetoric of wives obey your husbands.

In short, I am concerned that even with some cities having somewhat better experiences in some of these issues, there is an baseline of unhealthy lives being sacrificed to an unhealthy system in the furtherance of a self-defined “glorious church life” that cares about this corporate thing at the expense of the individual and their individual needs. I am concerned about a church that centers so strongly on praying for “thy kingdom come” but demeans prayers about your “daily bread” as pathetic or substitutes religious jargon as being the true food when tangible, edible, organic food is needed.

And it seems that the hold is so strong that the problems with both the teachings and the experiences do nothing to dissuade as long as there is the belief that it is THE way and that all others are pitiful and even demonic. So I see the answer as chipping away at the very “truth” that they see in Lee in the hope that taking away his claim to a corner on the truth market might also take away the shine of the system and return the conscious mind to its rightful place in the process.

I may not do everything in the best way. But in the face of the ways of the LC, I do not think that my ways are so faulty. Maybe when they are unproductive I should reconsider. But otherwise I think there is a worthy mission in speaking out concerning the LC.

Yes, the members of the LC are encouraged to “read the Bible, to pray, to sing, to fellowship.” Those are laudable activities, even necessary ones. But that is not the sum of the LC. Even Jim Jones preached from the Bible. Don’t bother complaining about the over-the-top comparison. I am still not suggesting that kind of suicidal cult. Stop with the false dichotomies. Not being a suicide cult does not make everything OK. I am merely stating the obvious, and that is that even suicidal cults often have some sound doctrines and practices so finding them in the LC is not a “get out of jail free” card. That does not deny their error. The LC has sound doctrines and practices and is not about to join the suicide bandwagon. But they also have significant error and problems that cause me great concern with respect to its members, especially those of my own family.
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