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Old 03-22-2020, 08:07 AM   #1
UntoHim
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Default Open - Interactive Letter to The Co-Workers in The Lord's Recovery

This thread will serve as an open, interactive letter of sorts. It is "interactive" because it is expected that the brothers of the Living Stream Ministry, AKA "The Co-Workers in the Lord's Recovery", AKA "The Blended Brothers", will finally interact and open an honest line of communication with current and former Local Church members.

***Responses and retorts by the Local Church brothers will be presented and prominently displayed, unabridged and unedited here on this thread.***


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Brothers, why do you now refer to Witness Lee as an apostle when he never referred to himself as an apostle? As a matter of fact, in a sworn deposition, under penalty of perjury, Witness Lee clearly denied that he considered himself as an apostle, and swore under oath that he asked his followers not to refer to himself as an apostle.

Many of us who sat at the feet of Witness Lee for decades can testify that we never heard him declare himself to be an apostle. In fact, on more than one occasion he publicly taught us to not refer to him as an apostle. Many of us knew you brothers who now refer to yourselves as "Co-Workers in the Lord's Recovery" long before you became co-workers or employees of the Living Stream Ministry, and none of you brothers ever referred to Witness Lee as and apostle while he was alive. So what you brothers are doing is declaring Witness Lee to be an apostle posthumously. This is not biblical. This is not even logical. Nor does this align or comport with what has been taught and practiced among evangelical, orthodox Christians over the past 2,000+ years. Please explain your unbiblical stance before the brothers and sisters in the Local Churches, and to the rest of the Christian public.

You brothers have opined that "some have misguidedly demanded a list of apostles in the Lord’s recovery". No one is demanding anything. What we are doing is requesting that you do what the apostles Paul, Peter, John and many others did - Clearly state that they were apostles by name. It is altogether biblical and reasonable that those who exercise, enforce and reinforce apostolic authority (by appointing, disciplining and removing elders and conducting extra-local ministering and direction) be known by name. Why do you brothers feel that you are excused from this biblical mandate?

In your Site Introduction you brothers state: "Those who sincerely seek answers to questions can find them through genuine fellowship." Well, my brothers, "genuine fellowship" is not a one-way street. Genuine fellowship is not a monologue. The questions and contentions that have been posed here are not "rumors" or so-called "questionings". In the Declaration of Independence, the authors stated that "a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation." If you brothers have a decent respect for the rest of the members of the Body of Christ you must come to the table of open fellowship and make the same kind of declarations as founding fathers of the Christian church.

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Old 03-22-2020, 11:13 AM   #2
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Default Re: Open - Interactive Letter to The Co-Workers in The Lord's Recovery

It seems their response is beginning. In the first 3 minutes Minoru distances himself and this message from any "official" relation to the LC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZF8...ature=youtu.be
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Old 03-22-2020, 05:47 PM   #3
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Default Re: Open - Interactive Letter to The Co-Workers in The Lord's Recovery

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Originally Posted by ABrotherinFaith View Post
It seems their response is beginning. In the first 3 minutes Minoru distances himself and this message from any "official" relation to the LC.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZF8...ature=youtu.be
I don’t think I’ve ever heard an acknowledgment that the rest of the world existed in any other context but “poor, degraded, Christianity.” I would be curious to know if they will open their coffers to help, even their own, financially as surely there is unemployment among those in the churches. In fact, this could be a litmus test to see if they truly have compassion on others.

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Last edited by Nell; 03-23-2020 at 01:08 AM.
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Old 03-25-2020, 09:02 AM   #4
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Default The Lord's Recover Does Not Have Official, Permanent Leader?

"In the New Testament, among God’s people there is no unique, definite, official, or permanent leadership; such a leadership would be an insult to the unique headship of Christ"
Practicing the Church Life under the Unique Headship of Christ - 2010 ITERO Outline

"The Lord's Recovery does not have an official, permanent, organizational, or positional leader. The only leader in the Lord's recovery is Christ."
Witness Lee - Crucial Principles for the Christian Life and the Church Life

Brothers. Why do you continue to hold up Witness Lee as an apostle on the order of the apostle Paul? Witness Lee has been dead for almost 23 years now. Why do you brothers hold Lee up as the unique, definite, official and permanent leader? Please explain your actions and your standing to the brothers and sisters in the Local Churches, to former members, and to the rest of the Body of Christ.
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Old 03-27-2020, 11:10 AM   #5
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Default Re: Open - Interactive Letter to The Co-Workers in The Lord's Recovery

Brothers,
Over the past couple of decades, since his passing, you brothers have ascribed to Witness Lee numerous apostolic titles, such as "The One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age", "Deputy Authority" and "Acting God". As you are well aware, none of these titles are found in the New Testament. Additionally, there is no biblical prophesy that God would raise up such a person(s) in post-canonical Christianity. As a matter of fact, church history has clearly demonstrated the dangers and damage that is wrought upon the church when such lofty titles of honor and authority are bestowed upon any man.

My dear brothers, the onus is on you to show that Witness Lee's claim that God only uses one man in any one "age" is biblical. The burden is on you to show how Witness Lee demonstrated that he was an apostle in the order of the apostle Paul, who was appointed directly by God as a gift to the Body of Christ. If you are going to hold up Witness Lee as such an apostle to the Body of Christ, it is your obligation to show that Lee clearly demonstrated the "signs and wonders and power" of apostleship, and not just to the sect/denomination/movement of the Local Church, but to the Body of Christ as a whole.
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Old 03-30-2020, 11:20 AM   #6
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Default Re: Open - Interactive Letter to The Co-Workers in The Lord's Recovery

"In the New Testament, among God’s people there is no unique, definite, official, or permanent leadership; such a leadership would be an insult to the unique headship of Christ"
Practicing the Church Life under the Unique Headship of Christ - 2010 ITERO Outline
"The Lord's Recovery does not have an official, permanent, organizational, or positional leader. The only leader in the Lord's recovery is Christ."
Witness Lee - Crucial Principles for the Christian Life and the Church Life

Brothers,
Not long after Witness Lee's passing, a small group of brothers associated with the Living Stream Ministry, A California 501c(3) Corp owned by Lee, claimed to have been charged/authorized by Lee himself, shortly before his death, to take over the leadership of the LSM, and by extension, leadership and control of the Local Church movement.

No official document, signed by Witness Lee, expressing his desire that any man/men take over at the LSM, much less the Local Church movement, has ever been produced - only the specious claim that "notes of such a private meeting with Lee expressing his wishes" exist at LSM. After a few years, a small cadre of men unofficially proclaimed that they were "the Blended Brothers", and that all elders, co-workers and churches throughout "The Lord's Recovery" were to follow and submit to them. Any elder, co-worker or local church that was not fully cooperative was bad-mouthed and shunned at best, and in many cases were publicly and officially "quarantined", which for all rights and purposes is actually an insidious form of excommunication.

Recently, these same cadre of men, now enlarged and bolstered by a number of other men, all proteges promoted by the original group of Blended Brothers, have proclaimed themselves de facto apostles of the Local Churches/Lord's Recovery. While they do not use the actual term "apostles", they lay claim to have the authority to appoint, discipline and remove local church elders. They have also taken it upon themselves to exercise extra-local authority to minister to and set the direction of all Local Churches within the Lord's Recovery movement.

This "leadership" practiced by you brothers at the LSM sure seems to be "unique, definite, official, and permanent". Brothers, is there some overseer group or outside board (such is common with many para-church or non-profit entities) which is in place to protect from conflicts of interest, fraud and other forms of malfeasance? Brothers, this is 2020 America and not 1920 China - There are expectations, standards and guidelines that are to be followed, even by those who consider themselves "The Universal Government of God".

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Old 04-02-2020, 09:08 AM   #7
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Default Re: Open - Interactive Letter to The Co-Workers in The Lord's Recovery

You "Co-Workers in the Lord's Recovery" have held yourselves out to being some sort of representatives of "The Universal Government of God". Presumably, you brothers feel you have inherited this mantle of authority from Witness Lee. I ask you again, where in the New Testament are there any prescriptive, or even descriptive, passages that show us that there would be such a continuation of the apostleship on the order of the original Scripture-writing apostles? What man or men have shown the "The signs of a true apostle ...with signs and wonders and mighty works"? (2 Cor 12:12) Who has demonstrated such signs, wonders and mighty works to the Body of Christ in toto, and not just in the confines of a sect or movement in which the supposed "apostle" is exercising his irresistible will against a captive audience of fanatically loyal and decidedly myopic followers of his person and work?
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Old 04-10-2020, 08:25 AM   #8
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Default Re: Open - Interactive Letter to The Co-Workers in The Lord's Recovery

"In the New Testament, among God’s people there is no unique, definite, official, or permanent leadership; such a leadership would be an insult to the unique headship of Christ"
Practicing the Church Life under the Unique Headship of Christ - 2010 ITERO Outline
"The Lord's Recovery does not have an official, permanent, organizational, or positional leader. The only leader in the Lord's recovery is Christ."
Witness Lee - Crucial Principles for the Christian Life and the Church Life

Many of us who sat at the feet of Witness Lee for decades can testify that we never heard him declare himself to be an apostle. In fact, on more than one occasion he publicly taught us to not refer to him as an apostle. Many of us knew you brothers who now refer to yourselves as "Co-Workers in the Lord's Recovery" long before you became co-workers or employees of the Living Stream Ministry, and none of you brothers ever referred to Witness Lee as and apostle while he was alive. So what you brothers are doing is declaring Witness Lee to be an apostle posthumously. This is not biblical. This is not even logical. Nor does this align or comport with what has been taught and practiced among evangelical, orthodox Christians over the past 2,000+ years. Please explain your unbiblical stance before the brothers and sisters in the Local Churches, and to the rest of the Christian public.
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Old 04-13-2020, 04:46 PM   #9
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Default Re: Open - Interactive Letter to The Co-Workers in The Lord's Recovery

I saw a video on YouTube (can´t find it) about a year ago or so where WL spoke to FTTA trainees. The first part of the video was actually quite good, describing how to go to the word and how to look to the Lord to get light and His shining on the word.

But then around mid-way or so, he changed topics to the matter of how God used one minister in every age to accomplish His move for that age. And he kept talking about it and giving examples, like Noah, etc. Of course he never said I am the MOTA now, but he just put all the pieces there so that you would inevitably come up with that conclusion yourself.

Wish I could find the video.
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Old 05-05-2020, 09:41 PM   #10
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I saw a video on YouTube (can´t find it) about a year ago or so where WL spoke to FTTA trainees. The first part of the video was actually quite good, describing how to go to the word and how to look to the Lord to get light and His shining on the word.

But then around mid-way or so, he changed topics to the matter of how God used one minister in every age to accomplish His move for that age. And he kept talking about it and giving examples, like Noah, etc. Of course he never said I am the MOTA now, but he just put all the pieces there so that you would inevitably come up with that conclusion yourself.

Wish I could find the video.
That's essentially what's going on in The Vision of the Age book too. Lee traces through the "ministers of the age" and then at a certain point says something like "I'm not tooting my own horn here, but....."

And then he paints a nice little portrait of himself as the minister of the age without explicitly stating it.

There are leading brothers who take the stance that Witness Lee was so pure and humble, and it's the blended brothers who have exalted him too far. That one book alone flies in the face of that stance. WL exalted HIMSELF too far.
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Old 05-06-2020, 08:56 AM   #11
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I ask you again, where in the New Testament are there any prescriptive, or even descriptive, passages that show us that there would be such a continuation of the apostleship on the order of the original Scripture-writing apostles?
One the one hand there's "the Lord gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers" from Paul in Ephesians 4, which seems to indicate an 'office' or 'role' that must be filled by an actual, living breathing human being. Apostolic wanna-be's have clung to this verse as their raison d'etre for decades, generations even.

However, Paul also says that he is "apostle to the gentiles" even as Peter is "apostle to the circumcision". Until we colonize Mars or Saturn, and find ungospelised inhabitants, the need for apostles as Paul and Peter were, to the gentile and Jew, is over.

The Lord picked twelve, the twelve gave the right hand of fellowship to Paul. Notice that the eleven drew lots when Judas departed, to replace his office ("let his office be taken by another") but when James died by the sword they didn't. Because the office was already taken. The quota was filled.

Also of note for all would-be MOTAs or MOTA-trumpeters... if you want to be great, be the least. Don't declare yourself MOTA, or hint to your followers that you just might be The Man. Jesus was that person, and God raised him from the dead, furnishing proof to all. Any others who presume such pride of place before the Bema, are being self-deceived, and in turn deceiving others.
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Old 08-16-2020, 06:40 PM   #12
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I was looking recently at the web site for the church in San Diego and noticed in the Meeting section two directional notes concerning meeting during the Covid pandemic. One was from “The North American Coworkers” to the “Dear responsible brothers of the North American Churches” and the other from “ The coworkers in the Lords Recovery” to “ all The dear saints in all the churches in the Lords Recovery”.

Who are these North American coworkers, and who are the coworkers in the Lords Recovery. Has the LC system adopted a form of Bishops, Arch Bishops, Cardinals and maybe even Pope.

I see no names mentioned, and I assume all of this started after the death of Lee. My curiosity is is there a pecking order, how are they elevated to such positions, is it written or contracted that an LC must be subservient to these anonymous people? They now seem to use the term responsible brothers in place of elders- is this a new development? How exactly does this North American coworkers and coworkers in the Recovery work? Are they elected, is there a ladder to climb, does the North American answer to the recovery coworkers? Do all have LSM non profit corporation affiliation?
I can kind of see safety in not naming names- you don’t want a name to gain recognition and then have to erase it from appearing if the person leaves such as the John Ingals case.
But putting a name identifies a person and persons and holds accountability.
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Old 08-16-2020, 08:18 PM   #13
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I was looking recently at the web site for the church in San Diego and noticed in the Meeting section two directional notes concerning meeting during the Covid pandemic. One was from “The North American Coworkers” to the “Dear responsible brothers of the North American Churches” and the other from “ The coworkers in the Lords Recovery” to “ all The dear saints in all the churches in the Lords Recovery”.

Who are these North American coworkers, and who are the coworkers in the Lords Recovery. Has the LC system adopted a form of Bishops, Arch Bishops, Cardinals and maybe even Pope.

I see no names mentioned, and I assume all of this started after the death of Lee. My curiosity is is there a pecking order, how are they elevated to such positions, is it written or contracted that an LC must be subservient to these anonymous people? They now seem to use the term responsible brothers in place of elders- is this a new development? How exactly does this North American coworkers and coworkers in the Recovery work? Are they elected, is there a ladder to climb, does the North American answer to the recovery coworkers? Do all have LSM non profit corporation affiliation?
I can kind of see safety in not naming names- you don’t want a name to gain recognition and then have to erase it from appearing if the person leaves such as the John Ingals case.
But putting a name identifies a person and persons and holds accountability.
In this non-hierarchical organic move of God, below is the general hierarchy as I understand it. For the most part it seems to be subsets within subsets as you get higher in the pyramid.

This may be a little outdated, I'm not sure.

1. Co-workers in the Lord's recovery - cover the whole world
>>a. Senior co-workers
>>b. Junior co-workers
2. North America co-workers - includes some regional co-workers, deals only with N.A.
3. Regional co-workers - cover various regions in the U.S., some of whom are North America co-workers, some of whom are not but are elders.
4. Elders in each locality.
5. Responsible brothers in each locality (includes both elders as well as the brothers under them, say, who head up various services in the church, or various district meetings, or handle the HWMR sharing, etc).
6. All the other brothers.
7. All sisters, no matter the age, maturity, responsibility, weightiness, expertise, etc.

7 is a little tongue in cheek, but not really far off from reality as I have observed it.

#nohierarchy

Yes, the ones above do "consider" and "fellowship about" and "notice" and "select" various ones below them to be "brought in" to the next level of fellowship. There is extreme subservience from the "new" or "junior" ones who were just brought in, even if AARP would consider them a senior citizen.

It's not written or contracted that an LC must be subservient to these anonymous people, but when they blow into town, boy you'd better believe the brown-nosing revs up real fast. This is often where the beloved brothers turn into bullies, as they fall in line with the bullying that the previously nameless co-workers who came into town make them carry out.

No, not all of them in the 3 top co-workers rings have LSM affiliation. I believe it is accurate to say that all LSM board members are co-workers, but not all co-workers are LSM board members. If "all" is too much, then 99% will cover it.

This means, for the record, that when the co-workers make a decision, it BY DEFAULT means that LSM has also made a decision, since all LSM board members are co-workers. It's a complete conflict of interest, mixing church and business, appearance of evil, mess.

The not naming names thing is not some humble move. It's totally to avoid accountability and to make it easier to make people disappear and whitewash the tomb over again as if their dead bones aren't inside.
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Old 08-16-2020, 11:56 PM   #14
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Thanks Trapped.

Do we know the purpose of the Anaheim Palms Telecom Center LLC?

Linked entities to LSM
Raymond J. Graver
Living Stream
Andrew Yu
Kerry Robichaux
Edward Marks
Ronald Kangas
Richard Scatterday
James Miller
Anaheim Palms Telecom Center, LLC
The Church In Irving
Benson Phillips
Hackberry Creek Getaways, LLC
Global American English School
The Church In San Francisco
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Old 08-17-2020, 12:19 AM   #15
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Thanks Trapped.

Do we know the purpose of the Anaheim Palms Telecom Center LLC?
The APTC, LLC 2004 initial corporation filings (articles of organization with the secretary of state) indicate "asset management". Name of initial agent or organizer was Laurence Tolmie. I've personally never heard that name.

In 2016 a statement of information filed with the secretary of state describes it as "data center", and Laurence Tolmie is described as "president". Curt Kennard is listed as a manager. Kerry Robichaux, Michael Jones, and Yorke Warden are also listed as managers.

(Curt is a co-worker and on the board of LSM. Kerry is a co-worker and LSM board. Yorke is LSM board, not sure about co-worker. Not sure about Michael Jones at all.)

What comes to mind when thinking of APTC is a vague recall from when the La Palma property was being purchased decades ago. One of the big "God has blessed us" selling points they announced at the live trainings was not only its immediate proximity to a main freeway in southern California, but also some massive bundle of fiberoptic cables (or something similar) that apparently landed somewhere right at the property. Like the "information superhighway" was right there. That's my guess as to what it's about, but it's just conjecture.

Edit: Ah. It's a DBA. It's LSM doing business as APTC.

1. Go to this link: http://local.anaheim.net/docs_agend/.../Documents.htm
2. You can see at the very top it's LSM dba APTC.
3. According to the three links it does look like the LSM property owns the fiberoptic cables and is leasing their access out to the city of Anaheim.

If I recall correctly, they may have created a number of companies due to the complexity of the LSM property, etc, one of the companies probably being in order to act as landlord for the property as a whole. They used to lease out some of the other buildings to colleges, etc.

Hackberry Creek Getaways is apparently related to Benson Phillips' son, Ben. It seems Ben and his wife Anna own it or run it. Not sure why it should be related to LSM AT ALL. Edit again: I looked it up. Benson and his wife, plus Ben and his wife, are all managers of it. Still not sure why it should be related to LSM though.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:06 AM   #16
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Default Re: Open - Interactive Letter to The Co-Workers in The Lord's Recovery

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
I was looking recently at the web site for the church in San Diego and noticed in the Meeting section two directional notes concerning meeting during the Covid pandemic. One was from “The North American Coworkers” to the “Dear responsible brothers of the North American Churches” and the other from “ The coworkers in the Lords Recovery” to “ all The dear saints in all the churches in the Lords Recovery”.

Who are these North American coworkers, and who are the coworkers in the Lords Recovery. Has the LC system adopted a form of Bishops, Arch Bishops, Cardinals and maybe even Pope.

I see no names mentioned, and I assume all of this started after the death of Lee.
My curiosity is is there a pecking order, how are they elevated to such positions, is it written or contracted that an LC must be subservient to these anonymous people? They now seem to use the term responsible brothers in place of elders- is this a new development? How exactly does this North American coworkers and coworkers in the Recovery work? Are they elected, is there a ladder to climb, does the North American answer to the recovery coworkers? Do all have LSM non profit corporation affiliation?
I can kind of see safety in not naming names- you don’t want a name to gain recognition and then have to erase it from appearing if the person leaves such as the John Ingals case.
But putting a name identifies a person and persons and holds accountability.
It did not start after the death of Lee. Have you read the account of Don Rutledge?

Back in 1978 a little blue pamphlet came out titled, "The Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches," put out by "the Co-workers in the Lord's Recovery."

I still have a couple of those. Many brothers at the time, including Don, wondered who these nameless brothers were. Who was now deciding what were the "proper" beliefs and practices of all local churches, other than the Bible and the Spirit of God?
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Old 08-17-2020, 02:47 PM   #17
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It did not start after the death of Lee. Have you read the account of Don Rutledge?

Back in 1978 a little blue pamphlet came out titled, "The Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches," put out by "the Co-workers in the Lord's Recovery."

I still have a couple of those. Many brothers at the time, including Don, wondered who these nameless brothers were. Who was now deciding what were the "proper" beliefs and practices of all local churches, other than the Bible and the Spirit of God?
I do recall that pamphlet and kind of even remember some grumbling about it. I think I too have a couple of copies. I don’t recall it staying around as an important thing.
It seems LSM has really walled themselves in; their premise is that all light the scripture could offer is to be found only in LSM material, which is WL and WN writings or in case of WL audio and video. Anything apart from that is of no real value. They seem to constantly repackage the same material. So, if after, let’s say the past 50 years, the saints have read all the LSM material and constantly reinforced it in their various meetings and conferences and trainings, why would LSM even be necessary? Shouldn’t everyone have been enlightened, straightened out, constituted, or whatever one would want to say so that the average little saint has no need of anything else than Just the Bible and the Spirit. Shouldn’t the saints be so clear about all biblical matters so that they would all do the work of propagating this great enlightenment? Any new ones should just fall into the hands of the enlightened saints that are so perfectly practicing the NT economy and Gods eternal purpose, and so filled with the Spirit that there is on longer any need for LSM to repackage the same stuff. It seems by now, LSM would be a useless entity to the local churches. But instead, it seems LSM is now replacing the Bible and Spirit and it appears the headship of Christ and the God given local overseers. I don’t recall in any WN writings the need for such an all encompassing extra-scriptural entity. I don’t recall seeing it set up in the NT either. How do the LCs and the saints not react to this? If no one can question the validity of LSM because they have set themselves up as the only clear speaking concerning the Bible, what will happen in 20 or 30 more years with their marketing plan? How often does one need to repurchase the same material or hear a different voice say the same things? If the business/ government they have set up failsdoes that mean a return to the dark ages?
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Old 08-17-2020, 04:37 PM   #18
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I do recall that pamphlet and kind of even remember some grumbling about it. I think I too have a couple of copies. I don’t recall it staying around as an important thing.
Before the Midwest LC's were quarantined and divided by LSM/DCP operatives (~2002 to 2004 in the year of our Lord Jesus) every Midwest LC had new copies of that booklet circulated to remind us of the liberties we once enjoyed in the Recovery, and how things had radically changed.
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Old 08-17-2020, 07:34 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Before the Midwest LC's were quarantined and divided by LSM/DCP operatives (~2002 to 2004 in the year of our Lord Jesus) every Midwest LC had new copies of that booklet circulated to remind us of the liberties we once enjoyed in the Recovery, and how things had radically changed.
I still have a copy of the LA Times that riled up WL, concerning the mindbenders. There was going to be a big church meeting in Anaheim where reporters would come to observe and a lot of us from San Diego went to support- you know- large numbers impress. At that meeting, I remember the elders calling old Christian hymns one after another so the wild saints would not have a chance to shout out lines or give the Oh Lord Jesus, or any of the typical LC performances. Then WL gave a nice Christian message, then a few leading ones gave a couple of nice testimonials, then the meeting was over. The impression they wanted to give reporters was that we were just average dear Christians. That was one of the first times I started to see the phoniness, and made a strong mental note of it.

I also still have a copy of the deposition WL gave- just a little bible preacher. It was shortly after that that he really started turning on the deputy authority thing and going after the malcontents.
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