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The Local Church in the 21st Century Observations and Discussions regarding the Local Church Movement in the Here and Now

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Old 09-25-2020, 06:07 PM   #1
jigsaw44
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Default The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

jigsaw here again with another thread with the emphasis on all of those who grew up or knew anyone who grew up in the Local Churches.

Reason/inspiration for the thread- Was talking to a brother during a conference (east coast), and among the conversation was the topic of local church friends he knew while growing up and just mass amounts of them just leaving the local churches and even forgoing their beliefs entirely or just barely being described as nominal. This conversation took at the height my "cynical/skepticism thoughts of the local churches.

Present time- Now after seeing LC Kids being raised when visiting the homes of different brothers/sisters and witnessing all the customs and rules of the Local churches being applied in these lives (no birthdays/holidays/no tv). Im just wondering how is it like on a grand scale of many years- being raised by the Local church for the entirety of your K-12 life? I will now present my questions for anyone who can answer

1. Growing Up- How was it like growing up, especially going to school and just interacting with the outside world? How did it feel to not be able to celebrate certain holidays such as Christmas and birthdays/ and explaining it to your friends from school? Were you allowed to have outside friends and if so was it hard to adjust your lifestyle in accordance to theirs? What about going into high school and not being able to go to prom, or constantly rejecting people who had feelings for you, and to overall enjoy the basic joys of being a teenager? How did you cope dealing with your home life restrictions/legalism while comparing it to other friends? These basic questions are just scratching the surface of
- Did you just simply see the outside life as inferior and never let it affect you or was it constantly bothering you leaving you powerless or perhaps rebellious towards your parents?
- For my numbered questions I am giving alot of examples/scenarios to give you an idea of what im looking for. You don't have to answer the questions exactly as I worded them. So if you have a specific story or example that answers or relates to question 1 feel free to give it to me.

2. Transition- Upon being independent adults or at least being 18 and moving on to the next step in your life. What was your initial mindset? Were you eager to continue the Local Church Legalism lifestyle or perhaps just drowned in it so long you feel like you have no other way to live?

Maybe you were rebellious and plotting to abandon what has established so far in your life? Or you were caught in a rift and couldn't tell whether you wanted a taste of the outside or to remain in the LC life due to(pressure/fear from family, friends etc._.
- What ever it was like at this point in your life please do tell and specific stories are wonderful.

3. Reflection
- How do you reflect on the LC lifestyle for Kids. Why do you think or know the reason for the departure of so many LC kids. What do you think the deal breaker is for LC kids to forgo the LC? From your personal experience where do the lost LC kids go? Do they let go of their beliefs entirely or go to another denomination, or just stay lost not sure where to go or how to go their lives.
- For question 3 as well as all the other questions- It would be wonderful if you all could give anecdotal stories.

3.5 Do the LC members consider and reflect on the exodus of many young LC kids? Or do they brush it off aside and simply think they are weak believers or inferior? Do LC people consider the causes of people leaving?

4.- Any other thoughts/ possible questions you will to chime in on? Please do tell about anything that can expand on this conversation/topic.
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Old 09-27-2020, 01:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

Oh man this thread is empty, I was really looking forward to hear the detailed testimonies of LC grown people. Feel free to chime in if you want, I'm pretty sure other people than I would be curious to.
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Old 09-27-2020, 02:20 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
Oh man this thread is empty, I was really looking forward to hear the detailed testimonies of LC grown people. Feel free to chime in if you want, I'm pretty sure other people than I would be curious to.
Sometimes it just takes some time. We have lost a few of our regular long-time posters recently. I have it in my mental to-do list to respond to this, but weekend time is precious commodity
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Old 10-03-2020, 12:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

Hello. I like your post and would like to answer some of these questions. I am currently "unregistered" and requested a membership, so am first going to test if my response goes through without a membership.
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Old 10-03-2020, 04:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

Go right ahead and If anyone else wants to chime in, come right in and join the conversation.
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Old 10-03-2020, 05:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

First of all, hello. I would like to say, I like your questions, because I have not yet made an initial post yet, and think that answering your questions is a good starting point for me. Just for some background information about me- I am a female in my 30s. I grew up as a “church kid” in the local church. My parents had joined this church group long before I was born. I never enjoyed sitting through church meetings as a child. They were very complex, long winded (3 or 4 hours on Sundays at least), full of testimonies, “pray-reading,” and other things that I barely understood. I have browsed through many of the comments on here so far, and many people seem like biblical scholars to me. Some of the talk here reminds me of the type of talk I used to hear. I think much of this stuff was forced down my throat as a child, but, I somehow managed to either never learn much, or just to easily forget most of the things I was supposed to learn. Maybe I wasn’t a typical LC church kid.

Anyway, I will answer some of your questions now.
Going to school was difficult for me. For one, I was homeschooled off and on. When I did start going to school, I was incredibly shy, I think mostly due to my lack of socialization from an early age. I never went to preschool or kindergarten. I hardly remember much of my earlier years I think because of this. When I did start public school, I felt really left out. I remember having to sit out from singing any Christmas songs with other kids up on stage. Anytime the topic of Christmas or any other holiday came up at school, I became really nervous and scared that I would be found out for being different. Back then, I don’t think teachers were as aware of diversity in beliefs. I remember the Spanish teacher going around the room and asking what everyone got for Christmas in Spanish, and I was petrified. I hated when my friends found out. They assumed I was a Jehovah’s Witness. It made no sense to them that I was a Christian that didn’t celebrate Christmas. I don’t think my parents or the church provided me with enough information to stand up for myself when confronted about these things. I just felt “different.” My parents only sort of celebrated birthdays. They really played them down and didn’t make a big deal out of them. I never had a real party with friends.

As for friends, I was never specifically told I couldn’t have friends outside of the church, but I had difficulty making and keeping friends (especially after middle school) because of my poor self-esteem and feeling different. Even within the church, I felt like I was not as “cool” as some of the other kids, who didn’t have parents that were as strict as me. This may be too much information, but I was very sheltered, had the most uncool clothes, wasn’t provided with any “worldy” items like CDs, never was taken to the movies or an amusement park by my parents, and had limited access to television shows (anything rated above G, I was probably not allowed to watch.. maybe saw some occasional PG things once I was a teenager). I wasn’t strictly told I couldn’t go to dances, but I don’t think I ever asked. I was too scared. I didn’t go to prom. I really regret that. To be honest, I really tried hard to follow the rules set before me, and was scared of my parents.. and now that I know more about the church and how it’s different from other mainstream Christian churches.. I realize that my parents were greatly influenced by the church. I would call their style Authoritarian- follow their rules and don’t ask questions.

So for your question about how I dealt with all of this.. I suppressed my feelings and sucked it up. I never had romantic relationships in high school (even though I would have liked to), so rejecting people wasn’t an issue. I was under the impression that my parents thought relationships and dating “lead to divorce” and that it was sinful. I never tried to date because I was scared that I would get in trouble.
My transition period: If I ever get around to it, and you or anyone else is interested, I can tell you how this all turned out for me. It wasn’t very good. After high school, I eventually “snapped” and things got really ugly very fast. It’s a bit of a personal story, so I will see if this basic information gets any reactions first, and if I can feel comfortable enough to tell it. But, to answer your other question, I did not think outside life was inferior.. and I DID feel powerless and wanted to be rebellious against my parents. I was jealous of all the kids around me who could do things I couldn’t. And at the same time had tons of GUILT if I ever did desire a more “wordly” life.. I’m not sure if you are personally an ex LCer, so not sure if you know the terms.. they say lots of normal things are “wordly” and not of God… it drove me crazy.


I think many of the LC kids from my particular locality are still in the church. I’m friends with them on facebook, but don’t ever see them in person or really interact with them much at all. I have only one remaining friend from the church, and she moved away from the area. We never talked much about church things when we were together. I think from the ones that did leave that I know, they are not spiritual people anymore at all from what I can guess based off of facebook. But again.. we don’t really talk. I honestly think it would be nice to reconnect with some people that have a similar past with me, but that’s why I am participating in this group right now. I haven’t talked about this stuff with anyone in years. And my husband has NO clue what I’m talking about because he grew up Catholic.

So, that is all I have to say for now. I thank you again for asking those questions. I did not answer all of them exactly, but gave it a shot. Excuse me for being lengthy.. there is still so much more I could share! I am looking forward to interacting more on this discussion site in the future.
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Old 10-03-2020, 07:56 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

Back in this thread again! Thank you for this post crazy, appreciate the detailed insight. For me personally go full throttle with your "transitional" period in life. People here express their turmoil with the LC all the time. Give details of that point in your life at your discretion. Also why do so many LC parents homeschool? Do they consider education to be "worldly"? Regardless, welcome to this forum and enjoy being here. In fact I will make another thread that I would like inight on to by Long time LC members. So feel free to hop in that thread to.
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Old 10-03-2020, 08:31 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

Growing Up-Being raised in the local churches and depending on the localities I lived in friends varied. My grade school years my friends were primarily churchkids. Middle school and high school very few friends were local church. By those years I began to see the on/off switch. One personality for school-life and another personality for the meeting-life.

Transition-As I went from high school student to college student, the concept of “submission and authority” was till present. No matter my opinion, those older than me are always right. Couple that with “The New way”, I saw college as a means to distance myself from the local churches.

Reflection- LC lifestyle is only for those who embrace LSM brand of fellowship; adult or young people. If one wants to be a general Christian not wanting a ministry center, go find fellowship somewhere else.
Why do LC kids forego the LC? Currently I think LC kids are filled with socialist ideology which is like “oil and water” when it comes Christianity. Others were directly affected by LC legalism. Not being supported by their parents against the legalism did irreparable harm. Each LC kid has their story whether they continue their faith (just not with LC fellowship) or whether they come to reject their Christian upbringing.

Quote:
Do the LC members consider and reflect on the exodus of many young LC kids? Or do they brush it off aside and simply think they are weak believers or inferior? Do LC people consider the causes of people leaving?
Regardless of Localchurches having lost many young ones, the one reason to cover all is "they were lost to the world". They may be seen as weak, lukewarm, etc. Those who are LC loyalists see the problem is something else. Not the local churches. The local church culture is unrepentant and unwilling to accept responsibility.
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Old 10-04-2020, 05:30 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

Jigsaw, thank you for your reply. I became curious though as to why you are asking all of these questions. So I went to read your initial post here. So, you are a current LC member? Are you looking to leave, and trying to make your decision based off of information you find out? I am certainly not going to judge you for wanting to do that.

Please feel free to tell me though why you wanted to join it at all in the first place. We obviously have very different backgrounds.. you, making a personal decision to join as an adult, and me, being forced into it as a child.

I think I DO miss having a sort of group to belong to. I still feel like I had a hard time leaving something that I grew up in, and am still trying to find a group where I truly belong. For some people, like myself, that might not even end up being a church group.

I also saw your comment about relationships. I found this part very amusing:

"But some these are men in their mid thirties sitting their hopelessly and sad, not realizing they might need to expand their world outside the local churches to get what they want.
Having a woman/spouse is one of the most essential things for a man to have and to make it so hard for grown men to even have a basic interaction with woman (talking, standard dating),to me makes no sense. Especially when some men are by default of certain qualities, going to have a harder time dating/finding a woman "

I would expect maybe the church got better now that it's 2020, but apparently not, haha!!

It was actually not very funny for me as a female. The story about my transition period I was going to mention has to do with a very bad relationship I ended up in. My life was completely turned upside down because of this and it took me years to recover and become a strong and independent woman. I still don't feel super comfortable mentioning it here. I think what I'm waiting for is to hear from another person (female would be better just because of relatability) who group up in the LC who can truly understand the hardships I went through and the serious consequences it had on my life.

So, are you a bit concerned about how being in the LC might affect you and your girlfriend? Or maybe your future children (if you want kids) if you stay in the LC?
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Old 10-04-2020, 11:34 PM   #10
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

To Iseecrazypeople,

I am at a crossroads right now with the LC. The only thing holding me back are some college age brothers who I have a great time with. These brothers are in the LC and like their experience so far but they are not deep enough in the waters to have been drowned and consumed by the interest of the LC.

They sing and go to meetings and all that but they fully intend to do normal things such as casual dating and going to the movies and such, getting a full time job and not go to FTTA. They are sort of like me- normal and reasonable people (no pun intended to people following LC lifestyle), but I feel as though to leave the LC, I have to leave it completely and that includes them.

Yes indeed, I am trying to assess my final decision and this website definitely sealed the deal for me. I have no intention of staying here long term. I would never ever want to raise kids here, this environment just seems horrible (felt terrible reading trapped post about the kid with the national geographic magazine, like what in the heck is wrong with these people). Quote from Trapped- "I remember one of the young people I knew growing up had to get rid of their "National Geographic World - Kids" magazines because they had the word "World" on the cover and their parents told them "the world is evil".

As for my girlfriend, we are doing well and after reading the ways of relationships and how they are maintained and arranged in the LC, it made angrier, thinking back on how the elders tried to manipulate me in ending the relationship. In fact I just remember another thread I was supposed to make.

Going to back to the point, I'm just trying to make sense of the witness lee churches and I guess I'm just starting to piece together if any of this was real. I mean do these people have emotions and minds of their own or are they just lee slaves? I can tell when somebody is a fake and whether they are genuinely who they portray to be. They seem sweet but Is it simply cause I am currently seen as LC friendly? I know a lot of these people are nice people in general but it is just such a nasty thing to betray someone's trust and deceive them. I cant even formulate my thoughts properly and just going on tangents, overall I'm just disappointed.

I originally thought student org on campus was just a genuine place where Christians from all backgrounds came to meet and have a great time, while some of that is true, its just a ruse. Everything I heard on here to purposely not showing lee material right away and waiting till they suck you in and love bomb and decide to trust you with introducing lee material. There so much more I have learned from here on how they do so many things to deceive and gain FTTA potentials from campus. I'm just like- how fake can you be? You put so much effort in being a deceptive snake instead of just being honest with who you are and what you represent and believe.

In conclusion, nothing seemed real with the LC. There are some who have positive experiences with the LC and a lot of people with negative experiences. I disagree with a lot of the practices and that's just me. If a person fits well with the customs of the LC then good for them. It isn't for me and the only thing holding me on is a few good hearted people who desperately wanted to live a good life in Christ and found their way there. Eventually I will depart from them to and the clock is ticking on when that happens.

It feels weird now thinking I'm just looking for the perfect escape opportunity while I'm hanging out with them and just thinking, would it have been better if I never meet you in the first place, if I'm just going to leave without a trace any day now?
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Old 10-06-2020, 09:00 AM   #11
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

Jigsaw,
I find that so absurd that the elders would want you to end your relationship. Major red flag. And imagine if you grew up in this church to begin with.. you probably would never have had a girlfriend to begin with. Though I have read that women are treated differently than the men in this church, so I'm not sure what it would have been like to be raised a male in this church (I also only have sisters).

I keep reading other people who write about how the sisters in the church were suppressed and not able to speak up and other things like that. I do remember sisters had to wear "head coverings" which were usually doilies folded in half. I personally was often oblivious to what was going on, and was so bored and hardly payed attention in the long winded meetings (I had to sit through them starting in junior high), so I might not have noticed the suppression of women as much as I could have.

Sorry, that was a tangent. But if you don't agree with most of the practices, and are only held back by your friends, is it possible you leave ASAP but still remain friends with them? If they are truly "normal" guys like you say, they will probably understand. You probably don't even have to go into detail as to why you are leaving. You could just .. slip away. I have one friend that still attends the church, but not in my area, and we never talk about it. I have a couple other "acquaintances" who I'm on friendly terms with and talk to occasionally who are involved in the church.

I know your circumstances might be different though. I just hope for your mental health, you can get away ASAP. Best of luck!
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Old 10-06-2020, 11:43 AM   #12
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Thank you Iseecrazy people. I am doing fine mentally, I guess the biggest reason I am in disgust/unbelief is just how fake the LC can be. It is the most disgusting thing in the world to betray somebodys trust. The whole LC system just seems like servitude (especially for females). I almost got duped into this system if I didn't catch on to early red flags. I'm glad the elders tried to do that BS with me cause, that is what initially made my mind alert (guess the LC needs to be more subtle with their slave practices).

Just imagine if I listened to those Lee slaves and broke up with my GF and if she stayed in the LC (very unlikely, but if she did), she would just be a piece of meat like cattle. Sold off to some random man with raging testosterones, who is not allowed to get a woman on his accord like any responsible man would in this world. (I mean no pun intended to the man with raging testosterone, cause he is by force not allowed to be his own man and find a woman).
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Old 10-10-2020, 05:56 PM   #13
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

I was in the LC from ages 12-21 in five different localities. (Because of family problems I moved from my parent's to a sibling's home, who were in the LC) Losing TV didn't bug me too much. I was an avid reader and could get books from the library. Having to give up my stamp collection and record collection really bugged me. If I got really bored I would play 8 handed Monopoly by myself. In 8th grade I wanted to go to a friend from school's house, and was told no, with no further explanation. Since most of the localities were new there were no youth programs, thus no peers to interact with and I was bored.

In my 3rd locality, we at school were invited to a Christmas party at another school but needed a permission slip. I forged the signatures so I could go. I knew it wouldn't be ok. I still have the Christmas present I got decades later!

In my last locality I finished HS and college. Since it was established, it had an active youth group of peers plus I had friends at school, so I wasn't feeling deprived. However in my second year of college my decision to leave started when LC young people came and took over my college's Christian club meeting and ran it like an LC meeting.

I have too many dear Christians in my family who are not LC, and to tell me they are not in the Lord's purpose was a bunch of...……
Even now I enjoy going to various churches and look for Jesus wherever I go.
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Old 10-11-2020, 08:24 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

Hbj let me get this straight. A group of high schoolers went on campus to your own personal little club and basically took over and ran the thing? How are hs kids allowed to even take over some random college club and for what purpose? I think some background info is missing..... I'm sorry bro but that part confused me
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Old 10-18-2020, 06:15 PM   #15
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Default Re: The Lost and Found of the Local Church Kids

As a clarification: When I was in college, fellow LC college students came and took over my college's student nondemoninational Christian club meeting and ran it as an LC meeting.
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Old 10-18-2020, 07:47 PM   #16
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Oh man, that is messed up. Sorry it went that way =(. Did you invite them to the club or did they stalk you and just did a hostile take over?
I know this seems like a trivial and perhaps irrelevant question since the effect of such said event is detailed in your earlier post.
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