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A Future and a Hope by John Myer Discussions regarding this groundbreaking, bellwether work in progress

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Old 05-16-2012, 06:55 AM   #1
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Default The Last Chaper of A Future and A Hope is now posted!

http://www.assemblylife.com/

I'll have the chapter posted on the Forum shortly.
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Old 05-16-2012, 07:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Last Chaper of A Further and A Hope is now posted!

Here's the book's conclusion ...

Quote:
Nee's ministry was inherited by virtue of the fact that Lee credited and promoted it. However, Nee would have certainly condemned the rotten behavior associated with the lawsuits, as well as the Pharisaical spirit that has pervaded the group. The LC Movement ignores certain specifics of Nee's views concerning the church, the work, and Christian living, especially where LSM might be made to look deficient. Though his books are published and sold through the organization, they are window dressing, casual reading but non-authoritative when they seem to challenge Lee or "the blended brothers." Perhaps the Movement itself would have a great deal more hope if they really did pay attention to Nee's ministry.
Apparently the ministry of WN was only used for a season and then discarded; used while it was advantageous, and then discarded when it was advantageous.
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Old 05-16-2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Last Chaper of A Future and A Hope is now posted!

Great finish to a great book. I applaud John for having the courage to write it.

I think all of us at some point need to take seriously Paul's admonition to forget the things which are behind and reach forward to the things which are ahead (Phil 3:13).

There is nothing we can do about the past. We can only learn from it and put it in perspective. The worst thing you can do is let your past kill your future.

I appreciated this quote from Johnny Cash recently:
"You build on failure. You use it as a stepping stone. Close the door on the past. You don't try to forget the mistakes, but you don't dwell on it. You don't let it have any of your energy, or any of your time, or any of your space."
I think this is was Paul was talking about. Learn from the past, live in the present, hope for the future.

I pray for all those affected by the LC Movement that they will see and experience a future and a hope beyond and brighter than their past.
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Old 05-16-2012, 03:31 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Last Chaper of A Future and A Hope is now posted!

Interesting read.

I note that he takes the Concerned Brothers to task a little for not really reconsidering the core LRC/Nee/Lee teachings.

And he is polite enough not to actually say that core LRC doctrine is simply wrong. (For example, when mentioning that Jesus v religion video, he does not suggest that the subject matter seriously goes beyond what Jesus would be against.) Yet you are left with the impression that he does think that is true (the core LRC doctrine is wrong).

In the end, he gets away with bashing Lee (even Nee a little) and the LRC in a way that I would get drawn and quartered for by a few people. I guess credentials do count for something. (And he is the one who has them if either of us do.)

And, while he never justifies the "c" label, the way he describes the group would get the label as long as you can do it without invoking the wrath of the "but they're not like [fill-in-the-blank-with-your-favorite-suicide-cult]" contingent.
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Old 05-16-2012, 08:18 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Last Chaper of A Future and A Hope is now posted!

Myer was honest to address the real situation in the GLA churches, though he never mentioned by name who actually rules the region with an iron fist.

Quote:
Unchecked Spiritual Authority will
Continue Terminating Gifts to the Body

As in the LSM version of the Movement, a similar spiritual authority complex exists in the Midwest. No one argues against the fact that spiritual authority is real and that mature, healthy believers ought to be respected and heard. But this understanding runs amuck when it attempts to morph into a system of ecclesiastical rule. The “order in the body” or “the lead in the work” can wrongly entitle a so-called authority to hold sway over entire areas of churches and over people whom he (or, they) have never even personally met, much less labored upon.

This tendency is more nebulous with the Living Stream Ministry, because it comprises a number of men who act as a sort of central committee. The Midwest, though, typically revolves around one worker, who sets the pace and direction for the ministry of the entire region. This was a pattern personally lived out by Witness Lee while he was still alive. Eventually, sub-lieutenants influenced by him each went to various parts of the globe where there were no peers on their same level and thus few serious checks or balances to their teaching, leadership, and direction.

The belief that this arrangement is somehow spiritual unfortunately rolls out a welcome mat for frequent bad behavior. We must all grant our leaders the grace to have bad days. However that does not include bad patterns. Patterns develop when behaviors go unchallenged, and they go unchallenged because of teachings that tell us to fear, above all else, the spiritual authority allegedly residing in some man.

Under that erroneous assumption, if said authority uses intimidation, public rebukes, temper tantrums, and mocking, it is acceptable because it is all part of the package. Indeed, I have seen godly, senior men bullied and scolded as though they were children. Meanwhile, others, watching quietly from the sidelines and thankful that they escaped the moment, put their hands in their pockets and with sheepish grins said, “Well, you just have to understand our brother.” One elder summed it all up with an air of resignation, saying, “That’s the way it is.” But such rubber stamping of spiritual authority is a lot like playing Russian roulette. One by one, individuals begin to disappear whom the Lord has spent years raising up—each effectively dispatched by “the order in the body.”

Aside from adjusting the source teaching that overly indulges the idea of spiritual authority, accountability is a key factor here. What would happen if a number of influential elders set a policy for leaders: “You will not be given free pass for rude, abrasive remarks and public shaming. Insults from the podium will no longer be treated as the Lord’s Word from an angry prophet. Instead, it will be seen as sinful human weakness and will be met with censure. Outbursts of anger are works of the flesh. It is simply childish to insist on something and then make snide remarks (especially from the pulpit!) when you don’t get your way. If you continue to act out in unchristian ways, regardless of your elevated status and past history, you will be asked to step down.

What would happen if such policies were adopted? No doubt, it would be called rebellion. Yet spiritual authority does not offer someone a deferment from virtuous conduct. It certainly does not sanction manhandling ministers and neutralizing them.

As long as questionable authority patterns persist, promising brothers will continue to disappear, after years of training and comradeship and possibly after many years of faithful service in the church. No one is innocent here. Local leaders who passively accept these situations are as complicit in the deed as if they had directly done it themselves.
John Myer is the first person, besides myself, who has come out publicly to address the abuses that we all used to consider "normal." How many precious and gifted brothers have ended up "in the ditch along the way" with no "Good Samaritan" to aid their cause? As Myer has correctly said, "No one is innocent!" All the others in attendance were just like that "priest and Levite passing by on the other side", noting to their associates, and shrugging their shoulders, "that's just the way it is."

Funny thing is TC used to mock the brothers calling them, "yellow-bellied push-button robots." How many times did I hear that!?! Yet no brother, including myself, ever had the guts to stand up TC bully tactics. I guess he was right. Due to the shackles of errant and distorted teachings of spiritual authority, we all truly were "yellow-bellied push-button robots!" One senior worker in Cleveland, who has since departed, said TC treated him "like a dog."

Even sadder than silence is the bad pattern duplicated among the other workers under TC. Just recently I heard a story of obnoxious abuse by TC's right hand man TM. The victim was another soft-hearted, well-loved, and appreciated shepherd, who has had a positive influence over many a brother and sister over the years. He has left the Recovery, but, of course, TM of Cleveland has not. The abusive ones tend to stay. I too have learned that lesson the hard way.

After the sad days of strife which so characterized the quarantine in the GLA, one dear couple came to me and encouraged me saying that "things were better now." Peace following fighting always is pleasant. But, as I have said from the beginning, the GLA LC's would never change as long as the same leaders were in place. It's just amazing to me now, looking back, at how sympathetic we all were to TC, as he told us those many stories of how he was abused by those in Anaheim. Did someone say that bullies tend to reproduce bullies?!?
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Old 05-16-2012, 11:14 PM   #6
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From page 8 of the last chapter;

"With the repetitive stress on oneness inside the LC Movement, why has division still occurred? Because over-emphasis on items beyond the oneness of the spirit (Eph. 4:3-6) always leads to division. It is incredible that no Movement leaders seem to have discovered this fatal habit.....
As long as its definition of oneness does not change, division will continue being a regular cyclical affair in the LC Movement, much the same as with its Brethren progenitors. Like in Babel, oneness cannot be found outside the person of Christ, no matter how many messages are given to promote it.
"

I would add not just the definition of oneness needs to change, but the concept of oneness needs to change.
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:03 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
From page 8 of the last chapter;

"With the repetitive stress on oneness inside the LC Movement, why has division still occurred? Because over-emphasis on items beyond the oneness of the spirit (Eph. 4:3-6) always leads to division. It is incredible that no Movement leaders seem to have discovered this fatal habit.....

As long as its definition of oneness does not change, division will continue being a regular cyclical affair in the LC Movement, much the same as with its Brethren progenitors. Like in Babel, oneness cannot be found outside the person of Christ, no matter how many messages are given to promote it.
"

I would add not just the definition of oneness needs to change, but the concept of oneness needs to change.
I have concluded that not one LC leader really ever cared for oneness. Perhaps they did in their idealistic youth, but not since they "grew up."

This point is exactly the same as I say to others about politicians -- forget about everything they say, especially with microphone in hand, and pay attention to what they do! We live in an age when one's words mean next to nothing. Good teachings and good messages are only used to sedate the masses. Turn your brains off and it all sounds so good!

LC leaders have been discussing oneness ad nauseum for decades, yet which leader has done a single thing which facilitated oneness in his own locality -- you know "stand as one on the local ground." In this regard the Recovery has become nearly the most hypocritical of all groups, since one can always find a message from them that condemns the very things they are doing.

As someone once said, "tell me again about that church with no name that sued their own brothers for the rights to their name." Tell me again about that ministry which condemns all others for being hopelessly divided, and yet has the saddest history of all when it comes to conflicts and divisions. Tell me again about that ministry which boasts in "Christ, only Christ, the centrality and universality of God," and yet files lawsuits for not using HWFMR and quarantines them for publishing books.
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Old 05-17-2012, 06:24 PM   #8
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I have concluded that not one LC leader really ever cared for oneness. Perhaps they did in their idealistic youth, but not since they "grew up."

This point is exactly the same as I say to others about politicians -- forget about everything they say, especially with microphone in hand, and pay attention to what they do! We live in an age when one's words mean next to nothing. Good teachings and good messages are only used to sedate the masses. Turn your brains off and it all sounds so good!
When I listen to Puget Sound Blending Conferences, that is what I take into account when I hear the messages. Whether from Ron Kangas of James Lee. Does their speaking match how they handle relationships; past and present?
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:17 PM   #9
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I general what I think of this last chapter of a Future and a Hope:

A. John Myer is saying what Ohio has been saying for years. Specifically BB's bad CB's good.
B. Maybe being released from the work, John has the liberty to speak more directly and in some ways more specifically.
C. Encouragement to be proactive rather than reactive. You can be part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:22 AM   #10
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I think John has accurately described the situation: any church (in the U.S.) associated in anyway with the ministry of Witness Lee will become irrelevant and any church that continues in the ways of the LC will have little or no influence within their own communities.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:46 AM   #11
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The whole LC lexicon of authority and leadership needs to be thrown out and re-defined. It's clear what they believe in this area leads to heavy-handed backroom politics, power-struggles and division.

The Lord is so wise. Who else would have thought of defining leadership as servant-hood? You lead, you trust the Lord, and if people don't go along with you, you don't make a fuss about it. You just continue to be faithful. The Lord's sheep will hear His voice of leadership. You don't need to force it on anyone.

That's the model the Lord defined.
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Old 05-18-2012, 08:57 AM   #12
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The whole LC lexicon of authority and leadership needs to be thrown out and re-defined. It's clear what they believe in this area leads to heavy-handed backroom politics, power-struggles and division.

The Lord is so wise. Who else would have thought of defining leadership as servant-hood? You lead, you trust the Lord, and if people don't go along with you, you don't make a fuss about it. You just continue to be faithful. The Lord's sheep will hear His voice of leadership. You don't need to force it on anyone.

That's the model the Lord defined.
It's hard for me to believe that the entire LC system of abuse, control, mistreatment, public shaming and bullying was due solely to comments made by WN about how harshly Margaret Barber rebuked him. First of all, there is no scriptural justification whatsoever, in fact, the Apostle Paul repeatedly testified how he behaved just the opposite. Secondly, the source of this bad pattern was a sister.
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:17 AM   #13
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It's hard for me to believe that the entire LC system of abuse, control, mistreatment, public shaming and bullying was due solely to comments made by WN about how harshly Margaret Barber rebuked him. First of all, there is no scriptural justification whatsoever, in fact, the Apostle Paul repeatedly testified how he behaved just the opposite. Secondly, the source of this bad pattern was a sister.
It's like a cake, there are several ingredients. ME Barber, Chinese culture, fanaticism, misplaced earnestness, ambition, hubris, and what John Myer called "simple group dynamics."

Once a system takes root that defines blind following as a virtue, and asking questions as a vice, leaders can pretty much lead the group around by the nose, especially when you back it up with threats of "1000 years in outer darkness."
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Old 05-18-2012, 09:21 AM   #14
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It's like a cake, there are several ingredients. ME Barber, Chinese culture, fanaticism, misplaced earnestness, ambition, hubris, and what John Myer called "simple group dynamics."

Once a system takes root that defines blind following as a virtue, and asking questions as a vice, leaders can pretty much lead the group around by the nose, especially when you back it up with threats of "1000 years in outer darkness."
There's no getting around it. It's a cult mentality. By definition.

The LRC is not the first or currently only place this is happening. There have been a lot of personality cults, from the benign, like the Worldwide Church of God, to the lethal, like the Branch Davidians.
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Old 05-18-2012, 11:25 AM   #15
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Please tell me that we are not joining the "Christianity is a male religion" firestorm.

Blaming gender is a kind of ad hominem unless you agree that Christianity is simply male/paternalistic.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:01 PM   #16
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Please tell me that we are not joining the "Christianity is a male religion" firestorm.

Blaming gender is a kind of ad hominem unless you agree that Christianity is simply male/paternalistic.
Only if you try real hard to fan the flames.

I'm pretty sure Ohio meant that given the LRC's low regard for the leadership value of sisters, it is out-of-character (i.e. hypocritical) for them to take signals from M.E. Barber, especially when those signals are about how to lead.
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Old 05-18-2012, 12:14 PM   #17
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I'm pretty sure Ohio meant that given the LRC's low regard for the leadership value of sisters, it is out-of-character (i.e. hypocritical) for them to take signals from M.E. Barber, especially when those signals are about how to lead.
The "brilliance" of OBW is truly amazing at times. He can see things in my posts that I never dreamed of.

Thanks for throwing me the life line.
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Old 05-18-2012, 03:26 PM   #18
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The "brilliance" of OBW is truly amazing at times. He can see things in my posts that I never dreamed of.

Thanks for throwing me the life line.
I was really wondering about that "sister" comment. I didn't think about it from the LRC context. I was afraid you had gone of the deep end on us.
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Old 05-20-2012, 08:21 PM   #19
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As I'm going through John Myer's text in Chapter 15, I came across this quote that coincides with Ohio's post on another thread.

"The LC Movement is a man-honoring system that creatively tweaks doctrine to fit circumstances. If LC members question the righteousness of certain deeds, they are characteristically told to turn from the Tree of Knowledge and just care for “Life.” Conveniently “life” trumps righteousness when it suits the leaders’ purpose."

Or for that matter when a question is raised that tests their integrity.

I do not receive glory from men; but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and you do not seek the glory that is from the one and only God? John 5:41-44
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Old 05-22-2012, 06:56 PM   #20
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Okay, I had been hoping someone else would post but there's a portion from Chapter 15 that resonates with my sense of where the Recovery is at.

However, given the attitudes and personalities of individuals who occupy the Movement forefront today, it seems unlikely that humility will prevail from the top. Leaders in the Movement who have been guilty of wrongdoing will eventually leave this world, probably taking their unrepentant trespasses against so many others to the judgment seat of Christ. There, righteousness will no longer be delayed and ministry "spin" does not exist--neither diversionary talk about the tree of life, nor "the feeling of the body."

That will leave the job of repentance to others here today. Groups with a long history of poor dealings against members will do better confessing them in a unified and thorough manner rather than silently sweeping it all under a rug. Nor is it sufficient in the case of the Local Churches, to leave everything up to one cryptic apology from Witness Lee, who, toward the end of his life, felt the need to admit wrong attitudes.

Page 20 of Chapter 15
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Old 05-23-2012, 05:03 AM   #21
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That last quote is interesting. I vaguely recall reading it. I guess it just hit me differently than it did Terry.

For one thing, the group can never repent for someone else. They can openly turn from the destructive path on which former leaders have led them. And they can repudiate the attitudes that were so prevalent among those leaders.

But for me, there is no simple repentance or apology to be had in that way. New leaders can decide to go somewhere different. They can stand against the abuses of the past. The only question that will never be satisfactorily answered is "why didn't you step up when this was originally going on rather than now after the bullies shave died?" Why is it that so few have had the guts to stand against the status quo. The writer of this book is clearly one who did stand — hesitantly at first. But he did stand.

My concern for the group is that if they do not have leaders who will stand for them against the bullies now, what makes them the leaders they need when the bullies go away by attrition? Or do they become ready to follow the next charismatic voice to rise among them or come from outside.

I would say that John Myer actually led his flock out from under the situation. That gives legs to his book's title, "A Future and a Hope." If he were writing anonymously from behind the lines inside an assembly still cowering under TC's whims (or those of the BBs in a different context), then it would have been better titled "A Dream for the Next Generation." But no matter how small the group, they walked away and have a bright future and something in which to hope.

Those who suffered the abuses do not get the apologies they need. They will not hear from the ones whose first and only righteous act will be to repent to the LRC as a whole, the Christian community around them, and specific ones that they have harmed in various ways. Lee hinted at the first step. But he was offered a 3-step program and could only do enough that there is still a quarrel over whether his leg actually moved.

Now those that remain, like John Myer, have surely repented for his complicity in the errors of the past, even if only through lack of will to stand firm. It is unfortunate that this will be as much repentance as will likely ever occur.
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Old 05-23-2012, 10:08 AM   #22
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Default Re: The Last Chaper of A Future and A Hope is now posted!

John Myer made interesting observations here, which he applied to both sides of the recent quarantine in the GLA ...
Quote:
The Movement is basically a systematic approach to doing church and ministry that yields the same results in every context. Whether the leader’s name is Witness Lee or someone else is beside the point. To the extent that a group holds certain LC beliefs and practices, then it virtually guarantees a repeat experience of the same old undesirable Movement outcomes as before. This includes shunning any whom the leadership has tacitly disapproved (no actual sin need be involved); power struggles; politics; manipulation of individuals or environments (through intimidation, pressure, or flattery); real estate lust; the bully pulpit (innuendoes in messages meant to “deal” with someone or something), etc.
When I first posted on LC forums, I made a number of comments which I felt were risky because they were conclusions about the Recovery which had never been vetted by another brother. I was basically going it alone. In a nutshell I had concluded that there was no real difference between Anaheim and Cleveland. Today this seems so obvious, and Myer's conclusion above bears this out, but at the time I wrote this, I had been told for three decades how different TC was from the Blendeds.

John Myer makes a new observation about both centers, i.e. real estate lust. That comment jumped out and slapped me in the face. Real estate lust! This became so evident concerning Anaheim during the recent lawsuits, but he applies it to Cleveland as well. When Myer encouraged the Columbus elders to hand over their property to the rabid LSMers, he suffered heavy criticism by TC and the other senior workers in Cleveland.
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Old 05-23-2012, 11:37 AM   #23
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By the way. I like the book's cover. Sort of like the image of a tall hedge hiding a lost world, with one strong-willed person stepping through to discover that there are cars, electricity, and much, much more. Sort of like The Village (or, in a humorous way, that band of animals in Over the Hedge).

John did it. Others are looking at his footsteps and wondering if it is safe. To repackage a thought from C.S. Lewis (and I probably get it backward) it is dangerous, but it is the only way to go.
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:10 AM   #24
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By the way. I like the book's cover. Sort of like the image of a tall hedge hiding a lost world, with one strong-willed person stepping through to discover that there are cars, electricity, and much, much more. Sort of like The Village (or, in a humorous way, that band of animals in Over the Hedge).

John did it. Others are looking at his footsteps and wondering if it is safe. To repackage a thought from C.S. Lewis (and I probably get it backward) it is dangerous, but it is the only way to go.
Anyone else find it interesting that the Concerned Brothers website never found John Myer's book worthy of posting?
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Old 05-24-2012, 07:33 AM   #25
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Anyone else find it interesting that the Concerned Brothers website never found John Myer's book worthy of posting?
I think that the problem is that, on the whole, John's book puts too much of the LRC experience and doctrine in a less-than favorable light. Too many are not ready to simply say that the "ground" is worse than questionable, that Christianity is not the reprobate pariah we were taught, etc. They are not ready to face the notion that, at some level, everything is a tradition. Even a really good way of holding the Lord's Table. And intentionally shaking things up to avoid tradition is a tradition.

John wrote of what he saw and learned as he brought his flock along with him. While less caustic than this forum, it is still a little too abrupt and negative about the old LRC ways an personalities for the average member to take on all at once. Especially if they didn't already think that there were problems in the very core of their system.

And this is where I think the disconnect often occurs. Many know there are problems. But they don't really know what the problems are. They just know they exist. They presume that it is (as told to them by the party line) discontents causing trouble, ambitious people, reprobate outsiders, etc. The thought that they are holding meetings under the banner of a group whose spiritual conditions makes their existence like living in a condemned building is not what they think is going on.

So hitting them with it is just rejected. It takes something smaller and less affronting.

And while the Concerned Brothers have done that in critiquing the LSM, Myer has correctly pointed out that they have not turned the focus to the actual teachings that underpin the LRC in general — only the BBs and their attack dogs have been scrutinized. At this point, it is his book alone that seems to give a thorough critique of the whole thing. (Even Steve I's commentary is limited to the specific problems of the past and the outstanding denial of scriptural "due process" in his ouster.)
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Old 05-24-2012, 08:53 AM   #26
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And while the Concerned Brothers have done that in critiquing the LSM, Myer has correctly pointed out that they have not turned the focus to the actual teachings that underpin the LRC in general — only the BBs and their attack dogs have been scrutinized.
Not so. Under the "Reconsideration" link, Nigel Tome critiques many of Lee's teachings, and points to Lee as the source of the error, as in his critique of Lee's views on "the curse of Ham" and Satanology.
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Old 05-24-2012, 10:13 AM   #27
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I think that the problem is that, on the whole, John's book puts too much of the LRC experience and doctrine in a less-than favorable light.
The real reason is that John Myer has exposed GLA leadership to be little different than Anaheim. This last chapter of his is by far the most indicting at all, pay attention to his comments about GLA leadership here ...
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Aside from adjusting the source teaching that overly indulges the idea of spiritual authority, accountability is a key factor here. What would happen if a number of influential elders set a policy for leaders: “You will not be given free pass for rude, abrasive remarks and public shaming. Insults from the podium will no longer be treated as the Lord’s Word from an angry prophet. Instead, it will be seen as sinful human weakness and will be met with censure. Outbursts of anger are works of the flesh. It is simply childish to insist on something and then make snide remarks (especially from the pulpit!) when you don’t get your way. If you continue to act out in unchristian ways, regardless of your elevated status and past history, you will be asked to step down.”

What would happen if such policies were adopted? No doubt, it would be called rebellion. Yet spiritual authority does not offer someone a deferment from virtuous conduct. It certainly does not sanction manhandling ministers and neutralizing them.


As long as questionable authority patterns persist, promising brothers will continue to disappear, after years of training and comradeship and possibly after many years of faithful service in the church. No one is innocent here. Local leaders who passively accept these situations are as complicit in the deed as if they had directly done it themselves.
John Myer does not mention names here, but every GLA reader knows exactly who he is referring to. The reader knows that TC alone is "given free pass for rude, abrasive remarks and public shaming." The reader knows who are those complicit senior leaders in Cleveland, like JY and TM, who are spineless in front of TC, "complicit in the deed as if they had directly done it themselves," thus endorsing TC's abusive ways. The leader also knows of the trail of wounded and departed brothers, many richly gifted by God on behalf of the churches, those promising brothers who have disappeared over the years, "after years of training and comradeship and possibly after many years of faithful service in the church."

Their only reason for leaving -- "they had a problem with Titus."

These GLA LC's are not "of God, of Christ, and of the saints." They are "of Titus." That's what the Bible says, and that's why so many precious brothers have had no other recourse but to leave when abused, and they so-called had a
"problem with Titus." Actually none of them had a problem. It's TC who had the problem, but those surrounding TC will never admit this, and that is why Myer took so much heat from Cleveland with his early chapters. Tensions have never subsided since then. The owner of that Concerned Brother website in the Chicago area is very favorable to TC, and will not post any articles which are not favorable to him.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:40 AM   #28
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OK. It is clear that Myer gives TC a really bad rap (and well deserved). But someone just said that they observed several cities (not including Cleveland) starting to steer their own course (my words, not theirs). Where are the CBs? I thought Nigel was other than in Cleveland (even maybe one of the listed cities?).

It is time that leaders in some of those other places exercise a new kind of freedom. Invite TC to come speak some time. But make it clear that his part is as a welcome outsider, not an apostle over the local leadership. He is not free to assume any kind of authority. I think Nigel could eventually do this. Set in motion a movement to the kind of assemblies that started the LRC in the US — separate local assemblies that invited a respected guest speaker whose only purpose (it seemed) was to help them grow.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:44 AM   #29
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The owner of that Concerned Brother website in the Chicago area is very favorable to TC, and will not post any articles which are not favorable to him.
So his "concerns" only go so far, eh?

It has been a very insightful journey with our brother John. I am very grateful to him and his family for letting us share this journey with us in this very public way. In many respects I think his journey has been very similar to many of us former members. Nobody who has been in the Movement for any length of time just walks away without any struggles, without any consternation, without any fears of what the future holds. One thing seems to hold true for most former members - the further one gets away, the worse things look. I think this is why we found John getting stronger and stronger with his criticisms, and at the end he could not hold back from a very strong word to his beloved mentor.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:54 AM   #30
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Not so. Under the "Reconsideration" link, Nigel Tome critiques many of Lee's teachings, and points to Lee as the source of the error, as in his critique of Lee's views on "the curse of Ham" and Satanology.
OK. I sit corrected. But are any of the items critiqued core to the LRC framework? Do they cause the walls of the LRC to shake? Or just point to some overreaching on a few things? If Satan is not literally in our flesh, can Lee's teachings still hold? Mostly so.

What about the "ground of the church." The whole remnant theology line of thinking (that has been cornerstone in numerous aberrations of Christianity of the centuries). God's economy is "simply" dispensing and anything that smacks of effort on our part should be stricken from scripture or labeled "the law" and declared abolished.

The list goes on.

Have they gone after what makes the LRC (with or without the LSM and the BBs) unique? What makes it reek to the outsiders? Yes, they have commented on lawsuits (and been the targets of a few of them). But do they still think that it is a solid house with some bad paint, or a house of cards that needs to be dismantled (or blown down)?

And it is interesting that, while you are correct that they have pointed at Lee a little, they have not pointed at the core of what they are/were. Myer is alone in that. He has declared the whole thing to be naked. Not just a little too much skin showing around the ankles. He was nice about it. But in his own way, that is what he has ultimately done. Even the outcasts of the GLA did not avoid his negative comments.

And negative comments are sometimes exactly what is needed. Lee, the BBs, TC, etc., have hidden behind declarations of others just being "negative," yet the lawsuits, excommunications, belittling, ordering elders around, etc., is nothing if not fully negative.
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:19 PM   #31
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OK. I sit corrected. But are any of the items critiqued core to the LRC framework? Do they cause the walls of the LRC to shake?
For some reason this made me think of Bruno Kirby (Jess) in "When Harry Met Sally".


Jess: So, you’re saying that she’s not that attractive.

Harry: No, I told you she is attractive.

Jess: Yeah, but you also said she had a good personality.

Harry: She has a good personality. What?

Jess: When someone’s not that attractive, they’re always described as having a good personality.

Harry: Look, if you’d asked me, “What does she look like?” and I said, “She has a good personality,” that means she’s not attractive. But just because I happen to mention that she has a good personality, she could be either--she could be attractive with a good personality or not attractive with a good personality.

Jess: What is she?

Harry: Attractive.

Jess: But not beautiful, right?
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Old 05-24-2012, 01:39 PM   #32
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So his "concerns" only go so far, eh?

It has been a very insightful journey with our brother John. I am very grateful to him and his family for letting us share this journey with us in this very public way. In many respects I think his journey has been very similar to many of us former members. Nobody who has been in the Movement for any length of time just walks away without any struggles, without any consternation, without any fears of what the future holds. One thing seems to hold true for most former members - the further one gets away, the worse things look. I think this is why we found John getting stronger and stronger with his criticisms, and at the end he could not hold back from a very strong word to his beloved mentor.
I was reading something yesterday on Cleveland's website -- which is really just the TC website -- and I just started shaking my head. At the annual leader's conference, leaders were testifying of their early days in the church life, and it was all about TC, and TC this, and TC that, and TC etc. After all the turmoil surrounding the quarantine, with all the promise of change and improvement, the end result is just same ole, same ole, same ole.

And someone might cry out, why don't things change? How can things improve when the same leadership is in place?

Even thought John was well loved by many brothers over the years, his tenure did not start until the mid-80's. GLA leadership was in place by the late 60's, so Myer to them is "just a kid." I remember during one meeting in which John was speaking, an older full-timer near me, still not a top "senior" though, whispered a mildly derogatory, "John-ny Myer." That told me that he did not view Myer as a peer. I doubt if he would now hear what John is saying.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:38 PM   #33
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One thing seems to hold true for most former members - the further one gets away, the worse things look. I think this is why we found John getting stronger and stronger with his criticisms, and at the end he could not hold back from a very strong word to his beloved mentor.
I would disagree UntoHim. What is common among elders who are/were co-workers, while they're part of the work, there is not the liberty to speak honestly. It is not until they are separated from the work is there liberty to speak honestly about the work.
My feeling is while they're part of the work, co-workers do have concerns, but they are cautious to express due to the desire to remain one with the brothers.
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Old 05-24-2012, 05:47 PM   #34
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John Myer made interesting observations here, which he applied to both sides of the recent quarantine in the GLA ...

John Myer makes a new observation about both centers, i.e. real estate lust. That comment jumped out and slapped me in the face. Real estate lust! This became so evident concerning Anaheim during the recent lawsuits, but he applies it to Cleveland as well. When Myer encouraged the Columbus elders to hand over their property to the rabid LSMers, he suffered heavy criticism by TC and the other senior workers in Cleveland.
From my point of view I did perceive LSM did have real estate lust for Great Lake Area localities. Just to name a few Mansfield, Columbus, and Toronto. This is where LSM appeared to be more active than other localities. Because there was real estate to be obtained. Localities that did not have real estate were glossed over. Brothers such as Ohio and John Myer would be much more exposed to the real situation than someone like me on the West Coast. Which is why I never considered how the Cleveland center would react to Columbus and Mansfield losing their real estate.
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:52 AM   #35
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I was pleased that Nigel and company did take on some of Lee's teachings. It is clear that they are not willing to simply eat every meal Lee served.

But on the flip side, as Ohio pointed out, Myer treats Cleveland and the GLA as really no different than Anaheim and the the LSM faithful. They are rejecting one uber-authority but seem unable to see past another.

But the core of the LRC in almost any rendition is the teachings of Lee. The GLA may have chipped away at Lee enough to justify no longer simply following his regurgitation apparatus. But they have left the bulk of it intact. They spend much more time dealing with whether the new ministry under the BBs as expressed by the likes of Minoru, Benson, Ron, etc., have deviated from Lee. But in those cases, they seem unable to discover that no matter how different the BBs and the LSM may now be relative to Lee, being different to Lee is necessary because he was wrong. The BBs may have become worse than Lee. But staying in sync with him is not the answer.

I think that our problem in this analysis is too often that we understand everything in extremes. If we disagree with Lee's take on the curse of Ham and his Satanology, then we have rejected Lee. But the curse of Ham was only one of Lee's tricks to become untouchable. That was what kept the few that realized his unrighteousness in line. But nuanced doctrine after nuanced doctrine that cast virtually identical doctrines in the rest of Christianity in a bad light, coupled with a redefinition of way too many common words in the Christian vocabulary, and a few special doctrines like dirt and dispensing that made everyone feel specially called and therefore superior to all those other mooing Christian cows — those are the sacred cows that no one is really going after.

I can agree that much of what Lee taught was no different from anything taught in your run-of-the-mill evangelical church. But even saying that, it is not quite right because those "no different" things were repackaged in the new lexicon. They got tied to speciality in being part of "God's best." And without those things, there is really no reason for the LRC to be something separate from the rest of Christianity. Or more correctly, no reason for anyone to choose it over wherever they already were (in most cases). Yes, there may be a 90 percent core of common belief and teaching. But that 10 percent made the LRC what it is. And without that 10 percent there is nothing of importance that cannot be found outside of the teachings of Lee, Nee, and any of the other inner-life teachers.

I will allow that some of the other coworkers of Nee have actually provided decent teaching for many people. But when it comes to erroneous understanding of scripture, while Lee leads Nee by many furlongs, Nee was no special source of exegesis. In fact, much like Lee, I think that Nee read as much or more into scripture than he dug out of it. He had a thought and he could reread any scripture enough times to eventually convince himself that it was saying what he wanted. He openly did that in his first chapter of Authority and Submission (aka Spiritual Authority). He did it in skipping by the references to house churches in Further Talks. Those are specific things we have looked into on this forum (or the other) within somewhat recent times. And seeing what I did in those caused me to look at a couple of others on my own. Either I was just unlucky, or Nee (I mean Nee, not Lee) seemed to rephrase or ignore the actual scripture to get to where he wanted to go way too often. Yet he did it in ways that were not obvious.

So back to the critiques of the CBs.

No. If your assembly can continue to thrive on the special teachings of Lee and Nee, you have not really critiqued their work. You have only distanced yourself from the abuses that some of the more outlandish teachings would allow.
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:04 AM   #36
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I want to add one thing to the above concerning Nee.

I know many sort of give Nee a pass, or think he was really OK, or even excellent.

And it may be that he really did spend a lot of time in solid teaching. But the thing that started bothering me about his writings that I have looked into in the past four years is that his eisegesis almost always occurs in the beginning. While he is establishing the basis upon which he will then take us on a journey of discovery, he cheats. He rereads. He reinterprets.

Power was redefined to be authority. If you buy that, then the rest follows. But what if the starting point is flawed? How much will continue to stand as reasonable if you don't buy the first premise upon which the rest is built? Once you do that, then it would seem that you are building a case on clever speech rather than sound understanding of scripture.

And this is Nee. If that is what Lee learned from, and we add in Lee's penchant for self-aggrandizement, what do we expect from Lee?

Very little. And for the volumes of writings that the LSM declares to be this vast wealth of teaching, we actually get very little. It is insignificant. I will be somewhat bold to say that it is little more than a heavy burden to be crushed under.
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:38 AM   #37
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The LRC movement is inextricably tied to men and their supposed authority. To those in the movement, God's authority is all about submitting to men and their "vision."

If you do not understand this mentality, then the LRC is like a puzzle with no solution. Whether they admit it or not, it's all about the men, or, rather, the man.

Lee fully bought into this. He considered Nee a seer of the divine revelation. (Note not just "divine revelation," but "THE divine revelation.") Lee states at the end of his biography of Nee that he felt no shame that he followed a man.

This says that Lee believed to truly follow divine revelation one must find a man--the man--that has it and follow him with little or no question.

To Lee, you can't get "the divine revelation" on your own, you have to find "the man." He believed Nee was the man, and later he believed that he had become the man.

Lee said he felt no shame in admitting this. He'd give lip-service to the "I'm just a little preacher" stuff. But he never believed it. His core belief was about "the man." He said he felt no shame about it, but he should have, because such a view is absolutely unbiblical. The NT makes clear that revelation comes from many sources. Paul never endorsed the idea that he was the source that trumped all.

But, regardless, I'd like to know how a group, with such a philosophy and belief at the core of its essence, avoids becoming a personality cult. How?

I'd like LSM to explain this. They can't of course because they did become a personality cult. And we should not be surprised given their views about "the man."

How do you stop from going over the deep end when you start out over the deep end?
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Old 05-25-2012, 09:58 AM   #38
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So in the LSM movement, Lee is the man and the BBs are the solely authorized interpretors of Lee.

In the Midwest, Titus Chu is the man.

But the errors are the same, and so, as Myers pointed out, the results are the same.

The fact is, God doesn't have "the man." God has many man and women. All contribute in some way. Some are quite impactful. But none trump all. Ever.

Get that through your head and you have a chance.

Until the LC churches figure this out, they will repeat the same errors over and over, ad nauseum.
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Old 05-25-2012, 11:19 AM   #39
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So in the LSM movement, Lee is the man and the BBs are the solely authorized interpreters of Lee.

In the Midwest, Titus Chu is the man.

But the errors are the same, and so, as Myers pointed out, the results are the same.

The fact is, God doesn't have "the man." God has many man and women. All contribute in some way. Some are quite impactful. But none trump all. Ever.
You got that right.

My question for the present GLA leadership is this: What do you do about all those precious ones who got beat up by TC and have since departed? Are they not also a part of the testimony of Jesus? What do you do about the Comfort's, the Debelak's, the Feng's, the Myer's, and so many more, who were with you side by side, laboring for the churches, struggling to follow the Lord, until the time came when they realized that abuse and public shaming are not of the Lord, but are works of the flesh? Sit down for a moment and think back over the last 30-40 years as to how many brothers who have left for no other reason than "they had a problem with Titus."

You are complicit to TC's abusive ways, and in the case of TC's most ardent followers, you have become abusive also. You have learned some nasty habits from your mentor which have hurt others also. Now you have become bad patterns also. Think about how many enemies TC has created because of his outbursts and controlling ways? Nearly every brother in the GLA who sided with LSM, and publicly signed on to TC's quarantine, did so because of the way TC has treated them. He has created more enemies than friends over the years. Did not Bill Barker of Chicago side with the Blendeds after TC degraded him about local matters before the others. Even longtime companion BC of NYC agreed with the quarantine saying that TC "can't work with anyone."

Have you never wondered why there is so little blessing upon your labors? Don't blame Anaheim for your shrinking churches. Have you not beat up and expelled the most fruitful brothers in your midst? Have you not "traded" all these servants of the Lord so that you can remain attached to TC? Have you not become "of Titus" without actually saying those words?
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Old 05-25-2012, 03:11 PM   #40
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Were they not also a part of the testimony of Jesus?
The correct question is "Are the not also a part of the testimony of Jesus?"

I realize that the ones you are talking about will start with "were they not." But I think we ought to suggest the right way even if they would not.
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Old 05-25-2012, 04:19 PM   #41
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The correct question is "Are they not also a part of the testimony of Jesus?"

I realize that the ones you are talking about will start with "were they not." But I think we ought to suggest the right way even if they would not.
Thanks, right you are, and I changed my post.
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Old 05-26-2012, 09:30 AM   #42
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One thing seems to hold true for most former members - the further one gets away, the worse things look. I think this is why we found John getting stronger and stronger with his criticisms, and at the end he could not hold back from a very strong word to his beloved mentor.
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I would disagree UntoHim. What is common among elders who are/were co-workers, while they're part of the work, there is not the liberty to speak honestly. It is not until they are separated from the work is there liberty to speak honestly about the work.
My feeling is while they're part of the work, co-workers do have concerns, but they are cautious to express due to the desire to remain one with the brothers.
Disagree with UntoHim??? Off to a thousand years of outer darkness with you!

Actually I really worry about people who agree with me too much

Seriously though, I'm not sure what part you actually disagree with. We all know why John could not be this honest and forthcoming while still having his wagon hitched to Titus Chu. It was the same for Ingalls et al in Anaheim back in the late 80s with Witness Lee. Its very problematic to be shouting out that "the king has no clothes" while still a subject of his kingdom.

I think you missed the main thrust of my post. Probably my fault for not being as clear as I could have been. Let me elaborate just a bit on what I meant by "the further one gets away, the worse things look". Let’s take the “ground of the church/vision of the church” teaching for example. While still entrenched within the Movement, it’s very easy to justify this teaching in one’s own mind and heart (or spirit as it were). But in retrospect, looking back, it really was not so much a matter that this teaching was biblical, but rather that “Brother Lee said so, so it must be so!”. The further one gets away from this mentality of “Brother Lee said so”, the more one can find themselves able to be a critical thinker in regards to many of the teachings and practices in the Local Church.
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Old 05-26-2012, 02:45 PM   #43
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Think about how many enemies TC has created because of his outbursts and controlling ways? Nearly every brother in the GLA who sided with LSM, and publicly signed on to TC's quarantine, did so because of the way TC has treated them. He has created more enemies than friends over the years. Did not Bill Barker of Chicago side with the Blendeds after TC degraded him about local matters before the others. Even longtime companion BC of NYC agreed with the quarantine saying that TC "can't work with anyone."
There are various reasons why people can't work together and often a combination of several items. I think it is well known that Titus Chu has a prickly and volatile personality and tends to be militant and authoritarian in his bearing and mannerisms. None of the coworkers are really vetted in the LC system so he easily became a public figure and his personality and way of doing things eventually came out. Bullying, temper tantrums, tirades and sarcastic ridicule of other coworkers and elders in public. Who could work long-term with such a person? Very few people.

In this kind of atmosphere the turnover rate of those who are especially gifted is high and those who need the job learn clever avoidance techniques to steer clear of anything that will trigger an outburst. Those who are gung-ho regardless of how much abuse is done to them or others, in my view, have a problem that is deeper than meets the eye - they don't value themselves enough in the proper sense of the word and probably never did even before they joined the church. Once they did join the extreme teachings on self-denial, bearing the cross, etc. reinforced what they already felt. To this kind of person the abuse becomes a "blessing". These are the kind of people who could work with Titus Chu for any length of time.

But regardless in my opinion none of this justifies a quarantine and especially one coming from the Politburo in Anaheim. They have no jurisdiction or authority in the matter and the basis of their quarantine was not even about his abusive behavior - it was about him having his own interpretation of Witness Lee and the verve to publish some books.

However I do think the elders in Cleveland should be in a position to take corrective measures with Titus: change your behavior or be removed from your position as a teacher and elder in this church. And each church can decide for themselves whether to invite him to speak or not. If Willoughby wants to invite him that's none of Cleveland's business, etc. What the Politburo did was to take this freedom of decision at the local level away from the church and the elders. On a global basis they stigmatized Titus Chu and all those churches, coworkers and individuals who choose to associate with him in anyway.

BTW in my view it was infra dig for Bill Barker to join the quarantine. He let the ill-mannered behavior of Titus towards him cloud his judgment. He is smart enough to know better but was fuming over the mistreatment and couldn't rise above it long enough to make a clear headed objective decision. He and the other elders should have kept Chicago out of it: we will decide for ourselves when and who we will invite to minister based on the local needs. If this week we want to invite Titus that's none of Anaheim's concern. If the next week we want to invite Ron Kangas that's not the concern of Cleveland. (But I also heard money coming from Anaheim for their meeting hall was involved and, if true, money can have a loud voice in moments of desperation.)
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Old 05-27-2012, 06:29 AM   #44
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It is time that leaders in some of those other places exercise a new kind of freedom. Invite TC to come speak some time. But make it clear that his part is as a welcome outsider, not an apostle over the local leadership. He is not free to assume any kind of authority. I think Nigel could eventually do this. Set in motion a movement to the kind of assemblies that started the LRC in the US — separate local assemblies that invited a respected guest speaker whose only purpose (it seemed) was to help them grow.
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BTW in my view it was infra dig for Bill Barker to join the quarantine. He let the ill-mannered behavior of Titus towards him cloud his judgment. He is smart enough to know better but was fuming over the mistreatment and couldn't rise above it long enough to make a clear headed objective decision. He and the other elders should have kept Chicago out of it: we will decide for ourselves when and who we will invite to minister based on the local needs. If this week we want to invite Titus that's none of Anaheim's concern. If the next week we want to invite Ron Kangas that's not the concern of Cleveland.
The reader should not get the impression that TC "controls" the LC's by visiting them. Very little of that has ever happened. TC primarily works thru the other full-timers in the region, and secondarily thru the elders. That is why a brother like Speakers Corner, who formerly posted here, whose church had no full-timers, can have a "different" view of the impact of TC upon the LC's. Full-timers were regularly summoned to Cleveland, at a moment's notice, for fellowship.

Perhaps these segments of conversations will help readers to understand the dynamics of GLA church life in the shadow of Cleveland. One time I was listening to my local elder/full-timer complain about Anaheim's ridiculous demands to attend their seven "annual feasts" throughout the year. As he repeated the absurdity of seven annual trips, I responded, "what's the difference, you go to Cleveland seventy times per year." He seemed shocked, so I said "add up all the days."

He just wasn't seeing things the way I was. He viewed Cleveland as a fellowship getaway, while I viewed it as disruptive to the church. Another time, after the serving ones' weekly meeting, while discussing the frustrations of incorporating Cleveland's latest program into our local church life, I happened to say to him, "I'm the best supporter you have." He then looked me in the eye and said, "I don't need you."

That was like a wet slap in the face. Later on I understood his "perspective." He was regularly with all those other full-timers in Cleveland. He had lots of fellowship and encouragement with them on a regular basis. He really didn't "need" me anymore, nor did he need any of the other brothers we were with locally. I thought that was pretty sad, but indicative of the system we were in.

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Old 05-27-2012, 10:18 AM   #45
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He was regularly with all those other full-timers in Cleveland. He had lots of fellowship and encouragement with them on a regular basis. He really didn't "need" me anymore, nor did he need any of the other brothers we were with locally. I thought that was pretty sad, but indicative of the system we were in.
What is indicative of the system is the need to be "one with the brothers" even when it causes your locality to diminish in attendance.
Meaning whatever the center (Anaheim/Cleveland) may be endorsing at the time, you as a leader will push on your Local Church when it's not in your localities best interest. As a result saints that used to meet with the Church in _____ will find their needs met elsewhere with a local church in the city they live in. Just for clarification, when I use lower case local church, that is a generic reference to any Christian assembly in the city you or I live in. It could be a denomination, non-denomination, house church, community church, etc.
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Old 05-27-2012, 03:12 PM   #46
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The reader should not get the impression that TC "controls" the LC's by visiting them. Very little of that has ever happened. TC primarily works thru the other full-timers in the region, and secondarily thru the elders.

That was like a wet slap in the face. Later on I understood his "perspective." He was regularly with all those other full-timers in Cleveland. He had lots of fellowship and encouragement with them on a regular basis. He really didn't "need" me anymore, nor did he need any of the other brothers we were with locally. I thought that was pretty sad, but indicative of the system we were in.
As I mentioned in a previous post, in my view, the relationship between "the work" and the church is the source of many problems in the LC system. Essentially the coworkers/fulltimers don't know their place and are not put in their place by the elders. The elders have abdicated their responsibility to shepherd the flock according to the local needs. The system allows the coworkers to run roughshod over the elders and the local churches. What happened in Rosemead in the 1980s was some push back against this kind of system.

If the elders in the local churches put "the work" in it's proper place it would be treated like any other ministry - subject to constant vetting and consideration whether it was necessary and timely for the churches in their care. The presumptuousness and assumptive behavior of "the work" towards the local churches would end and normal boundaries set up.

But as long as the idea of coworkers being apostles with authority over the elders and thus the churches exists the system will persist.
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:11 PM   #47
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As I mentioned in a previous post, in my view, the relationship between "the work" and the church is the source of many problems in the LC system. Essentially the coworkers/fulltimers don't know their place and are not put in their place by the elders. The elders have abdicated their responsibility to shepherd the flock according to the local needs. The system allows the coworkers to run roughshod over the elders and the local churches.
Let's take it a step further. In many many instances co-workers bear the responsibility of an elder. Whether or not they function as elders is another matter.
When ministry workers are also elders, which takes precedence over the other?
For example when there's a conflict of interest of the locality versus the work, which takes priority for the worker/elder? Is it taking care of the locality? Or is it making sure the locality lines up with the work?
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Old 05-27-2012, 05:21 PM   #48
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The system allows the coworkers to run roughshod over the elders and the local churches.
An current point would be what happened with Ontario, Califronia and subsequently in Vista, California.
Problem here is the bent teaching of deputy authority. Co-workers see themselves as deputy authority and the elders as delegated authority. (As I pointed out in my previous post there are instances when the co-workers and elders are the same.)
Because of the teaching elders allow themselves and their localities to be run over roughshod as they do not want to break their distorted view of what it is to be one and they do not want to suffer loss in being slandered as "in rebellion" for protecting the flock in the locality for which they bear responsibility for.
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Old 05-31-2012, 06:53 AM   #49
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Another excerpt from chapter 15:

"Aside from adjusting the source teaching that overly indulges the idea of spiritual authority, accountability is a key factor here. What would happen if a number of influential elders set a policy for leaders: “You will not be given free pass for rude, abrasive remarks and public shaming. Insults from the podium will no longer be treated as the Lord’s Word from an angry prophet. Instead, it will be seen as sinful human weakness and will be met with censure. Outbursts of anger are works of the flesh. It is simply childish to insist on something and then make snide remarks (especially from the pulpit!) when you don’t get your way. If you continue to act out in unchristian ways, regardless of your elevated status and past history, you will be asked to step down.”
What would happen if such policies were adopted? No doubt, it would be called rebellion. Yet spiritual authority does not offer someone a deferment from virtuous conduct. It certainly does not sanction manhandling ministers and neutralizing them."

Not only do I see this quote being applicable to leaders from Cleveland or Anaheim, it can also apply to a general prophesying meeting. Where you would no longer be permitted to use the prophesying meeting to denigrate Christians that don't meet with you. Christians who happen to meet with other Christian assemblies across the city.
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Old 05-31-2012, 10:08 AM   #50
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Another excerpt from chapter 15:

"Aside from adjusting the source teaching that overly indulges the idea of spiritual authority, accountability is a key factor here. What would happen if a number of influential elders set a policy for leaders: “You will not be given free pass for rude, abrasive remarks and public shaming. Insults from the podium will no longer be treated as the Lord’s Word from an angry prophet. Instead, it will be seen as sinful human weakness and will be met with censure. Outbursts of anger are works of the flesh. It is simply childish to insist on something and then make snide remarks (especially from the pulpit!) when you don’t get your way. If you continue to act out in unchristian ways, regardless of your elevated status and past history, you will be asked to step down.”
What would happen if such policies were adopted? No doubt, it would be called rebellion. Yet spiritual authority does not offer someone a deferment from virtuous conduct. It certainly does not sanction manhandling ministers and neutralizing them."

Not only do I see this quote being applicable to leaders from Cleveland or Anaheim, it can also apply to a general prophesying meeting. Where you would no longer be permitted to use the prophesying meeting to denigrate Christians that don't meet with you. Christians who happen to meet with other Christian assemblies across the city.

Titus Chu and his spiritual father Witness Lee were masters at several manipulation techniques:


  • Using the public platform to denigrate those in disagreement
  • Using spiritual language to justify their behavior to victims of it
  • Using regularly scheduled elders and coworker meetings to influence the churches at the local level
  • Using curriculum to control the content of the local churches
  • Using money as a means of influence among coworkers/full timers
  • Using back room "fellowship"/gossip to plant seeds of discord among coworkers and elders
  • Using "The Recovery" as the bigger than any individual end that justified any means they used
  • Using credible by association methods to prop up their stature e.g. Witness Lee/Watchman Nee and Titus Chu/Witness Lee
  • Using an excessive number of conferences and trainings to create a loyal following for their extra local ministry allowing them to side step the elders and appeal to "their" audience in times of dispute
  • Using pretense and a cloak of false humility to cover up all of the above e.g. I am just a humble slave of Christ. What church do I have in my hand? What church do I control?
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:32 AM   #51
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As I mentioned in a previous post, in my view, the relationship between "the work" and the church is the source of many problems in the LC system. Essentially the coworkers/fulltimers don't know their place and are not put in their place by the elders. The elders have abdicated their responsibility to shepherd the flock according to the local needs. The system allows the coworkers to run roughshod over the elders and the local churches. What happened in Rosemead in the 1980s was some push back against this kind of system.

If the elders in the local churches put "the work" in it's proper place it would be treated like any other ministry - subject to constant vetting and consideration whether it was necessary and timely for the churches in their care. The presumptuousness and assumptive behavior of "the work" towards the local churches would end and normal boundaries set up.

But as long as the idea of coworkers being apostles with authority over the elders and thus the churches exists the system will persist.
Here is where Recovery doublespeak and hypocrisy thrive. We were continually told that we had no hierarchy like degraded Christianity, yet local elders were always to be subservient to the senior workers ... or else. Those elders, like Don Hardy in Rosemead, who attempted to operate as a truly local church, were branded and slandered by the work. New elders like Francis Ball were sent to their place, while the credibility of existing elders was slowly undermined.

As John Myer noted in his final chapter, these "local" elders may look out the meeting wall window one day and see one of the Blendeds sizing up their church's real estate.

Is this regard WL and the Blendeds were never operating as "apostles" appointing local elders, and ministering as joints of supply to the body of Christ. WL and the Blendeds never established the church in Rosemead thru the preaching of the gospel. Instead he and the Blendeds were acting like the Judaizers of old, who functioned as emissaries from remote headquarters undermining the true building work of the local church.

This became so readily apparent in the battleground cities of Toronto, Columbus, and Mansfield in the aftermath of the recent quarantines. These modern day Judaizers, whom the Apostle Paul called dogs and evil workers, operated locally in secret training sessions and funded legal operations to wrest control of all available church assets, especially her real estate. They cared nothing for the spiritual condition of the flock of God in each city. They cared nothing about bringing great shame to our Lord's precious name. They cared nothing for the laws in God's word, rather "sought relief" in the courts via man's laws. They only cared for what enhanced their "Recovery" system.
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Old 06-05-2012, 10:40 AM   #52
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Titus Chu and his spiritual father Witness Lee were masters at several manipulation techniques:
  • Using the public platform to denigrate those in disagreement
Wait a minute alwayslearning, they did not even wait until there was a "disagreement."


Remember Don Rutledge's reaction to his host Ned Nossaman when he learned that SoCal leaders received weekly "ice water showers" in their meetings with WL.


TC also would regularly launch attacks at other brothers with no provocation whatsoever, he was just "maintaining his authority."
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Old 07-28-2012, 09:32 AM   #53
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My two cents worth input: One verse props up after reading these comments. ESV Proverbs 27:5 - "Better is open rebuke than hidden love." Furthermore bros, as Bro Nee had said in his later ministry, "The church may even be wrong, but the Lord is never wrong"

We should just move on...
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Old 07-28-2012, 08:11 PM   #54
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Move on to where? This is exactly the question that John Myer has tried to answer in A Future and A Hope. A future and a hope of what? - Life "beyond the Local Church Movement".

I know this is not exactly biblical....but
"you can't know where you're going until you know where you've been"

Yes, we should just move on....but not just for the sake of moving on. There needs to be a purpose...there needs to be a future and a hope. Also some of us feel an obligation to let current and prospective Local Church members know the truth regarding the teachings, practices and history of the Movement.
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Old 07-29-2012, 07:23 PM   #55
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My two cents worth input: One verse props up after reading these comments. ESV Proverbs 27:5 - "Better is open rebuke than hidden love." Furthermore bros, as Bro Nee had said in his later ministry, "The church may even be wrong, but the Lord is never wrong"

We should just move on...
Those held in fear via manipulative teachings can never "move on" until they are once again set free.

But let's look at this verse and it's companion verse 27.6 ...
Quote:
An open rebuke is better than hidden love, Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.
This verse never condones rebukes or wounds, rather this verse is a warning to God's people not to be deceived by those who would take advantage of you. These are great principles of life, not to be fooled by these with smooth and flattering words. The saddest thing about the abusive ways of LC leaders is that they have often convinced us that their endless rebukes were really "love."
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Old 07-30-2012, 08:40 AM   #56
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My two cents worth input: One verse props up after reading these comments. ESV Proverbs 27:5 - "Better is open rebuke than hidden love."
That's what this forum is partially about: Open rebuke. So what's the problem you are having with that?

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Furthermore bros, as Bro Nee had said in his later ministry, "The church may even be wrong, but the Lord is never wrong"
Which is why sometimes we have to side with the Lord, not the church.

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We should just move on...
"We should just move on" is LC code for "shut up and don't rock the boat."

This isn't about dwelling on the past. It's about helping those who are having a hard time moving on. At least when Jesus told people to get up and walk he healed them first. What help are you offering?
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:04 AM   #57
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As I mentioned in a previous post, in my view, the relationship between "the work" and the church is the source of many problems in the LC system. Essentially the coworkers/fulltimers don't know their place and are not put in their place by the elders. The elders have abdicated their responsibility to shepherd the flock according to the local needs. The system allows the coworkers to run roughshod over the elders and the local churches. What happened in Rosemead in the 1980s was some push back against this kind of system.

If the elders in the local churches put "the work" in it's proper place it would be treated like any other ministry - subject to constant vetting and consideration whether it was necessary and timely for the churches in their care. The presumptuousness and assumptive behavior of "the work" towards the local churches would end and normal boundaries set up.

But as long as the idea of coworkers being apostles with authority over the elders and thus the churches exists the system will persist.
This is why the "one global work" under the "ministry of the age" view cannot be valid. Because in reality what church could say no to anything the "global work" says? The LRC gives lip-service to the idea of church autonomy, but everyone knows that when push comes to shove it's the churches that get shoved. Every time.

As they say in politics, if you are going to tell a lie, make it a whopper, because it will deceive more people. The "MOTA/one global work" lie is the biggest whopper of all.
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Old 07-30-2012, 09:27 AM   #58
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This is why the "one global work" under the "ministry of the age" view cannot be valid. Because in reality what church could say no to anything the "global work" says? The LRC gives lip-service to the idea of church autonomy, but everyone knows that when push comes to shove it's the churches that get shoved. Every time.
Watchman Nee had the theory of the work being regional not global. Witness Lee took it to the global level with himself at the center of it and now the Anaheim Politburo.

But whether regional (example GLA under Titus Chu) or global I think the result is the same: the elders at the local level are subject to the authority of the coworkers/apostles. This is just how the LC system is set up.

To "reform" the system would take strong local elders drawing boundaries constantly until "the work" got the message and left them alone until they were invited to participate as guest speakers. Of course this kind of "reform" won't happen because most elders are happy with the arrangement the way it is and so are the coworkers - what better circumstances is there than pliable elders who will closely follow the agenda and programs of LSM?
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:00 AM   #59
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Watchman Nee had the theory of the work being regional not global. Witness Lee took it to the global level with himself at the center of it and now the Anaheim Politburo.

But whether regional (example GLA under Titus Chu) or global I think the result is the same: the elders at the local level are subject to the authority of the coworkers/apostles. This is just how the LC system is set up.

To "reform" the system would take strong local elders drawing boundaries constantly until "the work" got the message and left them alone until they were invited to participate as guest speakers. Of course this kind of "reform" won't happen because most elders are happy with the arrangement the way it is and so are the coworkers - what better circumstances is there than pliable elders who will closely follow the agenda and programs of LSM?
I would add that besides strong elders that also various "works" would need to be recognized and welcomed. This would limit the feeling of entitlement the "work" has developed. Ironically, the principle of the free market would keep works honest and humble in their approach to offering their ministry. On the other hand, if they know they are the only ones in the theater selling popcorn, there is little incentive to respect the customer's prerogative to look elsewhere.
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Old 07-30-2012, 10:48 AM   #60
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To "reform" the system would take strong local elders drawing boundaries constantly until "the work" got the message and left them alone until they were invited to participate as guest speakers.
Recent events in the GLA are just proving once again that LC senior workers will never "serve" you, unless you first allow them to "rule" you, and "own" your saints as their own.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:33 PM   #61
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I would add that besides strong elders that also various "works" would need to be recognized and welcomed. This would limit the feeling of entitlement the "work" has developed. Ironically, the principle of the free market would keep works honest and humble in their approach to offering their ministry. On the other hand, if they know they are the only ones in the theater selling popcorn, there is little incentive to respect the customer's prerogative to look elsewhere.
Excellent point! LSM would have to become one of many ministries "endorsed" by local elders.

But will such reform occur with such an ingrained system firmly in place? Not gonna happen IMHO.
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Old 07-30-2012, 01:46 PM   #62
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Recent events in the GLA are just proving once again that LC senior workers will never "serve" you, unless you first allow them to "rule" you, and "own" your saints as their own.
The only way reform would work is if almost all LCs had strong local elders who knew how to put "the work" in it's proper place e.g. one among many ministries that we may invite to guest speak on occasion, financially support (if we want, when we want, how much we want), might announce a ministry event if it doesn't disrupt the local agenda, etc.

This attitude and practice would isolate "the work" if it didn't want to cooperate. Let Titus Chu and his workers stay in Cleveland and talk amongst themselves until they learn to respect the local elders and the fact that they will not be beholden to the coworkers.

Do I think this will ever happen in the GLA or Anaheim versions of the LC system? Absolutely not! Most of the elders currently in place are where they are because of their loyalties to certain coworkers. If they switch their loyalties to the local flock and start to vet para-church ministers and their ministries their positions as elders will be in peril.
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Old 07-30-2012, 05:09 PM   #63
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Excellent point! LSM would have to become one of many ministries "endorsed" by local elders.

But will such reform occur with such an ingrained system firmly in place? Not gonna happen IMHO.
Right on alwayslearning. Under such a scenario, LSM would go from "the big fish in a pond" to "just another fish in the ocean". Not going to happen when it pertains to LSM's revenue.
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Old 07-31-2012, 09:09 AM   #64
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Default Re: The Last Chaper of A Future and A Hope is now posted!

Turns out the ways things are done in "Christianity" are the healthiest and most biblical.

There there are a variety of ministries (1 Cor 12:5) serving many different churches. These churches are led by leaders who have the right and obligation to vet ministries for the sake of those they lead (Heb 13:17; Rev 2:2). Although members are charged to obey and submit to leaders, this charge is not absolute (Acts 5:29). A leader is no longer your leader if you move from his church to another, nor if his words violate your conscience.

Paul's attitude reflects that of one who understood that churches had the right to question his ministry (2 Cor 6:11-13; cf. Rev 2:2). Paul spends half of 2 Corinthians appealing to the Corinthians to consider his ministry trustworthy and worthwhile. But he stops short of commanding them to submit to him. This shows he knew they had the right to reject him if they viewed his ministry as damaging.
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Old 07-31-2012, 11:30 AM   #65
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Turns out the ways things are done in "Christianity" are the healthiest and most biblical.
Amazing isn't it?

The basic premise of the Recovery from the very beginning was simple -- all of Christianity has misaimed, and now only we do it right. Building on that supposition, all kinds of things were introduced into the LC's which at best were but failed experiments. The institutional para-church structure called "the work," which supposedly was established to serve the churches, was chief among these aberrations. Loosely based on Paul's ministry to the Gentiles, this system grew over time until now we have a monstrous deformation of what ministry should look like.

John Myer was just one of many gifted brothers to pass thru the Recovery over the years. He was a well loved brother, definitely of a rare free-thinking, inspirational lot, and never once exhibited the tendency to create some rebel faction which is always attributed to those who buck the system. One of his complaints could be summarized thus: "why do you want me to bring young people to Cleveland and then ridicule me in front of them." Any Christian in the whole of the body of Christ would agree that this was a more than reasonable request.

But not LC leaders.

LC senior workers do not live to freely minister to you, because they are not ministers in the sense of the pattern laid down by Jesus and the apostles. They will not "serve" you unless you first allow them to "rule" you, and then "own" your saints as their own. John Myer was just one more brother who failed in his attempts to change the system, and then was forced to depart. I doubt if any leaders in Cleveland even care. Play by my rules or get out! TC then made this easy for JM by instructing the brothers to stop supporting him. Forget about the Columbus elders praying to seek the Lord's leading about this serious matter. As one elder said to the effect, "We are TC's fruit, he raised us up, we have to take his fellowship."
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:27 PM   #66
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John Myer was just one more brother who failed in his attempts to change the system, and then was forced to depart. I doubt if any leaders in Cleveland even care. Play by my rules or get out! TC then made this easy for JM by instructing the brothers to stop supporting him. Forget about the Columbus elders praying to seek the Lord's leading about this serious matter. As one elder said to the effect, "We are TC's fruit, he raised us up, we have to take his fellowship."
Do I understand this correctly: John Myer and some other elders left the LSM LC system. And then sometime after that Titus Chu manipulated him out of the work and those elders that previously left with him let that happen at the local level? So John was left out there flapping in the wind?
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:44 PM   #67
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There there are a variety of ministries (1 Cor 12:5) serving many different churches. These churches are led by leaders who have the right and obligation to vet ministries for the sake of those they lead (Heb 13:17; Rev 2:2). Although members are charged to obey and submit to leaders, this charge is not absolute (Acts 5:29). A leader is no longer your leader if you move from his church to another, nor if his words violate your conscience.

Paul's attitude reflects that of one who understood that churches had the right to question his ministry (2 Cor 6:11-13; cf. Rev 2:2). Paul spends half of 2 Corinthians appealing to the Corinthians to consider his ministry trustworthy and worthwhile. But he stops short of commanding them to submit to him. This shows he knew they had the right to reject him if they viewed his ministry as damaging.
This is really it isn't it? In no way does the bible support "the work" with all elders and churches under submission to one apostle or a Politburo appointed by him as his official successor. This idea cannot be found anywhere in the NT. And neither can the idea of one apostle per region running the show be found anywhere. These are just the ways and means of the LC system with no basis in scripture but have become ingrained as their traditions.
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Old 07-31-2012, 06:13 PM   #68
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Do I understand this correctly: John Myer and some other elders left the LSM LC system.
Right. They were sued in court by those brothers in Columbus who were backed by the Blendeds. They lost their meeting hall and the two homes on the property, (John lived in one with his family,) rather than fight out the court case. John then found a new home, and the church met in a nearby school.


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And then sometime after that Titus Chu manipulated him out of the work and those elders that previously left with him let that happen at the local level?
Exactly. The elders were instructed by TC to stop supporting Myer. It was customary for both the work and the supporting church to provide Myer's support. Sadly, no departure from the LC system ever includes a "going away party."

Obviously Cleveland and the local elders wanted Myer to leave by himself, and not take those who labored with him, nor those young ones they met with in the campus gatherings. The elders accused Myer of stealing his support money for his own work, and then stealing the young people. Ironically, LSM accused TC of the same things. The split up got a little ugly. Many were forced to choose sides.

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So John was left out there flapping in the wind?
They have had a rough going. I do know of some who have tried to support them.

I heard John was asked by TC in their last meeting some question about the local ground, and TC was not pleased with the answer John gave. John once wrote that there is "more justification in the New Testament for head covering than for the local ground." That kind of statement does not go over big with the old entrenched leadership, whether in Anaheim or in Cleveland.
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Old 08-01-2012, 08:01 AM   #69
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The elders accused Myer of stealing his support money for his own work, and then stealing the young people. Ironically, LSM accused TC of the same things. The split up got a little ugly. Many were forced to choose sides.

I heard John was asked by TC in their last meeting some question about the local ground, and TC was not pleased with the answer John gave. John once wrote that there is "more justification in the New Testament for head covering than for the local ground." That kind of statement does not go over big with the old entrenched leadership, whether in Anaheim or in Cleveland.
Stealing money and the young people! This kind of view demonstrates the real thinking of the Anaheim Politburo and the Cleveland version thereof. They own the givers of the support and the recipients and all the people in the LC system. It is their property. And if you disagree with them you have to get off their property - go your own way empty handed like a pauper. It's a ruthless and cold way of doing things. Even in secular work people get severance pay and notice and time to transition smoothly if possible.

I feel bad for John and his family and hope he finds a place to apply his talents where he will be appreciated and supported like Phil Comfort was able to do.
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Old 08-01-2012, 09:40 AM   #70
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Stealing money and the young people! This kind of view demonstrates the real thinking of the Anaheim Politburo and the Cleveland version thereof. They own the givers of the support and the recipients and all the people in the LC system. It is their property. And if you disagree with them you have to get off their property - go your own way empty handed like a pauper. It's a ruthless and cold way of doing things. Even in secular work people get severance pay and notice and time to transition smoothly if possible.
Perhaps there was some sort of severance or phase out to ease the transition, I'm not sure.

The shocking lesson for me was simple. The GLA LC's passed through their worse trial ever due to the lack of basic tolerance (ref Phil 4.5) and Christian liberty (ref. Rom. 14.4) on the part of Blended leadership in Anaheim, and then the Cleveland leaders turn around and apply the same (mis-) treatment and intolerance to their own people. This is what I have been saying for years -- that religious bullies only reproduce more religious bullies -- and the Recovery, at least when it comes to its leaders, is an abusive program reproducing bullies on every level.

During the 3-4 year era leading up to and after the actual Whistler quarantine, I heard from many directions how TC had really changed for the better and that the GLA LC's had, in general, improved and mostly had returned to our original standings as autonomous churches seeking the Lord, with the same basic liberties prescribed in the scripture. I doubted this, knowing what I know. The expulsion of Myer proved, not just to me, but to many others, what I had said all along, that there is no way the program can change for the better as long as all its leaders remain the same.
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Old 08-01-2012, 01:07 PM   #71
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This is what I have been saying for years -- that religious bullies only reproduce more religious bullies -- and the Recovery, at least when it comes to its leaders, is an abusive program reproducing bullies on every level.

The expulsion of Myer proved, not just to me, but to many others, what I had said all along, that there is no way the program can change for the better as long as all its leaders remain the same.
Very true. What strikes me as particularly sad in the case of John is it was so soon after the whole Whistler thing towards Titus. It's so blatantly hypocritical of Titus to behave in this way.

But the funny thing about the ground of locality teaching is that some coworkers who leave the LC system are still so adamant about it. This was a hang up with John So and some others when he left. He was all about the ground of locality and didn't want to work with those who weren't. Not that anyone was against the ground of locality they just weren't for it anymore either. But to some people neutrality is not an option. You must be for it wholeheartedly and loudly. And so the ground of locality became a point of contention and division. Dividing over the "oneness".
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Old 08-02-2012, 06:42 AM   #72
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Very true. What strikes me as particularly sad in the case of John is it was so soon after the whole Whistler thing towards Titus. It's so blatantly hypocritical of Titus to behave in this way.
TC along with a multitude of others (many posted on the Concerned Brothers website) cried out for basic Christian liberty and a return to the pattern laid out in the scriptures during the conflict with the Anaheim Blendeds. Then in the aftermath of rigid legalism over the use of drums in worship service and the rotten hypocrisy of lawsuits over church names, TC turns around and dumps his "star" pupil for basically refusing to be bullied any longer. Imagine that!
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