Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Writings of Former Members > The Thread of Gold by Jane Carole Anderson

The Thread of Gold by Jane Carole Anderson "God's Purpose, The Cross and Me"

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 05-05-2010, 07:35 AM   #1
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter)

I have attached an open letter entitled “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” which is addressed to Bill Buntain, Dan Sady, and Dan Towle at “A Faithful Word.” The “Introduction” to the letter explains some about the contents of this very lengthy open letter and describes the audiences I am addressing and why. It also explains how the catalyst for my deciding to write both the letter to AFW and the letter to Lyndol Butler was the recent Christian Research Journal in which CRI says “We Were Wrong.”


Please note that the “Lyndol letter” (which is referenced in this letter to the Local Church Leadership) can be found at:

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...read.php?t=619



Thankful
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Can the LC Leadership Say, We Were Wrong.pdf (680.0 KB, 10334 views)
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 12:11 PM   #2
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,290
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

If they believe wholeheartedly they have never said or done anything wrong, how can they admit they were wrong?

The local church leadership can only say they were/are wrong through the conviction of God the Holy Spirit...just as each of us were and are convicted by the Holy Spirit when we were in darkness and when we fall on our faces today.

I think there are very, very few people in Christian leadership (LC and otherwise) who humble themselves when they err. Very few ever admit they make mistakes. (Some DO thankfully but they are far & few between imho.)

As for your letter..... WOW JANE ! I trust and pray for the Blood of Jesus to cover you, protect you and envelop you and your family. I pray for MIGHTY angels of God to encamp themselves around you...and your family.

I pray for the Peace of God to restore the joy of fellowship IN TRUTH in Christ Jesus among all saints.

I find it curious the LSM jumped for joy that CRI under Hank Hanagraaf wrote a piece placing the LSM under favorable light when Lee's ministry trounced Christianity from way back when. Hank and company are still part of Lee's view of 'degraded Christianity'. But perhaps arrogance begats arrogance. Hank is one of the most arrogant and self centered 'christian' leaders around. I used to listen to the Bible Answer Man in the 80s and 90s. I'm not sure if he was hosting it back then. But in the last few years, not only can I not tolerate listening to him but I don't agree with some of his positions.

And P.S. God does hate the works of the Nicolaetons ! So do I.
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2010, 01:07 PM   #3
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Thanks for once again spending more time than you probably should to tell the the real "inconvenient truth."

I just wish that we could expect that at least some might find a chink in their "we are right even when we're wrong" attitude. One can only hope and pray.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010, 05:57 AM   #4
Paul Cox
Member
 
Paul Cox's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 183
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Hopefully, what has become so obvious to us will become more and more obvious to current LC members who lurk these forums. Humility is the top characteristic of a Christian. Repentance means recognizing that you were wrong and then openly admitting it, and turning around. Anything else is obstinacy and pride.

We have yet to see the Local Church admit to, and openly confess to even the slightest error. After much debating, and a lot of straining, and getting them undeniably cornered, the most anyone can hear from them is "Mistakes were made."

So, LSM, if you are ever willing to show any indication of actually following the Lord, and are willing to say "We were wrong," we are all Obama ears.

Roger
Paul Cox is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010, 09:48 AM   #5
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Having never read Nee's Spiritual Authority, it was quite an eye opener to see the gross errors in his reasoning on the matter of what is now called deputy authority. In this one work of fiction, he has denied everything that Paul wrote concerning church discipline and turned it on its head. There is no way to bring a charge against an elder in the LC because they are taught to not even respond. Further, they are taught that they have the authority to silence the ones bringing the charge.

I keep bringing up Nee's logical errors in arriving at his ground of the church doctrine. I must admit that I have always had a sort of nagging consideration that even the things he taught correctly are more because his natural inclination was proper on those points while other points, like the ground, and now the whole spiritual authority thing, were not. He based too much of his teaching on observations of others, stories, and not enough on what the scripture actually said. He added overlays, as did Lee, that did not spring from the scripture, but we forced upon it and made to fit.

For example, in the little book Sit Walk Stand he provides a viable overlay for the whole Christian life through the view from these three positions. But the way he goes about it is not entirely true to the scripture, but instead relies on examples, added metaphors and such. The last time I read it, I was impressed that he was only one additional thought from turning Sit into the "wait on the dispensing" teaching that Lee concocted. And if he had taken it that far, there would be no need to read about Walk and Stand because it would naturally flow from us once enough dispensing had been received. We did not need to study about it.

Yes, many have received spiritual help from some of his books. But even the best of them must be read with care.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010, 10:32 AM   #6
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,290
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
OBW wrote:
Having never read Nee's Spiritual Authority, it was quite an eye opener to see the gross errors in his reasoning on the matter of what is now called deputy authority.
Mike, how can you write SA was quite an eye opener if you have never read it ?

I read part of Spiritual Authority a few years ago. I still have it. There WERE some horrible gross errors in his reasoning that appalled me so I stopped reading it. I also have Sit, Walk and Stand. I tried reading it when I was in the LC but could never get through it. I tried reading it last year and I still cannot get through it.

Thank GOD for His WORD. The Holy Spirit truly enlightens me when I read the Word of God, speak it (HIM) and Pray it (HIM).
Quote:
In this one work of fiction, he has denied everything that Paul wrote concerning church discipline and turned it on its head. There is no way to bring a charge against an elder in the LC because they are taught to not even respond. Further, they are taught that they have the authority to silence the ones bringing the charge.
Did someone tell you or did you read a portion of this book in someone's post ? Just wondering because you wrote you have never read his book.
Quote:
He based too much of his teaching on observations of others, stories, and not enough on what the scripture actually said. He added overlays, as did Lee, that did not spring from the scripture, but we forced upon it and made to fit.
I think he based a lot of his teachings on his culture as did Lee did. They ought to have looked to God's Word to the Iraelites, the Jews, the Hebrews and Jesus' fullfillment of the law rather than their cultures, imho.

Quote:
Yes, many have received spiritual help from some of his books. But even the best of them must be read with care.
I've received SOME help for his works...more than I did from Lee's works. But one thing I am grateful for during my tenure in the LC was my encouragement to read, pray the WORD of GOD......before the LS messages came into existence.
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010, 11:16 AM   #7
Nell
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,248
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
Mike, how can you write SA was quite an eye opener if you have never read it ?
...

Did someone tell you or did you read a portion of this book in someone's post ? Just wondering because you wrote you have never read his book.
Jane quoted Spiritual Authority in her letter. I think that's what Mike is referring to.

Nell
Nell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-06-2010, 04:36 PM   #8
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Welcome back, Nell.

You are correct. I took some down-time yesterday and read the entire letter. And a Bible study that we have been involved with for the past three years used Sit Walk Stand as part of a study on Ephesians, so I dug it out and read it again.

Despite the help that Nee has given many over the years, there is a lack of true scriptural scholarship that I have begun to see in recent looks through his writings. Since he did rely much on prior writers, those things do come through. But his own direction is too often not actually tied to the scripture, but layered over it and made to fit. Lots of anecdotal things, stories, metaphors. Not a lot of true scriptural analysis, although I would say more than Lee has tended to bring out.

But for any following many of my postings of the months, while I am quite interested in the doctrinal discussions, that pales in comparison to the abuse of authority, the willful division of the body, and the malicious slander of others for the purpose of maintaining a tight grip on a following that keeps buying the same words repackaged year-in and year-out. Jane's latest salvo, which will probably be ignored, or referred to obtusely in another training, is on the mark. And while I disagree with Steve I's underlying motives, he is on the mark to be publishing his findings. With Nigel exposing the BBs for what they are, I would hope that Don could get back to putting his account to paper/electrons.

And I hope that the 70 scholars would take note that they were only partly right. There is more and it is not over. I do not recall whether Jane sent he letter to any of those scholars. She should — at least to some of them.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-07-2010, 06:19 AM   #9
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,290
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

[QUOTE=countmeworthy;7734]You are probably correct Nell. Good to 'see' ya ! Btw, I plan to make the reunion-retreat this year.

For the sake of those who have not thoroughly read Jane's letter, please refer to section 6 of Jane's letter which speaks of Watchman Nee's book called Spiritual Authority.

Btw, as a side note: Much of main stream Christianity, both the denominations and the WOF charasmatic church follows that formula. But they use Moses as the delegated authority.

And for the record, I recognize and respect Spiritual Authority. The problem with Spiritual Authority as I see it, is the flock sees them as infallible or look the other way or cover for the leaders. As we all grow in the Word of GOD and walk in His Ways by the power of the Holy Spirit leading us, God gives us the Spirit of Discernment to recogonize those who are anointed with Spiritual Authority. These people while strong in the Lord & in His Ways are humble servants of the Lord gently shepherding and exhorting them in the Body of Christ that they too would wax strong in Christ Jesus.

There is a place for covering people in love but not at the expense of the sheep.
__________________
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
(Luke 21:36)

Last edited by Admin; 05-07-2010 at 09:38 AM.
countmeworthy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2010, 08:37 PM   #10
awareness
Member
 
awareness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 8,142
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Having never read Nee's Spiritual Authority, it was quite an eye opener to see the gross errors in his reasoning on the matter of what is now called deputy authority.

Yes, many have received spiritual help from some of his books. But even the best of them must be read with care.
Now you know why we were advised to not read Spiritual Authority. That alone is why I read all three volumes.

After reading I understood his points about deputy authority, but couldn't quite get behind them, or it.

Strikes me as funny that we were told not to read SA, and yet deputy authority was all over in the LC. Maybe that's why we were discouraged, cuz we'd catch on to what was going on around us, and disagree with it.

The reason, howbeit, that they gave for not reading it was, possible demon possession, not deputy authority.

Now I wonder if deputy authority isn't demon possession.
__________________
Cults: My brain will always be there for you. Thinking. So you don't have to.
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2010, 09:28 PM   #11
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

The open letter CRI had done was based on teaching according to basic Christian orthodoxy. The matter of local church practices would not fall under orthodox teaching matters, but under apologetics.

When pondering the question, Can the Local Church Leadership Say, We Were Wrong?, I remember Witness Lee's final public message as translated, "You must bring this message back, read it once, read it twice, and come together in fellowship with one another. Then you will see that, we, in the past were wrong!"
When the LC leadership viewing themselves as the continuation of Witness Lee's ministry won't fellowship over what Witness Lee spoke, how could LC leadership receive another member of the body bringing light to them?
It is an outrage Witness Lee's appeal was not taken to heart by the brothers in fellowship before the church.
Maybe Jane's open letter will be as easily dismissed as was Witness Lee's word? Jane has made valid points. Going forward there is a need through prayer for hearts to softened, the light of God would expose, and there will be a 180 degree turn.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2010, 01:02 PM   #12
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

I read the following content from a letter to the Blended co-workers from Titus Chu.
http://www.jesusloversincleveland.or...kersJuly06.pdf

From page 16, was Titus saying the same thing? We as the recovery have been wrong which necissitated Titus' appeal for repentance througout the recovery?

"You end your letter by calling on me to repent. Dear brothers, I would like to repent. In fact I feel that, given the present condition and direction of the recovery, we should all repent. May I ask you to join with me in a session of repentant prayer before the Lord for His mercy on us and His recovery?"

To repent indicates taking a 180 degree turn from where you were. To come under a time of repentant prayer is a deeper way to say we were wrong.

Terry
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-05-2010, 03:20 PM   #13
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter)

It’s time for a report on the status of any response from AFW to the open letter entitled, “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, “We Were Wrong?” (http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vBulletin/showthread.php?t=630 ).


History / Update

5/5/2010
Open Letter published on the Local Discussions forum and also mailed

5/7/2010
Notice of delivery to Dan Towle (accepted, signed )

5/7/2010
Notice of delivery to Dan Sady (accepted, signed)

5/7/2010
Notice of delivery to Hank Hanegraaff (accepted, signed)

5/11/2010
Notice of delivery to Bill Buntain (accepted, signed)

6/5/2010
It’s been close to a month now, and predictably, nary a peep has been heard.



And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved the darkness rather than the light, for their works were evil.

For everyone who practices evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his works be reproved.

But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his works may be manifested that they are wrought in God. (John 3:19–21)


Jane C. Anderson
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-01-2010, 11:36 AM   #14
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

One of the 74 signers of the 2007 Open Letter to the LSM and Local Church Leadership, who read my open letter to the Local Church leadership, sent the attached letter to the other 73 signers.

Thankful Jane
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Watchman Fellowship, Inc. Letter to the 74.pdf (197.5 KB, 1918 views)
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2010, 09:11 AM   #15
KSA
Member
 
KSA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Russia
Posts: 173
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
One of the 74 signers of the 2007 Open Letter to the LSM and Local Church Leadership, who read my open letter to the Local Church leadership, sent the attached letter to the other 73 signers.

Thankful Jane
I read this letter, and I do not really appreciate it. The author makes some good points, but they are buried under his lengthy diatribe about orthodox Trinitarian theology. It seems that for him the main demarcation line between church and cult is the teaching about Trinity. Therefore, Christian orthodoxy is narrowed to a correct teaching. I cannot agree with this approach. First of all, very few, even among those with theological education, have clear understanding of this teaching (saying nothing about those who do not have such education). Second, I do not think that the main problem with LC is there teaching about Trinity. Once again we are distracted from real stories of real people to abstract theological discussions.
Abused person is abused, even though an abuser is orthodox in his teaching about Trinity.
__________________
Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it. Soren Kierkegaard
KSA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2010, 10:15 AM   #16
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,239
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Hi KSA! So good to hear from you my brother.

By "this letter" I assume you are talking about the original posted at www.open-letter.org ?

Your point
Quote:
"Abused person is abused, even though an abuser is orthodox in his teaching about Trinity"
is well taken, however I think some of the abuse we see in the Local Church can be attributed to Witness Lee's unorthodox (unbiblical) teachings on the trinity. When one only learns about, worships and serves an impersonal "processed triune God", especially those in positions of trust and leadership, it can have a negative affect on how one treats other people. I do not come to this conclusion lightly but from my experience and observation of many years. Actually Jane Anderson gives us a very fine treatment of "this unhealthy dynamic that exists in the LC among leaders and members" in her open letter "Can the Local Church Leadership Say 'We Were Wrong'?" (see section 6 entitled "The Impact of Local Church Theology on the Conscience")

So why was it so cotton picken hard for Witness Lee to say he was wrong - wrong about anything significant? Now I don't think this "unhealthy dynamic" was transferred to the current LC/LSM leadership by osmosis. It was instilled and ingrained in them from years and even decades of listening and studying the teachings of Witness Lee. This would include the mainstay teaching regarding the trinity, "the processed triune God". Lee often made a big deal out of the adage "you are what you eat". Yes, pretty much so.
__________________
Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2010, 11:55 AM   #17
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSA View Post
I read this letter, and I do not really appreciate it. The author makes some good points, but they are buried under his lengthy diatribe about orthodox Trinitarian theology. It seems that for him the main demarcation line between church and cult is the teaching about Trinity. Therefore, Christian orthodoxy is narrowed to a correct teaching. I cannot agree with this approach. First of all, very few, even among those with theological education, have clear understanding of this teaching (saying nothing about those who do not have such education). Second, I do not think that the main problem with LC is there teaching about Trinity. Once again we are distracted from real stories of real people to abstract theological discussions.
Abused person is abused, even though an abuser is orthodox in his teaching about Trinity.
Hey KSA, good to "see you" enjoying the summer warmth.

I agree whole-heartedly with your points. For a quarter century I resisted all charges of "cult" against the Recovery based on their complaints of "Trinitarian Orthodoxy." All their accusations about "Modalism" did nothing but harden my resolve and commitment to WL. I treasured verses like Isa 9.6, I Cor 15.45, and II Cor 3.17, and valued all the teachings I had received from WL on these verses.

It was Ingalls' book STTIL which "connected all the troublesome dots" for me. When I first stepped away from the LC's, I thought "this program is sick. It produces bullies out of beloved brothers. What happened to us?" Then I began to research and to become aware of so many stories of abuse, not by the young saints, but by the leaders themselves. Abuses were rampant, from the top to the bottom. The disease was systemic.

Once the Christian leaders outside the Recovery begin to understand this, then they will get to the heart of the problem. People have been hurt in the LC's, and are still hurting. That's what's most important. LC leaders must be made accountable.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2010, 12:59 PM   #18
awareness
Member
 
awareness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 8,142
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Lee often made a big deal out of the adage "you are what you eat". Yes, pretty much so.
And it was bad food. It literally made a knot in my stomach. In short, I just couldn't stomach the LC anymore and had to leave. The eating there was making me sick....literally & physically.
__________________
Cults: My brain will always be there for you. Thinking. So you don't have to.
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-14-2010, 01:11 PM   #19
KSA
Member
 
KSA's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Russia
Posts: 173
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Hi KSA! So good to hear from you my brother.
By "this letter" I assume you are talking about the original posted at www.open-letter.org ?
Hi, Brother!
I meant the letter written by one of the signers in response to CRI.

Quote:
Your point is well taken, however I think some of the abuse we see in the Local Church can be attributed to Witness Lee's unorthodox (unbiblical) teachings on the trinity.
Spiritual abuse can be seen all across the theological spectrum. It makes me think that its root is not in teachings per se. Of course, teachings are used to implement this abuse, but the root of it, I think, is not in teachings; it's a heart issue. Quite often I see that abuse is a result of insecurities of an abuser. I would recommend a very good book by Marc Dupond "Walking Out of Spiritual Abuse".
__________________
Most men pursue pleasure with such breathless haste that they hurry past it. Soren Kierkegaard
KSA is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-14-2011, 08:28 PM   #20
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default The Truth versus Our Present Practice

The following content is from Albert Zehr on 1/22/89, but has Our Present Practice as Albert Zehr indicates really changed? Albert's compare and contrast on each point follows suit with Jane Anderson's open letter. I would say Our Present Practice has been legalistic. Question lies, can the local church leadership say so and turn away from those practices?

THE TRUTH vs OUR PRESENT PRACTICE

1. The WORD is our only supreme authority. All the saints should be encouraged to love it and to feel free to seek life and light from it, and to gain skill in handling and interpreting it.

OUR PRACTICE: The Word should be read in the Recovery Version and can be understood properly only with the use of the foot-notes and life-studies. No one would dare to suggest another view, nor could anyone see light beyond what has been given by “the ministry.”

2. The MINISTRY is the dispensing of Christ into His saints for the building up of the church. All who minister life and the revelation of God’s New Testament economy are ministers and have a part in this ministry.

OUR PRACTICE: In our present vocabulary and practice the “ministry” is Witness Lee and whatever he has written or says, and the way he says it. Anything written or spoken by another person, especially if he is not in the “recovery” is “old” or taking us backward.

3. SPIRITUAL AUTHORITY is endowed upon a person by the Lord. It will be perceived and realized in the saints and substantiated by the Lord. “We should never say so much as one word on behalf of our own authority; rather let us give people the liberty. The more God entrusts to us, the more liberty we grant people.” Spiritual Authority by W. Nee, p. 121

OUR PRACTICE: In nearly every conference or training we observe a declaration of authority. Old Testament cases of disobedience are cited, death and negativism are ascribed to any who do not agree and respond positively. Is this not an insidious form of control?

4. THE CHURCH ground implies that we are open to receive and accept all genuine believers. We should not demand certain practices or separate those who have a different feeling about matters not of the “faith.”

OUR PRACTICE: Those who have any reservation about any of our practices are “unclear”, “do not see the vision” and remain outsiders. Our ways are “God given” and our practices are, “God ordained.” This implicitly condemns all (those in the church or outside of it) who don’t fully embrace them. In this way we have thoroughly isolated ourselves from all other Christians.

5. Do not SEPARATE or make a distinction between the saints who may hold a different feeling about matters of form or practice.

OUR PRACTICE: Those who express reservations about the latest way or practice are regarded as “old”, “in death”, “negative”, “not clear”, “pouring cold water”, “blowing cold winds” and are set aside as far as the “Lord’s up-to-date move” is concerned.

6. There should be OPEN fellowship, in an atmosphere which allows all saints to “speak the truth in love.”

OUR PRACTICE: Speak about and report only the “positive.” Support whatever is being promoted, speak well of it, even inflate the statistics; meanwhile ignore any fact or evidence which shows a weakness or a failure. Of course in this way we never have a failure. Loyalty and blind approval is prized while objectivity and honesty are strongly disapproved. Whoever stays “positive”, and confirms everything is “in”, and is often elevated, while those who speak their genuine concern are regarded as “negative”, and “undermining” and soon privately and perhaps publicly condemned.

7. There should be no effort to ORGANIZE or UNIFY the churches.

OUR PRACTICE: Constant pressure is applied through trainings, videos, and slogans to push churches and saints to conform. Elders are belittled, as being “old”, “ambitious”, “big-speakers”, and “undermining”, if they do not bring their churches into conformity. LIFE LESSONS & TRUTH LESSONS are promoted as the only way to properly express the truth and help new believers.

(These are some of the aspects that caused me to leave the denomination years ago.)

8. Do not get involved in “HOW TO”, or in the promoting of ways. The natural always wants to know “how to.” This will only produce behavior and outward form. It is not the way of life. Life will issue from the abiding and this will produce organic fruit.

OUR PRACTICE: In recent months, messages and books are flooding us with “THE WAY TO…” There is a “way” and a “how to” given for whatever we do or say. The saints are learning now only how to behave but are put in the realm of policing others, especially the elders, so all freedom is lost.

9. The Lord’s GOAL IS THE CHURCH. Whatever we do must be for the building up of the church. The ministry exists not to build up itself but the local churches. “If God’s people could only see that the object of all ministry is the founding of local churches and not the grouping of Christians around any particular individual, truth, or experience or under any particular organization, then the forming of sects could be avoided. We who serve the Lord must be willing to let go our hold upon all those to whom we have ministered, and let the fruits of our ministry pass into local churches governed entirely by local men.” The Normal Christian Church Life by W. Nee, p 91.

OUR PRACTICE: There is very little time or energy for building up the local church. Time, money, and resources are constantly exhausted in order to defend, protect, supply, build up, and “meet the need” of the ministry by “serving the ministry in the ministry’s way.” Videos, conferences, trainings, and standing book orders have all become necessary to “keep current with the ministry.”

10. We MEET in the name of the Lord. All the saints have the freedom to share as the Spirit gives them utterance.

OUR PRACTICE: Everyone is measured by whether they speak “the ministry.” Truth Lessons, Life studies, and foot-notes are proper ways to speak or express anything. The safest way is just to read with little or no comment. Surely this is CONTROL, and must offend the headship of the One in whose name we meet.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2011, 06:13 AM   #21
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The Truth versus Our Present Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
The following content is from Albert Zehr on 1/22/89, but has Our Present Practice as Albert Zehr indicates really changed? Albert's compare and contrast on each point follows suit with Jane Anderson's open letter. I would say Our Present Practice has been legalistic. Question lies, can the local church leadership say so and turn away from those practices?

THE TRUTH vs OUR PRESENT PRACTICE...
Can it really be this bad?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2011, 07:40 AM   #22
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The Truth versus Our Present Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Can it really be this bad?
My experience was never like this
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2011, 08:28 AM   #23
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: The Truth versus Our Present Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
My experience was never like this
I take into account Albert Zehr's function as an elder, participating in elder's training, he probably was exposed to far more than most saints were and thus saw more. I can only say only a few of his points I've experienced.

1. The WORD is our only supreme authority. All the saints should be encouraged to love it and to feel free to seek life and light from it, and to gain skill in handling and interpreting it.

OUR PRACTICE: The Word should be read in the Recovery Version and can be understood properly only with the use of the foot-notes and life-studies. No one would dare to suggest another view, nor could anyone see light beyond what has been given by “the ministry.”

2. The MINISTRY is the dispensing of Christ into His saints for the building up of the church. All who minister life and the revelation of God’s New Testament economy are ministers and have a part in this ministry.

OUR PRACTICE: In our present vocabulary and practice the “ministry” is Witness Lee and whatever he has written or says, and the way he says it. Anything written or spoken by another person, especially if he is not in the “recovery” is “old” or taking us backward.

6. There should be OPEN fellowship, in an atmosphere which allows all saints to “speak the truth in love.”

OUR PRACTICE: Speak about and report only the “positive.” Support whatever is being promoted, speak well of it, even inflate the statistics; meanwhile ignore any fact or evidence which shows a weakness or a failure. Of course in this way we never have a failure. Loyalty and blind approval is prized while objectivity and honesty are strongly disapproved. Whoever stays “positive”, and confirms everything is “in”, and is often elevated, while those who speak their genuine concern are regarded as “negative”, and “undermining” and soon privately and perhaps publicly condemned.

ZNP, I would also add each place is different and each brother and sister is different. Each will have experiences uniquely their own in their walk with the Lord. Just because you or I didn't experience all Albert did, I wouldn't discount Albert's open letter. Only to be thankful I had not touched more points than I already have.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2011, 12:54 PM   #24
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The Truth versus Our Present Practice

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I take into account Albert Zehr's function as an elder, participating in elder's training, he probably was exposed to far more than most saints were and thus saw more. I can only say only a few of his points I've experienced.

1. The WORD is our only supreme authority. All the saints should be encouraged to love it and to feel free to seek life and light from it, and to gain skill in handling and interpreting it.

OUR PRACTICE: The Word should be read in the Recovery Version and can be understood properly only with the use of the foot-notes and life-studies. No one would dare to suggest another view, nor could anyone see light beyond what has been given by “the ministry.”
No doubt this was surely the expressed view of many. EM was in Houston when I was and he was the expert on quoting footnotes, but there were others that would never quote from the RV in a meeting, and who owned and used many versions of the Bible besides the RV. I think it is true that no one suggested another view, but I think it too extreme to say we didn't dare to. My feeling was the RV is not a bad version, if you feel that strongly about it why make an issue. However, I know that many saints in the meetings I attended did not swallow the idea that you couldn't see light beyond "the ministry". I for one made it a point to share testimonies that were based on my experiences in the last week, and that were my own personal experiences.

Quote:
2. The MINISTRY is the dispensing of Christ into His saints for the building up of the church. All who minister life and the revelation of God’s New Testament economy are ministers and have a part in this ministry.

OUR PRACTICE: In our present vocabulary and practice the “ministry” is Witness Lee and whatever he has written or says, and the way he says it. Anything written or spoken by another person, especially if he is not in the “recovery” is “old” or taking us backward.
I completely repudiate this. Again, there were many that felt quoting WL was the best way to give a testimony, but I and others made it a point to avoid quoting him at all costs. This wasn't due to any animosity toward WL or his ministry, but because testimonies were to be kept short and I felt there were already more than enough quotes of WL during the meeting, I didn't need to add to that.

Quote:
6. There should be OPEN fellowship, in an atmosphere which allows all saints to “speak the truth in love.”

OUR PRACTICE: Speak about and report only the “positive.” Support whatever is being promoted, speak well of it, even inflate the statistics; meanwhile ignore any fact or evidence which shows a weakness or a failure. Of course in this way we never have a failure. Loyalty and blind approval is prized while objectivity and honesty are strongly disapproved. Whoever stays “positive”, and confirms everything is “in”, and is often elevated, while those who speak their genuine concern are regarded as “negative”, and “undermining” and soon privately and perhaps publicly condemned.
I tried to stay positive, but that is not the same thing as lieing, which is what is being suggested here. I don't doubt that there was a lot of fluff and lies done, but I was not personally aware of any. What I did see was that brothers that had no experience in the gospel were put in charge of teaching others about preaching the gospel. I don't want to say names here, but there were brothers who were clearly involved in preaching the gospel on a daily basis and who had abiding fruit that had become pillars in the church, and they were ignored. Whereas there were so called "good brothers" who had never had the slightest success in the gospel but were put in a leadership role. My attitude was to just ignore them.

Quote:
ZNP, I would also add each place is different and each brother and sister is different. Each will have experiences uniquely their own in their walk with the Lord. Just because you or I didn't experience all Albert did, I wouldn't discount Albert's open letter. Only to be thankful I had not touched more points than I already have.
I feel that the church life is a battle wherever you are, and if you have a congregation full of those that have thrown in the towel, then this is probably what they do in response to the pressure from Anaheim.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-15-2011, 03:12 PM   #25
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,391
Default Re: The Truth versus Our Present Practice

Sometimes, the most positive thing you can do is rebuke someone. In love, of course.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 09:17 AM   #26
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

ZNP,

You are far from the only one that brought out my comments on colored glasses being altered from Lees into some version of old LRCs. But your dissection of Albert Zehr’s 1989 analysis misses the place from which he wrote.

Yes. In a church the size of Houston, or Dallas, there is a breadth of both belief and practice. But while that breadth may be tolerated, it is not the official position of the group. And despite the breadth of the belief and practice of the group, if you took a poll, you would find that the fact that the poll was taken causes the breadth of the group to shrink to more nearly match the official position.

So the official position is what the leadership says it is, not the broad spectrum of variation in belief. And that is not necessarily bad, unless what is officially believed and practiced is itself bad.

You keep speaking of your experience in Houston as if it is proof that the LRC is not just what some others say, like what Albert Zehr has said it is. Yet even in Houston, virtually everything he said was going on and spot on. It just wasn’t a 100 percent experience because not everybody was 100 percent “sold out” to the mainstream LRC position. That would include you.

To give you an example, I know a brother who attends the assembly that I attend. He, like me, left the church many years ago. But his last “tour of duty” was also in Irving and he worked in the media group handling aspects of video and audio taping. During the time he was there, my father, mother, and sister were also in Irving. This brother overheard some of the Irving leadership discussion people and there comment about my family was “they are marginal.” And they were/are right. Yet they were/are wrong.

They are marginal in that they will never simply jump into the middle of the latest move and be swept away. My dad has even very clearly articulated that the teaching concerning the tripartite man is really mostly baloney since man is a unit, not independent parts. They were not on board with the Harvest House lawsuit and thought someone else was wasting a lot of money. Yet if you suggest that Lee made some serious error, they would be quick to defend. They even articulated that they really couldn’t understand the Bible without Lee’s interpretation.

But if you want to remain in the Church in Dallas, or the Church in Houston, etc., you will do as the leadership says, or within leeway that they permit. You may have been one who did not fully follow the ways. But you did not buck the source. You said that you would not quote Lee for a testimony. But you said nothing that would put his teachings in a less than favorable light. So you were considered harmless. You probably kept others who were for the “truth” but not necessarily foot soldiers happily following along.

But AZ was right about what was going on. Even in Houston. Those who truly toed the line in most all ways were constantly faced with teachings that were grossly violated in practice. And for every violation, there was a carefully crafted explanation to keep them sedated and not frantically running for the doors. Things that we now reduce to “don’t worry about right and wrong, just the spirit,” or “a deputy authority can do no wrong,” were given more robust defenses at the time.

My experience was somewhat like yours except that I was never going to be asked to teach in the FTTA. Or become an elder. But I bet that our family was referred to out loud as one of the pillars in Dallas. Yet we were “marginal.” I bet that your little bit of rebellion was tolerated because they saw you as “sold out” enough for the way that it would keep you in line even if not 100 percent so. Looks like this one who once wanted to marry an elder’s daughter and even butted heads with that elder still managed to go teach in the FTTA.

No. AZ does not speak for everyone. But he speaks for the ones that are the true core. The elders, coworkers, and the fully committed core. They constantly had to listen to the teachings that went one way and figure out how to reconcile a virtually official practice that did not match.

Your experience is your experience. It is not evidence that AZ was wrong. Or that the LRC was not really like that. It is just a perspective that looks exclusively from your own point of view. Almost two years ago I commented on a quote from a Pilipino philosopher. See it here in my blog post. I honestly believe that you are still viewing the LRC from a fixed point of reference and not looking from above, below; walking around for different perspectives; waiting for differing light. I am not saying that you don’t want to do that. But your comments almost entirely reflect the “this is what I experienced” view rather than accepting that the view of others are also valid reflections from their perspective.

I do not know where a more robust view from different perspectives might lead you. I do not conclude that you will see what I have seen or that you will agree with me. But I honestly hope that you will look beyond your perspective. And while I believe that you are trying to do that some, you respond too often with a perspective that dates back to before the hall in Irving was built when you were a brother in Houston.

And this is, for me, evidence that we are not willing to conceive of the idea that ever being in the LRC was an error. We need to find something positive that we can latch onto as evidence that maybe, just maybe, God lead us to the LRC. I will admit that it could be true. But I also believe that the proselytizers of marginal, aberrant, and near-cult groups have a pretty hard sell buried in their soft sell. They are very persuasive. They latch onto the discontent and use it to push, or nudge, in a different direction. Just because there is a lot of wholesome flour does not mean that the leaven they put in their mix is good. It may be just as worthy of warning as that of the Pharisees. You are not deficient for having fallen for it. Our deficiency is too often that we cannot believe that we were ever other than in the center of God’s will.

And all the rest of humanity, even of Christianity, just isn’t as smart or spiritual as we are.

Not pointing at you. I have already pointed it at me and concluded that it is true. I was duped. God did not lead me unless it was as a wilderness experience to extract me from the Assemblies of God. But it was not the final experience. And while wilderness experiences are important, they are not core theology. It is the promised land that I seek, not the wilderness. And no matter how exuberant and joyful the people and meetings are, it is a spiritual wilderness.

Please don’t bother disagreeing line-by-line. It reeks of self-preservation. I cannot destroy you or your faith. If you think I am wrong, just say so in full. Speak to the context and whole of my writing, not to the “fortune cookie” snippets.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 10:14 AM   #27
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
ZNP,
Nothing more terrifying than a long post by OBW that starts ZNP.

1. I never did take a poll. But, after six months on these various forums I think the situation has changed quite a bit from the late 70s.


2. Again, I don't think in the 70s it was that clear there was a central leadership. I cannot think of any other church that had any influence on how Houston was operated, and even if LSM did exercise influence at that point it was embraced by the elders and invisible to me.


3. My experience of the LRC was not the same as AZ described, that doesn't mean that others experience wasn't, but it does mean that for some it wasn't. Also, based on this, surely these experiences are had by many in all the various denominations and Christian gatherings.


4. My attitude towards Lee has become more complex, but in many ways consistent over the last 30+ years. I condemn the things that I feel were clearly to be condemned, and did so even while meeting in the LRC. I have already shared how I stood up in a meeting in NY and likened WL and his sons to Eli and his sons when we were being visited by some who had come from the LSM. I stood up in Irving and condemned BP in a testimony during the Lord's table. I was shunned, harassed, and generally insulted by the Blowhards, but I was never formally excommunicated.


5. To say I did not fully buck the system is not fully accurate. I didn't speak agains WL because I was not aware of any real issue (this was before JI left). But I definitely bucked the system. I gave a long testimony when I first came to the Bereans site about my experiences in Odessa. From my experience "the system" was the Texas Eldership and I surely did condemn them plainly, and in writing.


6. From 1978-1981 -- please give me a specific example of this "gross violation". Please do not use Jane Anderson as she left the same summer I walked in. I was unaware of her situation.


6. "My little bit of rebellion" was merely standing for the truth as I saw it. I wasn't trying to "rebel". And it took me 20 or 30 years to realize that the LRC was seriously flawed.


7. No doubt my experience isn't proof that AZ was wrong. But, I am unable to confirm what he said from my experience. Did I see saints that appeared to act in the way he described, yes. But, my experience in the Episcopal church let me see Christians that were far more nominal.


I do not want anyone to infer that I am disputing AZ's quote as being a valid reflection, all I want is some balance that it can not be considered true of all that were there at the time I was. To me this is like a pendulum. On one extreme you have those saying that WL is the MOTA and on the other you have this picture painted by AZ. The truth was far more complex. That is my experience. Why wouldn't I add that to this forum?

OBW:
Quote:
"And this is, for me, evidence that we are not willing to conceive of the idea that ever being in the LRC was an error."
I have the very distinct experience of being sent to the LRC by the Lord. I have shared my experience of how a hurricane in Wales changed Rice from my 4th choice to my 1st choice of schools to go to. I have also shared my experience how the Lord spoke to me in New England to go back to Houston. I have also shared my experience of how I spent a year at Rice being visited by those in the LRC. My attitude was to not give them any encouragement at all, but my prayer was that I would be faithful to the Lord. I had many and repeated experiences of the Lord that told me to go to the LRC. No, I don't believe my being in the LRC was in error. Instead I believe that the LRC has fallen into terrible error and that the seeds of that error were there even in the 70s.

No doubt cults use your disaffection to lure you in. The problem is that when they were preaching to me I didn't have discontent. I was the happiest I had ever been, I was having a blast at college, and the last thing I wanted to do was to get involved with the LRC. But, I had received the Lord earlier in my life and I wanted to be faithful to Him.


Do I distort my testimony out of fear of a belief that I was at the center of God's move? Sorry, I believe that Jesus Christ is the center of God's will. If I am one with Him, then I am one with the center. If I stray, I stray from the center. I don't share my experiences out of fear that I may have been deficient, on the contrary I continue to speak truthfully so that I don't have to be ashamed of my speaking when I appear before the Lord.

OK, here is a testimony that I have not already shared in this detail. When I first got saved I was 13. I prayed to the Lord and He answered me so that I could hear a distinct voice in my head. I could not be sure if I was imagining this or if the Lord was actually speaking to me. But I was praying, He was answering, and and my concepts were getting destroyed. For example, shortly after my salvation, perhaps a couple of months later, I prayed "Lord you should have a people". He said "I do". I said "No, I don't mean the "spiritual church" I mean real people." He said "I do". So then I began to pray what this people, church, should be like. One of my fist concepts was that they should be more spiritual and smarter, etc. He rebuked me soundly for that and I dropped that concept ever since. I never shared this, but the testimonies that clinched the deal for me with the LRC were not the elders, there was a brother named Raul, he had one messed up eye, he couldn't read, it was his testimony, along with other brothers like him (marginal, ones that were of no repute) that sealed the deal. So, no, I never bought into the idea that we were the "spiritual elite".
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-17-2011, 11:27 AM   #28
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Your experience is your experience. It is not evidence that Albert Z. was wrong. Or that the LRC was not really like that. It is just a perspective that looks exclusively from your own point of view.
OBW, this comment states the obvious as if something were wrong with that, and by it you make a "case" against ZNP. For me it's kind of like one of my younger siblings saying that family life was nothing like what I describe. Why argue? Each of us has his own perspective based on numerous factors. Some things are systemic, some are regional, some are local, and some are unique. But one thing is for sure, I can always identify who has spent considerable time in the LC's, and who has not.

For example, 5-6 years ago I read JCA's book. Nothing like that would have happened to a sister in the GLA, but I just knew, based on all I have witnessed, that her story really happened. And it really explained lots of things to me. Lots of little things added up.

Your family story "adds up" also. I definitely know families who felt they were "sold out" for the Recovery, yet others felt they were only "marginal." Whose account is accurate? Of course, they both are! Because the truth of the matter allows for "variant readings."

For that matter, even though I hate when it happens, when posters are at odds with each other, that also "adds up." We were trained in a system with zero tolerance. There is far too much inertia within us to change that course of action. That said, both of you have helped me. Both of you are necessary pieces in the puzzle. What Albert Z. has written has helped me too.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2011, 06:54 AM   #29
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Can Any of Us Say, "We Were Wrong"?

My family story would, to a point, "add up" to support ZNP. We existed within the LRC without becoming mired in the "New Way" (although my sister did go to Taiwan, only to leave early, and leave the LRC for a while, but eventually return). We (and now they since I am not part of that) defended the LRC but did not partake of many of its extremes.

But what the LRC is "about" is the extremes. But those who are part of the extremes do not pay the bills, so there is an allowance for the marginal. The superiority and "the only way" rhetoric has two functions. It puffs up some to become gung ho and it scares enough others to continue even though they might otherwise leave. The first group are the ones who run the show, define its direction, and relent to make allowances for the second group. And the second group supports the first group. They are convinced that they need the first group to remain what they are.

But for those of us who are or were in that second layer, there is a constant double life. We speak in favor of a system that we do not fully follow. We support it with our money and time, but inwardly wonder what is going on.

And when we leave, we throw off the first group as being the whole problem, yet tend to keep everything that we actually practiced as it if was a directive from God.

But my response was not for the purpose of picking on ZNP, per se. But to point to an aspect of his view that his own words contradict. And his responses to me are actually non-responses. He demands a proof of a "gross violation," yet I was referring to the list that Albert Zehr made in 1989. He demands that I comment on it in reference to a period of time 10 years earlier in Houston. I cannot do that.

Yet he is clear enough to "repudiate" what AZ writes. That is gross arrogance. It is possible for him to say that he did not see it that way. But he has got a lot of gall being so absolute to claim that AZ was simply wrong.

He truly sees that there are terrible problems in the LRC. But then there are certain places where he seems to almost retreat into a mode of defending it. And in this case, it was to defend that in a specific city, 10 years before the thing being written was drafted, he saw an aspect that didn't match, at least for him.

I did not say that his experience was not true. I suggested a different view of it. I did not repudiate him or his experience. But he repudiated AZ's observation. I did not tell him how he had to view it. I suggested that he needed more views, especially before "repudiating" anything.

And I do not return these few times just to pick on ZNP. But I see him as a man at a cross-roads. But he only has his own perspective. He speaks so strongly against aspects of the LRC, then turns to defend it, such as to "repudiate" AZ.

But the reason that I will leave him to his own imagination is that when anyone disagrees with him on any position, he lashes out and sticks to his point as if his manhood depends on it. And he will probably lash out again because I said this. And make my point.

And I don't need to be wasting my time with people who are so confident in their ways that any kind of suggestion that they consider something different receives the kind of vitriol that he tends to spew.

And while I cannot say that God would not lead us into a wilderness, it seems that we are too used to thinking that the wilderness is where the real lessons are learned. But it is only where the rough edges are knocked off and the stiff necks are massaged. The real living is outside it. No more need for manna or striking rocks for water. But we long for the provisions of the wilderness just as wrongly as we long for the leeks and garlics of Egypt.

But one of the worst fallacies of virtually all of Christendom is the notion that, because it happened to me, and after a sequence of events I am where I am, that God must have lead us through it. A sort of "God sighting." But while God will lead us from where we are through the necessary path to where we should be, it is not necessarily true that he lead us into the place that he lead us from. That is often our own overlay to avoid admitting that we don't always listen to God.

One says they had a sense to go to a different university and it results in running into an LRC member. Another has a sense to drop out of school and sell fraudulent investments, only to end out in prison. Then, after that they hear the gospel and become a Christian, only to be picked off by a Mormon on a bicycle and join that cult. God lead one, but not the other. Just because it is "me" the leading is God. For others, it is not God. If someone is lead where I go, it is God, otherwise it is not.

This is not just for ZNP. It is for all of us. I had to grapple with this for quite a while. I now willingly admit that I was not lead by God in so much of my life. And I'm not sure that joining the LRC was better than remaining in the AOG for a while longer. I don't follow their peculiar doctrines any longer, but I don't follow the LRC's either. It might be that anything to get from the AOG to where I am was worth it. But is this "it"? Or am I still on a journey to somewhere else? And if I look back at "here" in a few years and realize I was in a cult, do I need to whitewash today's experience with a claim that I was lead by God? Not any more.

As I titled this post, can any of us say that we were wrong? Wrong about anything, especially the LRC? I can now. But I didn't do it after 14 years in the LRC. It wasn't until 18 years after leaving. I spent more time outside the LRC thinking it was right than I did inside. But I was wrong.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-18-2011, 07:27 AM   #30
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: Can Any of Us Say, "We Were Wrong"?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
But my response was not for the purpose of picking on ZNP, per se. But to point to an aspect of his view that his own words contradict. And his responses to me are actually non-responses. He demands a proof of a "gross violation," yet I was referring to the list that Albert Zehr made in 1989. He demands that I comment on it in reference to a period of time 10 years earlier in Houston. I cannot do that.

Yet he is clear enough to "repudiate" what AZ writes. That is gross arrogance. It is possible for him to say that he did not see it that way. But he has got a lot of gall being so absolute to claim that AZ was simply wrong.

But the reason that I will leave him to his own imagination is that when anyone disagrees with him on any position, he lashes out and sticks to his point as if his manhood depends on it. And he will probably lash out again because I said this. And make my point.

And I don't need to be wasting my time with people who are so confident in their ways that any kind of suggestion that they consider something different receives the kind of vitriol that he tends to spew.
Brother OBW, the above bolded comments about brother ZNP and his posts leave me scratching my head, "are we reading the same things here?" I do admit that sometimes I am not a thorough reader, and my recent trip to FL has left me with a serious case of heat and sunshine overload. Now that I have returned to cold winds and grey skies, I can think a little more "clearly."

As your post alludes to, these kinds of caustic commentaries never crossed my mind when reading any of ZNP's posts. I'm not going to take the time now to commend anything positive about all of ZNP's posts, but I will say in all honesty that, at least for me, this post makes you look worse than him. It almost sounds like the political punditry on MSNBC.

Please try to see things from others' point of view. Things that don't make sense at first, can be understood when we put ourselves in their shoes. His experience in the Recovery was different from yours or mine, yet in the bigger picture, both of your stories have been quite helpful.

"Let your forbearance be made known to others and then the Lord in near."
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 04:50 PM   #31
John
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default Houston, we have a problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post

...

6. From 1978-1981 -- please give me a specific example of this "gross violation". Please do not use Jane Anderson as she left the same summer I walked in. I was unaware of her situation.
...
ZNPaaneah,

Regarding your #6, you have designated a certain time and place that OBW cannot speak to; however, I can. You ask for a specific example of a “gross violation,” apparently wanting a person as an example. Well, during your time parameters, it seems obvious to me that you were taken for a ride through a Potemkin village. OBW has stated that it took him a long time to realize the dark side and, then, to finally admit to himself that he had been duped.

I came to this same realization just a few years ago, and I have been out for more than 20 years. Yes, I, in all my male, egotistical brilliance was duped by the Local Church and its head, Witness Lee. Personally, I think that admitting this, at least to oneself, is yet another step in the process of realizing just how much we need Jesus every step of the way.

I believe that in your post you provided evidence that you were duped, too. I state this because Jane Anderson was there in the Church in Houston during the years you were there! You state that she left the same summer you arrived, and you give the year 1978. Jane didn’t leave Houston until the end of the summer of 1979. (If you haven’t read it yet, read her book; it is very enlightening.) She was being shunned by the campus youth (some of whom she had brought into the Church) for at least a year, while you were there. It is quite likely that the same folks with whom you were rubbing shoulders were, at the same time, carrying out the directive to keep Jane at arm’s length and you in the dark.

Jane’s status was on a need-to-know basis, and you, as a new one, well …. You only saw what the leaders wanted you to see. You saw the pretty exterior, but there was a dark side that had emerged, one that some of us who had been in Houston since 1969 saw and experienced. By the time you “walked in,” the campus ministry was controlled by the campus leaders, who were tied in to the elders, who went along with Benson, who didn’t do much of anything important without getting direction from Witness Lee.
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 05:33 PM   #32
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
2. Again, I don't think in the 70s it was that clear there was a central leadership. I cannot think of any other church that had any influence on how Houston was operated, and even if LSM did exercise influence at that point it was embraced by the elders and invisible to me.
I fully believe that much of what I was speaking about was invisible to you at that time. And it is not your fault.

But here is one for you. Benson was not in Houston at any time that you were in the LRC. He was in Dallas from well before 1977. He was in Anaheim during the building of that hall. He was in Irving once that project was under way and for some time afterward.

Yet he had great influence over the Church in Houston. Even so great that he was called in to put down an "uprising" and belittle a sister who only cared for the marriages of the members. They were incapable of doing it themselves. And at the same time, the same thing was being done in Austin. And something similar in Anaheim.

No. You didn't know about it. And it is the fact that such orchestration was kept from many, like you, that we realize now how much connection and control there was then.

I did not say that you knew then what you could know now. I am sure that you could not know because even if you got some kind of hint that there was something in the closet, you would have found it closed and padlocked. And no one would admit to even realizing that it was even there or had anything in it. That is not your fault. My goal was not to condemn you. It was to suggest that hindsight reveals much that we had no way to know at the time.

And within the true leadership and the core that surrounded it, there was a need to have explanations for why the practice did not reflect the teachings. And to the extent possible, there was a sufficient smoke screen created such that only the elders who had a real view into the whole thing had to grimace at the inconsistency. The rest of us were so ingrained with the idea of "two sides of truth" that we would buy contradiction as logical and sound. But there is no "two sides of truth." There are only different aspects of truth that if you don't think about it, you might confuse them as being about the same thing with different conclusions.

I have returned this one last time because both you and Ohio are convinced that I was saying something that I did not say. I read back through my initial and subsequent responses to you and I did not say anything of consequence about you unless it is offensive to discover that you didn't know exactly what was going on back in 78 and 79. I would suggest that we never know as much as we think we do. It is only when we look back that we truly understand what was going on. I left the LRC in 1987. It took me almost 18 years to realize that so much of what I took away with me was simply wrong. And much of the rest of it was seriously flawed. It creates a painting of the past that looks nothing like I would have characterized it as being at the time. If I want to cling to what I remembered at the time, I am doomed to wander outside the LRC in a stupor because I have left "God's best." I now know that this is a completely false view.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 06:35 PM   #33
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I have returned this one last time because both you and Ohio are convinced that I was saying something that I did not say.

Whatever ...
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 06:50 PM   #34
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I fully believe that much of what I was speaking about was invisible to you at that time. And it is not your fault.

But here is one for you. Benson was not in Houston at any time that you were in the LRC. He was in Dallas from well before 1977. He was in Anaheim during the building of that hall. He was in Irving once that project was under way and for some time afterward.

Yet he had great influence over the Church in Houston. Even so great that he was called in to put down an "uprising" and belittle a sister who only cared for the marriages of the members. They were incapable of doing it themselves.
OBW, I appreciate your take.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2011, 07:05 PM   #35
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: Houston, we have a problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Jane’s status was on a need-to-know basis, and you, as a new one, well …. By the time you “walked in,” the campus ministry was controlled by the campus leaders, who were tied in to the elders, who went along with Benson, who didn’t do much of anything important without getting direction from Witness Lee.
John, first what a pleasure it is to read your post. I will say my first reaction when I read your post was, WHAT! A need to know basis? Why?
If there was a definitive reason Jane needed discipline, that should have been told to the church.
When it's a need to know basis, one week a sister or couple could be very warm and receptive to Jane. The next week these ones become as a certain Levite or a certain priest crossing the road to avoid Jane. I want to know while Jane was being disciplined, WHO in the Church in Houston leadership ministered Christ to Jane with oil and wine [see Luke 10]?
As this is now 33 years later, some may say this is old news. This happened a long time ago. Local church elders may diminish the events as ancient history. On the contrary, this was an offense. An offense that does not have time constraints. As long as the parties are still alive, there are opportunities to repent. If not, leave it to the Judgment Seat. God will be the Judge. One way or another, there is resolution.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2011, 08:40 AM   #36
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,229
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
I have attached an open letter entitled “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?”
Thankful
I read this letter way back when, but it was so convoluted with "who said what to whom at what time" that I couldn't keep track of it.

So I would like to make a general comment.

If you have a ministry or associated organization which has a long and pretty much unrelieved history of contention and strife with fellow christians you might at some point want to look in the mirror and ask yourself if perhaps some of it is your doing.

It reminds me of the movie star who was on her 8th husband, and the reporter was trying to timidly raise the issue of her marital history, and the star said that her only fault was picking bums and losers for companions. "I was too naive and trusting", she said.

I could only smile, ruefully. You would think that at some point a light would go on, and you would wonder, Gee, Is there possibly something wrong with me, that nobody wants to hang out with me? Or is it always the other guy's fault?

As history accumulates, and as turmoil follows turmoil, the math starts to get pretty daunting; I mean the probability that the trouble is always due to the other party and never from you.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-29-2011, 08:06 PM   #37
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
from you.
A few corrections. BP was not frequently in Houston during the time frame I was, but he still owned a day care and would come to Houston to take care of it. I spent one afternoon helping him roof the place.

Second, the brothers responsible for the campus work on Rice were not controlled by the elders. RK was on the campus but had virtually no impact on the work. DC was not affiliated with the church leadership and the idea is laughable, JF and PF left the year I came in. So then by implication you are saying that I was and that is false.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2011, 03:18 AM   #38
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
A few corrections. BP was not frequently in Houston during the time frame I was, but he still owned a day care and would come to Houston to take care of it. I spent one afternoon helping him roof the place.

Second, the brothers responsible for the campus work on Rice were not controlled by the elders. RK was on the campus but had virtually no impact on the work. DC was not affiliated with the church leadership and the idea is laughable, JF and PF left the year I came in. So then by implication you are saying that I was and that is false.
Can you elaborate? Your quote of aron was reduced to two words and I cannot find any reference to RK, DC, JF and PF anywhere in any post. Seems to be missing some context and therefore is probably missing some of the meaning you intend.

I did mention BP. But we both agree that he was not in Houston much in your time frame. Just highly influential, even potentially controlling whether it was or was not obvious.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2011, 05:30 AM   #39
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Can you elaborate?
Sure, and sorry for the RK, I meant KR. The key brothers saved off of Rice that I was familiar with were Clem (who became an elder), James and Pat F who both served in the LSM. Clem was already gone when I came in (I went to his wedding which was a very special meeting). James F stayed an extra year to help me out but was rarely on campus that year. KR is Kerry R. KR was definitely the only brother associated with Rice that was clearly controlled by the elders but he had nothing at all to do with the campus work on Rice. He never preached the gospel, never joined us. He had one failed attempt at trying to run a Bible study using LSM materials that failed after only one meeting.

David C had nothing to do with the elders and neither did I. So the idea that any unseen hand from the elders was controlling the campus work at Rice while I was there is bunk.

Also I cannot see anything sinister in the elders seeking help and fellowship from Benson. BP was highly regarded, even revered in Houston when I came in. I think any elder or pastor could have a mentor and that would be seen as a positive thing spiritually and BP was spoken of as a mentor to RG.

But you cannot use the influence that BP may have had in fellowship with RG as a basis to say another church controlled Houston, that is absurd.

Hindsight is 20/20. Perhaps now we know that the case of Jane A was wrong, but I am not convinced that BP or RG knew it was wrong at the time. Although I did not know anything of that incident, I did know that the feeling at the time was that Max had tried to engineer some kind of rebellion. Of course we realize that the truth is much different now, but I doubt that RG or BP could have guessed the truth at the time. And this impression of mine is based on my reading of Jane's account.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2011, 09:55 AM   #40
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

I see your perspective. I never suggested that outsiders had a hand in everything that was going on in Houston.

But there were always things that the scripture taught that did not square with ministry teachings. Or with the practice, which was considered right, was out-of-sync with certain teachings which were also considered right. So how were those made to coexist? There was some kind of contradiction of one that used an overlay, such as "its not about right and wrong, but the spirit" or "deputy authority is always right."

These kinds of things are an insidious control. You become entrenched in a world that is contradictory but are given a reason to accept it. Since outsiders will not go along with the contradictions, you become isolated and at the mercy of those providing the contradictions. And in terms of control, it has begun at a low level. The comments about the leadership really deals with the fact that they, even at dates in the 70s, knew the whole story — or more of it — and had to deal with those who were trying to be more "absolute" for the LRC and might recognize the contradictions. So they were given things to say that would make it better. The things that put the contradiction front and center, but provided a reason to accept it. The less absolute were willing to ignore some of the contradiction, not because they didn't see it, but because they thought something else was more important and a little stupidity could be tolerated.

But if we always looked at the single thing put in front of us "today" and accepted that as a discrete truth, then looked at its contradiction on another day and then accepted it as a discrete truth, we may simply have never realized the contradiction. So if right and wrong are unimportant, only the spirit, then how do we reconcile that the mind set on the Spirit, walking by the Spirit will fulfill the righteousness (the "right") of the law. For many, they just don't think about it that way. For those that do, they end out like AZ, frustrated at the contradictions. Yes, he was probably happy with a few back in the late 70s, but became thoroughly frustrated with them by 89.

But even in the 70s, it began a level of mental control. Then the events in Berkley, Chicago, Houston, Austin, Anaheim, and others at Memorial Day started a move of control. The exertion of authority over the elders started then. Then the following year, when they chased off Max, it was increased. We did not see it. But the elders did.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2011, 10:06 AM   #41
John
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default Re: Houston, we have a problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
John, first what a pleasure it is to read your post. I will say my first reaction when I read your post was, WHAT! A need to know basis? Why?
If there was a definitive reason Jane needed discipline, that should have been told to the church.
When it's a need to know basis, one week a sister or couple could be very warm and receptive to Jane. The next week these ones become as a certain Levite or a certain priest crossing the road to avoid Jane. I want to know while Jane was being disciplined, WHO in the Church in Houston leadership ministered Christ to Jane with oil and wine [see Luke 10]?
As this is now 33 years later, some may say this is old news. This happened a long time ago. Local church elders may diminish the events as ancient history. On the contrary, this was an offense. An offense that does not have time constraints. As long as the parties are still alive, there are opportunities to repent. If not, leave it to the Judgment Seat. God will be the Judge. One way or another, there is resolution.
Terry,

For me, the phrase to highlight in your post is “should have been.” By reading the Bible, I think that most of us know what should have been done in the Local Church with various people in their different situations. Instead, the sheep were mistreated. If you have read Jane’s book, letters, and posts, you would, hopefully, realize that we have done our part in trying to address the issue from those years, but to no avail.

You asked “WHO” in the leadership ministered to Jane afterwards. I’m not sure if this was rhetorical or not, so the answer is: “None of them.” However, Jesus did minister to us. It was just really difficult to hear Him after being run over by the leaders and Jane being told that she was so far off base that she was basically following the devil.

I simply wrote to show that things are not always as they seem and maybe to show just a little bit about the inner workings of the system. Jane was actually very easy for the elders to control. She was compliant and obeyed them. If she had wanted to do the kinds of things she was accused of, she could have had quite an impact and caused them a lot of trouble. She had much influence with many, especially the young sisters. She was directed not to speak with anyone about the situation, and she didn’t.

We were left alone, only able to speak to God. Other than the day after, we didn’t even speak to each other about what occurred in the so-called “fellowship room” in 1977. It was too painful, and there was a huge conflict in each of us. That experience lasted for over two years in Houston and was the most miserable time of my life. When we went to Oklahoma City, the discipline followed us. There, she was not allowed to speak to a certain person or to be in a baby-sitting situation with her because that person had been involved with Jane. (To attend the meetings, we ended up paying for a sitter.) She accepted that discipline as well.

Some have come out on the forum to write that it was just not their experience. I understand when people like ZNPaaneah state that it wasn’t their experience in the church in some place and time. The people who say it wasn’t their experience, in fact, didn’t experience some horrible discipline and probably didn’t pay any attention to little things that might have given them a clue as to what was going on in the inner circle. I did the same for many years.

Most of us, I imagine, wanted to think the best of everyone and give them the benefit of the doubt, because this was the church, “God’s best.” I mean, after all, aren’t we brothers and sisters in the Lord? Isn’t that what first brought us into the Local Church? Etc.

If you didn’t experience the corruption or know someone that did, does this mean that the church in your place wasn’t influenced by leaders who had become corrupted within a corrupted system? At least as far as The Church in Houston was concerned, I know a little bit about how things were done, having arrived there with the initial migration. I would maintain that ZNPaaneah did experience the corruption, at least to some degree, but was unaware of it. It was as if he were in a body diseased with cancer: Whatever part of the body he was, wasn’t heavily impacted by the disease, but I can tell you for sure that some of us were very much impacted.

Anyway, Terry, thanks for your reply. I just used your post as a jumping off point to elaborate a little bit. I hope that I didn’t get too carried away and that you find my perspective helpful. (ZNPaaneah, I see that you have responded to the content of my earlier post while I was working on this one. I hope to be able to address your thoughts soon.)
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2011, 12:19 PM   #42
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: Houston, we have a problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Terry,
I simply wrote to show that things are not always as they seem and maybe to show just a little bit about the inner workings of the system....
We were definitely taught not to poke our noses in anyone's business when they went to have fellowship with the elders. I had just assumed that if you had something serious to talk to the elders about you didn't need to have 200 other saints theorizing why you went to talk to them (Problem with their marriage? Are they moving? Financial troubles? Do you think they'll make that brother an elder? etc.)

I was once brought into that fellowship room and told that "I had two strikes against me". This was a shock. I didn't have a clue that I had one strike and now they are telling me I already have two, and yet I still didn't have a clue what these two strikes were or how I got them. Clearly it was a form of intimidation to get me to speak a certain way. The problem was I didn't really have any clue as to what way that was. So instead I just decided that seeing that I had 2 strikes and could strike out at any time, better make sure I release my full burden when I speak, because who knows, it could be my last time.

I experienced other forms of intimidation which I have already shared testimonies about some of those cases. I am guessing that I was never excommunicated in part because of Jane A, the elders were keenly aware of the price involved. Also, I did all of my speaking in the meetings, so everyone in the church was well aware of what I was saying, it is much harder to mug someone who is standing in a spotlight where 200 people can see. Also, for as much intimidation as I received from the "LSM faithful" I received twice as much support from the silent majority in the church.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2011, 04:41 PM   #43
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: Houston, we have a problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
We were definitely taught not to poke our noses in anyone's business when they went to have fellowship with the elders.

I was once brought into that fellowship room and told that "I had two strikes against me". This was a shock. I didn't have a clue that I had one strike and now they are telling me I already have two, and yet I still didn't have a clue what these two strikes were or how I got them.

I am guessing that I was never excommunicated in part because of Jane A, the elders were keenly aware of the price involved. Also, I did all of my speaking in the meetings, so everyone in the church was well aware of what I was saying, it is much harder to mug someone who is standing in a spotlight where 200 people can see. Also, for as much intimidation as I received from the "LSM faithful" I received twice as much support from the silent majority in the church.
ZNP, how you ended the post is how I perceive why the elders don't want to tell it to the church. That is also why it tends to be a private matter restricted to 10-12 elders and deacons. As I expect as a private matter it's not to bring shame to the individual. If I was the individual being disciplined in private, I would want the matter to be a church matter. Point being no questions and no misunderstandings. Just as you said ZNp, it's much more difficult to mug someone when there's 200 other people watching.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-30-2011, 05:18 PM   #44
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: Houston, we have a problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
You asked “WHO” in the leadership ministered to Jane afterwards. I’m not sure if this was rhetorical or not, so the answer is: “None of them.” However, Jesus did minister to us.

Some have come out on the forum to write that it was just not their experience. I understand when people like ZNPaaneah state that it wasn’t their experience in the church in some place and time.

Most of us, I imagine, wanted to think the best of everyone and give them the benefit of the doubt, because this was the church, “God’s best.” I mean, after all, aren’t we brothers and sisters in the Lord?
John, when I asked WHO it was a statement as much as it was a question. In recent weeks I've been seeing some things relative to your posts. If what I've seen is comparable to your experiences and even Jane's experiences, the level of care a sister or a brother receives is relative.

I have not posted on it, but the ministry of Jesus is a picture of how short we are of Christ and how much further we have to go. For example the parable of the Good Samaritan. One example is it's a picture of our relationship with Jesus. He brought us home to the church, His Body. Another example is a picture of us in relationship to fellow brothers and sisters. I leave the rest for another time. So you see why WHO is both a statement and a question.

John, a phrase I have been bothered with is it wasn't my experience. What does that mean? What is the implication of such a statement? I could say such a statement, but mean your experience was a product of imagination. Or I could say such a statment with compassion. Meaning I have empathy for your experience and thankfulness to God I have not endured what you have. This goes for you, me, forum posters, and lurkers; say what you mean. Just maybe in doing so misunderstanding or misinterpretations will be avoided.

Yes we do tend to give the benefit of the doubt. Likewise we should not be so doubtful to other's experiences, that it cannot happen. Giving the benefit of the doubt should not be construed to giving trust. Once we as believers trust in man, deception is bound to follow.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2011, 06:30 PM   #45
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: Houston, we have a problem

I was asked if I could have known Jane A when I was in Houston. I think this depends on if Jane A knew Raul Tapp and Don Abadie. I remember that first summer Raul taking me to a sister's home. Something was clearly wrong and they were definitely not willing to discuss it. We read Proverbs 1, and it seemed to have a very big impact on everyone. Also, I remember that this sister and her family were in the process of moving.

Otherwise, if that was not her, I doubt she would talk to me in the meeting with everyone watching her, and I doubt she would invite me for fellowship directly while under a cloud of suspicion. When you are new there is no meeting where everyone stands up and introduces themselves, so she could definitely have been in the meeting at the same time as me without me knowing her name. Also for my first year I was very quiet and after her meeting with the elders she also was probably quiet.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2011, 05:51 PM   #46
John
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default The Gross Violations

ZNPaaneah,

With this latest post of yours (#45), it seems that you may have come around to considering the ramifications of my presentation in #31, which I appreciate, considering the way you tried to dismiss it earlier. I have read all your responses and may reply to them in more detail later. (I never feel compelled to rebut everything thrown at me.) I think that most readers realize without me spelling it out for them that my main point (the fact that we were in Houston along with you) destroys your contention that there was no control by the elders in The Church in Houston during your time there—even though you threw around words like “laughable” and “absurd,” while only relying for support on your experience within the confines of Rice University and your opinion of others who had been involved with Rice.

Before I consider getting into the details that would be necessary to have a full discussion of the c-word (control, that is) as it relates to The Church in Houston, I want to find out where you stand, now that you’ve had a few days to ruminate on the impact of my revelation. (By the way, it should not have been a revelation to you, since you stated in your #39 that you had read Jane’s account, and she clearly stated in The Thread of Gold that we moved in 1979, not 1978.) Also, if you will read pertinent parts of the book again carefully, you will find another instance of a “gross violation” of control by an elder in the affairs of another family that occurred in The Church in Houston after we left, in the early 1980s. (I’m not going to research the exact date; because, if you are willing to admit that there was control present in the Church during your first year [Jane’s case] and to admit to control in the Church just after you were gone or thereabouts [case described in The Thread of Gold], I would think that you would find it difficult to explain, much less to prove, how the control mysteriously disappeared in between.)


Didn’t you go off topic?

After you deal with the gross control in The Church in Houston, I believe we could then have a decent discussion about possible campus control at Rice, but that was not exactly the topic I signed up for when I replied to your #27, point #6. If we do, I would then amend the topic to include more nuanced control and not just the “gross violation” that was occurring in the Church.

I think that the last sentence in my #31 may have led you to apply it only to Rice University. Actually, I merely intended that sentence to be a very brief synopsis of how control generally lined up with Anaheim in its flow, not to offer a way for ignoring my main point. I tacked it on to reflect my total Church experience in multiple Churches over a 20-year span, which includes our experience at the University of Houston and with U of H students who continued living with us after we moved away from the campus. From your point of view, however, after re-reading it, I can see how you might have taken it and applied it only to your experience at Rice, and I apologize if it misled you. Even with this mea culpa, keep in mind that I did not say that the elders were controlling the ones on the campuses. However, I have also not stated that they were not. Also, if it will help you to focus on the ramifications of the two main events that exhibited gross control in The Church in Houston, one in the ’78 and ’79 time frame, and the other one around, say, ’81 , then please ignore my last sentence in #31.


If a tree falls in a forest …

If you are simply going to repeat that it wasn’t your experience at Rice, I’ll just let you remain behind that cloistered wall. I’m not trying to be mean, but I do get bothered when someone states unequivocally that control didn’t exist in the very Church that was controlling my wife and me and those around us with whom we had worked faithfully for almost a decade, as well as controlling another family that left Houston after us. The control in both cases was carried out by Ray from Houston in concert with Benson from Dallas; so, I hope you will excuse me if I believe that you have a naïve view of their relationship. In addition, it seems to me that your understanding of the Max event, and Benson and Ray’s involvement in it, is also deficient.

After I get an answer to my question at the end of this post, I will consider discussing with you the elders in Texas, including those in Houston, and their conspiracies. Also, I might be willing to discuss the situation at Rice and whether or not there was any control there. Jane and I experienced the elders’ hands of control at the University of Houston, which you might factor in to your experience at Rice. Even though it was a few years earlier, I don’t imagine that control just disappeared since a culture of control had been established, especially not as long as Ray was still there. In such a discussion, I am quite willing to let you be the expert about all things Rice. If a tree fell in those woods, I wouldn’t have heard it.


Main point

So, here is my main point again: You asked for an example of a “gross violation,” and I gave you the elders’ treatment of Jane Anderson. In 1978, Jane was in The Church in Houston under very strict, stern, and unreasonable discipline by the elders; in 1979, she was still there, suffering an almost indescribable torment on a daily basis. In 1978 and 1979, you were there, too (and so was I). The fact that you didn’t even realize that she was there when she had not too long before been a prominent sister (my words, not hers), just further proves my point that there was discipline, that it was severe, and that it succeeded in taking her out of her “function” for the duration of our time there. Jane and I were suffering a hellishly-inspired discipline that almost drove Jane mad and me into the hospital. You were in the same local body we were in; and, don’t forget, when one member suffers, all suffer with that person.


Question

So, I ask you, based on the experience of John and Jane Anderson, was there unwarranted gross control by the elders over the members of The Church in Houston during part of your time there?
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2011, 06:36 PM   #47
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Question
So, I ask you, based on the experience of John and Jane Anderson, was there unwarranted gross control by the elders over the members of The Church in Houston during part of your time there?
John, if I could ask in all sincerity, was there overriding "control" before the events described in chapter one of ToG? It seemed to me, after reading the book over 5 years ago, that Jane and her husband were completely blindsided by what happened that day. They had no prior "warning" to prepare them for the "discipline" which occurred.

In other words, taking BP's recent (2-3 years ago) inflammatory statements about Jane in the training, it seemed like he acted that Memorial Day weekend in 1977 as a WL "copycat," assuming, without prior investigation, that local events in Houston were conspiratorially linked to Anaheim. In your opinion, were these events in question the beginnings of "abuse/control," or just a continuation?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 04:28 PM   #48
John
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
John, if I could ask in all sincerity, was there overriding "control" before the events described in chapter one of ToG? It seemed to me, after reading the book over 5 years ago, that Jane and her husband were completely blindsided by what happened that day. They had no prior "warning" to prepare them for the "discipline" which occurred.

In other words, taking BP's recent (2-3 years ago) inflammatory statements about Jane in the training, it seemed like he acted that Memorial Day weekend in 1977 as a WL "copycat," assuming, without prior investigation, that local events in Houston were conspiratorially linked to Anaheim. In your opinion, were these events in question the beginnings of "abuse/control," or just a continuation?
Ohio,

In my opinion, the events of 1977 were just a continuation of abuse and control. I do appreciate your open-ended question and a request for my opinion. (You do realize that, as Jane’s husband, I may not be the most objective person about certain events related to her, right?) And, since I’m in a writing mood …


Now the serpent was more subtle …

First, I’d like to begin with Genesis 3 , where Satan, the great manipulator, deceived Adam and Eve. From there, skip millennia to the genesis of the Local Church in China and its resurrection in Taiwan. There, Witness Lee was a heavy-handed controller (see Morris Fred’s master’s thesis). Some of the leaders in Taiwan warned the original elders in Los Angeles (John Ingalls, Bill Mallon, and James Barber) about Mr. Lee, but they ignored the warning (see the letter from these elders, also in Fred). Lee eventually manipulated the situation to his benefit.


Meanwhile, back at the ranch

Meanwhile, a young Benson Phillips felt he was destined to do big things for Jesus (per his testimony). He linked up with a psychology major, Ray Graver, and also with Witness Lee, who impressed them with “The Vision”; and the rest, as we say, is history. These people had certain character traits that allowed them to be used by the deceiver. Mr. Lee provided Benson and Ray the system within which to work and fathered them in his control techniques (if they needed his help).

Over time, other brothers were drawn in and fathered in the same control style of Mr. Lee. People came in over time and were enamored with various aspects of the system. The cup was gilded on the outside. Each of us had a honeymoon time with the Local Church, happily receiving the indoctrination and not realizing where it would eventually lead us.

As has been shown, the Deputy Authority teaching was sown into Texas in the very beginning in Waco, pre-Houston. Through this, as well as other teachings and methods, persons could be controlled and manipulated, some more, some less. I know I was excited as a new one to be going hither and thither and doing what-what (a Leeism, I believe) for God. To speak in worldly terms, I have come to understand the leadership dynamic in the Local Church by comparing it with that of big business and politics; however, under the auspices of religion, the dynamic is much worse. Religious leaders can more easily and thoroughly exploit the sheep who genuinely desire to please God.


Religious control from 30,000 feet

The control mechanisms were utilized as needed to keep people in line with the program. The more you wanted to participate in the inner circle with its secrets, the more of your soul you had to sell. I found an apt description in The Two Babylons, a book that described being admitted to the mysteries among the ancient pagan priests. (My description may be offensive to some, but I’m just telling you things that have helped me to understand what happened to me and my family. (In other words, I didn’t begin at Genesis 3 for nothing.)

Because of this, some could be on the periphery of the system and not realize the evil that was going on. That is why we often get at each other on the forums, I believe. Some were almost all the way into the inner circle, and others were way on the outside. If you provided “revenue” for the system (money, status, power, image, whatever), you could be a part and not really realize what you were a part of. The system could even tolerate an amount of criticism, depending on who you were and what you had to offer on the positive side of the ledger (a risk-reward analysis).

All of that to say that control and manipulation were going on from the beginning. I thought this little tour of the world would help you better understand my opinion about control in Texas. The Houston elders didn’t emerge from the indigenous ones who had been meeting there before our migration. Lip-service was paid to these original folks; but, when Benson and Ray and about 70 others arrived from three different localities and set up shop, it soon became obvious who was in charge. In fact, a small meeting was arranged to authenticate elders (although it wasn’t advertised that way), and Benson and Ray were two who volunteered for the job! Just a little manipulative, I’d say.

Now that we’re back in Texas, let me cite three more occurrences that should give you a better idea of the kind of leaders we had there, and more reasons why I am of the opinion that control, manipulation, and intimidation were occurring before 1977. You can decide for yourself how high this rates on your control meter; but, for me, especially in a Christian setting (not to mention God’s so-called “Best”), it pretty much pegs mine.


Driven to despair (case #1)

The first case occurred in the late 60s and early 70s, but we didn’t learn of it until 1992. In 1992, Jane received a letter from a sister who had been abused by the Texas leadership. This sister wrote to Jane after receiving a copy of a letter we mailed to those who had started with us in Houston. Jane’s letter was sent because of Benson’s refusal to meet with us to try to rescue the marriage of an elder who had served with him. In the letter, we had described the abuse that had been exercised over the elder’s wife in 1977. The sister who wrote Jane explained that she had also been labeled as rebellious and negative. Her depression was so great from the experience that she had attempted suicide, was in a coma for four days, and barely survived. (If I’m still in a posting groove, I may put out some excerpts from her letter so you can hear it from her, since it is so powerful and sad.)


Physical violence (brief-case #2)

The second case I will mention occurred pre-1977 in Houston. While trying to get a young brother to accept the “fellowship,” Ray actually threw his book bag and hit him with it! This happened in the meeting hall after a meeting, although it was in a private room; so, no one else saw it other than a third brother who witnessed the event. This witness brother was, at some point, being groomed to be an elder. When he was given elder status and admitted into the inner sanctum, he was so shocked and appalled by the way that the elders, in their meetings, discussed the saints, he retired from the eldership but remained in “God’s Best.” He was then transferred to the mother church in Anaheim and told that he was going there for further training. Of course, it was obvious that they couldn’t afford to have someone hanging around who had quit the eldership because it went against his conscience.


Moving the chess pieces and assessing their value (case #3)

Were Benson and Ray the only ones? A brother recently told us about his experience in Houston with all the elders. In 1972, during the time of the migration to Denver, this brother and his wife worked out a plan to move in with another church couple for a few months so that they could save money for migrating to Denver. When the elders got wind of it, Benson called the brother in. All four elders sat across the table from him. Benson did the speaking. As the brother put it, they “reamed him out” for moving in with the couple without fellowshipping with the elders first and getting their permission to do so. They also told him that Denver was not in the cards for him but that he should plan to go to Philadelphia, which he did. At this time, he began to back away from the elders in heart. He saw a side that he hadn’t known was there. A couple of years later, after the Philly experiment failed, he said that the members in Philly were given a choice of either moving to Boston or to Florida. A Boston elder actively recruited him, so he decided to move his family there. Two years later, after getting his law degree, he moved back to Houston.

As an interesting sidebar, in Houston, while serving with a brother to process contributions, he learned that saints were measured and categorized by how much money they gave. He said that before this time, he had given to the church by check; but, upon discovering they were keeping tabs, he had switched to giving cash. He knew this would look to them like he had stopped giving, and he wondered if this would change the way they treated him. He said that it did; since, for one thing, they no longer asked him to share messages.

So, was there overriding control in Texas before 1977? From my perspective, there definitely was.


The Thread of Gold and the run-up to John and Jane’s isolation

In your questions to me, you also started with Mr. Phillips’ statements about Jane and stated that it seemed that he acted like a copycat. First, I would never start with anything that Benson said. Remember, think politics. To be clear, Benson’s public statement at the 2005 winter training about what they did to Jane in Texas in 1977, and why they did it, was not truthful. This is explained in posts about that event which can be found on the Bereans forum. For one thing, Benson said he saw what Mr. Lee did with the sisters in Anaheim and then had to do the same thing in Texas. The truth was that Witness and Benson acted simultaneously on Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend. Also, Mr. Lee did not call out the Anaheim sisters as “the three holy sisters” as Benson claimed. Jane talked to Sandee for the first time in 2006, and Sandee said that Benson’s account about this was not true. We asked another one of the three sisters what her recollection was of the event, and she corroborated Sandee’s account.

I recommend that you re-revisit The Thread of Gold for the answer to your question about what led up to the 1977 “fellowship” room experience by reading pages 151–189. We spent thousands of hours on the book, and in it you can find the signs that were manifesting themselves before the Memorial Day weekend. There is a wealth of information in The Thread of Gold about Mr. Lee, the elders in Texas and Oklahoma (although the pseudonyms can be frustrating), and what it was like for us and others. I can recommend the book more freely now that it is available as a free download from our website (www.TheThreadOfGold.com). I, myself, refer to it periodically for research (and I not only edited it, I also lived it). Even when talking about the creeping level of control that seemed to sneak up on us in the Local Church, Jane and I sometimes refer to it as the frog-in-the-pot syndrome—“A Frog in the Pot” being one of the chapter titles. One day, we had a good laugh when each of us said something like, “Hey, I just re-read a portion of The Thread of Gold and really got some help from it!”
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 07:50 PM   #49
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
ZNPaaneah,

With this latest post of yours (#45), it seems that you may have come around to considering the ramifications of my presentation in #31, which I appreciate, considering the way you tried to dismiss it earlier.
I am unaware of ever trying to dismiss anything you said.

Quote:
I have read all your responses and may reply to them in more detail later. (I never feel compelled to rebut everything thrown at me.) I think that most readers realize without me spelling it out for them that my main point (the fact that we were in Houston along with you) destroys your contention that there was no control by the elders in The Church in Houston during your time there—even though you threw around words like “laughable” and “absurd,” while only relying for support on your experience within the confines of Rice University and your opinion of others who had been involved with Rice.
I am sorry if I implied that "there was no control by the elders in Houston". That was not true. That was also not my testimony, and I have shared my testimony extensively both on this forum and on the Bereans forum. However, I do not believe that elders exercising control of a congregation is in and of itself a condemnation. Over the last 9 months I have come to see that there was a lot more to what was going on. I have come to see that the behavior of RG and BP towards JI in the early 80s was in my mind inexcusable. That said, the elders also exercised a form of control over me while in Houston, but I am not nearly as clear that this was as worthy of condemnation as what happened with JI. Hebrews says that we are all under discipline and if we aren't then we are bastards. I cannot look back on my experience in Houston as a new brother and see anything that could clearly be described as anything other than discipline as described in Hebrews. I could be mistaken, but this is my experience and if new information comes to light I will consider it.

Quote:
Before I consider getting into the details that would be necessary to have a full discussion of the c-word (control, that is) as it relates to The Church in Houston, I want to find out where you stand, now that you’ve had a few days to ruminate on the impact of my revelation. (By the way, it should not have been a revelation to you, since you stated in your #39 that you had read Jane’s account, and she clearly stated in The Thread of Gold that we moved in 1979, not 1978.)
As far as I can recall I did not know Jane A. I don't think that either of you ever introduced yourself to me, I don't think I ever visited your home that I can recall, and I am not aware that you shared personal testimonies in the meeting. It is possible that I am wrong. But, the fact that we were in the same meeting hall together at the same time does not mean that I had the faintest idea who you were or what your situation was. As you mentioned she was under strict, stern and unreasonable control before I came in. Based on that it is reasonable for me to assume that she did not have any real personal contact with me and so I in fact did not know her. When people ask me if I knew her I say no, not because we weren't both in Houston at the same time, but because I didn't know her.

Quote:
Also, if you will read pertinent parts of the book again carefully, you will find another instance of a “gross violation” of control by an elder in the affairs of another family that occurred in The Church in Houston after we left, in the early 1980s. (I’m not going to research the exact date; because, if you are willing to admit that there was control present in the Church during your first year [Jane’s case] and to admit to control in the Church just after you were gone or thereabouts [case described in The Thread of Gold], I would think that you would find it difficult to explain, much less to prove, how the control mysteriously disappeared in between.)
Once again, based on my experiences in Houston, which I have shared on public forums I do not doubt your story in the least. However, I was not aware of your situation, I was not aware of the other situation (I moved to Irving in June 1981), and in my own personal experience I was not aware of anything that could not be construed as being disciplined similar to the way a father would discipline a child. I did not stick my nose in other people's affairs, so unless you and Jane talked to me personally about your situation I would have been unaware of it.

Quote:
Didn’t you go off topic?

After you deal with the gross control in The Church in Houston, I believe we could then have a decent discussion about possible campus control at Rice, but that was not exactly the topic I signed up for when I replied to your #27, point #6. If we do, I would then amend the topic to include more nuanced control and not just the “gross violation” that was occurring in the Church.

I think that the last sentence in my #31 may have led you to apply it only to Rice University. Actually, I merely intended that sentence to be a very brief synopsis of how control generally lined up with Anaheim in its flow, not to offer a way for ignoring my main point. I tacked it on to reflect my total Church experience in multiple Churches over a 20-year span, which includes our experience at the University of Houston and with U of H students who continued living with us after we moved away from the campus. From your point of view, however, after re-reading it, I can see how you might have taken it and applied it only to your experience at Rice, and I apologize if it misled you. Even with this mea culpa, keep in mind that I did not say that the elders were controlling the ones on the campuses. However, I have also not stated that they were not. Also, if it will help you to focus on the ramifications of the two main events that exhibited gross control in The Church in Houston, one in the ’78 and ’79 time frame, and the other one around, say, ’81 , then please ignore my last sentence in #31.
I shared this because my experience is quite different from others. Particularly BB, who shared his testimony about what happened when he met with Christians at UT in Austin. His experience took place at virtually the same time I was at Rice, yet I met with Christians frequently without any interference. Some have expressed incredulity at this and so I have come to realize that my experience was different because the elders and LSM hacks did not have access to our campus. Without a doubt there was a big difference between the campus work on Rice and the campus work on UH. Without any doubt the elders and LSM hacks did control the campus work on UH and that work, in my mind, was a dismal failure.

Quote:
If a tree falls in a forest …

If you are simply going to repeat that it wasn’t your experience at Rice, I’ll just let you remain behind that cloistered wall. I’m not trying to be mean, but I do get bothered when someone states unequivocally that control didn’t exist in the very Church that was controlling my wife and me and those around us with whom we had worked faithfully for almost a decade, as well as controlling another family that left Houston after us. The control in both cases was carried out by Ray from Houston in concert with Benson from Dallas; so, I hope you will excuse me if I believe that you have a naïve view of their relationship. In addition, it seems to me that your understanding of the Max event, and Benson and Ray’s involvement in it, is also deficient.
There seems to be a serious misunderstanding here. I am not disputing your experience. I don't doubt that the TOC is an accurate portrayal of that experience. What I am saying is that the elders and LSM hacks did not control the work on Rice. Nothing more than that. I am not the one making blanket statements. It may be that they wanted to control it, but it was outside of their jurisdiction and they were unable to control it. Second, in my senior year at Rice we had 6 brothers, all of which were brought into fellowship with the church through the Gospel. By comparison UH had about 12, none of which were the result of the gospel. Why on earth would we want them to take control of our work? To my mind there was no gospel work on UH, they had a campus work and a brothers house, but no gospel.

Quote:
After I get an answer to my question at the end of this post, I will consider discussing with you the elders in Texas, including those in Houston, and their conspiracies. Also, I might be willing to discuss the situation at Rice and whether or not there was any control there. Jane and I experienced the elders’ hands of control at the University of Houston, which you might factor in to your experience at Rice. Even though it was a few years earlier, I don’t imagine that control just disappeared since a culture of control had been established, especially not as long as Ray was still there. In such a discussion, I am quite willing to let you be the expert about all things Rice. If a tree fell in those woods, I wouldn’t have heard it.
They did exercise a lot of control. The biggest joke was whenever we had a gospel meeting the brother's most responsible for the work would run that meeting. These are brothers who you could know by their fruit, i.e. they were barren. However, DC, who was probably the most fruitful brother in Houston was only asked once to share a testimony, and never once asked to share one of those meetings. One reason was that he was a poor public speaker. Isn't it funny that here is a person that preached the gospel every day, who brought new gospel contacts to the meetings every month, and often every week, and yet he was a very poor speaker. To me that was a testimony that God is not a respecter of man's person. But it was certainly a bone of contention my last year at Rice. I and the other brothers on campus would share weekly our experiences in the gospel. We had fruit, we had experiences and we were not under the control of anyone. Yet, the gospel meetings were run by LSM hacks that had no fruit.

Quote:
Main point

So, here is my main point again: You asked for an example of a “gross violation,” and I gave you the elders’ treatment of Jane Anderson. In 1978, Jane was in The Church in Houston under very strict, stern, and unreasonable discipline by the elders; in 1979, she was still there, suffering an almost indescribable torment on a daily basis. In 1978 and 1979, you were there, too (and so was I). The fact that you didn’t even realize that she was there when she had not too long before been a prominent sister (my words, not hers), just further proves my point that there was discipline, that it was severe, and that it succeeded in taking her out of her “function” for the duration of our time there. Jane and I were suffering a hellishly-inspired discipline that almost drove Jane mad and me into the hospital. You were in the same local body we were in; and, don’t forget, when one member suffers, all suffer with that person.


Question

So, I ask you, based on the experience of John and Jane Anderson, was there unwarranted gross control by the elders over the members of The Church in Houston during part of your time there?
Why would you ask me? Is there any reason why you would think that I was aware or had any knowledge of what was going on with you and Jane? Do you think I have some knowledge of this case or had fellowship with RG and know his mind on it?

Based on what I read in the TOC I believe the elders exhibited extreme control. Based on the time frame this took place at the same time that I met with the church.


The real issue is "was it unwarranted". In hindsight I think it clearly was based on false accusations made from Anaheim. But I remember the atmosphere at the time. Was it unwarranted for RG and BP to respond to those accusations? Of course not. Was it unwarranted that they responded in the way they did? Before I answer, one little aside...


Let's be realistic, RG had a full time job to support his family in addition to being elder and BP didn't live in Houston, these brothers didn't have the time or resources to do an investigation. Does this justify their actions? No. But this is a problem that all churches have when accusations are made, how do you respond. Look at how the Catholic church dealt with priests that were accused of being pedophiles. The reality of many congregations is that there are many unsubstantiated rumors and accusations made over the years and no one has adequate resources to deal with them. The Catholic church did not quarantine those priests and they are now being damned for it, RG and BP did quarantine you and they are being damned for it.


OK, the question you are asking should be asked of the Lord Jesus. It is not for me to judge if RK and BP were unwarranted in their actions, it is for Him to decide. I suppose if I heard their side of the story I would be better equipped to judge, but who am I? I have no more knowledge of this case that anyone else in the LRC other than the fact that I was in Houston. Proverbs discusses the things that God hates and making false accusations to cause division between brothers is at the top of the list. Therefore I believe the ones responsible for the false accusations should be held most accountable.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 09:42 PM   #50
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: The Gross Violations

John, thanks much for the lengthy response. My basic question about "overriding control in Texas before 1977" included my suspicion that neither you nor Jane were initially aware of it. Btw, I should also change the words "overriding control" to "abuse," since the word "control" is subject to one's own personal interpretation. There is no question in my mind that what happened to you that May '77 weekend, and the long years which followed, was abuse. My initial suspicion that you two were initially blindsided by what occurred, seems to be confirmed by your learning much later of what happened in each of those "3 cases."

My observations were somewhat similar. After personally enduring some unfair abuse, I began to hear reports from many other saints. I began to learn the "real" story hidden from us for years. Past events which had bothered me, and were forgotten, now became more alarming, as a definite pattern was seen on all levels. Like a snowball rolling down the hill, (sorry, you guys can't relate to that thing called snow,) I was just overwhelmed with the amount of unchecked leadership abuse covered up over the years.

It's interesting that you mentioned Hislop's book. Being from a Catholic family, that book got incorporated into my "gospel" preaching. How unfortunate. It has been discussed how poor Hislop's research really was. A number of scholars have rebutted his many claims. WL used that book to drive a wedge between many saints and their families.

I appreciated your observation, "Because of this, some could be on the periphery of the system and not realize the evil that was going on. That is why we often get at each other on the forums, I believe." To further that thought, I may have been at the very center of my local church life, yet concerning the events in Anaheim and Cleveland (or Texas or wherever,) I and all those with me were on the "periphery." We thought we understood what was happening, actually we were told lies. Worse than lies, because we then joined in with their hypocrisy and unrighteousnesses.

Quote:
In your questions to me, you also started with Mr. Phillips’ statements about Jane and stated that it seemed that he acted like a copycat. First, I would never start with anything that Benson said. Remember, think politics. To be clear, Benson’s public statement at the 2005 winter training about what they did to Jane in Texas in 1977, and why they did it, was not truthful. This is explained in posts about that event which can be found on the Bereans forum. For one thing, Benson said he saw what Mr. Lee did with the sisters in Anaheim and then had to do the same thing in Texas. The truth was that Witness and Benson acted simultaneously on Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend. Also, Mr. Lee did not call out the Anaheim sisters as “the three holy sisters” as Benson claimed. Jane talked to Sandee for the first time in 2006, and Sandee said that Benson’s account about this was not true. We asked another one of the three sisters what her recollection was of the event, and she corroborated Sandee’s account.
It seems to me that both sides of this account could be true. If BP talked to WL prior to that May '77 meeting, and we know they talked much, and WL describes events in Anaheim to him about "three holy sisters" needing a public rebuke, then BP connected the dots and made leaps of assumptions and played "copycat" in Houston, as if the supposed "sister's rebellion" had come to town. I may be wrong about this. Far more serious in my mind was WL's public humiliation of Max Rapoport's wife for the sole reason that Max confronted Philip Lee about molesting sisters in the LSM offices. That to me "stinketh to high heaven." I can be tolerant of the "mistakes" of many christian leaders, but not this.

Regarding the book ToG, my very first post on the other forum concerned it. I asked if there was some code available to decipher the pseudonyms, since I knew all the players, yet not the details to connect them all. If I can find that book, I will look at those pages. Thanks again.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-08-2011, 10:31 PM   #51
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
The first case occurred in the late 60s and early 70s, but we didn’t learn of it until 1992. In 1992, Jane received a letter from a sister who had been abused by the Texas leadership. This sister wrote to Jane after receiving a copy of a letter we mailed to those who had started with us in Houston. Jane’s letter was sent because of Benson’s refusal to meet with us to try to rescue the marriage of an elder who had served with him. In the letter, we had described the abuse that had been exercised over the elder’s wife in 1977. The sister who wrote Jane explained that she had also been labeled as rebellious and negative.
John,
Case #1
It may be just my opinion, but in cases as this sister, Jane, among others, when these ones are set aside for being negative, leprous, etc. It's not a case of Titus 3:10. There are other reasons for it and whatever the reasons may be, it's as Hope said in one of his posts, fellowship flows downstream. As you well know John, it's not fellowship. It's an expectation to conform to Group Think. If you don't conform, you'll be out of the group. If you do conform to Group Think, it will be as taking fellowship.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 06:44 AM   #52
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
John,
Case #1
It may be just my opinion, but in cases as this sister, Jane, among others, when these ones are set aside for being negative, leprous, etc. It's not a case of Titus 3:10. There are other reasons for it and whatever the reasons may be, it's as Hope said in one of his posts, fellowship flows downstream. As you well know John, it's not fellowship. It's an expectation to conform to Group Think. If you don't conform, you'll be out of the group. If you do conform to Group Think, it will be as taking fellowship.
And another thing. I saw many brothers "dressed down" needlessly in the GLA, but never sisters.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 09:36 AM   #53
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,239
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I appreciated your observation, "Because of this, some could be on the periphery of the system and not realize the evil that was going on. That is why we often get at each other on the forums, I believe." To further that thought, I may have been at the very center of my local church life, yet concerning the events in Anaheim and Cleveland (or Texas or wherever,) I and all those with me were on the "periphery." We thought we understood what was happening, actually we were told lies. Worse than lies, because we then joined in with their hypocrisy and unrighteousnesses.
Very keen observation. As one who was at the epicenter in Orange County during this time frame, I can tell you that many, if not most, of the brothers and sisters in other churches had very little knowledge of what was happening in Anaheim. Of course there was no way that they were going to keep the "Max" situation under wraps, and this is how some became aware of the infamous "sister's rebellion". If I'm not mistaken, this is the same weekend as the even more infamous weekend in Berkeley...now that was a real doozy. The next Friday night "Ministry Station" Witness Lee had all the Elders and young people's leaders stand up and personally "repent" to him. I just sat as low in my brown plastic chair as I could get.

Quote:
Worse than lies, because we then joined in with their hypocrisy and unrighteousnesses.
I think on some level many of the Local Churches were like dysfunctional families. Many times the abuse is generational. It becomes so commonplace that people don't even realize it's happening - and this includes both categories - the abuser and the abused. Ironical, since the church should be a place of escape and healing from the cycle of abuse. In my experience and observation, coupled with the advantage of "knowing what we now know", there was some level of abuse going on in many of the Local Churches going way back to the earliest days. Sometimes the abuse was cloaked in super spiritual sounding slogans such as "taking the cross" and "dying to the old man", and one of the worst, "taking Christ".

In any event, I think most of us that were around for any length of time ended up partaking in the hypocrisy and unrighteousness - we had no choice because the "system" was saturated with it. The hard part now is for those of us who "see the light" and have grave concerns for those still in the Local Churches. This is why I consider this forum so important. True frank and open dialogue can only take place outside the confines of the LC meeting halls. There are lots of reasons for this, but the simple fact is that this is just the way it is. This is why I think it is important that the "atmosphere" here on LocalChurchDiscussions remains as a haven for "safe and sane" discussions and interactions between former and current members. I pray for this every day.
__________________
Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 09:59 AM   #54
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Interesting that this topic should be "live" at this moment. Only yesterday my dad reminded me of the time back in 2006 that I had noted to him (and my mom who was still alive then) concerning Philip Lee's doings and the fall-out from that, noting that I had said something about them not having any idea about it. I spent just a few minutes to lay out the sequence of events, mainly in Anaheim, the involvement of BP and RG, among others in the ensuing turmoil, and the writing of the book of lies, FOTPR. He acknowledged that he had a copy of it. I made it clear that it was a fabrication designed to keep anyone who actually heard about the conflict from discovering what had really gone on.

The unfortunate thing, at least for now, is that my dad merely shook his head in disgust and noted something like "people really seem to do some evil things." I added that the mere writing of FOTPR, for me, put Lee into a category in which he should have been disqualified from ministry immediately (I made no comment about before that time). My dad made no protest.

But then he mentioned something about BM, who had been an elder in Houston, then Arlington and Irving, all while working for the LSM, only to be pushed out quietly for infidelity, later marrying another elder's wife. He knew this (not of the infidelity at the time), but not what had happened before BM left Irving. I had the opportunity to fill him in on the history based on the record in TOG and Hope's additional testimony concerning the handling of BM's expulsion. I think his eyes were opened just a little to the kind of manipulation that went on. He noted that he had once asked PD, another elder (I think in Houston for at least a time, if not to this day) about what happened to BM and was told "it was in fellowship." That was considered an unsatisfactory and "weasel" response, but he knew he would get no more.

So, starting back in 1977, a time when all of the turmoil for John and Jane began, BM had a problem. He was then shuffled to Arlington. I moved to Arlington in July, 1977 and BM had just been moved there. Then when Irving came along, he was moved there. At some level, this is sort of like moving those predator priests around by the RCC.

And it is evidence that there was a kind of control going on. Even I had no idea that it was going on. I couldn't have said that I saw any of it. But it was real.

I now wonder if the attack on Jane and on others in Austin at the same time was an effort in throwing smoke grenades about a "rebellion" to keep the problems with an important member of the LSM team under the radar while they got him moved out to hide the problem and hope it would go away.

One other note. I took just a couple of minutes to spell out the sequence of events from Memorial Day weekend, 1977, through to the divorce and remarriage of the Austin elder's wife to BM many years later, pointing to the common theme in the Houston and Austin cases, the difference in the support of the husbands for their wives, and the fact that Jane was almost the only one trying to salvage this elder's marriage. My dad could only shake his head.

He has a few things to consider now. It may take some time. And he may decide that church is church and sinners are sinners and just keep on where he is. But can only be with a different view of the whole thing.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 10:34 AM   #55
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Ironical, since the church should be a place of escape and healing from the cycle of abuse.
The gnawing questions that many of us long-term LC'ers have is this -- how could the program be so bad if so many times we were truly filled in spirit. We learned so much Bible knowledge from WL, so how could he be all bad?

After I was saved, I was filled with Christ every where I met, including taking communion at some Catholic church, and for sure at my first LC meeting in Cleveland. It was only later on that WL tried to take credit for any and all experience of Christ that we had. We were slowly conditioned for decades to believe that WL was the source of all the churches' blessing.

Why was it that the church in Anaheim, which supposedly should have been the most blessed church in the Recovery, was always barren? Why was there no increase? It was only the constant immigration (including the FTTA) which kept them afloat. Thank the Lord I never lived there.

What initially was a time of great joy for us all as we entered the LC's, filled with opportunities to testify of the living Christ to all around us, became a ministry empire to uplift one man and his ministry. Instead of receiving healing and the salvation of the soul, many of us were used, misused, and abused. Many of us can look back at a trail of broken promises and coverups akin to Watergate. Except for Christ within, many of us left far worse off than when we came. These things, my brothers, should not be!
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 11:29 AM   #56
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
One other note. I took just a couple of minutes to spell out the sequence of events from Memorial Day weekend, 1977, through to the divorce and remarriage of the Austin elder's wife to BM many years later, pointing to the common theme in the Houston and Austin cases, the difference in the support of the husbands for their wives, and the fact that Jane was almost the only one trying to salvage this elder's marriage.
Mike, did you mean indifference? Please clarify.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 12:05 PM   #57
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Interesting that this topic should be "live" at this moment. Only yesterday my dad reminded me of the time back in 2006 that I had noted to him (and my mom who was still alive then) concerning Philip Lee's doings and the fall-out from that, noting that I had said something about them not having any idea about it...
This testimony points to motive and is the key piece of information I didn't have earlier. If Jane was in fact trying to save the marriage of an elder and his wife when BM was involved, that is truly a motive to discredit her in an attempt at a cover up. If this was in fact the motive for what went down in Houston with Jane, BP and RG, then let the Lord judge, I would not want to be in their shoes (RG and BP).
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 12:27 PM   #58
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
"Because of this, some could be on the periphery of the system and not realize the evil that was going on. That is why we often get at each other on the forums, I believe."
Ohio and John, it's not only our unique orientation to the system why you and I at times may seem to get at each other. I would also add not having spoken to one another in person or by phone. In my case it's not like calling up a brother in Anaheim, Moreno Valley, or San Fransisco and I hear the tone of their speaking. Through the forum, the tone is lacking. Because we read words without the tone, it's easy to misinterpret a post without having the personal contact. The beauty of Skype is personal contact is readily available with little or no expense other than time. The only drawback being time zone difference.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 12:43 PM   #59
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
He noted that he had once asked PD, another elder (I think in Houston for at least a time, if not to this day) about what happened to BM and was told "it was in fellowship." That was considered an unsatisfactory and "weasel" response, but he knew he would get no more.
What has happened to transparency. On another thread the lurker posted about being transparent. I'm all for it. There's a general risk in being transparent. In doing so you will run the risk of chaffing others.Transparency is worth the risk.
How does this relate tour post OBW? To say it was in fellowship is not being transparent. You didn't say when this interaction took place. Suppose it happened more than 30 years ago people reading your post might think why is it relative now? Why bring up something from the past? My point is when you don't examine where you were wrong, there's a trend to repeat them. Relatively speaking not too long ago in 2007-2008 an elder I knew from another locality contacted my wife and I. In time I had asked a point blank question about a particular brother from that locality under discipline. As you said OBW, it is in fellowship. This particular elder meant there are brothers involved in fellowship and he did not want to know anything or get involved.
I sensed there was no openness to push the issue any further. I was clear to me the matter was too political.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 04:22 PM   #60
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This testimony points to motive and is the key piece of information I didn't have earlier. If Jane was in fact trying to save the marriage of an elder and his wife when BM was involved, that is truly a motive to discredit her in an attempt at a cover up. If this was in fact the motive for what went down in Houston with Jane, BP and RG, then let the Lord judge, I would not want to be in their shoes (RG and BP).
I think that Jane's own testimony is that she knew nothing of BM's issues at the time, but sensed something that had no clear definition then. It was only much later that events added clarity to the times leading to that fateful day in 1977.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 04:30 PM   #61
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
What has happened to transparency. On another thread the lurker posted about being transparent. I'm all for it. There's a general risk in being transparent. In doing so you will run the risk of chaffing others.Transparency is worth the risk.
How does this relate tour post OBW? To say it was in fellowship is not being transparent. You didn't say when this interaction took place. Suppose it happened more than 30 years ago people reading your post might think why is it relative now? Why bring up something from the past? My point is when you don't examine where you were wrong, there's a trend to repeat them. Relatively speaking not too long ago in 2007-2008 an elder I knew from another locality contacted my wife and I. In time I had asked a point blank question about a particular brother from that locality under discipline. As you said OBW, it is in fellowship. This particular elder meant there are brothers involved in fellowship and he did not want to know anything or get involved.
I sensed there was no openness to push the issue any further. I was clear to me the matter was too political.
My dad did not give a lot of details, but I assumed that it was some time after BM left, although probably not a long time after. He did not provide a time frame.

As for the term "in fellowship" in this case, it surely could be presumed to simply mean that elders are dealing with something and that it is not your business — and that might be a correct response. But my dad's sense seemed to be that it was more of an avoidance than a clear statement that something righteous was going on. I cannot tell more than that. My conversation with my dad was yesterday. I believe that his talk with PD was reasonably close to the time of the event — back in the early 80s — although I am unable to say how close.

I brought this up because it had a link to the discussion about what was going on in 1977 in Houston even though not all aspects were related. And virtually everything about it reeks of "we can't say we were wrong."
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 04:32 PM   #62
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Mike, did you mean indifference? Please clarify.
What I meant was the difference in how John support Jane v how the Austin elder supported (or rather didn't support — stood one with the assault against) his wife.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 05:01 PM   #63
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: Gospel work vs Campus work

I was asked the following questions about my post:

Campus work, gospel work, what is the difference? Shouldn’t campus work be the gospel? What was being done at University of Houston that wasn’t being done at Rice University? Conversely, what was being done at Rice University that wasn’t being done at University of Houston? How did EM and KR factor in to these two schools?

I think these are great questions and would love to discuss this, I hope you will find this interesting as well.

This is a description of what we did, which I consider the work of the Gospel:

The first week that I was on campus after coming into the LRC I went to a class with my former roommate while sharing with him about the gospel and decided to join up in the class. It was a class on religion, we were each asked to visit a church and share with the class about it. I brought in a bunch of stuff about the LRC and was sharing it when this other brother kept hogging everything, so I kept telling him “hey, pass that on, let other people see it” etc. This brother turned out to be the first brother added after I had come in (though it was DC that helped greatly). He was MB. Then MB began praying for his roommate he soon joined us as well. The four of us would eat lunch together and MB’s roommate would provoke a conversation with someone else sitting at the table and then sit back and watch us preach. It was like a kickoff in a football game. I would respond and share something that I had enjoyed in the last 24 hours (since the last time we had had lunch together). Usually it was from one of my geology classes where I would relate some aspect of the creation as a testimony of God. While I was speaking MB would be totally focused in, he would then pull out one of these cheap paperback NT, turn to some verses and begin to share with this contact verses from the NT that were showing how what I had shared was Biblical, and the gospel, etc. He had never heard a word of it until that moment. Then DC would step in and pray and it would always be the same, he would lead this person to call on the Lord, because whoever shall call shall be saved, and then we would all pray. It seemed we would be praying with people on campus every day, and we had a schedule so that we ate at a different cafeteria every day. This is how we met DR, who was a premed student. I also met another brother that worked in the computer room, he wasn’t a student, and JF (the brother of James F would also meet with us). This was a kind of organic preaching of the gospel, we learned to trust each other and challenge each other. As I came to trust that MB would tie everything to the Bible I would do that less and just share the analogy, and MB’s roommate would try to be even more provocative when he kicked off the discussion. Everyone became wary of us, kind of like what Paul said “we were well known yet as unknown”. Then the headmaster of one of the colleges asked to come to a meeting. I brought him and he then wrote a story for “The Texas Monthly” (I think that was the name, it is a large journal in Texas). It was as though they had hired Balaam to curse the church and the Lord had turned his curse to blessing, saints were reading what he wrote in the meeting and laughing and rejoicing.

Our gospel was prevailing and so Campus Crusade (a christian group on the campus that I met with from time to time) began distributing the “God Men” and telling people we were a cult. We heard this from one of the brothers, he came to us privately (kind of like Nicodemus). I asked him why he was supporting us and he said that we preach the gospel, we only use the Bible, he said that everyone should preach like us. During our conversation he let it slip that he knew me from when I was a freshman. I was shocked that he could recognize me and asked him what he thought, he said “we give God the glory”.

So we decided to step up our game and put out the truth to counter the rumors. I began to post a column in the monthly paper, it cost us $50 a month, and it was a great experience for me. We also began to distribute gospel tracts. To our great surprise the one that had the biggest punch was one written by BM entitled “Will death solve your problems?” That really hit me seeing people sneak these tracts away and try and read them secretly, the tract is asking if suicide will solve your problems. I had never even considered suicide but it was clear that this tract was hitting a nerve among many.

Then we got news that the different colleges had had meetings with everyone telling them not to talk with us. You have to realize that students at Rice may appear like wimps and geeks on a basketball court or a boxing ring, but having an open discussion, that is their turf. They pride themselves in being smarter than Christians, to be told to avoid us went against their ego. So we played on that, once we were sitting at a table, I leaned over and asked a student sitting nearby what his major was, he said “electrical engineer”, I said “We have the gospel for the electrical engineers, give us 5 minutes and you will receive the Lord” and sure enough he prayed with us after 5 minutes. Once I was sitting at a table at the center of a cafeteria, every table was packed, many students were standing and holding their plates as they ate, yet at my table there were 9 empty seats! Everyone in that dorm was scared of me, it was unbelievable.

So it became clear we would have to adapt, so we came up with a plan where we would eat lunch quickly, and then in the last 20 minutes distribute gospel tracts to the entire cafeteria. It was like a commando raid. We started with the easiest dorms first, but eventually we came to my college which I knew would be the toughest. As we were sitting there eating it was as though a bee hive had been attacked and the entire atmosphere was becoming furious. The two other brothers with me looked very nervous, so I divided the cafeteria in half, I gave them one half and I took the half with all the football players. I went to the star player first and said “Hey big man, do you want to know why God made you so big?” and put down the tract “The Purpose of Man”. After that it was easy to pass out tracts to everyone else. For the rest of lunch he never touched the tract, he was one of the last people to leave, he got up, took his tray back, and then on the way out his hand landed on the table, when he lifted it up the tract was gone.

There was an intense atmosphere on that campus, event he BMOC was terrified to have people see him take one of our tracts. The headmaster of my college then told my parents that I had wasted my four years there. That was a very hurtful comment, but I took it to the Lord and prayed about it. At first the Lord showed me things that I could have done better. Then he showed me how much impact our gospel had. I would walk down the sidewalk and he would point out how people would hide their eyes and he would say “remember 2 years ago, at this college?” and I would go, oh, yeah, we talked to him about the gospel. “Well, whenever he sees you he is convicted”. It was as though everyone on that campus was convicted. Then the April fool’s issue of the paper came out and at least half of that paper was about us. They even put together a column made to look like ours that fooled the brother working in the computer room. The gospel was the central focus of the entire campus. And then sitting in class I heard students laughing about the wife of my headmaster, the one who had spoken evilly about me to my parents, the story was exceedingly humiliating, the headmaster was forced to leave the campus and it probably cost him his marriage as well. I tried to say something to the Lord about how this was too severe and He wouldn’t hear it. From that point on I always have felt that vengeance is the Lord’s, He will repay, and much worse than I ever would.

We would also drive from campus to meetings. Usually there would be 4 or 5 of us in the car. We had a pole with a clothespin attached to it. As we would drive we would attach a tract to the pole and pass it to others in other cars. It was hilarious. By the time we got to the meeting we were in stitches. We had a blast. But there was work as well, DC would meet us 3-4 times a week for lunch. He worked as a salesman and I doubted any of his clients were near our campus. He would then follow up at night visiting those that prayed with us at lunch. I worked on that monthly article. The brothers would usually come to the Friday meeting and then to the Young People’s meeting on Saturday night. They would come Sunday morning about 50% of the time, rarely come to a Lord’s table meeting and never come to a prayer meeting. MB took his studies very seriously he had one of the three highest GPA’s on campus.

By Contrast at UH

The saints all lived in corporate living across the street from the campus. They were driven to every meeting by a brother named Ken who ran the Brother’s house. But apart from meetings there was no gospel preaching on the campus. What they would do to preach the gospel would be schedule a Bible study, cajole brothers to pass out invitations which entailed someone pinning an invitation to a bulletin board when no one was looking. Then they would have a Bible study with about 10 saints from the LRC. So there was a lot of work, no gospel. You had to plan these Bible studies, you had to prepare a message, you had to make an outline, you had to run a brother’s house, you had to drive them to the meetings. You had to prepare for the Young people’s meetings. That is the campus work.

KR and EM

KR went to Rice Grad school. He thought he was going to come in and “help us”, (his words). He scheduled a Bible study on Hebrews (regurgitated Life Study). For thirty minutes we all sat there and listened to him. We never went back. When we preached the gospel we all functioned, we challenged each other, it was unpredictable, it was fresh, it was new, there was no regurgitated message, it was sandlot ball. I would throw something that I enjoyed of the Lord at MB as hard as I could. He had never heard what I shared before, the gospel contact realized that this was all new, and MB would catch it and have his little NT out in minutes flipping to verses. We didn’t have the slightest interest in listening to another message. From that point on KR lost all interest in the gospel at Rice. If he could be in charge he was interested, but when he learned no one was in charge, we were all just brothers laboring together and he was welcome to join us, he was not interested. He married and ran a sister’s house next to the brother’s house by UH. EM also married at that time, they both had little kids, and they were both close friends. In retrospect this may have been one of the two strikes against me, that I had not tried to drum up support for KR’s bible studies.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 07:19 PM   #64
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
As for the term "in fellowship" in this case, it surely could be presumed to simply mean that elders are dealing with something and that it is not your business — and that might be a correct response. But my dad's sense seemed to be that it was more of an avoidance than a clear statement that something righteous was going on. I cannot tell more than that.

I brought this up because it had a link to the discussion about what was going on in 1977 in Houston even though not all aspects were related. And virtually everything about it reeks of "we can't say we were wrong."
Even if the conversation happened in 77,78, or 79, still applies today. Still can examine whether or not we were wrong. With the elder your dad spoke with and the elder I spoke with, if it happened in your locality you as the elder should be essential in fellowship. To say I don't want to get involved is to shrink back from responsibility. Saying I'm not included in fellowship is another way of saying, I'm an elder, but not practically. If it was as you said, it's not your business, well, I was never told that.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 07:21 PM   #65
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: Gospel work vs Campus work

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
If he could be in charge he was interested, but when he learned no one was in charge, we were all just brothers laboring together and he was welcome to join us, he was not interested.
Brothers laboring together and no one in charge? That is organic. In the book of Acts, that's how I viewed Antioich as being.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 07:28 PM   #66
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
And another thing. I saw many brothers "dressed down" needlessly in the GLA, but never sisters.
Did this happen in a side room or at a time the church was not present to witness the dressing down?
I presume that might be the case and this type of environment has served the system well. The sister/brother would either submit to the brothers and if they don't, they'll be limited or barred from fellowship. And should there be the thought the brothers need to get right with me, the sister/brother will be discredited and dismissed as a disgruntled former/member.
It has served the system well because the church had not been present to see what happens behind the scenes.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 08:48 PM   #67
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Did this happen in a side room or at a time the church was not present to witness the dressing down?
Depends.

Let me clarify something for the record. I am not against an older brother like TC challenging a younger brother in order to help or perfect him. Neither would I protest when some reproof was in order, if and when properly handled.

But what about brothers who are ridiculed and shamed endlessly because TC needed a scapegoat, or some brother was perceived to be a "rival," or perhaps TC was just in a bad mood? Sometimes brothers were mocked or ridiculed just to entertain the audience. Of course, TC didn't see it that way. He was only doing what he had learned from WL, or so he said.

Nearly every single brother who ever cared for me was at some point a victim of TC abuse. Most of these brothers have departed directly due to such abuse. One dear brother said he was treated like a dog. I am talking about precious brothers, who were shepherding elders. I also saw some brothers who themselves also became abusive at times. That scared me even more. Nearly every fruitful brother I have known over the years has departed primarily for this reason.

That's why it makes so much sense to me, though I never personally knew him, that brother ZNP had two strikes against him. Nothing bothers a ministry zealot more than watching a brother being living and fruitful ... yet doing so outside of their prescribed program. That irks the zealots to no end. It's like these ones are living by Christ ... but without needing them or their program. Ones like WL, BP, and TC thrived on knowing you were nothing without them.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-09-2011, 10:42 PM   #68
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Depends.

Let me clarify something for the record. I am not against an older brother like TC challenging a younger brother in order to help or perfect him. Neither would I protest when some reproof was in order, if and when properly handled.

That's why it makes so much sense to me, though I never personally knew him, that brother ZNP had two strikes against him. Nothing bothers a ministry zealot more than watching a brother being living and fruitful ... yet doing so outside of their prescribed program. That irks the zealots to no end. It's like these ones are living by Christ ... but without needing them or their program. Ones like WL, BP, and TC thrived on knowing you were nothing without them.
Key phrase: properly handled.
Many in my generation were taught either by our parents, serving ones, or through thr Word to submit to our elders. There is a fine line before one has crossed from rebuking, reproofing to something more. When that line has been crossed, can the local church leadership say, we were wrong?
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 05:43 AM   #69
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The Gross Violations

I was taught that "all things work together for good to those that love God". We had a song that went "all he could do the foe, was just release the flow", which was true.

You mention that a brother dressed down by the elders (I was dressed down in a meeting and behind closed doors) had two options, submit, or become disgruntled and then disciplined for that. Actually there is a third option.

Paul's word in Galatians helped me because I went home and got on my knees to pray about what happened, his word came to me "I did not give place to them, no, not for an hour".

So, the third option is this, as soon as the message is over you pop up with a positive, encouraging testimony without the slightest hint of being hurt, or angry, or defensive or self justifying. Second, you make a point of speaking like this in every meeting. 3rd, speak truthfully, clearly, and words that build up, not that tear down. This may mean that at times different ones may not appreciate what you are speaking, but the Body will, everything will be done in the light, and it exposes the falsehood of their rebuke. You are calling their bluff, if they have a real issue, then say so, their silence will speak volumes. When you do this you realize that you are not alone, that many others have been suffering in silence, the silent majority, and they will support you in many ways and they will also reject the lies of the elders.

Once you do come under attack you then have to take Paul's word to light "avoid the appearance of evil", it is no longer good enough to avoid sin, you now have to realize that anything you do, regardless of how innocent, if it can be misconstrued or twisted it will be. Obviously you will fail, so finally, be the first to confess and repent.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 05:50 AM   #70
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Some Facts for Clarification

I’m responding to some things in some recent posts. Just to be clear, it was in 1990, not in 1977, that I was involved in trying to save the marriage which Ben M was breaking up.

As for the squashing of a “sisters’ rebellion” being used like a smokescreen to cover up Ben’s sin, I think there are some facts that show that isn’t what happened. According to Don Rutledge’s post on the Bereans about the Lee-led cover-up of Ben’s sin (early 80s), Ben’s sin was discovered by Ray when Ben was in Irving. At that time Ben confessed to Ray that it had been going on even when he was in Arlington. (Don’s post is in the PDF letter attached to post #1.)

Also, I think it is important to make it plain that Ben’s infidelity in Arlington/Irving was not with the sister, the elder’s wife, that he later seduced and married. That happened in the early 1990s, a number of years after the Irving cover-up. Ben’s infidelity in Irving was not with an LC sister. (The source of this piece of information is Don R.)

The Ben M Connection to Us in Houston

I’d like to clarify a little about the Ben M connection to us in Houston. First of all, what Benson and Ray actually did to Ben at that time was, in my view, worthy of the sentiments ZNP expressed when he said, “I wouldn’t want to be in their shoes …” I believe that the control that Benson and Ray exercised over Ben when they moved him away to Arlington may have played a role in what subsequently happened to Ben.

John and I both now believe that Ben’s weeping (see The Thread of Gold, p 162, “A Weeping Brother”) was evidence of his being convicted, while still in Houston, about his failing moral condition. After the “weeping meeting,” Ben followed up with John and me concerning our fellowship in that meeting about church couples needing marriage help and told us that he also believed this was a real need. He wanted to do something in the church there to help in that vein and wanted us to be involved (The Thread of Gold, p. 169, at the end of “A Baton Rouge Outpost”).

We now believe that Ben’s weeping and his subsequent fellowship with us about help for marriages was evidence of his being in a frame of mind to take steps towards possibly getting help with his own problems. If he had remained as the leading elder in Houston and been allowed to try to do something on behalf of couples and marriages, he might have been saved from the terrible path he traveled down. Benson and Ray’s control of him put a stop to this possibility.

John and I believe that Ben’s removal from Houston may have been due to (1) Ben having “lost his authority” (in Benson and Ray’s minds) when he showed weakness by weeping in front of others and (2) Ben possibly telling Ray of his desire to do something to help couples in Houston. Marriage help was definitely not in the Witness Lee program; and, those of us who know Ray, know that if he heard of such an idea, alarm bells would have been set off in his Lee-saturated psyche; i.e., an elder who wanted to do something in the church in Houston to help couples could not be left in place as the leading elder.

Ray was in the “weeping” meeting (7 people present); and, we learned years later from Ben, that Ray called Benson (in Dallas) immediately after that meeting to report on it. It was only a matter of months after this meeting when the boom descended on us and also when Ben was moved away from Houston. I don't think this was the reason they came down on us, but our situation and Ben’s were not unrelated.

Thankful Jane
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 07:00 AM   #71
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Ray was in the “weeping” meeting (7 people present); and, we learned years later from Ben, that Ray called Benson (in Dallas) immediately after that meeting to report on it. It was only a matter of months after this meeting when the boom descended on us and also when Ben was moved away from Houston. I don't think this was the reason they came down on us, but our situation and Ben’s were not unrelated.
Do you think that Ray may have felt you had responsibility for Ben breaking down in front of others?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 08:50 AM   #72
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Key phrase: properly handled.
Many in my generation were taught either by our parents, serving ones, or through thr Word to submit to our elders. There is a fine line before one has crossed from rebuking, reproofing to something more. When that line has been crossed, can the local church leadership say, we were wrong?
I have asked brothers why they never came to the aid of another brother being "abused" by TC, and I use the word "abuse" because so many of these brothers have departed in its aftermath. A couple said that if you resist TC, he will respect that and then back down. My next question concerned those who do not resist, but rather take it to heart, or for some reason become silent when oppressed, and this was mostly the case. No one has ever answered this question.

John Myer is probably the most recent victim, or should I say most recent brother to be liberated from a program of abuse. JM just got tired of the need to explain to his congregation why TC belittles him continually in regional gatherings. Is that really how JM was supposed to bear the cross? Perhaps TC's "joke-pool" just dried up and he must resort to public shaming for laughs? No, of course not! Remember ... it's all about the maintenance of power, the good old-fashioned Chinese way.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 10:19 AM   #73
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default

ZNP, I just saw your question and will answer it as soon as I can. For now I'm going ahead to post something I have just written in response to another post of yours:

Thank you for your sharing about Rice. What you described happening at Rice is very much like what happened at the U of H with us before Captain Don Looper came on the scene to begin commanding the troops.

John and I had, of our own initiative, moved by the campus in late 1973 to provide a living place for two campus sisters. In early 1975, after we had been living there for about a year, without any kind of plan or program to have a campus work, the elders told John that they wanted us to move back to Hall One because there was nothing happening on campus (to their way of thinking). I had a strong burden from the Lord to be right where we were and didn’t want to leave. I was having a wonderful experience with Jesus and loved being around the campus sisters and their friends. I had free time to read the Bible and other Christian books. I also loved being far enough away from the main hall (without a car during the day) so that I no longer received the constant barrage of daily calls to come and serve in some capacity.

John told them we did not want to leave the campus and they decided to give us three more months. They said if nothing had happened by then, we had to move back to the Hall. When the three months were almost over, all of a sudden the Spirit began to move on campus. The sisters came home every day with amazing stories about what the Lord was doing and fruit started coming in off of the campus. This got the attention of the leadership. Instead of moving us away, they did an about face and sent Don Looper to take over what they then christened as the “campus work” (comment, Thread, 152). Don arrived and began to organize the troops. Having witnessed the Spirit’s working and blessing, I was reluctant (mainly in heart) to embrace Don’s organizational techniques and schedules; however, I gradually succumbed to the pressure and fell in with his program. He orchestrated our moving to another, larger living place, on a busy street adjacent to the campus and had more sisters move in with us. I don’t think Don was ever satisfied with my level of cooperation because he shortly began to background us and to use the home of another brother and sister who also lived near the campus. There Don held meetings and ran his “campus work headquarters” (my choice of words, not his). That sister told me years later of her frustration with becoming Don’s “slave” as she put it; but she went along like a good soldier.

After a year of managing a very large corporate living situation and trying to keep up with Don’s agenda and schedules, etc., I was drained. My joy was gone. Our marriage was suffering. John was battling with being jealous of Don whose interests seemed be getting more of my time and energy than his did. (Years later someone told me that Don’s wife had also had struggled with jealously related to me because Don spent so much time involved in the campus work. This stunned me when I heard it. What a mess.) We decided to move away from the campus by the fall of 1976 and left it to Don and his lieutenants.

So, the U of H that you saw and described, ZNP, was the one that had been commandeered by the LC program; it was the one we had left. I could easily relate to your story of Kerry R and his boring Bible study, having sat through such things at the U of H under its new command.

By the way, the sister who became Kerry R’s wife was the first sister to come into the church through our campus home. She lived with us there and chose to move with us when we left the campus.

One more thing that might be of interest to some is that after a short time, Don Looper took the U of H “model” to Austin and began his UT campus work. He also took with him the brother and sister whose home he had used by U of H and used them, mainly the sister, to run the model campus corporate living situation by UT. The sister told me years later that she snapped and saluted like Don’s personal lackey and always considered herself to have been Don’s Austin Jane. I had to laugh when I heard that, but she said it wasn’t a laughing matter to her. She truly was at his beck and call and in all her “serving” she ran dry of the joy of the Lord she had found at the time of her salvation. Don would call her often on the spur of the moment and tell (not ask) her to prepare and serve a large meal for some large group that he was bringing over. I also think I remember that she also told me they were not compensated for the cost of the meals. She had small children and an unhelpful husband and ran, if memory serves me correctly, a brother’s house, so she didn’t have the benefit of sisters that could help her. But I digress, as usual, and lest I find myself back on Ohio’s list of posters whose posts are too long J, I’ll make one more comment and stop.

As you know from your experience at Rice, there is nothing like seeing God at work. Nothing. I can fully relate to the joy that you and those with you experienced seeing Jesus working spontaneously at Rice. The one who cannot stand to see God working and uses everything at his disposal to interfere is the old serpent. Unfortunately, many times he uses other believers and their good intentions and zeal to frustrate God’s own work.

Thankful Jane

Last edited by Thankful Jane; 05-10-2011 at 10:24 AM. Reason: Title was wrong
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 10:25 AM   #74
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
I’m responding to some things in some recent posts. Just to be clear, it was in 1990, not in 1977, that I was involved in trying to save the marriage which Ben M was breaking up.

John and I both now believe that Ben’s weeping (see The Thread of Gold, p 162, “A Weeping Brother”) was evidence of his being convicted, while still in Houston, about his failing moral condition. After the “weeping meeting,” Ben followed up with John and me concerning our fellowship in that meeting about church couples needing marriage help and told us that he also believed this was a real need. He wanted to do something in the church there to help in that vein and wanted us to be involved (The Thread of Gold, p. 169, at the end of “A Baton Rouge Outpost”).

We now believe that Ben’s weeping and his subsequent fellowship with us about help for marriages was evidence of his being in a frame of mind to take steps towards possibly getting help with his own problems. If he had remained as the leading elder in Houston and been allowed to try to do something on behalf of couples and marriages, he might have been saved from the terrible path he traveled down. Benson and Ray’s control of him put a stop to this possibility.

John and I believe that Ben’s removal from Houston may have been due to (1) Ben having “lost his authority” (in Benson and Ray’s minds) when he showed weakness by weeping in front of others and (2) Ben possibly telling Ray of his desire to do something to help couples in Houston. Marriage help was definitely not in the Witness Lee program; and, those of us who know Ray, know that if he heard of such an idea, alarm bells would have been set off in his Lee-saturated psyche; i.e., an elder who wanted to do something in the church in Houston to help couples could not be left in place as the leading elder.

Ray was in the “weeping” meeting (7 people present); and, we learned years later from Ben, that Ray called Benson (in Dallas) immediately after that meeting to report on it. It was only a matter of months after this meeting when the boom descended on us and also when Ben was moved away from Houston. I don't think this was the reason they came down on us, but our situation and Ben’s were not unrelated.

Thankful Jane
Care for marriages is something that is in need. As much now as it was when you and John were in Houston.
Is this what you were set aside for; wanting to help couples? It's our soul that needs shepherding.
It's fine if you have meetings every night of the week, but if there's unresolved matters in a marriage, meetings won't make the matters go away. Unresolved issues will still be present for the brother and the sister when they go to their home. These couples enduring the problems are the ones that have to live it.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 10:51 AM   #75
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Can the Local Church Poster Say, "I was wrong?”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
But I digress, as usual, and lest I find myself back on Ohio’s list of posters whose posts are too long J, I’ll make one more comment and stop.
Oh please, you were never on "my list."

But it does sadden me to realize that there is still "tension" in the air, unless I am wrong. I had hoped that things were mended between us. Mea culpa.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 11:01 AM   #76
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Care for marriages is something that is in need. As much now as it was when you and John were in Houston.
Is this what you were set aside for; wanting to help couples?
The reasons for what happened to us are not simple, but I would say, yes, part of what we got in trouble for was moving/thinking outside the LSM box. (You know, like thinking about people and their needs ). Note that we never said a word against Lee or his ministry (because at the time we had no idea that his teachings and practices were at the root of the problems we were seeing). We were, however, beginning to have questions about some in the Texas leadership, but these were voiced privately to only a few people we were close to (including one of the Houston elders, Joe Davis). We thought our concerns were in line with the Bible and the Lord, who clearly cares about people.

It seems that some of the powers that existed saw us as promoting things that might weaken the all important LSM focus. To talk about meeting people's needs in any way other than saying they just needed to call on the Lord was a bit too radical.
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 11:29 AM   #77
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default Re: Can the Local Church Poster Say, "I was wrong?”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Oh please, you were never on "my list."

But it does sadden me to realize that there is still "tension" in the air, unless I am wrong. I had hoped that things were mended between us. Mea culpa.
Dearest Ohio,

There is zero tension in the air. Things are 100% good between us. My comment was supposed to be humorous, but I see it failed to be (you know, a little teasing between friends). The truth is that I do think about not making posts too long because of your good advice in the past. Note I said "think about." I still haven't figured out how to de-verbose myself.

Thankful Jane
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 11:35 AM   #78
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Jane,

Thanks for bringing several of the otherwise diverse items from the book together, as well as some additional clarification. I must admit that I was doing nothing more than suggesting a possibility when I mentioned a "smoke screen." I don't think I knew, or recalled, anything that indicated that BP or RG did nor didn't know about BM's issues. But getting a quick review of the events surrounding the "weeping" meeting does clear some things up. I had always wondered how it was that they could make reference to the so-called rebellion as causing the fall of a brother if it was about his ultimate problem. That was his own failing and no one else's.

But even at that, I can't figure out how to say that anyone else was at fault for his "falling." Unless they really didn't care about the weeping, but only about BM's apparent interest in your direction, which they took as being some kind of rejection of Lee's direction and therefore a falling away from the Lee-ordained truth.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 11:36 AM   #79
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: Can the Local Church Poster Say, "I was wrong?”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Note I said "think about." I still haven't figured out how to de-verbose myself.
You and me both.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 11:59 AM   #80
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default My Answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Do you think that Ray may have felt you had responsibility for Ben breaking down in front of others?
Yes.

Around 1990, a brother asked me this question, "Jane, will you tell me what you did to cause the shameful downfall of Ben M."

I had only heard this kind of comment one time before and that was Memorial Day weekend 1977 when Benson said to me, "... and the shameful downfall that you caused to one of us." So, I asked the brother, "Where did you hear this?" He told me that Benson had said this to him and a group of other brothers who were together not long after I got in trouble in Houston. He had always wondered what I had done to Ben.

I answered him, "I would also like to know what I did." I then quoted what Benson had said to me in 1977 and told him how at the time I didn't know who or what Benson was talking about, but had surmised that Benson was probably referring to Ben M.'s breaking down and weeping. (Interestingly, the brother's question had just confirmed for me for the first time that Benson's reference to "one of us" did indeed refer to Ben M.) This brother was incredulous that Benson could have been referring to something like that. I told him there was not anything else I was aware of that it could have been.

So, I do believe that when Ray called Benson after that meeting, he must have told Benson that I was the one talking when Ben lost it. Hence, I got the blame for his "downfall." I don't have an independent memory that I was the one talking, but it is very possible that I was.

Thankful Jane
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 12:43 PM   #81
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: My Answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Around 1990, a brother asked me this question, "Jane, will you tell me what you did to cause the shameful downfall of Ben M."...
Beyond my comprehension! All I can say right now, is the Lord has shown and given you much mercy and grace. I say that from the perspective your faith has not been shaken.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 12:44 PM   #82
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: Can the Local Church Poster Say, "I was wrong?”

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
Dearest Ohio,

There is zero tension in the air. Things are 100% good between us. My comment was supposed to be humorous, but I see it failed to be (you know, a little teasing between friends). The truth is that I do think about not making posts too long because of your good advice in the past. Note I said "think about." I still haven't figured out how to de-verbose myself.

Thankful Jane
OK ... OK ... OK ... I admit to making a few comments about long posts, but didn't I add the caveat that long posts had to be good enough to print out?

Your (plural, i.e. you and yours) recent posts are helpful to folks like me who need to know how things veered off course. WL was a master at convincing his most ardent followers that he had magically discovered "the way." I have noted before that the Ohio LC's had an undercurrent of brothers back to the 70's and 80's who wanted to model the GLA LC's after the Texas LC's. They felt WL's "burden" was diluted under TC, and that the blessing in Texas was strictly due to their more fervent following of WL. Many of these brothers were recently used by LSM/DCP to stage legal coups against TC and his followers for base gain.

Concerning WL's many directives, nothing could be further from the truth. There is no magic way for us to "recover" other than Jesus, Who is "The Way." Even after being quarantined, many other GLA brothers still think there is some "way" that God is willing to bless. For years I watched program after program from headquarters rammed down the saints throats irrespective of what the saints really needed. Like some of the saints you have mentioned, I too felt like a "beast of burden" for management to carry out their latest whims. These were supposed to bring us great joy and blessing, but alas, rarely did.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 12:50 PM   #83
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Was Ben M that brother who kind of looked like a televangelist? Handsome guy with wavy grayish hair? I thought that brother was from the Texas Oklahoma area.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 12:57 PM   #84
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: My Answer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
So, I do believe that when Ray called Benson after that meeting, he must have told Benson that I was the one talking when Ben lost it. Hence, I got the blame for his "downfall." I don't have an independent memory that I was the one talking, but it is very possible that I was.
When things go sour, the program always needs a convenient scapegoat to blame. The leaders rarely gave the how's and the why's of the blamings so that someone else could actually learn from such events; instead I was often told that, "TC sees things we don't." The truth is that LC leaders just don't take proper responsibility for their own errors, and got to have fall guys. WL, TC, and the Texas leaders all sound the same here. The "blame-game" is an LC sickness that has also bit me more than once.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 01:27 PM   #85
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
But even at that, I can't figure out how to say that anyone else was at fault for his "falling." Unless they really didn't care about the weeping, but only about BM's apparent interest in your direction, which they took as being some kind of rejection of Lee's direction and therefore a falling away from the Lee-ordained truth.
Hi OBW,

You are welcome.

If I understand correctly what I quoted above from you, you are thinking about why I would place any blame on the brothers for what Ben did in Arlington/Irving and later in 1990. There are several reasons I place some blame on them for what happened with Ben.

1) The first is that both Joe Davis and Ray saw their fellow elder, Ben, sobbing uncontrollably with his head in his hands. That was pretty atypical behavior for him, I'd say. Ben clearly had some kind of serious problem. It seems to me that a normal course of action would be for Ray and/or Joe to find out what was wrong and seek to help him. Did they? I don't know, but it seems doubtful.

I won't speculate about how far Ben had fallen at that time, but his tears showed that his conscience was still functioning and if they had pressed him, he might have confessed his problem. The facts that 1) they moved him to an eldership position in Arlington, where he continued to fall, and 2) his sin wasn't discovered until he was an elder in Irving, seem to indicate that they didn't discover the reason for his weeping in Houston. Of course, I could be wrong about what they did or didn't do (and even why Ben wept). I am only speculating based on the evidence I have in hand, but this is what I think and will continue to believe until I am given reason to think otherwise.

2) Secondly, when Ben's sin was found out in Irving, the involved Texas brothers are clearly to blame for not helping him at that time. Don R acknowledges this in his post. Instead, they took unbiblical advice from Lee and moved Ben away. Then they basically left him to find his own way. We know how that turned out. Only the Lord knows what happened with Ben during the ensuing years until 1990, when he made his move on the elders' wife.

So, yes, Ben's falling was his own sin and he bears the primary responsibility for it, but I believe that his fellow elders and companions of many years, who did not love him enough to go the distance to rescue and restore him, will have to give account for their failure to love him. In my view, Ben was ultimately sacrificed to preserve the reputation of the Texas Local Churches and Witness Lee's ministry. In 1990, their cover-up came back to bite them. I am not expecting others to embrace my view. I'm just sharing it. I was too closely involved in the 90s event and know too many details about that time to be able to think otherwise.

And after having said all this...if I have misunderstood your pondering and have responded in a way that is far off track, I'm sorry. Just let me know with some clarification and I'll try again .

Thankful Jane
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 03:45 PM   #86
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
And after having said all this...if I have misunderstood your pondering and have responded in a way that is far off track, I'm sorry. Just let me know with some clarification and I'll try again .
Actually, that was not what I was talking about. But if I had, then I would agree with you.

I was noting that back in 1977, what on earth could they have called the failure (or whatever word) of one of them if they knew nothing about his propensity to roam in the way that he may have before (unknown) and ultimately did.

I have concluded that if something you (generically, those of you proposing this "new thing") said caused Ben to weep so strongly, and got him openly interested in the proposal, then the other elders might arguably have "one of them" who had slipped out of the "toe-the-Lee-line-and-nothing-else" fellowship. That would be a great failure in their mind. It wasn't until this little discussion that I figured out what it was they were talking about.

Since Ben was in Arlington so quickly after that, it makes you wonder whether that was already under way or they really do control things so completely with respect to the "truly committed." (I think they should all be committed — truly. )
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 04:17 PM   #87
John
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Sorry that this post is a little late, but we’ve had computer issues. In addition, I’m slow, methodical, exacting, and try to cover all the bases in a discussion, so as not to lead anyone astray; plus, I’m aiming for the verbosity medal .

Ohio,

I will definitely accept your change in the discussion from “overriding control” to “abuse.” As you’ll note, I used several words to describe what went on. We still haven’t defined these terms, but I feel no need to do so. I realize that you already knew some of what I stated, but I wanted to put my thoughts in a context for everyone.

Regarding my mentioning of The Two Babylons, I simply used the description that I recalled about the temple priests being admitted by degrees into the secrets of the priesthood, which I thought was somewhat apt. I do not consider myself a scholar on the subject, was not endorsing the book, and, if Hislop’s description was in error in that regard, then I retract the comparison.


From center to circumference

As to your “periphery” statement, I do realize that not all Local Churches were the same (even as much as Mr. Lee may have wanted them to be), all elders were not the same, and all individuals didn’t have the same experiences. However, just because folks didn’t see what was going on behind the scenes doesn’t mean that all was well.

My approach now, after way too much giving the benefit of the doubt, is to consider that the system was wrong from the beginning and that it was corrupt at the top. It just took awhile for the disease to spread and become more manifest. (This perspective of mine doesn’t mean that the Lord did not bless us during the early years or that many individuals didn’t have wonderful experiences of the Lord in whatever church.) With this approach, I believe I find myself much closer to the truth (at least in my experience ).


Are we dealing with a copycat?

As I stated earlier, I wouldn’t start with anything that Benson said. Here’s the portion of your post that I’d mainly like to respond to:


Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
It seems to me that both sides of this account could be true. If BP talked to WL prior to that May '77 meeting, and we know they talked much, and WL describes events in Anaheim to him about "three holy sisters" needing a public rebuke, then BP connected the dots and made leaps of assumptions and played "copycat" in Houston, as if the supposed "sister's rebellion" had come to town. I may be wrong about this. Far more serious in my mind was WL's public humiliation of Max Rapoport's wife for the sole reason that Max confronted Philip Lee about molesting sisters in the LSM offices. That to me "stinketh to high heaven." I can be tolerant of the "mistakes" of many christian leaders, but not this.
Now, as to your consideration that both sides of the account could be true, let’s talk:


Proposed scenario

So, the scenario that I postulate as being more likely is this, in brief: Philip was heading up The Recovery via The Living Stream Ministry Office. Max Rapaport was Witness Lee’s right-hand man in the Local Church. There was a struggle for control. Philip won, since blood was thicker than the truth, as far as Witness Lee was concerned. Jane was just one of the casualties of a turf war on a wider scale, since Benson and Ray did not like Max and wanted to keep him out of their Texas territory. (This is what Max told Jane in 2006, and it matches with input from other sources.)

Here are the details of my proposed scenario:
  1. Max found out about Philip Lee’s sexual abuse of a sister in the Living Stream Ministry Office. Max exposed this to Witness Lee and was pressing for Philip’s ouster. Witness Lee decided to jettison Max instead, but realized he needed to do it in stages since Max wielded a lot of influence, particularly in Anaheim, but also in The Recovery at large, and could have had a huge detrimental impact on his power and bottom line.
  2. Max was sent out of town Memorial Day weekend so that Mr. Lee could intimidate and manipulate, unhindered, his wife, Sandee, and the others.
  3. Ray Graver had been living in Anaheim, may have still been there in this time period, and was involved with Philip in the promotion of Living Stream Ministry control. Philip told Ray about what was going on with the “three holy sisters,” a derogatory phrase that Philip used to refer to them. Philip also told Ray that his father was going to deal with them.
  4. Ray seized the opportunity for an eventual coup d’etat to replace Max with Benson and to make sure that Max couldn’t get a beachhead on their Texas turf. (They assumed that he had already part-way wiggled in through Jane Anderson via his wife, Sandee.) Ray called Benson and passed on to him that the time was ripe to dethrone Max, the source of all their troubles and the key to the “sisters’ rebellion.” With Sandee going down and Max being toppled, they could take down Jane at the same time, and, use Max in the same way that Witness Lee was going to do—as the scapegoat.

Thus, the events of Memorial Day, 1977, were set in motion.

Note: Keep in mind that the foregoing is only a proposed scenario of how things might have happened. It is informed by our knowledge of some of the facts and the people involved.


Reasons why the scenario makes sense

Sandee’s and Ann’s descriptions of what Witness did in the meeting on that Saturday in Anaheim was much more tame than what Benson dished out in Houston. In the Anaheim meeting, Witness (as Sandee refers to him) let it be known that they were no longer in his good graces by saying that the three of them shouldn’t sit together in meetings. That was pretty much it. Since the three of them were deaconesses functioning together, had been given their mission with the sisters by Mr. Lee himself, and were meeting with him on a regular basis about it, you can imagine the effect it had on them and the congregation when he made this statement out of the blue. It definitely had a chilling effect on them and was the first public step of his plan to discredit them and Max.

Mr. Lee’s way of dealing in the Anaheim meeting was much less heavy-handed than Benson’s was. Benson preached about a sister who was leading a “sisters’ rebellion.” Witness did not. Mr. Lee only indicated (with Local Church coded communication) that these sisters were no longer in a special position with him and were now out of favor.

Knowing Benson’s slavish way of imitating Witness Lee, it makes me think that there was no contact between Witness and Benson before these dealings for these reasons:
  • Benson referred to them with Philip’s “three holy sisters” slur, one that they had never heard from Witness Lee, and it was repeated in Houston during the blame-everything-on-Max meeting in 1978, and it was spoken again by Benson in his 2005 Winter Training message. Witness Lee never used this awful moniker, according to Sandee; yet, Benson repeated it as if he had.
  • Witness only manipulated the saints in the meeting by telling the sisters not to sit together rather than by bludgeoning them as Benson did Jane.
  • Witness Lee implemented his strategy in a phased and nuanced back-door approach rather than the blitzkrieg frontal assault that Benson employed. (If Benson had talked directly to Witness Lee, then the “dealing” in Houston might have been less severe!)
  • In the 2005 training, Benson’s talk gave me the impression that he had to pull on his jack boots and deal with a situation in Houston like Mr. Lee did in Anaheim, when Witness Lee had not used those kinds of tactics in the situation.
  • According to those involved, the meetings in Houston and Anaheim took place on Saturday evening, Memorial Day weekend, 1977. Taking the difference in time zones into consideration, Benson probably dealt with Jane before Witness pulled the rug out from under the sisters in Anaheim, giving us a somewhat humorous scenario of Witness Lee “following” Benson Phillips.

Eventually, however, the outcomes were pretty much the same in both places, as these sisters realized the place they were to occupy—that of being barefoot, pregnant, and, when allowed, parrots of The Ministry. One sister, who had been closely related to Jane, years later told Jane that when she heard a similar warning in Austin, she became even more absolute for “The Ministry” and determined to have nothing at all to do with Jane in the future.


My problem with your “serious”

I would also like to comment on this statement of yours:
Far more serious in my mind was WL's public humiliation of Max Rapaport's wife for the sole reason that Max confronted Philip Lee about molesting sisters in the LSM offices.
Now, you may have changed your mind after reading my foregoing. If you haven’t, please note the following. Obviously, I’m biased, but I’m having a hard time understanding how you are applying differing levels of seriousness. Here’s my analysis of the two dealings:
  • Witness Lee, in his regular capacity as a speaker in Anaheim, directed an adjustment to where three sisters should sit in meetings, full well understanding how the congregation would later view these sisters as not in step with him. He did this to save his son from ignominy and to bring down Max, whom he thought was getting too much control. (He was apparently motivated by a desire to maintain power and reputation, including the protection of his son and his Ministry.)
  • Benson Phillips, who rarely, if ever, spoke in Houston after he left, made a special trip to Houston and convened a special public meeting for the sole purpose of delivering a knock-out blow to Jane and inoculating the rest of the saints against Max’s and her possible influence. He put the fear of God into everyone by stating that there was a sister in Houston who was leading a “sisters’ rebellion”! He followed up in a “fellowship room” meeting by laying into Jane with the full weight of his position and affixing the scarlet letter of Rebellion on her! He did it, apparently, to maintain his position in Texas and to keep Max out of Texas. He eventually took over Max’s position with Witness Lee and the Living Stream Ministry, although this may not have been foremost in his consciousness at the time. (He was apparently motivated by a desire to maintain and increase his power and reputation, including the protection of his work and The Vision.)

Ohio, you do not have to reply to this evaluation of your "serious." I’m just telling it like I see it, so that you and any others who think similarly might re-evaluate.

If you or anyone else has any more puzzle pieces, we’d be more than happy to receive them. Because this was such a big deal to us and a rather seismic shift in The Recovery, we’ve done quite a bit of fact gathering related to it, and this is the best we can come up with. We remain open to other possibilities, of course.
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 07:54 PM   #88
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
My problem with your “serious”

I would also like to comment on this statement of yours:

Far more serious in my mind was WL's public humiliation of Max Rapaport's wife for the sole reason that Max confronted Philip Lee about molesting sisters in the LSM offices.

Benson Phillips, who rarely, if ever, spoke in Houston after he left, made a special trip to Houston and convened a special public meeting for the sole purpose of delivering a knock-out blow to Jane and inoculating the rest of the saints against Max’s and her possible influence. He put the fear of God into everyone by stating that there was a sister in Houston who was leading a “sisters’ rebellion”! He followed up in a “fellowship room” meeting by laying into Jane with the full weight of his position and affixing the scarlet letter of Rebellion on her! He did it, apparently, to maintain his position in Texas and to keep Max out of Texas.

Ohio, you do not have to reply to this evaluation of your "serious." I’m just telling it like I see it, so that you and any others who think similarly might re-evaluate.

Thanks Brother John,

The only reason why I used the word "more serious" was that I had the (mistaken?) impression that WL was "dealing" with his co-worker Max by publicly shaming his wife in front of all the saints. Aside from the content of what was actually said in each meeting, usually the larger the audience, the bigger the impact. Please don't think that I am in any way diminishing the abuse by BP, nor the damages inflicted on the sisters. I was not in either of those meetings, rather I was with Max in Chicago that weekend.

I'm not sure that I knew that Jane was singled out in a larger audience, specially convened by BP, prior to the meeting behind closed doors. I had also assumed that BP was living in Houston. Somehow, at least initially, I got the impression that BP felt that he had to address the actions of a few sisters because of some "problems" in the church, perhaps someone complained, or whatever. I don't remember reading that BP made a special trip to Houston that fateful weekend.

I do have a question concerning --
Quote:
Jane was just one of the casualties of a turf war on a wider scale, since Benson and Ray did not like Max and wanted to keep him out of their Texas territory.

Ray seized the opportunity for an eventual coup d’etat to replace Max with Benson and to make sure that Max couldn’t get a beachhead on their Texas turf. (They assumed that he had already part-way wiggled in through Jane Anderson via his wife, Sandee.)
I am assuming that Jane and Sandee were in fellowship at the time, otherwise how did BP make the connection between sisters in TX and those in CA?

In my mind, what happened to Jane et. al. in Texas was far worse than just being a "casualty" of a turf war. For example, we had two divorces among our family members during the recent "turf war" between BP and TC in the GLA. I would call them "casualties of a turf war."

For some reason, which I do not yet fully understand, Jane and the other sisters in TX were assassinated by BP. They got "whacked!" Why would BP do that? At least the mistreatment of Sandee by WL made sense in some distorted, pathetic sort of way.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-10-2011, 08:01 PM   #89
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Here are the details of my proposed scenario:Max found out about Philip Lee’s sexual abuse of a sister in the Living Stream Ministry Office. Max exposed this to Witness Lee and was pressing for Philip’s ouster. Witness Lee decided to jettison Max instead, but realized he needed to do it in stages since Max wielded a lot of influence, particularly in Anaheim, but also in The Recovery at large, and could have had a huge detrimental impact on his power and bottom line.
  1. Max was sent out of town Memorial Day weekend so that Mr. Lee could intimidate and manipulate, unhindered, his wife, Sandee, and the others.
  2. Ray Graver had been living in Anaheim, may have still been there in this time period, and was involved with Philip in the promotion of Living Stream Ministry control. Philip told Ray about what was going on with the “three holy sisters,” a derogatory phrase that Philip used to refer to them. Philip also told Ray that his father was going to deal with them.
John, your first two points pertaining to Max has been my consideration all along. I could never figure how Jane was tied into what happened in Anahiem. Your proposed scenario seems probable and logical. If this is what happened, the Lord knows. Benson knows. Ray knows. Could this be why there has been no love on Benson's behalf to take care of this relationship? If we as Christian do have love in our hearts for other members of the Body and when relationships are damaged if not strained, we have to check our hearts and consider "what if". What if our speaking was uncalled for? What if our actions were out of line? What if we have something to repent for? That I have no doubt. We each have something to repent for.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 08:48 AM   #90
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
It seems that some of the powers that existed saw us as promoting things that might weaken the all important LSM focus. To talk about meeting people's needs in any way other than saying they just needed to call on the Lord was a bit too radical.
Jesus was radical. His Ministry was in oppsition to the status quo; the world system. In His speaking and in His parables, Jesus exposed the hypocrisy of religion.

Matthew 23:1-3
"Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and to His disciples, saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees have seated themselves in the chair of Moses;
therefore all that they tell you, do and observe, but do not do according to their deeds; for they say things and do not do them."

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, this is very clear.

"Jesus replied and said, "A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among robbers, and they stripped him and beat him, and went away leaving him half dead. "And by chance a priest was going down on that road, and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. "Likewise a Levite also, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. "But a Samaritan, who was on a journey, came upon him; and when he saw him, he felt compassion, and came to him and bandaged up his wounds, pouring oil and wine on them; and he put him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn and took care of him. "On the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said, 'Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I return I will repay you.' Luke 10:30-35

Jesus' parable shows the priest and levite did not do the deeds they talk about. Why did Jesus use a samaritan in His parable? Maybe in part because Samaritans were despised and Hebrews wanted nothing to do with them. Jesus was radical in exposing the Pharisees of their hypocrisy in the parable. What the pharisees would not do, a despised Samaritan (a type of Christ) did do.
My point is just as Jesus was despised for being radical, so were you Jane for not conforming to the system. For all the zeal the brothers had and still have for Witness Lee's ministry, you did not. You wanted to follow Jesus and in doing so, you were not bound by ministries of men.

Last edited by Terry; 05-11-2011 at 12:46 PM. Reason: addition
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 11:14 AM   #91
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default Can the Local Church Leadership say, "We Were Wrong"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Thanks Brother John,

The only reason why I used the word "more serious" was that I had the (mistaken?) impression that WL was "dealing" with his co-worker Max by publicly shaming his wife in front of all the saints. Aside from the content of what was actually said in each meeting, usually the larger the audience, the bigger the impact. Please don't think that I am in any way diminishing the abuse by BP, nor the damages inflicted on the sisters. I was not in either of those meetings, rather I was with Max in Chicago that weekend.

I'm not sure that I knew that Jane was singled out in a larger audience, specially convened by BP, prior to the meeting behind closed doors. I had also assumed that BP was living in Houston. Somehow, at least initially, I got the impression that BP felt that he had to address the actions of a few sisters because of some "problems" in the church, perhaps someone complained, or whatever. I don't remember reading that BP made a special trip to Houston that fateful weekend.

I do have a question concerning --I am assuming that Jane and Sandee were in fellowship at the time, otherwise how did BP make the connection between sisters in TX and those in CA?

In my mind, what happened to Jane et. al. in Texas was far worse than just being a "casualty" of a turf war. For example, we had two divorces among our family members during the recent "turf war" between BP and TC in the GLA. I would call them "casualties of a turf war."

For some reason, which I do not yet fully understand, Jane and the other sisters in TX were assassinated by BP. They got "whacked!" Why would BP do that? At least the mistreatment of Sandee by WL made sense in some distorted, pathetic sort of way.
Hi Ohio,

John has passed this to me to answer, but before I do, please know that I am so sorry to hear about the divorces in your family that were due to the recent Local Church turf war. How terrible! Lord, how long will this kind of thing go on? Please, Lord, come and save your people from the ravages of the enemy!

As to your questions, first of all, it’s perfectly understandable that you don’t remember details that are in the book. You read it over five years ago and there is a lot to remember.

You can review the Saturday night event in Houston by re-reading the short account in Chapter 1 again. (Remember the book is available in PDF format (click for free download) that can be searched.)

Some Facts Concerning the Memorial Day 1977 Weekend

These were in the book:
1. Benson was not an elder in Houston at that time. He was in Dallas (we think he was still in Dallas, but he might have been in transition to Oklahoma City or have already moved there.)

2. Benson made a special trip to Houston to hold the meetings described in Chapter 1.

3. The first meeting was a specially called church meeting for Benson to share something important with the church. The second meeting followed it and took place in the fellowship room with a small group.

4. I was not in fellowship with Sandee Rapoport prior to the 1977 Memorial Day weekend. In fact, I had never talked with her, ever, or even met her. I had heard of her because she was Max’s wife and we all knew who Max was. Contact with Sandee: zero. Contact with any sister in the Anaheim “sisters flow” before the ax fell in 1977: zero.
Why might Benson have thought I was in communication with Sandee?

One Possibility:

I don’t know, but I have speculated that Benson’s wife may have told him that Joe Davis’s wife and I were in contact with Sandee R, because of something one (or both) of us said in testimony time at a big sisters’ meeting in Houston (a meeting called by the brothers). (Note: Joe was a Houston elder.) We mentioned (barely) that we had heard a rumor that the Lord was doing something with the sisters in Anaheim. We had heard this rumor after we read the biography of Rees Howells. (A sister had come upon this book in her quest for biographies to read and had passed it to me.) Someone local (can’t remember who) had told us that some sisters in Anaheim had also read that book and that the Lord was doing something new with the sisters there. So, that was the extent of my knowledge about the Anaheim sister’s flow. Benson’s wife was in that sisters' meeting and may have reported to him whatever we said.

At any rate, the next morning, I was at a sisters’ prayer meeting in the Davis house, when the Houston elders walked in (Benson was one of them, so this was probably shortly before he moved to Dallas). He stopped the prayer and directly addressed Joe’s wife and me. He said that they knew what we two sisters were doing, and that if the Lord was doing something in Anaheim with the sisters, it would come to Houston through the proper channels, not through we two sisters. We were shocked, embarrassed, and speechless. You can read details about this on pp. 170-171 of The Thread of Gold.

Another Possibility:

There is another possibility for why Benson might have thought I had contact with Anaheim sisters: Unbeknown to me, I was saying things that sounded like some of the things being said by the sisters in Anaheim (for example, about taking care of marriages, etc.). I have no way to explain how this could be other than that there really may have been a little “sister’s flow” from Jesus, who was burdening some sisters to pray by showing them the enemy’s family-destroying inroads into the church. The brothers at that time seemed to consider ideas about helping people with problems to be like a “flow from the pit.” During the time in which I bought into their take, that the devil was the source, I almost lost my sanity.

So, why did I get “whacked” in 1977?

All in all, I think it was somewhat of a perfect storm scenario for me. I explain in the book how I was having a fresh visitation from the Lord in the mornings during that time. I was reading the Bible and the Lord was speaking to me through it. I was falling in love with Jesus like never before and was praying more. I was in a fresh time of personal consecration to Him. I was beginning to look at things in the light of the Bible and was concerned that we were getting off track in the church. It seemed that we were beginning to follow men more than the Lord.

I was talking to Joe’s wife about what I was seeing in the Word and was also bouncing questions off of her. She and I talked about Benson’s action (to confront us in front of other sisters) and how it made no sense because we had done nothing wrong. We started to realize that we needed to be praying for him and the other leading brothers. Benson definitely was on my radar after that day.

Again, there are more things in this vein recorded in the book, but I suspect that later, when Joe’s wife flipped (turned on me), that some of my comments about Benson (and probably Ray, too) may have been passed on by her to them. Also, during that time, I had some private conversations with a few other sisters who had similar sympathies concerning the track the church was on (the young Galileans flow was ramping up) and they were also burdened to pray for the church, and Benson in particular. Joe’s wife knew about this. These things could have also been a factor in Benson’s harsh action against me. (Of note, Don Looper told the third so called “rebellious” Texas sister--when she told him she was just praying for the church--“Please, don’t pray for the church.”)

Biblical practices were missing in action:

There are biblical ways to deal with problems but they were not put into practice by the elders (nor by us for that matter). For example, if the elders had a problem with Joe’s wife and me, they should have talked to us alone first, not confronted us and embarrassed us in front of a group of sisters at a prayer meeting. This was a form of control by intimidation. Also, if I had a problem with Benson’s actions, I should have gone to him. Of course, in retrospect, in the environment of the Local Church at that time in Texas, we know that such a step would most likely not have turned out well for me; but, nonetheless, the Bible says to go to a brother that offends you.

In retrospect, here is what I find to be the simplest explanation of what happened to me:

1) I got “whacked” because of the hatred of the enemy. The Lord had been recalibrating me back to Jesus only, and this made me a target. Satan is afraid of Jesus only. Really afraid—as he should be. He is also afraid of women who pray (and men, too, for that matter, possibly more afraid J).

2) The Lord allowed this trial by fire, because He loved me and was answering my prayers to love and serve Him only. A lot of religious baggage, things not of Him, that I wasn't aware I was carrying, got burned up. You might say he saved me, yet so as through fire.

The bad news in the situation (bad news for Benson and Ray) is that the enemy was able to use their misdirected zeal (which was aimed at something other than Jesus only) to go after me. The good news (for me) is that in spite of all that the enemy did to crush me, Jesus brought me through, and to this day, to His glory, I still see Jesus only .

Thankful Jane
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-11-2011, 09:14 PM   #92
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: The Gross Violations

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
[*]Ray seized the opportunity for an eventual coup d’etat to replace Max with Benson and to make sure that Max couldn’t get a beachhead on their Texas turf. (They assumed that he had already part-way wiggled in through Jane Anderson via his wife, Sandee.) Ray called Benson and passed on to him that the time was ripe to dethrone Max, the source of all their troubles and the key to the “sisters’ rebellion.” With Sandee going down and Max being toppled, they could take down Jane at the same time, and, use Max in the same way that Witness Lee was going to do—as the scapegoat.[/LIST]

John, suppose this point is more accurate than it is inaccurate. Suppose there's a realization by Ray/Benson, Sandee and Jane did not know each other in 1977 and via the internet learn it wasn't until 2006 these sisters did meet. Suppose Ray/Benson realize the manner and location Jane was spoken to was without justification. Why cannot those who accused Jane say, we were wrong?
There's no statute of limitations where repentance and forgiveness is concerned. As long as the respective parties are still living, there's still time. I'm not sure what else I can add presently. I'll leave it for your consideration and those who read this post.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 05:22 AM   #93
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
In retrospect, here is what I find to be the simplest explanation of what happened to me:

1) I got “whacked” because of the hatred of the enemy.
2) The Lord allowed this trial by fire, because He loved me.

The bad news in the situation (bad news for Benson and Ray) is that the enemy was able to use their misdirected zeal (which was aimed at something other than Jesus only) to go after me.
Thanks Thankful. Great summary here, and a great conclusion, "the enemy was able to use their misdirected zeal."

Starting with WL, LC leaders have used aberrant views of authority to create a system an man-pleasers. Nothing misdirects our zeal more than our attempts to please anyone other than Jesus only. All the promotions to be "one with the ministry," were nothing but a ruse to create more man-pleasers.

This thread started with the query, "Can the LC leadership say, 'We were wrong?'" I would have to answer, "no." The reason is simple, they have not known the Father nor the Son. (John 16.1-3) Sure they may be steeped in the theology of WL, zealously promoting the program of his design, but misdirected zeal has always caused the suffering of God's people. It even caused the death of His Son.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 06:33 AM   #94
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: Can the Local Church Leadership say, "We Were Wrong"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
The bad news in the situation (bad news for Benson and Ray) is that the enemy was able to use their misdirected zeal (which was aimed at something other than Jesus only) to go after me. The good news (for me) is that in spite of all that the enemy did to crush me, Jesus brought me through, and to this day, to His glory, I still see Jesus only .
Thankful Jane
After years of seeking it seems to me that this is the lesson and fundamental error in the LRC, misdirected zeal. I remember RG sharing on the recovery books (Ezra, Nehemiah) about all the names. His point was that by attaching himself to WL ministry it was his ticket to get his name in the Bible. Your case is a prime example of how RG and BP had a higher respect for the person of WL than for you. That led them into error. God is not a respecter of man's person, so how could he honor the LRC that elevates WL above other men? RG and BP had a couple that was laboring in Houston, they knew you on a daily basis, and because of false accusations made they were willing to throw you under the bus? They didn't even need to do the slightest investigation?

Personally, after knowing RG, I find it very hard to believe he had anything more complicated going on in his brain other than "WL says this, we need to do this".

After reading your account I think both your reference to bringing something from the sisters in Anaheim to Houston and the weeping of BM were the two key things that really unnerved RG and BP.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 08:09 AM   #95
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,391
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Was Ben M that brother who kind of looked like a televangelist? Handsome guy with wavy grayish hair? I thought that brother was from the Texas Oklahoma area.
No, that would not have been Ben.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 08:58 AM   #96
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: Can the Local Church Leadership say, "We Were Wrong"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane View Post
The bad news in the situation (bad news for Benson and Ray) is that the enemy was able to use their misdirected zeal (which was aimed at something other than Jesus only) to go after me.
Thanks to the posts by Ohio and ZNP, this sentence by Thankful Jane was emphasized. Even if Ray and Benson's zeal is misdirected, there is still hope. This morning I was reading the headlines of an email I recieved in which I considered misdirected zeal, Are We Jealous for a Position? "We should learn not to be jealous of others in our service to the Lord, but instead focus on the profit of the saints and the church."
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 09:18 AM   #97
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: Can the Local Church Leadership say, "We Were Wrong"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Even if Ray and Benson's zeal is misdirected, there is still hope. This morning I was reading the headlines of an email I recieved in which I considered misdirected zeal, Are We Jealous for a Position? "We should learn not to be jealous of others in our service to the Lord, but instead focus on the profit of the saints and the church."
The LC has messages for everything, including one for every failure in church history. The problem is they give those messages for others, not themselves. Didn't WL lecture us extensively on the failures of Eli the priest? Didn't WL warn us of the failures of mixing the ministry with family members? Did those messages somehow exonerate him of any responsibility just because he gave them?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 09:38 AM   #98
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The third option - Giving thanks

"I read your post today which I must have missed. You referenced there being a third option. My question to you is what if you’ve been taken aside and censored not to speak in the meetings?
In reading your posts, you’ve responded intuitively by being proactive in your speaking. You sought to speak edifying words. Maybe pertaining to you, the brothers had second thoughts of taking you aside since you were speaking positive words and since you were consistent in your speaking how could they touch someone that was visible and well-received?"


This question was posed to me and I figure it is certainly appropriate on this thread. I cannot even imagine all the possible scenarios in which someone might be censured so I am going to add a little to this to clarify first.

Let's assume that you are not censured for something that you would certainly need to repent of, this is not a case of sinfulness. Instead suppose you had spoken against the idea of WL being the MOTA and this prompted the response. I use this example because it is very close to what prompted my leaving the LRC.

In the meeting with the elders I would want clarification as to exactly why I am being censured, I would take notes. If they have a problem with that I would explain that I will be taking this fellowship home to pray and I want to pray over what it is they want me to repent for. I would then thank them for the fellowship and shake their hands. The Bible says to be thankful in all things and I would not want anyone to say I left in a negative attitude.

I would then lay this before the Lord and pray about it. I expect the Lord might rebuke me for something, on the other hand He might not. If the Lord's response is "do not give place to them, no not for an hour" I would then begin to write a testimony. This testimony would focus on all the people and things in the LRC that I am thankful for. I would thank the brothers that brought the gospel to me even though I did everything to discourage them. I would thank the brother that took me into his home when I first came to the LRC, I would thank the brothers that had shepherded me, I would thank the brothers that labored with me in the gospel on the campus, and I would thank individual saints that had shared something that had helped me in my spiritual walk. This would include any and all things that the elders might have done in the past that had helped me. If I was living in a corporate living situation I would also address the other brothers thanking them for the experiences and fellowship. I would then explain that in prayer the Lord spoke to me that I had to follow my conscience and not men. I would then give a short and accurate account of what happened (prompting the fellowship) and the fellowship. I would apologize for doing this in a letter, but explain that I have been forbidden from speaking in a meeting. I would then say goodbye. I would edit and reread this letter several times, looking particularly to see that at least 75% is positive, that there is no self justification, no condemnation of others, and no bitter taste. I would also pray over the phone list to make sure I included every possible person. Even if it was a short word they spoke two years ago, this is the chance to mention and thank that saint by name.

This letter would include my new address (if I was going to move) and phone number (just in case they don't have it). I would make a copy for every person mentioned in the letter and anyone else I felt needed a copy. I would mail these in the mail to the home address. Two days later I would mail another copy to the elders explaining that after taking their fellowship to the Lord I felt it was time to part ways.

That said, I was never censured, so I never did have this experience. Also this does not describe the way I left simply because at the time I was under the impression that doing this could be construed as divisive.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 10:05 AM   #99
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Was Ben M that brother who kind of looked like a televangelist? Handsome guy with wavy grayish hair? I thought that brother was from the Texas Oklahoma area.
I can't remember his name, but he was in Dallas when I was there (I believe he came into the LRC in Dallas) and was also eventually in OKC for at least a while.

But he really did have that sort of televangelist look. Grey, combed-back hair. Could have been Billy Graham (but was too skinny) or Jerry Fallwell (again, a little too skinny — not that either Billy or Jerry were fat).
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 10:27 AM   #100
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: The third option - Giving thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
In the meeting with the elders I would want clarification as to exactly why I am being censured, I would take notes. If they have a problem with that I would explain that I will be taking this fellowship home to pray and I want to pray over what it is they want me to repent for. I would then thank them for the fellowship and shake their hands. The Bible says to be thankful in all things and I would not want anyone to say I left in a negative attitude.
And I would probably have done the same thing. Or something like it. At least until there were some clear errors in their "facts." I might have had something to say if they either refused to be specific or gave specifics that were simply false.

But neither you nor I are Jane. And she had no advance warning — at least not of the kind of thing that came. For many people, being blind-sided throws all the "would haves" and "could haves" out the window. I know that my mind often does not catch up to a clear processing until it is over. That is why I like these forums. Read. Think. Write a reply. Think about it. Edit it. Post. A meeting you are required to attend in which you are not allowed to speak or even ask them to slow down eliminates the contemplation of what is being said. I don't know Jane that well. But even the most quick-to-respond person might be taken off their game by such an event. Given warning, I might be ready to at least take notes. But without it, all bets are off.

But back to your thoughts. Since there is easily evidence that something about it is underhanded (even if they think they are righteously doing "God's work") I suspect that the very taking of notes or anything that could be presumed to suggest that you are not simply going to roll over would change their approach. They might then quickly take it a step further and give you the boot, followed by a quick warning to all the local members to not even talk to "this poisonous one who was trying to bring down Lee's ministry." They essentially did it to Ingalls. Why should anyone think that a little brother like you or me would be any different. And it wouldn't even require the writing of a book of lies since it could be confined to Houston (or Dallas, in my case).

Eli gets to protect his sons and Samuel is chased out of the country. That is what happened to Ingalls. There is no better example in scripture. If this were the "true church," Eli (Lee) would fall over in his chair and die because he didn't deal with his sons, and Ingalls would have risen to the top of the totem pole. And I'm sure he didn't even want it.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 10:56 AM   #101
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default The fourth and fifth options - shut up or leave

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post

Let's assume that you are not censured for something that you would certainly need to repent of, this is not a case of sinfulness. Instead suppose you had spoken against the idea of WL being the MOTA and this prompted the response. I use this example because it is very close to what prompted my leaving the LRC.
ZNP, your post sounds all decent and upright, but it ain't gonna happen in the GLA.

First of all, TC loves to blindside the brothers publicly, either in a training meeting or a leaders meeting. It has a greater impact. Those who publicly protest, will be silenced (remember who is connected to the PA system) and ushered out the door. Don't think anyone will side with you either, as all will be grimacing in fear.

If you politely plead innocent, that you were being wrongly accused, because TC never bothered to check his facts in the first place, then you may hear, "grow up, be a man!" Some charges may be so general, like "shame on you brothers in what-what place for not shepherding the sisters," that there is no way for anyone to respond.

Should you try to have further fellowship, his helpers may say something like, "did the Lord utter a word when wrongly accused, or aren't you willing to suffer any misunderstanding? What kind of brother are you?"

Good luck writing that letter. Someone may read parts of it in a brothers' meeting, and make an example out of you. They may not mention your name, but most will know the writer's identity. Then, instead of just being a part of the downtrodden majority, you may become an isolated victim, distanced from the other brothers.

I do know one brother, (not just one though,) a leading co-worker, who was publicly shamed by TC for an extended period of time, being blamed for all the church's problems. He went thru heart-wrenching turmoil, since he was so tender-hearted and had served under TC for years. Eventually, after much soul-searching in the Lord, the brother went to TC's home and resigned completely. TC wept and told him how much he loved the brother, and mentioned how he had learned everything from WL.

TC must have felt he "owned" the brother, since he was on his "payroll," and that TC was the one who had "raised him up." In other words, TC was entitled to treat the brother as he pleased. Never in a million years did TC think that the Lord as the Good Shepherd would lead the brother out of the fold, but He did. Not just he, but others too.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 10:57 AM   #102
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I can't remember his name, but he was in Dallas when I was there (I believe he came into the LRC in Dallas) and was also eventually in OKC for at least a while.

But he really did have that sort of televangelist look. Grey, combed-back hair. Could have been Billy Graham (but was too skinny) or Jerry Fallwell (again, a little too skinny — not that either Billy or Jerry were fat).
Jerry Reimer?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 11:41 AM   #103
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The third option - Giving thanks

OBW,

Fair enough, what would I do if I was blindsided, similar to Jane A, and hadn't been able to think clearly until years later?

In that case I'd write the book ToG.

Likewise if I was JI I would write his book.

These books are testimonies.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 11:51 AM   #104
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The fourth and fifth options - shut up or leave

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
ZNP, your post sounds all decent and upright, but it ain't gonna happen in the GLA....
This is exactly what I would anticipate. This is why on the first case I would take this in prayer to the Lord and if told me not to give place then that is the time to take action.

2nd, I would conduct myself in such a way so that nothing I did could be described as being negative. That doesn't mean that they won't describe it that way, what it means is that some, perhaps even the majority will know that this is a lie.

3rd, I fully expect the letter to fall into the hands of the elders, I am even sending them a copy. I also expect that it will be twisted. This is why I go over it several times to make sure it isn't negative, bitter, self justifying, condemnatory, etc. They may describe it this way, but those that received the letter will know differently. Also, no one will know who I mailed letters to so it is very possible the elders will present their twisting without realizing everyone in the congregation has the true letter at home.

4th, just because someone says something doesn't make it so. The elders may say that I was negative, but many who knew me and got the letter will know in their spirit that is a lie.

5th, I made it clear, that if you are not going to take the elders fellowship and repent, then it is time to leave. I wouldn't return to the meeting after that, why should I care what TC or anyone else says. You cannot come to the meeting and be rebellious and the Lord told you not to submit to the fellowship. It is time to leave. But everyone that I know personally will get a personal goodbye. If the elders want to spit on that they can, but it won't gain them credibility, if anything it will expose them as self serving.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 12:19 PM   #105
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The fourth and fifth options - shut up or leave

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
ZNP, your post sounds all decent and upright, but it ain't gonna happen in the GLA.

First of all, TC loves to blindside the brothers publicly, either in a training meeting or a leaders meeting. It has a greater impact. Those who publicly protest, will be silenced (remember who is connected to the PA system) and ushered out the door. Don't think anyone will side with you either, as all will be grimacing in fear.
Yes, I saw this happen to others and saw it happen to myself. Once I was in the Peter Training in Irving, WL had just shared about the grace of life, about how the Lord works through those around us to cause us receive his grace. So I stood up and was kind of stammering (I don't stammer), but my speaking was about how I have learned to get grace from all kinds of members that might otherwise be despised or belittled. Well WL couldn't stand it so he told me to sit down. For two days brothers in the testing and in their testimonies shared that that testimony was in fact what Peter was speaking about. WL got outraged, as though he had been tricked. Then one brother shared a testimony about petrified wood in his testing (WL had used this analogy in the Peter training) saying that once he was in the Petrified forest, he knew these "sticks" were actually rocks, but even so he saw a small stick and kicked it. He almost broke his toe. This same brother shared this testimony with me personally, it was clear that he felt that WL telling me to sit down was similar to him kicking that stick.

My point is this, yes they can blindside you, catch you by surprise, tell you to sit down, publicly humiliate you, etc, But as long as you do all unto the Lord, it will be their error not yours.

After the training WL invited me and a number of other young brothers to a special meeting. We were each asked to share for five minutes. BP had called me personally and as soon as I finished showed WL the watch (that I had not exceeded 5 minutes).

Months later I was writing letters to the church in Irving from Odessa and WL was using them to speak.

So I am familiar with the practices in the LRC and yet I am fully persuaded that if you hold to the head you have nothing to fear.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 01:52 PM   #106
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The fourth and fifth options - shut up or leave

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
ZNP, your post sounds all decent and upright, but it ain't gonna happen in the GLA.... If you politely plead innocent, that you were being wrongly accused, because TC never bothered to check his facts in the first place, then you may hear, "grow up, be a man!" Some charges may be so general, like "shame on you brothers in what-what place for not shepherding the sisters," that there is no way for anyone to respond.
I would never respond to a false accusation. I told you before, when I was in Odessa very quickly GW was sent from Dallas to become the "lead" elder in Odessa. He immediately began with an attack of inuendo. He was pretending to refer to a brother without naming names but it was obvious that I was the only one he could be referring to. The innuendo was false. The way I responded was to immediately stand up and speak a positive word of testimony as soon as the message was over concerning the verses. The saints thought all kinds of very terrible thoughts about me, but he never said he was talking about me, so I just ignored it. He had to respond by making worse and worse innuendos which made saints wonder "if this is the case why is this brother allowed to meet with us? Why is he in a brothers house?" Brothers came to me and asked if GW was talking about me, then I answered and said "no". At that point his credibility fell to 0. 3 months of hell, but the fever broke and he became a joke.

To me this is like spiritual warfare, if you want to enter the ring, then you can learn to protect yourself from being knocked out. However, if you want instructions on how to keep the enemy from ever throwing a punch at you I have no answer to that, don't get in the ring.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 02:07 PM   #107
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: The fourth and fifth options - shut up or leave

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
ZNP, your post sounds all decent and upright, but it ain't gonna happen in the GLA...If you politely plead innocent, that you were being wrongly accused, because TC never bothered to check his facts in the first place, then you may hear, "grow up, be a man!" Some charges may be so general, like "shame on you brothers in what-what place for not shepherding the sisters," that there is no way for anyone to respond.

This is how I shepherded the sisters. After about 3 months of the innuendo with GW I was in prayer, why me? And the Lord showed me that with all of the attack focused on me there was no attack focused on the other members, they could learn from me and follow my example. I never justified or defended myself. Instead what happened is Saints began to wonder if this is the case why is this brother still meeting with us. To wiggle out of that one the response was that this was only referring to the situation in the past. However there were saints in Odessa who had been in Irving and Houston, so that lie was also exposed, so then it became this was his past before being saved! To that the saints were like what? Like I said his credibility went to 0, you reap what you sow, if you speak lies you will ultimately be known as a liar. But all the time I had never said anything, so my attitude was not judgmental. If you try to protect yourself: "no this is not me, I am not this horrible sinner" then you have just condemned some other saint who was. I was taking all the heat and receiving everyone and speaking words to build up everyone. The shepherds job is to stand up to the wolves.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 03:46 PM   #108
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Starting with WL, LC leaders have used aberrant views of authority to create a system an man-pleasers. Nothing misdirects our zeal more than our attempts to please anyone other than Jesus only. All the promotions to be "one with the ministry," were nothing but a ruse to create more man-pleasers.

This thread started with the query, "Can the LC leadership say, 'We were wrong?'" I would have to answer, "no." The reason is simple, they have not known the Father nor the Son. (John 16.1-3) Sure they may be steeped in the theology of WL, zealously promoting the program of his design, but misdirected zeal has always caused the suffering of God's people. It even caused the death of His Son.
Very well said. I couldn't agree with you more.

Thankful
Thankful Jane is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-12-2011, 03:54 PM   #109
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Jerry Reimer?
That's him. I was thinking Jerry but could only come up with McGill.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2011, 06:47 AM   #110
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: The fourth and fifth options - shut up or leave

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This is how I shepherded the sisters. After about 3 months of the innuendo with GW I was in prayer, why me? And the Lord showed me that with all of the attack focused on me there was no attack focused on the other members, they could learn from me and follow my example. I never justified or defended myself. Instead what happened is Saints began to wonder if this is the case why is this brother still meeting with us. To wiggle out of that one the response was that this was only referring to the situation in the past. However there were saints in Odessa who had been in Irving and Houston, so that lie was also exposed, so then it became this was his past before being saved! To that the saints were like what? Like I said his credibility went to 0, you reap what you sow, if you speak lies you will ultimately be known as a liar. But all the time I had never said anything, so my attitude was not judgmental. If you try to protect yourself: "no this is not me, I am not this horrible sinner" then you have just condemned some other saint who was. I was taking all the heat and receiving everyone and speaking words to build up everyone. The shepherds job is to stand up to the wolves.
The whole sad story of GW exemplifies what happens when we serve man and not God. Poor GW apparently was coerced into doing another's bidding. It all got exposed by the Lord.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-13-2011, 09:07 AM   #111
Indiana
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 662
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by KSA View Post
I read this letter, and I do not really appreciate it. The author makes some good points, but they are buried under his lengthy diatribe about orthodox Trinitarian theology. It seems that for him the main demarcation line between church and cult is the teaching about Trinity. Therefore, Christian orthodoxy is narrowed to a correct teaching. I cannot agree with this approach. First of all, very few, even among those with theological education, have clear understanding of this teaching (saying nothing about those who do not have such education). Second, I do not think that the main problem with LC is there teaching about Trinity. Once again we are distracted from real stories of real people to abstract theological discussions.
Abused person is abused, even though an abuser is orthodox in his teaching about Trinity.
Sergei's word on abuse in the quote above highlight's a major burden in Jane's 60+ page writing on "Can the Local Church Leadership say, We Were Wrong. Sergei says, "Abused person is abused, even though an abuser is orthodox in his teaching about the Trinity."

Elliott Miller said CRI might have to investigate causes of division in the LC, which would certainly also uncover matters of abuse. They have not yet done so to substantiate their premature exoneration of the LC - or not, based on "further light and more complete information".

In the meantime, "Where is LSM's defense team" to dismantle Jane's writing, which was written in all sincerity to gain a commensurate response from them to her fair claims and valid concerns? Furthermore, "Where is the dismantling of my writings by DCP. If they have not taken apart Jane's writings or mine, this means they cannot do so or don't have enough ground to do so, or they certainly would have by now. They should then be pursued with all alacrity and righteous demand for an intelligent defense of general statements they've made concerning Jane and myself, if they have a defense; or else they should capitulate to the truth in Jane's writings and mine and allow the LC to be found out and razed to the ground in exposure of the falsehoods they represent and the truth they do not.
Indiana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2011, 04:38 PM   #112
John
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default Phillips vs. Phillips

Can the Local Church leadership say, “We were wrong?” While doing some research related to a previous post, I re-read a letter from Benson Phillips, dated October 23, 1992. In it, I may have found some evidence that they can—in a back-handed sort of way. When I compared what Benson wrote with what came out of his mouth in 2005, I may have found evidence of a miracle. See what you think.


The letter

Here was what Benson wrote to me in a 1992 letter:
In your letter dated June 4, 1992, you wanted me to respond to a question as to whether I considered your wife and Jim’s wife as rebels. I feel the liberty to tell you directly that I have never condemned them as rebels, nor, as far as I can recall, have I ever had such a thought. I had not even considered this matter before it was bought to my consciousness by your letter. However, there is clearly one rebel in this universe, and even Christians are subject to his rebellious instigations and become involved in actions that are not profitable for the Lord’s interest and frustrate or damage the building of the Lords’ church. Such was the case in 1976 and 1977 when some sisters in a few of the local churches in the United States rose up to speak unhealthy words and engage in certain activities that became a damaging factor to some individuals and the church life in those places, but, to my realization, those that became involved were surely not rebels; at least the ones that I knew in this region were not such. …

If you have read it carefully, which you have to do, since they often use words like lawyers, Benson actually stated that he never condemned the sisters in Texas as rebels. In other words, he still may have considered them as rebels, but he didn’t exactly say so. Then, he stated that there is one rebel and that those sisters who rose up in 1976 and 1977 were subject to his rebellious instigations and blah, blah, blah. Okay, so he says that they were not rebels; instead, they were only subject to Satan’s rebellious instigations. Whew, what a relief. For a minute there, I thought he was going to say something bad about Jane … uh … I mean “some sisters” .


The footnote

Keep in mind that the letter, from which I previously quoted, was written by Benson after he received a letter from Jane about another sister’s situation (who was also labeled as rebellious in 1977). In her letter, she wrote that to call someone a rebel is to not only go against the Lord’s word in Matthew 5:22, but also to go against Witness Lee’s footnote on the verse.

Mr. Lee brought out that to call someone “Moreh,” or “a fool,” is to use a “Hebrew expression of condemnation indicating a rebel,” and that this makes a person liable to the judgment of the Gehenna of fire. Possibly, wanting to move himself out of reach of Lee’s footnote, Benson tried to obfuscate the matter and tap dance around the word, “rebel.” Nevertheless, he still left a certain “unnamed” sister in his category of one who had been involved in rebellion (but somehow not quite a rebel?).


The modus operandi

Later in his letter, Benson wrote the following, testifying for the leading brothers in the region (not just the elders in Houston, of which he wasn’t one) that they followed due process:

Also, you consider that I and the elders acted according to rumors and half-truths when we dealt with the problems that were manifested in 1976 and 1977. I want to testify for the brothers that this was altogether not the case. We brothers listened to many testimonies and admissions before making any judgment. The attitude of the leading brothers in this region has always been to deal with negative matters so that those involved may repent and be recovered.

One little problem with Benson’s wide-ranging investigation and judgment: He never presented his “evidence” to the accused. He just pronounced the judgment. In addition, he apparently didn’t give much weight to what the leading elder in Houston had to say; he just had him replaced.

In what I’ve quoted from Benson’s letter, it was as if he could remember nothing of what he did to Jane in 1977. I mean, he just couldn’t remember mistreating Jane at all. He just wrote of nameless sisters motivated by the devil. Who’s to say who they were? All he and the brothers seemingly did was “protect” the Local Churches from those who were being motivated by the devil. All he did was just co-ordinate all the leading brothers in the region to render a judgment about some sisters who were engaging in certain activities that became a damaging factor … blah, blah, blah.


The motive

Now, let’s look at why Benson might have written to me in 1992 as he did. Consider the following background:

About the early 1980s, Witness Lee, Benson, and Ray Graver, along with three other leading brothers in Texas, had swept Ben McPherson’s sexual sin under the rug. Thereupon, Ben was “secretly” transported away from the Dallas–Fort Worth metroplex to a small, off-the-beaten track meeting situation. This secret was kept close, and lies were told to support the story of what happened to Ben.

About a decade later, in the early 1990s, Ben’s condition came to the surface again when he was caught in adultery with a metroplex elder’s wife. This time, Jane and I found out about it too, and we intervened to try to save the sister’s marriage. We asked Benson to get with us and her to listen to her problem, since Benson and the Local Church had negatively impacted her marriage, but he stalled and stalled and never did it. Eventually, Ben and the one he had seduced divorced their spouses and married each other.

After this, I wrote Benson to confront him about the rebel issue as it related my wife and to get him to honor his earlier commitment to meet with us (which he never did honor). What I have quoted previously in this post was part of his reply.


The politics

In the 1990s, Jane and I didn’t know about Benson’s mishandling of Ben’s earlier sexual escapades in the 1980s. Benson probably thought that he needed political cover, because he was the one most responsible for having put Ben into leadership in three different localities, and he was also the one in Texas most responsible for hiding Ben’s sexual sin of the 1980s. So, in 1992, Benson realized that if he got into the light with Jane, this sister, a few others, and me that we might find out that Ray and he, as well as other leading brothers in Texas, under the advisement of Witness Lee, had colluded to cover up Ben’s sexual sin rather than deal with it biblically, thus leading to the whole sordid mess.

If the cover-up was discovered, Witness Lee, Benson, and the others could have been seen as indirectly responsible for the break-up of the two marriages; since, if they had dealt with Ben properly in the 1980s, Ben might have gotten help to overcome his temptations, most in Texas would have known about Ben’s problem and tried to help him, and the sister whom he seduced would have been on guard when he contacted her. But, instead, to protect The Vision and God’s man on the earth, Benson went a different route. “What to do?” he might have thought. “I’ll just do a little dance and feign innocence; and, if necessary, we can always blame Jane. Hey, it worked before when it came to the great sisters’ rebellion.” Actually, we did hear later that Ray told another person that it was Jane who was responsible for the break-up of two marriages!


The message

Now, let’s compare the statements in the above letter with what Mr. Phillips said in 2005 per portions of the 2005 Anaheim Winter Training transcription that we were given:
In order to maintain good order in the church, a factious, divisive person should be refused, rejected after a first and second admonition. … In 1987 [sic], we had some sisters out on the West coast—they started building up a kind of group around themselves. They were inviting sisters, and they were getting into the Word and were talking about doctrine, and they were getting clear on the church, getting clear on everything. Then it spread to Texas. I don’t know where else it spread to, but anyhow, some sisters in Texas got into the same flow. And, because it had happened here in Anaheim and there in Texas, we brothers had to do something. … Brother Lee … said, “You three holy sisters, would you stand up? (I think he asked them to stand up.) Well, I learned a lesson there—he did not mess around with factious people. … Would you have the boldness to do that? Well, maybe one day you will have to do it.

Then, in Texas, let me tell you this, they had their so-called, you know, party. … Well, this one sister that we had to deal with, she was the leader. That was over thirty years ago by now. You know what she just came out with? A book against the recovery! Was she the right kind of person? Did we do the right thing? Absolutely, we did the right thing! … Brothers, these kind of people, the factious people, those who form parties within the church, they have to be dealt with. Why? Because they are destroyers of God’s building.

The lesson

Benson began with a very serious topic: rejecting a divisive person. Of course, in the Local Church environment, where everyone is judged according to oneness, being divisive is something akin to being a murderer. He mistakenly identified the year as 1987 instead of 1977. Then, he let us know that it’s about some sisters, and he tells us their heinous crime:
They were inviting sisters, and they were getting into the Word and were talking about doctrine, and they were getting clear on the church, getting clear on everything.
Uh-oh, sisters were getting into the Word; and, maybe worse, they were talking about doctrine! “Then it spread to Texas.” Well, that did it; those brothers just had to do something to save those poor, weak, misguided sisters from their Bibles and the big, bad doctrines. Then, he inserted what we now know was a lie, stating that Witness Lee said in a public meeting to the Anaheim sisters, “You three holy sisters ….”

Next, we’re told that Benson learned a lesson from Mr. Lee. “What did he learn?” you might ask. He apparently learned how to smash sisters without hesitation. Then, he suggested that the rest of the brothers should learn from him, too, because, I suppose, they might be called upon to intimidate sisters one day.


The miracle

Benson continued with his message: “Then, in Texas, let me tell you this, they had their so-called, you know, party.” So, you’re telling us, Benson, that the sisters themselves called what they were involved in a party? I doubt that. Anyway, here’s how it works as far as Benson is concerned: Sisters are not allowed to be in a party; only the elders get to be in a party. Then, with the following statements, he inadvertently admitted that he was wrong in his 1992 letter:
Well, this one sister that we had to deal with, she was the leader. That was over thirty years ago by now. You know what she just came out with? A book against the recovery! Was she the right kind of person? Did we do the right thing? Absolutely, we did the right thing!
It’s a miracle! Benson admitted he was wrong; or, … wait a second … maybe he experienced a healing and his memory was restored! He remembered that Jane was not only just one of the nameless sisters, she was the one who was leading the rebellion, or party, or whatever he wanted to call it that day. The point is: His memory was now crystal clear, 28 years after the 1977 meeting!


The conclusion

What can we possibly conclude about the major discrepancies between the 1992 Benson and the 2005 Benson? In 1992, Benson seemed to have absolutely no idea of why I would bring up to him what he did to my wife in 1977; but, in 2005, 13 years later, Benson’s memory miraculously returned when it became expedient to excoriate Jane again because her book threatened The Vision. If his new mental clarity wasn’t the result of a “miracle” for the 2005 meeting, then I would have to conclude that Benson was lying in 1992. Come to think of it, that is my conclusion.

Since those who form parties within the church have to be dealt with, as Benson himself says, then I would say that the elders are the ones who most need to be dealt with, since they are the ones most responsible for the factions that exist in the Local Churches.

Finally, after Benson did some big talking about how he exercised his “authority” to put down some sisters, he went on to tell us why he just had to deal with those Bible-reading, doctrine talking sisters: “Because they are destroyers of God’s building.” Wow, and I thought that being the leader of a sisters’ rebellion in Texas was bad.


The stand

The web of deception that I’ve documented helps to explain why it is so difficult to understand the Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches. They are full of deception, where up is down, and down is up. In short, the leaders in both entities cannot be trusted.

This is why it is so important that we stick with our Christian virtues and, even, enhance them, as Peter says, lest we fall into the same vices. To faith, we are to add virtue, or excellence, not lying and playing politics, especially with others’ lives and their freedom to follow the Lord. Jesus is our Lord and Master; and, it is before Him that we stand or fall.
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-15-2011, 10:46 PM   #113
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: Phillips vs. Phillips

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Finally, after Benson did some big talking about how he exercised his “authority” to put down some sisters, he went on to tell us why he just had to deal with those Bible-reading, doctrine talking sisters: “Because they are destroyers of God’s building.” Wow, and I thought that being the leader of a sisters’ rebellion in Texas was bad.
Destroyers of God's building? Since I first heard that quote, my spirit was bothered. How can God's building be destroyed? Simply, it cannot.

"I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church ; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it."
Matthew 16:18
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2011, 03:47 AM   #114
rayliotta
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 602
Default perspective

[I wrote this post a few days back. I realize this thread has "moved on" since then, and I don't want to take it off-topic. However, I would still like to post it, I feel it still has some relevance. So, I just put this out there...]

ZNP, it seems to me that you frequently make some very broad assertions, and then think that by peppering in the phrase "in my experience", you will be understood. Yet if you are only speaking from your own personal experience, how do you make such broad statements?

By way of example, you said in response to a particular point in AZ's 1989 letter, "I completely repudiate this." You then went on to describe your own experience, in the late 70's. Yet AZ, to my reading, was clearly speaking in the present tense, in the late 80's, about the present situation, at that time, post-"New Way".

So what is it you were repudiating?

Again, as an example, you disagreed with John about outside influence in Houston in the late 70's. Then when John wrote about the control of the campus work at UH, you said you were only speaking about Rice. No, actually, you weren't, look back at #27, your second point! ----> You reject the idea that there was outside influence in Houston, then acknowledge that, yes, of course, the UH campus work was run by "LSM hacks", but it was different at Rice.

Can you see why this is frustrating to some of us? You apply your experience broadly, apparently refuting people's points, then retreat back to your own experience (just Rice, not Houston at large), yet your broader assertion (about Houston) seems never to get addressed. (How is it you "cannot think of any other church that had any influence on how Houston was operated", and yet you say UH was run by LSM hacks? But more to the point, how is it that you can't see the contradiction?)

ZNP, my point in saying all this is just to try to get you to see how it can be difficult discussing with you sometimes. I wasn't in Houston, actually I was barely a twinkling in my daddy's underpants at the time, but obviously these matters are relevant to all of us to some degree, as they help us understand the way "the Recovery" operates, and the seeds that grew into what it is today.
rayliotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-16-2011, 01:10 PM   #115
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Can the Local Church leadership say, “We were wrong?”

Here was what Benson wrote to me in a 1992 letter:
In your letter dated June 4, 1992, you wanted me to respond to a question as to whether I considered your wife and Jim’s wife as rebels. I feel the liberty to tell you directly that I have never condemned them as rebels, nor, as far as I can recall, have I ever had such a thought. I had not even considered this matter before it was bought to my consciousness by your letter. However, there is clearly one rebel in this universe, and even Christians are subject to his rebellious instigations and become involved in actions that are not profitable for the Lord’s interest and frustrate or damage the building of the Lords’ church. Such was the case in 1976 and 1977 when some sisters in a few of the local churches in the United States rose up to speak unhealthy words and engage in certain activities that became a damaging factor to some individuals and the church life in those places, but, to my realization, those that became involved were surely not rebels; at least the ones that I knew in this region were not such. …

Later in his letter, Benson wrote the following, testifying for the leading brothers in the region (not just the elders in Houston, of which he wasn’t one) that they followed due process:

Also, you consider that I and the elders acted according to rumors and half-truths when we dealt with the problems that were manifested in 1976 and 1977. I want to testify for the brothers that this was altogether not the case. We brothers listened to many testimonies and admissions before making any judgment. The attitude of the leading brothers in this region has always been to deal with negative matters so that those involved may repent and be recovered.


The message

Now, let’s compare the statements in the above letter with what Mr. Phillips said in 2005 per portions of the 2005 Anaheim Winter Training transcription that we were given:
[INDENT]In order to maintain good order in the church, a factious, divisive person should be refused, rejected after a first and second admonition. … In 1987 [sic], we had some sisters out on the West coast—they started building up a kind of group around themselves. They were inviting sisters, and they were getting into the Word and were talking about doctrine, and they were getting clear on the church, getting clear on everything. Then it spread to Texas. I don’t know where else it spread to, but anyhow, some sisters in Texas got into the same flow.


The stand

The web of deception that I’ve documented helps to explain why it is so difficult to understand the Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches. They are full of deception, where up is down, and down is up. In short, the leaders in both entities cannot be trusted.

This is why it is so important that we stick with our Christian virtues and, even, enhance them, as Peter says, lest we fall into the same vices. To faith, we are to add virtue, or excellence, not lying and playing politics, especially with others’ lives and their freedom to follow the Lord. Jesus is our Lord and Master; and, it is before Him that we stand or fall.
John, in Benson's 1992 letter he stated per your post,
"However, there is clearly one rebel in this universe, and even Christians are subject to his rebellious instigations"

I agree with Benson's assessment. Even asmuch the one rebel, the devil is unrelenting in deceiving God's children. Are we as members of the Body conscious of the deception?

I'll be going back to that point, but first several items of your post I'd like to comment on.

"We brothers listened to many testimonies and admissions before making any judgment."

At what point was Jane's testimony and admission listened to by the brothers? In reading The Thread of Gold, the event comes across as blindsiding accusations levied against her. Is that your recollection?

"They were inviting sisters, and they were getting into the Word and were talking about doctrine, and they were getting clear on the church, getting clear on everything. Then it spread to Texas. I don’t know where else it spread to, but anyhow, some sisters in Texas got into the same flow."

Same flow? Considering jane had not met these sisters until 2006, yes I do accept they were in the same flow of the Holy Spirit. If we as members of the Body are honest, and especially those members meeting in the local churches, we will concede at times the local churches have been exceedingly spiritual. To the extent of neglecting our humanity. Which is why our souls need shepherding. Not knowing these sisters in California, or Jane, or the sisters she fellowshipped with, it's my feeling they were shepherding the soul.


John, my final comment from your post is on "The web of deception that I’ve documented helps to explain why it is so difficult to understand the Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches. They are full of deception, where up is down, and down is up. In short, the leaders in both entities cannot be trusted."

I cannot say for certain either way. I do feel there are those in entrusted leadership positions like Ray and Benson who have been deceived by the enemy. I also feel there are those like John Ingalls, Al Knoch, etc who had no idea what was transpiring in the office. I feel there are local church elders who if they had known be in "a state of shock and utter disgust" over what has happened in our local church history as respected brothers were looking the other way.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 02:25 PM   #116
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,239
Default Here are some of the missing posts from last 24 hours....

***rayliotta
05-18-2011 12:54 AM
Re: perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah (Post 11903)
Quote:
It is impossible to respond to this without being forced to do all kinds of research. Instead of taking a tiny snippet of what is said why can't you quote the entire sentence so I know what was being repudiated. Or at least give me the Post #s. I have responded in great detail already to this in my response to John. In that response I made it very clear that when I was talking about control in Houston I was referring to the elders controlling the campus work on Rice. In that Post I agreed that the elders and LSM hacks did in fact control the work on houston, that this control had no fruit, and that the elders exercised control over the church as a whole. I also pointed out that there is nothing in the word "control" that is amiss. Therefore in later posts it was agreed to use the term "abuse" as a form of misused control.

Also, please note that most of my posts on this thread were prompted by direct questions to me asking me what my experience was since I also was in Houston at the same time. Obviously I would answer a question like that with my experience. I am drawn into this thread by some asking for my experience in Houston in 1978, and then you complain that I am sharing my experience in Houston?


There, in #76, you wrote, "2. Again, I don't think in the 70s it was that clear there was a central leadership. I cannot think of any other church that had any influence on how Houston was operated, and even if LSM did exercise influence at that point it was embraced by the elders and invisible to me."

Does that point sound like it was written by someone who believes the campus work at the University of Houston was controlled by LSM hacks? Can you understand why some of us are left scratching our heads?

(The other point I referred to was #73, your response to AZ's point #2.)



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


***Suannehill
05-17-2011 12:50 PM
Re: Phillips vs. Phillips

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah (Post 11904)
Quote:
... The arrogance, even 20 years later, is incredible. If an elder feels you are guilty after interviewing a number of saints then that is it, no one should question it. The reality is there was no righteousness, and as a result 30 years later we are still discussing it. I thank the Lord that He is as tenacious as a a pit bull.
Boy, does this bring back some bad memories...one elder on a fairly regular basis called me out on any number of infractions...after going to the Lord I was able to be at peace...but it never really stopped...
Looking at it now, it seems that perhaps it was gossip by others that triggered his tirades.
Regardless of the source...it was usually false, but it didn't seem to stop the nonsense, nor was there an appology.
This all fits the pattern.
I'm so grateful to Jesus for my peace of mind!


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


***Terry
05-17-2011 12:41 PM
Re: The Thread of Gold - Jane Carole Anderson

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thankful Jane (Post 11834)
Quote:
Thank you for your sharing about Rice. What you described happening at Rice is very much like what happened at the U of H with us before Captain Don Looper came on the scene to begin commanding the troops.

John and I had, of our own initiative, moved by the campus in late 1973 to provide a living place for two campus sisters. In early 1975, after we had been living there for about a year, without any kind of plan or program to have a campus work, the elders told John that they wanted us to move back to Hall One because there was nothing happening on campus (to their way of thinking). I had a strong burden from the Lord to be right where we were and didn’t want to leave. I was having a wonderful experience with Jesus and loved being around the campus sisters and their friends. I had free time to read the Bible and other Christian books. I also loved being far enough away from the main hall (without a car during the day) so that I no longer received the constant barrage of daily calls to come and serve in some capacity.

John told them we did not want to leave the campus and they decided to give us three more months. They said if nothing had happened by then, we had to move back to the Hall. When the three months were almost over, all of a sudden the Spirit began to move on campus. The sisters came home every day with amazing stories about what the Lord was doing and fruit started coming in off of the campus. This got the attention of the leadership. Instead of moving us away, they did an about face and sent Don Looper to take over what they then christened as the “campus work” (comment, Thread, 152). Don arrived and began to organize the troops. Having witnessed the Spirit’s working and blessing, I was reluctant (mainly in heart) to embrace Don’s organizational techniques and schedules; however, I gradually succumbed to the pressure and fell in with his program. He orchestrated our moving to another, larger living place, on a busy street adjacent to the campus and had more sisters move in with us. I don’t think Don was ever satisfied with my level of cooperation because he shortly began to background us and to use the home of another brother and sister who also lived near the campus. There Don held meetings and ran his “campus work headquarters” (my choice of words, not his). That sister told me years later of her frustration with becoming Don’s “slave” as she put it; but she went along like a good soldier.

After a year of managing a very large corporate living situation and trying to keep up with Don’s agenda and schedules, etc., I was drained. My joy was gone. Our marriage was suffering. John was battling with being jealous of Don whose interests seemed be getting more of my time and energy than his did. (Years later someone told me that Don’s wife had also had struggled with jealously related to me because Don spent so much time involved in the campus work. This stunned me when I heard it. What a mess.) We decided to move away from the campus by the fall of 1976 and left it to Don and his lieutenants.

So, the U of H that you saw and described, ZNP, was the one that had been commandeered by the LC program; it was the one we had left. I could easily relate to your story of Kerry R and his boring Bible study, having sat through such things at the U of H under its new command.

By the way, the sister who became Kerry R’s wife was the first sister to come into the church through our campus home. She lived with us there and chose to move with us when we left the campus.

As you know from your experience at Rice, there is nothing like seeing God at work. Nothing. I can fully relate to the joy that you and those with you experienced seeing Jesus working spontaneously at Rice. The one who cannot stand to see God working and uses everything at his disposal to interfere is the old serpent. Unfortunately, many times he uses other believers and their good intentions and zeal to frustrate God’s own work.

Thankful Jane
Jane, from afar this is my perspective from your posts and from having read The Thread of Gold:

The hospitable nature of your household made for an easy transition for students to enter in. It was truly organic what the Lord was doing. Outwardly, this was the peak of your positive experiences in the local churches. That was until the brothers decided they needed put their own stamp on UH campus.
Following the event of memorial day weekend of 1977, essentially you were told "I have no need of you". This is contrary to Paul's first letter to the Corinthians,
"And the eye cannot say to the hand, "I have no need of you"; or again the head to the feet, "I have no need of you."

So from 1977 until John and you parted from the local churches in 1990(?), it may have seemed negative outwardly. Of course, when we're pressed and tested is when the Lord is able to open our eyes, open our hearts, and burn what needs to burned.



---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


***ZNPaaneah
05-17-2011 07:37 AM
Re: Phillips vs. Phillips

Quote:
Originally Posted by John (Post 11891)
Quote:
Can the Local Church leadership say, “We were wrong?” While doing some research related to a previous post, I re-read a letter from Benson Phillips, dated October 23, 1992. In it, I may have found some evidence that they can—in a back-handed sort of way. When I compared what Benson wrote with what came out of his mouth in 2005, I may have found evidence of a miracle. See what you think....

The thing that is clear from this post is that publishing the book prompted Benson to respond. In earlier posts we were discussing how to respond and this was my point, sharing your testimony is the way to overcome the lies. This is what Jane did, this is what JI did, etc. This is what everyone should do. Even if it takes 10-20 years it clearly will have an impact.

The other thing that really bothers me is the way Benson feels that interviewing saints = a fair trial. That would be like a prosecuting attorney arguing that we interviewed a lot of people before deciding you were guilty, there is no trial. Read the testimony and where did Jane get a chance to make a defense or to hear her accusers? I thought righteousness begins with the house of God? The arrogance, even 20 years later, is incredible. If an elder feels you are guilty after interviewing a number of saints then that is it, no one should question it. The reality is there was no righteousness, and as a result 30 years later we are still discussing it. I thank the Lord that He is as tenacious as a a pit bull.



----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


***ZNPaaneah
05-17-2011 07:34 AM
Re: perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta (Post 11895)
Quote:
[I wrote this post a few days back. I realize this thread has "moved on" since then, and I don't want to take it off-topic. However, I would still like to post it, I feel it still has some relevance. So, I just put this out there...]

ZNP, it seems to me that you frequently make some very broad assertions, and then think that by peppering in the phrase "in my experience", you will be understood. Yet if you are only speaking from your own personal experience, how do you make such broad statements?

By way of example, you said in response to a particular point in AZ's 1989 letter, "I completely repudiate this." You then went on to describe your own experience, in the late 70's. Yet AZ, to my reading, was clearly speaking in the present tense, in the late 80's, about the present situation, at that time, post-"New Way".

So what is it you were repudiating?

Again, as an example, you disagreed with John about outside influence in Houston in the late 70's. Then when John wrote about the control of the campus work at UH, you said you were only speaking about Rice. No, actually, you weren't, look back at #27, your second point! ----> You reject the idea that there was outside influence in Houston, then acknowledge that, yes, of course, the UH campus work was run by "LSM hacks", but it was different at Rice.

Can you see why this is frustrating to some of us? You apply your experience broadly, apparently refuting people's points, then retreat back to your own experience (just Rice, not Houston at large), yet your broader assertion (about Houston) seems never to get addressed. (How is it you "cannot think of any other church that had any influence on how Houston was operated", and yet you say UH was run by LSM hacks? But more to the point, how is it that you can't see the contradiction?)

ZNP, my point in saying all this is just to try to get you to see how it can be difficult discussing with you sometimes. I wasn't in Houston, actually I was barely a twinkling in my daddy's underpants at the time, but obviously these matters are relevant to all of us to some degree, as they help us understand the way "the Recovery" operates, and the seeds that grew into what it is today.
It is impossible to respond to this without being forced to do all kinds of research. Instead of taking a tiny snippet of what is said why can't you quote the entire sentence so I know what was being repudiated. Or at least give me the Post #s. I have responded in great detail already to this in my response to John. In that response I made it very clear that when I was talking about control in Houston I was referring to the elders controlling the campus work on Rice. In that Post I agreed that the elders and LSM hacks did in fact control the work on houston, that this control had no fruit, and that the elders exercised control over the church as a whole. I also pointed out that there is nothing in the word "control" that is amiss. Therefore in later posts it was agreed to use the term "abuse" as a form of misused control.

Also, please note that most of my posts on this thread were prompted by direct questions to me asking me what my experience was since I also was in Houston at the same time. Obviously I would answer a question like that with my experience. I am drawn into this thread by some asking for my experience in Houston in 1978, and then you complain that I am sharing my experience in Houston?
__________________
Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 03:07 PM   #117
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

UntoHim, did you delete those posts?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 03:24 PM   #118
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,239
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

No, was just doing some housekeeping and accidentally ripped up a couple of the floorboards by accident - was hoping nobody would notice
__________________
Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 06:39 PM   #119
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quoted from rayliotta: There, in #76, you wrote, "2. Again, I don't think in the 70s it was that clear there was a central leadership. I cannot think of any other church that had any influence on how Houston was operated, and even if LSM did exercise influence at that point it was embraced by the elders and invisible to me."

Does that point sound like it was written by someone who believes the campus work at the University of Houston was controlled by LSM hacks? Can you understand why some of us are left scratching our heads?


OK, got it, sorry. When I say "LSM Hacks" I am referring to a brother named Ken who was in charge of the UH campus work, also KR, EM, and even RG. These were all local Houston saints who have gone on to become LSM hacks, sorry for the confusion.

[Also I don't understand the numbers 76 and 73, both posts 73 and 76 were not made by me.]
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 07:20 PM   #120
rayliotta
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 602
Default musical posts

....................

Last edited by rayliotta; 05-18-2011 at 07:29 PM. Reason: ???
rayliotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 07:24 PM   #121
rayliotta
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 602
Default doppelganger posts

I did not write the above post, which is signed "your brother who is unto him".

:veryconfused:
rayliotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 07:30 PM   #122
rayliotta
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 602
Default musical posts - retry

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Quoted from rayliotta: There, in #76, you wrote, "2. Again, I don't think in the 70s it was that clear there was a central leadership. I cannot think of any other church that had any influence on how Houston was operated, and even if LSM did exercise influence at that point it was embraced by the elders and invisible to me."

Does that point sound like it was written by someone who believes the campus work at the University of Houston was controlled by LSM hacks? Can you understand why some of us are left scratching our heads?

OK, got it, sorry. When I say "LSM Hacks" I am referring to a brother named Ken who was in charge of the UH campus work, also KR, EM, and even RG. These were all local Houston saints who have gone on to become LSM hacks, sorry for the confusion.

[Also I don't understand the numbers 76 and 73, both posts 73 and 76 were not made by me.]
Well, in case you hadn't noticed, the post numbers in this thread all changed sometime around yesterday, and apparently have now reverted back to what they were before (maybe the gods are trying to tell me to shut up!). So, at the risk of chasing my tail even further, here are the "current" post numbers, that I was referring to:

#24 (your response to AZ's 1989 letter, point 2)
#26 (OBW's response to you)
#27 (your point 2 quoted above, re Houston)

----------------------------

OK, now to respond to you.....

Are you saying that these guys only became "LSM hacks" sometime later, as in they weren't subject to outside influence in the late 70's? Call me a skeptic.
rayliotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 07:45 PM   #123
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: musical posts - retry

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
Well, in case you hadn't noticed, the post numbers in this thread all changed sometime around yesterday, and apparently have now reverted back to what they were before (maybe the gods are trying to tell me to shut up!). So, at the risk of chasing my tail even further, here are the "current" post numbers, that I was referring to:

#24 (your response to AZ's 1989 letter, point 2)
#26 (OBW's response to you)
#27 (your point 2 quoted above, re Houston)

----------------------------

OK, now to respond to you.....

Are you saying that these guys only became "LSM hacks" sometime later, as in they weren't subject to outside influence in the late 70's? Call me a skeptic.
I have no idea of the process involved, from the get go, as long as I was in Houston RG was 100% pushing all things WL as the MOTA, even if he didn't have the term yet. KR was clearly in RG's camp, he was sort of his protege. EM made his bones by learning to quote all things WL. And Ken was your classic yes man trying to ingratiate himself in, a sort of company man. Was this due to some outside influence that I was unaware of? Don't know. Was this their personal choice? That was my thought.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 08:39 PM   #124
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
No, was just doing some housekeeping and accidentally ripped up a couple of the floorboards by accident - was hoping nobody would notice
You are so busted!
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 09:03 PM   #125
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 3,239
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Isn't the first time, won't be the last.:justlurking:
__________________
Unto Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:21)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-18-2011, 10:53 PM   #126
rayliotta
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 602
Default Re: musical posts - retry

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I have no idea of the process involved, from the get go, as long as I was in Houston RG was 100% pushing all things WL as the MOTA, even if he didn't have the term yet. KR was clearly in RG's camp, he was sort of his protege. EM made his bones by learning to quote all things WL. And Ken was your classic yes man trying to ingratiate himself in, a sort of company man. Was this due to some outside influence that I was unaware of? Don't know. Was this their personal choice? That was my thought.
OK, that all makes sense, I personally feel you are much too hesitant to consider the possibility of outside influence. For example, haven't you considered that the idea of migrating to Odessa may not have originated with GW in Irving, or even in Texas at all?

But either way, you really haven't addressed what I was saying. I can't make you. It would just be nice to get you to see how your "shifting contexts" can make these discussions rather difficult, sometimes.
rayliotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 06:55 AM   #127
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: musical posts - retry

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
OK, that all makes sense, I personally feel you are much too hesitant to consider the possibility of outside influence. For example, haven't you considered that the idea of migrating to Odessa may not have originated with GW in Irving, or even in Texas at all?

But either way, you really haven't addressed what I was saying. I can't make you. It would just be nice to get you to see how your "shifting contexts" can make these discussions rather difficult, sometimes.
I would definitely expect that elders and perhaps even WL discussed Odessa and the obvious choice to go would be GW since he had already had a burden for the place. Without a doubt migrating elders to take up the leadership of a new locality is a great example of outside influence, what isn't clear is whether or not those in Odessa requested help, from my vantage those in Odessa certainly openly welcomed and were very thankful for GW being sent there (also Phil Delp). To them this was a big step forward from being a bible study in someone's home to being a full fledged church with a meeting hall.

As to the shifting contexts, virtually all of my posts on this thread are answers to direct questions for my perspective. People are asking for a different perspective.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 07:11 AM   #128
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: “Can the FORUM Leadership Say, ‘I Was Wrong’?”

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Isn't the first time, won't be the last.:justlurking:
OK Buddy, since you have properly repented.

Can I have some popcorn?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 03:01 PM   #129
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
Elliott Miller said CRI might have to investigate causes of division in the LC, which would certainly also uncover matters of abuse. They have not yet done so to substantiate their premature exoneration of the LC - or not, based on "further light and more complete information".

In the meantime, "Where is LSM's defense team" to dismantle Jane's writing, which was written in all sincerity to gain a commensurate response from them to her fair claims and valid concerns? Furthermore, "Where is the dismantling of my writings by DCP. If they have not taken apart Jane's writings or mine, this means they cannot do so or don't have enough ground to do so, or they certainly would have by now. They should then be pursued with all alacrity and righteous demand for an intelligent defense of general statements they've made concerning Jane and myself, if they have a defense; or else they should capitulate to the truth in Jane's writings and mine and allow the LC to be found out and razed to the ground in exposure of the falsehoods they represent and the truth they do not.
The resources are out there for CRI to do the investigative work on the causes of division. In your writings, the research has been done. CRI would need to utilize the same resources you used, Steve.

Where is DCP and the blended brothers to refute Jane's book and your writings as DCP has done to Norm Geisler?
I've contemplated you and Jane have been written off as disgruntled former lc attendees, meaning there's no weight for any credibility.
I've asked another brother about the subject matter such as Jane's book readily available on the internet and here's what he had to say, Any attention that the BBs bring to testimonies like this is a loss. This doesn't mean they don't care, it means they have no defense. This is why Revelation says "they overcame him by the word of their testimony"
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 04:36 PM   #130
John
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
"We brothers listened to many testimonies and admissions before making any judgment."

At what point was Jane's testimony and admission listened to by the brothers? In reading The Thread of Gold, the event comes across as blindsiding accusations levied against her. Is that your recollection?
Terry, as I wrote in post #48 to Ohio, “I recommend that you re-revisit The Thread of Gold for the answer to your question about what led up to the 1977 ‘fellowship’ room experience by reading pages 151–189.” There is a PDF link to the book on the home page of www.TheThreadOfGold.com. The whole experience was far too complex to encapsulate in a sentence or two. You may re-read about the events that preceded it and decide for yourself.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
John, my final comment from your post is on "The web of deception that I’ve documented helps to explain why it is so difficult to understand the Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches. They are full of deception, where up is down, and down is up. In short, the leaders in both entities cannot be trusted."

I cannot say for certain either way. I do feel there are those in entrusted leadership positions like Ray and Benson who have been deceived by the enemy. I also feel there are those like John Ingalls, Al Knoch, etc who had no idea what was transpiring in the office. I feel there are local church elders who if they had known be in "a state of shock and utter disgust" over what has happened in our local church history as respected brothers were looking the other way.
First of all, thank you for your comment. Let me provide some explanation and, then, amend the portion for you.

You wrote that some in leadership have been “deceived by the enemy.” I would say that probably all of those in leadership have been. That is why I pray for them and still hope that they will turn from their ways.

Then, you mentioned John and Al as being examples of those who had no idea of what was going on in the Living Stream Ministry office. Terry, what I wrote is about those who are in the entities, that is, those who are in them now. If you think that there are some in them now who have no idea what is going on, I can agree with you. That is the nature of the beast, as I stated in a previous post. The people in the system, including those in leadership, have differing degrees of knowledge about what is going on.

As to John and Al, they got out a long time ago, after the 1987 exposure of Philip Lee, so my statement in my previous post does not apply to them. However, I would not go quite as far as you did to state that they had no idea of what was going on. In John Ingall’s own book on the subject, he recounts how they knew of a similar sexual sin committed by Philip Lee ten years before, not to mention that the Local Church there was having problems with how Philip was running the Ministry Office. This does not mean that I am indicting John or Al with some sin, however. I still respect them and would trust them, and others like them.

For those leaders who are out, if you want to know, I do have varying levels of trust. There are some who are out who have basically the same Local Church elder attitudes, seem to think that they know it all, and want to teach the rest of us how we should be (still have on an elder hat). I usually just try to stear clear of them. There are others who are very humble and want to fit in as just “regular” brothers. (In addition, they will even fellowship with sisters on an equal footing.) With them, I can have mutual fellowship and, hopefully, mutual benefit.

Also, you may have misunderstood the following portion: “… it is so difficult to understand the Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches. They are full of deception ….” The “They” refers not to the people but to the two entities. So, the sentence actually says that it is the two entities that are full of deception, not the leaders per se. Then, I concluded that, because the entities are full of deception, the leaders cannot be trusted.

I hope that my explanation has made my meaning more clear to you. Again, thank you for your comment. While considering your response, I decided that it might be better if I personalized the paragraph under review, so I have rewritten the final section as follows:

The stand

The web of deception that I’ve documented helps to explain why it is so difficult to understand the Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches. While seeking to understand, I find myself in a land where up is down, and down is up. Because of what I’ve found, I can no longer trust the leaders in either entity.

It is very important that we stick with our Christian virtues and, even, enhance them, as Peter says, lest we fall into the same vices. To faith, we are to add virtue, or excellence, not lying and playing politics, especially with others’ lives and their freedom to follow the Lord. Jesus is our Lord and Master; and, it is before Him that we stand or fall.
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 04:51 PM   #131
John
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 60
Default A Voice from the Past

I mentioned (in my post #48) that I might post excerpts from a letter from a sister who was in The Church in Houston for a time just after its incorporation.

First, here is a little background behind her letter to Jane: This sister received a copy of a letter that Jane and I mailed to those who had started with us as The Church in Houston. Our letter described the abuse that leaders had exercised over an elder’s wife in 1977. We mailed out our letter because Benson Phillips, the main leader, would not attend a meeting with us and the elder’s wife to listen to her experiences in the Local Churches and possibly save her marriage.

The sister who received our letter identified with the elder’s wife, because she had experienced the same thing from the leaders in Texas. Here are portions from her letter to Jane:
Dear Jane,

I will be praying for [the elder’s wife] and [the elder]. My heart goes out to her. Reading her experience with the elders was like reliving my own. Although I had no husband, the experience was the same.

You’ve seen the situational comedies or cartoons in which some poor person, unaware that someone has stuck a sign on his back, goes about his daily life wondering why everyone is acting so strangely toward him. That’s what it’s like; we go on with our daily lives in the church, unaware there’s a sign on our backs (“rebellious,” “negative”), wondering why everyone is behaving toward us in unusual ways—until, of course, the elders tell us.

I sense from your letter that you are unaware how many hundreds of times this has happened or how many saints have been wounded, marriages destroyed, children hurt, homes that were happy made sad, and hearts broken. …
Skipping to the next paragraph, we can read her own testimony of despair in the Local Church after being branded:
The fruit of my having been branded “rebel” and “negative” was, ultimately, such deep despair and anguish I found living too hard a thing to do and tried to end my own life. God, who had carried me all the days of my life, carried me through that dark time. I was in deep coma for four days, but while the doctors were telling my family I could not survive, He was holding me close. He had other plans for me. …
Later, she let Jane know that she, too, had talked about teachings and gotten in trouble for it. The elders obviously had a problem with a sister who would dare to express any concern about a Local Church teaching.
If I am uncomfortable with a teaching, you do not know what is the root of my expression of concern about it. Perhaps it is love and not rebelliousness that is behind my discussing it. Only the head of the Body knows. …

Clearly the elders involved in the situation there … branded [the elder’s wife] a rebel, then compounded their deed by saying that individual members cannot understand the word without Lee’s interpretation. Having experienced the deadly results of such pronouncement by elders, I believe our loving Lord knew the use of such labels is tantamount to slaying one’s brother. It would have been much more merciful for one of the elders to have loaded his pistol and shot me than to do what they did when they called me “Moreh!”

The burden became too great. Living was too hard. … Lone-ness is sometimes fatal in depressed persons. …
She later wrote about how many of the people who left the Local Churches felt about the leaders there and their actions:
I can tell you, some of what [the elder’s wife] feels is shock. That is a common thread running through so many stories of saints who touched the local churches, gave their lives to them (some for years) and left because they could no longer stay. They go out with shock and pain, and try to find answers to two questions: (1) “What happened????!” and (2) “How could anything that seemed so right go so wrong?”

The answer to both questions is, of course, fallible men forgetting their place, taking into their fallible hands carelessly the very entity for which all things were created. They handle the Body of Christ carelessly. Protecting the Body Corporate, they will smash however many members they, in their human judgment, choose to smash. As if, Jane, He had not clearly told them their functions. As if, please, they can smash one little finger and not damage, hurt, cause pain to the whole Body, His Body.

In my experience it was clear that there are leaders whom the Lord set up and some who call themselves leaders which the Lord did not set up. To those whom He set up, He gave authority. Those whom He did not set up have and do exercise raw power. In my experience there were a few of the first kind and multitudes of the latter.
Next, she wrote that love is the important item but that “the vision” takes precedence, causing the leaders to mistreat the members:
I have always known that the highest expression of His life in us is love. … Today we stand too often terribly naked of the most important part of our “bridal attire.”

There are, and always have been, brothers who confuse the issue and turn things around. They “caught the vision of the church” and for reasons I do not understand, protect the vision at the expense of the reality—as if they could “fulfill” the vision (“… I will build my church …”). If the gates of hell have at times prevailed it was not against what Christ has built but against what man builds. The concept is “protected” at the expense of the Lord’s own members. …
In the last part of her letter, she wrote of her positive experiences with very caring elders in a traditional church. She ends up writing about her family. When writing about one of her children, she stated:
Our relationship is and always has been bumpy since the “local church.” She feels I should have taken them out (or, having left, should never have gone back) and holds me accountable for her pain.
As most are aware, a few who leave the Local Church return to it. Here is an example of a sister who, after leaving Houston, later gave the Local Church another try in another locality before leaving for the final time. Her case is one of many that show how abusive leaders can have long-lasting, detrimental effects on a family.
John is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-19-2011, 08:30 PM   #132
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Terry, as I wrote in post #48 to Ohio, “I recommend that you re-revisit The Thread of Gold for the answer to your question about what led up to the 1977 ‘fellowship’ room experience by reading pages 151–189.” There is a PDF link to the book on the home page of www.TheThreadOfGold.com. The whole experience was far too complex to encapsulate in a sentence or two. You may re-read about the events that preceded it and decide for yourself.

Also, you may have misunderstood the following portion: “… it is so difficult to understand the Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches. They are full of deception ….” The “They” refers not to the people but to the two entities. So, the sentence actually says that it is the two entities that are full of deception, not the leaders per se. Then, I concluded that, because the entities are full of deception, the leaders cannot be trusted.

I hope that my explanation has made my meaning more clear to you. Again, thank you for your comment. While considering your response, I decided that it might be better if I personalized the paragraph under review, so I have rewritten the final section as follows:

The stand

The web of deception that I’ve documented helps to explain why it is so difficult to understand the Living Stream Ministry and the Local Churches. While seeking to understand, I find myself in a land where up is down, and down is up. Because of what I’ve found, I can no longer trust the leaders in either entity.

It is very important that we stick with our Christian virtues and, even, enhance them, as Peter says, lest we fall into the same vices. To faith, we are to add virtue, or excellence, not lying and playing politics, especially with others’ lives and their freedom to follow the Lord. Jesus is our Lord and Master; and, it is before Him that we stand or fall.
John, maybe this phrase is more concise when referring to LSM and the local churches, that is current leadership of LSM and current leadership of local churches. That my brother I can relate to.

Back to The Thread of Gold, a point was made on page 162 which coincides with one of your posts, it was this event at "Guy's" home that "Sam Jones" and "Dan Williams" is when Jane became a target. It could very well be these two were looking for a reason to make an example fo Jane? I don't know. It's speculative. I will say, this comment I've found lacking;

"We brothers listened to many testimonies and admissions before making any judgment."

Whose testimonies? Whose admissions? A few? Was "Judy's" testimony taken into account? Was it just the testimony of one or two? Was there a spirit of partiality exhibited towards Jane? Suppose "we brothers" did listen to more than one or two testimonies, why not Jane? Same can be said for any sister or brother in this situation. Elders cannot be making decisions without thorough examination. That would be as Paul says, laying hands to hastily upon someone.

Here's the passage I'm referring to:

1 Timothy 5:21-22
"I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels, to maintain these principles without bias, doing nothing in a spirit of partiality. 22 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others ; keep yourself free from sin."
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2011, 06:41 AM   #133
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post

"We brothers listened to many testimonies and admissions before making any judgment."

Whose testimonies? Whose admissions? A few? Was "Judy's" testimony taken into account? Was it just the testimony of one or two? Was there a spirit of partiality exhibited towards Jane?
It sounded to me, after reading that section in the book again, that BP held numerous interrogation sessions with many others such as the Mays' and the Andrews' before he conducted this second session with the Anderson's.

In BP's mind, he had "heard enough."

And this is perhaps the most pathetic and destructive characteristic of the whole "deputy authority" thingy. Here is BP, the supposed "deputy" of the greater Texas region, beating all others into submission, and then declaring that this is how "we brothers" feel. WL was a master at this.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2011, 10:24 AM   #134
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
In BP's mind, he had "heard enough."
What exactly was the great sin Jane had comitted? I could lay it out if John and Jane don't object to me using excerpts from Jane's book.

Jane was not absolute. So, it was not a matter of speaking heresy or comitting some grievous sin known to the assembly.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2011, 03:19 PM   #135
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,391
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
What exactly was the great sin Jane had comitted? I could lay it out if John and Jane don't object to me using excerpts from Jane's book.

Jane was not absolute. So, it was not a matter of speaking heresy or comitting some grievous sin known to the assembly.
She was "rebellious."

Sort of like being labeled a witch in Salem, Massachusetts in the 17th century. A good, catch-all way to get rid of troublesome people.
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-20-2011, 04:11 PM   #136
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
What exactly was the great sin Jane had comitted? I could lay it out if John and Jane don't object to me using excerpts from Jane's book.

Jane was not absolute. So, it was not a matter of speaking heresy or comitting some grievous sin known to the assembly.
Ahhh ... brother Terry ... in the minds of BP and WL all sin is forgivable. Even adultery requires only "relocation" to absolve one's conscience, as a few cases have proven. But ... to place a question mark upon the leadership of BP in Texas, even if one is only seeking the Lord and wondering if BP's leadership matches the ministry ... is the one unforgiveable sin.

I just read thru that section of Thread of Gold again, and BP's actions all seemed to make sense, in some twisted LSM sort of way.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 11:53 AM   #137
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Ahhh ... brother Terry ... in the minds of BP and WL all sin is forgivable. Even adultery requires only "relocation" to absolve one's conscience, as a few cases have proven. But ... to place a question mark upon the leadership of BP in Texas, even if one is only seeking the Lord and wondering if BP's leadership matches the ministry ... is the one unforgiveable sin.

I just read thru that section of Thread of Gold again, and BP's actions all seemed to make sense, in some twisted LSM sort of way.
Ohio, the distinction is where your seeking is placed. Are you seeking Jesus Christ or are you seeking the ministry? It's an either/or question.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 12:43 PM   #138
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
It sounded to me, after reading that section in the book again, that BP held numerous interrogation sessions with many others such as the Mays' and the Andrews' before he conducted this second session with the Anderson's.

In BP's mind, he had "heard enough."

And this is perhaps the most pathetic and destructive characteristic of the whole "deputy authority" thingy. Here is BP, the supposed "deputy" of the greater Texas region, beating all others into submission, and then declaring that this is how "we brothers" feel. WL was a master at this.
This is why Paul said to "avoid the appearance of sin". For an elder or church leader in this situation, the question is not whether you have heard enough, the question is whether the case is clear enough for the church. Ultimately you have to "tell it to the church" and if they don't buy it then you have a problem. Why is it that 30 years later we are still discussing this? The issue is not whether BP had heard enough, but that we have not heard enough to justify this action. 2nd, to BP at the time it may have seemed like he had "heard enough" but had he gone the extra mile he might have avoided 30 years of the story never going away, he might even have discovered that WL testimony was not credible, he might even have avoided being the head cheerleader for the BBs.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 06:06 PM   #139
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
This is why Paul said to "avoid the appearance of sin". For an elder or church leader in this situation, the question is not whether you have heard enough, the question is whether the case is clear enough for the church. Ultimately you have to "tell it to the church" and if they don't buy it then you have a problem. Why is it that 30 years later we are still discussing this? The issue is not whether BP had heard enough, but that we have not heard enough to justify this action. 2nd, to BP at the time it may have seemed like he had "heard enough" but had he gone the extra mile he might have avoided 30 years of the story never going away, he might even have discovered that WL testimony was not credible, he might even have avoided being the head cheerleader for the BBs.
He might have.

But don't hold your breath. He's now had 33 years and he can't extract himself. If he had any real integrity, he would have backed down years ago when challenged by Jane and John. But he stands firm in his sin despite the evidence now reaching to the heavens of an unjust servant going around beating up other of the Lord's servants.

I've not seen anything scriptural set up against the actual events that suggests he even had an inkling of something actionable back in 1977. Surely nothing to have caused such unscriptural actions. He stands alone (or with those Houston elders who stood with him) now exposed for the falsehoods that were used to exert a kind of control. (Remember that the same weekend there were a couple of larger "blow-up" conferences going on that Lee would use to begin to exert his own control. Here BP was doing the same kind of creation of a strawman to beat up and exert control.)
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 08:39 PM   #140
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
He's now had 33 years and he can't extract himself. If he had any real integrity, he would have backed down years ago when challenged by Jane and John. But he stands firm in his sin despite the evidence now reaching to the heavens of an unjust servant going around beating up other of the Lord's servants.

I've not seen anything scriptural set up against the actual events that suggests he even had an inkling of something actionable back in 1977. Surely nothing to have caused such unscriptural actions. He stands alone (or with those Houston elders who stood with him) now exposed for the falsehoods that were used to exert a kind of control.
Reading ToG again recently, it seemed that BP went thru a kind of anguish of heart concerning Jane Anderson. He would inquire of her while visiting OKC. (I would post some quotes here, but the PDF does not allow that.) Then BP himself eventually visited the Anderson's. (see pg 221) There BP was not faithful to his heart, however, and instead began to "sermonize" about unrelated principles of the Christian life. Instead of listening to her example, BP built up his armored defenses again by some WL nonsense about "some deceptions take ten years to be delivered from."

My impression was that BP inquired of Jane A, and eventually visited her and her husband, not out of heart-felt brotherly concern, but out of conviction of conscience. That conviction only seemed to operate while he was at a distance from them. Once he was in their presence, the mental strongholds gripped him once again. It did not seem to me that in their presence he was even capable of speaking from his heart, rather he reverted back to WL doublespeak about the deception of the enemy.

My conclusion was that BP had missed his only opportunity to apologize and be reconciled. He was as close as he would ever get, and then ran off frightened and stiff-necked back into the WL-land of authoritarianism. Hence, BP was ever under the burden of turmoil within. The attempts by the Anderson's and other saints in the early 90's to rescue a failing marriage only exacerbated his inner torment. The old spiritual battleground between heart and mind. Without some definite decision to soften his heart in obedience, his only recourse was to bury his head in denial and a "busy schedule."

Finally, some two decades later, upon discovering that Jane A. had actually written a book about these events, thus committing the "mortal sin" of leaving the Recovery and talking about it. All those mental WL-alarms went off in BP's head. Thus the turmoil within him was over. He had not made a "mistake" back in that Memorial day weekend of 1977 that possibly needed to be repented of. No, never! He was not too hard on her. "She deserved it! Look what she did! She was wrong all along! I just knew it!"

"Wait till I get to the training and tell everybody." What a happy day! Finally ... I am clear!
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-21-2011, 11:29 PM   #141
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default "some deceptions take ten years to be delivered from."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Reading ToG again recently, it seemed that BP went thru a kind of anguish of heart concerning Jane Anderson.

My conclusion was that BP had missed his only opportunity to apologize and be reconciled.The attempts by the Anderson's and other saints in the early 90's to rescue a failing marriage only exacerbated his inner torment.

Finally, some two decades later, upon discovering that Jane A. had actually written a book about these events, thus committing the "mortal sin" of leaving the Recovery and talking about it. All those mental WL-alarms went off in BP's head.
Question I have, had Benson reconciled with John and Jane, would there had been A Thread of Gold? If you take the approach there was an anguish of heart, how easy it could had been to properly take care of this relationship in Oklahoma City. How easy it could had been to respond to the Andersons request to meet.
There is still time to apologize and be reconciled. There isn't much time left. Pride tends to be fortified with time. I see pride being a obstacle.

"some deceptions take ten years to be delivered from."
Indeed.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 04:57 AM   #142
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
My conclusion was that BP had missed his only opportunity to apologize and be reconciled. He was as close as he would ever get, and then ran off frightened and stiff-necked back into the WL-land of authoritarianism. Hence, BP was ever under the burden of turmoil within. The attempts by the Anderson's and other saints in the early 90's to rescue a failing marriage only exacerbated his inner torment. The old spiritual battleground between heart and mind. Without some definite decision to soften his heart in obedience, his only recourse was to bury his head in denial and a "busy schedule."
[/I]
I strongly believe that other people are very similar to myself (kind of an offshoot of the principle to treat others as you would have them treat me). If I would have gone through mental anguish, I feel they would as well. I believe that everyone who has considered this issue, whether Houston elders, or anyone who read the book, etc has gone through a deliberation. Therefore I believe that although there are many "toeing the BB line" they are "under the burden of turmoil within". Like WL said, some deceptions take 10 years to unravel and this is certainly one of them. When you make a mistake and you are suffering under the burden of turmoil within, after 10 or 20 years you will wake up one day and finally decide it is time to do the right thing because you just can't manage this burden any longer.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 07:10 AM   #143
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: A Voice from the Past

Quote:
Originally Posted by John View Post
Clearly the elders involved in the situation there … branded [the elder’s wife] a rebel, then compounded their deed by saying that individual members cannot understand the word without Lee’s interpretation.
This is the basis for causing a division as mentioned by Paul in Rom 16:17-18. If the BBs are teaching that you cannot understand the word without Lee's interpretation then they have clearly crossed the line and are causing divisions.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 07:53 AM   #144
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,971
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I strongly believe that other people are very similar to myself (kind of an offshoot of the principle to treat others as you would have them treat me). If I would have gone through mental anguish, I feel they would as well. I believe that everyone who has considered this issue, whether Houston elders, or anyone who read the book, etc has gone through a deliberation. Therefore I believe that although there are many "toeing the BB line" they are "under the burden of turmoil within". Like WL said, some deceptions take 10 years to unravel and this is certainly one of them. When you make a mistake and you are suffering under the burden of turmoil within, after 10 or 20 years you will wake up one day and finally decide it is time to do the right thing because you just can't manage this burden any longer.
If this were a personal offense that needed action and reconciliation, I do believe BP would have acted on it ... years ago. The root of the problem was the authoritarian mindset passed down from WL. Now I must admit that I do not have a "working knowledge" of BP, since I never was with him close up. Some of my observations probably are drawn from TC and others whom I did know over an extended period of time, and whose mindset also matched that of WL.

For example, years ago I was close to one brother who was quite fruitful. At one point, he was seriously ridiculed during a message he was asked to give in Cleveland. It was an arrangement made by TC that various brothers would travel to other churches for 4 weekends, laboring with the elders and saints there, and then sharing in their meeting. This brother and a partner (we traveled two by two) were assigned to Cleveland Hall #1, where TC lived in the back yard. Looking back, this whole thing was probably a setup. TC came into the back of the meeting late, and promptly proceeded to tear into him publicly. It was ugly.

The brother then demanded an apology from TC, which was never going to happen. There were other times of conflict also, besides this one Sunday morning meeting. Later on I asked TC privately about restoring him, and TC's answer to me, "he has touched god's government." In other words, the brother had violated God's throne, he was basically "toast." The brother was history, and I should not waste any more of my time with him. With a mindset of predominantly Chinese authoritarianism, coupled with exclusive and elitist views of the Recovery as God's unique testimony on this earth, there was just no chance that TC, during the mid-80's, would understand that he needed to apologize to that brother for any wrongdoing.

Let me try to explain this for those who might not understand what happened to that brother, (or Jane Anderson, or any of the quarantined brothers, for that matter.) In the mind of TC, (or WL, or BP) his actions were no different than a judge who sentenced a convicted murderer to death. Would the judge repent for his actions? Absolutely not! He was only meeting out just judgment, and protecting society from evil. He was just doing his job. He was protecting the church, the Recovery, and God's testimony.

For BP to act on the inner turmoil which resulted from his abuses was akin to leaving the faith. His faith and Christian service had become inextricably intertwined with WL. BP had only done what WL had done. Remember the slogan, "What Would Witness Do?" For BP to repent to Jane A. would set in motion a chain of events that would question everything about WL. And that was not going to happen. This is why I heard TC say many times, "WL is my spiritual father. It is none of my business when my father makes a mistake." WL actions were one area that TC did not discuss. He would and did critique every brother he ever knew, but not WL
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 09:00 AM   #145
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
If this were a personal offense that needed action and reconciliation, I do believe BP would have acted on it ... years ago. The root of the problem was the authoritarian mindset passed down from WL. Now I must admit that I do not have a "working knowledge" of BP, since I never was with him close up. Some of my observations probably are drawn from TC and others whom I did know over an extended period of time, and whose mindset also matched that of WL.

For example, years ago I was close to one brother who was quite fruitful. At one point, he was seriously ridiculed during a message he was asked to give in Cleveland. It was an arrangement made by TC that various brothers would travel to other churches for 4 weekends, laboring with the elders and saints there, and then sharing in their meeting. This brother and a partner (we traveled two by two) were assigned to Cleveland Hall #1, where TC lived in the back yard. Looking back, this whole thing was probably a setup. TC came into the back of the meeting late, and promptly proceeded to tear into him publicly. It was ugly.

The brother then demanded an apology from TC, which was never going to happen. There were other times of conflict also, besides this one Sunday morning meeting. Later on I asked TC privately about restoring him, and TC's answer to me, "he has touched god's government." In other words, the brother had violated God's throne, he was basically "toast." The brother was history, and I should not waste any more of my time with him. With a mindset of predominantly Chinese authoritarianism, coupled with exclusive and elitist views of the Recovery as God's unique testimony on this earth, there was just no chance that TC, during the mid-80's, would understand that he needed to apologize to that brother for any wrongdoing.

Let me try to explain this for those who might not understand what happened to that brother, (or Jane Anderson, or any of the quarantined brothers, for that matter.) In the mind of TC, (or WL, or BP) his actions were no different than a judge who sentenced a convicted murderer to death. Would the judge repent for his actions? Absolutely not! He was only meeting out just judgment, and protecting society from evil. He was just doing his job. He was protecting the church, the Recovery, and God's testimony.

For BP to act on the inner turmoil which resulted from his abuses was akin to leaving the faith. His faith and Christian service had become inextricably intertwined with WL. BP had only done what WL had done. Remember the slogan, "What Would Witness Do?" For BP to repent to Jane A. would set in motion a chain of events that would question everything about WL. And that was not going to happen. This is why I heard TC say many times, "WL is my spiritual father. It is none of my business when my father makes a mistake." WL actions were one area that TC did not discuss. He would and did critique every brother he ever knew, but not WL


1. "The root of the problem was the authoritarian mindset passed down from WL." Let's be clear, this may be a root cause, but it is not an excuse. The NT says we have the mind of Christ. No one has the right to take some excuse that "I learned this from WL". The reality is that the Lord said the Pharisees lorded it over the flock and they didn't get that mindset from WL. This is clearly something the Lord condemns.

2. "He was seriously ridiculed for a message he was asked to give in Cleveland". On these forums many of us, myself included, have ridiculed the messages given by RK, WL, etc. I believe you reap what you sow. This is a common weapon of the enemy, but the Bible says that at one day all will see Satan exposed and then they will mock and ridicule saying "this is the guy that everyone was scared of?" (I am paraphrasing, I think this prophecy is in Hosea).

3. "TC came into the back of the meeting late and promptly began to tear into him publicly." This is abuse, it also suggests that he was unable to deal with this brother according to the truth hence his need to take this approach (public ridicule and humiliation). This is a strong sign of unrighteousness on the part of TC.

4. "He has touched God's government". I had an experience like that once, I have already shared it, about the Professor at my University who slandered me to my parents. I didn't lift a finger in retaliation, it was the Lord that did everything and when I prayed that the Lord was too extreme he rebuked me. My point is that TC has exposed his hypocrisy, if the brother touched God's government then God will deal with it. Moses didn't give Miriam leprosy did he? He didn't dig a pit for the rebellion of Korah to fall into did he? How egotistical to think that if someone has done something you don't like that "they have touched God's government", second how hypocritical to say that and then usurp God and deal with it yourself. I believe TC will have to answer to the Lord for this, if true he is guilty of rebellion in usurping the Lord's headship, if false he is spreading evil rumors about brothers to bring in division.

5. "With a mindset of predominantly Chinese authoritarianism, coupled with exclusive and elitist views of the Recovery as God's unique testimony on this earth, there was just no chance that TC, during the mid-80's, would understand that he needed to apologize to that brother for any wrongdoing."

The Lord tells us to repent of wrongdoings. We have no right to say that it goes against my mindset or views. The wrath of God is stored up for such as these.

6. "In the mind of TC, (or WL, or BP) his actions were no different than a judge who sentenced a convicted murderer to death. [I]Would the judge repent for his actions?"

Who made TC judge of the saints? The arrogance of these impostors is outrageous. The Lord has never given us any authority to judge other saints. We can judge sin, self, flesh, etc. But remember, with what judgement you judge you shall be judged, so it is best to focus all of this judgement on your own flesh, your own self, your own sin. If this account is accurate TC must repent because it is he that has touched God's government.

7. "His (BP's) faith and Christian service had become inextricably intertwined with WL."

I cannot answer this, only BP can. If this is true he must repent. Our faith should never be inextricably intertwined with anyone other than Jesus. BP has publicly condemned Catholics for having their faith intertwined with Saints and the Mother Mary. So, if this is not true nothing should hinder him from dealing with the sins of this case with Jane. If this is true then he needs to repent of this sin first.

17Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.

18For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.


After reading this account, these verses in Romans refer to TC. He was clearly causing a division. It was clearly contrary to the doctrine we have learned in the NT. He obviously wasn't serving the Lord Jesus but his own belly. And his "he has touched God's government" was obviously designed to decieve the simple.
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 11:37 AM   #146
rayliotta
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 602
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
And his "he has touched God's government" was obviously designed to decieve the simple.
"The simple", yes, as in, everybody on this forum.
rayliotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-22-2011, 11:50 AM   #147
rayliotta
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 602
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I strongly believe that other people are very similar to myself (kind of an offshoot of the principle to treat others as you would have them treat me).
I'll bet this belief makes you kind of vulnerable.
rayliotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2011, 05:20 AM   #148
rayliotta
Member
 
Join Date: May 2011
Posts: 602
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I strongly believe that other people are very similar to myself....When you make a mistake and you are suffering under the burden of turmoil within, after 10 or 20 years you will wake up one day and finally decide it is time to do the right thing because you just can't manage this burden any longer.
I wouldn't be able to continue this way for more than 10-20 years myself, so I don't think Benson can either, says ZNP, 30-40 years later.
rayliotta is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2011, 05:35 AM   #149
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,217
Default Re: “Can the Local Church Leadership Say, ‘We Were Wrong’?” (An Open Letter

I have not read the book in some time, but I recall that while BP wasn't directly antagonistic during the BM/SC affair issue, he ultimately did nothing and said nothing. He did visit their house, the perfect opportunity to make some kind of apology, yet he did nothing except sort of hem and haw around, then leave. If that was the apology, then it was drastically different from the certainty with which he spewed on Jane all those years earlier. If he didn't recount his error, he didn't aplogize.

And if he had truly apologized, not only would there have been no book, he would not have felt free to speak with pride of his involvement in the incident that ultimately caused the book so many years later.

His little bit of time at Jane's door was sort of like Jimmy Swaggert's one show where he cried and said he failed, then "shot the finger" at anyone suggesting he should step down from his ministry, even just for a time.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2011, 09:44 AM   #150
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,126
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
I wouldn't be able to continue this way for more than 10-20 years myself, so I don't think Benson can either, says ZNP, 30-40 years later.
The point is not that everyone will repent, but the reality is that many do, like a sinking ship BP will watch as one by one they leave, and that is exactly what has happened for the last 30 years.

Try this, take a Houston phone list of saints from 1977, choose only those "with the vision of Christ and the Church", eliminate those that have died. Now how many of those that are left still meet with the LRC? If it is only 50% why so few?
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2011, 10:18 AM   #151
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,401
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The brother then demanded an apology from TC, which was never going to happen. There were other times of conflict also, besides this one Sunday morning meeting. Later on I asked TC privately about restoring him, and TC's answer to me, "he has touched god's government." In other words, the brother had violated God's throne, he was basically "toast." The brother was history, and I should not waste any more of my time with him.
If I understand right demanding an apology is "touching God's government"? It's been my perception this phrase is invoked whenever brothers have their backs against the wall. It's a defensive reaction to vindicate or to extricate themselves from answering exposing questions.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-23-2011, 10:24 AM   #152
Thankful Jane
Member
 
Thankful Jane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Georgetown, Texas
Posts: 301
Default Re: Do Not Be Decieved!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The root of the problem was the authoritarian mindset passed down from WL.... In the mind of TC, (or WL, or BP) his actions were no different than a judge who sentenced a convicted murderer to death. Would the judge repent for his actions? Absolutely not! He was only meeting out just judgment, and protecting society from evil. He was