Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Introductions and Testimonies

Introductions and Testimonies Please tell everybody something about yourself. Tell us a little. Tell us a lot. Its up to you!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-06-2019, 11:21 PM   #1
Nuclear
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Alberta
Posts: 19
Default Nuclear's Testimony

Hello,

I have been mentally out of the LC for a little over a year now, and found this forum about half a year after that, and have been lurking pretty much ever since. But background first.

My parents came from a very conservative Mennonite family, and as such I was born in Mexico. We moved once to Canada when I was about 4, back to Mexico at 6, and then back to Canada since then. Churches were changed even more often, and as a result the first 10 or so years of my life were dominated by various Christian denominations and organizations, until finally my parents found something different.

The Local Church felt so fresh, so full of excitement and life, and I was hooked. I went to all the Young People conferences, SSOT’s and meetings for most of my teenage life, and served in the children’s meetings for a long time too. In all honesty I saw nothing wrong with most of it, the teachings, the practices, the beliefs, Witness Lee, etc.

As I grew older, small things began bothering me about the LC. An example that stands out to me is the denial of the existence and legitimacy of mental illness during a YP conference from someone I thought I respected. How much women were suppressed also bothered me quite a bit. This was never more directly addressed then when a sister shared to the point of tears her frustration with her peers in university. Her issue was that they wanted careers and postponed marriage for it. I cannot imagine the amount of self loathing and indoctrination it takes to have such a skewed and strong view on how a woman should live her life, it blew me away.

Regardless, I managed to sweep these concerns under the rug, I mean if it is God ordained, its God ordained right? I was mostly content and there was no reason to upset that.
The real strain arrived when it came to faith in a God itself.

Science has throughout my childhood been something I was fascinated with, I ate it up as a middle/high schooler. Even now despite being an engineering student I enjoy learner more about the natural world. As I’m sure some of you can relate, this often conflicted with a literal interpretation of the Bible, especially creation. I managed to postpone what would eventually happen with stopgaps like the “gap theory” with regards to the age of the Earth, among other things. The doubts I had still remained relatively weak, but the cracks were there.

I still remember that night vividly. I was browsing the internet and fell down an internet rabbit-hole on the validity of the Bible scientifically and based off of historical record. The openness that the subject matter was discussed with was something I had never encountered before, but I couldn’t stop reading. It sort of shocked the sort of jaded way that I had always looked at the bible away. The whole book, creation, Noah’s flood, Moses, treatment of women, of other cultures, it all looked so different. Really looking at it and seeing how it fit into our modern understanding of how the universe and life began, stuff that I was aware of but would always mentally try to blend in with the Biblical account, it just made so much more sense standalone.

I don’t know if any of you have had that experience, but the dam really broke that fast. I went in with few but nagging doubts and near absolute faith in the LC and then later going to bed with my entire worldview broken and shattered into a million pieces. I was physically sick for several days after, but after I felt so liberated. No anxiety over whether I was living the “Spirit” all the time. No more concern over some of my high school friends spending eternity in hellfire. I don’t really know how to say it but the world just felt so fresh and vibrant without being pigeonholed into a Biblical worldview.

Its been over a year since then, and I have yet to find a reason to change my mind. I feel that I’m less likely to judge others that I previously would have, I’m still not a terribly adventurous person, but I feel more willing to get out of my comfort zone and to get to know people from all sorts of backgrounds and places.

Until I found this forum about 6 months ago, I maintained in my mind that if Christianity contained any validity, that the LC was its truest and most valid form, but after finding out about its history and controversies, and becoming further disillusioned with its practices and principles even that concept has shattered for me.

I still attend Sunday meetings every now and then to stay in touch with certain people, and I plan on making a full break eventually when I feel brave enough, but for now I am happy.

I understand this forums general perspective and attitude towards atheism, so I will most likely just be chilling in Alternative Views out of respect for the main forum. Hopefully I can be of some contribution to the discussions that happen there and perhaps even here.

For the record, I still respect those who maintain their faith, and even recognize that for many it gives them purpose and can be a positive force in their lives, and as far as I can see, this is a pretty great community. And who knows, I’m young, I’m only 19, there’s a lot of life yet ahead and my views could change long term, but for now I feel I’ve made the intellectually honest decision and am content.

Thanks for this community and for reading,

Nuclear
Nuclear is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-07-2019, 08:49 AM   #2
Cal
Member
 
Cal's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: USA
Posts: 4,269
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Nuclear,

Finding truth is a process. Although you say you've become an atheist, it seems you are still keeping an open mind. That's really all that is required for the truth to shine.

God is a gentleman. He doesn't force himself on us. Religionists are anything but gentlemen. They can produce so much noise and distraction that you can't know which end is up.

I hope you will maintain your open-minded and easy-going approach. If there is a God of the kind who I believe in, he will come in gently in quiet times to guide and comfort you, and to show you he is real. I believe that.

Best wishes,
Igzy
Cal is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2019, 10:31 AM   #3
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,926
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

There's a guy named Richard Dawkins, who's one of my favourite companions, intellectually speaking. Another guy named Christopher Hitchens is also a boon companion if you want to try to think (a habit I encourage for all).

Every morning I have a chat with my buddy Richard. He likes to argue, strenuously and passionately, that there's no God. He's extremely bright and nearly convincing. But ultimately I decide to believe in God because, well, I just want to. The universe seems a lot less empty and cold.

Plus I was studying DNA replication the other day, and I said, "Only God could have designed this. How could the Second Law of Thermodynamics lead to this?" But I respect and appreciate, folks who don't believe in God. I just choose to believe. Somehow my universe has a fixed point... without God, it's just, I don't know, not so fun for me. It's too.. meaningless. (I speak personally, not for the human race)

And I'm serious about Dawkins and Hitchens. They're fabulous conversation partners. Irreplaceable in my estimation.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quo...opher_Hitchens

https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_da...sm?language=en

To me, religion is the human race trying to acknowledge God. It does an awful job, I admit. But the horror of religion in its varied forms doesn't (for me) preclude God. When I see a butterfly I see God's smile. Or a cloud, or a fern.
__________________
"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 09-10-2019, 11:45 AM   #4
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 964
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
There's a guy named Richard Dawkins, who's one of my favourite companions, intellectually speaking. Another guy named Christopher Hitchens is also a boon companion if you want to try to think (a habit I encourage for all).

Every morning I have a chat with my buddy Richard. He likes to argue, strenuously and passionately, that there's no God. He's extremely bright and nearly convincing. But ultimately I decide to believe in God because, well, I just want to. The universe seems a lot less empty and cold.

Plus I was studying DNA replication the other day, and I said, "Only God could have designed this. How could the Second Law of Thermodynamics lead to this?" But I respect and appreciate, folks who don't believe in God. I just choose to believe. Somehow my universe has a fixed point... without God, it's just, I don't know, not so fun for me. It's too.. meaningless. (I speak personally, not for the human race)

And I'm serious about Dawkins and Hitchens. They're fabulous conversation partners. Irreplaceable in my estimation.

https://www.goodreads.com/author/quo...opher_Hitchens

https://www.ted.com/talks/richard_da...sm?language=en

To me, religion is the human race trying to acknowledge God. It does an awful job, I admit. But the horror of religion in its varied forms doesn't (for me) preclude God. When I see a butterfly I see God's smile. Or a cloud, or a fern.
Ha ha - that's great! Or watching a couple of loony-toon ferrets! Good post regarding your "conversations" with these folks. (I wonder what they would say now if you could truly ask them . . .)

And I would just also say that once Christ is in you (assuming that's the case) via the new birth, that's it - you can't be unborn! I tried to run away too (however, I didn't know exactly Who or what I was running from), yet I found I was still always seeking the Answer at some level.

Be sure to also have the conversations with Him. May I suggest something like, "Well God, I don't believe in you because of these things. There's no problem with talking to you, since I don't think you even exist, therefore it all means nothing. But on the outside chance you do exist, I want to tell you that you've really screwed things up in my life, and I'm pretty mad at you for it." Bottom-line is He still loves you, even though you may cuss at Him and accuse Him of whatever!
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2019, 12:07 PM   #5
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,926
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Be sure to also have the conversations with Him.
I think the poster Trapped also expressed frustration on this forum at having 'conversations' with a silent God.

In my case, post-LC, I tried a number of other groups. Some were extremely fundamentalist - women wore head coverings, didn't speak in church, etc. Eventually I just wasn't getting better. My anxieties, frustrations, inadequacies, shame, just wouldn't go away. I was a shame-based and fear-based human being trying to pretend that I was 'godly' and it was so miserable!

Eventually I just quit. I actually got into science. I wasn't militantly atheist, or even openly atheist, but certainly I became agnostic. Just wasn't in the mood to pretend any more. Life is too short. If God doesn't want to talk with me, I'm not going to talk with God.

But eventually, God came back into my life. It's pretty amazing to me, looking back. Little by little I just became 'aware' of God. I don't know how to put it. God's presence came back.

It's a journey, I guess. Anyway, I don't judge anyone, wherever they are in their journey today. Theirs is just as real to them as mine is, to me. But I recommend people like Dawkins and Hitchens and anyone who tries to think. Ravi Zacharius is actually pretty good. Another one I like is Neils Bohr the physicist. There are a lot of good thinkers out there. You can really learn a lot.

But I'd like to come back to Nuclear's testimony. And about learning to think critically.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nuclear View Post
Science has throughout my childhood been something I was fascinated with, I ate it up as a middle/high schooler. Even now despite being an engineering student I enjoy learner more about the natural world. As I’m sure some of you can relate, this often conflicted with a literal interpretation of the Bible, especially creation. I managed to postpone what would eventually happen with stopgaps like the “gap theory” with regards to the age of the Earth, among other things. The doubts I had still remained relatively weak, but the cracks were there.

I still remember that night vividly. I was browsing the internet and fell down an internet rabbit-hole on the validity of the Bible scientifically and based off of historical record. The openness that the subject matter was discussed with was something I had never encountered before, but I couldn’t stop reading. It sort of shocked the sort of jaded way that I had always looked at the bible away. The whole book, creation, Noah’s flood, Moses, treatment of women, of other cultures, it all looked so different. Really looking at it and seeing how it fit into our modern understanding of how the universe and life began, stuff that I was aware of but would always mentally try to blend in with the Biblical account, it just made so much more sense standalone.

I don’t know if any of you have had that experience, but the dam really broke that fast. I went in with few but nagging doubts and near absolute faith in the LC and then later going to bed with my entire worldview broken and shattered into a million pieces. I was physically sick for several days after, but after I felt so liberated.
I've shared this before, that my anecdotal observation is that the LC loses young people in droves, not merely to purchasing LSM materials and going to LSM-sanctioned meetings, but to Christian faith. And I believe this is because they repress critical thought. They avoid problem-solving. Just call "O Lord Jesus" three times and all your problems will disappear. When I was there, we were specifically told not to think. "Just exercise your spirit, brother" meant, Loudly repeat whatever ministry snippet was in front of us. Suppress, avoid, deny. Suppress, avoid, deny. "Let's all call on the Lord"...

This leaves the young ones quite unprepared for life, which for many of us involves trying to think. You know, actually facing things. And being around others who think critically. Even when one does, in the LC (going to college for example) religion is not included. "The Ministry is always right" is the default non-thought mode. One papers over and ignores the 'cracks' in the thought-world system, and puts nagging unanswered questions into the closet, where they don't truly shut up, ever. Eventually, one day the person decides to face things and pretty much right away they realize it's all a sham. It's a make-believe system with no true objective basis that they can find. And so out they go.
__________________
"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 09-10-2019, 01:13 PM   #6
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,514
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

I've gone thru similar experiences after the local church. Eventually I became a critical thinker.

And now, because I have issues with the God of the OT, and therefore the Bible, I'm censored out here.

Seems brother Untohim, wants LCers to come out, but still stifle their critical thinking, like it's a hungover from the LC.

At least he started Alternative Views, for critical self thinkers. For that we owe him gratitude.

Bro Aron, do I have your permission to bring a copy of your post down to AltV's?
__________________
Cults: My brain will always be there for you. Thinking. So you don't have to.
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2019, 01:30 PM   #7
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,926
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Bro Aron, do I have your permission to bring a copy of your post down to AltV's?
Yes of course. I don't "go there" much but feel free to bring a comment along.
__________________
"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 09-10-2019, 02:45 PM   #8
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,866
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I've gone thru similar experiences after the local church. Eventually I became a critical thinker.

And now, because I have issues with the God of the OT, and therefore the Bible, I'm censored out here.

Seems brother Untohim, wants LCers to come out, but still stifle their critical thinking, like it's a hungover from the LC.

At least he started Alternative Views, for critical self thinkers. For that we owe him gratitude.
I honestly don't see a lot of "critical thinking" on Alt-Views. Lots of "Alternative" views, but not much "critical thinking." What I do see is lots of "contrary" thinking.
__________________
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 09-10-2019, 03:08 PM   #9
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,514
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I honestly don't see a lot of "critical thinking" on Alt-Views. Lots of "Alternative" views, but not much "critical thinking." What I do see is lots of "contrary" thinking.
So you're not a critical thinker?
__________________
Cults: My brain will always be there for you. Thinking. So you don't have to.
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-10-2019, 05:48 PM   #10
Nuclear
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Alberta
Posts: 19
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Thanks aron for the reply, I definitely enjoy having conversations with some of these people, and Christopher Hitchens is genuinely I feel one of the most intelligent men I have ever heard speak. I think even for Christians he can be so much fun to listen to. There's even a debate of him against Turek who unregistered linked earlier(which is in Alternative Views at this point).

Your insight with regards to critical thinking is also spot on. The way it's suppressed kind of makes sudden collapses in faith like this inevitable for so many. Even then its so hard to cut yourself off from it just because of how much you're integrated into the community. I'm pretty introverted in general, so its hard to network. The amount of engineering contacts in my "locality" is kinda hard to say no to, but I can hardly stand going to meetings at all, even just once a week at this point, so I don't know. The way I see it though is that if others have made it before me, so can I.
Nuclear is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2019, 08:22 AM   #11
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 964
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Don't many critical thinkers enjoy the writings of C.S. Lewis?
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2019, 09:04 AM   #12
HERn
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 816
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Don't many critical thinkers enjoy the writings of C.S. Lewis?
Dont know how critical thinking I am, but I do appreciate C S Lewis's writing. His book Mere Christianity helped me.
__________________
Look to Jesus not The Ministry! Hebrews 12:2.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
HERn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2019, 09:43 AM   #13
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,514
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
Dont know how critical thinking I am, but I do appreciate C S Lewis's writing. His book Mere Christianity helped me.
I enjoyed reading his Abolition of Man, where he acknowledges The Tao. (Links embedded)
__________________
Cults: My brain will always be there for you. Thinking. So you don't have to.
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2019, 03:21 PM   #14
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,926
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

When I mentioned critical thinking I wasn't imagining specifically people like NT Wright and CS Lewis and GK Chesterton and John Piper and Desiderius Erasmus. What I mean is just good ol' common sense skeptical analysis - it isn't real until I see it's so.

The LC members have their "amen" caps on so solidly it seems to interfere with simple brain function. Let me give an example. One day I got curious, or 'skeptical'. and looked on Google for "Witness Lee center of universe". I found 5 or 6 separate and disparate 'centers' put forth by WL: Man, the human spirit, the tree of life, the altar, and the cross all come to mind. In each case, the audience was delighted - "He's found the center of the universe!" and they'd all line up at the mike afterward, at least in the 'trainings' I attended. Everyone burbled over about how their lives were now changed, how they'd never seen this before, etc.

Couldn't one single person say, "Hey, wait a minute..."? Every couple of years WL came up with a new center of the universe. You didn't need to be GK Chesterton to notice. I'm talking basic everyday human problem-solving skills. By definition there can only be one center. This is like seventh-grade math here, or eighth-grade, tops.

My point was, what does it do to children growing up in this environment, where independent critical thought is treated as a disease to be shunned and hidden away? Repress and sequester any 'negative' thoughts, don't let them know you're onto the scam. Smile and nod blandly... that'll get you through meetings. But what happens when the real world intervenes?

And it's not coincidental that LC rank-and-file are told not to look at material other than 'ministry-approved' which is a pretty short list. Look at anything not vetted by LSM and you're sure to get 'poisoned'. What kind of a God is this that can't take a little good old scrutiny? A little cross-examination? A little back and forth? It's probably important to read people you don't agree with, that challenge you, and then, read people that challenge them. Really - try to be somewhat open to disparate sources. They'll sort themselves out in due time.

Ironically, that was supposedly Watchman Nee's forte, per his hagiographer-in-chief Witness Lee. Nee supposedly read 3,000 + sources, then put together his view point. How come only he got that freedom? Because WL knew that if we all tried that, WL and WN would be left far behind. I feel a song coming on..

"Far, far behind us... far, far, behind us..."
__________________
"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 09-11-2019, 04:19 PM   #15
HERn
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 816
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I enjoyed reading his Abolition of Man, where he acknowledges The Tao. (Links embedded)
I need to go back to that one. When I read 30 years ago it seemed above my pay grade! What was his purpose for writing The Abolition of Man?
__________________
Look to Jesus not The Ministry! Hebrews 12:2.
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
HERn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-11-2019, 06:36 PM   #16
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,866
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
And it's not coincidental that LC rank-and-file are told not to look at material other than 'ministry-approved' which is a pretty short list. Look at anything not vetted by LSM and you're sure to get 'poisoned'. What kind of a God is this that can't take a little good old scrutiny? A little cross-examination? A little back and forth?
Great point here. Read about all the great men of God in the Bible. They all challenged God to prove Himself. Their faith also was constantly tested. Did not God prove Himself faithful to them? Which one of them told us that every opinion and question was of the devil? How about Abraham, the father of faith, and his back and forth with God over Lot's hometown buddies?

These men of God knew their God thru life's struggles. Some of their stories are in Hebrews 11. If our faith is only built on a bunch of teachings, especially Lee's doctrines, then we're screwed when the fiery trials come our way. Our faith must be built on solid rock, God Himself.
__________________
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 09-11-2019, 08:49 PM   #17
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,514
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
I need to go back to that one. When I read 30 years ago it seemed above my pay grade! What was his purpose for writing The Abolition of Man?
I can't say, But given he accepts the Tao, I think he's advocating universal values.

Give it another read. Might be below your pay grade now. And let me know what you think. From what I've read it's his most debated book.

I know Christians love Lewis. I understand. But his private life didn't reveal what Christians would expect from him by what he seems in his writings, and preachings.

We owe some of his books -- Narnia and the like - to J.R.R.Tolkien, who convinced Clive Christianity is a mythological system, using the same symbols, archetypes, and motifs, as olden ones.

Whether that's true or not, it opened Clive up. It's perchance why we like him. He uses it to speak to our inner needs.
__________________
Cults: My brain will always be there for you. Thinking. So you don't have to.
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 07:24 AM   #18
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,926
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Another thing that doesn't help matters besides not learning how to solve real-world problems, is that they don't teach how to manage your thoughts and feelings. Emotions are to be suppressed, avoided, denied. Just call on the Lord three times, brother.

Problem is, we're human and we think, and feel. You might hide your feelings under a temporary sense of euphoria in the meeting, hollering and waving, but after the meeting's over, and you're back in the real world, the problem is still there. I know.

I came in with extremely low self-esteem and was "love-bombed" and swooned. I was home in the church! Plus the meetings were so great. Not like boring Christianity. Plus we had all these high truths, hidden from stupid old Babylon Christianity.

But after a few years I found out that my shame-based and fear-based behaviours didn't go away. Because - surprise, surprise -- my shame and fear was still there. So I went to the elders, privately, one by one.

The first one, when I said that I was having problems, said, "No you don't". He didn't even want to talk about it. Conversation over. I kid you not. Would not talk to me.

The second one said I just needed to go to more meetings, get more into the ministry. At that point I had been in the "church life" 24/7 for several years. I was living in a 'brothers' house', going to all the campus meetings, church meetings, home meetings, prayer meetings, plus all the retreats and conferences available. Reading ministry material day and night. Somehow, though, he felt that I just wasn't trying hard enough. Just deny your soul-life and get back in there, brother.

The third one said, "We all have problems". That was it. Didn't want to deal with my 'issues'. End of discussion.

So I left. This was before the internet. I didn't know about Daystar, about Philip Lee. I was as 'positive' and 'burning' as could be. I just felt this wasn't for me. The only thing that felt real was a kind of street-ministry I had, going out to people that were worse off than me. But you can believe the LC elders weren't interested in that! They wanted "good material" from the campus. This was straight from the top, in Anaheim. You weren't going to build the One New Man with the dregs I was finding.

Years later, studying science, I learned how to control my emotions, and not let my emotions control me. What a revelation! I never learned this at home, nor in high school, nor college, and certainly not in the LC "church life". But what a difference that made. Finally I was able to stabilize somewhat, and hold a job, and be in a relationship. (I'm still a mess today but at least I can hold a job)

I think that mental health and psychological well-being are so important. In the LC it's just avoid, deny, avoid, deny. And the problem is widespread, not just in the LC. But the LC seems singularly ill-equipped to deal with such issues, and probably exacerbates them. You know, am I being negative, seeing something wrong here? Will I "make it" or be in "summer school" for 1,000 years?

Here is a story of a pastor in a California megachurch who just committed suicide.

https://harvest.org/resources/gregs-...n-in-memoriam/

30 years old. The struggle is real. One of our posters on this very forum took his life a few weeks ago. Thirty-something, wife and two small children. Struggling. Eventually he ended his life.

Another one, last year:

https://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/...223-story.html

Another from this January:

https://www1.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2019...lth-challenges

You can be a believer and have problems. It's not a fairy-tale. Sometimes calling "Oh Lord Jesus" simply isn't enough. Sometimes there's real, hard, scary, difficult work ahead. But it's the way out. And maybe - gulp - the Shepherd is leading you there. I won't speak for anyone else, and I don't judge anyone for their struggles. But a programme built on denial, avoidance and suppression isn't going to take you very far.
__________________
"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 09-12-2019, 09:18 AM   #19
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

@Aron,
Could you identify who this is? I'm very sorry to hear about it.

"One of our posters on this very forum took his life a few weeks ago. Thirty-something, wife and two small children. Struggling. Eventually he ended his life."
  Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 09:40 AM   #20
countmeworthy
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: in Spirit & in Truth
Posts: 1,241
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
When I mentioned critical thinking I wasn't imagining specifically people like NT Wright
I am attending a bible study on Revelation and the book they are using is by NT Wright. Never heard of him. My friend just gave me the commentary book so I have yet to go through with it.

I don't find his views that enlightening to me. I am used to Clarence Larkin's insight on Revelation.

I trust the Holy Spirit will give me HIS PERSPECTIVE but for now, what do you think of NT Wright's writings? Thanks in advance.
__________________
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 09-12-2019, 09:59 AM   #21
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,770
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Could you identify who this is? I'm very sorry to hear about it.
His name was Greg Casteel. Here is his wife's Facebook page:
https://www.facebook.com/mrsjoannacasteel

Due to the sensitive nature of this situation, no further discussion regarding this specific tragedy will be allowed unless initiated by Jo Casteel.
-
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 11:21 AM   #22
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 964
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The LC members have their "amen" caps on so solidly it seems to interfere with simple brain function. Let me give an example. One day I got curious, or 'skeptical'. and looked on Google for "Witness Lee center of universe". I found 5 or 6 separate and disparate 'centers' put forth by WL: Man, the human spirit, the tree of life, the altar, and the cross all come to mind. In each case, the audience was delighted - "He's found the center of the universe!" and they'd all line up at the mike afterward, at least in the 'trainings' I attended. Everyone burbled over about how their lives were now changed, how they'd never seen this before, etc.

Couldn't one single person say, "Hey, wait a minute..."? Every couple of years WL came up with a new center of the universe.
Great point! How about this old song, "Oh I'm a man - I'm the center of the universe!"? It would be quite appealing, wouldn't it, if someone was telling you the center and meaning of the universe? Sure! But then as the newness of that pronouncement wears off, you'd have to come up with "new" centers of the universe to share . . .

I think we're safe with saying Christ is the center of the universe! (and yes, praise God that according to Ephesians, and other places in scripture, we get included, as "It is of Him that you are in Christ Jesus . . ." 1 Cor 1:30)
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 11:27 AM   #23
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 964
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Great point here. Read about all the great men of God in the Bible. They all challenged God to prove Himself. Their faith also was constantly tested. Did not God prove Himself faithful to them? Which one of them told us that every opinion and question was of the devil? How about Abraham, the father of faith, and his back and forth with God over Lot's hometown buddies?

These men of God knew their God thru life's struggles. Some of their stories are in Hebrews 11. If our faith is only built on a bunch of teachings, especially Lee's doctrines, then we're screwed when the fiery trials come our way. Our faith must be built on solid rock, God Himself.
YES! They were great models in that they were just honest with Him and kept coming to Him.

I've been impressed lately with David, who really blew it with the whole murder/adultery thing. But in the record after that, God keeps extolling David over and over - even portraying David as one who didn't sin! Why? Because David sought Him alone and didn't turn to idols. David was just honest with God and kept coming and coming and coming to Him. David's faith covered it all, as far as God was concerned (even though there certain consequences of his sin).
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-12-2019, 11:46 AM   #24
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,926
Default Re: Nuclear's Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
I trust the Holy Spirit will give me HIS PERSPECTIVE but for now, what do you think of NT Wright's writings? Thanks in advance.
I'm probably not qualified to give an 'balanced' opinion on Wright. I'll give my personal impressions: I'd heard he was a bright guy and a good writer, and getting into his material it certainly seemed so. But at one point I wanted to get his opinion of something and looked him up, and flat disagreed with it (don't remember what it was at present). I guess I was looking for an "amen" from him but not to be.

I have a lot of respect for him and he seems from all accounts like a decent chap but it's clear I'm not going to agree with everything he says. He tends to speculate, as do I, and speculations diverge quickly.

But he's worth a read. I simply listed him as a "Christian intellectual" or "Christian thinker" that would be fairly well known.
__________________
"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
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:24 PM.


3.8.9