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Oh Lord, Where Do We Go From Here? Current and former members (and anyone in between!)... tell us what is on your mind and in your heart.

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Old 03-24-2017, 03:21 PM   #1
askseek
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Default Helpful Insights from old posts

Here are some helpful insights I've gleaned from reading some old threads.

Note that I saved these in my own personal file for future reference, which is what I'm copying from here, so there's some rewording (without changing the meaning) and no attribution.

I'll quote them in separate posts with a brief heading for easy reference.

Please add to this list as you see fit!
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:25 PM   #2
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Criticism of others

My elder in church, who is also ex-LC, told me he noticed LCers, including ex-LC, have trouble shaking off a spirit of criticism. He said this because he noticed it in me, so that I could be free of it. Most of the Christians I meet today seem to have a much better time at seeing the good in people. However, people from LC backgrounds, myself included, will easily see the bad and struggle to see the good. We were trained for many years to criticize Christianity while overlooking our own hypocrisy. After leaving the LCs, we in turn took this subconsciously-tuned mindset and turned it against Lee and Nee.

Think about it, some of us have been out of the LCs for decades, yet we are still struggling to be free. Many of us may not have even settled into a new church because we see irreconcilable problems with all other congregations. I know it was hard for me as well, and it took forever to find a church both my wife and I were comfortable with. Maybe the only way to move on is to be free from this spirit of criticism inherited from the LCs.

Perhaps to get the worst of the LC fully out of our system we should learn to be merciful to others and try to see the good in them. I know I've failed many times in this regard, but perhaps once you realize the beam is in your eye, you can finally make an effort to take it out.
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Old 03-24-2017, 03:26 PM   #3
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Forgiveness

Forgiveness is not only for the person you forgive, it's for you. It should set you free from a lot of negative feelings. Someone once said that holding a grudge is like drinking poison in order to kill the other person. At some point you just have to let it go and move on. You may not have all your questions answered, but you have to move on.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:09 PM   #4
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Hero worship (by John Ingalls)

This is a day characterized by “the passing of the hero.” It should be for us a day of the passing of all the heroes, of all those who rival the place of the Lord Himself. Isaiah said, “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up” (Isa. 6:1). It is best for all the kings to “die” as far as we are concerned so that we may see the Lord Himself high and lifted up. To see Him in such a way has a mighty life-changing and life-compelling effect, as it did on Isaiah (see Isa. 6:5-8). Our problem is that when one king dies, we replace him with another. When one hero passes away, we find another hero that suits our taste. If it is not someone else, it may sometimes be ourself. May the Lord deliver us from any form of hero worship and bring us wholly back to Himself. This is surely a great lesson and a continual exercise.

On the mount of transfiguration Peter saw with Jesus the two Old Testament heroes, Moses and Elijah, and would memorialize them along with Jesus. To Peter they were still heroes, as they were to all the Jews of his day. The Father then removed the heroes and pointed Peter to His Beloved Son. May He so the same for us. And “they saw on one except Jesus Himself alone” (Matt. 17:8). Strangely enough, after the Lord’s death and resurrection, Peter himself was made a hero, along with Paul and Apollos, by the saints in Corinth, and the Lord had to speak again through His servant Paul to recover the saints to Himself. Paul said, “Neither is the one who plants anything nor the one who waters, but the One who makes to grow, God” (I Cor. 3:7). What a blessed day when we see no one but Jesus Himself alone! The Lord is indeed jealous of our affection and wants it all.
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Old 03-24-2017, 04:14 PM   #5
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Financial practice (by John Ingalls)

In the light of recent scandals involving TV evangelists, reporters asked Billy Graham (who has preserved a reputation untainted by improper conduct) how such despicable behavior as evidenced in current Christian leadership could be avoided I the future. Billy Graham responded with three notable points:
1. Make public the financial statements of your organization.
2. Do not have family members on your Board of Directors.
3. Practice what you preach.

The first two points are undoubtedly of signal importance and should be observed by every Christian organization, but I believe that the third, although somewhat of a cliché, is the greatest. We certainly would all subscribe to that; but how exposing that Christian leaders “Take heed to yourself [first] and to the teaching…for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (I Tim. 4:16).
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Old 03-24-2017, 05:44 PM   #6
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Hello askseek
I like your posts below. I hope this site can have a section that help christians grow in the truth and resurrected life of Jesus. Free from Nee Lee Blended-We (or 'after Nee Lee Blended-We trauma). Into the Fellowship in righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
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Old 03-24-2017, 06:40 PM   #7
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Thanks, least. I was actually going to post several more, but they're dealing with more controversial things that are already well-covered elsewhere on this site. So I decided to just post non-controversial things that may not get a lot of mention.
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:11 PM   #8
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Default Re: Helpful Insights from old posts

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=5171

I link the entire thread because there are a number of good points in the first 30 or so posts (I didn't read much further).
Post #23 has a good analogy of the cognitive dissonance in the LC:

To me the local churches are like a large extended family living in a large house where all but the infants are aware that a "crazy aunt" lives in the attic, but no one is willing to acknowledge or discuss the "crazy aunt". The "crazy aunt" is not a real person, but a nagging feeling of not being able to discuss the questionable teachings within Nee's and Lee's otherwise healthy ministry, or the shame of the alleged Daystar business investment debacle, or the alleged immorality of a past manager of the ministry, or the rude treatment of the saints by certain brothers using deputy authority. Because (in my opinion) the living of the brothers and the practices of the ministry were not congruent (to me) with the teaching of the bible (as I understand it) I found myself spending an enormous amount of mental and emotional energy trying to manage this cognitive dissonance. I finally gave up.
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Old 03-25-2017, 12:22 PM   #9
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Default Re: Helpful Insights from old posts

The following may be "controversial" (to quote myself) but it's quite helpful to me, addressing important items I was fuzzy about. These are two successive posts that I quote here verbatim.

Items to be concerned about in LC ministry

Here are examples of what I consider negative aspects of Nee's ministry, that Lee then took to another level:
1) hyper-spirituality and asceticism
2) extreme separatism from the world (Brethren style)
3) overemphasis on authority and submission
4) pride and exclusivity (the one true church, the consummation of the Lord's move)
5) contempt for other Christian groups, including charities
6) uplifting of the "church life" over normal human life and family life
7) introspection and subjectivity (especially trying to discern the spirit from the soul)
8) a warped view of humanity (rejecting anything "soulish," "natural", or "worldly")
9) using trainings to correct people's spirituality
10) a harsh and rebuking style of shepherding (M.E. Barber as the model)

The one item which I found missing, and perhaps should be tops, was the institution of "the work" as a para-church structure which rules the churches.
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Old 03-26-2017, 03:42 PM   #10
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Where do we go from here?

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?p=4602

This is a very helpful discussion with much insight.
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Old 03-26-2017, 04:29 PM   #11
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1) hyper-spirituality and asceticism

I don't think they believe in ascetisicm. They do not promote even fasting. When I was in pentecostal churches, they promoted fasting all the time (40 day daniel fasts, elijah fasts etc etc), but not in the recovery. They enjoy nice food and fellowship in the local churches. Indulgence in food and nice conference venues is typical. There are even many posts on this forum about the excesses. Lee even wrote a nice chapter called "THE EXPERIENCE OF CHRIST’S DEATH VERSUS ASCETICISM"
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:11 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by askseek View Post
Where do we go from here?

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?p=4602

This is a very helpful discussion with much insight.
I liked one of the brothers' expressed desire to not bite and devour one another in this forum. That verse in Galatians http://biblehub.com/galatians/5-15.htm, and James 4's words saying brothers at war with one another come from the flesh often constrain what I say here. While the need to speak truth in love to one another and have iron sharpen iron compels me to not be silent at other times. And I know that drives the hearts of most who are here too.
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Old 03-28-2017, 08:26 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
1) hyper-spirituality and asceticism

I don't think they believe in ascetisicm. They do not promote even fasting. When I was in pentecostal churches, they promoted fasting all the time (40 day daniel fasts, elijah fasts etc etc), but not in the recovery. They enjoy nice food and fellowship in the local churches. Indulgence in food and nice conference venues is typical. There are even many posts on this forum about the excesses. Lee even wrote a nice chapter called "THE EXPERIENCE OF CHRIST’S DEATH VERSUS ASCETICISM"
Yes asceticism regarding abstaining from foods is not a problem in TLR. Some, but not all saints have practiced other forms of asceticism, such as abstaining from some other human activities thought to be "worldly" but not prohibited by scripture, such as any sport, any television, all movies, birthdays, holidays, time with relatives, no pictures on walls not from LSM, never missing a meeting or conference, etc.
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Old 04-09-2017, 09:47 PM   #14
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Deputy Authority

This is a key concept for a proper understanding of LC history and its leadership system.

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...read.php?t=630

The thread has the following 2 excerpts of Jane Anderson. The first is from the open letter; it explains the concept in Nee's own words. The second is from post #152; it's Jane's explanation for how the thought process of a "Deputy Authority" may work. The Orwellian-style doublethink she describes is the most plausible explanation I've read yet.

The DA concept

LC leaders believe that they are "delegated authorities", men to whom God has given His own authority. LC members believe that God wants them to submit to these delegated authorities. Delegated authorities believe that they must submit to other delegated authorities who are over them. Here, from Watchman Nee's book, Spiritual Authority, are some of the statements that helped produce these kinds of beliefs:

In the past God overlooked our transgressions because we were ignorant, but now we ought to be serious about God's delegated authorities. What God stresses is not His own direct authority but the indirect authorities which He has established. All who are insubordinate to God's indirect authorities are not in subjection to God's direct authority.

Delegated authority is so serious that if one offends it, he is at odds with God. No one can expect to obtain light directly from the Lord if he refuses to have light from delegated authority… It is absolutely impossible for us to reject delegated authority and yet be subject directly to God; rejecting the first is the same as rejecting the second.

God always maintains the authority which He has delegated. We are therefore left with no choice but to be subject to the governing authorities.

an explanation of the DA mindset

Benson's behavior (and that of other LC leaders such as Titus) is the result of a strong belief system, primarily concerning deputy authority. In Benson's way of thinking, his actions as a deputy authority are completely separate from his actions as a person or a brother in Christ. This means that in his view what he did to me was a result of carrying out his God-given responsibility as an authority of God, and it was not anything personal. (I've heard this excuse given for this kind of authoritarian behavior.) Therefore, he thinks that since he (Benson, the man, the Christian brother) did not do this, but he (Benson, the acting deputy authority of God) did this, he has nothing for which to repent. In fact, in his thought, if he were to repent it would be the same as repenting for being obedient to God. That's not going to happen without some major truth earthquakes in his mind that dislodge his delusion.

A brother who was very close to Benson in the early years said to me about him (paraphrased): "Benson is one of the nicest, most likeable people you will ever meet—that is, as long as you do not 'touch' the church. If you 'touch' the church, he turns into a completely different person." Having known Benson myself, I find this statement to be true. The brother indicated that he found the ‘different person’ change to be very disturbing. (I heard this statement from this brother before Benson had ascended up the LSM ladder.)
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:47 PM   #15
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Default Re: Helpful Insights from old posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Yes asceticism regarding abstaining from foods is not a problem in TLR. Some, but not all saints have practiced other forms of asceticism, such as abstaining from some other human activities thought to be "worldly" but not prohibited by scripture, such as any sport, any television, all movies, birthdays, holidays, time with relatives, no pictures on walls not from LSM, never missing a meeting or conference, etc.
Last time I was at my parent's home in 2014, I read a section from Watchman Nee's collected works on Ascetism. It's been my view refraining from entertainment can be viewed as ascetism, but probably defended as denying the soul life. Question is, when is denying the soul life not asceticism?
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by askseek View Post
Deputy Authority
The DA concept

LC leaders believe that they are "delegated authorities", men to whom God has given His own authority. LC members believe that God wants them to submit to these delegated authorities. Delegated authorities believe that they must submit to other delegated authorities who are over them. Here, from Watchman Nee's book, Spiritual Authority, are some of the statements that helped produce these kinds of beliefs:

In the past God overlooked our transgressions because we were ignorant, but now we ought to be serious about God's delegated authorities. What God stresses is not His own direct authority but the indirect authorities which He has established. All who are insubordinate to God's indirect authorities are not in subjection to God's direct authority.

Delegated authority is so serious that if one offends it, he is at odds with God. No one can expect to obtain light directly from the Lord if he refuses to have light from delegated authority… It is absolutely impossible for us to reject delegated authority and yet be subject directly to God; rejecting the first is the same as rejecting the second.

God always maintains the authority which He has delegated. We are therefore left with no choice but to be subject to the governing authorities.

an explanation of the DA mindset

Benson's behavior (and that of other LC leaders such as Titus) is the result of a strong belief system, primarily concerning deputy authority. In Benson's way of thinking, his actions as a deputy authority are completely separate from his actions as a person or a brother in Christ. This means that in his view what he did to me was a result of carrying out his God-given responsibility as an authority of God, and it was not anything personal. (I've heard this excuse given for this kind of authoritarian behavior.) Therefore, he thinks that since he (Benson, the man, the Christian brother) did not do this, but he (Benson, the acting deputy authority of God) did this, he has nothing for which to repent. In fact, in his thought, if he were to repent it would be the same as repenting for being obedient to God. That's not going to happen without some major truth earthquakes in his mind that dislodge his delusion.

A brother who was very close to Benson in the early years said to me about him (paraphrased): "Benson is one of the nicest, most likeable people you will ever meet—that is, as long as you do not 'touch' the church. If you 'touch' the church, he turns into a completely different person." Having known Benson myself, I find this statement to be true. The brother indicated that he found the ‘different person’ change to be very disturbing. (I heard this statement from this brother before Benson had ascended up the LSM ladder.)
One of my favorite topics of LC practices. That is Deputy/delegated authority. Without this concept, the system will implode. Though there may be scriptural principles, several of the by-products is pride and no accountability for any personal transgressions. History indicates there is no separation for delegated authorities between their personal life to brothers in Christ.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:18 PM   #17
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For as much as there is to say about deputy/delegated authority, it seems 2 Samuel 12 is passed over. Here we have King David, a type of deputy authority submitting to prophet Nathan. More often than not, you won't see similar behavior from delegated authorities. Covering of Noah is often the normal practice.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:08 AM   #18
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The whole concept of delegate/deputy authority is illogical. A brother doesn't need to be qualified as Paul writes about in his epistles. Just need to be loyal and in coordination with Living Stream Ministry. Once you're no longer in coordination, you're no longer a delegated/deputy authority.
I see a flawed concept when it pertains ONLY to brothers in fellowship with Living Stream Ministry. Because of that, let's call it for what it is, an organizational hierarchy.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:12 PM   #19
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(note: this is my fusion of recent posts by aron and Ohio)

In the LC "love the ministry" overturned "love your neighbor." If your neighbor wasn't "for the ministry" you could throw him under the bus, whereas the real oneness of the Spirit requires genuine love from the heart: loving God, loving the brothers, loving our neighbors, and even loving our enemies.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:07 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by askseek View Post
(note: this is my fusion of recent posts by aron and Ohio)

In the LC "love the ministry" overturned "love your neighbor." If your neighbor wasn't "for the ministry" you could throw him under the bus, whereas the real oneness of the Spirit requires genuine love from the heart: loving God, loving the brothers, loving our neighbors, and even loving our enemies.
Yep.

Jesus today would tell LSM that if they only love those who love them, they are no different than the Gentiles.
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