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Old 07-02-2016, 02:17 AM   #1
Betsy
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Default From a concerned parent

My little Renee (lr) has become entangled with the church the last few years. To stay informed, I have also become involved with spending time in going to meetings and taking the FTTA-online etc., but I have remained an outsider. I can see why the church focuses on recruiting young people -- they are more gullible and naive than those who are no longer young.

At first I was pleased for lr. Having a strong faith is a good thing, and having a church life to express it is a good thing. Now I'm mostly concerned if or how much damage it can do. It's hard for me to relate as I don't have the subjective experience of any emotional attachment to this LSM ministry, but I can see on this forum how much former members have been hurt.

I first saw the LSM church in a new light with red flags waving, when lr asked me to order some recovery version Bibles on Amazon. Out of habit, I read some reviews, including the negative ones before I order anything and also because I was curious what anyone could say against a Bible. Well I got a tome of information about plagiarism, hundreds of examples cited in the notes of the recovery version. Well, the good thing is there's a lot of great stuff in those notes, personally selected by WL from many great Christian minds throughout the 1800s and earlier. The bad thing is that WL has copyrighted these notes as his own ideas.

This started what turned out to be the tip of the iceberg for WL et.al. I've learned not to mention anything against any of it because it only generates an angry and defensive response, so instead I spend a lot of time cringing silently. Anyway, the old saying is true, one catches a lot more with honey than with vinegar.

So my question is does anyone know of a good alternative, with seemingly endless audio and revival booklets as can be found with the LSM? I like Grace Gems and Enduringword.com, but they lack any physical presence. When we fellowship, I make a point to read the Bible first instead of the morning revival or life-studies, but I can tell they barely tolerate this. I wish I could better demonstrate my faith but I seem no match for the insincerity and contrivance of the LSM. What would be the most painless way to untangle a saint?
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Old 07-02-2016, 08:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: From a concerned parent

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Originally Posted by Renee View Post
I wish I could better demonstrate my faith but I seem no match for the insincerity and contrivance of the LSM. What would be the most painless way to untangle a saint?
"Whatever is good and true and pure, think on these things." Remember that you can't ask someone to take a path that you yourself are not on. So focus on the Way, not on the situation.

To find the Way, ask your Father in heaven to show you someone ahead of you on the path of life. Then follow them. If you by faith place your feet on the path, the Holy Spirit will meet you there. Then your daughter will also see the light.
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Old 07-02-2016, 04:22 PM   #3
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Default Re: From a concerned parent

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Originally Posted by Renee View Post
So my question is does anyone know of a good alternative, with seemingly endless audio and revival booklets as can be found with the LSM? I like Grace Gems and Enduringword.com, but they lack any physical presence. When we fellowship, I make a point to read the Bible first instead of the morning revival or life-studies, but I can tell they barely tolerate this. I wish I could better demonstrate my faith but I seem no match for the insincerity and contrivance of the LSM. What would be the most painless way to untangle a saint?
I doubt you can pry her out, but you might be able to pray her out. Not too many groups provide the social, psychological, and spiritual package the recovery markets. If lr is a college student she might benefit from one of the non-LSM campus groups like The Navigators, Cru (used to be Campus Crusade for Christ), Baptist or Methodist or some other denominational college group.
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Old 07-02-2016, 06:22 PM   #4
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Well I got a tome of information about plagiarism, hundreds of examples cited in the notes of the recovery version. Well, the good thing is there's a lot of great stuff in those notes, personally selected by WL from many great Christian minds throughout the 1800s and earlier. The bad thing is that WL has copyrighted these notes as his own ideas.
At best Lee and company were very sloppy in acknowledging sources, at worst they were plagiarists. My take on Lee is that if there is anything useful in his voluminous writings it was NOT unique to him; and whatever teaching is unique to Lee should be avoided as potential heresy.
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Old 07-03-2016, 12:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: From a concerned parent

For bible teaching, I would check out torahclass.com. The teaching is fantastic, thorough, and quenches the thirst to understand God's word in a systematic way. Understanding the word from it's original hebrew context and learning to take the commands in the OT seriously was actually quite liberating for me in my journey away from the LC. Even something as trivial as what to eat, as many in the LC can relate to, becomes entangled with this corrupted notion of "authority" that is promulgated in the LC as God's ordained system, whereas all we really need to do is read God's word and do what it says, not add to it or take away from it.
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Old 07-03-2016, 07:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: From a concerned parent

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. . . all we really need to do is read God's word and do what it says, not add to it or take away from it.
I would phrase it a bit differently. As a Christian, all I really need to do is read God's word, and by faith I see Jesus doing what it says, yes down to the proverbial jot and tittle, and by faith I follow. Yes that means doing what it says; not being hearers only (or worse, ignorers) of God's word, but doers.

Lee, as "God's oracle" took away a lot from the text, those parts which conflicted with his interpretive (i.e. added) "God's economy" metric. So he surely disqualified himself as the go-to source for the seeker.

Back to my earlier, "find someone who inspires you and follow them" comment. It should go without saying, don't be inspired by a self-appointed "prophet for the age" like Witness Lee, or "apostle of the age" as his followers currently claim. Instead, find someone humble enough to be subject to peer review. Lee had no peers, being sufficiently transformed (so he thought) to be above such things. As such he became least in the kingdom, unable to hear or learn from any other.

There are a LOT of scholars out there, who are subject to the critical examinations of each other, who are doing the equivalent of "meditating on the Word both day and night." As one who's been around the block a few times, and was a know-it-all back when and have hardened into an incorrigible know-it-all today, I sometimes argue with them as I go over their writings. "What! How can you say that!? Look at Revelation 14!!!"

But I totally respect what they are doing, and I love that Baptists and Angicans and Orthodox and Catholics yes even Jewish scholars are sitting side-by-side and going over the text line by line and precept by precept. The strength is in the collective, not some supposed "giant", and WL never got that. Of course he wouldn't have sold so many books to his captive audience had he permitted this attitude.

And as you sit there with them (figuratively speaking, because I'm usually at home, reading) and watch as these men and women versed in Greek and Hebrew and Ugaritic and whatnot go over the texts, the word will suddenly blossom in front of you. "The unfolding of Your word gives light; it brings understanding to the simple." So true. To be there as the word unfolds is an experience without equal. The Holy Spirit comes and reveals the Son in whom the Father delights, and the Son reveals the Father's house, and suddenly the world is fresh and clean and new and hopeful. Because "God is with us." Emmanuel.

Shalom.
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Old 07-03-2016, 08:37 AM   #7
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. . . all we really need to do is read God's word and do what it says, not add to it or take away from it.
I'd like to add something to my previous comments on this post, and hopefully bring it back to the original request, which was, How to help an unwitting person who's been ensnared in the pseudo- "High peak theology" and self-proclaimed "vision of the age"?

Yesterday I was considering the discrepancy, so-called, in the statements that "nobody has ever seen God" versus "Moses talked to God, face-to-face". I did a Google search and came across a few folks who tried to smooth over this apparent dilemma. One of them essentially said, "We're trying to reconcile two separate scriptural passages here, but there's really no discrepancy because the latter passage was written by a confused person, who apparently didn't get the first passage." Now this particular exegesis was written by an amateur on their personal website, and not in a peer-reviewed publication. And of course everyone has a right to an opinion.

But I wanted to make the point: be wary of those who try to explain what the Bible says, by telling you that parts of it are written by people who didn't know what they were talking about! This tells me that the Bible expositor here perhaps values their own ideas more than the Bible itself.

And Lee did this in spades. Look for the many times that he said the writer was expressing "complex sentiments", i.e. "fallen human concepts" were being mixed with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit. Where did Paul or any of the NT writers ever treat the OT scripture thus, or give license to do so?

So if you want to free your daughter, just ask, When you're listening to a Bible teacher, and the Bible teacher tells you not to pay attention to the Bible because it was written according to "fallen human concepts", where do you draw the line? How do you know that it isn't the Bible teacher who's using fallen human concepts to reject the Word? Just some food for thought.

If the reader is asked to trust the Bible expositor's discernment, and judgment, above those who actually penned scripture, as well as those who later compiled it as canonical, some concern should begin to emerge. Just give voice to this concern, pleasantly and with much grace. Your daughter has a good, functional brain and even though they discourage her from using it, she will.

"Man doesn't live by bread alone, but by every word proceeding out of the mouth of God." Don't treasure only those words which are convenient to your hermeneutic. When it says 'every word', I believe it means just what it says - - every word. Don't start telling God what is and isn't valuable. You'll quickly find yourself on the wrong side of the ledger.
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Old 07-04-2016, 09:50 PM   #8
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And Lee did this in spades. Look for the many times that he said the writer was expressing "complex sentiments", i.e. "fallen human concepts" were being mixed with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

So if you want to free your daughter, just ask, When you're listening to a Bible teacher, and the Bible teacher tells you not to pay attention to the Bible because it was written according to "fallen human concepts", where do you draw the line? How do you know that it isn't the Bible teacher who's using fallen human concepts to reject the Word? Just some food for thought.
Good point, where does one draw the line if the Holy Spirit only inspired part of the Bible? Of course this sounds just like WL, but I've never seen those words from him and lr has never mentioned it. Could you give the reference to where he said "fallen human concepts" were mixed in the writing of the Bible. I know the FTTA lessons state the Book of James was inspired as a negative example, but that's not the same thing. Also the WL interpretation put greater importance on different parts of the Bible compared to others, which again not the same to which you referred.

I notice that the LC in practice discourages Bible reading and studying. WL would say that he'd been studying the Bible for 60 years and so many conditions had to be met before anyone could get the revelations and see the vision. He also said that people needed the Bible to be interpreted to them, otherwise they wouldn't understand. That, combined with pray-reading and then listening to / reading the 25000 pages and 400 books written by WL, leaves precious little time for Bible reading.

This could be my main objection to the LC, because I believe one doesn't have to understand what they are reading in the Bible to be inspired/fed/transformed by it. This doesn't happen with any other book I've ever read, in my experience, and also this was acknowledged in the FTTA-online. But still, they structure Bible reading to no time.
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Old 07-05-2016, 07:18 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Renee View Post
Could you give the reference to where WL said "fallen human concepts" were mixed in the writing of the Bible.
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And Lee did this in spades. Look for the many times that he said the writer was expressing "complex sentiments", i.e. "fallen human concepts" were being mixed with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit..
I googled "Witness Lee complex sentiments" and the first page had four citations, all from his study of the Psalms. I went into this in some detail in the thread entitled "The Psalms are the Word of Christ", in the "Apologetic discussions" section of this forum.

I'll try to recap: the NT clearly says that all scripture is God-breathed and profitable; Jesus said that man doesn't live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God; the apostle wrote that the prophets were given words inspired by the Holy Spirit (1 Peter 1:21). Nowhere do I see the corollary warning us to stay away from the "low" or "fallen" parts of scripture, written by sinners according to their "natural concepts". And the Psalms were heavily cited in the NT, as you're probably aware. Yet WL waved them off almost in toto, except where NT usage forced him to accede them as "revelatory of God's Christ." Even then, as in First Peter's quote of "all flesh is like grass" (1:24) he might dismiss it as "natural."

Instead, WL recommended to us "the heart of the divine revelation"; i.e. Paul's epistles to Ephesus, Galatia, Colossae, and Philippi. Look at the footnotes there. One Bible verse might get a page of small print notes from him. Yet Paul in Ephesians 5 and Colossians 3 recommended singing Psalms, calling them "the words of Christ" and saying that you'd be "filled in Spirit" by so doing. What, isn't Paul's recommendation in "the heart of the divine revelation" not good enough? Or has it been subsumed by today's oracle?

The Psalms were compiled in a specific manner. There's a narrative structure, which can be at least faintly discerned. Psalm 1 talks about the man who loves the word of God and meditates upon it day and night. Like a tree planted by streams of water, giving fruit in season, whose leaf doesn't wither (see e.g. allusions in Revelation to the tree planted by the crystal river, giving fruit each month, whose leaves heal the nations). This is contrasted to the wicked, the scoffers and the mockers, whose fate is utter rejection.

This message seems to resonate quite well with Deuteronomy 17 which says that the King of Israel should have such a relation with God's word. And Psalm 2 confirms this, by saying that God has placed His Anointed (Gk: "Christos") on His holy mountain, and given Him all rule and authority and power. Strong messianic overtones, no? This passage is of course cited heavily in the NT.

But WL's footnotes said that there was a kind of dissonance going on - Psalm 1 was "natural" and Psalm 2 was "revelatory" and so forth. He basically dismissed 3/4 of the 2000 + verses of the Psalms as of no value, except to show people "in their natural minds and not in their regenerated human spirits". So who in the Local Churches wants to pursue Christ in the Psalms, outside of Lee's scanty notes and minimal permissions? And were the compilers of the Psalms really so deluded? And where in the NT reception of Psalms, 40+ citations by my count, do we get permission to think this way?

I'll continue my argument in another post.
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:01 AM   #10
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Default Presenting an argument to a Local Church person

What follows is my idea on presenting an argument to a LC attendee. You have to be very careful if you point out that their proverbial "emperor has no clothes" because they have an effective defense mechanism. If you say anything that isn't "one" with the "oracle" (i.e. the current speaking of leadership) you'll quickly be dismissed as "negative" or "poisoned." Case closed. Discussion over.

So you have to make your point wisely, and with much grace. First, remember that your relationship with this person is with God, and don't let it be sacrificed at the altar of some objective truth, so-called. The greatest truth is love, and Jesus loved us when we were incapable of apprehending it - we were unlovable, unlovely, and unloving. Yet He came. So be wise in how you approach your fellow, under the LC umbrella; be gentle and with much peace and discernment.

And I might try to imitate Nathan the prophet coming to David. First, Nathan established a proposition regarding behavior, which David fully engaged in, and endorsed. Then Nathan turned the tables: "David, this man is you." First make a proposition which your fellow agrees with, then show them that it applies, here. Your daughter is a logical person; give her a logical proposal.

E.g. Proposition One: All scripture is spiritual and profitable for teaching, edification, enlightenment, spiritual nourishment.

Proposition Two: Jesus said, "David was in Spirit when writing about Me." Mark 12:36.

Proposal: Where, then, do we get the leading to say that David wasn't in Spirit when he was composing his Psalms? That he was communicating merely "fallen human concepts"? I say, Nowhere, is where.

Now, imagine, for a moment, what kind of gospel we'd have today, if the apostle had said, "David's testimony was merely from his natural mind; he thought that God approved of him, he who was a sinner. But David died and was buried like the rest of us. Therefore his words were actually vain." What kind of a teaching is that? Where's the Good News here? And where's the Christ of God?

Instead, the apostle said, "David knew that God had promised him a Seed to come, which would inherit the earth, and reign everlasting, and David was prophesying concerning this One." (See Peter's speech, while standing with the eleven, to the astonished throng on Pentecost day [Acts 2:14-40, esp vv 30,31]).

Now, which kind of a teaching do we prefer, one that values all of God's word, and faintly sees Christ therein, or one that creates an interpretive template which is held so tightly that 'non-conforming scripture' is tossed away? To which do we cling, our teachings or God's word? I myself would rather be somewhat astonished and confused, with God's Bible in my grasp, than to be 'clear' with a truncated, or pruned-away, set of scriptures. What say you?

(Or something like that. Essentially I'd try to make a point, look for agreement or assent, and show that it was relevant to assessing the validity or value of this particular ministry. Is this really the ministry of the age, and "something greater than Paul is here", or is this merely a fallen sinner like you or me, writing according to his natural human concepts?)
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:13 AM   #11
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Default One more point

Sorry to be verbose, but one final point, to follow my two previous posts.

Remember Saul of Tarsus' conversion? Very dramatic. Came from heaven.

True, but the prelude to that, I believe, was long coming. Saul heard the speech of Stephen in Acts 7. He also saw that his face was like that of an angel (6:15). Paul got exposed to the gospel. He heard it again and again, as he entered homes, and dragged them out for punishment (Acts 8:3). And the dying Christians testified to him, of the Lord Jesus Christ, of His kingdom, power and glory.

At some point the incongruity became too great to bear, and he fell down, hearing, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?" The disconnect of "doing good by doing bad" became too extreme, and unsupportable.

So my counsel is to establish mutually-assented logic. And if those with whom you converse say something like, "All Scripture is indeed profitable, and are indeed words of spirit and life, unless of course the 'ministry of the age' tells us it's vain", then they've established their position, out loud. Their ears have heard their mouth speak that 'God's current oracle' can contravene the Bible, and its reception in Christian history, and being 'one' with this supposed oracle is greater than what scripture has established concerning itself. . . at some point the disconnect, the incongruity, the illogic of this position will become unbearable, and they'll reject it. So be patient with them, and allow them to state things which seem unsupportable. Don't cover your ears and run away screaming. . . at some point their own conscience will begin to nag at them. The illogic of teaching on the Bible while simultaneously dismissing it will simply become too great.

And remember Stephen's face.
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Old 07-05-2016, 09:40 AM   #12
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Default Re: From a concerned parent

I think we've lost track of Renee's request. She asked for some sources of ministry that could be an alternative to LSM's stuff.

I would say find the website of a good, Bible-based church with a teacher you like and who is listenable, look for videos of his or her ministry and watch them together.

Here's an example:

http://acfcommunity.org/media/messag...new-community/

For books, just look for some of the current Christian bestsellers, find one that looks good and buy it and read it together.

You don't need to find an equivalent to LSM's pseudo-profound, Byzantine stuff. I would think that women, generally, would not find that stuff appealing in the first place, as it's appeal is mostly theoretical. It appeals to those who want to be "deep." You don't need to be "deep" to have a deep relationship with God. You just need to be relational with God and put that relationship above all.

I'd trade a whole library of LSM books for one copy of The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.

Mostly, pray for your daughter.
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Old 07-05-2016, 12:24 PM   #13
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Default Re: One more point

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aron
.....You have to be very careful if you point out that their proverbial "emperor has no clothes" because they have an effective defense mechanism. If you say anything that isn't "one" with the "oracle" (i.e. the current speaking of leadership) you'll quickly be dismissed as "negative" or "poisoned." Case closed. Discussion over.
...........be gentle and with much peace and discernment.
Haha, oh yes I did learn that lesson. They look at me as if I've all of a sudden turned into an alligator. Aside from that, of course I want to be most gentle and if I do proceed with this, I will apply the logic you provided, as well as looking for some alternative. However, I'm still somewhat in a quandary of whether to proceed at all. You see I'm barely a believer just recently, and before that most of my life was as an atheist, not by choice, but that was just the way it was and it started as a child when I couldn't accept the hypocrisy.

So on the one hand I know that almost any kind of faith/church, no matter how fallen, is better than the nothingness of being an atheist, but on the other hand there is little doubt in my mind that WL pulled a game. I can even understand how he would have justified it to himself. But would exposing his falseness do more damage than good?
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Old 07-05-2016, 01:21 PM   #14
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But would exposing his falseness do more damage than good?
Welcome to the Forum Renee. One of the main reasons this forum exists is for people in your position to come and have open, safe dialog. Unfortunately, it is very difficult for our dear brothers and sisters in the Local Church to dialog objectively regarding Witness Lee and the teachings and practices of the movement.

You have a very good point here. Sometimes when it comes to these matters of personal faith and religious affections, especially when it comes to a group like the Local Church of Witness Lee, "the cure" can be worse than "the disease". It's a very hard thing to express in words, and every case is different because every human being is different.

In regards to "exposing his falseness", what I would say is to try your best to expose your daughter to the Truth. Let God and his Word do the exposing. I understand that you are a relatively new Christian, and while this would seem to be a problem, what you must realize is that the Truth is not new, and the Holy Spirit is not new either. God's Word and the Holy Spirit have been exposing the falseness among his people for over 2,000 years now. The Lord Jesus promised to send "the Spirit of Truth" who is to "guide us into all Truth". (John 16:13) You are not alone! You have God and his Word at your side! And for what it's worth, you got a bunch of people on this forum rooting and praying for you.


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Old 07-05-2016, 02:13 PM   #15
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Default Re: From a concerned parent

You mentioned that you've taken some FTTA-Online courses. Did you find that the courses were pretty neutral with regard to opinions on Christianity compared to what is shared and spoken among the saints? I took at least three courses and don't remember hearing anything really negative about Christianity.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:02 PM   #16
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Default Re: One more point

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I think we've lost track of Renee's request. She asked for some sources of ministry that could be an alternative to LSM's stuff.
http://www.brill.com/vigiliae-christianae

Vigilae Christianae is a good example of a peer-reviewed publication. You don't get an article in there unless it makes sense to someone who knows something of the subject. A lot of Christians just write because it makes sense to them, and they want to hear themselves talk (see Yours Truly, for Exhibit A). But on a peer-reviewed journal you really allow your thoughts to be raked over the coals by the rest. An idea may seem plausible to you but is it really objectively valid? It helps one to think clearly.

Witness Lee wouldn't stand a chance in such an environment. Need I say more?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
. . . at some point the disconnect, the incongruity, the illogic of this position will become unbearable, and they'll reject it. So be patient with them, and allow them to state things which seem unsupportable.
Actually some people can withstand quite a bit of disconnect, evidently. I remember hearing of the FTTT 'trainers' telling the 'trainees',"If others do it, it's hierarchy, but if we do it, then it isn't hierarchy". In other words if someone else does it, then it's religion and wrong, but if we do it, then it's okay.

Subjective, much? Such an attitude can't last long in a peer-reviewed environment. So if you go where the Catholics and Protestants and Anglicans and Orthodox are all being laid bare, no respecters of persons, you are in pretty safe territory. And sometimes the conversations are very interesting!

Another good organization is the Society for Biblical Literature. They host a number of interesting magazines. All you have to do is find one good article. Nobody has to be an expert in everything (sorry, WL). Just find an area that opens the proverbial heavens, and start digging.

https://www.sbl-site.org/

The experience of watching the scriptures unfold before your eyes is without equal. There is no substitute.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:11 PM   #17
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Default Re: From a concerned parent

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy
I'd trade a whole library of LSM books for one copy of The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence.

Mostly, pray for your daughter.
Thank you for the book suggestion. I've already ordered it off Amazon and am looking forward to read it.

Yes I do pray for my daughter in my own unique, bumbling way. The repetitive regimented form of prayer doesn't appeal to me because I believe God wants our mind fully engaged during prayer to form a genuine relationship. The type prayer I've seen practiced would be like a friend coming to talk to you, and only talking according to a pre-planned script or template. It would be just too weird.
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: One more point

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Originally Posted by Aron
The experience of watching the scriptures unfold before your eyes is without equal. There is no substitute.
I'm looking forward to reading your references. In the online classes, I did see the scriptures unfold a couple of times. It is without equal. At the same time, I don't want to forget John 15:39 ? "You examine the Scriptures carefully because you suppose that in them you have eternal life. Yet they testify about me."
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Old 07-05-2016, 04:33 PM   #19
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The Lord Jesus promised to send "the Spirit of Truth" who is to "guide us into all Truth". (John 16:13)
This could be a terrible blow to lr. Where was this promise of Jesus when she was taken in hook, line and sinker by a false apostle?
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Old 07-05-2016, 08:49 PM   #20
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Thank you for the book suggestion. I've already ordered it off Amazon and am looking forward to read it.

Yes I do pray for my daughter in my own unique, bumbling way. The repetitive regimented form of prayer doesn't appeal to me because I believe God wants our mind fully engaged during prayer to form a genuine relationship. The type prayer I've seen practiced would be like a friend coming to talk to you, and only talking according to a pre-planned script or template. It would be just too weird.
You should love the Brother Lawrence book then. Blessings!
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:32 AM   #21
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You mentioned that you've taken some FTTA-Online courses. Did you find that the courses were pretty neutral with regard to opinions on Christianity compared to what is shared and spoken among the saints? I took at least three courses and don't remember hearing anything really negative about Christianity.
One or more of the courses were quite negative about other churches. I was a little surprised the negativity was so pronounced. The other denominations were called something like shallow and boring. They were all degraded and WL even admitted the LC was degraded too.

The main emphasis seemed to be on how to expand and enlarge the LSM ministry which wasn't growing as fast as hoped. Instead of flogging the saints to go knocking on doors and collar warm bodies to expand his ministry, WL should have realized that claiming to be the only true church is a major turnoff and might have explained why his ministry stopped growing, at least in part.
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Old 07-06-2016, 08:23 AM   #22
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One or more of the courses were quite negative about other churches. I was a little surprised the negativity was so pronounced. The other denominations were called something like shallow and boring. They were all degraded and WL even admitted the LC was degraded too.

The main emphasis seemed to be on how to expand and enlarge the LSM ministry which wasn't growing as fast as hoped. Instead of flogging the saints to go knocking on doors and collar warm bodies to expand his ministry, WL should have realized that claiming to be the only true church is a major turnoff and might have explained why his ministry stopped growing, at least in part.
The whole ministry of WL is one long infomercial about the ministry of WL. Other contemporary ministries, and all but a few previous ones (that had 'God's oracle', and only one per age, sorry) were deemed grossly deficient. Only WL had fully recovered light and truth, and could thereby give 'life' for the initiate (i.e. his 'Life-Studies' of the Bible).

WL repeatedly termed seminaries as "cemeteries", yet I suspect he was aware of his own inadequacies, and thus his continued 'pooh-pooh' of all else was merely camouflage.

By contrast, I'd present a couple of contemporary scholars, NT Wright and GK Beale:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N._T._Wright

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gregory_Beale

Neither is particularly 'anointed' beyond the rest, but they represent the good, serious work done by those who take God's word seriously and have done actual leg-work to present something of value. And none of them, btw, believe they hold a corner on the truth.

Beale's 1998 work "The Book of Revelation: A Commentary on the Greek Text" is an example of decent scholarship. He doesn't say, "This means that"; rather he examines the words, looks at contemporaneous usage to determine what it might have meant, looks for scriptural allusions (Revelation is packed with them), and then examines the history of understanding of the meaning. WL looked at a few 19th Century studies and rendered verdict: "This clearly shows us that...". Beale doesn't do that. He allows the different interpretations to co-exist, says what strengths and weaknesses each has for the over-all understanding, and why he thinks one has more weight.

https://www.amazon.com/Revelation-In...ion+commentary

And Beale never loses the forest for the trees. And he certainly never lets his exegeses push the text aside as of little value! What kind of interpretation tells us that the writers and compilers of the Bible were confused, and lost their way? And if so, why did God wait for WL to come along and set us all straight? Has Christianity really been so aberrant, for so long? I daresay no. WL would find little traction in the free market of ideas. His ministry can only exist in a captive system, a sort of "North Korea" of spirituality. One Uber Boss, the rest as minions adoring his every utterance as divine, oracular. In a free market of ideas, WL's work would be seen for what it is: sloppy scholarship at best, plagiarism at worst, and very, very out of date.

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Where was this promise of Jesus when she was taken in hook, line and sinker by a false apostle?
The promise of Jesus is there, but is only discerned by the heart. Only later does the brain catch up. First we appreciate the glory, the 'cloud of unknowing'; eventually our consciousness faintly gets some of the particulars.

My strong image is of the aged apostle John. He'd been the bright-eyed, devout young man tagging along after John the Baptist, who then was recommended to and transferred to be with Jesus (John 1:35; note that one disciple isn't named [John never names himself], yet the scenes are always narrated in eye-witness format).

John had been there from Day One. Saw all the miracles. Even saw things the other 9 had not (the mountaintop, Jairus' daugher). Leaned on Jesus' breast. Then in the immediate, post-resurrection church, was also front and center: side-by-side with Peter as miracles poured out (Acts 3:1). Then saw the rise of James the brother of the Lord, and saw Paul's ministry wax and wane. His own brother was killed by Herod; I suspect that John went into hiding soon after, knowing that he was a marked man.

Now, on Patmos, the old man considers the bleak situation: the churches pummelled and in disarray. Not only five of the seven Asian churches that need to repent, but there are others that aren't flourishing either. The heady days of Pentecost are long gone. The Sermon on the Mount is but a distant memory.

Then he hears a sound, and turns, and the vision causes his consciousness to dissolve. It is Jesus.

You know, if Moses had got up and walked across the sapphire stones toward God, as he sat there with Aaron and the seventy, (Exod 24:10) he probably wouldn't have made it. God is holy, and we are not. Look at what happened to Aaron's two sons! But nonetheless, our journey into the text of the Bible is a journey into bright fire. We have no recourse. Jesus has gone before, and we are bid to follow. So we step onto the sapphire pavement and begin to walk.

Don't worry about jumping into the deep end of the pool. Just jump. You may only understand 15 or 20%, and even some of that's irrelevant: scholars writing to other scholars about people like Philo or Josephus using some Greek phrases, and asking how does this pertain to a clause in Mark's gospel, chapter 8? This seems off base, and irrelevant. But if you persist in the pursuit, the fire will come.
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Old 07-06-2016, 12:57 PM   #23
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One or more of the courses were quite negative about other churches. I was a little surprised the negativity was so pronounced. The other denominations were called something like shallow and boring. They were all degraded and WL even admitted the LC was degraded too.

The main emphasis seemed to be on how to expand and enlarge the LSM ministry which wasn't growing as fast as hoped. Instead of flogging the saints to go knocking on doors and collar warm bodies to expand his ministry, WL should have realized that claiming to be the only true church is a major turnoff and might have explained why his ministry stopped growing, at least in part.
I've found LC elders don't have an issue with negativity against Christianity. It's not a problem to them. However to be negative towards LC practices is a problem for them.
There are reasons why the LC has stopped growing.
1. Spiritually-unwillingness to deal with sin.
2. Focus on a ministry rather than Christ has narrowed the inclusiveness it claims to be. Only if one has appreciation for LSM publications will one be received completely. By practice Romans 15:7 is a verse to pray-read, but not to live by.
3. Culture-the LC authoritative culture is not appealing to all ethnic groups. There's a reason why there's not as many English speaking brothers and sisters as there used to be. The LC system does not tolerate authority being questioned.
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Old 07-06-2016, 03:28 PM   #24
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One or more of the courses were quite negative about other churches. I was a little surprised the negativity was so pronounced. The other denominations were called something like shallow and boring. They were all degraded and WL even admitted the LC was degraded too.

The main emphasis seemed to be on how to expand and enlarge the LSM ministry which wasn't growing as fast as hoped. Instead of flogging the saints to go knocking on doors and collar warm bodies to expand his ministry, WL should have realized that claiming to be the only true church is a major turnoff and might have explained why his ministry stopped growing, at least in part.
Does anyone know if the LC is not growing? The JW are growing, the Mormons are growing, why wouldn't the LC be not growing?
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Old 07-06-2016, 04:51 PM   #25
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Does anyone know if the LC is not growing? The JW are growing, the Mormons are growing, why wouldn't the LC be not growing?
Since the LC does not publish official membership statistics, it's hard to say for sure.

About a year ago I saw a powerpoint presentation online about a camp that the local churches in Southern California were purchasing. IIRC on one of the slides they listed some numbers stating that there are something like 50 local churches in the area with 6500 or so meeting on Lord's day.

There are no other numbers to compare that to so it's anyone's guess as to what those numbers were 10 or 20 years ago. Knowing how much LC leadership loves to purge detractors and even regions of the country, it seems fair to assume that any sizable increase has been offset by decreases elsewhere.
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Old 07-06-2016, 06:52 PM   #26
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Here are some graphs for the growth of the LSM ministry based on Google searches:

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...9&d=1421291085
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Old 07-10-2016, 06:25 PM   #27
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Haha, oh yes I did learn that lesson. They look at me as if I've all of a sudden turned into an alligator. Aside from that, of course I want to be most gentle and if I do proceed with this, I will apply the logic you provided, as well as looking for some alternative. However, I'm still somewhat in a quandary of whether to proceed at all. You see I'm barely a believer just recently, and before that most of my life was as an atheist, not by choice, but that was just the way it was and it started as a child when I couldn't accept the hypocrisy.

So on the one hand I know that almost any kind of faith/church, no matter how fallen, is better than the nothingness of being an atheist, but on the other hand there is little doubt in my mind that WL pulled a game. I can even understand how he would have justified it to himself. But would exposing his falseness do more damage than good?
Offer alternatives.

1) Pray together everyday. Prayer is respectfully, but matter-of-factly talking directly to the Lord who has saved you. Tell Him your hopes and fears and needs and what you appreciate about Him.

2) Read the Bible together every day (if you live together). This will provide context to you and your daughter. Start in the New Testament and read 1/2 a chapter or so and simply discuss what blesses you.

3) Sing a hymn together.

The above three are real fellowship.

4) play good Christian Bible teaching in the house, not constantly, but on and off as you are doing chores. Some safe suggestions: ttb.org is Thru the Bible. They have recordings of a five year study of the Bible. Vernon McGee, passed away several years ago and no scandals have come out. You can download all of their studies for free. They are on a lot of Christian radio stations.

Bbnradio.org is very "old-fashioned", but all of the teachers on there have been around long enough to be tested or have passed away and have no scandals behind them. They have an app that you can use to stream radio or replay broadcasts. There is a broadcast by Elizabeth Elliot called Gateway to Joy that is extraordinary. Her husband, along with 3 other men, were murdered in the Ecuadorian Jungles years ago. She, another lady and her daughter (a toddler at the time) went to live with the tribe that killed their husbands.

Another really sweet spirited lady named Joni Earackson Tada has a 5 minute broadcast named "Joni and Friends". She is a paraplegic that is always super encouraging.

Wisdom for the Heart is another program (they have an app too) with healthy Bible teaching.

More importantly, identify with Christ wherever you go. You'll meet Christians. Share lunch with them and your daughter, pray together, share together. Your daughter will have a chance to see others love the Lord too.
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Old 07-10-2016, 11:26 PM   #28
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SteVee, all good alternative suggestions. Thank you so much. I'll try to do the Bible reading more with her, since that's been effectively moved to the back-burner in the church of WL. She can't object to Bible reading, although she tries to switch it to mostly note reading. WL said in the FTTA-online that we need to have the Bible interpreted for us, so I suppose that is why she wants to mostly read the notes. So much for learning to trust God to interpret his living word for us where we're at.

She bristles when I try to use anything other than what is part of the one publication. She says even Watchman Née is now rather outdated, and if the move changes, it will come out of the current move. Does that have any biblical basis?
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Old 07-11-2016, 01:00 AM   #29
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SteVee, all good alternative suggestions. Thank you so much. I'll try to do the Bible reading more with her, since that's been effectively moved to the back-burner in the church of WL. She can't object to Bible reading, although she tries to switch it to mostly note reading. WL said in the FTTA-online that we need to have the Bible interpreted for us, so I suppose that is why she wants to mostly read the notes. So much for learning to trust God to interpret his living word for us where we're at.

She bristles when I try to use anything other than what is part of the one publication. She says even Watchman Née is now rather outdated, and if the move changes, it will come out of the current move. Does that have any biblical basis?
Hi Renee, I like those suggestions for you and your daughter. And taking something of the ministry of Brother Lee also, with the Word and prayer going before, preparing your spirit for the help obtained in an interpreted word.
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Old 07-12-2016, 07:23 AM   #30
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Hi Renee, I like those suggestions for you and your daughter. And taking something of the ministry of Brother Lee also, with the Word and prayer going before, preparing your spirit for the help obtained in an interpreted word.
That the local churches got to the point of putting Witness Lee and his words above Jesus Christ (the one mediator between God and man) and God's word is what eventually caused me to run away fast. In one generation, we lost what took 1,000 years to recover, man's ability to have a printed copy of the Bible, and read it (instead of having it locked away by the church)! Judgement has been declared on that! Warning! Warning!, Danger!, Danger! Will Robinson!
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Old 07-12-2016, 09:46 AM   #31
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That the local churches got to the point of putting Witness Lee and his words above Jesus Christ (the one mediator between God and man) and God's word is what eventually caused me to run away fast. In one generation, we lost what took 1,000 years to recover, man's ability to have a printed copy of the Bible, and read it (instead of having it locked away by the church)! Judgement has been declared on that! Warning! Warning!, Danger!, Danger! Will Robinson!
Hey JJ! I like that = Passion. Nothing lukewarm about your response. As Christ said to one of the churches in Revelations 2 -- he had no use for their tepid participation. I've often wondered about WL & WN saying their church had little need for emotions, thinking or feeling. Jessie Penn-Lewis in her War On The Saints explained that this call to mute thinking and feeling was the work of Satan since God wants a fully functioning mind to choose Him, i.e., Paul was brilliant and had full use of his mind and emotions in his priestly work, and we are all called to be priests. Similarly, Christ showed a lot of emotion and yet also showed how it was supplanted to God's will.
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Old 07-12-2016, 02:09 PM   #32
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That the local churches got to the point of putting Witness Lee and his words above Jesus Christ (the one mediator between God and man) and God's word is what eventually caused me to run away fast. In one generation, we lost what took 1,000 years to recover, man's ability to have a printed copy of the Bible, and read it (instead of having it locked away by the church)! Judgement has been declared on that! Warning! Warning!, Danger!, Danger! Will Robinson!
This is a true statement. At one of the last "brothers" meetings I was in, when a question was asked about a moral/biblical issue an elder's first response was something like what did WL say about that? Nothing about what the bible says, or what Jesus, Paul, Peter, John or even one of the church fathers. It was Lee, Lee, Lee! Even if Lee was pure (and I don't think he was) his elevation, exaltation, and promotion by the current LC leadership disqualifies them and their movement from being followed (at least for me and my family).
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Old 07-13-2016, 05:21 AM   #33
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A lot of really good comments over the past couple of days.

@ Renee
I don't have much time to post this AM. My family and I have been, and will continue to pray for you and your daughter. It grieves me to hear of anyone's resistance to Scripture, since the Word of God is the mind and heart of God, so much so that Christ Jesus Himself is called the Word of God.

Another program on BBN and available on-demand from their App is called "Christian Classics". The narrator, Lynn Brooks, simply reads good books. She has read Pilgrim's Progress - an excellent allegory of the struggles of following Christ to the end. Currently she is reading "The Hiding Place", a book about a Christian family that hid Jews from the Nazis in WWII. This may be a very interesting way for her to hear Scriptural truth in a more indirect way if she is resistant or even hostile to directly reading and discussing the Scripture directly.

The Bible is full of plain truth. Yes there are many things that need us to bridge the cultural, linguistic and historical differences between our internet age and the bronze or Iron Age period that people lived in at the time the various books of the Bible were written, but God wrote it to be plain. That doctrine is called "Perspicuity". Which is a fancy word for clear. When you read most of the posts on this forum, they are pretty clear. So it is with the Bible. The main things are the plain things. "Love the Lord". Love the Saints. Jesus got up in the morning and prayed. Jesus touched someone and healed them. Sin brings death. Before Christ people offered sacrifices to approach God. Christ Himself was the final sacrifice. Many plain truths. Some of the most plain are the "hardest" because they call me to change what I think or do.

Gotta run to work.

Lord Jesus, I petition You for Renee and her daughter. Her child is precious to her and You, more than the rest of us, feel exactly how precious she is. You know what both of them need. I pray that you would continue to protect her daughter from physical harm and exploitation - in or out of the LC. I also ask that You would be magnified as the perfect, sinless all-wise One that You are, and that the Word's of WL and all others would be seen as just the Words of men. I ask because You told us to come boldly to the throne of grace to find grace to help in time of need. Please grant both of them humility so that they could receive abundant grace and truth from You through Your Word. Thank You that You rose because the work of redemption is finished. For You and Your revealed purposes I pray. Amen
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Old 07-14-2016, 07:38 AM   #34
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I'm also bowing before the Lord this mornining in prayer for Renee and her daughter. Lord! Do send much grace, life supply, clarity, and a love for your word to them. Keep them from the evil one.
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Old 07-14-2016, 10:05 AM   #35
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I came from a large Catholic family, and was by no means the most well-behaved kid on the block, but I had a dynamic salvation while reading the Bible in bed after coming home from night school. Everyone, and I mean everyone who knew me, especially my parents, took immediate notice, like the case in Mark 1.27 ...
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And they were all amazed, so that they discussed among themselves, saying, What happened? Some new teaching?
Then, after visiting many Christian gatherings, I came across the Church in Cleveland. Many things were so wonderful, but their persistent judgmental attitudes began to spoil my new found loves in Christ.

Soon I went to my first training in Anaheim, which was on the book of Revelations. On the one hand I was so filled in Spirit in all the meetings, that my cursed smoking habit just vanished. That was miraculous! On the other hand, I was so steeped in hatred for Catholicism, that I went back home and condemned my family for their idolatry. The LC constantly harped on separation from everything. Their banner was, "Come out of her My people." They seemed far more interested in me leaving my friends and family than me loving my friends and family.
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Old 07-14-2016, 09:50 PM   #36
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Hey JJ! I like that = Passion. Nothing lukewarm about your response. As Christ said to one of the churches in Revelations 2 -- he had no use for their tepid participation. I've often wondered about WL & WN saying their church had little need for emotions, thinking or feeling. Jessie Penn-Lewis in her War On The Saints explained that this call to mute thinking and feeling was the work of Satan since God wants a fully functioning mind to choose Him, i.e., Paul was brilliant and had full use of his mind and emotions in his priestly work, and we are all called to be priests. Similarly, Christ showed a lot of emotion and yet also showed how it was supplanted to God's will.
I agree with you about godly use of emotions and mind being part of biblical truth and proper Christian experience. To be fair though, your summary of WN and WL teachings on this topic probably needs some balance with what they actually taught vs what their followers may say and practice (which I observed was often way out of balance).

In case my Lost in Space reference wasn't picked up https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OWwOJlOI1nU
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Old 07-15-2016, 07:57 AM   #37
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I'm also bowing before the Lord this morning in prayer for Renee and her daughter. Lord! Do send much grace, life supply, clarity, and a love for your word to them. Keep them from the evil one.
Amen. There are concerned parents because there is a concerned God. Lord, do preserve Your dear ones from the enemy's attack and usurpation.
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Old 07-15-2016, 11:04 PM   #38
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Thank you for the prayers ALL, they are much needed.

I was able to read 2 chapters from a real Bible with my daughter yesterday, 2 Peter 2, 3, but then she became restless and wanted to pray read, which repetition seems more like self-hypnosis. I objected, but she then kind of pray read a chapter from Colossians and did it very nicely -- not all the overlapping repeated phrases, but rather explaining it as she read it.

Then she said something about doing it in anyway the hearer will enjoy as when in Rome, do it the Roman way etc. This reflected Paul's teaching in 1 Cor 9:21 "To those without the Law I became like one without the Law (though I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ), to win those without the Law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some of them. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings...."
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Old 07-16-2016, 07:57 AM   #39
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Thank you for the prayers ALL, they are much needed.

I was able to read 2 chapters from a real Bible with my daughter yesterday, 2 Peter 2, 3, but then she became restless and wanted to pray read, which repetition seems more like self-hypnosis. I objected, but she then kind of pray read a chapter from Colossians and did it very nicely -- not all the overlapping repeated phrases, but rather explaining it as she read it.

Then she said something about doing it in anyway the hearer will enjoy as when in Rome, do it the Roman way etc. This reflected Paul's teaching in 1 Cor 9:21 "To those without the Law I became like one without the Law (though I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ), to win those without the Law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some of them. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings...."
Sounds like a great and blessed time! Praise God! Nothing to fear about praying with God's Word for sure. That's part of taking up the whole armor of God (Eph. 6:18-19).
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:42 AM   #40
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l was able to read 2 chapters from a real Bible with my daughter yesterday, 2 Peter 2, 3, but then she became restless and wanted to pray read . . . a chapter from Colossians and did it very nicely -- not all the overlapping repeated phrases, but rather explaining it as she read it.
2 Peter 3:1,2 points to the commands of Jesus Christ, initially given to the apostles, and the words of the prophets, as a stimulus to our healthy thinking. I would stress that ALL of the epistles did this.

Instead we got distracted by the "God's economy" metric, overlaid upon scripture, to fixate on some of the epistles, praying over them as if they were magical elixers in and of themselves, while ignoring and even rejecting (!) the OT prophets and Jesus' plain, public teaching to love one another, live properly, etc.
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Old 07-16-2016, 09:53 PM   #41
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Thank you for the prayers ALL, they are much needed.

I was able to read 2 chapters from a real Bible with my daughter yesterday, 2 Peter 2, 3, but then she became restless and wanted to pray read, which repetition seems more like self-hypnosis. I objected, but she then kind of pray read a chapter from Colossians and did it very nicely -- not all the overlapping repeated phrases, but rather explaining it as she read it.

Then she said something about doing it in anyway the hearer will enjoy as when in Rome, do it the Roman way etc. This reflected Paul's teaching in 1 Cor 9:21 "To those without the Law I became like one without the Law (though I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ), to win those without the Law. 22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some of them. 23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings...."
Praise the Lord!

I wouldn't fret about whether you read one chapter or ten, if both of you are genuinely interacting with the Word of God, that is wonderful. My family is on a through the Bible in a year reading plan, but we don't do it on Sundays and Wednesdays, and we usually miss some other day, and sometimes people are tired and cranky so we only read one chapter ... Doesn't sound super-spiritual, huh? What we do, is try to make sure that - one chapter or many - we think through what we're reading. What do we learn about our God today? About ourselves, about our sin, His holiness, His mercy, His character, His ways ... Is there anything we need to confess or repent of? Something new to praise Him for?

We can't change anybody, but we can love them and, as parents, provide an atmosphere conducive to spiritual growth. We'll continue in prayer for you and "little Renee."

"There is one God and one mediator between God and men. The Man Christ Jesus. Who gave Himself a ransom for all ..." 1 Timothy 2:5,6

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Old 07-17-2016, 05:04 AM   #42
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We can't change anybody, but we can love them and, as parents, provide an atmosphere conducive to spiritual growth.
Leadership means to lead, to go before. Today, Leaders so-called sit in air-conditioned offices while the followers so-called go out and do the dirty work, and brave the danger. In the old days, the king was at the head of the army. David led Israel because he faced Goliath, not because he sat in a tent somewhere and pretended to be something.

The exemplar, of course, is Jesus Christ, who lowered Himself beneath all and thus became the Leader, Savior, and Captain of all. He wasn't a soft man who sat on soft cushions in a velvety tent, speaking smooth words.

In our journey with the Bible, the leader goes into the narrative. I argue that the apostles in the NT were leaders because they took the lead to show that Jesus was the promised Messiah, of whom all God-seekers and God-fearers had been hoping, since time immemorial. Again and again the NT record shows the apostles holding up the agreed-upon scripture (what we today call the OT) and pointing out that this prophetic utterance found its fulfillment in Jesus the Nazarene.

Over time, the NT record became recognized as authoritative in its own right, without needing the appeal to extant (OT) scriptures and thus those preceding scriptures often became in usage merely quaint historical objects, or even derided as valueless - "the law saves no one", etc.

Our job today is to restore the narrative to its original force, one which caused thousands to throng before Peter and the eleven in repentance. It is a holistic vision. Lee's "God's economy" narrative seemed an improvement over its Protestant precursors, since, for example, it included the obsessively detailed Brethren Christological types in the OT among its armamentarium. However, the survival of Lee's corpus entailed ignoring a lot of the Bible. Anything that couldn't line up with his hermeneutic was considered "low", "fallen", and "natural". Instead of the man Jesus we got a vague and amorphous "Christ", and instead of salvation, an even more generic "Process". The gospel, so-called, became whatever the Lee the Ascended Master wanted it to be, and the Bible became a mere prop, to be waved as necessary and dropped as necessary.

And that's merely the teaching! Not to mention the plain words of counsel in the NT, of rightness and decency. If we'd held the plain counsel of the NT, Lee would have been disqualified, since Daystar revealed him as a lover of money. Also, his promoting his admittedly "unspiritual" son to power and prominence showed that he wasn't qualified to be a local elder, per Titus 1:6, much less an apostle, much less "the" apostle (assuming such title exists).

No, forget behavior, let's just look at teaching. A teaching which requires a truncated scripture for its survival and prosperity isn't a teaching we want. And I argue that the provision of an environment for our progeny that's conducive to their spiritual survival is one where we plunge headlong into scripture. All of it. If we drown we drown. (Esth 4:16; Rom 14:8; Acts 21:13). We can have boldness because we trust that #1 God is good and will not lead us astray, and #2 we have the counsel of the Body of Christ. In the counsel of many voices is not confusion, as Lee's Blended Lieutenants said, but is wisdom and safety (Prov 11:4, 15:22, 20:18).

If our young companions see us being enthralled by the unfolding narrative - "the unfolding of Your word brings life" - they'll see the open door: "Behold I've placed before you an open door, which no one can shut." Lee tried to shut the door on Philadelphia, saying that all was recovered and only reviewing the "high peak truths" was left. His Minions repeated this: just implement the Plan of the Wise Master Builder and the Lord will return. We heard that for 30 years, and the Bible sat waiting. Waiting for those whose hearts were not shut. Fo those who'd question, challenge, and learn.

God-fearing and God-seeking ones through the ages were a shadow and reflection of the seeking God. (See e.g. John 4:23) And this mutual seeking found fulfillment in Jesus the Nazarene, God's delight and man's hope. May this revealed vision draw us deeper into the word, and may our own seeking of unfound depths and heights and breadths become a pattern and pathway for others.
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Old 07-21-2016, 07:10 AM   #43
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If we'd held the plain counsel of the NT, Lee would have been disqualified, since Daystar revealed him as a lover of money. . .
I don't think Daystar was an isolated incident, either, but one of a pattern of incidents. Didn't Lee also get caught trying to smuggle gold out of the Philippines? Whatever happened to the Lord's command to His evangelistic vanguard: "Don't carry any gold or silver or copper in your belts"? (Matt 10:9).

As always, the "rules" were for the rank-and-file, not for God's Special Anointed Prophet. He made up his own rules as he went along.
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:17 AM   #44
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I don't think Daystar was an isolated incident, either, but one of a pattern of incidents. Didn't Lee also get caught trying to smuggle gold out of the Philippines? Whatever happened to the Lord's command to His evangelistic vanguard: "Don't carry any gold or silver or copper in your belts"? (Matt 10:9).

As always, the "rules" were for the rank-and-file, not for God's Special Anointed Prophet. He made up his own rules as he went along.
More egregious to me was the "little savers" scheme. I don't remember its exact name, but it surfaced after Daystar in an attempt to confiscate the savings of the saints throughout the Recovery.

Once the money gets taken from them, the investors are told to "consider it an offering."
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Old 07-21-2016, 08:39 AM   #45
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More egregious to me was the "little savers" scheme. I don't remember its exact name, but it surfaced after Daystar in an attempt to confiscate the savings of the saints throughout the Recovery.

Once the money gets taken from them, the investors are told to "consider it an offering."
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In Dallas, we never presented Daystar to my knowledge even though there was a lot of talk as a brother attempted to sell them to the public and sometimes one was parked in our parking lot.

After a meeting, we permitted brother Chang to present his vitamin business. I bought some.

Also we were contacted about a savings program that the LSM was sponsoring to encourage the young people to save their surplus. It was called “the little bankers.” An elder in a church would collect and record additions and interest to someone's account. I was asked to take care of the Dallas saints. I had a meeting with some of the young people and a few put in a few dollars. Unfortunately, I put $500 into an account for myself. We all thought we could just withdraw at any time. Then I learned the money went for a last ditch effort to keep Daystar afloat. Say goodbye to it. Later, WL asked me to sign a waver of forgiveness from the LSM. Silly me. I signed the release and kissed the money good-bye. Compared to what many lost in Daystar etc my little bit was something to just forget about.

I never mentioned Linko in Dallas but it was a big deal in Irving complete with models of the buildings to be built etc. Because the church in Dallas would not join in the cheerleading and fund raising from Irving there was more and more a strained relationship. Dallas did give money for Irving and the goal and purpose for the facility was shared. Benson came over a time or two and did some fund raising for that hall after a Lord’s table.

Usually Dallas had a sizable surplus in our bank accounts. On three occasions in Texas area elders meetings Benson and Ray put a press on Dallas to release our extra funds for Irving and LSM. We said no each time as our conscience did not agree that the money had been given by the saints for the questionable projects. This put quite a strain on our relationship.
Also see. . . . "Linko" . . . a project named for a district outside Taipei . . .

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Linko was something that the office came up with. It was presented as an example of the wonderful God ordained leadership of the recovery. After a lot of money was raised and spent on the property and many plans made and a great hub bub made, the brilliant office learned that the land had not been approved for development and was basically useless.

I never supported this project and the young BBs promoted it as a means to humble the elders. Minuro gave a stirring speech at an elders coworkers meeting about how the elders would be blessed if they went to Linko and shoveled dirt. He promised that the Spirit would enliven you as you shoveled dirt and they would be greatly rewarded spiritually if they gave up being an elder and went to Linko to shovel dirt.

Just another boondoggle. Just another ridiculous project proposed by the office and the deputy authority. How things had changed!! Yet the Daystar fiasco was the beginning in the USA of one scheme after another which was divinely judged.
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Old 07-21-2016, 02:25 PM   #46
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More egregious to me was the "little savers" scheme. I don't remember its exact name, but it surfaced after Daystar in an attempt to confiscate the savings of the saints throughout the Recovery.

Once the money gets taken from them, the investors are told to "consider it an offering."
Quote:
Originally Posted by aron
I don't think Daystar was an isolated incident, either, but one of a pattern of incidents. Didn't Lee also get caught trying to smuggle gold out of the Philippines?
That is so sad and not surprising.....fleecing the virginal flock.

So my lr came in and asked me what God has been telling me lately. I said, not much, but I have been reading the works of Watchman Née and Witness Lee. She likes it most when I read them. So she wanted to know what I'd been reading, so I read some of the quotes kindly provided by Indiana as follows!

Quote:
"The worker to whom God has given fresh light upon His truth should encourage all who receive that truth to swell the ranks of the local church, not to range themselves around him. Otherwise, the churches will be made to serve the ministry, not the ministry the churches, and the “churches” established will be ministerial “churches,” not local ones. The sphere of a church is not the sphere of any ministry, but the sphere of the locality. Wherever ministry is made the occasion for the forming of a church, there you have the beginning of a new denomination.”
(The Normal Christian Church Life, p138-139, Nee).
Quote:
"If we wish to maintain a scriptural position, then we must see to it that the churches we found in various places only represent localities, not doctrines. If our “church” is not separated from other children of God on the ground of locality alone, but stands for the propagation of some particular doctrine, then we are decidedly a sect, however true to the Word of God our teaching may be..."
(Normal Christian Church Life, pp. 113-114).
Quote:
“The greater our gift is, the greater is the danger that we will take over the church and keep it in our hands. This will greatly damage the church life. We must learn not only how to minister in the local church, but also how to keep our hands off the church. This is not easy. The local church is not our personal enterprise. The local church is the property of the local saints, not some worker’s business. Some gifted persons put a local church in their pocket. Oh, this is a real problem!"

“All the local saints must realize that the local church is their church. If the local saints are not clear concerning this, they will allow a gifted person to take the local churches into his own hands and treat it as his personal property. Then the entire church life will be finished. The local churches belong to the local saints. The gifted persons are just the means to perfect the saints to function; they are only the instruments used by the Lord to build up the churches."

"Consider the situation in Christianity today. Look at the situation even from the time of the Reformation: four or five hundred years have passed, and it is still basically the same. Whenever a gifted person is raised up, a certain kind of work is established. I establish my work, you establish your work, he establishes his work. Then the church is gone. This is the source of all the divisions. However, if one gifted brother comes to build a local church, and a second gifted brother comes to build up the same church, there will be no division. All the work must be for the church, not for the workers. The ministry should be for the church; the church should never be for the ministry. We must be exceedingly clear concerning this principle. We must drop all wrong practices. A gifted brother should keep his hands off the local church. Although a gifted brother may sometimes not speak openly in a way of ministry, yet he still may quietly maneuver behind the scenes. Any such maneuvering damages the church. All gifts and gifted persons must be entirely for the local church. This is a tremendously vital matter.”
(W.L., The Vision of God’s Building, 1964)
Then lr said of course Christ is the center, and I let it go at that since she did listen to the above. Then she said of course the ministry is for the churches, Ron Kangas only makes $1200/mo and when he goes on vacation with his family he has to use a tent because he is so poor. I couldn't resist showing her the 2013 tax returns where is salary is listed at 93K / year. She wasn't so happy about that, but then decided he deserved a living wage, although she expressed a concern about all the saints being returned from Europe since there was no more money to support their work.
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Old 07-23-2016, 12:05 PM   #47
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That is so sad and not surprising.....fleecing the virginal flock.

So my lr came in and asked me what God has been telling me lately. I said, not much, but I have been reading the works of Watchman Née and Witness Lee. She likes it most when I read them. So she wanted to know what I'd been reading, so I read some of the quotes kindly provided by Indiana as follows!

The worker to whom God has given fresh light upon His truth should encourage all who receive that truth to swell the ranks of the local church, not to range themselves around him. Otherwise, the churches will be made to serve the ministry, not the ministry the churches, and the “churches” established will be ministerial “churches,” not local ones. The sphere of a church is not the sphere of any ministry, but the sphere of the locality. Wherever ministry is made the occasion for the forming of a church, there you have the beginning of a new denomination.” (The Normal Christian Church Life, p138-139, Nee).
If we wish to maintain a scriptural position, then we must see to it that the churches we found in various places only represent localities, not doctrines. If our “church” is not separated from other children of God on the ground of locality alone, but stands for the propagation of some particular doctrine, then we are decidedly a sect, however true to the Word of God our teaching may be... (Normal Christian Church Life, pp. 113-114).

“The greater our gift is, the greater is the danger that we will take over the church and keep it in our hands. This will greatly damage the church life. We must learn not only how to minister in the local church, but also how to keep our hands off the church. This is not easy. The local church is not our personal enterprise. The local church is the property of the local saints, not some worker’s business. Some gifted persons put a local church in their pocket. Oh, this is a real problem!
“All the local saints must realize that the local church is their church. If the local saints are not clear concerning this, they will allow a gifted person to take the local churches into his own hands and treat it as his personal property. Then the entire church life will be finished. The local churches belong to the local saints. The gifted persons are just the means to perfect the saints to function; they are only the instruments used by the Lord to build up the churches.

Consider the situation in Christianity today. Look at the situation even from the time of the Reformation: four or five hundred years have passed, and it is still basically the same. Whenever a gifted person is raised up, a certain kind of work is established. I establish my work, you establish your work, he establishes his work. Then the church is gone. This is the source of all the divisions. However, if one gifted brother comes to build a local church, and a second gifted brother comes to build up the same church, there will be no division. All the work must be for the church, not for the workers. The ministry should be for the church; the church should never be for the ministry. We must be exceedingly clear concerning this principle. We must drop all wrong practices. A gifted brother should keep his hands off the local church. Although a gifted brother may sometimes not speak openly in a way of ministry, yet he still may quietly maneuver behind the scenes. Any such maneuvering damages the church. All gifts and gifted persons must be entirely for the local church. This is a tremendously vital matter.” (W.L., The Vision of God’s Building, 1964)

Then lr said of course Christ is the center, and I let it go at that since she did listen to the above. Then she said of course the ministry is for the churches, Ron Kangas only makes $1200/mo and when he goes on vacation with his family he has to use a tent because he is so poor. I couldn't resist showing her the 2013 tax returns where is salary is listed at 93K / year. She wasn't so happy about that, but then decided he deserved a living wage, although she expressed a concern about all the saints being returned from Europe since there was no more money to support their work.

Hi Renee, LR said that Christ is the center in the "local churches"; yes, but the problem is as follows:


The Normal Christian Church Life - Watchman Nee

“Whenever a special leader, or a specific doctrine, or some experience, or
creed, or organization, becomes a center for drawing together the
believers of different places, then because the center of such a church
federation is other than Christ, it follows that its sphere will be other than
local. And, whenever the divinely-appointed sphere of locality is displaced
by a sphere of human invention, there the divine approval cannot rest.
The believers within such a sphere may truly love the Lord, but they have
another center apart from Him,
and it is only natural that the second
center becomes the controlling one. It is contrary to human nature to
stress what we have in common with others; we always stress what is
ours in particular. Christ is the common center of all the churches, but
any company of believers that has a leader, a doctrine, an experience, a
creed, or an organization as their center of fellowship, will find that that
center becomes the center, and it is that center by which they determine
who belongs to them and who does not
.
The center always determines
the sphere, and the second center creates a sphere which divides those
who attach themselves to it from those who do not
.
Anything that becomes a center to unite believers of different places will
create a sphere which includes all believers who attach themselves to that
center and excludes those who do not. This dividing line will destroy the
God-appointed boundary of locality, and consequently destroy the very
nature of the churches of God.” (Nee, Normal Christian Church Life, p. 184)

But LR is facing other problems, the salary discrepancy for one, concerning RK - He was making 80k a few years ago; we saw that report. And, for the saints in Europe to have to come back is a sad note. The churches, esp leaders, prayed and labored much for "the Lord's move to Europe". I would like to know more about this. In Bellevue this year a long-time leader and his wife moved to Houston through fellowship and prayer, because of a burden Houston had to gain blacks for the church. They moved back to Bellevue a month later. The leaders in Houston decided it wasn't yet time.... And, you couldn't find a more qualified couple than they are to go out into the black communities. Both are service-oriented, good with young and old, and he was from "the hood" in Los Angeles, and was a former pro athlete. What happened? No repentances unto life in the leadership for a genuine move of the Lord, to follow the Lamb wherever HE may go".
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Old 07-25-2016, 11:32 AM   #48
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Indiana, yes, you did say what I intended more completely. I'll have to wait though since she's still on guard from my last reading mentioned herein. I am just so disappointed in the LSM, but I also believe overcomers are produced from each of the degraded churches, including all the denominations, Catholics and even the LSM.

I did ask LR about the saints being called back from Europe, and she would say no more, saying she didn't want to feed gossip and only wanted to focus on what was good, holy wonderful etc., -- however that verse goes? Oh yes, the only way the LSM can survive is to program blind obedience into their followers. But I will ask again sometime.

That is a shame about the black couple in Houston. I know in our local church we have occasional blacks that come and soon go with some bitter after thoughts left. This is just from one sided hearsay though so I don't have any concluding thoughts on it.
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Old 07-25-2016, 07:52 PM   #49
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Indiana, yes, you did say what I intended more completely. I'll have to wait though since she's still on guard from my last reading mentioned herein. I am just so disappointed in the LSM, but I also believe overcomers are produced from each of the degraded churches, including all the denominations, Catholics and even the LSM.

I did ask LR about the saints being called back from Europe, and she would say no more, saying she didn't want to feed gossip and only wanted to focus on what was good, holy wonderful etc., -- however that verse goes? Oh yes, the only way the LSM can survive is to program blind obedience into their followers. But I will ask again sometime.

That is a shame about the black couple in Houston. I know in our local church we have occasional blacks that come and soon go with some bitter after thoughts left. This is just from one sided hearsay though so I don't have any concluding thoughts on it.
I am sorry to hear of such a grievous experience in your marriage. There's nothing that gets my attention more quickly than to hear of someone in this crucible or of someone who has passed through it. It is paralyzing enough without having a fear of violence; but with it, how paralyzing! And, of course I am thinking of New Beginnings also.
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Old 07-26-2016, 08:38 AM   #50
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I did ask LR about the saints being called back from Europe, and she would say no more, saying she didn't want to feed gossip and only wanted to focus on what was good, holy wonderful etc., -- however that verse goes? Oh yes, the only way the LSM can survive is to program blind obedience into their followers. But I will ask again sometime.
The local church is excellent with information control. If only our politicians were half as astute as this! Really, the key is not to pry, but to continually hold forth the Christ that you see, beckoning us all forward. Whatever info your lr has about "the Lord's move", so-called, will begin to jar against the Christ plainly revealed in scripture.

The Lord moves with power: the heavens burst open, the walls shake, the noise sounds like a freight train, like thunder, like the sound of many waters. Don't be distracted by wars and rumours of wars, or by weak and pale counterfeits. Stay in Jerusalem and wait for the coming of the Holy Spirit. Seek nothing else. See e.g. Luke 24:49; Acts 1:4.
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:05 AM   #51
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The key is not to pry, but to continually hold forth the Christ that you see, beckoning you forward. Whatever info your lr has about "the Lord's move", so-called, will begin to jar against the Christ plainly revealed in scripture.
You are so right but it's hard since I'm a pryer and curiosity is my bottom line. I'm also learning as fast as I can to hold forth the Christ I see......last night at a meeting, they were talking about maintaining oneness in the church, and I said this oneness has nothing to do with uniformity or conformity in our life on earth, and they gave an enthusiastic Amen! Oh well, I'm learning.

Aron, I quoted part of your response from today in another thread and sent it to lr, and she immediately wanted to know where I got it.

>>Christ is indeed the answer; He's surely the Way........this way is a path, while here on earth - see e.g. Matt 4:19: "Come, follow Me". The way is not a fixed place, or static object. Even as you approach this One, of Whom Moses and the prophets wrote, He recedes before you, inviting you to follow. This is His way of going before, and leading you back home to the Father.<<

I changed the subject without giving a real answer since I surely cannot reveal this site yet -- I'm trying to be as subtle as needed.

A little, or big difference I've noticed between reading on this site and the FTTA-online is that the way the Bible verses are presented in the latter discourages looking them up, whereas here, I feel compelled to look up all the Bible references. Not sure why that would be?
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Old 07-26-2016, 09:23 AM   #52
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Aron, I quoted part of your response from today in another thread and sent it to lr, and she immediately wanted to know where I got it. . . I changed the subject without giving a real answer since I surely cannot reveal this site yet -- I'm trying to be as subtle as needed.
You know what I do when I quote something that jars with the True Believers doctrines, and they shift uncomfortably? I tell them, "I read it somewhere on a site about Christian history". Oh.

The NT letter "To the Hebrews" does the same thing. "It says somewhere... " or "someone said", then the author quotes scripture. For example, Heb 4:4 or Heb 2:6. Because we're not copywriting, and selling our comments for lucre, we don't need to cite. Just point to the heavens, and the listener will get it: either God is speaking to them, here, or He's not. If He is, amen. If not, then forget about it. It doesn't matter.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:06 AM   #53
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....last night at a meeting, they were talking about maintaining oneness in the church, and I said this oneness has nothing to do with uniformity or conformity in our life on earth, and they gave an enthusiastic Amen! Oh well, I'm learning.
Hang on to your hat, sis, and hold on tight. Right now, for the time being, you are getting the "new one" benefit of the doubt treatment. At some point those "Amen!s" will be during into the disapproving, monotone chant of "ooooohhhhhh Looooorrrrrd Jeeeeessuuuussss". And then you will get a talking to by an older sister (if you're lucky) or maybe even the dreaded "after the meeting meeting" with the elders. I'm not too worried for you though, you seem like the type to give it as well as you take it!


Quote:
A little, or big difference I've noticed between reading on this site and the FTTA-online is that the way the Bible verses are presented in the latter discourages looking them up, whereas here, I feel compelled to look up all the Bible references. Not sure why that would be?
Well, not to put too fine of a point on it....the reason is that this site is populated with the lot of us oldies but goodies who have come to realize that the real One Publication is the Word of God and not the ministry of Witness Lee (or anybody else for that matter). It took me YEARS of being away from "the garlic room" of the Local Church of Witness Lee to realize this. This is the testimony of many others on this forum as well.

The simple fact is that Local Churchers are not trained to hear the voice of the Lord in his Word. Rather, they are trained to hear the voice of Witness Lee in his ministry. "My sheep hear my voice" says the Lord Jesus. "My sheep hear my voice" says Witness Lee. What a tragedy it is that a whole sizable lot of sincere Christians have chosen to hear another shepherd. My heart cries and aches for this situation.

But hope DOES spring eternal. God has "not left himself without witness"...either within the Local Church or without. Many have emerged from the Movement to give testimony that they have found the shepherd's voice again. One such person is John Myer, whose groundbreaking book "A Future and A Hope: Church Life Beyond the Local Church Movement" is featured prominently on our forum. John found out the hard way (like most of us have) that Local Churchers do NOT like hearing that they are following the wrong shepherd. In fact, there is usually a very volatile reaction to even a faint mention of such a thought. The Person and Work of the Lord Jesus has been replaced by the person (authority) and work (ministry) of Witness Lee. The Lord Jesus is on the outside looking in, and even knocking on the door. "Can you hear me now?"


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Old 07-26-2016, 10:24 AM   #54
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You are so right but it's hard since I'm a pryer and curiosity is my bottom line. I'm also learning as fast as I can to hold forth the Christ I see......last night at a meeting, they were talking about maintaining oneness in the church, and I said this oneness has nothing to do with uniformity or conformity in our life on earth, and they gave an enthusiastic Amen! Oh well, I'm learning.
That's lipservice. They definitely expect conformity and uniformity. So how do you explain the hearty Amens? Here's the way the LCM mind works on this (I know this firsthand.) LCMers believe if they are following the Spirit then the Spirit will lead them all in the same way in just about everything. And they expect this leading will match how Witness Lee was. So if you don't conform they will eventually accuse you of not submitting to the Spirit. Now you may actually be following the Spirit more than any of them, but if you don't conform to Lee then as far as they are concerned you are in the flesh.

But they will swear up one side and down the other they are not for conformity. I'm sure many of them in their hearts wish this were true, but they also know in their hearts that when it comes down it in the LCM "following the Spirit" should result in conformity and uniformity. This is really what their "get the feeling of the Body" talk is all about. The "feeling of the Body" is nothing but peer pressure.

Here's an example: How all the elders dress, in bland out-of-date grays, blacks and dark blues. If any of those guys began wearing something colorful, the rest of them would think he was becoming "fleshly" and "soulish." They would immediately discount him and, if he kept it up, confront him about it. But they would turn around and say they are not for conformity. It's crazy double-mindedness.

That's how they operate. Don't be fooled.
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:41 AM   #55
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A little, or big difference I've noticed between reading on this site and the FTTA-online is that the way the Bible verses are presented in the latter discourages looking them up, whereas here, I feel compelled to look up all the Bible references. Not sure why that would be?
Interesting comment! Got me thinking.

You may know from other posts that I spent my best 30 years in the LC's. In those early years, verse references used to send me on exploratory hunts throughout the Bible, digging up O.T. prophecies and types, comparing the writings of the N.T., looking at the Gospels side-by-side, etc.

Slowly, almost imperceptibly, we transitioned into an outline-studying church. If we needed more clarification, we consulted the Life-Studies and Crystallization-Studies. Teachings in the church life focused almost entirely on the semi-annual trainings, with the rest of the time in between used for reviewing the past training or prepping for the next one.

I remember many times reading so-called accepted LSM "truths" in the outlines, studying the supplied references (and footnotes too!) in the Bible, and then scratching my head wondering how these conclusive "truths" were arrived at. How did he go from here to there??? Occasionally I would hear something like, "Brother Lee can see things we can't see." Oh ... that explains it. We are not bright enough to see this. That God for brother Lee. Where would we be without him?

Does this answer your question?

Being in the GLA (great lakes area) helped me over the years be more attached to the Bible than some other regions. Being in the GLA helped me even more when LSM decided to quarantine Titus Chu. We actually went back to W. Nee's writings to show how far LSM had gone off course. This opened the door to begin to compare everything we were taught with scripture. When TC "cracked the door open," he did it at great risk. He was hoping to show us how the Blendeds were bad, but he and WL were still good. But with light shining through that cracked door, the whole system got exposed. At least to me.
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Old 07-26-2016, 12:56 PM   #56
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That may explain part of it since the few times I checked the Bible references, there was little connection, so I learned to forget them. WL was so proud of his writing and speaking, he could barely bare to share it with the Bible.

What ever happened to the LC in GLA? Did they split or is it still mainly under LSM?
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Old 07-26-2016, 01:35 PM   #57
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At some point those "Amen!s" will be during into the disapproving, monotone chant of "ooooohhhhhh Looooorrrrrd Jeeeeessuuuussss". And then you will get a talking to by an older sister (if you're lucky) or maybe even the dreaded "after the meeting meeting" with the elders. I'm not too worried for you though, you seem like the type to give it as well as you take it!
Mostly I get the impression they would like to terminate my contact with lr.

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Local Churchers do NOT like hearing that they are following the wrong shepherd. In fact, there is usually a very volatile reaction to even a faint mention of such a thought.
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I've often thought this would be a major sticking point because to admit such would mean since one followed a stranger, they would not be of Christ.

John 10:4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.
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Old 07-26-2016, 04:29 PM   #58
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What ever happened to the LC in GLA? Did they split or is it still mainly under LSM?
You can see how they practice information control: either they never told lr or she didn't tell you. The GLA region split off from the national group in 2007. It seemed like a cultural thing, where the GLA leader didn't want to "lose face" to the new national leaders.

Related, a large majority of the South American contingent, who'd also been thriving under autonomy of a regional leader, also split off. The GLA & SA regional leaders were both Chinese, and would kow-tow to WL but not his replacements.

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Mostly I get the impression they would like to terminate my contact with lr.
Because they can tell from a mile away that you aren't with the program. Not glassy-eyed enough, nor naïve, therefore not good building material. But if you stay respectful, and relentlessly positive, they'll perhaps tolerate you. May the Lord cover you all.
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Old 07-26-2016, 05:27 PM   #59
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You can see how they practice information control: either they never told lr or she didn't tell you. The GLA region split off from the national group in 2007. It seemed like a cultural thing, where the GLA leader didn't want to "lose face" to the new national leaders.

Related, a large majority of the South American contingent, who'd also been thriving under autonomy of a regional leader, also split off. The GLA & SA regional leaders were both Chinese, and would kow-tow to WL but not his replacements.

Because they can tell from a mile away that you aren't with the program. Not glassy-eyed enough, nor naïve, therefore not good building material. But if you stay respectful, and relentlessly positive, they'll perhaps tolerate you. May the Lord cover you all.
Do the gla churches cooperate with other denominations?
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Old 07-26-2016, 10:28 PM   #60
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Do the gla churches cooperate with other denominations?
This website says all are welcome.

http://thechurchincleveland.weebly.com/links.html

Interesting that the suggested ministries don't include WL, but include Titus Chu, Née and Austin-Sparks. I'm guessing that most of the churches started by Titus Chu were the ones that split off. I don't think lr knew about this.

I had heard about problems with SA. Didn't that start with the LSM filing copyright violations?
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Old 07-27-2016, 05:56 AM   #61
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That may explain part of it since the few times I checked the Bible references, there was little connection, so I learned to forget them. WL was so proud of his writing and speaking, he could barely bare to share it with the Bible.

What ever happened to the LC in GLA? Did they split or is it still mainly under LSM?
Many LC's had nasty divisions, with LSM sponsored lawsuits to capture assets like meeting halls.

Our place now has one LC loyal to LSM on the campus, and one LC loyal to TC in Cleveland. Columbus, OH now has 3 LC's: one with LSM, one with TC, and one with neither.

As the Lord promised, everything was "shaken."

Both sides had rancorous "tract wars" for a few years, but it all boiled down to a simple and fleshly power struggle for control of the LC's.
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:00 AM   #62
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I've often thought this would be a major sticking point because to admit such would mean since one followed a stranger, they would not be of Christ.

John 10:4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. 5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.
I always felt that Acts 20.30 is a better description of what has happened there.
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:13 AM   #63
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This website says all are welcome.

http://thechurchincleveland.weebly.com/links.html

Interesting that the suggested ministries don't include WL, but include Titus Chu, Née and Austin-Sparks. I'm guessing that most of the churches started by Titus Chu were the ones that split off. I don't think lr knew about this.

I had heard about problems with SA. Didn't that start with the LSM filing copyright violations?
The acceptance of other ministries is partly a ruse. TC still stands for Total Control.

John Myer learned that the hard way.
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Old 07-27-2016, 06:16 AM   #64
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Do the gla churches cooperate with other denominations?
The church in Cincinnati actually merged with another church.

TC would never work with a denomination.
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Old 07-27-2016, 12:31 PM   #65
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The church in Cincinnati actually merged with another church.

TC would never work with a denomination.
In my experiences all non-LC assemblies are regarded as being in division and former-LC/LSM assemblies (ie.Church in Moses Lake) are regarded as being in rebellion.
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Old 08-01-2016, 05:42 AM   #66
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@ Renee I'm jumping back several posts where you have spoken about reading the Bible with LR and she wanted to pray read.

"Jesus answered and said to him, "If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him." John 14:23

When I personalize it, it becomes something like this ...
Lord Jesus, thank you for telling me that because I love You, I should show it by keeping Your Word fresh in my mind and living it out in the way I think and act; and when I do that God the Father will love me, and You and He will come to me and make Your home with me.

Outside of the LC, that is how I was taught to pray read, by personalizing things the Lord Jesus spoke to the disciples, adding "Amens" and "hallelujahs" where I genuinely feel it in my heart as I am impacted by the truth I am reading. There certainly is a need to be alone with the Lord through prayerfully thinking through His Word, and giving my full attention to Him, through reading, praying, pray reading, singing etc... He is more important and more lastingly real than my problems today in this fallen world.

Calling on the name of the Lord, as well as how to pray is demonstrated in the Scripture, particularly in the Psalms where David bears his heart to the Lord, tells Him how he feels about his troubles and then reminds himself of God's truth and blessings.

2 Samuel 7:18-29 prayer
Psalm 13 calling on the name of the Lord

You also made the comment that you felt the need to check Biblical references here on the forum. That is great! You need to be a Berean and see if these things are so (Acts 17:11) and IF they are true, passionately hold fast to them (1 Thessalonians 5:21).

Lord Jesus, I humbly ask that LR doesn't discount her mother's loving guidance and protection. I also ask that LR doesn't follow the "majority" that she is exposed to and marginalize Your faithful work in her life through her mother. We call upon You, having faith that You are the only Savior. Amen.

Last edited by SteVee; 08-01-2016 at 06:01 AM. Reason: Correct syntax, add additional thought
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:02 PM   #67
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I always felt that Acts 20.30 is a better description of what has happened there.
Acts 20:30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves. 31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

This is somewhat different in that even God's elect can be easily led astray. Satan can come as an angel of light. This is why "the garlic room" is so important I assume, but of course, it's just another disguised perversion.
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Old 08-04-2016, 10:27 PM   #68
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@ Renee I'm jumping back several posts where you have spoken about reading the Bible with LR.......

Lord Jesus, I humbly ask that LR doesn't discount her mother's loving guidance and protection. I also ask that LR doesn't follow the "majority" that she is exposed to and marginalize Your faithful work in her life through her mother. We call upon You, having faith that You are the only Savior. Amen.
Thank you for your prayers SteVee. My so called guidance and protection only come from loving intensions, but LR has and has always had a spirit/Spirit to which I'm often out of tune. Is this fine, delicate spirit of hers being led astray? I've seen from the experiences related on this site, that the consequences can be devastating.
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Old 08-05-2016, 12:53 PM   #69
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Thank you for your prayers SteVee. My so called guidance and protection only come from loving intensions, but LR has and has always had a spirit/Spirit to which I'm often out of tune. Is this fine, delicate spirit of hers being led astray? I've seen from the experiences related on this site, that the consequences can be devastating.
You're not out of tune. It's the system the LR operates in that's out of tune. To exist in that environment, you must be positive and absolute for the ministry. You must be able to conform to all aspects of peer pressure within the LC system.
As I have seen through the experiences of others it's not until one expresses their concerns and questions do brothers and sisters become persona non grata. If there's any verse that embodies the LR it would be Luke 6:32-33

"If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. If you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners do the same."
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Old 08-06-2016, 11:12 AM   #70
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You're not out of tune. It's the system the LR operates in that's out of tune. To exist in that environment, you must be positive and absolute for the ministry. You must be able to conform to all aspects of peer pressure within the LC system.
Oh but I am out of tune usually with the Spirit, compared to lr. She had this finely tuned spiritual connection even as a young child, long before LC took it. I see the LSM as taking the best spirits and then twisting them.

We met recently with a full time trainee in Anaheim. She also had a highly sensitive spirit, but now she just seemed distressed I thought. She told us she was in the campus crusade, but they were instructed to never tell prospective students who they were until after the student was already hooked. She said she had no success with it (but at least it taught her how to deceive).
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Old 08-08-2016, 07:43 PM   #71
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When was Witness Lee banned from the Anaheim church and how did he get reinstated?
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Old 08-08-2016, 08:51 PM   #72
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Witness Lee was never banned from the church in Anaheim. In fact, the church in Anaheim met inside of the Ball Road building which was owned by the Living Stream Ministry, which was in turn owned and controlled by Witness Lee. During the height of the late 80s turmoil, Witness chose not to attend regular church meetings because the antics of his son, Phillip, had became public knowledge, and he didn't want to face the music. Witness was used to being in full control of every meeting, and their were too many people asking too many questions. So instead of facing up to the situation, he chose to take the coward's way out, and hide out in the house that was built and paid for by the very church members asking all the questions. Nice work if you can get it!

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Old 08-08-2016, 09:43 PM   #73
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Interesting! Thanks for the reply. In the FTTA - online lessons, WL wrote about in the late 80s, he was feeling very uncomfortable in his church and so the good Lord cared for him by trimming the wicks. He related that he felt much better after the old, charred and burned out parts of the wick were removed by this trimming.

Another way to look at it is that WL had become numb and lost his mind when so many chunks of the body around him were cut out and discarded.
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Old 08-09-2016, 12:46 PM   #74
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Interesting! Thanks for the reply. In the FTTA - online lessons, WL wrote about in the late 80s, he was feeling very uncomfortable in his church and so the good Lord cared for him by trimming the wicks. He related that he felt much better after the old, charred and burned out parts of the wick were removed by this trimming.
His son, Philip Lee was not some Johnny come lately in being a problem to localities and elders. Reports of his immorality went back as late as (1976/1978). I know an older brother (now in his 80's) who left the Church in Anaheim primarily because of Philip Lee. Of course that's not even touching the problem of Philip's relationships with localities. Due to Philip's temper, he was easily offended. Localities would have their publication distribution cut off. Eugene, Oregon and Flagstaff, Arizona are several examples.
After all the problems European localities had with Philip, (Stuttgart specifically), learning of his immorality was in my opinion what cause European localities to ultimately disassociate from Living Stream.
Haven't even touched Anaheim yet. No doubt concerning his son, it's no surprise Witness Lee felt uncomfortable in Anaheim. Especially when there's aren't many brothers like BP and RG willing to look the other way.
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Old 08-09-2016, 01:28 PM   #75
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Interesting! Thanks for the reply. In the FTTA - online lessons, WL wrote about in the late 80s, he was feeling very uncomfortable in his church and so the good Lord cared for him by trimming the wicks. He related that he felt much better after the old, charred and burned out parts of the wick were removed by this trimming.

Another way to look at it is that WL had become numb and lost his mind when so many chunks of the body around him were cut out and discarded.
Reading John Ingalls' chronicle of events titled Speaking The Truth in Love opened my eyes to the true character of Lee and family.

This is the hidden history LSM wants no one to learn about.

Ironically, and to me one of the most pathetic of events, was recorded briefly in the book I mentioned. Lee's son molested a volunteer sister at LSM, whose husband was so enraged that he intended to kill Philip Lee. The brother was stopped by Anaheim elder John Ingalls, who was subsequently excommunicated by Witness Lee.

That's how these people behaved while "serving God."
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Old 08-15-2016, 05:14 AM   #76
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Oh but I am out of tune usually with the Spirit, compared to lr. She had this finely tuned spiritual connection even as a young child, long before LC took it. I see the LSM as taking the best spirits and then twisting them.
"There is none who seek after God." Romans 3:11

I would like to challenge the concept of being "in" or "out" of "tune" with God. Everyone is born self-interested, self-serving and self-seeking. Some are emotionally gratified by spiritual things (of God, or false). Each of us who believes the gospel can be continually transformed by the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:1-3), and in that sense begin to more regularly think God's thoughts after Him, and "have the mind of Christ" (1 Corinthians 2:12-16).

We gain His "mind", meaning we begin to think like and see things through the Lord Jesus' point of view, by reading, memorizing, meditating upon, praying and obeying His Word. That should sound like it takes time and effort because it does. I am not suggesting a mindless semi-chant of the Scripture, but slow, thoughtful investigation, rumination and application of the truth of God's Word.

Proverbs speaks of knowledge, wisdom and understanding. I'll assert here that knowledge (in this context) is what we have in our minds when we hear and remember something God has said. Wisdom is learning how to live it and then doing so. Understanding, then, is finding out why it is true after we have lived it.

Detailed knowledge through careful, thoughtful study. Heavenly wisdom through prayerful application of the truth that is new to me. "Ah-ha!" type understanding after I do what God has said. All this takes time and action and is part of growing in Christ likeness. In my experience, it has felt like most of it has related to how I have been wrongly thinking and acting toward God, or wrongly thinking and acting toward people; which means that once I think rightly, I have to humble myself, confess to the one I've hurt, stop hurting them in that way (repentance) and live a new way. I'm not very "in tune" with God, either. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so high are His thoughts above my thoughts. (Isaiah 55:8,9)

Lord Jesus, I thank You that in all things You had to be made like me. You are so humble. You are a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God, to make propitiation for my sins. Because You have suffered, being tempted, You are able to help me each day when I am tempted. (Hebrews 2:17,18). I know You are with Renee and little Renee right now, but I specifically ask You to strengthen both of them with joy, and draw them both, together on the same path and same journey to seeing Your face and knowing and loving Your Person. Please do that same work in my family as well. You must have been tempted to abandon the fishermen, tax collector, zealot and others You were called to walk with, they certainly were out of tune with You. They seldom seemed to understand what You were doing. Lord, by the power of Your indwelling Holy Spirit, help us - help me - to be more like the disciples after Your resurrection than before. I love You, because You first loved me, and still love me. Amen.
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Old 03-05-2018, 09:52 AM   #77
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A little update! My main objection to the WL church has always been the practice of oneness which results in everyone saying the same thing to practice oneness in mind and spirit (appearance too). The meetings have everybody reading together the morning revival. The conference leaders love to have 1000s of people repeating after them their exact words.

Although I stopped saying anything overtly negative about the church to my daughter, I did mention my concern that all this parroting was short-circuiting each ones personal connection with God. This is most grievous since this practice blocks access to our Lord.

Anyway, at the last blended meeting I attended with my daughter a few weeks ago, people line up as usual to give their 3 min speech on whatever. Some will talk about how the morning's theme applies to their personal life. However, more and more now get up and just read directly from the Morning Revival. They have nothing of their own to say. For once my daughter was appalled at this practice. She is still devoted to the local churches, but at least her eyes have been opened to the one practice that concerns me most.
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Old 03-05-2018, 12:49 PM   #78
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Originally Posted by Betsy View Post
Some will talk about how the morning's theme applies to their personal life. However, more and more now get up and just read directly from the Morning Revival. They have nothing of their own to say.
That's been my sentiment. In my visit's I've wondered if the morning revival is applicable to their daily life, amen. However more often than not, I hear a lot of reading. In my experience in the local churches I've found personal testimonies were far more beneficial to myself in receiving their speaking.
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Old 03-05-2018, 02:34 PM   #79
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A little update! My main objection to the WL church has always been the practice of oneness which results in everyone saying the same thing to practice oneness in mind and spirit (appearance too). The meetings have everybody reading together the morning revival. The conference leaders love to have 1000s of people repeating after them their exact words.

Although I stopped saying anything overtly negative about the church to my daughter, I did mention my concern that all this parroting was short-circuiting each ones personal connection with God. This is most grievous since this practice blocks access to our Lord.

Anyway, at the last blended meeting I attended with my daughter a few weeks ago, people line up as usual to give their 3 min speech on whatever. Some will talk about how the morning's theme applies to their personal life. However, more and more now get up and just read directly from the Morning Revival. They have nothing of their own to say. For once my daughter was appalled at this practice. She is still devoted to the local churches, but at least her eyes have been opened to the one practice that concerns me most.
Don't think this is an expected practice or encouraged. Usually the practice of simply repeating the messages is frowned upon because they are supposed to move past simply repeating the morning revival. It even says something like that in the introduction of the morning revival, and blank space is given for a reason. It sounds profound to those who have not done their homework (because they are hearing the message for the first time) but for those who have it is boring. After church we might discuss how such and such a brother simply read from the book and did not share properly. This either means they are not mature enough to do that or they are simply lazy and haven't done their homework. If it is a person who has been in the church for say 10 years and still cannot speak for themself, that indicates they are not growing. Other explanations are that some people are not comfortable speaking English and play it safe by reading something that is already written in good English. But in Chinese they are able to deliver a perfect sermon.

In school, children often have to repeat what the teachers or the textbooks say before they can understand enough to speak for themselves. It is the same in church. Not everyone may be able to stand and give a prophesy, but is willing to share the inspiration from others by reading a bible verse or a quote.

This is the attitude in the local churches:

If you have nothing to say or your english is not so good, reading from the morning revival is okay, better than nothing.
Don't do it too much, everyone expects you to be able to speak from your own inspiration. If a person is growing in the Lord properly then a person should be able to speak for themself within a year.
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:07 PM   #80
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If it is a person who has been in the church for say 10 years and still cannot speak for themself, that indicates they are not growing. . . .
. . . If a person is growing in the Lord properly then a person should be able to speak for themself within a year.
Growing into what? And it takes a year to become a parrot?

Bro EvanG, I love ya, and you're either at a remote local church, not purveying from headquarters, or are pretending, or are more naive than I've always thought possible.

This parent is concerned and should be ... and you should show empathy for her ; unless to you, it's the LC party over humane Christian care.

I've seen what happens to kids that grow up in the local church. And it's not always pretty, to say the least.

Cults are never mentally healthy.
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:37 PM   #81
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I'm alleviating their concern by pointing out that reading the morning revivals is not the intention of them. It's a sign of degradation to Catholic-style liturgical service and I don't know any elders who do it, as examples to the flock. I'm agreeing with her that they should not simply be reading the morning revivals. That is frowned upon, always has been. If she reads the introduction of the book and observes that space is provided for one to write their own inspirations, she will see what I'm saying is correct. There is no instruction in the morning revival that people can simply "read them". This is not the expectation. Also, she can look up the many books Lee wrote about prophesying.

If anyone wants to infer that the LC is somehow a cult because some people just read the morning revivals, then I would point out the liturgical practice in all of the major denominations of Christianity - Lutheran, Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican - where everyone will respond to the priest in unison, monotone, all from the same order of service book, every Sunday, every year, is more cult-like (maybe you will agree with me, that's understandable, but a Christian may not).

Call out the Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Lutheran and any other liturgical services for "short-circuiting each ones personal connection with God" through pre-written responses to the specially ordained and qualified Priest and not giving people opportunity to use their gifts and functions. I would agree with that.
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Old 03-05-2018, 07:39 PM   #82
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Thanks for the explanation bro EvanG. But still, it's obvious that this parent's concern for her daughter goes beyond reading from the Morning Revival.
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Old 03-05-2018, 08:37 PM   #83
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Nice try, but from the information presented, two years later, the worst and most concerning thing she can say about the recovery is that people read from the morning revival? Sometimes people after the Sunday meeting share the same concerns with me, and so there is really no surprise there. If this is enough evidence for you that it is a cult. Then liturgical services must be worse than a cult, and so is the whole education system where people read from textbooks word for word following the teacher (do they still do that these days?).
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Old 03-05-2018, 10:27 PM   #84
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Nice try, but from the information presented, two years later, the worst and most concerning thing she can say about the recovery is that people read from the morning revival? Sometimes people after the Sunday meeting share the same concerns with me, and so there is really no surprise there. If this is enough evidence for you that it is a cult. Then liturgical services must be worse than a cult, and so is the whole education system where people read from textbooks word for word following the teacher (do they still do that these days?).
Let's not get carried away. I speak of the local being a cult from personal experience.

If this parent and her daughter don't see it, it will prolly be for the same reason you don't see it, because it's being hidden from your face.

She mentioned she's careful not to speak negatively of the LC. I assume the same for you.

But speak out openly against the LC, and then you'll come face to face with the fact the LC is a cult.

I exhort both of you to give it a try. And see for yourselves.
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Old 03-06-2018, 02:25 AM   #85
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Let's not get carried away. I speak of the local being a cult from personal experience.
Since my posts to this thread have been deleated, and I've been again placed in "moderated member" prison... Who knows what will happen t=with this posting attempt on my part... But let's give it a try and see what happens.

In the above quoted speaking of Awareness what we have is just utter stupidity being expressed.

Yes... I used the word "stupidity"... And here's why...

Go into any meeting of any church gathering and speak negatively against it and see what happens. . . . Maybe Awareness thinks that nothing will happen, that those in the meeting that has been spoken against will simply say "Wonderful speaking... How happy we are that you don't agree with what we are saying and doing... Please, just continue speaking out against us here in our meeting."

Of course this won't be allowed in any meeting of any congregation of the Lord's church.

Once yes... Twice, maybe... More times... You'll be asked not to do so, and then asked to not come back.

And the same is true for any Local Church meeting.

And with good reason... Speaking in this way is disruptive and therefore contrary to keeping the meeting in peace, and maintaining proper fellowship... Which is an aspect of the responsibility of the elders.

So if what Awareness said in the quoted speaking above is true, this would make any and all gatherings of the church, no matter what name they meet under, all cults.

Again... The speaking of Awareness in the above quoted comment is just utter stupidity.

And here's the truth about why Awareness spoke it... Awareness simply wanted a way to inject the word "cult" into this discussion, as the intention of Awareness is to try and speak as derogatorily as possible about the Local Church meetings whenever, wherever, and however possible.

And here on this thread, Awareness saw that the person who started this thread had somewhat changed how she sees the Local Church, and chose to speak in a bit of a positive way about it... So Awareness, because of his poor intentions, thought it necessary to play the "cult" card in order to try and stir up negative emotions and perhaps sway the Renee back to a negative disposition towards the Local Church.

This is how people like Awareness try to manipulate others here on these boards... No proper thought towards to well-being of the person... Just the use of them to try and inject opposition to the Local Church in whatever way possible.

And it seems that UntoHim, the moderator of this website, is perfectly fine with this being done.

Why?

Perhaps because it is what this website is for... That being... To use the concerns of others as an opportunity to propergate opposition to the Local Church.

And how the Lord must mourn this.
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Old 03-06-2018, 03:42 AM   #86
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I can see why the church focuses on recruiting young people -- they are more gullible and naive than those who are no longer young.
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Not too many groups provide the social, psychological, and spiritual package the recovery markets.
Not to derail the discussion, but the above quotes are very true. For my part, what helped me out of the LC was this psychological and spiritual "package" being broken - I had a rougher class schedule meaning less time for meetings, I stayed with a friend (whereas before I stayed unhealthily on my own), and I had another former LC member and friend who supported me in whether or not I should leave the LC.

If I can give any advice, it would be to do exactly this and what you've been trying to do: introduce her to other Christian groups, make sure she is not psychologically dependent on the LC, ensure she still has good friends outside the LC, and generally accept her decision while nonetheless making it clear where you stand on the issue.

I know my friend tried never to speak badly of them while I was there, but just knowing that he left for whatever reason (his was their legalism, especially in regards to music) made me think twice. All you need is that seed of doubt.

Edit: I didn't realise the OP is so old. I got confused with another post recently written. I haven't been on the forum in quite a while.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:40 PM   #87
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The main stated objection is everyone reading from the morning revival.
Rote reading happens in many churches. At best, it's because the morning revival had some important insights that were best enjoyed by everyone reading it. The elders may have been led to ask everyone to read the morning revival together. It's a good way to ensure everyone is on the same page, and get people to put their ipads and iphones down and pay attention. At worse, it's too liturgical and religious. But a cult? That's a far stretch of the imagination.
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Old 03-06-2018, 05:45 PM   #88
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Since my posts to this thread have been deleted, and I've been again placed in "moderated member" prison... Who knows what will happen with this posting attempt on my part... But let's give it a try and see what happens.
Mine were deleted to -- just for responding to you.

You obviously are too hot to touch.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:37 PM   #89
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Agree. The main stated objection is everyone reading from the morning revival.
Rote reading happens in many churches. At best, it's because the morning revival had some important insights that were best enjoyed by everyone reading it. The elders may have been led to ask everyone to read the morning revival together. It's a good way to ensure everyone is on the same page, and get people to put their ipads and iphones down and pay attention. At worse, it's too liturgical and religious. But a cult? That's a far stretch of the imagination.
It's called responsive reading in the Baptist church and is usually scripture or the Nicene Creed, NOT the writings of a man recognized by only those in the LSM Local Church. If Baptist churches started quoting and reading Billy Grahams writings in the services I think that would qualify as cultish.
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Old 03-06-2018, 07:50 PM   #90
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Yesterday morning, the thread starter, Renee, came back to give us a very nice and thoughtful "update" on the situation with her daughter, who is a member of the Local Church. We had not heard from our sister Renee in over 1.1/2 years, so I was overjoyed that she took the time and effort to catch us all up on the situation, and if nothing else, keep her and her daughter in our thoughts and prayers.

Then, before the cyber-ink dried on Renee's post, she was forced to join the captive audience to witness another LocalChurchDiscussions train wreck, courtesy of Mr. Steel. Some others had to join in with some commentary on said train wreck, so I was forced to just delete the whole section. And then I had to put Mr. Steel on yet another well deserved sabbatical. Not fun.

We all owe an apology to Renee.

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Old 03-07-2018, 01:31 AM   #91
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No apology needed. I like to hear both sides. Last time I was here I don't remember the LC Apologists being out in force. It can't help but bring to mind something I recently learned -- the LC has a separate fund for cyber/online defense. Whatja know! 😉😄

Anyway, it's not just some or everyone reading from the morning revival. It's this apparent fear or inability to say anything about ones faith without quoting WL. Over 20 years after his death, he is still front and center for this church. It was and is built around his personality.

The definition of cult is:
a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.
"a cult of personality surrounding the leaders"

The LC is real close to being a cult by the definition of Merriam Webster.
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Old 03-07-2018, 03:24 AM   #92
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Renee, I was part of the LC's for 30 years, and watched them slowly deteriorate.

Many in the Midwest LC's were excommunicated 10 years ago for petty things like refusing to read the HWFMR in every meeting.

They (Living Stream Ministry) used their legal arm, the same one (LSM's Defense and Confirmation Project) we were forced to support every month, to work with a minority of favorable members to divide the church, sue the elders for the meeting hall, and hurt many people.

I left. It was too sad to watch. They violated hundreds of scriptures to keep their Lee-adulation intact.
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Old 03-07-2018, 07:58 AM   #93
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Renee, I was part of the LC's for 30 years, and watched them slowly deteriorate.
Many in the Midwest LC's were excommunicated 10 years ago for petty things like refusing to read the HWFMR in every meeting.
They used their legal arm, the same one we were forced to support every month, to work with a minority of favorable members to divide the church, sue the elders for the meeting hall, and hurt many people.
I left. It was too sad to watch. They violated hundreds of scriptures to keep their Lee-adulation intact.
Ohio,

You don’t continue to meet with those you feel were wronged? That would be important to understand too.

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Old 03-07-2018, 09:54 AM   #94
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They (Living Stream Ministry) used their legal arm, the same one (LSM's Defense and Confirmation Project) we were forced to support every month, to work with a minority of favorable members to divide the church, sue the elders for the meeting hall, and hurt many people.
Could you explain a bit more about what this Defense and Confirmation Project is doing or what it is suppose to be doing. It is still being supported.

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Many in the Midwest LC's were excommunicated 10 years ago for petty things like refusing to read the HWFMR in every meeting.
Darn, no potential here for excommunication. I just get the sideways glances.
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Old 03-07-2018, 11:06 AM   #95
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Could you explain a bit more about what this Defense and Confirmation Project is doing or what it is suppose to be doing. It is still being supported.

Darn, no potential here for excommunication. I just get the sideways glances.
The "evil eye." Jesus spoke about this in Mark 7.22:
7.20 And Jesus said, That which proceeds out of the man, that defiles the man. 21 For from within, out of the heart of men, evil thoughts proceed, fornication, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, railing, pride, foolishness: 23 all these evil things proceed from within, and defile the man.
The Defense and Confirmation Project is the legal arm of LSM, established to file lawsuits with any and all critics of their teachings. The latest lawsuit against Heritage House Publishers went all the way to the Supreme Court of the US. That costs lots of money, so LSM tithed all of their member churches to recoup the costs. Since the Midwest LC's refused to be a part of this lawsuit, which by the way created no small stir among the paid staff at LSM, initially we did not tithe DCP. But after a meeting of leaders from both sides in 2002, which produced a document called the "Phoenix Accord," my church was instructed by TC in Cleveland to begin sending payments to DCP. This was nothing more than a political gesture to delay the inevitable.

Since at that time the DCP apparently needed work, they immediately stepped in during the Midwest excommunications to train dissident brothers in all the LC's how to file lawsuits against their elders for church assets like meeting halls and bank accounts. These ones became instant heroes at LSM. Such was the true character of LSM/DCP exposed: lust for power, love of money, and a divisive evil heart. Can you believe that a church supposedly with no name could be sued in court for their name? Yes indeed it happened.

Renee, let me recommend that you read Chapter 1 of John Myer's book Future and Hope, which elaborates on some of what I wrote, and which has benefited many of the brothers and sisters who have also left the LSM program.
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Old 03-08-2018, 09:06 AM   #96
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Anyway, it's not just some or everyone reading from the morning revival. It's this apparent fear or inability to say anything about ones faith without quoting WL. Over 20 years after his death, he is still front and center for this church. It was and is built around his personality.
The definition of cult is:
a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing.
"a cult of personality surrounding the leaders"
The LC is real close to being a cult by the definition of Merriam Webster.
Many thanks to Renee for this extremely keen and sober observation regarding the difficult-to-describe dynamic in the Local Church. "It was and is built around his personality". Never said any better! And this is NOT coming from one of us "bitter former members harboring personal offences and grudges". And this is NOT coming from someone who hasn't taken the time and dedication to understand the dynamic from the inside. Finally, and most importantly, this is NOT coming from someone who does not have an enormous emotional and spiritual relationship with a current Local Church member. In this case it happens to be her precious daughter. May the Lord continue to honor and bless Renee's efforts to see her daughter be "filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding" (Colossians 1:9)
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Old 03-08-2018, 11:12 AM   #97
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I continue to resist using the volatile C-word to describe the LC's for 2 reasons: first, the number of precious believers there, and secondly, the obvious connections to mass casualties. As time passes, however, we may soon see these objections vanish. Like both the Jewish and ancient Christian religions have taught us, vibrant living faith readily disappears when human traditions cause us to lose sight of the Savior and His word. Men will always rise up with specious teachings to deceive the church of God, as Paul warned the elders in Acts 20.30.

But according to M-W's definition above, one has to admit that LSM has long promoted a misplaced and excessive admiration for Witness Lee and his teachings. Those who have resisted this overt pressure have definitely been silenced and/or excommunicated. The Midwest LC's were expelled for this very reason.
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Old 03-08-2018, 12:41 PM   #98
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I continue to resist using the volatile C-word to describe the LC's for 2 reasons: first, the number of precious believers there, and secondly, the obvious connections to mass casualties. As time passes, however, we may soon see these objections vanish. Like both the Jewish and ancient Christian religions have taught us, vibrant living faith readily disappears when human traditions cause us to lose sight of the Savior and His word. Men will always rise up with specious teachings to deceive the church of God, as Paul warned the elders in Acts 20.30.

But according to M-W's definition above, one has to admit that LSM has long promoted a misplaced and excessive admiration for Witness Lee and his teachings. Those who have resisted this overt pressure have definitely been silenced and/or excommunicated. The Midwest LC's were expelled for this very reason.
T stand with you Ohio. Some of us have had positive experiences in the local churches which makes it difficult to0 use the c word. My experiences in the local churches as a child and now as an adult, I see quite clearly the local churches is just a name. In practice it is really just ministry churches. What I am about to paraphrase from nearly 30 years ago applies now as it was then;
"If you're not here for brother Lee and his ministry, you might as well not be here."
As for the misplaced and excessive admiration; those who don't echo it are regarded as "speaking differently" and end up being no longer welcome for fellowship. It doesn't matter if one is 99% absolute for the ministry. It's that 1% that would cause one to be no longer welcome.
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Old 03-11-2018, 12:22 PM   #99
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I continue to resist using the volatile C-word to describe the LC's...
I also go back and forth on whether to use the "c-word" to describe my experience with the LCs. I do remember being chastised several times by adults in the LC during my college years, when I recounted having fellowship with Christians outside the LCs. I was warned not to be led astray by their worldliness and low gospel. I was "given permission" to attend CCC only for the purposes of recruiting the students to the LCs. When I mentioned receiving spiritual help from a campus minister who was not in the LCs, I was angrily admonished and that minister was (ironically enough) criticized for being a "sheep stealer". That kind of prescriptive isolation is pretty scary stuff. I do think it's very damaging for both children and adults, especially when done with salvation/overcoming hung over your head. I bounce between regretting what a nasty jerk I was during my years in the LCs, feeling sorry for myself that I lost so many years of my life to that hooey, regretting that I had so little self-esteem that I joined in so willingly, and trying to leverage my experiences for the best now that I'm moving ion.

But also, that prescriptive isolation is why it is so important to remain a point of contact with someone, like Renee's daughter, who is inside high-control religious group. It was thanks to the Christians who continued to reach out to me with love during my college years, despite my arrogance and coldness to them, that I finally made it out. They showed me that there was so much more Christ out there than this little snotty group I saw that I was pitied and I started to learn to laugh at myself. It took years...so hang in there!

Here's an article about Megan Phelps-Roper leaving the Westboro Baptist Church for inspiration. I always think if she could be led to leave, and if she could find purpose for moving on in her life after growing up in that group, what we ex-LCers have to deal with is peanuts:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...M2MDg5ODM5NAS2
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:15 PM   #100
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I continue to resist using the volatile C-word to describe the LC's . . .

. . . But according to M-W's definition above, one has to admit that LSM has long promoted a misplaced and excessive admiration for Witness Lee and his teachings. Those who have resisted this overt pressure have definitely been silenced and/or excommunicated. The Midwest LC's were expelled for this very reason.
And you still don't see the LC as a personality cult? What's it gonna take?

Of course there are precious brothers and sisters in the LC. Just as there are precious people in all cults.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:33 PM   #101
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And you still don't see the LC as a personality cult? What's it gonna take?

Of course there are precious brothers and sisters in the LC. Just as there are precious people in all cults.
For me it is semantics -- what do people think of when they hear the word cult.

Secondly, in the Midwest LC's we did not face the issues we address concerning LSM on this forum.

Thirdly, saying there are good people -- i.e. precious brothers and sisters -- tends to fall on deaf ears.
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Old 03-11-2018, 01:44 PM   #102
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For me it is semantics -- what do people think of when they hear the word cult.

Secondly, in the Midwest LC's we did not face the issues we address concerning LSM on this forum.

Thirdly, saying there are good people -- i.e. precious brothers and sisters -- tends to fall on deaf ears.
I agree. The word is so inflammatory that it's pretty much a showstopper. Whatever communication there was or is ... ends.

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Old 03-11-2018, 02:12 PM   #103
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Here's an article about Megan Phelps-Roper leaving the Westboro Baptist Church for inspiration. I always think if she could be led to leave, and if she could find purpose for moving on in her life after growing up in that group, what we ex-LCers have to deal with is peanuts:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2...M2MDg5ODM5NAS2
That was a great article eDh22. Thanks. I saw many parallels between Westboro and the local church. And felt and identified with her experience and pain while coming out of that cult.
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Old 03-11-2018, 03:08 PM   #104
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Haha, oh yes I did learn that lesson. They look at me as if I've all of a sudden turned into an alligator. Aside from that, of course I want to be most gentle and if I do proceed with this, I will apply the logic you provided, as well as looking for some alternative. However, I'm still somewhat in a quandary of whether to proceed at all. You see I'm barely a believer just recently, and before that most of my life was as an atheist, not by choice, but that was just the way it was and it started as a child when I couldn't accept the hypocrisy.

So on the one hand I know that almost any kind of faith/church, no matter how fallen, is better than the nothingness of being an atheist, but on the other hand there is little doubt in my mind that WL pulled a game. I can even understand how he would have justified it to himself. But would exposing his falseness do more damage than good?
Hi Betsy! This is obviously just my opinion and I can only speak from my experience- but I think "exposing his (WL's) falseness" is an almost impossible thing to do to someone in the LC. It goes against EVERYTHING that is "accepted" consciously and unconsciously so the very idea is just very hard for them to entertain. You'll most likely create an emotional wall with your daughter by pushing the issue- she will and probably has gotten more defensive the more she realizes your thought processes and "goal" of getting her out.

I've dealt with this with my family- and I'm a former church kid myself. It took a LONG time for me to realize all the red flags and my family (most immediate family) is fully in. It's a lifestyle. They hire and work for others in the church many times, all their friends are in the church. Sure, they are friendly to others- but the "goal" is to ultimately spread the church life and convert others bc in their minds, it's the "real Christian life".

There are books on how to approach it when you're ready (I admit, I haven't read too much into it yet). I haven't given up hope on my family that they'd come out but it's still very overwhelming to even think about trying to approach them anymore at this point. When I did, it caused a problem and our relationship since feels strained.

There's a book from WL called, "The Overcomers" that I took some screenshots of. This paragraph might give you an insight into the teaching they're receiving when it comes to being confronted with anything contradicting the Lord's Recovery and leadership/practices.

"Eventually, all the overcomes will be manifested as a corporate overcomer after their raptures. After they are raptured, they all become one entity. They are really built together. This can be proved by two things. First, all the overcomes become one bride to Christ. (Rev 19:7-9). Christ will not have many brides, but one bride, who is constituted with all the overcomes. This is proof that all the overcomes will become one. Second, they become the heavenly army to follow Christ to defeat the Antichrist and those who follow him (vv 11-21). All the overcomers first become the bride, and after her marriage to Christ, the bride becomes the army. All the overcomers are really one.
This means that today, in the age before the rapture, we have to learn the lesson of how to be one and of how to coordinate with one another with no opinion. We should reject our opinion and care only for our growth in Christ, transformation in Christ, and building up in Christ. If we are such persons, the church life will be pleasant to us. When we are the right persons, everything is right and pleasant to us. But when we are the wrong persons, we are unhappy and everything is wrong and unpleasant to us. When we are right in an overcoming situation, we love everything and everyone, and every situation is no problem to us. Today in the church life, those who condemn and criticize others are the wrong persons. If someone comes to us to say something negative about the church, about the elders, about the ministry, about the brothers, or about the sisters, we have to realize that this person is a wrong person. We should stay away from such persons (Rom. 16:17). Otherwise, we will be contaminated. In this age, we have to learn the lesson to coordinate with all the lovers of Christ. Then after our rapture, we will be ready to go along with one another, and we will be one entity as Christ's bride and Christ's army."



So, I could write an essay over every problem I have with this excerpt but I'm guessing many will come to the same or similar conclusions. I think it's classic manipulation of taking some truth, adding in some controversal ideas, and coming to a conclusion that isn't logical about the way, and the ONLY way, to live your life. All wrapped up in a pretty bow.

Of course, this would allow Philip Lee's sins to be swept under the rug if the saints followed this advice. Not the mention no acountability with Daystar or the extremely questionable quarantines doled out by the "blending brothers" of the LC, who also run a publishing company with a sketchy history.

It's just one paragraph that illustrates the teachings of never questioning. The saints slowly have been indoctrinated into some child like state with an invisible lobotomy. I'm sorry if that's harsh but I believe it, I was just like that!

It's tricky bc I do believe they are Christians, but I also believe they're limited bc of the LC. I also know I'm not where I need to be with the Lord. It's all very hard and I feel for anyone with family involved.
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Old 03-11-2018, 04:34 PM   #105
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I agree. The word is so inflammatory that it's pretty much a showstopper. Whatever communication there was or is ... ends.
Not so sister. Did you read the article concerning Westboro? Saying it's a cult is the beginning of the conversation.

Same with the LC. I've called the LC a cult out here prolly a hundred times, or more, and clearly the conversation goes on.

And truth be told, still goes on within me, even tho I met the cult face to face back in 1980.

Because I, and others I know, consider I/we were in a cult, I'm keenly interested in cults.

Hey, I know of little cults here in Kentucky, were I have family members that have found themselves in cults of Independent Baptist churches.

And it's only right that others are told of those cults. And very important, even more so, that children are kept from them.

Same with the cult of Nee & Lee. If it walks like a cult, and talks like a cult, and acts like a cult, it's a cult. The local church earned the honor of being called a cult by the law suits they brought against those that branded them a cult.

And all efforts should be made to keep children out of it. Precisely because they ARE precious.
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Old 03-11-2018, 05:43 PM   #106
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Saying it's a cult is the beginning of the conversation. Same with the LC. I've called the LC a cult out here prolly a hundred times, or more, and clearly the conversation goes on. And truth be told, still goes on within me, even tho I met the cult face to face back in 1980. Because I, and others I know, consider I/we were in a cult, I'm keenly interested in cults. Hey, I know of little cults here in Kentucky, were I have family members that have found themselves in cults of Independent Baptist churches. And it's only right that others are told of those cults. And very important, even more so, that children are kept from them. Same with the cult of Nee & Lee. If it walks like a cult, and talks like a cult, and acts like a cult, it's a cult. The local church earned the honor of being called a cult by the law suits they brought against those that branded them a cult.
That's what I was talking about awareness -- once you call the LC a cult, you see cults everywhere you look, and the word loses all meaning, because every Christian/Church you now meet is also a cult.
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Old 03-11-2018, 06:24 PM   #107
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That's what I was talking about awareness -- once you call the LC a cult, you see cults everywhere you look, and the word loses all meaning, because every Christian/Church you now meet is also a cult.
Not so bro Ohio. Cult wise most churches around here are not iniquitous. Just a few of them.

But I did attend a Church of Christ here for about a year and a half. And then discovered that the CoC, along with Lee's LC, were listed as cults at the old bereans.net (Cultologists).

So brother, I'm not the only one branding Lee's LC as a cult. And by the way, my post added a dozen more times that I've call the LC a cult. Cuz I wish it to be known by everyone ... and keep that conversation going. (Thanks for contributing).

Again, if it walks like a cult, and talks like a cult, and acts like a cult, it's a cult. Why mince words? Why be lukewarm?
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Old 03-11-2018, 07:11 PM   #108
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Because you seem to equate cults with anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus and the Bible. Have you ever met a church that was not a cult? If you have been surrounded by them your whole life, then perhaps you would reconsider your definition.
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Old 03-11-2018, 09:53 PM   #109
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Because you seem to equate cults with anyone who believes in the Lord Jesus and the Bible. Have you ever met a church that was not a cult? If you have been surrounded by them your whole life, then perhaps you would reconsider your definition.
Now now bro Ohio. You know there are nonChristian cults. And when did I ever say that cults are anyone that believes in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Seems to me you must still be emotionally invested in the local church. Or you wouldn't be acting this way about the LC being a cult ; even after you saw with your own eyes that, Witness Lee was/is a personality cult leader.
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:31 AM   #110
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Now now bro Ohio. You know there are nonChristian cults. And when did I ever say that cults are anyone that believes in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Seems to me you must still be emotionally invested in the local church. Or you wouldn't be acting this way about the LC being a cult ; even after you saw with your own eyes that, Witness Lee was/is a personality cult leader.
I'm only continuing with the discussion here because it may help the thread.

What you said is actually not true. I have always made distinctions between LSM and the LC's, and even the LC's should not be characterized all the same. Midwest LC's differed from others. Perhaps the primary reason was that as a group we resisted LSM's takeover and domination the longest.

I left specifically because The Blendeds were dividing all the Midwest LC's using the Quarantine of Titus Chu. Supposedly we loved and promoted the oneness of the church more than any other church, yet that oneness was a narrow sectarian and divisive oneness only for those owing strict allegiance to LSM. While I vehemently defended Titus Chu against LSM's complaints, none of which were founded on scripture, beneath the surface I saw a fleshly power struggle. I had long been troubled by TC's abuse of other brothers via public shaming, and after reading Thread of Gold and other accounts, I began to realize that abuse was systemic to the program, handed down via Nee and Lee.

After reading Ingalls account Speaking the Truth in Love, for the first time I realized the deception and corruption centered with WL and his sons. Obviously he thought he was above the law. Therefore in my view Lee is just another minister who started out with passion and love for Christ and the gospel, but got puffed up, partly because he never allowed critique, nor had a peer.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:25 AM   #111
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Do you guys believe it’s fair and/or kind to call other Christians out for being in a “Christian cult?” I still really struggle with it.
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Old 03-12-2018, 09:32 AM   #112
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Now now bro Ohio. You know there are nonChristian cults. And when did I ever say that cults are anyone that believes in the Lord Jesus Christ?

Seems to me you must still be emotionally invested in the local church. Or you wouldn't be acting this way about the LC being a cult ; even after you saw with your own eyes that, Witness Lee was/is a personality cult leader.
On this topic- this was one of the first videos I saw that made me realize the Lord’s recovery was actually now (possibly had always been) a cult - but full of Christians.

Https://youtu.be/u2s4krmjkDI

I believe the leadership can employ cult tactics for control but the fact remains that most, probably almost all of them-are Christians. Cults can’t limit anyone’s relationship with Jesus. Out of respect for fellow brothers and sisters, I still hesitate to call them a cult (aside from leadership) bc even though I believe they are- I grew up in it! It has such a stigma and most ppl inside are victims to the system and calling them a “cult” seems to just create more division.

I feel like the opportunity to communicate/connect is lost trying to prove who is or isn’t a cult. What about just focusing on healthy vs. unhealthy practices in a Christian group instead?

I’m not trying to end your discussion of it- feel free to continue! Just wanted to offer another point of view!
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:21 AM   #113
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Do you guys believe it’s fair and/or kind to call other Christians out for being in a “Christian cult?” I still really struggle with it.
Kumbaya,

As Christians, we have an advantage in dealing with the hard questions, we have prayer. We have a living Savior who loves both parties. We have a heart to care for others and "speak the truth in love". So, much depends on your motive and/or your audience. What do you hope to accomplish? Are you continuing an argument? Are you in a "food fight"? Are you speaking with family or friends...someone you care about, or not? If you hope to start or continue a meaningful conversation, that's probably not the way, especially with family or friends. With any conversation, you need to know your audience. You really need to care more about them than your desire to lay the "c" word on them, and you need to lose your "forum mentality."

There's no doubt that the symptoms of cult behavior are in the LC. But for you, is the Lord in you calling the LC a cult in that moment or not? Will that help them? There is a time to have that discussion, but you should be more concerned for the audience than yourself. You should really look to the Lord for His timing or the audience will not be able to hear you. An example of a good time for an honest answer would be if they ask you "Do you think the Local Church is a cult?" Then it's time for you to seek the Lord for words that will speak to their hearts, love them and help them. If they never ask such a question, continue to love them and ask the Lord for an opportunity to speak to their hearts in a way that they can hear you.

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Old 03-12-2018, 10:22 AM   #114
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I really feel like the situation to connect is lost trying to prove who is or isn’t a cult. What about just focusing on healthy vs. unhealthy practices in a Christian group instead?

I’m not trying to end your discussion of it- feel free to continue! Just wanted to offer another point of view!
I definitely agree with you here, Kumbaya!

And if I could, I would add an addendum that we should also focus on healthy vs. unhealthy teachings.
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Old 03-12-2018, 11:26 AM   #115
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I definitely agree with you here, Kumbaya!

And if I could, I would add an addendum that we should also focus on healthy vs. unhealthy teachings.
Great point!
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Old 03-12-2018, 12:21 PM   #116
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And if I could, I would add an addendum that we should also focus on healthy vs. unhealthy teachings.
Debates about whether a religious group is a cult or not go nowhere.

What's important is whether the group is theologically and sociologically healthy.

Show me a group that is clearly theologically and sociologically unhealthy, and I can probably show you a cult. But it is the characteristics that are important, not the title.
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Old 03-12-2018, 05:46 PM   #117
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Cults can’t limit anyone’s relationship with Jesus.
If only, but I think that is exactly what they do. A cult leader places himself between Jesus and his people, who must have the one mind of the cult leader and thereby simulate his relationship with Jesus.

Do you think ones relationship with Jesus might be limited when they spend all their time studying someone else's relationship with Jesus?
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:28 PM   #118
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Show me a group that is clearly theologically and sociologically unhealthy, and I can probably show you a cult.
The Catholic church? The Catholic church is a cult. It has all the signs and more.
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:34 PM   #119
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If only, but I think that is exactly what they do. A cult leader places himself between Jesus and his people, who must have the one mind of the cult leader and thereby simulate his relationship with Jesus.

Do you think ones relationship with Jesus might be limited when they spend all their time studying someone else's relationship with Jesus?
Sounds like a liturgical service in the Catholic church where the Priest says "repeat after me" and everything goes through the Priest. Same in the Lutheran, Anglican and Orthodox "churches".
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Old 03-12-2018, 06:42 PM   #120
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You really need to care more about them than your desire to lay the "c" word on them, and you need to lose your "forum mentality."
Nell
What is a "forum mentality"?

Even forums could become a cult. There's the Witness Lee cult, and there could even be an anti-Witness Lee cult -- all misplaced devotions.

But the use of the word cult is probably unnecessarily inflammatory, because it can become too general. Heck, I'm sure the Moslems might call Christians a cult of Jesus Christ.
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Old 03-12-2018, 08:44 PM   #121
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On this topic- this was one of the first videos I saw that made me realize the Lord’s recovery was actually now (possibly had always been) a cult - but full of Christians.

Https://youtu.be/u2s4krmjkDI
But Walter Martin, founder of Christian Research Institute, who branded Lee's LC a cult, was reversed by Hank Hanegraaff, with the publication of "We Were Wrong."

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I believe the leadership can employ cult tactics for control but the fact remains that most, probably almost all of them-are Christians. Cults can’t limit anyone’s relationship with Jesus.
Maybe true. But personality cults, of the Christian sort, can capture the heart into following the leader rather than Christ. This Lee did by declaring himself the oracle and authority of God on the earth. That's why I say the LC is a personality cult.

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Out of respect for fellow brothers and sisters, I still hesitate to call them a cult
Better to respect them by informing them they are in a cult, out of care for them. This Walter Martin did, in his Kingdom of the Cults.

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I grew up in it! It has such a stigma and most ppl inside are victims to the system and calling them a “cult” seems to just create more division.
A cult by nature is division

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I feel like the opportunity to communicate/connect is lost trying to prove who is or isn’t a cult. What about just focusing on healthy vs. unhealthy practices in a Christian group instead?
Oh I know how it is. My dad said I was in a cult but I wouldn't listen. I didn't see it, and no one could make me see it. I had to see it for myself, in the church. Then I believed it.

I have to say tho, I'm glad I saw it. And I'm grateful to the elder that put it in my face. He's passed on, but for the longest time I tried to contact him to thank him.

I can't deny what I see and know. That wouldn't be honest. Plus, all the exLCers I know think they were in a cult. It's obvious once you are out.

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I’m not trying to end your discussion of it- feel free to continue! Just wanted to offer another point of view!
And thanks for that. I think the fact that you grew up in it gives you a perspective that few have.

I grew up in the Southern Baptist. And while I don't consider them a cult, I do resent the indoctrination that was pushed on me. I can't imagine what you've gone thru.

Blessings ...
Harold
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Old 03-12-2018, 10:37 PM   #122
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Sounds like a liturgical service in the Catholic church where the Priest says "repeat after me" and everything goes through the Priest. Same in the Lutheran, Anglican and Orthodox "churches".
Also sounds like an LC prophesy meeting where every member is expected to repeat WL/LSM messages. I don't think Catholics give praises to their priests in the service though.
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Old 03-13-2018, 03:52 AM   #123
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Also sounds like an LC prophesy meeting where every member is expected to repeat WL/LSM messages. I don't think Catholics give praises to their priests in the service though.
They don't need to give praise to priests they have plenty of Saints to worship.
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Old 03-13-2018, 08:15 AM   #124
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I don't think Catholics give praises to their priests in the service though.
Good point. But they do consider their church the only legitimate representative of the Body of Christ in their location. The big difference between the Catholics and the Local Church of Witness Lee is at least the Catholics acknowledge that they consider themselves as such. They don't wait for you to join them and buy into the program before you find out that they have such an unbiblical and exclusive attitude.
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Old 03-13-2018, 09:00 AM   #125
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John Darby left the Anglican Church and soon took over the leadership of the Plymouth Brethren movement. Though he condemned "the system" his whole life, it's amazing how much the Exclusive Brethren leadership structure duplicated the Anglican Church.

Witness Lee condemned the Catholic Church and all of Christianity his entire life, but it's amazing how much the Recovery leadership structure matches that of the Catholic Church.

Both Lee and the Pope enjoy similar elevated positions with a doctrine of infallibility to protect them from criticism within ranks. Whether a college of cardinals or the Blendeds, both are supported by a global network of sycophants who support their every word. Both have reduced member churches to franchises overseen by local managers loyal to headquarters. Both have proprietary printing presses for the movement. Whether a missalette or a HWFMR, both mandate unique liturgical structures and readings to be carried out in every meeting.
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Old 03-13-2018, 10:15 AM   #126
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What is a "forum mentality"?
A "forum mentality" is a something I made up in the moment, but after a Google search, I find it's not original with me! It describes the argumentative and dogmatic "persona" that posting anonymously gives a poster child. It doesn't matter what the topic is, as on this forum, some are agin' it. People say things anonymously that they would never say to someone face to face.

On the other side, a good lawyer can argue either side of a case. We, however, tend to lock in on one side or the other...truth be damned.

To your point, if you want to communicate with someone, don't hit them in the face with a shovel first.

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Old 03-13-2018, 01:14 PM   #127
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If only, but I think that is exactly what they do. A cult leader places himself between Jesus and his people, who must have the one mind of the cult leader and thereby simulate his relationship with Jesus.

Do you think ones relationship with Jesus might be limited when they spend all their time studying someone else's relationship with Jesus?
Hi! Yes, thank you for saying something- I said that wrong, I do believe unhealthy teachings and practices can limit someone's ability to see and hear truth. There's so much emotional dependance going on and constant reinforcement of the "agenda" that yes, I do believe they're limited in a way.

What I should have said (instead of generalizing it like that) is that I do believe they (for the most part) have a relationship with Jesus. I know my parents did and still do. What I do see is a lot of people having zero opinions about anything in life (possibly an exaggeration for some!) and having a child-like mentality, regardless of education. Apparently it's very common in cult mentality and one of the things that made it all "click" for me. I believe they have as much as a relationship with Jesus as being in thought reform environments will allow. It's really interesting to have relationships with people who were in the church as children/teens but are out now. One of my friends was a "church kid" and they met in their home in CA with their siblings. I love their parents too! Of course, no one is perfect but their kids are far less affected negatively in their spiritual life (so it seems) and I think its because they just weren't exposed to the full dose of it all. I've realized how DIFFERENT a locality like ours was (with a big meeting hall, etc.) compared to their small home group with saints just meeting in homes. I think we all got our "dose" of unhealthy practices and teachings but in my friends case, the small home meetings didn't do nearly the amount of damage that I believe our locality did to the young people. That's kind of a side point but wanted to mention!

But, yes- I do think most saints have a relationship with Jesus but maybe their version of Him and His goals are a bit off. Also, I have to admit that I WANT them to have one, of course I do. I hope it's not wishful thinking! I do remember hearing messages though over verses about having to "have a child-like heart." I really believe that verse can be used to manipulate people when others have an agenda. Although it's true, that should be our attitude towards God, not another person, right? There are just as many verses (it seems to me!) about exercising accountability/wisdom/discernment with love.
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Old 03-13-2018, 01:42 PM   #128
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But Walter Martin, founder of Christian Research Institute, who branded Lee's LC a cult, was reversed by Hank Hanegraaff, with the publication of "We Were Wrong."...
Thanks for your thoughts! I noticed the first youtube video mentioned Walter Martin's book, "Kingdom of the Cults", too- and thought the same thing! Hopefully ppl in the LC who might watch these videos can get past that to hear the main points! I'd imagine once they recognize local church practices as RED FLAGS in these videos, it would be much easier to accept that the CRI article was, in fact, a PR stunt that never really addressed the real issues in the first place! In any case, Kingdom of the Cults, was just one of THREE books on the subject of cults that the speaker recommended. That is ENTIRELY another discussion, of course, regarding Hank Hanegraff and the CRI article!

I wanted to post that link because it's just 1 of 5 EXCELLENT videos describing the characteristics of cult practices. After watching these, I felt assured that I wasn't just a sinful fallen person "attacking" the LC, but that in fact- the practices in the LC were VERY OFF. I thought the speaker was VERY fair and also liked the fact that the discussion WASN'T targeting any group in particular. You can listen to those videos and easily recognize the local church hits EVERY SINGLE red flag mentioned. The speaker stresses that all churches are not ALL GOOD and all cults are not ALL BAD. He also talks about the fact that doctrinally- cults and churches might seem very similar! One difference though, is that a cult takes one doctrine that may be right, and over-exemplifies it through external teaching and written material. They may come to many different conclusions over this "correct" doctrine and although they claim the "extra writings" should never be elevated to the level of scripture, in practice- it doesn't seem to be the case.

DING, DING, DING!! Ok, hopefully I've hooked you into watching the videos, ha! That was just one discerning characteristic between a cult and a church, but I had to share these because they helped me so much when I was coming to this realization! I hope by sharing they can help others too. I've read a lot of things and I keep coming back to these videos. Instead of listing all the points (I don't have time!), please watch!

Do you guys think the Lord's Recovery hits all these red flags?


https://youtu.be/u2s4krmjkDI

https://youtu.be/Y2zk0gkH44Q

https://youtu.be/NASO5-AcOrI

https://youtu.be/Ahj9LsC417g

https://youtu.be/KE57Rl_32wU
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Old 03-13-2018, 04:03 PM   #129
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Brother Kumbaya I started the first video and let it continue thru the next four. And then there was more.

Back in the 1970's, when the lead elder, Mel Porter, came back from Anaheim with what was called "The Flow of Oneness," which was, Christ is on the throne, with the river flowing from the throne, carrying the authority of the throne, to the apostle on the earth, Witness Lee, I saw that as a threat to me following Christ as my head.

I then felt the church was falling into Laodicea and began testifying about our oneness in the Spirit and our oneness in Christ. It took awhile but Mel Porter caught on that I meant oneness in Christ rather than oneness by following Witness Lee.

I stood my ground and Mel stood his. Then the craziest meeting you've ever seen took place, where fist were pumped, and chants of, "If you're not with us get out," over and over again. It was then that I saw I was in a cult. Then Mel pinned me down and told me that if I wanted to go on in the church I had to -- quote "Take his personality as my own, and if I wanted to blow my nose I had to ask him which side first." end quote.

All Mel did there was provide more proof that I was in a cult.
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Old 03-13-2018, 11:05 PM   #130
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It took awhile but Mel Porter caught on that I meant oneness in Christ rather than oneness by following Witness Lee.
Sounds to me like his conscience was seared.

I wonder if anyone else felt like going to the church meetings was plain hell -- real torture. I've been told it's the flesh being crucified, but then I don't notice any joy of resurrection following. Is this a common experience?

I've been in a lot of groups, gatherings etc where I often or completely disagreed with what was going on, but these other meetings still ranged from pleasant to neutral, so I'm a little perplexed about why I find the LC meetings to be so dreadful.
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Old 03-14-2018, 06:13 AM   #131
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Sounds to me like his conscience was seared.

I wonder if anyone else felt like going to the church meetings was plain hell -- real torture. I've been told it's the flesh being crucified, but then I don't notice any joy of resurrection following. Is this a common experience?

I've been in a lot of groups, gatherings etc where I often or completely disagreed with what was going on, but these other meetings still ranged from pleasant to neutral, so I'm a little perplexed about why I find the LC meetings to be so dreadful.
Betsy,

My last meeting as a "member" I simply got up and walked out. A sister followed me and asked if I was OK. I said I was fine, I was just bored. I told her I had heard those testimonies for 15 years and had heard enough. I gave those same testimonies for 15 years. Of course, she was taken aback, but so was I (did I say that out loud?). I was giving those testimonies myself and pretending that I enjoyed it. I wasn't enjoying anything. I was lying. Pretending. Most of all, I was going along with the program, as Ohio calls it, and hoping to stay out of trouble. I had been in trouble before with the elders and THAT was hell.

This is why I found the meetings so dreadful. It hadn't reached the point of "hell" but I just couldn't stand the boredom anymore, not to mention my own hypocrisy.

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Old 03-14-2018, 06:59 AM   #132
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Brother Kumbaya I started the first video and let it continue thru the next four. And then there was more.

Back in the 1970's, when the lead elder, Mel Porter, came back from Anaheim with what was called "The Flow of Oneness," which was, Christ is on the throne, with the river flowing from the throne, carrying the authority of the throne, to the apostle on the earth, Witness Lee, I saw that as a threat to me following Christ as my head.

I then felt the church was falling into Laodicea and began testifying about our oneness in the Spirit and our oneness in Christ. It took awhile but Mel Porter caught on that I meant oneness in Christ rather than oneness by following Witness Lee.

I stood my ground and Mel stood his. Then the craziest meeting you've ever seen took place, where fist were pumped, and chants of, "If you're not with us get out," over and over again. It was then that I saw I was in a cult. Then Mel pinned me down and told me that if I wanted to go on in the church I had to -- quote "Take his personality as my own, and if I wanted to blow my nose I had to ask him which side first." end quote.

All Mel did there was provide more proof that I was in a cult.
I am genuinely shocked!!! First of all- I’m so sorry but also glad you realized so clearly what it was! So this was in the 70’s? What locality? Is that guy still in the church?
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:26 AM   #133
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Betsy,

My last meeting as a "member" I simply got up and walked out. A sister followed me and asked if I was OK. I said I was fine, I was just bored. I told her I had heard those testimonies for 15 years and had heard enough. I gave those same testimonies for 15 years. Of course, she was taken aback, but so was I (did I say that out loud?). I was giving those testimonies myself and pretending that I enjoyed it. I wasn't enjoying anything. I was lying. Pretending. Most of all, I was going along with the program, as Ohio calls it, and hoping to stay out of trouble. I had been in trouble before with the elders and THAT was hell.

This is why I found the meetings so dreadful. It hadn't reached the point of "hell" but I just couldn't stand the boredom anymore, not to mention my own hypocrisy.

Nell
You weren't the only one pretending in the meetings. As an aside I think Witness Lee was the great pretender. He was most certainly pretending about Watchman Nee (who was also the great pretender).

When Max Rappoport went around preaching "on the floor fellowship," which was to stop being spiritually phony, lots of saints walked. Then Max was gone. Lee wasn't going to stand for being real. Unless it was his real degenerate sons.
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:29 AM   #134
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Most of all, I was going along with the program, as Ohio calls it, and hoping to stay out of trouble. I had been in trouble before with the elders and THAT was hell.
This is why I found the meetings so dreadful. It hadn't reached the point of "hell" but I just couldn't stand the boredom anymore, not to mention my own hypocrisy.

Nell
Nell, I think you got it! That's it -- our own hypocrisy -- or at least that is what it becomes in practice. But when it's forced onto us, then I wouldn't call it hypocrisy, but rather coercion under threats. I think I was neutral about the church for the first couple years, then I started to see a lot of red flags, and at first I talked about them freely, until 'if looks could kill, I'd be dead' happened as a result. I was being divisive, I was destroying the oneness, and they were confiscating my free will.

I know as a parent, much of our free will is curtailed, and one cannot always speak freely, but there is a big difference between protecting and rearing children vs. exploitive church leaders.

One reason they gave for the need to cover up the misdeeds of the church leaders was when Noah came off the boat and got drunk/misbehaved with the subsequent curse on Ham for exposing him: Gen 9:20-27.

Nonetheless, I cannot think of a single time in the Bible where pretending was elevated to a virtue.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:07 AM   #135
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One reason they gave for the need to cover up the misdeeds of the church leaders was when Noah came off the boat and got drunk/misbehaved with the subsequent curse on Ham for exposing him: Gen 9:20-27.

Nonetheless, I cannot think of a single time in the Bible where pretending was elevated to a virtue.
Ham was not cursed, Canaan was cursed. We have lots of discussion on that story.

Needless to say, the self-serving LC version of "covering the misdeeds of our leaders" is a whole lot more like the Chinese culture, than it is about the Bible.
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Old 03-14-2018, 10:17 AM   #136
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Ham was not cursed, Canaan was cursed. We have lots of discussion on that story.

Needless to say, the self-serving LC version of "covering the misdeeds of our leaders" is a whole lot more like the Chinese culture, than it is about the Bible.
Yes, we've had discussions about Noah's cursing of his family. I actually think it means pretty much the opposite of what Lee said it did.

First, I think it shows that no matter how spiritual you think a leader is, he is still capable of some really rotten things.

Second, I think it shows how authority can be terribly abused and wreak havoc on future generations.

Third, I think it shows us to watch what we say to those under us. Noah's curse became reality, but that's not a good thing. If you tell your child over and over, "You'll never amount to anything" and he doesn't, is that a prophesy? No, you destroyed his self-esteem.

Anyone who thinks God backed or honored Noah's cursing doesn't know God. God didn't back Noah's cursing any more than he backs a murderer's killing. Just because the victim is dead doesn't mean God backed it.

The idea that God honored Noah's cursing because Noah was the great poobah is some of the stupidest commentary I've ever heard. Noah's curse carried weight because he abused his authority, and the result was destruction.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:09 AM   #137
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God didn't back Noah's cursing any more than he backs a murderer's killing. Just because the victim is dead doesn't mean God backed it.

The idea that God honored Noah's cursing because Noah was the great poobah is some of the stupidest commentary I've ever heard. Noah's curse carried weight because he abused his authority, and the result was destruction.
Excellent! I never thought of that. What a great POV to give if I had any boldness left with church members.

While great minds are speaking here -- what about the Bible verses that say to stay away from the divisive ones -- those who cause division? Or maybe that's just too much of a big quagmire. It starts with the basis of who has authority, who has the right vision etc., which can become a never ending spiral going down.

Then on the remote chance, they are proven wrong, they will whip out the little book called "The Twofoldness of Divine Truth", and whatever idea is true, they can argue the opposite, conflicting idea is also truth.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:47 AM   #138
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Yes, we've had discussions about Noah's cursing of his family. I actually think it means pretty much the opposite of what Lee said it did.

First, I think it shows that no matter how spiritual you think a leader is, he is still capable of some really rotten things.

Second, I think it shows how authority can be terribly abused and wreak havoc on future generations.

Third, I think it shows us to watch what we say to those under us. Noah's curse became reality, but that's not a good thing. If you tell your child over and over, "You'll never amount to anything" and he doesn't, is that a prophesy? No, you destroyed his self-esteem.

Anyone who thinks God backed or honored Noah's cursing doesn't know God. God didn't back Noah's cursing any more than he backs a murderer's killing. Just because the victim is dead doesn't mean God backed it.

The idea that God honored Noah's cursing because Noah was the great poobah is some of the stupidest commentary I've ever heard. Noah's curse carried weight because he abused his authority, and the result was destruction.
I think this is interesting perspective. Also I think we need to realize that just because something is recorded in the Bible doesn't imply that God is commending that behavior to us. For example Elijah cursed some "small children" who were then killed by a bear. If you read the record (and it is in the book that Elijah is supposed to have written) it indicates that Elijah was ashamed of that behavior, hence his very clear description that these were small children.

That said there is a very clear distinction between the two brothers who walked backward and the one who went and told them. I think it is very fair to see this story as saying that Noah was capable of doing some rotten things. But you also need to account for the behavior of the one son versus the other sons. It certainly seems that "covering Noah's nakedness" vs "shouting it from the rooftop" is part of the lesson to be learned.
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Old 03-14-2018, 11:57 AM   #139
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It certainly seems that "covering Noah's nakedness" vs "shouting it from the rooftop" is part of the lesson to be learned.
I agree that Ham was wrong. But that was just the minor offense that made Noah in his arrogance feel empowered to curse. It could have just as well been that Ham told Noah his wine was lousy. Noah was drunk and cranky and flew off the handle over a relatively minor thing. He would have found something to gripe about in his condition.

I don't think the lesson has much to do with Ham's offense at all.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:06 PM   #140
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A couple of years ago I was to pick my boys up at a high school football game. I specifically told them when and where to meet me and they were nowhere to be found. After about fifteen minutes I managed to find them. I chewed them out all the way home in a very angry fashion. The next day I apologized, telling them I had no excuse to act that way. But some damage was done. A few weeks later I asked my older boy to go to a high school playoff game with me. He said that he had no taste for going to football games because of what happened (and he's a football player!). I apologized again and begged him to forgive me and come, and he eventually did go with me.

I think the Lord has healed them both, but I know they will never forget what happened, and I don't mean for the good. I learned a hard lesson from that. Be careful what you say to your kids. Some things are hard to take back. Thankfully, I've always believed in apologizing to my children when I know I am wrong.

I wonder if Noah did.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:11 PM   #141
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While great minds are speaking here -- what about the Bible verses that say to stay away from the divisive ones -- those who cause division? Or maybe that's just too much of a big quagmire. It starts with the basis of who has authority, who has the right vision etc., which can become a never ending spiral going down.
You're right about the quagmire. Having lived thru it, I can verify that confronting LSM is no easy task. They have an answer for everything. They will mount a multi-faceted attack while you are still hoping for a peaceful outcome. They have the experience, the money, the resources, the writers, the field agents, the legal team, and the bully pulpit. They also seem to be guided by Lee's past actions which tend to suppress any protests from the conscience or from scripture. "Brother Lee did it, we must be right."

As the Midwest LC's were beginning to understand what LSM was about to do, (~2003) I actually went back to study the Plymouth Brethren and their first split. I woudn't say those historical lessons helped me to confront LSMers, but they definitely helped me to understand what we were confronting, and how far they had strayed from the love of God and His word.

One thing I learned was that the "excommunicated" were always closer to the word of God, and had a brighter future. Those who sided with the "excommunicators" were narrow-minded, often mean-spirited, and did so contrary to scripture. They were "one with man" rather that "one with God."

Both of these conclusions were contrary to the Biblical instructions you mentioned above, which is why so many saints were confused and deceived, believing only what they were told.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:13 PM   #142
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I think this is interesting perspective. Also I think we need to realize that just because something is recorded in the Bible doesn't imply that God is commending that behavior to us. For example Elijah cursed some "small children" who were then killed by a bear. If you read the record (and it is in the book that Elijah is supposed to have written) it indicates that Elijah was ashamed of that behavior, hence his very clear description that these were small children.
That would be Elisha.
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Old 03-14-2018, 12:34 PM   #143
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While great minds are speaking here -- what about the Bible verses that say to stay away from the divisive ones -- those who cause division? Or maybe that's just too much of a big quagmire.
I believe when it comes to Bible verses that stay away from the divisive ones, local church history has proven Bible verses intended to apply to non-essential matters. Say I happen to be in disagreement with Ohio, Znp, UntoHim, etc I would be branded as "divisive". Same concept applies to brothers like Nigel Tomes, Steve Isitt, etc. Just because they're responding to a situation, it's those in authority that choose to brand them as divisive. It's not a matter if being divisive in anything scriptural, but a matter of expressing a concern or opinion that draws the label of stay away from divisive ones.
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Old 03-14-2018, 01:07 PM   #144
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Excellent! I never thought of that. What a great POV to give if I had any boldness left with church members.

While great minds are speaking here -- what about the Bible verses that say to stay away from the divisive ones -- those who cause division? Or maybe that's just too much of a big quagmire. It starts with the basis of who has authority, who has the right vision etc., which can become a never ending spiral going down.
Division is always about what's going on at an agreed-upon single church or organizational level. If you choose to join a church or organization, then within that group you should behave yourself according to understood rules. If you become a trouble-maker, then the leaders have the discretion to deal with you. But their authority only exists within that group, it doesn't carry outside.

If you have a problem with a group which can't be reconciled, go in peace and find one you can exist in. If you stayed there and remained a problem, that could be considered divisive. For example, if someone joins this board, they implicitly agree to abide by the rules of the board. If they make themselves a problem, then that is divisive. But if they leave that's not divisive. They just decided to move on. I mean, maybe we are really jerks here. Who are we or who is any church or organization to insist people stay?

So attempts to change a group from within almost by definition require the cooperation of leadership. If leadership won't change and you can't live with what they do, the best thing is to just move on. But they don't have the right to call you divisive because you left them. The world doesn't revolve around them, and God has called us to peace.

If I joined an LCM church and they found out I posted the things I post here, then I think they would have ground to say, "Look, if you want to meet with us we'd prefer you not do that." It would be unreasonable for me to insist they allow me to continue posting like I do while remaining a member. But it would just as unreasonable for them to say if I don't remain with them that I'm leaving God's will. (Of course, the LCM tends to do that, but they have no right to.)

The LCM always thinks anyone who crosses them is divisive. But maybe they are the divisive ones. Who makes the final call there? Eventually everyone has to follow their own conscience.

Like I said, God has called us to peace.

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Then on the remote chance, they are proven wrong, they will whip out the little book called "The Twofoldness of Divine Truth", and whatever idea is true, they can argue the opposite, conflicting idea is also truth.
Well, two can play at that game. Just flip around what they say. You can do that all day.
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:18 PM   #145
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Excellent! I never thought of that. What a great POV to give if I had any boldness left with church members.

While great minds are speaking here -- what about the Bible verses that say to stay away from the divisive ones -- those who cause division? Or maybe that's just too much of a big quagmire. It starts with the basis of who has authority, who has the right vision etc., which can become a never ending spiral going down.

Then on the remote chance, they are proven wrong, they will whip out the little book called "The Twofoldness of Divine Truth", and whatever idea is true, they can argue the opposite, conflicting idea is also truth.
I haven't read that pamphlet! How convenient to be able to never be proven wrong....

I want to look into this too because I'm dealing with the same thing. As far as what to say to people still in when they're labeling you as "divisive," I can't help but to think of the gifts mentioned in Corinthians. One is about having the gift of a discerning spirit, I want to look more into the meaning of that.

Let's say someone does have that gift though, are they not meant to use it to discern between good and bad practices- all because it might cause a disagreement?

The point is, are disagreements and division the same thing?? Absolutely not!! It is 100% ok to peacefully disagree with each other over secondary issues. Its also ok to talk about them! Fellowshipping has been manipulated into people just agreeing with everyones opinions and practices, when really, it could be an open and respectful discussion of two points.

Since when is that causing division?
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:32 PM   #146
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Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Division is always about what's going on at an agreed-upon single church or organizational level. If you choose to join a church or organization, then within that group you should behave yourself according to understood rules. If you become a trouble-maker, then the leaders have the discretion to deal with you. But their authority only exists within that group, it doesn't carry outside.

If you have a problem with a group which can't be reconciled, go in peace and find one you can exist in. If you stayed there and remained a problem, that could be considered divisive. For example, if someone joins this board, they implicitly agree to abide by the rules of the board. If they make themselves a problem, then that is divisive. But if they leave that's not divisive. They just decided to move on. I mean, maybe we are really jerks here. Who are we or who is any church or organization to insist people stay?

So attempts to change a group from within almost by definition require the cooperation of leadership. If leadership won't change and you can't live with what they do, the best thing is to just move on. But they don't have the right to call you divisive because you left them. The world doesn't revolve around them, and God has called us to peace.

If I joined an LCM church and they found out I posted the things I post here, then I think they would have ground to say, "Look, if you want to meet with us we'd prefer you not do that." It would be unreasonable for me to insist they allow me to continue posting like I do while remaining a member. But it would just as unreasonable for them to say if I don't remain with them that I'm leaving God's will. (Of course, the LCM tends to do that, but they have no right to.)

The LCM always thinks anyone who crosses them is divisive. But maybe they are the divisive ones. Who makes the final call there? Eventually everyone has to follow their own conscience.

Like I said, God has called us to peace.



Well, two can play at that game. Just flip around what they say. You can do that all day.
I should have read all the excellent responses before chiming in! You guys are so right, being "divisive" is more about someone labeling you as that. Bringing up a concern over whether or not something is actually scriptural or biblical is exercising accountability, not being divisive! Unless you're truly not hoping for a peaceful outcome and know you're wrong/don't care- it can't be divisive. That's a heart matter and only God knows that. Need to read a little on the Plymouth Brethren, sounds interesting!
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Old 03-14-2018, 02:34 PM   #147
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I agree that Ham was wrong. But that was just the minor offense that made Noah in his arrogance feel empowered to curse. It could have just as well been that Ham told Noah his wine was lousy. Noah was drunk and cranky and flew off the handle over a relatively minor thing. He would have found something to gripe about in his condition.

I don't think the lesson has much to do with Ham's offense at all.
Perhaps the lesson is:

6 And the tongue is a fire: the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beasts and birds, of creeping things and things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed by mankind: 8 but the tongue can no man tame; it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we the Lord and Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the likeness of God: 10 out of the same mouth cometh forth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth the fountain send forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter? 12 can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a vine figs? neither can salt water yield sweet.

Maybe this is James exposition on Noah.
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Old 03-14-2018, 07:23 PM   #148
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Perhaps the lesson is:

6 And the tongue is a fire: the world of iniquity among our members is the tongue, which defileth the whole body, and setteth on fire the wheel of nature, and is set on fire by hell. 7 For every kind of beasts and birds, of creeping things and things in the sea, is tamed, and hath been tamed by mankind: 8 but the tongue can no man tame; it is a restless evil, it is full of deadly poison. 9 Therewith bless we the Lord and Father; and therewith curse we men, who are made after the likeness of God: 10 out of the same mouth cometh forth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be. 11 Doth the fountain send forth from the same opening sweet water and bitter? 12 can a fig tree, my brethren, yield olives, or a vine figs? neither can salt water yield sweet.

Maybe this is James exposition on Noah.
Z, You were a school teacher, right? You know how the words of an adult can affect a young person.

Now imagine if this young person is the grandson of the great Noah, and Noah curses him. What affect might that have on his psyche? He just might say to himself, "This is how the man of God talks? This is what he thinks of me? His God must hate me. So I want nothing to do with his God."

Thus begins the Canaanites.
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Old 03-14-2018, 08:46 PM   #149
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I think this is interesting perspective. Also I think we need to realize that just because something is recorded in the Bible doesn't imply that God is commending that behavior to us. For example Elijah cursed some "small children" who were then killed by a bear. If you read the record (and it is in the book that Elijah is supposed to have written) it indicates that Elijah was ashamed of that behavior, hence his very clear description that these were small children.

That said there is a very clear distinction between the two brothers who walked backward and the one who went and told them. I think it is very fair to see this story as saying that Noah was capable of doing some rotten things. But you also need to account for the behavior of the one son versus the other sons. It certainly seems that "covering Noah's nakedness" vs "shouting it from the rooftop" is part of the lesson to be learned.
What's nonsense about the Noah story is that seeing someone naked is some kind of a big deal, unless there's something sexual about it.

Anyway, Witness Lee used the Noah story so that his followers wouldn't expose his flaws, and undermine his authority.

What nonsense. Witness Lee wasn't Noah.

And falling for it will result in Stockholm Syndrome.
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Old 03-14-2018, 09:24 PM   #150
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What's nonsense about the Noah story is that seeing someone naked is some kind of a big deal, unless there's something sexual about it.

Anyway, Witness Lee used the Noah story so that his followers wouldn't expose his flaws, and undermine his authority.

What nonsense. Witness Lee wasn't Noah.
Right. Just another example of the double standard there. LCers cannot expose their leaders flaws, but can feel free to expose "fallen Christianity".
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Old 03-15-2018, 02:44 AM   #151
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Default Body Language?

A couple years ago, I wondered if I could be over reacting to WL or too critical for reasons not justified, so I sent one of his YouTube videos to a physician who does body language studies in his spare time. This physician is not a Christian and had never heard of WL, but told me the same thing about him as he did about Roy Moore in this article:

http://www.bodylanguagesuccess.com/2...-4146-roy.html

Typical Photo of WL: https://mobile.twitter.com/TheWitnessLee/photo

Since then I no longer doubt my perceptions of him and his ministry, but I still wonder how much damage can it do long term. The Bible warns repeatedly about idols and false teachers/apostles. No doubt it undermines ones relationship with God. But there's something else I read today that explains a lot. It was written by Igzy I think?

Quote:
Details and quibbling aside, I think a real way the LCM's Christ is different is his motivations.

The LCM portrayed Christ as a deity totally interested in "his purpose" and "his expression," and who was interested in people only to the extent that they helped him accomplish his long-term goals. The LCM portrayed Christ as one who lived, suffered and died as a man not out of love to redeem, but out of determination to produce "the processed God" to in turn produce "the Church" so he could get "glory," almost like he was just showing off.

The impression one gets from the LCM Christ is not that he loves people as an end in the themselves, but that he loves them as means to an end. Thus people were devalued and made disposable. The LCM Christ is rather like the Muslim Allah, in the end a bit indifferent toward people.

This is certainly a different Christ than the biblical Christ, who died for one reason, because he didn't want to see us end up lost. For all the LCM's supposed "light" from the bible, they still missed one of the most basic verses of all, John 3:16.
What a cold Christ! Sadly, I see this reflected in decreased confidence and feelings of worthlessness.
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Old 03-15-2018, 04:02 AM   #152
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What a cold Christ! Sadly, I see this reflected in decreased confidence and feelings of worthlessness.
I was with the FTTA in early '90s, when they gave up on door-knocking and began the big push for "good building material". The group was explicitly told to ignore the widows and orphans and poor and lame, and go after Caucasian college students.

"Don't waste your time" were the trainer's words. I told him that this wasn't like the Christ we see in the gospels. He ignored my comments and the meeting continued. Even then, as a "sold out one", it took me a few more years to summon the courage and the strength to leave.
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Old 03-22-2018, 05:51 PM   #153
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My little Renee (lr) has become entangled with the church the last few years. To stay informed, I have also become involved with spending time in going to meetings and taking the FTTA-online etc., but I have remained an outsider. I can see why the church focuses on recruiting young people -- they are more gullible and naive than those who are no longer young.

At first I was pleased for lr. Having a strong faith is a good thing, and having a church life to express it is a good thing. Now I'm mostly concerned if or how much damage it can do. It's hard for me to relate as I don't have the subjective experience of any emotional attachment to this LSM ministry, but I can see on this forum how much former members have been hurt.

I first saw the LSM church in a new light with red flags waving, when lr asked me to order some recovery version Bibles on Amazon. Out of habit, I read some reviews, including the negative ones before I order anything and also because I was curious what anyone could say against a Bible. Well I got a tome of information about plagiarism, hundreds of examples cited in the notes of the recovery version. Well, the good thing is there's a lot of great stuff in those notes, personally selected by WL from many great Christian minds throughout the 1800s and earlier. The bad thing is that WL has copyrighted these notes as his own ideas.

This started what turned out to be the tip of the iceberg for WL et.al. I've learned not to mention anything against any of it because it only generates an angry and defensive response, so instead I spend a lot of time cringing silently. Anyway, the old saying is true, one catches a lot more with honey than with vinegar.

So my question is does anyone know of a good alternative, with seemingly endless audio and revival booklets as can be found with the LSM? I like Grace Gems and Enduringword.com, but they lack any physical presence. When we fellowship, I make a point to read the Bible first instead of the morning revival or life-studies, but I can tell they barely tolerate this. I wish I could better demonstrate my faith but I seem no match for the insincerity and contrivance of the LSM. What would be the most painless way to untangle a saint?

Dear Mom,
It was helpful to me that my parents were keeping the door open not for them to go in, but for me to come out. I continue to have a strong relationship/connection to God not based on any intermediaries. Also, I wish that my Baptist relatives (aunts, uncles, cousins) who were active in their churches and had a strong Christian walk, had invited me for a visit into their homes, me so that when I did come out of the LC, I had open loving arms to run into. I realize that some children never leave the LC. During a very dark time, I was pulled out into the light directly by God, who holds me in his loving arms. It is a no brainer that God is alive and well. He is with us whether we know it or not or can feel His presence or not, in times filled with light as well as during our darkest nights. The older I get the more I realize how big our God is!
For reading, how about the autobiography of the life of Billy Graham. His message is timeless and his faithfulness to the truth is always constant. Another book I just completed is the biography, My Unforgettable Memories Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, by Lily M. Hsu, MD. I got mine from Amazon. $9.99 Kindle Edition on my i-phone and I just ordered the English hard copy ($35.00). There is also a hard copy in Chinese.

Respectfully,
The überwinder
Member from 1968 (Visited Hall 2 LA as a child with my parents, James Barber sharing about hinds feet in high places, in a house before current meeting hall was built), he was kind of long winded and the room was hot, but then I was only 10. Other locations were in Europe, UK, California, and the Northwest from 1971-1983.)
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:57 AM   #154
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Default Re: Body Language?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Betsy View Post
A couple years ago, I wondered if I could be over reacting to WL or too critical for reasons not justified, so I sent one of his YouTube videos to a physician who does body language studies in his spare time. This physician is not a Christian and had never heard of WL, but told me the same thing about him as he did about Roy Moore in this article:

http://www.bodylanguagesuccess.com/2...-4146-roy.html

Typical Photo of WL: https://mobile.twitter.com/TheWitnessLee/photo

Since then I no longer doubt my perceptions of him and his ministry, but I still wonder how much damage can it do long term. The Bible warns repeatedly about idols and false teachers/apostles. No doubt it undermines ones relationship with God. But there's something else I read today that explains a lot. It was written by Igzy I think?



What a cold Christ! Sadly, I see this reflected in decreased confidence and feelings of worthlessness.
To be fair, the love of Christ and of God were talked about, sung about in hymns, and appreciated in the local churches sometimes when I attended meetings from 1978-2015, but the life of God was usually the focus. I even heard Witness Lee put “Christianity” down for talking so much about the love of Christ rather than His life in 1978. Then in the last years of his life (he died in 1998) he began again to talk about the importance of love. Unfortunately love was not exhibited from the leaders (because they didn’t have it modeled towards them by the chain of teachers they followed, rather stern scolding disciplinarians).

Here is a link to a book and short talk by a teacher I just met and heard speak two weeks ago who emphasizes and exhibits God’s great love for us and how it should play out in our love for one another and towards a lost and dying world.

Love Revolution by Gaylord Enns

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Revoluti.../dp/0984581510

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CcZzCaNCgUI
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Old 03-26-2018, 09:00 AM   #155
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To be fair, the love of Christ and of God were talked about, sung about in hymns, and appreciated in the local churches sometimes when I attended meetings from 1978-2015, but the life of God was usually the focus. I even heard Witness Lee put “Christianity” down for talking so much about the love of Christ rather than His life in 1978. Then in the last years of his life (he died in 1998) he began again to talk about the importance of love. Unfortunately love was not exhibited from the leaders (because they didn’t have it modeled towards them by the chain of teachers they followed, rather stern scolding disciplinarians).

Here is a link to a book and short talk by a teacher I just met and heard speak two weeks ago who emphasizes and exhibits God’s great love for us and how it should play out in our love for one another and towards a lost and dying world.

Love Revolution by Gaylord Enns

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Revoluti.../dp/0984581510

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CcZzCaNCgUI
Back around 1978 I was reading William Law. He made a great point. In a nutshell he said that, we are all one in the Spirit, but to work it out requires brotherly love.

I was excited. I went around telling everyone. It fell like a lead brick. Why? Because it wasn't a flow from brother Lee. It was out of the flow. Laodicea anyone?
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Old 03-26-2018, 10:03 AM   #156
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Default Re: Body Language?

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Back around 1978 I was reading William Law. He made a great point. In a nutshell he said that, we are all one in the Spirit, but to work it out requires brotherly love.

I was excited. I went around telling everyone. It fell like a lead brick. Why? Because it wasn't a flow from brother Lee. It was out of the flow. Laodicea anyone?
Bro awareness, when I read posts like this, I doubt whether W. Lee had any effect on you at all.
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Old 03-26-2018, 07:50 PM   #157
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Bro awareness, when I read posts like this, I doubt whether W. Lee had any effect on you at all.
Oh I got Witness Lee, thru Mel Porter (not Titus Chu). Mel was a wet blanket on William Law, and his oneness by brotherly love. Mel was into BrotherLee love.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:21 PM   #158
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Back around 1978 I was reading William Law. He made a great point. In a nutshell he said that, we are all one in the Spirit, but to work it out requires brotherly love.

I was excited. I went around telling everyone. It fell like a lead brick. Why? Because it wasn't a flow from brother Lee. It was out of the flow. Laodicea anyone?
William Law was right. Mel was wrong. Bro. awareness, you were right that Mel’s antics turning you away from TLR did you a big favor.... missed living the carnage firsthand like I did.
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