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Old 09-05-2020, 10:29 AM   #1
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Default The Change in Nature of the Lord's Recovery

The Change in Nature
of the Lord’s Recovery

In a conference given in January this year 2020 in the Philippines, Ron Kangas questioned John Ingalls’ 1989 remark that “the nature of the Lord’s recovery had changed“. Ron forgot to check with the blueprint and the warnings given by brothers Nee and Lee. John Ingalls was there when Witness Lee arrived in the U. S. and laid out the blueprint for the church life in Los Angeles, as Watchman Nee and Witness Lee had practiced in China. These two apostle-like figures were also key in the Philippines to lay out for the saints in Manila a solid foundation to practice the church life.

John Ingalls, Jim Reetzke, and others from 1962 onward were directed by W. Lee toward Christ as the Center – the life, content, and reality of the church, and were given clear scriptural help about “receiving believers only according to God’s receiving, no more, no less, according to Christ Alone. When deviation from this path was taking place, John Ingalls identified it as a “change in nature,” and that is what it was, a change that led the churches onto a path of controversy and confusion; turmoil and division.

Ron Kangas didn’t recognize what John was doing, but John shares in his book what he and others were doing. They were following brother Lee’s own word that if he left the path, they should not follow him, but follow the path. In his final message, Witness Lee again warned about deviating from this path:


This is a lesson for us all. The co-workers in different places need to learn; all responsible brothers in all localities need to learn. The eyes of the brothers and sisters all need to be opened. We have acted wrongly in the past, including me, I have to admit. I have had very painful repentance before the Lord. I am very sorry! I am sorry for the Body of Christ - not only for the brothers and sisters among us, but also for the ones in the denominations. You have to bring this message back and read it over and over again in mutual fellowship. Then you will see we were wrong before. We must learn from our past mistakes to receive people according to God's Son...undeviating… not deviating a bit from the path…”
(LSM translation Feb 1997)

Many changes took place in the late eighties in the Lord’s recovery, and the basic change was the evident “change in the nature” of the recovery itself. An elder in the Northwest inadvertently expressed the essence of that change, declaring in a meeting, “If you are not here for Witness Lee and his ministry, you might as well not be here. There's the door.” The ministry of Witness Lee was promoted to such an extent that it became the primary factor of oneness in the churches, even with brothers making a Pledge to W. Lee, that “We further agree to practice the recovery one in: teaching, practice, thinking, speaking, essence, appearance, and expression. We repudiate all differences among the churches, and all indifference toward the ministry office, and the other churches. We agree that the church in our place be identical with all the local churches throughout the earth…” (The New Way Pledge of 417 leaders, Feb 1986)


John Ingalls describes in his book the chaotic state of the church life in Anaheim that resulted from the “change in nature.” He draws important attention to a special meeting that was meant to re-establish the standing of the church in Anaheim (1988). But this effort by the elders was met with undaunted opposition to them by supporters of LSM establishment. John Ingalls says, “…we met with the brothers who had signed the letter to us…. During those times the brothers grilled us and accused us in a manner that was quite out-of-character for them. This led us to suspect that they were receiving direction from behind the scenes. (We received a definite report through one of them…that they had met with Brother Lee and talked with him about the Anaheim elders.) The atmosphere in these meetings was tense and oppressive. We felt that it was altogether not profitable…to meet in such a way. The chief spokesman [Carl Althaus] for the brothers said to my face bluntly, emphatically, and with great finality, "We will not follow your direction!" Minoru Chen… strongly confirmed and supported them.” He was a late strategic placement as an “elder” on the Chinese side, fully aligned with the objectives of W. L. and son.

Such are scenes on that path of deviation to which Ron might say, “Doesn’t bother me,” and Minoru, “What a beautiful sight.” (Their more recent remarks on said path.) S. I. 8/2020
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Old 09-06-2020, 08:44 AM   #2
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Thanks for sharing that post which was quite concise on the whole matter of where the LC's got off the right path of Christ alone! No matter the time that has passed or what has happened since, WL's message in 1997 was clear: He saw that things were off the mark in the LC, he said there should be a change/repentance, and he made an urgent plea to that affect. The LC leadership did not heed those words, and are therefore still running into left field.

Those are the facts ma'am. May the Lord have mercy! What a joyous day it would be indeed, if there was true repentance in the LCs regarding this!
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:05 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Change in Nature of the Lord's Recovery

Amen, Sons of Glory!


Maybe there will be a day when Scottsdale holds a conference and invites Ron and Minoru, as "fellow citizens with the saints and members of the Household of God."
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Old 09-06-2020, 01:49 PM   #4
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Amen, Sons of Glory!


Maybe there will be a day when Scottsdale holds a conference and invites Ron and Minoru, as "fellow citizens with the saints and members of the Household of God."
Nothing is impossible with Him, bro - all division melts in agape love!
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Old 09-06-2020, 04:32 PM   #5
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Nothing is impossible with Him, bro - all division melts in agape love!
This brother I will mention was quite active at LSM and a prominent figure in their work, but is so no longer. Maybe he will have a testimony at some point concerning John Ingalls' observation that the nature of the recovery had indeed changed. He has a tremendous amount of background and experience with Witness Lee, Philip Lee, quarantines, and more but what he might want to share publicly is up to him and his sensitive spirit before the Lord. Like Don Rutledge, he would have a lot of good things to share about the brothers he loved and served with. I only share the following to support the elders and their intention to recover what was lost.[/I]. (Taken from DeviatingfromthePathintheLordsRecovery.com)

Declaring the Standing of the Church in Anaheim


Brother Dan Towle continues his misrepresentation of John Ingalls and his misunderstanding of what was actually happening in the church in Anaheim that ultimately issued in the elders’ presentation of sixteen points concerning truth and practice for the church in Anaheim.

Dan Towle misrepresentation
– “Eventually, [the Anaheim elders] even stood up in a meeting in Anaheim to declare a different standing of the church.” (p. 103, FPR).

Comment: It will help to know the background of the elders’ experience that led to their declaration, given in detail in John Ingalls’ book, Speaking the Truth in Love. The elders didn’t declare a different standing, but clarified the standing that they had from the beginning in Los Angeles before moving to Anaheim. John Ingalls and Godfred Otuteye offered the fellowship to the church, covering the sixteen points.

Benson Phillips, a prominent leading one in the recovery, was not critical of the sixteen points fellowship in a conversation John had with Benson: “the matter of the sixteen points spoken on August 28th was brought up, and we explained [to Benson] that they were addressed to the local need and were intended for that. He remarked that he did not think they had any need of covering those same needs in Irving, at least not now.”

It wasn’t something Benson condemned and neither did Minoru Chen, who was an elder in Anaheim and aware of the confusion that existed in the locality.

John Ingalls
shares,

Toward the conclusion of the session as we were starting to pray, Minoru [Chen] arose and made a couple of statements. He said that he agreed in principle with all the points that we had made, but he stated that he wanted to reserve himself regarding some matters and concerning some of the points, particularly those made by Godfred. He stated that he would not say in a definite way that he agreed or disagreed. He also referred to Godfred’s apology for participating in certain promotions, which, he said, took place mainly in 1986. (He was alluding to the promotion of the LSM office and Philip Lee.) He said that he wanted to amen what Godfred had shared and declared that there was an excessive amount of this promotion, thereby bringing the saints into confusion and despondency, and the church into suffering. He also wanted to ask the forgiveness of the whole church for his part in this very matter.

Dan Towle went on to say that “Neither in the New Testament nor in the history of the Lord’s recovery with us has there been a case where one church stood up to make a declaration of its standing. There is not such a thing in the New Testament. If you do that, spontaneously you bring in division. Your standing is one way. Eventually, another church can say that they have another standing. Soon, we are in denominations. Everyone has his standing, and no one agrees with another’s standing. To declare the standing of a local church is something in the sleight of men.” (FPR, p. 103)

Comments: The sixteen points fellowship was a word of generality to the church in Anaheim and the brothers’ endeavor to keep the oneness of the Spirit in the uniting bond of peace with all the saints. Ken Unger was trying to maintain the church in Huntington Beach in the same way. For a comparatively long time he was trying to hold two sides together; then he received a letter asking him to step aside from the eldership. The letter came from his fellow elders in HB who wanted to line up squarely with Witness Lee and the new way. It also came through discussions the two other elders had with Brother Lee, who wanted Ken to “get off the fence”. Ken had gone to Brother Lee twenty times for fellowship, desiring that none of the sheep be lost in his locality.

Standing on the ground of oneness, both John Ingalls and Ken Unger were elders desiring to resist the strong tide of LSM usurpation in their respective localities. Ken ended up stepping aside from the eldership and became just a brother in the church, but when he found that he was being shunned by the saints, he began to stay away from the meetings, and simply never felt comfortable or at peace to return. He joined his wife in this regard. The church in Huntington Beach had lined up with its universal leader, and became a full-fledged “ministry church”.

John Ingalls also ended up stepping aside from the eldership after pressure was applied to him to do so. An activist group within the church in Anaheim effectively undermined the elders in their locality in their quest to line up the church in Anaheim with a universal leader. (See p. 83)

Dan Towle did not like the brothers’ word of generality to the church in Anaheim. However, taking an objective view of the chaotic condition of the church should invoke respect for the elders and their decision to make the standing of the church clear to the saints. This, at least, was their honorable endeavor to accomplish.
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Old 09-06-2020, 09:17 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Change in Nature of the Lord's Recovery

I don't believe "the nature of the Lord's Recovery" had changed as much as John Ingalls and others coming to their senses and seeing the real Witness Lee. For 20+ years Ingalls was apparently never on the receiving end of Lee's infamous temper, pettiness and immorality. But boy did he get the full dose when Lee turned against him. Of course there were many brothers in Taiwan/China who could have (and should have) warned the American brothers about the real Witness Lee. Had they done so, we probably wouldn't be on this forum today.

In my view, I don't believe our main concern and burden should be so much about Ron Kangas, Benson Phillips, Minoru Chen (or any of the other "Blended Brothers") but rather our focus should be on the thousands upon thousands of younger people who need to be set free from the system of error of the Local Church of Witness Lee. To be frank, I don't believe telling them that at one point the movement was more healthy, and not as much of a personality cult as we see today, is really doing anybody much good. Oh, it may make us old guys feel a little better - that we weren't really THAT deceived after all - but I think our energies are better directed at helping the many brothers and sisters who were raised in the LC movement and know nothing else, and also those young people being recruited off the college campuses.

This is not to discount what our brother Steve has been sharing with all of us for many years now. I appreciate his efforts more than I could ever express in words. But God has moved on. If the Local Church was ever a genuine move of God (a dubious notion in my view) it is very far from that now. It is no place to be for new believers or young people. May God have mercy.
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Old 09-07-2020, 03:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Change in Nature of the Lord's Recovery

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I don't believe "the nature of the Lord's Recovery" had changed as much as John Ingalls and others coming to their senses and seeing the real Witness Lee.
It really boils down to whether these are seperate matters. Ingalls was comparing the teachings and practices of the early Recovery church life in SoCal with what had developed after the so-called "New Way" had taken over.

UntoHim is discussing who and what defines the "real Witness Lee." That is a more complicated question. Lee seems to follow the trajectory of some other gifted men of God. They began well, desiring a church setting which returns to the "ideals" of the early church, yet over time become quite abusive and controlling.

In many matters, Lee hed totally "flip-flopped" during Ingalls' quarter century working often side-by-side with him. One can then legitimately ask whether Ingalls ever knew the "real Witness Lee." And for that matter, does anybody?
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Old 09-07-2020, 08:06 AM   #8
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It really boils down to whether these are separate matters. Ingalls was comparing the teachings and practices of the early Recovery church life in SoCal with what had developed after the so-called "New Way" had taken over.

UntoHim is discussing who and what defines the "real Witness Lee." That is a more complicated question. Lee seems to follow the trajectory of some other gifted men of God. They began well, desiring a church setting which returns to the "ideals" of the early church, yet over time become quite abusive and controlling.

In many matters, Lee held totally "flip-flopped" during Ingalls' quarter century working often side-by-side with him. One can then legitimately ask whether Ingalls ever knew the "real Witness Lee." And for that matter, does anybody?
And that is a question I doubt we can come to a clear consensus on (as has been demonstrated on here over & over). And in this respect, UntoHim is right - who cares if WL and the LCs were pure and a real move of God "back in the day"!? On the other hand, if they were, then it is just historical fact to know and may or may not be useful to an individual.

I think as Ohio points out, it seems to have followed a similar trajectory of many other Christian movements - they get full of themselves and stray from Christ alone.
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Old 09-07-2020, 09:20 AM   #9
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Nothing is impossible with Him - all division melts in agape love!

The Seismic Shift in Direction


Don Rutledge, a former leader in Dallas, Texas was well-respected among church leaders, including Witness Lee, and wrote about the flourishing time in the sixties and early seventies when the churches were growing in life and numbers, and spreading. It was certainly a time of blessing on a path of receiving believers according to Christ alone. That is, until the seismic shift in the direction of the churches occurred and wide- sweeping changes throughout “the Lord’s recovery” set the churches on another path. [This began another 12-year period that grew till 1986 and the New Way Pledge was signed by leaders to follow Witness Lee and his son, Philip, in one accord.]

Don Rutledge:
“The turn away from the local church life began in January 1974 at the very first special elders and co-workers conference. This is when the concept of the work began.Few of the saints realize the magnitude of effect this meeting had on the churches. With charts and statistics, Witness Lee and Max Rapoport came forth to launch the movement. It was boldly declared that the churches would use Witness Lee as the exclusive source of teaching and Max would serve as the coordinator to bring the various churches, with their elders, into a unified movement. Two life-study messages a week were going to be given in Anaheim and ministry stations were set up in various cities to repeat the messages through designated brothers. Some smaller churches consolidated to the larger localities where there was a ministry station. The official list of twelve men who could give conferences was announced. Bi-annual trainings began that year. From that time on, the individual churches would be called to account if they were moving “independently.” In addition to coordinating the elders to act in a single direction, Max was charged to assist the various churches to be more effective with gospel preaching and outreach.

“He began to travel and, in particular, to meet with the elders. Those who would not be good movement men were pushed aside, if possible, or moved somewhere to be out of the way. On several occasions, Max told me that he was working to bring the elders and churches into one coordination for the purpose of carrying out the burden of Witness Lee. He told me several times that only he could ‘put the whole thing together’.

“I am not attempting to call into question the motive of Witness Lee or Max. During this time, Witness Lee did some very good teaching and Max did some very good gospel work. But what did happen was that the nature of the various local churches changed from being local in administration and spontaneous in actions to being directed from a center with clear administrative leaders and directors.

“Things were definitely not the same. Some were saying the time of blessing has passed; or we changed our vision; or the moving of the Spirit left the churches; or teaching, doctrine, and methods replaced life. The movement looked nothing like the early days of Elden Hall, Ohio, the Northwest or Texas or other places.” D. R.


“Follow the Vision” – Don Rutledge with Brother Lee – year 1975

“One evening I was walking with Brother Lee. He stopped, turned to me, then put his arm around my shoulder. I realized that he was about to tell me something very serious. He told me that he made a terrible mistake with Daystar (luxury motor home business he introduced to the churches that failed the year before). He said that if he saw Brother Nee he would not know what to say since Brother Nee had warned him not to mix the church with financial matters or business.

“He then told me that he had once told Watchman Nee that he was not following him, but rather was following the truth and vision that Brother Nee taught. Furthermore, that he would not follow Watchman Nee if Watchman Nee left the vision, but that he, Brother Lee, would continue to follow the vision. He then looked me straight in the eye and charged me, “Brother Don, if I leave the vision, do not follow me but follow the vision.” I was a little speechless, but I did manage to return the embrace and assure Brother Lee that I would remain true to the vision and the truth.” _DFR

When Witness Lee gave his Final Message he reflected on the past and mistakes that were made. Although he would not be specific, he charged others to come together to learn from our past.

“This is a lesson for us all. The co-workers in different places need to learn; all responsible brothers in all localities need to learn. The eyes of the brothers and sisters all need to be opened. Too many things we need to learn. We have acted wrongly in the past, including me, I have to admit. I have had very painful repentance before the Lord. I am very sorry! I am sorry for the Body of Christ - not only for the brothers and sisters among us, but also for the ones in the denominations. You have to bring this message back and read it over and over again in mutual fellowship. Then you will see we were wrong before. To understand and analyze this needs a fair bit of effort. Again I say, a few of you must come together through pray-reading, studying, reciting, and prophesying. We must learn from our past mistakes to receive people according to God's Son...undeviating... not deviating a bit from the path.” (Chinese New Year Conference, 1997, W. Lee)
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Old 09-07-2020, 01:14 PM   #10
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When Witness Lee gave his Final Message he reflected on the past and mistakes that were made.
Although he would not be specific, he charged others to come together to learn from our past.

“This is a lesson for us all. The co-workers in different places need to learn; all responsible brothers in all localities need to learn. The eyes of the brothers and sisters all need to be opened. Too many things we need to learn. We have acted wrongly in the past, including me, I have to admit. I have had very painful repentance before the Lord. I am very sorry! I am sorry for the Body of Christ - not only for the brothers and sisters among us, but also for the ones in the denominations. You have to bring this message back and read it over and over again in mutual fellowship. Then you will see we were wrong before. To understand and analyze this needs a fair bit of effort. Again I say, a few of you must come together through pray-reading, studying, reciting, and prophesying. We must learn from our past mistakes to receive people according to God's Son...undeviating... not deviating a bit from the path.” (Chinese New Year Conference, 1997, W. Lee)
I wonder if he should have been specific, and maybe that would have not been so easily dismissed - it may have been more of a healing/correcting word if he had done that. But that did not seem to be his MO . . .

We do leadership classes and there's a case study where the leader clearly makes a mistake which causes several serious issues. One question we ask participants is whether the leader should apologize for their mistake, and the responses are often fairly divided. People saying they shouldn't apologize, frequently state their reasoning is that it would make the leader look weak and undermine their authority. It's actually the opposite for a variety of reasons.
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Old 09-08-2020, 09:59 AM   #11
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I wonder if he should have been specific, and maybe that would have not been so easily dismissed - it may have been more of a healing/correcting word if he had done that. But that did not seem to be his MO . . .

We do leadership classes and there's a case study where the leader clearly makes a mistake which causes several serious issues. One question we ask participants is whether the leader should apologize for their mistake, and the responses are often fairly divided. People saying they shouldn't apologize, frequently state their reasoning is that it would make the leader look weak and undermine their authority. It's actually the opposite for a variety of reasons.



Brother Lee did not explain what he was referring to because he would lose face, so he only left them "the CHARGE to learn," which was actually HIS responsibility to deal with also and make right in the Body, concerning a number of matters and people spanned over several decades.


Witness Lee left many brothers exasperated.



Bill Mallon Sums up the deviation and the "Change of Nature" in the recovery.

“You will never know how completely astonished, shocked, and
unnerved*we were when WL put more and more things under Philip Lee’s
responsibility. It was incredible and unbelievable from the get-go!”

“How could such a so-called man of the Spirit (WL) hand over a spiritual
work to a man of the flesh (PL)?!?!* It was repulsive, let alone*depressive. It
was once brought to my attention that Witness Lee appreciated Philip Lee
because this son of his turned*Witness Lee’s ministry and the LSM into a
money-making business.

“Witness Lee first got off-track when he deviated from his original principle. He said in the 1960s that the churches should not be for the ministry and should not build*up the ministry, but that the ministry should be for the churches and build up the churches.

This he reversed dramatically in 1974 when he moved to Anaheim for the purpose of centralizing*his ministry and decentralizing his focus on the churches. (1) At first his ministry was the center and he expected all the churches to strengthen, support, andgive allegiance to*it. (2) Later,*WL himself became the center, and everyone and all the churches were judged according to their*loyalty*to the "minister." (3) After this, WLexpected everyone to give allegiance and financial support to*the LSM bookroom, and
whoever failed to acknowledge and support the bookroom fell from his favor and were judged disloyal. (4) Finally,*WL's ministry deteriorated to an all-time low, to*a*hole below*the pit, when he gradually installed PL to be in charge of even the training,expecting all the churches to give their allegiance and loyalty to his son in (and of) the flesh.

“These were the heavy, unbearable*feelings in our hearts. As time went by, we tried to do something about it. But characteristically, when WL was approached about such matter, he was like*a little Chinese man who suddenly burst into a nine-foot intimidating giant.”
* * *
Bill had personally written three letters to Witness Lee “to politely, and yet, plainly, bring the troubling issues before him”.* Bill also conversed with him by phone, in his attempts to bring his attention to the serious problems incurred in the Southeast churches at the hands of Philip Lee and others representing LSM. Witness Lee did not listen, as was the testimony of many others especially during the late 1980s turmoil in the U. S.,*Europe, Taipei, and other Far East churches.
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Old 09-08-2020, 10:05 AM   #12
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In many matters, Lee hed totally "flip-flopped" during Ingalls' quarter century working often side-by-side with him. One can then legitimately ask whether Ingalls ever knew the "real Witness Lee." And for that matter, does anybody?
Actually Lee did not do a flip-flop, he simply reverted back to the kind of person and leader he was in Taiwan before he ever came to America. It is a historical fact, noted by many trustworthy personal witnesses, that Witness Lee was doing all the same things in the 50s-early 60s (in Taiwan/Asia) that he was doing in the mid-late 80s in America. He was hiring and firing elders and co-workers at his personal whim. He made demands that they be personally loyal to him, or be ostracized or cut-off from participating in the ministry. He had brothers spying against brothers and reporting back to him. He was extremely unethical and immoral in the handling of large amounts of church monies - sometimes using church funds to pay off personal/business debts incurred by him and his sons. He also betrayed many longtime brothers who had ministered among the churches.

THIS was the real Witness Lee that came to our country to "bring the Lord's Recovery to the top Christian country on earth". Maybe Lee did repent before he initiated the movement here in America, but the simple fact is that he had already disqualified himself from being an elder of a single local church, much, much less the leader and sole teacher of an entire Christian movement. My contention would be that if Witness Lee was honest about his past, and made steps of restitution and reconciliation to all the saints he had damaged in the Far East, maybe, just maybe, the Lord would have allowed him to minister among various Christian groups in North America....but not with a place of official leadership or influence - for he had forever disqualified himself from holding any church office.

Let me be clear - none of what I have written here detracts from or delegitimizes any of the experiences of Christ, genuine salvations or precious fellowship we had among us. The Local Church of Witness Lee was not the first Christian movement that God blessed and moved among them despite the immorality, sins and heresy of a leader, and it certainly won't be the last. Yet for those of us who have come to know the facts and reality of the past 50+ years of Local Church history, to cover up, or even to downplay, would be exposing the dear brothers and sisters still entrapped within the Local Church movement to further abuse and damage. May God have mercy.
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Old 09-08-2020, 04:12 PM   #13
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Actually Lee did not do a flip-flop, he simply reverted back to the kind of person and leader he was in Taiwan before he ever came to America.
I don't see the conflict here. No one is saying that WL did not repeat past failures. What we are providing for here are explanations to our readers which accommodate the testimonies of many leaders who have left the Recovery and recorded their stories, e.g. Al Knoch, Godfred O., Don Rutledge, John Ingalls, Albert Zehr, Bill Mallon, John So, etc.

They did not say that Lee's character had changed, but that the character of the Recovery had changed. They did not say that Lee's nature had changed, but that the nature of the Recovery had changed.

Understand? ¿Comprendes? Verstehst? Comprenez-vous?
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:53 AM   #14
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What we are providing for here are explanations to our readers which accommodate the testimonies of many leaders who have left the Recovery and recorded their stories, e.g. Al Knoch, Godfred O., Don Rutledge, John Ingalls, Albert Zehr, Bill Mallon, John So, etc.
Well, I thought I might provide my own explanation. Is that ok with you, brother Ohio?

I'm very aware of the testimonies of all the brothers you have listed here. I actually heard some of the testimonies in their own living rooms, in person. But most of these testimonies were related to us over 30 years ago. (with the exception being Don Rutledge, who has commented on these matters in more recent years, right here on this forum) It is now 2020. I think we all have the great advantage of looking back in a more objective way, and with maybe a far different perspective. I can't be sure, but I believe the testimonies of some of these brothers would be very different today.

Anytime we are discussing "the nature of the Lord's Recovery", I think we are discussing something very subjective. First of all, this thing that many refer to as "the Lord's Recovery" is actually just the little Christian sect of The Local Church of Witness Lee. The whole notion that the Lord needs "a Recovery" is suspect at best, and is really just a man-made notion. It's not in the Bible. There is a vary good reason that many outsiders refer to the LC movement as "The Local Church of Witness Lee" - it is because the whole thing is, and always has been, a personality cult of sorts, based upon the person and work of Witness Lee. In my view, to speak of "the nature of the Lord's Recovery" apart from the nature, character and history of Witness Lee is an exercise in futility. Again, it may make us old guys feel a little better about ourselves, but it belies reality, and even the cold, hard facts of history.

I think if we take an objective look back at the history of the Local Church movement, at least since the move to Taiwan after the demise of Watchman Nee, the "nature" of the sect had changed and evolved many times. But there was always one main factor for the change - Witness Lee. His person, by which I mean his authority. His work, by which I mean his "ministry". We used to call these changes "flows". This flow, and that flow. With each flow there was a change in "the nature" of the movement. Sometimes it was a small change, sometimes it was a big change, but the change was always with the approval of, if not at the direction of, Witness Lee.

This is simply my perspective. This is simply my view. I do understand and fully appreciate that others here have a different perspective. Others have different views. And this is ok! In fact, I think it makes for a more interesting and lively discussions. Understand?

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Old 09-09-2020, 10:39 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Change in Nature of the Lord's Recovery

Recovering a Pure Testimony of Jesus -1

Ron Kangas has been given a platform for speaking and representing leadership in the Local Churches under the ministry of Witness Lee. He shared in a conference meeting in 2019 about a prayer meeting in Anaheim where he stood up to share that he thought the Lord had something for the church to pray for, but that he didn’t know what it was. He asked for all to become calm and look to the Lord, as he had discerned that the prayers were missing the mark and the meeting needed help. A minute later a sister spoke out suggesting that they pray for the Boston area and that what had happened there “30 years ago” ought to be cleared up. This would indeed take them back to a calamitous time, infamous reporting, and the shroud of mystery still hanging over the mournful results.

That meeting got released, and the leadership taken by Ron to interrupt the meeting and re-route the saints to the heart of God is spiritually admirable. And, the saints’ cooperation to follow Ron's lead issued in life for the church, both in Anaheim and in the Boston area, which, I believe, issued in ongoing prayer and help and attention to the Boston area at that time and over the years since, till the time of this conference in Cambridge, Mass. with Ron speaking in 2019, saying also that he could see their growth compared to the previous year. And, this was pleasing for Ron to see! and for me to hear him share.

But I also would like to hear that the whole story was told, in order that a thorough and proper clearing of the past could take place to be fair and accurate regarding the saints in “former times” and also to properly inform those of today that churches can learn and know the truth. There are those who did not survive the wreckage of relationships in Boston, induced by the growing animosity between leaders in Anaheim and in the Boston area - It is a most sorrowful story and it needs to be told truthfully - “the times” are calling for it and so is God’s Throne of judgment.

The oil of exultant joy awaits those who dig down deep to the foundation of God’s Throne; that is, to righteousness and justice. This is what should prevail that Judgment could indeed begin in the House of God.

Brother Lee has a book out called Concerning the Lord’s Recovery. And, you find out fast in reading some of the pages what happens when God’s people get careless before Him. They lose their testimony and place they once occupied in honor, in purity, in recognition in respect. In a word - Witness Lee’s word-they can become “rotten.” And many did, in the Old Testament and in the New.

Preceding the New Way and LSM / Philip Lee corrupting activity in the late 80s, and just after lthe late 70s corrupting events with Philip Lee in major roles of devastation, W. Lee in 1983 thought he could say, “The Lord's recovery is really among us, and, although the scale is quite small, the standard of the character is higher than Christianity. In the Lord's recovery the high standard of the character must be kept and maintained. Some have checked with me asking, Do you mean that all the other Christians are rotten and that only the local church people are not rotten? I don't mean that. If any people have become rotten, they are no more in the reality of the Lord's recovery. Whatever and whoever is rotten is not in the recovery. The local churches are people who have been recovered out of their rottenness back to the pure church life. The local church is not a kind of organization or religious group. The local church is the pure church life as a pure testimony of Jesus. If we become rotten, we are no longer in the reality of the Lord's recovery.”

Witness Lee
continues: “This is why in the New Testament the Apostle Paul would not tolerate any kind of immorality. In First Corinthians 5, Paul charged the church not to associate with that immoral person. The church as a pure testimony of Christ would not tolerate any impurity, any immorality. The church has to be pure. Once the church becomes rotten, it loses its nature and standing as the Lord's testimony.”


Those who stood against this corruption and divisive behavior at LSM were for the Lord’s testimony in reality. Those included John So in Germany, who, practically, disassociated with W. Lee and the toleration of sin at LSM. Those who partnered with the corrupted Office naturally became corrupted too. Kowtowing to Philip Lee was an abomination and incongruent with a pure testimony of Jesus - and was in line with the change in nature and standing as the Lord’s testimony.


Steve Isitt Sept 2020

Review of Concerning the Lord's Recovery
the most key pages are made available to read

https://www.google.com/books/edition...sec=frontcover
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Old 09-09-2020, 05:32 PM   #16
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Recovering a Pure Testimony of Jesus -2

The recent posts I put out are basically rendered of none effect at this point. I don’t think I should spend the time and energy to continue to where I was going.

But I would like to at least share this from Ron Kangas.

– Nov 2019 conf in greater Boston- This comes after he shared about the prayer for Boston and clearing up “what happened 30 years ago”.

“Now we know from our history that the Enemy has tried in all kinds of ways to shut the door…” - he is referring to the open door that “the Lord has given to “the recovered church,” meaning them.

“Publishing books full of lies, now you got social media, you can put anything out there and there are all kinds of actions, that triggers off all kinds of negativity…’shut all these doors and open the doors on the internet to hundreds of testimonies full of life and light. Full of testimony to know the Holy One who is absolutely for God....' ...Part of being an overcomer in Philadelphia....

So we are in the world, the Lord says, I' do not ask You to take them out of the world, but to keep them from the evil one'. He's trying to attack every level of leadership in the Lord's recovery. So the Enemy is trying to shut us down. Lord use the key ( key of David), shut him down, shut all of those doors, and open the door, even on the internet to hundreds of testimonies.

Good night dear saints!
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Old 09-09-2020, 07:21 PM   #17
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Well, I thought I might provide my own explanation. Is that ok with you, brother Ohio?
Why sure. It's your gig. I just wanted to differentiate between the Recovery and Lee.

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Anytime we are discussing "the nature of the Lord's Recovery", I think we are discussing something very subjective. First of all, this thing that many refer to as "the Lord's Recovery" is actually just the little Christian sect of The Local Church of Witness Lee. The whole notion that the Lord needs "a Recovery" is suspect at best, and is really just a man-made notion. It's not in the Bible.
Agreed. Notice that I never refer to the movement as a whole as anything but the "recovery." Shame on you for calling it the "Lord's Recovery" and then walking it back.

Quote:
There is a vary good reason that many outsiders refer to the LC movement as "The Local Church of Witness Lee" - it is because the whole thing is, and always has been, a personality cult of sorts, based upon the person and work of Witness Lee. In my view, to speak of "the nature of the Lord's Recovery" apart from the nature, character and history of Witness Lee is an exercise in futility. Again, it may make us old guys feel a little better about ourselves, but it belies reality, and even the cold, hard facts of history.
Since I have been exonerated from the bondage of the Recovery, I have many personal opinions. Imagine that! And my personal opinion is that it is helpful to our many readers to display how the Recovery has changed over time, independent of Lee himself. It answers nagging questions which I had, and which our readers may still have.

Quote:
This is simply my perspective. This is simply my view. I do understand and fully appreciate that others here have a different perspective. Others have different views. And this is ok! In fact, I think it makes for a more interesting and lively discussions. Understand?
I appreciate your many views. They have helped me over the years. I have my views too. Usually our views coincide, occasionally they diverge. It creates lively discussion. Peace!
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Old 09-09-2020, 09:28 PM   #18
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My dear brother Indiana, take heart. There is nothing that anyone can post here that would make your posts of none effect. My goodness, after all, you are posting this within your very own subforum "Writings and Concerns of Steve Isitt". Do you realize that you are the only active member of LocalChurchDiscussions who has his very own subforum? I set this subforum up because I think you have something very valuable for both current and former members of the Local Church. And nothing that any other member posts here can make your posts of none effect!

Please keep in mind that LocalChurchDiscussions does not mean LocalChurchAgreement. Just look at the recent back-and-forth between Ohio and I. The main message to take from all the recent postings here, I believe, is that we are all here for the truth. And we all desire that all concerned - both current and former Local Church members "come to the full knowledge of the truth". Without truth we don't have any light. Without light we will not have life. "In him was life, and the life was the light of men". In the Local Church we heard a lot about life. Life, life life! But the simple fact is that we cannot experience the life of God without God's truth, which is nothing more than, and nothing less than, God's light. The problem is that men love the darkness rather than the light. This is especially true of many religious men. And this is especially true of many Christian men who think that they have all the riches, all the truth and all the light. And this is especially true of us current and former Local Church brothers X 10. May God have mercy.
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:27 PM   #19
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Default Re: The Change in Nature of the Lord's Recovery

My big take-away from this little discussion is how the current LC leadership does not appear to exhibit humbleness. As has been pointed out, and brought up many times on here over the years, Lee stated that there were mistakes and that there should be an examination before the Lord. But, to my knowledge, no one in the current LC leadership has done anything like this (have they?).

Jesus Christ is the best example of a Servant Leader, that is, being a Leader by Serving others for their best. He is humble and meek and not boastful. These are characteristics of love. It does not defend itself or tear others down. A true Servant Leader exhibiting Christ, will not try to doggedly defend past practices, and will not see admitting mistakes as something to avoid at all costs. As Paul found out, it is much better to revel in weakness and shortcoming - why? That Christ can be manifested. By admitting mistakes and showing weakness . . . then Christ can come through an individual.

But that is threatening to the self who has built itself up upon years of teachings and practices. Oh Lord have mercy!
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Old 09-15-2020, 12:46 PM   #20
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Default Re: The Change in Nature of the Lord's Recovery

"Don Rutledge:
“The turn away from the local church life began in January 1974 at the very first special elders and co-workers conference. This is when the concept of the work began.Few of the saints realize the magnitude of effect this meeting had on the churches. With charts and statistics, Witness Lee and Max Rapoport came forth to launch the movement. It was boldly declared that the churches would use Witness Lee as the exclusive source of teaching and Max would serve as the coordinator to bring the various churches, with their elders, into a unified movement. Two life-study messages a week were going to be given in Anaheim and ministry stations were set up in various cities to repeat the messages through designated brothers."

If Don Rutledge figured this out in 1974, why was he leading a Bible study at the University of Texas in Arlington and espousing all of what he now recants at least through 1980? I came into the church in 1977 partially as a result of those Bible studies. Perhaps if he had said something sooner I wouldn't have spent the last 40 years wondering if I did the right thing by leaving.
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Old 09-15-2020, 04:54 PM   #21
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Default Re: The Change in Nature of the Lord's Recovery

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"Don Rutledge:
“The turn away from the local church life began in January 1974 at the very first special elders and co-workers conference. This is when the concept of the work began.Few of the saints realize the magnitude of effect this meeting had on the churches. With charts and statistics, Witness Lee and Max Rapoport came forth to launch the movement. It was boldly declared that the churches would use Witness Lee as the exclusive source of teaching and Max would serve as the coordinator to bring the various churches, with their elders, into a unified movement. Two life-study messages a week were going to be given in Anaheim and ministry stations were set up in various cities to repeat the messages through designated brothers."

If Don Rutledge figured this out in 1974, why was he leading a Bible study at the University of Texas in Arlington and espousing all of what he now recants at least through 1980? I came into the church in 1977 partially as a result of those Bible studies. Perhaps if he had said something sooner I wouldn't have spent the last 40 years wondering if I did the right thing by leaving.
As with the rest of us, "hindsight is always 20-20."

And, since many of us were led to the LC's by the Lord, we needed the Lord's leading in order to leave.
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