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The Local Church in the 21st Century Observations and Discussions regarding the Local Church Movement in the Here and Now

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Old 03-13-2017, 08:28 AM   #1
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Default Are The Local Churches Growing?

Hi, do you all know if the local churches have been growing a lot or of it is maybe getting smaller? I heard most of the church kids leave, I don't know if I heard right. But they are so focused on recruiting on college campuses. It's hard for me to understand why God lets a group like this exist. It's heartwrenching to see family and old friends trapped in it. It's not easy to leave and start seeing through it and navigate life on your own.
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Old 03-13-2017, 08:53 AM   #2
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Default Re: Are the local churches growing?

Growth in the U.S. is stagnant and is only bolstered by a regular influx of Asian immigrants. And for this reason, the LC in the U.S. is now almost certainly majority-Chinese.
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Old 03-13-2017, 09:10 AM   #3
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Hi, do you all know if the local churches have been growing a lot or of it is maybe getting smaller? I heard most of the church kids leave, I don't know if I heard right. But they are so focused on recruiting on college campuses. It's hard for me to understand why God lets a group like this exist. It's heartwrenching to see family and old friends trapped in it. It's not easy to leave and start seeing through it and navigate life on your own.
I doubt if they will ever recover the losses in the great lakes area after the quarantines of a decade ago. They will never recover South America after nixing them. Surprisingly the GLA had a higher percentage of white folk than the rest of the country. The remaining LC's really are becoming a Chinese church. Makes sense since the only holiday they can freely celebrate is the Chinese New Year.

God is extremely big-hearted. He allows all sorts of stuff in this age. Think about how many worse things exist on earth.

There is much of the Lord to know and learn from while departing the LC's and navigating a new life. He has been thru this similar journey for two millennia with His children, and is well able to direct you and your family.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: Are the local churches growing?

Expanding yes, but growing? From what I've seen it's rather stagnant. My time in the NW many of the young people have been groomed for FTTA. Few return to the localities that sponsor them. Those who don't attend FTTA seem to choose other venues for Christian fellowship after college.
In Southern California, at least when I visit my parents, from what I've seen bulk of the campus work is focused on international students.
The locality from my youth in the mid-80's used to be predominantly English and Spanish speaking. Now it's predominantly Spanish and Chinese speaking. Most of the English speaking ones remaining are ones who are now 30+ years older from when I knew them in the mid 80's.
Responsible brothers may ask why are the churches stagnant? It's a question they don't want to hear the answer to.
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Old 03-13-2017, 11:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Are the local churches growing?

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It's heartwrenching to see family and old friends trapped in it. It's not easy to leave and start seeing through it and navigate life on your own.
More heartwrenching to see the "Us and Them" attitude. Family dynamics are affected between those that leave and those that remain.
Those raised in the local churches, I tip my cap to those can leave and have a seamless transition to a Christian fellowship beyond the local churches.
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Old 03-16-2017, 07:16 PM   #6
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I doubt if they will ever recover the losses in the great lakes area after the quarantines of a decade ago. They will never recover South America after nixing them. Surprisingly the GLA had a higher percentage of white folk than the rest of the country. The remaining LC's really are becoming a Chinese church. Makes sense since the only holiday they can freely celebrate is the Chinese New Year.
It amazes me how the LCM can 'quarantine' entire regions and countries and then the blendeds go up to the podium to speak about getting an increase.

Truth be told, the LC will likely always have an influx of new members, but it's not really enough to obtain any meaningful level of growth or to make up for all the people they've lost.
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Old 03-17-2017, 07:08 AM   #7
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It amazes me how the LCM can 'quarantine' entire regions and countries . .
Yes, then they can say "Brazil, or Minnesota, or Germany, grew by 46% over the past two years. . " Yes; after the 'quarantine' or 'storm' the LSM-affiliated groups essentially go to zero, then either someone migrates in or a few turn back to the Mother Ship or come in off the college campus, and suddenly, wow, look at the growth in this region! Yes, you went from 8 adherents to 11. Incredible growth rate. Like WL the accountant would say, "At this rate we will take over the world in 20 years!"

Then after a 'storm' he'd say, "I don't care if I have 50 people meeting here. As long as they're absolute".

What amazes me is how 'oneness' is predicated on being adherent with the Mother Ship's HQ. How is that any different from any denomination?

The LSM-LC needs to base its existence and 'raison-d'etre' (reason for being) on contrasting itself with the fallen denominations. As long as they make a compelling case that Protestantism and Catholicism and Orthodox and the now-largely-post-Protestant landscape of 'church planting' and the 'emergent church' and whatnot are hopelessly deformed and abhorred by God, they can attract and keep a few adherents.

Then, they have to 'inoculate' the acolytes against the 'poison', i.e. the truth about the LSM-LC failures which arguably make them equally deformed and abhorred by God, or even more abhorrent because they're hypocritical to boot.

Remember that two sinners stood and prayed. One confessed and was forgiven. The other hid his sin, and judged the other sinner, and wasn't forgiven. The LSM-LC seems to think the latter tack is necessary for survival. But it puts them at odds with Jesus' parable. Not a hopeful scenario for the long term.
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:32 AM   #8
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Yes, then they can say "Brazil, or Minnesota, or Germany, grew by 46% over the past two years. . " Yes; after the 'quarantine' or 'storm' the LSM-affiliated groups essentially go to zero, then either someone migrates in or a few turn back to the Mother Ship or come in off the college campus, and suddenly, wow, look at the growth in this region! Yes, you went from 8 adherents to 11. Incredible growth rate. Like WL the accountant would say, "At this rate we will take over the world in 20 years!"
"There are three kinds of lies: Lies, D**ned lies, and Statistics."
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Old 03-17-2017, 08:50 AM   #9
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I don't have the exact numbers, but can state anecdotally that the growth in my city is very low considering the amount of time, money, and effort spent recruiting on campus. In fact, the meeting hall has four prominent "No Trespassing" signs that line the entrance. Like most (all?) other localities, there is also no signage to indicate that believers and seekers are welcome to join and worship the Lord.

Maybe someone could argue that this would be a division? Which as Lee puts it, "is on the line of death, originates with Satan, and issues in the great Babylon and, ultimately, the lake of fire."(Genuine Ground of Oneness, CHP 3, Sec 1 http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.cfm?n).

Or maybe they don't need to remove the trespassing signs and instead, as Witness Lee puts it, "God commands us to destroy all other worship centers and to go only to the place chosen by Him." (Genuine Ground of Oneness, CHP 4, Sec 3 http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.cfm?n).
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Old 03-17-2017, 10:20 PM   #10
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Hi, do you all know if the local churches have been growing a lot or of it is maybe getting smaller? I heard most of the church kids leave, I don't know if I heard right. But they are so focused on recruiting on college campuses. It's hard for me to understand why God lets a group like this exist. It's heartwrenching to see family and old friends trapped in it. It's not easy to leave and start seeing through it and navigate life on your own.
The number of adults on a typical Sunday in the local churches in my area has been stagnant for a long time. Lot's of "new ones" have been recruited, especially from the campuses. But it seems that as many leave as are added. There are a few more cities with local churches in my region now vs 30 years ago.
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Old 03-18-2017, 02:54 AM   #11
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The number of adults on a typical Sunday in the local churches in my area has been stagnant for a long time. Lot's of "new ones" have been recruited, especially from the campuses. But it seems that as many leave as are added. There are a few more cities with local churches in my region now vs 30 years ago.
In my town, there is a small gathering on campus supported by LSM, and another small gathering supported by Cleveland at the old meeting hall. Both added together is still just a fraction of what the church was once like.

At the recent regional conference in Cleveland, TItus Chu publicly told the local elders to "sell the meeting hall" since it is too expensive to maintain by the few remaining saints.

That's often how local decisions were made in the LC's. The big boss would spring it on us publicly. There really was nothing called "local elders deciding before the Lord." Never, because that would be "independent decisions, without fellowship."
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Old 03-18-2017, 04:08 PM   #12
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In my town, there is a small gathering on campus supported by LSM, and another small gathering supported by Cleveland at the old meeting hall. Both added together is still just a fraction of what the church was once like.

At the recent regional conference in Cleveland, TItus Chu publicly told the local elders to "sell the meeting hall" since it is too expensive to maintain by the few remaining saints.

That's often how local decisions were made in the LC's. The big boss would spring it on us publicly. There really was nothing called "local elders deciding before the Lord." Never, because that would be "independent decisions, without fellowship."
When I was in college, there was a college meeting that I was attending for a number of years that progressively got smaller and smaller. When I first started going, there were maybe 40 or so attending on a regular basis, and eventually, it got down to where there were only a few including myself who were attending regularly. Maybe the initial size was too large for a home meeting, but the real issue was that so many had just 'disappeared' and there was really no explanation for why that had happened.

It got to the point of just being completely discouraging to be a part of that meeting, so eventually I stopped attending as well. I don't know if the numbers have since improved or not, but considering there was no desire to 'fix' anything or to plug the massive leakage, I would expect the same trend of decline to still be occurring.

As I see it, that is the problem that the LC faces. They are unwilling to do what needs to be done to retain members, and thus there is a gradual decline over time. Of course, it may not appear so to the average LC member, because there is so much activity going on that it can hide the real situation. But just look at what the LC once was, and where it is now. Sure they can claim that they have more churches or even more membership, but the overall growth is next to nothing, and is no comparison to the initial growth that the LC experienced.
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Old 03-18-2017, 05:02 PM   #13
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Roughly ten years ago or so when it was decided they would "take the ground" in Vancouver, WA (across the river from Portland. OR) coincided with my cousins (who also grew up in the LC) were actively recruited. Was it to build up numbers? What I would see in other localities in Southern California and in Washington state, the number of localities has grown, but those attending those localities was by subtracting from others. It's what I call addition by subtraction.
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Old 03-19-2017, 03:37 PM   #14
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If we want to answer the question of "are the local churches growing" we have to consider the growth over the whole world, not bespoke examples of numbers. I believe overall, from the last time I saw the figures, that the local churches are growing worldwide. The numbers may even be higher if we consider the people using Witness Lee's ministry materials but who do not fellowship in a locality.
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:16 PM   #15
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If we want to answer the question of "are the local churches growing" we have to consider the growth over the whole world, not bespoke examples of numbers. I believe overall, from the last time I saw the figures, that the local churches are growing worldwide. The numbers may even be higher if we consider the people using Witness Lee's ministry materials but who do not fellowship in a locality.
Why would you be worried about church growth when WL told us, "I don't care if I have 50 people meeting here. As long as they're absolute."

On the other hand, if you are genuinely concerned, why don't you take this up with LSM management who excommunicated 100's of LC's in huge regions of two continents?

Are their hearts that infinitesimally small that they cannot stomach a little diversity?
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Old 03-19-2017, 05:18 PM   #16
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Why would you be worried about church growth when WL told us, "I don't care if I have 50 people meeting here. As long as they're absolute."

On the other hand, if you are genuinely concerned, why don't you take this up with LSM management who excommunicated 100's of LC's in huge regions of two continents?

Are their hearts that infinitesimally small that they cannot stomach a little diversity?
I'm not worried about it, in fact I believe church numbers is a poor measure of growth or quality. However, if you want to assess the growth in numbered of something looking at one church over here or one church over here is the wrong way to do it. In my experience the training and everything are getting bigger and bigger.

Why don't I flip your point about excommunication around and ask you the question why denominations never or rarely excommunicate any church? Even churches with pedophile priests they will not close down. I know why because it will upset their numbers. They are happy to have the leaven because it makes their loaf look bigger. But if excommunicating is what it takes to remove the leaven then that's what it takes.
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Old 03-19-2017, 10:26 PM   #17
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I'm not worried about it, in fact I believe church numbers is a poor measure of growth or quality. However, if you want to assess the growth in numbered of something looking at one church over here or one church over here is the wrong way to do it. In my experience the training and everything are getting bigger and bigger.
But do you think the LC is growing in the United States?

From my observation, even if the LC is growing (and I really don't think it is in the United States), it is becoming an almost completely Asian society. If you go to any of the large conferences or trainings, the attendance will be 60%/70%/80% Asian. Look at the FTTA today; those are the group's young diehards--it is probably 80%-90% Asian. Really. So, whether one wants to acknowledge it or not, these numbers constitute drastic shift in the make-up of the LC, and must be indicative of something.

And, for the record, I make these observations as an Asian-American myself; just in case that makes it more appropriate.
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Old 03-19-2017, 11:54 PM   #18
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But do you think the LC is growing in the United States?

From my observation, even if the LC is growing (and I really don't think it is in the United States), it is becoming an almost completely Asian society. If you go to any of the large conferences or trainings, the attendance will be 60%/70%/80% Asian. Look at the FTTA today; those are the group's young diehards--it is probably 80%-90% Asian. Really. So, whether one wants to acknowledge it or not, these numbers constitute drastic shift in the make-up of the LC, and must be indicative of something.

And, for the record, I make these observations as an Asian-American myself; just in case that makes it more appropriate.
I am not sure what 80 or 90 or even 100% Asian is indicative of in this instance? Are you saying if the number of Caucasians does not increase then the church is not growing?
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Old 03-20-2017, 01:27 AM   #19
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I am not sure what 80 or 90 or even 100% Asian is indicative of in this instance? Are you saying if the number of Caucasians does not increase then the church is not growing?
The church is not local. It is run by Anaheimians, and the only culture that can stomach the strongman style are the Asians. To them it's indicative of good order in the church, a la 1 Cor 14. The local church is less local than a McDonald's franchise, and most locals can smell a rat. Watchman Nee's Normal Christian Church life, LSM-style, is normal only to one cultural mindset. To most others it's quite aberrant, even un-Christian. The church is supposed to receive all peoples, tribes and tongues. The LSM-LC is a vehicle for one.

And the movement which started as indigenous or 'local' reaction to foriegn domination became exported and culturally imperialistic. Which we've seen how often in human history? Dozens of times. Satan keeps going back to his old bag of tricks, because they work so well.

As I've said before, Asian culture isn't inferior to the West. But it isn't the 'virgin soil' that Lee claimed. It is fraught with un-Christian principles, and even anti-Christian principles, and those of us who lived through it saw them played out in our church lives.

Anyone with discernment can see this, and they stay away.
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Old 03-20-2017, 02:24 AM   #20
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The church is not local. It is run by Anaheimians, and the only culture that can stomach the strongman style are the Asians. To them it is indicative of good order in the church, a la 1 Cor 14. The local church is less local than a McDonald's franchise, and most locals can smell a rat.
I'll put my argument another way. In 1938, the Shanghai Christian Assembly was 98% ethnic Chinese and it was local, or indigenous, as Shanghai itself was 98% ethnic Chinese. But what of London, 2017? Even worse when you notice the attending Caucasians aren't locals but are ministry-loyal implants.

In one locality, there are two meetings on Sunday mornings. One for English-speaking and one for Chinese-speaking. They have separate entrances.
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Old 03-20-2017, 03:58 AM   #21
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I'll put my argument another way. In 1938, the Shanghai Christian Assembly was 98% ethnic Chinese and it was local, or indigenous, as Shanghai itself was 98% ethnic Chinese. But what of London, 2017? Even worse when you notice the attending Caucasians aren't locals but are ministry-loyal implants.
The whole "local" thing in the "local" churches is just a ruse to distract. The word is a farce without meaning.

When LSM came to my town ten years ago or so, they claimed to protect us from "evil," and thus began quarantining church leaders. It was not us locals against Anaheim, in fact, there was no concern whatsoever about "local."

It was a fight between Amaheim and Cleveland, and we had to choose sides: would we be of Lee and the Blendeds, or would we be of Titus?

No one had the thought, "hey folks, we are a 'local' church, and praise God that fights between remote leaders never should affect us. Just like Nee told us."
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Old 03-20-2017, 04:56 AM   #22
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I am not sure what 80 or 90 or even 100% Asian is indicative of in this instance? Are you saying if the number of Caucasians does not increase then the church is not growing?
Your question is disingenuous. Even Winess Lee knew this was a problem 30 years ago when he began putting strange new emphasis on "gaining typical Americans." The subject is actively discussed each year in the FTTA's "God-Ordained Way" class. The Blended Brothers dream up ways of correcting the "racial ratio" (Minoru Chen) with methods of repackaging WL's ministry and initiatives like migrations to low-minority-population areas of the country and "conferences for African-Americans," etc. There are entire "local" churches around the U.S. that are entirely Chinese, with no English-language meeting or even English-language website.

So, the LC may be growing (if it even is), but the pattern of growth demonstrates that the LC is simply not what it claims to be.
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Old 03-20-2017, 06:47 AM   #23
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The whole "local" thing in the "local" churches is just a ruse to distract. The word is a farce without meaning.
The meaning it had in 1930s China was by then long gone. Probably gone by 1978, even. It had served its purpose and was discarded.

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When LSM came to my town ten years ago or so, they claimed to protect us from "evil," and thus began quarantining church leaders. It was not us locals against Anaheim, in fact, there was no concern whatsoever about "local."

It was a fight between Amaheim and Cleveland, and we had to choose sides: would we be of Lee and the Blendeds, or would we be of Titus?

No one had the thought, "hey folks, we are a 'local' church, and praise God that fights between remote leaders never should affect us. Just like Nee told us."
If you're in the local church in Elmira, Ohio, you find out they don't care about Elmira, or the church there. It's rather, Are you with Cleveland or Anaheim? And if your answer is 'wrong' you get cut off like the heathen.

How local is that? Most people can see through the ruse pretty quickly. They have to get young naive college students who are emotionally dependent and lack critical thinking skills. Get them to a conference and line them up to give their lives to 'turn the age' and 'build the Body'. Only later do they find out what the fine print says.

Back in 1965-72, Witness Lee hit the jackpot. Thousands of young, naive people were looking for reality. They came in by the dozens, and an air of palpable excitement hung about the place. New songs were composed weekly, and stories of hippies getting baptised in the rivers and lakes across the country were told, and marveled at.

Witness Lee hit the rising tide, but he wasn't the only one. A nearby church in Costa Mesa, for example, went from 25 people to 2,000 people in about 2 years. (Chuck Smith and Calvary Chapel). So the "blessing" was seen as proof or at least strong indication of God's favor, but the favor wasn't contingent upon ground or ministry.

And we had a great time, in the pre-internet days. No one knew of the details of Nee's SCA expulsions, or Lee's dealings in Taiwan. We didn't know and didn't want to know; "Be simple, don't be hardened" was the mantra. When I heard whispers of storms and rebellions I was deliberately ignorant. When they told me Witness Lee was the ministry of the age I just quietly looked at the floor.

But eventually I needed a dynamic, healing church environment, not just doggedly going through this week's life lesson, or hearing yet another exhortation to take this or that college campus for the Lord. Right decision or not, the Lord knows, and all will be judged on that day. But I can say that I've never regretted the journey. The Christian life is full of revelation; I'm just trying to walk in mine.

But for what it's worth, the people who were there at Costa Mesa with the Jesus Movement wax just as poetic about their experience, as do the local church stalwarts who were at Elden Hall. Lee didn't bring the blessing, he just rode it. And now the curators of the Lee museum have to keep coming up with "new and fresh and living" projects to promote to avoid the decline.
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Old 03-24-2017, 11:40 AM   #24
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But do you think the LC is growing in the United States?

From my observation, even if the LC is growing (and I really don't think it is in the United States), it is becoming an almost completely Asian society. If you go to any of the large conferences or trainings, the attendance will be 60%/70%/80% Asian. Look at the FTTA today; those are the group's young diehards--it is probably 80%-90% Asian. Really. So, whether one wants to acknowledge it or not, these numbers constitute drastic shift in the make-up of the LC, and must be indicative of something.

And, for the record, I make these observations as an Asian-American myself; just in case that makes it more appropriate.
I look at it differently. On one hand one can say the number of LC's are growing. There are and there's facts to back it up. However are local churches growing within the localities? I would say not. There's attrition whether due to quarantines, full time trainings, or moving to start a new locality. When there's moving to start a new locality, it's a case of robbing Peter to pay Paul.
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Old 07-17-2017, 12:20 AM   #25
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Hi, do you all know if the local churches have been growing a lot or of it is maybe getting smaller?
In the last message of the Ezekiel training this summer, Ron Kangas said, "Many of your local churches are empty"
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:44 AM   #26
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In the last message of the Ezekiel training this summer, Ron Kangas said, "Many of your local churches are empty"
And that is supposedly the fault of all those church elders who have been given faulty directives, stale food stuffs, and lies swept under the rug for decades?

Here's the greatest lie of all -- being "absolute for the ministry" brings heavenly spiritual blessing from God.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:06 AM   #27
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In the last message of the Ezekiel training this summer, Ron Kangas said, "Many of your local churches are empty"
Well the fountain of living water dried up a long time ago. Their lamps ran out of oil and instead of going to Holy Spirit to fill their lamps, they expected the blenders to fill them.

They need to take off the old wine skins and put on fresh new wine skins. As long as they hold on to the ghost of Lee, the blenders, the HWMR, their criticism of Christians outside their dome, they are going to die.

But God won't forget them. The Shepard knows His sheep. He will call their names. The resurrected Christ will resurrect the dead in Christ.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:50 AM   #28
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In the last message of the Ezekiel training this summer, Ron Kangas said, "Many of your local churches are empty"
It's telling when those like Ron make this kind of admission. Really though, I think that they put so much trust in the supposedly 'unbreakable' LC forumla that they don't know what to do when it fails. They do they only thing they know to do and follow Lee's example of blaming the local elders.
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:36 AM   #29
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It's telling when those like Ron make this kind of admission. Really though, I think that they put so much trust in the supposedly 'unbreakable' LC forumla that they don't know what to do when it fails. They do they only thing they know to do and follow Lee's example of blaming the local elders.
Of course it is implied to do anything apart from the LC formula is considered "a gimmick".
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:02 AM   #30
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Of course. Brother Lee was Asian. If you look at the localities there are more white members by a close margin, with a growing Mexican number in a close third.
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:08 AM   #31
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I like your comment. Very informed. It is each members responsibility to take care of the racial ratio.
Thanks.
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Old 07-21-2017, 11:19 AM   #32
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I like your comment. Very informed. It is each members responsibility to take care of the racial ratio.
Thanks.
There was another thread where there was a burden in the Church of Houston to attract more African-Americans. The LC system just isn't attractive to most US born Americans regardless of race.
More interesting is the demographics. From what I've seen it's mainly 50 years and older along with adults who were raised in the local churches.
If there's any new ones its' international students from the nearby college campuses.
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Old 07-21-2017, 02:53 PM   #33
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Of course. Brother Lee was Asian. If you look at the localities there are more white members by a close margin, with a growing Mexican number in a close third.
The majority of members in the US and Canada are now Asian, and the gap is growing. LCs with a white majority (or even plurality) are an anomaly. LC leaders believe this is a problem, and have been trying to come up with strategy after strategy to reverse it.
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Old 07-21-2017, 04:29 PM   #34
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The majority of members in the US and Canada are now Asian, and the gap is growing. LCs with a white majority (or even plurality) are an anomaly. LC leaders believe this is a problem, and have been trying to come up with strategy after strategy to reverse it.
They should learn from Trump, and remove some of the strangling regulations from the prior administration -- like the ban on contemporary Christian music.
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Old 07-24-2017, 11:26 AM   #35
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They should learn from Trump, and remove some of the strangling regulations from the prior administration -- like the ban on contemporary Christian music.
I think we know all too well the perceptions towards contemporary Christian music is it's shallow and worldly. To be accepting of contemporary Christian music is to be gimmicky. Though I disagree with LC thought processes, that's where they're at. As if believers are incapable of producing God inspired lyrics and music.
Within LSM/LC fellowship those who are apt to minister through music are viewed as a distraction and may be given fellowship to set aside their ministry through music.
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Old 07-24-2017, 12:19 PM   #36
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I think we know all too well the perceptions towards contemporary Christian music is it's shallow and worldly. To be accepting of contemporary Christian music is to be gimmicky. Though I disagree with LC thought processes, that's where they're at. As if believers are incapable of producing God inspired lyrics and music.
Within LSM/LC fellowship those who are apt to minister through music are viewed as a distraction and may be given fellowship to set aside their ministry through music.
Thank GOD we can make up our own songs in the privacy of our homes! I make songs up all the time.. some are silly love songs to the Lord.. some have worldly tunes, some have more 'spiritual' tunes. Some are just my own tunes I make up. But organized religion always puts a damper on the 'release of the Spirit'.

As to whether the ELSIE is growing, I don't know about it's numbers but spiritually speaking, their growth has stunted. They won't let God the Holy Spirit lead them, guide them, enlighten them. The wine in the old wine skin has grown stale, tasteless and yet they STILL drink from it. Poor, Poor ELSIE THE COW.
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Old 07-25-2017, 05:42 AM   #37
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As important as music is to worship the bible never calls it a ministry nor a spiritual gift or one of the 5 offices. It has been elevated to an importance God never intended meanwhile spiritual gifts Paul said to be important like prophesy are denied. It doesnt rate a mention by Paul in the list of spiritual gifts. Paul no where appointed worship leaders and such. No mention of roving minstrels anywhere in the new testament.

Today musicians can be found aplenty but prophets are rare.
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:33 AM   #38
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well... there are 150 psalms! Music to God's Holy Ears and heart and.............
Paul said to the Ephesians and Colossians:
Ephesians 5:19
speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;

Colossians 3:16
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.

Paul emphasized the psalms, hymns and spiritual songs TWICE. It must be very important then. When Jesus would say Verily, Verily or Truly, Truly.. it was very important.

As for the 5 offices... imho... that was the beginning of man made religion. Never understood why those offices had to be mentioned. Now people, men, are 'ordained' apostles, bishops, evangelists, prophets, shepherds.

Of course the only 'apostle' of the age was Lee. I know Elsie has deacons. But no bishops or prophets. Why is that? I know there used to be evangelists and shepherds at least in my day in the LC. I don't know about now since everyone cowtows the HWMR, and the footnotes of the Recovery version which is used only by Elsie. There may be a few people here and there who have bought it on line..but even Biblegateway doesn't have it in their list of translations.



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As important as music is to worship the bible never calls it a ministry nor a spiritual gift or one of the 5 offices. It has been elevated to an importance God never intended meanwhile spiritual gifts Paul said to be important like prophesy are denied. It doesnt rate a mention by Paul in the list of spiritual gifts. Paul no where appointed worship leaders and such. No mention of roving minstrels anywhere in the new testament.

Today musicians can be found aplenty but prophets are rare.
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Old 07-29-2017, 04:30 PM   #39
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Could we not say that Christian songwriters are prophets or teachers, or shepherds who just put their contributions to music to make them easy to remember and pleasurable? When I listen to Christian music, it is often about a revelation, a doctrinal teaching, or a pastoring and encouraging message. So, in my thinking, they hold various offices in the body and just simply choose to sing it out!
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Old 07-30-2017, 07:30 AM   #40
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Music ministry must have been mightily used and very important since Paul calls for those that meet to also bring a hymn or a Psalm. Our problem with it today is, probably, the use of music to gain celebrity status and make ridiculously large sums of money while satisfying a craving for adulation from others within. BUT...this happens to some degree with those who speak as well. Even in the LC there are "those saints" who have the gift of expounding and are overly eager to use it each and every single meeting. I have never agreed that there should be a full time MUSIC minister but have no problem with a full timer who also desires to prophesy, teach, and shepherd through music...as long as the scent of desire for adulation is not there.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:19 AM   #41
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I was in the LC for 9 years, and have been out for 38. In that time I have met ONE Christian who knew of the LC (in So Cal.) He comment was "They are very exclusive". Not Jesus-like, loving, caring for the poor etc. They have worked so hard to be apart from Christianity, they are not even known. (Lawsuits haven't helped). As for nonbelievers, they don't even exist.
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Old 08-25-2018, 11:28 AM   #42
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I was travelling in upstate NY, and went to a shaker church that is now part of a historical park. There are no shakers left, just buildings and former properties and graveyards. This is speculation but I wouldn't be surprised that if the Lord delays, in 150 years or so that is all that would be left of the LC.
I may disagree with some church doctrines/government, but in the last 38 years I have met and fellowshipped with true believers in Jesus from Catholics to Eastern Orthodox,Coptics to Baptists to Pentecostals to Messianic: From the US to Israel to Kazakhstan. Jesus is the true oneness, and transcends all. When we get to the New Jersusalem, we'll be worshipping Jesus, not putting ourselves in boxes, saying my box is better than your box, etc.
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Old 08-25-2018, 01:03 PM   #43
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I was in the LC for 9 years, and have been out for 38. In that time I have met ONE Christian who knew of the LC (in So Cal.) He comment was "They are very exclusive". Not Jesus-like, loving, caring for the poor etc. They have worked so hard to be apart from Christianity, they are not even known. (Lawsuits haven't helped). As for nonbelievers, they don't even exist.
Around 38 yrs for me too. Since then I've talked to many Christians and befriended many preachers. Some of them have heard of Nee, but not Lee. Here in Kentucky none have ever heard of either ... except my cousin, who I sent a copy of Normal Christian Life back when I was in. He likes Nee, but spotted that I was in a cult and wouldn't/won't touch Lee with a 10 foot pole.

One preacher friend in Ft. Lauderdale had a copy of The Mindbenders on the shelf in his study, but Lee and the local church didn't stand out to him because he never heard of them.

Turns out that Lee is famous world around, but only the the minds of sycophant Leeites.
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Old 08-25-2018, 06:54 PM   #44
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Around 38 yrs for me too. Since then I've talked to many Christians and befriended many preachers. Some of them have heard of Nee, but not Lee. Here in Kentucky none have ever heard of either ... except my cousin, who I sent a copy of Normal Christian Life back when I was in. He likes Nee, but spotted that I was in a cult and wouldn't/won't touch Lee with a 10 foot pole.

One preacher friend in Ft. Lauderdale had a copy of The Mindbenders on the shelf in his study, but Lee and the local church didn't stand out to him because he never heard of them.

Turns out that Lee is famous world around, but only the the minds of sycophant Leeites.
Harold, did you ever hear after Lee passed that he had received revelation from God, and he was told that 'The Ministry', 'The Church' would go on, would continue successfully? That's what they fed me up here in the Pacific Northwest.
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Old 08-25-2018, 07:52 PM   #45
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Harold, did you ever hear after Lee passed that he had received revelation from God, and he was told that 'The Ministry', 'The Church' would go on, would continue successfully? That's what they fed me up here in the Pacific Northwest.
The shear arrogance!!! Like the church hasn't been going on since before Lee, and wouldn't go on after him, for another 2000 years.

byHismercy, when I came up it was assumed without question that Lee was getting revelation like the apostle Paul got them ; hence he could claim to be the oracle of God. Lee thought more of himself than he ought to have ; specially since he knew he had a history of being a scoundrel in business, and with saints money and property.
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Old 08-25-2018, 08:20 PM   #46
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Harold, did you ever hear after Lee passed that he had received revelation from God, and he was told that 'The Ministry', 'The Church' would go on, would continue successfully? That's what they fed me up here in the Pacific Northwest.
There were stories that on his deathbed Lee repented for the way he treated some of the brothers. There wasn't much more to the story than that, that I remember. This wasn't repeated widely and wasn't something "they" would want to get out, if indeed it happened. Rather, the story of a "revelation from God" would not surprise me...like a consolidation of power move for the "blendeds".
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:19 PM   #47
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The shear arrogance!!! Like the church hasn't been going on since before Lee, and wouldn't go on after him, for another 2000 years.

byHismercy, when I came up it was assumed without question that Lee was getting revelation like the apostle Paul got them ; hence he could claim to be the oracle of God. Lee thought more of himself than he ought to have ; specially since he knew he had a history of being a scoundrel in business, and with saints money and property.
Right, the perspective there is that, it is the 'Church of Lee', rather than the body of Christ...it was his movement, not the Lords' building...otherwise, why would the question of continuation even come up? (Postumously)
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Old 08-25-2018, 09:21 PM   #48
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There were stories that on his deathbed Lee repented for the way he treated some of the brothers. There wasn't much more to the story than that, that I remember. This wasn't repeated widely and wasn't something "they" would want to get out, if indeed it happened. Rather, the story of a "revelation from God" would not surprise me...like a consolidation of power move for the "blendeds".
Nell, I would be very interested to learn if that report came from Lee or the bbs...
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Old 08-26-2018, 04:47 AM   #49
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Nell, I would be very interested to learn if that report came from Lee or the bbs...
Neither.

It came after Lee was dead through the "grapevine". The "source" was not a first hand witness. I'm not repeating it here because I believe it is true. Neither do I disbelieve it. As Jesse P-L said "if you don't know the truth of a matter, don't form an opinion until you do know." All I know is that the tale was told in my presence and a few more people, origin unknown.

Nell

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Old 08-27-2018, 08:23 AM   #50
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I was in the LC for 9 years, and have been out for 38. In that time I have met ONE Christian who knew of the LC (in So Cal.) He comment was "They are very exclusive". Not Jesus-like, loving, caring for the poor etc. They have worked so hard to be apart from Christianity, they are not even known. (Lawsuits haven't helped). As for nonbelievers, they don't even exist.
A sister I know very well used to meet with the Columbus Ohio LC some years ago. She moved to Phoenix and has been looking for good fellowship. She said she visited the LC there for a number of gatherings, but was distressed by how exclusive they had become, and didn't go back.
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Old 09-16-2019, 02:18 PM   #51
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Thank GOD we can make up our own songs in the privacy of our homes! I make songs up all the time.. some are silly love songs to the Lord.. some have worldly tunes, some have more 'spiritual' tunes. Some are just my own tunes I make up. But organized religion always puts a damper on the 'release of the Spirit'.

As to whether the ELSIE is growing, I don't know about it's numbers but spiritually speaking, their growth has stunted. They won't let God the Holy Spirit lead them, guide them, enlighten them. The wine in the old wine skin has grown stale, tasteless and yet they STILL drink from it. Poor, Poor ELSIE THE COW.
IN my old age, I'm doing all kinds of things. Sometimes I just take a hymn (from the ''cow'' or anywhere ) and just ''sing in tongues,'' putting in whatever nonsense syllables come to my mind! Try it some time!
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