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Old 02-18-2014, 07:23 PM   #1
ABrotherinFaith
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Default I can't be the only one...

I am a current "member" of the of the church with no name, a.k.a. The Local Church a.k.a. The Recovery. Anyone else out there lurking? If so, how has this site affected you? Do you find a lot of the criticisms of the church as it was a decade or so ago (or further back) to be relevant today? Has anything/anyone changed?

I'm a second generation church kid whose parents came into the church in the early 70s in southern California. I grew up steeped in the ministry. As is the case with about 97% of my generation that I know in the church, I didn't take it too seriously. I went to camps and conferences here and there. I even went to a training in the early 90s (I quickly tired of the meetings and headed for the beach). In university I drifted away just in time to not really care/understand that my dad had been kicked out and accused of not being one with the ministry (around '96). Didn't meet anywhere or read the Word much for about 12 years. Traveled for almost 6 years. Came back to the States in 2005 left again and didn't come back until mid 2006, just after some kind of storm. I never really cared much for what was going on until I began reading the Word and certain things I heard started to ring hollow. The more I read and the more I spoke to Christians the more some things in the meetings didn't add up. By 2008 I was firmly back in the States and married. Married life kept my mind off the things that bothered me. I was more focused on work and my wife. As time went on, things started to bother me again. I think it was in about 2010, maybe 2011. I began to hear the Psalms traduced. There was no critical thinking, just a wave of acceptance. That really didn't seem right. The James was spoken ill of. Then I happened to voice a different opinion in a meeting and received a call the next day. Was that the right place to voice my concern? Did I do it correctly, with meekness? Wasn't I a little bit harsh? I apologized and changed my small group meeting. Since then, I have continued to read the Bible at the expense of the HWMR. There's really no need to read it as people pretty much get up and read from it verbatim when they prophecy...There are two things which still really bother me: denigrating certain books of the Bible and denigrating brothers and sisters, dare I say saints, outside the Recovery. All the other (smaller to me right now) problems stem from these two. If the Bible is seen as a book that doesn't know as much as us, and other believers are seen in the same way, all sorts of doors open up and reading the Bible becomes a free for all.

I am sure there is some level of congruity from locality to locality as far as adherence to the ministry, but there must be some places/people who don't wholly buy into the economy...There is a distinct difference between people of my dad's generation in the church and those younger, say in college of just out. For the latter, the Ministry is almost equal to the Bible. At least that's the sense I get. There are still some older brothers and sisters who are die hard supporters, but there are also more than a few who have quietly gone back to the Bible as their primary source. As dar as people I grew up with, there are only about 3 or 4 who still meet out of more than 20.

What's it like elsewhere?

A brother in faith
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Old 02-18-2014, 07:58 PM   #2
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Default Re: I can't be the only one...

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Originally Posted by ABrotherinFaith View Post
I'm a second generation church kid whose parents came into the church in the early 70s in southern California.
There is a distinct difference between people of my dad's generation in the church and those younger, say in college of just out. For the latter, the Ministry is almost equal to the Bible.

What's it like elsewhere?
Same here. Began in LA. Then the migrations. By 1976 we migrated to Anaheim and from there another SoCal locality I won't name. Most of the young people I knew from these two localties are meeting outside the local churches. Primarily it is the younger generations 40< that remain and raise their children in the local churches.
When I was going on with the local churches, my concept was the ministry publications should supplement the Bible, not be equal with the Bible.
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Old 02-20-2014, 11:42 AM   #3
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Default Re: I can't be the only one...

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Then I happened to voice a different opinion in a meeting and received a call the next day. Was that the right place to voice my concern? Did I do it correctly, with meekness? Wasn't I a little bit harsh?
This is their slithering way. There is actually no proper way to voice a different opinion in the LC. No matter how you do it, they'll find something wrong with it. Rather than come out and say 'don't ever voice your opinion,' they'll say you were too this or too that, that your spirit was wrong or the setting was wrong or you were't patting your head and rubbing your belly at the same time, and if you were you weren't in perfect unison. In other words, YOU are the problem.

Blah, blah, blah.
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Old 02-20-2014, 06:10 PM   #4
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Default Re: I can't be the only one...

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I I began to hear the Psalms traduced. There was no critical thinking, just a wave of acceptance. That really didn't seem right. The James was spoken ill of. Then I happened to voice a different opinion in a meeting and received a call the next day. Was that the right place to voice my concern? Did I do it correctly, with meekness? Wasn't I a little bit harsh? I apologized and changed my small group meeting. Since then, I have continued to read the Bible at the expense of the HWMR. There's really no need to read it as people pretty much get up and read from it verbatim when they prophecy...There are two things which still really bother me: denigrating certain books of the Bible and denigrating brothers and sisters, dare I say saints, outside the Recovery.
More I read the book of James, more the book of James liberates me from the doctrine of Authority and Submission.
I have placed in bold what my experience was with the last locality I was meeting with. It's one thing if one wants to parrot the ministry in order to prophesy. It's quite another to use the prophesying time as a forum to belittle and "denigrate" saints outside the recovery. Even this is contrary to the ministry, but the responsible brothers have no problem with it.

"There is one basic principle of speaking: One must not speak according to his feeling or hope. A person is lying when he is not speaking according to truth and reality but according to expectation and hope. We should learn to speak according to facts and not express any opinion of our own. If we are giving our opinion, we need to make it clear that this is our opinion. When we are speaking a fact, we need to state that this is a fact. We must separate our opinions from facts. We should not mix facts with our opinions. What we think a person is and what a person actually is are two different things. At the most we can say that the fact indicates one thing but we have a different thought concerning the matter."
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:02 AM   #5
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Default Re: I can't be the only one...

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A person is lying when he is not speaking according to truth and reality but according to expectation and hope. We should learn to speak according to facts and not express any opinion of our own. If we are giving our opinion, we need to make it clear that this is our opinion. When we are speaking a fact, we need to state that this is a fact. We must separate our opinions from facts. We should not mix facts with our opinions.
The real problem with this kind of statement is that someone else is simply supplying the "facts," even when they are in serious conflict with any verifiable support. We are relegated to either parroting the supplied "facts" or to speaking opinions. That is because we are only able to come up with opinions if we are not parroting their "facts."

And if you are gullible enough to believe that, then you will simply swallow your opinions and stick to their facts. Because the only things you are capable of speaking besides regurgitation of what Lee and the LSM says are opinions.

Funny that the LRC/LSM fact police are never ready (in season or out) to give a reason for anything. Just to declare bare "facts" without any reason. Just state that they are facts. Oh, they give reasons. But the reasons are simply more bare "facts" without reason. There is surely not a verse in sight that actually supports their contentions.
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Old 02-21-2014, 05:48 AM   #6
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Default Re: I can't be the only one...

At the meeting I mentioned, we were going through one of Lee's books or messages related to Psalms and the "fact" was raised that some of the Psalms are simply (hear read not as good as others, not as inspired or inspired in a different way) man's fallen concept. A verse or two was pulled out of context and used to support that "fact." EVERYONE immediately agreed. There was no thought. No consideration. No hesitation. No "fact" checking. No wondering. What surprised me then and still surprises me now is that believers are able to suppress the Spirit within telling them otherwise. I remember one of the verses used to illustrate the "fact" that some Scripture is God's word and some isn't in an important way was Matthew 16:22 where Peter rebukes the Lord. "Obviously that's not the Lord. Obviously this is man's fallen concept. Obviously, then, there are other places in the Bible where man's fallen concept can be found." This was the response (premade for them in whatever text we were reading) and it was accepted as ex cathedra. There is no understanding of how to read, what narrative is, what context is, what descriptive language is. I suggested it might be otherwise. Perhaps we were missing something. Maybe we should read some more verses and consider them. A sister actually laughed at me and said, "It's right there!" Maybe it isn't was my response. Silence. No support. Nothing. Just the sister's laugh comforting everyone that yes, they'd just read and understood the Word of God. I tried again to get back to the Word, to at elast read the entire Psalm in question ( I can't remember which), but the "facts" loomed large in the room and I was already as good as forgotten. Like OBW said, "facts" that seem to be in conflict with the Word need to be challenged.
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Old 02-21-2014, 09:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: I can't be the only one...

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I remember one of the verses used to illustrate the "fact" that some Scripture is God's word and some isn't in an important way was Matthew 16:22 where Peter rebukes the Lord. "Obviously that's not the Lord. Obviously this is man's fallen concept. Obviously, then, there are other places in the Bible where man's fallen concept can be found." This was the response (premade for them in whatever text we were reading) and it was accepted as ex cathedra. There is no understanding of how to read, what narrative is, what context is, what descriptive language is.
Once you can get someone to accept your premise, then you slowly have leverage to get into their mind and reprogram it. They have "campus workers", who go after college students. First they get them to acknowledge God, then to acknowledge Jesus Christ, then to accept the premise that "there is only one church" and that God doesn't like division. Lo and behold here is practical oneness, displayed before them! They get them to make an emotional commitment to the group.

Then, the reprogramming starts. Don't be "negative". Be "positive". So everytime the Maximum Brother writes something or says something, they have the reflex action already conditioned. When that sister said, "It's right there!" she probably didn't know or care if she was referring to the Bible or to Witness Lee's teachings. In her mind they constitute a seamless, integrated whole. And the meetings reinforce that, with either "amen" or silence from the group.

I went to an FTTA training meeting, once, where the trainer said something completely in contrast to Jesus' teachings. It was received with silence. I attempted to politely correct him, using Jesus' clear teachings. My conscience was protesting. More silence followed my remarks. Then the trainer continued without even acknowledging my speaking.

And I kept meeting there for several more years, in spite of a bunch of stuff like that. Why? Because I was "positive". I didn't want to be "negative". That's how strongly we were programmed, and conditioned.
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Old 02-21-2014, 11:36 AM   #8
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Default Re: I can't be the only one...

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The real problem with this kind of statement is that someone else is simply supplying the "facts," even when they are in serious conflict with any verifiable support. We are relegated to either parroting the supplied "facts" or to speaking opinions. That is because we are only able to come up with opinions if we are not parroting their "facts."

And if you are gullible enough to believe that, then you will simply swallow your opinions and stick to their facts. Because the only things you are capable of speaking besides regurgitation of what Lee and the LSM says are opinions.

Funny that the LRC/LSM fact police are never ready (in season or out) to give a reason for anything. Just to declare bare "facts" without any reason. Just state that they are facts. Oh, they give reasons. But the reasons are simply more bare "facts" without reason. There is surely not a verse in sight that actually supports their contentions.
One of the opinions received as fact is denigrating of non-LSM Christians. Who in the LC had taken the opportunity and time to meet with non-LC assemblies? Even then, there is invariably preferences to how the service is structured. The phrase I had heard prophesied multiple times "we in the local churches see so much and Christianity sees so little". That my brothers and sisters is not a factual statement, but an opinion. An opinion had there been a visitor in attendance that day would never return. An opinion I protested to the lead elder. An opinion that does not issue in the building up of the Body.
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Old 02-21-2014, 12:45 PM   #9
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Once you can get someone to accept your premise, then you slowly have leverage to get into their mind and reprogram it.
And if you are careful in your reading of the opening chapter or two of most of Lee's important books, and at least a couple of Nee's that I have seen, this principle is a work. Do a jig around some verse and turn it into mush that you can manipulate, then declare that you have made your point and we are ready to move on.

And if you don't stop and say "wait a minute" you will be railroaded into the oblivion of their choice. That is how we were told that authority was so important that there had to be this serious study on it that was codified into Authority and Submission. That is how a verse about stopping people from teaching stupid stuff became an edict to preach only "God's economy" and "God's economy" was simplified down to "God dispensing himself into mankind." That is how we came to understand that house churches as described in the Bible cannot mean that the one-church-per-city rule is incorrect because the one-church-per-city rule declares that it must be true.

(Huh? Say that again? You mean that evidence that stands in opposition to the rule that we are trying to establish is brushed aside by assuming that the rule is simply true? If that is the case, then who needs evidence!?!)

No one bothered to stop and ask "why does God need a starship?" The question was dying to be asked. But someone will quietly explain that you don't go around questioning the almighty. Well, if he is the almighty, then he does not need a starship!!

Thank you, Captain Kirk!

And we need to take Lee up on his word when he had that videotaped message in which they told everyone about the terrible things that had come down under the auspices of some greedy, self-serving, ambitious ones lead by Max R. . . . Lee carefully ordered that we no longer accept what we knew to be wrong. Even if it came from Lee himself.

Then hardly 10 short years later, he became the one that no one could question. He became the one who had to answer to no one. The one that your absolutely could not challenge.
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Old 02-21-2014, 02:02 PM   #10
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Default Re: I can't be the only one...

I know there must be other current members here, but since they haven't responded yet, do any of you have friends or family still in that you still talk to about these things? Are there any that are sympathetic to the views here or are they all in? Most of the people I know are all in; there are a few that have problems. I am still in the LC because I don't have any sense to leave. I do have the sense to speak out, and I have. So have others I know. I am learning how to do it. Confrontation doesn't work. Gentleness doesn't either. Reading a verse, reading verses WITHOUT going to footnotes does help. Reading whole chapters straight through, whole books without stopping helps. I have found that a lot of LCers aren't used to verses in context and haven't seen the broad picture as the Word presents itself.

I remember someone once telling me how women are saved by child birth. They stopped there. I finished the verse for them...assuming they continue to live in faith, love, holiness, and modesty. They were surprised. They had never heard that part. That line, apparently left out of whatever way they had encountered the verse, made all the difference.

How does everyone here handle conversations such as we have when talking with LCers?

And lurkers, if you're out there, speak up! I would love to hear from you.
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Old 02-22-2014, 05:20 AM   #11
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Default Re: I can't be the only one...

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How does everyone here handle conversations such as we have when talking with LCers?
A few months ago, my family was invited to dinner with an LCer. We went to his friend's house, who's also a "solid" brother in the Local Church. Full-Time training graduates, professional, nice house in the suburbs, wife & kids, meet every morning at 6:00 am to pray-read Witness Lee's Morning Revival booklet, etc. Two pillars of the local church of Lee.

I had met this second brother several times before, and was completely shocked by what happened at the dinner. This "solid" brother said, loudly, clearly, vehemently, and emotionally, that all they were doing at the Lord's Table meeting was speaking clever words to one another. Where was the life? The Spirit? The power? Where was the reality of the kingdom?

He also said that he could get just as much anointing meeting with other Christians. In fact, he was meeting with other Christians outside the LCs and the Spirit was there, when they met.

He said that the Local Church there was "of Lee" by dint of their exclusive reliance upon Lee for inspirational material. Even though they didn't dare say it, they were "of Lee" as much as anyone saying they were of Paul, or of Cephas, or of Apollos.

He was quite passionate. He was frustrated. He was pretty strong in his speaking, and afterward there was silence. His wife looked down. His kids gazed back and forth at the adults. What next? My friend who had invited our family over here for dinner clearly wasn't in agreement, but he just frowned and said nothing. This was his 'closest vital group partner', so he was trying to figure out a strategy; in the meantime silence.

I spoke up. I acknowledged this man's frustration, and framed it in another context. We two had a back-and-forth for several minutes. Nobody else joined us. Dessert was served and then the people started to drift away from the table and conversation changed.

Only God could have reached in that brother's heart and touched it. So my point, ABiF, is that your eloquence and logic isn't needed. God works by His Spirit. My counsel to you is to do whatever you would be doing if there was no Local Church at all! Believe in God... read the Bible... obey the Word of Christ. Let God speak within you; "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly"... love your neighbor, whatever type or stripe that neighbor may be. Methodist, Baptist, Atheist, Agnostic, Local Churcher. Try to respect the person that God put next to you. Understand that God cares about them just as much as He cares about you.

As far as the truth, and steering them onto the right path, I would say that the truth is God's love reaching us in the person of His Son Jesus Christ. The path is the narrow path, and so is obedience to His Spirit. If you stay on that path you will see marvelous things. The rest of it is just extraneous details which should only reinforce your journey. If anything starts to distract you from the narrow path, let it go.

For whatever reason, you were raised in the Local Church. God alone knows the details of your journey. Your job is to find it. It is hard. This world is full of frustrations and failures and distractions. You have your soul, your flesh, your ignorance, your concepts, your plans, hopes, dreams, fears. All of these, all of them, are obstructions in seeing what God wants for you. Let them go! Plus, you have your neighbors who all are dealing with the same stuff. Some of them are Local Churchers, whose minds are fully programmed not to see the light. They can only see what the Blendeds have allowed them to see.

My point is that it doesn't matter. God is wise, God is good, God is very powerful. If you find the slender golden thread connecting you to your Father in heaven, and hold on tight, you will be taken for a marvelous ride. Nothing else matters. Jesus said it and it's true: "The Spirit will guide you into all the reality."
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Old 02-22-2014, 12:42 PM   #12
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Default Re: I can't be the only one...

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Originally Posted by ABrotherinFaith View Post
How does everyone here handle conversations such as we have when talking with LCers?
Another point. I am neither "positive" nor "negative". I try to respect everyone. Everyone has a journey, and it's not easy. I respect that. I don't know who is ahead of me in the kingdom and who is behind me, so I assume everyone is ahead of me. That's what Jesus said, "Take the least place". It is wise counsel. If, after the Judgment Seat, God should bless and reward me, I'm kool with that. But in the meantime, His clear counsel is, Be nothing.

So when you mingle and blend with the Local Churchers, just be nothing. No agenda, no goals, no struggle. Just ride the wave. If at some point the Holy Spirit gives you a word to speak, then speak. Believe me, if you obey Him, then He can take care of you.

But my point is, to be free of the notion that you must "do" something conversationally with these people, like somehow "steer" them to the truth. The truth is God reaching into your heart and touching it. That isn't your provenance. That is God's.

Your job is to find the truth wherever you are. If that's in the Local Churches, okay. If a door opens up for you somewhere else, amen. Just be open to God's will as you understand it today. And remember, as you treat others around you, that is how God will treat you. No more and no less. He shows mercy to those who have mercy on others, and no mercy toward those who lack mercy toward others.
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Old 02-22-2014, 08:43 PM   #13
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Default Re: I can't be the only one...

Thank you for the content of your posts Aron. Very soon I will be gathering with some I used to live with. There is a real need to guard our speaking for the sake of building up and not causing another to stumble.
However certain practices I have moved past and will not regress to. In particular is calling on the Lord multiple times. All I need to do is call His name once and I get His person. Another is reading RcV footnotes.
Pray-reading is no problem. In fact, it's a good practice to have.
When it comes to discussions of the LC history, I would not encourage initiating. You, I, or anyone else could be objective regarding the history. Another might be to subjective regarding the past. Speaking the personal experience, the biggest obstacle is filtering lies and truth in the principle of Isaiah 5:20.
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Old 02-23-2014, 02:36 PM   #14
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"Speaking cleaver words to each other."

The brother who said that nailed it right on the head. I came to see clearly that people predominately in LSM churches do not really read the Bible, but rather read their LSM ministry. They read it, they pray over it, the underline it, they quote it, they speak to each other about it, they share it to everyone else in meetings. The Bible clearly came second. Now if people in LSM were to read this they certainly would disagree but their actions prove otherwise.

Basically, people there speak in outlines, as in, the outlines from their many messages. You know, those long, zany run on sentences filled with high-minded and intelligent sounding phrases seemingly about God but really make no sense.

I was in a home meeting once, and a brother there was going to be moving away. He asked for the people there to share with him and the others an experience of Christ that they have had.

The first person spoke something like, "God's economy is the centrality and universality of the building of the consummated and processed triune God for the producing of one new man for the duplication..." And the brother was like, "No no no I want something that YOU have experienced of Christ!"

The first person tried again with something like, "TheorganismofthetriuneGodisforthebuildingandprodu cingofthekingdomforthedivine economytoexpressthedivinerichesforthe..."

And the brother was like, "NO I mean something that YOU have experienced, uh, I'll come back to you".

And it went on just like that with the others.
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