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Calling All Saints! This board will serve as a meeting place for ex Local Church members to reestablish contact with other former and current members. GUESTS may post here as well.

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Old 09-12-2012, 02:51 PM   #1
Igzy
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Default *Lurkers Only*: Now's Your Chance

I recently came up with the idea of Lurkers Only threads. These threads may only be posted to by people who have never posted or rarely post. (Rarely is a relative term so if you think you rarely post, you probably do.)

Some of us (who shall remain nameless) are quite bloviating. We are like the people in the LC who testified in every meeting. You know, that brother who made you think, "Why doesn't he just give it a rest?" I think WL called them "monkeys." We monkeys think we are smart and like the sound of our own voices. We talk too much sometimes and we probably intimidate not a few of our newer members.

Lurkers Only threads are not open to monkeys, except to post something like "Welcome to the board, so-and-so!"

So anyway, whether you are signed up or just a guest, we'd like to hear from you. Tell us you story. Make a comment about the board or anything you'd like. Or just say hi. The monkeys need a rest.
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.
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Old 09-13-2012, 06:34 AM   #2
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Default Come on lurkers - Go for it!

Never mind us monkeys....just post away!
Oh, by the way, in case you're wondering, I'm the cute little chimp on the far right.

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Old 09-13-2012, 07:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: *Lurkers Only*: Now's Your Chance

A typical day at his zoo
monkey see monkey do
Zookeeper Lee happily
kept you in cages
fed you bananas

Now that you are 'free'
do not let this forum
a cage be
As we all cry
Nee, who he?
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Old 09-13-2012, 03:27 PM   #4
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Default Re: *Lurkers Only*: Now's Your Chance

It has been almost 30 years since I left the local church. Rarely does a day go by that I do not have feelings of angst about the matter. Not that I feel a bit of regret that I decided one day to just leave, but I felt so betrayed. I had put so much of my heart and soul into that movement, all in the name of Jesus. I was close to so many, and yet when I left, I was absolutely abandoned. Well, I did get a few knocks on the door trying to get me to start coming to meetings again, but that was not what I needed. I needed to know that the human relationships were real and could exist to some extent outside the context of the lc. But I was wrong. I have been unable to even speak about this matter until now. Thank you for this forum. I could go on and on, but I will stop. May God have mercy on us all.
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Old 09-14-2012, 06:59 AM   #5
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Default Re: *Lurkers Only*: Now's Your Chance

Thanks for the poem, and thanks for telling us your story. We hope this board is a benefit to all who have been hurt by their experience the LC, or for that matter any spiritually abusive group.

Keep posting, lurkers! You have a voice here.
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.
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Old 09-14-2012, 03:08 PM   #6
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Non-monkey lurker here. Again, thanks for the forum. I just wish more "lurkers" would share. I need to hear their stories and I'm sure others do to.

I want to stress that I do not regret my lc experience in OHIO and hold no animosity toward the group or any individuals. In addition, many memories are positive and I don't have a lot of problems with their beliefs and practices. IMHO, they are mostly sincere believers who have their "way," as much as I found that way to be intolerable.

As I read the posts here, I must admit that the fine doctrinal points can be confusing (e.g., Triune God - who can ever really understand that!, but it's great that people are free to express themselves here and the different points of view are enlightening. I never felt freedom to express myself during my 5 years in the lc (seems to have been SO much longer!). I still recall what I call the "Brother Comma" syndrome. You know, "Brother, yadda yadda." Usually, "you're in your mind" or "you need to turn to your spirit," or some such ice water. So I just went along with the "flow," so to speak, to avoid confrontation. That got old and when I decided I couldn't take that or the controlling lifestyle, I decided I had to walk away.

Peace to all and a great sunny weekend!!! ... "non monkey" lurker
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Old 09-15-2012, 05:50 AM   #7
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Default Re: *Lurkers Only*: Now's Your Chance

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I just wish more "lurkers" would share. I need to hear their stories and I'm sure others do to.
Dear unregistered, if you want to hear some stories of brands plucked from the burning, go to the Bereans Apologetics Research Ministry website, and from there to the Old Forums section, and on the Nee, Lee & Church of Recovery forum, you can read the "Introductions and testimonies" thread. There are about 40 pages of stories.
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Old 09-15-2012, 12:54 PM   #8
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Oh my! Thank you, Aron. Will definitely check it out. I guess I'm far from alone in this. Question for you, if you know. Is Titus Chu still "quarantined." I suspect he is and that the so-called BBs are still calling the shots at LSM. From my recollection, Titus always heard a different drummer and was not afraid to act accordingly. I guess I should use the abbreviation TC, huh? lol

Still loving the Lord Jesus Christ!!!...unregistered
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Old 09-15-2012, 06:39 PM   #9
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Wow, there sure are a lot of testimonies on the Berean site. Some things have been clarified for me. Apparently, there had been a "flow" to go to the campuses in the late 1970s and recruit "good material." And it would appear that I was considered "good material." OK, so the fact that I am a human being and child of God with feelings doesn't matter. I am just a thing to be used. And the recruiter got the OK to spend a lot of time with me molding me into their image. And I wonder why I felt cold and alienated and yes, USED? I also recall exactly what prompted me to leave. It was a speaking by TC in a loud, forceful tone in a metting that if you intend to be a Sunday attender, then you might as well leave the recovery. When I became a Sunday attender, it was made VERY clear to me by numerous individuals that it would simply not be acceptable to continue in that manner. SO I WALKED AWAY. It's all coming back to me now. I don't understand, though, how I can "leave" the church when according to their teachings ALL believers in a locality belong to the local church in that locality. Some may appear to be overcomers, some just attend some meetings, and others may be backsliding, but all should be accepted as members. It's all so confusing and contradictory, to say the least! Isn't it amazing that I still think about this almost 30 years later? I doubt that I will ever be completely free of that period of my life for the rest of my days.
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Old 09-16-2012, 09:15 AM   #10
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Default Re: *Lurkers Only*: Now's Your Chance

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I don't understand, though, how I can "leave" the church when according to their teachings ALL believers in a locality belong to the local church in that locality. Some may appear to be overcomers, some just attend some meetings, and others may be backsliding, but all should be accepted as members.
Excellent observation! If Lee and his followers actually practiced what they preached, they would never move to a city where there is already a Christian church and "take the ground". The ground has ALREADY BEEN TAKEN! For example, when the Local Church of Witness Lee sect moved to Anaheim (circa 1974?), they should not have "taken the ground" and haughtily declared themselves "THE Church in Anaheim". But we all know by now that the "ground" of the Local Church is nothing other than the person and work of Witness Lee. Heck, they don't even try to hide it anymore. Their "Bibles for America" campaign has less to do with spreading the Bible as much as spreading "the interpreted word"....the teachings of Witness Lee.
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Old 09-16-2012, 11:47 AM   #11
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Default Re: *Lurkers Only*: Now's Your Chance

I have been absent from both here & any church meetings. I do not experience this place (or churches) to be women friendly, in general. I kind of want to say something about the shattered postings which I just read. Shattered means shattered. I have some sympathy for her, in light of where she was developmentally. I also have sympathy for the ears here who were offended and understand why. Are there any co-moderators here? Just a suggestion, but a mature female co-moderator might have been able to communicate better with shattered. Is shattered completely banned now from this site?
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Old 09-16-2012, 01:02 PM   #12
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Default Re: *Lurkers Only*: Now's Your Chance

coalsoffire,

Thanks for your input. Are you volunteering to be a female co-moderator? If so, I'm sure UntoHim would consider you.
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.
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Old 09-16-2012, 03:42 PM   #13
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Thank you, UntoHim. I needed some validation regarding the strange inconsistency of being "in the church" and yet very "out." Quite denominational, if you ask me.

I was wondering if there are any informal gatherings of ex-lc members, expecially in Ohio. Once I left, I ceased to exist, so I have not had an ounce of fellowship in over a quarter of a century, other than occasionally attending Mass at the Catholic Church, which can be a chilly experience. BTW, I really don't like to or mean to put down any church (Protestant, Catholic, lc, or any other), but I have to be honest about my personal experiences. Where is the love?

Also, in response to the lady who posted, I cannot imagine the lc experience with the added burden of being "just a sister." My heart goes out to her and the others who suffered under that regime.
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:48 AM   #14
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Default Re: *Lurkers Only*: Now's Your Chance

Quote:
Originally Posted by coalsoffire View Post
I have been absent from both here & any church meetings. I do not experience this place (or churches) to be women friendly, in general. I kind of want to say something about the shattered postings which I just read. Shattered means shattered. I have some sympathy for her, in light of where she was developmentally. I also have sympathy for the ears here who were offended and understand why. Are there any co-moderators here? Just a suggestion, but a mature female co-moderator might have been able to communicate better with shattered. Is shattered completely banned now from this site?
I'm sorry to hear that you feel that the Forum is not women friendly. After all, our banner says "A safe, open place", and this absolutely includes the women/sisters among us. We do have a number of women as registered members, some who have participated quite a bit, although not lately. A couple of these women have been invited to assist in moderation, but for their own reasons have chosen not to take on that responsibility. I do agree with you that "Shattered" is in desperate need of fellowship and counselling with a mature female. The problem is that an open forum is not the proper venue for this particular kind of fellowship and counselling. I think Igzy, our current Admin, gave us all a very comprehensive presentation of the situation in a special thread he created here: http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=3502

"Shattered" is not technically banned due to the fact that she never actually registered, she merely posted under that name as a guest. She was invited to register, but decided that she just wanted to give us a one-way rant. Our admin tried to give her as much leeway as was reasonable, but she made it clear that she was not interested in actual two-way discussions, but rather just to use the forum as virtual soundboard. Again, I would urge you to read what Igzy posted in the thread I referenced above.

When this forum was fist started, I created a sub-forum entitled "Martha and Mary's House" which is a specially designated password protected forum board for sisters only. You can get the password from Nell or I can have the forum system send it to you. I think this may be a proper venue for Shattered if she wants to register. This will have to be cleared through Igzy first.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:08 AM   #15
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Default Re: *Lurkers Only*: Now's Your Chance

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I have been absent from both here & any church meetings. I do not experience this place (or churches) to be women friendly, in general. ...Just a suggestion, but a mature female co-moderator might have been able to communicate better with shattered...
Just an idea, but there is a sister who went through the lc wringer and now has a website.

http://thethreadofgold.com/

You might find a good sounding board there. May God bless your journey in Christ. Surely you are as valued in God's eyes as anyone else!
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Old 09-17-2012, 11:27 AM   #16
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I recently came up with the idea of Lurkers Only threads. These threads may only be posted to by people who have never posted or rarely post. (Rarely is a relative term so if you think you rarely post, you probably do.)

Some of us (who shall remain nameless) are quite bloviating. We are like the people in the LC who testified in every meeting. You know, that brother who made you think, "Why doesn't he just give it a rest?" I think WL called them "monkeys." We monkeys think we are smart and like the sound of our own voices. We talk too much sometimes and we probably intimidate not a few of our newer members.

Lurkers Only threads are not open to monkeys, except to post something like "Welcome to the board, so-and-so!"

So anyway, whether you are signed up or just a guest, we'd like to hear from you. Tell us you story. Make a comment about the board or anything you'd like. Or just say hi. The monkeys need a rest.
Is the Local Church a cult?

http://psquare.org/ispeak/showthread...ch-Cult-or-Not
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:50 PM   #17
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Paul Cox gave a great answer --

"The moderators of this forum have been quick to call the Local Church a cult. It has been my view all along that they are not a cult. Rather, I feel they are a sect of Christianity with strong cultic tendencies. Of course, one could say that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck. In that sense I guess they get what they deserve. They have spend millions of dollars of the saints' hard earned dollars trying to fight back this title in the courts, when all they really need to do is stop acting like a duck."
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:49 PM   #18
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What's the difference between a "sect of Christianity with strong cultic tendencies" and a "cult of Christianity with strong orthodox/evangelical tendencies"? Six of one, one half dozen of the other? One phrase uses the politically correct "s" word and the other uses the harsh "c" word, but when all the dust settles both phrases are describing the same reality. Now that Witness Lee is dead, I think it's a little harder for people to differentiate and discern what the true condition of the Movement really is and how it may be "labeled". One thing we know for certain, whatever the folks over on La Palma Ave in Anaheim call it, we can assume it’s pretty much the opposite.
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Old 09-17-2012, 03:52 PM   #19
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Paul Cox gave a great answer --

"The moderators of this forum have been quick to call the Local Church a cult. It has been my view all along that they are not a cult. Rather, I feel they are a sect of Christianity with strong cultic tendencies. Of course, one could say that if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck. In that sense I guess they get what they deserve. They have spend millions of dollars of the saints' hard earned dollars trying to fight back this title in the courts, when all they really need to do is stop acting like a duck."
They are a Christian sect that acts like a cult but isn't because all they really need to do is stop acting like a cult? Is that what you are saying?

A cult is defined as having religious devotion to a man and sinister teachings or practices. The devotion to WL and WN as the MOTA is religious devotion to a man. The teaching concerning the ground of the church is the basis to segregate themselves from the rest of the Body of Christ. That is a sinister teaching.

So then can the Local church really "stop" the religious devotion to WL and WN and can they drop the divisive "ground of the church" teaching?
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:00 PM   #20
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Now that Witness Lee is dead, I think it's a little harder for people to differentiate and discern what the true condition of the Movement really is and how it may be "labeled".
How about "personality cult"? From Wikipedia: "A cult of personality arises when an individual uses mass media, propaganda, or other methods, to create an idealized and heroic public image, often through unquestioning flattery and praise. Sociologist Max Weber developed a tripartite classification of authority; the cult of personality holds parallels with what Weber defined as "charismatic authority". A cult of personality is similar to hero worship, except that it is established by mass media and propaganda."

As an example, Witness Lee got Mel Porter to take his personality as his own, then Mel tried to get brother 'awareness' (& others) to take his (Mel's) personality. I also remember the lc's being called "Witness Lee duplication centers", with what seemed to be a straight face. So maybe it's a personality cult, which just happens to be religious in character.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:05 PM   #21
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What's the difference between a "sect of Christianity with strong cultic tendencies" and a "cult of Christianity with strong orthodox/evangelical tendencies"? Six of one, one half dozen of the other? One phrase uses the politically correct "s" word and the other uses the harsh "c" word, but when all the dust settles both phrases are describing the same reality. Now that Witness Lee is dead, I think it's a little harder for people to differentiate and discern what the true condition of the Movement really is and how it may be "labeled". One thing we know for certain, whatever the folks over on La Palma Ave in Anaheim call it, we can assume it’s pretty much the opposite.
A sect can have a somewhat benign meaning, a small group of Christians with some differing beliefs from mainstream Christianity. I would not be alarmed if a close relative met with a Christian "sect".

The word cult has a derogatory meaning, suggesting the worship of a man along with some sinister teachings and/or practices.
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Old 09-17-2012, 04:48 PM   #22
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Brothers, I feel safe and welcomed here. I reviewed, in my mind, what I meant by not "women friendly," and I think I meant more along the lines of not "very interesting to women, in general." And the certain (hard to describe) sense I get when the male presence is dominant, like when I am at home and there are all males around the table, and me. Not intimidating; perhaps overwhelming; unbalanced. Now there is the word I was looking for: unbalanced.

I remember vaguely a teaching of Witness Lee's: a healthy picture of the church-life (or maybe it pertained to door knocking) is Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, the ratio being 1 male to 2 females.

I do not want to be a co-moderator; I am thankful for this place, but it is not a place I am inclined to linger. This place has been helpful to me, however. And there are some sweet brothers here.

I recently went to the 2 "local" churches in Cleveland's websites. There was something on one for the sisters, fellowship for the married sisters and such. Again, it seemed unbalanced. Maybe I am too much of a feminist or something. Discouraging, too, is the divided local churches; I really had no idea such a thing existed. But, really, it should have come as no surprise.

Back and forth, a promise of unity, then division; it will never end. Just like wars. Mostly male driven, if you ask me. But, the sisters would probably botch it all up as well, if they were in charge.

I do not know the answer, for me. Where to go to church? I sympathize with the sister who attends Mass every now and then. I determined I would return to the Mother Church of them all. And I did, and it was easy for a time, to just go and do the rituals, which can be very meaningful if you let them be, and eat Jesus, and then be sustained until the next time. It was simple, beautiful, and grounding. And it was not too demanding, except, for me, the examination of conscience and confession. Yet, politics crept in, as usual.

I just can't take it anymore. There is nowhere to go, nowhere "to be." Just here, where I am, in all that I do. I give up on this church thing and on who is right and who is wrong. I do not have the heart for it.
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Old 09-17-2012, 05:22 PM   #23
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Brothers, I feel safe and welcomed here. I reviewed, in my mind, what I meant by not "women friendly," and I think I meant more along the lines of not "very interesting to women, in general." And the certain (hard to describe) sense I get when the male presence is dominant, like when I am at home and there are all males around the table, and me. Not intimidating; perhaps overwhelming; unbalanced.

... Maybe I am too much of a feminist or something... I just do not have the heart for it.
The "Good News", at least in part, is that Jesus was, arguably, waaaay feminist. Where else can you see something like sister Mary chilling out blissfully at His feet? Even today, 2000 years later, Jesus would be egalitarian, inclusive, and "progressive".

Now, where are you going to find such a comfortable, non-judgmental, welcoming, non-hierarchical, open scene today? I don't know. But it was there, at least once -- it's been recorded in the 4 gospels. Though it seems the door slammed shut quickly, that kind of world is out there, somewhere: if it was there once it is (at least potentially) there always.

I think forums like this are interesting for hyper-rational males who like to hear themselves think. Understandable that it would be less than compelling to many others.

Just follow the Spirit. That's all I can really say. Follow the Spirit and you will get where you are supposed to go. Pray the prayer that you have been waiting to pray your whole life, the one God has been waiting to hear from you; pray for your destiny. When God hears it surely He will do it. He has placed the Living Prayer in front of you, waiting for your heart to sense it and your mouth to echo it. "But what does it say? The Word is very nigh unto thee..."
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Old 09-19-2012, 05:57 PM   #24
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"A cult is defined as having religious devotion to a man and sinister teachings or practices."

Doesn't that answer the question? Again, in my personal experience, everything was WL. I think WN was thrown into the mix just to try and demonstrate that they are not following just one man. Of course we knew the difference. I cannot say how the lcs are functioning now because I have not been back, but I suspect their focus around what you call MOTA is still intact, whether the lc is under LSM or not.

In their defence, "cult" has a horrible connotation (e.g., Jonestown), but it also has a meaning as the poster provided above. I understand why they would be outraged by the use of the term, since it would scare away many potential members. So technically, yes they fit the definition, but in practicality, they are not so much difference than many fundamentalist sects. In fact, some of these sects are much more dangerous, IMHO.
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Old 09-20-2012, 08:53 AM   #25
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I just can't take it anymore. There is nowhere to go, nowhere "to be." Just here, where I am, in all that I do. I give up on this church thing and on who is right and who is wrong. I do not have the heart for it.
Every Christian needs fellowship. We were not meant to be just by ourselves. We are meant to help others and be helped by others. We have to pray that the Lord brings us together with the people he wants us to be with. Being a lone ranger has no future.

You don't have to get involved in politics, you don't even have to join a "church." Just do what you can and leave the rest to God. Sure, people are frustrating. Everyone experiences that. What else is new? But I believe part of the maturing process is to learn to deal with people while not compromising integrity.

The Church is everywhere. It might just be with some neighborhood friends once a week at Starbucks. You don't have to be conventional--but don't give up on the Church. That's the same as giving up on humanity, which means giving up on yourself.
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.
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Old 09-20-2012, 01:22 PM   #26
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coalsoffire,
Igzy is right, we are all part of God's family and so we need at least some amount of contact with other "family members". It is very easy for those of us who have been burned by groups like the Local Church to just become loners and isolated from other Christians. After leaving the LC (after 20 years) I avoided fellowship with other Christians for a number of years. I eventually realized that I was drying up and hurting myself.

I don't know if you are in a metropolitan area or not, but if you are I can assure you that there are numerous churches out there where you will find men and women of God seeking to teach, preach and live out the historic gospel. In my experience these can mostly be found among what I will loosely define as evangelical community churches. However, there are such churches among some of the "denominations" as well.

Tell the Lord you are seeking him. He is a "he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him" (Hebrews 11:6)
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Old 11-14-2014, 09:45 PM   #27
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Can some one tell me what happened with the tumoils that happened. I know about Titus Chu, and brother Dong You Lang, and little bit about bro lees son. But like why did so many saints leave in those times. What caused them to leave the church life.
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Old 11-15-2014, 12:28 PM   #28
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Can some one tell me what happened with the tumoils that happened. I know about Titus Chu, and brother Dong You Lang, and little bit about bro lees son. But like why did so many saints leave in those times. What caused them to leave the church life.
Brothers and sisters leave for various reasons. Most common the nature of the recovery changed from our fellowship being based on our daily walk with the Lord to our fellowship being based on the ministry.
For a brother or sister to prophesy in a Lord's Day meeting, it became too restrictive to prophesy according to the current LSM publication. In their daily reading of the Word there is something they received light on the ministry didn't cover.
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:35 PM   #29
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Can some one tell me what happened with the tumoils that happened. I know about Titus Chu, and brother Dong You Lang, and little bit about bro lees son. But like why did so many saints leave in those times. What caused them to leave the church life.
Most saw the corruption at LSM.

It kind of happened like when Dorothy's dog Toto pulled open the curtain to expose the "great and powerful" Wizard of Oz.
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Old 11-15-2014, 01:47 PM   #30
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Can some one tell me what happened with the tumoils that happened. I know about Titus Chu, and brother Dong You Lang, and little bit about bro lees son. But like why did so many saints leave in those times. What caused them to leave the church life.
A good start would be to read "Speaking the Truth in Love," by John Ingalls.

I have a pdf copy of it. Contact Untohim (localchurchdiscussions@gmail.com) and he'll give you my email address. I'll send it to you.
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Old 11-15-2014, 06:00 PM   #31
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Haven't visited here in some time. I may have posted this before, but I reccomend the movie: Babette's Feast

Thanks to all who responded to me before. I am not so "lost" as I felt before.

Hmm... I wonder if my Five Baptisms story would be helpful to anyone?
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Old 11-15-2014, 07:21 PM   #32
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Haven't visited here in some time. I may have posted this before, but I recommend the movie: Babette's Feast?
Saw it on your recommendation. Loved it. Great message.
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Old 12-02-2014, 02:28 PM   #33
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So I've dawdled through here and figured I would post.

I grew up in the LC(90's) and always was aware we were different, even from other Christians. It was confusing and isolating really. The locality I grew up in didn't have that many YP and many left/no longer meet. Also, my father is still an important figure in that locale, even our family company employs solely saints. I remember a prayer at SST that I basically told God that if I was really meant to stay with this group for the rest of my life, then so be it...which one sister translated to "aww...He asked the Lord to keep him in the LC" I even remember as a child something outlined like "you get out of HS, then you go to college, and then to the training". A few things. As a biologist I was quite annoyed with trying to bridge the God gap continually and also the continual use of natural systems as models for the church, or Gods plan, or whatever. It all makes so much more sense through the lens of evolution. Another common theme that made no sense is that we had it all and that other folk were blind and lost.

I went to college(my folks were ok with me going anywhere so long as they had a campus work-so my little hope of escaping after highschool died) and stayed involved with the club on campus. Near the end of college I had fallen pretty hard for a girl in the club, and a really close friend and had been seeing each other and ended up getting married later. As the person closest to him I had heard nothing of it. The whole dating thing (I held out telling her for years the way I felt about her because I didn't feel like it would be ok to do...which sounds crazy looking back and thinking about how healthy relationships with the opposite sex should be. Needless to say I have never dated or anything and am a bit clueless where I'd begin-done with the whole "wait for god thing" and all the weirdness of how the right way to do it is to have a leading one tell the person you're interested in that you are...blah blah)
and the way the club would check in on student activities was always rather weird. I was really struggling and while many saints were very kind of caring, as things drew on many people kind of started distancing themselves or ignoring the issue. It is one thing to be able to ask about a physical illness, but it you are having issues emotionally dealing with things that is not ok and it may be because you aren't in your spirit enough etc. I'm thankful for the ones who I'd consider as friends who simply took me in and allowed me to, well, not be ok! Not to have to put on a face like I was doing great. I can be glad in the way it turned out now because had it somehow turned out that I ended up with her I'd be in deep in the LC, but still with my questions. It ended up hurting too much to continue going to meetings and the like and not really feeling cared for and having to hide it, so I petered out and stopped-save for a few folk that I consider close friends and I can trust(though I couple of em I suppose might be praying for me) not to pressure me to come back.

Their was also a lot of pressure to go to the training at the end of college. It really sent up red flags when the decision was framed as "The training, or everything else". I had a lot of good reasons to go to the training I guess(peers, status I suppose, the mention of people meeting spouses in the training), but it just did not seem right to go against what I really believed. It also didn't make sense that no mention was made of everyone who went and dropped out and disappeared, or otherwise. I ended up sacrificing a lot of happiness and progress towards the path I really wanted to take to take a job in the area to stay near the saints per advice of a leading brother-which in truth I suppose I should have taken to the Lord.

I since had the time of my life working a seasonal job a few states away from where I grew up, and am pretty sure what I want to do in life. But socially I am not. To stick to the plan I have to toss nearly everything and everyone I have ever known. I do have a couple close friends outside the church life thankfully but it is difficult to otherwise start from scratch. People really need to be put in a box and shaken around a bit to truly bond I think. A cousin introduced me to a group in my hometown that I've gone to a few services and hung out with the people(who, by golly, were every bit as nice as LC people were...so much for what they tried teaching us about "the world")...but at this point I'm not even sure I feel comfortable calling myself Christian anymore. I just want people to be happy and be able to care for each other-that's all. Is that really that hard to ask or find?
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Old 12-02-2014, 04:10 PM   #34
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Unregistered take heart. I came out of the LC decades ago and am here to tell you that there is life after the LC, with both Christian and non-Christian folk. Live brother, live. And be true to yourself. Dump the Kool-Aid. Be free, and think free.

And I'm hopin it all works out for ya. Why not?

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Old 12-02-2014, 04:39 PM   #35
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So I've dawdled through here and figured I would post...
Thank you for sharing your story. There are no pat answers. The good news is that you are making your way and finding yourself. You may feel that you lack social skills, but you are young and able to learn. I've noticed that people usually respond positively when I honestly express my feelings but that was not a skill that was reinforced in Witness Lee's Church. So give yourself all the time you need and don't be too hard on yourself when you make mistakes. I wish you all success in the process of realizing who you are which, by the way, will take you the rest of your life as it does for all of us.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:21 PM   #36
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Unregistered, thank you for sharing your story. While I can't say that I have any advice to give you, know that you are not alone. Like you, I am a "church kid". I am actually still involved in the LC, but I just have the realization that I need to leave. That is partly why I joined this forum.

Growing up in the LC is something that only those of us who have done so will ever understand. I think that in most cases, those of us who grew up in the LC are 2nd generation, so our parents can never understand what we went through since they didn't have that experience of growing up in the LC. When I look back upon my childhood, I realize there were many things about the LC that bothered me, but as a kid and young person, what choice did I have? By the time I entered high school and college, I wasn't particularly drawn to the LC, but I had nothing else to turn to, so I basically "immersed" myself in LC activities.

As is the case with many, when I was in college, I lived in a "brothers house". While that experience gave me the opportunity to get to know some brothers on a more personal level, I realized it was also somewhat crippling for me socially. For example, one of the rules was no dating (just like in the FTTA). When I look back at that, I can't believe that I gave myself so blindly to that kind of environment.

I will be completely honest with you here: I am not married, nor have I ever dated. I am in my late 20's, so maybe a bit younger than you are. For someone who has plans on attending the FTTA, and allowing brothers to serve as "matchmakers" for who they will marry, then I suppose this situation might be more acceptable. For someone who didn't follow this "path" that they push everyone down, it is crippling.

In my particular situation, I am past the point where anyone could really try and stop me from dating, however, the LC is not an environment that I would ever want to bring a family up in, so until I have completely disassociated myself with the LC, it is out of the question for me. I bring this up is so that you know you're not the only one out there. It can certainly be perplexing, and who outside the LC can really understand?

I've always felt socially awkward and have relied heavily on LC friendships over the years. Once I entered the workforce, I found that it was somewhat easier to develop meaningful relationships with people, due to the inevitability of having to work closely with others. Simple things like that have really helped me to get used to how people function in real life. I've always had Christian friends outside the LC throughout my life, so I have always tried to make the most of those relationships. Though my situation is nowhere near ideal, I am thankful every day that I didn't turn out worse.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:32 PM   #37
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Thank you both...it means a lot to be able to share with people who understand.

I often had the thought or wish that I could just drink the koolaid...so to speak, like some of my peers that i look up to so much. Life would be so much easier. Wouldn't it be nice...if not improbable, if you were born into your purpose on this earth and just had to hold course?

I always visualized it as an eddy that I wanted to get out of. Its easy just to stay. On the drive back home I ended up staying a night w a couple that had migrated from my college locale to a nice midpoint for the journey. I was clear with them that I was actively not meeting anymore. The best explanation I could come up with isthat I decided I didnt want it anymore.

Im hoping I can find true and deep friendships and connections just eith normal people. Not sure where...but I know its out there.

One learning curve so far has been learning how to make my own decisions and plan. The tracks have ended so to speak.
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Old 12-02-2014, 08:54 PM   #38
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Freedom

Thank you for the support. Im a good bit younger I think...almost 25. Like you I have never dated

My father actually did grow up in the church life in taiwan. His father passed when he was an early teenager and he spent a lot of time w the saints. So he can actually relate. What he cant relate to is wanting out.

I lived in a brothers apt...not true corporate living but it might has well have been. The brother I mention in the love triangle above was actually my roommate. We were inseperable. He was a bit older, way more devoted then I could be(and better at everything else it seemed too), and I looked up to him very much.


Losing the network is probably the toughest thing. One thing that made it easier is that many of the connections turned out rather superficial since it is difficult to discuss reuly meaningful hopes and fears
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:15 PM   #39
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I echo everyone's sentiments 'unregistered'. Thanks for sharing your journey here. Just know God really, really loves you. He hates what the LC turned into using His Name and His Word. But He loves us all..and especially those who have been paralyzed by the LC mindset.

He is going to guide your steps. Trust Him and ask Him to help you and guide you every step of the way.

God bless you and shower you with His Love, His inner Peace and Supernatural Favor surrounding you with loving friends.

Carol
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Old 12-02-2014, 09:18 PM   #40
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Guys, I wasn't an LC kid. But I did join the LC when I was 19. I left in my late 20s. I didn't get married until I was 44. Now I have a beautiful family and many good friends. It just takes time to get normalized. But it can happen. I'm living proof.

But don't make the mistake of just running and trying to bury the past. That won't work. You can exist that way, but you can't really live. The strongholds have to be smashed, and they are spiritual in nature.

What got me through, eventually, was God. That's the odd thing about all this. The LC is supposed to be all about God. But if it was, why do the people who leave seem to need to start from scratch to get to know the Lord? The answer is they didn't know him in the LC, not really anyway. They just had a religion, a very insidious, mind-controlling religion.

As I've said before, you have to learn to pray. You have to genuinely get to know God and rely on him. That's what eventually breaks down the mental strongholds and sets you free. As they say, the best way out is through. And the best way through is prayer.

Relationships turn out to be pretty simple, too. Just love people. Don't think about yourself first. Treat people with genuine appreciation as God does. Learn how to let them shine. You'll then begin to notice that people actually like you and like being around you. But you'll also realize it isn't about you, and never was. It's just that a little of the glory rubs off on you as you serve people God's way.

So, surprise!, it turns out that obeying the first two commandments is very powerful and key. Love God and love people. It's no more complicated than that. Then you'll begin to enjoy that the kingdom of God is everywhere, because you are bringing it with you.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:23 AM   #41
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WOW!! What an awesome testimony Igzy !!! Thanks for sharing and giving LCrs people such hope. I have known this and have TRIED to explain what you did but you did it so simplistic ! I tend to get all spiritual. hee hee
but truly that is how I live.

So happy you got married and have a beautiful family and many good friends. I've never been married but I am very blessed and content.

I hope many people will read your testimony and be so encouraged by it !
God bless you and your family and loved ones Igzy!
Until we meet ITA to the Glory and Praise of Almighty God!

Love ya!
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Guys, I wasn't an LC kid. But I did join the LC when I was 19. I left in my late 20s. I didn't get married until I was 44. Now I have a beautiful family and many good friends. It just takes time to get normalized. But it can happen. I'm living proof.

But don't make the mistake of just running and trying to bury the past. That won't work. You can exist that way, but you can't really live. The strongholds have to be smashed, and they are spiritual in nature.

What got me through, eventually, was God. That's the odd thing about all this. The LC is supposed to be all about God. But if it was, why do the people who leave seem to need to start from scratch to get to know the Lord? The answer is they didn't know him in the LC, not really anyway. They just had a religion, a very insidious, mind-controlling religion.

As I've said before, you have to learn to pray. You have to genuinely get to know God and rely on him. That's what eventually breaks down the mental strongholds and sets you free. As they say, the best way out is through. And the best way through is prayer.

Relationships turn out to be pretty simple, too. Just love people. Don't think about yourself first. Treat people with genuine appreciation as God does. Learn how to let them shine. You'll then begin to notice that people actually like you and like being around you. But you'll also realize it isn't about you, and never was. It's just that a little of the glory rubs off on you as you serve people God's way.

So, surprise!, it turns out that obeying the first two commandments is very powerful and key. Love God and love people. It's no more complicated than that. Then you'll begin to enjoy that the kingdom of God is everywhere, because you are bringing it with you.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:22 PM   #42
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Like Igzy, I came into the LRC early — just before turning 18. Got married there at age 24, and left at age 32. Out now for over 27 years (yes, I am approaching 59). Have been in a couple of different Bible churches the whole time since. I like them both.

Despite the apparent quick change to something mainstream in Christianity, it was not simple. I fought the LRC tapes running in my head for many years. First it was the music, choir, solos, etc. 10 years later, I noticed that so much of it was gone, but I still hung onto some things as being superior. But now after many more years, I am realizing that the things of the LRC that were worth anything are mostly just acceptable alternatives and in no way superior. And there is so much baggage with it that it is not worth worrying about.

I now play guitar in the band some of the time (yes, they let an old geezer play) yet mostly attend a "traditional" service because a very close relative is now attending with us and prefers the older hymns. I like both and can even see how they could be integrated.

As for any so-called "truth," the truth is in Christ and we, like those in the LRC, believe in the same Christ. All those special truths just aren't true.
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Old 12-03-2014, 12:28 PM   #43
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I like both and can even see how they could be integrated.
I'm not musically talented, but I do enjoy contemporary and old hymns and have seen each integrated into worship services. Who's to say one hymn is not God-inspired over another? To the brothers and sisters who wrote the hymns, they were God-inspired.
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Old 12-03-2014, 07:57 PM   #44
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Despite the apparent quick change to something mainstream in Christianity, it was not simple. I fought the LRC tapes running in my head for many years. First it was the music, choir, solos, etc. 10 years later, I noticed that so much of it was gone, but I still hung onto some things as being superior. But now after many more years, I am realizing that the things of the LRC that were worth anything are mostly just acceptable alternatives and in no way superior. And there is so much baggage with it that it is not worth worrying about.
I have tried to expose myself to what is out there in mainstream Christianity outside the LC, and it didn't take me long to realize that it is not at all like they make it out to be. In the LC I hear generalization made about Christianity all the time, and when I look at how things really are, I realize those generalization are not true at all. I have tried to familiarize myself with some of the Christian music out there. I fail to see how it would be something to be despised. I can state with certainty that I find some Christian music much more beneficial than hymns with 15 verses of LC doctrines.

I know non-traditional music was a big issue when Anaheim and the Great Lakes regions split. I guess people were getting tired of the same old, same old. Wasn't there also a much earlier instance of this attitude with LSM telling Howard Higashi no more writing songs??? As Terry said, what makes LSM dictated hymns better than anything else? I guess my point is that just by looking outside the LC at what else is out there, I have realized that things were not as I imagined them, but much better.
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Old 12-03-2014, 09:49 PM   #45
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Is their anywhere specific for helping those whove been in it through recovering? I've had to rummage around through the subforums for stories but the same difficulties and themes abound.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:26 AM   #46
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I know non-traditional music was a big issue when Anaheim and the Great Lakes regions split. I guess people were getting tired of the same old, same old. Wasn't there also a much earlier instance of this attitude with LSM telling Howard Higashi no more writing songs??? As Terry said, what makes LSM dictated hymns better than anything else? I guess my point is that just by looking outside the LC at what else is out there, I have realized that things were not as I imagined them, but much better.
I remember when "the brothers" put the kibosh on the Chicago song tapes around the late 90's. I think they were deemed "worldly."

Those silly denominations, and their silly factions!

Oh wait, they're not a denomination! And, they don't have factions!
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:15 AM   #47
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Is their anywhere specific for helping those whove been in it through recovering? I've had to rummage around through the subforums for stories but the same difficulties and themes abound.
Could you be just a little more specific?

And WELCOME to the forum, please consider taking a couple of minutes and register by sending an email request along with your desired UserName to LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:43 AM   #48
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Is their anywhere specific for helping those whove been in it through recovering? I've had to rummage around through the subforums for stories but the same difficulties and themes abound.
I know what you mean. There is a tendency for us to turn most threads into one of a few pet topics not matter what the intended topic is. Even when the original topic remains, it is too often modified by the background noise.

And I am often among those making the noise.

As for a place for working through recovery from the "Recovery," I don't know specifically. There is virtually nowhere else that is covering these things at all. The old Berean forum (not the current one, but the archived original) has some things, but even that has limitations.

It is almost as if the real healing is from finding a new place and new brothers and sisters in Christ and let being with them in worship, study, prayer, etc., and even irrelevant activities that people do and wrestling with the bible without Lee-colored glasses and learn how the real Christian life is designed to be. It isn't about meetings, or meeting forms, or having one single piece of unleavened bread cooked from a special recipe then broken into pieces at the Table meeting, or high-sounding jargon and catch-phrases. It is about believing in Christ and living that life here on the earth in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation.

And music style is not relevant. How many people speak in a meeting is not relevant. Whether the dirt your church is built upon is the right dirt. Or the name (heaven forbid!) is formatted correctly.

The tapes (and the worried feelings) are generally not supported by the Bible. They are only supported by the rhetoric that comes from the MOTA and his minions.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:06 PM   #49
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It is almost as if the real healing is from finding a new place and new brothers and sisters in Christ and being with them in worship, study, prayer, etc., and even irrelevant activities that people do and wrestling with the bible without Lee-colored glasses and learn how the real Christian life is designed to be.
Amen to that. I would add pray a lot.

I used to think the LC was unique, and that the treatments for it would be unique as well. But, aside from some specifics, the LC is just another in a long and regrettable legacy of abusive Christian groups. If you Google for spiritual abuse online, you will see the same characteristics popping up: lording authority, isolation, claims of special mission, condescending attitudes, special language, oh and of course, claiming to house the unique apostle of the age. None of this junk is unique at all. It's just some more stuff from the devil's toolbox.

Like twisted sexuality, abusive Christian groups practice twisted spirituality. They take something good and pervert it into something it wasn't meant to be. It still feels good in some ways, but you know in other ways it isn't right. Still you begin to prefer it because, well, who knows why?

But OBW is right on. The way through is to establish healthy, non-dysfunctional Christian relationships, which are not based on the idea that some group has rights to you, but still allow you to experience Christian community, and start relearning the Christian life. Trust me, there are healthy communities out there that respect boundaries. The LC considered boundaries a form of rebellion, a manipulative tactic practiced by the other abusive groups it resembles.
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:46 PM   #50
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Amen to that. I would add pray a lot.

I used to think the LC was unique, and that the treatments for it would be unique as well. But, aside from some specifics, the LC is just another in a long and regrettable legacy of abusive Christian groups. If you Google for spiritual abuse online, you will see the same characteristics popping up: lording authority, isolation, claims of special mission, condescending attitudes, special language, oh and of course, claiming to house the unique apostle of the age. None of this junk is unique at all. It's just some more stuff from the devil's toolbox.

Like twisted sexuality, abusive Christian groups practice twisted spirituality. They take something good and pervert it into something it wasn't meant to be. It still feels good in some ways, but you know in other ways it isn't right. Still you begin to prefer it because, well, who knows why?

But OBW is right on. The way through is to establish healthy, non-dysfunctional Christian relationships, which are not based on the idea that some group has rights to you, but still allow you to experience Christian community, and start relearning the Christian life. Trust me, there are healthy communities out there that respect boundaries. The LC considered boundaries a form of rebellion, a manipulative tactic practiced by the other abusive groups it resembles.
I double ditto that !!! One of the first things I discovered about myself is after I started meeting other believers was that the corrupted LC mentality sneaked in on me and suddenly I felt like I 'knew' a lot more than everyone else ! Purging that mindset took a lot of work. While going to 'church' and getting involved in fellowship groups, I also attended a few LC meetings since there is an LC here in this town I live in. But after attending a few meetings, as nice and genuine people were, I could not stand the HWMRs and the little bells that were rung after someone's 'prophesy' or whatever they call it now.

It was just awful!!! The Presence of God was not there. God may love the individuals but The anointing on the LC departed a long time ago.
The good memories of the early days for me, will remain in me just as the memories of growing up Catholic remain in me. But that was then. This is now and I am looking forward to a Glorious future with Christ and His Beloved.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:26 PM   #51
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I double ditto that !!! One of the first things I discovered about myself is after I started meeting other believers was that the corrupted LC mentality sneaked in on me and suddenly I felt like I 'knew' a lot more than everyone else ! Purging that mindset took a lot of work. While going to 'church' and getting involved in fellowship groups, I also attended a few LC meetings since there is an LC here in this town I live in. But after attending a few meetings, as nice and genuine people were, I could not stand the HWMRs and the little bells that were rung after someone's 'prophesy' or whatever they call it now.

It was just awful!!! The Presence of God was not there. God may love the individuals but The anointing on the LC departed a long time ago.
The good memories of the early days for me, will remain in me just as the memories of growing up Catholic remain in me. But that was then. This is now and I am looking forward to a Glorious future with Christ and His Beloved.
Little bells being rung? I never heard of that. Does anyone know if this is a regular practice or just a peculiarity of a locality or two?

But I sort of like bells ringing. It means an angel is getting his/her wings.

One comment on the "presence of God." It is likely that CMW is speaking of a real sense of the presence of God. But sometimes I think that we still fall back into needing some sensation like we used to get in the LRC to mean "presence of God." Since they don't do things the same way, the old sensation is gone. And since we have a different perspective, it is likely that the old sensation would still be gone even if everything was still the same.

But there is "presence of God" in the most quiet and pious worship you can find. The style may not be your cup of tea (or mine). But God is there in their midst. Everything from the almost off-the-wall old-school Pentecostals (not meaning that in a derogatory way) to the most liturgical (and much to the chagrin of some here — and I understand it — including the Catholics), God is there when believers meet. His presence is not based on the antics of our worship or the number of missionaries we send out to convert the earth. Or the perfection of our doctrine and practice. It is based on the heart of the believer.

But I have heard about the deterioration of that favorite LRC practice for many of us in recent years. It is the death of spontaneity in the testimonies. Not that spontaneity is magical. But there was something real in the participants even if the practice was not all that we were told it was.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:48 PM   #52
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I think this is mention to the use of the piano, a guitar strum, or similar to end prophecies. Usually their is a sharing by one or two brothers whereby the go through an outline, then "overflow" from the sharing. You are expected to wrap up your sharing within the next sentence or so before sitting down.

I think the irony of this is that frequently the leading brothers would go over time-I'm sure they try their best not to and have people keeping track, but it happens with great degree of regularity. I recall one young people's conference where the speaking brother was so inspired by so point(I remember it not! and back then I was really trying to pay attention). What I do remember is that we were held nearly an hour past the time this meeting was supposed to be over. Many folks were griping about wanting to go swimming or whatever at the hotel(which was something the leading brothers tried to keep us from doing).

Strange strange. I wonder about some of the people I sort of knew well there. Had we have met elsewhere, maybe we would have been good friends.
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Old 12-04-2014, 01:57 PM   #53
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Little bells being rung? I never heard of that. Does anyone know if this is a regular practice or just a peculiarity of a locality or two?
It is common LC practice. You get to stand and speak an allotted time, usually 1 minute, then they ring a bell or strike a piano chord and then you sit back down.
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Old 12-04-2014, 04:31 PM   #54
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Little bells being rung? I never heard of that. Does anyone know if this is a regular practice or just a peculiarity of a locality or two?
At the Anaheim trainings, the piano player would press a key when time was up. I never saw this in small localities. Initially it was just a way to enable more people to speak.

I never got my bell rung because I had learned to be "short, quick, living, and to the point." Kind of like my posts.

Let's face it, not many congregations even let their attendants speak, so the LC practice should be applauded. What was more concerning was the lack of spiritual substance listening to so many popups. Kind of like the difference between listening to popcorn pop vs. the smell of a hearty turkey dinner.
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:30 PM   #55
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It is common LC practice. You get to stand and speak an allotted time, usually 1 minute, then they ring a bell or strike a piano chord and then you sit back down.
I left in 1978 and nothing of that nature was going on during the 9 years I was in the LC. I wonder if they are following the Plymouth Brethren practice if they have one. In any case, although it sounds restrictive sometimes something like that is essential. It's just outside of my frame of reference but provides some insight as to the inter-workings of the meetings of the LC.
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Old 12-04-2014, 08:02 PM   #56
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I left in 1978 and nothing of that nature was going on during the 9 years I was in the LC. I wonder if they are following the Plymouth Brethren practice if they have one. In any case, although it sounds restrictive sometimes something like that is essential. It's just outside of my frame of reference but provides some insight as to the inter-workings of the meetings of the LC.
This practice of keeping time for testimonies/prophecies is quite common from what I've seen. From what I understand, in the old days people would sometimes give long-winded testimonies about whatever, so this whole idea of "prophesying" developed where everyone is supposed to speak from the same material.

Unregistered, you asked earlier about what would be helpful to those wanting to recover from the LC. I don't have any solid advice to give you or suggestions on what to read here, however, I think you are doing the right thing by asking questions or bringing up things that may have been troubling you in the LC. That is exactly what has helped me, not so much knowing what would be the right thing to do next, but feeling free to come here and discuss the things that I have always been bothered about in the LC.

This topic of prophesying is a prime example of that. I used to think that the LC was really something special, because they allow everyone to speak and have "open meetings". That can be a good thing, don't get me wrong, however, the way it is put into practice really negates any benefit. I have been to so many meetings where I was bored out of my mind listening to everyone share the same points over and over. At the same time, I would hear everyone say how "enjoyable" that meeting was. There was such a disconnect between what people would say and how I really felt inside. Once I started to realize that this disconnect wasn't my fault or something that I was doing wrong, it really helped me to stop putting so much blame on myself.

Regardless of whether or not it is a good idea to have an "open meeting", the LC doesn't really understand that their format doesn't work well. Why do meetings always go over time? Well you can't reasonably expect 100+ people to share a few minutes each in 1-1.5 hours. Sometimes they try to counteract this problem by splitting up into small groups. This has the opposite effect where everyone is pressured to share longer than they are comfortable with.

All of that doesn't even take into consideration whether or not the content of what everyone shares is beneficial or not. Many (even most) times it is not. Reading outline points or an excerpt rarely benefits anyone since that can be done on everyone's own time. Also, when people stand up and dump their problems on everyone, that is not beneficial either, and I personally get irritated when people do that. It's not that I don't care about what others are going through, it's just not the time or place for that. When brothers start pressuring people to share, it can be very uncomforatable for many. I visited a church once where it looked like one of the elders was keeping track of who had shared and who hadn't.

1 Cor 14:31 is used to justify the LC practice of prophesying ("For you can all prophesy in turn so that everyone may be instructed and encouraged."). What always caught my attention about this verse is that uses the word can, not the word must. Is can the LC practice, or is it must? It usually seems like the latter. This practice is not well suited for big meetings and it is surprising that not more are bothered by it. When so much of the LC revolves around these flawed practices, it comes as no surprised that we get so messed up inside. There have been many times when I feel so distant from the Lord. When I look at the content of most meetings it comes as no surprise now. When people have the chance to basically say a few sentences before having to sit down, how is anyone expected to gain anything beneficial other than what someone may have "enjoyed"? Anyways, sorry for being so long-winded here. Hope this helps.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:47 AM   #57
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Little bells being rung? I never heard of that. Does anyone know if this is a regular practice or just a peculiarity of a locality or two?

But I sort of like bells ringing. It means an angel is getting his/her wings.
Well then. I suppose Francis Ball got his wings ! I watched the memorial service of Francis Ball live on stream. And as people lined up... and YES they formed a line to go up to the podium to speak, the piano would begin to play one chord or note as a warning time was up and if they kept on, the piano person rang a little bell.
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One comment on the "presence of God." It is likely that CMW is speaking of a real sense of the presence of God. But sometimes I think that we still fall back into needing some sensation like we used to get in the LRC to mean "presence of God." Since they don't do things the same way, the old sensation is gone.
Let me clarify on the 'Presence of God' comment. The Presence of God is not a feeling. Sometimes we do sense an overwhelming power of Peace. But the Presence of God is always in us.

What I noticed was their emphasis on the HWMR and the importance of the footnotes of RcV. Since that was more important to them than God's Word and their personal revelation or experience of what God was showing them either in the Scriptures or in their lives, for a lack of a better phrase, I used the phrase 'no presence of God' there.



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But there is "presence of God" in the most quiet and pious worship you can find. The style may not be your cup of tea (or mine). But God is there in their midst. Everything from the almost off-the-wall old-school Pentecostals (not meaning that in a derogatory way) to the most liturgical (and much to the chagrin of some here — and I understand it — including the Catholics), God is there when believers meet.
A resounding yes OBW.

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His presence is not based on the antics of our worship or the number of missionaries we send out to convert the earth. Or the perfection of our doctrine and practice. It is based on the heart of the believer.
Again. Right you are !

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But I have heard about the deterioration of that favorite LRC practice for many of us in recent years. It is the death of spontaneity in the testimonies. Not that spontaneity is magical. But there was something real in the participants even if the practice was not all that we were told it was.
That was really a unique experience that taught many of us to fellowship and even share the gospel.

As for the piano and little bell ringing, the first time I experienced that paractice was here in SA when I went to the Sunday, ah-hum, 'Lord's day' meetings a few times. The people did not go up to the podium though, they stood up where they sat just like in the old days to give a 'prophesy'. But if they got a tad long winded, there went the piano and the bell.

Pretty soon, they're going to use a cane to yank the person out !

Good thing, I do not participate there anymore, they'd be using bullhorns on me to shut me up!
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:21 PM   #58
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Let's face it, not many congregations even let their attendants speak, so the LC practice should be applauded. What was more concerning was the lack of spiritual substance listening to so many popups. Kind of like the difference between listening to popcorn pop vs. the smell of a hearty turkey dinner.
My take on letting everyone speak is that it is mainly appealing to those who actually stand up and speak. And that is because you get kudos for doing it. A kind of approval that strokes the ego.

As for the preference for the regular open forum, I believe there are places for it, but a general meeting is typically not that place. We like it as Americans partly because it appeals to our sense of self-government (even if we don't recognize it that way). I still assert that there is nothing the scripture that provides for open mic time in the meeting. And I know that some disagree with me on it. But even 1 Cor 14 (in my opinion) does not provide for it despite everything Lee said about that particular verse.

I can't simply applaud the LRC practice for 2 reasons. First, as stated above, I do not see any directive in that direction in scripture, therefore no preference for it. Second, too much of the effect of the practice was me feeling good about myself and my experience and getting strokes for it. And when you look at the whole system of the LRC that ensnares its membership, that is one of the perks that makes you think it is superior, and that makes you think you are superior.

Besides, no matter how much of the Bible you read, to the extent that those testimonies were or are a part of the discussion of doctrine and Biblical truth, there should be something other than the repetition of a singular position with no alternate considered, even if for the purpose of proving it wrong. If we assume that everyone is going to say only things that support the premises of the underlying message (whether spoken or written) then it is pointless. It is just a way to reinforce a position without any reflection on the merits of the position. And feel good about doing it just because you did it, not because it was right.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:29 PM   #59
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My take on letting everyone speak is that it is mainly appealing to those who actually stand up and speak. And that is because you get kudos for doing it. A kind of approval that strokes the ego.
Sorry, but you missed the mark completely.

The spiritual and eternal value is two-fold. The first is all the time spent in the word of God and in prayer struggling to find something valuable to minister to others. The second is the anointing while speaking for the Lord.

Few times did I ever get kudos from the saints, and almost never did I get my ego messaged.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:55 PM   #60
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My take on letting everyone speak is that it is mainly appealing to those who actually stand up and speak. And that is because you get kudos for doing it. A kind of approval that strokes the ego.

I can't simply applaud the LRC practice for 2 reasons. First, as stated above, I do not see any directive in that direction in scripture, therefore no preference for it. Second, too much of the effect of the practice was me feeling good about myself and my experience and getting strokes for it. And when you look at the whole system of the LRC that ensnares its membership, that is one of the perks that makes you think it is superior, and that makes you think you are superior.
Letting everyone speak according to the Bible or according to the ministry (via HWFMR)?

If letting everyone speak according to the Bible, that I have not seen in nearly 30 years.
If it's according to Holy Word for Morning Revival, that's a type of clergy/laiety system with the medium being those who speak the HWFMR (clergy).
If you try to speak according to the Bible, it might be received as an opposer speaking in our midst.

In localities I have met with in several states, letting everyone speak there's no one moderating whether the content is "building up the body" or to use the opportunity to speak as a platform to put down Christians not meeting in the local churches.
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Old 12-05-2014, 08:44 PM   #61
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Sorry, but you missed the mark completely.

The spiritual and eternal value is two-fold. The first is all the time spent in the word of God and in prayer struggling to find something valuable to minister to others. The second is the anointing while speaking for the Lord.

Few times did I ever get kudos from the saints, and almost never did I get my ego messaged.
Both you and And OBW are correct Ohio... In the locality I was in, there were people who gave off the wall testimonies that had nothing to do with the message or what the Lord had shown them. But because some of them had self esteem problems, by getting up and saying something... even if it was stupid, the person standing up got the attention from the saints.

That said, there were many more times when a person spoke, the anointing of the LORD was very strong on that person and we ALL benefited from their testimony. Sometimes the prayer meetings were awesome. Prayers were built upon prayers...like stacked up.

This now brings me to talk about a movie that came out in 1989 called 'Glory'. It was about the civil war and a young white yankee captain recruited black men to join the union. They were treated badly at first but the captain (Matthew Broderick) did all he could to get them shoes and clothes and supplies they needed that were initially not given to them.

Towards the end of the movie, they are going to go to battle and their chances of winning that battle are slim to none. The camera now focuses on the black men gathered around in a tent or around a campfire. It's sort of quiet..and then one begins to speak the Word of God. Everyone agrees. It is followed by some humming and now someone else speaks another Word...says a prayer... "YES! UH -HUH"... more humming/singing.. There was such spiritual unity.

Honestly folks... it so reminded me of our testimonies in the LC. Check out the movie. It is heart wrenching but well worth watching.

Blessings everyone... we all need them!
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Old 12-05-2014, 09:47 PM   #62
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Both you and And OBW are correct Ohio... In the locality I was in, there were people who gave off the wall testimonies that had nothing to do with the message or what the Lord had shown them. But because some of them had self esteem problems, by getting up and saying something... even if it was stupid, the person standing up got the attention from the saints.

That said, there were many more times when a person spoke, the anointing of the LORD was very strong on that person and we ALL benefited from their testimony. Sometimes the prayer meetings were awesome. Prayers were built upon prayers...like stacked up.
I have seen instances of both. Many times the saints who are quieter or those who don't stand up often tend to get lauded. It's not something that's overt, but it's obvious when everyone is impressed with someone speaking. When I went to the semi-annual trainings, the "testing" at the end of messages was nothing less that a performance. When a group went up to get tested and they followed each other well, they would get kudos. I remember that often when the testing had concluded, everyone in the room would start clapping, and the brothers would reprimand everyone saying "we don't clap in the church life". Despite their words, the reaction of the audience always proved that everyone saw it as a performance.

On the other hand, I can say that knowing I might be asked to speak in a meeting has helped me at times to actually spend more time in the word than I would have otherwise. I feel like at times I have spoken things that really were beneficial and of the Lord. Over time, when I realized that the brothers usually prefer everyone to just "re-speak" points that they enjoyed, I started to gravitate towards saying what they would want to hear, rather than what I had really enjoyed. This kind of speaking isn't genuine, and I'm sorry to say that there have been many times where I have just made stuff up on the spot that I know is what everyone wants to hear.
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Old 12-06-2014, 08:18 AM   #63
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If you try to speak according to the Bible, it might be received as an opposer speaking in our midst.
A sure sign that there are BIG problems in a movement. In fact, it could be a possible sign that it has developed into some kind of cult. In the case of the Local Church, one must speak "according to the words of Witness Lee"...and if these words just happen to be according to the Bible..well that's just a bonus, but it's not a requirement. In fact, if Lee's teachings contradict the Bible (which many of them do) then one simply has to do some twisting and turning, adding some if, and and buts, provisos, exceptions to the rule, etc. etc.. and if all else fails, just pump your fist and proclaim "praise the Lord for the ministry!" "thank you Lord for your recovered word!" "Oh, Lord Jesus!"
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Old 12-07-2014, 02:44 AM   #64
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I remember that often when the testing had concluded, everyone in the room would start clapping, and the brothers would reprimand everyone saying "we don't clap in the church life". Despite their words, the reaction of the audience always proved that everyone saw it as a performance.
Do they still tell people not to shake hands because there's an illness going around?
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Old 12-07-2014, 03:16 PM   #65
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With respect to "all can prophecy". It is quite crystal clear that the whole of christianity very clearly picks and chooses which parts of the bible they will actually believe.
This 1cor 14 is a prime example. I have heard over a thousand times , you can all prophecy, but I have never heard wl or any leading one admit to the speaking of Paul that "if one receives a revelation, let the first sit down and the second speak". Oh how we need to hear revelation. What you have figured out as WL often did can leave you so cold. But when someone speaks from revelation you get the sense so strongly inwardly that this is truth which is of course God. The new saint who gets a revelation that in a sense you already realize is a real blessing. But to hear a reading of HWFMR can be pure death.

I went to a Lutheren church when I first left the LC and their reading a book including their prayers left me cold. But I did get some speaking of The Lord
"You know your friends just a mile or so away are doing about the same thing using HWFMR."
How we need The Lord!

Seventy five years ago we used to sing a song "Trust and obey for there's no other way to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey. The theology is probably not that good but maybe as good as we've heard the last forty years.
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Old 12-16-2014, 07:27 PM   #66
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Freedom: So I am registered. Wee!

Reading numbly through a number of threads...this caught my attention

-------------------------------------------------------------------
For better or worse? Are you kidding me? I live comfortably a few blocks from the ocean, I have hiked the Inca trail and hiked down the Grand Canyon a few times, the White Mtns, Appalachian trail etc., caught salmon, rockfish, halibut etc in Alaska, kayaked and dug up claims in Alaska, witnessed the blue whale, sperm whales as far as the eye can see in the Sea of Cortez, swam with sea lions, dolphins, manatees, rented a 100 ft yacht where we were in the middle of a feeding frenzy of humpback whales in the inside passage in Alaska… Life is not just about saying Oh Lord Jesus but enjoying the journey of this life. Sure I have read extensively but I am also an activist for what I believe. I don’t just mouth the words but I do my best to live the life. My wife will be part of 100,000 marchers in September in NY in the People’s Climate March. Anyway, life for me is more than finding out the meaning of the greek word “love” but the experience of life itself.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------

I feel like in many religious groups(the LC amongst them) enjoyment of this current life and the simple good things is really understated at best. Recently I had a talk with my sister about how Creation is apparently moaning and hoping for us to come together and bring the second coming about. I don't really get it to be honest. Holding a colored lens of this sort up to your eye will cause you to miss much of the joy and fascination of being alive and observing simple miracles.
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Old 12-16-2014, 08:00 PM   #67
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Originally Posted by Intothewind View Post
I feel like in many religious groups(the LC amongst them) enjoyment of this current life and the simple good things is really understated at best. Recently I had a talk with my sister about how Creation is apparently moaning and hoping for us to come together and bring the second coming about. I don't really get it to be honest. Holding a colored lens of this sort up to your eye will cause you to miss much of the joy and fascination of being alive and observing simple miracles.
I understand what you are saying. The LC has the tendency to "spiritualize" everything, so it really undermines the enjoyment of the simple things in life. I think some in the LC do enjoy activities like camping, hiking or traveling, however, it seems that they are afraid of enjoying nature too much. They often will have conferences up in the mountains, but there is never much time to just relax, it's all about being busy and going to meetings.

As I have been distancing myself from LC activities, I have come to realize how much I have missed out on in life. It's not that I didn't appreciate things before, it's just that I was too busy attending meetings to be able to think about anything else.
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Old 12-17-2014, 07:41 AM   #68
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A comment on bells in LC meetings.
If the bells hadn't come along the cards would have fallen a long time ago.

My thought is that many many people can take only so much of protracted garbage. I can take maybe one or two ten minute off the wall sermons but after that I'm out. The bells were a real salvation of the LC.
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Old 12-17-2014, 10:42 AM   #69
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Holding a colored lens of this sort up to your eye will cause you to miss much of the joy and fascination of being alive and observing simple miracles.
You quoted me "I hiked the Inca trail" etc but what caught my eye was your moving to a more realistic picture of life. We all have to take stock of our situation at various times in our lives and balance our Christian beliefs and practices, family, outside activities and so on. Without balance we will become lopsided.

The LC from my experience will make you lopsided. I was attending pray-reading meetings in the morning and life study meetings in the evening almost 7 days a week for a few years back in the day. In between I was attending college while at the same time preaching the gospel on campuses or talking to other Christians about attending the LC. The LC can make you nutty. It is not always easy to find balance because things happen in our lives but I always to try to get back to a balanced life to make it more fulfilling. I think you do get it.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:24 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by Lisbon View Post
A comment on bells in LC meetings.
If the bells hadn't come along the cards would have fallen a long time ago.

My thought is that many many people can take only so much of protracted garbage. I can take maybe one or two ten minute off the wall sermons but after that I'm out. The bells were a real salvation of the LC.
Lisbon
It is one of the reasons that I am growing less sanguine with the charismatic movement. The arm-waving and yelling got people all pumped up, but for what? Number one it made them susceptible to bad doctrine. If you yelled, "The sky is yellow!" loudly enough you began to believe it was true.

Number two, you get rambling, semi-incoherent, even hysterical messages and testimonies from the saints. They would be so full of excitement they didn't know how to stop. So they had to cut them off with the piano and the bell. This is exactly the kind of disorderliness Paul was remonstrating with the Corinthians about.

Look in the book of Acts. How many screaming, arm-waving testimonies do you see in evidence? They look pretty sober-minded to me; usually paragons of clear thinking and logic. Look at Peter on Pentecost, standing with the eleven. Look at Paul in Athens.

But the charismatic focus makes us emotionally strung out, which leads to the notion that volume in decibels and volume in length somehow equates to "God's eternal economy", i.e. God dispensing Himself into mortal man. And it covers the existence of poorly thought out ideas. That is why anyone trying to think in the LCs got labeled "negative" or "independent" or "questioning." Instead, they want you to just scream whatever Big Brother is speaking.
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Old 12-17-2014, 11:30 AM   #71
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Originally Posted by Intothewind View Post
I feel like in many religious groups(the LC amongst them) enjoyment of this current life and the simple good things is really understated at best. Recently I had a talk with my sister about how Creation is apparently moaning and hoping for us to come together and bring the second coming about. I don't really get it to be honest. Holding a colored lens of this sort up to your eye will cause you to miss much of the joy and fascination of being alive and observing simple miracles.
Today I realize that this is what happens when you take someone else's will as your own. Their intention supersedes yours, and, importantly, God's. Conversely, when you find God's will for you, then you can have peace in everything, and can find enjoyment in everything.

When you are usurped by another's intention you also absorb their anxieties, dissatisfaction, and shame. Case in point, in the LCs whenever I met someone "in the world" I was trying to get them to come to the LC meetings. Now, whenever I meet people I can meet them where they are. I have no anxiety about their situation, because they are exactly where God wants them to be at that moment. Then, I accept them, and don't try to manipulate them. I have no goal. God has the goal. And they pick up on it and then God can flow, if He wants to. I am not manipulating the flow of God.

But if you take someone else's goal as your own (even if they cover it with a few Bible verses it is still theirs) then you get robbed of the enjoyment of life which is your birthright. So you end up transferring (their) dissatisfaction onto others, trying to get relief yourself.
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Old 12-17-2014, 12:57 PM   #72
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That is why anyone trying to think in the LCs got labeled "negative" or "independent" or "questioning." Instead, they want you to just scream whatever Big Brother is speaking.
The LC culture does not advocate being mindful, but being mindless. For a visual reference watch the old Star Trek series episode on "Landru".
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Old 12-17-2014, 01:04 PM   #73
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I understand what you are saying. The LC has the tendency to "spiritualize" everything, so it really undermines the enjoyment of the simple things in life.
In this over "spiritualize" of everything, many have forgotten to receive according as God has received us. Instead in this over spiritualize, receiving fellow Christians is according to the ministry.
One elder has compared the recovery to the Marines...it's not for everyone. If that's the concept, how difficult is it to receive one another where they're at?
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Old 12-17-2014, 06:59 PM   #74
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In this over "spiritualize" of everything, many have forgotten to receive according as God has received us. Instead in this over spiritualize, receiving fellow Christians is according to the ministry.
One elder has compared the recovery to the Marines...it's not for everyone. If that's the concept, how difficult is it to receive one another where they're at?
I think what happens is that when younger brothers and sisters see their leadership setting an example of abnormal spirituality, they begin to see it as normal. It then becomes hard to accept people who don't hold that same standard or level of "spirituality".

A few years ago I was at Disneyland with a friend. My friend, who attends a non-LC church happened to run into one of the pastors from his church there. When this happened, it made me consider, I would be hard-pressed to run into an LC elder at Disneyland. Elders who would even think of going would be few and far between. It's not that anyone in the LC is opposed to going to Disneyland, it's just a matter of it not meeting the level of pseudo-spirituality that they hold themselves to.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:29 AM   #75
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I think what happens is that when younger brothers and sisters see their leadership setting an example of abnormal spirituality, they begin to see it as normal. It then becomes hard to accept people who don't hold that same standard or level of "spirituality".

A few years ago I was at Disneyland with a friend. My friend, who attends a non-LC church happened to run into one of the pastors from his church there. When this happened, it made me consider, I would be hard-pressed to run into an LC elder at Disneyland. Elders who would even think of going would be few and far between. It's not that anyone in the LC is opposed to going to Disneyland, it's just a matter of it not meeting the level of pseudo-spirituality that they hold themselves to.
There is a reason that you and many others put the word in quotes. True spirituality is one that lives a normal life with Christ as the center. Pseudo spirituality is one that makes everything abnormal but with religious overtones so that the truth of the life lived is masked.

I am not saying that anyone avoids all wearing of masks. But at least we do not hide our failures behind a façade of faux spirituality.

Faux, pseudo spirituality is to take a filthy cup and guild the outside with brass and rhinestones, calling it gold and diamonds — all while ignoring the festering filth on the inside.

And this faux persona is created both to hide the failings of the leadership and to trap the followers into thinking that this faux spirituality is real. (Reminds me of a shop in Six Flags that was full of "genuine simulated" fur items.) Now otherwise honest and God-fearing people are fooled into living a lie in the name of spirituality.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:14 PM   #76
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There is a reason that you and many others put the word in quotes. True spirituality is one that lives a normal life with Christ as the center. Pseudo spirituality is one that makes everything abnormal but with religious overtones so that the truth of the life lived is masked.

I am not saying that anyone avoids all wearing of masks. But at least we do not hide our failures behind a façade of faux spirituality.

Faux, pseudo spirituality is to take a filthy cup and guild the outside with brass and rhinestones, calling it gold and diamonds — all while ignoring the festering filth on the inside.

And this faux persona is created both to hide the failings of the leadership and to trap the followers into thinking that this faux spirituality is real. (Reminds me of a shop in Six Flags that was full of "genuine simulated" fur items.) Now otherwise honest and God-fearing people are fooled into living a lie in the name of spirituality.
For those heavily involved in the LC, this idea of spirituality seems very real. I know that, I was there at one point. I was really convinced that if I dressed a certain way, avoided places like the movies, and talked a certain way, it was really going to get me somewhere. Eventually, I came to realize that after doing all that, I had absolutely nothing to show for it. It was all an act.
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:38 PM   #77
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And this faux persona is created both to hide the failings of the leadership and to trap the followers into thinking that this faux spirituality is real. (Reminds me of a shop in Six Flags that was full of "genuine simulated" fur items.) Now otherwise honest and God-fearing people are fooled into living a lie in the name of spirituality.
Many brothers not only have this faux persona, but in regards to "oneness", this "oneness" also is a mask.
Most brothers out of not wanting to offend cannot be honest and forthright. Instead there's this façade of "oneness", "unity", "mingling", and "blended".
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Old 01-03-2015, 04:29 PM   #78
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You quoted me "I hiked the Inca trail" etc but what caught my eye was your moving to a more realistic picture of life. We all have to take stock of our situation at various times in our lives and balance our Christian beliefs and practices, family, outside activities and so on. Without balance we will become lopsided. It is not always easy to find balance because things happen in our lives but I always to try to get back to a balanced life to make it more fulfilling. I think you do get it.
Dave,

I'm not sure I get it yet. Generally speaking when released a pendulum rocks back and forth for quite some time before coming to rest over an agreed upon center-which is hopefully a good one. I have no idea what the other side of this pendulum is-that is why analogies to natural systems are often inept ways to describe life.

I'm been thinking through some tough decisions-which no one is good at. I suspect people in charismatic groups are particularly bad at this as they are constantly being told or influenced by what to do. Like I mentioned in the passed real red flags went up when the decision past college was framed as "the training or other things". I usually don't like to admit it but I am an intellectual person passionate about ideas and life-which is officially not to well received in the LR where you have to just read without questioning. In short I have to decide if the bonds, the familiarity, etc. I have made in the LC are more important than freedom to look at life like ripples from a water drop-endless possibilities...rather than peeling the LC onion to reach the truths that must certainly lie in its center.

Life has been interesting, if not more lonely so far. It is nice to not have to tow the LC along...I always didn't feel like the real me when I had to talk about it(actually even individuality is very warped in the LC). I remember speaking about the gospel and comparing it to the spontaneous sharing with peers about a restaurant one enjoyed. I realized for myself I couldn't genuinely tell people that-and I have had to also convince myself that this is not my fault-still doubting and difficult for me. Life certainly would be easier(but more enjoyable?) if I could just go along with everything!
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:39 PM   #79
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A typical day at his zoo
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Now that you are 'free'
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HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! "Nee, who he?" Thanks for this.
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