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Introductions and Testimonies Please tell everybody something about yourself. Tell us a little. Tell us a lot. Its up to you!

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Old 04-22-2018, 11:29 AM   #1
Jo S
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Default Advice for friends

Hello, this is my first post here. I was hoping to get some advice from those of you who where once involved in the Local Churches. I suppose I'll start off with a little backround on how I got involved in the LC.

I came into the LC already as a seasoned Christian. This was at a time I was without a church fellowship that I ran into a member of the LC. I decided to attend one of their meetings after kindly being invited.

What initially appealed to me was their claim that they were bible believing Christians, nameless, and non-denominational. I thought I'd give it a try because their mission statement and teaching of New Testament locality was particularly unique and curiousity got the best of me.

Since the first meeting, I've been for a short time, loosely involved with the Great Lakes segment of the LC that branched off from the LSM.

In the beginning things were great and everyone was warm and welcoming. I didn't pay much attention to all the weird stuff that went on there and brushed them off as being cultural for the sake of being open to learn and experience something new.

I have made a few friends in my time there that I've come to care for but I knew right from the start there were many things off about this church, nevertheless I felt the Lord had led me there for a reason, and because of the frienships that were formed I continued attending.

I've been there long enough to know how deeply rooted the culture of the LC is in most of the people's lives there. Many are generational and were raised in it from youth. Most have all their friends/family exclusively in the LC and there are many that solely rely on the church for livelihood.

What worries me is that I know how detrimental the LC's teachings (particularly the practice of relying on one man's interpretation of scripture) can be to those that are truly seeking the Lord Jesus Christ with all their hearts and desire a close and intimate relationship with him.

I've personally witnessed the strong subculture of deception and psychological manipulation that exists within the LC. It really seems to cultivate a deep mistrust in it's members. I believe that can ultimately carry over to one's faith. Judging from my personal experience and other people's testimonies here, that looks to be an accurate assessment.

I have no doubt the Lord can work through places like the Local Churches but I feel the environment within the LC limits believers to truly opening up and submitting their hearts to his plans and purpose.

I understand how sensitive a situation I am in and I know what it'll potentially cost someone to come to the truth of the LC but I do feel for those caught in the lies of this church.

Now that I've become a bit less involved in the meetings, many have become cold and distant toward me. There are some suspicious of me, well, probably because I don't conform like the rest of the group and it makes me stand out I suppose. I'm no stranger to spiritual warfare but man the juju from this place is strong.

I'm at a point now where I'd like to maintain fellowship with a few believers there but I no longer feel like it's a possibility outside the confines of their church.

I'd appreciate any advice on what approach to take. Whether it's being more candid and straight forward with my friends or step away completely and letting the Lord take over. Seeds were planted, I hope, but I'm afraid no matter whether I cut off from them or speak my mind without reserve I'll end up offending.

Ultimately, I would like to ask for prayer and I will do my best to allow the Holy Spirit to give me the wisdom and guidance that I need.

Thanks for listening.
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:27 PM   #2
least
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Default Re: Advice for friends

Hi Jo S

Can you explain more what you said: " I'm no stranger to spiritual warfare but man the juju from this place is strong."

Thank you.
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Old 04-22-2018, 07:41 PM   #3
manna-man
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Default Re: Advice for friends

Dear brother John S.

Follow what your heart is telling you. Always seek our Lord's leading.

You have my prayers...
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1If the LORD does not build the house,
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if the LORD does not protect the city,
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Old 04-22-2018, 08:22 PM   #4
Jo S
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Default Re: Advice for friends

Quote:
Originally Posted by manna-man View Post
Dear brother John S.

Follow what your heart is telling you. Always seek our Lord's leading.

You have my prayers...
Thank you.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:23 PM   #5
aron
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Default Re: Advice for friends

Quote:
Originally Posted by least View Post
Hi Jo S

Can you explain more what you said: " I'm no stranger to spiritual warfare but man the juju from this place is strong."
The system is fear-based. Fear of man, not of God. And one of its most powerful weapons is silence. The Cosa Nostra and 'omerta' have nothing on these guys. Jo S can feel the silence. Folks like me lacked discernment ( it was the pre-internet days, though).

Once I heard 2 young brothers talking about a "storm" or a "rebellion" or some such, and I asked what they meant. They both looked at the floor, and one said, We don't talk about it". I was young and naive and already sold out for the program, so I dropped it. But I could feel it - a lot of big empty spaces in the rooms, amidst all the smiles and the praises.

But I chose to ignore it, at least for a while.
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Old 04-23-2018, 07:33 PM   #6
least
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Default Re: Advice for friends

Thank you aron for providing an explanation.
I asked because I know "spiritual warfare " merely knowing the terminology. Jo S said he/she is no stranger to spiritual warfare, I thought I get to know more by asking.
And I don't know 'juju', 'Cosa Nostra', 'omerta' ....
May be I don't have to know about such thing ...
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Old 04-24-2018, 03:45 AM   #7
aron
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Default Re: Advice for friends

Quote:
Originally Posted by least View Post
Thank you aron for providing an explanation.
I asked because I know "spiritual warfare " merely knowing the terminology. Jo S said he/she is no stranger to spiritual warfare, I thought I get to know more by asking.
And I don't know 'juju', 'Cosa Nostra', 'omerta' ....
May be I don't have to know about such thing ...
The enemy hides in the dark. Cosa Nostra is a group that uses silence to shield itself from law enforcement. 'Omerta' is the name for the practice. If you had any curiosity you could look it up on the internet.

When Witness Lee arrived in the USA, he already had a history of family entanglements and financial improprieties. The Chinese who knew him knew all of this. But they didn't warn the Americans because their culture forbade speaking of such things.

To understand the forces at work in this group, a reading of history is probably essential. First, the so-called Boxer Rebellion, an anti-western spasm of violence that profoundly affected the families of Nee and Lee ( both grew up in Christan homes). I believe both lost relatives to the violence.

This is mainly why Nee's Little Flock exploded across China in the 1930s. It was a way to be both 'Christian' and 'Chinese'. As to his outlook, you have to understand the holiness movement (Keswick) and what might be termed 'continental mysticism', with British Brethren ecclesiology.

But it's all quite oriental, where the hive mind prevails and the individual is sublimated to the whole, which whole is fronted by an all-too-human leader with their own personal agenda. The truth is whatever the big leader needs today.

With Nee, the idea of 'localism' quickly gave way to 'centralism' as the movement grew. While he was a junior member, it was a personal quest for holiness, but as he became supreme it was all about "know who's in charge and get in line". Holiness was surrender to the group, and dedication to the cause.
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Old 04-24-2018, 09:49 PM   #8
JJ
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Default Re: Advice for friends

Quote:
Jo S: "I've personally witnessed the strong subculture of deception and psychological manipulation that exists within the LC. It really seems to cultivate a deep mistrust in it's members. I believe that can ultimately carry over to one's faith. Judging from my personal experience and other people's testimonies here, that looks to be an accurate assessment.

I have no doubt the Lord can work through places like the Local Churches but I feel the environment within the LC limits believers to truly opening up and submitting their hearts to his plans and purpose.

I understand how sensitive a situation I am in and I know what it'll potentially cost someone to come to the truth of the LC but I do feel for those caught in the lies of this church.

Now that I've become a bit less involved in the meetings, many have become cold and distant toward me. There are some suspicious of me, well, probably because I don't conform like the rest of the group and it makes me stand out I suppose. I'm no stranger to spiritual warfare but man the juju from this place is strong.

I'm at a point now where I'd like to maintain fellowship with a few believers there but I no longer feel like it's a possibility outside the confines of their church.

I'd appreciate any advice on what approach to take. Whether it's being more candid and straight forward with my friends or step away completely and letting the Lord take over. Seeds were planted, I hope, but I'm afraid no matter whether I cut off from them or speak my mind without reserve I'll end up offending.

Ultimately, I would like to ask for prayer and I will do my best to allow the Holy Spirit to give me the wisdom and guidance that I need. "
I'll pray for you.

My advice would be to keep paying attention to the warning signs you mentioned and don't do anything different than you already are.

At some point you will be shunned if you don't mindlessly follow "the program". So, keep on thinking, reading the Bible, praying for guidance, and asking hard questions. Test all things, keep the good.

Huss, Wycliff, and Martin Luther were attacked by the Roman Catholic church for doing just that and TLR is turning out to be an awful lot like that Though, not murdering, or raising armies to physical war, thank God. Just deafening silence if something other than Titus Chu is part of your testimony (LSM in other parts of the country), leading brothers to "give you the help" afterward, and if that doesn't do it, public shaming, shunning, kicking out, lawsuits... its a different era.

Might be the Lord is telling you to "Come out of her my child... so you don't share in her judgement"?
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Old 04-25-2018, 07:31 AM   #9
aron
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Default Re: Advice for friends

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
My advice would be to keep paying attention to the warning signs you mentioned and don't do anything different than you already are.
One thing to do while we "watch and pray" concerning the situation is to read, and gain perspective. The Jews were "the people of the book" and we should follow that culture of learning, not for the sake of argument but to gain insight.

I earlier mentioned the European mysticism, English Brethrenism, the Boxer Rebellion and the Keswick Convention as being essential (imho) to understanding the formation Nee's thought-world, and why his thought-world expanded so rapidly across China in the 1930s as the "Little Flock".

Additionally, in order to understand Lee gaining a foothold in the USA, you have to see the Jesus Movement of the '60s and early '70s. Lee rode the wave, he didn't create it. For point of comparison, nearby in Costa Mesa CA the Calvary Chapel of Chuck Smith went from a handful of parishioners in 1968 to several thousands, eventually franchising to 1,500 "Calvary Chapels" across the world.
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