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Oh Lord, Where Do We Go From Here? Current and former members (and anyone in between!)... tell us what is on your mind and in your heart.

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Old 12-20-2019, 10:04 AM   #1
MikhailianInception
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Dear Brethren,

How are you, my brothers and sister? It has been a while since I have posted on here. I pray you are all doing well. The reason I am posting here is that there has been a burden on my heart that has been disturbing me for years, ever since I became born again 9 years ago. I remember being introduced to the "Local Church" or The Lord's Recovery movement. I was actually introduced to it near my last year of high school. It was through one of my friends who was a part of this church that I was introduced to Watchman Nee. Brother Nee's writings revolutionized my Christian life, and still has laid a mark on me to this day.

In terms of Orthodoxy, much of what I have read and encountered in the Lord's Recovery seemed to be pretty solid. It was through this movement that I first learned about "Christ in you", and how it is Christ who lives the Christian life in and through you (Galatians 2:20). We are not to live the Christian life by self-effort (fleshly), but Christ! However, when my high school year ended, I decided to leave because it seemed a bit rigid and it felt like I was being punished for questioning some of the quirks within the movement. In terms of practice, it seemed kind of cultish. Watchman Nee I have no problems with. Some of the things I have read by Witness Lee I don't have a problem with as well, though I have been having questions about Lee for a while. They both talk about the Church/Body being the corporate expression of the Resurrected Life of Christ, which I think many of us here would agree with T. Austin-Sparks, as he had taught this as well. And I think many of us are in awe of the revelation that Sparks had of Christ - it was extremely high! However, where I may disagree with this movement is not the Orthodoxy, but the Orthopraxy - that the ground of the church is Locality. I think I would stand with Brother Sparks and perhaps Brother Stephen Kaung that the ground of the Church is Christ, since Christ is the cornerstone of our Body (Ephesians 2:20). It is to make much of Jesus Christ at the end of the day.

I still read some things from their website - Living Stream Ministry from time to time and I do honestly find some of their spiritual truths refreshing. Particularly Watchman Nee's writings. I still practice what they call "calling on the name of the Lord", which is calling out "O Lord Jesus" in slow repetitions. To this day I do find myself experiencing Christ daily through doing this, as if I'm touching this Resurrected Person. The more I do it, the more I seem to love Christ more, and the world grows strangely dim to me. I'm more satisfied in Christ than before. Sin is not as attractive. It feels like I'm depending more on His Spirit than on my own flesh when I do it. It's like beholding the Lord (2 Corinthians 3:16-18), and my obedience to the Lord flows from growing a deeper love for Christ. I also learned the practice of "pray-reading" from this movement, where one not only reads the Word, but prays it - in order for us to experience/eating Christ in the Word. I have not learned it in a lot of mainstream Protestant Churches. I had learned it from the Lord's Recovery in the beginning (although now I'm older and I realize that many saints have practiced this historically). It's like a form of meditation, and it has been extremely beneficial to my walk with the Lord.

I guess the few observations/questions I have is:

1) Are they true Christians? Personally, I think there are some precious saints in this movement. I have had some enlightening moments that I felt were from the Holy Spirit when the truth "Christ in you" was revealed to me. However, I cannot agree with their orthopraxy of what they believe the church should be. That was the reason I left. One of their footnotes in the Recovery Version of the Bible states that any church that takes on any denominational name (Baptist, Lutheran, Pentecostal, etc.) are committing "spiritual fornication" because they are taking every other name other than the Lord's name. In other words, the Body of Christ at large has committed adultery/apostasy because the Church has chosen to denominate themselves. I guess the irony for me is that for them to allude that they are the ones who have "recovered" the truth of Scripture and how the Church should operate seemed a bit arrogant, but also it feels like they're denominating themselves by separating from the rest of Christendom in the process.

2) Is it right to continue to fellowship with some of the people there that I know? I have a friend who is in the Lord's Recovery, and the many times I have fellowshipped with him (since high school), I've been amazingly encouraged by him spiritually in Christ. It's as if once we were done fellowshipping, we were glorifying Christ. I mean the way that he talks about Christ to me is just phenomenal. I can almost say with clear conscience that he truly loves the Lord Jesus Christ.

3) From my observation, they seem to make much of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, as if these two men are on a pedastal. I am not in favour of that at all, for that could border on idolatry. Personally, Watchman Nee is my favourite Christian writer of all time. His books The Normal Christian Life and The Overcoming Life have really helped reveal Christ in me (Galatians 1:15-16). However, the people in the Lord's Recovery also read Andrew Murray, Charles Spurgeon, Madame Guyon, Count Zinzendorf, D.L. Moody, Martin Luther, Bernard of Clairvaux, George Muller, R.A. Torrey, Hudson Taylor, John Bunyan, M.E. Barber, and A.W. Tozer (solid men and women of God). My guess is I think they're experiencing the genuine Christ in some way through reading these authors. Of course, they don't just read these books apart from the Bible. Am I wrong about this? I learned to rest in Christ through this movement's teachings, and I'm sure some of the other Christians here have as well, right? I am just curious about this.

4) As a follow-up to number 3, is then the Holy Spirit in this movement? Or does the Spirit work in spite of human errors within this movement? Is this movement truly of God? It seems like they do make much of Christ, just like Sparks, Nee, and Kaung, the only difference is the ground of the Church - Christ vs. Locality. I do find the issue of Locality to be sectarian, as I believe when one receives the revelation of Christ, the Body is magnified and much bigger than we ever anticipate on a universal level. When I met Stephen Kaung a few years ago, I tried to ask him about Witness Lee, but he couldn't answer because if I remember correctly, Kaung and his wife couldn't stay for long in the church.

5) If anyone here has been in the Lord's Recovery and had left, what was your experience like? Or if you are still in the Recovery, what do you think about it? I would love to hear all your thoughts.

I have been awfully torn over this, and it's been years thinking about this. I would love to here your thoughts, my brothers and sisters. My motive is not to slander anyone (in this movement or outside of it), but I have been confused about this. I wish and pray for the best in all of you, that Jesus Christ would be glorified in you all. And all God's people say, "Amen!" I love you all in Christ.

Your Servant in Jesus' Name,

- M. L.
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Old 12-20-2019, 01:37 PM   #2
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Welcome back MikhailianInception! Thank you so much for taking the time to post such a comprehensive and heartfelt post. I'm sure you will get a lot of feedback from many of our forum members.

I take it you had previously posted on the forum but have never registered. Please consider registering by requesting membership by shooting an email to LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com Be sure to include your desired UserName (I don't believe MikhailianInception has been taken yet!)

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Old 12-21-2019, 12:45 AM   #3
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Welcome back MikhailianInception! Thank you so much for taking the time to post such a comprehensive and heartfelt post. I'm sure you will get a lot of feedback from many of our forum members.

I take it you had previously posted on the forum but have never registered. Please consider registering by requesting membership by shooting an email to LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com Be sure to include your desired UserName (I don't believe MikhailianInception has been taken yet!)

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Hi there UntoHim,

I am actually completely new to this website. I was searching for answers and came across this website through Google. But, I have just emailed Local Church Discussions to see if I can get a membership here as you have suggested. Thank you for your kind words. Are you a part of the Lord's Recovery, or outside of it? I have also posted this question onto another website called SermonIndex.Net - since they have sermons talking about biblical church revivals. They have Watchman Nee's writings on their website. T. Austin-Sparks and Stephen Kaung also have their works on their website as well. Stephen Kaung I believe is 104 years old if I am not mistaken. He's still going on strong and preaching the Gospel of Christ. That's why I wanted to get the saints on that website to give their opinion on the matter as well. This is the link to my question - http://www.sermonindex.net/modules/n...62682&forum=36

Blessings,

- M.L.
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Old 12-21-2019, 05:26 AM   #4
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Personally, Watchman Nee is my favourite Christian writer of all time. His books The Normal Christian Life and The Overcoming Life have really helped reveal Christ in me (Galatians 1:15-16). However, the people in the Lord's Recovery also read Andrew Murray, Charles Spurgeon, Madame Guyon, Count Zinzendorf, D.L. Moody, Martin Luther, Bernard of Clairvaux, George Muller, R.A. Torrey, Hudson Taylor, John Bunyan, M.E. Barber, and A.W. Tozer (solid men and women of God). My guess is I think they're experiencing the genuine Christ in some way through reading these authors. Of course, they don't just read these books apart from the Bible. Am I wrong about this? I learned to rest in Christ through this movement's teachings, and I'm sure some of the other Christians here have as well, right? I am just curious about this.
I was the same way with Watchman Nee. I adored his writings, considering them deep and spiritual.

But over time (I have not met in LC groups for years now) I have reconsidered his works more objectively. The main problem that I now have with Nee is twofold, and it is related.

1. He gets you to focus on your relationship with Christ, instead of Christ with the Father. Jesus on earth walked with the Father, always in obedience. I occasionally walk in obedience with Christ, and occasionally fail. Occasionally I do indeed "rest in Christ" as you note above. But occasionally I step outside of Christ, and fall. Look at Peter. Occasionally he was great, occasionally he fell. We don't want to use Peter's experiences as our guide, other than as warnings (as if we don't get enough already from our living!)

But Nee got you to focus on subjectivity. That leads to the second problem.

2. Once you focus on yourself and your experiences, you are ripe for manipulation. Enter Witness Lee (and the Blendeds, and Dong Yu Lan, and Titus Chu, and others). Those who would seize the Emperor's Throne now can seize you through your feelings, and put you under their dominion. Suddenly it is not about the Bible but about your feelings, about the latest teaching, about "being one with the brothers", about an abstract "church".

The great love of Christ for the Father led him to die for the sinful ones. The Father's love poured out through him, and reached us. "God loved us so much that he sent His Son". And the second part is as the first, that we should love one another. But look at the result of the Watchman Nee and Witness Lee programmes. No love for the brothers, for the poor, for the destitute, for the sick, for the imprisoned (both physically imprisoned and those who are caught by addiction etc).

Instead it is "being positive for the ministry" and whatnot. Going to ministry-sanctioned meetings and purchasing the latest ministry materials. Getting "trained" and "perfected". Giving money to the DCP legal arm so that they can fund lawsuits (I am not kidding).

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... is then the Holy Spirit in this movement? Or does the Spirit work in spite of human errors within this movement? Is this movement truly of God? It seems like they do make much of Christ, just like Sparks, Nee, and Kaung, the only difference is the ground of the Church - Christ vs. Locality. I do find the issue of Locality to be sectarian, as I believe when one receives the revelation of Christ, the Body is magnified and much bigger than we ever anticipate on a universal level.
As far as "locality" - we see references to locality, both geographical and political, in scripture, with various spiritual tag-ons (The Prince of Persia in Daniel's revelation, Principalities and Powers of the Air in Paul's revelation, the Angel of the Church in Sardis in John's revelation [etc etc etc]). But none of that subsumes nor should distract us from the command to love our neighbour. If we are being poured out as a drink offering for our neighbours, and we pray for God's larger move, I daresay we might be useful in God's hand. But without the love flowing out of us towards our fellow (many of whom are not lovely, loving, or lovable), any talk of "locality" or "church" is merely vague abstraction. Again, we are easily misled. Stay away from abstractions for the most part. Don't let some Descartian absolute drive your journey. Witness Lee was no different from Stalin or Mao. He was a tin-horn despot over his own kingdom.

But he was a believer, a brother, but horribly misled. Subjectivity became error became codified and institutionalized.

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5) If anyone here has been in the Lord's Recovery and had left, what was your experience like? Or if you are still in the Recovery, what do you think about it? I would love to hear all your thoughts.
Personally, entering the LC programme was a shock to my system. I went from being a pew sitter to shouting slogans with my fists striking forward. I had been a Sunday School teacher, and grew up in Baptist and Congregationalist Protestant Christianity, but the charismatic stuff, the euphoric repetitive shouting was all new. I became active going to trainings, conferences, practicing corporate living and migrating to localities to "build up the church". The despising of the poor I didn't like. The constant belittling of "poor Christianity" I disagreed with, for the most part. Of course there is error in Christianity but that isn't the point. If you love only "good people" then what is left?

Eventually I left because I wanted to minister, not just shout slogans. This was before the internet, and I knew nothing of Daystar, or Philip Lee. I only knew of distant "storms" and "rebellions".

Today with the internet we have access to more information about Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, and the various groups and associated ministries. Of course there is a lot of "chaff" but still, there are resources available.

May God bless your journey of faith. Jesus Christ shines forth in brilliant glory. One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 2:9. "But we see Jesus, made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honour". His time on earth was short, but he reached out to the poor, the weak, those who had nothing, even less than nothing. Remember the woman who was bleeding, and she gave all her money to the doctors who could not heal her? Now she was bleeding, with no resources. But she had faith and reached out. Scripture shows us this Jesus, made lower than the angels, touchable, if we would reach out by faith.

(Now if that sounds subjective I suppose it is, but focusing on Jesus leads to our reaching out. Focusing on our subjective reaching out leads to error)

1 Peter 1:21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Our focus can be on this One. God raised him from the dead and gave him glory. He lowered himself, and was poured out in offering for our sins. Now God has raised him and given him glory. I see nothing else. Paul said, "I was determined to know nothing else, whilst I was among you", and to me this is the kind of thing he referenced. Abstractions and principles have limited utility.
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:52 AM   #5
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I was the same way with Watchman Nee. I adored his writings, considering them deep and spiritual.

But over time (I have not met in LC groups for years now) I have reconsidered his works more objectively. The main problem that I now have with Nee is twofold, and it is related.

1. He gets you to focus on your relationship with Christ, instead of Christ with the Father. Jesus on earth walked with the Father, always in obedience. I occasionally walk in obedience with Christ, and occasionally fail. Occasionally I do indeed "rest in Christ" as you note above. But occasionally I step outside of Christ, and fall. Look at Peter. Occasionally he was great, occasionally he fell. We don't want to use Peter's experiences as our guide, other than as warnings (as if we don't get enough already from our living!)

But Nee got you to focus on subjectivity. That leads to the second problem.
Boy I think this requires a lot more clarity! Can you explain/elaborate more as it isn't clear to me exactly what you're trying to convey. Thanks.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:30 AM   #6
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Boy I think this requires a lot more clarity! Can you explain/elaborate more as it isn't clear to me exactly what you're trying to convey. Thanks.
Subjective experience in the Recovery can lead us into relying on feelings, which can be easily manipulated by ministers with an agenda. Eventually we can trust the feelings (or sense of life) of the minister more than the words of scripture. Isn't that what has happened. For example, the matter of "enjoying God," has made our Lord, the Head of the body, "feeling good foodstuffs" for the meetings.
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Old 12-21-2019, 10:50 AM   #7
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Subjective experience in the Recovery can lead us into relying on feelings, which can be easily manipulated by ministers with an agenda. Eventually we can trust the feelings (or sense of life) of the minister more than the words of scripture. Isn't that what has happened. For example, the matter of "enjoying God," has made our Lord, the Head of the body, "feeling good foodstuffs" for the meetings.
This is a pretty good summation of my own sense, what is going on here, and what lay behind my "Recovery" sojourn. I came from staid and stuffy Protestantism, where the choir and the pianist labored to give voice to the songs, we murmured along, and lowered our head as the pastor prayed, and then got a sermon and a benediction.

Now, I was active, going to the weekly Bible study at night (maybe 1/10 of our church body attended) and also taught Sunday School to the youngsters and went as a lay delegate to the regional conventions. But it was nothing like sitting in the front row, yelling verses, footnotes, outlines, and song verses. Plus singing songs over and over and over again ("this section, please stand up and sing Stanza 4 over again with an exercised spirit!").

All of the repetitive noise led to a kind of dissociated experience, of often overwhelming euphoria, tagged "being in spirit". Arm-waving, fist-pumping, head bobbing, heel-rocking, anyone in a "Recovery" meeting saw and experienced this.

Now look what happened - "How did you feel" when you excommunicated Brother Nee for inappropriate behavior, Witness Lee asked the Shanghai elders. He used their feelings as a fulcrum to manipulate them. Feelings, ephemeral and untrustworthy, were used as an analog for "life". Supposedly other groups got teachings but we got "life".

"It's the life, life, life, that makes me want to shout, Hallelujah. Praise the Lord!" we sang. Now, there's nothing wrong with shouting Hallelujah. But repetitive shouting of church slogans leads to manipulation, or it did in the "Recovery".

Now, what does this have to do with Watchman Nee? He stressed the "inner life" from his sources. But really there's only one inner life that matters, the one Jesus Christ had with his Father in heaven. The rest of us, we come and go. Hopefully as we age it's more of the first and less of the second, but what do we trust? Our experiences, or those of Jesus Christ? Watchman Nee stressed our own.
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Old 12-21-2019, 11:03 AM   #8
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Personally, Watchman Nee is my favourite Christian writer of all time. His books The Normal Christian Life and The Overcoming Life have really helped reveal Christ in me (Galatians 1:15-16). However, the people in the Lord's Recovery also read Andrew Murray, Charles Spurgeon, Madame Guyon, Count Zinzendorf, D.L. Moody, Martin Luther, Bernard of Clairvaux, George Muller, R.A. Torrey, Hudson Taylor, John Bunyan, M.E. Barber, and A.W. Tozer (solid men and women of God). My guess is I think they're experiencing the genuine Christ in some way through reading these authors. Of course, they don't just read these books apart from the Bible. Am I wrong about this? I learned to rest in Christ through this movement's teachings, and I'm sure some of the other Christians here have as well, right? I am just curious about this..
Bernard of Clairvaux

On CCEL:

"What is love? In his text On Loving God, St. Bernard surveys the four types of love that Christians experience as they grow in their relationship with God: loving one's self, selfish love, loving God as God, and loving one's self in God. St. Bernard reminds us that not only did God give us life, but He gave us Himself. For indeed, "God deserves to be loved very much, yea, boundlessly, because He loved us first, He infinite and we nothing, loved us, miserable sinners, with a love so great and so free." St. Bernard reminds us that we are indebted to God for his love and His sacrifice. Not only should we love God because it is what He deserves, but also because loving God does not go without reward. Loving God is to our advantage. The Lord rewards those who love Him with the blessed state of the heavenly Fatherland, where sorrow and sadness cannot enter. St. Bernard's medieval prose is poetic and full of clever imagery. His work is as beautiful as it is knowledgeable."

Review on Goodreads:

"There is so much in here to take in... so much that assists with one's understanding of the relationship between God and self. I will certainly be reading this one again! Quick and easy read for those who are trying to love God more. Saint Bernard of Clairvaux, pray for us!"

The problem I have with this orientation is that the focus is on us v/v God. Notice the reviewer: "the relationship between God and self". We rely on our feelings, and our judgments of our behaviours. But we are ephemera, dust. How can we measure? How does ephemera assess itself?

Yet when I see Jesus in the Gospels, when I see him discussed and collectively pursued in Acts, when I see Paul reaching out to the gentiles with news of this Saviour, my focus is drawn to him. He is the overcoming One. He is the King, enthroned. He is interceding for us, even always living to intercede for us. The Father hears his intercessions. I focus resolutely on him. Not on my focus. On him.

Watchman Nee and Witness Lee commercialized and institutionalized this introspective fixation, and it led people hither and yon. Talk about winds of teaching! Think how much ink was spilled in the "Recovery" on "The Church". I heard teen-aged girls, with an emotional hitch in their voice, tell everyone how much they loved the Church. But the Church should focus on him, not on the Church. The Body should focus on the Head, not on itself. Look at the monstrous "Queen" in the Apocalypse, eye-ing her garlands and gilded cup. No! Look at him! Only at him!

There is only one way home to the Father. And it is him. There is no other way.

(Please understand that I have nothing against Bernard of Clairvaux, Madame Guyon, Father Fenelon, or Watchman Nee for that matter. I have just come to realise over time that the only trustworthy experiences are those of Jesus Christ, plainly revealed in scripture. Trust nothing else.)
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Old 12-21-2019, 11:28 AM   #9
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I was the same way with Watchman Nee. I adored his writings, considering them deep and spiritual.

But over time (I have not met in LC groups for years now) I have reconsidered his works more objectively. The main problem that I now have with Nee is twofold, and it is related.

1. He gets you to focus on your relationship with Christ, instead of Christ with the Father. Jesus on earth walked with the Father, always in obedience. I occasionally walk in obedience with Christ, and occasionally fail. Occasionally I do indeed "rest in Christ" as you note above. But occasionally I step outside of Christ, and fall. Look at Peter. Occasionally he was great, occasionally he fell. We don't want to use Peter's experiences as our guide, other than as warnings (as if we don't get enough already from our living!)

But Nee got you to focus on subjectivity. That leads to the second problem.

2. Once you focus on yourself and your experiences, you are ripe for manipulation. Enter Witness Lee (and the Blendeds, and Dong Yu Lan, and Titus Chu, and others). Those who would seize the Emperor's Throne now can seize you through your feelings, and put you under their dominion. Suddenly it is not about the Bible but about your feelings, about the latest teaching, about "being one with the brothers", about an abstract "church".
Hi there aron,

Thank you for taking the time to give a lengthy response. I really need as much info as possible with regards to this group. I guess when you talk about Watchman Nee getting one to focus on subjectivity and the "feeling of life" within oneself, I do agree with some of that when it comes to the subjective. You are correct in saying that objectively it is Jesus' obedience to the Father that matters. And to you, I say Amen brother! Christ's obedience on our behalf to our Father in heaven is the basis for our salvation. However, I do remember Watchman Nee saying in his writings that feelings are useless when it comes to determining the things of the Spirit. It is faith. He holds to "Fact, Faith, and then Feelings" model. I do believe that it is necessary to "Experience God" in our walk with Christ.

Personally in my Christian life, I have experienced both the objective and subjective. Whenever I read the Word, or whenever there is a supernatural experience, I have gotten both. If I feel something in my spirit, I make sure that it does line up with the Word. I jokingly consider myself a "Reformed Bapti-costal." I have Calvinistic Reformed Baptist leanings, and I have Pentecostal leanings because by the grace of God, I do pray in tongues (of course I do this in line with 1 Corinthians 14 - if there are no interpretors, I would do this privately or just at home in my devotional life). If I get convicted about a sin in my spirit, I do feel it (subjective) and I end up repenting. Also, I had a time where I felt the Lord wanted me to change directions when I was driving Uber to pick up one more customer (when I was suppose to be on my way home), and I pick up the customer. The customer ends up telling me why he doesn't believe in God, and I ended up sharing the Gospel with him. In my time with the Lord, I have experienced His presence in a way where I would end up on my knees. I know Brother Paul Washer has had that experience in the prayer closet. And I would agree with Brother Washer's statement that, "The mark of a man of God is God upon the man!" I think if we are walking the Christian life without the power of Christ upon our lives (John 15:5, Galatians 2:20), it would be impossible to walk it. - https://youtu.be/vxzM3EI-xCg

I guess for me it is both objective and subjective. Now, in terms of what you say about relying on feelings and how that can be manipulated by spiritually abusive leaders: That is very true! I think when someone is unbalanced (when it comes to feelings and facts), that can really lead to that person being controlled. That person will only look within themselves, instead of the Word. On the other hand, I have seen churches where it can be "Father, Son, and Holy Bible", they don't know what to do with the Third guy, and it becomes cold and rigid. Cults can spring up when one leans too much onto one side or the other.

I would love to hear more of your thoughts, Brethren. Keep em' coming!

Your Servant in Jesus' Name,

- M.L.
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Old 12-21-2019, 11:36 AM   #10
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When we do focus on Christ on an objective sense, it does lead to a subjective peace within I find.

"You will keep in perfect peace all who trust in you, all whose thoughts are fixed on you!" (Isaiah 26:3 NLT)

"For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace." (Romans 8:6 ESV)

It seems my experience lines up with the Word.
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Old 12-21-2019, 12:37 PM   #11
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May God bless your journey of faith. Jesus Christ shines forth in brilliant glory. One of my favorite verses is Hebrews 2:9. "But we see Jesus, made a little lower than the angels, crowned with glory and honour". His time on earth was short, but he reached out to the poor, the weak, those who had nothing, even less than nothing. Remember the woman who was bleeding, and she gave all her money to the doctors who could not heal her? Now she was bleeding, with no resources. But she had faith and reached out. Scripture shows us this Jesus, made lower than the angels, touchable, if we would reach out by faith.

(Now if that sounds subjective I suppose it is, but focusing on Jesus leads to our reaching out. Focusing on our subjective reaching out leads to error)

1 Peter 1:21 Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

Our focus can be on this One. God raised him from the dead and gave him glory. He lowered himself, and was poured out in offering for our sins. Now God has raised him and given him glory. I see nothing else. Paul said, "I was determined to know nothing else, whilst I was among you", and to me this is the kind of thing he referenced. Abstractions and principles have limited utility.
And to those words, I say "Amen" Brother! A church that gets you to commit to the church rather than Christ is no Church at all. If we neglect the poor, then we are not truly identifying with Christ. I believe that the Church is not the end in itself. But, the Bride is the signpost to which we are pointed to Her Husband - Christ Jesus Himself!
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Old 12-21-2019, 12:46 PM   #12
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Now, what does this have to do with Watchman Nee? He stressed the "inner life" from his sources. But really there's only one inner life that matters, the one Jesus Christ had with his Father in heaven. The rest of us, we come and go. Hopefully as we age it's more of the first and less of the second, but what do we trust? Our experiences, or those of Jesus Christ? Watchman Nee stressed our own.
Let discuss this (bolded). I don't know that this is an accurate assessment of the New Covenant.
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Old 12-21-2019, 03:56 PM   #13
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Let discuss this (bolded). I don't know that this is an accurate assessment of the New Covenant.
Hi, Sons to Glory,

Thank you for your response here on this thread. I would love to know from you what would be an accurate assessment of the New Covenant? Are you a part of the Lord's Recovery movement, or are you outside of it? What has your experience been like, brother?

Your Servant in Jesus' Name,

- M.L.
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Old 12-21-2019, 11:46 PM   #14
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My motive is not to slander anyone (in this movement or outside of it), but I have been confused about this.
I would like to give a quick response to this statement from your OP regarding “slander” and contrast it to “truth.”

Those of us who tell the truth regarding the Local Church are often accused of slander because of the LC mantra “don’t say anything negative.” This should likely be the first question/concern to be addressed upon leaving the LC or even discussing it openly and in public.

The truth is absolute...negative or positive and should never be confused with “slander”.

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Old 12-22-2019, 06:02 AM   #15
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I would like to give a quick response to this statement from your OP regarding “slander” and contrast it to “truth.”

Those of us who tell the truth regarding the Local Church are often accused of slander because of the LC mantra “don’t say anything negative.” This should likely be the first question/concern to be addressed upon leaving the LC or even discussing it openly and in public.

The truth is absolute...negative or positive and should never be confused with “slander”.

Nell
If other Christians had followed LSM' definition of "slander," then no church history would have ever been written, and we would still be in the Dark Ages under Papal oppressions.
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Old 12-22-2019, 08:15 AM   #16
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Hi, Sons to Glory,

Thank you for your response here on this thread. I would love to know from you what would be an accurate assessment of the New Covenant? Are you a part of the Lord's Recovery movement, or are you outside of it? What has your experience been like, brother?

Your Servant in Jesus' Name,

- M.L.
You bet! I was miracuolously brought across country to land in the LC in Berkeley back in 74. In the 80s we (wife & family) were involved in the LCs in southern Ohio. Things got real "sideways" in the LC and we stopped meeting with them and moved to the dessert of California in 1988. After the Lord "dried me out" for about 10 years, I was led to gather with saints in Scottsdale, AZ, where I have been since.

The ones in Scottsdale had been part of the LC in the NW until many left the LC (they were basically ostracized) in the mid-80s. A large number were led of the Lord to move to Scottsdale. The Scottsdale church has no formal affiliation with the LC or LSM, although various ones still have family members in it. We enjoy active fellowship with all believers around us, and many participate in other gatherings throughout the week. The meetings here are open and participative, much like the LC - at least how the LC used to be. Here, anyone is welcome to share anything they are seeing in the word or their experience of Christ (no format or guidelines to source our sharing in any person's work). I have enjoyed more of Christ, and seen more of God's true purpose in love here in the last 20 years, than ever before.

As to the new covenant, I think it could pretty much be summed-up in Colossians 1:27, "Christ in you, the hope of glory!" And Jeremiah 31:33, "This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time," declares the LORD. "I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts." And Romans 8:2, "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and of death."

Regarding what you said regarding our relationship with our Father, I don't disagree (and maybe I misunderstood). I would just say that now Christ is our relationship with the Father.
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Old 12-22-2019, 08:25 AM   #17
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Default What have you done?

Here's another Question/Concern/truth current and former LC members would do well to address: What have you done?

Gen. 3:13 And the Lord God said unto the woman, What have you done? And the woman said, The serpent deceived me, and I did eat.

The truth is, we made a choice to follow Lee off the rails. Like Eve, “I was deceived.” This was my sin. I own it. I came to this realization several years after I left the LC.

I chose to ignore the warnings in my own conscience. I chose to ignore the warnings in the Bible. I chose to obey the LC leadership when I should have asked questions...regardless of the personal consequences. I chose not to ask questions, and I chose to obey the mantra "don't say anything negative."

I didn't really mean to ignore all the warning signs. I didn't realize that the red flags waving all over the place were actually the Lord God trying to get my attention. It wasn't my fault.

Really? Whose fault was it?

When God said to the woman "What have you done?" she didn't try to reason her way through the answer to God's question. She gave the simplest answer possible. She simply admitted that she was deceived. The cowardly man blamed her and blamed God himself. Seemingly without hesitation, she confessed that she had been deceived...by the serpent.

There are many reasons we can legitimately point to Lee as the deceiver and blame him. Blame the LC leadership. Blame all who led to our "downfall", often rightly so. However, does that make us any LESS deceived?

What about the "church kids"? What about those who were raised in the LC and find themselves tortured by what was foisted upon them by others beyond their control? Honestly, I don't know. Some of us made a choice to believe a lie and some of us were taught from childhood to believe a lie.

I don't know that the solution would be different for church kids than it would be for those of us who came to the LC as adults. I don't think it would be a mistake to confess and repent for being deceived as a child. The woman gave a simple answer which is likely the best possible answer.

Like the woman, I also was deceived by the serpent. I repented for my sin. I often pray even now, "Lord, please don't let me be deceived." I don't hold Lee and the LC responsible for what I did. This doesn't let them off the hook. Lee, et al, are in God's hands now...not mine.

“My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me.” This is my/our great need...to hear the Shepherd's voice and follow Him.

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Old 12-22-2019, 10:39 AM   #18
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Nell: “we chose to follow Lee off the rails”

Interesting choice of words. My last few years in the LC the Holy Spirit kept telling me I was on a train headed the wrong direction and if I didn’t get off I would end up where it was headed and that wasn’t good. The words of a popular rock song I’d heard on the radio “I’m going off the rails on a crazy train” kept coming to me.

Normally I wouldn’t recommend Ozzy Ozbourne, but the words to his Crazy Train song are strangely applicable to TLR https://genius.com/Ozzy-osbourne-crazy-train-lyrics

Sorry for the diversion
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Old 12-22-2019, 01:19 PM   #19
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Here's another Question/Concern/truth current and former LC members would do well to address: What have you done?

The truth is, we made a choice to follow Lee off the rails. Like Eve, “I was deceived.” This was my sin. I own it. I came to this realization several years after I left the LC.

I chose to ignore the warnings in my own conscience. I chose to ignore the warnings in the Bible. I chose to obey the LC leadership when I should have asked questions...regardless of the personal consequences. I chose not to ask questions, and I chose to obey the mantra "don't say anything negative."

I didn't really mean to ignore all the warning signs. I didn't realize that the red flags waving all over the place were actually the Lord God trying to get my attention. It wasn't my fault.

There are many reasons we can legitimately point to Lee as the deceiver and blame him. Blame the LC leadership. Blame all who led to our "downfall", often rightly so. However, does that make us any LESS deceived?

I don't know that the solution would be different for church kids than it would be for those of us who came to the LC as adults. I don't think it would be a mistake to confess and repent for being deceived as a child. The woman gave a simple answer which is likely the best possible answer.

Like the woman, I also was deceived by the serpent. I repented for my sin. I often pray even now, "Lord, please don't let me be deceived." I don't hold Lee and the LC responsible for what I did. This doesn't let them off the hook. Lee, et al, are in God's hands now...not mine.

“My sheep hear my voice, and they follow me.” This is my/our great need...to hear the Shepherd's voice and follow Him.

Nell
Dear Nell,

I agree wholeheartedly with what you are saying here. We are calling the leadership of the LSM to sober acknowledgement, humility and repentance, yet that is the starting point for every human heart. None of us is exempt. And it is the very grace of God offering us a way forwards through repentance. We get everything back that was lost through the fall through it. God's promises to us all flow on the back of genuine repentance. It is a wonderful thing that our God loves to forgive.

We can be scrambling at the opportunity to clear up our lives this way, and release His wonderful grace over our lives.

Even if we were brainwashed as children, we are still sinners by nature, owning that means willingness to have a repentant heart. The alternative is fueling our sense of being a victim which does not lead us to trust Jesus.

Just to respond to JJ's testifying about the Ozzy Osborne song on the radio.... I've had similar experiences. Just this year I was very scared about something and as I was leaving a prayer meeting I felt God say to me 'everything is going to be alright' then I went to buy some groceries on my way home and the song playing in the supermarket was Bob Marley 'don't worry about a thing, every little thing is gonna be alright'. That is one of 2 examples... God can use many ways to speak to us and reinforce His words to us! Expect the unexpected!
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Old 12-22-2019, 07:12 PM   #20
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Normally I wouldn’t recommend Ozzy Ozbourne, but the words to his Crazy Train song are strangely applicable to TLR https://genius.com/Ozzy-osbourne-crazy-train-lyrics
Wow, almost qualifies as an ex-LC-member theme song!
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Old 12-23-2019, 11:40 AM   #21
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I would like to give a quick response to this statement from your OP regarding “slander” and contrast it to “truth.”

Those of us who tell the truth regarding the Local Church are often accused of slander because of the LC mantra “don’t say anything negative.” This should likely be the first question/concern to be addressed upon leaving the LC or even discussing it openly and in public.

The truth is absolute...negative or positive and should never be confused with “slander”.

Nell
Hey Nell,

Thank you for your concern. I think what I was trying to convey was the fact that I know there are people on both sides on this issue. I genuinely don't have the heart to hurt anyone in this discussion. There are human beings involved, and even if I am telling the truth or giving my observations, I do not want my words to come from a bad place. Which is why I am asking both sides what they feel about the Lord's Recovery. I want to speak the truth in love at the end of the day and have no malicious intent. I must admit that there were certain things I considered good that I took away from the Lord's Recovery in terms of being helpful to my spiritual growth. Of course, the locality issue is something I avoid, and I have felt that the Holy Spirit wants me to steer clear from this movement. As much as I have been away from the Lord's Recovery for many years (even though when I was involved it was only for a few months), I know there are some precious people in that movement as well. My heart breaks for them. I also need to be careful with my words, lest I cause anyone to stumble. And the Lord Jesus did say that I will give an account for every word that has been spoken during my time on earth. Therefore, I must be aware of my own actions when engaging others, and to hopefully come from a place of understanding and grace.

May the Lord bless you and keep you, Nell. And a Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Your Servant in Jesus' Name,

- M.L.
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Old 12-23-2019, 03:22 PM   #22
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1) Are they true Christians?
Sure, but so what? Their being Christians doesn't make their behavior more excusable, it makes it less excusable. It's depressing to think that true Christians would act like they do.

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2) Is it right to continue to fellowship with some of the people there that I know?
Why not? If you feel to, go ahead.

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My guess is I think they're experiencing the genuine Christ in some way through reading these authors. Of course, they don't just read these books apart from the Bible. Am I wrong about this?
Obviously they are not experiencing "the genuine Christ" enough.

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4) As a follow-up to number 3, is then the Holy Spirit in this movement?
Depends on what you mean. The Holy Spirit is almost always with God's people. The question is: Is he with their attitudes and actions. That's an entirely different matter.

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5) If anyone here has been in the Lord's Recovery and had left, what was your experience like? Or if you are still in the Recovery, what do you think about it? I would love to hear all your thoughts.
Just listen to my videos on my YouTube Channel.
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Old 12-23-2019, 07:13 PM   #23
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Of course, the locality issue is something I avoid, and I have felt that the Holy Spirit wants me to steer clear from this movement. As much as I have been away from the Lord's Recovery for many years (even though when I was involved it was only for a few months), I know there are some precious people in that movement as well. My heart breaks for them. I also need to be careful with my words, lest I cause anyone to stumble. And the Lord Jesus did say that I will give an account for every word that has been spoken during my time on earth. Therefore, I must be aware of my own actions when engaging others, and to hopefully come from a place of understanding and grace.

Your Servant in Jesus' Name,

- M.L.
Correction: Actually I wasn't too involved as much as I was observing. I didn't serve there in any capacity or involve myself in their ministry. I just participated in their praying, praising, Bible study, and song.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:14 PM   #24
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Hey friends,

I had spoken to my pastor about this recently on Christmas Day. He basically told me the history of the Chinese Church. When a lot of the foreign missionaries were kicked out of China, there was a lack of training in theology and practice. Therefore, even though the Holy Spirit moved in their midst, certain strange practices were developed within different churches in China. Now, of course, that does not make some of those churches heretical, since I believe that God is gracious and would understand. In other words, there are true Christians in these churches, but they were on their own. Many of the pastors and Christians in China didn't know who to go to, or even who to trust because of the Communists in power. There could be spies posing as Christians.

With regards to the Local Church/Lord's Recovery movement, even though the CRI came out in defense of it, my pastor still believes it's a cult because he feels that a church that calls itself the only true church vs. everyone else basically suggests that everyone else is going to hell. Because to suggest that the Body at large has committed apostasy/spiritual fornication equals damnation. Basically my pastor finds that arrogant. He said it is impossible to simply gather every Christian into One City Church. Church in San Diego, Church in New York, Church in Washington D.C., Church in Calgary, Church in Toronto, Church in London, etc. You can't do that because of the population size within a city. He even said that in the Early Church, believers gathered in multiple places within one city. This was especially true when Christians were undergoing heavy persecution. They were scattered all over the place. Therefore, though the LC may have good intentions to pursue unity through Locality, it's based on poor scholarship.

Does anyone else on this website have any other thoughts on this? I would love to hear from you all!

- M.L.
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Old 12-27-2019, 12:58 PM   #25
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Default Re: Questions and Concerns for Current and Former LC Members

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With regards to the Local Church/Lord's Recovery movement, even though the CRI came out in defense of it, my pastor still believes it's a cult because he feels that a church that calls itself the only true church vs. everyone else basically suggests that everyone else is going to hell. Because to suggest that the Body at large has committed apostasy/spiritual fornication equals damnation. Basically my pastor finds that arrogant. He said it is impossible to simply gather every Christian into One City Church. Church in San Diego, Church in New York, Church in Washington D.C., Church in Calgary, Church in Toronto, Church in London, etc. You can't do that because of the population size within a city. He even said that in the Early Church, believers gathered in multiple places within one city.
I think he is somewhat right, but also sets up some possible strawmen in his response. I don't know that the LC thinks all other believers are "going to hell" for eternity. However, they may think others will spend a thousand years in outer darkness or something like that. He is right in that the LC's position is quite arrogant. And the fact that all believers can't gather together in one place is something of a strawman. This is because the idea was that believers in any locality wouldn't take any other names, thereby artificially dividing themselves from each other, due to being called by various denominational names. The LC would be fine if - due to large numbers - there were hundreds of groups in a particular city . . . just so they were all under one name - namely the LC in that city. (and the LC would say that this wasn't actually a name, but rather a description of the saints in that locality)
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