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Old 06-05-2017, 07:08 AM   #1
Bradley
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Default Just Left the 'Recovery'. What a Relief.

I'm Bradley. I was in the church for ten years, and graduated from the FTT after two years study there (the curriculum is based on FTTA in Anaheim). My whole life was devoted to the church and I basically did nothing except church stuff. I had no friends who were not in the church.

Unfortunately, because brothers and sisters are discouraged from any form of communication at all outside of marital courtship (conversation between brothers and sisters should be kept within about 2-5 minutes, no more), I ended up marrying a sister I hardly knew just because she was also an FTT grad and seemed spiritual. Heaven forbid we actually date for a long period of time and get to know each other first, that would be worldly. When I was a student on campus serving and gospel-preaching with the full-timers, whenever one of our new ones had a girlfriend we would pray for them to either break up or get married quickly because dating was so sinful - so when it came time for me to start a relationship, I quickly got married to appease my conscience about having a girlfriend. She turned out to be highly abusive, violent and hypocritical, but it was too late, I was already married. Her abuse at home but spiritual facade in the meetings was a big suffering for me. I turned me to cigarettes and alcohol, I often got drunk on my own at home (she wouldn't let me go out to pubs) but in the meetings I put on a smile and acted like a spiritual brother for the 'testimony'.

After six years of a miserable, grueling marriage I decided - rather than committing suicide - to leave my wife. The church who I had served for a decade turned on me and treated me terribly. A leading brother told me I could not be a Christian anymore, I could never again partake of the bread and wine for the rest of my life if I did not return to my wife. He even said that abuse is irrelevant, I need to 'take the cross'. If a sister was physically beaten by her husband, she also should remain with him and simply pray for his repentance, because only adultery is grounds for divorce, nothing else. That was the beginning of my doubts about the church, as you can imagine.

I was reading some posts on your website, which type of website I had always avoided because it was 'poison', and found that it actually rang very true for me and was quite accurate. It is not 'poison', it was helpful. But I had always been taught that it was 'poison' because they didn't want me reading it and thinking for myself in a way that would lead to a conclusion of leaving the church.

Anyway, my old friends who are still in the church see me as this 'lost sheep' who needs to repent, but I'm just happy I can finally live a happy and normal life. All I've ever known for the last decade has been this super-spiritual fundie way of life and now I am having to learn how to fit into society again.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:09 AM   #2
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Default Re: I was in the church for ten years.....

Welcome Bradley, my heart breaks for what you have gone through. I pray that the Lord continues to heal and lead you. Cast all your anxiety and burden on Him. I don't know what we can do to directly help you but we will pray for you and I hope sharing your story here will provide you some relief and encouragement.

It disgusts me with their double standard. Gossip and slandering are just as evil as other sins.

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Anyway, my old friends who are still in the church see me as this 'lost sheep' who needs to repent, but I'm just happy I can finally live a happy and normal life. All I've ever known for the last decade has been this super-spiritual fundie way of life and now I am having to learn how to fit into society again.
I feel you. As I shared in another post, send the pain to the cross. Send the bitterness and sadness to the cross. At the end of the day, the Lord is the one who judges our service, the darkest secrets in our heart will be revealed when He comes. Better ask to Lord to create in as a pure heart - a pure heart why loves Christ and Church purely, than to chant "hallelujah amen we are the chosen one" while looking down on others. May you continue to walk in His freedom.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:46 AM   #3
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Default Re: I was in the church for ten years.....

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After six years of a miserable, grueling marriage I decided - rather than committing suicide - to leave my wife. The church who I had served for a decade turned on me and treated me terribly. A leading brother told me I could not be a Christian anymore, I could never again partake of the bread and wine for the rest of my life if I did not return to my wife. He even said that abuse is irrelevant, I need to 'take the cross'. If a sister was physically beaten by her husband, she also should remain with him and simply pray for his repentance, because only adultery is grounds for divorce, nothing else. That was the beginning of my doubts about the church, as you can imagine.
Yet, where I live, the brothers were quick to help some sisters become divorced from their husbands just because they weren't coming to the meetings or didn't want them to come. Quite a double standard.

As for the politics, I agree with the sentiment that it is a hornet's nest to get into politics. And there are many places that the people presume that God votes Republican (or Democrat), or that everyone in their assembly agrees with their position. It is a shame. Always presume that your audience is mixed. And that not agreeing with you (or me) is not a mental defect. There are reasons for both conservative and liberal positions on many issues. Even on the same issues. Which should indicate that it is not about polar positions. And in the context of church and Christians, it really should be about our interaction (in love) with everyone — even those who do not agree with us on particular issues of politics, fiscal policy, and even morality.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:48 AM   #4
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Anyway, my old friends who are still in the church see me as this 'lost sheep' who needs to repent, but I'm just happy I can finally live a happy and normal life. All I've ever known for the last decade has been this super-spiritual fundie way of life and now I am having to learn how to fit into society again.
And I hope that you find your way into/with a church of some sort. Don't really care which one (well, I would avoid the Mormons and JWs) as long as you find a true relationship with you savior, Jesus Christ.
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Old 06-05-2017, 11:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: I was in the church for ten years.....

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I was reading some posts on your website, which type of website I had always avoided because it was 'poison', and found that it actually rang very true for me and was quite accurate. It is not 'poison', it was helpful. But I had always been taught that it was 'poison' because they didn't want me reading it and thinking for myself in a way that would lead to a conclusion of leaving the church.
Bradley, I am sorrowful for your experiences. Something I've said consistently is "there's two sides to a coin". The leading brothers only want one side of the coin to be viewed; that from a pro-LSM perspective. The other side of the coin is contrary to LSM and is viewed unfavorably because brothers and sisters would demand accountability just as brothers and sisters from the Mars Hill Churches demanded from Mark Driscoll. That's why the term poison been utilized ever since I was a child in the 1970's in the local churches.
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Old 06-05-2017, 12:23 PM   #6
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Default Re: I was in the church for ten years.....

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I quickly got married to appease my conscience about having a girlfriend. She turned out to be highly abusive, violent and hypocritical, but it was too late, I was already married. Her abuse at home but spiritual facade in the meetings was a big suffering for me.
Hi Bradley, welcome to the forum!

You are not alone with a difficult marriage. The LC's have received archaic instructions concerning marriage, and it's surprising any of them survive. Many survive by keeping the LC at arm's length, and out of their home.

You have said little about your relationship with the Lord. I hope you can cling to Him during these days, and not rush into another relationship. You really need the Lord to restore your soul and direct your path.
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Old 06-05-2017, 05:20 PM   #7
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Default Re: I was in the church for ten years.....

Hey guys, thanks for all the support! I really appreciate it.

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Better not to bring politics into it. Many people have different political views than you do. By making it an issue, you effectively isolate half of your audience.
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Always presume that your audience is mixed.
Yes I realise this. The admin posted this for me after I sent him my testimony as an email, which is *great*, I'm glad he did - but if I had known I was writing for an audience I would have worded it slightly differently.



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Very many of my acquaintances (under 30s), FTTA graduates, etc., are actually quite liberal and vocally anti-Trump.
The full-timer who told me this did say that it was spoken quite quietly, i.e. at a brother's meeting among responsible ones - not at some public conference where everyone can go. They do respect others' right to believe what they like, but among themselves they consider him part of God's economy. I respect others' right to believe this, but for me personally it is a hard pill to swallow. It tells me that the blending brothers' opinions are just opinions, rather than some oracle of God, and I find it disturbing that so many saints blindly follow it without thinking for themselves just because they feel they should be one with the ministry.



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The brothers were quick to help some sisters become divorced from their husbands just because they weren't coming to the meetings or didn't want them to come
Wow, that's shocking! How dare they? I guess with the inconsistency here its just another sign that the saints are just a bunch of people, just like anyone else. Not 'one'.



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You have said little about your relationship with the Lord
Well tbh, I haven't really prayed much in the last six months since I left my ex. I still love the Lord, but haven't felt comfortable going to meetings for fear of judgment. I have gone to a few denominational group meetings but its hard because I've always been taught for the last ten years how terrible Christianity is, and its difficicult to overcome that inwardly. I just went to the denom group meetings to socialise and study the Bible as I didn't feel comfortable going on the Lord's day to partake of the bread and wine.

So I'm a little in the world as a result of the lack of fellowship you could say. I listen to worldly music and meet friends at the pub to play pool. I do have this itch at the back of my mind that I will be judged one day and I keep getting verses like 'Remember Lot's wife' (Luke 17:32) spring to mind while I'm doing this stuff but now that I have a different understanding of the church I need to reevaluate my understanding on outer darkness and all this stuff.

Honestly I just need some time, I'll come back to the Lord in a solid way when I'm ready. I don't want to leave the Lord just because I left 'the church'.



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You are not alone with a difficult marriage. The LC's have received archaic instructions concerning marriage, and it's surprising any of them survive
Wow, this is news to me! Haha I didn't know this. I'm not surprised however.

A few times when I went to leading brothers for support about my marriage problems over the years, I'd receive some 'interesting' fellowship. On multiple occasions I would confide in different brothers how I only get 'intimacy' from my wife a couple of times a year and they would say "me too brother, just take the cross, that's normal". Like, I'm pretty sure thats not normal at all? But I guess it is in the church lol.
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Old 06-05-2017, 08:27 PM   #8
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Default Re: Just Left the 'Recovery'. What a Relief.

Bradley, welcome to this forum which exists as 'a hospital' for people like you and me. I hope and pray that you will find refuge and healing here and with caring Christians you find where you live. Jesus does love and care for you, and gave his life up for you.

Your story is another example of the tremendous disfunction of 'the shepherding' going on in "The Lords Recovery" (TLR), a misnomer for sure.

The brothers you sought counsel with should have done the loving and truthful thing to refer you to law enforcement to get help with abusive spouse. That would have brought the issue to a head that would have gotten you both help. Marriage counseling is another thing they wouldn't talk about, but most Christians are willing to seek help there.

Breathe the life-giving breath of freedom in Christ outside TLR, but don't turn that freeedom into a license to sin.

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Old 06-06-2017, 03:22 AM   #9
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Default Re: Just Left the 'Recovery'. What a Relief.

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Your story is another example of the tremendous disfunction of 'the shepherding' going on in "The Lords Recovery" (TLR), a misnomer for sure.
JJ's right; 'the shepherding' is actually laced with avoidance, denial, and suppression. Just Call O Lord Jesus repeatedly, get into the latest ministry messages, serve in the meetings, pray-read the bullet points, and exercise your spirits (yell) and all your problems will magically disappear.

That's a big reason why they look for 'good building material'. Then they can avoid problems.
(And compare that to Jesus' ministry - the exact opposite!)

Bradley, It might be worth considering why your wife was so freaked out. Certainly you weren't perfect. (we all have faults). Why did she repeatedly act out so badly toward you? (now, we're NOT looking for saucy details - please protect her, and yourself, from further injury)

Think about a socialization environment in which folks are constantly being fed "glorious church life, feasting on such a rich store" mantras ("brothers, verse 1 - loudly!")when the reality is absolutely not so. Likewise, think about a scenario in which everything, and I mean everything, except what the 'ministry' is putting out this month is held to be either passe or poison. Think about what that kind of environment does to someone's soul. No opportunity for growth, for healing, for real open-ness and repentance and restoration. No curiosity. (you'll be punished for being curious, or adventurous - "poison" or "independent" or "rebellious") No, just masticate the processed triune god and become god in life and nature (but not in the godhead, as that would be heretical).

Think about the expectations, the appearances, and the reality of what it really feels like inside. No wonder your poor wife behaved so badly. It's a repressed and repressive environment. So how to get the demons out? Bad behaviour. Hidden lives, of anger, addiction, shame, compulsiveness. The exact opposite of the transformation that's supposed to happen.

I left the church and went 'agnostic' for several years; became worldly but still was able to work, learn, and hang out with unbelievers. Tried to (somewhat at least) restore my humanity on human terms & be a member of the human race. Tried to avoid depravity and dissolution, just because it's a crappy way to live. Learned how to think again. Eventually came back to God on my terms (lo and behold it was Jesus all along, for me).

Peace & blessings on your journey. Thanks for having the courage and open-ness to share on the forum.
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Old 06-06-2017, 07:57 AM   #10
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Default Re: Just Left the 'Recovery'. What a Relief.

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Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
Unfortunately, because brothers and sisters are discouraged from any form of communication at all outside of marital courtship (conversation between brothers and sisters should be kept within about 2-5 minutes, no more)
This is interesting. I never thought a lot about it, but it explains the difficulty I had in talking to some of the girls there. I found it slightly odd how the men and women had to sit with their own gender. But I assumed it is more of a cultural thing. Yet I've never seen any old fashioned Church doing this.

I have one very dear female friend of mine, and I recall really wanting to have fellowship together with her at the small meetings during the week. I mean, why not? Now, after reading a number of posts here about this gender separation, I'm beginning to understand this.

But anyway, I wish you all the best. I can just imagine what it must have been like for you.
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Old 06-06-2017, 11:50 AM   #11
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Default Re: I was in the church for ten years.....

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It tells me that the blending brothers' opinions are just opinions, rather than some oracle of God, and I find it disturbing that so many saints blindly follow it without thinking for themselves just because they feel they should be one with the ministry.

Wow, that's shocking! How dare they? I guess with the inconsistency here its just another sign that the saints are just a bunch of people, just like anyone else. Not 'one'.
From what I've noticed opinions of blended brothers/coworkers/elders seem to carry more weight among brothers and sisters than Scripture. Because of their opinions to refusing fellowship to certain ones, there's more credibility to a types of Diotrephes.

In regard to inconsistency, this is where the brothers are consistent. Being favorable to spouses who are more aligned with the ministry. They might even use the clause "unequally yoked" to justify divorce.
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Old 06-06-2017, 12:01 PM   #12
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This is interesting. I never thought a lot about it, but it explains the difficulty I had in talking to some of the girls there. I found it slightly odd how the men and women had to sit with their own gender. But I assumed it is more of a cultural thing. Yet I've never seen any old fashioned Church doing this.
On the old bereans forum, there used to be a thread on this very topic. Years ago I had a discussion with my flesh brother about dating/courtship. Being raised in the local churches it was impressed upon you not to date/court until you're ready for marriage. Even when you are, it's as if there's an invisible barrier not to cross. Otherwise, more than likely you'll make the other party uncomfortable. It really causes brothers and sisters to be dysfunctional in regard to the opposite genders. Not just in the local churches, but in one's profession.
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Old 06-06-2017, 03:26 PM   #13
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Bradley, It might be worth considering why your wife was so freaked out. Certainly you weren't perfect. (we all have faults). Why did she repeatedly act out so badly toward you? (now, we're NOT looking for saucy details - please protect her, and yourself, from further injury)
Oh she just had anger management issues and parents that spoiled her rotten. She would scream and shout at the slightest thing, and not just around me but around friends, colleagues, taxi drivers and other workers, our own customers, little children... she was messed up. I knew that if we had children, they would grow up traumatised. She was like this for the whole 6 years I was with her, from when we were only engaged to the day I left her.

No I'm not perfect, but I'm only about as bad as the next guy. I'm a typical bloke. Most of the times when I lost my temper at her was when she was smashing plates on the floor and hitting me already and I didn't like that - but neither would any other guy.



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It really causes brothers and sisters to be dysfunctional in regard to the opposite genders.
This is one of my biggest problems with the LC. I'm having to learn from scratch how to talk with women. I've learned a lot in the last 6 months but I feel like I should have learned this when I was a uni student. I often approach cute girls on the street to make conversation with them and am taking dancing lessons now where I can chat with women while dancing with them. No idea how to date, flirt or make a move on women, but I'm practising!
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Old 06-06-2017, 05:30 PM   #14
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This is one of my biggest problems with the LC.
No easy. The LC system creates dysfunction in communicating with the opposite gender. Unless one was raised in a home that didn't care what "the brothers" thought. I had a childhood LC friend like that.
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:02 AM   #15
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Oh she just had anger management issues and parents that spoiled her rotten...... she would scream and shout at the slightest thing, and not just around me but around friends, colleagues, taxi drivers and other workers, our own customers, little children... she was messed up.....

...... Most of the times when I lost my temper at her was when she was smashing plates on the floor and hitting me already.....

........No idea how to date, flirt or make a move on women, but I'm practising!
Bradley your ex-wife was also assaulting you, which is against the law, and was never taught that temper tantrums aren't proper behavior with anyone. She needed the attention of law enforcement and counseling. Proper shepherding would have pointed you there.

If you think you need to "make a move on women", you probably should focus on a heart change before looking for female companionship. Heart change only comes from Jesus.

Here's prayer you can recover from "The Recovery", and find true help and healing from "The Great Physician".
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Old 06-09-2017, 07:48 AM   #16
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Default Re: Just Left the 'Recovery'. What a Relief.

Bradley, Again my advice is simplify, simplify. Go back to the basics. Faith in God, relationship with him, daily prayer, turn all your troubles over to him. Don't try to figure out all the theology. The Christian/church life is really simple. Love God, love people. Jesus said if you take care of those two commandments you've fulfilled the whole law.

Human life is full of trouble but we were just not designed to carry a lot of psychological burdens. Our problem is we want ANSWERS (why did this happen? am I being punished? what exactly is God telling me to do?). But God is really only concerned with our RESPONSES, that is, do we respond in faith, trust and love.

Really all we need to do is turn everything over to him and just take it day to day. In other words, we don't need to know everything, we just need to respond in faith, and he promises to guide us. Having gone through a recent divorce myself I can tell you this in one sense is very hard to do. But in another sense it's the only viable course we have. The Devil would like to confuse us with complicating questions. But the key is to drop all the questions, simplify and seek God's face, and let him reveal things to us in his time.

This is what Jesus meant when he said, Don't worry about tomorrow.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:03 AM   #17
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Bradley, Again my advice is simplify, simplify. Go back to the basics. Faith in God, relationship with him, daily prayer, turn all your troubles over to him. Don't try to figure out all the theology. The Christian/church life is really simple. Love God. Love people. Jesus said if you take care of those two commandments you've fulfilled the whole law.

Human life is full of trouble but we were just not designed to carry a lot of psychological burdens. Our problem is we want ANSWERS (why did this happen? am I being punished? what exactly is God telling me to do?). But God is really only concerned with our RESPONSES, that is, do we respond in faith, trust and love.

Really all we need to do is turn everything over to him and just take it day to day. In other words, we don't need to know everything, we just need to respond in faith, and he promises to guide us. Having gone through a recent divorce myself I can tell you this in one sense is very hard to do. But in another sense its the only viable course we have. The Devil would like to confuse us with complicating questions. But the key is to drop all the questions, simplify and seek God's face, and let him reveal things to us in his time.

This is what Jesus meant when he said, Don't worry about tomorrow, just take care of today.
Good stuff, Igzy. Thanks.

This week I remembered something that happened to me years ago and was able to share it with a friend. I was driving in heavy traffic and was being cut off, crowded, all the stuff that spawns road rage. I was getting pretty upset, when the Lord "appeared". He simply said to me "let them all go." I was instantly at peace and I replied "OK". The traffic didn't change, but I did. It was amazing...what kind of God do we have? Who is He to be so willing to rescue us from ourselves? He speaks. We listen. We obey. He is speaking all the time, but I don't always listen or hear. I am so grateful that I heard Him that day. I got to know Him a little more, I got rescued, and I have a God who cares about me in the smallest things in my life. I got simplified!

Thanks again for your post.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:28 AM   #18
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Default Re: Just Left the 'Recovery'. What a Relief.

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Good stuff, Igzy. Thanks.

This week I remembered something that happened to me years ago and was able to share it with a friend. I was driving in heavy traffic and was being cut off, crowded, all the stuff that spawns road rage. I was getting pretty upset, when the Lord "appeared". He simply said to me "let them all go." I was instantly at peace and I replied "OK". The traffic didn't change, but I did. It was amazing...what kind of God do we have? Who is He to be so willing to rescue us from ourselves? He speaks. We listen. We obey. He is speaking all the time, but I don't always listen or hear. I am so grateful that I heard Him that day. I got to know Him a little more, I got rescued, and I have a God who cares about me in the smallest things in my life. I got simplified!

Thanks again for your post.
Nell
Great story Nell.

For me personally, I have slowly changed my understanding of what "the truth" is. Jesus said, "you shall know the truth, and the truth shall set you free," hence it cannot be found in a multitude of doctrines. Knowing Him is knowing the truth. Probably it is the multitude of doctrines that keeps us from the truth, and often times it is the multitude of doctrines that keeps us in bondage.

When Jesus said to you in that traffic jam, "let them all go," that was the truth which set you free. He gave you peace, He released you from bondage, He rescued you from anger. What a Savior!

Just like Igzy said: "simplify."
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:32 AM   #19
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Good stuff, Igzy. Thanks.

It was amazing...what kind of God do we have? Who is He to be so willing to rescue us from ourselves? He speaks. We listen. We obey. He is speaking all the time, but I don't always listen or hear. I am so grateful that I heard Him that day. I got to know Him a little more, I got rescued, and I have a God who cares about me in the smallest things in my life. I got simplified!

Thanks again for your post.
Nell
Nell, you are welcome. And thanks for your point about that God is speaking all the time. That's helpful, because for me when going through a crisis it often seems like that's when God is most silent. Where is he? Why isn't he talking to me? I want answers!

But what's hard to learn in those difficult times is that he is speaking. He just isn't saying what we want to hear. Again we want ANSWERS, but often he doesn't give those the way we want. He's saying rather, I'm here. I'm dependable. Trust me. It's the still small voice.
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Old 06-09-2017, 08:50 AM   #20
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Nell, you are welcome. And thanks for your point about that God is speaking all the time. That's helpful, because for me when going through a crisis it often seems like that's when God is most silent. Where is he? Why isn't he talking to me? I want answers!

But what's hard to learn in those difficult times is that he is speaking. He just isn't saying what we want to hear. Again we want ANSWERS, but often he doesn't give those the way we want. He's saying rather, I'm here. I'm dependable. Trust me. It's the still small voice.
Back in the early 90's I faced a life crisis like some have mentioned ... lost my family, became homeless, later lost my job, became carless at one point, almost penniless ... nothing to hang onto but Jesus Himself. I was an active, serving Christian for almost 15 years in the LC's and I had never spent time in the book of Proverbs, but it then became my daily "book of life" every morning. He ministered to me from that book. I had lots of questions, few answers, but I did have Him in that valley of the shadow of death.

I pray these testimonies can help Bradley in his journey.
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Old 06-09-2017, 09:27 AM   #21
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Back in the early 90's I faced a life crisis like some have mentioned ... lost my family, became homeless, later lost my job, became carless at one point, almost penniless ... nothing to hang onto but Jesus Himself. I was an active, serving Christian for almost 15 years in the LC's and I had never spent time in the book of Proverbs, but it then became my daily "book of life" every morning. He ministered to me from that book. I had lots of questions, few answers, but I did have Him in that valley of the shadow of death.

I pray these testimonies can help Bradley in his journey.
Wow. I did not know that, Ohio. I'm glad you got back on your feet and held onto your faith.
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Old 06-10-2017, 06:21 PM   #22
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Bradley your ex-wife was also assaulting you, which is against the law, and was never taught that temper tantrums aren't proper behavior with anyone. She needed the attention of law enforcement and counseling. Proper shepherding would have pointed you there.
Yeah I know. But we never got 'proper shepherding' even though I asked for it from the brothers on so many occasions. Heck, one time I went to a leading brother for help with my bible reading, and he looked at me disgusted like I was a bad person for not reading the bible every day. Its hard to discern who you can go to for help. Often the elders and those who prophesy really well already have their function, helping individuals is not their function.




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If you think you need to "make a move on women", you probably should focus on a heart change before looking for female companionship. Heart change only comes from Jesus.
Okay this sounds really bad but hear me out: I was a virgin until I got married in my late 20s. I was married for six years and only had sex a few times a year, and for that I had to beg like a hobo and do a whole lot of extra chores and sucking up for like a week. Even then it was the worst sex ever, she just lay there with this empty look in her eyes. One time she fell asleep halfway through. Another time her cellphone rang and she didn't know I could understand her Chinese (we lived in China but only spoke English at home, she's Chinese), but her friend asked her what she was doing and she said (in Chinese) "oh, nothing important, I'm free to chat. Whats up?". She obviously didn't marry me because she loved me, if she did then sex might have been more exciting to her than washing the dishes. No amount of foreplay or effort on my part did anything to change that.

Now I'm finally single again, I'm in my mid 30s and I've probably only had sex about ~60-70 times in my whole life. You seriously think I'm looking for companionship right now? Eventually I'm going to want a girlfriend but right now, that's not my highest priority. I don't care about having someone to hold hands with when I walk down the street, I don't feel any particular need for someone to call me 'hunny'. I already had that for six years and it wasn't all it was cracked up to be. So I know this is a Christian forum, but I have to be honest, I'm sick of missing out on all the action that everyone else is getting, and God is going to have to wait until I get that out of my system before I can carry on being a 'good Christian boy'.
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:04 PM   #23
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Sorry you had such a bad experience in TLR and marriage, Bradley. That is beyond horrible. Thanks for being honest. If you are honest with God. He will give you a solution. Putting you penis ahead of God is a bad idea though.

I wasn't suggesting female friendship only. Marriage and sex go together, so you should be looking for both. Maybe someone here can suggest a good book to help you in your quest, as you are not alone. Or maybe someone else has some wise words for you
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Old 06-10-2017, 10:19 PM   #24
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I agree with alot of what Bradley said about his marital problems and his ongoing problems in dating women. The LC is very destructive and does not help young men develop positive male identity. From Truth school to college the brothers are told to “build a wall” against the sisters and don’t think about dating. On the one hand I appreciate the sentiment that the idea is to study hard and pursue Christian walk before one is able to marry. But once the brother is in marriage age, LC offers no actionable advices to help them transition into dating and attracting women. I am a younger millennial generation man and have never been married so I can’t say from personal experience, but from what I witness from people in my age bracket many of them resort to speed dating or if they are in FTT they would have the trainers “set them up.” I think many of them think speed dating is actually going to work because they rely on superstition like “I have been praying for my marriage and this sister shows up so this must from God” instead of actually getting to know the person before making informed decision to go ahead and marry.

Even outside of LC, the advice in the Christian community for millennial generation men is just bad in general. I read many of the most popular books on the topics and nearly 100% of them only teach you how to be a good husband instead of how to approach and build emotional connection with women and understand them. I see it similar to job interview: just because you can do a job well does not mean you will get the job or get paid well, because job searching and writing cover letter and those other stuff takes a completely different set of skills. It really boils down to communication and self-marketing and making good first impression and many Christian men have not been taught how to do that. I have a non-LC Christian male friend who is exactly like that. He is a quintessential Christian nice guy and studies theology and teaches in Sunday school. However, for years he had horrible luck with getting dates from women because he did not know how to communicate himself well and they would just give him the responses like “You are such a nice guy, I don’t think we should ruin our friendship.”
The only people who actually teach how to approach women are in the secular community and obviously many of their advices are not suitable for Christian men as they are geared towards getting a woman into having casual sex with you. I still do not endorse pre-marital sex; I have had numerous secular women who gave me clear “signals” but I never went forward with it since I did not want to jeopardize my eventual marriage. I still want to eventually build a healthy family in a healthy church. However, there should be some middle grounds between the two extremes. For example Jacob in the bible kissed Rachel before they were married, so I think kissing should be acceptable before marriage. In any case, I need to know that I and the woman have established mutual sexual interest in each other before committing myself. Otherwise, you get the unfortunate case of Bradley who suffered sexual depravation from his ex because he just assumed the she wanted sex. And the elders even told him it was “bearing the cross.” Total nonsense. No where in the bible does it say that. I would even argue that 1 Cor. Implies that a regular sex life is crucial to marriage, and that coming from Apostle Paul, a perennial bachelor. This is one of the reasons why I decided to leave LC because I just concluded it was a giant waste of my time.
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Old 06-11-2017, 01:25 AM   #25
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It really boils down to communication and self-marketing and making good first impression and many Christian men have not been taught how to do that.
jcyrb,

Thanks for the comment and welcome. Your voice is helpful to others who've been through the LC grind, or are still in it.

It took me years post-LC to "find myself" on my own terms, enough to market myself on my own terms and establish a relationship on my/our own terms with a member of the opposite gender. I found that if there was honest self-appraisal, and honest self-marketing, it formed the basis for an honest and open emotional relationship with the "other half", which yes included being physically attracted to each other.

Part of the reason it took me years post-LC to rid myself of LC thinking was that I didn't realize how ill-suited it was to the Christian journey. I hope this forum allows people to realize this, and move on with their lives instead of being stuck. I've known more than a few who left physically but couldn't get shed of the thinking, and the unreasonable expectations that come with it. So they couldn't go back to the LC but they couldn't go on with "the world" or with "Christianity", so they're stuck in some kind of limbo. Can't go forward, can't go back.

This forum has helped me a lot, breaking the LC ideational strong-holds. And hopefully folks like Bradley get some benefit with others' input as well.

Peace & God bless.
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Old 06-11-2017, 04:05 AM   #26
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..they rely on superstition like “I have been praying for my marriage and this sister shows up so this must from God” instead of actually getting to know the person before making informed decision to go ahead and marry
Yeah this is exactly what I did. Not something I'd recommend doing.


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1 Cor. Implies that a regular sex life is crucial to marriage
Absolutely! 1 Cor. 7:4-5. But these verses seemed to fall on deaf ears when I quoted them, people could only see 1 Cor. 7:11b. How can I be expected to obey 7:11 when my ex broke 7:4-5 for the whole duration of my marriage?


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Jacob in the bible kissed Rachel before they were married, so I think kissing should be acceptable before marriage.
Cool, so that means I can have four wives? *Sweet*. See, that's the problem from reading into biblical stories like that. If you're going to do it, you have to be consistent.

Having said that I believe kissing should be acceptable before marriage, but not because Jacob did it, rather because it seems to me to be silly not to - common sense. My ex wife was a terrible kisser, sloppy and all over the place, getting saliva on my face. If we had kissed before I had proposed, I would have been totally turned off and lost attraction for her.


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...they couldn't go back to the LC but they couldn't go on with "the world" or with "Christianity", so they're stuck in some kind of limbo...
This is really my experience. However I am training myself by going out and socialising a lot. I have changed a lot in the last six months since I left.


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...hopefully folks like Bradley get some benefit with others' input as well
Sure, I already have. This has helped me clear my thoughts, get baggage off my chest, and get a better understanding of how to go on as a Christian and as a human being.
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Old 06-11-2017, 05:50 AM   #27
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Bradley, getting past some of the more "personal" details, you and jcyrb are addressing some of the difficulties young LC members face -- perhaps for the first time in a public venue. I have always felt that the LC was grossly deficient in wise counsel. (I have posted a whole host of stories over the years.) Of course, their leaders are know-it-all's when it comes to every question under the sun, but rarely would I ever consider their counsel "wise." Actually such wise counsel was considered at times a grave threat to LC leadership, which regularly placed their own agenda ahead of the needs of their members.

There are, however, many counselors and gifted brothers and sisters out there in that dreaded Christianity.
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Old 06-11-2017, 06:20 AM   #28
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Bradley,

God is not silent in this discussion. Decide now who you will serve. You can't have a "time out" on the truth of God's word. Sin is sin and you must name it for what it is. I suggest a study of Scripture and you might start here:

I Cor. 6:13 ... The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.

18 Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin a person commits is outside of the body”—but the immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.


If you look at the state of the church today, ministers are to a large degree silent. Sexual sin in the church is so prevalent that it's become an issue of political correctness. They stand to loose their membership, and hence revenue. They stand to unleash a backlash of public criticism. This has opened the door to the kind of issues you are having.

Regardless, make no mistake, sexual sin has sobering consequences, both physically and spiritually. Before you open yourself to these consequences, understand that God has plenty to say about sin in general and sexual sin specifically. This will help you. Then it's up to you. It's not about your ex-wife. It's about you.

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Old 06-11-2017, 06:58 AM   #29
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Sorry you had such a bad experience in TLR and marriage, Bradley. That is beyond horrible. Thanks for being honest. If you are honest with God. He will give you a solution. Putting you penis ahead of God is a bad idea though.
Bradley, sounds like we are the same age - but have very different experiences. I feel for you, your hurt, and your desires.

Listen man, my wife and I were very intentional about honoring God in our relationship before marriage - and I believe that he has allowed us to be more faithful to him now in our marriage. The reason we obey God's word is not to be a "good Christian boy" - actually quite the opposite. We can freely admit that we are NOT a "good Christian boy" because of our God and the blood of Jesus. But who's "calling" is the best for our lives? I can assure you that it is not ours, but Christ's and shown through the Holy Spirit and His Word.

My testimony shows (time after time) the Lord being faithful to me when I was not faithful to Him. Including openly defying his Word to pursue my own pleasures. He is faithful, even when we are faithless! Looking back at these more "serious" acts of sin or defiance of God - my heart wishes I could take these moments back. I don't feel guilty, but just saddened or disappointed that I wasted time, energy, and efforts on things of THIS world.

You've been hurt by the Local Church, your Ex-wife, and probably more - Unfortunately you can't use any of this as an excuse to act out against God, because He is the answer and all you need. You don't need Lee or the "recovery" we have the Spirit in us and his Word. Run towards God with all your strength and dont look back
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Old 06-11-2017, 07:43 PM   #30
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...you can't use any of this as an excuse to act out against God...
Sorry guys that was inappropriate. Hilarious, but inappropriate. I'm on a Christian forum here, okay got it. Won't do it again
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Old 06-11-2017, 09:15 PM   #31
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...God is not silent in this discussion. Decide now who you will serve....
Aggressive ultimatums don't work any better than loving shepherding. You're just an anonymous voice on the internet. I'm not intimidated, if that's what you were going for.

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Flee sexual immorality!
Quote:
I suggest a study of Scripture...
I haven't touched a woman since I left my ex wife (nor have I ever had sex with anyone other than her), but my understanding of the Bible has changed since I left. Fornication is sexual sin, yes - but **what is sexual sin**? What does the Bible say? Rape, incest, bestiality, homosexuality, adultery, sexual idolatry, etc. Show me a verse saying that all sex outside of the context of institutionalized marriage is fornication and I will show you a misinterpretation of scripture.

I would flee from fornication by all means - but how do I know that innocent lovemaking between two consenting adults of the opposite sex warrants fornication? Again, show me a verse.

King David sinned with Bathsheba because that was adultery and murder, but him having other wives was not a sin. King Solomon having multiple wives was sin because they were idolaters who led him astray into idolatry.

Boaz didn't touch Ruth when she offered herself to him, not because they were unmarried, but because there was another man who had rights to her first before he did - he needed to make sure he wasn't interested in another wife before he could lie with her. Nothing to do with 'premarital sex'.

Rebekah and Isaac didn't really have a wedding, they just slept together. As did Adam & Eve.

Joseph ran from Potiphar's wife because she was married, that would have been adultery. There's no implication that he would have done the same thing if she were single.

Samson wasn't careful with the women he was with - he told them everything when he shouldn't have. He was more stupid than sinful - much like King Hezekiah showing off his treasury. He gave more heed to Delilah's word than the Lord's, even though she obviously didn't love him and wanted to kill him.

Matt. 5:28 says "But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart". Adultery, by definition, is with a *married woman*. It's not adultery if you're both single. If you look at the Greek word for woman here, 'gynaika', that is often translated in the bible as to mean 'wife' (i.e. Matt. 18:25). So according to Matt. 5:28, you should not lust after another man's woman/wife/partner in your heart, which I wholeheartedly agree with.

1 Cor 7:2 “But because of the temptation to sexual immorality, each man should have his own wife and each woman her own husband.” Sexual immorality, as I defined earlier as being a sexual sin as defined by the bible such as adultery, bestiality, homosexuality, incest, idolatry etc, is a temptation for those who are not tied down in marriage to one partner. Therefore in an effort to remove one's self from a situation where there is temptation to commit one of the sexual immoralities I listed earlier, it is better to marry. I totally agree. That doesn't mean all sex outside of marriage is sin, it just means sex outside of marriage exposes you to more temptation and is probably not a good idea if you can help it.

Anyway, my point here isn't to actually persuade you to believe what I'm saying, because I don't care what you believe - but to indicate that I have my own biblical understanding of sexual immorality, and have done my own study.

You might say that I 'twisted the scriptures for my convenience', I would reply to that that you have followed a traditional interpretation without your own study. You assume a fact before you start reading the Bible and you interpret everything through that assumption.

In the end I'm just another guy, who cares what I think. But you tell me to study the scriptures - well, I have.

As for the verses you quoted Nell:

Quote:
I Cor. 6:13 ... The body is not for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
18 Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin a person commits is outside of the body”—but the immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.

I absolutely agree with these verses. I do flee sexual immorality. I would never rape a woman. I would never have sex with a relative, a man, another man's wife or an animal, nor would I dare associate idols with sex.

You get my point?


[EDIT: Should also add pedophilia to the list, along with necrophilia and pretty much all those other nasty 'philias' that the Bible says not to do]
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Old 06-11-2017, 10:09 PM   #32
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Bradley,

I get your point but your preamble looks like a list of premeditated excuses for some sin you are about to commit.

Some who were quick to provide you relief on the Outer Darkness thread are now expressing concern over your new liberated views on sexual immorality here. And well they should. Yet, I would advise you that missing the reward of the kingdom should be incentive enough for any christian to pursue after righteousness in this age and if it is not then there is another biblical expression of it and disincentive referred to as outer darkness in the next.

My advice is you bring the reward of the kingdom front and center in your christian walk and dismiss all the rationalization about it from yourself or others. Pursue the Lord that you may be counted worthy.

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Old 06-11-2017, 11:35 PM   #33
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Your preamble looks like a list of premeditated excuses for some sin you are about to commit.
Yeah maybe? Still though, its that or forget about God completely, because I am so sexually frustrated I want to scream. I'm not sticking my head in the sand with any responses to that though, after someone showed me that I've tried to argue against it but I can't find any verses at all showing that all sex outside of institutional marriage is fornication. So facts are facts to me, and I'm not going to go with what mainstream Christianity says just because its what mainstream Christianity says. I need verses.

Maybe after I do it just once God will touch me and I'll realise it was wrong and I'll take the blood and never do it again. But who knows?

I'm going to stop this conversation right here. I don't want to talk about this anymore. Lets change the subject, its making me miserable because I don't like the notion of having to choose between my penis and God. If I wait til I get married, I won't be having sex for at least another 2-3 years minimum, and I don't like that. Also what if I wait til marriage and my next wife also has a low libido? Nah I'm just not that spiritual, I just don't have that capacity.
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Old 06-12-2017, 01:15 AM   #34
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I do flee sexual immorality. I would never rape a woman. I would never have sex with a relative, a man, another man's wife or an animal, nor would I dare associate idols with sex.

You get my point?
Bradley,

This perhaps would be a case where Paul wrote, "let each one be persuaded in their own mind." Certainly Christianity is broad enough that you'll find some who think similarly to you.

There are strict, and conservative, and also liberal and broad, understandings. My counsel would be to keep yourself from licentiousness and greed, violence and drunken-ness, try to love others, and to what extent you consider the person of Jesus Christ along the way, you'll be blessed.

It's good that you're willing to think independently, and have the courage of your own convictions.

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I'm going to stop this conversation right here. I don't want to talk about this anymore. Lets change the subject, its making me miserable
Amen. One problem of message boards is that they tend to digress, sometimes strongly so.

Regarding Chinese culture, do you agree that the LC is an Asian-flavored personality cult? WL taught us that there was no longer room for "fallen human culture", but the LC of WL is essentially nothing but sublimated Chinese culture. I would be interested to hear your take on that.
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Old 06-12-2017, 03:42 AM   #35
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Regarding Chinese culture, do you agree that the LC is an Asian-flavored personality cult? WL taught us that there was no longer room for "fallen human culture", but the LC of WL is essentially nothing but sublimated Chinese culture. I would be interested to hear your take on that.

Yeah I have often thought that but its subtle, hard to put my finger on it. I told my friend that the other day (he also is post-LC, grew up as a church kid) that I thought the church had a Chinese flavour, but when he asked for an example, I couldn't give one off the top of my head. Most of my church life has been with Asians anyway and I'm one of the most Asian white guys I know. So its hard to compare. You know how it is, live in a room full of garlic for years and you won't be able to smell the garlic. Only someone who comes from out in the fresh air, entering the room, can smell the garlic.

One thing stands out though: Having lived in China for five years, one thing I noticed is the way the church separates men and women so much - much more than the churches in my (western) home country. Even in the secular world they are a lot more conservative. Well - a lot of the secular youth are rebelling against that as a response, but the culture is still there.

One time I was having a conversation with a sister during a 'love feast' in Shanghai and my wife came up behind me and smacked me on the bum so hard I jumped a foot in the air. She told me later at home when justifying her actions and rebuking me for talking to a woman that a lot of the other sisters in the meeting told her they thought I was married to the woman I was talking to. Why? Simply because, if I wasn't married to her, why would I be talking to her? We weren't flirting or anything, just talking about serving on the high school meetings. But everyone just assumed that the lady I was talking to was my wife, because we were having a conversation. #MindBlown. The lady I was talking to was American banana Chinese, so she didn't realise the Chinese culture of not talking to a man.

That's Asian culture in general, not just Chinese. I heard the FTTS in Seoul, Korea has such strict gender segregation that the trainee brothers and sisters never talk to each other or even look each other in the eye, everything is done completely separately. A lot of Koreans come to my country for training because its more relaxed lol!

This comes out in the churches in the western world a lot, to a lesser degree but still quite strongly. Its something that Asian new ones slot into quite easily whereas western new ones often find it as a bit of a shock.
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Old 06-12-2017, 05:03 AM   #36
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Bradley,

I'm worried about you. I wasn't going for intimidation. I was going for a sobering dose of God's word...not mine. Sexual immorality includes the casual sex you seem to be seeking. I will admit that the truth of God's word can be intimidating.

There's an old hymn that goes like this:
"I have decided to follow Jesus...no turning back, no turning back."

Each of us have struggles about what we are tempted to "turn back" to. You are contemplating one of the more dangerous paths. Each morning, decide to follow Jesus and importantly, decide not to turn back. This will help you to stand. (Having done all to stand, stand.)

This is a strong and clear verse that does not differentiate among your list of sexual sins.

18 Flee sexual immorality! “Every sin a person commits is outside of the body”—but the immoral person sins against his own body. 19 Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price. Therefore glorify God with your body.

I apologize for continuing after you requested a change in subject but you did ask for verses, and it was important to me that you not think I was trying to intimidate you when that was not my purpose at all.

If you want more verses, I have a list. if you want my list, all you have to do is ask.

Blessings to you, Bradley

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Old 06-12-2017, 08:10 AM   #37
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Yeah I have often thought that but its subtle, hard to put my finger on it. I told my friend that the other day (he also is post-LC, grew up as a church kid) that I thought the church had a Chinese flavour, but when he asked for an example, I couldn't give one off the top of my head. Most of my church life has been with Asians anyway and I'm one of the most Asian white guys I know. So its hard to compare. You know how it is, live in a room full of garlic for years and you won't be able to smell the garlic. Only someone who comes from out in the fresh air, entering the room, can smell the garlic.

One thing stands out though: Having lived in China for five years, one thing I noticed is the way the church separates men and women so much - much more than the churches in my (western) home country. Even in the secular world they are a lot more conservative. Well - a lot of the secular youth are rebelling against that as a response, but the culture is still there.

One time I was having a conversation with a sister during a 'love feast' in Shanghai and my wife came up behind me and smacked me on the bum so hard I jumped a foot in the air. She told me later at home when justifying her actions and rebuking me for talking to a woman that a lot of the other sisters in the meeting told her they thought I was married to the woman I was talking to. Why? Simply because, if I wasn't married to her, why would I be talking to her? We weren't flirting or anything, just talking about serving on the high school meetings. But everyone just assumed that the lady I was talking to was my wife, because we were having a conversation. #MindBlown. The lady I was talking to was American banana Chinese, so she didn't realise the Chinese culture of not talking to a man.

That's Asian culture in general, not just Chinese. I heard the FTTS in Seoul, Korea has such strict gender segregation that the trainee brothers and sisters never talk to each other or even look each other in the eye, everything is done completely separately. A lot of Koreans come to my country for training because its more relaxed lol!

This comes out in the churches in the western world a lot, to a lesser degree but still quite strongly. Its something that Asian new ones slot into quite easily whereas western new ones often find it as a bit of a shock.
One Asian-ism: the Asians prefer order, the Westerners prefer freedom. So the LC is very structured. Everyone in their slot. It is relieving because you know exactly where to go (and what to think). It was nice at first because I just had to do what I was told. No uncertainty about where to sit or whom to function with. But eventually it becomes like purgatory. Like being in third grade for the rest of your life. But it's very ordered! (Like a museum display).

Another: if you break the reciprocal quanxi network you are never forgiven. Cause an elder to lose face and you are O.U.T. out. Not very Christian, but very effective for social control.

Another: never question leadership. In China you can lose your job for publicly questioning Mao 40 years after his death! Never question the authority structure.

Another: "It is the age of small potatoes. The age of spiritual giants is over". This is what we were told upon WL's passing in 1997. No Bible verses were given. But the culture required it. From now on we were supposed to genuflect on the great man's words. Again, this unbalanced reverence for the leader's person is decidedly non-Christian but seems very culturally-influenced.

I've said before, and will repeat: Asian culture is by no means inferior to the West. They've made it something like 4,000 or 5,000 years in this way. But WL said there was no culture. So it became the elephant in the room. Nobody knows why the furniture keeps breaking.

Oh, by the way, that's why Titus Chu and Dong Yu Lan broke off from the Anaheim Blendeds. They refused to "kow-tow", or lose face, before them. It was totally culturally driven. And all the broken, bewildered and disillusioned LC members? Too bad- it's the cost of doing business. It's the price to pay for LC 'oneness'.
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Old 06-12-2017, 10:10 AM   #38
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Dear Bradley,

Your story moved me very deeply. I can relate to many things you experienced. And I so appreciate this forum, and all the responses to you.

I'd like to recommend something. I'm not sure where you are located now, but please look up the website www.divorcecare.org. It is a support group for separated and divorced people. (it's Christian, but open to everyone). I went through it during my separation and divorce, and it was very beneficial. It is a program filled with mercy and compassion, with a lot of truth, wisdom and emotional support. You can go to the website, enter your location, and see if there's a group near you. The website itself has some great resources. The LC's had nothing for people who went through divorce (other than "turn to your spirit," attend more meetings, etc.). Divorce is a devastating experience, and it really helps to join a support group filled with people who can relate to what you are going through. In fact, the DivorceCare program made me realize how much better Christianity was than the LC's, when it came to actually helping people and caring for their needs.

By the way, avoid dating right now for at least awhile. There's nothing wrong with having female friends, but you are very vulnerable to entering a "rebound relationship." It's good to become healthy as a single person first, and enjoy your singleness, before you start a serious relationship.

I also strongly encourage you to visit a professional therapist or counselor (preferably a Christian, but there are some good secular ones out there too). You really need to talk about what you went through with a professional. It would be good for you to address your issues with someone who can help. You may have a mild form of PTSD, and/or a male version of "battered women's syndrome," which is completely normal in such a situation. Check with churches near you - they may have free or very inexpensive counselors on staff.

I don't mean to tell you what to do or what not to do, or act like you "should" do something. I don't want to be legalistic. But it really sounds like you need people to talk to. Another big failing of the LC's is their discouragement of counseling and therapy for people who really need it.

What you described about your wife, when it comes to her abuse, emotional coldness, and reactions against physical intimacy, sounds very much like a woman who was sexually abused or violated in her past. I obviously can't presume anything, but it is possible the way she treated you was actually a defense mechanism because of what she suffered in the past. (This does NOT justify her abuse, but it is a possible explanation.) I won't share personal details, but when I went through my divorce, I prayed for my wife, hoping to save the marriage. Eventually the Lord revealed things to me about her that completely changed my understanding of her. It allowed me to see her as the Lord saw her - a deeply wounded and broken woman in desperate need of a Savior. This also allowed me to forgive her for the way she treated me during our marriage. I still pray for my ex-wife, that her soul could be healed and restored.

At some point, in order to move forward in your life, you will need to forgive your ex-wife for her offenses. One way to arrive at that point is to pray for her, in as genuine a way as possible (including letting the Lord know your anger and frustration about what you went through). Prayer is complete honesty with the Lord. For me, being able to forgive my ex-wife was life changing, but it could only happen by spending a lot of time in the Lord's presence, and receiving His mercy and forgiveness for my own sins. Again, I'm not trying to lay a burden on you, but just keep this in mind. Then when the time is right, you can start the process of being free of any bondage to unforgiveness. This is also one reason to join a support group or visit a therapist - talking it through can get the poison out of your system.

Finally, one last suggestion (if you haven't done this already). There are some really great churches out there. Ask the Lord to show you what He has in mind for you. Ask him to bring some good Christian friends into your life, and visit their churches without feeling any sense of obligation. Eventually you'll find a place that feels like home, and that He'll confirm is where He wants you. Then just soak in the Spirit, and allow Him to give you a new and fresh beginning.

I'm praying for your journey.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:48 AM   #39
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Bradley,

A tough subject. Yes there are a whole bunch of ways to declare it. A litany of WWJD declarations to be made.

What is missing from this is that you (and I) are dealing with the will and commands of the God of the universe. The one who made it all and can end it all. Don't think of it in terms of "have to" or a command on you. Rather, it is a fact that should be considered when deciding who you are going to serve.

As the great American philosopher, Bob Dylan, once said "You gotta serve somebody . . . it may be the devil or it may the Lord . . ."

And the truth is that we are following someone no matter what we think. We are following the ways of this age or the ways of God. We like to think of ourselves as free. Unlike the people of 2,000+ years ago who were all subservient to someone. But the truth is that we are subservient to someone.

So despite our modern fantasy that we are our own person, you have to ask yourself whether you believe that God is who the Bible says he is. If he is, then you will deal with his thoughts on how you "disobey," even if the way that occurs is not what we expect. And maybe the answer is that you decide that you will align your manner of living with the one that you believe is the ultimate ruler and be obedient to him. Understand that none of us do this perfectly. We recognize that we fail at times. Sometimes often.

So do you believe in God? Or simply in the freedom of man to do as he wishes? Something else? Unsure?

And whatever you conclude, do you believe enough to live according to it?

Don't answer me. I am not seeking your admission or your promise to follow any particular way. But if you have been uncertain what to do, then maybe you aren't completely certain what you believe.

I see that you are trying to pick your way through the Bible establishing a "soft reading" so as to avoid error related to the harder readings. But it should be pointed out that in a few places I read you saying that some particular verse meant "X" rather than "Y." Are your really sure about that? Does that reading really follow from what was written? Or is there an overlay required to alter the understanding of the words? One that assumes that the sexual issues only apply in certain situations. That Boaz was only delaying having sex with someone he wasn't married to because he thought someone else had a higher claim to her? Where did you get that? It surely does not say it anywhere. To conclude that is to insert thoughts that are not on the record.

Again, you will need to come to your own conclusion. But at the same time, even if you didn't want to just follow what someone else said, will you at least do more than accept something else without foundation just because it gets you to a result that you might like better?

That is all I ask. Assess the basis for your conclusions. Assess your belief in God. Decide whether you believe he is who the Bible says and, if you agree with it, whether you are ready to buck him anyway. (And if you disagree, then I could try to persuade you, but that is not my forte. But I think you know all the arguments anyway.)

But I believe that Dylan, during his short time of following as a Christian, was correct when he said you have to serve someone. If not God, then who? Yourself? If you believe in God, to you think that the opposite is just you? I sure don't think it is me. I think that we truly serve someone other than ourselves no matter what we think.
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Old 06-12-2017, 11:53 AM   #40
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Yeah I have often thought that but its subtle, hard to put my finger on it. I told my friend that the other day (he also is post-LC, grew up as a church kid) that I thought the church had a Chinese flavour, but when he asked for an example, I couldn't give one off the top of my head. Most of my church life has been with Asians anyway and I'm one of the most Asian white guys I know. So its hard to compare. You know how it is, live in a room full of garlic for years and you won't be able to smell the garlic. Only someone who comes from out in the fresh air, entering the room, can smell the garlic.
For ones raised in the local churches, practices are more like laws. You don't know why things are done the way they are. It's not explained. Just do it.

Discouragement from gender interaction is one. Submission is another. In my experience, it wasn't until being exposed to the Asian culture did I realize how much influence the Asian culture has on the local churches. If you're elder even by a year or two, you're right even if you're wrong. To even question is received as being disrespectful.
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Old 06-12-2017, 05:31 PM   #41
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Sorry guys that was inappropriate. Hilarious, but inappropriate. I'm on a Christian forum here, okay got it. Won't do it again
No skin off my back brother, I've heard worse...and said worse!
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Old 06-12-2017, 06:45 PM   #42
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Dear Bradley,....
Your story moved me very deeply. I can relate to many things you experienced. And I so appreciate this forum, and all the responses to you...
I'm praying for your journey.
Thank you so much Anon Ex-LCer for these words of wisdom!

Bradley, I would serious consider what this man has written to you here. (As well as much of the other postings in this thread)

The simple truth is that the Local Church of Witness Lee is much more than a Christian sect with some quirky norms and traditions - it is a highly developed culture that has a deep affect on the heart and mind of anybody raised in the religion, or has been an active member for any significant amount of time.

The good news is that the "fix" (for lack of better term for now) is the same ultimate remedy as for every human being suffering from the same damage from the fall - It is the grace, love, and forgiveness provided by the Lord Jesus Christ on that cross 2,000 years ago. There is a very good reason that Jesus proclaimed "IT IS FINISHED!" with his last breath. Sin was finished. Death was finished...and yes the answer for every "problem" that every human suffers from was taken care of by his sacrificial death on that cross.

I needed to tell you this first before I get to the practical side of human existence. But if the practical side is not based upon the foundation of what I have stated above, it will be of little or no help for you.

With all this said I am full of hope for you. One of the main reasons this forum was started over 9 years ago was for people just like you. Most of us have "been there done that". We know where you are. We have been there.

Our hope is built on nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness

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Old 06-12-2017, 08:22 PM   #43
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Default Re: Just Left the 'Recovery'. What a Relief.

I'm in awe of the love and compassion of Christ as well as truth expressed through sisters and brothers here.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:36 PM   #44
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So do you believe in God? Or simply in the freedom of man to do as he wishes?
These two things are not mutually exclusive. Yes to both.



Quote:
One Asian-ism...
Yep I agree with all of these. You're absolutely right.

Quote:
Oh, by the way, that's why Titus Chu and Dong Yu Lan broke off from the Anaheim Blendeds. They refused to "kow-tow"
That sounds about right. I don't know much of Titus Chu's doctrine, I heard he published his own books after he left, but apparantly Dong Yu Lan was saying some really crazy and weird stuff. I can't remember details because it was a few years ago, but really messed up stuff.

When I was in the training there was a Brazilian brother who was struggling to come to terms with the notion that DLY wasn't a 'good brother', as he was always used to him being the leading brother that everyone looked up to.

Its funny how we were really taught that these two men were the 'bad guys'. Like Voldemort or somethin'.

Last edited by Bradley; 06-14-2017 at 03:37 PM. Reason: grammar
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Old 06-14-2017, 03:49 PM   #45
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Yesterday some girls came to knock at my door. After they said they were real Christians and not JWs or Mormons I decided to hear them out, they were students at a bible school down the block. They were trying to tell me about how we need to keep the Passover or something. Having done the training I could match them head on and we had a bit of a biblical discussion about typology. They were cute and I was still looking for a church so I gave them my number so they could invite me to a free lunch later to talk more bible stuff. I figured it'd be a good opportunity to get know the girls and ask one of them out.

After they left I did a quick google search, but I couldn't remember the exact name of their church. I did find something that seems to fit their description but I can't be sure - they're a crazy cult who believes this dead Korean dude was the second coming of Christ and we need to partake of the Passover to be saved from the end of the world which is coming up soon. *Typical*. When they call me I'll have to ask them what the name of their church is again and if they know about this Korean guy Ahn-Sahng Hong.

Anyway it just kind of gave me a fresh perspective on the 'Recovery'. I did door-knocking when I was in the training. It made me realise that the recovery is just another door-knocking group of weirdos out there.

The cult website tagged the recovery with 'caution', but tagged this other weird one 'danger'. I'm not going to go along, I've already been burned.
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Old 06-14-2017, 06:13 PM   #46
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Default Re: Just Left the 'Recovery'. What a Relief.

I had a smilar encounter at Walmart a couple of weeks ago.
a religious woman came up to me inviting me to her church across Walmart that just was starting. She said they were non denominational but 'worshipped' on the Sabbath.
After hearing her schpeel, I concluded she came from a different planet!! She was not 7th day adventists nor JW. Very legalistic for sure though.

It was a weekday evening and she was dressed like an LCr of old... very prim and proper. She had a 'partner in crime' who was walking by us. They did not 'communicate' but she was dressed just like her partner and after we went our own way, she hooked up with her. LOL!

I'll skip the weird conversation as this is an LSM forum... but the dress of these women reminded me of my days in the LC and since Bradley brought up the very similar encounter as I, I'm adding to his comment.

Gotta tell you, I was rather disturbed after that encounter and as I was leaving the store, the Holy Spirit brought to mind God is not the God of confusion and reminded me / warning me of people 'preaching another gospel'. When I got home, I googled 'religion that believes God the mother'.

Well - Well - Well ...Lying spirits strike again!

First of all, she told me she met with a Christian non denominational church. LIES! She belongs to the "World mission society church of god". Originates from S Korea, a liberal spinoff seventh day adventists, as the leader came out SDA.

Here is a synopsis:
The World Mission Society Church of God (WMSCOG) was founded by a man named Ahn Sahng-Hong in South Korea in 1964. He was born in 1918 to Buddhist parents and spent many years with the Seventh-day Adventists. He claimed to have rebuilt the Church of God—the same Church that Jesus established and with the same truths of the Early Church. Ahn Sahng-Hong died in 1985.

The WMSCOG believes in God the Father and God the Mother, who came to earth in the flesh. Ahn Sahng-Hong’s spiritual wife, Zahng Gil-Jah, is known as “the Heavenly Mother.” According the WMSCOG, “God the Mother is the core of our faith and the figure that guides us. . . . God the Mother stands by and prays for us whenever we face hardships.” The Bible does not teach the existence of a “heavenly mother.” God is consistently referred to as our Father.

The World Mission Society Church of God believes that Jehovah is the Father, Jesus is the Son, and Ahn Sahng-Hong is the Holy Spirit.

The WMSCOG claims that “Christ Ahn Sahng-Hong” came as the Savior in the age of the Holy Spirit and was truly the Second Coming of Christ.

Those 'people' are nothing but Lying Spirits - preaching another gospel - spirit of confusion which comes from their father the devil - Jezebel spirit and definitely a demonic cult. Very scripted too.

Satan is getting more brazen and clever in his last days. When she said "God is restoring salvation because it has been lost for 1600 yrs due to Constantine', I told her I was SAVED by the Blood of Jesus. She nodded as if not to disagree. She continued babbling about restoring salvation and I asked her if she was saved. And she said 'yes'. But that spirit of confusion was jumping all over the place, lying and preaching another gospel!!! She mentioned the Blood of Jesus but had no understanding and no experience obviously.

I am so grateful and more convinced the LORD has my back/ our back.

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Yesterday some girls came to knock at my door. After they said they were real Christians and not JWs or Mormons I decided to hear them out, they were students at a bible school down the block. They were trying to tell me about how we need to keep the Passover or something. Having done the training I could match them head on and we had a bit of a biblical discussion about typology. They were cute and I was still looking for a church so I gave them my number so they could invite me to a free lunch later to talk more bible stuff. I figured it'd be a good opportunity to get know the girls and ask one of them out.

After they left I did a quick google search, but I couldn't remember the exact name of their church. I did find something that seems to fit their description but I can't be sure - they're a crazy cult who believes this dead Korean dude was the second coming of Christ and we need to partake of the Passover to be saved from the end of the world which is coming up soon. *Typical*. When they call me I'll have to ask them what the name of their church is again and if they know about this Korean guy Ahn-Sahng Hong.

Anyway it just kind of gave me a fresh perspective on the 'Recovery'. I did door-knocking when I was in the training. It made me realise that the recovery is just another door-knocking group of weirdos out there.

The cult website tagged the recovery with 'caution', but tagged this other weird one 'danger'. I'm not going to go along, I've already been burned.
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Old 06-14-2017, 07:58 PM   #47
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Default Re: Just Left the 'Recovery'. What a Relief.

I almost joined a cult once, everyone living together in a kind of commune. Age gaps between men and women were sometimes 50 years, very unconventional. The lifestyle can seem attractive. Sounded okay until I found out they were Davidians. Compared to them, I don't think the Recovery is a real cult. Real cults are much different, second comings of Christ, etc. In the Recovery people have been saved by door knocking. It's an effective, but slow, means of gospel preaching and what Christ said his disciples should do.
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:14 PM   #48
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Compared to them, I don't think the Recovery is a real cult.
I agree, sect would probably be a better word. I had some very real experiences of Christ while I was there, I can't deny that. And yes, nothing wrong with door-knocking really, you're right. I just mentioned it because it reminded me of the door-knocking I had done and put it in persepective.


As for the crazy WMSCOG,

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First of all, she told me she met with a Christian non denominational church
Yep, same here, part of their routine to establish trust. I still don't know for absolute sure if the girls who knocked on my door were from the WMSCOG but I'm about 90% sure. They have my number, so I'll have to find out when they ring. I've never had girls so happy to receive my number before lol, one of them squealed with joy, like she had been rudely rejected all day and finally got a lead hahaha. If only other girls would be that happy when I gave them my number...


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...After we went our own way, she hooked up with her. LOL!
You mean they kissed? Hooking up is such an ambiguous term that could mean anything. I always thought it meant sex but apparently only sometimes.
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Old 06-15-2017, 03:53 PM   #49
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Default Re: I was in the church for ten years.....

Sect is a better word than LSM/LC cult because the gospel is /was preached, and the power of the Blood of Jesus taught. Furthermore, when I got saved through the preaching of the Word of God by the LC saints in 1975, I was delivered from my sins...except one which came much, much later. But alas! The Lord Jesus and His Blood delivered me once I totally surrendered my sin to Him.

I also did door knocking with the saints on Thursday evenings, inviting people to the 'gospel love feasts' we held on Saturday evenings which I loved btw. I don't know that our door knocking was successful in bringing people in but it was a good experience for me.

One thing I learned from the gospel feasts in retrospect is that Jesus did not use the same formula in reaching people. To the woman of the well, He spoke to her very differently from the way He reached Nicodemus and still different from the way He reached the sick and so many other people.
That was 1975.

As for the crazy WMSCOG,
silly man! They exchanged notes should have been the comment instead of 'hooked up''.

I passed by their building this past Saturday on my way to Walmart..and I happened to notice a lot of people going into the 'church' building. The women were all dressed in dresses or skirts/blouses and if I am not mistaken, it was mostly black and white clothing.

The men were neatly dressed in suits. And there was NO SIGN of the name of their congregation.

The woman I spoke with also asked for my phone #. I reluctantly gave it to her. But had she called me, I would have blasted her for lying to me of their 'no name church'...non denominational church and everything else about it! They have not called and probably will not. I don't know about you Bradley but I did tell them I was saved and was saved by the Blood of Jesus. The woman babbled a lot and did not make sense. She told me a lot of this 'god the mother' stuff and the second coming of Christ..but twisted the scriptures like you would not believe! "We" had a lengthy conversation... but really she controlled it. When I spoke, I asked her several times if she was saved, she said 'yes' then continued babbling away not making any sense.

It was obvious she was using a memorized brainwashed script.

Keep seeking the Lord Jesus and His Spirit for Guidance, Counsel and to continue to lead you in the path of Righteousness until we arrive. May He surround you with blessed and healthy fellowship and shower you with His Love granting you Wisdom, Revelation, Insight filling you with His Inner Joy and His inner peace. Not only to you, but to all the saints in Christ Jesus.


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I agree, sect would probably be a better word. I had some very real experiences of Christ while I was there, I can't deny that. And yes, nothing wrong with door-knocking really, you're right. I just mentioned it because it reminded me of the door-knocking I had done and put it in persepective.


As for the crazy WMSCOG,

Yep, same here, part of their routine to establish trust. I still don't know for absolute sure if the girls who knocked on my door were from the WMSCOG but I'm about 90% sure. They have my number, so I'll have to find out when they ring. I've never had girls so happy to receive my number before lol, one of them squealed with joy, like she had been rudely rejected all day and finally got a lead hahaha. If only other girls would be that happy when I gave them my number...

You mean they kissed? Hooking up is such an ambiguous term that could mean anything. I always thought it meant sex but apparently only sometimes.
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Old 06-16-2017, 11:20 AM   #50
Abounding
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Default Re: Just Left the 'Recovery'. What a Relief.

I remember feeling relief as well! I couldn't stop singing, "Free at last". Then I wondered, What have I believed that may not be true? I think the quest for the truth is our own journey. This is how we develop a relationship with God. I think Andrew Farley is a pretty good writer/speaker. I found some help listening to him. Ultimately, I think the truth is much more simple than many think. In Mark 16:15 Jesus said to preach the good news. I think the good news is just that he died on the cross for us. That we are free! That it is finished! Even in the Recovery they could not believe that. If it takes a 1000 more years there is still much work to be done. What he did for us is so incredible that it is very hard to believe.
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Old 06-16-2017, 05:59 PM   #51
A little brother
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Default Re: Just Left the 'Recovery'. What a Relief.

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Originally Posted by Abounding View Post
Ultimately, I think the truth is much more simple than many think. In Mark 16:15 Jesus said to preach the good news. I think the good news is just that he died on the cross for us. That we are free! That it is finished!
I believe the good news is more than that. We are free (from the condemnation of sin). Yet, even better, we are not free (from the love of the Lord). We often miss the 2nd part of the great commission in Matthew 28.

19 Go therefore and disciple all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you all the days until the consummation of the age.


I have been thinking about this since Bradley started this thread. Sometimes, we search and search for verses from the Bible. It ends up we selectively choose specific verses, interpret them in a way to support our own intention and ignore the more obvious general principles. Even worse, if something is not specifically forbidden in the Bible, we say it is allowed.

I think 1 John 2 stated a very important general principle:

15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in him;
16 Because all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the vainglory of life, is not of the Father but is of the world.
17 And the world is passing away, and its lust, but he who does the will of God abides forever.
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Old 06-17-2017, 08:02 PM   #52
Bradley
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Default Re: I was in the church for ten years.....

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Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
And there was NO SIGN of the name of their congregation.
Yeah this got me too. The girls eventually did call me back, and I asked them what their name was, they said they have no name. I asked them if they follow anyone, they said they just follow Jesus. I asked them if they believe anything different, they said they just believe the bible.

Sounds legit.

Then I asked them if their name was the World Mission Society Church Of God, did they follow a dead Korean dude, and did they believe he was the second coming of Christ? Yes, yes, yes. Then why the heck didn't you say that when I asked you before???

I told them they're a bunch of heretics, they need to repent, and they should never contact me ever again, neither by phone nor door-knocking. They argued for a bit and then I blocked their number. 2 John 10-11.
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