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

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Old 05-30-2018, 09:52 PM   #1
Overcomer
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Default An Unknown Follower Of Jesus

I hardly know where to put this, but I am hoping it will be read by those who are seeking eye witness accounts of the truth. My response to this thread may need to go somewhere else on this site. Here is my testimony of what transpired when I lived with a young family of members of "The Church in Blackpool" sometime between mid to late 1979 to January 1980. I attended meetings there. I remember that there was a sister either there or in Ipswich who was a gifted singer and guitar player. She sang, I believe from one of the books on Timothy. She loved to sing and we loved listening to her. The Living Stream Ministry was interested in the tape she made of her singing, in order to distribute it under the Living Stream label. However, she had to sign legal paperwork to sign over and release her ownership of her music to the Living Stream Ministry. She received no remuneration, but had to give up all rights to her music. I do not remember her name but can only wonder if that music is still sold by LSM. I believe her tape was available by the summer of 1980, as I worked at the book table during the training, not a table but an area in the meeting area, with a long countertop where members could buy Living Stream Publishers materials. I believe that most of the workers tasked with book sales were also volunteers, providing free labor both for the office and as book sellers.

On another matter, did not John Ingalls write many of the hymns in the hymnal originally put out by LSM? It would have been the first edition. Were not John Ingalls and others the translators of the LSM Bible, but their names were later removed after they left??

I spent the summer of 1980 living with a young couple, Sterling and Karen Byassee, attending meetings in Santa Ana, and I volunteered at the Living Stream. My own locality was greatly affected by the eruption of the Mount St. Helens volcano, so I came south back to my home state. In addition to my volunteer work at LSM, I also worked as a temporary worker for a company unconnected to the Local Churches or to LSM to support myself. I was not privy to the turmoil in the office. However, I do remember that Bev Goyer, in my brief time there, was tense. I also remember a chubby guy who wore suits but never seemed to do any work. The work I did was helping to duplicate tapes; there was a special duplicating machine for cassette tapes. I also worked packing orders for books, small orders to individuals. I remember there were unlocked metal filing cabinets in the open area adjacent to the packing area, where correspondence from around the world was kept. I remember reading a letter which I had written in a prior year to Lee telling him that I was not following any man, but I was following the Lord and if he ever deviated, I would not continue with his teachings. Ha! I was true to my word.

I don't know if anybody reads this, but I was a faithful, innocent young person saved at the age of 8 in vacation Bible school (in a mainstream denomination). I encountered the LC during 6th grade and was a member from 1971 to 1981, plus an additional two years after I left, re-entering society outside the group. I am currently reading the end of Jane Carol Anderson's book about her experiences, called Thread of Gold. I also read with interest, Dr. Hsu's book on her experiences both in China and the U.S.. As a contemporary of Nee and Lee, she gives an enlightening account well worth reading.

I think this site is an important one because it gives people who fell through the cracks a voice to speak the truth. The LC members won't listen to us (I know I did not when I was a member), but people who are seeking the doorway out of the LC might find the accounts on this site related to their own experience and/or an eye-opening experience. Current LC members have to leave their own agendas to understand what is being spoken here. Respectfully yours, an unknown follower of Jesus.
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Old 05-31-2018, 03:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: An Unknown Follower Of Jesus

You should also try reading A Future and A Hope by John Myer http://assemblylife.com/
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:39 PM   #3
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I hardly know where to put this, but I am hoping it will be read by those who are seeking eye witness accounts of the truth. My response to this thread may need to go somewhere else on this site. Here is my testimony of what transpired when I lived with a young family of members of "The Church in Blackpool" sometime between mid to late 1979 to January 1980. I attended meetings there. I remember that there was a sister either there or in Ipswich who was a gifted singer and guitar player. She sang, I believe from one of the books on Timothy. She loved to sing and we loved listening to her. The Living Stream Ministry was interested in the tape she made of her singing, in order to distribute it under the Living Stream label.
I loved those tapes. Put this in the thread about "good things to come out of the recovery".
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:45 PM   #4
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My whole point is that when the LSM took control of the sister's songs, that wonderful ingot was not "a good thing to come out of the LSM/LC" because it never made it out of the LSM. They own it and it is gone forever. I checked. There are no individual musical artists; the LSM song CD's I listened to were group choirs.
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Old 06-01-2018, 07:18 AM   #5
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Default Re: An Unknown Follower Of Jesus

Overcomers>ĒThe LC members won't listen to us (I know I did not when I was a member)Ē

Iím listening... i just donít agree with your conclusions.

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Old 06-01-2018, 11:27 AM   #6
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On another matter, did not John Ingalls write many of the hymns in the hymnal originally put out by LSM?
Only ones credited in the hymnal are ones that are copyrighted. Hymns attributed to Witness Lee, it could be really his or it could be ones written by someone else, but Lee's taking the credit for it.
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Old 06-01-2018, 11:42 AM   #7
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Brother Overcomer, Welcome.

I also accepted the Lord at 8, in a Southern Baptist church. Also, I was in the LC approximately the same years as you. I was close to Ron Kangas back in my early days in the church in Detroit. I thought the world of him. I now see him as one that compromised the principles he held back then. He's now a dyed in the wool Leeite.

Plus, I've also read the same books you spoke of.

I realized Lee's LC movement was a cult back then, and left because of it. And these forums, and the books, have only confirmed to me that the LC is a cult ; not a death cult, sex cult, or even a dooms day cult, but a personality cult none the same ; with Lee, even tho being dead for 20 years, as STILL the personality cult leader ... if you can believe that. Brother Drake, bless his heart, will prove it to you by pointing out Lee, Lee, Lee, over and over again. Apparently he's dyed in the wool too, to the personality cult leader.

So even tho I don't know why you are here, I'm glad you are, and I have empathy with you, hope the best for you, and hope to hear more from you.

In the end, the local church is a LSM denomination, with a personality cult leader.
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Old 06-08-2018, 03:01 PM   #8
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In the end, the local church is a LSM denomination, with a personality cult leader.
I have to agree. I always avoided the cult label with the LC, because it didn't result in people being detained or drugged or physically hurt. But the personality cult label rings true, I think, as there is this dogged insistence on WL being the Minister of the Age (MOTA - just learned that acronym on here), and his overpowering influence applied in all things LC. Even the 7 Day Adventists, who are so focused on Ellen G. White, do seem to allow just a bit of others in (of course she's been dead 100 years too).

LC a denomination? Yes, without a doubt. And I totally get the idea behind one church one city, but the LC turned it into another division.
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Old 06-11-2018, 02:45 AM   #9
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And I totally get the idea behind one church one city, but the LC turned it into another division.
The word "church" doesn't exist in the Bible. The Greek word "ekklesia" was variously translated, as assembly, meeting, congregation, gathering. By this understanding one could have multiple simultaneous ekklesia in a large urban setting. See, e.g. Acts 19:41, Rom 16:5.

With the passage of time, the idea of a standing body of believers apart from the temporal gatherings gained increasing attention. And it's not always clear in the NT where the second meaning is necessarily delineated. But in order to "totally get" the one church per city idea as Nee & Lee promoted it one has to oversimplify, and ignore these distinctions.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:38 AM   #10
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Sounds a little complicated.

I would be in favor of dropping the word "church" as it is pertaining to something more material in nature and, according to my understanding, was first used by an English king to help keep things "organized" (right?).

We are all one body, so in any location we are also one. That is the reality in spirit. We are the called-out gathering (ekklesia) in a particular city. The different names we call ourselves became a division, but it is also an expression of what was is in the saints (i.e., a divisive idea they were holding in someway - separating themselves). So the attitude of division found an outward expression in dividing themselves and calling themselves something different than simply the ekklesia wherever they were.

At least that's my understanding . . .
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Old 06-11-2018, 08:07 AM   #11
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Anything with a 2,000 year history of usage by fallen human beings, Christian or not, is going to get complicated.

But think of it this way - the usage of the word pre-dated the Christian era. In the Greek of the day it meant what we would call "meeting". So the LXX OT, written hundreds of years before Christ, could say, "In the midst of the 'ekklesia' I will sing hymns of praise to you" (cf Psa 22) and nobody said "Gee, what is an ekklesia?" And nobody said "Oh, that's the church". No, it meant a gathering.

And when Jesus said, "On this rock I will build my 'ekklesia' " the possessive pronound indicated there were other ekklesia besides those of Jesus. Like the one dismissed by the city councilor in Act 19:41. I don't see any English translation using the word 'church' there in Acts 19. Because obviously 'ekklesia' didn't mean what we would call church, either with a capital "C" or a small one.

If you say, "Last night I went to the home meeting at Sister Smith's house" that 'meeting' is an 'ekklesia' in the NT sense (Romans 16:5 &c) and it is named (at sister Smith's house), and it doesn't bespeak of division. So having separate meetings and having a name is not perforce division.

Nee & Lee said it was, and they created their own division. Which is something like the poem, "I know an old lady who swallowed the fly". The more curative remediation we try to address the situation, the worse it gets. Which is the way of the world, not of the kingdom of God.

It is really simple, actually. God raised Jesus Christ from the dead on the third day. Either you believe this statement or you don't. Whether or not you meet at Sister Smith's house for prayer on Tuesday nights is optional. Just believe, gather with those nearby (receive those whom God received in Christ Jesus, just as God received you in Christ Jesus). Love your neighbor. The commands are simple, and not burdensome. Believe, love, receive, gather.

The problem is that we're ignorant and zealous - ignorance and zeal will get you a long way in this world. Just not in the right direction. But there's an old Russian proverb - "No matter how far you have gone down the wrong road - turn back."

The "college meeting on Friday night at Podunk University's Ellworth Hall" and "the prayer meeting at Sister Smith's house" and "the home meeting at Brother Bob's" are all separate gatherings and necessarily named so as to be distinguished from one another and yet are not divisive, even if they happen in the same city. The issue is not which meeting you went to, but if you believed. If you believe in your heart, and confess with your mouth that God raised Jesus from the dead on the third day, you will be saved. I mean, either that proposition is true or it's false. Pretty simple, to me.
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Old 06-11-2018, 04:11 PM   #12
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I think you're confusing denominational names with necessary names or descriptions. "The prayer meeting at Sister Smith's house" and "the home meeting at Brother Bob's" is the same practice of the local churches, and these are not considered to be "names" but descriptions. The issue arises when the "at such and such a place" or "Christians in the place" becomes "Christians of the place".

To be denominated (i.e. de-name-iated) Sister Smiths house would have to lead to a denomination called Smithonianism and Brother Bob's house becomes Bobianism and the Bobanites. There was a man named Fred. He grew up in a Bobian family, and he is Bobian from birth (he was baptized as a Bobanite), and his parents hope he will continue in the Bobian traditions. And there we have the denominational situation.
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Old 06-11-2018, 04:42 PM   #13
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There was a man named Fred. He grew up in a Bobian family, and he is Bobian from birth (he was baptized as a Bobanite), and his parents hope he will continue in the Bobian traditions. And there we have the denominational situation.

Or......"There was a person named Trapped. They grew up in an LC family, they were born into the LC (they were baptized in the LC meetings), and their parents hope they will continue in the LC (and continue in all the teachings, traditions, and practices thereof). And there we have a denominational situation."


In fact, the phrase "the church" is how the LC denominates themselves, particularly internally. If you are with a group of LC saints talking about a new one, or a family member, or another person, the common question will be: "Do they meet with the church?" or "Are they in the church?" (meaning in Witness Lee's local churches). The fact that the generic phrase the LC's use to denominate themselves is just "the church" does not make it any less a denominating factor.
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Old 06-11-2018, 06:02 PM   #14
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Well, the bible shows that there are churches, and then there are sects (1 Cor 1:10-17). In confused Christianity, they call sects churches and churches are thought to not exist except as an ideology. Now every group of Christians that wants to be a church cannot be a church if they don't satisfy 1 Cor 1:10-17. If they don't look like 1 Cor 1:10-17 then they are a sect.
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:14 PM   #15
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In fact, the phrase "the church" is how the LC denominates themselves, particularly internally. If you are with a group of LC saints talking about a new one, or a family member, or another person, the common question will be: "Do they meet with the church?" or "Are they in the church?" (meaning in Witness Lee's local churches). The fact that the generic phrase the LC's use to denominate themselves is just "the church" does not make it any less a denominating factor.
Yes, I remember saying that: "Do they meet with the Church?" Yikes! (reminds me of an old, kinda creepy Star Trek episode where this infected one says, "Friend, are you of the body?")

I remember being with a dear brother after a meeting in Columbus and going to a fast food place afterwards. A few believers were sitting there softly singing Jesus songs. We went over and sat with them and had some nice fellowship . . . that was up until the point the brother with me said to them, "Well, it's just that we've seen something higher than you have."

Guess what happened to the fellowship at that point (you get one guess, because it's not a hard one to answer)?
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Old 06-11-2018, 07:31 PM   #16
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Anything with a 2,000 year history of usage by fallen human beings, Christian or not, is going to get complicated.
I completely agree, Aron, and I very much appreciate your pointing us back to Jesus sacrifice, death, resurrection over and over. It is so vital to look at Him, and His love for us through His sacrifice. Us being every person. His body being those who believe.
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:01 AM   #17
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In fact, the phrase "the church" is how the LC denominates themselves, particularly internally. If you are with a group of LC saints talking about a new one, or a family member, or another person, the common question will be: "Do they meet with the church?" or "Are they in the church?" (meaning in Witness Lee's local churches). The fact that the generic phrase the LC's use to denominate themselves is just "the church" does not make it any less a denominating factor.
Additionally, they use phrases like, "affiliated with the ministries of Witness Lee and Watchman Nee", in case you needed further cues as to the nature of "the church". So "affiliated with" is a description while "of" means a de-nom-ination? How can someone type this into a keyboard with a straight face? Or does one think that if they keep a solemn expression no one will pick up on it?

Back in the '90s, at the dawn of the internet, all the local churches of Lee were instructed, sorry, "got fellowship", to create websites. If you looked at the headers at the top it said "Lovers of Jesus affiliated with the ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee." And yet they condemn everyone who "takes a name."
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