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Spiritual Abuse Titles Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment.

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Old 09-06-2009, 05:24 PM   #1
Hope
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Default Abuse from Christianity toward saints in a local church

I happen to visit the other forum and noticed the thread on shaming was live. It got me to considering my own experiences and I posted the following on the site.

Hello dear posters,

Wandered back to the site today and noticed the thread on shaming. In my experience, I did catch some embarrassing treatment. I did feel shamed and bullied. But what I have taken from various leaders in Christianity is a hundred fold more than anything I experienced or saw in the local churches. It goes all the way back to my days in college. See my history for just a few details. I really tried to be gracious but I could tell some real scandalous stories about treatment handed out to innocent young people by the powers that were.

How about a thread on the abuse and shaming heaped on saints for being in a local church? That is shame that came from those in Christianity and was directed at the innocents in the local churches.

Today I and my wife practice reaching out to believers in any way we may serve, time money prayer etc. Unfortunately, often, there seems to be a Sabbath patrol lurking around. It has been twenty plus years since I saw WL or participated in any LSM church function or read a LSM book. Yet I am regularly called on the carpet for having known anyone there. Are you branded forever and given credit for the worse abuses real or imagined?

Likewise, posters here seem to delight in mocking and shaming any who have a positive word for their time in any local church.
Is there any space for such a discussion? Just wondering.

Hope
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Old 09-12-2009, 08:14 PM   #2
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Default Re: Abuse from Christianity toward saints in a local church

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...I did catch some embarrassing treatment. I did feel shamed and bullied. But what I have taken from various leaders in Christianity is a hundred fold more than anything I experienced or saw in the local churches.
See comments below

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How about a thread on the abuse and shaming heaped on saints for being in a local church? That is shame that came from those in Christianity and was directed at the innocents in the local churches.
Looks like you started one! No problemo.

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It has been twenty plus years since I saw WL or participated in any LSM church function or read a LSM book. Yet I am regularly called on the carpet for having known anyone there. Are you branded forever and given credit for the worse abuses real or imagined?
Called on the carpet by who? Hardly anybody knows anything about Witness Lee or the Local Church. Are you talking about former LC members in your area - If so, why do you care what they think or say? You and your wife apparently have gone on and are serving the Lord in your area, so I don't understand how a few gossipers or busybodies could hinder you in any way.

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Likewise, posters here seem to delight in mocking and shaming any who have a positive word for their time in any local church.
Is there any space for such a discussion? Just wondering.
I think you are confusing "mocking and shaming" with back and forth discussions on an internet forum. To be honest with you I think I am giving you credit in saying you are confusing, but you deserve the benefit of the doubt for sure.

Actually I'm the one whose a little confused by your asking "is there any space for such a discussion". What would make you think there wasn't?
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:22 AM   #3
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Default Re: Abuse from Christianity toward saints in a local church

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
See comments below

Called on the carpet by who? Hardly anybody knows anything about Witness Lee or the Local Church. Are you talking about former LC members in your area - If so, why do you care what they think or say? You and your wife apparently have gone on and are serving the Lord in your area, so I don't understand how a few gossipers or busybodies could hinder you in any way.
Good Morning UntoHim,

I was referring to folks who are in Christianity and had never been in a local church. Yes, you would think you can get clear. No, my wife and I go forward but it does happen.

True, "Hardly anybody knows anything about Witness Lee or the Local Church." But some have read a few things on the web or a book and take the view, better safe than sorry. Thus ole Hope may have some problem and we had better warn off anyone seeking to have fellowship etc.

The abuse from folks in christianity today is not nearly as vicious as what I experienced from Christianity while I was in the church in Dallas for example. The abuse came from leaders or from "would be leaders."

WL would make sweeping allegations against Christianity based on some particular events or persons he may have experienced or heard of. Some in Christianity give sweeping condemnations of folks in a lc or formerly in a lc based on a few events, some real and some imagined.

Having considered my question, it is probably not a topic that would build up others. I fear that folks could make the mistake of taking the behavior of a few in Christianity and build some kind of sweeping characterization of everyone and every individual.

Hope
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Old 09-13-2009, 10:50 AM   #4
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Having considered my question, it is probably not a topic that would build up others. I fear that folks could make the mistake of taking the behavior of a few in Christianity and build some kind of sweeping characterization of everyone and every individual.
Given the extreme polarization that's accompanied the LC-related dialogue over the years, it's hard for me to imagine any topic not at risk of eventually degenerating into sweeping characterizations and name-calling.

But given that my motive (I hope) has been not so much an attempt to convince others of the rightness of my position, but rather my feeble attempts to follow my Lord, the results, I believe, are up to Him. I have been encouraged by a few "amens" from the great beyond of Outer Cyber-istan, and that's good enough.

I myself, while a rabid participant, only lasted a short while and never attained "position", and thus was able to slip anonymously back into "christianity" with no questions asked. I am grateful that I have not experienced the rejection you speak of. It is sad that we sometimes don't realize the cleansing power of our Lord, that "forever tainted" doesn't exist in His eyes.

I was very touched that the christian fellowship was able to receive Saul/Paul, who had formerly been persecuting them to the death, on only the recommendation of Ananias and on his(Paul's) own testimony. That was good enough for them. Once their Lord forgave, so did they, immediately and without any lingering rancor. May such a Spirit still prevail upon this land!
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:21 PM   #5
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Hope:
"Hardly anybody knows anything about Witness Lee or the Local Church." But some have read a few things on the web or a book and take the view, better safe than sorry. Thus ole Hope may have some problem and we had better warn off anyone seeking to have fellowship etc.
Surely this doesn't surprise you bro Hope. If I'm not mistaken you spent decades as a standing leader in the LC and was therefore part and parcel to castigating and making fun of all other Christians, and now when you want to join those Christians you wonder why they're leery of you.

But aren't all of us that left the LC a little strange to others that know something about us and our history? After all we gave our life to a bunch of fanatics that called on the name of the Lord like He's deaf and has a short attention span ; and to a bunch of obsessive-compulsive's that got in groups and shouted scripture verses back and forth at each other like playing a game of hot potato with the Bible.

Face it bro Hope. You did those things. And those that don't think you are strange are either not informed, are being dishonest, or whose judgment is suspect.

Own it brother...cuz you bought it....

I'm not wishing to be hard on your bro. I know what it is to be rejected. After many years in Ft. Lauderdale I moved to Kentucky, where I have family ties all over the place that I'm still coming to know after 5 years.

But still, even with family ties to the area, I'm spotted immediately as different. I've even had people I just met, on more than one occasion, tell me early on that, "You've different." I guess it sticks out like a sore thumb.

In this small town area, if you're not in their "old country boy in group" you are not well received and will find yourself hard up against it.

I get this reaction even before I'm able to speak of the different thoughts and opinions that I hold, that is undeniably different.

Then, it gets worse if I tell someone that I was once in a group that some label as a Christian cult. I learned that the hard way. Now it's too late. The word is out. Now I have to live with that, and live with the realization that some, that I even have family ties too, will no longer have anything to do with me ; that they think I have more than a few screws loose. I'm talking Christians here ; more often than not, very conservative Christians.

Why do I have to own this bro Hope? Because I bought it. That's why. My years in the LC have branded me. It's my Scarlet Letter. And yours too bro Hope. Wear it with humility and after awhile, if you're nice, they will receive you like Paul was received.

But don't expect a free pass. Not after spending years in what many think is a loony bin.
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Old 09-13-2009, 12:50 PM   #6
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Act 9:11 And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the street which is called Straight, and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul, of Tarsus: for, behold, he prayeth,

Mat 3:3 For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Esaias, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.


Imagine, The Lord sent him down a road called Straight!


Brother Harold,

I'm reminded of Paul of Tarsus. He was branded for being a killer of the brethren yet God used Him. Don't ask me why but God uses the biggest screw ups to get His message out. So I guess that would include you, me or even the the elders of all the localities if we chose to obey.

Praise The Lord we have a God of second chances!

Don Jr.
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Old 09-13-2009, 04:51 PM   #7
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even with family ties to the area, I'm spotted immediately as different. I've even had people I just met, on more than one occasion, tell me early on that, "You've different." I guess it sticks out like a sore thumb...

I get this reaction even before I'm able to speak of the different thoughts and opinions that I hold, that is undeniably different.

Then, it gets worse ...
Well, it could be even worse still. You could be the same as everyone else. That would be the real tragedy!

Instead, you got led on the glittering paths of light, and somehow those paths got turned into fogs of darkness. Through the "rabbit hole" indeed! The trouble is, we know we've been through the rabbit hole, but sometimes we can't tell if we are "in" or "out"...

I love to hear the stories of christians, of their walk with the Lord. Because they are all different, but they all tell the same story. God is merciful, God is good. Etc.

I love Psalm 25:10 " All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies." All our paths are in some ways unique, but all the pathways of the Lord can be full of mercy and truth.

So a good ole boy from Kentucky who fell through a rabbit hole can be on one of the paths of mercy & truth. Amazing.
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Old 09-14-2009, 04:45 AM   #8
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It is sad that we sometimes don't realize the cleansing power of our Lord, that "forever tainted" doesn't exist in His eyes.

I was very touched that the christian fellowship was able to receive Saul/Paul, who had formerly been persecuting them to the death, on only the recommendation of Ananias and on his(Paul's) own testimony. That was good enough for them. Once their Lord forgave, so did they, immediately and without any lingering rancor. May such a Spirit still prevail upon this land!
I'm not so sure that the saints were so quick to forgive "immediately and without any lingering rancor." Acts 9.26 says, "Saul came to Jerusalem, and he tried to join himself to the disciples, but all were afraid of him, and did not believe he was a disciple."

It was then Barnabas (full of the Holy Spirit and faith) who was instrumental in connecting Saul to the body of Christ. It took the church a long time (3 years in Arabia?) to accept his salvation from the Lord, and then Barnabas went to Tarsus to retrieve Saul, bringing him to Antioch, where they assembled a whole year.

But, yes!, how wonderful is "the cleansing power of our Lord."
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:02 AM   #9
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I'm not wishing to be hard on your bro. I know what it is to be rejected. After many years in Ft. Lauderdale I moved to Kentucky, where I have family ties all over the place that I'm still coming to know after 5 years.

But still, even with family ties to the area, I'm spotted immediately as different. I've even had people I just met, on more than one occasion, tell me early on that, "You've different." I guess it sticks out like a sore thumb.
I got that reaction all the time from family and my old friends back in the 'hood after I got saved. That just opened the door wide open for me to share the gospel with all my old friends.

It was much later on, after my dear cousin, whom I grew up with, the self-appointed, soap-box standing, "defender of the faith" apologetic, and self-righteous, all-condemning Pharisee, informed my entire family of my "cult" involvement, that caused us so much pain and hardship. That slammed the door shut to the gospel. So many were robbed of the opportunity to hear the life-changing joy of my salvation.

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In this small town area, if you're not in their "old country boy in group" you are not well received and will find yourself hard up against it.

I get this reaction even before I'm able to speak of the different thoughts and opinions that I hold, that is undeniably different.
awareness, you could simply go away to college, and then return home, and get that same reaction from the "good old country boys."
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:09 AM   #10
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Why do I have to own this bro Hope? Because I bought it. That's why. My years in the LC have branded me. It's my Scarlet Letter. And yours too bro Hope. Wear it with humility and after awhile, if you're nice, they will receive you like Paul was received.

But don't expect a free pass. Not after spending years in what many think is a loony bin.
Sometimes I think this forum is a "loony bin."
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Old 09-14-2009, 05:57 AM   #11
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Ohio:
Sometimes I think this forum is a "loony bin."
LOL Ohio. Me too.
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Old 09-14-2009, 08:03 AM   #12
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I got that reaction all the time from family and my old friends back in the 'hood after I got saved. That just opened the door wide open for me to share the gospel with all my old friends.

It was much later on, after my dear cousin, whom I grew up with, the self-appointed, soap-box standing, "defender of the faith" apologetic, and self-righteous, all-condemning Pharisee, informed my entire family of my "cult" involvement, that caused us so much pain and hardship. That slammed the door shut to the gospel. So many were robbed of the opportunity to hear the life-changing joy of my salvation."


Ohio,

Your reference is what I had in mind. When I was playing baseball at Baylor University, Don Looper, and with a slight assist from ole Hope, led several of the players to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. Several nominal Christians were revived and gave their life anew to the Lord. Then boom!!! We were labeled and slandered. Some of my new brothers in Christ wanted to know why we were being slandered. I had no idea how to respond without putting down someone else. Many tender in the faith were brought into confusion. One player told me that Don and I were a very positive influence on the entire team so why were we being criticized. Another player, not a believer, who had graduated and came back for graduate studies came up to me and asked why I had gone into the twi-light zone. There was not going to be much of a chance for me to share Christ with him. Do the slanderers bear some responsibility if he does not come to Christ because of the gosip he heard?

For every account a former member can share about some type of abuse or shaming they suffered in the lc, I can probably give at least three that saints in the church in Dallas suffered from some member of the Sabboth patrole, or religious watchdog, or busybody.

But I believe I should let it go. I have sought the Lord for a heart of forgiveness toward those in Christianity and as well as those in the LSM who have dished out abuse, shaming, slander etc. It is important to guard your heart. I strongly suspect that 99% of WL's over the top harsh words toward Christianity was due to wrongs suffered by him and others with whom he was associated. He did suffer some absolutely terrible things in China at the hands of the Japanese because of certain clergymen. But he was wrong to then go after others who were loyal to the Christianity system. Here in the USA, he did endure shameful put downs by proud religious leaders but then I believe there was some bitterness in his heart that the Lord needed to take away.

Of course it is not easy for us to know the hearts and motives of others. But from my own experience with some abusers from Christianity and from the LSM, I can understand how it is that we can overreact and become embittered.

Hope
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Old 09-14-2009, 11:48 AM   #13
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But I believe I should let it go. I have sought the Lord for a heart of forgiveness toward those in Christianity and as well as those in the LSM who have dished out abuse, shaming, slander etc. It is important to guard your heart.

Of course it is not easy for us to know the hearts and motives of others. But from my own experience with some abusers from Christianity and from the LSM, I can understand how it is that we can overreact and become embittered.
By the natural man there is the propensity to react defensively. What I am learning slowly is sometimes it's best not to say anything at that specific moment. If something needs to be said, it cannot be reactionary or hastily.
If someone wanted to call me negative, rebellious, etc, there's nothing I can say.
It is out of my will how fellow believers receive me. What's within my will is how I can receive my fellow believers according to Romans 15:7.

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Old 09-15-2009, 06:24 AM   #14
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I strongly suspect that 99% of WL's over the top harsh words toward Christianity was due to wrongs suffered by him and others with whom he was associated. He did suffer some absolutely terrible things in China at the hands of the Japanese because of certain clergymen. But he was wrong to then go after others who were loyal to the Christianity system.
I long had been tolerant of WL's harsh criticism towards what he believed to be religious systems. I should confess that in my earlier days, I was completely on board with the condemnation towards Catholicism following the Revelations trainings -- "Yeah, that's right, let 'em have it." I did consider WL to be like John the Baptist or one of the prophets.

Looking back, however, WL did have a greater responsibility as a leader with the most influential ministry to the LC's. He set the tone for all other ministers. His attitudes were replicated in them. The whole system eventually was diseased with judgmental attitudes producing Laodicean prides and prejudices, which ironically he later blamed on the LC's themselves, calling us all "Moo-Cows" and the like.

Still, however, I really did not become aware of the real situation until the recent quarantine was on the horizon, and I began to study our history back in the 80's. WL may have been too harsh towards all "outsiders," but it was nothing compared to the way he treated "insiders."

Hence, all the mechanisms for "self-destruction" were in place -- appointing certain Blendeds, appraising the ministry above scripture, creating a closed society, condemning both outsiders and any "concerned" insiders -- and thus duplicating the course of history of the "other" exclusives.

The tragedy is that so many precious saints in nearly al the LC's suffered solely due to their association with WL. Connections with his ministry brought pain and shame upon so many others. What a shame if this whole dynamic was driven for decades by his own bitter reaction to Japanese aggressions in China, partly due to certain "Benedict Arnold's" among the Chinese clergy.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:05 AM   #15
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The tragedy is that so many precious saints in nearly al the LC's suffered solely due to their association with WL. Connections with his ministry brought pain and shame upon so many others. What a shame if this whole dynamic was driven for decades by his own bitter reaction to Japanese aggressions in China, partly due to certain "Benedict Arnold's" among the Chinese clergy.
Ohio,

I put into bold print a part of your post. I agree with it in some ways. Most did not suffer for deeds they did though some were foolish and brought on their problems through their own actions.

My impression of the motivation of most who attacked saints in local churches was religious zeal, pride and competition and fears due to the Sun Moon type of crowd lurking around and fear of orientals etc. I almost never heard anyone say they were upset with WL or the local churches because he had declared Christianity poor etc. I have mainly assumed that his poor poor Christianity talk effected those in the local churches very much in line with your statement from your post, "The whole system eventually was diseased with judgmental attitudes producing Laodicean prides and prejudices, which ironically he later blamed on the LC's themselves, calling us all "Moo-Cows" and the like."

I cannot say that I never heard an attack from Christianity that referenced a negative quote about Christianity given by WL. I just cannot recall one. Maybe you have. But at this point my experience does not confirm that outsiders paid much attention to his teaching about religion, Christianity etc.

Hope
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:07 AM   #16
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... all the mechanisms for "self-destruction" were in place -- appointing certain Blendeds, appraising the ministry above scripture, creating a closed society, condemning both outsiders and any "concerned" insiders -- and thus duplicating the course of history of the "other" exclusives.

... What a shame if this whole dynamic was driven for decades by his own bitter reaction to Japanese aggressions in China, partly due to certain "Benedict Arnold's" among the Chinese clergy.
Very astute, and well put. Of course there is always the peril of oversimplifying matters to "one final cause", over and above all the rest. Yet this one cause is worth being held up and examined, carefully, if for no other reason that Lee insisted that the old man had been thoroughly expunged from his being, that "sola scriptura" alone was his guide, and so forth. Had he been honest and admitted that he was a fallen man like the rest, God could have covered him. But he insisted he was pure from these taints, and thus they remained hidden until the flowers and fruits came forth for all to see, and dragged down who knows how many souls in their wake.

This is similar to the oriental "shaming" discussion I've seen elsewhere on the web; it is a practice of the natural man, ingrained in culture, which Lee insisted was over, finished, through, kaput, and therefore it remained submerged and operating quietly for all those years upon everyone who believed his insistence that we were somehow "pure".

The lesson for me is: if you say that you see, your blindness remains. Only if you admit you are blind, and naked, then God can heal and cover you. Lord, have mercy on us all.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:12 AM   #17
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Ohio,

I almost never heard anyone say they were upset with WL or the local churches because he had declared Christianity poor etc. I have mainly assumed that his poor poor Christianity talk effected those in the local churches

I cannot say that I never heard an attack from Christianity that referenced a negative quote about Christianity given by WL. I just cannot recall one. Maybe you have. But at this point my experience does not confirm that outsiders paid much attention to his teaching about religion, Christianity etc.

Hope
You miss the point. Maybe the "opposing" christians never heard this kind of talk directed at them, and thus were not responding in kind. But God heard it, and it offended Him greatly, and He allowed the recompense to come. "Judge not, that ye be not judged". God heard the judgment coming out of the LC's, and He allowed it to be reciprocated.
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Old 09-15-2009, 11:46 AM   #18
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You miss the point. Maybe the "opposing" christians never heard this kind of talk directed at them, and thus were not responding in kind. But God heard it, and it offended Him greatly, and He allowed the recompense to come. "Judge not, that ye be not judged". God heard the judgment coming out of the LC's, and He allowed it to be reciprocated.
Aron,

Did God judge the LSM, WL and the local churches? I do believe so. Was it because of WL saying "Poor Poor Christianity?" I doubt it. Much of Christianity is pretty much of a waste land. Consider the Catholic Church. Consider liberal Methodism and many of the ultra narrow fundamental denominations. Today divorce, pornographic addiction etc. is so sadly as prevailing among Evangelical Christians as in society as a whole. We have seen one TV big time religious personality after another go down in scandal.

I have shared the gospel with many over the years. The most common excuse is "what about the Christians or the Churches." I see the salt that society needs lacking in most Christians. This is not a put down of "Christianity" but is a heartfelt mourning for a return, a revival a renewal or whatever phrase you would use. Me too!! I do not excuse my luke warmness. As it says in Romans and I apply this to myself, Rom 13:11-14, 11 And this do, knowing the time, that it is already the hour for you to awaken from sleep; for now salvation is nearer to us than when we believed. 12 The night is almost gone, and the day is at hand. Let us therefore lay aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. 13 Let us behave properly as in the day, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual promiscuity and sensuality, not in strife and jealousy. 14 But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts. NASB

Am I sitting at home alone? No. Do I reach out to other believers? Yes. Do I work with other believers? Yes. Do I give of my money to other believers and other workers for the Kingdom of God? Yes.

Do I say all is well in the Body of Christ? No.

Here are a few verses on the other side of judge not.

John 7:24, 24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment.

Phil 1:8-10, 9 And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, 10 so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ;
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Hope

1 Thess 5:20-22, 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; 22 abstain from every form of evil. NASB
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:16 PM   #19
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I cannot say that I never heard an attack from Christianity that referenced a negative quote about Christianity given by WL. I just cannot recall one. Maybe you have. But at this point my experience does not confirm that outsiders paid much attention to his teaching about religion, Christianity etc.
I seem to remember a quote on Jim Moran's site, for example, where he quoted WL saying "Satanic Judaism, Christless Protestantism, and Babylonian Catholicism," from the Life-Study of Revelation. Does anyone else remember this, or other such quotes. Since the Moran Site is now owned and shut down by LSM, I can't confirm.

For WL to condemn Judaism as Satanic (based on Rev 2.9), all of Christianity as Christless (based on Rev. 3.20), and all of Catholicism as the Great Harlot (based on Rev. 19.2) was known outside of the Recovery. Many people knew how WL interpreted these verses and how WL implied that he and only he and the LC's were the testimony of the Lord, pleasing to the Master.

Probably the hallmark verses for me in this discussion was contained in II Tim 1.7-8, "God has not given us a spirit of cowardice, but of power ... to not be ashamed of the testimony of the Lord, nor of me His prisoner." This verse provided endless motivation for me and the other "faithful" to stick it out with WL to the end, bearing all manner of shame and criticism from without.

Had it not been the events surrounding PL and JI in the late 80's, which I only learned years afterwards, I probably would still be clinging to that old stronghold.
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:21 PM   #20
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The lesson for me is: if you say that you see, your blindness remains. Only if you admit you are blind, and naked, then God can heal and cover you. Lord, have mercy on us all.
Aron, this comment reminds me of all those times we talked about whether we "see the vision." The catch phrase "THE VISION" in the view of LC'ers is defined by whether they will stick around or not, no matter how bad it gets.
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Old 09-15-2009, 03:52 PM   #21
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I seem to remember a quote on Jim Moran's site, for example, where he quoted WL saying "Satanic Judaism, Christless Protestantism, and Babylonian Catholicism," from the Life-Study of Revelation. Does anyone else remember this, or other such quotes. Since the Moran Site is now owned and shut down by LSM, I can't confirm.
Yes, Moran was very much bothered by such comments.

I do recall it.

More famously, so was Walter Martin.
http://www.contendingforthefaith.com...estantism.html
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:16 PM   #22
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I seem to remember a quote on Jim Moran's site, for example, where he quoted WL saying "Satanic Judaism, Christless Protestantism, and Babylonian Catholicism," from the Life-Study of Revelation. Does anyone else remember this, or other such quotes.
Yes. I do. I was at that Revelation training. I was only 21 yrs young and it affected me deeply. In my head, people in Judaism, Prostantism and Catholicism had KOODIES. I remember going to my parents funeral. It was a Catholic funeral even though they got saved. I stayed sitting down through the entire mass in 'protest' to the religious system.

I did not even want to be around my relatives because they were 'Catholics'.

THAT is how that kind of TEACHING AFFECTED ME !!
What LEE failed to do is teach and explain to the saints not to be 'holier than thou' around other Christians...Catholics or protestants..or heathens even !!

Good heavens! JESUS rebuked the KNOW IT ALL RELIGIOUS PEOPLE. Catholics and Protestants NEVER mistreated ME. Who was I all of a sudden to snub my nose and look down at them ??!!
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Had it not been the events surrounding PL and JI in the late 80's, which I only learned years afterwards, I probably would still be clinging to that old stronghold.
Well ya see there ! God used PL and JI to push people out of dead religion.

A few years ago some friends of mine were kicked out of a neighborhood church. They were moving up in 'leadership' when they spoke up. Thus they were first told to 'go on sabbatical' & step down and 'shut up'. Hmmm...seems like I've seen that happen elsewhere !

Well a few weeks ago, we were talking about the fact if THEY had never been kicked out and would have continued to 'move up the ladder', they would not have grown closer to the LORD. Their eyes would not have opened up.

See how God uses evil for good? Isn't He WONDERFUL ? Praise You Lord JESUS. You always know how to turn darkness into light, our mourning into dancing.
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:37 PM   #23
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Did God judge the LSM, WL and the local churches? I do believe so. Was it because of WL saying "Poor Poor Christianity?" I doubt it. Much of Christianity is pretty much of a waste land.
Hope,
Yes. I too believe God judged the LC and Yes, it is equally true much of Christianity was a waste land but Lee's problem is the sin of PRIDE...being better than everyone else because he thought he had it all figured out. He puffed up the saints with his vision and his brand of doing things. His brand was not necessarily wrong. It was refreshing to go to meetings that did not resemble the same ole' church routine. Our Praise/Worship singing was living. We were living...at least in the meetings. Who knows how many true saints were truly living outside the walls of the meeting halls !? The messages were also refreshing. To me everything was NEW. I went from being a Catholic to being an LCr. I didn't know anything else.

I believe God removed the lampstand because:
1) the Lee and the LC became more important than GOD Himself.

2) they prided themselves in snubbing and looking down at 'poor-poor Christianity' instead of giving them a drink of Fresh water and giving them Manna from heaven and a morsel of the Bread of Life.

3) The messages became stale food after a few years. They turned into recycled messages..broken records...no newness of LIFE in Christ Jesus..and still are !!! UNBELIEVABLE !!!
What many of us did instead was TELL them what was WRONG with their way of doing things !!!

That is my personal opinion why the LC died.
GOD HAVE MERCY on them !! AND GOD HAVE MERCY ON US that we don't become like them now that we Have seen the LIGHT !!

Quote:
1 Thess 5:20-22, 21 But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good;abstain from every form of evil. NASB
P.S. I fixed your quote Hope...HOPE you didn't mind
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Old 09-15-2009, 06:52 PM   #24
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I almost never heard anyone say they were upset with WL or the local churches because he had declared Christianity poor etc.
Hope,
Those who came out of DEAD denominations or non-denominations believed Christianity was dead if they were truly hungry for the LIVING WORD OF GOD! I came out of DEAD Catholicism. And others probably came out of other dead denominations.

BUT THOSE who 'touched' the church and were already LIVING STONES...LIVING SAINTS, probably did not stick around very long. And within the confines of the LC never openly criticized the ministry. But over the years, we have heard stories of people having gone to LC meetings and did not like them. And I have also met some people who went to a few meetings and LOVED them but never went back. I am currently corresponding with a Brother who went to a few meetings in OKC back in 1976. He LOVES Watchman Nee's works and has a gazillion of them. He also has a number of Witness Lee books and loves them too! Go figure..But he only went to a few meetings, even took hospitality. I just started corresponding with him so still asking questions. I 'met' him through another message board.

Look, I know lots of Christians who 'church hop'. It's no big deal to them. When asked why they aren't seen 'at church' anymore, they simply say "We're going somewhere else". The other party says: Oh, we're sorry you left us but we hope you get fed there.
End of story. YA think WE LCrs would EVER SAY ANYTHING LIKE THAT to saints we knew left
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Old 09-15-2009, 09:12 PM   #25
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Default Re: Abuse from Christianity toward saints in a local church

I can't believe that DCP is defending Lee's outlandish statement that:

“Judaism is satanic, Catholicism is demonic, and Protestantism is Christless,”

But okay, let me slip into that mentality for a moment :

“Judaism is satanic, Catholicism is demonic, and Protestantism is Christless, and Lee's church of the recovery is man worship.”

And the fact that they feel they have to defend Lee is proof that they are man (flesh) worshipers.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:23 AM   #26
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Default Re: Abuse from Christianity toward saints in a local church

Hope,

As a young person entering the "church-life" in Texas, in the seventies, these words still ring in my ear: "In the recovery we_________(have life, are living, have the vision, have light) but in Christianity_________." The voice that rings loudest in my ear is that of Benson Philips. Next is yours.

Reading your post about Christianity being a vast waste land sent shivers up my spine and leads me to believe that you still don't get it when it comes to talking about "Christianity." I say that with all due respect.

I agree with CMW. The problem with the Local Church is not that they didn't have logical justification for criticizing Christianity. Who can't see their faults? The problem is that rather than being able to see the beam in their own eyes, they looked at themselves by comparison and found themselves quite good. That's pride, and yes, they have been judged for that pride which covers a broad spectrum of subjects and historic actions on the part of Witness Lee, the Local Church, and that heinous DCP.

Roger
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:02 AM   #27
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Default Re: Abuse from Christianity toward saints in a local church

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Hope,

As a young person entering the "church-life" in Texas, in the seventies, these words still ring in my ear: "In the recovery we_________(have life, are living, have the vision, have light) but in Christianity_________." The voice that rings loudest in my ear is that of Benson Philips. Next is yours.

Reading your post about Christianity being a vast waste land sent shivers up my spine and leads me to believe that you still don't get it when it comes to talking about "Christianity." I say that with all due respect.

I agree with CMW. The problem with the Local Church is not that they didn't have logical justification for criticizing Christianity. Who can't see their faults? The problem is that rather than being able to see the beam in their own eyes, they looked at themselves by comparison and found themselves quite good. That's pride, and yes, they have been judged for that pride which covers a broad spectrum of subjects and historic actions on the part of Witness Lee, the Local Church, and that heinous DCP.

Roger
Hello there Brother Roger,

All this time I thought you were a West Coast brother.

Your reference about "in the recovery ...but in Christianity ... Does not sound like something I would have said. I can never recall referring to the Local Churches as "the recovery." I would hear that from saints from the Far East and many times I stated that to say that meant they were a denomination. I often warned the young people in Dallas, in particular the leaders among the young people, that unless the Lord had mercy that we would become another denomination. (And it happened!)

Now did I call a spade a spade? I was probably more frank than Benson. I was never sympathetic to any religious system that kept men from Christ. Thankful Jane gave a report about my critique of my visit to Rome and said she still laughs about it.

I do not apologize for the errors of the local churches nor do I cover over their good points. I trust that is and was my attitude toward any group of Christians.

But ...

Just last night I was spending time with one of the new believers from Nepal. A convert from Hinduism. We were sharing on the power of the Cross, the Word of the Cross and Christ Crucified from 1 Cor. chapter 1. He asked us about the crosses that Catholics wore and images he had observed. This was confusing to him. In his spirit or conscience he did not feel at peace. What should I have told him? I spoke very frankly regarding what it was to believe in Jesus. I spoke very frankly regarding images. I never sugar coat the images of Catholics nor that system of error.

I did not state that we had the truth or attempt to set our little fellowship up as something special.

Let us have more fellowship over this matter. It is not an easy subject. Just as the leaders and followers in the LSM never want to admit a mistake or short coming so it seems some only want to paper over mistakes made by christianity.

I am at work and must go. But I really would like to say more and be sure I am being clear.


Hope
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:13 AM   #28
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Reading your post about Christianity being a vast waste land sent shivers up my spine and leads me to believe that you [Hope] still don't get it when it comes to talking about "Christianity." I say that with all due respect.

I agree with CMW. The problem with the Local Church is not that they didn't have logical justification for criticizing Christianity. Who can't see their faults? The problem is that rather than being able to see the beam in their own eyes, they looked at themselves by comparison and found themselves quite good.
I agree. Paul rebuked Peter, and then reproved the "bewitched" Galatians. Paul also censored the Corinthians severely. John excoriated the assemblies in Asia. But neither Paul nor John decided they'd had enough with the degraded "christianity" they found themselves part of, and then went and started their own, supposedly "pure" organizations, based on some scriptural ground or another. Surely they could have spun off some new improved sect, and many sheep would have followed. But they wisely abstained.

The cracks about Judaism and Protestantism and Catholicism are based on scripture, and as such are accurate exegeses to a degree. But they come from an abomination ten times worse than the intended targets. The splinter and beam analogy holds well here.

Remember the two men praying, and the first one says, "God, thank You I'm not like that sinner over there"? He actually was technically correct. The other man was, in fact, a sinner. But the first man thought that his condemnation of a fellow sinner could somehow stand before God. He left with nothing.
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Old 09-16-2009, 07:34 AM   #29
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I did not state that we had the truth or attempt to set our little fellowship up as something special.
I apologize if I mis-read or mischaracterized your statements or experiences. I am certainly qualified to talk about my feeling about sitting in a meeting listening to the speakers discuss how poor other christians were.

But how much that overlaps your own experiences and responses I'm probably not qualified to say, especially from such a distance. I apologize if I overstepped my bounds.
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:35 AM   #30
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Hello there Brother Roger,

All this time I thought you were a West Coast brother.

Your reference about "in the recovery ...but in Christianity ... Does not sound like something I would have said. I can never recall referring to the Local Churches as "the recovery." I would hear that from saints from the Far East and many times I stated that to say that meant they were a denomination. I often warned the young people in Dallas, in particular the leaders among the young people, that unless the Lord had mercy that we would become another denomination. (And it happened!)

Now did I call a spade a spade? I was probably more frank than Benson. I was never sympathetic to any religious system that kept men from Christ. Thankful Jane gave a report about my critique of my visit to Rome and said she still laughs about it.

I do not apologize for the errors of the local churches nor do I cover over their good points. I trust that is and was my attitude toward any group of Christians.

But ...

Just last night I was spending time with one of the new believers from Nepal. A convert from Hinduism. We were sharing on the power of the Cross, the Word of the Cross and Christ Crucified from 1 Cor. chapter 1. He asked us about the crosses that Catholics wore and images he had observed. This was confusing to him. In his spirit or conscience he did not feel at peace. What should I have told him? I spoke very frankly regarding what it was to believe in Jesus. I spoke very frankly regarding images. I never sugar coat the images of Catholics nor that system of error.

I did not state that we had the truth or attempt to set our little fellowship up as something special.

Let us have more fellowship over this matter. It is not an easy subject. Just as the leaders and followers in the LSM never want to admit a mistake or short coming so it seems some only want to paper over mistakes made by christianity.

I am at work and must go. But I really would like to say more and be sure I am being clear.


Hope
My wife and I went to the West Coast when Witness Lee gave the call for young people to go there for "training." We were there for two years.

I certainly would never state or imply that we shouldn't speak the truth when pointing out error. I still do that today. But I've found that my attitude in doing so has changed dramatically (for the better, I think).

Before, I held the common Living Stream attitude that "they" are in a poor and degraded situation, and I (as a representative of THE truth) was there to rescue them. It's that superior attitude that springs from pride.

By the Lord's mercy, the further I get away from LSM I have more of a fear and trembling towards those who are in some form of degradation, fearing that they not get the impression that I am proud, and there to save them.

My background is Catholic and I find myself talking to people from that denomination all the time. I sense a certain liberty in not being shackled with the burden of having to turn them from error to Witness Lee's body of truth. Inwardly I sense more of a true compassion and tender loving care for them, realizing that it’s only by the grace of God that I am not still there. At the same time, I am open to the Lord speaking to me through them. That was not my experience when I was in "God's Best."

Roger
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Old 09-16-2009, 08:59 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by aron View Post
The cracks about Judaism and Protestantism and Catholicism are based on scripture, and as such are accurate exegeses to a degree. But they come from an abomination ten times worse than the intended targets.
Based on scripture.
Accurate exegeses.


Ten times worse.


hmmmm
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:05 AM   #32
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My wife and I went to the West Coast when Witness Lee gave the call for young people to go there for "training." We were there for two years.

I certainly would never state or imply that we shouldn't speak the truth when pointing out error. I still do that today. But I've found that my attitude in doing so has changed dramatically (for the better, I think).

Before, I held the common Living Stream attitude that "they" are in a poor and degraded situation, and I (as a representative of THE truth) was there to rescue them. It's that superior attitude that springs from pride.

By the Lord's mercy, the further I get away from LSM I have more of a fear and trembling towards those who are in some form of degradation, fearing that they not get the impression that I am proud, and there to save them.

My background is Catholic and I find myself talking to people from that denomination all the time. I sense a certain liberty in not being shackled with the burden of having to turn them from error to Witness Lee's body of truth. Inwardly I sense more of a true compassion and tender loving care for them, realizing that it’s only by the grace of God that I am not still there. At the same time, I am open to the Lord speaking to me through them. That was not my experience when I was in "God's Best."


Roger
Thanks for the post

I have put into bold letters points I believe to be critical to the discussion.

Sorry about your going to the West Coast in answer to the Orange County call. I hate myself for my part in promoting that. Forgive me if I in any way influenced you. For a while there, my discernment was not working and my promoting that was a big part of my sin against the Body of Christ.

I also recall the excessive pride exhibited during that time. Not only was the local church movement it, in particular those in Southern Cal. were the it among the it.

In 1977 a large group went from Orange County to a conference in Stuttgart. I also was there. I had spent a lot of time with the German brothers and actually spoke a little German. One of the Orange County young people leaders gave a big pep rally speech in an afternoon meeting for the European young people. It was full of pride and self delusion. The German brothers were very unhappy with it. I was basically confused. They realized I was not fully with the program of we are it and especially what is happening in Orange County is it. We had a very serious talk off line. From that day I and they began to look a little askance at the crowd from Anaheim. It was the pride and we are special that first began to bother me.

The Lord has no use for Spiritual pride. Rev 3:17-20, 'Because you say, "I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have need of nothing," and you do not know that you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked, 18 I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire, that you may become rich, and white garments, that you may clothe yourself, and that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and eye salve to anoint your eyes, that you may see. 19'Those whom I love, I reprove and discipline; be zealous therefore, and repent. NASB

In my opinion, Spiritual pride is at least in the top three or so of the sins in the LSM. Add divisiveness, add selective care for the more gifted, add Deputy authority vs the Headship of Christ, add "the Work" as a rival of the local assembly and then throw in sin and corruption and you pretty much have the problem identified.

I have been slow to discuss spiritual pride on the forum because it is somewhat of a subjective call. I also would not link a defense of Christianity with exposing the pride. Nor would I link a defense of Christianity with the exposing of the divisiveness.

Again, we can have a lot more to say.


Hope

Aron, We are good to go. No problems mate.
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:22 AM   #33
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My background is Catholic and I find myself talking to people from that denomination all the time. I sense a certain liberty in not being shackled with the burden of having to turn them from error to Witness Lee's body of truth. Inwardly I sense more of a true compassion and tender loving care for them, realizing that it’s only by the grace of God that I am not still there. At the same time, I am open to the Lord speaking to me through them. That was not my experience when I was in "God's Best."
Roger
Same here Roger,
In fact, God allowed me to lead my high school best friend to our Lord Jesus. But way before, she prayed 'publicly' and made Jesus her LORD & KING, I spent a year or so ministering the Word of God to her. Early on, she said to me "Carol. You KNOW I/we were raised Catholics and I am NOT going be something other than a Catholic." I responded: Erma. Were WE not raised to believe in GOD the Father, God the Son, Jesus Christ and God the Holy Spirit?" Yes. "Were we not taught to believe Jesus was born of a virgin, lived, suffered, died and shed His Blood for our Sins? And Resurrected on the Third day, Ascended into Heaven and is coming again?" Yes. "Well then. Am I telling you to believe in something different? Am I telling you to change 'religions'?" no. WELL THEN !!!

Then one time we went out for dinner. She makes the sign of the cross when we get ready to pray over our meal. She makes the sign w/o saying anything and just waves her hand over her head, hurriedly crossing her arms. You know what I'm talking about.

So I SLAP my hand on the table and 'scold' her telling her "IF YOU'RE Going to make the sign of the cross PAY ATTENTION TO WHAT YOU ARE SAYING !!" I stunned her. I then proceeded demonstrating how to concentrate IN the Name of the FATHER-GOD, IN the Name of the SON-JESUS and IN the Name of the Holy Spirit-Bless me."

She looked at me for a bit. Then said "WOW. We were never taught to pray like that, huh?"

I have NEVER once told her to 'leave' the RCC or ripped it to pieces on my own inititation. She is the one who slowly began to rip apart the RCC for being soo dead! It was then that I began to explain some things to her. Mostly though I keep taking her to the WORD of GOD. I have shared the Power of the Blood of Jesus and boy does she know how to apply the Blood !! I could go on sharing stories she tells me about applying the Blood of Jesus on her. Btw, she does not make the sign of the cross when we eat together anymore.

Point is:
We keep our eyes fixed on God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit praying the Holy Scriptures so that the Word of God is rooted and Grounded in us, Living and Operative and sharper than any two edged sword, dividing the soul from the spirit.......and GOD takes care of the rest. He is AWESOME. WE have an AWESOME GOD....and WE are on the WINNING Team!

YAHOO!!
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Old 09-16-2009, 09:40 AM   #34
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YP0534:
Based on scripture.
Accurate exegeses.
Ten times worse.
hmmmm
DCP Quote:
"The identity of Roman Catholicism and the woman in Revelation 17 is the subject of a scholarly work entitled The Two Babylons by Alexander Hislop. In his words...."


So okay, let us consider this statement and DCP's defense of it : “Judaism is satanic, Catholicism is demonic, and Protestantism is Christless,” (and Lee's LC is the Shining City of Perfection on Top of the New Jerusalem).

Let's say I'm someone that found this site on the web, and because religion seems to be a huge problem on the earth, I 'm intrigued by all three claims. So I read on. I'm aware that religious prejudice and bias exists but I'm looking for why people in religion can be so hateful.

I'm reading along and find that they use Alexander Hislop as a basis for their argument against the Catholic church ; that the church is the whore mentioned in Rev. 17.

Well that would be the end of my reading. Why? Because they use a Protestant Presbyterian of the 19th century to support their claim about the RCC, and by their own claim, "Protestantism is Christless.” Which means Alexander Hislop is Christless.

I would stop reading because I found their logical to be contradicting itself. Therefore their claim that : “Judaism is satanic, Catholicism is demonic, and Protestantism is Christless,” is defeated by their own argument, by using Protestantism to support their claim, who they themselves dismiss in their claim.

I would conclude therefore that all I found on this site was just another example of how hateful religious people can be. I would browse on, looking for reasons, and hopefully solutions, to why religious people have become more of a problem on the earth than a solution, and would dismiss Jesus as an answer because as this DCP website exemplifies, Jesus people are just as hateful as all the rest.
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Old 09-16-2009, 10:26 AM   #35
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Default Re: Abuse from Christianity toward saints in a local church

Awareness; I'm reading along and find that they use Alexander Hislop as a basis for their argument against the Catholic church ; that the church is the whore mentioned in Rev. 17.
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Funny how Hislop readers see the whore but miss/overlook the daughters of the whore..
Why is that?..
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Old 10-03-2009, 05:48 AM   #36
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Awareness; I'm reading along and find that they use Alexander Hislop as a basis for their argument against the Catholic church ; that the church is the whore mentioned in Rev. 17.
--------------------------------------------
Funny how Hislop readers see the whore but miss/overlook the daughters of the whore..
Why is that?..
No one person has ALL of the revelation...one lesson I've learned...
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Old 10-03-2009, 09:21 AM   #37
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No one person has ALL of the revelation...one lesson I've learned...
Especially when that person continually tells us so ... we sure do learn lessons slowly ... nice to see you again Sue.
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:25 PM   #38
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Nice to have a moment to talk...been one of the most insane years of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:08 PM   #39
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Nice to have a moment to talk...been one of the most insane years of my life!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
OH ! I thought you, Jane, Bookworm, and the strong women God has called and chosen were simply avoiding us.

Mine was semi-sane until the last few months. Then it went financially insane!

The LORD gave me 2 "words". Be Anxious for Nothing and Do not Fear.

I pondered on them for a bit. Then I replied "Amen LORD. This is Your Word to me and I will NOT Disobey! I will NOT be Anxious, nor will I be afraid.'

Boy...the Peace of God that came upon me was soo incredibly sweet and calming. NOW. I am waiting upon the LORD to manifest the cancellation of the Debt I accrued this past year...and not FOOLISHLY to my knowledge!'

Hope you will stick around and share more with us. We've missed you. We miss Jane and the gang of bulldozing sisters that used to hang with us!


Carol
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Old 10-06-2009, 03:26 PM   #40
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OH ! ...

The LORD gave me 2 "words". Be Anxious for Nothing and Do not Fear...

Carol
Good words I need to meditate on them.

Missed you in Texas! We were short a bulldozer!

I hate having to pick up the slack... don't abandon me like that again!
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Old 10-07-2009, 06:05 AM   #41
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Good words I need to meditate on them.

Missed you in Texas! We were short a bulldozer!

I hate having to pick up the slack... don't abandon me like that again!
I am sooo sorry I missed the 'gathering of the Bulldozing sisters!' The RA flare up was pretty bad for a couple of weeks, making it very hard for me to walk. Driving 5-6 hrs was not going to be an easy feat for me and a couple of days before going I decided it was best for my health to stay home. Next year, GOD willing, I will FLY instead of driving..and buy my ticket way ahead of time.

I am growing to like the word BULLDOZER because this is what we are in spirit..when we are pressing in deeper into GOD, into HIS Realm. Oftentimes, the obstacles of infirmity, fear, worry, anxiety, insecurity, rejection, complacency, religiousosity are in the way of us entering into the Holy of Holies where the Peace of God, HIS LOVE, HIS COMFORT, HIS WORD reside.

When He gave those words 'Be anxious for Nothing and FEAR NOT', I knew He meant it. How can *I* encourage others not to fear, not to be anxious IF I myself have not overcome these obstacles ? How can *I* encourage others to OBEY the Voice of the LORD, if I myself am not obeying and yielding to the guidance and counsel of God, the Holy Spirit in me ?

I don't want to keep repeating the tests ! I want to pass early on and move up until forevermore I reside in the Heavenly Places with the LORD and His Counsel along with my brothers & sisters in Christ.
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