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Old 06-14-2020, 10:06 PM   #1
BluePanda05
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Default Young Believer's Testimony still in Local Church

Hello all, I have been meaning to post on here for months but never got around to it.

I grew up Christian and went to various churches but stopped when I was in high school. In college I met my partner, who grew up in the LC. This was also around the time I had this feeling of trying to go back into church after being agnostic for many years. So, naturally I was open to their church and I began to read their books and attend home meetings and porch meetings. My specific locality seems like they aren't very pushy as some of the forums I've read on here. I chose to attend Lord's Table out of my own curiosity, and was never really pushed to do so before. My experience with home meetings has been overall positive.

I always had doubts, and consequently felt guilty because I thought doubting LC meant I was doubting the Lord and God's will. But that is not right, because my faith is with God not with a particular church. Here are some of my concerns:

1. The concept of "God-men" and mingling our spirit and the Lord's. I have always believed into the Trinity, but considered man and Christ and God to be separate. Of course the Lord's Spirit can reach us, and He lives in us through His resurrection, but I feel uncomfortable to say we are mingled.

2. Using books from one man. I know Witness Lee and other saints constantly say that he is not considered a prophet or wants to be. He is considered a "special" brother, who had a burden to administer the Lord's move on earth today. I don't feel comfortable that we are asked to purchase a morning revival every few weeks in order to gain something at Lord's table. LSM gives out bibles for free, and the ministry readings online are freely accessible. But why are morning revivals necessary for Lord's table meetings? It doesn't make sense and there are verses in the Bible that condemn using the church as a place to sell goods.

3. There is no doing good/bad, only living in the Spirit and feeling at "peace." This one causes me and my partner to have disagreements because I like to question controversial topics, and also there are examples in the Bible of doing wrong and right. It kind of bothered me to see that the LC don't address certain issues in today's world. My partner explains that it is because these topics bring death and the church is a place for members to enjoy the Lord. I understood and dropped it, like most of our disagreements on LC.

4. Other Christian groups are fallen/degraded... seems like mostly LC members can become genuine overcomers. They aren't accepting of Catholicism esp, and have likened it to the fallen churches mentioned in the Bible. It kind of feels like they put down other brothers and sisters, and aren't open to bible studying with other Christian groups because of this.

5. Only singing old hymns, prayer reading, calling on His name. I don't know the specific justifications for any of these practices. Although they are trying to remove themselves from denominations, it seems like the very existence of these practices become "religious" as a result. From my observations, the prophesying seems to be reiterations of Witness Lee's readings and the repetitive calling and prayer reading felt really uncomfortable to me, and still kind of is.

Please pray for my situation. I have felt burdened about this for many months. I know that my choice to leave or stay in the LC will ultimately end my relationship naturally, even if we do not force it. I have learned and gained a lot from the saints and the readings. I cannot say that all I have seen/heard is wrong. I cannot claim that there will be a perfect church who has no wrong doings or issues that can be fixed. I am a young and inexperienced believer. I do not know what the proper way to praise God is. I just want for myself what the Lord Jesus wants. I want to experience the Lord with a pure heart and enjoy church, the Body, and live a normal Christian life. I feel guilty and trapped for considering leaving the LC, like their church is the righteous way in this age of degraded Christianity. I feel threatened by not becoming an overcomer, and facing 1000 years of fire when the Lord returns. The LC and my partner emphasize this greatly, which has made my internal conflict worse. I need to know if there are churches that genuinely believe in Christ and aren't as "degraded" as the LC claim. I feel so guilty for trying to "experiment" or test God by questioning where I belong. Surely if my partner came into my life then it was all part of God's will?

I appreciate any and all responses. Once my account is set up I will reply so I can PM. I am also interested in experienced/older Christian believers who'd be willing to talk with me. Thank you!
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Old 06-15-2020, 08:44 AM   #2
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Default Re: Young Believer's Testimony still in Local Church

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1. Jesus does pray that we would all be one, which is quite the mystery - I don't have that big of an issue with the word "mingled," but others on here probably will!

2. This is a big issue, that is the one source for all writtings. There are many good authors out there who really know and experience the Lord! (I don't have an issue with selling in the meeting place, if done right.)

3. This takes a longer response than I'm able to give now - maybe others will.

4. This is not right!! It sets up extreme elitism. It divides. It's fleshly.

5. This is something of a preference, but there's also little of the fresh, current inspiration of the Spirit in this. Many good songs, focused on Christ since the 1960s & 70s!
Will reply more when I have time! And welcome!
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Old 06-15-2020, 10:06 AM   #3
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Default Re: Young Believer's Testimony still in Local Church

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Please pray for my situation. I have felt burdened about this for many months. I know that my choice to leave or stay in the LC will ultimately end my relationship naturally, even if we do not force it. I have learned and gained a lot from the saints and the readings. I cannot say that all I have seen/heard is wrong. I cannot claim that there will be a perfect church who has no wrong doings or issues that can be fixed. I am a young and inexperienced believer. I do not know what the proper way to praise God is. I just want for myself what the Lord Jesus wants. I want to experience the Lord with a pure heart and enjoy church, the Body, and live a normal Christian life. I feel guilty and trapped for considering leaving the LC, like their church is the righteous way in this age of degraded Christianity. I feel threatened by not becoming an overcomer, and facing 1000 years of fire when the Lord returns. The LC and my partner emphasize this greatly, which has made my internal conflict worse. I need to know if there are churches that genuinely believe in Christ and aren't as "degraded" as the LC claim. I feel so guilty for trying to "experiment" or test God by questioning where I belong. Surely if my partner came into my life then it was all part of God's will?

I appreciate any and all responses. Once my account is set up I will reply so I can PM. I am also interested in experienced/older Christian believers who'd be willing to talk with me. Thank you!
I now have a little more time to respond to this last paragraph of yours. I was in "The Recovery" in the 70s & 80s. I count many good things I got from my time there, and know it was the Lord who lead me to the LC in Berkeley in the early 70s, then the LC in Columbus OH in the 80s. But He also lead me out of the LC.

The kind of fear you mention (re: leaving the LC) is definately not of Him. Perfect love is what is from Him, and this casts out "all fear." (see 1 John 4:18) As this scripture also states, "with fear there is punishment." This is one area the LC is in error. And saying there is nothing else out there is a product of pride and arrogance, and tends to try and trap people within its system. Many other groups also do this (saying "we have the market cornered on God"), but it is fleshly and divisive, and produces fear.

At one point in the early 90s, I knew the Lord didn't want me to go back to the LC, but I truly thought there wasn't anything else out there - I'd completely swallowed the lie there was nothing to be found in "degraded Christianity." I desperately sought Him to show me other sources of His speaking than the LC, and He came through in my desperation! For over the last 20 years, I've been gathering with some wonderful saints who just want to pursue Him and fall more in love with Him. I saw that love is actually the real foundation and motivation God has toward us - He's not just a God of purpose who will crush us if we get in His way at all! He does everything for us and out of His incredible love for us!

So here's the thing - all Christian groups have issues, because we all still have the flesh. The LC has a set of issues because of the system they have created, and the same is generally true of all groups. The LC has set themselves up and founded themselves on what appears to be a solid teaching - the so-called "ground of oneness," that is, "one church one city." But that's just actually another doctrinal ground for separation. Even the LC teaches that one can be right, but also "dead right," and this is probably one of those situations. We are one in Spirit, but only He is building His church. In Spirit we're already one with all believers with Christ in them - no need to say, "We have a teaching that will make us one if you follow it."

If you look at 1 Corinthians 3:4-5 you'll see that some there said, "We are of Christ!" This is, of course, doctrinally right and better than saying "We are of Paul" or of also some other man. But Paul lumps all of those together saying all such proclamations are fleshly. You could include in this, "We are of the one-church-one-city teaching." They are all divisive and fleshly. We should just focus on Christ, as He's the one doing it - building His church and producing oneness. If we hold to a doctrinal teaching, even a seemingly good one, we get nothing. Make sense?

Thank God for your desire to pursue and praise Him with a pure heart! He is faithful and will do it if you sincerely ask Him. That is, He will lead you where you should be. I'm not saying to leave the LC . . . this must be of Him. But the Anointing in you, which is Christ in you, will tell you.

Feel free to PM me if you care to discuss more, or post on the open forum - whichever works for you.

Update - I wanted to also add something specific about the thousand years of punishment you mentioned. I'm convinced that this is also a fear based teaching not in love. This doesn't mean believers won't face some accountability. I think the mentions of the Bema (judgement seat) of Christ in two places in the New Testament shows there is an accounting "of things done while in the body." (2 Cor 5:10) And there's been lots of discussion on this forum about this matter and whether it means outright punishment or simply a loss of rewards (which could also be construed as punishment). But here again, the LC teaches it is pretty much the only place you can be to get the reward. Baloney! This is a teaching of a prideful group typified by the church in Laodicea, which doesn't see how off it is.
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Old 06-16-2020, 10:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: Young Believer's Testimony still in Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePanda05 View Post
My specific locality seems like they aren't very pushy as some of the forums I've read on here. I chose to attend Lord's Table out of my own curiosity, and was never really pushed to do so before. My experience with home meetings has been overall positive.
Different localities are different in various ways; some are less pushy. From my experience, home meetings are typically positive too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePanda05 View Post
...Here are some of my concerns:

1. The concept of "God-men" and mingling our spirit and the Lord's. I have always believed into the Trinity, but considered man and Christ and God to be separate. Of course the Lord's Spirit can reach us, and He lives in us through His resurrection, but I feel uncomfortable to say we are mingled.
Satan's downfall was wanting to be like God and be God.

Man's fall was wanting to be like God.

If the deal was that we would be like God or become God, the Bible would have been more explicit about it.

God is God. We will never be God. We are His many sons. We are in Him and He is in us. But for me, "becoming God" and "mingled" take it too far in ways the Bible just doesn't say. There are a lot of views on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePanda05 View Post
2. Using books from one man. I know Witness Lee and other saints constantly say that he is not considered a prophet or wants to be. He is considered a "special" brother, who had a burden to administer the Lord's move on earth today. I don't feel comfortable that we are asked to purchase a morning revival every few weeks in order to gain something at Lord's table. LSM gives out bibles for free, and the ministry readings online are freely accessible. But why are morning revivals necessary for Lord's table meetings? It doesn't make sense and there are verses in the Bible that condemn using the church as a place to sell goods.
Witness Lee considered himself to be "the minister of the age" and "the wise master builder" and on and on. Read the book The Vision of the Age. He goes through a "lineage" of ministers of the age and then culminates with himself. His head was as big as those around him would let it grow.

If you do read the book and are convinced, come back here and we/I can show you where it's wrong. The short of it is that although there are prominent figures in the Bible, Lee has to overlay his own minister of the age concept onto the lineage he creates and hammer them to fit, rather than the Bible saying "there is a minister of the age in every age and you have to follow him or else". The other short of it is that Lee says if you don't follow the MOTA your service is not accepted by God. This is heresy and essentially says you have to accept Jesus AND Witness Lee to be accepted by God.

I personally don't have a problem with a church having a bookstore if it sells a variety of books by a variety of authors. The issue with the LC is that "the vision of the age" comes from whatever LSM puts out, and then the bookstores in the churches only sell LSM, and then the co-workers put out a booklet restricting everyone to LSM, and threaten that other books might cause "damage", etc, etc. It's a mini monopoly, and it's totally wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePanda05 View Post
3. There is no doing good/bad, only living in the Spirit and feeling at "peace." This one causes me and my partner to have disagreements because I like to question controversial topics, and also there are examples in the Bible of doing wrong and right. It kind of bothered me to see that the LC don't address certain issues in today's world. My partner explains that it is because these topics bring death and the church is a place for members to enjoy the Lord. I understood and dropped it, like most of our disagreements on LC.
Any church that says "we don't care about good and bad, right and wrong" truly doesn't care about right and wrong. And that should make you shake in your boots. The LC says that "knowledge is death" and "opinions are of death". This is loonyville. This is what cults say. Christ died to set us free from the power and fear of death. God, who gave Adam and Eve a command in the garden, whose Old Testament was filled with commandments, who gave us the 10 commandments, definitely cares about good and bad, right and wrong. The LC has dreamed up a God of their own creation who somehow doesn't care for right and wrong, and they will have a big shock when they meet the God who is there to judge their rights and their wrongs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePanda05 View Post
4. Other Christian groups are fallen/degraded... seems like mostly LC members can become genuine overcomers. They aren't accepting of Catholicism esp, and have likened it to the fallen churches mentioned in the Bible. It kind of feels like they put down other brothers and sisters, and aren't open to bible studying with other Christian groups because of this.
This is accurate. The ministry says the church is being built and the bride is being prepared only in the local church. There is an attitude of arrogance and "holier-than-thou" that suffuses through the entire system. Having said that, I have met some saints who realize this is wrong and live their own lives contrary to what you and I just described. But they are the exception to what is taught.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePanda05 View Post
5. Only singing old hymns, prayer reading, calling on His name. I don't know the specific justifications for any of these practices. Although they are trying to remove themselves from denominations, it seems like the very existence of these practices become "religious" as a result. From my observations, the prophesying seems to be reiterations of Witness Lee's readings and the repetitive calling and prayer reading felt really uncomfortable to me, and still kind of is.
The local churches condemn other churches for "only having one man speak", but as you astutely observed, the local churches have "the speaking of one man"......throughout their entire system! They do religiously AVOID any contemporary Christian songs or anything from Christianity in their continued obsession to not be defiled by the rest of the believers on the earth. It's disgusting. The Bible warns against "vain repetitions". In the verses describing prayer, it's described as much more simple and in private than the repetitive, performance, out loud, multi-syllabic thing we get in the LC.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePanda05 View Post
Please pray for my situation. I have felt burdened about this for many months. I know that my choice to leave or stay in the LC will ultimately end my relationship naturally, even if we do not force it. I have learned and gained a lot from the saints and the readings. I cannot say that all I have seen/heard is wrong. I cannot claim that there will be a perfect church who has no wrong doings or issues that can be fixed. I am a young and inexperienced believer. I do not know what the proper way to praise God is. I just want for myself what the Lord Jesus wants. I want to experience the Lord with a pure heart and enjoy church, the Body, and live a normal Christian life. I feel guilty and trapped for considering leaving the LC, like their church is the righteous way in this age of degraded Christianity. I feel threatened by not becoming an overcomer, and facing 1000 years of fire when the Lord returns. The LC and my partner emphasize this greatly, which has made my internal conflict worse. I need to know if there are churches that genuinely believe in Christ and aren't as "degraded" as the LC claim. I feel so guilty for trying to "experiment" or test God by questioning where I belong. Surely if my partner came into my life then it was all part of God's will?
We are burdened along with you. There are some good things you can pick up in the local church. But there is so much bad mixed in, and so subtly, that it's a constant work to divide it out, that I would recommend walking away. The very words you are using - "guilty" "trapped" threatened" - are not words that describe a place that is of God. That alone should tip you off. The guilt, the threat, the fear is precisely what they use to trap you. All of these things are tactics of unhealthy and abusive groups.

Fear is a liar. Fear is of the devil.

God can handle your questioning. If anything is true or solid, it can stand up to questioning. The LC, the ministry, the practices can only stand if it isn't questioned. That makes them not worth following.

I don't know what to say about your last question ("surely if my partner came into my life then it was all part of God's will"), because it gets so close to the question of "why do things happen" in our lives. I don't know. It may be God's will that you have an experience with an unhealthy group and learn how important it is for you to discern, as you have. It may be God's will that you came into your partners life so you could help them see the concerning problems in the LC. I don't know. I wish I did. We are praying for you.
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Old 06-21-2020, 10:26 AM   #5
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Default Re: Young Believer's Testimony still in Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by BluePanda05 View Post
Hello all, I have been meaning to post on here for months but never got around to it.

I grew up Christian and went to various churches but stopped when I was in high school. In college I met my partner, who grew up in the LC. This was also around the time I had this feeling of trying to go back into church after being agnostic for many years. So, naturally I was open to their church and I began to read their books and attend home meetings and porch meetings. My specific locality seems like they aren't very pushy as some of the forums I've read on here. I chose to attend Lord's Table out of my own curiosity, and was never really pushed to do so before. My experience with home meetings has been overall positive.

I always had doubts, and consequently felt guilty because I thought doubting LC meant I was doubting the Lord and God's will. But that is not right, because my faith is with God not with a particular church. Here are some of my concerns:

1. The concept of "God-men" and mingling our spirit and the Lord's. I have always believed into the Trinity, but considered man and Christ and God to be separate. Of course the Lord's Spirit can reach us, and He lives in us through His resurrection, but I feel uncomfortable to say we are mingled.

2. Using books from one man. I know Witness Lee and other saints constantly say that he is not considered a prophet or wants to be. He is considered a "special" brother, who had a burden to administer the Lord's move on earth today. I don't feel comfortable that we are asked to purchase a morning revival every few weeks in order to gain something at Lord's table. LSM gives out bibles for free, and the ministry readings online are freely accessible. But why are morning revivals necessary for Lord's table meetings? It doesn't make sense and there are verses in the Bible that condemn using the church as a place to sell goods.

3. There is no doing good/bad, only living in the Spirit and feeling at "peace." This one causes me and my partner to have disagreements because I like to question controversial topics, and also there are examples in the Bible of doing wrong and right. It kind of bothered me to see that the LC don't address certain issues in today's world. My partner explains that it is because these topics bring death and the church is a place for members to enjoy the Lord. I understood and dropped it, like most of our disagreements on LC.

4. Other Christian groups are fallen/degraded... seems like mostly LC members can become genuine overcomers. They aren't accepting of Catholicism esp, and have likened it to the fallen churches mentioned in the Bible. It kind of feels like they put down other brothers and sisters, and aren't open to bible studying with other Christian groups because of this.

5. Only singing old hymns, prayer reading, calling on His name. I don't know the specific justifications for any of these practices. Although they are trying to remove themselves from denominations, it seems like the very existence of these practices become "religious" as a result. From my observations, the prophesying seems to be reiterations of Witness Lee's readings and the repetitive calling and prayer reading felt really uncomfortable to me, and still kind of is.

Please pray for my situation. I have felt burdened about this for many months. I know that my choice to leave or stay in the LC will ultimately end my relationship naturally, even if we do not force it. I have learned and gained a lot from the saints and the readings. I cannot say that all I have seen/heard is wrong. I cannot claim that there will be a perfect church who has no wrong doings or issues that can be fixed. I am a young and inexperienced believer. I do not know what the proper way to praise God is. I just want for myself what the Lord Jesus wants. I want to experience the Lord with a pure heart and enjoy church, the Body, and live a normal Christian life. I feel guilty and trapped for considering leaving the LC, like their church is the righteous way in this age of degraded Christianity. I feel threatened by not becoming an overcomer, and facing 1000 years of fire when the Lord returns. The LC and my partner emphasize this greatly, which has made my internal conflict worse. I need to know if there are churches that genuinely believe in Christ and aren't as "degraded" as the LC claim. I feel so guilty for trying to "experiment" or test God by questioning where I belong. Surely if my partner came into my life then it was all part of God's will?

I appreciate any and all responses. Once my account is set up I will reply so I can PM. I am also interested in experienced/older Christian believers who'd be willing to talk with me. Thank you!
BluePanda- Probably the first thing you would want to realize is that what you are describing is not the “local church”, but the local living stream franchise. If you see it as that, it is easier to deal with than calling it the local church. Local Church would be the local Christians meeting under the headship of Christ, local LSM franchise is meeting under the headship of LSM.
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