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Old 07-12-2017, 09:38 AM   #1
Boxjobox
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Default False Narrative of Church History

I'm a San Diego person, who walked away from the LC in the mid-80' when the LC officially married the LSM. Today, out of curiosity, I went to the "church in San Diego" web site, and clicked on "history". The picture on that page is of mountains with pure, wind driven snow, and the history presented exactly matches the picture- so high, so clean, so pure. There is no mention of their subservience to LSM, no mention of how many saints and elders walked away- it's a total plastic, copacetic, false narrative of the true history. If Paul had used this method, Corinthians 1 and 2 could have been a one chapter book, Luke would have the Acts looking like a cake-walk! I mean a history should be a history. All Israel had before them their complete history, with the good, the bad and the ugly, so that they could learn, reflect, understand, seek the Lord about, the how, when, where, and whys of their present state.
Denial, a false narrative, an unreal assessment of the true condition is the characteristic of the church in Laodicea. It does not reflect the person or work of the one who walks among the churches, whose words are a sharp, two edged sword.
Their history points out that they have been meeting in San Diego for 35 years, and that there are about 275 adults currently meeting. There are over 1.5 million people in the city proper. What's wrong with this picture?
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:03 AM   #2
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

I was there from 1975 - 1978.. then 'migrated' to Tempe, Az The LC in Tempe was a disaster as I think everyone wanted OUT...it was more of a venting church than anything else..

I still have a heart and love for my San Diego brethren. I was totally shocked when I went to visit in 2005 and there was a SIGN on the building that said 'the church in San Diego'.

There were a few 'old timers'... but many had left or moved away 'migrated'. I still had a good time visiting nevertheless. But I could not ever go back. I would not fit in!! Everyone was engrossed in the 'footnotes' of Brother Lee and the HWMR garbage.

Yeah... the narrative is old and antiquated. It has not changed in eons.. decades!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
I'm a San Diego person, who walked away from the LC in the mid-80' when the LC officially married the LSM. Today, out of curiosity, I went to the "church in San Diego" web site, and clicked on "history". The picture on that page is of mountains with pure, wind driven snow, and the history presented exactly matches the picture- so high, so clean, so pure. There is no mention of their subservience to LSM, no mention of how many saints and elders walked away- it's a total plastic, copacetic, false narrative of the true history. If Paul had used this method, Corinthians 1 and 2 could have been a one chapter book, Luke would have the Acts looking like a cake-walk! I mean a history should be a history. All Israel had before them their complete history, with the good, the bad and the ugly, so that they could learn, reflect, understand, seek the Lord about, the how, when, where, and whys of their present state.
Denial, a false narrative, an unreal assessment of the true condition is the characteristic of the church in Laodicea. It does not reflect the person or work of the one who walks among the churches, whose words are a sharp, two edged sword.
Their history points out that they have been meeting in San Diego for 35 years, and that there are about 275 adults currently meeting. There are over 1.5 million people in the city proper. What's wrong with this picture?
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Old 07-12-2017, 11:20 AM   #3
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

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Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
The picture on that page is of mountains with pure, wind driven snow, and the history presented exactly matches the picture- so high, so clean, so pure. There is no mention of their subservience to LSM, no mention of how many saints and elders walked away- it's a total plastic, copacetic, false narrative of the true history.
Part of the "de-leavening" process ex-members go through is to reject every bit of church history we learned there.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:02 PM   #4
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
I'm a San Diego person, who walked away from the LC in the mid-80' when the LC officially married the LSM. Today, out of curiosity, I went to the "church in San Diego" web site, and clicked on "history". The picture on that page is of mountains with pure, wind driven snow, and the history presented exactly matches the picture- so high, so clean, so pure. There is no mention of their subservience to LSM, no mention of how many saints and elders walked away- it's a total plastic, copacetic, false narrative of the true history. If Paul had used this method, Corinthians 1 and 2 could have been a one chapter book, Luke would have the Acts looking like a cake-walk! I mean a history should be a history. All Israel had before them their complete history, with the good, the bad and the ugly, so that they could learn, reflect, understand, seek the Lord about, the how, when, where, and whys of their present state.
Denial, a false narrative, an unreal assessment of the true condition is the characteristic of the church in Laodicea. It does not reflect the person or work of the one who walks among the churches, whose words are a sharp, two edged sword.
Their history points out that they have been meeting in San Diego for 35 years, and that there are about 275 adults currently meeting. There are over 1.5 million people in the city proper. What's wrong with this picture?
Great points Boxjobox.

What's even weirder and outlandish is there are similar mixed good, bad, and ugly histories in all of the many local churches I've lived in and visited during 27 years and all of their web sites have the exact same sanitized and false versions of their beliefs, practices, and history.

I wouldn't want to be one of their leaders explaining the lies to the Lord when he asks for an accounting of how they shepherded the flock in righteousness and truthfulness.
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Old 07-12-2017, 02:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

I mean, really, if you are God's up to date move on the earth in San Diego, and you have a ministery where the deputy authority's material is being dispensed into you and you are being transformed by it, and this has been going on for 35 years in the city, shouldn't your history statement include this. Why deceive or hide this from the public and seeking Christians? Come out and proclaim it boldly!
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

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Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
I mean, really, if you are God's up to date move on the earth in San Diego, and you have a ministery where the deputy authority's material is being dispensed into you and you are being transformed by it, and this has been going on for 35 years in the city, shouldn't your history statement include this. Why deceive or hide this from the public and seeking Christians? Come out and proclaim it boldly!

I moved to San Diego in 1999 after suffocating in Seattle to the extent a new start was needed. I hadn't yet written In the Wake of the New Way, but I had read John Ingalls book (1995) and my eyes were opened to see what was going on; and, to Br. Lee there was one narrative, totally positive, but to others a deviation from the path was in full swing.


Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith and others had another.

Excerpt from my writing Deviating from the Path in the Lord's Recovery (2007)

"When the elders in Southern California came together and opened to one another about the real situation in their churches, Brother Lee showed little interest that serious problems were taking a toll on the members, especially on the elders. He did show much concern though for the progress of LSM and fully expected elders to submit to his objectives, showing no regard for their feeling."


John Ingalls –

"On the evening of Monday, December 14, 1987, Brother Lee called a meeting of the elders of Southern California. There was a fair number there representing most of the churches in the area. After prayer, Brother Lee opened the fellowship by giving a long word concerning the new way and its great success in Taiwan. Then he asked for fellowship from the brothers, desiring especially to know how successful the new way had been in their locality.

Dick Taylor, an elder in Long Beach, started with a lively, full-of enjoyment kind of testimony, such as Dick is well-known for, thanking the Lord for the door-knocking and the Gospel preaching in Long Beach, but ending with an honest word about the depression and the discouragement among some of the saints. This was unusual for Dick but he was telling it like it was. Other brothers followed who also spoke very honestly about dissensions concerning the new way and discouragement among the saints in their localities, for which they were very concerned. In some places divisions had arisen over the new way. John Smith, an elder in San Diego, ended the time of sharing with an honest account of his concerns for the saints in his church, mentioning how he feared that with the overemphasis on methods, numbers, and increase the saints would become activity-centered instead of Christ-centered.

What was extraordinary was the elders speaking up in such an honest and forthright way, knowing that such reports were not what Brother Lee liked or wanted to hear. We were not accustomed to doing this due partly to a sense of intimidation. To my knowledge this was the first time that had been done. This was encouraging. But Brother Lee was visibly bothered, and later reacted strongly to the brothers’ speaking, saying of one brother’s sharing (John Smith’s) that it was like pouring iced water on him.

We were not the only ones who went to Brother Lee with our concerns during these days. We heard that Dan Towle, individually, and Frank Scavo together with Dick Taylor also went to see Brother Lee to express to him their concerns about the present situation." (Deviating from the Path, p. 103)

Witness Lee commented from his book about the same meeting:

"Before I went to Irving in December 1987, I had an elders’ meeting with the leading ones in Southern California. During that meeting, [B]John Smith stood up to say that numbers do not represent anything, and he went on to mention things such as statistics, budgets, work, and activity. By that time Rosemead had already rebelled, and this kind of speaking was a repetition of what was spoken there as accusations. By listening to all the sharing in that elders’ meeting in Orange County, I realized that the whole situation had been poisoned by John Ingalls.' (p. 59, FPR).


"This was Brother Lee’s reaction to brothers who shared from their heart about serious problems in their localities. He gave the impression that his own objectives were more important than listening to the Body and to the concerns of responsible elders for their localities. These speakings by Dick Taylor, John Smith, and others were from their own experience and had not been influenced by John Ingalls."
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Old 07-12-2017, 03:37 PM   #7
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

So, in the city of San Diego, with a population of 1.3 million there are only 275 adults meeting after 35 years! I would say their historical perspective lacks credibility. I would also say that the low numbers is entirely due to their association with LSM. The title, or their nomer THE church in San Diego should not be assigned to them. They have taken a biblical designator and abused it. This is not a small thing, really, in the sphere of Christian practice, but is quite serious. Wasn't it WL that talked about the woman married to Smith that calls herself Mrs Jones. The " church in San Diego" in the mid-80s left her husband and now lives with Mr LSM.

The insane part is that their history mentions nothing about LSM!
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

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Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
Witness Lee commented from his book about the same meeting:

"Before I went to Irving in December 1987, I had an elders’ meeting with the leading ones in Southern California. During that meeting, [B]John Smith stood up to say that numbers do not represent anything, and he went on to mention things such as statistics, budgets, work, and activity. By that time Rosemead had already rebelled, and this kind of speaking was a repetition of what was spoken there as accusations. By listening to all the sharing in that elders’ meeting in Orange County, I realized that the whole situation had been poisoned by John Ingalls.' (p. 59, FPR).

"This was Brother Lee’s reaction to brothers who shared from their heart about serious problems in their localities. He gave the impression that his own objectives were more important than listening to the Body and to the concerns of responsible elders for their localities. These speakings by Dick Taylor, John Smith, and others were from their own experience and had not been influenced by John Ingalls."
We have a choice. We can believe the numerous accounts of all the men of God who left the LC's, or we can believe Witness Lee's farcical account of this "vast global conspiracy," which btw is the same version of events he has used for every "storm" in the recovery.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:37 PM   #9
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

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Brother Lee was visibly bothered, and later reacted strongly to the brothers’ speaking, saying of one brother’s sharing (John Smith’s) that it waslike pouring iced water on him
Interesting choice of words. Sounds like he liked being 'luke warm'.. comfortable... and yet somewhere in the message to Laodicea Jesus says:
‘I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot; I wish that you were cold or hot. 16 So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
I moved to San Diego in 1999 after suffocating in Seattle to the extent a new start was needed. I hadn't yet written In the Wake of the New Way, but I had read John Ingalls book (1995) and my eyes were opened to see what was going on; and, to Br. Lee there was one narrative, totally positive, but to others a deviation from the path was in full swing.


Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith and others had another.

Excerpt from my writing Deviating from the Path in the Lord's Recovery (2007)

"When the elders in Southern California came together and opened to one another about the real situation in their churches, Brother Lee showed little interest that serious problems were taking a toll on the members, especially on the elders. He did show much concern though for the progress of LSM and fully expected elders to submit to his objectives, showing no regard for their feeling."


John Ingalls –

"On the evening of Monday, December 14, 1987, Brother Lee called a meeting of the elders of Southern California. There was a fair number there representing most of the churches in the area. After prayer, Brother Lee opened the fellowship by giving a long word concerning the new way and its great success in Taiwan. Then he asked for fellowship from the brothers, desiring especially to know how successful the new way had been in their locality.

Dick Taylor, an elder in Long Beach, started with a lively, full-of enjoyment kind of testimony, such as Dick is well-known for, thanking the Lord for the door-knocking and the Gospel preaching in Long Beach, but ending with an honest word about the depression and the discouragement among some of the saints. This was unusual for Dick but he was telling it like it was. Other brothers followed who also spoke very honestly about dissensions concerning the new way and discouragement among the saints in their localities, for which they were very concerned. In some places divisions had arisen over the new way. John Smith, an elder in San Diego, ended the time of sharing with an honest account of his concerns for the saints in his church, mentioning how he feared that with the overemphasis on methods, numbers, and increase the saints would become activity-centered instead of Christ-centered.

What was extraordinary was the elders speaking up in such an honest and forthright way, knowing that such reports were not what Brother Lee liked or wanted to hear. We were not accustomed to doing this due partly to a sense of intimidation. To my knowledge this was the first time that had been done. This was encouraging. But Brother Lee was visibly bothered, and later reacted strongly to the brothers’ speaking, saying of one brother’s sharing (John Smith’s) that it was like pouring iced water on him.

We were not the only ones who went to Brother Lee with our concerns during these days. We heard that Dan Towle, individually, and Frank Scavo together with Dick Taylor also went to see Brother Lee to express to him their concerns about the present situation." (Deviating from the Path, p. 103)

Witness Lee commented from his book about the same meeting:

"Before I went to Irving in December 1987, I had an elders’ meeting with the leading ones in Southern California. During that meeting, [B]John Smith stood up to say that numbers do not represent anything, and he went on to mention things such as statistics, budgets, work, and activity. By that time Rosemead had already rebelled, and this kind of speaking was a repetition of what was spoken there as accusations. By listening to all the sharing in that elders’ meeting in Orange County, I realized that the whole situation had been poisoned by John Ingalls.' (p. 59, FPR).


"This was Brother Lee’s reaction to brothers who shared from their heart about serious problems in their localities. He gave the impression that his own objectives were more important than listening to the Body and to the concerns of responsible elders for their localities. These speakings by Dick Taylor, John Smith, and others were from their own experience and had not been influenced by John Ingalls."
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Old 07-12-2017, 07:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

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We have a choice. We can believe the numerous accounts of all the men of God who left the LC's, or we can believe Witness Lee's farcical account of this "vast global conspiracy," which btw is the same version of events he has used for every "storm" in the recovery.
The thing is, WL has been dead and gone for a good number of years now. They hash over his material as if it relevant. If after 35 years, in a large city, you only have 275 people eating the hash, I would say it's time to take a long, honest look at what it's really done for the church ( in the scriptural sense) in San Diego. You would think, because his material is believed as the oracle of God, and WL was the present day apostle of some sort, that flocks of Christians would have seen this great light by now and God would have honored the hashing extravaganza with pastors, believers, and new ones flooding in.

Instead, in their history statement they don't even mention him or his material. Makes you wonder if they are ashamed of it, embarrassed? Or just plain sneaky.

They left their first husband, and are now living with Mr LSM, yet they are too ashamed to let other believers know about this strange relation, they now have. What? If they bring up Mr. LSM are they afraid it will scare people off? Or do they just not have a good way of explaining their adulterous situation?
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:04 PM   #11
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

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Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
The thing is, WL has been dead and gone for a good number of years now. They hash over his material as if it relevant. If after 35 years, in a large city, you only have 275 people eating the hash, I would say it's time to take a long, honest look at what it's really done for the church ( in the scriptural sense) in San Diego. You would think, because his material is believed as the oracle of God, and WL was the present day apostle of some sort, that flocks of Christians would have seen this great light by now and God would have honored the hashing extravaganza with pastors, believers, and new ones flooding in.

Instead, in their history statement they don't even mention him or his material. Makes you wonder if they are ashamed of it, embarrassed? Or just plain sneaky.

They left their first husband, and are now living with Mr LSM, yet they are too ashamed to let other believers know about this strange relation, they now have. What? If they bring up Mr. LSM are they afraid it will scare people off? Or do they just not have a good way of explaining their adulterous situation?
They probably had that number back when John Smith was there.

Then it was demanded they be "absolutely one" with Mr. LSM, so that they could be "blessed."
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:08 PM   #12
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

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They probably had that number back when John Smith was there.

Then it was demanded they be "absolutely one" with Mr. LSM, so that they could be "blessed."

I was there from 1975 to 1978.John was a terrific elder, mentor, teacher loved by all of us. We were a young people's church. The majority of us were between 18 and 27. Willie Samoff was an elder at 26 yrs of age. He had a gift for preaching the gospel at the love feasts.

John had the gift of teaching. He had been a Baptist pastor before coming into the church. I don't remember how that came about but He saw the true church life practiced in Acts. I believe his pastoral experience emboldened him to stand up to Lee. As a pastor/teacher in the Baptist church, numbers and activities took priority over discipling. The direction the church was taking under Lee bothered him I am sure.

I know he really tried to tow the line before throwing in the towel. In 1978, John stopped preaching Christ..stopped teaching God's Word and preached Brother Lee. Lee was Paul I recall him telling us over and over. We started watching videos of Lee in our meetings. We were dying and many of the young brothers began drinking and smoking pot together. They were troubled...

As for the number of members, I think we averaged 175. Don't know if Lee or the San Diego elders pushed migration but people were constantly migrating.

God bless John. And for the record, my experience in San Diego was a positive one. I grew in the Lord. I loved the church life until Lee disrupted it in 1977/78.
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Old 07-12-2017, 10:30 PM   #13
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Default Another False Narrative

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Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
The thing is, WL has been dead and gone for a good number of years now. ...

Instead, in their history statement they don't even mention him or his material. Makes you wonder if they are ashamed of it, embarrassed? Or just plain sneaky.

They left their first husband, and are now living with Mr LSM, yet they are too ashamed to let other believers know about this strange relation, they now have. What? If they bring up Mr. LSM are they afraid it will scare people off? Or do they just not have a good way of explaining their adulterous situation?
This point has been overlooked for a long time IMHO. That is, the "public" relationship with Lee and the "private" relationship.

Following is a 1995 quote from the Dallas Morning News by Jerry McGill, at the time, an elder in The Church in Richardson. At the time the Church in Richardson was attempting to buy property in the Spring Park subdivision of Garland, Texas (a Dallas suburb). The residents of Spring Park smelled a rat.

Quote:
October 20, 1995
SpringPark residents oppose church
Religious group to continue seeking site

Jayne Noble Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News

..."Everything I've read shows these churches could be cultish, and the people here are very concerned about that," Mr. Smith said.

Mr. McGill said that he is aware of the organization, which sometimes is called The Local Church and is named after the cities where services are held. But Mr. McGill said The Church in Richardson does not have any "official ties with any church."
"We have no central headquarters . . . no organizational leader or ties to anything," he said. "We're an independent,Bible-believing church with no affiliation . . . just like a lot of churches in Garland." ...
The residents of Spring Park were not concerned with "central headquarters", "organizational leader", etc. They were concerned that a cult might be moving into their neighborhood. McGill changed the subject and deflected from their real concern.

In fact, prior to 1995, Jerry McGill was in the Church in Dallas (maybe an elder or deacon) for several years. He was an elder in The Church in Austin. Some of you may know more of his Local Church resume, which includes many years of "awareness" which included many trainings with Witness Lee. Why didn't McGill just SAY that?

Quote:
The Dallas Morning News
November 8, 1995
Residents fighting church
Lawyer hired to halt a move to Garland

Jayne Noble Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News

"...Some people say they are also concerned about the church's practices and its ties to other churches in Austin and Arlington, whose members profess to follow a Chinese spiritual leader named Witness Lee.

The churches are sometimes called Local Churches and are named after the cities where services are held.

Mr. McGill said this week that he has "had fellowship" with those churches, but that each is independent and that members "don't consider that the church, as the body of Christ, is an organization." ...
Even when Witness Lee was alive, the "localities" publicly attempted to hide their relationship with Lee. The Local Church campus groups definitely hide their connection to the mother ship.

Why? As you say, are they "ashamed of it, embarrassed? Or just plain sneaky?" All of the above?

In fact, this is what people/groups do when they are hiding something. Rather than give a straight answer, they deflect. Why not just say "We appreciate very much the teachings of Witness Lee and we fellowship with other churches who appreciate him as much as we do." Is something wrong with that?

In this 1995 case, The Church in Richardson was attempting to deceive the residents of Spring Park and thereby purchase property in the neighborhood. At the time, these attempts by the Church in Richardson failed. I don't know if they succeeded in later years.

Nell
Attached Files
File Type: pdf DMN 11-08-95-Jerry McGill.pdf (14.2 KB, 43 views)
File Type: pdf DMN 10-20-95-Jerry McGill.pdf (14.7 KB, 39 views)

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Old 07-13-2017, 11:10 AM   #14
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"The church" in San Diego is supposed to be the pillar of truth. They are the ones who are in God's purpose, who have the words and teachings of God's oracle, the apostle of the 2nd kind, God's deputy authority, which they bountifully receive from LSM, and do receive. This is supposed to be God's up-to-date move that will usher in the kingdom- all other Christian meetings are inferior. They enjoy the riches of this ministery and blah, blah, blah; but they won't even give a hint of mentioning it in their history statement, nor in their belief statement? How will the good, seeking Christians in San Diego come to the light?

35 years-275 adults meeting in a city of 1.3 million, and a false narrative in their history statement. The relation they have with LSM does not seem very productive, and conversely, the relation LSM has with them does not appear to be very lucrative. Looks like it is time for them to reexamine their business model.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:31 AM   #15
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

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Originally Posted by countmeworthy View Post
I was there from 1975 to 1978.John was a terrific elder, mentor, teacher loved by all of us. We were a young people's church. The majority of us were between 18 and 27. Willie Samoff was an elder at 26 yrs of age. He had a gift for preaching the gospel at the love feasts.

John had the gift of teaching. He had been a Baptist pastor before coming into the church. I don't remember how that came about but He saw the true church life practiced in Acts. I believe his pastoral experience emboldened him to stand up to Lee. As a pastor/teacher in the Baptist church, numbers and activities took priority over discipling. The direction the church was taking under Lee bothered him I am sure.

I know he really tried to tow the line before throwing in the towel. In 1978, John stopped preaching Christ..stopped teaching God's Word and preached Brother Lee. Lee was Paul I recall him telling us over and over. We started watching videos of Lee in our meetings. We were dying and many of the young brothers began drinking and smoking pot together. They were troubled...

As for the number of members, I think we averaged 175. Don't know if Lee or the San Diego elders pushed migration but people were constantly migrating.

God bless John. And for the record, my experience in San Diego was a positive one. I grew in the Lord. I loved the church life until Lee disrupted it in 1977/78.
I started meeting just about the time you were moving on. The Lee disruption only got worse and more invasive as time went on. I remember both John Smiths, the one who was the shepherd, and the one who went full bore for the LSM. I also remember the John Smith who stood up and gave his final message before leaving. It was a very confusing statement to me, that you had to read between the lines weeks after you realized he had left. He spoke like someone who had just lost his life savings to Bernie Madoff.
Shortly after that the elders issued a printed statement that they and the church were one with WL and LSM (somewhere in my garage, I think I still have the letter; if I find it, I'll post it.). Basically, the meeting hall, that we all had been faithful to donate for and work on, and upkeep on Saturday mornings, was turned over to the LSM machine. It was stolen from the Saints; the church in San Diego ceased to exist. They kept the title, but the body was dead.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:37 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Part of the "de-leavening" process ex-members go through is to reject every bit of church history we learned there.
I would say part of the LC brainwashing technique is to forget every bit of their own history and create a false narrative. As I say, this is not how the scripture handles the history of God's people.

It's like China- you have the People's Liberation Army, but the people are under the thumb of the communist regime that controls them and the liberation army!
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:57 AM   #17
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

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Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
I started meeting just about the time you were moving on. The Lee disruption only got worse and more invasive as time went on. I remember both John Smiths, the one who was the shepherd, and the one who went full bore for the LSM. I also remember the John Smith who stood up and gave his final message before leaving. It was a very confusing statement to me, that you had to read between the lines weeks after you realized he had left. He spoke like someone who had just lost his life savings to Bernie Madoff.
Shortly after that the elders issued a printed statement that they and the church were one with WL and LSM (somewhere in my garage, I think I still have the letter; if I find it, I'll post it.). Basically, the meeting hall, that we all had been faithful to donate for and work on, and upkeep on Saturday mornings, was turned over to the LSM machine. It was stolen from the Saints; the church in San Diego ceased to exist. They kept the title, but the body was dead.
Me and a sister in the LC/LSM drove by the old meeting hall in 2005. WOW.. can't remember if it was in the hands of the Baptist church but the landscaping was beautiful.. the whole area was beautiful.. I have never seen a community so upgraded!!

What shocked me was seeing the sign on the new ugly building that said 'THE CHURCH IN SAN DIEGO'.

John was battling in his spirit when you moved down. He began cow-towing the LSM in early 1978. Prior to that he and Sonya were wonderful mentors and they had their hands full with 6 kids of their own.

Les and Carolyn who I love and lived with when I first got saved were always die hard Leeists. Especially Les. But they are good folk otherwise. I consider them my spiritual parents.

I saw this in their general info statements:

Quote:
As the church in San Diego, we are open and eager to fellowship in oneness with all believers in Christ as well as unbelievers who are open to know the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Are they?? Are they really??
This holds true for the LSM.. The LC that I loved is not there. I still love the saints who nurtured me in the Lord there, always will.

The Holy Spirit has removed Himself from there. There is no longer the Presence of God... just mumbo jumbo.

One day, there will be no more divisions. No LSM, LC or denominations. God will make all things new again.
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Old 07-13-2017, 02:25 PM   #18
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

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Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
So, in the city of San Diego, with a population of 1.3 million there are only 275 adults meeting after 35 years! I would say their historical perspective lacks credibility. I would also say that the low numbers is entirely due to their association with LSM. The title, or their nomer THE church in San Diego should not be assigned to them. They have taken a biblical designator and abused it. This is not a small thing, really, in the sphere of Christian practice, but is quite serious. Wasn't it WL that talked about the woman married to Smith that calls herself Mrs Jones. The " church in San Diego" in the mid-80s left her husband and now lives with Mr LSM.

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Originally Posted by Boxjobox View Post
... The Lee disruption only got worse and more invasive as time went on. I remember both John Smiths, the one who was the shepherd, and the one who went full bore for the LSM.
AN OPEN LETTER FROM JOHN SMITH

April 18, 1989

Dear Brothers and Sisters in San Diego,

It is now more than 17 years since I came to San Diego for the church life. There have been days of happiness and days of sadness, days nearly free of problems and days of struggle. I remember with special joy 1971-1976. Literally hundreds (especially from the Navy) were saved. We had a marvelous family church life and spontaneous blessing. I could never forget those wonderful love feasts with many saved and baptized. The quality and the degree of the blessing of those years have never returned; except perhaps during the 18 months we spent on the offerings. No doubt those 18 months were so blessed because saints were developing an exciting personal relationship to the Lord with extra-local direction held to a minimum. Some extra-local people did criticize us for continuing 18 months along that line instead of jumping to do the latest thing that came from brother Witness Lee’s ministry. I never told you, but much of what I shared in those days did not come from brother Witness Lee. And I only tell you now because there is a false belief that there are little riches elsewhere. I had enjoyed many writings before I met brother Witness Lee. I gave up these writings through the years more than I should have, but the profit and joy I them was so great that I never stayed exclusively with Living Stream publications.
I appreciate the love and care I received from you all during the 17 years. Some among the Chinese-speaking saints extended themselves to the uttermost to take care of me during my long illness. Others also helped much; the other leading ones did their best to keep me from stressful situations; and all of you prayed very much. For this I am grateful. I have written this letter out of love for you all and responsibility to you.
Up to this point I have fellowshipped my standing in the present situation mainly with those who have come to see me. Recently I have realized the need to make a statement to all of you. Some have been asking, “Why doesn’t John tell us where he stands?” At the judgment seat of Christ I do not want to be responsible for not telling you the truth.
I wish to say that this letter is not subtle. I am stating my realization concerning the situation among those who follow Witness Lee. I am not suggesting that brothers who differ from me are violating their conscience. That is for them to settle with the Lord just as it is for all of us. This letter will not attempt an exhaustive treatment of the matters concerned. However, as my health is considerably improved I open the door for you to come and fellowship with me if you desire.
According to my spirit, my conscience, my understanding of the Word, and the present practices, I can no longer follow brother Witness Lee. If you choose to do so that is up to you. I will love you just the same. I have no personal problems with anyone. Everyone should know the facts and be “fully convinced in his own mind” (Rom. 14:5). It is a dangerous thing for one to play the conscience for another. We are not dealing with problems of a single locality, but with serious matters of truth and practice. I believe the deviation has brought the churches following brother Witness Lee into denominationalism and sectarianism.
The points I present will be very similar to what other brothers (such as Albert Zehr, John Ingalls, etc.) have said. I have a deep realization that our practices are not according to the truth and the vision that captured me years ago: a vision of dynamic, organic, living church life unhindered by the matters explained in the following points.
1. Deputy authority and the oracle of God
I would like to preface this point by saying that the teaching concerning deputy authority is based principally on example (as opposed to the direct command of God); much from the Old Testament. It is true that “these things happened as examples for us….upon whom the end of the age has come” (1 Cor. 10:6,11). However, in scriptural interpretation one can easily go off track if he makes biblical examples equal to the commands of God. It is obvious from brother Witness Lee’s sharing that he feels that he is the primary deputy authority on the earth. In the recent Pasadena conference he said “who (meaning whoever) has the deputy authority has the oracle of God.” We begin with this matter because it pervades the whole conduct and atmosphere in the churches that follow Witness Lee.
Spiritual authority is endowed upon a person by the Lord. It is perceived and realized in the saints and substantiated by the Lord. As stated by Watchman Nee “we should never say so much as one word on behalf of our own authority. Rather, let us give people the liberty. The more God entrusts to us the more liberty we grant people” (Spiritual Authority pg. 121). It seems in these days there is virtually a campaign by brother Witness Lee and some others to establish his deputy authority.
Our practice has been that in nearly every conference or training we observe a declaration of authority. Old Testament cases of disobedience are cited. Often the case of Miriam’s leprosy has been mentioned. But why is it not mentioned that Uzziah, Eli, and others lost their deputy authority. Furthermore, David was rebuked and chastened for the misuse of his deputy authority. No doubt Aaron lost his entrance into Canaan by being one with the disobedience of Moses when Moses struck the rock. In much of the Old Testament deputy authority was divided between priests, kings, and prophets.
In the first place deputy authorities in the Old Testament are types of Christ. Now Christ has come and Christ is the head of every man (1 Cor. 11:3). Other than Christ Himself in the Gospels the New Testament does not indicate that there will always be one chief deputy authority on the earth. Peter, Paul, and John are very prominent in the New Testament record. But we must not forget that no one today is writing Scriptures as they did. It is also plain that Paul acknowledge other groups of apostles laboring where he did not and respected their spheres of labor, although the spheres were not fully exclusive (2 Cor. 10:15 and Rom. 15:20). To say that, because in the New Testament record Peter was prominent, then Paul, and finally John, means that at all times there will be one chief deputy authority on the earth is an excessive extrapolation of New Testament examples. If brother Witness Lee considers himself to be the successor to Watchman Nee, then there must be another successor and, in principle, you have an apostolic succession similar to Roman Catholicism.
Regarding the matter of the oracles of God, Watchman Nee states, (A Table in the Wilderness For February 15) “It is our privilege to preach the Word, but no single one of us is God’s oracle. We cannot utter his words without bringing to them something personal of our own. Many of us can preach a good message, but one spontaneous sentence of our has the power to confirm or overthrow it all.” I would call your attention especially to 1 Pet. 4:11 which says “If any man speaks let him speak as the oracles of God” (KJV). Whether you take this as Christian teachers or anyone in an assembly, it is a plurality of believers. I will not use the space to develop this matter further in this letter.
The manner in which deputy authority has been applied, including the external standards to which all are expected to conform, has brought legality and fear into the churches. The liberty of the Holy Spirit and the freedom of the human will have been undermined. Many saints have become afraid to follow their own conscience and spirit. Also many saints have become condemned, defeated, and depressed.
2. The teaching and attempted practice of “deputy authority” and “the oracle of God”, have issued in a system of control and organization of the churches. Much of the control is indirect, but nonetheless very strong. Control and organization are publicly denied but constant pressure is applied through elders’ trainings, videos, conferences, and publications to push churches and brothers and sisters to conform. Surely this is strong organization. Whatever the intention, the result of this surely hinders the organic relationship of the saint to his Lord. We have seen a great change of emphasis from “the ministry for the churches” to “the churches for the ministry.” Thus the “work” or “ministry” is built up more than the local churches. Any church that would build up and exalt “the ministry” has been virtually incorporated into “the work.”
Since control is denied, why is honest fellowship not received? I have personally had the experience of honest fellowship not being received.
3. In recent years efforts to unite saints and churches all over the earth around a physical leader and organization have become increasingly apparent. I believe this is not scriptural. Plurality of apostles and different companies of apostles working in various areas is no longer our concept or practice. The New Testament does not present one apostle governing all the rest. Here I wish to present some notes from the Taipei Elders Training June 1989:

a. p.2 “…Don’t teach differently from the minister, from Paul.” But the passage in 1 Timothy does not say do not teach differently from Paul but don’t teach differently from God’s dispensation (or stewardship or administration), which is in faith (1 Tim. 1:4).
b. p.4 “So our burden is to pick up Brother Lee’s teaching and way to make us all Witness Lees, like a Witness Lee duplication center.” This should be said of no one but Christ Himself.
c. p.6 “Without this fellowship no church can be produced, built, or completed.” The context of the Taipei notes implies that today this is Witness Lee’s fellowship. I fully disagree with this.
d. p.13 “It may be that the number one sin in the Lord’s recovery today is the improper relationship with the ministry office. It is a sign of blindness. The practical carrying out of this ministry is practically with Philip Lee.” “…We love brother Lee’s ministry but he has a way to do things; he does things thru the ministry office; he doesn’t trust anyone else on the whole earth, so brother Lee put him (Philip) there” (p.14). Such a thing has no valid precedent in the New Testament, either by example or teaching.

The above statements from the Taipei Elders’ training and more that could be presented are shocking and not according to the New Testament. The exaltation of man and chin-of-command stand out. Since authority is ascribed and practiced in a very inorganic, organized manner, it becomes no longer spiritual authority.
4. In centralizing the work and having training centers we are going the way denominations have historically gone.
5. There has been much pressure that all the saints in the churches would conform to the burden of brother Witness Lee’s ministry and carry it out in full uniformity of practice. Actually the local administration together with all the saints should go directly to the Lord for His leading in the church where they are. A proper fellowship with other saints, churches and servants of the Lord should be maintained without infringing on the proper independence of the local church. The following quotes from pages 16 to 19 of The Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches, published in 1978 by the Living Stream ministry, are surely little practiced by the churches following brother Witness Lee. Page 16 states, “Our unique leader is Christ. We have no official, permanent, organized human leadership. Furthermore, there is no hierarchy of any kind and no world-wide leader. We regard no person as infallible, and we do not follow anyone blindly.” (But blind following has been promoted among us.) “Each local church is autonomous in its administration.” Page 19 states, “...in all administrative affairs the local churches are autonomous and locally governed.”
6. One church one city implies that we are open to receive and accept all genuine believers. We should not demand certain practices of those with different feelings. Our attitude has been that those who have reservations concerning our practice are “unclear” and basically remain “outsiders.” Those with different views are regarded as “pouring cold water”, “blowing cold winds”, “negative”, “old”, etc. These labels have characteristically been given no mater how honest a person was in the feeling he expressed. I am sorry to say that in the past I have used some of these terms regarding dear brothers and I am well aware that some of them are being used of me now.
7. The biblical truth is that the saints meet in the name of the Lord with all having freedom to share as the Spirit gives them utterance. But our practice has been to measure everyone by whether they speak “the ministry.” Truth lessons, life studies, and footnotes are promoted as the most proper ways to express anything. In some instances reading with little or no comment has been promoted. Surely this is control and must offend the Headship of the One in Whose name we meet.
8. Ministry is to dispense Christ into people for the building up of the church. All who do so have a part in God’s New Testament ministry. According to our practice and our vocabulary “the ministry” is Witness Lee, and not only what he says or write but the way he says it. Anything else has “another flavor.” Surely this attitude and practice is exclusive and unscriptural.
9. On what is our oneness based? Our oneness is uniquely Christ. Ephesians admonishes us to keep the oneness of the Spirit. Romans 14 admonishes us to receive one another solely on the basis of Christ, not according to any uniformity of practice. However, if one does not conform in practice, it would be a rare person who could remain comfortable among us. Furthermore, to a great extent our oneness has become based on a spiritual leader and his teaching. Brother Witness Lee and his ministry have been made a great issue and factor of division among us. At this moment some brothers and sisters might be uncomfortable in fellowship with me; because my relationship with them, to a great extent, depends upon their estimate of my relationship with Witness Lee. In Chapter 4 of The Normal Christian Church Life, Watchman Nee states that this is a failure to realize the local character of the church. The genuine ground of oneness has been replaced with other things, such as a spiritual leader, teachings, uniformity of practice, etc. In The Normal Christian Church Life (pages 92-93) Watchman Nee says, “Whenever a special leader, or a specific doctrine, or some experience or creed or organization, becomes a center for drawing together the believers of different places, then its center is other than Christ and its sphere is other than local; and whenever the divinely-appointed sphere of locality is displaced by a sphere of human invention there the divine approval cannot rest. The believers within such a sphere may truly love the Lord, but they have another center apart from Him, and it is only natural that the second center becomes the controlling one. Christ is the common center of all the churches, but any company of believers that have a leader, an experience, a creed, or an organization as their center of fellowship, will find that that center becomes the center, and it is the center by which they determine who belongs to them and who does not.” Surely this has become our case.
10. There has been too much emphasizing of “methods” more than the inner anointing, and external “big success” more than the experience of the inner life. This deviates from the central lane of God’s New Testament plan. I cannot imagine that young people taking numbers in high pressure meetings to be “full time” is the real organic production of Christian workers according to the normal life of local churches as seen in the Scriptures. I have been deeply impressed with a paragraph in chapter 2 of The Normal Christian Church Life by Watchman Nee, “How grand it would be if there were no representatives of different earthly bodies, but only representatives of the Body, the Body of Christ. If thousands of local churches, with thousands of prophets and teachers, each sent out thousands of different workers, there would be a vast outward diversity, but there could still be perfect inward unity if all were sent out under the direction of one Head and on the ground of the one Body.”
11. Because it has become such an issue among us, I must briefly address the matter of Philip Lee. Due to the position of influence he together with Living Stream exercised among, and to some extent, over the churches for many years, the problem of his behavior cannot be isolated to Anaheim. Neither can the problem be diminished by saying that Living Stream is merely Witness Lee’s private publishing business. Through the years Living Stream has received much money in donations and multiplied thousands of dollars of free labor. Living Stream activities and influences became an integral part of the working of all the churches. Therefore, Philip’s conduct and the years of failure to deal with it are matters which concern all the churches.
At the moment I have no intention of engaging in a running controversy. However, I am not afraid of argument. I believe I know already how the points given in this letter would be answered. No doubt I the past I have used most of those arguments myself. For years many things both in our teaching and practice have troubled me. I used to defend and teach such tings even when my conscience and my sprit testified to the contrary. Eventually I was forced to admit that I could no longer defend some crucial matters of the teaching and practice among us with a good conscience and a perfect spirit. There is ample substantiation for all of the above points. I do not feel it is practical to make this letter long enough to include all references. In fact, this letter is only a small part of what could be said. Rather than write pages and pages, I have opened the door for fellowship.
I write this letter to you to be faithful to the Lord. It would have been much easier to say nothing and just disappear. This the Lord would not allow me to do. This letter cannot by any means convey the clarity and fullness of thought which I have concerning these matter in these days. It may be said tht to speak the things I this letter is “negative”, not building up, etc. I do not accept this kind of argument. In the present situation, as I stated in the beginning of the letter, there is need to know the truth and realize the facts concerning our present teaching and practice. To use verses such as 1 Cor. 2:2, 1 Tim. 1:4, and 2 Tim. 2:23, to condemn and inhibit fellowship concerning serious deviations in truth and practice, is misapplication of the Scriptures. Everyone needs to exercise his own conscience and his own spirit. I certainly do not want to be your conscience. This is a dangerous thing to do. If I am accused of being unethical, I would remind you that the church does not belong to John Smith, Witness Lee, or any person or group of persons. It is the church of God, Christ and the saints.
I fully realize all kinds of derogatory judgments may be applied to me as a result of this letter. I am familiar with the manner in which this has been done and the terms used through the years. But as far as I know my heart is pure in these matters. I am not seeking a following or a kingdom. I am standing for what I believe to be the truth in doctrine and practice. Many of you may feel strongly to go in a certain direction with brother Witness Lee. I can neither go that way nor lead others that way. However, all of you still remain my dear brothers and sisters in Christ. My spirit is not contentious as I write; I hope yours will not be as you receive and read this letter.
Although I am saddened by the present situation, personally I am very happy in the Lord. I rejoice in renewed experience of the Headship of Christ, of reading a variety of rich material, and in thankfulness to the Lord for His great mercy upon me. My heart exults in Him. Truly His yoke is easy and His burden is light. I thank the Lord that doors of ministry are open to me here and elsewhere which, the Lord granting me more mercy, I will enter. In whatever service the Lord guides me I desire to give Him His organic way. And for myself, I like to say as Whitfield said, “Let the name of Whitfield (John Smith) perish. Let Christ be exalted.”

In Christian love and concern,


John Smith

Note: This letter is not restricted to San Diego. I hope you will all read John Ingalls’ and Al Knoch’s statement withdrawing as elders in Anaheim.
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Old 07-13-2017, 03:05 PM   #19
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

Thank you for sharing John's letter. He was always kind.. a gentle giant if you will but very strong in the Lord a great teacher who studied the Word and prepared long hours before he shared at the meetings. Too bad the church in San Diego followed Lee instead of Christ.


His words: We had a marvelous family church life and spontaneous blessing. I could never forget those wonderful love feasts with many saved and baptized. The quality and the degree of the blessing of those years have never returned;.... I never told you, but much of what I shared in those days did not come from brother Witness Lee.... ring true... so very true. Some of us knew he did not parrot Lee. I was one of them.

He also wrote:
Some among the Chinese-speaking saints extended themselves to the uttermost to take care of me during my long illness.

He contracted Hepatitis in a church trip to New Zealand if I recall correctly. He forced himself to give a message when he returned and he was all yellow. How he did not collapse was the Grace of God holding him up.

In his letter, what also stood out to me was this:
Much of the control is indirect, but nonetheless very strong. Control and organization are publicly denied but constant pressure is applied through elders’ trainings, videos, conferences, and publications to push churches and brothers and sisters to conform. Surely this is strong organization. Whatever the intention, the result of this surely hinders the organic relationship of the saint to his Lord.

We have seen a great change of emphasis from “the ministry for the churches” to “the churches for the ministry.” Thus the “work” or “ministry” is built up more than the local churches. Any church that would build up and exalt “the ministry” has been virtually incorporated into “the work.


Boy.. did we ever experience that! As a 'young people's church', we were quite free. But we witnessed and experienced the pressure to conform especially once the life study messages HAD to be incorporated into our meetings.

His wife Sonya recently passed away. John is up there in age too and I think I heard somewhere he might be struggling with Alzheimers or dementia. God bless John Smith.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
AN OPEN LETTER FROM JOHN SMITH
April 18, 1989
Dear Brothers and Sisters in San Diego,

etc.... In whatever service the Lord guides me I desire to give Him His organic way. And for myself, I like to say as Whitfield said, “Let the name of Whitfield (John Smith) perish. Let Christ be exalted.”

In Christian love and concern,
John Smith

Note: This letter is not restricted to San Diego. I hope you will all read John Ingalls’ and Al Knoch’s statement withdrawing as elders in Anaheim.
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Old 07-13-2017, 06:47 PM   #20
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

It's a tragedy of LC history that letters, like this one from John Smith of San Diego, never were disseminated throughout the Recovery. Via the filter of Titus Chu in Cleveland, the GLA LC's knew next to nothing about what really was happening "in the wake of the New Way," because the elders under him were instructed to "protect" the LC's from the controversy. What information we did receive at times, sent anonymously to all the LC's, was very poorly assembled, and easily dismissed as part of some "loony conspiracy."

Had we received well-written letters like this one from John Smith or John Ingalls, whom we knew and respected, that would have caused many of us to weigh both sides of the conflict, and then to investigate further into the actual facts and grievances. This was not done, at least not in my neck of the woods.
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Old 07-13-2017, 11:26 PM   #21
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

[QUOTE=Indiana;62297]AN OPEN LETTER FROM JOHN SMITH

Indiana, thanks for posting that letter from John Smith. It caused me to reflect on some things I have not thought of in years.

This was a major part of the history of the church in San Diego. The main supporting pillar left, and the building collapsed. The other elders at this time turned the church over to LSM, and the meeting hall in my estimation was stolen from the saints. I don't recall any discussion with the church by those elders as to the direction the saints wished to take. John did open his home for fellowship for those of us who survived this train wreck, although, he too was a victim who was looking for a way to go on.

LSM is a failure as far as producing a Godly house. If the church in San Diego really practiced what they present in their "history", instead of 275 meeting, there would be more like 27,500 in the city. Time to dump LSM.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:33 AM   #22
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

Here are more gold nuggets from John's letter that stood out to me.. really hit home..

Quote:
I believe the deviation has brought the churches following brother Witness Lee into denominationalism and sectarianism.

I have a deep realization that our practices are not according to the truth and the vision that captured me years ago: a vision of dynamic, organic, living church life
Quote:
If brother Witness Lee considers himself to be the successor to Watchman Nee, then there must be another successor and, in principle, you have an apostolic succession similar to Roman Catholicism.
Quote:
The manner in which deputy authority has been applied, including the external standards to which all are expected to conform, has brought legality and fear into the churches. The liberty of the Holy Spirit and the freedom of the human will have been undermined. Many saints have become afraid to follow their own conscience and spirit. Also many saints have become condemned, defeated, and depressed.
Quote:
“Whenever a special leader, or a specific doctrine, or some experience or creed or organization, becomes a center for drawing together the believers of different places, then its center is other than Christ and its sphere is other than local; and whenever the divinely-appointed sphere of locality is displaced by a sphere of human invention there the divine approval cannot rest.

The believers within such a sphere may truly love the Lord, but they have another center apart from Him, and it is only natural that the second center becomes the controlling one. Christ is the common center of all the churches, but any company of believers that have a leader, an experience, a creed, or an organization as their center of fellowship, will find that that center becomes the center, and it is the center by which they determine who belongs to them and who does not.” Surely this has become our case.
Quote:
There has been too much emphasizing of “methods” more than the inner anointing, and external “big success” more than the experience of the inner life. This deviates from the central lane of God’s New Testament plan. I cannot imagine that young people taking numbers in high pressure meetings to be “full time” is the real organic production of Christian workers according to the normal life of local churches as seen in the Scriptures.
Quote:
I write this letter to you to be faithful to the Lord. It would have been much easier to say nothing and just disappear. This the Lord would not allow me to do....... And for myself, I like to say as Whitfield said, “Let the name of Whitfield (John Smith) perish. Let Christ be exalted.”
Now y'all know why I am so thankful I was in the church in San Diego in the early days. We were not a perfect bunch for sure. But God's Love through His Spirit and Word blanketed us.

Blessings until we all arrive.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:21 AM   #23
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Had we received well-written letters like this one from John Smith or John Ingalls, whom we knew and respected, that would have caused many of us to weigh both sides of the conflict, and then to investigate further into the actual facts and grievances. This was not done, at least not in my neck of the woods.
Thank God for the internet, and for Steve Isitt's willingness to take Witness Lee at his word and find out what really happened, and then his courage to "tell it to the church". . . otherwise we probably wouldn't have read this testimony of LC history in the USA. "Legalism and fear" - amen; I know what spirit it is that Smith referred to. It helps when someone put into words what you sensed in your experience.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:28 AM   #24
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Default Re: Witness Lee had one narrative - John Smith from San Diego had another

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This was a major part of the history of the church in San Diego. The main supporting pillar left, and the building collapsed.
This actually was standard operating procedure in the program, not at all unique to San Diego. I watched it happen to 2 churches I was a part of. The results were pre-planned and predictable -- the resulting elders are now dependent on headquarters like never before. So much for the LC autonomy we initially signed up for.

Usually the building does not collapse completely. New props are added -- like a steady stream of messages from HQ and a "part-time full-timer" -- to take their place. Kind of like government rations sent to the starving third world -- beans and rice -- you won't die, but your daily focus deteriorates to one of survival. As I said, I lived through it twice.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:38 AM   #25
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

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Here are more gold nuggets from John's letter that stood out to me.. really hit home ...

Now y'all know why I am so thankful I was in the church in San Diego in the early days. We were not a perfect bunch for sure. But God's Love through His Spirit and Word blanketed us.

Blessings until we all arrive.
I agree.

I still remember John Smith visiting us in Columbus back in 1981. He was a great teacher, and shared with us from Romans 8.13.
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Old 07-14-2017, 08:40 AM   #26
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Thank God for the internet, and for Steve Isitt's willingness to take Witness Lee at his word and find out what really happened, and then his courage to "tell it to the church". . . otherwise we probably wouldn't have read this testimony of LC history in the USA. "Legalism and fear" - amen; I know what spirit it is that Smith referred to. It helps when someone put into words what you sensed in your experience.
Yes, definitely.

All LC members who lived thru the 80's should also read Steve's paper, "In The Wake of The New Way."
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Old 07-14-2017, 02:09 PM   #27
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

I am one who feels there is a lot to " the church in xxx" concept being scriptural. In fact, I do think this needs to be recovered among all christians. WL and LSM are not the vehicle to bring this about- that was an abysmal fraud and failure. The people meeting in San Diego as the church in, are just as much the victims of this fraud as are all of us who left after they stole the meeting hall from the saints and blended in with LSM. The problem is, they usurped the title " the church in San Diego" and it is now in the hands of the LSM conglomerate. I'm sure the people meeting are still thinking they are doing the Lord's service.

Their history statement sounds charming, but it is a false narrative of their real practice. The question is, how to recover the church in San Diego (I speak locally, I'm well aware that this exists in other cities) and re establish the Church in Philadelphia situation..
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Old 07-14-2017, 04:03 PM   #28
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We have a choice. We can believe the numerous accounts of all the men of God who left the LC's, or we can believe Witness Lee's farcical account of this "vast global conspiracy," which btw is the same version of events he has used for every "storm" in the recovery.
from a piece by Nigel on G. H. Lang


LSM’s Vilification of G. H. Lang (excerpt)

The Brethren Bible teacher, George Henry Lang (1874-1958) was unjustly maligned by LSM’s ‘Local Church’ movement. LSM exhibits a schizophrenic attitude towards Lang. On one hand they laud him, saying “G. H. Lang [was] one of the greatest Bible expositors and scholars during the past century and the author of 40 Christian books...” Plus they appeal to Lang’s support of their ‘ground of locality’ doctrine. On the other hand, Lang was a whipping boy’ during LSM’s 1980s campaign against local church autonomy. Among members of LSM’s Local Church movement this latter aspect—the vilification of G. H. Lang--dominates their overall impression. LSM publications—books authored by Witness Lee--document over a dozen instances in which G. H. Lang is vociferously berated for teaching the autonomy of the local church. We argue that LSM’s maligning of G. H. Lang is undeserved; during his lifetime, Lang was an enthusiastic supporter of the Local Church’s ‘founding father’—brother Watchman Nee. Christian history scholar, Dr. David O. Woodbridge, asserts that1 Watchman “Nee...received enthusiastic support, particularly from...[G. H.] Lang.” This claim is substantiated by G. H. Lang’s personal correspondence with Watchman Nee—a resource LSM totally neglected. Moreover, Lang’s teaching on “autonomy” was not significantly different for W. Nee’s own teaching. It is hypocritical therefore to denounce G. H. Lang, while claiming to faithfully follow Watchmen Nee. It appears that G. H. Lang was simply a ‘scapegoat’ during LSM’s campaign to undermine a fundamental tenet—the autonomy of each local church. “The Body” was used to trump the local church. Meanwhile LSM’s soon-to-be ‘blended brothers’ began promoting W. Lee under the rubric of being ‘one with the ministry.’ In retrospect these events marked the start of LSM’s subversion of the local churches and began the globalization of Witness Lee’s ministry.
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Old 07-15-2017, 04:00 PM   #29
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from a piece by Nigel on G. H. Lang


LSM’s Vilification of G. H. Lang (excerpt)

The Brethren Bible teacher, George Henry Lang (1874-1958) was unjustly maligned by LSM’s ‘Local Church’ movement. LSM exhibits a schizophrenic attitude towards Lang. On one hand they laud him, saying “G. H. Lang [was] one of the greatest Bible expositors and scholars during the past century and the author of 40 Christian books...” Plus they appeal to Lang’s support of their ‘ground of locality’ doctrine. On the other hand, Lang was a whipping boy’ during LSM’s 1980s campaign against local church autonomy. Among members of LSM’s Local Church movement this latter aspect—the vilification of G. H. Lang--dominates their overall impression. LSM publications—books authored by Witness Lee--document over a dozen instances in which G. H. Lang is vociferously berated for teaching the autonomy of the local church. We argue that LSM’s maligning of G. H. Lang is undeserved; during his lifetime, Lang was an enthusiastic supporter of the Local Church’s ‘founding father’—brother Watchman Nee. Christian history scholar, Dr. David O. Woodbridge, asserts that Watchman “Nee...received enthusiastic support, particularly from...[G. H.] Lang.” This claim is substantiated by G. H. Lang’s personal correspondence with Watchman Nee—a resource LSM totally neglected. Moreover, Lang’s teaching on “autonomy” was not significantly different for W. Nee’s own teaching. It is hypocritical therefore to denounce G. H. Lang, while claiming to faithfully follow Watchmen Nee. It appears that G. H. Lang was simply a ‘scapegoat’ during LSM’s campaign to undermine a fundamental tenet—the autonomy of each local church. “The Body” was used to trump the local church. Meanwhile LSM’s soon-to-be ‘blended brothers’ began promoting W. Lee under the rubric of being ‘one with the ministry.’ In retrospect these events marked the start of LSM’s subversion of the local churches and began the globalization of Witness Lee’s ministry.
A former longtime elder told me,"We began with Christ as life for the building of the church and ended up with a man and a ministry."

It impressed me very much when I heard it

Both Nigel and I were in Chicago when this elder was serving there. Beginning his church life experience in the 1960s, he had served in at least 4 localities with several different elders and became very familiar with how things were done under Witness Lee, LSM, and also with Texas brothers and the role they picked up in the churches. When Bill Mallon read this brother's email below he contacted me to ask who wrote it. He said it was right on the mark. And, we know that Don Rutledge has echoed in much detail this brother's fellowship, regarding Witness Lee and the Texas brothers.


Hi Steve
Regarding Bill Mallon's letter to Witness Lee. A tragic story. What kept going through
my mind was W. Lee's word of fellowship (I was there), You brothers have
never learned how to fellowship (with me). To understand this whole mess, you have to try and understand the Chinese mentality, their cultural background, ie, the way they think. And don't tell me that we are in Christ, the new man, and culture has nothing to do with it. Well. I'm afraid in reality, it has
everything to do with most of the frustration you are dealing with.

I remember many times listening to Brother Lee say never touch the Chinese
mentality. I never quite understood what he meant. In secular language, the
word inscrutable is used to describe the Chinese. To me this means, you can
never pin them down or get them to admit error. You can never figure them
out, and they seem sooo humble.

If you have following the negotiations with the US and China over the downed plane, you will get a clue about them; wanting the US to apologize for their errors. Against all truth, facts, reasonableness, logic, whatever... they want us to kowtow, bend our knee, save their face, their honor, etc. etc. It is crazy!! And yet to get our men and women back we had to say some kind of political ....We're very sorry.... to make a deal.

Now transfer all this and more to the way they dealt with Bill and others and
then you will know why you will go crazy trying to bring them to some kind of accountability.

When we attended the memorial service for W. L., we were amazed at the pomp, the exaltation. It was like attending a funeral for a head of state, or an emperor, or king, not a humble servant of the Lord!! Did Jesus have such a regal ending? Did any of the Apostles? No, all died just like their master
and Lord. When we brought this up with others, they said it was cultural and
his family's wishes.

When I was reading Bill's accusations of the way the office and Philip
handled things in the Southeast I was shocked at his frankness. I said to myself, you never, never talk to Brother Lee like that, in that tone. I surmised that Bill was thinking that surely B. Lee was not aware of all these underhanded dealings and if he only knew he would take steps to clear up everything and possibly restore his standing in the Southeast. NOT SO. It doesn't work that way in the Chinese culture. The one at the top is lord. You do not question, or criticize, never, ever!! or you are through, finished. All those elders mentioned by Witness Lee became a threat to his controlling and they had to be subdued or removed. I think you had a little taste of this recently with the brothers in Seattle and Bellevue.

The Texas brothers learned this early on and became the inner circle around
Brother Lee to defend him and explain how things work to the rest of the elders. You mentioned Ray Graver. Have you had any dealings with Ray? Do you know him? I would consider him the hardest of all the Texas brothers to touch. He has been loyal to the death from day one. He has been loyal without question to Brother Lee and LSM for thirty-five years. What makes you think he is going to change now? Maybe you know something I don't.

Their concept of the kingdom is.....Me King,,,,you dumb!....And this attitude
is passed down the rank and file. The smallest elder acts the same way. Those who had a mind of their own have left. Those who stayed have given up their own integrity and surrendered their person to Brother Lee and the system. This system has permeated the LC leadership. Can you change it? Can the Lord change it? Of course He will change it in HIS TIME. Judgment must first begin at the House of the Lord…. END
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Old 07-15-2017, 10:34 PM   #30
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

Thanks brothers for sharing these pieces of the history of the local churches that were never allowed to see the light of day by Witness Lee and the LSM leaders.

I don't have an answer to BoxJobox's question about how to "take back "church in ______, from LSM. Nor do I know if that is even the right thought. Oh Lord!
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Old 07-16-2017, 12:29 AM   #31
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Thanks brothers for sharing these pieces of the history of the local churches that were never allowed to see the light of day by Witness Lee and the LSM leaders.

I don't have an answer to BoxJobox's question about how to "take back "church in ______, from LSM. Nor do I know if that is even the right thought. Oh Lord!
The church in xxx following LSM, such as the church in San Diego, is not the house of the Lord. WL set up a false god called "the processed triune god" this was not preached or taught by the apostles, this was a fabrication! The LSM removed the local from the "local church". It is not the church in San Diego, but LSM in San Diego. Their meetings are predicated on LSM, not the scripture. LSM obviously is not a Christian organization or ministery. They need to give up the title because it does not reflect the church meeting, but LSM meeting. They don't meet in the Lord's name but in the name of LSM.

Why would you not think it right to demand the designation that belongs to the saints meeting be returned to the saints. The false narrative the "church in San Diego" uses does not reflect who they are or why they meet together. They either need to drop all things LSM or drop the title of " the church in San Diego".
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:17 AM   #32
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

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The church in xxx following LSM, such as the church in San Diego, is not the house of the Lord. WL set up a false god called "the processed triune god" this was not preached or taught by the apostles, this was a fabrication! The LSM removed the local from the "local church". It is not the church in San Diego, but LSM in San Diego. Their meetings are predicated on LSM, not the scripture. LSM obviously is not a Christian organization or ministery. They need to give up the title because it does not reflect the church meeting, but LSM meeting. They don't meet in the Lord's name but in the name of LSM.

Why would you not think it right to demand the designation that belongs to the saints meeting be returned to the saints. The false narrative the "church in San Diego" uses does not reflect who they are or why they meet together. They either need to drop all things LSM or drop the title of " the church in San Diego".
I don't even remember what the the processed triune god teaching was. But I can tell you I have a relationship with the 3 members of the Godhead. Each One has a different role yet they are ONE. This is evident in the ministry of Jesus, His death, His shed Blood, His resurrection. It is the Son, the Word of God Who became flesh, that shed His Blood for us. Not the Father. Not the Holy Spirit.

It was a 'process' for me ... a very long personal process in understanding, experiencing and forming a relationship with each Person of the Godhead. Lots of praying, studying and Faith helped me in my quest.

And yes.. there is no longer the 'local church' that I and many of us experienced back in the day. It is now the LSM church. I also don't believe there is or ever was a 'recovery' as we were taught to believe.

I personally believe in Revelation. It is the Holy Spirit Who reveals the Word of God to us.

Seems to me Lee made up that phrase to pomp himself up. The 'Lord's Recovery' became a catch phrase no one in the Christian community outside the LSM used. God is not 'recovering' anything.

God told Daniel in chapter 12:8 "“Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time." In these last days, the Holy Spirit is now giving understanding, revelation, insight and much more to the saints because He is now unsealing what was sealed.

It has nothing to do with 'the Lord's recovery'. Whatever the LORD showed us through His Spirit and His Word in our tenure back in the day was not 'the Lord's Recovery' but rather revelation. Whatever anyone in the LSM or outside of it who is truly seeking the Lord receives in their spirit is REVELATION not 'recovery'.

That many of us, if not all of us grasped the revelation of no denomination in the Lord and that the saints met from house to house in different cities was pure revelation from the Spirit of God. But we were told it was 'the Lord's recovery' and it snowballed from there, like tumbleweeds.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:42 AM   #33
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Default Re: False Narrative of Church History

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Thanks brothers for sharing these pieces of the history of the local churches that were never allowed to see the light of day by Witness Lee and the LSM leaders.

I don't have an answer to BoxJobox's question about how to "take back "church in ______, from LSM. Nor do I know if that is even the right thought. Oh Lord!
Even if the elders decided to "take back" the church from LSM, those at LSM could send their operatives to work with favorable members or ex-members to file lawsuits against the elders. This happened in several GLA LC's. LSM DCP knows that it will never go to trial, rather the victory goes to those who are willing to fight nastier, and who have the resources to fight longer. This happened to both Columbus and Mansfield. John Myer's book "Future and Hope" starts out in the court, defending against such action.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:42 AM   #34
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Thanks brothers for sharing these pieces of the history of the local churches that were never allowed to see the light of day by Witness Lee and the LSM leaders.

I don't have an answer to BoxJobox's question about how to "take back "church in ______, from LSM. Nor do I know if that is even the right thought. Oh Lord!
I agree with you JJ.. can't 'take back' the church in ___________. The true believers are the church, the body of Christ. I know I'm 'preaching' to the choir here.

Some of us like myself have fond memories of our times in the LC back in the day. Just like fond memories for many of us of our childhood. Can't go back to our childhood days.

The good news is we are evolving and growing in the Spirit of Wisdom, in the Spirit of Revelation and in Brotherly Love.

As for the people in the LSM, we can pray the Holy Spirit open their eyes like He did ours. We can pray for them to see through the deception and be set free. Sooner or later they are going to see the LIGHT because GOD is LIGHT and He shines in the darkness. And the darkness flees.

Jesus came to set the captives free and what He says He came to do, HE WILL DO by the Power of the Holy Spirit. He will rescue and deliver them.
He calls them all by name; Because of the greatness of His might and the strength of His power, Not one of them is missing. (Isaiah 40:26)

Abram prayed for Lot to be rescued twice!! And God answered Abram's prayers. When I read about Lot, there was nothing righteous about that man, imho. Yet because of Abram's prayers, God called Lot Righteous.

Sure sheds some light on James 5:16....The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.

Showers of Blessings to all till we arrive and even beyond.
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Old 07-16-2017, 01:47 PM   #35
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I don't even remember what the the processed triune god teaching was. But I can tell you I have a relationship with the 3 members of the Godhead. Each One has a different role yet they are ONE. This is evident in the ministry of Jesus, His death, His shed Blood, His resurrection. It is the Son, the Word of God Who became flesh, that shed His Blood for us. Not the Father. Not the Holy Spirit.

It was a 'process' for me ... a very long personal process in understanding, experiencing and forming a relationship with each Person of the Godhead. Lots of praying, studying and Faith helped me in my quest.

And yes.. there is no longer the 'local church' that I and many of us experienced back in the day. It is now the LSM church. I also don't believe there is or ever was a 'recovery' as we were taught to believe.

I personally believe in Revelation. It is the Holy Spirit Who reveals the Word of God to us.

Seems to me Lee made up that phrase to pomp himself up. The 'Lord's Recovery' became a catch phrase no one in the Christian community outside the LSM used. God is not 'recovering' anything.

God told Daniel in chapter 12:8 "“Go your way, Daniel, for these words are concealed and sealed up until the end time." In these last days, the Holy Spirit is now giving understanding, revelation, insight and much more to the saints because He is now unsealing what was sealed.

It has nothing to do with 'the Lord's recovery'. Whatever the LORD showed us through His Spirit and His Word in our tenure back in the day was not 'the Lord's Recovery' but rather revelation. Whatever anyone in the LSM or outside of it who is truly seeking the Lord receives in their spirit is REVELATION not 'recovery'.

That many of us, if not all of us grasped the revelation of no denomination in the Lord and that the saints met from house to house in different cities was pure revelation from the Spirit of God. But we were told it was 'the Lord's recovery' and it snowballed from there, like tumbleweeds.
I feel differently-the recovery of the meeting of the church is more paramount then ever. WL really emphasized the church and the meeting of the church, and then he and his business organization, LSM, made merchandise of the scripture, the church, the churches, the saints, and totally corrupted everything that was precious. Yet I still feel the concept was biblical. Looking back (I wasn't there at the beginning so I may be wrong) seems like the speaking of the proper church drew people and was a recovery of the local church. It clicked in me that meeting as the church was what all Christians in the city needed. I don't know when his deviation started, I do remember the beginning of the 25¢ messages, and the clearing out of the book room of all material not LSM or LSM approved. When the total takeover came, I walked away, but I don't think a day has gone by since where my heart doesn't yearn for the return of the meeting of the church in San Diego, and the churches.
The way I see it, all the epistles were written to build up the local church and the churches, and to strongly warn about carpet baggers, charlitans, and those who would make merchandise of the church, which is what LSM is. I've been to numbers of Christian gatherings in San Diego and elsewhere; some have great attributes, but in the end seem not to have the vision of the church and churches that Paul speaks of in Ephesians. I think the reason we all love home fellowship meetings is that they approach a functioning church, where all the members can participate in their priestly capacity, but they still lack the bigger revelation.

When you speak of revelation, Countmeworthy, seems to me that The heart of God our Father, the work of our Lord Jesus, and the leading of God's Holy Spirit would lead to the seeing the need for the building of the church and the churches.
I suspect, but don't know for certain, that you still do have a yearning for the meeting of the church and the "church life" or you would not spend time discussing it. The things which are, in the book of Revelation are the local churches. I don't see them existing in the next age.
Seems to me like our Master told us to do business until he returns.
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Old 07-16-2017, 02:01 PM   #36
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Even if the elders decided to "take back" the church from LSM, those at LSM could send their operatives to work with favorable members or ex-members to file lawsuits against the elders. This happened in several GLA LC's. LSM DCP knows that it will never go to trial, rather the victory goes to those who are willing to fight nastier, and who have the resources to fight longer. This happened to both Columbus and Mansfield. John Myer's book "Future and Hope" starts out in the court, defending against such action.
Wow, Ohio, that's despicable that such would take place, but it shows the total depravity of LSM. What a failed business they are.

When you think about it, why would LSM even be needed anymore? WL is dead and gone. Over 35 years of people reading LSM should have set their thinking straight concerning the "real" meaning of the scriptures. Yet they have to sit around and read and regurgitate the LSM material, I guess to reinforce their thinking from not understanding the plain scriptures. Yet in their history narrative they don't even mention LSM and the need for all Christians to understand that that is God's up to date speaking. They don't put out that they are only following WL. What a sham, and what a shame that they hold the church in xxx designation.
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Old 07-16-2017, 04:48 PM   #37
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I feel differently-the recovery of the meeting of the church is more paramount then ever. .... I still feel the concept was biblical. Looking back (I wasn't there at the beginning so I may be wrong) seems like the speaking of the proper church drew people and was a recovery of the local church. It clicked in me that meeting as the church was what all Christians in the city needed. ..The way I see it, all the epistles were written to build up the local church and the churches, ... I've been to numbers of Christian gatherings in San Diego and elsewhere; some have great attributes, but in the end seem not to have the vision of the church and churches that Paul speaks of in Ephesians. I think the reason we all love home fellowship meetings is that they approach a functioning church, where all the members can participate in their priestly capacity, but they still lack the bigger revelation.
To your comment on
Quote:
WL really emphasized the church and the meeting of the church, ...I still feel the concept was biblical
I do believe the concept is biblical. In another post, I wrote that after delving in to a denominatational, charismatic church for many years, I could no longer take it. The denominations including the LSM are 501 (c) (3)corporate businesses with board of directors who get a lot of 'freebies' from Uncle Sam since they are a legitimate business. As I re read Acts and Revelation, while pondering on the letters Paul wrote to the Romans, Corinthians etc... and of course, remembering the 'vision' I/we received in the LC at least in San Diego, I had to break away. But it was not 'me', the Holy Spirit is the One Who led me out once and for all.

It has been very frustrating finding that church life we once had but God is gathering His saints together unto Himself. He is.

To your other comment:
Quote:
When you speak of revelation, Countmeworthy, seems to me that The heart of God our Father, the work of our Lord Jesus, and the leading of God's Holy Spirit would lead to the seeing the need for the building of the church and the churches.


OF COURSE! That is what we are supposed to do! But it is not in the confinement of the LC as we experienced it anymore. Just because Christians don't meet like we did does not mean we can't build up the body of Christ and encourage one another and fellowship with each other.

Even in the best of times in San Diego, the LC was very inclusive. Acts 1 says:
‘And it shall be in the last days,’ God says,
‘That I will pour forth of My Spirit on all mankind (flesh);
And your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
And your young men shall see visions,
And your old men shall dream dreams;


Do you think anyone had the liberty to stand up and share a dream or vision they had from the Lord EVEN in the best times of the LC? Twice in my life, I have seen angels. One actually spoke to me around 2007. And this was not in a dream. It was at a grocery store! Even here on this forum, you think my testimony would be received?? It would not be received in the LC, and much less in the LSM and I highly doubt it would be received here either.

I have been posting a lot more recently because the church in San Diego made it's way into this forum!! And John Smith's letter was posted!! Even Ohio said John was a great teacher. You were not in San Diego in 1975!! I got saved through the saints in San Diego who shared the gospel with me at work!! I was a toting - smoking - cussing stupid kid with no direction. But I saw the shining Light and Love they had. I was drawn to them. I got saved at work on a Monday morning and after work, I was invited to have dinner at Les & Carolyn's, followed by a 'new beginners' bible study at Willie Samoff's house. I got baptized the following evening at a PRAYER MEETING. YIKES! Who prays like the ARM THUMPING LCRS

Every night that week I was at someone's home for dinner and 'water splashing'. Some here would say 'love bombing'. It worked for me! I gave my first public testimony at the Saturday night Love feast. The next evening I moved in with the Cites and... wait for it.. I WENT TO BOOT CAMP!! I did not know I was 'signing up' for BOOT CAMP! lol

Oh and btw.. when I came in, everyone was hurting because Max had been called to co work with Witness Lee. Everyone in San Diego loved Max to the hilt!! He brought in a lot of high schoolers. I don't know if you knew Willie Samoff. But what a gift he had as an evangelist!!! He was 26 yrs old and took over Max's position as an elder. He migrated to Denver and that's another sad saga.

You must also understand back in the early 70s, my experience and perhaps to a lesser extent your experience was a very positive one in San Diego. Oh, I got 'dealt' with a few times. LOL... I learned to cross the t and and dot the i I lived with Les and Carolyn and 5 other sisters there! It was 'boot camp' for me! I even told them that after I moved out to live with another family. I consider Les and Carolyn my spiritual parents. I loved them and still love them and still pray for them. I loved John Smith but did not have the appreciation of his teachings back then as I do now. I loved Willie and Sandy Samoff. Sweet caring people. All the saints in San Diego I knew were THE BEST! THEY WERE THE CREM DE LA CREM of the LC in my humble opinion!! I make no apologies either!

But on this forum, I don't recall anyone ever sharing their positive experiences in their tenure.

Believe me, from everything I have read in the forum, San Diego was 'unique', blessed and anointed. The Presence of GOD was there. Looking back, the Presence of the Lord departed the church in San Diego around 77/78. You must have touched the anointing to a smaller extent than I did because YOU are the only one who has posted that while you walked away, you don't think a day has gone by since where my heart doesn't yearn for the return of the meeting of the church in San Diego, and the churches.

Ask anyone here if they have that same heart as you do for the church life we experienced?? Ohio, OBW, Aaron, UntoHim. Ask them. The little love and anointing they experienced has been overshadowed by the corruption of the LSM. I think Indiana has tried really hard to 'recover' what was lost through the LSM. But he has not succeeded.

Thus far I have not yet read anyone's testimony of having a love for the locality they were in, on this forum!!! I loved and still love the saints I was connected with in San Diego and they remember me and love me.

Not too long ago, out of the clear blue sky, a sister I had lived with called to tell me a sister (who no longer was in the LC and in fact detested her experience in OKC with her parents) had passed away. That sister was 12 when I knew her! I briefly reconnected with her as an adult and she remembered me. I was saddened to learn of her passing. But why in the world did I need to know she passed away when I have not had any contact with the LC and this family whose daughter (now an adult of course) passed away?? I was happy to learn she and her parents had reconciled before her passing.

I was so happy to hear from my sister in the Lord whom I had not talked to in decades except briefly when I visited San Diego in 2005. We had wonderful fellowship still I know I can't have fellowship with them as an 'outsider'. I can't tow the LSM line!

One of these days, the Lord is going to make ALL THINGS NEW. That's His promise and He keeps His promise.

Blessings.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:37 AM   #38
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This actually was standard operating procedure in the program, not at all unique to San Diego. I watched it happen to 2 churches I was a part of. The results were pre-planned and predictable -- the resulting elders are now dependent on headquarters like never before. So much for the LC autonomy we initially signed up for.
I saw a video once of an elders' gathering in Anaheim and Brother Lee and Gene Gruhler were cajoling Don Looper about freeing Austin's young people for the FULL-TIME TRAINING. Don responded by saying, "You promised, Brother Lee, you wouldn't do this". To be sure, the pressure was on Don in front of all the elders.


Nell's thread on How the Living Stream got Started

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...48&postcount=1
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It's hard to imagine that there was a time that the Living Stream Ministry publishing house did not exist...at least as it does today. This is my recollection of the "Before" picture and how it evolved. Hopefully some of you who were there will be able to add to the story and correct any mistakes in my memory.

Around 1974 in Austin, Texas there was an announcement about something new coming called “Ministry Station” meetings. This was being shared in all the churches. Until that time, there were no publications other than an occasional booklet called “The Stream”. There was no Living Stream Ministry publishing house and no meeting hall on West Ball Road. WL’s messages were recorded and the audio tapes were distributed to the churches. The brothers then digested WL’s messages and shared them in all the church meetings.

Coming soon! “Ministry Meetings” which would be shared, not in the meeting hall, but in a nearby rented facility. In Austin the meetings were held in a community room of a nearby shopping mall, near the rented hall in north Austin. George Whitington (the “most leading brother”) shared all the messages which were called the “Life Study of Genesis”. Each message later came out in booklet form and sold for $.25 each.

We were told that “the ministry” belonged to Witness Lee. It was HIS ministry and he could handle it any way he wanted because it belonged to him. The “ministry meetings” were NOT church meetings and were therefore NOT to be shared in the church meeting hall/s. The ministry was “for the church”. The church was not “for the ministry.” This was shared several times and the leadership in Austin was adamant that these “ministry meetings” should not be considered church meetings...hence the offsite location. The “ministry” was a help to the church, but was NOT the church.

Someone who was in Austin might recall, but I believe it was about the time that Austin bought its current property on S. Congress Ave. and built a hall that the next change occurred. The message was something like “Oh. Never mind. The ministry meetings will no longer be held offsite but brought in to the church meeting hall.” I guess the unspoken was that the church and the ministry of WL are one in the same. The hall in Anaheim on West Ball Road was built with volunteer labor from all over the globe. The church met in this hall and the Living Stream Ministry presses downstairs began to roll out books, starting with Life Study of Genesis booklets.

At one point later, several Life Studies had been shared, Romans, John, Revelation, etc. and we were still buying those little booklets. The brothers in Austin offered to take all complete sets of booklets and have them hardback bound so we did (including our names engraved in gold!) It was so much better than a gazillion little booklets. Soon we found out how much trouble we were in. Anaheim/LSM took great exception to what we did. We were ordered to STOP forthwith. The LSM was going to publish all the Life Studies in a single bound volume and we had jumped the gun, making it unnecessary for us to purchase what we already had from the LSM. After all, it was Witness Lee’s ministry. It belonged to him.

Of note, Witness Lee actually wrote few, if any, books. The majority of his books were reduced to print from his spoken messages. WL didn't transcribe his own messages! The saints in the churches did. They were serving the ministry of Witness Lee from transcriptions, volunteer labor for building 2 meeting halls including publishing facilities, etc. Everything we were told when the offsite “ministry station meetings” began was reversed and the churches soon belonged to Witness Lee and the LSM. Thus the franchise began.

Nell
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Old 07-17-2017, 07:02 PM   #39
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I saw a video once of an elders' gathering in Anaheim and Brother Lee and Gene Gruhler were cajoling Don Looper about freeing Austin's young people for the FULL-TIME TRAINING.

The brothers were not chiding [scolding]; rather, they were cajoling [coaxing] Don Looper...in a playful yet serious way.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:58 PM   #40
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To clarify my comment to Boxjobox, Countmeworty: I didn't say "we can't take back "the church in _____." But rather "I'm not sure that's the right thought". Because I really don't know what the right thought is. I sympathize and relate a lot to Boxjobox on this, but am still formulating my thoughts.

Indeed, blessings all around.

JJ
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:49 PM   #41
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Countmeworthy, I apologize if I offended you. I spend quite a bit of my time trying to separate what was LSM from what was the church in my thinking. When I read the epistles, I see a lot of things that were practiced in San Diego in the mid to late 70's that match the scripture- things I don't see in other "church" environments around here. Most are so pastor led and pastor driven, so clergy laity, that it is a pain to even consider jumping into one of them as my Christian church experience. I see some errors and missteps that were normal human issues that took place in the early church in SD experience. Some leading ones and some wannabes that maybe said or did things I would question. Those are things that can be corrected and brought to light through the word, fellowship, experience, etc. But the LSM part and the connection that the "elders" made to be "one with the ministery" in the late 80's, that is something that turned the church and church life into- well we'll say rubbish to be polite. Obviously the influence of LSM driven by WL's heavy hand, broke the conscience of the elders. John Smith even showed us a video of one of the recorded elders meetings, if I recall correctly-it was ugly. To stay "spiritual", you had to be right with WL, and to be right with WL, you had to submit to his ministery, and to submit to his ministery, you had to fully give over locality to LSM. We know what this resulted in- that New Way was a total scam.

When John gave his last message, you could tell that it had been a real long struggle to finally say I'm not taking it anymore. He didn't say those words, but it was what he was saying. I don't know what kind of agreement he made with the other elders to be able to give that last message, but it was as if he was threatened to basically say goodby and I love you all to all the ones he had cared for so much for so many years, but he better not trash WL or The LSM machine that had taken over. Very strange to see John in that position, because he was always honest, and straight forward in his speach, and now he was mincing every word. Because John was leaving, Les would be the leading one, and I view him as the one who really sold out the saints for LSM. And by that time, he did not even live in the city of San Diego anymore!

When I say I long for the church in San Diego to meet again, I mean the saints minus WL ministery/LSM, coming together to break bread, fellowship, sing, pray, speak, care, under the meeting as the church n San Diego, open and caring for all the saints in the city, where the gospel is preached, the scripture is shared, and the members are free to exercise their priestly ministery as our Great High Priest leads. I think God would have such an opportunity to shine in and out of such a situation. It would be a blessing to the saints, to other Christians, to those in need of hearing the gospel, to the city, and to God!

So when I read the history statement of those currently calling themselves the church in SD and know that it is a false narrative of who they really are and and how they really meet- which is the LSM church. It saddens me, and I hope for a way the true fellowship of the church could return. If they would meet as their statement says it would be great, but they can't be honest about who they really are, and their complete subservience to LSM. So that title the church in San Diego should be taken from them and re established in truth.

Phew- glad I got that off my chest!
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Old 07-18-2017, 08:31 AM   #42
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To clarify my comment to Boxjobox, Countmeworty: I didn't say "we can't take back "the church in _____." But rather "I'm not sure that's the right thought". Because I really don't know what the right thought is. I sympathize and relate a lot to Boxjobox on this, but am still formulating my thoughts.

Indeed, blessings all around.

JJ
My mistake for not clarifying !
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Old 07-18-2017, 10:18 AM   #43
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Countmeworthy, I apologize if I offended you. I spend quite a bit of my time trying to separate what was LSM from what was the church in my thinking. When I read the epistles, I see a lot of things that were practiced in San Diego in the mid to late 70's that match the scripture- things
I think you mistook my passion for offense. I was not offended in the least. On the contrary. I am quite moved by the love you still have for the church in San Diego. I have been a lone voice here because my experience in San Diego LC was by and large a positive one. Growth in the Lord was emphasized and that is what I wanted more than anything else. I did not want 'power', 'recognition' or be a 'good sister'. I wanted to grow in Christ..to experience Him in my daily living.

Most people here were in the ELSIE a much longer time than I was and their experience was not good. While I did some 'churching' and visited other localities. The meetings were similar but it was not 'San Diego'. Perhaps it is because I did not live there???

Anyway The horror stories that have been told have pained me. I'm sure John was aware of the Daystar fiasco but he was not involved and it was never mentioned to us. I left long before the Phillip Lee transgressions. At most, San Diego was somewhat affected by the Max/Berkeley fiasco. I believe that was when John slowly began to kow tow to Lee. Although there was a lot of disrespect to the LORD and the saints at that Berkeley circus.

Quote:
I don't see in other "church" environments around here. Most are so pastor led and pastor driven, so clergy laity, that it is a pain to even consider jumping into one of them as my Christian church experience.
I have been quite surprised at the number of people here who were ELSIE diehards participating in the clergy laity system. I understand the ELSIE burnout and disappointment, the pain, the betrayals etc. I know they hate the 'poor Christianity' mantra. I do too! So if they are finding solace and fellowship in the clergy laity system, good for them. I tried to fit in but after 5-7 yrs of trying to fit in a ;charismatic 'church', I could no longer take it. I did learn a lot that I never learned in the ELSIE though.

So every 'church' experience from being raised as a Catholic to the LC to the Christianity experience has been a stepping stone in drawing me closer to the LORD.

Quote:
I see some errors and missteps that were normal human issues that took place in the early church in SD experience. Some leading ones and some wannabes that maybe said or did things I would question. Those are things that can be corrected and brought to light through the word, fellowship, experience, etc.
yep.. yep..sometimes I think I would like to try it out again.. just to see what would happen. But you can't put new wineskins in old wine skins. AND I AM A WOMAN! And not a Chinese one either!! And SINGLE... I GOT NO CHANCE TO BE HEARD. Doesn't bother me.

Now if they are starving and willing to eat fresh manna, maybe something miraculous would happen. God however is not leading me there..and I am not going to go where the Holy Spirit is not leading me!!!!

Quote:
Obviously the influence of LSM driven by WL's heavy hand, broke the conscience of the elders. John Smith even showed us a video of one of the recorded elders meetings, if I recall correctly-it was ugly. To stay "spiritual", you had to be right with WL, and to be right with WL, you had to submit to his ministery, and to submit to his ministery, you had to fully give over locality to LSM. We know what this resulted in- that New Way was a total scam.

When John gave his last message, you could tell that it had been a real long struggle to finally say I'm not taking it anymore.
I clearly recall when his messages began to change. It was early 1978 when he started declaring Lee was PAUL. John went on and on. I literally got sick to my stomach. I did not want to read anything Paul wrote and did not for a very long time.

I think he was pressured to change the format of his messages.

Quote:
Because John was leaving, Les would be the leading one, and I view him as the one who really sold out the saints for LSM. And by that time, he did not even live in the city of San Diego anymore!
YES! ABSOLUTELY! Les, God bless him, always was very strict.. had a controlling personality. It is no surprise he remained in the LSM. I don't think Carolyn tows the line as much as he does but they are truly a couple. Their kids however are not part of the LSM at all. At least they were not in 2005.

I was in the LC for 4 months before anyone went into depth about Lee. I had heard of him but we were living the church life as best we could as the early church in Acts did and JESUS was our KING... not Lee.

Quote:
When I say I long for the church in San Diego to meet again, I mean the saints minus WL ministery/LSM, coming together to break bread, fellowship, sing, pray, speak, care, under the meeting as the church n San Diego, open and caring for all the saints in the city, where the gospel is preached, the scripture is shared, and the members are free to exercise their priestly ministery as our Great High Priest leads.
That's what I long for to regardless of where we live. Now that I have 'matured', I really try to practice what I was taught. I encourage the saints, (outside ELSIE) I try to give hope to the lost and as the Holy Spirit leads, I point them to Jesus.

Quote:
I think God would have such an opportunity to shine in and out of such a situation. It would be a blessing to the saints, to other Christians, to those in need of hearing the gospel, to the city, and to God!
indeed. I often tell my Christian friends how we met in San Diego. Many have responded positively because they have never experienced that. I tell them it's not longer like that. Since I can't/we can't live in the past, I move forward and follow the LAMB of God and His Holy Spirit.

Quote:
So when I read the history statement of those currently calling themselves the church in SD and know that it is a false narrative of who they really are and and how they really meet- which is the LSM church. It saddens me, and I hope for a way the true fellowship of the church could return.
I'm sure the Lord is going to reward you for the Love you have for the LC saints especially in San Diego. Were you in another locality before your tenure in San Diego?


Quote:
Phew- glad I got that off my chest!
me too! I am also so happy there is another fellow ex LCr from San Diego who feels like I do. Believe me. This forum does not speak highly of their time in their localities. I feel for them. And obviously I could be where they are. I was blessed to leave as the suffocation of Life started in San Diego.
I had some very close sister friends but I did not know how to explain what I was seeing. I 'migrated' to Tempe, Az where there were some saints from San Diego already there whom I knew. It was there I listened to the Sal Benoit taped conversation he was having with Lee. I remember Lee hanging up on him. The majority of the 'elders' in Tempe were staunch Max supporters but Max faded into the sunset. And so did his 'followers'. Too bad they/we were not seeking the LORD'S direction for the church. Everyone was busy licking their wounds.

It became the 'venting church' and it soon dissolved. Everyone began to move to other parts of AZ totally breaking away from everyone associated with the LC.

It has been a hard journey for me.. very, very hard. But God is true to His Promise. He will not leave us or forsake us. Bless the LORD O MY SOUL and ALL that is within me. I am in a good place right now. PRAISE HIS HOLY NAME.

Thank you so much for sharing. I don't know how others who were never a part of San Diego relate, but you and me understand each other.

The LORD continuously bless you and fill you with His Peace in Christ Jesus.
Carol
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Old 07-20-2017, 10:14 PM   #44
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Witness Lee commented from his book about the same meeting:

"Before I went to Irving in December 1987, I had an elders’ meeting with the leading ones in Southern California. During that meeting, [B]John Smith stood up to say that numbers do not represent anything, and he went on to mention things such as statistics, budgets, work, and activity. By that time Rosemead had already rebelled, and this kind of speaking was a repetition of what was spoken there as accusations. By listening to all the sharing in that elders’ meeting in Orange County, I realized that the whole situation had been poisoned by John Ingalls.' (p. 59, FPR).


"This was Brother Lee’s reaction to brothers who shared from their heart about serious problems in their localities. He gave the impression that his own objectives were more important than listening to the Body and to the concerns of responsible elders for their localities. These speakings by Dick Taylor, John Smith, and others were from their own experience and had not been influenced by John Ingalls."
It's as if elders were incapable of thinking for themselves and making their personal decisions.
Paraphrasing, it was December 2011 when Steve Isitt was at a Anaheim restaurant with John Ingalls, John was confronted by a Vista elder and his wife. In the same spirit of Witness Lee's speaking, they were holding John responsible for influencing the ones who had left the recovery in the late 80's. Should Steve choose to do so, present his account of what transpired at that Chinese Buffet.
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Old 07-20-2017, 11:47 PM   #45
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It's as if elders were incapable of thinking for themselves and making their personal decisions.
Paraphrasing, it was December 2011 when Steve Isitt was at a Anaheim restaurant with John Ingalls, John was confronted by a Vista elder and his wife. In the same spirit of Witness Lee's speaking, they were holding John responsible for influencing the ones who had left the recovery in the late 80's. Should Steve choose to do so, present his account of what transpired at that Chinese Buffet.
WOW.. I know who that couple is! I stayed with them in Vista when I visited San Diego in 2005. They were very close to John I at one time. He stayed at their home many times before John I left. I asked them about John Ingalls in 2005. They did not say much but their expression was that of disdain and I left it at that. They also knew John Smith of course. We all loved John and Sonya, his wife. I asked them about John Smith as they were close to him too. They "Did not know where John was" ! BOOSHWAH! They knew. They never told me what happened in the 80s.

I have not heard from them in eons but I know they are living in England now under the LSM umbrella. We were so close in San Diego back in the day. I still love them. I know God is going to fix this mess. He is going to make all things new.

Blessings
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:01 AM   #46
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.
I know God is going to fix this mess. He is going to make all things new.

Blessings
Generally speaking, I think God acts when his people act. Unless we have a heart to pursue Gods interests, things for the most part stay at status quo. Our master told us to do business until he comes.
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:07 AM   #47
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Generally speaking, I think God acts when his people act. Unless we have a heart to pursue Gods interests, things for the most part stay at status quo. Our master told us to do business until he comes.
God has sent many prophets to warn and rebuke LSM, and just like with the nation of Israel, each time these prophets were effectively "stoned" by LSM.
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:33 AM   #48
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It's as if elders were incapable of thinking for themselves and making their personal decisions.
Paraphrasing, it was December 2011 when Steve Isitt was at a Anaheim restaurant with John Ingalls, John was confronted by a Vista elder and his wife. In the same spirit of Witness Lee's speaking, they were holding John responsible for influencing the ones who had left the recovery in the late 80's. Should Steve choose to do so, present his account of what transpired at that Chinese Buffet.
There is a children's story written by Hans Christian Anderson called The Emperor has No Clothes. The Emperor loves rich clothes, some clothiers come and say they will make the most exquisite clothes for him, but only those who are not stupid can see them. No one wants to appear stupid or offend the king, so everyone says how splendid his new outfit is. Finally, some honest child says "hey, the king is naked"
I think the elders, which also passed it on to the saints, did not want to be counted as stupid, or unspiritual. The whole garment WL wore- his association with the " spiritual giant" WN, his extensive knowledge of many past Christian teachings, his expounding on things spiritual, etc., mixed with a growing myth that this was Gods present day man, the elders wanting to keep their jobs, to be liked, the comradery, etc., kept everyone seeing only a splendid outfit, when in fact, the emperor had no clothes!
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Old 07-21-2017, 12:01 PM   #49
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I think the elders, which also passed it on to the saints, did not want to be counted as stupid, or unspiritual.
A pastor I know who was excommunicated by the EB used the same Emperor's New Clothes example about the Exclusive Brethren.
As for the sentence I quoted same can be said "do not want to be counted as" rebellious, disobedient, etc even if their conscience says otherwise.
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:27 PM   #50
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It's a tragedy of LC history that letters, like this one from John Smith of San Diego, never were disseminated throughout the Recovery. Via the filter of Titus Chu in Cleveland, the GLA LC's knew next to nothing about what really was happening "in the wake of the New Way," because the elders under him were instructed to "protect" the LC's from the controversy. What information we did receive at times, sent anonymously to all the LC's, was very poorly assembled, and easily dismissed as part of some "loony conspiracy."

Had we received well-written letters like this one from John Smith or John Ingalls, whom we knew and respected, that would have caused many of us to weigh both sides of the conflict, and then to investigate further into the actual facts and grievances. This was not done, at least not in my neck of the woods.
Actually, Steve Issit's link and work on "Hiding the History of the Lord's Recovery" is outstanding with respect to incorporating many of those letters of resignation. It's a goldmine of well-documented responses from leaders of Local Churches (I prefer to use capital L and capital C---since I consider those proper names for Lee's "churches") all over the globe. I HIGHLY recommend that every saint who cares to know the truth thoroughly read that document.
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:30 AM   #51
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Actually, Steve Issit's link and work on "Hiding the History of the Lord's Recovery" is outstanding with respect to incorporating many of those letters of resignation. It's a goldmine of well-documented responses from leaders of Local Churches (I prefer to use capital L and capital C---since I consider those proper names for Lee's "churches") all over the globe. I HIGHLY recommend that every saint who cares to know the truth thoroughly read that document.
I did searches, but couldn't specifically find the thread, "Hiding the History of the Lord's Recovery." Can someone link it here?
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Old 08-28-2018, 12:48 PM   #52
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I did searches, but couldn't specifically find the thread, "Hiding the History of the Lord's Recovery." Can someone link it here?
Over the years Steve has had many revisions to his Hiding History. Attached is one I have saved on my work pc.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf HidingHistoryofNeeLee.pdf (164.7 KB, 23 views)
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Old 08-28-2018, 12:57 PM   #53
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I did searches, but couldn't specifically find the thread, "Hiding the History of the Lord's Recovery." Can someone link it here?
Here is another link to Hiding History by Brooks
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:12 PM   #54
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Over the years Steve has had many revisions to his Hiding History. Attached is one I have saved on my work pc.
Thanks! Some of that I've read before, but starting on page 4 there was a brief account of things from 74-84 that I hadn't read in a concise way like that. Little did I know what was going on behind the scenes. at the time, but now seems pretty clear.

Then this from the piece:
Quote:
The era of Witness Lee in the “local churches” parallels that of his mentor, Watchman
Nee, before him:
They both began with
1) Christ as life for building up local churches,
with “administration local each answering to the Lord”; but ended up inspiring a
movement in the churches involving
2) the “handing over” of the reins of leadership to
one man and his ministry, far from the original vision and claims of church legitimacy.
I did not know there was a pattern of this with Nee. I wondered why some on here lumped Nee together with Lee - beginning well, but ending in a skewed way . . .

(and thanks for making me realize you can attach things on here!)
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Old 08-28-2018, 01:20 PM   #55
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Thanks. I did read John's account in the mid-90s (I think there's a copy of "Speaking the Truth in Love" still around here maybe) and also spoke with him over the phone. That was a key reason I didn't want to return to the LC in the late 1990s, but I was also full of the idea that nothing-fresh-and-of-the-Lord was anywhere else. It was a real & distressing conundrum for me, that the Lord used to get me to the place I am today (Scottsdale Church)!
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:02 PM   #56
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That was a key reason I didn't want to return to the LC in the late 1990s, but I was also full of the idea that nothing-fresh-and-of-the-Lord was anywhere else.
When I came back in the mid-nineties, it was more can we go on without bringing up the past? In Bellevue, that lasted for a few years.
Now, when different ones have the concept "nothing-fresh-and-of-the-Lord was anywhere else"; what's the basis? Knowledge, doctrines, etc?
None of that I wanted.
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Old 08-29-2018, 01:22 PM   #57
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Thanks. I did read John's account in the mid-90s (I think there's a copy of "Speaking the Truth in Love" still around here maybe) and also spoke with him over the phone. That was a key reason I didn't want to return to the LC in the late 1990s, but I was also full of the idea that nothing-fresh-and-of-the-Lord was anywhere else. It was a real & distressing conundrum for me, that the Lord used to get me to the place I am today (Scottsdale Church)!
Sons to Glory! I did not find out about John Ingalls' account Speaking the Truth in Love until the end of 2005 when I stopped meeting in the LC, found the old Bereans forum (where UntoHim was moderator), and decided to move out of town so that I had the "liberty" to meet with other Christian assemblies. Midwest leadership in Cleveland had long decided that it was better if we did not know the truth about Witness Lee and Sons.

At the time "storm clouds" were moving in as the "One Publication Bull" was being circulated, and I knew that unscrupulous thugs at LSM would use it to destroy Midwest LC's which I long had cherished. Obviously everything I held dear about the "vision" of the "local" church was hogwash and just a ruse that had deceived me for decades.

I soon discovered that all the so-called "riches" of this ministry were little more than dead doctrines. Even the Blended leadership was not obligated to follow any of our teachings about the "oneness." The whole vision-thing was a farce. Time to leave.
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Old 08-29-2018, 04:39 PM   #58
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Wow - 2005 was not all that long ago!

So when you say "One Publication Bull" do you mean it like a Papal Bull or BS . . . or both?
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:01 PM   #59
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Sons to Glory! I did not find out about John Ingalls' account Speaking the Truth in Love until the end of 2005 when I stopped meeting in the LC, found the old Bereans forum (where UntoHim was moderator), and decided to move out of town so that I had the "liberty" to meet with other Christian assemblies. Midwest leadership in Cleveland had long decided that it was better if we did not know the truth about Witness Lee and Sons.

At the time "storm clouds" were moving in as the "One Publication Bull" was being circulated, and I knew that unscrupulous thugs at LSM would use it to destroy Midwest LC's which I long had cherished. Obviously everything I held dear about the "vision" of the "local" church was hogwash and just a ruse that had deceived me for decades.

I soon discovered that all the so-called "riches" of this ministry were little more than dead doctrines. Even the Blended leadership was not obligated to follow any of our teachings about the "oneness." The whole vision-thing was a farce. Time to leave.
The thing most of us never realized was the money angle. "Living Stream" is the private, for-profit business owned by Lee, with which he supported his extended, adult family in a lavish life style---even though they capitalized on free labor to build the Anaheim building (most of us at the time thought it was "the church" building that we were laboring, for free, to build). At least half of that building was Lee's own business enterprise, the "Living Stream." It's got to be a huge, multi-million dollar enterprise at this time and over the years. Include the price of all the "trainings," etc. and you've got a real "peddling the Word of God" enterprise that is worth (to the unscrupulous natural man) the prostitution of all that's holy.

Lee was very much an Eli. While he lived rather simply himself, he covered Phillip's adulterous affairs and filthiness, as well as the materialism and wickedness of Timothy. In fact, when a sister's husband found out that Phillip had approached his wife, and the husband went after Phillip threatening to kill him, Lee simply pleaded, "He's a sick man." However, at the very same time, before all the elders, Lee insisted that Phillip was the only one competant to run "the office" (the Living Stream office) as somewhat of a potentate over all the LC churches on the earth. Not only so, Lee demanded that other leading ones ALSO not only cover Phillip's ongoing filthiness (much like Hillary Clinton covering Bill), he also threatened those who would expose Phillip. Instead of being honest about any of their grievances, he would announce to the church and in trainings (to all the churches) that all those complaining were simply unhappy with "the new way" (of preaching the gospel from door to door). And whichever elders remained "faithful" to the LC were those who knew the truth but covered it in lies. That's because they honestly had come to the warped persuasion that Lee was God's unique "oracle" on the earth. (Interestingly enough, Nee said in "The Normal Christian Church" that any church that remained under a single ministry was automatically a "sect." But, of course, that was never alluded to.)
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Old 08-29-2018, 07:49 PM   #60
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Wow - 2005 was not all that long ago!

So when you say "One Publication Bull" do you mean it like a Papal Bull or BS . . . or both?
A Papal Bull, similar to the ones issued against Martin Luther, which were used to silence dissent and destroy the "heretic" speaker if necessary. What was issued by LSM's headquarters against Titus Chu was no different from Papal Bulls. These Bulls have no basis in scripture.
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Old 08-29-2018, 08:01 PM   #61
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The thing most of us never realized was the money angle. "Living Stream" is the private, for-profit business owned by Lee, with which he supported his extended, adult family in a lavish life style---even though they capitalized on free labor to build the Anaheim building (most of us at the time thought it was "the church" building that we were laboring, for free, to build). At least half of that building was Lee's own business enterprise, the "Living Stream." It's got to be a huge, multi-million dollar enterprise at this time and over the years. Include the price of all the "trainings," etc. and you've got a real "peddling the Word of God" enterprise that is worth (to the unscrupulous natural man) the prostitution of all that's holy.

Lee was very much an Eli. While he lived rather simply himself, he covered Phillip's adulterous affairs and filthiness, as well as the materialism and wickedness of Timothy. In fact, when a sister's husband found out that Phillip had approached his wife, and the husband went after Phillip threatening to kill him, Lee simply pleaded, "He's a sick man." However, at the very same time, before all the elders, Lee insisted that Phillip was the only one competant to run "the office" (the Living Stream office) as somewhat of a potentate over all the LC churches on the earth. Not only so, Lee demanded that other leading ones ALSO not only cover Phillip's ongoing filthiness (much like Hillary Clinton covering Bill), he also threatened those who would expose Phillip. Instead of being honest about any of their grievances, he would announce to the church and in trainings (to all the churches) that all those complaining were simply unhappy with "the new way" (of preaching the gospel from door to door). And whichever elders remained "faithful" to the LC were those who knew the truth but covered it in lies. That's because they honestly had come to the warped persuasion that Lee was God's unique "oracle" on the earth. (Interestingly enough, Nee said in "The Normal Christian Church" that any church that remained under a single ministry was automatically a "sect." But, of course, that was never alluded to.)
afazio, thanks for posting ... again ... it's been a while!

Yours is a very helpful voice on the forum, since you have been a long time "witness" to LSM's corrupt ways. Recently one of LSM's promoters on the forum here mocked us for having so few contributors, as if our message was mean-spirited and their cause was noble and holy.
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Old 08-30-2018, 07:17 AM   #62
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The thing most of us never realized was the money angle. "Living Stream" is the private, for-profit business owned by Lee, with which he supported his extended, adult family in a lavish life style---

Nnnnnnnn... no, afazio.

LSM is a non- profit corporation filing under 501c....

...... and that apartment Brother Lee lived in could not be characterized as “lavish” by any stretch of a normal imagination.

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Old 08-30-2018, 07:50 AM   #63
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Yyyyyyyy...yes, Drake.

Do you really think all of us our just stupid moo cows? Well, maybe we were back in the day, but not no more partner.

Several reputable saints who were in a position to know confirmed the LSM was a VERY, VERY profitable business for Witness Lee and his family. MILLIONS in fact. How do you think Phillip was able to get his meat hooks on that $10,000 Rolex watch that he was flashing under everyone's nose. How do you think Timothy was able to afford those hot and cold running prostitutes that he had coming and going day and night. (several brothers working there on the Daystar project could not stomach the abject sin and left the work there) Witness Lee KNEW ABOUT ALL OF THIS. NOTHING HAPPENED WITHOUT HIS PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE. HE KNEW IT AND STILL PROMOTED HIS SONS AS HIS "TOP CO-WORKERS".

Reputable brothers who were in a position to know confirmed that when Lee died he was worth MILLIONS. Does anybody really think that all that $ went back to "the 501c" from which it came? NOT ON YOUR LIFE. It all went to the LEE FAMILY.

Nice work if you can get it...

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Old 08-30-2018, 08:28 AM   #64
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Yyyyyyyy...yes, Drake.

Do you really think all of us our just stupid moo cows? Well, maybe we were back in the day, but not no more partner.

Several reputable saints who were in a position to know..,

Reputable brothers who were in a position to know...

-
Stupid moo cows?

No.

Don’t know the difference between a for-profit vs a non-profit?

Apparently.

Reputable brothers?

Like afazio who doesnt know the difference between profit and non-profit and thinks a lavish lifestyle is that apartment Brother Lee lived in? That kind of reputable brother is what you mean?

I don’t think so, at least from his posts I don’t see any fact based accuracy. He is just preaching to the forum choir. You’ll excuse me if I don’t buy into that hyperbole.

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Old 08-30-2018, 09:06 AM   #65
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Living Stream Ministry was also Witness Lee's PERSONAL BUSINESS, HIS PERSONAL MINISTRY. IT BELONGED TO HIM. HE OWNED IT, LOCK STOCK AND BARREL. Anyone who doubts this can listen to the very enlightening recording of a conversation between Lee and former elder/leader Sal Benoit.

For your listening pleasure, here is the 26 min phone call:
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6800733/wlsl/

Lee make it crystal clear that "The Ministry" was owned by him and fully under his personal control WITHOUT OVERSIGHT OR ACCOUNTABILITY TO ANYONE. Any reports or knowledge of financial malfeasance were "NON OF YOUR BUSINESS!" Sal had become aware of Lee's financial malfeasance and was calling him out on it. Lee & CO were doctoring the books, and even got into some major hot water with IRS.

501c? Sure....if you say so. I guess our friend Drake is right....because everyone knows that there have never been any problems with 501c corporations. Am I right? I mean, no religious leaders have ever been caught with their hands in the non-profit cookie jar? Am I right?

Anyone has the right to stick their head in the sand and pretend. Most of us have been there, done that. Got the tee shirt, key chain and post cards. Not going to be decidedly ignorant and in the dark anymore. And some of us would like to see all the young people and new Christians in the Local Church be aware of the other side of the story. Maybe just a few will be saved a lifetime of being a mushroom for decades. If it's just a few, so be it. God is good. God is merciful. He alone is righteous. "No Not One".
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:24 AM   #66
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Living Stream Ministry was also Witness Lee's PERSONAL BUSINESS, HIS PERSONAL MINISTRY. IT BELONGED TO HIM. HE OWNED IT, LOCK STOCK AND BARREL.
501c? Sure....if you say so. I guess our friend Drake is right....because everyone knows that there have never been any problems with 501c corporations. Am I right? I mean, no religious leaders have ever been caught with their hands in the non-profit cookie jar? Am I right?
UntoHim,

Your 501c argument is simply a fallacy. Some abused 501c and LSM is 501c therefore LSM must have abused its 501c. That’s ridiculous.

However, you would get my attention if afazio or yourself would provide some factual evidence that LSM ever abused its non-profit status... but please don’t expect that anecdotal evidence are the same as facts. afazio is entitled to his opinion but not his own facts.

And of course LSM is privately held and managed. Here again you are skirting with the same fallacy in argument as above.

To put this discussion on a fact based track perhaps you could tell us just how much revenue LSM generated in the 80s or 90s.... when all this raking in multi millions was going on and Brother Lee was rolling in dough. Let’s start there.

Real numbers please.

Thanks
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:42 AM   #67
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Real numbers are hard to come by with a person and organization that was so secretive about real numbers.

How about you tell your buddies over there on La Palma Ave to release the IRS forms from the 70s and 80s. How about they release the forms that show Witness Lee's salary and expense allowances for those years? How about the forms that show what Phillip and Timothy were paid. Of course a lot of that is probably hidden in the multiple shell companies Lee & CO came up with.

LET'S START WITH THOSE REAL NUMBERS. Get going Drake. Get on the phone and let's get some of those real numbers, shall we?

Oh, and while your getting those numbers for us, I suggest everyone listen to the phone call between Lee and Benoit. It really exposes the heart of this man who Drake and the Blended Brothers claim to be the One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age, The Acting God, The Oracle of God, The Master Builder, An Apostle of the First Order.

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Old 08-30-2018, 09:46 AM   #68
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Nnnnnnnn... no, afazio.

LSM is a non- profit corporation filing under 501c....

...... and that apartment Brother Lee lived in could not be characterized as “lavish” by any stretch of a normal imagination.

Drake
Even with "non-profits" certain people can get rich, eg Philip amd Tmothy Lee who led lavish lifestyles, while Witness was content to have a name above every other name, at least in LC Land.
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:26 PM   #69
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Real numbers are hard to come by with a person and organization that was so secretive about real numbers.

How about you tell your buddies over there on La Palma Ave to release the IRS forms from the 70s and 80s. How about they release the forms that show Witness Lee's salary and expense allowances for those years? How about the forms that show what Phillip and Timothy were paid. Of course a lot of that is probably hidden in the multiple shell companies Lee & CO came up with.

LET'S START WITH THOSE REAL NUMBERS. Get going Drake. Get on the phone and let's get some of those real numbers, shall we?

Oh, and while your getting those numbers for us, I suggest everyone listen to the phone call between Lee and Benoit. It really exposes the heart of this man who Drake and the Blended Brothers claim to be the One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age, The Acting God, The Oracle of God, The Master Builder, An Apostle of the First Order.

-
But if bro Drake started speaking of those numbers he'd likely get kicked out.

Example: I know a brother that was the accountant for Daystar. He told a brother that he knew Lee committed crimes. The brother took it to the elders. They gave the brother a ultimatum, either he deny what he said or he was kicked out. He told me, "I couldn't deny what I knew to be true, so I got kicked out."
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Old 08-30-2018, 12:39 PM   #70
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Real numbers are hard to come by with a person and organization that was so secretive about real numbers.

-
So many questions and so few answers.
Who did the accounting/bookkeeping in the 70's and 80's?
How would the Taipei office or any other ministry office outside the United States be held accountable to US Tax laws?
Whatever happened to the money donated for Linko? (Which was never developed)
What was reported on the federal and California state income tax returns?
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Old 08-30-2018, 01:05 PM   #71
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Real numbers are hard to come by with a person and organization that was so secretive about real numbers.
So, all these supposed financial crimes and lavish lifestyles thrown about in this forum from all those mega profits from LSM are based on .... what?

Nada, nunca, nyet, nothing..... make believe.. anecdotal at best like Rolex watches being flashed about which said watch was possibly purchased at the same place I got mine... the Shanghai Copy Market.... for $20... stopped working after a month. Those type of examples are meaningless.

If you want to make an argument based on financial malpractice then you need to show some numbers... not my yob to disprove a point you or afazio have yet to substantiate.

Untohim...... fake news from where I sit, brother. No real numbers.

Just sayin.

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Old 08-30-2018, 09:10 PM   #72
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So, all these supposed financial crimes and lavish lifestyles thrown about in this forum from all those mega profits from LSM are based on .... what?

Nada, nunca, nyet, nothing..... make believe.. anecdotal at best like Rolex watches being flashed about which said watch was possibly purchased at the same place I got mine... the Shanghai Copy Market.... for $20... stopped working after a month. Those type of examples are meaningless.

If you want to make an argument based on financial malpractice then you need to show some numbers... not my yob to disprove a point you or afazio have yet to substantiate.

Untohim...... fake news from where I sit, brother. No real numbers.

Just sayin.

Drake
Drake, You don't know what you're asking for, but enough to concern you may be on its way. Even Philip Lin admitted in his second book that Brother Lee had a problem with business (and Lin should know, but that "covering of the mistakes of a leader" is in play seriously with Philip, and Minoru and Andrew too, who tacitly endorsed his book). And brother Lin had the hardest time saying anything negative about WL in his first book, and public pressure (forum) squeezed the brothers... He was given the job by the brothers, Minoru and Andrew at least as it appears, to "neutralize" the information that can be garnered here on this forum of mishandling of money attributed to W. Lee and of course, sons Philip and Timothy. The leaders have covered up so thoroughly and successfully the malfeasance, but corruption can only hide for so long. Then the truth might have to come all the way up to the top, and be fully manifest, as justice would have it. These Chinese brothers I mention not only bow to the LSM CULTURE OF HIDING SINS they have the double troubling "responsibility" to their own Culture and act of subservience to a leader...
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Old 08-30-2018, 09:51 PM   #73
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-1

Indiana,

The facts do not bother me. Put them on the table. What we are talking about here are the unsubstantiated allegations from afazio. Since he cant do it, and Untohim cant do it, then maybe you can show us the basis of their argument starting with the financial filings from the 80s and 90s of LSM.

Thanks
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:09 AM   #74
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Not just financial filings, but letters, emails, cell phone records and recordings, flight records, receipts, finger prints on the safe and money (and any gold Lee manged to get his sticky fingers on), and hearsay gossip (for further leads). And if the glove doesn't fit we must acquit.

Our first premise in opening this dead-file investigation, is that, the Lee's were human primates ... or according to their own doctrine, guilty until proven innocent.

Bottom line, Lee wasn't innocent, and certainly doesn't deserve the reverence shown him in the local church ... nor any type of MOTA title.

God was not moving thru him like he was a type of Moses. And what he and Nee developed was not God working, but the working of men. Just like the working of L. Ron Hubbard ... except Hubbard is more successful.
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Old 08-31-2018, 08:24 AM   #75
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Not just financial filings, but letters, emails, cell phone records and recordings, flight records, receipts, finger prints on the safe and money (and any gold Lee manged to get his sticky fingers on), and hearsay gossip (for further leads). And if the glove doesn't fit we must acquit.
Or appoint a Special Prosecutor.

The law is for the lawless, and should be used on those who love to use it on others.
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Old 08-31-2018, 09:53 AM   #76
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The facts do not bother me. Put them on the table. What we are talking about here are the unsubstantiated allegations from afazio. Since he cant do it, and Untohim cant do it, then maybe you can show us the basis of their argument starting with the financial filings from the 80s and 90s of LSM.
The facts do not bother you. And yet you continue to ignore the audio tape of Witness Lee and Sal Benoit.
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Old 08-31-2018, 10:49 AM   #77
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The facts do not bother you. And yet you continue to ignore the audio tape of Witness Lee and Sal Benoit.
zeek,

You mean the attempted entrapment audio from Sal.... there is plenty of shame there for Sal.. forerunner of Omarosa...... listened to it a few times but exactly what quote is it that you think validates that Witness Lee was a multi millionaire living a lavish lifestyle?

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Old 08-31-2018, 11:43 AM   #78
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zeek,

You mean the attempted entrapment audio from Sal.... there is plenty of shame there for Sal.. forerunner of Omarosa...... listened to it a few times but exactly what quote is it that you think validates that Witness Lee was a multi millionaire living a lavish lifestyle?

Drake
No Drake it doesn't show that Lee was a multi-millionaire or that he was living a lavish lifestyle. But, it strongly suggests that Witness Lee was a con man playing a shell game with money loaned or contributed to him by his followers to whom he denied any accountability. It also shows that Sal Benoit was a victim who placed way too much confidence in Lee and when he realized what was going on felt burned. I'm glad he taped the call because the litigious Living Stream Ministry has concealed and possibly destroyed records of its true history.
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Old 08-31-2018, 12:46 PM   #79
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Even if someone provided proof Witness Lee's reported income was six figures, seven figures, or eight figures, I'm sure the response by the most loyal LSMer would be "whatever, doesn't matter". Even if it was true which I believe at least 6-7 figures, I don't believe he lived lavishly. However it provided a means to support his children and more likely provided a way to ensure his grandchildren received a college education. This is not meant to be anything more than my opinion.
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Old 08-31-2018, 01:46 PM   #80
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Even if someone provided proof Witness Lee's reported income was six figures, seven figures, or eight figures, I'm sure the response by the most loyal LSMer would be "whatever, doesn't matter". Even if it was true which I believe at least 6-7 figures, I don't believe he lived lavishly. However it provided a means to support his children and more likely provided a way to ensure his grandchildren received a college education. This is not meant to be anything more than my opinion.
Opinion is all we've got these days. Besides, I doubt the reported income would have reflected reality.

There's other top level insiders to Lee that knew Lee played loosey-goosey with the saints' money.

And we've got that recording of him and Sal, providing an inside look into Lee's twisted business attitudes.

Then, to take the cake, we've got Lee's remark when asked about the saints that lost their money on Daystar : He said, "They lost their virginity." (What's that a metaphor for?) What did Lee care about the money? As I was told about the donated money ... or even loaned money : "It's Gods' money."
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Old 08-31-2018, 02:07 PM   #81
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No Drake it doesn't show that Lee was a multi-millionaire or that he was living a lavish lifestyle. But, it strongly suggests that Witness Lee was a con man playing a shell game with money loaned or contributed to him by his followers to whom he denied any accountability. It also shows that Sal Benoit was a victim who placed way too much confidence in Lee and when he realized what was going on felt burned. I'm glad he taped the call because the litigious Living Stream Ministry has concealed and possibly destroyed records of its true history.
I dont hear that at all zeek..... Sal said he was calling in an honest way, then he pulls an Omarosa... He goes off on a rant demanding to know about a loan Newton made, Brother Lee tells him and he still acts like he needs to know more.. it was a loan for crying out loud....., then he asks if Living Stream donated any money for the profit businesses and Brother Lee tells him that LSM gave money to the churches to pay off loans for the defunct Daystar..... so what is to complain about that?

Zeek, Brother Lee was right that it was none of Sal's business but because Sal appealed to know as a responsible one in Newton and a brother then Brother Lee listened and answered, or tried to answer while Sal constantly talked over Brother Lee's answers and it was apparent that he had no interest in understanding Brother Lee's viewpoint, rather he wanted to make points for the recording and he would often say something that Brother Lee did not say...

Ironically, Sal gives credit to Brother Lee for almost everything good that happened in his christian life.... how Brother Lee had raised him, etc. he says he wants to walk upright while still recording this without Brother Lee's knowledge... and then Brother Lee offers to fellowship with him about other matters but then Sal's real motive rears its ugly head.... he accuses Brother Lee of criminal activity.... conversation over and Sal thinks it is funny.

Sorry zeek, this was a dishonest call on Sal's part, he wanted to accues Brother Lee and took 26 minutes to work his way around it...

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Old 08-31-2018, 02:30 PM   #82
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Brother Drake, you loan someone $100,000.00 and they not pay you back, and see how you feel about it ... specially if it's a man of God of Lee's stature.

I got ripped off by an elder -- he's gone now -- and I still have hard feelings toward him -- and it was less than $1,000.00.
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:03 PM   #83
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The facts do not bother you. And yet you continue to ignore the audio tape of Witness Lee and Sal Benoit.
http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6800733/wlsl/

Is this the tape you are referring to?
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Old 08-31-2018, 04:04 PM   #84
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...he accuses Brother Lee of criminal activity.... Sorry zeek, this was a dishonest call on Sal's part, he wanted to accues Brother Lee and took 26 minutes to work his way around it...
Sal wasn't accusing Lee of anything. He was exposing him with the indisputable evidence of criminal activity...and probably still held out a little hope that Witness would apologize and repent. Sal had no doubt found out from Max Rapoport that this wasn't Lee's first go around at the financial malfeasance rodeo...no sir, Lee was an experienced cowboy at this point, and this shows big time in many of Witness' evasive and mealy mouth answers to Sal's reasonable inquiries.

"Dishonest" you say Drake? Really? This coming from a follower of Witness Lee?

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Old 08-31-2018, 04:57 PM   #85
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http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6800733/wlsl/

Is this the tape you are referring to?
Yes. On the tape Lee admits that all donations go to the LSM, a private non-profit, that's no one's business, and can't be held accountable. (this makes Lee's local church a denomination).

And he says, "This is to much," when Sal is trying to hold him accountable.

Evade, evade, equivocate. "I can teach you as a brother. Otherwise I am not responsible to you for anything." (I'll say. I realized that decades ago.)

On the tape Lee sounds like a Elmer Gantry type to me.

Lee and Nee both thought it nothing to play funny with the money. You can't trust humans with money, Christian or otherwise. We know this, that's why we have accountants, tax returns, and other ways to hold money accountable.

But lo and behold, Nee and Lee aren't responsible to us for anything. Lee pulled me around by the nose, but is not responsible for it. Haha. Good one Lee. Fool me once ....

And all that is good to know.
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:18 PM   #86
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What would this recording sound like if it was transcripted then edited by LSM and the DCP? I say this somewhat in jest...

Despite the fact that Witness Lee makes a fool out of himself on this call, it was nice for me to hear what the guy sounded like “off the record”. It shines a light into the scrubbed and confused darkness that surrounds the man. Very much a confirmation that (at least some) of what is written about Witness Lee on the internet is not poison, but in fact, truth. The reality is, the man and his ministry aren’t what he claimed them to be. If I’m right, what are the implications of that?
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Old 08-31-2018, 06:23 PM   #87
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Brother Drake, you loan someone $100,000.00 and they not pay you back, and see how you feel about it ... specially if it's a man of God of Lee's stature.

I got ripped off by an elder -- he's gone now -- and I still have hard feelings toward him -- and it was less than $1,000.00.
Bro awareness,

Sal did not say that the loan would not be paid back. It was understood that it was a loan.

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Old 08-31-2018, 09:02 PM   #88
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http://www.metacafe.com/watch/6800733/wlsl/

Is this the tape you are referring to?
That's the one.
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Old 08-31-2018, 09:14 PM   #89
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Sal wasn't accusing Lee of anything. He was exposing him with the indisputable evidence of criminal activity...and probably still held out a little hope that Witness would apologize and repent. Sal had no doubt found out from Max Rapoport that this wasn't Lee's first go around at the financial malfeasance rodeo...no sir, Lee was an experienced cowboy at this point, and this shows big time in many of Witness' evasive and mealy mouth answers to Sal's reasonable inquiries.

"Dishonest" you say Drake? Really? This coming from a follower of Witness Lee?

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I heard, years ago, that Max was in the room with Sal when this call took place.

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Old 08-31-2018, 11:58 PM   #90
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Bro awareness,

Sal did not say that the loan would not be paid back. It was understood that it was a loan.

Drake
Long before this recording Sal showed up in Ft. Lauderdale, complaining about the loan, saying all he's been told is that it's Gods' money. It was obviously a very big sore spot, years before this recording.
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Old 09-01-2018, 12:00 AM   #91
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I heard, years ago, that Max was in the room with Sal when this call tool place.
Me too ......
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Old 09-01-2018, 07:56 AM   #92
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Long before this recording Sal showed up in Ft. Lauderdale, complaining about the loan, saying all he's been told is that it's Gods' money. It was obviously a very big sore spot, years before this recording.
Ok... but it was still a loan ...... and Brother Lee indicated (hard to actually hear it since Sal was constantly talking over his answers) that LSM had covered actual (not loans) losses by several churches. Therefore, there was no concern about the loan being repaid, rather, the premise of the call was how the loan was used..... but as can be easily discerned on replay the motive was to get Brother Lee to admit to a crime on that call..... Sal not having any luck doing that becomes more desperate near the end of the call and presses the issue directly when he cites he has talked to several CPAs and “they” all think that transferring money around like that must be a crime...

What a pathetic attempt at entrapment by a brother who opens the call with a call for frankness and honesty. ....and a waste of time...., instead of meandering around for 25 minutes, crosstalking over Brother Lee, he should have come straight to the point and then gave Brother Lee the opportunity to answer the charge.

Sidebar: I still question the date of the recording as 1977.... I am more inclined to place it in 1978. The reason is because there was a meeting and intimate fellowship with about 30 brothers and Brother Lee at the mansion on Dudley Rd. in May 78. Though some controversy had begun to swirl around Max by May from an earlier visit in 78 and some of his teachings/ delivery methods , yet, Sal did not express any issues whatsoever before or after the meeting with Brother Lee on Dudley Rd.. That intimate fellowship with Brother Lee was a splendid time for all who could join.... shortly after that the dam broke.

And if Max were on this call and it was in 77.... then he also was more duplicitous than I previously had imagined.

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Old 09-01-2018, 08:38 AM   #93
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Ok... but it was still a loan ...... and Brother Lee indicated (hard to actually hear it since Sal was constantly talking over his answers) that LSM had covered actual (not loans) losses by several churches. Therefore, there was no concern about the loan being repaid, rather, the premise of the call was how the loan was used..... but as can be easily discerned on replay the motive was to get Brother Lee to admit to a crime on that call..... Sal not having any luck doing that becomes more desperate near the end of the call and presses the issue directly when he cites he has talked to several CPAs and “they” all think that transferring money around like that must be a crime...
Isn't that called "Bank Fraud" when money is deceptively borrowed? People can go to jail for that.

Why is it that so many surrounding Witness Lee disassociate from him because they believe he is committing crimes, and being righteous men, don't want to be implicated with him?
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Old 09-01-2018, 08:52 AM   #94
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My walk with the Lord began 60 years ago in Okemah Oklahoma where I experienced my first church split due to the pastor involving the members in a business that failed. Twenty years later that experience and others would keep me from involvement in the Daystar tragedy at Elden Hall. It has been erroneously reported on this forum and others that I was the accountant for Daystar. I was the accountant for many investors in Daystar and a Business Consultant to several Brothers. I was employed as an Accountant for the Los Angeles County Government and responsible for the Payroll Clearance Fund and the Joint Power Authorities. I later had increased responsibilities in Budget Report and Data Processing Departments where I created the Billing Algorithms for all 77 Departments. I also worked part time as the Controller for the Beverly College of Law and a Bar Review Course and also worked as a Business Consultant and Tax Preparer for many Brothers including Bro.Lee and Francis Ball. I can confirm that those involved in Daystar violated Federal and State Securities Law and Federal money laundering statutes. The son of one of the sisters that invested in Daystar was and still is an attorney now living in DC who advised the brothers and me of their illegal activities. Prior to the Daystar tragedy my experience at Elden Hall was one of the best times of my Life.

Terry and Nancy Risenhoover
Here is one of many eyewitnesses from the early days, well aware of corrupt business practices at LSM. This was his OP on another thread.
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Old 09-01-2018, 09:51 AM   #95
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I dont hear that at all zeek..... Sal said he was calling in an honest way, then he pulls an Omarosa... He goes off on a rant demanding to know about a loan Newton made, Brother Lee tells him and he still acts like he needs to know more.. it was a loan for crying out loud....., then he asks if Living Stream donated any money for the profit businesses and Brother Lee tells him that LSM gave money to the churches to pay off loans for the defunct Daystar..... so what is to complain about that?
What's to complain about it is that LSM's stated purpose is to publish the works of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. It is reasonable therefore, that anyone funding, donating to, or purchasing the goods of this organization should understand that their money goes towards that stated purpose. This stated purpose is the reason that people feel comfortable contributing money, in any form, in the first place. If money is used in other ways, seemly or unseemly, then the donors and contributors have a right to know. Once money lands in LSM's coffers, that is still the money that individual people gave. There may legally not be "a right" to know, but as the brothers themselves have stated, in the Lord's recovery we are governed by a higher vision. For example, it is newsworthy when it is revealed that funds donated to the Red Cross are used in ways unrelated to their stated mission. LSM is not just an entity that people give to, it unfortunately is something tied into the very fabric of their lives and their Christian lives. Concern about how the funds are being used is proper and justified.

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Zeek, Brother Lee was right that it was none of Sal's business but because Sal appealed to know as a responsible one in Newton and a brother then Brother Lee listened and answered, or tried to answer while Sal constantly talked over Brother Lee's answers and it was apparent that he had no interest in understanding Brother Lee's viewpoint, rather he wanted to make points for the recording and he would often say something that Brother Lee did not say...
Even if a loan is paid back in full, the loaner has every right to know what his money was used for......it is not "too much." If you loaned someone money, and that money was used to purchase weapons and hit-men that carried out a calculated murder of another person, then the loaner is complicit in that, because the funds used were HIS, regardless of whether or not the loan was paid back at a later date. The loaner has every right to know in what way the funds are being used and the nature of what he has gotten involved with. That is obviously an extreme example, but I am using it to show why someone who loans that much money would be concerned to know how it was spent.

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Sorry zeek, this was a dishonest call on Sal's part, he wanted to accues Brother Lee and took 26 minutes to work his way around it...

Drake
I would say it took brother Lee 26 minutes to get anywhere near the truth....
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:07 AM   #96
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What would this recording sound like if it was transcripted then edited by LSM and the DCP? I say this somewhat in jest...

Despite the fact that Witness Lee makes a fool out of himself on this call, it was nice for me to hear what the guy sounded like “off the record”. It shines a light into the scrubbed and confused darkness that surrounds the man. Very much a confirmation that (at least some) of what is written about Witness Lee on the internet is not poison, but in fact, truth. The reality is, the man and his ministry aren’t what he claimed them to be. If I’m right, what are the implications of that?
The tape recording might not be an upright act, but it did revealed a hidden side of WL.

All those "this is not your business", "I am not responsible", "this is my personal ministry" and "you have no right", doesn't sound like words from a man of God or Minster of the Age. Thanks for Drake's reminder, it is more like from a fake $20 Rolex watch from Shanghai copy market.

Unfortunately, for whatever reason, some people still buy these fake watches even though they know what it is about.
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Old 09-01-2018, 10:55 AM   #97
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Here is one of many eyewitnesses from the early days, well aware of corrupt business practices at LSM. This was his OP on another thread.
Thanks for quoting that post by Terry Risenhoover as just this past week a local brother forwarded me some links Terry had shared with him regarding the Bema. I didn't know who he was, but got some insight after reading his post (which you quoted). (I have some email discussions going back and forth, from saints in various locations, regarding the paper I'm writing about being faithful in a few things)

That thread Terry R started 4 years ago, got into a good discussion about the Partial Rapture theory. Has there been a recent thread devoted to the whole partial rapture thing? (It would seem this might also tie into the recent "Christians sent to outer-darkness" discussion.)
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Old 09-01-2018, 02:30 PM   #98
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Ok... but it was still a loan ...... and Brother Lee indicated (hard to actually hear it since Sal was constantly talking over his answers) that LSM had covered actual (not loans) losses by several churches. Therefore, there was no concern about the loan being repaid, rather, the premise of the call was how the loan was used..... but as can be easily discerned on replay the motive was to get Brother Lee to admit to a crime on that call..... Sal not having any luck doing that becomes more desperate near the end of the call and presses the issue directly when he cites he has talked to several CPAs and “they” all think that transferring money around like that must be a crime...
Yes, Sal was trying to entrap Lee. But why did he think he could entrap him? What did he have on him? He and Max had been at the top and on the inside. They knew of Lee's hidden maleficence, and Sal thought he could get Lee to admit to it, while he was recording him? It didn't happen. But Lee did leak a lot out. You can tell in his voice, and the way he was answering, that Lee had shell companies, that he used to play funny with the money. So Sal got him.

However, in the end, the call didn't make either Sal or Lee look good.

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Sidebar: I still question the date of the recording as 1977.... I am more inclined to place it in 1978. The reason is because there was a meeting and intimate fellowship with about 30 brothers and Brother Lee at the mansion on Dudley Rd. in May 78. Though some controversy had begun to swirl around Max by May from an earlier visit in 78 and some of his teachings/ delivery methods , yet, Sal did not express any issues whatsoever before or after the meeting with Brother Lee on Dudley Rd.. That intimate fellowship with Brother Lee was a splendid time for all who could join.... shortly after that the dam broke.
Goodness, to know all those details means that you were/are on the inside. Are you a Blended? Are you complicit? Or do you just stick your head in the sand?

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And if Max were on this call and it was in 77.... then he also was more duplicitous than I previously had imagined.
I never liked Max. Max to me was just a conman salesman, that thought he was a bigman. I remember him bragging that before becoming a Christian, he would bet his friends at the bar, that he could pickup any woman at the bar, and sleep with her. He said he always won the bet. He thought of himself as God's gift to women ... and then God's gift to us. He wasn't. To me he was a sleazebag. But Lee liked him, for awhile.

I saw a video of him speaking long after the LC, before he passed, and he seemed to be just a simple ordinary Christian. He no longer had a swollen head.

But if you want to know what was really going on back when Lee was alive, look to those from Elden Hall, like Risenhoover and Don Hardy. Or even my friend Hosepipe.

Bro Drake, I'd send you a copy of Hardy's emails, that reveal tons of the dirt going on at the Lee level, but given that you won't reveal who you are, and where and what you've been in the LC, I don't trust you with them.

Blessings anyway brother ... continue on ... playing a antithetical devil's advocate ... it keeps our discussions interesting. I enjoy it. I think you are a peach. I love the local church you are supporting out here. I wish it existed.

Harold
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Old 09-02-2018, 05:50 AM   #99
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Yes, Sal was trying to entrap Lee. But why did he think he could entrap him? What did he have on him? He and Max had been at the top and on the inside. They knew of Lee's hidden maleficence, and Sal thought he could get Lee to admit to it, while he was recording him? It didn't happen. But Lee did leak a lot out. You can tell in his voice, and the way he was answering, that Lee had shell companies, that he used to play funny with the money. So Sal got him.
Reminded me of when Philip Lee (secretly?) recorded a telecon with Witness Lee scolding Titus Chu for "doing his own thing" and such nonsense. Then Philip proclaiming "Now we got him!" referring to TC.

Nasty business getting too close to the Lee family.

And No, you cannot trust Drake with those Hardy emails!
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Old 09-02-2018, 09:52 AM   #100
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It is reasonable therefore, that anyone funding, donating to, or purchasing the goods of this organization should understand that their money goes towards that stated purpose. This stated purpose is the reason that people feel comfortable contributing money, in any form, in the first place. If money is used in other ways, seemly or unseemly, then the donors and contributors have a right to know...... If you loaned someone money, and that money was used to purchase weapons and hit-men that carried out a calculated murder of another person, then the loaner is complicit in that, because the funds used were HIS, regardless of whether or not the loan was paid back
Trapped,

I agree, in principle.

However, in practice thousands of donations and loans came in for a variety of purposes, projects, and initiatives. A designator for the donation or loan will often accompany it but tracking each individual donation or loan by contributor by initiative would become unwieldy. Yet as long as the sum of contributions designated for a certain project get at least that amount it matters not how the funds flowed there. What you heard Brother Lee trying describe to Sal, in Sals hit piece while Sal was baiting him with questions of presumption, was the management of many inflows and many outflows.

To understand it is not accomplished with an impromptu call and crosstalking over the answers. But then, to understand was not the objective of the call.

Furthermore, if Sals only concern was about how the loan was going to be used then he could have and should have asked for immediate repayment. I have no doubt that he would received reimbursement in a few days since LSM and its trustees were already reimbursing churches that made contributions for the defunct Daystar. Apparently, Sal was not concerned about the loan being repaid since he never brought that up, he rightfully assumed it would be, nor did he ask for it to be immediately repaid. Again, Sal could have made a break over this alleged “crime” but apparently did not for what seems like at least a year. Why not go public right away instead of this secret recording? Something else was apparently in play especially if Max was also in the room. Why didn’t Sal announce Max being in the room? Why, 25 minutes of Sals rambling and his thanking Brother Lee for everything good in his Christian life before disclosing his own research with CPAs and popping the “crime” allegation in minute 26?

There’s your real shame right there.

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Old 09-02-2018, 12:12 PM   #101
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Furthermore, if Sal's only concern was about how the loan was going to be used then he could have and should have asked for immediate repayment. I have no doubt that he would received reimbursement in a few days since LSM and its trustees were already reimbursing churches that made contributions for the defunct Daystar.
Drake, sometimes you just spin the facts, other times you twist them, and still other times you merely leave out the facts.

Reimbursing churches? Most investors were not "churches" but individuals, some of whom took out mortgages or life-savings because they "Believed Brother Lee." They got scammed, the Lee Family got wealthy!

Don't you remember how Max Rapoport rose to prominence at LSM after he agreed to travel about the LC's coercing Daystar "investors" to consider their "investment" as an "offering" to the ministry? Only those who screamed real loud were able to obtain their investment in return. Brother Sal was only "screaming" for the church's money.

Did you also know about that secret Bank Account in the church in Dallas, TX which Benson Philips insisted on, but not even Dallas Elder Don Rutledge was aware of? It was a simple case of "money-laundering" by running cash thru a legitimate Non-Profit (church in Dallas) in order to make the money "clean." And tax-deductible!

But ... we all now understand how Witness Lee operates ... that he was Above The Law ... since The Law was done away with in Christ! Hallelujah! Little sleight of hands there, eh?
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Old 09-02-2018, 12:34 PM   #102
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But if you want to know what was really going on back when Lee was alive, look to those from Elden Hall, like Risenhoover and Don Hardy. Or even my friend Hosepipe.
Brother Harold,

All those allegations by the accountant (TR) who prepared the taxes for all those ministry workers and in such a role being himself right in the middle of the whole business.... never thought that reporting the alleged crimes was part of his Christian or civil duty?

Odd,.....

Or did he report it, and an investigation ensued and nothing came of it?

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Old 09-02-2018, 02:27 PM   #103
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Brother Harold,

All those allegations by the accountant (TR) who prepared the taxes for all those ministry workers and in such a role being himself right in the middle of the whole business.... never thought that reporting the alleged crimes was part of his Christian or civil duty?

Odd,.....

Or did he report it, and an investigation ensued and nothing came of it?
Don't know. But thanks for asking. Brother Drake, you seem like a levelheaded brother. You've been around the LC for a long time. And seem to be tied into central upper level goings-on.

Were you around during the Elden Hall days? Did you know Hardy, Risenhoover, et al? (Come to think of it, did you know John Ingalls, Bill Mallon, Max R. et al?)

I wasn't at Elden, but I remember the spirit of it ; we were smack dub in the middle of what God was doing on the earth!!! I don't know if it is today, but it was electric back in those days ; the Spirit on steroids.

And we were all in for it. So it's easy to get caught up in the mission. And Lee was Gods' man! What he said, and wanted done, was of Biblical importance. After all, it was what God was doing! That was the spirit back then.

And these brothers were at the center of it. And yes, they knew what was going on, cuz they were part and parcel in it. They were eyewitnesses, and very given and active participants. They were, and remain, given to God.

And when it's what God is doing, you don't questions.

But later, when you discover that it's not what God was doing, then you realize what you did was wrong. Then you're obligated to God to repent and speak out about it.

Shouldn't false prophets be exposed? The Lord said what's hidden will be revealed. Or should we be like cats, cover it all up?
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Old 09-02-2018, 02:38 PM   #104
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....But later, when you discover that it's not what God was doing, then you realize what you did was wrong. Then you're obligated to God to repent and speak out about it.
Brother Harold,

First and foremost, above all things in this life, seek to be counted worthy in that Day and adorned with the wedding garment.

If you take nothing else away, understand that is my burden and prayer for you.

Pursue that diligently and everything else will fall in place in the proper time.

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Old 09-02-2018, 06:21 PM   #105
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Thanks brother Drake. You ARE a peach.
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Old 09-02-2018, 08:51 PM   #106
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All those allegations by the accountant (TR) who prepared the taxes for all those ministry workers and in such a role being himself right in the middle of the whole business.... never thought that reporting the alleged crimes was part of his Christian or civil duty?
Christian or civil duty? Silly man, you know very well that the average Local Churcher in those days had to answer to a much higher calling than any mere Christian or civil duty. It's the same reason that all those sisters never reported the lewd and abusive behavior of Phillip Lee for years. It's the same reason that a certain elder's wife who had served at LSM for decades never reported that she had been abused by Phillip Lee for basically the whole time. And when she and her elder husband finally did report the abuse to the highest authority, Witness Lee, the Acting God didn't act like God at all - he blew them off and sent the wife home in tears and the elder on a fast tract outta dar. (no surprise after hearing Lee's attitude on that phone call with Sal Benoit, am I right?)
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:08 PM   #107
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Trapped, I agree, in principle. However, in practice thousands of donations and loans came in for a variety of purposes, projects, and initiatives. A designator for the donation or loan will often accompany it but tracking each individual donation or loan by contributor by initiative would become unwieldy. Yet as long as the sum of contributions designated for a certain project get at least that amount it matters not how the funds flowed there....
I don't think that anyone would ever have the expectation that the route their individual donation takes would or could ever be tracked to know precisely where it ended up. Even in a small locality that would be an unreasonable expectation and near impossible task, much less in a large corporation like LSM. The point is, however money is used, the saints feel it is "their money". To use a church as an example, if the elders in a locality decide to spend money to buy five new Maserati’s for its serving ones to use, rather than five used Honda Accords, all the individual saints who contribute general offerings would feel "their money" was spent irresponsibly, no matter who contributed the specific dollars in the big pot that went to paying for that particular cost.

The issue is not the management of inflows and outflows; the issue is the nature and purpose of some of the outflows. If money goes to purposes, projects, and initiatives that trouble the conscience of the saints and which are not the stated purpose of LSM, it is a problem. And as I said previously, for the saints involved, LSM is not an insignificant part of their lives; it is something that most have given themselves to, whether directly or indirectly, and something their lives revolved around in many ways. When LSM’s top representative speaks from a position of authority about clear blue skies with the Lord, about the highest standard of morality, and about the divine attributes being expressed through human virtues, his honest/dishonest dealings become of greater importance.

I will admit that as far as the legal side of things, I am unclear. For example, I do know it is permissible for a non-profit parent company to form a for-profit subsidiary. They are treated as legally separate entities, and while things can get complicated very quickly, it can still be done successfully and above-board. My impression, however, is that Daystar was not formed as a subsidiary of LSM, but I do not know all the details.

As far as Sal waiting until the end to disclose anything, I personally have done this myself with others whom I knew had been lying to me and not telling the whole story over a prolonged period of time. I gave them the opportunity to answer some questions truthfully, while myself knowing the truth, and when it became clear in the course of the discussion that they would not be forthright with me, I then revealed that I knew certain pieces of information that contradicted what they had said. This not only provided an opportunity for the other party to be honest, it also provided valuable insight into the character of the person I was dealing with, which allowed me to make informed decisions about actions I needed to take going forward, which seems to be the position Sal Benoit was in.
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Old 09-02-2018, 10:36 PM   #108
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I have attached the written transcript of the phone call Sal Benoit made to Witness Lee. I believe it will be easier to discuss the conversation, rather than Drake's characterization/spin of the phone call.

Remember that Max's presence in the room at the time of the phone call is conjecture, and your judgment against Max should be reserved until such time as you have proof that he was there.

A salient point is that Sal Benoit signed his name on the loan documents representing the Church (in Boston?), and he most certainly did have a right to know where the money went and for what. He was acting responsibly to make the phone call and get answers from Lee. Sal was on the hook for malfeasance should any be found. It becomes clear that Sal did suspect wrongdoing. The corporate structure that unfolds is so convoluted that Sal would have been reckless not to get answers directly from the horse's mouth.
...
Lee states that the money went to Overseas Christian Steward for the Lord's work. Sal asks "Has Overseas Christian Steward ever given money to Phosphorus Corporation?" Answer: Yes.
Sal: So then, the work, the work of the Overseas Christian Steward for the Lord is a commercial business?
Lee: Oh no no no no. Not that way!

Overseas Christian Steward is an unregistered business. It's principals are Lee, Samuel Chang and Bro. Wei (way. Spelling unsure.) You can say Lee, Chang and Wei were 3 guys d/b/a Overseas Christian Steward, unregistered and unregulated. These 3 guys set up a factory in the Far East called Phosphorus. So, Phosphorus belongs to OCS...these 3 guys.
...
Sal: Wasn't Phosphorus part of Daystar?
Lee: No. Daystar is the American Corporation. Phosphorus is he Taiwan corporation.
Lee: Phosphorus did produce motor homes for Daystar.
...
Daystar went bankrupt or "stopped" doing business. Daystar owes OCS/3-guys/Phosphrous. The LSM lends money to OCS/3-guys/Phosphorus. The LSM, a non-profit lends money to 3-guys d/b/a OCS which owns Phosphorus, a for-profit corporation which manufactures motor homes and tennis rackets.
...
Sal: So what we’re saying basically is that the brothers and sisters, you know, all the money, or, some of the money, or part of the money that goes into Living Stream, has gone to Overseas Christian Stewards, and Overseas Christian Steward has this
business work that they’ve done for this purpose. Am I right?
Lee: This is the account.

Sal: I really appreciate that you’ve shared this. Of course, I don’t know why still you won’t share with me that...
Lee: What? What’s that? What?
Sal: the matter that you some of the money from Living Stream goes to Daystar.
Lee: No.
Sal: I just really . . . .
Lee: No, no, no, that . . . .
Sal: To, to pay off some of
Lee: No, no money, goes Daystar, the . . .
No, no, no.
No, to pay off some of the back loans.

...

You need to read the transcript from here, but this is the final word:

Sal: And, anyway, this is, no doubt here, another – this is why I’ve asked you the questions, because I have felt that this is very important also to me. Maybe you don’t think it is [unclear word] my business, or what have you, but the position I’m in, it’s very crucial to me to know the whole thing. Of course, you say I don’t need to but . . . You know, I just tell you my feeling.
Now, as I see it, Brother Lee, a non -profit-making organization. . . .
Well, Brother Lee, I just feel, in my research, in my speaking to C.P.A.’s, my looking into things, before law, I feel ashamed
Lee: No, no, don’t do this. Stop.
Sal: that you have ….
Lee: I, stop. Stop, Sal.
Sal: Manipulated . . . .
Lee: If you talk further,
Sal: that you have ….
Lee: this will stop.
Sal: committed ….
Lee: Okay, Sal.
(Lee hangs up the phone.)
Conversation is ended.

Nell
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Transcript-SalBenoitAndWitnessLee-PhoneCall.pdf (63.6 KB, 22 views)

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Old 09-02-2018, 11:24 PM   #109
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Remember that Max's presence in the room at the time of the phone call is unconfirmed speculation, and your judgment against Max should be reserved until such time as you have proof that he was there.
Er, Nell you suggested Max was there.

And thanks for doing this...

But in the version of the audio I heard Sal added one more word in closing. .... just before his chuckle. It’s an important word too...you no doubt inadvertently left it off.

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Old 09-03-2018, 12:40 AM   #110
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Er, Drake, is that a problem? I said “I heard he was there.” That’s hearsay.

I added what I have. I didn’t transcribe the tape. It’s been out there for years. If you have something else, by all means... No need for innuendos.

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Old 09-03-2018, 06:01 AM   #111
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I dont hear that at all zeek..... Sal said he was calling in an honest way, then he pulls an Omarosa...Sorry zeek, this was a dishonest call on Sal's part, he wanted to accues Brother Lee and took 26 minutes to work his way around it...
Yes Drake, Sal was dishonest. He was apparently trying to trap Lee into disclosing something and he wished to confront him as well. Benoit sounds nervous to me. But, he succeeded in revealing a side of Lee, that a peon of the church like me rarely saw.

Lee, for his part, describes a web of businesses that he owns from which money from the churches is transferred one to another. For what purpose? To launder it? To make it look like profit?

The fact that stands out to me is that although Benoit was the elder of a church who had loaned and contributed to Lee's enterprises, Lee denied that he was accountable to him.

A similar thing happened to me in the Church in Miami. It was a pattern in the so called Lord's Recovery. No matter what purpose a contribution was given for, once it was received, it was "God's money" by which was meant that it was, as Lee said, none of the loaner's or contributor's business.

This practice is, of course, unethical. But then, we the lowly followers should have known that. Because as Witness Lee taught us, the way of Life was beyond ethics. To question his authority or his apparently unscrupulous practices was the way of death. Isn't that right?
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:17 AM   #112
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Er, Drake, is that a problem? I said I heard he was there. That’s hearsay.

I added what I have. I didn’t transcribe the tape. It’s been out there for years. If you have something else, by all means... No need for innuendos.
Right, Nell. You were keying off of Untohims conjecture that Sal got “malfeasance “ info from Max.... you then lent support to that conjecture by adding your own conjecture that you heard Max was in the room.... so it’s a fair point to further speculate about it even though Untohims original point was conjecture.... and you had no problem with that nor adding to it with some your own.

As to the transcript.... the last word Sal stated was “.....CRIMINAL”.... that the transcriber left off entirely... nor did they add Sal’s laugh as was added when Brother Lee chuckled during the conversation. Possibly by the end of the arduous transcription the transcriber was mentally exhausted and inadvertently missed those points. Nevertheless, the omissions are significant and here is why....

What we have from the very get go before the call was placed is an outright attempt to entrap Brother Lee into admitting to a crime which never took place. Hence, the set up... a secretly recorded call without the knowledge of the target (Brother Lee), entirely inadmissible in court so the objective was not any kind of justice but rather an Omarosa type smear. Sal tried several techniques throughout as the transcript you provided (thanks it is easier to follow now)... he tried the appeal to higher authority (the Lord was bothering him so apparently this conversation was initiated by God Himself), he appealed to the honesty argument (yet the irony of his deceptive recording), he tried the vanity appeal (Brother Lee mentored him and every good thing in his Christian experience came through that mentoring). None of that worked so the thing Sal was driving for comes out at the end of 26 minutes ... that he has conducted his own independent investigation with “CPAs” (credible ones I’m sure, not like those you find in Boston’s North End) and is sure that Brother Lee was conducting “CRIMINAL” activities. Sal heard at that moment what he should have heard much earlier in the conversation... a dial tone.

Sal conducted himself in a very unscrupulous and unscriptural manner in this incident.....And like Terry R, the accountant at the center of LSM in and out flows, he did nothing about it. Yet if Sal believed criminal actions were taking place then his responsibility to do something was threefold.... civil duty (call the authorities), Christian duty (the Lord was bothering him), and the greatest was in his commission as an elder in Newton at 50 Dudley Rd. ... and yet if the date of the recording is accurate (1977) then he continued in place without objection, organizing and playing a cohost role for the Experience of Christ conference in May 1978 with Brother Lee as well as other fellowship I previously mentioned.

Brother Lee rightly advised him right up front that the inflow and outflow of funds, donations, and loans through LSM were none of his business. Furthermore, Sals premise was false, his technique of entrapment was unscrupulous, his steps to settle a suspicion or an offense with his spiritual mentor was unscriptural, his independent study conducted with CPAs was faulty and irrelevant, and his motive was not justice but to smear the character of his spiritual mentor by accusing him of criminal activity. And IF Max was in the room at the time of recording, then we can throw collusion in the mix.... simply conjecture at this point.

In sum, not a good day for Sal B.

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Old 09-03-2018, 07:21 AM   #113
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This practice is, of course, unethical. But then, we the lowly followers should have known that. Because as Witness Lee taught us, the way of Life was beyond ethics. To question his authority or his apparently unscrupulous practices was the way of death. Isn't that right?
Zeek,

I’d assess that as....... 3.5 “no’s”.

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Old 09-03-2018, 08:06 AM   #114
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In sum, not a good day for Sal B.
It wasn't a good day for Sal when he trusted Lee with a one hundred thousand dollar loan. What's more unscrupulous? A phone call? or taking the virginity of the saints, and stealing their money?
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:09 AM   #115
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Zeek,

I’d assess that as....... 3.5 “no’s”.

Drake
Based on what?
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:46 AM   #116
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It wasn't a good day for Sal when he trusted Lee with a one hundred thousand dollar loan. What's more unscrupulous? A phone call? or taking the virginity of the saints, and stealing their money?
Awareness,

No one stole the loan.

That would have been a legitimate complaint.

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Old 09-03-2018, 09:48 AM   #117
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It wasn't a good day for Sal when he trusted Lee with a one hundred thousand dollar loan. What's more unscrupulous? A phone call? or taking the virginity of the saints, and stealing their money?
Even Witness Lee apologists aren’t denying that it was WL on the call. The call speaks for itself - sickening.

Must. Defend. Lee. If Lee was a criminal and allowed crimes to occur under his “personal ministry” without taking responsibility then... what does that mean for those who follow his name?

Did Lee speak like this in public too?
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Old 09-03-2018, 09:57 AM   #118
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Right, Nell. You were keying off of Untohims conjecture that Sal got “malfeasance “ info from Max.... you then lended support to that conjecture by adding your own conjecture that you heard Max was in the room.... so it’s a fair point to further speculate about it even though Untohims original point was conjecture.... and you had no problem with that nor adding to it with some your own.
Wrong Drake. Do not spin my comments. I was clear. Do not add your own conjecture to my post. I had not read UntoHim's comments when I wrote mine.

I heard "Max was in the room" and that is NOT CONJECTURE. It is FACT. I HEARD IT.

The conjecture is whether Max was in the room or not and I acknowledged this. There were others who heard the same thing I did. As the phone call unfolds, it is not hard to imagine that Max was in the room, but we still don't know for sure.

Quote:
As to the transcript.... the last word Sal stated was “.....CRIMINAL”.... that the transcriber left off entirely... nor did they add Sal’s laugh as was added when Brother Lee chuckled during the conversation. Possibly by the end of the arduous transcription the transcriber was mentally exhausted and inadvertently missed those points. Nevertheless, the omissions are significant and here is why....
How do you know the transcriber was exhausted or that the job was arduous? It's a 2-hour job, max. More conjecture on your part.

Regardless, first you deflect on the tape, then the transcript? Really? This is a non-issue. As long as we have the tape, the transcript is secondary. It was transcribed by "someone" for our convenience and would be "inadmissible" as long as the tape exists. If words were omitted from the transcript, the tape still exists as authoritative evidence.

This tape is the equivalent of wearing a wire in a criminal investigation. Sal was responsible to the Church in Boston for the expenditure of all church funds. He smelled a rat. He knew without a recording of the call, he had nothing. He needed a record, on tape, of his confrontation of Lee about his suspicions. Holding Lee accountable was impossible without Lee's voice on tape. No one would believe a word of what Sal Benoit had to say against Lee.

All that to say, Sal had the goods on Lee, perhaps via Max, and didn't trust him to tell the truth. To say that "Sal conducted himself in a very unscrupulous and unscriptural manner in this incident..." is laughable. Sal knew Lee was unscrupulous and violation of scripture was not a problem for Lee. Maybe you should listen to the tape again. Lee did everything he could to shut Sal up, but in the end, Lee began to unwittingly admit his own complicit behavior. Why did Lee hang up on Sal?

What Sal "should have done" is your hindsight and is irrelevant. Sal did what he did. He got answers for us all. He knew this would probably never see a courtroom...Lee would bury him. Sal had been around the block a few times and knew what was going on. He just needed evidence...Lee's own voice on tape. If things really went south, in public, Sal had covered his bases.

In sum, not a good day for Lee. Not a good day for Drake.

There is a precedent in Scripture for creating a record of offenses toward sinning brothers. "Every word be established" means create a record. Write it down. Record it.

2 Corinthians 13:
This is the third time I am coming to you. In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established. 2 I told you before, and foretell you, as if I were present, the second time; and being absent now I write to them which heretofore have sinned, and to all other, that, if I come again, I will not spare: 3 Since ye seek a proof of Christ speaking in me, which to you-ward is not weak, but is mighty in you. 4 For though he was crucified through weakness, yet he liveth by the power of God. For we also are weak in him, but we shall live with him by the power of God toward you.

5 Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves. Know ye not your own selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? 6 But I trust that ye shall know that we are not reprobates. 7 Now I pray to God that ye do no evil; not that we should appear approved, but that ye should do that which is honest, though we be as reprobates. 8 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. 9 For we are glad, when we are weak, and ye are strong: and this also we wish, even your perfection. 10 Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.

And Matt 18
15 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

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Old 09-03-2018, 10:19 AM   #119
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Based on what?
Well zeek,

3 no’s were based on it is not unscrupulous, not a problem to question people, or practices.

The 1/2 was that the Lords life is greater than ethics which is true. But I deducted 1/2 point for the implication that following the Lords life leads to lack of ethics.

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Old 09-03-2018, 10:34 AM   #120
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. I had not read UntoHim's comments when I wrote mine.

In post 89 you quoted UntoHim’s conjecture... yet you did not read it when you made your comment?

Silly me for assuming that by quoting him you actually read it.

Way too complex for me... however, the rest of your post about Sal is merely conjecture unless you have something more than the audio to base it on.

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Old 09-03-2018, 11:32 AM   #121
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Awareness,

No one stole the loan.

That would have been a legitimate complaint.
And you know that how? When did Lee pay back the loan?
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:08 PM   #122
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And you know that how? When did Lee pay back the loan?
I don’t keep track of all that awareness. However, I believe we can assume that repayment wasn’t an issue because Sal did not bring it up on the call.... at all.

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Old 09-03-2018, 04:53 PM   #123
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I don’t keep track of all that awareness. However, I believe we can assume that repayment wasn’t an issue because Sal did not bring it up on the call.... at all.
So only Sal and Lee knows. It might appear on tax returns. I've got a couple of them, but none from those days. If it was ever reported.
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Old 09-03-2018, 04:59 PM   #124
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[SIZE=2][FONT=Verdana].....To use a church as an example, if the elders in a locality decide to spend money to buy five new Maserati’s for its serving ones to use, rather than five used Honda Accords, all the individual saints who contribute general offerings would feel "their money" was spent irresponsibly, no matter who contributed the specific dollars in the big pot that went to paying for that particular cost.

The issue is not the management of inflows and outflows; the issue is the nature and purpose of some of the outflows. If money goes to purposes, projects, and initiatives that trouble the conscience of the saints and which are not the stated purpose of LSM, it is a problem.
Certainly Trapped, I agree with above points.

Today and recently, LSM is at the center of many initiatives that are part of the Lords move... for instance, the Lords Move to Europe, Life Study of the Bible Radio Broadcast, Bible for America, Campus work, FTTx, Trainings, Building funds for churches, etc. I may give and designate to one of those entities and others may give to different ones but depending on need and timing the funds may transfer in what seems random chaos. Each initiative may will to stay in their own swim lane but there is fellowship on where and when funds transfer to which entity. If I were to call and ask where my donation went or how it is being used it would not be my place to ask for a detailed explanation as it was not Sals place either. As Brother Lee advised Sal you give if you are comfortable that the donation or loan will be used properly and if you don’t trust that it will then don’t give. But don’t give and then expect a detailed run down on what went where when and by what method because you don’t trust. That is silly and a waste of everybody’s time.... it’s best to just ask for your loan to be repaid immediately which Sal could have done but did not.

Here’s the bottom line. If you look at the inflows and outflows you would find that of the millions received in recent years on an annual basis that most of it outflows and the amount retained for salaries of the 150+ LSM employees is very modest. No one is driving a Maserati that I can tell you.

Now, all the animation about Daystar (a fav on this forum).... it was a well intended initiative to raise money to plow back into the Lords move but it was a bad idea and didn’t work out and investments were lost. Brother Nee also had a similar business with similar intentions but that too was not without issues. However, neither were money making ventures for personal gain of riches for Brothers Nee or Lee.

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Old 09-03-2018, 05:04 PM   #125
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I don’t keep track of all that awareness. However, I believe we can assume that repayment wasn’t an issue because Sal did not bring it up on the call.... at all.
Drake, may I remind you what you said back in #71?

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So, all these ... are based on .... what?

Nada, nunca, nyet, nothing..... make believe.. ...

If you want to make an argument based on financial ... then you need to show some numbers...

...... fake news from where I sit, brother. No real numbers.

Just sayin.
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:23 PM   #126
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Well zeek,

3 no’s were based on it is not unscrupulous, not a problem to question people, or practices.

The 1/2 was that the Lords life is greater than ethics which is true. But I deducted 1/2 point for the implication that following the Lords life leads to lack of ethics.

Drake
I notice that you assert a superior position from which you grade my performance. Watchman Nee taught that we ought to know who is above us. You have shown here that you think you are above me.

When I was under Witness Lee's ministry he taught that ethics were from the wrong tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Both Nee and Lee taught that we should not be occupied with right or wrong, good or evil. Rather should we eat and drink Christ which is the way of the tree of life.

The way of ethics is the way of reason. None who follow reason can walk in the way of life, because it is beyond and above human reasoning. Based on that principle, Sal because he was eating from the wrong tree could not possibly understand the way of life that Lee was taking with his businesses.

If we would take the way of life we would recognize who is the authority above us. When Sal questioned Witness Lee he was questioning God's delegated authority. This was rebellion against God and His move on earth. What's my grade on this post? Did I do better?
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Old 09-03-2018, 06:35 PM   #127
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I notice that you assert your superior position from which you grade my performance. Watchman Nee taught that we ought to know who is above us. You have shown here that you think you are above me.
Not a bit zeek. We are peers.

I gave you my opinion. It differs from yours. I respect that.

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Old 09-03-2018, 07:05 PM   #128
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I notice that you assert your superior position from which you grade my performance. Watchman Nee taught that we ought to know who is above us. You have shown here that you think you are above me.

When I was under Witness Lee's ministry he taught that ethics were from the wrong tree, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Both Nee and Lee taught that we should not be occupied with right or wrong, good or evil. Rather should we eat and drink Christ which is the way of the tree of life.

The way of ethics is the way of reason. None who follow reason can walk in the way of life, because it is beyond and above human reasoning. Based on that principle, Sal because he was eating from the wrong tree could not possibly understand the way of life that Lee was taking with his businesses.

If we would take the way of life we would recognize who is the authority above us. When Sal questioned Witness Lee he was questioning God's delegated authority. This was rebellion against God and His move on earth. What's my grade on this post? Did I do better?
A+.

But this idea of concern about right and wrong being from the wrong tree is precisely what allowed Lee to get away with his lapses of financial ethics, and why brothers went along with it. Cuz to question his ethics is partaking of the wrong tree.
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Old 09-03-2018, 07:52 PM   #129
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In post 89 you quoted UntoHim’s conjecture... yet you did not read it when you made your comment?

Silly me for assuming that by quoting him you actually read it.

Way too complex for me... however, the rest of your post about Sal is merely conjecture unless you have something more than the audio to base it on.

Drake
Sorry. I replied to him. I didn’t quote him.

Is there a point you’re trying to make? This is a conversation. A discussion. That’s what we do here.

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Old 09-03-2018, 08:01 PM   #130
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Not a bit zeek. We are peers.

I gave you my opinion. It differs from yours. I respect that.

Drake
I don't really believe you, but okay. How about giving me your opinion about the teachings of Nee and Lee and their application to Sal's phone call in post 126.
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Old 09-03-2018, 08:06 PM   #131
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A+.

But this idea of concern about right and wrong being from the wrong tree is precisely what allowed Lee to get away with his lapses of financial ethics, and why brothers went along with it. Cuz to question his ethics is partaking of the wrong tree.
Likewise, to question Witness Lee's handling of Philip Lee's alleged sexual transgressions was rejected because it was operating from the standpoint of the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil rather than the Tree of Life. As far as the "Lord's recovery" was concerned it was Lee's way or the highway.
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:11 AM   #132
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Sorry. I replied to him. I didn’t quote him. .
That’s a distinction without a difference.

We’ll leave it there.

Thanks
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Old 09-04-2018, 07:38 AM   #133
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Likewise, to question Witness Lee's handling of Philip Lee's alleged sexual transgressions was rejected because it was operating from the standpoint of the Tree of knowledge of Good and Evil rather than the Tree of Life. As far as the "Lord's recovery" was concerned it was Lee's way or the highway.
Like Mel Porter told me, following Lee like he's the Pope is the way of Life ; paraphrased - but what he basically said - and I was given an ultimatum : Life = Lee ; death = not Lee. I chose death. So I've been dead now for decades, according to those I knew in the LC in those days ... except for many that left also ... good friends by the way.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:27 AM   #134
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I don't really believe you, but okay. How about giving me your opinion about the teachings of Nee and Lee and their application to Sal's phone call in post 126.
Sure zeek.

First, I find no scriptural basis for Sals secret recording and if he held beliefs that something was amiss then he was delinquent as there is a prescribed approach in Matthew 18. His approach was both unscriptural and unethical.

To the body of #126...the life of God vs. ethics question. Clearly, there is no higher standard than that which comes by living according the life of God. Ethics vary from culture to culture, cause to cause, are influenced by situations of the time.... so it is very variable. History is riddled with ethical standards of their time that resulted in millions being slaughtered. So ethics as a standard is well below the bar set for the Christian. The Law given through Moses is higher than ethics but still below the bar set for the Christian. Rather, the standard set for the Christian is first revealed in Matthew 5 - 7, the constitution of the Kingdom where only a life lived according to the Spirit can achieve it.

To bring this back around on your last points. Which tree Sal was eating from or his ability to understand the way of life are not germane to this incident because to my observation he was a brother who ate the Tree of Life and understood the way of life unless he was faking it all along and I don’t sense that at all. However, that does not mean he is without flaws and weaknesses as we all are and just to be clear in case you doubt my view on this, Brother Lee had his own. That goes without saying but in this forum it is necessary to repeat. Therefore, it is my opinion, since you asked for it, Sal had a right to inquire about the loan but did not go about it the right way, his way was neither scriptural or ethical pick your preferred standard, nor was his deep dive questioning into the inflows and outflows of funds to various initiatives his business. That does not have anything to do with delegated authority. Brother Lee did not base his responses to Sal on delegated spiritual authority, rather it was a simple and practical matter, it was none of Sals business. Look at it this way, if someone you consider an authority, spiritual or otherwise, were to come to you and ask for your tax returns would you turn them over? I wouldn’t even if I considered them an authority. It’s none of their business. Or if someone were to give me a loan for say property improvement and then call me up, recording our conversation without my knowledge, and demanding to know whether the loan went to fixing the fence or the basement foundation or paying the plumber, etc. then I’d say, as Brother Lee did to Sal, it’s not their business, it’s too much, and that if they don’t trust my managing it then they should not make the loan. And if they were to start referencing mysterious CPAs and alleging criminal behavior on my part I’d also give them the dial tone as Sal also got.

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Old 09-04-2018, 10:02 AM   #135
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Sure zeek.

First, I find no scriptural basis for Sals secret recording and if he held beliefs that something was amiss then he was delinquent as there is a prescribed approach in Matthew 18. His approach was both unscriptural and unethical.

To the body of #126...the life of God vs. ethics question. Clearly, there is no higher standard than that which comes by living according the life of God. Ethics vary from culture to culture, cause to cause, are influenced by situations of the time.... so it is very variable. History is riddled with ethical standards of their time that resulted in millions being slaughtered. So ethics as a standard is well below the bar set for the Christian. The Law given through Moses is higher than ethics but still below the bar set for the Christian. Rather, the standard set for the Christian is first revealed in Matthew 5 - 7, the constitution of the Kingdom where only a life lived according to the Spirit can achieve it.

To bring this back around on your last points. Which tree Sal was eating from or his ability to understand the way of life are not germane to this incident because to my observation he was a brother who ate the Tree of Life and understood the way of life unless he was faking it all along and I don’t sense that at all. However, that does not mean he is without flaws and weaknesses as we all are and just to be clear in case you doubt my view on this, Brother Lee had his own. That goes without saying but in this forum it is necessary to repeat. Therefore, it is my opinion, since you asked for it, Sal had a right to inquire about the loan but did not go about it the right way, his way was neither scriptural or ethical pick your preferred standard, nor was his deep dive questioning into the inflows and outflows of funds to various initiatives his business. That does not have anything to do with delegated authority. Brother Lee did not base his responses to Sal on delegated spiritual authority, rather it was a simple and practical matter, it was none of Sals business. Look at it this way, if someone you consider an authority, spiritual or otherwise, were to come to you and ask for your tax returns would you turn them over? I wouldn’t even if I considered them an authority. It’s none of their business. Or if someone were to give me a loan for say property improvement and then call me up, recording our conversation without my knowledge, and demanding to know whether the loan went to fixing the fence or the basement foundation or paying the plumber, etc. then I’d say, as Brother Lee did to Sal, it’s not their business, it’s too much, and that if they don’t trust my managing it then they should not make the loan. And if they were to start referencing mysterious CPAs and alleging criminal behavior on my part I’d also give them the dial tone as Sal also got.

Drake
Of course Sal's way of contacting W. Lee was scriptural and ethical.

He was suspicious about the use of a loan to LSM for which he was responsible. So he went to W. Lee directly. Sal called him on the phone with probing questions. This is exactly what Matt 18 instructed him to do -- "If your brother offends you (which includes his role of church oversight), he should go to his brother directly."

I have watched LSM for decades twist the intents of scripture for selfish gain. Ones like Drake are excellent wordsmiths skilled in the art of duplicitous doublespeak. Here is just one more example.

Regarding the ethics of recording phone conversations. Many states allow this with only one party approval. I suspect that Sal never intended to use this recording legally, rather needed this so that he and other responsible brothers in Boston could ascertain W. Lee's uprightness in the matter. Obviously Lee and Sons had a long history of failure in money matters, and as elder in Boston, Sal was charged with financial oversight of church assets. Sal was not snooping into Lee's business practices arbitrarily or surreptitiously, rather he contacted Lee directly about a sizeable loan which Lee had previously requested from his church.

Sal did exactly what he should have done.
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Old 09-04-2018, 10:18 AM   #136
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Brother Drake, let us remember that those that refused to be shifty either left or got the boot. You on the other hand seem to be just fine with it.
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Old 09-04-2018, 11:28 AM   #137
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Pertinent Questions for all concerned:

Should Christian leaders, most specifically leaders of Christian ministries and movements, be held to the highest ethical standards? Can they practice "situational ethics" and base their speaking and behavior on something other than the standards set forth in the Word of God? Can they be allowed to base and/or defend their speaking and behavior and actions on more subjective standards, such as "the sense of life"?

How many times can such leaders be allowed a major lapse in upholding to the highest ethical/moral standards? Once? Twice? Three times? Should a major lapse in financial stewardship be considered as serious as a lapse in holding to the highest purity in sexual conduct?

Most importantly, can a Christian leader ask, or even demand, that their spiritual standing as a ministry/movement leader be totally unaffected by any lapse(s) in upholding to the highest ethical standards?

I think most of us have noticed the downfall of a number of Christian ministry/movement leaders in recent times. Many of them have been major lapses in holding to the highest conduct in their sexual behavior. Most of these men admitted to their sin and publicly repented. All of them lost their ministries - some who had build up a ministry and movement for decades. Most had a major positive influence on the lives of thousands upon thousands of people over those decades. Despite all this, they were removed from the privilege of being a leader among God's people.

Once such fallen leader, in his farewell address to his congregation, reminded them of a poignant axiom: "Pastors must be the chief repenters in a congregation of repenters". I would ad something further - Pastors/leaders should be the most accountable to God and man in a congregation of those who are accountable to God and man.

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Old 09-04-2018, 12:11 PM   #138
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Brother Drake, let us remember that those that refused to be shifty either left or got the boot. You on the other hand seem to be just fine with it.
Brother awareness,

Thanks for the question.

Maybe. But, do you know of anyone who really wanted to stay that "got the boot"? And if so since they got the boot are they still wishing they had not?

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Old 09-04-2018, 01:28 PM   #139
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Brother awareness,

Thanks for the question.

Maybe. But, do you know of anyone who really wanted to stay that "got the boot"? And if so since they got the boot are they still wishing they had not?

Drake
Brother Drake, thanks for the response.

In a meeting, I was given one week to stand up and repent, for using Witness Lee's works to destroy Witness Lee's works, or I was to get excommunicated.

I didn't. A week later the elders showed up at my door, chased my wife out, and nailed me with an impossible ultimatum. Essentially, I got the boot.

Am I wishing I had not. No. It was one of the best things that ever happened to me.

I can't imagine what my life would be like if it hadn't happened. It was before Philip, and the lawsuits, but during and after Daystar.

And many that would turn their backs on my wife and I, for being serpents, eventually left too ... even my most ferocious detractors, that were fully supportive of the elders and Lee.

I know a lot that have left, or got the boot, even two of the elders that were there on my infamous private excommunication meeting. They're gone. I resumed contact with them after they got the boot.

Eventually Witness Lee even gave Mel Porter the boot in Miami, who was the Lee chosen lead elder in Ft. Lauderdale, and then Miami ... not Ron Kangas, who ran off to brighter horizons, to become Lee's scribe). Well er, ah, then Lee brought Porter back again. Lee put him in, Lee took him out, Lee put him back in again. This all happened after I left.

I guess I'm to blame for all that happened after I left. And it was a lot of disgusting stuff. The quarantines happened after I left. I would have never been able to tolerate all that. It would have been years of misery added to my life ; just more wasted years ; more brain wasting years. So I'm glad the Spirit led me out.

I guess God was using me as a prophet. If I had stayed, it might of even saved you. Cuz I have a burden for you, and prayers, too. Cuz you too have to ready for that wedding garment ... just like me. And thanks brother, for your burden and prayers for me. I sure could use it/them. We all could.

Now straighten up and fly right ... and true. Then maybe we could get down to the reality of these matters.
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Old 09-04-2018, 01:29 PM   #140
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Pertinent Questions for all concerned:

Should Christian leaders, most specifically leaders of Christian ministries and movements, be held to the highest ethical standards? Can they practice "situational ethics" and base their speaking and behavior on something other than the standards set forth in the Word of God? Can they be allowed to base and/or defend their speaking and behavior and actions on more subjective standards, such as "the sense of life"?

How many times can such leaders be allowed a major lapse in upholding to the highest ethical/moral standards? Once? Twice? Three times? Should a major lapse in financial stewardship be considered as serious as a lapse in holding to the highest purity in sexual conduct?

Most importantly, can a Christian leader ask, or even demand, that their spiritual standing as a ministry/movement leader be totally unaffected by any lapse(s) in upholding to the highest ethical standards?
Great points. It's truly amazing how every LSMer demands that all the moral, financial, and ethical failures of their leaders be "covered" over to escape the "curse of Ham," but no such perquisites and protections are extended to other ministers and Christian leaders.

If these leaders at LSM didn't have such double-standards in place, they would have no standards at all.

Notice how all ministers in "poor, poor, Christianity" are subject to and accountable to elders or ministry boards, yet W. Lee was subject to no one, and supposedly only to God. This indeed was deceptive. And it establishes horrible precedence. J.N. Darby never repented for his divisive and abusive ways. W. Nee never repented after his excommunication. Lee and Sons never repented for their many business and moral failures. Does anyone really believe that the Blendeds ever will repent?
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Old 09-04-2018, 02:51 PM   #141
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I guess God was using me as a prophet. If I had stayed, it might of even saved you. Cuz I have a burden for you, and prayers, too. Cuz you too have to ready for that wedding garment ... just like me. And thanks brother, for your burden and prayers for me. I sure could use it/them. We all could.
thanks awareness,

Had we been in the same locality I may very well have gotten on the boot along with you, or perhaps we would have stayed the course together, or perhaps we might moved together somewhere else..... the thing is we just don't know. I don't know because I have never encountered a situation like the one you were in. I think we are a lot alike so I imagine we might have done whatever we did..... together.... or we might have shook hands and parted ways.... we just don't know what would have happened and so I am tempered by Aslan's counsel to Lucy in Prince Caspian:

“But what would have been the good?"

Aslan said nothing.


"You mean," said Lucy rather faintly, "that it would have turned out all right – somehow? But how? Please, Aslan! Am I not to know?"


"To know what would have happened, child?" said Aslan. "No. Nobody is ever told that."


"Oh dear," said Lucy.


"But anyone can find out what will happen," said Aslan. "If you go back to the others now, and wake them up; and tell them you have seen me again; and that you must all get up at once and follow me – what will happen? There is only one way of finding out.”


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Old 09-04-2018, 08:03 PM   #142
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That’s a distinction without a difference.

We’ll leave it there.

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No. We won’t.

Just because I made a copy of your remark above, by hitting the “quote” button, doesn’t mean I’m “quoting you”. It’s a reply to your comments. This is not brain surgery, Drake.

Ok. Now i’m Going to hit “Submit Reply”.
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Old 09-04-2018, 08:28 PM   #143
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No. We won’t.

Just because I made a copy of your remark above, by hitting the “quote” button, doesn’t mean I’m “quoting you”. It’s a reply to your comments. This is not brain surgery, Drake.

Ok. Now i’m Going to hit “Submit Reply”.
So the “quote” button does not mean quote and by responding to what UntoHim said in the quote does not mean you actually read what he said before you replied.

Got it.

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Old 09-04-2018, 09:43 PM   #144
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So Drake, while I know most of the forum members and readers are probably wildly curious about all the distinctions without differences, I'm wondering if you could take some time out of your busy day and address some of the questions put forth in post #137?

How bout you just start with this one:

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Most importantly, can a Christian leader ask, or even demand, that their spiritual standing as a ministry/movement leader be totally unaffected by any lapse(s) in upholding to the highest ethical standards?
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Old 09-05-2018, 04:48 AM   #145
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So Drake, while I know most of the forum members and readers are probably wildly curious about all the distinctions without differences, I'm wondering if you could take some time out of your busy day and address some of the questions put forth in post #137?

How bout you just start with this one:


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Dear somedude,

I thought 137 had many pertinent questions for a general audience.... but I also recognized them as leading questions meant for the initiated, i.e. those in this forum........ each serving as a springboard for others to reissue canned opinions. Therefore, though pertinent, I did not expect that those series of questions would lead to anything meaningful. So it doesn’t interest me but I can see how others in the forum would appreciate the opportunity to restate same answers to new questions.

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Old 09-05-2018, 05:10 AM   #146
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Dear somedude,

I thought 137 had many pertinent questions for a general audience.... but I also recognized them as leading questions meant for the initiated, i.e. those in this forum........ each serving as a springboard for others to reissue canned opinions. Therefore, though pertinent, I did not expect that those series of questions would lead to anything meaningful. So it doesn’t interest me but I can see how others in the forum would appreciate the opportunity to restate same answers to new questions.
Hey Drake,

I was wondering. Are your comments also canned opinions or just everybody else's?

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Ohio
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Old 09-05-2018, 05:38 PM   #147
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Dear somedude,

I thought 137 had many pertinent questions for a general audience.... but I also recognized them as leading questions meant for the initiated, i.e. those in this forum........ each serving as a springboard for others to reissue canned opinions. Therefore, though pertinent, I did not expect that those series of questions would lead to anything meaningful. So it doesn’t interest me but I can see how others in the forum would appreciate the opportunity to restate same answers to new questions.

Thanks
Drake
I will jump off the springboard. The leading ones in the assembly of the body of Christ should meet all the standards He Himself set forth in His word. When Drake mocks us for upholding to Gods' standards for elders and deacons and teachers in His body, he is mocking Jesus. May the Lord have mercy on you, and your attitude towards the leaders in TLR, Drake. May He change your mind to match His own toward His body, which is being ripped asunder by the Lee ministry and doctrines.
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Old 09-05-2018, 10:18 PM   #148
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First, I find no scriptural basis for Sals secret recording and if he held beliefs that something was amiss then he was delinquent as there is a prescribed approach in Matthew 18. His approach was both unscriptural and unethical.
You're too easy on Sal. According to what we were taught, he was clearly in rebellion against the minister of the age and accordingly the Lord's discipline should be expected either in this age or the next. No?


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To the body of #126...the life of God vs. ethics question. Clearly, there is no higher standard than that which comes by living according the life of God. Ethics vary from culture to culture, cause to cause, are influenced by situations of the time.... so it is very variable. History is riddled with ethical standards of their time that resulted in millions being slaughtered. So ethics as a standard is well below the bar set for the Christian. The Law given through Moses is higher than ethics but still below the bar set for the Christian. Rather, the standard set for the Christian is first revealed in Matthew 5 - 7, the constitution of the Kingdom where only a life lived according to the Spirit can achieve it.
Well said. And who are we to judge whether Sal or Witness Lee were living according to the standard of Matthew 5 to 7? Rather we should look to ourselves in fear and trembling, right?

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To bring this back around on your last points. Which tree Sal was eating from or his ability to understand the way of life are not germane to this incident because to my observation he was a brother who ate the Tree of Life and understood the way of life unless he was faking it all along and I don’t sense that at all. However, that does not mean he is without flaws and weaknesses as we all are and just to be clear in case you doubt my view on this, Brother Lee had his own. That goes without saying but in this forum it is necessary to repeat.
I think that's a remarkable admission on your part, Drake. I commend you for making it. I take it as evidence you are not an uncritical, fanatical cult member. Maybe recognition that we are all flawed humans, even at this late date in the discussion may get us away from the kind of absolutism that leads to personality cultism or it's bitter opposite.

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Therefore, it is my opinion, since you asked for it, Sal had a right to inquire about the loan but did not go about it the right way, his way was neither scriptural or ethical pick your preferred standard, nor was his deep dive questioning into the inflows and outflows of funds to various initiatives his business. That does not have anything to do with delegated authority. Brother Lee did not base his responses to Sal on delegated spiritual authority, rather it was a simple and practical matter, it was none of Sal's business. Look at it this way, if someone you consider an authority, spiritual or otherwise, were to come to you and ask for your tax returns would you turn them over? I wouldn’t even if I considered them an authority. It’s none of their business. Or if someone were to give me a loan for say property improvement and then call me up, recording our conversation without my knowledge, and demanding to know whether the loan went to fixing the fence or the basement foundation or paying the plumber, etc. then I’d say, as Brother Lee did to Sal, it’s not their business, it’s too much, and that if they don’t trust my managing it then they should not make the loan. And if they were to start referencing mysterious CPAs and alleging criminal behavior on my part I’d also give them the dial tone as Sal also got.
True enough. By the time Sal made the phone call, it was too late. He should have asked all those questions when Witness Lee asked him for the loan and when he found out the dubious shell game Lee was playing, refused it. If Lee needed the money badly enough, he might have given Sal answers to the questions he refused him on the recorded phone call. I made similar mistakes as a young man when I was involved with Lee's group. Perhaps Sal was angry at himself for being so gullible and easily deceived. I know I was. And I resolved it wouldn't happen again.
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:16 AM   #149
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Sure zeek.

First, I find no scriptural basis for Sals secret recording and if he held beliefs that something was amiss then he was delinquent as there is a prescribed approach in Matthew 18. His approach was both unscriptural and unethical.
Secret recording was possibly illegal as well under two-party consent laws. It does seem like a setup given that it seems that the recording started from the beginning of conversation and not mid way through.
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Old 09-06-2018, 06:49 AM   #150
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The leading ones in the assembly of the body of Christ should meet all the standards He Himself set forth in His word.
Yep.... as should we.

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Old 09-06-2018, 07:49 AM   #151
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Well said. And who are we to judge whether Sal or Witness Lee were living according to the standard of Matthew 5 to 7? Rather we should look to ourselves in fear and trembling, right?
Zeek,

Thanks for your response.

True, we need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. If we are delinquent in that then we missed a rather crucial point to our Christian life and may very fall into the category of those who call Him Lord yet to whom He says in that Day “depart from Me for I never knew you”. For convenience I’ll refer to this as Imperative #1 for the rest of this post.

Still, I believe we should examine and prove all things including the teaching, actions, and behavior of those who lead. Start with Brother Lee, that is fine. Examine the co workers, those who left and those who remain. Assess the teaching and actions of elders... all good. Consider before the Lord all these matters and then follow the Spirit never forgetting Imperative #1.

Perhaps we agree on this but I’ll explain my POV this way. I believe there are three categories separated by two lines that we should be diligent not to cross illustrated as follows:

Indifference & Apathy | Examine & Prove All Things | Judgement & Derision

I think the center category is the scriptural way for a Christian and the way the Spirit leads us. We should not follow any teaching or man blindly for that is crossing the line on the left. Neither should we cross the line to the right for that leads us into a very sinful space. The middle category allows plenty of room for making a determination of all things within the lines set by scripture with the proper attitude and heart .... while remembering Imperative #1.

In this case, examining the circumstances and particulars of two brothers on a phone call is fine.... while keeping, of course, Imperative #1 fixed in the center in our sight.

That is how I see it zeek. Agree? Are we close?

Thanks
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Old 09-06-2018, 01:00 PM   #152
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Zeek,

Thanks for your response.

True, we need to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling. If we are delinquent in that then we missed a rather crucial point to our Christian life and may very fall into the category of those who call Him Lord yet to whom He says in that Day “depart from Me for I never knew you”. For convenience I’ll refer to this as Imperative #1 for the rest of this post.

Still, I believe we should examine and prove all things including the teaching, actions, and behavior of those who lead. Start with Brother Lee, that is fine. Examine the co workers, those who left and those who remain. Assess the teaching and actions of elders... all good. Consider before the Lord all these matters and then follow the Spirit never forgetting Imperative #1.

Perhaps we agree on this but I’ll explain my POV this way. I believe there are three categories separated by two lines that we should be diligent not to cross illustrated as follows:

Indifference & Apathy | Examine & Prove All Things | Judgement & Derision

I think the center category is the scriptural way for a Christian and the way the Spirit leads us. We should not follow any teaching or man blindly for that is crossing the line on the left. Neither should we cross the line to the right for that leads us into a very sinful space. The middle category allows plenty of room for making a determination of all things within the lines set by scripture with the proper attitude and heart .... while remembering Imperative #1.

In this case, examining the circumstances and particulars of two brothers on a phone call is fine.... while keeping, of course, Imperative #1 fixed in the center in our sight.

That is how I see it zeek. Agree? Are we close?

Thanks
Drake
I don't have a problem with your categories as such. God and the Devil are in the details.
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