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

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Old 10-10-2016, 09:53 AM   #1
Exodus16
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Default Summing up my experience

My brother forwarded a page from this site to me a few days ago and I've been flitting through the forums ever since. (I think I may have been here before to read Nigel Tomes' articles previously cause several seemed familiar and my name is already in the members list.)
I'm not sure how my Lc experience lines up with others here. So many seem to have been hurt - damaged by their experiences and are here to get out of the LSM/Lc mentality. In contrast, I feel like I never really left, it just fizzled away.
I grew up in the LCs. I was saved at age 5 and reading the Bible in comic book form by 2nd grade. In high school, my family move to a new locality and I transferred to a Catholic school. I was so steeped in doctrines and theology I made myself and everyone around me miserable. Eventually, I learned castigating all the believers around me is not love or life and wouldn't help me, then or the church grow.
During this time I attended a training out in CA. While out there I visited a sister I knew in te FTT. They had a requirement on the undies the sisters could wear! I was very clear that I would not be attending the FTT though it was urged and pushed in the young people's meetings. I didn't even join my friends in te sisters' house. Instead I met and married my husband fairly soon after graduating.
I attended two college trainings. At one dating was discussed, and as I listened to the advice given I realized I never could have married the man I did if I had followed those guides instead of the guiding in my spirit. Also, the lofty speaking on marriage clashed crazily with the actual experience of it and I wondered if over spiritualizing eveything is such a help. So I dropped college meetings/trainings it didn't fit.
When all the lawsuits and storms came up, I was busy with small children and oblivious to most of it. Also very sheltered from it; my father took great pains to shield my husband and I along with the saints with us from the ugliness going on. My young family moved to a new locality literally a day before the LC we met with imploded.
In our new Lc, the LSM and idiocentric language was downplayed. We had so many new believers and young college kids. I enjoyed that time very much.
When my oldest kid was going to high school we moved bc I felt the school too rough. We went out into the country (the wilderness in my concept)

We met with Baptists and Methodists and visited many other places. Two years later we moved to southern Ohio. A Lc an hour to the north has taken great pains to woo us and get us to meet with them and since they seem to care for us we do go up to meet with them on a maybe monthly basis but an hour seems to stretch local. So mostly we enjoy long debates about God, science and the universe with our atheist neighbors, a local community church (with no name) and I pray with a dear crazy liberal lady looking for Christ's life and healing.
I guess this qualifies as "share a lot"
I am here bc I understand the backdrop but I don't know if I can identify with all the struggles to shed LSM and Lc. I hope that we all can grow and walk together.
I'm also interested in the scholarship I see in these pages. I think it is important to wrestle with spiritual truths and with the Lord.
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Old 10-10-2016, 11:32 PM   #2
least
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Default Re: Summing up my experience

Thank you sister for sharing.
I can see the Lord is Lord in your life.
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Old 10-11-2016, 10:01 PM   #3
JJ
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Default Re: Summing up my experience

Thanks for sharing your experience Exodus 16. Come stay for a while.

"attending the FTT though it was urged and pushed in the young people's meetings" is one of the things that really turned me off.

In recent years my wife and I were trying to share the riches of Jesus Christ from the Bible with the college age saints (as that is what we thought we should be doing), and were frustrated that other "serving ones" had this strong agenda to get new ones to go to the college conferences and FTTA that was more important than whether new ones were truly being shepherded, fed, and growing in and with Christ.

Such entrapment is a strong sign of a cult! I came to liken it to a venus fly trap.... just go a little deeper, deeper, on the promise of nectar (good stuff, right!), then plop, into the digestive juices you go, to be absorbed in for only the plants' (LSM's) benefit.
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Old 10-12-2016, 11:02 AM   #4
Exodus16
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Default Re: Summing up my experience

Thanks for welcoming me, JJ.
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Old 10-15-2016, 10:03 AM   #5
aron
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Default Re: Summing up my experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodus16 View Post
I was so steeped in doctrines and theology I made myself and everyone around me miserable. Eventually, I learned castigating all the believers around me is not love or life and wouldn't help me, them or the church grow.
Exodus16, welcome. I also remember arguing with people in college about "knowledge" versus "the tree of life". But I was always a clown, arguing with myself in public, and shifting stances, that people would laugh, and usually not be offended. I was never cut out to be a 'serious' or 'weighty' brother!

But certainly I felt that I had a corner on the truth.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodus16 View Post
During this time I attended a training out in CA. While out there I visited a sister I knew in te FTT. They had a requirement on the undies the sisters could wear! I was very clear that I would not be attending the FTT though it was urged and pushed in the young people's meetings. I didn't even join my friends in the sisters' house. Instead I met and married my husband fairly soon after graduating.
You were manipulated and subject to social engineering, filtered through 'peer pressure', and praise God you resisted! Everyone is responsible for their own journey.

One of the worst Christian mistakes is to think, "If only my circumstances were different, then I could really love and serve the Lord!" But Paul and Silas prayed, praised, and sang in a jail in Philippi; Paul was chained to the mast of an Adramyttean ship in a storm in the Adriatic Sea, with the presence of God speaking with him continually - encouraging, enlightening, supplying grace.

But the Lc says, "Come onto the 'proper [i.e. local] ground' you'll be saved, not just redeemed and regenerated. Come to the glorious church life, and be recovered to proper Christian function and testimony". And though some do get greatly transformed there, I suspect that those who stay and consistently present Christ in higher and deeper measure would probably do likewise in Baptist or Catholic (or other) assemblies as well.

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Originally Posted by Exodus16 View Post
We met with Baptists and Methodists and visited many other places. Two years later we moved to southern Ohio. . . mostly we enjoy long debates about God, science and the universe with our atheist neighbors, a local community church (with no name) and I pray with a dear crazy liberal lady looking for Christ's life and healing.
I also went back into the "wilderness of Christianity", and with a chip on my shoulder I might add! But I was met with love, and gradually my 'truths' melted under the love of Christ coming to me thru the Body. Today I testify (or try to - don't always do it well) of the love of Christ, and the redemptive power of the Holy Spirit. God loved us, loved me(!!!), so much that He sent His only begotten Son, who loved us and died for us while we were yet sinners and cut off, and who were strangers to the hope of Israel, that we might have forgiveness of sins and a way back home to the Father of lights. O precious hour when I first believed! It's been a struggle, often, but today I meet with many and try to encourage them, because the Lord said that what you do to others will be done to you. So the church gatherings today present an invitation to show grace, to forgive, to testify of God's Son, to repent and receive grace and forgiveness, and go along together in peace. As I said, I don't always do a good job of it but Boy do I appreciate the experience and opportunity that Christian fellowship provides!

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Originally Posted by Exodus16 View Post
I guess this qualifies as "share a lot"
I am here bc I understand the backdrop but I don't know if I can identify with all the struggles to shed LSM and Lc. I hope that we all can grow and walk together.
I'm also interested in the scholarship I see in these pages. I think it is important to wrestle with spiritual truths and with the Lord.
As a long-time active poster, I'm glad to hear that. I don't consider my writings scholarship per se, but I try to inform my opinion with as much scholarship as possible. The discussion of the Lc experience and the ministries of Nee and Lee points me to broader Christian themes and I've tried to look at them, and to what extent I did, I was blessed and broadened in my Christian journey.

An example is Watchman Nee and the formation of the Little Flock in China. If you step back and look at the sweep of Christian history, you may notice that initially in NT communication (gospel speeches, epistolic writings) there were assumed shared understandings and meanings, many of which dropped away over the centuries. Both Luther in the 16th century and Wesley in the 18th, for example, were ejected from their respective (Christian!!) fellowships, for speaking of faith. I'll never forget the words spoken to Wesley, "By so little, sir (Wesley was preaching faith in Jesus), do you despise the sacraments of the church?"

Today we realize that Wesley, and Luther, and many others, did indeed pursue something of reality in Christ Jesus. Now, many Anglicans and Catholics would acknowledge the power, even necessity, of individual faith, and repentance, and receiving, of the Lord Jesus as Savior. A lot was indeed recovered.

But my point is this: in the discussion here, supplemented by readings and conversations elsewhere, I begin to sense how much meaning was actually lost along the way. . . astonishing, really! And, how much common understanding in the first century by the speakers and writers of the NT was later buried under centuries-old conceptual overlays! Thus, Watchman Nee's proposed 'normal church' was only normal in the sense that it was to an early 20th century young Chinese man, grappling with a way out of cultural and political domination by the Western powers (Europe and America). It's not coincidental that the Boxer Rebellion played such a big part in both Nee and Lee's families - foreign domination, and indigenous resistance, strongly affected Chinese society at that time. Temporal needs pressed hard, and lo and behold a combination of British Brethren-ism and European mysticism was just the ticket, and they poured into Nee's Little Flock by the tens of thousands.

But it morphed quickly, as over a decade the needs on the ground dictated the 'recovery' (nyuk-nyuk) of 'the Jerusalem Principle' (i.e. centralization) and 'Deputy God' (i.e. elevating fellow sinners), with this exported in a quasi-oriental religio-spiritual organisation having (oh the irony) its own imperialistic designs; and today, ninety years later, it's arguably become a full-blown "disaster", as one current Presidential nominee likes to say (sorry, couldn't resist).

But, then what is the solution? What now?

To me, Jesus is the solution: always is, and always will be. This is the focus of my faith, my conceptual orientation, my feeble efforts. He's the name above every name, not only in this age but in that which is to come; in heaven, on earth, under the earth; on the internet, at home, school, work and play. May we all glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by our own small contributions to the larger discussion. Peace to you and your family, and to all who read this.
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Old 10-15-2016, 11:55 AM   #6
aron
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Default Re: Summing up my experience

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So the church gatherings today present an invitation to show grace, to forgive, to testify of God's Son,
As an example of how much meanings have changed, and how we currently read history backwards: in the NT Greek the word used for our English "church" and that for "gatherings" was even the same: 'ekklesia'. But today, conceptually, the ideas have grown distinct, each with typically unique and separate meaning, with disparate usage. Nobody would say, "Last night we had an ekklesia of the ekklesia"; we say 'service' or 'meeting'. But now I think perhaps it wasn't always so, including in the composition of our foundational text, the Bible. How little we truly understand!

If, through such partial or even complete mis-understanding, we're caught up in organizational foo-faraw, trying to suss out an institutionally coherent "church", and an unbeliever comes along and watches for a moment and says, "No thanks", and walks away, who can blame them?

Love alone is key to structural coherence - love alone will guide us together through scripture, with the unfolding Word bringing light, and understanding to the simple (Psa 119:130), and as we begin to hear faint echoes of the Shepherd's voice through the written word, we formerly disobedient 'goats' begin to dimly sense an outline in scriptural text of the Obedient Lamb of God, and to thusly re-orient ourselves homeward. . . what a journey! Praise God!
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Old 10-16-2016, 06:18 AM   #7
Exodus16
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Default Re: Summing up my experience

Thanks aron. Nice to meet you!
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