Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Introductions and Testimonies

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 03-23-2014, 11:19 PM   #1
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default My Testimony

Hello everyone, I am new here, though I have been reading the forum for quite some time. I am currently a LC member. It’s hard to know where to start with an introduction, I will write something about myself here to get started, and I can add more later if there are comments/questions on anything I’ve posted. I know this will probably be a bit lengthy, but please bear with me, hopefully this will be the longest post I make.


I was born and raised in the LC, and as might be expected, I have devoted a good amount of time and energy to it. I am still young (in my late 20’s) and I realize I have my life ahead of me. I have been considering joining this forum for some time, but being a current LC member, there is always the underlying concern of people finding out that I’m posting on here. I realize now though that I have nothing to lose. I know that others here can benefit from hearing about my experience, and similarly, I hope to be helped by others as well.


I was the most devoted to the LC during my time in college. I lived in a “brother’s house” for some of that time. I attended a number of LSM trainings, college related activities, etc. Basically I did everything that was expected of me and then some. I also was a president for out LC Christian Club at the campus that I attended. Due to certain circumstances in my life, I was able to (intentionally) avoid attending the FTTA, and here I am. I will leave out all the other details for now, that should give a good enough picture about my background and who I am.


Now I want to explain what brought me here. I’m sure that those who grew up in the LC, aka “church kids”, have had some type of feeling of not fitting in with everyone else outside the LC. This type of feeling forced me to place my trust and friendships in the LC. Since I didn’t fit in anywhere else outside the LC, I in turn dedicated myself solely to LC activities.


Currently, a big focus, if not the biggest focus of the LC is college campus work. By the time I entered college, I fully committed myself to participating in the college work, since it's such a big focus. I basically spent most of my time doing all the activities associated with the college work and church life that are expected of everyone. This is things such as: campus activities, LSM trainings, conferences, meetings most nights of the week, etc.


At the time I was quite naïve, and I thought that simply having a high level of commitment to the LC and campus work would bring some type of fulfillment to me and my life. After all, the college work was pretty much the focus of the church life itself. It did bring me some fulfillment at first, however, I eventually got to the point where I realized that all this time I was putting it wasn’t amounting to much. Additionally I realized that my fellow peers involved in the LC campus work weren’t all that engaged in what was going on either. I came to the realization that it was all just an act I was putting on, probably to either impress people or to “pay my dues”. This forced me to begin to consider what I was doing and what I really wanted.


During this time period I regularly attended the bi-annual LSM trainings. Ironically, due to attending these trainings, I began to hear the constant innuendos put forth about “negative” writings on the internet, “rebellions”, and so on. What really struck me about it is that here I was attending a training to hear the word of God, and instead they often would diverge into making these very broad statements about “rebellious ones” or “negative writings”, all of which was supposedly irrelevant to me. I could never see why they brought up such things in the first place. Eventually I had to ask myself, why did they bring up these things during every training, and why were they so adamant about not reading anything on the internet?


I always challenge myself to think critically, so I had to ask myself the question, what is it that they don’t want me to know about, and why? This resulted in me undertaking my own research, and I took the time to read all of the things that we aren’t supposed to know about. I read Steve Isitt’s writings, John Ingalls’ book, etc. After reading all of that, I really had to take a step back and consider everything I had learned.


At first it all seemed too farfetched to be true, that is, the idea that maybe the LC didn’t have the pristine image that I thought it did. Since no one in the LC discusses such things, I was on my own to make sense of what I had found out. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that, well of course these things are true, the bigger question is what I do with what I know.


What I eventually began to realize is that these writings expressed to a certain extent how I felt inside. I mentioned earlier that I was feeling like I was putting on an act as far as my involvement in the church life. Even though most of the writings I had read discussed events that occurred when I was a young child, I realized there were answers that explained a lot of things and put the current church life into perspective. Up until then, I had never really questioned our practices or considered why we do things certain ways, I just accepted everything at face value.


I didn’t realize it at the time, but just the very way we do things was the really the root cause of my disengagement. For example, every Sunday we have and hour or more of a “prophesying” time. I cannot even express how dry it feels to sit there and listen to person after person get up and read an excerpt from the HWMR. I’m sure other current LC members feel the exact same way, though they would never dare admit to it. As the president of the campus Christian club at my school I had to wonder why it was necessary to pressure people who come to our club meetings to use the Recovery Version of the Bible instead of their own versions that they bring. All in all, I finally realized that what it all boiled down to is that we were exclusively dependent on Nee/Lee’s writings, teachings, and methods for everything. The material I read on the internet helped to put all that into perspective, and I realized why I felt the way I did. I didn’t know how to explain it before, I thought it was just some problem on my end such as not being devoted or engaged enough.


Well, I am still here in the LC, not because I want to be, but because I don’t have a viable exit strategy. I guess I have the faint hope that somehow, I can help others to see all the things that I have seen, but I know that’s probably not going to happen. What I also have realized is that I have no ability to change anything in the LC, and eventually I have to move on for my own good.


You may have noticed that my screen name is “Freedom”. I chose that name because in coming here, I want to free myself from anything that is keeping me from the Lord. Unfortunately this has just been the system of the LC itself. Though I am still in the LC, I look forward to the freedom that I will eventually realize.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 04:07 AM   #2
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
You may have noticed that my screen name is “Freedom”. I chose that name because in coming here, I want to free myself from anything that is keeping me from the Lord. Unfortunately this has just been the system of the LC itself. Though I am still in the LC, I look forward to the freedom that I will eventually realize.
Remember that Christ bought your freedom on the cross. It is yours. It is a gift from the Father of us all. He loved us and sent His Son. Now we are free. The worst thing you could do is struggle to leave the LCs. Just realize that you are free and one day you will see the open door the Father has placed for you. Don't try to create your own door. Trust the Father.

The only practical advice I would give is that "Christianity", long the shibboleth of the LCs (shibboleth = foil, or "other") actually offers much blessing for the seeking believer. The LC mantra was that all blessing had been extracted by the "ministry", so that Living Streamers could simultaneously claim a "rich heritage" from Christianity yet avoid it, calling it deformed, degraded, and so forth.

But let me recast the idea: the great East-West schism occurred in 1054. The Roman Catholic Church subsequently lost much of its heritage. Then the Reformation occurred 500 years later, and the Protestants lost more of their heritage. When John Calvin et al came back to the text, now shorn of much interpretive power, they had little more than their own logic. And with that they fashioned a theology and went on.

My point is that there is a lot of revelatory source material out there. It begins in the first centuries after the apostles, and lies in plain sight, but it today (I write as a 21st century Protestant Evangelical) it's largely forgotten or ignored. The Bible has revelation beyond our feeble capacities, and certainly beyond Nee and Lee's interpretive power. They were trying to build and establish a "church", so you got "Christ and the Church in the Psalms" and so forth. You got the interpretation they wanted at the time to keep their flock in line.

Today, when I look at their writings I believe that they barely even skimmed the surface. If you display some curiosity regarding your Christian heritage God will take you deeper than you could have dreamed. God will take you into His own dream, focused on a person, Jesus Christ the Nazarene, displayed in the words of scripture in more breadth and depth and power (i.e. 'reality') than Nee and Lee could ever have managed (admittedly they were busy with other things).

My point is that if you seek you will find. "You will seek Me, and find Me/if you search for Me with all your heart." Don't try to leave the LCs, and don't think that you must reinvent the wheel. Look where that approach got Watchman Nee! No, but rather seek the God's Christ and the Spirit will lead you where It wills. The text will subsequently open to you, and speak to you, with you, in you, and through you, and you'll be satisfied, because you'll be approaching God's satisfaction and delight, which is none other than His Beloved Son.

Let me put it this way. As you approach the Son, you simultaneously approach the Father's throne, because the Son is there. He is variously portrayed seated at the right hand, standing by the throne, and working in front of the throne, among the flock.

Believe me that as your awareness begins to awaken of God's Obedient Son there at the Father's throne, you won't be concerned with dry recitals of HWMR. You'll be occupied with more interesting things (all of which doesn't assume your own obedience and approval, but who can obey, lest they first see and hear, and believe[Rom.10:14]?).

I leave you with a spiritual view of freedom.

"I run in the pathways of your command/for you have set my heart free."
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 05:53 AM   #3
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The Bible has revelation ... beyond Nee and Lee's interpretive power. ...You got the interpretation they wanted at the time to keep their flock in line.
This is why if you go to a "Crystallization training on Isaiah" today, for example, you will get repeated, vague warnings about not being "one" or "under the ministry", about being "rebellious" and "leprous" and so forth.

Quote:
I regularly attended the bi-annual LSM trainings. ... I began to hear the constant innuendos put forth about “negative” writings on the internet, “rebellions”, and so on. What really struck me about it is that here I was attending a training to hear the word of God, and instead they often would diverge into making these very broad statements about “rebellious ones” or “negative writings”, all of which was supposedly irrelevant to me. I could never see why they brought up such things in the first place.
It may have little or nothing to do with the text at hand, at least beyond some general point at the surface. But they are stuck there because their situation (unending schism, need for power and control, etc) keeps them in that interpretive slot. The freedom to explore the Word and find out what God really wants to say has been curtailed. The message (i.e. their conception of current need) has been imposed on the text, rather than the text guiding the message.

Another interesting thing: I don't know what it's like today but when I was still in the LCs I remember looking at the HWMR outlines and noticing how much the imperative was stressed. Look for phrases like "We need to" or "We must" or "We should" or "We have to". What God has done in Christ Jesus is largely ignored, and a host of man-made requirements have been placed on the seeking one. All of which is to keep you occupied, and busy, and your attention focused on their task at hand. And the vision of Christ loses its unfolding dynamism, and becomes static, and recedes. Local Church "orthodoxy" has subsumed revelation.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 06:40 AM   #4
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Remember that Christ bought your freedom on the cross. It is yours. It is a gift from the Father of us all. He loved us and sent His Son. Now we are free. The worst thing you could do is struggle to leave the LCs. Just realize that you are free and one day you will see the open door the Father has placed for you. Don't try to create your own door. Trust the Father.
Thank you for your response. I am just glad that I was able to finally come and post my testimony. I realize that on my part some decisions are required. As for the path ahead of me, I trust that God will open the door and show me the way.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 07:07 AM   #5
Elden1971
Member
 
Elden1971's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Norman Oklaoma
Posts: 128
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
Thank you for your response. I am just glad that I was able to finally come and post my testimony. I realize that on my part some decisions are required. As for the path ahead of me, I trust that God will open the door and show me the way.
Dear Brother,
Christ IS the WAY. The Holy Spirit will always lead you to Christ and Christ will always lead you to the Father. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. You are free to worship in spirit and in reality. Take time to be intimate with the Lord. He chose you, He bought you with a price, you are not your own, you are complete in Him and NOTHING can separate you from the Love of God in Christ Jesus. He will finish the work which he has begun and He will build His Church.
Please feel free to contact me for personal fellowship.
__________________
Christ is the answer to every question and the solution to every problem.
Elden1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 12:11 PM   #6
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,213
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
Now I want to explain what brought me here. I’m sure that those who grew up in the LC, aka “church kids”, have had some type of feeling of not fitting in with everyone else outside the LC. This type of feeling forced me to place my trust and friendships in the LC. Since I didn’t fit in anywhere else outside the LC, I in turn dedicated myself solely to LC activities.

During this time period I regularly attended the bi-annual LSM trainings. Ironically, due to attending these trainings, I began to hear the constant innuendos put forth about “negative” writings on the internet, “rebellions”, and so on. What really struck me about it is that here I was attending a training to hear the word of God, and instead they often would diverge into making these very broad statements about “rebellious ones” or “negative writings”, all of which was supposedly irrelevant to me. I could never see why they brought up such things in the first place. Eventually I had to ask myself, why did they bring up these things during every training, and why were they so adamant about not reading anything on the internet?

I always challenge myself to think critically, so I had to ask myself the question, what is it that they don’t want me to know about, and why? This resulted in me undertaking my own research, and I took the time to read all of the things that we aren’t supposed to know about. I read Steve Isitt’s writings, John Ingalls’ book, etc. After reading all of that, I really had to take a step back and consider everything I had learned.

At first it all seemed too farfetched to be true, that is, the idea that maybe the LC didn’t have the pristine image that I thought it did. Since no one in the LC discusses such things, I was on my own to make sense of what I had found out. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that, well of course these things are true, the bigger question is what I do with what I know.

What I eventually began to realize is that these writings expressed to a certain extent how I felt inside. I mentioned earlier that I was feeling like I was putting on an act as far as my involvement in the church life.
Reading your post Freedom, I must say I didn't feel I fit in the world not did I fit the cookie cutter mold of the local churches. It took some time visiting non-LC assemblies did I find one at peace meeting with.

Since you have attended bi-annual trainings I would suggest looking up John Ingalls next time your in Anaheim. While brother John is still among us, you will find he's not the ambitious, rebellious brother LSM has portrayed him to be. Actually, he's not even negative of Lee's ministry.

There are brothers in the local churches who do discuss the history, but are guarded when discussing it. Previously on this forum I had mentioned being at a home meeting when I heard two brothers talking about Daystar.

Why were they so adamant about reading things on the internet? Or specifically on forums?
1. Many of the current well-respected blending brothers had roles in the late 80's turmoil. Whether you read John Ingalls' Speaking the Truth in Love or David Wang's account on Rosemead .
2. Phillip Lee has been nullified by LSM as a historical LC figure. Yet if you read John So's account, Bill Mallon's letter to Witness Lee, or John Ingalls's book you'll see Phillip figured quite prominently in the 80's turmoil.
3. With most coins we have, there's two sides to a coin or in this instance two sides to a story. LSM doesn't want the other side of the story to be told. When it has been brought to the attention of elder(s), they tend to dismiss these accounts as perceived wrongdoings or imagined offenses.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 01:22 PM   #7
NeitherFirstnorLast
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 351
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
Well, I am still here in the LC, not because I want to be, but because I don’t have a viable exit strategy. I guess I have the faint hope that somehow, I can help others to see all the things that I have seen, but I know that’s probably not going to happen. What I also have realized is that I have no ability to change anything in the LC, and eventually I have to move on for my own good.
Hello Freedom, and welcome to the community.

What you wrote here (above) is what I really want to address - because at the end of the day, esoteric quotes of common faith aren't, I think, what you're looking for or what you need. You have a faith in Christ that's real - and you know that - but your crisis isn't about your faith in Him. I think your real crisis is "where do I go from here?"

A lot of the regular members on this board are people who got involved with the LC from somewhere else. Some encountered it as adults (like I did), some as young people in College.... we all had very different lives before the LC, and while it took a lot for us to turn away from friends and an organization we had devoted our lives too... we had something to go back to. But your involvement goes deeper. What I hear you saying is that you were born into the movement... and if that's the case, you don't have a life to go back to from before the LC. Maybe you don't even have friends on the outside to help you get out (or see the world from a perspective outside the LC).

Freedom, there is HOPE. The truth is, GOD is working - and has worked - to show you something; and it's the same thing we saw. Grace is at work here and you will be in our prayers. What the LC does and is doing to all it's members and most particularly second generation members - is isolating you. Isolating you from the Body of Christ at large, isolating you from the world. That's not biblical. We are called by Christ (see John 17:16-26) to be One with other Believers (and the fervency of His prayer makes it clear that the enemy will be very much opposed to that). We are told that while we may not be "of" the world, we are called by Christ to be "IN" it - bearing witness of Him and bringing light to a dark place.

I'd like to give you practical advice.... and I don't know if I have any. What I can offer is my own testimony, and prayers for you. Brother, your eyes have been opened. You may not have an exit strategy, but your Father does. The first step is realizing you have to take a first step.

PS: This site is great for reading about the real history of the movement your in, but the LC system isn't unique in what it did to it's members. Reading about other's peoples experiences in similar groups can be of benefit too.... I'd suggest checking out http://www.theholdemans.com/Compare.htm . I think they offered a lot of insights that you might not otherwise get here, as they've designed their website specifically to help people in situations like yours.

Take care, and may God continue to bless you and lend you His peace, which surpasses all understanding.
NeitherFirstnorLast is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 03:16 PM   #8
Elden1971
Member
 
Elden1971's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Norman Oklaoma
Posts: 128
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by NeitherFirstnorLast View Post
Hello Freedom, and welcome to the community.

What you wrote here (above) is what I really want to address - because at the end of the day, esoteric quotes of common faith aren't, I think, what you're looking for or what you need. You have a faith in Christ that's real - and you know that - but your crisis isn't about your faith in Him. I think your real crisis is "where do I go from here?"

A lot of the regular members on this board are people who got involved with the LC from somewhere else. Some encountered it as adults (like I did), some as young people in College.... we all had very different lives before the LC, and while it took a lot for us to turn away from friends and an organization we had devoted our lives too... we had something to go back to. But your involvement goes deeper. What I hear you saying is that you were born into the movement... and if that's the case, you don't have a life to go back to from before the LC. Maybe you don't even have friends on the outside to help you get out (or see the world from a perspective outside the LC).

Freedom, there is HOPE. The truth is, GOD is working - and has worked - to show you something; and it's the same thing we saw. Grace is at work here and you will be in our prayers. What the LC does and is doing to all it's members and most particularly second generation members - is isolating you. Isolating you from the Body of Christ at large, isolating you from the world. That's not biblical. We are called by Christ (see John 17:16-26) to be One with other Believers (and the fervency of His prayer makes it clear that the enemy will be very much opposed to that). We are told that while we may not be "of" the world, we are called by Christ to be "IN" it - bearing witness of Him and bringing light to a dark place.

I'd like to give you practical advice.... and I don't know if I have any. What I can offer is my own testimony, and prayers for you. Brother, your eyes have been opened. You may not have an exit strategy, but your Father does. The first step is realizing you have to take a first step.

PS: This site is great for reading about the real history of the movement your in, but the LC system isn't unique in what it did to it's members. Reading about other's peoples experiences in similar groups can be of benefit too.... I'd suggest checking out http://www.theholdemans.com/Compare.htm . I think they offered a lot of insights that you might not otherwise get here, as they've designed their website specifically to help people in situations like yours.

Take care, and may God continue to bless you and lend you His peace, which surpasses all understanding.
"Only the golden lampstands, the local churches, are the testimony of Jesus....if you are not in the local churches you are not the testimony of Jesus." Witness Lee Local ChurchWitness Lee, The Stream magazine Nov. 1976, p.7)

I wonder where that leaves us?
__________________
Christ is the answer to every question and the solution to every problem.
Elden1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 06:04 PM   #9
ABrotherinFaith
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 94
Default Re: My Testimony

Freedom, I am about 10 years older than you, but have a very similar experience. I am still in the LC despite having some strong reservations about the supposed ground on which we stand.

If you decide to leave, make sure that your experience with the rest of Christianity isn't clouded by what you're used to. Things will seem strange, uncomfortable even. That isn't because they are wrong or have less light/vision or whatever, it's because you're used to a certain procedure. Don't worry, the more time you spend with other Christians you'll realize that they love the Lord and are seeking Him as much if not more, occasionally less than the brothers and sisters in the LC.

When I first started talking to Christians outside the LC this was the hardest part--getting over my up to then unrealized feeling of uniqueness or superiory because I belonged to the LC and not because I necessarily had done any serious study or seeking on my own. Superior by association..

Read the Word of God. And read it without footnotes. Get another translation. I've been using the New Living Translation. The Word comes alive when it speaks for itself and you've not been told how to understand it. It's a lot of work, but it's well worth it.

__________________________________________________ _

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elden1971 View Post
"Only the golden lampstands, the local churches, are the testimony of Jesus....if you are not in the local churches you are not the testimony of Jesus." Witness Lee Local ChurchWitness Lee, The Stream magazine Nov. 1976, p.7)

I wonder where that leaves us?
Elden1971,
Do you have some context for this quote? Are the magazines available online?
ABrotherinFaith is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 06:50 PM   #10
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABrotherinFaith View Post
If you decide to leave, make sure that your experience with the rest of Christianity isn't clouded by what you're used to. Things will seem strange, uncomfortable even. That isn't because they are wrong or have less light/vision or whatever, it's because you're used to a certain procedure. Don't worry, the more time you spend with other Christians you'll realize that they love the Lord and are seeking Him as much if not more, occasionally less than the brothers and sisters in the LC.

When I first started talking to Christians outside the LC this was the hardest part--getting over my up to then unrealized feeling of uniqueness or superiory because I belonged to the LC and not because I necessarily had done any serious study or seeking on my own. Superior by association..
Thankfully, I do have Christian friends outside the LC. I have had such friends my whole life. It has actually helped me to see what other Christians are really like. In fact, I fully realized that many Christians out there are seeking the Lord much more than myself. It has always bothered me that there is the inability in the LC to include other Christians. Of course, they will include other Christians who are willing to fit the "mold". There's a lot I can say about this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ABrotherinFaith View Post
Read the Word of God. And read it without footnotes. Get another translation. I've been using the New Living Translation. The Word comes alive when it speaks for itself and you've not been told how to understand it. It's a lot of work, but it's well worth it.
This is something I have tried to start doing. I have long since realized that at best, the footnotes are just one person's interpretation. In many instances, they amount to nothing more than mumbo jumbo. Sometimes I have to read footnotes several times to even understand what is being said.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-24-2014, 11:37 PM   #11
InChristAlone
Member
 
InChristAlone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 365
Default Re: My Testimony

Brother Freedom, thank you for your testimony. I praise the Lord for He opened your eyes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I cannot even express how dry it feels to sit there and listen to person after person get up and read an excerpt from the HWMR.
I feel the same way. I am always dead tired after the Lord's table meetings. Mechanical prophesying and dry Lee's doctrines kill spiritual life of the LC members. I have been to other churches where I felt as if I could fly on my "wings", expressing love to everyone around me, no matter what race, nationality or religion they are. This feeling could last a day or two. I felt cleansed, grateful, and full of love. But I have never experienced it in the LRC.
__________________
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
InChristAlone is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 05:11 AM   #12
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I have long since realized that at best, the footnotes are just one person's interpretation. In many instances, they amount to nothing more than mumbo jumbo. Sometimes I have to read footnotes several times to even understand what is being said.
Footnotes can give insight, and perspective. They can open doors in the word. In the Local Churches of Lee they become constrictive because they are the exclusive means to enter the word.

What I found was that if Lee didn't say it, then it didn't exist. Even if he tortured the word into some strange meaning to fit his interpretive scheme, the Local Churchers would simply accept it at face value. It was pretty bizarre, really. You'd show them the scriptural text right in front of them, and they'd just stare blankly. No footnote, no meaning.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 07:03 AM   #13
Elden1971
Member
 
Elden1971's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Norman Oklaoma
Posts: 128
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ABrotherinFaith View Post
Freedom, I am about 10 years older than you, but have a very similar experience. I am still in the LC despite having some strong reservations about the supposed ground on which we stand.

If you decide to leave, make sure that your experience with the rest of Christianity isn't clouded by what you're used to. Things will seem strange, uncomfortable even. That isn't because they are wrong or have less light/vision or whatever, it's because you're used to a certain procedure. Don't worry, the more time you spend with other Christians you'll realize that they love the Lord and are seeking Him as much if not more, occasionally less than the brothers and sisters in the LC.

When I first started talking to Christians outside the LC this was the hardest part--getting over my up to then unrealized feeling of uniqueness or superiory because I belonged to the LC and not because I necessarily had done any serious study or seeking on my own. Superior by association..

Read the Word of God. And read it without footnotes. Get another translation. I've been using the New Living Translation. The Word comes alive when it speaks for itself and you've not been told how to understand it. It's a lot of work, but it's well worth it.

__________________________________________________ _


Elden1971,
Do you have some context for this quote? Are the magazines available online?
local Church (Witness Lee)- When we were in the denominations, we were blind. I do not believe that any dear Christians who have really received sight from the Lord could still remain in the denominations. Everyone who sees must leave the fold and enter the pasture, under the sunshine, in the fresh air, in liberty. Where are you now? Are you in the fold, or are you now in the pasture? Allow me to say this:_ if anyone is still in the fold _, he is blind. Of course, a blind person requires the fold to keep him. But when he receives his sight, he will swiftly leave the fold for the pasture, for the sunshine, for the fresh air.” (Witness Lee, Christ Versus Religion LSM, 1971 p.109-110) The only way to follow the Lord absolutely is to go the way of the local church. (Witness Lee, The Practical Expression...p.94)
If you leave the church (the Local Church), you miss the mark of the Lord's testimony. You must be in the testimony of Jesus. Only the golden lampstands, the local churches, are the testimony of Jesus....if you are not in the local churches you are not the testimony of Jesus.”( Witness Lee, The Stream magazine Nov. 1976, p.7)
There are hundreds of such self righteous statements made by Lee
__________________
Christ is the answer to every question and the solution to every problem.
Elden1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 07:49 AM   #14
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,200
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witness Lee
Everyone who sees must leave the fold and enter the pasture, under the sunshine, in the fresh air, in liberty
This whole idea of leaving the fold (denominations) and entering the pasture (Local Church) cracks me up.

The metaphor doesn't fit. The Local Church is the quintessential sheep pen.

In reality, so I've read, back then there were sheep pens to hold the fold while the shepherd went into the city for necessities. And some times there were sheep from different sheep herders held in the pen. But the shepherd could call his sheep out of the sheep pen by name. They knew his voice.

When the shepherd got what he needed he came and called his sheep out and took them to the pasture ; into the sunshine, nice grass, fresh food - and the shepherd to keep them safe.

Out in the pasture the sheep were under only the shepherd. Who loved them.
__________________

"If Christianity is going to survive in the 21st century . . . it must learn to laugh at itself." -Rene Girard
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 03-25-2014, 10:07 AM   #15
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,631
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
This whole idea of leaving the fold (denominations) and entering the pasture (Local Church) cracks me up.

The metaphor doesn't fit. The Local Church is the quintessential sheep pen.
I heard a quote once (PT Barnum?) which essentially said that you can't fool all of the people all of the time but as long as you can fool some of them you can make a pretty good living.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2014, 10:17 AM   #16
Chris Fleming
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2013
Posts: 44
Default Re: My Testimony

I had a brother say similar things to me--that he was tired of what goes on there but couldn't quite bring himself to leave, as he didn't know what he would do or where he would go. He said to me, "you're free", implying that he was not.

Now I don't have a quest to see people leave LSM churches, but all I can say here is that within their ministry, there is often built in a control mechanism where they openly state things like, "if you leave you won't be able to go on with the Lord" or "those who were able to be removed were never built in" and many other such thinly veiled threats.

In short, that is nonsense. I have enjoyed the Lord in LSM and I am just FINE now that I am no longer there. I am enjoying the Lord even more so now. I seek Him much more deeply than when I was there. It's where YOU are at in life, not the building or group you meet with. The Lord will put you where He wants you to be, in LSM or elsewhere.
Chris Fleming is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-06-2014, 11:08 AM   #17
Elden1971
Member
 
Elden1971's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Norman Oklaoma
Posts: 128
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Fleming View Post
I had a brother say similar things to me--that he was tired of what goes on there but couldn't quite bring himself to leave, as he didn't know what he would do or where he would go. He said to me, "you're free", implying that he was not.

Now I don't have a quest to see people leave LSM churches, but all I can say here is that within their ministry, there is often built in a control mechanism where they openly state things like, "if you leave you won't be able to go on with the Lord" or "those who were able to be removed were never built in" and many other such thinly veiled threats.

In short, that is nonsense. I have enjoyed the Lord in LSM and I am just FINE now that I am no longer there. I am enjoying the Lord even more so now. I seek Him much more deeply than when I was there. It's where YOU are at in life, not the building or group you meet with. The Lord will put you where He wants you to be, in LSM or elsewhere.
Amen and Amen. We enjoyed the Lord before we were in the LC. We enjoyed Him while we were in the LC and we enjoy Him now more than ever. NOTHING can separate us from the Love of God in Christ Jesus.
__________________
Christ is the answer to every question and the solution to every problem.
Elden1971 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2014, 06:49 AM   #18
Igzy
Member
 
Igzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,985
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Fleming View Post
I had a brother say similar things to me--that he was tired of what goes on there but couldn't quite bring himself to leave, as he didn't know what he would do or where he would go. He said to me, "you're free", implying that he was not.

Now I don't have a quest to see people leave LSM churches, but all I can say here is that within their ministry, there is often built in a control mechanism where they openly state things like, "if you leave you won't be able to go on with the Lord" or "those who were able to be removed were never built in" and many other such thinly veiled threats.

In short, that is nonsense. I have enjoyed the Lord in LSM and I am just FINE now that I am no longer there. I am enjoying the Lord even more so now. I seek Him much more deeply than when I was there. It's where YOU are at in life, not the building or group you meet with. The Lord will put you where He wants you to be, in LSM or elsewhere.
Chris, If you boiled everything I've ever said on this forum down to two small paragraphs it would pretty much be what you said here. Great post!
Igzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2014, 09:08 AM   #19
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,259
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Fleming View Post
I had a brother say similar things to me--that he was tired of what goes on there but couldn't quite bring himself to leave, as he didn't know what he would do or where he would go. He said to me, "you're free", implying that he was not.

Now I don't have a quest to see people leave LSM churches, but all I can say here is that within their ministry, there is often built in a control mechanism where they openly state things like, "if you leave you won't be able to go on with the Lord" or "those who were able to be removed were never built in" and many other such thinly veiled threats.

In short, that is nonsense. I have enjoyed the Lord in LSM and I am just FINE now that I am no longer there. I am enjoying the Lord even more so now. I seek Him much more deeply than when I was there. It's where YOU are at in life, not the building or group you meet with. The Lord will put you where He wants you to be, in LSM or elsewhere.
I don't like to see the children of God held in fear, but there are other reasons for sticking around ...

1. The practice of studying the word (yeah I know all about the HWfMR) with the goal of speaking to the congregation is a healthy practice. This part I miss, since nearly every other congregation on earth only allows its pastors to speak in their services.

2. As people age, their friendships become established, and become more important than teachings. The conclusion many old-timers face is, "no church is perfect, and I'm not responsible for what happens in Anaheim." Many saints even go to trainings to "get away, enjoy the sunshine, meet old friends, study the word, etc." knowing that the Blendeds are "boring." Others just don't "have time" for the trainings.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2014, 03:53 PM   #20
Lisbon
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 117
Default Re: My Testimony

Dear Freedom,

After forty years in LC I'm not that far from where you are. I've come to the conclusion that God never clears up the past and you and I can do very little except get out. After reading these forums for around a year I am thoroughly convinced that eventually I will break all ties.

During this last year I was sitting in a Lutheren church one Sun AM with their neat book with prayers, Bible, songs etc and it hit me that the same thing is going on about a mile away in the LC. Sure enough t hey will have about 25 readers there and only one or two here but as others have mentioned you have little registration that many believe what they are reading. I usually meet at a Bible church and there I have the distinct sense that the gentleman speaking believes what he is saying, is sixty years old, and is concerned with what is going on. My sense at th e LC is that the elders have to go along with LSM are they would be put out just like you and me. Fortunately we are not on their payroll

Our hope is clearly in the Lord

Liisbon
Lisbon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-08-2014, 10:02 PM   #21
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisbon View Post
After forty years in LC I'm not that far from where you are. I've come to the conclusion that God never clears up the past and you and I can do very little except get out. After reading these forums for around a year I am thoroughly convinced that eventually I will break all ties.
I think this is why so many of us stay for so long. We want things to change, we want things to get better. For someone like me who has grow up in the LC, it's all we know.

I have questioned things in the LC for a long time. I know there are many others my age who I'm sure have done the same. Whenever anyone struggles in the LC, whether it be due to legalism imposed, or just certain practices, the blame is always put on us as individuals for some superficial reason, never on those who are truly responsible. The problem is that instead of questioning things like we should, people like myself tend to assume the shortcomings of the LC are due to personal shortcomings such as incorrectly implementing something that Lee said.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-09-2014, 06:35 PM   #22
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: My Testimony

To add to what I wrote yesterday, a lot of the issue for us in the LC with leaving is that everyone there thinks it's so great and never appears to have any doubts or questions about it. I would attribute that mostly to groupthink. The problem it creates is that it makes those who have doubts or question feel singled out before even thinking about raising any questions. Thus it's easier to just go on for year after year in the LC without leaving. At a very basic level if everyone sees things one way and I feel differently, it's all too easy to dismiss what I think, because how could everyone else be wrong? When I realize that it's just groupthink at work, then it makes it a whole lot easier to feel that it's okay to leave.

Another issue at hand is that for someone in the LC like me is that the doctrines seem so great. I know I felt this way for a long time. I always felt proud that supposedly we saw so much more than other Christians. I could never understand why others left the LC. Apparently it seemed like they would be missing out on so much. The doctrine of the ground of the locality also sounds good. It seems to make sense. However, the longer I've been in the LC, I realized all these things were not as they seemed. For example, when the situation of the quarantines in the Midwest occurred a few years back I came to realize that if the ground of locality was a sound doctrine then why was it that those churches that didn't use primarily LSM materials suddenly get sacked? My point is that for me at least, a lot of things in the LC seem okay and good at face value, but when I began to look at them objectively, I realized that maybe it was time to start thinking about leaving and my future in the LC.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 02:55 PM.


3.8.9