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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 07-08-2017, 06:21 PM   #1
eDh22
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Smile Good evening! My story - and thank you for yours

Hello! Wishing everyone a good evening! I've been reading through the board for hours and hours now and thought it would be rude not to leave a message. It has been time well spent to hear so many people put into "ink" experiences that are so similar to those of much of my life but which I had long compartmentalized.

It was only very recently that I heard about the most recent "blow up" in the LCs and found out my family was no longer meeting with them. I feel awful for what they went through but it's a relief that they are now out too and it's no longer standing between us. I feel a little bit that I "missed the party" as I read all the back posts from that time as I had already snuck out the backdoor a couple years before but I have enough to process of the weirdness of my childhood and early adulthood within the LCs.

Why did I stay for so long into adulthood, despite increasing cognitive dissonance? If I chose, I could point to my parents for the first 18 years in the LCs, but for the years after that, I'm just embarrassed. I remember being in agony on my way to the meetings, wishing for any excuse not to go, but holding on to the tradition of my childhood, the "highs" of my youth, and too proud to "quit".

It was my pride, ironically, that finally tripped me up. A woman, a wise and kind Christian who was not with the LCs, found out that I had only really read the works of Lee and Nee (and ok, I never read much Nee, I pretty much just read the Morning Revival year in and year out) and gave me such a look of pity. Ouch! The final blow came when a friend attended an LC meeting with me and a mutual friend of ours stood up and just lambasted (other) Christians and Christianity and I got such a look and was asked if I really believed it. How to explain that, no of course not and I was pretty sure neither did the person who just gave that proto-hate speech but it was what was expected of us. Tradition. Price of entry.

I started attending all sorts of different Christian meetings on Sunday mornings. It was a lot of fun meeting everyone and seeing all the different ways they spoke and prayed and sang, but I was pretty burnt out and ended up taking a hiatus for some years, until I attended a Unitarian Universalist congregation and took a course on Religious Recovery along with a bunch of recovering Catholics (never thought I'd have anything in common with Catholics). We were pressed to review our religious pasts, grieve for what was lost, and reclaim what had been real and precious. You may be among those who are aghast, sputtering, fuming over the UU "churches" but they are such a safe place to recover from religious trauma and figure things out.

I'm still trying to move onward and upward and discover my soul (mind, emotion, and will) that appears to have been successfully denied over the years. I went into my teenage diaries recently and they all read like life studies, largely because I had nothing else to say, or at least nothing I wasn't too scared to think, feel, or do. The postings on this forum have been very helpful for next steps (e.g. be humble, have a sense of humor, learn to be human, practice thinking critically, meet with other Christians). Thank you.

And thank you for providing a space where I can post this in "ink". Even publicly (gasp). I want to own it, laugh about it, grieve over it, and grow into the person I truly have the potential to be.
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:37 PM   #2
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Default Re: Good evening! My story - and thank you for yours

Hi eDH22
Thank you for posting.
If possible can you tell what is this most recent blow up in the LCs:
"It was only very recently that I heard about the most recent "blow up" in the LCs"
Thank you.
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Old 07-08-2017, 06:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Good evening! My story - and thank you for yours

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Ouch! The final blow came when a friend attended an LC meeting with me and a mutual friend of ours stood up and just lambasted (other) Christians and Christianity and I got such a look and was asked if I really believed it. How to explain that, no of course not and I was pretty sure neither did the person who just gave that proto-hate speech but it was what was expected of us. Tradition. Price of entry.
Welcome to the forum eDh22!

It took a friend of yours witnessing the arrogance of an LC meeting to cause you to run for the "exit." Amazing. Hate speech in the LC has become the price of admission.

You are not the first to be freed from the bondage of arrogant pride by the Great Shepherd. I pray the Lord will lead you to green pastures.
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by least View Post
Hi eDH22
Thank you for posting.
If possible can you tell what is this most recent blow up in the LCs:
"It was only very recently that I heard about the most recent "blow up" in the LCs"
Thank you.
-
Oh goodness. The "blow up" to which I referred, which may or may not actually be the "latest", was I believe in 2008 and related to the Great Lakes. I apologize for my imprecise language - a kind serving one at a summer school of truth actually called me once for walking around talking in "local-church-ese" and it's a bit of a relief that I can remember so little of the terminology.

I wanted to share my story, first for college kids who are being recruited so they get another perspective, and secondly for others, particularly church kids, who are going through the motions due to loyalty.

On one hand, is it possible that I am wrong and that LSM is right? It absolutely is. Who am I? A little rank and file mouse who met in small localities.

But between me and God, who I had to be to have to sit through what was being said in those meetings was not the kind of person that I wanted to be, and He has backed me on that every step of the way out.

I tend to dwell on my years of being in the LCs and praying to God for forgiveness for my wayward heart that wanted to leave, and my fear I would have nothing if I left. All that time, He was probably saying, "leave, silly child. walk out the door today and find Me!"

I finally did, and the Sunshine came out.
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Old 07-10-2017, 03:25 AM   #5
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Default Re: Good evening! My story - and thank you for yours

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I wanted to share my story, first for college kids who are being recruited so they get another perspective, and secondly for others, particularly church kids, who are going through the motions due to loyalty.
Thanks for sharing your story. Each of us is unique, yet part of a larger fabric, the edges of which we cannot discern. Every story is a thread in that fabric.

Mine centers on Christ, yet I don't know how much (or little) of my story is "of Chist" versus my own ignorance, biases, and fears. So I read the stories, and consider . . .
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Old 07-11-2017, 02:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: Good evening! My story - and thank you for yours

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Why did I stay for so long into adulthood, despite increasing cognitive dissonance?
"Double binds are often used as a form of control without open coercion - the use of confusion makes them both difficult to respond to, as well as to resist." From Wikipedia, on the so-called 'double bind'. The LC use cognitive dissonance as a control mechanism. You 'go with the flow' to minimise the dissonance. But it never fully goes away. So LC mores and ways are dissonance- minimising schema. No different from any of the ways of the gentiles which Jesus spoke against.

The way to break the LC thought-spell is to see the dissonance for what it is. How come Nee was taught by women (Jessie Penn-Lewis, Madame Guyon, Margaret Barber, Peace Wang, Dora Yu et al) and had women co-workers (Ruth Lee et al) yet no woman can speak today in the LC meetings on Sunday morning? How come Nee could read thousands of different books and pick through them all, but today we're "restricted" to one publication edict? And so forth - you could ask 20 different questions. They're all LC ways and mores because the leaders were making temporal exigencies, and we took them as our truths. But as soon as you begin to question them, critically, they crumble apart and lose their power. Then you're free.

(Of course, I still stumble under delusions and internal discord. But my foibles are less institutional now then when in the LC. And I try not to recruit others to them, if possible).
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:38 AM   #7
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The way to break the LC thought-spell is to see the dissonance for what it is. Then it loses its power.
As humans, we take contradictory paths to get through our circumstances. So Nee could one day champion 'localism' to remove foreign influnce, and later champion the centralising 'Jerusalem Principle'. Each gambit was an exigency to meet a temporal need. When we see this we're freed from his thrall.

Only Jesus was pure, unwavering, and clear. Only Jesus' teachings and actions had the inviolable consistency of truth itself. No human thought-scheme adequately represents Him, except maybe to love each other. But even then, our best imitations are pale copies. Only His efforts won the day. My job is to see, to believe, and by faith to follow.
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:10 PM   #8
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Default Re: Good evening! My story - and thank you for yours

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Originally Posted by eDh22 View Post

On one hand, is it possible that I am wrong and that LSM is right?
Very good. Being imperfect there's always the possibility we/I could be wrong. If one took the stance they could not be wrong, they could easily be deluded and pride sets in.
That's where I see co-workers and maybe elders too when they take an all absolute stance their view is without error.
The problem here is when they themselves are being misled, they've already deviated.
Which is why we all need to take the attitude, "I could be wrong, but this is how I feel......"
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Old 07-15-2017, 05:23 PM   #9
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Default Re: Good evening! My story - and thank you for yours

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The final blow came when a friend attended an LC meeting with me and a mutual friend of ours stood up and just lambasted (other) Christians and Christianity and I got such a look and was asked if I really believed it.

You have provided an excellent example.
For years privately and publicly on this forum this has been a point of contention with me.
Raised in the local churches maybe I was just used to this type of speaking. I don't know. It was in the mid 90's in Bellevue when my inner man initially became disturbed by that type of speaking. It wasn't an isolated event. Heard it in San Bernardino and in Renton too. Putting down/lambasting Christians and fellow Christian assemblies.
I've heard words to excuse the speaking. They're new. When it comes from a serving brother, doesn't fly.
My argument has been "what if you have someone visiting and they hear this manner of putting fellow Christian and Christian assemblies down.
An elder once told me....."I don't have a problem with it".
Well, I did.
Maybe I am preaching to the cows....
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Old 07-15-2017, 09:12 PM   #10
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Default Re: Good evening! My story - and thank you for yours

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You have provided an excellent example.
For years privately and publicly on this forum this has been a point of contention with me.
Raised in the local churches maybe I was just used to this type of speaking. I don't know. It was in the mid 90's in Bellevue when my inner man initially became disturbed by that type of speaking. It wasn't an isolated event. Heard it in San Bernardino and in Renton too. Putting down/lambasting Christians and fellow Christian assemblies.
I've heard words to excuse the speaking. They're new. When it comes from a serving brother, doesn't fly.
My argument has been "what if you have someone visiting and they hear this manner of putting fellow Christian and Christian assemblies down.
An elder once told me....."I don't have a problem with it".
Well, I did.
Maybe I am preaching to the cows....
Unfortunately the superiority complex in "The Lord's Recovery" was promoted by Witness Lee from the beginning and throughout his fifty year ministry right up to his last message, when he finally repented of the way he talked about other Christians. But the "blended brothers" never went back to edit the Living Stream Ministry writings. Instead, every "Holy Word for Morning Revival" (local church guidebooks) still have excerpts of "trashing Christianity" in the outlines and Ministry excerpts. Everyone who spends much time there becomes steeped in it, so the result is the practice of "trashing Christianity" still goes on. I've had dear Christian relatives attend local church meetings with me hear "a testimony" from a local church saint that trashes Christianity, and they felt attacked by it. So, I've seen the damage firsthand.

There are an awful lot of us "cows" here that finally said "enough is enough", and got out. Thanks to the internet, we know we aren't alone (which I thought I was for years).
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:33 AM   #11
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Default Re: Good evening! My story - and thank you for yours

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Unfortunately the superiority complex in "The Lord's Recovery" was promoted by Witness Lee from the beginning and throughout his fifty year ministry right up to his last message, when he finally repented of the way he talked about other Christians. But the "blended brothers" never went back to edit the Living Stream Ministry writings. Instead, every "Holy Word for Morning Revival" (local church guidebooks) still have excerpts of "trashing Christianity" in the outlines and Ministry excerpts. Everyone who spends much time there becomes steeped in it, so the result is the practice of "trashing Christianity" still goes on. I've had dear Christian relatives attend local church meetings with me hear "a testimony" from a local church saint that trashes Christianity, and they felt attacked by it. So, I've seen the damage firsthand.

There are an awful lot of us "cows" here that finally said "enough is enough", and got out. Thanks to the internet, we know we aren't alone (which I thought I was for years).
This reminds of 2 things.. 1) a brother who was from my 'locality' told me he and some brothers used to the LC "Elsie" the cow.

2nd one... someone shared a dream with me.. I will share part of it because of the cow comment:
Quote:
In my dream I looked over and saw a blonde colored cow with her calf. The cow looked extremely sick and the calf looked almost dead from starvation.

The cow was so small and sickly that it was heartbreaking. It even seemed as if the cow was fully aware that her calf was starving from lack of milk, but somehow felt helpless to do anything about it. The calf laid next to her mother and had a listless look.
I then heard footsteps coming from behind me. When I turned to look, I saw that my husband was now standing next to me. I was in tears as I turned towards him. I hugged him and started to cry as I pointed to the awful sight.

Me: “There is food for her to eat just twenty feet away on our property. There is fresh alfalfa literally just a few feet away from them. Why does she not just eat it? Perhaps I should get a tray of food and bring it to them. We have to help or they will soon die.”

My husband: “Erin, they know that there is food here, but they have purposely chosen this. There is really nothing we are supposed to do here. This is hard to look at. We have to go now.”

I reluctantly agreed with him and we continued on our walk. After picking up our mail, we walked back past the shelter. The mother cow had already left and the calf laid there dead.
I truly had no idea what the interpretation of it meant. A Christian friend (never associated with 'Elsie') told me what he think it meant:
Quote:
I believed the sick cow was a long-term chuurrcher or a preacher, and the calf was one that the chuurrch spawned. It died in chuurrch, but as Erin's husband pointed out; it is not the Lord's will to feed every creature and not our time-- as Jesus said, "let the dead bury their dead", and HE moved on....
There are a lot of people leaving the man made 'church' these days. They/we are connecting through the internet and forging new friendships via emails and phone calls. If you attend a denomination and love it there, good for you. No condemnation from me. Personally, I tried being a part of one for 5-7 yrs and was involved in the church activities from bible studies to social events. But something was not right.. red flags kept going up and the Lord pulled me out. I re read Acts and Revelation, while pondering on the letters Paul wrote to the Romans, Corinthians etc...

God since then has connected me with lots of new Christian friends. We are not all on the same page but the fellowship is fresh and we are at liberty to share whatever we want. I also go to a bible study which is really over all great. There is one tiny thorn however. There is a 'churcher' whose opinion is we must all attend 'church'. I just ignore that opinion.
I am following God's Word in Hebrews 10:25
not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.


Where in the scriptures are we told to gather in a church building for Sunday services or on Saturday? Many people go week after week, year after year and are dead. In the early days we practiced what the saints in Acts did. broke bread from house to house. Our fellowship (at least in San Diego) was rich in the beginning. We were encouraging one another. As I have said over and over, my experience in the LC for the most part was very positive until it became ELSIE the cow.

Anywho.... Blessings to all.
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Old 07-16-2017, 08:40 PM   #12
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Default Re: Good evening! My story - and thank you for yours

CMW, thanks for reminding me of Lee's Elsie "Moo Cow" days.

For those who may have missed the "good old days," at the end of his days Lee became increasingly critical of his loyal audience. True to form, Lee never took responsibility for his boring and tasteless, increasingly distant from scripture, doctrinal discourses, which would put the audiences to sleep. Those who could stay awake often had no idea what he was talking about. Instead of repenting, he would constantly berate the attendants as "Moo Cows," and likened himself to a master musician playing the most beautiful of music to a herd of cattle.

Imagine that! Christians bored with dead doctrines? Christians not excited when told they were "baby gods?" Christians sleeping thru the same tasteless discourses?

Elsie the cow?
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Old 07-21-2017, 10:05 AM   #13
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Default Re: Good evening! My story - and thank you for yours

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
"Double binds are often used as a form of control without open coercion - the use of confusion makes them both difficult to respond to, as well as to resist." From Wikipedia, on the so-called 'double bind'. The LC use cognitive dissonance as a control mechanism. You 'go with the flow' to minimise the dissonance. But it never fully goes away. So LC mores and ways are dissonance- minimising schema. No different from any of the ways of the gentiles which Jesus spoke against.
Just in reading HWFMR, there are examples of double-binds. Don't contradict what is being disseminated and implied. Just go with the flow of what's being printed and distributed.
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