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Old 07-18-2015, 09:24 PM   #1
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Default Age Turners

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Originally Posted by LC Propaganda News Outlet
http://www.ageturners.com
Indescribable! After months and months of planning, countless hours of prayer and coordination, thousands of miles of travel, and five days of infusion, preparation, saturation, enjoyment, blending, and praising, the Lord gained what He was after: the corporate consecration of 1,300 precious young people! The atmosphere tonight, the last night of the 2015 National College Training, was palpable, electrifying, and unquenchable! And all who were there will have the memory of tonight stamped into their being. Lives have been changed and the Lord has gained what He is after!
http://www.ageturners.com/2015-natio...ning-update-6/
This past week, there was a week-long national college training that took place. I went a West Coast regional one ~10 years ago, but at the time, most everyone in the country went to the West Coast one. At the time there were around 300-400 attendees. This one boasts 1300+ attendees. The subject of this college training: Age Turners. This is what I wanted to discuss, especially considering who this term is applied to, the younger generation of the LC.

Obviously, "Age Turners" is a peculiar sounding term that means nothing outside the LC. At some point, W. Lee spoke about “men who turn the age”, and I assume it was mainly his call for the young people to rise up. What troubles me is that I’m not sure how much any of the blendeds want to step into the background. Didn’t Ron say he wasn’t going to step aside for anyone? So what do they really want, college students going around calling themselves “age turners”? Are they encouraging ambition?

When I look at the LC as a whole, the #1 struggle that I notice is the issue of attempting to remain relevant in 21st century America while staying true to what Lee taught, and upholding the practices that they hold so dear. It’s obviously not an easy endeavor and a path that’s destined for failure eventually. The young people who haven’t fully bought into the system are the ones who are most “vulnerable” to finding the system irrelevant. How do LC leaders remedy this? They flatter them, they make the young people feel special and important.

Just call young people “age turners” and all the sudden you have them walking around thinking they are special and that they play an important role in “God’s move”. Sad to say, at one point in time I would have bought into all this. 10 years later, it turns out I’m not an “age turner”, I’m just a normal person doing normal stuff, and I’m content with that, that’s the way it’s supposed to be. Hopefully others will figure this out too eventually.
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Old 07-19-2015, 08:10 AM   #2
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Default Re: Age Turners

Like Jason Alexander and his parents shouting at each other on an episode of Seinfeld, the participants of this conference are probably getting worked up over nothing. I say this because once I was there, waving my arms and carrying on. But I found that the emotional commitment and engagement couldn't be sustained.

At its core there was a hole. The so-called Lord's move for the campii was for the Body, which was for the ministry, which also was for the ministry. Everything flowed to the ministry and nothing flowed out except cries for more.
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Old 07-19-2015, 09:34 AM   #3
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Like Jason Alexander and his parents shouting at each other on an episode of Seinfeld, the participants of this conference are probably getting worked up over nothing. I say this because once I was there, waving my arms and carrying on. But I found that the emotional commitment and engagement couldn't be sustained.

At its core there was a hole. The so-called Lord's move for the campii was for the Body, which was for the ministry, which also was for the ministry. Everything flowed to the ministry and nothing flowed out except cries for more.
One thing the LC is good at is getting everyone hyped up. They might call it "seeing a vision", "consecration", or various other names, but it all boils down to just being some type of charismatic experience.

I'm sure when the blendeds were young men, they also felt themselves to be "age turners". 50 years later, it turns out they're not, they're just leaders of a little-known sect.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:12 AM   #4
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Just call young people “age turners” and all the sudden you have them walking around thinking they are special and that they play an important role in “God’s move”.
They have been doing this for decades. If they keep doing it long enough, eventually the Lord will return, the age will "turn," and then they can take credit for it.
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Old 07-19-2015, 10:51 AM   #5
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The whole saga of Witness Lee the “humble bondslave of Jesus Christ” reminds me so much of the parable of the man who couldn’t pay his debts, then demanded that others pay him what they owed. (see Matt 18:21-35). WL based his ministry on the critique of “Christianity” supposedly failing to deliver the goods; then he'd tell his disciples that they'd be the ones who turned the age. And when it didn't pan out, he'd move on, finding other willing sets of ears. The Elden Hall folks fell for it, the “take the ground in the cities on the earth” migratory LCers fell for it, the college-age trainees of my generation fell for it, and now we hear of a new generation, assured that they’ll be the ones who fulfill the divine mandate.

Thankfully for WL the Maoist Communists took over the mainland, giving him an excuse to beat feet out of there. Not sure of his excuse for bailing out of Taiwan or the Philippines, and going to Seattle World’s Fair in 1962; I guess “God was moving to the USA” was his (retroactive) excuse. It’s like every 15 or 20 years, the Wizard of Oz could climb back in his hot-air balloon and fly away to another unsuspecting populace and build another Emerald City. And like Charlie Brown and Lucy, another generation of naifs lines up to kick a football that isn’t there.
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:41 PM   #6
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One thing the LC is good at is getting everyone hyped up. They might call it "seeing a vision", "consecration", or various other names, but it all boils down to just being some type of charismatic experience.
They can get the same hype going to a multi-level marketing event, motivational speaking seminar,

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Old 07-19-2015, 12:47 PM   #7
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Not sure of his excuse for bailing out of Taiwan or the Philippines, and going to Seattle World’s Fair in 1962; I guess “God was moving to the USA” was his (retroactive) excuse.
Philippines wasn't welcome to Witness Lee at the time, Taipei became too uncomfortable due to having church property sold off to pay off family debt. Thankfully his son Timothy was selling suits at the Seattle World's Fair. Plus he knew Samuel Chang in Los Angeles and Stephen Kaung in New York who were already in United States.
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Old 07-19-2015, 12:51 PM   #8
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Obviously, "Age Turners" is a peculiar sounding term that means nothing outside the LC. At some point, W. Lee spoke about “men who turn the age”, and I assume it was mainly his call for the young people to rise up. What troubles me is that I’m not sure how much any of the blendeds want to step into the background. Didn’t Ron say he wasn’t going to step aside for anyone? So what do they really want, college students going around calling themselves “age turners”? Are they encouraging ambition?

When I look at the LC as a whole, the #1 struggle that I notice is the issue of attempting to remain relevant in 21st century America while staying true to what Lee taught, and upholding the practices that they hold so dear. It’s obviously not an easy endeavor and a path that’s destined for failure eventually. The young people who haven’t fully bought into the system are the ones who are most “vulnerable” to finding the system irrelevant. How do LC leaders remedy this? They flatter them, they make the young people feel special and important.
“But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Matthew 24:36

How can there be age turners, when only the Father knows?
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Old 07-19-2015, 03:52 PM   #9
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The whole saga of Witness Lee the “humble bondslave of Jesus Christ” reminds me so much of the parable of the man who couldn’t pay his debts, then demanded that others pay him what they owed. (see Matt 18:21-35). WL based his ministry on the critique of “Christianity” supposedly failing to deliver the goods; then he'd tell his disciples that they'd be the ones who turned the age. And when it didn't pan out, he'd move on, finding other willing sets of ears. The Elden Hall folks fell for it, the “take the ground in the cities on the earth” migratory LCers fell for it, the college-age trainees of my generation fell for it, and now we hear of a new generation, assured that they’ll be the ones who fulfill the divine mandate.

Thankfully for WL the Maoist Communists took over the mainland, giving him an excuse to beat feet out of there. Not sure of his excuse for bailing out of Taiwan or the Philippines, and going to Seattle World’s Fair in 1962; I guess “God was moving to the USA” was his (retroactive) excuse. It’s like every 15 or 20 years, the Wizard of Oz could climb back in his hot-air balloon and fly away to another unsuspecting populace and build another Emerald City. And like Charlie Brown and Lucy, another generation of naifs lines up to kick a football that isn’t there.
The interesting thing is, when I see all the Facebook posts of those who went to this training, I can totally understand what is going through their minds. I was that way at one point.

Young people want to feel important, so if they are called "small potatoes" like everyone else is, they tune out. The trick is to get them invested enough in the LC so that later on in life when they realize its a big farce, they're already have too much of their lives invested to leave.

Lee had all the attributes of a good con man. He knew what to do to get people to buy into his program. He knew how to get everyone excited and stirred up, and he also knew how to "leave town" when things went awry.
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Old 07-20-2015, 02:20 AM   #10
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Like Jason Alexander and his parents shouting at each other on an episode of Seinfeld, the participants of this conference are probably getting worked up over nothing. I say this because once I was there, waving my arms and carrying on. But I found that the emotional commitment and engagement couldn't be sustained.

At its core there was a hole. The so-called Lord's move for the campii was for the Body, which was for the ministry, which also was for the ministry. Everything flowed to the ministry and nothing flowed out except cries for more.
I am now 68, albeit a young 68 somehow; but when I was super-charged for the church life in the early 70's there was a carry-over to the age-turners generation "movement" in that decade.

Here is a song from that time according to the tune of The Pepsi Generation. It was actually an outstanding tune,and message of inspiration to the young people.

https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/ns/223
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Old 07-20-2015, 07:19 AM   #11
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I am now 68, albeit a young 68 somehow; but when I was super-charged for the church life in the early 70's there was a carry-over to the age-turners generation "movement" in that decade.

Ohio will have to help me, or the Speaker, (as I like to call Speaker's Corner), but we went through this sort of movement over 35 years ago. Here is a song from that time according to the tune of The Pepsi Generation. It was actually an outstanding tune and message, that brought some fruition, but nothing to lay any kind of claim to....

https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/ns/223
All young people need to (want to?) feel like their generation is special. Take a listen at every commencement speech. Can't fault any of them for that, can we? Couldn't Peter, James, John and the gang have sung that same song? It's all good if it's all about Jesus and the kids around us. Once someone raises his head (Acts 20.30, 3 John 9 footnote 3) demanding our attention ... in the proverbial words of an astronaut up above ... "Houston, we have a problem."
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Old 07-20-2015, 11:03 AM   #12
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I am now 68, albeit a young 68 somehow; but when I was super-charged for the church life in the early 70's there was a carry-over to the age-turners generation "movement" in that decade.

Here is a song from that time according to the tune of The Pepsi Generation. It was actually an outstanding tune,and message of inspiration to the young people.

https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/ns/223
I really have no idea what the "early days" were like, but from everything I have heard there were a lot of young people who were on fire for the Lord. It might be fair to say at that time there was a lot of zeal without the "institutionalized" environment (as Ohio puts it) that came later on.

What I find interesting is that despite all that was going on during that time period, there is not too much to show for it. Many from that era have long since left. Those who are still around are not necessarily completely content with the LC. The most prominent of the "age turners" from that era just turned out to be the BB's who parrot Lee's ministry.

These days, it seems like the whole goal with the young people is to get them to attend the FTTA. The leaders can still do a good job at getting everyone fired up. The YP want to be "age turners", but the path that leaders steer them towards is an unknown path to them.

I take no issue with all the YP on fire for the Lord. The problem is that those who are zealous enough will inevitably land at the FTTA. What happens next is that they have essentially become pawns who can be used in whatever way leaders want them to. It probably seems fun for a few years until all the sudden reality hits and they realize they need to find a job, support a family and the whole "age turner" mentality has to inevitable take a back seat.

That's where a lot of the issue lies. I'm not saying it's wrong for YP to be zealous, but a lot of it is simply leaders taking advantage of that zeal. A common theme I notice about all the "high" talk that goes on within the LC, is when the question turns to how to be an "age turner" the brothers just say to read the Word, pray, etc., and that is the exact same stuff any other Christian does. So the only difference between an "age turner" and an average Christian is that people assign themselves that title.
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Old 07-20-2015, 01:06 PM   #13
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I really have no idea what the "early days" were like, but from everything I have heard there were a lot of young people who were on fire for the Lord. It might be fair to say at that time there was a lot of zeal without the "institutionalized" environment (as Ohio puts it) that came later on.
The excitement and zeal of the early days was less manufactured by the LSM handlers, and more the result of the Spirit opening the word of God. The goal was the gospel and the testimony of Jesus. Not to say, looking back, that there were not things that needed correction, but at least the eyes of the young people were still on the Lord.

LSM is all about promoting LSM. They have hijacked whatever blessing of the Lord that once existed. They have substituted their own teachings and traditions for the scripture. They now rule over every member elder and LC. They are convinced that every young person belongs to them. They have usurped the place of the Head. They quench the Spirit and then stir up the good religious flesh of the young people.

They work so hard and now spend so much money on increase, yet have so little to show for it. Had they learned how to treat others over the years, and accept what other Christians deem "acceptable" teachings and practices, I believe there would be something to show for all the labor.
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Old 07-21-2015, 05:56 AM   #14
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The excitement and zeal of the early days was less manufactured by the LSM handlers, and more the result of the Spirit opening the word of God. The goal was the gospel and the testimony of Jesus. Not to say, looking back, that there were not things that needed correction, but at least the eyes of the young people were still on the Lord.

LSM is all about promoting LSM. They have hijacked whatever blessing of the Lord that once existed. They have substituted their own teachings and traditions for the scripture. They now rule over every member elder and LC. They are convinced that every young person belongs to them. They have usurped the place of the Head. They quench the Spirit and then stir up the good religious flesh of the young people.
You have to remember that the early years of the Local Church Movement in the USA neatly coincided with the Jesus Movement, in which literally thousands of young people "turned on" to Jesus. Some of the other groups that emerged in that time frame, like Calvary Chapel, also experienced explosive growth, and also had meetings filled with the "manifestations of the Holy Spirit", i.e. non-stop excitement of seeing young people give themselves unreservedly for Christ. The enthusiasm of those LC young people was arguably not caused by the "local ground" or some teaching that Lee or Nee brought them. On the contrary, the spirit of renewal which the youth brought in eventually got co-opted by the dogmatizers, control freaks and merchandizers.
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Old 07-21-2015, 06:00 AM   #15
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The excitement and zeal of the early days was less manufactured by the LSM handlers, and more the result of the Spirit opening the word of God. The goal was the gospel and the testimony of Jesus. Not to say, looking back, that there were not things that needed correction, but at least the eyes of the young people were still on the Lord.

LSM is all about promoting LSM. They have hijacked whatever blessing of the Lord that once existed. They have substituted their own teachings and traditions for the scripture. They now rule over every member elder and LC. They are convinced that every young person belongs to them. They have usurped the place of the Head. They quench the Spirit and then stir up the good religious flesh of the young people.
You have to remember that the early years of the Local Church Movement in the USA neatly coincided with the Jesus Movement, in which literally thousands of young people "turned on" to Jesus. Some groups that emerged in that time frame, like Calvary Chapel, also experienced explosive growth, with meetings also filled with the "manifestations of the Holy Spirit", i.e. non-stop excitement of seeing young people give themselves unreservedly for Christ. The enthusiasm of the LC young people wasn't caused by the "ground" or some teaching that Lee or Nee brought. On the contrary, the spirit of renewal which the youth brought in was eventually co-opted by the dogmatizers, control freaks and merchandizers.

To see how big this movement of young "age turners" was, look at the cover of Time Magazine from June 1971:

http://content.time.com/time/magazin...710621,00.html

Here is some of the article:

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Originally Posted by Time Magazine
JESUS CHRIST

ALIAS: THE MESSIAH, THE SON OF GOD, KING OF KINGS, LORD OF LORDS, PRINCE OF PEACE, ETC.

> Notorious leader of an underground liberation movement

>Wanted for the following charges:

—Practicing medicine, winemaking and food distribution without a license.

—Interfering with businessmen in the temple.

—Associating with known criminals, radicals, subversives, prostitutes and street people.

—Claiming to have the authority to make people into God’s children.

APPEARANCE: Typical hippie type—long hair, beard, robe, sandals.

> Hangs around slum areas, few rich friends, often sneaks out into the desert.

BEWARE: This man is extremely dangerous. His insidiously inflammatory message is particularly dangerous to young people who haven’t been taught to ignore him yet. He changes men and claims to set them free.

WARNING: HE IS STILL AT LARGE!

HE is indeed. As the words of this Wanted poster from a Christian underground newspaper demonstrate, Jesus is alive and well and living in the radical spiritual fervor of a growing number of young Americans who have proclaimed an extraordinary religious revolution in his name. Their message: the Bible is true, miracles happen, God really did so love the world that he gave it his only begotten son. In 1966 Beatle John Lennon casually remarked that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus Christ; now the Beatles are shattered, and George Harrison is singing My Sweet Lord. The new young followers of Jesus listen to Harrison, but they turn on only to the words of their Master: “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

Christian coffeehouses have opened in many cities, signaling their faith even in their names: The Way Word in Greenwich Village, the Catacombs in Seattle, I Am in Spokane. A strip joint has been converted to a “Christian nightclub” in San Antonio. Communal “Christian houses” are multiplying like loaves and fishes for youngsters hungry for homes, many reaching out to the troubled with round-the-clock telephone hot lines. Bibles abound: whether the cherished, fur-covered King James Version or scruffy, back-pocket paperbacks, they are invariably well-thumbed and often memorized. “It’s like a glacier,” says “Jesus-Rock” Singer Larry Norman, 24. “It’s growing and there’s no stopping it.”

There is an uncommon morning freshness to this movement, a buoyant atmosphere of hope and love along with the usual rebel zeal. Some converts seem to enjoy translating their new faith into everyday life, like those who answer the phone with “Jesus loves you” instead of “hello.” But their love seems more sincere than a slogan, deeper than the fast-fading sentiments of the flower children; what startles the outsider is the extraordinary sense of joy that they are able to communicate…
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Old 07-21-2015, 10:38 AM   #16
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You have to remember that the early years of the Local Church Movement in the USA neatly coincided with the Jesus Movement, in which literally thousands of young people "turned on" to Jesus. Some groups that emerged in that time frame, like Calvary Chapel, also experienced explosive growth, with meetings also filled with the "manifestations of the Holy Spirit", i.e. non-stop excitement of seeing young people give themselves unreservedly for Christ. The enthusiasm of the LC young people wasn't caused by the "ground" or some teaching that Lee or Nee brought. On the contrary, the spirit of renewal which the youth brought in was eventually co-opted by the dogmatizers, control freaks and merchandizers.

To see how big this movement of young "age turners" was, look at the cover of Time Magazine from June 1971:

http://content.time.com/time/magazin...710621,00.html

Here is some of the article:
You made a good point. The Jesus Movement was long before my time, but it's probably safe to say that everything that was happening back then is unparalleled today, and similarly what was going on in the early LC (as probably an offshoot of the Jesus Movement) is also unparalleled when compared to any point later in time in the LC.

It seems what has been going on within the LC for quite awhile is that they have been trying to replicate something that they don't understand. There was a large increase early on in the movement. They seem to think that somehow they can make the same thing happen again, but everything they have tried is a dismal failure. 30 years after the New Way was introduced, they are still struggling to try to implement some of it's methodologies, thinking that since Lee said it would work, it must work. They can't seem to figure out what the problem is.

What I've always found interesting is that the older saints who have been around a long time are a bit disillusioned. Most who stay are probably those who think there is nothing better out there. When I see all the young people who really dive into the system, start reading ministry books, the HWFMR, etc, it always made me wonder, what do they find so special about all that? If they paid attention, they might notice that many of the older saints are only doing the bare minimum to be involved in the LC. Maybe the are trying to impress everyone with being "absolute" for the ministry. But it's a zeal that will wear off eventually.
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Old 07-21-2015, 12:01 PM   #17
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I visited last Sunday's meeting in Chicago where there were about 80 young people from a few different countries. They had just finished the conference and were eager to share what had been "released. " There was a lot of ,"God became man so that man could become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead." And then I learned that Good is not coming back for the Church. He's coming back for the overcomers, a special group. " I'll write more later. I'm on my phone and eating lunch.
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Old 07-21-2015, 12:47 PM   #18
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It seems what has been going on within the LC for quite awhile is that they have been trying to replicate something that they don't understand. There was a large increase early on in the movement. They seem to think that somehow they can make the same thing happen again, but everything they have tried is a dismal failure. 30 years after the New Way was introduced, they are still struggling to try to implement some of it's methodologies, thinking that since Lee said it would work, it must work. They can't seem to figure out what the problem is.
Their greatest myth is that the early blessing in L.A.'s Elden Hall was solely due to Lee's ministry. After every "storm" we would hear two themes from LSM: firstly, that problems crept in because we were not absolute for the ministry, and secondly, the way to restore our original blessing was to be more absolute for the ministry. It never worked.

The 80's "new way" had more to do with bringing all the churches under subjection, than it did to bring the gospel to the lost. The so-called "new way" did not fail for lack of effort, rather it failed because we were being subtly trained to "walk by Lee" rather than to "walk by the Spirit." Phillip Lee was brought in really just to be the ministry "enforcer." Those who refused to "properly" submit were identified, branded, and expelled.
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Old 07-21-2015, 02:08 PM   #19
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I visited last Sunday's meeting in Chicago where there were about 80 young people from a few different countries. They had just finished the conference and we're eager to share what had been "released. " There was a lot of ,"God became man so that man could become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead." And then I learned that Good is not coming back for the Church. He's coming back for the overcomers, a special group. " I'll write more later. I'm on my phone and eating lunch.
With all the talk about being god-men, God's "remnant", "age turners", etc. it really just makes you wonder, are the YP by any chance being instilled an attitude of superiority? In striking contrast, consider what Paul and Barnabas did when people tried to uplift/deify them:

Acts 14:11-15
11 Now when the people saw what Paul had done, they raised their voices, saying in the Lycaonian language, “The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!” 12 And Barnabas they called Zeus, and Paul, Hermes, because he was the chief speaker. 13 Then the priest of Zeus, whose temple was in front of their city, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. 14 But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out 15 and saying, “Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men with the same nature as you, and preach to you that you should turn from these useless things to the living God, who made the heaven, the earth, the sea, and all things that are in them
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:20 PM   #20
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With all the talk about being god-men, God's "remnant", "age turners", etc. it really just makes you wonder, are the YP by any chance being instilled an attitude of superiority?
This is exactly the problem as I see it. Overcomers are a special group of believers (not all believers will be overcomers) and the LC is where they will come from because they have something higher than the rest of degraded Christianity. This seemed to me to be the attitude of many of the younger ones who stood up to speak. A few trips to other groups would quickly dispel that superiority if people 1. visited other Christians and 2. Saw past culture/practice.
I haven't been paying attention for that long, certainly not as long as some of you here, but I have seen a growing sense of superiority and us vs them (degraded Christianity) mentality.
There was truly the sense that believers can do something to bring the Lord back (before His plan???).
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:43 PM   #21
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Their greatest myth is that the early blessing in L.A.'s Elden Hall was solely due to Lee's ministry. After every "storm" we would hear two themes from LSM: firstly, that problems crept in because we were not absolute for the ministry, and secondly, the way to restore our original blessing was to be more absolute for the ministry. It never worked.
That's what LSM/LC leaders would want you to think. Rather if they were to ask a rhetorical question and they have, why is there a lack of increase?
Simply, they don't want to hear the answer because it's too hard to take.
Daystar and a focus on a man and his ministry. They have left their first love and are left with a religious system.
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Old 07-22-2015, 12:44 PM   #22
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This is exactly the problem as I see it. Overcomers are a special group of believers (not all believers will be overcomers) and the LC is where they will come from because they have something higher than the rest of degraded Christianity. This seemed to me to be the attitude of many of the younger ones who stood up to speak. A few trips to other groups would quickly dispel that superiority if people 1. visited other Christians and 2. Saw past culture/practice.
I haven't been paying attention for that long, certainly not as long as some of you here, but I have seen a growing sense of superiority and us vs them (degraded Christianity) mentality.
There was truly the sense that believers can do something to bring the Lord back (before His plan???).
The whole notion behind this concept of "age turners" seems to be that a group of young people can do something specific to bring the Lord back on their own terms. I don't find that concept contained in the Bible at all, rather it says that no one knows the day or hour (Matt 24:36). At most the Bible talks about "looking for and hastening" the Lord's coming (2 Pet 3:12).

The notion that those in the LC can deliberately "turn" an age is quite prideful. At best, they might be able to do something to hasten the Lord's coming (if the LC wasn't so off track), but they don't get to decide when it will be or even what generation will see the Lord return.

Maybe the analogy of the Lord's coming being like a thief in the night applies not just to those who aren't watching at all, but also to those who think they have it all figured out. Just sayin'.
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Old 07-23-2015, 05:35 PM   #23
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Here's a link:

http://www.ageturners.com/audio-for-...ds-ageturners/
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Old 07-23-2015, 05:43 PM   #24
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The whole notion behind this concept of "age turners" seems to be that a group of young people can do something specific to bring the Lord back on their own terms. I don't find that concept contained in the Bible at all, rather it says that no one knows the day or hour (Matt 24:36). At most the Bible talks about "looking for and hastening" the Lord's coming (2 Pet 3:12).

The notion that those in the LC can deliberately "turn" an age is quite prideful. At best, they might be able to do something to hasten the Lord's coming (if the LC wasn't so off track), but they don't get to decide when it will be or even what generation will see the Lord return.

Maybe the analogy of the Lord's coming being like a thief in the night applies not just to those who aren't watching at all, but also to those who think they have it all figured out. Just sayin'.
“Then the kingdom of heaven will be comparable to ten virgins, who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were prudent. For when the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them, but the prudent took oil in flasks along with their lamps. Now while the bridegroom was delaying, they all got drowsy and began to sleep. But at midnight there was a shout, ‘Behold, the bridegroom! Come out to meet him.’ Then all those virgins rose and trimmed their lamps. The foolish said to the prudent, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ But the prudent answered, ‘No, there will not be enough for us and you too; go instead to the dealers and buy some for yourselves.’ And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut. Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour. Matthew 25:1-13

It's mighty ambitious to think of turning the age. Jesus' word in the Gospel of Matthew is quote transparent. I believe the focus should be not on being ageturners, but being ready as the warning in verse 13 goes:

Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.
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Old 07-23-2015, 07:37 PM   #25
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Although Antichrist will exalt himself above God, actually he will be used by God to destroy two religions--Judaism and Catholicism.

This is similar to the destruction of religion under communism in China. Although the communists oppose God, they do not realize that they have been used by God to demolish so many different religions, such as Buddhism and Taoism.
...
Antichrist will do a good cleaning job for the Lord, purging the earth of religion and making it ready for the coming of the Lord Jesus. Thus, when the Lord Jesus comes to defeat Antichrist, religion will have been cleared away.

Witness Lee, Life-Study of Revelation, Message 47, Pg 550
According to Lee, the both the anti-christ and the Chinese Communist Party could be considered to be "age turners", being used by God to destroy religion (since Lee felt that was necessary). So now we know who the real "age turners" are.
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Old 07-24-2015, 12:22 PM   #26
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According to Lee, the both the anti-christ and the Chinese Communist Party could be considered to be "age turners", being used by God to destroy religion (since Lee felt that was necessary). So now we know who the real "age turners" are.
In other words LSM co-workers are just hyping it up. Trying to instill relevance into the college age saints.
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Old 07-24-2015, 04:10 PM   #27
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In other words LSM co-workers are just hyping it up. Trying to instill relevance into the college age saints.
Everything is hyped up in the LC. That is how they struggle to remain relevant. It seems to work okay, because there are definitely young people who buy into it. The issue I take is that leaders are setting up young people to be disappointed.

I remember a conversation that I had with a FTTA trainee. He hadn't talked to me in a while and we were just catching up, so he was asking me about work and what I was doing. Obviously work is just work and there's nothing special about it. He was all hyped about being in the training, and said something to the effect that he had the rest of his life to work, so he was happy to be giving his time now to the Lord (as if to imply I had messed up by never attending the FTT).

When I think about some of the attitudes that I've encountered, it seems that some have really bought into the whole "age turner" mindset. They feel that the whole world situation revolves around what they're doing at 1853 W. Ball Road. I can't really blame them for not seeing past it all, but once they're done with the training, they get to go back to being normal. I've heard that maybe over 50% of FTTA graduates are going on to serve full time, but I presume this only lasts a few years before they get asked to go find a job.

Once that happens, they're just like everyone else in this world. Everyone outside the LC could care less who is a Lee expert. The only thing that happens in the FTTA is they get their "degree" within the LC that gives them a bit more respect than had they not attended the FTTA.
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Old 07-24-2015, 05:46 PM   #28
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The only thing that happens in the FTTA is they get their "degree" within the LC that gives them a bit more respect than had they not attended the FTTA.
Doesn't really matter if being a full time training graduate doesn't translate to full time support from Living Stream Ministry or a locality. Otherwise those two years would be better off beginning in the work force or getting started in a masters program.
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Old 07-26-2015, 07:58 AM   #29
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Thankfully for WL the Maoist Communists took over the mainland, giving him an excuse to beat feet out of there. Not sure of his excuse for bailing out of Taiwan or the Philippines, and going to Seattle World’s Fair in 1962; I guess “God was moving to the USA” was his (retroactive) excuse. It’s like every 15 or 20 years, the Wizard of Oz could climb back in his hot-air balloon and fly away to another unsuspecting populace and build another Emerald City. And like Charlie Brown and Lucy, another generation of naifs lines up to kick a football that isn’t there.
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In April 1947, Witness Lee started many days of Special Meetings for the “Renewal of Dedication.” He called on all the believers to have absolute dedication in serving God. According to Zhang Xikang’s autobiography: Reminiscence of Sixty Years, the topics of Lee’s speech were: “Dealing with Mammon and Serving God,” “The Service of the Whole Body,” and “The Occupation of Believers by the World and Mammon.”(17) A year later, Nee used exactly the same topics in his messages at the National Coworkers Meeting.(18) Apparently Nee adopted the topics from Lee with his own elaboration. The enthusiasm for the Lord at SCA heated up. Many confessed their failures and repented with tears. They turned their hearts to the Lord and wrote “Handing-Over notes.” They dedicated themselves to the church together with all their possessions, their career, and their future.

Hsu M.D, Lily M.; Roberts M.A M.T.S, Dana (2013-04-02). My Unforgettable Memories:Watchman Nee and Shanghai Local Church (Kindle Locations 748-750). Xulon Press. Kindle Edition.
You can see the pattern here: there's the "Dedication" experience, with public declarations, emotions, and tears. There's the pledge to devote oneself to the Cause. And this cause is not God or His Christ but rather to God's True Church, and to the ministry which is fronted by it. I find that last line to be quite telling: "They dedicated themselves to the church together with all their possessions, their career, and their future." At this point God, having been a useful foil thus far, gets set aside as all eyes and hearts are now upon The Church.

The ministry gets a fresh crop of robots, devoid of the ability to reflect, to consider, to think, to reason, or to question. The zealots are now burning for "Christ and His Church", helpfully presented to them by a non-profit religious organization and its conveniently monopolized publishing arm. The new acolytes have found their purpose and mission in life, but how is any of this different from Scientology or the Mormons or any other weird, controlling group? Those groups also take their purpose and meaning and convince you to take it as your own. Everything comes back to the Group, and to those pulling the strings. Amazing that WL & Co made their schtick work through so many exposing turmoils. They polish the mud off and hold it up for a new generation of naifs, all shiny and new.
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Old 07-26-2015, 09:13 AM   #30
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In April 1947, Witness Lee started many days of Special Meetings for the “Renewal of Dedication.” He called on all the believers to have absolute dedication in serving God. According to Zhang Xikang’s autobiography: Reminiscence of Sixty Years, the topics of Lee’s speech were: “Dealing with Mammon and Serving God,” “The Service of the Whole Body,” and “The Occupation of Believers by the World and Mammon.”(17) A year later, Nee used exactly the same topics in his messages at the National Coworkers Meeting.(18) Apparently Nee adopted the topics from Lee with his own elaboration. The enthusiasm for the Lord at SCA heated up. Many confessed their failures and repented with tears. They turned their hearts to the Lord and wrote “Handing-Over notes.” They dedicated themselves to the church together with all their possessions, their career, and their future.

Hsu M.D, Lily M.; Roberts M.A M.T.S, Dana (2013-04-02). My Unforgettable Memories:Watchman Nee and Shanghai Local Church (Kindle Locations 748-750). Xulon Press. Kindle Edition.

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Really it is hard to put into words all that has happened this past week and especially in the last two days. The Lord truly moved in a powerful, touching, and strong way. Not only did the students line up to pour out their consecrations in prayer Friday evening after the message, but when they returned to their dorm rooms, students composed long, multi-page consecrations written to the Lord which they turned in before leaving Saturday afternoon. Many consecrated to the Lord their futures, their future marriages and families, their remaining college years, their going to the Full-Time Training, their work and money and time. Praise the Lord! What can we say but thank You and praise You Lord Jesus for Your faithfulness to work in this generation.
http://www.ageturners.com/2015-natio...luding-report/

The parallels are striking between the quote from Lily's book and the quote I posted from the age turners website. Almost 70 years later, they are still having meetings where attendees write out some type of consecration and publicly declare their lives to be consecrated to "Christ and the Church". I'm not out to question anyone's sincerity, but I don't think they realize this same type of thing has been going on long before their time.

To me the whole idea of these public consecrations with emotional declarations is no different than people going up to a stage to stage to get "healed" or "slain in the spirit" as many Pentecostals will do. It really boils down to just being an emotional experience. That's what people want. But in the LC, they have to disguise it as something else. They have to make themselves seem different from other groups who do similar things.
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:30 AM   #31
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You can see the pattern here: there's the "Dedication" experience, with public declarations, emotions, and tears. There's the pledge to devote oneself to the Cause. And this cause is not God or His Christ but rather to God's True Church, and to the ministry which is fronted by it. I find that last line to be quite telling: "They dedicated themselves to the church together with all their possessions, their career, and their future." At this point God, having been a useful foil thus far, gets set aside as all eyes and hearts are now upon The Church.

The ministry gets a fresh crop of robots, devoid of the ability to reflect, to consider, to think, to reason, or to question. The zealots are now burning for "Christ and His Church", helpfully presented to them by a non-profit religious organization and its conveniently monopolized publishing arm. The new acolytes have found their purpose and mission in life, but how is any of this different from Scientology or the Mormons or any other weird, controlling group? Those groups also take their purpose and meaning and convince you to take it as your own. Everything comes back to the Group, and to those pulling the strings. Amazing that WL & Co made their schtick work through so many exposing turmoils. They polish the mud off and hold it up for a new generation of naifs, all shiny and new.
During the hey day of the "new way," circa. spring - summer 1987 in Taipei, Andrew Yu, the chief trainer, perhaps sixth in line from the Father, began making public to the LC leaders the "handing over" movement under Nee, proclaiming from the podium, "we have their papers."

Perhaps the only hindrance they then faced was the early whispers of Philip's lust for female volunteers at LSM.
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Old 07-26-2015, 11:49 AM   #32
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During the hey day of the "new way," circa. spring - summer 1987 in Taipei, Andrew Yu, the chief trainer, perhaps sixth in line from the Father, began making public to the LC leaders the "handing over" movement under Nee, proclaiming from the podium, "we have their papers."

Perhaps the only hindrance they then faced was the early whispers of Philip's lust for female volunteers at LSM.
I have to say, I've been to a number of LC conferences where some type of public consecration took place, even if it was just declarations made at the end of the last meeting.

I can't say that I've ever filled out a written consecration note, but know that they have video-taped these events in the past. The purpose of doing that was obviously to make everyone feel as if they had just bound themselves to some sort of contract. Maybe it's the LC way to "revive" members who are becoming a little disillusioned. It keeps them in the system for a few more years, until the next time there is a public consecration.

I will readily admit that I was always a bit concerned by these public calls for everyone to consecrate themselves. More than anything else, it always seemed like an exercise in group pressure. I've been in meetings where virtually everyone in the meeting stood up to declare something. Is that really what everyone really wanted to do, or did they not want to be the odd man out?

Speaking for myself, whenever I have done such a thing, it was simply to please those in the meeting. If I didn't stand up, everyone would take notice of that. Outside of what was happening in those meetings, it was a meaningless declaration.
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Old 07-29-2015, 09:55 PM   #33
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Freedom you speak with very blunt truth.

Any such concerns voiced would be rebuttaled by encouragement to read the ministry or really really have a genuine talk with God...

I remember leaving my consecrations very open ended avoiding words like tlr. I also always wondered how this could be it. And so I've wondered and wandered my way into a beautiful, confusing, and yet clear world that the lc ignores....that is, the real one.
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Old 07-30-2015, 06:35 AM   #34
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I remember leaving my consecrations very open ended avoiding words like tlr. I also always wondered how this could be it. And so I've wondered and wandered my way into a beautiful, confusing, and yet clear world that the lc ignores....that is, the real one.
If you grew up in the LC you'd choose this way of consecrating yourself to the ministry and the church because of pressure: your parents did it, and now expected you to follow suit, and your peers mostly are doing so, and caving in to their parents. If you come in from outside the LC, you consecrate yourself, your house, family, job, future, money, thoughts, time, focus, and affection, because you're seeking Jesus Christ and this seeking has become co-opted by a religious group seeking converts. So your motive became fused with their motive, and consecration (yielding, submission, cooperation) ensued.

The growing child will attempt to cooperate with its parents because that's the reward structure: obedience results in food, shelter, safety, and affection. The outsider coming into a group actually finds similar dynamics: going along with the group leads to rewards, with both psychological "warm fuzzies" and practical things like housing, jobs and potential mates. So that's a lot to go against and I commend you. No, really.

Here's a proposition: if God is real, then God will reveal Him/Her/Itself to you on terms and conditions that you can understand and go along with. Just like parents teaching a child to eat cereal in a bowl of milk, on a table, with a spoon; eventually, everyone involved gets it. Likewise, the All-Powerful Diety of the Universe should be capable of getting your attention, no? Just tell the Universe and all it contains (including its hypothetical God), "Hey, I'm here."

And if there isn't a God, or if God isn't interested in you, then you didn't waste your valuable time and resources, right? You simply did the best you could with what was available. Good enough.
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Old 07-30-2015, 12:59 PM   #35
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If you grew up in the LC you'd choose this way of consecrating yourself to the ministry and the church because of pressure: your parents did it, and now expected you to follow suit, and your peers mostly are doing so, and caving in to their parents. If you come in from outside the LC, you consecrate yourself, your house, family, job, future, money, thoughts, time, focus, and affection, because you're seeking Jesus Christ and this seeking has become co-opted by a religious group seeking converts. So your motive became fused with their motive, and consecration (yielding, submission, cooperation) ensued.
On the topic of consecration, the phrase I commonly heard was "Christ and the church". Of course what is implied is Christ and churches affiliated with LSM. If you're open to churches not affiliated with LSM, you're not consecrated to "Christ and the church".
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:11 PM   #36
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On the topic of consecration, the phrase I commonly heard was "Christ and the church".
Yes, I deliberately used the phrase "consecrating yourself to the ministry and the church", and didn't mention God. Why? Because, as they'd say, how can you serve God unless in the church? And how can you serve in the church if you aren't lined up with the ministry of the age? So by little and little God has been pushed aside and you serve the ministry.

I,d reply, How can you love God if you don't love your neighbor? If you have no love for others, to serve others, with no thought of return, all your labors and consecrations are vain. Yes you're working hard and yes you're building something, but building what?
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Old 07-30-2015, 03:15 PM   #37
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I,d reply, How can you love God if you don't love your neighbor? If you have no love for others, to serve others, with no thought of return, all your labors and consecrations are vain. Yes you're working hard and yes you're building something, but building what?
They're building the tower of Babel. They are probably saying to themselves "Look at us, we're turning the age! We've reached the highest peak. We're becoming God!"
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Old 07-31-2015, 12:41 PM   #38
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I,d reply, How can you love God if you don't love your neighbor? If you have no love for others, to serve others, with no thought of return, all your labors and consecrations are vain. Yes you're working hard and yes you're building something, but building what?
If I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have love, I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy, and know all mysteries and all knowledge; and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-2

The lacking is very exposing. From the blendeds learning full-time trainees door knocking on John Ingalls' residence to the Church in Seattle elders learning of Steve Isitt meeting with the Church in Spokane...the negative reaction is indicative of the lack of love.
Freedom responded to Aron's question with building babel. I don't know but love isn't part of the Local Church culture other than conditionally loving those who love them. Instead of loving unconditionally, there's a negative paranoia of those suspected of being "opposers".
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Old 08-06-2015, 11:44 PM   #39
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At the Western Canada Summer School of Truth today, there was an overflow concerning the NCT. I got a recording of it (audio quality is bad though; some parts are outright incomprehensible).

http://vocaroo.com/i/s0YWKLrZaqTV

I wonder... How much of this is just these young people deluding themselves? When I revisited the forums after the meeting, it scared me as to how innocenr and genuine the teachings of the LRC seem at first. I mean, seeing sharing like this is nothing new, but now I wonder...

I'm sure there's a field of abnormal psychology (or whatever covers groupthink like the stuff seen in the Recovery) that covers this stuff. About whether all these impassioned speeches are the overflow of the Spirit or just... Impassioned speeches.
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Old 08-07-2015, 07:50 AM   #40
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I wonder... How much of this is just these young people deluding themselves? When I revisited the forums after the meeting, it scared me as to how innocenr and genuine the teachings of the LRC seem at first. I mean, seeing sharing like this is nothing new, but now I wonder...

I'm sure there's a field of abnormal psychology (or whatever covers groupthink like the stuff seen in the Recovery) that covers this stuff. About whether all these impassioned speeches are the overflow of the Spirit or just... Impassioned speeches.
I struggle to figure out a way to characterize all the things that are spoken by young people/college students in meetings. It seems to me that for the "church kids" who haven't completely tuned out, they might feel like there is the need to "prove" themselves, or in other cases, it could simply be some kind of struggle to discover the esoteric things everyone else seems to be enjoying. Those kind of expectations can lead them to speak in a way that is uncharacteristic of who they are outside meetings.

What is worth pointing out is with a training such as this one titled "Age Turners", the topic is predetermined. I can almost guarantee that having consecrations during the last meeting was also predetermined. Thus, the college students were simply fulfilling a predetermined outcome. It made them feel warm and fuzzy getting to call themselves "age turners", so that was the benefit provided to attendees. To those running it, they get to tell everyone and say "look how successful our event was, look at what the Lord is doing."
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Old 08-07-2015, 08:07 AM   #41
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Default Re: Age Turners: The Search for Relevance?

I read somewhere a long time ago that when a minister dies, his ministry dies also. It would be interesting to know how many ministers who have gone to be with the Lord still have a following. For example, the Twelve Disciples have gone to be with the Lord. They were following Jesus. No one followed them apart from Jesus, so they died, but the ministry of the living Jesus continued...over 2,000 years and counting. Maybe the Catholic church and Peter would be an exception.

Another example, though Billy Graham is still with us, he's retired. There is no church following Billy Graham. Are his children even carrying on their father's ministry? No. They both have different ministries of their own. They don't rely on what their father did. He was a prevailing evangelist in his day. His sermons are still broadcast on TV, but not even his children follow in his steps as evangelists. They each have a calling from God for the work they do.

Witness Lee died 18 years ago in 1997. Even when he was alive, as has been noted, there was a cycle of attempts to revive his ministry under different names. Another that comes to mind is the "young Galillean" move which also fell by the way. When you have limited your ministry to the "one publication" of a man, and not the Bible, and when that one man dies, what else can you do to keep his ministry alive? How many copies of the same books can you buy and read? How many times can you edit and revise without the author's review/permission? How many times can you hear the same message?

My point is, each of us have a ministry or calling or work that only we can carry out. No one else can take up my cross but me. Each of us, each of these young people have a place in the Body where God uses their unique talents and abilities which he gave individually. Locking yourself into someone else's ministry, anyone, living or not, will frustrate you from becoming the person God meant you to be. What else could there be but cycles of attempts to revive a ministry that truly is not your own. Jesus is alive and relevant. Isn't that enough?

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Old 08-07-2015, 11:11 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Witness Lee died 18 years ago in 1997. Even when he was alive, as has been noted, there was a cycle of attempts to revive his ministry under different names. Another that comes to mind is the "young Galillean" move which also fell by the way. When you have limited your ministry to the "one publication" of a man, and not the Bible, and when that one man dies, what else can you do to keep his ministry alive? How many copies of the same books can you buy and read? How many times can you edit and revise without the author's review/permission? How many times can you hear the same message?

My point is, each of us have a ministry or calling or work that only we can carry out. No one else can take up my cross but me. Each of us, each of these young people have a place in the Body where God uses their unique talents and abilities which he gave individually. Locking yourself into someone else's ministry, anyone, living or not, will frustrate you from becoming the person God meant you to be. What else could there be but cycles of attempts to revive a ministry that truly is not your own. Jesus is alive and relevant. Isn't that enough?

Nell
Those are some excellent points. What it really all comes down to is that one of the main efforts in the LC is to build up appreciation of Lee's ministry. Generally speaking, that support already exists, however, among the young people (church kids) and college students, that support doesn't inherently exist. Everyone else is in the LC because they made the decision to be there. Thus those who aren't there by choice or have recently come in contact with the LC need to be pushed to support Lee.

The main problem for that effort seems to be that Lee's ministry is not particularly relevant to most people. The way they get around this is to repackage it as something else, get everyone dependent upon it, and then they will eventually be led to use the real thing at a later point in time.

For young people, it seems like the leaders try to give them what I would label as charismatic experiences. They take them to the mountains for a weekend, get everyone worked up, convince them that they've seen a 'vision', make sure to have lots of shouting, hallelujahs, and spirit-filled singing. And it seems to work. When you take a step back and view this objectively, it seems that it is no different than going to a football game and rooting for your team. It results in the same kind of "high". Because young people associate the "high" they get with activities in an LC environment, they learn to associate that ultimately with Lee's ministry. That's exactly how it worked for me. Somewhere along the way, I began associating all my positive experiences with Lee's ministry.

This is where critical thinking becomes so important for those in such an environment. Everyone should ask themselves, are these experiences genuine, or part of a predetermined outcome? I would liken it to when people go up on stage to get "healed". The supposed healing is always going to happen, so the person wants to be healed has to condition themselves to believe that they are actually going to be healed. I believe the same phenomena is happening in the LC. The brothers tell the young people that they are "age turners", and the young people then attempt to make themselves to believe that it is true and they point to the charismatic experiences as evidence that the Lord is doing something. When I really begin to consider these same kinds of experiences that I had, I realized what was really going on, and it's more similar to a social experiment than any genuine spiritual experience.
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Old 08-07-2015, 11:39 AM   #43
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What is worth pointing out is with a training such as this one titled "Age Turners", the topic is predetermined. I can almost guarantee that having consecrations during the last meeting was also predetermined. Thus, the college students were simply fulfilling a predetermined outcome. It made them feel warm and fuzzy getting to call themselves "age turners", so that was the benefit provided to attendees. To those running it, they get to tell everyone and say "look how successful our event was, look at what the Lord is doing."
First the handlers have to convince the marks that God has an unmet need. They effectively displace their need (more acylotes) onto the audience through the transfer mechanism of the divine Person (often in conjunction with the church).

This creates a kind of nervous crisis amongst the audience, which builds until some of the more unstable members respond physiologically (weeping, crying out, etc). Then the rest follow suit. It worked for Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, and Justin Bieber, too: once everyone gets consecrated, they all go home happy.

So yes, it is predetermined. Quite predetermined.
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Old 08-09-2015, 10:35 AM   #44
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I compiled this a few years ago to be passed out on campuses. I adapted it from a similar warning about Jehovah's Witnesses or some such.

W A R N I N G !
“Christians on Campus”


There is an aberrant Christian group on this campus called “Christians on Campus”. This group is part of “The Local Church of Witness Lee” named after the city (The Church in ____), and Witness Lee’s publishing company, The Living Stream Ministry.

What is an aberrant Christian group?
- Aberrant Christian groups are religious groups, which are characterized by the destruction of individual thought, the destruction of the family unit, and disregard for your freedom as an individual.
- Aberrant Christian groups deviate from fundamental interpretation of the Bible by introducing “new light” or exclusive insight only available from their leader in their group.

Who is Witness Lee?
- Born in Chefoo, Shandong Province, China, in 1905.
- Converted to Christianity in 1925.
- Lee became a co-worker of Watchman Nee in 1933.
- In the late 1940s Witness Lee went to Taiwan in order to continue his ministry there.
- In 1962 Lee came to the United States, settling in southern California. He then began the groundwork of churches that would develop into the modern-day "Local Church" movement.
- Witness Lee died in June 1997 in Southern California.
- A man named Benson Phillips now leads the movement along with a collective of men refered to as “blended brothers”.

What is the Witness Lee Controversy?
- Modalistic: Lee confuses the Persons of the Holy Spirit and the Son similar to modalism.
- Heresy: Lee declared that God became man in Jesus so that man could become God in Christ.
- Exclusivity: Lee taught “One church, one city” and believes that the church he founded is the one true church in a city. Lee taught that Christianity (Baptists, Methodists, other denominations and Christians) are “fallen and degraded.”
- These are only 3 of the controversies—there are many more.

How “Christians on Campus” groups operate.
- “Christians on Campus” is a recruiting arm of the Local Churches of Witness Lee.
- New recruits are not initially told that they are involved with the Local Churches or that they are being indoctrinated with the teachings and practices taught by Witness Lee.
- Campus meetings are scripted and carefully controlled. Recruits are also taken to larger Local Church meetings which are also scripted and carefully controlled for the purpose of gradual indoctrination into the main group.
- You may enjoy these scripted meetings. Though you may also find the members “different” you may find them warm and engaging. They are most likely genuine Christians.
- You may also have a nagging sense that something is not quite right about this group.
- Though you may feel conflicted about attending their meetings, you may continue to attend.

Your Questions
Be careful. If you express your genuine concerns by asking questions about group practices or teachings that don’t sound “right” to you, you will be met with evasive and ambiguous answers.

Important questions:
- Is Christians on Campus part of the Local Churches of Witness Lee?
- Is Christians on Campus part of The Church in Austin (Dallas, Norman, your city)?
- Do you follow Witness Lee’s ministry?
Insist on a “yes” or “no” answer. If the response is evasive, take that as a “yes”.

Pay attention to semantics. Local Church members use vocabulary in different ways than you do. They use the same words, but with different meanings. Example: “Are you a member of the Local Church?”
Possible Answer “No”. (They don’t have a “membership” roll. They are members of the Body of Christ, so "technically" they are not members of the Local Church.)

Your Responsibility
Be warned. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV) Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. In Acts 17:11 (NIV) Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Be warned. Local Church members do not examine the Scriptures to see if what Witness Lee said was true.

Be warned. Don’t take your positive feelings about any person or group as a sign that everything is OK.

Be warned. Former members often tell of significant psychological, sociological and spiritual abuse which is typical of aberrant or cultic organizations.

Be warned. Members are encouraged to isolate themselves from their former lives, their families and their former friends. Warnings of spiritual decline instills a paralyzing fear in those who would leave the group.

“You just don’t understand!” If you find yourself saying this to your parents, family or friends when attempting to explain your “new life” in the Local Church, you are in danger. The Bible teaches us to honor our parents. The Local Churches teach you to isolate ourselves from your parents, your family or anyone else who would hinder your complete devotion to this group.

More Controversy
Summary of LC beliefs:
1. What the group is doing is God‘s only meaningful work on the earth.
2. The rest of the Christians are blind outsiders who need to be proselytized or recruited.
3. They have an understanding about the Trinity that others do not have, and only they can explain it.
4. A unique corporate cause is the most important thing. There is no place for the uniqueness of the individual member.
5. There is only one man (Witness Lee) with the proper understanding and interpretation of the Bible who knows God‘s way for the group.
6. Their leaders are God‘s authorities and are part of an authoritarian, top-down hierarchy.
7. Their cause is more important than people, and they need to shun, ban, quarantine, or excommunicate any persons they feel are divisive or in some way detrimental to their purpose.
8. Any members who leave the group are turning away from following God.
9. Any who leave the group and speak out are bitter and vindictive, and need to be silenced because they spread false information.
10. Those from the outside who use media to question the group‘s teachings and practices are persecutors who need to be stopped. — from Jane Carole Anderson

The Gospel of Jesus Christ
The Bible teaches a simple gospel of a loving God who gave his only Son as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Witness Lee taught that this simple gospel is the “low gospel”. Witness Lee claimed to teach the “high gospel”. This “high gospel” is complicated with spiritual sounding words and terms strung together in a way that boggles the mind. Local Church members seem to believe themselves to be an elite group of Christians who understand this “high gospel” that others do not.

Texas, Oklahoma and surrounding states may be much more strongly controlled than campuses in other states.

Resources
Can the Local Church Leadership Say, “We Were Wrong” by,Jane Carole Anderson http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...read.php?t=619.

***Note this link is broken*** Sorry

Local Church Discussions Forum
http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vBulletin/index.php

Personal Testimony by a former member
The Thread of Gold, God’s Purpose, the Cross and Me Jane Carole Anderson
http://www.thethreadofgold.com Available as .pdf download and Kindle.

Harvest House Publishers Corporate Statement
A Call to Keep Theological Disputes Out of the Courts
On June 18, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court brought an end to The Local Church’s contentious and unsuccessful six–year, $136 million legal battle against Harvest House Publishers and two of its authors, John Ankerberg and John Weldon.
http://www.harvesthousepublishers.co...statement7.cfm

An Open Letter
To the Leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the "Local Churches"
http://www.open-letter.org/ Living Stream Ministry and the "local churches" (also known as The Lord's Recovery), both founded by the late Witness Lee, have been involved for decades in legal and theological controversies with noted Christian institutions and leaders. In light of this history of litigation and conflict, we the undersigned make this public appeal.

Dallas Morning News
Below are excerpts from a newspaper article published in the The Dallas Morning News: October 20, 1995 which exemplifies classic Local Church speak.

SpringPark Residents Oppose Church
Religious group to continue seeking site
Jayne Noble Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News

GARLAND - Hundreds of homeowners around the SpringPark addition have signed a petition opposed to The Church in Richardson moving into their neighborhood. ...

"I think there's a little fear of the unknown," said Jerry McGill, who said he leads services at the church's storefront chapel, 1701 Analog Drive in Richardson. ...

Council member Lee Smith, who lives in SpringPark, said he and other homeowners are concerned that the church might be affiliated with other churches around the country, including Austin and Arlington, whose members profess to follow a Chinese spiritual leader named Witness Lee. "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." (Emphasis added.)

"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."

In a follow-up article in the Morning News on November 8, 1995:

"I can tell you I think he's {Mr. Anderson} dead wrong," Mr. Hinton said. More than 500 residents from the SpringPark neighborhood have signed a petition opposing the church move.

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."

In fact, McGill has been an elder in at least 3 Local Churches and has spent his adult life as a student of Witness Lee's teachings. Such attempts at deceit is common.

***


I still wonder how I could have allowed myself to be part of a "church" in which I had to deny who the leader was.

Nell
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Old 08-09-2015, 11:56 AM   #45
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@Nell: thanks for that post. It will be really useful as a starting point to explain CoC and LRC to people with no experience with the group.
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Old 08-09-2015, 01:44 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
I compiled this a few years ago to be passed out on campuses. I adapted it from a similar warning about Jehovah's Witnesses or some such.
...
I still wonder how I could have allowed myself to be part of a "church" in which I had to deny who the leader was.

Nell
This pamphlet of yours is something that needs to be distributed across campuses everywhere. When I was younger, I was always told that the campus "opposition" was related to outsider who were jealous of the LC. What would students think if they knew that some of those warning them of the CoC groups were ex-members themselves?

As someone who was associated with one of these clubs during my college years, I was always disgusted by the dishonesty we were expected to employ. We were supposed to hide who we really were until people were "ready". I know all the dishonest tactics. When questioned as to who our leader is, we would say "Christ". When questioned as to our affiliation, we would say "we are Christians of diverse backgrounds". We all knew very well that we were sidestepping people's questions, but we did it anyways.

From our perspective, we were just the group who saw what no one else saw. We knew the "high peak". We thought we had what everyone else wanted. When I consider it now, outsiders most definitely saw us as an elusive group who didn't want to be questioned as to our connections. Interestingly, those who would join our campus group or the same group on other campuses were most often those who didn't have much of a Christian background, or those who didn't know much about the Bible. They could be told anything. We, in fact, wanted these types. Those who would swallow whatever we would give them.
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Old 08-09-2015, 06:25 PM   #47
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Freedom and Unsure,

Please feel free to use this doc as the Lord leads. You may even have updated information to add regarding tactics. If you have additional information please feel free to update the doc yourself, or post it and I'll help you with the editing.

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Old 08-09-2015, 06:26 PM   #48
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Default Re: Age Turners

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Dallas Morning News
Below are excerpts from a newspaper article published in the The Dallas Morning News: October 20, 1995 which exemplifies classic Local Church speak.

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." (Emphasis added.)

"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."



In fact, McGill has been an elder in at least 3 Local Churches and has spent his adult life as a student of Witness Lee's teachings. Such attempts at deceit is common.
The portion I put in bold, that I consider unusual. Normally I don't see church elders/coworkers lying outright.
Normally what I have come to expect is saying just enough not to lie, but not enough to be considered forthcoming or transparent.
What Nell calls classic Local Church speak, I would call circuitous speaking.
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Old 08-09-2015, 06:34 PM   #49
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The portion I put in bold, that I consider unusual. Normally I don't see church elders/coworkers lying outright.
Normally what I have come to expect is saying just enough not to lie, but not enough to be considered forthcoming or transparent.
What Nell calls classic Local Church speak, I would call circuitous speaking.
These are direct quotes from the Dallas Morning News which you can find in its archives if you care to fact-check. In fact, I encourage you to do so.

However, since McGill didn't file a lawsuit for libel against the DMN, I believe the article and quotes are accurate.

Note that the residents of Spring Park pravailed. McGill, et al, did not move into Spring Park.


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Old 08-09-2015, 08:18 PM   #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
These are direct quotes from the Dallas Morning News which you can find in its archives if you care to fact-check. In fact, I encourage you to do so.

However, since McGill didn't file a lawsuit for libel against the DMN, I believe the article and quotes are accurate.

Note that the residents of Spring Park pravailed. McGill, et al, did not move into Spring Park.


Nell
I've always found it to be a bit frustrating that despite all the information out there on the internet, the LC is still successful in recruiting members. I'm not out to interfere with what they want to do, but I just want to make sure that those who they try to recruit can make informed decisions.

When I was a college student involved with the LC campus work, we were told specifically that we should target freshmen. Why? Because we were told that they were the ones who were looking for community. So in essence, we were taking advantage of their vulnerability, hoping that they would be "lonely" and want to join our group.

This explains why so many remain ignorant of what the Christians on Campus group is really about. Most aren't out to engage in a research project of Christian groups. They just want community. And LCers fulfill that role very well. They invite them to Bible studies, then invite them to home meetings for a good "home cooked meal". Later on they get invited to the Lord's table meeting. Finally, they are FTTA bound. I've seen this pattern happen with campus recruits. Unless these recruits are informed, it is all to easy to fall victim to this trap.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:38 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
When I was a college student involved with the LC campus work, we were told specifically that we should target freshmen. Why? Because we were told that they were the ones who were looking for community. So in essence, we were taking advantage of their vulnerability, hoping that they would be "lonely" and want to join our group.
When I attended a college training a few years ago, I remember someone saying, "once you get a freshman into the homes, your work is finished." At the time, I completely accepted that and thought it was a brilliant idea. Now looking back, I realize that there are so many ways God could use me, and so much "shepherding" I could do anywhere, but I instead thought that using the homes was a crucial factor in bringing people to the Lord. Recently, I listened to an audio from this year's training about the functions of the homes and was greatly disturbed. One student gave a testimony, saying that he should have "inoculated" a new one before he got "poisoned" (apparently he read an old news article about the local church being a cult). But anyways, the student said the new one still did not completely go away because he already had contact with the home/community. So, there is an "urgency" within the LC to "inoculate" students through bringing them into the community before they are able to do research on the group. Interesting relationship here...yet another one of the LC's tactics with hidden implications.

Also, as you said, it does seem that LCers are taking advantage of the vulnerability of freshmen, instead of really being sympathetic to their needs. "Gaining" the freshmen and getting them into the homes is such a specific objective they have in order to expand their group. Although other Christian groups (including one I have joined) do focus a lot of their attention on freshmen, they definitely do not use any sort of manipulation strategies. There is no discussion amongst ourselves on how to ensure all the freshmen are recruited to our group. Instead, we genuinely want to provide a loving and supportive christian community for freshmen where they can grow their faith.
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Old 08-09-2015, 09:43 PM   #52
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
I compiled this a few years ago to be passed out on campuses. I adapted it from a similar warning about Jehovah's Witnesses or some such.

W A R N I N G !
“Christians on Campus”


There is an aberrant Christian group on this campus called “Christians on Campus”. This group is part of “The Local Church of Witness Lee” named after the city (The Church in ____), and Witness Lee’s publishing company, The Living Stream Ministry.

What is an aberrant Christian group?
- Aberrant Christian groups are religious groups, which are characterized by the destruction of individual thought, the destruction of the family unit, and disregard for your freedom as an individual.
- Aberrant Christian groups deviate from fundamental interpretation of the Bible by introducing “new light” or exclusive insight only available from their leader in their group.

Who is Witness Lee?
- Born in Chefoo, Shandong Province, China, in 1905.
- Converted to Christianity in 1925.
- Lee became a co-worker of Watchman Nee in 1933.
- In the late 1940s Witness Lee went to Taiwan in order to continue his ministry there.
- In 1962 Lee came to the United States, settling in southern California. He then began the groundwork of churches that would develop into the modern-day "Local Church" movement.
- Witness Lee died in June 1997 in Southern California.
- A man named Benson Phillips now leads the movement along with a collective of men refered to as “blended brothers”.

What is the Witness Lee Controversy?
- Modalistic: Lee confuses the Persons of the Holy Spirit and the Son similar to modalism.
- Heresy: Lee declared that God became man in Jesus so that man could become God in Christ.
- Exclusivity: Lee taught “One church, one city” and believes that the church he founded is the one true church in a city. Lee taught that Christianity (Baptists, Methodists, other denominations and Christians) are “fallen and degraded.”
- These are only 3 of the controversies—there are many more.

How “Christians on Campus” groups operate.
- “Christians on Campus” is a recruiting arm of the Local Churches of Witness Lee.
- New recruits are not initially told that they are involved with the Local Churches or that they are being indoctrinated with the teachings and practices taught by Witness Lee.
- Campus meetings are scripted and carefully controlled. Recruits are also taken to larger Local Church meetings which are also scripted and carefully controlled for the purpose of gradual indoctrination into the main group.
- You may enjoy these scripted meetings. Though you may also find the members “different” you may find them warm and engaging. They are most likely genuine Christians.
- You may also have a nagging sense that something is not quite right about this group.
- Though you may feel conflicted about attending their meetings, you may continue to attend.

Your Questions
Be careful. If you express your genuine concerns by asking questions about group practices or teachings that don’t sound “right” to you, you will be met with evasive and ambiguous answers.

Important questions:
- Is Christians on Campus part of the Local Churches of Witness Lee?
- Is Christians on Campus part of The Church in Austin (Dallas, Norman, your city)?
- Do you follow Witness Lee’s ministry?
Insist on a “yes” or “no” answer. If the response is evasive, take that as a “yes”.

Pay attention to semantics. Local Church members use vocabulary in different ways than you do. They use the same words, but with different meanings. Example: “Are you a member of the Local Church?”
Possible Answer “No”. (They don’t have a “membership” roll. They are members of the Body of Christ, so "technically" they are not members of the Local Church.)

Your Responsibility
Be warned. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV) Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. In Acts 17:11 (NIV) Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Be warned. Local Church members do not examine the Scriptures to see if what Witness Lee said was true.

Be warned. Don’t take your positive feelings about any person or group as a sign that everything is OK.

Be warned. Former members often tell of significant psychological, sociological and spiritual abuse which is typical of aberrant or cultic organizations.

Be warned. Members are encouraged to isolate themselves from their former lives, their families and their former friends. Warnings of spiritual decline instills a paralyzing fear in those who would leave the group.

“You just don’t understand!” If you find yourself saying this to your parents, family or friends when attempting to explain your “new life” in the Local Church, you are in danger. The Bible teaches us to honor our parents. The Local Churches teach you to isolate ourselves from your parents, your family or anyone else who would hinder your complete devotion to this group.

More Controversy
Summary of LC beliefs:
1. What the group is doing is God‘s only meaningful work on the earth.
2. The rest of the Christians are blind outsiders who need to be proselytized or recruited.
3. They have an understanding about the Trinity that others do not have, and only they can explain it.
4. A unique corporate cause is the most important thing. There is no place for the uniqueness of the individual member.
5. There is only one man (Witness Lee) with the proper understanding and interpretation of the Bible who knows God‘s way for the group.
6. Their leaders are God‘s authorities and are part of an authoritarian, top-down hierarchy.
7. Their cause is more important than people, and they need to shun, ban, quarantine, or excommunicate any persons they feel are divisive or in some way detrimental to their purpose.
8. Any members who leave the group are turning away from following God.
9. Any who leave the group and speak out are bitter and vindictive, and need to be silenced because they spread false information.
10. Those from the outside who use media to question the group‘s teachings and practices are persecutors who need to be stopped. — from Jane Carole Anderson

The Gospel of Jesus Christ
The Bible teaches a simple gospel of a loving God who gave his only Son as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Witness Lee taught that this simple gospel is the “low gospel”. Witness Lee claimed to teach the “high gospel”. This “high gospel” is complicated with spiritual sounding words and terms strung together in a way that boggles the mind. Local Church members seem to believe themselves to be an elite group of Christians who understand this “high gospel” that others do not.

Texas, Oklahoma and surrounding states may be much more strongly controlled than campuses in other states.

Resources
Can the Local Church Leadership Say, “We Were Wrong” by,Jane Carole Anderson http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...read.php?t=619.

***Note this link is broken*** Sorry

Local Church Discussions Forum
http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vBulletin/index.php

Personal Testimony by a former member
The Thread of Gold, God’s Purpose, the Cross and Me Jane Carole Anderson
http://www.thethreadofgold.com Available as .pdf download and Kindle.

Harvest House Publishers Corporate Statement
A Call to Keep Theological Disputes Out of the Courts
On June 18, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court brought an end to The Local Church’s contentious and unsuccessful six–year, $136 million legal battle against Harvest House Publishers and two of its authors, John Ankerberg and John Weldon.
http://www.harvesthousepublishers.co...statement7.cfm

An Open Letter
To the Leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the "Local Churches"
http://www.open-letter.org/ Living Stream Ministry and the "local churches" (also known as The Lord's Recovery), both founded by the late Witness Lee, have been involved for decades in legal and theological controversies with noted Christian institutions and leaders. In light of this history of litigation and conflict, we the undersigned make this public appeal.

Dallas Morning News
Below are excerpts from a newspaper article published in the The Dallas Morning News: October 20, 1995 which exemplifies classic Local Church speak.

SpringPark Residents Oppose Church
Religious group to continue seeking site
Jayne Noble Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News

GARLAND - Hundreds of homeowners around the SpringPark addition have signed a petition opposed to The Church in Richardson moving into their neighborhood. ...

"I think there's a little fear of the unknown," said Jerry McGill, who said he leads services at the church's storefront chapel, 1701 Analog Drive in Richardson. ...

Council member Lee Smith, who lives in SpringPark, said he and other homeowners are concerned that the church might be affiliated with other churches around the country, including Austin and Arlington, whose members profess to follow a Chinese spiritual leader named Witness Lee. "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." (Emphasis added.)

"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."

In a follow-up article in the Morning News on November 8, 1995:

"I can tell you I think he's {Mr. Anderson} dead wrong," Mr. Hinton said. More than 500 residents from the SpringPark neighborhood have signed a petition opposing the church move.

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."

In fact, McGill has been an elder in at least 3 Local Churches and has spent his adult life as a student of Witness Lee's teachings. Such attempts at deceit is common.

***


I still wonder how I could have allowed myself to be part of a "church" in which I had to deny who the leader was.

Nell
Wow! This is really good Nell. I think good stuff like this should periodically be brought back up to the top of the discussions so that new ones like me can find it. I thought of a couple of simple questions that one could ask the LSM LC campus recruiters. 1. What is the author's name on the non-biblical books you read about how to live the Christian life. 2. What is the name of the entity that hosts and supports the twice annual trainings you attend. 3. What is the name of the entity that conducts the 2-year post graduate training in Anaheim, CA. 4. What do you call the group of men who coordinate the activities of trainings and the publishing of your books. The answers should simply be, Lee, LSM, LSM, and blended brothers. Any him-hawing, dancing, or word play would indicate prevarication. Of course, if it's ok to "plunder Egypt", then it must be ok to lie to the marks. If there are any seekers of Christ reading this I urge you to run away from prevaricators. If you are told the truth, then you need to consider why there was only one man on earth (WL) whose writings are worthy to be read, why there is only one corporation (LSM) qualified to arrange conferences and publish the books that are read, and why is there only one group of men (blended brothers) on earth capable of managing God's move on the earth. (Another useful question to ask might be "Why does God need a group of men to coordinate His move on the earth when there is God the Spirit?"
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:38 AM   #53
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This pamphlet of yours is something that needs to be distributed across campuses

As someone who was associated with one of these clubs during my college years, I was always disgusted by the dishonesty we were expected to employ. We were supposed to hide who we really were until people were "ready". I know all the dishonest tactics. When questioned as to who our leader is, we would say "Christ". When questioned as to our affiliation, we would say "we are Christians of diverse backgrounds". We all knew very well that we were sidestepping people's questions, but we did it anyways.

From our perspective, we were just the group who saw what no one else saw. We knew the "high peak". We thought we had what everyone else wanted. When I consider it now, outsiders most definitely saw us as an elusive group who didn't want to be questioned as to our connections. Interestingly, those who would join our campus group or the same group on other campuses were most often those who didn't have much of a Christian background, or those who didn't know much about the Bible. They could be told anything. We, in fact, wanted these types. Those who would swallow whatever we would give them.
Very true, I can confirm this. This is how my doubts were answered. I am glad that I can clear my conscience of this willfull misleading. Bygones are bygones but I d sure wonder what college woukd have been like outside the club and the bros house
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Old 08-10-2015, 06:27 AM   #54
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I was trapped by the local church when I was young and naive. Now I feel sorry for the young that have been trapped by them.

All cults prey on the young. And all cult members seek to trap their children in the cult.

It's so sad and messed up. And once hooked, even after getting free, it's darn hard to get the cult out of your head.

My heart and prayers go out to all who have been trapped in there.
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:24 AM   #55
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When I attended a college training a few years ago, I remember someone saying, "once you get a freshman into the homes, your work is finished." At the time, I completely accepted that and thought it was a brilliant idea. Now looking back, I realize that there are so many ways God could use me, and so much "shepherding" I could do anywhere, but I instead thought that using the homes was a crucial factor in bringing people to the Lord. Recently, I listened to an audio from this year's training about the functions of the homes and was greatly disturbed. One student gave a testimony, saying that he should have "inoculated" a new one before he got "poisoned" (apparently he read an old news article about the local church being a cult). But anyways, the student said the new one still did not completely go away because he already had contact with the home/community. So, there is an "urgency" within the LC to "inoculate" students through bringing them into the community before they are able to do research on the group. Interesting relationship here...yet another one of the LC's tactics with hidden implications.

Also, as you said, it does seem that LCers are taking advantage of the vulnerability of freshmen, instead of really being sympathetic to their needs. "Gaining" the freshmen and getting them into the homes is such a specific objective they have in order to expand their group. Although other Christian groups (including one I have joined) do focus a lot of their attention on freshmen, they definitely do not use any sort of manipulation strategies. There is no discussion amongst ourselves on how to ensure all the freshmen are recruited to our group. Instead, we genuinely want to provide a loving and supportive christian community for freshmen where they can grow their faith.
I think the Christians on Campus groups are fairly unique in regards to bringing campus contacts into homes and the larger community of the LC. They are, after all, a campus recruiting arm. Other clubs are there fir purposes like you said, to present a supportive Christian community for students on campus. For LCers, that's not enough. They can't outright state their intentions, however, because that would set off all kinds of alarms. I'm not even sure that a church is allowed to implant members as leaders of a student club in order that it could recruit members.

Anyways, the whole idea of people getting "poisoned" and needing to be "inoculated" is all a bit bizarre when you really think about it. If someone hears negative remarks about a campus club, shouldn't that push them to do a little research at the very least? But for LC campus clubs, that is exactly what they don't want anyone doing. They will state that if people do their research, they will be "poisoned". Apparently the way to "inoculate" someone is to tell them to not listen to anything they hear or read anything they see on the internet. Is that even reasonable? People should be encouraged to read everything, and then make a decision based on that information.
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Old 08-10-2015, 08:46 AM   #56
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Very true, I can confirm this. This is how my doubts were answered. I am glad that I can clear my conscience of this willfull misleading. Bygones are bygones but I d sure wonder what college woukd have been like outside the club and the bros house
I'm just glad the whole college part of my life is gone and over. At first I had liked the club/bros house environment and thought it was the best thing ever. Eventually, it really started to wear on me. My grades really suffered too. There simply wasn't time to do well in college if I wanted to maintain the level of LC involvement that I was expected to.

When I was involved with a campus club, I had to take on a leadership role, and that made me feel all the more guilty about our dishonesty. I didn't want to operate that way, but I had to go along with it all. Thankfully, we weren't really that successful at recruiting new members so maybe I shouldn't feel too guilty.

I just hope that students on campus will always take the time to do their research on these groups. When everyone in a club uses the same (largely unheard of) version of the Bible, that should be a red flag. When simple questions are met with evasive answers, that should be another red flag. People need to make up their own minds on whether a group is "safe" or not. They shouldn't let the group provide them that answer.
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:01 AM   #57
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Of course, if it's ok to "plunder Egypt", then it must be ok to lie to the marks.
Reminds me of the old mooslim principle that deception is justified when dealing with the "infidels," as long as it furthers the mooslim cause ... and so we have also learned from our prez.
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Old 08-10-2015, 11:38 AM   #58
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I'm not even sure that a church is allowed to implant members as leaders of a student club in order that it could recruit members.
In my 'locality', we were delighted when any 'community saint' took classes nearby because now they were a plant on the college campus.

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Anyways, the whole idea of people getting "poisoned" and needing to be "inoculated" is all a bit bizarre when you really think about it. If someone hears negative remarks about a campus club, shouldn't that push them to do a little research at the very least? But for LC campus clubs, that is exactly what they don't want anyone doing. They will state that if people do their research, they will be "poisoned". Apparently the way to "inoculate" someone is to tell them to not listen to anything they hear or read anything they see on the internet. Is that even reasonable? People should be encouraged to read everything, and then make a decision based on that information.
This idea that "I alone have the truth, and if you listen to anyone else but me you'll get poisoned" seems to be increasingly anachronistic and untenable in our free and open society. Such a group only can maintain proper contact with the recruit by effectively walling them off from everybody else: family, friends, neighbors, co-workers etc. Otherwise the recruit gets inevitably "poisoned" and falls away.

Yes, I think that kind of talk should hopefully encourage the recruit to do some investigation. Just Google "LSM Daystar Phosphorous Linko Overseas Christian Steward Rebellion" and that should get you started. And there's plenty more if you want to keep reading.
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Old 08-10-2015, 12:52 PM   #59
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This idea that "I alone have the truth, and if you listen to anyone else but me you'll get poisoned" seems to be increasingly anachronistic and untenable in our free and open society. Such a group only can maintain proper contact with the recruit by effectively walling them off from everybody else: family, friends, neighbors, co-workers etc. Otherwise the recruit gets inevitably "poisoned" and falls away.

Yes, I think that kind of talk should hopefully encourage the recruit to do some investigation. Just Google "LSM Daystar Phosphorous Linko Overseas Christian Steward Rebellion" and that should get you started. And there's plenty more if you want to keep reading.
Here in the 21st century, information is freely accessible. Bad or negative publicity is an issue all groups/organizations have to deal with at some point. It is rather naive for a group such as the LC to think that they can control the flow of information living amidst the information age. I guess it works on members, but to outsiders, not so much.

It really says a lot about what kind of group the LC is considering they are concerned about people being so easily "poisoned". Allow me to draw an analogy. If there's a restaurant I've never been to before, I will usually check out the reviews on yelp. Virtually all businesses on yelp have some amount of negative reviews. Negative reviews do not automatically "poison" me against that restaurant unless there are a unusually large number of negative reviews.

Negative publicity is a fact of life. If there is in fact, a substantial amount of negative publicity, then the correct approach would be for the LC to address the issues at hand rather than tell people not to read anything. Do they think their strategy of "don't read anything on the internet" is going to last forever? Actually, I've seen people first hand who came to our meetings and then quickly left after they did a little research. It was frustrating for me at the time, because I felt like we had done a bunch of work for nothing. In retrospect, I am glad that I witnessed people do their research and then disassociate themselves with us. It helped me to open my eyes to the fact that there was actually a problem.
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Old 08-10-2015, 01:20 PM   #60
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Here in the 21st century, information is freely accessible. Bad or negative publicity is an issue all groups/organizations have to deal with at some point. It is rather naive for a group such as the LC to think that they can control the flow of information living amidst the information age. I guess it works on members, but to outsiders, not so much.

It really says a lot about what kind of group the LC is considering they are concerned about people being so easily "poisoned". Allow me to draw an analogy. If there's a restaurant I've never been to before, I will usually check out the reviews on yelp. Virtually all businesses on yelp have some amount of negative reviews. Negative reviews do not automatically "poison" me against that restaurant unless there are a unusually large number of negative reviews.

Negative publicity is a fact of life. If there is in fact, a substantial amount of negative publicity, then the correct approach would be for the LC to address the issues at hand rather than tell people not to read anything. Do they think their strategy of "don't read anything on the internet" is going to last forever? Actually, I've seen people first hand who came to our meetings and then quickly left after they did a little research. It was frustrating for me at the time, because I felt like we had done a bunch of work for nothing. In retrospect, I am glad that I witnessed people do their research and then disassociate themselves with us. It helped me to open my eyes to the fact that there was actually a problem.
LSM in some respects is similar to the media. If you don't support the favored point of view, you may be viewed as negative, attacking, etc.
Look it up whatever search engine you use, there was an interview on CNN back in 2012. The then-CNN host Piers Morgan was interviewing Kirk Cameron. On a follow up show Piers didn't like the responses Kirk gave and referred to Kirk's responses as negative, attacking, etc.

When in LSM circles, when similar terms are used it's not so much about truth as it is orientation to a particular group think.
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Old 08-11-2015, 11:25 AM   #61
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I'm just glad the whole college part of my life is gone and over. At first I had liked the club/bros house environment and thought it was the best thing ever. Eventually, it really started to wear on me. My grades really suffered too. There simply wasn't time to do well in college if I wanted to maintain the level of LC involvement that I was expected to.
Tell me about it.

I started grad school 100% committed to the LC program in a new campus church. One elder decided that participation in the daily morning watch was not adequate for me, so he saddled me with the responsibility for the lunch Bible study. Another elder decided the new church property should also be my responsibility.

Couple other things happened.

By the time my first quarter of grad school ended, (I was officially a college dropout!) I had lost both my jobs, my tuition fellowship, my home, and whatever savings I had. I was homeless and broke with an infant in diapers. Since the Mindbenders and Godmen books were already affecting our families, they were planning to have me professionally "deprogrammed," perhaps by my dear cousin who was now working in that business.

No one ever apologized for heaping unbearable loads upon me. No one ever asked me if I was able to take on more at a time when I should have dropped a few things. The church never gave me a penny for all my time spent, yet my taskmasters were all well-to-do or on the payroll. The attitude was often, "what more can you do for the program?"
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Old 08-12-2015, 08:32 AM   #62
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Tell me about it.

I started grad school 100% committed to the LC program in a new campus church. One elder decided that participation in the daily morning watch was not adequate for me, so he saddled me with the responsibility for the lunch Bible study. Another elder decided the new church property should also be my responsibility.

Couple other things happened.

By the time my first quarter of grad school ended, (I was officially a college dropout!) I had lost both my jobs, my tuition fellowship, my home, and whatever savings I had. I was homeless and broke with an infant in diapers. Since the Mindbenders and Godmen books were already affecting our families, they were planning to have me professionally "deprogrammed," perhaps by my dear cousin who was now working in that business.

No one ever apologized for heaping unbearable loads upon me. No one ever asked me if I was able to take on more at a time when I should have dropped a few things. The church never gave me a penny for all my time spent, yet my taskmasters were all well-to-do or on the payroll. The attitude was often, "what more can you do for the program?"
I've observed this pattern of overburdening members on numerous occasions. Elders and leading brothers are all too happy to place unbearable burdens upon members, and when everything goes downhill, suddenly they are missing from the scene, blaming the failure on the "personal problems" of that member.

I was someone who almost dropped out of college. Thankfully, I was able to turn things around and finish, but that only happened due to significantly limiting my involvement in LC activities. I know of others who thought they could balance LC and college and they failed miserably. What has always irked me is that some brothers will make statements like "just give yourself to the church life, and you'll do well in college." I was just a dumb sheep who didn't know better than to listen to that kind of nonsense, so I can't place all the blame upon leaders.
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:09 AM   #63
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Tell me about it.

I started grad school 100% committed to the LC program in a new campus church. One elder decided that participation in the daily morning watch was not adequate for me, so he saddled me with the responsibility for the lunch Bible study. Another elder decided the new church property should also be my responsibility.

Couple other things happened.

By the time my first quarter of grad school ended, (I was officially a college dropout!) I had lost both my jobs, my tuition fellowship, my home, and whatever savings I had. I was homeless and broke with an infant in diapers. Since the Mindbenders and Godmen books were already affecting our families, they were planning to have me professionally "deprogrammed," perhaps by my dear cousin who was now working in that business.

No one ever apologized for heaping unbearable loads upon me. No one ever asked me if I was able to take on more at a time when I should have dropped a few things. The church never gave me a penny for all my time spent, yet my taskmasters were all well-to-do or on the payroll. The attitude was often, "what more can you do for the program?"
Ohio,

I'm so sorry this happened to you and your family. It makes me very sad.

Nell
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Old 08-12-2015, 11:46 AM   #64
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Tell me about it.

I started grad school 100% committed to the LC program in a new campus church. One elder decided that participation in the daily morning watch was not adequate for me, so he saddled me with the responsibility for the lunch Bible study. Another elder decided the new church property should also be my responsibility.

Couple other things happened.

By the time my first quarter of grad school ended, (I was officially a college dropout!) I had lost both my jobs, my tuition fellowship, my home, and whatever savings I had. I was homeless and broke with an infant in diapers. Since the Mindbenders and Godmen books were already affecting our families, they were planning to have me professionally "deprogrammed," perhaps by my dear cousin who was now working in that business.

No one ever apologized for heaping unbearable loads upon me. No one ever asked me if I was able to take on more at a time when I should have dropped a few things. The church never gave me a penny for all my time spent, yet my taskmasters were all well-to-do or on the payroll. The attitude was often, "what more can you do for the program?"
Amen to bro Ohio for getting free from all that. But I have to say, our brother sure seems to have superhuman stick–to–itiveness to last as long as he did.

The trouble with the local church is that we give our all to it before we know what we're getting ourselves into.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:27 PM   #65
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Amen to bro Ohio for getting free from all that. But I have to say, our brother sure seems to have superhuman stick–to–itiveness to last as long as he did.

The trouble with the local church is that we give our all to it before we know what we're getting ourselves into.
This is part of the reason why I can say definitively that LC leaders, led by Lee himself and Titus Chu in my area, betrayed the trust of every young person in the recovery. Many of us trusted LC leaders like our own parents, like the way the early saints in Thessalonica trusted Apostle Paul, thinking that they answered to God for our very souls, only to later discover the recovery was little more than a man-pleasing system building monuments to self-serving ministers, whose lust for power, money, and legacy destroyed all the good things of God which once existed there.
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Old 08-12-2015, 12:52 PM   #66
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Amen to bro Ohio for getting free from all that. But I have to say, our brother sure seems to have superhuman stick–to–itiveness to last as long as he did.

The trouble with the local church is that we give our all to it before we know what we're getting ourselves into.
It seems to me that it is often very difficult for LCers to identity the factors at play in situations like what Ohio described. For example, I know multiple members in the LC I'm from who were made to feel extremely overburdened. Guess how they reacted. They left our LC and moved somewhere else (even across the country) in order that they could be involved in a different LC. For the longest time, I would think to myself "If only brother X was less legalistic. If only brother Y was less demanding. If only brother Z didn't act so peculiar." I figured there must be other LCs that didn't have the problems we had. It took me a good while to admit to myself that the problems were systemic.
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Old 09-27-2015, 12:27 AM   #67
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Thankfully for WL the Maoist Communists took over the mainland, giving him an excuse to beat feet out of there. Not sure of his excuse for bailing out of Taiwan or the Philippines, and going to Seattle World’s Fair in 1962; I guess “God was moving to the USA” was his (retroactive) excuse. It’s like every 15 or 20 years, the Wizard of Oz could climb back in his hot-air balloon and fly away to another unsuspecting populace and build another Emerald City. And like Charlie Brown and Lucy, another generation of naifs lines up to kick a football that isn’t there.

HAHAHAHA loved this!
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Old 02-13-2020, 05:39 AM   #68
Nell
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Default WARNING! Christians on Campus

I compiled this a few years ago to be passed out on campuses. I adapted it from a similar warning about Jehovah's Witnesses or some such. I’m bringing it to the top again hoping to help the parents who asked “Can anyone help our college student?”

Please note that this was compiled around 2005 or so. Tactics may vary some today.

Please print and use as needed.

W A R N I N G !
“Christians on Campus”


There is an aberrant Christian group on this campus called “Christians on Campus”. This group is part of “The Local Church of Witness Lee” named after the city (The Church in ____), and Witness Lee’s publishing company, The Living Stream Ministry.

What is an aberrant Christian group?
- Aberrant Christian groups are religious groups, which are characterized by the destruction of individual thought, the destruction of the family unit, and disregard for your freedom as an individual.
- Aberrant Christian groups deviate from fundamental interpretation of the Bible by introducing “new light” or exclusive insight only available from their leader in their group.

Who is Witness Lee?
- Born in Chefoo, Shandong Province, China, in 1905.
- Converted to Christianity in 1925.
- Lee became a co-worker of Watchman Nee in 1933.
- In the late 1940s Witness Lee went to Taiwan in order to continue his ministry there.
- In 1962 Lee came to the United States, settling in southern California. He then began the groundwork of churches that would develop into the modern-day "Local Church" movement.
- Witness Lee died in June 1997 in Southern California.
- A man named Benson Phillips now leads the movement along with a collective of men refered to as “blended brothers”. (Leadership may or may not have changed by now.)

What is the Witness Lee Controversy?
- Modalistic: Lee confuses the Persons of the Holy Spirit and the Son similar to modalism.
- Heresy: Lee declared that God became man in Jesus so that man could become God in Christ.
- Exclusivity: Lee taught “One church, one city” and believes that the church he founded is the one true church in a city. Lee taught that Christianity (Baptists, Methodists, other denominations and Christians) are “fallen and degraded.”
- These are only 3 of the controversies—there are many more.

How “Christians on Campus” groups operate.
- “Christians on Campus” is a recruiting arm of the Local Churches of Witness Lee.
- New recruits are not initially told that they are involved with the Local Churches or that they are being indoctrinated with the teachings and practices taught by Witness Lee.
- Campus meetings are scripted and carefully controlled. Recruits are also taken to larger Local Church meetings which are also scripted and carefully controlled for the purpose of gradual indoctrination into the main group.
- You may enjoy these scripted meetings. Though you may also find the members “different” you may find them warm and engaging. They are most likely genuine Christians.
- You may also have a nagging sense that something is not quite right about this group.
- Though you may feel conflicted about attending their meetings, you may continue to attend.
(Note: this MO may vary from place to place and could have changed over time.)

Your Questions
Be careful. If you express your genuine concerns by asking questions about group practices or teachings that don’t sound “right” to you, you will be met with evasive and ambiguous answers.

Important questions:
- Is Christians on Campus part of the Local Churches of Witness Lee?
- Is Christians on Campus part of The Church in Austin (Dallas, Norman, your city)?
- Do you follow Witness Lee’s ministry?
Insist on a “yes” or “no” answer. If the response is evasive, take that as a “yes”.

Pay attention to semantics. Local Church members use vocabulary in different ways than you do. They use the same words, but with different meanings. Example: “Are you a member of the Local Church?” Possible Answer “No”. They claim not to have a “membership roll". They may have some kind of roster and call it something else. They are members of the Body of Christ, and claim "technically" they are not “members” of the Local Church. Again, pay attention to semantics and ask question that require "yes" or "no" answers.

Your Responsibility
Be warned. As questions. Memorize these verses as your authority to insist on clear answers. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:15 (KJV) Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect. In Acts 17:11 (NIV) Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.

Be warned. Local Church members do not examine the Scriptures to see if what Witness Lee said was true.

Be warned. Don’t take your positive feelings about any person or group as a sign that everything is OK.

Be warned. Former members often tell of significant psychological, sociological and spiritual abuse which is typical of aberrant or cultic organizations.

Be warned. Members are encouraged to isolate themselves from their former lives, their families and their former friends. Warnings of spiritual decline instills a paralyzing fear in those who would leave the group.

“You just don’t understand!” If you find yourself saying this to your parents, family or friends when attempting to explain your “new life” in the Local Church, you are in danger. The Bible teaches us to honor our parents. The Local Churches teach you to isolate ourselves from your parents, your family or anyone else who would hinder your complete devotion to this group.

More Controversy
Summary of LC beliefs:
1. What the group is doing is God‘s only meaningful work on the earth.
2. The rest of the Christians are blind outsiders who need to be proselytized or recruited.
3. They have an understanding about the Trinity that others do not have, and only they can explain it.
4. A unique corporate cause is the most important thing. There is no place for the uniqueness of the individual member.
5. There is only one man (Witness Lee) with the proper understanding and interpretation of the Bible who knows God‘s way for the group.
6. Their leaders are God‘s authorities and are part of an authoritarian, top-down hierarchy.
7. Their cause is more important than people, and they need to shun, ban, quarantine, or excommunicate any persons they feel are divisive or in some way detrimental to their purpose.
8. Any members who leave the group are turning away from following God.
9. Any who leave the group and speak out are bitter and vindictive, and need to be silenced because they spread false information.
10. Those from the outside who use media to question the group‘s teachings and practices are persecutors who need to be stopped.

The Gospel of Jesus Christ
The Bible teaches a simple gospel of a loving God who gave his only Son as the perfect sacrifice for our sins. Witness Lee taught that this simple gospel is the “low gospel”. Witness Lee claimed to teach the “high gospel”. This “high gospel” is complicated with spiritual sounding words and terms strung together in a way that boggles the mind. Local Church members seem to believe themselves to be an elite group of Christians who understand this “high gospel” that others do not.

Texas, Oklahoma and surrounding states may be much more strongly controlled than campuses in other states. (May or may not be the case today in 2020.)

RESOURCES

Local Church Discussions Forum

Open Letter to the Local Church Leadership (attached)

Personal Testimony by a former member

A Call to Keep Theological Disputes Out of the Courts
On June 18, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court brought an end to The Local Church’s contentious and unsuccessful six–year, $136 million legal battle against Harvest House Publishers and two of its authors, John Ankerberg and John Weldon.
Harvest House Publishers Corporate Statement


To the Leadership of Living Stream Ministry and the "Local Churches"
Living Stream Ministry and the "local churches" (also known as The Lord's Recovery), both founded by the late Witness Lee, have been involved for decades in legal and theological controversies with noted Christian institutions and leaders. In light of this history of litigation and conflict, we the undersigned make this public appeal.
An Open Letter

Dallas Morning News
Below are excerpts from a newspaper article published in the The Dallas Morning News: October 20, 1995 which exemplifies classic Local Church speak.

SpringPark Residents Oppose Church
Religious group to continue seeking site
Jayne Noble Staff Writer of The Dallas Morning News

GARLAND - Hundreds of homeowners around the SpringPark addition have signed a petition opposed to The Church in Richardson moving into their neighborhood. ...

"I think there's a little fear of the unknown," said Jerry McGill, who said he leads services at the church's storefront chapel, 1701 Analog Drive in Richardson. ...

Council member Lee Smith, who lives in SpringPark, said he and other homeowners are concerned that the church might be affiliated with other churches around the country, including Austin and Arlington, whose members profess to follow a Chinese spiritual leader named Witness Lee. "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." (Emphasis added.)

"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."

In a follow-up article in the Morning News on November 8, 1995:

"I can tell you I think he's {Mr. Anderson} dead wrong," Mr. Hinton said. More than 500 residents from the SpringPark neighborhood have signed a petition opposing the church move.

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."

In fact, McGill has been an elder in at least 3 Local Churches and has spent his adult life as a student of Witness Lee's teachings. Such attempts at deceit is common and a clear example of “using words differently.”

***


I still wonder how I could have allowed myself to be part of a "church" in which I had to deny who the leader was.

Nell
Attached Files
File Type: pdf Can_LC_Leadership_Say.cleaned.pdf (1.95 MB, 6 views)

Last edited by Nell; 02-13-2020 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 02-13-2020, 10:53 AM   #69
Freedom
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Default Re: WARNING! Christians on Campus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
I compiled this a few years ago to be passed out on campuses. I adapted it from a similar warning about Jehovah's Witnesses or some such. I’m bringing it to the top again hoping to help the parents who asked “Can anyone help our college student?”

Please note that this was compiled around 2005 or so. Tactics may vary some today.
...
I still wonder how I could have allowed myself to be part of a "church" in which I had to deny who the leader was.

Nell
This should be very helpful for those who might need it. One approached that is mentioned that can be particularly useful when confronting groups like the LC is simply encouraging people to ask questions and to not accept evasive answers. When people do ask questions and they see the way that the LC responds to those questions, they get to see for themselves what is really going on.
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Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
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