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Old 02-13-2014, 05:39 PM   #1
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Default Witness Lee's failures a blessing in disguise?

If the fiascos that followed Witness Lee (DayStar, Linko, Philip Lee's immorality) had never occurred, the turmoils that followed them leading to a mass exodus of saints never would have happened either. As a result many saints would have probably remained in the LCs abiding in erroneous teachings, blinded by unhealthy LC practices and mindsets such as being the one true church and all the ugly things that come with spiritual pride. Perhaps God is sovereign and let everything unfold *so that* people could leave for greener pastures where the Holy Spirit is more welcome. Jesus said wisdom is justified by her fruit, and the fruit that eventually manifested itself throughout LC history has bore witness to the unhealthy teachings propagated by Witness Lee and perhaps to a lesser extent his predecessor Watchman Nee. It's opened our eyes to abundance of leaven in their ministries and the need for us to run away from MOTA-esque idols and to Jesus, our savior and the author and perfecter of our faith.

Bad things will always happen, perhaps it all depends on how we respond to the inevitable unfortunate circumstances that are bound to unfold in our lives. Maybe what God is hoping for is that we'll be able to respond in a good way. We can either let these things grow into bitterness and resentment, or use it as an opportunity to weep for the pain and suffering of everyone who was hurt (Romans 12:15), but then find strength from God to pray for and love our enemies (Matthew 5:44).

Many in the LCs curse those who leave the movement due to daring to question Witness Lee by labeling them as leprous or rebellious. They are hoping that those who leave will wreck themselves and spiral into a spiritual pit of curses and depression to justify their belief that the LCs are the only approved church in God's eyes. If we let resentment build up this may lead to a self fulfilling prophecy and confirm their sick views on what happens to Christians who decide to leave "the Recovery".

Maybe the best way to fight back is to keep our heads up, abide in Jesus and his words and let our light shine.

Proverbs 25:21-22
If your enemies are hungry, give them food to eat.
If they are thirsty, give them water to drink.
You will heap burning coals of shame on their heads,
and the Lord will reward you.
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Old 02-14-2014, 02:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Witness Lee's failures a blessing in disguise?

Bearbear 1

I wonder just how many LCers know today about Day Star, Anaheim debacle, and other dregs. A lot of this was completely hidden in Texas and I would bet in some other places also. I learned a little about Day Star since I had to be told my $1000 was down the drain. Nothing was ever said publicly in a meeting. Nothing was ever said publicly about the Anaheim implosion. Nothing was ever said about Rosemead, Berkley.

One thing you have to hand it to BP and other leading ones is their ability to hide in a very efective way. That's one thing they did well.

You might just say that's no excuse for our blindness but remember we do believe in the Lord.

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Old 02-14-2014, 04:53 PM   #3
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Default Re: Witness Lee's failures a blessing in disguise?

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Bearbear 1

I wonder just how many LCers know today about Day Star, Anaheim debacle, and other dregs. A lot of this was completely hidden in Texas and I would bet in some other places also. I learned a little about Day Star since I had to be told my $1000 was down the drain. Nothing was ever said publicly in a meeting. Nothing was ever said publicly about the Anaheim implosion. Nothing was ever said about Rosemead, Berkley.

One thing you have to hand it to BP and other leading ones is their ability to hide in a very effective way. That's one thing they did well.

You might just say that's no excuse for our blindness but remember we do believe in the Lord.

Lisbon
Every abusive leader needs enablers to carry out his agenda, and those Texas leaders provided just the cover that Lee needed. In return, they were promised coveted leadership positions once Lee passed away.

Not only was Texas kept in the dark, but the Great Lakes and the rest of the USA was also. Titus Chu personally knew what was going on in Anaheim, but he too kept things secret, thinking that the coveted leadership role as MOTA-in-waiting was his for the taking.

This is why I have repeatedly stated that recovery leaders deceived us and took advantage of our trust. They expected us to submit to them, but they in return did not serve us well, instead they jockeyed for position to be next in line to lord it over the flock.
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Old 02-14-2014, 09:55 PM   #4
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Default Re: Witness Lee's failures a blessing in disguise?

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Every abusive leader needs enablers to carry out his agenda
When I look back on it, if I'm honest to a fault about it, I have to admit that I was an enabler ; right up to the moment my eyes were opened to the real nature of what I had given my all to : a authoritarian personality cult.

As a matter of fact, at the moment I got "The Vision" that captured me, that, the local church was God's move on the earth, I was mentally, emotionally, and psychologically, predisposed to need someone to be my authority. Someone that could tell me what was true, was right and wrong. Someone to explain what God was/IS doing, from the Bible, that I could give my life to.

In my case this predisposition came from being indoctrinated from diapers in the Southern Baptist church.

In any case, this predisposition enabled me to be an enabler for controlling personalities, that were more than happy to fill the void.

So ... so ... maybe I was just one little cog in the local church system, but I was doing my little part in validating Witness Lee's conclusion that he was the MOTA. Cuz without me, and all the others, Witness Lee would have been nothing. It was we that created Witness Lee as the MOTA.

And yes. In the end, when the whole fabric of the local church failed, it turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Because, it broke me from being an enabler of and co-dependent on, needing authorities figures in my life.
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Old 02-15-2014, 06:08 AM   #5
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Default Re: Witness Lee's failures a blessing in disguise?

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Every abusive leader needs enablers to carry out his agenda ...
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Originally Posted by awareness View Post
When I look back on it, if I'm honest to a fault about it, I have to admit that I was an enabler ...
Nothing personal buddy ... but I'm not buying this.

All of us had issues when we got saved, or else why would we need Jesus in the first place? Did not the Lord say that, "those who are well have no need for a physician?" Damaged, deficient, and dysfunctional, yes ...

But that don't make any of us "enablers." Victims maybe, but not enablers. There's a huge difference.

It has been said that we never know a man's character until tests come. That saying could be said of all those brothers who became the early leaders in the Recovery. They came this way because they wanted more of the Lord, more of the Word, and more of the churchlife, than they had where they were at.

Then things happened with Witness Lee. Things went sour at LSM. Lee and company began to act for self gain, what the Bible calls "filthy lucre." These leaders were privy to insider info. They saw and heard things at LSM that aroused their conscience. They had some important decisions to make. Those decisions not only determined their future, but also their own conscience and character, not to mention thousands of unsuspecting brothers and sisters who trusted them and their better judgment.

Each brother responded differently. Some cried foul and walked away. Some struggled to reform the program, staying as long as they could. Some dropped out and decided to write about what happened. Some were too heartbroken to do anything.

But some stayed. They covered up all the problems. They buried their heads in the sand. They did damage control, spinning all the events like politicians do. They hid all the unrighteousness. They white-washed criminal activities. They went on the offensive, smearing the reputations of any whistle-blowers. They worked furiously to maintain Lee's pristine image as the consummate MOTA, and an aging victim of those ambitious and conspiratorial wannabees.

These ones are the real "enablers."

Witness Lee could not have survived without them. Without them, Witness Lee would have been forced to come clean, change his ways, repent for past wrongs, compensate past debts, launder out his sons' debauchery, place his "Office Manager" Phillip on permanent unpaid administrative leave, and put himself and his ministry into God's hands.

But he was not willing to do that. How could he? He was hoping that he was the "acting god" on earth.
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Old 02-15-2014, 09:31 AM   #6
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Default Re: Witness Lee's failures a blessing in disguise?

Ohio,

I think you are mostly right. We were not the enablers.

At least mostly not.

But as I look back, I now think "what if I had not simply ignored those momentary thoughts when something sounded wrong?" What if I had looked a second time at those verses and let it sink in that they really didn't say what Lee said they did. (And if I had read enough Nee, I should have been saying the same thing about him.)

No we weren't actively responsible like BP and some others. But we were obedient to a fault even when something inside wanted to deck someone or just tell them to go mind their own business. To take their pointless insistence on some ridiculous thing like having your badge on and visible before you get out of your car at the video training and shove it. (I came early one time to unlock the building and make sure that the A/C (or heater) was on well before anyone else would be coming. One of the leading ones came along just after I got there an raked me over the coals for not having my badge on. I bit my tongue. But it was pretty hard. And this was a rather corrupt one that couldn't even manage to front righteousness enough to stick around. He was eventually tossed from another place over money. He was known to do work for the people then have them pay him through the offering box.)
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Old 02-15-2014, 12:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: Witness Lee's failures a blessing in disguise?

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Nothing personal buddy ... but I'm not buying this.

All of us had issues when we got saved, or else why would we need Jesus in the first place? Did not the Lord say that, "those who are well have no need for a physician?" Damaged, deficient, and dysfunctional, yes ...

But that don't make any of us "enablers." Victims maybe, but not enablers. There's a huge difference.
Okay, we were facilitators then ; as proof for Lee to claim to be the MOTA. Lee could point out his following as proof that God was working thru HIM, and that he was therefore the acting God.

Quote:
Then things happened with Witness Lee. Things went sour at LSM. Lee and company began to act for self gain, what the Bible calls "filthy lucre." These leaders were privy to insider info. They saw and heard things at LSM that aroused their conscience. They had some important decisions to make. Those decisions not only determined their future, but also their own conscience and character, not to mention thousands of unsuspecting brothers and sisters who trusted them and their better judgment.
And they were using us ones with "issues," and in "need of Jesus," for their gain. We were their pocketbook. We were the sheep being fleeced. Didn't our donations enable them?

Quote:
Each brother responded differently. Some cried foul and walked away. Some struggled to reform the program, staying as long as they could. Some dropped out and decided to write about what happened. Some were too heartbroken to do anything.
Some were heartbroken, walked away, regained their footing, and joined forums to talk about their experience.

Quote:
But some stayed. They covered up all the problems. They buried their heads in the sand.
This is necessary practice to remain in the local church.

Quote:
They did damage control, spinning all the events like politicians do. They hid all the unrighteousness.
Ya know, I remember fellowship with bro Paul Ma while in the C. in Santa Cruz. Paul Ma had to know Lee's sordid past, and prolly Nee's as well. But he never said a word about it.

Here was a bunch of young people, headed toward giving up their whole life, while looking up to Lee as a loyal servant of God. They were being duped. Paul Ma had info that would have made them at least think twice about following Lee. Paul Ma covered for Lee. I probably wouldn't have gone any further into the local church if I had access to all the information.

And Paul Ma was independent from Lee, and considered himself Lee's equal, or better. Still he covered. Was he just being a typical Chinese?

All this is too complex to explain.

The likely truth is, that human nature, and its actions, has to be hidden, for the local church recovery movement to exist. Their highfalutin claims can't hold without covering the sins of their human nature. Because, they are claiming to be more than just human. Claims that don't hold in the light of day.
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Old 02-15-2014, 08:45 PM   #8
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No we weren't actively responsible like BP and some others. But we were obedient to a fault even when something inside wanted to deck someone or just tell them to go mind their own business. To take their pointless insistence on some ridiculous thing like having your badge on and visible before you get out of your car at the video training and shove it. ([I]I came early one time to unlock the building and make sure that the A/C (or heater) was on well before anyone else would be coming. One of the leading ones came along just after I got there an raked me over the coals for not having my badge on. I bit my tongue. But it was pretty hard.
Yes but don't beat yourself for that, not at all. The system itself teaches obedience ad nauseam (at least in Church in HK), it's part of the faith, it's part of being a "Christian". I am sure many members bite their tongues out of either fear (of millennial hell/rejection by the group) or desire to be "in the spirit". If you had complained about those things, such as badge wearing, you would have been manipulated into feeling you were a very poor soul indeed. I was berated many times for this, constantly being told I was "not in my spirit" and "if I had Christ I would not raise these points" and "all we need to do is focus on the Word"... (and, outside LC, at AOG, "we need to check if you are possessed by a demon" haha….)

I even went through a phase of questioning my questioning - I may have outlined it here before.. I decided on a project for "40 days" to stop being such a troublesome brother, and to accept everything in obedience no matter how annoying or petty it was. Fair to say, I did learn quite a lot during that period - but I couldn't do the full 40 days I promised myself, 30 days was all I could manage and then some unbelievable annoyance just tipped me over the edge. I was kicked out shortly after that.

Point being, Harold may be correct to say members are enablers for not questioning, but it's not the members fault, they've been tricked or manipulated into being that enabler. That's why a cult doesn't encourage critical thinking. That's the dangers of such a group.
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Old 02-16-2014, 09:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: Witness Lee's failures a blessing in disguise?

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No we weren't actively responsible like BP and some others. But we were obedient to a fault even when something inside wanted to deck someone or just tell them to go mind their own business.
We do have a responsibility even if we don't have an active outward responsibility within the church.

Therefore, to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.
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Old 02-17-2014, 05:26 AM   #10
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Default Re: Witness Lee's failures a blessing in disguise?

I realize that our failure to stand up to the wrong was not simply a failure. We were sell-conditioned to believe that there were spiritual things at issue in all of it. Especially in the outward things. Just like Nee essentially bragged about when he told of the nearly ridiculous regimen under which his trainees were placed, that could be argued to be a point of training in righteousness.

Odd that Jesus did not seem to take such liberties with his trainees. They talked and argued among themselves about all kinds of things. Jesus didn't jump on them for their discussion. He used the discussion as insight into their being and then taught them what was right. And he never berated them for having talked among themselves about "poor, low, pathetic things." Even when the discussion was concerning where James and John might sit when Jesus entered his kingdom, Jesus didn't just shame them for the bad thinking, but rather pointed to the fact that their destiny was not by request and that if they continued in following, it might not be anything like they would want.

I think that the more troublesome thing for us is that we did not at least occasionally ask why the verses did not say what we were told they did. And expect and answer that did more than suggest we weren't spiritual enough. Why was this group of people who were learning "so much" in the word unable to really read the word themselves? Why were they listening to someone who would almost openly say "this verse cannot mean what it seems to say because we know from our understanding of (fill in the blank with your favorite Nee/Lee overlay. like God's economy) that this must mean something else.

Why did we tolerate such nonsense? Steve I started a thread in the other forum a few years ago where he started pointing to the teachings of Lee that he agreed with. And most of them were predicated on reinterpreting clear words to mean something else because "God's economy" would override the plain meaning and make it into something else. No other explanation given. No attempt to show how this could be true. Just an acceptance that it was so.

How many times did we fail to balk for more than a few seconds at some of the ridiculous things that Lee said? Why did we let him do it? Because we thought he could see it all. That he was really that spiritual and smart. And we were just too pathetically ignorant to even ask the question and expect an answer besides "because I said so."

No he never was that brash. But it was effectively true.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:55 AM   #11
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Default Re: Witness Lee's failures a blessing in disguise?

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How many times did we fail to balk for more than a few seconds at some of the ridiculous things that Lee said? Why did we let him do it? Because we thought he could see it all. That he was really that spiritual and smart. And we were just too pathetically ignorant to even ask the question and expect an answer besides "because I said so."
I know personally that I looked to others around me for confirmation, and I never heard anything that should cause me to "balk" or take alarm.

During the chaos of the so-called rebellion of the late 80's, we in the GLA were kept "sheltered" from what was happening in Anaheim. After the Winter Training in Irving in 1988, I went to the elders' meetings in Irving. I was initially shocked how crazy it had become. Witness Lee was speaking almost belligerently, challenging those who apparently had complaints about the current direction of the recovery. I was caught off-guard, but was all wide-eyed about the discussion.

I was sitting near a brother which was highly respected in the region, Chuck Debelek of Cleveland. He turned around and commented to us that "Brother Lee is exercising his apostolic authority." With such a confirmation from one so highly regarded, and in the absence of contradictory evidence, I immediately threw in my support for Witness Lee.

Perhaps others of you disregarded "warning signs," but at the time, I did not. I guess I was too "pathetically ignorant."
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Old 02-17-2014, 08:16 AM   #12
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I guess I was too "pathetically ignorant."
Nah, I think you were just too trusting. I know I was, before Lee claimed to be the apostle on the earth today. It took awhile for the whole fabric to give way, both while still in the LC, and afterwards, but that was the moment the first thread broke, and when I began to keep an eye open for incongruities.

For all of us it has happened : the moment something doesn't add up. That's when your feet feel the pull of the nearest exit. And they eventually win. Because questioning will result in them being pushed out the nearest exit ; followed by badmouthing and slander.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:00 PM   #13
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I was sitting near a brother which was highly respected in the region, Chuck Debelek of Cleveland. He turned around and commented to us that "Brother Lee is exercising his apostolic authority." With such a confirmation from one so highly regarded, and in the absence of contradictory evidence, I immediately threw in my support for Witness Lee.
I wonder Ohio, how many in your region still feel Lee was "exercising his apostolic authority"?
How many would respect his ministry, but feel he had "crossed the line"?
How many would now feel they should have remained impartial regarding the quarantines of John Ingalls, John So, the late Joseph Fung, and Bill Mallon?
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:10 PM   #14
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How many times did we fail to balk for more than a few seconds at some of the ridiculous things that Lee said? Why did we let him do it? Because we thought he could see it all. That he was really that spiritual and smart. And we were just too pathetically ignorant to even ask the question and expect an answer besides "because I said so."
Remember the 1990 Canon marketing add "Image is Everything"? Same applied to Witness Lee. On the pulpit, Lee's image came across as a very spiritual brother who lived very little in the soul and very much in spirit.
I remember when PSRP began in the mid-90's. When it was first introduced at a Lord's Day meeting in my locality, I could sense a collective "air coming out of the ballons". Yet collectively, we all went along with it even if the feeling of the Body was otherwise.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:28 PM   #15
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I realize that our failure to stand up to the wrong was not simply a failure. We were sell-conditioned to believe that there were spiritual things at issue in all of it. Especially in the outward things.
I see otherwise. The doctrine of authority and submission was there to keep us in check. The doctrine has been abused in the local churches to silence any who might question. To question is received as a rebellious attribute. In effect we were conditioned to fear man instead of fearing God. At what loss is the fear of man? To lose fellowship? To lose social acquaintances?
That is one of my regrets. Remaining silent when I should have spoken up. Moving to the Puget Sound region in the spring of 1993, there was still much talk of "the rebellious ones". However I had been oriented in The Fermentation of the Present Rebellion and Reconsideration of the Vision. I was in the opinion, the so-called rebellion was a farce. There was no rebellion, yet I remained silent out of Authority and Submission doctrine (which I now see as a doctrine of partiality).
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:45 PM   #16
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I wonder Ohio, how many in your region still feel Lee was "exercising his apostolic authority"?
How many would respect his ministry, but feel he had "crossed the line"?
How many would now feel they should have remained impartial regarding the quarantines of John Ingalls, John So, the late Joseph Fung, and Bill Mallon?
Brother Chuck no longer feels as he once did.

Those brothers with TC still would have no complaint about WL.

Those who have left both Anaheim and Cleveland (eg John Myer and Nigel Tomes) would probably NOT support the quarantines of Ingalls, So, etc.
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Old 02-17-2014, 07:51 PM   #17
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That is one of my regrets. Remaining silent when I should have spoken up. Moving to the Puget Sound region in the spring of 1993, there was still much talk of "the rebellious ones". However I had been oriented in The Fermentation of the Present Rebellion and Reconsideration of the Vision. I was in the opinion, the so-called rebellion was a farce. There was no rebellion, yet I remained silent out of Authority and Submission doctrine (which I now see as a doctrine of partiality).
Until ~2003, I still believed that both Max and John Ingalls were involved in a conspiracy to usurp control of the Recovery. I still thought that the Authority and Submission doctrines were valuable for the church.
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Old 02-18-2014, 04:58 AM   #18
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Remember the 1990 Canon marketing add "Image is Everything"? Same applied to Witness Lee. On the pulpit, Lee's image came across as a very spiritual brother who lived very little in the soul and very much in spirit.
I remember when PSRP began in the mid-90's. When it was first introduced at a Lord's Day meeting in my locality, I could sense a collective "air coming out of the ballons". Yet collectively, we all went along with it even if the feeling of the Body was otherwise.
Everything that I mention ends in the middle of 1987. After that we were gone. Didn't have it in front of us to think about.

And we treated it as being about our need and didn't try to think about how it might have been the lack (and need) of the whole thing. In fact, I did not really question so much until someone who had no connection with the LRC, along with my sister-in-law (who was in the church way back), introduced us to three books. The Thread of Gold, The God Men, and a seminary dissertation. That was followed shortly by finding the Berean forum. All in about 2005.

Still, even in the early days, it was more about the things that people did than the teachings that allowed it. But that began to change a couple of years later. I think that I first realized the theological errors around November 2007 (about the time my mother died). I realized that "God's economy" was an excuse to delay righteousness. But only recently I saw the truth about Deputy Authority — a teaching that refused righteousness when leadership became unrighteous. Now I see that it was written by someone who was creating the scenario in which he could never lose his powerful position in the church no matter how evil and wrong for the "job" he was.

And Lee pushed a Trojan horse through its gate.
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