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Old 03-24-2015, 10:38 AM   #1
boughtbyJesus
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Default A little background

Blessings everybody,

I am a new user and am so glad to have found this discussion board.

My husband of 19 years reconnected with this group about 4 years ago.
He came across this group/ministry as a child of about 6 or 7, in the midst of his parent's marriage demise and subsequent divorce. My husband has many fond memories of communal living and eating with this group in Los Angeles (Elden Hall?) during the early to mid 70's. During this turbulent time in my husband's young life, being neglected by his parents to some extent, this group took him and his sister under their wing and fed them, clothed them and introduced them to their teachings and beliefs and took them to their meetings. This only lasted about 2 years, but it seems like the seeds were sown, so to speak, as 25 years later, as I said above, he "reconnected" with them after 25+ of no contact with this ministry or anyone associated with them, and is now a rabid believer and defender of their practices and beliefs.

Fast forward: He has now been reconnected with this ministry for about 4 years now. Initially, he went alone for a couple of years. I started to accompany him after about 2 years. I only went for about 6-7 months. From the get go, I felt that there was something not quite right, although I couldn't put my finger on it, or could even articulate it. Something just didn't sit well with me throughout all the months that I went to their Lord's Day or the family meeting on Fridays at a leading brother's house. What they said made absolutely no sense to me, but again, couldn't articulate it because although I believed in God and knew a little about the marvelous message of the gospel of Jesus Christ, I had not committed myself to following him and living for him and knew literally nothing about the Bible. The only reason why I went with my husband was because my heart yearned for something I did not have and I instinctively knew that that "something" was the Lord Jesus.

So after 6-7 months I told my husband I could no longer go with him because I didn't believe in what they believed and didn't feel it was correct. His response to me was to "get out of my mind" and to "exercise my spirit" and to let Jesus come into me my saying loudly 3 times "oh Lord Jesus," all of which I felt was not genuine and a little ridiculous.

I have found a church body which genuinely and correctly teaches and handles the word of God in San Gabriel and have been attending this church for two years now. I have learned so much and am growing and loving my Saviour more and more. I am about to be baptized and this has my husband in a tizzy. He is constantly provoking me, attacking the church I attend and condemning them, judging them and just being really mean and ugly.

Although my experience seems to differ a bit in the sense that I was never a part of this group or ministry and never believed what they believe and pontificate, my husband is fully in their grip and would like to ask for some suggestions, feedback and prayers.

Thank you.
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: A little background

Welcome to the Forum boughtbyJesus!

Thank you so much for having the courage to come here and open up to a bunch of strangers, I know it couldn't have been easy. There are a number of Forum members who will be praying for you, and in time I'm sure some helpful suggestions will be coming your way.
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Old 03-24-2015, 02:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: A little background

Thank you so much!
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:00 PM   #4
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Default Re: A little background

Hi, boughtbyJesus,

Since you didn't tell us which church you are attending now, I'm going to hazard a guess based on some clues you provided. I may be completely off-base but it seems that you are now attending an evangelical church that is more or less Calvinistic ("the marvelous message of the gospel of Jesus Christ" is probably not at the tip of the mainline tongue). I'm also guessing that your pastor likes expository preaching. Beyond that I cannot even speculate. I'm also assuming that your husband did not attend any church regularly before reconnecting with the LC.

An LC person thinks that the LC is superior for a variety of reasons. Find out what that reason is and it'll be much easier.

1) If he thinks that LC is superior because it does not have a clergy-laity system, tell him about your CG meetings. Attend a CG that requires one to read ahead and has a tradition of sharing where the leader is more a facilitator than a teacher. At home, in his presence, prepare heavily for the sharing session. Highlight and take profuse notes of the CG material. Tell him all about it when it's timely.

2) If he thinks that LC has superior theology (he calls it "truth"), you need to know what is his pet theology. If you are attending the kind of church that I think you are, there are quite a lot of resources you can use. So depending on what theological topic he is on about, I can recommend different books. Do a book swap (you read some Witness Lee, he reads some of your books). At any rate, he's probably following the Holy Word for Morning Revival (HWMR). Be very selective with the books you read. There are many "Christian" books out there that reinforces his stereotypes.

3) If he thinks that non-LC people do not know the Bible or not serious about it or reads from an inferior translation, I'd recommend you to buy the ESV Study Bible. There are various editions of the ESV Study Bible, find the one that more or less matches his Recovery Version in terms of size. Get the hard cover edition. All LC people are impressed with people who handles the word of God well. In fact, they'll actually be surprised that anyone outside of LC can do so.

4) Do not talk to him as if LC is a cult from which he must be rescued. Do not even think that way. It is most certainly not a cult and LC members are typically genuine born-again Christians who loves Jesus and are loved by God. However, they are an ultra-exclusive group and many don't even know what that means. Just simply and genuinely clueless.

5) If you hear him start talking about "ground of oneness" and how divided Christianity is, don't start a church war. At least, not yet. Wait for him to use the word "denominations". The "local ground of oneness" and "denominations" speech is a package deal but wait until he uses both terminologies. Acknowledge the various differences among Christian denominations - make sure both of you understand how different they are. Put them into categories. Who are the ones who practice infant baptism, who are the ones who don't. Who speaks in tongues, who doesn't, etc. He'd be happy to discuss this with you. THEN wait for a time when he start saying things like, "Christianity is..." and make sweeping general statements about it, especially stuffs that are not true about the church you are attending. Gently remind him the very definition of "denomination" -- differences. For example, when he says, "What I don't like about Christianity/denominations is the clergy-laity system", remind him that not all denominations have a clergy-laity system.

6) Agree with him that all Christians in a locality is part of the church in that locality. Agree that you are part of the church in San Gabriel. In fact, force him to acknowledge that all regenerated Christians in San Gabriel are in the church in San Gabriel. Use Watchman Nee's book "Assembly Life" or "The Normal Christian Church Life" where he has chapters/sections devoted to the boundary of a local church being the boundary of the city. Having established that "truth", hold him accountable each time he reduces "the church in San Gabriel" or "local church" to just his LC community. This is inevitable and an intractable problem for the LC. This is the result of inheriting an extremely inclusive ideal (all Christians here are part of the church in San Gabriel) and an extremely exclusive practice of assuming that only those who meet at 615 W Santa Anita St. San Gabriel, CA 91776 is the church in San Gabriel.

7) Learn the lingo. You may be using the same words and they actually mean different things. You say "service", he says "meeting". You say "ministry", he says "service". You have no equivalent to his use of the word "ministry" or worse "the ministry". It just means Witness Lee's books that are published by Living Stream Ministry.

8) Love on him. Human beings are social creatures who define themselves by defining others. The sharper one is able to define the "other", the clearer the social boundaries and the more ingrain one's own social identity becomes. Witness Lee did a fantastic job in sharpening the distinctions. Your job is to blur those boundaries with love. Jesus Christ is your best example when he crossed all Jewish social boundaries (Mark 4:35-5:20; Mark 7:31-37). The first time Jesus crossed over (yes, Mark used the term "cross over" on purpose to highlight the crossing of social boundaries) to Decapolis, a Gentile area, he was asked to leave. But he tasked the demonic man he healed to preach the gospel in Decapolis (Mark 5:18-20). The second time Jesus visited Decapolis (Mark 7:31-37), there was a crowd this time and they want Him to heal the deaf man. The miracles of feeding the 5000 (Mark 6:30-44) was done in Jewish land while the miracles of feeding the 4000 (Mark 8:1-9) was in Gentile land. BLUR THE DISTINCTIONS WITH LOVE.

9) Above all, pray. Also, pray together for family and friends. Don't pray about church practices yet but rather pray as a Christian couple. Pray for that couple from the LC he tells you about. Ask him to pray for that kid with rashes in your church.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:06 PM   #5
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No offense taken, and yes, I absolutely love my husband!
You are in a good place: you love God, and you love your husband. My counsel would be never to let yourself get frightened, angry, or discouraged. It is a journey. Praise God for His sovereignty; His arm is not so short that it cannot save (Isa. 59:1). Be at peace with all men, especially your husband! God can touch anyone's heart. God can do anything.

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Ephesians 3:20 (Message Bible) God can do anything, you know - far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:34 PM   #6
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Default Re: A little background

Your guesses were spot on. I have no problem saying I attend San Gabriel Community Church. Although I love my husband and know he loves me too, at this point our relationship has become very strained and we cannot even begin to speak about God or the Bible before our discussions become very heated.

I am praying to the Lord that he give me wisdom and guidance in dealing with and respond to my husband. I realize I cannot change him or what he believes, that is not my job nor is it something I can accomplish. Only the Lord can speak to his heart and work in it, in His time and in His way.

I must admit however, that this is much easier said than done. I consider myself a relatively new believer, and I am just growing in my faith, knowledge and love for my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who accomplished it all on my behalf and who died in my place.
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:55 PM   #7
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Default Re: A little background

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Blessings everybody,

I am a new user and am so glad to have found this discussion board.

My husband of 19 years reconnected with this group about 4 years ago.
He came across this group/ministry as a child of about 6 or 7, in the midst of his parent's marriage demise and subsequent divorce. My husband has many fond memories of communal living and eating with this group in Los Angeles (Elden Hall?) during the early to mid 70's.
Aww.. yes.. the 70's! I was in the LC from 1975-1978/9. For many of us who lived in S Cal during the 70's and in the LC, those days were 'glorious'. Communal living was great if you were in your early 20s and single. The meetings were lively, the music lively and believe it or not, the Presence of God was there... at least it was for me. We were 'love bombed' until you 'fit in'. Then you became 'one of them'. And if you had a problem w/the message or with 'Brother Lee' or the 'elders', you kept your mouth shut. Not having ever read a bible growing up, I read it with their 'eyes'... a la Watchman Nee and 'Brother Witness Lee'.

When I left the LC, I 'snuck' out under the pretense of moving to a new locality. I might have remained as everyone in the new locality I moved to were 'open' about the LC problems. The problem was that the fellowship turned into 'b**ch' sessions. There was no real fellowship, direction or leading from the Holy Spirit what to do. We all had the LC baggage. So after a few years, the church there dissolved and everyone went their separate ways.

It was scary for me because while I did not like what the LC had become the LC had grabbed hold of my thinking. I was afraid to fellowship with non LC Christians especially the Pentecostals!

So I gravitated to the 'world' instead. Hmmm... after hitting rock bottom in 2003/4, I re committed my life to the Lord. I did not go to 'church' until 2005 after I moved back to my home town in Tx where I grew up.

But while I was attending 'church', I decided to check out the LC meetings here in town. I wondered if God did not want me to return to the LC after being away some 30 yrs. So I attended some meetings and YIKES! The 'flavor' seemed familiar but it was dead and AWFUL!!
They tried to shove those HMRV or whatever they call them down my throat. They emphasized me to read the FOOTNOTES from the recovery version of their bible. They were 'prophesying' after the message given instead of 'testifying' and they used little bells to stop a person from 'prophesying' too long. They had 'blended brothers' instead of Lee who had died long ago.

But yeah.... there was a strange pull for me to go back after umpteen years of me having left it. Your husband got sucked back in because he remembered the love bombing he had as a youngster.

I think what your husband is looking for deep down is: a city which hath foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God. (Hebrews 11:10)

When I hear stories like yours, I often think of John10:10.. Satan is a thief out to steal, kill and destroy marriages, families, relationships, friends, and even nations.

It may be hard to believe that Jesus came that we would have ABUNDANT LIFE. But He did. And His Promise is that NO WEAPON FORMED AGAINST US WILL PROSPER..and every tongue that shall rise against you in judgment you shall show to be in the wrong. This [peace, righteousness, security, triumph over opposition] is the heritage of the servants of the Lord [those in whom the ideal Servant of the Lord is reproduced]; this is the righteousness or the vindication which they obtain from Me [this is that which I impart to them as their justification], says the Lord. (Isaiah 54:17 - amplified)


Quote:
During this turbulent time in my husband's young life, being neglected by his parents to some extent, this group took him and his sister under their wing and fed them, clothed them and introduced them to their teachings and beliefs and took them to their meetings.
He remembers the 'love bombing' he received.


Quote:
This only lasted about 2 years, but it seems like the seeds were sown,
They sure were....

Quote:
so to speak, as 25 years later, as I said above, he "reconnected" with them after 25+ of no contact with this ministry or anyone associated with them, and is now a rabid believer and defender of their practices and beliefs.
You know what has helped me to stay 'connected'... is my relationship with my CREATOR: JESUS CHRIST AND HIS SPIRIT AND OUR FATHER GOD.

If I may suggest... keep pointing him to the LORD JESUS. Love Him with God's Love. Pray he grow nearer and dearer to the Lord. Pray the Holy Spirit reveals the TRUTH that is Jesus to him. Try not to criticize or argue with him. He will only become a more rabid believer of the LC and think they are 'right'.

One thing I was taught and well made aware of during my time in the LC back in the 70's is the Power of the Blood of Jesus. I don't know if they mention the Precious Blood of the Lamb anymore. But if your husband will agree with you in prayer, you might suggest you both pray together for the Lord to cover your marriage and each other in His Precious Blood. If he is not willing to pray with you then you pray over your marriage.

Remember... SATAN is out to steal, kill and destroy...your marriage. But God wants and will bless your marriage as you pray for your husband and your marriage.

That...from a single woman of God.

Abundant Blessings to you !
Carol G
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Old 03-24-2015, 03:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by boughtbyJesus View Post
Your guesses were spot on. I have no problem saying I attend San Gabriel Community Church. Although I love my husband and know he loves me too, at this point our relationship has become very strained and we cannot even begin to speak about God or the Bible before our discussions become very heated.

I am praying to the Lord that he give me wisdom and guidance in dealing with and respond to my husband. I realize I cannot change him or what he believes, that is not my job nor is it something I can accomplish. Only the Lord can speak to his heart and work in it, in His time and in His way.

I must admit however, that this is much easier said than done. I consider myself a relatively new believer, and I am just growing in my faith, knowledge and love for my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who accomplished it all on my behalf and who died in my place.
Consider points 3, 8 and 9. Don't make getting him out the goal. Avoid theology. Find opportunities for him to pray for you instead. Get him to pray for specific things like health, children, challenges, work, nasty bosses, etc.
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Old 03-24-2015, 04:58 PM   #9
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BTW sister boughtbyJesus, Welcome!

Your situation is so personal and subjective that it would be wrong for me to venture practical advise ... or tell you what to do or not to do.

The only real advice I can give you is to love your husband unconditionally. Until he realizes that the love in the local church is conditional, and falls short of your love.
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Old 03-25-2015, 05:47 PM   #10
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So after 6-7 months I told my husband I could no longer go with him because I didn't believe in what they believed and didn't feel it was correct. His response to me was to "get out of my mind" and to "exercise my spirit" and to let Jesus come into me my saying loudly 3 times "oh Lord Jesus," all of which I felt was not genuine and a little ridiculous.
I don't believe we were created to be mindless, but given free choice and will where to set our mind. This is something we find again and again in Paul's Epistles.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

For who has known the mind of the Lord, that he will instruct Him? But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16

Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.
Colossians 3:2
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:12 PM   #11
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Your guesses were spot on. I have no problem saying I attend San Gabriel Community Church. Although I love my husband and know he loves me too, at this point our relationship has become very strained and we cannot even begin to speak about God or the Bible before our discussions become very heated.

I am praying to the Lord that he give me wisdom and guidance in dealing with and respond to my husband. I realize I cannot change him or what he believes, that is not my job nor is it something I can accomplish. Only the Lord can speak to his heart and work in it, in His time and in His way.

I must admit however, that this is much easier said than done. I consider myself a relatively new believer, and I am just growing in my faith, knowledge and love for my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who accomplished it all on my behalf and who died in my place.
Your testimony reminded me that the LC causes a great deal of estrangement from family members. My wife was involved at the time I was so that was not a problem but the LC caused a great deal of estrangement from other family members such as my parents, siblings etc. All we can offer you is some advice as some have already done and our prayers. Either he has to burn out which is possible or he has to develop some toleration for what you believe which is probably unlikely.

Here is one crazy idea I have (with trepidation) if this situation continues:
Ask him to meet with you and the elders at his church but you would like to bring along a sister from your church (a strong sister from your church--I only say this because you have indicated you are new to the faith) --- explain to the elders that you love your husband and you love the Lord but you can't even discuss the Bible or the Lord with your husband without getting into problems and you are looking for answers to resolve this issue in your marriage. I would suspect that the elders will try and lay a heavy trip on you regarding obeying your husband but if you stand your ground that you are not comfortable with attending the LC for reasons you have expressed on this forum. The reverse is also possible---he meeting with you and your pastor? but I doubt that he would be willing to meet with him.
Another idea:
Seek Christian counseling

We are all brainstorming here so hopefully you can garner some help from the ideas expressed in your situation.

Take care...
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Old 03-25-2015, 09:57 PM   #12
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Here is one crazy idea I have (with trepidation) if this situation continues:
Ask him to meet with you and the elders at his church but you would like to bring along a sister from your church (a strong sister from your church--I only say this because you have indicated you are new to the faith) ---
..
Better yet a strong in the Lord married couple from her church because the LC (while they will never admit it) don't regard women in the same way CHRIST and Father God does.

Blessings all,
Carol
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Old 03-26-2015, 06:13 AM   #13
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Better yet a strong in the Lord married couple from her church because the LC (while they will never admit it) don't regard women in the same way CHRIST and Father God does.

Blessings all,
Carol
Good point!
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Old 03-26-2015, 11:46 AM   #14
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Your testimony reminded me that the LC causes a great deal of estrangement from family members. My wife was involved at the time I was so that was not a problem but the LC caused a great deal of estrangement from other family members such as my parents, siblings etc. All we can offer you is some advice as some have already done and our prayers. Either he has to burn out which is possible or he has to develop some toleration for what you believe which is probably unlikely.

Here is one crazy idea I have (with trepidation) if this situation continues:
Ask him to meet with you and the elders at his church but you would like to bring along a sister from your church (a strong sister from your church--I only say this because you have indicated you are new to the faith) --- explain to the elders that you love your husband and you love the Lord but you can't even discuss the Bible or the Lord with your husband without getting into problems and you are looking for answers to resolve this issue in your marriage. I would suspect that the elders will try and lay a heavy trip on you regarding obeying your husband but if you stand your ground that you are not comfortable with attending the LC for reasons you have expressed on this forum. The reverse is also possible---he meeting with you and your pastor? but I doubt that he would be willing to meet with him.
Another idea:
Seek Christian counseling

We are all brainstorming here so hopefully you can garner some help from the ideas expressed in your situation.

Take care...

Honestly, wouldn't even feel comfortable meeting with the Elders, even with a strong sister from my church body. Although I know some of them personally, and had the opportunity to fellowship and get to know other believers there, who seemed to have a genuine love for the Lord and a seeking heart. One of the elders, who is close to my husband and serves as a kind of mentor to him, didn't seem to care for me much, nor I for him. He was always abrasive and offensive, not to me directly, but would proclaim at the meetings I attended that "we" needed to "get serious with the Lord" and "open our mouths," which I never did because it just felt so contrived and fake. I know he meant those comments for me, because I was the only one who didn't "prophesy" at these meetings. They always tried to pressure me, which I always resisted, because it just didn't feel right!

I remember when I first started attending, I asked, "who is this Witness Lee and I should care what he said or how he interpreted the bible and why should I care about his footnotes?" Another time I asked why wasn't the actual Bible used instead of the morning revival book at the Lord's Day meetings? The fact that they made me feel that I couldn't/shouldn't ask questions immediately raised red ringing flags for me. As I said in my 1st post, something just wasn't right and I had an uneasy feeling.

Although I believe they believe they are genuine seeking believers, my opinion is that they preach a different gospel, of which there is only one, and I believe we have been justified by faith, as Paul speaks about in Galatians. They seem to believe they are justified by works, and they seem to look inside of themselves instead of looking outside themselves for the answers.
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Old 03-26-2015, 12:38 PM   #15
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Although I believe they believe they are genuine seeking believers, my opinion is that they preach a different gospel, of which there is only one, and I believe we have been justified by faith, as Paul speaks about in Galatians. They seem to believe they are justified by works, and they seem to look inside of themselves instead of looking outside themselves for the answers.
Very well stated boughtbyJesus. Some people around here get a little bent out of shape when "a different gospel" is mentioned regarding the teachings of Witness Lee, but the simple fact is that Witness Lee and his followers actually preach two gospels - one is at lease close to the genuine, biblical Gospel as preached by the Lord Jesus and the original disciples, but they also have "the gospel of 'God's economy' ", which is really and truly "another gospel" as Paul mentioned in Galatians. As the years have gone by, there is little doubt that these dear Christians have actually convinced themselves that Witness Lee's gospel is more important than the actual Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord have mercy.
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Old 03-26-2015, 02:44 PM   #16
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Very well stated boughtbyJesus. Some people around here get a little bent out of shape when "a different gospel" is mentioned regarding the teachings of Witness Lee, but the simple fact is that Witness Lee and his followers actually preach two gospels - one is at lease close to the genuine, biblical Gospel as preached by the Lord Jesus and the original disciples, but they also have "the gospel of 'God's economy' ", which is really and truly "another gospel" as Paul mentioned in Galatians. As the years have gone by, there is little doubt that these dear Christians have actually convinced themselves that Witness Lee's gospel is more important than the actual Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord have mercy.
If I accept that LC'ers teach "another" gospel, then I must also condemn all Pentecostals and Charismatics for the same thing, since after being saved, they are always stressing the need to speak in tongues, focus on the gifts, and get delivered thru the laying on of hands. Like boughtbyJesus has said, "that never felt right" for me, though I have prayed about it.

Paul used the term "another gospel" in direct opposition to the way of circumcision as promoted by the Judaizers. This negated the need of the cross of Christ, as Galatians rightly says, as if some minor surgical procedure could guarantee our salvation. How about we not use this loaded phrase outside of its intended context?
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:01 PM   #17
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Paul used the term "another gospel" in direct opposition to the way of circumcision as promoted by the Judaizers. This negated the need of the cross of Christ, as Galatians rightly says, as if some minor surgical procedure could guarantee our salvation. How about we not use this loaded phrase outside of its intended context?
I believe that if you "add" or "take away" ANYTHING from the Gospel Paul preached, the Gospel of Christ Jesus, by ANYONE or ANY Church, then it is no longer the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:09 PM   #18
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Very well stated boughtbyJesus. Some people around here get a little bent out of shape when "a different gospel" is mentioned regarding the teachings of Witness Lee, but the simple fact is that Witness Lee and his followers actually preach two gospels - one is at lease close to the genuine, biblical Gospel as preached by the Lord Jesus and the original disciples, but they also have "the gospel of 'God's economy' ", which is really and truly "another gospel" as Paul mentioned in Galatians. As the years have gone by, there is little doubt that these dear Christians have actually convinced themselves that Witness Lee's gospel is more important than the actual Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. May the Lord have mercy.
Yes, I agree. They seem to believe WL was on par, if not superior than Paul. From what I remember, they told me WL was the minister of this age, and was chosen by God to reveal certain truths...blah....blah....blah, which I found blasphemous.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:16 PM   #19
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I believe that if you "add" or "take away" ANYTHING from the Gospel Paul preached, the Gospel of Christ Jesus, by ANYONE or ANY Church, then it is no longer the Gospel of Christ Jesus.
I think that is a little simplistic. Then we have to define 'what it is to "add" or "take away" ANYTHING from the Gospel Paul preached.' I have never found any church that is not "guilty." The LC's I knew never added one thing to the gospel Paul preached. Oh sure, things got added and heaped upon the brothers and sisters, but they never affected the WAY of salvation.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:17 PM   #20
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Ok, strike that part about about "a little bent out of shape"

Also, our dear friend Ohio, God bless him, has an occasional habit of jumping the gun and reacting to just part of post without reading and CONSIDERING the entire post, and it looks like this got the best of him in reading my post, which was really only a direct reaction to your post.

But I see now that boughtbyJesus already smacked him down

You go sista, you go!
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:34 PM   #21
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I think that is a little simplistic. Then we have to define 'what it is to "add" or "take away" ANYTHING from the Gospel Paul preached.' I have never found any church that is not "guilty." The LC's I knew never added one thing to the gospel Paul preached. Oh sure, things got added and heaped upon the brothers and sisters, but they never affected the WAY of salvation.
I think Galatians 1:6-10 is pretty clear!

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one your received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." ESV Ed.

Paul emphasized twice the preaching of a gospel contrary to the one he received from Christ.

I do not believe that it is insignificant to add or take away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe this is how the enemy is actively operating in many churches - by changing/distorting/twisting the Bible. I don't think it matters the opinions, interpretations of a pastor, preacher, whomever, or their nuances, the only thing that matters is the author's intended meaning and its application to us today.
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Old 03-26-2015, 03:41 PM   #22
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I think Galatians 1:6-10 is pretty clear!

"I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting him who called you in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel - not that there is another one, but there are some who trouble you and want to distort the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed. As we have said before, so I say again: If anyone is preaching to you a gospel contrary to the one your received, let him be accursed. For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ." ESV Ed.

Paul emphasized twice the preaching of a gospel contrary to the one he received from Christ.

I do not believe that it is insignificant to add or take away from the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I believe this is how the enemy is actively operating in many churches - by changing/distorting/twisting the Bible. I don't think it matters the opinions, interpretations of a pastor, preacher, whomever, or their nuances, the only thing that matters is the author's intended meaning and its application to us today.
I agree with those verses completely. I love those verses. I memorized those verses long ago. I fought many on behalf of those verses.

But let's be fair, if you say that the LC's "ADD OR TAKE AWAY" from the gospel of Jesus Christ, then you have to prove it, and not just make some unfounded claim. Secondly, you must apply the exact same standard to every other Christian and church, including your own.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:32 PM   #23
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I agree with those verses completely. I love those verses. I memorized those verses long ago. I fought many on behalf of those verses.

But let's be fair, if you say that the LC's "ADD OR TAKE AWAY" from the gospel of Jesus Christ, then you have to prove it, and not just make some unfounded claim. Secondly, you must apply the exact same standard to every other Christian and church, including your own.
Exactly. There is no stronger accusation than this. Accusing someone of preaching a different gospel is to say, "let him be anathema". You must be prepared to say that WL is going to hell. You must also be prepared to be judged, in the case LCs are not preaching a different gospel and in fact true brothers and sisters in Christ, according to Mark 9:42. Tread carefully.
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Old 03-26-2015, 08:50 PM   #24
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boughtbyJesus' claim that the LC preaches another gospel is hardly unfounded. I have been making such a claim for over 10 years on these open forums. I think "the proof" can be found in many of the tens of thousands of posts on this very forum. This is to say nothing of the many Christian apologists who have been making this claim for decades. As I have always said, Witness Lee actually preached and taught two "gospels" - He taught the genuine, biblical Gospel along side of his "another gospel" of "God's economy". Unfortunately, it seems that the Local Church has gravitated more towards Lee's false gospel than the genuine Gospel, and boughtbyJesus has experienced this first hand.
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Old 03-26-2015, 09:11 PM   #25
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There is no stronger accusation than this.
You are correct, and this is because there is nothing more important than the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Unfortunately for Local Churchers, Witness Lee did not feel this way about the historic Christian Gospel, in fact he frequently referred to his gospel as "the higher gospel", implying that the genuine, biblical Gospel was something inadequate or incomplete.

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Accusing someone of preaching a different gospel is to say, "let him be anathema". You must be prepared to say that WL is going to hell. You must also be prepared to be judged, in the case LCs are not preaching a different gospel and in fact true brothers and sisters in Christ, according to Mark 9:42. Tread carefully.
The apostle Paul did not say "going to hell", and I don't think you are in a position to say such a thing either. I'm sure you recall when the Lord Jesus told Peter "get behind me Satan!" Interestingly enough, this also involved the very heart of the Christian Gospel - that the Lord Jesus was going to die on the cross and be raised on the third day - of which Peter seemed to be telling the Lord Jesus that all that was not necessary. I hope and pray it will be the same for the Local Church movement - that they will take the rebuke and go on to a more healthy view and practice of the Gospel. I also hope and pray that this forum will be instrumental in this crucial thing taking place.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:00 PM   #26
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The fact that they made me feel that I couldn't/shouldn't ask questions immediately raised red ringing flags for me. As I said in my 1st post, something just wasn't right and I had an uneasy feeling.

Although I believe they believe they are genuine seeking believers, my opinion is that they preach a different gospel, of which there is only one, and I believe we have been justified by faith, as Paul speaks about in Galatians. They seem to believe they are justified by works, and they seem to look inside of themselves instead of looking outside themselves for the answers.
True, the culture in the Local Churches does not encourage asking questions as I have learned from experience. Best case scenario is asking a question answered with silence.

I do think there needs to be a separation from what LSM publishes versus brothers and sisters meeting in the Local churches. I do believe based on LSM publications and by LSM actions, there is a different gospel preached, but that is not the case with all brothers and sisters meeting with the local churches.

In my estimation there is not a fear of God, but a fear of Man.
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Old 03-27-2015, 12:06 PM   #27
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But let's be fair, if you say that the LC's "ADD OR TAKE AWAY" from the gospel of Jesus Christ, then you have to prove it, and not just make some unfounded claim. Secondly, you must apply the exact same standard to every other Christian and church, including your own.
How many times has the following passage been discarded?

If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:04 PM   #28
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How many times has the following passage been discarded?

If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector. Matthew 18:15-17
I heard WL say this doesn't work and who am I to speak against the Oracle? That's part of the Holy Script he chooses to scrap. Huh?
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Old 03-27-2015, 05:22 PM   #29
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I heard WL say this doesn't work and who am I to speak against the Oracle? That's part of the Holy Script he chooses to scrap. Huh?
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Of course it doesn't work when you have a prideful heart. Whether it's WL, RK, JK, or.....
If you're a brother or sister who believes in the principle or reconciliation, it will work.
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Old 03-27-2015, 09:02 PM   #30
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True, the culture in the Local Churches does not encourage asking questions as I have learned from experience. Best case scenario is asking a question answered with silence.

I do think there needs to be a separation from what LSM publishes versus brothers and sisters meeting in the Local churches. I do believe based on LSM publications and by LSM actions, there is a different gospel preached, but that is not the case with all brothers and sisters meeting with the local churches.

In my estimation there is not a fear of God, but a fear of Man.
How do you separate what LSM publishes from what the brothers and sisters practice, believe and teach at the local churches? Everything that comes out of their mouths is content put forth by LSM.

From my experience with my dear husband, they ALL sounds alike, almost robotic like. They regurgitate what has been spoon feed to them. ALL of the written content comes from something WL said at some point during his life.
I've listened to the messages and have read some of their publications and at the end, I found myself scratching my head, asking what in the world had I just read?!?!? I work with physicians and lawyers, whom have a language all their own, and whose writings can be a bit dense and not too easy to understand, but this mumbo-jumbo paled in comparison!!! I once told my husband it was a sort of tongue-twisting brain teaser!! I must say, he didn't like that to much!
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:10 PM   #31
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How do you separate what LSM publishes from what the brothers and sisters practice, believe and teach at the local churches? Everything that comes out of their mouths is content put forth by LSM.

From my experience with my dear husband, they ALL sounds alike, almost robotic like. They regurgitate what has been spoon feed to them. ALL of the written content comes from something WL said at some point during his life.
I've listened to the messages and have read some of their publications and at the end, I found myself scratching my head, asking what in the world had I just read?!?!? I work with physicians and lawyers, whom have a language all their own, and whose writings can be a bit dense and not too easy to understand, but this mumbo-jumbo paled in comparison!!! I once told my husband it was a sort of tongue-twisting brain teaser!! I must say, he didn't like that to much!
One of the problems with some on this forum is the unwillingness to admit that the Local Church is a Christian cult. The LCs dogmatism reaches beyond Evangelical Christianity and their insistence on using their own interpretations of the Bible (such as the JWs) as well as their own prophet (e.g. Children of God) is problematic. They like to think of themselves as a continuation of the revelations of the Plymouth Brethren among others but they have gone far beyond anything the Brethren and others have taught in teaching and practices.

Their behaviors and practices are cultish but just like the Mormons they seem so "Christian" and upstanding when meeting them but your experiences with the LC sounds exactly like they would be behind their facade. (you might look at "Snapping: America's Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change although it is more general) In any case, nothing I have said can be shared with your husband so you are in a bind. Take care.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:24 PM   #32
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I once told my husband it was a sort of tongue-twisting brain teaser!! I must say, he didn't like that to much!
I like to call it sleight of mind, similar to sleight of hand, but tricking the minds-eye instead.

I understand the impossibility of taking potshots at your husband ... sometimes the absurdity in the local church is too extreme to take, by any sober minded individual.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:56 PM   #33
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I've listened to the messages and have read some of their publications and at the end, I found myself scratching my head, asking what in the world had I just read?!?!? I work with physicians and lawyers, whom have a language all their own, and whose writings can be a bit dense and not too easy to understand, but this mumbo-jumbo paled in comparison!!! I once told my husband it was a sort of tongue-twisting brain teaser!! I must say, he didn't like that to much!
They use a lot of words to say very little. It's as if the wordsmiths at LSM have a complex they need to make a distinction between the ministry they publish and other Christian ministries.
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Old 03-27-2015, 10:59 PM   #34
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They like to think of themselves as a continuation of the revelations of the Plymouth Brethren among others but they have gone far beyond anything the Brethren and others have taught in teaching and practices.
Do they even know the Plymouth Brethren are also known as the Exclusive Brethren? As such are sectarian in their inability to receive fellow members of the Body that doesn't meet with their sect. Same has been the status quo of the LC.
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Old 03-27-2015, 11:12 PM   #35
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How do you separate what LSM publishes from what the brothers and sisters practice, believe and teach at the local churches? Everything that comes out of their mouths is content put forth by LSM.
It takes time to separate. Either through personal relationships or by social media such as Facebook.
Ones who are quiet in meetings, you have to wonder. Everything is not what it seems.
Prior to moving to Washington state in 1993, I lived in Southern California. I heard the other side of the story of the late 80's turmoil so I didn't sell out for what Witness Lee was selling in Fermentation of the Present Rebellion. Yet when I was meeting with NW localities, I kept my opinion of the turmoil between my two ears.
Then there is social media. From what I have seen from Facebook, "Everything that comes out of their mouths is content put forth by LSM" can very well be categorized as lip service. I know others in the LC that appreciate contemporary Christian music as I do.
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Old 03-28-2015, 12:12 PM   #36
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I was in the LC in Santa Cruz and then Detroit when your husband experienced the LC at Elden Hall. I remember attending conferences in 1970 at Elden Hall and I have to say it was a remarkable time for the LC but it was in the midst of a Jesus revolution throughout the country. Young people were getting into Jesus movements everywhere. Also, being in the LC in Santa Cruz was a different experience because we were not directly controlled by Elden Hall which gave us a lot of freedom. In the early 1970s the LC was booming and WL provided projections of increase in the US. He estimated a total increase of something like 100,000 to 150,000 people over the next decade with yearly projections of the number of increased churches and people along the way.

After Witness Lee personally asked me to move to Detroit during the first major migration I found a completely different experience in Detroit (while I was in Santa Cruz I had contacted several of my relatives in Detroit and they began a LC there with some others). First, WL sent two of his well trained disciples to Detroit to be elders which was stifling, and, second, they brought the control of the LC movement with them. In the second major migration most of us in Detroit moved to Ft. Lauderdale which was a disaster with different members arguing over who should be an elder and seeking WL's blessing. I left in 1978 after I moved to Miami in 1977. The LC in Miami wasn't much better than Lauderdale. I never looked back, felt free of essentially a controlling system and never wanted to be in a similar situation again.

I have maintained some friendships over the years with various brothers from those days who also left and the situation in the LC has steadily deteriorated. Your experience with the elders is just symptomatic of the problems within the LC. Obviously your husband after 4 years has to be pretty tight with some of the other LC members which makes it even more difficult for him and you for that matter. You probably will have to reach a waterloo at some point depending on the demands of the LC on his time. I guess children are not an issue since you haven't mentioned them. All any one can do in your situation is pray. Take care.
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:32 PM   #37
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One of the problems with some on this forum is the unwillingness to admit that the Local Church is a Christian cult.
I guess that might be me.

Now Dave have you also been willing to admit that the Unitarian Universalist Church is also a cult?
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Old 03-28-2015, 01:37 PM   #38
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They like to think of themselves as a continuation of the revelations of the Plymouth Brethren among others but they have gone far beyond anything the Brethren and others have taught in teaching and practices.
Have you ever studied the lineage of Exclusive Brethren (aka Peebs) which claim direct to be direct descendents of J. N. Darby?

Methinks you ought to look into them before you make such a statement. They have a hundred year head start to the LCM in aberrant teachings and practices.
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Old 03-28-2015, 02:53 PM   #39
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I guess that might be me.

Now Dave have you also been willing to admit that the Unitarian Universalist Church is also a cult?
What does the UU have anything to do with this conversation? Take it over to ALT VW.

The control factors which the LC administers whether it is from Anaheim or locally is clearly cultish based on the description the author of this thread described. cult=a system of religious veneration and devotion directed toward a particular figure or object, a relatively small group of people having religious beliefs or practices regarded by others as strange or sinister, a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person or thing. I would say the LC fits all three of those definitions.
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:04 PM   #40
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Have you ever studied the lineage of Exclusive Brethren (aka Peebs) which claim direct to be direct descendents of J. N. Darby?

Methinks you ought to look into them before you make such a statement. They have a hundred year head start to the LCM in aberrant teachings and practices.
I realize there are many types of Brethren which I have studied to include the Open, Plymouth, Exclusive, Church of the Brethren, Bogomil Brethren, Moravian Brethren, Schwarzenau Brethren, Brethren of the Free Spirit etc I stand by my statement.
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Old 03-28-2015, 03:10 PM   #41
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Dave, we've had the "cult" discussion here several times. It's one of those things everyone has an opinion about and it seems each one is valid.

For the record I think the LCM fits some of the definitions of a cult. But some think the term is so inflammatory that it is counter-productive. Sort of like calling a gay a "pervert." It seems to end discussions rather than start them.
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Old 03-28-2015, 06:40 PM   #42
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Dave, we've had the "cult" discussion here several times. It's one of those things everyone has an opinion about and it seems each one is valid.

For the record I think the LCM fits some of the definitions of a cult. But some think the term is so inflammatory that it is counter-productive. Sort of like calling a gay a "pervert." It seems to end discussions rather than start them.
Igzy, I am sure you are correct as to how the term may be viewed. I was actually going off of UntoHim's post on #24 although he does not use the term "cult" but "another gospel". Of course boughtbyJesus also described circumstances in meetings where they were trying to force her to speak where the LC was showing cult-like practices. Their practices are worse than I thought. Like you said, we all have our opinion about the term.
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Old 03-28-2015, 07:29 PM   #43
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Dave, we've had the "cult" discussion here several times. It's one of those things everyone has an opinion about and it seems each one is valid.

For the record I think the LCM fits some of the definitions of a cult. But some think the term is so inflammatory that it is counter-productive. Sort of like calling a gay a "pervert." It seems to end discussions rather than start them.
Thanks for the caution bro Igzy. Dave hasn't been around that long, and doesn't know it's been discussed before. He's likely speaking from what he saw, experienced, and thinks about the local church. And he's only speaking what many exLCers have concluded about the local church.

And certainly sis boughtinChrist hasn't been around long enough to even hear the word cult even spoken of yet.

And why shouldn't she consider the possibility that her husband is caught in a cult? If it's a cult, it might help her to know what she's dealing with.

I'm not the only one that considers the LC a cult. Many exLCers that I know consider that they were in a cult, and apparently I can add Dave to the list.

And from even this distance from boughtinChrist's situation it looks like her husband is in a cult. I remember well how the church sought to distance us from our family and friends. I'm not saying the church wants to break her marriage up. But her husband sure seems to be cheating on her, with the church as his lover ... and she has her hooks in him. And just from her description it sounds like a cult.

And as far as I'm concerned, any, ANY, religious group that captures a spouse away should at least be suspected to be a cult.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:18 PM   #44
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I was just wanting to make sure Dave wasn't left wondering why no one picked up the conversation.
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Old 03-28-2015, 08:50 PM   #45
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I was just wanting to make sure Dave wasn't left wondering why no one picked up the conversation.
I agree it's a touchy subject. I confess some trepidation talking about it.

I guess it matters most as to what boughtbyChrist thinks about it. It might not change anything for her.
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Old 03-30-2015, 11:48 AM   #46
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Igzy, I am sure you are correct as to how the term may be viewed. I was actually going off of UntoHim's post on #24 although he does not use the term "cult" but "another gospel". Of course boughtbyJesus also described circumstances in meetings where they were trying to force her to speak where the LC was showing cult-like practices. Their practices are worse than I thought. Like you said, we all have our opinion about the term.
True we all have our opinion. By definition, cult can be very broad. That's why I believe many are uncomfortable touching the topic. However, to say the LC are sectarian is more palatable. It's transparent to see sectarian practices, attitudes, and behaviors in the LC/LSM ministry churches.
As for the phrase "another gospel", it's clear to say in the LC, they don't like to speak the gospel for the sake of bringing a man, woman, or child to salvation. If bringing someone to salvation doesn't issue into seeing the vision of the ministry LSM publishes, it's considered a waste of time.
Some may say bringing someone to salvation for the sake of adding to the Body of Christ is considered the "low gospel".
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:17 PM   #47
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If bringing someone to salvation doesn't issue into seeing the vision of the ministry LSM publishes, ...
Don't you mean "fall under their spell?" That's just one characteristic that make them a cult ; the falling under their spell ... or the bewitching of "the vision." Like what Paul asked of the Galatians (3:1) "Who has bewitched you?"
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Old 03-30-2015, 12:24 PM   #48
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True we all have our opinion. By definition, cult can be very broad. That's why I believe many are uncomfortable touching the topic. However, to say the LC are sectarian is more palatable. It's transparent to see sectarian practices, attitudes, and behaviors in the LC/LSM ministry churches.
As for the phrase "another gospel", it's clear to say in the LC, they don't like to speak the gospel for the sake of bringing a man, woman, or child to salvation. If bringing someone to salvation doesn't issue into seeing the vision of the ministry LSM publishes, it's considered a waste of time.
Some may say bringing someone to salvation for the sake of adding to the Body of Christ is considered the "low gospel".
I agree with what you are saying but isn't it a given they are sectarian. That is interesting about how the LC considers the necessity of accepting the vision of the ministry that LSM publishes or it is a waste of time trying to bring someone to Christ for salvation. They are more than just sectarian so we could use one of the definitions of a cult as a description: a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person (WL) and thing (LSM literature).

In any case, as I noted earlier, boughtbyJesus indicated her direct experience with the elders in the LC and it appeared unusual and controlling however you want to identify it. She was an outsider providing her first impressions and they weren't good. Hope she is doing well.
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Old 04-02-2015, 04:15 PM   #49
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I agree with what you are saying but isn't it a given they are sectarian. That is interesting about how the LC considers the necessity of accepting the vision of the ministry that LSM publishes or it is a waste of time trying to bring someone to Christ for salvation. They are more than just sectarian so we could use one of the definitions of a cult as a description: a misplaced or excessive admiration for a particular person (WL) and thing (LSM literature).

In any case, as I noted earlier, boughtbyJesus indicated her direct experience with the elders in the LC and it appeared unusual and controlling however you want to identify it. She was an outsider providing her first impressions and they weren't good. Hope she is doing well.
As I have stated earlier, I am a fairly new believer, but my first impression and belief now after being exposed to some of their claims/assertions of this ministry and their churches is that they are a cult. I do not wish to offend anyone or to make inflammatory remarks, but this was/is my feeling. My recollection is that they believe they are special, chosen group of people, through WL, whom they say was chosen by God to be the oracle if this age, to whom He was revealing lost truths and the proper way of the church. I never for one second believed any of those claims and many others they asserted, which would inevitably lead to heated discussions between my husband and I. To my ears, those claims sounded utterly absurd and wrong. As my husband started to listen to more and more messages, downloading more and more material, and acquiring more booklets, literature, revival books and "crystallization" books on the different books of the bible, which were "given" to him by his LC, I became more and more horrified! I don't understand why he can't "see" what is clear to me. I mean, I know why, but I just can't believe it sometimes! And when I've tried to engage him in conversation about it, he literally sounds just like them! The words, the cadence and pitch of his voice. He has no individual voice!
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:11 AM   #50
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I don't understand why he can't "see" what is clear to me. I mean, I know why, but I just can't believe it sometimes! And when I've tried to engage him in conversation about it, he literally sounds just like them! The words, the cadence and pitch of his voice. He has no individual voice!
I know that it's unsettling, to say the least. But look at it this way: it is an opportunity, arranged by your Father in heaven, for you to demonstrate magnanimity (i.e. generosity, or mercy), peace, and self-control. When you hear the LC cadence break out, and you want to cover your ears and eyes and run screaming, just look up at your Father, give thanks for the moment, and it will pass. It will pass. You may be young in the Lord but you are not too young for battle. If you calmly accept your lot, God will use you. God put you there, and wants to use you.
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Old 04-03-2015, 10:53 AM   #51
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boughtbyJesus,

I think you have received some good and wise input, and this is a big reason why this forum exists - so someone in your position can receive some fellowship and practical help. Some of us have been in the same place you are in...some still are. This doesn't mean you will hear the same thing from every forum member, and in fact, it's likely you'll receive a wide variation of advise on what and what not to do.

I think the current quote of the day from Oswald Chambers is some great advise for someone in your position: "God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede." As you have probably noticed, there is a pervasive "spirit of criticism" among our dear brothers and sisters in the Local Church. The reasons for this are more involved than I could even begin to explain in just one post, but suffice it say for now, that they have inherited this spirit of criticism from their apostle, Witness Lee, who no doubt inherited from his mentor, Watchman Nee. Some of this dynamic comes from the ancient Chinese culture these men came from, but again, as with any religious culture developed from mere men, it is extremely complex and cannot be described or explained so easily.

"for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." (2 Timothy 1:7)
It should go without saying that you will never have a good outcome fighting against this spirit of criticism with a spirit of criticism of your own. In my experience hiding behind this spirit of criticism is actually a spirit of fear and shame. Again, this is something rather involved and complex within the culture of the Local Church of Witness Lee, and I'm not saying that just knowing that this spirit exists will get you very far with your husband, but it is hard to fight against something that you can't even define, much less understand. Local Churchers are taught that all the answers to all lives problems and troubles comes from "contacting" the Holy Spirit within our human spirit by "calling on the Lord", "Pray-reading" the Bible and the teachings of Witness Lee and going to copious amounts of meetings, conferences and trainings. But has this resulted in a spirit of power and love and self-control?
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Old 04-03-2015, 01:12 PM   #52
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boughtbyJesus,

I think you have received some good and wise input, and this is a big reason why this forum exists - so someone in your position can receive some fellowship and practical help. Some of us have been in the same place you are in...some still are. This doesn't mean you will hear the same thing from every forum member, and in fact, it's likely you'll receive a wide variation of advise on what and what not to do.

I think the current quote of the day from Oswald Chambers is some great advise for someone in your position: "God never gives us discernment in order that we may criticize, but that we may intercede." As you have probably noticed, there is a pervasive "spirit of criticism" among our dear brothers and sisters in the Local Church. The reasons for this are more involved than I could even begin to explain in just one post, but suffice it say for now, that they have inherited this spirit of criticism from their apostle, Witness Lee, who no doubt inherited from his mentor, Watchman Nee. Some of this dynamic comes from the ancient Chinese culture these men came from, but again, as with any religious culture developed from mere men, it is extremely complex and cannot be described or explained so easily.

"for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control." (2 Timothy 1:7)
It should go without saying that you will never have a good outcome fighting against this spirit of criticism with a spirit of criticism of your own. In my experience hiding behind this spirit of criticism is actually a spirit of fear and shame. Again, this is something rather involved and complex within the culture of the Local Church of Witness Lee, and I'm not saying that just knowing that this spirit exists will get you very far with your husband, but it is hard to fight against something that you can't even define, much less understand. Local Churchers are taught that all the answers to all lives problems and troubles comes from "contacting" the Holy Spirit within our human spirit by "calling on the Lord", "Pray-reading" the Bible and the teachings of Witness Lee and going to copious amounts of meetings, conferences and trainings. But has this resulted in a spirit of power and love and self-control?
Thank you UntoHim for your kind words of encouragement. I agree that I should not engage in any criticism or fighting. I have learned this the hard way, that it will not get me very far at all with my husband. I am learning to give it to the Lord and not allow myself to be provoked by praying and asking the Lord to give me strength and guidance and to help me not to react to any of what he says to me, which is very hard at times because he can be so mean in what he says and how he says it! Unfortunately, the fruit of the spirit is not very evident in my husband, and in fact he has become meaner, quicker to anger, less patient and overall just plain uglier since becoming involved with the LC. I realize I cannot change my husband, I can only try to love him, pray for him and our family, and give it to the Lord and continue in my own walk with the Lord, continue to learn about Him, and continue to live for Him and His glory more and more everyday.
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Old 04-03-2015, 02:44 PM   #53
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I am praying to the Lord that he give me wisdom and guidance in dealing with and respond to my husband. I realize I cannot change him or what he believes, that is not my job nor is it something I can accomplish. Only the Lord can speak to his heart and work in it, in His time and in His way.

I must admit however, that this is much easier said than done. I consider myself a relatively new believer, and I am just growing in my faith, knowledge and love for my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who accomplished it all on my behalf and who died in my place.
Although there has been some great advice on this forum I am sure you have considerable support and prayers from your community church. Also, with all the advice offered on this forum there is prayer for you and your situation as well. It's a little difficult to go it on your own. Take care.
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Old 04-03-2015, 09:39 PM   #54
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Thanks for sharing boughtbyJesus. For such a newbie Christian you sure have an unusual power of perception into the obvious. I sure wish that I could have been as sharp when I encountered the local church.

I remember my wife invited a friend from work to a meeting and she jumped right, just loving the church life with bubbly & bouncy enthusiasm. With excitement she brought her bank president husband and his VP from work to a meeting. They were standing right behind me when the meeting took flight, so to speak, and I heard one of them say to the other, "These people are half a bubble off level." They never returned.

I have to ask myself -- and kick myself -- why didn't I catch on that quick? It took me 10 years.

Sis. I still haven't figured out what drove me to join and stay in the LC that long. I look back now and it seems that I was deluded during those years.

And that brings me to:

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Originally Posted by boughtbyJesus View Post
He has no individual voice!
There you have it sis ... in a nutshell. The loss of the individual voice or self is indicative of willfully accepting mind control.

Call it sect, cult, eccentric, fringe, whatever, but it is not mentally healthy.

Sure wish I could give you clear advise that would solve your problem and save your marriage. But people under any kind of mind control have to come out on their own. Short of pulling an intervention with the services of a professional deprogrammer, there's nothing anyone can do to convince someone under mind control that would break them free. In fact, the harder you try, the harder you push, to change them, or get them free, the deeper they run in, and dig in. Your efforts could actually drive them deeper into the mind control system.

Fighting will accomplish nothing but driving you further apart.

My heart goes out to your husband, that he'll wake up and get free ... and to you, that you'll be able to hang in there long enough for that to happen.

Blessings ...
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