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Old 07-18-2011, 07:38 PM   #1
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Default An Outsider's Story

Greetings brothers and sisters.

I found this site a couple weeks ago and was intrigued by what I saw. As the title of my thread may imply, I am not a member of the so called Lord's Recovery. So why am I here? Well sit back and relax and I'll tell you.

A few years ago, I had no idea this movement even existed. I grew up in what they would call the "apostate denominational churches" in the Recovery. I was perfectly content with how things were until a girl came and rocked my world...

As you might've guessed, this girl was a member of the Lord's Recovery. Now typically, this wouldn't have mattered to me except for one thing: this girl became my girlfriend. A few months into the relationship, I asked her what church she went to since I had never asked before then (I had known she was a Christian before we started going out and whatnot) to which she replied "the Church in *I won't say where to preserve the anonymity of this post*" Upon a quick google search of this place, the Lord's Recovery was introduced into my life.

I didn't think much of it at first, since after seeing their website nothing popped out as weird except for the term Lord's Recovery. I asked her about it a few times, but I guess she gave all the "right answers" as I continued to not really think anything of this place. However, months later, I looked up the Recovery version of the Bible out of curiosity. It was then that I first saw the lengthy Witness Lee footnotes that you are all familiar with. The particular preview that I saw was from Genesis 1:1. I was amused by the fact that there was 1 or 2 verses on the page followed by paragraphs upon paragraphs of footnotes. I had been told that her Bible had footnotes prior to this, however I had assumed it would've been like the footnotes in any other Bible I've seen, just a few notes here and there. While I joked with her about the amount of footnotes there were, I looked at some other parts in the New Testament and was, of course, treated to the same thing. I asked her if she read all of these footnotes to which she replied that it wasn't "necessary" to but it was helpful in the explanation of certain parts. Made perfect sense to me, so I proceeded to read some in the next few weeks. However I was more confused by these footnotes than enlightened.

Fast forward to the summer before we started college. We happened to choose the same college and I asked her if she wanted to join one of the campus ministries on campus that a few people from my church had told me about. She was pretty adamant about going to the Christians on Campus "branch" of her church. This, naturally, disappointed me greatly. By this point I had grown to care very much about her, and it always bugged me that we had never been to church together. We had talked about it every now and then, and I figured college would be the perfect opportunity to do so. Thus, her persistent stance on joining Christians on Campus stung even more.

By now, I had read many bad things about the Lord's Recovery, even being told by my youth pastor that it was a heretical church based upon their modalistic teachings. Not wanting to condemn based on the words of people who might not necessarily know what they were talking about (and partly based on my girlfriend's exclamations that people on the internet were simply seeking/were instruments of Satan to smash her church) I decided to go to a meeting the 2nd week of school. What I saw there fit most descriptions of what I had read up until that point. There was sing-reading, pray-reading, many exclamations of "Oh Lord Jesus!" and loud "Amens" and "Lord Jesus", exclusive usage of the Recovery version (which wasn't even being used in this particular meeting) and what I call the Witness Lee Hymnal, and all sorts of things that I should not have to describe to you. I recall one hymn we sang which contained something along the lines of "Jesus transfigured into the Holy Spirit" which sprung my mental modalist warning system. It seemed as though everything I had read was right.

My girlfriend perhaps sensed that I had a negative view of her church and gave me the silent treatment for awhile. Not wanting to upset her, I agreed to go to a larger college meeting or outing or something with members of Christians on Campus from several other colleges. However, it was more of the same. While I convinced her that it wasn't as bad as I had thought before, the thought that she was in a "misguided" church gnawed at my heart for months afterwards.

Since then the differences between our churches has grown more and more apparent. She has always been taught that people who are in denominational churches (which I don't happen to be, but it's really all the same to them regardless) are dividing the church and whatnot. However, when I brought her to the All Campus Worship event to which nearly every single campus ministry was represented and acknowledged (except, of course, for hers). This bothered her greatly. For all the preaching of oneness and unity, why was it that her church did not go to this ALL CAMPUS worship event? After all, it was the perfect opportunity to display the oneness of all believers in Christ. There are more differences that I could mention, but I feel like I don't really have to here.

This leads me to why I am posting here. What should I do? I know a lot of you have some pretty strong views on Witness Lee and the local church and whatnot, but naturally (and for some personal reasons which I can't really disclose) I can't ask her to just leave and join me. In fact, she'll probably be unable to leave even if she wanted to until after we've graduated. I'm not asking for some way to "convert" her or anything, just for a way that we can grow together in Christ like we've wanted to do this whole time. I know there are some good aspects of the local church (such as a communal, family like lifestyle) that many churches can stand to learn from, but it seems in this case, the bad outweighs the good.

Many thanks and God bless.
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:37 AM   #2
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Welcome and thanks for your testimony.

As for your friend I would refer you to the Lord's word in Matthew 17:21: "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:40 AM   #3
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You’ve asked for a rather large order of opinion. And while I will try to give some help, know that this is far from complete. And as much as I think I know what to do, it is not necessarily the best advice.

First, the claims of heresy are a little overstated. Yet they are not entirely wrong either. The problem is that Lee taught a complete version of Three and One, but was almost completely focused on the One. But instead of just saying “God,” he took on the terminology/names of the Three to talk about the One. I view it as speaking of the Trinity, and appreciating the Three, sort of, but basically ignoring it and turning it all back into just One. And God is One God. But to talk about the One God in the terms of the Three is to obliterate the reason that God revealed himself as three.

Totally unsatisfying as an answer on that issue. Just suffice it to say that the reality of it is probably a small-h heresy but not a capital-H Heresy.

The problem with a relationship as you are proposing is that as long as she remains committed to the LRC (“Lords Recovery Church” as we often call it, or “Local Church” as they often call it) is that the leadership will put pressure on her to not continue the relationship. There has been some exposure of their direct attacks on dating that they don’t like, so I would not be surprised that they would downplay it a little. But it will never be gone unless they already consider her “marginal.”

But even the marginal stick around. The most insidious thing about the LRC is that there are so many teachings that create a sense of spiritual superiority just for being there, and a fear of displeasing God if they leave, that they are often sort of hamstrung in their ability to consider leaving. Many will simply stick around on the periphery, only occasionally attending meetings. But they will never leave and never attend another place — unless they have their eyes opened to the falsehoods of the claims of superiority. And that is difficult because they warn against even reading negative things about the LRC.

The landscape is strewn with divorces because one wanted to remain in the LRC and the other did not. The divorce is all too often instigated by the one remaining for the purpose of not being “unequally yoked” or some other thing.

What I am saying is that unless she is showing signs of being willing to actually discuss these issues and reconsider her position, you are stepping into a relationship that will make the marriage of James Carville (Democratic strategist bulldog) and Mary Matalin (Republican strategist bulldog) seem like Snow White and Prince Charming. Or if you are willing to ignore the problems with the LRC and go her way. Otherwise, it might be better to be heartbroken for a while and look elsewhere.

I know. A hard word. But it is a little like a white woman deciding to marry a black man in 19th century Alabama. Shouldn’t be a problem. But in that time, it would be. I would bet (not prophesy) that if you continue with her and do not eventually start going her way, you will not continue with her for long. Sad. But I could be proved wrong.
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Old 07-19-2011, 09:42 AM   #4
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Default Re: An Outsider's Story

And while ZNP's response is sort of treating the LRC like a demon, he is not that "over the top" in saying it.
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:10 AM   #5
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OBW thank you for your reply.

Over the past couple years I have learned a lot about the local church and I would tend to agree that their Trinitarian teachings are more focused on the One rather than the Three rather than full on modalism.

As for her being committed to the LRC, I perhaps did not clarify enough in my initial post. It's easy to miss things while you're typing a long testimony after all. She is and has been willing to discuss and reconsider differences between our churches. I will use perhaps a lame example, but one nonetheless. She had long held the thought that Christian worship bands were bad (I don't remember the exact term she used, although it could have been distracting or divisive) because they made people focus on the music rather than worshiping God while hymns strictly promoted worship. After I showed her many songs by various artists (Chris Tomlin and Hillsong to name a few) she did change her mind on the issue. While it is somewhat of a small issue being only music, it does show a willingness to change opinions.

As for the pressure to discontinue the relationship, we've encountered this since coming to college. She, obviously, has not "heeded their warnings" and whatnot. I don't know what being considered marginal means, but judging by her current position within the Christians on Campus RSO (registered student organization, that is, the church is an official school club in which she has an officer position) I'd say that no one considers her marginal.

Regarding the sense of spiritual superiority, I definitely saw signs of that early on in the relationship, however, after past talks, I'd say her sense of superiority has been, at the very least, shaken. I don't consider myself some sort of spiritual role model by any means, but it's clear that she believes me to be every bit as Christian as members of the LRC. I think it is this belief that weakens the sense of superiority over other churches/Christians. Nonetheless, she will not leave the LRC for the next few years at least, more so due to the aforementioned personal issues, than out of pure dedication (although dedication is also a reason).

I do wish to show her some fallacies perhaps regarding the teachings of Witness Lee or those since he died. My biggest beef with the LRC has always been their insistence on the use of LSM (aka Witness Lee) reading materials (the HWfMW was the text used in the first meeting I attended), hymnals and otherwise (not the hymnal itself, but rather the fact that its contents were written by Witness Lee), and the amount of importance on which they give the footnotes in the RcV. I'm sure many of you could go on for days about the inconsistencies and false teachings within the LRC, which is why I came here.

Ultimately, I think the solution to the "problem" will come when she is presented with the facts about the LRC. I don't want to put it as a "me vs them" kind of situation or decision, or as a "I'm right and you're wrong" type of thing. These kinds of arguments would only lead to a circular argument and ultimately nothing would be gained, but much would be lost.

As a side question, how have you all managed after leaving the LRC? Do any of you attend "mainstream" churches or do you stick with private, home based affairs? And how has the shift affected you? I pray that none of you are in a sort of "spiritual limbo" or anything like that, but how was the transition out of the "church life"?
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Old 07-19-2011, 11:51 AM   #6
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The problem with a relationship as you are proposing is that as long as she remains committed to the LRC (“Lords Recovery Church” as we often call it, or “Local Church” as they often call it) is that the leadership will put pressure on her to not continue the relationship. There has been some exposure of their direct attacks on dating that they don’t like, so I would not be surprised that they would downplay it a little. But it will never be gone unless they already consider her “marginal.”

But even the marginal stick around. The most insidious thing about the LRC is that there are so many teachings that create a sense of spiritual superiority just for being there, and a fear of displeasing God if they leave, that they are often sort of hamstrung in their ability to consider leaving. Many will simply stick around on the periphery, only occasionally attending meetings. But they will never leave and never attend another place — unless they have their eyes opened to the falsehoods of the claims of superiority. And that is difficult because they warn against even reading negative things about the LRC.
Up to a certain point I agree with OBW. A sister as the unregistered brother posted on, how deep is her commitment? Is the church in xxxxx the assembly she was brought up and goes because that's her Christian environment or is she one who has already intended/planned to attend FTTA following college?
I've seen sisters raised in the local churches who married brothers from outside the local churches. Key from my perspective was commitment to the relationship first or commitment to the churchlife first? Whichever the case, it is a human reaction for her to be defensive about the assembly she meets with. Same can be said where you meet or where I meet. It's not denominational, but in the local churches it is received as denominational.

Guess what I'm getting after is where is the time commitment? If it's the local church functions (college age meetings, college age prayer meetings, conferences, trainings, etc), the ministry Living Stream Ministry publishes, etc that is her commitment, in my honest opinion a relationship would only work with one also in a likeminded commitment.
If the time commitment is to the relationship first and local church functions second, there is hope. There is hope for a relationship and a fellowship based on being a brother and sister in Christ.
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Old 07-19-2011, 12:30 PM   #7
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Up to a certain point I agree with OBW. A sister as the unregistered brother posted on, how deep is her commitment? Is the church in xxxxx the assembly she was brought up and goes because that's her Christian environment or is she one who has already intended/planned to attend FTTA following college?
I've seen sisters raised in the local churches who married brothers from outside the local churches. Key from my perspective was commitment to the relationship first or commitment to the churchlife first? Whichever the case, it is a human reaction for her to be defensive about the assembly she meets with. Same can be said where you meet or where I meet. It's not denominational, but in the local churches it is received as denominational.

Guess what I'm getting after is where is the time commitment? If it's the local church functions (college age meetings, college age prayer meetings, conferences, trainings, etc), the ministry Living Stream Ministry publishes, etc that is her commitment, in my honest opinion a relationship would only work with one also in a likeminded commitment.
If the time commitment is to the relationship first and local church functions second, there is hope. There is hope for a relationship and a fellowship based on being a brother and sister in Christ.
Thanks for your reply Terry. You hit on several key points which I think show why it is possible to keep this relationship going. She attends LRC meetings because it is what she has grown up with. It's all she knows and probably all she would have known if I had not come along and showed her the other side of things. While she does attend many of the functions you mentioned (in fact, she is currently at the summer college training as I write this) she does so mostly out of necessity. That is, she goes because she is expected to go. Her parents also grew up in the local church (or at least her dad did) overseas and as such, there are deep roots and connections to the local church for her. While she has made it clear that she would rather be spending time with me instead of going to meetings, trainings, BFA distributions, etc (not always, but sometimes), it would put her in a bad situation with her parents having to explain why she was not attending these things. I must also add that her parents don't really approve of me as a boyfriend either (I think it's just because they don't like me for becoming her boyfriend before an "appropriate" age moreso than the LRC views on relationships, although that may also be a part of it) so saying that she's not at things because of me would not be very good for us at all.

I have seen a very large window of hope for us in spite of the issues swirling around us. However, I feel as though we will only grow in our relationship as God intends for us if we settle the differences between the LRC and other churches. Even within the Christians on Campus group there are those who are marrying outside of the LRC (or at least I do not think that their spouses were raised in the LRC like they were) so I know she is not unfamiliar with that happening around her.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:16 PM   #8
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It's interesting that she's seeking an intimate relationship outside the LRC. This probably shows either she's not that committed, or she really wants a relationship and is not happy with the choices she has inside her group. The first is good for you; the second isn't.

Hopefully, she is not one of those women who thinks they can catch a husband and then change him. Lord help you (whether she's in the LRC or not) if she's that kind. Run and don't look back if she is, IMHO.

The fact is couples need to have a similar religious outlooks to have a happy life. Religious differences just create more problems. If both of you can look past your differences, then both of you can attend the same church, if you catch my meaning. But as far as the LRC goes, it isn't enough to attend, you have to be fully committed.

I would just ask her point blank, "If you knew I would never join your church, would you still be interested in me?" See what she says.

You are both young and you can revert to just being friends for awhile if that's what it takes.

Also, pray about it. Ask the Lord to work it out. He will.

Best wishes.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:17 PM   #9
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An LC girl I know met her husband-to-be in a bar, while she was in a spiritual slump. They got married and then she decided to get spiritually healthy again. Where did she want to go, having returned to Christ? Why, the church in so-and-so, of course. Poor dude. He didn't know what hit him. Some people only have to deal with marrying into a difficult set of in-laws. This guy got that and more...a truckload of beliefs and practices, a sectarian network of churches, and a world of weird. Last time I saw him, he was loading a U-Haul, having been caught up in a wife-led expedition to "the Lord's move to _______________." Reminded me of a Venus flytrap scenario.
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Old 07-19-2011, 01:51 PM   #10
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Since then the differences between our churches has grown more and more apparent. She has always been taught that people who are in denominational churches (which I don't happen to be, but it's really all the same to them regardless) are dividing the church and whatnot. However, when I brought her to the All Campus Worship event to which nearly every single campus ministry was represented and acknowledged (except, of course, for hers). This bothered her greatly. For all the preaching of oneness and unity, why was it that her church did not go to this ALL CAMPUS worship event? After all, it was the perfect opportunity to display the oneness of all believers in Christ. There are more differences that I could mention, but I feel like I don't really have to here.

Dear brother,

The All Campus Worship events highlight one of the many contradictions in the Recovery. One would naturally think that a group of Christians who talk about "the oneness" as much as they do, would jump at the chance to participate in events such as this, where all the barriers between Christians are temporarily removed. But no! They will never join in. I was in the Recovery for 3 decades, and we never "held hands" with other congregations.

Your future with this sister depends on how tenaciously she grips the Living Stream Ministry. I do know many who kept the LSM at arm's length, and could marry or remain married to outside believers, but as others have posted, the journey is mostly uphill. LSM teaches in such a way that one's relationship with them is more important than with one's spouse. No wonder so many marriages fail.

Does she plan to attend the FTTA after graduation? If so, that is like taking her blood pressure. To a strict LSM zealot, marrying a Christian outside the Recovery is like the mixed marriages that plagued the children of Israel. Obviously, since you have visited this site and learned about the Recovery, you will never be devoted to LSM. It's kind of like Jews and Moslems getting married, it only seems to work out if both are "backsliders."
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Old 07-19-2011, 07:17 PM   #11
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Welcome and thanks for your testimony.

As for your friend I would refer you to the Lord's word in Matthew 17:21: "Howbeit this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting."
Sorry for the brevity earlier. Basically, if you are not willing to fast and pray for this sister then I see no reason for you to ask her to leave the LRC. I once asked a similar question about a sister when I was single and the answer I got was very wise, I was told "she is like any other sister". I think that applies here as well. Also, although it is reasonable to make the comparison between the demon possessed and the sister due to the brevity of my response, I was hoping that instead you would make the comparison between yourself and the disciples. If you can help this sister now, then you will establish yourself as the priest in your family. Wasn't it Aaron that was chosen based on his rod budding? So this could be a wonderful opportunity for you to lay a good foundation in this relationship as the spiritual head.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:50 AM   #12
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Mr. Unregistered Guest,

I wanted to respond to your post, I'm not sure there's anything I can add to what's already been said. Igzy's and Ohio's posts resonated with me in particular.

By way of background, I myself left "the Recovery", finally, a couple years ago. I'm older than you, but still young enough to get on the other posters' nerves around here. Suffice it to say that I wouldn't want to see you in the same experience I saw my own parents in, for so many years, growing up.

I know you don't see yourself and your girlfriend as "unequally yoked", because you both consider yourselves Christians. But there is a tendency in "the Recovery" to promote the idea that inside/outside the Recovery is, actually, unequally yoked. The group is just that special, just that unique in the eyes of the God of the universe.

But I don't want to exaggerate, because it is very true that there's a whole range of attitudes that exist within the Recovery. As much as they like to emphasize "two sides to everything", I believe most things in human life are a matter of degree. At the end of the day, these attitudes may depend more on not only the particular city you are in, but also the people within that locality that your girlfriend is close to.

But more than anything, I would ask this question (and I'm not asking you to answer here): What is her parents' attitude toward all this? Are they comfortable with the relationship? Do they want to end her involvement with you? Somewhere in between? I believe there are those in the Recovery who, though they are there, they've been there a long time, they're happy there, they're comfortable there, yet when it comes down to it, they really don't buy into the more strident claims about what the Recovery really is. Sooner or later, their kids pick up on this, and it is reflected in their personal choices.

I think you may already know the answer....
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:52 AM   #13
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If you can help this sister now, then you will establish yourself as the priest in your family. Wasn't it Aaron that was chosen based on his rod budding? So this could be a wonderful opportunity for you to lay a good foundation in this relationship as the spiritual head.
Amen to that, brother.

There is a lot of good advice here, and the only thing I might add, being by my natural self a romantic, is that what truly matters is what the Lord has put on your heart for this young woman.

It is true: "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9 - and yet as we draw closer to Him, it is our hearts that He softens; and love is the ultimate sum of all the commandments.

The advice the brothers have given you here is very practical, and not at all wrong.... but what does the Lord speak to your heart in His still small voice to you about her?

Practically speaking: You have known this young lady for years now, and it does not seem as though she has tried to drag you into her "church", nor to indoctrinate you with LSM theology... that's curious and unusual. As a young, college age man, you are particularly valued - even sought as a prize, by LSM. They have specifically targeted your age group, and they will use young people and relationships to 'gain' you... but it does not seem as though this has happened. In fact, her apparent reluctance to 'share' with you may even indicate that she herself is not 'for the ministry', but merely hasn't seen a way out of it...

Brother, take what the Lord has put on your heart for this girl - and move forward in faith. Be honest with her; and share your faith with her. Build her up, if you love her... and be prepared to share the whole truth in love; even if that ultimately drives her away. That is precisely the kind of self-sacrificing love of Christ for which we ourselves were redeemed.

Your brother in Christ,

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Old 07-20-2011, 05:58 AM   #14
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The fact is couples need to have a similar religious outlooks to have a happy life. Religious differences just create more problems.
An additional comment here ... based on my own personal experience ... which has tasted the bitterness of too many failures.

LSM provides a regular dose of "judgmentalism" in their ministry. Their more earnest members are well trained to be critical of "all things Christian," and this sad feature unfortunately translates into marriage life. By its very design by the Creator, marriage is endless compromise in every area of life. When spouses become judgmental and uncompromising, feelings of love can rapidly deteriorate. Few 21st century marriages can survive such an environment. Personally, I never found peace within marriage until we left that ministry of condemnation.
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Old 07-20-2011, 07:56 AM   #15
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Unregistered,
Thanks for having the guts to come here and share these very personal experiences with us. This is partly what this forum is about – for people like you to come and dialogue, and hopefully engage in some helpful fellowship. Please consider registering by sending your request (along with your desired User Name) to LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com. One of the benefits of registration is you will be able to send and receive “Private Messages” from any other registered members. I know from past experience that many people have received a lot of help from confidential communication with other forum members.

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I have seen a very large window of hope for us in spite of the issues swirling around us. However, I feel as though we will only grow in our relationship as God intends for us if we settle the differences between the LRC and other churches.
A very large window of hope in spite of the issues swirling around us” – Wow, what an insightful observation by such a young man! Good for you. Whatever you do, whatever happens, do not give up this positive outlook, for it will serve you well for the rest of your life. In the meantime, I know you are in a tight situation with not much experience to draw from. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve run into one of the largest collection of well-meaning geezers on the Internet – well most of us are geezers compared to you. Though most of us are “ex” Local Church members (some of us have been out for 10-20 years), many of us still have family and or friends in the movement and keep close tabs on what’s going on in “The Lord’s Recovery”, so much of the advise you get here may not be as stale as you might think.

Now for the bad news. However, I feel as though we will only grow in our relationship as God intends for us if we settle the differences between the LRC and other churches. I am going to tell you right here, right now, that if your relationship is going to be dependent on whether or not you can settle the differences between the Local Church and other churches, you are cruzin for a bruzin. The simple truth of the matter is that the Local Church exists for, and thrives upon, their differences with other Christians and other churches – if they compromise then they lose their very reason for existence. As you may know from looking around this forum, they even reject members and churches of their own movement who would make the smallest of compromises with “Christianity”. Now, as others here have mentioned, some of this depends upon what city or region the particular church or individual is in. Also, according to what I have seen, things are “loosing up” a bit in the movement, especially in America, so time may indeed be on your side after all.

I know that the old adage “love conquers all” is not exactly biblical, but I think it may be applicable to your situation. As you may have gathered, “Christ and the Church” is more than just religious dogma to Local Church members. Though they consider themselves Christians, anything and everything to do with Christ is inextricably linked to the Church – Their Church, The Local Church, The Local Churches associated with Witness Lee. This strong link carries over into even the most intimate of human relationships. I wish I could tell you that love can even hold a candle to, much less conquer this religious mindset, but I would probably be giving you false hope. So maybe love does not conquer all, all of the time, and it may be that your love for your girlfriend will eventually conquer the wedge that this religion drives between people. I will be praying for you and her and your situation.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:18 AM   #16
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I had not intended on registering, but seeing that it is much easier to reply if you have registered, I figured what the heck. So please excuse me as I respond to everything...

As a side note, I had replied a couple times as unregistered, but clearly those posts have not shown up. In the event that they do, please excuse the redundancy of some of them. They are longer responses, however, and they do go far more in depth than what I have posted so far.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:24 AM   #17
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What I am saying is that unless she is showing signs of being willing to actually discuss these issues and reconsider her position, you are stepping into a relationship that will make the marriage of James Carville (Democratic strategist bulldog) and Mary Matalin (Republican strategist bulldog) seem like Snow White and Prince Charming. Or if you are willing to ignore the problems with the LRC and go her way. Otherwise, it might be better to be heartbroken for a while and look elsewhere.

I know. A hard word. But it is a little like a white woman deciding to marry a black man in 19th century Alabama. Shouldn’t be a problem. But in that time, it would be. I would bet (not prophesy) that if you continue with her and do not eventually start going her way, you will not continue with her for long. Sad. But I could be proved wrong.
I won't claim to know what marginal exactly means in this context, but I'm pretty sure she's not marginal. She's pretty well integrated as an officer into the club function of CoC as well, which I'm not sure they would allow a "marginal" member to do.

As for her being open to discussion, she is. I probably missed many details in my initial post, which is easy to do. She is by no means a LRC zealot if you will. She has no intentions of going to the FTT after college and pretty much only goes because it's all she knows and has grown up with. Therefore, the outlook is not quite as bleak as you would say. Still, the teachings of LSM and the LRC are well ingrained in her life (understandable since she grew up in it) so it's no walk in the park to convince her of other things, as I'm sure you know.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:29 AM   #18
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Up to a certain point I agree with OBW. A sister as the unregistered brother posted on, how deep is her commitment? Is the church in xxxxx the assembly she was brought up and goes because that's her Christian environment or is she one who has already intended/planned to attend FTTA following college?
I've seen sisters raised in the local churches who married brothers from outside the local churches. Key from my perspective was commitment to the relationship first or commitment to the churchlife first? Whichever the case, it is a human reaction for her to be defensive about the assembly she meets with. Same can be said where you meet or where I meet. It's not denominational, but in the local churches it is received as denominational.

Guess what I'm getting after is where is the time commitment? If it's the local church functions (college age meetings, college age prayer meetings, conferences, trainings, etc), the ministry Living Stream Ministry publishes, etc that is her commitment, in my honest opinion a relationship would only work with one also in a likeminded commitment.
If the time commitment is to the relationship first and local church functions second, there is hope. There is hope for a relationship and a fellowship based on being a brother and sister in Christ.
I guess I partially touched on her commitment in my above post. Concerning her time commitment, it's mostly to me, but she attends all these functions anyway out of necessity. Her parents are close to some of the elders (maybe not close, but they have contact with and will most likely not hesitate to do so if she were to not attend several events) and as such, finding out that she was not going to these events (especially because of me) would not go so well. That said, she still enjoys going to most of these things regardless of whether or not I agree with them. So I guess the semi complicated answer is that she's committed to them out of necessity, but she would be committed regardless. That sounds paradoxical in some ways, but I'm sure someone will understand...
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:34 AM   #19
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Dear brother,

The All Campus Worship events highlight one of the many contradictions in the Recovery. One would naturally think that a group of Christians who talk about "the oneness" as much as they do, would jump at the chance to participate in events such as this, where all the barriers between Christians are temporarily removed. But no! They will never join in. I was in the Recovery for 3 decades, and we never "held hands" with other congregations.

Your future with this sister depends on how tenaciously she grips the Living Stream Ministry. I do know many who kept the LSM at arm's length, and could marry or remain married to outside believers, but as others have posted, the journey is mostly uphill. LSM teaches in such a way that one's relationship with them is more important than with one's spouse. No wonder so many marriages fail.

Does she plan to attend the FTTA after graduation? If so, that is like taking her blood pressure. To a strict LSM zealot, marrying a Christian outside the Recovery is like the mixed marriages that plagued the children of Israel. Obviously, since you have visited this site and learned about the Recovery, you will never be devoted to LSM. It's kind of like Jews and Moslems getting married, it only seems to work out if both are "backsliders."
The interesting thing is that while the group never as a whole chose to attend, there were 3 members of them that also chose to attend the event. I was shocked because I honestly expected no one to be there. So I guess there's more people within the LRC here on campus that aren't as devoted to LSM teachings. Your initial statement is what bothered my girlfriend the most. For all their teachings of oneness and unity, they did not attend an event that was a perfect application of such a belief.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:37 AM   #20
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Mr. Unregistered Guest,

I wanted to respond to your post, I'm not sure there's anything I can add to what's already been said. Igzy's and Ohio's posts resonated with me in particular.

By way of background, I myself left "the Recovery", finally, a couple years ago. I'm older than you, but still young enough to get on the other posters' nerves around here. Suffice it to say that I wouldn't want to see you in the same experience I saw my own parents in, for so many years, growing up.

I know you don't see yourself and your girlfriend as "unequally yoked", because you both consider yourselves Christians. But there is a tendency in "the Recovery" to promote the idea that inside/outside the Recovery is, actually, unequally yoked. The group is just that special, just that unique in the eyes of the God of the universe.

But I don't want to exaggerate, because it is very true that there's a whole range of attitudes that exist within the Recovery. As much as they like to emphasize "two sides to everything", I believe most things in human life are a matter of degree. At the end of the day, these attitudes may depend more on not only the particular city you are in, but also the people within that locality that your girlfriend is close to.

But more than anything, I would ask this question (and I'm not asking you to answer here): What is her parents' attitude toward all this? Are they comfortable with the relationship? Do they want to end her involvement with you? Somewhere in between? I believe there are those in the Recovery who, though they are there, they've been there a long time, they're happy there, they're comfortable there, yet when it comes down to it, they really don't buy into the more strident claims about what the Recovery really is. Sooner or later, their kids pick up on this, and it is reflected in their personal choices.

I think you may already know the answer....
Heh, her parents never wanted me to be with her in the first place. This is out of the mentality that she was too young to be in a relationship and whatnot. Standard conservative attitude. However, I think me not being a member of the LRC has something to do with it as well. They seem pretty set in their ways and are very traditional Asian parents (oh yeah, we're both Asian) so combining that with LRC views on things like dating, and I think you know what comes out. That being said, she hasn't really cared that much about it and her parents have always been outwardly kind to me. It's more of a front than anything, but it's better than open displeasure...
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:47 AM   #21
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Amen to that, brother.

There is a lot of good advice here, and the only thing I might add, being by my natural self a romantic, is that what truly matters is what the Lord has put on your heart for this young woman.

It is true: "The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it?" Jeremiah 17:9 - and yet as we draw closer to Him, it is our hearts that He softens; and love is the ultimate sum of all the commandments.

The advice the brothers have given you here is very practical, and not at all wrong.... but what does the Lord speak to your heart in His still small voice to you about her?

Practically speaking: You have known this young lady for years now, and it does not seem as though she has tried to drag you into her "church", nor to indoctrinate you with LSM theology... that's curious and unusual. As a young, college age man, you are particularly valued - even sought as a prize, by LSM. They have specifically targeted your age group, and they will use young people and relationships to 'gain' you... but it does not seem as though this has happened. In fact, her apparent reluctance to 'share' with you may even indicate that she herself is not 'for the ministry', but merely hasn't seen a way out of it...

Brother, take what the Lord has put on your heart for this girl - and move forward in faith. Be honest with her; and share your faith with her. Build her up, if you love her... and be prepared to share the whole truth in love; even if that ultimately drives her away. That is precisely the kind of self-sacrificing love of Christ for which we ourselves were redeemed.

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Thanks for your reply NFnL. Very wise words.

I am well aware of the whole specific targeting thing that they are doing to people of my age group. Their Bibles for America table says it all, though they try to get everyone possible. I think they had a staff member approach them once and they were very...excited about that if you know what I mean. Of course, that is normal for any group. As for her trying to find a way out, I know that is not the case. If she had her way, I would be in the LRC with her, however I feel as though this is more out of a sense of comfort than anything else. As I mentioned above, this is all she knows. She does say that she sees more growth of the Christian life in the LRC than in other churches. I don't know how she came to that conclusion since she has never attended another church outside the LRC, but there you go. She also says that the Bible studies I attend (I also forgot to mention that I have brought her to a few of my church's small group Bible studies as well as the All Campus Worship) lack the...depth of her Bible studies. I see this as the LRC teachings working in her mind, but perhaps you with more experience can shed light on this.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:51 AM   #22
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Your initial statement is what bothered my girlfriend the most. For all their teachings of oneness and unity, they did not attend an event that was a perfect application of such a belief.
Not meaning to go off-topic, but just to touch on what Ohio had spoken. Before on this forum we had touched the ground of locality teaching of one church/one city. In any given city there are thousands, tens of thousands, and maybe hundreds of thousands of Christians in a larger city. Most of whom had never heard of the local churches or of Witness Lee's ministry. It would be logisitically impractical for all to meet in one location. As it is, that practice is contrary how the early Christians used to meet; house to house.

My experience has been unless Jesus Christ is our sole basis for fellowship, there cannot be oneness no matter how much one speaks about it. Just look in 1 Corinthians. There are distinctions of ministries, but one Spirit. As soon as a minister or ministry becomes the basis for fellowship, division is present. We have church history as proof. Paul was clear about that. Paraphrasing, Paul was saying don't look to Cephas, don't look to Apollos, don't look to me, look to Jesus Christ.
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Old 07-20-2011, 11:55 AM   #23
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A very large window of hope in spite of the issues swirling around us” – Wow, what an insightful observation by such a young man! Good for you. Whatever you do, whatever happens, do not give up this positive outlook, for it will serve you well for the rest of your life. In the meantime, I know you are in a tight situation with not much experience to draw from. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve run into one of the largest collection of well-meaning geezers on the Internet – well most of us are geezers compared to you. Though most of us are “ex” Local Church members (some of us have been out for 10-20 years), many of us still have family and or friends in the movement and keep close tabs on what’s going on in “The Lord’s Recovery”, so much of the advise you get here may not be as stale as you might think.
Haha thanks for that. I don't consider myself as one likely to have profound insight on things, but it's good to know that I'm on the right track here. And if I thought your advice stale, I would have gone elsewhere. It's people with experience and insight that I was looking for, and I believe I found it here.

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Now for the bad news. However, I feel as though we will only grow in our relationship as God intends for us if we settle the differences between the LRC and other churches. I am going to tell you right here, right now, that if your relationship is going to be dependent on whether or not you can settle the differences between the Local Church and other churches, you are cruzin for a bruzin. The simple truth of the matter is that the Local Church exists for, and thrives upon, their differences with other Christians and other churches – if they compromise then they lose their very reason for existence. As you may know from looking around this forum, they even reject members and churches of their own movement who would make the smallest of compromises with “Christianity”. Now, as others here have mentioned, some of this depends upon what city or region the particular church or individual is in. Also, according to what I have seen, things are “loosing up” a bit in the movement, especially in America, so time may indeed be on your side after all.

I know that the old adage “love conquers all” is not exactly biblical, but I think it may be applicable to your situation. As you may have gathered, “Christ and the Church” is more than just religious dogma to Local Church members. Though they consider themselves Christians, anything and everything to do with Christ is inextricably linked to the Church – Their Church, The Local Church, The Local Churches associated with Witness Lee. This strong link carries over into even the most intimate of human relationships. I wish I could tell you that love can even hold a candle to, much less conquer this religious mindset, but I would probably be giving you false hope. So maybe love does not conquer all, all of the time, and it may be that your love for your girlfriend will eventually conquer the wedge that this religion drives between people. I will be praying for you and her and your situation.
I know that the LRC thrives on the differences, but the key here is that SHE doesn't. The differences bother her. I don't know how much or how strongly she believes in the differences of the LRC vs everyone else, but I do know that they bother her at least. Whether or not she still thinks the LRC as superior is unknown to me, though I am inclined to think that she still has the "LRC is superior to all" mentality. Again, I attribute this to her lifetime involvement within the LRC rather than something that has manifested of her own thoughts and beliefs.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:01 PM   #24
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Not meaning to go off-topic, but just to touch on what Ohio had spoken. Before on this forum we had touched the ground of locality teaching of one church/one city. In any given city there are thousands, tens of thousands, and maybe hundreds of thousands of Christians in a larger city. Most of whom had never heard of the local churches or of Witness Lee's ministry. It would be logisitically impractical for all to meet in one location. As it is, that practice is contrary how the early Christians used to meet; house to house.

My experience has been unless Jesus Christ is our sole basis for fellowship, there cannot be oneness no matter how much one speaks about it. Just look in 1 Corinthians. There are distinctions of ministries, but one Spirit. As soon as a minister or ministry becomes the basis for fellowship, division is present. We have church history as proof. Paul was clear about that. Paraphrasing, Paul was saying don't look to Cephas, don't look to Apollos, don't look to me, look to Jesus Christ.
Funny that you bring this up since I had a similar conversation with her regarding the whole one city/one church teaching. I said that it would be very impractical for, say, the whole city of Chicago to meet in one place. I tried to tell her that the Church in Corinth, for example, was probably several assemblies of believers rather than everyone meeting in a central location (though I have no proof to back that up other than logical reasoning) when she said that the one church in a city "doctrine" (my word not hers) was based on what early believers did in the Bible. We had a very circular argument ending with her just saying "well if God wanted to, there could be one city/one church." Well if God wanted to, why hasn't it been done yet? She definitely has a conflict of looking to Christ as the head of the church and LRC teachings regarding the church.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:05 PM   #25
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As I mentioned above, this is all she knows. She does say that she sees more growth of the Christian life in the LRC than in other churches. I don't know how she came to that conclusion since she has never attended another church outside the LRC, but there you go.
I believe this is normal among Christians. A tendency to meet within their comfort zone; an environment where they feel comfortable. Being raised in the local churches, it was awkward going to a non-local church meeting. I found with other Christian assemblies, there is not much outreach for fellowship with other Christians in your community who don't attend the same assembly.
Comparing growth of life of an LRC assembly to a non-LRC assembly is a statement in error. Growth of the Christian life is not in the assembly, but in an individual's personal walk with the Lord.
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Old 07-20-2011, 12:42 PM   #26
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I won't claim to know what marginal exactly means in this context, but I'm pretty sure she's not marginal. She's pretty well integrated as an officer into the club function of CoC as well, which I'm not sure they would allow a "marginal" member to do.

As for her being open to discussion, she is. I probably missed many details in my initial post, which is easy to do. She is by no means a LRC zealot if you will. She has no intentions of going to the FTT after college and pretty much only goes because it's all she knows and has grown up with. Therefore, the outlook is not quite as bleak as you would say. Still, the teachings of LSM and the LRC are well ingrained in her life (understandable since she grew up in it) so it's no walk in the park to convince her of other things, as I'm sure you know.
These facts reveal a kind of wild card. Brought up in the LRC is not necessarily a plus for them. But while she has been open to dating you for some time, since she refuses to really discuss church issues, she has probably not faced the inconsistent position (relative to what her upbringing should insist upon). How she reacts when faced with this reality will be the key.

I know that I painted a bleak picture. But I would not say there is no hope. But if things go well for you, she will eventually have to deal with some level of discord within her family, even if it remains simply the elephant in the room. I know about this. While my family joined the LRC when I was a senior in high school, I was part of it for 14+ years, now being out for almost 24 years (next month). There has been limited real conflict, but continuous background noise about our leaving. When I visit my parents (now only my Dad) or my brother and/or sister, there is an elephant in the room. And the little snips of comments (not directed at us) that are like the voices in the trees on Lost.

Now I met my wife in the LRC, and we left together. The LRC conflict has always been outside of our house, not within it. So our situation is not what you will face (no matter how it works out). But it may not be that different.

As for the comment on being "marginal," it is an insidious term that LRC leadership uses in private about the membership. It relates to those who are not toeing the LRC line in virtually every way. But the range of marginal goes from simply not involved in the latest "turn" (as they used to call it, like the New Way back in the 80s) all the way up to just hanging on and only coming to an occasional meeting. Your girlfriend, by dating an outsider, has become, at some level, marginal no matter how strongly she seems to be for the program and despite the fact that her entire family is part of the LRC. My parents have been referred to as marginal. And they've weathered every storm in the LRC since January, 1973. And out of another side of the leaderships' mouths called pillars of the church in Dallas. (Actually, I doubt that Dallas considers them that marginal. But Irving did, which was mostly run by LSM people at the time.) It probably stems (partly) from the fact that they moved from Dallas to Irving and the back several years later without clearing it with the "brothers." My goodness, someone sold a house without our approval.

The is the nature of the beast that you are dealing with.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:03 PM   #27
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I believe this is normal among Christians. A tendency to meet within their comfort zone; an environment where they feel comfortable. Being raised in the local churches, it was awkward going to a non-local church meeting. I found with other Christian assemblies, there is not much outreach for fellowship with other Christians in your community who don't attend the same assembly.
Comparing growth of life of an LRC assembly to a non-LRC assembly is a statement in error. Growth of the Christian life is not in the assembly, but in an individual's personal walk with the Lord.
I guess that would make sense for the most part. I suppose I'm in the minority in that my church has several events during the year in which we do things with members of other churches in the area. However my church on campus does not do much with other fellowships other than All Campus Worship, though part of it is due to the church being so large (I think almost 1000 members during the year or so). that even meeting with members who are in a different dorm that it is sort of like meeting with another church.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:08 PM   #28
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These facts reveal a kind of wild card. Brought up in the LRC is not necessarily a plus for them. But while she has been open to dating you for some time, since she refuses to really discuss church issues, she has probably not faced the inconsistent position (relative to what her upbringing should insist upon). How she reacts when faced with this reality will be the key.

I know that I painted a bleak picture. But I would not say there is no hope. But if things go well for you, she will eventually have to deal with some level of discord within her family, even if it remains simply the elephant in the room. I know about this. While my family joined the LRC when I was a senior in high school, I was part of it for 14+ years, now being out for almost 24 years (next month). There has been limited real conflict, but continuous background noise about our leaving. When I visit my parents (now only my Dad) or my brother and/or sister, there is an elephant in the room. And the little snips of comments (not directed at us) that are like the voices in the trees on Lost.

Now I met my wife in the LRC, and we left together. The LRC conflict has always been outside of our house, not within it. So our situation is not what you will face (no matter how it works out). But it may not be that different.

As for the comment on being "marginal," it is an insidious term that LRC leadership uses in private about the membership. It relates to those who are not toeing the LRC line in virtually every way. But the range of marginal goes from simply not involved in the latest "turn" (as they used to call it, like the New Way back in the 80s) all the way up to just hanging on and only coming to an occasional meeting. Your girlfriend, by dating an outsider, has become, at some level, marginal no matter how strongly she seems to be for the program and despite the fact that her entire family is part of the LRC. My parents have been referred to as marginal. And they've weathered every storm in the LRC since January, 1973. And out of another side of the leaderships' mouths called pillars of the church in Dallas. (Actually, I doubt that Dallas considers them that marginal. But Irving did, which was mostly run by LSM people at the time.) It probably stems (partly) from the fact that they moved from Dallas to Irving and the back several years later without clearing it with the "brothers." My goodness, someone sold a house without our approval.

The is the nature of the beast that you are dealing with.
I suppose you are right about the whole elephant in the room thing with her parents. In the event that all goes well and we get married and then on top of that she leaves the LRC to attend somewhere else with me, I think there would be an extremely large elephant in the room if you know what I mean. I don't know how her parents think, but I'd probably say they'd have the feeling that I stole her away entirely. While I might be able to convince her of things within the LRC, I doubt I'd be able to do the same to her parents. Alas, such is the situation.

And if she is indeed considered marginal, then they definitely don't show it. She's pretty well liked and probably well known amongst everyone there (not hard to do since it's a very small assembly).
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:09 PM   #29
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Your girlfriend, by dating an outsider, has become, at some level, marginal no matter how strongly she seems to be for the program and despite the fact that her entire family is part of the LRC.
Sisters marrying brothers outside of the LRC is really quite common. As a rule the sisters outnumber the brothers by at least 2 to 1 and maybe even 3 to 1. So given the choice between being a Mormon and marrying a Christian that meets outside of the LRC, they are forced to be practical.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:37 PM   #30
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ZNP I'd like to know how you come up with this information. How many Local Churches have you surveyed to come up with these figures?

I think the reason for the "missing" brothers is not that the sisters married out of the Local Church, but rather they (sisters) have a tendency to stick it out longer then their husbands. There are probably a lot of reasons for this dynamic and it's probably irrelevant to ToGodAlone anyway.

This is to say nothing of the fact that women have always outnumbered men in American churches, though I have never heard of it reaching a 2-1 or 3-1 ratio.
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Old 07-20-2011, 01:49 PM   #31
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Sisters marrying brothers outside of the LRC is really quite common. As a rule the sisters outnumber the brothers by at least 2 to 1 and maybe even 3 to 1.
Is this your observation from your time in Texas or your observation as a FTTT trainer?
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:21 PM   #32
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Is this your observation from your time in Texas or your observation as a FTTT trainer?
Well, WL once shared based on the account of Lazarus that it represented a typical church (Mary, Martha and Lazarus) and that generally in the church sisters outnumber brothers 2:1. Since that point I often would find myself bored in a meeting and would count. Now if it was a large meeting say with hundreds or even thousands of saints I would choose a random section, count 30 or 60 saints and figure it was a fair representation. But I would say for the last 30 years I have counted, and this is not merely LRC, this is every meeting I have attended (new places, I don't count every week where I am currently meeting) and it has never seemed to fail. I must say after 30 years it has been extremely rare, if ever, that I attended a church meeting and the ratio was less than 2:1.
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:30 PM   #33
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ZNP I'd like to know how you come up with this information. How many Local Churches have you surveyed to come up with these figures?

I think the reason for the "missing" brothers is not that the sisters married out of the Local Church, but rather they (sisters) have a tendency to stick it out longer then their husbands. There are probably a lot of reasons for this dynamic and it's probably irrelevant to ToGodAlone anyway.

This is to say nothing of the fact that women have always outnumbered men in American churches, though I have never heard of it reaching a 2-1 or 3-1 ratio.
As to the first question see post #29.

I did not mean to imply that I was giving a reason for the ratio or that the LRC was any different from any other Christian church in this regard. The reason I felt it was relevant ToGodAlone is that sisters in the LRC marrying Christian brothers outside the LRC is not that unusual.

As to the ratio and my "unscientific" method, I understand that you could be in a meeting and there could be people behind the scenes that you are not counting, so I am only counting those that I can see. I would have no way of giving you an accurate number of how many meetings I have counted over 30 years, I would say that it would have to be more than 100 and less than 1,000. But that does include some very large Christian gatherings (I figure the larger the sampling size the better the results).

If I was forced to come up with a reason I would have to say that brothers are worth...(actually I think I will refrain from giving a reason other than this is a Biblical principle that is part of "The Ministry" shared by the MOTA).
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Old 07-20-2011, 03:49 PM   #34
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Is this your observation from your time in Texas or your observation as a FTTT trainer?
I answered this in Post #29 on the assumption that the observation you were referring to was the 2:1 ratio or higher. As to the observation about sisters marrying brothers outside the recovery it has been my observation in every meeting that I attended that there would be a number of sisters, perhaps even 10%, that met with the LRC and their husband didn't. Also, over a 20 year time I did learn of number of sisters that were married to brothers outside of the LRC. Again, I would think that 10% is a fair estimate.

As to the reason for this I have no idea and will leave that to others to postulate because anything I say will certainly incite a riot.
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Old 07-20-2011, 04:15 PM   #35
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With regards to the gender difference, I'd just attribute that to the fact that there are probably more women in the world than men at this point. Maybe it's not by much, but I guess in certain small assemblies, the discrepancy could appear larger. As it is, I've seen that, at least in the campus LRC, that it is, in fact, the brothers that are marrying outside the LRC and then bringing their wives in. However, I don't know the details of their lives so it is possible that those sisters were just part of another LRC in another locality.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:02 PM   #36
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I believe this is normal among Christians. A tendency to meet within their comfort zone; an environment where they feel comfortable. Being raised in the local churches, it was awkward going to a non-local church meeting. I found with other Christian assemblies, there is not much outreach for fellowship with other Christians in your community who don't attend the same assembly.
Brother TGA,

You have not indicated where you are located, but one thing that may be in your favor is the events of the last 5 or 6 years in the Recovery. A couple of major splits occurred, with one being in the Great Lakes Area where I am. A regional leader in Cleveland, OH was "quarantined" by headquarters in Anaheim, CA.

The positive effect of the splits is that many open-minded saints were forced to reevaluate, or to even consider for the first time, many long held doctrines and practices. The Bible admonishes us to "test all things," and many things in the Recovery, that had been taken for granted, just could not "pass the test," and have since been discarded.

Not all in America, however, have taken these steps to reevaluate Recovery tenets according to the scripture. Many simply clung to the old party line emanating from the Living Stream Ministry. In some places the breakup was nasty indeed, with lawsuits over property and assets. All of these events just exposed the hypocrisy of LSM's "oneness" doctrines and practices.
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Old 07-20-2011, 05:32 PM   #37
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Brother TGA,

You have not indicated where you are located, but one thing that may be in your favor is the events of the last 5 or 6 years in the Recovery. A couple of major splits occurred, with one being in the Great Lakes Area where I am. A regional leader in Cleveland, OH was "quarantined" by headquarters in Anaheim, CA.

The positive effect of the splits is that many open-minded saints were forced to reevaluate, or to even consider for the first time, many long held doctrines and practices. The Bible admonishes us to "test all things," and many things in the Recovery, that had been taken for granted, just could not "pass the test," and have since been discarded.

Not all in America, however, have taken these steps to reevaluate Recovery tenets according to the scripture. Many simply clung to the old party line emanating from the Living Stream Ministry. In some places the breakup was nasty indeed, with lawsuits over property and assets. All of these events just exposed the hypocrisy of LSM's "oneness" doctrines and practices.
Yes I have read of these splits a little before I posted here. I will say that although I am in the Great Lakes area, the churches that my girlfriend attends both on campus and at home are very much like the traditional ones. Still affiliated with LSM and all that.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:19 PM   #38
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Yes I have read of these splits a little before I posted here. I will say that although I am in the Great Lakes area, the churches that my girlfriend attends both on campus and at home are very much like the traditional ones. Still affiliated with LSM and all that.
That's still better than not.

It is my opinion that those in the Great Lakes Area, who sided with LSM, don't really know what LSM is really like. GLA is an "LSM-Lite," having been much influenced and somewhat moderated by TC over the years. Some of the horror stories I have read from other regions have surprised even me.

I was active in the Ohio area LC's from the mid-70's to the early-00's, so I know that most in the GLA have a polished image of LSM, which they received via trainings and videos. With few exceptions, most are unawares of the ultra-legalism of the Texas region and numerous "storms" which plagued the west coast. It is also my opinion that most of those in the GLA sided with LSM because they considered it a lesser evil than TC in Cleveland, a "grass is greener on the other side" type thing.

Remember these are just my personal generalizations, and individual experiences may vary. I also found that the church experience for Asians seemed to be more palatable than for folks like me.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:33 PM   #39
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That's still better than not.

It is my opinion that those in the Great Lakes Area, who sided with LSM, don't really know what LSM is really like. GLA is an "LSM-Lite," having been much influenced and somewhat moderated by TC over the years. Some of the horror stories I have read from other regions have surprised even me.

I was active in the Ohio area LC's from the mid-70's to the early-00's, so I know that most in the GLA have a polished image of LSM, which they received via trainings and videos. With few exceptions, most are unawares of the ultra-legalism of the Texas region and numerous "storms" which plagued the west coast. It is also my opinion that most of those in the GLA sided with LSM because they considered it a lesser evil than TC in Cleveland, a "grass is greener on the other side" type thing.

Remember these are just my personal generalizations, and individual experiences may vary. I also found that the church experience for Asians seemed to be more palatable than for folks like me.
Well then I guess I have much to be thankful for. Good to know.
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Old 07-21-2011, 05:36 AM   #40
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She does say that she sees more growth of the Christian life in the LRC than in other churches... She also says that the Bible studies I attend (I also forgot to mention that I have brought her to a few of my church's small group Bible studies as well as the All Campus Worship) lack the...depth of her Bible studies.
The sentiments this young lady has expressed here are not uncommon amongst those within LSM's system. Lee was very adept at using language to confound his adherents. He often used vocabulary with which we may all be familiar, but he would then give it new definitions that could leave your head swimming. By this, he would leave many feeling that he was their intellectual as well as spiritual superior. This is a common tactic amongst lawyers, as well as a common tactic amongst salesmen. For young people growing up within Lee's system, reading only Lee, the use of Lee's verbage would define what is Christian and what isn't.

You pointed out in an earlier post that you called LSM's Hymnal Lee's hymnal - and you were right to do so. Lee wouldn't even permit songs from other Christian groups to be the focus of worship - he had to have his own songs with his own words (not that he wrote all of them in that hymnal, but his 'unique ministry' colored them all, or most of them). Abandoning his system means abandoning cherished songs, ways of praying, ways of meeting, ways of thinking about and expressing your faith, ways of preaching of the gospel, and ways of thinking about yourself. That's a lot to abandon; and as you will note from the length of time many have spent on this forum, it can take a long long time to work through that.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:13 AM   #41
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Yes, a flurry of impressive sounding terminology in any field or any setting could give the impression that a group is somehow advanced.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:04 AM   #42
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The sentiments this young lady has expressed here are not uncommon amongst those within LSM's system. Lee was very adept at using language to confound his adherents. He often used vocabulary with which we may all be familiar, but he would then give it new definitions that could leave your head swimming. By this, he would leave many feeling that he was their intellectual as well as spiritual superior. This is a common tactic amongst lawyers, as well as a common tactic amongst salesmen. For young people growing up within Lee's system, reading only Lee, the use of Lee's verbage would define what is Christian and what isn't.

You pointed out in an earlier post that you called LSM's Hymnal Lee's hymnal - and you were right to do so. Lee wouldn't even permit songs from other Christian groups to be the focus of worship - he had to have his own songs with his own words (not that he wrote all of them in that hymnal, but his 'unique ministry' colored them all, or most of them). Abandoning his system means abandoning cherished songs, ways of praying, ways of meeting, ways of thinking about and expressing your faith, ways of preaching of the gospel, and ways of thinking about yourself. That's a lot to abandon; and as you will note from the length of time many have spent on this forum, it can take a long long time to work through that.
Well said.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:57 AM   #43
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A follow-up to my previous comments. I had some time talking with my Dad last night and realized that he does not even pretend that Lee is always right. And he is frustrated that there is no forum (within the LRC) to ask questions when it seems that they are obviously missing something. But he has a 38-year long community of fellowship that is otherwise a fairly sound evangelical group and just doesn't find cause to make a change.

If that is the nature of the family that you are dealing with, then there is surely hope.
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Old 07-21-2011, 10:40 AM   #44
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Unregistered Guest there is much to love about a woman other than her sectarian beliefs. I assume you are physically attracted to her and you like her personality. Hopefully you have some things in common that you like to do together e.g. hobbies, sports, etc.

If you are serious about ever getting married then even more considerations should be addressed: e.g. what you both want in life, how finances will be managed, how the decision making process will go in your household, division of labor for household duties, can you communicate well with each other, views on sexuality, do you both want children, etc.

Notice I didn't put much down about religion? Why? Because most people are not obsessed about it like those in the "Lord's Recovery" who tend to be hyper-spiritual about everything. And furthermore the "Lord's Recovery" is not just another church down the street. It is an all encompassing lifestyle and subculture - think: "Amish".

So I guess some questions for you would be how do you two "score" in the items of the above 1st 2 paragraphs? And if it's strong enough and your GF is only a fringe member of the "Lord's Recovery" and will not impose it's lifestyle and views on you, could you two build a life together?
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:16 AM   #45
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Unregistered Guest there is much to love about a woman other than her sectarian beliefs. I assume you are physically attracted to her and you like her personality. Hopefully you have some things in common that you like to do together e.g. hobbies, sports, etc.

If you are serious about ever getting married then even more considerations should be addressed: e.g. what you both want in life, how finances will be managed, how the decision making process will go in your household, division of labor for household duties, can you communicate well with each other, views on sexuality, do you both want children, etc.

Notice I didn't put much down about religion? Why? Because most people are not obsessed about it like those in the "Lord's Recovery" who tend to be hyper-spiritual about everything. And furthermore the "Lord's Recovery" is not just another church down the street. It is an all encompassing lifestyle and subculture - think: "Amish".

So I guess some questions for you would be how do you two "score" in the items of the above 1st 2 paragraphs? And if it's strong enough and your GF is only a fringe member of the "Lord's Recovery" and will not impose it's lifestyle and views on you, could you two build a life together?
Good points. We actually pass with flying colors on everything you mentioned. We don't differ much on opinions, but one of things we do differ on is regarding the church. This is due to her LRC upbringing and my non LRC upbringing. I know that the LRC is very much an encompassing lifestyle, I see it everyday. My issue lies not with the lifestyle itself, but rather it's motivation.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:20 AM   #46
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A follow-up to my previous comments. I had some time talking with my Dad last night and realized that he does not even pretend that Lee is always right. And he is frustrated that there is no forum (within the LRC) to ask questions when it seems that they are obviously missing something. But he has a 38-year long community of fellowship that is otherwise a fairly sound evangelical group and just doesn't find cause to make a change.

If that is the nature of the family that you are dealing with, then there is surely hope.
I don't know her family's views on WL and if they think he is always right. She has said that she doesn't "worship" WL (but it's possible she does and doesn't realize it) or believe that he is always right. I think she did say something about some people in her meetings that might disagree with WL (though I can't remember for sure if that was her or something I read :frown. I think that if she was forced to choose, she would not always side with WL's views (ie his hymns being the only valid form of worship), but would tend to do so most of the time.
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:24 AM   #47
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The sentiments this young lady has expressed here are not uncommon amongst those within LSM's system. Lee was very adept at using language to confound his adherents. He often used vocabulary with which we may all be familiar, but he would then give it new definitions that could leave your head swimming. By this, he would leave many feeling that he was their intellectual as well as spiritual superior. This is a common tactic amongst lawyers, as well as a common tactic amongst salesmen. For young people growing up within Lee's system, reading only Lee, the use of Lee's verbage would define what is Christian and what isn't.

You pointed out in an earlier post that you called LSM's Hymnal Lee's hymnal - and you were right to do so. Lee wouldn't even permit songs from other Christian groups to be the focus of worship - he had to have his own songs with his own words (not that he wrote all of them in that hymnal, but his 'unique ministry' colored them all, or most of them). Abandoning his system means abandoning cherished songs, ways of praying, ways of meeting, ways of thinking about and expressing your faith, ways of preaching of the gospel, and ways of thinking about yourself. That's a lot to abandon; and as you will note from the length of time many have spent on this forum, it can take a long long time to work through that.
A very valid point, it is a lot to abandon. So much so that I am worried about how she would adjust especially since she doesn't like drastic change all that much (and this would very much be a drastic change). Seeing as how this forum was created so that you all could help each other cope and whatnot (unless there's more to it in which case I apologize for being shallow minded or something) I'd say that I still very much have a long way to go even if she does agree to leave eventually. That said, how have you all coped being out of the LRC after all these years? How long did it take you to adjust?
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Old 07-21-2011, 11:49 AM   #48
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I think that if she was forced to choose, she would not always side with WL's views (ie his hymns being the only valid form of worship), but would tend to do so most of the time.
FYI, there are more hymns in the hymnal that just Witness Lee's. It's just most hymns written by other saints over the last 100 years or so are not given acknowledgment that his are with a *. Unless you know a hymn and whose the hymn's author is, you wouldn't know unless credit is given. Case in point Blessed Assurance by Fannie Crosby. This hymn is in the hymnal, but you wouldn't know it was Fannie who wrote it unless you already knew. Maybe I'm nit-picking, but I'm just trying to make a point regarding the hymnal local churches use.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:01 PM   #49
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FYI, there are more hymns in the hymnal that just Witness Lee's. It's just most hymns written by other saints over the last 100 years or so are not given acknowledgment that his are with a *. Unless you know a hymn and whose the hymn's author is, you wouldn't know unless credit is given. Case in point Blessed Assurance by Fannie Crosby. This hymn is in the hymnal, but you wouldn't know it was Fannie who wrote it unless you already knew. Maybe I'm nit-picking, but I'm just trying to make a point regarding the hymnal local churches use.
I've only seen the hymnal once and everything that was sung out of it was to my knowledge and WL written/modified hymn. I have seen that I Am Not Skilled to Understand by Dorothy Greenwell is in there and that there was a modified version of All in All, so I know that not EVERYTHING in there is written by WL.
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Old 07-21-2011, 12:35 PM   #50
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Good points. We actually pass with flying colors on everything you mentioned. We don't differ much on opinions, but one of things we do differ on is regarding the church. This is due to her LRC upbringing and my non LRC upbringing. I know that the LRC is very much an encompassing lifestyle, I see it everyday. My issue lies not with the lifestyle itself, but rather it's motivation.
Motivation is a funny thing especially when we are talking about a small sub culture that someone grew up in. It may be quite simple and more or less unconscious: "This is what I know. This is what I am accustomed to."

Of course Witness taught and practiced religious bigotry and apartheid towards other Christians and the absence of the "Lord's Recovery" campus group at the All Campus worship event is an indication of how that plays out on the ground. Can a person grow up in such a sub culture and not be a bigot? I think so but they might be tainted by it for years to come since it's all they ever knew. On the other hand they may eventually reject that attitude and make an effort to be different. Not sure where your GF fits in on this issue and hopefully a college education is helping her broaden her horizons beyond the insularity and parochialism of her youth.
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Old 07-21-2011, 01:13 PM   #51
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I've only seen the hymnal once and everything that was sung out of it was to my knowledge and WL written/modified hymn. I have seen that I Am Not Skilled to Understand by Dorothy Greenwell is in there and that there was a modified version of All in All, so I know that not EVERYTHING in there is written by WL.
It is a real shame, the old hymnal had the names of the writers, the music, the composer, etc. It was a wonderful collection. The newer hymnal is, in my opinion, a joke. It is just a bunch of words. How would you figure out the tune if you come across a new hymn? How would you learn the names of some marvelous hymn writers? How would you see who the composers were of some of these great hymns? I still have my old hymnal, but only for reference, it is far too delicate to carry to a meeting in anything other than a box.

Perhaps they had to ditch the old hymnal if they wanted to erase JI name from the history, I don't know.
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Old 07-21-2011, 02:25 PM   #52
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It is a real shame, the old hymnal had the names of the writers, the music, the composer, etc. It was a wonderful collection. The newer hymnal is, in my opinion, a joke. It is just a bunch of words. How would you figure out the tune if you come across a new hymn? How would you learn the names of some marvelous hymn writers? How would you see who the composers were of some of these great hymns? I still have my old hymnal, but only for reference, it is far too delicate to carry to a meeting in anything other than a box.

Perhaps they had to ditch the old hymnal if they wanted to erase JI name from the history, I don't know.
Because knowing the names of those hymn writers would direct them outside of LSM? That's my guess. Who's this JI character you speak of?
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:07 PM   #53
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Who's this JI character you speak of?
That would be John Ingalls. He is a brother who worked on the fiirst edition of the New Testament Recovery Version. If you have time, here is his story of events that transpired in 1987-1989.
http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...read.php?t=411

He is a respected brother who served in the recovery from 1962-1989.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:41 PM   #54
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That would be John Ingalls. He is a brother who worked on the fiirst edition of the New Testament Recovery Version. If you have time, here is his story of events that transpired in 1987-1989.
http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...read.php?t=411

He is a respected brother who served in the recovery from 1962-1989.
Wow that's long.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to read that whole thing. From a quick skim it seems as though he's someone who eventually came to disagree with something within the LRC and got excommunicated. Would that be accurate? One thing that stood out to me in my quick skim was this particular quote:
"Statements made by some of the trainers in Taipei amazed us, as I am sure they did many others. Some examples are as follows:

1) “There is no need to pray about what to do; just follow the ministry.”
2) We don’t even need to think; we just do what we are told.”
3) “Follow Witness Lee blindly. Even if he’s wrong, he’s right.”
4) “If you leave the training, you’ll miss the kingdom.”
5) Our burden is to pick up Brother Lee’s teaching and way to make us all Witness Lees, like a Witness Lee duplication center.”
6) “To be one with the ministry is to be one with Brother Lee, the office, and Philip Lee.”
7) Since Christianity is in ruins, the Lord raised up the recovery; since the recovery is in ruins, the Lord raised up the FTTT."

If that is truly what was said in the FTT, then the LRC is in a worse state than I had previously thought. Especially #3 and #5. This is explicit WL worship. There was also a rather lengthy quote in part 4 that I found interesting. I think it was made by Titus Chu who, if I recall correctly, has something to do with the GLA split. There were 8 points, but I will only talk about the first two.

"
1. Brother Lee’s position among the churches was overly exalted. The matter of greatest concern is that he would be idolized and thus replace the position of the Lord and the Holy Spirit in the church.
2. Brother Lee’s teachings and messages were overly read and repeated in the churches, causing us to be concerned that the position of God’s Word would be replaced. The words of man flourishes, and the Word of God languishes. The opportunities for the Holy Spirit to speak are scarce. These first two points are the fundamental problems."
I think these two points demonstrate exactly the problem I saw with the LRC when I first looked it up and when I attended the meetings. They are, in my opinion, correctly put as the fundamental problems. It was definitely to a far lesser extent in the meetings, but the emphasis on the HWfMW being used as the main text for the Lord's Table meeting instead of the Bible is a pretty good example of #2. I won't even go into what I think of the footnotes.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:43 PM   #55
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It is a real shame, the old hymnal had the names of the writers, the music, the composer, etc. It was a wonderful collection. The newer hymnal is, in my opinion, a joke. It is just a bunch of words. How would you figure out the tune if you come across a new hymn? How would you learn the names of some marvelous hymn writers? How would you see who the composers were of some of these great hymns? I still have my old hymnal, but only for reference, it is far too delicate to carry to a meeting in anything other than a box.

Perhaps they had to ditch the old hymnal if they wanted to erase JI name from the history, I don't know.
And to think that I used to consider that hymnal was "inclusive." Hymnals are used by denominations to divide the body of Christ. The GLA just put out a new hymnal, and you would think that LSM would want their hymns to be included in another hymnal, so that "all their riches could enrich the body of Christ." What a joke! LSM refused to grant such permission. I remember years ago hearing how poor, poor Christianity refused to give LSM such permission for their hymnal.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:46 PM   #56
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And to think that I used to consider that hymnal was "inclusive." Hymnals are used by denominations to divide the body of Christ. The GLA just put out a new hymnal, and you would think that LSM would want their hymns to be included in another hymnal, so that "all their riches could enrich the body of Christ." What a joke! LSM refused to grant such permission. I remember years ago hearing how poor, poor Christianity refused to give LSM such permission for their hymnal.
My experience tells me that hymnals used in denominational churches (that is, churches who have a denominational name ie First Baptist Church, etc) are purely used for worship. I've encountered several different hymnals in my lifetime and haven't seen any of them be exclusive except for the LRC hymnal.
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Old 07-21-2011, 03:57 PM   #57
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Wow that's long.
TGA, let me provide a brief history, summarizing John Ingall's book:

JI was an elder in Anaheim for years, a well-respected pillar and "founding father" of the movement in this county. He helped put together the hymnal, edited books, gave conferences, etc. Anaheim is where LSM was headquartered, and its manager was the profligate son of WL named Philip, who was an obnoxious, drunk, unregenerate bully who abused church leaders around the globe.

JI and numerous other godly men around the globe began to resist LSM's takeover activities and at the same time attempted to remove Phillip from LSM management after several women were molested by him. Instead of listening to these men of God, WL and his lackeys ran a smear campaign accusing JI et. al. of forming a global conspiracy to overthrow his ministry, and branded JI a rebellious leper who needed to be quarantined or shunned by all.

That's the abbreviated version. "Short, quick, and to the point" as they used to instruct us.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:02 PM   #58
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Thanks for that summary Ohio. Never knew that Witness Lee's son was like that...or that he had a son. While I don't necessarily agree with the notion of "the Lord's Recovery" in the first place, knowing that this happened just puts more offenses on WL's list.
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Old 07-21-2011, 06:41 PM   #59
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A very valid point, it is a lot to abandon. So much so that I am worried about how she would adjust especially since she doesn't like drastic change all that much (and this would very much be a drastic change).
We have scared you! I am so sorry brother; in our zealous haste to expose the fallacies within the system, we've caused you to lose sight of the very thing you came here to find: A way to reconcile your faith with that of your girlfriends'.

Brother, please imagine that this girl whom you (I presume) love was a Jehovah's Witness. You know, I believe that Local Churches have far more in common with Kingdom Halls than they do with mainstream Evangelical or Orthodox churches.... just as the HWfMR has more in common with the Watchtower than it does with mainstream Christianity's daily devotional books... but I digress: Now, if you loved this Jehovah's Witness, and love the Lord your God with all of your heart, would you dare hesitate to share with her the TRUE gospel message, even though she appeared to be almost right religiously anyway? Would you risk her love to gain her soul? Don't you know that you can be sure that whoever brings a sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins? (James 5:20)

This is the situation: The gospel preached by Lee was not and is not the true gospel of Jesus Christ, nor is the Jesus of the Bible the 'processed, digested, triune God' Lee has proposed. Lee preached a different Jesus, and you know what that makes him.

2nd Corinthians 4:12 excerpted: "You happily put up with whatever anyone tells you, even if they preach a different Jesus than the one we preach, or a different kind of Spirit than the one you received, or a different kind of gospel than the one you believed. But I don’t consider myself inferior in any way to these “super apostles” who teach such things. I may be unskilled as a speaker, but I’m not lacking in knowledge. We have made this clear to you in every possible way. These people are false apostles. They are deceitful workers who disguise themselves as apostles of Christ. But I am not surprised! Even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light."

Galatians 1:8-9 "Let God’s curse fall on anyone, including us or even an angel from heaven, who preaches a different kind of Good News than the one we preached to you.I say again what we have said before: If anyone preaches any other Good News than the one you welcomed, let that person be cursed."

Brother, your girlfriend and her family and all the folks left behind in these LSM churches are victims. Some are willingly blind, its true - but she is young; she believes what she has been told by her family, her friends, and those she's been raised to see as her spiritual superiors. Her blindness is not her fault... not yet. She believes she has superior understanding of scripture because she has been consuming LSM doctrine for her whole life... but the Pharisees boasted likewise. Christ did not give up on them: His messages to them were sharp and to the point and many went unrepentant to their graves... But He did not mince words - and He still spoke to them and urged them to repent and see the error of their ways. We MUST do the same - and that is why we come to this Forum.

Brother, you said in an earlier post that your girlfriend found the depth of your Bible Studies lacking. This is an odd thing to say, considering that the groups with whom I met never had a Bible Study at all. They studied the HWfMR, they studied the footnotes for certain, and they would also study Life Study messages... but the Bible? The Pure Word of God? That I did not see. Perhaps in different "localities", but not in the ones I went too... You see, LSM's 'burden', if you will, is that we all NEED the "Interpreted Word" - the Word as interpreted by Witness Lee.

While in Anaheim, I was shown a video of one of Witness Lee's 'messages' (sermons), and here is what he 'released' (said) in that message: I wrote it in my Bible so I would not forget the words or tone the man took...

"I have worn out seven Bibles!"
"You've considered the 'Lord's Recovery' too lightly. You've never read the Recovery Version - yet you consider that you know something?! Not a short period of study would qualify you... You think it's easy to get (the truth)? It takes years! You think you can do better?! How much time have YOU spent?"
"You can't get as much nourishment from any book as you can from the Recovery Version of the Bible."

You hear what he's saying, of course: He is saying that he (Lee) is specially qualified to interpret the Bible for us. No one else in all of Christianity has his unique gift... this is why he called himself the "Minister of the Age" (a title you are unlikely to hear repeated these days, but one he used regardless). Whether your girlfriend ever heard messages like this or not is irrelevant, she has been taught to believe that she needs the footnotes to help her understand the Bible. That means she believes the footnotes must be 100% correct, that means she must believe that Lee had what no true man of God would dare to suggest he had: A thorough and complete understanding of everything God spoke in His Word to us.
It also means she doesn't understand what the Lord told us in His Word:

Matthew 23:8-12 "Don’t let anyone call you ‘Rabbi,’ for you have only one teacher, and all of you are equal as brothers and sisters. And don’t address anyone here on earth as ‘Father,’ for only God in heaven is your spiritual Father. And don’t let anyone call you ‘Teacher,’ for you have only one teacher, the Messiah.The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted."

Jeremiah 31:31-34 "“The day is coming,” says the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and Judah. This covenant will not be like the one I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand and brought them out of the land of Egypt. They broke that covenant, though I loved them as a husband loves his wife,” says the Lord.
“But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day,” says the Lord. “I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.And they will not need to teach their neighbors, nor will they need to teach their relatives, saying, ‘You should know the Lord.’ For everyone, from the least to the greatest, will know me already,” says the Lord. “And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins.”

John 14:16-17 "And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate,who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you."

John 14:26 "...when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative—that is, the Holy Spirit—he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you."

Brother, this shouldn't be about opening your girlfriends eyes to who Lee was. It has to be about opening her eyes to who Christ is. And only One can open the eyes of your girlfriend to the real truth about Christ. You know who that One is.

You need to get on your knees and pray for her, and you need others to stand with you in prayer for her and her family. She has believed a lie, and her eyes need to be opened. LSM is not just a church of a different flavour, it isn't just a harmless group of Christians who think too much of themselves - it is a crippled 'church' that has lost sight of the Faithful and True Witness - Christ Himself.

Are the people within these Local Churches real brothers and sisters in Christ? Perhaps no more or less so than any other gathering group of professing believers... which is to say, some certainly are, and likely many are not. That is for God to Judge, and again, He judges the heart. The issue is not whether they are genuine believers, rather it is how does what they believe allow them to live a life that Honors Him: Remember that He said many times that to love Him is to Obey Him (John 14:15)... are they obeying Him? Do they even understand that they need to Obey Him, or do they believe that they only need to 'breathe Him, eat Him, drink Him and enjoy Him'?

Brother, if your girlfriend believes your Bible studies lack depth, why not ask her to do a private Bible study with just you? It need not be done in private, but privately: together. The two of you in God's Word... without footnotes, that He may speak in His still, small voice to her heart.

James is the first written book of the New Testament, and it is a book that frustrated Lee. He believed James 'didn't get it', because James said that "faith without works is dead"... But God used James to write into His canon of Scripture. He didn't use Lee.

1st John is a book about the love for the brethren... and that is something also sorely lacking in Lee's ministry.

I don't know brother, I don't know where you ought to start... but I know He does. I pray that He shows you... and opens a door in this girl's heart. Lord God, please - open the eyes of these ones that they may see... and let the scales of the serpent fall away.


Your brother,

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Old 07-21-2011, 06:41 PM   #60
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3) “Follow Witness Lee blindly. Even if he’s wrong, he’s right.”
5) Our burden is to pick up Brother Lee’s teaching and way to make us all Witness Lees, like a Witness Lee duplication center.”
If that is truly what was said in the FTT, then the LRC is in a worse state than I had previously thought. Especially #3 and #5.
On point #5 I have never heard a trainee I have known speak that way. It could well have been a product of overzealous trainers?
On point #3 I've heard that, but I believe over time not even the top leading brothers can say that now. Not with all the LRC historical information available. These days, the response that has likely replaced #3 is "Everybody makes mistakes. Nobody's perfect." Except for Jesus.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:09 PM   #61
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Wow that's long.

Unfortunately, I don't have the time to read that whole thing. From a quick skim it seems as though he's someone who eventually came to disagree with something within the LRC and got excommunicated. Would that be accurate? One thing that stood out to me in my quick skim was this particular quote:
"Statements made by some of the trainers in Taipei amazed us, as I am sure they did many others. Some examples are as follows:

1) “There is no need to pray about what to do; just follow the ministry.”
2) We don’t even need to think; we just do what we are told.”
3) “Follow Witness Lee blindly. Even if he’s wrong, he’s right.”
4) “If you leave the training, you’ll miss the kingdom.”
5) Our burden is to pick up Brother Lee’s teaching and way to make us all Witness Lees, like a Witness Lee duplication center.”
6) “To be one with the ministry is to be one with Brother Lee, the office, and Philip Lee.”
7) Since Christianity is in ruins, the Lord raised up the recovery; since the recovery is in ruins, the Lord raised up the FTTT."

If that is truly what was said in the FTT, then the LRC is in a worse state than I had previously thought. Especially #3 and #5. This is explicit WL worship. There was also a rather lengthy quote in part 4 that I found interesting. I think it was made by Titus Chu who, if I recall correctly, has something to do with the GLA split. There were 8 points, but I will only talk about the first two.

"
1. Brother Lee’s position among the churches was overly exalted. The matter of greatest concern is that he would be idolized and thus replace the position of the Lord and the Holy Spirit in the church.
2. Brother Lee’s teachings and messages were overly read and repeated in the churches, causing us to be concerned that the position of God’s Word would be replaced. The words of man flourishes, and the Word of God languishes. The opportunities for the Holy Spirit to speak are scarce. These first two points are the fundamental problems."
I think these two points demonstrate exactly the problem I saw with the LRC when I first looked it up and when I attended the meetings. They are, in my opinion, correctly put as the fundamental problems. It was definitely to a far lesser extent in the meetings, but the emphasis on the HWfMW being used as the main text for the Lord's Table meeting instead of the Bible is a pretty good example of #2. I won't even go into what I think of the footnotes.
I don't doubt that JI heard those things and repeated them accurately. However, I was a trainer in the FTTT and was very close to some others and I can assure you we would have strongly rebuked anyone who said any such foolishness. The only one I heard was the Witness Lee duplication center and to be sure I thought it was idiotic, but the environment was such that you couldn't say anything.In hindsight it looks like WL worship, at the time it seemed like novice brothers speaking foolishness (I never heard any of the trainers speak this, only visiting saints). I do know that Andrew Yu, who was in charge of the training was outraged at these accusations and spoke some very strong words to everyone in the Training to sober up and stop the foolishness.
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Old 07-21-2011, 07:15 PM   #62
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TGA, let me provide a brief history, summarizing John Ingall's book:

JI was an elder in Anaheim for years, a well-respected pillar and "founding father" of the movement in this county. He helped put together the hymnal, edited books, gave conferences, etc. Anaheim is where LSM was headquartered, and its manager was the profligate son of WL named Philip, who was an obnoxious, drunk, unregenerate bully who abused church leaders around the globe.

JI and numerous other godly men around the globe began to resist LSM's takeover activities and at the same time attempted to remove Phillip from LSM management after several women were molested by him. Instead of listening to these men of God, WL and his lackeys ran a smear campaign accusing JI et. al. of forming a global conspiracy to overthrow his ministry, and branded JI a rebellious leper who needed to be quarantined or shunned by all.

That's the abbreviated version. "Short, quick, and to the point" as they used to instruct us.
The only other thing I would add is that JI would come and give conferences, so he wasn't just a name in the hymnal and RcV, he was someone who ministered a very sweet ministry. You felt like you had a relationship with him and it was unthinkable that after all those years he would be poisoned. What made it worse is that everyone acted like zombies, afraid to even enquire what happened for fear of also being branded as rebellious. You would like to think that after so many years there would be many brothers and other elders that would not accept at face value what they were being told but would look into these matters to see if they were so. But there wasn't. Then years later when we learn the real story you realize how completely shameful the whole thing was. And, he wasn't the only one. Ther were at least 5 brothers that left in a similar way by standing up to WL and being slandered and publicly ridiculed.
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:04 PM   #63
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We have scared you! I am so sorry brother; in our zealous haste to expose the fallacies within the system, we've caused you to lose sight of the very thing you came here to find: A way to reconcile your faith with that of your girlfriends'.

Your brother,

NeitherFirstnorLast
Brother NeitherFirstnorLast,

Thank you so much for your insight. I apologize for only putting the beginning and end in quotes and leaving out all the actually important words you put, but for the sake of not having a ridiculously long response message (I myself tend to get annoyed having to scroll through extraneous quotes and things trying to get to the actual response) I have left it out.

I would however, first like to respond to something you said about Bible studies. I have no idea what goes on in these Bible studies. I do know that they read out of the RcV since I have seen her bring it there and back with nothing else (ie HWfMR, Life studies, etc). I am only guessing that they read from the footnotes as well, but I don't know for sure. Like you, I have nothing but speculation beyond the fact that they use the RcV. Perhaps that's all the evidence necessary. It would make sense that if they used the footnotes that they would be the "depth" that is lacking in my Bible studies.

But onto more serious matters...

Since my first discovery of what the Recovery was and what it stood for I have been wary of it. Perhaps that is God's way of warning me of the words I was reading. To clarify, I had been reading a lot of LSM sponsored websites trying to find the errors in their words myself. I even read footnotes from the RcV with two of my closest brothers in the church. They possess far more biblical knowledge than I and yet even they could not find an error in the footnotes that we read. We probably weren't looking in the right places for such things, but nonetheless even then I still was convinced that there had to be something that was up with regards to the LRC.

Perhaps I held a strange fear of knowing that the girl I love (and yes, you presumed very much correctly) believed in false teachings. Whatever it was, I guess you could say my burning desire to expose these false teachings diminished. Perhaps they diminished for her sake, knowing that if she knew what she has grown up with is indeed false teachings, her life may very well be shattered. Still, I have prayed every day for God to open both my heart and hers to His will. I would have a hard time believing that God would not want another soul for His kingdom, and so I have remained, and continue to remain hopeful that somehow I or something/someone else could convince her of the truth. Problem is, I also have no idea where to start. Perhaps it that I am not mature enough in my own knowledge to refute all the false teachings in front of her, perhaps it's something else. Maybe I will find the answer here on this forum (no pressure) or maybe simply just partial answers, but I'm sure you guys can be nothing but helpful to us.

At the very least, I ask for your prayers. Prayer is our most powerful tool in situations like these.

In Christ,
ToGodAlone
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Old 07-21-2011, 08:42 PM   #64
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Since my first discovery of what the Recovery was and what it stood for I have been wary of it. Perhaps that is God's way of warning me of the words I was reading. To clarify, I had been reading a lot of LSM sponsored websites trying to find the errors in their words myself. I even read footnotes from the RcV with two of my closest brothers in the church. They possess far more biblical knowledge than I and yet even they could not find an error in the footnotes that we read. We probably weren't looking in the right places for such things, but nonetheless even then I still was convinced that there had to be something that was up with regards to the LRC.
The recovery I was raised is not the same one that exists today. It is shadow of what it was once like. It used to be what the community churches today are; a place you can invite to bring your friends. Today's recovery is quoted by a blended co-worker on another thread;

"Not everyone belongs in the Lord’s recovery. I know a number of brothers and sisters that just don’t belong in the Lord’s recovery. It takes a special calling from the Lord for a person to be willing to pay the price to be in the Lord’s recovery. "

This is if you don't gravitate towards "the ministry", the recovery is probably not for you. Don't get me wrong there are positives in the recovery, but there are also negatives. Thing is it is like an elephant in the room no one wants to admit is present.

You mentioned footnotes. For all the footnotes included in the New Testament, how come there is nothing for "take heed" in Acts 20:28? One that has bothered me is footnote 17 to James 4:17, " A concluding word to all the charges in the preceding verses. It says that if the recipients of this Epistle are helped by James's writing and yet will not do as he wrote, to them it is sin."
Point is this word from James is based from Old testament scripture.
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Old 07-21-2011, 09:29 PM   #65
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It is also my opinion that most of those in the GLA sided with LSM because they considered it a lesser evil than TC in Cleveland, a "grass is greener on the other side" type thing.
Do you mean currently in the GLA there are more pro LSM than TC?
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Old 07-22-2011, 11:16 AM   #66
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The recovery I was raised is not the same one that exists today. It is shadow of what it was once like. It used to be what the community churches today are; a place you can invite to bring your friends. Today's recovery is quoted by a blended co-worker on another thread;

"Not everyone belongs in the Lord’s recovery. I know a number of brothers and sisters that just don’t belong in the Lord’s recovery. It takes a special calling from the Lord for a person to be willing to pay the price to be in the Lord’s recovery. "

This is if you don't gravitate towards "the ministry", the recovery is probably not for you. Don't get me wrong there are positives in the recovery, but there are also negatives. Thing is it is like an elephant in the room no one wants to admit is present.

You mentioned footnotes. For all the footnotes included in the New Testament, how come there is nothing for "take heed" in Acts 20:28? One that has bothered me is footnote 17 to James 4:17, " A concluding word to all the charges in the preceding verses. It says that if the recipients of this Epistle are helped by James's writing and yet will not do as he wrote, to them it is sin."
Point is this word from James is based from Old testament scripture.
A blended co-worker? Forgive my lack of knowledge of the terminology, but that honestly sounds like he was put in a blender. Sorry...anyway...

Are you saying that nowadays they're telling people that you can only be in the recovery if you agree with that they teach you? If so then that's a pretty surefire way to get lots of LRC "fanatics".

What exactly did you mean concerning the footnote? Was it that since James's statement had OT origins that WL considered it invalid or something?
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:37 PM   #67
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Do you mean currently in the GLA there are more pro LSM than TC?
Depends on what part of the GLA you are in.

Before the actual quarantine of TC in Oct. 2006, LSM leaders effectively wooed the Chicago leader Bill Barker into their camp. He had been bitterly scolded by TC in a workers' gathering, and was still smarting from that offense. His flip-flop in allegiance was pivotal, and allowed LSM to proceed with their "purging" without major losses.

In the Chicago area, only a few places like Naperville are still supportive of TC. Close to a dozen full-time workers and their families left the Chicago area for TC controlled areas closer to Cleveland. This resulted in a huge "brain-drain" for Chicago, but helped them much financially, since they just completed a major, and very costly expansion to their property.

In "greater Ohio," several nasty splits occurred. LSM controlled minorities were able to out-maneuver the TC sided majorities in Mansfield and Columbus with the help of LSM's legal team. The huge church in Toronto barely escaped LSM's clutches.

Not to overly complicate things, but there are also greater Ohio churches which have distanced themselves from both Anaheim and Cleveland, which is what I predicted all along. TC has long proposed the paradigm of "WL good, Blendeds bad" to all his supporters, and most have bought into that. It's an easy and convenient sell, but it does not match the facts. Once we begin to examine the many faults of the Blendeds, it is just a few baby steps further to realize that WL, TC, and the Blendeds are all pretty much the same.
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Old 07-22-2011, 01:49 PM   #68
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Depends on what part of the GLA you are in.

Before the actual quarantine of TC in Oct. 2006, LSM leaders effectively wooed the Chicago leader Bill Barker into their camp. He had been bitterly scolded by TC in a workers' gathering, and was still smarting from that offense. His flip-flop in allegiance was pivotal, and allowed LSM to proceed with their "purging" without major losses.

In the Chicago area, only a few places like Naperville are still supportive of TC. Close to a dozen full-time workers and their families left the Chicago area for TC controlled areas closer to Cleveland. This resulted in a huge "brain-drain" for Chicago, but helped them much financially, since they just completed a major, and very costly expansion to their property.

In "greater Ohio," several nasty splits occurred. LSM controlled minorities were able to out-maneuver the TC sided majorities in Mansfield and Columbus with the help of LSM's legal team. The huge church in Toronto barely escaped LSM's clutches.

Not to overly complicate things, but there are also greater Ohio churches which have distanced themselves from both Anaheim and Cleveland, which is what I predicted all along. TC has long proposed the paradigm of "WL good, Blendeds bad" to all his supporters, and most have bought into that. It's an easy and convenient sell, but it does not match the facts. Once we begin to examine the many faults of the Blendeds, it is just a few baby steps further to realize that WL, TC, and the Blendeds are all pretty much the same.
So this is the current state of the LRC is it? Chicago area is still pretty much under LSM "control" then? It's a darn shame. They say they fight for the Lord's Recovery, but they're no better than that which they separated from, and in a lot of cases are probably worse.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:07 PM   #69
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So this is the current state of the LRC is it? Chicago area is still pretty much under LSM "control" then? It's a darn shame. They say they fight for the Lord's Recovery, but they're no better than that which they separated from, and in a lot of cases are probably worse.
Here's one of life's great ironies. LSM leveraged the quarantine of TC using the policy of having only one publication in the Recovery. James Reetske Sr, another of Chicago's original leaders, and himself an author, said repeatedly in the leaders' meetings, that he was against the mandate for one publication, saying to the extent "Many Christians have died for the right to publish their books."

Yet, when push came to shove, ole JRsr forgot about the past martyrs, and his Christian liberties, and saluted the new bosses in Anaheim. He had no choice but to follow the lead of his more powerful, but less spiritual, co-elder Bill Barker. TC at the time tried his best to spin the Chicago flip-flop as strictly a "business decision," due to their enormous mortgage, close to $2M. Rumor has it that LSM helped them with their financial "burden" in exchange for their complicity in the purge of TC.
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:27 PM   #70
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Here's one of life's great ironies. LSM leveraged the quarantine of TC using the policy of having only one publication in the Recovery. James Reetske Sr, another of Chicago's original leaders, and himself an author, said repeatedly in the leaders' meetings, that he was against the mandate for one publication, saying to the extent "Many Christians have died for the right to publish their books."

Yet, when push came to shove, ole JRsr forgot about the past martyrs, and his Christian liberties, and saluted the new bosses in Anaheim. He had no choice but to follow the lead of his more powerful, but less spiritual, co-elder Bill Barker. TC at the time tried his best to spin the Chicago flip-flop as strictly a "business decision," due to their enormous mortgage, close to $2M. Rumor has it that LSM helped them with their financial "burden" in exchange for their complicity in the purge of TC.
So is Chicago pro LSM still?
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Old 07-22-2011, 02:56 PM   #71
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TC at the time tried his best to spin the Chicago flip-flop as strictly a "business decision," due to their enormous mortgage, close to $2M. Rumor has it that LSM helped them with their financial "burden" in exchange for their complicity in the purge of TC.
So from what you're saying it seems like TC was already causing problems in Chicago and the money thing happened to be what pushed them over the edge into the LSM camp.

What is it like in Ohio now? Do the majority still follow TC or has that dwindled down?
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Old 07-22-2011, 05:50 PM   #72
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So is Chicago pro LSM still?
Last I heard.
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Old 07-23-2011, 05:27 PM   #73
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Last I heard.
Well that's most unfortunate...
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Old 07-23-2011, 06:10 PM   #74
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So from what you're saying it seems like TC was already causing problems in Chicago and the money thing happened to be what pushed them over the edge into the LSM camp.

What is it like in Ohio now? Do the majority still follow TC or has that dwindled down?
Did you read what I posted?
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Old 07-24-2011, 04:20 PM   #75
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In the interest of getting this a bit back on topic, does anyone else have some insight as to what I could do?
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Old 07-25-2011, 06:39 AM   #76
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In the interest of getting this a bit back on topic, does anyone else have some insight as to what I could do?
Run away as fast as you can. Get out, get away, and begin to flush the local church out of your system. Get out of the LC and then work for a few years to get the LC out of your head.

And leave that sister behind ... she's nothing but a future heartache. Better to have that heart break now then after you are much more invested.

And don't make any life long lasting decisions until you get your head clear of all the LC nonsense.
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Old 07-25-2011, 07:13 AM   #77
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In the interest of getting this a bit back on topic, does anyone else have some insight as to what I could do?
I hesitate to give advice, but in my experience, the local church was not really supportive of marriage. The leadership wanted you to spend all your time in meetings digesting Witness Lee's ministry. Couples could sit in meetings and jump up and down and shout together. But it was more of a parallel kind of activity than an interactive one.

Actually, my ex-wife and I got married in a joint meeting with another couple. All that happened was the elder of the church signed the marriage license and then we had a meeting where people jumped up and testified and shouted pretty much like every other meeting. Not exactly a propitious start. It was an interesting experience, but I wouldn't want to do it again.
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Old 09-10-2011, 08:50 PM   #78
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Hello dear brother. I was looking for something else when I happened on your story and was drawn in by sensitivity of your writing concerning your personal involvement with your dear girlfriend. You don't seem to be asking for advise here but, anonymously, I felt to offer some. I have been in what you tag "The Lord's Recovery" since I began reading Watchman Nee books at the age of 17 and met some of brothers in my home town.

At that time, there was no footnotes and limited recorded publications but I have witnessed the gradual growth of what I consider is phenomenal light and truth embedded in God's Word through the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. My spiritual life, my personal life, my family life (which includes my involvement with my girlfriend who became my wife), my children, my professional life and fellowship life with my close brothers and sisters have all been greatly benefited by the reading of these publications. Modalism is not taught here, although some careless theologians accuse us of teaching it. All the above is to share that I am convinced the vision of Br Nee and Br Lee and ones I have been involved with is a genuine move of the Spirit. Now lay what I said above aside.

To be honest, one thing about this move is that it is based on having a serious desire to surrender your life to take care of God's interest and sympathize with God's need of a response from His people. That personal hunger that would lead one to sacrifice to gain the lost world and live for building up believers is an essential element in this kind of Christian living. One only gets the supply of grace to want to live this kind of life from the Lord Himself . If you care about your girlfriend and she cares about you, you need to consider whether you both have the desire to want to live your lives to meet the Lord's need. My wife and I are not perfect, but along the way, and with the help of Bible being properly interpreted we both have this feeling. I highly recommend it to you. The best to you and to your girl friend dear brother.

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Greetings brothers and sisters.

I found this site a couple weeks ago and was intrigued by what I saw. As the title of my thread may imply, I am not a member of the so called Lord's Recovery. So why am I here? Well sit back and relax and I'll tell you.

A few years ago, I had no idea this movement even existed. I grew up in what they would call the "apostate denominational churches" in the Recovery. I was perfectly content with how things were until a girl came and rocked my world...

As you might've guessed, this girl was a member of the Lord's Recovery. Now typically, this wouldn't have mattered to me except for one thing: this girl became my girlfriend. A few months into the relationship, I asked her what church she went to since I had never asked before then (I had known she was a Christian before we started going out and whatnot) to which she replied "the Church in *I won't say where to preserve the anonymity of this post*" Upon a quick google search of this place, the Lord's Recovery was introduced into my life.

I didn't think much of it at first, since after seeing their website nothing popped out as weird except for the term Lord's Recovery. I asked her about it a few times, but I guess she gave all the "right answers" as I continued to not really think anything of this place. However, months later, I looked up the Recovery version of the Bible out of curiosity. It was then that I first saw the lengthy Witness Lee footnotes that you are all familiar with. The particular preview that I saw was from Genesis 1:1. I was amused by the fact that there was 1 or 2 verses on the page followed by paragraphs upon paragraphs of footnotes. I had been told that her Bible had footnotes prior to this, however I had assumed it would've been like the footnotes in any other Bible I've seen, just a few notes here and there. While I joked with her about the amount of footnotes there were, I looked at some other parts in the New Testament and was, of course, treated to the same thing. I asked her if she read all of these footnotes to which she replied that it wasn't "necessary" to but it was helpful in the explanation of certain parts. Made perfect sense to me, so I proceeded to read some in the next few weeks. However I was more confused by these footnotes than enlightened.

Fast forward to the summer before we started college. We happened to choose the same college and I asked her if she wanted to join one of the campus ministries on campus that a few people from my church had told me about. She was pretty adamant about going to the Christians on Campus "branch" of her church. This, naturally, disappointed me greatly. By this point I had grown to care very much about her, and it always bugged me that we had never been to church together. We had talked about it every now and then, and I figured college would be the perfect opportunity to do so. Thus, her persistent stance on joining Christians on Campus stung even more.

By now, I had read many bad things about the Lord's Recovery, even being told by my youth pastor that it was a heretical church based upon their modalistic teachings. Not wanting to condemn based on the words of people who might not necessarily know what they were talking about (and partly based on my girlfriend's exclamations that people on the internet were simply seeking/were instruments of Satan to smash her church) I decided to go to a meeting the 2nd week of school. What I saw there fit most descriptions of what I had read up until that point. There was sing-reading, pray-reading, many exclamations of "Oh Lord Jesus!" and loud "Amens" and "Lord Jesus", exclusive usage of the Recovery version (which wasn't even being used in this particular meeting) and what I call the Witness Lee Hymnal, and all sorts of things that I should not have to describe to you. I recall one hymn we sang which contained something along the lines of "Jesus transfigured into the Holy Spirit" which sprung my mental modalist warning system. It seemed as though everything I had read was right.

My girlfriend perhaps sensed that I had a negative view of her church and gave me the silent treatment for awhile. Not wanting to upset her, I agreed to go to a larger college meeting or outing or something with members of Christians on Campus from several other colleges. However, it was more of the same. While I convinced her that it wasn't as bad as I had thought before, the thought that she was in a "misguided" church gnawed at my heart for months afterwards.

Since then the differences between our churches has grown more and more apparent. She has always been taught that people who are in denominational churches (which I don't happen to be, but it's really all the same to them regardless) are dividing the church and whatnot. However, when I brought her to the All Campus Worship event to which nearly every single campus ministry was represented and acknowledged (except, of course, for hers). This bothered her greatly. For all the preaching of oneness and unity, why was it that her church did not go to this ALL CAMPUS worship event? After all, it was the perfect opportunity to display the oneness of all believers in Christ. There are more differences that I could mention, but I feel like I don't really have to here.

This leads me to why I am posting here. What should I do? I know a lot of you have some pretty strong views on Witness Lee and the local church and whatnot, but naturally (and for some personal reasons which I can't really disclose) I can't ask her to just leave and join me. In fact, she'll probably be unable to leave even if she wanted to until after we've graduated. I'm not asking for some way to "convert" her or anything, just for a way that we can grow together in Christ like we've wanted to do this whole time. I know there are some good aspects of the local church (such as a communal, family like lifestyle) that many churches can stand to learn from, but it seems in this case, the bad outweighs the good.

Many thanks and God bless.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:06 AM   #79
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Hello dear brother. I was looking for something else when I happened on your story and was drawn in by sensitivity of your writing concerning your personal involvement with your dear girlfriend. You don't seem to be asking for advise here but, anonymously, I felt to offer some. I have been in what you tag "The Lord's Recovery" since I began reading Watchman Nee books at the age of 17 and met some of brothers in my home town.

At that time, there was no footnotes and limited recorded publications but I have witnessed the gradual growth of what I consider is phenomenal light and truth embedded in God's Word through the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. My spiritual life, my personal life, my family life (which includes my involvement with my girlfriend who became my wife), my children, my professional life and fellowship life with my close brothers and sisters have all been greatly benefited by the reading of these publications. Modalism is not taught here, although some careless theologians accuse us of teaching it. All the above is to share that I am convinced the vision of Br Nee and Br Lee and ones I have been involved with is a genuine move of the Spirit. Now lay what I said above aside.

To be honest, one thing about this move is that it is based on having a serious desire to surrender your life to take care of God's interest and sympathize with God's need of a response from His people. That personal hunger that would lead one to sacrifice to gain the lost world and live for building up believers is an essential element in this kind of Christian living. One only gets the supply of grace to want to live this kind of life from the Lord Himself . If you care about your girlfriend and she cares about you, you need to consider whether you both have the desire to want to live your lives to meet the Lord's need. My wife and I are not perfect, but along the way, and with the help of Bible being properly interpreted we both have this feeling. I highly recommend it to you. The best to you and to your girl friend dear brother.

Anonymous
I know hundreds of brothers who believed the same as "unregistered" posted above. We were helped by the ministries of WL and WN and those ahead of us in this journey. Though we all had our personal faults and shortcomings, none can say that our consecration to the Lord and dedication to the church was somehow sufficient.

What was the cause of so many former members leaving the "Recovery?" It was not the loss of vision, nor some hidden loves for self or the world, neither unforgiven offenses nor hidden ambitions. None of these characterizations can properly describe their departures. Neither were they "poisoned" by some negative speaking.

Nearly every one who left, did so because of abuses and unrighteousnesses by church ministry leaders. I have read many of their accounts. Many who left were simply crying out for righteousness, many left badly beaten. Many could not stomach the unrighteousness covered up by the leaders. They realized that the high and lofty message of "the vision of Christ and the church" had been highjacked by unscrupulous leaders intent on personal gain and glory.

I was active in the LC's since the mid 70's. All of these serious problems were kept from the many sincere members. Though I had begun to suspect the Recovery had serious issues back in the 90's, it was not until the events surrounding the quarantine of TC that caused me to seriously and objectively examine what I gave my life to. The Bible tells us to "test all things." After 30 years, I finally took this verse to heart, and put the Recovery to the test.
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:37 AM   #80
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I hesitate to give advice, but in my experience, the local church was not really supportive of marriage. The leadership wanted you to spend all your time in meetings digesting Witness Lee's ministry. Couples could sit in meetings and jump up and down and shout together. But it was more of a parallel kind of activity than an interactive one.

Actually, my ex-wife and I got married in a joint meeting with another couple. All that happened was the elder of the church signed the marriage license and then we had a meeting where people jumped up and testified and shouted pretty much like every other meeting. Not exactly a propitious start. It was an interesting experience, but I wouldn't want to do it again.
What a sad testimony. It's no wonder there were so many broken homes in the LC's. They encouraged marriages with little or no preparation. My own testimony is equally sad, so I am not speaking as a casual observer here. I was surrounded by marriages that were promoted by leaders, thinking naively that marriage was some magical "cure-all" for all of life's problems. LC Chinese leaders somehow believed that ancient customs from a rigid society would work in "liberated" America. I have to believe that many marriages failed simply because the parties finally "grew up," and then realized how very different they were.

What a tragedy that the many movements in the LC's also included marriage. Often it was just "the thing to do" for young people, like dumb sheep being led to slaughter, since all their friends were "doing it." I remember Cleveland in '77. TC had a "talk" with a bunch of singles, and shortly after we started to hear about wedding plans. It was somewhat like an hour-long TV show, except for the "happily ever after" part. None of these LC leaders ever took responsibility for their failed "match-making." The "Fiddler on the Roof" kept fiddling away. It took numerous LC divorces before most leaders decided to stop "playing God" and taking marriage more seriously.

I never did hear LC leaders speaking of "love" in the context of marriage. Instead it was that morbid, "she can't live with me without Christ, and I can't live with her without Christ. She is my cross, and I am her cross. Because of her I gain more Christ, and because of me she gains more Christ." Sound more like a "cage" than a cross. Was that supposed to be "good news." Some leaders even gave those "spiritual" messages during wedding meetings. Imagine what the families thought. Old fashioned traditional marriages from "poor, poor Christianity" held more hope than that!
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Old 09-11-2011, 07:43 AM   #81
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To be honest, one thing about this move is that it is based on having a serious desire to surrender your life to take care of God's interest and sympathize with God's need of a response from His people.
If God's interest is to spread Living Stream style churches to every city, and if God's interest is to get every living Christian to read only LSM material, then yes. But, that is not God's interest.

The fact that unregistered's girlfriend refused to go to the collective gathering of other Christians on campus speaks volumes. This is a narrow, exclusive group, and they are not interested in anything else that is going on in Christianity because they don't believe God is with those other Christians.

Unregistered, you are about to embark on a long and difficult journey if you want to continue with this girl in the hopes that there can be some sort of compromise. These people compromise about like the Jehovah's Witnesses. May the Lord be with you as you go forward.

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Old 09-11-2011, 07:49 AM   #82
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What a sad testimony. It's no wonder there were so many broken homes in the LC's. They encouraged marriages with little or no preparation. My own testimony is equally sad, so I am not speaking as a casual observer here. I was surrounded by marriages that were promoted by leaders, thinking naively that marriage was some magical "cure-all" for all of life's problems. LC Chinese leaders somehow believed that ancient customs from a rigid society would work in "liberated" America. I have to believe that many marriages failed simply because the parties finally "grew up," and then realized how very different they were.

What a tragedy that the many movements in the LC's also included marriage. Often it was just "the thing to do" for young people, like dumb sheep being led to slaughter, since all their friends were "doing it." I remember Cleveland in '77. TC had a "talk" with a bunch of singles, and shortly after we started to hear about wedding plans. It was somewhat like an hour-long TV show, except for the "happily ever after" part. None of these LC leaders ever took responsibility for their failed "match-making." The "Fiddler on the Roof" kept fiddling away. It took numerous LC divorces before most leaders decided to stop "playing God" and taking marriage more seriously.

I never did hear LC leaders speaking of "love" in the context of marriage. Instead it was that morbid, "she can't live with me without Christ, and I can't live with her without Christ. She is my cross, and I am her cross. Because of her I gain more Christ, and because of me she gains more Christ." Sound more like a "cage" than a cross. Was that supposed to be "good news." Some leaders even gave those "spiritual" messages during wedding meetings. Imagine what the families thought. Old fashioned traditional marriages from "poor, poor Christianity" held more hope than that!
It is very common for Chinese Local Church people to refer to their spouses as "My Brother," or "My Sister." It's clear that romantic love is very scarce among all those arranged marriages, which are all "Consecrated to Christ and the Church."

If you hear, "Our marriage is for Christ and the Church," run as fast as you can in the other direction. A marriage that is consecrated to Christ and the Church (aka, Local Church/Living Stream Church) will more than likely fall apart when Toto pulls back the curtain on the Wizard of Oz for one in the couple.

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Old 09-11-2011, 12:36 PM   #83
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I remember the push for marriage in Cleveland...to me it looked like too many young brothers considering themselves spiritual giants...and older brothers knowing that marriage can correct that in ALL of us...LOL
My favorite story from that time is that of a very sweet young sister who called her mother excitedly to announce her upcoming marriage...of course Mom asked his name...to which the sister said..."I don't KNOW". Now as a Mom I can't imagine getting a call like that!
But...she's still married and not with the LC.
So, marriage depends upon the couple and their faith in Jesus Christ.
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Old 09-11-2011, 12:59 PM   #84
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I remember the push for marriage in Cleveland...to me it looked like too many young brothers considering themselves spiritual giants...and older brothers knowing that marriage can correct that in ALL of us...LOL
My favorite story from that time is that of a very sweet young sister who called her mother excitedly to announce her upcoming marriage...of course Mom asked his name...to which the sister said..."I don't KNOW". Now as a Mom I can't imagine getting a call like that!
But...she's still married and not with the LC.
So, marriage depends upon the couple and their faith in Jesus Christ.
I remember Witness Lee saying something like, "It doesn't matter what sister. Find one, get married, and go on with Christ and the Church." I was surprised to find years later that Watchman Nee never considered marriage like that. That he advised taking it very seriously, and many factors should be considered before getting married.

I also remember Lee saying that both children and spouses were : "Little grinders." Get that. We were reduced to being little grinders. Lee was so demented.
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:09 PM   #85
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[For a bit of irony, link to www.weather.com and see what they're saying about Lee.]
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Old 09-11-2011, 01:59 PM   #86
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I remember the push for marriage in Cleveland...to me it looked like too many young brothers considering themselves spiritual giants...and older brothers knowing that marriage can correct that in ALL of us...LOL
It just makes me sick looking back at how impulsively marriage was entered into. Immature elders promoting and hastening marriages without proper courtships, all expedited by WL's mandate of "no dating." Many of us were told specifically by elder L.C. in Columbus, "the church doesn't have time for weddings, just do something simple to satisfy your family."

So many important decisions were made with short term gains in view. So many important decisions were made without sufficient time to know the Lord's mind. My church was filled with zealous lieutenants wanting to decide the lives of younger brothers and sisters. Quite a far cry from WN's careful instruction concerning marriage.

The atmosphere of that church had little sympathy for those who spent time with their wives or children. Things like that had to be done in secret. No vacations were allowed in those early days. I remember the sense of outrage I felt when I learned one leader took his kids to the amusement park. He told us never to go, but since I had the class with his kids, I couldn't help to hear them talk about going. Hypocrisy anyone?
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:26 PM   #87
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An LC girl I know met her husband-to-be in a bar, while she was in a spiritual slump. They got married and then she decided to get spiritually healthy again. Where did she want to go, having returned to Christ? Why, the church in so-and-so, of course. Poor dude. He didn't know what hit him. Some people only have to deal with marrying into a difficult set of in-laws. This guy got that and more...a truckload of beliefs and practices, a sectarian network of churches, and a world of weird. Last time I saw him, he was loading a U-Haul, having been caught up in a wife-led expedition to "the Lord's move to _______________." Reminded me of a Venus flytrap scenario.
This would make a good premise for a TV series, or at least a mini-series! LOL Not sure if it would be a comedy, a drama, or a thriller!
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:33 PM   #88
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I never did hear LC leaders speaking of "love" in the context of marriage. Instead it was that morbid, "she can't live with me without Christ, and I can't live with her without Christ. She is my cross, and I am her cross. Because of her I gain more Christ, and because of me she gains more Christ." Sound more like a "cage" than a cross. Was that supposed to be "good news." Some leaders even gave those "spiritual" messages during wedding meetings. Imagine what the families thought. Old fashioned traditional marriages from "poor, poor Christianity" held more hope than that!
I remember a bother we all looked up to, who was a little older than us 18-22 year olds in Bezerkly. (He always reminded me a little of Charelton Heston as Moses . . .) He told us we all needed to get married to a big, ugly, battle axe of a wife who would just grind us to a pulp, and that's how we would really gain Christ. We all laughed, but he was serious. He wound up getting married to a pretty, sweet sister as I remember.
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Old 09-11-2011, 02:58 PM   #89
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It just makes me sick looking back at how impulsively marriage was entered into. Immature elders promoting and hastening marriages without proper courtships, all expedited by WL's mandate of "no dating." Many of us were told specifically by elder L.C. in Columbus, "the church doesn't have time for weddings, just do something simple to satisfy your family."
Someone mentioned a while back, in the other forum, that Witness Lee actually wanted some kind of provision for courtship during the Full-Time Training. But that it was the other brothers around him that put the kibosh on that, insisting on a strict no-dating policy.

This really surprised me. I don't know of any support for the idea that the current no-dating policy in the training is not according to WL's desire. Any thoughts, anyone?
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:26 PM   #90
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Someone mentioned a while back, in the other forum, that Witness Lee actually wanted some kind of provision for courtship during the Full-Time Training. But that it was the other brothers around him that put the kibosh on that, insisting on a strict no-dating policy.

This really surprised me. I don't know of any support for the idea that the current no-dating policy in the training is not according to WL's desire. Any thoughts, anyone?
The reason the US churches were forbidden from coming to the FTTT after the third semester was because the US churches were complaining that all of their best brothers were being robbed by the Chinese sisters.
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Old 09-11-2011, 04:43 PM   #91
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The reason the US churches were forbidden from coming to the FTTT after the third semester was because the US churches were complaining that all of their best brothers were being robbed by the Chinese sisters.
That could explain a lot...

Still wondering about the FTTA, though.
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Old 06-28-2015, 04:39 PM   #92
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In the interest of getting this a bit back on topic, does anyone else have some insight as to what I could do?
Just wondering if ToGodAlone is still reading and how things ended up for him?
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Old 06-29-2015, 05:57 PM   #93
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By now, I had read many bad things about the Lord's Recovery, even being told by my youth pastor that it was a heretical church based upon their modalistic teachings. Not wanting to condemn based on the words of people who might not necessarily know what they were talking about (and partly based on my girlfriend's exclamations that people on the internet were simply seeking/were instruments of Satan to smash her church) I decided to go to a meeting the 2nd week of school. What I saw there fit most descriptions of what I had read up until that point. There was sing-reading, pray-reading, many exclamations of "Oh Lord Jesus!" and loud "Amens" and "Lord Jesus", exclusive usage of the Recovery version (which wasn't even being used in this particular meeting) and what I call the Witness Lee Hymnal, and all sorts of things that I should not have to describe to you. I recall one hymn we sang which contained something along the lines of "Jesus transfigured into the Holy Spirit" which sprung my mental modalist warning system. It seemed as though everything I had read was right.
My thoughts are brothers in the local churches beginning with the late Witness Lee had/have been careless and irresponsible when speaking on the trinity. Mystical and mysterious as the trinity is, best not to use analogies when speaking on the trinity.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:02 PM   #94
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My thoughts are brothers in the local churches beginning with the late Witness Lee had/have been careless and irresponsible when speaking on the trinity. Mystical and mysterious as the trinity is, best not to use analogies when speaking on the trinity.
I'm thinking that any teaching or doctrine in LSM materials that is healthy and useful is not new or invented by LSM and has been taught by someone in the history of the orthodox (lower case "o" so as not to exclude anyone) church, but any teaching or doctrine created by or unique to LSM is suspect and probably not healthy or orthodox.
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Last edited by HERn; 07-14-2015 at 04:09 PM. Reason: Added a word.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:12 PM   #95
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I'm thinking that any teaching or doctrine in LSM materials that is healthy and useful is not new or invented by LSM and has been taught by someone in the history of the orthodox (lower case "o" so as not to exclude anyone) church, but any teaching or doctrine created by or unique to LSM is suspect and probably not healthy or orthodox.
By LSM I mean WL, I don't think the BBs have the capacity to invent or create anything new.
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Old 07-14-2015, 04:49 PM   #96
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By LSM I mean WL, I don't think the BBs have the capacity to invent or create anything new.
I think that if a list were compiled of Lee's teachings that LCers believe to be "unique" to the LC, they would find that many teachings were not quite as unique to Lee as they thought. For example, there is a book titled Prophetic Ministry by TAS where the phrase "economy of God" is used. That book was published in 1954.

LCers just believe the information they're told, so they probably couldn't even image that Lee's "uniqueness" was just limited to his more questionable teachings. They are told things like "you can't find these riches anywhere else", and they believe it without thinking twice.
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Old 07-16-2015, 04:33 AM   #97
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They are told things like "you can't find these riches anywhere else", and they believe it without thinking twice.
I know. They should rephrase it: "We assume these riches aren't found anywhere else. But we haven't bothered to look." I myself have looked, briefly, and have found discussions of the economies of God, traced back to Irenaeus (Against Heresies, I, 10, 1 & 3, pp. 42-44) Clement, Hippolytus, etc. You don't think that these people were reading Paul, too? Was the world really locked down in ignorance and darkness until "God raised up the seer of the age(s), His bondslave Witness Lee"? One would think so, the way they present his teachings.
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Old 07-16-2015, 08:47 AM   #98
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I know. They should rephrase it: "We assume these riches aren't found anywhere else. But we haven't bothered to look." I myself have looked, briefly, and have found discussions of the economies of God, traced back to Irenaeus (Against Heresies, I, 10, 1 & 3, pp. 42-44) Clement, Hippolytus, etc. You don't think that these people were reading Paul, too? Was the world really locked down in ignorance and darkness until "God raised up the seer of the age(s), His bondslave Witness Lee"? One would think so, the way they present his teachings.
Lee's teachings on deification also come to mind. It has been purported that this was the "high peak" that he reached, however, he wasn't even close to being the first one to talk about deification.

What I find interesting is that despite there being knowledge of these teachings outside the LC, only in the LC do such teachings get any emphasis. It indicates to me that the general consensus outside the LC is that such teachings provide little benefit. I think Lee gained a lot of respect through emphasizing things that seemed "unique", when the reality was, he really just talking about stuff that sounded "high" but had little substance.
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Old 07-16-2015, 12:18 PM   #99
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Lee's teachings on deification also come to mind. It has been purported that this was the "high peak" that he reached, however, he wasn't even close to being the first one to talk about deification.

What I find interesting is that despite there being knowledge of these teachings outside the LC, only in the LC do such teachings get any emphasis. It indicates to me that the general consensus outside the LC is that such teachings provide little benefit. I think Lee gained a lot of respect through emphasizing things that seemed "unique", when the reality was, he really just talking about stuff that sounded "high" but had little substance.
Good observations!

Back in the early 90's, the "high peak" teachings were all the rage among Lee's remaining loyalists. The GLA was slow getting on board, but at one point I personally made the decision to struggle to get into it. Robichaux's pamphlet was helpful, and after some study, I was all in! Not me, didn't want to be left behind!

After some time, I began to consider what benefit there was in knowing this stuff. Except for possibly ten minutes on the Lord's day, who could I tell this stuff to? Talk about exclusive teachings! Eventually my pragmatic engineering nature got the best of me -- what good is this stuff? What has it done for my life or the lives of those around me? If it were really good for us, then it would be written in the Bible as such.

And such was life in the LC's in my final days there. Constantly looking to find things which everybody else had missed. Constantly looking to find things in the Bible to make us different. To make us "better."
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Old 07-17-2015, 10:24 PM   #100
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Lee's teachings on deification also come to mind. It has been purported that this was the "high peak" that he reached, however, he wasn't even close to being the first one to talk about deification.

What I find interesting is that despite there being knowledge of these teachings outside the LC, only in the LC do such teachings get any emphasis. It indicates to me that the general consensus outside the LC is that such teachings provide little benefit. I think Lee gained a lot of respect through emphasizing things that seemed "unique", when the reality was, he really just talking about stuff that sounded "high" but had little substance.
Yes, I would agree with you Freedom. Why the "high peak" teachings have little traction in non-LSM Christianity is because brothers and sisters in Christianity want a practical church life and not head knowledge.
From a LSM viewpoint, the high peak teachings serve to create an illusion that local churches are unique and distinct from non-LSM Christianity.
In my experiences most non-LSM Christians I know are just as zealous in pursuing the Lord as those I knew in the local churches. In respect to the general local church brother and sister, there is nothing unique or distinct; just another member of the Body.
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:55 AM   #101
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From a LSM viewpoint, the high peak teachings serve to create an illusion that local churches are unique and distinct from non-LSM Christianity.
Part of Lee's high peak sales pitch was that our Christian walk was based on our theology, and the higher our theology, the better our walk, or so he said. Initially i was open to the idea, but soon realized that there was little evidence to support his claims about "beoming God." Remember ... we had just passed thru some "rebellious storms" in the recovery, and nobody's walk seemed to be improving, unless you consider their "walk" out the door of the LC. Many were dicouraged and leaving.

That whole process back in the early 90's occurred in the vacuum of any facts surrounding John Ingalls and the other so-called "leprous conspirators." We now know that entire Lee's sales pitch was really just a diversionary con job. He pushed the high peak junk on us, not to improve our walk, but to cover up his own unrighteous walk, and that of his profligate son Phillip, the abusive LSM Office Manager.

Today the whole Recovery still believes that those high peak teachings were from the Lord, from the Bible, and for our benefit. None of which was further from the truth.
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Old 07-18-2015, 03:36 PM   #102
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Part of Lee's high peak sales pitch was that our Christian walk was based on our theology, and the higher our theology, the better our walk, or so he said. Initially i was open to the idea, but soon realized that there was little evidence to support his claims about "beoming God." Remember ... we had just passed thru some "rebellious storms" in the recovery, and nobody's walk seemed to be improving, unless you consider their "walk" out the door of the LC. Many were dicouraged and leaving.

That whole process back in the early 90's occurred in the vacuum of any facts surrounding John Ingalls and the other so-called "leprous conspirators." We now know that entire Lee's sales pitch was really just a diversionary con job. He pushed the high peak junk on us, not to improve our walk, but to cover up his own unrighteous walk, and that of his profligate son Phillip, the abusive LSM Office Manager.

Today the whole Recovery still believes that those high peak teachings were from the Lord, from the Bible, and for our benefit. None of which was further from the truth.
I early on had this quirky thought that it was so good that our God was not self conscious. He could have well been offended that He didn't rate anywhere with the speaking of Paul.
There were around one hundred messages spoken on the book of Ephesians. I began to sleep thru some of the trainings during some of these speakings.
To me it was absurd to rate the books of the Bible as the heart of the divine revelation. Who could WL think he was
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Old 07-28-2015, 01:21 PM   #103
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FYI, there are more hymns in the hymnal that just Witness Lee's. It's just most hymns written by other saints over the last 100 years or so are not given acknowledgment that his are with a *. Unless you know a hymn and whose the hymn's author is, you wouldn't know unless credit is given. Case in point Blessed Assurance by Fannie Crosby. This hymn is in the hymnal, but you wouldn't know it was Fannie who wrote it unless you already knew. Maybe I'm nit-picking, but I'm just trying to make a point regarding the hymnal local churches use.
Terry,

I just left two and half years ago and the regular hymnals had the authors in the back of the book. Not as obvious as WL's and other Chinese authors but they were there.

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Old 07-30-2015, 05:50 PM   #104
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Terry,

I just left two and half years ago and the regular hymnals had the authors in the back of the book. Not as obvious as WL's and other Chinese authors but they were there.

Lisbon
Curious when was the printing of your hymnal? The edition I have doesn't have the authors in the back of the book.
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Old 08-03-2015, 02:31 PM   #105
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Curious when was the printing of your hymnal? The edition I have doesn't have the authors in the back of the book.
I do beg your pardon. Having been in the LRC for 40 years most of my books are ancient. Sorry about that.
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Old 08-04-2015, 04:53 PM   #106
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I do beg your pardon. Having been in the LRC for 40 years most of my books are ancient. Sorry about that.
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No problem. How I figure is books originally published by The Stream Publishers are not identical in text to the same books published by Living Stream Ministry.
Since 1990 Living Stream had been busy with much editing. That is editing certain names out of their publications.
I am sure much of the same was done with the Hymnals.
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