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Old 02-15-2016, 08:42 AM   #1
aron
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Default Rebaptism

When I went into the LC, there was a not-so-subtle pressure for new ones to get baptized, and in my case re-baptized. I came in from Protestant Christianity where adult baptism was the norm, but in my LC crowd you were merely an associate member until you got LC baptism. Didn't matter if you were already baptized elsewhere.

The official stance of course was "it's up to your conscience", but the unofficial stance from the rank-and-file was, are you sold out for the (LC) church life or not? And baptism into the LC was a crucial step.

(The story I heard was that once WL gave a message on baptism, and the whole LC population subsequently re-baptized itself. Groupthink, much?)

Did anyone else feel this pressure for conformity in this manner? Catholics of course got re-baptized, because as Protestants (the LC was a Protestant spin-off) the infant sprinkling meant nothing. And Chinese of course got baptized as genuine heathen.

But what about already baptized Christians? Did anyone else see this? My sense was that this was the LC norm, not just in my group.

Also, did anyone see previously baptized Christians resist this pressure to conform, yet be able to be "full members" of the LC nonetheless?

And this reminds me of the ICOC cult, where baptism outside meant nothing, and baptism into the ICOC meant that you were a true disciple. Essentially ICOC practiced baptismal regeneration. Until you gave yourself to the ICOC (via baptism) you were a heathen. The LC wasn't this extreme explicitly, but the pressure to conform fully, via baptism in this case, was pretty strong.
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Old 02-15-2016, 09:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Rebaptism

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Did anyone else feel this pressure for conformity in this manner? Catholics of course got re-baptized, because as Protestants (the LC was a Protestant spin-off) the infant sprinkling meant nothing. And Chinese of course got baptized as genuine heathen.

But what about already baptized Christians? Did anyone else see this? My sense was that this was the LC norm, not just in my group.
When I entered the LC, I had been baptized as an infant, and since others knew that, I was queried on a number of occasions about baptism. Since they asked me if the Lord had spoken to me to be baptized again, I could tell them no. Then one gospel meeting, the lord spoke to my heart, completely unrelated to the message, and I was baptized that night. It was glorious!

Here in the GLA, I saw little promotion to baptize those members who were already baptized as adults. The thought was to heed the Lord's speaking, but it was not a problem truth-wise to get rebaptized since Israel passed thru the Red Sea and the River Jordan. I did know some who were baptized again.

During the New Way, at the summer of the 1987 young people conference in Irving following a stint in Taipei, there definitely was excessive promotion by the LSM "trainers." They had whipped up all the kids (mainly HSer's) into a frenzy, who then challenged older saints and elders to also get rebaptized. Titus Chu refused! (And I think some other GLA workers who were also there.) Then apparently LSM's fleshly rumor mill cranked up the volume.
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Old 02-15-2016, 10:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: Rebaptism

I never saw anyone pressured to be baptized twice. On more than one occasion, I did heard attempts to rationalize the practice using the Red Sea/Jordan analogy.

Some of the more bizarre things that I saw include an elder deciding to be re-baptized spontaneously when the church was having some baptisms. I also remember someone who was baptized in the LC on at least three different occasions, and I remember being there each time.
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Old 02-16-2016, 05:09 AM   #4
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Default Re: Rebaptism

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During the New Way, at the summer of the 1987 young people conference in Irving following a stint in Taipei, there definitely was excessive promotion by the LSM "trainers." They had whipped up all the kids (mainly HSer's) into a frenzy, who then challenged older saints and elders to also get rebaptized. Titus Chu refused... I think some other GLA workers who were also there.
Who can say, looking at this vignette from LC history, that it wasn't about "losing face", and that it wasn't about who would submit to whom?

In this culture, baptism wasn't about remission of sins, or identification with death and rebirth, but about the relative pecking order. Titus Chu would submit to Witness Lee but not to Lee's cadre of LSM "trainers". And from then on I daresay he was a marked man; he may have been "one" with Lee, but not "one enough" for Lee's LSM lieutenants.
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Old 02-17-2016, 08:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Rebaptism

I have not seen rebaptism at my locality

But the equivalent in my locality is that of public consecration.

Saints would be encouraged to line up to declare resolutions to re-consecrate themselves to the Lord.

The first time I did it was great, but afterwards I never saw the point to repeat it.
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Old 02-17-2016, 09:00 AM   #6
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Default Re: Rebaptism

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Originally Posted by aron View Post
Who can say, looking at this vignette from LC history, that it wasn't about "losing face", and that it wasn't about who would submit to whom?

In this culture, baptism wasn't about remission of sins, or identification with death and rebirth, but about the relative pecking order. Titus Chu would submit to Witness Lee but not to Lee's cadre of LSM "trainers". And from then on I daresay he was a marked man; he may have been "one" with Lee, but not "one enough" for Lee's LSM lieutenants.
What does that say about the heart and motives of the so-called young people "trainers."

Our place sent our graduating seniors to Taipei and Irving that summer. It was supposed to help their faith and love in Jesus. Think about the impact on these young people when their baptism experience culminates with challenges to dunk all the "old" saints in the water. Reminds me of the carnival attraction where you pay a dollar to throw a ball at the target and dunk your teacher. Lots of fun. Yahoo!

The kids returned to town and shared their "highlights" after the Lord's Table meeting. One by one they went up to the board drawing circles showing how they would "multiply" at school. Not just one friend of theirs finding Jesus, but each would beget ten more, who in turn would each beget ten more, and so forth. I shook my head, "that's what they got?" That was the oldest trick in the book, the book of God's enemy, that is -- set them up with impossible goals, and surely they will crash. And, sadly, they all did. Just about every attendant over time was gone.

LSM, true to form, blamed it all on the sending churches. What a pathetic fiasco. No accountability whatsoever. And the FTT wondered why TC and the GLA churches were never that hyped about their "services." You can read John Ingalls book, Speaking the Truth in Love, to find out what other nonsense was going on in Anaheim at the same time.
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Old 02-17-2016, 10:14 AM   #7
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Default Re: Rebaptism

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Our place sent our graduating seniors to Taipei and Irving that summer. It was supposed to help their faith and love in Jesus. Think about the impact on these young people when their baptism experience culminates with challenges to dunk all the "old" saints in the water. Reminds me of the carnival attraction....
I think a carnival is an apt metaphor. Rooting, tooting, colored wheels spinning, pulse racing, jugglers and clowns dancing, shouting and arm-waving... the young people got some momentary excitement, which was supposedly analogous to the "spirit".

Ultimately, they got nothing but confusion, frustration, discouragement. But who cares, as long as the carnival can wheel on to the next town. As PT Barnum learned well, as long as you can fool some of the people most of the time, you can make a living at it.

All those young college students lining up last summer in Illinois to consecrate themselves to Christ and His True Church, His Unique Ministry, His Up-to-date Speaking and His Final Move to End the Age reminds me of nothing so much as this. Whip up the hype, line them up. Works every time, so it seems.

http://www.ageturners.com/overflow-f...ge-training-2/

And if you really want to see a carnival in all its bare glory, look at DYL Brasilians. Jumping up and down and shouting nursery rhymes. I daresay only the Shouters of China have them beat.
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Old 02-17-2016, 11:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: Rebaptism

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Originally Posted by aron View Post
All those young college students lining up last summer in Illinois to consecrate themselves to Christ and His True Church, His Unique Ministry, His Up-to-date Speaking and His Final Move to End the Age reminds me of nothing so much as this. Whip up the hype, line them up. Works every time, so it seems.

http://www.ageturners.com/overflow-f...ge-training-2/
I started an "Age Turners" thread about this a while back, after I saw a bunch of Facebook posts about it: http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=5378

There's just too much hype that goes on at these types of events. I can say that because I attended two consecutive college trainings when I was in college. We went away for a week, got all stirred up and returned back to a normal LC life of mediocrity. Perhaps it was the disconnect that really made me see through the whole illusion.

In one of aron's posts on the thread I mentioned, there is an excerpt from Lily Hsu's book showing how the hyped up environment and consecrations is something that dates back to Nee's time. To all the current LC college students who have been made to feel that they are "age turners", I wonder how they would feel if they realized that during Nee's time, the YP were made to feel exactly the same way and were having the exact same 'experiences'.

The terminology might change over the years, but the experience that the LC tries to emulate is the same basic hyped-up experience. The experience involves group pressure, whether it be consecration or baptism. One of the problems with LC consecrations, and even baptisms is there is a great amount of importance placed on experiencing a psychological high.

When I went to local college conferences, there was always a time set aside for baptisms to take place. There were always a large number who took the opportunity to get baptized. The atmosphere was really 'high', and it always made me feel somewhat discouraged as I remembered when I got baptized as a young person in a more 'normal' setting. In some environments, the baptisms were such that everyone was "on fire" for the Lord and the atmosphere was so much more exciting. It took me a long time to come to the realization that the atmosphere was irrelevant. I should have realized that in the first place, but because the LC has placed such an importance on 'experience', those who can't measure up are usually made to feel inferior.
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:07 PM   #9
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Default This explains a lot....

I think I'm going to cry now after reading this thread. I always felt like I never measured up and inferior to those around me. The atmosphere was always up down up down up down. And I would always try harder but always falling short. It was very frustrating and discouraging.....
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Old 11-27-2016, 08:39 PM   #10
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Default Re: Rebaptism

Hey, "Lost at Sea", I have reserved this UserName for you. Please shoot an email to LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com requesting registration and I'll shoot you back a temporary password.

Thanks for your consideration.

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