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Old 12-25-2014, 12:46 AM   #1
rayliotta
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Default Nothing New under the Sun

I came across this article and portions of it resonated with my experience. It's about a documentary, that just came out, about another church.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/daniel...b_6241958.html

I haven't seen the documentary, and probably don't have the desire to. But there are things described in this article that feel familiar to me.
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Old 12-25-2014, 01:31 AM   #2
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Default Re: Nothing New under the Sun

The documentary is about the Jehovah's Witnesses. I'm sure there are big differences between the JW's and the Lord's Recovery. I'm sure there are big differences between Watchtower Bible and Tract Society and Living Stream Ministry.

But there are probably some similarities as well.
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Old 12-26-2014, 05:28 AM   #3
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Default Re: Nothing New under the Sun

I found the comments after the story to be revealing of the JW mindset. You could pretty easily tell who were the JW posters. Humorless, affectionless, judgmental, closed-minded. That's the real face of this exclusive sect, not those smiling faces in their literature.

There certainly are similarities to the LSM churches. You are either subservient to the (LSM/JW) programme or you're ignored or condemned. Any attempt at real interaction, involving critical thinking, makes them antagonistic. Everyone must submit. Independent thought is not allowed -- Big Brother has spoken.
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Old 12-26-2014, 03:07 PM   #4
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Default Re: Nothing New under the Sun

This is an interesting article. I can certainly see some of the similarities between the JW's and the LC. Actually, WL himself said that he studied the Mormons and JW's to develop his method of door-knocking for the new way, so the LC is more similar to the JW's than some might realize. Here is a quote from the article that I think could easily be applied to the LC:
Quote:
I think Jehovah's Witnesses believe they are happy, at least in the Jehovah's Witness version of happiness. Problem is, this happiness resides outside of themselves in a facade, a pious Potemkin Village where members are simply aping the smiling happy people and fellowship depicted in Jehovah's Witness literature designed to elicit emotional versus rational responses. In short, their happiness is informed by their own propaganda.
On thing that I have come to realize recently is that much like the JW's, those in the LC have a very different view of themselves than the way in which they come across to the general public. I'm sure when JW's go door to door, they feel they are doing God's work and have something very special to share with people. Of course, when people see the JW's out, they quickly shut the blinds or make sure they won't have to interact with them. There is a huge discrepancy in how the JW's see themselves versus how people see them. I think the same can be said of the LC, even though most don't know what the LC is. Something I have seen countless times is when a new contact is invited to a meeting. The view everyone in the LC has is that the meeting will be so "captivating" that the person will definitely be back. I have seen new people countless times where they have this look on their face like they want to run for the door, and more often than not, you don't see many come back a second time.

WL certainly did a good job at instilling the belief in everyone that the LC is special and unique. Because of this, I think those in the LC have the expectation that it will provide happiness/contentment in their personal lives, and the more bold members might also feel that they have a special message to share with friends or people that they meet. Looking around in the LC, this view is all just a guise. In reality, people act happy because they feel that is how they are supposed to act. It is an expectation they are trying to meet. I have sung that song "Splendid Church Life" countless times and I used to really believe that song reflected my experience. Later on, I had to admit to myself that I felt that way because I was conditioned to feel that way. It had nothing to do with my experience.
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Old 12-26-2014, 05:27 PM   #5
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Something I have seen countless times is when a new contact is invited to a meeting. The view everyone in the LC has is that the meeting will be so "captivating" that the person will definitely be back. I have seen new people countless times where they have this look on their face like they want to run for the door, and more often than not, you don't see many come back a second time.
Yes, some people who visit local church meetings are quite uncomfortable with them, to the point of being "creeped out." By the time I left, after growing up there, I was creeped out, too. Hard to describe that feeling.
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Old 12-26-2014, 05:56 PM   #6
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Yes, some people who visit local church meetings are quite uncomfortable with them, to the point of being "creeped out." By the time I left, after growing up there, I was creeped out, too. Hard to describe that feeling.
I know how you feel. I came to a certain point where I realized that nothing was as it seemed with regards to the LC. Instead of wanting to see new people come to the meetings, I hoped that they would have the sense run as far away as possible. I couldn't stand knowing that there was so much nonsense going on behind the scenes that couldn't be addressed. It made me start feeling uncomfortable, as if I was just a pawn who had to sit in a chair, put on a happy face and make the LC look like a nice happy place for people to be.
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Old 12-26-2014, 07:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Nothing New under the Sun

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Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
Yes, some people who visit local church meetings are quite uncomfortable with them, to the point of being "creeped out." By the time I left, after growing up there, I was creeped out, too. Hard to describe that feeling.
Everyone who has left knows the feeling rayliotta ! What is even weirder (although I totally understand why it is) is that as much as most are happy to have left, there is a strange pull that wants 'us' to return. For example, I left in 1978. When I decided I wanted to return to my Creator and hang out with my spiritual family instead of all the unbelievers, I went to a few LC meetings wondering if that is where God wanted me to be. Really??? 30 some years later?? And I wondered if God wanted me to return ?

The woman who is married to an LCr met him after he had left and was attending another 'church'. Once they got married, he decides he wants to return to the LC...

go figure!
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Old 12-26-2014, 07:35 PM   #8
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I know how you feel. I came to a certain point where I realized that nothing was as it seemed with regards to the LC. Instead of wanting to see new people come to the meetings, I hoped that they would have the sense run as far away as possible. I couldn't stand knowing that there was so much nonsense going on behind the scenes that couldn't be addressed. It made me start feeling uncomfortable, as if I was just a pawn who had to sit in a chair, put on a happy face and make the LC look like a nice happy place for people to be.
yeah... I always enjoyed and still do sharing God's Word to people and leading them to Jesus. BUT I did not want them to join the LC. Yet, I was 'happy' in the LC.
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Old 12-27-2014, 05:21 PM   #9
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Everyone who has left knows the feeling rayliotta ! What is even weirder (although I totally understand why it is) is that as much as most are happy to have left, there is a strange pull that wants 'us' to return. For example, I left in 1978. When I decided I wanted to return to my Creator and hang out with my spiritual family instead of all the unbelievers, I went to a few LC meetings wondering if that is where God wanted me to be. Really??? 30 some years later?? And I wondered if God wanted me to return ?

The woman who is married to an LCr met him after he had left and was attending another 'church'. Once they got married, he decides he wants to return to the LC...

go figure!
Well, I haven't left the LC yet, but I constantly find myself thinking that if only such and such were different the LC would be such a better place. I always have to stop myself when I start thinking that way, because it's not really about that. Every church is going to have issues here and there. What I am realizing is that the "system" of the LC is wrong, and that can't be fixed.

For a number of years, leading up until now, I was in and out of LC meetings. I would always attend the Lord's Table meetings, but as for other meetings, I would go when I felt like it, and then I would stop going for awhile. I always felt that I needed to get back with the program and start going to more meetings, because I felt like I was "straying". I look back at this now and the situation is so clear, LC meetings never have met my needs, period. I have seen many saints in the LC here and there that are always in and out of the LC. They meet for 6 months, then you don't see them for a year. It's obvious that the LC doesn't meet their needs either, but something keeps them coming back. I've always found it to be a little peculiar that people don't try other places when they aren't content in the LC, but I think something about the LC conditions people to remain in this type of situation.
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Old 12-27-2014, 07:18 PM   #10
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Well, I haven't left the LC yet, but I constantly find myself thinking that if only such and such were different the LC would be such a better place. I always have to stop myself when I start thinking that way, because it's not really about that. Every church is going to have issues here and there. What I am realizing is that the "system" of the LC is wrong, and that can't be fixed.

For a number of years, leading up until now, I was in and out of LC meetings. I would always attend the Lord's Table meetings, but as for other meetings, I would go when I felt like it, and then I would stop going for awhile. I always felt that I needed to get back with the program and start going to more meetings, because I felt like I was "straying". I look back at this now and the situation is so clear, LC meetings never have met my needs, period. I have seen many saints in the LC here and there that are always in and out of the LC. They meet for 6 months, then you don't see them for a year. It's obvious that the LC doesn't meet their needs either, but something keeps them coming back. I've always found it to be a little peculiar that people don't try other places when they aren't content in the LC, but I think something about the LC conditions people to remain in this type of situation.
Probable reasons for this is:
1) a soul tie to the LC
2) transfer of spirits from the LC system to the congregation

an example of transfer of spirits:
When people first come into the LC, they come with their own personalities. After a few weeks, months or a year after becoming a Leite, it is no longer they that live. And it is NOT Christ in them that lives either. It is the LC spirit that lives and operates through them. The way people dress (at least back in the 70s'), the LC lingo, the same way people 'prophesy' or 'testify', the way they behave.

What a soul tie is:

"A soul tie is the joining or knitting together of the bonds of a relationship. Godly soul ties occur when like-minded believers are together in the Lord:

Quote:
On the surface, it appears the Lc is knitted together IN THE LORD. But we soon learn that weave tightly knit together is not so much the LORD but to the LC.
Godly soul ties occur when like-minded believers are together in the Lord: friends, marriage partners, believers to pastors, etc. Relationships that lack `God-centeredness' can result in ungodly soul ties between friends, parents and children, siblings, marriage partners, former romantic or sexual partners, domineering authorities, etc. An unhealthy attachment with another can bring about a psychic control that can adversely affect the life, e.g. a mother who refuses to relinquish her hold on her children (tied to her apron strings), a person who refuses to release to the Lord the memory of an old romantic flame (withdrawing into nostalgia in times of loneliness), a person who holds a grudge or a judgment against another, someone who uses spiritual forces to control others (witchcraft), etc."

The Bible speaks of what is today known as soul ties. In the Bible, it doesn't use the word soul tie, but it speaks of them when it talks about souls being knit together, becoming one flesh, etc. A soul tie can serve many functions, but in it's simplest form, it ties two souls together in the spiritual realm.

There are many websites on soul ties and transfer of spirits.

Learning about them helped me to break all kinds of unhealthy ties.
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:36 PM   #11
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In 1973 a responsible elder told of a story of a happening in China. A brother with the gift of healing was much used in the church and my understanding was there was no "funny" things associated with his gift. Sick people came to him and he prayed for them and they got healed. Sounds great and to my understanding it was great.

Then the "leading ones" felt to ask him to curb his gift which he obeyed.
Some time later there came a time when they wished for some help from the gifted brother and asked him to again function with his gift.

My question is did anybody hear if the healings reappeared? My poor feeling is that you start physically messing with the spiritual and all falls down but I am open to good news if I am wrong. And of course I am talking about a long time ago. Not just because I was raised in Pentecost but the Bible clearly said Jesus healed all that came to Him. Peter and John healed. Paul healed, the book of James speaks of healings, but my United Methodist minister uncle sternly said the day of miracles is over.

In the LC we mainly prayed for leading ones and to my knowledge, they all died. I really do believe our discriminating prayers for the "heads" screwed up the desire of the Lord to answer.

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Old 01-01-2015, 01:02 AM   #12
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In 1973 a responsible elder told of a story of a happening in China. A brother with the gift of healing was much used in the church and my understanding was there was no "funny" things associated with his gift. Sick people came to him and he prayed for them and they got healed. Sounds great and to my understanding it was great.

Then the "leading ones" felt to ask him to curb his gift which he obeyed.
Some time later there came a time when they wished for some help from the gifted brother and asked him to again function with his gift.

My question is did anybody hear if the healings reappeared?
There was a similar brother in Taiwan who operated in the gift of healing. He came and prayed for my mom when she had a leg injury when she was young with my grandmother. During the prayer time my grandmother had a sense that my mom was healed and said something like "okay enough praying, stand up and walk!", and my mom did so.

According to my mom and grandma this brother was also asked to stop operating in his gift of healing by Witness Lee. However unlike the brother you mentioned it, it seems like he was offended and stopped meeting in the local churches.

Quote:

My poor feeling is that you start physically messing with the spiritual and all falls down but I am open to good news if I am wrong. And of course I am talking about a long time ago. Not just because I was raised in Pentecost but the Bible clearly said Jesus healed all that came to Him. Peter and John healed. Paul healed, the book of James speaks of healings, but my United Methodist minister uncle sternly said the day of miracles is over.
That's funny, back in 2012 I once went to a Presbyterian church in Lake Tahoe, CA of all places and towards the end of the sermon, the pastor there pulled out the current issue of Christianity Today with Heidi Baker and said "whether you like it or not, miracles still do happen today, just read this Christianity Today article on Heidi Baker and the medically documented miracles".

http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/...ozambique.html

I always had a sense that Presbyterian churches were cessationist for the most part, but then again I know of a Pentecostal/Charismatic preacher that sometimes gets invited to preach at Presbyterian and even Baptist churches. According to his account, during one sermon this Pastor, Del Augusta, felt a leading from the Lord to yell "Fire!" several times (in reference to being baptized by fire / Holy Spirit). He fought the urge with everything he had because it was of course crazy, but in the end he obeyed. The whole congregation in the Presbyterian church who didn't believe in miracles or falling out due to the Holy Spirit or anything crazy like that fell out on the ground.

Quote:
In the LC we mainly prayed for leading ones and to my knowledge, they all died. I really do believe our discriminating prayers for the "heads" screwed up the desire of the Lord to answer.

Lisbon
I've heard it said that when someone gets a gift such as prophecy or healing, it is irrevocable according to verses such as Romans 11:29.

"for God's gifts and his call are irrevocable."
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Old 01-01-2015, 06:38 AM   #13
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I left LC exactly two years ago and no desire to return except occasionally to go with my family and be with old friends. I was there 40 years and many are my friends but I strongly believe they are badly deceived. I feel little different about the RCC or the Mormons. WL became another Joseph Smith or Pope.

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Old 01-01-2015, 07:59 AM   #14
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I left LC exactly two years ago and no desire to return except occasionally to go with my family and be with old friends. I was there 40 years and many are my friends but I strongly believe they are badly deceived. I feel little different about the RCC or the Mormons. WL became another Joseph Smith or Pope.

Lisbon
I have read Brethren history, and I think John Darby is a better example of what Lee became. Darby, of course, was a genuine brother in Christ seeking to know and serve the Lord, but eventually many felt he had become a far worse "pope" than the one he constantly condemned in Rome.

I understand your points however, Lisbon, but most former or current LC'ers would dismiss your comparisons because it is doubtful that many of the Popes or Joseph Smith were even saved.

May you and all have a Blessed New Year in Christ Jesus!
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Old 01-01-2015, 05:34 PM   #15
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I understand your points however, Lisbon, but most former or current LC'ers would dismiss your comparisons because it is doubtful that many of the Popes or Joseph Smith were even saved.
Autocratic leadership, centralization of power under "God's man of the hour," special revelations, and proprietary salvation, or at least proprietary sanctification and reward... doesn't seem too far-fetched to make comparisons.
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Old 01-02-2015, 06:02 AM   #16
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Autocratic leadership, centralization of power under "God's man of the hour," special revelations, and proprietary salvation, or at least proprietary sanctification and reward... doesn't seem too far-fetched to make comparisons.
And don't forget the masses of traumatized sheep who "couldn’t make it" in the system and were cut adrift with the programs still running in their heads. They are so trapped in the mindset and teachings that they can't conceive of reality except the one that's been denied them. Their bodies are out but their souls remain in the system.

I've met with people who struggled to identify Christ, but instead called themselves "lapsed Catholics", and read blogs by ex-Mormons who still acknowledged 'their sacred writings' even though they couldn't handle the contradictions of the system, and seen ex-Local Churchers who couldn't meet with any other Christians because "they weren't on the ground of oneness".

Even though the system was ruinous for them, they couldn't conceive of any other system. They thought somehow their own imperfections were the fault.
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Old 01-02-2015, 07:35 AM   #17
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Even though the system was ruinous for them, they couldn't conceive of any other system. They thought somehow their own imperfections were the fault.
And this was conditioned in the Local Churches by the focus on "good building material", versus sinners who need transformation. And the idea of "making it", as if the system is perfect and given by God Himself, but our inability to make sufficient progress is due to our inherent failures, which apparently cannot be corrected.

How can any system change, if it blames the people within it for its own shorcomings? And how can any system thus constructed do anything but continually spit out traumatized souls who tried and failed to please the system's unreachable dictates?
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Old 01-02-2015, 08:37 AM   #18
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And this was conditioned in the Local Churches by the focus on "good building material", versus sinners who need transformation. And the idea of "making it", as if the system is perfect and given by God Himself, but our inability to make sufficient progress is due to our inherent failures, which apparently cannot be corrected.

How can any system change, if it blames the people within it for its own shorcomings? And how can any system thus constructed do anything but continually spit out traumatized souls who tried and failed to please the system's unreachable dictates?
Blaming the rank and file members for the shortcomings of the LC is a problem I seen again and again. Maybe it's the easiest way in which to place the blame. One area in particular that I have seen this happen frequently is with trying to get an increase. When I read LC history, it clear that history that this has been a continual problem. I was in a meeting once where a brother judged a number of us for not having any "new ones". I don't think it's wrong to eagerly encourage everyone to invite friends to meetings, but passing judgement on people for not doing that is going much too far. Anyways, when I was at that meeting, I wanted to tell that brother that there is a reason I am not bringing friends to LC meetings. The reason being is that I didn't feel it's the right place for them, especially when there is such an attitude of judging others (which I have seen in many other situations as well). That is setting aside the numerous other issue I can think for not bringing someone to a LC meeting.

It occurred to me that there are probably many who are also in my shoes. All us "small potatoes" have our reasons for not inviting people to LC meetings, however, no one is going to vocally say why. So the LC has put itself in a position that instead of trying to determine why there is a lack of a normal increase, they instead blame members for the failings of the system that they created. It's easier to call saints "lukewarm" or "passive" rather than to address question of why that is the case.
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:30 AM   #19
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... the LC has put itself in a position that instead of trying to determine why there is a lack of a normal increase, they instead blame members for the failings of the system that they created. It's easier to call saints "lukewarm" or "passive" rather than to address question of why that is the case.
I think this is an accurate assessment. And to reinforce the point, it's an assessment that could have been made 30 years ago.
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Old 01-02-2015, 10:39 AM   #20
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I think this is an accurate assessment. And to reinforce the point, it's an assessment that could have been made 30 years ago.
Yes. Back in 1980 I felt sorry for those I brought into the LC. I shouldn't have done that.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:15 AM   #21
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Yes. Back in 1980 I felt sorry for those I brought into the LC. I shouldn't have done that.
I had a different take on this. When I left in 1978 I did so quietly but those who I had brought in were aware that I had left. If they wished to discuss it with me I would have been open but my concern at that time was this: Okay, I have already made a mistake bringing them in and I am not going to try and bring anyone out---maybe double my mistake since then they would want to know where do we go. Didn't want to go there. Let them decide on their own but if they are interested I would be more than happy to provide my perspective. Of course, none of them every came to me --- maybe the elders labeled me "negative" etc. who knows. Anyway, I was happy not being approached about it. Okay zeek, sometimes you remember things differently and if so you can provide your perspective.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:52 AM   #22
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I was in a meeting once where a brother judged a number of us for not having any "new ones". I don't think it's wrong to eagerly encourage everyone to invite friends to meetings, but passing judgement on people for not doing that is going much too far. Anyways, when I was at that meeting, I wanted to tell that brother that there is a reason I am not bringing friends to LC meetings. The reason being is that I didn't feel it's the right place for them, especially when there is such an attitude of judging others (which I have seen in many other situations as well). That is setting aside the numerous other issue I can think for not bringing someone to a LC meeting.

It occurred to me that there are probably many who are also in my shoes. All us "small potatoes" have our reasons for not inviting people to LC meetings, however, no one is going to vocally say why. So the LC has put itself in a position that instead of trying to determine why there is a lack of a normal increase, they instead blame members for the failings of the system that they created. It's easier to call saints "lukewarm" or "passive" rather than to address question of why that is the case.
There's an adage from a former coworker at a prior employer, "it's better to blame than to be blamed".
In context of Freedom's post, the LC/LSM dont' want to take responsibility why there is lack of an increase. Today's LC is a far cry from the mid's 80's when it was easy to invite friends and classmates. Now, there's an unspoken understanding the LC meetings is not for everyone. It's no longer for general believers, but for ones who have a specific appreciation of the ministry. The scope of receiving is so much narrower than it used to be in prior decades.

Do elders and coworkers want to be addressed with real explanations why there isn't an increase? Lack of love and a lack of grace. They may ask, what are you talking about? Just allude to former elders and coworkers no longer welcome. Of course of you do, be prepared with the "negative" label.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:14 PM   #23
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Blaming the rank and file members for the shortcomings of the LC is a problem I seen again and again. Maybe it's the easiest way in which to place the blame.
WL used to blame all the saints for becoming Laodicea, yet he NEVER once took ownership for the continual decline both in membership and moral over the years. Never did Lee mention that thousands of precious saints had left the Recovery over the financial improprieties of Daystar, the corruption and abuses by his own sons, the massive smear campaign against the men of God who rose up to speak their conscience, and the endless failed programs sold to the saints as "God's move" or the latest "flow of the Spirit," to name just a few reasons.

Lee took zero responsibility for his actions and teachings, yet was always so adept at dumping truckloads of guilt, blame, and manipulation on the children of God. One time Lee threatened to terminate his ministry if the saints did not rise up to live by what he was speaking.

Too bad he never did keep his word.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:19 PM   #24
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There's an adage from a former coworker at a prior employer, "it's better to blame than to be blamed".
In context of Freedom's post, the LC/LSM dont' want to take responsibility why there is lack of an increase. Today's LC is a far cry from the mid's 80's when it was easy to invite friends and classmates. Now, there's an unspoken understanding the LC meetings is not for everyone. It's no longer for general believers, but for ones who have a specific appreciation of the ministry. The scope of receiving is so much narrower than it used to be in prior decades.

Do elders and coworkers want to be addressed with real explanations why there isn't an increase? Lack of love and a lack of grace. They may ask, what are you talking about? Just allude to former elders and coworkers no longer welcome. Of course of you do, be prepared with the "negative" label.
Lack of an increase is nothing new today among Christians. Just go to http://faithcommunitiestoday.org/ and you will discover that this is not unique. Let's face it, groups like "Youth with a Mission" or "Acts 29" are trying to push the mantle but today it is more difficult. Back in the day when I was involved in "Teen Challenge" and "Campus Crusade" it was different. Admittedly the LC has done nothing to help themselves and they are pretty much closed. However, the problem is more widespread in the US then just the LC's lack of growth. Everything needs to be seen in its own perspective.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:25 PM   #25
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Today's LC is a far cry from the mid's 80's when it was easy to invite friends and classmates. Now, there's an unspoken understanding the LC meetings is not for everyone. It's no longer for general believers, but for ones who have a specific appreciation of the ministry.
This is exactly right.

When the LC's were indeed "local" churches, it was easy to invite others. The more Lee brought all the LC's under his dominion, the harder it was to invite.

The answer was simple. Lee became our center, but Lee never died for me, and neither was I ever baptized into Lee's name. (cf I Cor 1.13)

I personally was being trained to "sell" the ministry of Witness Lee rather than the precious gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, I can still distinctly remember sitting in an Anaheim Corinthians training and bearing the guilty burden that serious problems existed because I had not adequately presented and sold the ministry of Witness Lee to others, including my own friends and family. What a twisted delusion i was living in at that time.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:31 PM   #26
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This is exactly right.

When the LC's were indeed "local" churches, it was easy to invite others. The more Lee brought all the LC's under his dominion, the harder it was to invite.

The answer was simple. Lee became our center, but Lee never died for me, and neither was I ever baptized into Lee's name. (cf I Cor 1.13)

I personally was being trained to "sell" the ministry of Witness Lee rather than the precious gospel of Jesus Christ. In fact, I can still distinctly remember sitting in an Anaheim Corinthians training and bearing the guilty burden that serious problems existed because I had not adequately presented and sold the ministry of Witness Lee to others, including my own friends and family. What a twisted delusion i was living in at that time.
As I indicated in post #24 things have changed. We are not living in the 1980s whether we are in the LC or other groups or denominations. We need to keep things in perspective.
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Old 01-02-2015, 12:45 PM   #27
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As I indicated in post #24 things have changed. We are not living in the 1980s whether we are in the LC or other groups or denominations. We need to keep things in perspective.
I think this is certainly one side to the issue, and I think Christians as a whole are becoming more aware of the lack of increase and the opposition to Christians. I don't think that the LC is very aware of what is going on in modern society. As a result, they are willing to put members in the position of trying to gain an increase without making them aware of the challeges that will be facing them.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:09 PM   #28
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To add to my previous post, it has been my experience that when we go out and preach the gospel, it has never been simply preaching the gospel. The goal is always firstly to recruit people to the LC and secondly to get them saved. Case and point: when I've done BFA in the past, the main goal was to get people to accept a free RcV NT. It was never to tell people about God or the Bible. It was to tell them about how their Bible at home (if they even had one) was insufficient and then needed RcV instead. Also things like inviting people to come to a campus Christian club meeting were more of a recruiting effort than a concern over whether people were saved or not.


Anyways my point in saying all this is that in the LC I was never equipped to tell people about the Lord or much less to lead them to the Lord. Maybe things were different in the past. If someone were to ask me a question "How do we know that God exists?", I wouldn't be able to tell them. If I had to defend the basic fundamentals of the Christian faith, I couldn't do that. About the only thing that I could do would be to defend LC teachings. About the only thing that I know how to do in regards to gaining an increase is try to recruit people to develop an interest in the ministry. That's why LSM/BB's/local elders shouldn't be surprised when there is so little increase. Even if there is little increase outside the LC as well. So the LC is dealing with the same issues affecting Christians as a whole, in addition to their self-inflicted issues.
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Old 01-02-2015, 01:36 PM   #29
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To add to my previous post, it has been my experience that when we go out and preach the gospel, it has never been simply preaching the gospel. The goal is always firstly to recruit people to the LC and secondly to get them saved. Case and point: when I've done BFA in the past, the main goal was to get people to accept a free RcV NT. It was never to tell people about God or the Bible. It was to tell them about how their Bible at home (if they even had one) was insufficient and then needed RcV instead. Also things like inviting people to come to a campus Christian club meeting were more of a recruiting effort than a concern over whether people were saved or not.

Anyways my point in saying all this is that in the LC I was never equipped to tell people about the Lord or much less to lead them to the Lord. Maybe things were different in the past. If someone were to ask me a question "How do we know that God exists?", I wouldn't be able to tell them. If I had to defend the basic fundamentals of the Christian faith, I couldn't do that. About the only thing that I could do would be to defend LC teachings. About the only thing that I know how to do in regards to gaining an increase is try to recruit people to develop an interest in the ministry. That's why LSM/BB's/local elders shouldn't be surprised when there is so little increase. Even if there is little increase outside the LC as well. So the LC is dealing with the same issues affecting Christians as a whole, in addition to their self-inflicted issues.
That is unfortunate. Back in the day on campuses I would just use the 3 circles, spirit, soul, body and explain that you can't know God without experience in the deepest part of your being. This is not rocket science. You can't defend the Christian faith because you move people into their mind....ask them to just simply open their heart...if they truly want to experience God....if not, no problem, and move on... talk to as many people as possible. It's like pyramid schemes, in a sense, which we have all been approached about...you talk to enough people and you will find some who will listen...for a variety of reasons...they are searching...they are open etc... Of course, if you can respond to their concerns that is helpful but for the most part it's sales like quite honestly. Take your time and consider your own disposition...there is no quota. Persistence and everyday efforts are essential.
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Old 01-02-2015, 04:45 PM   #30
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Take your time and consider your own disposition...there is no quota. Persistence and everyday efforts are essential.
Dave,

Your commonsense advice is usually spot-on, as it certainly is here.
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Old 01-02-2015, 05:54 PM   #31
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That is unfortunate. Back in the day on campuses I would just use the 3 circles, spirit, soul, body and explain that you can't know God without experience in the deepest part of your being. This is not rocket science. You can't defend the Christian faith because you move people into their mind....ask them to just simply open their heart...if they truly want to experience God....if not, no problem, and move on... talk to as many people as possible. It's like pyramid schemes, in a sense, which we have all been approached about...you talk to enough people and you will find some who will listen...for a variety of reasons...they are searching...they are open etc... Of course, if you can respond to their concerns that is helpful but for the most part it's sales like quite honestly. Take your time and consider your own disposition...there is no quota. Persistence and everyday efforts are essential.
Yes, I feel like the LC only wanted to try and contact people who would be "easy" to gain. They have no desire to talk to people who have genuine questions that can't be quickly answered. I do think there is truth to part of what they say, that is you can't always expect to convince people by debating them. On the other hand, and just as important, the brothers were always so quick to send us out on the gospel without us really knowing what we were up against. Not everyone is going to magically be "open". In my experience it was quite disappointing to be rejected left and right without realized that is normal. The LC view is basically that people are out their waiting for us to come offer them a Bible or invite them to a meeting. Needless to say, it never plays out that way.
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Old 01-02-2015, 11:13 PM   #32
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To add to my previous post, it has been my experience that when we go out and preach the gospel, it has never been simply preaching the gospel. The goal is always firstly to recruit people to the LC and secondly to get them saved.
That's been my observation also. Whether you go to preach the gospel or to invite ones to receive the gospel, if 10 out of 10 receive salvation it's considered a lost cause if none of them are brought into the local church.

The focus is all wrong. Salvation should be first and foremost. Whether they come into the local church should not be a ulterior motive.
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Old 01-03-2015, 08:04 PM   #33
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That's been my observation also. Whether you go to preach the gospel or to invite ones to receive the gospel, if 10 out of 10 receive salvation it's considered a lost cause if none of them are brought into the local church.

The focus is all wrong. Salvation should be first and foremost. Whether they come into the local church should not be a ulterior motive.
The LC certainly wants to see people get saved, but if they aren't willing to start reading ministry materials right away or switch to the RcV Bible, they are quick to move on to someone else.

As an interesting side note, I have noticed that BFA has started distributing WL books in addition to Bibles now. Maybe they should change their name to WLFA (Witness Lee for America). America needs God, not Witness Lee and his writings.
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Old 01-08-2015, 01:06 AM   #34
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To add to my previous post, it has been my experience that when we go out and preach the gospel, it has never been simply preaching the gospel. The goal is always firstly to recruit people to the LC and secondly to get them saved. Case and point: when I've done BFA in the past, the main goal was to get people to accept a free RcV NT. It was never to tell people about God or the Bible. It was to tell them about how their Bible at home (if they even had one) was insufficient and then needed RcV instead. Also things like inviting people to come to a campus Christian club meeting were more of a recruiting effort than a concern over whether people were saved or not.

Anyways my point in saying all this is that in the LC I was never equipped to tell people about the Lord or much less to lead them to the Lord. Maybe things were different in the past. If someone were to ask me a question "How do we know that God exists?", I wouldn't be able to tell them. If I had to defend the basic fundamentals of the Christian faith, I couldn't do that. About the only thing that I could do would be to defend LC teachings. About the only thing that I know how to do in regards to gaining an increase is try to recruit people to develop an interest in the ministry. That's why LSM/BB's/local elders shouldn't be surprised when there is so little increase. Even if there is little increase outside the LC as well. So the LC is dealing with the same issues affecting Christians as a whole, in addition to their self-inflicted issues.
Along these lines, I would add that when there is "increase," it is often with folks who have developed a personal connection with a few particular people in the church. Sometimes this lasts. Other times, they gradually, eventually, wisen up to the fact that there's a lot more going on under the surface.

In fact, I would say that often the very thing that attracts people is that they feel there are real personal connections, instead of the politics they might have encountered elsewhere. When they ultimately realize that there is actually a whole world of politics and ministry loyalty, the result can be confusion and disappointment.
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Old 01-08-2015, 08:57 PM   #35
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Along these lines, I would add that when there is "increase," it is often with folks who have developed a personal connection with a few particular people in the church. Sometimes this lasts. Other times, they gradually, eventually, wisen up to the fact that there's a lot more going on under the surface.
I have seen this so often, and it is clear what exactly is going on when it happens. A LCer will invite someone who knows 2 or 3 others in the LC and because of this mutual friendship, the new person feels somewhat comfortable in the LC environment.... at least for awhile. It bugs me because these people always seem to make a big deal about their "new ones". The LC places so much emphasis on recruiting friends that those who aren't successful in this matter feel a bit of shame.

As an side note, it had been said that during the FTTT in the late 80's those who were really successful in the training received awards. I was told that one of the brothers who was one of the most successful in the practice of door-knocking during the training later left the LC. How ironic is that?
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:38 AM   #36
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I have noticed that BFA has started distributing WL books in addition to Bibles now. Maybe they should change their name to WLFA (Witness Lee for America). America needs God, not Witness Lee and his writings.
To them, the Bible is just a means to get people into "the rich ministry of WL and WN". It's no surprise that WL books are crowding hard upon the Bible distribution process.
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Old 01-09-2015, 04:44 AM   #37
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To them, the Bible is just a means to get people into "the rich ministry of WL and WN". It's no surprise that WL books are crowding hard upon the Bible distribution process.
Soon BFA will stand for "Blendeds For America."
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:31 AM   #38
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To them, the Bible is just a means to get people into "the rich ministry of WL and WN". It's no surprise that WL books are crowding hard upon the Bible distribution process.
I shouldn't be surprised. I guess it was inevitable. You would think though that they would be happy distributing just a NT Testament littered with WL footnotes. They couldn't resist the urge to also distribute ministry books. They must think that everyone in the U.S. has been waiting their whole lives to receive one of Lee's books...
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Old 01-09-2015, 05:22 PM   #39
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I shouldn't be surprised. I guess it was inevitable. You would think though that they would be happy distributing just a NT Testament littered with WL footnotes. They couldn't resist the urge to also distribute ministry books. They must think that everyone in the U.S. has been waiting their whole lives to receive one of Lee's books...
The whole rest of Christianity has nothing that even compares to Witness Lee's ministry, don'tcha know that?

Wouldn't surprise me if it was LSM's intention all along to eventually expand from the RcV to other publications. Of course, they would probably claim that Bibles for America is not "part of" LSM, because it's registered as its own not-for-profit. Just like DCP is not "part of" LSM. Why the need to play these shell games? Seriously.
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:07 PM   #40
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The whole rest of Christianity has nothing that even compares to Witness Lee's ministry, don'tcha know that?

Wouldn't surprise me if it was LSM's intention all along to eventually expand from the RcV to other publications. Of course, they would probably claim that Bibles for America is not "part of" LSM, because it's registered as its own not-for-profit. Just like DCP is not "part of" LSM. Why the need to play these shell games? Seriously.
When it comes down to it, BFA has never really been about distrubiting Bibles for America. Groups like Gideons Int. were doing that long before BFA was conceived. The LC thinks their version is superior to all others and therefore, what needs to be distributed is not the Bible itself, but their interpretation of it. And now that applies to their ministry materials as well.

I vistited the BFA website. It shows some of the books they have to offer and it says: "Books by Watchman Nee and Witness Lee that help you progress in your Christian walk and grow in Christ." So apparently if some wants to grow in ther Christian walk, they needs a WN or WL book. They must think Bible itself is insufficient for that.

Also their website says they have now distributed 1.2 million Bibles(over a period of 10-15 years). The population of the US is estimated to be about 316 million. So .003% of the US has a RcV. Big deal, that isn't even a small dent. Whatever it is that they are trying to accomplish, it's not what their name implies. It's more like trying to find a few here and there to recruit to the LC.
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Old 01-09-2015, 06:38 PM   #41
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To them, the Bible is just a means to get people into "the rich ministry of WL and WN". It's no surprise that WL books are crowding hard upon the Bible distribution process.
WOW...that's exactly what the Mormons do. When their trainee 'elders' come to your door, they bring a kj bible. (A closer look has the LDS footnotes in it. It is NOT the same KJ found at your local Christian or non Mormon bookstore!)

The first scripture they quote is Amos:3:7. "When the Lord God decides to do something, he will first tell his servants, the prophets."

They use that scripture and 'the bible' to get you to read everything Joseph Smith wrote in the book of Mormon etc....

The LC uses the RcV so you can read Lee's works and to a lesser extent Nee's works. They use Watchman Nee's works to reel people in as well because a lot of Nee's books are sold in local bookstores from B&N to your local Christian bookstore. But you won't find the RcV or Lee's books other than in the LSM prison just like you won't find the Mormon's KJ bible or book of Mormon, plus outside their venue.

The LSM would NOT like it if an LCr would read the bible and Nee's works but leave out the RcV & Lee's works.

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Old 01-09-2015, 11:16 PM   #42
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WOW...that's exactly what the Mormons do. When their trainee 'elders' come to your door, they bring a kj bible. (A closer look has the LDS footnotes in it. It is NOT the same KJ found at your local Christian or non Mormon bookstore!)

The first scripture they quote is Amos:3:7. "When the Lord God decides to do something, he will first tell his servants, the prophets."

They use that scripture and 'the bible' to get you to read everything Joseph Smith wrote in the book of Mormon etc....

The LC uses the RcV so you can read Lee's works and to a lesser extent Nee's works. They use Watchman Nee's works to reel people in as well because a lot of Nee's books are sold in local bookstores from B&N to your local Christian bookstore. But you won't find the RcV or Lee's books other than in the LSM prison just like you won't find the Mormon's KJ bible or book of Mormon, plus outside their venue.

The LSM would NOT like it if an LCr would read the bible and Nee's works but leave out the RcV & Lee's works.

Didn't Witness Lee support the idea of door-knocking my pointing out that it works for the Jehovah's Witnesses (back in the 80's, I think)?

So it really wouldn't be surprising if they would borrow techniques from Mormon recruitment, as well.
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Old 01-10-2015, 07:20 AM   #43
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Didn't Witness Lee support the idea of door-knocking my pointing out that it works for the Jehovah's Witnesses (back in the 80's, I think)?

So it really wouldn't be surprising if they would borrow techniques from Mormon recruitment, as well.
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Someone said that he knocked on thirty to forty doors and none of them opened, so immediately he was disheartened. But I would say that you should not be discouraged because according to our reports, on the average only one in fifty doors we knock on opens up... I also did a little research the door-knocking by the Mormons and the Jehovah Witnesses and found out that they get one open door only after knocking on hundreds and thousands of doors. Therefore, when you go door-knocking, you must have a proper attitude: An unopened door is not discouraging but rather a normal thing. You must be prepared that people are not going to open their doors. If everyone would open the door and were all predestinated by God, then would it be necessary for us to labor in this matter? I believe that God did not predestinate that many people...
The Revelation and Vision of God Ch 9
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I do not even believe that the Jehovah's Witnesses or Mormons have the best way of door-knocking. According to my study, we have a much better way.
A Word of Love Ch 1
There you have it. WL says that he "researched the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses practice of door-knocking. I find it interesting that despite his findings regarding its ineffectiveness, he went on to push it as the best way to gain people. In that second quote he says that "we have a much better way". I have to wonder to myself what way that is.

Last time I checked, whatever increase the LC has is not coming from the practice of door-knocking. I'm not even sure how many are still doing that. I know there is talk now and then about trying to get is started up again. I think though most realized that it's not worth the time. Of course, since WL said that this is the new way, there are always going to be saints who try to put these things into practice - and fail.

Secondly, WL said that only one in fifty doors opens up. Well if you ask me, that sounds like a complete and utter waste of time. No wonder people got discouraged when this was all going on.
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Old 01-10-2015, 05:40 PM   #44
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There you have it. WL says that he "researched the Mormons and Jehovah Witnesses practice of door-knocking. I find it interesting that despite his findings regarding its ineffectiveness, he went on to push it as the best way to gain people. In that second quote he says that "we have a much better way". I have to wonder to myself what way that is.

Last time I checked, whatever increase the LC has is not coming from the practice of door-knocking. I'm not even sure how many are still doing that. I know there is talk now and then about trying to get is started up again. I think though most realized that it's not worth the time. Of course, since WL said that this is the new way, there are always going to be saints who try to put these things into practice - and fail.

Secondly, WL said that only one in fifty doors opens up. Well if you ask me, that sounds like a complete and utter waste of time. No wonder people got discouraged when this was all going on.
Did WL ever do any door knocking? I find it hard to believe he ever did but expected his sheeple to door knock. We did door knocking in the 1975/76 on Thursday nights as an invitation to the Saturday night gospel/love feasts. We usually went in 3s or 4s. Rarely in twos. PLUS... none of the leaders ever went door knocking so if there is talk of starting up door knocking again, rest assured the blendeds, the 'elders', the 'leading -ones-' won't be door knocking! (ugh. I hate the phrases 'these ones' or the 'leading ONES'. Why can't they just call them leaders or people? Leading ones?? What's that? ugh. )

Anyway. I am surprised anyone regardless of their 'product' goes door knocking anymore. I never open my door to anyone unless they call me before coming over...not in this day and age!

I was never fond of door knocking but felt ok to do it with several people back in the day.

I personally think door knocking is man made, not GOD made. I don't think the saints in the NT went 'door knocking'. The only person I know that knocked on a door was Peter and when it was opened, it was slammed on him!

It baffles and makes me that they don't give a damn about what has happened to their children (like Rayliotta and others), or about their spouses, or friends leaving the LC but they want to portray themselves as 'God's move on the earth today' when it's really about maintaining Lee's legacy not God's Love for ALL His children.

Jeremiah 29:29 (NIV) says God has plans for us (YOU and me) to prosper, Plans to give us HOPE and a Future.

What are His Plans for your life? Ask Him. Keep seeking Him and He will open the door, a DOOR that He will never shut ! (Rev 3:8 and 3:20)
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Old 01-10-2015, 06:12 PM   #45
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Anyway. I am surprised anyone regardless of their 'product' goes door knocking anymore. I never open my door to anyone unless they call me before coming over...not in this day and age!
That was the comment John So in Germany said when Door-Knocking was mandated. Knowing the German people, he commented that, "they will baptize you instead," possibly making reference to the drowning of Anabaptists back in the day.

John So's comments basically went "virule" (even before Al Gore invented the internet!) via the recovery grapevine, and Phillip Lee and Company immediately blackballed him for being negative to WL and the "New Way."
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:31 PM   #46
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That was the comment John So in Germany said when Door-Knocking was mandated. Knowing the German people, he commented that, "they will baptize you instead," possibly making reference to the drowning of Anabaptists back in the day.

John So's comments basically went "virule" (even before Al Gore invented the internet!) via the recovery grapevine, and Phillip Lee and Company immediately blackballed him for being negative to WL and the "New Way."
This is the sad legacy of the LC, anyone who criticizes their "cookie cutter" approach to everything gets ostracized. It is common for people to cringe when they see Mormons or JW's going through the neigborhood. Even the same is true for door-to-door salesman. So it seems bizarre that in spite of the strong aversion in the US of people coming to your door, that Lee would push door-knocking as the best way.
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Old 01-11-2015, 03:47 PM   #47
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....it seems bizarre that in spite of the strong aversion in the US of people coming to your door, that Lee would push door-knocking as the best way.
Obviously LEE never did any door knocking himself. Anyone know if he ever did?? Anyone think the blenders will do any door knocking?
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:09 PM   #48
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So it seems bizarre that in spite of the strong aversion in the US of people coming to your door, that Lee would push door-knocking as the best way.
Door-knocking began in Taipei back in ~1985, when Americans were highly respected, and almost held in awe, by the Taiwanese. Then the statistics were doctored to "prove" what a great success Lee had become in his "laboratory."

As with everything promoted by Lee and Company, either you were completely on board, or you were a dismal failure, and probably "harboring secret rebellions in your heart." Personally, I found my time valuable whenever I went door-to-door with others. It is actually spiritually healthy to be challenged like that in the Lord -- lose your face for the Gospel, open your mouth to speak for the Lord, meet new people, help others overcome their fears, etc. Had Lee made the program optional, it might have had more lasting value. Instead of being "THE" way, it should have only been "A" way to share the gospel.
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Old 01-11-2015, 04:31 PM   #49
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Door-knocking began in Taipei back in ~1985, when Americans were highly respected, and almost held in awe, by the Taiwanese. Then the statistics were doctored to "prove" what a great success Lee had become in his "laboratory."

As with everything promoted by Lee and Company, either you were completely on board, or you were a dismal failure, and probably "harboring secret rebellions in your heart." Personally, I found my time valuable whenever I went door-to-door with others. It is actually spiritually healthy to be challenged like that in the Lord -- lose your face for the Gospel, open your mouth to speak for the Lord, meet new people, help others overcome their fears, etc. Had Lee made the program optional, it might have had more lasting value. Instead of being "THE" way, it should have only been "A" way to share the gospel.
The last time I went door-knocking was probably about 6 or 7 years ago. I think it was in interesting experience, however, nothing good ever came of it. In general, most people aren't interested, and the people we ended up talking to wanted to debate. Since debating people is discouraged, it really felt like we were stuck in a situation where we were wasting our time.
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Old 01-11-2015, 06:18 PM   #50
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The last time I went door-knocking was probably about 6 or 7 years ago. I think it was in interesting experience, however, nothing good ever came of it. In general, most people aren't interested, and the people we ended up talking to wanted to debate. Since debating people is discouraged, it really felt like we were stuck in a situation where we were wasting our time.
For me, it was spring of 1986. I was a senior in high school paired with a fellow junior high school brother. If the door was answered, it was either "not interested" or end up in debate.
I wouldn't say it was a waste of time, but I did come away from the experience times are changing in the local churches and if door knocking becomes an expectation, I didn't want to be part of it.
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Old 01-11-2015, 08:10 PM   #51
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Door-knocking began in Taipei back in ~1985, when Americans were highly respected, and almost held in awe, by the Taiwanese. Then the statistics were doctored to "prove" what a great success Lee had become in his "laboratory."
Well...what was it I did when I went door to door in the mid 70s?? We did not simply invite them to a pot lock dinner on Saturday night. We told them them we were Christians and shared a short testimony of how we came to the Lord.

It pretty much stopped in 1977 when we stopped meeting 'corporately' in the meeting hall and started having home meetings and going after the 'good college material'.

That door knocking started up AGAIN in a more aggressive manner or took on a different twist I will accept but I started going door knocking the same week I got saved! Maybe the people in Taipai went door knocking every day?? And to what end? Were they inviting them to meetings, or simply handing out leaflets or what? I don't understand. I left in 1978ish remember?

I know we went door knocking on Thursdays and Saturday mornings with the intention of inviting them to the gospel/love feast.


I got saved on a Monday. After work, I had dinner at a sisters house where 7 sisters lived with a family (elders). After dinner, I went to a new believers meeting at another home.

Tuesday after work, I returned to their house at their invitation for dinner and from there I attended my first prayer meeting at the meeting hall. I got baptized that night.

Wednesday. Dinner again, more fellowship and a meeting at the meeting hall.

Thursday. Dinner again and then I accompanied 3 other sisters DOOR KNOCKING. It was fun.

Friday. Dinner again followed by the Friday night meeting at the meeting hall.

Saturday. I attended my first gospel/love feast and testified about my salvation that week. I was soaring with the Lord. I loved that week. I spent the night at the sisters home.

Sunday, I attended the morning meeting. After that meeting, another family invited me over for lunch, and then went back to the hall for my first Lord's Table meeting.

I moved in with the saints that night.

This was in January 1975 in San Diego. In fact my anniversary of getting saved is coming up. It was Monday morning January 13, around 9:30am , I prayed at work with a brother in Christ who was in the LC. He had been sharing the Word of God with me (NOT life studies or footnotes) WITH a real LIVE BIBLE. There were about 7-8 LCrs working where I worked. We were all in our 20s.

Through all my ups and downs, I am forever grateful for God's unending Love, Mercy, and Patience with me. I am so humbled that He chose me before the foundation of the world knowing quite well I would be a handful.

Can I say God bless HIM?? Surely my soul blesses the LORD.

God bless this forum that is giving hope to the down trodden, discouraged, and heart broken.

Carol
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Old 01-12-2015, 09:54 AM   #52
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Also their website says they have now distributed 1.2 million Bibles(over a period of 10-15 years). The population of the US is estimated to be about 316 million. So .003% of the US has a RcV. Big deal, that isn't even a small dent. Whatever it is that they are trying to accomplish, it's not what their name implies. It's more like trying to find a few here and there to recruit to the LC.
1.2 million copies of Bible among 316 million people is .3%, not .003%.
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Old 01-12-2015, 12:43 PM   #53
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1.2 million copies of Bible among 316 million people is .3%, not .003%.
Yes, thank you. Apparently I need to work on my math.
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