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Old 04-14-2017, 07:46 AM   #1
leastofthese
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Default Wait, It's A Cult?

I remember sitting in the front book room in “fellowship” with a full-time brother – who I truly enjoyed spending time with and respect as a brother in Christ – when he proactively defended the Church in XYZ as being a cult. I didn’t bring up the church being a cult, nor did our topic of discussion start to lean in that direction – but he defended this position like it wasn’t the first or last time that he would layout his argument.

I recently googled "definition of a cult" and one of the first results was an article from Christianity today. I don't know anything about this website, so I'm not claiming it to have authority or even provide an accurate or exhaustive definition. I just thought it was very interesting considering each point in relation to LSM denomination, LCs.

I was hoping that I could get help from this forum to compile quotes from the works of Witness Lee or experiences from the LC that drive home the validity of each statement below. I know that I have personally seen most of these first hand during my time in the LC.

All-knowing leadership. An individual or group of people claims to be sent by God to "rule" the one true religion—which only includes members of that particular cult.

No room for differences. Cult members must believe exactly the same way and in exactly the same things; there is no room for disagreeing with the cult's rules or doctrines.

A new and better way. Cults often claim they've been given a "special revelation" from God that's superior to the Bible, or explains what the Bible is really trying to say.

Down on Christian doctrine. Cults often depict basic Christian doctrines and beliefs (like the Trinity, deity of Christ, salvation by grace through faith) as "full of holes" and completely illogical.

Scriptures get an added twist. Bible verses are often taken out of context or twisted to mean something very different than what was originally intended.

"Christians are wrong." Cult members believe God has given their group the job of pointing out "heretical and evil" teachings of Christianity.

Works prove faith. Cult members often claim their good works are superior to those performed by Christians, and they say their works prove their religion is the one-and-only truth.

Salvation is a big unknown. Since cults often teach that salvation is based on performance, cult members can never know if they've done everything necessary to get to heaven.

No exit. Leaving the cult is not an option, and intimidation is often used to keep cult members from even thinking about getting out.


http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf...n-of-cult.html
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Old 04-14-2017, 08:29 AM   #2
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Default Re: Wait, its a cult?

Did the article refer to any verses from the New Testament to support this definition? I see many NT verses concerning false prophets and how to recognize them, but the only reference I see to a "cult" is the early church. Wasn't the early church referred to as a cult?

Couldn't you classify the Catholic church as a cult based on this definition with their "all knowing leadership"?

Couldn't you classify the Protestant churches as cults based on this definition with their "new and better way"?

Who judges if your interpretation is giving the scriptures "an added twist"? Wouldn't that be an "all knowing leadership"?

Didn't all Christian groups assert that prior understanding was wrong? Luther did that. Calvin did that. Who didn't?

It seems to me the true measuring stick is the apostle's fellowship. Do you receive it yes or no? The reason for such a complex and convoluted definition is because the authors know that on many different issues "fundamental" christian groups do not accept the apostle's fellowship.
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Old 04-14-2017, 09:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: Wait, its a cult?

And there Z goes again. If the word is not used in the scripture it can't be used.

The problem with looking at the list is that, by definition, there is an aspect of many of those in play for any Christian group. At least in a small way.

But to be a "cult of Christianity" it has to be something beyond the basic.

For example, having strong leadership that is followed is actually important. But leadership that is unwilling to accept question or criticism is a problem. Even the RCC is not as hard about things as the so-called local churches.

And there is a difference between a novel notion "springing" off of a scripture that is made into a "great idea." It is when it becomes an important doctrine held up as a differentiator or a "must believe" that it becomes a problem.

But when the special leader spends the bulk of his teaching emphasizing the differentiators — the peculiarities that others will not accept — and scares his people into staying or being "bankrupt" relative to Christ, then you are getting there.

Of course, using the term "cult" is problematic in discussions with the people who are mired in a system that you want to say is one. Just saying the word tends to cause their ears to close to further input. So even if it is a classic cult, there is little benefit in tossing the word around.

As a note, I recently heard my dad say that someone he used to do some service with at the LRC here would occasionally say that he was sure he was going to the little dark room for 1,000 years. That is the lot for anyone who is not just absolutely rock-solid on fire for the LRC. At least his understanding of it.

Some may argue that this is not the teaching of Lee or the LRC, but it must be because of the number of people who grind it out year-after-year, hanging on in the hopes of avoiding the LRC's purgatory. Or when they can't do it any more, they just give up on everything and stay home depressed. Hard to say that the definition of "cult" doesn't apply in a case like that. When so many of your members are in that kind of state, there is something seriously wrong and it isn't just those poor downtrodden members.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:04 AM   #4
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Default Re: Wait, its a cult?

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Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Did the article refer to any verses from the New Testament to support this definition? I see many NT verses concerning false prophets and how to recognize them, but the only reference I see to a "cult" is the early church. Wasn't the early church referred to as a cult?
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And there Z goes again. If the word is not used in the scripture it can't be used.
We have had this conversation for years.

ZNP has good reasons to adhere to the scriptures.

My reason for rejecting the C-label for the LC's is simple: Contemporary American semantics indicate that people's lives are at risk in cults. Over 90% of Americans do NOT consider Catholics, Mormons, or JW's to be cults. Branch Davidians, People's Temple, and Hale-Bops yes, but not Christian groups which have existed for decades without any signs of imminent danger.

Like ZNP and the Bible, we Christians should identify False Teachers and Prophets along with their false teachings and prophecies, rather than tagging whole collections of people. We also should expose evil deeds, especially by the leadership, which damage their mostly unsuspecting members, rather than group generalizations which are so easily disproved.

I think that more Americans see Islam as a religious cult than with any of these "mainstream" pseudo-Christian groups like the Mormons. One of them ran for president if you remember. If we "loosen" the cult definition to include all groups like the LC's, then we must include the RCC and every other abusive group.

The Christianity Today article does not describe "cults" per se, but congregations with abusive leaders that lord it over the church of God.
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Old 04-14-2017, 10:35 AM   #5
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Default Re: Wait, It's A Cult?

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Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
All-knowing leadership. An individual or group of people claims to be sent by God to "rule" the one true religion—which only includes members of that particular cult.

No room for differences. Cult members must believe exactly the same way and in exactly the same things; there is no room for disagreeing with the cult's rules or doctrines.

A new and better way. Cults often claim they've been given a "special revelation" from God that's superior to the Bible, or explains what the Bible is really trying to say.

Down on Christian doctrine. Cults often depict basic Christian doctrines and beliefs (like the Trinity, deity of Christ, salvation by grace through faith) as "full of holes" and completely illogical.

Scriptures get an added twist. Bible verses are often taken out of context or twisted to mean something very different than what was originally intended.

"Christians are wrong." Cult members believe God has given their group the job of pointing out "heretical and evil" teachings of Christianity.

Works prove faith. Cult members often claim their good works are superior to those performed by Christians, and they say their works prove their religion is the one-and-only truth.

Salvation is a big unknown. Since cults often teach that salvation is based on performance, cult members can never know if they've done everything necessary to get to heaven.

No exit. Leaving the cult is not an option, and intimidation is often used to keep cult members from even thinking about getting out.


http://www.christianitytoday.com/iyf...n-of-cult.html
If the definition of cult must include all of these bullet points, then the LC/LSM is not a cult but close to it because unless the message of salvation they adhere to has changed, the assurance of eternal salvation was/is solidified in the teachings. That they have instilled fear of the '1000 yr of outerdarkness' teaching is beside the point.

From my experience just about every denomination or non denomination is also very close to being a cult based on these bullet points.

In the denominations I have frequented for example, they all have their book/cd tables. 99% of the products sold is the teachings from the main pastor. If they have other ministerial products, those ministers are connected to the pastor. When a special guest visits that is not necessarily connected to that ministry, the guest brings in his boatload of products to sell.

I can tell you from my personal experience, the guest speaker will give a 'cut' to the main pastor. (And a collection will also be taken up for the guest speaker).

Going back to the matter of eternal salvation, from my experience the LC did a really good job of assuring the saints on that matter.
Don't know if they still do however.
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:36 AM   #6
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Default Re: Wait, It's A Cult?

For me the clearest indicator is rigid conformity. All LSM "local churches" must be "absolutely identical", with "no differences whatsoever". No difference with whom, you ask? With HQ promulgations. If HQ changes week-to-week, so must the rank-and-file in the hinterlands.

"God" is incarnated in "Christ" who has a "Body" which is the "Church" which must be "one with the apostles", which means whatever the Maximum Brother is thinking today. "Just be a tape recorder", we were repeatedly advised. So "God", operationally, is whatever the Big Boss is speaking today.

Of course the HQ will stress to rank-and-file that this is preferable to the Wild West of Christianity, where every man does what is right in his own eyes. In this case, we in the LSM "local churches" are rather to do what is right in Big Boss' eyes. Somehow that's the solution.
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Old 04-14-2017, 11:42 AM   #7
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Default Re: Wait, It's A Cult?

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For me the clearest indicator is rigid conformity. All LSM "local churches" must be "absolutely identical", with "no differences whatsoever". No difference with whom, you ask? With HQ promulgations. If HQ changes week-to-week, so must the rank-and-file in the hinterlands.
That to me described the Catholic church I grew up in.
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:12 PM   #8
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That to me described the Catholic church I grew up in.
yep! it sure does!
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Old 04-14-2017, 12:41 PM   #9
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That to me described the Catholic church I grew up in.
Really?!? Doesnt the Catholic church allow nonconforming groups? Why the the creation of, say the Jesuit order? What of the Franciscans? Etc etc? A free spirit could exist in the Catholic church, publish personal poems of spiritual musings etc. I don't see any such leeway in the LSM LC. They've made that repeatedly clear.

Same with the Eastern Orthodox. One may present one's ideas to the marketplace; some will gain traction, some not. But the marketplace of ideas ultimately decides. The HQ of course may set parameters for discussion. But within the pale of orthodoxy one may pursue spirituality as one (and one's locally-associated peers) see fit.

A Francis of Assisi or a Desiderius Erasmus could survive in the RCC, albeit often barely so. No chance in the LSM LC. And remember that Francis and Erasmus lived in a different era: 400 years ago, you could also be tortured or killed in Protestant-controlled territory for being non-conformist. The separation of church and state began to change things drastically. By contrast, we see that the LSM LC has only gotten more rigid and inflexible over time - look at the LC assemblies today vs 40 years ago!

I think in the Catholic church, they accept that different peoples have different cultures and cultural expressions. That's allowed and even celebrated. In the LSM LC, only one culture is allowed. Supposedly that's a "heavenly culture" and based on the Bible, but we've seen on this forum repeatedly that where the Bible and LSM LC culture clash, the Bible is dropped like a rock. Conformity is always to the HQ and whoever's pulling the reins there.
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Old 04-14-2017, 01:54 PM   #10
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Really?!? Doesnt the Catholic church allow nonconforming groups? Why the the creation of, say the Jesuit order? What of the Franciscans? Etc etc? A free spirit could exist in the Catholic church, publish personal poems of spiritual musings etc. I don't see any such leeway in the LSM LC. They've made that repeatedly clear.

Same with the Eastern Orthodox. One may present one's ideas to the marketplace; some will gain traction, some not. But the marketplace of ideas ultimately decides. The HQ of course may set parameters for discussion. But within the pale of orthodoxy one may pursue spirituality as one (and one's locally-associated peers) see fit.

A Francis of Assisi or a Desiderius Erasmus could survive in the RCC, albeit often barely so. No chance in the LSM LC. And remember that Francis and Erasmus lived in a different era: 400 years ago, you could also be tortured or killed in Protestant-controlled territory for being non-conformist. The separation of church and state began to change things drastically. By contrast, we see that the LSM LC has only gotten more rigid and inflexible over time - look at the LC assemblies today vs 40 years ago!

I think in the Catholic church, they accept that different peoples have different cultures and cultural expressions. That's allowed and even celebrated. In the LSM LC, only one culture is allowed. Supposedly that's a "heavenly culture" and based on the Bible, but we've seen on this forum repeatedly that where the Bible and LSM LC culture clash, the Bible is dropped like a rock. Conformity is always to the HQ and whoever's pulling the reins there.
I was in the Catholic school thru High School. We all wore the same white shirt, green tie, and dark pants. In high school the same sport jacket. Every Mass was the same, every day, all around the world. The LC had nothing that resembled that, at least where I was. Going back to Francis or Erasmus in the RCC is like going back to Elden Hall in the 60's.

But we should take note that in the LC uniformity and book-writing always take a back seat to subjection. Proof of that can be seen in Chicago (Reetzke writes his own books) and NYC (don't use HWFMR.) Neither were the recent quarantines ever about petty issues like clean sheets or drums. It was a power struggle. Neither Dong nor Chu was ever going to subject himself to some Blended wannabe in Anaheim. Never gonna happen.
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:32 PM   #11
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I was in the Catholic school thru High School. We all wore the same white shirt, green tie, and dark pants. In high school the same sport jacket. Every Mass was the same, every day, all around the world. The LC had nothing that resembled that, at least where I was. Going back to Francis or Erasmus in the RCC is like going back to Elden Hall in the 60's.
But as for the uniform, even the public schools are going that way through elementary and even middle school.

I think that we can find examples within most Christian groups that fit the mold in some way. It is the extremes to which some go on so many of the items that colors it differently.

And I understand your experience with the RCC. But are you just focused on what you took exception with and not the whole? I realize that someone could say the same thing about the LRC, but I find the line to be rather high and the RCC may be under (even if not for lack of trying) it while the LRC is over.
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Old 04-14-2017, 02:46 PM   #12
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I think our friend ZNP has been pray-reading too much of J. Gordon Melton and Hank Hanegraaff (just razzin you Z)

Seriously, Melton and Hanegraaff both came to the nonsensical and absurd notion that since the term "cult" has been misapplied a few times that no group is deserving of being dubbed with the label. They also brought forth this somewhat comical idea that since every religion or sect could be considered a cult by somebody (presumably even by just a few people), then every religion or sect is a cult...and therefore since every religion or sect is a cult then nobody's a cult.

Not to over simplify this matter, I think many reasonable Christian people could, or should, ask the following: "Just WHO is calling WHO a cult?". I mean, if the Moonies or Warren Jeffs' polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints calls some local Baptist church a cult, does that make them a cult? Conversely, if Dr. Walter Martin, the foremost cult researcher in the world, hears about Local Church members marching on Moody church/Bible Institute shouting slogans of "Down with Christianity!", then hears about LC members say "we want to be little Witness Lees" and "we are baby gods!", and then confirms some of the aberrant and divisive teachings of Lee, then declares the Local Church to be "a cult of Christianity", is Dr. Martin unreasonable is making such a declaration?

Yes, yes, I understand that our dear brothers and sisters in the Local Church have not marched on Moody church lately. (and let's thank God and some semi-sober minded Local Churchers for this!), and they have cutback quite a bit on the "we are baby gods" nonsense, but neither have they turned away from nor repudiated the excesses in teaching and practices of the past. In fact, they have actually doubled-down on such unbiblical, and yes even neo-cultic, notions as "We are becoming God in life and nature, but not in the Godhead". Neither have they repudiated the notion that Witness Lee was "the one minister with the one ministry for the age". Neither have they repudiated the teaching that every Christian church besides the Local Church are "a daughter of the great harlot". And the list goes on and on.

My honest, albeit regretful, assessment is that any group that is properly and legitimately classified as a cult of Christianity, and subsequently refuses to turn away from or repudiate the very teachings and practices which caused the assessment, remains under the veil of an aberrant or even cultic group. Are there worse "cults of Christianity" around? You betcha. Are there worse places for young people and new Christians to get tied into? Absolutely! But many of us have seen and experienced that the Lord can work through godly men and women, and yes, even institutions (gasp) without the need to declare themselves to be the only group through whom God is making his Kingdom come.

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Old 04-14-2017, 03:36 PM   #13
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We have had this conversation for years.
I know we have. And if you really read what I said, it was that despite falling deep into the characteristics, using the term is not helpful. For the reasons I stated and the reasons you did including the popular thought that only the dangerous cults should have that title.
Quote:
ZNP has good reasons to adhere to the scriptures.
I am not saying to ignore scriptures. But the position that the only way to see error is in the terms in which they are stated in the bible is to presume that the ways in which to err are limited to those seen in the bible.

The problem is that periodically someone will come across this as a potential discussion topic. And just as true as it is that the label drives off those we are trying to reach, just throwing up a brick wall to at least a brief discussion is equally dismissive to the ones who are considering it. Rather than just dumping on the subject, explain what is both right and wrong about it. Right in that it does collect a grouping of factors together. But wrong in that it shortcuts the discussion on specific issues into just a label.

Add to that the problem with those who will just turn us off because of the label and there is very good reason to try to keep the discussion short. Show why it is not a helpful endeavor. That some people read things into it that are not true is valid, but not the only reason to refrain. Make this discussion just like any other. Divorce the factors from a single discussion of a label by creating separate threads for each relevant factor. (Ignore the ones that simply don't apply.) Let the discussion find its way.

So, again, you are correct that dropping a MOAB (like the "c" word) into the discussion is rarely helpful. It mostly drives the lurkers away. Drake and Evangelical try hard to do that without us helping.

But equally problematic (and a little like a MOAB) is the declaration that the discussion should simply stop because we've has this discussion before or it is "unscriptural." A few of us have had the discussion. But if you look at the number of people observing v the number logged-in, I bet that many of them were not here when that happened. And despite the archives, I've gone back to find threads that I remember and sometimes can't find them. What about someone who doesn't know that we've covered this before? At least find it yourself and point them to it. If they end out posting to it, it is going to be on the front page again anyway.

We can't just lash out at the periodic discovery of the idea. It is worth more than a fight to shut it down. Make the case that "cult" doesn't just mean Branch Dividians or a Jonestown massacre. Make the case that while popular use of the term has limited its understanding and range of meaning, it is not so simple or extreme. Sort of like other words, such as "gay." (There's a whole decade in the 1800's that now has a moniker that is completely misunderstood.)
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Old 04-14-2017, 05:41 PM   #14
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I know we have. And if you really read what I said, it was that despite falling deep into the characteristics, using the term is not helpful.
Sorry Bro. I read your first and last paragraphs and assumed the rest.

So much for my training in writing class eons ago.
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Old 04-14-2017, 06:16 PM   #15
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and they have cutback quite a bit on the "we are baby gods" nonsense, but neither have they turned away from nor repudiated the excesses in teaching and practices of the past. In fact, they have actually doubled-down on such unbiblical, and yes even neo-cultic, notions as "We are becoming God in life and nature, but not in the Godhead". Neither have they repudiated the notion that Witness Lee was "the one minister with the one ministry for the age". Neither have they repudiated the teaching that every Christian church besides the Local Church are "a daughter of the great harlot". And the list goes on and on.

My honest, albeit regretful, assessment is that any group that is properly and legitimately classified as a cult of Christianity, and subsequently refuses to turn away from or repudiate the very teachings and practices which caused the assessment, remains under the veil of an aberrant or even cultic group. Are there worse "cults of Christianity" around? You betcha. Are there worse places for young people and new Christians to get tied into? Absolutely! But many of us have seen and experienced that the Lord can work through godly men and women, and yes, even institutions (gasp) without the need to declare themselves to be the only group through whom God is making his Kingdom come.

-
I hear what you're saying boss, but it just don't tip the scale for me.

Most Christians don't call the EOC a cult, and they have been teaching deification (man becomes deified) for centuries. Ole Hank, the Bible Answer Man, obviously doesn't think so.

And both the RCC and the Brethren Exclusives love to proclaim their own MOTA equivalent, i.e. the Pope and "our Brother." But who today is warning the nation about them?

This is why I prefer danger to be the key ingredient. It matches the definition most people have.
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Old 04-14-2017, 07:41 PM   #16
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My friend I'm not trying to warn the nation, just whoever wanders by here. Also, I'm not worried about the EOC or the Roman Catholic Church. That's beyond the preview of our little forum. We have enough to worry about with the Local Church of Witness Lee, wouldn't you agree?

So "becoming God in life and nature" doesn't tip the scale for you? How about "we are baby gods"....does that do the trick? How about Witness Lee being the "forth of the Trinity"? Does that sound like danger to you?

It's all a matter of degree my old buddy. Nobody is calling the Local Church of Witness Lee some evil, mind controlling, Jim Jones kool aid cult. But neither are some innocuous, just-a-little-off-kilter evangelical, orthodox sect of Christianity. I think this fact is vividly portrayed throughout the 1,000+ threads on our forum.

Getting back to the original post of the thread starter, is there any doubt that the Local Church of Witness Lee matches up with most of these points? The only ones that don't fit are the "works prove faith" and "salvation is a big unknown", the rest of them are spot on. I think leastofthese deserves a little more respect and consideration than our responses have been on this thread up till now. We can do better! Let's do this thing!

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Old 04-14-2017, 08:00 PM   #17
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Getting back to the original post of the thread starter, is there any doubt that the Local Church of Witness Lee matches up with most of these points? The only ones that don't fit are the "works prove faith" and "salvation is a big unknown", the rest of them are spot on. I think leastofthese deserves a little more respect and consideration than our responses have been on this thread up till now. We can do better! Let's do this thing!

-
I do respect leastofthese, and that's why I offered my reasoned and seasoned opinions on the matter. Perhaps they don't match his own, but I got the impression that he was seeking honest feedback.

So I gave it to him!

Or her!
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:01 AM   #18
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All-knowing leadership. An individual or group of people claims to be sent by God to "rule" the one true religion—which only includes members of that particular cult.

- there is no explicit ruling. There is no guru or otherwise.



No room for differences. Cult members must believe exactly the same way and in exactly the same things; there is no room for disagreeing with the cult's rules or doctrines.

1 Cor 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.


A new and better way. Cults often claim they've been given a "special revelation" from God that's superior to the Bible, or explains what the Bible is really trying to say.

Heb 10:20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.


Down on Christian doctrine. Cults often depict basic Christian doctrines and beliefs (like the Trinity, deity of Christ, salvation by grace through faith) as "full of holes" and completely illogical.


The LR never says these things are full of holes and illogical. It fully affirms the Trinity, deity of Christ and salvation by grace through faith. By the way, the Trinity is illogical. 1+1+1=1 does not fit into our concepts and mathematical frameworks. That is why it is called "a mystery".


Scriptures get an added twist. Bible verses are often taken out of context or twisted to mean something very different than what was originally intended.

This could be said of any individual or Christian group who does not correctly interpret the Bible. e.g. word-faith prosperity movement.


"Christians are wrong." Cult members believe God has given their group the job of pointing out "heretical and evil" teachings of Christianity.

This could be any apologetic website or ministry that cares about sound doctrine.

Works prove faith. Cult members often claim their good works are superior to those performed by Christians, and they say their works prove their religion is the one-and-only truth.

Luther taught that works prove faith. Also, the bible says:

James 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.



Salvation is a big unknown. Since cults often teach that salvation is based on performance, cult members can never know if they've done everything necessary to get to heaven.


Sounds like the Catholic or Orthodox churches. The LR believes in assurance of salvation. In fact, we have been accused of "easy believism", believe in the Lord 3 times and you will be saved. Clearly, we do not believe in anything about our performance getting us to heaven.

No exit. Leaving the cult is not an option, and intimidation is often used to keep cult members from even thinking about getting out.

There is no pressure to stay in the LR. People come and go all the time.

Hebrews 6:4-6 is rather intimidating for those who would renounce the faith.
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Old 04-15-2017, 06:52 AM   #19
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Sorry Evangelical, but it's hard to believe anything you wrote.

We were there. We know better.
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Old 04-15-2017, 01:20 PM   #20
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I think our friend ZNP has been pray-reading too much of J. Gordon Melton and Hank Hanegraaff (just razzin you Z)

Seriously, Melton and Hanegraaff both came to the nonsensical and absurd notion that since the term "cult" has been misapplied a few times that no group is deserving of being dubbed with the label. They also brought forth this somewhat comical idea that since every religion or sect could be considered a cult by somebody (presumably even by just a few people), then every religion or sect is a cult...and therefore since every religion or sect is a cult then nobody's a cult.

Not to over simplify this matter, I think many reasonable Christian people could, or should, ask the following: "Just WHO is calling WHO a cult?". I mean, if the Moonies or Warren Jeffs' polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints calls some local Baptist church a cult, does that make them a cult? Conversely, if Dr. Walter Martin, the foremost cult researcher in the world, hears about Local Church members marching on Moody church/Bible Institute shouting slogans of "Down with Christianity!", then hears about LC members say "we want to be little Witness Lees" and "we are baby gods!", and then confirms some of the aberrant and divisive teachings of Lee, then declares the Local Church to be "a cult of Christianity", is Dr. Martin unreasonable is making such a declaration?

Yes, yes, I understand that our dear brothers and sisters in the Local Church have not marched on Moody church lately. (and let's thank God and some semi-sober minded Local Churchers for this!), and they have cutback quite a bit on the "we are baby gods" nonsense, but neither have they turned away from nor repudiated the excesses in teaching and practices of the past. In fact, they have actually doubled-down on such unbiblical, and yes even neo-cultic, notions as "We are becoming God in life and nature, but not in the Godhead". Neither have they repudiated the notion that Witness Lee was "the one minister with the one ministry for the age". Neither have they repudiated the teaching that every Christian church besides the Local Church are "a daughter of the great harlot". And the list goes on and on.

My honest, albeit regretful, assessment is that any group that is properly and legitimately classified as a cult of Christianity, and subsequently refuses to turn away from or repudiate the very teachings and practices which caused the assessment, remains under the veil of an aberrant or even cultic group. Are there worse "cults of Christianity" around? You betcha. Are there worse places for young people and new Christians to get tied into? Absolutely! But many of us have seen and experienced that the Lord can work through godly men and women, and yes, even institutions (gasp) without the need to declare themselves to be the only group through whom God is making his Kingdom come.

-
I have no issue with using a non scriptural term, which some have concluded is my position.

Likewise, I have no issue with that non scriptural term being "cult".

My issue is that we need a real definition. The definitions I have seen would all classify the early church as a cult, which I feel puts those making these definitions clearly in the camp of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

1. To be a cult you have to have a "false prophet" running it. This was my reference to receiving the fellowship of the apostles. I'm not interested in vague expressions like "giving the Bible verse an extra twist".

2. However, it is not adequate to simply having a teacher who is in error, that would be equivalent to Apollos. You also have to have the abuse of the saints.

So, if you simply had the first point you could claim that the 7th day adventists are a cult, but once you add the 2nd point then it makes it clear the church of Scientology is a cult. Perhaps the Mormons and JW's would also rise to the level of cult. Manson, Moonies, etc would all be cults.

You don't want to wait until they bring out the Kool aid to realize there is an abusive situation, so the precursor is always "making merchandise of the saints".

Now as some have pointed out selling books and tapes is so widespread that is too universal to be useful. So then the basis of making merchandise of the saints has to be a lie. The "cult leader" is going to fabricate some story about aliens picking us up, or bringing in a revolution, or being the closest coworker of the minister of the age.

But the real give away is "you shall know them by their fruit". You could claim that the Catholic church is a cult based on their definition, but is the fruit charity and good works? I recall in the Local church they were specifically taught not to be involved in good works, and any church that tried to have any program other than "supporting the ministry" was dealt with.

When the great leader doesn't want you giving to the poor but rather wants you to have a standing order for the books he sells and that no one wants, that is the biggest take away that this is a false prophet, abusing the saints.
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:00 PM   #21
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All-knowing leadership. An individual or group of people claims to be sent by God to "rule" the one true religion—which only includes members of that particular cult.

- there is no explicit ruling. There is no guru or otherwise.



No room for differences. Cult members must believe exactly the same way and in exactly the same things; there is no room for disagreeing with the cult's rules or doctrines.

1 Cor 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.


A new and better way. Cults often claim they've been given a "special revelation" from God that's superior to the Bible, or explains what the Bible is really trying to say.

Heb 10:20 By his death, Jesus opened a new and life-giving way through the curtain into the Most Holy Place.


Down on Christian doctrine. Cults often depict basic Christian doctrines and beliefs (like the Trinity, deity of Christ, salvation by grace through faith) as "full of holes" and completely illogical.


The LR never says these things are full of holes and illogical. It fully affirms the Trinity, deity of Christ and salvation by grace through faith. By the way, the Trinity is illogical. 1+1+1=1 does not fit into our concepts and mathematical frameworks. That is why it is called "a mystery".


Scriptures get an added twist. Bible verses are often taken out of context or twisted to mean something very different than what was originally intended.

This could be said of any individual or Christian group who does not correctly interpret the Bible. e.g. word-faith prosperity movement.


"Christians are wrong." Cult members believe God has given their group the job of pointing out "heretical and evil" teachings of Christianity.

This could be any apologetic website or ministry that cares about sound doctrine.

Works prove faith. Cult members often claim their good works are superior to those performed by Christians, and they say their works prove their religion is the one-and-only truth.

Luther taught that works prove faith. Also, the bible says:

James 2:18 But someone will say, "You have faith; I have deeds." Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.



Salvation is a big unknown. Since cults often teach that salvation is based on performance, cult members can never know if they've done everything necessary to get to heaven.


Sounds like the Catholic or Orthodox churches. The LR believes in assurance of salvation. In fact, we have been accused of "easy believism", believe in the Lord 3 times and you will be saved. Clearly, we do not believe in anything about our performance getting us to heaven.

No exit. Leaving the cult is not an option, and intimidation is often used to keep cult members from even thinking about getting out.

There is no pressure to stay in the LR. People come and go all the time.

Hebrews 6:4-6 is rather intimidating for those who would renounce the faith.
Very accurate assessment.

I was there. I am there.

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Old 04-15-2017, 03:03 PM   #22
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Nine items here. Let's label them and discuss them one by one.

Whether these 9 items actually define a "cult" is one matter, but whether they define LSM and the LC's is another.
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1. All-knowing leadership. An individual or group of people claims to be sent by God to "rule" the one true religion—which only includes members of that particular cult.
2. No room for differences. Cult members must believe exactly the same way and in exactly the same things; there is no room for disagreeing with the cult's rules or doctrines.
3. A new and better way. Cults often claim they've been given a "special revelation" from God that's superior to the Bible, or explains what the Bible is really trying to say.
4. Down on Christian doctrine. Cults often depict basic Christian doctrines and beliefs (like the Trinity, deity of Christ, salvation by grace through faith) as "full of holes" and completely illogical.
5. Scriptures get an added twist. Bible verses are often taken out of context or twisted to mean something very different than what was originally intended.
6. "Christians are wrong." Cult members believe God has given their group the job of pointing out "heretical and evil" teachings of Christianity.
7. Works prove faith. Cult members often claim their good works are superior to those performed by Christians, and they say their works prove their religion is the one-and-only truth.
8. Salvation is a big unknown. Since cults often teach that salvation is based on performance, cult members can never know if they've done everything necessary to get to heaven.
9. No exit. Leaving the cult is not an option, and intimidation is often used to keep cult members from even thinking about getting out.
1. All-knowing leadership. An individual or group of people claims to be sent by God to "rule" the one true religion—which only includes members of that particular cult.

Noone can spend more than a few months in the LC and not discover that everything is Lee. Lee for breakfast, Lee for study time, Lee for teachings, Lee for the meetings, Lee for conferences, Lee for trainings, Lee hymns for singing, Lee for prophecying in the meetings. Lee has been referred to as the Minister of the Age, the "acting god," the oracle of God. There is a reason why every single new member to the LC's has to take a step back when first learning this feature of the LC.

For any elder, worker, or member church to teach other than Lee brings the ire of headquarters in Anaheim. My LC learned this the hard way. Titus Chu (GLA region) and Dong YL (Brazil) were both quarantined for not teaching enough Lee. Churches were divided, families were at odds, and long-term friendships in Christ were broken over this one item -- all LC teachings must be Lee (and occasionally Nee when they match.)
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Old 04-15-2017, 04:02 PM   #23
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Nine items here. Let's label them and discuss them one by one.

Whether these 9 items actually define a "cult" is one matter, but whether they define LSM and the LC's is another.


1. All-knowing leadership. An individual or group of people claims to be sent by God to "rule" the one true religion—which only includes members of that particular cult.

Noone can spend more than a few months in the LC and not discover that everything is Lee. Lee for breakfast, Lee for study time, Lee for teachings, Lee for the meetings, Lee for conferences, Lee for trainings, Lee hymns for singing, Lee for prophecying in the meetings. Lee has been referred to as the Minister of the Age, the "acting god," the oracle of God. There is a reason why every single new member to the LC's has to take a step back when first learning this feature of the LC.

For any elder, worker, or member church to teach other than Lee brings the ire of headquarters in Anaheim. My LC learned this the hard way. Titus Chu (GLA region) and Dong YL (Brazil) were both quarantined for not teaching enough Lee. Churches were divided, families were at odds, and long-term friendships in Christ were broken over this one item -- all LC teachings must be Lee (and occasionally Nee when they match.)
I agree with what you have written, but disagree that this would be a useful criteria for identifying a "cult".

Billy Graham was highly respected. Many other genuine Christian teachers were highly respected. The issue is not that others consider their leader "all knowing".

Perhaps it would be better to say "Unquestioned leadership" -- or even better "unaccountable leadership". But who would submit to a person who sets himself as a leader who is not accountable to others and who cannot be questioned by others?

So then I would agree with Jesus, you will know them by their fruit. Jesus was "all knowing" but when the Jewish leaders talked to His followers that was when they were impressed that "they had been with Jesus".

If I meet a Christian on the street and he wants to fellowship about some great Christian teacher then the real question is not that he thinks this person knows "everything" but how do they respond? Is he a robot that has to quote "the apostle" in every answer, then yes, you have a cult. Is he like Peter and John, then you can be impressed that these fisherman had been "with Jesus".
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:40 AM   #24
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Sorry Evangelical, but it's hard to believe anything you wrote.

We were there. We know better.
Anything? What about number 8.

Do you believe number 8 is an accurate portrayal of the LC?:

8. Salvation is a big unknown. Since cults often teach that salvation is based on performance, cult members can never know if they've done everything necessary to get to heaven.

Anyone who has encountered the LC for even a little bit knows that we believe in the assurance of salvation and salvation by faith alone, even without any works at all.

On the one hand we are accused of "easy believism", now we are accused of salvation by works?

Which is it?
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:20 AM   #25
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Anything? What about number 8.

Do you believe number 8 is an accurate portrayal of the LC?:

8. Salvation is a big unknown. Since cults often teach that salvation is based on performance, cult members can never know if they've done everything necessary to get to heaven.

Anyone who has encountered the LC for even a little bit knows that we believe in the assurance of salvation and salvation by faith alone, even without any works at all.

On the one hand we are accused of "easy believism", now we are accused of salvation by works?

Which is it?
Which is it?

Listen, I am one of the few posters here which will give credit to WL and the LC's where due. You, however, admit to none of the numerous failings at LSM.

Let me answer your question another way. For many years I had to defend my own salvation by the Lord in the face of endless attacks by the opposers, some of which were my own cousins. I constantly assured them that I was wonderfully saved BEFORE entering the LC due to all the controvercies surrounding the teachings of WL. Because of Lee's constant assaults on all things Christian, it was nearly impossible for outsiders to ascertain whether he was saved or not, let alone all the LC members.

You bring the problems on yourself. Today I wonder if salvation is preached there anymore. Just say "Lord Jesus" three times? Five times during a quarantine? Do you still teach that believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the "low" gospel?

Which is it?
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:05 AM   #26
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No room for differences. Cult members must believe exactly the same way and in exactly the same things; there is no room for disagreeing with the cult's rules or doctrines.

1 Cor 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought
But where o where did WL agree with anyone? Where was he perfectly united in mind and thought? I remenber him telling us he hadn't learned anything from anyone else for 40 or 45 years.

Yet we were expected to be united with his mind and thought.
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:13 AM   #27
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But where oh where did WL agree with anyone? Where was he perfectly united in mind and thought? I remember him telling us he hadn't learned anything from anyone else for 40 or 45 years.
Silly aron ... MOTA don't have to agree with anyone. It's us that s'posed to agree with him. (or her.)
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Old 04-16-2017, 09:26 AM   #28
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Lawless pseudo-Christian personality cults: Eastern Lightning (Zhao Weishan); Family of God (David [Moses] Berg); Branch Davidians (David Koresh); Mormon Fundamentalist Polygamy (Warren Jeffs); People's Temple (Jim Jones); Heaven's Gate (Marshall Applewhite).

Law-ful pseudo-Christian personality cults: Jehovah's Witnesses (Charles Taze Russel); Mormons (Joseph Smith); Unification Church (Sun-Myung Moon); Rastafarians (Haile Selassie).

Christian personality cults: LSM LC (Witness Lee); Seventh-Day Adventists (Ellen White); Christian Science (Mary Baker Eddy).

Non-Christian personality cults: Scientology (L Ron Hubbard)

All of the above were dominated by out-size personalities and their personal "revelations". In all cases, the Revelator was the conduit to revealed truth.
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:39 PM   #29
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Silly aron ... MOTA don't have to agree with anyone. It's us that s'posed to agree with him. (or her.)
Why does someone build a church where the rules apply to everyone but them?
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:20 PM   #30
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Why does someone build a church where the rules apply to everyone but them?
They start out building the church, and eventually decide to build their own empire. Happens all the time to the talented ones.
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Old 04-16-2017, 01:37 PM   #31
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They start out building the church, and eventually decide to build their own empire. Happens all the time to the talented ones.
But in Witness Lee's case, he co-opted the empire of Nee. And Nee, like Lee after him, was emperor; aka Seer of the Divine Revelation, aka God's Wise Master Builder, aka Deputy God, aka God's Oracle.

Rules were for peons. The MOTA made the rules, and didn't have to keep them. "Thinking the same thing" is a perfect example. The MOTA has the mind of Christ, and the rest must be one eith the MOTA.
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Old 04-16-2017, 04:00 PM   #32
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Today I wonder if salvation is preached there anymore. Just say "Lord Jesus" three times? Five times during a quarantine? Do you still teach that believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the "low" gospel?
Instead of evangelizing, there's proselytizing. Easier to focus on Christians already saved. Either they will have a vision for the ministry or they will not. Those who have a vision, those are the ones it's easier to labor on.
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Old 04-16-2017, 05:01 PM   #33
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Here are a few of their basic beliefs:
Christ has already returned. The first time he came he was a Jew named Jesus. This time he is a Chinese woman.
There are three ages (or dispensations):
· The Age of Law —This is the Old Testament period.
· The Age of Grace —This is the time of Jesus until the second incarnation of Christ.
· The Kingdom Age —This is the End Times, which apparently began sometime in the 1990’s.
Eastern Lightning denies the Trinity. Instead, they affirm that God simply used different names in the three different ages:
· God was called “Jehovah” in the Age of Law.
· He was called “Jesus” in the Age of Grace.
· He is called “The Almighty God” in this present Kingdom Age (and currently The Almighty God is a certain Chinese woman).
We were told when Witness Lee died that the age had turned. No Bible references were given. "The age has turned". This was spoken from the dias by those who now run the show, the so-called "Blendeds".
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:29 AM   #34
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We were told when Witness Lee died that the age had turned. No Bible references were given. "The age has turned". This was spoken from the dias by those who now run the show, the so-called "Blendeds".
When you or I pass on from this mortal realm to a hopefully better one, the world goes on. But when Witness Lee passed on, his domination of the minds and imaginations of his church was such that they declared that one age of human history was over, and another had begun.

Now that Lee had gone, the age of spiritual giants was supposedly over. The best we could do was gather round and ruminate on the great man's writings. This is similar to all the other personality cults that I noted in post #28.

The skeptic may say that this is true for Christianity as well. But we believe Jesus is the sole mediator between God and humankind, even all creation. He is truly the Firstborn of all creation. We are 'guilty as charged' when it comes to Jesus Christ.

It should be noted as well that Witness Lee wasn't a very good Bible expositor. His analysis was riddled with inconsistencies, didn't always follow the NT pattern of reception (he notably called vast swaths of OT merely 'fallen concepts', a reverse), and it's been shown on this forum that he cribbed without attribution Alford, Vincent, and 19th-century Sunday School lessons.

But who like Witness Lee should say that they as MOTA or even FATETA (Final Apostle to End the Age) also dominate the intellectual landscape? They alone channel God, even God in Christ, and everyone else should submit?

Christ died for our sins. Christ rose to eternal glory and praise and rule. We should not presumptively give pride of place to any follower, before the great day. Satan's sin was to assume wrong position, as did some angels (Jude 1:6). Let's not be so beguiled, or to follow such strong delusion.
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Old 04-17-2017, 03:06 AM   #35
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Silly aron ... MOTA don't have to agree with anyone. It's us that s'posed to agree with him. (or her.)
Our "having the same mind" and "thinking the same thing" wasn't predicated on the MOTA also following this. The MOTA as Seer of the Divine Revelation (WL's de facto title for WN & thus himself) communed only with God.

But where in the NT do we see Paul claiming primacy? Where do we see the apostle John adopting a slavish imitation of Paul? We simply do not. But this fiction was essential to WL being 'today's Paul' and dominating the intellectual landscape of the LSM LC with his personality.

It was so bad that if anyone tried to use their God-given capacity to think, they were roundly deemed ungrateful for WL's efforts on their behalf, and in danger of being labeled as independent, ambitious, and factious.
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:00 AM   #36
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Our "having the same mind" and "thinking the same thing" wasn't predicated on the MOTA also following this. The MOTA as Seer of the Divine Revelation (WL's de facto title for WN & thus himself) communed only with God.

But where in the NT do we see Paul claiming primacy? Where do we see the apostle John adopting a slavish imitation of Paul? We simply do not. But this fiction was essential to WL being 'today's Paul' and dominating the intellectual landscape of the LSM LC with his personality.

It was so bad that if anyone tried to use their God-given capacity to think, they were roundly deemed ungrateful for WL's efforts on their behalf, and in danger of being labeled as independent, ambitious, and factious.
So true.

Brother Titus Chu, whom we all considered to be one of the greatest free thinkers in the LC, chided John Ingalls for speaking his conscience on behalf of the Anaheim saints saying, "you owe brother Lee even your own life."

Who would say such a thing? Where and when did we in the LC's make such a horrible transition? How did we morph from owing the Lord everything for His great salvation to owing Lee everything for his "great" ministry? At what point did our ascended Head stop being the Minister of the age, and Lee take over His duties?
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:19 AM   #37
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So true.

Brother Titus Chu, whom we all considered to be one of the greatest free thinkers in the LC, chided John Ingalls for speaking his conscience on behalf of the Anaheim saints saying, "you owe brother Lee even your own life."

Who would say such a thing? Where and when did we in the LC's make such a horrible transition? How did we morph from owing the Lord everything for His great salvation to owing Lee everything for his "great" ministry? At what point did our ascended Head stop being the Minister of the age, and Lee take over His duties?
The quote is from Philemon. Which is why if you want to run with this definition then you are going to define the early church as a cult. If someone had told me when I was meeting the LRC that you considered both the LRC and early church as a cult, I would have taken that as a badge of honor and considered you fallen Christianity. This is why I think these definitions are bogus. It also raises serious questions with me as to why someone would fabricate their own definition of a cult when the NT is very clear on what constitutes a false prophet and what constitutes the fruit of a false prophet. Why is it that they avoid the NT definition to create their own definition which would also classify the early church as a false church?

According to this verses that apply to Paul cannot apply to Witness Lee. Awareness takes this one step further and says that because they cannot apply to Witness Lee they can't apply to Paul, hence the NT is full of error.

The obvious error to me is that the same document that defines what a church is also defines what a false church is, and yet no one is taking that definition. Why not?
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:44 AM   #38
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ZNP,
Nobody around here is calling the early church a cult, and your circular arguments are not helping the discussion go forward. As a matter of fact they just serve to muddy the waters which are already murky enough. Many, if not most, of the so called "New Testament definitions" you speak of have a historical and cultural context to them. Some can be brought forward to our current point in time, some can be brought forward with certain cautions and filters, and some cannot, or should not, be brought forward in any case.

Just who gets to decide what gets brought forward? Well, this is what church history is all about. This is, in part, what historical and biblical theology is all about. And this is why letting a person like Witness Lee decide for a whole movement is extremely unwise, and ultimately dangerous. This is why letting a man, or group of men, dictate to an entire Christian movement who is, and who is not, to be considered "the one apostle", will always end in disaster for the Body of Christ at large, and even tragically for the followers of these men. History has confirmed this over and over again.

Again, just WHO is calling WHO a cult? The old adage "consider the source" applies big time here. For example, where did this term "minister of the age" come from? In this case it came from Watchman Nee. When all the dust settled, who did Nee end up considering "the minister of the age"? Why, HIMSELF of course! And what ministry did Nee end up considering the "ministry of the age"? Why, HIS MINISTRY of course! And whose "vision" did Nee end up considering "the vision of the age"? Why, HIS VISION of course! Needless to say, Witness Lee doubled-down and tripled-down on Nee's mistakes.

Get the picture?

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Old 04-17-2017, 01:51 PM   #39
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Every single Christian group has a "leader". Could be a pastor, or elder, or evangelist, or well known author, etc. It is perfectly scriptural and correct to give that person a level of respect. To create a definition based on "crossing the line" of what is a proper level of respect and an improper level of respect is therefore the question.

I would hope that any useful definition would not just work in hindsight but be useful as a warning to those in a "cult". I do not think that giving honor to those taking the lead is a useful warning.

I was in the movement for 20 years and was never aware that Witness Lee was "dictating to the entire movement who is and who is not an apostle". Therefore whether or not that was taking place is irrelevant to me, that would not have been a useful warning to me and probably to half of those in the US. Perhaps those in Orange county had a different perspective. But again, a warning to the inner circle is hardly a useful warning.

What I did know from the very beginning was that Witness Lee's claim to fame was being the closest coworker of Watchman Nee, and the account of Watchman Nee's excommunication from the church in Shanghai. Anyone whether in the movement or out of the movement could have fellowshipped with me about this, I would have gladly shared word for word the story I had been told. Had they then asked me a few "innocent" questions about what kind of elders could be so foolish I would have been willing to agree that the story did not seem plausible. Had they then told me that the biggest warning sign of a false prophet is that he uses fabricated stories to make merchandise of you that would have been an extremely useful warning to me that I would have thought on.

From that point on I would have been able to see that the ministry and its mission was to make merchandise of the saints. It might have taken six months or a year, but anyone concerned for someone in a "cult" could keep chipping away at that one point -- "what was Daystar?" "How does the standing order work"? "Why are you selling these books in a yard sale instead of returning them to the LSM?" This would have been effective with me. I know because ultimately I came to see that the church was not concerned with people but with "the ministry" which does not mean what you would hope, but rather with preserving a false image of what the ministry is, maximizing book sales even if you are force feeding it down the saints throats, substituting ministry books for the Bible to increase sales, etc.

However you say that we cannot bring forth certain NT verses from the early church to today. By which I understand you to mean the verse in Philemon where Paul says "you owe me even your own life". I doubt that would have been an effective approach for me or for anyone else I knew in the LRC. We gave our lives, paid any price, and saw ourselves as having returned to the pure word and that path of the early church which Christianity had left.

You and I agree that the term "Minister of the age" is a very big warning sign. However, I never heard Witness Lee refer to himself with this term, rather it was Ray Graver who said it repeatedly as though he had made some great discovery. Witness Lee referred to Watchman Nee as "the minister of the age" and to himself as Watchman Nee's closest coworker given the mission to carry on his ministry. It was then left to us to connect the dots.

Now if you wish to dismantle the teaching "Minister of the Age" that would be fine with me. This term is based on OT types which refer to Jesus. There is no NT reference to a minister of the Age and the teaching that uses Peter and then Paul is very weak without the OT. If you want to say that a false prophet is a "false Christ" then that is a very clear NT teaching and I agree with that being used. Let's stop dancing around the issue. To refer to Watchman Nee as "the minister of the age" is to refer to Watchman Nee as a "false Christ". Jesus is the Minister of this age, the age of the church, the age of grace.

Likewise Witness Lee's use of the teaching "Minister of the Age" is designed so that the dim witted will come to the "revelation" that he is the minister of the age. It is based on a fabricated story about Watchman Nee because if you understand the truth of his excommunication then it is obvious he was not "the minister of the age" even to the dim witted. And this story is for a very specific purpose, give Witness Lee's Living Stream Ministry a monopoly. You are now enlisted to do everything in your power to "support this ministry". Buy books, go to trainings, support the church's standing order, donate money to the legal defense team, give 18 months of free labor building their conference centers, etc.

So then why not use these three items to identify a cult?

1. Fabricated stories
2. Makes merchandise of the saints
3. False Christ

Simple, straightforward, Biblical, even those in the LRC would agree with this, and all three are evident to every member.

As for "who is calling who a cult" I know for a fact that Christianity calling the LRC a cult based on their definition is not going to be an effective warning to anyone in the LRC. The God Men and The Mindbenders did that. But if you give me the fellowship of the apostles (in this case Jesus and Peter) then I would have certainly received that.
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Old 04-17-2017, 02:35 PM   #40
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Z,

You have mostly confessed that the real problems were not visible to the average participant.

And you are correct.

But when Paul made reference to any owing him their "very lives," was this because he was the one who brought them the gospel, or because he was some wonderful, special person that they just had to fawn all over? The problem with the former is that if someone else had been the ones bringing the gospel, then it would have been that person's place to say that. And it would not be wrong. It just wouldn't mean what we are thinking of when we read it (whether directed at Paul or someone else).

Paul wasn't making himself out to be some special person that they should never question. He was pointing out that if they were thanking anyone for their introduction to Christ, it was Paul.

When it comes to saying that anyone could, if asking the right questions, see certain problems in the LRC, you are correct. But did you even know there was a Daystar to ask about? Were you aware that when Ray Graver made statements about Lee being the MOTA, he was basing it upon a carefully orchestrated series of separate statements — often not even in the same meeting — in which there was a back-door statements about who would be the minister of the age. It would be the one with the ministry of the age. And what was the ministry of the age? In a significantly separated statement, Lee would make it clear that there is no useful ministry at the time other than his. Therefore if there is always a ministry of the age, then it must be his. And if the one who brings the ministry of the age is the minister of the age, then . . . . you figure it out.

If you didn't hear all of those statements close enough together to remember one when you heard the other, then it slipped right on by. But Ray's grandiose declaration, no matter what you think of him personally, was not dreamed up in a vacuum. He was just doing exactly what you suggested. Connecting the dots. And Lee expected each of us to eventually get on board with it and be obligated to him for everything that he could publish.

And despite those carefully separated statements, it was just such separated statements that made some of Lee's deposition testimony false in the Mindbenders/God Men lawsuits. He declared that he never said any kind of thing as grandiose as apostle or minister of the age or anything else like that concerning himself in those depositions. Yet he had made some of those independent statements already. Just not as voluminous at that point and not in as close a proximity to each other as to be as obvious to everyone.

While I still agree that applying the "cult" label is not particularly helpful, the things that bring people to arrive at those conclusions are very real. And even if you don't like that label, there is clearly a problem relative to several of those characteristics that collectively indicate there is a serious problem with the LRC. Don't like "cult"? Fine. But you agree that there are problems with the issues. Problems beyond the simple fact that groups have leaders. And we are a "personality cult' of Christ. The entire mantra of the LRC is that they are a new and better way. And they have twists on scripture that require external overlays so that the revised meaning can be derived from words that could never get there in any form. And they are busy pointing at the errors of all of the remainder of Christianity.

(Some will point to the fact that we are doing the same re: the LRC. but it is notable that we are not generally saying that of all other Christians, just those who take extreme positions related to all other Christians. Mainly the LRC as far as we are concerned.)
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Old 04-17-2017, 04:29 PM   #41
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Z,

You have mostly confessed that the real problems were not visible to the average participant.

And you are correct.

But when Paul made reference to any owing him their "very lives," was this because he was the one who brought them the gospel, or because he was some wonderful, special person that they just had to fawn all over? The problem with the former is that if someone else had been the ones bringing the gospel, then it would have been that person's place to say that. And it would not be wrong. It just wouldn't mean what we are thinking of when we read it (whether directed at Paul or someone else).

Paul wasn't making himself out to be some special person that they should never question. He was pointing out that if they were thanking anyone for their introduction to Christ, it was Paul.
Ohio asked why they said what they said and I merely said it was a quote from Philemon. I am not saying it was properly applied. I heard Ray Graver say repeatedly that "he owed his life to WL". That was his personal testimony, opinion, delusion, whatever. Never did I stand up and say the same. WL did not mean that much to me as I have said repeatedly on this forum.

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When it comes to saying that anyone could, if asking the right questions, see certain problems in the LRC, you are correct. But did you even know there was a Daystar to ask about?
Yes, I knew the basics, but I did not invest in it and did not lose any money on that scheme.

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Were you aware that when Ray Graver made statements about Lee being the MOTA, he was basing it upon a carefully orchestrated series of separate statements — often not even in the same meeting — in which there was a back-door statements about who would be the minister of the age. It would be the one with the ministry of the age. And what was the ministry of the age?
No, I was not privy to back room maneuvering. That said it seemed pretty easy to put two and two together. It always seemed very clear to me that if WL wanted to put a stop to this he could, so I didn't put any stock in his public denials and pretense about not saying these things.

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In a significantly separated statement, Lee would make it clear that there is no useful ministry at the time other than his. Therefore if there is always a ministry of the age, then it must be his. And if the one who brings the ministry of the age is the minister of the age, then . . . . you figure it out.
Yes, you would have to be dim witted to not figure it out. So then his public disavowal seemed suspect at the very least.

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If you didn't hear all of those statements close enough together to remember one when you heard the other, then it slipped right on by. But Ray's grandiose declaration, no matter what you think of him personally, was not dreamed up in a vacuum. He was just doing exactly what you suggested. Connecting the dots. And Lee expected each of us to eventually get on board with it and be obligated to him for everything that he could publish.

And despite those carefully separated statements, it was just such separated statements that made some of Lee's deposition testimony false in the Mindbenders/God Men lawsuits. He declared that he never said any kind of thing as grandiose as apostle or minister of the age or anything else like that concerning himself in those depositions. Yet he had made some of those independent statements already. Just not as voluminous at that point and not in as close a proximity to each other as to be as obvious to everyone.

While I still agree that applying the "cult" label is not particularly helpful, the things that bring people to arrive at those conclusions are very real. And even if you don't like that label, there is clearly a problem relative to several of those characteristics that collectively indicate there is a serious problem with the LRC. Don't like "cult"?
I have no issue with the "cult" label. My issue is with a definition that is not useful. The NT teaches us to "give honor to whom honor is due". Yet according to this definition it would be very difficult to discern someone who is giving honor with someone who picks up on two or three of these points. Is it now an indicator of a cult if someone has given their life to know the scripture? Why would I want to listen to a pastor who doesn't know the scripture? Is it an indicator of a cult if you disagree on some point with a Christian denomination? Is it an indicator of a cult if they "give the scripture an extra twist"? Am I the only one who sees these criteria as idiotic?

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Fine. But you agree that there are problems with the issues. Problems beyond the simple fact that groups have leaders. And we are a "personality cult' of Christ. The entire mantra of the LRC is that they are a new and better way. And they have twists on scripture that require external overlays so that the revised meaning can be derived from words that could never get there in any form. And they are busy pointing at the errors of all of the remainder of Christianity.

(Some will point to the fact that we are doing the same re: the LRC. but it is notable that we are not generally saying that of all other Christians, just those who take extreme positions related to all other Christians. Mainly the LRC as far as we are concerned.)
I agree that none of us are transformed. We all come up short. Apollos wasn't clear on the word, but he wasn't making merchandise of the saints. James was involved in a "personality cult" which he later repented of. But he didn't set himself up as a "false Christ" and he didn't fabricate stories. Peter and Paul both pointed out errors in teaching that was generally accepted, that didn't make them cult leaders. How do you come up with a definition that makes James, Apollos, Peter, Paul and Jesus all leaders of a cult?

The criteria is simple:

1. Your ministry is based on a lie -- a fabricated story.
2. The purpose of your ministry is to make merchandise of the saints.
3. You set yourself up as a false Christ.
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:42 PM   #42
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Which is it?

Listen, I am one of the few posters here which will give credit to WL and the LC's where due. You, however, admit to none of the numerous failings at LSM.

Let me answer your question another way. For many years I had to defend my own salvation by the Lord in the face of endless attacks by the opposers, some of which were my own cousins. I constantly assured them that I was wonderfully saved BEFORE entering the LC due to all the controvercies surrounding the teachings of WL. Because of Lee's constant assaults on all things Christian, it was nearly impossible for outsiders to ascertain whether he was saved or not, let alone all the LC members.

You bring the problems on yourself. Today I wonder if salvation is preached there anymore. Just say "Lord Jesus" three times? Five times during a quarantine? Do you still teach that believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the "low" gospel?

Which is it?

The point in question is "Salvation is a big unknown. " In the Local churches we say believers in Christ are saved. People who even in many denominations would not say they are saved. We are "Calvinist" remember.

If someone asks you whether you are saved or not and you answer "yes" and they don't believe you, does that automatically mean they are a cult?

If so, then the Orthodox church or Roman Catholic is a cult because they do not believe an evangelical when they say they are saved. Salvation is a big unknown for those in Orthodox and Catholic churches.

I have refuted a number of the points, in particular - "Salvation is a big unknown." , clearly, does not describe us.

For someone you says "they were there" - it should be easy for you to affirm or deny that.
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Old 04-17-2017, 06:49 PM   #43
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But where o where did WL agree with anyone? Where was he perfectly united in mind and thought? I remenber him telling us he hadn't learned anything from anyone else for 40 or 45 years.

Yet we were expected to be united with his mind and thought.
Where did the apostle Paul agree with anyone? Can you answer?
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:06 PM   #44
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There is a definition of a cult that has not been addressed here so far and the OP fails to mention it -

My definition of a cult:

A cult is a group which is subject to mesmerization and has hypnotic following of a leader or leaders, who have sinister intent. A cult implies a person's own rational and logical free-will being overtaken by mesmerization or hypnosis.

Mesmerization and hypnosis in and of themselves do not define a cult. There must be sinister intent. For example, many religions of the world, including Christianity, practice a kind of hypnosis or mesmerization. The goal however, is not sinister, but enlightenment, improvement, or having spiritual experiences.

With this definition, mormons and JW's, as bad as they are, are not cults, they are sects.

The Bible shows the definition of a church versus a sect:

A church, is a visible, practical and local expression of the Church Universal. All of the assemblies mentioned in the bible are churches. A sub-group of a church is not a church, but a sect.

Today, what most would call churches, baptist "church", Lutheran "church", etc are strictly speaking, not churches, but sects. A sect, is a sub-group of the church, a church within a Church. A sect is the proper label to give all the protestant denominations (see the Catholic encyclopedia).

All the denominations in our eyes are not real churches. They are sects, from which the word sectarian comes. Catholics and Orthodox have similar viewpoint.

Sects may have cult-like traits (as one person here noted, every denomination fits at least 1 or 2 of the categories), but there is a big difference between a sect and a cult.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:29 PM   #45
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T
The Bible shows the definition of a church versus a sect:

A sub-group of a church is not a church, but a sect.
This is a circular argument. What is a "subgroup" of a church? Let's see, well, first you have to define a church. In the LSM mindset that's a group the calls itself "church in [some city]" and follows Witness Lee. Therefore any group that does otherwise is a "subgroup" and not a church.

The Bible does not give you enough information to make such pronouncements. Again, it's all just a pretext to discrediting everything but the LCM, um, sect.

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Old 04-17-2017, 07:32 PM   #46
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This is a circular argument. What is a "subgroup" of a church? Let's see, well, first you have to define a church. In the LSM mindset that's a group the calls itself "church in " and follows Witness Lee. Therefore any group that does otherwise is a "subgroup" and not a church.




The Bible does not give you enough information to make such pronouncements. Again, it's all just a pretest to discrediting everything but the LCM, um, sect.
It's not really circular because the definition of a church is straight from the biblical pattern. If the New Testament showed different churches with different names.. eg. Paul's letter to the "Baptist church of Ephesus", and Paul's letter to the "Faith Community Hope Peace and Love Center of Corinth" then we definitely would use that to define a church.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:44 PM   #47
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It's not really circular because the definition of a church is straight from the biblical pattern. If the New Testament showed different churches with different names.. eg. Paul's letter to the "Baptist church of Ephesus", and Paul's letter to the "Faith Community Hope Peace and Love Center of Corinth" then we definitely would use that to define a church.
There is no place in the Bible where we are commissioned to judge whether a group of otherwise good Christians is a church or not. And the act of doing so is against the whole spirit of oneness, tolerance and receiving that the Bible encourages us to embrace among one another.

To me you are straining gnats and swallowing camels. Worrying about names, taking it upon yourself to decide what are churches and what are not and generally being a childish nuisance and pain in the rear.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:25 PM   #48
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There is no place in the Bible where we are commissioned to judge whether a group of otherwise good Christians is a church or not. And the act of doing so is against the whole spirit of oneness, tolerance and receiving that the Bible encourages us to embrace among one another.

To me you are straining gnats and swallowing camels. Worrying about names, taking it upon yourself to decide what are churches and what are not and generally being a childish nuisance and pain in the rear.
Applying your words, to say, the LGBT church in a city (yes ,they exist), is troubling.

I don't think the apostle Paul would see it that way, to went to lengths to preserve the oneness and unity, and wrote against sectarianism and "other names".

Paul's commands for us to judge those in the church also extend to groups of believers, not just individuals. For example, suppose a church called itself the "Satan church", we can judge that to be not Christian. I use extreme examples to make a point - judgement is right and necessary.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:30 PM   #49
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Applying your words, to say, the LGBT church in a city (yes ,they exist), is troubling.
I said "otherwise" good Christians. This is another example of how you use the fallacy of the extreme to try to make a point.

Quote:

I don't think the apostle Paul would see it that way, to went to lengths to preserve the oneness and unity, and wrote against sectarianism and "other names".
"Unity" is just another word you use to condemn others. I don't think you really have a clue what it is. To my observation your understanding of everything is superficial. I think you are sadly deceived. I don't think you have any idea what God is really about. All you have are teachings that make you feel like you are better than everyone else. Otherwise you are empty.

I've never heard anything in your personal testimony that leads me to believe you have a depth of relationship with God.

As I've said, if you are a example of what the LCM has become, I'm so glad I'm no longer there.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:21 AM   #50
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Where did the apostle Paul agree with anyone? Can you answer?
The Acts 15 conference. Verified by Paul in his Galatians letter. They received one another in fellowship. Nobody was abjectly servile to another.

Paul did not receive his revelation from men (Gal 1:12), yet he was still in agreement with men.

Nee received his revelation from men (and women) yet ultimately was in agreement with no one. Likewise Lee from Nee; Lee told us he hadn't learned anything from anyone for 40+ years.

Nee had to shed himself of Wang, his senior co-worker and fellow student of Barber, before he could "recover" authority and submission. Then his revelation placed him as de facto Top Dog. He no longer had to agree with anyone but God. But all had to agree with him.

But where, for example, do you see the apostle John expressing the abject servility towards Paul that we should expect? Look at John's epistle to the Ephesians in the Apocalypse. No love there, said John. Where is Paul's successor, the new Deputy God? Nowhere to be seen. What had happened to the 'apostle Paul duplication center' in Ephesus? Where was 'today's Paul' as John was writing to the seven churches in Asia? Nowhere is where. The story of Paul as MOTA is a fiction.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:46 AM   #51
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I said "otherwise" good Christians. This is another example of how you use the fallacy of the extreme to try to make a point.



"Unity" is just another word you use to condemn others. I don't think you really have a clue what it is. To my observation your understanding of everything is superficial. I think you are sadly deceived. I don't think you have any idea what God is really about. All you have are teachings that make you feel like you are better than everyone else. Otherwise you are empty.

I've never heard anything in your personal testimony that leads me to believe you have a depth of relationship with God.

As I've said, if you are a example of what the LCM has become, I'm so glad I'm no longer there.
Your view is unbiblical and flawed (I will explain below). It is unbiblical because in the Bible Paul no where defines a church by its quality. Neither does Jesus in Revelation - even churches which were luke warm were still considered churches.

I used the extreme case to show that your view is not so good, it is not robust and is too subjective. The problem with your view, is that it cannot handle the extremes. Defining a "good Christian" is too subjective. A good definition of church would be able to handle the extreme cases. Just like a good car can handle the extreme road conditions.

Your view hinges upon defining a "good Christian". My view defines church independently of the quality or quantity of the church. Your view depends upon a church's quality, which is unbiblical. In the bible, churches had many problems, but they were still churches. Paul still commanded them not to divide into sub-groups, into sects. Corinth for example, had problems with immorality, but Paul no where told them to form a sect of "moral people".

For example, in my view it is possible (though unlikely) for a true local church to degrade (in quality) to become 90% LGBT. I still call it a church, if it is based upon the bible's definition of a church, but you would not call it a church because they are not "good Christians". So your view is flawed.

Also, suppose there is a perfect sect, or cult, full of "good Christians", you would call that a church. Again your basis for defining a church by its quality of "good" or "bad" is flawed.

The 12 disciples, had problems, Peter, James, Judas etc, each had their peculiarities and shortcomings. We cannot say that Peter, James, John or Judas were "good disciples". In your view, they would not be called disciples, because they are not good. In my view, they are disciples regardless of whether they are good or bad.

So your view based upon church quality cannot handle the extreme cases, so should be rejected as a flawed and inferior view.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:50 AM   #52
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There is a definition of a cult that has not been addressed here so far and the OP fails to mention it -

My definition of a cult:

A cult is a group which is subject to mesmerization and has hypnotic following of a leader or leaders, who have sinister intent. A cult implies a person's own rational and logical free-will being overtaken by mesmerization or hypnosis.

Mesmerization and hypnosis in and of themselves do not define a cult. There must be sinister intent.
For evidence of mesmerized sheep, look at how they sit, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, listening to ratty and threadbare exposition, and no one raises a peep. At the Psalms training, one poster here said he and his neighbour looked at each other and grimaced. But not one modifying word came forth from the crowd. Everyone knew not to correct the Ascended Master. Even when he's wrong, he's right.

For evidence of intent, look at Daystar, Philip Lee as the Office, Linko and so on. Eventually they realized that Standing Orders to the ministry franchises, the local churches of LSM, was most effective.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:02 AM   #53
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For evidence of mesmerized sheep, look at how they sit, hour after hour, day after day, year after year, listening to to ratty and threadbare exposition, and no one raises a peep. At the Psalms training, one poster here said he and his neighbour looked at each other and grimaced. But not one modifying word came forth from the crowd. Everyone knew not to correct the Ascended Master. Even when he's wrong, he's right.

For evidence of intent, look at Daystar, Philip Lee as the Office, Linko and so on. Eventually they realized that Standing Orders to the ministry franchises, the local churches of LSM, was most effective.
Couldn't your description apply to any church on a Sunday?
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:08 AM   #54
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Contrast the LSM LC experience with the clear record in the NT. "After much discussion, Peter got up and addressed them. . ." (Acts 15:7) Where by contrast did we ever see such mutuality in decision aking in the LSM LC? No, everything was done by fiat. Poster 'Hope' recalled how he and some others had a discussion on the merits and demerits of WL's latest 'flow'. WL got wind of this, had them summoned, and publicly blasted them. On the ride home, his host laughed and said all the So. Cal. brothers got this treatment.

Where is the mutuality in the LSM LC? Nowhere is where.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:11 AM   #55
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Couldn't your description apply to any church on a Sunday?
No. Shepherds are accountable. They don't get carte blanche. Only God is always right. The rest of us, all of us, are subject to the flock. Otherwise mutuality is irreparably harmed.

The other thing you must remember is that if a pastor or shepherd begins to abuse the sheep, they can leave. The so-called revelation of the local ground was an end run on that. Now we were "caught for the local church". And lo and behold the abuse, and the merchandise of ministry, begins anon. Fealty is extracted, and out comes the lash.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:59 AM   #56
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No, I was not privy to back room maneuvering. That said it seemed pretty easy to put two and two together. It always seemed very clear to me that if WL wanted to put a stop to this he could, so I didn't put any stock in his public denials and pretense about not saying these things.
I won't comment on more than this one thing.

I don't think that it was simply back-room maneuvering. Lee was making statements in various meetings, conferences, etc. It was bits and pieces that were scattered around like bread crumbs. But as long as we stayed focused on today's message and just swung from the rafters over that one, we were missing the trail. Ray, and others, saw the trail before others did. And it is possible that there was something from the "back rooms" where the crumbs were intentionally brought closer together so that they were easier to find at one time. But anyone who says that Lee never called himself the MOTA (or didn't do it before some date in the late 80s or early-mid 90s) then they didn't see the existence of the bread crumbs prior to that time. We may only realize it in hindsight. But Lee said it.
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:04 AM   #57
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There is a definition of a cult that has not been addressed here so far and the OP fails to mention it -

My definition of a cult:

A cult is a group which is subject to mesmerization and has hypnotic following of a leader or leaders, who have sinister intent. A cult implies a person's own rational and logical free-will being overtaken by mesmerization or hypnosis.
This would be a personal definition of a cult that is created without reference to what is already there. And it is preferred because it would give your leader a free pass.

Or would it . . . . ?

There are some who can point to the tricks of oratory that seduce people to set their natural reasoning aside in favor of illogic spoken by the orator. And when the intent is arguably to create a group that will buy your wares as if they were gold, then sinister intent could be inferred.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:09 PM   #58
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There is a definition of a cult that has not been addressed here so far and the OP fails to mention it -

My definition of a cult:

A cult is a group which is subject to mesmerization and has hypnotic following of a leader or leaders, who have sinister intent. A cult implies a person's own rational and logical free-will being overtaken by mesmerization or hypnosis.
1. Mesmerization -- If you told me I had been "mesmerized" while in the LRC I would have rejected that.
2. Hypnotic following -- Many claimed that "pray reading" and "calling on the name of the Lord" were practices conducive to "hypnotic following". Again, I was in the LRC, I heard this, I rejected it.
3. Sinister intent of leader -- Even to this day how many of the leaders of the LRC do we ascribe "sinister intent" to? This is incredibly difficult to prove. How do you know what someone's intent is?

In my experience this definition would not have had the slightest benefit to me while in the LRC.

Even to this day I don't believe I was "mesmerized" rather I was deceived by a fabricated story. I had some misgivings about the story but since no one challenged it I never really spent time to think on it carefully. If you had told me that the false prophet's ministry was based on a fabricated story, based on the Apostle Peter's ministry I would have received that. If you told me that Witness Lee's ministry was based on the fact that he was the closest coworker of WN I would have received that. If you then said that this story about WN's excommunication is the "foundation" of WL's ministry because if it is false, he is a false prophet, only if it is true is he really a true minister. I would have agreed with that as well.

You could then tell me that the "false prophet" is the false Christ that Jesus referred to as there being many of them. I would have agreed. If you then went carefully through the verse references made by WL concerning WN being the "minister of the Age" I would have agreed that they were referring to Jesus. If you then said that Jesus is the "Minister of the Age" I would have agreed. You would have had to leave me with that, and I would have thought on it, but you would have made a case I would have listened to that WL's ministry was based on a fabricated story and that he was setting himself up as a false Christ.

At that point I would have been on high alert to observe if the purpose of WL's ministry was to "make merchandise of the saints" and also if the fruit of this ministry is poisonous. I would have seen instance after instance supporting these two points and instead of accepting that I should ignore these things as others will take care of that, I wouldn't have ignored it. The prime example is when I heard that JI left. I would not have accepted that he "became negative" but would have looked into it. It would have been a great salvation to me have learned this lesson as a young Christian. Shortly after this I saw LSM try to ram rod these "truth lessons" down the throat of new ones and falsely credit successful evangelistic efforts with their books.

That is how you help someone in the LRC.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:05 PM   #59
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You are right the view is rather subjective, but I believe it to be correct, nonetheless, and can help tell a real cult. What I wanted to avoid was my interpretation being misinterpreted to mean any kind of experience that involves subjectivity. For example, experiences such as trances and out of body experiences are genuine and biblical (Peter and Paul had them). The practice of praying in tongues for example could be considered hypnotic and mesmerizing. Benny Hinn for example gets a following by mesmerization. But they are not a cult. Loud repetitive music in churches can be mesmerizing. I do not believe that pray reading or calling on the name of the Lord is any more hypnotic than praying the Lord's prayer by rote, or listening to Hillsong for any extended period of time at high volume.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:19 PM   #60
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I think we need a strong absolute definition of what is the church and what are sects so we can see what are the cults. I do not think that the 9 questions that leastofthese put forward are so helpful or reliable in defining what is a cult. The reason is that the "point scoring approach" is biased toward the purpose of the survey and does not consider the weight of each question.

I will explain a little about "weight" using an example. Suppose there is a set of questions that aim to find out "do you have cancer"? If a person answered yes to only two questions "do you feel tired?", and "is there cancer in your family?", probably they don't have cancer. However if the two questions they answered yes to were about painless swellings or lumps, then the chance that it is cancer may be higher. In other words, each question is weighted differently, so it is not a simple matter of counting how many questions you answer "yes" to.

"survey bias" is another problem. Suppose I asked you 3 questions, and you did not know what the test is about:
1) do you feel tired?
2) do you drink and smoke?
3) do you have any painless swellings or lumps?

Suppose you answered yes to all three. If the survey was about "do I have cancer", you might be very worried and make a doctor's appointment. On the other hand, if the survey was about "do you live a healthy lifestyle", then we probably would not worry as much. The decision about whether or not the survey is true and what action you will take, depends strongly upon what the survey is actually about.

It is for these reasons that we cannot rely upon these sort of tests for determining whether or not the local churches are a cult.

Another problem with this approach is that we still need to decide how many of these 9 points will be answered "yes" before we conclude it is a cult. For the Catholic church, the number of questions answered 'yes' may be higher than the number of questions answered 'yes' for the Baptist church. Does it mean Catholic are "more of a cult" than Baptist? No.

This is tricky because it depends. For example two or three of the points may apply to a number of denominations and well known Christian ministries (particularly tv evangelists and mega churches) but we would not say they are a cult.

Most of the points seem to apply to the Catholic church but we would not say they are a cult. JW, Mormon and SDA satisfy a number of the points, but most Christians would not say they are a cult, but a sect. Worshipping false gods is not necessarily cultish.

The problem is that the word cult is defined according to our own view of orthodoxy and what is a "church". For example, "salvation is not through Jesus" or "salvation is by works" does not define a cult. That could be any religion or even atheism.

I think the missing thing is as I have said, hypnosis and evil intent. But we also need a strong definition of church.

I think a better term for churches that are not churches and not cults, are sects. If they are not churches and they are not cults, then what are they? They are sects. But then Protestantism is a sect of Catholicism. The Church of England for example is a sect. This view is too difficult. We need a correct absolute view of the church based upon the bible and only then can we properly see what is a sect and what is a cult. The absolute and biblical pattern of church is the church as the locality , the church in Corinth, the church in Rome, the church in Ephesus etc.

My definition is thus:
The church in the locality is "the church". The sub-groups within the locality with other names (the denominations) are sects. The groups that satisfy most of the criteria, and are clearly not the church or sects, including hypnosis and evil intent, are cults.

I believe this definition is superior to other definitions (including the scoring/point system put forward by the OP) for the following reasons:

Based upon the absolute pattern of church in bible, it is easy to define clearly what is a church and what is not. We avoid the relativism and subjectivity associated with the "9 points" put forward in the OP. That is, it avoids the situation of having to worry about how many points are answered "yes" before we conclude it is a cult. As I explained before, one denomination may be a "yes" to most of the points, but another may hit only one or two.

The strong and absolute definition of church, also avoids wrongly concluding that Roman Catholicism or JW or Mormons are cults. It also prevents us incorrectly calling other religions cults, just because they believe in works-based salvation or reject the Trinity.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:19 PM   #61
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You are right the view is rather subjective, but I believe it to be correct, nonetheless, and can help tell a real cult. What I wanted to avoid was my interpretation being misinterpreted to mean any kind of experience that involves subjectivity. For example, experiences such as trances and out of body experiences are genuine and biblical (Peter and Paul had them). The practice of praying in tongues for example could be considered hypnotic and mesmerizing. Benny Hinn for example gets a following by mesmerization. But they are not a cult. Loud repetitive music in churches can be mesmerizing. I do not believe that pray reading or calling on the name of the Lord is any more hypnotic than praying the Lord's prayer by rote, or listening to Hillsong for any extended period of time at high volume.
So why do we go down this road? Trances, visions, prophecies, etc. All of these are genuine experiences in the Bible and typical examples of how a false prophet will try to scam you.

1. Lies -- not typical of any genuine apostle or prophet.
2. making merchandise of you -- not typical of any genuine apostle or prophet.
3. Poisonous fruit -- not typical of any genuine apostle or prophet.
4. Setting themselves up as false Christ -- not typical of any genuine apostle or prophet.

Why go with a definition that is going to confuse a genuine man of God with a phony one?
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:04 PM   #62
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So why do we go down this road? Trances, visions, prophecies, etc. All of these are genuine experiences in the Bible and typical examples of how a false prophet will try to scam you.

1. Lies -- not typical of any genuine apostle or prophet.
2. making merchandise of you -- not typical of any genuine apostle or prophet.
3. Poisonous fruit -- not typical of any genuine apostle or prophet.
4. Setting themselves up as false Christ -- not typical of any genuine apostle or prophet.

Why go with a definition that is going to confuse a genuine man of God with a phony one?
As per my previous post, why go down this road of survey questions at all? We have to consider the weight of each question, the potential for "survey bias", and the fact that we need to decide on thresholds. But you have given a number of other good "survey questions" that I do not see in the OP.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:06 PM   #63
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I do not think that the 9 questions that leastofthese put forward are so helpful or reliable in defining what is a cult.
I don't disagree with you Evangelical, I said as much in my intro. This doesn't change the fact that it was the top google search. Which, I would think, is relevant at least as much as to shed light on what the general population may first read when looking for more information on cults.

Which locality do you meet with?
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:14 PM   #64
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I don't disagree with you Evangelical, I said as much in my intro. This doesn't change the fact that it was the top google search. Which, I would think, is relevant at least as much as to shed light on what the general population may first read when looking for more information on cults.

Which locality do you meet with?
I'm not blaming you, this is a difficult subject and interesting conversation. Surveys can be valid if done properly but I wanted to point out their shortcomings. There may be a perfect survey somewhere with a high success rate of determining what is and what is not a cult. I cannot disclose my locality on a public forum, sorry.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:07 PM   #65
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I cannot disclose my locality on a public forum, sorry.
How would that statement factor in to the larger discussion?
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:29 PM   #66
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How would that statement factor in to the larger discussion?
Exactly, it doesn't.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:41 PM   #67
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Exactly, it doesn't.
Or it would apply to #9? "intimidation is often used to keep cult members from even thinking about getting out."

I was specifically told not to read anything regarding the LSM denomination online, lest I be "poisoned". This was followed by a bible verse on poison, I'm sure you've heard the same and can quote the verse. Likely - you also have experienced an anecdote about being positive and focusing on heavenly things. Whatever you do, don't read anything that goes against the ministry.

I've never heard this in all my years in non-denominational churches. Yet it was a constant during my time within the LSM denomination.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:53 PM   #68
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Or it would apply to #9? "intimidation is often used to keep cult members from even thinking about getting out."

I was specifically told not to read anything regarding the LSM denomination online, lest I be "poisoned". This was followed by a bible verse on poison, I'm sure you've heard the same and can quote the verse. Likely - you also have experienced an anecdote about being positive and focusing on heavenly things. Whatever you do, don't read anything that goes against the ministry.

I've never heard this in all my years in non-denominational churches. Yet it was a constant during my time within the LSM denomination.
If that were true then how can Drake and I be on this forum?
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:10 PM   #69
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If that were true then how can Drake and I be on this forum?
Maybe Drake isn't too intimidated to share his locality?

Also, what do you mean IF that were true?
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:14 PM   #70
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Maybe Drake isn't too intimidated to share his locality?

Also, what do you mean IF that were true?
If it were true that we are not allowed to read anything about the LSM online, then how could we be on this forum.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:30 PM   #71
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If it were true that we are not allowed to read anything about the LSM online, then how could we be on this forum.
So you are telling me that you've never heard this before?

I was only a part of your denomination for a year and I heard it from multiple people from different localities and different states. Outside of these direct statements of being "poisoned", I heard countless other people share this same message indirectly.

The better question to ask would be how are you and Drake the only people on this forum? I could probably provide you with more stories, but I'm sure you already are well aware.
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Old 04-18-2017, 09:59 PM   #72
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So you are telling me that you've never heard this before?

I was only a part of your denomination for a year and I heard it from multiple people from different localities and different states. Outside of these direct statements of being "poisoned", I heard countless other people share this same message indirectly.

The better question to ask would be how are you and Drake the only people on this forum? I could probably provide you with more stories, but I'm sure you already are well aware.
So why didn't it happen to you.
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:55 AM   #73
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As per my previous post, why go down this road of survey questions at all? We have to consider the weight of each question, the potential for "survey bias", and the fact that we need to decide on thresholds. But you have given a number of other good "survey questions" that I do not see in the OP.
Why put fire alarms in buildings? Why put burglar alarms on cars? Why did Reagan say "trust but verify"? Why did Jesus say "be wise as serpents, harmless as doves?" Why do we need prudence and discernment?

So many questions.

The OP was hoping to get responses from those on this forum to "drive home the validity of the survey questions". My response to the OP is very clear, those questions are not valid.

The reason they might seem valid is that a "false Christ" is imitating Christ, therefore they will try to imitate things that are true of Christ. It is like the mineral Pyrite (fool's gold). It is gold color and it does something very interesting which is it forms large cubes as a crystal structure. Usually the crystal structure reveals the molecular structure. Gold's molecular structure is cubic which is very symmetrical, but Pyrite's is not. Therefore it is very strange that it would form cubes when the molecular structure is not cubic. So then the gold color and the cubic crystals are not evidence of fool's gold. It is as though these criteria are telling you to identify fool's gold by those two criteria. Every single criteria in the OP can be applied to Jesus, or Peter, or Apollos, or James, or Paul, etc. So then you would always be accusing genuine men of God of being "false prophets and teachers" if you use this criteria.

No, the way to identify fool's gold is 1. Density 2. fracture -- the mineral will break into pieces if you strike it with a hammer, gold is malleable 3. Rust -- pyrite will show oxidation whereas gold will not and 4. Look carefully at the crystal faces, fools gold has little lines on each face that show that the molecular structure is far less symmetrical than a cube.

The way to identify a false teacher --

1. Ministry is based on a fabricated story
2. Purpose is to make merchandise of you
3. Modus operandi is to make you twofold more a son of Gehenna
4. Outward appearance is "a false Christ".

True ministries are based on the truth:

Paul was less than the least because he persecuted the saints of God

James was caught up with the Judaizers in a personality cult

Peter denied the Lord

They don't make merchandise of the saints -- rather they support themselves as tent makers, or fishing, etc.

Their "fruit" reveals they are not thorns and thistles. Just as Paul said "you are my letter of recommendation"

They are servants of God and don't pretend to be Christ, or super apostles.
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:59 AM   #74
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So why didn't it happen to you.
I don't understand your question. Nevertheless, I'll try to address it despite your every attempt to dodge my questions. I did not look at this forum until a month or more after I left.

Why play so coy on this subject? You honestly don't know what I'm talking about?
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:15 AM   #75
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I don't understand your question. Nevertheless, I'll try to address it despite your every attempt to dodge my questions. I did not look at this forum until a month or more after I left.

Why play so coy on this subject? You honestly don't know what I'm talking about?
You said you heard it from multiple people - why didn't it happen to you.
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:19 AM   #76
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Why put fire alarms in buildings? Why put burglar alarms on cars? Why did Reagan say "trust but verify"? Why did Jesus say "be wise as serpents, harmless as doves?" Why do we need prudence and discernment?

So many questions.

The OP was hoping to get responses from those on this forum to "drive home the validity of the survey questions". My response to the OP is very clear, those questions are not valid.

The reason they might seem valid is that a "false Christ" is imitating Christ, therefore they will try to imitate things that are true of Christ. It is like the mineral Pyrite (fool's gold). It is gold color and it does something very interesting which is it forms large cubes as a crystal structure. Usually the crystal structure reveals the molecular structure. Gold's molecular structure is cubic which is very symmetrical, but Pyrite's is not. Therefore it is very strange that it would form cubes when the molecular structure is not cubic. So then the gold color and the cubic crystals are not evidence of fool's gold. It is as though these criteria are telling you to identify fool's gold by those two criteria. Every single criteria in the OP can be applied to Jesus, or Peter, or Apollos, or James, or Paul, etc. So then you would always be accusing genuine men of God of being "false prophets and teachers" if you use this criteria.

No, the way to identify fool's gold is 1. Density 2. fracture -- the mineral will break into pieces if you strike it with a hammer, gold is malleable 3. Rust -- pyrite will show oxidation whereas gold will not and 4. Look carefully at the crystal faces, fools gold has little lines on each face that show that the molecular structure is far less symmetrical than a cube.

The way to identify a false teacher --

1. Ministry is based on a fabricated story
2. Purpose is to make merchandise of you
3. Modus operandi is to make you twofold more a son of Gehenna
4. Outward appearance is "a false Christ".

True ministries are based on the truth:

Paul was less than the least because he persecuted the saints of God

James was caught up with the Judaizers in a personality cult

Peter denied the Lord

They don't make merchandise of the saints -- rather they support themselves as tent makers, or fishing, etc.

Their "fruit" reveals they are not thorns and thistles. Just as Paul said "you are my letter of recommendation"

They are servants of God and don't pretend to be Christ, or super apostles.
All well and good.

However this one stands out to me as possibly labelling otherwise good ministries as false just because they devote themselves full time to ministry:

"They don't make merchandise of the saints -- rather they support themselves as tent makers, or fishing, etc."
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:20 AM   #77
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The OP was hoping to get responses from those on this forum to "drive home the validity of the survey questions". My response to the OP is very clear, those questions are not valid.
Thanks for the response ZNP. I think you have a valid point of view. I wasn't clear enough in the OP. The hope was not to validate the survey questions, but to validate each point in relation to the LSM. My hope was to see where Witness Lee spoke specifically about "All-knowing leadership" or "A new and better way", etc. This may seem like a waste of time to someone who doesn't believe the points relevant, and I can agree with that. Since this post from Christianity Today has such a prominent place on the internet in relation to defining cults, I thought it would be interesting to see how what the ministry has said specifically on these topics. I can't speak for the author of the article, but I assume it was written for modern groups, so Peter, Paul, and the gang wouldn't even be called into question.
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:52 AM   #78
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Thanks for the response ZNP. I think you have a valid point of view. I wasn't clear enough in the OP. The hope was not to validate the survey questions, but to validate each point in relation to the LSM. My hope was to see where Witness Lee spoke specifically about "All-knowing leadership" or "A new and better way", etc. This may seem like a waste of time to someone who doesn't believe the points relevant, and I can agree with that. Since this post from Christianity Today has such a prominent place on the internet in relation to defining cults, I thought it would be interesting to see how what the ministry has said specifically on these topics. I can't speak for the author of the article, but I assume it was written for modern groups, so Peter, Paul, and the gang wouldn't even be called into question.
But how would you distinguish between a genuine man of God and a false teacher? Don't think that Christianity is somehow immune from the group think that infected the LRC. That was not the lesson I took away from my experience. In my experience all believers will fall into this trap unless they are grounded in the word and appreciate how prevalent the "false teachers" are. Falling into this once, that is on those in the LRC that stumbled the new believers. But if you fall into this again, well, there is something you have to deal with in your own walk.
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:50 AM   #79
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You said you heard it from multiple people - why didn't it happen to you.
I'm sorry but I'm still not following.

Why didn't what happen to me? Being poisoned?

If I did get poisoned (which I whole heartedly do not believe), it was after I left. Is this what you mean? Genuinely trying here

I'm still interested in hearing why you're too intimidated to name the locality. Also, can you confirm that you have also been told about being poisoned? That this is deeply imbedded into the culture of LSM? Your response seems to discredit my experiences as something out of the ordinary.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:49 PM   #80
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Default Re: Definition of a Cult

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If it were true that we are not allowed to read anything about the LSM online, then how could we be on this forum.
Probably on your own initiative bypassing any fellowship about coming onto an internet forum. Localities I've met with there's usually some form of announcement regarding the internet and DCP.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:28 PM   #81
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I'm sorry but I'm still not following.

Why didn't what happen to me? Being poisoned?

If I did get poisoned (which I whole heartedly do not believe), it was after I left. Is this what you mean? Genuinely trying here

I'm still interested in hearing why you're too intimidated to name the locality. Also, can you confirm that you have also been told about being poisoned? That this is deeply imbedded into the culture of LSM? Your response seems to discredit my experiences as something out of the ordinary.
Why weren't you warned about being poisoned before coming here? You are telling me something based on second hand knowledge, something others have told you. You are not speaking from personal experience, and only relaying the experiences of others. You never experienced it yourself in the time you were in the LSM? You said it's deeply embedded in the culture, yet it never happened to you? You said "heard it from multiple people from different localities and different states". How many people? 2? 100? 1000?
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Old 04-19-2017, 04:58 PM   #82
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Why weren't you warned about being poisoned before coming here? You are telling me something based on second hand knowledge, something others have told you. You are not speaking from personal experience, and only relaying the experiences of others. You never experienced it yourself in the time you were in the LSM? You said it's deeply embedded in the culture, yet it never happened to you? You said "heard it from multiple people from different localities and different states". How many people? 2? 100? 1000?
I heard this first hand in Houston, and Irving. Primarily from Ray Graver, but it was understood that he was one with Joe D, Ben McPherson and Benson P. In Taipei I heard this from the leaders of the FTTT. In New York I heard this from Benjamin.

All of those brothers are "blended brothers" though Benjamin died recently and Ben M left due to sin.
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Old 04-19-2017, 05:47 PM   #83
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Default Re: Definition of a Cult

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Why weren't you warned about being poisoned before coming here? You are telling me something based on second hand knowledge, something others have told you. You are not speaking from personal experience, and only relaying the experiences of others. You never experienced it yourself in the time you were in the LSM? You said it's deeply embedded in the culture, yet it never happened to you? You said "heard it from multiple people from different localities and different states". How many people? 2? 100? 1000?
Actually warning "about being poisoned" is common. Usually in reference not contacting brothers who have been quarantined, disfellowshipped, etc. That is learning the other side of the story is likened to being poisoned. Believe or don't believe, but in the local churches elders and co-workers form public opinion. They don't need facts. Only need to make a statement not to contact this brother or that sister because they're deemed poisonous. These opinions are received as fact regardless.
Certain ones are deemed poisonous not because of anything they say, but because of knowledge they possess that can be quite damaging to the recovery movement.
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:35 PM   #84
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Why weren't you warned about being poisoned before coming here? You are telling me something based on second hand knowledge, something others have told you. You are not speaking from personal experience, and only relaying the experiences of others. You never experienced it yourself in the time you were in the LSM? You said it's deeply embedded in the culture, yet it never happened to you? You said "heard it from multiple people from different localities and different states". How many people? 2? 100? 1000?
Ah I see, that's why I was so confused! Because I WAS personally warned - experiencing this live, in person, by multiple people, from multiple localities. Come on Evangelical, come back to reality bro.... You know its deeply embedded in the culture.

"I was only a part of your denomination for a year and I heard it from multiple people from different localities and different states. Outside of these direct statements of being "poisoned", I heard countless other people share this same message indirectly."

When I said I heard "it", I was referring to people telling me not to read stuff online lest I be poisoned. I've also shared this personal experience on the forum in the past.
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:07 PM   #85
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Ah I see, that's why I was so confused! Because I WAS personally warned - experiencing this live, in person, by multiple people, from multiple localities. Come on Evangelical, come back to reality bro.... You know its deeply embedded in the culture.

"I was only a part of your denomination for a year and I heard it from multiple people from different localities and different states. Outside of these direct statements of being "poisoned", I heard countless other people share this same message indirectly."

When I said I heard "it", I was referring to people telling me not to read stuff online lest I be poisoned. I've also shared this personal experience on the forum in the past.

Well, I don't know what bible you have but my bible says this:

Romans 16:17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.

Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.

So we may say that warnings about being "poisoned" , was actually deeply rooted in the culture of the New Testament church.

Some people may think this applies only to their own particular denomination or fellowship of their own choosing. But it doesn't. It is written not to denominations, but to every Christian in a locality, to avoid those who cause divisions. At the time, the only people who would have been causing divisions were those who were looking to divide, and create denominations, according to "I follow Paul, I follow Apollos" (1 Cor 1:12-13). And Paul asks the question in verse 13 "is Christ divided and has your denomination been crucified for you?"

Why would Paul write this to groups within groups within groups within groups in a locality? He is not talking about not having division just in your own family, between husband and wife, but between whole groups of Christians, who we might call denominations today.

In other words if you are in a division /denomination, and think that you are not divisive because you get along with everyone in your denomination happily, think again.

You see, the bible is consistent on these matters.

Luke 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.

Jude 1 : They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.

There is a full list of scriptures here:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/division
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:19 PM   #86
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Default Re: Definition of a Cult

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Well, I don't know what bible you have but my bible says this:

Romans 16:17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.

Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.
We in the GLA all watched evil operatives sent out from Anaheim into all the LC's to create divisions. We tried to have nothing to do with them. We should have called the police.

Unfortunately, especially in Mansfeid and Columbus, operatives from DCP were able to file court motions. These LC's had no heart or ability to fight battles in court against these divisive well-funded and well-trained heretics, and eventually gave them what earthly possessions they lusted for.

Tell us again about that church with no name filing lawsuits to steal a name from their brothers. And a meeting hall.
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:58 PM   #87
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Well, I don't know what bible you have but my bible says this:

Romans 16:17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.

- I've never personally experienced another Christian group that causes more divisions and obstacles than the LSM. I've actually used this verse to describe the local churches - keep away.

Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.

- I agree, Amen! So this shall be my last post towards you my friend.

So we may say that warnings about being "poisoned" , was actually deeply rooted in the culture of the New Testament church.

Some people may think this applies only to their own particular denomination or fellowship of their own choosing. Who? Wha... ah never-mind, would be an exercise of futility. But it doesn't. It is written not to denominations, but to every Christian in a locality, to avoid those who cause divisions. At the time, the only people who would have been causing divisions were those who were looking to divide, and create denominations, according to "I follow Paul, I follow Apollos" (1 Cor 1:12-13). And Paul asks the question in verse 13 "is Christ divided and has your denomination been crucified for you?"

Yes! Exactly! In the LSM, from my personal experience - the constant message of "I follow Witness Lee" caused me to turn away from this division

Why would Paul write this to groups within groups within groups within groups in a locality? He is not talking about not having division just in your own family, between husband and wife, but between whole groups of Christians, who we might call denominations today.

In other words if you are in a division /denomination, and think that you are not divisive because you get along with everyone in your denomination happily, think again.

I guess according to you I'm in a division being in a non-denominational church. I guess I was also with divisions while in fellowship with dozens of different churches across 4 different continents - serving the Lord and spreading His good news?

You see, the bible is consistent on these matters.

Luke 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.

Jude 1 : They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.

There is a full list of scriptures here:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/division
Brother Evangelical - it may be helpful to take your own advice sometimes. Don't be intimidated
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Old 04-19-2017, 08:34 PM   #88
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Leastofthese) "Ah I see, that's why I was so confused! Because I WAS personally warned - experiencing this live, in person, by multiple people, from multiple localities..... You know its deeply embedded in the culture. "

As it is here.

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Old 04-19-2017, 08:52 PM   #89
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Leastofthese) "Ah I see, that's why I was so confused! Because I WAS personally warned - experiencing this live, in person, by multiple people, from multiple localities..... You know its deeply embedded in the culture. "

As it is here.

Drake
Being intimidated not to ask questions, being told directly to fall in line with the crowd, warned not to seek any insight from outside of the forum? Wait; do I need to check with Untohim what is ok to read, watch, listen to???

I must have missed the memo.

Drake which locality do you meet with?
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:16 AM   #90
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Well, I don't know what bible you have but my bible says this:

Romans 16:17 I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them.
To cause a division is equivalent to a "damnable heresy" referred to by the Apostle Peter. To have a meeting with Christians in fellowship by necessity will not include every Christian on this planet, so that is not to "cause a division". But according to Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. So then a damnable heresy, to cause a division in the body of Christ, this is closely tied to "denying the Lord who bought you". When you say that WN is the "Minister of the Age" you are denying Jesus Christ who is the Minister of the Age. When you say that the boundary of a worldly city is "the ground of the church" you are denying the Lord who bought us with His blood. His sacrifice, His blood is the ground we stand on.

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Titus 3:10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.
Everyone on this forum should follow this advice. This forum and this thread in particular are warnings to all concerning these divisive persons. I personally have warned them twice and now no longer have anything to do with them.

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So we may say that warnings about being "poisoned" , was actually deeply rooted in the culture of the New Testament church.

Some people may think this applies only to their own particular denomination or fellowship of their own choosing. But it doesn't. It is written not to denominations, but to every Christian in a locality, to avoid those who cause divisions. At the time, the only people who would have been causing divisions were those who were looking to divide, and create denominations, according to "I follow Paul, I follow Apollos" (1 Cor 1:12-13). And Paul asks the question in verse 13 "is Christ divided and has your denomination been crucified for you?"

Why would Paul write this to groups within groups within groups within groups in a locality? He is not talking about not having division just in your own family, between husband and wife, but between whole groups of Christians, who we might call denominations today.

In other words if you are in a division /denomination, and think that you are not divisive because you get along with everyone in your denomination happily, think again.

You see, the bible is consistent on these matters.
Yes, I agree. Saying that you follow WN or WL is not consistent with the NT. Saying that certain people are "ministers of the Age" rather than Jesus Christ is not consistent with the NT. Saying that there is some other ground to the church other than the sacrifice made by Jesus on the Cross is not consistent with the NT.

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Luke 11:17 But he, knowing their thoughts, said to them, “Every kingdom divided against itself is laid waste, and a divided household falls.

Jude 1 : They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit.

There is a full list of scriptures here:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/division
What a great example. WN's empire was divided against itself when he came from Taiwan to the US. Since then it has become divided against itself again with the split from Titus Chu and from South America and from Germany and from churches in Africa.

Also, great example about the "scoffers and their ungodly passions". Surely you refer to PL, TL, etc. Yes, I agree, it is these people who cause divisions, they were worldly people, devoid of the Spirit. They have been warned and now according to the NT we have nothing to do with them.
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Old 04-20-2017, 04:35 AM   #91
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Being intimidated not to ask questions, being told directly to fall in line with the crowd, warned not to seek any insight from outside of the forum? Wait; do I need to check with Untohim what is ok to read, watch, listen to???

I must have missed the memo.

Drake which locality do you meet with?
The "memo" you missed was the thread you started called "Brothers, what shall we do?"

There you checked with the brothers:

"In regards to LSM:

Should we warn others that have recently touched the church?
Should we continue to pray for deliverance for friends in the church?
Do you consider LSM and LC to be standing on solid ground?
Should we command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies?
Should we step in when we see believers led astray by hypocrisy and conduct that is not in step with the truth of the gospel?


Where Untohim provided you with the answers:

"leastofthese has posed some very relevant questions. My answers, in short, are Yes, Yes, No, Yes and a BIG YES! "

Therefore, warning others is deeply embedded in the culture of this forum. In fact, it is its very mission. In practice, it is mostly self affirmation, a support group, between a dozen or so regulars. Therefore, why shouldn't those in the local churches be warned about online forums like this one? They would be remiss not to. The threads have new titles but it is the same old song. Grasping for something new to talk about even ol' Hank gets kicked to the curb. The intolerance is both sad and amusing but no light.

Yet, those in the local churches are not obsessed about warning others about online forums like this online forum is about them. I recall hearing something maybe thrice in the last few decades and I have lived in several localities. Though there is a concerted effort to poison others against the local churches it has very little effect except now and then mostly a newbie will get picked off.

Net net is this. No one in this forum has the ground to condemn the local churches for warning others about those who would poison them.. Warning others is the deeply embedded culture of this forum.

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Old 04-20-2017, 04:49 AM   #92
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Drake,

You are a hoot. Come back to reality my brother, don't be intimidated.
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Old 04-20-2017, 05:10 AM   #93
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Drake,

You are a hoot. Come back to reality my brother, don't be intimidated.
Lot,

Really now. Is that your canned response when you have no compelling point? "Don't be intimidated" That's it?

So soon you have fallen into the trappings of your own rhetoric. That my friend is your reality, not mine.

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Old 04-20-2017, 05:58 AM   #94
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Therefore, warning others is deeply embedded in the culture of this forum. In fact, it is its very mission. In practice, it is mostly self affirmation, a support group, between a dozen or so regulars.
Would you say that this is "less than the least" of all forums?

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Therefore, why shouldn't those in the local churches be warned about online forums like this one?
I'm sorry you lost me with that "therefore", I guess I just can't keep up. Point 1 -- less than the least of all forums, just a support group with 12 offscouring of the LRC.

therefore

2 -- Beware?

I don't get the logic in needing a warning about some insignificant support group?


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They would be remiss not to. The threads have new titles but it is the same old song. Grasping for something new to talk about even ol' Hank gets kicked to the curb. The intolerance is both sad and amusing but no light.
Intolerance is amusing?

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Yet, those in the local churches are not obsessed about warning others about online forums like this online forum is about them. I recall hearing something maybe thrice in the last few decades and I have lived in several localities. Though there is a concerted effort to poison others against the local churches it has very little effect except now and then mostly a newbie will get picked off.

Net net is this. No one in this forum has the ground to condemn the local churches for warning others about those who would poison them.. Warning others is the deeply embedded culture of this forum.

Drake
Thanks for the conclusion, that was clear. Also I agree that there should be no condemnation to anyone for teaching the verses quoted by Evangelical concerning avoiding those who cause division.

That is the irony of religion, everyone claims to be fighting on the side of God. It is a vicious battle for the moral high ground.
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Old 04-20-2017, 06:33 AM   #95
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Lot,

Really now. Is that your canned response when you have no compelling point? "Don't be intimidated" That's it?

So soon you have fallen into the trappings of your own rhetoric. That my friend is your reality, not mine.

Drake
Your perceptions don't match my reality, on many, many levels. So I guess I don't feel the need to speak above such a simple statement. Leastofthese ultimately doesn't change hearts and minds, it's our Lord and savior Jesus that has taken this role. I don't write on this forum for you, but for others. They can make their own conclusions.

May The Spirit guide your heart and bless you in all you do.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:08 AM   #96
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Lot,

Really now. Is that your canned response when you have no compelling point? "Don't be intimidated" That's it?

So soon you have fallen into the trappings of your own rhetoric. That my friend is your reality, not mine.

Drake
Drake, why don't you ever tend to all the little ones stumbled by LSM and her operatives? Ever hear about millstones tied around your necks?

Leaders at LSM were always willing to invest fortunes in legal fees to protect their pristine image, yet never once were willing to apologize to the hurt and the stumbled children of God. That, however, would have brought much glory to God.

What Jesus told the Pharisees so aptly applies, "How can you believe, when you love the glory of men more than the glory of God?"

P.S. very cute, calling him "Lot"
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:16 AM   #97
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Your perceptions don't match my reality, on many, many levels. So I guess I don't feel the need to speak above such a simple statement. Leastofthese ultimately doesn't change hearts and minds, it's our Lord and savior Jesus that has taken this role. I don't write on this forum for you, but for others. They can make their own conclusions.

May The Spirit guide your heart and bless you in all you do.
You like straight talk, right?

A month ago you were newbie looking for clarification and now you are a crusader for truth with all the answers. A ready soldier to warn and defend against the shams.

So now, step up.

Not all, but many posters here have succumbed to a simple set of catch phrases and scripts, and though they may have started out with the best intentions, over time they gave way to the notion that scripts and catch phrases are compelling arguments. They are not, but the group think here reinforces the notion that they are. You conformed sooner than most did putting up no apparent internal struggle which I find odd.

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Old 04-20-2017, 07:35 AM   #98
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You like straight talk, right?

A month ago you were newbie looking for clarification and now you are a crusader for truth with all the answers. A ready soldier to warn and defend against the shams.

So now, step up.

Not all, but many posters here have succumbed to a simple set of catch phrases and scripts, and though they may have started out with the best intentions, over time they gave way to the notion that scripts and catch phrases are compelling arguments. They are not, but the group think here reinforces the notion that they are. You conformed sooner than most did putting up no apparent internal struggle which I find odd.

Drake
I personally appreciate that there are those like Evangelical, Zeek and you (and even Harold who has been kicked to the curb) that challenge the group think.

That said you would be more credible if, like Ohio said, you actually did show a concern for those who have been stumbled.

Also, it has helped me to understand the different perspectives of ones like OBW, UntoHim and Igzy to know a little about their background, where they are from. It shows the perspective they have.

UntoHim was in Orange County, Igzy was in Austin, Ohio -- self explanatory, like myself Hope was in Texas, Indiana, Terry, Countmeworthy, Kisstheson etc. They all have shared a little of their testimony and where they are from which helps understand why we have different perspectives.

However, I must have missed it but I don't know your background or Evangelical's. That does not help us to be tolerant. Why the mystery?
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:55 AM   #99
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Ok ZNP, but who in this forum is actually hurting?

Rather, I see the once hurt have morphed into those who do the hurting.... Gleefully too. Often viciously.

And you did recognize UntoHim's recent shot over your bow for non-conformance to the group think message, didn't you?

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Old 04-20-2017, 08:15 AM   #100
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You like straight talk, right?

A month ago you were newbie looking for clarification and now you are a crusader for truth with all the answers. A ready soldier to warn and defend against the shams.

So now, step up.

Not all, but many posters here have succumbed to a simple set of catch phrases and scripts, and though they may have started out with the best intentions, over time they gave way to the notion that scripts and catch phrases are compelling arguments. They are not, but the group think here reinforces the notion that they are. You conformed sooner than most did putting up no apparent internal struggle which I find odd.

Drake
You are so predictable Drake, never stooping to listen to others, but dismissing their comments as "canned responses, scripts, and catchphrases."

You have no idea how much your LC arrogance turns off other LC visitors and lurkers to this site. That's not just my opinion, but feedback from others over the years.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:06 AM   #101
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Therefore, warning others is deeply embedded in the culture of this forum. In fact, it is its very mission. In practice, it is mostly self affirmation, a support group, between a dozen or so regulars. Therefore, why shouldn't those in the local churches be warned about online forums like this one? They would be remiss not to. The threads have new titles but it is the same old song. Grasping for something new to talk about even ol' Hank gets kicked to the curb. The intolerance is both sad and amusing but no light.

Yet, those in the local churches are not obsessed about warning others about online forums like this online forum is about them. I recall hearing something maybe thrice in the last few decades and I have lived in several localities. Though there is a concerted effort to poison others against the local churches it has very little effect except now and then mostly a newbie will get picked off.

Net net is this. No one in this forum has the ground to condemn the local churches for warning others about those who would poison them.. Warning others is the deeply embedded culture of this forum.

Drake
During my many years in the LC's, I often heard of ones being poisoned, and then suddenly disappearing. I could never understand how that could happen. How could one be healthy in the faith, loving the Lord Jesus, actively serving the church, loving all the brothers and sisters, etc. and then get "poisoned," almost overnight? It was always a mystery to me, until it also happened to me. What the LC leaders (primarily WL) regularly called "poison" was not poison at all. It was just the Light of heaven shining in a dark place uncovering the truths of past events long covered in lies, half-truths, and slanders.

Let me use an example somewhat in the news today ...

The Case of Greta Van Susteren being "Poisoned"

For those who are not familiar, Greta was a rising Fox News Star with her own evening show at 7 pm, right before the Bill O'Reilly Factor. She loved working at FNC under the tutelage of Roger Ailes, a conservative media icon. She viewed Fox News as the only true news outlet, far superior to her "denominational" and biased cable news source competitors. Roger Ailes was her MOTA, Mediaman of the Age.

When Gretchen Carlson burst the bubble at Fox last year, publicly alleging that Roger Ailes made unwanted advances towards her, the new outlet was in an uproar. She became an instant "opposer." Gretchen was basically branded a "rebellious leper who should be quarantined," speaking in LC terms. How could she do such a thing? Nearly all the Fox on-air celebrities lined up behind their boss Roger, singing the praises of his brilliant professionalism, staunchly claiming he would never do such a thing!

Then Greta V.S. herself opened her show adamantly defending her Fox boss. Roger Ailes had never done anything to her, so she spoke with a bold conscience that Ailes was innocent of these malicious charges. How could anyone blame him of such impropriety. Behind the scenes, to their credit, the Murdoch owners decided to provide a means for all employees to come forward in anonymity. One by one the pretty Fox commentators told their stories. The momentum of testimonies grew. The gig was up. Ailes had to go. O'Reily was also mentioned.

Thus Greta got "poisoned." Overnight she learned that she had put her own reputation on the line and defended a guilty abuser. Her Fox News bubble had burst. She suddenly learned the truth. Years of lies were suddenly uncovered. It was too much for her conscience to handle. She had to leave. That night she suddenly resigned, never to work at Fox again.

Such is the experience over many years of so many dedicated members in the LC's. Their "holy" leadership one day got exposed. All the stories of past "storms" in the Recovery were not as we were always told. There was definitely more to the story swept under the huge "rug" in Anaheim. To his credit, Roger Ailes seemed to be more professional than one Philip Lee who ran LSM. But like the many decent ones in the LC's with a conscience like Greta, learning the real stories of past LSM corruption was too much to handle. They too got poisoned. Overnight they changed. They left never to return.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:08 AM   #102
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Ok ZNP, but who in this forum is actually hurting?

Rather, I see the once hurt have morphed into those who do the hurting.... Gleefully too. Often viciously.

And you did recognize UntoHim's recent shot over your bow for non-conformance to the group think message, didn't you?

Drake
I agree with your point about not nursing past hurts and also about the same old song being played over and over again. However, there are those who are knew to the forum, there are those who show up confused, one foot out the door, not knowing what to do, and there are those concerned about a loved one's recent visit to the LRC. In those cases it is not hard to see who is hurting and it is not fair to characterize this as "same old song" as they are sharing their testimony for the first time.

Although it is true that there are probably about 12 regulars, the number of members on the forum is far greater, and they have shared at least once, but they don't choose to post regularly. Very often you will read a posting from someone who says they have been reading this for months and this is now the first time they felt to post.

I am familiar with UntoHim's viewpoint and he had something to say about my post on this thread, but I don't think it is fair to go so far as say that group think is any more prevalent here as it is anywhere else. It is natural on these forums for "birds of a feather to flock together". It is very tough for anyone to paddle upstream so they leave. We had one guy from England who specialized in research on WN, his posts were great but in the end he had to leave.

So condemnation of "group think" is always a hindsight matter. Just ask Galileo.
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:27 AM   #103
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You like straight talk, right?

A month ago you were newbie looking for clarification and now you are a crusader for truth with all the answers. A ready soldier to warn and defend against the shams.

So now, step up.

Not all, but many posters here have succumbed to a simple set of catch phrases and scripts, and though they may have started out with the best intentions, over time they gave way to the notion that scripts and catch phrases are compelling arguments. They are not, but the group think here reinforces the notion that they are. You conformed sooner than most did putting up no apparent internal struggle which I find odd.

Drake
I think you may have lost it Drake. Take a deep breath brother.

You don't know anything about what I've been doing, especially in relation to the LSM - how could you? 1 month? Having all the answers? You think I care about falling inline with Untohim or this forum?

All laughable. Literally, I mean I laughed when I read your post. I know literally doesn't mean the same thing these days, but I literally opened my mouth and laughed out loud at your post.

I'll let you have the last word bro, you need it. Maybe you can tell me more about me
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Old 04-20-2017, 01:06 PM   #104
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You like straight talk, right?

A month ago you were newbie looking for clarification and now you are a crusader for truth with all the answers. A ready soldier to warn and defend against the shams.

So now, step up.

Not all, but many posters here have succumbed to a simple set of catch phrases and scripts, and though they may have started out with the best intentions, over time they gave way to the notion that scripts and catch phrases are compelling arguments. They are not, but the group think here reinforces the notion that they are. You conformed sooner than most did putting up no apparent internal struggle which I find odd.

Drake
Reminds me of one of those claims that Lee used to make about how the world imitated us before we even got here. Talk about catchphrases. There is one for every actual scriptural statement against the LRC's positions. Claim that only the spiritual discerning can see it. Say that it doesn't really mean that because of "God's economy." Drag out a story not found in the Bible to prove a point. And so on.
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Old 04-20-2017, 02:52 PM   #105
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I think you may have lost it Drake. Take a deep breath brother.

You don't know anything about what I've been doing, especially in relation to the LSM - how could you? 1 month? Having all the answers? You think I care about falling inline with Untohim or this forum?

All laughable. Literally, I mean I laughed when I read your post. I know literally doesn't mean the same thing these days, but I literally opened my mouth and laughed out loud at your post.

I'll let you have the last word bro, you need it. Maybe you can tell me more about me
Last word? Oh my, we are just getting to know each other!

As for knowing you up till now, well, I only go by what you post here in this forum. However you have represented yourself, apart from whatever doubts may creep in about that, is all I need to know.

As for laughing out loud, that is excellent. It's very healthy. More laughs to come, you might even be rolling on the floor before long.

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Old 04-20-2017, 03:13 PM   #106
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"I agree with your point about not nursing past hurts and also about the same old song being played over and over again. However, there are those who are knew to the forum, there are those who show up confused, one foot out the door, not knowing what to do, and there are those concerned about a loved one's recent visit to the LRC. In those cases it is not hard to see who is hurting and it is not fair to characterize this as "same old song" as they are sharing their testimony for the first time."

Ok ZNP. But you said I did not show concern for those who came here who had been stumbled. I care greatly for the dazed, confused, the hurting who come to this forum. Who are you thinking of? Be glad to clear it up.

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Old 04-20-2017, 05:19 PM   #107
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UntoHim was in Orange County, Igzy was in Austin, Ohio -- self explanatory, like myself Hope was in Texas, Indiana, Terry, Countmeworthy, Kisstheson etc. They all have shared a little of their testimony and where they are from which helps understand why we have different perspectives.

However, I must have missed it but I don't know your background or Evangelical's. That does not help us to be tolerant. Why the mystery?
ZNP,

It is a rather interesting point, from my perspective at least. Obviously I don't know motive, but I do know when I asked the locality in which they attend I whole heartedly believed I would not receive a response. I don't blame or condemn their actions, just sympathize... or maybe pity their situation.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:03 PM   #108
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ZNP,

It is a rather interesting point, from my perspective at least. Obviously I don't know motive, but I do know when I asked the locality in which they attend I whole heartedly believed I would not receive a response. I don't blame or condemn their actions, just sympathize... or maybe pity their situation.
It is quite surprising that the ones still INSIDE the LC are so secretive, yet those who have left, those negative opinionated opposers, seem to have nothing to hide. More proof that current members are actually not held by a vision but by fear, and after leaving, we learn that perfect love casts out fear.
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Old 04-20-2017, 09:44 PM   #109
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ZNP,

It is a rather interesting point, from my perspective at least. Obviously I don't know motive, but I do know when I asked the locality in which they attend I whole heartedly believed I would not receive a response. I don't blame or condemn their actions, just sympathize... or maybe pity their situation.
... and your real name Is not leasrofthese. I don't know your motive and I don't blame or condemn you for hiding behind it.... which is a rather interesting point from my perspective at least...
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Old 04-20-2017, 10:56 PM   #110
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As far as I remember, Drake and I have never asked anyone where they are from.

leastofthese seems to be treating this as another test question to be added to the set of questions in the OP.
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:23 AM   #111
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As far as I remember, Drake and I have never asked anyone where they are from.

leastofthese seems to be treating this as another test question to be added to the set of questions in the OP.
Yep. And i will add these observations about leastofthese's recent line of argument:

First, it's irrelevant to the topic - unable to counter a compelling argument he wants to personalize it. A diversion.

Second, he is on a fishing expedition - he wants to see your tax returns. Must be something there.

Third, it's just plain ol hypocrisy - he is guilty of the same things that he accuses others of. Hiding behind a handle, what's that all about?

Leastofthese, are you rolling on the floor yet? If not I promise to try harder.

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Old 04-21-2017, 05:33 AM   #112
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"I agree with your point about not nursing past hurts and also about the same old song being played over and over again. However, there are those who are knew to the forum, there are those who show up confused, one foot out the door, not knowing what to do, and there are those concerned about a loved one's recent visit to the LRC. In those cases it is not hard to see who is hurting and it is not fair to characterize this as "same old song" as they are sharing their testimony for the first time."

Ok ZNP. But you said I did not show concern for those who came here who had been stumbled. I care greatly for the dazed, confused, the hurting who come to this forum. Who are you thinking of? Be glad to clear it up.

Drake
Let's take this quote of yours "Therefore, warning others is deeply embedded in the culture of this forum. In fact, it is its very mission. In practice, it is mostly self affirmation, a support group, between a dozen or so regulars. Therefore, why shouldn't those in the local churches be warned about online forums like this one? They would be remiss not to. The threads have new titles but it is the same old song. Grasping for something new to talk about even ol' Hank gets kicked to the curb. The intolerance is both sad and amusing but no light. "

Yes, the forum can be described as a support group. But this came across as condescending or even insulting. The expression "same old song" is clearly insulting to those who are trying to work through their issues. Then your comment that "the intolerance is both sad and amusing" portrays yourself as the Nelson, sitting in the back, pointing a finger and going "Ha, Ha!"

This may not have been your intent but it is how it comes across. Now you say that you care greatly for those who come to this forum, but when I read posts like this I don't see it. I see mocking, insults and put downs.

"Leastofthese, are you rolling on the floor yet? If not I promise to try harder." The tone on this seems mean. He is not a "regular", he hasn't been posting long enough to be "singing the same old song". The thread obviously indicates confusion. Why do you go on the attack?
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:00 AM   #113
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Yep. And i will add these observations about leastofthese's recent line of argument:

First, it's irrelevant to the topic - unable to counter a compelling argument he wants to personalize it. A diversion.

Second, he is on a fishing expedition - he wants to see your tax returns. Must be something there.

Third, it's just plain ol hypocrisy - he is guilty of the same things that he accuses others of. Hiding behind a handle, what's that all about?

Leastofthese, are you rolling on the floor yet? If not I promise to try harder.

Drake
Could certain members on this forum actually be former members of the LC trolling as a current member of the LC?

I'm trying to rationalize the consistently irrational, confrontational, and off the wall comments I've read over the past 5 months.
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Old 04-21-2017, 06:20 AM   #114
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Third, it's just plain ol hypocrisy - he is guilty of the same things that he accuses others of. Hiding behind a handle, what's that all about?
Drake,

I'll respond to this part because I think its your only semi-legitimate point.

First of all, when I initially began reading this forum, it was clear that each member chose a "handle", the common practice was not to issue your full name (like on Facebook), so I did the same - like everyone else. Second, you are correct - there is a real and personal reason why I would not (as of right now) share my locality or my name. I have business operations with significant financial implications that are tied to the LSM denomination. Like many of you reading this, I have been personally intimidated (whether directly or indirectly) to know that it is not worth it. Once this passes (which is fairly soon) I'll be happy to make you the first to know, maybe get you a ticket to come visit?

In regards to your perception of my lack of thoughtful response or compelling arguments. When I post, which is historically very infrequently, I don't take much time to lay things out, just kind of get down and write (twitter style vs. blog style). I have a lot of good things going on in my life and don't really have enough time to provide you a response that would fulfill your needs. In my opinion, its also not worth taking time to layout a debate with someone who makes such shallow arguments ("He hides behind a handle"! etc). I know its a bit crude, but I just thought of this and hope it brings a laugh for you today - No need in getting into a pissing contest with someone who sits down to pee.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:08 AM   #115
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ZNP "This may not have been your intent but it is how it comes across. Now you say that you care greatly for those who come to this forum, but when I read posts like this I don't see it. I see mocking, insults and put downs."

ZNP,

I'm glad you put it like that. I will clarify.

I did not actually say that I care greatly for those who come to this forum. I said I care about those who come here dazed, confused, and hurting. Just to be clear, the dozen or so first string players here are anything but dazed, confused, and hurting. Whatever hurting they went through decades ago, they are long over the hurting now. The hurting turned into something negative and destructive. Nevertheless, if I hear or detect that anyone is hurting and going through something I will reach out because I really do care about every person here.

Yet caring does not equal sitting silent while members slander other believers. Caring does not mean their mocking and derision go unchecked. Caring is challenging mischaracterizations, lack of due diligence, and scripturally unsubstantiated conclusions and misguided teachings. It is a strange irony that the forum is largely represented by members who have become the very thing they wanted to expose and warn others about.

My care for them is to call that out when I see it.

In context, you are responding to my posts to leastofthese so I will clarify that. He is not hurting. His brief experience in the local churches is not coming from the place of hurt. He, in just a mere one month, went from seeking clarification to resident crusader for justice. Good for him. He is a ready soldier who volunteered to fight the good fight.... so I challenged him to do it and not fall into the pattern of personal destruction, irrelevant arguments, and put a reasoned compelling argument together such as you will find from Evangelical. Perhaps he could have brought some fresh light but so far nothing but the same old song. Its a dark song. That is my care for him though it is doubtful he, you, or others interpret it that way.

Hope that helps.

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Old 04-21-2017, 08:33 AM   #116
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Drake,

I'll respond to this part because I think its your only semi-legitimate point.

First of all, when I initially began reading this forum, it was clear that each member chose a "handle", the common practice was not to issue your full name (like on Facebook), so I did the same - like everyone else. Second, you are correct - there is a real and personal reason why I would not (as of right now) share my locality or my name. I have business operations with significant financial implications that are tied to the LSM denomination. Like many of you reading this, I have been personally intimidated (whether directly or indirectly) to know that it is not worth it. Once this passes (which is fairly soon) I'll be happy to make you the first to know, maybe get you a ticket to come visit?

In regards to your perception of my lack of thoughtful response or compelling arguments. When I post, which is historically very infrequently, I don't take much time to lay things out, just kind of get down and write (twitter style vs. blog style). I have a lot of good things going on in my life and don't really have enough time to provide you a response that would fulfill your needs. In my opinion, its also not worth taking time to layout a debate with someone who makes such shallow arguments ("He hides behind a handle"! etc). I know its a bit crude, but I just thought of this and hope it brings a laugh for you today - No need in getting into a pissing contest with someone who sits down to pee.
Leastofthese,

I really don't care who you are, where you live, how long you were there, or what you call yourself. I don't want to know.

If you want to expose "the sham" offer compelling arguments. I have pushed back on the inconsistencies and blatant hypocrisies of your arguments. If you want to present a case then i suggest you respond to Evangelical who will force you to structure your arguments. Yet, maybe you just want to kick back, have some fun, unload, and delight the audience. This place is ready made for that too. Whatever, you choose matters not to me as I will be here to benefit you either way.

Drake

Oh BTW, I did not find your "laugh for the day" funny at all. Suggest avoiding that kind of crude jesting in a forum of Christians. It is offensive for several reasons. Thanks.
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Old 04-21-2017, 08:35 AM   #117
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He is a ready soldier who volunteered to fight the good fight.... so I challenged him to do it and not fall into the pattern of personal destruction, irrelevant arguments, and put a reasoned compelling argument together such as you will find fron Evangelical. Perhaps he could have brought some fresh light but so far nothing but the same old song. Its a dark song. That is my care for him though it is doubtful he, you, or others interpret that way.Drake
Those following these posts realize that Drake "volunteered me to fight" and drafted me as a "ready soldier". Maybe this is a prophetic word from our brother?

Readers also know that Drake has no idea, none what so ever, of what I have done, I am currently doing, or will do to share with brothers and sisters in Christ warnings of this group . Why would one wonder why it's the same old song coming from LSM detractors? In my time in the LSM, which Drake somehow minimizes without context, I dealt with the same things that other members on the forum dealt with over 20 years ago.
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Old 04-21-2017, 10:03 AM   #118
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It is quite surprising that the ones still INSIDE the LC are so secretive, yet those who have left, those negative opinionated opposers, seem to have nothing to hide. More proof that current members are actually not held by a vision but by fear, and after leaving, we learn that perfect love casts out fear.
This is so true , I left the lc and found true love with god . Not one of which the Lc drilled "views" on what god is .
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:04 PM   #119
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Those following these posts realize that Drake "volunteered me to fight" and drafted me as a "ready soldier". Maybe this is a prophetic word from our brother?

Readers also know that Drake has no idea, none what so ever, of what I have done, I am currently doing, or will do to share with brothers and sisters in Christ warnings of this group . Why would one wonder why it's the same old song coming from LSM detractors? In my time in the LSM, which Drake somehow minimizes without context, I dealt with the same things that other members on the forum dealt with over 20 years ago.
Can we dial it down? Drake felt that some of the accusations that the LRC is a cult were insulting. It is certainly reasonable to say that. If you want to call the LRC a cult you are lumping them together with Charles Manson and mass suicide by kool aid. When someone hears cult they think of moonies selling flowers at the airport. You begin with a term that has the ugliest connotation possible, and then give a useless definition that could apply to any group of Christians.

All of this could be avoided if you use a biblical term like "false teacher" and "fruit of the false teacher", and then use the appropriate verses to define that.

Why don't these Christian publishers do that? Because they are convicted by these verses. Using the word cult is obfuscation.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:05 PM   #120
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This is so true , I left the lc and found true love with god . Not one of which the Lc drilled "views" on what god is .
Unreg,

By god you mean Jesus and Him only.

Correct?

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Old 04-21-2017, 12:46 PM   #121
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ZNP,

It is a rather interesting point, from my perspective at least. Obviously I don't know motive, but I do know when I asked the locality in which they attend I whole heartedly believed I would not receive a response. I don't blame or condemn their actions, just sympathize... or maybe pity their situation.
There have been previous forum members who choose not to disclose their geographic location. Myself, I grew up in Southern California and currently live in Washington state.
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Old 04-21-2017, 07:10 PM   #122
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Can we dial it down? Drake felt that some of the accusations that the LRC is a cult were insulting. It is certainly reasonable to say that. If you want to call the LRC a cult you are lumping them together with Charles Manson and mass suicide by kool aid. When someone hears cult they think of moonies selling flowers at the airport. You begin with a term that has the ugliest connotation possible, and then give a useless definition that could apply to any group of Christians.

All of this could be avoided if you use a biblical term like "false teacher" and "fruit of the false teacher", and then use the appropriate verses to define that.

Why don't these Christian publishers do that? Because they are convicted by these verses. Using the word cult is obfuscation.
ZNP,

I assume you're not directing this specifically at me, but it was a jump from my quote. I agree, we can dial it down, my "pee" comment was off color. Although a reader of each of my comments on this thread can see that I never called the LSM a cult - instead, I started a thread based on a discussion that I had with a member of the LSM and a google search. I thought it would be an interesting discussion, relevant based on the audience and the reach of a google search in today's society. Also, I've simply shared my experiences. Certain members have turned me into a zombie/vampire slayer and made incorrect assumptions and accusations about me along the way. I actually appreciate the comments, hence the laughs along the way. It reminds each of those familiar with the LSM the mentality, attitude, and backwards logic of those within the LSM.

But enough of that, to things more important:

For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.
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Old 04-22-2017, 09:29 PM   #123
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I started a thread based on a discussion that I had with a member of the LSM and a google search.
Actually, a discussion and a Google search qualifies you to write a book about your experience and be recognized as a Christian author, there's a high chance that a number of forum members here will buy it.
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Old 04-22-2017, 10:12 PM   #124
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Those following these posts realize that Drake "volunteered me to fight" and drafted me as a "ready soldier". Maybe this is a prophetic word from our brother?

Readers also know that Drake has no idea, none what so ever, of what I have done, I am currently doing, or will do to share with brothers and sisters in Christ warnings of this group . Why would one wonder why it's the same old song coming from LSM detractors? In my time in the LSM, which Drake somehow minimizes without context, I dealt with the same things that other members on the forum dealt with over 20 years ago.
I think it unlikely that you encountered the same things that others dealt with in only a year (wasn't it you spent only a year with us?) with the Recovery. In my first year I don't think I was even invited to a potluck dinner.
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Old 04-23-2017, 06:32 AM   #125
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Actually, a discussion and a Google search qualifies you to write a book about your experience and be recognized as a Christian author, there's a high chance that a number of forum members here will buy it.
No doubt, a best seller here......

Front Cover Flap: A harrowing account of one man's descent into the bowels of an evil religious group and his struggle to escape. A unique and riveting experience of a wary christian attending weekly home meetings, church meetings, table meetings, picnics, and even spending Christmas break in Anaheim and a "training". Read about his explosive Q&A with elders, trainers, and brothers who encouraged him to ask questions. Finally, an arduous one year later, the author brings the reader on the journey back from the abyss starting with his Google search and overcoming the mental pressures from those who encouraged him to stay. In a nail biter ending the reader will follow the author in the startling account of how one day he got in his car and simply drove away.
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:07 AM   #126
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No doubt, a best seller here......

Front Cover Flap: A harrowing account of one man's descent into the bowels of an evil religious group and his struggle to escape. A unique and riveting experience of a wary christian attending weekly home meetings, church meetings, table meetings, picnics, and even spending Christmas break in Anaheim and a "training". Read about his explosive Q&A with elders, trainers, and brothers who encouraged him to ask questions. Finally, an arduous one year later, the author brings the reader on the journey back from the abyss starting with his Google searches and overcoming the mental pressures from those who encouraged him to stay. In a nail biter ending the reader will follow the author in the startling account of how one day he got in his car and simply drove away.
I love it! Maybe you can co-author? I'll have to catch you up to speed with my life outside of the forum, but I think you're on to something.

Who is the publisher for Jane Carole Anderson? We may need to get them in on this thing early, going to be huge.

Evan-gelical - Maybe you need to smile more my man - had to wait 1 year for a potluck invite?
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Old 04-23-2017, 11:25 AM   #127
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I love it! Maybe you can co-author? I'll have to catch you up to speed with my life outside of the forum, but I think you're on to something.

Who is the publisher for Jane Carole Anderson? We may need to get them in on this thing early, going to be huge.

Evan-gelical - Maybe you need to smile more my man - had to wait 1 year for a potluck invite?
Why the chapter on "Picnics" alone would be worth the price!
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Old 04-23-2017, 12:22 PM   #128
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Why the chapter on "Picnics" alone would be worth the price!
Your artistic license really made my post "My Time With The Local Church" jump off the page! My version seemed so boring and relatable. I can only imagine what you could do with the "picnic" chapter.

Maybe after our book deal, we can start working on the movie... one step at a time. I'll be played by Dwayne Johnson and I guess you'd be christopher walken or willem dafoe to keep with your narrative?
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Old 04-23-2017, 06:09 PM   #129
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Yet caring does not equal sitting silent while members slander other believers. Caring does not mean their mocking and derision go unchecked. Caring is challenging mischaracterizations, lack of due diligence, and scripturally unsubstantiated conclusions and misguided teachings. It is a strange irony that the forum is largely represented by members who have become the very thing they wanted to expose and warn others about.
Nice attempted switcharooney by the master of switcharooneys. No believers are being slandered here on this forum. Speaking the truth does not equal slander, but whining and crying about it probably makes a certain person feel useful. Oh well, we all have our purpose, now don't we. Witness Lee made a career of slandering his brothers and sisters in Christ, both outside his movement, and maybe even worse slandering of his own followers. As a matter of fact, slandering and character assassination are one of the hallmark attributes of a cult leader, and the atmosphere created by such leaders usually lives on long after the leader passes away. Such is the dynamic we see in the Local Church of Witness Lee.

Back in the late 70s there was a rash of "cult" exposés, especially in the Southern California area. The Local Church of Witness Lee caught the attention of a number of Christian apologists, and even some elements of the secular media. Lee and his followers only made matters worse by their secretive and combative attitude towards any and all persons who inquired about what they really taught and practiced behind those meeting hall doors. Of course Lee and his followers had a huge vested interest in not having people hear the despicable, deplorable and yes, even slanderous language directed at Christians and non-Christians alike.

By this time Max Rapaport and his wife Sandee were as close to Witness Lee as anyone could be. It was obvious that Max was Lee's "right hand man". It was during this period that Max was made the scapegoat for exposing Witness Lee's son Phillip for being the serial abuser he had been for years. At that time, neither Max, nor any other of the gullible American brothers in So.Calif had any idea of how deep Witness Lee's nepotism actually ran. Max went from being one of Lee's closest and trusted confidants, to being publicly slandered with such labels as "the evil one". It wasn't long before Max was being interviewed by the LA Times and all but accused the Local Church of being a dangerous cult of sorts, and strongly encouraged parents to do what was necessary to get their children out of the movement, even to take the drastic step of employing the use of a professional "deprogrammer".

Ten years later, history repeated itself. Only this time the exposing and pressure came mostly from within the Movement itself. Once again, Phillip Lee was at the epicenter, and once again the biggest and most serious concerns were coming from Witness Lee's closest and strongest confidants. This time it was John Ingalls, Bill Mallon, John So, and just like the many other "rebellions", nobody's head was to be spared. Lee once again took his self-appointed place as prosecutor, judge and jury. "The Fermentation of The Present Rebellion" sealed the fate of all who stood accused, and all were viciously slandered, set aside and/or quarantined. Yet again, the news of "trouble within the Local Church movement" reached the secular media, and the Name and cause of Christ was besmirched and somewhat damaged because to Witness Lee, family blood ran thicker, (and the green stuff ran thicker too) and the desire to save his own skin and name, became infinitely more important than to preserve and glorify the Name and cause of Christ and his Kingdom.

-
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Old 04-23-2017, 10:51 PM   #130
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Your artistic license really made my post "My Time With The Local Church" jump off the page! My version seemed so boring and relatable. I can only imagine what you could do with the "picnic" chapter.

Maybe after our book deal, we can start working on the movie... one step at a time. I'll be played by Dwayne Johnson and I guess you'd be christopher walken or willem dafoe to keep with your narrative?
Already sounds more interesting than the Left Behind series. This idea might take off.
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Old 04-24-2017, 05:35 AM   #131
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Already sounds more interesting than the Left Behind series. This idea might take off.
You could make it a kind of "Hansel and Gretel" theme. Oh, hold it, wrong type of cult. That would be more along the lines of Manson or Jim Jones.

Maybe the three pigs, as the Christian wanders from one church to the next until they finally do the work to dig down to the rock. PL could be one of the pigs. Not sure who the wolf would be.

Or, maybe the princess and the pea. Probably the theme that Drake would prefer, as we discover how "sensitive" and "modern" the Bride of Christ is.

Of course you can expect the LRC rebuttal to be along the lines of King Arthur and the Knights of the round table as WN pulls the sword from the stone. They could portray WL as Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk as he trades in the milk cow of the LRC for a couple of FTTT magic beans. The blendeds could be the seven dwarves as they protect the "true church" from the wicked witch of Christianity.
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Old 04-24-2017, 07:20 AM   #132
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Of course you can expect the LRC rebuttal to be along the lines of King Arthur and the Knights of the round table as WN pulls the sword from the stone. They could portray WL as Jack in Jack and the Beanstalk as he trades in the milk cow of the LRC for a couple of FTTT magic beans. The blendeds could be the seven dwarves as they protect the "true church" from the wicked witch of Christianity.
ZNP - That's hilarious, Drake and I may need you on the creative team too.
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Old 04-24-2017, 12:34 PM   #133
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By this time Max Rapaport and his wife Sandee were as close to Witness Lee as anyone could be. It was obvious that Max was Lee's "right hand man". It was during this period that Max was made the scapegoat for exposing Witness Lee's son Phillip for being the serial abuser he had been for years. At that time, neither Max, nor any other of the gullible American brothers in So.Calif had any idea of how deep Witness Lee's nepotism actually ran. Max went from being one of Lee's closest and trusted confidants, to being publicly slandered with such labels as "the evil one". It wasn't long before Max was being interviewed by the LA Times and all but accused the Local Church of being a dangerous cult of sorts, and strongly encouraged parents to do what was necessary to get their children out of the movement, even to take the drastic step of employing the use of a professional "deprogrammer".

Ten years later, history repeated itself. Only this time the exposing and pressure came mostly from within the Movement itself. Once again, Phillip Lee was at the epicenter, and once again the biggest and most serious concerns were coming from Witness Lee's closest and strongest confidants. This time it was John Ingalls, Bill Mallon, John So, and just like the many other "rebellions", nobody's head was to be spared. Lee once again took his self-appointed place as prosecutor, judge and jury. "The Fermentation of The Present Rebellion" sealed the fate of all who stood accused, and all were viciously slandered, set aside and/or quarantined. Yet again, the news of "trouble within the Local Church movement" reached the secular media, and the Name and cause of Christ was besmirched and somewhat damaged because to Witness Lee, family blood ran thicker, (and the green stuff ran thicker too) and the desire to save his own skin and name, became infinitely more important than to preserve and glorify the Name and cause of Christ and his Kingdom.

-
Important to note whenever a former member presents something to contradict a LSM spin, he or she will be written off as a "disgruntled former member". If it's a current member doing it, he or she will be written off as a "disgruntled member" soon to be refused admission to any LDM.
Not once is there any concession the contrarian-speaking brothers or sisters are following their conscience, the leading of the Spirit, or staying under the headship of Christ.
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Old 05-10-2017, 11:51 AM   #134
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No room for differences. Cult members must believe exactly the same way and in exactly the same things; there is no room for disagreeing with the cult's rules or doctrines.

1 Cor 1:10 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought.
Within the context of the Bible there is no differences. It's when you make non-essential matters essential for fellowship, that's when divisions come in.

Take the Brethren of the 19th century. It resulted in division not because of the Bible but due to personalities.
Same with the recovery movement of the 20th and 21st centuries. Divisions due to personalities.
When you try to use 1 Corinthians as a basis to get unanimous support regarding quarantines, that's lacking in many areas. Not once is there's the thought, what are the facts why these brothers are being quarantined? Is there the consideration a brother is slandered and misrepresented?
Doesn't matter if that what's transpiring. Just be united in mind and thought.

Ones who have more spiritual maturity see making non-essential matters essential for fellowship such as quarantines or labeling localities as needing to be replastered as divisive. It's a message the Lord is closing one door and opening another.
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Old 05-11-2017, 12:13 PM   #135
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Within the context of the Bible there is no differences. It's when you make non-essential matters essential for fellowship, that's when divisions come in.

Take the Brethren of the 19th century. It resulted in division not because of the Bible but due to personalities.
Same with the recovery movement of the 20th and 21st centuries. Divisions due to personalities.
When you try to use 1 Corinthians as a basis to get unanimous support regarding quarantines, that's lacking in many areas. Not once is there's the thought, what are the facts why these brothers are being quarantined? Is there the consideration a brother is slandered and misrepresented?
Doesn't matter if that what's transpiring. Just be united in mind and thought.

Ones who have more spiritual maturity see making non-essential matters essential for fellowship such as quarantines or labeling localities as needing to be replastered as divisive. It's a message the Lord is closing one door and opening another.
Something Igzy said from post #98 from The Unique Move Of God thread,
"The Bible tells us to discern teachings. It tells us to discern teachers and apostles. It tells us to discern spirits. "

In the LC culture, how do you exercise discernment without being labeled "divisive", "rebellious", "independent", etc when discernment isn't corresponding to the preferred outcome of the blended brothers?
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:42 PM   #136
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In the LC culture, how do you exercise discernment . . . when discernment isn't corresponding to the preferred outcome of the blended brothers?
That's how inquiries get rigged. How otherwise legitimate research gets messed-up. People with a bias refuse to set their bias aside when they need to study the facts. Whether those facts are how to understand a statistical survey, a study under the scientific method, or a careful analysis of the meaning of words from important texts. When you start with the mindset of a hammer, you are almost certain to find nails. When you come to find out what the evidence provides, you at least have a chance at discovering something that is really there.
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:26 AM   #137
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That's how inquiries get rigged. How otherwise legitimate research gets messed-up. People with a bias refuse to set their bias aside when they need to study the facts. Whether those facts are how to understand a statistical survey, a study under the scientific method, or a careful analysis of the meaning of words from important texts. When you start with the mindset of a hammer, you are almost certain to find nails. When you come to find out what the evidence provides, you at least have a chance at discovering something that is really there.
There's this thing called respecters of persons that brothers cannot set aside. How often have you heard, "be one with the brothers"? This is in reference to deacons, elders, co-workers. There's a respect factor they have for one another. Whatever is spoken (even in error) is received as gospel. Their word is good enough. No need for any fact-checking. There's no consideration a brother would have ulterior motive behind their speaking. If brothers want to have their testimony to be transparent, produce facts.
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:09 PM   #138
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There's this thing called respecters of persons that brothers cannot set aside. How often have you heard, "be one with the brothers"? This is in reference to deacons, elders, co-workers. There's a respect factor they have for one another. Whatever is spoken (even in error) is received as gospel. Their word is good enough. No need for any fact-checking. There's no consideration a brother would have ulterior motive behind their speaking. If brothers want to have their testimony to be transparent, produce facts.
I guess that is one of those things we inherited from the indigenous source of this particular denomination. We revere others and their opinions no matter how ridiculous or unscriptural. We must not let them lose face.
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:46 AM   #139
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I guess that is one of those things we inherited from the indigenous source of this particular denomination. We revere others and their opinions no matter how ridiculous or unscriptural. We must not let them lose face.
Apply what I said to the secular arena. Suppose you want to transfer within your company to a different area or department and your manager says "you're always calling in sick" to your prospective new manager without offering facts to substantiate the claim and the prospective new manager cannot extend an interview based on that claim.
Would you say as if you would in the LC "just submit and take the cross"? A person doesn't need to subject themselves to an unjust environment. Whether in church or the workplace.
Though in the workplace many companies have a ethics department to report unethical behavior.
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Old 05-17-2017, 12:57 AM   #140
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Whatever is spoken (even in error) is received as gospel. Their word is good enough. No need for any fact-checking. There's no consideration a brother would have ulterior motive behind their speaking. If brothers want to have their testimony to be transparent, produce facts.
I recall one time, as every person took his turn to share something, how one person stood up and said something absurd. I cannot remember what he said, but it was akin to saying that Solomon was David's father, but with a serious theological message. Pardon me for not remembering what exactly he said. I only remember it to be extremely obvious. And everyone just said "Wow" or "Oh Lord Jesus".

Just because we are all together does not mean we are prophesying. I was amazed at how everyone either did not know or did not care that he was making such a mistake.

This is cultic behaviour: if you are "driven by the spirit", then whatever you are saying is gospel.
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:38 AM   #141
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I recall one time, as every person took his turn to share something, how one person stood up and said something absurd. I cannot remember what he said, but it was akin to saying that Solomon was David's father, but with a serious theological message. Pardon me for not remembering what exactly he said. I only remember it to be extremely obvious. And everyone just said "Wow" or "Oh Lord Jesus".

Just because we are all together does not mean we are prophesying. I was amazed at how everyone either did not know or did not care that he was making such a mistake.

This is cultic behaviour: if you are "driven by the spirit", then whatever you are saying is gospel.
Just because one says it is "driven by the spirit" doesn't mean it is. Could be very much speaking from the soul instead of spirit.

I hear what you're saying. Just because one is taking the floor to speak during the prophesying meeting doesn't mean there is intent to prophesy and edify. Yet that's the argument I get from non-LC brothers whenever quoting 1 Corinthians 14:26. Concern over lack of oversight when one's speaking my not be scripturally correct or is using the floor to express one's opinion.

Typical response by brothers/sisters over concerns is give them grace. They may be spiritually immature, but need to learn. On one hand it's difficult to learn if you're never corrected. If a parent never disciplines their children, how do you expect a child to grow into maturity?
On the hand regarding grace, there should be consistency. Where was grace to the Concerned brothers from the last decade or to the brothers who were quarantined in 1990, Mario Sandoval in Ontario, Ca or "Indiana" in Washington state?
Grace is not so easy to give to brothers or sisters when their "standing" is in question (i.e. can they be trusted?).
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:52 AM   #142
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I heard they get together every Sunday and pretend to eat and drink blood. Must be a cult.
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Old 05-18-2017, 06:19 AM   #143
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I heard they get together every Sunday and pretend to eat and drink blood. Must be a cult.
I've never heard this claim before, nor personally experienced anything that would lead me to believe it holds any credibility whatsoever.
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Old 05-18-2017, 07:06 AM   #144
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I've never heard this claim before, nor personally experienced anything that would lead me to believe it holds any credibility whatsoever.
I think I just described communion/mass/Eucharist/Lord's table meeting.

Just to show that any practice of Christianity can be portrayed in such a way to make it appear cult-like, when in reality it is not.
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Old 05-18-2017, 11:36 AM   #145
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I think I just described communion/mass/Eucharist/Lord's table meeting.

Just to show that any practice of Christianity can be portrayed in such a way to make it appear cult-like, when in reality it is not.
I've never heard that the LSM believes that they are actually receiving the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Christ, under the appearance of bread and wine. That is does not match with my experience in the LSM denomination either.

Is this what you practice in your locality? It would be very unusual to deviate from what is prescribed in Anaheim. Hope you lease your facilities or the blended brothers may be coming after your assets. Alert the elders.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:06 PM   #146
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I've never heard that the LSM believes that they are actually receiving the Body and Blood, soul and divinity of Christ, under the appearance of bread and wine. That is does not match with my experience in the LSM denomination either.

Is this what you practice in your locality? It would be very unusual to deviate from what is prescribed in Anaheim. Hope you lease your facilities or the blended brothers may be coming after your assets. Alert the elders.
I said "pretending". We can see how easy it is to make a standard church practice seem like a sinister cult-like practice. The reality is, that every Sunday, Christians gather to pretend to drink blood and eat flesh. Catholics gather to actually eat blood and drink flesh. Sounds even more cult-like.
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Old 05-18-2017, 04:35 PM   #147
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I said "pretending". We can see how easy it is to make a standard church practice seem like a sinister cult-like practice. The reality is, that every Sunday, Christians gather to pretend to drink blood and eat flesh. Catholics gather to actually eat blood and drink flesh. Sounds even more cult-like.
You "pretend" to drink blood on Sundays? That's a weird mindset to have while taking communion.

How does this fit into the thread? The initial points are below. I think most people on this forum understand that is the Catholic position. They also could have guessed you'd be the happy to condemn their denomination.

All-knowing leadership.

No room for differences.

A new and better way.

Down on Christian doctrine.

Scriptures get an added twist.

"Christians are wrong" mentality.

Works prove faith.

Salvation is a big unknown.

No exit.
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:21 PM   #148
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Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
You "pretend" to drink blood on Sundays? That's a weird mindset to have while taking communion.

How does this fit into the thread? The initial points are below. I think most people on this forum understand that is the Catholic position. They also could have guessed you'd be the happy to condemn their denomination.

All-knowing leadership.

No room for differences.

A new and better way.

Down on Christian doctrine.

Scriptures get an added twist.

"Christians are wrong" mentality.

Works prove faith.

Salvation is a big unknown.

No exit.
If it is not pretending to drink blood and eat the flesh of Christ, then what is it? Do you even know what you are doing when you take communion? Are you just drink some juice and wafer?
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:39 PM   #149
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If it is not pretending to drink blood and eat the flesh of Christ, then what is it? Do you even know what you are doing when you take communion? Are you just drink some juice and wafer?
The Lord's Supper is a practice that is laid out in scripture where believers come together and eat bread (which signifies Christ's body that He has laid down for us) and drink the cup (which signifies the New Covenant promised through the blood of Christ). We do these things in remembrance of the Lord and await His return with a thankful heart. We don't partake of Christ's body and blood literally or physically, but spiritually. And we are nourished by the grace of God through the work of Jesus on the cross.

We don't pretend that we're drinking physical blood or flesh. Hopefully, we don't just "drink some juice and wafer".
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Old 05-18-2017, 05:54 PM   #150
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The Lord's Supper is a practice that is laid out in scripture where believers come together and eat bread (which signifies Christ's body that He has laid down for us) and drink the cup (which signifies the New Covenant promised through the blood of Christ). We do these things in remembrance of the Lord and await His return with a thankful heart. We don't partake of Christ's body and blood literally or physically, but spiritually. And we are nourished by the grace of God through the work of Jesus on the cross.

We don't pretend that we're drinking physical blood or flesh. Hopefully, we don't just "drink some juice and wafer".
I know what you mean about partaking spiritually. But I think if we eat bread and drink wine which signifies blood, spiritually, or symbolically, we are pretending to eat flesh and drink blood. If it's not real, then it's pretend. Baptism also has some pretend things in it. When we go into the water we pretend we are dying and being buried.
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Old 05-19-2017, 05:52 AM   #151
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I know what you mean about partaking spiritually. But I think if we eat bread and drink wine which signifies blood, spiritually, or symbolically, we are pretending to eat flesh and drink blood. If it's not real, then it's pretend. Baptism also has some pretend things in it. When we go into the water we pretend we are dying and being buried.
This is real stuff, not pretend.

1 Corinthians 11:27-32
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

Romans 6: 3-4
3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
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Old 05-19-2017, 08:43 PM   #152
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This is real stuff, not pretend.

1 Corinthians 11:27-32
27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. 28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup. 29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves. 30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. 31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment. 32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

Romans 6: 3-4
3 Or do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into His death? 4 Therefore we have been buried with Him through baptism into death, so that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.
I'm confused now, are you now saying that we really do eat the body and drink the blood of Christ on Sundays?
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Old 05-20-2017, 05:24 AM   #153
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I'm confused now, are you now saying that we really do eat the body and drink the blood of Christ on Sundays?
Please stop trolling
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