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Old 02-15-2015, 04:11 PM   #1
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Default Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

I've been wanting to start a thread on this for a while, so here goes. I have become increasingly convinced that the format of letting or expecting everyone to speak in a meeting is not profitable, especially with larger meetings. I understand that the original intention of this was to allow those who wanted to speak the opportunity to do so, however, what it has changed into is a practice that is quite frustrating at times. I'm sure this is all old news to everyone here, so I want to post a quote of WL in the Life-Study of Matthew in regards to the practice of prophesying/speaking in the meetings:

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Not everyone has the ability to speak in the meeting. I would like to say a word of comfort to those who were not born with the ability to speak well. There is no need for you to speak in the meetings. In order to make a show that everyone functions in the meetings, the elders sometimes try to make people function. The elders may say, “If you do not function, you are not in the flow. You are not up-to-date.” This kind of word frustrates those who cannot speak well from coming to the meetings. They will be afraid to come to the meetings because the elders might force them to function. An attitude has been created that it is a shame not to speak in the meetings, but that it is glorious to do so. Yes, a number of years ago I did say that we can all prophesy one by one. At that time, I was genuinely burdened to encourage everyone to speak. But since that time a misleading attitude has been created regarding functioning in the meetings. Although I do not wish to stop anyone from speaking, I want to point out that functioning in the church life is not merely a matter of speaking. The Life-Study of Matthew, Message 66
I first read the LS of Matthew a number of years ago, and I happened to notice what he said in this excerpt. I thought it sounded a little odd in the current LC context, however, I just moved on. When I read this same excerpt now, I see that WL deviated from what could be considered to be a reasonable view regarding speaking in the meetings. In a way, it is not solely the fault of "the elders" for creating the view that it's shameful not to speak in the meetings. That was mostly Lee's fault IMO. So although Lee is being a little dishonest with what he said here, it shows a better attitude than what can be found currently.

The attitude that I find now, is that although you can get away with not speaking in the meeting, it is highly frowned upon. The idea is that if you don't "flow out", you can't go on in the Lord. Because the meeting format is completely "open", if no one gets up to speak, there is no meeting. Many times I have encountered minutes of awkward silence when no one wants to stand up to say anything. Is this how meetings (especially big meetings) should really be held? In essence, because a meeting is dependent upon people getting up to speak, speaking in a meeting is not as "optional" as it seems.

Even in times where everyone wants to speak, then there are other issues that arise. In many large gatherings like conferences and trainings, each person might be given like 30 seconds to say something, and this usually means declaring a sentence from an outline. What is the value in doing that? In my mind this whole practice of allowing everyone to speak has completely lost it's value.
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Old 02-15-2015, 08:02 PM   #2
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

I grew up in a generation where prophesying in meetings was not according to Holy Word for Morning Revival, but according to your daily experience of Christ throughout the week. As a young brother, I benefited from sisters and brothers speaking. I received a picture what it is and how one experiences Christ.
Now there is no substance in the words spoken. I see no difference between Holy Word for Morning Revival and prepared responses for ones meeting at a Catholic mass. There's no reality of the words you utter. It's not your experience and thus not your thought of the words being spoken.
The current format of prophesying, there's no checks in place for brothers and sisters who use prophesying as a means to put down non-LSM churches.
If there's ones visiting when this occurs, there runs the risk of stumbling your visitors.
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Old 02-15-2015, 09:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

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I grew up in a generation where prophesying in meetings was not according to Holy Word for Morning Revival, but according to your daily experience of Christ throughout the week. As a young brother, I benefited from sisters and brothers speaking. I received a picture what it is and how one experiences Christ.
Now there is no substance in the words spoken. I see no difference between Holy Word for Morning Revival and prepared responses for ones meeting at a Catholic mass. There's no reality of the words you utter. It's not your experience and thus not your thought of the words being spoken.
The current format of prophesying, there's no checks in place for brothers and sisters who use prophesying as a means to put down non-LSM churches.
If there's ones visiting when this occurs, there runs the risk of stumbling your visitors.
I think there are plenty of situations where a format of having a meeting open for anyone to speak is beneficial. Perhaps not in a really big meeting, but I don't see the problem with other meetings. My biggest gripe about the LC prophesying meetings is that the prophesying is utterly lacking in substance. Countless times I have heard people stand up an say: "I didn't really understand the HWMR this week, but I am going to speak by faith...." Others will stand up and recite outline points or whatever. I don't see many examples of people really enjoy reading it. That lead me to assume that it's not as beneficial as it's made out to be. I certainly haven't received much benefit from the times when I actually read it. So to bad a whole meeting off a book that people don't understand or benefit from?!?!?!?
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:06 PM   #4
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

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I think there are plenty of situations where a format of having a meeting open for anyone to speak is beneficial. Perhaps not in a really big meeting, but I don't see the problem with other meetings. My biggest gripe about the LC prophesying meetings is that the prophesying is utterly lacking in substance. Countless times I have heard people stand up an say: "I didn't really understand the HWMR this week, but I am going to speak by faith...."
I know! Lacking in substance and what is the practical application of what they're reciting?
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Old 02-16-2015, 06:16 PM   #5
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I know! Lacking in substance and what is the practical application of what they're reciting?
The lacking in substance is exemplified when I look around at all those in the meeting. Some are nodding off, some are on their phones, and some are chatting. I would say a majority aren't really paying attention. What reason is there to?
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

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The lacking in substance is exemplified when I look around at all those in the meeting. Some are nodding off, some are on their phones, and some are chatting. I would say a majority aren't really paying attention. What reason is there to?
We were deceived into believing that merely the repetition of a dead man's doctrines was genuine prophesying which would build up the church.

If the Blendeds ever found out which LC you are from, they would immediately call your elders in and read them the riot act for allowing the saints to be bored while listening to the "greatest ministry on earth."
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:25 AM   #7
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

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"I didn't really understand the HWMR this week, but I am going to speak by faith...."
Another example of lots of words not spoken with intelligence rather than 5 with intelligence. If they had just stopped at "I didn't really understand the HWMR this week" it might have been meaningful.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:28 AM   #8
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If the Blendeds ever found out which LC you are from, they would immediately call your elders in and read them the riot act for allowing the saints to be bored while listening to the "greatest ministry on earth."
If the Blendeds ever found out what LC I am from they would probably have me "quarantined".

I haven't visited a large number of LCs, but I would guess that this boredom syndrome is somewhat common. I have seen elders frustrated more than once at the lack of help the HWMR provides or even the ministry as a whole. But what can they do? They are powerless to change anything.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:47 AM   #9
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Another example of lots of words not spoken with intelligence rather than 5 with intelligence. If they had just stopped at "I didn't really understand the HWMR this week" it might have been meaningful.
Sometimes when people aren't sure what to say, it is probably better to say nothing. It reminds me of these verses:

Mark 9:5-6 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.

When I've been in situations where someone wants me to share, and I say that I didn't understand the HWMR, or that I haven't experienced what the HWMR is talking about they typical responses are someone saying "don't get into your mind about it" or "speak by faith, not by experience". Those kinds of things don't help someone. It's encouraging someone to speak who really shouldn't. When there are the times when I feel that I really have something, beneficial to share, I will do so. Otherwise, I remain silent. Unfortunately, silence is viewed as something negative.
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:22 AM   #10
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

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If the Blendeds ever found out what LC I am from they would probably have me "quarantined".

I haven't visited a large number of LCs, but I would guess that this boredom syndrome is somewhat common. I have seen elders frustrated more than once at the lack of help the HWMR provides or even the ministry as a whole. But what can they do? They are powerless to change anything.
The shepherds primary responsibility is to lead the sheep to green pastures. If these shepherd/elders cannot steer the church towards the ministry they need, then they have become useless robots and man-pleasers.

I left my last LC for this very reason. I had migrated there in the early 80's to help start this new church, and was completely vested in her health and well-being. If the "appointed" elders are not permitted to be real elders / shepherds over the flock of God, then they have been neutered and nigh unto useless. Even Witness Lee is on record saying that LC elders "can decide when to start their prayer meeting." That's an elder?!?

During my final days in the LC, I deaconed under three "elders" who were all basically full-timer employees of Titus Chu in Cleveland. I kindly pointed out that there existed a terrible conflict of interest in their roles. Our newly appointed "leader," a recent immigrant from the Chicago area, considered my honest observations to be "strong accusations," and that they had the right to fellowship with whomever they please (referring to Titus Chu and company.)

The three elders then called me in privately and demanded that I apologize to the other 4 deacons who were present at the time, which I gladly did. I went to each of them privately to "confess my sin," and they all agreed with me. Then I resigned my services. Today all of these other deacons are gone too.
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:24 AM   #11
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

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Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
Sometimes when people aren't sure what to say, it is probably better to say nothing. It reminds me of these verses:

Mark 9:5-6 Then Peter answered and said to Jesus, “Rabbi, it is good for us to be here; and let us make three tabernacles: one for You, one for Moses, and one for Elijah”— because he did not know what to say, for they were greatly afraid.
Excellent observation and excellent citing of a verse to back it up!

Quote:
Unfortunately, silence is viewed as something negative.
And this reminds me of this verse:
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”
Psalm 46:10

After departing the LC it took me years to be able to just sit quietly in a room alone, to pray or maybe even just be alone with my thoughts (gasp!) I kept waiting to see if God or at least some angel would do the amening after every word. Sometimes, in order to know that He is God we must be still.
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:34 AM   #12
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When I've been in situations where someone wants me to share, and I say that I didn't understand the HWMR, or that I haven't experienced what the HWMR is talking about they typical responses are someone saying "don't get into your mind about it" or "speak by faith, not by experience". Those kinds of things don't help someone. It's encouraging someone to speak who really shouldn't. When there are the times when I feel that I really have something, beneficial to share, I will do so. Otherwise, I remain silent. Unfortunately, silence is viewed as something negative.
I know those feelings well. In the GLA, we would usually assign a brother or two (me included) who would prepare an opening and closing word for the prophesying time after the Lord's Table meeting. Whether I opened, closed, or just added my little bit, I always took this time seriously, and would prepare for, at minimum, several hours during the week ahead.

The HWFMR was like chewing on newspaper -- dead dry and lifeless. I could read it for hours and never benefit from it. But I needed something real and living to speak to others, so I always went back to the scriptures to find the anointing. Who could complain, since I used the same verses?
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Old 02-17-2015, 02:54 PM   #13
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

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Our newly appointed "leader," a recent immigrant from the Chicago area, considered my honest observations to be "strong accusations," and that they had the right to fellowship with whomever they please (referring to Titus Chu and company.)

The three elders then called me in privately and demanded that I apologize to the other 4 deacons who were present at the time, which I gladly did. I went to each of them privately to "confess my sin," and they all agreed with me. Then I resigned my services. Today all of these other deacons are gone too.
I thought the saying went, "We don't care for right and wrong -- we only care for life..."? If we only care for life, then why did so many people leave? Too much life?
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:47 PM   #14
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I thought the saying went, "We don't care for right and wrong -- we only care for life..."? If we only care for life, then why did so many people leave? Too much life?
It's the life life life that makes us want to get-out...
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Old 02-17-2015, 05:52 PM   #15
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I know those feelings well. In the GLA, we would usually assign a brother or two (me included) who would prepare an opening and closing word for the prophesying time after the Lord's Table meeting. Whether I opened, closed, or just added my little bit, I always took this time seriously, and would prepare for, at minimum, several hours during the week ahead.

The HWFMR was like chewing on newspaper -- dead dry and lifeless. I could read it for hours and never benefit from it. But I needed something real and living to speak to others, so I always went back to the scriptures to find the anointing. Who could complain, since I used the same verses?
Usually one or more brothers will "open" the prophesying and another brother will close. Particularly with those who do the opening, half the time it will consist of just telling everyone what to do: "Let's all read the verses on day 1, then pray-read them..." or "Let's have sisters read Roman Numeral 1 and brothers will read Roman Numeral 2..." I am perfectly serious when I say this. I have heard openings that just consist asking everyone to do things like this.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:09 PM   #16
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I thought the saying went, "We don't care for right and wrong -- we only care for life..."? If we only care for life, then why did so many people leave? Too much life?
It should be re-phrased like this:

"We don't care for right and wrong--we only care for indifference."

Now that would be spot on, because the elders and coworkers don't want you or I making an issue of persons, matters, or things. Whether right or wrong, the elders and coworkers just want everyone to go on positively.
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Old 02-17-2015, 06:17 PM   #17
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Usually one or more brothers will "open" the prophesying and another brother will close. Particularly with those who do the opening, half the time it will consist of just telling everyone what to do: "Let's all read the verses on day 1, then pray-read them..." or "Let's have sisters read Roman Numeral 1 and brothers will read Roman Numeral 2..." I am perfectly serious when I say this. I have heard openings that just consist asking everyone to do things like this.
I understand that completely, it all came down to how much we had prepared, and how mature we are -- that determined the value of our gatherings.

Lee's program of "each one has ... " resulted in both the good and the worthless. Many a meeting I have left weary after listening to others, and of course them listening to me. Ministering on a regular basis to others is no easy endeavor. I will ever be thankful for all the training and encouragement I have received in the LC's to speak for the Lord. On the other hand, I was also upset when I discovered that Lee's motive was not just to help the one-talented members like myself, but to neutralize all the other gifted members that might be a rival to him.
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Old 02-17-2015, 07:02 PM   #18
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I will ever be thankful for all the training and encouragement I have received in the LC's to speak for the Lord. On the other hand, I was also upset when I discovered that Lee's motive was not just to help the one-talented members like myself, but to neutralize all the other gifted members that might be a rival to him.
I would say that there were some positive things gained from this practice, if nothing else, learning to speak in front of people and learning to speak the Word.

In regards to all the "one-talented" members, I often wonder how necessary it really is to posses certain skills that should by no means be an expectation that someone. I will give an example of what I mean by this. Something I have seen is with many FTTA graduates, they will be put in situations where they have to speak more than an "opening word", such as maybe a short message or something like that. In some of the YP or college conferences, they will have random younger FTTA graduate type brothers give the messages. Not necessarily a problem, however, it's not as simple as asking them to speak and then letting them go do their thing. Quite the contrary, they are given an outline to speak from, and it is pretty obvious that someone is behind it all, "fellowship" with them on what to speak, how to speak, etc. I have listened to a number of messages given by inexperienced speakers, some can do a good job, others don't. I've never made is a point to try and judge anyone.

In my eyes the problem is that they put so many in a position where they are supposed to learn a skill, rather than exercise a gift. In the original excerpt I posted, I think Lee recognized that some don't have the gift to speak, and shouldn't, but that attitude is long gone. Instead many are put into shoes that they can't fill or even shouldn't fill. Some brothers can speak fine, but that doesn't mean their speaking is of any value.

Getting back to what Ohio posted, when all the "one talented" members can supposedly do the task that perhaps a gifted member should do, it essentially negates the function of someone who has a particular gift, such as the gift of ministering.
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Old 02-18-2015, 06:37 AM   #19
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I would say that there were some positive things gained from this practice, if nothing else, learning to speak in front of people and learning to speak the Word.
But we don't gather together to have a Christian Toastmasters organization. It is to focus on Christ, not on us. That is one of the flaws of the "every meeting should have a testimony meeting section" mentality. It turns too much of the focus from Him to us — even when what we say includes reference to Him.

As far as meaningful prophesying is concerned, if the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, then I would presume that they are not often standing up to speak something that suddenly came over them, although that can happen. But, like the ones who gathered at Pentecost, and were then there to teach in the temple for the new church, they were trained. They were chosen for the task, so we cannot dismiss that it was also giftedness. They got over three years of training. But as they were learning, their giftedness was not so evident at times.

Yes, there are times that there is something that must be said on short notice, but even that is usually not from a vacuum, but from a wealth of knowledge and experience (for some, more knowledge and for others more experience, but except where there is literally something new spoken by God through a person, not new).

I can't comment on the ways of the FTTA because, at some level, it is like a seminary. It may fail in the charge to really teach sound principles of the study, exposition, and preaching of the Word, but it still is a seminary. And no matter your giftedness, if you are called to teach, then you will usually require some experience before it at least seems natural. (I know some who will say that it is never as easy at it seems.) So giving them an outline and coaching them on how to approach it is not necessarily something bad. The bad, if there is any, is somewhere else. It may be in the complete lack of true training. It may be in the very thing that they are charged to speak.

And it may be in the nature of the system within which the speaking is done.

But expecting anyone to avoid all kinds of instruction as they learn to speak before the group is not reasonable. Even for the LCM.
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Old 02-18-2015, 07:46 AM   #20
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As far as meaningful prophesying is concerned, if the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, then I would presume that they are not often standing up to speak something that suddenly came over them, although that can happen. But, like the ones who gathered at Pentecost, and were then there to teach in the temple for the new church, they were trained. They were chosen for the task, so we cannot dismiss that it was also giftedness. They got over three years of training. But as they were learning, their giftedness was not so evident at times.

Yes, there are times that there is something that must be said on short notice, but even that is usually not from a vacuum, but from a wealth of knowledge and experience (for some, more knowledge and for others more experience, but except where there is literally something new spoken by God through a person, not new).

I can't comment on the ways of the FTTA because, at some level, it is like a seminary. It may fail in the charge to really teach sound principles of the study, exposition, and preaching of the Word, but it still is a seminary. And no matter your giftedness, if you are called to teach, then you will usually require some experience before it at least seems natural. (I know some who will say that it is never as easy at it seems.) So giving them an outline and coaching them on how to approach it is not necessarily something bad. The bad, if there is any, is somewhere else. It may be in the complete lack of true training. It may be in the very thing that they are charged to speak.

And it may be in the nature of the system within which the speaking is done.

But expecting anyone to avoid all kinds of instruction as they learn to speak before the group is not reasonable. Even for the LCM.
To me, I don't think the issue is so much that they are encouraging or pushing inexperienced brothers to speak, it's that they don't take into consideration who would really be best to fit that role. Moving beyond just the young FTTA graduates, it's a phenomenon I've seen elsewhere in the LC. They seem to think that any "active" brother is a good candidate to be trained in who to speak a short message or more than just something in a prophesying meeting. The problem is that just because someone is handed an outline and told what to speak that doesn't mean that they are going to do a good job. Some times I've seen brothers just read off an outline, and it was obvious that there was a disconnect to the outline that they were supposed to be speaking from.
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Old 02-18-2015, 08:46 AM   #21
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To me, I don't think the issue is so much that they are encouraging or pushing inexperienced brothers to speak, it's that they don't take into consideration who would really be best to fit that role. Moving beyond just the young FTTA graduates, it's a phenomenon I've seen elsewhere in the LC. They seem to think that any "active" brother is a good candidate to be trained in who to speak a short message or more than just something in a prophesying meeting. The problem is that just because someone is handed an outline and told what to speak that doesn't mean that they are going to do a good job. Some times I've seen brothers just read off an outline, and it was obvious that there was a disconnect to the outline that they were supposed to be speaking from.
I still feel it is profitable to give every brother some opportunity to speak publicly for the Lord in a local church setting. Time will manifest whether he has been gifted by the Lord. What about those who get saved in college or afterwards, and never had the chance to go to a Christian college or seminary?

I know OBW gets heartburn every time I mention something positive about LC practices, but that's what I have concluded. The most serious failures of LC leadership were not initially their teachings or practices, but their abuses, coverups of their unrighteousness, and corruption.

That's my story. I'm sticking to it. OBW I'll send you some Tums.
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:56 AM   #22
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I still feel it is profitable to give every brother some opportunity to speak publicly for the Lord in a local church setting. Time will manifest whether he has been gifted by the Lord. What about those who get saved in college or afterwards, and never had the chance to go to a Christian college or seminary?

I know OBW gets heartburn every time I mention something positive about LC practices, but that's what I have concluded. The most serious failures of LC leadership were not initially their teachings or practices, but their abuses, coverups of their unrighteousness, and corruption.

That's my story. I'm sticking to it. OBW I'll send you some Tums.
Just as I hear in local church settings, criticism of non-LSM churches that employ a pastor there's the reverse criticism; a word of caution towards the practice of everyone speaking. Some may speak an edifying word according to the Word, but there runs the risk of speaking differently from the Word. It's alarming there's no checks and balances in place against "speaking differently".
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:48 PM   #23
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I know OBW gets heartburn every time I mention something positive about LC practices, but that's what I have concluded.
You can save your Tums. I don't get heartburn. But I think I am seeing something that is worth at least considering. And it is not that everything about the LCM was wrong, evil, or corrupt. It is that the primary source of anything that caused there to be a LCM — Nee and Lee, now propped-up by the BBs, kind of like Bernie — did not pass the qualifications to actually be a minister of the Word no matter how gifted they may have seemed to be, therefore the group that collected around them should just back away and, in the words of Officer Barbrady "move along . . . there's nothing to see here."

I am not saying that the people should necessarily disband entirely. But they need new leadership and a new focus. If they can truly get it on their own, then OK. But my fear is that there is nothing to be gained to sticking together separate from others except for a lack of clarity on what is still hanging on you/us that needs to be removed. As long as we remain isolated from the rest of Christianity, it will be a fight to get sober. Like continuing to go to the bar while resisting the urge to drink.

And just like not everything that goes on at a bar is not bad, neither is everything that goes on in the LCM. And not every teaching of the LCM is bad. But to what extent are we still affected by Lee's leaven that is permeating even seemingly good and normal teachings. Do we still think of almost every teaching just a little different from how others see it. And it bothers us? Where did the difference come from? And how likely are you to figure it out if your source is still from the inside.

And I know that you are no longer on the inside. And over time — starting before you left all the way up to now — you are seeing different things that you did not see 6 years ago . . . 4 years ago . . . last year . . . even last month or yesterday.

I've been out for almost 28 years and I still see differences during the past year. But do you think I would be seeing it if I was still clinging to what I learned there? Outside of a real sense of friendship and fellowship which is somewhat difficult to duplicate, I'm not sure I really want what I learned there if I haven't come across it on the outside since. And that extra special fellowship may have been the result of all us prisoners sticking together. (Yeah, I know. Probably a little extreme, and I'm not sure I buy it either. But I don't think it was really about what Lee taught us. It was about who we were.)
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Old 02-18-2015, 10:22 PM   #24
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I still feel it is profitable to give every brother some opportunity to speak publicly for the Lord in a local church setting. Time will manifest whether he has been gifted by the Lord. What about those who get saved in college or afterwards, and never had the chance to go to a Christian college or seminary?

I know OBW gets heartburn every time I mention something positive about LC practices, but that's what I have concluded. The most serious failures of LC leadership were not initially their teachings or practices, but their abuses, coverups of their unrighteousness, and corruption.

That's my story. I'm sticking to it. OBW I'll send you some Tums.
But profitable for what? We weren't building up something of God, we were building up Witness Lee's personal empire. Which is now the Blended Brothers' personal empire. Which was supposed to have become Titus Chu's personal empire (at least in his mind).

And we were also building up little fiefdoms within the little empires.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:51 AM   #25
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But profitable for what? We weren't building up something of God, we were building up Witness Lee's personal empire. Which is now the Blended Brothers' personal empire. Which was supposed to have become Titus Chu's personal empire (at least in his mind).

And we were also building up little fiefdoms within the little empires.
Profitable for me personally, and the saints i loved. Helping me as a young, self-conscious kid to mature. Challenging me to study the word until i was able to speak it to others, and praying to the Lord until i found inspiration and the anointing of the Spirit.

I will always treasure that entire dynamic. It had nothing to do with some remote headquarters. It was all together wrapped with me, the Bible, the Lord, and my local audience.

And those brothers and sisters around me, who went through the same labor dynamic, were tremendously beneficial to my learning, growth, and encouragement.
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Old 02-19-2015, 05:49 AM   #26
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Profitable for me personally, and the saints i loved. Helping me as a young, self-conscious kid to mature. Challenging me to study the word until i was able to speak it to others, and praying to the Lord until i found inspiration and the anointing of the Spirit.
But what did "profitable for me personally" really get us? Better hooks to draw us back. An itch that could only be scratched at the tree in the middle of the "prophesying" times in the LCM?

Yes there was the challenge to know why we believed what we did. But even in those days when we were challenged to study the word to support it, was it really the word that we studied, or Lee's version, or his interpretation of it? If the challenge still exists today to study the un-interpreted word and you grow away from that rotten core, then I can agree. But I cannot assume that everyone manages to become so free of the hooks that are there.

And what was the indicator that we had the inspiration and anointing of the Lord and the Spirit? Too often feedback from others who were mired in the same cesspool. The ones that are still there defending the very things that eventually drove you out.

I am convinced that even though it has been a few years now, you are still too close to the leeks and garlic of the LCM and think that it is valuable.

I know that you don't want to consider that this might be a possibility. That prefer what Steve I wants, and that is everything Lee taught except Deputy Authority and maybe the ground and none of the unrighteous shenanigans. But everything else. You have not seen the traces of Lee's errors that dwell in so many of the even the most benign, normal teachings that we are convinced align with the rest of Christianity.

It is a package deal. Basic salvation may not have been polluted. But even maybe that was. Do you really think that saying three words "Oh Lord Jesus" actually saves you? There is power in the words only if you understand what they mean and you mean them when you say it. If it is merely three words that someone gets you excited enough to repeat a few times, louder each time due to the response of the crowd, are you sure that there was any declaration that Jesus was Lord, even for a moment, in that person's thinking, belief, or life?

But we had a better way. It is everywhere. You saw the bullying. You saw the results of the teachings. If Paul were here today he would speak to the church in [city] and say "instruct some not to teach differently. They are teaching things that result in bullies, fears, pride, and hero worship rather than the orderly working out of God's kingdom, which is by faith."

The problem is that it is not the odd teacher under the oversight of a Timothy that is teaching those wrong things. It is every teacher in the place. Not because they are always willful participants in the errors, but because they have been duped into believing it all. Our Timothy, and for that matter, Paul, were the source of the errant teachings. There was no one guarding the sheep against the wolves. The wolves were the lead shepherds.

You have to reject the source of the error. And it is Lee. And, unfortunately, it is the local elders no matter how honorable they would be in a different system.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:37 AM   #27
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But we had a better way. It is everywhere. You saw the bullying. You saw the results of the teachings. If Paul were here today he would speak to the church in [city] and say "instruct some not to teach differently. They are teaching things that result in bullies, fears, pride, and hero worship rather than the orderly working out of God's kingdom, which is by faith."

The problem is that it is not the odd teacher under the oversight of a Timothy that is teaching those wrong things. It is every teacher in the place. Not because they are always willful participants in the errors, but because they have been duped into believing it all. Our Timothy, and for that matter, Paul, were the source of the errant teachings. There was no one guarding the sheep against the wolves. The wolves were the lead shepherds.

You have to reject the source of the error. And it is Lee. And, unfortunately, it is the local elders no matter how honorable they would be in a different system.
When someone such as myself has spent their whole life in the LC, this is much easier said than done. The second problem is what to disregard and what, if anything, to hold onto. I think for anyone who experienced salvation in a LC environment, that experience is something that will always be viewed positively. I can think of some positive LC experiences thereafter as well. I might be inclined to attribute some of my positive experiences to some of what Lee taught, but to be honest I can't be so sure as to whether his teachings ever resulted in that or not. The problem for me is if I just disregard those positive experiences, where do I end up? It just makes things all the more confusing. No matter how disillusioned with the LC I am, what I've experienced in the LC (both the good and the bad) will be with me for as long as I'm alive.
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Old 02-19-2015, 07:40 AM   #28
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Profitable for me personally, and the saints i loved. Helping me as a young, self-conscious kid to mature. Challenging me to study the word until i was able to speak it to others, and praying to the Lord until i found inspiration and the anointing of the Spirit.

I will always treasure that entire dynamic. It had nothing to do with some remote headquarters. It was all together wrapped with me, the Bible, the Lord, and my local audience.

And those brothers and sisters around me, who went through the same labor dynamic, were tremendously beneficial to my learning, growth, and encouragement.
To me it feels that this practice felt more profitable to me when I was younger and over the years, I felt more and more frustrated with it. So over the years, it didn't feel as profitable as it once was, especially when I saw how it was being carried out. I don't really know though. It's something that I can view both positively and negatively and sometimes I go back and forth about it in my mind.
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Old 02-19-2015, 08:48 AM   #29
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But what did "profitable for me personally" really get us? Better hooks to draw us back. An itch that could only be scratched at the tree in the middle of the "prophesying" times in the LCM?
Sometimes I think you are so obsessed with Lee's faults that you can't see anything objectively. Even Christian psychologists warn of the dangers of looking back with only bitterness and rancor. Doesn't God work all things for good? Are you so bothered that I would remember anything positive in my LC experience?

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And what was the indicator that we had the inspiration and anointing of the Lord and the Spirit? Too often feedback from others who were mired in the same cesspool. The ones that are still there defending the very things that eventually drove you out. I am convinced that even though it has been a few years now, you are still too close to the leeks and garlic of the LCM and think that it is valuable.
And how do we know that what you post has any value? How do we know whether or not your mind has been pickled in the AOG/LCM/IBC brines, and not God's word? I have no idea whether you had any inspiration and anointing of the Lord and the Spirit. But I can speak for myself, and I get a little disturbed with this OBW shadow following me around and claiming my thoughts are "mired in the same cesspool." Does it disturb you that much that I say anything good about that place? Get over it bro!

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It is a package deal. Basic salvation may not have been polluted. But even maybe that was. Do you really think that saying three words "Oh Lord Jesus" actually saves you? There is power in the words only if you understand what they mean and you mean them when you say it.
And where in the world did i ever say that? I have never heard anyone say that, not even Lee. I have always said that we are saved by grace thru faith. (Eph 2.8) If you are going to refute this statement taken out of context, then why don't you also go after "the sinner's prayer." Do you really think that someone can repeat a few words off a sheet of paper and be actually saved?

Read Romans 10.13 and tell me what it says. Are you telling me that no one has ever been saved during a calamity by crying out to God?
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Old 02-19-2015, 09:51 AM   #30
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RE: Ohio and OBW discussion.

Saying you got some good out of something is not the same as recommending it to others. I probably have gotten some good from Taco Bell, but I wouldn't go around recommending it because there are better restaurants.

Most of us got some good from the LCM, some of which may have been difficult to get elsewhere. The basic healthy teachings of the Brethren and the inner life teachers are only recently finding their way into the mainstream, forty years after we heard them.

What I still take with me from the LCM that is precious is that God is in me as the Spirit close and available with all his Triune riches for me to enjoy. I'm not saying you couldn't get something similar somewhere else now, but you'd probably have to wait or dig for it. I also got a great appreciation of the generality of the Church and the equal status of the members. The idea of generality is now in the mainstream, but only with the advent of the community church movement, which is only about 20 or so years old.

Now, both these things eventually got distorted in the LCM, almost beyond recognition. But that didn't stop God from impressing me with the essential TRUTH of these matters and of others, which has remained after the dross of unnecessary LCM enhancements was burned away.

Like I said, saying you got good out of something is not the same as recommending it. Anyway, the LCM I got good out of doesn't exist anymore, so I couldn't recommend it if I wanted to.
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Old 02-19-2015, 10:04 AM   #31
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Like I said, saying you got good out of something is not the same as recommending it. Anyway, the LCM I got good out of doesn't exist anymore anyway, so I couldn't recommend it if I wanted to.
That's right. The good is long gone. Kind of like Taco Bell. I remember back in the mid-70's going with some friends there. I had a great chicken burrito supreme. What a great first impression! Then I tried it a few more times, and it was just not the same. Never went back. Maybe it was just good because I had the munchies.
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Old 02-19-2015, 12:38 PM   #32
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Anyway, the LCM I got good out of doesn't exist anymore, so I couldn't recommend it if I wanted to.
I couldn't agree with you more. Not since 1986 in my experience. Now the LCM is just a shadow of what it used to be.

What I can recommend is to read Leading with Love by Alexander Strauch. In my opinion this book trumps anything Living Stream can publish.
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Old 02-19-2015, 03:22 PM   #33
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When someone such as myself has spent their whole life in the LC, this is much easier said than done. The second problem is what to disregard and what, if anything, to hold onto. I think for anyone who experienced salvation in a LC environment, that experience is something that will always be viewed positively. I can think of some positive LC experiences thereafter as well. I might be inclined to attribute some of my positive experiences to some of what Lee taught, but to be honest I can't be so sure as to whether his teachings ever resulted in that or not. The problem for me is if I just disregard those positive experiences, where do I end up? It just makes things all the more confusing. No matter how disillusioned with the LC I am, what I've experienced in the LC (both the good and the bad) will be with me for as long as I'm alive.
No one would suggest that you disregard your salvation. When I mentioned in some post a potential problem with those get-them-excited-to-stand-and-say-Oh-Lord-Jesus, it does not mean that those persons are never saved. But when they walk out the door and go back to their old life and never really look back, is it reasonable to declare that they were actually saved? If just saying the words is enough, then the answer is "yes." But is just saying the words enough? That is the real questions.

As for positive experiences, I cannot comment on experiences of anyone. But to let experiences be the guidepost for what you think about the place you were sitting when you had the experience, or the quality of the teachings that were being dished out at the time, or in general by the place where you had the experience is to allow your emotions and feelings to define what is and what is not of God. Getting saved in the LCM does not make it a reasonable place to remain as a Christian. But it also does not taint your salvation. Salvation is between you and God. It cannot be taken away by a wealth of lousy teachings in your proximity.

That the whole of your LCM experience will be with you for your entire life, even if you walk away today, is a fact. It is the same with almost anything about our lives. But at the same time, everything that we have been through does not necessarily define us or rule us for all of our lives. I know that it is not necessarily a popular analogy, but it can be applied positively.

A recovered alcoholic (who will refer to him/herself as an alcoholic for the rest of their life) has a lot of experience. It includes everything that led to their problem, the darkest times in the emotional/spiritual/physical hell that comes with it, the typically lengthy struggle to come out of that, and then the period of recovery and sobriety (always one day at a time). Life will always include everything that is experienced in all phases of that. And even the darkest times will provide experiences that can be drawn upon years later for various positive reasons. For example as a reminder not to go there again, or as a basis for helping others who are in the midst of those struggles, or seem to be heading in that direction.

Many of the experiences are negative. Many are positive. All remain with us forever. And all are useful in our continued life. But that does not make the dark experiences positive. Only what we gained from them is positive. The night spent in jail is not positive. The wake-up call that it brought may be.

Our experiences in the LCM are similar, yet different from that. The environment and the core teachings are problems. Yet despite that, we can have positive experiences of Christ, positive experiences of fellowship with other believers, even transition from darkness to light through salvation. But the wealth of leaven around us was not the reason that we had the experiences. There are other reasons. The wealth of leaven around us is the reason that we should seek to find our teaching elsewhere. It does not necessarily negate positive experiences. But neither should the existence of positive experiences be the reason that we stick around in the leaven bin.

At some level is an example of confusing correlation for causation. Is the fact that you were in the LCM when you had the experience evidence that the LCM actually had anything to do with it other than being in the proximity, or being the collection of people with which you had the experience. The LCM is (or at least was) a group seeking experiences. It was the reason for the exuberance. (All this despite our own declarations that feelings are not facts.) So there are reasons to question whether some of the experiences are real and from God, or are the result of the environment that was seeking an experience. That was ready to declare those training banners until they got dizzy from the excitement. But even if you determine that all of your were truly from God, was the LCM responsible for them. Or were they simply there at the same time.

And my reason for asking is that if you have a positive experience while under the tutelage of a horribly unqualified (in Paul's terms, not some seminary's) person for his position, it does not mean that you should keep learning from the disqualified source.

Some are just sure that I am simply trying to discredit Lee at every turn. But at this point, I believe that Lee has discredited himself. And the only thing I seek to do is to cause anyone who will to stop for a minute or two and check whether they can declare with certainty that sticking around the LCM, or that any credit to the LCM, is worth the risks and consequences.
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:10 PM   #34
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Sometimes I think you are so obsessed with Lee's faults that you can't see anything objectively. Even Christian psychologists warn of the dangers of looking back with only bitterness and rancor. Doesn't God work all things for good? Are you so bothered that I would remember anything positive in my LC experience?
You mistake what I believe is reasonable warning against a truly unqualified teacher. Paul would have rejected him in a heartbeat long before he arrived in the US. And probably would have done the same with Nee before he hardly had his first little church.

Yes, God works all things for good. But continuing to comment on Lee and/or Nee as "gifted ministers" is contrary to the very declaration that Paul would make that we never should have listened to them in the first place. It is true that we had insufficient information at that time to do that. But while it is hindsight, it is valuable to those who are still there, or who might seek to return or to pine after what we think was so great about the time.

God uses all things. But that does not mean that he orchestrates them to happen so that he can use them. Surely he does at times. But very often, he just uses what he gets. I am skeptical that he intended for any of us to spend time in Lee's garlic room. That does not mean that I dispute anyone's salvation while there. Or declare that they had nothing positive within that time. But on the whole (not necessarily in every detail or situation) I do not believe that we were all positively directed to this place by God so that we could have this experience for God to use for our good. Yet surely he did use it.

And he used the experience of stopping in at the legal whore house in Nevada. But are you ready to declare that it was God's intent that whoever that applies to was there sovereignly so that God could use it? Or is in fact one of those things that God gets to use because that is what we hand him to use?

Don't like the example? It is very real. So why is an experience of being in a church that messed with our minds with respect to right thinking and practice concerning God something that we should simply declare that God intended to use for our good rather than it was just one among many things in our lives that was what he got to use? I can't find that it makes being there positive. Just an alternative way of saying that we were actually there. And yes, we really were there. So that is what God got to use.

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Does it disturb you that much that I say anything good about that place? Get over it bro!
It is not just that you say anything good about the place. It is that you are among a few that continue to say that Lee was some gifted minister. He was a gifted speaker, but that is not the same as being a gifted minister of the Word. I think that we are allowing the fact that he did not simply jettison the Bible outright and teach an entirely different religion as evidence that his errors, both theological and practical, would not have Paul writing to have Lee removed from any kind of teaching role.

So I think it is worthy of a challenge. Can you accept it as a challenge and explain why you think I am wrong rather than just complaining that you don't like it? Are you unable to refute that Lee falls into the category of those who are feeding their belly in a manner that Paul points out. Or that he is teaching myths and endless genealogies along with truth? Do you think Paul would have tolerated that?

Don't bother just complaining. I think that it is a legitimate point worthy of consideration. You don't even have to respond. Just consider. And I am not just following you around. But you have provided a couple of comments I see as problematic in an environment that concerns itself with the errors of the LCM. I believe that is worthy of comment in return. Shall I ignore it just because it is you?

Get over it, bro!

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And where in the world did I ever say that? I have never heard anyone say that, not even Lee. I have always said that we are saved by grace thru faith. (Eph 2.8) If you are going to refute this statement taken out of context, then why don't you also go after "the sinner's prayer." Do you really think that someone can repeat a few words off a sheet of paper and be actually saved?
just saying the sinner's prayer does not save you. And I know that there are probably some times when people who are just too nice to tell some gospel preacher to go away that they go through the words to get rid of them.

Unlike Benson Phillips (who I believe is at least one that I have heard directly say that just because they said the words, they are now saved whether they like it or not), I believe that true belief and repentance is required. While we make statements about three words, those words imply so much that it is virtually impossible to think that they could be meaningful in isolation where it does not include repentance and true belief. To declare otherwise is to strip the words of their full meaning. Satan knows and believes that Jesus is Lord. But it is doing him no good. Even the belief has to be toward Jesus as the one who saves and then stands as Lord of our life.

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Read Romans 10.13 and tell me what it says. Are you telling me that no one has ever been saved during a calamity by crying out to God?
This is a classic strawman. I did not say that calling on the Lord with those three words or a close alternative cannot save you. I said that it is not necessarily so that merely saying the words results in salvation. The real crying-out to God is always responded to, no matter how many or how few words. But the repetition of words without any real thought of what it means is not a profession of belief. It is an exercise in speaking your lines in a play.

And since you bother to pull this one out, it might seem that you have now said exactly what I did not say that you specifically have ever said, but the generic "you" of the LCM. At least at the level of the teachers who decided that it was all they needed to do in those gospel meetings.

I dare say that you do not actually mean that. So I do not need you to refute it.
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Old 02-19-2015, 04:34 PM   #35
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Saying you got some good out of something is not the same as recommending it to others. I probably have gotten some good from Taco Bell, but I wouldn't go around recommending it because there are better restaurants.

Most of us got some good from the LCM, some of which may have been difficult to get elsewhere. The basic healthy teachings of the Brethren and the inner life teachers are only recently finding their way into the mainstream, forty years after we heard them.
But we are not just a bunch of exes, talking about what was before, understanding that we are not going back there. We are speaking in front of those who are needing to understand why they don't want to stay there. And while the past two days may not have had a comment about Lee as a gifted minister, it is a fairly regular statement made by some of our most regular exes and some newer ones.

Do we really think that? And is the challenge as to whether it is true so reprehensible that rather than think about it, we shoot at the messenger?

And when positive experiences are mentioned, are they clearly isolated from what we want to reiterate is just cause to reject Lee?

I have raised the issue of Paul's words concerning reasons for instructing or rejecting/refuting teachers and so far I can find no reason to exclude Nee or Lee from one or both of these categories. And no one has really given me a reason to rethink it besides pointing to something that they consider to be truth that Lee taught. But even if I agree on that particular point, does it excuse Lee from the general restraints on the ministers/teachers we should listen to?

So if an apparently great chef is working in a restaurant making really great dishes, but worked into virtually everything is just a hint of arsenic — not enough to kill, but enough to damage you and harm you a little — do we continue to recommend that restaurant after we discover the truth about it? (Arsenic may not be the best example since you can actually develop some tolerance for it rather than just getting slowly sicker and dying.)

I ask the question. If you don't want a discussion, don't respond. I am not in the habit of chasing around people who ignore what I say. Or if you respond that you don't care and don't want to discuss it, that is fine.

But just as you think it is not harmful to give out kudos to Lee and the LCM for certain things, if I disagree, am I precluded from expressing my disagreement? If I am, then I am being required to sit quietly while you and others say what I can only regard are potentially damaging statements without anyone providing any kind of challenge to it. If you don't want to take on the challenge, don't. But don't think that it means that others should not have the ability to assess both sides for themselves. Silence me and you silence a position that is tied to the Word. Ohio just challenged whether I had really considered and prayed about it. I have considered it over a fairly long period of time. It has been prayed about.

Maybe I should ask the same thing in reverse. Have any of you considered and prayed about whether it is a good idea to continue to suggest that Lee was a gifted minster of the Word? Or just a naturally gifted speaker that captured all of us at one time or another?

Or would you rather I just shut up and allow my ideas to fall back into the threads that are on the third page back of languishing threads and eventually be lost in antiquity.
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Old 02-20-2015, 05:00 AM   #36
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God uses all things. But that does not mean that he orchestrates them to happen so that he can use them. Surely he does at times. But very often, he just uses what he gets. I am skeptical that he intended for any of us to spend time in Lee's garlic room. That does not mean that I dispute anyone's salvation while there. Or declare that they had nothing positive within that time. But on the whole (not necessarily in every detail or situation) I do not believe that we were all positively directed to this place by God so that we could have this experience for God to use for our good. Yet surely he did use it.
Looking back, it was like going into a Grateful Dead rock concert: it was an overwhelming sensory experience, of spirit, soul, and body. And I had a lot of fun, and lived to tell about it, but both of those things are probably due to the mercy of God more than any inherent "goodness" of the experience itself. The very spirit associated with this group, the more I look at it, the less I like it. Everything seemed to be scriptural, or at least was presented that way. And everything, upon reflection, was shot through (leavened) with something else. What there was pure? What escaped "the rich ministry"? In the end, it was "get out while you still can."
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:09 AM   #37
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Maybe I should ask the same thing in reverse. Have any of you considered and prayed about whether it is a good idea to continue to suggest that Lee was a gifted minster of the Word? Or just a naturally gifted speaker that captured all of us at one time or another?

Or would you rather I just shut up and allow my ideas to fall back into the threads that are on the third page back of languishing threads and eventually be lost in antiquity.
It isn't black and white. That's the whole issue. There was some good and some bad. I think you have the kind of mind that wants to categorize it as one or the other. Others are less comfortable doing that. Ohio is one. He feels like you are leaning on him a bit and he responded to you. Just take his feedback at face value, process it and see what the Lord says to you about it.

To me what makes the LCM such a difficult thing to deal with is precisely because it seemed to have such good things, alongside the bad things. Why the dichotomy? Didn't the Lord say a tree was either good or bad? It seems your approach has been to analyze the good things away, to say they were just emotion or delusion. Maybe some were. But I can't believe they all were. Some of those good things were precious to me. The LCM didn't own them. God did. But it would be sad indeed if we felt we had to abandon them to excise all influences of the LCM just to be "free."

It's the baby and the bathwater question. And we all have to deal with it differently. So Ohio is saying, I think, let him deal with it his way. He's comfortable with that, why shouldn't you be? When you continually qualify his positive comments with negative ones it makes him feel like you are saying he is wrong.

Ohio is a sensitive guy. You are very brainy guy. Brainy guys like you and me tend to step on sensitive people's feelings. So take that into consideration when you comment on his posts. Emotional intelligence is the key here.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:50 AM   #38
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It isn't black and white. That's the whole issue. There was some good and some bad. I think you have the kind of mind that wants to categorize it as one or the other. Others are less comfortable doing that. Ohio is one. He feels like you are leaning on him a bit and he responded to you. Just take his feedback at face value, process it and see what the Lord says to you about it.

To me what makes the LCM such a difficult thing to deal with is precisely because it seemed to have such good things, alongside the bad things. Why the dichotomy? Didn't the Lord say a tree was either good or bad? It seems your approach has been to analyze the good things away, to say they were just emotion or delusion. Maybe some were. But I can't believe they all were. Some of those good things were precious to me. The LCM didn't own them. God did. But it would be sad indeed if we felt we had to abandon them to excise all influences of the LCM just to be "free."

It's the baby and the bathwater question. And we all have to deal with it differently. So Ohio is saying, I think, let him deal with it his way. He's comfortable with that, why shouldn't you be? When you continually qualify his positive comments with negative ones it makes him feel like you are saying he is wrong.

Ohio is a sensitive guy. You are very brainy guy. Brainy guys like you and me tend to step on sensitive people's feelings. So take that into consideration when you comment on his posts. Emotional intelligence is the key here.
Actually I am extremely analytical like OBW, but that is both a strength and a weakness, depending on how employed. For example, I always excelled in engineering analysis, aced all my classes, given the tough assignments at work, etc. But the downside is to get mired in all the petty details, "analysis paralysis" if you will.

None of us is perfect, and we are all a mixture at best. I have tried to be fair, as the scripture says, "I will have mercy on those who show mercy." For example, I have always tried to limits my comments to Lee's actions rather than his unseen motives. Only God can know the hearts. Because I take a middle-of-the-road position, I sometimes get it from both sides, and not just here on the forums.

About the time my wife and I were leaving the LCM a decade ago, we watched a great series of video presentations by a well-respected Christian counselor named Gary Smalley. He has helped many a brother and sister involved in all sorts of difficult relationships. It was he who presented the concept of "treasure hunting" the painful parts of our past. Since God loves us dearly, and has worked all things for our good, it is very beneficial for us psychologically, spiritually, emotionally, and even physically to discover and identify "the good" in our past.

Thirdly, I cannot judge Lee to a higher standard that I would other ministers. For example, I have been to congregations which excessively promoted tongues, to the point where they saw tongues in almost every scripture. I didn't like it, but that was their way, and they have lots of company. Likewise the practices promoted by Lee. Prophecying, or allowing every member to speak, is "a" way, but not "the" way, kind of like tongues is "a" way. There's nothing inherently evil about about any of these promoted ways, and it is only the excessive stress which can be detrimental to believers.
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Old 02-20-2015, 07:57 AM   #39
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Maybe I should ask the same thing in reverse. Have any of you considered and prayed about whether it is a good idea to continue to suggest that Lee was a gifted minster of the Word? Or just a naturally gifted speaker that captured all of us at one time or another?
Again, this is part of the whole question we ask here.
  • Who and what was Witness Lee?
  • What was the LCM?
  • What were our experiences there, and what do they mean going forward?
For some people, these questions have not been answered yet. Let's not pretend they have. If they have been for you, great!. Make your case accordingly. But you have to take different approaches to arguing your case with different people. One size does not fit all. Make your case with care and sensitivity. Don't take the attitude of, Well, I was logical so they should get it. You will win very few that way.
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Old 02-20-2015, 08:26 AM   #40
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It isn't black and white. That's the whole issue. There was some good and some bad. I think you have the kind of mind that wants to categorize it as one or the other. Others are less comfortable doing that. Ohio is one. He feels like you are leaning on him a bit and he responded to you. Just take his feedback at face value, process it and see what the Lord says to you about it.

To me what makes the LCM such a difficult thing to deal with is precisely because it seemed to have such good things, alongside the bad things. Why the dichotomy? Didn't the Lord say a tree was either good or bad?
I'll not burden the post with a complete quote. We know what is there and responding to this part alone is sufficient.

I read both your post and Ohio's that follows before this. I will start by saying that I do believe that we need to seriously consider our experiences in the LCM. I cannot say that they are all bad, or that any particular one is. But the environment was so charged with teachings where something is dismissed for something else (because of God's economy or some other overlay), where we were constantly reminded of our special position due to our (divisive) stand of oneness "on the proper ground," and were focused to strongly on finding types of Christ (and the church) that were designed to point us away from now and instead to the age to come — to a period when we would be "overcomers" (unlike so many other poor mooing Christians) — and so on. How, in the midst of all of that can we assert that the "positive" experiences are clearly positive?

I will concede that some may truly be. But if they are not described independent of the problem that is the LCM, such as in conjunction with a statement like "the rich ministry of WL" or "WL was a gifted minister of the Word," then I have a problem with it. It has nothing to do with emotions.

You say that it isn't black and white. And I would agree. But once there are certain signs, Paul said to shut them down, not to cherry-pick.

Do you really think that anyone could get away with teaching entirely bad theology — then or now — and have a following? So none of them were entirely bad. But the presence of certain things was Pauls' sign to turn off the spigot. Not just take care of what you accept from their ministry.

In short, a teacher with a collection of good and bad was rejected as bad.

Period. End of story.

That was Paul's rule. Not mine.

Don't try to sort out the chicken from the bones. Or separate the wheat from the leaven.

Reject them altogether without reference to what they taught that might have been good.

Open the dumpster and drop it all in.

There are many more teachers that are not rejected. Whatever the rejected teacher taught that was good will come back from the good teachers. And if it does not come back, maybe we should take a closer look to see if it really was so good.

Every time we suggest that Lee was a gifted minster of the Word, we deny the reasons to reject him altogether.
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:09 AM   #41
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In short, a teacher with a collection of good and bad was rejected as bad.
Sounds good. Until you consider every teacher is a mixture of good and bad. Including you. To play the advocate where is the line? Please provide a reference for "Paul's rule," too. I'm not sure what you are talking about.

Really though, dealing Witness Lee or any teacher is relatively is easy. Because like you said you can drop a teacher.

But mostly we were talking about the teachings and the experiences. Those are the difficult ones to sort out.

We are really talking about two things: Whether there was anything good about our experiences, and how to talk about it going forward. As I said, saying you got good out of something is not the same as recommending it. It's just citing what to you are the facts.

In general, I don't think you should ask people to act like they got nothing good out of it just because you are squeamish someone might take that as a recommendation.
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Old 02-20-2015, 10:18 AM   #42
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How, in the midst of all of that can we assert that the "positive" experiences are clearly positive?
I don't like this kind of agnostic approach. To me it's like the question: how do you know you really exist? At some point you have to take a stand one way or the other. Again, if you think you had no good experiences in the LCM, no experiences you will take into eternity and treasure, then fine. Others don't necessarily agree with you.

How can you be sure what you believe and experience now is good and real? I mean, how far do you want to push the skepticism? All the way into cynicism?

The bottom line is we walk by faith, not knowledge. Because whatever we think we know is always based on certain more basic assumptions, including that our reasoning ability in any way actually corresponds to reality. Nothing really can be proved without assuming by faith something more fundamental. This is why there is no proof of God, because if he exists he's the most fundamental principle there is. There is no more basic principle on which to base a proof of him.

The same goes for the most basic things we believe. At some point we just have faith that what we think we know is true. You can't really exist, except as a tediously negative cynic, without doing so.

So the only real clue we have is what is the fruit of our lives and beliefs. You shall know them by their fruit. Check out the fruit of how you think and live. There the answer lies.
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Old 02-20-2015, 12:24 PM   #43
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The first verses of 2 Timothy 3

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But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God — having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with such people.
So let's consider those attributes:


Lovers of money. Daystar. Tennis rackets. Chairs. Suits. Requiring the church in Taiwan to sell some of its property to pay for Lee’s business debts. LSM, especially to make his essentially reprobate son its manager (paid) and contact point for the churches. And don't forget that this is not just a complaint that he had business ventures. Most of these were designed to use the money of the people of the church for his own personal gain.

Boastful, proud, conceited. “I kind of like being exalted.” “That Lee! . . .” When asked what we would do when and if he died, “It’s all in the books.” Constantly directing that no other sources of spiritual nourishment is required than Lee’s writings.

Unforgiving. John Ingals. Al Knock. Bill Mallons. John So. (need I go on?)

Slanderous. The Fermentation of the Present Rebellion. (again, need I say more?)

Rash. Spitting on the Lang book. Cutting off fellowship with Sparks because he did not agree on the ground doctrine. Two significant places where he took somewhat sudden and apparently rash positions on people. Probably could say the same about his sudden about-face on Max R.

Having a form of godliness but denying its power. Not sure how else to describe his own declaration that we should not bother reckoning ourselves as anything (like dead to sin) because he couldn’t do it. Rejecting being righteous by faith and instead saying we should wait until it comes out of us (after enough dispensing). And this is why he could not stand James. It required that he at least try to be righteous.

Can we find every sin in Paul’s list? Not likely. But Paul was not requiring that someone be guilty of all before they fell into the category of someone with whom we were to have nothing to do.

This is a troubling phrase because it seems to stand opposed to Christ’s own statement of loving everyone as you love yourself. So somehow it does not mean to literally write them off entirely. But it is still serious. Yet I surely cannot imagine that however it should be understood in a more moderate form would be to continue to listen to such a one as a teacher of the Word.

You don't see it? I can't seem to avoid it. It is everywhere.
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Old 02-20-2015, 02:03 PM   #44
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The first verses of 2 Timothy 3

Yet I surely cannot imagine that however it should be understood in a more moderate form would be to continue to listen to such a one as a teacher of the Word.

You don't see it? I can't seem to avoid it. It is everywhere.
Well, you make a good point.

But, again, this does not answer the question how do you explain the good spiritual experiences in the LCM. Now you can continue with your plea that they were all delusional. I don't think that dog hunts however. For one, it's not likely. For two, we wouldn't still be here discussing it years later if it was all delusion.

My point again is it's the real things alongside the bad things that is so confusing about processing and coming to grips with the experience of those days.

I know for a fact that I experienced the Lord's presence in powerful ways back then. I wasn't dreaming or brainwashed. The brainwashing was not the experiences, by and large. The brainwashing came by what we were told the experiences meant: I.e., we were in God's up-to-date move, His best, Lee's ministry was the top ministry, yada. All that was the brainwashing. What I experienced when I touched the Lord was not brainwashing.

You are going to have to work much harder than you have to convince me that all the spiritual experiences I had were delusion. I don't buy that for a minute. Because if I did it would mean my whole comprehension of reality is so far off I might as well check it in, walk around in foam slippers, stay away from sharp objects and wait until the next life to understand anything at all.

Sneak preview of my theory: Here's what I think. The Bible says "draw near to God and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8). We were goofy and mixed-up in a lot of ways in the LCM. But one thing we did do seriously was try to draw near to God. I think we possibly did that with more intensity than any group ever. And so God honored it. We drew near, so he did. It wasn't a confirmation of our theology or meeting habits or being the best or anything like that. It was simply God doing what he promised. We had some amazing experiences as a group and individuals because of it. Unfortunately, some used those to lead us to false conclusions.

It's hard to have this experience now on Sunday morning because most church-goers don't know to try to draw near to God. They just show up and hope he shows up. But I do experience it on retreats and other gatherings when the attendees are of a more serious cloth. In the LCM we experienced it all the time, back then anyway.
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Old 02-20-2015, 09:40 PM   #45
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My point again is it's the real things alongside the bad things that is so confusing about processing and coming to grips with the experience of those days.

I know for a fact that I experienced the Lord's presence in powerful ways back then. I wasn't dreaming or brainwashed. The brainwashing was not the experiences, by and large. The brainwashing came by what we were told the experiences meant: I.e., we were in God's up-to-date move, His best, Lee's ministry was the top ministry, yada. All that was the brainwashing. What I experienced when I touched the Lord was not brainwashing.

You are going to have to work much harder than you have to convince me that all the spiritual experiences I had were delusion. I don't buy that for a minute. Because if I did it would mean my whole comprehension of reality is so far off I might as well check it in, walk around in foam slippers, stay away from sharp objects and wait until the next life to understand anything at all.

Sneak preview of my theory: Here's what I think. The Bible says "draw near to God and he will draw near to you" (James 4:8). We were goofy and mixed-up in a lot of ways in the LCM. But one thing we did do seriously was try to draw near to God. I think we possibly did that with more intensity than any group ever. And so God honored it. We drew near, so he did. It wasn't a confirmation of our theology or meeting habits or being the best or anything like that. It was simply God doing what he promised. We had some amazing experiences as a group and individuals because of it. Unfortunately, some used those to lead us to false conclusions.

It's hard to have this experience now on Sunday morning because most church-goers don't know to try to draw near to God. They just show up and hope he shows up. But I do experience it on retreats and other gatherings when the attendees are of a more serious cloth. In the LCM we experienced it all the time, back then anyway.
My experience was always a mix of the good and the bad, and even as a kid I saw some of the bad in the LC. Over time, the bad started progressively more apparent. As I reached adulthood, I had opportunities to take my own initiative with participating in LC activities. Some of this resulted in positive experiences along the way. I can disregard those experiences, but neither do I expect they could ever be repeated again in the LC.

When I was younger and took the initiative to attend conferences and trainings, I don't see that as a bad thing, I just didn't know any better. I wouldn't do it now. The way I try to look at it is that there are much worse things I could have been doing.

Where I think the line has to be drawn is to realize those experiences were something of the past. Whatever the benefit was, I think it's like Igzy said, I tried to "draw near to God". Now that I know better, attempting to stay immersed in the LC environment is not something that God will honor. I also realize I still have a lot of "unlearning" that needs to take place.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:39 AM   #46
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But, again, this does not answer the question how do you explain the good spiritual experiences in the LCM. Now you can continue with your plea that they were all delusional. I don't think that dog hunts however. For one, it's not likely. For two, we wouldn't still be here discussing it years later if it was all delusion.

. . . .

You are going to have to work much harder than you have to convince me that all the spiritual experiences I had were delusion. I don't buy that for a minute.
I have not denied that any happened. But how much that we still think was real was because of the LCM or despite it. I'm not talking about the people in the LCM. Many of them are dear Christians who have built an alternate reality around themselves that revises much of the doctrine and practice just enough to be able to declare their allegiance to this utopia that they probably could not stomach otherwise. I know that I have heard a fair number of softer or slightly altered versions of Lee's theology over the years since leaving.

And you have really put up a shield when you declare that I am trying to convince you that you had no experiences and were delusions. IT NEVER HAPPENED. You are as guilty of contextualizing my posts as Lee was in isolating 1 Cor 15:45b to declare that Jesus was the Holy Spirit. Read the whole thing instead of having some knee-jerk reaction to one sentence. It makes you sound as if you need the strawman argument to defend some position. If you do, then maybe you need to study you position better . . . either to get clearer on how to defend it (and I will be listening) or to realize its error.
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Old 02-21-2015, 05:58 AM   #47
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My experience was always a mix of the good and the bad, and even as a kid I saw some of the bad in the LC. Over time, the bad started progressively more apparent. As I reached adulthood, I had opportunities to take my own initiative with participating in LC activities. Some of this resulted in positive experiences along the way. I can disregard those experiences, but neither do I expect they could ever be repeated again in the LC.

When I was younger and took the initiative to attend conferences and trainings, I don't see that as a bad thing, I just didn't know any better. I wouldn't do it now. The way I try to look at it is that there are much worse things I could have been doing.

Where I think the line has to be drawn is to realize those experiences were something of the past. Whatever the benefit was, I think it's like Igzy said, I tried to "draw near to God". Now that I know better, attempting to stay immersed in the LC environment is not something that God will honor. I also realize I still have a lot of "unlearning" that needs to take place.
The "unlearning" is an absolute necessity. This thread is an interesting train of thought. As I have stated elsewhere my experience in Santa Cruz was the highlight of my Christian LC experience. Detroit, Ft. Lauderdale and Miami were disasters because they were too controlled by Anaheim. In S.C. we had the benefit of being part of the Local Churches but not controlled by them. Of course, Karl Hammond was the buffer and we did experience exponential growth from when Karl and I began in the spring of 1969 until I left in 1971. Growth in numbers, especially young people with their enthusiasm, is its own exhilarating experience. I am seeing that now in my own church, and I'm Unitarian, but it is different because in S.C. it was a hippie hang out with the University of Santa Cruz nearby. In our church it is young families who are coming in with their children and their enthusiasm. The difference is palatable and I would rather have the experience which I have now then what I had then. It was great at the time but it was short lived in the scheme of things. Of course, I was much younger in S.C. and more easily influenced. At our church now we have a remarkable Sunday School and parents tell me their children are insisting they attend.

To me, nature is the real high experience of knowing God. First of all, I know it's real. I don't have to have "faith". When I walk along the ocean which I often do the waves of the ocean speak to me. Even when there are high winds and the ocean is rough it is speaking words of wisdom of how we are fortunate to be here because nature allows it to be. When the ocean is calm I understand peace. High in the mountan of Azungate in Southern Peru I could see the beauty we are fortunate to behold. Hiking the Inca trail to Macchu Picchu gave me the same incredible experience. A similar experience only in complete contrast happened when I hiked down the Grand Canyon with my wife and looked up rather than down as I had in Peru. These are exhilarating experiences and they are real. Nature with all of its foibles is real. I experience God in nature.

Recently my wife and I traveled to the inside passage in Alaska and we rented a 100 foot yacht with 6 other people with a captain and 2 crew. We fished, kayaked and hiked and followed serial breaching humback whales and orcas but we also came upon maybe 100+ humpback whales who were feeding on krill one evening. We anchored and listened to them feeding all night. They surrounded our boat, dove underneath and we could see them feeding in the distance with the sun going down and woke up with them as the sun rose. These experiences in nature are real but they lead to other experiences in our life based on our own real experiences. I am reluctant to start basing my God experiences on something other than what I know to be true in real life. Gravity is real. Am I going to start believing that experiences which violate gravity are real unless they are superficially designed to do so? It's not that they can't be real it is just that they are unlikely to be real.

Tourists travel the world around but it doesn't make them necessarily appreciate God in nature (they might just like the food onboard). It helps if our experiences of nature are intentional but of course people sometimes encounter unforetold experiences of nature. People have experiences which they believe are God experiences which have nothing to do directly with nature e.g. they read a scripture and it speaks to them. However, we attribute this to God because we don't understand it otherwise or we can't tie these scriptures to something directly. Maybe you could pray-read parts of a book by William James or C.S. Lewis or Socrates and it might speak to you.

In any case, I don't think Igzy is delusional nor was I but we have to take a measured response to our "God" experiences with some perspective. I have used nature as one measure of experiencing something real. I could also use the love between my wife and I and our great experiences together. She is a real person and our love for each other is real. Don't base your love between your wife and yourself on something that is unreal--it will never work. To get back to the thread, appreciate the experiences and don't necessarily question them but consider them as part of our life experiences in the LC and move on.
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:11 AM   #48
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It's hard to have this experience now on Sunday morning because most church-goers don't know to try to draw near to God. They just show up and hope he shows up. But I do experience it on retreats and other gatherings when the attendees are of a more serious cloth. In the LCM we experienced it all the time, back then anyway.
Maybe it's hard to have that experience on Sunday morning for other reasons. Maybe experience is less important than we learned in our past. The people that I meet with in a rather vanilla Bible church do not have, or at least speak of, "experiences" like we think are so important. Is that because they are somehow deficient in their Christian living? Or because we are still hanging onto a form that was necessary to survive in the place that we speak of as run by overbearing masters and leavened throughout its theology? And a form that was useful in keeping us in line. Because if we had these experiences in the LCM, then it must be the place to be to gain God's favor.

Do most church goers really not know how to draw near to God? Or have we created a narrow rule as to what it means to draw near to God? One that is possibly as narrow as Lee's definition of God's economy as stated in a single sentence in the first chapter of the book by the same name.

Did we draw near to God with more intensity? Or did we need something that was not able to be provided in the normal ways, so we narrowed our attention in a spiritual v secular view of life on a very "spiritual" set of activities that provided feelings and from that the conviction that it was confirmation of what we were about.

Is the Christian life really about experiences of God in a spiritual context where spiritual is so removed from secular? Or is the very existence of the spiritual-secular divide a falsity itself that should inform us of a different kind of sickness. I believe that true experience of Christ is mostly in your living because that is most of your life. If you are not "drawing near," whatever we think that includes, a lot of the time, then the result is a life of a variant on the "get saved, backslide, get saved, backslide get . . . " but on a weekly or even daily basis. As long as we are pointing at the experience as the cure for the backslide, we will convince ourselves that we need a better, stronger experience the next time around. A variant on dispensing theology.

Instead we need to experience (without the need for feelings) drawing near when we write code, drive the car, buy groceries, read tax law, cook dinner, go to a baseball game, fix the toaster, etc. To eliminate the spiritual-secular divide and instead live all of life seeking God, hungering and thirsting for righteousness, making peace. In short, living a life of love for God and of neighbor as self.

And there are actually a whole lot of those "church goers" that you still look down on just a little that are actually doing that. It is not demonstrably true because of a burning desire to jump up in a meeting and "prophesy." It is demonstrably true because of the lives that they now live. Oh, you can say some that are not doing that. As the one parable said, there are tares planted by an enemy. And there are some that have barely sprouted from seed.

But our learned version of spiritual maturity that looks like an LCM member without the LCM on their back is a false image of the true believer. The one who was spoken of over 3 or so chapters beginning in Matthew 5. And when I look at chapter 5, I see evidence speaking strongly against the one who helped muddle our view of true seeking for God, and true righteousness. More reasons to simply reject him and his predecessor and those that are following. To seek my spiritual instruction elsewhere.
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Old 02-21-2015, 06:20 AM   #49
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

BTW. "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live. But . . ." was not stated as something to be experiencing. It was provided as a factual basis for rejecting the need to engage in activities to be spiritual. In that case, circumcision and other Jewish ritual law. How much are we influenced by Lee saying that we need to be experiencing the crucifixion of Christ rather than recognizing that it is true and then acting accordingly?

And how many other of these spiritual formulas that we learned are similar misapplications of what Paul and others provided as spiritual fact, not ritual to be undertaken for the purpose of experience? How much of it is our continuing to look at the Bible through a set of Lee-colored glasses that we have merely rubbed some of the color out of?

I keep finding that I have a variant set around. And when I find them, they are usually setting on my ears and nose.
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Old 02-21-2015, 09:27 AM   #50
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I have not denied that any happened. But how much that we still think was real was because of the LCM or despite it. I'm not talking about the people in the LCM. Many of them are dear Christians who have built an alternate reality around themselves that revises much of the doctrine and practice just enough to be able to declare their allegiance to this utopia that they probably could not stomach otherwise. I know that I have heard a fair number of softer or slightly altered versions of Lee's theology over the years since leaving.

And you have really put up a shield when you declare that I am trying to convince you that you had no experiences and were delusions. IT NEVER HAPPENED. You are as guilty of contextualizing my posts as Lee was in isolating 1 Cor 15:45b to declare that Jesus was the Holy Spirit. Read the whole thing instead of having some knee-jerk reaction to one sentence. It makes you sound as if you need the strawman argument to defend some position. If you do, then maybe you need to study you position better . . . either to get clearer on how to defend it (and I will be listening) or to realize its error.
My point was not that you said everything I experienced was delusional. My point was that you have a tendency to dismiss experience, to a fault as far as I can see. I have read posts by you that have seemed to have been saying that a lot of what we thought we experienced in the LC was not a genuine experience of God. Not only so you seem to downplay experience itself, which to me is ultimately another dog that won't hunt, as I'll explain later.

We've been around each other long enough to do better than to accuse each other of being disingenuous. I'm just trying to understand you as best I can. I want to respect your position, but often I don't even understand it. I STILL DON'T IN REGARDS TO THE CURRENT SUBJECT. So instead of accusing me, why don't you try to explain yourself more clearly.
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Old 02-21-2015, 10:04 AM   #51
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Maybe it's hard to have that experience on Sunday morning for other reasons. Maybe experience is less important than we learned in our past. T
The way I look at it is the only alternative to experience is theory. Theory just points the way to reality. There can be real things you have not experienced, but they aren't real to you until you have.

See? I think you have a different connotation for "experience" than I do. I think you think when I say experience I mean some kind of high or rush, or even escape from reality. No, I just mean actually knowing, seeing and touching God in the Spirit, rather than just dealing with him as an idea. I think to many Christians God is mostly an idea, not someone whose reality is present in their experience except on rare occasions. They mean well, but he's kind of theoretical to them. They think this is normal as long as they behave, because they don't know any better.

The difference between theory and experience is that with theory you just learn about something, with experience you actually learn it. With God, it's the difference between knowing about him and actually knowing him.

Take angels. I believe they are real. But I've never experienced one. They are just theory to me. I just know about them. Christ is real to me, however. I have experienced him, rather than just learning about him.

So to me, when you downplay experience, it makes me think you don't really experience God much, because if you did you'd admit you experience him and you wouldn't be so suspicious of others claims of experience, because you'd understand what they mean. I don't know, but that's the vibe I pick up from you. Sorry if such a perception is my fault. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

Take the verses Galatians 5:22-23a. "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control."

Fruit is an experience. Love is an experience. Joy is an experience. Peace is an experience. This is not talking about learning that these things are good and that we should try to have them (there is that side but this is not talking about that.)

Galatians 5:16 says, "So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh." This is talking about experience as well. It is saying if you have the experience of walking by the Spirit you will overcome the flesh. It isn't saying that if you know about this fact or if you try to overcome the flesh you will, it is saying you need to have a certain experience of the Spirit to overcome the flesh.

And simply walking in fellowship with God is an experience. Are you going to deny that? So from my viewpoint you are giving experience a bad name.

I understand that "experience" divorced from fruit is suspect. But I also think "fruit" without experience is also suspect--that to me is what "having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof" means.

But the solution for the former is not to downplay experience. The solution is to make people clear that the right kind of experience produces the fruit God is really interested in. That's the only kind of experience I'm interested in, and it's legitimate wherever its experienced, even if it's in the LCM calling "O Lord Jesus." There isn't a bad version of a legitimate God moment. That was the purview of Lee, ranking God experiences (e.g. being saved in Christianity often made one a Moabite. etc.).

The solution for the latter is to remind people that eternal life is knowing God, and the good works God is truly interested in are the fruit of knowing God.

Also, if I have misunderstood you, please don't accuse me of being disingenuous. Just explain what you mean more clearly. I'm sure everyone here would be relieved to get a chance to understand you better.
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Old 02-21-2015, 03:26 PM   #52
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And there are actually a whole lot of those "church goers" that you still look down on just a little that are actually doing that. It is not demonstrably true because of a burning desire to jump up in a meeting and "prophesy." It is demonstrably true because of the lives that they now live. Oh, you can say some that are not doing that.
Again, there is a difference between living a Christian-like life without the fruits of the Spirit, and actually having the fruits of the Spirit. I've known some very dear Christians who just seem to still lack the fruits of the Spirit. I've known some Christians who are very well-meaning but just don't have have much love, joy and peace. I'm not looking down on them. I'm just stating facts as I see them. Paul warned in Galatians of starting in the Spirit and trying to carry on by the strength of the flesh. These people seem to have that problem.

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But our learned version of spiritual maturity that looks like an LCM member without the LCM on their back is a false image of the true believer.
"Our?" Please speak for yourself. It's not mine. I wish you'd try to remember that. Everyone who thinks people need to experience God rather than just knowing about him are not necessarily elitists or closet LCMers.

Here's a question for you. Do you have love, joy and peace in your life? How much? A lot? If not, do you think that is normal? I know everyone can have a bad day, but overall, what is it like for you? Like right now, I'm filled with joy and peace. I like that experience. I think it's normal for a Christian. I have bad moments when I lose my temper or get bummed out or doubt. But eventually I know I need to return to the Spirit and love, joy, peace.

I don't think God is much interested in grim-faced, grinding "faithfulness" day-in and day-out. I sense in you a measure of pride about your ability to forge on without having any feelings. Well, we all need to do that sometimes, but I don't think it's intended to be the norm. Love, joy and peace are after all, feelings of a sort. I've heard of people who claim to have gone years in the "dry valley" but it's not happened to me.

So here's to experience! Life would be pretty damn dull without it.
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Old 02-22-2015, 04:18 PM   #53
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To me, nature is the real high experience of knowing God. First of all, I know it's real. I don't have to have "faith". When I walk along the ocean which I often do the waves of the ocean speak to me. Even when there are high winds and the ocean is rough it is speaking words of wisdom of how we are fortunate to be here because nature allows it to be. When the ocean is calm I understand peace. High in the mountan of Azungate in Southern Peru I could see the beauty we are fortunate to behold. Hiking the Inca trail to Macchu Picchu gave me the same incredible experience. A similar experience only in complete contrast happened when I hiked down the Grand Canyon with my wife and looked up rather than down as I had in Peru. These are exhilarating experiences and they are real. Nature with all of its foibles is real. I experience God in nature.

Recently my wife and I traveled to the inside passage in Alaska and we rented a 100 foot yacht with 6 other people with a captain and 2 crew. We fished, kayaked and hiked and followed serial breaching humback whales and orcas but we also came upon maybe 100+ humpback whales who were feeding on krill one evening. We anchored and listened to them feeding all night. They surrounded our boat, dove underneath and we could see them feeding in the distance with the sun going down and woke up with them as the sun rose. These experiences in nature are real but they lead to other experiences in our life based on our own real experiences. I am reluctant to start basing my God experiences on something other than what I know to be true in real life. Gravity is real. Am I going to start believing that experiences which violate gravity are real unless they are superficially designed to do so? It's not that they can't be real it is just that they are unlikely to be real.

Tourists travel the world around but it doesn't make them necessarily appreciate God in nature (they might just like the food onboard). It helps if our experiences of nature are intentional but of course people sometimes encounter unforetold experiences of nature. People have experiences which they believe are God experiences which have nothing to do directly with nature e.g. they read a scripture and it speaks to them. However, we attribute this to God because we don't understand it otherwise or we can't tie these scriptures to something directly. Maybe you could pray-read parts of a book by William James or C.S. Lewis or Socrates and it might speak to you.

In any case, I don't think Igzy is delusional nor was I but we have to take a measured response to our "God" experiences with some perspective. I have used nature as one measure of experiencing something real. I could also use the love between my wife and I and our great experiences together. She is a real person and our love for each other is real. Don't base your love between your wife and yourself on something that is unreal--it will never work. To get back to the thread, appreciate the experiences and don't necessarily question them but consider them as part of our life experiences in the LC and move on.
I really don't know how "natural" our experiences of God need to be, but what I can say with confidence is that the LC is completely unbalanced and at the opposite end of the spectrum. I see two issues. The first is the tendency to add some hidden meaning to certain experiences of God. The second issue is the pursuit of spiritual experiences that don't exist... I'm still waiting to see the vision of "God's Economy".

I think the value of appreciating nature is that it's something normal and is in contrast to the hyper-spirituality of the LC. I don't think that all experiences of God have to happen in a "spiritual" way. I can say that I've developed a much greater appretiation for the natural world than I did before. Perhaps the years of living in a fantasy world is responsible for that.
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:04 PM   #54
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I sense in you a measure of pride about your ability to forge on without having any feelings.
Speak for yourself. It would appear that anyone who sees things different than you is just a theory machine. But it ain't so. I need a level of feelings. Without them, I would never have any sense of anything. I would just drive on like a jerk indefinitely. It is the feeling of internal shame that I am driving like every other jerk on the road that causes me to realize my failure. And it is the peace at the end of the journey that tells me that I have been in the presence of God. But that experience is mostly in the agreement to do as I already know that I should. I don't need a booster shot of feelings to do it.

And that is the way Peter said it. "You have all you need." And even Paul. I need the realization that I have been crucified, and that the life that I can now live will be lived by Christ if I agree with that life. Paul said that he was crucified with Christ. That eliminated the need for circumcision or dietary restrictions. He could simply live the life by faith in Christ.

It is faith in, not inner workings by, Christ. That does not mean that there are no inner workings. But like Paul said in Romans 8, you set your mind and walk, not get your tank filled and go until it runs out. There may arguably be some connection between the two. But the first does take your own volition and will while the second is presumed to just happen because there is all this fuel (which Lee would have called dispensing). And if you don't sense enough dispensing, you just don't start on the journey.

But that makes the Word of God of no effect because it declares that we do not have what we need. It suggests that we need more.

Grace is so often seen as this thing that just handles everything for us. But it is also stated as teaching us to obey. And obedience means that we have to do. And do without simply having everything done for you. Otherwise there is nothing to teach.

I know that I just spouted Lee's theology. And neither of us follow it willfully. But do we still see aspects of the Christian life with a little of that overlay still in place? Thinking that those who come to have a quiet faith are somehow deficient of "experience" when they, without a lot of bravado, just do as they should.

Joy, peace, and love are not measured by your observation. They are found in people with no reason to smile. Whose lives seem to be crumbling around them and they seem more likely to be crying out to God for help than living in peace. But maybe they have more peace than we think. They will always seek better, but accept what they get. They don't seek an experience to tell them that they are on the right track. They know they are because they know Him in whom they have believed. And in that they find peace. Peace that if this life gives them chaos and garbage, the next will give them resurrection.

I spent almost every Sunday evening for the past two or so years with a group of people that included a man who was living on borrowed time. A previous lung transplant that had taken longer than normal to be useful was now on its way out. He started having portable oxygen with him all the time. He was far from comfortable. But still worked as a computer technician over the phone. One day he got an injury on his leg. Hard to heal due to the complications. Ended out in the hospital. At one point they expected him to go home in two days. But he went to a different home the very next day. He knew this was a possibility. And despite what I can only call some fairly sketchy theology, he had peace concerning his life and what could happen. He had been getting all kinds of treatments in hopes of improving his lung function, some of which did help for a time. But while not even 70 yet, he knew he might not live much longer. And was at peace. And was full of joy, although you would only really know if you could talk to him for a while.

Don't look at those average church goers and presume anything based on what you think you see over an hour or so. You might find you didn't really know. I wouldn't have known concerning this man without the more regular contact.
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Old 02-24-2015, 08:49 PM   #55
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Don't look at those average church goers and presume anything based on what you think you see over an hour or so. You might find you didn't really know. I wouldn't have known concerning this man without the more regular contact.
I'm talking about Christians I see again and again. I get very little registration there is much joy unspeakable and full of glory in their lives (Peter said that, too, BTW). I understand that you can't tell much about someone at a glance. But after you've been around a person for awhile you kind of figure out what they are about.

The bottom line is a true person of faith is going to have the fruits of the Spirit. And that starts, not with self-control, but with love, joy and peace. The implication is that love, joy and peace help us have self-control, (and vice versa to be fair). Now, you might feel like a hero by saying you don't need to "refuel," but you can tell someone else because I don't buy it for a minute. Unless you are not a human being you do need it, because we all do, because we are emotional creatures who need God's Spirit to recharge. God made us that way.

Our faith is demonstrated by our (1) good works. It is also demonstrated by our demeanor, which is made attractive by (2) love, joy and peace. If you have the former but not the latter, well people might think you are a trooper, but they are not going to want to be like you.

If you have the latter without the former, then one of two things will happen: you will gain the former or you will lose the latter. But anyone who has the former in its genuine manifestation has the latter, too, most of the time. Anyone who (over the long term) claims to have the former but rarely has the latter is actually full of baloney, laboring in his flesh and not representing the Lord well.

I would never discount your friend with the lung. But I have a friend, George (below the night before surgery), who has been fighting cancer for over a year and just last week had a lemon-sized tumor removed from his brain. He's like a light bulb. Now he was this way before, but he's still this way. He's able to manifest love, joy and peace. So what's my excuse, or yours?



Experience means Christ has gone from being a theory to being real to you. The result is love, joy and peace. Peter called it joy unspeakable and full of glory. Do you have that? If not, you should take a break from discounting everyone's experience and get some.
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:41 AM   #56
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I think you make a good analogy. Even with simple things, I think most in the LC have learned not to ask "why".

An example that comes to mind is how over the past few years, I've seen an increased push to get everyone to do PSRP. Even before I had many concerns about the LC, this practice of PSRP struck me as somewhat odd. I had gone to a few meetings where I realized later that what they had us doing during the meeting was PSRP. I remember during a semi-annual training, during the study session, we used the whole time to pray-read and memorize the outline. Now that was pretty boring, and I was also quite troubled.

Anyways, getting back to what I was saying, if I were to actually ask why PSRP is something that we need to do, I'm sure they wouldn't like that. In fact, it could be consider attacking WL's ministry, because he was the one who said to do PSRP.
I quoted this post on this thread because it really belongs here and I wanted to put us back on topic.

Freedom made a great point here. The LC practice of PSRP was never based on the scripture. Let me give a little history ...

After the storms and quarantines of the late 80's to early 90's, Lee began to teach his "high peak" theories, i.e. that we become baby-gods. His outlines at this time (~ mid 90's) became extremely complex and long-winded treaties. The titles themselves were often a paragraph in length. They were like chewing cellulose insulation, which is exactly what those outlines should have been used for. I think it was some of the full-timer zealots from Taiwan that came up with the PSRP practices in order to get into Lee's outlines. What started during an Anaheim training, eventually spread, by decree, to all the LC's.

PSRP stood for Pray-read, Study, Recite, Prophesy. The first three were designed to be done in a small group session -- pray-read the outline, study the outline, and recite the outline from memory. Notice that these had nothing to do with the Bible, but with Lee's esoteric "high peak" outlines. From that group time together, each participant would prepare a "prophecy" for speaking in the training meetings.

I still remember the time one of our fervent saints brought this new-found practice back to town. It really was what aron would call a "charismatic" experience. We were exhorted to shout, repeat, amen, and get ourselves all worked up. There was little prayer, but lots of jubilant repetition. It was fun for a while, but provided little spiritual substance. In the GLA, it came and went fairly quickly. So I was surprised when Freedom said the LC's actually still do that. It's no wonder they know the scripture so poorly, but have been convinced they know it so well.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:49 AM   #57
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I quoted this post on this thread because it really belongs here and I wanted to put us back on topic.

Freedom made a great point here. The LC practice of PSRP was never based on the scripture. Let me give a little history ...

After the storms and quarantines of the late 80's to early 90's, Lee began to teach his "high peak" theories, i.e. that we become baby-gods. His outlines at this time (~ mid 90's) became extremely complex and long-winded treaties. The titles themselves were often a paragraph in length. They were like chewing cellulose insulation, which is exactly what those outlines should have been used for. I think it was some of the full-timer zealots from Taiwan that came up with the PSRP practices in order to get into Lee's outlines. What started during an Anaheim training, eventually spread, by decree, to all the LC's.

PSRP stood for Pray-read, Study, Recite, Prophesy. The first three were designed to be done in a small group session -- pray-read the outline, study the outline, and recite the outline from memory. Notice that these had nothing to do with the Bible, but with Lee's esoteric "high peak" outlines. From that group time together, each participant would prepare a "prophecy" for speaking in the training meetings.

I still remember the time one of our fervent saints brought this new-found practice back to town. It really was what aron would call a "charismatic" experience. We were exhorted to shout, repeat, amen, and get ourselves all worked up. There was little prayer, but lots of jubilant repetition. It was fun for a while, but provided little spiritual substance. In the GLA, it came and went fairly quickly. So I was surprised when Freedom said the LC's actually still do that. It's no wonder they know the scripture so poorly, but have been convinced they know it so well.
I have heard people make reference to the complexity of LC outlines, so I guess that fact doesn't come as a surprise to anyone. I have seen a bit of frustration that these outlines are too hard to understand or take in. I've seen many outline points that are at least a paragraph long which should have been broken up into multiple sentences, or better yet, multiple points. I've come to associate the "High Peak Truths" with wordy outlines that are essentially meaningless. If PSRP was invented to address that, then it's more understandable as to why that practice would be pushed. I have a simpler solution for them, however, that would be to get rid of their meaningless outlines.

As the practice of PSRP relates to "prophesying" in the meetings, it might helpful for someone who is hoping to parrot the ministry. Since that is something that so many like to do, I guess they need something like PSRP. I can't remember for sure, but I think I might have memorized the RcV outline for at least one book of the Bible. That is good for being able to speak from the ministry, but it's only good for that.

What I wanted to mention specifically is that this idea of memorizing or "digesting" the ministry can easily lead to someone having something to speak in a meeting. The ministry is full of clever statements will sound really good if spoken in a meeting. By contrast, when I read the Word, it doesn't automatically result in having something good to share in a meeting. The thought in the LC is that whatever you happen to read, whether it be the ministry or something in the Word, if you don't have something to speak from it, it means that you aren't enjoying it or you aren't really getting into it. I think that is a big fallacy. My experience when reading the Bible is that there are plenty of things that stand out to me. Most of the time, that is just God's speaking to me personally. That doesn't mean it is also what I should share with those around me. Have those in the LC ever considered that just because they "enjoyed" something, doesn't necessarily mean that they should share it in a meeting? I think the LC is full of speaking that is of little benefit because of this type of thinking.
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Old 02-25-2015, 11:58 AM   #58
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I spent almost every Sunday evening for the past two or so years with a group of people that included a man who was living on borrowed time. A previous lung transplant that had taken longer than normal to be useful was now on its way out. He started having portable oxygen with him all the time. He was far from comfortable. But still worked as a computer technician over the phone. One day he got an injury on his leg. Hard to heal due to the complications. Ended out in the hospital. At one point they expected him to go home in two days. But he went to a different home the very next day. He knew this was a possibility. And despite what I can only call some fairly sketchy theology, he had peace concerning his life and what could happen. He had been getting all kinds of treatments in hopes of improving his lung function, some of which did help for a time. But while not even 70 yet, he knew he might not live much longer. And was at peace. And was full of joy, although you would only really know if you could talk to him for a while.
This is similar to the experience my wife and I had. Several nights ago a sister we provided hospice care for from December 31-February 13 passed away, She had ovarian cancer diagnosed in November 2013. By November 2014 cancer had spread to one of her lungs. By December one lung was partially collapsed and the other was at 30% function. She had her lungs drained a handful of times. With or without using an oxygen tank, she would give what breath she had to glorify God.
Yet, our sister was full of joy, calling on the Lord, rebuking her cancer, singing songs. Truly a testimony and inspiration to all her friends of living to Christ.
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Old 02-25-2015, 12:04 PM   #59
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

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I think it was some of the full-timer zealots from Taiwan that came up with the PSRP practices in order to get into Lee's outlines. What started during an Anaheim training, eventually spread, by decree, to all the LC's.

PSRP stood for Pray-read, Study, Recite, Prophesy. The first three were designed to be done in a small group session -- pray-read the outline, study the outline, and recite the outline from memory. Notice that these had nothing to do with the Bible, but with Lee's esoteric "high peak" outlines. From that group time together, each participant would prepare a "prophecy" for speaking in the training meetings.

I still remember the time one of our fervent saints brought this new-found practice back to town. It really was what aron would call a "charismatic" experience.
The locality I was meeting with in the NW at the time, the initial response to PSRP was like letting air out of a balloon. I could see in the faces of brothers it was as if they were thinking "here we go again". Yet faithful to embrace change as they had in a prior decade with the door knocking flow, brothers and sisters embraced PSRP. Frankly there's more spiritual benefit to memorizing verses or even memorizing 66 books of the Bible in order. All I ever got from PSRP is how to exalt a minister and his ministry.
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Old 02-25-2015, 06:28 PM   #60
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

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The locality I was meeting with in the NW at the time, the initial response to PSRP was like letting air out of a balloon. I could see in the faces of brothers it was as if they were thinking "here we go again". Yet faithful to embrace change as they had in a prior decade with the door knocking flow, brothers and sisters embraced PSRP. Frankly there's more spiritual benefit to memorizing verses or even memorizing 66 books of the Bible in order. All I ever got from PSRP is how to exalt a minister and his ministry.
PSRP is one of those things everyone just goes along with to be "positive". I've never seen any attempt at it being implemented in a widespread way, rather it is something they try to sneak in here and there. I mentioned that some of the instances where I did it, I didn't realize that's what we were doing until after the fact. In other words, pray-reading and outline didn't strike me as odd while we were doing it. Once I realized what PSRP actually was, then I realized, yeah that is why we were pray-reading outlines. For what what ultimate purpose? I guess to make us prophecy better, since that is the last letter in the acronym.

When I attended some of the semi-annual trainings, they would have a "testing" time at the end of each message. The testing would be on the messages from the preceding day. They would hand out "study questions" that were supposed to prepare us for testing. As it turned out, most of the study questioned corresponded to points on the outline. So all the "testing" really accomplished was to demonstrate who would speak from the outline the best.
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Old 02-25-2015, 07:52 PM   #61
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Default Re: Against the LC Practice of Prophesying

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Once I realized what PSRP actually was, then I realized, yeah that is why we were pray-reading outlines.
Pray-reading outlines? As if to equate to scripture?
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Old 02-25-2015, 10:51 PM   #62
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Pray-reading outlines? As if to equate to scripture?
That's what it seems like. I don't know if that has ever been a specific intention of PSRP, but the ministry has already been equated with the scriptures. Case and point: ask someone in the LC what the general subject of the book of Matthew is. Their response will likely be similar to the following: "The Gospel of the Kingdom -- Proving That Jesus Christ Is the King-Savior".
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