Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Introductions and Testimonies

Introductions and Testimonies Please tell everybody something about yourself. Tell us a little. Tell us a lot. Its up to you!

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 09-15-2020, 04:15 PM   #1
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Intro- I am currently part of the local churches (east coast), and upon joining for a little while now (not too new and not a long term member) I seem to have a lot of questions I wouldn't feel comfortable asking upfront just by the nature of it. (the word "but" is used an unnecessary amount of times but im done typing/adjusting and just want to post.

1. What exactly is the hierarchy of the local churches? On these forums I see these terms of Coworker, blended brothers, elders, (whats next after elders and so on) etc. What exactly are these titles and their function, and how would you know if someone is in one of these positions? It seems pretty subtle when it comes to knowing who is who and what is what. I feel like I have no idea how this system is organized and it feels like it is something that is not explained for a long while for some reason or another.

2. My second question goes to the dream/mission of the church and is to basically have a society that has no denominations and have full unity. To cut a long story short this seems real nice at first glance but obviously has no real practical pursuit as humanity will always think differently and be divided whether that is religion, politics, ideology, conduct of livelihood etc. But if the local churches want to pursue this to the best they can, even with the evident reality then its fine- go pursue life with how ever you believe. The real problem is how the local churches practice of worship completely revolves more around witness lee than the sole word of Christ. I want you to imagine if the Local churches were to grow bigger than what even the catholic church has accomplished and have a collective of Christians having their thoughts consumed solely by the teachings of lee? I do not think that would look to pretty, especially reading all of the under the rug stories of the local church. Honestly the biggest problem in my opinion, with the practice of the local churches is how much they indoctrinate themselves with lee ( I Do not even know his first name or why he is called "witness" lee).

3. What are the certain behaviors that make the Local Church members different. I notice some things like they have dont televisions, and I think they do not celebrate Christmas and Easter. There probably more things they do and not that I have not noticed yet. What is the essential code of conduct among the local churches and where does these behaviors come from (maybe witness lee?).

4. This last point is kind of ridiculous in my opinion and it has to do with the relations of men and women in the local churches. It is very easy to tell brothers and sisters are separated as much as possible unless married. It really got to me when I brought my girlfriend (still having a celibate boundary), over to a lords day meeting and the amount of just piercing glares was just like woah- what is going on. Then I am later told about how dating is not moral and is only meant with intent on marriage and they read me verses on this subject,and It was obvious my girlfriend was a problem to them. But to be frank I am an adult in my twenties and I dont understand a darn bit how the woman I am with is anybody concern and how do they think they are in a position to dictate me, on how and who to date. But the situation with me is minuscule compared to some other brothers.

4.5- This is a continuation of point number 4 but focusing on other brothers. To get straight to it- the separation of male and female seems justifiable at a youth age but gets kind of out of hand for adults. I understand you want children to not be reckless and to focus on Christ and establishing their life before pursuing woman but it gets out of hand at a certain age with the restrictions of separation.
I know brothers in their late twenties and even early to mid thirties who for sadly obvious reasons they are not in good standing with pursuing a relationship. They barely have any opportunities to talk to the sisters and they frankly dont know how to since they have never done it for their entire lives (the ones who grew up LC). Lastly, there are probably no sisters interested in them in, in that locality.
But instead of going out there in the world and being a man and finding their own woman, they just sit there while they fellowship with the brothers and praying for their troubles (repeatedly). But the fact is- the reasons they cant find a woman to settle with (socially, physically, financially, etc), still applies to the local church woman just as much to woman outside the local churches. Everyone looks for standards in a relationship and if you have a lot of perceived flaws/judgement then it takes that much more work to find a woman who accepts you and embraces. So sitting your butt down while in your thirties and hoping for some sort of miracle is not productive.
I wish I could tell them to get their butts out there and find their woman. I believe there is somebody for everyone but some people just never find that person cause they dont do what is required to do so. But I dont want to be seen as blunt and harsh. The thing is that if these brothers I talked about were 18 or 19 years of age just starting to explore the world and seeing the work required to live in it than it wouldn't be a problem and time will develop them. But some these are men in their mid thirties sitting their hopelessly and sad, not realizing they might need to expand their world outside the local churches to get what they want.
Having a woman/spouse is one of the most essential things for a man to have and to make it so hard for grown men to even have a basic interaction with woman (talking, standard dating),to me makes no sense. Especially when some men are by default of certain qualities, going to have a harder time dating/finding a woman. Im not even going to get into the arranged marriage/elders permission nonsense (as seen in other post), as my post is long enough.

- This concludes my introduction post, feel free to give your knowledge, thoughts, opinions, and concerns on my post. It was nice introducing myself and I hope to gain more insight. also sorry for the typos/errors, this was a long post.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2020, 12:11 PM   #2
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,958
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Jigsaw44 - welcome to the LC Discussion board! I'll try to respond to each of your points, but may not have the knowledge to do so adequately on all of them. My responses are based upon my firsthand knowledge of the LC from the 1070s & 80s in a few different localities, and for some limited things I've learned since then.

1. Regarding the hierarchy, the elders are supposed to be the top authority in a locality. And the LCs were supposed to be autonomous. But this happens to varying degrees and since the mid-1980s, central authority from Anaheim and LSM has become prevalent. The elders and LCs that didn't come under this authority were basically shown the door. I think "co-workers" means ones who were closely associated with WL. Blendeds I have the least idea about, as this made-up term came about after I left in the late 1980s. However, Blendeds wield at least a strong influence over elders I would think . . .

2. You identified a key issue with the LC - its adherence to WL above Christ. They would never admit this, but it is apparent to most anyone who visits a LC gathering. They believe they have the one true ministry and the one true way to Christian unity. This has caused a palatable and fleshly elitism in the LC, that automatically divides them from other members of the body of Christ. They don't see this and believe, like the church in Laodecia, that they have it all.

3. Regarding the behaviors of the LC members . . . no, many do not have TVs and don't celebrate holidays. When I was in, this was a norm, and to do otherwise, well let's just say there was a sort of unwritten peer pressure regarding these things. Nothing wrong with not having these things, and personally I believe the world is completely married to the TV and Christmas. But, it is a covert kind of legalism in the LCs to not practice these things, which supplants the inner working of the Anointing.

Other behaviors when I was around including a very conservative style of clothing and things like discouraging make-up on women. Again, there was a kind of covert code, which I don't know that anybody got talked to if they stepped "over the line, " but there was just this understanding that you didn't want to appear too worldly . . . Now I see these things as legalism that just replaces the real experience of Christ in someone's life.

4.5 - I don't know that I can really address this. There has been a lot of discussion on here of late, regarding how the LC treats females (not well). As you point out, there certainly is some prudence in keeping a level of separation for obvious reasons (i.e., rampant hormones), but the LCs seem to get overly legal in this matter too. Maybe someone else could address this more.

Hope that helps and again, it's just my opinions and observations. I'm sure many others will chime in.
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2020, 01:19 PM   #3
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Thank you for the response- Sons to Glory, I have been in the LC for a little while and things just seemed out of place on the surface of things and I was thinking just how strange it truly was once you get to know enough of it.
I encourage other users to chime in and tell me what they know of the local churches whether that is responding to one of my initial questions in the original post or just giving some extra info.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-16-2020, 09:15 PM   #4
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 754
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
Intro- I am currently part of the local churches (east coast), and upon joining for a little while now (not too new and not a long term member) I seem to have a lot of questions I wouldn't feel comfortable asking upfront just by the nature of it. (the word "but" is used an unnecessary amount of times but im done typing/adjusting and just want to post.

1. What exactly is the hierarchy of the local churches? On these forums I see these terms of Coworker, blended brothers, elders, (whats next after elders and so on) etc. What exactly are these titles and their function, and how would you know if someone is in one of these positions? It seems pretty subtle when it comes to knowing who is who and what is what. I feel like I have no idea how this system is organized and it feels like it is something that is not explained for a long while for some reason or another.
Welcome jigsaw44!

I only have a short window to say something but will try to follow up with some more thoughts on the rest of your post in the coming days. But regarding your point #1......

The brothers in the leadership of the local churches adamantly claim that "there is no hierarchy" in the local churches. But, as you may or may not have discovered, there can be a fair amount of contradictory thoughts/teachings in the local church. I say that because while stamping their foot and proclaiming "no hierarchy", the leadership simultaneously holds iron-grip fast to the concept of "deputy authority" in the church.

What is "God's deputy authority" you might ask? In the church, what it distills down to is that it's brothers in the lead who must be submitted to whether they are right or wrong. Who are the ones telling us that God's deputy authorities must be submitted to whether right or wrong? Why, those very same deputy authorities.

I'll provide a sample quote from an article posted to a recent public relations site they created within the past year:

"The apostles charged the believers to submit to all deputy authorities, without regard to whether they were good or bad (Rom. 13:1; Titus 3:1; 1 Pet. 2:13). Believers are likewise charged to honor the elders in the church (1 Tim. 5:17) and be subject to them (1 Pet. 5:5).

What if a deputy authority is wrong? If a deputy authority is wrong, we should still submit (Dan. 3:19-21; Acts 16:20-25), though we cannot obey if the authority insists that we act contrary to God (Dan. 3:16-18; Acts 5:29)."

One tripping hazard with these kind of quotes is that they are chock-filled with verse references, giving the impression that everything they are saying, stating, and claiming is what the Bible says.

But it's just not. What the co-workers have done in the article (I'll get to "the co-workers" in a sec) is mix verses about submitting to SECULAR authorities "whether good or bad", and then pretending like the Bible commands that same "whether good or bad" stance regarding apostles, elders, etc.....in the church. But the Bible NEVER says to submit to someone in the church "whether they are good or bad". Ever. The system of "authority" (if you want to call it that) in the church is completely turned upside down from the world. And Jesus Himself says it in Matthew 20:25-28:

25 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them.
26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant,
27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—
28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

So just with your first question, you've uncovered a known abusive teaching used in cults and abusive churches. It's a big one, and it tells us reams about what's going on in the local church. And what it's telling us is not good.

It basically provides the perfect petri dish of an environment for sin, unrighteousness, and all manner of evil to be covered up and hidden and never dealt with, because the members have been trained to believe they have to submit no matter what. The second you hear anyone saying "we have the authority" is actually the very moment that they have lost their authority, because they have strayed from the thing that really has the authority - the word of God.

There's more I could say, but that's an initial toe-dip into the cesspool of hierarchy and authority in the local church.

The frustrating thing is, if everyone behaves themselves, a given local church can seem like quite a nice place. Most members have direct access, free fellowship, good relationships with the elders in that locality, and you don't bump up against this strange "deputy authority" that much. It's when 1) someone sins and the eldership is expected to step in and they confusingly develop lead feet and you're expected to not have a problem with their unwillingness to do the right thing, or 2) the co-workers (who are "above" the elders) blow into town and the elders suddenly become simpering backbone-less non-elders who bow to whatever unbiblical stuff the co-workers may be commanding them to do, that you bump up against it. And this stuff happens. Oh boy, does it ever.

So in this "we are not a hierarchy", here is a rough idea of the hierarchy as I posted elsewhere on this site:

1. Witness Lee (in the grave)
2. Co-workers in the Lord's recovery - cover the whole world
>>a. Senior co-workers
>>b. Junior co-workers
3. North America co-workers - includes some regional co-workers, deals only with N.A.
4. Regional co-workers - cover various regions in the U.S., some of whom are North America co-workers, some of whom are not but are elders.
5. Elders in each locality.
6. Responsible brothers in each locality (includes both elders as well as the brothers under them, say, who head up various services in the church, or various district meetings, or handle the HWMR sharing, etc).
7. All the other brothers.
8. All sisters, no matter the age, maturity, responsibility, weightiness, expertise, etc.

8 is a little tongue in cheek, but not really far off from reality as I have observed it, and as you may have noticed.

#nohierarchy

As you rightly observed, they are shifty about identifying who is who. Elders in each locality are openly known, but above that is mired in clouds of smoke. I think it's commonly understood that "the blended brothers" includes AT LEAST the brothers who share the messages at the LSM live trainings given every summer and winter. "The blended brothers" are either all the co-workers, or a subset of the co-workers.

One other wrinkle while I'll only touch upon, is that the majority of the board members of LSM, if not all of them, are also co-workers. And so any decision made by "the co-workers" is by default also a decision made by all the top brass at LSM. What this does is put LSM as #1 in place of Witness Lee, for all practicality these days. A publishing house is the top leader of a network of churches. It's just weird.

I recollect the same as Sons to Glory!. I believe "the co-workers" came about as a term initially to describe the brothers who were around Witness Lee when he was alive. They were "co-working" with Witness Lee, and so they became "the co-workers". Even their terminology has to do with relationship to Witness Lee. If you look through the Bible, though, the Greek for co-worker is used in a much broader sense and in a few cases includes couples and sisters.

But the reason for shiftiness (and I'll stop on this point), is so they can't be held accountable. In the Bible, the apostles were named, openly identified themselves as such, and openly known. And the saints in the church were charged to watch out for wolves and false prophets, and were told to test them and were commended for identifying false apostles, etc. Well......it's kind of hard to test and discern and hold people to a standard if they won't even identify who they are.....right?

On that same PR site I mentioned earlier, the co-workers claim to be apostles, and then call it "unbiblical" to ask for a list of the co-workers. It actually couldn't be more biblical, given that the apostles are listed out one by one in the Bible itself.

It's all just a contradictory, unscriptural mess that they've propagated. I personally think 95% of the problems in the local church stem from the upper echelons of the leadership.

Anyway. You got me going. Sorry for the long post. Hope this is helpful as a start.

Trapped
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2020, 07:42 AM   #5
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,816
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
But the reason for shiftiness (and I'll stop on this point), is so they can't be held accountable.
I'll pick up where you stopped.

The Recovery reeks because of this point: Its leaders have not, cannot, and will not be held accountable.

This is the impetus for many of their false teachings, and the widespread damages which have resulted over the years. Of course, those inside of the Recovery are constantly reminded that these "storms" were actually "rebellions" or "conspiracies" orchestrated by ambitious men. Nothing could be further from the truth. All of these so-called "ambitious" men, throughout the 100 year history of the Recovery, were only men of God calling for accountability in the ministry. In a sense they were merely whistle-blowers calling for accountability.

The most insidious (and probably the root of all evil) of these false teachings is the concept of "deputy authority" vested in one man. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Both within the church and without. That's why Jesus so often warned the disciples about wanting to be great, and lording it over others. If you think that I am perhaps a little off-base, let me encourage you to read church history and see the death and destruction wrought by the Popery on the entire Western world for more than a Millennium.

Think about it: If the Pope is the actual Vicar of Christ on earth, how can he make a mistake, and how can he ever be held accountable? If Nee and Lee and "Brothers We" are actually the "Ministers of the Age," (MOTA's) raised up by the Lord Himself, how can they be held accountable?

How did it get this way? Why has history repeated itself? What are these same falsehoods thrust upon Catholics, thrust upon the LC's, thrust upon our Brethren forebears under J.N.Darby, and thrust upon so many other congregations and aberrant sects throughout the church age?

This teaching of deputy authority, under diverse terminologies for two millennia, is a root of evil. It is the legal mandate of those who lust for power. It has the ability to subdue mountains of verses in the New Testament which should serve to negate it. In a nutshell, it is the application of Moses (and Noah secondarily related to accountability) as a type of any N.T. minister. Yes, Moses is a type of Christ, and Christ alone, but never another minister. Moses told us this in Deut. 18.15-19. Jesus regularly connected Himself with Moses. (e.g. John 5.46-47) Peter verified this in Acts 3.22-23. Paul confirmed this in Hebrews chapter 3. Moses brought us the Old Covenant and built God's house in type, Jesus brought us the New Covenant and built God's house in reality.

Kings David and Solomon are also incredible types of Christ. God has used them, though flawed in many ways, to reveal His Son to us. Yet, never once did the N.T. ascribe their kingly authority to anyone but Christ Himself, the real King, the eternal King, the Judge of all, who alone is worthy of all glory and honor. Apart from Him, all other ministers in the church, including the apostles, are nothing. (Luke 17.10)
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-17-2020, 03:32 PM   #6
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Appreciate all the responses so far (Ohio/trapped/glory). Gave me alot of info I did not have before. Feel free to expand your input on my other questions and for anyone new to this thread- join right in.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 12:43 PM   #7
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 754
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
3. What are the certain behaviors that make the Local Church members different. I notice some things like they have dont televisions, and I think they do not celebrate Christmas and Easter. There probably more things they do and not that I have not noticed yet. What is the essential code of conduct among the local churches and where does these behaviors come from (maybe witness lee?).
Where behaviors come from is an interesting question, and not one I'm sure I have any kind of answer or many formed thoughts about. Numerous behaviors in the local church line right up with typical behaviors in legalistic churches or abusive churches, so with that in mind, I would say the ultimate source is of the devil. But I think, yeah, maybe some of the particular specifics are just sourced in Witness Lee.

As an example, it's not uncommon for facial hair to be frowned upon in legalistic churches. That's the overarching "typical behavior". But the particular specific for the LC is, say, that Witness Lee said that when he came to America and saw Americans with beards he didn't know if the men were humans or demons. That's the Witness Lee twist on the beard thing. And they take it so far as to say that if you are serving on campus or in the leadership, it's inappropriate for you to have a beard or facial hair. Like, it is not allowed. Talk about a commandment of men rather than of God!

The essential code of conduct is: DON'T DO ANYTHING WITHOUT PERMISSION AND FELLOWSHIP!!!

Other things that make the LC members different:
-no Christmas
-no Easter
-for some, no birthdays, or greatly reduced emphasis on birthdays
-movie theaters have been problematic
-I know jeans are a problem for some
-they have a unique and strange vernacular among themselves which bleeds into conversations with non-LC people sometimes
-ultra submissive to so-called "authority"
-close their minds to contradictory information
-live in their own bubble trying to get others into their bubble
-withdrawal from healthy interaction with other believers not in the LC, there can actually be a fear there even
-for some, fear of extravagance or appearing too worldly (yes, we should take care of that kind of thing in the extreme, but I think it's too much in the LC.....for example, Jo Casteel in her FB letter mentioned something about wearing sparkly shirts and worrying it would stumble LCers)
-fear of questioning, noticing problems, speaking up about observed sin, identifying wrong teachings, rocking the boat in general
-holding conflicting views simultaneously and constructing mental barriers to not have to deal with it

I know others can fill this out much better, but that's what immediately came to my mind.

(Thanks, Ohio, for picking up where I left off on that other post!)

Trapped
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 05:47 PM   #8
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Thanks again for all the responses, a quick question though. Is it ok if i PM some of you for more questions? I just dont think it will be necessary to make a bunch of thread every time I have a concerning questions. But I def will make some new threads in the future, (hopefully one that isnt a 1000 word Original Post like this one =).
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 09:26 PM   #9
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,396
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
4. This last point is kind of ridiculous in my opinion and it has to do with the relations of men and women in the local churches. It is very easy to tell brothers and sisters are separated as much as possible unless married. It really got to me when I brought my girlfriend (still having a celibate boundary), over to a lords day meeting and the amount of just piercing glares was just like woah- what is going on. Then I am later told about how dating is not moral and is only meant with intent on marriage and they read me verses on this subject,and It was obvious my girlfriend was a problem to them. But to be frank I am an adult in my twenties and I dont understand a darn bit how the woman I am with is anybody concern and how do they think they are in a position to dictate me, on how and who to date. But the situation with me is minuscule compared to some other brothers.

4.5- This is a continuation of point number 4 but focusing on other brothers. To get straight to it- the separation of male and female seems justifiable at a youth age but gets kind of out of hand for adults. I understand you want children to not be reckless and to focus on Christ and establishing their life before pursuing woman but it gets out of hand at a certain age with the restrictions of separation.
I know brothers in their late twenties and even early to mid thirties who for sadly obvious reasons they are not in good standing with pursuing a relationship. They barely have any opportunities to talk to the sisters and they frankly dont know how to since they have never done it for their entire lives (the ones who grew up LC). Lastly, there are probably no sisters interested in them in, in that locality.
But instead of going out there in the world and being a man and finding their own woman, they just sit there while they fellowship with the brothers and praying for their troubles (repeatedly). But the fact is- the reasons they cant find a woman to settle with (socially, physically, financially, etc), still applies to the local church woman just as much to woman outside the local churches. Everyone looks for standards in a relationship and if you have a lot of perceived flaws/judgement then it takes that much more work to find a woman who accepts you and embraces. So sitting your butt down while in your thirties and hoping for some sort of miracle is not productive.
I wish I could tell them to get their butts out there and find their woman. I believe there is somebody for everyone but some people just never find that person cause they dont do what is required to do so. But I dont want to be seen as blunt and harsh. The thing is that if these brothers I talked about were 18 or 19 years of age just starting to explore the world and seeing the work required to live in it than it wouldn't be a problem and time will develop them. But some these are men in their mid thirties sitting their hopelessly and sad, not realizing they might need to expand their world outside the local churches to get what they want.
Having a woman/spouse is one of the most essential things for a man to have and to make it so hard for grown men to even have a basic interaction with woman (talking, standard dating),to me makes no sense. Especially when some men are by default of certain qualities, going to have a harder time dating/finding a woman. Im not even going to get into the arranged marriage/elders permission nonsense (as seen in other post), as my post is long enough.

- This concludes my introduction post, feel free to give your knowledge, thoughts, opinions, and concerns on my post. It was nice introducing myself and I hope to gain more insight. also sorry for the typos/errors, this was a long post.
I was raised in the local churches since the age of 3. By the time you leave grade school for middle school, it is no longer acceptable for boys and girls to be sociable.
As you get to be high school and college age it was common to hear the phrase from a brother's perspective, "you don't get into a relationship until you're ready to get married." How do you know when that time is? If you even dare to speak to a single sister, protocol has been broken. Your character within the church becomes questionable.
It wasn't until the 1990's it became more common to find one's spouse outside the local church fellowship. It wasn't until facebook did I realize other former church kids, single sisters had the same attitude towards single brothers that single brothers had towards single sisters. There's a facade in the churchlife pretending to be spiritual and on fire for the ministry even if you're not. Brothers want to marry a normal sister and sisters want to marry a normal brother. Someone you can grow and laugh with. As it was there was such a distance for brothers and sisters to know each other as persons, they became socially dysfunctional towards the other gender.
You said,
Quote:
I know brothers in their late twenties and even early to mid thirties who for sadly obvious reasons they are not in good standing with pursuing a relationship. They barely have any opportunities to talk to the sisters and they frankly dont know how to since they have never done it for their entire lives (the ones who grew up LC). Lastly, there are probably no sisters interested in them in, in that locality.
I was one of those brothers. How I came to be married and a father of three had nothing to do with the local churches.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 09:30 PM   #10
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,396
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Another question I had for many years, is to get an honest answer without the hemhawing "I feel to honor the feeling of the Body" type of response.
Brothers and sisters, do you really feel the quarantined leading brothers were trying to "takeover the recovery"?
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 09:32 PM   #11
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,396
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
The essential code of conduct is: DON'T DO ANYTHING WITHOUT PERMISSION AND FELLOWSHIP!!!
On the flip side, it one is conscious of this code of conduct and does something without permission and fellowship, what does it mean if there is reaction?
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 09:40 PM   #12
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,396
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
It's all just a contradictory, unscriptural mess that they've propagated. I personally think 95% of the problems in the local church stem from the upper echelons of the leadership.
I agree with you here Trapped. Sadly fear of Man operates more in the local churches than fear of God. The general congregation take more heed what "the brothers" say rather than what the Bible says.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 09:47 PM   #13
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 754
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I was raised in the local churches since the age of 3. By the time you leave grade school for middle school, it is no longer acceptable for boys and girls to be sociable.
As you get to be high school and college age it was common to hear the phrase from a brother's perspective, "you don't get into a relationship until you're ready to get married." How do you know when that time is? If you even dare to speak to a single sister, protocol has been broken. Your character within the church becomes questionable.
It wasn't until the 1990's it became more common to find one's spouse outside the local church fellowship. It wasn't until facebook did I realize other former church kids, single sisters had the same attitude towards single brothers that single brothers had towards single sisters. There's a facade in the churchlife pretending to be spiritual and on fire for the ministry even if you're not. Brothers want to marry a normal sister and sisters want to marry a normal brother. Someone you can grow and laugh with. As it was there was such a distance for brothers and sisters to know each other as persons, they became socially dysfunctional towards the other gender.
You said,
I was one of those brothers. How I came to be married and a father of three had nothing to do with the local churches.
This describes my experience too. No way granted to be able to be normally healthily functional towards the opposite sex. I recall having a young people's serving one telling me sternly "DON'T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT AT ALL UNTIL YOU ARE 25!" and when I turned 26 I got "what's the deal, why aren't you married yet?"

I tried to tell elders that young people are harmed by being told "no no no no no no no no" in every meeting their whole life and it is never balanced out with any kind of meeting where they are told "okay....now's ok". The elders were not church kids themselves, and they didn't seem to understand the problem.

You don't get into a relationship until you're read to get married?? How are you supposed to have any idea of who you'd like to be in a relationship with if you can't interact with them in a normal way? In the LC it's like you've got to break their protocol to have a hope of getting married. I can't stand what they've done to people.
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-19-2020, 09:51 PM   #14
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 754
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
Thanks again for all the responses, a quick question though. Is it ok if i PM some of you for more questions? I just dont think it will be necessary to make a bunch of thread every time I have a concerning questions. But I def will make some new threads in the future, (hopefully one that isnt a 1000 word Original Post like this one =).
You can PM anyone you want, although your original post was in the "Introductions and Testimonies" subform and since the title of your post is "thoughts, questions, etc....." this is kinda your thread and I think it would be totally appropriate for you to simply post more questions you have in this same original thread you started since it all would fall under "jigsaw44's thoughts and questions"!

It's up to you whether to PM or post publicly of course, but there are people reading and there is a lot of value to questions and thoughts and answers and musings happening publicly where others can read them. It's something that can't happen in the LC - freely throwing around Qs & As and handling things in the light - and that's the value of this place in contrast.
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2020, 07:20 AM   #15
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,958
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
Thanks again for all the responses, a quick question though. Is it ok if i PM some of you for more questions? I just dont think it will be necessary to make a bunch of thread every time I have a concerning questions. But I def will make some new threads in the future, (hopefully one that isnt a 1000 word Original Post like this one =).
Yes, absolutely - at least as far as I am concerned!
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-20-2020, 06:06 PM   #16
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Thanks for all the support all of you, well as requested I will definitely ask more questions that I would like insight on. (sorry for the typos/errors, it is a long post).

5. Why do elders/full timers try to find out every aspect of your livelihood. From my own experience and observed happening to other brothers recently recruited from college campuses, it seems as though they try to ask why you do certain things such as activities outside of the local churches. Either that may be hanging out with friends outside the LC, or going to social events/hobbies. They seem almost skeptical/cynical of your lifestyle outside of the local churches. They are subtle about it to, they try to fish around for the information they desire but trying to beat around the bush in asking what you do and why you do it. It appears kind of invasive, like do how would they like it if someone questioned every aspect of the livelihood outside of the Local Churches. IDK if this is an east coast thing with the local churches (where in from), or just a general thing they do for whatever reason.

6. Another observation I made is how they seem very persistent in getting certain brothers (college age), to go live in a brothers house. I don't this to be necessarily negative but they have a strong emphasis on accomplishing this. I guess the concerning thing is that, why are they so persistent in pulling people away from their already established living situation (dorms/apartments/living with parents). Its as if they are afraid of something and that "something" can be solved by putting brothers in a brothers house. Like I said, cant really have a hard opinion on this without knowing more info. I know that a brothers house has a lot of restrictions that may or may not be too controlling depending on the person. But I feel that this has a strong correlation to something, I just don't know it (hopefully you all do).

6.5- A side about brothers house, what I do observe is that it is definitely not suited for everybody and I see brothers who have stagnant growth in life and responsibilities as a man, due to the restrictions of the brothers house and the cheap comfort that it brings (low cost of living), also were talking about men not only college age but all the way into their thirties). Do local church elders even care about the growth and progression of life of brothers or the only thing relevant is their "spiritual growth" and fellowship. I honestly think that the actions/pressures of the local churches have either unintended or in their eyes "trivial" consequences for lots of people they to usher into their customs.

7. Full time training- I read some post about how the Local Churches try to push students to go to the full time training but some things about it does not make sense to me. There are brothers/sisters who go to the full time training but are not full timers. So they basically enter the job market with a 2 year job gap. Did they chose not to pursue full timing or where there not enough positions available? Why would someone go through years of college+ internships and to throw all away for a 2 year job gap and no full time position in the church. Wouldn't just be more practical for lots of brothers/sisters to just pursue their careers and move on with their lives. It seems to me this "training" just hindered their lives greatly (those who did not become full timers).

8. Tithing/- This is something that has a problem with all religious institutions but for the local churches- I want to chime in. I remember I was at a conference (east coast), and the way the full timer/ responsible one (idk his position but he was something in terms of authority). Was giving a story about how a brother worked his way up to making good money and he gave it all away except for the needed amount to survive. He then said with a powerful and grasping voice- GIVE YOUR MONEY TO GOD, Money is evil except for putting it towards God (Like God himself needs money -_-). (Notice how he says give money to God, good word choice to captivate people and it sounds a lot better than saying please give money to the church for necessary expenses). The people attending the conference shouted Amen and were robust about his words and were praising him. I was thinking to my self- you took so much of this mans money and didn't even think about his personal well being such as retirement savings and other cost of living adjustments.
So how much action does the Local Churches have into individual contribution for tithing. Do they force/pressure you for income verification and try to compromise with you on how to much to donate. Or are they lax and simply humbly request donations for church maintenance. I understand money is necessary for needed funds/expenses, but honestly there are certain ways to not go about it that can be deem unethical: selling LSM products in church, and being deceptive with words.

8.5- Mentality- as told in question 8 with the story of the conference attendants mindlessly shouting amen and just praising anything a brother with authority says. I have been to different churches growing up and there are numerous times a pastor will give his own personal opinion knowing the consequences of difference in thought within believers- in which you get negative stares, awkward silence, and a lack amens. This is a part of church life and it shows the different chain of thoughts and personal beliefs we humans have.
But brothers, especially elders and responsible ones (basically any brother with any sort of authority). Will speak and say something bizarre strange, or just extremely unusual, it is almost if the local church members are just ingrained just yell amen and agree with utmost authority towards the brother. I emphasize "brothers", because sometimes when sisters offer a different/unpopular opinion- there is hardly any amen and even objection to the comment the sister made. But for leading brothers- the situation reminds me of people with no sense of independence of thought just mindlessly agreeing and never objecting.
Is this a façade, and people do think differently and disagree but due to fear- never speak out in any form. Or are they really ingrained to the system crafted by the local churches. Or perhaps, not to be condescending- these are the people the local churches are looking for ("sheep" needing to be taken care of). All these things I have just observed from my current time with the local churches, and I know possibly many more newcomers to the LC (perhaps even LC grown people), have noticed similar things as I- just not have spoken about it to local church members. There is a huge commitment rate ranging between those who grew up in Local churches and those who came in as young adults (me). Obviously those who grew up outside the local churches- bring with them there experiences and knowledge of understanding outside of the local churches and bring them in. That is why a lot of long term Local Church members (especially Young LC kids/teens/adults), I believe are not even aware of this "mentality" that they have in relations towards the local church or maybe have been taught for so long to dismiss it.
Regardless, this concludes my second set of questions for the local churches. Its crazy how much I have from just basic observations from an outside perspective (didn't grow up in LC). Feel free to answer and give me input from any of my questions/points.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2020, 11:32 AM   #17
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,958
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Here's my reply to your questions #5-8.

5. They are probably thinking they are shepherding you and protecting you. However, beyond a basic level, it is an intrusion in my book and and attempt to control. Brothers I'm with now, for instance, don't really care to know all my current details, and visa versa. Nobody's hiding anything, but being a busy-body is overly controlling, and is of the flesh. If you invited someone to help you or to provide a level of accountability, well that's different. But where I am now, often brothers might just say, "Let's take it to the Lord" if someone was going on in too much detail about their private life issues.

6. Nothing wrong with saints living together, but someone pressuring a person is (again) controlling and of the flesh. I know they would probably say it's a healthy thing for young people to be together for a level of accountability, but . . . The flesh doing these things amounts to zero, and can cause problems. In my book, better for the Anointing within to be allowed to work in a younger person. So a little fellowship and gentle guidance is one thing, but I think you're talking about overt pressure.

7. Can't speak regarding the full-time training thing, but about everything I've heard on here in several discussions, it all sounds legalistic and controlling. And ultimately the fruit of the Spirit doesn't appear to be there as a result of this type of training.

8. I was never forced or pressured much to tithe. To me it's totally freewill, and you are right that many groups push this in an unbiblical way I think. At the least, it's an Old Covenant practice. Think about it, saying you should give at least 10% . . . this smacks of the law - nothing like this in the New Testament. Let the Anointing guide you as far as giving your money, time and caring for others is concerned!

8.5 My opinion is it is a classic groupthink thing. You fall in with a certain group and their norms, and after going along with something a while, it's just easy to nod and agree. And then, over time, to go against whatever seems doubly hard.

Hope that helps and I'm sure others will jump in.
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-21-2020, 07:04 PM   #18
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 754
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

5. LOL....I can think of a few possibilities. One is that they are trained to "show an interest in people". The other is to see how "good" of a "good building material" you are. Another is that it's classic lovebombing - show an interest in people, what they do, why they do it.....but you caught on that it's subtle and invasive.....because the reason isn't really grounded in love; it's grounded in trying to catch you for "the Lord's recovery movement of Witness Lee".

6. They are afraid that outside influences will draw those brothers away. If you can keep them grouped together all the time, then there are less outsiders to show how weird the bubble is. The church life de facto becomes their actual life. It's less effort to catch a group of fish than one fish at a time. Etc. etc. But what I've observed happens when you do this with a group of brothers is that you produce a ...... weird group of brothers. The word "bro" takes on a whole new level of meaning. Groups of brothers create their own vernacular and think the whole world revolves around the "hilarious" language they've come up with. Bro-ing it up. It's ultimately self-facing, inward, self-centered behavior. There's nothing to balance them out. And the serving ones encourage it because it's an easy pot of fish to keep an eye on (or whatever.....poor metaphor on my part).

6 1/2. I don't know what is going on inside elders' heads or hearts. For reals. It's a head scratcher. They can be Jekylls and Hydes, man.

7. The FTT is sold as "two years in the full-time training is equivalent to twenty years in the church". It's sold as a well-known footnote goes: "throughout the past twenty centuries, thousands of precious lives, heart treasures, high positions, and golden futures have been “wasted” upon the Lord Jesus." Trainees think they are "presenting their bodies which is their reasonable service". So to sacrifice two years is, in their minds, a glory. But they're not presenting their bodies to the Lord, it's to Witness Lee's indoctrination camp. Their sacrifice is on the wrong altar.

I think as the FTT sought after it's accreditation, graduates could pass it off as something like "continuing education" or "schooling" or whatever. It can appear on a resume less like a weird generic "Bible school" and more like "Bible Truth and Church Service Training", which is what the FTTA site says.

Many full-timers, as they near graduation, fling themselves on "the brothers" to determine what they should do. Some trainees already have a plan and they stick to it. Some decide for themselves. Some wait for "the fellowship" and follow it no matter what. It varies. But it's all done in an environment of "undue influence". Often times the elders honor the "feeling" of graduates who think for themselves. But some graduates become true milquetoasts, laying themselves as sacrifices on the altar of the elders, wanting to remain "under the covering". It's weird.

I'll have to stop there for now.

Trapped
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-22-2020, 06:23 PM   #19
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Ill say it again, thank you for all your responses and I do indeed have more questions. (Again sorry for typos, it is a long post). I understand I am swinging in with the questions and I apologize if its a lot but feel free to take a bit of time). I only had like 2 questions initially, but more popped up the more I typed. There is a lot of questions to answer here so if you only have time to answer a couple- I think questions 14-14.5 are the synopsis of all the thoughts and questions I had in this thread so I guess if you had to chose a couple its definitely 14-14.5. Otherwise feel free to answer a bunch of them or even all of them. I think I poured out all I had of the local churches so far in this thread.

9. The Objective of the church- From what I have seen and heard so far the Local churches are trying to expand and meet a quota of church members not only in numbers but also demographics. Then why keep this idea of only college age kids being "good building material". Im not saying go find all the homeless drug addicts in the world and transform their lives (very virtuous but difficult...), but expand the horizon and get people from all portions of your city. If they like the local church they will stay and perhaps even bring people they know and the church will grow. They say things like "All inclusive Christ", but exclude a lot of people on discrimination of character it seems to me. There is reason the Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostals are all huge in numbers due to their persistence of pursuing people of all sorts. I mean who even knows of the Local Churches in the general public? In fact, why do they try so hard to hide who they are as a church, whether its going under the alias Christians on campus, or hiding lee material(from new college students), and diverging from explaining their practices and customs (shouting, amen, recovery footnotes, legalism, etc? Just be honest with you are, and the people who are not with it will leave and those are will stay. That way you don't have people leaving en masse out after figuring out that what they thought initially was not the reality. They make it so hard to expand on their wishes without realizing that changing will be needed to do so. Of course they might want to keep it small and controlled because of leaks they are afraid they cant patch up (Titus Chu).

9.5- Care - is there really a pyramid system of the amount of care LC members have towards certain brothers/sisters. I know obviously that college students are love bombed due to them being their ideal recruits but beyond that where does it go? I ask this because I notice a couple things.
First is the certain comments that elders/responsible ones make about other brothers and its revealing of how they think vs how they "appear". You know those brothers I mentioned in question 4.5 (1st post), those are the ones getting side comments on their age and judgement on their life. I wrote so much on question 4.5 cause its just frustrating on how devoted some of these brothers are to the church and in return they are not really cared about (deemed not worthy for consistent invites for home meetings/gatherings, not taken seriously for moving in the next step forward in life). I am not sure if this is just an outlier from what I witnessed or is it a common thing throughout the Local Churches. There are those who want to work out of college and trust me when they share their excitement for getting the job they want after studying hard for years- the Amens become dead silent in the meetings (prob cause no FTT).

9.8-The questions previously asked about LC members trying to gather random pieces of info about me and testing whether I am willing to commit to their norms from the get-go (brothers house/ FTT commitment). Is it all just to see how much I am worth in terms of care/appreciation? I know this sounds distrustful and skeptical but after the testimonies I have seen and what I have observed. I'm on the verge of thinking there truly is some sort of unspoken or privately spoken consensus on who is worth what. Does this whole situation of appearing "inferior" revolve around the idea of "building material".
- I know question 9 is broken into many parts but I guess the simple answer im looking for is- What are the different groups of people do Local Church see and categorize? Is it as simple as College+FTT+Witness lee indoctrination= Top of pyramid, and everyone else is below with little indifference between the non FTT people. Or does it get complicated depending on other factors.

10. Goal of FTT- Is the goal of FTT solely produce Full timers and outreach for the local churches. Or is there an ulterior motive to get as much people as possible for Witness Lee doctrine to be ingrained and there for LSM/Anaheim to have full ideological control? Seeing what happened to Titus chu, I'm thinking control is of higher priority than mass expansion.

11. History/Events- Titus Chu/Midwest vs Anaheim, what is the current state of the local churches of America. Are they subject to Anaheim or is there a rift between certain regions on who to follow? How does the local churches throughout the regions react to an excommunication of a big name person such as Titus? Do they contest in uproar or pretend nothing happened?

11.5-. Excommunication (don't care about the word they have for it)- How does one qualify for excommunication? Can a regular attendee with no authority/power be excommunicated or is the process for excommunication big name people such as Titus Chu, or John Ingalls? Is it simply the consistently challenging Witness Lee content? I hear they like to use the word "ambitious"- How does one qualify for being ambitious? How is excommunication enforced- are you banned from your current city or perhaps region, maybe even world? Do they give information to every local church, in order to keep you out?

12. Contradiction- How does the LC practice their norms/customs while pretending to be the pinnacle of Christianity. 1. Shouting and Chanting Lord Jesus, and repeating verses over and over verbatim (goes against Matthew Chapter 6), Discriminately choosing who to accept/recruit over who they currently are and not what they can be (goes against Jesus character completely, story of Sumerian woman, healing the sick, blessing the poor). The idea of Killing the soul life- while things like Daystar scandal, throwing max under the bus, recycled LSM content being sold in church for profit ( Goes against Matthew 21), Philip Lee( disgusting man).
I can only imagine just how much harder it was for the women to speak up against him (Philip lee) since seeing how sisters are at the bottom of the totem pole (In the local churches) and at that time, Philip lee had high position along with "Caesar" lee protecting him. They always bash the Roman rulers but I got to say "Caesar lee" is definitely up there when compared to the most control seeking Roman rulers (might as well call him "Caesar" by the way he is portrayed and treated). I mean they always bash other churches for their imperfections, how about they look at themselves (Matthew 7:5). Nothing is perfect but darn they hold themselves as the pinnacle of Christianity and it makes no sense. Btw im talking about the people who are aware of these events and still pretend their high and mighty. Now that I think about I have another question that just spurred out of no where.

13. What percentage of Local church people know of the ugly side of LC history : Anaheim in its prime time years of chaos- 1980s, Titus Chu excommunication/Midwest split, Daystar, etc. These are things I know just from these forums and other sources. Who knows other things that happened that went under the rug. As time goes on and the people who witnessed and experienced all this history in person- pass on. Will these things even be known outside of the internet? 50 years from now, will the dark history of the LC be flowing around the local churches in these minds that have been told this info one way or another. Or just contained on the internet for the curious ones who come across the info.

14. I got to be honest the average full timer/elder is honestly a nice person who just wants to do what they believe is "right" in the eyes of God. But what I just realized after typing all this is that the very brief answer to all my questions is Witness Lee. Witness Lee is the source for all the problems with the local churches. Whether its: how they look down on other Christians, only focus on college kids cause of "building material", have complete control over all localities like a "Caesar" having control over his provinces. In conferences they always talk about the "evil" Roman empire and how the roman empire lives on today. I know this seems bold to say this- Well look at the local churches: Localities= provinces, capital= Anaheim, anyone who speaks back against "Caesar" Lee is discarded, well I guess now the Caesars are the one who runs LSM (I guess Ron Kangas at this point has taken over the throne, doubt there is anyone above the mad king Ron currently). This man said Witness Lee is the best apostle since Paul and his works has surpassed men like Thomas Aquinas and John Wesley. Witness Lee is a failure/swindler/hustler, whose biggest accomplishment was maintaining but unfortunately degrading the local churches of Watchman Nee. How are you going to compare him to John Wesley and Thomas Aquinas?

14.5- If the local churches want to grow to what they dream upon (the size of the Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostals,), they have to get rid of witness lee doctrine. Witness Lee, even after his passing- is holding them back so much and I do not even know if they realize it. His teachings/methods/ideology of what the local churches should be, is the reason the local churches will never appear to be more than a cult that has to hide under an alias on college campuses and put a veil over their teachings/beliefs cause they know of the consequences of immediately putting witness lee doctrine out there. If you have to put so much effort hiding who you truly are ( college campus deception tactics)- maybe what you are is the problem. Just like a person can change who they are so can the local churches. I love the format of the local churches, the circling and everyone speaking and giving their thoughts. But you cant even do that properly- you have to kiss butt to witness lee revival books and have an interpretation that follows witness lee footnotes. Get rid of lee and you will be free. The Truth Will Make You Free
John 8:31-32, 31 So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.”

Christ is the source of truth and freedom not witness lee. It cant be both ways, if you want to remain and "exclusive low end cult" then keep following
"Caesar" lee. If you want to achieve a dream of unity and truth follow Christ.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2020, 09:51 AM   #20
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,958
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Seems like I'm always the first to respond to your questions, so here goes:

9+. Just this week another brother and I were mussing about the "good building material" (GBM) idea. It's not a good one. This started, I think, in the 80s. Someone who was a GBM was either in college or had a (preferably) advanced degree. They preferably would have a good job, or definite good income potential. They should not have apparent baggage, like some outward issue of sin or whatever. In my book, it is so much silliness! What does scripture say? "Brothers, consider the time of your calling: Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were powerful; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.…" (1 Cor 1:26-27). Does God need our wise insights to build His dwelling place? No - He just needs people who will look to Him!

10. Again, I can't speak much to the FTT . . . but, yes, they do want to get people steeped in all things WL.

11. Bro Ohio can probably speak with the most knowledge of Titus, et. al. My opinion is most would just go along with it (quarantine, excommunication, etc.), and maybe hope they're not next.

11.5 "How does one qualify for excommunication?" This question is actually a little amusing to me - "how does one qualify" like it was a prize! Any way, I have knowledge I can convey of one such incident. Bill Freeman was a prominent elder in the LC in the 1970s. He was well versed in the word and Greek. With help from those in his locality, he published various writings and had a radio broadcast. In the mid-80s, he was basically ousted because he wouldn't stop these "extra-LSM" activities, come fully under the headship of WL/LSM and sign a document declaring this. A couple hundred saints left with him as a result. (FYI - the gathering I'm with now is indirectly a result of this incidence)

12. All I can generally respond to here is to say the church in Laodicea thought they had it all. They thought they were rich and had no need, and their pride blinded them. The LC is full of fleshly elitism and pride and, sorry to say, they have no awareness of it.

13. I don't know about this. When I was in the LC, I just did my best not to focus on these things, because it just had to be something of a lie of the enemy, or at least simply a distraction (and that's what others said). Yes, every group has its things, because we all still have the flesh. But there is being honest, upfront and graciously seeking forgiveness; and then there is hiding it, which is the flesh trying to preserve itself and face. WL and the LC did the latter and through this neglect, it has become a festering wound affecting many.

14+. WL had much to be ashamed of. You will find many on here that might even say he was the right hand of Satan himself. I am not one of these. My opinion is that some on this forum would do well to forgive brother Lee and move on. (Of course, this forum exists to warn people and educate them regarding the abuses of WL/LSM/LC, and to provide a place to air related things with one another.)

I have often said that I praise the Lord He lead me to the LC in the early 70s, and I also praise Him He lead me back out of it in the late 80s! I have moved on from WL's teachings, as I find many to be hindering in my walk with Christ. But at the end of his life, bro Lee stated that mistakes were made and that love was missing. He urged the saints not to shun other Christians. I choose to take his words at that time at face value. The Lord will be the judge of his words. However, the current LC leadership appears to have chosen to ignore his final words made in public. And they continue to promote the practice of only WL all the time. The Lord will judge their actions as well.

Hope that all makes good sense!
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2020, 07:02 PM   #21
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,816
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Jigsaw, your questions here are far too general, so my limited response also will be general.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
11. History/Events- Titus Chu/Midwest vs Anaheim, what is the current state of the local churches of America. Are they subject to Anaheim or is there a rift between certain regions on who to follow? How does the local churches throughout the regions react to an excommunication of a big name person such as Titus? Do they contest in uproar or pretend nothing happened?
An old friend of mine made an interesting comment during the TC quarantines, "all the brothers are one except TC." I believe this is the mindset of all the members loyal to Anaheim. They view TC as a sole outlier. Nothing could be further from the truth. Hundreds/thousands of brothers stood against the invasive controls of Anaheim in all the LC's.

Anaheim uses strong information control to influence its people. It's like watching CNN -- everything you hear about Trump is bad, and all the bad things about Biden will never be told. Thus it was with Titus. Everything they hear is bad, and nothing bad about LSM will be told. You will be seriously warned about watching any other "channel" for your news.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
11.5-. Excommunication (don't care about the word they have for it)- How does one qualify for excommunication? Can a regular attendee with no authority/power be excommunicated or is the process for excommunication big name people such as Titus Chu, or John Ingalls? Is it simply the consistently challenging Witness Lee content? I hear they like to use the word "ambitious"- How does one qualify for being ambitious? How is excommunication enforced- are you banned from your current city or perhaps region, maybe even world? Do they give information to every local church, in order to keep you out?
John Ingalls and Titus Chu were quarantined for speaking up about serious failings at LSM, and for not being brought under subjection by them. Thousands of posts and articles have been written about these events.

Being "ambitious" is a joke. If we are not "ambitious" we would not get out of bed in the morning. Was not W. Lee one of the most ambitious ones around? Lee used this accusation to smear his former co-workers like Ingalls and Titus. Lee himself was extremely ambitious for power, and was constantly afraid that his power was in jeopardy.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2020, 10:46 PM   #22
clever sister
Member
 
clever sister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 61
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
1. Witness Lee (in the grave)
2. Co-workers in the Lord's recovery - cover the whole world
>>a. Senior co-workers
>>b. Junior co-workers
3. North America co-workers - includes some regional co-workers, deals only with N.A.
4. Regional co-workers - cover various regions in the U.S., some of whom are North America co-workers, some of whom are not but are elders.
5. Elders in each locality.
6. Responsible brothers in each locality (includes both elders as well as the brothers under them, say, who head up various services in the church, or various district meetings, or handle the HWMR sharing, etc).
7. All the other brothers.
8. All sisters, no matter the age, maturity, responsibility, weightiness, expertise, etc.

8 is a little tongue in cheek, but not really far off from reality as I have observed it, and as you may have noticed.
I agree with this, but there is hierarchy among the sisters as well.

It goes
1. Wife of... in order of who they are wife too (people always look up to the senior co-workers wives)
2. All other married sisters
3. Unmarried sisters who are full time
4. All other unmarried sisters
clever sister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-23-2020, 10:58 PM   #23
clever sister
Member
 
clever sister's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Posts: 61
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
7. Full time training- I read some post about how the Local Churches try to push students to go to the full time training but some things about it does not make sense to me. There are brothers/sisters who go to the full time training but are not full timers. So they basically enter the job market with a 2 year job gap. Did they chose not to pursue full timing or where there not enough positions available? Why would someone go through years of college+ internships and to throw all away for a 2 year job gap and no full time position in the church. Wouldn't just be more practical for lots of brothers/sisters to just pursue their careers and move on with their lives. It seems to me this "training" just hindered their lives greatly (those who did not become full timers).
I went to the FTT for 6 months and it was not sold as a way to become a full timer, though it was a requirement to become a full timer. Instead it is sold as a way to become an "Overcomer".
But when I got there, I was just like "Is this what overcoming is?"

It is the most cultlike experience I have ever been in. You don't really have any say in what you do with your time, what you eat, when you sleep. Everything is scheduled and decided for you.

But back to your question.

I did not do the full two years for health reasons, but from my observation, some people are pressured into serving full time. Some people are discouraged from serving full time and told they would better "serve" by getting a full time job.

No idea who they decide which is which.

My gap between studying and getting a job has not impacted my career, but it was not the full 2 years and my skillsets are in high demand. Some peole get jobs ok and others struggle.
clever sister is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 03:21 PM   #24
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Thank you all for the responses in this thread I will like to reply to all you in this single post.

To Sons of Glory- Thank you for all your posts and insight. What I want to address specifically is your last words on Lee and the idea of the faults we all have. I was very harsh on my posts about witness lee (14-14.5), and at the time of the post I was a little tense and it did bring the judgmental side of me. I do wholeheartedly agree we are all imperfect and if we were in the position of power witness lee had who knows if we would have done the same or not. Many people in the bible are loved in the eyes of God even with all their faults such as: David, Jonah, Peter, Paul, Jacob, and Samson. The same applies to everybody else even witness lee. I have no personal hatred for Lee as I have never even meet the man and his flaws such as avarice and desire for power can easily be found in everybody just as much as him.
I guess my disappointment and frustration just came with the precedence he has established in the local churches. Its like people cant have their own opinion, interpretation, even their own freedom of thought. There is more footnotes then scripture in the recovery. In the book of the word of God- The words of an ordinary man consumes more then the word of God. Im not sure if he intended for himself to have such authority in these churches and whether he wishes this was the outcome. I know Lee has published many letters apologizing for his flaws. But many people speak on their faults but never act upon their forgoing actions to rectify them. I don't condemn the man as I sure as heck do not have the power or authority to decide the fate of anybody. But I do have the right and more importantly "will" to speak back in some way. Regardless its fine if people read the works of lee, as he and like many other Christian writers have their thoughts and opinions on theology, philosophy, and the practice of religion. Its also fine if you don't want to read witness lee or only want to read witness lee, people should have the freedom to do as they please in regards to this. The problem is the lack of freedom in the Local Churches in regards to pursuit of knowledge and information. Bless to your journey in the life of pursuit of Christ Sons of Glory.

Ohio- First I will to state that my questions are "general" cause unfortunately Its not like anybody has given me "details" in regards to my questions. But that is trivial compared to my next point. Ohio, old timers such as you and SonsofGlory are very important, perhaps more important than you think. There significance of a "living memory" is more precious then what people give credit for. Yes there are lots of sources online that I can read but its not the same as having the words of a person who has lived through the experiences I myself could not. I have luckily spoken to a few ww2 vets and people part of the civil rights movement (60s). Yes there is a tremendous amount of writings detailing's these events in history. Mind my language- But ill be damned by not taking the opportunity to hear from the purest of all primary sources of historical events (people who were there firs handedly). As time move on all ww2 will be long gone and those from the civil rights movement of the 60s, so will those who grew up in the Golden decade of Economic flourishment of the 50s, and the jungle fighters of the Vietnam war. There is a value for a "living memory" Ohio, so it does mean a lot to me to hear your experience. God bless your journey in the life of Christ Ohio.

Terry- I am glad that you were able to find happiness in life and hope your wife and three kids are doing great. Every person should have the right to pursue the joys and experiences that supplies a man not for the sake of satisfying himself with a means to no end but- with greater purpose of living for a sake that stretches beyond the individual man- that is the creation of families, and it is how the followers of Christ grow in this world. Anyone us reading this that is struggling with this- don't let anyone dictate whether you have the basic right to pursue this- be your own person and take dose of self reliance and responsibility to grow. Christ does not want to see you digress and be stagnant in life but to prosper in his image. Bless your journey in life of the pursuit of Christ Terry.

Trapped- I really appreciate all you said and actually, I caught your post quiet frequently on these forums when I was lurking on here for a bit, before being motivated to create an account. I hope you were able to move forward in life and not be shunned for being human and having emotions that anybody has and should be pursued with control and diligence but not by negligence and defiance of truth and reality (as taught by the local churches). Bless your journey in the life of the pursuit of Christ Trapped.

Clever Sister- Thank you for your posts on the FTT. I am glad you left something that was just destroying your mind and soul and that your life is doing better now that your living the life you want to live. Life is already difficult enough cause of the inevitable hardships, no need to live on path that destroys all the joy you have left. Glad you recovered and bless you on your journey in life in the pursuit of Christ.

In case some of you wont being viewing this thread again, I will PM you personally and let you know my appreciate. It really does mean a lot for all of you to contribute to this thread.

- This concludes my introduction post/questions to the local churches. I will know move on to post in other threads and be active on these forums (but most likely still reply to post on this thread). Nice meeting yall and hope to have more discussions in the future.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 05:23 PM   #25
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,816
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Jigsaw, have you read John Ingalls book Speaking the Truth in Love?

That account of events was a life changer for me. Answered so many questions, the chief one being, "how could something so good become so bad?" If you have specific questions about the book, some of us could answer them. These events occurred in the late 80's but most of the Midwest LC's never learned what really happened until the quarantine of Titus 15 years afterwards. Sadly, Titus hid these actual events from the Midwest saints back in the 80's, and then ironically that haunted him in the 00's, since LSM used their so-called pristine image to smear him.

Titus long felt he could reform major problems in the Recovery, and definitely was convinced he was the most qualified to lead it, post WL. He is a formidable character, extremely gifted, and in many respects far more spiritual, moral, and upright than the Blendeds. Yet he operates as a demanding general, with dress downs to shame those brothers with him. As a result, he had made many enemies, many of which could have supported him during the quarantine, and completely changed the outcome.

After I stepped away to study the Recovery, I had given my best 30 years to, the compilation of negative events of these years compelled me to depart for good. I was part of a system that turned beloved brothers into bullies. I viewed the Recovery in 3 parts. First, the unrighteous and dishonest LSM, covering the sinful and smearing the reformers. Second, the gifted but abusive TC, whom no one had the guts, myself included, to stand up to. And thirdly, so many dear and precious brothers and sisters, totally void of the politics infecting the leaders which they followed.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 06:39 PM   #26
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 754
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by clever sister View Post
I agree with this, but there is hierarchy among the sisters as well.

It goes
1. Wife of... in order of who they are wife too (people always look up to the senior co-workers wives)
2. All other married sisters
3. Unmarried sisters who are full time
4. All other unmarried sisters
Yep....good added detail. From my personal observation I would agree with you.
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-24-2020, 07:12 PM   #27
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 754
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Got a little more time, continuing on with your earlier questions....

8. Tithing - As far as abusive churches go, this one is actually a headscratcher when it comes to the LC, at least for me. It's not uncommon at all for moneygrubbing to be a central part of unhealthy churches.....for them to track if you gave your tithes and offerings, to track the percentage of your income you gave, to tell you if you give your money you will be blessed 10 times over in return (almost in the sense of a literal monetary return on investment), to suggest that when something bad happened to you that it was because you hadn't tithed enough that week, etc.....

And yet, with the local church, at least as far as what I've seen, their emphasis on tithes mostly seems to be a little labeled slot in an obscure place on the wall that is largely left up to the conscience of the individual member about what to do. Saints can give anonymous offerings, so keeping some kind of record of who gave and who didn't doesn't work very well. I personally know of no one that had, say, elders go after them giving them a hard time about not tithing at all or not tithing enough. I've got to say, for the most part I appreciate the local church lack of pressure on tithing (I like it better than other church's practice of handing around a "money plate" where everyone can see if you put something in or not. Kinda lame, imho).

Except when they would so obviously have a ministry reading or morning revival excerpt specifically on the subject as a kind of "hint hint", but, it seems unreasonable to me for the topic of our money never to come up at all, so even on that front I don't see anything wrong with the issue of how Christians handle their money coming up every now and then.

However, what you described in 8.5 (the robust amens without thinking, etc) is just more of the "shut your mind off" atmosphere in the church. Money is not evil; it's the LOVE of money that is the root of all evil. Money is just money. God doesn't need our money; what He wants is for us to have a willing heart that our money be in His hands, just like everything else in our life.

For me, if LSM is involved, hang on to your money. If you see another human being in need, God's the boss on that one.

8.5 Mentality - what you described in this one would scream "cult" or "unhealthy church" to anyone who understands the depth to which behavior control can, well, control a person. The saints have been absolutely swimming in "the ministry" for decades. They haven't been taking in anything else, quite literally. This ministry says "even when authority in the church is wrong, they are right". It says "we must submit to deputy authority regardless of right or wrong". It has cliches like "we just say 'amen' to the brothers" and "I just have to be one with the brothers". They think that whatever is spoken, if it is from the ministry, is simply not up for question. It literally doesn't occur to them to doubt what Lee says. That's not the framework in the local church. And a lot of the local church activity can be done while shutting your mind off. For example, you don't have to actually listen to WHAT is being prayed in order to know when you should chime in and say "ameeeeennn", because there is a repetitive cadence to the prayers that you have swung back and forth to for years and years. Same with prophesying. People sharing often have a particular cadence, a lilt, a tone, etc. You can say "amen" without actually having turned the ignition key of your mind on to discern whether what is coming from the mouth of an authority and has the "taste" of the ministry is actually from the Bible!

Paul commended the Bereans for comparing what he said to the Scriptures. The local church would have your hide if you compared the ministry to the Scriptures and spoke up about real discrepancies.

Is it a facade? Do they think differently or are they ingrained? I think the answer varies by person. I personally can think of some people who truly are ingrained. They just take whatever "the brothers" say without any personal responsibility to test it. But I can also think of some people who do think differently in hushed tones, and then they will turn around and bow their head before the co-workers and go totally against what they admitted they really think. I know of some leading brothers who call the co-workers things like "Lee-bots", but who when faced with the co-workers will amen everything and live their lives according to what the co-workers say.

What's going on there? Yeah, it's fear. Fear fear fear fear fear. And cognitive dissonance. Honestly many saints don't even know they are living in cognitive dissonance, it's become such a permanent part of their life. The big issue with "the church LIFE" is the "life" part. If you make the unthinkable mistake of speaking up, then you are at risk of not only losing your familiar church, but also your LIFE.

But the church isn't supposed to be our life. Christ is. That's another area where they went overboard.
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 07:58 AM   #28
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,958
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
To Sons of Glory- Thank you for all your posts and insight. What I want to address specifically is your last words on Lee and the idea of the faults we all have. I was very harsh on my posts about witness lee (14-14.5), and at the time of the post I was a little tense and it did bring the judgmental side of me. I do wholeheartedly agree we are all imperfect and if we were in the position of power witness lee had who knows if we would have done the same or not. Many people in the bible are loved in the eyes of God even with all their faults such as: David, Jonah, Peter, Paul, Jacob, and Samson. The same applies to everybody else even witness lee. I have no personal hatred for Lee as I have never even meet the man and his flaws such as avarice and desire for power can easily be found in everybody just as much as him.

I guess my disappointment and frustration just came with the precedence he has established in the local churches. Its like people cant have their own opinion, interpretation, even their own freedom of thought. There is more footnotes then scripture in the recovery. In the book of the word of God- The words of an ordinary man consumes more then the word of God. Im not sure if he intended for himself to have such authority in these churches and whether he wishes this was the outcome. I know Lee has published many letters apologizing for his flaws. But many people speak on their faults but never act upon their forgoing actions to rectify them. I don't condemn the man as I sure as heck do not have the power or authority to decide the fate of anybody. But I do have the right and more importantly "will" to speak back in some way. Regardless its fine if people read the works of lee, as he and like many other Christian writers have their thoughts and opinions on theology, philosophy, and the practice of religion. Its also fine if you don't want to read witness lee or only want to read witness lee, people should have the freedom to do as they please in regards to this. The problem is the lack of freedom in the Local Churches in regards to pursuit of knowledge and information. Bless to your journey in the life of pursuit of Christ Sons of Glory.
I am not aware of so many things WL backtracked on - to me, he seemed as one who didn't do that much, at least in public. And from what I've heard on here, people who were around the LC say the same thing I think. That makes what he said at the end of his life more poignant perhaps. He said mistakes were made and love was missing. He said to accept other Christians and for there to be an examination before the Lord. The leaders who came after WL in the LC have evidently chosen not to give credence to his final public words.
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 05:28 PM   #29
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Trapped- Again thank you for your insight- although it is interesting to see that some Elders have a bad taste for the Coworkers. Please give more info on my questions if you have time

Ohio- Thank you for your knowledge and information- I have searched for that book online but there are no copies for sale in my immediate search. Is that book in circulation? Also could you link a full pdf if available?

Sons Of Glory- I agree that the coworkers seem to have diverged from his message simply because they are interested in themselves and their pursuits and Lees old message/precdent doctrine suits their desire for control/power.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 06:57 PM   #30
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,816
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
Ohio- Thank you for your knowledge and information- I have searched for that book online but there are no copies for sale in my immediate search. Is that book in circulation? Also could you link a full pdf if available?
I'm sure a PDF exists. But look at these first:

The book is here on this forum.

But a more readable version is here.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 08:23 PM   #31
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Thank you Ohio
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-25-2020, 09:45 PM   #32
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 754
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
9. The Objective of the church- From what I have seen and heard so far the Local churches are trying to expand and meet a quota of church members not only in numbers but also demographics. Then why keep this idea of only college age kids being "good building material". Im not saying go find all the homeless drug addicts in the world and transform their lives (very virtuous but difficult...), but expand the horizon and get people from all portions of your city. If they like the local church they will stay and perhaps even bring people they know and the church will grow. They say things like "All inclusive Christ", but exclude a lot of people on discrimination of character it seems to me. There is reason the Baptist, Methodist, Pentecostals are all huge in numbers due to their persistence of pursuing people of all sorts. I mean who even knows of the Local Churches in the general public? In fact, why do they try so hard to hide who they are as a church, whether its going under the alias Christians on campus, or hiding lee material(from new college students), and diverging from explaining their practices and customs (shouting, amen, recovery footnotes, legalism, etc? Just be honest with you are, and the people who are not with it will leave and those are will stay. That way you don't have people leaving en masse out after figuring out that what they thought initially was not the reality. They make it so hard to expand on their wishes without realizing that changing will be needed to do so. Of course they might want to keep it small and controlled because of leaks they are afraid they cant patch up (Titus Chu).
Response to #9:

I would say at this point the local churches aren't even trying to expand but simply to break even.....to stay stagnant. The only thing keeping their numbers from plummeting are the unwitting naive college freshmen they bring in to plug the gap of people draining out numerous other areas.

And eventually those college freshmen will be the people draining out the back end. But no one will care because they are no longer college freshmen anymore. The whole thing is depressing.

College freshmen are generally 1) vulnerable, 2) alone, 3) naive, 4) reasonably have no background in identifying red flags of aberrant Christian groups. This is why the local church has a chance of getting any of them. The local church can't go out and get people from all portions of their city because those people from the city see them for what they are and run in the other direction.

I visited a church (denomination) a few times where it was obvious there was some sort of weekly arrangement to shuttle a sizeable group from a nearby nursing home (or something of the sort) to the sermon every Sunday. A whole section of walkers, wheelchairs, white hair, etc... Would you ever see that in the LC? No way. What "use" would the LC have for these human beings made in the image of God who no longer had the ability to open their homes or ladle out food to college students?

Although it generally is not common, I have encountered a handful of people unrelated to the LC who have heard of the LC. Every single one of them had heard bad things.

Why are they not honest about who they are? Because they are a personality cult as well as a regular cult! The local churches do literally lose new college kids because they hid Witness Lee from those students who found out later on where the "excerpts" they had been reading were really from, and ran for the hills upon discovering it. And yet, the LC continues to use Lee material and Lee material only. They literally won't learn. They cannot admit that their hyper-focus on Lee is the problem. Lee is the stagnant cistern they continue to draw water from, and they can't figure out why they all have a bacterial infection.

The co-workers say "we must be faithful to what we are" and not hide things and they try to implement that principle onto the local churches, but most co-workers are not on the ground on the campuses and have no real clue that "what they are" is the thing that drives people away. The little secret spreading through the grapevine is that the localities with campus clubs that pattern themselves after how "Christianity" does things are attracting and retaining more students than the campus club localities who use and push the ministry. But no one can admit that because it would be taking a jackhammer to the very foundations they are standing on.

When you really step back and look at the situation as a whole from a birds eye view, it is just sad and desperately needs the mercies of God to save the dehydrated and starving members stuck in it who have no idea what they've been cheated of.
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2020, 02:32 AM   #33
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Oh man trapped coming in with the juicy lengthy post. Keep em coming. We got the weekend just starting to kick off so feel free to keep answering all them questions I got.

Also feel free to chime in on my new threads in the "local churches in the twenty first century" section.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2020, 10:14 AM   #34
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 754
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

10. Goal of FTT: I don't know what the goal was when it began, but it seems like the goal has become to produce full-time serving ones to go on campus, to gain new freshmen, keep them for four years, and then funnel them straight to the FTTA to become full-time serving ones who can go on campus to do the same thing. It essentially bypasses the need to give real care to those pesky young church kids that they don't know how to care for.

Basically what has happened is the LC allows Christianity to raise up good kids, and then the LC goes on the college campus and snatches them away from Christianity and takes them for itself. They are not adding much to the kingdom of God.....just moving people around within it. Pretty dumb.

11. History/events: I don't have personal experience with Titus Chu, but if you are a so-called "local church" you are by default subject to Anaheim, at least according to the LC. How do the LC's react to excommunication? Depends again on the person. Some bow their head and believe it's another "storm" and re-commit themselves more fervently to the movement. Some know the Bible enough to know the "reasons" for excommunication are simply koo-koo pants. Some are close enough to the action to see the curtain pulled back on how the co-workers and blended brothers REALLY behave when it comes down to it, and there is an uproar.

11.5 Excommunication: There are a few types of excommunication (or maybe quarantine is the more common LC word). There are larger ones for challenging the ministry, for speaking the truth that it's not the only ministry out there we can follow, for speaking up about the horrifyingly deviant teachings and practices that have arisen in the LC. I think some of these can be further divided into two camps -- the one speaking out is trying to garner his own following, and the one speaking out is NOT trying to.

A regular attendee can be told not to meet for, say, reasons of divorce without Biblical grounds, or say, unrepentant adultery or fornication, etc. When that happens they do tend to track whether you try to show up in another locality or at a conference.
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-26-2020, 10:27 AM   #35
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Good post again trapped, appreciate all the info. 12-14.5 are probably the most significant portion of these questions. Go on right ahead in full throttle with your answers, and again- thank you for your detailed answers.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 09-27-2020, 01:44 PM   #36
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Coming in here again, if any other people want to chime in, feel free to do so. We have some great insightful post and I would to see more. I might even pop in some more questions as im just starting to notice all the strange things I have seen in the LC for sometime but have blocked out of my mind due to being sucked in by the "love bombing" they do/act so well on.

Also, I hope that this thread answers the questions of other lurkers who have seen what I have seen and would love an explanation without having to post themselves. As I can imagine some people don't want to risk being found out, caught being here.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-03-2020, 09:08 PM   #37
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,396
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
For me, if LSM is involved, hang on to your money. If you see another human being in need, God's the boss on that one.
Same as me Trapped. Pertaining to LSM it's a matter of trust and transparency. I don't trust LSM due to their lack of transparency. So I didn't give. My view of the local churches is a funnel for LSM funding. Local churches never account what is done with the money. 35 years or so later I doubt there is not person who knows what happened with the infamous Linko project. No accountability.'s
Post LC I met with different churches. One in particular I would have a check ready prior to leaving for Lord's Day services. In transparency there is a willingness to give.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-05-2020, 05:22 PM   #38
Curious
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2019
Posts: 146
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post

13. What percentage of Local church people know of the ugly side of LC history : Anaheim in its prime time years of chaos- 1980s, Titus Chu excommunication/Midwest split, Daystar, etc. These are things I know just from these forums and other sources. Who knows other things that happened that went under the rug. As time goes on and the people who witnessed and experienced all this history in person- pass on. Will these things even be known outside of the internet? 50 years from now, will the dark history of the LC be flowing around the local churches in these minds that have been told this info one way or another. Or just contained on the internet for the curious ones who come across the info.
I was within hearing distance of a conversation while meeting with LC where a member was discussing something that left me with the clear impression that sexual indiscretion had happened somewhere high up in the LC ranks and it was known. At the time I knew nothing about the LC. But I gathered that through the conversation being held in my hearing.

Sadly, the man referencing seemed to be doing so in an attempt to justify his own problems/indiscretions in that area. 'If greater people than he, had been caught out in this way, then he couldn't be that bad' seemed to be the context that he was setting.

That was my impression at that time, so it's all I am able to offer to this question.
Curious is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2020, 05:03 PM   #39
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

omg, you got to be kidding me. LC always makes fun of the catholic church and their scandals, but the LC has scandals of their own to. The hypocrisy is unbelievable, and at least the catholic church (Pope Francis I know does for sure), is honest and condemns their scandal's and immoral acts.

I would imagine there is a lot more criminal acts done towards women in the Local Churches. They are just in a wired environment and are controlled to such an extent, they probably are just so afraid to speak up. Besides Philip lee, has there been any other Big time controversies/whistleblowers/ speaking out, coming from women who have been mistreated?
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2020, 05:30 PM   #40
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,816
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
13. What percentage of Local church people know of the ugly side of LC history : Anaheim in its prime time years of chaos- 1980s, Titus Chu excommunication/Midwest split, Daystar, etc.
Very few. Nearly no one in the Midwest knew about Philip Lee. If they did hear something, it was hushed and unsubstantiated rumors. Same with the Titus Chu quarantines. Outside of the Midwest, few knew anything. The Recovery leaders control the flow of information within the system. Members are constantly inoculated in meetings against the "germs" of truth that might "poison" them.

John Ingalls' book tells us plainly that Titus Chu knew about Philip Lee's molesting of sisters in Anaheim, one of whom was actually from the Cleveland area. Most elders only knew second-hand that Philip was abusive, and "very difficult to work with." TC knew better, but was complicit with the coverup. WL forced him to choose sides, and he complied.

Titus Chu's allegiance and unwavering loyalty to WL, his "spiritual father," prepped the entire region for later disaster. Instead of siding with the truth 30 years ago, TC sided with a man. During the quarantines 15 years ago, it was never about the truth, but which side you were on, and who you were loyal to. That's how it always was in the Recovery.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2020, 06:11 PM   #41
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Ohio- That is unfortunate truly, not siding with the truth cost him. I wonder though, where did Titus find his footing after his excommunication? I just searched him up and he still host conferences with an emphasis of the LC style. Is there a locality/church that welcomed him after his excommunication or perhaps a group of churches that believed in his cause, like some sort of faction within the LC system that is pro Titus chu?
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2020, 08:14 PM   #42
Nell
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,198
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
.... I would imagine there is a lot more criminal acts done towards women in the Local Churches. They are just in a wired environment and are controlled to such an extent, they probably are just so afraid to speak up. Besides Philip lee, has there been any other Big time controversies/whistleblowers/ speaking out, coming from women who have been mistreated?
You are correct. There’s a lot. The “Whistleblower” topic below will provide you with discussion from 2018.

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...9302#post69302

Nell
Nell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-06-2020, 08:24 PM   #43
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,816
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
Ohio- That is unfortunate truly, not siding with the truth cost him. I wonder though, where did Titus find his footing after his excommunication? I just searched him up and he still host conferences with an emphasis of the LC style. Is there a locality/church that welcomed him after his excommunication or perhaps a group of churches that believed in his cause, like some sort of faction within the LC system that is pro Titus chu?
TC has many supporters and churches open to his ministry. His ministry is much more scriptural than the Blendeds, who don't preach the word of God, rather the word of Lee.

The Quarantine served to divide many Midwest LC's. Part of the church siding with Anaheim, and part with Cleveland. That's how divisions always are.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2020, 04:10 PM   #44
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

That is good to hear Ohio, wonder how the despots at Anaheim feel about Titus Chu still being accepted. Mad King Kangas must be losing his s**t every time he witnesses a more beloved person being valued and looked up to.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2020, 04:25 PM   #45
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Got another question for y'all. I guess I was not done asking questions.

15. Gossip- Gossip is in every church to some extent but in the LC. It's almost feels impossible to have a 1 on 1 conversation with someone. Like there are times when a convo is general and appropriate to share with others. While other times, it's obvious or directly stated to be a personal 1 on 1 conversation, or a bro/locker room vibe convo. It's funny how an LC individual would approach you or in the middle of a conversation- reveal personal info about yourself that you know you have not told them. Knowing darn well only 1 person knew about that piece of info, and unfortunately I have to have a level of distrust for that person I initially told that piece of info. It's like their objective is to spill the beans at all cost. Like do they not have the concept of trust? Maybe this is just my personal experience and I am positive this level of distrust is not exclusive to LC but it's the most tattle tale environment I have seen in the church environment.



Are you fellas familiar with my experience? Or is this just a me thing cause they are trying to spread info on me and figure me out? If it is a common trait in the LC, why is it like this?
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2020, 05:45 PM   #46
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,396
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
Got another question for y'all. I guess I was not done asking questions.

15. Gossip- Gossip is in every church to some extent but in the LC. It's almost feels impossible to have a 1 on 1 conversation with someone. Like there are times when a convo is general and appropriate to share with others. While other times, it's obvious or directly stated to be a personal 1 on 1 conversation, or a bro/locker room vibe convo. It's funny how an LC individual would approach you or in the middle of a conversation- reveal personal info about yourself that you know you have not told them. Knowing darn well only 1 person knew about that piece of info, and unfortunately I have to have a level of distrust for that person I initially told that piece of info. It's like their objective is to spill the beans at all cost. Like do they not have the concept of trust? Maybe this is just my personal experience and I am positive this level of distrust is not exclusive to LC but it's the most tattle tale environment I have seen in the church environment.



Are you fellas familiar with my experience? Or is this just a me thing cause they are trying to spread info on me and figure me out? If it is a common trait in the LC, why is it like this?
Brothers don't like to be "uncovered". A cardinal sin in the LC is not to "cover the brothers". My perception gossip= truth bomb and the brothers cannot handle the truth being spoken. Perhaps there is such an animus of a certain blended against sisters.
If there is false witness being borne, that's another matter. Yet again Living Stream Ministry published a book bearing false witness.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2020, 06:52 PM   #47
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 754
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
Got another question for y'all. I guess I was not done asking questions.

15. Gossip- Gossip is in every church to some extent but in the LC. It's almost feels impossible to have a 1 on 1 conversation with someone. Like there are times when a convo is general and appropriate to share with others. While other times, it's obvious or directly stated to be a personal 1 on 1 conversation, or a bro/locker room vibe convo. It's funny how an LC individual would approach you or in the middle of a conversation- reveal personal info about yourself that you know you have not told them. Knowing darn well only 1 person knew about that piece of info, and unfortunately I have to have a level of distrust for that person I initially told that piece of info. It's like their objective is to spill the beans at all cost. Like do they not have the concept of trust? Maybe this is just my personal experience and I am positive this level of distrust is not exclusive to LC but it's the most tattle tale environment I have seen in the church environment.

Are you fellas familiar with my experience? Or is this just a me thing cause they are trying to spread info on me and figure me out? If it is a common trait in the LC, why is it like this?
I can relate as, well, relates to elders. I think it depends on the person or the elder. I know some elders who are a tight lid on any personal and sensitive information or situations they know about saints. I know other elders who are known to have loose lips, and yet nothing is really done about it. The saints who get burned just adjust and move forward knowing they can't trust the blabbing elder.

It seems to me that it just comes down to most elders in the LC having zero qualifications or training or learning to do what they do....or what they are supposed to do. For all intents and purposes, elders in any church frequently function as counselors, and real counselors go through actual training and understand the seriousness of spreading around information they shouldn't. But in the LC, elders become elders because they are "positive for the ministry" and submissive to those above them, and can regurgitate the Lee jargon with the most convincing tone, not because they are real Biblical elders. But inside some of them secretly love that they get the inside scoop on all the little secrets of the saints' personal lives.

In other words, a chunk of them are wolves. Not there for the genuine care of the flock.

Honestly, the whole setup is one big piece of dirt claiming to be the biggest shiniest golden jewel.
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-07-2020, 08:49 PM   #48
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,816
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
Got another question for y'all. I guess I was not done asking questions.

15. Gossip- Gossip is in every church to some extent but in the LC. It's almost feels impossible to have a 1 on 1 conversation with someone. Like there are times when a convo is general and appropriate to share with others. While other times, it's obvious or directly stated to be a personal 1 on 1 conversation, or a bro/locker room vibe convo. It's funny how an LC individual would approach you or in the middle of a conversation- reveal personal info about yourself that you know you have not told them. Knowing darn well only 1 person knew about that piece of info, and unfortunately I have to have a level of distrust for that person I initially told that piece of info. It's like their objective is to spill the beans at all cost. Like do they not have the concept of trust? Maybe this is just my personal experience and I am positive this level of distrust is not exclusive to LC but it's the most tattle tale environment I have seen in the church environment.

Are you fellas familiar with my experience? Or is this just a me thing cause they are trying to spread info on me and figure me out? If it is a common trait in the LC, why is it like this?
I found that nearly no leader was a mature shepherd. Over time, many of the more independent thinkers eventually got "purged," only to be replaced by loyalists. I saw that way too often. No one had actual counseling training or experience. In my region, elders regularly deferred to Titus Chu for advice or counsel. Once when I needed serious counsel, the advice Titus gave me was the worst possible, perhaps valid in 19th century China, but definitely wrong for my situation. Thank God a brother stopped me from acting on it.

The local leaders would seek the Lord for church direction, but inevitably the local leader would announce, "I'll call Titus and fellowship about this." The one calling Titus thus exerted his own authority, being designated as THE local leader, the one qualified to call headquarters. This literally drove me crazy. Not that an outsider could interfere in local decision-making, nor that I personally wanted more say, but the experience of the whole church constantly changing direction based on a single phone call. Nothing was ever built up because we continually went off in new directions with every encounter with Titus. So much for local autonomy, with churches administered by an eldership of brothers.

Very few brothers understood what the word "discrete" meant. How many times I thought to myself, "I didn't need to hear all that." Often times this was done under the guise of prayer. Instead of just lifting the saints in prayer, we "needed" to know how to pray, which often included all of the gory details. Then I often lost heart to pray.

There was also something that I called, "the law of first complaint." Actually Titus complained once in passing that WL would regularly believe the first person who brought a complaint about another to him. Talk about partiality, the accused party would never even be consulted to defend himself. So Titus was regularly a victim of false accusations by power hungry rivals who brought complaints to Lee. Think about it. Here is the presumed global MOTA in Anaheim and he doesn't even have the basic human decency and discernment to investigate the facts before believing lies. It's no wonder that Titus was regularly slandered by Philip Lee and others.

But, did Titus right this wrong in his own region? Of course not. He just repeated the same bad habits he learned from Lee. Without predetermined principles to guide wise counseling, this pattern of "believing the dirt" circulating around just continues unchecked throughout the entire program.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2020, 10:40 AM   #49
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,958
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
It seems to me that it just comes down to most elders in the LC having zero qualifications or training or learning to do what they do....or what they are supposed to do. For all intents and purposes, elders in any church frequently function as counselors, and real counselors go through actual training and understand the seriousness of spreading around information they shouldn't. But in the LC, elders become elders because they are "positive for the ministry" and submissive to those above them, and can regurgitate the Lee jargon with the most convincing tone, not because they are real Biblical elders. But inside some of them secretly love that they get the inside scoop on all the little secrets of the saints' personal lives.

In other words, a chunk of them are wolves. Not there for the genuine care of the flock.

Honestly, the whole setup is one big piece of dirt claiming to be the biggest shiniest golden jewel.
The other side of this is where people get all trained-up in counseling & leadership techniques, but it then becomes a organization of man's doing rather than a true function of the body of Christ. In other words it's psychology or self help kinda stuff, or MBLBS (management by latest best seller) like is done in much of the corporate world.

I know brothers who have little to nothing of formal training and just do very well in a certain church function, because I think the Lord has given them the gift of that function - as in Eph 4:11.

But you are right that it seems the LC, driven to focus so intently on all things WL, usually appoints those who are most loyal to that ministry . . .
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-08-2020, 04:40 PM   #50
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,816
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
The other side of this is where people get all trained-up in counseling & leadership techniques, but it then becomes a organization of man's doing rather than a true function of the body of Christ. In other words it's psychology or self help kinda stuff, or MBLBS (management by latest best seller) like is done in much of the corporate world.

I know brothers who have little to nothing of formal training and just do very well in a certain church function, because I think the Lord has given them the gift of that function - as in Eph 4:11.

But you are right that it seems the LC, driven to focus so intently on all things WL, usually appoints those who are most loyal to that ministry . . .
There are many good Christian counselors "out there" who serve the church of God -- the hurting, the wounded, and the weak. What Trapped and I have discussed here is not "trained-up in counseling & leadership techniques," but those possessing at least a vestige of mature care for others. Even a wise Grandma or Grandpa would have been better than what we had.

How many "franchise" elders and leaders have I met over the years who basically had only two words of wisdom: (1) get married and (2) go to meetings / trainings. In this area, if you send lots of people to Titus' confs and trngs, it's like you score bonus points. Often, they have little concern about what is actually needed or good for the person.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-09-2020, 11:47 PM   #51
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

16. Fellowship- How much is fellowship used to dictate the lives of LC members. Do they mandate everyone enter "fellowship" when ever making any life distinction that alters from the LC whatsoever? I have seen alot of recent post and it just seems to me, fellowship is a tool to control, and contain the lives of the LC. Why is it mandatory, for full grown adults to be dictated in their lives when it comes to basic freedoms? Can you just brush off "fElLoWsHiP" and mind your business when it comes to basic life decisions and be forced to base your life decisions on a bunch of idiots or manipulative men who could care less on the value and happiness of your life? I mean these recent posts on this forum just like they want you to be a slave. Is the idea of fellowship just an LC version of the Russian KGB (lol)? They interrogate you in a nice manner and force you to comply and prevent you from pursuing interests and freedoms that can cause just the slightest deviation from LC practices/life. Did this idea of "fElLoWsHiP" also come from "eMpErOr" lee?

I'm sure there are some cases elders/ responsible ones that just want good care for the people they have fellowship with. But from all these post it seems they just want to make sure you are kept in the assembly line of the "eMpErOR lee" factory.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-10-2020, 06:26 PM   #52
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 754
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

I know you have wanted responses to your questions 12-14.5, and I have a little time to respond to 12-13.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
12. Contradiction- How does the LC practice their norms/customs while pretending to be the pinnacle of Christianity. 1. Shouting and Chanting Lord Jesus, and repeating verses over and over verbatim (goes against Matthew Chapter 6), Discriminately choosing who to accept/recruit over who they currently are and not what they can be (goes against Jesus character completely, story of Sumerian woman, healing the sick, blessing the poor). The idea of Killing the soul life- while things like Daystar scandal, throwing max under the bus, recycled LSM content being sold in church for profit ( Goes against Matthew 21), Philip Lee( disgusting man).
I can only imagine just how much harder it was for the women to speak up against him (Philip lee) since seeing how sisters are at the bottom of the totem pole (In the local churches) and at that time, Philip lee had high position along with "Caesar" lee protecting him. They always bash the Roman rulers but I got to say "Caesar lee" is definitely up there when compared to the most control seeking Roman rulers (might as well call him "Caesar" by the way he is portrayed and treated). I mean they always bash other churches for their imperfections, how about they look at themselves (Matthew 7:5). Nothing is perfect but darn they hold themselves as the pinnacle of Christianity and it makes no sense. Btw im talking about the people who are aware of these events and still pretend their high and mighty. Now that I think about I have another question that just spurred out of no where.
How does the LC do it? Well, by using many of the known tactics found in controlling groups.

1. taking scripture out of context (e.g. in teaching "submit to deputy authority in the church whether right or wrong" they use verses that are talking about governmental authority, not church)

2. twisting or misusing scripture (e.g. calling the tree of the knowledge of good and evil "the tree of death" when the Bible never calls it that, but in so doing they equate knowledge, good, and evil with death....and you can see how quickly that kind of teaching can be abused)

3. creating overarching doctrines that sound biblical but are not (e.g. God's economy)

4. using a lot of guilt (e.g. calling people who speak up poisonous or leprous or divisive, or saying they are "on the wrong tree" or "in their mind")

5. thought-stopping cliches designed to shut people up who try to speak up (e.g. "you are on the wrong tree" or "you are in your mind" or "we don't care for right and wrong only life")

6. elitism - looking down on Christians for the very same things they do in a much worse way

Aside from something super weird like say, a leader at the top who claims you have to give yourself to him sexually to make it to heaven or something (which thank goodness isn't in the LC), the LC has a solid majority of the characteristics known to be found in abusive churches.

What's it all about? Control. But what is the point of the control? Honestly, I can't figure it out. It's almost the opposite of that great verse in Galatians 5:

Galatians 5:1
It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery.

In the LC it's almost like the verse says something like this:

Leeism 5:1
It is for the sake of control that we control you. Kneel down, then, and submit yourself to deputy authority in the church regardless of right or wrong.

When something is SO opposite the Word of God.....where does it come from?

The devil. He's the one having a field day in the LC, repeatedly throwing around these abusive tactics to keep the saints in the LC in chains. He's the crafty deceiver, seeking to devour anyone he can. And he has master crafted this kind of system, which is why it traps people in it like sticky fly paper.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
13. What percentage of Local church people know of the ugly side of LC history : Anaheim in its prime time years of chaos- 1980s, Titus Chu excommunication/Midwest split, Daystar, etc. These are things I know just from these forums and other sources. Who knows other things that happened that went under the rug. As time goes on and the people who witnessed and experienced all this history in person- pass on. Will these things even be known outside of the internet? 50 years from now, will the dark history of the LC be flowing around the local churches in these minds that have been told this info one way or another. Or just contained on the internet for the curious ones who come across the info.
Probably newer ones don't know much at all, but I think numerous long-timers know OF "the storms". But they only know what they are told by the leadership, which are just lies. The ones who know what really happened are part of the tendrils of the co-workers and elders reaching over all the local churches like nerves from a central command station. The co-workers know, and any elders involved in particular local situations would know the local situation. And of course, the saints who were in the path of the storm know, but any who saw the real situation, like Ohio here on this forum, would have left. And so many people who leave under those circumstances are simply so wounded and gasping for air that they rightfully have to pour all their resources into healing and keeping themselves going. The truth rarely makes it back into the LC, which is like an amoeba whose outer membrane just closes in on itself when it ejects people on the inside who have seen clearly.

Unless something like "the FB letter" happens again, I don't know how most typical members would ever come across the truth aside from God's direct hand and mercy. They have been so conditioned to stay away from "poisonous" websites and have been so trained that any contrary information is "death", that it takes an act of desperation to make it somewhere like here....as I can testify and can many others. The FB letter was unique in managing to have a far reach as well as an easy platform for dissemination. Saints didn't have to go looking. It landed on their home page. How to do that again? I dunno.
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2020, 12:03 PM   #53
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Deputy Authority? Sounds like a self inflated title to boost the ego of fragile men. It seems these fancy titles: MOTA, Deputy Authority, Overcomers, are the snake oil tactics the LC uses to inflate their worth, in their small little bubble of a church. How is witness Lee qualified to be a "mOtA"? The concept of mOtA is self righteous in itself. But taking their idea of MOTA. How is eMPeRoR Lee, a despot, insecure tyrant, spitural abuser, and Daystar swindler. Who is also completely irrelevant and has little inspiration in Christian theology/ Ministry/ Works (outside the LC), a MOTA? I mean to say he he is beyond Martin Luther? Martin Luther wasn't perfect but sheesh, he is on a different atmosphere when it comes to accomplishments and contributions to Christianity. What did witness Lee accomplish? Maintaining a personality cult that idolizes him, in order to preserve his wacko teachings that no one else in the world could care less about? It seems to me lee and be later, the blended despots, was insecure about other ministries Freeman/Chu, simply because this personality cult is the only thing he has under his bondage- from keeping him from being nothing more than an irrelevant spiritual despot. Also if he is of such MoTa status- why try so hard to hide him from newcomers? Who hides a person of such a title? What are you so scared of? Are Methodist afraid to speak of John Wesley or Lutherans of Martin Luther? What are they so scared of? Hehehehehehehehehehehehe. Why are they so scared to speak of their grand "mOtA"? We all know why, but oh man the snake oil allusion is strong in the LC.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2020, 12:19 PM   #54
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,816
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
It seems to me lee and be later, the blended despots, was insecure about other ministries Freeman/Chu, simply because this personality cult is the only thing he has under his bondage- from keeping him from being nothing more than an irrelevant spiritual despot.
I think we could fill books with all the other ministers who came and left under the "leadership" of Nee and Lee.

By "standing on the shoulders of other" or more correctly, stealing from the ministries of past men of God, these two gathered a great number of other gifted and earnest men of God into their camps.

Then slowly they molded them into compliant devotees, or they were expelled and blackballed.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2020, 05:36 PM   #55
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

It is unfortunate Ohio, but the LC will pay the price of being no more than a personality cult due to its nature of practice and preservation. They are not the church of Philadelphia, they are not anything they think they are. They are deceived by their self righteousness and arrogance. No good comes from these traits, this is evident in the entire existence and ongoing history of the LC.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-17-2020, 06:08 PM   #56
jigsaw44
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2020
Posts: 43
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

I also have to say, what if the lives/roles of Nee and Lee were reversed(Nee escaped China instead of Lee)? What will the Local churches look liked under the jurisdiction of Nee, until the late 90s. Would the blended brothers still exist completely intact? Would other ministries be allowed to some extent? How would he react to scandals and controversies of the LC ( sexual abuse, Ben McPherson infidelity, spiritual manipulation). Would there be a recovery Bible and morning revivals of some sort? What would the legalism and code of conduct be?Overall what would the lanscape of the LC look like as a whole? Would you have stayed in the LC under a watchman Nee ministry? Or perhaps, it wouldn't be much different at all? Tell me what you think about this idea of Anaheim under Nee instead of Lee.
jigsaw44 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2020, 01:53 PM   #57
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,198
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by jigsaw44 View Post
Tell me what you think about this idea of Anaheim under Nee instead of Lee.
On one hand, not much different in leadership styles. Both were strongly informed by their native culture, in which one unquestioned leader ran things. In neither case would you see a meeting like in the early church in Acts 15, in which there was "much discussion" (v7). No, with Nee/Lee you got an edict, and any discussion from the underlings was akin to rebellion.

But I'd hazard this. Nee allowed females to work alongside him, and Lee never did. Perhaps Lee's style was different because of the taint of scandal that Nee never escaped, but came back again and again. Nobody ever accused Lee of sexual affairs, yet Nee was never able to escape this dark lair, until the final imprisonment by Communists. But Nee did use the creative efforts of females, continually, whilst Lee shot them down, continually. Can you imagine a Peace Wang, a Dora Yu, a Ruth Lee or a Margaret Barber functioning in the aegis of the Living Stream Ministry of Witness Lee? I can't.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-18-2020, 06:44 PM   #58
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,816
Default Re: Thoughts, Questions, And Wanted Discussion On Local Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
But I'd hazard this. Nee allowed females to work alongside him, and Lee never did. Perhaps Lee's style was different because of the taint of scandal that Nee never escaped, but came back again and again. Nobody ever accused Lee of sexual affairs, yet Nee was never able to escape this dark lair, until the final imprisonment by Communists. But Nee did use the creative efforts of females, continually, whilst Lee shot them down, continually. Can you imagine a Peace Wang, a Dora Yu, a Ruth Lee or a Margaret Barber functioning in the aegis of the Living Stream Ministry of Witness Lee? I can't.
A precious sister in the LC's often was selected to became a serving sister at LSM, where these sisters were also taught to be entirely submissive to authority.

It was the perfect setting for alpha-predators to select their victims. Philip Lee even had secret rooms that even the Ball Road building inspectors never saw.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:15 AM.


3.8.9