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

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Old 12-25-2016, 12:49 PM   #1
leastofthese
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Default My time with the Local Church

Greetings to my fellow Christ Followers. Thank you for the support you've provided through this forum.

I have now spent hours reading over old threads, putting off my own introduction and contribution. My story and interaction with the LC is likely unique and I feel obligated to share a little about my 12+ months visiting with the "saints".

I was introduced to the LC in three phases, friends, work, and girlfriend (now wife). In each of my initial interactions I was more or less impressed with the church but never had the inclination to visit. It wasn't until I began to date the love of my life (who had been visiting the church on and off for a year) that I attended a table meeting. I had been a Christian for many years, and visited many different churches in the US, Africa, SE Asia, Latin America, and Europe. Needless to say, I walked away from that meeting with an entirely new experience. In hindsight, I tried my best not to think of it as "good" or "bad", but I had many questions and concerns. If it had not been for my girlfriend, I am confident that I would not have returned.

So began my LC experience - I was "all in", openminded, giving my time, talents, and treasures - walking along side "the church" - however imperfectly. I attended weekly home meetings, church meetings, table meetings, picnics, and even spent my Christmas break in Anaheim and a "training". I read the HWFMR, my bible (ESV), and books, passages, and articles by Witness Lee. I met with Church elders, Full Timers for "fellowship" time or just to workout. During my time there I refrained (as much as I could) from reading anything critical online - being warned that my thoughts could be "poisoned". (Remember - I was committed to finding the truth...also I trusted that my God held me in His hands and would not let me stray).

I could share many conversations and stories during my time there, but it wasn't until my trip to the Anaheim training that I realized that I needed to be cautious - and began asking more questions. We met in small groups at the "trainings" to review the teachings from the brothers. The best word I can use to describe this time is - confusion. After listening to hours of teaching, brothers and sisters (at least in my group of 15ish) couldn't explain what they learned, but knew that it was right. Each day we listened, sang, and came together. Aside from reading directly from the script, the group was not internalizing the messages (and I wasn't growing and loving Jesus more - but I was depending on Him as THE truth).

Back home, I was sought out by brothers that were open to my questions, in fact encouraged me to ask all the questions I wanted. I admit this was not the overall culture (I remember when telling a brother in confidence something critical of Lee that "I would never share that with anyone else in the church". He understood and agreed with me. There are some great people in my LC. Despite this, many times I felt alone in the church. Like I was the only one with questions, noticing hypocrisy, decisiveness (each meeting with had a critical comment of "denominations"), group think, and that we were focusing on things that were not of Christ (and somehow the LC was not creating division, worshipping man, and itself a firmly rooted denomination). This forum has been a great benefit to me (a part of me wishes I read this while attending the LC). This forum voices many of the topics, concerns, theological questions, and the issue of LSM - all areas where I felt alone.

It has been months since our last interaction with the LC - I didn't feel comfortable (as the man of my household) to have my wife and (someday children) be a part of the LC. I thank the Lord that he has blessed us so richly with his Word and Spirit. I thank the Lord that he protects me as his child and co-heir with Christ. I trust that he will work out all things for my family and use all things for His good.
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Old 12-25-2016, 01:16 PM   #2
UntoHim
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Default Re: My time with the local church

Welcome leastofthese! You should feel at home here on our little forum...we are ALL "the leastofthese" around this place.
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Old 12-25-2016, 03:16 PM   #3
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Default My time with the local church

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
The best word I can use to describe this time is - confusion. After listening to hours of teaching, brothers and sisters (at least in my group of 15ish) couldn't explain what they learned, but knew that it was right.
Welcome to the forum leastofthese!

You have expressed the difficulty assessing the LCM quite well. It seems like there are lots of "yets" and "buts" with every description of them. "They surely love the Lord yet ... Somethings are strange but ... " I joined in the mid 70's and things were quite different. Once attached, it's hard to leave with so many friends and dear believers are there ...

I left in 2005 during the lead up to the quarantine of the Great Lakes area. It became a battle between two ministries and the churches became the spoils of war. LSM could use endless teachings and practices by Witness Lee, most in direct violation of scriptures, to undermine elderships, file lawsuits, seize real estate, slander other ministers, pit brother against brother, etc. all with supposedly a clear conscience, because they were only doing what Lee had done and taught them to do.

It finally became time to leave.
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Old 12-25-2016, 05:50 PM   #4
ZNPaaneah
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Default Re: My time with the local church

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
It has been months since our last interaction with the LC - I didn't feel comfortable (as the man of my household) to have my wife and (someday children) be a part of the LC. I thank the Lord that he has blessed us so richly with his Word and Spirit. I thank the Lord that he protects me as his child and co-heir with Christ. I trust that he will work out all things for my family and use all things for His good.
Welcome. I was wondering are you meeting anywhere right now?
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Old 12-26-2016, 08:58 AM   #5
leastofthese
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Default Re: My time with the local church

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Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Welcome. I was wondering are you meeting anywhere right now?
ZNP - My wife and I have visited a few churches after being invited by friends to join them at their churches or home church. As of now, we have returned to the large nondenom church (baptist/calvinistic) that we both attended before meeting each other.

I've moved around a lot as a child and an adult - and have been a part of many churches. One of the biggest concerns I had while visiting the LC (and home meetings) were the lies that Christ and Holy Spirit were not preached/enjoyed/loved/expressed outside the LSM denom. No church is perfect - but thank the Lord that many have members that are being renewed in knowledge after the image of The Creator.

Col 2:16-19
"16Therefore let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and drink, or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. 17These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ. 18Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind, 19and not holding fast to the Head, from whom the whole body, nourished and knit together through its joints and ligaments, grows with a growth that is from God."
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Old 12-28-2016, 08:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: My time with the local church

least of thee, I PM'd you
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