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Old 04-24-2016, 10:47 AM   #1
Avist
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Default Recovering From The Recovery

How have others recovered from their time in the "recovery"? Looking for input or suggestions.
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Old 04-24-2016, 11:08 AM   #2
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Default Re: Recovering from the Recovery

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How have others recovered from their time in the "recovery"? Looking for input or suggestions.
1. Hang out with other Christians. Even the ones you don't like very much. The best way to recover your journey of faith is to come alongside others. If you shepherd, you'll get shepherded. Help repentant sinners turn back to the Living God, and God will meet you there, and help you also. "What you do to others is what God will do to you." The LC tends to isolationism; instead why not try to find a sinner and give them a smile, or a pat on the back, or a hand? Jesus wants to flow through you, not just to sit in the same circle 5 times a week under the same teachings. Get out, find people who think differently from you, try to present them with the Christ you found in scripture. Then you'll find out the Christ you have (or don't). Let the fire try your faith. It's not only okay, I argue it's necessary. If you only talk to those who agree with you, what will you learn? How will you grow?
2. Read other Christian writings. Read, read, read. You might need to read 20 things, all seemingly useless or mistaken, until you find the pearl of great price. But that pearl will be worth it. You'll recover from the "Witness Lee-or-nothing One Trumpet" influenza.
3. Don't judge or condemn others. As you judge, so you will be judged.
4. Be humble, if possible. I went into the "recovery" because I was an elitist wanna-be, and got seduced by their exclusivist brand of Christianity. "You were redeemed in Christianity, and you got saved in the Recovery" was how my new handler put it to me. So I admit my involvement in the LC of Lee wasn't just being conned by others. I participated willingly. My motives weren't pure. (They still aren't. Only Jesus is pure).
5. Have a sense of humor. Laugh at yourself. Be patient. God is patient with you, so don't take this all-or-nothing kind of approach. It only leads to collapse. The first sign of failure and you'll give up. "I'll never make it. 1000 years of darkness here I come." No; don't give up. God does everything for a reason. Every failure is a lesson.

Good luck to you and God bless.
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Old 04-24-2016, 06:16 PM   #3
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Default Re: Recovering from the Recovery

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How have others recovered from their time in the "recovery"? Looking for input or suggestions.
I think it varies with the person and the depth to which the tentacles of Lee's false teaching have penetrated your mind. If Lee's teachings and the practice of the LSM church life were the fulcrum upon which your spiritual, psychological, and social life was balanced I think you are in for a rough ride as you exit. I had to cut off everything polluted by Lee and twisted by LSM. I was finally able to start my exit after I realized that Née and Lee were not MOTAS, oracles, or apostles like Paul, John, and Peter. There is no curse involved with labeling some of their teaching as false or their behavior as sinful. In my opinion today's LSM LCs are a narrow sect of Christianity whose current trajectory is taking them askew of God's will, plan, and heart's desire. First, I cut off all contact with the false elders, then after realizing the saint's concern for me was only to recover me into their false system of religion I cut off contact with them. I stopped reading anything with LSM as the publisher. It was "cold turkey" for me and months of struggle, but I am so happy to be free of Lee! Don't give Lee or his teachings access to your mind, the manipulation of the saints access to your emotions, and NEVER allow the elders access to control your will. Along with this I also practiced most everything bro Aron mentioned above.

Can you share anything about your departure and why you want to leave?
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Old 04-24-2016, 08:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: Recovering from the Recovery

I feel this process can be especially hard for "church kids" who have no exposure (and only intense suspicion) to anything even remotely Christian outside of the Local Church. There are some books that have been incredibly helpful to me over the last couple of years. Two of those would be He Loves Me and Finding Church, both by Wayne Jacobsen.

In the former Jacobsen discusses being rescued from the "performance-based" emphasis that plagues so many Christians. I never realized it, but "performance-based" describes the Local Church experience to a tee. It is all about doing more, speaking more, attending more meetings, serving more, striving, straining, trying to overcome, reading the right books, knocking on doors, attending more feasts, spending more time, etc., etc., etc. My experience there was so much stress and very little actual realization of the Father's unconditional love.

In the second book, Jacobsen describes "church" as the family of God's people, alive in genuine fellowship that is spontaneous, organic, and based on relationships (and not on groups and meetings). This perspective has been incredibly helpful to me and I expect will be much more appealing to the average LC "church kid" or FTTA graduate who (for better or for worse) would almost never be able to wrap his head around what goes on in most institutional church settings.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:49 AM   #5
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Default Re: Recovering from the Recovery

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I feel this process can be especially hard for "church kids" who have no exposure (and only intense suspicion) to anything even remotely Christian outside of the Local Church...
I daresay this is true. As one who came in from "outside", and then was immersed in LC culture for years, separating was hard. But at least I had some exposure to Christianity before my LC experience. And even with that to fall back on, de-programming was long and hard.

The challenge of getting fully out of the LC is that it's such an immersive experience. I literally was in meetings all week long. Sunday was the Lord's Table, often with some social activity afterward. Monday night was the only night without a meeting. Tuesday night: prayer meeting. Wednesday night: home meeting. Thursday night: campus meeting. Friday night: young people's meeting. Saturday morning: ministry meeting, then church service. Saturday night: college meeting.

Plus there were trips and activities, going over to people's houses for supper and so forth. Once a month there was some regional meeting or "retreat" which would last from Friday night to Sunday afternoon. Then there were "blending" trips and conferences. Not to mention that the "brother's house" and "sister's house" was 24/7. All the while you were told how wonderful the ministry was, how rich and all-sufficient, and how poor and degraded everything else was.

So you can physically leave, but how to get those voices out of your head? When I went back to the Christian groups that I formerly met with, every time I went to a meeting or read a book or article, I would think, "That's not God's economy." It took years to get the LC program to weaken its hold in my consciousness.

The key for me was to eventually realize how unquestioningly I had absorbed and accepted certain key LC teachings as valid in their own right. Lee would present these logical trains of thought, and he'd slip in contradictory or illogical statements and you'd accept them at face value. Once you'd accepted them as intrinsically valid, he had a fulcrum to pry open your brain and pour in his elixir.

I hardly know where to start... "One church per city"... If you look at the NT, you see 'ekklesia' meant meeting, or gathering, or assembly, not church. You could have multiple ekklesia in a city, just as the LC has Meeting Hall One and Meeting Hall Two, or a prayer meeting in one part of town and simultaneously (!!) a college-age meeting in another. The ekklesia is a meeting. Look at Acts 19:41: "And with these words he dismissed the meeting (ekklesia)". That wasn't even a church meeting, it was an assembly of townspeople.

So Lee took the 20th century meaning of "church", which meant something different from NT usage of "ekklesia", i.e. an organized, standing religious body, and said that there could only be one per city. And lo and behold that meant only one set of elders, picked by him, naturally. But if he got you to accept the first statement, you'd usually accept the second, i.e. control by "the ministry". But the biblical record actually shows multiple ekklesia in various urban settings. Look at the epistle to the Romans: "Greet the ekklesia in their house" (16:5). That was what we might call a home meeting, but Paul called it an ekklesia (church)! You could have multiple ekklesia, existing simultaneously, in the city of Rome! Shocking!

You start to see the word with new eyes, not conditioned by "the ministry", and suddenly the spell is broken and you can get on with your life, the one God intended you to have all along.

But you can't get on with the second, until you figure out how to let go of the first. And for me, it was seeing the first for what it really was, a set of propositions by a fallible human being like myself. Not unquestionable edicts from God's Deputy. Nee and Lee were occasionally illogical, just like everyone else. Occasionally they superimposed what they wished were so, onto the scriptural record, and held it forth as if it actually were so. And if you received their statement at face value, as if intrinsically valid, then they had a hook in you.

"We all must see that..." how often would Lee use such phraseology! He was imposing his vision upon yours! Once you recognize this process for what it is, you can start to resist it.
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Old 04-25-2016, 05:57 AM   #6
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Default Re: Recovering from the Recovery

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Don't give Lee or his teachings access to your mind, the manipulation of the saints access to your emotions, and NEVER allow the elders access to control your will.
This is what I meant when I said it was an immersive experience. Mind, emotions, will; body, soul, and spirit. The LC church life tries to penetrate all aspects of your human existence. Once you give them the ground (pun intended), they'll try to take everything.
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Old 04-25-2016, 07:48 AM   #7
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Default Re: Recovering from the Recovery

My advice to anyone trying to recover would be to simplify your Christian life to its essences. Love God, love people (the first and second commandment), receive all believers, meet with any and all Christians without a view to judge them. Take care of your relationships, with God, others, and even yourself.

Hold to a simple gospel. God came as Jesus to bring us back to relation with himself. Look at each person as someone God deeply loves and wants to know. Go about your daily business looking for ways to share God's love, which will mostly come out in ways of service to others.

You will begin to notice that while the LC was process-centered, most churches these days are people-centered. The idea is to truly love people. You will be annoyed at times that many of your pet LC doctrines are not appreciated. Just keep focusing on the basics. Focus on relationships. How are you treating people? How do you feel about them? Do you love them as God does? Are you willing to truly sacrifice for them?

Be on the alert that wanting to straighten people out on knowing the right doctrines is often not the best way to love them, but rather often an exercise in ego. Don't look down your nose at gospel efforts the LC would categorize as "worldly," especially when it comes to youth. Continue to "enjoy the Lord" if that is what you want to call it. But the idea is to walk in simple relationship with God, spreading his love. Much good fruit will come from that. I've seen it happen.
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Old 04-25-2016, 08:26 AM   #8
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... receive all believers, meet with any and all Christians without a view to judge them.
The LC isn't the only exclusivist, unbalanced and controlling church group out there. So watch out; some "Christian" groups will lure you in, claiming that they are the true disciples of Christ, and everyone else is in darkness. Sound familiar? They'll present their 'special' verses, which they'll pressure you to accept according to their interpretation. And if you yield, then the pressure only increases. I've been there. Peer pressure is hard to resist. We all want social approval, and these groups have honed this practice.

Stick with the safe, boring groups, at least at first, until your discernment gets more exercised. Otherwise you could end up somewhere even worse than the LC.

Other than that; yes, seek out Christian fellowship. And don't judge your new associates. "Receive one another, but not for the purpose of disputation". See e.g. Rom 14:1
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Old 04-25-2016, 10:16 AM   #9
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The LC isn't the only exclusivist, unbalanced and controlling church group out there. So watch out; some "Christian" groups will lure you in, claiming that they are the true disciples of Christ, and everyone else is in darkness. Sound familiar? They'll present their 'special' verses, which they'll pressure you to accept according to their interpretation. And if you yield, then the pressure only increases. I've been there. Peer pressure is hard to resist. We all want social approval, and these groups have honed this practice.

Stick with the safe, boring groups, at least at first, until your discernment gets more exercised. Otherwise you could end up somewhere even worse than the LC.

Other than that; yes, seek out Christian fellowship. And don't judge your new associates. "Receive one another, but not for the purpose of disputation". See e.g. Rom 14:1

Good advice. Honestly I think the best churches are those of normal, everyday people who aren't "weird"--people who have hobbies and interests which aren't just church stuff.

Be wary of and even avoid churches which are isolationist--which think they have the inside track on "the right way" and which set themselves above or apart from others groups. A good thing to look for is does the church fellowship and cooperate with other groups, not only churches, but mission organizations, community services and other ministries. Healthy churches respect and welcome the works of other groups. This is true unity.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:00 AM   #10
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Default Re: Recovering from the Recovery

If your looking for transitional fellowship many ex-LC people have found very good fellowship with the assemblies founded here by Stephen Kaung. I myself included. I was surprised to see how many former LC members were at last summer's Christian Family Conference (another one coming up 7/4). Even some still attending the LC but on their way out. Stephen is the exact flip-side of WL; meek and humble. Since WL subverted (building upon another's work) the Church in New York which was started by Kaung, the members that left the WL coup and stood with Stephen, are normal, dedicated lovers of Christ who are extremely watchful that the cult-like and man-idol aspects of the LC do not creep in. They respect Stephen but they do not exalt him. The Holy Spirit has the freedom to speak freely through anyone and to supply experiences of many historical saints via their extensive and rich library. If you care to have a look you can find the website Christian Testimony Ministry. I encourage anyone who can to attend the CFC conference in July. See the CFC website. Bill Mallon and his wife were present at the last one. It was a joyous time full of Liberty. I can say I really had a great time. Met so many normal people
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:16 AM   #11
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If your looking for transitional fellowship many ex-LC people have found very good fellowship with the assemblies founded here by Stephen Kaung.
NML,

I was wondering if you have enjoyed any other type meetings, like those of community churches and so forth. I was wondering if you think CFC appeals to you because it is more like what you are used to, or because you genuinely think it is "better" (more living, etc.). Just wondering. How exactly do they meet? Is it LC-like, with a lot of "amens" and plain clothing, etc. Hopefully this doesn't sound like a loaded question, because it's not intended to be.
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:47 AM   #12
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Since I don't live close by an assembly fellowship I attend an Evangelical Baptist church and have friends in other groups . I find that anyone who loves the Lord is more than adequate to supply my own fellowship needs. I like the assemblies because of my persuasion. Personally I am very convinced concerning the doctrines of the centrality of Christ and the Kingdom doctrines. I read Govett, Lang, Pember. I always have. The assemblies by Stephen read pretty much what I do and speak pretty much the same. They often quote Sparks, Tozer, Spurgeon..It's easy to have a dialog with them. And most importantly they are more consecrated than many in the LC who are more for WL than for Christ. I am not one of those that think all Christians have the same light. A cursory look at the TV evangelist genre will persuade any intelligent person that there are major differences. One good example is the Bible study I attend. It is full of rich experiences and fellowship. But not to long ago after finishing Revelation, a suggestion was made to read a book about some kid that died and went to heaven, had a hot dog or something and came back to tell about it. If that book got the vote then I would not be interested. Thank the Lord it did not.

My early LC days remain. We read those books and talked about them in meetings. I threw out the bath water but not the baby ( early LC) This is why I say if your looking to transition. Others who left no longer accept the kingdom doctrines so they would be better in a group that is more vanilla and believe that all will be raptured no matter how they live etc..
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Old 04-25-2016, 11:56 AM   #13
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As to your second question my answer was " It was nice to meet a lot of normal people. There is no dress code, sports are watched and played. There are Amens of course but normal ones. No special linguistics just to be different. At the last conference during a break some of us headed over to the well equipped gym at the school (also open to the public) It was fun working out and talking about our wonderful Christ with the other brothers.

Oh yes. I forgot - there is facial hair - as much as you want
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Old 04-25-2016, 02:40 PM   #14
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some folks throw out the baby and the bathwater. Do what you need to do. Realize what you know is not normal nor particularly real-yes, even compared to the life experiences of the poor "thirsty" people all around you who know way more about life than you get in the lc
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:02 AM   #15
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Some folks throw out the baby and the bathwater. Do what you need to do.
You may need to throw out the baby, bathwater, bathtub, and bathroom.

In my case I went from the LC into a community church, then into an even more extreme sect than the LC (without details, suffice to say they took religion very seriously, and felt everyone else was "Babylon").

Then I got discouraged and basically gave up on a consciously goal-directed "spiritual journey". Interestingly, this is where my professional life took off: it wasn't that I forgot about God so much as God quietly began presenting a set of continual challenges at the workplace. And I loved it! At that point, church was the same old, same old, but work was full of revelations, possibilities, and experiences. But "Christianity" was forgotten for several years.

Eventually, the God of my Fathers, who raised Jesus Christ from the dead, began to seep back into my consciousness. But things were different; I'd been trained to think independently, and to take responsibility for my thoughts and actions. If something was true it was because I found it to be so, not because God's self-appointed oracle had spoken, or even because Pastor Bob down at the community church said so. And if I failed, which I did often, I had to "man up" and admit it, and learn from it.

The LC bedrock is thought-suppression, but what a liberating moment when I could do the same as WN did: go through sources both modern and ancient, and figure out for myself what to keep and what to modify, or let go of.

Lastly, my experience here on this forum has been an example of Christian fellowship. Not everyone on the forum was bowled over by my thinking. That's a necessary corrective. Not only do I not agree with everything I read or hear, but not everyone is going to agree with everything I say. That, my friends, is called a discussion. It's okay. It's not the sound of division, but rather something like "the sound of many waters" (Rev 14:2). That is the new song (Rev 14:3).
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Old 04-26-2016, 07:38 AM   #16
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Others who left no longer accept the kingdom doctrines so they would be better in a group that is more vanilla and believe that all will be raptured no matter how they live etc..

Just as an aside, evangelicals believe in reward and loss, most of them just don't necessarily tie it to the Millenium. But the idea that our works will be judged is well-known and accepted. We just had a message on it last week. Here's the video if you are interested. The title of the message is "Grace and Reward." A good place to start it would be the 21:00 mark. Or for just the 1 Cor 3 part, pick it up at 29:00.

Quote from the message: "There will be some people who walk into heaven smelling like smoke, and I don't think that's what we want."

http://acfcommunity.org/media/messag...ce-and-reward/
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Old 04-28-2016, 05:36 PM   #17
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How have others recovered from their time in the "recovery"? Looking for input or suggestions.
Does any of the advice sound reasonable to you? So, where are you regarding your exit?
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Old 04-28-2016, 09:44 PM   #18
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some folks throw out the baby and the bathwater.
In the analogy of the baby and the bathwater, what is the baby and what is the bathwater?
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Old 04-30-2016, 12:39 PM   #19
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You may need to throw out the baby, bathwater, bathtub, and bathroom.

In my case I went from the LC into a community church, then into an even more extreme sect than the LC (without details, suffice to say they took religion very seriously, and felt everyone else was "Babylon").

Then I got discouraged and basically gave up on a consciously goal-directed "spiritual journey". Interestingly, this is where my professional life took off: it wasn't that I forgot about God so much as God quietly began presenting a set of continual challenges at the workplace. And I loved it! At that point, church was the same old, same old, but work was full of revelations, possibilities, and experiences. But "Christianity" was forgotten for several years.

Eventually, the God of my Fathers, who raised Jesus Christ from the dead, began to seep back into my consciousness. But things were different; I'd been trained to think independently, and to take responsibility for my thoughts and actions. If something was true it was because I found it to be so, not because God's self-appointed oracle had spoken, or even because Pastor Bob down at the community church said so. And if I failed, which I did often, I had to "man up" and admit it, and learn from it.

The LC bedrock is thought-suppression, but what a liberating moment when I could do the same as WN did: go through sources both modern and ancient, and figure out for myself what to keep and what to modify, or let go of.

Lastly, my experience here on this forum has been an example of Christian fellowship. Not everyone on the forum was bowled over by my thinking. That's a necessary corrective. Not only do I not agree with everything I read or hear, but not everyone is going to agree with everything I say. That, my friends, is called a discussion. It's okay. It's not the sound of division, but rather something like "the sound of many waters" (Rev 14:2). That is the new song (Rev 14:3).
I love to hear what others went through after exiting TLR and attempting to recover. Thanks for sharing your experience Aron. My experience is that "it aint easy" (to use improper English). It aint easy to be in TLR either, but that's human and Christian life.

Interesting that Aron uses the sound of many waters quote from Revelation. It is also used by Ezekiel to describe the voice of God. When I went to Niagara Falls, I finally understood what the sound of many waters is in nature. Following is an attempt (unfortunately somewhat feeble) to capture it that someone else posted on the internet (view and sound from a tunnel that looks into the underside of Horseshoe Falls (Canadian side of Niagara Falls, and the most awesome side). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCYeb2bL0Tk

Getting anywhere near Horseshoe Falls is absolutely deafening (and drenching). Just like when we human "ants" hear God's awesome voice. When He speaks, all other sounds and consciousness of anyone but Him are drowned out. What an awesome God we have! His voice is not cornered in the LC, in spite of their claims.
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Old 05-17-2016, 01:47 PM   #20
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Hello. I've been lurking for awhile. Thanks for this forum.

I was in the lc's for many years. I've been out for awhile now. Meet with a really good church, the opposite of the lc's. Lots of grace and healing.

One thing I still deal with though is flashbacks. Does anyone else here have them? I mean that I often have negative memories come back for no reason. I often think about what I should have said or done (especially because of abusive elders). I rehearse what happened as if it could be different. I remember so many meetings filled with condemnation. Elders shouting at the saints for little things (being late, not setting up the chairs right, not inviting people to meetings, not being one with the ministry). When I'm alone I even have conversations with the "leading brothers" even though they're not there. I know it sounds crazy. It's like I wish I could go back and stand up to their bullying, but it's too late. For some reason I can't let it go. Sometimes for no reason it's like a tape recorder in my brain goes off, and I'm reliving it

Does anyone else have the problem? If so, how do you deal with it? I'd really like to leave all this behind me, but I still look back all the time.

Thank you.
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Old 05-17-2016, 07:12 PM   #21
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I can relate. From January 2001 until my uncle passed away in April 2014, I couldn't set foot in the Bellevue meeting hall. It wasn't until my uncle's memorial service that I did. In between many nightmares.
From an attendance perspective, some might have a problem to churches that have one man speaking. Problem that I have is from churches following a singular ministry (Anaheim or Cleveland).
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Old 05-17-2016, 08:08 PM   #22
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Hello. I've been lurking for awhile...
Sure. Sounds normal to me.

I think it's part of life. It's also part of the way we learn. By rehashing difficult or painful times, we gain new perspectives and practices for the future.

Like you, I'm still mad that I didn't stand up to all the public abuses, but then again I am reminded of one time I did stand up to an abusive elder and he beat me up pretty good. (Or should I say pretty bad.) I had a black eye, a headache, a sore neck, and it could have been much worse. It was painful for a while, embarrassing to all who saw me, and I must have rehearsed that day in my mind a thousand times. Not once would I have done things differently. I needed to say what I did, and not accept blame for something he did. It's not my fault he had a temper tantrum all over me.

On another front, just the other day I was rehearing a bad interview I had 31 years ago. It was an engineering position with Rockwell, and as I walked into the director's office, he pointed me to some derivative Calculus problems on the board. I did well until I bombed the last one. He said goodbye. I'll never forget that interview. Rehearsed it many times. Got that problem right each time.
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Old 05-17-2016, 10:29 PM   #23
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Hello. I've been lurking for awhile...
Welcome new poster. I think all of us here have local church memories that haunt us. I do. That's one of the reasons I am here. Sorry you were emotionally abused by leading ones. You don't owe them anything.

"Hanging out" and posting here plus the better church experience you described may help you work through remaining anxiety over time.

In addition to finding other Christians to fellowship with in the area I live in who are not interested in dominating others, I found it comforting to find many here who share the same revulsion to many of the things going on in TLC. And, they love and pursue the Lord Jesus in faith together with other Christians in a spirit of love (versus self exaltation). I have found myself praying, thank you, Lord you set this board up so I could see I'm not crazy and alone in my thinking after all.
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Old 05-17-2016, 11:35 PM   #24
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Hello. I've been lurking for awhile....
I think the flashbacks are completely normal, as well as the tendency to want to 'rehearse' past situations.

I am both soft-spoken and easy-going, so that made me prime material to be taken advantage of by LC leaders. That's not to say they intentionally did so, but what happened has happened. I often regret having let elders walk over me. Sometimes I wish I could get even with them. At the end of the day, I have to just realize that the past is the past. There is no point in obsessing over such things.

The flashbacks are difficult. Speaking for myself, I often have thought about the positive of the LC and wondered whether my stance towards the LC is right or not. It's easy to get caught up second guessing yourself. I don't want to sound too weird, but a few times I've had dreams where I was immersed in a idyllic form of the LC. I woke up wondering if I was causing myself to miss out on something. I eventually realized that the problem wasn't me. The LC is what it is. There is no sense in waiting around for it to change.

Like everyone else, I long hoped that the LC would eventually change for the better. It didn't. I stuck around and continued to try to survive. I couldn't. It was at that point that I realized that whether I wanted to or not, I had to distance myself from certain people, I had to cut off toxic friendships, and I had to stop investing into empty dreams that would never materialize.
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:10 AM   #25
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I'll never forget that interview. Rehearsed it many times. Got that problem right each time.
Good words. I fail at work, sometimes quite embarrassingly, and I find that these are really learning experiences! All good things come to us from the Father of Lights.

My counsel is this: Number One, these people were wrong and did bad things. They dominated the saints, and lorded it over the flock. They caused stumbling, shipwreck and harm. But if we forgive, we are forgiven. So pray to the Father, as Stephen did, as Jesus did: "Forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing. Don't hold this sin against them." If you forgive, you will be forgiven. Jesus repeated this dictum, several times. So I repeat it to myself often.

Number Two. You are now in a position to help others, having passed thru the fire. As you heal, others will see this, and be healed themselves. You will become a door for others to see Jesus at work.

Number Three. God is sovereign. Everything looks crazy helter-skelter, but God is on an immovable throne. Never lose sight of this! God allowed the crazy world of Nee and Lee to swamp us for a time. But God knew what He was doing. Do I understand? No. Do I agree with what I understand? No. But I obey. God is in charge.

Paul wrote, "In that which you were called, in this remain." If you were a slave when called, remain a slave. Doesn't mean slavery is an institution approved by God, or that your current master is a nice guy. It may still be a rotten deal. But God is sovereign.

Which doesn't mean we are passive, or stoic. What it means is that God is active, moving and shaping events, and even if I don't understand (usually the case, in real time, as events unfold on the ground), I still must obey. Fix my eyes on the throne in heaven. "Your will be done, not mine." Elder Bob at the LC is no different from Pastor Bob at the Community Church. Both are specks of dust, like you or I. Be merciful to them, in your heart find compassion, and God will find compassion for you.

Lastly, as you can see, I find writing to be therapeutic.

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I remember so many meetings filled with condemnation.
This memory is actually very good, though not pleasant. It's God's voice telling you not to go back. Go forward; keep going. I know a few brothers who, even though they saw problems with the LC, and left for a while, they went back because they didn't know what else to do.

You may or may not find yourself in a "good place", spiritually, post-LC. But those memories of traumatic condemnation should be enough to cause you to press on into the unknown. Let the memories stay fresh for as long as you need them. A decade? Fine - as long as it's a decade out of the LC. Just keep going.
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Old 05-18-2016, 08:12 AM   #26
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Following is an attempt (unfortunately somewhat feeble) to capture it that someone else posted on the internet (view and sound from a tunnel that looks into the underside of Horseshoe Falls (Canadian side of Niagara Falls, and the most awesome side). https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCYeb2bL0Tk. Getting anywhere near Horseshoe Falls is absolutely deafening (and drenching).
JJ, Isn't that beneath Goat Island on the American side of the Falls?
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Old 05-18-2016, 03:18 PM   #27
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"Lastly, as you can see, I find writing to be therapeutic."

Aron, you are funny, and that is true.

I too relive certain LC interactions now that I think about it. Your comment about forgiveness is very good and much needed (at least by me!).
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Old 05-18-2016, 05:36 PM   #28
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My counsel is this: Number One, these people were wrong and did bad things. They dominated the saints, and lorded it over the flock. They caused stumbling, shipwreck and harm. But if we forgive, we are forgiven. So pray to the Father, as Stephen did, as Jesus did: "Forgive them, for they don't know what they are doing. Don't hold this sin against them." If you forgive, you will be forgiven. Jesus repeated this dictum, several times. So I repeat it to myself often.
aron, Amen to this!

Witness Lee demanded that we forgive and forget. He likened any memory which we may still have to the tail of the fox rising up from the grave. The Lord Jesus, however, requires us only to forgive. When He taught us to pray, He said clearly, "and forgive us our sins, as we forgive all those who are indebted to us." (Luke 11.4) Somethings in our life we may never forget. Some things in our past are so painful that they have shaped us for eternity. Look at Jesus, even He still has a body full of holes. (John 20.27)

By demanding that we forget any and all offenses, Lee set us up for endless condemnation. He heaped demands on us the Bible did not. I have the blood of Jesus to deal with the memory of my past sins, but what about my memory of others' past sins, especially those who have never even apologized to me? For these the Lord requires us to forgive, just as He did to us on that painful cross. (Luke 23.34)

Forgiveness is a decision. It may be a painfully difficult decision, but it is a decision we all need to make. Sometimes we need to consider all the rotten things we have been forgiven of by God, and that helps us to forgive others. (Colossians 3.13) The decision to forgive others is the best thing a hurting person can do. We are psychologically unable to deal with the consequences of unforgiveness in our heart. God designed us to deal with many things in life, unforgiveness is not one of them.

Unforgiveness is like holding on to others' debts, and then trying to convince yourself you are really rich. Some dear folks have accumulated loan notes from every person they ever knew. They store all of these debt notes, locked away in their hearts, thinking they are assets to enrich their lives. Actually they are toxic. They steal our joy, our peace, our love, our life, our future. Burn up all the notes! Release everyone from their debt, and you will know love and forgiveness from your Heavenly Father. That doesn't mean you won't remember your past. Whenever the bad memories return, just pray, "Lord, as you have forgiven me on that cross, I too forgive." (Mark 11.25)
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Old 05-18-2016, 10:39 PM   #29
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JJ, Isn't that beneath Goat Island on the American side of the Falls?
It could be. I don't know if both sides have tunnels like that or not. I went in a tunnel on the Canadian side with views that look like the video and assumed .... Uh oh
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Old 05-19-2016, 07:38 AM   #30
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Witness Lee demanded that we forgive and forget. He likened any memory which we may still have to the tail of the fox rising up from the grave. The Lord Jesus, however, requires us only to forgive. . .

By demanding that we forget any and all offenses, Lee set us up for endless condemnation. He heaped demands on us the Bible did not.
The Lord does indeed forget: "Your sins I will remember no more." But we must remember on which condition sin is forgotten. Witness Lee tried to cover up sins, like Adam with the leaves, like Cain and the dirt. He said, "Don't remember it any more. It is forgotten, now." But God is righteous, and holy. Sin cries out before Him. Contrast the LC "cover-up" scheme with the repentant rich man who told Jesus that he'd restored four-fold whatever he'd taken improperly (Luke 19:8). Jesus welcomed him into the kingdom of God. But when the "investors" in Daystar were left holding the bag, and son Timothy had made off with the loot, Witness Lee told them, "Why don't you consider it a donation?"

At the core of Witness Lee's forgetting (pretending, really) is a cultural model that says that for social cohesion (in LC jargon, "good order in the church") the leader must be right. So how can the leader in this model apologize if he's always right? He can't. How could he make restitution if by definition he couldn't admit impropriety? Similarly, how can Titus Chu apologize and lose face - "I am ashamed" - before the blendeds? He can't. His culture won't permit it. He could publicly admit shame before Lee, but none other. Ditto with Dong Yu Lan. And this culture allows for no reparation of the breach. Because Nee, Lee, Chu and Dong can't see their cultural model, they're forced to live in it. When one can't question one's reality, cultural, sociological, psychological, one is forced to live it indefinitely. For all the attempts at word-smithing and definition-parsing, reality is actually a set of behaviors from which one cannot exit.

And a commensurate make-believe history is put forth: "The history of the church and the local churches". LSM acolytes go to Europe and preach the so-called high peak gospel of the kingdom, but they don't want people to know about what happened in Stuttgart in 1986 when the saints found out about impropriety involving the admittedly unspiritual son Philip who'd been office manager since 1974 of the family business, Living Stream Ministry (LSM), and to whom they were to be in abject fealty. When they instead made independent inquiries, they were held to be "in rebellion" and "conspiring against God's anointed."

How will LSM hide this from the German people? I googled "local church Witness Lee Watchman Nee" and found 12 different web sites on the first four Google pages, with various names like www.local-church-administration.org which tell the LSM version of events, what they want people to see. It's the electronic equivalent of throwing dust in the air - try to catch as many eyeballs as possible (this discussion forum is on the fourth Google page). And I didn't count all the websites like the church in Dallas or the church in NYC, who unanimously and unequivocally "Enjoy Christ and recommend the ministries of Witness Lee and Watchman Nee".

Central to Nee's program was the Confucian idea of absolute obedience to what he called God's Deputy Authority, who was de facto God on earth. And Nee adopted the idea that each city could only have one church in it—one associated with his own denomination, of course. All other churches, whether Baptist, Catholic, or Protestant, were schismatic and in severe error. Each city must have only one church, he taught—“one city, one church, worldwide”—and this assembly must simply be called “the church [in city X].” Nee adopted the idea that “to leave the denominations . . . require[s] our obedience” in the latter half of 1922, two years after his professed conversion in 1920 at the age of seventeen—from that point on, he viewed “the Presbyterian Church . . . the Methodist Church . . . the Baptist Church” and all other denominations are unscriptural. While Paul required a simple pastor not to be a novice (1 Timothy 3:6), only two years after Nee’s professed conversion he was able to found a new denomination, which he affirmed was not a denomination, but a recovery of the true church. The “church life . . . the truth of the Lord’s recovery . . . began to be practiced in Watchman’s home town in 1922,” and by “1926 he . . . established gatherings for the Lord’s recovery [his new denomination] in Amoy, Tung-An, and nearby places [in] . . . south Fukien.” (see Nee's "Authority and Submission", chs 2, 7, and Lee's "Watchman Nee - a Seer of the Divine Revelation", pp 41-43, 173-178, 201)

So your traumatic memories are probably associated with unconditional submission to a disobedient spirit that ran LC assemblies according to a cultural model where "right and wrong" (i.e. righteousness) were irrelevant and only absolute obedience to God's supposed deputy mattered. This rebellious spirit, which caused a new believer (Nee) to leave the Christian church two years after conversion, promoted him to the "Seer of the Divine Revelation", and start his own church (which is the True Recovered Church, naturally), pulled you in and ran your life, which you now re-experience in "flashbacks". Unresolved trauma can't be forgotten, it only can be re-lived. Just like with culture: unless you recognize it for what it is, it will have free reign in your life, and Christ's reign will be circumscribed.

Once you begin to see the problem, however, you begin to see the solution.

https://artemisbelt.wordpress.com/2011/06/29/
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Old 05-19-2016, 10:46 AM   #31
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Good to see more scrutiny on Nee. If the root of the tree (nee) is found to be rotten, then what should be expected from the branches?

This is the part that has captured my attention for the past year or so.
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Nee adopted the idea that “to leave the denominations . . . require[s] our obedience” in the latter half of 1922, two years after his professed conversion in 1920 at the age of seventeen—from that point on, he viewed “the Presbyterian Church . . . the Methodist Church . . . the Baptist Church” and all other denominations are unscriptural.

While Paul required a simple pastor not to be a novice (1 Timothy 3:6), only two years after Nee’s professed conversion he was able to found a new denomination, which he affirmed was not a denomination, but a recovery of the true church. The “church life . . . the truth of the Lord’s recovery . . . began to be practiced in Watchman’s home town in 1922,” and by “1926 he . . . established gatherings for the Lord’s recovery [his new denomination] in Amoy, Tung-An, and nearby places [in] . . . south Fukien.” (see Nee's "Authority and Submission", chs 2, 7, and Lee's "Watchman Nee - a Seer of the Divine Revelation", pp 41-43, 173-178, 201)
The 11 (and presumably many more, including the one who replaced Judas) followed Jesus for 3+ years learning. Paul, despite much learning in the Jewish tradition and scriptures, spent many years before he stepped out to take the gospel to the Gentiles. And when the got to any place, they didn't just pitch a revival tent, hold a week's worth of meetings, declare that there was a church with a few converts and leave town. They spent much time. And typically left someone behind (or found someone among the locals) who was worthy of the task of leading the flock. Timothy evidently spent quite some time in Ephesus.

But a 17-year-old kid (a brilliant genius, but still a kid) with no record of any training other than a lot of private reading, mainly from the mystics, is ready to lead everyone into a truly new way of meeting. And that way will answer to no man other than him.

Even at 17, Nee was probably used to being the smartest person in the room. At least in terms of what has been taken in. He could probably regurgitate anything he could read. And he evidently could read a lot in a very short time. So a lot of "facts" (or at least written things) stored away for recall.

No evidence of anyone really helping to mold a truly Christian perspective from which to assess and use that knowledge. (There was no one smart enough to do that.) So he began to work with it from his existing base. Whatever that was.

Not saying he was evil. But he was deluded into thinking that, in true Protestant "sola scriptura" form, his superior mind could take the Bible, along with these writings by others, many of whom were working from the same "sola scriptura" base, and find the "right way" to go.

At least as it seemed right in his eyes.

I do not believe that Nee set out to do this in an evil or underhanded way. But he was blind to his own lack of wisdom and knowledge that could not be filled-in by simply gathering information. At some level, Nee's ability to read entire books in mere minutes provided an overload of information in a way that most of us only see when trying to find valuable information from a Google search.

Nee had 17 years of understanding the world in his own way and an unspecified change in that way (if any) over the next 2 years, and he was now ready to dismiss all potential peers because he was always the smartest man in the room.

It would take another 25 or so years to codify his status within the room when he indirectly placed himself above human scrutiny in Spiritual Authority (aka Authority and Submission). And he learned from no one else over those years. Even when shut out of his position in the early to mid 40s, he was busy preparing the messages that would guarantee that it never happened again. (Any by this time, while still likely deluded, he was clearly skipping past too many verses that screamed at him to step down and go away. He no longer was just deluded. He was willful about it.)
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:11 PM   #32
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Good to see more scrutiny on Nee. If the root of the tree (nee) is found to be rotten, then what should be expected from the branches?

...

It would take another 25 or so years to codify his status within the room when he indirectly placed himself above human scrutiny in Spiritual Authority (aka Authority and Submission). And he learned from no one else over those years. Even when shut out of his position in the early to mid 40s, he was busy preparing the messages that would guarantee that it never happened again. (Any by this time, while still likely deluded, he was clearly skipping past too many verses that screamed at him to step down and go away. He no longer was just deluded. He was willful about it.)
Wow! This is inspired. Required reading.

As another "smart person" (though probably not near as smart as Nee) I can witness to the experience of thinking I have things figured out, to being able to regurgitate things I read and liked, and to being able to share them in a profound and impressive fashion. Nee probably simply bowled over, charmed and intimidated others with his impressive gifts. That's just a hop, skip and jump from being considered an important spiritual leader, and just a few more from being a "seer" (to use Lee's description of him.)

But, then again, maybe it was just a bunch of fizz. Maybe it was just a bright Christian boy who thought he knew some things and was always, as OBW said, the smartest person in the room.
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Old 05-19-2016, 02:32 PM   #33
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Even when shut out of his position in the early to mid 40s, Nee was busy preparing the messages that would guarantee that it never happened again. Any by this time, while still likely deluded, he was clearly skipping past too many verses that screamed at him to step down and go away. He no longer was just deluded. He was willful about it.
Nee probably needed the system, to find his place in the world, as much as the system he'd created needed him. I believe that ultimately, the only way the world made sense to either him or his group was if he was at the helm. This can be confirmed by Lee's question to the Shanghai elders, after they'd ex-communicated Nee - "How did you feel" when you did it? Their shame at the act was because for them the cultural imperative to support the maximum leader no matter what over-rode the scriptural imperative (e.g. 1 Cor 5:13) to expel the sinful man. Lee used this as a pry-bar to open them to the shame, and from there to get them to reverse field.

Culture is therefore what allowed Nee to ride back into town on a white horse. Thirty years later, I believe that same cultural imperative made the Taipei elders keep quiet, when it was apparent that Lee was back to his old machinations, now in the USA (with Daystar etc). Culture said, "Don't question the maximum leader." Whenever culture and the Bible clashed in the LC, culture won hands down. When you see start to see this, it becomes a lot easier to "recover" from the LC.
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:08 AM   #34
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One great irony of the Watchman Nee experience is that it began as a nativist reaction to imperialism, and became imperialism personified. WN's flat and open rejection of the "denominations" was a brilliantly successful gambit, but what was behind that initial success, but three generations of simmering resentment against Western domination? Suddenly one of their own sprung up, who had seemingly absorbed all the best teachings and could pour them back out. I recall one Western visitor in the '30s to the Hardoon Road meeting place in Shanghai who said he'd never seen such powerful speaking, such electricity in the air. Now Chinese Christianity had a face, and focus, a voice, and a shining prince. And the fact that the movement now was denominated, aka the "Little Flock", was irrelevant. WN was on his way to the top, and he had his vehicle.

And it was eventually exported as a kind of superior, purified Christianity, one percolated by God Himself on the "virgin soil" of China, according to Witness Lee. God had now blessed us all, Chinese and Caucasian, with the consummation of the revelation of previous ages, yada yada.

Nothing of the sort. All the storms, rebellions, purges, quarantines, all the schisms and splits, and, importantly, all the lost and broken people out there trying to "recover from the recovery", are testimony to its quite human element. It never ceases to amaze me how former members who haven't been in the LC for years say they still feel guilty today, for not being there. They still can't shake the program.

What follows is a simplification and generalization, but I think that WN's gift to express the unspoken need of the Chinese people, that they were not inferior to the West, was expressed as a rejection of the "denominations" as improper in God's eyes. WN had ground to build something fresh and new, but it was really the same old human system-building: "We reject you and yours". Us versus them. Another proverbial Babylonian brick in the wall. New brick but same wall. The codified rejection, and delineation of 'us' and 'them' soon had its own institution, with its own name, organizational hierarchy, buildings and training centers, and an expressed and reasoned core theology.

And I stress that a strong basis of this group's self-identification was rejection of existing (Western) Christianity. So it's no surprise that when Witness Lee brought it to the US, he was soon spouting incessant judgments of everyone and everything else. Poor, fallen, natural Christianity; devilish, satanic, daughters of the harlot etc, etc. . . every day all day, WL's constant critique of everything besides WN's blessed "recovery" was woven into nearly every message and meeting. We were convinced that we alone had a "the riches", and "the up-to-date truth", and everyone else was compromised, deficient and inadequate.

So what happens when someone who has uncritically accepted this kind of universal condemnation begins to see vanity in the emperor's own clothes? Suddenly Daystar fails and the money's gone, or WL's son Philip is caught pawing the help. . . experiential data starts to point out that it's nothing but a wisp, an illusion. Or maybe there's an incessant stream of "flows" from HQ, with demands and promises of revival. Yet no revival appears. The proverbial red flags begin to dot the previously "glorious church life" landscape, but the LC rank-and-file, even if they sense it, don't have a conceptual exit point, or door. The preaching from day one has been that there is no exit. Outside the LC is supposedly nothing but empty wasteland. And to this premise, the now disillusioned LC members had repeatedly said, "Amen!"

"Poor Christianity" - "amen!". . . "Babylon the Great" - "amen!" Etc etc.

In thinking about this, I realized that Jesus' admonition that 'as you judge others, so you will be judged' (Matt 7:2) was relevant. WL got us to implicitly and unquestioningly agree with, accept, and absorb the constant and open judgmental attitude. Then, when our own joy began to leak away, we found ourselves without alternatives -- if we left the LC, then we ourselves would become the "judged other", which we'd already agreed on as being true! But being the "judged other" is completely foreign to the gospel of Jesus Christ! Jesus took on the judgment for us! We'd once been the judged and rejected "other" in God's eyes, and had been brought home by the blood of the Lamb.

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From January 2001 until my uncle passed away in April 2014, I couldn't set foot in the Bellevue meeting hall. It wasn't until my uncle's memorial service that I did. In between many nightmares.
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I am currently a part of a small church in Fort Worth, but always feeling tremendous guilt that I am not attending the local church.
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I was too emotionally traumatized when I left to be that objective. I was afraid what they said was true...that I was a goner... It was at least 5 years before I could go to a church...and when I did, I cried the entire time, especially during the singing. Reading the Bible was out of the question.
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Only eighteen months before we had talked together about how differently we felt about the church, and back then I had said to John, "If you go, I'll stay". My priority then was the Church over our marriage, because I had invested my whole life into it. I had altered my life radically to be a part of the 'group'; I was mentally and emotionally dependent on them and I couldn't conceive of living without them at my center.
WN's rejection was the basis of a program, or thought-world, which WL eventually exported to the USA, and beyond; anyone uncritically accepting this program got their thinking, emotions, and behaviors seriously skewed. You could try to leave the physical environment, but the program would still be in you, running. . . it's very important to see this program for what it is. It's based on rejection, judgment, and condemnation. Don't accept it! Yes there was (and is) a lot wrong with the "denominations", and yes Western imperialism in China was arguably rotten. But WN's cleverness and spirituality didn't give us an alternative. It got WN to the top of the food chain, and paved the way for WL's manipulative ministry, which can be emotionally and psychologically traumatic, and spiritually distorting if unquestioningly received.

The facts are in, folks. Enough time has passed. We can now see this system, and the thought-world behind it, for what it is.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:51 AM   #35
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I was the one who posted recently about flashbacks. I just wanted to thank everyone for their responses. It means a lot to hear about others going through the same thing.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:56 AM   #36
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That's what we're here for! Please consider registering for membership by shooting an email including your desired UserName to LocalChurchDiscussions@Gmail.Com

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Old 05-20-2016, 08:47 PM   #37
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I was the one who posted recently about flashbacks. I just wanted to thank everyone for their responses. It means a lot to hear about others going through the same thing.
I'm glad you mentioned this, because just today I realized that I have flash-forwards. I frequently imagine what I will say to LC relatives or elders that I might meet in the future. I role play conversations with them.
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Old 06-24-2016, 07:53 AM   #38
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Because it is so often said, "You will never hear this anywhere else;" It can be very beneficial to someone recovering from the recovery, to visit as many different places of worship as possible. Listen to a variety to speakers online and read some different ministries. You may be as shocked as I was that the ministry of Witness Lee is not that unique. I think it's funny how LCers will think these speakers/preachers are reading "the ministry". I did too at first. Now I just realize that the reason they may sound the same is because they are reading the Bible!
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Old 11-10-2016, 12:34 AM   #39
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I found this website/forum just a couple days ago through a Google Search. I was having flashbacks recently and was curious to see how people coped.

I grew up in an LC church as a kid (NYC). The first Bible I owned was the Recovery Version given to me in 1986 when I was 12. That was also the year that "Summer School of Truth" was started. I caught onto a lot of the ideas taught, but there were times when I just didn't understand while everyone around me (including my peers) seemed to understand everything. I knew I was not an overcomer and probably never would be. Just about everyone I knew went to the conferences and the FTT. I never went to the FTT.

When I no longer was interested in going to church meetings and saw going away to college as THE opportunity to escape, I found it really hard to relate to the outside world. Fast forwarding to today, I function as a normal person, but I no longer identify as a Christian. Instead I live in this world as an atheist. Today it is just too painful and traumatic to read the Bible; hear familiar verses, hymns or phrases, or listen to a sermon6

Strangely enough, I currently play the piano for the Sunday morning service at a Methodist Church, afterwards I help out another church with Sunday school for kids, and during the week i listen to Christian music while driving to work.
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Old 11-10-2016, 02:47 AM   #40
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I knew I was not an overcomer and probably never would be. Just about everyone I knew went to the conferences and the FTT. I never went to the FTT.

Fast forwarding to today, I function as a normal person, but I no longer identify as a Christian. Instead I live in this world as an atheist.
A few years ago, I stopped by an LSM church where I'd met. None of the young people were still there. Of perhaps 30 to 40 that had been in the meetings, as children, fifteen years prior, none were in attendance; they were either "in the world" or off somewhere "serving the ministry".

Instead of allowing youngsters the opportunity to find their way, they're force-fed a program to make them ministry zealots. This all-or-nothing scenario causes many to abandon the faith completely.

For what it's worth, I lived apart from God (more agnostic than true atheist) for several years, post-LC. Eventually I found my way home, on my own path, not someone else's.

Jesus burned with holy and passionate fire, but the only ones who seem to have been truly and consistently alienated by this weekend the religious know-it-all. Other than that, he seems quite accessible.
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Old 11-10-2016, 01:27 PM   #41
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How have others recovered from their time in the "recovery"? Looking for input or suggestions.
Hi, I'm new here. Just began reading some of the forums on this site a couple of weeks ago after John Ingall's passing. I grew up in the LC in Anaheim from the late 70s to the early 90s. Even went to the inaugural High School FTT training in Taipei and then the subsequent YP's training in Irving (in July/August 1987)...which ultimately troubled me deeply, but I didn't totally leave the LC until I was in college. Took about 4 or 5 years from the initial time I felt the nature of the recovery had changed to the time I left, which speaks to how fully I identified myself and every aspect of my life with the LC. No doubt it was a difficult transition for me as I lost virtually all of my friends due to my contrary ("negative") views of the ministry.

Looking back now, though the path has not been all rosy, I feel it was definitely God's blessed sovereignty that led me out of that situation. To this day, I still dearly love the LC saints -- which means that although I have not seen any in quite a while, I would welcome and cherish any fellowship I might possibly have with them if our paths were to cross. The reason I left was due to the exaltation of one man and one ministry, and some of the toxic teachings & practices that increasingly grew from the mid 80s to early 90s. EVERY church has its flaws/problems, but the flaws in the LC grew to a point where there was no more blessing of the Spirit, at least in MY life. And in my conscience, I could no longer justify to myself or God that I should stay. Basically, I had resisted the prodding of the Lord for me to leave, until I had simply run out of excuses.

Overall, I still have VERY fond memories of the LC because the church life was amazing up until the mid 80s. At least, this is my perspective as a young person during that time. I definitely saw and experienced the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the church and on me. I had many deep personal experiences of Christ. I really enjoyed the YP's meetings, the retreats and all the after-church activities (lots of sports outings at Modjeska Park); but most importantly, I miss the indepth study/exposition of the Word that has been difficult to find to this day in churches outside the LC. Also, another thing I appreciated and miss was a certain "culture" of the LC where there was a lot of encouragement/exhortation to walk in the Spirit (eg. encouragement to deny your flesh in day-to-day life, to exercise spiritual discipline, having morning watch/devotion, reading the Bible, etc). Maybe some people think these things are ritualistic, but in its pure form, they were such a blessing and salvation, and they are what we need to survive in this evil world. Unfortunately, many churches in Christianity don't emphasize these things as much, esp with regard to the reading of the Word, which I find to be alarming and very discouraging. Yes, the LC had/has some cultural peculiarities, but the constant encouragement I received from others (whether manufactured or geniune) is something I still miss to this day. It is the closest to Hebrews 10:25 in terms of encouragement that I have ever experienced in my life.

But the reason I feel God sovereignly brought me out of the LC was because I have since discovered a deep personal walk with Him that probably would not have been possible had I stayed. I say this because having stepped out of the environment where there was really only one teaching/interpretation of anything, and being always taught to "drop your concepts", I have now seen the importance of INDIVIDUALLY opening my heart to Him and letting Him speak directly to me. This has been precious. Yes, God speaks through other people, but He also speaks directly to each of us in a personal way.

Although the church we choose to meet at/with is important, the most important thing is our heart; that EACH PERSON would have a heart that is humble, teachable, God-fearing, and seeking. Really, the "secret" to a blessed life boils down to having such a heart every day. Wherever we meet, whatever situation we are in, I hope we all can live in such a way. If/when we all as His church do this, we will become like the bride that is beautifully portrayed in the Song of Songs/Solomon that shows how much delight our Bridegroom takes in us as His people/church. So, while no church on this earth is perfect -- all churches and all people have many flaws -- may our desire be to be perfected more into His glorious image every day.
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Old 11-11-2016, 01:19 PM   #42
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...
But the reason I feel God sovereignly brought me out of the LC was because I have since discovered a deep personal walk with Him that probably would not have been possible had I stayed. I say this because having stepped out of the environment where there was really only one teaching/interpretation of anything, and being always taught to "drop your concepts", I have now seen the importance of INDIVIDUALLY opening my heart to Him and letting Him speak directly to me. This has been precious. Yes, God speaks through other people, but He also speaks directly to each of us in a personal way.

Although the church we choose to meet at/with is important, the most important thing is our heart; that EACH PERSON would have a heart that is humble, teachable, God-fearing, and seeking. Really, the "secret" to a blessed life boils down to having such a heart every day. Wherever we meet, whatever situation we are in, I hope we all can live in such a way. If/when we all as His church do this, we will become like the bride that is beautifully portrayed in the Song of Songs/Solomon that shows how much delight our Bridegroom takes in us as His people/church. So, while no church on this earth is perfect -- all churches and all people have many flaws -- may our desire be to be perfected more into His glorious image every day.
I think you've found the key. Without a deep personal walk with the Lord and a humble, teachable heart, what do we have? There are spots and wrinkles in the church, but it's up to Him to love and care for us as willing children who love our Daddy above all else and grow us up together with all our brothers and sisters until there are no more spots...no more wrinkles. Then He can come to take his children home. Amen Lord. Come quickly.

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Old 11-11-2016, 01:45 PM   #43
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I think you've found the key. Without a deep personal walk with the Lord and a humble, teachable heart, what do we have?
Reminds me of a story I read:

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------------------------------
AL CLARK:
We don’t need 15 points to tell us what to do. We just need to continually hear from this One Who is within us. The more you try to keep so many points, the more you will fail, and then you are under condemnation. Eventually what you have is not a ministry of Life, but one of condemnation. You have been switched from Christ to Moses. And the veils start stacking up over your head until you cannot see anything.
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