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Old 03-18-2015, 03:54 AM   #1
InOmnibusCaritas
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Default Post-Recovery: A Testimony

It has been nine years since the quarantine and eight years since I left LC. I suppose it is time to revisit those wounds to see if they’ve fully healed. Also, I think it is time for me to contribute according to what God has called me to do. Perhaps my testimony can also be of encouragement to some of you.

I live in South-East Asia and my family, like most traditional ethnic Chinese families, worshiped a myriad of gods. I was dedicated to the goddess Guanyin as a toddler. My sister, 8 years older than me, first heard the gospel through friends at the Local Church. She received permission from our very liberal parents to bring me to the children’s meeting. Brother Y would come to pick us up from our home. I was 6 years old and it was 1988.

Eventually, my parents decided to check on us to make sure that we were not in some dangerous cult. Their visit to the meeting hall were received with a warm welcome by Brother Y. Brother Y and his wife’s efforts were not in vain – my parents were liking it very much. In 1991, my parents agreed to baptism and I jumped at the opportunity to request for baptism too. Brother Y reasoned that I was only 9 and therefore too young to make this decision, but I protested (with references to Samuel – my then favourite Biblical hero) until he eventually relented. As I had an insatiable appetite for the truth, I read Witness Lee and Watchman Nee very fervently. I attended the nationwide youth conferences and “video conferences” although I was actually too young for them.

At the same time, by God’s sovereignty and mercy, I was signed up for a uniform body called the Boys’ Brigade (BB), an inter-denominational Christian youth organisation. The unit I was part of is a ministry of the local Methodist church. Here, I learned quickly that my officers and peers were not as proficient in the Bible as my serving ones and friends in the LC. This cemented in me the judgmental superiority complex that plagued me throughout my teenage years. I was, after all, in the “Lord’s recovery”, the “church in Philadelphia”, God’s very best.

In 1994, I attended a conference entitled, “The High Peak of the Divine Revelation”. I learned that I was a god-man! That which is born of a dog is a dog. That which is born of a cat is a cat. Those who are born of God is god (in life and nature but not in the Godhead --- always remember this disclaimer!). I exclaimed to my BB officer, “God became man to make man God in life and in nature!”

“That is not right,” he said, horrified.

“You are just not seeing the heavenly vision”, I retorted.

So I started joining more Youth Preparatory Trainings, Video Trainings, and Blending Conferences. I read the HWMR, the RcV (with footnotes), and other LSM literature. I did the PSRP, BNTB, and memorised banners. I cried inconsolably at the passing of Witness Lee in 1997. In general, “I advanced in Leeism beyond many contemporaries in my locality, being more abundantly a zealot for the traditions of LC”.

When Lee passed away in 1997, I vowed to propagate all of Lee’s teachings. It was Brother Nee. Then it was Brother Lee. Now it’s Brother We! I am an ambassador of the Lord’s Recovery! I began propagating the RcV to my BB officer, touting it as the best translation of the Bible to which came the response, “How do you know? Do you know Greek? Have you studied theology? Do you know that Local Church is a cult?”

I was shocked by his reply. How dare you insult the Lord’s Recovery? I shall prove you wrong!

So at the age of 15, I began learning Koine Greek. I subscribed to Affirmation & Critique (A&C) and read them with the help of dictionaries. I read “The Expert Speaks” and researched every theological term that is found in that book. I studied the church fathers because A&C quotes from them extensively in defense of the “high peak truth”. I compared Lee’s theology with the Reformers and found the Reformers wanting (since they did not talk about deification). I was not satisfied with just proving that Lee was orthodox but I’m also out for my officer’s throat. How dare he? His Achilles heel, I was convinced, was the sin of denominationalism. I must be able to show that Nee’s local church model is the only Biblical way to meet and everyone else is in error. I must hammer home 1 Cor. 1-3!

My BB officer, a layman, was unable to reply to my newfound theological prowess. I had become invincible. I made it my life mission to be a Leeist apologist. I endeavoured to be a theologian like my A&C heroes.

Because I was involved in an inter-denominational organisation and I had genuine fellowship with the brothers and sisters from “Christianity”, I grew uncomfortable with the weekly attacks on “Christianity” during “prophesying meetings”. I attributed that to the saints’ ignorance and their sheer laziness to do primary research on contemporary “Christianity”. I was certain that Nee, Lee, and the Blended Brothers would have censured this kind of behaviour. “There is one Body in this universe / And we express it here on earth; We stand as one in each locality / For all to see! For all to see!”

Then came the Quarantine in 2006. It sent a shock down my spine. The Lord’s recovery, founded upon the unique ground of oneness expressed in each locality, now splintered over some inane stuff like “one publication”? I used to shake my head at how denominations split over some minor, though biblical, stuff. “One publication” is not even biblical! I was devastated. By then, I’d learned enough exegesis (even if Leeistic allegories were part of my hermeneutical framework) to swallow 1 Cor. 14:8’s “uncertain sounding of the trumpet” as the justification. I was a youth serving one at that time. I had devoted my entire life to LC. My whole family was (still is) in LC. My parents were planting an LC at that time. My then girlfriend and her family were (still are) in LC. My childhood friends were (still are) in LC.

The Lord put a heavy burden upon me that I must speak up. What if God has prepared me “for a time like this” (Esther 4:14)? So I wrote a blog entry condemning the quarantine as unbiblical. The blog entry attracted comments from Nigel Tomes – the worker of darkness himself! I was hauled in for “fellowship” by the elders, including Brother Y, and my serving one when I was a youth. Their children were my childhood friends. The same Brother Y who brought my parents to salvation, mentored them, and baptised our family. The orders were simple: remove the blog entry, disavow Titus Chu (whom I have not met – I didn’t even know how he looked like), withdraw from youth service, and not talk about this issue with anyone. Otherwise, they would have no choice but to quarantine me.

My world collapsed around me. What about my parents? What about my then girlfriend? What about my friends? I buckled under pressure and obeyed. I sat at the back row of the meeting hall from that Lord’s Day onward. I kept my mouth shut when the other youth serving ones queried. I kept my end of the deal. I didn’t even tell my parents about the “fellowship”. But I felt I was no longer welcome. None of the elders looked me in the eye anymore. My shepherds have become my butchers.

I eventually left. I stopped attending meetings. I feared going to another church. I feared breaking the ground of oneness by breaking bread with “denominations”. I was unchurched for several years. I put all my attention on my career. My life became rudderless and my lifestyle absolutely sinful.

The process of repentance was very painful but God was ever reassuring. I decided to visit an evangelical Brethren church since it's the nearest cousin to LC and became active in an inter-denominational cell group. The brothers and sisters there wanted to hear me teach the word. I obliged yet I was cynical inside but they won me over eventually. It was then, in 2012, I heard the Lord’s calling. I enrolled in seminary and will be graduating at the end of this year. I am now serving as a youth pastor at that same Methodist church where I joined the Boys’ Brigade when I was a kid. I smile at God’s wisdom, sovereignty, and love. I am not to be a Leeist apologist but a post-Leeist cathechist. I hope to be able to help those who are struggling to transition out of Leeism and venture toward a post-recovery Evangelical faith. “Post-recovery” because we will always be epistemologically affected by the “Recovery”.

Steven Foong
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:50 AM   #2
aron
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Default Re: Post-Recovery: A Testimony

To go against everyone (family, friends, church) because your conscience was bothered must have been hard. I'm glad you found the strength to follow the truth as you saw it. Thanks for sharing.

An interesting parallel with my experience is that you found a life-line in your association with other Christians. I can relate to that. I was fully immersed in LC-life for years, and one day the Holy Spirit thrust me out, and I became a "missionary", wanting to spread the high truths to those languishing in darkened Christianity. I met in the denominations, and with the so-called "free groups"; taught Bible Study, supported the pastor, all the while wanting to pass on what I saw as the ministry of the age. I did this because I believed that all Christians are in one faith, and wanted to live the idea of "oneness". Not just talk about it, while being safely sequestered in our LC "meeting halls." That seemed too safe, to me; I wanted risk, and adventure, and true unity: I wanted to be with people who didn't see everything I saw. Unity isn't based on agreement over doctrinal points. It is spiritual. And it is in the name of Jesus.

Therefore, while I still was favorable to the ideas of Lee, and was fairly critical of everything else, my body was there in "the denominations". I began to be aware of 2 things. First was immediate: the "human living" of many Christians was just as much of a testimony of Jesus Christ as the LC "saints". Sometimes moreso. Some put me to shame. What good were all my so-called truths, absent the reality of the Spirit? Second was more gradual: that there were a lot of very solid Bible teachers out there. There was more out there for me than just the ministry of WL and WN. Eventually I realized that while the LCs had some good things to say (I had been using LSM materials for years, in sharing with others), it wasn't God's only "oracle" on earth today.

All of this was years before the quarantine of TC et al. So I had essentially already removed myself, and was re-programming, or learning to think again, in my own Post-Recovery period. Then someone told me that the midwest churches had "rebelled" and I began reading, and then posting on this internet forum. It has been true here for me that how I treat others is how God will treat me (surprise, surprise). If I attempt patience and forbearance with forum members who seemingly don't "get it", and accept them for who they are, then God has patience with me. The gap between me and the seemingly most intractable person is probably less than the gap between me and God! So if I receive them, then God (who I know loves me) has opportunity to receive me as well, "just as I am".

Anyway I just wanted to "amen" the idea that having fellowship with others, even if I occasionally secretly judge and despise them, has really been a salvation. The truth reaches us through the Bible, this I firmly believe. But God's love reaches us through people. And what I give to others is what I'll get back: pressed down, shaken, and running over.
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Old 03-18-2015, 11:49 AM   #3
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Default Re: Post-Recovery: A Testimony

Yes, whenever I bump into an LC brother/sister who does not know what happened, they'll ask me why am I in "denomination". I simply tell them that I want to "open up Joseph's storehouse because the famine is severe".

But right now, all I'm praying for is that the Lord opens a way for my LC brothers and sisters to hear what I have gathered all these years so that I can feed them. The famine is severe.
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Old 03-18-2015, 12:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: Post-Recovery: A Testimony

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Yes, whenever I bump into an LC brother/sister who does not know what happened, they'll ask me why am I in "denomination".
My experience with many family friends from other localities, as a teenager during the 1980's I would not had even known they left. After all, they're still the same people. They have not changed....only where they meet for Christian fellowship has changed.
Personally I had not been asked that question. My family and I no longer meet with the local churches, but my parents do. Whenever we visit, we'll accompany my parents and meet with the local church.
Some of the brothers and sisters remember when my family first moved to the area when I was 11. Perhaps there's an assumption I still meet with the local church?
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Old 03-18-2015, 01:01 PM   #5
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Because I was involved in an inter-denominational organisation and I had genuine fellowship with the brothers and sisters from “Christianity”, I grew uncomfortable with the weekly attacks on “Christianity” during “prophesying meetings”.

I feared breaking the ground of oneness by breaking bread with “denominations”.
Welcome Steve. I look forward to your participation. I see it's not only me who was uncomfortable with "weekly attacks on Christianity". FYI, I had brought that to the attention of the lead elder from the locality in my town. He thought it to be a "non-issue". Not only did I witness it in Washington state localities of Bellevue and Renton, but also in my family visits to Southern California.
Is this "building up the Body" through ridicule of non-LSM churches?

After meeting with denominational and non-denominational churches, I have reached the conclusion these non-LSM share an earnest desire for the ground of oneness the Local Churches claim to have.
This oneness is based on what Jesus Christ and not on a man and a ministry.
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Old 03-18-2015, 02:31 PM   #6
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Welcome Steve. I look forward to your participation. I see it's not only me who was uncomfortable with "weekly attacks on Christianity".
I still consider myself a recovering judgaholic.
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Old 03-18-2015, 03:36 PM   #7
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Yes, whenever I bump into an LC brother/sister who does not know what happened, they'll ask me why am I in "denomination". I simply tell them that I want to "open up Joseph's storehouse because the famine is severe".

But right now, all I'm praying for is that the Lord opens a way for my LC brothers and sisters to hear what I have gathered all these years so that I can feed them. The famine is severe.
I
[sarc on]Bro Steve you're funny..."a famine in the land"? How can that be with the rich ministry?[sarc off].

I think the problem is that the "food" provided by WL and now LSM is a highly processed and unhealthy food originating from forcing the entire bible (wherein lie the healthy whole grains, protein, vitamins and minerals that we really need) through a homogenizing, pasturizing machine known as "god's economy" producing the equivalent of spiritual Cheese-Whiz. It's always the exact same processed food in every single can that tastes just good enough to keep eating, but leads to some serious spiritual health issues like pride, arrogance, lack of love and compassion, judgmentalism, control, anger, and eventually an incurable blindness. Any guess as to the group that is busy at work turning the crank on the bible-processing machine?
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Old 03-18-2015, 06:28 PM   #8
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I
It's always the exact same processed food in every single can that tastes just good enough to keep eating, but leads to some serious spiritual health issues like pride, arrogance, lack of love and compassion, judgmentalism, control, anger, and eventually an incurable blindness.
Symptoms of a bigger problem that leaves one "spiritually bankrupt and unsanctified".
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:38 PM   #9
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Is this "building up the Body" through ridicule of non-LSM churches?
...
After meeting with denominational and non-denominational churches, I have reached the conclusion these non-LSM share an earnest desire for the ground of oneness the Local Churches claim to have.
This oneness is based on what Jesus Christ and not on a man and a ministry.
The reason, of course, is that LSMers believe that there are no such thing as a non-LSM church.

Even from an LC purist (Neeistic) point of view, which I still somewhat subscribe, a denominational congregation is, at best, a sect within the local church. The view that denominationalism is a fundamental ecclesiological error in itself is hard to dispute. But when this is coupled with the view that we, the few the proud, are the one true local expression of the church, an air of superiority is inevitable even for the most level-headed.

Nee's vision of the local church is actually quite an interesting model for ecclesiological polity. To put it into practice, however, is not so simple. Nee's experiment was bound to fail - the parameters were not right. Instead of advancing the idea of a local church that is inclusive of all believers within the locality, LCs have created a most sectarian ecclesiastical ecosystem.
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Old 03-18-2015, 07:52 PM   #10
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I
I think the problem is that the "food" provided by WL and now LSM is a highly processed and unhealthy food originating from forcing the entire bible (wherein lie the healthy whole grains, protein, vitamins and minerals that we really need) through a homogenizing, pasturizing machine known as "god's economy" producing the equivalent of spiritual Cheese-Whiz. It's always the exact same processed food in every single can that tastes just good enough to keep eating, but leads to some serious spiritual health issues like pride, arrogance, lack of love and compassion, judgmentalism, control, anger, and eventually an incurable blindness. Any guess as to the group that is busy at work turning the crank on the bible-processing machine?
"God's economy" as a hermeneutical paradigm within the ambit of Biblical Theology (see Graeme Goldsworthy's trilogy for example) is admissible theology. I do see it pop up in various form in peer-reviewed journal. Of course, any single theme within Biblical Theology inevitably flattens the Bible. Stuff that doesn't fit well with the motif are often ignored and sometimes devalued (e.g., Lee's view of the Psalter/James; Luther's view of James/Jude/Hebrews/Revelation).

The secret, therefore, is to appreciate as many Biblical threads as possible. The "exact same processed food" stems from a mono-tracked reading (oikonomia) of the Bible, while the judgmental attitude results from the belief that they are the only people in the world who knows the oikonomia strand. Very sad.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:22 PM   #11
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The reason, of course, is that LSMers believe that there are no such thing as a non-LSM church.

Even from an LC purist (Neeistic) point of view, which I still somewhat subscribe, a denominational congregation is, at best, a sect within the local church. The view that denominationalism is a fundamental ecclesiological error in itself is hard to dispute. But when this is coupled with the view that we, the few the proud, are the one true local expression of the church, an air of superiority is inevitable even for the most level-headed.

Nee's vision of the local church is actually quite an interesting model for ecclesiological polity. To put it into practice, however, is not so simple. Nee's experiment was bound to fail - the parameters were not right. Instead of advancing the idea of a local church that is inclusive of all believers within the locality, LCs have created a most sectarian ecclesiastical ecosystem.
Nee's model, though I clinged tightly to it for years, had some serious flaws ...

What identifies a denomination? I once thought that the name did it all. Upon further consideration, I concluded that the single most defining criteria for a denomination is its controlling headquarters. Think Jerusalem, Rome, Anaheim.

Since Nee's model includes a para-church structure called "the work," which is ruled by the senior worker, a ruling hierarchy is immediately established.

Nee assaulted the clergy-laity system as a cure all for the church body life. Problem is the Bible itself identifies elders and deacons for every church.

Several verses rebut Nee's one-church-one-city model. Acts 9.31, Rom 16.5, and Col 4.15-16 come to mind.

Nee's demands that every elder must have apostolic appointment will by nature guarantee the loss of localism, as in local church. Nee's demands that every city have only one set of elders creates an unwieldy bureaucracy quenching the Spirit of God.

Nee's brand of oneness stresses a common judgment of evil, which evil is determined solely by the leading worker. The oneness of the N.T. however is the oneness of the Spirit. The phrase "in all things charity" has always been absent in these exclusive systems.

Perhaps Lee had some noble intention to implement Nee's ecclesiastic polity when first coming to the US, but those intentions had vanished completely starting in 1974 and ending in 1985.
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Old 03-18-2015, 08:25 PM   #12
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"God's economy" as a hermeneutical paradigm within the ambit of Biblical Theology (see Graeme Goldsworthy's trilogy for example) is admissible theology. I do see it pop up in various form in peer-reviewed journal. Of course, any single theme within Biblical Theology inevitably flattens the Bible. Stuff that doesn't fit well with the motif are often ignored and sometimes devalued (e.g., Lee's view of the Psalter/James; Luther's view of James/Jude/Hebrews/Revelation).

The secret, therefore, is to appreciate as many Biblical threads as possible. The "exact same processed food" stems from a mono-tracked reading (oikonomia) of the Bible, while the judgmental attitude results from the belief that they are the only people in the world who knows the oikonomia strand. Very sad.
Thanks for these balanced and thoughtful comments about "God's economy" which is in faith.
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Old 03-18-2015, 09:36 PM   #13
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Praise The Lord Bro Steven!

I came out of the LC just over two years ago after a very long stay.

My trek started with Day Star. I gave them 1000 dollars and quite promptly lost it. As I look back, the worst thing about that fiasco was being told by some young ones,"we are going to fleece Egypt." That didn't sound right to me but...
Of course we didn't. We were the ones who got fleeced.
Bro Lee felt so bad about the Day Star losses that they tried to sell tennis rackets. I only lost 250 there.

But then they found the goose that laid the golden egg, charge the saints to hear you speak. One to two million a year without a down year. I never heard whose idea that was but he certainly should have been made CEO.

Then came the Jane Anderson fiasco which was kept very quiet in DFW. One thing the leadership did well was cover up.

In the mid 80s Bro Lee began speaking on the Psalms. He read the first Psalm and curled up his mouth at the end asking "Does that sound like God's economy?
Where we were in our rational I don't know but we just roared with laughter.

A little later came the Ben M affair. JA knows well about this and when I called I was told it was handled in fellowship. Really? I heard what happened from DR and surely it's not printable here but it just adds to all the cover up of the LC.

The fiasco at the church in Anaheim in late 80s was a crowning blow to me. After immoral conduct in the leadership of LSM and bullying by the leadership the hierarchy covered it all up in such a way which could only be categorized as lying. I heard a PBS commentator speak of Bill Clinton's immoral problems while president "He'll come out smelling like a rose." So sad the two cases would be so similar.

The Rosemead affair was more blatant bullying and then covered up to declare to all the world, "We are really one." The world of course doesn't know that we are one or conveniently disposed of.

Admittedly I did not hear most of the above at the time of the happening but...
When jim Moran died the red flags really went off. I didn't know Moran at all but was told that he had published hurtful words about the LC. His death was told with glee. The Church in Fullerton knowing somehow that he died intestate rushed in, bought his web site and closed it down. How happy we were. That was the beginning of my end. It was quite a while ago but in my 80s I move a little slowly.

The quarantines of the GLA area was so distasteful. No hierarchy? You must be joking
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Old 03-18-2015, 10:02 PM   #14
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Nee's model, though I clinged tightly to it for years, had some serious flaws ...

What identifies a denomination? I once thought that the name did it all. Upon further consideration, I concluded that the single most defining criteria for a denomination is its controlling headquarters. Think Jerusalem, Rome, Anaheim.

Since Nee's model includes a para-church structure called "the work," which is ruled by the senior worker, a ruling hierarchy is immediately established.

Nee assaulted the clergy-laity system as a cure all for the church body life. Problem is the Bible itself identifies elders and deacons for every church.

Several verses rebut Nee's one-church-one-city model. Acts 9.31, Rom 16.5, and Col 4.15-16 come to mind.

Nee's demands that every elder must have apostolic appointment will by nature guarantee the loss of localism, as in local church. Nee's demands that every city have only one set of elders creates an unwieldy bureaucracy quenching the Spirit of God.

Nee's brand of oneness stresses a common judgment of evil, which evil is determined solely by the leading worker. The oneness of the N.T. however is the oneness of the Spirit. The phrase "in all things charity" has always been absent in these exclusive systems.

Perhaps Lee had some noble intention to implement Nee's ecclesiastic polity when first coming to the US, but those intentions had vanished completely starting in 1974 and ending in 1985.
Nee's model is probably a product of deep searching after his excommunication by the Darbyites. His implementation of the model, however, is flawed because he set up his "local churches", which would surely exclude other Christians even if that's not his intentions. I suppose since the overriding need in 1920s China is evangelism rather than ecumenism, church planting is unavoidable. But I think his implementation could have still been salvaged (his continued popularity among mainstream Christians attests to his inclusivity) had it not been Lee's systematisation. At any rate, the point is moot. The experiment has failed.

I also note your use of Acts 9:31, Rom. 16:5, and Col. 4:15-16 to counter Nee's local church model but these verses do not really provide much refutation. Acts 9:31 does not provide information on how the early churches organised themselves. Col. 4:15-16 talks about the church in Nympha's house, which is probably where the church in Laodicea met. Both Colossae and Laodicea is connected along the Lycus River.

Rom. 16:5 is probably the strongest argument against Nee's localism since it's very evident that the Roman congregation that Paul wrote to was distinct from "the church in [Prisca and Aquila's] house". This anomaly, however, can be explained contextually. Prisca and Aquila who were probably among the pioneers of the church in Rome were expelled from Rome (together with 40,000-50,000 Jews) by Emperor Claudius in AD 49. They resettled in Corinth where they met Paul and ministered with him (Acts 18:1-4). When the expulsion order was rescinded by Emperor Nero in AD 54, the Jewish Christians returned to Rome only to find that the Gentile Christians were no longer as welcoming as before. Resolving this animosity is a key ingredient to their sponsorship of Paul's mission to Spain (Rom. 15:24). Thus, the balancing act in Rom. 2-4 and the reconciliation effort in Rom. 9-11. It is in this context, perhaps, that Paul had to commend Prisca and Aquila to the recipients, explaining that the couple "risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well" (16:4). Gentile Christians everywhere loves Prisca and Aquila and so should you. Oh, and greet the Jewish Christian church in their house too (v. 5).
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Old 03-19-2015, 03:58 AM   #15
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Old 03-19-2015, 04:54 AM   #16
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Praise The Lord Bro Steven!

I came out of the LC just over two years ago after a very long stay.

My trek started with Day Star. I gave them 1000 dollars and quite promptly lost it. As I look back, the worst thing about that fiasco was being told by some young ones,"we are going to fleece Egypt." That didn't sound right to me but...
Of course we didn't. We were the ones who got fleeced.
Bro Lee felt so bad about the Day Star losses that they tried to sell tennis rackets. I only lost 250 there.

But then they found the goose that laid the golden egg, charge the saints to hear you speak. One to two million a year without a down year. I never heard whose idea that was but he certainly should have been made CEO.

Then came the Jane Anderson fiasco which was kept very quiet in DFW. One thing the leadership did well was cover up.

In the mid 80s Bro Lee began speaking on the Psalms. He read the first Psalm and curled up his mouth at the end asking "Does that sound like God's economy?
Where we were in our rational I don't know but we just roared with laughter.

A little later came the Ben M affair. JA knows well about this and when I called I was told it was handled in fellowship. Really? I heard what happened from DR and surely it's not printable here but it just adds to all the cover up of the LC.

The fiasco at the church in Anaheim in late 80s was a crowning blow to me. After immoral conduct in the leadership of LSM and bullying by the leadership the hierarchy covered it all up in such a way which could only be categorized as lying. I heard a PBS commentator speak of Bill Clinton's immoral problems while president "He'll come out smelling like a rose." So sad the two cases would be so similar.

The Rosemead affair was more blatant bullying and then covered up to declare to all the world, "We are really one." The world of course doesn't know that we are one or conveniently disposed of.

Admittedly I did not hear most of the above at the time of the happening but...
When jim Moran died the red flags really went off. I didn't know Moran at all but was told that he had published hurtful words about the LC. His death was told with glee. The Church in Fullerton knowing somehow that he died intestate rushed in, bought his web site and closed it down. How happy we were. That was the beginning of my end. It was quite a while ago but in my 80s I move a little slowly.

The quarantines of the GLA area was so distasteful. No hierarchy? You must be joking
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Yes, the cover ups and commercial dealings were pretty shady. I heard the recording of the phone conversation on Overseas Stewards something or rather.
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:23 AM   #17
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The reason, of course, is that LSMers believe that there are no such thing as a non-LSM church.
They do and they don't. In the mind of LSMers, only local churches taking LSM publications are legitimate churches. All other churches are illegitimate. One local churches that disassociated with LSM in 1986 still takes the name of the Church in ____. When I was meeting with the Church in Bellevue, I had asked an elder what about the Church in _____? I was told they're a rebel church.
Another symptom of a bigger problem is an inability to receive questions. A brother may ask a question that is too exposing and he'll be told, "it's better you meet somewhere else."
It may be more correct to say Local Churches perceive themselves as the expression of the Church in that city (meeting as the Church in ____) while all others Christian churches in that city are meeting in division.
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Old 03-19-2015, 07:57 AM   #18
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My trek started with Day Star. I gave them 1000 dollars and quite promptly lost it. As I look back, the worst thing about that fiasco was being told by some young ones,"we are going to fleece Egypt." That didn't sound right to me but...
Of course we didn't. We were the ones who got fleeced.
Bro Lee felt so bad about the Day Star losses that they tried to sell tennis rackets. I only lost 250 there.
The tennis racket fiasco was after the motor home fiasco? I didn't realize that. You know, even if WL & Co had successfully "fleeced Egypt" with these business ventures, I thought he said that the church should be unspotted by the world. Didn't we hear WL excoriate the Baptists and Methodists for building hospitals and starting universities? They got married to the world, he'd tell us. Later, we found out he had jumped at the opportunity when it came his way, and dragged the saints and their money with him.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:18 AM   #19
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:21 AM   #20
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They do and they don't. In the mind of LSMers, only local churches taking LSM publications are legitimate churches. All other churches are illegitimate. One local churches that disassociated with LSM in 1986 still takes the name of the Church in ____. When I was meeting with the Church in Bellevue, I had asked an elder what about the Church in _____? I was told they're a rebel church.
Another symptom of a bigger problem is an inability to receive questions. A brother may ask a question that is too exposing and he'll be told, "it's better you meet somewhere else."
It may be more correct to say Local Churches perceive themselves as the expression of the Church in that city (meeting as the Church in ____) while all others Christian churches in that city are meeting in division.
Which I maintain it's a warped implementation of Neeistic localism.
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Old 03-19-2015, 08:21 AM   #21
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any single theme within Biblical Theology inevitably flattens the Bible. Stuff that doesn't fit well with the motif are often ignored and sometimes devalued (e.g., Lee's view of the Psalter/James; Luther's view of James/Jude/Hebrews/Revelation).

The secret, therefore, is to appreciate as many Biblical threads as possible. The "exact same processed food" stems from a mono-tracked reading (oikonomia) of the Bible, while the judgmental attitude results from the belief that they are the only people in the world who knows the oikonomia strand. Very sad.
I like your points of "mono-tracking" themes and "flattening" the Bible. Probably all of us do this to some extent, to make sense of things. But it can become a proverbial bulldozer in the flower garden if we aren't circumspect. I'm not versed in Greek, but even minimal queries indicated this kind of behavior in LC textual usage. Two exemplars are #1 oikonomia and #2 ekklesia.

With oikonomia I found that Jesus also used the word in a very different context than WL's message. It was in the parable of the unrighteous steward in Luke 16. The steward was worried that the master would take his "stewardship" or "management" (oikonomia) away (v.4), and he'd be on the street with no money and no means to live. Oikonomia in this context seemed to mean obedience to a responsibility (i.e. a job): the steward had been given responsibility over household affairs, to manage them and increase their value. But he squandered it. Nothing here suggests to me "masticating the processed and consummated Triune God to become God in life and nature."

With ekklesia I found that the word was extant in wide usage prior to and during NT times, and typically meant assembly, gathering, meeting. It didn't mean "standing religious body or association". Over time that became the default meaning. But in NT usage you could easily have numerous ekklesia in one city or geographic area. Today we get around this by simply re-labeling, and calling them "meetings" or "services" of the church. My case examples of this are in the OT LXX e.g. Psalm 22 "in the midst of the 'ekklesia' I'll sing hymns of praise to You" (quoted in epistle to the Hebrews also) and "with these words he dismissed the 'ekklesia' " in Acts 19:41.

I don't offer these as definitive alternatives but simply to say that there were more nuanced and complex meanings and understandings of these words than the expositors wanted us to think. Therefore, essentially basing religious movements upon such simplistic readings would sooner or later distort the word of God, and ultimately the collective fellowship of faith based upon that word.
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Old 03-19-2015, 09:19 AM   #22
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I also note your use of Acts 9:31, Rom. 16:5, and Col. 4:15-16 to counter Nee's local church model but these verses do not really provide much refutation. Acts 9:31 does not provide information on how the early churches organised themselves. Col. 4:15-16 talks about the church in Nympha's house, which is probably where the church in Laodicea met. Both Colossae and Laodicea is connected along the Lycus River.
Neither do they provide much support for Nee's model. There is enough grey area, however, to question the scriptural support for Nee's model. If we take a careful look at the New Testament and especially Revelations chapters 2-3, the most we can conclude is that the Bible is merely descriptive of the one-church-one-city model and not prescriptive in any way.

Concerning Acts 9.31, Nee based his model partly on the mis-translation in the KJV, "then had the churches." Perhaps the Textus Receptus is to blame here. Darby follows this rendering with "assemblies." All other contemporary translations use the singular "church." Nee's model would mandate the plural use however.

A parallel verse in Acts 16.5 does not use the singular "church" implying either that Luke (and his mentor Paul) did not actively distinguish the difference, or that the plural "churches" was used in the Gentile world when referring to small and isolated assemblies.

What do you think?
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:47 AM   #23
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Neither do they provide much support for Nee's model. There is enough grey area, however, to question the scriptural support for Nee's model. If we take a careful look at the New Testament and especially Revelations chapters 2-3, the most we can conclude is that the Bible is merely descriptive of the one-church-one-city model and not prescriptive in any way.

Concerning Acts 9.31, Nee based his model partly on the mis-translation in the KJV, "then had the churches." Perhaps the Textus Receptus is to blame here. Darby follows this rendering with "assemblies." All other contemporary translations use the singular "church." Nee's model would mandate the plural use however.

A parallel verse in Acts 16.5 does not use the singular "church" implying either that Luke (and his mentor Paul) did not actively distinguish the difference, or that the plural "churches" was used in the Gentile world when referring to small and isolated assemblies.

What do you think?
Sure, the New Testament describes rather than prescribes how the early church organised themselves. While there are no imperatives or commandments that say, "Thou shall be called the church in X", the identification of the church with its locality was the apostolic norm. The church fathers continued this tradition - a bishop in every city. The major primates were Rome, Jerusalem, Alexandria, Antioch, and Constantinople. Obviously there were many congregations in all these metropolitans all through history, yet the same bishop in each. This model was more or less followed up to the Reformation. The Roman Catholic Church and the Anglican Communion (Canterbury, York, London, Durham, and Winchester) continue to display vestiges of apostolic localism.

Thus, Nee's contribution to ecclesiology cannot be discounted offhand. Far less Scriptural evidence had been marshalled to advance other doctrines - even major ones. While not beyond reasonable doubt, one can argue in favour of Nee on balance of evidence - which is really how much of theology is done. So I'll still maintain that Nee had enough basis to promote Christian unity through localism but his implementation was way off. I doubt he knew what he was doing. Lee, who knew exactly what he was doing, simply made it worse by subverting the original intention and consolidating power in his ministry.

Acts 9:31 vs Acts 16:5 is very unfortunate textually. I had to look up both the critical text and the textus receptus because these two verses were never in my radar all through seminary. Besides textual criticism is the most boring subject ever, so I'm doing it for you

For 16:5, both the textus receptus (e.g., TR1550) and the critical text (e.g., NA28) recorded ἐκκλησίαι (ekklēsiai), which is to be translated as "churches" or "assemblies" or "congregations".

For 9:31, TR1550 recorded it as ἐκκλησίαι while the critical apparatus (NA28) favours ἐκκλησία (ekklēsia, "church"). Thus, it's ἐκκλησία vs ἐκκλησίαι. Textually, it's really down to whether the ending iota was part of the original.

I'd skip the part of the critical apparatus that talks about which manuscript and minuscule support which reading but the conclusion is that the apparatus believes the singular "Church" is to be preferred. The theory is the scribes were influenced by 16:5. It explains that the context of 16:5 where Paul was delivering the Jerusalem Council's decision to the Gentile churches demands that the word must be plural and refers to the specific local churches that Paul visited. But since 9:31 serves as a summary statement of the spread of the gospel, the generic "church" (singular) is the most likely reading. "Churches", says the apparatus, is too specific for 9:31 especially since Luke didn't tell us about how the gospel reached back to Galilee.

I think Nee would be happy either way. If the original says "churches", he would claim that there are now many local churches throughout Judea, Galilee, and Samaria. But if the original says "church", he would say that this refers to the universal church, which is of course what text critics claim to be Luke's intention.
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Old 03-19-2015, 12:49 PM   #24
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Sure, the New Testament describes rather than prescribes how the early church organised themselves....
First: A BIG WELCOME bro InOmnibusCaritas

Second: While I deeply appreciate your Biblical exegesis of "church" and "churches" I can't help, when stepping back and taking an objective look, at this notion that: "we've got to get the church back to its early pre-tainted-Acts days" it looks ever more Cargo Cultish. It's reverse engineering the church hoping to bring "the cargo," or in this case, God's blessings. But who said this is so? Where is it said in the Bible for us to do that today, in order to get Gods' blessings? Does God really care about the ground of the assembly? Wouldn't God care more about the assembly itself, regardless of what dirt they stood on?
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Old 03-19-2015, 05:53 PM   #25
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While I deeply appreciate your Biblical exegesis of "church" and "churches" I can't help, when stepping back and taking an objective look, at this notion that: "we've got to get the church back to its early pre-tainted-Acts days" it looks ever more Cargo Cultish. It's reverse engineering the church hoping to bring "the cargo," or in this case, God's blessings. But who said this is so? Where is it said in the Bible for us to do that today, in order to get Gods' blessings? Does God really care about the ground of the assembly? Wouldn't God care more about the assembly itself, regardless of what dirt they stood on?
I agree. And the fact is we really don't know what church and church life was like back then, and we are kidding ourselves if we think we do. We can draw general principles from the Bible record, but we are foolish to try to recreate something of which we have so little genuine knowledge.

I generally get frustrated with people who say we need to do it like they did it "back then." A variation of this are those who report how great the church is "over there" in some other, usually less-privileged, country. It's always about how we don't stack up against someone who isn't here. Well, dang it, let them come here and do what they supposedly did "back then" or are doing "over there" and then we can talk.

All we can do is try to have the best Christian and church life right where we are. Comparing ourselves to other times, places and cultures is a wild goose chase.
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Old 03-19-2015, 10:49 PM   #26
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Welcome InOmnibusCaritas! When I read your testimony, I didn't really know what to say at first. It sounds like you been through a lot to get to where you are now. I can relate to you in some ways as I am not too far removed in age from you.

I grew up in the LC, and I also had non-LC Christian friends. Though I didn't realize it at the time, it had a big effect on me. Christians outside the LC don't understand the LC, and inevitably ask questions. This forced me even from a young age to try to understand LC teachings, if for no other reason than to be able to defend things that people might find questionable.

With those I grew up in the LC, however, it seems like the predominant attitude was that they were just along for the ride. Their parents wanted them there, so they were there. Some dropped out by the time they were adults, others went on to attend the FTT. I didn't attend the training despite being fairly zealous for the ministry early on in my life. As time went by, things started bothering me more and more. Others my age were just getting more involved in the LC as I was beginning to question things.
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Old 03-20-2015, 12:51 AM   #27
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First: A BIG WELCOME bro InOmnibusCaritas

Second: While I deeply appreciate your Biblical exegesis of "church" and "churches" I can't help, when stepping back and taking an objective look, at this notion that: "we've got to get the church back to its early pre-tainted-Acts days" it looks ever more Cargo Cultish. It's reverse engineering the church hoping to bring "the cargo," or in this case, God's blessings. But who said this is so? Where is it said in the Bible for us to do that today, in order to get Gods' blessings? Does God really care about the ground of the assembly? Wouldn't God care more about the assembly itself, regardless of what dirt they stood on?
I am not at all suggesting that we must return to NT form of church government. Nor am I advocating for a reformulation of the "one true church". I am now a youth pastor in a Methodist church.

But I was asked on whether Acts 9:31 and 16:5 refute Nee's local church model. So I looked it up and reported my findings: they don't. I'm happy to look at other verses.

What I do hope to do is to engage in a dispassionate and scholarly review of Leeism. It is hard to suppress deep-seated misgivings so I've not participated in this forum for 9 years. But now that I've resettled in my new congregation and ministry, I want to see if I'm able to lay the ghost to rest and help others do so.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:13 AM   #28
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Welcome InOmnibusCaritas! When I read your testimony, I didn't really know what to say at first. It sounds like you been through a lot to get to where you are now. I can relate to you in some ways as I am not too far removed in age from you.

I grew up in the LC, and I also had non-LC Christian friends. Though I didn't realize it at the time, it had a big effect on me. Christians outside the LC don't understand the LC, and inevitably ask questions. This forced me even from a young age to try to understand LC teachings, if for no other reason than to be able to defend things that people might find questionable.

With those I grew up in the LC, however, it seems like the predominant attitude was that they were just along for the ride. Their parents wanted them there, so they were there. Some dropped out by the time they were adults, others went on to attend the FTT. I didn't attend the training despite being fairly zealous for the ministry early on in my life. As time went by, things started bothering me more and more. Others my age were just getting more involved in the LC as I was beginning to question things.
It was indeed very hard to come out from LC. I'd built my entire social identity around the LC. Everyone I knew before 2006 were from LCs. To maintain my convictions will mean the loss of personal identity, community, family, and even romantic relationship. All these for "one publication"? Who is Titus Chu anyway? I'd not heard him speak nor read his books. Where is Cleveland on a map?

Oh the sleepless nights. The greatest worry of them all was this: WHAT IF I AM WRONG?? 1000 YEARS OF OUTER DARKNESS, ANYONE??

So I think we need to come up with a strategy on how to help others make the exodus instead of enraging them just because we need to vent our anger (I know, we are all angry). How do we show them love?
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Old 03-20-2015, 06:53 AM   #29
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Oh the sleepless nights. The greatest worry of them all was this: WHAT IF I AM WRONG?? 1000 YEARS OF OUTER DARKNESS, ANYONE??
Fear is certainly a stronghold. It's probably the flip side of pleasing people (e.g. 1 Thess 2:4, Gal 1:10). You always have the risk of displeasing people. And then they convince you that since they are the surrogate God ("deputy authority"), if you run afoul of them God will punish you horribly.

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So I think we need to come up with a strategy on how to help others make the exodus instead of enraging them just because we need to vent our anger (I know, we are all angry). How do we show them love?
Certainly there is an angry streak in my writing. I can tell. So I try to acknowledge it, and apologize, and bear with others in their occasional anger as well.

One thing that removed me from anger was when I began to get perspective. That came with time. I began to see patterns. This brought some objectivity. (Stress the word "some").

Here is an example: Captivity. Big subject. The OT, with The Babylonian Incursion circa 7th century BC, formed the backdrop for books like Daniel, Ezekiel, Lamentations, Jeremiah. And the visions of God's restored promises were seen. In Ezekiel 40-48, for example, the Restored City and Temple were held up to the people to inspire and encourage and strengthen them. Then, I noticed a similar theme at the end of the Bible. John, in captivity, sees a vision of the New Jerusalem, and sends it to the Seven Churches in Asia, who are also arguably in captivity. Not just political (Rome obviously) but also spiritual darkness sits upon them. You have a prophet, in captivity, writing to those in captivity, and holding forth promise to the faithful ones. If you endure God will rescue you.

Here was my possible insight: with the Boxer rebellion of the late 19th & early 20th centuries, there was a backdrop of seething political resentment in China driving the rise of the Little Flock movement. The "foreign devils" were imposing Western ecclesiastical models upon the Chinese, and Nee's proposed indigenous church was at least partly a response. Likewise, in the NT, Jesus was seen as a political figure to rescue the Jews from the hated Idumean Herod and the Roman Caesars. When Philip told Nathaniel, “We have found the one Moses wrote about in the Law, and about whom the prophets also wrote—Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph", he was probably thinking in political terms. Look at Acts 1:6 -- Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” and the cries when Jesus entered Jerusalem (Mark 1:10) "Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!"

As I saw patterns emerge and thereby gain perspective, I (hopefully) could step away from my own unresolved issues and not displace my anger on others. Perhaps I fixate on the oppression of others, because I'm unwilling to look at my own slavery to fear. Little by little, over time, I began to get some perspective. And I shared those perspectives not so much to persuade others but because I needed to hear myself think. And hopefully if I do that others will be encouraged to think, as well. Fear keeps us from thinking: we just react automatically: in anger (hysteria), or we're immobilized by the shock of overwhelming trauma (1000 years in darkness! All is lost!).

I guess my point is that if you just react to the oppression of others (Babylonian/Roman captivity, Western imperialism, Witness Lee the snake oil salesman), you remain stuck. You don't see what God sees, only what you see. And your actions are merely the reactions of your own fallen soul, perhaps dressed up with a few verses. We need to go beyond that. It is time.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:44 AM   #30
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One thing that removed me from anger was when I began to get perspective. Here is an example: Captivity. Big subject.
What helped me get delivered from the fear imprisoning me in the LC was seeing others who were abused, get up and leave without divine repercussions, and then prosper in their walk with the Lord.

Being distant from Anaheim, and close to the regional center in Cleveland, I watched literally dozens of dear brothers over the years getting beat up by Titus Chu and then depart. They loved the Lord, the loved the church, they loved the saints, yet they had only one problem -- Titus Chu. Hence they departed. He was effectively the "acting god" in the region -- each of us served at his pleasure and left with his displeasure.

During the lead up to the quarantine, I learned that this system of abuse was systemic to the program -- all justified by the supposed rebukes of some British missionary sister to Watchman Nee. I could make a case that it never was the teachings that separated us from Christianity, but that pitiful practice of abuse. Only in that environment could a teaching like deputy authority flourish.

M.E.Barber abused Nee, who abused other workers like Lee, who regularly abused junior workers like Chu, who abused workers and elders in the GLA, who abused deacons like me, who went home and abused their wives and kids. Not always, and not with everyone, but enough for a dimwit like myself to finally take notice -- my long cherished church had a bad habit of turning beloved brothers into berating bullies.

Something was wrong with us. We just didn't know how to get along with people. I needed to get out.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:01 AM   #31
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Yes, brother Aron and brother Ohio, it is time we go beyond venting our anger.

I'm planning to write a how-to book for LSMers who want out. John Myer's book was for congregations moving out of the system but this one is for individuals.

At the same time, I want to write some scholarly papers on Leeism - mainly in the area of exegesis and hermeneutics. Definitely shorter than the ones written by Nigel Tomes and perhaps less combative in tone. I want to reach out to LSMers who are asking questions.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:33 PM   #32
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I am not at all suggesting that we must return to NT form of church government. Nor am I advocating for a reformulation of the "one true church". I am now a youth pastor in a Methodist church.

But I was asked on whether Acts 9:31 and 16:5 refute Nee's local church model. So I looked it up and reported my findings: they don't. I'm happy to look at other verses.

What I do hope to do is to engage in a dispassionate and scholarly review of Leeism. It is hard to suppress deep-seated misgivings so I've not participated in this forum for 9 years. But now that I've resettled in my new congregation and ministry, I want to see if I'm able to lay the ghost to rest and help others do so.
Thanks brother for opening up. So you came by deep-seated misgivings at a young age? I'm assuming those were misgivings with Lee & the local church. I do think the local church has a way of becoming deep-seated.

That's what we're all about here on LCD; deep-seated misgivings. And we're happy to have you join us.

As to expecting dispassionate scholarly reviews, good luck with that. I can't speak for everyone but we're hardly scholarly or dispassionate.

We're just a motley crew of ex-LCers.

Personally, I snuggle up to scholarly but not so much to dispassionate ... I look forward to being on this ride with you ... and for your sake will try to stifle my passions ... if I can.
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Old 03-20-2015, 01:35 PM   #33
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Yes, brother Aron and brother Ohio, it is time we go beyond venting our anger.

I'm planning to write a how-to book for LSMers who want out. John Myer's book was for congregations moving out of the system but this one is for individuals.

At the same time, I want to write some scholarly papers on Leeism - mainly in the area of exegesis and hermeneutics. Definitely shorter than the ones written by Nigel Tomes and perhaps less combative in tone. I want to reach out to LSMers who are asking questions.
I commend that. Look through all the threads here. There are several specifically about advice for those leaving.
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Old 03-20-2015, 03:10 PM   #34
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I am not at all suggesting that we must return to NT form of church government. Nor am I advocating for a reformulation of the "one true church". I am now a youth pastor in a Methodist church.

But I was asked on whether Acts 9:31 and 16:5 refute Nee's local church model. So I looked it up and reported my findings: they don't. I'm happy to look at other verses.

What I do hope to do is to engage in a dispassionate and scholarly review of Leeism. It is hard to suppress deep-seated misgivings so I've not participated in this forum for 9 years. But now that I've resettled in my new congregation and ministry, I want to see if I'm able to lay the ghost to rest and help others do so.
The local church was implied not overtly stated. Jesus never said "Go forth, evangelize the world and establish local churches in every city" nor did Paul advocate that structure although he wrote to different churches in specific cities and to the "churches" of Galatia. It appears that part of the problem of many of us Biblical students being drawn into the LC was the inherent issue of the implication of what scriptures mean even though they may not clearly state a specific doctrine or dogma.

Paul went to different cities and established churches so if he was going to advocate such as structure it would seem that he would have made that an issue. However, his letters are primarily dealing with problems so maybe that wasn't a problem although there certainly were divisions in the early churches but Paul never focused on the one church in one city as an issue. The LCs like denominational churches work like McDonalds...create the same franchise in various cities and sell the same message.
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Old 03-20-2015, 08:06 PM   #35
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I'd built my entire social identity around the LC. Everyone I knew before 2006 were from LCs. To maintain my convictions will mean the loss of personal identity, community, family, and even romantic relationship. All these for "one publication"? Who is Titus Chu anyway? I'd not heard him speak nor read his books. Where is Cleveland on a map?

Oh the sleepless nights. The greatest worry of them all was this: WHAT IF I AM WRONG?? 1000 YEARS OF OUTER DARKNESS, ANYONE??

So I think we need to come up with a strategy on how to help others make the exodus instead of enraging them just because we need to vent our anger (I know, we are all angry). How do we show them love?
I believe it is the case for many, their social identity is based on "the churchlife". That's what I believe makes leaving so difficult. Where would they go? Who would they fellowship with?

We should all ask ourselves, "what if". Just asking that question is an indicator of humility. For one to say they cannot to be wrong, they may be under the spirit of deception. Not one of us is exempt from deception. That's why we all need a reality check; what if?
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:09 PM   #36
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I believe it is the case for many, their social identity is based on "the churchlife". That's what I believe makes leaving so difficult. Where would they go? Who would they fellowship with?

We should all ask ourselves, "what if". Just asking that question is an indicator of humility. For one to say they cannot to be wrong, they may be under the spirit of deception. Not one of us is exempt from deception. That's why we all need a reality check; what if?
Lee certainly created an enticing system. Once you are made to believe that you're following the "ministry of the age", the implications of rejecting that ministry are enough to keep most people in the system.

I'm sure that fear is a big factor. Speaking for myself, it took me a long time to join this forum, even though I had been reading it for quite a while. Having come from the view of LSM representing the "ministry of the age", I was in fear of saying anything critical of it. Why? I can't really say what caused that fear. What I can say is that fear is something that keeps people from questioning things. Those in the LC don't even have to pass around stories about the bad things happen to people who leave, they can just pull out their "1000 years of punishment" teaching to keep everyone in check. It's really a sick system.
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Old 03-20-2015, 11:34 PM   #37
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Yes, brother Aron and brother Ohio, it is time we go beyond venting our anger.

I'm planning to write a how-to book for LSMers who want out. John Myer's book was for congregations moving out of the system but this one is for individuals.

At the same time, I want to write some scholarly papers on Leeism - mainly in the area of exegesis and hermeneutics. Definitely shorter than the ones written by Nigel Tomes and perhaps less combative in tone. I want to reach out to LSMers who are asking questions.
I think this is a good idea. I have to say that I've really found such writings to be helpful in my search for answers. There are plenty who have left the LC without looking back, and that is fine, but I think some are also needed who have the desire to help hurting members get out.
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Old 03-22-2015, 08:38 AM   #38
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Default Re: Post-Recovery: A Testimony

Here's a quote from an ex-member of the LC. It is interesting how she frames the ideas of "choice" and "fear". It also helped me to look at venting anger again.

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Originally Posted by Stacy Atkins View Post
We all have choices to make in life, are entitled to be one and in complete harmony which whom and what we chose to be in harmony with. This is my message. All of the theologians, defenders of the church and anyone who cares to dispute this fact, is living in fear. This is the fear that I chose to not be a part of.

I have found a spiritual place where we are all accepted for who and where we are in life. Life is no longer a series of critical judgments of myself and others. I am now filled with a desire to be at peace with the world and everyone in it. Even those who dispute my choices, I love you. You are precious and living according to your heart and that is all that matters. Please make room for me in your heart, without judgment or fear, and embrace my quest for us “all” to be in harmony.

Your sister in Christ who has found her own voice, the one that God gave me…
This person released as much spiritual perception in one or two posts as my hundreds.
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Old 04-08-2015, 04:11 AM   #39
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Lee certainly created an enticing system. Once you are made to believe that you're following the "ministry of the age", the implications of rejecting that ministry are enough to keep most people in the system.

I'm sure that fear is a big factor. Speaking for myself, it took me a long time to join this forum, even though I had been reading it for quite a while. Having come from the view of LSM representing the "ministry of the age", I was in fear of saying anything critical of it. Why? I can't really say what caused that fear. What I can say is that fear is something that keeps people from questioning things. Those in the LC don't even have to pass around stories about the bad things happen to people who leave, they can just pull out their "1000 years of punishment" teaching to keep everyone in check. It's really a sick system.
Yes, fear is a great motivation. The thought of being sidelined by God like Barnabas for parting ways with Paul is frightening. The average LC Christian buys this theology because he is not exposed to contemporary Christian writings.
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Old 04-08-2015, 12:21 PM   #40
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I remember well the deep fear...no one will understand me...I will lose my mind...I will be cast out by Christ. But the Holy Spirit is far greater than the spirit of fear and deception. In an old church building in Cleveland OH I daily and often each day read

"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them and they follow m. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand. I and the Father are one."

The Father and the Son held hands and their held hands held me. It is all by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. I have no boast. I am simply a piece of human waste floating in the ocean of His mercy.
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Old 04-09-2015, 10:42 PM   #41
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I'm planning to write a how-to book for LSMers who want out. John Myer's book was for congregations moving out of the system but this one is for individuals.

At the same time, I want to write some scholarly papers on Leeism - mainly in the area of exegesis and hermeneutics. Definitely shorter than the ones written by Nigel Tomes and perhaps less combative in tone. I want to reach out to LSMers who are asking questions.
I look forward to your "how-to" book for LSMers. I have been wanting a way out for years, but the Lord has not yet led me out.

I also look forward to reading your scholarly papers on Leeism. Short is good. Some of what Nigel writes is interesting, but length prevents me from reading through many of them.
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Old 04-13-2015, 01:55 AM   #42
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I look forward to your "how-to" book for LSMers. I have been wanting a way out for years, but the Lord has not yet led me out.

I also look forward to reading your scholarly papers on Leeism. Short is good. Some of what Nigel writes is interesting, but length prevents me from reading through many of them.
I hope to put out something on Psalms by May
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Old 04-16-2015, 12:23 PM   #43
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I hope to put out something on Psalms by May
I know that you mentioned Psalm 2, but I would also like to see the history of any idea put forth that devalued certain parts of scripture. From whence did this arise? Nowhere in the NT do I see a trace of this. Scripture is cited again and again as breathed out by the Holy Spirit of God. Nowhere is it dismissed so, or warned against.

Did the Church Fathers ever call some portion natural, and fallen, and only worthwhile as an example of interpolating self into God's revelation? Did anyone in subsequent history make this kind of assessment? I know that there was some discussion about canonicity of certain books for centuries, and the Post-Reformation church, 1500 years after Christ, essentially pushed them off the table. There was Luther's famous remark on James' epistle, for example. But WL's treatment of Psalms is unique that I can tell. I think his "God's economy" metric moved him into uncharted and dangerous waters in biblical exegesis.

But that may be out of the scope of your study.
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