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Spiritual Abuse Titles Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment.

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Old 08-25-2017, 01:08 PM   #1
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Default The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

This book has been highly recommended to me over the years by other Christians, some of whom are ex-LC. Since I am now slowly plodding thru the book, I am finding way too much application to pass on, so I felt best to post quotes and make comments on the way.

The premise of the book is simple -- God's enemy uses offenses and causes of stumbling to trap us as children of God. The Lord Jesus said, "it is impossible but that offenses will occur." (Luke 17.1) We all get inevitably offended, yet we never realize that it is God's enemy who caught us in a trap. We just assume that the is a problem between us and them, not realizing our reactions determine whether we are snared ... or not!
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Old 08-25-2017, 01:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

David was firstly loved and then hated by King Saul because the women of Israel danced and sang of David's success in battle. Saul used the army of Israel to hunt David, yet when David had the opportunity to kill Saul he did not. Later he cried to Saul, "My father ... know and see there is neither evil nor rebellion in my hand, and I have not sinned against you. Yet you hunt me down to take my life." (I Sam. 24.11) David's heart cried out for fatherly and kingly mentoring from King Saul, yet was betrayed.

Bevere mourns the loss of real fathers today, saying many of our leaders, even in the church, are like Saul in their treatment of God's people. This following paragraph was so applicable to Witness Lee especially during the New Way and the end of his ministry --

Quote:
"Because of this attitude, these leaders view God's people as resources to serve their vision, instead of seeing the vision as the vehicle to serve the people. The success of the vision justifies the cost of wounded lives and shattered people. Justice, mercy, integrity, and love are compromised for success. Decisions are based on money, numbers, and results." -- Bevere, p. 37
How incredibly concise and descriptive this is of the "New Way." Many of us committed our best years to the Recovery sincerely believing that Witness Lee was different from the world and the fallen ways of Christianity, only to learn that he was no different, and in some cases worse.
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Old 08-26-2017, 03:04 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Bevere mourns the loss of real fathers today, saying many of our leaders, even in the church, are like Saul in their treatment of God's people. .
I occasionally wonder why Nee never had a father (senior mentor/guide) figure. He only had one peer that I remember, a "brethren" member in England (Sparks?) whom he wrote to & said that no one in China was his equal.(*) What a danger! He had Leland Wang as co-pupil of Margaret Barber as a senior brother, but perhaps not coincidentally split with Wang over "he vision thing" and then he was free to pursue his own regime-building programme. And at whose expense? At the expense of the lives of countless thousands, even millions.

The reason we talk about Watchman Nee today, nearly 100 years after his actions, is not because what he did was right or good, but because it was so successfull and became so great and impacted so many people. And now we're trying to sort out how much of the impact was negative versus positive.

And it's probably both. Just as Western Christianity, arguably fallen, satanic, devilish, deformed and corrupted as Nee and Lee said it was, brought the Good News of Jesus' life, death, and resurrection to the East, so did Nee's writings help many in the USA in the 1960s and '70s to break free from unhelpful strictures and seek the freedom of the spirit. But there were tiny chains embedded in the works: "know who is in front of you and get in line" and "don't think or question, just obey" (from Church Affairs) &c. And those chains grew and became monstrous, and more devilish than anything they replaced.

(*)Not sure of the source. Maybe the letter was reproduced in Dave Roberts' biography? Or maybe I read it online? But Nee clearly said that he had no peers in China. And I attribute this at least somewhat to having no spiritual father (or guide, if you prefer less loaded terminology).
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Old 08-27-2017, 08:15 PM   #4
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

Nee's father figure was a sister.... Margaret E. Barber. She was very spiritual. But, unfortunately she provided discipline with little grace and love. Spirituality with a spirit of superiority versus grace and love was passed from generation to generation.
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Old 08-28-2017, 06:40 PM   #5
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The premise of the book is simple -- God's enemy uses offenses and causes of stumbling to trap us as children of God. The Lord Jesus said, "it is impossible but that offenses will occur." (Luke 17.1) We all get inevitably offended, yet we never realize that it is God's enemy who caught us in a trap. We just assume that the is a problem between us and them, not realizing our reactions determine whether we are snared ... or not!
I am a bit curious – in a LC-specific context, what did you find to be helpful about the book? The reason that I ask is because in the LC, I always felt that there as a noticeable effort made to warn people about the perils of holding offenses towards one another. Even so much so that there was a fear of offenses.

Obviously, the LC holds a skewed notion of what offenses actually are. For example, if someone leaves the LC, it might be said that such a person was “harboring offenses.” Or when Joe Schmoe stands his ground when being pressured by an elder, instead of addressing the issue at hand the elder might play the “offense card” ask Joe Schmoe if he’s holding an offense due to the fact that he dared to confront the elder. I saw this kind of stuff happen time and time again, and the manipulation is clearly evident. What is interesting about the issue, however, is that among the rank and file, they are simply seeking to be diligent to not have offenses with one another – a completely earnest mindset. Little do they know that this innocence is exactly what leaders are looking to take advantage of.

It has been said that forgiveness does not mean excusing someone. In the LC especially, it seems people are unable to differentiate between the two, and it is presumed that one must involve the other. The higher-ups in the LC tend to get away with all kinds of nonsense, because they know very well that whatever they do can be easily excused. I think that many who have come out of the LC probably quickly come to the realization that being willing to ‘forgive’ (excuse) things was something that made them vulnerable to manipulation. In fact, much of the talk in the LC regarding offenses/forgiveness is manipulative. As such, I think that it might be a natural reaction to be more wary about forgiving others, as if forgiveness were some sort of action of letting up one’s defenses.
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Old 08-29-2017, 02:49 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

Ohio,

Which edition are you reading?

Nell
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Old 08-29-2017, 04:45 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

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Ohio,

Which edition are you reading?

Nell
Not sure, but the copyright is 1997. My copy is well-worn. Every previous reader has his/her own set of marks and highlights, so my copy is like the rainbow.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:17 AM   #8
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

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Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I am a bit curious – in a LC-specific context, what did you find to be helpful about the book? The reason that I ask is because in the LC, I always felt that there as a noticeable effort made to warn people about the perils of holding offenses towards one another. Even so much so that there was a fear of offenses.

Obviously, the LC holds a skewed notion of what offenses actually are. For example, if someone leaves the LC, it might be said that such a person was “harboring offenses.” Or when Joe Schmoe stands his ground when being pressured by an elder, instead of addressing the issue at hand the elder might play the “offense card” ask Joe Schmoe if he’s holding an offense due to the fact that he dared to confront the elder. I saw this kind of stuff happen time and time again, and the manipulation is clearly evident. What is interesting about the issue, however, is that among the rank and file, they are simply seeking to be diligent to not have offenses with one another – a completely earnest mindset. Little do they know that this innocence is exactly what leaders are looking to take advantage of.

It has been said that forgiveness does not mean excusing someone. In the LC especially, it seems people are unable to differentiate between the two, and it is presumed that one must involve the other. The higher-ups in the LC tend to get away with all kinds of nonsense, because they know very well that whatever they do can be easily excused. I think that many who have come out of the LC probably quickly come to the realization that being willing to ‘forgive’ (excuse) things was something that made them vulnerable to manipulation. In fact, much of the talk in the LC regarding offenses/forgiveness is manipulative. As such, I think that it might be a natural reaction to be more wary about forgiving others, as if forgiveness were some sort of action of letting up one’s defenses.
Great points, Freedom.

For years I felt the LC teachings on forgiveness were a blessing to me. Years ago we practiced examining our hearts before the Table meeting to clear up any offense, and I definitely had a few last minute apologies to make before the meeting. So I treasure all of these times with the Lord reconciling with other members of the body. Colossians 3.13 was always my own personal guiding principle, and something I regularly taught in the meetings.

As others have said, "any truth taken to an extreme can become a falsehood." Since leaving the LC, I have learned that LSM uses these teachings on forgiveness for self-serving means, i.e. placing all the responsibility of forgiving on the members, and absolving its leadership of all accountability. Even to think about leadership failures and gross offenses was to "resurrect the tail of the buried dog," and that true forgiveness demanded total amnesia on our part. This helps to explain why the members are generally so loyal to such inscrutable leaders.
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Old 08-29-2017, 06:21 AM   #9
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

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Nee's father figure was a sister.... Margaret E. Barber. She was very spiritual. But, unfortunately she provided discipline with little grace and love. Spirituality with a spirit of superiority versus grace and love was passed from generation to generation.
Both Nee and Lee often mentioned their mothers, and not to diminish their positive impact on our lives, but it does raise other issues. Without a positive and healthy father figure in our lives, strong alpha males often are simply unaware of the bully impact that others around them are confronted with.
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Old 08-29-2017, 10:51 AM   #10
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

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Nee's father figure was a sister.... Margaret E. Barber. She was very spiritual. But, unfortunately she provided discipline with little grace and love. Spirituality with a spirit of superiority versus grace and love was passed from generation to generation.
Yes, and Nee passed his profligate sexual waywardness down to Lee's boys.
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Old 08-29-2017, 12:20 PM   #11
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

King Saul became extremely suspicious of David, and now viewed David as a threat to his own kingdom. To which John Bevere adds ...

Quote:
How many leaders have cut men off under them because of suspicion? Why are those leaders suspicious? Because they are not serving God. They are serving a vision. Like Saul, they are insecure in their calling, and that breeds jealousy and pride. They recognize qualities in people that they know are godly, and are willing to use those people as long as it benefits them. Saul enjoyed the success of David until he saw it as a threat to him. He then demoted David and watched for a reason to destroy him.
Here is the result of pushing an agenda, a so-called vision, rather than serving God directly -- one becomes suspicious of others. For decades I wondered why there was so much suspicion in the LC's. Until I recognized this on a national, regional, and local level, I never knew the reason for this systemic disease. At one point, before the actual quarantines of GLA brothers, I felt there were "sleeper cells" ready to spring into action upon coded words from the podium. It has been said that the opposite of love is not just hate, but suspicion. Most leaders of the LC would be keen to recognize blatant hatred, but are clueless to the rampant suspicions they are subject to.

For decades WL sowed suspicions into his lieutenants concerning the most fruitful ministers. He even allowed his son Philip to record a phone conversation with TC to "catch" him for others to know. Who does things like this? The jealousy and pride within many LC leaders becomes readily apparent once one leaves the system and watches other men of God serve God. This spirit of Saul was sown into the Recovery, and is now fully manifested. LSM today is willing to use all possible means -- quarantines, lawsuits, politics, backbiting, whispering, you name it -- in order to protect their so-called "vision."
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Old 08-30-2017, 03:06 AM   #12
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
King Saul became extremely suspicious of David, and now viewed David as a threat to his own kingdom. To which John Bevere adds ...

Here is the result of pushing an agenda, a so-called vision, rather than serving God directly -- one becomes suspicious of others. For decades I wondered why there was so much suspicion in the LC's. Until I recognized this on a national, regional, and local level, I never knew the reason for this systemic disease. At one point, before the actual quarantines of GLA brothers, I felt there were "sleeper cells" ready to spring into action upon coded words from the podium. It has been said that the opposite of love is not just hate, but suspicion. Most leaders of the LC would be keen to recognize blatant hatred, but are clueless to the rampant suspicions they are subject to.

For decades WL sowed suspicions into his lieutenants concerning the most fruitful ministers. He even allowed his son Philip to record a phone conversation with TC to "catch" him for others to know. Who does things like this? The jealousy and pride within many LC leaders becomes readily apparent once one leaves the system and watches other men of God serve God. This spirit of Saul was sown into the Recovery, and is now fully manifested. LSM today is willing to use all possible means -- quarantines, lawsuits, politics, backbiting, whispering, you name it -- in order to protect their so-called "vision."
Another result of a "vision" is blindness.

I shared on another thread about my "big dog" encounter in children's work where I was publicly humiliated. Here is Part 2. My greatest need at that time was stability because of an even worse "not public" encounter with a pack of big dogs, yet they began moving me from group to group with no regard for me as a person. After the third move and pending fourth, I went to big dog Jr. and begged him not to move me. I needed help and the sister I was serving with was kind to me. ("Kindness" was the best I could hope for because the "pack" ordered me not to talk about what they said to me with anyone but the big dog sisters.) It's really pathetic when simple human kindnesss is lacking in "church" and when you finally experience it in someone, you have to BEG to keep that connection.

Big dog Jr. listened to me. By the time I finished, I was sobbing. I did beg, but did he listen? All he could talk about was their "vision". They had a "vision" for childrens' work which he explained in flowery words. When he finished all I could say to him was "You may have a vision for children's work, but you can't see me." And I left.

The next "elder" I saw, I told "I'm taking myself off of Children's Work." He was shocked I guess (so was I). He just said a small "ok" and I walked away. I saw him a few days later and he said "You've been taken off of children's work". I thought but didn't say "You can't take me off of childrens work because I already took myself off."

I was never part of "the service" again.

So a "vision" that doesn't include people is blindness.

By this time, I had a vision too. One I've never lost. As painful as it was at the time, down the road, it actually helped me.

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Old 08-30-2017, 06:52 PM   #13
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Another result of a "vision" is blindness.

So a "vision" that doesn't include people is blindness.
I lived thru the so-called "New Way," and even served in Taiwan. I was under the impression that the goal of the work of WL was to bring the gospel to people. Obviously that was what we were all supposed to believe, as if people were put first. Unfortunately it was far too easy for me to share the same blindness as those at LSM.

What really came first was the business of Lee. That's why WL placed his unsaved reprobate son in charge. It was never really about people, the gospel, or the Lord. Those were just the capital needed to grow the Lee family business during the New Way.

It was more than evident that the end justified their many means. It was never about people, so they were all expendable, and would be used as long as they were useful for the business. Once you stop making them a profit, you will be discarded, which happened to many an elder.
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Old 08-30-2017, 09:02 PM   #14
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

While reading this and other threads on this site over the past few days the incredible human toll I witnessed myself and have read here of TLR "bait of Satan" struck me.

I began to make a mental "Vietnam Wall" like list of dear saints I once "fought the good fight with" in TLR that were wounded along the way and were left for dead by those who should have cared for them, including me, with a calloused heart.

The length of my TLR Wall list and the story of each one, including damage to relationships and children staggered me, as I mourned and repented silently. I wondered how long the TLR wall list would be if it was collectively compiled.

As God uses even the bad things for good to those who love him, and are called according to His purpose, I didn't want to get too depressed about it. But the thought of putting real persons names on a public list might shine more light on the problem.
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Old 08-31-2017, 10:12 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

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While reading this and other threads on this site over the past few days the incredible human toll I witnessed myself and have read here of TLR "bait of Satan" struck me.

I began to make a mental "Vietnam Wall" like list of dear saints I once "fought the good fight with" in TLR that were wounded along the way and were left for dead by those who should have cared for them, including me, with a calloused heart.

The length of my TLR Wall list and the story of each one, including damage to relationships and children staggered me, as I mourned and repented silently. I wondered how long the TLR wall list would be if it was collectively compiled.
Great points, JJ.

Living in Greater Ohio for decades and serving in the LC's, I witnessed the same long trail of victims as a result of TC abuses, shaming, and public humiliations. All of these precious brothers loved the Lord, loved His people, loved the Word of God, loved their families, loved to serve, etc. and were all gifts from the Head to His body. Yet they supposedly had one "fault" in common -- they all had a "problem" with TC. What was their "problem?" They had enough of the abuses he so regularly dished out.

Why was he so abusive? Because that was the "way" he had learned from WL and others. That's all he knew. Though the N.T. provides not a shred of support, he is convinced the pattern of rebuking and shaming is part of the "Lord's Recovery." Apparently it also serves the military well, so it must be good enough for God. Why didn't He tell us so in the Bible?

One day I challenged a brother, who was still loyal to Cleveland -- what if we put TC in one balance and all his victims in the other balance. How will the scales tip? Which one would you choose? All of these dear, precious, and fruitful members, with their wives and children, or one abusive leader?
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:31 PM   #16
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

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I began to make a mental "Vietnam Wall" like list of dear saints I once "fought the good fight with" in TLR that were wounded along the way and were left for dead by those who should have cared for them, including me, with a calloused heart.
Care? When I was tossed out as dead the first thing that struck me deeply was : Where's the love?

What happened to the love I shared with the brothers and sisters ; some of them friends of mine before the local church?

Like bro Ohio pointed out. I loved the Lord. I loved the brothers and sisters. I love the church. I loved God, and His Word, the Bible. But that wasn't enough. It didn't count. All that counted was allegiance to Witness Lee. And given no love shown toward me after I was out that allegiance obviously usurped genuine love for the brothers and sisters.

Brother JJ, I hate to disappoint you, but no one to date has added up all the good brothers and sisters that either left the local church or got the boot. The truth is that the carnage left in the wake of Witness Lee can't be added up.

And as I found out later, getting rid of all those brothers and sisters was considered by them as getting rid of the dross, that held the church down and back.
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Old 08-31-2017, 12:58 PM   #17
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

"Care? When I was tossed out as dead the first thing that struck me deeply was : Where's the love?"

Bro Awareness, I believe you've shared before how a brother wept before you pleading with you. That sounds like care, isn't it?

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Old 08-31-2017, 04:46 PM   #18
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Default Re: The Bait of Satan, by John Bevere

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"Care? When I was tossed out as dead the first thing that struck me deeply was : Where's the love?"

Bro Awareness, I believe you've shared before how a brother wept before you pleading with you. That sounds like care, isn't it?

Drake
Do you mean the time when Mel Porter got in awareness' face?

That was care?
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