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Old 09-04-2019, 11:04 PM   #1
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Default How do you leave without making a scene?

After reading Jo Casteel's open letter and going down the rabbit hole of research into the LC, my husband and I have decided that we would like to leave the LC. We want to do this as quietly as possible, but need advice on how to go about it from those who have done this before.

We both currently serve in a couple different capacities on Sundays and host a small group in our home about once a month.

In order to stop coming to the Sunday meetings, we'd have to announce to our service teams that we can no longer help out. We feel like that's just going to lead to more questions (i.e. why can't you serve?), or people reaching out to "shepherd" us (which is currently the last thing we want).

We really don't have the desire to explain why we want to leave to everyone in the church and be labelled as "negative" or "poisoned".

We've considered moving to a nearby city that's just far enough that we'd have an excuse as to why we can no longer serve, but that won't be possible for another 6 months or so. We don't really feel like we can stomach 6 more months of the LC.

Our current landlord is actually a brother in the LC and we don't want to get evicted before we can afford to move if word gets out that we are "negative". (Not saying this person would straight up evict us, but you never know).

We really love our small group and don't want to hurt them. If we announce how we feel about the LC and our desire to leave to them, most if not all of them will be pretty devastated. We'd love to keep those relationships, but know that might not be possible.

We're a young couple and we want to start fresh. We still love the Lord and His people, but feel He's calling us out from the LC.

Would love to hear some advice from you all. Thank you.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

I mean this with love. You’re going to have grow a backbone. You don’t owe them answers. You can still be kind and exercise boundaries. No matter what, people will realize you’ve left and they will be hurt bc many in the LC project their feelings on to others and take it personally when people don’t feel the same as they do. You can only control yourself, not them. I’m sorry to be blunt but I’ve seen this play out so many times. You can’t control what others do or how they feel. You can only control yourself. Focus on you, your husband, your children, and your marriage. You will undoubtably have enough to worry about without adding the burden of caring what others think of you.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:44 AM   #3
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

I like kumbaya's post. At some point there has to be serious resolve on your part and you'll have to set boundaries.

As far as other advise, the method for leaving is Christ. That is, He is the best One - in you - for this situation. Be sure there is lots of prayer to the Lord, with the two of you as a couple. Pray that He lives and acts through you, guides you and sets the stage for you. And pray that His love will come through you, as you interact. You need to be "wise as serpents, yet gentle as doves." After all, these are brothers and sisters you will be communicating with (it's the system you are against).

I left the LC back in 1988, however, I didn't have the same situation. Things had degraded in our locality some and others were leaving. We then moved to another part of the city, a few miles further from the meeting hall and other saints. Therefore, when I got a job offer to move out of state, there weren't any that I remember, that were questioning us about it all. (I will add that at that time in Columbus, OH, things weren't as intensely LSM as in other places. I also sorta think we might also not have been considered by some to be the "best material" if you know what I mean . . .)

After that, it took about ten years of the Lord "drying me out" to begin to realize that there were other Christians who had a real relationship and portion of Christ besides the LC. Twenty years later, and by His love, mercy and grace, I am well down the road of "recovering from The Recovery"!

The Lord be with you and please keep us posted.
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Old 09-05-2019, 11:58 AM   #4
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

Your attitude of trying to avoid conflict is commendable. However, it will be almost impossible to avoid explaining why you wish to leave.

If anyone asks, just say that you looked into things with a closer look and you found things that you did not know about and that your conscience started bothering you. Tell them you prayed about it (which I am assuming you did) and that you sought enlightenment in the Bible. Then you can say that you felt led to leave. Tell them you still love them but you cannot be associated with the LC any longer, and that you would prefer not to get into the details of it.

"Unless I am convinced by the testimony of the Scriptures or by clear reason (for I do not trust either in the pope or in councils alone, since it is well known that they have often erred and contradicted themselves), I am bound by the Scriptures I have quoted and my conscience is captive to the Word of God. I cannot and will not recant anything, since it is neither safe nor right to go against conscience. May God help me. Amen." Martin Luther.
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Old 09-05-2019, 12:33 PM   #5
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

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Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
After reading Jo Casteel's open letter and going down the rabbit hole of research into the LC, my husband and I have decided that we would like to leave the LC. We want to do this as quietly as possible, but need advice on how to go about it from those who have done this before.

Would love to hear some advice from you all. Thank you.
We called it quits during all the chaos prior to the Midwest Quarantines. Personally I voiced some serious concerns I had in the elders/deacons meeting, and the elders later told me to apologize to the other deacons, which I did, and then stopped all my serving at that point. Actually the other deacons all agreed with me, understood my concerns, and told me I didn't need to apologize. I did as I was told before leaving.

I was honest with some of my issues, and the elders/workers rejected them. I was honest with them, honest with myself, and honest to the Lord. When asked "where we've been," we told the saints that we are struggling to follow the Lord. I never voiced my concerns to the saints in general. For a few years afterwards, I would visit once a month to break bread and see the saints. I still see some of the saints. I found that leaving was easier than sticking around. Workers under TC could become quite abusive at times, just to maintain their power, having learned bad habits from TC.

If you want to leave, just leave. Just tell them you are trying to follow the Lord. Don't argue with them. Don't reason with them. Don't try to persuade them. Don't even try to answer why. Just thank them, and tell them you will pray about it. Let them have the last word as you say thanks and good bye.
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Old 09-05-2019, 06:18 PM   #6
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

I don't think you owe an explanation to anyone but I completely understand feeling like one is necessary.

I think the easiest is to say you and your wife are following the Lord's leading.

If you give any other reasons there will be an argument, things will likely be said. If someone criticizes or questions you when your reason is "obeying the Lord" they look like the idiot, narrow and everything else.

It might be easier not to leave gradually, it leaves too much opportunity for them to challenge or question. If there are those you have a good relationship and you want to maintain a relationship then tell them specifically "we are leaving because the Lord has led us elsewhere." And let them know you still want to gather for meals, movies, etc.

Some might care that you leave but unfortunately a lot womt say or do much and that's really unfortunate.
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Old 09-05-2019, 07:19 PM   #7
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

Well, my wife and I hosted a home group every week and cooked a meal. When we saw the nakedness of The Lords Recovery we pulled back and asked others to host the home meetings. We pulled away and got free. I know some other couples did not understand, we shared nothing and gave no reason for pulling away. We were gentlemen and did not say anything negative, we just cut them off. We are now in a healthy church group and will never go back to the false teaching of the Lords Recovery. You may need to slip away quietly and find a healthy group to meet with.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:08 PM   #8
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
After reading Jo Casteel's open letter and going down the rabbit hole of research into the LC, my husband and I have decided that we would like to leave the LC. We want to do this as quietly as possible, but need advice on how to go about it from those who have done this before.

We both currently serve in a couple different capacities on Sundays and host a small group in our home about once a month.

In order to stop coming to the Sunday meetings, we'd have to announce to our service teams that we can no longer help out. We feel like that's just going to lead to more questions (i.e. why can't you serve?), or people reaching out to "shepherd" us (which is currently the last thing we want).

We really don't have the desire to explain why we want to leave to everyone in the church and be labelled as "negative" or "poisoned".

We've considered moving to a nearby city that's just far enough that we'd have an excuse as to why we can no longer serve, but that won't be possible for another 6 months or so. We don't really feel like we can stomach 6 more months of the LC.

Our current landlord is actually a brother in the LC and we don't want to get evicted before we can afford to move if word gets out that we are "negative". (Not saying this person would straight up evict us, but you never know).

We really love our small group and don't want to hurt them. If we announce how we feel about the LC and our desire to leave to them, most if not all of them will be pretty devastated. We'd love to keep those relationships, but know that might not be possible.

We're a young couple and we want to start fresh. We still love the Lord and His people, but feel He's calling us out from the LC.

Would love to hear some advice from you all. Thank you.
God bless you. When we were shunned by the saints, it was devastating to me. This was just about two years ago now. The Lord has been with me every day since that confusing time, reassuring me of His presence and teaching me, going on with me. He opened the way for us to relocate and we left WA state for a new home in Idaho. He has blessed us throughout this ordeal and life changing experience and He is so faithful!! Whatever you do, lean on Him, He will take care of your family.

I would arrange a new living situation before the LC bro landlord is made aware of your change of heart! But Lord Jesus bless you as you move forward! Either way you can trust in Him.
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:57 PM   #9
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

This isn't your main point, but I wanted to respond to one concern of yours. If you are worried about being evicted without much warning because your landlord is in the LC, you should talk to an attorney. Find a real estate or landlord/tenant attorney. Bring your rental contract. If you don't have a written contract but are staying there based on an oral agreement, even then there should be some legal protection for you (maybe 30-days notice). Let an attorney know your exact situation. This may seem like overkill, but it's good to be prepared in case what you fear (losing your home) should come to pass. One negative thing about the LC is that they discouraged talking to professionals (lawyers, accountants, therapists, etc.). It is completely legitimate in your situation to get legal advice. Hopefully the brother you rent from will not do anything inappropriate, but it's still wise to protect yourself.
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Old 09-08-2019, 06:36 AM   #10
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

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This isn't your main point, but I wanted to respond to one concern of yours. If you are worried about being evicted without much warning because your landlord is in the LC, you should talk to an attorney. Find a real estate or landlord/tenant attorney. Bring your rental contract. If you don't have a written contract but are staying there based on an oral agreement, even then there should be some legal protection for you (maybe 30-days notice). Let an attorney know your exact situation. This may seem like overkill, but it's good to be prepared in case what you fear (losing your home) should come to pass. One negative thing about the LC is that they discouraged talking to professionals (lawyers, accountants, therapists, etc.). It is completely legitimate in your situation to get legal advice. Hopefully the brother you rent from will not do anything inappropriate, but it's still wise to protect yourself.
Your stateís Housing Authority could also be helpful.

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Old 09-08-2019, 06:56 AM   #11
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

I had a tenant one time (sister's house) who went on the local Fox affiliate and alleged that we were a cult. They did a nasty segment about us and the occult on the nightly news. It was awful.
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:24 PM   #12
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I had a tenant one time (sister's house) who went on the local Fox affiliate and alleged that we were a cult. They did a nasty segment about us and the occult on the nightly news. It was awful.
Do you mean Fox news?
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Old 09-09-2019, 06:35 PM   #13
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

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Do you mean Fox news?
Not FNC national cable news, but my local Fox Broadcasting affiliate.
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Old 09-09-2019, 08:41 PM   #14
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

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I don't think you owe an explanation to anyone but I completely understand feeling like one is necessary.

I think the easiest is to say you and your wife are following the Lord's leading.

If you give any other reasons there will be an argument, things will likely be said. If someone criticizes or questions you when your reason is "obeying the Lord" they look like the idiot, narrow and everything else.

It might be easier not to leave gradually, it leaves too much opportunity for them to challenge or question. If there are those you have a good relationship and you want to maintain a relationship then tell them specifically "we are leaving because the Lord has led us elsewhere." And let them know you still want to gather for meals, movies, etc.

Some might care that you leave but unfortunately a lot womt say or do much and that's really unfortunate.
I just stopped coming to meetings with a simple explanation that the ministry had replaced the Bible, and I thought that was dangerous. No need to convince anyone else. Just leave for your sake.
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Old 09-10-2019, 09:22 AM   #15
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

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I mean this with love. Youíre going to have grow a backbone. You donít owe them answers. You can still be kind and exercise boundaries..
The LC surgically removes one's backbone. One becomes a sort of amorphous jellyfish. So it may take time to grow a new one. But in Christ all things are possible.

The one thing that guided me was, not to stumble the young ones. They never should see adults fighting. Only that the adults love one another and love the youngsters. So adults can disagree, but love really covers everything. And it gives one time, and room, to find one's voice in the assembly.

The Lord Jesus overturned the money-changer tables, called people hard words, "Get away from me Satan", but the Lord Jesus was without sin. Sometimes I try to turn over the money-changer tables but I turn over the food tables! Or the first aid stand! So I've learned to be a little more cautious as I get older.
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Old 09-10-2019, 10:52 AM   #16
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

Quote:
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I just stopped coming to meetings with a simple explanation that the ministry had replaced the Bible, and I thought that was dangerous. No need to convince anyone else. Just leave for your sake.
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The LC surgically removes one's backbone. One becomes a sort of amorphous jellyfish. So it may take time to grow a new one. But in Christ all things are possible.
Great comments! It is amazing the peer pressure we allow ourselves to fall under. But more than that, it becomes a whole culture that we think is true. As Paul says of the old man, we can just "put it off" in Christ!
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Old 09-13-2019, 11:27 AM   #17
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

I admire your desire to leave with as much good will as possible. I am not sure I had that in mind at all - I was just so angry. Relationships that had endured for years were severed. Hurtful words were spoken, on both sides - but maybe more on my side. Happily, most of those friendships have been restored but it took a long time. So I admire your desire and efforts to leave as gently as possible. I wish you well.
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Old 09-13-2019, 02:23 PM   #18
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Dear original poster,

Have you shared any of your concerns with someone that is close to you and that you trust? I know there may be fears (as you mentioned in your post - e.i, being called poisoned, evicted, etc.), but is there not one person that you can fully open to without fear? It may be therapeutic to just share what is weighing on you and your husband's heart before making the final decision...maybe the Lord will have a way to speak to you and your husband that may help clear up some things. Anyways, just sharing some thoughts with you and praying for you and your husband. I can't imagine how difficult the situation may be for you guys.
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

Hi everyone, this is this original poster. Just wanted to thank you all for your responses. My husband and I are in contact with a few people who have left the LC and are open to us, and it's been helpful having conversations with them about our concerns. But I'm still pretty confused and overwhelmed by everything.

First off, I know I need to be assertive and grow a backbone if we're going to leave. That's something I struggle with because I'm a people-pleaser and I like to avoid conflict. I don't think the teaching of having to always submit to authority has helped that tendency, but it's something I'm working on. Thankfully my husband is a lot better in the assertiveness department and he definitely balances me out.

At the same time that I realize I don't have to apologize for our life choices, there are a small handful of saints in the LC who are extremely dear to my husband and me, and we wish we could avoid hurting them and losing their friendship if we leave.

My husband and I are at a point where we both see errors in Lee's teaching and are disappointed by the continual hiding of the LC history. My husband, who did not grow up in the LC as I did, has always been bothered by the unofficial Sunday uniform and by things people in the LC do/ways they behave that are religious, while saying they're not a religious organization. When he used to bring these things up to me, I would get really uncomfortable and even scared he would be judged for talking that way. But I see it all so clearly now that he's been right all along.

We've been avoiding meetings lately, only going on our days to serve, and feel that it will be really difficult, if not impossible, for us to enjoy meetings that are centered around the ministry again. We've had a hard time praying in the usual LC way and I haven't been able to read anything in the ministry without feeling cringey and uncomfortable.

One of my concerns is finding fellowship outside the LC. My husband grew up without any religious background, but I'm a second-gen church kid and this is all I've really ever known. I'm ashamed to say I've judged believers outside the LC for years of my life and only now do I realize how wrong I've been.

This forum, Jane Anderson's book, and the My Opinions Free guy on Youtube have been huge helps to me in shifting some of the mentalities I've had about life, the Body of Christ, and meeting outside the LC, but I do still worry about "fitting in" in any other church. It doesn't help that my parents (who we're extremely close to) were devastated when we told them we are thinking of leaving the LC. That's probably the hardest part of all this for me.

One day my husband and I are both sure we need to leave, the next day we feel unsure again. I've told the Lord I want to be in His will for our lives regardless of the cost, but at the moment I feel paralyzed by fear. That's why I made my username NoFearInLove, because I want to remind myself of this fact.

I feel like it can't be a mistake that I stumbled upon Jo's letter and went down the rabbit hole after purposely avoiding all "negative" writings on the internet about the LC for my entire life. But as much as I've read about "knowing the sense of life" over the years, I'm having a very hard time knowing for sure whether all that discovery was of the Lord or not. I feel like it is, but then I doubt.

Your prayers are greatly appreciated!
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Old 09-13-2019, 08:48 PM   #20
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

How do you leave (the LC) without making a scene? I don’t know that you can.

Here’s a question: what other Christian church or churches require that you surrender your freedom to walk with the Lord where ever he may lead...including walk away from a Christian church? How did you get yourself in this position in the first place, that you need to ask “how do I leave?”

We all did it. We all freely committed ourselves, consecrated ourselves, to Christ and the church, and we made other vows and oaths to the ministry of Witness Lee. We thought we were following the Lord and giving ourselves, heart, soul and mind, to Jesus. Yet, here are some verses on that topic.

Matt. 5:33-37
33 “Again you have heard that it was said to those of [m]old, ‘You shall not swear falsely, but shall perform your oaths to the Lord.’ 34 But I say to you, do not swear at all: neither by heaven, for it is God’s throne; 35 nor by the earth, for it is His footstool; nor by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the great King. 36 Nor shall you swear by your head, because you cannot make one hair white or black. 37 But let [n]your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one.

One of the first things I did after leaving was to renounce all commitments... anything that could possibly be construed as an oath...to “Christ and the church” because that was an oath to the ministry of Witness Lee. Do not swear at all!

As far as the “without making a scene” part, that’s not likely something you can control. If a scene is made, don’t let it be made by you. Just walk away. Let your Yes be Yes and your No, No.

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Old 09-14-2019, 08:06 AM   #21
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

Fellow church kid here too, you are not alone in wondering if you will find fellowship, group of believers to connect with, or life outside of the LC. Connecting with those who left and continued in their faith can be so helpful in your journey. This tactic, if you will, of the LC to instill fear about degraded Christianity, a lack of depth, etc is one of my biggest issues with the LC because it discourages people to follow their own spirit and keeps so many entrapped!!

There is freedom, life, deep connection, and a world of Godly love and living outside of the LC.

I happy to connect on a more personal level, feel free to connect through LCD or if you are on FB. There are more of us!!

Love to you on your journey
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Old Yesterday, 11:21 AM   #22
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Default Re: How do you leave without making a scene?

kumbaya kind of has it right. Just stop going. And assuming you still have a spiritual interest, find another group to meet with. Even figure the first move out before you take the plunge.

Just quit attending. Don't be rude, but don't feel obligated to give a reason. They will have an answer for everything, though not a meaningful one. You don't need to have that discussion until you are ready, if ever.
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