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

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Old 06-06-2008, 03:20 PM   #1
UntoHim
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Default Testimony of Terry

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Among my earliest of memories was my family moving to Los Angeles for “The Recovery” in the early 1970’s. What followed were moves to Phoenix, Alburqurque, Anaheim, and San Bernardino. All in all I was raised from my pre-school years through high school years in the local churches.

It wasn’t until after moving to Anaheim in early 1976 do I remember my stuttering being a problem. I saw speech therapists all the way through high school. It was in Anaheim did most kids ridicule the way I spoke. Perhaps I wasn’t so thankful as a child, but in retrospect I am thankful to all the children I went to school with who were also meeting with the Church in Anaheim. Back then nearly all my friends from school were from families meeting in the church. For a while I went to United Way for my speech therapy. Since my mom didn’t drive, there were a trio of sisters (two from Anaheim and one from Fullerton) who took turns driving me to my therapy sessions.

After the school year ended in June, 1979 my family spent the summer near Lake Arrowhead, Ca. Maybe my parents didn’t intend to move there long term, but we did. This was the beginning of my family meeting with the Church in San Bernardino. Even today when I think about those brothers and sisters I remember from this time of 1979-1986, they’re like family. It was during one of the summers before high school was being a witness of baptism have an impact. I didn’t know what it was about and I wanted to know. Up till know the Bible was all knowledge. It wasn’t until during my sophomore year of high school did I receive Jesus Christ as my savior. It was at the Thanksgiving Young People’s Conference. Brother Gene asked if anyone wanted to receive the Lord as their savior and I was among those who spoke up.

I realize from my own experience that high school is a crucial time from young people. I am thankful for brothers MG and JL for the time they spent with us high school brothers. Being raised in the local churches, there was instruction regarding brothers and sisters beginning in seventh grade with the need to be separated. The intention behind the teaching is well-meaning and logical. The key is how those serving the young people convey the message. By high school there’s a longing to fit in with other students. That includes dating. Within the parameters of having the brothers and sisters separated, there needs to be some semblance of normalcy so that young people could relate to the other gender is a protected environment without feeling socially inept. That’s basically my experience as a high school brother. If I spoke to a classmate not my sister, that I was committing a sin. Throughout my high school years as each young people’s conference ended, we would head back to San Bernardino and speak a little something about the conference. I wasn’t concerned so much about what I was going to say, but if I was going to stutter. Not once do I recall any brother or sister ever show a sign of a smirk whenever I spoke. Just patience. It was during my last year of high school did we start door knocking. That was just too much for me to endure. As soon as I graduated from high school, my attendance to the Lord’s Day meeting dropped significantly.

When I began college, I wanted to fit in. I began doing things to fit in. Going to parties and hanging out with the wrong crowd that became alcohol abuse. As much as I wanted to go my own way and go do my own thing, the Lord wouldn’t let me go. I was the Lord’s. These experiences showed me no matter what I tried to do; no matter how much I tried to be a man-pleaser, I would never be happy. It was towards the end of my college experience I took a religion class on C.S. Lewis. After one particular session, the professor told me about the problems in the local church. Since I had no idea what he was talking about and since I had not been to a single meeting in several years, I asked my elder sister about it. She handed to me a book she had that explained it from Witness Lee’s point of view The Fermentation of the Present Rebellion. I read the book cover to cover. It seemed too far fetched from the experience of my childhood. It was more like a movie script than an account. If all the allegations were true, where’s the proof for validation. Besides I could not see brothers such as John Ingalls, Bill Mallon, among others that gave freely over 25 years of their life to a church movement only to come to this. Totally void of logic. If there was any ambition in these brothers, surely they would have acted upon it decades earlier. Needless to say one book changed my perspective on Living Stream Ministry and Witness Lee.

By 1993 I was a college graduate and traveled to Bellevue, Wa for a job interview. I did not get the job, but I was won over by the beauty of Western Washington. I quit my job in Southern California and moved to Washington. Though I had not expected to, within a matter of months I begun meeting with the Church in Bellevue. I noticed what a difference a few years made. No longer were problems solved by “turning to your spirit”, but by prayer. No longer was the Bible needed in the meetings. In it’s place was The Holy Word for Morning Revival which contained Biblical excerpts in conjunction with portions from Witness Lee’s ministry. I loved the home meetings. They were small, intimate, and liberating. Still when there were references to “the rebellious ones”, I did not know how to react. I wasn’t sure if the references were to Bill Freeman and his Scottsdale group or if the references were to the former leading brothers. I kept my mouth shut. I had a sense if I spoke my mind, the words coming out of my mouth would not be received well. In spite of the references, I did not let it become an obstacle to meeting together.

By late 1994 a brother and sister were leaving Bellevue for the Grace Gardens project. Since their home in Bellevue was not being sold, it became a brothers house. I moved in March 1995. Within a month I gained employment with a company that lasted nearly twelve years minus a 364 day layoff. Most of the brothers in the house were 18/19 years old. I was 27 and there was another brother who was considerably older who provided oversight. Within the brothers house, while the other young brothers were setting their goals on FTTA, my burden was for marriage. Having been brought up in the local churches, approaching a single sister was uncomfortable and awkward. Romantic interest outside the local churches was unthinkable. Understand the teaching is apart ffrom the local churches, you’re in the world. My concept was outside the local churches, there were no old-fashioned values any more. A time came I realized no one shared my burden for marriage except me. Through work a Filipino co-worker encouraged me to correspond with a pen-pal. In time I realized this pen-pal I met is also a sister halfway around the world. After writing back and forth for a year and a half I traveled to her country. We married shortly before I had to return to the US. It wasn’t until the summer of 1997, did my perception of the local churches begin to change. It all started with Witness Lee’s death. Prior to his death I was accustomed to hearing about Witness Lee. Through the 1990’s much more often than the 1980’s. In months following Witness Lee’s death, his name was ever so prominent. Something inside my being was bothered by this. A brother who is no longer with us, is being lifted up instead of Jesus Christ. Still my wife and I continued to meet. It wasn’t until after the birth of our 2nd child did it become impractical for us to meet. My wife’s employment was a conflict of interest. A brother such as myself taking care of an infant was too much a distraction for myself to be at the meeting. Plus I didn’t want my daughter to be a distraction to the meeting. Several months later in January 2001, we met with the Church in Bellevue for the last time.

Within the next year or two a lawsuit began with Harvest House which I was in complete opposition to. Many years earlier I was in a situation of which taking the other party to court was an option. Taking someone to court never set well with me. What testimony do we have as Christians by taking another Christian to court? Then I read I Corinthians 6. Wouldn’t it be better to suffer defrauding than to seek vindication? Even now in 2008 I still remember fondly of the saints I used to meet with. What has gotten in the way of contact is fear. The fear of being rejected because of my criticism of the esteemed ministry. It’s not the ministry in terms of publication, but of unhealthy teachings and practices that have damaged many. No one of ability from Living Stream Ministry has had the conscience to step forward to adjust the present course.

Warmest regards to those that read my testimony.
Terry Lane Fisher
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Old 07-13-2008, 07:33 PM   #2
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Thanks, Terry. It is always good to read someone's story. We all have so much in common, and so much not in common. Thanks.

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Old 08-06-2008, 08:13 PM   #3
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unhealthy teachings and practices that have damaged many.. but

God is Faithful.. thank you Lord for your mercy.. this is really so amazing to me being on this forum.. there is an underlying connecting thread it seems that the Lord is bringing us all back to Himself..!! in spite of everything..Glory to God.. thanks so much for your testimony Terry..
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:23 PM   #4
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Default Receiving One Another

There are many subjects to speak of concerning myself. One is how to recieve others. Since my rearing is based in the local church fellowships, I have an attachment for many brothers and sisters currently meeting, some that maybe, and those that don't anymore. It's not healthy to create artificial barriers that become obstacles in fellowship. Just as easy as I can receive brothers I have had fellowship with in Southern California and Washington localities, I can just as easily have fellowship with brothers that may be considered personna non grata.
There are only barriers in fellowship if we want there to be barriers. Whatever the environment may be, only Jesus Christ.

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Old 08-22-2008, 08:42 PM   #5
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Terry,

Thanks for taking the time to write your story. I enjoyed reading...
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Old 08-23-2008, 03:41 PM   #6
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Default Thanks Terry

Joe 2:25 - "So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, The crawling locust, The consuming locust, And the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.

Thanks Brother for your testimony.Many people don't realize the years that were involved in some of our lives under such fear.Maybe it won't be until we are at the judgement seat of Christ that He will vindicate us because of those years of neglect and abuse at the hands of these zealous ones.The hardness and stiffneckedness of religiousman still exist today as it did in the days of our Lord.Jesus said in Mt 13:15 -"For the hearts of this people have grown dull. Their ears are hard of hearing, And their eyes they have closed, Lest they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, Lest they should understand with their hearts and turn, So that I should heal them.'" How many of those leaders in the Living Stream centered local churches are in such a case!May the Lord have pity and mercy on them for what they have done to the least of these His Children!
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Old 09-02-2008, 01:20 PM   #7
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Default Something Can Be Learned........

My experience with local church localities is something can be learned from so-called denominations.
One denomination my children had been cared for throughout the summer have deacons who are assigned to care for a number of families. The care is carried out through contacting.
Does that happen in local churches?
Has not been my experience.
Can it become a way to shepherd families?
Certainly
In the local churches had there been deacons and/or elders that contact households periodically, would so many have slipped through the cracks?

I don't have the answer, but my observation has been an emphasis on the work and less on the individual. Which is why when a brother or sister stops coming to meetings, how long does that go on until it is noticed a brother or sister hasn't been at the meetings for a while?
Something the local churches can learn from the denominations is the matter of contacting families within their own locality.

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Old 09-04-2008, 10:44 PM   #8
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I don't have the answer, but my observation has been an emphasis on the work and less on the individual. Which is why when a brother or sister stops coming to meetings, how long does that go on until it is noticed a brother or sister hasn't been at the meetings for a while?
Something the local churches can learn from the denominations is the matter of contacting families within their own locality.



Terry.. it is good advice for christians.. why would you want the lc to do this.. are you saying you want people to remain captive in that horrible cult
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Old 07-26-2009, 08:47 PM   #9
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Default Re: Testimony of Terry

Having watched the YouTube of Witness Lee's speaking from the 1997 Chinese NY Conference, I came away feeling cheated. This should have been an opportunity for the recovery to have a genuine repentance based on WL release. There was critical content omitted from the book based on the speaking. As I considered WL's repentance as I watched on the YouTube video, I thought to myself it would have made a difference.
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Old 10-31-2009, 02:51 PM   #10
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Default Re: Testimony of Terry

Today I was listening more than watching Ron Kangas' speaking following a message Witness Lee gave in 1996.

"That the brethren really were Philadelphia for maybe two or three decades. Then they became intensely focused on teachings and comparing themselves with the denominations. They became quite proud with what they had. Eventually the brethren became Laodecia. With so many teachings, but no reality. I donít want to go beyond my measure in this fellowship, but I think I can say and you would feel comfortable with my saying that we know what the taste of Laodecia is like. The lukewarmness. We canít pride ourselves that weíre still here and we see so much and Christianity doesnít see anything. The Lord is looking for a reality in the church. Just today and this is related to the point on Laodecia. I was intensely working on an article for Affirmation and Critique, on the subjective God. On the triune God wrought into our being. I was reminded of something brother Lee said in 1984, that the governing principle of the whole Bible is the triune God working Himself into the tripartite man. The reason I mention this is when the Lord is rebuking, but also cherishing Laodecia. He counsels them in three ways;
He said buy of me gold. Refined by the fire. This is the nature of God obtained as a reality. Then He said, buy of Me white garments. That you mat be clothed and not be naked. This is Christ livingly and vitally lived out in the church. And He said buy of Me eye salve and anoint your eyes with eye salve that you may see. This is the Spirit as the anointing. To heal our blindness. The Lord is ministering Himself as a subjective reality to a church thatís addicted with teachings. And I again I say I donít want to go beyond my measure, but a cry in my being for many years and my personal pursuing of the Lord has been for reality. For the inward subjective organic reality of the triune God. And according to the Lordís word in Laodecia this does not come without a price. What the price is, only the Lord can tell us. I agree with Howard. I feel like tonight I came down from the high peak to sea level with a thud. But I believe we can breakthrough. And we will breakthrough. But thereís a price involved. I feel we need to go to the Lord and repent. And open to the Lord, and ask the Lord to whatever He needs to do in our being subjectively to bring us into the reality of His present ministry."

Ron's speaking reminded me of my repentance during this same time period (95-96). Repenting for my attitude towards friends in Christianity. Thinking I was "plugged in" and they were not. I repented for being prideful, assuming I had access to the riches and they did not. Really as Ron described, I had the pride of a laodicean for which I had long since repented of.

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Old 10-31-2009, 05:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: Testimony of Ron Kangas

This is why He said:
"for by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned" Mat 12:37
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:21 PM   #12
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Default Re: Testimony of Terry

"For the inward subjective organic reality of the triune God."

I have some understanding of why the LC and Lee's teachings remain so strong in some. As long as it sounds so poetic and complex, it just has to be important and/or right.

They so often add so many modifiers to everything that it is somewhat unclear what they are really saying. Once you go through their circle of logic filled with so many over-modified descriptions designed to stir the emotions, its hard to decipher whether there could be anything in error buried in there.

My response to these convoluted statements now is to laugh like I do when I watch Blazing Saddles and Hedley Lamarr says "My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives" and Taggert (Slim Pickens) responds "Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore." I would not equate the people responsible for the LC drivel to prostitutes, but the things they say are no more valuable ó maybe less so since Jesus said that prostitutes would enter the kingdom before many of the religious ones.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:50 PM   #13
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"For the inward subjective organic reality of the triune God."

They so often add so many modifiers to everything that it is somewhat unclear what they are really saying. Once you go through their circle of logic filled with so many over-modified descriptions designed to stir the emotions, its hard to decipher whether there could be anything in error buried in there.
The quote could easily be interpreted as the experience of Christ. Why is there so many modifiers? Leaves one unclear what was just spoken. When the saints recite these phrases, is there any clarity what's being recited? The abundance of modifiers doesn't stir emotions, but engages the mind to comprehend what's being spoken.

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Old 11-03-2009, 11:12 PM   #14
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...My response to these convoluted statements now is to laugh like I do when I watch Blazing Saddles and Hedley Lamarr says "My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives" and Taggert (Slim Pickens) responds "Mr. Lamarr, you use your tongue prettier than a twenty dollar whore." I would not equate the people responsible for the LC drivel to prostitutes, but the things they say are no more valuable — maybe less so since Jesus said that prostitutes would enter the kingdom before many of the religious ones.
drivel....?
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Old 02-15-2011, 11:06 PM   #15
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Having watched the YouTube of Witness Lee's speaking from the 1997 Chinese NY Conference, I came away feeling cheated. This should have been an opportunity for the recovery to have a genuine repentance based on WL release. There was critical content omitted from the book based on the speaking. As I considered WL's repentance as I watched on the YouTube video, I thought to myself it would have made a difference.
Terry - do you have a link to this video? A YouTube search doesn't seen to yield any results....
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:20 AM   #16
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I had heard that LSM had the video taken down due to copyright issues?

I found it here this morning: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o4EVrsgd-to

I'm not sure where you can find an accurate translation into English - at some point it was floating around somewhere.

If the English translation that I read is accurate, then this "repentance" was neither clear nor specific. He says he is "we did not treat some brother right" (paraphrase) but he does not say who "some brothers" are - are they the brothers and sisters who were forced out of the LC or is he referring to outside Christians? Anyway, if he really meant either he would have done this in English here in America where most of the damage was done in his last 30 years or so. It's all a day late and dollar short far as I'm concerned.
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:28 PM   #17
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Try this link though I didn't care much for the tone in the subtitles.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swcs5pbzoDI
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Old 02-16-2011, 07:33 PM   #18
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If the English translation that I read is accurate, then this "repentance" was neither clear nor specific. He says he is "we did not treat some brother right" (paraphrase) but he does not say who "some brothers" are - are they the brothers and sisters who were forced out of the LC or is he referring to outside Christians? Anyway, if he really meant either he would have done this in English here in America where most of the damage was done in his last 30 years or so. It's all a day late and dollar short far as I'm concerned.
I've checked with a Chinese-speaking brother from Taiwan. He was at the conference and vaildated English translation contained in the video.
Who brother Lee was referring to is unclear, but his message isn't only about him, but also us and our heart. Saints in denominations and non-denomational Christianity are part of the body of Christ too. What I took from the video is where is our receiving? Is it narrow according to our concepts and preferences or is our receiving according to God's receiving? Whom God receives, we also must receive.
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Old 02-16-2011, 08:22 PM   #19
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Receiving is not just something we say - it is actually something we do. It's easy and very spiritual sounding for one Christian or Christian group to say they receive others, but the proof is in our actions. This is where Witness Lee and now his followers have failed miserably. It is a disingenuous cop out to use the excuse of "we receive them but cannot participate in denominations" (paraphrase) "We cannot participate" really means "we are better then you and don't want to be defiled by you". This is the real attitude behind all the "spiritual talk" of the Local Church and their actions have confirmed this for years.

Also, when Witness Lee said "receive" it was a one way street - what he really meant was "if you agree with me then I will receive you, if you don't agree with me and what I teach then I will not receive you, and in fact I will disrespect and insult you". This was the real attitude, and again, it was confirmed by actions. Sorry, but for Witness Lee to make some nebulous "apology to the body of Christ" at the end of his life, and in a different language and in a different country then where the majority of the offenses took place, simply does not cut it.

Obviously I feel very strong about this and I apologize to Terry for posting this here.
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Old 02-16-2011, 11:03 PM   #20
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It's easy and very spiritual sounding for one Christian or Christian group to say they receive others, but the proof is in our actions.
That's true brother, the proof is in our actions. Perhaps the Lord was merciful, and exposed to brother Lee his true condition at the end, and perhaps not. Perhaps he repented a little, perhaps more, and perhaps not enough. It is for God to judge him now, and not us - and that whether we judge him fair (as those who embrace that ministry do), or false.

We must move forward, and recognize that regardless of where this brother's position was, we are called on to fulfill the doing of this word: because that word about receiving isn't Lees - it's Christs:

Hebrews 13:1 "Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters."

1 Peter 2:17 " Honor all men, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king."

Let us truly be those who receive others. This does not mean we receive only those who are not under the authority of Anaheim, but also those who still are. This doesn't mean we don't stand for the Truth - on the contrary, we don't just stand for it - we Live it. Only by demonstrating the genuine Christian life - the life that receives in grace, in humility, in love, all members of His Body, both great and small - can we hope to show others a clearer way into a true relationship with Him. A relationship that isn't about just sitting and receiving; a relationship about moving and being and living His life out here and now - according to Him.

Our Christian life isn't a life of simple ease and enjoyment. His life wasn't, and it is His life we are called to live out; His life He wants to live out in us.

Do not mistake me, I do not say in receiving that we ought not admonish or reprove those who are in error. If we love them, then in fact we must expose to them the Truth - regardless of whether or not they will receive it.... But we must be careful that when we speak, we "speak The truth in Love.", for who is won to the cause of Christ through insult and attack... and if we fight fire with fire, then how can we claim to be anything more than what we ourselves abhor?

In Christ,

Ray
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Old 04-17-2011, 06:41 PM   #21
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Default Concepts

We've had our concepts. Some have become validated while others proven wrong.
One of my concepts proven wrong is in respect to Christians who have never touched the recovery. Being raised in the local churches, I was taught Christians outside the local churches are nominal believers. They may believe in God and they may have been saved, but the church life to them is one hour a week at best. Even as an adult I ceased meeting with the local churches on Sunday mornings simply because I could not tolerate negative un-checked prophesying aimed at non-recovery Christianity.

You know what, my concepts were shattered. That's why I could not tolerate the negative prophesying. I have had fellowship with Christians outside the recovery who are just as zealous for God's Word as many saints I've been around in the recovery. These dear saints are like lambs, like sponges ready and willing to receive the divine dispensing from the Holy Spirit.

Praise the Lord for shattered concepts. Praise the Lord, I was wrong.
So now in the home meetings whether it's on Friday, Saturday, or which ever night, why I come to the home meetings is not for a ministry, but for the building up of the Body in love.
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Old 04-18-2011, 06:55 AM   #22
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One of my concepts proven wrong is in respect to Christians who have never touched the recovery. Being raised in the local churches, I was taught Christians outside the local churches are nominal believers. They may believe in God and they may have been saved, but the church life to them is one hour a week at best.
How true Terry, and I heard this very thing spoken by a full-timer the last time I visited the LC -- "if you just want Sunday morning religion, you can go to church down the street."

I'm sitting there thinking, "that's one more myth propagated by the LC. The fact is that there is not a single Christian assembly in the world which could operate with just Sunday morning visitors." Every congregation is propelled forward by a core of saints serving night and day. Don't kid yourself. And, btw, the LC had the same number of "Sunday morning visitors" as the next church.

It just amazes me how much "mythology" gets promoted in the LC's.
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Old 04-18-2011, 10:22 AM   #23
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How true Terry, and I heard this very thing spoken by a full-timer the last time I visited the LC -- "if you just want Sunday morning religion, you can go to church down the street."
How would any know what the church down the street is like? Is there fellowship with those who meet at the church down the street? Unlikely. Suppose the church down the street were encouraging home meetings in your neighborhood. Would you enter into the fellowship?
It's highly unlikely the a visiting full-timer or a resident full-timer would know, because they would likely not have fellowship apart from the ministry they've given themselves to.
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Old 04-18-2011, 11:00 AM   #24
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How would any know what the church down the street is like? Is there fellowship with those who meet at the church down the street? Unlikely. Suppose the church down the street were encouraging home meetings in your neighborhood. Would you enter into the fellowship?
It's highly unlikely the a visiting full-timer or a resident full-timer would know, because they would likely not have fellowship apart from the ministry they've given themselves to.
He said it because he believes it to be true. That's the definition of a "factoid" -- something repeated so often, it must be true, by definition. It helps to have no contact with the outside world, by which one may obtain information commonly called "facts," which are factoids worst enemy.
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Old 04-18-2011, 08:45 PM   #25
NeitherFirstnorLast
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Default Re: Concepts

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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
He said it because he believes it to be true. That's the definition of a "factoid" -- something repeated so often, it must be true, by definition. It helps to have no contact with the outside world, by which one may obtain information commonly called "facts," which are factoids worst enemy.
That brother, is the truth. These folks just don't have the "current and up-to-date facts" about their Christian brothers and sisters at all. They walk around with myths and factoids.

I have testified that I first encountered the LSM Church in Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. That particular locality, which totals perhaps 80 members, is predominantly (70%) made up of a single, large and branching family. That family comes from a Mennonite Colony (think Amish, but a little more modern) from Belize. Now how sectarian do you think that particular denomination would have been? This was a "colony" in Latin America - it was about as sectarian as you could get. That was their taste of Christianity outside of LSM. Now, saying that, I have had WONDERFUL fellowship with Mennonites over the years. Real brothers and sisters and Christ with whom I've shared my life and from whom I've gained so much - but my point is, what do these colonists know of Christianity as a whole? Only what Lee told them. And Lee didn't know or care to know more than they knew, really... because he was busy building a temple to God.

You know, there is a brother in Christ (Doug Perry) who posts on Youtube occasionally, who had a very small taste of an LSM church. He is very careful in how he speaks of them, wishing only to speak for edification and not condemnation, but in his video he shares his experience.

After a meeting in an LSM church, he invited the brothers and sisters to a city-wide prayer meeting being held inter-denominationally. The response he got was "Oh no, we're not going to pray with them; they have to come and pray with us." Wow, how sectarian is that!

If you haven't heard this brothers testimony, I strongly encourage you to listen....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=od9SKmvfsoc



In Christ,

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