(Backdate: 6/8/14 12:59 PM)
I figured I should probably share some of the things that I have found during my personal investigation of the Living Stream Ministry and the writings of Witness Lee. About what others have found in their own investigations, both personal or not, or through the writings of Lee himself.
I have come across a ton of articles about lawsuits the Local Churches have implemented against others who have published opinions made about them into books or even just sections of their books. Some of these lawsuits have come down to the Local Church pushing their lawsuit to the point of bankruptcy on the other side, leaving the ones they were suing unable to defend themselves in court.
Upon reading articles, personal letters to other churches or ministries, personal testimonies, and even a few books concerning the LSM, I’ve come to conclude that Witness Lee thought of himself as the only one these “revelations” were revealed to. Wouldn’t a true revelation be revealed to more than just one person? Wouldn’t there be others that would also pray about these things in order to confirm they were truly from God?
I’ve also come to realize that although they claim to accept all Christians as their brothers and sisters in Christ, they have no intention of spreading such revelations to any other Christian churches in their city. This comes back to the “One church, one city” aspect they claim they have adapted from the Bible, claiming that because there were only documented few in our Bible of letters to one church or another, than there must not have been any other groups or churches that came about, that taught about the love of Christ, salvation, etc. in those same cities. They’re all for building churches in new cities, states, and countries, but when it comes to meeting with other churches or ministries to work in their own, local communities, there is silence.
I’ve copied a few things from one of the books I was reading concerning them from a man that was heavily involved in the church for many years, in the 80’s. At first, I wondered if maybe the church I was going to might not be as the way he made some of them sound, or that maybe things have changed for LSM since the 80’s, but upon reading other testimonies of people around the globe, I’ve come to realize that it’s better to have nothing to do with this ministry.
When considering questions like, “But aren’t they Christians too?” or “Aren’t they trying to spread the word of God and help others find Jesus?” I believe they are Christians, but I also believe that they’re putting more faith into the writings of Witness Lee than the Bible. I believe they are allowing themselves to be filled more with what Witness Lee has “revealed” about the Bible, instead of putting faith in the Holy Spirit to help us have our own personal revelations about what the Bible is saying.
I’ve also found that they typically use parts of scripture to back up the teachings of Witness Lee, though most of which are taken out of context to support such teachings. You can easily look at people that are fully engrossed in such teachings and see their cookie cutter responses and quotes of what Witness Lee teaches about one thing or another, backed up with fragments of Bible versus, but not what the Bible itself teaches.
I think it’s important to realize that even parts of the testimonies I will post on here (which I will link to as I’m not going to post all of them), that though some are from other countries, they are all dealing with a part of LSM (which started from another country than the US). Even if the church you are currently going to doesn’t seem to act the same way, it is still learning from the same ministry that teaches and condones such actions and attitudes, and that while involved in said ministry, teaching that you should conform to what they are “encouraging” you to do, act, how to pray, speak, and what you share with others.
I’ve looked into both sides of this. Despite what you might think with some of the next things I’m posting of what people have written about Witness Lee and LSM, remember that I’ve also looked at what Witness Lee is teaching himself.
Some of the things he has written in his teachings, which other enthusiasts of his ministry have also posted while trying to teach others what Lee says, instead of what the Bible says, include:
- Some brothers have said that only the saints meeting with us are the local church. This kind of speaking is too much. We should say only that the believers meeting with us are a part of the local church. Although according to the ground, principle, and nature there is no question that we are only a part of the local church. For example, the local church in Taipei, in principle, includes all the believers in Taipei; however, because of the division of the church, many believers are segregated in denominations. They have departed from the ground of the local church and left us, the minority, to stand on the ground of the local church. Hence, in reality we are only part of the local church in Taipei. If all the believers would return to the local ground, the church in Taipei would include all believer in the local church. (Lessons for New Believers, chapter 18)
- Today there are saved ones in every sect and denomination, including the Catholic Church. We acknowledge that they are our brothers and sisters and are members of the Body of Christ, yet they have lost the ground of the church and no longer stand on the ground of the church. They can be compared to family members who have left home and have gone to other places. (Lessons for New Believers, chapter 18)
Sounds all great and Christian-like, doesn’t it? It is true, and I agree, that we need to accept other believers no matter where they come from. But to say that other denominations have stepped away from the “ground of the church,” as if to say they are stepping away from what God really wants from all believers, is a form of hypocrisy.
To say that they’ll accept them as long as they have Christ is one thing, but to not acknowledge that God is working among millions of different Christian churches is another, despite whatever name they have. This is the reason they try to call themselves “the church of [insert city name here]”, they want to try to make it sound as if they don’t belong to a certain section of Christian views (which all the views they take on are from Witness Lee), but that they have no real “name.” But by doing this they are giving themselves a name and they are falling into a non-denominational section of Christian views. Isn’t that what Lee was claiming we should not do?
My question in all of this is more based around things such as, why is it that only Witness Lee seemed to have this revelation about “the local ground” that God seems to work in? Why is it that, although other ministries and churches follow God in the way that He is telling them to, that they are considered to be out of touch with the truth God has allowed all of us to have? It is not about what name you belong to, as far as church is concerned, how they worship or practice anything, it’s about our faith in God and where He is leading us. If there were such theories in the Bible of the “true church” being lost, Christ would have warned us of that. We are all different and we all have similarities, but this does not mean that if one church worships one way than another, than one is more correct. God calls us in this with the same message: To share the love of Him through sending his Son, Jesus Christ. How can you justify saying that only one way of sharing this message is correct?
Furthermore, if they believe that only they stand on the “true ground of the church,” but it is believers in general that make up that ground, why do they not seek out other local churches for functions or worship? Because they are condemning the “name” that these churches have taken. Say my name is Steve, but your name is George. Well, George, you might believe the same as me, but we don’t have enough in common and therefore you are wrong and too different. You need to change your name to Steve so we can hang out and be considered one under God’s eyes.
What makes up different denominations? The different cultures, views, and interpretations, because let’s face it, we all have different opinions. God made us all different, we’re not cookie cutters to conform into one little church or group, we are meant to learn from each other’s experiences, views, and opinions. To conform to just one opinion and view would be wrong and would defeat the purpose of us being different. You might say, “But the churches based around LSM DO accept different views and other cultures.” They do within their own groups. They slowly conform everyone else to do what Witness Lee teaches, to think the way he thinks, to say what he says, and quote more from his books than the Bible.
You might then argue that I wasn’t around it long enough to actually see these things, but I saw it almost every where I went. I do not believe it is wrong when someone attending a church might pick up on how others do things, the style they pray, the way they talk, etc. But I don’t like seeing that everyone becomes a cookie cutter form of this, all speaking in the same manner, praying the same way, singing the same way and only from their own hymnals that their set ministry has published, reading their own literature which is also only published from their same ministry. They go on speaking of not having a narrow mindedness towards other believers but then also wont include any other ministries or literature written by anyone else that isn’t published by LSM (which was founded by Witness Lee).
Lee also writes:
We should receive people according to God’s receiving, not being more narrow than God, thereby demonstrating and maintaining the oneness of the Body of Christ. Furthermore, we should receive people according to the Son of God, according to God, not according to the doctrine or practice, thus maintaining a condition of absolute peace, smoothness, and order, without any deviation and discord, in the fellowship of the Body of Christ to the glory of God (The Experience of God’s Organic Salvation Equaling Reigning in Christ’s Life, p. 68)
- Our Testimony
- As we have stated in the past and shall continue to testify in the future, we do not agree with denominations. According to the Scriptures, denominations are divisions in the Body of Christ (please show me where it says that). However, this need not keep us from having fellowship with our brothers and sisters in the denominations. In the book cited above (p. 104) Witness Lee says:
- Regardless of whether others are in the divisions or not, we must recognize that they are our brothers. This does not mean that we go along with their divisions. No, we cannot do this, but we must love all the saints… They all have the same divine life as we.. In redemption and in life we are all the same.
In saying that they would receive a fellow Christian based out of their love of Christ is fine, but to say that they must not accept any doctrine or practice that any other fellow brothers and sisters read, is in a sense, being narrow minded. Witness Lee sure seems to think it’s completely fine that everyone reads what he has to say, so why should he be our new prophet with the only right answers? That which they just went on and on about NOT being, they are being for not accepting any other views about someone’s faith (because we’re all different and experience things differently, which allows for the Bible and Holy Spirit to speak to us differently about different situations). So while trying to convince everyone they accept everyone else who is a denuine Christian, they do not fully accept other view points or interpretations that are also made through the Holy Spirit working through someone else. This is the point I have tried to make before to other people when I would question if they ever read anything else that wasn’t published by LSM (which is mostly Witness Lee’s writings). We need these different view points from all types of people so we can, not only see how God is working in the world, but see how diverse He is and how He works through all who have received Him. Regardless of what church they attend or how they prefer to worship. I say, let the Holy Spirit move them however seems fitting to God’s Will.
(On another note, did you know there is a support group for people that leave these churches and ministry? To let them know that there’s more out there and help them heal from the experiences they’ve had? That was a big red flag to me, not that it was a support group offering healing to people who have been burned by unloving Christianity, because we’ve all experienced some degree of that, but for those who have been hurt in the LSM. It’s based in Anaheim, CA)
Here are some things that I have found in one of the books I’ve read on the matter:
“Jealousy and strife are two unavoidable characteristics of the divisive heart (1 Cor 3:3). This is due to the fact that “unique” fellowships always lead to the formation of an “us” and “them.” The “them” is the ideological foe represented by the rest of the Christian community–those who have not “seen the revelation.” Insiders perceive these “blinded” believers as a massive threat to their doctrinal and spiritual purity. And it is nearly impossible for them to mask their poor attitudes.One man described to me a small group setting where a non-LSM book (but soundly evangelical) was being read. Each person took a turn reading, except a pro-LSM woman, who passed the book on each time, poker-faced, without so much as a glance downward. Knowing something of her personal religious bents, he concluded that the minister she was under was hate-based.Another person, a Christian not familiar with LC Movement culture, asked why a pro-LSM man who worked with him could not ever carry on a pleasant conversation about God. “He spends all his time trying to correct me,” the man said.
“If something is being recovered, that means it existed, was lost, and then was found. But the oneness supposedly recovered by the LC Movement, so marred with animosity toward others, cannot be located in the scriptures. It never existed. Thus, we ought to remember a simple principle: when something was recovered that never actually existed in the past, then it has not been recovered; it has been invented.
“Far from feeling sinful, sectarian systems can embolden their members while providing a sense of exclusive belonging, security, and mission. Lest we live in that kind of fool’s paradise, we must construct, from the ground up, what we really are according to the truth. This will not be too difficult. The Bible only tells us that we are the Body of Christ. We are not something else, something better, or something superior. We do not stand apart from the Body of Christ, since that is a divisive statement. Nor are we better than the rest of the Body of Christ as that is an elitist statement. We are simply Christian, members of the overall Body, no better than anyone else. The Bible refuses to say more. It does not describe a “manchild church” or a church of firstfruits. Far from fleeing common fellowship for more victorious pastures, the overcomers remain in the context of ordinary church involvement all the way up until the rapture.Flustered saints have asked me, “Then if we’re not the Lord’s Recovery, what makes us different than anyone else?” In response to this question, I would ask, must we be different? Must we try to have something other than what Christians at large are offering–things like biblical truth, salvation, Christ, the loving community of believers, and help in perfecting one’s ministry? In fact, if we are hoping to impart something other than those things, then it is we who no longer match biblical description of the church. When we cannot be peaceful among other Christian groups without assuming an elevated status, then that is the lingering fruit of a partisan mindset, not a legitimate vision.”“Taking our place in the common fellowship of Christ’s Body considerably simplifies and enriches church life. However, it comes at the price of shedding religious egos. That means banishing the habit of vilifying everyone else (or even nicely demoting them). If we are special, or in some positive sense “unique,” then let others tell us. Just as Paul said, they will report that God is truly among you (1 Cor 14:25). If we spend most of our time trying to convince ourselves and our visitors how special we are, how unique, pure, and God-blessed, then there’s something wrong. Together with all true believers, we have been equally elevated to the greatest place in the universe–to be Christ’s own body. Our mission is not to occupy some fictitious higher peak. Being at rest with this humble reality, we can then turn our attention to the more pressing concerns of living out what we are.”The Body of Chris was another emphasis that slowly crept down from the upper echelons of the LC Movement into its local membership. At first most of us said nothing against it because of its Biblical nature, and in fact said “Amen” when we heard it. Still, the phrase “the Body of Christ” which later became “the Body” which later turned into a weirdly intoned “the baaaaady” became a catchword unto itself. No longer was it teaching for general edification. There was an elite considered to be “the representatives of the Body,” which had “the feeling of the Body,” “knew the Body” “saw the Body,” “understood the leading in the Body” and “moved in the Body.” It could even excommunicate (“quarantine”) others in the name of “the Body.” The Body became an entreat meant to contest local decisions that were not in accordance with “the ministry.” As exaggerated by LSM authorities, “the Body” was versus “the churches.”
The Bible does not say to build up the “many” bodies of Christ, but THE Body of Christ. Which is to say, all of the believers IN Christ. When you go from saying you are denominational to NON-denominational, you are still in a form of denomination. This “non-denominational” is a section, a function, a church, a ministry, a group of people, that doesn’t feel they fall under on specific denomination. That is fine. What they need to realize is that in claiming they have no “title” or “name” they are then giving themselves a title of “non-denominational.”For those trying to not have a set name for their church let me ask, who are the light bills billed to? What title do they have on their church? How are they listed in the phone book? With their “title” which is, their name. So those who are claiming their church is THE true church, consider they are another church, with another title (“name”), and their own views and opinions, just like any other church that is comprised of believers in Christ.
No attempt was made in the New Testament record to form a connectional system between churches. If one did exist, then apparently the Holy Spirit chose to not bring it to the forefront as an important issue to be copied or implemented.Yet the alleged last will and testament of Witness Lee mandated coming together multiple times of the year for “blending.” The need of these activities, which is not accept as necessary, has been grossly overstated. With such a culture of conformity among local churches, it is hard to imagine any church needing to blend away their differences, especially when they are already 99.9% the same! Even if no conferences occurred for the next twenty-five years, videos, books, and visits would continue to exert a strong conforming influence upon member congregations. It is ironic that Local Church members would spend so much time to “blend” with other (virtually identical) Local Churches. This, while ignoring nearby non-LC congregations of fellow-believers in their own cities, who also belong to Christ’s one Body. If blending were a divine mandate, then the local setting is exactly where it would really be needed!
(A Future and A Hope – Ex-Insider’s Analysis of Witness Lee & The Local Church Movement)
Testimonies and personal letters from abroad:
“…It is something that concerns our spiritual life and we should not take it lightly.”
“The following Wednesday, the brothers from Taiwan came. They introduced themselves. They told that they were from Living Stream Ministries (LSM) and they are involved in selling books published by LSM. We were not much concerned about their activities. Since they told they were also believers, we welcomed them. Soon we started noticing some peculiar behavior in all of them. We noticed that all of them telling ‘O LORD JESUS’ in a peculiar ascent. For every sentence spoken by one of them, all others told Amen. They all used the same version of Bible. They had a song book in which songs were unusually long. After they sang a song, they read it stanza by stanza and others told amen. After the meeting, one younger brother asked why they behaved like this. I told that brother that it might be their way of fellowshipping. I have seen Nigerian fellowships. They move their body while singing and express their joy openly. I too thought that it might be the culture of Taiwanese to say amen after every sentence spoken by others. I thought in Taiwan they might read song after they sing the song. Even though we found it strange, we never took it seriously. I told the younger brothers that we must not feel bad if someone worship Lord in a different way. Soon the Taiwan brothers brought another brother who was an Indian. What surprised all of us is that he too was behaving in the same manner. Then we thought his long acquaintance with the Taiwanese brothers made him behave like that. Meanwhile the brothers from Taiwan gave us some books. They were all either written by Watchman Nee [purported from LSM not CFP or CLC] or Witness Lee. I used to read these books during my free time. I found many things written in these books unacceptable. I used to ask the brothers from LSM about it. They told me, ’we’ will study about it latter or sometime they gave evasive replay. Soon we noticed that they all repeat the same thing as if a tape recorder plays a short message again and again. Each of them told the same thing with the same degree of emotion. The same sentences and the same unfamiliar words like organic communion, processed God etc were told. I felt they really don’t know what they are talking and they have by hearted some things and are pouring it out. They quoted lot of verses from bible to support what they say. We also noticed they omit some things which they should have told in relation to the things they are talking about. I remember once they told we who are saved are pre destined be saved and others who are not being saved are not predestined to salvation [predestination of calvinism is not the same as predestination of osas arminian]. They took many verses to support their statement.
One young brother then told God want every one to be saved…1Tim 2:3,4. He also pointed out that hell is not created for man but for devil and his angels…Matt 25:41 [If hell is not for man, then why is God sending many men to hell?]. I felt that they heard for the first time these verses and they are trained in such away they are oriented to think only in one direction. We continued fellowshipping together. Soon they came with some photocopies of some portions of Witness Lee’s writings and gave each one of us a copy. They asked each one to read a sentence. Then every one started telling amen. First, I didn’t take it seriously. I thought about many bible study sessions where we give photocopy of notes or main points. Soon it became a regular affair. Now our meetings started with 15 to 20-stanza hymn from a hymnbook that LSM brothers carried, that was dull and had confusing words. After singing, we started reading the stanzas one by one and they all together told amen. Then we read Witness Lees Book photocopy and said amen for every sentence.
Soon, I sensed some trouble. Others in the meeting also sensed trouble in the way we are moving. We asked the brothers from LSM why we should read only Witness Lees writings, why not other some other Christian authors books? We told them we need to listen the voice of Lord that lead us to a holy living rather than study something someone wrote long ago. We asked them to study Witness Lees writings privately and not in general meetings. We encouraged them to share from Bible what they learned during daily meditation. To my great surprise one brother from LSM told me that Witness Lees writing contain all that is spiritually required for a man. We were surprised because according to us Bible contain all that is required for a man spiritually. I felt undue importance is given to Witness Lee and Christ is pushed to background. This was done in a manner very difficult to detect.We decided to pray to God to reveal the true intentions of people from LSM. We were fully convinced that Bible is all-sufficient for us, and as His children, He will speak to us if we are sincere in seeking His face. We felt there is no need for depending on another book for learning bible. We felt it is better to trust in the Lord than man.”(The Local Church Cult in India)
The man above also writes, concerning about the “man is God and God is man” theory that I have also recently read in one of the Revival books written by Lee:
“One of the most important heretical teaching of LSM and affiliated local Churches is man (overcomers) will become God. They confuse their statements by telling overcomers will become God but not Godhead. They claim “We believers in Christ may become God in Life, in Nature, in Constitution, in appearance and in Expression but not God head and not object of worship” Affirmation and critique by Ron Kangas Vol Vll No 2 October 2002 [this is doublespeak, for no one can be God in any way, because only God is God]. Some other statements made by the above-mentioned agent of LSM as explanation to this teaching is given below.
“We affirm the innate ability of human beings as creatures of God to be born of God to become God in life and in nature but not in Godhead..Page7“Human children have the life and nature of their parents. Because we have been born of God we have life and nature of God and in this sense we are God.”…Page 20 [this is the same as saying because a child has their parent’s nature, that then the child is the parent, which of course is not the case; the parent is the parent and the child is the child] “By eating, digesting and assimilating God in Christ as our food, we shall be constituted with God and in this way become God………..Page 24“Unless we become God we cannot be the body of Christ and unless we become God we cannot be New Jerusalem.”…Page26The above teaching is nothing but the teachings of New Age Movement represented by some non-Christian religions.”
How great is the love the Father has lavished on us that we should be called CHILDREN OF GOD 1 John 3:1Yet to all those who received Him he gave the right to become the CHILDREN OF GOD John 1:12On the basis of above words we can conclude we believers are CHILDREN OF GOD and NOT GOD in any “sense” as Ron Kangas says. Witness Lee in his book God-men wrote, “However, according to the Scriptures, we, the believers in Christ, were all born of God to be His sons. As the sons of God, surely we are God-men. We are the same as the One of whom we were born. It would be impossible to be born of God and not be the sons of God. Since we are the sons of God, we are God-men.”
According to Witness lee we are same as the One (God) of whom we are born, “..The Bible, according to God’s economy, teaches all God’s chosen ones, who have believed in Christ and have been regenerated by the Spirit and who have become the God-men, to be divine persons (Gal. 2:20; Phil. 1:19-21a).” “We are not turtles, because we do not have the turtle nature. We are men, for we do have the human nature. But we have also been born of God; we are God’s sons, God’s children. Thus, we have God’s nature. Since we have God’s nature, are we not God? [to have God’s life and nature does not mean we are God for only God is God and Witness Lee’s conclusion is clearly wrong]. In fact, we are God in His life and His nature, but not in His Godhead.”
There are many such statements. I don’t want to fill the pages with such heretical statements. Let us look into reasons of such arguments. According to Witness Lee believers have God’s nature so they become God. Witness Lees many revelations were actually based on the teaching he got from his mother. His mother taught him those who eat fish smells like fish. Throughout his life, he argued based on this type of teaching.
He wrote “What we eat we become and we express”. Then he went on giving the fish example….(Witness Lee-Basic revelations in scripture). Another time he told Americans smell milk because they consume lot of milk. (living 6) This type of thinking ultimately led to the argument that those having the nature of God are God.
“By eating, digesting and assimilating God in Christ as our food we shall be constituted with God and in this way we become God”…. Page 20
We can see the same “eating fish will smell fish” style arguments Witness Lee literally had a dictatorial style of functioning in running LSM and Local churches. Initially every one respected him and listened. Latter when he started getting strange revelations, people either left or those who feared continued. His downfall started when He started thinking himself as some one who is specially called for the restoration of church. Witness Lee’s followers (they are trained to tell as coworker’s of Witness Lee. But reality is they were literally his slaves) claim that church recovery start with Witness lee. I happened to come in contact with those who worked with Witness Lee and faced very bad experiences. Only if you rub with them on wrong side you will come to know their so-called “Gods nature” [in actuality, demonic nature] in them. Problem with many who claim to be God in nature and life and so on is others are not able to see that in them. When they go to court and claim millions of dollars I wonder which nature is acting. Our Lord prayed for the forgiveness of those who crucified Him. It is true Paul appealed to Caesar so that he can take gospel to Rome. When he went to Rome, he never talked about the suffering and asked for damages in millions. Now tell me brothers and sisters whose nature is it that makes you to take the one who criticizes you to court. Many people went bankrupt and became pauper because of the “Divine nature “of LSM and company (If you want proof I can give you). (The Local Church Cult in India)
Here’s another website where a guy also writes of his experience and investigation of LSM:
When a group like LSM uses biblical language and biblical imagery, it can be difficult to discern the error because when you read what they write, you think they mean one thing, but they actually mean something else completely. Thus things become clear to me when I was able to see the negations made by LSM. This is the error Hank Hanegraaff and those who are defending Lee and LSM. Rather than looking at the contrast, they have devoted all of their effort to finding similarities. But what Lee and LSM believe becomes clear when they say what they do not believe. Thus this post will teach by way of contrast.
Much of the debate about Witness Lee’s teaching is focused on his view of the Trinity, so I won’t spend a lot of time discussing it. I encourage you to read Besiner’s article and Geisler’s article above.
“Look closely. Notice that it doesn’t say what the three are as “distinct”? What are the Father, the Son, and the Spirit? Cabbages? Angels? Compact discs? Extensive reading in Witness Lee’s writings discovers considerable hesitation to affirm what Christiainity has affirmed through the ages: that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, though they are one God, are distinct Persons.”
For example, Lee says: “The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are not three seperate persons or three Gods; they are one God, one reality, one person… God is triune; that is, He is three-one. In some theological writings, the preposition in is added between three and one to make three-in-one.
However, it is more accurate to say that God is three-one. Witness Lee, The Triune God to Be Life to the Tripartite Man (Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1970), p. 48
Lee clarified what he meant by triune. He meant three-one, not three-in-one. And, to make sure people didn’t misunderstand him, he said he was teaching something different than the “traditional” understanding of the Trinity:
“The traditional explanation of the Trinity is grossly inadequate and borders on tritheism. When the Spirit of God is joined with us, God is not left behind, nor does Christ remain on the throne. This is the impression Christianity gives. They think of the Father as one Person, sending the Son, another Person, to accomplish redemption, after which the Son sends the Spirit, yet another Person. The Spirit, in traditional thinking, comes into the believers, while the Father and Son are left on the throne. When believers pray, they are taught to bow before the Father and pray in the name of the Son. To split the Godhead into these separate Persons is not the revelation of the Bible, but the doctrine of the Nicene Creed”Witness Lee, Life Messages (Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1979), p. 164
These quotes are both found in the Open Letter. The people I met with gave me a binder full of Lee’s writings that corresponded to the quotes in the Open Letter. Their intent was to show me the whole context of the quotes. I’m not certain what they thought that would prove however, since none of the quotes were taken out of context. The context only worsened what Lee was communicating.
The False Gospel of Witness Lee and the Living Stream Ministries
There is a book written by a woman with her experiences in the LSM life that can be found here: The Thread of Gold (I have not read this book myself yet)
There are many more resources I have found concerning Witness Lee and the LSM that I don’t currently have time to list. That is not to say that I’m not fully telling the truth about the amount of research I have done about this or the experiences I have had or witnessed myself.
But I do not feel that all of my efforts should be focusing on my findings and sharing ALL of them with the whole world. I need to set my focus on what God wants me to be doing in my own life and not spend all of my time trying to help others understand the discernment I have received about single concepts and views of one man claiming we can all become God, though not the “Godhead.”
A lot of my concern also came about after reading some things other people have written in their experiences with churches that follow Witness Lee and are under LSM. One thought that first came to mind was, “Surely the church I’m going to isn’t that way. It sure doesn’t seem that way.”
What I had to remember is that though the one I was attending didn’t seem to be verbally encouraging others to act a certain way, it wasn’t encouraging others to seek to express themselves in any other way than how they were doing it. They might say that you can do that or should, but once you start seeing everyone doing the same thing it’s probably difficult to step out and do your own thing.
Another concern is the “That doesn’t happen here. I haven’t personally seen it.” attitude. It’s incredibly easy to write something off as being not true, or not true to what you’re involved in, because you don’t want to see or believe it. Or because you haven’t been paying attention to the things around you.
Open your eyes and be aware. See if you notice anything on your own and pray about it. Let God speak to you on it. Ask elders or other believers in the church questions and see how they react.
I myself have tried to ask some questions regarding a completely different manner and was kind of blown off. They tried to disregard my questions, never fully answering them, and quickly change the subject.
I’ve also written an email asking one of the leaders in the church some slight questions on if the church reaches out to any groups or ministries locally, or reads any other books that aren’t published by LSM. (I did this in a respectable, ‘I’m just curious’ kind of way. Not an interrogative, negative way.) I have gotten no response and I honestly don’t think I ever will.
I will continue to pray that God will open the eyes of those many believers out there about all of this. Please keep in mind that my intention was not to hurt anyone’s feelings or to call anyone out on what they might be involved in, but to help them see what the ones they’re following are involved in and be aware.
Continue to ask questions and seek the truth yourself and always include God in on your search.