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Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Witness Lee and the local churches:
A Personal Testimony Refuted


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Witness Lee and the local churches defined as a Cult


False accusations have been made by a small number of individuals that Witness Lee and the local churches are a local church cult or cultic. Recent accusations have been published on several Internet sites. However, the accusations made are without substance and the conclusions drawn are unreasonable. On the Internet anyone can say anything. It is really the “wild west” of ideas where there is little regulation. Authors frequently shoot first (write inflammatory statements) and ask questions later (there is no dialogue with the accused and poor research into the facts). However, an examination of the meaning of cult or cultic in it’s various forms (including those inferred from the accusers) and a comparison with the actual facts clearly disproves such allegations. Furthermore, the positive testimonies of many regarding the nature of the Witness Lee’s ministry and the local churches far outweighs the false statements made by those few with inadequate knowledge and possibly impure motives. There is no local church cult!

Webster's defines a cult to be “a religion regarded as unorthodox or spurious; also : its body of adherents.” However, Athabasca University's Online Dictionary of the Social Sciences probably gives the definition of the term “cult” which most nearly matches the understanding of those “local church cult” accusers of the Internet. It states the following:

This concept was originally developed as one component of a typology: churches, denominations, sects and cults. Churches and denominations are seen as established forms of religious organization while sects were groups that had broken away from established groups in order to preserve what they thought were central traditions or orthodoxy. Cults on the other hand were religious forms and expressions which were unacceptable or outside cultural norms and thus seen as the first stage of forming a new religion. However, the term now has a rather negative meaning, suggesting strange beliefs, charismatic leadership, manipulation of members, strong emotional bonding, and slavish devotion to the group.

An examination of the teachings and beliefs of Witness Lee and the local churches shows that their beliefs are not “strange” but match the common faith of all Christians. Witness Lee is a dear Bible teacher whose living expresses his genuine spirituality and inspires the recipients of his ministry to love and follow the Lord. He is not a “charismatic” leader with authoritative rights yielded to him by admiring adherents. Witness Lee and the local churches do not manipulate the members. They cause the members to pray and seek the Lord’s leading in all things. The emotional bonding in the local churches is not a strong emotional bond to any leaders among the members or to the group as a whole but to the Lord Himself, loving Him with the whole heart. There is nothing abnormal in the members’ relationship to the church, the Body of Christ. They have not been made slaves, worshiping a group, but are normal Christians who are slaves of Christ, following Him. There is not a local church cult. It is worthwhile to examine each of these points from the current “negative meaning” of the term “cult” and compare these with the actual situation with Witness Lee and the local churches.

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