Wednesday, June 03, 2020

Witness Lee and the local churches:
A Personal Testimony Refuted

7. Praised by Accusers

Witness Lee and the local churches praised by cult-accusing testimony

One prominent negative writer on the Internet points out a number of positive items in the account of his experience with Witness Lee and the local churches. His “testimony” calls them the local church cult but his experience is something else.

Concerning his initial encounter, during a retreat with fellow college students, he writes, “the Bible played the central role” and that the participants were eager, “people ran over each other in their rush to participate.” He noted that there were many young people who were serious and excited about their faith. There were singing and praising, spiritual messages, and voluntary testimonies by fellow students. There were shouts of “Amen!”  He declares:

There was almost no structure, no liturgy, no candles, no silent prayer, no passivity-- instead, an open, lively, even raucous atmosphere that still somehow fit together neatly into a unified, dignified package of praise…I've never before found such joy in worshipping.

What he later called a local church cult caused him to find joy in worshipping. The environment in these meetings opened his heart.

I saw God, speaking in the mouths of the speakers, lifting the hearts of the worshippers, a God of joy and peace who offers us the opportunity to live with Him. And all the scattered facts, histories, concepts and doctrines that I had learned as ritual head knowledge came alive, became real. God was real. And the Christ who was sent to suffer and die so that I might live, He was real-- He IS real. And for the first time, I recognized God's care, the works of His hand in the world around, in my life and the lives of my friends. My musings and questions about my life turned from, “why in the world did that of all things have to happen to me?” into, “where do I need to go from here, and what is God teaching me now?”

His subsequent response to this experience found him continuing to pursue this positive experience meeting with other students each Friday night and one-on-one during the week with a fellow believer to pray and read the Bible together. This is typical behavior among many of the young ones pursuing the Lord with Witness Lee and the local churches. On the one hand he is accusing that there is a local church cult. On the other, his own experience contradicts his accusation.

So the writer had a very positive beginning with the Lord through the atmosphere he found in the local churches. His prior experience had apparently been in the realm of objective knowledge, now he began to know God inwardly in a real and subjective way. What is produced from the ministry of Witness Lee and the local churches was genuine believers having real and intimate contact with the Lord. This ministry produces lovers of the Lord who hunger after Him and pursue Him. If this is a cult, surely the early church should be called a cult. There is no local church cult.

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