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Old 03-01-2009, 12:34 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 661
Default Re: Emphasis on Numbers and Success

When the elders in Southern California came together and opened to one another about the real situation in their churches, Brother Lee showed little interest that serious problems were taking a toll on the members and on the elders. He did show much concern though for the progress of LSM and fully expected elders to submit to his objectives, without showing regard for their feeling.

John Ingalls –

On the evening of Monday, December 14, 1987, Brother Lee called a meeting of the elders of Southern California. There was a fair number there representing most of the churches in the area. After prayer, Brother Lee opened the fellowship by giving a long word concerning the new way and its great success in Taiwan. Then he asked for fellowship from the brothers, desiring especially to know how successful the new way had been in their locality.

Dick Taylor, an elder in Long Beach, started with a lively, full-of enjoyment kind of testimony, such as Dick is well-known for, thanking the Lord for the door-knocking and the Gospel preaching in Long Beach, but ending with an honest word about the depression and the discouragement among some of the saints. This was unusual for Dick but he was telling it like it was. Other brothers followed who also spoke very honestly about dissensions concerning the new way and discouragement among the saints in their localities, for which they were very concerned. In some places divisions had arisen over the new way. John Smith, an elder in San Diego, ended the time of sharing with an honest account of his concerns for the saints in his church, mentioning how he feared that with the overemphasis on methods, numbers, and increase the saints would become activity-centered instead of Christ-centered.

What was extraordinary was the elders speaking up in such an honest and forthright way, knowing that such reports were not what Brother Lee liked or wanted to hear. We were not accustomed to doing this due partly to a sense of intimidation. To my knowledge this was the first time that had been done. This was encouraging. But Brother Lee was visibly bothered, and later reacted strongly to the brothers’ speaking, saying of one brother’s sharing (John Smith’s) that it was like pouring iced water on him.

We were not the only ones who went to Brother Lee with our concerns during these days. We heard that Dan Towle, individually, and Frank Scavo together with Dick Taylor also went to see Brother Lee to express to him their concerns about the present situation. (p. 103)

Witness Lee commented on the same meeting:

"Before I went to Irving in December 1987, I had an elders’ meeting with the leading ones in Southern California. During that meeting, John Smith stood up to say that numbers do not represent anything, and he went on to mention things such as statistics, budgets, work, and activity. By that time Rosemead had already rebelled, and this kind of speaking was a repetition of what was spoken there as accusations. By listening to all the sharing in that elders’ meeting in Orange County, I realized that the whole situation had been poisoned by John Ingalls.” (p. 59, FPR).

This was Brother Lee’s reaction to brothers who shared from their heart about serious problems in their localities. He gave the impression that his own objectives were more important than listening to the Body and to the concerns of responsible elders for their localities. These speakings by Dick Taylor, John Smith, and others were from their own experience and had not been influenced by John Ingalls.
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