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Spiritual Abuse Titles Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment.

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Old 08-08-2008, 11:33 AM   #1
Nell
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Default Toxic Faith, Arterburn & Felton

11 Characteristics of a toxic faith system:

1. Religious addiction is developed in a toxic faith system. The following characteristics differentiate it from systems, churches, and ministries committed to growing people in faith and developing their relationship with God

2. "Special" claims
a. The leaders of toxic faith systems claim a special pipeline to God which places them at a level above all the others in the church which creates an atmosphere of unapproachability. The leader can use this superiority to manipulate the followers who either believe and obey or suffer the consequences

b. In the toxic system, the minister will set him/herself up as having a special destiny or mission that can be performed by no one else. This special anointing or calling many times is nothing more than the pathological need to be valued or esteemed. He/she can also posture special powers from God like the ability to supernaturally heal

c. The victimized followers, seeking a closer relationship with God but focusing more on the addicted leader than on God, lose contact with God and often fall away from faith permanently. Misguided loyalty allows the delusions of the leader to grow and destroys the faith of the loyal
The only hope for everyone involved is for the leader who claims to be God's special officer to be forced into accountability or dethroned to protect other potential victims.


3. Authoritarianism
a. Churches and ministries are started and grown through the vision of a strong leader. The authoritarian leader comes to power because a driven personality accompanies talent and charisma. A toxic system arises when that leader moves into a free rein style with no real accountability. Often, this ministry is the first experience of authority for the leader

b. Those who work in this setting find themselves either agreeing with the direction of the ministry or leaving. There is no room for compromise since the dictatorial leader believes that everyone should submit to his rule without question. Those who fear for their jobs or feel they may not be able to find similar jobs will comply with the leader rather than challenge certain decisions or actions that appear to be wrong. The leader and the people, therefore, mutually deny their accountability structures and wave the option of having safeguards in the system

4. An "Us Versus Them" Mentality ...

There are several links to resources based on this book including a "Self-Test".

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Old 08-08-2008, 11:52 AM   #2
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Default Discussion: Toxic Faith

There are 10 "Rules" of a Toxic Faith system, according to the authors' opinion.

#1. Control - The Leader must be in control at all times.
#2. Blame - When problems arise, find a guilty party to blame immediatly.
#3. Perfectionism - Don't make mistkes.
#4. Delusion - Never point out the reality of a situation.
#5. Perpetual Cheerfulness - Never express your feelings unless they are positive.
#6. Blind loyalty - Don't ask questions, especially if they are tough ones.
#7. Conformity - Don't do anything outside your role.
#8. Mistrust - Don't trust anyone.
#9. Avarice - Nothing is more important than giving money to the organization.
#10. Spotless Image - At all costs, keep up the image of the organization or the family.

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Old 08-08-2008, 06:09 PM   #3
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Nell,

I'm watching the opening of the Olympics as I type and I can't help but marvel at both the incredible corporate expression of the Chinese people with its exquisite beauty and the dark secrets hidden beneath the surface of China's past ... and present.

What a paradox.

I write this here because, as I read your list of toxins, I couldn't help but think some of them are simply a part of the nature of people, not the fallen nature but just the nature. We Americans would use a term like "Blind loyalty" but I'm sure these thousands of Chinese youth dancing in such incredible coordination would never think for a moment there was anything bad about their loyalty -- or conformity -- to the culture.

So my point is that while I agree with you that many of these traits are indeed toxic (I'm taking some perverse satisfaction in watching Joel Osteen's wife squirm under the spotlight which relates to your last point), some of them are simply differences between cultures.

Would you agree with that?


SC
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Old 08-08-2008, 10:22 PM   #4
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Speaker,

Differences between cultures is not an issue here. If the shoe (ten points) fits, then a group should wear it, no matter how much need we feel to perserve some aspect of that group.

Roger
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Old 08-09-2008, 07:57 AM   #5
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Default More than a Label

The problem with some of these points is, just as SC has pointed out, they exist at some level all over society without there being any cult, aberration, or abuse. The problem is in degrees.

There is a greater discussion than the condition of the LC going on in Christianity concerning the so-called “Emerging Church” movement and more significantly the “Emergent” subset of that. I read a book recently that, in James Fennimore Cooper style, listed a page and a half of potential characteristics (all in one sentence) that are indicative of Emerging churches. Every church in America, no, in the world fits into some of these, even the LC. But most are not Emerging Churches.

The same applies to many of the statements Nell has provided. The problem is that finding some evidence of an item or two on the list does not create proof of abuse, or a cult. It requires evidence of a level of such trait(s) in which abuse is actually in play.

Tiger Woods has a following that probably qualifies as a personality cult at some level. But they are not going to burn the clubhouse at PebbleBeach when Woods doesn’t win, or riot in the streets when he does. It takes more than a label for it to have the meaning we seek to establish.

That is our job. It is not to apply the label at any level, but to establish that it is, or is not at a sufficient enough level to warrant concern, or some negative label.
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Old 08-09-2008, 08:28 AM   #6
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Nell,

...So my point is that while I agree with you that many of these traits are indeed toxic .... some of them are simply differences between cultures.

Would you agree with that?


SC
SC,

Sorry, I mostly don't agree with you in the context of the book "Toxic Faith". I understand what you're saying, but this book is not about toxic culture. It's about toxic faith.

Cultures are what they are; faith is another matter. There are people of faith in every culture. God's word is definitive for "faith" or "the faith" regardless of culture. Faith is based on another life indwelling the hearts of men and living by that life regardless of the cultural background of the believer.

Fallen men come along and take advantage of the believer's faith in Jesus Christ. These fallen men may be men of faith, but there is a pattern to their behavior that has become toxic to those who trust in the leadership of men rather than God...often innocently.

Technically speaking, in the context of Christian faith, the words "toxic" and "faith", are mutually exclusive in the same way that "spiritual" and "abuse" are mutually exclussive.

Nell

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Speaker,

Differences between cultures is not an issue here. If the shoe (ten points) fits, then a group should wear it, no matter how much need we feel to perserve some aspect of that group.

Roger
Roger,

Whatever is of God will remain. Everything else, including group think, can go away. That's pretty much the attitude that I took when I left the LC. I wiped the slate clean. If any particular "thing" made it back into my life as a belief, it had to be a clear teaching of the Bible and I had to be convinced in my own mind by the Lord's leading.

It's like the shows on HGTV. Before they remodel a room, they strip it bare. Walls, floors, ceilings, furniture, clutter...everything goes. Poor example, but it works for me. Everything that makes it back into my room actually belongs there...by God's design.

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Old 08-09-2008, 08:45 AM   #7
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The problem with some of these points is, just as SC has pointed out, they exist at some level all over society without there being any cult, aberration, or abuse. The problem is in degrees.

...The same applies to many of the statements Nell has provided. The problem is that finding some evidence of an item or two on the list does not create proof of abuse, or a cult. It requires evidence of a level of such trait(s) in which abuse is actually in play.

...That is our job. It is not to apply the label at any level, but to establish that it is, or is not at a sufficient enough level to warrant concern, or some negative label.
Mike,

I can concede the existance of these 10 items in culture. There is no argument here. I can also concede the existance of these 10 items as a whole and/or in part in multiple levels of society and culture.

However, that these 10 items exist in the church is the more compelling topic, and is in fact the point of the book. It was never my intention to put these 10 items out for discussion apart from the context of book. It is certainly your liberty to do so, but that would need a new thread.

If you haven't read the book, we have two choices:

1) Read the book then discuss the 10 items in context.
2) Discuss the 10 items as another topic, apart from the book "Toxic Faith" by Arterbern and Felton.

"Toxic Faith" was very helpful to me to understand what happened to me and how I was derailed in my walk with the Lord. I highly recommend the book to those who are reading this forum who were just like me: hurt, confused, and full of guilt and self-blame for the mess I had made of my life.

Nell

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Old 08-09-2008, 09:44 AM   #8
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Default Ten Rules of a Toxic Faith System

(Toxic Faith, p. 243)
Ten Rules of a Toxic Faith System
Whether it is a family or ministry, any system must have certain rules to maintain it and keep its members in line. The rules form the distinct character or culture of the organization or family. Toxic faith is no different. Its rules are not written down, but they exist. Sometimes they exist only in the minds of the religious addicts who thrive on the system. Everyone within the system understands the rules and abides by them. As the system grows, new challenges arise, and the rules are periodically changed at the whim of the religiously addicted parents or leaders. Those who do best quickly figure out the rules that have been eliminated and the new ones put in their place. The following are some common rules of toxic faith systems.
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Old 08-09-2008, 09:49 AM   #9
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Default Toxic Rule #1 Conrol


CONTROL
TOXIC RULE #1: The leader must be in control at all times.
When a person becomes addicted to something, he or she is completely controlled by it. Deluded by the addiction, the addict is unaware of this loss of control and believes that he or she is in control. Control is a primary issue for people who suffer from an addiction. Toxic faith or religious addiction is no exception.

When the toxic faith leader struggles with control on a personal (p. 244) level, he or she attempts to be in the center of control within the system in an effort to affect all the outcomes. The leader desires to have the family say in every decision, whether minimal or monumental. When a religious addict is a parent, the children grow up with little ability to think independently because adherence to the system is so strong. Anyone not adhering to the leader's tough standards is immediately dismissed so that total control, or at least the illusion of total control, can be maintained by the leader who is addicted to the organization and the control it provides.
Control is really an illusion. No parent has complete control in any family. No leader can predict all the circumstances and stress that the ministry will confront. The more the person seeks to control the details, the less likely that person will be able to maintain a clear vision of the larger issues of balance and focus in the ministry or family. The more control is sought, the less there is to be had in any circumstance....

If faith is toxic, it exists outside God. It creates a god much different from God the Creator. The control rule exemplifies how God has been re-created in the minds of the toxic faith leader and the religious addicts who follow that leader. There is little or no trust in the almighty God. Faith in self and the ability to keep things under control replaces a true trust that God is control. Persecutors are very controlling people, and their conspirators are just as controlling. In the entire system people fight for control while attributing complete control to the leader.(p. 245)

... With a rule that the leader must be in control of all things at all times, the persecutor tries to change everything and control everything. The bigger the ego, the bigger the belief in the ability to change everything. Until the leader relinquishes control, the ministry continues to teach through example the philosophy, "I must take things into my own hands." That is exactly what religiously addicted followers do.
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Old 08-09-2008, 10:08 AM   #10
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Default Elders' Training #7

Elders' Training #7, p. 55

...A wife could say to her husband, "I love you and I take you as my husband, but whatever you say I have to bring to the Lord to see if it is really His leading for me. I need to pray to find out whether I should take your word wholly or in part and whether it fits in with my situation." If a wife had this attitude, how would her husband feel? Her attitude is a kind of subtle dissension, and her husband would not be able to tolerate it forever. I have been tolerating such an attitude from some, though, for the past fifteen years, but my toleration has ended.

p. 79 . . . This helped me to realize that although we are holding the proper ground, possessing many divine truths, and enjoying all the divine riches, we have lost the morale. We have become a weak person with germs. . . I not only have to be faithful to the Lord and faithful to the churches, but I also have to be faithful to myself. I sacrificed my whole life for the Lord's recovery. I have passed through different kinds of sufferings in my ministry for the sake of the Lord's recovery. This is why I must speak the truth regardless of whom I would offend. I must do something to kill all these germs.

(p. 80)... The Lord started something new in Taipei, and I originally had no intention to start something among the churches in the United States. Instead, I intended for the churches in the United States to wait for a time so that they could see something as a model in Taiwan. I do not want to have a start when so many old poisons remain. Because I realized that the poisons still remain in the United States, I felt burdened to call this urgent training.

. . .The army is here, but the morale has been lost. We must get the morale back before we talk about the army. . . .

. . . The citizens of the United States may say many things to criticize the government and the commander in chief of the Armed Forces. But when you get into the army and become a soldier, you lose your right to say anything. It is possible to argue, debate, and even fight in the Senate, but even when the senators get in the army and become soldiers, they have to be quiet. There is no uncertain (p. 81) sounding in the army. The ministry is not like the Senate. The ministry is not a Congress for anyone to come here to express his opinion. The ministry has no capacity for that. The ministry is altogether filled up with a fighting spirit. I do not control any church. All the saints who have left the denominations, the divisive sects, and stand on the proper ground are a local church in their locality. They can express their opinions, but they may have nothing to do with this ministry.

After I read in "Toxic Faith" the section on "control", I read the book Elders' Training #7, quoted above in part. I finally got it. I can't quote any more of ET#7 because of the "fair use" clause about quoting the material of others. Some of you may have this book. It's a real eye opener about the events of 1984 and the thought process of the man who believed himself to be in condrol as the "commander-in-chief."

I read ET#7 side by side with Toxic Faith. What a help that was!

The "I do not control any church" quote reminds me of the Nixon quote "I am not a crook!"

Nell

Note: If your page numbers do not match mine, there was a later reprint with repagination. The reprint is not acknowledged by the publisher in the cover pages.

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Old 08-09-2008, 10:12 AM   #11
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......(I'm taking some perverse satisfaction in watching Joel Osteen's wife squirm under the spotlight which relates to your last point), some of them are simply differences between cultures.

SC
This is a bit OT SC...but NOT defending Victoria Osteen....I have a gut feeling she was set up. Those people saw $$$ signs when they saw her & husband boarding on the plane. Either the accusers are lying and are in cahoots with the witnesses...OR they set her up to SNAP. She & Joel in particular KNOW very, very well they MUST be on their best behavior at ALL times. They are international celebrities..and hopefully true character witnesses of the Lord. Again...I'm not defending them. I'm not a FAN of the Osteens either. I have watched Lakewood from time to time.

I was very, very disappointed with Joel's wimpy interview on Larry King a few years ago. In fact, disappointed is an understatement. I was LIVID!

Nonetheless, I'm too familiar with the tactics of the enemy. He's a thief..out to steal, kill and destroy...and he doesn't care how he does it.

The Chinese culture on the other hand, without dragging Nee/Lee into this, is a very oppressed culture, forced to smile in the public eye..like they are doing at the Olympics right now.

Back in the late 80's, Barbara Bush wrote her biography. I remember her writing about the Chinese children who were forced to sing for her & George Sr...She wrote they had beautiful voices but there was no life in their eyes.
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Old 08-09-2008, 11:08 AM   #12
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I can concede the existance of these 10 items in culture. There is no argument here. I can also concede the existance of these 10 items as a whole and/or in part in multiple levels of society and culture.

However, that these 10 items exist in the church is the more compelling topic, and is in fact the point of the book. It was never my intention to put these 10 items out for discussion apart from the context of book. It is certainly your liberty to do so, but that would need a new thread.
The difference between these items in society and in the society of believers is number one that compulsion should exist at all in the church (other than avoidance of sin and heresy we shouldn't be telling one another what to do), and number two the degree of control we are dealing with.

The Cleveland Browns may offer to sell you a jersey with the football logo on it. They would love that. Free advertising. Same with Coca-Cola and Ford Motor Company. Yes, everyone is trying to get a piece of your time, interest, attention, and especially money. But Ford doesn't say that you have to give them 10% of your income or you will be disciplined in a dark room for 1,000 years. Ford doesn't say that every word out of your mouth must be "Ford, Ford, Ford" or you will be cut off from society.

The degree of compulsion in a toxic faith group is on another order entirely than what is even in the regimented areas like schools and the military. What to wear, what to eat, what to think, what to speak, what to pray, who to talk to and what to say to them, all these things are no longer part of the dialog between believer and God. No, they now are given in detailed instructions from the "oracle" who has the "inside track" to God's will. And woe to the "rebel" who doesn't toe the line! No, this is another level of control entirely apart from culture, family, work, and society.

Infants need structure, and rules. For them, constraints are the norm, along with inducements to grow. But at some point, as an adult one needs to be able to think, move, act, and decide. The system which keeps people forever as infants, unable to think for themselves, is a toxic system. Maturity and responsibility are obviated. "The oracle told me to do it."
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:19 PM   #13
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This is a bit OT SC...but NOT defending Victoria Osteen....I have a gut feeling she was set up. Those people saw $$$ signs when they saw her & husband boarding on the plane. Either the accusers are lying and are in cahoots with the witnesses...OR they set her up to SNAP. She & Joel in particular KNOW very, very well they MUST be on their best behavior at ALL times. They are international celebrities..and hopefully true character witnesses of the Lord. Again...I'm not defending them. I'm not a FAN of the Osteens either. I have watched Lakewood from time to time.

I was very, very disappointed with Joel's wimpy interview on Larry King a few years ago. In fact, disappointed is an understatement. I was LIVID!

Nonetheless, I'm too familiar with the tactics of the enemy. He's a thief..out to steal, kill and destroy...and he doesn't care how he does it.

The Chinese culture on the other hand, without dragging Nee/Lee into this, is a very oppressed culture, forced to smile in the public eye..like they are doing at the Olympics right now.

Back in the late 80's, Barbara Bush wrote her biography. I remember her writing about the Chinese children who were forced to sing for her & George Sr...She wrote they had beautiful voices but there was no life in their eyes.

CMW,

Well, you may be right about the setup. It's only fair that I allow her to defend herself. It does certainly seem to me the flight attendant here is doing some gold-digging.

But wasn't it a deliciously satirical touch to demand 10% of Victoria's net worth ... in keeping with the 10% the Osteens think Christians should offer?

I'm torn in situations like this. I must tell you, I have a visceral reaction to Joel Osteen and his prosperity gospel. He just rubs me wrong in every way. I didn't see the King interview, but I did see the 60 Minutes interview and he certainly was not impressive in it.

But he is a brother and I shouldn't wish evil upon him. So I repent if that's how I came across. Let the courts decide the veracity of the claim in this situation.


SC
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Old 08-09-2008, 12:27 PM   #14
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Nell,

Since I haven't read the book (and most likely won't), I should probably just excuse myself from this discussion. But I would like to take up one point you brought up. You said,

God's word is definitive for "faith" or "the faith" regardless of culture. Faith is based on another life indwelling the hearts of men and living by that life regardless of the cultural background of the believer.

I am reading Tim Keller's book, "The Reason for God." He makes the strong point that Christianity is unique among religions of the world in that it has no single culture. It adapts to whatever culture it comes to. Nigel Tomes in his latest writing/speaking has been addressing this matter of God being 'translatable' to whatever culture it comes.

Doesn't faith, as you speak of it here, have this same trait, that it can fit itself into whatever culture it comes? For instance, in superstitious cultures, faith often uses that trait to reveal some of God's supernatural action. In intellectual cultures (or sub-cultures), faith can emerge as a result of thought and study. Witness C.S. Lewis, Lee Stroebel, and others.

I'll follow this thread. Perhaps I will find it worthwhile to read the book.


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Old 08-09-2008, 01:26 PM   #15
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CMW,

Well, you may be right about the setup. It's only fair that I allow her to defend herself. It does certainly seem to me the flight attendant here is doing some gold-digging.

But wasn't it a deliciously satirical touch to demand 10% of Victoria's net worth ... in keeping with the 10% the Osteens think Christians should offer?

I'm torn in situations like this. I must tell you, I have a visceral reaction to Joel Osteen and his prosperity gospel. He just rubs me wrong in every way. I didn't see the King interview, but I did see the 60 Minutes interview and he certainly was not impressive in it.

But he is a brother and I shouldn't wish evil upon him. So I repent if that's how I came across. Let the courts decide the veracity of the claim in this situation.

SC
SC, your post/response was most heartfelt.
I do think there is gold digging involved here...and I'm sure many, many people feel the same way. Somehow, I seriously doubt Victoria was going to throw a public temper tantrum..especially on a commercial flight knowing quite well the publicity she/husband would receive from such an outburst. She may have pointed out to the attendant there was a stain on the seat (& I kinda think the stain was purposely placed there to get Victoria's reaction.) Perhaps she brought it up to the attendant's attention and the attendant ignored her. It's possible Victoria raised her voice to get her attention while frustrated.

That's what * I * think. I am not keeping up with the hoopla if there is any. There probably is some hoopla but I don't know how much.

Yeah...asking 10 percent is ironic.

Many people do not like Joel's prosperity/happy gospel. I have heard from people who have visited Lakewood, there is a lot more going on behind the camera that the audience does not see. Supposedly there is 'meat' there. I don't know.

I will say I was helped very, very much in 2003 when I was giving my life back to the LORD. You don't know what I went through emotionally & physically. Even though I knew and experienced the Power of the Blood of Jesus on me, forgiving me and setting me free from the stronghold over me, I cried buckets of tears feeling ashamed, hurt & even lost.

His messages were healing to my broken & contrite heart. He helped me believe God truly loved me and cared for me. It is something I needed to hear at the time.

I will never forget the help I received from his messages and from Joyce Meyer's messages at that time.

I sent their ministries a Thanksgiving offering for the help I received..honoring the LORD with great appreciation.

Today...by the Grace and Mercy and LOVE of God, I'm a healthy, strong believer and follower, steward and ambassador...daughter of the KING.

I occassionally watch Joel and Joyce..mainly when I need a 'picker-upper'.

It is good not to wish evil on our brethren... Our responsibility as instructed by the Word of God is to pray for ther church, our brethren & to love our enemies, to pray for those who have wronged us, have pained us, who have hurt us and to bless them. (It doesn't mean we have to be best friends with them either! )

God is the JUDGE..and Vengeance is His. There is power in praying for our enemies, those who have hurt us, those who do not like us. It doesn't mean we pray for them to apologize to us or for them to like us.

We pray for them because we don't want Satan to sift them. We want God to have Mercy on them as He had/has on us. We want the NAME of JESUS Glorified and the serpent's head crushed once and for all.
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:05 AM   #16
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CMW,

But wasn't it a deliciously satirical touch to demand 10% of Victoria's net worth ... in keeping with the 10% the Osteens think Christians should offer?
SC, can you provide a little background info to bring me up to speed about this.
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:25 AM   #17
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SC, can you provide a little background info to bring me up to speed about this.

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,398542,00.html

Hope this helps.

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Old 08-10-2008, 06:28 AM   #18
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After I read in "Toxic Faith" the section on "control", I read the book Elders' Training #7, quoted above in part. I finally got it. I can't quote any more of ET#7 because of the "fair use" clause about quoting the material of others. Some of you may have this book. It's a real eye opener about the events of 1984 and the thought process of the man who believed himself to be in condrol as the "commander-in-chief."
Good Morning, Nell

I had a few minutes before leaving for the gathering of the saints and saw your post quoting the Elders Training of 1984. Those were the beginning of the funeral march for me.

I had so many personal talks with WL which were just the opposite of what he laid down so clearly in 1984. I traveled to many cities and countries from 1977-1983 and gave many conferences. Quite often I asked counsel from WL regarding what he felt about the particular situation and for spiritual advice regarding my going. Always he encouraged me to seek the Lord directly and fellowship with the local brothers. He repeatedly told me that he did not know what the need was in any of the places I was going but that the Lord would make me clear through prayer and fellowship with the local saints.

Over the years I saw the growing politicalization of the local churches and the centralization to follow Anaheim as it related to the local situations. I was turned in a few times by dear saints in Dallas and Texas for not towing the ministry line closely enough. But the ugly development became solidifies at these meetings. By then it was over. It did not happen overnight. After 1984, my wife told me that I became morose and depressed. Several posters have commented that I was humorous. Not after 1984. Had I not gotten away from Texas and the number one proponents of what you quoted, well I cannot bear to speculate.

Ultimately the books put out where WL addresses his co-workers must be examined. When they are, it’s over. I have noticed that the LC apologist do not quote these books.

Must go.

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Old 08-10-2008, 06:53 AM   #19
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On Victoria Osteen, I noticed that the plantiff was suing her, among other things, for the plantiff having her faith negatively affected by Osteen. I thought that was an very interesting (and hopeless) claim. Can you sue someone for negatively affecting your faith? Duh! I sure hope not.

Then again, it would be very lucrative to be able sue everyone who has negatively affected one's faith.

Let's see. I'll sue Jim Bakker. Nah, he doesn't have any money anymore. How about Jimmy Swaggert? Yeah, he probably still gets a lot of contributions. Then there's that preacher that got exposed for having a gay relationship. I'll sue him, too. And how about every writer who has ever foolishly mentioned that his or her faith has wavered from time to time? I'm going to have to get my lawyer on speed dial. The list is endless!

This world we live in. Sometimes you just have to laugh.

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Old 08-10-2008, 07:21 AM   #20
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By the way, Osteen does not really preach a "prosperity gospel." He preaches more of a "success" gospel, and is on record as saying to him success means God's will being worked out in your life, not necessarily gaining riches. He's not a word-faith person.

He just very much emphasizes God positiveness towards us. That God wants "good" things for us and does not condemn us.

You might argue with his style and emphasis, and with his lack of emphasis on the reality of Christian suffering. But he's really not a prosperity preacher, anymore than Witness Lee was an anti-prosperity teacher.

Frankly, I sometimes believe some Christians, by wallowing in the suffering aspect of being a Christian, actually invite attacks from the enemy, and take perverse satisfaction in them.

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Old 08-10-2008, 07:45 AM   #21
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Igzy. I agree with you. Osteen preaches a more 'positive & happy' gospel...not a prosperity gospel. Prosperity gospel preachers are the likes of Jesse Duplantis & Creflo Dollar, Paula White, Mike Murdock. Others mix prosperity with success & sprinkle it with trials/tribulations to get there.

And a few others still mix prosperity, success and the PURE WORD of God...complete with aspects of Faith, the Blood, Sanctification, the Cross (dying to self) Resurrection & end times. There are not many of them around...unfortunately.

I'm a WORD-FAITH person for sure...but it's not about "me-me-me and more of MEEEE'. I might pray I prosper financially but it's not so I can have a nice new Mercedes Benz!

I want the church to truly experience our minds being renewed..to believe we HAVE the MIND of Christ..to realize we ARE Co-heirs with CHRIST the KING..thus we are ROYALTY for He is the KING. And we are co-reigning with HIM. We are kings and priests to the Most High GOD. ALL the promises of Abraham are OURS! The world should be looking UP to US! They should be working for US! We should be commanding respect from the world because of the GLORY of GOD ON US! And yes...we will be experiencing these truths in the Thousand year reign..which is coming up on us very soon!
(no more than 10 yrs from now..my guess. )

That's how I apply the WORD-FAITH I learned from the WOF movement.

I want to bless the KINGDOM of GOD through my actions and with $$. I want my book collection to grow as well as my teaching/ CD-DVD collection to grow. I want more bibles in my house. I want to be debt free so I don't have to take time out to write bills!

And yeah... I DON'T want to suffer anymore. I've paid my dues. I've paid the price! I PRAY I have finally learned my lessons well. Of course, we never stop learning.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:15 AM   #22
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By the way, Osteen does not really preach a "prosperity gospel." He preaches more of a "success" gospel, and is on record as saying to him success means God's will being worked out in your life, not necessarily gaining riches. He's not a word-faith person.
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I'm a WORD-FAITH person for sure...
Sorry about asking stupid questions ... but what is a word-faith person? Am I one of them?
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:10 AM   #23
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Check this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Word_of_Faith
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:15 AM   #24
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Sorry about asking stupid questions ... but what is a word-faith person? Am I one of them?
Well, just go to "word faith" on Wikipedia for their definition, as KSA points out. I always thought word-faith was "name it and claim it in the power of Jeeeeeesus' name!" Basically, naming what you want from God and claiming it by faith.

Osteen, as the article says, is influenced by it. But word-faith people generally tend to be charismatic and focused on miracles and other tangible evidences of God's working in people's lives.

It's also interesting the article says that word-faith types tend to believe in something resembling deification.
An increasing number of Word of Faith Ministers are propagating the teaching that believers are "little gods". Kenneth Hagin wrote that God "made us in the same class of being that he is himself," and that the believer is "called Christ" because "that's who we are, we're Christ!"[23] According to Hagin, by being "born again", the believer becomes "as much an incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth".[24] Kenneth Copeland says Adam was "not a little like God ... not almost like God ... not subordinate to God even",[25] and has told believers that "You don't have a God in you. You are one." Based primarily on the book of Psalms 82:6, which says "I have said, Ye are gods and all of you, children of the Most High"; this was also corroborated by Jesus making reference to this scripture in John 10:34. [26] A common theme in Word-Faith preaching is that God created man as "an exact duplication of God's kind." (Hebrews 1:3, John 14:12, etc) [27]


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Old 08-10-2008, 11:27 AM   #25
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Sorry about asking stupid questions ... but what is a word-faith person? Am I one of them?
Are you one of them? And Ohio!!! It's NOT a stupid question !!!

WOF stands for Word of Faith. We take the PROMISES of the WORD of God and claim them, declare them as ours. I truly PRACTICE and WATCH my words very carefully. For Death and life are in the power of the tongue. (Proverbs 18:21a)

I am going to quote an excerpt from a little booklet called 'Legally Yours':

"Too many people, if you just listen to them talk, including Christians, speak defeat, doubt, fear, sickness, disease, or death. They may think they are being humble or pious, but those are not God's words. God has not given to you a spirit of fear, but of POWER, of love, and a sound mind (II Timothy 1:7)

Speak what the Bible says. If you are a child of Almighty God, act like it and talk like it! Be humble, but KNOW who you ARE in Christ Jesus."


Now I'm going to quote from a book called "The Tongue - a Creative Force" by Charles A Capps.

Start Agreeing with the Word

Start agreeing with the Word that your prosperity is sure, physically, spiritually, and financially. The third epistle of John verse 2 says, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as they soul prospereth."

Now don't start praying that the wicked will lose everything they have. That will get you in trouble.

Just start confessing, "Thank You LORD GOD, the wealth of the sinner is laid up for the JUST.. [By the Blood of Jesus and by the Word of God, I am JUST. I am JUSTIFIED] & I will get my part by acting on the Word."

They haven't acted on the Word, and God said that the wicked shall be cut off. Their name will rot, and they shalll not be found.


Proverbs 14:3 says " In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride: but the lips of the wise shall preserve them."

The lips of the wise will preserve him. They will preserve him through financial crisis. They will preserve him whey they say there's a recession or a depression. His lips will preserve him if he confesses what the WORD Says: if he acts on the Word.

These excerpts are examples of 'Word-Faith'...or Word of Faith. But many preachers focus on worldly prosperity. They use the Word of God to drum it into people how they can prosper financially. "Name it and Claim it in the Name of Jesus". That's why the Word of Faith 'movement' gets in trouble with the Lord.

Hope you got a better understanding of Word-Faith Ohio.
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Old 08-10-2008, 01:49 PM   #26
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Good Morning, Nell

I had a few minutes before leaving for the gathering of the saints and saw your post quoting the Elders Training of 1984. Those were the beginning of the funeral march for me.

I had so many personal talks with WL which were just the opposite of what he laid down so clearly in 1984.
Hi Hope,

I have been through the Elders Training series years ago, but by far ET#7 is the most memorable and the most shocking. ET#8 follows behind a few paces, but both display glaring examples of a man who was obsessed with control.

As bad as ET#7 is, it's also full of what you have stated as "just the opposite of...". I have come to believe that WL was a master manipulator. He would make a statement on some topic and in the next breath contradict himself. The result was to keep people totally off balance and dependent on him for the next "word from the Oracle" to set things right.

Quote:
Ultimately the books put out where WL addresses his co-workers must be examined. When they are, it’s over. I have noticed that the LC apologist do not quote these books.
I agree. My experience examining ET#7 began with Toxic Faith in hand. It was a guideline for me to see what was abnormal in what WL was saying and doing.

Put in your order now folks! Elders Trainings #'s 1-11 or so? It's strange how Fermentation of the Present Rebellion disappeared from the shelves at LSM. If the ET books come under close scrutiny, they may just disappear too.

Nell

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Old 08-10-2008, 02:25 PM   #27
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If you haven't read the book, we have two choices:

1) Read the book then discuss the 10 items in context.
2) Discuss the 10 items as another topic, apart from the book "Toxic Faith" by Arterbern and Felton.
If we need to discuss them in the context in which they are described in the book, then either the topic requires the reading of the book, or you should put them in context (short of quoting the entire book).

OK, add to what I said that these items, by existing in society and culture at large, also exist in the church. I'm not saying "so what?" but instead saying that we can't just run off and say that the LC is there. We have to do the work of establishing that they have crossed some line that goes from some innocuous level to that of being truly abusive.

I would agree that, locality by locality, there are various traits as different levels. And further there is a level of abuse seen in the hierarchy that emanates from Anaheim. Where are the examples that prove the crossing of the line and where are they messing. While the LC is at one level, at least with respect to those who follow the LSM, a denomination. But even among those are differences. It is hard to paint the errors of Ray Graver onto the church in Atlanta, or the errors of Ron Kangas onto the church in Denver.

My point is that a list is just a list. We can say that some/all of them can be found somewhere on the list. But that is not proof of anything. It is in a pattern of actual abuse that is linked to the list. We can say that they are deep into the list, but if we cannot substantiate our claims, we are no better as we point at them than they are when they point at Christianity.

I realize that the discussion is just getting off the ground. But it was started with several stark statements by various writers concerning issues with abusive religious systems, cults, etc. The statements did not provide a basis or linkage to anything. It was sort of like getting the quote of the day via email with absolutely no commentary.

SC saw some problems with an undirected topic (or more correctly series of topics since each one has its own thread) that only provides out of context quotes.

I do not suggest that there is nothing to find or nowhere to go. But there needs to be direction. And sending everyone to read these books is not a viable option for most of us. I already have a reading list. I have already bypassed several good books because there is already too much.

Can someone provide ground rules for the discussion? Can we agree that simply saying “it is so” is not worthy of the bandwidth required to transmit the bytes through the internet? Can someone with knowledge of the books provide context?

BTW. Your comments about God’s word as definitive for “faith” is problematic in a discussion about the LC since they have added that one church one city is one of the six tenets of the faith, per Lee’s 1971 book on the subject, The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life. So we are already at an impasse when discussing with the LC.
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:59 PM   #28
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Ultimately the books put out where WL addresses his co-workers must be examined.
Aside from the "Elders' Training" books, which do you refer to, Hope?

Sometimes it's not so easy to tell who the original or intended audience was.
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Old 08-10-2008, 04:30 PM   #29
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Mike,

Please see my posts #8, #9 and #10. Something you can sink your teeth into.

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Old 08-10-2008, 05:12 PM   #30
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Hi Hope,

I have been through the Elders Training series years ago, but by far ET#7 is the most memorable and the most shocking. ET#8 follows behind a few paces, but both display glaring examples of a man who was obsessed with control.

As bad as ET#7 is, it's also full of what you have stated as "just the opposite of...". I have come to believe that WL was a master manipulator. He would make a statement on some topic and in the next breath contradict himself. The result was to keep people totally off balance and dependent on him for the next "word from the Oracle" to set things right.
Nell, Hope referred to an elders' training in 1984. The books you referred to are from Feb 1986. Are they the same? Or are the dates right?
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Old 08-10-2008, 05:24 PM   #31
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Nell, Hope referred to an elders' training in 1984. The books you referred to are from Feb 1986. Are they the same? Or are the dates right?
Book I was printed in December of 1985, if that helps.

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Old 08-10-2008, 05:28 PM   #32
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Nell, Hope referred to an elders' training in 1984. The books you referred to are from Feb 1986. Are they the same? Or are the dates right?
Ohio,

Sorry for the confusion. This should clarify:

CHAPTER ONE
ONE ACCORD
Gk. homothumadon from homo, same, and
thinmos, mind, will, purpose (soul, heart)

Scripture Reading: Acts 1:14; 2:46; 4:24; 5:12; 15:25; Rom.
15:6; 12:16; 1 Cor. 1:10; 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 1:27; 2:2; 4:2

A TRAINING OF PRACTICES
Our fellowship in this elders' training of 1986 will not be that much in vision, teaching, or doctrine. My burden to have this training is absolutely for the practice. Since October of 1984, the Lord has begun something new in Taiwan. Some brothers from the United States went to Taiwan and they got burned with the fire of the Lord's new move. They came back to the United States with this fire. Because I dared not control, restrict, or quench this fire which has begun in the United States, I had a burden to pass on some practical points of fellowship according to the urgent need. Again, this is a training of practices, not doctrine.

So it's a historical perspective of 1984 written in 1986.

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Old 08-10-2008, 06:10 PM   #33
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Nell, Hope referred to an elders' training in 1984. The books you referred to are from Feb 1986. Are they the same? Or are the dates right?
Books 1-4 are from a training from Feb. 1984. Not too bad but the seeds are there, especially Book 1.

Books 5-6 are from Sept 1985. Some things in Book 5 about the "old books" seem to even contradict things said in Book 4. Almost seem out of place in the set.

All of the above were published in Dec. 1985.

Books 7-8 were the one where the elder's loyalty oath was signed. The text of that letter appears in Book 8. Book 7 is really the nut of the problems, in my view. It's interesting to see Lee's comments, repeatedly given in several books, that the date for the change in his attention to the practical matters is given as October 1984 while looking back over at the content of Books 1-4 from Feb. 1984.

Books 9-10 are basically remixed publications from 1986, published in the Elders' Training set in 1991.

Book 11 is from 1991. It shows Lee's frustration with the lack of progress since 1984 in an almost palpable way. It's especially interesting to me that he is accusing them of building up a papacy and a clergy/laity system at that point...
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Old 08-10-2008, 06:47 PM   #34
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If we need to discuss them in the context in which they are described in the book, then either the topic requires the reading of the book, or you should put them in context (short of quoting the entire book)
I think “Toxic Faith”, in almost any context, will be worth discussing on our forum. 10-15 years ago I probably would have told you that there is no such thing. I believe the great majority of the current participants (and lurkers) here would now confirm that, not only does toxic faith exist, the Local Church is probably to be considered the poster child for this phenomenon in the modern Christian church. Nell will correct me if I’m wrong, but I think she only posted the individual books here as jumping off points for discussions, and not necessarily as a “set in granite” guideline to be followed to a tee.

Quote:
OK, add to what I said that these items, by existing in society and culture at large, also exist in the church. I'm not saying "so what?" but instead saying that we can't just run off and say that the LC is there. We have to do the work of establishing that they have crossed some line that goes from some innocuous level to that of being truly abusive.
Points well taken. Nevertheless, I would think that the vast majority of ex long-time members would have no problem in saying that the Local Church has, to some degree, “crossed some line” over into being truly abusive in many different ways. These abuses have been well documented and chronicled over on the BARM forum over a period of many years across thousands of posts.

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My point is that a list is just a list. We can say that some/all of them can be found somewhere on the list. But that is not proof of anything. It is in a pattern of actual abuse that is linked to the list. We can say that they are deep into the list, but if we cannot substantiate our claims, we are no better as we point at them than they are when they point at Christianity.
Again, I think the list was not posted here as a be-all-end-all, but rather just a primer to get us going. Not exactly sure what you mean by “substantiate our claims” (especially since no claims have even been made yet on this thread)…but I would remind us all that “Christianity” was not the one to claim that they, and they alone are “The Lord’s Recovery”. Christianity was not the one who claimed that their apostle was the One Apostle with the One Ministry for the Age, and so on and so forth. If there are burdens of proof, they fall on the ones who have made these outrageous and ridiculous claims, and not on the shoulders of those of us who spent years finding out the hard way that these claims were patently false.

Quote:
The statements did not provide a basis or linkage to anything.
I think the basis and linkage to the toxic faith many experienced in the Local Church will be forthcoming very soon. Hang on to yur hat…it’s a comin…I guaraaannnnteee.

Quote:
Can someone provide ground rules for the discussion? Can we agree that simply saying “it is so” is not worthy of the bandwidth required to transmit the bytes through the internet? Can someone with knowledge of the books provide context?
I think so long as everybody keeps within the general theme of “toxic faith” then we should be ok. Now apparently some of these authors have related this notion to us in black and white. This does not mean that every little jot and tittle is going to match the abuses and excesses that we see in the Local Church, but from what I read in Nell’s openings post it looks like the shoe fits rather well. Just my opinion of course. I can’t recall if this is the book that is published in full on line or its one of the others, but there are probably enough significant quotes available on line to get us going.
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Old 08-11-2008, 04:47 AM   #35
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Nell, Admin,

I understand the points you are making. As for Lee's discussions in the Elder's training in 86, that is just before Benson started giving a brief series in Irving on the citizens and the army. While I do not recall the kind of requirement for a lock-step follow the leader mentality for the army, it did not yet appear that it was being applied to the citizens.

And it probably wasn't. But they were taking all the supplies and giving them to the army, so the citizens were starving.

I note Admin said there are lots of us who have experiences. I never denied that. I know they are true. I have seen some of it. My comment was that saying that there are a lot of experiences means nothing. We have to set them out for viewing. They must be entered into evidence.

Forget the LC faithful. SC and Ohio will not let you label because you say it is so, and rightly so. My comments were more rhetorical than a challenge. I know there is proof. Don't say there is. Lay it out.

And my comment about the lack of clarity on where to go applies to each of them, not just this one. Put the same kind of "meat" in the other threads you have applied here. You've sort of put your boat in the water with no tether to the dock and it's now drifting out to sea. Start the motor. Get the rudder set. chart a direction. There is a lot to put in these (although I haven't figured out if each truly needed to be in a separate thread).
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Old 08-11-2008, 06:44 AM   #36
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Here is my testimony about these books. When I first discovered them in the early 90s, I didn't say "Aha! material with which to convict the LC! Let me make a case. Let me examine things to see if there is enough volume of evidence to be able to judge them as places of toxic faith or spiritual abuse ...."

Such thoughts never crossed my mind. These books helped me personally, mainly because I discovered that my experience and the LC experience was not unique to that period of time. There were many other groups with the same kind of dogma such as "the true church," "the one minister and ministry," "the place were real brotherly love was," etc. There were other groups with Christian leaders who were overstepping and making inroads into the personal and practical lives of believers. That realization shocked me to the core. Until that time, I thought my experience in the LC was unique.

What these books did for me was like a camera panning back so I could see the bigger picture and realize that the devil was active all over the place trying to frustrate the outpouring of the Spirit that happened during those years which brought so many people to faith in Christ.

I think this board is an offering to people who are grappling with their own personal pain from what happened to them. Frankly, it doesn't matter if it happened to 1 or 100 other people. If it happened to me, I need help.

Maybe the boat on this thread hasn't been able to get out of the dock because its trying to answer the objections of the police on the docks blowing whistles at it.

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Old 08-11-2008, 07:24 AM   #37
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Thanks Nell and YP,

The Feb '86 "crucial" elders' training, which is often referred to, is contained in books 7 and 8.

I have not seen books 9-11.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:32 AM   #38
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What these books did for me was like a camera panning back so I could see the bigger picture and realize that the devil was active all over the place trying to frustrate the outpouring of the Spirit that happened during those years which brought so many people to faith in Christ.
I agree. The bigger picture, for me, is that we sinners one day got a revelation of God's saving love for us in Jesus Christ. Then, as we attempted to go on in our human lives, following the vision that was imparted in this revelation, some of us found ourselves in what, looking back, we can refer to as "abusive" or "toxic" spiritual environments. To me, whether it was in the Witness Lee-led local churches or in another group is not so important as the realization that our spiritual journey was derailed, was hijacked by someone with control issues.

How much the "shoe fits" to our particular experience is not so important as discussing the phenomena of people leaving thier allotted portion and trampling on thier neighbors' portion. The 'boundaries' thing is huge, huge, huge. We don't get into the Holy City until we get clear what is mine, yours, ours, and God's. This is basic, foundational stuff, and in the toxic spiritual community it gets distorted, and needs to be addressed, irrespective of the particulars involved.

Relationships between the believers is an important issue, one of the most important we can discuss. Also follows the relationship between the believer and his/her family, whether christian or not, and with neighbors, co-workers, other people in "the world", etc. Look how the toxic spiritual realm spreads out and poisons all those other relationships as well. Look how the 'pyramid scheme' of hierarchy, with its pecking order of pride and judgment, elevating some people and denigrating others, spreads into the relationships outside the spiritual fellowship.

I am not interested in Witness Lee, Watchman Nee, Ray Graver, or the Living Stream Ministry. I am interested in continuing my journey of faith. This discussion is interesting to me because it sheds light on the bigger picture. Relationships among the believers is a huge part of the journey. In healthy spiritual environments, the relations between the believers edify, uplift, encourage, strengthen, fortify and equip the sojourners on their way. In toxic environments the believer becomes a commodity in someone else's realm, and is sucked dry until the husk is discarded. I daresay that on this forum the consensus would hold that faith in Jesus Christ being equated to being "absolute for the ministry" equals a spiritually toxic environment.

I think there are lessons here for everyone, regardless of the particulars. But OBW's point of not assuming all the particulars fit every case is also worth remembering. That, to me, is why the 'bigger picture' is so important. Otherwise we mislabel, or say "that doesn't apply to me" and miss the bigger point.
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Old 08-11-2008, 07:33 AM   #39
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Forget the LC faithful. SC and Ohio will not let you label because you say it is so, and rightly so. My comments were more rhetorical than a challenge. I know there is proof. Don't say there is. Lay it out.
And a good morning to you Brother Mike!
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Old 08-13-2008, 09:42 PM   #40
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CMW,

Well, I just got done reading a blog about the Osteen trial and I must say, I owe her an apology. This woman accusing her is a gold-digging crackpot. Today's proceedings included one of Brown's (the "victim") witnesses saying nothing happened. One of the plaintiff's witnesses! Now that's what you call some bad planning.

The whole thing is hilarious. Brown got hemmeroids from this? It's too funny.

So I apologize to Victoria Osteen. You're going to win this one, Victoria.


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Old 08-14-2008, 06:55 AM   #41
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Igzy,
You are correct that the likes of Kenneth Copeland, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn and others, speak of believers being 'little gods', 'little Jesus'' or ready for this one?...... GOD-MEN!!! Yes indeedie! I have heard Benny myself refer to the church and himself as being GOD-MEN!! Miracle healings are HUGE right now in the WOF church. While I have no problem with seeing miraculous healings and miraculous deliverances take place, I am troubled that the emphasis placed is on the healings and miracles.

It's NOT enough for people to be miraculously cured and healed if they are not turning their lives around, living unto the LORD, getting to know HIM through His Word & living sanctified lives. In other words if a person is healed but no one disciples him/her and doesn't tell them that being a born again 'healed' believer does not mean you are now free from trials and tribulations, those poor 'healed' people are in for a rude awakening!

That is why the WOF movement is under soo much attack by many Christian conservatives. The WOF movement emphasizes the miracles and healings but does not emphasize how to live a true Godly life.

Now some charasmatic WOF churches are worst than others...and some are actually 'good'. I learned to speak & pray 'positiviely'. But I apply the Word of God appropriately. In other words, I may want to be competely healthy and debt free but I am not focused on those desires. What good is it to have healthy bodies, debt free living if people are not STRONG in the LORD..whose lives don't reflect a transformation?

I want to see the church including myself set free from strongholds..to live a pure, and sanctified life set apart unto the LORD all the while standing on the authority and power of the Holy Spirit drawing people to HIM & the Word of God.

Rarely do I hear 2 Corinthians 3:18 emphasized: But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.

WOF is more focused on the signs/wonders/miracles.

That said, I consider myself a WORD-FAITH person because I SPEAK the WORD of GOD into my life and into the lives of others. That is why you 'hear' me say time and time again, we ARE BLESSED and HIGHLY FAVORED! For we ARE! Are we not co-heirs with Christ? Heirs of GOD? Do we not have the promises of Abraham? Are we not washed and cleansed by the BLOOD of the LAMB? Were we not created in the image and likeness of GOD? Does GOD not love us?

So of COURSE we are BLESSED and HIGHLY FAVORED!! We got to walk and talk and believe we are Blessed and Highly FAVORED by the Most High GOD!

For the last 3 1/2 plus years I have been speaking this Word of FAITH into me and believe me...I AM blessed and Highly FAVORED! Even my friends tell each other and me that all the time.

They SEE the FAVOR of God on me! That's why I keep telling them to declare the WORD of GOD so they can experience the BLESSINGS and FAVOR on them..

I'm no pitiful, defeated Believer and Follower of our Lord Jesus Christ! I AM more than a CONQUEROR IN Christ Jesus...(not in my own strength.)
(Romans 8:37 in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.)











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Well, just go to "word faith" on Wikipedia for their definition, as KSA points out. I always thought word-faith was "name it and claim it in the power of Jeeeeeesus' name!" Basically, naming what you want from God and claiming it by faith.

Osteen, as the article says, is influenced by it. But word-faith people generally tend to be charismatic and focused on miracles and other tangible evidences of God's working in people's lives.

It's also interesting the article says that word-faith types tend to believe in something resembling deification.
An increasing number of Word of Faith Ministers are propagating the teaching that believers are "little gods". Kenneth Hagin wrote that God "made us in the same class of being that he is himself," and that the believer is "called Christ" because "that's who we are, we're Christ!"[23] According to Hagin, by being "born again", the believer becomes "as much an incarnation as Jesus of Nazareth".[24] Kenneth Copeland says Adam was "not a little like God ... not almost like God ... not subordinate to God even",[25] and has told believers that "You don't have a God in you. You are one." Based primarily on the book of Psalms 82:6, which says "I have said, Ye are gods and all of you, children of the Most High"; this was also corroborated by Jesus making reference to this scripture in John 10:34. [26] A common theme in Word-Faith preaching is that God created man as "an exact duplication of God's kind." (Hebrews 1:3, John 14:12, etc) [27]


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Old 08-14-2008, 07:19 AM   #42
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CMW,

Well, I just got done reading a blog about the Osteen trial and I must say, I owe her an apology. This woman accusing her is a gold-digging crackpot. Today's proceedings included one of Brown's (the "victim") witnesses saying nothing happened. One of the plaintiff's witnesses! Now that's what you call some bad planning.

The whole thing is hilarious. Brown got hemmeroids from this? It's too funny.

So I apologize to Victoria Osteen. You're going to win this one, Victoria.


SC
Yes... the whole hemmoroid thing was a hilarious JOKE!! 4 witnesses have already come forward to say NOTHING happened!

I would not be surprised if this flight attendant is going to be laid off her job once this ordeal is over. The Osteens are not the only 'celebrities' flying commercial. I'm sure the airline industry does not want its' reputation to be tainted & that is what she is doing to the airlines!

I'm not an Osteen 'fan' even though their ministry has helped me in my walk with the LORD. I was livid when Joel was on Larry King one year and could not bring himself to say there is 'No Name given to men under heaven by which we get saved..save the Name of Jesus' for that is what the Bible says. (He got a LOT of FLACK from the Christian community too!) I'm sure he has repented because surely the FAVOR of God is on him and his wife...especially in this case!

I'm also convinced this spectacle of a case is drawing Joel and Victoria deeper and closer to the LORD.

Again, I am objective in my views and not a 'sider'. I only side on the LORD's side! To GOD be the GLORY!!!!
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Old 08-14-2008, 07:46 AM   #43
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Yes... the whole hemmoroid thing was a hilarious JOKE!! 4 witnesses have already come forward to say NOTHING happened!

I would not be surprised if this flight attendant is going to be laid off her job once this ordeal is over. The Osteens are not the only 'celebrities' flying commercial. I'm sure the airline industry does not want its' reputation to be tainted & that is what she is doing to the airlines!

I'm not an Osteen 'fan' even though their ministry has helped me in my walk with the LORD. I was livid when Joel was on Larry King one year and could not bring himself to say there is 'No Name given to men under heaven by which we get saved..save the Name of Jesus' for that is what the Bible says. (He got a LOT of FLACK from the Christian community too!) I'm sure he has repented because surely the FAVOR of God is on him and his wife...especially in this case!

I'm also convinced this spectacle of a case is drawing Joel and Victoria deeper and closer to the LORD.

Again, I am objective in my views and not a 'sider'. I only side on the LORD's side! To GOD be the GLORY!!!!
I was disappointed by Joel Osteen on Larry King because I've been helped by his ministry. However, he did issue a public statement after the Larry King fiasco where he confirmed that Jesus is the only way to salvation.

But I have little doubt that Osteen's annointing is genuine. His particular niche is very relevant to ex-LCers because while the LC tends to put the soul and spirit at odds with each other, Osteen shows the other side, how they are designed to work together. He doesn't do this by a direct, technical teaching about it, but rather simply by application. For example, Osteen can seem to be talking about having a positive attitude, and he is, but if you really listen to the Spirit in his speaking he's also talking about faith. In other words, to him Christian positive thinking meshes with faith, and vice versa. The psychology meshes with the spirituality, as it should. It's not about being totally "spiritual" or totally psychological, but both are relevant in God's creation.

As to the Larry King incident, King was doing what all interviewers do, he tried to pin Osteen down to have him say "If you've never heard of Jesus you are going to hell." No one likes to say this kind of thing, because it's not exactly the truth. Osteen was simply trying to be upbeat, that's his nature. He responded by saying something to the effect that he didn't want to be the judge. But it did come off as a little wishy-washy.
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