A Ex-Local Church Testimony

Dear Steve,

I found your website through google- i was trying to find out all i could about Witness Lee, as I currently fellowship with one of the local churches, (though i have to admit most times i feel guilt and hypocrisy because in reality, i do not consider myself a part of the 'body') and i'm not sure i agree with all their doctrines.

you may wonder why i have not left the church yet- its a little mix of a sense of indebtness and obligation on my part. I came to this country september last year for my college education, and i had no family or friends here. however, i was 'adopted' by a nice couple who i met on campus. as it turns out, they are very active members in one of the local churches (the man is an elder in the church). they volunteered to come pick me up every sunday to church, and i agreed- and that's how it all started. The very first time i attended the campus fellowship, i was disturbed by how they kept on calling 'Oh Lord Jesus', and i assumed it was just peculiar to the fellowship. how wrong i was. after a couple of weeks, i got sick of the whole thing, but i really had no choice anymore (my parents already considered them my guardians- i'm only 17 years old. i also stay with them during holidays, e.g. now). after just about 3 months in the church, i went with the family for the winter training. i couldnt help but notice their sense of superiority over every other form of Christianity, and their blatant condemnation of denominations. it seemed as though they were saying everyone not in the church life was destined for hell, and how lucky they were for being in the 'one flow', the 'body'. (no offence to you, but i couldnt help but thinking 'there sure would be a lot of asians in heaven'). having family in the denomination (my parents are pastors, and everyone in my family is saved), i couldnt bring myself to believe this. while the winter training was somewhat enlightening, it was mostly confusing. i remember clearly how one of the speakers said something like "Jesus is the Father! He was there at the creation" (or something to that effect). i didnt know anything about modalism till tonight, but even then that didnt sound quite right to me. i'm also not very comfortable with how EVERYONE references Witness Lee, or 'Brother Lee' as they love to call him. i remarked to a friend that if i didnt know better i would have thought there was a book in the Bible called 'Gospel according to Lee', or that he was one of the apostles in the Bible.

i returned a few hours ago from one of the young people's meetings held on fridays (you must be familiar with that), and what the handout said basically was that God didnt say that we should worship Him, and while they're not saying it is wrong to worship or serve God, God doesnt want us to worship Him, but to eat Him (they love that word 'eat' a lot). and that it is the fallen man's thoughts and concept that God is to be worshipped (they used the Tree of Life in Genesis, Manna for the children of Israel among others to support their argument. it obviously goes a lot deeper tha that, but its all i can remember right now).  that didnt seem right to me, as i've been taught to love and live to worship God. He is just too awesome and great to not be worshipped.
I cant say anything of course, because largely they consider me a 'beginner' in Christ, because i'm usually not very enthusiastic about the meetings, 'prophesying' or 'mingling' with the brethren. i would admit that i am not the most faithful Christian, especially when it comes to reading the Bible (i'm praying for the grace to read), but like i mentioned earlier, my parents are pastors, so i have more than a little knowledge of the Bible. unfortunately, i'm usually too shy to say anything :(

1 more thing i noticed, they are so concerned about raising up local churches all over america, asia and europe (seems like most of the meetings lately are about 'gaining' more people for the church life), but they hardly ever say anything about raising up churches in africa. i'm nigerian, so that leaves me a little worried... does this mean that my family and friends back home who are not so "lucky" to have experienced the church life dont deserve the 'kingdom of heaven' too?
i have other questions n confusions about ' The Lord's Recovery', but its almost 4 am now and i have to wake up in about 3 hours so we can all leave for the 9am-9pm workers' training (i cant say i'm very excited about it... seems like i'm stuck here for the time being... sigh.)

anyways, just wrote to thank you for your article- it was so informative, and it confirmed some of my worries about the church (on the atonement issue... did you know that they modified a line in the popular hymn 'To God be the Glory' from 'Who yielded His life an atonement for sin' to 'Who yielded His life our redemption to win'?). Your article was also very enlightening, because for some reason i hadn't heard of their belief in purgatory.

anyways, thank you. hopefully someday i'd be able to break free from the 'flow'... whenever school's in session i try to attend regular Bible studies not related to the church life in anyway, for the breath of fresh air i need.

Yours in Christ,


The Berean Christian Bible Study Resources