Further thoughts on CRI and the Local Church

There is something else that needs to be considered about CRI’s claim that the Local Church has always been an orthodox group and should not bear the label cult. I remember when LC went after Spiritual Counterfeits Project in court. If LC is just another expression of the Church and nothing else,why did they not attempt to approach CRI or another group, at that time, to help clear their name? Suing SCP would never endear LC to anyone dealing with cults and apologetics but I do not remember any type of promotion that LC ever did before the SCP lawsuit or since (until 2003 when Hanegraaff claims they approached CRI for help) to help the public understand they are not a cult. It seems odd that if they were an orthodox group and they believed it, why did they not attempt a publicity push from the time they acquired the label cult by many groups  and individuals in the 1970’s until they approached CRI 2003? Again, I can not say this too many times, suing a legitimate organization like SCP  was a terrible idea, especially if part of LC’s intent was to remove the label “cult”. That type of behavior just reinforces the notion that that is exactly what they are. There seems very little chance they will ever be able to rehabilitate their identity.

If they are truly serious about this, and I personally doubt that they are, they will have to get other cult research groups, that have far more credibility  than CRI, to agree to do an indepth review of ALL their material.


One Response to “Further thoughts on CRI and the Local Church”

  1. John Metz Says:

    During the late 1970s and early 1980s, the local churches made many attempts to dialogue with other Christian groups, even countercult groups, but the well was rapidly poisoned. In 1977, representatives of the local churches approached Walter Martin at Faith Lutheran Church in Anaheim. Martin was invited to meet with Witness Lee, which he did in February of that year. It was actually a very friendly meeting as referenced in the Journal articles. However, the ongoing dialogue, which had been agreed to by both parties, did not occur because the agreement between the parties was broken. This was also alluded to in the Journal articles.

    There were at least two other attempts to engage Martin and CRI in dialogue subsequent to the events above. Both attempts were through an exchange of letters between Martin and representatives of the local churches. Once again, sadly, what looked like promising opportunities for dialogue did not bear fruit due to various circumstances.

    A whole series of articles were published in the Orange County Register in the 1970s attempting to make the local churches’ beliefs and practices more clearly understood by the public in general. Many of these articles are available at http://www.contendingforthefaith.com/responses/index.html. This page contains a listing of articles with links and states, “…in the 1970’s, members of the local churches wrote and published a number of booklets and articles in response to inaccurate or uninformed criticisms. These booklets and articles address and clarify a wide range of critical truths of the Christian faith.” Many similar articles were published in other newspapers across the country over several years. In the early 1980s, Witness Lee personally met and fellowshipped with a prominent evangelical theologian in Texas and with the publishers of out-of-print classic Christian books which he promoted to the churches. Many other attempts to dialogue with other persons and groups were made before that time and since.

    More recently there has been an ongoing dialogue with Fuller Seminary and other groups and ministries. Upon the publication of the so-called open letter on the Internet, letters were written to nearly 70 of the signers and nearly 30 of them were invited to dialogue with the local churches but not one accepted. Your contention that there were no such efforts is simply not true.

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