William E. Spencer

Dear Sir/Madam:

I have been meeting with the local church in Nashville, TN for about a year now, and have not observed any of the characteristics proffered in the many testimonies I have read at this website. I have gotten to know several families and their children and have found them to be very normal people whom I very much enjoy fellowshiping with. I have been a believer since 1971 and have been in several Southern Baptist churches, an Evangelical Free Church, a General Baptist church, and several independent bible churches, including charismamtic. I have also greatly benefited from the minstries of Campus Crusade for Christ (I attended Explo '72), the Navigators, and Precept upon Precept. I have been a subscriber to Christianity Today for many years and have read many christian authors/theologians. I also hold a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at Murray State University, Murray, KY. So, I am no push-over when it comes to christian experience or theological intellectual matters.

I cannot speak for all of the local churches, but I have visited and fellowshiped with members from Oklahoma City, St. Louis, and Nashville. In none of these localities have I experienced any kind of manipulation or trickiness. What I have observed is a healthiness and wholesomeness that I have found lacking in many christian groups. The dear brothers and sisters in the church in Nashville have a deep and active love for the Lord Jesus. Thier love for Him and enjoyment of Him has been so refreshing to me.

I have read numerous works by Lee and Nee. Nothing I have read so far seems to be heretical or devious from fundamental christianity, except for their belief that the clergy-laity division in christianity is wrong. I wholeheartily agree with this point. I have observed numerous times how the gifts of "common" saints in churches have not been encouraged because of too strong of an emphasis upon the pulpit ministry of one man, usually the pastor. I cannot count the number of professional ministers that have yielded to sexual tempations and have sullied the name of Christ. Most of these men have fallen because they were not an "organic" part of the body of Christ receiving nourishment from fellow brothers and sisters. I think it is safe to conclude that all-in-all today's christianity is but a shell of what was practiced initially.

I have asked the leaders in the church in Nashville about the broadness of the body of Christ. They strongly agree that all believers are part of the body of Christ no matter what church or denomination they belong. They believe that all believers in Christ are part of His body.

It is obvious that the writers of the testimonies at this site have had some problems with the local church and Lee. Where these problems encountered years ago? Another important aspect that could account for the negative testimones is any emotional unstability of the writers during the time they were in the local church. Groups with strong beliefs sometimes attract emotionally unstable people who cannot distinguish religious hyperboly from reasonable christian practice.

I keep my "cult antenna" tuned up in case I encounter the negative aspects the testimonial writers have mentioned. But, I can honestly say that my own spiritial life has greatly benifited from the local church and the writings of Nee and Lee. I love these people and their love for the Lord.

Are you convinced that these allegations contained in the testimonies at this site are true? If not, then what if the Lord Himself has a strong love for the dear brothers and sisters in the local church that are part of His body. Can you imagine the hurt and anger our Lord would feel regarding the defamation of part of His body?

You have my permission to include this letter as a supporting testimony at your website.


William E. Spencer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor

Editor's notes:

The editor received this letter via email on February 7, 1998.

"Local Church" Information Site
Studying Witness Lee and the "Local Church" from the evangelical Christian perspective

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