In December 2001 The Local Church (internally known as the Lord’s Recovery) and its publishing arm, Living Stream Ministry, filed a $136 million lawsuit against Harvest House Publishers and authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon, in relation to the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions.
The Local Church, theologically a cult of Christianity, complained that the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions defamed them by accusing them (and all the other groups in the book) of crimes such as murder, rape, and drug smuggling.
The Texas appellate court ruled that “nothing in the book singles out The [Local] Church as having committed [those actions].”
After the appellate decision, The Local Church requested a rehearing, which was denied. The Texas Supreme Court also rejected the case twice.
The Local Church then took its case, which many observers considered unmerited and mean-spirited, to the U.S. Supreme Court, which on June 18, 2007, denied the movement’s appeal.
In reponse to the lawsuit, several Christian apologists issued statements evaluating the teachings of Witness Lee and The Local Church.
Below you will find statements by five theologians. The statement were written at the request of the Ankerberg Theological Institute. The letters are posted here by permission.
|E. Calvin Beisner|
|Darrell L. Bock|
|Norman L. Geisler|
|Gordon R. Lewis|