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05-25-2019 07:16 PM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo S View Post
A fresh start won't matter if you hold onto the same ideas that are the root of all the problems within the LC's in the first place.
That is correct.
05-25-2019 12:53 PM
Jo S
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
That's a valid way of looking at it. On the other hand, I don't think anyone would argue against the need of Reformation when it came along.

Did God use Martin Luther? I believe so. But I don't necessarily look at that occurrence in church history as "reformation", per se. Rather, I see it as preservation and mercy much like God changing the languages at Babel in order to preserve humanity by thwarting Satan's plans for absolute control.

It's just like what happened within the LC's. The split in 2006 really hasn't improve anything, has it? Perhaps Anaheim thought they too were reforming yet no matter who you excommunicate corrupt doctrine remains. Same goes for the other side. A fresh start won't matter if you hold onto the same ideas that are the root of all the problems within the LC's in the first place.
05-24-2019 09:21 AM
awareness
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
The ground of locality doctrine was just one more way they set themselves above everyone else.
Right. Even the apostolic fathers. While meeting in cities, if important they would surely have heard it from the apostles, but I guess dropped the ball, and forgot to mention it, nor did they ever stress the practice, and didn't shout "one church one city."

But Nee did. He was better than the apostolic fathers.
05-23-2019 04:14 PM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo S View Post
I wasn't disagreeing with the notion that Christ's church needing recovery is a root of evil. I actually happen to believe it is.

Scripture says that God's Word will not return void. As such, there was never anything for us or for Christ to recover in the first place. His Church has already been established from the foundation of the world.
That's a valid way of looking at it. On the other hand, I don't think anyone would argue against the need of Reformation when it came along.

There's nothing wrong with saying we need improvement or a returning to the truth. In general, recovery means just that.

(There was also the added nuance that there was this pristine Church in the 1st century that did everything right and that way got lost and needs to be re-discovered or "recovered." But the myth of the ideal 1st century Church is just that, a myth. The Church has always had lack of clarity and agreement, and other problems.)

In even more general terms, recovery means salvation, which we all need.

So, from your perspective, yes, there is no need for recovery because the Lord never misplaced the Church to begin with. But from the practical standpoint of simply needing to discover the truth about the Church, there is some need of, for lack of a better term, "recovery."

The problem wasn't that the LR didn't have ideas that were in some sense valid, it was that often the senses in which they applied those ideas were invalid and self-serving. They would take valid concepts, like oneness, and twist them to aggrandize themselves and discredit everyone else. They did this with the ideas of recovery, authority, ministry, Body, and on and on. If you get snookered into accepting their definitions of these ideas then they have you. But their definitions are usually flawed.

So I don't think the idea of recovery is altogether terrible. But I think saying there is this one subset of the Church which is "the Recovery" is terrible. That is the Big Lie.
05-23-2019 12:38 PM
Jo S
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I never said recovery or the need to reform was the root of evil. I said the idea that God works exclusively through one subset of his church is the root of evil in the "Recovery" movement.

The Lord was/is obviously involved in the "Recovery" movement, just as he is involved in so many places. He always has the best intentions and hopes for any group that meets in his name. But due to human failing it doesn't always work out that way.

Ironically, the problem now is the "Recovery" is almost beyond recovery, . Because the believe they cannot be wrong about anything, and even if they are wrong, they are right. "We are the 'Recovery.' So we by definition don't need to be recovered." That's completely nutty.
I wasn't disagreeing with the notion that Christ's church needing recovery is a root of evil. I actually happen to believe it is.

Scripture says that God's Word will not return void. As such, there was never anything for us or for Christ to recover in the first place. His Church has already been established from the foundation of the world.
05-23-2019 12:24 PM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

Instead of sticking their chests out and proclaim that "WE ARE THE CHURCH IN ANYCITY!", Local Churchers would do well to just BEHAVE LIKE THEY ARE THE CHURCH IN ANYCITY.
Amen to that!
05-23-2019 12:23 PM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo S View Post
Igzy, a question I had while reading your post was; If "The Recovery" or the idea that Christ's church needed reform is at the "root" of all the evil you see within the LC's then how do you conclude that God was ever involved in the Lord's Recovery to begin with if in fact this was the foundation and force leading the movement?
I never said recovery or the need to reform was the root of evil. I said the idea that God works exclusively through one subset of his church is the root of evil in the "Recovery" movement.

It's okay to be for recovery, just as long as you focus on yourself. But to say "Oh, the whole fallen, corrupt Church is in need of recovery, and our little movement is the pure and holy solution!" That's just arrogance and hubris, completely out of Christian character.

The Lord was/is obviously involved in the "Recovery" movement, just as he is involved in so many places. He always has the best intentions and hopes for any group that meets in his name. But due to human failing it doesn't always work out that way.

Ironically, the problem now is the "Recovery" is almost beyond recovery, because they believe they cannot be wrong about anything--and even if they are wrong, they are right. "We are the 'Recovery.' So we by definition don't need to be recovered." That's completely nutty.

Like I said, anyone can fall out of grace, just like that. Martin Luther is a good example. He was used by God to start the Reformation, but later in life he became a raving anti-Semite. Who knows for sure what plan the Lord had for Lee's movement. I just know that going around singing their own praises while condemning every other Christian organization was not it.

The ground of locality doctrine was just one more way they set themselves above everyone else.
05-23-2019 11:50 AM
Jo S
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

And this brings us full-circle around to the foundational Nee-Lee teaching of "one city - one church". To my knowledge, neither Nee or Lee were criticized for this doctrine - that all true, genuine Christians within a given locality should be one with each other in the preaching of the Gospel, the teaching of the Word, baptizing new believers and the taking of the Lord's Table. The criticisms come from the hyper-exclusive claims to ecclesiastical legitimacy, and the haughty attitude that "we have all the riches, and the Lord is only recovering the church through our church group". This is to not mention the insanity of claiming that your group's apostle is to be considered as "the one minister for the age", "God's deputy authority and one oracle on earth" and whose personal ministry is to be considered as "the one ministry for the age" and "THE New Testament Ministry", etc.

Instead of sticking their chests out and proclaim that "WE ARE THE CHURCH IN ANYCITY!", Local Churchers would do well to just BEHAVE LIKE THEY ARE THE CHURCH IN ANYCITY. Brothers and sisters, the definition of a true local church in the scriptures is not in coded language. It is not hidden from us. It is there in the pages of the New Testament. It is there in the Gospels and in the teachings, sayings, parables and admonitions of the Lord Jesus. It is there in the Acts of the Apostles and in the description of the infant church. It is there in the pages of all the various epistles of Peter, Paul and John.

Yes, the ultimate, unwavering goal of the church should be to be reconciled to Christ, and to reconcile others to Christ. But the reconciling does not take place within the shut doors of a meeting hall, but rather in the hearts and minds of all the true believers who seek, and live their lives, that His Will be done down here on earth as it is in heaven.

-
I have to admit, like Watchman Nee, I too have a great vision.

The Lord brought it to my attention again last night. This vision is nearest to my heart and I'd like to share it with you all.

It's one where finally, after tirelessly running this race, I'm resting at a table with all my beloved brothers and sisters in Christ in a fellowship that I've so been longing for. We're breaking bread together and drinking from the fruit of the vine. And Jesus is there. In this moment all the petty quarrelling, disagreements in doctrine, and sufferings we've caused each other are forgotten and no more and only the absolute peace and joy of our Lord remains.

Tears come to my eyes when I think about this day because it's not something that was imagined. It's real. It's already written!

The difference between my vision and Watchman Nee's is, this isn't actually my vision. It's Christ's vision given from my place at the Lord's table.

The LC's doctrine of locality isn't something that was ever envisioned by Christ. In Christ's vision there exists only one city, the New Jerusalem. And only there will his purified Church be gathered together at the end of this age. No precursors are required of us but to keep watch. And at a moment we will all be gathered from amongst the tares and caught up in the clouds to be with our Lord forever. So yes, eventually there will be "one church, one city" but not as the LC envisioned it to happen.
05-23-2019 11:22 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Going back to the question -- "one Church -- One City -- Biblical?"

The context of course is the doctrine that WN and WL taught in the LC. I would say it is Biblical. Jesus said that when you are invited to a feast (we all have been invited to the Lord's table) that you should not take the most prominent seat lest a greater than thee arrives and the host (the Lord Jesus) has to ask you to give up your seat.

I would say that describes this doctrine very well. They place themselves at the head of the table, the arrogance was on display for all to see, it has been a humbling experience leaving the LC, but at least now I feel like I belong at the table with all of God's children.

Being humbled under the mighty hand of God is Biblical.

Dealing with Jezebel, Balaam, and false prophets is part of the process in the seven churches. Those in Philadelphia "do not need to go out anymore" indicating that they didn't get to Philadelphia directly but had to leave some of the fallen iterations. Leaving your first love is a common temptation to those in the church. All of these experiences are of the Lord and help perfect us. I am very thankful for my experience in the LC. I felt the Lord led me to the group and that the Lord led me out of the group.
05-23-2019 10:43 AM
UntoHim
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Take the truths you treasure and run with them. Find others and teach them what you believe. The Lord is not a respecter of persons or movements. He is able to produce children of Abraham from stones on the ground (Matt 3:9). There is nothing exclusively special about any subset of his kingdom. And to believe there is opens the door to serious problems. That's the folly of "the Recovery" in a nutshell. And it was that folly which actually thwarted whatever real good God wanted to do through Nee, Lee and their movement in the first place.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo S View Post
...rather than being a solution to it and as such ultimately distracting both sides from being reconciled to Christ. Shouldn't that be the goal?

And this brings us full-circle around to the foundational Nee-Lee teaching of "one city - one church". To my knowledge, neither Nee or Lee were criticized for this doctrine - that all true, genuine Christians within a given locality should be one with each other in the preaching of the Gospel, the teaching of the Word, baptizing new believers and the taking of the Lord's Table. The criticisms come from the hyper-exclusive claims to ecclesiastical legitimacy, and the haughty attitude that "we have all the riches, and the Lord is only recovering the church through our church group". This is to not mention the insanity of claiming that your group's apostle is to be considered as "the one minister for the age", "God's deputy authority and one oracle on earth" and whose personal ministry is to be considered as "the one ministry for the age" and "THE New Testament Ministry", etc.

Instead of sticking their chests out and proclaim that "WE ARE THE CHURCH IN ANYCITY!", Local Churchers would do well to just BEHAVE LIKE THEY ARE THE CHURCH IN ANYCITY. Brothers and sisters, the definition of a true local church in the scriptures is not in coded language. It is not hidden from us. It is there in the pages of the New Testament. It is there in the Gospels and in the teachings, sayings, parables and admonitions of the Lord Jesus. It is there in the Acts of the Apostles and in the description of the infant church. It is there in the pages of all the various epistles of Peter, Paul and John.

Yes, the ultimate, unwavering goal of the church should be to be reconciled to Christ, and to reconcile others to Christ. But the reconciling does not take place within the shut doors of a meeting hall, but rather in the hearts and minds of all the true believers who seek, and live their lives, that His Will be done down here on earth as it is in heaven.

-
05-23-2019 10:27 AM
Jo S
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
The whole error with "the Recovery" is the belief that what God needs to do he can only do in "the Recovery," or by it, or through it. This shows a fundamental confusion about how God does things.

LRers point to the many great things they've seen and heard in "the Recovery" and conclude that it must be special and unique, and here their flawed concept of oneness is applied to support their idea that everyone else should join them.

But here's the truth. Each and all of us are in reality in the Lord's plan and purpose, and heirs of all he is, has and has done. But that does not mean that any of us or group of us have special status to own or wield those wonderful blessings in an exclusive or semi-exclusive way. The LR does not have proprietary rights to any of God's truth, even if its founder was the one who made that truth clearer than anyone had before. The truth is the truth and is owned by everyone. Just because God used you do reveal it does not make you owner of it.

Thus, anyone can fall out of grace, just like that. And anyone can jump into grace, just like that. Do you enjoy many of the truths you see in "the Recovery?" Great! But you don't need "the Recovery" to enjoy them. You just need 2 or more gathered in his name who are willing to enjoy them as well.

This is why I have a fundamental problem with those who feel they need to "fix" "the Recovery" in order to resume the blessing they once knew. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Sorry, Steve Isitt, if this still describes you.) If you believe such a thing is true, then it is still evidence you believe "the Recovery" is by its very nature special, which is the root of all its evil. By believing it you are empowering the very errors that you want to reform.

Take the truths you treasure and run with them. Find others and teach them what you believe. The Lord is not a respecter of persons or movements. He is able to produce children of Abraham from stones on the ground (Matt 3:9). There is nothing exclusively special about any subset of his kingdom. And to believe there is opens the door to serious problems. That's the folly of "the Recovery" in a nutshell. And it was that folly which actually thwarted whatever real good God wanted to do through Nee, Lee and their movement in the first place.
Igzy, a question I had while reading your post was; If "The Recovery" or the idea that Christ's church needed reform is at the "root" of all the evil you see within the LC's then how do you conclude that God was ever involved in the Lord's Recovery to begin with if in fact this was the foundation and force leading the movement?
05-23-2019 09:41 AM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

The whole error with "the Recovery" is the belief that what God needs to do he can only do in "the Recovery," or by it, or through it. This shows a fundamental confusion about how God does things.

LRers point to the many great things they've seen and heard in "the Recovery" and conclude that it must be special and unique, and here their flawed concept of oneness is applied to support their idea that everyone else should join them.

But here's the truth. Each and all of us are in reality in the Lord's plan and purpose, and heirs of all he is, has and has done. But that does not mean that any of us or group of us have special status to own or wield those wonderful blessings in an exclusive or semi-exclusive way. The LR does not have proprietary rights to any of God's truth, even if its founder was the one who made that truth clearer than anyone had before. The truth is the truth and is owned by everyone. Just because God used you do reveal it does not make you owner of it.

Thus, anyone can fall out of grace, just like that. And anyone can jump into grace, just like that. Do you enjoy many of the truths you see in "the Recovery?" Great! But you don't need "the Recovery" to enjoy them. You just need 2 or more gathered in his name who are willing to enjoy them as well.

This is why I have a fundamental problem with those who feel they need to "fix" "the Recovery" in order to resume the blessing they once knew. Nothing could be further from the truth. (Sorry, Steve Isitt, if this still describes you.) If you believe such a thing is true, then it is still evidence you believe "the Recovery" is by its very nature special, which is the root of all its evil. By believing it you are empowering the very errors that you want to reform.

Take the truths you treasure and run with them. Find others and teach them what you believe. The Lord is not a respecter of persons or movements. He is able to produce children of Abraham from stones on the ground (Matt 3:9). There is nothing exclusively special about any subset of his kingdom. And to believe there is opens the door to serious problems. That's the folly of "the Recovery" in a nutshell. And it was that folly which actually thwarted whatever real good God wanted to do through Nee, Lee and their movement in the first place.
05-23-2019 06:54 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo S View Post
By "Next in line" I meant the leader/apostle or torch bearer of the LC's borrowed Pentecostal vision of one church one city. Succession going Nee>Lee>Chu.

This hierarchical position was immediately obvious to me and it's the same with many others here. Are you saying you didn't see Lee or Nee as movement leaders?

From what I gather, the Blendeds excommunicated Titus based on the charge of selfish ambition. Correct me if I'm wrong but they also saw Chu as someone that was attempting to usurp the mantle of Lee where as they claim they are the ones carrying out Lee's last wishes by standing in his place as an entity rather than an individual.
Not from where I stood. After the Max rebellion in 78 it was clear to us in Houton that Benson Phillips was the big winner. Shortly thereafter Houston became an arm of LSM, with printing taking place there. In hindsight this could be seen as a reward for their part in the Sister's rebellion and also for taking in the sister abused by PL and covering it up. Shortly after this Irving was created with the purpose of being a major publishing and conference center for LSM. 100 saints from Houston moved up. Basically the front two rows. Ray G, and Benson were the leaders of both the construction and church there. LSM built Benson a house adjacent to the property. Titus was as peripheral to this work as Bill Freeman was. During this time RG and BP demonstrated their loyalty by hiding their eyes once again to PL's abuses, stabbing JI in the back. The elders that replaced the Anaheim elders included EM, a proxy for both RG and BP. At the same time there was the FTTT, Benson, Ray, Ed M, and Kerry R all played significant roles there. One brother from Austin took on a leadership role. Basically it appeared to be a collaboration between Anaheim and Texas for the American saints. Again, as far as I could tell Titus played an insignificant role. The only things I heard about Titus at this point, from the closest workers to WL (who was also in Taipei) were complaints about him using fleshly means (music) in his gospel outreach. From this the FTTA was created with EM and KR playing important leadership roles (they are both from Houston and proxies for RG and BP). KRobicheaux was critical to this change as he has the credential to help with translation and deal with the theological issues that torment WL.

If Titus was telling people "Nee-Lee-Me" then he was delusional.
05-23-2019 05:45 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo S View Post
I guess where I was going with all of that was this; what do personal shortcomings or even issues of policy matter when both sides still adhere to the same core doctrine?

Even if you managed to pit all LCers against the Blendeds or against Titus Chu's ministry, false doctrine remains.

So is it Titus or the Blendeds that are separating people from Christ? Or is it the so called "vision of the age" both sides hold to? There have been multiple revisions to leadership within the LC's yet the foundational doctrines remain consistent.

By investing in this dichotomy of Titus vs the Blendeds, I just see it as maintaining the current division within the LC's rather than being a solution to it and as such ultimately distracting both sides from reconciling to Christ.

Shouldn't that be the goal?
Jo S apparently you came on board during this dichotomy. I left as it was ramping up. After I studied Brethren history, I realized the situation was incureable. The only healthy recourse was to leave. And slowly detox.
05-23-2019 05:38 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

I saw the abuses and bully tactics on all levels -- national, regional, and local -- as I looked back on my 30 years of loyal service. I had heard endless messages about reconciliation, yet saw none of that in action with the leadership. The basic message of Christian love -- love your neighbor as yourself -- was hidden on the shelves full of ministry books. No Christian group talked so much about the oneness, yet every church I knew was carved up into camps loyal to their man. We would shake our heads at all the failures in the church in Corinth as we lived out the exact same events in the Recovery -- divisions, backbiting, lawsuits, immorality, failed marriages, chaos in the communion service, etc.

Jo S you are right about bad leaders and bad teachings. Isn't there a saying about deceiving people with "big lies?" No lie was so big as the one we heard about being "local" churches.
05-22-2019 07:50 PM
Jo S
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

I guess where I was going with all of that was this; what do personal shortcomings or even issues of policy matter when both sides still adhere to the same core doctrine?

Even if you managed to pit all LCers against the Blendeds or against Titus Chu's ministry, false doctrine remains.

So is it Titus or the Blendeds that are separating people from Christ? Or is it the so called "vision of the age" both sides hold to? There have been multiple revisions to leadership within the LC's yet the foundational doctrines remain consistent.

By investing in this dichotomy of Titus vs the Blendeds, I just see it as maintaining the current division within the LC's rather than being a solution to it and as such ultimately distracting both sides from being reconciled to Christ.

Shouldn't that be the goal?
05-22-2019 07:20 PM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Come to think of it, the Blendeds may have done everyone a favor by ousting Chu. Imagine the "Recovery" with that bully in charge. I shudder to think. Better their brown-nosing ineptness than his I'm-next-up craziness.

But the whole lot of them aren't worth a dime and a dozen donuts when it comes to leading God people.
05-22-2019 05:53 PM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo S View Post
I suppose what confuses me is how Chu's excommunication is used as an argument to invalidate the Blendeds position of authority when you yourself view Titus Chu as another Lee figure or as I put it earlier "Lee 2.0".

I just assume with all the opposition to Witness Lee, there would be equal opposition to Titus Chu's ministry (which you personally were a part of) and I don't see that at all. It gives the appearance of bias so that's why I was asking for some clarity to this discrepancy.
Your question confuses me too. Go back and read my posts. There's quite a few.

What does "Lee 2.0" exactly mean? Unlike WL, TC never let his prodigal and degenerate son run his publishing house, molest the sisters, cover it up, and attack the whistle blowers. WL fleeced the saints with Daystar motor homes and other money-making schemes.

There are numerous issues in your posts all mixed together. Why should I not question the Blended's position of authority over Titus Chu and any other Ohio brother? Also, why should I not challenge the Blended's excommunication of Titus Chu? Why should I not protest LSM's abuse of Ohio area LC's, acting as thieves to steal, kill, and destroy?

Titus Chu viewed himself as a successor of Lee. It was told to me that TC repeated a saying from Taiwan, "Nee-Lee-Chu," in the aftermath of Lee's death. TC definitely had aspirations of leading all of the LC's. He definitely felt that he was more qualified, more spiritual, and more accomplished than any of the LSM staff. I was the one that made the forum aware of this. I have stated publicly that TC would have gone to Anaheim to "drain the swamp."

My only "protest" about TC has been the way he manipulates and mistreats brothers. He has done much work for the Lord, but it all gets negated by his abuses. The same is true with Anaheim. Both lord it over the brothers. I migrated twice to be a part of two new LC's, and in both cases TC nearly destroyed elders and ministers. TC's public shamings are absolutely brutal. He said he learned everything from WL. Both of my LC's were seriously hurt by these abuses and manipulations.
05-22-2019 04:48 PM
Jo S
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I see these as two distinct and separate questions.

The Blendeds laid out their case, according to scripture, for excommunicating Titus. I felt that case could be viewed, analyzed and judged solely on its merits. I only met Titus once and did not know him, have no idea what "next in line" is supposed to mean as I never subscribed to the MOTA doctrine, and didn't have to know anything more.

By "Next in line" I meant the leader/apostle or torch bearer of the LC's borrowed Pentecostal vision of one church one city. Succession going Nee>Lee>Chu.

This hierarchical position was immediately obvious to me and it's the same with many others here. Are you saying you didn't see Lee or Nee as movement leaders?

From what I gather, the Blendeds excommunicated Titus based on the charge of selfish ambition. Correct me if I'm wrong but they also saw Chu as someone that was attempting to usurp the mantle of Lee where as they claim they are the ones carrying out Lee's last wishes by standing in his place as an entity rather than an individual.
05-22-2019 04:45 PM
Jo S
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I read this post thrice, and I'm not sure what do you mean, "Why is that?"
I suppose what confuses me is how Chu's excommunication is used against the Blendeds when you yourself view Titus Chu as another Lee figure or as I put it earlier "Lee 2.0".

I just assume with all the opposition to Witness Lee, there would be equal opposition to Titus Chu's ministry (which you personally were a part of) and I don't see that here. To me, it gives the appearance of bias so that's why I was asking for some clarity to this discrepancy.
05-22-2019 04:30 PM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo S View Post
Ohio, I haven't read much into this topic here so I wasn't sure if you were in agreement with Titus Chu being Witness Lee's successor as "Apostle" or MOTA but by your reply I can be sure which brings me to my next question;

I see you and others often using the excommunication of Chu as an argument against the ethics of the Blendeds but I hardly ever see arguments against the elevated position Titus Chu willingly fills if you in fact agree he is seen as the "next in line" to Witness Lee.

Why is that?

It's partially rhetorical but also genuine curiousity because I've not been as involved as you guys so I accept I may be missing something.
I read this post thrice, and I'm not sure what do you mean, "Why is that?"
05-22-2019 03:57 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo S View Post
Ohio, I haven't read much into this topic here so I wasn't sure if you were in agreement with Titus Chu being Witness Lee's successor as "Apostle" or MOTA but by your reply I can be sure which brings me to my next question;

I see you and others often using the excommunication of Chu as an argument against the ethics of the Blendeds but I hardly ever see arguments against the elevated position Titus Chu willingly fills if you in fact agree he is seen as the "next in line" to Witness Lee.

Why is that?

It's partially rhetorical but also genuine curiousity because I've not been as involved as you guys so I accept I may be missing something.
I see these as two distinct and separate questions.

The Blendeds laid out their case, according to scripture, for excommunicating Titus. I felt that case could be viewed, analyzed and judged solely on its merits. I only met Titus once and did not know him, have no idea what "next in line" is supposed to mean as I never subscribed to the MOTA doctrine, and didn't have to know anything more.
05-22-2019 03:08 PM
Jo S
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
So true. And well said. I heard from both sides that I must "take a stand for the truth." But I loved brothers on both "sides." But don't let those "natural relationships" affect your decision. All sides were abusive, and sometimes abuse from a distance appears better than abuse up close. But weren't we only for Christ? For the truth? For the oneness? for the brothers?

Finally, after decades of devotion and loyal service, my wife and I stepped away and viewed the program objectively. Just too much dishonesty, unrighteousness, broken promises, and abuse hiding beneath all that "high peak" rhetoric.
Ohio, I haven't read much into this topic here so I wasn't sure if you were in agreement with Titus Chu being Witness Lee's successor as "Apostle" or MOTA but by your reply I can be sure which brings me to my next question;

I see you and others often using the excommunication of Chu as an argument against the ethics of the Blendeds but I hardly ever see arguments against the elevated position Titus Chu willingly fills if you in fact agree he is seen as the "next in line" to Witness Lee.

Why is that?

It's partially rhetorical but also genuine curiousity because I've not been as involved as you guys so I accept I may be missing something.
05-22-2019 03:06 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Can someone point to where Nee or Lee called themselves MOTAs?
I never heard WL refer to himself as a MOTA and I heard him rebuke others when they said it. However, you knew that if WL really wanted to put a stop to people saying it he would have.

Rather the book the "vision of the age" is one of the basic pieces of what he would teach.

In this book he talks about T. Austin Sparks, how his vision differed with the LC on the matter of the church ground. He then goes through history making the point that at any one point in history you have to have the vision of that age. The very obvious context is that we in the LC have that vision, which is how this book concludes.

He rebukes James for not having the vision, even saying this "The fact that Jerusalem was burned to the ground and that thousands of people were killed was altogether James’s fault."

He rebukes Barnabas for not having the vision. etc.

So in this message he teaches that individuals like Paul got the vision for that age, that there were many godly men who didn't have the vision (like James, Barnabas and T. Austin Sparks) and that you could be pious, preaching the gospel, and spiritual without having the complete vision.

Then in other places you will see him teach about there being one minister per age with the vision for that age and will teach that WN was the minister of his age and that the ground of the church was the vision for that age.

Put these two teachings together and you come to the conclusion that WL has the vision for his age and is therefore the MOTA. Though he would not say it, rather he would leave it to RG and others to say it.
05-22-2019 02:13 PM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jo S View Post
Apparently the behavior of elevating an individual to biblical status carries over into all segments of the Local Churches. This including the Midwest branches which I know from members own words that they view Titus Chu as a modern day "Apostle Paul".

I can't say if it's something that's insinuated or a cultural thing being imposed on scripture but from what I've seen, within the two factions, is a power struggle between a corporate Lee and Lee 2.0.

I see members here still choosing sides and it's what's keeping these two group in division. Young ones are hurting growing up within such an environment and perhaps struggle to understand why exactly that is.

I don't have all the details but it's plain to me they're both divided against each other because of their misplaced loyalty in men other than the Savior.
So true. And well said. I heard from both sides that I must "take a stand for the truth." But I loved brothers on both "sides." But don't let those "natural relationships" affect your decision. All sides were abusive, and sometimes abuse from a distance appears better than abuse up close. But weren't we only for Christ? For the truth? For the oneness? for the brothers?

Finally, after decades of devotion and loyal service, my wife and I stepped away and viewed the program objectively. Just too much dishonesty, unrighteousness, broken promises, and abuse hiding beneath all that "high peak" rhetoric.
05-22-2019 01:25 PM
awareness
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
That's a good point. I know this thread isn't on the MOTA, but the city church and the MOTA are so intertwined and dependent upon each other that it is hard to talk about one and not the other.

It's interesting that Nee and Lee came up with the idea of MOTA. The people who they identified as past MOTAs never claimed the title, as far as I know. But Nee and Lee did. But once they did, after them suddenly God abandoned the MOTA effort. No more MOTAs. Lee was the last one. He comes along, invents the idea of MOTA which he applied to himself, and then after he is gone... no more MOTAs. How convenient.

Like Harold said, only blind fanatics could go for this stuff. I guess that's what we were.

I believe Lee had some good stuff. Some things were even superb. There is no denying. But the fact is he let it go to his head, he thought of himself more highly than he should. And, sadly and ironically, by so tainting his own ministry with doctrines specifically designed to pad his resume as a visionary and to lord it over others, he actually ensured that very few people benefited from the good things the Lord gave him. Quite sad.
It was WE that inflated Lee's head. It was me, and you, and all the rest that flocked to Lee that made him believe that God was working thru him. WE are to blame.

And for good reason. I came out of a denomination. When I heard of one church one city it really tickled my fancy. The idea that all the believers in a city was in the church in that city really warmed my heart, and moved my spirit.

But that was their doctrine, not the practice. Cuz believers in the city that didn't meet in Lee's LCs weren't considered in THE church.

Others, and there were others, that caught onto the OCOC doctrine were taking the ground in other cities. When Lee ordered localities to converge on Ft. Lauderdale, Bob Mumford had already taken the ground. So we had a problem. According to the OCOC doctrine we were to meet with them. But they weren't following Lee. So we declared the ground anyway. And guess what? Mumford and his following weren't in the church in the city. That doctrine went out the window in order to keep Lee as the one and only apostle on the earth. The minister of the age doctrine overrode the doctrine of OCOC.

So the real purpose, turns out, behind the "recovery" of OCOC, was the recovery of the MOTA -- that never existed --- to elevate them to being the one and only authority of God on the earth.

OCOC only works when the church in the city is autonomous, without centralized control. So Nee and Lee's OCOC was a bait and switch.

And we were, and they are now, enablers and validators of the MOTA. We, when Lee was alive, and they, now that he's dead and gone.

And by the way, the Lord removed the Lee lampstand in Ft. Lauderdale, and one of Mumford's followers developed one of the largest Megachurches in America. So who was God with? Not with the one church one city bunch. That was Nee's and Lee's doctrine, not God's ... and certainly has no real Biblical support ... not blown in what Nee and Lee blew it into.
05-22-2019 12:48 PM
Jo S
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The British Exclusive Brethren had developed "MOTA" architecture decades before Nee devoured their ecclesiastic writings. They didn't actually use the term "MOTA," but rather "Oracle" or "Our Brother" or "First Among Equals," my favorite. Today the movement can trace their "Oracle" lineage back to Darby. Darby also developed their OCOC structures, or "one city, one assembly."

Darby was officially elevated in stature among their assemblies after his two chief rivals were publicly "lynched." I used the word "rivals" even though neither B.W. Newton nor G. Muller viewed Darby as a "rival." Nee and Lee viewed the "Recovered Church" from Martin Luther as always being led from age to age by one outstanding minister, as a modern day "Paul."

I found it interesting to note that both the Open and Exclusive leaders viewed Biblical authority through their pre-Brethren upbringing. Darby was an Irish Anglican priest, while Muller, Chapman, Chapman, and others had a Baptist background. Darby's Exclusive view of church oneness was similar to the Anglicans with member parishes under an overseeing regional bishop. The Open view of oneness was fellowshiping assemblies shepherded by local elders who only served God and served their church, yet opened their doors to all believers.

As numerous historians have noted, Darby and his successors had become far worse "Popes" than the ones in Rome they regularly condemned. Some have said the same of Anaheim. The parallels are striking. Same bad teachings produce the same bad results.
Apparently the behavior of elevating an individual to biblical status carries over into all segments of the Local Churches. This including the Midwest branches which I know from members own words that they view Titus Chu as a modern day "Apostle Paul".

I can't say if it's something that's insinuated or a cultural thing being imposed on scripture but from what I've seen, within the two factions, is a power struggle between a corporate Lee and Lee 2.0.

I see members here still choosing sides and it's what's keeping these two group in division. Young ones are hurting growing up within such an environment and perhaps struggle to understand why exactly that is.

I don't have all the details but it's plain to me they're both divided against each other because of misplaced loyalty in men other than the Savior.
05-22-2019 11:52 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
It's interesting that Nee and Lee came up with the idea of MOTA. The people who they identified as past MOTAs never claimed the title, as far as I know. But Nee and Lee did. But once they did, after them suddenly God abandoned the MOTA effort. No more MOTAs. Lee was the last one. He comes along, invents the idea of MOTA which he applied to himself, and then after he is gone... no more MOTAs. How convenient.
The British Exclusive Brethren had developed "MOTA" architecture decades before Nee devoured their ecclesiastic writings. They didn't actually use the term "MOTA," but rather "Oracle" or "Our Brother" or "First Among Equals," my favorite. Today the movement can trace their "Oracle" lineage back to Darby. Darby also developed their OCOC structures, or "one city, one assembly."

Darby was officially elevated in stature among their assemblies after his two chief rivals were publicly "lynched." I used the word "rivals" even though neither B.W. Newton nor G. Muller viewed Darby as a "rival." Nee and Lee viewed the "Recovered Church" from Martin Luther as always being led from age to age by one outstanding minister, as a modern day "Paul."

I found it interesting to note that both the Open and Exclusive leaders viewed Biblical authority through their pre-Brethren upbringing. Darby was an Irish Anglican priest, while Muller, Chapman, Chapman, and others had a Baptist background. Darby's Exclusive view of church oneness was similar to the Anglicans with member parishes under an overseeing regional bishop. The Open view of oneness was fellowshiping assemblies shepherded by local elders who only served God and served their church, yet opened their doors to all believers.

As numerous historians have noted, Darby and his successors had become far worse "Popes" than the ones in Rome they regularly condemned. Some have said the same of Anaheim. The parallels are striking. Same bad teachings produce the same bad results.
05-22-2019 10:19 AM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Can someone point to where Nee or Lee called themselves MOTAs? I know some LCers who don't agree with the MOTA thing but say that it really came into play after Lee's death and that it's the BBs who use the term MOTA. They think that Nee and Lee wouldn't have agreed with it.

Did Nee and Lee ever refer to themselves this way (either explicitly or implicitly)?

I believe it was Nee who formalized the doctrine of the MOTA. Lee reiterated it. He stated plainly that "the Lord's recovery" was always with the MOTA, and he plainly claimed the Lord's recovery was with him. I heard him do that several times. He regularly talked about how the progression of God's revelation culminated with his ministry. Although I never heard him say flatly, "I am the minister of the age," he clearly believed it and and expected us to believe it as well. He claimed to have no peer in his lifetime other than Nee. He bragged about his ministry, claiming it had no peer. It makes no sense that he would teach about the MOTA, and make such other high-falutin' claims about himself, and not believe he was the MOTA.

He was coy about it, a kind of unconvincing humility. But he believed it, and expected us to.

It goes without saying that the BBs' whole reign of terror depends on them having people believe it.
05-22-2019 10:07 AM
Trapped
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
That's a good point. I know this thread isn't on the MOTA, but the city church and the MOTA are so intertwined and dependent upon each other that it is hard to talk about one and not the other.

It's interesting that Nee and Lee came up with the idea of MOTA. The people who they identified as past MOTAs never claimed the title, as far as I know. But Nee and Lee did. But once they did, after them, suddenly God abandoned the MOTA effort. No more MOTAs. Lee was the last one. He comes along, invents the idea of MOTA which he applied to himself, and then after he is gone... no more MOTAs. How convenient.

Can someone point to where Nee or Lee called themselves MOTAs? I know some LCers who don't agree with the MOTA thing but say that it really came into play after Lee's death and that it's the BBs who use the term MOTA. They think that Nee and Lee wouldn't have agreed with it.

Did Nee and Lee ever refer to themselves this way (either explicitly or implicitly)?
05-22-2019 09:27 AM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
And the 'one minister in each age doctrine,' how does that work now? Has God moved away from that? Or was that just a phantom of Nee and Lee, to make them the great one and only ministers of the age? And now God has some that are most blended with them, specially Lee?
That's a good point. I know this thread isn't on the MOTA, but the city church and the MOTA are so intertwined and dependent upon each other that it is hard to talk about one and not the other.

It's interesting that Nee and Lee came up with the idea of MOTA. The people who they identified as past MOTAs never claimed the title, as far as I know. But Nee and Lee did. But once they did, after them suddenly God abandoned the MOTA effort. No more MOTAs. Lee was the last one. He comes along, invents the idea of MOTA which he applied to himself, and then after he is gone... no more MOTAs. How convenient.

Like Harold said, only blind fanatics could go for this stuff. I guess that's what we were.

I believe Lee had some good stuff. Some things were even superb. There is no denying. But the fact is he let it go to his head, he thought of himself more highly than he should. And, sadly and ironically, by so tainting his own ministry with doctrines specifically designed to pad his resume as a visionary and to lord it over others, he actually ensured that very few people benefited from the good things the Lord gave him. Quite sad.
05-22-2019 08:31 AM
awareness
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Again, the problem is not with the idea of one church per city. We are comfortable with the idea of all Christians being part of one universal church. The church in the city is simply the universal church on the local level. But there is nothing that says that one church in a city must needs be tightly organized under one group of leaders. And even if you think it does, the practical problem stills remains regarding how to decide who the leaders of that one city church truly are.

Who should all the Christian in the city follow? The fact is there is absolutely no way for anyone to determine beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt who the city church leaders should be. This is a major issue. You are talking about in some cases ostensive leaders over hundreds of thousand of Christians. Should everyone follow the LR leaders just because the LR says they should? How silly is that? And what happened to freedom of conscience? If someone feels the self-proclaimed city church leaders are corrupt, does he or she still have to follow them?

The problem with the LR city church model is that it provides no means of "recovery" of exactly the kind that allowed the LR movement to form in the first place--that is, people voting with their consciences and feet to follow where they feel the Lord is leading. And if the Lord can lead you into a movement, he can lead you out of it. It's absolutely ridiculous to expect that you cannot reach a point where you simply can no longer in good conscience follow a group of leaders anymore, even if they proclaim to be the leaders over the one church in the city you happen to live in.

Thus the LR city church model is a logical, practical and spiritual absurdity. It boils down to nonsense. Like I said, don't lose any sleep over it. Those of us who have thought this thing through have done that for you.
One church one city is Much Ado about Nothing. Except to establish a hierarchical authoritative system with one man on top, the apostle, as the one and only authority 'of God.'

The very authoritative system type that debauched Christianity in the 4th century.

And who is 'the apostle" today? The Blended Brothers? Are they a committee of apostles? Lee selected elders. How do the BB's select elders? by vote ... majority wins ... minus Gods' vote?

And the 'one minister in each age doctrine,' how does that work now? Has God moved away from that? Or was that just a phantom of Nee and Lee, to make them the great one and only ministers of the age? And now God has some that are most blended with them, specially Lee?

Only blind fanatics -- those that have abdicated the power to think for them self -- and the unfortunate that have grown up in the LC, can't see what a joke all of this is. (Let's hope they catch on when they grow up.)

And what happens when the Blended Brothers pass on? And those poor future ages? What happens to them?

One church one city is a fringe movement ... that will end up meaning nothing in the long run. Jesus will still be wherever 2 or 3 are gathered together.
05-22-2019 06:17 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Again, the problem is not with the idea of one church per city. We are comfortable with the idea of all Christians being part of one universal church. The church in the city is simply the universal church on the local level. But there is nothing that says that one church in a city must needs be tightly organized under one group of leaders. And even if you think it does, the practical problem stills remains regarding how to decide who the leaders of that one city church truly are.

Who should all the Christian in the city follow? The fact is there is absolutely no way for anyone to determine beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt who the city church leaders should be. This is a major issue. You are talking about in some cases ostensive leaders over hundreds of thousand of Christians. Should everyone follow the LR leaders just because the LR says they should? How silly is that? And what happened to freedom of conscience? If someone feels the self-proclaimed city church leaders are corrupt, does he or she still have to follow them?
The solution to this problem was resolved at the time of Moses. He took rods from representatives of the 12 tribes and Aaron's rod budded. That is how they knew that God had chosen him. Likewise, Jesus' resurrection is how we all know that God has chosen Him.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
The problem with the LR city church model is that it provides no means of "recovery" of exactly the kind that allowed the LR movement to form in the first place--that is, people voting with their consciences and feet to follow where they feel the Lord is leading. And if the Lord can lead you into a movement, he can lead you out of it. It's absolutely ridiculous to expect that you cannot reach a point where you simply can no longer in good conscience follow a group of leaders anymore, even if they proclaim to be the leaders over the one church in the city you happen to live in.

Thus the LR city church model is a logical, practical and spiritual absurdity. It boils down to nonsense. Like I said, don't lose any sleep over it. Those of us who have thought this thing through have done that for you.
But this has very important ramifications that you should think through. If the "One church one city" doctrine taught by Nee and Lee is spiritual absurdity then so also is the MOTA doctrine since it is built on that doctrine being God's move for this age. If MOTA doctrine falls then so to does the basis for the church being tied to LSM, since their claim to a monopoly rests solely on the MOTA doctrine. If that principle falls then actions like the excommunication of Titus Chu are revealed for what they are, a power play in a sect.
05-21-2019 08:25 PM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Again, the problem is not with the idea of one church per city. We are comfortable with the idea of all Christians being part of one universal church. The church in the city is simply the universal church on the local level. But there is nothing that says that one church in a city must needs be tightly organized under one group of leaders. And even if you think it does, the practical problem stills remains regarding how to decide who the leaders of that one city church truly are.

Who should all the Christian in the city follow? The fact is there is absolutely no way for anyone to determine beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt who the city church leaders should be. This is a major issue. You are talking about in some cases ostensive leaders over hundreds of thousand of Christians. Should everyone follow the LR leaders just because the LR says they should? How silly is that? And what happened to freedom of conscience? If someone feels the self-proclaimed city church leaders are corrupt, does he or she still have to follow them?

The problem with the LR city church model is that it provides no means of "recovery" of exactly the kind that allowed the LR movement to form in the first place--that is, people voting with their consciences and feet to follow where they feel the Lord is leading. And if the Lord can lead you into a movement, he can lead you out of it. It's absolutely ridiculous to expect that you cannot reach a point where you simply can no longer in good conscience follow a group of leaders anymore, even if they proclaim to be the leaders over the one church in the city you happen to live in.

Thus the LR city church model is a logical, practical and spiritual absurdity. It boils down to nonsense. Like I said, don't lose any sleep over it. Those of us who have thought this thing through have done that for you.
05-21-2019 11:23 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Why is it that we never thought through Nee's and Lee's mandate that ONLY an apostle can appoint elders? Ironically, it was not even Paul who appointed elders in their scheme, but Titus (1.5)
Yes, it creates hysterical problems.

1. Suppose one apostle appointed elders in Brooklyn and another apostle appointed elders in Manhattan. What happens when they both become one city?

2. Suppose one apostle appoints elders throughout China (Hudson Taylor) and then dies. Along comes WN and appoints more elders. What happens when two of these cities become one?

3. Let's suppose WL appoints elders in Houston, but then they move to Irving, so the elders appoint new elders. Is it still considered they were appointed by "the apostle"? If so how many generations does this work? Does it only work for elders appointed by the apostle (say blendeds?) If so doesn't that usurp the Lord's authority?
05-21-2019 09:31 AM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The appointment of elders, on the other hand, provided great power to Lee, and he was all about control. He appointed many elders whose only qualification was blind loyalty, a criteria which never crossed Paul's mind. To Paul, elders were consecrated to God on behalf of the church, and not devoted to a work or a man's ministry.
Lee really believed that the way for God to accomplish his purpose was to produce uniformity in the Church at large. If we were all on the same page, so to speak, God could accomplish much.

That thought is not all bad, but the problem is he sought to enforce that uniformity by coercion, by swinging the weight of authority, or rather presumed authority.

All you have to do is look at the Catholic Church to see how such a thing can go wrong, and that when it does go wrong, which it did, if you accepted his model of authority there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it, other that to stop following him. This dissonance was eased by extreme rationalizations such as "even when he's wrong he's right," and other such nonsense.

Lee was a megalomaniac. Most megalomaniacs really believe the world would be a better place and everyone would be happier if they were running things. They see themselves as saviors; and like Thanos in the Avengers series they have "noble" intentions. But they are still nuts.
05-21-2019 08:25 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Simply put, the LR one church per city doctrine is actually a one leadership per city doctrine. It's nothing more than a way to subject as many Christians as possible to a single leadership, which is itself subject to Witness Lee.
Why is it that we never thought through Nee's and Lee's mandate that ONLY an apostle can appoint elders? Ironically, it was not even Paul who appointed elders in their scheme, but Titus (1.5)

With such a restrictive mandate in place, were there then no legitimate elders for 1900 years until Nee came along? Is this how real church history should be viewed? What happens to all the LC's after Lee passed? Who then is authorized to appoint elders? Where is the scriptural mandate, and official qualifications for, the authority of the Blendeds to appoint new elders? How in the world then did the Blendeds receive authority to de-legitimize elders appointed by Titus Chu, once recognized by Lee as an apostle, as they did in Mansfield, OH?

Obviously we were sold a bill of goods. The Bible never mandated that elders must be appointed by apostles. Yes, initially it happened, but never was this sanctioned by scripture. That's why Paul gave specific criteria for elders and deacons, so that churches could flourish after the apostles left us. That's why Paul told the elders in Ephesus that they were selected by the Spirit if God. (Acts 20.28)

The appointment of elders, on the other hand, provided great power to Lee, and he was all about control. He appointed many elders whose only qualification was blind loyalty, a criteria which never crossed Paul's mind. To Paul, elders were consecrated to God on behalf of the church, and not devoted to a work or a man's ministry.
05-21-2019 06:15 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Absolute correct, ZNP.

Simply put, the LR one church per city doctrine is actually a one leadership per city doctrine. It's nothing more than a way to subject as many Christians as possible to a single leadership, which is itself subject to Witness Lee.
I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beseech you to walk worthily of the calling wherewith ye were called, 2 with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3 giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

The Lord was sovereign to allow WN and WL to teach this doctrine. It tells us to give diligence to keep the oneness of the Spirit, and that is a requirement for "walking worthily of the calling".

4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as also ye were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism, 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all, and through all, and in all.

However, there is "one Lord". To set up any other authority other than "one Lord" is to deny the One who redeemed us. Peter warned us of this "who shall privily bring in [a]destructive heresies, denying even the Master that bought them". Paul was a prisoner, imagine a prisoner having the chutzpah to claim that the only authentic church was one where he laid hands on the elders?!
05-20-2019 08:30 PM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
T"One elder", "one leadership" and "one apostle" are not part of the seven ones, so that is a non issue. Shame on anyone who tries to make that a criteria.
Absolute correct, ZNP.

Simply put, the LR one church per city doctrine is actually a one leadership per city doctrine. It's nothing more than a way to subject as many Christians as possible to a single leadership, which is itself subject to Witness Lee.
05-20-2019 07:18 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

There is a simple solution -- every Christian who receives the 7 ones in Ephesians is part of the one church in the city. If you attend a meeting in the city that should be the only criteria to taking the table. If that is the case then we can all be "the one church in the one city". "One elder", "one leadership" and "one apostle" are not part of the seven ones, so that is a non issue. Shame on anyone who tries to make that a criteria.
05-20-2019 06:28 PM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Here's a few other problems with the false one practical church per city doctrine as held by the LR:

Assuming there is one "practical" church per city, just where is it and how do you you know? How do you know who the true leaders are?

Several LR answers should be examined now:
1) The "the apostle appoints the leaders" doctrine. But that's just kicking the can down the road. Who decides who is the true apostle, if there are any? The basic problem is there is no way to establish in an absolute sense who the leaders in the city are. Each person must decide for himself or herself who to follow. Freedom of conscience demands this.

2) The "we were here first" aka the "squatter's rights" doctrine. I can't see that being first is anywhere a biblical principle. God is not a respecter of seniority.
But let's say a group was first. What is to stop a second group from saying, "Yes, you are meeting as the church in the city, but we feel you do so in name only and actually have a divisive spirit." Based on that registration of conscience, why is the second group obligated to submit to the first? Clearly there is absolutely no biblical reason that they should be expected to do so.

The bottom line is the one-practical-church-per-city doctrine simply collapses under the weight of its own contradictions and hypocrisies. It only works as a means of intimidating those naive individuals which a group of leaders wish to subject to themselves. It's an invalid and non-biblical means of lording over God's people. Those who abuse it will have to answer to the Lord for their error.
05-20-2019 03:08 PM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

There is one church in each city, just like there is one church on earth and one church in the USA and one church in Texas and one church in Travis County.

But there is nothing in the Bible that says the one church in a city must be a "practical church," that is, one with a single tightly-coordinated set of leaders who recognize no other organizational entity but their own and expect everyone in the city to join and follow them. The Bible contains no such thought.

The Bible clearly identifies city churches. But it also identifies house churches, which introduces sufficient reasonable doubt on the city-church-only doctrine. There is no definitive text which says beyond a shadow of reasonable doubt there can be only one practical (meaning operationally organized on a regular basis) church per city. The thought is just not there, but rather must be assumed.

To assume a doctrine with such extreme and far-reaching implications (for assuming it is to invalidate 99.999% of churches on the face of the earth) is clearly much too much.

Add to this the fact that in its history the doctrine has plainly not produced any true oneness, but rather only a "oneness" of a personality sect, and you have sufficient reason to discard it as at best gravely flawed and most likely perniciously destructive.

As far as I'm concerned the horses have left the barn on this teaching. It's false. I recommend no one lose any sleep over it.
05-18-2019 11:13 PM
Kevin
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

A tree is known by its fruit.











05-18-2019 11:08 PM
byHismercy
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
I've seen this 'One Church, one City' paradigm to be divisive and doublespeak of its implications in the attitudes and actions of the LC members. The inclusivity statements of Witness Lee might sound veracious at hand, but the truth is, when a lengthy assessment that contradict other radical statements of Lee's writings that actually suggests elitist exclusivism. It is liable to charge of being two-faced, that Christians in Christianity may be part of the universal church, but the other way around they are said to be living in error. It is illogical inconsistent, which has an implication of superiority over outsiders. Therefore, the teaching of the "ground of locality" is hypocritical at face value.
Hypocrisy is the word of the day. The word that best encapsulates The Ministry/Local Church. The realization coming out the other side was that it was all kinds of truth being spoken, the spoken agreement with one Spirit, one body, one Lord, one faith....all that was agreed with aloud. However the reality of those things is denied in actions.....it was a facade! How easily I was deceived. In word there was an agreement with scripture. But in reality, the faith in the misleading doctrine usurped the believers there from the pure word of God, the reality of the oneness of Spirit.
05-18-2019 10:20 PM
Kevin
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

I've seen this 'One Church, one City' paradigm to be divisive and doublespeak of its implications in the attitudes and actions of the LC members. The inclusivity statements of Witness Lee might sound veracious at hand, but the truth is, when a lengthy assessment that contradict other radical statements of Lee's writings that actually suggests elitist exclusivism. It is liable to charge of being two-faced, that Christians in Christianity may be part of the universal church, but the other way around they are said to be living in error. It is illogical inconsistent, which has an implication of superiority over outsiders. Therefore, the teaching of the "ground of locality" is hypocritical at face value.
05-18-2019 08:41 PM
byHismercy
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Yes, you shall know them by their fruit. What is the fruit of this doctrine? Oneness with all believers in the city? No, definitely not. Instead the fruit is a judgmental attitude that every other believer is in some kind of spiritual fornication, insulting the Lord, and that they would become tarnished spiritually if they had fellowship with them. Hence, it is not simply a heresy, but a damnable heresy.
Yes indeed. Damnable heresy. And I remember that arrogance on full display the very very last time I ever bothered to make that 30 plus mile drive down to town for a conference meeting being streamed at the home of some saints there. RK was ranting about how not everybody should pray. About how not all are qualified to pray. I was so shocked and offended at the speaking....I mentioned it to a couple of other sisters and they also disagreed, and couldn't really justify it nor talk about it with me. I think it was a real eye opener for me, that conference. I think it was Thanksgiving 2 years ago? Does anyone else remember that? I couldn't believe a man of God would believe what he was speaking....
05-18-2019 08:28 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by byHismercy View Post
One church one city is not only non essential doctrine, it is a non issue to the Lord. This doctrine comes from another source. If the Lord Christ desires we all be one as He and the Father are one, you better believe Satan is is sitting on his wee, sad, doomed to burn in hell forever throne sending all his minions out to confuse and confound believers with lying doctrine which results in the exact opposite of the Lords' desire......DIVISION....SEPARATION.....and the INABILITY to have real ONENESS.
Yes, you shall know them by their fruit. What is the fruit of this doctrine? Oneness with all believers in the city? No, definitely not. Instead the fruit is a judgmental attitude that every other believer is in some kind of spiritual fornication, insulting the Lord, and that they would become tarnished spiritually if they had fellowship with them. Hence, it is not simply a heresy, but a damnable heresy.
05-18-2019 08:07 PM
byHismercy
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

One church one city is not only non essential doctrine, it is a non issue to the Lord. This doctrine comes from another source. If the Lord Christ desires we all be one as He and the Father are one, you better believe Satan is is sitting on his wee, sad, doomed to burn in hell forever throne sending all his minions out to confuse and confound believers with lying doctrine which results in the exact opposite of the Lords' desire......DIVISION....SEPARATION.....and the INABILITY to have real ONENESS. Which of course has become the Local Church fruit. It makes me mad and sad, and frustrated. How will we ever be one in Jesus with the Local Church believers when they have this bizarre culture of total silence? The saints in my life shut the door on all communication, with the exception being the peculiar attempt at communication without actually acknowledging a single word I said. What kind of fun new game is this, anyway? It all smacks of the enemies' tricks to me. Maybe some think my opinion is extreme but who else would be clapping his evil hands and jumping up and down to see the body divided so? We are witnessing the spiritual warfare play out right before our spiritual eyes, are we not?

Lord Jesus, give us all Your love for each other, give us all Your eyes, Your wisdom, Your doctrine, Your ears, Your faith, and Your love for the Father. Amen.

byHismercy
05-17-2019 08:55 PM
awareness
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I would ask the OCOC supporters to define a "city."

There is no way that the description of "city" in the New Testament can match our contemporary definition. Look at NY "City." It's larger than the entire nation of Israel. NYC is really hundreds or thousands of "cities" as the word is used in the NT.

The most we can say about the OCOC doctrine of Nee is that the Apostle John "described" it in Rev 2 and 3. No NT writer ever "prescribed" it for church practice, including John. Not only did Paul not follow the "official" church naming practice sanctioned by Nee, but on several occasions Paul's letters refute it.

As one writer has said, we have far more instruction for head covering in the meetings than for OCOC. Why do the LCs not mandate that?
Hear !!! Hear !!!

I've repeated several times that, Nee went beyond scripture with his definition of OCOC. There's no such doctrine spelled out in the New Testament.
05-17-2019 07:23 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I would ask the OCOC supporters to define a "city."

There is no way that the description of "city" in the New Testament can match our contemporary definition. Look at NY "City." It's larger than the entire nation of Israel. NYC is really hundreds or thousands of "cities" as the word is used in the NT.

The most we can say about the OCOC doctrine of Nee is that the Apostle John "described" it in Rev 2 and 3. No NT writer ever "prescribed" it for church practice, including John. Not only did Paul not follow the "official" church naming practice sanctioned by Nee, but on several occasions Paul's letters refute it.

As one writer has said, we have far more instruction for head covering in the meetings than for OCOC. Why do the LCs not mandate that?
Yes, it is a bizarre derivative of Nee's teaching that puts a city council above the church elders. If Manhattan and Brooklyn decide to join and become one city then the churches in Manhattan and Brooklyn now need to also join under one eldership.
05-17-2019 09:19 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

I would ask the OCOC supporters to define a "city."

There is no way that the description of "city" in the New Testament can match our contemporary definition. Look at NY "City." It's larger than the entire nation of Israel. NYC is really hundreds or thousands of "cities" as the word is used in the NT.

The most we can say about the OCOC doctrine of Nee is that the Apostle John "described" it in Rev 2 and 3. No NT writer ever "prescribed" it for church practice, including John. Not only did Paul not follow the "official" church naming practice sanctioned by Nee, but on several occasions Paul's letters refute it.

As one writer has said, we have far more instruction for head covering in the meetings than for OCOC. Why do the LCs not mandate that?
05-17-2019 06:34 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I know it's strange since there are other good arguments out there, but for me personally this is the best thing I've come across so far to negate the OCOC edict. This tells me the church in P&A's house was NOT the entire church in Rome, and thus city = church is not the "ground of the church" and the LCs are thus holding tightly onto a non-essential.
The interpretation of the "one church one city" as all the people in a single meeting hall is absurd and has no Biblical support. The church in Taipei had 26 meeting halls when I was there, so a single large meeting hall is not an item of our oneness. Paul gives 7 items for our oneness in Ephesians. The seven ones. Meeting hall and Elders are not mentioned.

But lets address the whole "one eldership" derivative argument as an expression of oneness. The elders are supposed to be local, there is no overarching organizational structure according to WN's interpretation and he is the only one putting forth this "one church one city" doctrine. Making the elders in all the 26 halls come under an umbrella organization is contrary to WN's entire construct.

Second, if you have the 7 ones in Ephesians then what could possibly cause you to not be one with another congregation with those 7 ones? Tell us the issue and we'll immediately see who is not one.

Third, they argue that the apostle laid hands on them, so they are under the apostle. You are creating a division. Surely they are not envisioning a single apostle that evangelizes the entire world over the last 2,000 years. Since we have multiple apostles how is it that we don't have multiple churches? Simple, apostle is not listed as one of the seven ones.

The value in WN's doctrine is that it forces us to see that the oneness of the church, the believers, and all those in a city is important, and it also forces us to go to the word to know the truth. If you can see the error in his teaching clearly then you have a clear vision of the oneness of the Body of Christ.
05-16-2019 11:53 PM
Trapped
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

In Further Talks on the Church Life, Nee answers some questions about the church in a city and the church in a house:

Question: Some say that since Paul sent greetings to the church in Rome as well as to the church in a house, this signifies that there was not only a local church but also a church in a house. Are there not, therefore, two churches?

Answer: Let us consider the matter slowly. I fear that you have not listened to the word of God carefully. The book of Romans never speaks of “the church in Rome.” How then could the apostle have greeted the church in Rome? The book of Romans does not present clearly in writing one greeting to “the church in Rome” and another greeting to “the church in the house.” But in greeting the church in the house of Prisca and Aquila, it is implied that such a greeting is to the church in Rome, which was meeting in Prisca and Aquila’s house. Hence, the church in Rome was the church in Prisca and Aquila’s house.....

I think Nee's answer starts out pretty disingenuously to be honest. He begins by casting immediate doubt on the questioners reading skills, which is a sure sign some manipulation is coming. But if you read Romans, while it is true the explicit phrase "the church in Rome" isn't used, Romans 1:7 clearly says "To all who are in Rome, beloved of God, the called saints". Who in earth is that if not the church in Rome?

So Romans is clearly to the church in Rome, whether or not that exact phrase is used. But Romans 16:3-5 says "Greet Prisca and Aquila......And greet the church, which is in their house."

Hold on. Why would a letter TO the church in Rome itself instruct them to greet the church in a house if the entire church in Rome met in that house (as Nee and Lee purport)?

That would be like writing a letter to the Johnson family and telling the Johnson family to greet the Johnson family. It doesn't make any sense. If you write a letter to someone and tell them to greet someone, by default, that second someone is in some way a different entity than the first someone.

I know it's strange since there are other good arguments out there, but for me personally this is the best thing I've come across so far to negate the OCOC edict. This tells me the church in P&A's house was NOT the entire church in Rome, and thus city = church is not the "ground of the church" and the LCs are thus holding tightly onto a non-essential.
03-19-2019 09:52 PM
Kevin
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Here is a link to that referenced post.

Here is the conclusion to that article ...

This piece was written to correct some of the flaws in David Canfield's article, which is the opening post for this thread. Canfield wrote this in the aftermath of the Midwest quarantines. He subscribed to Titus Chu's views, which I have simplistically labeled as "WL good -- Blendeds bad."
Quote:
Unregistered Guest: 2) Where 2 or 3 gather there I am in the midst" = the church. One practical way (not necessarily the only way) to achieve oneness in this paradigm is in having separate assemblies with separate administrations holding to unity of "the faith" (Eph 4:13)
Matthew 18:15-17, 20 NASB
15 “If your brother sins, go and show him his fault in private; if he listens to you, you have won your brother. 16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed. 17 If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector 20 For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.

That verse is taken out of context. Isn't the context of that passage about Church discipline than saying Jesus showing up or being "in our midst?" That church discipline is about keeping people IN the Church, but on God's terms and to the purity of the body.
03-18-2019 05:57 PM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I've told the story of an elder who tried to hold a regional conference after WL passed. LSM got wind of it when he called them up & tried to order 300 of a certain title. The Blendeds told him, "Re-speak the latest conference". I'll never forget the look on his face when he heard that. Sadness, discouragement, even disgust. At that point he'd been following WL's ministry longer than many of his new masters in Anaheim.
This was similar to my last meeting with "the brothers." Since Chicago sided with LSM prior to the official quarantines, TC sent all their FT-ers to TC-friendly locales. The one we got came in and decided to shake things up. In his own words, "sometimes we need to shock the saints." Huh?

Being with the saints of different ages, I knew they wanted to all come together for the Lord's Table meeting. The new "master" from Chicago said, "No, we need numerous "intimate" LT meetings instead." I protested. What the heck is an "intimate" meeting to remember the Lord? Thus we had 3 saints breaking bread in the dining room while another group was vacuuming the carpet. Real intimate! They looked electrocuted. Sadness, discouragement, even disgust.
03-18-2019 05:44 PM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
This actually touches on a topic I had on my mental back burner. I had an interaction with an elder one time where he talked about needing to check with "the brothers" (in Anaheim) about a certain local matter. I can't remember what it was, but it was something banal, like having a particular meeting, or possibly having a conference that involved a few churches. It was not a serious situation, like the implosion of a bunch of churches. I asked, "why do you need to check with them if this is something that doesn't actually involve them?" The elders' hesitated for a second and then said, "Well, it's good to get the feeling of the Body."

Of course, this means "check with Anaheim" but, me, always hesitant of that baby/bathwater thing, couldn't help but wonder if there is any Biblical precedent for this before throwing it out as "nonsense". I love what you say that the members/Body are described by Paul on the local level. It makes so much sense to "get the feeling of the Body" on the local level, in your own church. Are there any instances in the Bible where "get the feeling of the Body" on a larger-than-local level could be argued for?
There is support for circulating the apostolic epistles around the churches. Ephesians, for example, could be a circular letter. In his conclusion to Colosse, Paul exhorts them to exchange letters with Laodicea (Col 4.15-16) which btw we do not have. John's letters in Rev 2-3 were also circulated. It is interesting to note that the towns of Ephesus to Laodicea followed a well-traveled route, which some have said formed a rainbow in shape. Next in line was Colossae and Hierapolis, had there been 8 or 9 letters in total.

Concerning "the feeling of the body" according to Lee, this teaching is entirely manufactured with the goal to force compliance with headquarters. Who is qualified to "know" this feeling. Scripturally and practically speaking this should uniquely be the Head of the body leading the elders and the gifted brothers who are with the saints. How in the world could those in Anaheim know the needs in Cleveland, Ohio? Compare Paul's letters to Corinth and Galatia. Their needs were diametrically opposed.

When it comes to the ministry of the word concerning the truths of the faith, there is ground to bring congregations together to benefit from certain gifted members. But Lee once said that the local elders had enough "authority" to choose what time to have a church prayer meeting. Seriously? This is why many have rightly said that LC elders have become only franchise managers. Thus Podunk, Nowheresville has the exact same "menu" as the megatropolis of NYC.

The N.T. shows us a continued battled between Gentile Evangelists and Judaizers sent out from Jerusalem. Initially they battled over circumcision, apparently resolved in Acts 15, yet really never was until the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. The "feeling of the body" should be guided by the Spirit, by the new covenant, and by righteousness. Look at every case in the N.T., they were all guided in this way.
03-18-2019 04:14 PM
Kevin
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Are there any instances in the Bible where "get the feeling of the Body" on a larger-than-local level could be argued for?
Here's an article what they meant by "get feeling of the Body".
Taking Christ’s Feeling as our Feeling and having the Consciousness of the Body
03-18-2019 03:39 PM
Kevin
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

They have this superstitious belief that if you leave the ground, bad things will happen to you. They are stuck in that system of error.

The most disappointing event is that this elder has unashamedly accused my current church as spiritual fornicator. *typical cultic-behavior
03-18-2019 03:31 PM
Kevin
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

My study of Scripture have led me to leave the movement. But not until that the administration of local elders went wickedly that driven me to leave immediately. Many times, I have attempted to reach out the LCers. Sadly, they have to stay away from me, for they must follow the teachings of Witness Lee and are not willing, usually, to compare Scripture to the teaching of Witness Lee. If they did, they would leave also. But thankfully, at least two people who are now with me have left the system.

There is no biblical basis for the idea about "the ground of the church". Basically, if one does not follow Witness Lee they are considered outsiders. They may be saved but they are said to be living in error.

Yes, in the early church it was, "the Church in Corinth" or "the Church in Ephesus," etc. No denominations. But Witness Lee has created his own "church" on his own "ground" and there is no biblical basis for it.

The bottom line is: Be like the Bereans, study the Word. Don't follow men, follow the Word.
03-18-2019 03:10 PM
aron
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

"Get the feeling of the Body" really means, "check with HQ." But you can't say the latter because it doesn't sound very mystical does it? Plus, there is supposedly no hierarchy so there can be no HQ.

But there it is.

I've told the story of an elder who tried to hold a regional conference after WL passed. LSM got wind of it when he called them up & tried to order 300 of a certain title. The Blendeds told him, "Re-speak the latest conference". I'll never forget the look on his face when he heard that. Sadness, discouragement, even disgust. At that point he'd been following WL's ministry longer than many of his new masters in Anaheim.

Only Jesus Christ knows the feeling of the Body. Anyone else who presumes that will bring ruin. Of such Paul said, "We would not bear them; no, not even for an instant."
03-18-2019 02:31 PM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Are there any instances in the Bible where "get the feeling of the Body" on a larger-than-local level could be argued for?
You NEVER "get the feeling of the Body." If you did you would just take a vote and go with the majority.

What you do is have fellowship with other Christians and try to hear the Lord's speaking.

The Lord's speaking can be aligned with everyone else's opinion, or it can be completely contrary. Imagine if Martin Luther had been interested in the "feeling of the Body." No Reformation! Imagine if Nathan had been swayed by the "feeling of the Body." Rebuke King David? I don't think so! Imagine if Paul had listened to the "feeling of the Body." Get rid of of ALL Jewish ordinances? The council in Jerusalem isn't going to like that!

What makes dealing with and figuring out the LR so difficult is they set up false standards of behavior then get you distracted wondering how to apply standards that are false in the first place!

Just follow the Lord! It is wise to seek counsel, but ultimately you have to go with him, regardless of what the rest of the world thinks.

"No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, 'Know the Lord,' because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest." Heb 8:11
03-18-2019 01:36 PM
Trapped
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The "practical expression of the church" should be defined by the story of the Bible, not be a twisted interpretation. This is similar to the one day I was reading I Cor. 12. Paul spoke to the church in Corinth in much detail about the "practical expression of the church" being exhibited among them, even in their Lord's Table meetings. Suddenly I realized how Lee had twisted the teaching, "many members, but one body." To the Apostle Paul this was on a local level. It referred to the individual behavior of the members of the church. Lee, however, over an extended period of time, changed the meaning here. It became "many LC's, but one body." The implicit and very explicit message from Lee was simple: the relationship of LC's to LSM was far more important that their personal living.

This actually touches on a topic I had on my mental back burner. I had an interaction with an elder one time where he talked about needing to check with "the brothers" (in Anaheim) about a certain local matter. I can't remember what it was, but it was something banal, like having a particular meeting, or possibly having a conference that involved a few churches. It was not a serious situation, like the implosion of a bunch of churches. I asked, "why do you need to check with them if this is something that doesn't actually involve them?" The elders' hesitated for a second and then said, "Well, it's good to get the feeling of the Body."

Of course, this means "check with Anaheim" but, me, always hesitant of that baby/bathwater thing, couldn't help but wonder if there is any Biblical precedent for this before throwing it out as "nonsense". I love what you say that the members/Body are described by Paul on the local level. It makes so much sense to "get the feeling of the Body" on the local level, in your own church. Are there any instances in the Bible where "get the feeling of the Body" on a larger-than-local level could be argued for?
03-18-2019 09:13 AM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

The LR has never recognized any church which met as the church in the city which did not join the fold of the LR. This shows that the local ground is really just a "first line of defense" in discrediting groups. The second line of defense is saying the church "is not in fellowship" with other LCs, which really means not submitting to LSM. So basically their view is if you don't follow LSM you can't be a church. As Trapped said, wrapped your head around that for a minute!

As Ohio has brought out many times, the local ground is really not a huge deal in the LR anymore. Conformity to LSM has replaced it as the key factor in being a proper church. The local ground is just a leftover teaching which the LR conveniently uses to convince members that they are right and everyone else is wrong. But the crucial factor now is obedience to LSM, which is proven by the fact that the LR has never respected any group meeting as the church in a city which doesn't genuflect to LSM.
03-18-2019 09:13 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
All good stuff, brothers and sisters!

Another problem with the idea "practical expression"--which is actually being brought out here but I want to clarify--is that it can become a weapon for discrediting everyone else. This is what the LR did. They simply defined "practical expression" in such a way so only they matched the definition. This definition centered around their view of "oneness," which was really nothing but conformity to their leaders.
I remember one "crisis" moment. The elders were gone to headquarters, and I was left responsible for the Lord's Day meeting. After the Table, of course, the meeting was open to all for "prophesying." Things went quite well until an out-of-town LC guest stood, and questioned whether or not we used the Holy Word for Morning Revival.

There was a momentary panic in my heart. The room went silent. How should I answer? The elders were gone. If I say "no," then this visitor will become an undercover agent to report us back to Anaheim. We lived in days of suspicion and spying about one another's adherence to the oneness, which was really "oneness with a ministry," or oneness with man. We had such "spies" within and without. (Eventually some of our own saints even turned on us.)

Then the Lord came through. He put a thought in my heart. I smiled and looked at the guest and said, "sure, we use that too." The guest was satisfied apparently, and life continued. I had succeeded in kicking the phony "practical oneness" can down the street. Only to be revisited again. And again.
03-18-2019 08:46 AM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

All good stuff, brothers and sisters!

Another problem with the idea "practical expression"--which is actually being brought out here but I want to clarify--is that it can become a weapon for discrediting everyone else. This is what the LR did. They simply defined "practical expression" in such a way so only they matched the definition. This definition centered around their view of "oneness," which was really nothing but conformity to their leaders.

Certainly there should be some "practical expression" of the church, if by that you mean, as the Bible states, works that show our faith. But not if by "practical expression" you mean an organization which holds to a version of oneness defined so particularly that it can be used to discredit 99.99% of the Christians in the world.
03-18-2019 07:19 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Perhaps he had to send it to an angel (messenger) precisely because there WAS NO ONE ADDRESS of the church in the city, and need a messenger to deliver it to all the places it needed to go. Hmmmmmm? Which would mean the text is actually making the counter argument to the LR argument, which is pretty funny!
Oh the irony!

Dismantling the House of Cards, one Joker at a time.
03-18-2019 07:16 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Someone else on this forum (Igzy maybe? Others too maybe) noted that there isn’t a whole lot of detail in the Bible about the church gatherings……but there is a lot about the individual’s responsibilities regarding his own behavior and his treatment of others. There is also nothing in the Bible that talks about the “practical expression of the church.” This, I believe, is one large area where the LC’s went wrong in this “doctrine”. They had to create this extra layer of specialness called “the practical expression” of the church to separate and uplift themselves.

But the Bible doesn’t talk about some “practical expression” that everyone else who is driving by on the street can point to. The practical expression of the church is not a group of people hidden away in a unmarked beige building sitting on gold chairs reading the words of two Chinese men. The practical expression of the church is in our living. We are the church. So the practical expression of the church is in how each of us lives, treats others, and takes care of others.
This is a great point by Trapped heretofore unsaid, at least according to my poor memory.

Let me repeat. "The practical expression of the church is not a group of people hidden away in a unmarked beige building sitting on gold chairs reading the words of two Chinese men. The practical expression of the church is in our living."

The "practical expression of the church" should be defined by the story of the Bible, not be a twisted interpretation. This is similar to the one day I was reading I Cor. 12. Paul spoke to the church in Corinth in much detail about the "practical expression of the church" being exhibited among them, even in their Lord's Table meetings. Suddenly I realized how Lee had twisted the teaching, "many members, but one body." To the Apostle Paul this was on a local level. It referred to the individual behavior of the members of the church. Lee, however, over an extended period of time, changed the meaning here. It became "many LC's, but one body." The implicit and very explicit message from Lee was simple: the relationship of LC's to LSM was far more important that their personal living. Personal sins were all forgivable, but "church sins" will get you permanently excommunicated. LC history repeatedly has proven this.

Thus the "oneness of the body" had forever morphed into something unrecognizable to scripture. It took on a Roman Catholic flavor. Our personal walk with the Lord was replaced by strict adherence to an Anaheim Book Publisher. This, in essence, is what the mid-80's "NEW WAY" was all about. I lived thru that. I was thoroughly deceived. How did we let that happen?
03-17-2019 09:12 PM
awareness
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
For all their trumpeting of the practical expression of the church,
I think the proper term for that is : Puffery. It's used in advertising and sales pitching all the time, and you can't believe any of it. It works on the simple-minded, the ignorant, and on suckers.
03-17-2019 06:52 PM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Perhaps he had to send it to an angel (messenger) precisely because there WAS NO ONE ADDRESS of the church in the city, and need a messenger to deliver it to all the places it needed to go. Hmmmmmm? Which would mean the text is actually making the counter argument to the LR argument, which is pretty funny!

I think just got another MOTA idea from the messenger, aron.
03-17-2019 04:51 PM
aron
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
The church in Houston exists at this very moment, and it is not on MLK Boulevard (or wherever). It is not one group of people in one specific place... It is not.......I don't know what the word is...tangible? You can't necessarily point to it - "the church in Houston is right over there". It just is (in the divine realm, if you want me to use an LC-type phrase to try to clarify).
Back in the day, I was in a meeting where the ministry mouthpiece did what was supposed to be a mic drop. They asked rhetorically, "If God was going to send a letter to a church in [the city] today, where would He send it?"

Like there was supposed to be an actual, tangible, physical street address, and since we [LC] have taken the ground of oneness, we have a real physical address where we "meet on the proper ground". I guess that was the point. Like, we in the LC can get the letter to the church in [the city]. That old old LC bugaboo - you just can't be "one" in principle, but you have to be one "practically".

Anyway, some not-so-bright brother or sister, who didn't realize that reading the actual text was bad form, asked, "But look! It doesn't say, 'To the church in [the city]', but 'To the angel of the church in [the city]'... what about that? Who is the angel?"

The reply was, "Oh, that's just the messenger. You don't need to pay any attention to that."

Right.

Revelation 1:1 "The revelation from Jesus Christ, which God gave him to show his servants what must soon take place. He made it known by sending his angel to his servant John,"

Revelation 22:16 "I, Jesus, have sent My angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright Morning Star."

Just ignore the angel, uhuh... besides, the angel probably knows the street address already! (Our street address!) Uh, yeah, okay... really weak argumentation if you ask me. On such tenuous reeds was built the LC edifice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Canfield and other saints have started another "church in Chicago" which did not side with the Chicago region...
This brings up the obvious question: How many one-church-per-city churches can exist simultaneously in one city? More than one, apparently. Exclusive Brethren redux - when will we ever learn?
03-17-2019 10:20 AM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Another issue is the false dichotomy of the Church and Ministry put forth by Nee and Lee. Churches and ministries are all part of the Church, but different manifestations of it. There are no realities of the Church which are not available to Christians within the context of a ministry.

This dichotomy Nee and Lee invented is actually a misreading of the FREEDOM that exists in the Church and the Body of Christ. Christians are free to serve God in ministry as they feel called. And it is all part of the Church. In like manner, Christians have the right to organize in churches as they see fit. If they are faithful to the Holy Spirit, exclusiveness and divisiveness will not become a problem, and proper receiving of all believers will be their experience, and oneness will be the result.

God has called us to freedom. The LR model is all about bondage. It's about control. It's about claiming exclusively for a subset of the Church what God has given to all of us, and is a major sin.
03-17-2019 09:39 AM
Cal
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I think what I'm trying to say is that I think it's legit not as a practice, but as the understanding of a spiritual reality.
I agree with this. The church in the city is similar to the universal church, it is all the believers in that city. But the bible never says they all have to meet together, nor especially that they all have to be under one group of tightly coordinated leaders. The instance of house churches strongly suggests this.

This can be easily shown by simply asking "How do you determine who these leaders are?" The LR elders just say it's them, and that's it. Really? How does anyone really know? So, you just can't get to there from here, and so you have to give people the freedom to make up their own minds. It can't be forced, and certainly no one group of leaders gets to claim it exclusively.

And the Bible never, ever says that Christians have to meet "as" the church in the city. It only says we are to meet in Jesus' name. Period. Requiring that they meet "as" the church in the city to be the church and claim the realities of the church is a false teaching. Period.

It's absolutely absurd for any subset of the church in a city to say that Christians who don't meet with THEM are divisive. It's ridiculous and really should be laughed at.
03-17-2019 06:38 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I am pretty sure I know what exposition Ohio referred to in his post prior to this one (Ohio you are welcome to repost as it is an excellent one), and IIRC, it brings up the matter of "the church in [so and so's house]" in the Bible.
Here is a link to that referenced post.

Here is the conclusion to that article ...

Quote:
One final point is just to look at our history. Anybody remotely honest among us will agree that we have tended towards exclusiveness. We have set ourselves apart from other Christians and elevated ourselves as being "unique". Your conscience knows that this is wrong. This is the fruit that has been produced. The Bible says to look at the fruit. Examine yourself. How do you feel about other Christians? Do you automatically assume that they are off? I know I am guilty of this. But as the "ground" truth gets dismantled piece by piece I am experiencing a freedom related to my other brothers and sisters in Christ. It is wonderful when you don't have to assume every other Christian you meet is somehow "off". The Bible says that the truth sets us free, and I am experiencing an unbelievable freedom. Hallelujah!

Even the most pure forms of the “local ground” teaching are inherently exclusive. Even if your view is that all the believers in the city are the church in that city and you simply say you are taking a “stand” as the church in the city. In its very nicest form, we would say that others just have not yet seen who they are and they are living according to what they see. However we try to avoid it, the implication is that the proper boundary is the city and others should come into the vision of “one church, one city”. Even the purest form has its basis in the “ground of locality” teaching. I believe the six points above have effectively dismantled this teaching to show that it has no scriptural authority. We should neither bind ourselves nor others to a teaching that is based on many assumptions, or at best a pattern without apostolic mandate. To insist on a non-authoritative practical implementation would undermine the higher principles of love and oneness taught directly by the Lord.
This piece was written to correct some of the flaws in David Canfield's article, which is the opening post for this thread. Canfield wrote this in the aftermath of the Midwest quarantines. He subscribed to Titus Chu's views, which I have simplistically labeled as "WL good -- Blendeds bad."

Canfield and other saints have started another "church in Chicago" which did not side with the Chicago region, which sided with the Blendeds against Titus Chu. The divisions were all political in nature, rooted in offenses, using the Bible to endorse their skewed viewpoints.
03-17-2019 02:56 AM
Trapped
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

I think what I'm trying to say is that I think it's legit not as a practice, but as the understanding of a spiritual reality.
03-16-2019 10:14 PM
Trapped
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

(explanation up front: when I say "the church in [city]", I am not referring to the local churches).

Nell, I agree with you that it is descriptive and not prescriptive. "Do this until I come" or "and you do the same" could easily have been present in relation to describing the churches, but it glaringly wasn't.

But not only is it descriptive, I also think that it is still an objective fact today, albeit manifested in a different way than what was described in the Bible. I am pretty sure I know what exposition Ohio referred to in his post prior to this one (Ohio you are welcome to repost as it is an excellent one), and IIRC, it brings up the matter of "the church in [so and so's house]" in the Bible. Even though those house churches existed, in my view, it doesn't take away from the objective fact that on the city-level, the church in [city] is all the believers in that city, which includes the house churches and any other assemblies that met. The church in [house] describes a smaller level, and the church in [city] just describes a larger version of that thing.

The church in Houston exists at this very moment, and it is not on MLK Boulevard (or wherever). It is not one group of people in one specific place. It is all the believers in Houston. In other words, it's not that there "should be" one church in Houston. There is right now. All the believers are the church in Houston. It's an objective fact, regardless of if a single one of those believers is aware of it. That's kind of what I was trying to say.

Maybe a better way to say it is that it is a mindset that we should have ("that they all may be one"). It is not.......I don't know what the word is...tangible? You can't necessarily point to it - "the church in Houston is right over there". It just is (in the divine realm, if you want me to use an LC-type phrase to try to clarify). But if you want to see the actual expression of the church in [a city], it is just in our living and treating of each other and others.
03-16-2019 09:54 PM
Nell
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
An anonymous poster once provided an excellent exposition on the forum concerning oc/oc. I'll dig it up if you're interested. It covered all the scripture, not just the churches in revelation.
Yes please. I'm interested...
03-16-2019 09:41 PM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

An anonymous poster once provided an excellent exposition on the forum concerning oc/oc. I'll dig it up if you're interested. It covered all the scripture, not just the churches in revelation.
03-16-2019 09:08 PM
Nell
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I think one church one city is legit.

But let me explain.
...
Prescriptive vs. Descriptive
The first time I heard this concept explained as the proper way to interpret scripture, made so much sense, I began to apply it to every teaching that comes along. I also look at all of Witness Lee's teachings through this prism.

https://www.gotquestions.org/descrip...scriptive.html

"When studying the Bible, it is important to determine whether the verse or passage at hand is descriptive or prescriptive. The difference is this: a passage is descriptive if it is simply describing something that happened, while a passage is prescriptive if it is specifically teaching that something should happen. Simply put, is it a description or a command? Is the passage describing something (it happened) or is it prescribing something (it should happen)? The difference is important. When a biblical passage is only describing something but is interpreted as prescribing something, it can lead to errant thinking and behavior."

When John addressed the churches in the Revelation by the city in which they were located, was he simply describing the churches by their location because that's the way it existed in the day, or was he saying for now and eternity, there should ONLY be one church in one city?

It's a good idea to do some reading about prescriptive and descriptive passages in the Bible. I doubt that Lee did that. He built an empire around his prescription for OC/OC. It seems that the church did exist in cities in the days when the scriptures were written, but was that to be the mandatory pattern for eternity? I don't think the scripture is clear on that point. The scriptures don't forbid it, but neither does it appear to prescribe OC/OC.

Nell
03-16-2019 05:06 PM
Trapped
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

I think one church one city is legit.

But let me explain.

I think the lesson of the majority of the references to the church being “the church in {city}” in the Bible is so we would get it hammered into our heads that all the believers in a city are the church in that city. LSM rolls that line out when it is needed to soften their hardline stance, and I fully believe it in the softened sense. All the believers in a city are the church in that city. All the believers in Seattle are the church in Seattle. All the believers in Paris are the church which is in Paris. Regardless of where they meet in the city, all the believers are the church there. That’s the oneness. They all have the common life of Christ and they are thus all the church. The city is a great choice to get this point across because a city forms the natural boundaries of the people who you will deal with and run into in your daily life. It’s difficult to get built up or close to anyone who is in another city. Anything smaller like a neighborhood or a street is limiting; anything larger isn’t practical according to typical daily life. A city seems to pretty steadily throughout history (okay, I’m speaking as non-historian here) represent the typical boundaries of the group of people you will interact with on a semi-regular basis.

But this truth is an objective truth. It is not a truth that disappears if there are multiple gatherings in a city. In other words, even if there are various assemblies, that doesn’t take away from the objective truth that they are all still the church. I do think this is a great concept that would do well to be spread. I may be wrong, but I think some Christians live according to this without having had the explicit thought, and that there is benefit to this truth being more widespread. It may illuminate someone who already lives that way, it may give someone an awareness and warmness towards his fellow brothers and sisters that he didn’t have before just because he never thought about it, or it may change people who formerly viewed other denominations negatively but who came to see that we are all part of the same Body. I think this teaching as stated thus far is good.

Someone else on this forum (Igzy maybe? Others too maybe) noted that there isn’t a whole lot of detail in the Bible about the church gatherings……but there is a lot about the individual’s responsibilities regarding his own behavior and his treatment of others. There is also nothing in the Bible that talks about the “practical expression of the church.” This, I believe, is one large area where the LC’s went wrong in this “doctrine”. They had to create this extra layer of specialness called “the practical expression” of the church to separate and uplift themselves. (Of course, I also believe this is a smokescreen for “you don’t read W. Lee”, but that’s a tangent). They often say, “okay, where is the practical expression of this?” But the Bible doesn’t talk about some “practical expression” that everyone else who is driving by on the street can point to. The practical expression of the church is not a group of people hidden away in a unmarked beige building sitting on gold chairs reading the words of two Chinese men. The practical expression of the church is in our living. We are the church. So the practical expression of the church is in how each of us lives, treats others, and takes care of others.

For all their trumpeting of the practical expression of the church, the LC’s as a system really miss the actual practical expression of it.

Okay. So all the believers in a city are the church in that city. The problem is, even if there was one entire massive unified church in New York City, the realities of the physical world would end up dictating that they all group up and meet in different assemblies. So for example, in a city of 1 million, let’s say there are 370,000 meeting Christians. (I googled how many Christians attend church in America, and the result was 37%. Let’s go with that for example’s sake). This would require four Astrodomes to accommodate one combined meeting of the church, and about 0.0001 of them could function in a 2-hour meeting. The eldership would have to consist of something like 8,000-10,000 elders. And the church would have to own a gigantic arena just to have the weekly elders’ meetings. Oh yeah, which means most elders couldn’t function or have input.

So the more probable thing would happen, which is that the saints would divide up into smaller groups based on location or common burden. And those elders would divide up into smaller groups based on location or common burden around the city too. (I just googled the average population of a U.S. city, and it said 20,000….not 1,000,000. Okay, 37% of 20,000 is 7,400 Christians. Which would need maybe 200 elders. The same thing would still happen but with less astrodomes.) So there would be small groups of elders caring for these smaller assemblies around the city. And in order for everyone to know where on earth to go, those assemblies would take on certain names that include information additional to the name of the city. In other words, over time, the “names” (de-name-inations as Evangelical used to love to say) are going to come in simply as a function of the realities of life. These names already come in to describe smaller assemblies of the local churches during the week. So I don’t see a difference between:

Monday lunch sisters’ gathering at the Smith’s
Jones’ home prayer meeting
Chang’s Friday night home meeting
District #1’s prophesying meeting
Northview Church in Gary, Indiana
Portland Point Community Assembly

Much to LCer’s horror, they might be terrified to realize that those prayer meeting and home meeting descriptions (required to have any chance of finding the location of the gathering) have THE NAME OF ANOTHER PERSON BESIDES THE LORD IN THEM. And yet they say it without batting an eye.

So whether we got names the way that actually happened, or whether we got names by trying to do it as I described and unavoidable real life came in, we have different names. The names just tell you where on earth to go to get to a gathering of believers and aren’t a cause of division unless those believers refuse to meet with other believers when called to do so. And it’s not the names that cause division. It’s the attitude of the people who meet there that does. Does this still happen today? Yeah. Is that a problem? Yeah. Are the LCs part of that problem? Yeah.

(It just hit me like a ton of bricks that the local church is so upside down that it calls meeting with “other” Christians DIVISIVE. Wrap your head around that for a second. The local churches CALL COMING TOGETHER WITH THEIR FELLOW BELIEVERS “DIVISION”. How on earth have I swallowed that one for so long?!?! If that doesn’t do you in, nothing will.)

Anyway, I don’t think I’ve said anything particularly new or groundbreaking (pun not intended), but I’ve been ruminating on it for a while and just had to put my thoughts all together in one place.

Trapped

P.S. Totally unrelated topic but my mind is jumping around …… I wonder if PSRP went by the wayside because the “S” part (study) made people actually study the points and look up the verses and realize that the verse references cited for different things didn’t actually match up with the “truth” being propagated?!
11-09-2018 11:35 PM
Trapped
Re: One City - One Church - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Someone has rightly said that Witness Lee has merely changed the "one man speaking" in every congregation to the "speaking of one man" in every local church.

This is very true. Yes, denominational and community churches have the speaking of one man, the pastor, but is that not far better than to have the speaking of only Witness Lee in every Local Church? I think so.

WOW! This is a great post of Ohio's. I want to make it a sign and frame it.
11-12-2016 10:34 AM
aron
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
in English caps are reserved for proper nouns and therefore take on a different significance. For example you use "Proper Church".
Apostle of the Age. Capitalized because there is only one proper apostle of the age, which was Witness Lee (per LSM). Here, convention has made it a proper noun so I capitalized it. It only has one implied meaning. Just like the White House: there are many white houses, but the term is given to the one on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C. It's understood by convention, thus caps are ok, customary even.

Likewise, in LC discussion only one God's Economy will do, only one Vision of the Age, etc; capital letters reference the commonly-held LC meaning.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Also, the dark examples you use are misrepresentations, do not create an accurate understanding, and so I do not have the heart to unpack what could otherwise be a meaningful conversation about this important topic.

Thanks
Drake
Witness Lee started the conversation, saying Christianity is devilish, satanic, fallen, dark, twisted, deformed, and so on. He unpacked that particular valise. I'm continuing the discussion, saying that his local churches are, spiritually-speaking, charnel houses, which are full of dead men's bones neatly arranged in supposedly proper order, like museum displays. But with no life.

Perhaps a more prosaic analogy will be less threatening: there was an old lady who swallowed a fly. . . every time she tried to remedy the problem, however real the problem was, and however good and noble her intentions, the problem got worse. I made analogy of Prince Sihanouk, by most accounts a lazy slob and lackey of Western imperialists. But the native Cambodian solution was arguably far worse.

To me that's Witness Lee and the Living Stream Ministry, Continuing Steadfastly, Full-Time Training, One Trumpet, the Lord's Move to Europe, Christians on Campus, Vital Groups, etc vis-à-vis the dreaded "denominations". Sorry if I'm too colourful in description, but again this doesn't depart from the colourful descriptions of Lee by much if at all.
11-12-2016 09:03 AM
Drake
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Thanks for the official welcome aron.

Perhaps your capping of nouns is an artifact of your native language. However, in English caps are reserved for proper nouns and therefore take on a different significance. For example you use "Proper Church".

Also, the dark examples you use are misrepresentations, do not create an accurate understanding, and so I do not have the heart to unpack what could otherwise be a meaningful conversation about this important topic.

Thanks
Drake
11-09-2016 05:43 AM
aron
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I agree with the point that just calling yourself "the church in ...." in and of itself does not bring the blessing of oneness if there is no real oneness.
On the other hand, calling your congregation the church of the mousekateers will not either.
Drake,

Welcome aboard the discussion forum, officially.

Calling oneself the church in this or that doesn't necessitate God's blessing. Either The Church In Chicago or the First Baptist Church in Chicago. Certainly names can be a distraction. There is only one name, variously translated as Yeshua, Jesus, Hay'-soos, Iosoos, or whatnot.

But even gathering as The Church of Jesus (i.e. the "my church" of Matt 16:18) or conversely The Church of Christ doesn't guarantee anything. Nor does gathering in Meeting Hall A, B, and C. Or the College-age meeting at Sister Jones' House, or the Saturday Morning Prayer Meeting. And remember that if you want to be "by the book", the first century word for "meeting" was also ekklesia.

So the proliferation of denominations happened. The Great Schism of 1054 happened. The Council of Nicaea happened. Nee's return to the Year One pulled in a lot of people in the mainland China, who wanted the influence of the Foreign Devils to end (remember that the Boxer Rebellion was such an event in the lives of Nee and Lee's families, as in many, many Chinese Christians). And Lee's return to the Proper Church of the apostolic age pulled in a lot of seeking Jesus People who were tired of the same old, same old. But Nee's and Lee's solution is to me like Pol Pot taking over in Cambodia. Yes, Prince Sihanouk was corrupt, under the Western Powers, who were impinging upon the millennia-old Asian culture. But what was the result of Pol Pot's return to the Year Zero? The killing fields.

The local church of Lee was and is, for me, such a spiritual charnel house. I don't approve of denominations, but I accept them as a fact of history, and believe they're preferable to the alternative that Lee gave us. God is sovereign.
11-08-2016 09:21 PM
Evangelical
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Actually, the church was not so one, even in the first century. Paul had to take one to task for not even being one all by itself. And there was contention between the gentile and Jewish churches.

Following that, there was great dissention over things. Some of them we think of as significant errors, and others just differences in what we would now call the non-essentials. But those that wanted total and complete unity dictated the thinking through the councils and eventually through the wielding of authority granted by the government.

Yet we find that there were churches that were not affected by these things that continued all the way into this century. Churches that were separated from the others almost from the beginning.

Yet you claim there was this wonderful unity from the beginning and going on for several centuries thereafter. I would not disagree that there was a tendency for uniformity within the primary groups. And do not say that was bad. But even you agree that the answer was not to still be within those ancient groups. Rather to find your way according to your conscience and understanding of scripture. You want it one way for your group, and the opposite for everyone else.

Unity is not simply in the EO, or RCC, or any other earlier group. It is found in Christ. And Christ is in all of us. It the prayer of Christ that we would be one. Not that we would be uniform. The lack of discourse on issues within a single group who thinks they have found "the truth" in all its facets is a breeding ground for error. It is in the diversity of opinion that we keep each other within the way. Only the very decidedly closed can wander too far astray. But as your position is that you have the truth and the only "unity," You are the most nearly destined for error. We may or may not have insignificant errors but are constantly reviewing. You are set and closed and have no way to consider your errors because you have turned you face from any who, while your brothers, have even the slightest difference of opinion.

We don't need to justify denominations from scripture any more than we need to justify driving automobiles. There may be walls, but they are walls of rhetoric, not walls of differing faith. Meanwhile, your walls are absolute. You only seek to evangelize the world for your way. Never consider how you may have wandered into error.

Yet we find that there were churches that were not affected by these things that continued all the way into this century. Churches that were separated from the others almost from the beginning.


These mysterious and hidden churches only exist in your imagination. They did not give us the doctrine of the Trinity, the canon of Scripture, the Nicene creed etc. Standards and uniformity were attempted since the beginning, they continue today in the fact that if a church does not believe in the Trinity they are not considered Christian (JW etc). Your Bible (the Canon) is standardised, your belief in the Trinity is thanks to uniformity and standardisation of a view about God.

You would speak against the attempts at uniformity and standardisation by the local churches yet ignore the fact that your faith today is somewhat due to past achievements in uniformity and standardisation of old.
11-08-2016 01:27 PM
Drake
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

I agree with the point that just calling yourself "the church in ...." in and of itself does not bring the blessing of oneness if there is no real oneness.

On the other hand, calling your congregation the church of the mousekateers will not either.
11-08-2016 10:56 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Yes, I agree with your points.

Supposedly, by having the "right" name, all these churches should have enjoyed God's best blessings. I don't see it.

Supposedly, by having the "wrong" name, all other churches should have enjoyed none of God's blessings. I don't see that either.

In fact, it was all the corruption within the LC's, both by the Blendeds during the '00 quarantines, and by Lee himself during the '90 quarantines, that caused me to leave. They have to fabricate "blessings" in order to keep the flock penned up. They have to maintain strict information control and smear campaigns to keep them believing the lies.
11-08-2016 09:21 AM
Drake
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

The Roman highways made it easier and safer to travel between cities but it still took awhile to walk from place to place. You'd have to think about it before starting that venture.

Churches in closer proximity to each other like Colosse, Laodicea, Hierapolis had more fellowship together and Paul requested the letters he wrote to each be read to the other.

In spite of their differences and circumstances they were viewed as a golden lampstand. They were identical in that way. And on the negative side they did not split up into many churches due to their differences so there were not several churches in Colosse or Laodicea.
11-08-2016 07:30 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

This is a far more accurate assessment of church history than any which I heard from Nee or Lee.

I still find it amazing just how diverse the 7 churches in Asia were. If you look carefully at the map below, all 7 cities were naturally connected in valleys by roads and rivers, or by ship. None of these churches were geographically isolated or excessively remote. Within the Roman Empire, travel was actually quite good for the day. The 7 churches probably were on a travel circuit of the Apostles. Some have noted that this connecting "circuit" was in the shape of a rainbow, when viewed on the oblique.



Also, the shepherding of these 7 churches was firstly by Paul (the tent builder) and his co-workers, and then by John (the net mender) and his co-workers. Yet, reading these 7 epistles, they are quite diverse. Makes me wonder just how "one" they were with each other. Was Ephesus properly judging the false apostles in other churches, and did Smyrna suffer at the hands of those who hold the teaching of Balaam in Pergamos, we have no way to know.

Nee and Lee told us they were all identical, except for the negatives. Actually they were not identical in almost any way, and it is doubtful that some of these places even clung to the "seven ones" in Ephesus. Yet the Son of Man walked in the midst of these 7 golden lampstands. And remember that Paul, a generation earlier, even called Corinth "the church of God."

And the LSM acolytes here want us to believe that all a church needs to do is pick the right name, and btw it's worth suing others over in Gentile courts, and then all God's blessing will be on you. And you alone.
11-08-2016 06:48 AM
OBW
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Church history - the church history that shows the church was one for hundreds of years. The notion of doing church however we like and not according to any God-ordained pattern or blue print is a modern invention of man. That's why even Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican etc do not agree with this view.
Actually, the church was not so one, even in the first century. Paul had to take one to task for not even being one all by itself. And there was contention between the gentile and Jewish churches.

Following that, there was great dissention over things. Some of them we think of as significant errors, and others just differences in what we would now call the non-essentials. But those that wanted total and complete unity dictated the thinking through the councils and eventually through the wielding of authority granted by the government.

Yet we find that there were churches that were not affected by these things that continued all the way into this century. Churches that were separated from the others almost from the beginning.

Yet you claim there was this wonderful unity from the beginning and going on for several centuries thereafter. I would not disagree that there was a tendency for uniformity within the primary groups. And do not say that was bad. But even you agree that the answer was not to still be within those ancient groups. Rather to find your way according to your conscience and understanding of scripture. You want it one way for your group, and the opposite for everyone else.

Unity is not simply in the EO, or RCC, or any other earlier group. It is found in Christ. And Christ is in all of us. It the prayer of Christ that we would be one. Not that we would be uniform. The lack of discourse on issues within a single group who thinks they have found "the truth" in all its facets is a breeding ground for error. It is in the diversity of opinion that we keep each other within the way. Only the very decidedly closed can wander too far astray. But as your position is that you have the truth and the only "unity," You are the most nearly destined for error. We may or may not have insignificant errors but are constantly reviewing. You are set and closed and have no way to consider your errors because you have turned you face from any who, while your brothers, have even the slightest difference of opinion.

We don't need to justify denominations from scripture any more than we need to justify driving automobiles. There may be walls, but they are walls of rhetoric, not walls of differing faith. Meanwhile, your walls are absolute. You only seek to evangelize the world for your way. Never consider how you may have wandered into error.
11-08-2016 06:03 AM
OBW
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Common sense - just as common sense tells us that a married couple should live together, we can say that a church should be one and not scattered in various denominations.
Well then, the church I attend has no denominational ties. I suggest that everyone in Dallas should join with ours. We were here long before anything that tried to usurp our un-denominated position with a formula for a name.

But unlike yours, we do not denigrate others for simply not being us. We do have reasoned discussion about issues of spiritual importance. But it does not invalidate the other(s), rather provides something for consideration. And if they change their view, they are not obligated to shutter their meeting and join ours. Rather we can, and do even without the agreement on the nonessential issues, continue as the church of Christ, bearing His image in this world. And in unity concerning our faith in Christ.

Unfortunately, there are some who declare that unity is only found in agreement on all things and that such agreement should be based on their understanding. They have no unity with anyone no agreeing completely with them and taking their way.

That is not unity no matter how "right" you think you name is. The name does not spread a healing balm over the sectarian wounds of your demand for your way or else. It does not correct the errors of you sectarianism. You are not Israel —the "chosen people of God" — based on a name. That is a fantasy. You are part of the household of faith. No less. No more.
11-07-2016 06:47 AM
Drake
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Drake, their own churches never excommunicated them, and what do you mean by "mistakes?"
I don't recall excommunication ever being on the table.
11-06-2016 11:41 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
They are gifted brothers. I received help from both.
As regards to the governance of the church they both made mistakes.
Drake
Drake, their own churches never excommunicated them, and what do you mean by "mistakes?"
11-06-2016 10:32 AM
Drake
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Drake, what's your opinion of John Ingalls and Titus Chu?
They are gifted brothers. I received help from both.

As regards to the governance of the church they both made mistakes.

Drake
11-06-2016 06:31 AM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

In his short reply, aron said much that many of us were and are troubled with.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Yes. My opinion is that 'denominations' in drake's hand is entirely subjective. "When we do it, it isn't a denomination." So his question is moot.
Nee and Lee created a false standard of the "proper name" from several descriptive verses in Revelations. They also condemned all pastors, priests, and reverends only to replace them with full-timers, coworkers, and "brothers" from LSM. It's all a huge name-blame-game with Rule #1 "only what we do is right."


Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
And as I said, those who don't 'denominate' per drake's rule, are still condemned as "free groups". So what's the point, really? The leech cries, Give, give, and is never satisfied. So I was saying, why bother. You'll never be happy, with any definition.
Lee's Genesis L.S. message on Lot excoriates any and all free groups as his incestuous daughters, conceived in caves. Read it. It is simply ruthless. But, are not free groups the only Christian gatherings truly without a name? For Lee to condemn them was the height of hypocrisy. So the standard he used to judge all denominations could not be applied to them. No problem. Change the standard for free groups. Remember Rule #1.


Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
We were told that getting the name thing right was precursor to a great blessing, not found anywhere else. Many of those who tried that, now categorically disagree. In fact it was a hook, a trap to ensnare the simple.
After every major "storm" of purging, with so many precious saints ousted, Lee always promised great blessings. "If only you would be absolutely one with my ministry, like in the days of Elden Hall ..." And so the zealots hunkered down, ready to purge any and all who appeared lukewarm to the ministry, thus preparing us for the next "storm." How many of these "storms" do we need to pass through in order for wisdom to seep thru the cracks of our heart?

I personally have posted literally hundreds of LC hypocrisies which her supporters have never responded to. They can't. That's just how LSM has always covered up its unrighteousness. Yet her supporters return to the same old condemnations of the body of Christ. Like that brother near me who sits at home in his closet, condemning all churches for not doing the same, the LC faithful adhere to their master's old "convictions."
11-06-2016 03:17 AM
aron
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Drake has asked for "biblical evidence supporting division/denominations". All you can offer is your opinion.
Yes. My opinion is that 'denominations' in drakes hand is entirely subjective. "When we do it, it isn't a denomination." So his question is moot.

And as I said, those who don't 'denominate' per drake's rule, are still condemned as "free groups". So what's the point, really? The leech cries, Give, give, and is never satisfied. So I was saying, why bother. You'll never be happy, with any definition.

We were told that getting the name thing right was precursor to a great blessing, not found anywhere else. Many of those who tried that, now categorically disagree. In fact it was a hook, a trap to ensnare the simple.
11-06-2016 01:18 AM
Evangelical
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Really?

"We" don't "do it". "We" follow the Lamb ourselves and otherwise mind our own business. Don't impose our own will upon others. Don't presume to speak for God when He can well speak for Himself. Allow others the freedom which God has allowed for His own children. HIS children. Not yours. His.

Common sense and church history? Really? Is that the standard? Whose common sense? What chapter of church history? Can we say that "church history" is full of man interfering with believers who have been misled away from the leading of the Holy Spirit? Is God so inept that He needs you to define His church for Him and dictate how to "do" it?

Lord help us and forgive us for our presumption.

Nell
Common sense - just as common sense tells us that a married couple should live together, we can say that a church should be one and not scattered in various denominations.

Church history - the church history that shows the church was one for hundreds of years. The notion of doing church however we like and not according to any God-ordained pattern or blue print is a modern invention of man. That's why even Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican etc do not agree with this view.

Should we trust someone who claims to know the invisible God yet cannot define the visible church? 1 John 4:20 ".....for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen".

If Christians cannot be unified visibly and practically with their brothers in Christ (when there is no good reason for them not to be) then their claims to know the invisible God are just empty words.

The denominations are catering for the whims and desires of individuals but not striving for achieving God's plan for oneness and unity.
11-06-2016 01:03 AM
Evangelical
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
When your group holds multiple assemblies in a geographical area, you call it "multiplication". When other Christians hold multiple meetings, you call it "division". When Christians have a name and extra-local affiliation you call it "denomination" and condemn. But when they don't have a name or affiliation, or set the boundary of the city (assuming they are in a city?) as their purview you call them "free groups" and deem them useless to build up the Body of Christ.
Drake has asked for "biblical evidence supporting division/denominations". All you can offer is your opinion.
11-05-2016 04:51 PM
OBW
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Suppose that the opposers are correct, the bible does not state how we can or should do church.
The question remains - what should church look like?, how should we do it?
I would approach it like this: we could ask ourselves the question does 1000 denominations or one church per city best reflect the unity and oneness of the Body of Christ?
Common sense (and church history) shows it is the latter.
Of all the things that the church may be said to look "like," a bland greeting that makes reference to the place where the Christians which are the church reside is not what they look like. It is simply the place to find them. No definition of what they will look like from that greeting. No definition that they are meeting all together in one place with one set of elders.
11-05-2016 02:50 PM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Drake, what's your opinion of John Ingalls and Titus Chu?
11-05-2016 02:33 PM
aron
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Sometimes what they say resonates and sometimes not. I go with His shining. The blessing of His speaking is still here and He compels me to stay. .
I felt the same way. Some of it was of God, some of it was of men. Eventually I left. I just felt the Spirit of God, undeniable, thrusting me back into "the wilderness". I don't regret my choices, because above all I always chose to seek. "Seek and you will find". Find and you will marvel (see the many NT verses, "His disciples marveled greatly"). Marvel and you will reign. Reign and you will find rest. Because that is your destiny.

The marveling tailed out in Witness Lee's local church, somewhere between being castigated for being "old and cold" and then "God became man to make man God", to the "high peak revelation" and "great revival to end the age". . . I really tried singing "Oh home in the church/where we've ended our search" but I guess I was just born a seeker, so I decided not to end my search.

I don't begrudge you or Evangelical for your decisions to stay. Sorry if I've been somewhat dismissive or disrespectful. I enjoy writing & get carried on by my thoughts & doing so often build straw men, just to blow them down, same as Lee & many more did before me. "Fallen Christianity" & all that. . . we all fail somewhat. That's why mercy saves - show mercy, get mercy.

Ah well. Jesus reigns, and in Him alone we hope. Peace & God bless.
11-05-2016 12:55 PM
Drake
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
One Church - One City? Not if this One Church is the Local Church of Witness Lee. Move to another city. Move to another state. Move to another continent if you have to, but do not lose your freedom to choose.
The local church you describe is not one I am acquainted with. I have never ever lost my freedom to choose. The vision that guides me is His shining and I came and choose to stay based on that. To me, Brother Lee was a servant of the Lord and a brother in the Lord. The Lord used him and Watchman Nee to open up many truths from the Bible. I appreciate them for that. Though I honored and respected Brother Lee in his function as an apostle (small "a") I never put him on a pedestal and I never felt for even a moment that I lost my ability to choose.

You mentioned one of his coworkers. I feel the same way about them. Sometimes what they say resonates and sometimes not. I go with His shining. The blessing of His speaking is still here and He compels me to stay. If my freedom to choose is diminished it is only when He limits my choices.
11-05-2016 12:43 PM
Ohio
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Suppose that the opposers are correct, the bible does not state how we can or should do church.

The question remains - what should church look like?, how should we do it?
On a forum of members and ex-members, who are these "opposers."
11-05-2016 12:11 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
First, it would help the conversation if you registered. But it is not my problem, so I will go on.

The whole biblical/unbiblical analysis is something that needs understanding. There are things that are:
  • Clearly required by the Bible
  • Permitted by the Bible
  • Clearly forbidden by the Bible
Excellent. I think the NT clearly requires that we gather together.

I think that all gatherings of Christians in the name of Jesus are permitted.

I think that much of what WL did with the LC was clearly forbidden by the Bible.
11-05-2016 12:10 PM
aron
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
If you have any biblibcal evidence supporting division/denominations we can examine that in light of Scripture.

Drake
When your group holds multiple assemblies in a geographical area, you call it "multiplication". When other Christians hold multiple meetings, you call it "division". When Christians have a name and extra-local affiliation you call it "denomination" and condemn. But when they don't have a name or affiliation, or set the boundary of the city (assuming they are in a city?) as their purview you call them "free groups" and deem them useless to build up the Body of Christ.

Again and again I see two metrics being applied. When "we" do it, it is biblical, spiritual, normal, proper, and true. When "others" do it, it is unbiblical, natural, fleshly, carnal, dark, deformed, abnormal, and false.

Subjective, much? "So subjective is my Christ to me/Real in me, and rich and sweet". So subjective is my Christ to me, that I can define reality as I please, put a line on the ground separating myself from 99.97% of my fellow believers as hopelessly corrupted failures, "because the Bible says so", and go my merry self-approved way.

And when you realize that the world isn't rushing along behind you say, "Oh well, it's the narrow way. Not for everyone."
11-05-2016 11:52 AM
UntoHim
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

One Church - One City? Not if this One Church is the Local Church of Witness Lee. Move to another city. Move to another state. Move to another continent if you have to, but do not lose your freedom to choose.

-
11-05-2016 07:46 AM
Nell
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Suppose that the opposers are correct, the bible does not state how we can or should do church.

The question remains - what should church look like?, how should we do it?

I would approach it like this: we could ask ourselves the question does 1000 denominations or one church per city best reflect the unity and oneness of the Body of Christ?

Common sense (and church history) shows it is the latter.
Really?

"We" don't "do it". "We" follow the Lamb ourselves and otherwise mind our own business. Don't impose our own will upon others. Don't presume to speak for God when He can well speak for Himself. Allow others the freedom which God has allowed for His own children. HIS children. Not yours. His.

Common sense and church history? Really? Is that the standard? Whose common sense? What chapter of church history? Can we say that "church history" is full of man interfering with believers who have been misled away from the leading of the Holy Spirit? Is God so inept that He needs you to define His church for Him and dictate how to "do" it?

Lord help us and forgive us for our presumption.

Nell
11-04-2016 07:51 PM
Evangelical
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Suppose that the opposers are correct, the bible does not state how we can or should do church.

The question remains - what should church look like?, how should we do it?

I would approach it like this: we could ask ourselves the question does 1000 denominations or one church per city best reflect the unity and oneness of the Body of Christ?

Common sense (and church history) shows it is the latter.
11-04-2016 07:39 PM
Nell
Re: Prescriptive or Descriptive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Oh Nell! The law was abolished!! We just wait for the dispensing. If we don't have enough to fulfill the law of letters, then it doesn't matter. Must be premature light.

Oh yeah...I musta' forgot. You saved my bacon!
11-04-2016 07:18 PM
Evangelical
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You say things like this, but cannot establish that any possible situation was more than the way it was at the particular time in a particular place. In one particular place there is reference to the people having all things in common. But even that was somewhat overstated. It was generally true. More like theoretical communism in which needs are met, but not necessarily meaning that only the collective owned anything and not the individuals.
There are two questions to this. 1) what was it like in the early church? and 2) does it apply today?

Regarding the first question 1)

Actually testallthings already posted some factual things in Post number #53 "Various Themes by Evangelical" thread. I repost it here:

It is a clear historical fact that there was only one church in one city.

Ignatius of Antioch, a student of the Apostle John, and the third bishop of Antioch, while on his way to be martyred in Rome, wrote to

“the Church which is at Ephesus, in Asia,”
“the Church which is at Magnesia, near the Moeander,”
“the holy Church which is at Tralles, in Asia,”

“the Church...which also presides in the place of the report of the Romans”
“the Church …. which is at Philadelphia, in Asia,”
“the Church which is at Smyrna, in Asia,”

https://www.ewtn.com/library/PATRISTC/IGNATIUS.HTM

Regarding authority in the church he writes to the Ephesians (and to other churches, too)

CHAP. V.--THE PRAISE OF UNITY.
For if I in this brief space of time, have enjoyed such fellowship with your bishop--I mean not of a mere human, but of a spiritual nature--how much more do I reckon you happy who are so joined to him as the Church is to Jesus Christ, and as Jesus Christ is to the Father, that so all things may agree in unity! Let no man deceive himself: if any one be not within the altar, he is deprived of the bread of God. For if the prayer of one or two possesses[4] such power, how much more that of the bishop and the whole Church !He, therefore, that does not assemble with the Church, has even[5] by this manifested his pride, and condemned himself. For it is written, "God resisteth the proud."[9] Let us be careful, then, not to set ourselves in opposition to the bishop, in order that we may be subject to God.
CHAP. VI.--HAVE RESPECT TO THE BISHOP AS TO CHRIST HIMSELF.
Now the more any one sees the bishop keeping silence,[10] the more ought he to revere him. For we ought to receive every one whom the Master of the house sends to be over His household,[11] as we would do Him that sent him. It is manifest, therefore, that we should look upon the bishop even as we would upon the Lord Himself. And indeed Onesimus himself greatly commends your good order in God, that ye all live according to the truth, and that no sect has any dwelling-place among you. Nor, indeed, do ye hearken to any one rather than to Jesus Christ speaking in truth.

“The model of church organization that was formed during the first three centuries of Christianity was based on the principle of "one city-one bishop-one Church", which foresaw the assignment of a certain ecclesiastical territory to one concrete bishop. In accordance with this principle, the "Canons of the Apostles" and other canonical decrees of the ancient Church point to the inadmissibility of violating the boundaries of ecclesiastical territories by bishops or clergy.”
http://www.orthodoxytoday.org/articl...nOneBishop.php
..................................................
Dale Mody, The Word of Truth: A Summary of Christian Doctrine Based on Biblical Revelation, page 435

https://books.google.com.tw/books?id...page&q&f=false


If we can agree that this is how things were in the early church, then we can focus on the question of whether it applies today?

To address the second question 2) does it apply today? I can easily show that the early church model continued for 1000 of years (in Catholic, Orthodox). It was considered important to keep to the apostolic traditions and still is today in many respects.

Protestantism was not a license to do church however we wanted, ideally it should have reformed the existing Catholic church. What you are advocating for is not reformation or continuing the apostolic traditions but a license to do whatever we want however we want.

I can easily show that going back to the way things were in 1) is the genuine expression of Christianity.

Therefore your church with its name doing things how it sees fit is a division of a division of a division, or a sect of a sect of a sect ..

Actually your idea that we can do church however we like would be a foreign concept to the early church just as it is a foreign concept to the denominations that hold to apostolic traditions today.
11-04-2016 06:38 PM
Drake
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

(OBW)
Quote:
"The problem is that you want everyone to come your way"
You clearly are confusing me with someone else.

It seems to irk you that I am at peace with my choice. Is it okay with you that I made my choice based on biblical teaching, leading of the Spirit, revelation, and His shining?

(OBW)
Quote:
"Division is spoken of in the Bible. But you cannot assert that there really is any real division "out there.""
Supporting division/denominations from the Bible is a near impossible task. In your attempt you simply punted and asked me to refute your fallacious argument from silence.

If you have any biblibcal evidence supporting division/denominations we can examine that in light of Scripture.

Drake
11-04-2016 05:18 PM
OBW
Re: Prescriptive or Descriptive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
PS: Do you eat bacon?
Oh Nell! The law was abolished!! We just wait for the dispensing. If we don't have enough to fulfill the law of letters, then it doesn't matter. Must be premature light.

11-04-2016 05:11 PM
OBW
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
"And while you like to say that you have history and scripture on your side, maybe you could try to show some of it. Try starting with a single item of evidence. Let's see if it really means what you think it means. When we have either proved or disproved that, let's move to another"

OBW,

For comparison and contrast provide a scriptural basis for division/denominations.

Try starting with a single piece of evidence. Let's see if it really means what you think it means

When we have either proved or disproved that, let's move to another.

Drake
First, it would help the conversation if you registered. But it is not my problem, so I will go on.

The whole biblical/unbiblical analysis is something that needs understanding. There are things that are:
  • Clearly required by the Bible
  • Permitted by the Bible
  • Clearly forbidden by the Bible
These things might be referred to as biblical or unbiblical. But there is a huge host of things that are simply not addressed, or addressable, in terms of the biblical/unbiblical dichotomy. This is because the reason that the Bible does or does not have anything to say about them is not directly related to the thing itself.

Is driving a car unbiblical? Clearly, without qualifiers, there is nothing in the Bible about it. It can be neither biblical nor unbiblical in itself. Speeding while driving a car is technically unbiblical because it is contradiction of the general rule to obey they authorities. But that is not about simply driving the car, but how you are driving the car.

So you think that divisions and denominations are simply covered in the Bible. That is a question that must be answered before you can apply the Bible to it. I believe that there is a passage that mentions something about "that there be no divisions among you" or words to that effect. And I would agree. But first, the passage is written to people who are meeting together. They are an assembly, not the whole of the collection of all Christians universally. And even within that assembly, the writer goes on to say that there must be division, or factions.

So the question to you is, what do you think is meant by the references to division here in 1 Corinthians? Does it simply mean don't see eye-to-eye on everything? Or that those who do agree meet separately to keep the peace? Or that they seriously disagree and presume that the others are in grievous error such that their standing before God is significantly (if not completely) compromised?

And no matter which version you come down in favor of, on what basis do you determine that your solution — that of defining what is the correct formula for having a church — actually cures "division"? Do you think that simply meeting as the church according to a city will make you agree on all things doctrinal or even practical? If the format of the meeting is that anyone can speak from what we have gleaned from our thoughts, reading, prayers, experience, etc., during the week will my consideration of the enlightenment I received from a certain passage of scripture based upon some reading from (Swindol, Piper, Wright, McKnight, Fitch, Henry, Scofield, etc.) be appreciated or groaned at? (I know how this works. I saw 14+ years of it.) If I cannot get behind the peculiar teachings of Lee, and even question some of them, will I still be allowed to remain? Will that be permitted as part of the "factions that will cause those who are approved to be made manifest" or will it simply not be tolerated?

The problem is that you want everyone to come your way. But you can't defend your way. And even if were to give in on the "ground of the church," it would not be enough. There would be a new round of reasons for excluding us. Things like asserting that we want clean sheets. Or that we dared to teach young people to start with the Bible and a host of commentaries and Bible dictionaries, then after going through all of that, discover whether it supported and agreed with "the ministry" (meaning the ministry of Lee). There is a very long publication defining the reasons that Titus Chu was expelled. Among them was the fact that he did those things mentioned above. He also self-published materials that he used for his meetings and for his evangelistic efforts. And he did not always agree on everything that the so-called "blended brothers" said about things.

Then when this happened and whole churches, still meeting according to the "local ground of oneness" refused to excommunicate Titus Chu like Anaheim and the LSM wanted, Anaheim sent lawyers to sue to get property back — as if Anaheim or the LSM was the holder of the property of a local church. And they went to sue to get the right to use the original name, "church in [city]."

Let's discuss division. What are they talking about when the Bible says "that there be no divisions among you"? Are you certain that simply meeting on the ground cures or avoids all division? The evidence is that it absolutely does not.

And you know what was meant when it said "division"? Does it simply mean "they don't agree on every nuance of doctrine and practice"? Or does it mean that they are effectively at war? The description that Paul gives in his letter to Corinth looks at least a little like war. They wouldn't even eat with each other. They were excluding each other. There is a reference to "when the whole church comes together." Was this the place of inability to get along? They simply couldn't stomach those "others" (sounds like something from "Lost").

I will admit that there is a level of division within Christians. But that division is generally smaller than the agreement that we have. Oddly, the division between almost any Christian group and the LRC is greater than what stands between most of the groups excluding the LRC. And that division is viewed as "very great" from the perspective of the LRC, and "not much different than between us and any other group" from the other perspective.

I disagree with you about many teachings. But none of the core of the faith. My disagreement with you is not significant. That does not mean that I do not think the things I consider errors in your teachings are completely benign and harmless. But I do not consider any of it to impinge upon your inclusion and participation in the household of faith. Our assembly would not withhold communion from you. Nor would we refuse to participate in communion with you. But you would. And you see the failure of everyone to not go your way as evidence of grievous error. Error so extreme that you cannot partake of communion with them. You make some claims of having fellowship with all Christians, but you withhold the most significant part of fellowship.

Since you also want to discuss denominations in the same context, I will start by noting that there is no scripture for or against the practice. At this point in time, it is evident that the number of churches (assemblies) within the city of Dallas is very large. No matter how you dice it, if we stick to the city proper and assume that only 10% of the population is Christian, and that you want to keep the population of any particular meeting (assembly) to an average of 250 people, there will be roughly 500 assemblies (based on the 2015 population estimate). Some of those will be in mostly Hispanic neighborhoods. Some will be in older, well-established neighborhoods that have mostly retired persons. Others will be neighborhoods of mostly young urban professionals, many of them single. And so on. The manner of meeting will somewhat reflect aspects of the people who are in the meeting. The younger ones will gravitate to more modern forms of worship and music while the older will gravitate to other forms. If we assume that the Spirit is free to move as He wills, there is nothing to cause any of these to simply be just like any other.

And they all agree that they are just "church" and are part of the city of Dallas, taking no particular name. People will refer to each assembly as simply the church meeting at [address].

So you live in the Victory area of Uptown and the closest assembly is using newer songs of praise, and sprinkling their meetings with some intentional practices like responsive readings, and a certain part of every meeting is designed for the people to join in repentance (a "forgive us our trespasses" kind of thing).

But that is not what you want to be doing. Are you going to get in your car and drive a little further to attend a group that doesn't do any kind of "liturgy" (at least in the old-style sense) and sings only hymns from an approved hymnal. And uses only a piano and occasionally a couple of acoustic guitars rather than also having some drums, and organ, or even electric guitar?

And beyond the somewhat outward differences, some of the groups have gravitated to understand salvation as requiring more than a one-time claim of "belief" since even John 3:16 says "whosever believes," not "whosoever believed."

Yet despite all of these differences (and probably more) each of them is joining with the others in evangelistic efforts. In efforts to help the poor, underprivileged of their communities (both Christian and non-Christian). They come out to fix up the meeting place of the poor group that doesn't agree with everything they hold to so that those people can worship God without fear that the foundation will fail as they meet. They all send missionaries to various places and pray for the needs of each others groups.

And given the likely diversity among these groups, I suspect that you will start to have an unwritten listing of what groups generally fit together so that you and others can decide which will be your regular meeting place. No one is offended that you drove past theirs to get to the one you meet with. They are happy that you are meeting.

And since the various groups tend to sort of further simplify into those common groups of groups, they get labeled. Not to be ugly. Or to exclude anyone. But to let anyone know what is different about each. So that the members of the universal church can meet without distraction.


The funny thing about all of this is that even within denominations, there is diversity. The association is not entirely inflexible. And it does not cover every aspect of belief and practice. But to hear the LRC talk about it, there is some serous control. Are you aware that Baptists are not required to do anything? They are members of the group by choice. And they can choose to not be part of the group.

I am a member of a church that has a common naming convention with other churches, yet is not a denomination and has no headquarters. We do believe a lot the same about things. But not entirely. There was recently some serious controversy about one of them that did something that had many of the others up in arms. The debate in the open media was intense. There was even a few threats of violence. But the truth is that none of these separate assemblies every considered this particular assembly to be in grievous error, or cut them off from fellowship. In the middle of it all, the preacher of this one and one of the others switched pulpits a couple of times. And the "issue" was never on the agenda for discussion or preaching about.

That is unity in diversity. You think it is division. But it is not. You want unity in conformity. You want the contemporary service at our church to dump its praise band, and the traditional service to accept popcorn testimonies read from a single, pre-defined source of writing. You really don't care whether forcing your will on others is spiritually correct or helpful. You just want to wield "unity" as a weapon to force conformity. And conformity to your image, not the image of God.

Division is spoken of in the Bible. But you cannot assert that there really is any real division "out there." And denominations are just a boogeyman. You want conformity to your ways but decry any others who agree to conform without forcing others in the same way. Your version of unity is worse than division. It is like when the RCC declares all Protestant and EO assemblies to be "damaged" since they are not meeting with the "true church." Of course their version of the true church is the RCC.

You mock people for praying "poor" prayers. You would scoff at "Bless us, Oh Lord, and these thy gifts which we are about to receive from thy bounty, through Christ, Our Lord. Amen." But cherish simply saying "Oh Lord Jesus" over and over without ever saying anything about anything.

And you insist that the world beat a path to your door.

The Bible does not speak against diversity. Only division. It does not say that we cannot meet in any particular way, only that we meet.

Rather than charging me to say how the Bible supports our meetings and groups, you should show how it denies them. The groups are neither biblical nor unbiblical from where I sit. Therefore I cannot provide a list of verses to say that it is so. I can only say that I do not find anything that denies them. So it falls on you to establish that they are not allowed and provide evidence for your claim.
11-04-2016 03:13 PM
Drake
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

hi Nell,

An example from the topic of this thread: The descriptive view of the local churches in the Bible is one church one city. A prescriptive view is there can be a number of churches in a city made up of 2 people each!

Drake

P.S. I probably eat more bacon than I should. I would not eat any were it not for Acts 10.

Yet, I prefer duck hands down. ;-)
11-04-2016 01:00 PM
Nell
Re: Prescriptive or Descriptive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
What scriptural basis is used in this teaching that we can dismiss the descriptive in favor of the prescriptive? Anyone could make up a prescriptive to replace the text of the Bible!!
It's not a teaching. It's common sense. One example,
2 Timothy 4:13 The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.

Is this verse prescriptive or descriptive? Actually, it's just a personal request from Paul to Timothy.

Another one: Mark 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

There is a group who took this verse as a prescriptive and formed a religion of "snake handlers".

But you are right. Anyone could make a prescriptive and WL DID repeatedly made up prescriptives when observing what the Bible described in the New Testament, and made a religion out of it...especially related to his locality doctrine.

This was not my bright idea. The first time I heard about prescriptive v. descriptive was in a conversation with Bill Mallon. If you Google "prescriptive v. descriptive" you will see that without determining how text is used, it would be easy to come up with "prescriptions" that were never intended to be anything other than a description. Seminary students are familiar with this tool used to study the Bible, as are students of linguistics. WL boasted that he had no degree from a seminary and he knew the Bible better than.....on and on. Maybe he should have taken a class or two.

Regardless, I'm not dismissing anything. Rather, I'm suggesting that the context in which a statement was made be studied to determine its intent...before we go running off to Troas to see if we can find Paul's cloak and the parchments.

Nell
PS: Do you eat bacon?
11-04-2016 12:57 PM
Drake
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
It seems to me that you are re-branding. When the Bible speaks of multiple ekklesia in one area, you call them "meetings". But when you see multiple meetings that you don't like (because they aren't "affiliated with" [read: subservient to) the lone ministry of the age, so-called) you call them "churches", and say there's only one, allowed. So that is a division.

When your denomination has multiple gatherings, assemblies, services, you call them "meetings", as in "College meeting" or "Prayer meeting at sister Smith's house". But the Bible called them ekklesia. Both NT and OT (LXX).
hi aron,

I understand you cannot discern the distinction between the reasons and causes for divisions/denominations vs. the physical distance between multiple meeting halls of believers in the same city standing on the ground of oneness.

No amount of explanation has convinced you. And though I disagree with your views on this point you have your reasons for holding them based on events that shaped your viewpoint.

My experience was different from yours even though I also lived through the same era and events you did. I also had some firsthand experience in your patch. I have a guiding vision where the biblical facts align perfectly with the leading of the Spirit concerning the Church and the churches. Some have argued that the leaders were/are imperfect, or the execution was flawed, or awful things happened and therefore the whole is to be rejected. I will not argue with any of those citations except what should be done about it. I am reminded that none of us are without sin, faults, and shortcomings, and yet God still viewed the church in Corinth with all its sin, faults, and strife as the church of God in Corinth. His view is what matters to me the most.

I understand that is a moot point for you.

Drake
11-04-2016 11:11 AM
aron
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I guess you missed those meetings with Witness Lee where he abolished the thought of any LC autonomy, and set the limits for the elders at certain important decisions like setting the time to start the prayer meeting.
Witness Lee's RecV footnotes in Revelation are clear: each local church is supposed to be "exactly identical", with "no differences whatever". Did the apostle John write that? No, but Lee sussed that out of the problems of the seven Asian churches. To Lee, the real problem was that they weren't exactly identical.

He said the lampstands (in heaven) were identical. Have you ever seen a calyx? They are flowers. Is any flower identical? Or a pomegranate? Is any snowflake identical? Any cloud?

How about "coming to Him, as living stones"? Any living stones absolutely identical, with no differences whatsoever? No? Okay, then what about man-made objects like, oh I dunno, bricks? Like, for instance, to be used for building up a nice, tall tower in Babel?

We were told to be "Witness Lee tape recorders" - don't think, just repeat what the Great Man said. Don't stand out. Be identical; be a grey, shapeless, proletarian mass. "Small potatoes" we called ourselves. "Oh, I'm just a little brother in the local churches". Then the arguably penultimate step was the "One Trumpet" and "One Publication" edict - unless you have the "mark", i.e. the imprimateur of a certain publishing house in southern California, then you can't buy or sell in the local churches. Sounded positively 'beastly' to me.
11-04-2016 11:03 AM
aron
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

It seems to me that you are re-branding. When the Bible speaks of multiple ekklesia in one area, you call them "meetings". But when you see multiple meetings that you don't like (because they aren't "affiliated with" [read: subservient to) the lone ministry of the age, so-called) you call them "churches", and say there's only one, allowed. So that is a division.

When your denomination has multiple gatherings, assemblies, services, you call them "meetings", as in "College meeting" or "Prayer meeting at sister Smith's house". But the Bible called them ekklesia. Both NT and OT (LXX).
11-04-2016 10:03 AM
Drake
Re: One Church - One City - Biblical?

"And while you like to say that you have history and scripture on your side, maybe you could try to show some of it. Try starting with a single item of evidence. Let's see if it really means what you think it means. When we have either proved or disproved that, let's move to another"

OBW,

For comparison and contrast provide a scriptural basis for division/denominations.

Try starting with a single piece of evidence. Let's see if it really means what you think it means

When we have either proved or disproved that, let's move to another.

Drake
11-04-2016 09:11 AM
OBW
One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Someone needs to do their homework. There's definitely historical evidence for one administration per city in the early church.
You say things like this, but cannot establish that any possible situation was more than the way it was at the particular time in a particular place. In one particular place there is reference to the people having all things in common. But even that was somewhat overstated. It was generally true. More like theoretical communism in which needs are met, but not necessarily meaning that only the collective owned anything and not the individuals.

When we get to other churches, there were meetings in the houses of wealthy persons, and among the attenders were slaves. And in at least one place there was eventually a slave owned by the owner of the house. So without going into grand speculation, there is a case of things very much not in common.

A situation in which you find an administration that covered the whole city could only refer to Jerusalem. The first church. The one that had all of the apostles for a period of time. Yet there is no evidence that how they did it (as sparingly as we can discern) was dictated as the way other churches should do it.

If there is anything to be learned from the descriptions of the churches that we can glean from Acts and the epistles, there was a lot of diversity in many ways among the churches. Not just in the makeup of the assembly, but even in how they met, what kinds of things were important to them. And Paul never said for any one of them to do it like they do it in some other place, including Jerusalem.

So you have a really vague example in Jerusalem, embellish what was revealed into something more, and then insist that everyone else must do it the same or else be relegated to the dust bin of illegitimate churches.

That is the sign of real unity.

Ye search the scriptures for in them you think that they will reveal that your peculiar set of rules are right and that you are thereby empowered to expel everyone that does not live up to your standard. But those scriptures point to Christ, not the church. You come to Christ for life, not the church.

Even Thyatira was not an illegitimate church. Neither was Laodicea.

But to the ones who think they are the only game in town, it doesn't matter.

And while you like to say that you have history and scripture on your side, maybe you could try to show some of it. Try starting with a single item of evidence. Let's see if it really means what you think it means. When we have either proved or disproved that, let's move to another. Posting a 1,500 word listing of alleged proofs and saying "See! I did it" does not prove anything. Only that you can post scripture. Let's spend some time on each portion.
11-04-2016 05:00 AM
Ohio
One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I cannot say the same of every local church, every local church is autonomous.
Anyway I think you should show me some sort of prescriptive command (as Nell called it) from the Bible (or even a descriptive text), that says we cannot read things written by one person in the meetings.
I guess you missed those meetings with Witness Lee where he abolished the thought of any LC autonomy, and set the limits for the elders at certain important decisions like setting the time to start the prayer meeting.
11-03-2016 11:05 PM
Evangelical
One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewManLiving View Post
This drivel is getting nauseous. The local church of Witness Lee is a denomination. I gave you the litmus test in another post Evangelical, which you did not address. LSM does not accept all true believers who do not accept the so-called Oracle - meaning WITNESS LEE. You are NOT free as you say to fellowship outside the confining parameters of their dogma. LSM is completely divisive in shoving WL down everyone's throat and shunning those who choose not to accept this. LSM churches are a sect. Anyone can see this except the mentally ill or spiritually deceived. Even the unbeliever knows it's a sect at the very least and at most it is a cult. The fact remains that diehard LSMERS are of WITNESS LEE !
NewManLiving I think you are overstating things. The fact is that the local churches do accept all true believers even ones who do not accept Witness Lee. Anyone is free to fellowship wherever they like. There is no one checking about where we fellowship and with whom. I cannot say the same of every local church, every local church is autonomous.

I did not think your litmus test to be much of a test. You wanted me to read something not written by Witness Lee in the meeting to see if it upsets people. But then where does your litmus test end? Suppose I read CS Lewis and people are okay with that. Then would you require me to keep on reading books by different people, until I find where their tolerance level is at? I would not read the Quran in your church because I'm sure people would not like that.

Anyway I think you should show me some sort of prescriptive command (as Nell called it) from the Bible (or even a descriptive text), that says we cannot read things written by one person in the meetings.
11-03-2016 10:49 PM
Evangelical
Re: Prescriptive or Descriptive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
A descriptive text tells us what was done.
A prescriptive text is instructional and tells us what we must do.
There was a reason Christians met as one church per city for 1000 or so years. It was not because the Bible told them how to do it. It was because that's how Christ established the practical administration of the church. It is wrong to think that we can reject everything that is not a prescriptive command, and that descriptive text does not have to be followed. There are a number of things that Christians do because of what was done, rather than what was instructed. In fact, many Christians do things that are neither prescriptive or descriptive texts in the Bible - celebrating Christmas and Easter for example.
11-03-2016 10:43 PM
Evangelical
One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
First, you cannot and you have not shown any such thing. You have shown that terms were used. in reference to the Christians in a region that approximated a city. It did not in any way prove that they were a cohesive group with only one assembly, or if two or more, that the elders of each assembly were in such agreement on everything and/or were a single unit that was amorphous over the city...
Someone needs to do their homework. There's definitely historical evidence for one administration per city in the early church.
11-03-2016 10:33 PM
Drake
Re: Prescriptive or Descriptive?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
A descriptive text tells us what was done.
A prescriptive text is instructional and tells us what we must do.
What scriptural basis is used in this teaching that we can dismiss the descriptive in favor of the prescriptive? Anyone could make up a prescriptive to replace the text of the Bible!!
11-03-2016 10:04 PM
Nell
Prescriptive or Descriptive?

A descriptive text tells us what was done.
A prescriptive text is instructional and tells us what we must do.

The verses about the New Testament church are descriptive. That is, "one church, one city" describes the church or the congregation of believers in the cities of Ephesus, Smyrna, Philadelphia, etc.

Do these descriptive passages also clearly prescribe, how all Christians for all times should meet? No. Could all Christians meet together as the church in that city? Yes, should they so choose. Is it mandatory? No. There is no evidence of a prescription that the church, even the early church MUST be local to the city. There is only a description of what the early church looked like during a period of time.

Nell
11-03-2016 08:10 PM
UntoHim
One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
You do not have the ground to take a victory lap as if you have presented a compelling biblical argument in favor of denominations. I have heard some pretty clever arguments in favor of denominations but not here and not from you.
Why do you get your feathers in such a ruffle over "denominations"...You Are In One...or at least you defend it as if you were

Look, there is a very good reason that the denomination you are so gallantly defending is known as "The Local Church" or "The Local Church of Witness Lee". Just step though the door of any Local Church meeting hall and what do you see? What name is on all the Life Study messages and outlines, HWMR booklets, the notes in the Recovery Version, many of the hymns in the hymnal...etc, etc. etc. The "local churches" are denominated big time. In fact, their denomination is simply based upon the person and work of Witness Lee...that is the name they are denominated under, ipso facto.

The fact that the Local Church denomination ostensibly practices locating just one of their franchises within one political/governmental boundary doesn't exclude them from being a "denomination" anymore than if the Lutherans, Baptists or Presbyterians did the same thing. One Lutheran church in Anytown USA is still part and parcel of the Lutheran denomination just the same as if there were three or four.


-
11-03-2016 05:30 PM
Drake
One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
First, you cannot and you have not shown any such thing. You have shown that terms were used. in reference to the Christians in a region that approximated a city. It did not in any way prove that they were a cohesive group with only one assembly, or if two or more, that the elders of each assembly were in such agreement on everything and/or were a single unit that was amorphous over the city. There is even evidence of the writing of a letter to the church in a place that referred to someone and the church in their house, and because of the wording, almost assuredly not simply the same group that got the original letter. You can try to argue that they must not have been from within the same city. But you don't know that. You only insist on it because you have devised a rule that says it cannot be otherwise.

I won't bother asking you to restate your reasons that the city-church rule exists because you have already tried and been found wanting.

Aren't you embarrassed? Doesn't the fact that you have to insist that words and intents that are not there must be anyway to get your theories to fly? Don't warning bells go off every time that someone says "it can't mean that because of God's economy"? So the clear words can't mean what they mean because of an unclear and simplistic definition of God's economy? And a definition that rejects large portions of the scripture?

You wandered out here and it is clear that you have your blinders on. You are thoroughly steeped in the unscriptural use of scripture to achieve what the scripture had no intent of achieving.

But if it makes you feel better, I don't think you are a marginal, mooing cow, Christian that is associated with the Whore of Babylon. Just very misguided on a lot of things that are not central to the mission that we have been called to.
An unseemly victory lap.

The church, like many truths in the Bible, are a matter belief based on biblical facts, faith, and revelation. The Bible reveals truths about God, Jesus, the divinity and humanity of Jesus, redemption, salvation, resurrection, the Holy Spirit, The Spirit of Jesus Christ, the Church universal, the local churches, glorification, the second coming of Christ, the judgements, the New Jerusalem, and many other things.

But you know what? No matter how much biblical evidence is presented some folks do not believe any of those things or maybe accept some but not others. Not that these matters are not written in the Bible but some do not to rightly divide the word, or do not have a spirit of revelation, or do not exercise faith to substantiate the biblical truths into their experience. Many here do not accept some of the truths because they've had a negative experience and that has become a veil. Humans are complex and what seems obvious to one appears as a complete fabrication to another for a many different reasons.

Not that Evangelical's explanation needs defending for he has presented the biblical facts as clearly as they are written in the Bible. But it's not enough for some for whatever reason.

Therefore, your haughty attitude is very unseemly and you act like the case was not presented. It was. It's just that you do not believe it. Not, as you suggest, was the effort inadequate. You do not have the ground to take a victory lap as if you have presented a compelling biblical argument in favor of denominations. I have heard some pretty clever arguments in favor of denominations but not here and not from you.
11-03-2016 01:05 PM
ZNPaaneah
One Church - One City - Biblical?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
First, you cannot and you have not shown any such thing. You have shown that terms were used. in reference to the Christians in a region that approximated a city. It did not in any way prove that they were a cohesive group with only one assembly, or if two or more, that the elders of each assembly were in such agreement on everything and/or were a single unit that was amorphous over the city.
I agree that showing a correlation does not prove causation. I think the most that can be claimed is that there is a correlation between the mention of one church and one locality.

This does not mean that the locality causes the church to be one. In fact the Apostles mention many things related to oneness. Generally it is the flesh and sin which cause us to lose our oneness. There is no suggestion at all that locality is some kind of antidote to the flesh or sin.

The church is likened to a city, to the New Jerusalem. So there is some allegorical references that can be made, but nothing in the black and white teaching.
11-03-2016 11:54 AM
OBW
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
So even though I can show you one church per city in the Bible and from history, you say it is "not a rule".
First, you cannot and you have not shown any such thing. You have shown that terms were used. in reference to the Christians in a region that approximated a city. It did not in any way prove that they were a cohesive group with only one assembly, or if two or more, that the elders of each assembly were in such agreement on everything and/or were a single unit that was amorphous over the city. There is even evidence of the writing of a letter to the church in a place that referred to someone and the church in their house, and because of the wording, almost assuredly not simply the same group that got the original letter. You can try to argue that they must not have been from within the same city. But you don't know that. You only insist on it because you have devised a rule that says it cannot be otherwise.

I won't bother asking you to restate your reasons that the city-church rule exists because you have already tried and been found wanting.

Aren't you embarrassed? Doesn't the fact that you have to insist that words and intents that are not there must be anyway to get your theories to fly? Don't warning bells go off every time that someone says "it can't mean that because of God's economy"? So the clear words can't mean what they mean because of an unclear and simplistic definition of God's economy? And a definition that rejects large portions of the scripture?

You wandered out here and it is clear that you have your blinders on. You are thoroughly steeped in the unscriptural use of scripture to achieve what the scripture had no intent of achieving.

But if it makes you feel better, I don't think you are a marginal, mooing cow, Christian that is associated with the Whore of Babylon. Just very misguided on a lot of things that are not central to the mission that we have been called to.
11-03-2016 11:21 AM
NewManLiving
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

This drivel is getting nauseous. The local church of Witness Lee is a denomination. I gave you the litmus test in another post Evangelical, which you did not address. LSM does not accept all true believers who do not accept the so-called Oracle - meaning WITNESS LEE. You are NOT free as you say to fellowship outside the confining parameters of their dogma. LSM is completely divisive in shoving WL down everyone's throat and shunning those who choose not to accept this. LSM churches are a sect. Anyone can see this except the mentally ill or spiritually deceived. Even the unbeliever knows it's a sect at the very least and at most it is a cult. The fact remains that diehard LSMERS are of WITNESS LEE !
11-03-2016 07:57 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What's wrong with that, it's still bread.
Do you always purposely miss the point?
11-03-2016 07:40 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Lee's teachings and what I have been saying about de-name-iating and what the scripture says about that is right, this is the proper interpretation of Paul's words about this matter.

But it is not surprising if some or even many would disagree, the Bible does not say that being a spiritual man as opposed to a carnal man, was ever easy.
So "I am of Paul" is carnal, and "The local churches, lovers of Jesus affiliated with the ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee" is spiritual?

"Of" is carnal and "affiliated with" is spiritual? You are right on that, it is not easy.
11-02-2016 08:38 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
What about LSMs demand for bleached white flour?
What's wrong with that, it's still bread.
11-02-2016 08:15 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Didn't know that there were different degrees of divisiveness. Something is either divisive or not.
Divisiveness with lawsuits is worse than plain old diviseness.
11-02-2016 08:14 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
There is no rule that bread and wine be used for communion. But everyone does it, why? Because they know that's how Jesus did it. Now I'd like to see you suggest or propose that you use something different in your next communion, and you can tell everyone "folks, it's okay, there's no rule about it, as long as we pass around some food and drink and remember the Lord it will be okay".

In the same way then, we follow one church per city. Because we know that's how they did it. And we believe how they did it was how God told them to do it.
What about LSMs demand for bleached white flour?
11-02-2016 06:55 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
I've concluded that there is no worse divisiveness than divisiveness in the name of so-called oneness.
Didn't know that there were different degrees of divisiveness. Something is either divisive or not.
11-02-2016 06:28 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This is where you get a little crazy. Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of Me." There is no verse that says every Christian in town must be under one eldership and ministry.

The Bible also says "repent and be baptized every one of you." This is why all Christians teach and practice baptism. The Bible mandates it.

There is more scriptural basis for head-covering and communism (all things common) than there is for your brand of "practical oneness."

Sorry, Evan, but you have been sold a bill of goods. Ask any believer.

And, in regards to the breaking of bread, there is no scripture that demands bleached white flour be used for the bread, as LSM insists on. Bleached flour was not invented until the late 19th century, just in time for the Recovery to reach China, and obviously no church in history has ever broken bread properly until Nee and Lee came along.
There is no rule that bread and wine be used for communion. But everyone does it, why? Because they know that's how Jesus did it. Now I'd like to see you suggest or propose that you use something different in your next communion, and you can tell everyone "folks, it's okay, there's no rule about it, as long as we pass around some food and drink and remember the Lord it will be okay".

In the same way then, we follow one church per city. Because we know that's how they did it. And we believe how they did it was how God told them to do it.
11-02-2016 06:24 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
So even though I can show you one church per city in the Bible and from history, you say it is "not a rule". You cannot really claim you are following the Bible then. At least, you cannot claim to be doing church the way it should be done, the way it was setup by God from the beginning.

I suppose then you would be okay with replacing the communion wine (or grape juice) and bread, with peanut butter and kentucky fried chicken? There is no rule about that.

I suppose then you would be okay with replacing the baptismal water with a bucket of sand? There is no rule about that either.
This is where you get a little crazy. Jesus said, "Do this in remembrance of Me." There is no verse that says every Christian in town must be under one eldership and ministry.

The Bible also says "repent and be baptized every one of you." This is why all Christians teach and practice baptism. The Bible mandates it.

There is more scriptural basis for head-covering and communism (all things common) than there is for your brand of "practical oneness."

Sorry, Evan, but you have been sold a bill of goods. Ask any believer.

And, in regards to the breaking of bread, there is no scripture that demands bleached white flour be used for the bread, as LSM insists on. Bleached flour was not invented until the late 19th century, just in time for the Recovery to reach China, and obviously no church in history has ever broken bread properly until Nee and Lee came along.
11-02-2016 05:31 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

So even though I can show you one church per city in the Bible and from history, you say it is "not a rule". You cannot really claim you are following the Bible then. At least, you cannot claim to be doing church the way it should be done, the way it was setup by God from the beginning.

I suppose then you would be okay with replacing the communion wine (or grape juice) and bread, with peanut butter and kentucky fried chicken? There is no rule about that.

I suppose then you would be okay with replacing the baptismal water with a bucket of sand? There is no rule about that either.

I can show you that denominations are wrong and that what Lee taught is no different to others, from evangelical websites such as this one:
https://gotquestions.org/denominations-Christian.html

where they claim to be "We are Christian, Protestant, conservative, evangelical, fundamental, and non-denominational."

They say (emphasis mine)

There seems to be at least two major problems with denominationalism. First, nowhere in Scripture is there a mandate for denominationalism; to the contrary the mandate is for union and connectivity. Thus, the second problem is that history tells us that denominationalism is the result of, or caused by, conflict and confrontation which leads to division and separation. Jesus told us that a house divided against itself cannot stand. This general principle can and should be applied to the church. We find an example of this in the Corinthian church which was struggling with issues of division and separation. There were those who thought that they should follow Paul and those who thought they should follow the teaching of Apollos, 1 Corinthians 1:12, "What I am saying is this: each of you says, “I’m with Paul,” or “I’m with Apollos,” or “I’m with Cephas,” or “I’m with Christ.” This alone should tell you what Paul thought of denominations or anything else that separates and divides the body. But let’s look further; in verse 13, Paul asks very pointed questions, "Is Christ divided? Was it Paul who was crucified for you? Or were you baptized in Paul’s name?” This makes clear how Paul feels, he (Paul) is not the Christ, he is not the one crucified and his message has never been one that divides the church or would lead someone to worship Paul instead of Christ. Obviously, according to Paul, there is only one church and one body of believers and anything that is different weakens and destroys the church (see verse 17). He makes this point stronger in 3:4 by saying that anyone who says they are of Paul or of Apollos is carnal.



So Lee's teachings and what I have been saying about de-name-iating and what the scripture says about that is right, this is the proper interpretation of Paul's words about this matter.

But it is not surprising if some or even many would disagree, the Bible does not say that being a spiritual man as opposed to a carnal man, was ever easy.
11-02-2016 05:08 PM
OBW
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
From the Bible I can easily show there is one city per church (has already been discussed at length). You cannot provide me one example of a denomination.

Therefore the score is:

one city per church: 1
hundreds of denominations: 0
You have a funny way of keeping score. There is nothing making one church per city a rule. That is an overlay that requires that it be accepted before considering all the evidence so that the contradictory evidence can be simply dismissed by declaring that "it can't mean that."

You have established that references to Christians within a city, or possibly even also in the nearby environs, being identified by reference to the city in which they resided. It does not establish that they were simply meeting together, or that their elders were a single unit that agreed on all things. It does not find that there is anywhere that suggests that churches (assemblies) are required to be a single unit based on the limits of the city within which they are found or that if multiple assemblies are allowed (even required?) that they must share a single bank account, or have the same elders overseeing the entire collection of assemblies. There is not even a suggestion as to what kind of context it was that Timothy was left in Ephesus for the purpose of appointing elders. It is nothing short of assumption to think that it simply means appointing elders for a single assembly that covered the whole city. Nothing stands for or against that proposition, therefore it is not of doctrinal significance.

So, based on the need for real analysis of scripture, I have moved the score to 0 - 0.

As for denominations, if I need to prove that they are allowed, then I cannot change the score. If I simply need to prove that they are not disallowed, then I think I can succeed.

First, there appear to be two primary teachings used to discredit normal, orthodox Christianity by exclusivist groups. One is to look at Revelation and declare that "Nicolaitans" has to be a reference to clergy-laity. But that is completely speculative. The determination that a term must be referring to specific understandings of the root Greek words being used is purely presumptive. It only holds as much water as you can put in an idea. Sort of like the Emperor's clothes. The understanding of the fineness of the fabric was said to observed only by the truly noble. But it was a hoax. It completely ignores the idea that so many references to groups of people who are "ans" with respect to much of anything are often people following certain people. Like a Nicolas. Those that were following he pagan teachings of a Nicolas would be Nicolaitans. And in this case you have the clear possibility that this is the meaning. And to readers today who have no idea what the error behind the term is, not matter how you want to parse it, it is clear that there is a problem of accepting teachings that are contrary to what the true apostles were teaching.

And no matter how you want there to be no leadership, Jesus did not reject leaders. He didn't even reject the Levites simply because they were leaders. He rejected them for being "lord it over" leaders rather than servant leaders. So having leaders was not the problem. Just consider the first church. Several thousand in just a few days. And they went to the Temple for their teaching. The didn't just get it from their own quiet time or from PSRPing the latest HWFMW. They went to sit in the Temple and listen to the apostles teaching. Just like virtually every church in the world today. And it was evident at different times that there were different ones among the apostles and elders who were in the lead among the church's leaders. Early on it was clearly Peter. Later it seems to have been James.

Took too much time on that one.

The other discredit, heavily used by Lee, is to declare that the problem in Corinth that was addressed in the first 3-1/2 chapters of 1 Corinthians was names. But that cannot be what it was about. Besides, do you actually think that saying that you are of Christ is a problem if your intent is not to lay claim to a superior position? In other words, it wasn't that they were differing on which teachers to primarily hear. It was that they were fighting about it and even excluding each other over it.

Even saying that they were "of Christ" was a means of rejecting all the other teachers. Let's see how that fares. You won't listen to any other teacher but Christ. So who are you listening to since there is not yet a New Testament with his words in it. Just you and you indigestion? No!. The problem was not that some were "of Christ" and others were not. It was that they were fighting about it. They are all "of Christ" (or they are not Christian). Just not in the way that the arguments made it out to be.

In any case, I can assure you that the Lutherans are less about Luther than the LRC is about Lee. Same for the Calvinists (none of which really throw that name around so much). All these different groups disagree about less and agree about more. Meanwhile, you disagree with all of them for not agreeing with you and declare that they are the verboten "denominations" and you are not.

Yet the LRC does have a name. They sue to get it. They sue other Christians using that name. And they very clearly follow a single man more than any of the so-called denominations. (I say so-called not because they are not denominations, but because it does not mean what you think it means.) They go to great lengths to deny that they have a name or follow any man. But just try to start talking about what you appreciated from something John Piper, Chaplain Mike, Scot McKnight, Billy Graham, Matt Chandler, or any other preacher or Christian leader said in a sermon, book or blog and you will find out how much you follow a man. They will sugar coat the message. It is that they have come to appreciate that anything Lee said was always right. And they don't need to refer to anyone else. Or something like that.

And while I could buy that as a remote possibility, it becomes the evidence required to suggest that you will be incapable of understanding scripture in any way other than how Lee taught it. He could have been a snake in the grass, but because you are certain that he was right, you will not even read the words for your self and analyze whether they mean anything like what you claim they mean.

So at this point, it is either 0 - 1 or still 0 - 0.

And I am not adverse to leaving it at 0 - 0. Not because I can agree that denominations are simply wrong (as Lee declares from a serious misreading of the scripture). But because the idea is not to prove you wrong about what you hold to that is not essential in the faith, but to admit that we are not going to agree about everything. And that is not the end of Christian unity. Instead it should be the proof of our oneness that we don't see everything the same yet are not antagonistic with each other or declaring that the other is pagan, heathen, or only marginally Christian.

You have simply said that you showed how one church per city, defined by the legal boundary, and headed by a single unit of elders that agree on everything is in the Bible. But you have not. You have insisted that vague implications about very little can be stretched to include even more and that based on that you can withhold your unity from those who disagree.

So Igzy really said it right.
Quote:
I've concluded that there is no worse divisiveness than divisiveness in the name of so-called oneness.
11-02-2016 04:11 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
The opinions to which you point are those that cannot be established by showing what is there. Only by noting that it is not.

You are the one who is making claims that some special rules are there. To do that, you need to do more than say "the whole bible supports it." You are the one making a positive claim about what the Bible insists upon. That means you need to be able to show how and where the Bible so insists.

The burden is upon the one who claims the unique, not the one who cannot find any such thing and has not been given anything worthy of looking at for the purpose of rethinking.

Please note that if you put something specific out there, I may not agree with how you read or understand the passage. But without even a passage to look at, the problem is yours, not Igzy's.

And over the past 11 years I have changed my position on things, so I do not simply assume you are wrong and seek to disprove you. I will give your evidence an honest reading. As will Igzy and others. But just because we cannot figure out how to arrive at your understanding does not mean that we did not at least try.

Now if you say that no one was called to go into all the world and preach the gospel, then I would have something to work with. But you have said some things that just aren't there. And they weren't even imagined, so there was no reason to refute them back in the first century. That does not make you right and me or Igzy wrong. And it does not require that we come up with verses to refute what was never imagined to need to be refuted.

You are the one needing to provide something that actually supports what you say. And so far, you are failing miserably.


Post #52 in "Various Themes by Evangelical" testallthings wrote "It is a clear historical fact that there was only one church in one city.". So at least one person on here was educated enough to know that one church in each city is a historical fact.

These are not my opinions but the revealed facts from the Bible and history. From the Bible I can easily show there is one city per church (has already been discussed at length). You cannot provide me one example of a denomination.

Therefore the score is:
one city per church: 1
hundreds of denominations: 0

Now just because it is a historical fact, does not mean we have to follow it.

However I think if we want to do things the bible's way, we should adopt the same model revealed in the bible. This is because even though there is no biblical command "you must meet one church per city", clearly this was the way in which the Lord built his church. But there are plenty of commands against divisions and denominations are nothing but organized divisions/sects, as even the Catholics will say.
11-02-2016 04:03 PM
OBW
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It doesn't bother me one way or another as I've always thought there's nothing of much value in your posts, except your own opinions. That is, you can never seem to form an argument based upon the bible or any theological resources.
The opinions to which you point are those that cannot be established by showing what is there. Only by noting that it is not.

You are the one who is making claims that some special rules are there. To do that, you need to do more than say "the whole bible supports it." You are the one making a positive claim about what the Bible insists upon. That means you need to be able to show how and where the Bible so insists.

The burden is upon the one who claims the unique, not the one who cannot find any such thing and has not been given anything worthy of looking at for the purpose of rethinking.

Please note that if you put something specific out there, I may not agree with how you read or understand the passage. But without even a passage to look at, the problem is yours, not Igzy's.

And over the past 11 years I have changed my position on things, so I do not simply assume you are wrong and seek to disprove you. I will give your evidence an honest reading. As will Igzy and others. But just because we cannot figure out how to arrive at your understanding does not mean that we did not at least try.

Now if you say that no one was called to go into all the world and preach the gospel, then I would have something to work with. But you have said some things that just aren't there. And they weren't even imagined, so there was no reason to refute them back in the first century. That does not make you right and me or Igzy wrong. And it does not require that we come up with verses to refute what was never imagined to need to be refuted.

You are the one needing to provide something that actually supports what you say. And so far, you are failing miserably.
11-02-2016 03:48 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Well, none of this is biblical. The Bible does not use the word "denominate," nor does it prohibit names. And it certainly doesn't support your interpretation of these ideas, let alone your proprietary definition of "denominate."

Your problem, Evangelical, is your opinions are so biased that you can't tell the difference between them and what the Bible actually says.

Your opinions are just your opinions, they are not necessarily the truth. You have an ideal in your head that you are in love with, but there is not enough Biblical evidence to justify your adamant insistence on it...which ironically makes your approach divisive.

I've concluded that there is no worse divisiveness than divisiveness in the name of so-called oneness.

Of course, you'll disagree. That's why I dropped out of this discussion. It's pointless, really, to argue with a person like you. I'll just say you are one more reason to avoid the LCM.
It doesn't bother me one way or another as I've always thought there's nothing of much value in your posts, except your own opinions. That is, you can never seem to form an argument based upon the bible or any theological resources. All you can do is spit the dummy.
11-02-2016 11:23 AM
Cal
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The meaning of the word denominate means a sect of Christianity, and not a genuine church. This is explained on the Catholic encyclopedia. Even Catholics understand the difference between a genuine church and a denomination. Catholics understand that to call a church by another name is to create a sect. That is why they just call themselves the catholic church.
Well, none of this is biblical. The Bible does not use the word "denominate," nor does it prohibit names. And it certainly doesn't support your interpretation of these ideas, let alone your proprietary definition of "denominate."

Your problem, Evangelical, is your opinions are so biased that you can't tell the difference between them and what the Bible actually says.

Your opinions are just your opinions, they are not necessarily the truth. You have an ideal in your head that you are in love with, but there is not enough Biblical evidence to justify your adamant insistence on it...which ironically makes your approach divisive.

I've concluded that there is no worse divisiveness than divisiveness in the name of so-called oneness.

Of course, you'll disagree. That's why I dropped out of this discussion. It's pointless, really, to argue with a person like you. I'll just say you are one more reason to avoid the LCM.
10-26-2016 01:24 PM
Terry
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Untold corruption under threat of retribution was all accomplished in the name of oneness, not genuine Biblical oneness, but distorted oneness. The same kind of distorted oneness promoted by all exclusive groups, including the Peebs and the Blendeds.
There may be many groups this fits, but since this forum is Local Church Discussions, my focus is on Local Church corruption. The distorted oneness is one based more about being political than scriptural. Brothers who are more scriptural than political find themselves being quarantined. They're not for a man and his ministry, so these brothers cannot be trusted to be "one with the brothers". That means in application, to be political.
Brothers like Mario Sandoval and Steve Isitt have sought scriptural means to be reconciled with brothers. Though not officially quarantined, were simply unwelcome to meet with any local church due to politics.
10-26-2016 01:14 PM
Terry
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
And, btw, every church congregation begins as a so-called free group or home meeting. It was Witness Lee who demonized "free groups" back in the 1970's in his Genesis Life-study on Lot. (message #54 approx.)
Quite a change a decade made. In the 60's, it was these same free groups Witness Lee would visit. For my parents, it was a free group in Las Vegas Witness Lee would come to visit. Apparently free groups are only good if there's a purpose to serve.
10-26-2016 01:01 PM
Freedom
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

I have mixed feelings about criticism directed towards a "central headquarters." On the one hand, yes there are churches, including the LC with an abusive HQ, but I also think that the issue is not so much the existence of a HQ per se, but more an issue of who is in charge. Take the RCC for instance. It's the quintessential group to criticize for having a massive, lavish and unaccountable HQ. Those things have always been points of criticism, but the interesting thing that I have noticed with Pope Francis, is that there has at least been some amount of effort to 'undo' some of the negative perceptions of the RCC. Of course, a lot of people aren't going to take that effort seriously, but he is obviously a much more 'progressive' Pope than any of his predecessors. Because of that, he has managed to gain some amount of public trust. Don't get me wrong, it could all be just a ploy on his part, but my point here is that who is in charge can make a difference.

LC history is punctuated by various points in time where members mustered up the courage to point to the existence of a headquarters or the fact that control/corruption that was taking place. Of course such things were vehemently denied by leaders, but it brings up an interesting question. What were members really reacting to? Was it the mere existence of a HQ? Or was it the abuse that was taking place through the HQ? As I see things, it could be argued that some members knew all along that there was a de facto HQ, but just couldn't bring themselves to admit that to themselves. When the GLA region protested LSM's control during the mid-2000's, that was not the first time the issue of LSM controlling churches have been brought to the table. It has come up previously, but was largely ignored by all except those who left.

At a basic level, I am inclined to think that a lot of the problem within the LC is related to an ongoing failure to correctly identify the real issues at hand. No one can really blame the rank and file members for that, but if it were acceptable among LC members to refer to LSM as their headquarters, then at least there could be an expectation of accountability relating to LSM. LSM is unaccountable partly because no one actually believes that LSM controls anything. So members and churches get stuck with a situations where they risk being accused of making "slanderous accusations" if they react to corruption/control on the part of LSM.

In various Christian denominations, the organizational structure is no secret. It can be expected that there are checks and balances in place for leadership at the top. Of course that isn't always the case, but at least there are underlying guidelines that members can point to if something goes awry. If a pastor is acting in a way that is subversive to the principles of the denomination, the denomination has the authority to remove him. If members or local leaders aren't happy with decisions made at the top, they can always leave the denomination, because they know exactly what is what. There isn't a whole lot of guesswork involved.

Recently, my curiosity got the best of me about two mid-20th century church buildings I see on a daily basis (the kind with really steep roofs and look very traditional). The names didn't indicate who these churches really were, but they both have 'modern' sounding names. So I googled them. I discovered one was Baptist and the other Methodist. Initially it bothered me that they were seemingly 'hiding' their identify behind a name. Then I realized that was only a matter of perception. Their identify is not hidden for those who wish to know. More importantly, the denominational aspect has been shifted to the background, Yes, behind the scenes there is a HQ that is 'controlling' things, but unless no checks and balances exist the 'control' is probably just administrative or making broad decisions about the general direction of the denomination. With that in mind, I realized that there is nothing to fear about groups that have more formal organizational structures. Of course there is the potential for bad, but I think the real issue is groups who make an ongoing effort to deny what they really are. That is my 2 cents.
10-26-2016 07:59 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
So you must believe that this distorted oneness was propagated to the Lutherans, and then the Church of England, and so on and so forth? Because the majority of what we call Christianity today (and what Lee would call degraded Christianity), came from these papal thugs, not from these unofficial secretive groups. All of these were, at one time, attempts at "distorted oneness". That is, they all believed themselves to be the true genuine church, at some point. So on and so forth. You seem to swing towards the independent free groups or home groups etc, so probably you are closer to the truth than many on this forum and many Christians in general, that believe all and any denomination that calls itself a church is okay.
I see untold corruption in all centralized church headquarters, including your beloved LSM. Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

Reformation was not another attempt at "distorted oneness," but a struggle to reform, to return to the Bible, and to be liberated from Rome.

Both Catholic, Lutheran, and Anglican leaders have all persecuted God's real children. I am not against any fellowship or federation of churches, working together and combining their collective gifts and talents in order to care for the people of God. Many so-called congregational groups accomplish this regularly. What I am against is a controlling headquarters.

And, btw, every church congregation begins as a so-called free group or home meeting. It was Witness Lee who demonized "free groups" back in the 1970's in his Genesis Life-study on Lot. (message #54 approx.)
10-26-2016 07:42 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This is crazy.

Catholics have been calling themselves Catholics for centuries, long before any other churches "officially" existed. I say "officially" because before and during the dark ages numerous communities of Christians (real churches with or without your proper franchise name) met in secret for fear of papal thugs, the latter day version of Judaizer dogs.

But this speaks to a greater topic, that of distorted oneness. I call distorted oneness one of the greatest evils of church history. Rome used this to its full advantage for centuries. The basic question is this: How far should the church go astray in order to remain "one?" Look at what the papal system accomplished. In the name of oneness they worshiped Mary, established the corrupt Vatican, ordained supposedly celibate priests, sold indulgences, etc. (I could spend all day completing this list.)

Untold corruption under threat of retribution was all accomplished in the name of oneness, not genuine Biblical oneness, but distorted oneness. The same kind of distorted oneness promoted by all exclusive groups, including the Peebs and the Blendeds.
So you must believe that this distorted oneness was propagated to the Lutherans, and then the Church of England, and so on and so forth? Because the majority of what we call Christianity today (and what Lee would call degraded Christianity), came from these papal thugs, not from these unofficial secretive groups. All of these were, at one time, attempts at "distorted oneness". That is, they all believed themselves to be the true genuine church, at some point. So on and so forth. You seem to swing towards the independent free groups or home groups etc, so probably you are closer to the truth than many on this forum and many Christians in general, that believe all and any denomination that calls itself a church is okay.
10-26-2016 07:38 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The meaning of the word denominate means a sect of Christianity, and not a genuine church. This is explained on the Catholic encyclopedia. Even Catholics understand the difference between a genuine church and a denomination. Catholics understand that to call a church by another name is to create a sect. That is why they just call themselves the catholic church.
This is crazy.

Catholics have been calling themselves Catholics for centuries, long before any other churches "officially" existed. I say "officially" because before and during the dark ages numerous communities of Christians (real churches with or without your proper franchise name) met in secret for fear of papal thugs, the latter day version of Judaizer dogs.

But this speaks to a greater topic, that of distorted oneness. I call distorted oneness one of the greatest evils of church history. Rome used this to its full advantage for centuries. The basic question is this: How far should the church go astray in order to remain "one?" Look at what the papal system accomplished. In the name of oneness they worshiped Mary, established the corrupt Vatican, ordained supposedly celibate priests, sold indulgences, etc. (I could spend all day completing this list.)

Untold corruption under threat of retribution was all accomplished in the name of oneness, not genuine Biblical oneness, but distorted oneness. The same kind of distorted oneness promoted by all exclusive groups, including the Peebs and the Blendeds.
10-26-2016 07:10 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
This kind of argument presumes that the root of any word necessarily dictates any extended word as to what it can mean.

So by your thinking, the word "awesome" must mean that there is "some awe." Not necessarily a lot. Surely not worthy of a "wow!"

This is the kind of overly literal analysis that is at the heart of so much Jr High school humor. Take every word and distill it to other smaller words and see what kind of ridiculousness can be found in it.

And when someone does it to be serous, that is generally proof of either not playing with a full deck or seeking to fool whoever they can with nonsense.
The meaning of the word denominate means a sect of Christianity, and not a genuine church. This is explained on the Catholic encyclopedia. Even Catholics understand the difference between a genuine church and a denomination. Catholics understand that to call a church by another name is to create a sect. That is why they just call themselves the catholic church.
10-26-2016 07:00 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
What?! What then happened to the definitions you gave from Merriam Webster, Wikipedia and dictionary.com? They are modern definitions.

You said in Post #235 that by quoting your dictionaries, you are giving me the modern definitions:

"So? Are we living in the 15th century and speaking Latin? I gave you the modern definitions which you REFUSE to accept on no basis at all."

You don't seem to accept Merriam Webster because it does not use the modern definition. Are you now saying it is a modern definition? So now we have TWO contradictory definitions for the word denomination - your dictionary and my dictionary.
10-25-2016 06:12 PM
OBW
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Denomination and denominate both share the same root latin denominare meaning "to name". That should be obvious to anyone.
This kind of argument presumes that the root of any word necessarily dictates any extended word as to what it can mean.

So by your thinking, the word "awesome" must mean that there is "some awe." Not necessarily a lot. Surely not worthy of a "wow!"

This is the kind of overly literal analysis that is at the heart of so much Jr High school humor. Take every word and distill it to other smaller words and see what kind of ridiculousness can be found in it.

And when someone does it to be serous, that is generally proof of either not playing with a full deck or seeking to fool whoever they can with nonsense.
10-25-2016 04:09 PM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I have never been using what you call "modern definitions".
What?! What then happened to the definitions you gave from Merriam Webster, Wikipedia and dictionary.com? They are modern definitions.
10-25-2016 03:26 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
We are not arguing using 17th century terms. Why do you avoid my arguments? You were fine in using modern definitions until I pointed out all the flaws in them and your reasoning, then suddenly you revert to century old definitions. Strange.

Secondly, I am aware that the Protestants were considered heretics by the Catholics? So what? This doesn't prove anything at all. If you are saying that the Catholics believe us heretics and therefore we are heretics, then you and the entire LC are heretics as well. But I know you are not saying this. I do not see your point.
I have never been using what you call "modern definitions". I have consistently been using the words denomination and denominate, the noun and the verb, to mean the same thing, as per their original meaning.

It is yourself claiming that the word denomination is now somehow different, and has nothing to do with names. I am sticking with the original meaning.
10-25-2016 01:54 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Let's talk about taking names. Whether I look at the state revenue website or in the yellow pages, ones that call themselves "the church in ____" is taking a name. Without that name, I can't tell what their phone number is or where they meet.
The matter of denominating, I see it more of a heart and attitude issue than a name issue. For several years my family and I met with a Baptist denomination. I found them to be less divisive than some of the local churches I've met with or visited.
Obviously Evangelical and others in the Recovery are thoroughly convinced that only "the church in __________" is the proper, officially-sanctioned, God-ordained, Biblically-approved church name.

Then what should be done when another church has already taken and registered that name? Are not they now the only proper, officially-sanctioned, God-ordained, Biblically-approved church in that city?

No! Of course not! That proper, officially-sanctioned, God-ordained, Biblically-approved church name then means nothing. So the LSM local church franchise must then find an alternate name that is proper, officially-sanctioned, God-ordained, and Biblically-approved. (This has happened!) And more than once!

And what would that name be? And why don't they all join that church with the proper, officially-sanctioned, God-ordained, Biblically-approved church name? And how many other alternative names are thus available besides the default name "the church in __________".

Let's be honest folks. Names actually mean nothing to LC/LSM leadership. Evangelical why won't you admit it? The whole matter of names is simply used by LSM as a means to condemn all other churches. Like that guy who condemned all churches for praying publicly, and not in their "closets." It sure would be nice if Evangelical would finally admit that LSM only approves churches that buy only their books and attend their trainings.

They really don't care what name you take if you will do that.
10-25-2016 01:12 PM
Terry
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
The only difference between the LC and all the other denominations is that the LC does not have an official name. That is the one and only difference setting you apart from other denominations.

Besides that the LC has a distinct faith and organization. Arguing over the lack of a name is splitting hairs.
Let's talk about taking names. Whether I look at the state revenue website or in the yellow pages, ones that call themselves "the church in ____" is taking a name. Without that name, I can't tell what their phone number is or where they meet.
The matter of denominating, I see it more of a heart and attitude issue than a name issue. For several years my family and I met with a Baptist denomination. I found them to be less divisive than some of the local churches I've met with or visited.
10-25-2016 07:53 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Following the reformation, to the Catholic world, what are now known as denominations were once called heretical sects. A heretical sect is the true definition of what they are. You are just using modern meanings to make them sound better, like putting lipstick on a pig.
We are not arguing using 17th century terms. Why do you avoid my arguments? You were fine in using modern definitions until I pointed out all the flaws in them and your reasoning, then suddenly you revert to century old definitions. Strange.

Secondly, I am aware that the Protestants were considered heretics by the Catholics? So what? This doesn't prove anything at all. If you are saying that the Catholics believe us heretics and therefore we are heretics, then you and the entire LC are heretics as well. But I know you are not saying this. I do not see your point.
10-25-2016 07:24 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
So? Are we living in the 15th century and speaking Latin? I gave you the modern definitions which you REFUSE to accept on no basis at all.
Following the reformation, to the Catholic world, what are now known as denominations were once called heretical sects. A heretical sect is the true definition of what they are. You are just using modern meanings to make them sound better, like putting lipstick on a pig.
10-25-2016 07:20 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Denomination and denominate both share the same root latin denominare meaning "to name". That should be obvious to anyone.
So? Are we living in the 15th century and speaking Latin? I gave you the modern definitions which you REFUSE to accept on no basis at all.
10-25-2016 07:07 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
Firstly, this source of yours is still on a lesser plane than Oxford and Merriam Webster. You keep failing in your definitions so you keep on seeking even more obscure ones. Secondly, I'll grant you that definition if you also grant me my definitions which I gave. According to my definitions, the LC is a denomination.

Either you accept all definitions, or you go by those with more authority - in which case Oxford and Merriam Webster will be more trustworthy. Your choice. You cannot just believe what you want.

You were looking for definitions to fit your presuppositions, hence why you keep on coming with new ones after I showed the flaws in your earlier ones. So I have to wonder, if not for this obscure website, how did you know that a denomination were simply those who denominated themselves? How did you know that? Who taught you that?
Denomination and denominate both share the same root latin denominare meaning "to name". That should be obvious to anyone.
10-25-2016 07:06 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
You were looking for definitions to fit your presuppositions, hence why you keep on coming with new ones after I showed the flaws in your earlier ones. So I have to wonder, if not for this obscure website, how did you know that a denomination were simply those who denominated themselves? How did you know that? Who taught you that?
I prefer "working" definitions rather than etymological exercises. Remember that linguistics is fluid, and it is the actual use of words by its people that determines meanings. The KJV is a prime example.

Denominations become such and remain such, not because of their name, but because their leaders maintain administrative connections. Cut all those ties, and we are left with individual churches free to call themselves whatever they desire. The denominations determine their names, more than their names determine their denomination, as Evangelical would have us believe.

What really determines a denomination is not a name, but a controlling headquarters. It's called LSM. Take away the Blendeds, and we are left with individual LC's, perhaps even "true" churches.
10-25-2016 07:04 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Look up denomination at Dictionary.com
Why did you ignore the first definition they give?

Quote:
a religious group, usually including many local churches, often larger than a sect
http://www.dictionary.com/browse/denomination?s=t

Edit: I just have to point out the irony in the words "many local churches".
10-25-2016 06:50 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Here's another one to educate yourself better with
Still keeping on with the condescension? Good.
10-25-2016 06:49 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Here's another one to educate yourself better with (emphasis mine, in bold)

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=denomination

denomination (n.) Look up denomination at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "a naming, act of giving a name to," from Old French denominacion "nominating, naming," from Latin denominationem (nominative denominatio) "a calling by anything other than the proper name, metonymy," from denominare "to name," from de- "completely" (see de-) + nominare "to name" (see nominate). Meaning "a class" is from mid-15c. Monetary sense is 1650s; meaning "religious sect" is 1716.

So we see that a denomination is a group which calls itself by something other than the proper name.

To argue that denomination does not mean the same thing as denominate, is clutching at straws to say the least.
Firstly, this source of yours is still on a lesser plane than Oxford and Merriam Webster. You keep failing in your definitions so you keep on seeking even more obscure ones. Secondly, I'll grant you that definition if you also grant me my definitions which I gave. According to my definitions, the LC is a denomination.

Either you accept all definitions, or you go by those with more authority - in which case Oxford and Merriam Webster will be more trustworthy. Your choice. You cannot just believe what you want.

You were looking for definitions to fit your presuppositions, hence why you keep on coming with new ones after I showed the flaws in your earlier ones. So I have to wonder, if not for this obscure website, how did you know that a denomination were simply those who denominated themselves? How did you know that? Who taught you that?
10-25-2016 05:45 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
Because Wikipedia is a better source than Oxford and Merriam Webster?

That definition isn't even in the Wikipedia article. Are you lying to us?

Edit: I see the definition above this one you took from Wikipedia. So I assume this one is once again your own definition? Also funny how there are no sources given for this statement in Wikipedia.

You are beginning to reveal the LC's true colours. Keep it up.

Here's another one to educate yourself better with (emphasis mine, in bold)

http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=denomination

denomination (n.) Look up denomination at Dictionary.com
late 14c., "a naming, act of giving a name to," from Old French denominacion "nominating, naming," from Latin denominationem (nominative denominatio) "a calling by anything other than the proper name, metonymy," from denominare "to name," from de- "completely" (see de-) + nominare "to name" (see nominate). Meaning "a class" is from mid-15c. Monetary sense is 1650s; meaning "religious sect" is 1716.

So we see that a denomination is a group which calls itself by something other than the proper name.

To argue that denomination does not mean the same thing as denominate, is clutching at straws to say the least.
10-24-2016 05:31 PM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This is purely a fabrication of Lee's making, without any scriptural basis.
It concerns me now as it concerned me then how LC members tend to view the footnotes and scripture as one and the same. It's disturbing. I remember how each week we would have a reading (one of those small groups). For it we were each handed a paper with the footnotes of that portion of scripture. I hated it. The others were always going "wow" and "shoo" when something deep was read in those notes. I always threw mine away at night.
10-24-2016 05:17 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
"to denominate the church by taking any name other than the Lord's is spiritual fornication.""
This is purely a fabrication of Lee's making, without any scriptural basis.
10-24-2016 09:25 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
"To deviate from the Lord's word is apostasy, and to denominate the church by taking any name other than the Lord's is spiritual fornication.""
Very, very interesting. I googled this. Seems like this is a footnote from the Recovery Version. I advise others to look it up as well. Interesting. That's all I'm saying.
10-24-2016 09:20 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Consider what Wikipedia says about religious denominations
Because Wikipedia is a better source than Oxford and Merriam Webster?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
A denomination (noun) is what results when a group of believers denominate (verb) by calling themselves by a common name other than Christ.
That definition isn't even in the Wikipedia article. Are you lying to us?

Edit: I see the definition above this one you took from Wikipedia. So I assume this one is once again your own definition? Also funny how there are no sources given for this statement in Wikipedia.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Please do not make yourself look more foolish than you have already
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Yes, because of the previous point, they are not real churches because they commit spiritual fornication.
You are beginning to reveal the LC's true colours. Keep it up.
10-24-2016 06:20 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
As far as I understand, denominate as a verb has no religious connotations at all.
Great point.

That's what I call rightly dividing.
10-23-2016 07:45 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

The LC has no name.
The others have names.


That is not correct. The LC has the name of Christ, others have names other than Christ.

"To deviate from the Lord's word is apostasy, and to denominate the church by taking any name other than the Lord's is spiritual fornication.""


The LC consider other churches as false and heretical.
The others generally believe other churches to be true churches.


Yes, because of the previous point, they are not real churches because they commit spiritual fornication. The other churches have no issue taking a name other than the Lord and approve of others who do likewise. In other words, the one who has the name of Christ is the genuine wife.

The LC has a unique Bible.
The others do not have a unique Bible.


It depends. A church will often tend to use one version over another. Others have unique prayer books and service books. During my 30 years in denominations, I have been in many situations where everyone chose to use a common bible version for convenience, or the pastor recommended one over another.

The LC will not cooperate with other denominations.
The others will generally cooperate with other denominations.


Cooperation but no genuine unity.
10-23-2016 07:35 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
You are making up your own definition here after you saw that neither Merriam Webster nor the OED supports your view.
Consider what Wikipedia says about religious denominations:

A Christian denomination is a generic term for a distinct religious body identified by traits such as a common name, structure, leadership and doctrine.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religious_denomination

A denomination (noun) is what results when a group of believers denominate (verb) by calling themselves by a common name other than Christ.

Please do not make yourself look more foolish than you have already by insisting that the word denomination has no relation to the word denominate.
10-23-2016 07:38 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Here are some differences I've noticed between the LC denomination and other denominations (please add more).

The LC has no name.
The others have names.

The LC consider other churches as false and heretical.
The others generally believe other churches to be true churches.

The LC has a unique Bible.
The others do not have a unique Bible.

The LC will not cooperate with other denominations.
The others will generally cooperate with other denominations.

Some similarities:

The LC has a common faith.
Other denominations have a common faith.

The LC believes in Christ's divinity, death and resurrection.
Other denominations believe in Christ's divinity, death and resurrection.

The LC has an organization (whether officially or not).
Other denominations have organizations.
10-23-2016 07:09 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
A denomination (noun) is an organization of those who have denominated (verb) themselves.
You are making up your own definition here after you saw that neither Merriam Webster nor the OED supports your view.
10-23-2016 07:02 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
You are giving a definition of a verb, to denominate. That is different from denomination as a noun. The definition I gave from the OED is applicable, yours are not.

But since you're fond of Merriam Webster, why didn't you look up the noun?



http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denomination
lol doesn't help you sorry. I realize English may not be your first language, but a word can be both a noun and a verb, it does not change the clear meaning. To denominate (verb) is what they did when they chose a name for themselves. Then they became a denomination (noun), as "ones who denominated themselves". A denomination (noun) is an organization of those who have denominated (verb) themselves.
10-23-2016 07:00 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

As far as I understand, denominate as a verb has no religious connotations at all.
10-23-2016 06:59 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Jesus and the 12 disciples had a distinct faith and organization, that's not the point.

If we do not have an official name, then we are NOT de-name-iating, so we are not a denomination.

Dictionary time: denomination means "to give a name to".
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denominate
You are giving a definition of a verb, to denominate. That is different from denomination as a noun. The definition I gave from the OED is applicable, yours are not.

But since you're fond of Merriam Webster, why didn't you look up the noun?

Quote:
a religious organization whose congregations are united in their adherence to its beliefs and practices
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denomination
10-23-2016 06:53 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
The only difference between the LC and all the other denominations is that the LC does not have an official name. That is the one and only difference setting you apart from other denominations.

Besides that the LC has a distinct faith and organization. Arguing over the lack of a name is splitting hairs.

Jesus and the 12 disciples had a distinct faith and organization, that's not the point.

If we do not have an official name, then we are NOT de-name-iating, so we are not a denomination.

Dictionary time: denomination means "to give a name to".
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denominate
10-23-2016 06:48 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It does not matter how insistent or not insistent they are, they are still an organized division as long as they remain de-name-iating themselves by calling themselves after "another man's name".
The only difference between the LC and all the other denominations is that the LC does not have an official name. That is the one and only difference setting you apart from other denominations.

Besides that the LC has a distinct faith and organization. Arguing over the lack of a name is splitting hairs.
10-23-2016 04:50 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
It is actually a practice of most because it takes more than the one planting to make it grow. There must be those who till, who water, etc.

Besides, for all the approaches to "preaching" the gospel, the key to each heart is different. Some hear a man talk of living water and drop their bucket and run off to tell everyone what they have heard. Others come and listen, then leave to think on it. But whenever it happens, some 3 years later they are among those who believe, and in this case take charge of the burial of the Lord.

Knocking on doors is not the end-all of evangelism. Neither is great messages. Neither is lengthy discussions and teaching. For some, it starts with observation of those who are known to have chosen "the way" as it was sometimes called in the early days. That is followed by the realization that there is something to look further into.

All this talk about denominations is just a basis for enforcing division. Denominations are not as divided from each other as those who demand that the fact of denominations simply excludes them from the discussion. They demand absolute unity but seek to find every reason to exclude.

On what basis is any gathering of believers not a church "in the biblical sense" simply because they tend toward a form of doctrinal commonality or have taken overt steps to be something other than haphazard and disorganized. It is clear that the LCM does just that. They meet separately from anyone that they don't completely agree with. Then point the finger at all those others who don't see things their way and agree with them.

Oddly, most of those denominations are less insistent on their doctrines when it comes to the unity of the church as a whole. Unlike some who not only want doctrinal unity on the inside of their group, but also on the outside. They don't demand that you see things their way, even though they think theirs is the better way. But you do. You demand unity on your terms.

Or else. Accept the demeaning and name-calling. And the lawsuits if we suggest there is something unchristian about any of it.
It does not matter how insistent or not insistent they are, they are still an organized division as long as they remain de-name-iating themselves by calling themselves after "another man's name".
10-20-2016 03:35 PM
OBW
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
That would be consistent with the view that what many call "churches" are in fact organizations or denominations and could not be considered a church in the biblical sense.

Actually it's a practice not just of the LC but some evangelical missionary organizations to plant churches in areas where Roman Catholic or Orthodox churches already exist, because they do not recognize these as real churches.
It is actually a practice of most because it takes more than the one planting to make it grow. There must be those who till, who water, etc.

Besides, for all the approaches to "preaching" the gospel, the key to each heart is different. Some hear a man talk of living water and drop their bucket and run off to tell everyone what they have heard. Others come and listen, then leave to think on it. But whenever it happens, some 3 years later they are among those who believe, and in this case take charge of the burial of the Lord.

Knocking on doors is not the end-all of evangelism. Neither is great messages. Neither is lengthy discussions and teaching. For some, it starts with observation of those who are known to have chosen "the way" as it was sometimes called in the early days. That is followed by the realization that there is something to look further into.

All this talk about denominations is just a basis for enforcing division. Denominations are not as divided from each other as those who demand that the fact of denominations simply excludes them from the discussion. They demand absolute unity but seek to find every reason to exclude.

On what basis is any gathering of believers not a church "in the biblical sense" simply because they tend toward a form of doctrinal commonality or have taken overt steps to be something other than haphazard and disorganized. It is clear that the LCM does just that. They meet separately from anyone that they don't completely agree with. Then point the finger at all those others who don't see things their way and agree with them.

Oddly, most of those denominations are less insistent on their doctrines when it comes to the unity of the church as a whole. Unlike some who not only want doctrinal unity on the inside of their group, but also on the outside. They don't demand that you see things their way, even though they think theirs is the better way. But you do. You demand unity on your terms.

Or else. Accept the demeaning and name-calling. And the lawsuits if we suggest there is something unchristian about any of it.
10-20-2016 12:43 PM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
could not be considered a church in the biblical sense.
Need I say more?
10-18-2016 11:44 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I think John and James saw some casting out demons in Jesus' name and god upset. "Master we must stop this!"

Jesus' reply put an end to your theory.
That is possibly the only verse that might support the idea of many churches in an area.
10-18-2016 11:42 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
This is interesting. Let me tell you about something. Koinonia was kind enough to share this letter from a local church member (he posted it earlier in this forum).

There is a very interesting quote in it which shows that the local church (or at the very least the author) considers every non LC church as being not a church.

Quote (p.2): The Church in Pretoria began to meet in the mid-1970s as the first church in South Africa.

Think about this. With this one statement he claims that all the missionaries in 400 years failed in establishing a church. With this statement he invalidates all the other churches in South Africa up to that point as true churches.

I do not believe the LC to be a cult, merely a denomination (common faith and organization), but things like these make me wonder.

http://www.afaithfulwitness.org/warn...g%20Letter.pdf
That would be consistent with the view that what many call "churches" are in fact organizations or denominations and could not be considered a church in the biblical sense.

Actually it's a practice not just of the LC but some evangelical missionary organizations to plant churches in areas where Roman Catholic or Orthodox churches already exist, because they do not recognize these as real churches.
10-16-2016 04:38 PM
least
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

"Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post #164
Should you join the Catholic church then? Afterall they were the first church."

Afterall the Catholic church were the first church? Evangelical?
10-16-2016 02:59 PM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Should you join the Catholic church then? Afterall they were the first church.
This is interesting. Let me tell you about something. Koinonia was kind enough to share this letter from a local church member (he posted it earlier in this forum).

There is a very interesting quote in it which shows that the local church (or at the very least the author) considers every non LC church as being not a church.

Quote (p.2): The Church in Pretoria began to meet in the mid-1970s as the first church in South Africa.

Think about this. With this one statement he claims that all the missionaries in 400 years failed in establishing a church. With this statement he invalidates all the other churches in South Africa up to that point as true churches.

I do not believe the LC to be a cult, merely a denomination (common faith and organization), but things like these make me wonder.

http://www.afaithfulwitness.org/warn...g%20Letter.pdf
10-15-2016 04:45 PM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Jesus and the 12 disciples can arguably be considered the first church. Suppose at that time another group of disciples started another "Jesus group", could they claim the Lord's presence? No. Jesus remained only with those he chose to be His first church...
I think John and James saw some casting out demons in Jesus' name and god upset. "Master we must stop this!"

Jesus' reply put an end to your theory.
10-15-2016 07:22 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
According to Witness Lee the "model" of the first church was Mary, Martha and Lazarus and Jesus meeting together.

Hence the hypocrisy in his ministry. He has a meeting of 3 saints into the name of Jesus as his prototype of the true church but then claims that 3 people in a home meeting cannot be the church. His prototype is a home meeting of 3 people, all from the same family.
And the famous first Lord's table meeting in the new "Recovery" was W. Nee and a couple sisters.

Didn't they "take the ground."
10-15-2016 06:09 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
aron, I was more addressing a view like Koinonia proposed that two or three sisters could constitute a church.

I think of it like this. Jesus and the 12 disciples can arguably be considered the first church. Suppose at that time another group of disciples started another "Jesus group", could they claim the Lord's presence? No. Jesus remained only with those he chose to be His first church.

Similarly, after Jesus's ascension, His presence for the church remained with the genuine church that He established.

Just because two or three believers get together does not mean they can claim to be a church established by Christ.

In the bible times the church was a particular visible entity in each city. It was not a haphazard or random scattering of small groups and believers. This is why churches were easy to persecute - everyone knew where they were. Persecutors did not have to chase Christians down rabbit holes or find them scattered around in parks by 2 or 3.
According to Witness Lee the "model" of the first church was Mary, Martha and Lazarus and Jesus meeting together.

Hence the hypocrisy in his ministry. He has a meeting of 3 saints into the name of Jesus as his prototype of the true church but then claims that 3 people in a home meeting cannot be the church. His prototype is a home meeting of 3 people, all from the same family.
10-15-2016 01:26 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
According to...?
This verse which describes the prophesying meeting:

1 Corinthians 14:24-25 But if an unbeliever or an inquirer comes in while everyone is prophesying, they are convicted of sin and are brought under judgment by all, as the secrets of their hearts are laid bare. So they will fall down and worship God, exclaiming, "God is really among you!"

Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 14:24-25 is also further proof against a claim that two or three having fellowship can be a church.

If you are only two or three, then how can others weigh what you said?:

1 Cor 14:29 Two or three prophets should speak, and the others should weigh carefully what is said.

Therefore a church is two or three, plus others. So more than three, at least four.
10-15-2016 01:16 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Evangelical, the word "denomination" is not a Bible word; it is a dictionary word. This whole thing about "names" is an invention. This does not mean that I agree with all of the sorts of names that people come up with--I do not. I am just pointing out that you have traded the biblical standard for assessing truth for WL-isms and "Websters" (WL's favorite).

Again, the group that calls itself "the church in Irvine" is not the church in Irvine (in totality). To make such a claim is ridiculous. Who composes the church in Irvine? You would say, "All the believers in Irvine." Then, how can "the church in Irvine" describe you group. It doesn't.
Koinonia, the word denomination is not in the bible because there were no denominations at that time. However the bible speaks against sects, party's, factions, schisms (Galatians 5:20, 1 Corinthians 11:19, 1 Cor 12:25).

A denomination is essentially an organized or institutionalized faction or schism in the body with a name.

Perhaps it's logic you are struggling to understand.

Suppose there is once an apple pie (all believers in a city), called the Apple Pie, and it is cut into 4 pieces (there are schisms). Each of those 4 pieces gives itself a name and separates practically (each piece then becomes a denomination). Suppose they decide to name themselves Hot Dog Apple Pie, Muffin Apple Pie, Hamburger Apple Pie, and Pizza Apple Pie.

Suppose that one of those pieces realizes they are wrong and want to go back to being just Apple Pie with the other pieces. Suppose Pizza Apple Pie decides to call itself Apple Pie again. So there is Apple Pie, Hot Dog Apple Pie, Muffin Apple Pie, Hamburger Apple Pie.

It is correct for Apple Pie to say they are Apple Pie. They have not created for themselves another division, but have gone back to being what they truly were. That's why it is not logical for you to say that those who leave denominations and don't take another name for themselves (even the name or label non-denominational can be divisive) have created another denomination.

Ecumenism on the other hand, or denominations hand shaking over the fence, tries to bring the pieces together to create a
"Hot Dog Muffin Hamburger Pizza Apple Pie".

Until they drop their respective names and labels Hot Dog, Muffin etc, they cannot be Apple Pie again.

Now after all that I'm hungry....
10-15-2016 12:23 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
If you go back, I think you'll see that I never proposed two or three as a church. What I said were that two or three had the Lord's promised presence, which you deemed insufficient. You then proposed an ontological entity which had all the hallmarks, to me, of the Great Harlot. See e.g. One Publication edict, with no buying or selling unless it had the Mark of the Ministry (to avoid confusion, of course).

Two or three may have the Lord's name, His presence, His commission ("God forth before Me"), His binding and loosing, and His testimony ("Tell it to the church"). But all this seems insufficient, because, "It's not the church."

Then your alternative comes along, with the Seer of the Revelation, God's Oracle, who by Paul's word wasn't even qualified to be a local elder (see, Timothy and Philip Lee, His admittedly "unspiritual cooks"), etc. Forgive me if I'm nonplussed.

And Lee's benefactor Nee wasn't much better, if at all, basing his main teachings on the revelations of women, from the secret rapture to the three parts of man, all the while insisting that women aren't qualified to teach. And on and on; exceptions become rules and rules exceptions based on contingencies and whims, with the only constant being that Maximum Brother is always right.

We can "do church" with two or three or with a mega church. Or on a boat or a plane. Or along the highways and byways. Don't be narrow where Christ is broad. Your narrowness may indeed produce a gilded cup, but you can't guarantee it's contents. Lee said it had, "More God", but the testimonies of many say otherwise.
aron, I was more addressing a view like Koinonia proposed that two or three sisters could constitute a church.

I think of it like this. Jesus and the 12 disciples can arguably be considered the first church. Suppose at that time another group of disciples started another "Jesus group", could they claim the Lord's presence? No. Jesus remained only with those he chose to be His first church.

Similarly, after Jesus's ascension, His presence for the church remained with the genuine church that He established.

Just because two or three believers get together does not mean they can claim to be a church established by Christ.

In the bible times the church was a particular visible entity in each city. It was not a haphazard or random scattering of small groups and believers. This is why churches were easy to persecute - everyone knew where they were. Persecutors did not have to chase Christians down rabbit holes or find them scattered around in parks by 2 or 3.
10-14-2016 03:49 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
2 or 3 can do all those things but to be a biblical church they need a lampstand and they need to have the Lord's Table and baptize and plurality of (male) elders.

According to these biblical qualifiers of what is a church, 2 or 3 sisters having a prayer time together in a park does not qualify. I am not really stating a Lee or Nee doctrine here, that is what I believed and what many others believed when I was in denominations. Everyone knows that the idea of "2 or 3 plus Jesus is a church" is wrong. That is a lie based upon out of context interpretation of Jesus's words, when he was speaking about church discipline. He said tell the problem to your brother, if he won't listen, tell it to 2 or 3, and then if still no good, tell it to the church. So the church cannot be just the two or three, otherwise there is contradiction between Matthew 18:16 and 17.
If you go back, I think you'll see that I never proposed two or three as a church. What I said were that two or three had the Lord's promised presence, which you deemed insufficient. You then proposed an ontological entity which had all the hallmarks, to me, of the Great Harlot. See e.g. One Publication edict, with no buying or selling unless it had the Mark of the Ministry (to avoid confusion, of course).

Two or three may have the Lord's name, His presence, His commission ("God forth before Me"), His binding and loosing, and His testimony ("Tell it to the church"). But all this seems insufficient, because, "It's not the church."

Then your alternative comes along, with the Seer of the Revelation, God's Oracle, who by Paul's word wasn't even qualified to be a local elder (see, Timothy and Philip Lee, His admittedly "unspiritual cooks"), etc. Forgive me if I'm nonplussed.

And Lee's benefactor Nee wasn't much better, if at all, basing his main teachings on the revelations of women, from the secret rapture to the three parts of man, all the while insisting that women aren't qualified to teach. And on and on; exceptions become rules and rules exceptions based on contingencies and whims, with the only constant being that Maximum Brother is always right.

We can "do church" with two or three or with a mega church. Or on a boat or a plane. Or along the highways and byways. Don't be narrow where Christ is broad. Your narrowness may indeed produce a gilded cup, but you can't guarantee it's contents. Lee said it had, "More God", but the testimonies of many say otherwise.
10-13-2016 09:16 PM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Meetings are how the local church is practically expressed.
According to...?
10-13-2016 09:14 PM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Only if they give themselves a name. That's why they say the church in X is not their name but their description.
Evangelical, the word "denomination" is not a Bible word; it is a dictionary word. This whole thing about "names" is an invention. This does not mean that I agree with all of the sorts of names that people come up with--I do not. I am just pointing out that you have traded the biblical standard for assessing truth for WL-isms and "Websters" (WL's favorite).

Again, the group that calls itself "the church in Irvine" is not the church in Irvine (in totality). To make such a claim is ridiculous. Who composes the church in Irvine? You would say, "All the believers in Irvine." Then, how can "the church in Irvine" describe you group. It doesn't.
10-13-2016 08:51 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
That is because a group cannot claim any identity without self-separating themselves as something different--something other than simply in Christ and in the church. LC members often like to say that "the church is not a building," and this is true. But in my experience, they often make a different error--they equate the church with meetings. This is also wrong. "The church" does not equal meetings. The church is people, whether those people are in meetings or out of meetings.
I agree with you that the view that church is meetings is wrong. Meetings are how the local church is practically expressed. Some in your local church may be careless to make that distinction, or perhaps truly believe that church is meetings. The teachings of Lee/Nee at least, do not say that. Or perhaps this was a conclusion you drew from your observations.
10-13-2016 08:35 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
No, they are a part of the church in that city.
Only if they give themselves a name. That's why they say the church in X is not their name but their description.

Allow me to point something out to you.

The word denominate means "to call" or "to name". Look it up:
http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/denominate

A denomination, is a group of people who have named themselves as something other than just Christian, and a group of Christians (a church), which does the same. On this basis, we do not fit that category, we are not a denomination.

Paul, was against what Christians said, not who they followed. 1 Corinthians 3:4 says "when one says.." 1 Corinthians 1:12 says "one of you says...". Paul is writing to all the believers in the city of Corinth and telling them not to say they follow him, and not even to say "I follow Christ". In Paul's mind, the church was in unity despite everyone following different ministers, as long as they did not call themselves by their favorite minister's names. He never said stop following me and follow Silas instead, or stop following Silas and start following me. He cared about what they said and what names they took, that is why we care about that as well.
10-13-2016 08:32 PM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It is quite biblical to have a visible presence in the world and be known as "the church". The church is not, as you seem to portray it, a mishmash of individual believers meeting here and meeting there without any real identity that can be pointed to for practical and administrative purposes.
That is because a group cannot claim any identity without self-separating themselves as something different--something other than simply in Christ and in the church. LC members often like to say that "the church is not a building," and this is true. But in my experience, they often make a different error--they equate the church with meetings. This is also wrong. "The church" does not equal meetings. The church is people, whether those people are in meetings or out of meetings.
10-13-2016 08:23 PM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If that particular group is the church in X, then it would be a description of all believers in that place, and they would be correct to say that the church in X is not their name but their description. They are not being exclusive but being inclusive. But they cannot deny that they are not the church in that city, if that is what they are.
No, they are a part of the church in that city.
10-13-2016 08:08 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Those qualifiers I described were enough (in my mind) to show that 2 or 3 sisters is not a church.

Of course there are more qualifiers that you have mentioned that I did not think worth mentioning. I did not mention apostles and their appointment of the elders because we would then be discussing about whether Witness Lee was an apostle or not.

Acts 14:23 "Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church..."

So we can add that if the 2 or 3 gathered in His name do not have elders appointed by an apostle, then they are not a church. Self-appointed elders are not a church.

In the bible church has a definite meaning and the idea of any group of Christians calling themselves a church makes them a church is not correct.
So when I felt that Jesus being in their midst was enough (in my mind) that was proof I was outside of the fellowship of the apostles. But when you decide to ignore certain descriptions because they weren't important (in your mind) that is acceptable?

Once again I reject your interpretation of the apostles fellowship. In my experience and my understanding of the fellowship of the apostles there is a continuum.

Suppose you have two or three gathering together, fellowshipping, Jesus is in their midst. A year later there are six. Even among these six it becomes clear that there are different functions, different gifts, teachers, prophets, governments, etc. A year later they have 12 and they begin the Lord's table. Then someone meets this small group, and this group of twelve merges with another small fellowship. Now you have 25 adults, about 55-60 when you include children. It is hard to meet in a house so they rent a room at a hotel conference center once a week. They begin to save money for a meeting hall. They begin to fellowship with other Christians in the same State. Some saints migrate out to this small church, including two elders.

I have just given you the history of the church in Odessa, which is not that different from the church in Houston. At what point did they become a church? I was there, according to you it was when the two elders from Dallas and Irving moved out. From my experience that is absurd.
10-13-2016 08:05 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
I did not make such a claim.
Again, you keep talking about "we." Who is "we"?
I never suggested such a thing.

Evangelical, I know these analogies very well. I spent most of my life there. I grew up there. This whole thing about the wife and her husband's name is just WL's idea. The church is the church because it is--period. Look--I don't agree with denominations. But I also don't agree that a group can just claim to be "the church."

It has become fashionable recently for LCs (look at LC in Irvine, for example) to say--"the church in X is not our name it's our description." This is wrong. "The church in X" is the description of all believers in that place; it is not a description of one particular group.
Sorry I understand now, it seemed to me you said that in the local church you didn't fellowship with any other believers and now you do.

If that particular group is the church in X, then it would be a description of all believers in that place, and they would be correct to say that the church in X is not their name but their description. They are not being exclusive but being inclusive. But they cannot deny that they are not the church in that city, if that is what they are.

If they said that the church in X is their name, that would be describing themselves as a group, independent of all the believers in their city, and this would not be according to the truth.

It is quite biblical to have a visible presence in the world and be known as "the church". The church is not, as you seem to portray it, a mishmash of individual believers meeting here and meeting there without any real identity that can be pointed to for practical and administrative purposes.

We can find in Acts 21:18 for example, that there is an entity called "the Jerusalem church" which was overseen by elders:

Acts 21:18 The next day Paul went with us to meet with James, and all the elders of the Jerusalem church were present.

So Paul traveled and met with an entity called "the Jerusalem church", though that is not their name, but what they are.

Imagine if Jerusalem was a scattering of individual "two or three" household churches and people meeting sporadically in parks and other places, Paul would not know whom to speak with. If you and a sister were praying together in a park, would you expect Paul to come to you? He would want to know where are the overseers of this entity called "the church".

Seems that you and others are in denial that a group of people called "the church in ..." is truly what they are according to the pattern the bible gives us. Suppose that there was another church started in Jerusalem in the time of Acts 21:18 - does that make "the Jerusalem church" another denomination? Of course not.
10-13-2016 07:50 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
So let me understand, in the New Testament we have Jesus Christ, we have believers who have received Jesus Christ, we have a promise that 2 or 3 meeting in the name of Jesus will have Jesus in their midst, and we have the church, another entity...
Those qualifiers I described were enough (in my mind) to show that 2 or 3 sisters is not a church.

Of course there are more qualifiers that you have mentioned that I did not think worth mentioning. I did not mention apostles and their appointment of the elders because we would then be discussing about whether Witness Lee was an apostle or not.

Acts 14:23 "Paul and Barnabas also appointed elders in every church..."

So we can add that if the 2 or 3 gathered in His name do not have elders appointed by an apostle, then they are not a church. Self-appointed elders are not a church.

In the bible church has a definite meaning and the idea of any group of Christians calling themselves a church makes them a church is not correct.
10-13-2016 07:30 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
2 or 3 can do all those things but to be a biblical church they need a lampstand and they need to have the Lord's Table and baptize and plurality of (male) elders.

According to these biblical qualifiers of what is a church, 2 or 3 sisters having a prayer time together in a park does not qualify. I am not really stating a Lee or Nee doctrine here, that is what I believed and what many others believed when I was in denominations. Everyone knows that the idea of "2 or 3 plus Jesus is a church" is wrong. That is a lie based upon out of context interpretation of Jesus's words, when he was speaking about church discipline. He said tell the problem to your brother, if he won't listen, tell it to 2 or 3, and then if still no good, tell it to the church. So the church cannot be just the two or three, otherwise there is contradiction between Matthew 18:16 and 17.
So let me understand, in the New Testament we have Jesus Christ, we have believers who have received Jesus Christ, we have a promise that 2 or 3 meeting in the name of Jesus will have Jesus in their midst, and we have the church, another entity.

The church as an entity is not just the gathering of the called out ones, but also must have the Lord's table, a Lampstand, and at least 2 male elders, ordained by an apostle. Is this how you define a church?

The elders therefore among you I exhort, who am a fellow-elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, who am also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as lording it over the charge allotted to you, but making yourselves ensamples to the flock. (1Pet 5:1)

Peter was an elder. Who ordained him?

And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondly prophets, thirdly teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues. (1Cor 12:28)

Why only elders? Why not apostles, prophets, teachers, miracles, gifts of healing, helps, governments, divers kinds of tongues? Isn't this also part of the apostles fellowship on this matter?

Rev 2:1 "To the angel of the church in Ephesus write:".

You referred to the Lampstands in Revelation, each one has an angel. Why isn't this a requirement?

It seems to me that if having an angel is a requirement, and based on your other requirements I see no reason why this wouldn't also be one. So, if having an angel is a requirement when does this take place? Do they first have a lamp stand before they get an angel or do they get the angel first, or do they get both an angel and lamp stand at the same time?

But regardless of which it is, what is the prerequisite? What do you need before you get the angel? What do you need before you get the lamp stand? Do you need two elders first before you get an angel, and only then do you get the lamp stand?

Also, what about 1Cor -- God hath set some in the church -- apostles, prophets, teachers, etc. If you don't have all of these gifts then are you really a church? If not then not having miracles or gifts of healing would prove that you really aren't a church. On the other hand if not having miracles doesn't mean you aren't a church, then why is that less important than elders?
10-13-2016 07:26 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If the two or three have a lampstand, they can be the church. If they are 2 or 3 without a lampstand, they are not the church. We did not invent the idea that each biblical church has a lamp stand. That's what Jesus tells us in Revelation. You claim to adhere to the fellowship of the apostles, actually you are ignorant of these basic biblical observations.
Sorry for my ignorance. But can you try to explain what it means for a "church" to have a "lamp stand".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The fellowship of the apostles tells us that they ordained elders in each city church (Titus 1:5, Acts 14:23). If you don't believe that then you are not in fellowship with the apostles on this matter.
OK, so now we are getting somewhere. You are saying it cannot be a church without ordained elders. Who ordains them? It isn't about the number who are meeting but rather it depends on how many ordained elders you have. Did I understand this correctly?

The reason I am so shocked by this definition is that I am aware of "the church of Christ", and "the church of God" and "the church of the saints". But according to you what really defines the church is the elders. These can't be self appointed, but rather "ordained" elders. Is that what you are saying the fellowship of the apostles is on this question?
10-13-2016 06:36 PM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
When I was still in the denominations, the local church fellow shipped with me. So that disproves your claims that we do not fellowship with other believers. I wouldn't be in the local churches if not for their fellowship.
I did not make such a claim.

Quote:
Unlike denominations we use fellowship to build the church.

We fellowship with any believer that comes across our path as well. I fellowship with other believers at my work place. I've fellow shipped with people of various denominational backgrounds even those of different religions. We have prayed, read the bible together and sung songs. We are all about fellowship with believers. And the sort of fellowship we are about is bible reading and prayer, not just doing something social.
Again, you keep talking about "we." Who is "we"?

Quote:
Don't think we are not fellow shipping with other believers just because we are not holding a "ecumenical church service".
I never suggested such a thing.

Quote:
Regarding hearts and names, both are important. You cannot say it is only about the heart. For example, how would any husband feel if their wife changed their surname to another man's surname? She may still be his wife in her heart, but taking another name would be not right at all.
Evangelical, I know these analogies very well. I spent most of my life there. I grew up there. This whole thing about the wife and her husband's name is just WL's idea. The church is the church because it is--period. Look--I don't agree with denominations. But I also don't agree that a group can just claim to be "the church."

It has become fashionable recently for LCs (look at LC in Irvine, for example) to say--"the church in X is not our name it's our description." This is wrong. "The church in X" is the description of all believers in that place; it is not a description of one particular group.
10-13-2016 06:36 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
1. So let me get this straight. The church in Houston with 200 members is the church because only those 200 members are the real believers in Houston?

2. Or are you saying that these 200, as ambassadors of Christ, are representing all believers in Houston?

Let's assume it is 2 since #1 is so farcical as to be too easy to blow apart.

So, these 200 represent all believers in Houston, therefore they can meet as the church.

So then, how did they get this prestigious honor? Did all other believers give it to them? Did Jesus? Did they claim it for themselves?

Oh yeah, we are still in the LRC twilight zone, they claimed it for themselves. Can 100 claim it for themselves like the church in Austin? Yep.

How about 50 like the Church in College Station? Yep.

How about 25 like the church in Odessa? Yep.

Is there any minimum requirement for a church to have a certain number of members before they can claim the ground? Nope.

But, 2 or 3 can't because? Oh yeah, you have to have a Lord's table to be a church. Can 2 or 3 meet together into the name of Jesus and break bread in remembrance of His death and resurrection? Of course. So why can't they have a Lord's table?
If the two or three have a lampstand, they can be the church. If they are 2 or 3 without a lampstand, they are not the church. We did not invent the idea that each biblical church has a lamp stand. That's what Jesus tells us in Revelation. You claim to adhere to the fellowship of the apostles, actually you are ignorant of these basic biblical observations. The fellowship of the apostles tells us that they ordained elders in each city church (Titus 1:5, Acts 14:23). If you don't believe that then you are not in fellowship with the apostles on this matter.
10-13-2016 06:28 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Jesus said He would build His church, his gathering of the called out ones, the gathering of the redeemed.

This gathering does not represent all believers in a city, it represents Jesus.

They must have the Lord's table, but they do that in remembrance of Jesus, not of other believers in their city.

As the Body of Christ they must have the life of Christ.

As the New Man they must have the person of Christ.

As the Kingdom they must have the king of kings.

It is not about "representing" the believers, it is about representing Christ. Expressing Christ. 2 or 3 can express Christ, they can remember Christ, they can be redeemed, they can gather, they can be an ekklesia.

No one made Witness Lee God (except of course Witness Lee) that he gets to decide who is and who is not the church.

2 or 3 can do all those things but to be a biblical church they need a lampstand and they need to have the Lord's Table and baptize and plurality of (male) elders.

According to these biblical qualifiers of what is a church, 2 or 3 sisters having a prayer time together in a park does not qualify. I am not really stating a Lee or Nee doctrine here, that is what I believed and what many others believed when I was in denominations. Everyone knows that the idea of "2 or 3 plus Jesus is a church" is wrong. That is a lie based upon out of context interpretation of Jesus's words, when he was speaking about church discipline. He said tell the problem to your brother, if he won't listen, tell it to 2 or 3, and then if still no good, tell it to the church. So the church cannot be just the two or three, otherwise there is contradiction between Matthew 18:16 and 17.
10-13-2016 06:24 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
What is a city? Some rural first century village in Asia Minor with 247 residents and a baby or two on the way?

How many cities are in NYC? Their are probably hundreds of "cities" in each of the 5 boroughs. You place fictitious demands on scripture that it never makes.

You are just like the brother I knew of who condemned every Christian church (yours included) for NOT praying in their closet, as Jesus demanded. As least he had a prescriptive verse for his ridiculous claims. But he could happily sit in his closet all day long praying like that Pharisee on the street corner. His conscience never bothered him either.
Wait a minute, we are wrong because we read the Bible as city and not "city" ? Who is being fictitious?, pretending city in the bible doesn't mean city.
10-13-2016 06:13 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Who does? Who is "we"? I face the same difficulty. Yet, since coming out of the LC, I endeavor to fellowship with any believer that comes across my path--because that is what the Lord wants. Don't you think that makes the Lord happy? He prayed "that they all may be one" (John 17). And LC people think that "taking the ground" and calling themselves "the church" is the answer to that prayer. Sadly, it is just another part of the division.

It is a heart-matter. Not a name-matter.
When I was still in the denominations, the local church fellow shipped with me. So that disproves your claims that we do not fellowship with other believers. I wouldn't be in the local churches if not for their fellowship.

Unlike denominations we use fellowship to build the church.

We fellowship with any believer that comes across our path as well. I fellowship with other believers at my work place. I've fellow shipped with people of various denominational backgrounds even those of different religions. We have prayed, read the bible together and sung songs. We are all about fellowship with believers. And the sort of fellowship we are about is bible reading and prayer, not just doing something social.

Don't think we are not fellow shipping with other believers just because we are not holding a "ecumenical church service".

Regarding hearts and names, both are important. You cannot say it is only about the heart. For example, how would any husband feel if their wife changed their surname to another man's surname? Suppose the other man's surname is better. She may still be his wife in her heart, but taking another name would be not right at all, even if the other man's name is a better name.
10-13-2016 06:00 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodus16 View Post
I don't believe the Roman Catholic Church or any Protestant church nor the Local Church denomination is "the church"
The church is not about doctrines and teaching but people.
I can disagree with a brother/sister and still meet together with them.
You can claim the Biblical support of one city one church ; but it is unsubstantiated. The brothers from the Lc do not fellowship, pray or coordinate with anyone who doesn't follow their prescribed doctrines/methods and are more divisive than any denomination.
Do you pray with your Eatern Orthodox neighbor, or your Presbyterian neighbor?
whatever doctrine a person clings to be it speaking in tongues, ground of locality or full immersion baptism doesn't divide them from Christ. What divides the body is refusing to accept those who don't agree with you.
Exodus16, you can claim that but the fact is many of us have a denominational background, have left our denominations and meet as one. That is a greater example of Christian fellowship and unity than "hand shaking over the fence" between denominations.

In my time in the local churches we have at times read the Bible and prayed with Catholics, house churches, and even met with Buddhists and individuals from various other religions. So this disproves your claims. What we don't do, is join Catholic mass and join their services (and why should we?).

Regarding church, we do church according to what the Bible shows us.

For example, you think that just because you meet with a sister and have Christ in your midst, you are a church. This is a common belief and I used to think like this too that if I meet with a couple of Christians we are a church.

But the Bible tells me that you cannot be a church for the following reasons:

You need leadership, elders (Titus 1:5). Without elders you cannot have an administration and authority for deciding matters and cannot exercise discipline (Matthew 18:17).

You need to observe the Lord's Table (1 Corinthians 11:24).
Baptism is also what the church does (Acts 2:41).

Furthermore, the elders must be male which disqualifies you because you are sisters (1 Timothy 3:2).

Furthermore you cannot be a church unless you have a lampstand (in Revelation, each city-church had a lampstand).

You can have the Lord's presence just as anyone individually can, or even an unbeliever can have the Lord's presence.

Sorry but that does not make you a church.

I like this website:
http://www.biblestudytools.com/blogs...look-like.html

"6 Ways the Bible Tells Us What Church Should Look Like".

Having Jesus in your midst is only one of those 6 qualifiers.
10-13-2016 04:11 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I can't find this term in his written ministry, so he obviously knew it was bogus, but was the term based on any portion of scripture?
Perhaps there are a few "verses" in the old supplement.
10-13-2016 03:09 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Exodus 32.5-6 seems to describe it well.
I can't find this term in his written ministry, so he obviously knew it was bogus, but was the term based on any portion of scripture?
10-13-2016 02:21 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Oh. What verse is that about "taking the ground"? No doubt this is the portion of scripture that will resolve all this about what is and is not a church.
Exodus 32.5-6 seems to describe it well.
10-13-2016 12:32 PM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
They can't have a Lord's table unless they "take the ground."
Oh. What verse is that about "taking the ground"? No doubt this is the portion of scripture that will resolve all this about what is and is not a church.
10-13-2016 11:49 AM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You see we face a practical difficulty in fellow shipping with all believers.
Who does? Who is "we"? I face the same difficulty. Yet, since coming out of the LC, I endeavor to fellowship with any believer that comes across my path--because that is what the Lord wants. Don't you think that makes the Lord happy? He prayed "that they all may be one" (John 17). And LC people think that "taking the ground" and calling themselves "the church" is the answer to that prayer. Sadly, it is just another part of the division.

It is a heart-matter. Not a name-matter.
10-13-2016 11:44 AM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
So why can't they have a Lord's table?
They can't have a Lord's table unless they "take the ground."
10-13-2016 09:22 AM
Exodus16
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Might seem like that but the Bible never uses the word churches (plural) in the context of a city. Always one church per city, that's historical fact.
Yup. Every believer in the city. And the believer may fellowship in different meeting halls but they are all the church. This is the lip service of the Lc movement, but the reality and practical application is that The Lc do not endeavor to be one with all the believers. The Lc is divided from the other believers by the doctrine of the ground of locality. They are not inclusive but exclusive.
10-13-2016 09:10 AM
Exodus16
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Do you believe the Roman Catholic is "the church"? Someone has to be the church. If you are protestant probably you don't believe the Catholic are the church. So you are the same as us, you choose who is the church and who is not. But we have the biblical support of one city one church.
I don't believe the Roman Catholic Church or any Protestant church nor the Local Church denomination is "the church"
The church is not about doctrines and teaching but people.
I can disagree with a brother/sister and still meet together with them.
You can claim the Biblical support of one city one church ; but it is unsubstantiated. The brothers from the Lc do not fellowship, pray or coordinate with anyone who doesn't follow their prescribed doctrines/methods and are more divisive than any denomination.
Do you pray with your Eatern Orthodox neighbor, or your Presbyterian neighbor?
whatever doctrine a person clings to be it speaking in tongues, ground of locality or full immersion baptism doesn't divide them from Christ. What divides the body is refusing to accept those who don't agree with you.
10-13-2016 08:55 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
But the bible never mentions three churches in the one city. Can't have three lamp stands in one city. So they can't all be real churches.
What is a city? Some rural first century village in Asia Minor with 247 residents and a baby or two on the way?

How many cities are in NYC? Their are probably hundreds of "cities" in each of the 5 boroughs. You place fictitious demands on scripture that it never makes.

You are just like the brother I knew of who condemned every Christian church (yours included) for NOT praying in their closet, as Jesus demanded. As least he had a prescriptive verse for his ridiculous claims. But he could happily sit in his closet all day long praying like that Pharisee on the street corner. His conscience never bothered him either.
10-13-2016 08:52 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Jesus said He would build His church, his gathering of the called out ones, the gathering of the redeemed.

This gathering does not represent all believers in a city, it represents Jesus.

They must have the Lord's table, but they do that in remembrance of Jesus, not of other believers in their city.

As the Body of Christ they must have the life of Christ.

As the New Man they must have the person of Christ.

As the Kingdom they must have the king of kings.

It is not about "representing" the believers, it is about representing Christ. Expressing Christ. 2 or 3 can express Christ, they can remember Christ, they can be redeemed, they can gather, they can be an ekklesia.

No one made Witness Lee God (except of course Witness Lee) that he gets to decide who is and who is not the church.
10-13-2016 08:48 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It takes all the believers in the city to be a church I think. If you met on the ground of locality within the city boundary I think you were the genuine church in Hanover, but all believers in the city should fellowship with you too.
1. So let me get this straight. The church in Houston with 200 members is the church because only those 200 members are the real believers in Houston?

2. Or are you saying that these 200, as ambassadors of Christ, are representing all believers in Houston?

Let's assume it is 2 since #1 is so farcical as to be too easy to blow apart.

So, these 200 represent all believers in Houston, therefore they can meet as the church.

So then, how did they get this prestigious honor? Did all other believers give it to them? Did Jesus? Did they claim it for themselves?

Oh yeah, we are still in the LRC twilight zone, they claimed it for themselves. Can 100 claim it for themselves like the church in Austin? Yep.

How about 50 like the Church in College Station? Yep.

How about 25 like the church in Odessa? Yep.

Is there any minimum requirement for a church to have a certain number of members before they can claim the ground? Nope.

But, 2 or 3 can't because? Oh yeah, you have to have a Lord's table to be a church. Can 2 or 3 meet together into the name of Jesus and break bread in remembrance of His death and resurrection? Of course. So why can't they have a Lord's table?
10-13-2016 08:44 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
They are all real churches believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is you alone who wrongly define churches as "true, local, or false."
But the bible never mentions three churches in the one city. Can't have three lamp stands in one city. So they can't all be real churches.
10-13-2016 08:43 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Am I correct then or not? Is it a divided church or is one of them a true local church and the others false churches.
They are all real churches believing in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It is you alone who wrongly define churches as "true, local, or false."
10-13-2016 08:42 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodus16 View Post
I edited my post 122 before I saw that you had already replied. I realized it was too limited in scope. Even so your response is at best semantics but sadly So farcical - "the" church "a" church
Christ will build his church.
Might seem like that but the Bible never uses the word churches (plural) in the context of a city. Always one church per city, that's historical fact.
10-13-2016 08:40 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Should you join the Catholic church then? After all they were the first church.
They were not the first church. First church was Jerusalem.

We are responsible for what we know. If I know of serious corruption in my church, then I should leave. And that's what I did. I learned about all the corruption at LSM at the same time their people were coming to a LC near me in order to bring us under subjection.

So I left.
10-13-2016 08:40 AM
Exodus16
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You and a sister praying together are in the one church, but you can't claim to be "the church" or "a church". Those words would be exclusive to every other believer in your city. I am not saying that you and a sister praying are not part of Christ's church, I am saying that you and a sister praying together is not "a church" or "the church".

If we cut up a body and scattered the body parts around a city, and called each body part "a church", that is the situation of denominationalism and Christianity today, where each "body part" considers itself to be a church. Similarly we cannot look at the arm and say "that is the body", and look at the leg and say "that is the body". Obviously they are only body parts.

On this basis, that is why if you say you and a sister praying are "a church", you are wrong, and if you say you are "the church", you are also wrong.

Only if we consider all of those parts to belong to the one body, can we call it "a church" and "the church".

I draw your attention to the fact that the context of Matthew 18:15-20 which talks about two or three gathered in Christ's name, is dealing with a sinning brother and prayers of agreement. In fact, if you compare Matthew 18:16 with 18:17, you will see that it says to tell it to the two or three, and then tell it to the church. Clearly, the two or three cannot be the church. The church is something more than just two or three gathered together, it involves a godly appointed leadership and administration. Acts 14:23 "Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church".
I edited my post 122 before I saw that you had already replied. I realized it was too limited in scope. Even so your response is at best semantics but sadly So farcical - "the" church "a" church
Christ will build his church.
10-13-2016 08:37 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I am pretty sure that it is who Jesus is that makes us the church. Receiving him is enough for salvation, two or three gathering together into His name is enough to be a "gathering of the called out ones" hence His church.

Of all the absurd and poorly supported teachings of Witness Lee I always thought this dismissal of the 2 or 3 can't be a church was the worst and most absurd and most hypocritical.
I think I found a picture of the church:

http://www.leftlion.co.uk/articles.c...eteers/id/1539
10-13-2016 08:35 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Do you believe the Roman Catholic is "the church"? Someone has to be the church. If you are protestant probably you don't believe the Catholic are the church. So you are the same as us, you choose who is the church and who is not. But we have the biblical support of one city one church.
I believe that any gathering of the called out ones into the name of Jesus is an ekklesia, or church.

I believe the teaching that 2 or 3 can have the presence of God but cannot have the Lord's table and therefore is not a church is total and complete BS. There is no biblical basis for that and logically it is absurd.

I think the idea that the gathering has to refer to themselves as a "church" is novel, probably unique to you, and is total and complete BS. What they have to do is refer to the name of Jesus.

I think any precondition about the name of the gathering is the first step towards a denomination. That is a heresy. It doesn't become damnable until it is exclusive and condemns others.

I think that the church, the body, the new man, the warrior, the kingdom, etc. are all very important. But not in the way that Witness Lee teaches. His approach is to make the fellowship completely dependent and controlled by him. His only real requirement, in practice, is that he appointed the elders and if they don't comply with headquarters he will remove the elders. I also feel that Witness Lee has been completely hypocritical on this point 2 or 3, making exceptions to his rule when it pleases him. I met with a "Lord's Recovery Church" that had 3 members. I met with another one that had less than 20, maybe even 10.

Also, the teaching is absurd because there is no teaching as to how many you need to be a church. If 3 are not enough to have a Lord's table how about 4, 5, or 6? If six is enough, why does that sixth person make it legitimate?

As to the Catholic church. I think there are some genuine believers that are "Catholic" and that when they gather together it is an ekklesia. Did you ever see "The Mission"? The movie reveals all that is bad about the Catholic church and also all that is good.
10-13-2016 08:26 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
But it was LSM's own operatives who divided the church. Firstly, by encouraging the locals to disrupt all the meetings, and finally by assisting the locals to file lawsuits. They did this in all GLA churches, the worst being Columbus, Mansfield, and Toronto.

Sorry, Evangelical, but the more you post, the more you are convicted by your own words.
Am I correct then or not? Is it a divided church or is one of them a true local church and the others false churches.
10-13-2016 08:18 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
If Thyatira is a church lampstand in Revelations 3, then so is the Catholic church I grew up in.
Should you join the Catholic church then? Afterall they were the first church.
10-13-2016 08:16 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Do you believe the Roman Catholic is "the church"? Someone has to be the church. If you are protestant probably you don't believe the Catholic are the church. So you are the same as us, you choose who is the church and who is not. But we have the biblical support of one city one church.
If Thyatira is a church lampstand in Revelations 3, then so is the Catholic church I grew up in.
10-13-2016 08:13 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Not really, brethren do not hold to one church per city.

I am not familiar with the church in these cities but having three local churches in one locality without fellowship with or recognition of each other would be a divided local church to me.
But it was LSM's own operatives who divided the church. Firstly, by encouraging the locals to disrupt all the meetings, and finally by assisting the locals to file lawsuits. They did this in all GLA churches, the worst being Columbus, Mansfield, and Toronto.

Sorry, Evangelical, but the more you post, the more you are convicted by your own words.
10-13-2016 08:10 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I love that last line. It explains it all. The basic message is simple: You and only you are the true church. Nobody else is the church.

You can do anything you like, but it's still OK, cause you are the church.

Other congregations are not the church, no matter what they do.

That, my dear friend, is a recipe for corruption. It's no wonder that Lee's subordinates began proclaiming, "even if Lee is wrong, he's still right."

Do you have any idea how much unrighteousness Witness Lee & Sons Ministry LLC has gotten away with based on the dissemination of that thought.
Do you believe the Roman Catholic is "the church"? Someone has to be the church. If you are protestant probably you don't believe the Catholic are the church. So you are the same as us, you choose who is the church and who is not. But we have the biblical support of one city one church.
10-13-2016 08:09 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I love that last line. It explains it all. The basic message is simple: You and only you are the true church. Nobody else is the church.

You can do anything you like, but it's still OK, cause you are the church.

Other congregations are not the church, no matter what they do.

That, my dear friend, is a recipe for corruption. It's no wonder that Lee's subordinates began proclaiming, "even if Lee is wrong, he's still right."

Do you have any idea how much unrighteousness Witness Lee & Sons Ministry LLC has gotten away with based on the dissemination of that thought.
I am pretty sure that it is who Jesus is that makes us the church. Receiving him is enough for salvation, two or three gathering together into His name is enough to be a "gathering of the called out ones" hence His church.

Of all the absurd and poorly supported teachings of Witness Lee I always thought this dismissal of the 2 or 3 can't be a church was the worst and most absurd and most hypocritical.
10-13-2016 08:07 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The context of 3 not being enough was 2 or 3 calling themselves a church or the church, to the exclusion of a larger number of believers in the same city. If there truly is only 2 or 3 believers in a city that is enough for a church.
So you are now saying that 2 or 3 are a church, the requirement is to "call yourself a church"?
10-13-2016 08:07 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
I said fellowship with believers. Yet, you changed this to a comment about
JW and Catholic meetings.
I know, and believers are in JW and Catholic meetings and a multitude of other denominations. You see we face a practical difficulty in fellow shipping with all believers.
10-13-2016 08:07 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
We aren't the church because we do these things in a certain way but because we meet to fellowship with and remember the Lord. These things have evolved over the years in what we do and things change. Sometimes we don't have the prophesying meeting because of other matters, sometimes it becomes a prayer meeting instead. Sometimes the meeting starts at 9.45 am and other times starts at 10.20 am. For example. But the things we do don't make us the church, it's who we are.
I love that last line. It explains it all. The basic message is simple: You and only you are the true church. Nobody else is the church.

You can do anything you like, but it's still OK, cause you are the church.

Other congregations are not the church, no matter what they do.

That, my dear friend, is a recipe for corruption. It's no wonder that Lee's subordinates began proclaiming, "even if Lee is wrong, he's still right."

Do you have any idea how much unrighteousness Witness Lee & Sons Ministry LLC has gotten away with based on the dissemination of that thought.
10-13-2016 08:05 AM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If the city has only a Roman Catholic church and a Jehovah Witness church, for example, please tell me how we should do that? We should join their services are you saying? The Catholic think I've come to join them to become a Catholic and want to baptize me and the JW do as well. What should I do?
I said fellowship with believers. Yet, you changed this to a comment about
JW and Catholic meetings.
10-13-2016 08:02 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The FIRST table meeting in the Recovery was W. Nee and a few sisters who broke bread.

Heard that story numerous times.

Does Evangelical now tell us that was NOT a church meeting?
The context is found in #122, Koinonia said every time we gather, two or three, that we are a church or the church.

Doesn't make sense because, when 10 families drive to church on a Sunday morning and pray in the car, they are not 10 churches. When Christ sent out his disciples two by two, he did not send out 6 churches, etc.
10-13-2016 07:58 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
No, I mean like meeting at 10AM, brothers in the front row, sisters in the second row, to sing from the LSM hymnal--"Praise of the Lord," then "Remembrance of the Lord," and then "Worship of the Father"--before the 5-minute "opening word" delivered on the LSM outline, followed by the 2-minute "prophecies" on the Witness Lee excerpts, finished with the 5-minute "closing word."

If you really believed that all that is required for a "local church" is singing, praying, and remembering the Lord--on the ground of locality, then you would be perfectly happy in a "brethren" assembly.
And they tell us when to stand up, kneel, and then sit down.

Sounds like the Catholic Church I grew up in.
10-13-2016 07:55 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Let's also talk about hypocrisy. I once met with a "church" in the LRC that had 3 members

Imagine the hypocrisy of teaching that two or three cannot be a church until of course the alternative is having your members meet with other Christians, then of course it can be.
The FIRST table meeting in the Recovery was W. Nee and a few sisters who broke bread.

Heard that story numerous times.

Does Evangelical now tell us that was NOT a church meeting?
10-13-2016 07:23 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
How many people do you have to have to have a church? You said that 3 is not enough. What is the minimum number?
The context of 3 not being enough was 2 or 3 calling themselves a church or the church, to the exclusion of a larger number of believers in the same city. If there truly is only 2 or 3 believers in a city that is enough for a church.
10-13-2016 07:08 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If the city has only a Roman Catholic church and a Jehovah Witness church, for example, please tell me how we should do that? We should join their services are you saying?
How many people do you have to have to have a church? You said that 3 is not enough. What is the minimum number?
10-13-2016 07:06 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
How about YOU should fellowship with all believers in the city.
If the city has only a Roman Catholic church and a Jehovah Witness church, for example, please tell me how we should do that? We should join their services are you saying? The Catholic think I've come to join them to become a Catholic and want to baptize me and the JW do as well. What should I do?
10-13-2016 07:04 AM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
...but all believers in the city should fellowship with you too.
How about YOU should fellowship with all believers in the city.
10-13-2016 07:03 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
The "church in Corinth" simply means the part of the church (the people) who are in the city of Corinth--in other words, all the believers in Corinth.

People in the LC would claim to agree this is what it means, but practice otherwise.
And also, the church in Corinth had a plurality of elders and some sort of administration, and not just a group of believers in the city. Yes, LC hypocrisy has been pointed out by many, but the local church in each city needs some sort of administration and eldership.
10-13-2016 06:59 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Great, why don't you clear this up for us. Exactly how many believers does it take to be a church? Also it is understood that these two or three meeting together are doing it in a locality, so a city boundary is included in this definition. For example, when I met with that family in Hanover we were within the city boundary of Hanover. So did the three of us constitute the church in Hanover, NH?

Can 4? How about 10? How about 25? What exactly is the minimum acceptable number to be a church?
It takes all the believers in the city to be a church I think. If you met on the ground of locality within the city boundary I think you were the genuine church in Hanover, but all believers in the city should fellowship with you too.
10-13-2016 06:56 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Also, Evangelical, you changed Hebrews 10:25 ("not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together") to say: "not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together on the ground of locality."

But that is not what it says.
Neither does it say "not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together in your favorite denomination". The locality is to stress we meet because of our location and not our denominational preference or any other thing.
10-13-2016 06:54 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Who is "we"?

As I said, if that was what you actually believed, then you would be perfectly happy in a "brethren" assembly.

Answer me this--Ohio mentioned places like Columbus or Toronto that have more than one group meeting on the "ground of locality." How do you distinguish which is legitimate?
Not really, brethren do not hold to one church per city.

I am not familiar with the church in these cities but having three local churches in one locality without fellowship with or recognition of each other would be a divided local church to me.
10-13-2016 06:51 AM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Also, Evangelical, you changed Hebrews 10:25 ("not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together") to say: "not forsaking the assembling of yourselves together on the ground of locality."

But that is not what it says.
10-13-2016 06:50 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I can claim those 7 things of myself as an individual, but I am not a church or the church. I think there is something missing and that is the city boundary of locality.
Great, why don't you clear this up for us. Exactly how many believers does it take to be a church? Also it is understood that these two or three meeting together are doing it in a locality, so a city boundary is included in this definition. For example, when I met with that family in Hanover we were within the city boundary of Hanover. So did the three of us constitute the church in Hanover, NH?

Can 4? How about 10? How about 25? What exactly is the minimum acceptable number to be a church?
10-13-2016 06:50 AM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The concept means what it says. Locality is "the state or fact of being local or having a location". The Bible mentions a church in Corinth (a locality/location), a church in Ephesus (a locality/location etc).
The "church in Corinth" simply means the part of the church (the people) who are in the city of Corinth--in other words, all the believers in Corinth.

People in the LC would claim to agree this is what it means, but practice otherwise.
10-13-2016 06:48 AM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
We aren't the church because we do these things in a certain way but because we meet to fellowship with and remember the Lord. These things have evolved over the years in what we do and things change. Sometimes we don't have the prophesying meeting because of other matters, sometimes it becomes a prayer meeting instead. Sometimes the meeting starts at 9.45 am and other times starts at 10.20 am. For example.
Who is "we"?

As I said, if that was what you actually believed, then you would be perfectly happy in a "brethren" assembly.

Answer me this--Ohio mentioned places like Columbus or Toronto that have more than one group meeting on the "ground of locality." How do you distinguish which is legitimate?
10-13-2016 06:47 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
You seem to have morphed the concept of location into the very LC concept of "locality." The verse you quoted does not say anything about that.
The concept means what it says. Locality is "the state or fact of being local or having a location". The Bible mentions a church in Corinth (a locality/location), a church in Ephesus (a locality/location etc).
10-13-2016 06:45 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
No, I mean like meeting at 10AM, brothers in the front row, sisters in the second row, to sing from the LSM hymnal--"Praise of the Lord," then "Remembrance of the Lord," and then "Worship of the Father"--before the 5-minute "opening word" delivered on the LSM outline, followed by the 2-minute "prophecies" on the Witness Lee excerpts, finished with the 5-minute "closing word."

If you really believed that all that is required for a "local church" is singing, praying, and remembering the Lord--on the ground of locality, then you would be perfectly happy in a "brethren" assembly.
We aren't the church because we do these things in a certain way but because we meet to fellowship with and remember the Lord. These things have evolved over the years in what we do and things change. Sometimes we don't have the prophesying meeting because of other matters, sometimes it becomes a prayer meeting instead. Sometimes the meeting starts at 9.45 am and other times starts at 10.20 am. For example. But the things we do don't make us the church, it's who we are.
10-13-2016 06:41 AM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
How can we assemble together without locality? People must be in the same area.
You seem to have morphed the concept of location into the very LC concept of "locality." The verse you quoted does not say anything about that.
10-13-2016 06:39 AM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
By behave in a certain way, do you mean singing hymns, praying and remembering the Lord with the Lord's table as He instructed?
No, I mean like meeting at 10AM, brothers in the front row, sisters in the second row, to sing from the LSM hymnal--"Praise of the Lord," then "Remembrance of the Lord," and then "Worship of the Father"--before the 5-minute "opening word" delivered on the LSM outline, followed by the 2-minute "prophecies" on the Witness Lee excerpts, finished with the 5-minute "closing word."

If you really believed that all that is required for a "local church" is singing, praying, and remembering the Lord--on the ground of locality, then you would be perfectly happy in a "brethren" assembly.
10-13-2016 06:39 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
According to Witness Lee's exposition on Ephesians, this book by Paul defines the church as being 7 things:

1. The Body of Christ

2. The New Man

3. The Kingdom

4. The Household of God

5. The Dwelling Place of God

6. The Bride of Christ

7. The Warrior

So then let us consider these 7

1. If two are three are gathering together in the Lord's name, and He is in their midst, they are genuine believers, they are surely the Body of Christ. Perhaps they are merely a fingertip, but we would all agree that a fingertip is part of our body.

2. According to WL the difference between the Body and the New Man is that the New Man needs both life and the person of Jesus Christ. But, if Jesus is in their midst, then surely they have the person of Jesus Christ.

3. The kingdom requires the King. Every member is a citizen with both rights and responsibilities. There is absolutely no reason why these two or three would not be exercising their rights, carrying out their responsibilities, and be in fellowship with the king.

4. Household refers to the "life and enjoyment", the "family life" of the church. No one can say that two or three is insufficient to have this type of experience. As long as Jesus is in the midst they can surely be the household of God.

5. The dwelling place of God -- clearly Jesus word that He would be in their midst is evidence that they can be the dwelling place of God.

6. The Bride of Christ, like the Bride of Adam given because it was not good for Adam to be alone. If two or three are meeting with the Lord in the midst then they are clearly not alone and there is no reason to say that this cannot be the Bride of Christ.

7. The Warrior -- 1 will chase a thousand, two ten thousand, and who knows how many three will chase. Combine these with the Lord Jesus. Surely they can be a warrior.

Let's also talk about hypocrisy. I once met with a "church" in the LRC that had 3 members (1 family and me, they did have very small children, too young to be believers). We met every Sunday for our worship service. We were encouraged to do this and discouraged from looking for a local Christian meeting. This was in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1986-1987.

Imagine the hypocrisy of teaching that two or three cannot be a church until of course the alternative is having your members meet with other Christians, then of course it can be.
I can claim those 7 things of myself as an individual, but I am not a church or the church. I think there is something missing and that is the city boundary of locality.
10-13-2016 06:34 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I agree that Jesus is in the midst of two or three, but that doesn't make those two or three a church, anymore than the Lord's presence with us individually makes us a church.
According to Witness Lee's exposition on Ephesians, this book by Paul defines the church as being 7 things:

1. The Body of Christ

2. The New Man

3. The Kingdom

4. The Household of God

5. The Dwelling Place of God

6. The Bride of Christ

7. The Warrior

So then let us consider these 7

1. If two are three are gathering together in the Lord's name, and He is in their midst, they are genuine believers, they are surely the Body of Christ. Perhaps they are merely a fingertip, but we would all agree that a fingertip is part of our body.

2. According to WL the difference between the Body and the New Man is that the New Man needs both life and the person of Jesus Christ. But, if Jesus is in their midst, then surely they have the person of Jesus Christ.

3. The kingdom requires the King. Every member is a citizen with both rights and responsibilities. There is absolutely no reason why these two or three would not be exercising their rights, carrying out their responsibilities, and be in fellowship with the king.

4. Household refers to the "life and enjoyment", the "family life" of the church. No one can say that two or three is insufficient to have this type of experience. As long as Jesus is in the midst they can surely be the household of God.

5. The dwelling place of God -- clearly Jesus word that He would be in their midst is evidence that they can be the dwelling place of God.

6. The Bride of Christ, like the Bride of Adam given because it was not good for Adam to be alone. If two or three are meeting with the Lord in the midst then they are clearly not alone and there is no reason to say that this cannot be the Bride of Christ.

7. The Warrior -- 1 will chase a thousand, two ten thousand, and who knows how many three will chase. Combine these with the Lord Jesus. Surely they can be a warrior.

Let's also talk about hypocrisy. I once met with a "church" in the LRC that had 3 members (1 family and me, they did have very small children, too young to be believers). We met every Sunday for our worship service. We were encouraged to do this and discouraged from looking for a local Christian meeting. This was in Hanover, New Hampshire, in 1986-1987.

Imagine the hypocrisy of teaching that two or three cannot be a church until of course the alternative is having your members meet with other Christians, then of course it can be.
10-13-2016 06:24 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
No, you do not. You need people to be assembled together. And that is what the church is--people.
How can we assemble together without locality? People must be in the same area.
10-13-2016 06:23 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
But that is exactly what the LC does. You get certain few people together who all wish to behave in a certain way, and then you call that "the church."
By behave in a certain way, do you mean singing hymns, praying and remembering the Lord with the Lord's table as He instructed? And each local church is different really in how it does things. Some have music, some don't, some divide into groups for the prophesying meeting, others remain in one big group, etc.
10-13-2016 06:14 AM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You and a sister praying together are in the one church, but you can't claim to be "the church" or "a church". Those words would be exclusive to every other believer in your city. I am not saying that you and a sister praying are not part of Christ's church, I am saying that you and a sister praying together is not "a church" or "the church".
But that is exactly what the LC does. You get certain few people together who all wish to behave in a certain way, and then you call that "the church."
10-13-2016 06:13 AM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together".

We need locality to be "assembled together".
No, you do not. You need people to be assembled together. And that is what the church is--people.
10-13-2016 04:20 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
It says, "concerning anything", not "concerning a sinning brother". Why be so narrow, and restrictive in interpretation? Because your preferred reading forces it?
Because I've bothered to look up the verses and the context. "concerning anything" is a general statement and also includes the context of the previous verses about a sinning brother (presumably to pray and agree about what action should be taken). Still doesn't prove that two or three can be a church. You'd have to explain why it says we should "tell the church" in verse 17. By your reckoning, just having two or three with you should be enough (verse 16).

I agree that Jesus is in the midst of two or three, but that doesn't make those two or three a church, anymore than the Lord's presence with us individually makes us a church.

Jesus sent his disciples out two by two:

Mark 6:7 And he called his twelve disciples together and began sending them out two by two, giving them authority to cast out evil spirits.

To say that two or three can be a church, is to say that the 12 disciples were in fact 6 churches which doesn't make sense.
10-13-2016 04:19 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whenever two or three of you are gathered in my name, I am there in your midst."

But you say this is insufficient, and propose improvements, necessary ones.

I remember distinctly that the Ascended Master in Anaheim felt we weren't vital enough, and sent out trainers. They had us come up front and thrust out our two arms as we sang, "PSRP/BNPB makes the eagle fly", and as we waved them up and down. Such was the spirit then motivating the assembly.

But it's the church, right?
It's very safe to say, in the context of those scripture, that "tell it to the church" is to tell it to the elders, not to tell it to the whole city of believers. And they most probably were the elders in the assembly the two parties met with.
10-13-2016 04:13 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
aron,

19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.".
It says, "concerning anything", not "concerning a sinning brother". Why be so narrow, and restrictive in interpretation? Because your preferred reading forces it?
10-13-2016 04:09 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whenever two or three of you are gathered in my name, I am there in your midst."

But you say this is insufficient, and propose improvements, necessary ones.

I remember distinctly that the Ascended Master in Anaheim felt we weren't vital enough, and sent out trainers. They had us come up front and thrust out our two arms as we sang, "PSRP/BNPB makes the eagle fly", and as we waved them up and down. Such was the spirit then motivating the assembly.

But it's the church, right?
If two or three are the church as you say, then how do you explain "the church" in verse 17 here?:

Matthew 18: 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

Matthew 18:17 And if he refuses to hear them (the two or three, emphasis mine), tell it to the church.

Obviously, the two or three in verse 16 is not the same as the church in verse 17.

It is saying, in verse 15, talk to your brother first, then in verse 16, take one or two with you (that is the two or three), and then in verse 17, tell it to "the church". Obviously two or three brothers with you cannot be "the church". Telling it to the church means tell it to the elders of the church. The church is not just two or three, it is bigger than that.
10-13-2016 03:59 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
aron,

The verse does not say that 2 or 3 gathered is a church.
"Truly, truly, I say to you, whenever two or three of you are gathered in my name, I am there in your midst."

But you say this is insufficient, and propose improvements, necessary ones.

I remember distinctly that the Ascended Master in Anaheim felt we weren't vital enough, and sent out trainers. They had us come up front and thrust out our two arms as we sang, "PSRP/BNPB makes the eagle fly", and as we waved them up and down. Such was the spirit then motivating the assembly.

But it's the church, right?
10-13-2016 03:50 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The Lord Jesus said that if two or more gather in His name, He will be there among us. But you say, "That's not the church". So the presence of the Spirit of Christ is insufficient?
aron,

Well you don't understand what the Lord Jesus meant. The verse does not say that 2 or 3 gathered is a church. It is talking about 2 or 3 witnesses as per 2 Cor 13:1 "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established."

The context is dealing with a sinning brother and prayers of agreement, and we can see that it says if a person does not listen to the two or three, then tell it to the church (compare verse 16 and verse 17). So clearly, the church is bigger than just the two or three, and the church is not the two or three. Reading from verse 15 gives the right context, and for convenience, many bible versions have titled this section "dealing with a sinning brother".

Dealing with a Sinning Brother (MKJV) Matthew 18:15-20
15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. 16 But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ 17 And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.
18 “Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.
19 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. 20 For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

The local church is a bigger city-wide entity, with a leadership (elders were appointed in every church) and with an administration and authority (Matthew 18:17). So it's not right to say two or three gathered are "the church".
10-13-2016 02:59 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I am not saying that you and a sister praying are not part of Christ's church, I am saying that you and a sister praying together is not "a church" or "the church".

. . .Only if we consider all of those parts to belong to the one body, can we call it "a church" and "the church".
The Lord Jesus said that if two or more gather in His name, He will be there among us. But you say, "That's not the church". So the presence of the Spirit of Christ is insufficient?

And from thence, how much further, to the Great Harlot, with a scarlet robe and gilded cup full of abominations? Not too far, in my estimation.

And how much further, to the One Publication edict, with no buying or selling in the "local churches" apart from the Mark of the Ministry? Not much further, just a little more.

To me, this is someone coming along and saying, "Everyone but me is in confusion and division. I'm here to save you. My logical constructs will show you the way home." Servitude follows forthwith. This is not the home Christ promised.

"For freedom, Christ has set us free; stand fast, therefore, and do not be entangled again with the yoke of slavery."

I remember once, when the Ascended Master in Anaheim had an inspiration, that we all gather in Vital Teams by geography, and go and canvas the neighbourhood for the New Move of the Lord. In six years, he said, the Lord would return. We watched this on video in silence . . . the video ended. Silence. Then one sister piped up brightly, "But it's the church!" Nothing was too ridiculous for us, we felt. Because it's the church.
10-12-2016 10:57 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodus16 View Post
There you did it again. You just said when I pray with a sister at the baseball diamond that is not the visible church. Every time believers gather together, they assemble those are synonymous terms. That's the church, simple as could be.
Except we're all human and fallen and every biblical church was full of arguing and sin and division even as today. In the world we live in everything is confusion, anyone who says differently is selling something.
You and a sister praying together are in the one church, but you can't claim to be "the church" or "a church". Those words would be exclusive to every other believer in your city. I am not saying that you and a sister praying are not part of Christ's church, I am saying that you and a sister praying together is not "a church" or "the church".

If we cut up a body and scattered the body parts around a city, and called each body part "a church", that is the situation of denominationalism and Christianity today, where each "body part" considers itself to be a church. Similarly we cannot look at the arm and say "that is the body", and look at the leg and say "that is the body". Obviously they are only body parts.

On this basis, that is why if you say you and a sister praying are "a church", you are wrong, and if you say you are "the church", you are also wrong.

Only if we consider all of those parts to belong to the one body, can we call it "a church" and "the church".

I draw your attention to the fact that the context of Matthew 18:15-20 which talks about two or three gathered in Christ's name, is dealing with a sinning brother and prayers of agreement. In fact, if you compare Matthew 18:16 with 18:17, you will see that it says to tell it to the two or three, and then tell it to the church. Clearly, the two or three cannot be the church. The church is something more than just two or three gathered together, it involves a godly appointed leadership and administration. Acts 14:23 "Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church".
10-12-2016 10:26 PM
Exodus16
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In your previous post, you said "Believers take issue with being told they are blind and not part of Christ's church". You claimed that we say that believers are not part of Christ's church.

But we never say believers are not part of Christ's church.


What you believe in is a confusion of different fellowships within the one city and not biblical Christianity. The situation of Christians being divided according to denomination is not biblical. These are not "one visible church" as you claim, but many visible denominations.
There you did it again. You just said when I meet with believers, but not according to your prescribed doctrine, I am not the visible church. I knew Pentecostal who said I didn't have the Spirit bc I didn't pray in tongues. I didn't let that slide either.
Every time believers gather together, they assemble those are synonymous terms. That's the church, simple as could be.
we're all human and fallen and every biblical church was full of arguing and sin and division even as today. In the world we live in everything is confusion, anyone who says differently is selling something.
10-12-2016 10:19 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Columbus, OH has three LC's. One is of Lee, one is of Chu, and one is of Christ.

If they are all one, all on the local ground, all standing for the testimony of Jesus, then as you say, "they should ask themselves for what purpose are they meeting in different places under different names."

Obviously there are serious problems with your thought lines. There is far more bad blood between these three lovely congregations, than there is in any three other congregations in town. A few lawsuits will do that. Why did this have to happen? Columbus is not unique. Some cities have more than 3 divisions.

Given enough time, they will be like the Exclusives in London who literally had 20 different gatherings, all claiming to originate from the visionary teachings of John Darby, who btw was the source of Nee's "revelations."

Like I said, your utopean vision produces only more divisions, and has never been practiced in church history. It exists only as a matter of pride, a self-roghteous pride that enables its adherents to condemn all outsiders, while sitting in trainings shouting their slogans to one another.
Like so many things in the Christian life the Bible sets the high standard and church is no exception. Wasn't easy for the apostle Paul either and was not meant to be a recipe for success. Yet practical oneness should still be the goal and I believe this was Paul's vision as well.
10-12-2016 09:31 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together".

We need locality to be "assembled together".

Christ covers only the spiritual aspect. Locality covers the practical aspect.

It is possible to fellowship in locality but not in Christ, and in Christ but not in locality. The internet is an example of that. This forum is somewhat a fellowship. Does it make this forum a church? No. We are not floating spirits, we have physical bodies and are constrained by space and time. So the locality is important.
Yes, assembly is important, but not locality.
10-12-2016 09:30 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Ohio, yes, believers who attend Lutheran church can indeed say that. And so can those who attend the Baptist church on the same street. But then if they believe that they should ask themselves for what purpose are they meeting in different places under different names. That is, Christ and their locality is not enough for fellowship.
Columbus, OH has three LC's. One is of Lee, one is of Chu, and one is of Christ.

If they are all one, all on the local ground, all standing for the testimony of Jesus, then as you say, "they should ask themselves for what purpose are they meeting in different places under different names."

Obviously there are serious problems with your thought lines. There is far more bad blood between these three lovely congregations, than there is in any three other congregations in town. A few lawsuits will do that. Why did this have to happen? Columbus is not unique. Some cities have more than 3 divisions.

Given enough time, they will be like the Exclusives in London who literally had 20 different gatherings, all claiming to originate from the visionary teachings of John Darby, who btw was the source of Nee's "revelations."

Like I said, your utopean vision produces only more divisions, and has never been practiced in church history. It exists only as a matter of pride, a self-roghteous pride that enables its adherents to condemn all outsiders, while sitting in trainings shouting their slogans to one another.
10-12-2016 09:11 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Christ plus locality?

Hebrews 10:25 "Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together".

We need locality to be "assembled together".

Christ covers only the spiritual aspect. Locality covers the practical aspect.

It is possible to fellowship in locality but not in Christ, and in Christ but not in locality. The internet is an example of that. This forum is somewhat a fellowship. Does it make this forum a church? No. We are not floating spirits, we have physical bodies and are constrained by space and time. So the locality is important.
10-12-2016 09:01 PM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Ohio, yes, believers who attend Lutheran church can indeed say that. And so can those who attend the Baptist church on the same street. But then if they believe that they should ask themselves for what purpose are they meeting in different places under different names. That is, Christ and their locality is not enough for fellowship.
Christ plus locality?
10-12-2016 08:08 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Ohio, yes, believers who attend Lutheran church can indeed say that. And so can those who attend the Baptist church on the same street. But then if they believe that they should ask themselves for what purpose are they meeting in different places under different names. That is, Christ and their locality is not enough for fellowship.
10-12-2016 07:11 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What you believe in is a confusion of different fellowships within the one city and not biblical Christianity. The situation of Christians being divided according to denomination is not biblical. These are not "one visible church" as you claim, but many visible denominations.
Lee established false standards for Christian meetings in order to condemn the rest of the body of Christ. For example, even though the New Testament rejects circumcision as a requirement for salvation (Acts 15.1, 28), it does allow for for both Jewish and Gentile ministries (Gal 2.7-9). These, in effect, were two emerging N.T. denominations, contrary to Evangelical's rigorous claims. You can say that circumcision is nothing, neither is uncircumcision, but a new creation. (Gal 6.15) Cannot the body of Christ also say that Luther is nothing, Baptism is nothing, Pentecostalism is nothing, locality is nothing, but we are all one in Christ!

It doesn't take more than a passing interest in people to know that different peoples need different meetings of the church, and for sure churches would develop over time to meet these different needs. The N.T. mentions widows, for example, (Acts 6, I Timothy 5) and were not many gatherings, prayers, fellowships, etc. needed to care for them? If a church is primarily a widow-serving church (e.g. Gahanna Community Church) is it not still a church, though it is affiliated with widow-serving churches around the world? Or is it a dreaded denomination because of the burden the Lord put in their heart?

LSM prides itself with all their language meetings, i.e. Chinese-speaking, Spanish-speaking, college-speaking, new-ones-speaking (Yes, I have heard all of this) It is a joke to declare that some of the larger churches do not have "divided" English and Chinese churches in the same city. They have different places to meet, different offerings, different leaders, etc. but since both are attached to LSM, they declare them as "one church" in the city, with, of course, 94.5% of its members living in different cities.

Hypocrisy, my friends, is doing what they do, but claiming you do not, so that you can condemn them. (Romans 2.1)
10-12-2016 06:11 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

In your previous post, you said "Believers take issue with being told they are blind and not part of Christ's church". You claimed that we say that believers are not part of Christ's church.

But we never say believers are not part of Christ's church.

The church is expressed on this earth in localities, and where there is an expression of the church, that expression must be one. Let us be simple. Let us not be complicated by the confusion in Christianity. It is a shame to ask people what church they belong to. If someone is a brother, that is all we need to know. I belong to the church, and you belong to the church. We all belong to the church.
Witness Lee, Basic Principles for the Practice of the Church Life

What you believe in is a confusion of different fellowships within the one city and not biblical Christianity. The situation of Christians being divided according to denomination is not biblical. These are not "one visible church" as you claim, but many visible denominations.
10-12-2016 11:06 AM
Exodus16
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Exodus16, we do not say that believers are not part of Christ's church. That is your misrepresentation of our beliefs. We say that because believers are part of Christ's church, they should not be in denominations and should be united on the ground of locality.

Jesus the visible man, started one and only one visible church on Earth 2000 years ago. Many of the books of the New Testament are in fact letters written by God's apostle Paul to local expressions of the one church in each city (Corinth, Ephesus, Rome etc). These letters are not written to a multitude of denominations in each city. Jesus said to Peter that he will build His church. This is where the idea of a genuine local church comes from. He did not say "I will build many denominations". So can you please tell me which church today is the one genuine visible church on Earth?
I don't believe I am misrepresenting your beliefs, your own words are.
By set up denominations as the opposite of the genuine local church ipso facto those who meet with denominations are not part of the genuine local church.
In response to your biblical references, Christ said I will build my church, without qualifiers. I can point at his visible church, whenever believers gather together in His name. Regardless of what doctrines and teachings they espouse, if they love the Lord and believe his word. Amen. (and I've given you a bit of wiggle room with believe his word - believe doesn't mean agree with another's interpretation)
10-12-2016 05:13 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by NewManLiving View Post

Brother it is you that does not know the difference. Do you really think that I or anyone else on this board accept your eutopic view of LSM churches. LSM churches support the ministry. We all know what Nee said but what Nee said is NOT the practice of diehard LSM churches. There is one and only one publication and it's not the Bible. Try standing up in a meeting and quote something from a Stephen Kaung book (do you know who he is) or anyone else beside Nee or Lee and you will be shot down. I think you know this brother. Many of us tried to defend it in the beginning, same as you. I truly believe that you are trying to convince yourself not us. That is why you say one thing and then contradict it with another
I too was actively serving in the LC's for 30 years, until the quarantines in the GLA began, and I got to see through the facade of our supposed "heavenly vision," which all faithful members were obedient to. The "heavenly" part was nothing more than idealistic, pseudo-spiritual teachings promoted by Nee and Lee, which no one at LSM ever cared to practice. The "vision" part simply demanded an allegiance to headquarters, overruling both the Lord, the scriptures, and our consciences.
10-12-2016 12:38 AM
least
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Our autonomy and independence without any sort of authoritarianism is the reason why I can be on this forum today and my experiences and testimony can be completely different from yours or anyone else.
Sounds good. Let us continue to hear from you.
10-11-2016 10:22 PM
JJ
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote from Evangelical:
Quote:
"Our autonomy and independence without any sort of authoritarianism is the reason why I can be on this forum today and my experiences and testimony can be completely different from yours or anyone else."
Dear brother Evangelical,

I appreciate that you have come to this site to discuss the local churches with us.

I have been sitting on the sidelines of your discussions in this forum, partly because I have precious little time to participate these days, and partly because I have no heart to "debate".

Are you aware that many who frequent these boards have spent decades of our lives associated with the local churches? I myself was from 1978 to 2015.

So, when we say that the Living Stream Ministry exerts authoritarian rule over the local churches, and the Bible is secondary to Living Stream Ministry materials in church teaching and governance it isn't doctrinal. That's simply, and sadly what we observed.

Grace to you, in Christ.

JJ
10-11-2016 09:39 PM
NewManLiving
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

My question was concerning what you can and cannot say in an LSM controlled church. The brother, Stephen Kaung I mentioned is 101 years old and a co-worker of Nee as was Lee. He is a humble servant of Christ and completely Christ centered. Stephen was in the USA and began a work for the Lord before WL arrived in the USA. As a matter of fact he helped WL come here. WL subsequently took over by subversion some of the assemblies started by Kaung. He built upon another man's work. This subversive practice of taking over local assemblies also happened in India. I would venture to say it still goes on. Now our brother Kaung did not sue or make a fuss he just left it to the Lord and moved elsewhere. He is still preaching the riches of Christ today at various conferences and localities. The Lord has blessed his humble servant with a long life for his obiedience and his self denial. Now this brother also has books available to read which are full of light. You or anyone else in an LSM controlled church dare not even mention his name. I challange you if you are as free as you say you are to read others' material and discuss it in a meeting. You would be cut off and you know it. As for being on this board I seriously doubt anyone knows it but yourself
10-11-2016 09:01 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Our autonomy and independence without any sort of authoritarianism is the reason why I can be on this forum today and my experiences and testimony can be completely different from yours or anyone else.
10-11-2016 08:46 PM
NewManLiving
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Brother it is you that does not know the difference. Do you really think that I or anyone else on this board accept your eutopic view of LSM churches. LSM churches support the ministry. We all know what Nee said but what Nee said is NOT the practice of diehard LSM churches. There is one and only one publication and it's not the Bible. Try standing up in a meeting and quote something from a Stephen Kaung book (do you know who he is) or anyone else beside Nee or Lee and you will be shot down. I think you know this brother. Many of us tried to defend it in the beginning, same as you. I truly believe that you are trying to convince yourself not us. That is why you say one thing and then contradict it with another
10-11-2016 08:28 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

NewManLiving, you are forgetting or perhaps not aware that I believe LSM is an organization and that it is perfectly acceptable for a ministry to have an organization. But the church belongs to God and not something built by the hands of men but men working in cooperation with God. (On this point many mistakenly believe that something built by God does not involve fallen men or is purely an invisible and spiritual thing.) I would reference Nee's writings about the difference between the church and the ministry. Many people and on this forum do not know the difference between church and ministry and cannot differentiate between the two. In regards to the practical administration of each local church, we don't have to use LSM material, just the Bible is fine. There is no one from LSM leadership telling us what to do so there is no authoritarianism. In fact, there is a thread on this forum showing the diversity of views and practices (Indonesia, for example). Two local churches may be completely different, yet both use LSM material and be in fellowship with the BB.

There is no authoritarianism, as evidenced by many local church websites, for example this one:

http://pj.localchurch.my/faq.php

Who is your leader?
Our unique leader is Christ. We have no official, permanent, organized human leadership. Furthermore, there is no hierarchy of any kind and no worldwide leader. We regard no person as infallible, and we do not follow anyone blindly. On the contrary, we follow only those whose teaching and practice is in accordance with the truth of God's Word. Those who take the lead do not lord it over the saints, but rather shepherd them in love. Likewise, those who serve the Lord do not control the churches, but rather serve them as bondslaves of Christ in the ministry of the living Word



In fact if you or others attend a denomination or even a small nondenominational house church or community church with a so and so pastor or priest, and you cannot have a church meeting or service if that pastor or priest is not present, I can quickly show you that you have a leader with an authoritarian structure, much more easily than you can say about us.
10-11-2016 08:20 PM
NewManLiving
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

It is unclear to me what you really think. If you are part of the LSM franchise churches then you are most definitely in a denomination. On the other hand, if you believe that there can be a so-called local church without the Blendeds blessing or using any LSM materials; simply by coming together for the sake of unity in a city then you have a most difficult task. That would require you stick to the fundamentals of our common faith. So tell me brother where do you stand? You can't have it both ways. I believe that even you can't deny that LSM is an organization. No book ministry was ever in charge and in complete control of the Churches of God at any time. LSM authoritarianism is NOT found in the New Testament.
10-11-2016 07:58 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

NewManLiving, if I leave a denomination and call myself just a Christian and meet with other Christians in my locality, I am not in a denomination. Because of that reason, I am in a better condition than being in a degraded denomination. My denomination is not better, because I don't have a denomination.
10-11-2016 07:50 PM
NewManLiving
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Exodus16, we do not say that believers are not part of Christ's church. That is your misrepresentation of our beliefs. We say that because believers are part of Christ's church, they should not be in denominations and should be united on the ground of locality[
My dear brother, normally I do not even participate in circular debate, it always goes nowhere. However, to be united on the doctrine of locality IS the definition of a denomination. To denominate based upon different interpretations of doctrine is very common as you well know. If your unity is based upon locality then you are no different than the Baptists, Methodists, Pentecostals, etc...; each have their distinguishing doctrines that set them apart. Likewise, LSM Churches have their own branded doctrine as well. You are simply trying to convince us that your denomination is better than the rest.
10-11-2016 07:09 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodus16 View Post
Believers take issue with being told they are blind and not part of Christ's church, this shouldn't seem exceptional to anyone.
You are making the Lc the exception, although it fits a fairly basic definition. As you are the one making the exceptional claim, the burden of proof falls to you.
You have used the phrase "genuine local church" repeatedly. Where is this phrase in the bible? Where does this concept originate?
I believe in an invisible God. I have faith that the God who lives within me and moves within my heart and the circumstances of my life, does the same in the hearts and lives of all believers. (There is a verse that confirms this somewhere.)
It stands to reason that an invisible God would build in an invisible way. As in the picture from Esther, nobody could see what happened in her heart or in the hearts of those who prayed and fasted with her, but God moved.
This talk of "genuine local church" puts me in mind of an analogy with Calvinism. They believed in God's elect and insisted on proofs from outward circumstances of believers.
Your insistence on not being a denomination reveals your judgement against your brothers and sisters trying to love and follow the Lord as best they can.
Your insistence on no name just makes you "the man in the yellow hat" or "the artist formerly known as..."
We all know the hallmarks of this form and teaching;
Conformity, a fancy lingo and judgement.

So be simple don't be hardened, drop your concepts,
Eat that tree! Take in Jesus every moment, He's so sweet!
Exodus16, we do not say that believers are not part of Christ's church. That is your misrepresentation of our beliefs. We say that because believers are part of Christ's church, they should not be in denominations and should be united on the ground of locality.

Jesus the visible man, started one and only one visible church on Earth 2000 years ago. Many of the books of the New Testament are in fact letters written by God's apostle Paul to local expressions of the one church in each city (Corinth, Ephesus, Rome etc). These letters are not written to a multitude of denominations in each city. Jesus said to Peter that he will build His church. This is where the idea of a genuine local church comes from. He did not say "I will build many denominations". So can you please tell me which church today is the one genuine visible church on Earth?
10-11-2016 03:42 PM
Exodus16
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post

I believed that, once, but now the notion itself looks like fallen human concepts.
I'm not sure I follow what you're saying.
To me a concept is defined as a thought or an idea
I have multiple concepts that I wrestle with every day. I pick them up from books, TV Facebook - all the likely places. Most can be easily discredited or dismissed.
Sometimes an idea or concept can get a hold on me and shapes my interaction with the world,sometimes for decades, not a bad thing if it is not a bad idea.
The problem comes with sophomoric ideas which sound good on paper but in practice are quite damaging (communism, socialism, "genuine local church")
I included the words from the song bc I felt it would get to the heart of the matter better than my reasonings bc of the irony.
I don't really advocate dropping a concept w/o thinking, nor mindlessly accepting an unexamined teaching.
10-11-2016 02:05 PM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodus16 View Post
So be simple don't be hardened, drop your concepts,
Funny how every human being except Witness Lee had concepts. Only Lee had pure revelation, not needing to drop any concepts.

I believed that, once, but now the notion itself looks like fallen human concepts.
10-11-2016 12:49 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Exodus16 View Post
Your insistence on not being a denomination reveals your judgement against your brothers and sisters trying to love and follow the Lord as best they can.

Your insistence on no name just makes you "the man in the yellow hat" or "the artist formerly known as..."

We all know the hallmarks of this form and teaching: Conformity, a fancy lingo and judgement.
Can I add a few more infamous "no-names" to your list?
  • A Fistful of Dollars
  • For a Few Dollars More
  • The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Thinking back on those quarantines, lawsuits, and LSM makes my list perhaps a little more appropos. At least to my generation.

IIRC, TC often mentioned "East Clintwood" in his sharing.
10-11-2016 10:57 AM
Exodus16
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post

If we are a denomination and not the genuine local church, then please tell me who is? If you know who is a denomination then surely you know who is the genuine local church? Let's hear it.

The strange thing is most Christians know what is a denomination but they don't know what is a genuine local church. They claim to know God who is invisible yet cannot point me to any sort of visible genuine local church. In their blindness they take issue with anyone saying their church is the genuine local church and not a denomination. I wonder if you are the exception to my observation and can enlighten me?
Believers take issue with being told they are blind and not part of Christ's church, this shouldn't seem exceptional to anyone.
You are making the Lc the exception, although it fits a fairly basic definition. As you are the one making the exceptional claim, the burden of proof falls to you.
You have used the phrase "genuine local church" repeatedly. Where is this phrase in the bible? Where does this concept originate?
I believe in an invisible God. I have faith that the God who lives within me and moves within my heart and the circumstances of my life, does the same in the hearts and lives of all believers. (There is a verse that confirms this somewhere.)
It stands to reason that an invisible God would build in an invisible way. As in the picture from Esther, nobody could see what happened in her heart or in the hearts of those who prayed and fasted with her, but God moved.
This talk of "genuine local church" puts me in mind of an analogy with Calvinism. They believed in God's elect and insisted on proofs from outward circumstances of believers.
Your insistence on not being a denomination reveals your judgement against your brothers and sisters trying to love and follow the Lord as best they can.
Your insistence on no name just makes you "the man in the yellow hat" or "the artist formerly known as..."
We all know the hallmarks of this form and teaching;
Conformity, a fancy lingo and judgement.

So be simple don't be hardened, drop your concepts,
Eat that tree! Take in Jesus every moment, He's so sweet!
10-09-2016 04:57 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
You are splitting hairs. Look at that definition I gave you. The LC has a common faith and an organization (whether officially or no is irrelevant). You admitted to both points. That makes you a denomination.
Only in your eyes. Was Jesus and his 12 disciples a denomination of Judaism? Or were they the genuine church?

If we are a denomination and not the genuine local church, then please tell me who is? If you know who is a denomination then surely you know who is the genuine local church? Let's hear it.

The strange thing is most Christians know what is a denomination but they don't know what is a genuine local church. They claim to know God who is invisible yet cannot point me to any sort of visible genuine local church. In their blindness they take issue with anyone saying their church is the genuine local church and not a denomination. I wonder if you are the exception to my observation and can enlighten me?
10-09-2016 04:52 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I agree there is organization, there must be, otherwise it is chaos. Consider Jesus was highly organized. The times, the donkey, the last supper, the cross, the details, everything was pre-arranged. But it was not an organization.
I am saying the local church is not "an organization". You cannot find anything called the Local Church (capital L and C) Organization, anywhere.
You are splitting hairs. Look at that definition I gave you. The LC has a common faith and an organization (whether officially or no is irrelevant). You admitted to both points. That makes you a denomination.
10-09-2016 02:44 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
It doesn't matter how you parse it, or how theologically sound you think your group is. They have meeting places, whether owned or rented, a schedule of meetings, a way that they do meetings (in accordance with the LSM, all the way down to which song, or songs on occasion, will be sung) arrange to have electricity and water, and even a decision on what ministries will be acceptable for discussion. There is an organization. It is registered with the state and the city in which it meets.

The only way that there is no organization is if it has no rules (just right), no set meeting place or time, and whoever happens to show up at any random time in the same place (random, again) to read, study, pray, etc., about whatever moves them (and not the schedule maker). In that case I will agree that there is no organization.

Organization is a red herring. It is a form of equivocation in which you fail to use the word for the massive amounts of organization that always goes on, then quibble over whether certain minor things (that are not actually any different between the LCM and the rest of Christianity) are important and declare that you are not an organization. Maybe not in some very minor point. But you don't even compare your minor point to how other groups are with respect to that point. You compare that small minor point to all the regular stuff that the others do/have. As if that is the only organization you have.

You are comparing the pollution of various vehicles by pointing to the bicycle in he front yard compared to all the cars on the road. But you ignore that you also have cars. They are just not in the front yard at the moment. They are hiding behind the closed garage door so no one will know they are there.
I agree there is organization, there must be, otherwise it is chaos. Consider Jesus was highly organized. The times, the donkey, the last supper, the cross, the details, everything was pre-arranged. But it was not an organization.
I am saying the local church is not "an organization". You cannot find anything called the Local Church (capital L and C) Organization, anywhere.
10-08-2016 04:24 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
It doesn't matter how you parse it, or how theologically sound you think your group is. They have meeting places, whether owned or rented, a schedule of meetings, a way that they do meetings (in accordance with the LSM, all the way down to which song, or songs on occasion, will be sung) arrange to have electricity and water, and even a decision on what ministries will be acceptable for discussion. There is an organization. It is registered with the state and the city in which it meets.
Long ago I concluded that all the pitfalls of organizational structure stem from centralization under a common headquarters. This is what the Apostle Paul faced with the Judaizers who wanted to keep Jerusalem as command central. Headquarters and Hierarchy go hand in hand, you can't have one without the other, and they fuel each other, and together they make organization. That's just the way it is.

As much as Evangelical would like to believe it, the proper name, or the supposed lack thereof, has nothing to do with organization. In the same vein, the more you call an organization an organism, the more you have hypocrisy; because hypocrisy is basically dishonesty, the refusal to admit what really is, and deception, lying to others what really is.
10-08-2016 03:31 PM
OBW
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In as much as they are an organization called Local Church (which they are not), I would agree. But there is no such thing as a Local Church organization.
It doesn't matter how you parse it, or how theologically sound you think your group is. They have meeting places, whether owned or rented, a schedule of meetings, a way that they do meetings (in accordance with the LSM, all the way down to which song, or songs on occasion, will be sung) arrange to have electricity and water, and even a decision on what ministries will be acceptable for discussion. There is an organization. It is registered with the state and the city in which it meets.

The only way that there is no organization is if it has no rules (just right), no set meeting place or time, and whoever happens to show up at any random time in the same place (random, again) to read, study, pray, etc., about whatever moves them (and not the schedule maker). In that case I will agree that there is no organization.

Organization is a red herring. It is a form of equivocation in which you fail to use the word for the massive amounts of organization that always goes on, then quibble over whether certain minor things (that are not actually any different between the LCM and the rest of Christianity) are important and declare that you are not an organization. Maybe not in some very minor point. But you don't even compare your minor point to how other groups are with respect to that point. You compare that small minor point to all the regular stuff that the others do/have. As if that is the only organization you have.

You are comparing the pollution of various vehicles by pointing to the bicycle in he front yard compared to all the cars on the road. But you ignore that you also have cars. They are just not in the front yard at the moment. They are hiding behind the closed garage door so no one will know they are there.
10-08-2016 09:21 AM
least
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony



Training -
General Subject-
RETURNING TO THE ORTHODOXY OF THE CHURCH.

The book cover pic is all the info I have.
Wonder what orthodoxy they are returning to.
Theosis? Return to the Eastern Orthodoxy? They condemn Roman Catholicism.
Eastern Orthodox is organizational too. Given it is training for elders and responsible ones, church affairs have to be concerned topics, not just about training to prophesy to each other that 'we are gods'.
10-08-2016 08:48 AM
UntoHim
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony


Wow, I wonder how the common brothers and sisters in the Local Churches feel about the huge air fares and luxury hotel and meeting accommodations being spent on these "Elders and Responsible Ones"? Why the Gold Coast in Australia? For the brothers coming from North America and Europe, you couldn't find a place on earth further and more expensive to get to.

But, what the hey, no place is too far, or too expensive or luxurious for brothers to come together to be blended!


-
10-08-2016 08:19 AM
least
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In as much as they are an organization called Local Church (which they are not), I would agree. But there is no such thing as a Local Church organization.
Organization is on the way?
09-13-2016 05:38 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Evangelical, the "one ocean" is the "My church" that Jesus is building. This is not the same thing as the Local Church system.
In as much as they are an organization called Local Church (which they are not), I would agree. But there is no such thing as a Local Church organization.
09-07-2016 07:34 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
Common faith and organization... think about that.

Edit: It seems you need to either have a subscription with the OED, or (like me) you can access it if you are at some institution like a university. If you can't access it, I won't mind sending screenshots of the webpage.
It's ok about the OED, i have hard copy .

Well I've been in denominations decades longer than I have in the LC and it has never felt like a denomination to me. It could be just that they are so different to denominations that I am persuaded they are not one. Or they truly are not a denomination.

In regard to your comment I quoted above, we have the common faith but we are no organization.

That is, there is no organization called the "local church organization". Living Stream Ministry is a ministry, that is an organization. But the church is not, in keeping with the concept of the church being the Body of Christ, and not an organization of man. There is a clear distinction between church and ministry.

There is no organization, just as there was no human organization with Christ and his 12 disciples. just people grouping themselves together to serve the Lord. There is no human organization, no hierarchy, and no official, permanent leader. The organization is spiritual.

There is no pressure to come to church meetings or not come to church meetings and no pressure to say or do anything in the meetings. There is encouragement for sure, but no pressure.
09-07-2016 06:53 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
To put it simply, do you believe that the LC (or whatever you call yourselves) is a denomination? If not, why not?
No, because it does not fit the description of a denomination, one of which can be found here (better to open the link because the formatting is messed up here):

http://www.gospelway.com/church/denominations.php

B. The Denominational Concept of the Church
Modern denominations include many local congregations, and they claim there is one universal church composed of all "saved" people. But they add something new - the denominations. All these "saved" people in all these local churches are now divided into denominations.
The concept of a denomination, as commonly believed today, involves all the following elements:
* Each denomination is an affiliation or confederation consisting of a number of local churches.
* Each denomination has its own peculiar name, doctrine, organization, plan of worship, etc., which distinguishes it from other denominations.
* Each denomination claims it is composed of Christians, but it does not claim to contain all faithful Christians. Each denomination believes there are faithful children of God in other denominations. "There are saved people in all the denominations." "We're all going to heaven, just by different routes." "One church is as good as another." It's just a matter of personal preference, like different kinds of cars, colors of clothes, etc. So "join the church of your choice."
Ask any informed denominationalist, and he will confirm what we have said. Ask: "Are there saved Christians in your denomination?" He will say, "Yes." Ask: "Are there Christians in other denominations, who will go to heaven?" He will say, "Yes." Ask: "Does one have to be a member of your denomination to go to heaven?" He will say, "No." So each denomination claims to consist of some Christians, but not all Christians.
A denominational preacher once said the following in a letter to me:
"There is only one 'holy Christian Church,' of which Christ is the Head, but it is now made up of many denominations ... But faith in Christ is the first criterion of membership in the holy Christian Church, and we feel that such believers can be found in all Christian denominations."


Apart from all the other signs of a denomination such as organization, a big one for me is this one:
"Each denomination claims it is composed of Christians, but it does not claim to contain all faithful Christians"

That is, a denomination thinks that some Christians are in it and other Christians are in another denomination. To denominate is to see divisions, to not denominate is to see the whole as God sees it and try and practice that.

They do not consider that all believers are in the same church in their locality, whether they are in a denomination or not.

To consider ourself different from another believer in our locality is to denominate ourself. Because the Bible teaches we are all the same (one Father, one Savior, one baptism, one Spirit etc).

The local church considers all believers to be in it as soon as they believe in Christ.

It's really just a matter of how we view ourselves and how we view other Christians.

If we consider other Christians to be not part of us for whatever reason, then we have already denominated ourselves. If the Lord's Recovery has gone this way then I suppose it is more accurate to call it a denomination.

But you must understand that each church in each locality is autonomous, so some churches may be like this and others may not be. There is no regional or top-down hierarchy and control. It depends on the path that the elders and church have taken. Have they stayed true to the teaching of Nee/Lee or have they diverged.

So it may not be correct to say that ALL local churches have become or are a denomination. I have not seen much evidence of this in mine.

In some countries and regions such as South East Asia, the local churches are mostly a scattering of people meeting in houses. In others it may look much more like any other denomination.
09-07-2016 04:06 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
We do not insist that they leave their denominations and join us.
To put it simply, do you believe that the LC (or whatever you call yourselves) is a denomination? If not, why not?
09-07-2016 03:31 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You do not have the full story. We are all from denominations, we have family in denominations. We do not insist that they leave their denominations and join us. We happily meet and pray and read the Bible with our denominational family members and friends. We regularly have members of denominations join us for a meal, bible study and prayer. Sometimes Catholics, sometimes people of other faiths too such as Buddhists and Hindus. Before I left the denominations I happily met with the LC and they with me, for a number of years. No one questioned or criticized me. No one forbade me to meet with denominations. What we don't do, is build up denominationalism, that is the difference between us and denominations.
Good to hear.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Regarding lack of respect, you will find it is the other way around.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
After much misunderstanding, a 6 year was study done by the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and with Fuller Theological Seminary and concluded "we were wrong".
When I first searched up the LC, I came across the gotquestions website which talked about them and referred to that study.

Edit: http://www.gotquestions.org/Witness-...al-church.html

Do not misinterpret me. I do not believe the LC to be a cult, merely a denomination - and that is my point. I do believe that most members are truly saved and that you are all my brothers and sisters. It is the finer points on doctrine and practice (especially in regards to other believers) which bothers me. But yes, you do believe the basics: Christ's divinity, life, death and resurrection, all for our sins. And that is what truly matters.

I looked up the word "denomination" in the Oxford English Dictionary online today. The only reason the LC cannot be classified as a denomination according to them, is the fact that you do not have an official name. That's the only reason. Otherwise you fit it very neatly.

Quote:
5. A collection of individuals classed together under the same name; now almost always spec. a religious sect or body having a common faith and organization, and designated by a distinctive name.
Common faith and organization... think about that.

Edit: It seems you need to either have a subscription with the OED, or (like me) you can access it if you are at some institution like a university. If you can't access it, I won't mind sending screenshots of the webpage.
09-07-2016 02:40 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
This is what we (especially myself) are trying to tell you. You can't have it both ways. You are a denomination as well, whether you like it or not.

Like I said, either a select few interpret scripture, or individuals do. If the former you will have one church, like the Catholic Church. And we will ask: "Who interprets scripture?". If the latter, then - and the evidence is obvious - people will disagree on certain points and thus it is only natural for denominations to form. Then obviously each one (and the LC denomination fits) will believe all the others to be wrong. The problem is that most denominations are aware of the differences and they still respect and join in hands and prayer with other denominations whereas the LC denomination does neither.

THIS is the crux of the whole matter.

Funny how you ignore my replies.
You do not have the full story. We are all from denominations, we have family in denominations. We do not insist that they leave their denominations and join us. We happily meet and pray and read the Bible with our denominational family members and friends. We regularly have members of denominations join us for a meal, bible study and prayer. Sometimes Catholics, sometimes people of other faiths too such as Buddhists and Hindus. Before I left the denominations I happily met with the LC and they with me, for a number of years. No one questioned or criticized me. No one forbade me to meet with denominations. What we don't do, is build up denominationalism, that is the difference between us and denominations.

Regarding lack of respect, you will find it is the other way around. The LC is often more accepting of denominations than denominations are of it. They rejected the LC when they came to America. They published books saying they were a cult. They assumed many things and lies were spread about them. This had severe consequences for it in Asia which faced persecution. The arguments against them were largely due to cultural bias, and had little basis in reality.

After much misunderstanding, a 6 year was study done by the Christian Research Institute (CRI) and with Fuller Theological Seminary and concluded "we were wrong".

I would encourage you to download and read this:
http://www.equip.org/christian-resea...-were-wrong-2/

For Christians in America, being labeled a cult member may
only result in humiliation; for Christians in Asia, it can
result in persecution to an extent we never have to worry
about here.


Lee often commended other Christian leaders and groups for their
teaching, evangelism, and good works,2 and nothing he
taught would preclude LC members from making common
cause with other Christians in areas unrelated to the
furtherance of denominationalism



Those labeling them a cult were heavily biased and did not properly research the LSM:

A number of mostly American cult theology experts immediately and completely rejected our re-assessment of the orthodoxy of LSM and associates, using as their basis the work done in the 1970s and 1980s which we believed our more recent re-evaluation had exposed as inadequate and in error (even our own previous work). Most of these experts had done no original research at any time on the teachings and practices of LSM and associates. None had conducted contemporary comprehensive re-evaluation and research. This rejection was summarized in an “Open Letter” (2007) that repeated the early criticisms and failed to produce any new criticisms as well as failed to present any new research or evaluation. Many well respected Christian leaders were persuaded to sign in support of this “Open Letter,” although the vast majority of signers had never researched or evaluated the LSM and associates teachings for themselves.


The study concluded:

I]Finally, the local churches are an authentic expression of
New Testament Christianity. Moreover, as a group forged in the
cauldron of persecution, it has much to offer Western Christianity[/I]


Here is a site of testimonies by educated people from denominations that confirms the genuineness of the local churches:

http://an-open-letter.org/testimonies/


It is the conclusion of Fuller Theological Seminary that the teachings and practices of the local churches and its members represent the genuine, historical, biblical Christian faith in every essential aspect.

My conclusion is simple and straightforward–LSM is not guilty of denying any essential Christian truth that is a basic part of historical orthodoxy. While I have minor reservations about some of LSM’s ecclesiological conclusions I do not think these rise to the level of false teaching. For me these differences provide a basis for ongoing dialogue in the love of Christ.

I have come to see that these brothers deeply love the church. Their practices make some American Christians uncomfortable. I believe American Christians, in general, should be more uncomfortable with their easy-going, deeply individualistic relationship with the body of Christ. Given the need for genuine contextualization there is still work to be done but I am confident that LSM is not denying anything essential to following Jesus Christ in faith, hope and love.



You can read about the effects of calling the local churches a cult here, particularly in China where people were arrested and executed:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Local_..._controversies
In the summer of 1976 Peter Gillquist, the presiding NCAO apostle, became the head of the new books division at Thomas Nelson Publishers (Nelson), a respected Bible publisher. The first book Gillquist commissioned was The Mindbenders by Jack Sparks.[31] Sparks was listed as the putative author but the chapter on the local churches was written by Braun, who, although he had never met with the local churches, blamed Watchman Nee and Witness Lee for his negative experience with Gene Edwards.[32][33][34][35] Meanwhile, SCP was independently developing Wallerstedt’s manuscript into a book titled The God-Men.[36] First editions of both The Mindbenders and The God-Men were published in 1977.[37][38]

Responding to the strong demand for countercult publications after the Jonestown tragedy of November 1978, second editions of both books were published.[39][40] Before and after each edition of either book was published, members of the local churches wrote letters of protest to the authors and publishers and attempts were made to contact them both personally and by phone. Nelson alone received approximately three hundred responses.[41] InterVarsity Press, the publisher of the second edition of The God-Men, received a response including over five hundred pages of supporting documentation refuting the book’s charges.[42]

The Mindbenders and The God-Men accused the local churches not just of theological error but of sociological deviance, including practicing authoritarianism, thought reform, isolation of members, deceptive recruiting, use of fear and humiliation to control members, and financial malfeasance.[43][44] Following publication, members of the local churches became objects of harassment, physical assault, and attempted deprogrammings. In addition, members were dismissed from jobs and family relationships were damaged.[45] In China the Three-Self Patriotic Movement commissioned two men to write a book to provide justification for a nationwide persecution against the local churches.[46][47][48] The authors relied on The God-Men and its accusations in their writing.[49][50] Over two thousand local church members were arrested, many were given extended sentences, and some were even executed.[51]

Fuller Theological Seminary's research found nothing really wrong with Witness Lee or the local churches:

In the first decade of the 21st century, two different groups initiated multi-year studies of the local churches, such as J. Gordon Melton called for in 1985. One was undertaken by a panel of faculty members from Fuller Theological Seminary, including President Richard J. Mouw, Dean of Theology Howard Loewen, and Professor of Systematic Theology Veli-Matti Kärkkäinen; the other was by Christian Research Institute, headed by Hank Hanegraaff, along with Answers in Action, headed by Gretchen Passantino. The Fuller panel stated:

It is the conclusion of Fuller Theological Seminary that the teachings and practices of the local churches and its members represent the genuine, historical, biblical Christian faith in every essential aspect.[82]
The Fuller panel further wrote that “the teachings of Witness Lee have been grossly misrepresented and therefore most frequently misunderstood in the general Christian community, especially among those who classify themselves as evangelicals.”[83] Christianity Today endorsed the Fuller panel’s findings in an editorial in its March 2006 issue.[84]
09-07-2016 01:14 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
There is no middle ground, no half way between denominating and not, there is no fence upon which you can comfortably sit.
This is what we (especially myself) are trying to tell you. You can't have it both ways. You are a denomination as well, whether you like it or not.

Like I said, either a select few interpret scripture, or individuals do. If the former you will have one church, like the Catholic Church. And we will ask: "Who interprets scripture?". If the latter, then - and the evidence is obvious - people will disagree on certain points and thus it is only natural for denominations to form. Then obviously each one (and the LC denomination fits) will believe all the others to be wrong. The problem is that most denominations are aware of the differences and they still respect and join in hands and prayer with other denominations whereas the LC denomination does neither.

THIS is the crux of the whole matter.

Funny how you ignore my replies.
09-06-2016 09:48 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

The truth about your statement "The Bible doesn't say we can't denominate." The Bible is the truth, so I gave you truth, because I gave you the verses about denominating.

The intention of my post should have been clear from the part of your post which I quoted, apologies if not.

I provided a page under the title of denominating, that gives 15 or 16 bible verses about denominating.

If you believe that denominations are the right way, then I encourage you to do your best to keep denominating. If not ,then do your best to live the nondenominational life. There is no middle ground, no half way between denominating and not, there is no fence upon which you can comfortably sit.

If you stand in a denomination, stand absolutely. If you stand as a free group, stand absolutely. If you stand on the ground of the church, stand absolutely. Otherwise, you are in a marsh. If you give up the denominations, yet you are not absolute for the proper ground of the church, you are in a marsh. You may also be in the local church life and not be absolute. That is a marsh. Even the Lord cannot heal a marsh. A marsh is a neutral, halfway place, full of compromise.
The Visions of Ezekiel, by Witness Lee
09-06-2016 06:28 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If you want the truth
The truth about what, the proper church life? The Normal Christian Church? Or the Central Lane of the Divine Economy?

It might behoove us to mention that in Second Temple-era Israel there already existed a wide narrative on the ground among the populace, referencing scripture, about God's coming Messiah, or Christ. This pre-existant narrative is referenced repeatedly in the gospels. The main thrust of the New Testament was to show that Jesus the Nazarene was God's promised Christ. The "recovery of truth", so-called, of people like Nee and Lee, was instead a distraction and diversion, a snare and stumbling. The proper church, so-called, saved no one; but rather became a stronghold of every unclean thing, and it was papered over like the whitewashed tombs, full of dead men's bones (fallen human custom, traditions, and culture). Its promulgators continually attempt to get one not to look away to Jesus, but to look away from Jesus, and to stare instead at the faults of the brothers and sisters in faith. This distracts one from the obvious fact that as sinners, they're also caught by the same cobwebs and vapours they so eagerly and assiduously condemn. Just like the leaves of Adam and Eve, the new teachings cover nothing, but rather expose the separation and fall of humanity away from God's grace.

Luther did, arguably, recover truth, even necessary truth. As did others, like Wesley, later and independently, for the British (though, of course Puritans and others pre-dated him). What was their truth? To re-establish what the NT clearly laid out - that Jesus was God's Lord and Christ, and salvation was to be found in believing into his name. Salvation was not found in submission to church magistrates, or in keeping the feasts and holy days.

The recovery of the supposedly proper church by Nee did nothing to add to this. He merely borrowed Brethren teachings, and used this as a lever to separate the Chinese from the Western imperialists. Then, once established, he began to impose native Chinese culture; he was blind to his own biases. For example, he felt there must be one Big Boss, otherwise everything might dissolve into chaos. This is fallen human culture taking the letter of Paul ("God gave apostles, evangelists, prophets") and suborning both the letter and spirit of Jesus, to take the least place, for those who desire to be great. Again and again, Jesus remonstrated with His disciples not to strive for earthly primacy. But in Nee's culture it was imperative. Guess who won - culture won.

In the local church of Lee, we elevated men, were respecters of persons, despised the poor, refused to give to those who could not repay us in this age, reserved the chief seats at the feasts for dignitaries and program zealots, rejected love as "honey" and "natural affection", thought that weird, reflexive behavior was spiritual (greeting each other with, "amen, amen"), and judged "poor Christianity" continually, even as we piously claimed the mantle of Luther, Wesley et al. Our continual judgments of "denominations" made us like the man praying at the temple, despising his neighbor. Note that the despiser actually was correct in his judgments: the other one was, indeed a drunk and a liar, a pathetic noob. But instead of humbling himself and repenting, the man poured out judgment and self-righteousness: "I'm not like that sinner over there". No indeed, you're worse; you're a sinner who's lacking mercy. If you, a sinner, show no mercy you will be given none for your own sins. With what you judge others, you yourself are guilty as well.

And I haven't even gotten to the teachings! The scriptural text was mauled by Lee. As I said, the notion of God's Christ was already on the ground, when Jesus began to move about in Galilee and beyond. For example, the crowds asked John the Baptist, "Are you the Christ?" Clearly eschatological expectation was high. Herod the Idumean (Edomite) sat on the throne, as hated and feared as any man ever was by a captive populace. Where was the Son of David?

When Peter said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God", he was drawing on an extant knowledge base and belief set. The NT was in continual reference to what was held as truth, "that which was written might be fulfilled", and hoped for in soon reality, on the ground. How else could the disciples remember, "Zeal of Thy house has eaten Me up" if they didn't already know it? They knew the prophetic utterance. Now, they realized, it was concerning Jesus. The Kingdom of God was indeed near! Because God's promised King was here.

Instead, in Nee and then Lee's oriental-flavored sheep fold, we got "God's economy", and other distractions. To him, the narrative was all about the NT believer enjoying grace, participating in the economy of God, and standing in the proper church. No, sorry; it's about Jesus. It always was, always will be. If the believer doesn't see Jesus and His relation with the Father, how can the believer enjoy "mystical union" with the Son, God's Christ? Only the Spirit can reveal the Son. Lee's logic failed.

And, then through the Son, to see the Father of Lights? No, we got a "processed God" smoothie, bland and generic. "Christ" was whatever Nee or Lee needed at any moment for perceived exigencies. Early Nee taught localism and autonomy, but later Nee taught consolidation and control. Why? Because the needs on the ground were changing, the "truth" changed along with it.

The "truth about the church" is nothing but a distraction and a stumbling. The denominations are arguably cobwebs and vapours, but this anti-denominationism is worse, it draws in those who seek Christ, and entangle their minds with thoughts of judgment and condemnation. "We're not like the denominations over there". No indeed, you're even further away from Christ, being more "of Nee and Lee" than denominations are of Luther or Wesley, or Corinthians were of Apollos or Cephas.

(Please understand that I'm not speaking of Evangelical specifically, nor his/her experience(s), but reference his/her arguments as I perceive them, and share experience and observation in the local church of Lee. And yes I'm making generalizations, just as Lee did when he said, "Most Christians don't know 'x'....". But my generalizations here are admittedly provisional and open to correction.)
09-06-2016 04:29 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Christians are famous for using their pet doctrines to condemn others. The nastier the "pet," the better it was. Some pf these pets are like pit bulls.

It tnen provides them with great excuse for not loving one another. The source for this is not truth, but pride.

There was a Christian out my way, who took serious the Lord's command to pray in his closet. He was thus able to visit every church around and use his favorite pet verse in order to condemn them. Would you like to meet my "pit bull?"

Since this was our Lord's direct command to the disciples, i do believe he had far more justification than any "one city one church" preacher.

“Honesty is the cruelest game of all, because not only can you hurt someone -- and hurt them to the bone -- you can feel self-righteous about it at the same time.” Dave Van Ronk

This is why Paul charges us to "speak truth in love".
09-06-2016 01:59 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If you want the truth, please read and pray over these verses, so that God's truth can grow in you:

https://www.openbible.info/topics/denominations
Christians are famous for using their pet doctrines to condemn others. The nastier the "pet," the better it was. Some pf these pets are like pit bulls.

It tnen provides them with great excuse for not loving one another. The source for this is not truth, but pride.

There was a Christian out my way, who took serious the Lord's command to pray in his closet. He was thus able to visit every church around and use his favorite pet verse in order to condemn them. Would you like to meet my "pit bull?"

Since this was our Lord's direct command to the disciples, i do believe he had far more justification than any "one city one church" preacher.
09-05-2016 11:14 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
So what? You've created a false dilemma. The Bible doesn't say we can't denominate.
If you want the truth, please read and pray over these verses, so that God's truth can grow in you:

https://www.openbible.info/topics/denominations
09-05-2016 11:11 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
So what? You've created a false dilemma. The Bible doesn't say we can't denominate.

And you do classify yourselves. You make it clear that you are followers of the teachings of Nee and Lee.

The fact is you are worse than a denomination. You have all the bad characteristics of the most divisive ones while pretending not to be one. So you are a denomination in spirit while not even admitting it.


Evangelical, why do so many of your posts reek with "we are so much better than everyone else." Your conceit is palpable.
If I have ever said we or I am better than anyone else, please quote me? Then you presume to scold me for it.

If you can't quote me, I will take your silence as admission of your false accusation.
09-05-2016 11:54 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
So you are a denomination in spirit while not even admitting it.
EXACTLY what I've been trying to say.
09-05-2016 10:07 AM
Cal
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
We are not a denomination because we do not "denominate" (that is, classify) ourselves.
So what? You've created a false dilemma. The Bible doesn't say we can't denominate.

And you do classify yourselves. You make it clear that you are followers of the teachings of Nee and Lee.

The fact is you are worse than a denomination. You have all the bad characteristics of the most divisive ones while pretending not to be one. So you are a denomination in spirit while not even admitting it.


Evangelical, why do so many of your posts reek with "we are so much better than everyone else." Your conceit is palpable.
09-05-2016 08:00 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

We can either have one of two things:
One person (or a select group) interpreting scripture, like the Catholic Church and cults, or individuals interpret scripture.

Which one does the LC denomination subscribe to? If the former, then you are a borderline cult and the natural question will be: "Who interprets scripture?". If the latter, then denominations make sense as people will disagree.
09-05-2016 07:56 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
We are not a denomination because we do not "denominate" (that is, classify) ourselves. We just call ourselves Christian.
By making an "us vs them" distinction you are, by doing so, making a denomination.

If you do not see the hypocrisy in this then nothing can convince you.
09-05-2016 06:28 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
You have no idea how funny ... Or should I say sad ... That this sounds to me.

You have no idea what Lee and his Blendeds have done to btothers they can't "tolerate."

But, of course, you dare not consider those facts.

2 Chronicles 15:7 "But you, be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work."

1 Cor 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord.

Matt 5:12 "Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
09-05-2016 05:04 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
We are not a denomination because we do not "denominate" (that is, classify) ourselves. We just call ourselves Christian.

In your last point it said:

""We are all from different denominations. For this weekend we put them aside and we worship and grow together. When we go home we can go to our denominations again".

It's kind of funny because a weekend it seems is all they can tolerate of each other.
You have no idea how funny ... Or should I say sad ... That this sounds to me.

You have no idea what Lee and his Blendeds have done to brothers they can't "tolerate."

But, of course, you dare not consider those facts.
09-05-2016 03:35 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
I can't help but notice you ignoring all of my points except the one on division. No answers on them? No opinions? No advice on the books they read? Nothing? Interesting...
We are not a denomination because we do not "denominate" (that is, classify) ourselves. We just call ourselves Christian.

In your last point it said:

""We are all from different denominations. For this weekend we put them aside and we worship and grow together. When we go home we can go to our denominations again".

It's kind of funny because a weekend it seems is all they can tolerate of each other.

But we are made up of people from all sorts of denominations (originally), and can meet week to week as "Christians".

So we don't have to have weekend unity, we can have regular ongoing unity.

Even if we meet with these denominations for a weekend, they would not come with us and join us week to week. So they are the divisive ones, not us.

The denominations can too, if they drop the denomination thing, but as you can see from their words, they can't wait to "go home to our denominations again".

The thing is, Christ did not build the rooms in the halls of Christianity. We did. They actually do not exist, only in the minds of those who think that division is normal.
09-05-2016 03:27 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Why can't the local church be in unity every Sunday? Some of them are in meeting hall A, some in meeting hall B. Division! Some go to Chinese-speaking meeting, some to English-speaking. Why can't they remain in fellowship?

You use one ruler to measure yourself, and another ruler to measure others.
Unlike the denominations, we do not call ourselves the "meeting hall A" and the "meeting hall B Christians" like the denominations. This means we identify ourselves as all being the same. It is not about which location we meet in, but how we identify ourselves. Those in meeting hall B, will travel and meet those in meeting hall A, it switches around, people visit various other meeting homes. We come together as a whole group regularly and do not remain independent.

We use the same ruler. We measure ourselves by this ruler of just calling ourselves Christians and we measure others by the same. Why the denominations don't define themselves as just Christians and not baptist Christian, Lutheran Christian, etc.?


Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I'd argue that your division is the most divided of all, the "everyone is blind but me" division. Who can have fellowship with your group.

Yes, Christianity is divided. Some is geographical, and practical, just like Meeting Hall A, and the College-age training meeting. Do you really expect every single Christian to be in one room on Sunday morning at 10 AM to hear one person speak one message?
I agree it is not practical to have "one speaking person a message", so we don't practice that. We practice that every member can function by speaking. So our approach is more practical, more like the New Testament church.

Anyone can have fellowship with us. The sign on the front says "all welcome".

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Some Christian disunity is deliberate, small-minded and unfortunate, just like in the local church where someone goes to another local church where they like the eldership better. They don't even "migrate", just drive past one meeting hall, to another. Everybody has division. Only God is undivided. We aren't there, yet.
Much of Christian disunity started 500 or so years ago. It started in your country didn't it? Still remains today right? What happened to the Christian concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation? Clearly your approach to unity does not work and is far more impractical than Lee/Nees, given the entrenched organizational structures. Are the Catholics going to open their cathedrals to the Lutherans and say "please come and celebrate your communion on our altar". Are they doing that? They will never do that.
Will the Catholics allow a Lutheran to conduct a homosexual blessing service? I doubt it.

I often see two or more large denominational buildings on the same street. There capacity each is 200, yet the regular attendance is more like 50 every Sunday. How it is practical to operate two large buildings next to each other when the attendance is so low? More practical and efficient that they both move into one building.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
But the local church of Nee and Lee solution to division is like the woman who swallowed the fly. Yes there was indeed a fly down there. But her solution was eventually to swallow a spider, cat, dog, and horse... "You strain the gnat and swallow the camel".

The camel you swallow is condemnation of everyone else for being wrong, and pleading for mercy for your defects which (you hope) are so small and few. I don't think God is impressed. I surely am not.
here is your backward logic:
It is right to condemn a group which condemns the division and stands in unity.
It is wrong to condemn denominations which are a division. Groups which stand apart from the division are seen as divisive for doing so.

But I think from what I know of God, God stands with those who are against disunity, just as Christ stood against his disciples being divided, we stand against Christianity being divided.
09-04-2016 12:28 PM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Yet went back straight to their divisions. What is the purpose for the divisions? There is no need for them.
I can't help but notice you ignoring all of my points except the one on division. No answers on them? No opinions? No advice on the books they read? Nothing? Interesting...

Do you still not get it? All the denominations are willing to meet except the LC denomination. Why is that?

Stop having this inside perspective of "Oh, we are united while they are divided". You are part of the division. The LC's mere existence means there is a division in Christiantiy, or don't you realise that? You are just as much a denomination as any other. If there were only one denomination, let's say the Methodists, and the LC came along... then don't you think the LC are, by establishing themselves, creating division? The same applies when there are a hundred denominations and the LC came along.

I noticed you think the Catholics as being rather wrong (they most likely are) but don't you see how akin you are to the Catholic church? The Catholic church has a number of churches around the globe, each one almost identical in practise and belief, while they look on the poor, divided Protestants. Sound familiar? The LC denomination is the same: We are correct, look at those poor, divided denominations.

You are a PART of the denominations. You are just one out of hundreds.

The best thing any of us can do in regards to the LC denomination is to drill it into their heads that they are just like all the other denominations. They are just another part of the division. Or do you think yourself special?

By using "denomination" we establish two facts: that the LC does believe in the foundation of Christianity (Jesus' divinity, death and resurrection), making them true believers (though with some big issues), and secondly, that they are just another group with just another set of beliefs. By using this word we can remain respectful of them as fellow Christians while also making clear to them that they are not above or beyond any other denomination. This term minimizes them. It takes away their "Us against Them" mentality.

Look at the LC church from the outside. Most of us on this forum used to be in it and since we left it we have got a good insider and outsider view. See your denomination from, let's say, a Baptist's eyes:

The Baptist went to a church where he did Baptist things. Later on as he drives through the town he sees a number of different denominations. He disagrees with them, but he still loves them and he attends inter-denominational events. Then he passes by the LC denomination. These people (in his eyes) are a weird bunch. They are not quite like any normal denomination. They are born-again, that's true. But they view themselves as special and they, unlike most other denominations, are strictly against socializing with other denominations - they are extremely isolated. They never attend events with the Baptists.

Who is pushing division here?

This is how I started to doubt the LC. When I invited a friend from Zimbabwe to attend a meeting, I could see everything through his eyes. I saw him looking at the other people very suspiciously. When they sang the songs and talked about the god-man, he didn't sing or talk. He looked very agitated. I suddenly viewed everything through fresh eyes... through the eyes of an outsider. It was then that I realised how... peculiar... everything is.

Today I realised another fact. I used to be in South Africa's most "traditional" denomination, the NG Church (Nederduits-gereformeerd). You know those churches with a piano, a long sermon, and only a select number of slow songs. A great place actually, no one is pushing an agenda. No weird trainings like the LC and no focus on money like some other churches.

But as I went to university, I started viewing myself as "non-denominational". Not anti-denominational, just non. I didn't know where to fit in. At this moment I'm still looking for the right one. Like C. S. Lewis put it, I am currently in the Hall of Christianity. A number of Christians already found their rooms, I have not yet.

The absence of a church made it easier for me to join the LC completely. If I were a steadfast Methodist, I would not have joined so easily.

P. S. For any Catholics here, I am not saying that all of you have this condescending view (probably few do). I'm simply making a point.
09-04-2016 05:51 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Yet went back straight to their divisions. What is the purpose for the divisions? There is no need for them. If they can be in a unity for a camp, they can't be in unity every Sunday? Where is the sense in that? .
Why can't the local church be in unity every Sunday? Some of them are in meeting hall A, some in meeting hall B. Division! Some go to Chinese-speaking meeting, some to English-speaking. Why can't they remain in fellowship?

You use one ruler to measure yourself, and another ruler to measure others.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Yet This is why I believe such a unity is not a unity at all. It is a false unity. What you experienced was true unity, but the unity was not genuine and sincere. Because everyone went back to being divided again.

"unity in division" is just illogical and plain wrong according to the Bible. It is like saying a divorced couple which comes together occasionally for their child's birthday party is a genuine unity. But these occasional signs of friendship and good will, do not change the fact that they remain divorced.

I believe many denominations are separated by something as thin as a hair. I know of one long running dispute between the Lutheran church and another major denomination on the nature of the bread and wine. Many Lutherans, for example, will not take bread and wine in a different church, even if it is for special family occasions. .
I'd argue that your division is the most divided of all, the "everyone is blind but me" division. Who can have fellowship with your group.

Yes, Christianity is divided. Some is geographical, and practical, just like Meeting Hall A, and the College-age training meeting. Do you really expect every single Christian to be in one room on Sunday morning at 10 AM to hear one person speak one message? Some Christian disunity is deliberate, small-minded and unfortunate, just like in the local church where someone goes to another local church where they like the eldership better. They don't even "migrate", just drive past one meeting hall, to another. Everybody has division. Only God is undivided. We aren't there, yet.

But the local church of Nee and Lee solution to division is like the woman who swallowed the fly. Yes there was indeed a fly down there. But her solution was eventually to swallow a spider, cat, dog, and horse... "You strain the gnat and swallow the camel".

The camel you swallow is condemnation of everyone else for being wrong, and pleading for mercy for your defects which (you hope) are so small and few. I don't think God is impressed. I surely am not.
09-03-2016 10:23 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

I'm sorry if I offended your feelings when I said delusional. I said that not because of the denominations being deluded, but because you made it sound the LC is some sort of death cult.

It is great you experienced some unity on the interdenominational or crossdenominational camp. I have also experienced such camps when I was younger. I would encourage you to follow the Lord as best you can, into a denomination, or out of a denomination, it does not matter, all that matters is you follow the Lord. It is more important that we follow the Lord in or out, than to blindly follow any denomination without the Lord.

People left their divisions at home, and came together in unity. But if the unity they and you experienced is so great, as you say, why remain divided? Why does it not continue Sunday to Sunday? Why are there two or three different churches on the same street that do not speak with each other unless they have one of these occasional organized church camps?

Yet went back straight to their divisions. What is the purpose for the divisions? There is no need for them. If they can be in a unity for a camp, they can't be in unity every Sunday? Where is the sense in that?

This is why I believe such a unity is not a unity at all. It is a false unity. What you experienced was true unity, but the unity was not genuine and sincere. Because everyone went back to being divided again.

"unity in division" is just illogical and plain wrong according to the Bible. It is like saying a divorced couple which comes together occasionally for their child's birthday party is a genuine unity. But these occasional signs of friendship and good will, do not change the fact that they remain divorced.

I believe many denominations are separated by something as thin as a hair. I know of one long running dispute between the Lutheran church and another major denomination on the nature of the bread and wine. Many Lutherans, for example, will not take bread and wine in a different church, even if it is for special family occasions.

Denominations will split themselves over such minor things, including the proper method of baptism. They forget that it is the fact they are all baptized in the same name of the one Christ, that is the important thing, not the method of baptism or whether you believe the bread and wine is a symbol or more than a symbol.

I found many of those in denominations were too blind to see the things which divided them are trivial and they had more in common than not.
That is probably why those in your church camp went back to their own denominations and did not remain in unity.

If I was you I would ask them, "since our time in unity was so great in the camp, why cannot we meet the same way every Sunday?".
Then when they tell you, it is for this small reason or that small reason, or because it is too hard, or too inconvenient, you might get the real sense of what division is all about. And realize, what you think is "unity in division", is not unity at all. Their ways and methods are too entrenched, their pastors or priests would lose their jobs, their organizations would lose money, there is too much bad blood and negative history between them.

There is also such a thing as a false unity. Remember Satan tries to bring unity as well, unity against God. That is, if all of the churches start to join the Roman Catholic church and come under the Pope, beware, that may be a genuine unity, but may not be of God.
09-03-2016 08:13 AM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
They what else?, stole your money, raped you, left you for dead?
No need to be sarcastic. The absence of more evil does not justify the evil that exists.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
isolated from family for 2 weeks? - are you serious.. ever been on Summer camp? ever traveled overseas for work? ever been a Boy Scout?
You miss my point. Isolating yourself from people whom you love while having your means to contact them restricted is disturbing. In my post I neither endorsed nor denounced it. It is my testimony. I stated the way it seemed, or did you not read my next sentence?:

Quote:
I suppose that things like this can be good, but it sounded really disturbing.
It can be good, I agree. My point is that this is precisely different from other bible camps, or did you not read what I said?:

Quote:
It did not sound at all like other Bible camps to which I've been invited which one can hear is more open and connected.
Even in this they are not like other churches. Everything the LC denomination does is weird to say the least.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Seriously dude, stop being delusional.
Thanks for summing up the reason why I left. People like you in the LC denomination who believe that those not in their denomination is somehow deluded.

Then again, we think you are. I get that. What bothered me is this perception that the LC church is somehow special and not driven by "division" like the "denominations". I (and I believe most Christians) do not view people in other denominations as such. I view it as good people who disagree on minor (or major) things. So yeah, Catholics might be misguided but that doesn't mean that their churches are not blessed while my church is. That God has forsaken their community and He only cares for mine. I can pray for them, but (if they believe what I state below) they are still my brothers and sisters and I will fight for them. And die with them.

I will attend events which are held for all denominations. I haven't met a church that won't. Does the LC denomination ever join with other denominations?

Slightly off topic but not quite, this year I went with a best friend to a place called Eksderde where we stayed for a few days (In Afrikaans "Ek is derde" means "I am third" - "Jesus first, spouse second, me third"). Everyone slept on mattresses and we would attend sermons the whole day long for the entire weekend, with the time between sermons spent with other believers. It was fantastic. The worship, the messages, the brothership. All of it was truly blessed with a lot of people who thought they were Christians giving their hearts to Christ truly for the first time. It was beautiful how at first the one preacher said something along the line of: "We are all from different denominations. For this weekend we put them aside and we worship and grow together. When we go home we can go to our denominations again".

This paradox is what non-believers and the LC denomination miss: We are united in our division.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Many are well meaning people with a heart for Jesus, you'd be safer there than in your local shopping mall. Or rather, safer than a choir boy in a Catholic church.
I agree. That's why I don't make the same mistake that the LC denomination is making. I believe that any one, no matter in which church (even the Catholic Church) is saved if he believes that Jesus Christ was God himself (yet His perfect son) who came to earth, took our sins upon himself, died and rose again. The majority of members in the LC denomination are saved. I grant you that. That does not mean that there are not serious problems within it, just like there may be problems in the Catholic church.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Some people here are frauds and making it out to be some death cult.
Like who?

Tell me, what books beside Witness Lee do the "elders" or whatever they are called read? I'm honestly not asking a rhetorical question here. I really want to know.

Edit: Where I said: "It can be good, I agree. My point is that this is precisely different from other bible camps, or did you not read what I said?: "

I meant that as a reply to what you said (at the moment it looks like I replied to myself. I meant it as an answer to this quote:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
ever been on Summer camp? ever traveled overseas for work? ever been a Boy Scout?
09-03-2016 08:07 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
You now appeal to convention and custom, the very things the LSM LC bases it's existence on the condemnation thereof.
Oh the irony!
09-03-2016 06:20 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Ask any college which has dress codes, or the military or police why they have dress codes. I think there's something about clothing. Why do brides wear wedding dresses? Why wear black at a funeral?
You now appeal to convention and custom, the very things the LSM LC bases it's existence on the condemnation thereof.
09-03-2016 05:51 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Conformity and uniformity was stressed every which way. Almost always with some spiritual gloss, but the message was clear. You'd have to be culturally tone-deaf not to get it.

Now, granted, some are tone-deaf, and don't get it, and go along fine in the LC. But the vast majority get it clearly. Don't stand out in any way. Be a small potato. Disappear into the faceless proletariat.
Well said -- "always with some spiritual gloss."

I have a long time friend and elder in the LC's, who went out to Anaheim for some fellowship with Witness Lee. His dear wife happened to pack his clothes, and for one day he was "assigned" to wear a nice, but colorful, plaid shirt. (Kind of like Norm Abram from TOH and NYW)

Witness Lee took one look at him and had a fit. Apparently he got "disrespected." Though he knew him personally, WL went to Titus Chu (mid-level-management) instead and chewed him out so that my friend would "get it" worse, and the entire GLA would learn their lessons well.
09-03-2016 05:11 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The meaning is spiritual not physical. I think he means their nature, not their practical appearance. This is from the Rev 1:20 commentary:
"They should be of the heavenly nature and should be in a heavenly position like stars."

He's saying that all of those churches had problems because they didn't hold onto Christ, they didn't have His heavenly nature and position.

The key thing is that they all shine the same light which is Christ.

Nowhere anywhere in any footnote of the Bible or his books does he say everyone has to dress the same.
Conformity and uniformity was stressed every which way. Almost always with some spiritual gloss, but the message was clear. You'd have to be culturally tone-deaf not to get it.

Now, granted, some are tone-deaf, and don't get it, and go along fine in the LC. But the vast majority get it clearly. Don't stand out in any way. Be a small potato. Disappear into the faceless proletariat.
09-03-2016 05:04 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Lee flatly contradicted himself elsewhere, in his RecV footnotes. All churches were to be exactly identical, quote-unquote. No differences whatsoever.

That was his idea of why the seven Asian churches in Revs 2 & 3 weren't blessed by God. See e.g. his footnote in Rev 1:20 - he prescribed "not having any individual distinctiveness". Oh, but you may say, That's organizational, not related to persons. But we all know how it works in the LC of Lee. Everybody, at some point, is expected to get it. Those who don't get it, and remain distinct, are allowed to remain, as long as they are positive. But the clear understanding is conformity and uniformity. Again and again this theme is pushed. Every local church was a "Witness Lee duplication center". We were to be "Witness Lee tape recorders". Etc ad nauseum. So don't dismiss it as so benign. It isn't.
The meaning is spiritual not physical. I think he means their nature, not their practical appearance. This is from the Rev 1:20 commentary:
"They should be of the heavenly nature and should be in a heavenly position like stars."

He's saying that all of those churches had problems because they didn't hold onto Christ, they didn't have His heavenly nature and position.

The key thing is that they all shine the same light which is Christ.

Nowhere anywhere in any footnote of the Bible or his books does he say everyone has to dress the same.
09-03-2016 04:47 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah6v8 View Post
How does having a dress code promote learning, discipline and discourage distractions and promote the atmosphere of training?
Ask any college which has dress codes, or the military or police why they have dress codes. I think there's something about clothing. Why do brides wear wedding dresses? Why wear black at a funeral?
09-03-2016 04:44 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
This is a quote from Lee's
"THE LIFE AND WAY FOR THE PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH LIFE"

Furthermore, do not try to unify the work. Do not say, "We are in America, so we should be unified. Let us have a conference to unify the situation." This is wrong. We strongly insist on having the unity, but we are altogether against unification and uniformity. I have the full assurance that in the early days the churches in Judea were quite different from the churches in the Gentile world. The apostles did not try to unify the churches or make them uniform.
Lee flatly contradicted himself elsewhere, in his RecV footnotes. All churches were to be exactly identical, quote-unquote. No differences whatsoever.

That was his idea of why the seven Asian churches in Revs 2 & 3 weren't blessed by God. See e.g. his footnote in Rev 1:20 - he prescribed "not having any individual distinctiveness". Oh, but you may say, That's organizational, not related to persons. But we all know how it works in the LC of Lee. Everybody, at some point, is expected to get it. Those who don't get it, and remain distinct, are allowed to remain, as long as they are positive. But the clear understanding is conformity and uniformity. Again and again this theme is pushed. Every local church was a "Witness Lee duplication center". We were to be "Witness Lee tape recorders". Etc ad nauseum. So don't dismiss it as so benign. It isn't.
09-03-2016 03:28 AM
micah6v8
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Because it's a training. You go there to be trained. It is to promote learning, discipline and discourage distractions and promote the atmosphere of training.
How does having a dress code promote learning, discipline and discourage distractions and promote the atmosphere of training?
09-03-2016 01:17 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah6v8 View Post
So what is the rationale for the FTT having a dress code?
Because it's a training. You go there to be trained. It is to promote learning, discipline and discourage distractions and promote the atmosphere of training.
09-03-2016 12:29 AM
micah6v8
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
So? The training is a kind of college campus. Most college campuses have codes and regulations, FTT is no exception.

Many other Christian colleges and campuses have strict codes, there is a list here:

https://collegetimes.co/strict-college-campuses/

There are no such regulations for the church meetings. Not for mine anyway.
So what is the rationale for the FTT having a dress code?
09-03-2016 12:06 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah6v8 View Post
Seems to be a dress code for Full Time Training
http://www.fttamidage.org/traininginfo.htm
So? The training is a kind of college campus. Most college campuses have codes and regulations, FTT is no exception.

Many other Christian colleges and campuses have strict codes, there is a list here:

https://collegetimes.co/strict-college-campuses/

There are no such regulations for the church meetings. Not for mine anyway.
09-02-2016 11:56 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah6v8 View Post
I understand the rationale of wearing what is known as the "Sunday best" is this:- "You are coming to church (God's house) to worship. How dare you approach God in nothing but your best?"

One thing the LSM got right is that the church consists of the believers, not the building. It also explains why the LSM church buildings are not lavishly decorated.

Should it not follow then that the LSM should also ask their members to wear the same Sunday attire for their weekday small group meetings and prayer meetings held in saints' homes? (God is also present in those meetings and could you afford to be less respectful?)

I googled and came across this interesting article about wearing "Sunday best".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timoth...b_7272212.html

Not having a dress code could be helpful:- First, it encourages people to "Come as you are" (certainly good for those unbelievers who dare not believe that God would accept them in their fallen state).

Second, it symbolizes that God looks at our inward appearance rather than our outward appearance.

Similarly, if I am approaching the throne of God when I pray in my room, what I need is a humble spirit, not my best clothes.

If I am speaking forth God's word (prophesying) in a meeting, I do not need to dress smartly to impress the church members that my message is to be believed. The content of my sharing should be the key.

I have not known any biblical characters (Jesus, John the Baptist, Elijah) who were known for dressing up even though they went round saying they were God's messengers and speaking His word.
I do not agree with dress codes. I am not saying that people should not dress up. I am saying that they should be led by the inner leading of the Lord. A dress code somewhat violates that principle. Some women wear head coverings for the same reason. Many don't. There is no regulation about that.

Then there is respect for the feeling of the Body. Suppose someone dressed in pyjamas, because they felt the Lord tell them to do that. But what about the Body? If the majority of people would be offended because we dress a certain way, then we should respect that and not offend their conscience. I cannot think why anyone would be offended if we dress up in business attire. If the leading brothers dressed in pyjamas probably someone would be offended.

It is also about the respect of the Lord's table. If the Lord's table is held in a house people will normally wear their best as well. It's about not treating the body and blood of the Lord as a common thing. The Lord's table is not the same as coming to a friends house for a snack.

There are other reasons people dress up. I recall one writing of Lee's (I forget which one) that says we should dress nicely for our husbands and wives at home. I suspect this is a cultural thing, there is nothing religious or practical about that. I have been to some Chinese folks homes where the husband and wife dresses as if they were for a business meeting. It is funny to see them do the dishes etc in their good clothes.
09-02-2016 11:39 PM
micah6v8
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
There is no policy about that. No dress code. I would say only about 10% dress according to your regulation. Some feel that dressing like that is respectful towards the Lord.

This is a quote from Lee's
"THE LIFE AND WAY FOR THE PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH LIFE"

Furthermore, do not try to unify the work. Do not say, "We are in America, so we should be unified. Let us have a conference to unify the situation." This is wrong. We strongly insist on having the unity, but we are altogether against unification and uniformity. I have the full assurance that in the early days the churches in Judea were quite different from the churches in the Gentile world. The apostles did not try to unify the churches or make them uniform.
Seems to be a dress code for Full Time Training
http://www.fttamidage.org/traininginfo.htm
09-02-2016 09:18 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah6v8 View Post
I take your point about respect. I am not sure what happens in the local church where you live, but in the local church I am in, the dress code for a brother serving at the Lord's table (i.e. breaking the bread and distributing bread and cup) would be white long-sleeved shirt with trousers.

If dressing respectfully was the main point, then they would not have stipulated it as "white". A blue shirt could also be respectful.

It seems like there is a degree of "uniformity" expected.

You probably know this:- the oneness that God wants is unity, not uniformity.
There is no policy about that. No dress code. I would say only about 10% dress according to your regulation. Some feel that dressing like that is respectful towards the Lord.

This is a quote from Lee's
"THE LIFE AND WAY FOR THE PRACTICE OF THE CHURCH LIFE"

Furthermore, do not try to unify the work. Do not say, "We are in America, so we should be unified. Let us have a conference to unify the situation." This is wrong. We strongly insist on having the unity, but we are altogether against unification and uniformity. I have the full assurance that in the early days the churches in Judea were quite different from the churches in the Gentile world. The apostles did not try to unify the churches or make them uniform.
09-02-2016 09:13 PM
micah6v8
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
That's not about conformity, it's about respect. Just like taking shoes off when going into a Hindu temple or wearing a Sarong is respectful. Dressing nicely is not unique to the Lord's Recovery. Many churches do it. Dressing nicely is to show respect for the Lord. You would wear a suit to a wedding or a funeral or a job interview right? And when you do I bet most people are a wearing black suit right, is not that a kind of conformation as well?
I understand the rationale of wearing what is known as the "Sunday best" is this:- "You are coming to church (God's house) to worship. How dare you approach God in nothing but your best?"

One thing the LSM got right is that the church consists of the believers, not the building. It also explains why the LSM church buildings are not lavishly decorated.

Should it not follow then that the LSM should also ask their members to wear the same Sunday attire for their weekday small group meetings and prayer meetings held in saints' homes? (God is also present in those meetings and could you afford to be less respectful?)

I googled and came across this interesting article about wearing "Sunday best".

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/timoth...b_7272212.html

Not having a dress code could be helpful:- First, it encourages people to "Come as you are" (certainly good for those unbelievers who dare not believe that God would accept them in their fallen state).

Second, it symbolizes that God looks at our inward appearance rather than our outward appearance.

Similarly, if I am approaching the throne of God when I pray in my room, what I need is a humble spirit, not my best clothes.

If I am speaking forth God's word (prophesying) in a meeting, I do not need to dress smartly to impress the church members that my message is to be believed. The content of my sharing should be the key.

I have not known any biblical characters (Jesus, John the Baptist, Elijah) who were known for dressing up even though they went round saying they were God's messengers and speaking His word.
09-02-2016 08:50 PM
UntoHim
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by micah6v8 View Post
The oneness that God wants is unity, not uniformity.
"That they all may be one"....NOT "That they all may look as one".

Thanks you micah6v8 for pointing this out!

-
09-02-2016 08:35 PM
micah6v8
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
That's not about conformity, it's about respect. Just like taking shoes off when going into a Hindu temple or wearing a Sarong is respectful. Dressing nicely is not unique to the Lord's Recovery. Many churches do it. Dressing nicely is to show respect for the Lord. You would wear a suit to a wedding or a funeral or a job interview right? And when you do I bet most people are a wearing black suit right, is not that a kind of conformation as well?
I take your point about respect. I am not sure what happens in the local church where you live, but in the local church I am in, the dress code for a brother serving at the Lord's table (i.e. breaking the bread and distributing bread and cup) would be white long-sleeved shirt with trousers.

If dressing respectfully was the main point, then they would not have stipulated it as "white". A blue shirt could also be respectful.

It seems like there is a degree of "uniformity" expected.

You probably know this:- the oneness that God wants is unity, not uniformity.
09-02-2016 03:45 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Why do we need to wear a suit to read the Bible? Why do we need one exclusive ministry to understand its contents? Because it's all about conformity. Not to the image of Christ, but to the image of the ministry. Everyone has to be "exactly identical", with "no differences whatsoever", according to this ministry.

Your argument sounds like the man praying in Luke 18:10, who said, "I'm so glad I'm not like that man over there, that sinner". Yes it's good news that the LC isn't much like Creflo Dollar. The bad news is that the LC isn't very much like Christ, either. They're more like the Pharisees, who studied the Bible and condemned everyone else.
That's not about conformity, it's about respect. Just like taking shoes off when going into a Hindu temple or wearing a Sarong is respectful. Dressing nicely is not unique to the Lord's Recovery. Many churches do it. Dressing nicely is to show respect for the Lord. You would wear a suit to a wedding or a funeral or a job interview right? And when you do I bet most people are a wearing black suit right, is not that a kind of conformation as well?
09-02-2016 07:58 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
we all wore the same blue LSM jackets and uniforms.
It's Maoism with a religious face. Culture re-emerges, triumphant at last. Of course he was happy. He was home.
09-02-2016 07:48 AM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Why do we need to wear a suit to read the Bible? Why do we need one exclusive ministry to understand its contents? Because it's all about conformity. Not to the image of Christ, but to the image of the ministry. Everyone has to be "exactly identical", with "no differences whatsoever", according to this ministry.
I can still remember back in May of 1987 sitting in the church in Taipei hall #1 auditorium balcony and seeing Witness Lee on stage all giddy because we all wore the same blue LSM jackets and uniforms.
09-02-2016 07:12 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Wear a suit - oh no, read the Bible? terrible! seminars by a man - even worse. technology restricted? how to survive?
Why do we need to wear a suit to read the Bible? Why do we need one exclusive ministry to understand its contents? Because it's all about conformity. Not to the image of Christ, but to the image of the ministry. Everyone has to be "exactly identical", with "no differences whatsoever", according to this ministry.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Would it help them somehow if they had some books by Creflo Dollar on their shelf as well? Would that make you more comfortable? Sorry for them that they found Creflo Dollar's books a bit too contrary to the teachings of a man who died in a Chinese prison cell. Sorry for you that you don't know the difference between men who wrote that they tried to live and belief and your average American church preacher out to make a buck!
Your argument sounds like the man praying in Luke 18:10, who said, "I'm so glad I'm not like that man over there, that sinner". Yes it's good news that the LC isn't much like Creflo Dollar. The bad news is that the LC isn't very much like Christ, either. They're more like the Pharisees, who studied the Bible and condemned everyone else.
09-02-2016 03:05 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
Of course the blended brothers and elders took the name of Nee and Lee. Every book in their book rooms are by Nee and Lee. Every note in the recovery version bible is from Lee and Nee. It is only the LSM local churches that claim they are not a denomination.
Ahh I get it. They aren't confused and worldly enough for you. They don't have enough of those "how to get rich" and new age books from your local Christian bookstore! So that means they must be in some kind of self-serving man-following cult! Would it help them somehow if they had some books by Creflo Dollar on their shelf as well? Would that make you more comfortable? Sorry for them that they found Creflo Dollar's books a bit too contrary to the teachings of a man who died in a Chinese prison cell. Sorry for you that you don't know the difference between men who wrote that they tried to live and belief and your average American church preacher out to make a buck!
09-02-2016 02:17 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
I forgot to add something.

Both this year and last year they invited me to join others in staying at the church for two weeks. In that time would would wear a suit, read the Bible and attend seminars by... you guessed it... Witness Lee. During that time all technology use, from laptops to cellphones is also restricted.

I'm not one for isolating myself from my family and dear friends, so when they invited me I always gave an unclear answer (though I guess I should have been more direct).

I suppose that things like this can be good, but it sounded really disturbing.
It did not sound at all like other Bible camps to which I've been invited which one can hear is more open and connected.

Just an extra thought.
Wear a suit - oh no, read the Bible? terrible! seminars by a man - even worse. technology restricted? how to survive?

They what else?, stole your money, raped you, left you for dead?

isolated from family for 2 weeks? - are you serious.. ever been on Summer camp? ever traveled overseas for work? ever been a Boy Scout?

Seriously dude, stop being delusional. Many are well meaning people with a heart for Jesus, you'd be safer there than in your local shopping mall. Or rather, safer than a choir boy in a Catholic church.

Some people here are frauds and making it out to be some death cult.
08-30-2016 07:54 PM
UntoHim
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Ok guys, I think we're kind of hijacking this thread from DistantStar. Can somebody point me to where we can break this thing off to a new thread?

Thanks!


-
08-30-2016 07:51 PM
Ohio
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
Of course the blended brothers and elders took the name of Nee and Lee. Every book in their book rooms are by Nee and Lee. Every note in the recovery version bible is from Lee and Nee. It is only the LSM local churches that claim they are not a denomination.
Someone has rightly said that Witness Lee has merely changed the "one man speaking" in every congregation to the "speaking of one man" in every local church.

This is very true. Yes, denominational and community churches have the speaking of one man, the pastor, but is that not far better than to have the speaking of only Witness Lee in every Local Church? I think so.
08-30-2016 07:37 PM
HERn
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Yet they did not take the name of Lee or Nee, did they?
Local church describes the kind of assembly it is. It is not a name, just like "Christianity is not a religion, it is a personal relationship with Jesus blah blah".
Of course the blended brothers and elders took the name of Nee and Lee. Every book in their book rooms are by Nee and Lee. Every note in the recovery version bible is from Lee and Nee. It is only the LSM local churches that claim they are not a denomination.
08-30-2016 07:15 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I don't know if you remember in the late '90s when the internet took off, and the LSM promoted each local church to have its own website. They gave each fellowship a template and asked them to fill in the blanks.

If you googled 'the church in ...', it read, "A local church, the church in ..., enjoys Christ and recommends the ministry of Witness Lee, Watchman Nee."

They identified themselves by affiliation and recommendation. So the ministry that supposedly purified and pruned the church from any affiliation and identification save with Jesus Christ Himself eventually usurped that, and became the sole mediatory agent to God. The local church of the Lord's recovery was led to identify herself with a ministry, and a minister, not with the Lord.

And yet everyone else was roundly condemned as 'taking another name'. Please. Spare me.
Yet they did not take the name of Lee or Nee, did they?
Local church describes the kind of assembly it is. It is not a name, just like "Christianity is not a religion, it is a personal relationship with Jesus blah blah".
08-30-2016 07:06 PM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Yet Witness Lee himself publicly referred to his followers and affiliates in China as 'shouters'; they've also been called 'criers' and 'yellers'. They're identified by their behavior, which behavior Lee's LSM operatives originally promoted there as the way for them to 'eat the divine'. Lee didn't have a problem with that name, apparently. And rightly so, since the name 'shouters' could be used to differentiate Lee-affiliated Christians in China from others. Names are useful, that way - it's why we use them.

And 'Christian' was an appellation given by non-Christians at Antioch to identify Jesus' disciples as 'those who are of Christ'. Yet the Christian disciple eventually received and even embraced this name. Likewise, Living Stream Ministry is a name to specify a certain publishing house, the Meeting Hall One in Seattle is a building where some Local Churchers meet (btw they refer to themselves as 'the saints', and non-LC'ers as 'Christians'). Bibles for America is a publishing distribution outreach, Continuing Steadfastly is a magazine for young people, etc. We all take names; it's how we distinguish things from one another. So we can have the Tuesday night prayer meeting at Sister Smith's house, clearly differentiated from the Saturday morning Bible study meeting at the meeting hall. Those are modifiers to distinguish characteristics of time, place, disposition. Is that perforce sectarian? Then why condemn everyone else as so being?

The local church pretends it doesn't use names, so that it can create and condemn 'the others', here given the pejorative 'denominations', i.e. those who use names, and if they don't use a name they're dismissed anyway, as an unaffiliated 'free group'.

Everything has a name. Jesus asked the man at the Gadarenes, "What's your name?" The demons replied, "Oh, there's a lot of us in here". Likewise we could identify the different forces driving the local church: The Church that Condemns Everyone Else; The Holier-Than Thou Church; The 'Everyone is Divisive But Me' Church; etc. There are plenty of applicable names here.
The issue is largely one of identification, not of naming.
08-24-2016 08:02 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
There is nothing wrong with multiple meetings/assemblies in different locations within the same city. It is more about identification..
I don't know if you remember in the late '90s when the internet took off, and the LSM promoted each local church to have its own website. They gave each fellowship a template and asked them to fill in the blanks.

If you googled 'the church in ...', it read, "A local church, the church in ..., enjoys Christ and recommends the ministry of Witness Lee, Watchman Nee."

They identified themselves by affiliation and recommendation. So the ministry that supposedly purified and pruned the church from any affiliation and identification save with Jesus Christ Himself eventually usurped that, and became the sole mediatory agent to God. The local church of the Lord's recovery was led to identify herself with a ministry, and a minister, not with the Lord.

And yet everyone else was roundly condemned as 'taking another name'. Please. Spare me.
08-24-2016 07:50 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
They are not calling themselves the "Meeting Hallers" or the followers of the "Meeting Hall" which would be like the denominations do calling themselves "baptists" etc. That is, I can believe in water baptism but I don't have to call myself a Baptist. I can believe in the gifts of the Spirit and speaking in tongues but I don't have to identify myself as a pentecostal. I can meet at a meeting hall but I don't have to call myself a "meeting haller", I am just Christian. . .
Yet Witness Lee himself publicly referred to his followers and affiliates in China as 'shouters'; they've also been called 'criers' and 'yellers'. They're identified by their behavior, which behavior Lee's LSM operatives originally promoted there as the way for them to 'eat the divine'. Lee didn't have a problem with that name, apparently. And rightly so, since the name 'shouters' could be used to differentiate Lee-affiliated Christians in China from others. Names are useful, that way - it's why we use them.

And 'Christian' was an appellation given by non-Christians at Antioch to identify Jesus' disciples as 'those who are of Christ'. Yet the Christian disciple eventually received and even embraced this name. Likewise, Living Stream Ministry is a name to specify a certain publishing house, the Meeting Hall One in Seattle is a building where some Local Churchers meet (btw they refer to themselves as 'the saints', and non-LC'ers as 'Christians'). Bibles for America is a publishing distribution outreach, Continuing Steadfastly is a magazine for young people, etc. We all take names; it's how we distinguish things from one another. So we can have the Tuesday night prayer meeting at Sister Smith's house, clearly differentiated from the Saturday morning Bible study meeting at the meeting hall. Those are modifiers to distinguish characteristics of time, place, disposition. Is that perforce sectarian? Then why condemn everyone else as so being?

The local church pretends it doesn't use names, so that it can create and condemn 'the others', here given the pejorative 'denominations', i.e. those who use names, and if they don't use a name they're dismissed anyway, as an unaffiliated 'free group'.

Everything has a name. Jesus asked the man at the Gadarenes, "What's your name?" The demons replied, "Oh, there's a lot of us in here". Likewise we could identify the different forces driving the local church: The Church that Condemns Everyone Else; The Holier-Than Thou Church; The 'Everyone is Divisive But Me' Church; etc. There are plenty of applicable names here.
08-24-2016 07:38 AM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
. . the word translated 'church' is from the Greek 'ekklesia', which didn't mean 'church', but rather 'meeting', or gathering, or assembly, and there could be any number of them occurring simultaneously, or sequentially, in any given geographical area.
For corroboration, one might see the greetings given by Paul at the end of his Roman epistle. See for instnance the phrase, "Kai ten kat oikon auton ekklesian" . . . "And the church at their house" (16:5)

The 'ekklesia' which was at the house of Prisca and Aquila (see Rom 16:3,4) was what we'd refer to as a 'home meeting'. Others might call them 'house churches'; they're prevalent in places like mainland China where independent Christian organizations are suppressed.

But my point is this: Like in Pretoria, in Paul's Rome there might be a number of independent 'ekklesia' going on at any given moment. Yet they all have the same Lord, faith, confession, and Spirit, and all are still one Body, because 'ekklesia' in scripture are arguably meetings, gatherings, as well as perhaps the larger extant Body of all who believe, regardless of temporal association (e.g. Meeting Hall One, Meeting Hall Two, Baptist Church on Maple Street). In New York City one can hardly suppose that every Christian know and regularly gather with every other for prayer, service, and worship. That various groups would spring up, each attempting to follow the Lord, is not perforce indicative of division, darkness, and decay. Rather it can be seen as the multifarious expression of the multifarious wisdom of the Heavenly Father, that every tribe and people and tongue and 'ekklesia' would glorify His name, and seek His will to be done on earth as in heaven.
08-24-2016 01:33 AM
Evangelical
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The Local Church plays word games. If you live in a big city, you go to Meeting Hall One of the Church in Pretoria, or Meeting Hall Two, or Three. So that is okay.

But First Baptist Church or Second Baptist Church isn't okay, because that is taking a name.

So whatever they call themselves is not a name, but whatever anyone else calls themselves is a name.

And they never think that multiple meetings of Christians in a large city like London or Pretoria is somehow good? Like, the grains of wheat are being multiplied? Instead they think multiple assemblies is "division". Why isn't it "multiplication".

Answer: because that doesn't fit with the official narrative. Um, okay. So it's good to have the Tuesday night prayer meeting at sister Halliday's house, or the Saturday morning prayer meeting on church property, because that is a Local Church activity and is by definition proper, but it's not okay for the Presbyterians to gather and pray to God? Because that's by definition divisive?
I think you are mistaken about what the Local Church believes about this. There is nothing wrong with multiple meetings/assemblies in different locations within the same city. It is more about identification.

The Meeting Hall 1 etc would simply be the name of the building, just like a street name.
They are not calling themselves the "Meeting Hallers" or the followers of the "Meeting Hall" which would be like the denominations do calling themselves "baptists" etc. That is, I can believe in water baptism but I don't have to call myself a Baptist. I can believe in the gifts of the Spirit and speaking in tongues but I don't have to identify myself as a pentecostal. I can meet at a meeting hall but I don't have to call myself a "meeting haller", I am just Christian. I can meet in a park but that doesn't make me a "Park Christian", I am just a Christian.

If we would draw a circle around a city and count all of the believers inside of it, that is the church in that city. If 50 who call themselves "the church in " meet on one street and another 100 meet in another place and also call themselves "the church in ", then it is one church (practically). If the 50 call themselves by their street name e.g. "the 57th streeters" and separate themselves from the 100 who meet on a different street, that would be like denominations do.

The local church does not teach they cannot have any name. They only teach that the only name they should take is the name of the locality in which they dwell, and the name Christian (of course).
Even so, this name of locality does not specify a doctrinal emphasis (as in pentecostal, baptist, presbyterian, ), founder name (as in Luther-an"), it is simply to say that the church dwells in this particular city. But it is all the one church.

Identification and names are important to men and to God. If I go to New York I am a Christian in New York (I don't become a "New Yorkerist Christian"), if I got o London I am a Christian in London (not a "Londoner Christian"). That is, I am not identified by the place I am in (Christ is the only identification), but if you want to find me I have to tell you the place where I am currently (because we are bound by space/time).
08-23-2016 05:35 PM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

DistantStar,

It might help to see that the word translated 'church' is from the Greek 'ekklesia', which didn't mean 'church', but rather 'meeting', or gathering, or assembly, and there could be any number of them occurring simultaneously, or sequentially, in any given geographical area.

If you see the Psalm 22 - "I will sing praises to you in the midst of the solemn assembly" -- the word in the LXX (Greek OT) is 'ekklesia', and this translation predates Christ by centuries. Yet there was no 'church' as we think of it. But rather an 'assembly', or gathering. A bunch of people together in one place for some purpose.

And in Acts 19:41, "And with these words he dismissed the assembly", the word translated into English 'assembly' is actually 'ekklesia'.. but it doesn't make sense to call it 'church' because it wasn't a religious assembly, but simply a gathering of people. Only later did 'ekklesia' take the connotations of 'religious assembly', specifically 'Christian assembly', and one that was a standing organization apart from any actual physical gathering in one place and time (or meeting, in LC parlance).

I touched on this earlier: what we do today, often, is read back onto the text a meaning that we have today, but that may actually have had little to do with what the authors meant, and wanted their contemporary readers to understand. Because today's needs, and situations, are often different from the original, and we don't even know what the original really was (very well), so we simply appropriate the words for today's needs. Lee was a master at this, and all the while selling the whole "cut straight the word" shtick as if only he was capable of doing it. Patent nonsense.
08-23-2016 04:16 PM
Koinonia
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
By the way, everyday I pass by the LC church on my way to campus. Today I noticed an inscription on a board that says "The Church in Pretoria".

It made me think of the ridiculousness of it all. Pretoria is the capital city with more than half a million people. Why should all of them go to one building?

Suppose parliament decides to cut the city in two: West Pretoria and East Pretoria. And currently the church is in West Pretoria. Will it then be right or wrong, in the LC eyes, to have a "church in" in both West Pretoria and East Pretoria? In other words, "The Church in West Pretoria" and "The Church in East Pretoria".
Things like this have actually happened (sometimes in reverse). Here is an example quoted from an LC website:

Quote:
Saints began to meet as the church in Toronto in the 1960s. At that time a number of municipalities were federated into a regional government known as Metropolitan Toronto. In 1967 a number of municipalities were merged into a six-city configuration that included the City of Toronto, North York, and Scarborough, among others. The meeting hall of the saints was in North York, but the church in 1974 was incorporated as the church of the Torontonians. Subsequently, saints began to meet as the church in Toronto and the church in Scarborough. In 1998 the provincial government consolidated all six cities into the City of Toronto. Based on that decision, the three churches all became the church in Toronto with three halls corresponding to the meeting halls of the three churches.
08-23-2016 03:37 PM
DistantStar
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The Local Church plays word games. If you live in a big city, you go to Meeting Hall One of the Church in Pretoria, or Meeting Hall Two, or Three. So that is okay.
I didn't know they have more than one hall, though it makes perfect sense. In this sense "Christians on Campus" counts as another meeting place.

Like you said, for them other denominations are wrong for doing the same.

This is some stunning hypocrisy.
08-23-2016 02:16 PM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
Pretoria is the capital city with more than half a million people. Why should all of them go to one building?
The Local Church plays word games. If you live in a big city, you go to Meeting Hall One of the Church in Pretoria, or Meeting Hall Two, or Three. So that is okay.

But First Baptist Church or Second Baptist Church isn't okay, because that is taking a name.

So whatever they call themselves is not a name, but whatever anyone else calls themselves is a name.

And they never think that multiple meetings of Christians in a large city like London or Pretoria is somehow good? Like, the grains of wheat are being multiplied? Instead they think multiple assemblies is "division". Why isn't it "multiplication".

Answer: because that doesn't fit with the official narrative. Um, okay. So it's good to have the Tuesday night prayer meeting at sister Halliday's house, or the Saturday morning prayer meeting on church property, because that is a Local Church activity and is by definition proper, but it's not okay for the Presbyterians to gather and pray to God? Because that's by definition divisive?
08-23-2016 02:07 PM
aron
Re: My Local Church Experience - And My Testimony

Quote:
Originally Posted by DistantStar View Post
Here is a problem with your denomination: God never asks us to forsake our individuality to such an extent. The Local Church denomination does. . .
The Local Church is totalitarian in scope. All your thoughts are pre-arranged. You don't need to think because someone supposedly much more capable has already done the hard work for you.

It is nice, you know, at first: Just do what the Ascended Master up front is telling you. Plus it's all reinforced by negative injunctions: You don't want to be negative, do you? You don't want to be independent, or divisive, or ambitious, or - gasp - rebellious, do you? Then just repeat today's platitudes.

I was there until the "man becoming God" part. Then I became silent. Then I left.

1. The reasoning was poor. "The Oracle says so" was the bottom line. A few verses were offered. All the unhelpful verses were quite ignored.

2. We all know what happened to those who lifted themselves too high, and took positions not explicitly given them by the Creator. "You shall be like Gods, knowing good from evil". There's a lot of sketchy stuff there. People sitting too high up at the banquet table, getting sent down in shame. Warning after warning.

3. Even if being like God is something to be desired, it doesn't say you will be God. My dog is like my cat in that both are furry mammalian quadrupeds living in my house; both come running when food is proffered. Both enjoy being petted and rubbed and told nice nothings. But my dog is not my cat.

4. By definition God is one. If everyone and everything becomes God, then where is God? It seems like somebody is thinking too much, and not thinking enough. They didn't think it through.

5. Lastly, I was there. I remember the crestfallen faces at the trainings as the latest 'revelation' rolled out. The old soldiers, who'd been through so many campaigns, flows and moves, were like, Huh? Then some young, burning acolyte screamed, "I'm a God-man!!" and raced up and down the aisle, waving their arms. The crowd began to stir, slowly building to a frenzied roar. All discretion, common sense, circumspection went out the window. From then on, it was, Prop up the Oracle. He says we're becoming God so let's get behind the latest speaking.

I really loved the Local Church. I wanted to be 'sold out'. But I never really could get excited about some of the theology. And the "becoming God" thing was just a venture into the abyss of Lee's imagination.
08-23-2016 01:21 PM
DistantStar
One Church - One City - Biblical?

By the way, everyday I pass by the LC church on my way to campus. Today I noticed an inscription on a board that says "The Church in Pretoria".

It made me think of the ridiculousness of it all. Pretoria is the capital city with more than half a million people. Why should all of them go to one building?

Suppose parliament decides to cut the city in two: West Pretoria and East Pretoria. And currently the church is in West Pretoria. Will it then be right or wrong, in the LC eyes, to have a "church in" in both West Pretoria and East Pretoria? In other words, "The Church in West Pretoria" and "The Church in East Pretoria". If this is acceptable, why not divide it further and say a "church in" in each street? If wrong, then there can be only one gathering place. Let me make it clearer. If it is wrong to have a church in both the West and East, then suppose this: The whole world is Pretoria. There used to be only one church location. Then it was divided into a billion pieces. With that logic, it will never be right to have gathering places other than the first one.

Why bind the morality of where you may and may not meet on political structures?

Food for thought. I'd like to hear opinions.

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