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08-07-2019 01:14 PM
Terry
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This thread has offered numerous helpful insights into LC culture and thinking.

The following was posted on the Casteel' FB site which caught my attention:
Following the leadership of both Lee in Anaheim and Chu in Cleveland was a never-ending series of "flows" or abrupt changes in direction, always mandated by headquarters. These were always unsettling to the church, and seemed to produce unending "wheel-spinning" with little progress.

It is unsettling, to say the least, to learn that this too was a communist practice.
I always did see a lot of communist tendencies in the local churches even at a young age. Specifically the de-emphasis of the individual.
Back to the FB posts of Jo Casteel, I was thinking about this thread while listening to "Special Fellowship Meeting With Former Trainees - A Graphical Analysis".
08-07-2019 10:46 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
There is a management approach of sorts that is like that too. For instance, a new manager comes in and maybe doesn't know exactly what to do, but wants or is expected to do something big. So the manager just starts changing all kinds of things almost randomly. Nobody can figure out exactly what is going on in all the confusion so they have to look to the leader, because they are apparently the only one that knows what to do. Usually before anybody can figure out it was just a bunch of senseless "make work," the manager moves on or gets promoted, because they (again, apparently) got so much done! Of course, what really gets left in their wake is essentially chaos that the next leader has to deal with . . .
Reminds me of 1st grade at Catholic school. Those of us who were more studious and arrived early were given "bell work" to keep us busy until the bell rang.
08-07-2019 08:10 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This thread has offered numerous helpful insights into LC culture and thinking.

The following was posted on the Casteel' FB site which caught my attention:
Following the leadership of both Lee in Anaheim and Chu in Cleveland was a never-ending series of "flows" or abrupt changes in direction, always mandated by headquarters. These were always unsettling to the church, and seemed to produce unending "wheel-spinning" with little progress.

It is unsettling, to say the least, to learn that this too was a communist practice.
There is a management approach of sorts that is like that too. For instance, a new manager comes in and maybe doesn't know exactly what to do, but wants or is expected to do something big. So the manager just starts changing all kinds of things almost randomly. Nobody can figure out exactly what is going on in all the confusion so they have to look to the leader, because they are apparently the only one that knows what to do. Usually before anybody can figure out it was just a bunch of senseless "make work," the manager moves on or gets promoted, because they (again, apparently) got so much done! Of course, what really gets left in their wake is essentially chaos that the next leader has to deal with . . .

This, unfortunately, occurs far too often, especially among managers who are bent on making a name for themselves in their climb to the top.
08-07-2019 07:55 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

This thread has offered numerous helpful insights into LC culture and thinking.

The following was posted on the Casteel' FB site which caught my attention:
Quote:
Part of the Chinese culture that is underlying the teachings of WL is the Communist concept of “constant revolution. “

That is why there are so many twists and turns. To keep the masses off balance and easier to control. So, Jo’s letter gives them an opportunity to tighten the control and further brainwash.
Following the leadership of both Lee in Anaheim and Chu in Cleveland was a never-ending series of "flows" or abrupt changes in direction, always mandated by headquarters. These were always unsettling to the church, and seemed to produce unending "wheel-spinning" with little progress.

It is unsettling, to say the least, to learn that this too was a communist practice.
02-14-2019 03:58 PM
aron
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weighingin View Post
I just was curious about their affiliation. There's more I could comment on about the ground, but that should be in another thread.

Regarding this thread, I have seen comments that the LCs are increasingly Asian, in the USA and even outside. This is due to the LC practices appealing to their culture. I've observed both by my presence and by others' postings, especially of campus clubs on FB, that there are places that are predominantly Asian. This seems to be true in CA especially, with the YP and campus clubs. I have seen this too with other campus clubs in some cities or towns outside CA, those that have a school with high attendance. But while there is a good number of foreign Chinese or Asian students, a substantial number are ABCs, most of which are "church kids."
I don't know how many of the new Sydney [Titus Chu] Church Christians I listed are recent immigrants from China, and how many are Australian-born Chinese. But I think that Witness Lee's statement that China represented "virgin soil" for God's move and that by extension the Christian practice that he brought to the USA, thence to Europe, Africa and Australia was somehow "purified" or "recovered" or "restored" was just self-serving hogwash. He brought over fallen Chinese cultural practice, and that's why the list of new believers in the [TC-variant] Church in Sydney are all Chinese. They're okay with the idea of foreign domination, as long as it's THEIR foreign domination.

But which 'foreign devil' to submit to - Anaheim or Cleveland?

The Church in Sydney, whether its TC/Blendeds/DYL variant, is no more a local church than the Parish of the Lady of Our Way in North Sydney or St. Peter's Presbyterian Church. And if you look at the demographic that it appeals to, and fronts, it's perhaps less a reflection of the local populace than they are. So why call it a local church? (Besides that this is its only reason to exist, of course)
02-14-2019 01:39 PM
Weighingin
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

I just was curious about their affiliation. There's more I could comment on about the ground, but that should be in another thread.

Regarding this thread, I have seen comments that the LCs are increasingly Asian, in the USA and even outside. This is due to the LC practices appealing to their culture.
I have observed both by my presence and by others' postings, especially of campus clubs on FB, that there are places that are predominantly Asian. This seems to be true in CA especially, with the YP and campus clubs. I have seen this too with other campus clubs in some cities or towns outside CA, those that have a school with high attendance.
But while there is a good number of foreign Chinese or Asian students, a
substantial number are ABCs, most of which are "church kids."
02-14-2019 06:09 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I daresay there are also some LSM-affiliated believers in Sydney. But the very point of a local church has vanished, its ground. Its existence and identity are now tied to foreign affiliation, and foreign control. Isn't this what Watchman Nee decried 90 years ago? How can anyone be so blind as to not see this?

They go to the uni and tell students, "Oh, we're just Christians who love the Lord Jesus", and in the next breath they want to know who you're with - Cleveland Ohio or Anaheim California? What complete nonsense. The only ones who will swallow this are a few homesick Chinese. They may be foreign-controlled, but at least it's familiar culture.

But local ground? Please. Why continue the pretense?
Isn't our confession and faith about "reality, reality, reality"?
I checked out that link looking for the usual LSM boilerplate, and eventually discovered they were secessionists holding a conference with Titus Chu.

Of course, this was the real reason LSM had to purge TC from their "little body." He has followers all over (Austral) Asia. After Lee died, saints on the streets were muttering "Nee, Lee, Chu."
02-14-2019 04:00 AM
aron
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Weighingin View Post
Is there a local church there affiliated with LSM or has the "ground" been lost?
I daresay there are also some LSM-affiliated believers in Sydney. But the very point of a local church has vanished, its ground. Its existence and identity are now tied to foreign affiliation, and foreign control. Isn't this what Watchman Nee decried 90 years ago? How can anyone be so blind as to not see this?

They go to the uni and tell students, "Oh, we're just Christians who love the Lord Jesus", and in the next breath they want to know who you're with - Cleveland Ohio or Anaheim California? What complete nonsense. The only ones who will swallow this are a few homesick Chinese. They may be foreign-controlled, but at least it's familiar culture.

But local ground? Please. Why continue the pretense? Isn't our confession and faith about "reality, reality, reality"?
02-13-2019 09:43 PM
Weighingin
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Is there a local church there affiliated with LSM or has the "ground" been lost?
02-13-2019 04:25 PM
aron
Re: Cultural shift - paradigm shift?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The LCs are trying to grapple with a true demographic shift over the past 35 years, as their constituents keep growing less reflective of the "local" populations they've supposedly been representing.
Here's an excerpt from the recent (Feb 2019) newsletter of the Church in Sydney (Australia) affiliated with Titus Chu:
Quote:
Pray for the new believers (5 brothers: Yuan-Pei Zhao, Chao Ma, Lyon Yang, Jack Zhou and Joe Zhou as well as 16 sisters: Lu Gan, Lan-Xiu Zhang, Li-Fang Ge, Kelie Wei, Li-Yuan Xu, Jean Hu, MinFang Wu, XiuQing Chen, Heidi Li, Tracy Lin, Sophie, AnJie Lin, Han Huang, Ariana Chang, Feng-Lian Li and Miao-Lian Li.) May the Lord establish them in the church life and bless their growth in life.
And to show that this demographic constituency isn't a fluke, here's from their April 2018 bulletin:
Quote:
Pray for the new believers (7 brothers: Vincent Tai, YuMing Liang, Zylen Liang, Stephen, William, Yuan Liu and Yuan-Pei Zhao as well as 12 sisters: Vanessa Lu, Li Zhou, Lili Chen, Jenny Zhu, Yun-Yue Lin, Li-Qin Wu, Yun Zhu, Joies, Ariel Chen, Lu Gan, Lan-Xiu Zhang and Li-Fang Ge.) May the Lord establish them in the church life and bless their growth in life.
I don't see anything but Chinese names. Imagine if the "Church in Shenzhen" or the "Church in Guanzhou" had nothing but German names in their listed new members - might this possibly strike the casual reader as a bit odd? Especially since their raison-d'etre is localism? Or put differently, isn't this exactly what WN utterly rejected 85 or 90 years ago: non-local, non-representative, i.e. foreign, or alien-imposed Christian assemblies? Then what's happened with localism, here?

http://christiansinsydney.org/?p=2647

For those who can't pick up my drift (there are usually some) - I'm not pushing xenophobia, racism or reactionary pandering. I'm asking what's happened to the "local revival" concept of authentically native, really locally-based churches since its promotion in China nearly a century ago? It's completely gone, apparently. Vanished. Perhaps WL dropped it in the Pacific Ocean along with his other ''fallen religious concepts''. And if so, then what (if anything) got recovered in the Lord's recovery?
10-04-2018 03:37 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
On the "no individual distinctiveness" thing that Lee's footnotes say.....just wanted to mention that I came across a paragraph in Lee's "A Timely Word" that states (underlining mine):

"It is altogether wise and profitable that we do not expect all the churches to be the same. This is impossible. Even twelve brothers within a local church cannot be the same in everything. If a local church has a burden to visit people in their homes for the preaching of the gospel, they should carry out this commission. They do not need to say that others do not preach the gospel in this way. If others do not feel to preach the gospel by visiting people in their homes, that is not your business. Do not talk about who is for this or who is for that. We should not talk in this way. We should not label ourselves or label others. If we want to practice a certain thing, we can do it. If others do not want to practice it, they have the liberty not to practice it. We should not question who is for a certain thing and who is not for a certain thing. This does not help you or anyone else. We all must endeavor to keep the oneness of the Spirit so that the Body of Christ can build up itself in love (Eph. 4:3, 16)."

So even Lee's own statements contradict his own statements!
Yes, exactly.

Years ago when sorting this all out, I concluded there was an "early-Lee" and a "Later-Lee." They regularly argued with each other.
10-03-2018 11:08 PM
Trapped
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Firstly, Lee's teaching that all the differences were "of a negative nature" is frankly wrong. The Son of Man commended each church positively and individually, knowing their positives quite well. Why would W. Lee downplay this fact? Every Pastor/Shepherd in the world knows the positive characteristics of his church, just ask him. W. Lee, however, could not acknowledge that each church had its own good works, pleasing to God. This corresponded with Lee's unending fellowship that only LSM could do anything good. "So, send your best people to the training."

Secondly, why would Lee continually stress that each LC must "not have any individual distinctiveness?" Since God has placed gifts in the body as it pleases Him, and each member has been gifted by the Lord uniquely, it only stand to reason that each church would have different strengths (and weaknesses too.) Why is this so threatening to W. Lee that he would create a teaching about member churches that is completely different from the rest of the body of Christ? What was his motive here? What were the results, or the fruit, of such teaching? How did W. Lee and LSM act to remove "any individual distinctiveness" between churches. These are fair questions to ask. We also have the advantage of decades of history to examine.

One notable action which Lee and LSM has taken is to remove and neutralize the gifted members of the body from ministering according to the anointing Spirit. The list of gifted and fruitful ministers around the globe, who once labored to establish churches, and have been expelled by Lee/LSM is just incredible. This forum is filled with their accounts. They were used by Lee, then were discarded. None of them ever parted peacefully. They were always nasty "divorces." Why would Lee/LSM do this? What was there motive? Just to remove "any individual distinctiveness" from the churches?



On the "no individual distinctiveness" thing that Lee's footnotes say.....just wanted to mention that I came across a paragraph in Lee's "A Timely Word" that states (underlining mine):

"It is altogether wise and profitable that we do not expect all the churches to be the same. This is impossible. Even twelve brothers within a local church cannot be the same in everything. If a local church has a burden to visit people in their homes for the preaching of the gospel, they should carry out this commission. They do not need to say that others do not preach the gospel in this way. If others do not feel to preach the gospel by visiting people in their homes, that is not your business. Do not talk about who is for this or who is for that. We should not talk in this way. We should not label ourselves or label others. If we want to practice a certain thing, we can do it. If others do not want to practice it, they have the liberty not to practice it. We should not question who is for a certain thing and who is not for a certain thing. This does not help you or anyone else. We all must endeavor to keep the oneness of the Spirit so that the Body of Christ can build up itself in love (Eph. 4:3, 16)."

So even Lee's own statements contradict his own statements!
07-10-2018 05:11 PM
Trapped
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Great story!

You would be amazed to know how many saints have done the same thing!

One such book was Joyce Meyer's book, Battlefield of the Mind.

I watched her on YouTube recently as it was one of the videos that showed up from my search for some help on how to forgive people who've stabbed you in the gut, know they did it, but who also don't care that they knifed you! It was helpful to hear relatable speaking.

Her book you suggested has like 86% 5-star reviews on Amazon, wow! I'll have to check it out, thanks for the tip.
07-10-2018 11:07 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Bro awareness,

Thanks for your questions.

Of course, you know me. I've provided my testimony, explained my experience both domestically and internationally. Talked about my over 4 decades in the Lord's recovery and my experiences before in Christianity and after taking this way... explained my beliefs and rendered my point of view on a variety of topics. I've talked about my experiences with various local churches and brothers, including leading ones some that stayed and some that left.. those that I knew, or met, conversed with.. etc. Hiding? You might mean that I don't let people know who I am or disclose enough information to figure that out. I explained that recently too.... nut cases.. in a forum very much like this one... Christians harassing me and my family.... stalking and threatening in an ugly attempt to shut me up. Ain't gonna happen twice.
If that doesn't satisfy your curiosity bro awareness then I got nuttin fer ya.
Thanks, Drake. Really, you strike me as a great guy.

I've got guns. No one harasses me. Not that people aren't hateful. Christians are the worst, some of them. You must live in a rough neck of the woods. Or you're a wussy. I'm usually the harasser.

But I know. There's all kinds in the LSM local churches. There's even gays in the LSM local churches ... in the closet, of course. I talk to one from time to time.

So it's no surprise that an oddball LCer like yourself would be a long term member. I say oddball because you don't fit the typical mold of a burning brother in the local church. Burning brothers spend all their time building up the church, not on exLCer computer forums.

Unless you come to say "the LSM local churches are sorry, and repent of all their past wrong doings," and, "Please come back. We're better now."

But that can't be. You can't be doing that. Cuz you spend all your time defending the LSM local churches, and Witness Lee.

It's like to you, the group you've been loyal to for a long time has to be flawless, and it's leader has to be flawless too.

Apparently, you don't read your Bible. There's tons of flawed characters in the Bible.

Personally I think you'd do better if you'd just admit that the group you're devoting your life to is flawed ... and the dead leader of it was flawed.

And try accepting testimonies of those that were there as true. Otherwise you're just out here calling all of us liars.
07-10-2018 10:06 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I have no dog in this particular fight, but this is about the only thing I can find online mentioning the points 6.a-d that also has any slight additional details around it (starts about 8-9 paragraphs down):

Thanks for finding this, which silences Drake's rebuttals.

David Wang was a highly respected elder in the church in Rosemead back in the 1980's with another elder Don Hardy. They were both repulsed by what what happening in the FTT Taipei, what was being brought back to the US, and what was happening at the Anaheim headquarters of LSM.

Don Hardy, a senior staff member at LSM who at the time was reading the Recovery Version onto tape for sale to the saints, walked in on the "Office Manager" Philip Lee one day while one of the female staff was sitting on his lap partly undressed in the act of adultery. Not very holy.

If you know anything about Exclusive Brethren history, you will know that James Taylor Sr. was their "anointed brother" or MOTA, after Darby and his successor had passed away. It was observed by many that his boy, James Taylor Jr., who succeeded him as their "MOTA," had a character identical to Philip Lee, complete with abuse, alcohol, and women. (The same could be said of countless Popes throughout the centuries.) The Exclusive Brethren (Peebs) even have their own websites for ex-members, one is WikiPeebia. It's like a mirror image of LCD. The Peebs also have a rich history of lawsuits towards all of their critics.
07-09-2018 11:20 PM
Trapped
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

I have no dog in this particular fight, but this is about the only thing I can find online mentioning the points 6.a-d that also has any slight additional details around it (starts about 8-9 paragraphs down):

07-09-2018 10:28 PM
Drake
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

-1

UntoHim,

No one has ever denied is not the same as they agreed.

Yet, if these quotes 6 a-d were common knowledge then it should be easy enough to identify who made the statement, when and where they were said. Rather than go duck shooting why not simply produce the source? Perhaps because no one knows for sure?

And if you think I am ignorant of common knowledge why not enlightenment instead of derision?

Certain posters have opinions that they attempt to pawn off as fact. To do that they "quote" stuff. In this case "LSM". Maybe the actual quote is right. Maybe it should not have been said. Maybe it was taken out of context. Perhaps it was meant one way and taken another. I don't dismiss any of those or other possibilities. I don't dismiss that odd or peculiar things have been stated by servants and coworkers either. However, in this case there is no evidence of those ACTUAL statements aron quoted are real. Therefore, any conclusions (e.g."what happens when one culture begins to dominate ") derived from them is a flimsy argument. ..... and without merit.

Drake
07-09-2018 08:11 PM
UntoHim
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I have no idea whether those things were said or not.
Well, my friend, if you're that decidedly ignorant of what is common knowledge , then you probably shouldn't be getting involved in this line of discussion. Save your bullets for shootin at something you can see. To my knowledge, nobody at LSM, DCP or any other Local Church has EVER denied that all these things were said and even promoted. There are some others even more explosive, obnoxious and even cultish things that have been confirmed to me personally, but are not widely enough known that I would allow them to be put out on the forum.

Quote:
So no, I will not concede that those things were said.
Ok...for my reaction to this, see above.

Quote:
Frankly, if these statements have been on the Internet for years, are so well known, were a tectonic shift in the Lords recovery, then it should be easy to provide the source of the quote.
Who said anything about "a tectonic shift in the Lord's recovery"? None of the things aron has quoted from are even a slight shift of what Witness Lee had taught for the past 30 years of his life. I personally sat at the man's feet for quite a number of those years and nothing of those infamous quotes surprised me from the day I heard them. When you provide us with the WRITTEN CONFIRMATION that Witness Lee denied that he ever said that he "was the only person ON EARTH SPEAKING AS GOD'S ORACLE SINCE 1945" then you will have room to spout off about these matters. Till then...

Quote:
They are illogical, unsubstantiated, weak in persuasiveness, and reflect a heart of bias. He is entitled to his opinion but not his own facts.
Wow, Drake, you just described about 80% of Witness Lee's ministry, and about 95% of the Blended Brothers "ministry". I knew you could do it!
07-09-2018 01:21 PM
Drake
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
And bro Drake, we have no idea about you, or why you are here, or why you say what you say, or why you deny that these things happened or that they were said. Cuz maybe for good reasons ... maybe not ... we don't know ... you actually admit that you are hiding........

....So maybe you could at least come out and tell us why you are so concerned about the integrity of the content on this forum.
Bro awareness,

Thanks for your questions.

Of course, you know me. I've provided my testimony, explained my experience both domestically and internationally. Talked about my over 4 decades in the Lord's recovery and my experiences before in Christianity and after taking this way... explained my beliefs and rendered my point of view on a variety of topics. I've talked about my experiences with various local churches and brothers, including leading ones some that stayed and some that left.. those that I knew, or met, conversed with.. etc. Hiding? You might mean that I don't let people know who I am or disclose enough information to figure that out. I explained that recently too.... nut cases.. in a forum very much like this one... Christians harassing me and my family.... stalking and threatening in an ugly attempt to shut me up. Ain't gonna happen twice.

If that doesn't satisfy your curiosity bro awareness then I got nuttin fer ya.

And I "deny that these things happened or that they were said"? In the quotations from aron (6a-d) even he doesn't know if they were really said. He just accepts that they were because in his typical fashion he is quoting something he read somewhere else. Therefore, why should I believe those quotations when the fellow cannot even cite who said them, where, and when? Is that how your belief system in constructed? No evidence, just relying on others to provide you with juicy material and then unable to defend your own argument? What kind of logic is that anyway... So and so said this and that means that... and if you don't believe me you can go search the web yourself? I'd say that is pitiful in an overly simplistic way, really. It's like watching mutton-busting... cute... maybe... but not a real rodeo.

Now, I am willing to answer your last question but before this becomes too long and stretched out.. please tell me how your questions of curiosity have anything to do with aron's inability to provide a source for "quotations" that he uses to propagandize his weak arguments?


Thanks
Drake
07-09-2018 01:14 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
And bro Drake, we have no idea about you, or why you are here, or why you say what you say, or why you deny that these things happened or that they were said. Cuz maybe for good reasons ... maybe not ... we don't know ... you actually admit that you are hiding.

Truth be told, I know more about the JW guy that comes to my door. He too uses the same tactics to defend his cult, as you use to defend the LSM Witness Lee personality cult ; the same tactics used by anyone devoted to a group, to cover up anything that will reflect poorly on the reputation of the group they are devoted to ; 'cept we know nothing of your devotion to the Lee group, nor your association to it.

Unlike my JW friend, you don't put all your cards on the table. So maybe you could at least come out and tell us why you are so concerned about the integrity of the content on this forum.
Drake has told us that he has been in the LC's for 40+ years and that he personally knows some of the Blendeds.

Unlike you and I, most other posters reserve the right to remain silent about the rest of their details. Besides UntoHim gets upset when anyone discusses others' anonymity or lack thereof.

Mum's the word, except around here where folks call their mother "Mum" like the Brits.
07-09-2018 12:41 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
UntoHim,

I have no idea whether those things were said or not. No idea who “LSM” refers to. Aron uses “—-“ and that in normal dialogue refers to an actual statement. No idea of where it was said or the context in which it was said. Verbal or printed? No idea. So no, I will not concede that those things were said. No, sir. Aron made an assertion, he uses quotes to lend support to it, he says LSM made the statement, .....ok, so let’s see the actual quote.
And bro Drake, we have no idea about you, or why you are here, or why you say what you say, or why you deny that these things happened or that they were said. Cuz maybe for good reasons ... maybe not ... we don't know ... you actually admit that you are hiding.

Truth be told, I know more about the JW guy that comes to my door. He too uses the same tactics to defend his cult, as you use to defend the LSM Witness Lee personality cult ; the same tactics used by anyone devoted to a group, to cover up anything that will reflect poorly on the reputation of the group they are devoted to ; 'cept we know nothing of your devotion to the Lee group, nor your association to it.

Unlike my JW friend, you don't put all your cards on the table. So maybe you could at least come out and tell us why you are so concerned about the integrity of the content on this forum.
07-09-2018 09:23 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I have no idea whether those things were said or not. No idea who “LSM” refers to. Aron uses “—-“ and that in normal dialogue refers to an actual statement. No idea of where it was said or the context in which it was said. Verbal or printed? No idea. So no, I will not concede that those things were said. No, sir. Aron made an assertion, he uses quotes to lend support to it, he says LSM made the statement, .....ok, so let’s see the actual quote.
Drake, I provided quotes from John Ingalls' book STTIL and that wasn't good enough for you?

Let me remind you that John Ingalls was a "Founding Father" of the Recovery in the USA since the very early 1960's. He led the LSM team which translated the N.T. Recovery Version. He compiled the Hymnal used in all the LC's.
07-09-2018 07:52 AM
Drake
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
No Drake, you wouldn't know aron's argument if it came up and bit you on the nose. You don't know his argument because you are obviously not listening to a word the man is saying. I'm not asking you to agree, but your constant harping on "sources!, sources!, sources! is making it look like you're trying to distract us from the issue at hand. All the quotes and quips aron is bringing forth are all common knowledge. They've been written about in black and white and on the Internet for years now.

...and speaking of responsibility, it's mine to keep this forum readable, informative and hopefully integrous. You're making my job really, really hard my man. I mean, your arguing about whether the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Why don't you just concede the fact that these things were said, and then you can spend your time actually addressing the issue(s) at hand.
-
UntoHim,

I have no idea whether those things were said or not. No idea who “LSM” refers to. Aron uses “—-“ and that in normal dialogue refers to an actual statement. No idea of where it was said or the context in which it was said. Verbal or printed? No idea. So no, I will not concede that those things were said. No, sir. Aron made an assertion, he uses quotes to lend support to it, he says LSM made the statement, .....ok, so let’s see the actual quote.

Frankly, if these statements have been on the Internet for years, are so well known, were a tectonic shift in the Lords recovery, then it should be easy to provide the source of the quote. If not, it is just another example of unfounded allegations to which certain members of this forum are so inclined. So, it is certainly not Drake that presents a challenge to the integrity of this forum. Asking for and providing sources for direct quotes maintains any semblance of integrity this forum might have. For that, you know you can count on me.

As to Aron’s argument , his whole portfolio of cultural arguments for that matter is not hard to understand. I’ve already refuted them one by one. They are illogical, unsubstantiated, weak in persuasiveness, and reflect a heart of bias. He is entitled to his opinion but not his own facts.

Drake
07-09-2018 05:08 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
No Aron. It’s your argument and your responsibility to provide sources you quote. Who said it and when?

Otherwise, it is just hearsay at best.

Thanks
Drake
I have been hearing LSMers dodge issues for decades claiming "hearsay" and their favorite line is "taking it out of context."
07-08-2018 10:33 PM
UntoHim
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

No Drake, you wouldn't know aron's argument if it came up and bit you on the nose. You don't know his argument because you are obviously not listening to a word the man is saying. I'm not asking you to agree, but your constant harping on "sources!, sources!, sources! is making it look like you're trying to distract us from the issue at hand. All the quotes and quips aron is bringing forth are all common knowledge. They've been written about in black and white and on the Internet for years now.

...and speaking of responsibility, it's mine to keep this forum readable, informative and hopefully integrous. You're making my job really, really hard my man. I mean, your arguing about whether the sun rises in the East and sets in the West. Why don't you just concede the fact that these things were said, and then you can spend your time actually addressing the issue(s) at hand.
-
07-08-2018 08:34 PM
Drake
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I believe it's from the flyer "reconsideration of the vision". You can google it if you want.

Of course this stuff didn't get printed in the official organs.
.
No Aron. It’s your argument and your responsibility to provide sources you quote. Who said it and when?

Otherwise, it is just hearsay at best.

Thanks
Drake
07-08-2018 07:57 PM
awareness
Re: A poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Hate the break the news to you Aron. That is called “ Argumentum ad populum “
"EVERY FACT IS TO BE CONFIRMED BY THE TESTIMONY OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES. -2 Corinthians 13:1b
07-08-2018 05:22 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Point 6, a-d were exemplars of what was spoken around the New Way to push it forward. I myself heard BP tell us, "Don't pray - just go" (meaning migrate to Russia). That was the kind of talk we heard.
Ingalls' STTIL has more. These are from Appendix A:

Quotes from various sources:
  • “Since Christianity is in ruins, the Lord raised up the recovery; since the recovery is in ruins, the Lord raised up the FTTT.” (Andrew Yu, Oct.,1987)
  • “Whatever Witness Lee says, we make it happen!” (Paul Hon in training).
  • “We’re Witness Lee’s Company.” “I’ve got Witness Lee fever.” (Jake Jacobson)
  • “There is no need to pray about what to do; just follow the ministry.” (By the Trainers in Taipei)
  • “We don’t even need to think; we just do what we are told.” (Trainers)
  • “If the ministry says go east, you just go east. If the ministry says go west, you just go west.” (Andrew Yu, The Way To Go On, Voice of a High School Heart Newspaper, pg8) “Just give yourself to the ministry… that’s all.”
  • “No Opinions, no cold wind.” (Trainers, FTTT)
The first one is telling, "The Recovery is in ruins."
07-08-2018 05:06 PM
aron
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Aron,

Please provide a reference for 6 a-d.

Thx
Drake
I believe it's from the flyer "reconsideration of the vision". You can google it if you want.

Of course this stuff didn't get printed in the official organs. WL wasn't stupid - if he said, "I'm just a businessman trying to dupe gullible Americans with my spiritual mumbo-jumbo" what do you think that would do to his bottom line?

No, he left that to Paul Hon and Ray Graver. And a few others. They would be sure to set us all straight. What WL "really meant."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don Rutledge
"In the church life at that time, Witness Lee was very much in the background among the churches. While we sought the Lord for our daily walk, family life, and function in the Body of Christ, Ray would constantly reference Witness Lee for all matters – personal, local, and extra-local. Ray often told others that they needed to be able to 'read between the lines' of what Brother Lee was saying and 'hear what he really means' and that 'he does not tell you directly what he wants'. Ray was always bringing Witness Lee to the foreground in the church, a trend that only increased with time."
I think Ray's quote is perfect - "he does not tell you directly what he wants". There was the need of 'interpretation' of the 'oracle'.

Point 6, a-d were exemplars of what was spoken around the New Way to push it forward. I myself heard BP tell us, "Don't pray - just go" (meaning migrate to Russia). That was the kind of talk we heard.
07-08-2018 07:46 AM
UntoHim
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

a. "Success of revolution depends on propaganda. To take the New Way we need to learn from the Communists in their propaganda techniques. The way of propaganda is through the clever use of our tongues."
b. "We need to learn from the Red Guards. Even we nedd to learn from Satan for whenever God wants to do a work, Satan is always one step ahead."
c. "The New Way requires no prayers. The more you pray, the more confused you are. Just follow the instructions and do it. You'll be all right."
d. "We need to squeeze money out of the brothers and sisters."


aron, you can provide references if you want, but the references have been provided on this forum many times over the years. Now, just how much of this non-sense was influenced by Asian/Chinese culture is certainly an open question in my mind. I think some of the excesses during this time in the Local Church can be directly linked to the culture that Witness Lee brought to the movement in North America. (Of course Lee didn't have to bring such influence to the churches in Taiwan/Asia...that area of the world was already steeped in ancient Asian culture and tradition)

-
07-08-2018 07:20 AM
Drake
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Note Point 6, a-d for quotes which indicate what happens when one culture begins to dominate..
Aron,

Please provide a reference for 6 a-d.

Thx
Drake
07-06-2018 09:50 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post

Thanks. Do you know how far back the BPB went?

It's a small point why I'm asking. I was just thinking today about the seven lampstands and that if other Christian teachers, including Nee, said that one level of interpretation of the seven lampstands is that they represent the church at different points throughout history, then the LRC “the ground of oneness” cannot determine the legitimacy of a lampstand because this “ground” is supposedly a recovered truth in the very present time. If previous gatherings of believers before the Nee/Lee local churches did not meet on this recovered ground of oneness, how then could it be possible for the lampstands to represent the church at different points throughout history?
The British Plymouth Brethren under John Darby exerted their exclusive ways for the first time when they excommunicated Benjamin Newton of Plymouth in 1845. When George Muller and Henry Craik of Bethesda Chapel in nearby Bristol received into fellowship excommunicated members from Plymouth, they too were excommunicated. The resulting split resulted in the Exclusive and Open Brethren assemblies.

Both Darby of the Brethren, Nee of the Little Flock in China, and Lee of the LCM in Taiwan and the US considered the 7 churches in Revelation 2-3 to be historically fulfilled. Each considered their own followers to be the church in Philadelphia.

It's totally ironic and disgusting that both the Exclusives and the LCM today consider that their leader is the one oracle of God ... at the same time! Today Bruce Hales of Australia is their MOTA, Minister of the Age. So ridiculous. Both groups claim to be the sole lampstand in each city. Both groups claim their leader is the Minister of the Age.

Today the Wikipedia website for the Plymouth Brethren even considers Watchman Nee to be one of their own! Doesn't this sound like LSM:

Quote:
The Plymouth Brethren Christian Church (PBCC) is a Protestant church, often known as Exclusive Brethren or Raven-Taylor-Hales Brethren. These Brethren hold an uncompromising view on the doctrine of separation and their practice has steadily evolved from other Plymouth Brethren groups and also from mainstream Christendom.

In a radical departure from traditional Plymouth Brethren rejection of a clerical hierarchy, the PBCC has evolved into a hierarchical organization dominated by one person known as the Elect Vessel, the "Lord's servant" or the Man of God. The current Elect Vessel is Bruce Hales of Australia. As the most definable (and likely largest) of the brethren groups, most media reporting of "Exclusive Brethren" relates to the Plymouth Brethren Christian Church although other branches do exist.

Notable PBCC members:
Watchman Nee[110] — Respected Leader in the "Little Flock" movement in China after being excommunicated by Exclusive brethren for "breaking bread with sectarians."
07-06-2018 06:37 PM
Trapped
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Thanks. Do you know how far back the BPB went?

It's a small point why I'm asking. I was just thinking today about the seven lampstands and that if other Christian teachers, including Nee, said that one level of interpretation of the seven lampstands is that they represent the church at different points throughout history, then the LRC “the ground of oneness” cannot determine the legitimacy of a lampstand because this “ground” is supposedly a recovered truth in the very present time. If previous gatherings of believers before the Nee/Lee local churches did not meet on this recovered ground of oneness, how then could it be possible for the lampstands to represent the church at different points throughout history?
07-06-2018 06:23 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

They stole the "ground" from the exclusive British Plymouth Brethren, who also have a checkered history of lawsuits, divisions, and excommunications.
Nee was a part of the Exclusive Brethren until he committed a "mortal sin." He joined a communion service and "broke bread" with a part of the "degraded, divided, condemned system of Christianity."

Here is an interesting article about W. Nee and the Exclusives.
07-06-2018 06:06 PM
Trapped
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Is the ground of oneness concept unique to the LRC? Does the LRC consider that a "recovered" concept/practice? Or have there been other groups after the NT time but prior to Nee/Lee who saw/practiced the same thing?
07-03-2018 11:49 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
6. Rosemead division details exposing the very adverse effect the LSM at on that congregation and other ridiculous teachings and practices from the LSM such as:
a. "Success of revolution depends on propaganda. To take the New Way we need to learn from the Communists in their propaganda techniques. The way of propaganda is through the clever use of our tongues."
b. "We need to learn from the Red Guards. Even we nedd to learn from Satan for whenever God wants to do a work, Satan is always one step ahead."
c. "The New Way requires no prayers. The more you pray, the more confused you are. Just follow the instructions and do it. You'll be all right."
d. "We need to squeeze money out of the brothers and sisters."
The leader sent there by Witness Lee i.e. Francis Ball, under the direction of LSM, did such things as lock the meeting place to force the congregation to go to LSM meetings in Anaheim instead of their own, etc.
Drake has squirmed every time aron has mention Asian influences, yet there was a chaotic time when the leaders at LSM were actively employing Communist tactics in their takeover of the LC's.

Drake also squirms when I brought up their bully tactics at the little Mansfield LC in Ohio, claiming it was all justified because somebody was locked out of the meeting hall. Here we see senior Blended FB doing the same.

Drake condemned TC and the young Mansfield elders for doing this, let's see if he will also condemn WL and FB for doing the same in Rosemead.
07-03-2018 11:14 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Originally Posted by Doug Krieger SEE HERE: http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...7373#post77373
looking back I realize that Lee's methodology was like that of one incensed with control - he had to be the MANAGER (because he "had the gray hair") of everything and dictate to all. Some day he will have to face the Almighty for the damage he did to so many young people who were hurt by his actions and his subtle manners. In sum: He was a Chinese War Lord and practiced it with amazing cunning.
Aron - Thanks much for posting that quote from Doug Krieger! I was able to go to that thread from 2015 (which you started) and read about what he said concerning Berkeley in 1974! This filled in some details about why Doug et. al., were expelled from there, which I've been wondering about for over 40 years!

(On that thread I asked if there has been any updates regarding Doug Krieger since it was posted in 2015.)
07-03-2018 07:41 AM
aron
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Drake ok.

Sorry, but I'm being honest and telling you what I see. I see the words, "not having any individual distinctiveness" and that's what I see. I don't see the Bible. Paul told us, God gives gifts that differ. Some have a tongue, some an interpretation. Some are prophets some are apostles. I see distinctions, individual distinctiveness. Yet the footnote tells me no. . . I give you every opportunity to explain part two and you become indignant. But no answers.
I recently noticed Paul writing to the Romans and telling them of the "gentile churches". "They risked their lives for me. Not only I but all the churches of the Gentiles are grateful to them."

So I see distinctiveness. There are churches of the gentiles. They are not "exactly identical" in outward appearance, or "shape" in any way I would understand the word. Maybe in heaven they are "one" in Christ, and to some degree should express this on earth (and Paul sought in his ministry to do just this, for example not his continued references to the "offerings of the gentiles" for the poor in Jerusalem).

But I don't see anyone trying to eliminate "individual distinctiveness" the way Lee apparently was in his footnote (Drake still has nor explained what Lee really meant, so I have to go by what it looks like). In fact when some came from James to apparently "eliminate the distinctiveness" of the Antiochian gentiles Paul resisted, loudly. (See Gal 2).

Quote:
THE HIDDEN HISTORY THE LOCAL CHURCH OF WITNESS LEE IN AMERICA
1. An official Letter of Dissociation signed by 21 Local Church leaders in Europe dissociating themselves from the LSM because: "It has come to our attention recently through several witnesses that gross immorality and some other sins mentioned in 1 Corinthians 5:11 have been committed by your son Philip Lee (who is identified as your Ministry Office) on more than one occasion over a long period of time. This deeply disturbs us. It grieves us even more that you and some of your close coworkers were aware of the situation and yet not only tolerated it but covered it up."
2. The testimony of John So who also wrote "I Myself Also Am A Man" to refute the heresy of man becoming God.
3. A letter by Bill Mallon to Witness Lee explaining how the LSM abused the Local Churches in the Southeast U.S. where he was once a coworker. The author of the site also does a comparison of what Lee said Bill wrote to him and what Bill actually did write to him.
4. Exerpts from a book by John Ingalls, another fomrer coworker who knew Witness Lee, the LSM, etc. intimately. His book is tilted "Speaking the Truth in Love" and explains what happened in the Local Churches and LSM during the late 80's and early 90's.
5. Refers to an 11 page letter by Ken Unger's wife. Ken Unger was a leader in Huntington Beach and his wife worked in the LSM and knew how it operated. When she and Ken tried to read this well prepared letter to Witness Lee he cut her off and would not let her finish.
6. Rosemead division details exposing the very adverse effect the LSM at on that congregation and other ridiculous teachings and practices from the LSM such as:
a. "Success of revolution depends on propaganda. To take the New Way we need to learn from the Communists in their propaganda techniques. The way of propaganda is through the clever use of our tongues."
b. "We need to learn from the Red Guards. Even we nedd to learn from Satan for whenever God wants to do a work, Satan is always one step ahead."
c. "The New Way requires no prayers. The more you pray, the more confused you are. Just follow the instructions and do it. You'll be all right."
d. "We need to squeeze money out of the brothers and sisters."
The leader sent there by Witness Lee i.e. Francis Ball, under the direction of LSM, did such things as lock the meeting place to force the congregation to go to LSM meetings in Anaheim instead of their own, etc.
7. Raleigh leaders visit to Witness Lee. These leaders prepared a 71 page work titled: "Concerns Regarding our Practice Regarding Truth and Life" which Witness Lee promised to review with them. But when they went to talk with him they testified Brother Lee had no ear to hear them. It was as if they were talking to a wall.
8. OKC Couple. Refers to a couple in the Local Church in OKC who divorced against the wife's wishes. The wife was shunned by the Local Church there because she said it was becoming a cult. The leaders were not against the husband divorcing his wife and the wife was never allowed to enter their meeting hall again. When she tried the leaders told her to get off their property or they would call the police.
9. Witness Lee's Sons: A long 44 page e-mail dialogue with a former Local Church leader and the author of the Hiding History site detailing the behind the scences corrupt financial and ual adventures of Witness Lee's sons and the LSM against the members of the Local Churches and how Witness Lee knowingly covered it up and even engaged in some of the corrupt financial dealings himself.
Again, this is not an exhaustive list of contents but it should give the reader of this posting the general idea of the sort of things that go on in the Local Church and LSM and why many many believers left and still leave when they find out what really goes on underneath the shiny "spiritual" veneer and bullying legal tactics.
Note Point 6, a-d for quotes which indicate what happens when one culture begins to dominate.

Below another quote from an observer of the change to ministry control and the "flavor" and "atmosphere" that it brought.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Krieger View Post
looking back I realize that Lee's methodology was like that of one incensed with control - he had to be the MANAGER (because he "had the gray hair") of everything and dictate to all. Some day he will have to face the Almighty for the damage he did to so many young people who were hurt by his actions and his subtle manners. In sum: He was a Chinese War Lord and practiced it with amazing cunning.

I gradually began to see what W.L. stood for and later on realized that his "doctrine of control" was exceedingly cruel and nefarious - he and Joe Stalin would have had much in common!

He could never give up anything to the Lord--he insisted on controlling all the churches, the workers and the elders--his model was that of the Antioch Church (so he claimed and so did Watchman Nee claim as well in Further Talks on the Church Life). In his last meeting with Doug Shearer and me he took out a copy of this text and read the following:

"I seems that Antioch was controlling them."

Then we asked Witness Lee: Was Watchman Nee referring to Antioch's "controlling them" - the antecedent of "them" - does it refer to the churches, the workers or the elders? Lee replied: ALL of them! At that point I looked at Doug Shearer and said: I think it's time for us to leave.

Lee had expressed the most totalitarian concept in Church control--more so than that of Pope Benedict's recent declarations that the Roman Catholic Church is the only true Church and that all others are "deficient" and/or "lesser" and even eluded to the fact that salvation outside of the Roman Catholic Church is NOT an option, not viable--Lee, in essence, declared that the L.C. was virtually the only expression outside of Babylon. This arrogant, preposterous, exclusive, demeaning and pompous attitude and even belief system, is so outrageous and defining of a state of super spirituality that the only thing that one can conclude is a spiritual pride far and beyond anything uttered by modern man, aside from overt cults who acclaim the same but, even then, provide variety of expression--unlike the L.C. wherein all things must mimic the (as it is expressed now) the Living Stream Ministry--even the Methodists have not this conformity!
07-02-2018 09:21 PM
Trapped
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
After that, any dress code violations received a citation from the training office. I once got cited for rolling up my sleeves for dinner.
This still happens in the FTTA (at least in the last 7-8 years). Trainees can literally receive a citation letter essentially questioning their heart for/consecration to the Lord due to a minor (and I mean minor) dress code violation.

Talk about heavy-handed.

Many trainees, both from decades ago and to this day, are also fully aware that red is an especially egregious color to be caught with on their person.
07-02-2018 07:10 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: A poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
A poll.

How many of you heard the local churches referred to as "Witness Lee Duplication Centers"?

I did.

Second question: how many of you were told to be "Witness Lee Tape Recorders"?

I was.

We were told that losing our individuality (and pushing that of Witness Lee) was a spiritual endeavour.
I don't believe I heard those specific things. But I stayed in Ohio in the 80s - didn't go to trainings then - when all that stuff was supposedly going on. According to what I'm hearing, Ohio was more insulated from this stuff than other places at that time. (I guess that's one of the things that got them in trouble . . .)
07-02-2018 06:46 PM
Drake
Re: A poll

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
A poll.

How many of you heard the local churches referred to as "Witness Lee Duplication Centers"?

I did.

Second question: how many of you were told to be "Witness Lee Tape Recorders"?

I was.

We were told that losing our individuality (and pushing that of Witness Lee) was a spiritual endeavour.

Now, read the footnote in Revelation 1:20 and tell me what you see.
A poll?

It’s irrelevant especially in a one sided forum like this one.

Hate the break the news to you Aron. That is called “ Argumentum ad populum “

“In argumentation theory, an argumentum ad populum (Latin for "argument to the people") is a fallacious argument that concludes that a proposition must be true because many or most people believe it, often concisely encapsulated as: "If many believe so, it is so."

This type of argument is known by several names,[1] including appeal to the masses, appeal to belief, appeal to the majority, appeal to democracy, appeal to popularity, argument by consensus, consensus fallacy, authority of the many, bandwagon fallacy, vox populi,[2] and in Latin as argumentum ad numerum ("appeal to the number"), fickle crowd syndrome, and consensus gentium ("agreement of the clans").“


Drake
07-02-2018 06:46 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
It was the Training in Taipei May 1987, the place was that big auditorium in Hall#1. Our uniform was blue slacks for guys and blue skirts for the ladies. All of us wore white shirts and LSM ties, and blue jackets with LSM logos. WL loved it -- the sea of blue! He would even get upset if a seat was empty.

When the training first started, at our first get together for the elders and responsible ones at Hall#3, an orientation session, one brother DP of Florida mistakenly wore a "secular" tie. AY just reamed him out, up and down, left and right, front and back, all for our "edification." After that, any dress code violations received a citation from the training office.

I once got cited for rolling up my sleeves for dinner.

The next day I successfully overturned it on appeal.

They even went so far as to assign teenage trainees to inspect our underwear drawers. That really upset a few brothers. WL was reputed to be so godly that even his socks and ties were all in order. I would credit his wife or laundry service for that. I heard a number of horror stories from WL about co-workers who threw their socks on the table and on the lampshade. Egads!

I regularly heard about those "Witness Lee Duplication Centers" and "Witness Lee Tape Recorders." I never heard that in my LC or in Cleveland. Only when traveling to Anaheim or other LSM venues did I hear about that crazy stuff.

Were you there for that, "Let's Go, Lin Ko!"?

I KNOW that our friend DRAKE was there for that!
Wow! This is stuff that should be in a movie as it sounds downright entertaining! If what you say is really true (and I have little reason to doubt what you say), then PRAISE THE LORD that He got my family the heck out of Dodge before all that nonsense found it's way to us! Thank you Jesus!!!

It's hard to imagine how we let ourselves get lead like that . . .
07-02-2018 05:09 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Well I set him up and you set me up. You were the one who told us what you saw in the FTTT. How Lee beamed over the crowd dressed identically! Finally we were all "one"!
It was the Training in Taipei May 1987, the place was that big auditorium in Hall#1. Our uniform was blue slacks for guys and blue skirts for the ladies. All of us wore white shirts and LSM ties, and blue jackets with LSM logos. WL loved it -- the sea of blue! He would even get upset if a seat was empty.

When the training first started, at our first get together for the elders and responsible ones at Hall#3, an orientation session, one brother DP of Florida mistakenly wore a "secular" tie. AY just reamed him out, up and down, left and right, front and back, all for our "edification." After that, any dress code violations received a citation from the training office.

I once got cited for rolling up my sleeves for dinner.

The next day I successfully overturned it on appeal.

They even went so far as to assign teenage trainees to inspect our underwear drawers. That really upset a few brothers. WL was reputed to be so godly that even his socks and ties were all in order. I would credit his wife or laundry service for that. I heard a number of horror stories from WL about co-workers who threw their socks on the table and on the lampshade. Egads!

I regularly heard about those "Witness Lee Duplication Centers" and "Witness Lee Tape Recorders." I never heard that in my LC or in Cleveland. Only when traveling to Anaheim or other LSM venues did I hear about that crazy stuff.

Were you there for that, "Let's Go, Lin Ko!"?

I KNOW that our friend DRAKE was there for that!
07-02-2018 04:25 PM
aron
A poll

A poll.

How many of you heard the local churches referred to as "Witness Lee Duplication Centers"?

I did.

Second question: how many of you were told to be "Witness Lee Tape Recorders"?

I was.

We were told that losing our individuality (and pushing that of Witness Lee) was a spiritual endeavour.

Now, read the footnote in Revelation 1:20 and tell me what you see.
07-02-2018 04:17 PM
aron
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Once again Drake is found hiding under the rug of some supposed "Logical Fallacy."
Well I set him up and you set me up. You were the one who told us what you saw in the FTTT. How Lee beamed over the crowd dressed identically! Finally we were all "one"!

I saw a cultural component in this enforced homogeneity. Now, other groups practice similar acculturation techniques, but how many Exclusive Brethren are there two centuries on? Compared to how the Nee/Lee group took off and even metastised among the Chinese. So I say there's a cultural connection. Centuries of culture have 'primed' them for this group. Contrast to the west, where individualism is ingrained in our psyche. Harder to find the Hive Mind.

Some westerners do but it's not nearly as pronounced.
07-02-2018 04:08 PM
aron
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

-2

Drake ok.

Sorry, but I'm being honest and telling you what I see. I see the words, "not having any individual distinctiveness" and that's what I see. I don't see the Bible. Paul told us, God gives gifts that differ. Some have a tongue, some an interpretation. Some are prophets some are apostles. I see distinctions, individual distinctiveness. Yet the footnote tells me no.

I see, star differs from star in glory but the footnote says no.

You feign outrage but where is the competing vision? It took poster named "Trapped" to rescue you from part one, the "exactly identical" part in "shape". I don't ever remember hearing that a church had a shape. What was I supposed to see?

But hooray for "Trapped" who explained it nicely. Then I give you every opportunity to explain part two and you become indignant. But no answers.
07-02-2018 02:43 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
-1

aron>"Like the faceless proletariat in front of Chairman Mao, all dressed in their Mao smocks with their little red books."

.....and there it is again.. right on schedule. The use of loaded terms. Chinese imagery too. A double whammy.



Aron, your constant use of loaded terms exposes the weakness and fallacy of your argument.

Argument by Emotive Language (also known as: loaded words, loaded language, euphemisms)
Description:
Substituting facts and evidence with words that stir up emotion, with the attempt to manipulate others into accepting the truth of the argument.

Drake
So predictable, as you said "right on schedule."

Once again Drake is found hiding under the rug of some supposed "Logical Fallacy."
07-02-2018 02:15 PM
Drake
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

-1

aron>"Like the faceless proletariat in front of Chairman Mao, all dressed in their Mao smocks with their little red books."

.....and there it is again.. right on schedule. The use of loaded terms. Chinese imagery too. A double whammy.



Aron, your constant use of loaded terms exposes the weakness and fallacy of your argument.

Argument by Emotive Language (also known as: loaded words, loaded language, euphemisms)
Description:
Substituting facts and evidence with words that stir up emotion, with the attempt to manipulate others into accepting the truth of the argument.

Drake
07-02-2018 01:56 PM
aron
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
What about misappropriating, misrepresenting, misquoting, and fabricating

Thanks
Drake
I'm sure you were outraged when you found out the lies behind the FPR, weren't you? Righteous indignation boiled over I'm sure.

Witness Lee made a long career out of misappropriating and mis-representing so get off your high horse. And I didn't charge you any money, either. If "exactly identical" is a heavenly abode of celestial "lampstands", not the actual physical churches on the ground (thus we can ignore the words "shape" which would otherwise have no practical meaning), you still haven't explained how there can be no individual distinction between the churches?

You quoted the footnote and I copied it. What does, Not having any individual distinctiveness mean? Something in heaven? Or on earth? It is not self-evident, unless it means what I think it means, which is Witness Lee was telling the churches to get in line and be quiet. If it means something else you should say it instead of hiding behind a barrage of bluster. Just say it. What does it mean? It is the words from Witness Lee. Revelation 1:20 Footnote whatever.

Here are the Great Man's actual words:

"but positively, in their nature, shape, and purpose, they are absolutely identical and are connected to one another". So Laodicea and Ephesus were connected. As were the Baptist and the RCC and all the other "churches of history". Right? The connection, being heavenly, transcends space and time and culture. Good.

Now, "absolutely identical" in "nature, shape, and purpose". So this means, again, the Baptist and RCC and EOC and all other groups are absolutely identical in confession and faith and hope. Like you and I are absolutely identical, being both created in the image of our Maker.

Okay, I get part one.

Now what about part two. Again let's focus on the Great Man's words and not get distracted by rock pigeons or ukuleles.

"They not only are shining locally but also are bearing universally the same testimony both to the localities and to the universe. They are of the same nature and in the same shape. They bear the same lamp for the same purpose and are fully identified with one another, not having any individual distinctiveness. "

"No individual distinctiveness" - what does this mean, please? I get the "bearing universally" part as in Part One. The Baptists and RCC and EOC and Presbyterians all bear universally the same nature, shape, purpose, the same light, the same glory, the same hope. All of them are exactly the same. Amazing footnote, really I like it a lot. Again MEA CULPA if I misunderstood it.

But what of "Not having any individual distinctiveness"? What does that mean? I don't want to misunderstand. It LOOKS LIKE Witness Lee was telling everybody to be the same in expression. In heaven I see distinctiveness. Like I said, star differs from star in glory. No problem. So the quote "The differences among the seven churches recorded in chs. 2 and 3 are all of a negative nature," makes no sense. Because you already said that there is no difference! Everyone is exactly the same! Same shape! Same nature! Same purpose! Suddenly we talk of differences....

So this is why they go to FTT? To understand footnotes? Because the footnotes contradict. First they say we are EXACTLY THE SAME with no differences and then there are differences. And clearly there are individual distinctivenesses in heaven. The seven stars which are the seven angels to the seven churches - how do you know they are exactly identical? You don't. The twelve gates? The fruit bearing each month from the tree of life? Do you think that each fruit tastes exactly the same, with no individual distinctiveness? No?

So there is some 'mystical' meaning to the words which we assume Lee had, and we are to soak in them and become divine in life and nature? But don't bother trying to understand it? Because you are not helping. The only way to "get" the footnote is to repeat it, "shape, amen, shape" and don't think about what the words mean. Otherwise, it looks to me like Lee is trying to make everyone exactly the same. Like the faceless proletariat in front of Chairman Mao, all dressed in their Mao smocks with their little red books. (Only we had Rainbow Booklets). No you say, it is a heavenly view. But you don't explain it. You just bluster and act upset.

So explain it. Explain what these words mean. "No individual distinctiveness". Either in heaven or on earth. It LOOKS LIKE Lee was trying to control and manipulate the believers. What was he really doing?

"No individual distinctiveness" What does it mean? I literally have never heard of such a thing. The universe is full of distinctiveness. Where is this place of Full Sameness? The Full Time Training? Is that the Gate of Heaven? Everyone dress the same? Because the Footnote 1:20 from the RecV and what I remember from the LC resonate. The Individual is Gone and you are now in the Hive. And one day you realize this is not heaven but the Witness Lee Duplication Factory. Everybody is Exactly the Same. No Individual Distinctiveness.

I figured it was Chinese culture. Fallen humanity trying to reach God. You say it's not. Well then what is it? Please explain.

It sure LOOKS to me like bricks and slime building the tower of Babel all over again, but you say it's not, it's "intrinsically" something or other. "Universally divine" or something but the words make no sense. Maybe the FTT can help. Like they say, "You have to see the vision." They probably say something like that in the college meetings: "Don't try to understand. Just go to the FTT".
07-02-2018 11:51 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
What about misappropriating, misrepresenting, misquoting, and fabricating the footnote you referenced, that you didn't actually read) is missed on you? Had you not used it a a failed attempt to substantiate your narrative there would be no discussion about it... just an anecdotal exchange between you and I who have different experiences in life. You would have your view of things and I would have mine. But you didn't.... you did what many people who want to take Witness Lee and his followers down... you twisted what the man actually said to create a straw man of your own creation so you could set it afire to roars of approval from the usual crowd.
There's no crowd here like there was at Whistler, that Kangaroo Court that unleashed LSM's legal thugs on the Midwest LC's. And it was you and Witness Lee who took down all those men of God like John Ingalls who cried out for justice on behalf of the sisters molested by Philip Lee at the LSM offices.

Drake, you have a serious problem with paranoia and the facts of history at LSM. Please don't project them onto aron.
07-02-2018 11:41 AM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
-6

Drake,

So according to the "Shape" definition in post #147 is we are all believers, so all local churches that contain believers are exactly identical in "shape", whether or not "they take the 'local ground'"? Whether or not they read HWMR on Sunday morning? Okay, guess I totally missed that. So Lee is saying that all believers everywhere have the exact same shape, form and purpose? Irrespective of their "affiliation" with the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee? Well, I feel dull, and confess I totally missed that. I thought it was a prescription for outward conformity. He's saying we all already have perfect heavenly "conformity" regardless of present earthly appearances?

Good - part one is resolved. Mea culpa. Now what about part two: not having any individual distinctiveness? I don't know how any "normal" person could interpret that except what it seems to be saying, which is what I thought the first part was saying, that everyone has to be "exactly identical" outwardly in appearance, in expression, etc. Which is, for lack of a better term, "crazytown". Unless you can show us what he really meant?

As far as Chinese/Asian culture in the LC and its source in WN and WL, I already started a thread called "The Asian Mind and the Western Mind" and it has quite a few posts and people seem to have been reading it. I didn't start this thread, and probably UntoHim should have appended this discussion there. If you'd bother to read it, you'd see that I'm not the only one who's noticed these things. In fact I daresay the famous "We Were Wrong" essays from CRI put down most of the problems in LC history to "cultural misunderstandings" - not entirely on the part of the Westerners who appended the 'cult' label. Lee also 'misunderstood' the Westerners (so I remember them saying - you can look it up if I'm wrong). So if you think I'm "outrageous" fine; I'm not the only one who's noticed these things.

Here was a response to my initial post on that thread:



There are about 350 comments on the thread. Here is another one.



So if you don't want to "connect the dots" that's fine. But don't play so insulted when others do.

BTW, there are LOTS of problems of the "everything goes" freedom-first individualistic Western mind. The Chinese (and Koreans and Japanese and Indians &c) have a lot to show us. God created them, too.
aron,

What about misappropriating, misrepresenting, misquoting, and fabricating the footnote you referenced, that you didn't actually read) is missed on you? Had you not used it in a failed attempt to substantiate your narrative there would be no discussion about it... just an anecdotal exchange between you and I who have different experiences in life. You would have your view of things and I would have mine. But you didn't.... you did what many people who want to take Witness Lee and his followers down... you twisted what the man actually said to create a straw man of your own creation so you could set it afire to roars of approval from the usual crowd.

But look, your personal views do not matter to me at all. I'm happy for you.... you have something to jump out of bed for everyday... maybe a sense of purpose in life. The sense of pride that is found with crusaders of justice. Who knows?

But, this is an important topic... please provide a direct quote from Witness Lee himself to substantiate your assertion.... let's have a look.

Thanks
Drake
07-02-2018 10:33 AM
UntoHim
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
As far as Chinese/Asian culture in the LC and its source in WN and WL, I already started a thread called "The Asian Mind and the Western Mind" and it has quite a few posts and people seem to have been reading it. I didn't start this thread, and probably UntoHim should have appended this discussion there.
Sorry aron, I was thinking of this thread but I couldn't find it. Thanks for digging this one up and I have merged the two threads.

Quote:
In fact I daresay the famous "We Were Wrong" essays from CRI put down most of the problems in LC history to "cultural misunderstandings" - not entirely on the part of the Westerners who appended the 'cult' label. Lee also 'misunderstood' the Westerners (so I remember them saying - you can look it up if I'm wrong). So if you think I'm "outrageous" fine; I'm not the only one who's noticed these things.
Excellent point! I just recently pointed out how Hanegraaff et all called the Local Church "a Chinese interpretation of Christianity" (paraphrase) If this had been said by any of us "opposers" or "bitter ex members" the Local Church minions would have gone ballistic. Thanks, aron, for pointing out the glaring hypocrisy.
-
07-02-2018 08:37 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I agree we all have warts, me too. Big ones. And we love all the saints with warts.

But if we have a Publisher/Ministry that is causing a "wart pandemic" then it behooves us to check it out, don't you think?
And that's what I intend to do, the Lord willing!

As said before, what you describe is generally what I saw during my last visit. But also, I don't just want to be with the LC saints to judge them, but rather to experience Christ with them, just as I would those in other Christian groups. The Anointing will show and speak to me as He wills.
07-02-2018 08:29 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

-6

Drake,

So according to the "Shape" definition in post #147 is we are all believers, so all local churches that contain believers are exactly identical in "shape", whether or not "they take the 'local ground'"? Whether or not they read HWMR on Sunday morning? Okay, guess I totally missed that. So Lee is saying that all believers everywhere have the exact same shape, form and purpose? Irrespective of their "affiliation" with the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee? Well, I feel dull, and confess I totally missed that. I thought it was a prescription for outward conformity. He's saying we all already have perfect heavenly "conformity" regardless of present earthly appearances?

Good - part one is resolved. Mea culpa. Now what about part two: not having any individual distinctiveness? I don't know how any "normal" person could interpret that except what it seems to be saying, which is what I thought the first part was saying, that everyone has to be "exactly identical" outwardly in appearance, in expression, etc. Which is, for lack of a better term, "crazytown". Unless you can show us what he really meant?

As far as Chinese/Asian culture in the LC and its source in WN and WL, I already started a thread called "The Asian Mind and the Western Mind" and it has quite a few posts and people seem to have been reading it. I didn't start this thread, and probably UntoHim should have appended this discussion there. If you'd bother to read it, you'd see that I'm not the only one who's noticed these things. In fact I daresay the famous "We Were Wrong" essays from CRI put down most of the problems in LC history to "cultural misunderstandings" - not entirely on the part of the Westerners who appended the 'cult' label. Lee also 'misunderstood' the Westerners (so I remember them saying - you can look it up if I'm wrong). So if you think I'm "outrageous" fine; I'm not the only one who's noticed these things.

Here was a response to my initial post on that thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by InChristAlone View Post
Good observation, Aron.

I'm neither Western nor Asian but I live in a Chinese community. I like these people. Though I believe I'll be always an outsider for them. Anyway, in three words, I'd describe the Chinese mentality as:

1) Subordination;
2) Collectiveness;
3) “Us” versus “Them” mentality. (Well, that is slightly more than one word )

Generally, the Chinese are also lack of creativity and tend to imitate or copy someone else's models and patterns.

BTW, can you guess whose quote is this: "The individual is subordinate to the organisation. The minority is subordinate to the majority. The lower level is subordinate to the higher level"...

That was Mao Tse-tung's quote but it pretty much sums up the LC's value system.
There are about 350 comments on the thread. Here is another one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I've been tooting this horn about the dichotomy between Eastern and Western cultures being at the root of the problems in the Recovery for years. Waking up to the realization that I had grown up in, and given my life to propagate, an incognito Chinese church was deeply disturbing, but the conviction only gets clearer as the years go by.

I stumbled in here today by chance. Wasn't even aware this forum existed. Reading this thread almost gave me goosebumps, to finally hear some traction for this understanding. In a discussion that I didn't personally initiate, no less. Actually, most of what I've had are monologues, not discussions. Nice to see that someone else can connect the dots.

Once you see this dichotomy clearly, I believe you'll recognize that nearly every gripe from disgruntled ex-members or frustrated current members has its roots in Asian cultural values that got institutionalized so deeply into the practices of the Local Churches that they create an atmosphere of expectations so rigid they are just as effective at enforcing conformity as posting a bouncer at the door, or a requiring a profession of doctrinal faith that one must sign in order to be fully received into the circle of fellowship. Some of the Asian cultural elements relate to standards of conduct that are pushed as if essential to the Christian life. Others elements are Eastern cultural values that make their way into doctrinal stances on minor truths, and then get stressed like major ones. The manifestations are numerous, but the root is the same. We (they) failed to distinguish between Lee's culture and his portion of Christ.

On the one hand, I believe this is the glaringly obvious "elephant in the room" that even the current leaders in the Recovery acknowledge has been wreaking havoc and hemorrhaging the life-blood of what, by all rights, should be a thriving organism. Whether they see the elephant for what it truly is or not is not for me to say, but I've been encouraged just to hear they acknowledge the problems it causes for them. And that encouragement is not rooted in cynicism toward them.

On the other hand, though, there is a reason why so many members can't see the elephant, and why the leaders (in my view) should be given some slack for failing to evict it. I bumped into it daily, got trampled by it with bothersome frequency, and wrestled with it on and off for over a decade before all the loose threads of my chronic frustrations got tied together by the common thread of Asian culture, at which point the resultant tapestry finally came together. It was a relief in the small sense that the puzzle finally got solved and yielded a coherent picture. But it was devastating at the same time -- my faith got rocked and my Christian life got shipwrecked by the disappointment. Blindness is not always willful, and the more painful the picture, the more innate subconscious defense mechanisms there are to prevent you from seeing it.

Plus, it's a complex picture, not a simple line-drawing. I blame no one for not being able to connect the dots without help. It took me about 30 pages even just to put my thoughts on the topic together when a brother asked me to connect the dots for him by giving detailed explanations rather than generalizations. It's like walking someone through calculus, when you can jump 5 steps at a time, but they need each little one spelled out for them separately in order to see the connections at first. I'll probably share pieces of that effort here as the discussion progresses, but I'm leery of becoming one more disgruntled bozo with an angry manifesto. (Sorry if that that offends anyone here; I trust most of you here, like me, have been there for a time, even if you've moved past that phase.)

For the record: I have no interest in WL, LC, or BB bashing. I bless the Lord for the privilege of growing up and giving my best years whole-heartedly to be receive what these people gained of Christ, and serve together with them. Some of you here, I feel, have some issues with bitterness that you would do well to seek help dealing with. God forbid that He eventually has to judge you with the same strictness and enthusiasm with which some of you here are casting stones. I have no interest in participating in that or providing ammunition for those who are just looking for rocks to throw rather than to build something with.

If there have been moral or ethical wrongdoings that set some of you off, I can't speak to that, as I never noticed such things in greater frequency or severity than are common to any institution, sacred or secular. I'm just talking about the personal offenses and reactionary cynicism that rise up when a person finds out they don't fit in to something they had hoped to be a part of at some point. I still struggle with disappointment that there seems to be no place for me among what those dear folks are doing. But I'm dealing with it, and staying positive is part of how that is best done.
So if you don't want to "connect the dots" that's fine. But don't play so insulted when others do.

BTW, there are LOTS of problems of the "everything goes" freedom-first individualistic Western mind. The Chinese (and Koreans and Japanese and Indians &c) have a lot to show us. God created them, too.
07-02-2018 08:26 AM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
In my travels this summer, I may be able to make a LC meeting in person. This way I can see for myself if these things you speak of are true. I don't doubt what you've said, Ohio, and this is much of what I saw and experienced when I visited the LC in Tacoma WA about 7 years ago. But want to be a good Berean . . .

And let me say again that He loves us all and we all have warts of one kind or another.
Have a safe trip and an enjoyable time.

This whole criticism of the HWMR is a tempest in a teapot.. way overblown. I grew up reading weekly lessons in the Baptist Church. I taught weekly lessons from the Assembly of God publications.

When I came into the Lords recovery over four decades ago there was no HWMR. Mostly, it was one man speaking a message and the testimonies afterward often bore very little resemblance to the message just spoken. I enjoyed those testimonies but they were scattered on many topics and often they were time consuming sea stories. The consideration at the time was to bring all the members of the Body into their function in the local church meetings so the format had to change from one-to-many (one five talented functioning) to many-to-many (functioning one talented ones)... of course that precipitated objections from those who were used to giving messages... but I digress. However, though more had something and more time was available for that, the prophesying meeting still lacked focus and some interpreted the vacuum created when the one man stopped speaking as an invitation to fill that gap. Also, not every member had a practical way to create a prophesy that would edify the members. We were transitioning from an older unscriptural model to the 1 Corinthians 14 model of each one has. Not every member knew how to function and the objective was to help every member to fulfill their God given priestly function. The HWMR addressed those needs and having lived before, during the transition and after I can testify that it brought much needed edification to those meetings.

Drake
07-02-2018 08:14 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
In my travels this summer, I may be able to make a LC meeting in person. This way I can see for myself if these things you speak of are true. I don't doubt what you've said, Ohio, and this is much of what I saw and experienced when I visited the LC in Tacoma WA about 7 years ago. But I want to be a good Berean . . .

And let me say again that He loves us all and we all have warts of one kind or another.
I agree we all have warts, me too. Big ones. And we love all the saints with warts.

But if we have a Publisher/Ministry that is causing a "wart pandemic" then it behooves us to check it out, don't you think?
07-02-2018 08:11 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
We’ve already covered nature, shape, and purpose and if you don’t like Brother Lees definition in the footnote from Revelation 1:20.

What I observe in your posts is an oft repeated anti-Chinese theme.
Actually we have not "covered" all of the implications of Lee's teachings on Rev. 1:20. And once again, when pressured with the truth, Drake falls back to his own fortified strongholds of accusing us of bitterness, lies, falsehoods, hate mongering, obsessing, fabricating allegations, etc. After having heard Lee/LSM assault Christianity for 40+ years, Drake just can't help himself.

After having personally read all of aron's posts, I don't see these anti-Chinese themes. What I see is Lee/LSM selling these "Chinese themes" as spiritual themes to an unsuspecting Western people, and aron pointing it out to us. Should not we examine Lee's teachings in the light of scripture and LC history? Did not Apostle Paul teach us to "Test all things, hold on to the good" (I Thess. 5.21)?

WL/LSM hold and spread exclusive teachings all together unique to their movement. The rest of the body of Christ has never accepted them, or has long ago decided to reject them. Whether Drake likes it or not, these teachings should be examined.
07-02-2018 07:55 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Today every LC uses only Lee's books for their teaching and the content of their gatherings. Not just any old Lee books, but they must use the Holy Word for Morning Revival. And not just any old HWFMR off their shelves, but it must be the one from the latest "Feast." And for those who are not in the know, this "Feast" is the latest semi-annual training held at LSM's headquarters in Anaheim, CA.

Don't think every LC arrived at this decision freely and amicably. This strict practice took decades to reach. Literally hundreds of LC elders resisted their bully tactics over the years, citing their God-given responsibilities to shepherd their own church. But years of coercion, manipulation, threatening, quarantines, evictions, and lawsuits were used to reach such a goal. This takeover work by Lee/LSM began in 1974, about the time I first contacted the LC, and ended with the GLA quarantines, when I left the LC.

In the beginning the LC's were Christ-centered gatherings in each locality, or "local" church. At least it was that way for all of us young brothers and sisters. Slowly we transitioned to "ministry-centered" franchises for the building up of "the body." Why? Because Christ-centered gatherings in each locality created too much "independence" for each member, each eldership, and each LC. So-called "independence" or "autonomy" was great for the children of God, since congregations could more readily focus on shepherding their own members and communities, but bad for business, LSM's that is.

And LSM is all about control. Lee made that clear. He once said that he would rather have ten who were absolutely one with him, than all the LC's. This explains why LSM seems unfazed with the loss of thousands of former members in the Midwest and Brazil. Their message has been simple: If you don't like things our way, just leave, but don't take your meeting hall, it's ours.
In my travels this summer, I may be able to make a LC meeting in person. This way I can see for myself if these things you speak of are true. I don't doubt what you've said, Ohio, and this is much of what I saw and experienced when I visited the LC in Tacoma WA about 7 years ago. But I want to be a good Berean . . .

And let me say again that He loves us all and we all have warts of one kind or another.
07-02-2018 07:50 AM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
We'd like to know, if the shape of the local churches must be exactly identical, what shape they should be: triangular? If so, isosceles or equilateral? Or, perhaps cylindrical? Or maybe a nice neat cube? Lee just said "shape" and went on, but if we all should be exactly identical in shape then probably we need a little more information.....

....The local churches are to be exactly identical, but in what way? In shape? How are we supposed to implement that? ....

...he was an angry Chinese man defending his business interests....

In the footnote to Revelation 1:20 I see a Chinese fox-tail. How are local churches supposed to be exactly identical in "shape"?

.... and pointed to stuff like this as my reasoning. I also mentioned other things as well but got challenged on a footnote so here we are.
Aron,

We’ve already covered nature, shape, and purpose and if you don’t like Brother Lees definition in the footnote from Revelation 1:20, or mine in this thread.. then I suggest you digest Trapped’s definitions concerning the heavenly and earthly realm in post #147. I agree with those aspects of his post. I also demonstrated by way of comparison the nature, shape, and purpose of angels, a topic you introduced.

What I observe in your posts is an oft repeated anti-Chinese theme. It’s almost like you ended up on the losing side when everybody was Kung Fu fighting. Frankly, I don’t know why you are so obsessive but this much I do know. We are here for one simple reason, that you misappropriated a phrase out of a footnote, which you hadn’t read, and spun it to mean something entirely different from its context or original definition. That is sophistry and is unbecoming of a Christian brother, which you are. Yet, one cannot stop you from falsehood, hate mongering, obsessing over Asian/Chinese culture, fabricating allegations out of your imagination etc....but I will it point out when I see you do it. That is just one aspect of my personalized care for you.

Here is another aspect of my care for you: Now that your “Chinese culture narrative” that you attempted to derive from the footnote in Revelation 1:20 has been thoroughly disproven and shown to be false.... out of the thousands and thousands of messages spoken and documented by Witness Lee there must be at least one statement that substantiates your assertion. No need to imagine such things, no need to rely on others who heard someone who overheard someone else, you don’t even need to depend on what some elder or coworker said...rather let’s hear it straight from the man himself, for such an important task as casting Chinese culture into divine matters must be accomplished with some degree of certitude. What did a Witness Lee say about culture and Chinese culture specifically?

Drake
07-02-2018 06:51 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Today every LC uses only Lee's books for their teaching and the content of their gatherings. Not just any old Lee books, but they must use the Holy Word for Morning Revival. And not just any old HWFMR off their shelves, but it must be the one from the latest "Feast." And for those who are not in the know, this "Feast" is the latest semi-annual training held at LSM's headquarters in Anaheim, CA.

Don't think every LC arrived at this decision freely and amicably. This strict practice took decades to reach. Literally hundreds of LC elders resisted their bully tactics over the years, citing their God-given responsibilities to shepherd their own church. But years of coercion, manipulation, threatening, quarantines, evictions, and lawsuits were used to reach such a goal. This takeover work by Lee/LSM began in 1974, about the time I first contacted the LC, and ended with the GLA quarantines, when I left the LC.

In the beginning the LC's were Christ-centered gatherings in each locality, or "local" church. At least it was that way for all of us young brothers and sisters. Slowly we transitioned to "ministry-centered" franchises for the building up of "the body." Why? Because Christ-centered gatherings in each locality created too much "independence" for each member, each eldership, and each LC. So-called "independence" or "autonomy" was great for the children of God, since congregations could more readily focus on shepherding their own members and communities, but bad for business, LSM's that is.

And LSM is all about control. Lee made that clear. He once said that he would rather have ten who were absolutely one with him, than all the LC's. This explains why LSM seems unfazed with the loss of thousands of former members in the Midwest and Brazil. Their message has been simple: If you don't like things our way, just leave, but don't take your meeting hall, it's ours.
07-02-2018 03:27 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Researched. Well said. Factual.

I would only modify that the extension to earth from the heavenly is permitted...
How about where he referred to the footnote's promotion of local churches not having any individual distinctiveness as "crazytown" - was that also well said & factual, and if not, why?

Lest readers think I'm merely trying to score debate points against a rival, I'd say rather that it's about ideas. Good ideas help us on our way & bad ideas hinder. I know families that split up, with parents going with the Dong-ites and children with LSM in Anaheim. The only "truth" that mattered was, "Who are you with?" Everyone felt maligned and persecuted by the other.

And behind it all was flawed assumptions and teachings, uncritically received. Ignorance and fervor is a bad mix.
07-02-2018 12:20 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
And Lee/LSM has given us the "proper meaning." They have spoken loud and clear.
We'd like to know, if the shape of the local churches must be exactly identical, what shape they should be: triangular? If so, isosceles or equilateral? Or, perhaps cylindrical? Or maybe a nice neat cube? Lee just said "shape" and went on, but if we all should be exactly identical in shape then probably we need a little more information.

Here's what I think: Witness Lee was a flim-flam man. He noticed that Watchman Nee had made a go selling spiritual-sounding words to the masses and wanted to follow suit. So he put out these hifalutin messages, but when examined critically they dissolve like wet crepe paper. There's almost nothing there. He had no theological training so he cribbed 19th century Bible study lessons and Brethren teachings. But the cracks are showing, and what lurks below.

The local churches are to be exactly identical, but in what way? In shape? How are we supposed to implement that? Eventually a Ray Graver or a Paul Hon will come by and tell you how.

Ironically, the LSM has recently been trying to legitimise Lee by marketing him as a "global Chinese Christian leader", using pseudo-scholarly papers, e.g. Globalization of Chinese Christianity: A Study of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee's Ministry. Asia Journal of Theology. Apr 2016, Vol. 30 Issue 1, p 96-114. Author: Liu Yi.

Truth is, he was just another businessman trying to make a living for his family. And his culturally-derived leanings showed when his income or family was threatened: then he was an angry Chinese man defending his business interests, reflexively using the only methods that he knew, in order to survive. Anyone on the wrong side found this out quickly and clearly!

Back to the footnote - I know Drake doesn't like it when I use analogies, but Lee did, so I will also. Remember the tea bags and water? In this case I'll use Lee's animal analogies - remember his gophers and turtles? For example he'd say that people tried appear to be something, but eventually a "fox tail" would appear, or the true self would come out. In the footnote to Revelation 1:20 I see a Chinese fox-tail. How are local churches supposed to be exactly identical in "shape"? How are they supposed to be without any individual distinctiveness? The answer is, by following Headquarters and the dictates of Maximum Brother. It's a push for centralisation and control, with hardly the slightest hint of spiritual veneer. And he shows his cultural roots: uniformity and conformity equals "oneness", LSM-style.

One further point: if you look at whatever was going on in the LC when Lee was giving his Life Study Conferences, then you'll usually find the source of his "vision"; it was indeed a "timely word". . . check the date of the Revelation training and probably some church or regional leader was getting too "distinctive" if you know what I mean. The whole thing was political to further selfish business interests. (Ohio tells us that one day Witness Lee rang up Titus Chu, and informed him, "You just bought 1,000 chairs". Evidently one of his family's business deals went south.)

This thread grew out of a discussion on the Full Time Training. Drake had said, in effect, "It's not for everyone." I replied, "It's not for anyone" and pointed to stuff like this as my reasoning. I also mentioned other things as well but got challenged on a footnote so here we are.
07-01-2018 09:45 PM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
What is the shape of the local churches? Does the footnote help us? Does the scriptural text?

How can we tell if the local churches have exactly identical shape? If we can't tell, then how does this footnote help us?

It reminds me of the various abstractions that can be interpreted any old way one wants. Lee, naturally, got to pick the "proper" meaning.
And Lee/LSM has given us the "proper meaning." They have spoken loud and clear.

The Midwest Quarantine ostensibly was over Titus Chu's right to publish his own books, and many have considered only the financial implications of this. What was really at stake was Lee/LSM's definition of oneness, vis'a'vis Golden Lampstands being absolutely identical in nature, shape, and purpose. When Lee/LSM are the only source of teaching in the LCM, they automatically wield great power over all their members, and in exclusive systems such as the LCM, power is much preferred to money.

So it is only Lee/LSM who determines what the exact "shape" of each member LC should be. Why is it that whenever the elders seek the Lord in order to shepherd their people, they immediately get charged with "independence." If that elder becomes effective at positively influencing others, the charge of "ambition" gets hurled at him. Thus, as I have seen for decades, the two unforgiveable sins in the LCM are ambition and independence. Financial impropriety and sexual immorality can be readily covered up as "mistakes," as in "everyone is entitled to a few," but ambition and independence must be rooted out of every LC leader. Except for the one at the top. Only he is allowed to possess unlimited "ambition and independence."

This is absolutely contrary to western American Christianity. Neither Billy Graham nor Rick Warren was condemned for "ambition and independence," rather many leaders looked to them as patterns to learn their source of blessing from the Lord. Why attack the fruitful ones? Who would do that? It only makes sense if it is the lust for power that drives the "maximum brother." This explains why the demands for the collective far outweigh any personal liberties we have in the Spirit. It also explains the system of public shaming.
07-01-2018 07:40 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
there is a shape of the local churches,
What is the shape of the local churches? Does the footnote help us? Does the scriptural text?

How can we tell if the local churches have exactly identical shape? If we can't tell, then how does this footnote help us?

It reminds me of the various abstractions that can be interpreted any old way one wants. Lee, naturally, got to pick the "proper" meaning.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Revelation 1:20 footnote 1 (concerning the nature, shape, and purpose of the lampstands). The Recovery Version of the Bible

"The churches, signified by the seven golden lampstands, are the testimony of Jesus (vv. 2, 9) in the divine nature, shining in the dark night locally yet collectively. The churches should be of the divine nature — golden. They should be the stands, even the lampstands, that bear the lamp with the oil (Christ as the life-giving Spirit) and shine in the darkness individually and collectively. They are individual lampstands locally, yet at the same time they are a group, a collection, of lampstands universally. They not only are shining locally but also are bearing universally the same testimony both to the localities and to the universe. They are of the same nature and in the same shape. They bear the same lamp for the same purpose and are fully identified with one another, not having any individual distinctiveness. The differences among the seven churches recorded in chs. 2 and 3 are all of a negative nature, not a positive one. Negatively, in their failures, the churches are different and separate from one another; but positively, in their nature, shape, and purpose, they are absolutely identical and are connected to one another."
07-01-2018 05:31 PM
Trapped
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Shall we assume this is another of Lee's "mistakes," or should we examine the results to determine his motive?

Examine away if you'd like!
07-01-2018 05:14 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Thus, we can both be fully lampstands with the same nature, shape, and purpose, but still have individual distinction.

Nee said it correctly: in the divine realm the lampstands are identical in nature, shape, and purpose. In the earthly realm there are positive and negative differences from one to another and each has its own earthly appearance.

Lee took it too far/angled into a wrong direction: in the divine realm the lampstands are identical in nature, shape, and purpose. In the earthly realm there is no individual distinction and any distinctions are negative and failures. (We know this is not true, as Ohio mentioned, because the churches were individually commended for their own positive attributes).
Exactly! A big mistake comes when man thinks he can take the place of God and tries to make all of them look the same! In this life, that's just not likely to happen, and I don't even believe the Builder of the church will do that (again, at least in this life). But in any case, that's not our role and to try it sounds more like Communism.
07-01-2018 05:13 PM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Yes, I agree (see my response to Drake just now). Lee took the erroneous concept too far and applied it in disastrous ways.
Shall we assume this is another of Lee's "mistakes," or should we examine the results to determine his motive?
07-01-2018 05:09 PM
Trapped
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Firstly, Lee's teaching that all the differences were "of a negative nature" is frankly wrong. The Son of Man commended each church positively and individually, knowing their positives quite well. Why would W. Lee downplay this fact? Every Pastor/Shepherd in the world knows the positive characteristics of his church, just ask him. W. Lee, however, could not acknowledge that each church had its own good works, pleasing to God. This corresponded with Lee's unending fellowship that only LSM could do anything good. "So, send your best people to the training."

Secondly, why would Lee continually stress that each LC must "not have any individual distinctiveness?" Since God has placed gifts in the body as it pleases Him, and each member has been gifted by the Lord uniquely, it only stand to reason that each church would have different strengths (and weaknesses too.) Why is this so threatening to W. Lee that he would create a teaching about member churches that is completely different from the rest of the body of Christ? What was his motive here? What were the results, or the fruit, of such teaching? How did W. Lee and LSM act to remove "any individual distinctiveness" between churches. These are fair questions to ask. We also have the advantage of decades of history to examine.

One notable action which Lee and LSM has taken is to remove and neutralize the gifted members of the body from ministering according to the anointing Spirit. The list of gifted and fruitful ministers around the globe, who once labored to establish churches, and have been expelled by Lee/LSM is just incredible. This forum is filled with their accounts. They were used by Lee, then were discarded. None of them ever parted peacefully. They were always nasty "divorces." Why would Lee/LSM do this? What was there motive? Just to remove "any individual distinctiveness" from the churches?

Yes, I agree (see my response to Drake just now). Lee took the erroneous concept too far and applied it in disastrous ways.
07-01-2018 05:06 PM
Trapped
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Researched. Well said. Factual.

I would only modify that the extension to earth from the heavenly is permitted.... We are partakers of the divine nature, there is a shape of the local churches, and they all shine forth the Spirit.... or rather should..... when we come to Revelation 2 & 3 we see big differences but those are mostly negative.... even in one case the Lord threatens to remove the lampstand....

Drake

Yes, on the divine side the extension from heavenly to earthly is permitted.

1. Nature - do all the churches have the Lord's life/divine nature? Yes.
2. Shape - are they all lampstands? You bet!
3. Purpose - do they shine forth the Lord in a dark place? Yes.

But again, these are not physical attributes and are thus in the divine realm. All these criteria can be met, and met fully, in the divine realm without requiring that the churches have no individual distinction in the earthly realm. In the context of this discussion I do not see the grounds for applying "no distinction" to the churches in the earthly realm.

(For example, let me go hyper-Biblical myself and let's pretend for a second that you and I, as people, are each a lampstand:
1. Do Drake and Trapped both have the Lord's life? Yep!
2. Are we both believers? Yep!
3. Do we shine forth the Lord in a dark place? Yep! [okay, ideally, right?]
But is there individual distinction between Drake and Trapped? You better believe it! Thus, we can both be fully lampstands with the same nature, shape, and purpose, but still have individual distinction.)

Nee said it correctly: in the divine realm the lampstands are identical in nature, shape, and purpose. In the earthly realm there are positive and negative differences from one to another and each has its own earthly appearance.

Lee took it too far/angled into a wrong direction: in the divine realm the lampstands are identical in nature, shape, and purpose. In the earthly realm there is no individual distinction and any distinctions are negative and failures. (We know this is not true, as Ohio mentioned, because the churches were individually commended for their own positive attributes).
07-01-2018 03:00 PM
awareness
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Researched. Well said. Factual.

I would only modify that the extension to earth from the heavenly is permitted.... We are partakers of the divine nature, there is a shape of the local churches, and they all shine forth the Spirit.... or rather should..... when we come to Revelation 2 & 3 we see big differences but those are mostly negative.... even in one case the Lord threatens to remove the lampstand....
And all that applies to the church(s) today? Do they progress to The Recovery?
07-01-2018 02:56 PM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
In the footnote Lee takes it further (too far) and says, "...not having any individual distinctiveness. The differences among the seven churches recorded in chs. 2 and 3 are all of a negative nature, not a positive one. Negatively, in their failures, the churches are different and separate from one another; but positively, in their nature, shape, and purpose, they are absolutely identical and are connected to one another."
Firstly, Lee's teaching that all the differences were "of a negative nature" is frankly wrong. The Son of Man commended each church positively and individually, knowing their positives quite well. Why would W. Lee downplay this fact? Every Pastor/Shepherd in the world knows the positive characteristics of his church, just ask him. W. Lee, however, could not acknowledge that each church had its own good works, pleasing to God. This corresponded with Lee's unending fellowship that only LSM could do anything good. "So, send your best people to the training."

Secondly, why would Lee continually stress that each LC must "not have any individual distinctiveness?" Since God has placed gifts in the body as it pleases Him, and each member has been gifted by the Lord uniquely, it only stand to reason that each church would have different strengths (and weaknesses too.) Why is this so threatening to W. Lee that he would create a teaching about member churches that is completely different from the rest of the body of Christ? What was his motive here? What were the results, or the fruit, of such teaching? How did W. Lee and LSM act to remove "any individual distinctiveness" between churches. These are fair questions to ask. We also have the advantage of decades of history to examine.

One notable action which Lee and LSM has taken is to remove and neutralize the gifted members of the body from ministering according to the anointing Spirit. The list of gifted and fruitful ministers around the globe, who once labored to establish churches, and have been expelled by Lee/LSM is just incredible. This forum is filled with their accounts. They were used by Lee, then were discarded. None of them ever parted peacefully. They were always nasty "divorces." Why would Lee/LSM do this? What was there motive? Just to remove "any individual distinctiveness" from the churches?
07-01-2018 02:26 PM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
There are also many aspects/significances to this portion of the Word. Seven lampstands which refer to seven churches at a specific time in church history are mentioned, but this passage takes on a scope larger than that. There is the heavenly view, the earthly view, the individual local aspect, the aspect of the universal church, etc, and there is a risk in applying characteristics from one view or aspect to another, in a portion so heavily subject to interpretation, that should not be applied.

In CWWN, Nee says, "The lampstands are seven in number, yet that is not to say that these seven churches are combined into a perfect church.....The word seven represents perfection in number, that is, these seven churches typify a whole church." (emphasis added) So if the seven churches typify a whole church, of course the lampstands which typify that whole church would look the same, since they all typify the same one thing.

Others, including Nee, provide another level of interpretation that the seven churches represent the church at different points in church history. Since "the church" is just "the church" no matter at what point it is in history, again, in type the seven lampstands would look the same because they are all simply "the church".

However (in CWWN again), Nee states, "In life and communion, the churches are one like a body, but in their earthly responsibility and appearance, the churches are administrated separately as seven lampstands. When we read chapters two and three, we see how the seven churches at that time were different in their works, circumstances, failures, rewards, punishments, and responsibilities. To deny this fact is to create confusion."

So in the heavenly or universal senses, yes, the lampstands are the same because they all typify one thing. However, this similitude does not by default extend to ALL local/earthly aspects or characteristics in terms of being identical from one locality to the next. Yes, the divine nature is the divine nature is the divine nature, in every lampstand and in every church. But these lampstands are not physical lampstands. There are no geographical coordinates where you can go and visit/look at/touch the lampstands. So in the divine realm, each lampstand is “identical” in certain divine attributes. However, in its earthly appearance, each local church is different.

How would identical localities even be practically carried out anyway?!
Researched. Well said. Factual.

I would only modify that the extension to earth from the heavenly is permitted.... We are partakers of the divine nature, there is a shape of the local churches, and they all shine forth the Spirit.... or rather should..... when we come to Revelation 2 & 3 we see big differences but those are mostly negative.... even in one case the Lord threatens to remove the lampstand....

Drake
07-01-2018 12:46 PM
Trapped
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Suppose I'm talking to someone in a restaurant. I say that I have 4 pet rock pigeons. Then I say, "They all have the same substance - bones, flesh and feathers - and they all have exactly the same shape, form, and purpose." My companion will look at me funny. I'm spouting nonsense. Of course all this is true, but it's essentially meaningless. It adds no informational value. I didn't say, "I have three pigeons and a ukelele."

Then I add, "They have no individual distinctiveness." My companion will probably get up and walk away.

But in the LC its not gibberish. It's code for, "Get with the program." In the LC they don't walk away, because they've been conditioned, or trained, to sit through this stuff. No different than a Chinese man dressed up as Santa Claus. Someone's cultural fluff has become your pseudo-reality.

I understand what you are saying here. If you have seven of the same items, and you state that they are all gold, all lamps, and all shine light, anyone listening will understand they all look the same. But you verge into crazytown if you take it further and say "they have no individual distinctiveness." It's like, okay, what do you want me to do with that information?

Yes, all the lampstands are constituted with the divine nature, are all in the shape of a lamp, and all shine forth light. This is true. But the line is crossed when the significance applied to that fact is that they have no individual distinctiveness. It is a hyper-analysis of the Biblical text.

When I quoted Nee in my previous post, he states, "In life and communion, the churches are one like a body, but in their earthly responsibility and appearance, the churches are administrated separately as seven lampstands. When we read chapters two and three, we see how the seven churches at that time were different in their works, circumstances, failures, rewards, punishments, and responsibilities. To deny this fact is to create confusion." Nee does not state that these differences are negative, just that they are differences.

In the footnote Lee takes it further (too far) and says, "...not having any individual distinctiveness. The differences among the seven churches recorded in chs. 2 and 3 are all of a negative nature, not a positive one. Negatively, in their failures, the churches are different and separate from one another; but positively, in their nature, shape, and purpose, they are absolutely identical and are connected to one another."

Nee says they are different in works, circumstances, failures, rewards, punishments, and responsibilities. Not all these are negative, some are neutral (works, circumstances, responsibilities). Lee pushes it and calls these differences between the churches negative and a failure, thus elevating his concept of "no individual distinctiveness" where it should not be taken and where it is simply not stated.
07-01-2018 12:13 PM
Trapped
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

There are also many aspects/significances to this portion of the Word. Seven lampstands which refer to seven churches at a specific time in church history are mentioned, but this passage takes on a scope larger than that. There is the heavenly view, the earthly view, the individual local aspect, the aspect of the universal church, etc, and there is a risk in applying characteristics from one view or aspect to another, in a portion so heavily subject to interpretation, that should not be applied.

In CWWN, Nee says, "The lampstands are seven in number, yet that is not to say that these seven churches are combined into a perfect church.....The word seven represents perfection in number, that is, these seven churches typify a whole church." (emphasis added) So if the seven churches typify a whole church, of course the lampstands which typify that whole church would look the same, since they all typify the same one thing.

Others, including Nee, provide another level of interpretation that the seven churches represent the church at different points in church history. Since "the church" is just "the church" no matter at what point it is in history, again, in type the seven lampstands would look the same because they are all simply "the church".

However (in CWWN again), Nee states, "In life and communion, the churches are one like a body, but in their earthly responsibility and appearance, the churches are administrated separately as seven lampstands. When we read chapters two and three, we see how the seven churches at that time were different in their works, circumstances, failures, rewards, punishments, and responsibilities. To deny this fact is to create confusion."

So in the heavenly or universal senses, yes, the lampstands are the same because they all typify one thing. However, this similitude does not by default extend to ALL local/earthly aspects or characteristics in terms of being identical from one locality to the next. Yes, the divine nature is the divine nature is the divine nature, in every lampstand and in every church. But these lampstands are not physical lampstands. There are no geographical coordinates where you can go and visit/look at/touch the lampstands. So in the divine realm, each lampstand is “identical” in certain divine attributes. However, in its earthly appearance, each local church is different.

How would identical localities even be practically carried out anyway?!
07-01-2018 11:40 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Whatever a city is, in Revelation there are only 7 mentioned, and only one lampstand per city, so only 7 lampstands. If we want to argue that every gathering of two or three has its own lampstand, then we are forced to come to the nonsensical conclusion that a city can have only two or three people in it. If Jesus mentioned that there are 1000 lampstands that represent all the gatherings of two or three "churches" in the 7 cities then you might have a point, but, it doesn't. 7 cities, 7 churches - a gathering of two or three within each city, therefore, cannot be "a church", otherwise there would be more lampstands that cities mentioned.
I once posted how ancient cities were defined by "walking distance."

This was roughly equivalent to a "Sabbath's Day Journey" in ancient Israel.

I doubt if any human has ever transversed the boundaries of NYC on foot.

I just love how LSMers love to play word games, going back to ancient language semantics when it suits their needs.
07-01-2018 07:45 AM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Are the seven angels who stand before God in Revelation 8:2 "absolutely identical" without any individual distinctiveness? Gabriel said, "I stand before God". If Gabriel has no individual distinction, then why does he have a distinct name? But he has the same form, shape and purpose as Michael. But perhaps not the same function. Perhaps God likes variegation. Look around you!

Are the 12 gates (Rev 21:12, 13), each with the name of a tribe of Israel, absolutely identical, without any individual distinctiveness? They are all gates. Same function. But where does it say they have to be identical?

Why the need for no individual distinctiveness? I think it's pathological. It has its roots in the fall. It's not supported by either the text or common human understanding. But it resonates with a certain cultural predisposition which is why it's predominantly taken root there.
Aron, you are grasping at straws here. First, we are taking about lampstands not angels, we are discussing churches not rock pigeons. However, I'll ride shotgun with you for a bit on your strange and long detour.

________________Lampstands_____________________ Angels

Nature__________ Golden ________________Created Divine "elohim"
Shape _________Lampstands __________________Angels
Purpose________ Shine Light ______________Messengers, Emissary

Names______ Ephesus, Colosse, etc. _______ Gabriel, Michael, etc.


The lampstands are absolutely identical in nature, shape, and purpose as the footnote in Revelation 1:20 states. . For that matter so are angels in nature, shape, and purpose. Revelation 1:20 does not say the seven lampstands all have one name. Rather, it states clearly that "the seven lampstands are seven churches ". You are misappropriating the definition of "absolutely identical " as the footnote defines it (nature, shape, purpose) and then twisting it to mean something different (e.g Gabriel name analogy).

I suggest that you stop misrepresenting footnotes that you haven't actually read, quit making stuff up, and consider explaining ".. why the divine nature and the person of Christ and the Holy Spirit is not "absolutely identical" for every Christian."..... an insightful observation and challenge from brother Evangelical

Drake
07-01-2018 06:40 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Yes but you can see that the footnote you've been quoting is regarding the divine attributes of the lampstands or local churches, which must be absolutely identical. You have invented an argument about Chinese culture based on a single sentence excerpt of an entire paragraph which shows the whole context.
Lee invented an argument for homogeneity of expression of the churches throughout the earth, an argument which betrayed his eastern roots. The western model is much more comfortable with heterogeneous expression. Lee tried to hide his 'strings' with words like 'divine attributes'. But eventually you would find a Mel Porter coming along to make everything clear. You know, 'operational'. As you put it, the whole context.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
You cannot play it both ways. If the nature of the Lampstand is golden, referring exclusively to God's holy nature, then we must conclude all Christian gatherings in His name are also Lampstands bearing the light of the Spirit.
Right. If the "divine nature and attributes" have a "shape, form, and purpose", then everyone who confesses Jesus is "exactly identical" in this matter. Either you are a Christian or you are not. Lee used this spiritual mumbo-jumbo as a back door to control. Yet the text does not support his call for identicality of expression, "with no individual distinctiveness".

Ohio told us a story of the Full Time Training in Taiwan, the push for absolutely identical expression. How happy Lee was when he looked out over a sea of disciples, all dressed in identical clothes, none having any individual distinctiveness. This, I say, has cultural roots. Those who couldn't get with the program were suspected in the LC of "Crimes of Fashion". It's outward-looking, with an eye for control. The spiritual-sounding words are just for cover.

https://internalreference.com/crimes...n-56d6fd77b38c

There is a remarkable photo in this essay, on public shaming of those who didn't conform. It is obviously an exaggeration of what we saw in the LC, but in a way that is more pernicious, because the cultural influence in the LC is more hidden, and mistaken for spirituality.
07-01-2018 06:21 AM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
What is a city?

Can you tell me how many "cities" are in New York City?

Only someone steeped in Nee's exclusive teachings could even dream to demand that all NYC be one gathering with one eldership.
Whatever a city is, in Revelation there are only 7 mentioned, and only one lampstand per city, so only 7 lampstands. If we want to argue that every gathering of two or three has its own lampstand, then we are forced to come to the nonsensical conclusion that a city can have only two or three people in it. If Jesus mentioned that there are 1000 lampstands that represent all the gatherings of two or three "churches" in the 7 cities then you might have a point, but, it doesn't. 7 cities, 7 churches - a gathering of two or three within each city, therefore, cannot be "a church", otherwise there would be more lampstands that cities mentioned.
07-01-2018 06:14 AM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Those who have spent any amount of time in an LSM run LC can see the wisdom of aron's insight into culture, and the folly of your rejections.
Aron's insight could perhaps stood on its own without misrepresentation of a footnote. Aron's insight is questionable considering it is based on blatant misrepresentation of a footnote. Anyone who can read and comprehend English can see that the context of the footnote and the words "absolutely identical" is not about human culture. Clinging to a misrepresented footnote just seems like an act of desperation and casts doubt on the claimed insight.
07-01-2018 06:14 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I know you believe a simple gathering of two or three can have its own little lampstand and be called a "church" but this is not biblical. In Revelation there was only one lampstand per city. Not one lampstand per gathering within that city. The biblical and historical fact is that all Christian gatherings are not churches, so your conclusion that "all Christian gatherings in His name are also lampstands" is a false conclusion.
What is a city?

Can you tell me how many "cities" are in New York City?

Only someone steeped in Nee's exclusive teachings could even dream to demand that all NYC be one gathering with one eldership.
07-01-2018 06:10 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Yes but you can see that the footnote you've been quoting is regarding the divine attributes of the lampstands or local churches, which must be absolutely identical. You have invented an argument about Chinese culture based on a single sentence excerpt of an entire paragraph which shows the whole context.
Those who have spent any amount of time in an LSM run LC can see the wisdom of aron's insight into culture, and the folly of your rejections.
07-01-2018 06:09 AM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
You cannot play it both ways. If the nature of the Lampstand is golden, referring exclusively to God's holy nature, then we must conclude all Christian gatherings in His name are also Lampstands bearing the light of the Spirit.

But you and Drake reject this, claiming only LSM franchises with supposedly a proper name can be Lampstands. This is both hypocritical and contrary to the truth.
I know you believe a simple gathering of two or three can have its own little lampstand and be called a "church" but this is not biblical. In Revelation there was only one lampstand per city. Not one lampstand per gathering within that city. The biblical and historical fact is that all Christian gatherings are not churches, so your conclusion that "all Christian gatherings in His name are also lampstands" is a false conclusion.
07-01-2018 06:06 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Based on the quotation Drake provided earlier it is clear to me that aron and others are extracting a single sentence from a footnote and not considering the context of the whole paragraph footnote in which the sentence is found. This is very dishonest and not something a "noble Berean" would do. For a noble Berean does not dishonestly extract a single sentence and then argue their mistaken point of view, but "receive the message with great eagerness and examine to see if what is said was true" (Acts 17:11).

This quote shows clearly the context of being absolutely identical. As we can see it has nothing to do with human culture but the divine nature and other spiritual attributes.

That is:
Same nature - divine
Same purpose - bearing the lamp (Christ)
etc

Now that the true meaning of "same nature, and same purpose" has been established as relating to divinity and not to human culture, aron and others should explain why the divine nature and the person of Christ and the Holy Spirit is not "absolutely identical" for every Christian.
You cannot play it both ways. If the nature of the Lampstand is golden, referring exclusively to God's holy nature, then we must conclude all Christian gatherings in His name are also Lampstands bearing the light of the Spirit.

But you and Drake reject this, claiming only LSM franchises with supposedly a proper name can be Lampstands. This is both hypocritical and contrary to the truth.
07-01-2018 06:00 AM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
We were talking about lampstands. Local churches.
Yes but you can see that the footnote you've been quoting is regarding the divine attributes of the lampstands or local churches, which must be absolutely identical. You have invented an argument about Chinese culture based on a single sentence excerpt of an entire paragraph which shows the whole context.
07-01-2018 05:52 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Based on the quotation Drake provided earlier it is clear to me that aron and others are extracting a single sentence and not considering the context of the whole passage in which the sentence is found.

This quote shows clearly the context of being absolutely identical. As we can see it has nothing to do with human culture but the divine nature and other spiritual attributes.

That is:
Same nature - divine
Same purpose - bearing the lamp (Christ)

Aron and others should explain why the divine nature and the person of Christ and the Holy Spirit is not "absolutely identical" for every Christian.
We were talking about lampstands. Local churches.
07-01-2018 05:51 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

On another thread I was discussing the military, and how American/western cultural practices could be seen in organisational arrangements. Contrast that to the Asian military practices.

I gave General George Washington as an American paragon. He wasn't afraid of strong, independent lieutenants. He never required them to be exactly identical in form, shape and purpose, not having any individual distinctiveness.

Now, occasionally, this got him and the Americans in trouble. Alexander Hamilton comes immediately to mind.

Of course I am being anecdotal. But my experiences in viewing cultures made me think that an American would never have written that footnote in Revelation 1:20. Witness Lee was betraying his cultural schema as he was angling for complete control/domination in the LC. So he "read" things in the text which simply were not there.
07-01-2018 05:51 AM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Based on the quotation Drake provided earlier it is clear to me that aron and others are extracting a single sentence from a footnote and not considering the context of the whole paragraph footnote in which the sentence is found. This is very dishonest and not something a "noble Berean" would do. For a noble Berean does not dishonestly extract a single sentence and then argue their mistaken point of view, but "receive the message with great eagerness and examine to see if what is said was true" (Acts 17:11).

This quote shows clearly the context of being absolutely identical. As we can see it has nothing to do with human culture but the divine nature and other spiritual attributes.

That is:
Same nature - divine
Same purpose - bearing the lamp (Christ)
etc

Now that the true meaning of "same nature, and same purpose" has been established as relating to divinity and not to human culture, aron and others should explain why the divine nature and the person of Christ and the Holy Spirit is not "absolutely identical" for every Christian.
07-01-2018 04:11 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I always had trouble with this kind of stuff. In college a well-meaning saint tried to spend time with me but it always centered around reading a ministry book and then asking me to immediately share what I enjoyed from those 2-3 pages. First of all it was always impossible for me to immediately digest and regurgitate after reading anything 3 seconds prior, and secondly so often I felt it had no informational value to me whatsoever. Often the content was this kind of meaningless stuff (repeated over and over again in those 2 pages) and it always confounded me what I was supposed to enjoy or give the slightest hoot about. I got really good at deflecting/faking/changing the subject/making them laugh so they would forget they'd asked me to share my enjoyment.

There have been a rare ministry book or two that I found worthwile (How to Enjoy God and How to Practice the Enjoyment of God, for one.....Practical Issues of This Life, for another), but so many others just left me with nothing.

Cue to years later when a non-LC believer gave me a non-LC book and after the requisite period of time where I shoved that "waste of a book" in my bookshelf and then pulled it out one day when I was bored and had nothing else to do, much to my surprise it actually talked about specific things I was dealing with in my life and thoughts I actually had that I never would have been able to express to anyone in the LC, and it blew me away! Now THAT I could have shared my enjoyment from!!
Great story!

You would be amazed to know how many saints have done the same thing!

One such book was Joyce Meyer's book, Battlefield of the Mind.
06-30-2018 11:55 PM
Trapped
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Suppose I'm talking to someone in a restaurant. I say that I have 4 pet rock pigeons. Then I say, "They all have the same substance - bones, flesh and feathers - and they all have exactly the same shape, form, and purpose." My companion will look at me funny. I'm spouting nonsense. Of course all this is true, but it's essentially meaningless. It adds no informational value. I didn't say, "I have three pigeons and a ukelele."

Then I add, "They have no individual distinctiveness." My companion will probably get up and walk away.

But in the LC its not gibberish. It's code for, "Get with the program." In the LC they don't walk away, because they've been conditioned, or trained, to sit through this stuff. No different than a Chinese man dressed up as Santa Claus. Someone's cultural fluff has become your pseudo-reality.

I always had trouble with this kind of stuff. In college a well-meaning saint tried to spend time with me but it always centered around reading a ministry book and then asking me to immediately share what I enjoyed from those 2-3 pages. First of all it was always impossible for me to immediately digest and regurgitate after reading anything 3 seconds prior, and secondly so often I felt it had no informational value to me whatsoever. Often the content was this kind of meaningless stuff (repeated over and over again in those 2 pages) and it always confounded me what I was supposed to enjoy or give the slightest hoot about. I got really good at deflecting/faking/changing the subject/making them laugh so they would forget they'd asked me to share my enjoyment.

There have been a rare ministry book or two that I found worthwile (How to Enjoy God and How to Practice the Enjoyment of God, for one.....Practical Issues of This Life, for another), but so many others just left me with nothing.

Cue to years later when a non-LC believer gave me a non-LC book and after the requisite period of time where I shoved that "waste of a book" in my bookshelf and then pulled it out one day when I was bored and had nothing else to do, much to my surprise it actually talked about specific things I was dealing with in my life and thoughts I actually had that I never would have been able to express to anyone in the LC, and it blew me away! Now THAT I could have shared my enjoyment from!!
06-30-2018 10:16 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Are we talking about how the lampstands all came to be golden and apparently alike?
Suppose I'm talking to someone in a restaurant. I say that I have 4 pet rock pigeons. Then I say, "They all have the same substance - bones, flesh and feathers - and they all have exactly the same shape, form, and purpose." My companion will look at me funny. I'm spouting nonsense. Of course all this is true, but it's essentially meaningless. It adds no informational value. I didn't say, "I have three pigeons and a ukelele."

Then I add, "They have no individual distinctiveness." My companion will probably get up and walk away.

But in the LC its not gibberish. It's code for, "Get with the program." In the LC they don't walk away, because they've been conditioned, or trained, to sit through this stuff. No different than a Chinese man dressed up as Santa Claus. Someone's cultural fluff has become your pseudo-reality.
06-30-2018 08:44 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Argument from silence?..... Well, let us do have a closer look then.

"Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands" Revelation 1:12

"As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands.... Revelation 1:20

"‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. Revelation 2:1



So John saw seven golden lampstands and mentions it three times as above....... not 5 lampstands and 2 Birdfeeders... not 4 lampstands, 2 Harley choppers, and 1 Ukelele... I am pretty confident that they are identically shaped as lampstands else John would have called our attention to it. Exodus 25 gives a detailed description of the shape and features of the lampstand.
Are the seven angels who stand before God in Revelation 8:2 "absolutely identical" without any individual distinctiveness? Gabriel said, "I stand before God". If Gabriel has no individual distinction, then why does he have a distinct name? But he has the same form, shape and purpose as Michael. But perhaps not the same function. Perhaps God likes variegation. Look around you!

Are the 12 gates (Rev 21:12, 13), each with the name of a tribe of Israel, absolutely identical, without any individual distinctiveness? They are all gates. Same function. But where does it say they have to be identical?

Why the need for no individual distinctiveness? I think it's pathological. It has its roots in the fall. It's not supported by either the text or common human understanding. But it resonates with a certain cultural predisposition which is why it's predominantly taken root there.
06-30-2018 08:23 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Are not all humans "absolutely identical?" Each has a head, body, two arms and two legs? Each head is "identical" with two eyes, two ears, one mouth and one nose. Cut them open and they all look the same -- heart, lungs, liver, stomach, etc. You get the message.
Yes, I looked down on the basketball court and there was a basketball team. All with the same shape, form, purpose. All had on the same uniforms. But one of them was tall and slender, one was thick and powerful, and one was small and speedy.

So they are "absolutely identical" if you mean they are humans. Or lampstands. Or whatever the class. Same "life and nature". Same "gold", beaten fine, into a utensil (a lampstand).

But "without any individual distinctions"? What kind of a God is this? God wants all His children (remember the lampstands are churches, composed of people) to be without any individual distinctions? This is a God of Human Culture, not a God that I want. This is the God of this age, pushing for control through conformity to an all-too-human model. The Conform-and-Submit God of this age.

Do you think an American would have written that footnote? Or a Pole or a Swede? We don't think that way. We value the individual. We allow distinctiveness. Yes we have issues, too, with our cultural make-ups. But we wouldn't have looked at "seven golden lampstands" and written the RecV footnote in Revelation 1:20. No, that was shot through with Lee's cultural presuppositions.

Where did this kind of teaching come from but from fallen human culture? Not from the text.
06-30-2018 05:52 PM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
So aron, the way you see things the lampstands in Revelation 1:20 are not identical in their nature (gold), their shape (lampstands), and their purpose (to shine light). According to you that is just Chinese culture talking there..... A Chinese man dreamed that description up. He couldn't help himself because his Chinese "cultural conventions necessitated it".....
Are not all humans "absolutely identical?" Each has a head, body, two arms and two legs? Each head is "identical" with two eyes, two ears, one mouth and one nose. Cut them open and they all look the same -- heart, lungs, liver, stomach, etc. You get the message.

Lee taught this too! Especially "early-Lee" back in the early days. This kind of "identical-ness" was likened to the oneness of the Spirit. He even wrote a book: Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life. The LC's enjoyed some blessing from God in those days. Even some real "oneness" and love and joy in the Spirit. The LC's even looked like the local populations -- mostly white, some yellow, some black.

Then Lee changed. Our oneness was not good enough for him. The 1974 elders' meeting was the start -- designated ministry stations all speaking Lee's messages. The 1984 "New Way" was another huge push. Now it was "absolute for the ministry or get out." The demands for uniformity had surpassed any demand in the scripture -- trainings, uniforms, firing all resistant elders and workers, ministry books for every meeting, one man speaking and all speaking from the one man, and not just any man, but the MOTA, the acting God.

Fear and duty replace love in the church -- spying on one another, who is not up-to-date, who is not one with WL, who is doing their own thing, who is not absolute enough -- and we have sleeper cells in the LC's, ready to tattle on the locals, scoring points with HQ's -- the results could be seen with brothers like Titus Chu publicly shamed by Witness Lee as an example to all.

Pathetic. John Ingalls et. al. were right! Lee had changed. Lee had changed the nature of the Recovery -- from Christ-centered to Lee-centered, from love to fear, from serving to spying, from the Bible to Lee's books -- thinking the same thing, speaking the same thing, reading the same thing -- "Lee, Lee, only Lee" -- just like he ranted in that Rosemead Conference, Thanksgiving, 1988 -- "it must be Lee!"
06-30-2018 02:40 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
In any event, it has absolutely nothing to do with Chinese culture and frankly, to insist on that in the face of clear biblical evidence to the contrary is to fail to recognize or acknowledge that our High Priest is the One who designed the earthly pattern of the tabernacle to mirror the heavenly one. Are there all sorts of variation in the heavenly tabernacle?... none that we can see and any argument for variety of nature, shape, and purpose of the lampstands in the heavenly tabernacle is a bonfide argument from silence. Furthermore, if there is a danger to be considered, it is the heart that discards the clear testimony of scripture (here regarding the lampstands in Revelation 1:12, 20 and 2:1) in favor of flawed human reasoning. I'm good to go with the scriptural definition.

thanks
Drake
(I admit I am not really following all of this line of discussion that closely, so please forgive me if I'm out of turn here.) Are we talking about how the lampstands all came to be golden and apparently alike? If so, you stated the answer (see your quote in BOLD above). He did it. Man cannot and should not try to do it. Christ said, "I will build my ekklesia..."

When we get our dirty hands into the patient, an infection is the result.

(Again, please let me know if I'm not remotely on track with this discussion.)
06-30-2018 02:19 PM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
not having any individual distinctiveness...but positively, in their nature, shape, and purpose, they are absolutely identical and are connected to one another.

Like I said, this is an argument from silence....and making an argument from silence is a very dangerous thing to be doing when it comes to the bible. "Absolutely identical"? I think not.
-
Argument from silence?..... Well, let us do have a closer look then.

"Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking to me, and on turning I saw seven golden lampstands" Revelation 1:12

"As for the mystery of the seven stars that you saw in my right hand, and the seven golden lampstands.... Revelation 1:20

"‘The words of him who holds the seven stars in his right hand, who walks among the seven golden lampstands. Revelation 2:1



So John saw seven golden lampstands and mentions it three times as above....... not 5 lampstands and 2 Birdfeeders... not 4 lampstands, 2 Harley choppers, and 1 Ukelele... I am pretty confident that they are identically shaped as lampstands else John would have called our attention to it. Exodus 25 gives a detailed description of the shape and features of the lampstand.

John recorded that they were all golden .. not some golden and some ceramic... none were made of aluminum foil, tin, tupperware, particle board, rubber, or other such materials... all were golden. I think we can safely say they were identically made of of the same substance ...gold. That is their nature.

Now, we could just infer the purpose of the lampstand... a stand to a hold a lamp and the lamp was to give light by burning oil. But just in case that is perceived as an argument from silence, we can recall Exodus 25 and v37: "And you shall make its lamps, seven; and set up its lamps to give light to the area in front of it." so I think we can safely add this to what is identical about the lampstands.. their purpose is to give light.

Given those verses and descriptions there is no argument from silence in the footnote for that is what it exactly states.. It is the plain teaching and description from the scripture. In any event, it has absolutely nothing to do with Chinese culture and frankly, to insist on that in the face of clear biblical evidence to the contrary is to fail to recognize or acknowledge that our High Priest is the One who designed the earthly pattern of the tabernacle to mirror the heavenly one. Is there all sorts of variation in the heavenly tabernacle?... none that we can see and any argument for variation in nature (gold) , shape (lampstands) , and purpose (to shine light) of the lampstands in the heavenly tabernacle is a bonfide argument from silence. Furthermore, if there is a danger to be considered, it is the heart that discards the clear testimony of scripture (here regarding the lampstands in Revelation 1:12, 20 and 2:1) in favor of flawed human reasoning. I'm good to go with the scriptural definition myself.

thanks
Drake
06-30-2018 01:22 PM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
This was my point: where does one see beaten gold work, especially with calyxes, pomegranites and lilies, looking absolutely identical? Or conversely, where does this get shown or even suggested in the scripture? No, Lee dreamed it up; rather his cultural conventions necessitated it.
So aron, the way you see things the lampstands in Revelation 1:20 are not identical in their nature (gold), their shape (lampstands), and their purpose (to shine light). According to you that is just Chinese culture talking there..... A Chinese man dreamed that description up. He couldn't help himself because his Chinese "cultural conventions necessitated it".....



Drake
06-30-2018 12:58 PM
awareness
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
"Can't we all just get along!?"
Somewhere over the rainbow.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons
I wonder how LSM views this open discussion board . . .)
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Prolly as much as they liked Jim Moran.
06-30-2018 12:49 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
This is, hopefully, a discussion. AKA "Local Church Discussions". My idea of a discussion is that both parties learn something. Versus a lecture or monologue, in which one person dispenses to a ready vessel. Lee obviously specialized in the second format. I prefer discussions. So I'm happy to have folks critique my ideas. And I'm trying to critique those of LSM.

So in some sense Drake and I are talking past each other, yes. He's fixated upon the appearance of words on paper, what they might seem to mean (gold meaning divine nature) and I'm pointing to the reality of what happens on the ground if you let this spirit in.

Thanks be to God for a format to freely discuss such things publicly.
Well AMEN to that last comment! And I'm sorry for perhaps being overly critical of these lengthy discussions - they're not for me so much these days. But I also appreciate more now what Ohio (I appreciate when he bolds mine & others' names), you and some others have said - it is a discussion forum to hash out things and bring these into the light of day. I don't have so much of an appetite for hash currently . . . I just see the rankling - I mean discussion - going on and on and on, and seemingly going nowhere. BUT I must say that it all does seem 99.9% to be a civil interaction, of which I would hope no less from those with the life of Christ in them and (hopefully) living through them.

So please forgive me in advance if I jump into any future conversations and spout-off some self-righteous thing like "Can't we all just get along!?"

Of course, I too experienced some of the woes of central LC control, and we've all seen in the 2000 year history of the ekklesia what happens as a result (Church in Rome, et. al.). This is just Adam's natural propensity - he desperately wants to control.
.
.
(BTW: Considering the need for control, I wonder how LSM views this open discussion board . . .)
.
.
06-30-2018 10:12 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
None of these Lampstands were even "absolutely identical." They were not cast from a common mold, rather they were hammer beaten from a solid talent of gold.

And then Drake uses this as justification for LSM forcing all the LC's being identical?
This was my point: where does one see beaten gold work, especially with calyxes, pomegranites and lilies, looking absolutely identical? Or conversely, where does this get shown or even suggested in the scripture? No, Lee dreamed it up; rather his cultural conventions necessitated it.

Now, where's this cultural influence most clearly seen? Probably in the phrase, "not having any inividual distinctiveness". Meaning, anyone with distinctiveness is a threat to group leadership. Any outstanding or "gifted ones" get regular beat-downs, sorry, perfecting and training, to keep them in line.

By contrast, look at the stars. They differ in glory (have distinctiveness) yet they all shine light for the same glorification. I covered this already (see my post #105). Same purpose but differentiated expression, and with no problem but rather glory. The archangels Michael and Gabriel, the four living creatures - who is threatened by individual distinctiveness? LC leadership, that's who. And my point all along has been that Witness Lee was NOT a monster but rather a sinner like the rest, trying to make his way home, but misled by his native (gentile) culture, which happened to be Chinese. Lee could see a splinter in others but missed the beam in his own eye.

In my time in the LC I noticed how Cleveland, Brasil, New York, and Austin had individual distinctiveness, or "local flavor"; the rest were bland ministry stations, as local as a McDonalds franchise. Two of the four groups survived the LC acculturation system and two didn't. Not a great track record.

And it's worth noting that if you don't understand what words like "absolutely identical" mean on the ground, some ministry enforcer like Ray Graver will come along and make it oh so plain. Suddenly spiritual niceties are set aside and "practical oneness" appears: "Here, we do what we are told". As one brother put it to me, "You are in the [Chinese] army now."
06-30-2018 09:54 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

"not having any individual distinctiveness...but positively, in their nature, shape, and purpose, they are absolutely identical and are connected to one another."

Like I said, this is an argument from silence....and making an argument from silence is a very dangerous thing to be doing when it comes to the bible. "Absolutely identical"? I think not.
None of these Lampstands were even "absolutely identical." They were not cast from a common mold, rather they were hammer beaten from a solid talent of gold.

And then Drake uses this as justification for LSM forcing all the LC's being identical?

We should note, however, that all of the LC websites, except for LSM's, are somewhat identical, all cast from a common template.

I grew up in the RCC and I had a Catholic Missal, good for the whole year. There was a time when I could go to any RCC around the world and hear the same identical Mass spoken in Latin for every Sunday of the year, orchestrated by some priest wearing the same clothes as every one else.

That was the kind of twisted "oneness" that Drake dreams of. It's more like cloning than anything Christian.
06-30-2018 09:08 AM
UntoHim
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Sadly, aron, what you did by misrepresenting what this footnote actually said is what some opposers of the Lord's recovery have done in the past.
Quote:
I'm undecided which is worse.... someone who uses craft to slander brothers or someone who slanders brothers out of sheer ignorance.
Ah, and there it is...right on schedule...the ole Local Church of Witness Lee fallback position - Call anyone who has criticisms of Lee or The Movement an "opposer" and one who "slanders brothers".

I hate to break the bad news to you Drake, but this forum is not merely about "what this footnote actually said". Witness Lee said a lot of things. He taught a lot of things. Some things very biblical, helpful and enlightening. Some things not so helpful and not so biblical. Some things harmful and totally unbiblical. Some things extremely toxic and heretical.

I would place this footnote where I would place many of Lee's teaching - in the category of "harmful and totally unbiblical". You see Drake, you can decry that we haven't cooperated with you in your quest to present Lee's teachings in the most positive light, but please keep in mind that aron and I and many other have already paid our dues for decades doing just that. (been there, done that and bought the t-shirt)

So now some of us are trying to put some light on the teachings and practices, and this time we don't feel so obligated to make sure that light points towards the positive. Speaking for myself only, I have found that the more light gets shined on the teachings and practices, the worse they look. Yes there are positives - lots of them. But neither Lee, LSM/DPS, the Blended Brothers or their followers need us to proclaim and accentuate the virtues and positives in Lee's teachings - They have tons of websites, meetings, conferences and trainings to do just that. And they also have you and Mr. E to do that right here on this forum.

not having any individual distinctiveness...but positively, in their nature, shape, and purpose, they are absolutely identical and are connected to one another.

Like I said, this is an argument from silence....and making an argument from silence is a very dangerous thing to be doing when it comes to the bible. "Absolutely identical"? I think not. If he is nothing else, our God is a Creator of diversity. No two human beings are absolutely identical in "nature, shape and purpose." The church is composed of these diverse human beings. Remember, just a few chapters later in Revelation 7 - "from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages" (vr 9) Doesn't sound like God is after absolutely identical after all. He started with diversity in the beginning and he ends up with diversity in his eternal Kingdom.

If God wanted every church to be absolutely identical he would have filled them with people with absolutely identical color of hair, eyes and skin. They would all be absolutely identical in their thinking, speaking, actions...nature, shape and purpose. Wow, now that I mention this, it seems to me that a number of people/groups/ministries have tried this over the past 2,000 years or so. How'd that come out for them?

-
06-30-2018 07:27 AM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Well, aron, why didn't you just say that upfront? I will be more than happy to post that footnote.

And yet, it begs the question, why are you referencing and expounding source material to substantiate your argument that you don't have right in front of you? Apparently you don't know what your own reference actually says.

Drake
Find below the relevant point in the footnote that aron referenced to bolster his claim of Asian culture in the local churches. Unfortunately for aron and his cohorts this footnote indicates nothing of the sort. When Brother Lee refers to the churches in Revelation 1:20 being identical in nature, shape, and purpose he is expounding on the example provided by the scripture itself, that of a lampstand...... for the Lord says the "the seven lampstands are the seven churches". As is clear from the imagery of the lampstand it is golden in its nature which the footnote says represents the divine nature. The shape is a lampstand to bear lamps for the purpose of shining in the darkness by burning the oil of the Spirit. The lampstands are identical because God, in His Triuneness, is represented in the nature, shape, and purpose of each lampstand. Each lampstand is golden, each is in the shape of a lampstand to bear lamps, and the lamps burn to shine according to their purpose.

Sadly, aron, what you did by misrepresenting what this footnote actually said is what some opposers of the Lord's recovery have done in the past. They take a statement out of context and twist it to mean something entirely foreign to its stated meaning. They want it to mean something they can attack.... in other words, they, and you, are engaging in deliberate falsehood by creating a strawman to advance a propaganda war... a form of sophistry. Yet, if you did not read the footnote as you indicated, your argument may not be that sophisticated. ... instead you would be guilty of simply repeating the falsehoods of others without due diligence on your part. Of the two, I'm undecided which is worse.... someone who uses craft to slander brothers or someone who slanders brothers out of sheer ignorance.

Thanks for dialogue.

Drake

Revelation 1:20 footnote 1 (concerning the nature, shape, and purpose of the lampstands). The Recovery Version of the Bible

"The churches, signified by the seven golden lampstands, are the testimony of Jesus (vv. 2, 9) in the divine nature, shining in the dark night locally yet collectively. The churches should be of the divine nature — golden. They should be the stands, even the lampstands, that bear the lamp with the oil (Christ as the life-giving Spirit) and shine in the darkness individually and collectively. They are individual lampstands locally, yet at the same time they are a group, a collection, of lampstands universally. They not only are shining locally but also are bearing universally the same testimony both to the localities and to the universe. They are of the same nature and in the same shape. They bear the same lamp for the same purpose and are fully identified with one another, not having any individual distinctiveness. The differences among the seven churches recorded in chs. 2 and 3 are all of a negative nature, not a positive one. Negatively, in their failures, the churches are different and separate from one another; but positively, in their nature, shape, and purpose, they are absolutely identical and are connected to one another."
06-30-2018 07:10 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
We were "wronged" for many years, and we lived with it, and unlike you LSMers, we never sued in court.

But there are other verses in the Bible too. Verses like exposing heresy, marking divisive ones, pointing out error, protecting others, etc.
And notice that he doesn't hold this standard to Lee and Nee. Why didn't they stay in the Anglicans and Baptists, and be wronged? Because there are two sets of rules: one for Mota, one for everyone else. When they do it, it's okay. But no one else. This is Chinese culture. Just as bad as Easter Bunnies.
06-30-2018 06:47 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Then why don't you?

That verse has been quoted many times in this forum.....by people who are not humble and apparently unwilling to be wronged.

Drake
We were "wronged" for many years, and we lived with it, and unlike you LSMers, we never sued in court.

But there are other verses in the Bible too. Verses like exposing heresy, marking divisive ones, pointing out error, protecting others, etc.
06-30-2018 06:19 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I’m not asking for your definition of “shape”. Or any of the irrelevant meanderings about the Coming Seed, angels, creatures, frogs, bugs, Christmas Trees or Easter bunnies, tape recorders, ...or your ironic call for a line of love.

This is ultra simple and it is point of YOUR argument, not mineke
But if Lee wanted to talk about Christmas Trees or Easter Bunnies to make his point of cultural influences coming into Christianity, you would accept his "irrelevant meanderings", right? Or did you jump up and object after the lecture was over? I might have missed it.

Or if he wanted to meander about tea-ification, as the basis of his doctrine of deification, you were okay with that? Or, no? Did you hop up and say, "I'm being 'tea-ified'!" after the lecture was over? I mean, if we are all exactly identical in shape, form and purpose, isn't that what we're supposed to demonstrate?

Tea bags and water was okay, right? It's ultra-simple. If Lee wants to talk about something, fine. Don't go against the Mota. My point is that this has cultural roots.
06-30-2018 06:09 AM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Because of the fall, we should take the opposite tack. We should all humble ourselves. Paul affirmed this - "why not rather be wronged" - in 1 Corinthians 6:7
Then why don't you?

That verse has been quoted many times in this forum.....by people who lack humility and apparently unwilling to be wronged.

Drake
06-30-2018 06:02 AM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Maybe you can post the entire footnote for our readers? That would be helpful. I don't have a RecV handy at present.
Well, aron, why didn't you just say that upfront? I will be more than happy to post that footnote.

And yet, it begs the question, why are you referencing and expounding source material to substantiate your argument that you don't have right in front of you? Apparently you don't know what your own reference actually says.

Drake
06-30-2018 04:32 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Man, you guys are all so far above my public scholl education - I need a nap!

I'm curious - does anybody ever officially "win" one of these debate hootenannies?
Actually, brother StG, it has been these kinds of discussions which have served to de-leaven my mind of 30 years of LC indoctrinations.

Aron, using wit, scripture, reason, and historical examples is dismantling all the baggage we have accumulated in the name of "oneness." We considered any *diversity* to be negative, and divisive, and almost "evil." Lee had effectively used a twisted understanding of the 7 Lampstands to leaven us with Chinese thinking and customs.
06-30-2018 03:51 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Also, where did Lee get the idea that the lampstands were "exactly identical"? Are you and I "exactly identical"? I think there is a hidden meaning here, a push for control, which aligns with cultural preconceptions of leadership, which is probably what Jesus taught as "the way of the gentiles". This is, I posit, a "Chinese-flavoured (i.e. gentile)" interpretive model imposed on scripture. At it's source, however, someone is angling for control..
Sorry for adding so much, but it's an important topic.

There was a fall, and man got separated from God. Now men (and women) fight and dominate each other, having lost connection to their Source.

Along comes Jesus. He sees His disciples arguing for pre-eminence. He knows what spirit is behind that. The spirit that controls the earth, of grasping anxiety, manifesting itself in what He calls "the way of the gentiles". A spirit of domination. "If I can just push others down, and get them to do what I want, then I will be happy."

Because of the fall, we should take the opposite tack. We should all humble ourselves. Paul affirmed this - "why not rather be wronged" - in 1 Corinthians 6:7.

My point in noting the footnote in Revelation 1:20 is that it is a wedge, if you uncritically accept it, to separate you from your fellows. Because someone wants control of you. If you submit to them, you will be separated from your brothers and sisters into someone else's holding pen. They get elevated, you get suppressed and lose your natural function. This could be any seemingly spiritual group.

I don't know if I'm making any sense -- I just see a bad spirit behind this group and I'm trying to call it out. It hides behind words; we all do, I know, including myself. But I'm not trying to get $$ from anyone, or get them to go to my school. I'm just saying beware of false prophets, of wolves in sheep's clothing. You will tell them by their fruits. And their footnotes also indicate the source.

Avoid people who use the word of God for gain, to elevate themselves and control others.
06-30-2018 03:42 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
According to the footnote you referenced, what is the definition of

1. Nature
2. Shape
3. Purpose
Maybe you can post the entire footnote for our readers? That would be helpful. I don't have a RecV handy at present.

I have been pointing out the fruits of the footnote, as indicative of it's source, and thus it's "true meaning" or "reality", but if you want to discuss the actual arrangement of words on paper please post them.

Let's do discuss definitions.

Also, where did Lee get the idea that the lampstands were "exactly identical"? Are you and I "exactly identical"? I think there is a hidden meaning here, a push for control, which aligns with cultural preconceptions of leadership, which is probably what Jesus taught as "the way of the gentiles". This is, I posit, a "Chinese-flavoured (i.e. gentile)" interpretive model imposed on scripture. At it's source, however, someone is angling for control.

Let me give an example, from similarly placed source, the NT. 1 Cor 1:10 "Speak the same thing". Now, there is a way to interpret that which still honours the Spirit of Jesus Christ. Love one another. God raised Jesus from the dead. Repent and confess.

Or there is another way - unless you take arcane doctrinal position, "x", you will be expelled from the "Christian" assembly. In both cases, the first and the second, you are "speaking the same thing". But in the second case, the letter of Paul is used to quench the Spirit of Christ.

Because the letter of Paul is improperly appropriated, according to personal motives and directed by culturally-mediated ignorance. Don't forget thousands of years have passed since these words were written, and now we have liberty to percolate them through our gentile brains and come up with all sorts of nonsense.

Sorry for writing so much. Just thinking aloud here.
06-30-2018 03:24 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Man, you guys are all so far above my public scholl education - I need a nap!

I'm curious - does anybody ever officially "win" one of these debate hootenannies?
You mis-spelled "school". Who are you? (kidding)

This is, hopefully, a discussion. AKA "Local Church Discussions". My idea of a discussion is that both parties learn something. Versus a lecture or monologue, in which one person dispenses to a ready vessel. Lee obviously specialised in the second format. I prefer discussions. So I'm happy to have folks critique my ideas. And I'm trying to critique those of LSM.

This thread grew out of another on Full Time Training, whether to attend or not. My comment was, and remains, "Who would want to be trained by this group?" I pointed out the pressure for outward conformity, and noted what I perceived as a strong cultural component. Everyone must be exactly identical, with no differences whatsoever. There are words on paper, which mask a spirit. Always. The question is, are these words from God or not? From whence this spirit comes? I say, China, not heaven. The earth has rebelled against God, including China. Lee taught us that China was "virgin soil". It was not so virginous as he supposed.

Now, we get into problem #2. Satan would love for USA and China to fight. Or Belgium and Germany or whatnot. God has given His sinless Son as Saviour of the world, and we all should submit. But if one sinner tries to get another to submit to him, I'm calling it out. But not, hopefully, in the way of a fight. Just simply saying, "This is not of God."

StG, Drake says he doesn't want to talk about bugs, only lampstands. So humour me for a minute and let me talk about bugs. There's all different kinds, but from one Creator. God doesn't mind variety. "The heavens declare the glory of God" says Psalm 19. But star differs from star in glory (1 Cor 15:41). Yet they all have the same purpose!! So why impose uniformity? Does that make any sense?

Basketball teams have the same purpose. But the Center is tall and lean, the Power Forward is thick and "powerful", and the guard is small and speedy. Yet Lee tried to push for conformity. To what? To his culturally-mediated perceptions. So he put out pseudo-spiritual words, but eventually, if you stuck around, you found out what was behind those words.

I don't know if you know the story of Bill Mallon and Ray Graver. Bill was trying to manage various locales in the Southeast USA, and "the office" aka Philip Lee was pushing non-biblical and non-spiritual rubbish on them. People were discouraged. "Life" was at a low ebb. "Enjoyment" was dissipating rapidly. Bill mentioned this to travelling minsitry enforcer Ray, who replied, "We do what we are told." Eventually, you find out what spirit is behind the words. As did Godfred Otuteye and the Lee-appointed elders in Anaheim, as did others. You eventually find out what nature, shape and form of spirit you're really dealing with, whether it is of heaven or no.

So in some sense Drake and I are talking past each other, yes. He's fixated upon the appearance of words on paper, what they might seem to mean (gold meaning divine nature) and I'm pointing to the reality of what happens on the ground if you let this spirit in.

This is why I keep pointing to what happens. Let's say the supposed Oracle of God makes an exegetical faux pas (I've specifically noted several, on this thread). Or this year's interpretation is diametrically opposed to last year's, because apparently the Mota needs something different today. Everyone in the audience sits quiety. Because LC (Chinese) culture dictates "you don't make the Mota lose face publicly". So you accept poor teachings (or at least questionable) and 'life' goes on. Apparently the "flow" from Lee's throne has changed, and you try to make do in your LC "church life". But your conscience is damaged.

So I'm trying to publicly think here - an ugly sight yes I know - in the hopes people might realize that Witness Lee wasn't the only person on earth with a brain. We can all think what these words mean. And to the topic, my counsel has been to avoid "training" that doesn't allow some freedom to accept other sources. There is a marketplace of ideas out there. Watchman Nee sourced them. Can't we, also? This goes for the LC and any other cloistered sect (LDS, JW &c). The LC has how many hundreds of full time recruiters on college campuses around the world, trying to convince naive teen-agers to go get trained by their "ministry". . . I'm pointing to the spirit behind this. A spirit of corrosion and control. I say, resist and reject it. Think for yourself and this spirit will go away.

Sorry for my ability to be short, quick, and to the point. I like talking about stars, angels and bugs. (not in that order, though). Thanks be to God for a format to freely discuss such things publicly.
06-29-2018 11:56 PM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Okay, let's try again. Not that you will be satisfied but I enjoy the conversation.

Nature: Chinese
Shape: Hmm? Help me here. There are seven spirits before the throne. Are they all identical in shape? Witness Lee says so. Where did he get this idea? From his culturally-shaped imagination? Then he poses it onto the captive audience?

An angel is in the shape of a man (Rev 21:17). Or do you think the word "measure" translates into height? I think man is formed in variety. This pleases God.

Witness Lee wanted a shapeless, faceless proletariat. This thread, I remind you, was out of a "training" thread. My comment was, and remains, who would want to be trained by this group?

There are seven angels before the throne. Do you think they are all "exactly identical without any differences whatever" in shape, form and purpose? Really? Why? Does Gabriel, who stands before God, have the exact shape, form and purpose as Michael? Do the twelve gates, each bearing a name of a tribe, have exactly the same shape, form and purpose? (Rev 21:12; Exod 28:21; Ezek 48:31) Where did Lee get this idea? He doesn't say in the footnote.

So I see him impose uniformity on the LC, telling us to be "Witness Lee tape recorders" in the "Witness Lee duplication center" and this points to the Full Time Training. If you don't commit yourself to 24/7 immersion in the LC culture the cracks start to appear quickly. You begin to notice where the teachings don't match each other, nor apostolic precedent: in one place, scripture's said to be "Christ", in another "fallen". And so forth. You begin to think, to have an opinion... ! Gasp! No! Mustn't think! Erk!

Now, does this have anything to do with fallen human culture? According to Philip Lin, who wrote the LSM biography of Lee, yes. When he said "according to my culture" he meant Chinese culture. Or do you think he meant another culture? Divine culture? According to divine culture I must abandon my conscience and pledge loyalty to a man?

I don't think so.

Purpose: See shape, above. Each creature has a purpose, to glorify the Creator. But a frog does it different from a cricket. If you get bricks coated with slime, each "exactly identical with no differences whatsoever" you can build a nice tower for yourself, so I'm told (Gen 11:3, KJV). Lee tried to mold us into one purpose - his. Good luck with that. And my point all along is that the Bible was interpreted by his cultural bias. Paul, for example, was "the minister of the age", and evidently John, Peter, James and all the rest had to "get in line". But where do you see John getting in line? I don't.

The only "line", or purpose to get in is to love. You don't need "local ground" or "the ministry of the age" or FTT or "high peak theology" for that. In fact I daresay that all those things just distract and mislead.
Aron,

I’m not asking for your definition of “shape”. Or any of the irrelevant manderings about the Coming Seed, angels, creatures, frogs, bugs, Christmas Trees or Easter bunnies, tape recorders, ...or your ironic call for a line of love.

This is ultra simple and it is point of YOUR argument, not mine, You introduced and referenced the footnote Revelation 1:20. You claimed it was a proof point that the local churches are identical in Asian culture. That is what we are discussing and the title of this thread. Now, that footnote says the churches are identical in “nature, shape, and purpose”. The question is simple and the answer will either support your assertion or not.....

According to the footnote you referenced, what is the definition of

1. Nature
2. Shape
3. Purpose

Thanks
Drake
06-29-2018 07:24 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Man, you guys are all so far above my public scholl education - I need a nap!

I'm curious - does anybody ever officially "win" one of these debate hootenannies?
06-29-2018 07:23 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Drake.

Definition of "mistake" please.

Even the *crickets* are silent.
Ohio. Please. One mustn't ask for specifics, and cause the Mota to lose face. This will never do. (and put proper stress on the word "never")
06-29-2018 07:11 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
There are seven spirits before the throne. Are they all identical in shape? Witness Lee says so. Where did he get this idea?
Sorry, I was looking two far. Let's forget angels, living creatures, gates, elders and so forth.

Lampstands. How do you know the lampstands are identical? Because Witness Lee needs them to be. It fits his culturally-shaped perceptions.

But perception is not reality. The Bible doesn't say they are "exactly identical in shape, form and purpose". The footnote said this. Why doesn't anyone question this?

Angels are not identical. Nor are flowers, bees, snowflakes, living stones being built together. The twelve disciples were not identical.

But in Witness Lee's LC, it helps to be empty, drab, faceless, opinionless. Just pump your fist at the right moment. Get the sing-song intonation, inflect the vowels just so and you are "in spirit". And there's just one spirit, right? The Bible says so! On your way!
06-29-2018 06:52 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

So why did Lee interpret violence in the OT as "Christ defeating Satan" in one place (e.g. Psalm 62) and as "fallen humanity" in most other places? Why did David get a pass by Peter to declare fealty and reward as being indicative of the Coming Seed (e.g. Psalm 16) and yet Witness Lee wouldn't fallen suit, instead saying David was a sinner (e.g. Psalm 18)? Yet Peter acknowledged David as a sinner. Acts 2:29. Dead and buried. Entombed. But Jesus had said that "David was in spirit" and writing of Messiah and Witness Lee said no, David was just a fallen human being exercising his vain imagination.

Now, to the real question of this thread: Why didn't anyone in the audience raise a hand and say, Wait a minute here? Didn't any one of the gathered throng stir uneasily at this blatant exegetical reversal, or at this failure to follow apostolic precedent? No? Why? Were they "trained" out of thinking? Or just trained to suppress? And for what? To be identical? Is that God?

No, that is culture. Fallen human culture. This is how you survive in the Lee Dynasty. Keep your mouth shut and look straight ahead. Numb and quiet. No opinion. Maybe you will "make it". Make it where? And I think this culture betrays its land of birth.

Now, it's not any worse than German culture, which shaped Luther's thought. Or Italian popes. Or Swedish Christians. Or Norwegians, for that matter. But why did Lee make fun of Western imports - Christmas trees and Easter bunnies - and not see the ridiculousness of exporting his own culture onto others? It's one of the tough things about being blind. You can't see your own blindness. ~John 9:41; Revelation 3:17,18 Culture is like that.

Why could Nee source women as spiritual authorities, even foundational (uncovering previously hidden "truths") yet 80 years later an LC sister couldn't give a Sunday morning talk, because "women can't teach"? Answer: because the Mota makes the rules as he goes along. A "truth" only had utility until the Mota didn't need it, then it must be forgotten. Don't bring up what the Mota has dropped - is this not cultural in source? It sure isn't biblical.
06-29-2018 06:42 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
So, you are unwilling to post the definition of the way churches are the same in nature, shape, and purpose according to the footnote in Revelation 1:20 .. a footnote that you paraded out to bolster your claim of Asian culture. It does not lend a shred of support to your Asian culture narrative, you know that because if it did you would have enthusiastically posted it, played off of it, and repeated it a hundred times.

Instead of a best effort to prove your point, or better yet, admit that it doesn't .... well, we hear crickets.



Drake
Okay, let's try again. Not that you will be satisfied but I enjoy the conversation.

Nature: Chinese
Shape: Hmm? Help me here. There are seven spirits before the throne. Are they all identical in shape? Witness Lee says so. Where did he get this idea? From his culturally-shaped imagination? Then he poses it onto the captive audience?

An angel is in the shape of a man (Rev 21:17). Or do you think the word "measure" translates into height? I think man is formed in variety. This pleases God.

Witness Lee wanted a shapeless, faceless proletariat. This thread, I remind you, was out of a "training" thread. My comment was, and remains, who would want to be trained by this group?

There are seven angels before the throne. Do you think they are all "exactly identical without any differences whatever" in shape, form and purpose? Really? Why? Does Gabriel, who stands before God, have the exact shape, form and purpose as Michael? Do the twelve gates, each bearing a name of a tribe, have exactly the same shape, form and purpose? (Rev 21:12; Exod 28:21; Ezek 48:31) Where did Lee get this idea? He doesn't say in the footnote.

So I see him impose uniformity on the LC, telling us to be "Witness Lee tape recorders" in the "Witness Lee duplication center" and this points to the Full Time Training. If you don't commit yourself to 24/7 immersion in the LC culture the cracks start to appear quickly. You begin to notice where the teachings don't match each other, nor apostolic precedent: in one place, scripture's said to be "Christ", in another "fallen". And so forth. You begin to think, to have an opinion... ! Gasp! No! Mustn't think! Erk!

Now, does this have anything to do with fallen human culture? According to Philip Lin, who wrote the LSM biography of Lee, yes. When he said "according to my culture" he meant Chinese culture. Or do you think he meant another culture? Divine culture? According to divine culture I must abandon my conscience and pledge loyalty to a man?

I don't think so.

Purpose: See shape, above. Each creature has a purpose, to glorify the Creator. But a frog does it different from a cricket. If you get bricks coated with slime, each "exactly identical with no differences whatsoever" you can build a nice tower for yourself, so I'm told (Gen 11:3, KJV). Lee tried to mold us into one purpose - his. Good luck with that. And my point all along is that the Bible was interpreted by his cultural bias. Paul, for example, was "the minister of the age", and evidently John, Peter, James and all the rest had to "get in line". But where do you see John getting in line? I don't.

The only "line", or purpose to get in is to love. You don't need "local ground" or "the ministry of the age" or FTT or "high peak theology" for that. In fact I daresay that all those things just distract and mislead.
06-29-2018 05:46 PM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
So, you are unwilling to post the definition of the way churches are the same in nature, shape, and purpose according to the footnote in Revelation 1:20 .. a footnote that you paraded out to bolster your claim of Asian culture. It does not lend a shred of support to your Asian culture narrative, you know that because if it did you would have enthusiastically posted it, played off of it, and repeated it a hundred times.

Instead of a best effort to prove your point, or better yet, admit that it doesn't .... well, we hear crickets.



Drake
Drake.

Definition of "mistake" please.

Even the *crickets* are silent.
06-29-2018 05:38 PM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The footnotes are defined in LC practice. If you don't get that, eventually someone will tell you, "I was with Lee. I know." So I felt it was important to quote people like Doug Krieger who brought many into the Lee orbit, only to find out what the "nature, shape, and purpose" of the LSM-affiliated assemblies really was. You can push words around, but eventually the Lord will send a witness to describe what it means to be "exactly identical" in LSM credo.
So, you are unwilling to post the definition of the way churches are the same in nature, shape, and purpose according to the footnote in Revelation 1:20 .. a footnote that you paraded out to bolster your claim of Asian culture. It does not lend a shred of support to your Asian culture narrative, you know that because if it did you would have enthusiastically posted it, played off of it, and repeated it a hundred times.

Instead of a best effort to prove your point, or better yet, admit that it doesn't .... well, we hear crickets.



Drake
06-29-2018 04:52 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The faithful who remain in the LC will dismiss it, pointing you to some wonderful footnote which will "give life," but ...
  1. Even if Lee is wrong, he is still right
  2. Because only Lee is above the law
  3. Never shepherd a young brother using Lee as an example
  4. The truth must never get in the way of defending Lee
  5. Lee never needs to repent, that would be a mistake
  6. Speaking the truth about Lee will get you excommunicated
  7. Remaining in the LC requires you to speak Lee's words not the truth
  8. All must choose between the spirit of Lee and the Spirit of glory
  9. Oneness with the ministry demands a dirty conscience
  10. Regarding mistakes, being a "spiritual father" only helps if you are Lee
An LC member was talking to another, who was attempting to bring some small semblance of righteousness into the Lee family situation. He said, "According to my conscience I know you are right, but according to my culture I must remain loyal to brother Lee." (this man later published a book, apparently with LSM approval, promoting Lee's ministry)

Now, an American wouldn't say that. But a Chinese would. Different cultures. Different values and practices. Now, guess which one runs the LC?
06-29-2018 04:41 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I dont think the footnote means chinese culture if you think that you havent done your homework about the point Lee made.
I have witnesses who have done a lot of homework on LSM and Lee's LC. What happens behind closed doors. I've posted some of their testimonies.

You're focusing on "hearers of the word", and I keep trying to point you to the "doers". If you can't tell the difference then you haven't done your homework.
06-29-2018 04:40 PM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Here's a post from a dumb American who opened his mouth. Bad move. Keep your mouth shut in the LC, if you want to "make it."
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elden1971 View Post
Thanks for asking about my "excommunication". In an attempt to help a young brother that I brought to the church in OKC who was under condemnation for his personal failings I told him all have sinned and come short of the glory of the Lord and even our dear Bro. Lee had done illegal acts and the Lord had forgiven him and was still using him. This helped the brother and we prayed and he left.

The next day he apparently shared his testimony with another brother who immediately reported to James Barber that I had said Bro. Lee had done illegal acts. James called an emergency meeting of the elders and called me to come meet with them. Upon arrival James informed me that what I said was a lie and unless I repented I would be excommunicated. Of course what I had said was the truth regarding Bro. Lee committing illegal acts was absolutely true and I had been intimately involved in helping Francis Ball prepare his legal defense had he been caught (in retrospect what I said about Lee repenting may have been wrong) but suffice it to say I was in a real quandary.

If I am to stay in Fellowship then I must say what I said was a lie when in fact it was the truth. I did not have the peace to uncover the sins of Bro. Lee even though I knew he was guilty so I reflected inwardly and said Lord I choose You and the Spirit of Glory fell upon me. I said nothing in my defense and James pronounced my excommunication and the other elders nodded in agreement (two of whom I had brought to the church the other two appointed by Benson. Only James had spoken and thus I was excommunicated from the church in OKC that had been birthed in my heart and started in my home.
Everyone should carefully read this testimony. The faithful who remain in the LC will dismiss it, pointing you to some wonderful footnote which will "give life," but when it comes to the demands for righteous behavior in the kingdom of God, this story tells us differently ...
  1. Even if Lee is wrong, he is still right
  2. Because only Lee is above the law
  3. Never shepherd a young brother using Lee as an example
  4. The truth must never get in the way of defending Lee
  5. Lee never needs to repent, that would be a mistake
  6. Speaking the truth about Lee will get you excommunicated
  7. Remaining in the LC requires you to speak Lee's words not the truth
  8. All must choose between the spirit of Lee and the Spirit of glory
  9. Oneness with the ministry demands a dirty conscience
  10. Regarding mistakes, being a "spiritual father" only helps if you are Lee
06-29-2018 04:40 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Ok aron... but what does the footnote say? What is the "nature, shape, and purpose" as defined in the footnote?

Drake
The footnotes are defined in LC practice. If you don't get that, eventually someone will tell you, "I was with Lee. I know." So I felt it was important to quote people like Doug Krieger who brought many into the Lee orbit, only to find out what the "nature, shape, and purpose" of the LSM-affiliated assemblies really was. You can push words around, but eventually the Lord will send a witness to describe what it means to be "exactly identical" in LSM credo.
06-29-2018 04:32 PM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
If you read the footnotes to your RecV, Witness Lee wrote that ALL local churches have to be "exactly identical" with "no differences whatever". See e.g., Rev 1:20 footnote.

Or did you have printed messages from LSM giving other directives? Please share, and reconcile that with the footnote.

Unless we hear of sweeping changes in the LC, we are not remiss in assuming this is the case, yes in ALL the LC assemblies, today. Because that's the way it was set up and the current leadership makes such a deal of "closely following the apostles", i.e. Lee's written directives.
I dont think the footnote means chinese culture if you think that you havent done your homework about the point Lee made.
06-29-2018 04:18 PM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Ok aron... but what does the footnote say? What is the "nature, shape, and purpose" as defined in the footnote?

Drake
Hi Drake, how do you define "mistake" in the context of W. Lee?
06-29-2018 01:52 PM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Lee would hide behind words, "Nature, shape, and purpose". But those on the ground knew exactly what it meant.
Ok aron... but what does the footnote say? What is the "nature, shape, and purpose" as defined in the footnote?

Drake
06-29-2018 01:48 PM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Who was the Chinese brother walking with the American brother in the mid-60s, who turned to the American (Don Hardy?) and said, "You have to watch out for Witness Lee's family", then clapped his hand over his mouth and said, "Oh! I shouldn't have said that!" Why? Chinese culture says it's bad form to speak of others like that. So Lee's past got hidden by people who knew.
Right Don Hardy, one of the original Americans with W. Lee way back in the early 60's, and Samuel Chang, W. Nee's brother-in-law, who had come to the US from Taipei.

They had taken a break, and were taking a walk when SC confided in DH about WL's serious issues with his children.
06-29-2018 01:26 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elden1971 View Post
Brother Lee took serious advantage of Francis and put him at serious risk. I was close friends with Francis and his wife Martha lived with us briefly before they married. Francis would and did do anything Bro. Lee asked. When I explained the potential liability to Francis he was shocked and terrified. I was greatly relieved when the statute of limitations expired as Francis would have faced serious criminal and civil consequences.

Don Hardy was shocked when he discovered Phillip Lee was "cooking the books" in other words maintaining two sets of books. Don was outraged and resigned as an officer. Bro. Lee was himself an accountant and had to be complicit with Phillip as he personally funneled money through Francis and others. I have direct proof of this as I prepared the tax returns for Francis and heard first hand from him that Bro. Lee gave him the funds and told him what to do with them and of course I saw the actual bank statements.

Brother Lee and others were advised by Benton Fonner of the illegal and fraudulent nature of the Daystar offering. Daystar was the pivotal turning point for Brother Lee and Phillip and Timothy in the US. It is well documented of their previous business failings in Taiwan and the Phillipines. Bro. Lee came to me in Anaheim asking for Business advice as I had successfully invested for 39 Chinese clients in Taipei, Tainan and Brazil as well as Anaheim and had gained their trust and respect. I later traveled to Taiwan to meet personally with two brothers in Taipei and the other in Tainan. One of my sons has lived in Taiwan for 6 years and two years in China. I visited Beijing for 3 weeks about 3 years ago. I have been retired for 7 years and have no interest in discussing Daystar except to set the record straight. I knew personally all the major players and most of the investors and can say in summary that it was a disaster.
This is what happened. More from the American:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Elden1971 View Post
Bro. Lee often referred to the glorious days of Elden and surely for those of us who were there from 62-74 many would testify to that fact. Why then did those key workers from that era ultimately all leave. Doug Kreiger in his testimony has testified that by 1974 it was all over as a result of Daystar and other issues. Doug had devoted 12 years of his life and had brought hundreds into Elden and Berkley. The core leadership at Elden Hall consisted of Samuel Chang, Don Hardy, John Ingalls, Bill Mallon and Al Knoch and yet all of these were betrayed by Bro. Lee after 20-25 years of faithful service . Godfred Otuteye , Sal Benoit, Ken Unger, Ned Nossaman were also greatly used and then wrongfully much maligned. Fred Malir and John Cowan were chosen to go to Brazil and returned to Elden and both left in 78. Fred now 91 was greatly used later in many countries especially in Cuba where with Don Hardy hundreds of home meetings were established and thrive to this day. Only Samuel Chang and Ken Unger have gone to be with the Lord the other men are still serving the Lord and most have written testimonies available on this and other sites. I could name dozens more like Jose Nunez who has been a missionary to Uganda the past 10 years and has mentored hundreds of Christian workers. More and more names are filling my memory and all left and all have gone on with the Lord. The hidden history of Bro. Lee is shameful in how he treated those co-workers and it will all be revealed at the Judgment Seat. The current activity of the Blended Brothers to me has been incomprehensible since I knew most of them and I'm shocked at the level of deception that has encompassed them, but a little leaven eventually leavens the whole lot.
May we all continue to pray for their deliverance and for all who remain under their control.
I know some will ask, "What does this have to do with Asian culture?" This thread was birthed from a thread on whether to attend the FTT. I said, "Why would anyone want to be trained/programmed/acculturated into this group?" It is a culture of tacit silence. It has roots in its native soil. I am trying to show that Nee and Lee were both captive by their native culture, which infected the movement. There are witnesses to what happened in the LC. We can pretend, and quote Lee's 'spiritual words', or we can see what actually occurred on the ground, with real people.

Let me give a personal view. I read Witness Lee holding that in the Psalms the phrase "I will dip my feet in the blood of my enemy" was a type of Christ triumphing over Satan (per Lee's interpretation). Then another Psalm has the Psalmist also wishing harm to his enemies and Lee said, "That's not Christian. We should bless our enemies." I pointed out the interpretational inconsistency and a LC member replied, "Perhaps it is so." Well, perhaps it is not so. And the footnote said it was, not 'perhaps'. Only a docile and compliant culture could stand such ridiculous teachings. Our American culture is if we see something stupid someone will point it out. But the Chinese culture is, "Don't bring shame to elder brother Lee." So they keep their mouths shut.

So my point is that the FTT is to give you a "Chinese flavor". Then you will "make it" in the LC. There are many nations and cultures. The Bible says that the kings of the nations will bring their glory into the City of God. Revelation 21:24,26; cf Isaiah 60:3, 5. Nothing wrong with the Chinese, but they aren't the only nation. So imposing their culture as requisite for the Kingdom is patently false. There are other voices besides that of Witness Lee. Let them come forth. There are other "flavors" that will also give glory to God. Let them speak, also.
06-29-2018 01:25 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Here's a post from a dumb American who opened his mouth:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Elden1971 View Post
Thanks for asking about my "excommunication". In an attempt to help a young brother that I brought to the church in OKC who was under condemnation for his personal failings I told him all have sinned and come short of the glory of the Lord and even our dear Bro. Lee had done illegal acts and the Lord had forgiven him and was still using him. This helped the brother and we prayed and he left. The next day he apparently shared his testimony with another brother who immediately reported to James Barber that I had said Bro. Lee had done illegal acts.

James called an emergency meeting of the elders and called me to come meet with them. Upon arrival James informed me that what I said was a lie and unless I repented I would be excommunicated. Of course what I had said was the truth regarding Bro. Lee committing illegal acts was absolutely true and I had been intimately involved in helping Francis Ball prepare his legal defense had he been caught (in retrospect what I said about Lee repenting may have been wrong) but suffice it to say I was in a real quandary. If I am to stay in Fellowship then I must say what I said was a lie when in fact it was the truth. I did not have the peace to uncover the sins of Bro. Lee even though I knew he was guilty so I reflected inwardly and said Lord I choose You and the Spirit of Glory fell upon me.

I said nothing in my defense and James pronounced my excommunication and the other elders nodded in agreement(two of whom I had brought to the church the other two appointed by Benson. Only James had spoken and thus I was excommunicated from the church in OKC that had been birthed in my heart and started in my home
Bad move. Keep your mouth shut in the LC, if you want to "make it."
06-29-2018 01:02 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
You may have a point in the above, I cannot say if factually you are correct. ... but perhaps it is related to a point that Evangelical made a few posts back.

Yet that was not my objection. Aron referenced a footnote in the Recovery Version (Revelation 1:20) to substantiate his Asian culture claim. That footnote does not say or even imply what he said it does... it comes nowhere near to it. He is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts.

Therefore, aron, back to your assertion...... that footnote says the local churches are identical in "nature, shape, and purpose". According to that footnote what does the nature, shape, and purpose refer to?

Drake
According to the footnote, as read to us by the "trainers" in the LSM, it meant "flavor". In other words, we use spiritual mumbo-jumbo to tell people, "get with the program".

But truly it wasn't ALL of the LC that was abusive, manipulative, and controlling. Just enough of it that a clear pattern was established. Somewhere between zero and 100%. Jane Anderson, Max and Sandee Rappaport, 'Hope' and John So, Bill Mallon, the sisters abused by Philip Lee, Sal Benoit and the Daystar 'investors', Bill Freeman, etc.

I admit that also there's abuse and manipulation in non-LC churches and in non-religious groups. But in the LC it's well-covered over by those spiritual words. Because in the LC you don't talk. Another Chinese trait. Just smile and nod.

Who was the Chinese brother (Samuel Chang?) walking with the American brother in the mid-60s, who turned to the American (Don Hardy?) and said, "You have to watch out for Witness Lee's family", then clapped his hand over his mouth and said, "Oh! I shouldn't have said that!" Why? Chinese culture says it's bad form to speak of others like that. So Lee's past got hidden by people who knew. When the Tour of Asia happened and Lee took those strapping young American men, none of the Chinese warned the Americans what was coming. Bad form to speak ill. So they let it pass. And when the storm came the Americans didn't know what hit them. But the Chinese already knew.

Lee would hide behind words, "Nature, shape, and purpose". But those on the ground knew exactly what it meant. When Lee looked over the mass of humanity dressed in identical garments he couldn't contain his delight. This is what Ohio tells us of what he saw during the "New Way" in Taipei. Another witness to the non-witness of Witness Lee. He wasn't testifying of Christ, but his native culture. (but he wasn't a monster; Drake says we say that here but I don't ever remember using that word. WL was just another sinner trapped by his concepts and his flesh).
06-29-2018 12:25 PM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Thanks.

The Footnote says identical in " their nature, shape, and purpose"

What nature, what shape, and what purpose does the Footnote describe?

Drake
Hi Drake,

I know you are having a hard time here, but ...

How do you interpret Lee's quoted footnote to demand that every LC must read from the same identical book, and that would be the latest HWFMR based on the latest semi-annual Training at LSM?

LSM used this demand to quarantine and literally divide all the LC's in the Midwest. Operatives from LSM literally incited local adherents to physically disrupt the Lord's Day meetings out of their desire to be "absolutely one with other LC's" according to Witness Lee's own instructions.
06-29-2018 12:03 PM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Please don't insult my intelligence (such as it is) by treating me like "a new one". I didn't just fall of the Local Church turnip truck this morning ya know. We are not talking about heavy-duty theological concepts and terms here.

One of the things many outsiders have had questions about is why nearly everyone in the Local Church looks, dresses and talks the same. And they wonder why they can't get but a few "average American Caucasians". The group has been hemorrhaging young American Caucasian kids at an alarming rate for decades. The makeup of the Full-Time Training Anaheim is so skewed with Chinese/Asians that it looks like it should be in Taiwan, not Anaheim.
-
You may have a point in the above, I cannot say if factually you are correct. ... but perhaps it is related to a point that Evangelical made a few posts back.

Yet that was not my objection. Aron referenced a footnote in the Recovery Version (Revelation 1:20) to substantiate his Asian culture claim. That footnote does not say or even imply what he said it does... it comes nowhere near to it. He is entitled to his own opinion but not his own facts.

Therefore, aron, back to your assertion...... that footnote says the local churches are identical in "nature, shape, and purpose". According to that footnote what does the nature, shape, and purpose refer to?

Drake
06-29-2018 11:43 AM
UntoHim
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
What nature, what shape, and what purpose does the Footnote describe?
Please don't insult my intelligence (such as it is) by treating me like "a new one". I didn't just fall of the Local Church turnip truck this morning ya know. We are not talking about heavy-duty theological concepts and terms here.

One of the things many outsiders have had questions about is why nearly everyone in the Local Church looks, dresses and talks the same. And they wonder why they can't get but a few "average American Caucasians". The group has been hemorrhaging young American Caucasian kids at an alarming rate for decades. The makeup of the Full-Time Training Anaheim is so skewed with Chinese/Asians that it looks like it should be in Taiwan, not Anaheim.

Why? Are American Caucasians so blind, deft and dumb as to not recognize "the heavenly culture" Witness Lee created? Why wouldn't they want to be "trained" in the godly and glorious ways of the Kingdom? Conversely, why are the Chinese/Asians flocking to the FTTA?

You see, there is a method to the madness. If you fill all the churches with people who look, dress, talk and act the same you will end up with a bunch of churches that look, dress, talk and act the same. A bunch of little rank-and-file automatons meeting in a meeting hall make up the corporate automaton. You get what you pay for my friends. And the followers of Witness Lee have been payin and payin for about 50 years now.
-
06-29-2018 10:47 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Hey - we might need more Chinese in Scottsdale . . . send 'em over here!

Seriously, we're just fine, since "God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." (1 Cor 12:18)
06-29-2018 10:10 AM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
"They bear the same lamp for the same purpose and are fully identified with one another, not having any individual distinctiveness. The differences among the seven churches recorded in chs. 2 and 3 are all of a negative nature, not a positive one. Negatively, in their failures, the churches are different and separate from one another; but positively, in their nature, shape, and purpose, they are absolutely identical and are connected to one another."
Revelation 1:20 Footnote (Recovery Version)

Witness Lee's footnote here is a classic argument from silence. One could probably throw in an argument of ignorance as well. His logic is shoddy and over-simplistic. "Not having any individual distinctiveness?" These churches were made up of flesh and blood human beings, not mindless, opinionless automatons. Furthermore, it does seem to reflect the Chinese/Asian homogeneous worldview. Of course there is nothing inherently wrong in this ancient worldview...the problems come in when this worldview is sold as "Recovered truth".

-
Thanks.

The Footnote says identical in " their nature, shape, and purpose"

What nature, what shape, and what purpose does the Footnote describe?

Drake
06-29-2018 10:05 AM
UntoHim
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

"They bear the same lamp for the same purpose and are fully identified with one another, not having any individual distinctiveness. The differences among the seven churches recorded in chs. 2 and 3 are all of a negative nature, not a positive one. Negatively, in their failures, the churches are different and separate from one another; but positively, in their nature, shape, and purpose, they are absolutely identical and are connected to one another."
Revelation 1:20 Footnote (Recovery Version)

Witness Lee's footnote here is a classic argument from silence. One could probably throw in an argument of ignorance as well. His logic is shoddy and over-simplistic. "Not having any individual distinctiveness?" These churches were made up of flesh and blood human beings, not mindless, opinionless automatons. Furthermore, it does seem to reflect the Chinese/Asian homogeneous worldview. Of course there is nothing inherently wrong in this ancient worldview...the problems come in when this worldview is sold as "Recovered truth".

-
06-29-2018 08:52 AM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Hi Drake, how do you define a "mistake?" We seem to have different dictionaries here.

Secondly, if you don't like ex-members addressing the excessive exaltation which Lee received in the LC's, then why do you falsely claim that members "loathe the very ground the man walked on and the air that he breathed."

Please define for us what you would consider a "normal regard" for Brother Lee? I have a problem calling just about anything at LSM "normal."
Hi Drake,

Whenever questions get difficult for you, then you seem to disappear.

My questions here are altogether legitimate, since you regularly dismiss all of Lee's failings with the saying, "everyone makes mistakes."
06-29-2018 08:48 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
According to the footnote you referenced, in what way are the local churches identical?

Drake
According to Lee's own words, they should be identical in expression, in flavor, in appearance, in composition, in teaching, in nature, etc.

They should be as identical to one another as all of the seven golden lampstands in Revelation. No differences whatsoever are allowed, because all of these differences were supposedly "negative."
06-29-2018 08:33 AM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
If you read the footnotes to your RecV, Witness Lee wrote that ALL local churches have to be "exactly identical" with "no differences whatever". See e.g., Rev 1:20 footnote.

Or did you have printed messages from LSM giving other directives? Please share, and reconcile that with the footnote..
According to the footnote you referenced, in what way are the local churches identical?

Drake
06-29-2018 08:21 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What is your proof that this is the case today? Does it apply to ALL local churches around the world?
If you read the footnotes to your RecV, Witness Lee wrote that ALL local churches have to be "exactly identical" with "no differences whatever". See e.g., Rev 1:20 footnote.

Or did you have printed messages from LSM giving other directives? Please share, and reconcile that with the footnote.

Unless we hear of sweeping changes in the LC, we are not remiss in assuming this is the case, yes in ALL the LC assemblies, today. Because that's the way it was set up and the current leadership makes such a deal of "closely following the apostles", i.e. Lee's written directives.
06-29-2018 05:51 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What is your proof that this is the case today? Does it apply to ALL local churches around the world?
The "yellow-ness" of the LC's in the US, which do not represent the locals.

One of the nasty side-effects of the Midwest Quarantines was to expedite the "yellowing" of the LCM in the US. The Midwest LC's were the last bastion of "native" Americans.
06-29-2018 04:29 AM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Please read the first sentence again. I said, "this IS writ large over the LC". The LC continues to be an extension of the culturally- mediated personalities of its two most dominant members.
What is your proof that this is the case today? Does it apply to ALL local churches around the world?
06-29-2018 04:17 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If the thread is about the Chineseness of Lee/Nee then why are you and others talking about the LC in the present tense?
Please read the first sentence again. I said, "this IS writ large over the LC". The LC continues to be an extension of the culturally- mediated personalities of its two most dominant members.
06-29-2018 04:10 AM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

If the thread is about the Chineseness of Lee/Nee then why are you and others talking about the LC in the present tense?
06-29-2018 03:30 AM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What's funny about it? I must have missed the joke. If this situation had occurred in the time of the early church, in Corinth for example, I'm sure Paul would have given them instructions about it, just as he gave them instructions about the problems they were facing like wearing head coverings etc.
When you wrote your post (#50) I thought you were being facetious. If you were serious, then you completely missed the point of the thread, and I suspect deliberately. The issue here is not the Chinese-ness (for lack of a better term) of the newer members, but the Chinese-mess of the founders Nee and Lee, and how this is writ large over the LC, and the effect it has on both human relations and one's walk with God.

I understand, not all autocrats are Chinese. But these men built a Chinese-coloured system in which there was no mutuality or recoprocality. At one point you wrote, "You don't critique Jesus." But Watchman Nee was not Jesus.

When the leading brothers gathered and expressed real and deep shared concerns about the situation in the LC, during the Philip Lee drama, Witness Lee complained to them that they were "pouring ice water" on him. But he got to pour ice water on everyone else. He could not have built such a large organisation around such flawed(and non-biblical, I might add) premises without tacit agreement of shared cultural influences.

For example, when members said to one another about Lee, "Even when he's wrong he's right", they were unwittingly inculcating themselves with eastern values.

And you keep using Paul as a kind of spiritual sop, or cover. Paul did not have absolute authority in the church. John alone refutes this: John was there before Paul, and was there after, and was continually ministering, and nowhere do we see any indication of the slavish submission that the Nee/Lee model demanded.

This thread is a spin- off of an earlier discussion about attending the FTT; my response was, "Who would want to be trained (re-programmed) in such a system?"

I agree that the system of western denominations in China, circa 1925, was deeply flawed. One might even argue, hopelessly flawed. But Nee's solution as exported by Lee was worse. At least in the "denominations" (for lack of a better term) there were some safeguards against abuse. In the LC there were, and are, effectively none. Who'd want to give themselves to this kind of system? It invites abuse. We have here story after story, testimony after testimony.
06-29-2018 03:19 AM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
That's very much exaggerated, I wrote none of that.
Didn't you ever go to a FTT, and have some kid do an underwear drawer inspection while you were in a meeting?

It is worse than I described, Evan.

In the Asian culture, that's a way for LSM "trainers" to bring elders and deacons under their subjection. Mark my word.
06-28-2018 09:59 PM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by least View Post
Really? That's hilarious.
What's funny about it? I must have missed the joke. If this situation had occurred in the time of the early church, in Corinth for example, I'm sure Paul would have given them instructions about it, just as he gave them instructions about the problems they were facing like wearing head coverings etc.
06-28-2018 09:58 PM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Evangelical, has it really come to this in the "local" church?
That's very much exaggerated, I wrote none of that.
06-28-2018 09:14 PM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Too much Chinese can be a real problem. Some local churches they are trying hard to reduce the Chinese influence. Examples include banning Chinese from being spoken in the meetings and making the pot lucks western instead of Chinese. They also split the churches and West and East meet separately. Promoting Western not Chinese elders. Also giving the Chinese instructions in personal hygiene and good manners.
Folks, we're looking a little too Chinese these days.

From now on we will have FTTT inspections before every meeting.

You will get citations if you smell, if you still got dinner between your teeth, and if your LSM tie is smudged.

This week we will practice shaking hands and saying "howdy" to the guests.


Evangelical, has it really come to this in the "local" church?
06-28-2018 09:12 PM
Trapped
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Ok. Fair enough. I see your point, Trapped.

But I think the reason may be simpler than you describe.

Assuming there is a conscious effort to not use the term “deacon” or “deaconess” it would more likely stem from the fact that the descriptor has been used and spoiled by institutional Christianity were it is a title, it is an official associated with the clergy class.... little deacon became big Deacon. That explanation would be consistent with the teachings and practices of the local churches and to avoid inadvertently creating classes in the local churches.

Yet, I have no proof that is why or how this low key use of the term deacon came about. I rather think it is because serving one is the meaning of the Greek diakonos. Just like we don’t use the term “called out assembly” but rather a vernacular expression ....”church”.

Drake

Surely the Lord's recovery can "recover" the proper use of the word deacon

But this isn't an issue that keeps me up and night, and like you said, at the moment we have no proof with the information that is available to us about why it isn't used. Several explanations are plausible.
06-28-2018 08:49 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by least View Post
Really? That's hilarious.
I'm sayin'!
06-28-2018 08:47 PM
least
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Too much Chinese can be a real problem. Some local churches they are trying hard to reduce the Chinese influence. Examples include banning Chinese from being spoken in the meetings and making the pot lucks western instead of Chinese. They also split the churches and West and East meet separately. Promoting Western not Chinese elders. Also giving the Chinese instructions in personal hygiene and good manners.
Really? That's hilarious.
06-28-2018 08:32 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Too much Chinese can be a real problem. Some local churches they are trying hard to reduce the Chinese influence. Examples include banning Chinese from being spoken in the meetings and making the pot lucks western instead of Chinese. They also split the churches and West and East meet separately. Promoting Western not Chinese elders. Also giving the Chinese instructions in personal hygiene and good manners.
Is this like LC affirmative action?
06-28-2018 07:23 PM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I wasn't the one who brought up communism. I was talking about a culture and it's effect on what we'd call due process. You know, innocent until proven guilty. In the Chinese courts its not like that. Neither in the LC. If Lee hauled you on the docket you were cooked. That had nothing to do with communism. But there was a shared cultural basis (social expectations and values) and I was noting that.

How come Lee didn't follow the Matthew 18 guidelines? Was he exempt? "Today's Moses" gets to write his own laws?

The only sins I can see Lee forgiving and covering up were those of his immediate family. Everyone else had a different set of rules. Apparently this discrepancy needs to be pointed out - some folks seem to be trying hard not to notice. So I'm just helping them out by breaking the fetters of blindness.
You are talking about Confucianism.
06-28-2018 06:01 PM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
But did not Witness Lee teach us that not even God could forgive sins without a repentance. (I John 1.9)
And in China, if you break the shared expectations of the guanxi network you never get restored. Same with the LC. Mere coincidence? Or cultural influence at work? I suspect the latter.

Those who don't forgive don't get forgiven. God is willing to forgive. Are the Blinders willing to repent?
06-28-2018 05:57 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Instead of communism, it could be from the bible about forgiveness and covering sins.
I wasn't the one who brought up communism. I was talking about a culture and it's effect on what we'd call due process. You know, innocent until proven guilty. In the Chinese courts its not like that. Neither in the LC. If Lee hauled you on the docket you were cooked. That had nothing to do with communism. But there was a shared cultural basis (social expectations and values) and I was noting that.

How come Lee didn't follow the Matthew 18 guidelines? Was he exempt? "Today's Moses" gets to write his own laws?

The only sins I can see Lee forgiving and covering up were those of his immediate family. Everyone else had a different set of rules. Apparently this discrepancy needs to be pointed out - some folks seem to be trying hard not to notice. So I'm just helping them out by breaking the fetters of blindness.
06-28-2018 04:49 PM
Ohio
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
China has been around for 4000 years. How long has Communism been around in China?
Chinese dynasties were communistic long before they were called communist.
06-28-2018 04:48 PM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I think God has forgiven Lee and so people here are judging him for sins God has already forgiven.
But did not Witness Lee teach us that not even God could forgive sins without a repentance. (I John 1.9)
06-28-2018 04:44 PM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Except Lee clearly wasn't interested in due process either, and he wasn't Communist by any measure. So much for that theory.
Instead of communism, it could be from the bible about forgiveness and covering sins.
06-28-2018 04:43 PM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
And there is no man worship. I regard Brother Lee as a servant of the Lord. He put is pants on one leg at a time. He made mistakes. We all do. The Lord revealed much to me over the past 4 decades and Brother Lee's ministry was instrumental to those experiences of Christ.
Hi Drake, how do you define a "mistake?" We seem to have different dictionaries here.

Secondly, if you don't like ex-members addressing the excessive exaltation which Lee received in the LC's, then why do you falsely claim that members "loathe the very ground the man walked on and the air that he breathed."

Please define for us what you would consider a "normal regard" for Brother Lee? I have a problem calling just about anything at LSM "normal."
06-28-2018 04:38 PM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Except Lee clearly wasn't interested in due process either, and he wasn't Communist by any measure. So much for that theory.
Aron,

China has been around for 4000 years. How long has Communism been around in China?

You are making correlations where there are none.

Your arguments start with your end point and you work backwards from there ending up with odd and unsubstantiated correlations that have no basis in fact.

Drake
06-28-2018 04:24 PM
Evangelical
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I am used to it. And there is no man worship. I regard Brother Lee as a servant of the Lord. He put is pants on one leg at a time. He made mistakes. We all do.
I think God has forgiven Lee and so people here are judging him for sins God has already forgiven.
06-28-2018 04:08 PM
aron
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

-1

Except Lee clearly wasn't interested in due process either, and he wasn't Communist by any measure. So much for that theory.

And guess who's the last major Communist hold-out today? Russia? Eastern bloc nations? No, it's China. Hey! What do you know? But there's no connection with that country's culture, right? Just a coincidence, I'm sure. Still, an interesting coincidence.

And notice that even decades after their deaths one may not point out either Mao's failures, nor those of Lee. Maybe a generic, "mistakes were made", but nothing specific. Don't correct the Big Guy! Don't make them lose face. But that's just coincidence, right? Nothing to do with shared Chinese culture.
06-28-2018 03:43 PM
Drake
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
My point was, and remains, that in Chinese culture that's considered "due process"; those who fight the system get worse punishment, so why fight? It's how social order is maintained. Do we in the west agree?
That is not Chinese, aron. That is Communism. You will find the same situation in Eastern bloc countries and Russia under under Stalin....Pol Pot in Cambodia.. etc.

Drake
06-28-2018 03:37 PM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Get use to it bro Drake. You'll get over man worship sooner or later ... hopefully. I'll pray for you.
Bro Awareness,

I am used to it. And there is no man worship. I regard Brother Lee as a servant of the Lord. He put is pants on one leg at a time. He made mistakes. We all do. The Lord revealed much to me over the past 4 decades and Brother Lee's ministry was instrumental to those experiences of Christ.

And yet, a normal regard for Brother Lee seems like worship to those that loathe the very ground the man walked on and the air that he breathed.

I get that.

Drake
06-28-2018 03:30 PM
Evangelical
Re: Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Too much Chinese can be a real problem. Some local churches they are trying hard to reduce the Chinese influence. Examples include banning Chinese from being spoken in the meetings and making the pot lucks western instead of Chinese. They also split the churches and West and East meet separately. Promoting Western not Chinese elders. Also giving the Chinese instructions in personal hygiene and good manners.
06-28-2018 01:35 PM
awareness
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
No. I never spoke with the brother. And I don't want to slander him in any way. My personal belief is he was on track and then somewhere along the line, he got off track. He appears to have been blind that things he believed and spoke earlier on, didn't fully align with things later.

I have received blessings from the Lord through this brother. But in the end, that's all he was - a brother. A brother with vision but also warts, just like the rest of us. The promise and hope in Christ, is that He is faithful to remove all those warts. We're all in process. But when one man gets elevated, church history shows over and over what happens. No difference here.
Well I never sat around with brother Lee. My friend that goes by Hosepipe did, a couple times. Tried to talk to him but Lee treated him like he wasn't there. My friend said that Lee made the hair stand up on the back of his neck.

I did attend plenty of Lee's speakings, if that counts for anything.

But all that wouldn't turn me off to Lee. Lee was as human as the rest of us. What turned me off to Lee was when he started thinking of himself more than he ought.

When it came down from Anaheim that Lee was the one and only apostle on the earth, and the oracle of God and authority of God, then I knew that Lee had gone off the rails. Then Lee was claiming that he wasn't as human as the rest of us. He was better.

So maybe there are some slanderous scurrilous libel against Lee out here. Maybe not.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think the record has Jesus saying something like, "those who exalt themselves will be humbled."

Lee exalted himself, and is now being humbled.

Get use to it bro Drake. You'll get over man worship sooner or later ... hopefully. I'll pray for you.
06-28-2018 11:31 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
StG,

Couple of points on the above.

First, were you ever in a meeting with Brother Lee? Training or conference or conversed with him around a table in a small group or spoke with the man one on one? If not, then do not believe everything you hear in this forum. There is another side. I have had those opportunities and the Witness Lee in this forum is not the Witness Lee I had the pleasure to know. If Brother Lee was anywhere near like the monster folks paint him as in this forum then no one would be there.
No. I never spoke with the brother. And I don't want to slander him in any way. My personal belief is he was on track and then somewhere along the line, he got off track. He appears to have been blind that things he believed and spoke earlier on, didn't fully align with things from him later.

I have received blessings from the Lord through this brother. But in the end, that's all he was - a brother. A brother with vision but also warts, just like the rest of us. The promise and hope in Christ, is that He is faithful to remove all those warts. We're all in process. But when one man gets elevated, church history shows over and over what happens. No difference here.
06-28-2018 10:03 AM
aron
Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
I too strongly question the use of public shaming. What is its intended purpose - to build up the person in love? If so, this is hard to see what are the loving results from using this method. Rather, it appears like a public trial, where the one admonishing pretty much becomes judge, jury and executioner..
A whle back on this forum we were discussing the trial of Watchman Nee in the PRC. A young woman had been in the court room, and heard Nee confess to the charges, get sentenced, and hauled off to prison. The young woman later emigrated and wrote a book about her experiences in the Nee church, including the trial and what she saw and heard.

https://www.amazon.com/My-Unforgetta...e+memories+hsu

The comments on this forum were mostly like, "See! He confessed! Guilty!" My reply was, "How many trials in the PRC in the 1950s did you see someone plead not guilty, mount a defense, and get exonerated and walk free? How many?" I couldn't find any. I did some searches on the PRC criminal system... there, it's like this: the "State" is right, you're a "criminal" and are wrong. End of story. You wouldn't be accused if you weren't guilty!

My point was, and remains, that in Chinese culture that's considered "due process"; those who fight the system get worse punishment, so why fight? It's how social order is maintained. Do we in the west agree? No, but it certainly is effective. So Witness Lee was acting according to type when he summarily 'executed' some of his LC members for 'crimes' real and imagined. Matthew 18:15-20 wasn't thought of - his family or business was at stake and suddenly he was acting like a typical Chinese businessman. That fit his "normal Christian church life" model (and yes I'm punning by quoting the title of Nee's book).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
I was speaking with a brother over dinner last night about how Bill Freeman received the boot from the LC. I was told that in 1986 he was called to southern Cal and given a chair in the middle of the room, where he was ringed by a large group of elders. They proceeded to accuse him of various things. According to what I heard he didn't reply much. . .
There are quite a bunch of stories like this. The one Ohio quoted in post #55. Jane Anderson's testimony. The Rappaports. John Ingalls. Then we see the pattern repeated with Titus Chu and his underlings, with Dong Yu Lan and his followers. There's a trend here, repeated over decades, and it has clear cultural components. To those who behave like this, it's considered normal. This is why the LC is becoming increasingly Chinese: it meets their cultural expectations.
06-28-2018 08:06 AM
Ohio
Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Aron,

Part of your post above is a fair argument. But frankly, much of it is shallow talking points and those overshadow any reasonable point you might have made. I’m sure you know that so I wonder why you wallow your argument the mire as part of its presentation.

Drake
Another trademark post by Drake -- so dismissive of the genuine concerns of the children of God.

The facts of history have destroyed your flawed attempts at justifying Lee's bully tactics, and spinning them to appear like anything that resembles the New Testament.
06-28-2018 06:14 AM
Drake
Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I can see your view, and how this idea of the kind, older brother, shepherding the saints in love to perfect them for the building, has taken root in your mind. But it has no power in my mind and I'll tell you why.

Who got to be civil, frank and direct with Witness Lee when son Philip was caught repeatedly molesting the sisters at LSM offices? Who got to shepherd, perfect, or correct Lee when all the money invested by LC attendees into son Timothy's motor home business disappeared, and the church members were told to consider it a donation? Did Saul Benoit get to be frank with Lee? Did the elders in Anaheim? Did anyone? Who administered discipline to Witness Lee?

No, "fellowship" and "discipline" in the LC was a one-way street, a "normal Christian church life" only for those steeped in oriental cultural norms and expectations. News flash: Witness Lee was not Jesus, sinless and perfected forever; rather, he was a sinner like the rest, only placed in "untouchable" status by his cultural expectations. And the result was ruinous. Not building but dividing and collapse. Aka "turmoil, storms and rebellions" - I heard these terms coming into the LC, and now I've some idea from whence they derived.

Who would want to be indoctrinated into such a system?

Additionally, for all the "kind older brother" and "begetting father" stories from the LC, there are ones like Ned Nossaman and Bill Mallon who speak of the tyrannical outbursts. See, e.g., the testimony in post #55, below; note that such behaviours are seen as acceptable, necessary even, from a particular societal standpoint.

But it isn't a heavenly society but rather an earthly one. So everyone except Witness Lee had to be silent and play politics as you noted in your post. Only Lee got to be frank; everyone else had to be political.
Aron,

Part of your post above is a fair argument. But frankly, much of it is shallow talking points and those overshadow any reasonable point you might have made. I’m sure you know that so I wonder why you wallow your argument the mire as part of its presentation.

Drake
06-28-2018 06:00 AM
Drake
Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post



Drake,

Yyyyyyyyyeahh........I am not referring to official titles. I am not thinking and do not think in clergy terms. I am well aware there are no titles. I am talking about descriptive terms used to refer to people who carry out the functions of that word. Even as you said, "elder" is not a title. It is a description of that person's function (just like "church in..." is not the name or title, it is just the description).

However, Nee does say there are only two offices in the church – that of elder and that of deacon. And deacons are also appointed in the course of their natural manifestation. So while it is not an official title, deacons are actually “appointed” and therefore “officially” deacons. Not in official title, but in appointed function. (And in communication we do have to use words and terms for things and people, or else we are up a creek.)

So for a group who tries to do everything so tightly according to the Bible, it is odd that the term "deacon" is not generally used, especially when there is even a specific portion in the word describing the qualifications for one. We have “elders” because it is in the Bible, why not “deacon”? You mentioned “serving one” and said that it covers deacons and deaconesses. Personally I would disagree on the grounds that "serving one" is used too broadly and can include saints who do not hold the qualifications of a deacon as described in the Bible, and moreover are not necessarily appointed. At one point or another most saints can end up being a "serving one" in some capacity, whether briefly or longer term. Under the large umbrella of "serving one", however, some can be deacons in function. (In other words, not all serving ones are deacons, but all deacons are serving ones).

Yes, in some LCs there are females who serve in certain specific capacities and who therefore do perform the functions of a deaconess. Why then, if these functions exist among the saints, are the Biblical terms not used to describe them? One realization I had was that to use the term "deacon" would then support the use of the term "deaconess", and having any female termed, or, yes, “appointed”, anything special in the local churches is a no-no. (I do not mean "special" in the sense of being above anyone else. Deacons/esses serve the saints; they are not there to be "over" the saints in a negative way).

You said you have heard the term deacon used. I have never heard the term deacon used myself, but accept that there may be LC's where it is used, although I have to suspect that that is a rare occurrence.
Ok. Fair enough. I see your point, Trapped.

But I think the reason may be simpler than you describe.

Assuming there is a conscious effort to not use the term “deacon” or “deaconess” it would more likely stem from the fact that the descriptor has been used and spoiled by institutional Christianity were it is a title, it is an official associated with the clergy class.... little deacon became big Deacon. That explanation would be consistent with the teachings and practices of the local churches and to avoid inadvertently creating classes in the local churches.

Yet, I have no proof that is why or how this low key use of the term deacon came about. I rather think it is because serving one is the meaning of the Greek diakonos. Just like we don’t use the term “called out assembly” but rather a vernacular expression ....”church”.

Drake
06-28-2018 03:19 AM
aron
Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Was Paul shaming others in his letters to the churches, calling out certain brothers for their divisive thinking, doctrine, or practice? I do not say Paul was uncivil, slanderous, or reviling. He was civil, frank, direct, even when he administered discipline to members of a local church. In fact, I think to be silent when we should speak is playing politics and it is not Christ.
I can see your view, and how this idea of the kind, older brother, shepherding the saints in love to perfect them for the building, has taken root in your mind. But it has no power in my mind and I'll tell you why.

Who got to be civil, frank and direct with Witness Lee when son Philip was caught repeatedly molesting the sisters at LSM offices? Who got to shepherd, perfect, or correct Lee when all the money invested by LC attendees into son Timothy's motor home business disappeared, and the church members were told to consider it a donation? Did Saul Benoit get to be frank with Lee? Did the elders in Anaheim? Did anyone? Who administered discipline to Witness Lee?

No, "fellowship" and "discipline" in the LC was a one-way street, a "normal Christian church life" only for those steeped in oriental cultural norms and expectations. News flash: Witness Lee was not Jesus, sinless and perfected forever; rather, he was a sinner like the rest, only placed in "untouchable" status by his cultural expectations. And the result was ruinous. Not building but dividing and collapse. Aka "turmoil, storms and rebellions" - I heard these terms coming into the LC, and now I've some idea from whence they derived.

Who would want to be indoctrinated into such a system?

Additionally, for all the "kind older brother" and "begetting father" stories from the LC, there are ones like Ned Nossaman and Bill Mallon who speak of the tyrannical outbursts. See, e.g., the testimony in post #55, below; note that such behaviours are seen as acceptable, necessary even, from a particular societal standpoint.

But it isn't a heavenly society but rather an earthly one. So everyone except Witness Lee had to be silent and play politics as you noted in your post. Only Lee got to be frank; everyone else had to be political.
06-27-2018 08:47 PM
Trapped
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Nnnnnnnnn... no.

Trapped, you seem to be thinking in clergy terms... title-ish.

I have heard the term deacons used but it really just refers to serving ones, the most used term. And serving ones also includes brothers or sisters. Elders is a term that is used to refer to... well elders... but even then not as a formal title..... not like “Hi, I’m Elder Buzz! Nice to meet you.” but like “there will be an elders meeting in Harold’s VW van this Saturday “. Anyway, serving one replaces deacons and deaconess and means the same thing.

Drake


Drake,

Yyyyyyyyyeahh........I am not referring to official titles. I am not thinking and do not think in clergy terms. I am well aware there are no titles. I am talking about descriptive terms used to refer to people who carry out the functions of that word. Even as you said, "elder" is not a title. It is a description of that person's function (just like "church in..." is not the name or title, it is just the description).

However, Nee does say there are only two offices in the church – that of elder and that of deacon. And deacons are also appointed in the course of their natural manifestation. So while it is not an official title, deacons are actually “appointed” and therefore “officially” deacons. Not in official title, but in appointed function. (And in communication we do have to use words and terms for things and people, or else we are up a creek.)

So for a group who tries to do everything so tightly according to the Bible, it is odd that the term "deacon" is not generally used, especially when there is even a specific portion in the word describing the qualifications for one. We have “elders” because it is in the Bible, why not “deacon”? You mentioned “serving one” and said that it covers deacons and deaconesses. Personally I would disagree on the grounds that "serving one" is used too broadly and can include saints who do not hold the qualifications of a deacon as described in the Bible, and moreover are not necessarily appointed. At one point or another most saints can end up being a "serving one" in some capacity, whether briefly or longer term. Under the large umbrella of "serving one", however, some can be deacons in function. (In other words, not all serving ones are deacons, but all deacons are serving ones).

Yes, in some LCs there are females who serve in certain specific capacities and who therefore do perform the functions of a deaconess. Why then, if these functions exist among the saints, are the Biblical terms not used to describe them? One realization I had was that to use the term "deacon" would then support the use of the term "deaconess", and having any female termed, or, yes, “appointed”, anything special in the local churches is a no-no. (I do not mean "special" in the sense of being above anyone else. Deacons/esses serve the saints; they are not there to be "over" the saints in a negative way).

You said you have heard the term deacon used. I have never heard the term deacon used myself, but accept that there may be LC's where it is used, although I have to suspect that that is a rare occurrence.
06-27-2018 04:23 PM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
I too strongly question the use of public shaming. What is its intended purpose - to build up the person in love? If so, this is hard to see what are the loving results from using this method. Rather, it appears like a public trial, where the one admonishing pretty much becomes judge, jury and executioner.

During leadership training, we tell our business clients, "Praise in public; Discipline (these days we actually say "coach") in private." To do otherwise is a fear based tactic which will likely just produce short-term results. Disciplining in public does little more than build the ego at the expense of the other person - again, short term thinking. Definitely NOT the servant leadership model we see in Christ!
StG,

Couple of points on the above.

First, were you ever in a meeting with Brother Lee? Training or conference or conversed with him around a table in a small group or spoke with the man one on one? If not, then do not believe everything you hear in this forum. There is another side. I have had those opportunities and the Witness Lee in this forum is not the Witness Lee I had the pleasure to know. If Brother Lee was anywhere near like the monster folks paint him as in this forum then no one would be there.

But, I want to challenge your idea about public confrontation. Not shaming but challenging. Not purposely embarrassing someone for the sake of embarrassment but that all may learn. I will use myself as an example. A most valuable lesson and teaching I learned was from a public question and answer.. in this case, it was an exchange between Brother Lee and yours truly. It was at least as direct as the incident mentioned between Brother Lee and Brother Titus. He asked a question in a meeting and I offered an answer..... the answer was the wrong one and I knew it as soon as it left my lips. Also, at that very moment the Light went on and I had the Lord's shining. There was a little more public exchange but here is what I will share with you. I have had many wonderful experiences of Christ in my christian life and most of them in the local churches....and some of them, that one in particular, came out from a direct and frank public exchange. I am certain others learned from it, but none as much as I. And I treasure the experience of Christ I gained from it.

Immediately following this I had a discussion of a personal nature with Brother Lee.... and I can testify that he was most gracious and caring and a offered sincere and heartfelt counsel.

Yet, what does the Bible show about this? Was the Lord direct with his disciples, with Peter when he called him Satan? Was Paul too confrontational with Peter when he separated himself from the Gentiles? Was Paul shaming others in his letters to the churches, calling out certain brothers for their divisive thinking, doctrine, or practice? I do not say Paul was uncivil, slanderous, or reviling. He was civil, frank, direct, even when he administered discipline to members of a local church. In fact, I think to be silent when we should speak is playing politics and it is not Christ.

Drake
06-27-2018 12:19 PM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
I too strongly question the use of public shaming. What is its intended purpose - to build up the person in love? If so, this is hard to see what are the loving results from using this method. Rather, it appears like a public trial, where the one admonishing pretty much becomes judge, jury and executioner.
Read this story carefully by a long-time former elder and co-worker Don Rutledge, who posted as Hope. (Btw, John So was a gifted brother who migrated to Germany, which became very fruitful for TLR until they discovered corruption at LSM.) Notice the short-term "gain" and long-term "loss."


Quote:
I have little doubt that [James Barber] would have supported the quarantine [of Titus Chu.] He was not bound by conscience to any of the brothers. For example, around 1978, he threw John So and I under the bus.

Here is the story. The LSM office had seemly come out of nowhere and began setting the direction for the individual local churches. This was raising some alarm bells. The booklet, "The Beliefs and Practices" was announced after a morning training session. John So and I had scheduled a lunch that day. We both had gotten a copy and were very troubled by several matters. Not the content, but the authorship, "The Co-Workers of the Lord's Recovery." Here was an entity and group of which we had never heard. To us, the Lord's recovery was a spiritual activity originated in the third heavens at the throne of God rather than some group or organization on earth. Also who are these seemingly self anointed emissaries? In addition, we were not happy that the brothers and sisters could just hand someone an official publication, as was promoted with the announcement of the booklet, rather than being ready to give an answer for the hope that is within them. In addition, how could you not say that we now had a head quarters which could speak for all the so called Local churches?

As we spoke and walked to the diner, other brothers began to join us, kind of like Luke chapter 24. Francis Ball, Ned Nossaman, and James Barber were with us. I am pretty sure that Dick Taylor was also there. They all agreed that they had a bothering. Francis as an elder in Anaheim prayed with WL before every meeting. He proposed that he set up a private fellowship with him after the evening session. We all agreed. James was in total agreement with John and me and expressed his desire to be in that meeting and to express his concerns to WL.

Right after the meeting James informed John So and I that WL was very upset. Francis had tipped off James. WL did not want to have a quiet private talk but chose to dress the two of us down in the hall for all to see. As soon as the meeting was over, we two were marched to the front. Chairs were rearranged. John and I set by ourselves facing WL and about 50 brothers including James Barber who set behind WL in support of him. Scores of the attendance milled around the little court room and became an audience. WL never asked us to open our concerns but immediately launched into a tirade against us and issued a general warning that if we continued to question what the office and the ministry was doing we would cause a lot of damage to the saints and we would damage ourselves. I can never forget the glare of despising we got from Ron Kangas as WL continued for about 10 minutes with the rebuke. Then he dismissed the meeting and we all went home. Was I ever in shock!!! So was John So. I was taking hospitality with Ned. On the ride home he laughed and laughed. He said this regularly happened to the elders in Orange County California.

James had that sheep eating dog look while WL defended the booklet, the LSM and warned John and I to keep silent. After that night, there were no more auras around the WL coordination for me. I determined I would never be bullied again. I still held to the vision of Christ as Life and the Oneness of the Body of Christ is a vital matter, but the personality cult was broken for me. I did backslide and allowed myself to get drawn into the lawsuit for a while. But I never jumped again when WL or one of his cadre yelled frog. I never again promoted the activities from Anaheim as something all the members in Dallas should plunge into. We begin to shepherd the church according to the need of the members. I decided to take what was helpful and leave alone what was some wild hare. Shortly after this I learned of the secret bank account of WL and LSM being run by Benson and an elder in Dallas. Yet it still took several years for my direction and loyalties to change. Whoa I am getting way ahead of myself.

But dj, I am pretty sure that James valued the favor of WL more that his relationship to John Ingalls and Bill Mallon and for sure Titus did not mean anything to him.

Hope
This story happened in the mid-to-late 70's. Anyone who reads that booklet knows it is all PR "spin."
06-27-2018 11:09 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
What kind of father, spiritual or biological, would use public shaming and humiliation to "discipline" his son?

That is not Asian, German, or American -- that is just wrong! Let's call it what it really is -- the Bully Pulpit.

Regardless of how Drake likes to spin this, LC leaders (from M.E. Barber to Nee to Lee to TC to whoever) regularly used public shaming for one reason -- to continually remind their followers who is in charge. It's goal, pure and simple, is the maintenance of power. That may be fine, even necessary, in the military, but has no place in the church, which is His body.

Jesus Himself, when He saw this behavior among His disciples, nipped it in the bud. He warned them that they should never "rule as the Gentiles do." (Matt 20.25; Mark 10.42; Luke 22.25) The LCM not only did not get this memo, they built it up into their definitive practice.
I too strongly question the use of public shaming. What is its intended purpose - to build up the person in love? If so, this is hard to see what are the loving results from using this method. Rather, it appears like a public trial, where the one admonishing pretty much becomes judge, jury and executioner.

During leadership training, we tell our business clients, "Praise in public; Discipline (these days we actually say "coach") in private." To do otherwise is a fear based tactic which will likely just produce short-term results. Disciplining in public does little more than build the ego at the expense of the other person - again, short term thinking. Definitely NOT the servant leadership model we see in Christ!

I was speaking with a brother over dinner last night about how Bill Freeman received the boot from the LC. I was told that in 1986 he was called to southern Cal and given a chair in the middle of the room, where he was ringed by a large group of elders. They proceeded to accuse him of various things. According to what I heard he didn't reply much. Right after that, he left the LC, and a few years later the Scottsdale church was formed.

I suppose in this instance it was not one person acting as judge, jury and executioner - but was WL actually orchestrating the whole thing?

(I'm not sure what the accusations were about, but I suppose they were around two main things: Bill's ministry being independent of LSM, and possibly also around his wife's "nonproductive" activities. I plan to ask about this tomorrow and will report - unless someone already knows the answer . . .)
06-27-2018 09:30 AM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
There is no credible evidence that such a behavior is unique to Asian culture nor is it a practice or norm in the local churches. If you detected anything of deference between Brother Lee and Brother Titus it based on the latter regarding the former as a spiritual father. That is not Asian, that is New Testament (1 Corinthians 4:15). Neither is it abuse and mistreatment for a spiritual father to speak frankly to a spiritual son and shepherd him. My birth father said things to me that he never said to my friends. He also disciplined me out of love. That is neither abuse or mistreatment.
What kind of father, spiritual or biological, would use public shaming and humiliation to "discipline" his son?

That is not Asian, German, or American -- that is just wrong! Let's call it what it really is -- the Bully Pulpit.

Regardless of how Drake likes to spin this, LC leaders (from M.E. Barber to Nee to Lee to TC to whoever) regularly used public shaming for one reason -- to continually remind their followers who is in charge. It's goal, pure and simple, is the maintenance of power. That may be fine, even necessary, in the military, but has no place in the church, which is His body.

Jesus Himself, when He saw this behavior among His disciples, nipped it in the bud. He warned them that they should never "rule as the Gentiles do." (Matt 20.25; Mark 10.42; Luke 22.25) The LCM not only did not get this memo, they built it up into their definitive practice.
06-27-2018 08:55 AM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

So you justify Lee's bad behavior claiming that he is just like everybody else.

For good reasons like this, Truthseeker should not attend the FTT!

.
06-27-2018 08:42 AM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

-2 aron

Right. You are drawing a conclusion from a single personal data point as you say. All other data points are hearsay, not firsthand, at least from your perspective.

Shaming must be part of American culture too because I saw on more than one occasion managers challenge their subordinates in public whether they had accomplished their goals. That wasn’t hearsay either, I really saw it firsthand.

But wait, on another occasion I witnessed a manager criticize his employee publicly... they were Italian so shaming must be Italian...

Shaming must be part of German culture too because history shows.... etc, etc,

I saw a Brit once....

Well, you get the picture.

Drake
06-27-2018 08:35 AM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Nnnnnnnnn... no.

Trapped, you seem to be thinking in clergy terms... title-ish.

I have heard the term deacons used but it really just refers to serving ones, the most used term. And serving ones also includes brothers or sisters. Elders is a term that is used to refer to... well elders... but even then not as a formal title..... not like “Hi, I’m Elder Buzz! Nice to meet you.” but like “there will be an elders meeting in Harold’s VW van this Saturday “. Anyway, serving one replaces deacons and deaconess and means the same thing.

Drake
This post by our friend Drake exposes one of their program's most blatant hypocrisies.

For decades they have condemned the entire body of Christ for having "titles" thus creating so called "hierarchies." They claimed that only TLR is free from this dreaded disease of the "clergy-laity" system. "We are all brothers," they boldly proclaim, as they exalt the books and teachings of Nee and Lee.

Nothing could be further from the truth. In the LCM, the LSM and their paid staff all dwell on a higher plane than those merely associated with the LC's. Anyone from LSM HQs is above even church elders. Elders are constantly in fear lest they get reported back to HQ's as not being sufficiently supportive of their many programs, always called the "move of the Lord." How dare any LC eldership have an event which interferes with LSM's schedule.

Their PR message is duplicitous demagoguery. One day they claim to be "humble servants at a book publisher," and the next day they elevate themselves as Popes, the Vicar of Christ on earth, ruling their little kingdom as despots.

So Drake mocks the elders who gathered for prayer in "Harold's VW van" perhaps because of some domestic emergency in one of their families, but then he exalts their ITERO gathering at some luxurious resort like Whistler. How much better they are, sitting around condemning "poor, poor, Christianity!" And "thank God we are not like those pathetic elders huddling in a VW van for prayer and fellowship."

You have your reward.
06-27-2018 08:22 AM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
What you said by way of example of Asian culture in the churches, something you “witnessed” firsthand between WL and TC, is that abuse and mistreatment by leaders results in compliance by subordinates. I said that was outrageous. There is no credible evidence that such a behavior is unique to Asian culture nor is it a practice or norm in the local churches. If you detected anything of deference between Brother Lee and Brother Titus it based on the latter regarding the former as a spiritual father.
Ohio made a comment based on much observation of Chu vis-à-vis leaders in Anaheim, starting with Lee and continuing after. I said the pattern he witnessed (abuse, followed by either compliance or 'rebellion') was shaped by Asian culture. I had experienced watching Chu 'lose face' with Lee and surmised that what I had seen and what Ohio was testifying were similar. I had one independent data point, he had numerous.

Here is what I witnessed: in a meeting, the "senior brothers" sat in a section to Witness Lee's left. (probably some were on his right as well, but I remember my strong impression was that the more "august" members of Lee's cohort were on his left). Lee was holding forth on "the new way" how to gain and shepherd new ones, and suddenly he stopped, looked toward his left, and said sharply, "Brother Titus, is this how it's being done in Cleveland?"

Chu stood up solemnly, looked straight ahead, and said, "I am ashamed to admit that this is not how it's being done in Cleveland", then stiffly sat down. Lee turned back and continued his message.

To me that looked like public shaming and quasi-formal or ritualistic 'losing face'. Maybe your conclusions are different. You can couch it in as many spiritual platitudes as you want. "Building the Body" and "brotherly love" and "shepherding". I saw what I saw, and have my opinion. You have yours.
06-27-2018 08:12 AM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I'm not against Chinese culture, and apologize for occasionally being too caustic in my remarks. I'm rather trying to note the abject failure of taking Chinese (descriptive) culture and making it a universal (prescriptive) culture. If this culture gave a one-for-one analog of heaven that would be one thing, but it doesn't. . . it's a product of the fall, same as any other. And the issue, in the case of the LC, is tragically clear. Earlier I used the word "nutty" to describe what I see. I don't mean Chinese culture is nutty, but that universal imposition of Chinese cultural norms is nutty.
First, let’s get something out of the way....I’m not defending Chinese culture. Nor, do I disagree that culture presents problems in the churches. It does by replacing Christ and the experience of Christ. Culture also frustrates the testimony of the one new man. In the churches this issue goes back 2000 years. Though it may be traced back to the Edenic fall, it passes through the fall at Babel. Therefore, if your contention was culture is a problem in the churches and we must guard against it, lest it become a substitute for Christ, lest it damage the testimony that Christ is all and in all, then I would have agreed.

But, that is not what you are saying or implying.

What you said by way of example of Asian culture in the churches, something you “witnessed” firsthand between WL and TC, is that abuse and mistreatment by leaders results in compliance by subordinates. I said that was outrageous. There is no credible evidence that such a behavior is unique to Asian culture nor is it a practice or norm in the local churches. If you detected anything of deference between Brother Lee and Brother Titus it based on the latter regarding the former as a spiritual father. That is not Asian, that is New Testament (1 Corinthians 4:15). Neither is it abuse and mistreatment for a spiritual father to speak frankly to a spiritual son and shepherd him. My birth father said things to me that he never said to my friends. He also disciplined me out of love. That is neither abuse or mistreatment. In defense of your argument you cited, I suppose as proof that Asian culture has unique things in it, the “lose face” concept. Well, no one in any culture likes to lose face so that does not add any credibility to your argument. Every culture has certain characteristics, that is what makes them distinct, and those cultural things can be a frustration to the Lord. Being cognizant of them helps us to drop them in practice to be one with other members in the Body though they be of a different background and to take Christ in every situation.

Now, you suggested as a result of your constructs discussed above, now shown to be misguided and erroneous all, that the local churches are culturally Asian or Chinese. First, the ecclesiology of the local churches is not from China, it is from the New Testament. Second, the center is Christ and the mission is the building of the Body that Christ may be all and in all. That is not Asian. The practices are not Chinese either, they are lifted from the New Testament too. Imagine that. If you disagree with any of that then you could make your case from the Bible because that is their source. As you consider that, consider this as well. Are Protestant Christians following German culture because Luther was born German? Are the truths in the Bible revealed to the Brethren based on British culture? Is the practice of meeting in brotherly love Moravian? Throughout history God has moved through men and women with varied backgrounds and cultures to accomplish His purpose as He wills.

I would be glad to debate each and any of those with you. Instead you take the anecdotal path which goes something like this..... Asians abuse and mistreat others to gain their compliance, Brother Lee was Asian and was Brother Titus, Titus was compliant so he must have been abused and mistreated by Brother Lee. Brother Lee was born Chinese so as the leader in the Lords recovery he imposed his culture on the local churches, for proof see the Titus compliance example. What was really Chinese culture was presented as divine and so the local churches are really just Chinese culture masquerading as a Christian group. Oh, and just be clear, I also have nothing against Asians or Chinese.

Feel free to clarify if I missed something but that is what I hear you say.

Drake
06-27-2018 01:17 AM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
aron has a free reign in this forum to leverage stereotypes about Asian culture because Brother Lee was Chinese by birth.
I'm not against Chinese culture, and apologize for occasionally being too caustic in my remarks. I'm rather trying to note the abject failure of taking Chinese (descriptive) culture and making it a universal (prescriptive) culture. If this culture gave a one-for-one analog of heaven that would be one thing, but it doesn't. . . it's a product of the fall, same as any other. And the issue, in the case of the LC, is tragically clear. Earlier I used the word "nutty" to describe what I see. I don't mean Chinese culture is nutty, but that universal imposition of Chinese cultural norms is nutty. The results speak for themselves.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I realized when at least half of the church in any given locality is female, how can their specific needs be met when no female can be in any position of responsibility and none of their words, feelings, or sense carries any weight in any matters concerning the church being fellowshipped?
For instance, how do they feel when reading about Ruth Lee in the LSM tome on Nee ("A Seer of the Divine Revelation"), that she exercised considerable editorial power in Nee's publication work for decades, while knowing that they'd be denied the same opportunity today simply because they're female? How do they feel about this glaring discrepancy with teaching and actual practice? Or have their feelings been conditioned or programmed away (i.e. 'training')? And what happens to your walk with the Lord when your conscience is so compromised?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Regarding Chinese customs, there is a reason that Chinese dynasties went back 5 millennia. No other culture on earth has the ingredients which would allow this to happen. We could make a case for the "Nee dynasty" in China, and the "Lee dynasty" in Taiwan and the US. This whole MOTA characterization is both a guise and a proof of this.
In the Nee dynasty, Ruth Lee could exercise strong editorial duties because her skill set served Nee's purpose. In the Lee dynasty, Ruth Lee (or any other woman) could never do this because "women can't teach - the Bible says so". And we all pretend not to notice the glaring discrepancy between Lee's teaching and Nee's experience. Same goes for Barber, Guyon, Penn-Lewis, MacDonough, Fischbacher, etc. . . my point has been, who would want to be conditioned or programmed (e.g., "Full-Time Training") by such a group?
06-26-2018 09:02 PM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The issue of the GLA quarantines was at heart about "face". Chu would lose face to Lee but not the Blendeds. That was your point, and I agreed, to Drake's chagrin. And how many thousands got separated? Some, even families?
Right, operatives from LSM fueled the fires of division and sowed discord in many families. My own included. It was not just churches they divided.

Regarding Chinese customs, there is a reason that Chinese dynasties went back 5 millennia. No other culture on earth has the ingredients which would allow this to happen. We could make a case for the "Nee dynasty" in China, and the "Lee dynasty" in Taiwan and the US. This whole MOTA characterization is both a guise and a proof of this.

TC often told us that the "mistakes of my spiritual father are none of my business." This sounds all good and even noble until one realizes just how far reaching these "mistakes" would go. Apparently for TC these "mistakes" also included corrupt business dealings, investment boondoggles, and crimes by Lee's sons Philip and Timothy. But who was TC responsible to? Was it not to the Lord and to the people under his care? Was he not responsible to warn us? Since when do loyalties like this extend exclusively to a MOTA? When Chinese culture demanded it.
06-26-2018 08:35 PM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Nnnnnnnnn... no.

Trapped, you seem to be thinking in clergy terms... title-ish.

I have heard the term deacons used but it really just refers to serving ones, the most used term. And serving ones also includes brothers or sisters. Elders is a term that is used to refer to... well elders... but even then not as a formal title..... not like “Hi, I’m Elder Buzz! Nice to meet you.” but like “there will be an elders meeting in Harold’s VW van this Saturday “. Anyway, serving one replaces deacons and deaconess and means the same thing.

Drake
The LCM has falsely created a bogey man called the "clergy-laity" system. They have convinced their people that all churches outside of theirs are evil, an furthermore the people actually believe that if we can Re-name all "responsible ones" then we can actually claim to be "new and improved." It's purely a marketing ploy.

It goes like this -- deacon bad, serving one good. But what's the difference between "an elders meeting in Harold’s VW van this Saturday," and ITERO (international training of elders and responsible ones), besides scope? Change the name and pretend we have a better mousetrap! Besides are not we in the "recovery?" We be good, they be bad.
06-26-2018 07:35 PM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
One time a while back I came across something in the ministry that mentioned deacons and deaconesses, in a positive sense. It occurred to me that although that is in the Bible and is even brought up in a few places in the ministry, the LC's, in practice, do not have deaconesses. Then I realized neither term, deacons nor deaconesses, are ever used in the LC's. However, "elder" is used, ostensibly because it is in the Bible. So why isn't "deacon/ess" used among the LC's? The terms are in the Bible, as elder is.

There are brothers functioning as deacons.....but they get called "leading brothers" or "responsible brothers" or "helping brothers" (among other similar phrases). But never the actual word which is in the Bible, deacons! Then I realized......if you use the word "deacon", then the next logical question is "and who are the deaconesses?", since both are Biblical. One way to avoid having women in any official, labeled, position of responsibility is by calling their male counterparts by a specialized name not found in the Bible. No "deacons", then no question about "deaconesses"!

I realized when at least half of the church in any given locality is female, how can their specific needs be met when no female can be in any position of responsibility and none of their words, feelings, or sense carries any weight in any matters concerning the church being fellowshipped?
Nnnnnnnnn... no.

Trapped, you seem to be thinking in clergy terms... title-ish.

I have heard the term deacons used but it really just refers to serving ones, the most used term. And serving ones also includes brothers or sisters. Elders is a term that is used to refer to... well elders... but even then not as a formal title..... not like “Hi, I’m Elder Buzz! Nice to meet you.” but like “there will be an elders meeting in Harold’s VW van this Saturday “. Anyway, serving one replaces deacons and deaconess and means the same thing.

Drake
06-26-2018 06:18 PM
Trapped
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
But my point about women is specific. I think they systematically suppress women because that automatically eliminates 50% of their potential rivals. Then they can focus on the brothers. . .

And yet they lionize the pioneers like Margaret Barber and Ruth Lee. Out of the other side of their mouths, of course.
One time a while back I came across something in the ministry that mentioned deacons and deaconesses, in a positive sense. It occurred to me that although that is in the Bible and is even brought up in a few places in the ministry, the LC's, in practice, do not have deaconesses. Then I realized neither term, deacons nor deaconesses, are ever used in the LC's. However, "elder" is used, ostensibly because it is in the Bible. So why isn't "deacon/ess" used among the LC's? The terms are in the Bible, as elder is.

There are brothers functioning as deacons.....but they get called "leading brothers" or "responsible brothers" or "helping brothers" (among other similar phrases). But never the actual word which is in the Bible, deacons! Then I realized......if you use the word "deacon", then the next logical question is "and who are the deaconesses?", since both are Biblical. One way to avoid having women in any official, labeled, position of responsibility is by calling their male counterparts by a specialized name not found in the Bible. No "deacons", then no question about "deaconesses"!

I realized when at least half of the church in any given locality is female, how can their specific needs be met when no female can be in any position of responsibility and none of their words, feelings, or sense carries any weight in any matters concerning the church being fellowshipped?
06-26-2018 05:49 PM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Instead of agreeing with Max, thanking him for standing for righteousness and protecting the sisters, because of "face" Lee could never allow that. Face trumped righteousness.
The issue of the GLA quarantines was at heart about "face". Chu would lose face to Lee but not the Blendeds. That was your point, and I agreed, to Drake's chagrin. And how many thousands got separated? Some, even families?

And I repeat for the umpteenth time, Chinese culture is not inferior to American or any other. But it is not divine.
06-26-2018 05:20 PM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Have you ever heard of the Chinese concept of "face"?
Remember how Lee dealt with Max, who had the audacity to confront Philip for molesting that sister at LSM's new Ball Road offices?

Instead of agreeing with Max, thanking him for standing for righteousness and protecting the sisters, because of "face" Lee could never allow that. Face trumped righteousness.

So how did Lee react? Prayer and fellowship? No! Hardly.

Instead, Lee shamed Max's wife Sandee. Old Chinese custom of dealing with an "opponent."
06-26-2018 05:04 PM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Drake, my friend, you are still dodging the crux of the matter. ....
....So you admit that Lee and the movement are affected by Asian culture. Good. So what's the problem?
Ok. Here is the problem, UntoHim, since you asked.

aron has a free reign in this forum to leverage stereotypes about Asian culture because Brother Lee was Chinese by birth. He gets a free pass, he gets kudos, the crowd roars its approval. Good for him, he has his audience. This isn't his first rodeo act.

However, I am almost a 95% confident that if he were using, in a similar fashion, common stereotypes about African Americans or Latinos or Jews that you would exercise more guidance over him or anyone else who did that. It is not just negative stereotypes that impugn a persons character or motives. Any stereotype about Asians or otherwise can be used in a negative way. Aron is not lightheartedly talking about eating sea cucumbers. nor is he valuing diversity of cultures, and I'm not asking him to,, or you or anyone else to either ..... but in how he uses Asian and Chinese culture to make his points in this forum.. well, the subtlety is not lost.... at least on me

Drake
06-26-2018 04:38 PM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Have you ever heard of the Chinese concept of "face"? That's what I saw with Chu & Lee. It looked formal, ritualistic. That's what I saw. Chu would lose face before Lee but not the Blendeds. Seems quite Asian to me. Likewise, who would Lee lose face to? Nobody. Again, Asian culture at work. ..................... if the Big Boss loses face, the stability of the group is threatened. Seems like fallen human (Asian) culture to me.
Yet, perceptions can be deceiving.

Of course, I am familiar with the whole "losing face" concept. I dealt with the stereotype firsthand throughout my career. In reality, it is no different in any culture. I cannot think of a single person in any culture that wants to "lose face". I can't think of any manager or leader that wants to be embarrassed over something. I can't think of any subordinate that wants to be wrong and "lose face". I can't think of any person in this forum that wants to "lose face". Its not an Asian thing. Americans do not want to "lose face". Europeans do not want to "lose face". Neither Africans nor South Americans. Irish and Scots will not "lose face". You are closer when you say it is a human thing.

Your original assertion that abuse and mistreatment will lead to compliance as an Asian thing is misguided at best. Plug in that false assertion to the "losing face" discussion above and the outcome is the same. It seems to me, that you are playing off stereotypes to build your anti-anything-local-church narrative. Its your MO, isn't it?

Drake
06-26-2018 03:56 PM
aron
Making sense of it all

I've been on this forum a while, and have interacted with many other posters. So I have some observational data to draw on.

I've repeatedly noted the discrepancy between the official LC "women can't teach in the Church" policy and Watchman Nee's actual experience. The founder of the group that won't let women teach got a major part of his teaching, experience and practice directly from women! And not merely one or two but nearly a bakers dozen over a couple decades.

Now, doesn't this strike anyone as odd? It does to me. I have given several active and opinionated posters ample opportunity to square this issue up. Not only do they not do so, but one seems to go to lengths not to pay attention to what I'm writing.

Now what gives? Did these women who Nee sourced get some special dispensation? Or, did Nee get a special dispensation to draw upon otherwise forbidden sources? Should we say, "Women can't teach unless they teach the apostle of the age?" My question here has been, Who would want to be trained by such a nutty group? Who would want any of their codes, up to and including their dress code?

Back to culture - let me contrast the LC experience with an American group, otherwise quite similar. The International Churches of Christ. Another aggressive, insular group. But the leader's daughter went atheist and they kicked out the leader, because Paul said the leader must have believing children. So, too bad.

Now, that's the way Americans treat their leaders. But not the Chinese, and not the Chinese-flavored Americans. If Ron Kangas ever critiqued Nee for receiving help from "spiritual sisters" the whole edifice would collapse. It's simply unthinkable to publicly criticize the Top Leader. So they invent non-Christian terms, like today's Moses and today's Paul . This tries to cover their fallen human culture.
06-26-2018 02:42 PM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Finally.

Please provide a credible source that substantiates your above assertion that this behavior is Asian culture and a “Chinese” flavor.

Not looking for an encyclopedia, Aron.

Drake
Have you ever heard of the Chinese concept of "face"? That's what I saw with Chu & Lee. It looked formal, ritualistic. That's what I saw. Chu would lose face before Lee but not the Blendeds. Seems quite Asian to me. Likewise, who would Lee lose face to? Nobody. Again, Asian culture at work. Doesn't matter if Philip molested the sisters or of Daystar goes belly up and everyone lost their shirt except Timothy Lee. Don't criticize Brother Witness Lee - if the Big Boss loses face, the stability of the group is threatened. Seems like fallen human (Asian) culture to me.

Asian culture is not inferior to any other. It has worked for thousands of years. But it is not divine. So, why would any Christian want to get trained by this group?
06-26-2018 02:32 PM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
They have a book, Vision of the Age, which identifies Jean Guyon as the 17 the century Minister of the Age. Supposedly believers from all around the world had to come to her in order to receive God's up-to-date speaking. A truly unbelievable and heretical claim of revisionist history.

Sister Barber supposedly "recovered" the lost art of perfecting the brothers via public rebukes and humiliations. Can I have a verse? This became the standard ingrained leadership practice of Nee, Lee, and Chu.
But I thought women were not allowed to teach? Has any LC apologist ever tried to square the glaring discrepancy between what's officially pronounced, and what was and is actually followed?

And how can so many people so studiously ignore the yawning chasm between what's been pronounced versus what's actually done? What fallen human culture is involved, here?
06-26-2018 01:49 PM
UntoHim
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Drake, my friend, you are still dodging the crux of the matter.

You have called aron's claims "outrageous". What is outrageous is your dismissive and back-handed comment about him being a "credible resource anecdotally". "Anecdotally"? For years you have played the "bitter ex member" card again and again and again. It's your answer for every claim and challenge against Witness Lee and the religion he invented. (and no, you haven't used this exact term...yet...but your headed that way...you always do)

Look, I personally couldn't care less about quanxi or the quanxi network...it's TMI to me. (I'm not dissing aron...just starting from here to make a point) Most of us don't need any in-depth studies about Asian cultural norms to know for a fact that the Local Church of Witness Lee is steeped in Chinese/Asian culture and has been since the beginnings. Insiders know this. Many outsiders know this. Even you're buddy Hank Hanegraaff called the Local Church "a Chinese interpretation of Christianity" (paraphrase). I believe this is really all that aron is saying. Sure, he is embellishing, which is a totally legitimate argumentative tool as far as I'm concerned (after all, it's pretty much all that Witness Lee ever did!)

So you admit that Lee and the movement are affected by Asian culture. Good. So what's the problem?

-
06-26-2018 11:57 AM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

-1

UntoHim,

Aron is a credible resource anecdotally. For that matter so am I. So is everyone.

I have no objection to what you said. Of course culture is ingrained in us. Everybody has culture be it American, German, Chinese. etc. and sometimes it oozes out all over. My objection was that aron claimed that in Asian culture the more one is abused and mistreated the more complaint they become. He witnessed it. Well, its okay to witness and have an opinion about how to interpret what you witnessed but at the point he stated "it is Asian culture" then I ask for a credible source to validate that assertion. If he cannot provide one then the reader can decide whether it is a fact or just his opinion.

Anecdotally, I have worked with most of the Asian cultures professionally in person and onsite for decades..... PRC China, Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Singapore, Vietnam, India, and the Philippines, I never saw any, not one, Asian become compliant when confronted, spoken to harshly or disrespectfully, face to face, in writing, or through an interpreter, To do so is the kiss of death as far as relationships are concerned. Furthermore, I have worked for Asian companies, on the payroll, and I also can testify that Asian managers, just like their American counterparts, do not achieve a compliant and productive workforce, orfrom subordinates, by abuse or mistreatment. Anymore, than as occurs in any other ethnic group.

I am not saying people do not have their own distinct culture and that it doesn't carry over into their work or ministry... I am saying that there is no evidence from a credible objective source, and I have studied this matter for professional reasons, that suggests Asians become complaint when they are abused and mistreated because it is a cultural thing with them. That is outrageous. If aron had said that as an employee of any multinational corporation he would be hauled into HR and have some serious splain'in to do. But, this isn't a multinational corporation, aron is not an employee, and he can say whatever he wants, he can makes things up, or he can play off of false racial stereotypes which he has done more than once in this forum. I'm not put off by that but I don't have to sit by and let false assertions go by unchallenged. Therefore, I asked him for a credible source to substantiate that specific assertion.

Drake
06-26-2018 10:04 AM
UntoHim
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Drake,

Sorry but aron himself IS A CREDIBLE SOURCE. He had been a devout member of the Local Church of Witness Lee for many years. He also has gained huge credibility on this forum for his measured, sensible and decidedly informative posts on this forum for about a decade now.

Now why wouldn't a religious group's "behavior" and culture be heavily influence by it's founder and the culture it was born in? The Calvary Chapel movement is heavily influenced by the person and work of Chuck Smith and the American Jesus Movement culture it was born in. Same goes for the Vineyard movement, except you can replace Smith with John Wimber. Same goes for any number of Christian movements/ministries around the world. So why would the Local Church be excluded from cultural influences? The vehement claims of Witness Lee and his followers notwithstanding, the Local Church/Recovery movement is most certainly not excluded nor immune from such influences.

Now let's return to the original quip that apparently got your feathers so ruffled:

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
It is Asian culture, manifesting itself in human relations. Nothing wrong with that per se, except it was fraudulently sold to us as divine.

Ta Da! I know that you are desperate to make an end run on this one. (trying to "duck" the real issue at hand, are we?) There is a reason why quite a number of Christian apologists and other keen observers have said many of the things that aron and others have said. The Local Church of Witness Lee screams out "We are of Lee!" "We are of and for this Chinese fellow and anything he says!" "We have one of strongest cultures you could imagine but we really don't have culture!" (just like we don't have permanent and official leadership!)

-
06-26-2018 07:58 AM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Ok, to Post #16. Titus Chu would bow and scrape (Kowtow) to Witness Lee. I was there, I saw it. But later, post 1997, he wouldn't bow and scrape to Blendeds Wee. I say that is Asian Culture. ..... In this case the social dynamics have a distinctive Chinese "flavor".
Finally.

Please provide a credible source that substantiates your above assertion that this behavior is Asian culture and a “Chinese” flavor.

Not looking for an encyclopedia, Aron.

Drake
06-26-2018 07:54 AM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
But my point about women is specific. I think they systematically suppress women because that automatically eliminates 50% of their potential rivals. Then they can focus on the brothers. . .

And yet they lionize the pioneers like Margaret Barber and Ruth Lee. Out of the other side of their mouths, of course.
They have a book, Vision of the Age, which identifies Jean Guyon as the 17 the century Minister of the Age. Supposedly believers from all around the world had to come to her in order to receive God's up-to-date speaking. A truly unbelievable and heretical claim of revisionist history.

Sister Barber supposedly "recovered" the lost art of perfecting the brothers via public rebukes and humiliations. Can I have a verse? This became the standard ingrained leadership practice of Nee, Lee, and Chu.
06-26-2018 07:32 AM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Besides Lee, they have no "lions" either, unless Philip is included.

Wasn't there a song, "Where have all the cowboys gone?" They got Quarantined!

Talk about contradictions. They teach inclusion, they practice exclusion.
But my point about women is specific. I think they systematically suppress women because that automatically eliminates 50% of their potential rivals. Then they can focus on the brothers. . .

And yet they lionize the pioneers like Margaret Barber and Ruth Lee. Out of the other side of their mouths, of course.
06-26-2018 07:27 AM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Aron,

I asked you for a specific response to a specific assertion you made in your first sentence in post #16. Now you’ve generalized your response into ever expanding circles of irrelevant mental meandering. Probably a defense mechanism has kicked in to facilitate your not answering the specific outrageous assertion.

So please, go back to your post #16, read the first sentence, clarify what you were specifically referring to there, and then provide a credible reference to validate that specific assertion.

Thanks
Drake
Mental meandering? I think that the teachings of the LC are contradictory. I pointed out the glaring issue with the status of Women in the LF/LC, 1925 v/v 2018. You never provided a response so I guess that you agree? Or are trying to ignore my point? Or are trying to bury my point by looking at other issues?

Ok, to Post #16. Titus Chu would bow and scrape (Kowtow) to Witness Lee. I was there, I saw it. But later, post 1997, he wouldn't bow and scrape to Blendeds Wee. I say that is Asian Culture. Same happened with Dong Yu Lan (though I don't have direct visual evidence). The Beta Dog (Chu, Dong) is willing to Lose Face to the Alpha Male (Lee), but not to the Gamma Males. In this case the social dynamics have a distinctive Chinese "flavor".

Not sure why such assertions are "outrageous". I think it's outrageous that a group could allow a teacher to pass such contradictory practices on to members, and force them into such a state of non-thought. Just ignore everything but the Bullet Points of this weeks HWMR.

But I apologize if my tone is caustic. As Paul said, "I wish I could change my tone". Gal 4:20. Like Paul with the Galatians, I suspect the flock has been seriously misled, and hope for positive change in the future. But there are serious structural issues with this church, many caused by the uncritical reception of fallen human culture. So I point out the culture.
06-26-2018 07:21 AM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
This thread was on Training- whether to attend, or not? My point has been, who would want to get trained by this group? Their teachings and practices are clearly contradictory. I mentioned the role of women as an example, not the only one by any means, but one of the more curious ones. Yet no one says a word. Why? Culture. And yes, this was strongly conditioned by the culture of origin. China was not "virgin soil" but had 5,000 years of social conditioning in their society.

I have named names - the women who were touted in the official organs of the group as lionesses of the recovery in its first few decades. Margaret Barber, a "Miss Groves", Peace Wang, Ruth Lee. . . well over a half dozen names of you include the influences coming in from abroad like Guyon, MacDonough and Penn-Lewis. By contrast, how many lionesses has the group advanced in the past 40 years? Zero.

One must be assidiously trained in non-thought to miss this kind of obvious discrepancy. Well-practiced in the art of mindless oblivion.
Aron,

I asked you for a specific response to a specific assertion you made in your first sentence in post #16. Now you’ve generalized your response into ever expanding circles of irrelevant mental meandering. Probably a defense mechanism has kicked in to facilitate your not answering the specific outrageous assertion.

So please, go back to your post #16, read the first sentence, clarify what you were specifically referring to there, and then provide a credible reference to validate that specific assertion.

Thanks
Drake
06-26-2018 05:56 AM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
This thread was on Training- whether to attend, or not? My point has been, who would want to get trained by this group? Their teachings and practices are clearly contradictory. I mentioned the role of women as an example, not the only one by any means, but one of the more curious ones. Yet no one says a word. Why? Culture. And yes, this was strongly conditioned by the culture of origin. China was not "virgin soil" but had 5,000 years of social conditioning in their society.

I have named names - the women who were touted in the official organs of the group as lionesses of the recovery in its first few decades. Margaret Barber, a "Miss Groves", Peace Wang, Ruth Lee. . . well over a half dozen names of you include the influences coming in from abroad like Guyon, MacDonough and Penn-Lewis. By contrast, how many lionesses has the group advanced in the past 40 years? Zero.

One must be assidiously trained in non-thought to miss this kind of obvious discrepancy. Well-practiced in the art of mindless oblivion.
Besides Lee, they have no "lions" either, unless Philip is included.

Wasn't there a song, "Where have all the cowboys gone?" They got Quarantined!

Talk about contradictions. They teach inclusion, they practice exclusion.
06-26-2018 03:39 AM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

This thread was on Training- whether to attend, or not? My point has been, who would want to get trained by this group? Their teachings and practices are clearly contradictory. I mentioned the role of women as an example, not the only one by any means, but one of the more curious ones. Yet no one says a word. Why? Culture. And yes, this was strongly conditioned by the culture of origin. China was not "virgin soil" but had 5,000 years of social conditioning in their society.

I have named names - the women who were touted in the official organs of the group as lionesses of the recovery in its first few decades. Margaret Barber, a "Miss Groves", Peace Wang, Ruth Lee. . . well over a half dozen names of you include the influences coming in from abroad like Guyon, MacDonough and Penn-Lewis. By contrast, how many lionesses has the group advanced in the past 40 years? Zero.

One must be assidiously trained in non-thought to miss this kind of obvious discrepancy. Well-practiced in the art of mindless oblivion.
06-25-2018 05:51 PM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Taylor and Francis is not a credible source? Then what is? Is this LC-speak where "proper" means published or promoted by LSM? And what is so outrageous about my claim that Asian culture influences the LC? Is every religious group on earth tainted by fallen human culture except yours?

How is it that the leader of a group does something so obviously self-contradictory and yet membership doesn't make a peep? What else could be at work here, but fallen human culture?

Did or did not Watchman Nee visit Elizabeth Fishbacher to see what was what, spiritually speaking? And if so, and if they continued in spiritual fellowship beyond that point, are we not remiss if we don't ask why the supposed apostle of the age was seeking spiritual aid and counsel from a woman?

The answer in the LC is that the apostle of the age can make his own rules; today's Moses, as it were. Women can't teach, unless the 'apostle' wants to appropriate something, then Mary MacDonough recovers the three parts of man! How could a woman do that? Because it's advantageous to the selfish narrative. That, however, isn't biblical, but fallen human culture, and it lines up well with what we know of the oriental mindset vis-a-vis authority. And we western yokels thought it was spiritual. It was not.

Either women can teach, and the LC is spiritually bankrupt, or they can't teach, and the LC is spiritually bankrupt. Take your pick.

aron,

I did not say Taylor and Francis were not credible. What you posted by them did not support the assertion you made in post #16 in the first sentence.

Drake
06-25-2018 01:32 PM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Taylor and Francis is not a credible source? Then what is? Is this LC-speak where "proper" means published or promoted by LSM? And what is so outrageous about my claim that Asian culture influences the LC? Is every religious group on earth tainted by fallen human culture except yours?

How is it that the leader of a group does something so obviously self-contradictory and yet membership doesn't make a peep? What else could be at work here, but fallen human culture?

Did or did not Watchman Nee visit Elizabeth Fishbacher to see what was what, spiritually speaking? And if so, and if they continued in spiritual fellowship beyond that point, are we not remiss if we don't ask why the supposed apostle of the age was seeking spiritual aid and counsel from a woman?

The answer in the LC is that the apostle of the age can make his own rules; today's Moses, as it were. Women can't teach, unless the 'apostle' wants to appropriate something, then Mary MacDonough recovers the three parts of man! How could a woman do that? Because it's advantageous to the selfish narrative. That, however, isn't biblical, but fallen human culture, and it lines up well with what we know of the oriental mindset vis-a-vis authority. And we western yokels thought it was spiritual. It was not.

Either women can teach, and the LC is spiritually bankrupt, or they can't teach, and the LC is spiritually bankrupt. Take your pick.
06-25-2018 11:09 AM
Drake
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The other thing to keep in mind is, once one breaks the guanxi network, the reciprocal web of mutual obligations, there is no going back. There is no "ministry of reconciliation" that can repair the breach of etiquette. Thus it's holding power.
aron,

In the encyclopedia Britannica wannabe of guanxi that you posted in this thread there is nothing that validates your claim. Yet, perhaps I missed it buried in all the text.

So, please provide the actual text that supports your claim.

Drake
06-25-2018 10:57 AM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The public interface between Titus Chu and Witness Lee was ritualistic. I saw it. One clearly 'lost face', prefacing his statement with the words, "I am ashamed. . . " Guess which one that was?
Kind of helps to explain Asian ancestry worship too.

Asian "guanxi" culture at LSM has expunged all leadership accountability in the LC's.
06-25-2018 08:34 AM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

The other thing to keep in mind is, once one breaks the guanxi network, the reciprocal web of mutual obligations, there is no going back. There is no "ministry of reconciliation" that can repair the breach of etiquette. Thus it's holding power.
06-25-2018 08:25 AM
aron
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Aron,

Cite a credible source for your outrageous statement about Asian culture.

Drake.
The public interface between Titus Chu and Witness Lee was ritualistic. I saw it. One clearly 'lost face', prefacing his statement with the words, "I am ashamed. . . " Guess which one that was?
06-25-2018 08:19 AM
Ohio
Re: Finally I decided to not join Full time training.

I was thinking that it might not be a good idea for Drake to challenge aron for "credible sources."
06-25-2018 08:12 AM
aron
Getting ahead in the Guanxi Network

Although some scholars have discussed the concept of the “interaction ritual”, the question of how interaction rituals operate within differential closeness levels of guanxi in China has not yet been thoroughly explored. This study aims to fill this gap. It draws its data from two ethnographic studies of school place allocation in two Chinese cities during 2012 and 2013, and additional post-fieldwork in 2014. The research finds that the use of interaction rituals in la guanxi could be a profitable social investment, and that the interaction ritual chain is usually more powerful than a single instance of ritual. Instrumental li is the shared value behind this type of ritual practice, which has the function of exaggerating the actors’ moral obligation and emotional attachment, and masking rational calculation, in order to justify the practice. Expressive ritual is less valued, and occurs less frequently, with distance. Instrumental ritual is more workable and occurs more frequently in moderate guanxi (a relationship neither close nor distant) than in close and distant guanxi, thus following a “weak-strong-weak” pattern. These findings suggest that instrumental ritual plays a more important role than expressive ritual in building strong social capital, due to “the strength of weak ties”.

The phenomenon of using guanxi is pervasive, embedded in every aspect of Chinese social life, and reported on by domestic and international media. Guanxi refers to personal relationships, connections or networks based on Chinese culture, which can be utilised to acquire resources in informal and interpersonal forms (Jacobs, 1979 Jacobs, J. B. (1979). A preliminary model of particularistic ties in Chinese political alliances: KanCh’ing and kuanhsi in a rural Taiwanese township. China Quarterly, 78, 237–273.
King, 1991 King, A. Y.-C. (1991). Kuan-hsi and network building: A sociological interpretation. Daedalus, 120(2), 63–84.; Kipnis, 1997 Kipnis, A. (1997). Producing guanxi: Sentiment, self, and subculture in a north China village. Durham, NC: Duke University Press; Yang, 1994 Yang, M. M. (1994). Gifts, favors, and banquets: The art of social relationships in China. New York: Cornell University Press). Guanxi practice is the use, development and maintenance of guanxi relationships, defined by Kipnis as the “practice of guanxi production” (Kipnis, 1996 Kipnis, A. (1996). The language of gifts: Managing guanxi in a north China village. Modern China, 22(3), 285–31, pp. 6–7). La guanxi, or instrumental guanxi practice, refers to those guanxi practices that have a clear instrumental purpose, such as making exchanges, manufacturing indebtedness or accomplishing tasks (Guthrie, 1998 Guthrie, D. (1998). The declining significance of guanxi in China’s economic transition. The China Quarterly, 154, 254–282., p. 266). Some other guanxi practices, such as visiting siblings with gifts at weekends without any instrumental purpose, are not regarded as la guanxi but as expressive guanxi practice, although it has been noted that such guanxi relationships can also be used instrumentally.

Some argue that guanxi is a “special form”, or “variant form”, of social capital (Gold et al., 2002 Gold, T., Guthrie, D., & Wank, D. (Eds.). (2002). Social connections in China: Institutions, culture, and the changing nature of guanxi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press., p. 7; Fan, 2002 Fan, Y. (2002). Questioning guanxi: Definition, classification and implications. International Business Review, 11, 543–561.
, p. 549; Qi, 2013 Qi, X. (2013). Guanxi, social capital theory and beyond: Toward a globalized social science. British Journal of Sociology, 64(2), 308–324., p. 308; Wu, 2013 Wu, X. (2013). The power of social capital in school choice in a Chinese city. Australian Journal of Education, 57(1), 48–59., p. 49). Social capital pertains to the ability of actors to secure benefits by virtue of membership in social networks or other social structures (Portes, 1998 Portes, A. (1998). Social capital: Its origins and applications in modern sociology. Annual Review of Sociology, 24, 1–24., p. 6), and has three components – social networks, norms (such as obligation and reciprocity) and sanctions (Halpern, 2005 Halpern, D. (2005). Social capital. Cambridge: Polity. pp. 9–11). Guanxi, as a network, therefore seems to be one of the components of social capital rather than social capital itself. If we were to describe social capital based on a guanxi network, we would need to adopt a new term – “guanxi capital”. Bian (2001 Bian, Y. J. (2001). Guanxi capital and social eating in Chinese cities. In N. Lin, K. S. Cook, & R. S. Burt (Eds.), Social capital: Theory and research (pp. 275–295). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
, p. 227) defines “guanxi capital” as the capacity to mobilise social resources from guanxi networks: for example, “having face means having guanxi capital” (Bian, 2001 Bian, Y. J. (2001). Guanxi capital and social eating in Chinese cities. In N. Lin, K. S. Cook, & R. S. Burt (Eds.), Social capital: Theory and research (pp. 275–295). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, p. 227).

In recent years, the Chinese media has frequently reported on the phenomenon of parents using guanxi to acquire school places for their children. In order to determine how and why people use guanxi in this context, two case studies of two small cities were carried out during 2012 and 2013, and additional post-fieldwork was conducted in 2014. Ethnographic case studies based on participant observation, interviews and documentation provided most of the data.

In the two researched cities (“A” and “B”), the local government had established key schools, which offered a relatively better quality of education than the average school. Parents need to use guanxi, violating many rules, to obtain a place in key schools, if their children fail the entrance exam or lottery allocation and are not qualified for admission to these schools. Those who cannot use guanxi have to accept a lower-quality education. Forty-nine people (27 in City A and 22 in City B) were interviewed, and some relevant organisations (schools, training centres, and “cigarette and wine shops” that buy back expensive gifts) and activities (entrance exams, lottery activities and school places, gift giving, banqueting) were observed. The sampling criteria for participants cover people who are involved in guanxi practice for school places and relevant observers. Consequently, I utilised different categories of people, and divided the interview guides into seven categories in both cities: parents, teachers, students, head teachers, officials, shopkeepers, and other insiders. Those with different roles in la guanxi, including gift givers, gift recipients and middle-men, were observed and interviewed. Some of these were involved in the same case, allowing the researcher to capture both sides of the story. The documents collected included educational policies, student recruitment information, and local news items. I have coded all names, cities, places and schools in order to protect the anonymity of informants, and pseudonyms are used throughout this paper.

Unlike Guthrie’s claim (1998 Guthrie, D. (1998). The declining significance of guanxi in China’s economic transition. The China Quarterly, 154, 254–282.) that the use of guanxi is declining, utilisation of guanxi to gain school places was found to be prevalent and on the increase in the two cities in this case study from 1998–2012. Due to Xi’s anti-corruption drive, which began in 2012, the use of guanxi to obtain places in key schools is restricted, but it still commonly occurs, with the emphasis shifting from key schools to key classes in regular schools where the rules are less strict. The use of guanxi in school selection has generally declined since 2012, but the use of guanxi to secure official positions, better treatment in hospital and other advantages is still prevalent.

A substantial body of research has shown that many people use ritual to influence others when engaging in la guanxi, such as gift giving, banqueting, embodying concern, face giving and ritual struggle (Jacobs, 1979 Jacobs, J. B. (1979). A preliminary model of particularistic ties in Chinese political alliances: KanCh’ing and kuanhsi in a rural Taiwanese township. China Quarterly, 78, 237–273.; King, 1991 King, A. Y.-C. (1991). Kuan-hsi and network building: A sociological interpretation. Daedalus, 120(2), 63–84.; Kipnis, 1997 Kipnis, A. (1997). Producing guanxi: Sentiment, self, and subculture in a north China village. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.; Yang, 1994 Yang, M. M. (1994). Gifts, favors, and banquets: The art of social relationships in China. New York: Cornell University Press.). The investment in ritual can have a profitable return, such as a place in an elite school, a job, a professional rank, or better services in hospital. The use of ritual improves one’s ability to acquire resources in one’s guanxi network, raising one’s level of guanxi capital.

In common parlance, a ritual is a formal ceremony, going through a set of stereotyped actions. Interaction rituals are both local and ubiquitous, operating in every daily interaction (Goffman, 1967 Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction ritual: Essays on face-to-face behavior. Garden City, NY: Anchor.), and form the processes by which participants develop a mutual focus of attention and become engrained in each other’s bodily micro-rhythms and emotions (Collins, 2004 Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press., p. 67). Ritual produces a momentarily shared reality that generates solidarity and symbols of group membership (Collins, 2004 Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press., p. 27). Traditionally, the interaction rituals of philosophers have attempted to produce truth, which function as Durkheim’s ([1912] 1965 Durkheim, E. (1965 [1912]). The elementary forms of religious life. New York: Free Press.) sacred objects: that is, as collective symbols that appear to transcend individuals, constrain behaviour and demand respect. The particular truth represents the solidarity of the group and energises those who participate in its production. Following the work of Durkheim ([1912] 1965 Durkheim, E. (1965 [1912]). The elementary forms of religious life. New York: Free Press.) and Goffman (1967 Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction ritual: Essays on face-to-face behavior. Garden City, NY: Anchor.
), Collins argues that rituals are constructed from a combination of ingredients that grow to differing levels of intensity, and result in the ritual outcomes of solidarity, symbolism and individual emotional energy (Collins, 2004 Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press., p. 67). According to Collins, what is significant about these interaction rituals is not the manifest subject, but the fact that the rituals serve as a focus for attention and emotional involvement. Through the practice of ritual, people can improve their “mutually focused emotion and attention” and “emotional energy” – also expressed by the Chinese concepts of ganqing and/or renqing (Collins, 2004 Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press., p. 67).

Ganqing is translated as “affection” or “emotional feeling”, and represents emotional commitment in longstanding and intimate bonds, which always comes with material obligation (Yang, 1994 Yang, M. M. (1994). Gifts, favors, and banquets: The art of social relationships in China. New York: Cornell University Press.; Kipnis, 1997 Kipnis, A. (1997). Producing guanxi: Sentiment, self, and subculture in a north China village. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.). Renqing is simply reciprocal obligation and indebtedness, making guanxi more than just the social embeddedness and social connections identified in Western societies (Qi, 2013 Qi, X. (2013). Guanxi, social capital theory and beyond: Toward a globalized social science. British Journal of Sociology, 64(2), 308–324.; Yan, 1996 Yan, Y. (1996). The flow of gifts: Reciprocity and social networks in a Chinese village. Stanford: Stanford University Press.; Yang, 1994 Yang, M. M. (1994). Gifts, favors, and banquets: The art of social relationships in China. New York: Cornell University Press.). In fact, the concept of renqing has at least four implications: 1) human feelings; 2) a resource as a gift or favour; 3) reciprocal obligation and indebtedness (known as renqing debt, or social debt); and 4) social norms in Chinese society, or the so-called renqing ethic (Gabrenya Jr. & Hwang, 1996 Gabrenya Jr., W. K., & Hwang, K. K. (1996). Chinese social interaction: Harmony and hierarchy on the good earth. In M. H. Bond (Ed.), The handbook of Chinese psychology (pp. 309–321). Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.
; Hwang, 1987 Hwang, K. K. (1987). Face and favor: The Chinese power game. American Journal of Sociology, 92(4), 944–974.; King, 1991 King, A. Y.-C. (1991). Kuan-hsi and network building: A sociological interpretation. Daedalus, 120(2), 63–84.; Li, 2001; Yan, 1996 Yan, Y. (1996). The flow of gifts: Reciprocity and social networks in a Chinese village. Stanford: Stanford University Press.; Yang, 1994 Yang, M. M. (1994). Gifts, favors, and banquets: The art of social relationships in China. New York: Cornell University Press.). Yan (1996 Yan, Y. (1996). The flow of gifts: Reciprocity and social networks in a Chinese village. Stanford: Stanford University Press) mostly takes renqing to mean social norms – the fourth implication listed above. Yan calls this the “renqing ethic”, and draws out three dimensions – rational calculation, moral obligation, and emotional attachment – as the principles of guanxi networks (Yan, 1996 Yan, Y. (1996). The flow of gifts: Reciprocity and social networks in a Chinese village. Stanford: Stanford University Press., p. 46).

Interaction rituals such as gift giving, banqueting and face giving are common in guanxi, and are in fact expressions and forms of renqing and face (Ruan, 2017a Ruan, J. (2017a). Guanxi, social capital and school choice in China: The rise of ritual capital. London: Palgrave Macmillan., pp. 121–134; Ruan, 2017b Ruan, J. (2017b). Ritual capital: A proposed concept from case studies of school selection in China. Asian Journal of Social Science, 45(3), 316–339., pp. 329–337). In the research discussed in this paper, all guanxi cases observed involve interaction rituals, and gift giving and banqueting are the two most popular methods of ritual practice. Gift exchanges in City A and City B form part of people’s daily practice, and people always bring gifts when they visit their friends or relatives. Some gift giving has a clearly rational intention. For instance, many people bring gifts to head teachers or officials when they ask for a place at a school. In my frequent visits to Xie and Lee, head teachers in City A, I noted that their apartments were full of guests and gifts during the summer – the time of year when parents seek to gain school places for their children.

It is noteworthy that the ritual of home visits with gifts to head teachers or officials is a ritual that tends to support traditional forms of social hierarchy and authority (Bell, 1997 Bell, C. (1997). Ritual: Perspectives and dimensions. New York: Oxford University Press.). Traditionally, rural society in China is characterised by “rule by ritual”, or “rule by li” (lizi), as opposed to societies that are ruled mainly by law (Fei, 2012 Fei, X. (2012). From the soil: The foundation of Chinese society. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press [in both Chinese and English, first published in Chinese in 1947. Trans. G. G. Hamilton & W. Zheng, 1992].
[1947]). Lee, a head teacher in City A, told me a story that supports this claim. A friend told him that during a meeting an official had said: “Lee is arrogant. In his eyes, there are no others”. The friend asked Lee if he had offended the official, which Lee denied. The friend then asked if Lee had ever visited the official’s home with gifts. Lee demurred, because the official was not directly in charge of his school; in response, the friend told Lee that although the official was not directly in charge of Lee’s school, he still had some influence over it. The official was therefore upset because Lee had not shown him respect. Lee’s friend advised him to visit the official’s home to show his respect. Lee subsequently visited the official, taking some gifts, and since then, the official has not criticised Lee – indeed, he has praised his character.

What the official was seeking from Lee was not only the material value of the gifts but also respect and personal loyalty. Rituals honour what is socially valued: so-called sacred objects. In modern societies, the foremost of these is the individual self, treated as if it were a little god in the minor presentational and avoidance rituals of everyday life (Goffman, 1967 Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction ritual: Essays on face-to-face behavior. Garden City, NY: Anchor.
, p. 232). Many head teachers who participated in this research claimed that they needed to visit relevant officials with gifts regularly to maintain good guanxi, and similarly, many teachers visited their head teachers with gifts. The ritual of visiting with gifts is widely practised by those who work with officials, in order to show the official’s power on one hand and the personal loyalty of the subordinate on the other.

Banqueting is another popular form of la guanxi. Traditionally, banqueting has been a ritual for showing respect and appreciation for one’s guests, or to celebrate certain events. Nowadays, banqueting is one of the most important forms of la guanxi. It becomes very instrumental and can provide the means to ask for a favour, creating renqing (indebtedness). Parents in the two cities studied here often wine and dine head teachers or officials in order to acquire a school place, and after obtaining the place, they may entertain their benefactors again in order to thank them.

Banqueting is full of ritual – etiquette, politeness, propriety, and so on. Proper rituals are important during each stage of the process: for example, during the dinner, people lower down the hierarchy should serve others with food, soup and tea. If one practises ritual improperly at a banquet, one will get a bad reputation.

Along with gift giving and banqueting, people give face to others when they la guanxi. Face (mianzi or lian) is a combination of a sense of moral imperatives, social honour and self-respect (Yang, 1994 Yang, M. M. (1994). Gifts, favors, and banquets: The art of social relationships in China. New York: Cornell University Press., p. 141). Doing face work includes showing off one’s power, networks and resources to attract others, and giving face in order to maintain good relationships and receive favours (Yang, 1994 Yang, M. M. (1994). Gifts, favors, and banquets: The art of social relationships in China. New York: Cornell University Press. p. 141). As Hwang (1987 Hwang, K. K. (1987). Face and favor: The Chinese power game. American Journal of Sociology, 92(4), 944–974., p. 962) writes, “Face work is also a method of manipulating the allocator’s choices of allocating resources to one’s benefit. Thus, doing face work is a power game frequently played by the Chinese people”. To practise ritual properly is important, since people may consider it as a way to gain face; and a failure to perform a ritual successfully may lead to a loss of face. It is vital to practise ritual properly in la guanxi, since “face work is about guanxi capital accumulation” (Bian, 2001 Bian, Y. J. (2001). Guanxi capital and social eating in Chinese cities. In N. Lin, K. S. Cook, & R. S. Burt (Eds.), Social capital: Theory and research (pp. 275–295). New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers.
, p. 227).

People give face to others in many ways. They accept others’ requests for favours, agree with each other in meetings, give others support at work, avoid making others embarrassed, give “flattery gifts”, and so on. In some situations, even to entertain someone, to accept a dinner or party invitation, or to visit someone’s home can be a form of giving face. Mai, a teacher in City A, had to accept his colleague’s invitation to his father’s birthday party, even though Mai was extremely busy at the time. He considered that his attendance at the party gave face to his colleague, who would then support him at work and vote for him in Excellent Teacher selections. This ritual practice with face giving produces “mutually focused emotion and attention”, and results in the ritual outcomes of solidarity, symbolism and individual emotional energy (Collins, 2004 Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
, p. 67).

If one engages in improper ritual in la guanxi, one may fail to gain social resources, and acquire a bad relationship or reputation. For example, gift giving requires much ritual and etiquette, in terms of the content, packaging, and the number or value of gifts, which should be carefully prepared and carried out – otherwise the gift recipient might be offended. Liu, a head teacher in City A, told me that a teacher at his school visited his home with a flattery gift of six apples in order to show respect and maintain good guanxi. Liu was very unsatisfied with the gifts, saying, “Eight is a lucky number; why didn’t she just buy two more apples? Ridiculous!” We can see here the possible consequences of unsuccessful gift giving: Liu was unhappy and might not be willing to do the teacher a favour next time. Although the value of gifts also matters in la guanxi, the ritual aspects of the gift, such as the quality and quantity, the colour and the packaging, are vital.

The proper use of ritual largely improves the quality of guanxi and can be a productive social investment. The use of ritual to gain social resources seems to be one of the unique properties of la guanxi. Interestingly, when people use ritual to gain desired resources, they stress to their benefactors that their ritual practice is underpinned by Confucian ethical ideals, such as ren, yi and li; and they make every effort to show this moral and emotional intention when doing la guanxi.

Ren refers to the ethical ideal, and li to certain traditional norms that govern human conduct (Liang, 2010 Liang, J. R. (2010). Ren verses Li: Reinterpretation and re-evaluation of Confucianism. [Chinese text.] Beijing: Peking University Press., pp. 29–46; Shun, 2002 Shun, K.-L. (2002). Ren and li in the Analects. In B. W. Van Norden (Ed.), Confucius and the Analects: New essay (pp. 53–72). Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp. 53–59). The concept of “li” is the rule of proper conduct, including etiquette and religious and moral rules (Shun, 2002 Shun, K.-L. (2002). Ren and li in the Analects. In B. W. Van Norden (Ed.), Confucius and the Analects: New essay (pp. 53–72). Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp. 53–59). Ren refers to inner spiritual development, which is the innate character of li. Li is the outer expression of ren, the instrument in the cultivation of ren, and can even be the measurement of ren (Liang, 2010 Liang, J. R. (2010). Ren verses Li: Reinterpretation and re-evaluation of Confucianism. [Chinese text.] Beijing: Peking University Press., pp. 29–46; Shun, 2002 Shun, K.-L. (2002). Ren and li in the Analects. In B. W. Van Norden (Ed.), Confucius and the Analects: New essay (pp. 53–72). Oxford: Oxford University Press., pp. 53–59; Tu, 1985 Tu, W.-M. (1985). Confucian thought. Albany: State University of New York Press., pp. 67–78). In simple terms, if one acts with propriety and proper rituals in order to achieve ren, one’s behaviour can be li – for example, giving gifts to parents in order to achieve xiao (filial piety), entertaining a friend from far away to achieve yi (righteousness), or bowing to supervisors to show zhong (loyalty).

King (1991 King, A. Y.-C. (1991). Kuan-hsi and network building: A sociological interpretation. Daedalus, 120(2), 63–84., p. 74) explains that “renqing, in part, can be equated with the content of the Confucian li”. If a Chinese person is accused of “knowing no renqing”, this means that he/she is lacking li and is incapable of managing interpersonal relationships (King, 1991 King, A. Y.-C. (1991). Kuan-hsi and network building: A sociological interpretation. Daedalus, 120(2), 63–84., p. 74). La guanxi, as well as its norm – renqing ethic – is not true Confucian li because true li should come with the goal of achieving ren. With la guanxi, the so-called “Confucian li” is self-serving and not true li, since li should incorporate ren (Ruan, 2017b Ruan, J. (2017b). Ritual capital: A proposed concept from case studies of school selection in China. Asian Journal of Social Science, 45(3), 316–339., p. 318).

Although the practice of li is usually observed in daily interaction rituals, some of these rituals, such as gift giving or banqueting to influence others to gain resources, may be driven by self-interest; thus, these social rituals should not be regarded as true li but as “fake li “ or “instrumental li”. That is to say, when doing la guanxi, people simply copy the forms of li in their ritual practice without the motivation of achieving ren but with self-interest in mind: they claim to be acting with li to justify their practice (Ruan, 2017b Ruan, J. (2017b). Ritual capital: A proposed concept from case studies of school selection in China. Asian Journal of Social Science, 45(3), 316–339., p. 318).

Yan (1996 Yan, Y. (1996). The flow of gifts: Reciprocity and social networks in a Chinese village. Stanford: Stanford University Press.) has argued that renqing is the ethic or norm of guanxi, which combines moral obligation, emotional attachment and rational calculation. Instrumental li seems to exaggerate the actors’ moral obligation and emotional attachment, and to mask their rational calculation. For example, in the context of la guanxi for school places in the two cities observed for this paper, gift donors and recipients both claim that their gift giving is a ritual that follows Confucian li, and that they practise lishang wanglai (courtesy demands reciprocity). Using the excuse of Confucian li, parents give gifts to head teachers or officials to obtain school places, which is actually instrumental li, or fake li, designed to cover their rational calculation.

Ritual practice with instrumental li also frequently occurs when people give a payment to a friend or relative. Mai, a teacher, often gives extra tuition to his guanxis’ children, and his guanxis usually hide an envelope containing money in a bag of tea and give him tea as a gift. So, why do the guanxis not give money directly to Mai as payment for tuition? Fei (2012 Fei, X. (2012). From the soil: The foundation of Chinese society. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press [in both Chinese and English, first published in Chinese in 1947. Trans. G. G. Hamilton & W. Zheng, 1992].
[1947], p. 148) explains: Commerce cannot exist in an intimate consanguineous society. Although exchanges do take place in such a society, people exchange with renqing, by giving gifts to each other [showing the moral and emotional part of renqing].

If one does not practise these rituals properly, one may not only fail to achieve the desired outcome, but may also cause offence.
From the perspective of interaction ritual theory, ritual produces shared emotion and awareness, solidarity, symbolism, individual emotional energy and social trust (Collins, 2004 Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.; Durkheim, 1965 [1912] Durkheim, E. (1965 [1912]). The elementary forms of religious life. New York: Free Press.; Goffman, 1967 Goffman, E. (1967). Interaction ritual: Essays on face-to-face behavior. Garden City, NY: Anchor.). It follows from this that the investment of ritual can produce social capital. That is why people invest in ritual for school places in the two cities studied for this paper.

Ritual is employed not only to get something done or acquire social resources, but also to improve ganqing, renqing and trust among actors, accumulating guanxi capital for further use. True guanxi cannot be established merely through one-off ritual practice or the one-time payment of a coarse bribe; the individuals must interact, exchange favours, and work over time to establish and maintain the relationship (Dunfee & Warren, 2001 Dunfee, T. W., & Warren, D. E. (2001). Is guanxi ethical? A normative analysis of doing business in China. Journal of Business Ethics, 32(3), 191–204., p. 192). In other words, a good guanxi relationship is built, not by independent rituals, but by “interaction ritual chains”, which represent the personal histories generated as individuals go through various ritual encounters within networks (Collins, 2004 Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.). Interaction rituals may reaffirm previous truths or create new ones – they always create a chain connecting previous interaction rituals to future ones (Collins, 1998 Collins, R. (1998). The sociology of philosophies: A global theory of intellectual change. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.). New collective truths require a knowledge of previous collective symbols and the relationships through which they were created and distributed. These interaction ritual chains represent the personal histories generated as individuals go through various ritual encounters within networks. Without the personal histories of encounters, a stranger will not be able to obtain a school place from a head teacher just by visiting their home with gifts or even money. People need to go through their rituals and rites of passage, and they acquire a repertoire of symbols that are loaded with emotional energy and membership significance (Collins, 2004 Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press., p. 67).

Network ties, including guanxi networks, are a particular kind of interaction ritual chain, in which similar symbols and emotions are recycled and sometimes augmented. Positions in networks are created and sustained on the micro-level by the degree of success of interaction rituals (Collins, 2004 Collins, R. (2004). Interaction ritual chains. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press., pp. 185–188). In guanxi networks, renqing, ganqing and the quality of guanxi are not built by a single instance of ritual or by independent rituals, but by many instances of ritual, continuously connected. The case described below illustrates how an interaction ritual chain builds renqing, ganqing and trust between a teacher and an intermediary.

Mai, a teacher at a senior high school in City A, told me that he used guanxi to gain a place in a key primary school for his nephew in 2010. Mai’s wife told him that an official, Jin, was her former classmate, and a good friend of the head teacher of the key school. Mai’s wife had not seen Jin for 20 years; however, they had many friends in common. So Mai and his wife invited Jin to dinner with a few other former classmates, and Mai sat close to Jin and got to know him. They are both smokers and like French brandy, and these common rituals of drinking and smoking brought them closer. Mai and Jin next met at Jin’s office, and then at Jin’s home, with Mai and his wife bringing some gifts. The fourth time they met was at Jin’s home, with Mai again bringing gifts – this time, Mai asked Jin to use his influence with the head teacher of the key school, and implied that he would give the head teacher an envelope containing money. By this time, Jin knew that Mai was a person who “knows renqing”, so he phoned the head teacher. Later, Mai and Jin visited the head teacher’s home taking gifts; a few weeks later, at Jin’s advice, Mai took an envelope containing some money to Jin’s office to meet the head teacher. When the head teacher came in, Jin excused himself to go to the toilet, allowing Mai to give the envelope to the head teacher without anyone else in the room. In the end, Mai secured a school place for his nephew. Jin, like Mai, was interviewed for this research. Jin told me he had helped Mai with a school place, and seemed proud of his ability to do so. He revealed that he had observed Mai’s ritual practice to see if he followed the expected renqing ethic. By deciding to help Mai, Jin could gain renqing for future use, which enhances his social capital. If Mai had not followed the renqing ethic, Jin would not have gained social capital by doing Mai a favour: in that case, Mai might have upset both Jin and the head teacher, and worse, run the risk of bribery accusations against the head teacher. In this case, however, every time Mai met Jin, he improved his guanxi capital because the collective symbols they both value facilitated subsequent interaction rituals. The interaction ritual chain consists of the process of la guanxi and social capital development. Before asking for a favour, Mai had been interacting with Jin for a month; afterwards, he maintained a long-term relationship with Jin and the head teacher by visiting them regularly with gifts. Their guanxi relationship can be more effectively used in the future due to their history of interaction ritual chains.

Zhang, a teacher in City B, provided a further example:

One of my colleagues was thinking of asking me to pay more attention to one of the students in my class who is her friend’s child, so she tried to talk to me more frequently, then gave me some compliments, gave me some small gifts, did me some small favours and tried to get closer to me. After taking these steps, finally, she told me that her friend’s child was in my class and asked me to pay more attention to him.

Although Zhang clearly knows that the kindness demonstrated by her colleague is not pure, she feels indebted and is willing to do her colleague this favour: Zhang considers this a renqing exchange, and she may need her colleague to return the favour in the future. The rituals here make this exchange work, since they follow instrumental li and the renqing ethic, which both actors recognise and share. An interaction ritual used to ask for a favour will be more effective if previous rituals have been observed properly. In the cases reported above, both Mai and Zhang’s colleague clearly recognised that they did not have long-term guanxi with their expected benefactors before asking for the favour, so endeavoured to build interaction chains, thus preventing their practice from becoming a one-off transaction. Although a relationship may be cultivated with instrumental goals foremost in mind, the forms of renqing (mostly interaction ritual) must be followed if the goals are to be achieved, and the moral and emotional element of the relationship must be presented as primary with the exchanges treated as secondary. If it becomes apparent that the relationship involves only material interest, it may be characterised as bribery (Yang, 1989 Yang, M. M.-H. (1989). The gift economy and state power in China. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 31(1), 25–54., p. 48).

“The More Distant the Less Significant” – The Pattern of Expressive Ritual It is necessary to distinguish between expressive and instrumental ritual. Expressive ritual is usually observed to express one’s real emotion and concern without much rational calculation, while instrumental ritual is usually performed for instrumental purposes (la guanxi) (Ruan, 2017a Ruan, J. (2017a). Guanxi, social capital and school choice in China: The rise of ritual capital. London: Palgrave Macmillan., p. 130). Many informants in the two cities give gifts to their friends and relatives, or invite them to dinner, as part of everyday life and without instrumental intention. Moreover, attending a friend’s birthday party, wedding or even funeral is usually expressive ritual. This type of guanxi practice is different from parents practising guanxi to gain school places, where they give gifts and/or invite their benefactor to dinner with a very clear instrumental purpose.

This expressive ritual can also improve one’s ability to acquire resources. Sometimes an instrumental ritual used to ask a favour will become more effective if previous expressive rituals have been observed. Less instrumentally, people’s happiest and most rewarding hours are spent talking with neighbours, sharing meals with friends, participating in religious gatherings, attending celebration dinners for friends’ or relatives’ birthdays, weddings, or the birth of a new baby, or giving gifts and “good luck money” to friends and relatives on special occasions. In these activities, the practice of expressive ritual rather than instrumental ritual gradually improves the quality of guanxi.

Yan (1996 Yan, Y. (1996). The flow of gifts: Reciprocity and social networks in a Chinese village. Stanford: Stanford University Press.) examined both the dynamic process of cultivation of guanxi networks and their functions in everyday rural life. He states that “the closer to the centre in a given guanxi network, the more gift-giving relations are involved” (Yan, 1996 Yan, Y. (1996). The flow of gifts: Reciprocity and social networks in a Chinese village. Stanford: Stanford University Press., p. 101). Moreover, he argues that “all instrumental gift-giving relations go beyond the village boundary”, which means that the gift giving of “the closer the more involved” is mainly expressive gift giving (Yan, 1996 Yan, Y. (1996). The flow of gifts: Reciprocity and social networks in a Chinese village. Stanford: Stanford University Press., p. 102).

Many expressive rituals observed in this ethnographic study are consistent with Yan’s findings, and follow the pattern of “the more distant the less significant”. With the increase in social distance, people are less likely to be involved in, value and invest money and time on expressive ritual with their guanxi members. These expressive rituals include expressive gift giving, red packet giving, expressive banqueting, visiting a patient, and attending occasions such as weddings, childbirth celebrations and funerals. When Liu, a head teacher, was ill, all of his relatives visited him in hospital with red packets. He found that the closer the guanxi were, the more likely they were to visit him; and the closer the guanxi were, the more money they gave him. One parent, John, recalled his wedding and noted that closer guanxi gave more gifts and larger red packets. At the dinner celebrating the birth of John’s son, the closer guanxi were more likely to attend with red packets.

“The more distant the less significant” pattern of expressive ritual practice seems to be a principle of renqing ethic familiar to everyone in the two researched cities. This pattern corresponds to Fei’s (2012 Fei, X. (2012). From the soil: The foundation of Chinese society. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press [in both Chinese and English, first published in Chinese in 1947. Trans. G. G. Hamilton & W. Zheng, 1992]. [1947]) identification of chauxgeju – the differential mode of association. It is sometimes difficult to distinguish between expressive and instrumental ritual, just as it is difficult to distinguish between expressive guanxi practice and la guanxi (Ruan, 2017a Ruan, J. (2017a). Guanxi, social capital and school choice in China: The rise of ritual capital. London: Palgrave Macmillan., p. 131). The motivation of people attending their supervisors’ weddings, birthday parties, or funerals for the supervisors’ parents could be expressive, or instrumental, or a combination of the two. Smart practitioners of guanxi are generally good at using expressive ritual activities, such as weddings and birthday parties, to develop ganqing (informants call this “ganqing investment”), so that they can ask for a favour in the future: this seems to be a more effective way of la guanxi. These rituals look like expressive rituals but are, in fact, instrumental ones. Nevertheless, whether expressive or instrumental, ritual practice can enhance one’s social capital if performed in the proper way.

https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full...63?src=recsys&
06-25-2018 06:47 AM
Drake
Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
It is Asian culture, manifesting itself in human relations.
Aron,

Cite a credible source for your outrageous statement about Asian culture.

Drake.
06-25-2018 03:21 AM
aron
Chinese/Asian Influence in The Local Church

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The Blendeds have the attitude that if they abuse and mistreat you, then you will become more compliant. WL got away with that, but the Blendeds could not.
I saw the way WL and TC interacted in public and believe this is true. It is Asian culture, manifesting itself in human relations. Nothing wrong with that per se, except it was fraudulently sold to us as divine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The Full Time Training says that the biblical truth is, Women Can't Teach. Yet this position ignores that the movement itself was founded by Margaret Barber teaching Watchman Nee. She had no "head covering". . . not to mention Madame Guyon, Jessie Penn-Lewis, Peace Wang, Dora Yu, Ruth Lee, Mary MacDonald, and so forth - "close co-workers" and "fellow builders" all. This ministry of the Kingdom of Self teaches out of both sides of its mouth, and we're supposed to ignore these glaring discrepancies?
There's an interesting story about Watchman Nee and a Miss Elizabeth Fischbacher. She was promoting Pentacostal and Charismatic behaviours and Nee went to see her. Later they traveled together to the Keswick Convention in England, and she transcribed some of Nee's talks. Some were published by CFP.

Question: if women can't teach with authority, then why did Nee traffic with them?

Answer: they were useful on the path to power - temporal, earthly, human power. They were used and then discarded. Today in the LC there are no women as senior or "blended co-workers" when Nee's own initial church experience had many.

The only "truth" this Church is founded on is that of personal expediency. Look at the whole Jerusalem Principle thing. First it was all about localism, because that was the way to be shed of the Western control. Then suddenly Nee "recovered" the idea of centralized control. A blatant reversal.

Same with Witness Lee. There's even a thread on this forum titled Early Lee vs Later Lee. The only constant was the pursuit, acquisition, and maintenance of personal power at others' expense. Why would anyone want to be enrolled in a Training Programme run by this group? It's manipulation and mind control, and entirely for someone else's benefit, not yours.
03-21-2018 06:05 PM
leastofthese
Re: Cultural shift - paradigm shift?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Demographics of the local churches from my youth in 1970's into mid 1980's doesn't even resemble the current state. Something happened along the way to cause an exodus of the Caucasian brothers and sisters. I believe the late 80's turmoil was just that event causing the exodus.
Growth I've seen in the local church I visit is among Asian and Hispanic brothers and sisters.For the Caucasian brothers and sisters, they only get older without any new ones gained.
Interesting observation considering the majority of college students (where the LSM churches primarily evangelize) are still White (56%).

https://postsecondary.gatesfoundatio...lege-students/
03-21-2018 01:34 PM
Terry
Re: Cultural shift - paradigm shift?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Something happened along the way to cause an exodus of the Caucasian brothers and sisters. I believe the late 80's turmoil was just that event causing the exodus.
I had read a quote Brent Barber posted years ago on another website. His quote describing the late 80's was "white flight". I wonder if that's what he meant be demographics being changed due to many Caucasians leaving the local churches? Certainly in Anaheim that certainly was the case and could have been in other localities as well.
01-20-2018 06:57 PM
Terry
Re: Cultural shift - paradigm shift?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
This comment deserved bringing forward. No one knows the future, at least the details. (Matt 24:36) But it's interesting, learning about ourselves, as we struggle against the past. The LCs are trying to grapple with a true demographic shift over the past 35 years, as their constituents keep growing less reflective of the "local" populations they've supposedly been representing.
Demographics of the local churches from my youth in 1970's into mid 1980's doesn't even resemble the current state. Something happened along the way to cause an exodus of the Caucasian brothers and sisters. I believe the late 80's turmoil was just that event causing the exodus.
Growth I've seen in the local church I visit is among Asian and Hispanic brothers and sisters.For the Caucasian brothers and sisters, they only get older without any new ones gained.
01-20-2018 08:41 AM
aron
Cultural shift - paradigm shift?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
... with every passing day, the LC is become more and more particular in its demographic: more Asian, more rich, more urban, and more elitist (in terms of education). Visit the FTTA today, and you will find that 70-90% of the population is either Asian-American or actually from Asia, and that the great majority of those come from wealthy families. LC young people are under constant pressure to attend elite universities on the East and West Coasts. The whole phenomenon is resulting in a cultural shift in the LC that is making it more and more unrecognizable to the original "baby boomer" generation that was captivated by Witness Lee in the 1960s and 1970s. It also means that the up-and-coming demographic of LCers feel more and more disconnected with anything that might be considered more traditionally American.

LC leaders know this, and it's the reason why there is so much emphasis on fixing the "racial ratio" and "gaining 'typical' Americans." But it's a lost cause if you ask me.
This comment deserved bringing forward. No one knows the future, at least the details. (Matt 24:36) But it's interesting, learning about ourselves, as we struggle against the past. The LCs are trying to grapple with a true demographic shift over the past 35 years, as their constituents keep growing less reflective of the "local" populations they've supposedly been representing.
12-14-2016 11:11 AM
Ohio
Re: Guanxi Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The elephant in the room of the LC is Asian culture. This can be seen in Guanxi Networks, which are mutual webs of reciprocal obligations, often tied strongly to family. Lee put his admittedly "unspiritual" son Philip in charge of the LC business office, not because he was qualified, but because he was related to Lee. Of course this isn't exclusive of the Asians: if someone wants to get into Yale it helps that Grand-Dad was Vice-Provost. But in Asian culture I daresay it's especially pronounced. Ergo, Timothy got Daystar and Philip became "The Office".

The point I want to make is that we never saw this cultural influence, believing the Lee narrative that somehow China was (somehow) "virgin soil" for God to raise up something apart from fallen human culture. So when fallen human culture began trampling us to death, we couldn't see it. Even though we got crushed by it. It's amazing, really.
Since it looked so different than our own, and no one around us said anything to the contrary, we were led to believe it was not fallen culture, but a "spiritual" culture.

It took WL himself, back-stabbing dear brother John Ingalls for protecting vulnerable sisters from the profligate Phillip, to open my eyes to the corruption of fallen human culture within LSM.
12-14-2016 11:04 AM
Koinonia
Re: Guanxi Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The elephant in the room of the LC is Asian culture. This can be seen in Guanxi Networks, which are mutual webs of reciprocal obligations, often tied strongly to family. Lee put his admittedly "unspiritual" son Philip in charge of the LC business office, not because he was qualified, but because he was related to Lee. Of course this isn't exclusive of the Asians: if someone wants to get into Yale it helps that Grand-Dad was Vice-Provost. But in Asian culture I daresay it's especially pronounced. Ergo, Timothy got Daystar and Philip became "The Office".

The point I want to make is that we never saw this cultural influence, believing the Lee narrative that somehow China was (somehow) "virgin soil" for God to raise up something apart from fallen human culture. So when fallen human culture began trampling us to death, we couldn't see it. Even though we got crushed by it. It's amazing, really.
As someone with an "Asian-American mind" (if I may), I would venture that this aspect of things was less obvious when the LC (in the USA) was made up mostly of White Americans.

However, with every passing day, the LC is become more and more particular in its demographic: more Asian, more rich, more urban, and more elitist (in terms of education). Visit the FTTA today, and you will find that 70-90% of the population is either Asian-American or actually from Asia, and that the great majority of those come from wealthy families. LC young people are under constant pressure to attend elite universities on the East and West Coasts. The whole phenomenon is resulting in a cultural shift in the LC that is making it more and more unrecognizable to the original "baby boomer" generation that was captivated by Witness Lee in the 1960s and 1970s. It also means that the up-and-coming demographic of LCers feel more and more disconnected with anything that might be considered more traditionally American.

LC leaders know this, and it's the reason why there is so much emphasis on fixing the "racial ratio" and "gaining 'typical' Americans." But it's a lost cause if you ask me.
12-14-2016 10:34 AM
aron
Guanxi Networks

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caveman View Post
Once you see this dichotomy clearly, I believe you'll recognize that nearly every gripe from disgruntled ex-members or frustrated current members has its roots in Asian cultural values that got institutionalized so deeply into the practices of the Local Churches that they create an atmosphere of expectations so rigid they are just as effective at enforcing conformity as posting a bouncer at the door, or a requiring a profession of doctrinal faith that one must sign in order to be fully received into the circle of fellowship. Some of the Asian cultural elements relate to standards of conduct that are pushed as if essential to the Christian life. Others elements are Eastern cultural values that make their way into doctrinal stances on minor truths, and then get stressed like major ones. The manifestations are numerous, but the root is the same. We (they) failed to distinguish between Lee's culture and his portion of Christ.

On the one hand, I believe this is the glaringly obvious "elephant in the room" that even the current leaders in the Recovery acknowledge has been wreaking havoc and hemorrhaging the life-blood of what, by all rights, should be a thriving organism. Whether they see the elephant for what it truly is or not is not for me to say, but I've been encouraged just to hear they acknowledge the problems it causes for them. And that encouragement is not rooted in cynicism toward them..
The elephant in the room of the LC is Asian culture. This can be seen in Guanxi Networks, which are mutual webs of reciprocal obligations, often tied strongly to family. Lee put his admittedly "unspiritual" son Philip in charge of the LC business office, not because he was qualified, but because he was related to Lee. Of course this isn't exclusive of the Asians: if someone wants to get into Yale it helps that Grand-Dad was Vice-Provost. But in Asian culture I daresay it's especially pronounced. Ergo, Timothy got Daystar and Philip became "The Office".

The point I want to make is that we never saw this cultural influence, believing the Lee narrative that somehow China was (somehow) "virgin soil" for God to raise up something apart from fallen human culture. So when fallen human culture began trampling us to death, we couldn't see it. Even though we got crushed by it. It's amazing, really.
11-24-2016 07:39 AM
Terry
Re: Witness Lee on Watchman Nee

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
It's funny how WL could teach that we shouldn't trust in our feelings, yet when certain situations happened, he took the opposite stance.
Same can be said of LSM leadership today. Feeling bears more weight than facts. All reason and objectivity is tossed aside.
11-12-2016 06:12 PM
Freedom
Re: Witness Lee on Watchman Nee

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Lee's only scriptural appeal here was to the "drunken Noah" case in Genesis (not sure where did Jesus or Paul reference "drunken Noah" as superseding NT righteousness?), to the elders' "debt" and to the elders "feeling" and "real sensation". Their culturally-based feeling of shame as the Top Dog fell, was allowed to over-ride clear dictates of NT scripture. And the pentacostal, sensual-based church experience - "How did you feel" - suborning the plain words of scripture abets the socially-driven imperative.
It's funny how WL could teach that we shouldn't trust in our feelings, yet when certain situations happened, he took the opposite stance. WL asking people about their "inner feeling" is completely absurd. It goes without saying that after these elders had felt 'betrayed' by Nee, so they would have felt worse off than before. So of course they felt things weren't going so well. Basically, WL used a type of false attribution to keep these elders from criticizing Nee.
11-12-2016 04:29 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian Mind/The Western Mind

"Let me tell you a story concerning my own experience. For a period of six years, from 1942 to 1948, Brother Watchman Nee was out of his ministry. Because of the work of the Devil in China, there was a spiritual storm that kept Watchman from ministering. He and I were separated during the war. After the war, in 1946, I was invited to come from the north to the capital city in the south. When some of the co-workers who were involved in that storm against Brother Nee and who also knew me very well came from afar to meet with me, they said, 'Brother Lee, can you say that Brother Nee has ever been wrong?' I replied, 'Brothers, whether he is wrong or right is not my business. You must admit one thing—that we all owe very much to Brother Nee. We all must admit that he was just like a father to us all. If he was not a father to you, I must testify strongly that, in the Lord's economy, he certainly was a father to me. Before I met with Brother Nee, I knew nothing of the Lord's economy. He is my spiritual father, and my spiritual being came out of him.' Then I told the brothers the story of Noah. I said, 'Brothers, look at Noah's case. Was Noah wrong? Certainly he was wrong. But, it is not a matter of whether Noah was right or wrong; it is all a matter of from where we have received our being. Was Noah not our father? If he was your neighbor and not your father, it would be another story. But remember that you derived your being from him. He is your father. Whatever you are and whatever you obtained has come out of him. This involves you with the divine government.

Brothers, I didn't see the thing for which people condemn Brother Nee. Even if I did see that he was wrong, I have no position to say anything about his wrongdoing, because he is my spiritual father and my spiritual being came out of him. I could never say anything against him. I am under God's government. Brothers, you must consider that it is not a small thing to be against our spiritual father. When you were not against Brother Nee, what was your inner feeling?' They all admitted that they felt so much life. When I asked, 'How about now?' they responded, 'We have to admit that we are just dead. We have no anointing or watering within. We are dried up.' Then I said, 'Brothers, you should listen to this real sensation. Don't care for your mental analysis. According to your mental analysis, Brother Nee is condemned, but as long as you condemn him, you are dead. The more you condemn him, the more dead you are.' Immediately, the brothers turned and were saved from their dead situation." [Life-Study of Genesis]


Under Titus Chu, we heard this often concerning Lee, "he is my spiritual father, his mistakes are none of my business." Actually, as shepherds of the church of God, they are your business. God is our real Father, remember? "Call no man father." On the one hand, we in the LC's regularly condemned the Catholics for calling the priest their "Father," and then our leaders instruct us to do the same.

The question remains, are our responsibilities greater to our spiritual "father" or to our heavenly Father and His children under our care? If loyalty to one's superior trumps all, then we are an army, not a church. We are not talking about meany complaints here, like whether our spiritual "father" drives a Chevy or a Cadillac. We are referring firstly to God's righteousness, and secondly to stumbling God's children.

Those in the Recovery who have spoken out in the past concerning the sins of their leaders were willing to suffer for righteousness sake, and they did. Those who spoke out concerning the stumbling of God's children were not hirelings but real shepherds.

This next statement that "my spiritual being came out of him," robs God of His glory. Our spiritual being came out from Him. The New Jerusalem of God's people may be our mother, working together with God, but never our source.
11-12-2016 04:09 PM
aron
Re: Witness Lee on Watchman Nee

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
When I think about it, it seems WL was playing upon the elders’ gratitude towards Nee. Obviously, they appreciated him, but they were also willing to cease their dealings with him. WL basically instilled a sense of guilt in to each one of them, and succeeded in getting them to once again line up behind Nee. He did it very deceptively.
Lee's only scriptural appeal here was to the "drunken Noah" case in Genesis (not sure where did Jesus or Paul reference "drunken Noah" as superseding NT righteousness?), to the elders' "debt" and to the elders "feeling" and "real sensation". Their culturally-based feeling of shame as the Top Dog fell, was allowed to over-ride clear dictates of NT scripture. And the pentacostal, sensual-based church experience - "How did you feel" - suborning the plain words of scripture abets the socially-driven imperative.
11-12-2016 02:33 PM
Freedom
Re: Witness Lee on Watchman Nee

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Witness Lee told the Shanghai elders, "It is a matter of receiving your being", and "You derived your being from him", meaning Watchman Nee. What 'being' is this they derived? Human or divine? Clearly human, i.e. status and position. Watchman Nee here is not "Our Father who art in heaven", but instead an earthly analog. Fallen and sinful, but clearly necessary for the Little Flock to go on.
When I think about it, it seems WL was playing upon the elders’ gratitude towards Nee. Obviously, they appreciated him, but they were also willing to cease their dealings with him. WL basically instilled a sense of guilt in to each one of them, and succeeded in getting them to once again line up behind Nee. He did it very deceptively.
11-12-2016 12:56 PM
aron
Witness Lee on Watchman Nee

"Let me tell you a story concerning my own experience. For a period of six years, from 1942 to 1948, Brother Watchman Nee was out of his ministry. Because of the work of the Devil in China, there was a spiritual storm that kept Watchman from ministering. He and I were separated during the war. After the war, in 1946, I was invited to come from the north to the capital city in the south. When some of the co-workers who were involved in that storm against Brother Nee and who also knew me very well came from afar to meet with me, they said, 'Brother Lee, can you say that Brother Nee has ever been wrong?' I replied, 'Brothers, whether he is wrong or right is not my business. You must admit one thing—that we all owe very much to Brother Nee. We all must admit that he was just like a father to us all. If he was not a father to you, I must testify strongly that, in the Lord's economy, he certainly was a father to me. Before I met with Brother Nee, I knew nothing of the Lord's economy. He is my spiritual father, and my spiritual being came out of him.' Then I told the brothers the story of Noah. I said, 'Brothers, look at Noah's case. Was Noah wrong? Certainly he was wrong. But, it is not a matter of whether Noah was right or wrong; it is all a matter of from where we have received our being. Was Noah not our father? If he was your neighbor and not your father, it would be another story. But remember that you derived your being from him. He is your father. Whatever you are and whatever you obtained has come out of him. This involves you with the divine government.

Brothers, I didn't see the thing for which people condemn Brother Nee. Even if I did see that he was wrong, I have no position to say anything about his wrongdoing, because he is my spiritual father and my spiritual being came out of him. I could never say anything against him. I am under God's government. Brothers, you must consider that it is not a small thing to be against our spiritual father. When you were not against Brother Nee, what was your inner feeling?' They all admitted that they felt so much life. When I asked, 'How about now?' they responded, 'We have to admit that we are just dead. We have no anointing or watering within. We are dried up.' Then I said, 'Brothers, you should listen to this real sensation. Don't care for your mental analysis. According to your mental analysis, Brother Nee is condemned, but as long as you condemn him, you are dead. The more you condemn him, the more dead you are.' Immediately, the brothers turned and were saved from their dead situation." [Life-Study of Genesis]


Witness Lee told the Shanghai elders, "It is a matter of receiving your being", and "You derived your being from him", meaning Watchman Nee. What 'being' is this they derived? Human or divine? Clearly human, i.e. status and position. Watchman Nee here is not "Our Father who art in heaven", but instead an earthly analog. Fallen and sinful, but clearly necessary for the Little Flock to go on.

Yet the NT tradition had clearly departed from the 'respecter of persons' method. "Call no man your father, for you have one Father in Heaven: that is God." The 'ekklesia' brooked no fallen human culture promoting hierarchies of control, respect, and obedience. That is the way of the gentiles, but it should not be the way with you (Matt 10:5). Yet here in China, clearly established NT precedent is contravened because it isn't useful for the survival of Nee's and Lee's religious offices.

Then, Lee said that he didn't see the things for which Nee was condemned. Remember this is 1946, before the Communist show trial, with the pictures and confession. So the context here in 1946 is, "tell it to the church"; Lee says, "I didn't see it, therefore it doesn't exist." Again, this is clearly human culture trumping scripture. The clear word of Jesus in the gospels is simply ignored as if it didn't exist, and cultural imperatives steamroll God's word into oblivion. "Brothers, these things should not be so."

Philip Lin said, "I know in my conscience you brothers are right according to the truth, but in my culture I must be loyal to Brother Lee." This statement by Lin repeated a pattern set by Witness Lee, regarding Watchman Nee, a pattern which eventually preserved Lee's organizational leadership as well. Human culture was the incubator of the Little Flock of Nee, as well as the Local Church of Witness Lee, and also was their conduit to full flower and fruit-bearing.
08-29-2016 01:48 PM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
The other side of the coin, if you're not loyal, you can't be counted on to be trusted. Always seems in the LC culture loyalty and trust is more weighty than love (which as I've touched on this forum is merely conditional.)
On another thread I mentioned the testimony of a Brasil co-worker who dared question the finances of the Estancia Arvore da Vida (evidently, Dong's son ran the place). The moment he publicly raised the issue of their accounting practices, and their lack of transparency, and the perceptions that such arrangements engendered, then he was "out". And with this cultural mindset when you're out that's it - doesn't matter your position, your sacrifices, anything. The big wheel turns and you're ground to dust. Do not, under any circumstances, examine the Oracle. If you do, then you can't be trusted and you're effectively through.
08-29-2016 01:02 PM
Terry
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I also think that another factor at play is the cultural notion of reciprocity. This has been discussed before. Many of the blendeds who were personally mentored by Lee likely were made to feel 'indebted' to Lee. Philip Lin is on the record saying that according to his culture he must remain loyal to Lee. Beyond just an excessive appreciation of Lee, because many of these men were given special attention and positions by Lee, their reaction was to reciprocate with loyalty.
The other side of the coin, if you're not loyal, you can't be counted on to be trusted. Always seems in the LC culture loyalty and trust is more weighty than love (which as I've touched on this forum is merely conditional.)
08-29-2016 11:41 AM
Freedom
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio
Thirdly, it went from "like a father," to "my spiritual being came out of him," to "he is your father," to "whatever you are came out from him," to "whatever you obtained has come out of him."

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Ingalls
I was surprised when nearly four months later I had received a letter from Titus, co-authored by James Reetzke (an elder in Chicago long known to me), dated February 12, 1989, in which Titus reproved me among other things for not taking his fellowship to see Brother Lee. The letter was full of rebuking and censuring concerning the conduct of the elders in Anaheim and contained this statement: "Is it not a fact that you brothers and the church in Anaheim owe him {Brother Lee} your existence?" I am grateful to Brother Lee for his love and service to the saints (including myself) in past years, and I thank the Lord for what we have received through his ministry, but we surely do not owe our existence to him – that is absurd. The source of whatever we are and have, physically or spiritually, is God and no one else.

WL is on the record attempting to instill a sense of guilt into co-workers who had concerns about Nee, implying that they should either feel indebted to Nee, or even feel that their existence as Christians would be nullified without Nee. Many years later, some of WL's coworkers attempted to use the same tactic in a letter to John Ingalls.

It's really disturbing to see how far off the deep end the LC has gone with regards to appreciating certain people. There's nothing wrong with looking up to someone as a "spiritual father"/mentor, but if the appreciation cannot remain objective, then there will be problems.

I also think that another factor at play is the cultural notion of reciprocity. This has been discussed before. Many of the blendeds who were personally mentored by Lee likely were made to feel 'indebted' to Lee. Philip Lin is on the record saying that according to his culture he must remain loyal to Lee. Beyond just an excessive appreciation of Lee, because many of these men were given special attention and positions by Lee, their reaction was to reciprocate with loyalty.
08-27-2016 08:42 AM
aron
Re: Second Gen SoCal LCM Asians

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Many/most current members of the LC are in a completely different demographic from most of the people here (spiritually, culturally, ethnically, socioeconomically, geographically, etc., etc). I say this as a fairly recent leaver; I believe there's a disconnect.

I know that many in my set (2nd-generation, SoCal, Asian, FTTA, etc.) have a lot of doubts and questions about the LC. However--they would also be deeply suspicious of someone like you and of the organization of this board, even if they would allow themselves to lurk here. . .
These points are probably worthy of a thread; I copied this from the "are natural things bad" thread, where it's also relevant, because culture is arguably a "natural thing"; but in any event, how to constructively look at the culture of a second generation SoCal Asian "church kid"? Possibly many of them sense, slightly or even deeply, that there's disconnect between what the Bible says and what they see and live out daily. How normal is the Nee/Lee church life, really? Where's the Holy Spirit - in shouting at each other? Is that what the disciples did? What happened, here - how did we get to this point and how do we go on?

I was in the SoCal LCM, but like Bob Seger's "Midwestern boy on his own", I didn't have the expectations that young Asians get pounded into them from their third or fourth breath. Middle-American Anglo expectations were completely different. Our culture is founded on independence, even rebellion - our forefathers threw off the yoke of centuries of kings and created a 'polis', a democratic government, a government of laws, of the people, of ideas. Not based on centuries of hierarchy or social strata. Questioning, challenging, finding new ways, leveling the playing field - these are ingrained in our cultural DNA. The Asians, from what I could see, were trained from Day One not to bring shame on the family. Many of us Anglos didn't have family - we lost it somewhere around the age of 12 or 15 when we hit the streets. That was simply how it was. It was natural for our culture. So I was a "stranger in a strange land" in SoCal LCM, but had been for some time; no biggie.

Getting to the comment of Koinonia, that the cohort now struggling to live in the Lee Museum, dedicated by their parents to preserve a perfect world that never existed, may not have an emotional capacity to critically challenge its features the way many here have done - i.e. to challenge the expectations of the current status quo and still hope to walk out alive. We did - we grew up challenging everything - it was expected of us, culturally - but this demographic cohort has a different experiential basis, shared value set, and common assumptions.

I brought it over here to the "Asian mind" thread, for one reason: it's important to examine cultural pre-suppositions, because if you don't deal with them, pretending that the "natural man" was buried under the Jordan River and doesn't exist here anymore, you're fooling yourself. Satan now has his invisibility cloak working in full force. So I try to bring this stuff into the open. Examine everything - especially the unexamined stuff.

Now to Koinonia's idea: how to do it in a way that's respectful, with empathy, and invites others to come forward? In a way that's open, therapeutic, transformative? I may have failed miserably with this thread - I like sarcasm and often overstate and overgeneralize and overdramatize my points, and people get (rightly) turned off and wouldn't participate if offered 2 Grand. So, how to look at culture without insulting people, and turning them away?

I don't know the answer to Koinonia's post but wanted to hold it out for consideration. If the challenge was taken up, respectfully and thoughtfully, it might bring this forum to the next level. Or it might point to a different kind of forum, that addressed issues this forum simply can't. Some kind of format that currently doesn't exist. In any event, there's a need, and I don't pretend to have the answer.
08-25-2016 08:16 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Looking carefully at these progressions. . the reader is taken from a Paul/Timothy relationship to a Father God/son of God relationship.

If you swallow this persuasion, then W. Nee is God Himself to you, since you can only say of God Himself that "whatever you are came out from Him," and "whatever you have obtained has come out of Him."

Is anyone besides God Himself really above the laws of right and wrong? Has there ever been any man of God who was absolutely above all accountability?
Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
For example, this culture apparently requires strong central leadership, or society ostensibly will dissolve into primordial chaos..
Apparently relationships based on abject personal adherence are required for the LSM-led church to function harmoniously. Otherwise, as I said, chaos reigns - who's in charge here? Nobody knows! Anxiety, confusion, uncertainty, instability, and social dissolution ensue . . . terrible! This mustn't happen.

But the cost of this mindset in their pursuit of social coherence and stability is seen in the periodic upheavals, the inevitable "storms", "turmoils", "rebellions", and "quarantines", along with the attendant lawsuits, divisions, rancor, etc, all of which are supposedly the cost of doing business. Such evaluations, writ large and formalized in the LC social contract, are culturally biased, I believe; what things one tends to accept as unfortunate but necessary, and what things one rejects as unthinkable.

And the Bible becomes a bit player in the drama, a prop, used as necessary and ignored where unhelpful.
08-24-2016 02:44 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Let's look at the progression of Lee's argument with the Shanghai elders:
1. Whether he is wrong or right is not my business.
2. We all owe very much to Brother Nee.
3. We all must admit that he was just like a father to us all.
4. My spiritual being came out of him.
5. It is not a matter of whether Noah was right or wrong;
6. It is all a matter of from where we have received our being
7. He is your father.
8. Whatever you are and whatever you obtained has come out of him.
9. I have no position to say anything about his wrongdoing
10. Because he is my spiritual father
11. My spiritual being came out of him.
12. I could never say anything against him.
13. I am under God's government.
Firstly, what is personal to Lee becomes mandatory for the elders.

Secondly, the story of Noah proves right or wrong is insignificant when you consider your "source."

Thirdly, it went from "like a father," to "my spiritual being came out of him," to "he is your father," to "whatever you are came out from him," to "whatever you obtained has come out of him."

Looking carefully at each of these three progressions, woven into a single conversation, the reader is taken from a Paul/Timothy relationship to a Father God/son of God relationship. How subtle! If you swallow this persuasion, then W. Nee is God Himself to you, since you can only say of God Himself that "whatever you are came out from Him," and "whatever you have obtained has come out of Him."

Is anyone besides God Himself really above the laws of right and wrong? Has there ever been any man of God who was absolutely above all accountability?
08-24-2016 02:04 PM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Witness Lee
"Let me tell you a story concerning my own experience. For a period of six years, from 1942 to 1948, Brother Watchman Nee was out of his ministry. Because of the work of the Devil in China, there was a spiritual storm that kept Watchman from ministering. He and I were separated during the war. After the war, in 1946, I was invited to come from the north to the capital city in the south. When some of the co-workers who were involved in that storm against Brother Nee and who also knew me very well came from afar to meet with me, they said, "Brother Lee, can you say that Brother Nee has ever been wrong?" I replied, "Brothers, whether he is wrong or right is not my business. You must admit one thing—that we all owe very much to Brother Nee. We all must admit that he was just like a father to us all. If he was not a father to you, I must testify strongly that, in the Lord's economy, he certainly was a father to me. Before I met with Brother Nee, I knew nothing of the Lord's economy. He is my spiritual father, and my spiritual being came out of him." Then I told the brothers the story of Noah. I said, "Brothers, look at Noah's case. Was Noah wrong? Certainly he was wrong. But, it is not a matter of whether Noah was right or wrong; it is all a matter of from where we have received our being. Was Noah not our father? If he was your neighbor and not your father, it would be another story. But remember that you derived your being from him. He is your father. Whatever you are and whatever you obtained has come out of him. This involves you with the divine government.

Brothers, I didn't see the thing for which people condemn Brother Nee. Even if I did see that he was wrong, I have no position to say anything about his wrongdoing, because he is my spiritual father and my spiritual being came out of him. I could never say anything against him. I am under God's government. Brothers, you must consider that it is not a small thing to be against our spiritual father. When you were not against Brother Nee, what was your inner feeling?" They all admitted that they felt so much life. When I asked, "How about now?" they responded, "We have to admit that we are just dead. We have no anointing or watering within. We are dried up." Then I said, "Brothers, you should listen to this real sensation. Don't care for your mental analysis. According to your mental analysis, Brother Nee is condemned, but as long as you condemn him, you are dead. The more you condemn him, the more dead you are." Immediately, the brothers turned and were saved from their dead situation." [Life-Study of Genesis]
Witness Lee didn't actually see the thing for which Nee was condemned; therefore he could ignore it? Is that the way Jesus put it?

So, "Tell it to the church" is irrelevant? And Paul only heard about the impropriety in Corinth, therefore he should have ignored it?

And Lee's 'spiritual being' came out of Nee? I had always thought God was the source of our personhood, our being, our very lives.

Isn't this just human culture that we're seeing here, superimposed upon scripture?
03-14-2016 02:13 PM
Terry
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
A number of saints in my district went to Bro. Benjamin Chen's memorial service. When they returned and testified, it was so Chinese. For instance, I heard them say "golden opportunity" at least 4 times. Nothing wrong with being Chinese, but why do they say all other Christian groups are deformed and degraded? It doesn't make sense. Who are they to say this?
It's not a Chinese or English speaking thing. Must be the trendy thing to do. I've met with localities in Washington and California. They've spoken similar things. I call it cheap heat when one uses the LC prophesying meeting to put down fellow saints who meet in non-LC assemblies. I'm sure most brothers and sisters echo an amen without giving much thought nor considering what they're saying amen to.
03-14-2016 11:31 AM
Unregistered
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

A number of saints in my district went to Bro. Benjamin Chen's memorial service. When they returned and testified, it was so Chinese. For instance, I heard them say "golden opportunity" at least 4 times. Nothing wrong with being Chinese, but why do they say all other Christian groups are deformed and degraded? It doesn't make sense. Who are they to say this?
03-09-2016 12:49 PM
Terry
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Thinking about the Asian mind in relation to the western mind, how much of a cultural influence was in effect when Witness Lee tolerated his son's running roughshod over brothers, sisters, churches, etc?
To what extent in the Asian mind does the end justifies the means? (Consequentialism)
02-08-2016 09:41 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
An interesting thing about the LC experience is that it began as a reaction to Western imperialism, which came to Asia alongside the gospel imperative. Eventually, WN and the indigenous Chinese church threw off the yoke of the running dogs of the West, i.e. the denominations.
I'm wary of hijacking Indiana's thread, and wanted to continue my discussion here.

If you think my writings are flowery hyperbole and unrelated to reality as it occurred on the ground, I googled some words in the quote above, and the first link was a discussion with Xi Lian, professor of world religion at Duke University, who got a Christianity Today book award in 2011 for his book "Redeemed by Fire" on modern Christianity in China.

https://www.faithandleadership.com/q...op-its-own-way

Quote:
For decades after Protestant Christianity was first brought to China, it was resented and rejected by many people as a foreign religion, as part of this Western imperialistic expansion into China.

[In] the early 18th century, Christianity was banned, and missionaries were not allowed into China. It was only after the Opium War of 1839 that China was forcibly opened to the outside world. As China opened to Western trade and Western missions, Christianity spread into the interior of China, so it came as part of the Western expansion.

Unlike in the 16th and 17th centuries, when the Jesuits and other Catholic missionaries came to China with no gunboats backing them, in the 19th century you have gunboats backing these Christians working in China, and that’s why the Chinese resisted and resented Christianity.

(Indigenous Christianity) is behind the current flourishing of Christianity in China. The roots can be traced to the early 20th century, when independent groups emerged outside of the missions, in some cases very antagonistic to Western missions.

Those indigenous movements were able to respond to the spiritual, emotional and other needs of the Chinese population during a period of much chaos -- of warlords, of foreign aggression, of so much suffering. Their message met the Chinese people’s needs in various ways. In terms of the nationalistic sentiment, they separated themselves from missions, so they could say, “No, we are not the running dogs of Western imperialists. God directly speaks to us. We have a revelation from God.”

They also developed a form of Christianity that resonated with elements in the Chinese culture -- a kind of charismatic, Pentecostal worship with speaking in tongues, visions and trances. It was intelligible particularly to Christians at the grassroots level, and it was that kind of Christianity that survived the Communist persecution through the 1950s and into the chaos and the ravages of the Cultural Revolution and emerged after Mao died in 1976.

It emerged from all of this chaos and the persecution of the Cultural Revolution in a way that has really surprised people.
My point was that in the 19th century Western economic, military, political and cultural expansion forced China to open itself to the (European) gospel, and that eventually Witness Lee returned the favor, and exported Asian cultural imperialism to the USA in 1960, subsequently to Europe, in the form of Watchman Nee's "Normal Christian Church" model, and with his own "high peak theology", contrasted to the "low", "dark", "fallen", and "degraded" condition of non-LC (read: Western) teachings and practices.

Once you start to connect the dots, the cultural connections and forces become so glaringly obvious that you really have to be willfully obtuse not to see them. Everyone please repeat after me, "I'm proud to be an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand!"
09-12-2015 02:27 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
A consideration I had this morning with regard to children raised in the local churches, that the Asian influence results in repression. Especially when young people reach the ages of 17-19 years old the effects of repression becomes manifest.
Repression of human nature can result in undesirable instincts and behaviors that wouldn't occur otherwise.
09-12-2015 11:28 AM
Terry
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

A consideration I had this morning with regard to children raised in the local churches, that the Asian influence results in repression. Especially when young people reach the ages of 17-19 years old the effects of repression becomes manifest.
08-28-2015 12:59 PM
Terry
Re: "You're in the (Asian) army now"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
The fact of the matter is, whatever aspects of American culture are incompatible with the inherent Asian culture of the LC, those are things that will keep Americans from joining. Maybe the biggest generalization that can be made is the individual vs the collective. Americans value their individuality above all (even to a fault), so any group that attacks individuality is something most people want nothing to do with.
One aspect that could be a considerable factor is how cultures respond to unrighteousness. The events of the late 80's could have affected many Caucasian saints meeting in Orange county localities to cease fellowship with the local churches. All I knew in Anaheim are no longer meeting in the local churches.
Ones raised in the American culture are not prone to look the other way as those from the Chinese culture in regard to unrighteous matters.
I'll sum up by saying how the late 80's turmoil was mishandled caused many Caucasian families to leave which could partly explain for the current LC demographics.
08-28-2015 11:55 AM
Freedom
Re: "You're in the (Asian) army now"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Certainly we can make the generalization of the individual vis-a-vis the collective in Asian versus Western thought, and how it played out in the care for the proverbial lost sheep, and the have-nots, and the ability for the individual member to take initiative in their spiritual life versus waiting for a command from HQ. And so forth.
It is fair to make these generalizations because there is an obvious cultural disconnect. For starters, we don't have to look any further than the ethnic makeup of any LC to see what groups best identify with the LC. It is not "average Americans". Do we attribute this to culture, or do we swallow the narrative LC leaders tell us, that it's all because of "the opposition" that Americans are afraid of the LC?

I don't make any claim that the LC is obligated to fit American culture. The only issue I take is when they make the claim that culture is nonexistent or irrelevant in the LC. More than anything else, LC leadership is delusion in thinking that they can increase their relevancy in the U.S. without making significant changes. Case and point, if Lee's "New Way" projections were true, the LC in the U.S. would have been to the moon and back already in terms of membership increases.

The fact of the matter is, whatever aspects of American culture are incompatible with the inherent Asian culture of the LC, those are things that will keep Americans from joining. Maybe the biggest generalization that can be made is the individual vs the collective. Americans value their individuality above all (even to a fault), so any group that attacks individuality is something most people want nothing to do with.
08-27-2015 10:44 PM
awareness
Re: "You're in the (Asian) army now"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
There aren't any individuals....Those partial to science fiction think of the Borg from Star Trek The Next Generation. Individuals are assimilated into the collective
Seriously though in the local churches individualism is de-emphasized. The end justifies the means even if the result is utilizing brothers and sisters as pawns for LSM's bottom line.
Or discarded as dross, and reported to be holding the church back -- good riddance -- so the church can go on with more purity of loyalty to the leader(s).
08-27-2015 09:29 PM
Terry
Re: "You're in the (Asian) army now"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
In the Asian-flavored LC, if the individual couldn't be utilized to service the collective, they had no value. As in zero - the lost sheep don't exist. The collective must go on, and acknowledging lost individuals threatens the group-centric church life. Instead, we get the faceless, drab, grey, sea of proletariat small potatoes. There aren't any individuals - Mother Ship is all. It's Maoism with a religious face.
There aren't any individuals....Those partial to science fiction think of the Borg from Star Trek The Next Generation. Individuals are assimilated into the collective
Seriously though in the local churches individualism is de-emphasized. The end justifies the means even if the result is utilizing brothers and sisters as pawns for LSM's bottom line.
08-27-2015 06:47 AM
aron
Re: "You're in the (Asian) army now"

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
In the Asian-flavored LC... we get the faceless grey sea of proletariat small potatoes. There aren't any individuals... Maoism with a religious face.
It's a trope of story-telling to put two cultures in apposition, and record the mirth that follows. The hayseed that goes to the city, or the city slicker stuck on the farm. Or the Yankee in Paris or Tokyo or the Chinese person in Des Moines. In every case, there is incomprehension, and amusement, as different worlds collide.

So it's not really too much to expect, that a Chinese man leading a church in the USA would have some of these issues. WL's apologists say that his word selection is misunderstood, because English is not his native tongue. He just seems to be non-orthodox in his presentation of the trinity, for example. But it's merely awkwardness in language.

And so forth. My castigation of LC "Maoism" may have be too strong, because there's another culture at work here, and not from heaven but earth, with its behavioral customs and social expectations. So I don't want to be judging an ethnicity or a culture or history, as if mine were somehow better. If my posts seemed venomous (and surely some were, at some point), then mea culpa. I apologize.

Certainly we can make the generalization of the individual vis-a-vis the collective in Asian versus Western thought, and how it played out in the care for the proverbial lost sheep, and the have-nots, and the ability for the individual member to take initiative in their spiritual life versus waiting for a command from HQ. And so forth.

But if my tone has been unpleasant I apologize.
08-24-2015 02:38 PM
aron
"You're in the (Asian) army now"

I wanted to re-visit Terry's post of his experience in Bellevue, where the elder said, "This isn't a democracy - the church life is an army". Specifically, it is an Asian army. As I said, if you read the history books you will see the American Army having an allowance for discussion, for back-and-forth. Earlier I gave George Washington and his generals as a classic case, but it was by no means the last. Conversely, in the Asian army it's expected that no commentary or public deliberation will be raised. At all. Ever.

In the American Army, if the commander gives an illegal order, the troops not only have the right to resist, but will be held accountable if they comply. Lt. Calley and the men of My Lai in Vietnam (shooting unarmed civilians in a ditch) found this out: you're expected to know the rules, and an order by a superior can't countermand them. But in the Asian army, any command from above is the rule, in and of itself. "Even when he's wrong he's right" is a classic orientalism.

I remember my LC "junior elder" telling me that whatever the "senior elder" said, he would do without question or hesitation, however wrong or ridiculous. At the time I thought it strange, as much of the Asian-steeped world of the LC was. But I went along anyway. (I found it preferable to the even stranger world I'd come from.)

Lastly, the Asian army doesn't value individual human life very much. If you're left behind, or plowed under, too bad for you. The "lost sheep" doesn't count for much - the army must go on. No Gettysburg Address for the fallen. The Individual is continually sacrificed for the Mother Ship. From the banzai charges of the WWII Japanese to the human wave assaults of the Chinese and Koreans in the next war, the tactics of sacrificing pawns for the greater good was considered to be sound, even de rigueur. Using such tactics, the North Vietnamese eventually triumphed over the U.S. a decade later - they suffered exponentially greater losses, but had the stomach to absorb the suffering while the U.S. didn't.

So when WL paid lip service to his fallen comrades, and Steve Isitt went out to find them, he found out how much WL really cared. Not at all, in fact. Because the lost sheep had stories to tell, and the Mother Ship couldn't absorb the tales. Fact-finders and truth-tellers, in spite of rhetoric to the contrary, were shunned like the plague. In the Asian-flavored LC, if the individual couldn't be utilized to service the collective, they had no value. As in zero - the lost sheep don't exist. The collective must go on, and acknowledging lost individuals threatens the group-centric church life. Instead, we get the faceless, drab, grey, sea of proletariat small potatoes. There aren't any individuals - Mother Ship is all. It's Maoism with a religious face.
08-23-2015 06:20 PM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Probably the biggest challenge facing the Chinese Christian church in the early decades of the 20th century was not sin, or God, or faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead; it was affiliation with the Western barbarians.
Remember that the Boxer Rebellion was put down by a European/American multinational coalition. Think about it: if Chinese troops were marching through your town, shooting people, how popular would a religious group be, that was overtly affiliated with those occupiers? Not very. It would be problematic to recruit new members, and to promote the religious ideology. Watchman Nee found a solution to this problem, and a way out, in the "localism" of Brethren teachings, and he used it to remove himself and many others from under the thumb of Western Christianity, both Protestant and Catholic, and present an unfettered Christian church to the Chinese people.

Ultimately, however, his teachings were revealed to contain new fetters. I think his subsequent centralization "Jerusalem" program made that quite clear: "get in line" and "hand everything over" and "obey without question" became the new watchwords. Asian Church Organization 101.

Meet the new boss...
08-21-2015 12:31 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Nee? No great leader is great until the mythmakers are finished ; in this case Lee.
08-21-2015 11:19 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

An excerpt from Life Study of Genesis, chapter 114:

"After the Boxer Rebellion, many saints in England prayed desperately for the vast country of China. The Lord answered their prayers by coming in and doing a marvelous work in the colleges throughout the country. Thousands of students, including a good number of brilliant ones, were captured by the Lord, and many of them saw a vision. I was one of these students, and I was very familiar with the situation. Brother Nee was not the only one to see something concerning the church. Many others did also. However, they were afraid to speak of their dream concerning the church. These students were afraid of the missionaries, whose goal was to advance their mission work, their mission church. They were fearful that if they spoke something different from what the missionaries were doing, they would get into trouble. Because of his bold speaking, Brother Nee was betrayed. In the middle 1920s he published twenty issues of a paper called The Christian. In the articles in this paper Brother Nee spoke according to his dream. As a result, people laughed at him, and he got into trouble. The missionaries, teachers, and theologians, all of whom were older than he, disregarded him and opposed him. Brother Nee had seen a vision of local churches in every city throughout China. A quarter century later, his dream was fulfilled. By 1948 there were about five hundred local churches in the provinces of China.

Before Brother Nee's dream was fulfilled, however, he suffered a great deal, not only from outsiders, but even from turmoil stirred up by insiders. Due to this turmoil, his ministry was set aside for a number of years. Brother Nee once told a certain brother that there was no possibility to ever resume his ministry. This is an indication of the severity of Brother Nee's sufferings. He suffered so intensely that he felt that it was impossible for him ever to resume his ministry. But, much to his surprise, the Lord did something in 1948 to restore his ministry. In the forthcoming biography of Brother Nee now in preparation all this will be made clear. As a result of the restoration of Brother Nee's ministry, hundreds of churches were raised up in the cities of China. This was due to Brother Nee's speaking, to his sounding of the trumpet, and to that of a few co-workers who were faithful to him."

Elsewhere, Lee talks about the 'persecution' of Christians in China causing the local churches to come forth. But Lee doesn't mention that this persecution is due to foreign affiliation. The incentive for the native Chinese to dissociate with European churches was very strong. They probably followed Nee not because he was right, but like Constantine before him, he offered a way for the widespread suffering to cease. And once you see everybody else is going, you go too. It's like a hit movie - eventually it gets its own momentum and people go see it because it is popular, not because it's any good.

What follows is an excerpt from The Meaning of the Church, Book 1. pp. 94,95:

"In 1900 thousands of Christians were killed in the Boxer Rebellion. From the human perspective, the church suffered a great deal. But from God's perspective, the church in China was able to travel a long distance in a glorious way. The Boxer Rebellion can be compared to a large camel that was unclean in the eyes of God, yet it functioned as a means of transportation for the church... The reason the churches in China are in their present condition is due to the persecution of Christians in the Boxer Rebellion. Since that time there has been the continual increase of the Lord's testimony in China."

None of the Chinese xenophobia as a backdrop to the rise of the Little Flock (i.e. 'the Lord's testimony') is mentioned by Lee. It isn't helpful to the story of Nee. Plus, the glaring disconnect of an indigenous, nativist movement arising as a reaction to foreign cultural imperialism, but later becoming an imperialist movement itself, and being exported and imposed on people in other lands, might at some point become too big not to notice.
08-21-2015 07:01 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

"As a perceived foreign menace the Christian community became the target of the bloody rampage by famished North China peasants known as the Boxers. Before the revolt was quelled by the expedition forces, it had visited death on more than 200 Westerners and untold thousands of native converts.

As the culmination of nineteenth-century anti-foreign and anti-Christian agitation, the Boxer Uprising drove home the point to Chinese Christians that, in the popular mind, their profession of the foreign faith and their membership in churches dominated by the Westerners had turned them into disciples of the 'foreign devils' and collaborators in a Western assault on Chinese tradition. In the decades that followed, a chief test of Chinese Christian leadership would be the ability to shake off the foreignness of their religion, to take control of the churches, and to fashion a viable indigenous Christianity that would respond to the needs of the country and its people.
"
"The Search for Chinese Christianity in the Republican Period", by Lian Xi. Modern Asian Studies, Vol. 38, No. 4 (Oct 2004), pp. 851-898.

If I remember, Lee's family suffered in the persecutions of the Boxer Rebellion. So Nee's proposal of a biblically-based "normal" Christian church was obviously appealing to many, many Chinese Christians, Lee included. But it was a solution from the Bible being read through the lens of human culture and meeting immediate human need, i.e. expediency. To sell it as the solution for all Christian people at all times is short-sighted, to put it mildly.
08-21-2015 05:33 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Watchman Nee first he sold the idea of "autonomy" and "independence" in the local church, then called the Little Flock. In the 1920s and 1930s whole congregations moved away from the Western-affiliated model and to Nee's model.

Then Nee reversed course, dramatically. Suddenly he discovered the 'Jerusalem Principle', in which one church was the HQ and everybody had to line up. 'Handing Over' followed suit. Not just the local, autonomous, independent church but the Mother Church became the focus. Also Church Leadership. Who's the Big Boss?

And they all followed suit. How could all these people reverse course so dramatically? I can understand Nee's motives, but what of the thousands, even tens of thousands, who immediately cooperated? I believe they were hard-wired with a cultural imperative which made building up the Collective a prime directive. Both the original "autonomous" directive, which expelled foreign affiliation/domination, and the "Jerusalem" directive, which consolidated power, direction, and coordination, were seen as building up the Network/Hive/Collective. So in both cases they would be followed en masse. There's no contradiction..
Here is a quote on Wikipedia about the Empire of Japan:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wikipedia
After two centuries, the seclusion policy, or Sakoku, under the shoguns of the Edo period came to an end when the country was forced open to trade by the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854.

The following years saw increased foreign trade and interaction; commercial treaties between the Tokugawa Shogunate and Western countries were signed. In large part due to the humiliating terms of these Unequal Treaties, the Shogunate soon faced internal hostility, which materialized into a radical, xenophobic movement, the sonnō jōi (literally "Revere the Emperor, expel the barbarians").

In March 1863, the "Order to expel barbarians" was issued. Although the Shogunate had no intention of enforcing the order, it nevertheless inspired attacks against the Shogunate itself and against foreigners in Japan.
..
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_of_Japan

The reaction to Western technological and cultural hegemony, and unfair trade practices, was summed in "Revere the Emperor, expel the barbarians". Likewise, Watchman Nee's indigenous alternative to Western spiritual imperialism found a ready audience in the Chinese Christian community, where xenophobic (anti-foreigner) sentiments were widespread.

Now here's where I find two striking parallels: first is that just as the Japanese saw no contradiction between "expelling the barbarians" and themselves becoming the invaders in Manchuria, China and WWII (because both actions furthered the interests of Greater Japan), so also did the quite different philosophies of "local autonomy" and "centralization" make sense in Nee's conceptual world. Both autonomy (from the foreigners) as an initial step, and centralization and handing over as a later step, were to further the interests of Nee's church organization.

Secondly, both the Japanese Empire and Witness Lee's Local Church, like Mao's China or Nee's Little Flock, had no room for democracy, and no time to entertain the opinions of the people. Discourse among peers to collectively solve problems was/is discouraged: in Nee's words you must "figure out who's in charge and get in line". Obey without question. As the Japanese put it so succinctly: revere the Emperor. Reverence to central authority was the social glue that gave everything shared meaning, purpose, and cohesion.

I remember Lee saying that the LC is an army, not a democracy. But if he'd read American history he'd know that George Washington's Continental army had a consensual, democratic aspect: when Washington wanted to figure out what to do next, he'd often call his generals into a tent and they'd hash it out in front of him. This is how they decided to continue the advance, after the brilliant surprise victory at Trenton, and press the attack against the British at Princeton. The Continentals were bloody, weak, and cold: what to do - forward, or go back to safety? Washington was a true leader (in the Western mold) in that he didn't worry about strong, opinionated, vocal underlings. In the Asian model, allowing such open debate would be seen as weakness, loss of control, and the precursor of social collapse.

Western civilization isn't inherently superior to Eastern; obviously Asian armies and navies have had much success over the years, as have their governments, cultures and societies. Look at Singapore! A very successful society on many levels. But the Nee/Lee church set-up is an Asian one, and was created from and disseminated through fallen human culture just as surely as were the Methodists who brought Christianity to China. Once you see the influence of human culture, values, thinking and practices in the LC operation it becomes more understandable. Like seeing Watchman Nee's complete 180 degree reversal from the 1920s to the 1940s; what was once contradictory and baffling to my eyes suddenly became sensible. I don't have to agree, or follow, but can start to understand what happened.
08-12-2015 06:47 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
... they came into scripture with a cultural bias, or lens, or filter, reasoned out a system based on that cultural disposition...
A good example is the "God's economy" hermeneutic. This was the crown jewel of the ministry. But in order for the interpetive scheme to retain cohesion, it occasionally had to present the Bible as lacking cohesion. Occasionally, and fairly frequently if you really look, the Bible is presented by the ministry as being 'low', or 'fallen' or 'natural', or 'men's concepts'.

The ministry must be preserved at all costs, even if the Bible is diminished in the process, because the ministry is essential to build the network. The Bible, however, is expendable; occasionally useful, occasionally not useful.

Rather, I believe that the Bible coherently presents us with a picture of Jesus Christ. And the more we see it, the more opportunity we have to enter in, ourselves. Instead, the LC ministry gave us a culturally-derived interpretive model, which ultimately distracted us from the Bible and the Christ of God revealed therein.
08-12-2015 05:16 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
That now sounds so Asian mind to me now.

We should have told Lee that we preferred indigenous Christianity. ...And driven that Eastern Imperialist back to China.
We're all biased, you know. I've met with a Foursquare Gospel Church for some years now, and I'm well aware of the craziness of Aimee Semple McPherson, how she rode a motorcycle into church, disappeared into the desert and pretended that she was kidnapped. Etc etc. I just went in there one day; I was feeling adrift and went in and sat down. Was it the Lord's spirit, or fate or chance or luck (good or bad)? I dunno. I just went in and sat down. And there I am today. It's my indigenous Christianity, and it's arguably "poor, pathetic, fallen, dark, etc etc".

We all have bias. We use filters to sift through the mass of experiences streaming in. Many of these filters are culturally-derived, maybe almost all. What's pernicious about Lee's filters, in particular, is that he couldn't see them, wouldn't admit that he had any, and convinced a bunch of us likewise. We endured beating after beating (sometimes literally - see bro Ohio's testimony of the GLA experience), all the while convinced that it was pure and heavenly. "Glorious church life, feasting on such a rich store" - remember that song? Our portion in the LC was supposed to be rich, high peak, glorious, and pure and without mixture, while everyone else's experience was poor. But that, my friends, is a culturally-derived view, and model. It was an effective glue for the LC 'social contract', but still was human culture. Many of us got damaged or even spiritually destroyed, in the various storms and turmoils, but the model lived on.

But it's important to see it for what it really is. Yes, there's a lot of non-LC, non-Asian despotism out there, elevating of persons and lording over others. This particular brand, however was Asian, and its unfamiliarity helped mask it for what it was. Then, when things went south, we still didn't know what it was, and what was beating us so badly, so we toughed it out, convinced it was 'of the Lord', when really it was 'of men'.

'Covering the brothers'. That preserves the network. Leadership survives, network survives. Look what happened to the Mars Hill church group without Mark Driscoll. It imploded. 20,000 members to nada.

'Positive for the ministry'. The ministry is the life-blood of the network. No ministry, no network. So we must continually prop up and promote the ministry. Even when it feeds us crap, we must smile and say, "Yummy."

'Our leader is(or was) a spiritual giant'. Promote the leader, promote the group.

'Even when he's wrong, he's right'. Never question leadership. That is Asian culture.

'Get in line, and follow the person in front of you'. Asian practice. Watchman Nee's organizational scheme in the Little Flock.

'Everyone must be absolutely identical'. Conformity is good because it doesn't threaten group cohesion. We can't have individuals here. That leads to disharmony. Individuality might lead to chaos. We must, at all costs, preserve the network. Conscience, truth, justice - forget about it. Preserve the network.

'Don't waste your time' with the poor, weak, sick, and aged. They can't be used to build the network. Instead, get the useful 'good building materials'. Don't waste precious resources on those who can't pay you back in this age. This is Asian culture, without pretense of biblicality.

And so on. If I tried I could probably think of a dozen or twenty more LC-isms. And in many of them there's a strong Asian flavor. Sometimes it's pretty overt, with no Biblical covering. Usually, though, it's carefully reasoned out in scripture. But they came to scriptures with a cultural bias, or lens, or filter, and reasoned out a system based on that bias, and then exported it. Yes it is imperialism. Cultures are good at that. The Chinese aren't the first. But certainly that seems to be what happened here.
08-11-2015 07:12 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Just look the other way, give a free pass and "cover the brothers".
That now sounds so Asian mind to me now.

We should have told Lee that we preferred indigenous Christianity. ...And driven that Eastern Imperialist back to China.
08-11-2015 06:39 PM
Terry
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Lastly, look how Lee told us to overlook his "messy kitchen" while he built the perfect church life to consummate the New Jerusalem. But nobody else's kitchen got a free pass. Because it wasn't his. So you can see how subjective it was - he could see everyone else's fallen culture but not his own.

"Who can discern his own errors?" Psalm 19:12
Just look the other way, give a free pass and "cover the brothers". Focus on the "meat" and not on the "bones".

Come to think of it, it's dangerous to ignore the bones. Especially when eating fish, it you don't "take heed" of bones, you might choke on it.
08-11-2015 04:09 PM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
how much was actually Chinese culture, and how much was fallen man
Authoritarian models are not unique to the Orient. But notice how well this one ran, while other models came apart at the seams. Because this variant had a large, pliable membership base in "the virgin soil of China", while the man-lording and man-elevating aspects were carefully hidden behind rhetoric and argumentation to fool the foriegners. It is only when you see the statements like "everybody get in line with the person in front of you" and "every church must be exactly identical" to you really see it for what it is. Oriental despotism, pure and simple.

Comparing this model to the RCC, the RCC looks almost benign. Would Desiderius Erasmus have survived in the Lee church? No chance.

And Nee & Lee sold it so well to us, because they believed it. It was in their blood, in the air they breathed. So they really sold it well. You have to give them credit for that.

Lastly, look how Lee told us to overlook his "messy kitchen" while he built the perfect church life to consummate the New Jerusalem. But nobody else's kitchen got a free pass. Because it wasn't his. So you can see how subjective it was - he could see everyone else's fallen culture but not his own.

"Who can discern his own errors?" Psalm 19:12
08-11-2015 02:02 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
From Teresa Zimmerman-Liu's paper:

For Kipnis (1997:8) what is actualized in guanxi rituals is the network of relationships that “in fact constitute one’s self” and the “families, villages, and perhaps any other social group one could name.” Thus, guanxi
practices and relationships form the warp and weft of Chinese societies, and foreign institutions, such as capitalism or Christianity must negotiate their form with respect to guanxi rituals, when they enter a Chinese society.
Quote:
Originally Posted by aron
I think that if you never get this stuff you'll never understand the LC.
Ya got that right. Just understanding the Chinese words "quanxi" and "Ganqing" opens a deeper understanding of Lee's system, or a deeper ganqing."

Quote:
Originally Posted by from Wiki
"The term gǎnqíng is often used in comments by the government of the People's Republic of China, and is sometimes mistranslated[citation needed] when used in this context. Often one will see a statement that an action "hurts the feelings of the Chinese people."[1] This statement is better translated as an action that "offends the Chinese people."[citation needed] When used in this context the statement is actually implicitly threatening that should the action continue, cooperation would not be forthcoming in the future.
"hurts the feelings of the Chinese people" sounds a whole like "hurts the feelings of body" bantered about by LC leadership.

The body metaphor in the New Testament may be communistic, but it's head is Christ, that's obvious in the metaphor (we aren't actually the physical body of Christ).

'Offends the Chinese people' and 'offends the body' would be abstracts that would easily mingle in Lee's mind. It would come as natural as walking and breathing to Lee. In essence, Lee couldn't help but bring the Chinese model to the west. It constituted him. He picked it up in his cult-ure. He saw it with deep gǎnqíng.

I've always thought the LC's exemplar model was the Rome Catholic Church. That just proves I think in western terms.

But now I see the exemplar model was really the Chinese system. "Authority and Submission" by Nee, is exactly that system.
08-11-2015 02:02 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
But the Asian model needs a "Spritual Giant" (LSM term), a "super apostle" (Paul's term) to give it social cohesion. And the rest of the Body, the People or Party or Church or whatever they call it, are defined in how they prop up the Maximum Brother. So in the PRC you had Chairman Mao. How could you not support Chairman Mao? Even today, 40 years after his death, you cannot criticize Mao. Social cohesion demands that we uplift the center and head. So a person becomes the stand-in for the State.

And the LSM variant was that "the ministry" should be supported. They called it "the practicality of oneness". How could you say that you are one, if you don't support the ministry? So a fallen, fleshly man becomes the stand-in for the kingdom of heaven. To me it's a completely culturally-derived model. It's "normal" for Nee and Lee, because that's their culture. And they did an impressive job of selling it to the naiive Westerners. Some of us even held on through all the "storms" and "rebellions" and "turmoils" that such a model engendered.
Since we saw very similar dynamics with James/Jerusalem, pope/Rome, Darby/London, Nee/Shanghai, and Lee/Anaheim, how much was actually Chinese culture, and how much was fallen man, lusting for power, and mis-using Biblical principles like oneness for selfish gain?
08-11-2015 11:46 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

From Teresa Zimmerman-Liu's paper:

For Kipnis (1997:8) what is actualized in guanxi rituals is the network of relationships that “in fact constitute one’s self” and the “families, villages, and perhaps any other social group one could name.” Thus, guanxi
practices and relationships form the warp and weft of Chinese societies, and foreign institutions, such as capitalism or Christianity must negotiate their form with respect to guanxi rituals, when they enter a Chinese society.


I think that if you never get this stuff you'll never understand the LC. Conversely, once you get it, all that 'weird' stuff makes perfect sense; suddenly you have a coherent narrative. The self is identified in conjunction with its larger social structure. So meaning and value are derived from that larger form.

The problem is, Jesus upended the conventional values of the social model. Jesus taught that the great "Spiritual Giant" on earth is really the least in the kingdom. And the littlest "Small Potato" is the greatest. So the LC model works on earth, but it violates the basic spiritual principles of heaven that it was supposed to build towards. Just another human-oriented, Babylonian Tower. And this one got pretty high, because we didn't see it for what it was, and we turned over everything - what was it the Age Turners pledged? Their lives, their income, jobs, relationships, families, etc. Stacking bricks toward heaven.
08-11-2015 11:41 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
We.. are finally getting down to the nut of Nee and Lee's ministry; that it's modeled after the Chinese communistic model.
It's eerily similar, with "Great Leap Forward" - style master plans pushed at whim by the Jefe Maximus, with no input from flunkies other than, "Great idea, Chief!!" Only yes-men allowed. All others will be summarily executed.

And Witness Lee openly envied the Red Guards of Mao; all he had to work with were the stupid "mooing cows" of the LC.

But Witness Lee didn't model himself after the Commies, but rather both the Commies and Lee's LC had to conform to standard Asian cultural social contracts to thrive. As do all human collective enterprises, to some degree - they have to account for cultural norms, expectations, and tastes. The peril was that we weren't supposed to have anything but heavenly culture in the LC, so when we got repeatedly trampled by the elephants which didn't exist, we just had to dust ourselves off and pretend nothing was wrong. And so it got wronger, and wronger, and wronger.

The "flavor" of the LC is definitely Chinese. But you aren't supposed to admit that.
08-11-2015 10:26 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
In Asian society, I see a great emphasis on belonging to a social web of reciprocal relations.

Here is Teresa Zimmerman-Liu:

Quote:
ted by Nigel Tomes
T. Zimmerman-Liu’s other paper seeks to “describe in detail how an indigenous Chinese Protestant group—the Local Churches—reconstituted guanxi during the twentieth century. It will show how in the process of redefining guanxi to make its members committed Christians, the Local Churches also Sinicized Christianity.” (Teresa Zimmerman-Liu, “From ‘Children of the Devil’ to ‘Sons of God’: The Reconfiguration of Guanxi in a 20th Century Indigenous Chinese Protestant Group,” p. 1, Department of Sociology, University of California, San Diego, Working Paper) She also asserts that, “The Local Church founders further sought to emphasize the elements of scriptural and historical Christianity that would most appeal to their audience of Republican-era (1911-1949) Chinese people.” [T. Zimmerman-Liu, “From ‘Children of the Devil’ to ‘Sons of God’...” p. 2 (emphasis added)] Again she says, “The Local Churches reconstituted guanxi relationships among their members, and they also Sinicized their version of Christianity.” (T. Zimmerman-Liu, “From ‘Children of the Devil’ to ‘Sons of God’...” p. 3 )
And the LSM variant was that "the ministry" should be supported. They called it "the practicality of oneness". How could you say that you are one, if you don't support the ministry? So a fallen, fleshly man becomes the stand-in for the kingdom of heaven. To me it's a completely culturally-derived model. It's "normal" for Nee and Lee, because that's their culture. And they did an impressive job of selling it to the naiive Westerners. Some of us even held on through all the "storms" and "rebellions" and "turmoils" that such a model engendered.
I think you drive home good and valid points. And are finally getting down to the nut of Nee and Lee's ministry; that it's modeled after the Chinese communistic model.

By the way,

From “Children of the Devil” to “Sons of God”: The Reconfiguration of Guanxi in a 20th Century Indigenous Chinese Protestant Group
By Teresa Zimmerman-Liu

can be found at: http://sociology.ucsd.edu/graduate/d...oSonsofGod.pdf
08-11-2015 07:01 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
In Chinese culture, it's not the Western, egalitarian, "We hold these rights to be self-evident, that all men are created equal" idea that forms the basis of the social contract, but rather that people are valued only so much as they add value to the system, or network, of human relations.
In Asian society, I see a great emphasis on belonging to a social web of reciprocal relations.

Here is Teresa Zimmerman-Liu:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Tomes
T. Zimmerman-Liu’s other paper seeks to “describe in detail how an indigenous Chinese Protestant group—the Local Churches—reconstituted guanxi during the twentieth century. It will show how in the process of redefining guanxi to make its members committed Christians, the Local Churches also Sinicized Christianity.” (Teresa Zimmerman-Liu, “From ‘Children of the Devil’ to ‘Sons of God’: The Reconfiguration of Guanxi in a 20th Century Indigenous Chinese Protestant Group,” p. 1, Department of Sociology, University of California, San Diego, Working Paper) She also asserts that, “The Local Church founders further sought to emphasize the elements of scriptural and historical Christianity that would most appeal to their audience of Republican-era (1911-1949) Chinese people.” [T. Zimmerman-Liu, “From ‘Children of the Devil’ to ‘Sons of God’...” p. 2 (emphasis added)] Again she says, “The Local Churches reconstituted guanxi relationships among their members, and they also Sinicized their version of Christianity.” (T. Zimmerman-Liu, “From ‘Children of the Devil’ to ‘Sons of God’...” p. 3 )
Now, the Bible also presents us with parables of one-talented, two-talented, and five-talented servants. And Paul said that as star differs from star in glory so do the believers. Some shine more brightly than others. (1 Cor 15:41)

But the Asian model needs a "Spritual Giant" (LSM term), a "super apostle" (Paul's term) to give it social cohesion. And the rest of the Body, the People or Party or Church or whatever they call it, are defined in how they prop up the Maximum Brother. So in the PRC you had Chairman Mao. How could you not support Chairman Mao? Even today, 40 years after his death, you cannot criticize Mao. Social cohesion demands that we uplift the center and head. So a person becomes the stand-in for the State.

And the LSM variant was that "the ministry" should be supported. They called it "the practicality of oneness". How could you say that you are one, if you don't support the ministry? So a fallen, fleshly man becomes the stand-in for the kingdom of heaven. To me it's a completely culturally-derived model. It's "normal" for Nee and Lee, because that's their culture. And they did an impressive job of selling it to the naiive Westerners. Some of us even held on through all the "storms" and "rebellions" and "turmoils" that such a model engendered.
08-11-2015 06:46 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
And that's why I'm amazed that us westerners fell for Lee's Oriental mythology.

I think the reason for that is because it's so framed by the Bible that Lee's Oriental mythology is not easily recognized. The Bible masks it.
You don't get to see the "real Lee" until you are waaaaay into the forest. That's the problem. It all seems so Bible-based, because it's carefully presented to hide the "rest of the story". Then at some point they tell you something that is totally at variance with the Bible, and by then you have a hook in your mouth.

Even the stuff that's directly from the Bible is way unbalanced. It's like they obsess on 10% of the text, use 20 or 30% to prop up their obsession, distort another 20 or 30% to pretend to complete the picture, and ignore the rest. If you quote them a verse that's not covered by "the ministry", they just stare blankly at you as if you're speaking Swedish.
08-10-2015 01:30 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I think you've summarized my argument in a nutshell. I would merely add that we're social creatures, prone to hives and flocks and schools and churches and whatever we want to call ourselves collectively. But Witness Lee packaged and sold a Chinese variant, pure and simple.

So the idea common in the Occidental West, since at least the Enlightenment Era of Jefferson and Madison and Locke, of give-and-take, with checks and balances, had no place with the Apostle of the Age. The "Authority and Submission" stuff had a veneer of Biblicality but it was culture-driven, sure 'nuff. And stuff like "We must all be absolutely identical, with no differences" and "Everybody should know who is in front of them and get in line" are pure Orientalisms. No Bible involved. Pure, raw human culture. Not even a pretense of spirituality. But we were mesmerized and followed along, anyway. It is amazing, what a con job. And we fell for it.
I fell so hard for the Oriental that I married one in the LC. That pretty much lasted until we left the LC.

But I remain spellbound by it. For example, I read Joseph Campbell's Masks of God series. It's a four book series:
  1. Primitive Mythology
  2. Oriental Mythology
  3. Occidental Mythology
  4. Creative Mythology

I read all of them but Oriental. I saved that last because I knew it would be his best work. I left that hanging for over a decade. Then around 3 yrs ago I decided to finally read it. By that time I had a Kindle reader (thanks to the sister that helped me marry in the LC long long ago).

But Masks of God wasn't offered in digital format. So I sent an email to the Joseph Campbell Foundation about it. I'm a member. I was told they were working on it, and lo and behold they had Oriental Mythology finished. And a digital copy was sent to me.

I spent days binge reading it. It's a great book. I'm still spellbound by the Orientals. But I see it thru Occidental eyes, or thru Campbell's Creative Mythology, the culmination of Western thought.

And that's why I'm amazed that us westerners fell for Lee's Oriental mythology.

I think the reason for that is because it's so framed by the Bible that Lee's Oriental mythology is not easily recognized. The Bible masks it.

In short, the Occident took the Bible to the Orient, Nee and Lee picked up on it, and Lee brought the Oriental version of the Bible to the Occident.

And we westerners found the Oriental version of the Bible new and attractive ... and ... AND ... fell for Lee's Oriental hive culture and mentality.

It's like Lee slipped us a mickey -- a date raped drug, so to speak -- in his Bible Kool-Aid, took our virginity, and screwed us ... like his son did to the married sisters in LSM, metaphorically speaking.
08-10-2015 01:24 PM
Terry
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Later, Witness Lee resurrected the same model in the USA, with interestingly similar patterns. First, throw off the yoke of Religion. We answer only to Jesus. Then, spread to all the cities of the earth. All local and autonomous. Then, consolidation began - we all have to be One. See the classic RecV footnotes in Revelations 2 and 3. All churches have to be absolutely identical.
This is not unity, but uniformity.
08-10-2015 11:45 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
So Lee used the body of Christ and "ye are the branches I am the vine" to export Chinese hive culture to America.

Makes sense to me. The New Testament can be very communistic. And Lee used it that way.

It amazes me that Americans fell for it. But how could they not? Lee used the Bible.
I think you've summarized my argument in a nutshell. I would merely add that we're social creatures, prone to hives and flocks and schools and churches and whatever we want to call ourselves collectively. But Witness Lee packaged and sold a Chinese variant, pure and simple.

So the idea common in the Occidental West, since at least the Enlightenment Era of Jefferson and Madison and Locke, of give-and-take, with checks and balances, had no place with the Apostle of the Age. The "Authority and Submission" stuff had a veneer of Biblicality but it was culture-driven, sure 'nuff. And stuff like "We must all be absolutely identical, with no differences" and "Everybody should know who is in front of them and get in line" are pure Orientalisms. No Bible involved. Pure, raw human culture. Not even a pretense of spirituality. But we were mesmerized and followed along, anyway. It is amazing, what a con job. And we fell for it.
08-10-2015 09:54 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I wanted to come back to the point of my first post here on this thread. Imagine a flock of birds or a school of fish moving together through space, and suddenly they all shift direction. It is impressive, even mesmerizing. How do they do it?

Now look at Watchman Nee: first he sold the idea of "autonomy" and "independence" in the local church, then called the Little Flock. In the 1920s and 1930s whole congregations moved away from the Western-affiliated model and to Nee's model. The Methodists had done the hard work of conversion and now Nee's model was, they complained, "stealing the sheep". But in fact the sheep were voting with their feet. No more foreign church affiliation, but the true, 'normal' church of the Bible.

Then Nee reversed course, dramatically. Suddenly he discovered the 'Jerusalem Principle', in which one church was the HQ and everybody had to line up. 'Handing Over' followed suit. Not just the local, autonomous, independent church but the Mother Church became the focus. Also Church Leadership. Who's the Big Boss?

And they all followed suit. How could all these people reverse course so dramatically? I can understand Nee's motives, but what of the thousands, even tens of thousands, who immediately followed suit? I believe they were hard-wired with a cultural imperative which made building up the Collective a prime directive. Both the original "autonomous" directive, which expelled foreign affiliation/domination, and the "Jerusalem" directive, which consolidated power, direction, and coordination, were seen as building up the Network/Hive/Collective. So in both cases they would be followed en masse. There is no contradiction.

The only problem was when the Little Flock Hive ran into a bigger Hive. The Commie Hive. Then, the 'People' and the 'Party' won over, and the Little Flock was seen as a counter-revolutionary movement which needed to be expunged. Just as WN brooked no deviance to his Authority Model, so neither did the Communists. And they had the guns, so the fall of the house of Nee was great.

Later, Witness Lee resurrected the same model in the USA, with interestingly similar patterns. First, throw off the yoke of Religion. We answer only to Jesus. Then, spread to all the cities of the earth. All local and autonomous. Then, consolidation began - we all have to be One. See the classic RecV footnotes in Revelations 2 and 3. All churches have to be absolutely identical.

Ideas like Blending, Fellowship, Coordination were now the new norm. We must have the Practicality of the Body of Christ. In other words, just as Nee said 50 years earlier, Find out who is in front of you, and get in line. So culture triumphs, in the end.
So Lee used the body of Christ and "ye are the branches I am the vine" to export Chinese hive culture to America.

Makes sense to me. The New Testament can be very communistic. And Lee used it that way.

It amazes me that Americans fell for it. But how could they not? Lee used the Bible.
08-10-2015 09:49 AM
HERn
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I wanted to come back to the point of my first post here on this thread. Imagine a flock of birds or a school of fish moving together through space, and suddenly they all shift direction. It is impressive, even mesmerizing. How do they do it?

Now look at Watchman Nee: first he sold the idea of "autonomy" and "independence" in the local church, then called the Little Flock. In the 1920s and 1930s whole congregations moved away from the Western-affiliated model and to Nee's model. The Methodists had done the hard work of conversion and now Nee's model was, they complained, "stealing the sheep". But in fact the sheep were voting with their feet. No more foreign church affiliation, but the true, 'normal' church of the Bible.

Then Nee reversed course, dramatically. Suddenly he discovered the 'Jerusalem Principle', in which one church was the HQ and everybody had to line up. 'Handing Over' followed suit. Not just the local, autonomous, independent church but the Mother Church became the focus. Also Church Leadership. Who's the Big Boss?

And they all followed suit. How could all these people reverse course so dramatically? I can understand Nee's motives, but what of the thousands, even tens of thousands, who immediately followed suit? I believe they were hard-wired with a cultural imperative which made building up the Collective a prime directive. Both the original "autonomous" directive, which expelled foreign affiliation/domination, and the "Jerusalem" directive, which consolidated power, direction, and coordination, were seen as building up the Network/Hive/Collective. So in both cases they would be followed en masse. There is no contradiction.

The only problem was when the Little Flock Hive ran into a bigger Hive. The Commie Hive. Then, the 'People' and the 'Party' won over, and the Little Flock was seen as a counter-revolutionary movement which needed to be expunged. Just as WN brooked no deviance to his Authority Model, so neither did the Communists. And they had the guns, so the fall of the house of Nee was great.

Later, Witness Lee resurrected the same model in the USA, with interestingly similar patterns. First, throw off the yoke of Religion. We answer only to Jesus. Then, spread to all the cities of the earth. All local and autonomous. Then, consolidation began - we all have to be One. See the classic RecV footnotes in Revelations 2 and 3. All churches have to be absolutely identical.

Ideas like Blending, Fellowship, Coordination were now the new norm. We must have the Practicality of the Body of Christ. In other words, just as Nee said 50 years earlier, Find out who is in front of you, and get in line. So culture triumphs, in the end.
Culture is as human as sex, and just as sex can be used illicitly so can culture. (Note to Awareness: I'm not saying sex is bad, I personally am in favor of it!)
08-10-2015 06:55 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
If you can imagine a flock of birds flying together, and each bird has to watch out for the one in front and on the side. Each bird instinctively processes all that to keep in the space allotted, even though that space is changing, because the flock is moving. Or think of a school of fish swimming together; you get my point, I hope. At that time I really saw something of the Asian preference for "order". If everybody is free to move about in an unconstrained way, then they will bump into each other.

This is completely different from my upbringing. I grew up in the Western U.S. where there are wide open spaces and everybody has to be independent. You have to figure it out, and do it. You are not flying in a flock, but solo. The rugged individual is sort of the cultural model.

So Nee's model, and Lee's model, is a kind of Asian-leaning model, "that we would all have the same mind, and speak the same thing." The proper, orderly, harmonized church life is the conceptual vehicle that guides everything. So "Witness Lee is always right, even when he's wrong" is not so much a self-aggrandizement (though he bought into it, to some degree) but rather a central organizing principle for an orderly functioning religious body. The Big Boss speaks and we all say "Amen". So if WL says that Solomon with all his foreign wives is a type of Christ and his bride, we say "Amen". Then, if in the next breath WL says that David is not a type of Christ because he was a sinner (he numbered Israel in his pride, he dallied with Bathsheba, had Uriah the Hittite killed, he -"gasp"- threw a stone at Goliath instead of forgiving him!) we still say "Amen". Because good order in the church requires us to say "Amen" whenever WL speaks. So all of this is perfectly reasonable, even essential, in the Asian-created mind. So the "truth", or reality, of "good order in the church" is greater than the requirement for consistency when interpreting the Bible, for example.
I wanted to come back to the point of my first post here on this thread. Imagine a flock of birds or a school of fish moving together through space, and suddenly they all shift direction. It is impressive, even mesmerizing. How do they do it?

Now look at Watchman Nee: first he sold the idea of "autonomy" and "independence" in the local church, then called the Little Flock. In the 1920s and 1930s whole congregations moved away from the Western-affiliated model and to Nee's model. The Methodists had done the hard work of conversion and now Nee's model was, they complained, "stealing the sheep". But in fact the sheep were voting with their feet. No more foreign church affiliation, but the true, 'normal' church of the Bible.

Then Nee reversed course, dramatically. Suddenly he discovered the 'Jerusalem Principle', in which one church was the HQ and everybody had to line up. 'Handing Over' followed suit. Not just the local, autonomous, independent church but the Mother Church became the focus. Also Church Leadership. Who's the Big Boss?

And they all followed suit. How could all these people reverse course so dramatically? I can understand Nee's motives, but what of the thousands, even tens of thousands, who immediately followed suit? I believe they were hard-wired with a cultural imperative which made building up the Collective a prime directive. Both the original "autonomous" directive, which expelled foreign affiliation/domination, and the "Jerusalem" directive, which consolidated power, direction, and coordination, were seen as building up the Network/Hive/Collective. So in both cases they would be followed en masse. There is no contradiction.

The only problem was when the Little Flock Hive ran into a bigger Hive. The Commie Hive. Then, the 'People' and the 'Party' won over, and the Little Flock was seen as a counter-revolutionary movement which needed to be expunged. Just as WN brooked no deviance to his Authority Model, so neither did the Communists. And they had the guns, so the fall of the house of Nee was great.

Later, Witness Lee resurrected the same model in the USA, with interestingly similar patterns. First, throw off the yoke of Religion. We answer only to Jesus. Then, spread to all the cities of the earth. All local and autonomous. Then, consolidation began - we all have to be One. See the classic RecV footnotes in Revelations 2 and 3. All churches have to be absolutely identical.

Ideas like Blending, Fellowship, Coordination were now the new norm. We must have the Practicality of the Body of Christ. In other words, just as Nee said 50 years earlier, Find out who is in front of you, and get in line. So culture triumphs, in the end.
08-08-2015 08:03 PM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Human culture possibly explains a lot here.
First off, the emergence of the Little Flock was a culturally-driven reaction to economic, cultural, and political imperialism by the west.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The Biographical Dictionary of Chinese Christianity had a brief biography of Watchman Nee (Ni) by G. Wright Doyle.

Here are a few excerpts ...

For a variety of reasons, including the anti-Western movement of the 1920s, many Chinese Christian leaders were seeking ways to form indigenous churches that would be free from Western missionary control. Having moved to the International Settlement in Shanghai in 1926, Ni constituted in 1932 a group of “apostolic” co-workers that would lead what became the Little Flock Movement: Wang Peizhen (Peace Wang) and Li Yuanru (Ruth Lee), with Ni himself as supreme. They soon grew from a small household gathering to a network of local churches.
Here is another quote, from a 2005 article in the magazine Church History. The author is Joseph Tse-Hei Lee, who teaches history at Pace University.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Calling for a return to the early forms of Christian fellowship as shown in the Book of Acts, Watchman Nee encouraged Christians to break away from the well-established denominational churches. He believed that the denominations had lost their faith in the biblical truth and become corrupted by their hierarchical structure. Apart from converting non-Christians, he "reconverted" regular churchgoers, members of denominational churches, and graduates of prestigious Christian mission schools. Many Chinese Christians left their denominations to join the Little Flock, to the extent that the Protestant missionaries in Fuzhou often accused the Little Flock of "stealing sheep." It was indeed very common for Christians of other denominations to "convert" to the Little Flock throughout the 1920s and 1930s. As Watchman Nee wrote on December 4,1932, "For three years now, more than ten places in Tsao Ning (Zaoning), of Kiangsu (Jiangsu), belonging to the [American] Presbyterians, more than ten places in T'ai Shuen (Taishun), of Chekiang (Zhejiang), belonging to the [China] Inland Mission, a number of places in Fukien (Fujian) of other sects, agreeing in doctrine, have already been amalgamated, have done away with their original name, changed the rules of pastors and leaders, and attached themselves to the Little Flock." Given his emphasis on the independence of local churches, many Chinese Christians found it irresistible to affiliate with the Little Flock. Thus, the theme of xenophobia and Western imperialism was a strong element in these conversions..
In Chinese culture, it's not the Western, egalitarian, "We hold these rights to be self-evident, that all men are born equal" idea that forms the basis of social cohesion, but rather it's the idea that people are valued only so much as they add value to the system, or network, of human relations. So once Nee and Company threw off the yoke of foreign domination, and then the "local" and "autonomous" part of the Little Flock could be done away with. Then it was the centralizing "Jerusalem Principle", because centralization also added value to the network. Centralization made the network more valuable.

It also explains why 30 years later Lee put his admittedly ne'er-do-well on Philip in charge of the Living Stream Ministry: because Philip was in the network of family. To have not given him some of the spoils of the flock would have been an unforgivable sin, for Lee's culture. Ditto for son Timothy and Daystar. A father couldn't abandon his children, no matter how scurrilous, reprobate, or unspiritual they may be. They're in the network. You have to honor the network, and give them something. Culture triumphs.

And Lee himself was the Top Dog, publishing all those books, so his ministry added the most value to the network. So the idea of his "ministry" became the stand-in for Jesus Christ. Those like EM, RG, BP who incessantly promoted the ministry added value to the network, and rose to become the Blendeds. Those who valued their conscience more than the network were disposable. It's all about the network: without the network you are nothing.

It also makes perfect sense that they constantly promoted the recruiting of "good building materials" and ignored the divine mandate to give to those who couldn't repay you in this age. Because it's all about adding value to the network. People who don't repay you in this age add nothing to the network: forget about them.

It also explains why the Party and the People remain unchallenged in China decades after its main Western analog, the Russian Soviet Federation, collapsed. The Chinese culture values the system, not the individual. The individual only has value as much as he or she is related into the system. Put "church" instead of "Party", and suddenly you have the Lord's Recovery and you have the same thing. Instead of Chairman Mao adding to value to the system it is the Apostle of the age, God's humble bondslave Witness Lee.

It also explains how the "Lord Changshou" sect of the Shouters broke off. Elevate Lee to Godhood, and you as the chief value-adder (promoting Lee to God status) get elevated, also. Just like BP and RK and EM: elevate Lee, and elevate yourself. Lee added value, so you promote Lee's ministry, then you add value to the network. And it's just what Lee himself did by calling Nee the Seer of the Divine Revelation. Lee elevated Nee as the top value adder, then he (Lee) as Nee's chief promoter got to be next in line. Pretty simple math, really. Add value to the system, and your value goes up, also. Your value is proportional to the value that you add to the system.

There's nothing wrong with that system, per se, and it's certainly not inferior to the Western model - it works, after all - but it is still "the way of the Gentiles".
02-18-2015 10:44 PM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Then why was China the "virgin soil?" Why not Czech, Germany, or Bohemia? Why not India? I'm still purging my memory of Lee's tall tales of revisionist church history.
Because the Middle Kingdom is in the middle of the Chinese map. Just as North America is at the top of the North American map. "Ethnocentrism," I believe the textbooks call it -- and we can fill in the blank for whatever ethnos it happens to be, wherever it happens to be.

Just the way of the world, I guess. Not such a bad thing -- so long as we're able and willing to acknowledge it for what it is.
02-18-2015 10:47 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The "recovery" narrative held that Christianity had by fits and starts improved itself, essentially starting with the Protestant Reformation of Martin Luther.
I have numerous complaints about the so-called Recovery narrative as told ad infinitum by Nee, Lee, and the Blendeds.

Why choose Luther? Not taking anything away from his service to God, but he readily admitted he was a "Hussite." According to my study of church history, the Czech Jan Hus should have been the first "Recovery" minister. According to Nee's prophetic commentary of the 7 churches in Revelation, Luther should have represented Pergamos since he was so attached or "married" to the world, drawing his strength from the German nobility, most of which cared only to be loosed from Rome.

Then why was China the "virgin soil?" Why not Czech, Germany, or Bohemia? Why not India? I'm still purging my memory of Lee's tall tales of revisionist church history.
02-18-2015 09:40 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

The "recovery" narrative held that Christianity had by fits and starts improved itself, essentially starting with the Protestant Reformation of Martin Luther. Then, on "fresh soil", God raised up WN, who was able to do a syncretistic (combining) work and take the best of Darby, Luther, Murray, Govett, Penn-Lewis et al and get a "vison for the age". Now, why can't you or I come along, take a piece of WN and a piece of Billy Graham and a piece of Robert Schuller and a piece of Rick Warren (or whomever) and do our own syncretistic work? Why was WN's "normal church" vision supposed to be the culmination of all visions, only to be supplemented by his "closest co-worker" WL, and after that to be supplemented by nothing at all? Ultimately this narrative reveals itself as not being based on the Bible. Pray tell us, what scriptural revelation shows us one spiritual giant per age, eventually terminating in the age of "small potatoes"? What scripture supports the idea that "everyone must get in line" behind the Maximum Leader (ML)? Etc, etc, etc? No, I argue that this kind of narrative arises from, and (importantly) takes root and grows upon, the shifting and untrustworthy sands of human culture. Therefore we said, "Amen, amen", even when the narrative drifted further and further from scripture, because our LC culture dictated that we be "one" with the ML, even if the ML deviated significantly from scripture, morality, and common sense.
02-18-2015 06:32 AM
aron
Re: An interesting web site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
It may be difficult to overstate how much of a role these cross-cultural misunderstandings and blind spots play/ed into the recovery dynamic, at least in North America.
The LC apologist might say, so what? So WN and WL were Chinese, and the current expression in North America bears a somewhat Asian stamp. So what? Martin Luther was German, and this perhaps "colored" his ministry, and the Protestant Reformation, arguably a Northern European reaction to the Roman church. So what if Lutheran or Calvinistic thought then had Germanic tinges? John Wesley's Methodism was arguably colored by his English-ness. Jonathan Edwards was a New England Puritan colonist, and his thinking reflected his upbringing. Dwight Moody was a typical Midwesterner - open, expansive, energetic, and optimistic. So what? So what if there are Asian aspects to LC culture?

My reply is this: we don't realize how many blind spots we have. Nee's "normal church" was read through a cultural lens. Period. If you don't see this, you don't see it. But Nee's so-called normal church was his normal church, not the normal church for everyone at every time. Doesn't mean that the European/North American church model, imported onto Chinese soil, which Nee reacted to, wasn't corrupted. It was. But the Nee model was also corrupted. We all are. That's just the way it is. The one who thinks he sees most clearly is the most blind of all.

So the blind spot in the LCs is big as a house, big as a bucket loader running over everyone and everything. Big as a tank in your living room. And then one wonders why the furniture is always crushed. So, blame it on the "storms" and "turmoils" and "rebellions" inherent in humanity, in life itself. And therefore one is unable to learn, to grow, to change. Always remaining true to the "vision", or lack thereof.
02-18-2015 12:24 AM
rayliotta
Re: An interesting web site.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Here is and article by someone at the Sorbonne in Paris, delineating differences in thought patterns, behaviors, and groups, in Asia versus the West.

http://www.ceibs.edu/ase/Documents/E...orum/faure.htm
Thanks for the link, aron. The article touches on relevant topics. It may be difficult to overstate how much of a role these cross-cultural misunderstandings and blind spots play/ed into the recovery dynamic, at least in North America.
02-14-2015 04:10 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
To OBW's post, the fact that Nee and Lee didn't see the Asian-ism of their interpretive position becomes a big problem. With Nee and Lee, the Maximum Brother (them) must be right at all times, else the whole collective enterprise will be in peril. An alternative, I believe, is not to become racist or xenophobic and decry the Chinaman Lee while asserting my own American-isms as the (superior) solution, but to realize that we all have bias. We all have interpretive predispositions. The person who thinks that (s)he alone is "cutting straight the word of the truth" will be the most deviant. Lee insisted on being that designated "straight cutter" -- so he and his followers went right into the ditch.
This makes so much sense in light of Chinese history: some 5,000 years of dynasties, reinforced and validated by their wise and beloved philosopher Confucius.
02-14-2015 04:07 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
And I think that Witness Lee abandoning John Ingalls, his "closest co-worker" for his profligate son Philip is neither shocking nor incongruous if you remember the ingrained values he brought with him into the "glorious local church". Family was family and church was church. With the Caucasians, the local church would easier over-ride family ties. Even though he encouraged us to call one another "brother and sister", Lee clearly valued his son Philip more than his "brothers" Max Rappoport or John So or Bill Mallon. And the rest of us essentially lived in a personality cult, as we had to take his values (Philip Lee over John Ingalls and Bill Mallon) as our own.
I found this to be the absolute pinnacle of hypocrisy, yet to W. Lee and his merry band of Blendeds, this made absolutely perfect sense. For Max Rapoport to confront Philip Lee about his adultery and molesting the female volunteer staff at the LSM offices was akin to the unforgiveable sin. How dare Max R. for thinking that Witness would place righteousness above the Lee blood ties -- for his "sin," Max could not be washed in the blood of the Lamb. Rather, Lee would make Max into Azazel, the proverbial scapegoat to protect his own darling son. Then Lee branded Max as a rebellious leper, who needed to go outside the camp proclaiming, "unclean, unclean, unclean."
02-14-2015 03:54 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I believe that we all read things with a subjective cultural lens. We behave individually, but in so doing we at least partly act out values that we absorbed from our parent culture. Watchman Nee found a vision of the "normal church" in the text of the NT, and to some degree it was arguably truer, scripturally, than the European/American model that had been imported on Chinese soil. But he also read into it his ideas of what was normal. And "everyone line up with the person in front of you", for example, was probably a value derived from his societal heritage. In America he'd have been laughed out of the room, but in China it was taken as from God.
In his book Authority and Submission, Nee taught that we as believers, when we walk into a room with other Christians, should immediately think about who we should submit to. Western believers under his influence somehow thought this was spiritual, since we never heard this before in America, or the Bible for that matter.
02-14-2015 12:32 PM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I believe that Nee and Lee were foolishly believing that Chinese culture somehow was the answer to being Christ-like. They probably didn't even recognize it is such. How much do we do the same (meaning we, generally, as Americans). We believe that capitalism is the Christian method of economics. We think that being independent and doing things for yourself is a Christian virtue. And thinking that my thoughts are better and therefore right (every man does what is right in his own eyes).
I know the discerning reader will take my previous remarks (post #279) and say that they know of Americans who were devoted to their non-LC parents, and Asians who were indifferent to non-LC family. True, but the generalization stands, as does Lee's remark that corn-fed Midwestern boys were larger than their Asian counterparts. There is always the small Iowan boy and the large boy from Shandong province in China. But on average if you make remarks about size within different populations, people will understand. Generalizations exist because there are observations behind them.

I believe that we all read things with a subjective cultural lens. We behave individually, but in so doing we at least partly act out values that we absorbed from our parent culture. Watchman Nee found a vision of the "normal church" in the text of the NT, and to some degree it was arguably truer, scripturally, than the European/American model that had been imported on Chinese soil. But he also read into it his ideas of what was normal. And "everyone line up with the person in front of you", for example, was probably a value derived from his societal heritage. In America he'd have been laughed out of the room, but in China it was taken as from God.

And I think that Witness Lee abandoning John Ingalls, his "closest co-worker" for his profligate son Philip is neither shocking nor incongruous if you remember the ingrained values he brought with him into the "glorious local church". Family was family and church was church. With the Caucasians, the local church would easier over-ride family ties. Even though he encouraged us to call one another "brother and sister", Lee clearly valued his son Philip more than his "brothers" Max Rappoport or John So or Bill Mallon. And the rest of us essentially lived in a personality cult, as we had to take his values (Philip Lee over John Ingalls and Bill Mallon) as our own.

To OBW's post, the fact that Nee and Lee didn't see the Asian-ism of their interpretive position becomes a big problem. With Nee and Lee, the Maximum Brother (them) must be right at all times, else the whole collective enterprise will be in peril. An alternative, I believe, is not to become racist or xenophobic and decry the Chinaman Lee while asserting my own American-isms as the (superior) solution, but to realize that we all have bias. We all have interpretive predispositions. The person who thinks that (s)he alone is "cutting straight the word of the truth" will be the most deviant. Lee insisted on being that designated "straight cutter" -- so he and his followers went right into the ditch.
02-14-2015 09:27 AM
OBW
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
For an example of the cultural divide, look at attitudes toward family. Jesus taught to "hate your mother and father and sister and brother" for the sake of the kingdom. But the Chinese value of respect for elders trumped that. The Caucasians, without a cultural lens to receive it, took it literally.
And I recognize the truth in what you said.

But "hate your mother and father and sister and brother" was not the only thing Jesus said on the subject. And it was probably a form of hyperbole for the purpose of putting things into proper perspective. God and his kingdom comes first. Not mother, father, sister, and brother are at the bottom or are not even in consideration.

There is something that we do not like about the Chinese culture. And there are things that we should see where our own culture is not God's culture. I believe that Nee and Lee were foolishly believing that Chinese culture somehow was the answer to being Christ-like. They probably didn't even recognize it is such. How much do we do the same (meaning we, generally, as Americans). We believe that capitalism is the Christian method of economics. We think that being independent and doing things for yourself is a Christian virtue. And thinking that my thoughts are better and therefore right (every man does what is right in his own eyes).

There is much that is wrong with the LCM and with the substitution of Chinese worship of elders, family, etc., for the life that Christ calls us to live. That makes so much of the LCM a spiritual sham. But to the extent that we simply substitute American values for "Christian" living, we are no better.

I start singing "Substitute" by the Who when I consider all the "this is simply that" stuff that Lee pushed on us. And the one that mostly comes through is "Substitute your lies for fact."
02-14-2015 07:42 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

For an example of the cultural divide, look at attitudes toward family. Jesus taught to "hate your mother and father and sister and brother" for the sake of the kingdom. But the Chinese value of respect for elders trumped that. The Caucasians, without a cultural lens to receive it, took it literally.
02-11-2015 03:47 PM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
"Covering Noah" is applied as a Biblical phrase for "saving face".
As long as a Bible phrase or section could be found, cultural influence could be hidden. But other Bible phrases could be found to support other values, and actions, like "shout it from the rooftops".

And I'd like to expand that further. Just as Americans didn't understand Chinese cultural values which Lee brought over, so Nee & Lee in 1930s-40s China didn't understand the Near Eastern cultural values of the first century, which underlay so much of the text, which understandings had vanished with a combination of time and social upheaval. Every church rupture (the Great Schism, the Protestant Reformation) moved the collective discussion further from the original dialogue, and left readers reliant on what was seen there in the bare text.

And, Post-Protestant, we saw what we wanted to see, what our cultural values primed us to see. Nee's "normal church" sprang out from the text like Athena from the forehead of Zeus. And "covering Noah" came along with it. To Nee & Lee, it was normal, proper and good. Like Lee suddenly changing course, that was just being pragmatic. Anything else would be foolish, because it would clash with his value systems.
02-11-2015 12:59 PM
Terry
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Thanks Aron. "Covering Noah" is applied as a Biblical phrase for "saving face".
02-11-2015 10:16 AM
aron
Re: An interesting web site.

Quote:
Chinese culture is commonly described as the complex product of three systems of thought: Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. A Chinese may reflect all three and more at the same time while not caring too much about any of them (Hsu, 1963). History brought later additional figures in the global picture such as the Chinese patrimonial bureaucrat (Weber, 1964) followed in recent times by his Maoist version (Lieberthal & Oksenberg,1986).

In China, what can be observed are behaviors. Behind the behaviors, deeper in human personality, are anchored the values. Values elicit behaviors, explain them. Before surveying the set of values that makes the Chinese so specific to Westerners, we have to touch upon something even less visible: Chinese perception and thinking. Intellectual processes refer to highly contrasting models between China and the West.

Westerners have developed an analytical approach to problems by segmenting issues and dealing with them as and when required. The Chinese do not operate this way. They develop a global perception, what is usually labeled as a holistic approach. As pointed out by Chen (1999), "there is no doubt that Chinese people see the world differently from Westerners for two obvious reasons: the radically different nature of the Chinese language, and the isolation in which Chinese civilization developed".

Holism distinguishes itself from Western concepts of formal logic and causal relationship or from analytical approaches such as the Cartesian method by considering the object as deeply embedded in a context, thus assessing the entire situation in order to capture and accommodate the many forces involved (Redding, 1990). "When you will have understood the whole, then you will understand the parts" as the Chinese saying goes (Faure, 1999). A typical application of the holistic approach is found in Chinese medical practice. Instead of dealing with the problem or its symptoms, the Chinese physician "considers the relationship of the different parts of the body and then adjusts the relationship through the use of multifunctional herbal remedies" (Chen,1999).

The Chinese discourse itself demonstrates what Kaplan (1966) calls the "oriental argument development". Analyzing the Anglo-Saxon way of reasoning, concludes that it develops linearly, following either an inductive process from facts to conclusion, or a deductive approach starting from a general principle that will be applied to particular cases. As opposed, the oriental way of reasoning has a "beating around the bush" structure, including a lot of digressions and slowly moves by concentric circles to the core of the subject.

This approach is consistent with the language and the writing. In Chinese, there is no alphabet. To understand the meaning of a character, one has to circle and capture the whole ideogram. One different stroke within 10 or 20 that make the character, and this character has a totally different meaning.

The Chinese approach problems the way they write an envelope, they go from the global to the specific: country first, then city, street, number, family, person itself. The structure is similar with a business card: family name comes first, then the given name. The date also expresses the same basic rationale: the year comes first, then the month, then the day.

Western culture has developed concepts in order to separate ideas from the object. To conceptualize is a way to intellectually distance oneself, to dominate reality. As underlined by Nakamura (1964), the Chinese way of thinking puts the emphasis on the perception of the concrete, leading to the non-development of abstract thought. Chinese thinking as a concrete thinking is highly consistent with the language because ideograms come from pictograms, which are simplified representations of reality.

This absence of concern for abstraction should not be interpreted as evidence of simplicity in Chinese thinking but rather be viewed as an art of "synthetic cognition" providing the Chinese with the ability to grasp the "big picture" (Lang, 1998). Thus, in negotiations, Chinese use concrete reasoning, metaphors, proverbs, stories, and traditional sayings. Metaphors are concrete expressions drawn from real life that integrate complexity by keeping a sense of the whole with its ambiguities and contradictions.

Western thinking aims at being objective, at separating facts and judgment. Chinese thinking does not operate so. It expresses a need to evaluate, judge, and take side in any situation. Every one is good or bad; behavior is correct or wrong. There is no neutral position. Chinese thinking is basically normative (Granet, 1950) and fulfils a social function which is to orient attitudes in any situation. The behavior of any foreigner working with Chinese is thus constantly evaluated. This explains the connotations that are traditionally associated to foreigners, be they critical or laudatory such as "Barbarians", "Foreign Devils" or "Foreign Guests". In the same fashion, asking someone his name does not simply consist of saying "what is your name?" but at least "what is your precious name?". The person concerned in turn will answer using a matching formula such as "the insignificant person that I am is called... ".

Western logic is based on the "non contradiction" principle. A fact is true or untrue. In China, the binary logic does not work. Things are not black or white, but black and white, yin and yang at the same time. This explains the concept of "socialist market economy" which sounds so strange in the ears of many Westerners, but does not disturb a single Chinese, as far as consistency is concerned.

In the past, the Chinese ideal was to behave as a Confucian and think as a Taoist (Chen, 1999). Yin and yang, basic component of all things composing the universe should not be viewed as opposites but as complementary. "Balance is the great schema of the cosmos" (Bond & Hwang,1995). Thus, it gives birth to a very specific rationale labeled as "associative thinking" (Faure, 1999). When Mao Zedong writes that the "law of the unity of the contraries is the basic law of nature and society" (Mao, 1965) it is not so much a principle of the Leninist-Marxist theory that is expressed by this words but the Chinese culture in deepest and most traditional aspect. Integrating contradictions allows reversibility and thus opens a wide range of possible actions under the heading of pragmatism.

These ways of framing reality have behavioral consequences in the relations among Chinese but also on the way Chinese interact with Foreigners. These behaviors refer to underlying values showing what is desirable by contrast with what is considered as negative. Among the most prominent basic values characterizing Chinese society are the following: face, indirect action, trust, and centrality.
"Integrating contradictions allows reversibility and thus opens a wide range of possible actions under the heading of pragmatism." Suddenly Witness Lee's behavior, and the apparent discrepancy between teaching and behavior, makes more sense.

Quote:
Face saving, face restoration, and face giving are crucial values. The Chinese live in the eyes of the others and have a quasi-pathological preoccupation with reputation. Social judgment as a personal asset and as a family asset is considered as vital. The worst thing that can happen to the Chinese is to lose face, to feel humiliated. In this regard, the 19th century with events like the Nanjing and the Tianjin treaties and the sack of the Summer palace, explain a lot of what happened during the 19th century in terms of humiliation, national bitterness and restoration of reputation. The fact that one of the current best sellers in China is titled "China can say no" deeply expresses such a concern for the recovery of face.

"Every person has a face as every tree has a bark" as a Chinese saying tells. To lose one's credit, respectability, deference is equivalent to "losing one's eyes, nose, and mouth" (Hofstede & Bond, 1988: 8). This explains a number of situations that make the Westerners in China somehow puzzled. For instance, not showing ignorance is more important than telling the truth. Maintaining face has priority over the accuracy of the answer. In relations between foreign and Chinese enterprises, face concerns lead to references to "technical cooperation" instead of "technical assistance". A foreign businessperson has to realize that one does not sell to China, but it is China that buys.

The regulating mechanism of social behavior is the feeling of shame instilled in the mind of every Chinese. Face may not only be enhanced or lost but also "traded" by giving face to the counterpart who in turn has to reciprocate. This very specific skill has been raised to its most extreme refinements in the Chinese tradition of "face-work". By shaping a "powerful and attractive image when dealing with others" (Bond & Hwang, 1995: 225), the allocator strengthens the interaction and connection, thus increasing the probability of reciprocation from the receiver. Thus, face-work operates as a "social lubricant" (Redding & Wang, 1995: 286).

Face has also a negative value because it serves as an "invisible knife" (Fang, 1999: 150) to kill genuine feelings. Without a sharp sense of shame, China with its lose legal framework and weak sense of discipline would have been a disorganized society deprived of social cohesion. In this sense, face is a founder value of social order.

Indirect action is a tribute to Confucius, a way to preserve harmony. The whole society should be the replication of a large family. Social harmony is achieved through moral conduct, controlling emotions, avoiding conflict, even competition. Thus, in relationships things are suggested, not told straight away. In traditional China only devils move on a straight line (Faure, 1999: 202). Suggestiveness is expressed in traditional arts such as painting, poetry as well as in philosophy. Even Chinese medicine bans excessive expressions of emotions. The restriction of externalized feelings can be observed in daily activities. For instance, when people meet or leave each other, they never kiss. As the Chinese saying goes "people have emotions like trees have worms". Thus, the Confucian gentleman keeps a perfect control over himself whatever the circumstances may be. Saying "no", being negative would be perceived as a clear lack of good manners.

As most of what is conveyed is implicit, Westerners when dealing with Chinese people must develop a real talent for decoding needs and wants of the counterpart. Otherwise, they could be totally misled by polysemic signals such as the Chinese smile, which as an objective fact, may lead to opposite interpretations. A Chinese smile can be perceived as a mask of politeness, an opaque wall behind which one observes the other. It can express cooperation, or denial, joy or anger, certainty or total ignorance, trust or distrust, pleasure or embarrassment (Faure, 1999: 204).

Westerners in China tend sometimes to think that what their Chinese counterparts practice the best is the art of dodging. This is not to be seen as a trick to deceive foreigners but an immediate product of the doctrine of harmony and the face consciousness. The point is to prevent a polarization of positions that could result in a conflicting situation. Consequently divergences in interests are not openly stated, leaving a rather opaque situation in which the foreign counterparts exhaust themselves while trying to understand what is really going on. The Westerner may thus realize that the Chinese discourse is meaningful for what it does not tell.
Understanding "face", to me, is essential to understanding Chinese ideas of social harmony. It is not about right and wrong, but about going on together. Therefore TC had to bow and scrape before WL, but he won't do it before the Blendeds. The first preserved the principle of face, but the second violates it. I think the Dong situation is probably similar. WL was Dong's "father", but not the current Blendeds.

Also TC's treatment of underlings, and his expectation that they would carry that treatment back to their "localities". It is culturally sensible.

Quote:
In the tough, reckless, merciless global Chinese society, there is no room for trust. Suspicious is the norm. Trust is a requirement for doing business that has to be built. Thus, any business starts with establishing a relationship. This will hopefully thwart dirty tricks and hidden agendas of all sorts. One must develop a "protective sphere" made of friends, relatives with whom business can be carried out at minimal risk. This explains the eagerness of the Chinese to develop personal networks or rely on the family, meeting thus a basic Confucian value.

The legal framework is still a weak and fuzzy framework, not always as helpful as it could be. In a way, signing a contract is a tangible proof of lack of trust. It demonstrates that the conditions for cooperation are not completely fulfilled. In China the very essence of a transaction is not legal but relational. Laws are currently viewed as made to be circumvented. This explains the car drivers' behavior in the cities, who as soon as they can, break themselves of abiding by the most basic traffic rules (Faure, 1995). This very special relation to law at least partly explains the Chinese habit of copying, counterfeiting products. In the Chinese culture, cleverness and shrewdness are viewed as superior to strength and law and understood as means to serve the revenge of the smartest on the strongest.

Another reason lies in the methods of education traditionally based on the repetition of the model offered by the masters' works. A third cause draws its source in the Chinese sense of fairness, a major driving force in Chinese behavior. For instance, in the case of famous brands, consumers view the price as too high but long for maintaining their social status. Thus, the most obvious solution is for them to buy counterfeits..
This article centered around the idea of doing business. But when you think of family, and it's focus of relations, and basis of mercantilism (doing business) it makes sense. If one's network is family, even extended family (cousins and uncles), versus purely mercantile relations, this may explain the orientation toward "trust" and "cheating" that we find inexplicable. "Us" and "them" are framed differently from the social groupings of the West, which are often less traditionally structured. Phillip and Timothy Lee were family, and Max Rappoport was not. "Glorious church life" be damned.

Quote:
At the time of Qing dynasty, the world map drawn up by Matteo Ricci was regarded as absolutely unacceptable because China was not shown as the center of the world (Wong, 1963). Nowadays China is still the Middle Kingdom. The Chinese operate from concentric circles: China, center of the world; Beijing, center of China (with the whole country at Beijing time); Zhong Nan Hai (the new forbidden city where political power stays) is the heart of Beijing. The geographical and political structures completely overlap.

Centrality applies as well to cultural issues. Everything is assessed from a sino-centric point of view. The reference is China, Chinese views, Chinese needs, Chinese values, Chinese tastes, and Chinese food. While negotiating with Chinese leaders, Kissinger had to permanently deal with what he conceptualized as the "Middle Kingdom Syndrome".

Fang (1999: 26) considers that "a strong sense of cultural superiority is ingrained in the Chinese mind". The "xenophobic" Chinese view is for him obvious and starts already with "the name "China", the character of which literally translates as the "Middle Kingdom", because the Chinese always held themselves culturally in high esteem, viewing their culture and nation as lying in the center of human civilization".

The Imperial Records used to register any foreign mission to China as a tributary delegation. Nothing would escape from such a civilizing appropriation. The raw Barbarian starts to be cooked when getting close to the Chinese fireplace, source of all civilization. Thus the past strongly permeates the present and the foreigner aiming at the Chinese market is often viewed as a predator and, with the technology he brings along, as a modern tributary..
"The raw Barbarian starts to be cooked when getting close to the Chinese fireplace, source of all civilization."

So WL could tell SB "You just lost your virginity". Clash of the cultures. I won't say, "Suddenly it all makes sense to me", but really the importation of different values and expectations explains a lot.
02-11-2015 06:49 AM
aron
An interesting web site.

Here is and article by someone at the Sorbonne in Paris, delineating differences in thought patterns, behaviors, and groups, in Asia versus the West.

http://www.ceibs.edu/ase/Documents/E...orum/faure.htm

I liked the idea that the language shapes thought processes, and the presentation of thought processes in language. Western thought, post-Descartes, developed in a more linear fashion. Oriental thought is holistic.

So Lee's "This proves that", may be easily rejected with a few linear refutations. I can show causality elsewhere. But perhaps there was a larger theme that Lee's linear forays were aimed at building. So to dismiss his thinking simply because one shows inconsistencies in his thought may be writing him off too quickly. Perhaps there are larger themes ("the ministry"?) which consistently emerge within "God's economy" and "God becoming man to make man God" and "the processed Triune God", etc.

Also interesting to me was the idea of the value of relationships. In Chinese society, strangers are less trusted and family is more trusted. So I shouldn't be shocked if the "family" of the local church, no matter how it is touted, is pretty weak. If Philip and Timothy Lee was allowed to crash the "church life" party, we shouldn't be too shocked. Also if we see social ties remaining at arms length, even after years of close association.

In contrast, Western relationships become intense, quickly. Westerners will become emotionally vulnerable, and accessible, to each other much more easily. Think of all the young idealists that flooded the local church scene circa 1965-75. Witness Lee welcomed them all. And he dumped them just as quickly. Because he had bigger fish to fry. We shouldn't be too shocked if the "love" moved elsewhere. Different values were at play.
09-07-2014 10:45 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post


Gotta get me one of those so I can look hip down in Sheol.
Sheol = Hades. Just stay out of Tartarus, the "deep, gloomy part of Hades, used as a dungeon of torment and suffering."
09-07-2014 09:05 AM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
I saw this Star Wars picture on a t-shirt today. The caption read, "Empire Photo Booth."

http://ep.yimg.com/ay/stylinonline/s...-t-shirt-7.jpg


Gotta get me one of those so I can look hip down in Sheol.
09-07-2014 08:47 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Unlike God we can't see into hearts ... or minds. But Asians and Westerners look differently on the outside, that we can see, so why not on the inside too, where we can't see?

That dismissing a common human moral core, of course, if such a thing exists. (I think it does.)

Personally, I love the Asian mind. And Asian women (I married one - a Lee).

Zeek recently quoted from Joseph Campbell, "Masks of God - Oriental."

Long back I read the Masks of God "Primitive," "Occidental," and "Creative." I skipped "Oriental" cuz I knew it would be Campbell's best in the series, and was saving and savoring it.

Well years passed. Many years actually. Then, a couple of yrs ago I got the itch for it again. I have the paper bound book, but wanted it for Kindle. I went searching for it at Amazon, only to find no such format existed. I'm a member of the Joseph Campbell Foundation so I emailed them about the series coming out in ebook format. Was told they were working on it but only had Oriental ready. Long, short, of it, they sent me a free copy. Long, short, of that, Zeek quoted from it.

I say all that because Oriental mythology goes back before Abraham ; before the Bible was a thought in the mind of God, prolly, if that's possible ; before, definitely, the thought of a Messiah entered into the mind of man (improbable prolly, cuz man has always needed a savior - we're born needing a savior - our mother), but you know what I mean.

As a result the Asian culture, history, mythology, and mind, is/are complex.

It's been mentioned that Nee and Lee's theology, specially as to their Delegated/Deputy Authority, was primed by their Asian background.

But actually, it was Christianity that was primed by the Asian background. Oriental mythology is replete with human gods, with virgin births, and much of the same symbols, found in Christianity.

And that makes it all the more difficult to figure out how much the Asian mindset influenced what became know as the local church movement ... also headed by gods ... coincidentally. How do you like that?
09-07-2014 02:25 AM
Eph
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
Eph, your observation re similarities between the Chinese and Italian cultures is very interesting to me. Care to say more?

Is it too much of a stretch to suggest that the present culture of the Lord's Recovery is in many ways a "hybridization" of Chinese culture and Italian culture?
Rayliotta, my stereotype opinion draws from movies, news, and some students of mine who happened to be Italian offsprings. I wish English is my first language so that I can say more. Others see your question might say more? Since you brought up the Godfather movies, I watched them years ago I had worries if the LSM has gone to that path. Money and power play some roles in Catholic and LSM while both hold similar cultures.
09-07-2014 01:29 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eph View Post
Rayliotta, I concur that it also exits among other cultures. I think it might be the degree of its practice. (Also, that Italian's culture greatly resembles that of Chinese--family value and that.) When I was a little younger, I always thought brothers John Ingalls and Gene Gruhler will be picked for their maturity.
BTW, I just love the Godfather movies.
Eph, your observation re similarities between the Chinese and Italian cultures is very interesting to me. Care to say more?

Is it too much of a stretch to suggest that the present culture of the Lord's Recovery is in many ways a "hybridization" of Chinese culture and Italian culture?
09-07-2014 01:13 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
That is what Witness Lee claimed for himself. To question that proposition was rebellion. Therefore, even to ask what evidence Lee based his claim marked the inquirer as a disobedient rebel by the definition of Nee and Lee. Faithful saints did not question and strove to shed their individuality.
I saw this Star Wars picture on a t-shirt today. The caption read, "Empire Photo Booth."

http://ep.yimg.com/ay/stylinonline/s...-t-shirt-7.jpg
09-06-2014 11:49 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
This issue of "individuality" has also been a struggle for me. Before I had any realization of what was really going on in the LC, I was convinced that I needed to rid myself of all individuality.
When push came to shove, so to speak, I think what ultimately saved me from the cult under Mel Porter was the fact the my family came out of what was known as "Land Betwixt the Rivers," now Land Between the Lakes, Kentucky. Where everyone, being cut off from outside support, had to be stoutly self sufficient and independent. That was passed down to me from my family. As well as disdain and distrust for the Tennessee Valley Authority, who chased my family off their land like they were driving Native Americans on The Trail of Tears.

Truth is, I had no problem being part of the LC hive, as long as I believed I was in Gods' hive. It was when I discovered I was actually in a man made hive that my independence could no longer be held in check.

Since leaving the LRC I've made it a point to be an individual, & independent. A fact that disturbs even our loving host UntoHim.
09-06-2014 05:56 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
This issue of "individuality" has also been a struggle for me. Before I had any realization of what was really going on in the LC, I was convinced that I needed to rid myself of all individuality.

The more I tried to do this, the more frustrated I got. What I realized is that while some in the LC may have the appearance of not having their own individuality, it is all a pretense, an act that they put on.

Once someone's time is completely occupied by the LC, individuality doesn't mean much because they don't have time to be themselves. That's what I think this teaching is really about. They don't want people having hobbies or activities that are going to "distract" someone from being 100% dedicated to LC activities.

Of the Christians I know outside the LC, I haven't met any that are expected to spend as much time doing church activities as in the LC. In the LC it is highly looked down upon to have other interests outside the LC.
Thanks for sharing. Your experience seems to have been much like mine. And yes the ministry discouraged us from pursuing interests and activities outside of the Local Church.
09-06-2014 05:37 PM
Freedom
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

This issue of "individuality" has also been a struggle for me. Before I had any realization of what was really going on in the LC, I was convinced that I needed to rid myself of all individuality.

The more I tried to do this, the more frustrated I got. What I realized is that while some in the LC may have the appearance of not having their own individuality, it is all a pretense, an act that they put on.

Once someone's time is completely occupied by the LC, individuality doesn't mean much because they don't have time to be themselves. That's what I think this teaching is really about. They don't want people having hobbies or activities that are going to "distract" someone from being 100% dedicated to LC activities.

Of the Christians I know outside the LC, I haven't met any that are expected to spend as much time doing church activities as in the LC. In the LC it is highly looked down upon to have other interests outside the LC.
09-06-2014 03:26 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
Oh, dear zeek, we have a rich ministry in the local churches, and this ministry has revealed to us that Witness Lee is the minister of the age!

You do know that, don't you?

You do know that, don't you?
That is what Witness Lee claimed for himself. To question that proposition was rebellion. Therefore, even to ask what evidence Lee based his claim marked the inquirer as a disobedient rebel by the definition of Nee and Lee. Faithful saints did not question and strove to shed their individuality.

I was a true believer who tried to rid myself of individuality for years before I gave up on it. I am thankful now that I failed. If God created everything that is then God created me the individual that I am. A good God does not create bad stuff. If you believe that God is good then you can believe that you are essentially good too.

Based on Biblical principles, I am using my God-given ability to reason and my individuality to express who I am. Nee and Lee were wrong about these matters. Their teaching was psychologically damaging to me and many others because it was untrue and contrary to life. I stand against these aspects of their teaching.

I don't consider myself a rebel. I consider Nee and Lee to be in error on these matters and I submit the people that they have hurt over the years as evidence. The conception of humanity which is embodied in documents like the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution, and the Gettysburg Address represents an advance which Nee and Lee did not appreciate or understand. It's a higher conception of humanity than theirs.

We gave up our western heritage too easily for the ministry of Lee/Lee. Their conception, contrary to the claim that it was a "recovered item", was actually a step backwards into something barbaric. We were foolish to abandon our human rights for the Nee/Lee system. When I saw that the church authorities including Lee did not live by the standards that they required of the rest of us, I left. I should have left after reading the Jack Sparks' observation in The Mind Benders that Local Churchers were required to give up the normal use of our minds because it was true as a review of Nee and Lee's published works verifies.
09-06-2014 03:02 PM
Terry
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
I emboldened several phrases to show that Witness Lee condemned not only individualism which is a kind of philosophy but individuality. Actually, his definition of individuality is mistaken. Individuality is more basic that caring for yourself. Individuality is synonymous with selfhood. It is the state or quality of being a separate person with a particular point of view. I don't believe the Bible ever characterizes individuality as a sin. In fact, the Bible teaches that God created us as individuals. So where does Lee's notion that individuality is a sin come from? Are there precedents for such condemnation in the "Asian mind"?
For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.
1 Corinthians 12:12,27

The Bible doesn't deemphasize individuality, but points out as individual members, we make up the Body.

Whether it's philosophy or something else, there's a teaching the individuality must be suppressed for the good of the collective. Better description is a group-think culture in the recovery if you don't submit to peer pressure, you're being individualistic and doing your own thing. If you don't submit to "fellowship" given by the blended brothers, you're being individualistic and doing your own thing. In the blended brother's imaginative reality, you are trying to gain a following of your own.
09-06-2014 01:39 PM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
Good point. We weren't seeing the teaching in the Bible because it wasn't there. Meanwhile, Mr. Lee's individuality was intact and on display in videos in meeting after meeting and he was forging a comfortable life for himself and his family here in America the home of individualism. What a hypocrite! If individuality was a sin he was the chief of sinners in the church of his own creation.
Oh, dear zeek, we have a rich ministry in the local churches, and this ministry has revealed to us that Witness Lee is the minister of the age!

You do know that, don't you?

You do know that, don't you?
09-06-2014 01:37 PM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This quote is a real eye-opener, even for me, one who was active in the LC's for 30 years and studied them at a distance for another 10.

Here Lee creates another "deadly sin" where the Bible has none: INDIVIDUALITY. To a typical member of the Recovery, it seems that here Lee sees something that the rest of us cannot see. Thus members are convinced that this is once again proof that Lee is the Oracle of God.

Actually not. No one else "sees" it because it is not in the Bible. God never condemns individuality because He created us that way. Then why would Lee create such a new sin? Because then he can secure his power and control over others. Since he alone can "see" who is an INDIVIDUAL and who is not, he alone can determine who should be esteemed in his version of the body of Christ. This simple measure alone completely insulates his sphere of influence from all interference.
One time I visited a church that happened to have an 80-90% Chinese and Korean membership. I don't know the history, but apparently there had been, in the past, many more "white American" folks in this particular locality.

I remember the guy I was staying with (who's Chinese) making a comment, something to the effect of, that there was something wrong w/the American saints. I guess that's how people who stay deal w/the fact that so many people are leaving -- to assume that there must be something wrong w/those leaving. Couldn't possibly be that there are troubles within the group that are causing the exodus. Couldn't be.
09-06-2014 09:35 AM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This quote is a real eye-opener, even for me, one who was active in the LC's for 30 years and studied them at a distance for another 10.

Here Lee creates another "deadly sin" where the Bible has none: INDIVIDUALITY. To a typical member of the Recovery, it seems that here Lee sees something that the rest of us cannot see. Thus members are convinced that this is once again proof that Lee is the Oracle of God.

Actually not. No one else "sees" it because it is not in the Bible. God never condemns individuality because He created us that way. Then why would Lee create such a new sin? Because then he can secure his power and control over others. Since he alone can "see" who is an INDIVIDUAL and who is not, he alone can determine who should be esteemed in his version of the body of Christ. This simple measure alone completely insulates his sphere of influence from all interference.
Good point. We weren't seeing the teaching in the Bible because it wasn't there. Meanwhile, Mr. Lee's individuality was intact and on display in videos in meeting after meeting and he was forging a comfortable life for himself and his family here in America the home of individualism. What a hypocrite! If individuality was a sin he was the chief of sinners in the church of his own creation.
09-06-2014 06:04 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

This quote is a real eye-opener, even for me, one who was active in the LC's for 30 years and studied them at a distance for another 10.
Quote:
In order to be blended together, we need to confess the sin of individualism and individuality. Our individualism is a kind of principle, a kind of policy, with us. Every one of us has his own policy, his own human logic. Our individualism becomes our logic. The educational system in America educates the young people to be individuals. The logic of being an individual, or the logic of individualism, is a sin in the eyes of God. We need to condemn individualism and individuality. In our church life we may be full of individuality. We may not care for others but may care only for ourselves. Even though we may love others, we may not care for others. In loving others we may still care for ourselves. This is individuality. We need to confess this sin. As long as such germs remain within us, we cannot be one and we cannot be blended. [Fellowship Concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups by Witness Lee]

Here Lee creates another "deadly sin" where the Bible has none: INDIVIDUALITY. To a typical member of the Recovery, it seems that here Lee sees something that the rest of us cannot see. Thus members are convinced that this is once again proof that Lee is the Oracle of God.

Actually not. No one else "sees" it because it is not in the Bible. God never condemns individuality because He created us that way. Then why would Lee create such a new sin? Because then he can secure his power and control over others. Since he alone can "see" who is an INDIVIDUAL and who is not, he alone can determine who should be esteemed in his version of the body of Christ. This simple measure alone completely insulates his sphere of influence from all interference.
09-06-2014 04:18 AM
Eph
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
Eph, while I agree with what you're saying, I have often wondered how much the ideas of revering one's father, and "handpicking" as you say, are specific to Asian culture. What I mean to say is that surely there are other cultures in which these attributes are very strong? This is a topic I would find very interesting to explore.

I would use, as an example, the culture of loyalty and filial respect as portrayed in The Godfather movies. (I don't use this example lightly -- I learned a lot about the culture of the Lord's Recovery from these movies. No kidding.) Think of Vito Corleone handpicking Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall's character) as consigliere.

I remember being told as a kid that Andrew Yu was Witness Lee's "right-hand man".
Rayliotta, I concur that it also exits among other cultures. I think it might be the degree of its practice. (Also, that Italian's culture greatly resembles that of Chinese--family value and that.) When I was a little younger, I always thought brothers John Ingalls and Gene Gruhler will be picked for their maturity.
BTW, I just love the Godfather movies.
09-06-2014 03:13 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eph View Post
"Lau Ba Ba" (Old Pa Pa), among a small circle, we called brother Lee that. That was when I was young and befriended his youngest son Mun-Su. Mun-Su was very nice to me. I met brother Lee a couple of times. For me, it'd never occur to me that I would find this forum my sanctury.

Aron started this thread for a reason and I hope that we will look into it further. Many practices might truly be derived from cultrual and ethnic upgrowings. Is it the "emperoric" mindset of ruling over his people but he is not aware of? In modern Japan, Japanese is worshiping their emperor as a god. The concept of mixing "emperor" and "god" together is prevailing in Japan.

"Hand Pick" and "Father to Son" practice is no doubt an Asian one. Why did brother Lee pick the "blended brothers"? Who are these brothers and their background? Did he pick them to balance among their cultural backgrounds? Does financial play a part during the process? Why is it his sencond oldest son in charge of the LSM, not the others?
Eph, while I agree with what you're saying, I have often wondered how much the ideas of revering one's father, and "handpicking" as you say, are specific to Asian culture. What I mean to say is that surely there are other cultures in which these attributes are very strong? This is a topic I would find very interesting to explore.

I would use, as an example, the culture of loyalty and filial respect as portrayed in The Godfather movies. (I don't use this example lightly -- I learned a lot about the culture of the Lord's Recovery from these movies. No kidding.) Think of Vito Corleone handpicking Tom Hagen (Robert Duvall's character) as consigliere.

I remember being told as a kid that Andrew Yu was Witness Lee's "right-hand man".
09-06-2014 01:02 AM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eph View Post
"Lau Ba Ba" (Old Pa Pa), among a small circle, we called brother Lee that. That was when I was young and befriended his youngest son Mun-Su. Mun-Su was very nice to me. I met brother Lee a couple of times. For me, it'd never occur to me that I would find this forum my sanctury.

Aron started this thread for a reason and I hope that we will look into it further. Many practices might truly be derived from cultrual and ethnic upgrowings. Is it the "emperoric" mindset of ruling over his people but he is not aware of? In modern Japan, Japanese is worshiping their emperor as a god. The concept of mixing "emperor" and "god" together is prevailing in Japan.

"Hand Pick" and "Father to Son" practice is no doubt an Asian one. Why did brother Lee pick the "blended brothers"? Who are these brothers and their background? Did he pick them to balance among their cultural backgrounds? Does financial play a part during the process? Why is it his sencond oldest son in charge of the LSM, not the others?
Quote:
In order to be blended together, we need to confess the sin of individualism and individuality. Our individualism is a kind of principle, a kind of policy, with us. Every one of us has his own policy, his own human logic. Our individualism becomes our logic. The educational system in America educates the young people to be individuals. The logic of being an individual, or the logic of individualism, is a sin in the eyes of God. We need to condemn individualism and individuality. In our church life we may be full of individuality. We may not care for others but may care only for ourselves. Even though we may love others, we may not care for others. In loving others we may still care for ourselves. This is individuality. We need to confess this sin. As long as such germs remain within us, we cannot be one and we cannot be blended. [Fellowship Concerning the Urgent Need of the Vital Groups by Witness Lee]
I emboldened several phrases to show that Witness Lee condemned not only individualism which is a kind of philosophy but individuality. Actually, his definition of individuality is mistaken. Individuality is more basic that caring for yourself. Individuality is synonymous with selfhood. It is the state or quality of being a separate person with a particular point of view. I don't believe the Bible ever characterizes individuality as a sin. In fact, the Bible teaches that God created us as individuals. So where does Lee's notion that individuality is a sin come from? Are there precedents for such condemnation in the "Asian mind"?

Yes, it turns out there are. As Joseph Campbell points out in Oriental Mythology, in the Orient the ideal...
Quote:
"...is the quenching, not development, of ego. That is the formula turned this way and that, up and down the line, throughout the literature : a systematic, steady, continually drumming devaluation of the "I" principle, the reality function— which has remained, consequently, undeveloped, and so, wide open to the seizures of completely uncritical mythic identifications." [Joseph Campbell. Oriental Mythology (Kindle Locations 385-387). Joseph Campbell Foundation.]
09-06-2014 12:02 AM
Eph
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And if you are talking about the "acting god," then you might be right. He did tend to act like a god. And he did know his sect's movements on the earth because they did exactly what he told them to do.

"Lau Ba Ba" (Old Pa Pa), among a small circle, we called brother Lee that. That was when I was young and befriended his youngest son Mun-Su. Mun-Su was very nice to me. I met brother Lee a couple of times. For me, it'd never occur to me that I would find this forum my sanctury.

Aron started this thread for a reason and I hope that we will look into it further. Many practices might truly be derived from cultrual and ethnic upgrowings. Is it the "emperoric" mindset of ruling over his people but he is not aware of? In modern Japan, Japanese is worshiping their emperor as a god. The concept of mixing "emperor" and "god" together is prevailing in Japan.

"Hand Pick" and "Father to Son" practice is no doubt an Asian one. Why did brother Lee pick the "blended brothers"? Who are these brothers and their background? Did he pick them to balance among their cultural backgrounds? Does financial play a part during the process? Why is it his sencond oldest son in charge of the LSM, not the others?
09-05-2014 09:42 PM
UntoHim
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Even though the ground of the church lived on, Lee had written enough about it to no longer need to refer to Nee's writings as support. Lee was now established in his own mind as a standalone MOTA.
By the time I "came into the church" (circa late 1975) Watchman Nee was only mentioned as the revered (yet long, long departed) founder of the LC movement.

Of course, much later, I realized the abject hypocrisy of Lee's claims that he was "following brother Nee because he was the one who brought the recovery to all of us blind, mooing cows". Much (and by much, I mean MOST) of the teachings and practices in the Local Church today were invented out of whole cloth by Witness Lee. You will not find "calling on the Lord (oh Lord Jesus), or anything approaching "pray-reading", or calling other believers all sorts of derogatory epithets (blind, mooing cows, dead, etc, etc) in the writings of Nee. I'm not saying that some of the seeds of these unbiblical teachings and practices were planted by Nee, only that Witness took the errors of Nee and magnified them many times.
09-05-2014 01:10 PM
OBW
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
Lee's lengthy endorsement of everything Nee came after my time and may have represented a change in attitude on his part regarding Nee.
I note that your time in the LRC parallels mine almost exactly. I did leave a year later.

Funny that Lee would endorse Nee later than 86 when it would appear that while he continued to issue his version of everything Nee ever wrote, he sort of seemed to suggest that it was better to just read his own books. Once Lee got enough link to Nee, he seemed to push him aside, resurrecting him in the abstract where necessary to reassert his lineage, but seldom referring to any of Nee's material. Even though the ground of the church lived on, Lee had written enough about it to no longer need to refer to Nee's writings as support. Lee was now established in his own mind as a standalone MOTA.
09-05-2014 12:27 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post

In light of recent comments concerning Chinese "filial respect," this paragraph from the above link really stands out. In the eyes of the Recovery "faithful elect," here Lee challenges the motives of every other potential Née biographer, even calling on the Almighty Judge to guarantee the absolute veracity of his book Seer .... His aggrandizing claims about himself and Née are almost sickening to read.

Note that this book was released in 1991, just after squashing the so-called conspiratorial rebellion by Ingalls & Company, who demanded ministry accountability from Lee in the aftermath of numerous Phillip Lee scandals. Just as easily as he condemns the motives of those prophets sent by God to correct him, Lee claims heavenly endorsements for his new book.

Since the biography was written 14 years earlier in 1997, Lee goes further to cite in another place how this action linked him with the Apostle Paul, who also waited 14 years before unveiling that he had been carried away to the Third Heavens. (2 Cor 12.1-6)
During my time in the local churches from 1973 to 1986, brothers in authority discouraged me from reading Watchman Nee's book. The argument was usually that Witness Lee's writings represented the up-to-date flow of what God is doing on earth today. When I read Nee's books surreptitiously in private I often felt as if I was doing something a little naughty. But, I read them anyway because I found them better written and more interesting than Lee's. Lee's lengthy endorsement of everything Nee came after my time and may have represented a change in attitude on his part regarding Nee.
09-05-2014 10:00 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post

In light of recent comments concerning Chinese "filial respect," this paragraph from the above link really stands out. In the eyes of the Recovery "faithful elect," here Lee challenges the motives of every other potential Née biographer, even calling on the Almighty Judge to guarantee the absolute veracity of his book Seer .... His aggrandizing claims about himself and Née are almost sickening to read.

Note that this book was released in 1991, just after squashing the so-called conspiratorial rebellion by Ingalls & Company, who demanded ministry accountability from Lee in the aftermath of numerous Phillip Lee scandals. Just as easily as he condemns the motives of those prophets sent by God to correct him, Lee claims heavenly endorsements for his new book.

Since the biography was written 14 years earlier in 1997, Lee goes further to cite in another place how this action linked him with the Apostle Paul, who also waited 14 years before unveiling that he had been carried away to the Third Heavens. (2 Cor 12.1-6)
Ya have ta give Lee credit. He sure was gifted at making things up.

That was for entertainment and fun, we could say, if it weren't for the fact that the stories all lead to Lee being God's not to be questioned authority on the earth.
09-05-2014 07:09 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
But to write a biography of a certain person is not an easy and simple matter. Could what is written about that person be a genuine picture of him? Is the motive for writing proper? Is the writing accurate? What will the influence be? What will the issue be? After much consideration, my solution to all these points is this: Since I have been under Brother Nee's teaching, edifying, and perfecting, and since he was a brother I respected, observed, and weighed for a quarter of a century, the accuracy of my writing about him should be guaranteed. As to the motive, the heart-searching God is the Judge! As to the influence and issue, the merciful Lord is the blessing. Much endeavor has been exercised to avoid flattery, exaggerations, and the exaltation of men, and the Holy Spirit has been the Guide and Controller of this writing. Thus, I desire to see this writing accomplished unto the good pleasure of the Triune God for His rich blessing.


In light of recent comments concerning Chinese "filial respect," this paragraph from the above link really stands out. In the eyes of the Recovery "faithful elect," here Lee challenges the motives of every other potential Née biographer, even calling on the Almighty Judge to guarantee the absolute veracity of his book Seer .... His aggrandizing claims about himself and Née are almost sickening to read.

Note that this book was released in 1991, just after squashing the so-called conspiratorial rebellion by Ingalls & Company, who demanded ministry accountability from Lee in the aftermath of numerous Phillip Lee scandals. Just as easily as he condemns the motives of those prophets sent by God to correct him, Lee claims heavenly endorsements for his new book.

Since the biography was written 14 years earlier in 1997, Lee goes further to cite in another place how this action linked him with the Apostle Paul, who also waited 14 years before unveiling that he had been carried away to the Third Heavens. (2 Cor 12.1-6)
09-04-2014 08:36 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post

On a number of occasions when Lee had personal problems, he went to Watchman Nee for help. In one story Nee and Lee both blame themselves because Lee's wife thought she was going to die following an operation for which she was hospitalized. The moment Lee repented for his "inadequate consecration and in my love for the world", the enemy left his wife, and "the Lord gave her peace. " It's an odd story especially if one steps back from Lee's supernaturalist assumptions. Apparently, Lee's wife was delusional and was not actually going to die. Nee and Lee both thinking that they have sinned and caused the delusion. In the parlance of our time it was "all about them." In a more mundane reading of the facts, one might suppose that there was some kind of marital problem between Mr. and Mrs. Lee. Perhaps when he expressed his contrite feelings, she felt better. Of course, that would relegate the story to a domestic problem between to ordinary people in China. However, as we learn from Witness Lee, it was far more momentous than that.
Does any one have information about the death of Lee's first wife?

It has long been my suspicion, that the leverage which Lee's sons Timothy and Phillip held over their father, was related to the passing of their mother.
09-04-2014 01:44 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Now you get Lee's short introduction to the book. Nothing about him personally being called to ministry and waiting around teaching school for a few years.

I think the thing is that the LSM web site is designed to provide an entire book as if a single page. I note that if I start scanning through page ofer page, then hit the browser's "back" button, you are back at the LSM online books front page. Or the index of books to read. Each page within a book is provided as some kind of shifting content for a single web page. As far as the browser is concerned, you are just continually refreshing the same page.
The link is still working.

I just love this at the bottom:

Downloading this material, even for personal use, is prohibited.
Your IP address is ********* [11:56:57 AM (GMT -08:00), September 4, 2014].

I guess they're looking to sue, sue, sue. SOTA - Suer's Of The Age.

Is suing an Eastern thing? It's certainly not a Christian thing, or a Biblical thing.
09-04-2014 01:26 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Here are both of the stories I referred to as told by Witness Lee in Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age:


Quote:
In 1928, when I was about to leave the university, I considered serving the Lord full-time. I did not want to be a preacher on salary, but I did not know how to live by faith, so I went to Watchman Nee for fellowship. At that time he was quite lonely and greatly in need of co-workers who would be of the same mind. When I raised this matter, he did not encourage me in a careless manner to serve the Lord. He was neither influenced by his need for co-workers nor by the personal relationship between us. He simply told me not to wait until the Jordan waters opened, but to step into the water by faith—then the way would open before me. He knew that I lacked this kind of faith. I was waiting for the outward circumstances to change before beginning to serve the Lord. (Fifty years ago in China it was difficult to find anyone serving the Lord by faith like Watchman Nee.) Hence, I laid aside the thought of serving the Lord full-time and taught college for eight years.
Quote:
On a number of occasions when I had personal problems, I went to Watchman Nee for help. Not one time was I rebuked. He would simply ask, "What have you learned from the Lord?" He helped me realize that all things occur under God's hand and are working together for good to conform me to the image of His Son (Rom. 8:28-29).

On one occasion my wife entered the hospital for an operation. Following the operation, the enemy attacked her with accusations and caused her to think that she was about to die. This news was reported to Watchman Nee, and he and my sister went to visit her. He realized that she was under the accusation of the enemy and ministered to her from Revelation 12:11: "And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they loved not their soul-life even unto death." Then he telephoned me and confessed that his failure to help keep me in the Lord's fellowship had given the enemy ground to attack my wife. For this failure he asked my forgiveness. He fully realized that the warfare was not simply a matter for my wife alone, but that the warfare also required her husband and the church. This is why he asked me to forgive him. He realized that in order to fight against the enemy I needed the church and that there had been neglect on his part in being one with me. I told him, however, that it was not his fault; the fault lay in my inadequate consecration and in my love for the world. That is what gave the enemy the ground. Immediately I repented to the Lord. The moment I repented, the enemy left my wife, and the Lord gave her peace. The next morning when Watchman Nee's mother came to pray with her, she was able to sing praises to the Lord and enjoy the Lord's sweet anointing. This incident shows that Watchman Nee knew the ways of God. Through his spiritual discernment, my family was helped and was brought back to a complete union with Christ in our daily living.
09-04-2014 12:51 PM
OBW
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Zeek and I have discovered that LSM websites are shifty. That is, you can post a link, and it might work at first, but then something changes and the link no longer works.

So here goes a test:
Zeek mentions : According to Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age.
Here's the link : http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.c...=CMLPO9414R4IP

Let's see how long it works.
Now you get Lee's short introduction to the book. Nothing about him personally being called to ministry and waiting around teaching school for a few years.

I think the thing is that the LSM web site is designed to provide an entire book as if a single page. I note that if I start scanning through page ofer page, then hit the browser's "back" button, you are back at the LSM online books front page. Or the index of books to read. Each page within a book is provided as some kind of shifting content for a single web page. As far as the browser is concerned, you are just continually refreshing the same page.
09-04-2014 12:39 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Zeek and I have discovered that LSM websites are shifty. That is, you can post a link, and it might work at first, but then something changes and the link no longer works.

So here goes a test:
Zeek mentions : According to Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age.
Here's the link : http://www.ministrybooks.org/books.c...=CMLPO9414R4IP

Let's see how long it works.
09-04-2014 12:13 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
Of course, that would relegate the story to a domestic problem between to ordinary people in China. However, as we learn from Witness Lee, it was far more momentous than that. It was an episode that had cosmic historical consequences in the eternal purpose of the God in the universe.
Witness Lee, a legend in his own mind.

That last sentence is phenomenal Zeek. A real keeper.

I know Christians now, today, that think ordinary -- what I would consider synchronicity's -- experiences have divinely orchestrated cosmic historical consequences. Two that I'm talking to these days are of the Pentecostal persuasion.

One is a preacher. I've know him since kids. He's always been a narcissist ; always the life and center of the party.

And he still is narcissistic. Only now he's the center of what God is doing. God is using HIM HIM HIM.

Since I'm an old friend I leveled with him. I told him he's full of sh#t.

So was Lee. And Nee. I'm telling ya, they made up The Recovery in their own heads. And then concocted a historical secession that led up to them ... them becoming the very center and heart of what God is/was doing.

God was using THEM THEM THEM ....

Me Me Me God ... make it all about me.
09-04-2014 11:09 AM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Again I have to ask : Is The Recovery a real divinely orchestrated phenomenon or not?
It's an important question for understanding what the "Recovery" might be. At the very least, the Recovery was a theoretical reading of history by Watchman Nee in which he was front and center in what God was doing in the world. As he said in Messages Given During the Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry (2 volume set):

Quote:
Today, the responsibility of the recovery is on our shoulders. All the questions related to the recovery have to do with us.
Quote:
How did Lee know Nee was chosen?
According to Watchman Nee—A Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Age it was a gradual realization. Although Lee claims that God Himself called him into the ministry when he was saved, he didn't jump right into the ministry. Neither was he persuaded when he became aware of Nee's ministry. Instead he chose to teach college for eight years.

On a number of occasions when Lee had personal problems, he went to Watchman Nee for help. In one story Nee and Lee both blame themselves because Lee's wife thought she was going to die following an operation for which she was hospitalized. The moment Lee repented for his "inadequate consecration and in my love for the world", the enemy left his wife, and "the Lord gave her peace. " It's an odd story especially if one steps back from Lee's supernaturalist assumptions. Apparently, Lee's wife was delusional and was not actually going to die. Nee and Lee both thinking that they have sinned and caused the delusion. In the parlance of our time it was "all about them." In a more mundane reading of the facts, one might suppose that there was some kind of marital problem between Mr. and Mrs. Lee. Perhaps when he expressed his contrite feelings, she felt better. Of course, that would relegate the story to a domestic problem between to ordinary people in China. However, as we learn from Witness Lee, it was far more momentous than that. It was an episode that had cosmic historical consequences in the eternal purpose of the God in the universe.
09-04-2014 02:46 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Great insight. You have become the forum Seer of the Age.
Seer of the Divine Revelation in the Present Forum?
09-03-2014 01:59 PM
Unregistered
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Yes! The Jesus movement caught me! A kid on drugs who got saved! Read a booklet called the "Street People" where a guy in a beard was passing out newspapers was on front.
09-03-2014 12:58 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
In the West we were at a crisis point (remember the campus sit-ins and take-overs, the assassinations of RFK and MLK, the Weathermen, the SLA, Black Panthers etc) and Lee insinuated himself into this social instability: he was very charismatic in public, humble in private, and would give you enough Bible verses to make your head spin... plus you got to scream and shout! Home, home in the church; once you bought into his scheme you never questioned it, no matter how weird it became.
American social unrest, such as aron highlighted above, opened the door for a real move of the Spirit of God -- labeled my many as the Jesus Movement.

In an amazing sleight of hand trickery, Lee spun history to convince all of his Recovery faithful that he himself alone coming to the US was the reason for God's abundant blessing during this time.

It's kind of like a surfer riding out a great wave, only to come to shore and convince us that he actually was the cause of that great wave.
09-03-2014 12:12 PM
OBW
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
"When I was saved over sixty years ago, there were Christians all around me; yet I had no knowledge of God's move on the earth. . . ."
Get introduced to Nee . . . become the MOTA for a small exclusivist sect with yet another remnant theology . . . have everyone falling all over themsleves to hear your every word . . . and guess what?

He still had no knowledge of God's move on the earth.

Just the claims that his little sect was God's move on the earth.

And if you are talking about the "acting god," then you might be right. He did tend to act like a god. And he did know his sect's movements on the earth because they did exactly what he told them to do.

09-03-2014 11:52 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I remember Titus Chu making this comment ("Lee is our spiritual father. We owe him our lives") to John Ingalls after he flip-flopped his position about Philip Lee's indiscretions... I'm sure it came as a shock to Ingalls at the time, seeing what Lee's supporters were willing to overlook in order to "pay filial respect." ...History shows us that all of Lee's "filial respect" for Nee had self-serving interests in view...
Lee did have other interests, including self-grandiosity, control, and mercantilism, but behind all that is an unquestioned and unexamined Asian mindset. See the next quote by Eph:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eph View Post
"Filial" 孝順 is not a western concept, it is completely a Chinese one. It has 5000 years of meaning in it. So when I heard the new term "spiritual father", it caught my attention deeply. It gave you this feeling mixed of solemn, owe, fear, gratefullness, foreign, mysterial, etc. My heart was captured by the teachings of the "spiritual fathers." They are of Christ.
This is an important point because I think it could only truly be made by someone who was born into this. It is very ingrained in this culture, and as I said it really isn't examined. It is rooted in literally thousands of years of social, cultural, behavioral practice. So when push came to shove the spiritual veneer was peeled back and this idea of filial piety revealed itself.

1. TC held WL as his "spiritual father".
2. TC did not hold RK & BP as his "spiritual fathers".
3. Therefore GLA split off from the LSM.
4. See also the Dong split in Brazil. Same dynamic. It wasn't about religion, but about cultural practice.

The problem is that the "spiritual fathers" referred to by Eph are indeed of Christ. But they are not Christ. Watchman Nee is not Christ. Yet look at the Shouters movement in China today, some of whom actually hold Lee as "Lord Changshou", which isn't too far from how Lee held Nee in front of us. If Lee said Nee walked on water, we would yell, "Amen!".

Here is a quote from ICA, on another thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by InChristAlone View Post
Eastern Lightning/the Shouters follow in the wake of Witness Lee. The new cult was modified, nevertheless it takes its origin from WN, WL, their doctrines and practices. That's why in China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan, the shouters join the LC without trouble and even take over some halls. The louder they shout, the more spiritual it sounds for LRC members.
This whole thing is shot through with Asian practices, beliefs, mores, values, yet we never examined it, because we were so impressed with its "orthodox" heritage (Reformation, Bretheren, etc) and Lee's analytical skills (pretty thin, upon further review), and because in the '60s we were looking for something new, with the Vietnam fiasco, women's rights, the environmental crisis, and the civil rights movement. In the West we were at a crisis point (remember the campus sit-ins and take-overs, the assassinations of RFK and MLK, the Weathermen, the SLA, Black Panthers etc) and Lee insinuated himself into this social instability: he was very charismatic in public, humble in private, and would give you enough Bible verses to make your head spin... plus you got to scream and shout! Home, home in the church; once you bought into his scheme you never questioned it, no matter how weird it became.
09-02-2014 10:51 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Eph View Post
What is your relationship with your physical father? In my Asian culture, we never hug. Good parents provide "passive" necessity such as food and money. So when the "spiritual fathers" show up, our emotion needs are met. That cultural factor might explain why the local church is prospering in Taiwan and China now.

"Filial" 孝順 is not a western concept, it is completely a Chinese one. It has 5000 years of meaning in it. So when I heard the new term "spiritual father", it caught my attention deeply. It gave you this feeling mixed of solemn, owe, fear, gratefullness, foreign, mysterial, etc. My heart was captured by the teachings of the "spiritual fathers." They are of Christ.
Here is Witness Lee on the "spiritual fathers"

Quote:
'The children of Israel were numbered by the families and their leaders, that is, by the source of life and under its leadership (authority). The families refer to the source of life. In our spiritual history, there should be a source of life. Even in the church life today, we must have a family. Who brought you to Christ? Who begot you in Christ? In other words, who is your spiritual father? In this matter, the Bible is balanced. Of course, God is our divine Father. Nevertheless, Paul told the Corinthian believers that they might have had "ten thousand guides in Christ, yet not many fathers," for in Christ Jesus he had begotten them through the gospel (1 Cor. 4:15), imparting the divine life into them so that they became children of God and members of Christ. Thus, those believers belonged to Paul's "family." They did not hear the gospel, repent, and believe apart from him as their spiritual father, their source. As believers in Christ, we all have three kinds of fathers: a fleshly father, a spiritual father, and the divine Father. Today's numbering depends on the source of life." [ Life-Study of Numbers]
Here is Lee on Watchman Nee as his spiritual father:

Quote:
"Let me tell you a story concerning my own experience. For a period of six years, from 1942 to 1948, Brother Watchman Nee was out of his ministry. Because of the work of the Devil in China, there was a spiritual storm that kept Watchman from ministering. He and I were separated during the war. After the war, in 1946, I was invited to come from the north to the capital city in the south. When some of the co-workers who were involved in that storm against Brother Nee and who also knew me very well came from afar to meet with me, they said, "Brother Lee, can you say that Brother Nee has ever been wrong?" I replied, "Brothers, whether he is wrong or right is not my business. You must admit one thing—that we all owe very much to Brother Nee. We all must admit that he was just like a father to us all. If he was not a father to you, I must testify strongly that, in the Lord's economy, he certainly was a father to me. Before I met with Brother Nee, I knew nothing of the Lord's economy. He is my spiritual father, and my spiritual being came out of him." Then I told the brothers the story of Noah. I said, "Brothers, look at Noah's case. Was Noah wrong? Certainly he was wrong. But, it is not a matter of whether Noah was right or wrong; it is all a matter of from where we have received our being. Was Noah not our father? If he was your neighbor and not your father, it would be another story. But remember that you derived your being from him. He is your father. Whatever you are and whatever you obtained has come out of him. This involves you with the divine government. Brothers, I didn't see the thing for which people condemn Brother Nee. Even if I did see that he was wrong, I have no position to say anything about his wrongdoing, because he is my spiritual father and my spiritual being came out of him. I could never say anything against him. I am under God's government. Brothers, you must consider that it is not a small thing to be against our spiritual father. When you were not against Brother Nee, what was your inner feeling?" They all admitted that they felt so much life. When I asked, "How about now?" they responded, "We have to admit that we are just dead. We have no anointing or watering within. We are dried up." Then I said, "Brothers, you should listen to this real sensation. Don't care for your mental analysis. According to your mental analysis, Brother Nee is condemned, but as long as you condemn him, you are dead. The more you condemn him, the more dead you are." Immediately, the brothers turned and were saved from their dead situation." [Life-Study of Genesis]
09-02-2014 10:38 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Bro Zeek, would you please reference where the Tao speaks of this "principle of return?"

I'm having doubts that Lee ever read the Tao De Ching, but who knows?

The Tao, Buddhism, & Confucianism are all part of Chinese culture, going way back before Jesus. I suppose Jesus as the Logos could have something to do with them. They've worked for the Chinese for millennia. But who could know such a thing?

Lee calls it a Chinese proverb, so he could have picked up the principle of return by just growing up in China ... or from a fortune cookie. Ha!
This should answer you questions:

Quote:
"Among the laws that govern the changes of things, the most fundamental is that 'when a thing reaches one extreme, it reverts from it.' These are not the actual words of Lao Tsu, but a common Chinese saying which no doubt comes from Lao Tsu. Lao Tsu's actual words are 'Reversing is the movement of the Tao' [Ch. 40.], and 'to go further and further means to revert again' [Ch. 25.] The idea is that if anything develops certain extreme qualities, those qualities invariably revert to become their opposites." http://www.amazon.com/Short-History-...ds=fung+yu-lan, pg. 97
09-02-2014 10:11 PM
Eph
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
One thing about the filial obsequiousness thing; isn't this an Asian trait? The Good Son is the one who copies the Father? When you see Lee pushing Nee into the religious stratosphere "the Seer of the divine revelation" he, Lee, is setting himself up to be the next Seer of the age. Lee as Chief Cheerleader of Nee simultaneously set himself up as Heir Apparent. So his filial respect toward his spiritual forebear was concretion of a system in which he, similarly, would be held up by his own spiritual "children". I remember reading about where someone was struggling with the latest crazy directive out of Anaheim, and the LC True Believer response to them was, "Lee is our spiritual father. We owe him our lives."

Now, this is not restricted to the Asians; I think Jesse Jackson basically made his career by being MLK's chief flunky. Etc etc. But the oriental society has really integrated this deeply, and don't think about it or question it; it is just what they do. Again, I repeat that Asian culture is not inferior to the West. But it is not divine.

Now, here's where it gets interesting: we have Jesus, who was actually the True Son, who glorified His Father God in heaven. And we are to follow Jesus. But it is not through human intermediaries like "the apostle of the age" or any other fallen, fleshly person. Not Luther nor Nee, nor whomever. Jesus is the one we follow. And yes we do have elder, more mature ones (thank God!!), but we don't make them the focal point of our journey. We don't deify them. We only imitate them as much as we perceive them imitating Christ, and no more. Because they also, truthfully, are at least partial failures, and prone to err.

Lee's system nearly made Nee "Christ" to us. Supposedly Nee was so transformed as to be without failure, and we held that Lee as his Top Lieutenant was also similarly transformed. So the position which they created and occupied, that of Deified Father, is only for God, and now shared with His glorified Son. As an aside, I have previously pointed out that Chu and Dong were really the True Heirs of Lee, in that they elevated him as he'd done to Nee, while simultaneously positioning themselves in similar religious systems. I see it as quite oriental; feudal even. It is a kingdom, but the wrong one.
What is your relationship with your physical father? In my Asian culture, we never hug. Good parents provide "passive" necessity such as food and money. So when the "spiritual fathers" show up, our emotion needs are met. That cultural factor might explain why the local church is prospering in Taiwan and China now.

"Filial" 孝順 is not a western concept, it is completely a Chinese one. It has 5000 years of meaning in it. So when I heard the new term "spiritual father", it caught my attention deeply. It gave you this feeling mixed of solemn, owe, fear, gratefullness, foreign, mysterial, etc. My heart was captured by the teachings of the "spiritual fathers." They are of Christ.
09-02-2014 08:30 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn of Lee
I also knew that Brother Nee was the one chosen, commissioned by the Lord in this age to bring in His recovery. I therefore recognized him as the leader in this work.
Again I have to ask : Is The Recovery a real divinely orchestrated phenomenon or not?

And:

How did Lee know Nee was chosen?
In the Baptist churches I grew up in all that was needed was a claim of "a calling," usually the pastors son, I spotted even when young.

How did Lee know Nee was commissioned of the Lord in this age?
Lee couldn't have known everyone in this age. How did he know if there weren't others commissioned of the Lord ... on the other side of the globe, in the west? Lee even couldn't have known if the Lord commissioned others just in the east.

Looking back now, The Recovery looks to be made up, whole cloth, in the heads of Nee and Lee.

And their idea that, the Lord started the recovery with Luther, and worked His way up to Witness Lee is ludicrous to me now.

Even more, this is where the eastern mind may show to have a proclivity for MOTAs: that China has a long history, going back into the bronze age -- pretty much the same timeline as Judaism -- of lifting men up to be gods and vicegerents of God.

Now I know, looking back on history, and at primitive human tribes, there's plenty of evidence that all human primates have such a proclivity. But we're trying to explain why Nee and Lee were MOTA inclined, and obsessed; why they were weak for megalomania?

They didn't grow up in the west. So they didn't come up with the silly MOTA doctrine from there/here.
09-02-2014 06:36 PM
HERn
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

More on WL saying WN was an important person for that age.

"When I was saved over sixty years ago, there were Christians all around me; yet I had no knowledge of God's move on the earth. I thank God that He gave me a heart that loves the Bible. I read it continually and even collected many reference books. Afterward, I became very clear that as a human being, I must be a Christian, and as a Christian, I must be in God's move. Therefore, I dropped everything and dove into the Lord's recovery. At that time, although I could not speak the message that I am giving this morning, the vision within me was very clear. I saw that there was the Lord's commission upon Brother Nee, which is the ministry. I also knew that Brother Nee was the one chosen, commissioned by the Lord in this age to bring in His recovery. I therefore recognized him as the leader in this work. (Words of Training for the New Way, Volume One, pp. 21-24, Witness Lee)"

(Remaining in the Unique New Testament Ministry of God's Economy under the Proper Leadership in His Move, Chapter 1, Section 13)
09-02-2014 01:28 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
One thing about the filial obsequiousness thing; isn't this an Asian trait? The Good Son is the one who copies the Father? When you see Lee pushing Nee into the religious stratosphere "the Seer of the divine revelation" he, Lee, is setting himself up to be the next Seer of the age. Lee as Chief Cheerleader of Nee simultaneously set himself up as Heir Apparent. So his filial respect toward his spiritual forebear was concretion of a system in which he, similarly, would be held up by his own spiritual "children". I remember reading about where someone was struggling with the latest crazy directive out of Anaheim, and the LC True Believer response to them was, "Lee is our spiritual father. We owe him our lives."
I remember Titus Chu making this comment to John Ingalls after he flip-flopped his position about Philip Lee's indiscretions. It is recorded in Ingalls' STTIL book. I'm sure it came as a shock to Ingalls at the time, seeing what Lee's supporters were willing to overlook in order to "pay filial respect." Ingalls rightly viewed Jesus Christ as the only man who deserved our lives.

History shows us that all of Lee's "filial respect" for Nee had self-serving interests in view. While others, like the elders in the church in Shanghai, had the Lord's throne of righteousness in view, Lee sought a "bigger" prize -- being the next, and perhaps the last, MOTA.



Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Now, this is not restricted to the Asians; I think Jesse Jackson basically made his career by being MLK's chief flunky. Etc etc.
My comments about the Reverend Jesse are not suitable for a family forum. But it does surprise me that one who leans "liberal" would even think such a thought.
09-02-2014 01:18 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Are you ready to eat hypocrisy for an entree?
Maybe as a dessert ... like Devil's food cake ... Ha!
09-02-2014 01:15 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Not fair. I'm tired of going around blind. I want to be a seer too. Give me filial or give me dinner.
Are you ready to eat hypocrisy for an entree?
09-02-2014 01:14 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
I don't find an explicit statement that Martin Luther was a MOTA from Witness Lee. One might infer that since Lee does recognize him as an instrument of the Lord's Recovery in his day. Coincidentally, Lee cites a Taoist proverb when speaking of Martin Luther :


Lee's acknowledgment that the Taoist "principle of return" is true contradicts his statements elsewhere that Taoism is nonsense.
Bro Zeek, would you please reference where the Tao speaks of this "principle of return?"

I'm having doubts that Lee ever read the Tao De Ching, but who knows?

The Tao, Buddhism, & Confucianism are all part of Chinese culture, going way back before Jesus. I suppose Jesus as the Logos could have something to do with them. They've worked for the Chinese for millennia. But who could know such a thing?

Lee calls it a Chinese proverb, so he could have picked up the principle of return by just growing up in China ... or from a fortune cookie. Ha!
09-02-2014 11:35 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I want to be a seer too. Give me filial or give me dinner.
One thing about the filial obsequiousness thing; isn't this an Asian trait? The Good Son is the one who copies the Father? When you see Lee pushing Nee into the religious stratosphere "the Seer of the divine revelation" he, Lee, is setting himself up to be the next Seer of the age. Lee as Chief Cheerleader of Nee simultaneously set himself up as Heir Apparent. So his filial respect toward his spiritual forebear was concretion of a system in which he, similarly, would be held up by his own spiritual "children". I remember reading about where someone was struggling with the latest crazy directive out of Anaheim, and the LC True Believer response to them was, "Lee is our spiritual father. We owe him our lives."

Now, this is not restricted to the Asians; I think Jesse Jackson basically made his career by being MLK's chief flunky. Etc etc. But the oriental society has really integrated this deeply, and don't think about it or question it; it is just what they do. Again, I repeat that Asian culture is not inferior to the West. But it is not divine.

Now, here's where it gets interesting: we have Jesus, who was actually the True Son, who glorified His Father God in heaven. And we are to follow Jesus. But it is not through human intermediaries like "the apostle of the age" or any other fallen, fleshly person. Not Luther nor Nee, nor whomever. Jesus is the one we follow. And yes we do have elder, more mature ones (thank God!!), but we don't make them the focal point of our journey. We don't deify them. We only imitate them as much as we perceive them imitating Christ, and no more. Because they also, truthfully, are at least partial failures, and prone to err.

Lee's system nearly made Nee "Christ" to us. Supposedly Nee was so transformed as to be without failure, and we held that Lee as his Top Lieutenant was also similarly transformed. So the position which they created and occupied, that of Deified Father, is only for God, and now shared with His glorified Son. As an aside, I have previously pointed out that Chu and Dong were really the True Heirs of Lee, in that they elevated him as he'd done to Nee, while simultaneously positioning themselves in similar religious systems. I see it as quite oriental; feudal even. It is a kingdom, but the wrong one.
09-02-2014 11:17 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Great insight. You have become the forum Seer of the Age.
Not fair. I'm tired of going around blind. I want to be a seer too. Give me filial or give me dinner.
09-02-2014 06:48 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
You have become the forum Seer of the Age.
It's a sign of filial respect.
09-02-2014 05:43 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
If Lee copies Nee's writing verbatim, and sells it again under a different cover, that is not plagiarism, but rather "closely following the teaching and fellowship of the apostle", per Acts 2:42 and Titus 1:9. It is a sign of filial respect. And not coincidentally, the Merchandiser of the Age (MOTA) gets to sell the same product twice, to his captive audience.
Great insight. You have become the forum Seer of the Age.
09-02-2014 05:35 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Okay rayliotta and HERn has nailed it. Nee and Lee taught the succession of MOTA's down thru history.

The question I have is : Is this what God has been doing down thru history? Or is it just something made up in the minds of Nee and Lee?

Bottom-line: Is THE RECOVERY real? Is it really going on?

If so, looks to me like God is failing.

Just look now. What do we have? We have no MOTA. We have the Blended Brothers.

Does the recovery move down thru the MOTAs in history, and culminate, finally, in the last days, not in a MOTA, but in the Blended Brothers?

Where's scriptural or historic backing for the Blendeds, in God's supposed recovery? Moreover, where's scriptural backing for the notion of a MOTA? If it is God's method, in the final days, why wasn't clearly developed and spelled out in the NT?

Seems to me the this recovery notion has more to do with Nee and Lee being legends in their own mind, or MOTAs in their own mind, than anything God is doing.

When in truth, at best, they were just Bible teachers ... among many.

I heard that after Lee passed away, saints were clamoring around the Asian world, "Née-Lee-Chu, Née-Lee-Chu."

So there you have it folks! God had given us a MOTA. God had answered our cries for a king.

But some rejected God's plan, and that's why today we have no MOTA. We had our chance, but quarantined him instead.

It was Ron Kangas who was instrumental in terminating our lineage of MOTAs.
09-02-2014 02:09 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
I found this.

"Watchman Nee: In the Old Testament both Solomon and David represented the Lord...Etc"

(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 3) Vol. 57: The Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry, Chapter 27, Section 1)
Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
And this.

"Witness Lee: In the Old Testament both Solomon and David represented the Lord...Etc"

(Remaining in the Unique New Testament Ministry of God's Economy under the Proper Leadership in His Move, Chapter 1, Section 13)
If Lee copies Nee's writing verbatim, and sells it again under a different cover, that is not plagiarism, but rather "closely following the teaching and fellowship of the apostle", per Acts 2:42 and Titus 1:9. It is a sign of filial respect. And not coincidentally, the Merchandiser of the Age (MOTA) gets to sell the same product twice, to his captive audience.
09-02-2014 01:59 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
... the only reason why anyone would dare to ask, "Gee, how can we be sure which age is over and when?", is if they wanted to set the stage for their own ascension to spiritual giant-ness.

So my response was something to the effect of, "What are you talking about? I'm just a 19-yr old college kid who doesn't even come to many meetings anymore! How could I possibly think I'm going to be the next MOTA?" To which they just rolled their eyes and laughed even more. I guess I was making their point -- he's a college kid, and a lousy brother at that -- yet he's still pining for MOTA -- wow!
You set the stage for this response by asking a question. You attempted to use your God-given intellect. Shame on you. Haven't you learned anything?

This showed, to the LC faithful, that your old man was not subdued, and was straining to emerge within the Hive. Which, of course, can never happen. So the answer is simply that the MOTA says he's the MOTA, which must be true because he's the MOTA. Get it? And if the MOTA says, "No more MOTA -- I am the last of the line" then that also is true, because he's the MOTA. Get it?

Appealing to scriptures, or to your fallen human logic, will not work, because the MOTA has spoken. And asking questions, to the LC-indoctrinated, is the "fox tail" of your humanity emerging, and will only lead to ridicule and eventual expulsion from the Hive.
09-02-2014 12:57 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timotheist View Post
Perhaps it's a sign of end times:

"For all the MOTAs prophesied until Lee."
Of course. "The end times are nigh" mentality opens the door to all sorts of cool stuff. The Spaniards used it to justify subjugation of the Mayans, Aztecs and Incas some 500 yrs ago, for example.

Could the Recovery ever have really gotten off the ground -- in the US, at least -- w/o this popular belief in impending Apocalypse?
09-02-2014 12:50 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
That would require more reading ... Ha.
Nah, I usually utilize the Vulcan mind-meld technique. Puts a lot of fingerprints and smudges on my laptop monitor, but it does allow me to absorb a lot of material quickly.
09-02-2014 12:47 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
Thank you. I didn't look for a reference to the MOTA in Nee's writings. Lee continued the same teaching according to my recollection of my LC days. If one accepts this teaching, the question then becomes: How do we identify the MOTA in our age? Another question is why isn't there a MOTA in our age? The MOTA idea seems to be designed to replace the idea of Apostolic Succession which is most clearly seen in the RCC and the EOC. Is it plausible that God had a MOTA in every age but coincidentally discontinued the practice after Witness Lee?
I still remember clearly when I asked this one time in college. It went something like this:

I said, "Witness Lee taught the Biblical principal of the 'line of life' extending through the Old Testament, through the New Testament, and straight through Martin Luther, Darby, right up to Nee and himself. So how can we now be so sure that 'the age of spiritual giants is over'?"

The response? A few full-timers and college students laughing out loud, rolling their eyes, and saying that I (me, rayliotta!) wanted to be the next MOTA. Apparently, the only reason why anyone would dare to ask, "Gee, how can we be sure which age is over and when?", is if they wanted to set the stage for their own ascension to spiritual giant-ness.

So my response was something to the effect of, "What are you talking about? I'm just a 19-yr old college kid who doesn't even come to many meetings anymore! How could I possibly think I'm going to be the next MOTA?" To which they just rolled their eyes and laughed even more. I guess I was making their point -- he's a college kid, and a lousy brother at that -- yet he's still pining for MOTA -- wow!
09-01-2014 09:28 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Okay rayliotta and HERn has nailed it. Nee and Lee taught the succession of MOTA's down thru history.

The question I have is : Is this what God has been doing down thru history? Or is it just something made up in the minds of Nee and Lee?

Bottom-line: Is THE RECOVERY real? Is it really going on?

If so, looks to me like God is failing.

Just look now. What do we have? We have no MOTA. We have the Blended Brothers.

Does the recovery move down thru the MOTAs in history, and culminate, finally, in the last days, not in a MOTA, but in the Blended Brothers?

Where's scriptural or historic backing for the Blendeds, in God's supposed recovery? Moreover, where's scriptural backing for the notion of a MOTA? If it is God's method, in the final days, why wasn't clearly developed and spelled out in the NT?

Seems to me the this recovery notion has more to do with Nee and Lee being legends in their own mind, or MOTAs in their own mind, than anything God is doing.

When in truth, at best, they were just Bible teachers ... among many.
09-01-2014 08:39 PM
Timotheist
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Perhaps it's a sign of end times:

"For all the MOTAs prophesied until Lee."
09-01-2014 07:26 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
And this.

"In the Old Testament both Solomon and David represented the Lord. The two persons represented the one ministry in two separate ways. In the Old Testament there were many ministries. After Moses, the judges were raised up. After that, there was Solomon, the kings, and the prophets. After the Israelites were taken into captivity, the vessels for the recovery were raised up. The Old Testament is filled with different kinds of ministries. In every age there is the ministry of that age. These ministries of the ages are different from the local ministers. Luther was a minister of his age. Darby was also a minister of his age. In every age the Lord has special things that He wants to accomplish. He has His own recoveries and His own works to do. The particular recovery and work that He does in one age is the ministry of that age."

(Remaining in the Unique New Testament Ministry of God's Economy under the Proper Leadership in His Move, Chapter 1, Section 13)
Thank you. I didn't look for a reference to the MOTA in Nee's writings. Lee continued the same teaching according to my recollection of my LC days. If one accepts this teaching, the question then becomes: How do we identify the MOTA in our age? Another question is why isn't there a MOTA in our age? The MOTA idea seems to be designed to replace the idea of Apostolic Succession which is most clearly seen in the RCC and the EOC. Is it plausible that God had a MOTA in every age but coincidentally discontinued the practice after Witness Lee?
09-01-2014 06:13 PM
HERn
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

And this.

"In the Old Testament both Solomon and David represented the Lord. The two persons represented the one ministry in two separate ways. In the Old Testament there were many ministries. After Moses, the judges were raised up. After that, there was Solomon, the kings, and the prophets. After the Israelites were taken into captivity, the vessels for the recovery were raised up. The Old Testament is filled with different kinds of ministries. In every age there is the ministry of that age. These ministries of the ages are different from the local ministers. Luther was a minister of his age. Darby was also a minister of his age. In every age the Lord has special things that He wants to accomplish. He has His own recoveries and His own works to do. The particular recovery and work that He does in one age is the ministry of that age."

(Remaining in the Unique New Testament Ministry of God's Economy under the Proper Leadership in His Move, Chapter 1, Section 13)
09-01-2014 06:02 PM
HERn
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

I found this.

"Watchman Nee: In the Old Testament both Solomon and David represented the Lord. The two persons represented the one ministry in two separate ways. In the Old Testament there were many ministries. After Moses, the judges were raised up. After that, there was Solomon, the kings, and the prophets. After the Israelites were taken into captivity, the vessels for the recovery were raised up. The Old Testament is filled with different kinds of ministries. In every age there is the ministry of that age. These ministries of the ages are different from the local ministers. Luther was a minister of his age. Darby was also a minister of his age. In every age the Lord has special things that He wants to accomplish. He has His own recoveries and His own works to do. The particular recovery and work that He does in one age is the ministry of that age."

(Collected Works of Watchman Nee, The (Set 3) Vol. 57: The Resumption of Watchman Nee's Ministry, Chapter 27, Section 1)
09-01-2014 04:07 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
From what I grew up learning, Luther was paramount to the history of "the Lord's Recovery". He kicked it off after so many centuries of "loss" (the antithesis of "recovery"). As references, see the following links. This is what I remember hearing so many times --

http://www.ministrysamples.org/excer...-THE-AGES.HTML
http://www.local-church-gods-revelat...hes/index.html

Nee and Lee's claim to fame within the present-day "Lord's Recovery" movement is that they are the successors to this lineage. Plain and simple.
Again, Lee taught me the same thing. However, on a cursory search of the LSM website, I did not find an actual instance where Witness Lee calls Luther or the others on your list "minister of the age".
09-01-2014 04:02 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
I grew up learning this lineage, roughly speaking, as follows --

Martin Luther
Count Zinzendorf
Father Fenelon
Madame Guyon
John Nelson Darby
Watchman Nee
Witness Lee

Nee and Lee, of course, were the heirs to the line of the Recovery. What I remember from childhood was laid out by Watchman Nee as far back as 1934 at a conference in Shanghai -- remember this booklet? --

What are We?

(Of course, Watchman Nee and Witness Lee had not yet been added to the lineage by 1934.)
Amen brother. That is what I was taught during my time with the local churches as well.
09-01-2014 09:35 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Because we're discussing the Asian mind and the Western mind, I think it might be helpful to compare Jesus to how they consider Buddha in China:

According to the Fo-pen-hing, when Buddha was about to descend from heaven, to be born into the world, the angels in heaven, calling to the inhabitants of the earth, said: “Ye mortals! adorn your earth! for Bôdhisatwa, the great Mahâsatwa, not long hence shall descend from Tusita to be born amongst you! make ready and prepare! Buddha is about to descend and be born!”

The womb that bears a Buddha is like a casket in which a relic is placed; no other being can be conceived in the same receptacle; the usual secretions are not formed; and from the time of conception, Maha-maya [the virgin Mary motif - pre Mary] was free from passion, and lived in the strictest continence.

M. l’Abbé Huc, a French Missionary, in speaking of Buddha, says: “In the eyes of the Buddhists, this personage is sometimes a man and sometimes a god, or rather both one and the other, a divine incarnation, a man-god; who came into the world to enlighten men, to redeem them, and to indicate to them the way of safety.

“The miraculous birth of Buddha, his life and instructions, contain a great number of the moral and dogmatic truths professed in Christianity.” This Angel-Messiah was regarded as the divinely chosen and incarnate messenger, the vicar of God. He is addressed as “God of Gods,” “Father of the World,” “Almighty and All-knowing Ruler,” and “Redeemer of All.” He is called also “The Holy One,” “The Author of Happiness,” “The Lord,” “The Possessor of All,” “He who is Omnipotent and Everlastingly to be Contemplated,” “The Supreme Being, the Eternal One,” “The Divinity worthy to be Adored by the most praiseworthy of Mankind.” He is addressed by Amora—one of his followers—thus: “Reverence be unto thee in the form of Buddha! Reverence be unto thee, the Lord of the Earth! Reverence be unto thee, an incarnation of the Deity! Of the Eternal One! Reverence be unto thee, O God, in the form of the God of Mercy; the dispeller of pain and trouble, the Lord of all things, the deity, the guardian of the universe, the emblem of mercy.” The incarnation of Gautama Buddha is recorded to have been brought about by the descent of the divine power called The “Holy Ghost” upon the Virgin Maya. This Holy Ghost, or Spirit, descended in the form of a white elephant [a big white critter. Unlike the little white critter, a Dove]. The Tikas explain this as indicating power and wisdom. The incarnation of the angel destined to become Buddha took place in a spiritual manner. The Elephant is the symbol of power and wisdom; and Buddha was considered the organ of divine power and wisdom, as he is called in the Tikas. For these reasons Buddha is described by Buddhistic legends as having descended from heaven in the form of an Elephant to the place where the Virgin Maya was. But according to Chinese Buddhistic writings, it was the Holy Ghost, or Shing-Shin, who descended on the Virgin Maya.

When Buddha avatar descended from the regions of the souls, and entered the body of the Virgin Maya, her womb suddenly assumed the appearance of clear, transparent crystal, in which Buddha appeared, beautiful as a flower, kneeling and reclining on his hands. Buddha’s representative on earth is the Dalai Lama, or Grand Lama, the High Priest of the Tartars. He is regarded as the vicegerent of God, with power to dispense divine blessings on whomsoever he will, and is considered among the Buddhists to be a sort of divine being. He is the Pope of Buddhism.


Doane, T. W. (2011-12-14). Bible Myths and Their Parallels in Other Religions - Annotated and Illustrated (Kindle Locations 4935-4939). . Kindle Edition.
Book available upon request.

Note: There's not much difference between our present Dalai Lama and our present Catholic Pope.
09-01-2014 03:47 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
From what I grew up learning, Luther was paramount to the history of "the Lord's Recovery".

Nee and Lee's claim to fame within the present-day "Lord's Recovery" movement is that they are the successors to this lineage. Plain and simple.
I think it goes without question in the minds of the LC faithful that Martin Luther was the first pioneer MOTA.
09-01-2014 03:08 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
Interesting. Care to include what these "tactics" were?
That would require more reading ... Ha.
09-01-2014 02:10 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
"Lifton also interviewed 15 Chinese who had fled their homeland after having been subjected to indoctrination in Chinese universities. From these interviews, which in some cases occurred regularly for over a year, Lifton identified the tactics used by Chinese communists to cause drastic shifts in one's opinions and personality and "brainwash" American soldiers into making demonstrably false assertions."
Interesting. Care to include what these "tactics" were?
09-01-2014 02:00 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
I don't find an explicit statement that Martin Luther was a MOTA from Witness Lee. One might infer that since Lee does recognize him as an instrument of the Lord's Recovery in his day.
From what I grew up learning, Luther was paramount to the history of "the Lord's Recovery". He kicked it off after so many centuries of "loss" (the antithesis of "recovery"). As references, see the following links. This is what I remember hearing so many times --

http://www.ministrysamples.org/excer...-THE-AGES.HTML
http://www.local-church-gods-revelat...hes/index.html

Nee and Lee's claim to fame within the present-day "Lord's Recovery" movement is that they are the successors to this lineage. Plain and simple.
09-01-2014 01:50 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
Right. He praised J. N. Darby, for example, as in Three Aspects of the Church: Book 2, The Course of the Church. He probably considered him the MOTA. I suppose that in Lee's mind the earlier MOTA's were his only peers.
I grew up learning this lineage, roughly speaking, as follows --

Martin Luther
Count Zinzendorf
Father Fenelon
Madame Guyon
John Nelson Darby
Watchman Nee
Witness Lee

Nee and Lee, of course, were the heirs to the line of the Recovery. What I remember from childhood was laid out by Watchman Nee as far back as 1934 at a conference in Shanghai -- remember this booklet? --

What are We?

(Of course, Watchman Nee and Witness Lee had not yet been added to the lineage by 1934.)
08-31-2014 08:49 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
And while they were busy in Ireland, William Miller was busy with prophecies here in the states, creating The Great Disappointment.

The end of times prophecies have been used to deceive and fleece the sheep for a couple thousand years.

Basically, life sucks, so we hope in something better after the end of time. And that's probably why those in China are an easy market for believing in the end of time prophecies.

The latest, Harold Camping, now gone to not be with the Lord (just kidding), made over $90 million ... and he knew to reach out to the Asian mind to get it.
It wasn't Miller, but Edward Irving who introduced the early Brethren leaders to end time prophecies.
08-31-2014 07:45 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post

Basically, life sucks,
Compared to what?
08-31-2014 07:09 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The Plymouth Brethren also began in the late 1820's out of an intense interest in the prophecies.
And while they were busy in Ireland, William Miller was busy with prophecies here in the states, creating The Great Disappointment.

The end of times prophecies have been used to deceive and fleece the sheep for a couple thousand years.

Basically, life sucks, so we hope in something better after the end of time. And that's probably why those in China are an easy market for believing in the end of time prophecies.

The latest, Harold Camping, now gone to not be with the Lord (just kidding), made over $90 million ... and he knew to reach out to the Asian mind to get it.
08-31-2014 05:08 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Didn't he call Luther the minister of his age, and others after him, up to Watchman Nee?

In reading a little about the history of Christianity in China, seems the Chinese have a real weakness for prophesies concerning the end times, and have been swept up in Christian movements time and again that traffic in them. (Why?)

Well Nee and Lee must have taken notice. All Lee's MOTA's were to do with the Lord's Recovery: the final stage of the end times.

And we had a weakness for it too. Ha!
The Plymouth Brethren also began in the late 1820's out of an intense interest in the prophecies.
08-31-2014 03:17 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Didn't he call Luther the minister of his age, and others after him, up to Watchman Nee?

In reading a little about the history of Christianity in China, seems the Chinese have a real weakness for prophesies concerning the end times, and have been swept up in Christian movements time and again that traffic in them. (Why?)

Well Nee and Lee must have taken notice. All Lee's MOTA's were to do with the Lord's Recovery: the final stage of the end times.

And we had a weakness for it too. Ha!
I don't find an explicit statement that Martin Luther was a MOTA from Witness Lee. One might infer that since Lee does recognize him as an instrument of the Lord's Recovery in his day. Coincidentally, Lee cites a Taoist proverb when speaking of Martin Luther :
Quote:
The Chinese have a famous proverb that says, “As soon as a thing reaches its extremity, it reverses its course.” In other words, when the darkest hour comes, daybreak is at hand. The corrupted, dark situation stirred up a number of people who had a pure heart for the Lord. For example, Martin Luther was provoked by the Roman Catholic Church before he began to seek the truth. Martin Luther was a central figure in the Reformation... [Three Aspects of the Church: Book 2, The Course of the Church]
Lee's acknowledgment that the Taoist "principle of return" is true contradicts his statements elsewhere that Taoism is nonsense.
08-31-2014 02:58 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

A process of theosis or divinization like that of Witness Lee or the Eastern Orthodox Church is central to the religious Taoism of the Chinese.
Quote:
"Unlike Chuang Tzu's way of indifference toward life and death, the Classic of Great Peace declared that between heaven and earth longevity is of the most value and it is possible for everyone to reach immortality. It argued that among slaves and servant girls the wiser can become good people, among good people those who like to study can become virtuous people, among virtuous people those who study ceaselessly can become sages, and among sages those who study ceaselessly can recognize the door of the way of heaven. If after entering the way they still study ceaselessly they become immortals; if they continue they reach the truth;if they continue further they become gods; and if they continue still further, they become the same shape as the Emperor of Heaven. [Our Religions. Edited by Arvind Sharma. Copyright 1993 by Harper Collins Publishers., Chapter 4 Taoism by Liu Xiaogan, Ph.D. visiting scholar in the Department of Religion at Princeton University, page 256]
08-31-2014 10:24 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Lifton in his book "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China," he speaks to this:

"Lifton also interviewed 15 Chinese who had fled their homeland after having been subjected to indoctrination in Chinese universities. From these interviews, which in some cases occurred regularly for over a year, Lifton identified the tactics used by Chinese communists to cause drastic shifts in one's opinions and personality and "brainwash" American soldiers into making demonstrably false assertions."
Think of the young Lily Hsu: she had Mao's Red Army on the one side, and Nee's Little Flock on the other; both claiming absolute mastery of not only her body but her heart, mind and soul as well.
08-31-2014 09:48 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
Right. He praised J. N. Darby, for example, as in Three Aspects of the Church: Book 2, The Course of the Church. He probably considered him the MOTA. I suppose that in Lee's mind the earlier MOTA's were his only peers.
Didn't he call Luther the minister of his age, and others after him, up to Watchman Nee?

In reading a little about the history of Christianity in China, seems the Chinese have a real weakness for prophesies concerning the end times, and have been swept up in Christian movements time and again that traffic in them. (Why?)

Well Nee and Lee must have taken notice. All Lee's MOTA's were to do with the Lord's Recovery: the final stage of the end times.

And we had a weakness for it too. Ha!
08-31-2014 09:16 AM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I have an easier proposition. If someone can show Lee giving props (respect, acknowledgment, recognition) to anyone except his MOTAs then my statement fails.
Right. He praised J. N. Darby, for example, as in Three Aspects of the Church: Book 2, The Course of the Church. He probably considered him the MOTA. I suppose that in Lee's mind the earlier MOTA's were his only peers.
08-31-2014 09:05 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
There are surely people who have attended one or two LC meetings, in various places over the years, and left saying that the meeting made them uncomfortable, or that there was something strange about it that they just couldn't put their finger on. Folks who have this reaction from the get-go usually don't come back, methinks.

Maybe this is the kind of thing zeek and awareness are trying to find an adequate term for? It's hard to put our finger on how to describe something that's hard to put our finger on, eh?
Lifton hits on the subliminal juju spook factor with his:

Mystical Manipulation. The manipulation of experiences that appears spontaneous but is, in fact, planned and orchestrated by the group or its leaders in order to demonstrate divine authority, spiritual advancement, or some exceptional talent or insight that sets the leader and/or group apart from humanity, and that allows reinterpretation of historical events, scripture, and other experiences. Coincidences and happenstance oddities are interpreted as omens or prophecies.

And in his book "Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism: A Study of "Brainwashing" in China," he speaks to this thread:

"Lifton also interviewed 15 Chinese who had fled their homeland after having been subjected to indoctrination in Chinese universities. From these interviews, which in some cases occurred regularly for over a year, Lifton identified the tactics used by Chinese communists to cause drastic shifts in one's opinions and personality and "brainwash" American soldiers into making demonstrably false assertions."
08-31-2014 07:29 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
Buddhists have Buddha to lead the way. He's all those things too.
By way of analogy, suppose you fall madly in love. Then your friends come by, offering diversions and amusements. Suddenly, you are no longer interested. Your friends are still the fine people you once enjoyed, but now your orientation is altered.

Buddhists may have Buddha to guide. That may be real. But the Christian has chosen Jesus. Had I been born elsewhere, I may have chosen differently; I understand. But I chose Jesus.
08-31-2014 07:17 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
That may be. It's a relative quantitative claim that would require comprehensive longitudinal documentation of everything Lee ever said about everything and everyone.
I have an easier proposition. If someone can show Lee giving props (respect, acknowledgment, recognition) to anyone except his MOTAs then my statement fails.
08-31-2014 02:46 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Tomāto Tomäto ... okay sub-rational ... if you so prefer. 'Cept subliminal carries more juju juice. And don't tell me there weren't juju in the LC.
I was being facetious with "sub-rational" but Lee et al used a variety of techniques to appeal to people psychologically rather than to appeal to reason. These techniques included “milieu control,” “loading the language,” “demand for purity,” “confession,”“mystical manipulation,” “doctrine over person,” “sacred science” and “dispensing of existence” as described by Lifton. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jay_Lifton
There are surely people who have attended one or two LC meetings, in various places over the years, and left saying that the meeting made them uncomfortable, or that there was something strange about it that they just couldn't put their finger on. Folks who have this reaction from the get-go usually don't come back, methinks.

Maybe this is the kind of thing zeek and awareness are trying to find an adequate term for? It's hard to put our finger on how to describe something that's hard to put our finger on, eh?
08-30-2014 07:23 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
I was being facetious with "sub-rational"
Maybe irrational. But that doesn't convey the spook factor, working in the LC system.
08-30-2014 05:54 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Tomāto Tomäto ... okay sub-rational ... if you so prefer. 'Cept subliminal carries more juju juice. And don't tell me there weren't juju in the LC.
I was being facetious with "sub-rational" but Lee et al used a variety of techniques to appeal to people psychologically rather than to appeal to reason. These techniques included “milieu control,” “loading the language,” “demand for purity,” “confession,”“mystical manipulation,” “doctrine over person,” “sacred science” and “dispensing of existence” as described by Lifton. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Jay_Lifton
08-30-2014 01:43 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
I think sub-rational would be a better term for most of Lee's indoctrination techniques. I mean I haven't seen any evidence that he was injecting his ideas in backwards English on the music tapes LSM was putting out. Subliminal means the information is disseminated by sensory stimuli below an individual's threshold for conscious perception. The techniques Lee used were things like promoting chanting to suspend the use of logical thought processes that might detect the fallacies in his propositions and denigrating anyone who would not conform. That's not subliminal. You're misusing the term.
Tomāto Tomäto ... okay sub-rational ... if you so prefer. 'Cept subliminal carries more juju juice. And don't tell me there weren't juju in the LC.
08-30-2014 12:27 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Witness Lee stood against critical thinking, methinks, because subliminal forces worked better.

But looking back, because a Full-Duplex transmission was going on -- it is confusing to put it together -- the problem could have been me, or Lee. Or both.

I wasn't seeking critical thinking back then. I was seeking God and His eternal purpose. And I thought I could get there by jumping into the subliminal waters that pervaded the milieu in the local church.

Praying was a subliminal activity, especially group prayer. Pray-reading was subliminal, especially group pray-reading. Pray-reading was chock-full of subliminal messaging. Calling on the Lord was subliminal activity, especially group calling. Meetings were full of subliminal messaging.

And I dove right in. Thinking it, diving into the subliminal waters, were working me into God and His purpose.

What a delusion! And yes, I thought my way out of it.

That's why I'm a critical thinker today. It's a defense mechanism against falling for anything like the local church.
I think sub-rational would be a better term for most of Lee's indoctrination techniques. I mean I haven't seen any evidence that he was injecting his ideas in backwards English on the music tapes LSM was putting out. Subliminal means the information is disseminated by sensory stimuli below an individual's threshold for conscious perception. The techniques Lee used were things like promoting chanting to suspend the use of logical thought processes that might detect the fallacies in his propositions and denigrating anyone who would not conform. That's not subliminal. You're misusing the term.
08-30-2014 12:15 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
. . . Witness Lee stood against critical thinking in doctrine and practice even for adults.
. . . So I don't deny that subliminal learning . . .
Witness Lee stood against critical thinking, methinks, because subliminal forces worked better.

But looking back, because a Full-Duplex transmission was going on -- it is confusing to put it together -- the problem could have been me, or Lee. Or both.

I wasn't seeking critical thinking back then. I was seeking God and His eternal purpose. And I thought I could get there by jumping into the subliminal waters that pervaded the milieu in the local church.

Praying was a subliminal activity, especially group prayer. Pray-reading was subliminal, especially group pray-reading. Pray-reading was chock-full of subliminal messaging. Calling on the Lord was subliminal activity, especially group calling. Meetings were full of subliminal messaging.

And I dove right in. Thinking it, diving into the subliminal waters, were working me into God and His purpose.

What a delusion! And yes, I thought my way out of it.

That's why I'm a critical thinker today. It's a defense mechanism against falling for anything like the local church.
08-30-2014 08:34 AM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
And what do you think, zeek? If not "subliminal infecting and worming", what do you believe re the power of ideas, esp subtle ones, instilled in a person's mind over a period of years/decades?
Children are inculcated into their culture of origin from the time of conception. Their brains are very plastic and malleable and they have not learned to think critically. Critical thinking is rarely taught to anyone prior to college and even then it is usually only an optional elective course. So parents and teachers are prominent players in the indoctrination process. Now, Witness Lee stood against critical thinking in doctrine and practice even for adults. He demanded rote memorization of his words through a process of repetition and chanting which we called prayer reading.

So I don't deny that subliminal learning may take place. Nor do I deny the power of suggestion or even the effect of memes. The greater problem is that people accept propositions that are unsupportable by evidence or rational argument. I favor critical thinking, a skill that many adults are deficient in. Critical thinking should be taught to everyone in high school. But, it would be inconvenient because critical thinkers do not make docile consumers of whatever the dominant authority is putting out like we were in the local churches.
08-30-2014 04:55 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
I remember, as a kid, being told about a conference in which Witness Lee had admonished everyone that culture is a bad thing, culture separates us from God, etc. Apparently, the next day, after everyone had spent the evening feeling bad about their natural selves w/their natural culture, WL then advised that actually, we do need our culture. And that culture "keeps" us and God uses it.

Perhaps the same conf, Ohio?
Perhaps? Ever been to Cleveland? Or perhaps Lee went city to city with the same bad teachings.

I do remember feeling pretty bad before I felt better. I somewhat remember culture functioning like the law as a "child conductor."

After this time Lee found his stride with the "high peak theology."
08-30-2014 03:47 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
You believe in subliminal infecting and worming.
And what do you think, zeek? If not "subliminal infecting and worming", what do you believe re the power of ideas, esp subtle ones, instilled in a person's mind over a period of years/decades?
08-30-2014 02:54 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

I remember, as a kid, being told about a conference in which Witness Lee had admonished everyone that culture is a bad thing, culture separates us from God, etc. Apparently, the next day, after everyone had spent the evening feeling bad about their natural selves w/their natural culture, WL then advised that actually, we do need our culture. And that culture "keeps" us and God uses it.

Perhaps the same conf, Ohio?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I'll never forget this conference in Cleveland in the late 80's about CULTURE. what a waste of time that was. All those who braved to share a testimony were shot down as missing the point. A few older brothers mumbled this "bro Lee sees something we don't" kind of nonsense. Actually the whole weekend was an exercise in futility. No one received any help, but we all thought the problem lie with us. All of us were moo cows, and only "Lee could see."

Actually, when I look back, the real situation was hidden from us. Lee had just smeared the reputations of all those who attempted to fellowship with him about the direction of the Recovery. Ingalls et. al. in Anaheim were branded rebellious conspiratorial lepers when all they were doing was speaking their conscience as prophets of The Lord. Lee, on the other hand, had lost the anointing, and put the blame on all of us. He happened to use the topic of culture.
08-29-2014 11:17 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Actually Lee was derogatory toward everything and everyone. So he's being pretty mild with Taoism, actually.
That may be. It's a relative quantitative claim that would require comprehensive longitudinal documentation of everything Lee ever said about everything and everyone. I doubt that anyone has all that info but God. I'll withhold judgment until God weighs in on the matter and then informs me. I'm not expecting that to happen any time soon. You?

Quote:
I once noted the gospel's similarities with the religions of the east, while reading a book on spirituality by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was influenced by Oriental philosophy and did much to import it to the American continent in the early 19th century. Emerson was a Harvard Divinity School graduate who more or less renounced formal religion, and embraced the cosmos. I found his writings to be quite good, but none of it either nullified Christ, nor replaced it, but just sort of presented it in a fresh way. But of course Emerson's orientally-tinged cosmos missed the death and resurrection of Christ. In that it was certainly not Christian.
Thank you for reminding me to embrace the cosmos. Kind of like those "Have you hugged your kids today" bumper stickers. The Tao Te Ching teaches that is a good thing. Sometimes the Cosmos hugs back.

Quote:
I've several times here boiled down the philosophy of Christ to "do unto others as you would have God do to you" or some variant. That "what you do is what you get" philosophy is rather oriental, actually, and it Christian as well. Much hay has been made of the connection between Plato's philosophy and that of the NT, and I wonder why less is made of the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity. They both seem to me to say, "What you do is what you get."
Actually much has been made of the similarities between Christianity and Buddhism. I have several books making that proposition if you are interested. But here is evidence against it: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Compari...d_Christianity

Quote:
Of course the crucial difference in Christianity is that we believe that Christ fulfilled the Divine Mandate, not only for God but for us the fallen. Christ is the One whose death redeemed mankind, we who fell from grace. Now it is faith that begins the process of restoration.
That's a principle of The Faith. I can scarcely believe it. If I am judged by what I think about that proposition any given minute, then i'm standing on shaky ground. Only if God accepts the unacceptable do I have a prayer in hell.

Quote:
Yet, marching right behind that faith, is the irrevocable philosophy of, "What you do is what you get." Believe, yes; but believe and obey. Don't be a hearer of the word but a doer as well. Faith without works is dead. If you do not forgive you will not be forgiven. Etc.
You mean like karma? That may be an instance of gambler's fallacy. I tend get angry and then let it go quickly. But, I don't want to be tested on it. There's some bad stuff going on out there.

Quote:
The main advantage of Christianity to Buddhism as I see it is twofold. First of course we have Christ to lead the way. Jesus the Nazarene is the irreplaceable Shepherd, Guide, and Friend, Teacher, Master, and Captain of the army of the Lord. Second, as Paul said, "I die daily"; we don't need to wait for the end of this life to see if we'll become a frog or a bat or a rajah. We can die today, and move "to the next level" so to speak. I find this preferable.
Buddhists have Buddha to lead the way. He's all those things too. Buddhists die daily too. Figuratively and actually, just like Christians. Your depiction of a Buddhist afterlife is inaccurate. The early Buddhist texts make it clear that there is no permanent consciousness that moves from life to life. Gautama Buddha taught that that there is no irreducible self tying these lives together and that all compounded things are subject to dissolution, including all the components of the human person and personality.
08-29-2014 03:24 PM
awareness
Re: Another point on culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Not sure if this is a Chinese or British cultural phenomenon.
It's a blending, oddly enough.
08-29-2014 03:13 PM
Ohio
Re: Another point on culture

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
(Now, having said that, the influence of the British Christianity on the young Nee and Lee is of course enormous. But again let's face it and not just say something stupid like "Then God raised up Watchman Nee to restore the vision of the proper church" or some other dreck.)
I have stated before that both Nee and Lee, in both teaching and practice, began as Open Brethren and finished as Exclusive Brethren. Both began with the emphasis on local congregations being served by a multitude of ministries, and both ended with all the local churches existing only to build up their own unique ministry.

Not sure if this is a Chinese or British cultural phenomenon.
08-29-2014 01:24 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Actually Lee was derogatory toward everything and everyone.
Correction then : Lee was a everybody-hating, everybody loathing, Taoist/Buddhist, pretending to be a Christian above all others.

"Wise men say, only fools rush in . . ."
08-29-2014 12:07 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
Well, while Lee's teaching may have been influenced by Taoism, he, of course, didn't endorse it.
So Lee was a self-hating, self-loathing, Taoist/Buddhist.
08-29-2014 12:01 PM
aron
Another point on culture

Culture is the currency with which we interact. It forms the shared meanings that we use to make sense of the world and share this sense with each other.

In the NT we see Greek philosophy/mythology in several places. The gates of Hades were supposedly the portal to the realm of the dead. They were made of adamantine, the hardest substance known, and once the dead went past them they never returned.

Jesus said that these adamantine gates could not withstand his ekklesia. If two or more of us agree on earth, the gates are broken and the dead are released. Very suggestive. And I believe that the hearers of Jesus would have this understanding when He spoke of the gates of Hades.

The reference to Tartarus by Peter is similar. It is a word picture, with an already established meaning, which Peter knows that his readers will have. So what if it traces roots to Greek mythology? The point is that Peter has something to say and he uses the currency of the day. It is just like if I say "cool" and if it is the year 1950 that means temperature and in the year 1975 if means an exclamation of praise. Meaning is a culturally-derived process. It is shared.

So there is nothing wrong per se with an American-flavored church group or a Chinese-flavored Christian philosophy. But let's call it what it is. Lee sold it as something else, and therein lies the problem. We spent an undue amount of time and energy in the Local Church/Lord's recovery pretending it was something that it's not.

(Now, having said that, the influence of the British Christianity on the young Nee and Lee is of course enormous. But again let's face it and not just say something stupid like "Then God raised up Watchman Nee to restore the vision of the proper church" or some other dreck.)
08-29-2014 11:48 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
While Lee's teaching may have been influenced by Taoism, he, of course, didn't endorse it. Quite the contrary what he said about it was usually either merely factual or derogatory.
Actually Lee was derogatory toward everything and everyone. So he's being pretty mild with Taoism, actually.

I once noted the gospel's similarities with the religions of the east, while reading a book on spirituality by Ralph Waldo Emerson, who was influenced by Oriental philosophy and did much to import it to the American continent in the early 19th century. Emerson was a Harvard Divinity School graduate who more or less renounced formal religion, and embraced the cosmos. I found his writings to be quite good, but none of it either nullified Christ, nor replaced it, but just sort of presented it in a fresh way. But of course Emerson's orientally-tinged cosmos missed the death and resurrection of Christ. In that it was certainly not Christian.

I've several times here boiled down the philosophy of Christ to "do unto others as you would have God do to you" or some variant. That "what you do is what you get" philosophy is rather oriental, actually, and it Christian as well. Much hay has been made of the connection between Plato's philosophy and that of the NT, and I wonder why less is made of the similarities between Buddhism and Christianity. They both seem to me to say, "What you do is what you get."

Of course the crucial difference in Christianity is that we believe that Christ fulfilled the Divine Mandate, not only for God but for us the fallen. Christ is the One whose death redeemed mankind, we who fell from grace. Now it is faith that begins the process of restoration.

Yet, marching right behind that faith, is the irrevocable philosophy of, "What you do is what you get." Believe, yes; but believe and obey. Don't be a hearer of the word but a doer as well. Faith without works is dead. If you do not forgive you will not be forgiven. Etc.

The main advantage of Christianity to Buddhism as I see it is twofold. First of course we have Christ to lead the way. Jesus the Nazarene is the irreplaceable Shepherd, Guide, and Friend, Teacher, Master, and Captain of the army of the Lord. Second, as Paul said, "I die daily"; we don't need to wait for the end of this life to see if we'll become a frog or a bat or a rajah. We can die today, and move "to the next level" so to speak. I find this preferable.
08-29-2014 10:43 AM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Well, while Lee's teaching may have been influenced by Taoism, he, of course, didn't endorse it. Quite the contrary what he said about it was usually either merely factual or derogatory. For example:

Quote:
Taoism is even more difficult to understand. Taoism speaks about the wind, saying that the wind is like a breath and comparing human life to the wind or a breath. Thus, Taoism does not talk about God either. Therefore, neither Confucianism nor Buddhism nor Taoism talks about God.
Speaking for God by Witness Lee

Strange that he did not see the parallel to Christian doctrine of spirit.


Quote:
Although Antichrist will exalt himself above God, actually he will be used by God to destroy two religions—Judaism and Catholicism.

This is similar to the destruction of religion under communism in China. Although the communists oppose God, they do not realize that they have been used by God to demolish so many different religions, such as Buddhism and Taoism.
Life-Study of Revelation by Witness Lee.


Quote:
What about Taoism and the teachings of Confucius? Developed by thoughtful Chinese, Taoism teaches vanity; it has nothing solid. Not only does Taoism have no God; it has nothing substantial. Hence, it is not a religion. Likewise, the teachings of Confucius should not be regarded as a religion, because Confucius did not teach people to worship God. Confucius did mention God a few times in his writings, calling Him the King of the heavens, or even the heavens. Even though Confucius mentioned God, his teachings are ethical, not religious. Therefore, Buddhism is nonsensical, Taoism is vain, and the teachings of Confucius are ethical.
Basic Training by Witness Lee

Quote:
Taoism teaches how a person can reach a state of perfect peace and become immortal, but it is not related to worshipping God.
The Exercise of the Spirit and the Building of God by Witness Lee. His statement here is true with regard to Religious Taoism but not philosophical Taoism

But, he does sound more positive about Taoism here:

Quote:
We told the people that life in the world usurps them. Some of the philosophers taught the same thing. For example, Taoism teaches simplicity and selflessness. We also told people that the enjoyment of this world is actually a form of death. Some philosophers taught this also.
Life-Study of Exodus by Witness Lee.
08-29-2014 09:42 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
I was already aware of Taoism before I joined the Local Church
Well you never told me about it. You left me in the dark.

But then again, I probably appeared too fanatical for the recovery, for you to bring it up. I was, in fact, fanatical. Or maybe we failed to have enough alone fellowship time together, for you to find opportunity to confide in me. Did you share it with Dave?

Hey, Dave, were you aware of Lee's Taoistic cultural influence, back in Detroit days?

Back to Zeek:

"The Tao," I would have prolly responded, "Why go back to the Tao, when we're on the spearhead of God's Recovery," I'd likely say to dismiss your sharing of spotting Taoism in Witness Lee. (But like Eve to the tree, I would have run to the library (no internet back then, or even personal computers) to look into Taoism).

What an idiot I was back then. And all the while, as you recognized, the Tao was being slipped into my subconscious, by a crazy little Chinaman.

LSM doesn't even realize, to this day -- it has slipped past even Kangas' sharp mind -- that they're subliminally pushing Taoism by publishing Lee's books. But it's there.

I should be appreciative. I'm very glad the Lord eventually led me to the Tao De Ching; where I can get the unadulterated Tao (if there is such a thing), a purity not coming out of Lee.

And one more thing about the Tao. The Tao, and the Tao religion, are two different things. The Tao religion can take many shapes ; even, perchance, the shape of a Christian Recovery.
08-29-2014 08:47 AM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
See. Lee subliminally infected you with the Tao. Prolly aron too. And all the rest out here. Some. however, may be resisting that flow.

Don't take sides bro Zeek.
You believe in subliminal infecting and worming. There's a simpler, better supported explanation. I was already aware of Taoism before I joined the Local Church otherwise I wouldn't have observed the similarities between Lee and Taoism when I was there. And, even then, when Lee denied the influence of Chinese culture on his thinking, it occurred to me that he was probably simply not conscious of what seemed so evident to many others. I remember one brother who observed that the Eastern influence of the "Ministry" was what gave it its unique flavor as opposed to Christianity. Even though I wanted to disagree with him, I couldn't see how to refute it in view of the evidence.
08-29-2014 07:51 AM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
I have contemplated the Tao every day this year. Philosophical Taoism is central to such meager spiritual practice as I have these days. I believe the practice is compatible with the negative theology of the Western Christian mystics, a claim I can support with evidence if necessary. But I have no need to discuss Taoism here except as it pertains to the OP topic of this thread since, after all its origin is Chinese and it has had an enduring influence on Chinese culture.
See. Lee subliminally infected you with the Tao. Prolly aron too. And all the rest out here. Some. however, may be resisting that flow.

Don't take sides bro Zeek.
08-29-2014 12:13 AM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
You decide. Taste and see that the Tao is good. Ha.
I have contemplated the Tao every day this year. Philosophical Taoism is central to such meager spiritual practice as I have these days. I believe the practice is compatible with the negative theology of the Western Christian mystics, a claim I can support with evidence if necessary. But I have no need to discuss Taoism here except as it pertains to the OP topic of this thread since, after all its origin is Chinese and it has had an enduring influence on Chinese culture.
08-28-2014 11:48 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeek View Post
You know, whether Lee was conscious of it or not, there were Taoistic aspects to his thought. Publicly he dismissed Taoism and Buddhism as nonsense. But, his whole professed unwillingness to give advise and the passivity that he professed toward everything as it came to him by the guidance of the spirit was very Taoist. More religious Taoism than philosophical.
When John's Logos is translated for the Chinese version it's translated as the Tao. As a result, in the Chinese mind they picture the Logos as the Tao. So the Chinese syncretize their religious symbols right off the bat when reading the gospel of John. It's cultural. It can't be helped.

I'm just tossing out some thoughts here.

It can't be said that Lee was a Taoist. He was a Taoist like I'm a Southern Baptist. It's instilled in us, unconsciously, so to speak, or subconsciously, prolly, from birth.

To say that we can just uninstall it, like it's a computer program or something, is a fallacy. The culture we're raised in becomes part of our being. It becomes us, and we become it. And we don't see it any more than we can see our eyeballs when looking thru them. We look thru our culture like that.

I'd believe Lee's claim to be free from culture if he could have gotten free from his broken Chinese English. He didn't, and couldn't.

So cuz he couldn't help it, Lee was a Taoist in Christian clothing.

I wish I knew that back then. I should have. I was a fan of C.S. Lewis, who in his book "The Abolition of Man," speaks of the Tao:
Quote:
"The Chinese also speak of a great thing (the greatest thing) called the Tao. It is the reality beyond all predicates, the abyss that was before the Creator Himself. It is Nature, it is the Way, the Road. It is the Way in which the universe goes on, the Way in which things everlastingly emerge, stilly and tranquilly, into space and time. It is also the Way which every man should tread in imitation of that cosmic and supercosmic progression, conforming all activities to that great exemplar."
And:
Quote:
"I myself do not enjoy the society of small children: because I speak from within the Tao I recognize this as a defect in myself—just as a man may have to recognize that he is tone deaf or colour blind."
But cuz I was so busy in the local church life I never got around to reading Abolition of Man.

At least C.S. Lewis admitted openly his association with the Tao. Unlike Lee. Who snuck it in on us, importing it from China, into our soul in a hidden subconscious way, subliminally, if you will, culturally. Lee was a closeted Taoist.

To bad. As it turns out, like C.S. Lewis, I love the Tao. And I believe that reading >The Tao De Ching< can improve the Christian walk. Did I get this love for the Tao subliminally, perchance, from listening to Lee for a decade?

Maybe I should be careful. Being raised in a culture of the Tao didn't seem to do much for Lees' Christian walk. So maybe it's not all that.

You decide. Taste and see that the Tao is good. Ha.
08-28-2014 08:57 PM
zeek
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Some say divergent movement. I don't know but some might say I'm of the subvergent movement.
More like a submergent movement. It's so submerged it's practically invisible or perhaps non-existent. You have a way into the forest of uncertainty, but do you have a way out? Or through? You know, whether Lee was conscious of it or not, there were Taoistic aspects to his thought. Publicly he dismissed Taoism and Buddhism as nonsense. But, his whole professed unwillingness to give advise and the passivity that he professed toward everything as it came to him by the guidance of the spirit was very Taoist. More religious Taoism than philosophical. The whole practice of ridding your house of demonic items by burning cherished items was very feng shui. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feng_shui
08-28-2014 07:29 PM
awareness
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
One of the primary theologians of the Emergent movement.
Some say divergent movement. I don't know but some might say I'm of the subvergent movement.
08-28-2014 04:21 PM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post

But Lee sold us a story that he and Watchman Nee were somehow transformed beyond human culture, and the religious society they founded was guided solely by the "pure word" and the Holy Spirit's revelation.

Somehow Lee got beyond all that fallen human culture, and was leading us there as well. That is wishful thinking at best, and when continually pushed in the face of mounting evidence it becomes delusional.
I'll never forget this conference in Cleveland in the late 80's about CULTURE. what a waste of time that was. All those who braved to share a testimony were shot down as missing the point. A few older brothers mumbled this "bro Lee sees something we don't" kind of nonsense. Actually the whole weekend was an exercise in futility. No one received any help, but we all thought the problem lie with us. All of us were moo cows, and only "Lee could see."

Actually, when I look back, the real situation was hidden from us. Lee had just smeared the reputations of all those who attempted to fellowship with him about the direction of the Recovery. Ingalls et. al. in Anaheim were branded rebellious conspiratorial lepers when all they were doing was speaking their conscience as prophets of The Lord. Lee, on the other hand, had lost the anointing, and put the blame on all of us. He happened to use the topic of culture.
08-28-2014 12:44 PM
Terry
Re: The Last Apostle

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
http://www.concernedbrothers.com/Shi...%20Shields.pdf

David Shields, in 2006, writing on the idea of a "blended" group. Where was its origin, he asked. Howabout maybe in a despotic culture.

So WL the oracle of God said that he was the latest in the and long line, who give the the "sheep" the straight skinny right from the throne. But the oracle also said that he was the last, that he looked and there was none qualified to follow in his giant footsteps.
I wrote to the church, but Diotrephes, who loves to be first, will not welcome us. So when I come, I will call attention to what he is doing, spreading malicious nonsense about us. Not satisfied with that, he even refuses to welcome other believers. He also stops those who want to do so and puts them out of the church.
3 John 9-10

This pattern of Diotrephes seems to be the LSM way.
08-28-2014 06:58 AM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Interesting post by Dave that I read elsewhere about Oriental spiritual development. "He who overcomes" in Asian cultural reading...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave View Post
The LC was certainly in some upheaval in the late 70s but I think it started with the Revelation training which I attended. Basically because of the notion of the overcomers and unless you were in the top echelon you were short of achieving this superior state. You needed to do more and more to arrive at some spiritual pinnacle. Otherwise you would end up in some kind of purgatory. Kind of like reaching for perfection that the Buddhists try to achieve to get out of the six cycles of ghosts, semi-gods etc.


Also,

Quote:
Originally Posted by rayliotta View Post
Very interesting link, aron. Is anyone familiar with this site, or with Wright Doyle, the author of this WN bio? Apparently he is a professor at a seminary in Taipei. I wonder if he has more than a passing familiarity w/the history of the LRC in China...
Here is an assessment of the Christian character of Chinese Nationalist leader Chian Kai-Shek, also by Wright Doyle, on the web site. Doyle seems to be familiar with the intersection of politics, society, philosophy, religion, and culture.

"[Chiang Kai-Shek's] lifelong commitment to Confucianism makes some wonder whether his fundamental faith was more a matter of traditional Chinese ethics than Christian belief. Did his extraordinary self-control in public stem from dependence upon God, or upon the inner strength he had long learned to cultivate?

In defense, many have argued that Chiang’s autocratic leadership style is simply the norm for Chinese, and can be found in some of the most outstanding Chinese church leaders even today; that he was surrounded by mortal enemies and spies, and could really trust no one; that his murderous purge of communists in Shanghai was undertaken only after his enemies had formed a rival government, committed atrocities and put a price on his head; that war compels one to make decisions that will cost many lives, in order to save more people; that he matured in his Christian character as he grew older; and that a Christian’s true heart can be known only to God.

If his private diaries, public pronouncements, consistent support of Christian churches and foreign missionaries, and active involvement in the production of Christian literature which we have noted above mean anything, then we may perhaps say that Chiang Kai-shek’s Christian career represents the halting, stumbling, but steady pilgrimage towards the Celestial City of a sinner saved by grace."


Again, I stress that we use culture as part of shared meaning and understanding. It is part of who we are. But Lee sold us a story that he and Watchman Nee were somehow transformed beyond human culture, and the religious society they founded was guided solely by the "pure word" and the Holy Spirit's revelation.

Somehow Lee got beyond all that fallen human culture, and was leading us there as well. That is wishful thinking at best, and when continually pushed in the face of mounting evidence it becomes delusional.
08-28-2014 02:32 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

This thread reminds me of something I posted a few years back. Igzy and a couple others, as I recall, found it interesting. I'm sure many of you have seen it. It's a Nat'l Geographic documentary about N Korea, filmed a few years before Kim Jung-Il's death. 45 mins and well worth the watch. There were a couple of scenes in particular that gave me goosebumps. If I get the time maybe I'll track down the particular minute mark to look for.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxLBywKrTf4
08-28-2014 02:20 AM
rayliotta
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
So Nee had an "extensive literature ministry", according to this site, in which he "did not make clear" all his sources... sound familiar?

http://www.bdcconline.net/en/stories/n/ni-tuosheng.php
Very interesting link, aron. Is anyone familiar with this site, or with Wright Doyle, the author of this WN bio? Apparently he is a professor at a seminary in Taipei. I wonder if he has more than a passing familiarity w/the history of the LRC in China...

http://www.bdcconline.net/en/about/p...l/wrightdoyle/
08-27-2014 04:42 PM
OBW
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
OBW, before you fade into the ether, would you please recommend some readings along the lines you mentioned in your last post?
I've read things that I think have serous problems, but that still ask valid questions. And some good stuff from some good sources.

Brian McLaren's A Generous Orthodoxy comes to mind. A lot of good issues bubbling forth from someone who would lead us to water everything down if given the chance. One of the primary theologians of the Emergent movement. (Not the Emerging, but the Emergent movement. If you don't know the difference, don't worry about it.)

Mere Churchianity by Michael Spencer. Available on either Amazon or Barnes and Noble (or both) as an ebook. He is prone to hyperbole and paints a darker picture than is probably warranted, but worthy of consideration.

Two books by David Fitch. He is a professor of theology at Northern Seminary (Chicago area). He is quite prone to writing like it is for study within the scholastic theological world, so sometimes uses a lot of excessively expensive words. But once you get through the words you don't understand, very thought provoking. I like that he speaks of the problems within Evangelicalism yet from the standpoint of someone that considers himself to be part of it rather than as a sniper from the outside.
#1 (which I read most of several years ago) The Great Giveaway: Reclaiming the Mission of the Church from Big Business, Parachurch Organizations, Psychotherapy, Consumer Capitalism, and Other Modern Maladies. Actually got a lot of thoughts on worship from this one although it is about a lot of things, including expositional preaching (the staple of most Evangelical preachers).

#2 (which I am almost done with right now) The End of Evangelicalism? Discerning a New Faithfulness for Mission. This one picks on the "decision" pretty strongly. Also the "inerrant Bible" and the "Christian nation."
I used to study the Emerging/Emergent movements, but that has fallen to the wayside as the biggest speakers on the radical side (the Emergents) sort of shot themselves in the foot in recent years. That would be Brian McLaren and Rob Bell. Bell with his Love Wins and McLaren when he finally took a stand, I think in A New Kind of Christianity. I have read neither and probably do not intend to even think about it.

I follow blogs by Scot McKnight (Jesus Creed), Chaplain Mike (Internet Monk. Oddly this was the blog of Michael Spencer until he died three or so years ago. It is now written by two or three regulars, mostly a guy who is a hospital chaplain.), Kevin DeYoung (at The Gospel Coalition — very "Reformed" and sometimes dogmatic about it). There are a couple of others that I visit occasionally for interest, but that I have some issues with generally. I also follow a blog by a guy sort of in charge of worship direction for a Baptist organization in the Midwest (not sure if it is SBC or some other Baptist group). Can't remember much about it to lookup right now, but it is not really in the area of the controversies.

Despite my tendency for the logical arguments, I think that the value in apologetics is way overrated. Just too much thinking about stuff and checking off things on an "I believe that" list. Not enough rubber-hits-the-road emphasis on moving beyond that decision (i.e., to sanctification). Besides, I'm not sure how much you believe if you don't actually act like a believer. And people who don't obey aren't acting like it. (And that was pointed at me as well.)
08-27-2014 04:16 PM
aron
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I do not know the answer, but it creates for me a question about God willing any of us to become part of something as corrupt as the LRC just so we would have these experiences. I am beginning to think that God may not necessarily will that we did it, but is going to work with it since that is what he has been given to work with.

In other words, I am not sure that I can find a positive reason for having become part of the LRC.
I look at it this way. I am glad that I was once in third grade. I am also glad that I am no longer in third grade!
08-27-2014 11:02 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Not really a good reason.
Maybe you'll make "featured post" one day!
08-27-2014 09:25 AM
HERn
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

OBW, before you fade into the ether, would you please recommend some readings along the lines you mentioned in your last post?
08-27-2014 09:01 AM
OBW
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
So that you could hone your writing skills on this forum!
Not really a good reason. I would much rather be discussing the Evangelical errors of focus on the "decision." The Great Reversal. The thought that our witness is about evangelizing rather than living righteously. About what we say rather than who we are. That service for God is about doing religious work.

That extemporaneous prayers are better than those provided through thoughtful consideration (Psalms and other written prayers). That may be ought to have a portion of our "worship service" in which we confess together. Maybe, just maybe the more liturgical groups have the content or worship down somewhat better than the evangelicals. (Maybe even the RCC to some extent.)

We have turned salvation into the only thing required to then go out and preach the gospel. And we think that preaching the gospel is the only thing we are "sent" to do. So we despise ourselves for not feeling the calling to go to Kazakhstan. We don't have any appreciation for our calling to be Christ's hands and feet in everything we do. With or without religious/spiritual words being spoken.

That would be much more appealing to me.

This is a little bit of a mission to me. And maybe has become an addiction. I keep thinking I won't return, but I always do. But I get interested in less and less of what is going on. Not complaining about where the forum is heading. It just may not always be for me.

I am a little beyond 9 years in these forums now. For my personal tastes and desire, the best has come and somewhat gone. I keep wondering whether I will just continually dabble in it, catching onto some particular thread on occasion, or just fade away.
08-27-2014 08:43 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post

Watch out for someone whose ministry regards their flock, their readers, hearers, and disciples, as "mooing cows" and other less-than-salubrious terms.

Once I felt that the Lord communicated something to me, rather pointedly, and told me that the distance between myself and the dullest laggard, in terms of intelligence, wit, and capability, was much less than the distance between myself and God. If I desire God's mercy, shouldn't I also be merciful to those around me? What profit is there in categorizing other people so uncharitably? Don't we see the vast gap between ourselves and God? Then why presume some vast gap between us and our fellow heirs of faith, those who abide here in the flesh with us?

Lee let us know on no uncertain terms, and repeatedly, that we were dull, and unwitting, and failing take advantage of his vision, insight, teaching, and gifts. Why, if we'd just do exactly as he'd told us, a revival would sweep over the globe and the Lord would soon return! But no, unfortunately we were too poor and miserable to grasp what he'd placed front of us. I think Jesus referred to such ministers as shepherds who beat the flock. Be wary -- this minister's assessment of ones who don't match their standard is perilously close to the person who says to others, "Raca", or "You fool!".
The more Lee took control of the movement, the worse it got.

So he then condemned us all for all our deficiencies in carrying out all of his failed programs.

Does that not define hypocrisy? Or was that insanity?
08-27-2014 08:36 AM
Ohio
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
In other words, I am not sure that I can find a positive reason for having become part of the LRC.
So that you could hone your writing skills on this forum!
08-27-2014 07:58 AM
OBW
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
God is sovereign. We all go through what we go through for His kingdom.
Two statements. Both true. But I'm not sure we are clear what it means to be sovereign or to go through things "for the kingdom."

Does the fact that God is sovereign mean that everything is designed and willed? Or rather that God has the ability to control when he wills?

Does the fact that everything we go through has an impact on our lives in the kingdom mean that we were ordained to go through those due to His sovereignty? Or does it mean that God will use whatever is provided to shape us? I note that the "work together for good" is tied to "to those who love God." Does this mean that God ordains the "things" or that he works in and through the things for good?

And it says all things work together, not all things are ordained by the sovereign hand of God to work out for our good.

I do not have a problem with God for allowing bad things to happen to good people simply because he does not simply ordain everything. I do not diminish God if I am not on board with every declaration that the thing that just happened (won the lottery or lost a child in a horrible way) is declared to be God's will. I think we are too busy trying to make God out to be in charge of everything. If that is the case, then free will doesn't exist and the existence of evil is truly His doing. And I do not believe either of those. He is sovereign. But he is operating with restraint in this world during this time. Life happens. For those who love Him, who are called according to his purpose, he will work in all of the circumstances for our good (whether or not we understand how).

I do not know the answer, but it creates for me a question about God willing any of us to become part of something as corrupt as the LRC just so we would have these experiences. I am beginning to think that God may not necessarily will that we did it, but is going to work with it since that is what he has been given to work with.

In other words, I am not sure that I can find a positive reason for having become part of the LRC. Not sure that it is what God really wanted. Only evidence of how God worked with and on me during that time and afterwards as I have come to grips with the havoc it generated in my life and the lives around me.
08-27-2014 07:34 AM
OBW
Re: The Asian mind and the Western mind

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio