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03-12-2020 02:14 AM
Re: where I am...

Hi Oldtimer,

Welcome to the forum; glad you are here.

To your comment about the local elders not being obvious authority figures....

1. In one sense I can picture exactly what you mean and understand what you are saying. But on the other hand, I think a large reason is because "the ministry" has brought the elders into submission to it. The elders don't appear to have authority because they don't! "The ministry" is what has the authority in the local church and the elders have to bow their heads to it.
2. The ministry states pretty un-misunderstandably that the elders are "God's deputy authority" and you have to submit to them whether right or wrong. So again, the saints don't give the appearance of submitting to the elders authority, because the saints are actually already submitted to the ministry which tells them to be in a state of submission toward the elders.
3. Numerous saints have experienced what seemed like sweet, gentle, non-authoritarian elders.......until something wrong genuinely occurred in the church. Then the elders become different people there to protect an image and a ministry, and toss the hurt saints aside like they are nothing. If you try to stop that kind of treatment, you'll butt up against "authority" very quickly (and not the Godly kind).

The saints can be very sweet and guileless.....towards those in their little group. But if you leave or have a differing opinion or don't agree with something.......they don't know what to do and often freeze out or shut down on you. Some saints have had to leave the church and the number of phone calls from saints IN the church reaching out to them is.....a big fat zero.

I don't want to make sweeping generalizations, though. There are saints in the church who are shining examples no matter what.

No church is perfect. While there may be churches who willfully continue in error like the one you described, the local church refuses to even entertain the thought that they might be in error (which they are, in a long list of ways). Which is better? Neither.
03-11-2020 08:55 PM
Re: where I am...

I was in another group that was similar in some ways. They had Christian communities with all things common, and far more advanced teaching. It always seems to be the people who get into power that lead to it's downfall. Even in denominations, had many pastors that went off the rails in Baptist, Presbyterian, etc. What do you do when a pastor tells you after a long discussion on a doctrine they hold to that " Ok, you are right, but it is too hard to change the whole denomination's teaching, so we going to carry on teaching this, even though we know it's error". I could be ok if they did not know it was wrong, but to teach error by choice...." Another kicked his wife out and took a gay lover.
03-11-2020 08:42 PM
Re: where I am...

There are some things I really like about the LC, Like the local leaders are not obvious authority figures, like in others. Also, they look at scripture from a different angle, and see things that I have learnt from. Most of these things are just their normal understanding of words used it scripture, not what they teach. Like "you shall know the truth, and the truth will set you free:, etc. The way they see "truth" is more like "reality", and I checked it out, they are correct! Our current understanding of "truth" is as an true idea, something that does not influence our life, a "true fact". But "you shall know (come into union with) REALITY" is a very different concept! There are many other concepts like this I have seen, where I just saw their understanding, they did not preach it.

The people I have met then have been shining examples, no guile in them, and we have been seeing a lot of them.
03-11-2020 04:09 AM
Re: where I am...

Hi Oldtimer,

Welcome to the forum. Watchman Nee certainly was both popular and influential in the Jesus movement circa 1965-1975. He was subjective, and people "felt" his words as much as received them intellectually.

The people on this forum were in one of the off-shoots of the Watchman Nee "little flock" movement in China that moved abroad, named the Local Church aka Lord's Recovery. (They, like Nee, insisted on 'no names' & thus used several)

They were run by a man named Witness Lee until his demise in 1997, since then the group has fragmented into hostile camps. Witness Lee forced all the LC groups affiliated with his ministry to rely exclusively on his material, with him as author, editor, and publisher. After he died it imploded.

It turns out that he set up businesses run by his unspiritual progeny to extract funds from church members, set other children over the LC as administrators through his publishing house (which had monopoly over the LC assemblies), and which children abused the believers.
03-11-2020 02:30 AM
Where I am...

Hello everyone, I met the Lord 45 years ago, been in any different denominations, non denominational groups etc. Had some time in an intentional christian community.

In the early days a lot of people of all denominations were reading Watchman Nee, he did have a lot that I believed was closer to God's heart than others, but never heart about any fellowship he was part of until the late 80's but there was no one I knew of or heard of that was affiliated to him. If fact, I did not think, from what he said, that there was such a thing as "affiliation" for a Christian apart from to the Lord!

About 8 years Ago I met people here, in another country, that said they were from the church that Watchman started. Been going to some meetings with them and have had some good things and some not so good issues as well.

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