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Apologetic discussions Apologetic Discussions Regarding the Teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee

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03-04-2020 03:23 PM
Nell
Re: "The Ministry of the age."

When I left the Local Church, I stopped reading the Bible. I was afraid that if I read the Bible I would have to go back. I never did read all those messages, but I stopped all things Local Church.

My prayer was (I still prayed often) "Lord please don't let go of me." I also prayed, "Lord, please don't make me go back there." He didn't. He answered my prayers.

One day, 8 years later, I picked up my Bible again and started to read. I was advised to "read it like it's a book". I did. I had no expectations, but just a little fear of what might happen, and that I might have to go back.

As I read the Bible, it was the most amazing thing. I LOVED it! It was like a new book...like I had never read it before. I soon realized that God would never make me do something I didn't want to do. He gave me a free will to choose and he would never violate what he had given me. He wanted me to choose Him freely and not feel threatened or intimidated by Him. He wouldn't make me go back to the Local Church if I didn't want to. It was OK for me to pray to Him. It was OK for me to read His book. It was OK for me to just talk to him. I could tell Him anything and it was OK. If I was angry or upset about something that I thought was HIS FAULT, I told Him. I did that a lot. I discovered that God is a big boy and he could take my rantings. I think He was just happy to hear from me. That is my life still to this day. I've also added another important prayer (I've told you about this one a couple of times). "Lord, please don't let me be deceived."

I asked Him for bread and He didn't give me a stone instead.

You've heard that song "Getting to know you. Getting to know all about you. Getting to like you, getting to know you like me." It kinda' tells the story. Today, Jesus is my best friend. Really. I tell Him from time to time, pretty often, "Lord, I'll do whatever you want me to do." That one is a little scary, but after all these years, I trust Him. A really good hymn..."Jesus Doeth All Things Well."

Last summer I went to the little Baptist Church I grew up in. It was celebrating its 100th Anniversary. God's people were there. Not many, it never did have much more than 100 members, but those who came back "home" were truly God's people and came home because they still love one another. It was so sweet. The week before I had listened on the radio to the 150th anniversary service of the First Baptist Church in Dallas. God's people were there too. Thousands of them. I'm pretty sure that it wasn't about numbers. If it was, First Dallas would win. Instead, God just sees His people. He loves us the same. He loves to hear our voices and we love to hear him. Sometimes I just stand with tears in my eyes, amazed at how kind He is, or how He ... what...I don't know.

Another hymn: How Big is God written by Ray Price
Though men may strive to go beyond the reach of space
To crawl beyond the distant shining stars
This world's a room so small within my Master's house
The open sky's but a portion of his yard

[Chorus]
How big is God? How big and wide is His vast domain?
To try to tell these lips can only start
He's big enough to rule His mighty universe
Yet small enough to live within my heart


Here's a great recording of it featuring the big voice of John Hall. :-)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yohdJoWtEKw

I think this might be the real ministry of the age.

Nell
03-04-2020 01:54 PM
Trapped
Re: "The Ministry of the age."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I have had several discussions with several ministry minions, and there is this wild (imo) idea, that without the ministry of Witness Lee, there is just no way for the Lord to come back, there is no way for the church to be really built up etc. Of course, since I am outside of the bubble, I know this to be false, because I am a witness of the Lord building up his Body in my area in several different house churches that is not affiliated or have even heard of Witness Lee.

So my questions is this; What is the best way to engage into fruitful conversations with Christians/Local Church followers, using the Word to debunk this doctrine, to help them out of this system of error?

Any thoughts or comments welcome :-)
The biggest thing I can say right now is to point to what the co-workers wrote on shepherdingwords.com. They wrote in one of those articles that Witness Lee's ministry is not the same thing as the New Testament ministry. (Of course this is not true according to what they teach and practice, but they have put it out there in ink, so they are beholden to it). They say his ministry is only a part of it, which would mean there are other parts of it today that don't fall under Witness Lee.

If Lee is only a part of it today, then he alone is not enough to bring the Lord back or build up the church. The other ministers of their own ages like Paul couldn't have been more straightforward when they said "I am nothing, Apollos is nothing. We are just planters and waterers and servants who are nothing. It is God who gives the growth." So Paul, as a so-called minister of his age, himself said he was just a part of the whole thing, and pointed to others around him as equal participants. If Witness Lee is a minister of the age like Paul, then Paul's Biblical pattern should remain that Lee is just a part of it and there are others around him who are equal participants, all of whom including Lee are nothing - since God gives the growth.

(the minister of the age thing isn't real, but I'm trying to assume their point of view and use the ministry as the base, and rational thinking as the springboard of communication from that base).
03-03-2020 12:57 PM
Ohio
Re: "The Ministry of the age."

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
When James was killed in Acts 12:2, they didn't cast lots for another to be "added to the eleven" because there were already twelve. The idea of adding more and more apostles, indefinitely and sequentially, is not in the New Testament.
Interesting. Nice find, aron.
03-03-2020 10:41 AM
aron
Re: "The Ministry of the age."

Quote:
Originally Posted by theLCfurry View Post
I think others may have better answers than I do, especially on stuff related to the bible. Sorry if I was unhelpful
We all are sorting things out, don't worry if you don't always make the best sense, either to yourself or others. Just be polite and friendly (as much as we can on a public forum) and your contribution will be helpful as any other.

My two cents: When "Judas went to his own place" the disciples chose another apostle (Acts 1:18-26). If you note 1:26 it said that Matthias was "added to the eleven apostles". I think this is because Jesus chose twelve, and they were to rule over the twelve tribes of Israel.

When James was killed in Acts 12:2, they didn't cast lots for another to be "added to the eleven" because there were already twelve. The idea of adding more and more apostles, indefinitely and sequentially, is not in the New Testament.

Paul was the wildcard, the "apostle to the Gentiles, as Peter is the apostle to the Jews", per Paul in Galatians chapter 2.

The idea of adding more apostles, two thousand years later, is ridiculous, grasped at by those with delusions of grandeur, and those who want to submit to a Grand Pooh-Bah Sheep. "Those who are great in this age, will be the least in the kingdom of the heavens". Didn't I read that somewhere?

The ministry of the age is Jesus.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Did the “ministry of Witness Lee” originate solely in the mind of Witness Lee, or did God have anything to do with it...anything...? Is the church “built” to the specifications of Witness Lee? No? Yes? Do we limit the truth of God to the reach, the massive expanse, of the mind of Witness Lee? What does Witness Lee have that he did not receive? Is Witness Lee the potter or the clay?

Witness Lee is a man with an interpretation of the Bible, like every other Christian man or woman. Some interpretations are more educated than others; some may be more enlightened than others; some may even be anointed by the Holy Spirit than others.
What she said.
03-03-2020 07:03 AM
theLCfurry
Re: "The Ministry of the age."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I have had several discussions with several ministry minions, and there is this wild (imo) idea, that without the ministry of Witness Lee, there is just no way for the Lord to come back, there is no way for the church to be really built up etc. Of course, since I am outside of the bubble, I know this to be false, because I am a witness of the Lord building up his Body in my area in several different house churches that is not affiliated or have even heard of Witness Lee.

So my questions is this; What is the best way to engage into fruitful conversations with Christians/Local Church followers, using the Word to debunk this doctrine, to help them out of this system of error?

Any thoughts or comments welcome :-)
Yea, we've been taught that. I think it's just a way to control other members to stay within the Local Church, believing that this movement is the only legitimate one that would bring the Lord back (and some other stuff - and again, brainwashing is involved). Glad I debunked it through research, joining this forum, and questioning some teachings with the help of others on this forum

As to your question, I'm not sure how to help. I'd say maybe? encourage them to think critically about what they've been taught and develop questions and research if they have doubts. I think others may have better answers than I do, especially on stuff related to the bible. Sorry if I was unhelpful
03-03-2020 06:58 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: "The Ministry of the age."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
The real issue though is that if their claim is true, then where is the proof? What does the LCM have to show for it?

Some of the largest Christian denominations in the U.S. have millions of members each. By comparison, the LC has maybe tens of thousands of members in the U.S. and I don't know about other countries. Just the scope of influence alone does not support their claims. Obviously, a group doesn't need to be super influential to have an impact, but if they're claiming that they're going to "end the age" and nobody has ever heard of them, it just becomes an absurd claim.
I'd just be careful about thinking there has to be a large testimony as proof the Lord is in it (i.e., looking at the "seen"). God doing things and starting things in a small way is something of an MO for Him. He plants seeds. He comes as a Baby. He had a handful of original Apostles. A still, small voice, etc.

Not saying He doesn't do things on a grand scale as well, but to try and categorize something He is doing just by the numbers . . .
03-03-2020 01:52 AM
Nell
Re: "The Ministry of the age."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I have had several discussions with several ministry minions, and there is this wild (imo) idea, that without the ministry of Witness Lee, there is just no way for the Lord to come back, there is no way for the church to be really built up etc. Of course, since I am outside of the bubble, I know this to be false, because I am a witness of the Lord building up his Body in my area in several different house churches that is not affiliated or have even heard of Witness Lee.

So my questions is this; What is the best way to engage into fruitful conversations with Christians/Local Church followers, using the Word to debunk this doctrine, to help them out of this system of error?

Any thoughts or comments welcome :-)
First, the following questions need to be answered by those who believe that God is limited to the “ministry of Witness Lee”, or that is, the Creator is bound by His creation and cannot function without the “wisdom” of one of the grains of sand of the sea. I think the creator of the universe might be able to find his way back AND build his church without input from Witness Lee, but that’s just me.

Job 38:4-7(Nell-IV)
4 “Where was Witness Lee when God laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Did Witness Lee mark off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Did Witness Lee stretch a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or did Witness Lee lay its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels[a] shouted for joy?

Did the “ministry of Witness Lee” originate solely in the mind of Witness Lee, or did God have anything to do with it...anything...? Is the church “built” to the specifications of Witness Lee? No? Yes? Do we limit the truth of God to the reach, the massive expanse, of the mind of Witness Lee? What does Witness Lee have that he did not receive? Is Witness Lee the potter or the clay?

Witness Lee is a man with an interpretation of the Bible, like every other Christian man or woman. Some interpretations are more educated than others; some may be more enlightened than others; some may even be anointed by the Holy Spirit than others.

Interpretations that others believe to be so powerful as to limit the fulfillment of God’s promises to return one day, and to build his church...Hummm...I dunno...

Nell
03-02-2020 05:20 PM
Trapped
Re: "The Ministry of the age."

If we are talking about how to respond generally (not addressing specifics of the actual topic), the first thing I would do is just ask some questions:

1. What do you mean by that?
2. Can you explain a little more?
3. Can you give me some examples?
4. Why is there no way for xyz to happen without Lee's ministry?

Things like that. Don't let anyone make a claim without supporting it. The burden of proof is on the person making absolute claims like that.

Asking questions like that does a few things:

1. Shows you are interested in respectful dialogue.
2. Forces the person to back up their statement.
3. Forces them to actually think about what they are saying.
4. Gives you more information as to where they are coming from.

Trying to break down a general claim like that is hard because there is a lot behind their ingrained viewpoint. It's certainly possible, but it requires a lot of building on top of things that would just take time. If they can provide specifics as to why they believe it, then it gives you something to actually address.

If you have any specifics you have been told that you can post here, that would help with specific ministry and Word-related responses for how to address their viewpoint.
03-02-2020 04:47 PM
Freedom
Re: "The Ministry of the age."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
I have had several discussions with several ministry minions, and there is this wild (imo) idea, that without the ministry of Witness Lee, there is just no way for the Lord to come back, there is no way for the church to be really built up etc. Of course, since I am outside of the bubble, I know this to be false, because I am a witness of the Lord building up his Body in my area in several different house churches that is not affiliated or have even heard of Witness Lee.

So my questions is this; What is the best way to engage into fruitful conversations with Christians/Local Church followers, using the Word to debunk this doctrine, to help them out of this system of error?

Any thoughts or comments welcome :-)
Here is the way I look at it. They make certain claims about what WL taught or the importance of his ministry. It might be difficult to really address the issue with them as to how important they feel WL or his teachings to be. The real issue though is that if their claim is true, then where is the proof? What does the LCM have to show for it?

Some of the largest Christian denominations in the U.S. have millions of members each. By comparison, the LC has maybe tens of thousands of members in the U.S. and I don't know about other countries. Just the scope of influence alone does not support their claims. Obviously, a group doesn't need to be super influential to have an impact, but if they're claiming that they're going to "end the age" and nobody has ever heard of them, it just becomes an absurd claim.
03-02-2020 03:00 PM
Unregistered
"The Ministry of the age."

I have had several discussions with several ministry minions, and there is this wild (imo) idea, that without the ministry of Witness Lee, there is just no way for the Lord to come back, there is no way for the church to be really built up etc. Of course, since I am outside of the bubble, I know this to be false, because I am a witness of the Lord building up his Body in my area in several different house churches that is not affiliated or have even heard of Witness Lee.

So my questions is this; What is the best way to engage into fruitful conversations with Christians/Local Church followers, using the Word to debunk this doctrine, to help them out of this system of error?

Any thoughts or comments welcome :-)

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