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08-08-2018 06:26 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

From Daily Light this morning, 1st John 3:2-3:
Quote:
Beloved, we are now children of God, and what we will be has not yet been revealed. We know that when Christ appears, we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him (". . . Christ in you, the hope of glory." - Col 1:27) purifies himself, just as He is pure.
added parenthesis mine
08-06-2018 06:04 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
For sure luck is not involved.. rather, I was predestinated unto sonship.

How about you, Brother Harold?

Drake
If you've read the book of life you'd know already.
08-06-2018 05:58 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Good luck with that ... and thanks for your reply.
For sure luck is not involved.. rather, I was predestinated unto sonship.

How about you, Brother Harold?

Drake
08-05-2018 04:38 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Guess who my profile picture is. So, Mr. Evangelical this is supposed to be a forum on the LC, not my fellow Calvinists. If you wish to discuss with this and not divert to the reformed faith in order to defend theosis, go to reformed forums. I know your statics here as well as the DCP apologists. You're quite clever. And there's no theosis in Reformed orthodoxy. It's more of an Eastern Orthodox Church doctrine.
Need I remind you that you first diverted to Roman Catholicism to insinuate against the LC, but also that we have been considering Piper's views on this thread as well.

Even though Piper quotes them and values certain early church fathers, Piper makes his views clear in an article called "Don’t Equate Historically Early with Theologically Accurate".

It says:

Neither the experiences nor the teachers of the first 300 years of the church are as reliable as the finished New Testament.

The New Testament rescued the early church from instability and error.

We are in a better position today to know Jesus Christ than anyone who lived from AD 100 to 300. They had only parts of the New Testament rather than the collected whole.

Many of these statements go against commonsense, not to mention the second law of thermodynamics. It was the early church who gave us the New Testament. We don't need the whole completed NT to know Jesus, and the stories about Jesus themselves, the very content of the NT, were records of experiences and teaching. And how come later Catholicism and its degradation was not prevented by the existence of the completed New Testament?

So Piper must think he is more orthodox than anyone living in the first 300 years of Christianity, yet I think if we ignore what they have to say, then we are in more danger. Theosis is not a view held by one or two of the early church fathers (and some of them had really crazy ideas), but by a whole lot of significant people involved in defense of orthodoxy. If it was so heretical they would not have touched it.
08-05-2018 11:45 AM
Acolyte4236
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
All of these basic tenets of the faith have strong biblical basis ... Yet deification or "becoming God" has only Lee, Athanasius, the EOC, and the Mormons ... But that's apparently enough proof for you?

Well the LC, and the LDS views are not identical. And neither of them are identical with the Orthodox view, not by a long shot.

For the Orthodox the view is that humans participate in God's power or his energies, also known as his activities. If energies sounds weird to you, first its a biblical term. Second, Christians used it in the debates about the Trinity and Christology in the fourth thru sixth centuries.

That the LC and Lee globbed on to CHristian terminology and completely messed it up is not a reason for lumping them all together or dismissing them out of hand.
08-05-2018 09:36 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I am as convinced about the divinization of the believer as I am about the Trinity..
Good luck with that ... and thanks for your reply.

Harold
08-05-2018 07:10 AM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I am as convinced about the divinization of the believer as I am about the Trinity..
All of these basic tenets of the faith have strong biblical basis ... Yet deification or "becoming God" has only Lee, Athanasius, the EOC, and the Mormons ... But that's apparently enough proof for you?
08-05-2018 06:09 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Wow! They did all that? The Canon, the Trinity, and Theosis?
Makes me question all three. Hey, theosis promoters? Has it ever dawned on you that you could be wrong?
I am as convinced about the divinization of the believer as I am about the Trinity, the Bible as the completed Holy Writ, God’s redemption through the blood of Christ, Jesus being God, the indwelling Spirit, and all the other marvelous wonders of God’s complete salvation...

So,... no... the divinization of the Body of Christ, the deification of the Bride of Christ is as much an article of faith to me as everything else in God’s provision to His Church. They are all colorful parts of the one mosaic of God’s purpose with man.

Drake
08-03-2018 01:21 PM
Kevin
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Kevin, I don’t know who your profile picture is of.... but whoever it is has a body way too small to carry that super-sized cranial mass!
Well then that's my boi John Piper.
08-03-2018 07:23 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It's more or less a myth that Catholics look to the early church fathers and Luther and Calvin only relied upon the "bible alone". The Reformers all looked to the early church fathers too. Calvinism for example is basically Augustinianism.

There is a good discussion on this article:
https://theglobalchurchproject.com/a...uther-zwingli/

Augustine was the most important patristic source for the Reformation. In the centuries prior to the Reformation there was an “Augustinian Renaissance”. Here I reflect on the impact Augustine had on Calvin, Luther, and Zwingli, in the areas of grace and salvation, the church and the sacraments, and predestination and freewill.

On the principle of sola gratia, Calvin, Zwingli and Luther agreed whole-heartedly with Augustine, and it has been stated that the mainline Protestant Reformation can be considered an ‘acute Augustinianization of Christianity.’[68]

[68] George, T. Theology of the Reformers, (Nashville, Broadman Press, 1988), p. 74.
August-ine? Now there's many would call a god. We've found an example of theosis. Finally!
08-03-2018 07:00 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It does raise issues for "Bible-based, fundamentally sound, professing, evangelical Christians" when the vast majority of early church fathers who gave us the Canon and the Trinity doctrines, all believed in theosis to one degree or another.
Wow! They did all that? The Canon, the Trinity, and Theosis?

Makes me question all three. Devotee's have been known to get it wrong more times than not ... even the disciples, that all of Christendom consider their touchstone.

Hey, theosis promoters? Has it ever dawned on you that you could be wrong?
08-03-2018 06:14 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Guess who my profile picture is. So, Mr. Evangelical this is supposed to be a forum on the LC, not my fellow Calvinists. If you wish to discuss with this and not divert to the reformed faith in order to defend theosis, go to reformed forums. I know your statics here as well as the DCP apologists. You're quite clever. And there's no theosis in Reformed orthodoxy. It's more of an Eastern Orthodox Church doctrine.
Kevin,

I don’t know who your profile picture is of.... but whoever it is has a body way too small to carry that super-sized cranial mass!

The local church has a context and it has peers. One cannot talk intelligently about this or any subject for that matter without understanding those aspects. Since church history, church fathers, and church groups are shared then of course they are fair discourse to prove a point. In this case, the divinization of the believer, is the debate so what they thought about that is relevant.

Drake
08-03-2018 01:53 AM
Kevin
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
John Piper's book - The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin shows the link between Augustine, Luther and Calvin.
Guess who my profile picture is. So, Mr. Evangelical this is supposed to be a forum on the LC, not my fellow Calvinists. If you wish to discuss with this and not divert to the reformed faith in order to defend theosis, go to reformed forums. I know your statics here as well as the DCP apologists. You're quite clever. And there's no theosis in Reformed orthodoxy. It's more of an Eastern Orthodox Church doctrine.
08-02-2018 11:26 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

John Piper's book - The Legacy of Sovereign Joy: God’s Triumphant Grace in the Lives of Augustine, Luther, and Calvin shows the link between Augustine, Luther and Calvin.

https://www.desiringgod.org/books/th...-sovereign-joy

Piper is a 5 point Calvinist. He did not obtain his doctrine by reading the bible on his own. No, he's got his nose in the ancient books too, reading the early church fathers.

John Piper, (he loves Athanasius as I've shown before, even praises him), loves Augustine as well. He's second to the apostles themselves, somewhere between Paul and Luther, even calls him SAINT Athanasius (like a Catholic would?):.

The influence of Augustine in the Western World is simply staggering. Adolf Harnack said that he was the greatest man the church has possessed between Paul the Apostle and Luther the Reformer.

The publishers of Christian History magazine simply say, "After Jesus and Paul, Augustine of Hippo is the most influential figure in the history of Christianity."

https://www.desiringgod.org/messages...-is-not-silent
Calvinists are following the teaching of the early church father Augustine. CH Spurgeon and others wrote as much - the link between Calvin and Augustine is undeniable. Yet Saint Augustine was no Calvinist, he was the ultimate Roman Catholic, a much revered Saint in the Roman Catholic church to this day. It seems that whatever Awareness wrote about Anthanasius living 350 years after Christ, should apply to Augustine as well, who lived in A.D. 354-430.

I guess the real problem with Calvinists holding onto Augustine and rejecting deification is that Augustine most likely believed in deification as well.
08-02-2018 10:46 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Such I expect from Evangelical. I knew you would say that.
Protestants are no better than Catholics in regards to standing on the shoulders of the early church fathers.

What is the difference really between Calvin drawing from Augustine for their doctrine of salvation and Lee drawing from Athanasius for the doctrine of becoming God?
08-02-2018 10:39 PM
Kevin
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Protestants look to early church fathers too. The Reformers Luther and Calvin looked to and were influenced by the writings of the church fathers. Protestant theologians today also look to the early church fathers.

It's more or less a myth that Catholics look to the early church fathers and Luther and Calvin only relied upon the "bible alone".
Such I expect from Evangelical. I knew you would say that.
08-02-2018 10:36 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Roman Catholics will always appeal to church Fathers. "Hey, the first church Fathers were the disciples of the Apostles so everything they wrote must be true. Same goes with theosis.
It's more or less a myth that Catholics look to the early church fathers and Luther and Calvin only relied upon the "bible alone". The Reformers all looked to the early church fathers too. Calvinism for example is basically Augustinianism.

There is a good discussion on this article:
https://theglobalchurchproject.com/a...uther-zwingli/

Augustine was the most important patristic source for the Reformation. In the centuries prior to the Reformation there was an “Augustinian Renaissance”. Here I reflect on the impact Augustine had on Calvin, Luther, and Zwingli, in the areas of grace and salvation, the church and the sacraments, and predestination and freewill.

On the principle of sola gratia, Calvin, Zwingli and Luther agreed whole-heartedly with Augustine, and it has been stated that the mainline Protestant Reformation can be considered an ‘acute Augustinianization of Christianity.’[68]

[68] George, T. Theology of the Reformers, (Nashville, Broadman Press, 1988), p. 74.
08-02-2018 09:04 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
That is wrong. It is found in Irenaeus and other early church fathers, before Athanasius's time.

This is from:

Arthur C. McGiffert, A History of Christian Thought, Vol. 1—Early and Eastern: From Jesus to John of Damascus (New York: Scribner's Sons, 1932)

Participation in God was carried so far by Irenaeus as to amount to deification. 'We were not made gods in the beginning,' he says, 'but at first men, then at length gods.' This is not to be understood as mere rhetorical exaggeration on Irenaeus' part. He meant the statement to be taken literally.

And a while ago I already gave this quote and reference:


Moreover, patristic interpretations adapted antecedent traditions that read Ps. 82:1, 6—7 as summarizing salvation history from Adam's fall to the eschatological restoration of the immortality and glory he lost

See this journal article (THE EARLIEST PATRISTIC INTERPRETATIONS OF PSALM 82, JEWISH ANTECEDENTS, AND THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTIAN DEIFICATION
Carl Mosser
The Journal of Theological Studies
NEW SERIES, Vol. 56, No. 1 (APRIL 2005), pp. 30-74):

http://www.jstor.org/stable/23969235

The author is professor of Christian theology at Gateway Seminary (Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary).
First off. I don't trust Baptists. I grew up with 'em. I've seen behind the curtain.

But other than that ... great stuff ... thanks ... worth looking deeper into. So far, as far as I have found, those early church fathers weren't all that.

The bottom line question is, can we really become God in life and nature? Secondly, how do we go about it? Thirdly, what is it like. And finally, who do we have as an example? I like Saint Francis of Assisi. He loved the critters, as much as God loves the sparrows.
Francis preached the Christian doctrine that the world was created good and beautiful by God but suffers a need for redemption because of human sin. He believed that all creatures should praise God (a common theme in the Psalms) and the people have a duty to protect and enjoy nature as both the stewards of God's creation and as creatures ourselves.[37] Many of the stories that surround the life of Saint Francis say that he had a great love for animals and the environment.
Seems godly to me. But what do I know? I'm not deified yet. I must be a work in progress. From the looks of it I'm gonna need a few lifetimes. Good thing the New Testament hints at reincarnation as much as it does theosis.
08-02-2018 08:26 PM
Kevin
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Roman Catholics will always appeal to church Fathers. "Hey, the first church Fathers were the disciples of the Apostles so everything they wrote must be true. Same goes with theosis.
08-02-2018 06:43 PM
Trapped
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
The word become is not the issue it is the definition of "God in life and nature". If "God in life and nature" means the "economic Trinity" then it is orthodox, if it means the "essential Trinity" then it is heretical.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The word "become" is "the definition"? Really? You're diggin bro, you're still diggin. Keep at it and you'll be in Shanghai by the weekend. These terms "economic" and "essential" are related to God himself in his Trinity - they are not related to, nor do they apply to, what we, as God's creation have "become" (or what we have not become, as it were)

Oh Drake? You said you were interested in having some meaningful dialogue. Mr E has given us with some dialogue...but he has fallen short on the meaningful part. Maybe you can step in and save the day for Witness Lee and his teaching that we "become God in life and nature".

-
I am pretty sure that he did not mean the word "become" is the definition. I believe he meant "The word become is not the issue, the definition of 'God in life and nature' is the issue."

As an aside, I have not yet seen a post in blue text be anyone's other than UntoHim's, but the forum moniker listed is Evangelicals. I can't imagine Evangelical would refer to himself as "Mr E" either. Is there some glitch?
08-02-2018 05:20 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The Bible does not say we are "becoming God." Lee said it, not based on scripture, but on the writings of certain "church fathers." [ N.B. Jesus said call no man "father." Matt. 23.9 ]

The writings of these so-called "church fathers" are in no way binding on us as the church today. If we accept Athanasius as authoritative, then we must also acknowledge Ignatius who gave us the bishopric hierarchy which gave authentication to the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. These early post-apostolic writers and ministers were definitely used by the Lord in their day, but perhaps their only lasting legacy was the canonization of the New Testament. Only the Bible is definitive for the church today.

In the garden of Eden, the Serpent tempted first man Adam and Eve with the subtle deceit of "opening their eyes, and you shall be as God." (Gen 3.5) Today the oldest sect, the Eastern Orthodox, and a relatively new sect, the Mormon Latter Day Saints, both use this teaching to their advantage. But it's hard to say if any of their adherents are actually regenerated, blood-washed children of God. It's no wonder that Apostle Paul, fighting the earthly wisdom of extraneous errors, reduced his message to "Christ and Him crucified." (I Cor 2.2)

Why would any Christian denomination doggedly adhere to these extra-biblical teachings, espoused only by the fringes of Christendom, and rejected by nearly all Bible-based, fundamentally sound, professing, evangelical Christians?
To be strictly correct, Gen 3:5 says to be like God in knowing good and evil, and man has already become God in knowing good and evil. Gen 3:5 was a truthful statement, that if Adam and Eve ate the fruit they would become like God.This is proved by Gen 3:22:

Gen 3:22
And the LORD God said, "The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil. He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the tree of life and eat, and live forever."

If Gen 3:5 was a general prohibition on man becoming like God, then no Christian should even talk about being conformed to the image of Christ and immortality.

Gen 3:4-5, and Gen 3:22 shows two conditions for being like God - knowledge and immortality. Mankind has already acquired the first. Jesus secures us the second. Since God has not denied immortality from any of his children, it is appropriate to say that God desires His children to become like Himself.

It does raise issues for "Bible-based, fundamentally sound, professing, evangelical Christians" when the vast majority of early church fathers who gave us the Canon and the Trinity doctrines, all believed in theosis to one degree or another. They believed it as much as they were comfortable to talk about Christians as gods, a step that an average evangelical would never take. And yet these same "Bible-based, fundamentally sound, professing, evangelical Christians" would rather hold onto and defend their European pseudo-pagan/Christian Christmas and Easter traditions than consider the early church beliefs.
08-02-2018 05:06 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post

No matter. We have hints of it, and few verses that imply it. So it took 350 years and along comes :

Anthanasius ; speaking from back in the days when Christianity officially became a government sponsored corporation, in 4th century. 350 years for theosis to be discovered? That alone should cause us pause.
That is wrong. It is found in Irenaeus and other early church fathers, before Athanasius's time.

This is from:

Arthur C. McGiffert, A History of Christian Thought, Vol. 1—Early and Eastern: From Jesus to John of Damascus (New York: Scribner's Sons, 1932)

Participation in God was carried so far by Irenaeus as to amount to deification. 'We were not made gods in the beginning,' he says, 'but at first men, then at length gods.' This is not to be understood as mere rhetorical exaggeration on Irenaeus' part. He meant the statement to be taken literally.

And a while ago I already gave this quote and reference:


Moreover, patristic interpretations adapted antecedent traditions that read Ps. 82:1, 6—7 as summarizing salvation history from Adam's fall to the eschatological restoration of the immortality and glory he lost

See this journal article (THE EARLIEST PATRISTIC INTERPRETATIONS OF PSALM 82, JEWISH ANTECEDENTS, AND THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTIAN DEIFICATION
Carl Mosser
The Journal of Theological Studies
NEW SERIES, Vol. 56, No. 1 (APRIL 2005), pp. 30-74):

http://www.jstor.org/stable/23969235

The author is professor of Christian theology at Gateway Seminary (Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary).
08-02-2018 04:07 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Okay, we don't have a explicit doctrine of theosis in scripture. In fact, I talked to my local New Testament Greek expert, and we found that, the word theosis doesn't show up in the NT anywhere.

No matter. We have hints of it, and few verses that imply it. So it took 350 years and along comes : Anthanasius ; speaking from back in the days when Christianity officially became a government sponsored corporation, in 4th century. 350 years for theosis to be discovered? That alone should cause us pause.
Yes, I'm with ya.

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
First, God made us in His image. That's got to be some kind of divinization.
Right! And many sons brought into His glory and all . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
But I get it. It's fun kicking around theosis in this sandbox. It's a fun notion. I certainly enjoy it.
Yeah. Sandbox playing sums it up I think! One day when we see all clearly, I believe we'll be laughing way hard about all this kind of conversation. We don't have a clue of what we don't know (but that doesn't stop us from trying to tell others).
08-02-2018 02:29 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Hey y'all, I have a dog in this fight, so to speak ... skin in this game.

Okay, we don't have a explicit doctrine of theosis in scripture. In fact, I talked to my local New Testament Greek expert, and we found that, the word theosis doesn't show up in the NT anywhere.

No matter. We have hints of it, and few verses that imply it. So it took 350 years and along comes :

Anthanasius ; speaking from back in the days when Christianity officially became a government sponsored corporation, in 4th century. 350 years for theosis to be discovered? That alone should cause us pause.

Then we have the EOC, that claims succession back thru the apostles to Jesus himself. They claim theosis too, but can't trace it back to Jesus.

Then we have johnny-come-lately, Witness Lee, with his 'becoming God in life and nature.' (He can't claim to recovery that, except for his extra-Biblical terminology).

Then in scripture we have sanctification. But more often than not that happens when we receive the Holy Spirit. So all born-againers are theosisized.

I'm happy about it. It's my skin in the game. That means, sitting here in my living room, on my computer, I'm theosisized, at the moment. And if theosis is real it's been going on from the beginning, and Witness Lee's small movement, has no corner on it.

In fact, there's lots of evidence in the Bible that God wanted/wants to make humanity God. And he wants it for all of humanity. If our population growth is an indicator, that, we're more good than bad, He seems to be coming along very well. (The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined.)

First, God made us in His image. That's got to be some kind of divinization.

Then we ate the forbidden fruit and became 'as one of us." That was a quantum leap into divinization. That was when the devil came upon the scene, so claimed. Apparently, God had failed once, pre Adam, in heaven, when a archangel broke ranks. And now he, that archangel, that took the name 'devil or Satan' has been muddling up God's plan to make humanity God ever since. He's doing a grand job at it too, it more than appears ... in the news.

Let's not mention an example of physical divinization. That of the sons of God in Gen. 6. Look what that produced. Zowie !!!. Scary !!!.

But after becoming 'as one of us,' we had something that "us" didn't have : a physical body. And we all know that that is sinful just by the odors it emits if we don't, or can't, keep it clean. Plus, the physical body is clearly not God.

That is what needs to be divinized. So, as I've been told since little, God took on flesh, to die for humanity, to settle the score with God because of our sinful body, once and for all.

. . . And to also become 'a life giving spirit,' that we can receive. That's theosis that's been enjoyed by countless, down thru the ages.

Just one more thing, and if there's no new breakthru on this matter, I'll lay low.

Down thru the years I've see preachers that were harping on some sin, only for it to be discovered that they were committing that sin. Jimmy Swaggart is just one example among many. As a result, I've concluded that, the louder the moralist, the deeper the closet.

That makes me wonder if that's why Lee harped on theosis; if he had doubts about his metanoia, and was therefore harping on theosis, thinking it would save him. Who knows? But clearly Lee wasn't deified. Sorry.

But I get it. It's fun kicking around theosis in this sandbox. It's a fun notion. I certainly enjoy it. Like Lee, it's my only hope.

Still ... What I see from this discussion so far is that we've concentrated on what the Bible says, or doesn't say, at the expense of reality.

No one, that we know of, or recorded in history, since Jesus, has ever become deified. Sorry.
08-02-2018 07:57 AM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
As pertains to us, the believers, we will always be creatures yet we also are in the same genre of possessing both divinity and humanity as our Firstborn Brother. In that sense, we are or becoming God in life and nature as He is.

I’ll pause here and ask for your acknowledgement of agreement or if you don’t agree I’ll ask an explanation of your differing understanding from what I have stated. Please provide scripture to substantiate your point of view.
The Bible does not say we are "becoming God." Lee said it, not based on scripture, but on the writings of certain "church fathers." [ N.B. Jesus said call no man "father." Matt. 23.9 ]

The writings of these so-called "church fathers" are in no way binding on us as the church today. If we accept Athanasius as authoritative, then we must also acknowledge Ignatius who gave us the bishopric hierarchy which gave authentication to the Pope, the Bishop of Rome. These early post-apostolic writers and ministers were definitely used by the Lord in their day, but perhaps their only lasting legacy was the canonization of the New Testament. Only the Bible is definitive for the church today.

In the garden of Eden, the Serpent tempted first man Adam and Eve with the subtle deceit of "opening their eyes, and you shall be as God." (Gen 3.5) Today the oldest sect, the Eastern Orthodox, and a relatively new sect, the Mormon Latter Day Saints, both use this teaching to their advantage. But it's hard to say if any of their adherents are actually regenerated, blood-washed children of God. It's no wonder that Apostle Paul, fighting the earthly wisdom of extraneous errors, reduced his message to "Christ and Him crucified." (I Cor 2.2)

Why would any Christian denomination doggedly adhere to these extra-biblical teachings, espoused only by the fringes of Christendom, and rejected by nearly all Bible-based, fundamentally sound, professing, evangelical Christians?
08-02-2018 06:46 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The word become is not the issue it is the definition of "God in life and nature". If "God in life and nature" means the "economic Trinity" then it is orthodox, if it means the "essential Trinity" then it is heretical.

To alleviate any concerns, I will define the term "God in life and nature" as Lee used it - in Western theology, it means the "economic Trinity". In Eastern theology, it means "God's energies". If you can prove that Lee used it in any other way than this, then you have a point that it is heresy. But if not, you cannot say it is heresy.

Going with the Western terminology, "economic Trinity" refers to what God does. And the "“ontological Trinity” or "essential Trinity" refers to what God is.

Lee taught that we become God economically, but not ontologically.

For these reasons it falls under orthodoxy.

I did not exactly "fail to show that it is scriptural", I gave the scriptures that theologians like Blackwell say led to the doctrine of theosis, which confirms it is scriptural. A doctrine is not scriptural just because UntoHim or Evangelical thinks it is. One person's personal interpretation of Scripture does not define orthodoxy. It is confirmed by the earliest Christian sources from multiple accounts. It is like how the doctrine of the Trinity is Scriptural - there is no verse which defines it clearly for us as well as the Nicene Creed, but it is seen when comparing Scripture as a whole, and it raises all sorts of questions if people like Athanasius who defended the Trinity got it wrong about theosis.

UntoHim,

The above starts to address the main point of your earlier excellent question:

“Please tell us about the life and nature (of God) that we “become” that is different than the life and nature (of God) that we do “not become”.

Stated in accepted theological terms it serves as a solid basis for what I wanted to share sooner. That is, a believer in the Lord Jesus becomes God in life and nature, a bonified (John 1:12) son of God, one of “many brothers” in the genre of the Firstborn Son of God (Romans 8:29) ..... but never the Only-begotten Son of God (John 1:14).

The understanding of what we become pivots entirely on that distinction.

The scripture states clearly that we are genuine sons not just legally but in life.... yet according to and after the pattern of the Firstborn. So, what is the primary distinction between the Only-Begotten Son and Firstborn Son? It is primarily “creation”. The Firstborn is also a creature (Philippians 2:6-8) whereas the Only-Begotten is the Creator through whom all things were created (Colossians 1:16).

As pertains to us, the believers, we will always be creatures yet we also are in the same genre of possessing both divinity and humanity as our Firstborn Brother. In that sense, we are or becoming God in life and nature as He is.

I’ll pause here and ask for your acknowledgement of agreement or if you don’t agree I’ll ask an explanation of your differing understanding from what I have stated. Please provide scripture to substantiate your point of view.

Thanks
Drake
08-01-2018 08:34 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Good response Sons. Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Some other verses that speak of this mystery would be in John 17, right? Much praying about oneness with the Triune God and God's glory being given to believers, right?

Verse 21:"That they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us . . ."

Verse 22: "And the glory you have given Me I have given to them . . ."
Yes, when I asked if Jesus taught theosis John 17 was on my mind. But that doesn't seem to be theosis as Lee taught it. In fact it doesn't seem to be speaking of theosis at all.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons
One might also look to Romans 8 verses 9-11. Seems like lots of blending of God & man there (dare I say "mingling"?).
If that's true then we're theosisized (sic) when we receive the Spirit.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons
And as Paul says in Colossians 1:27 about this great mystery" "Christ in you, the hope of glory."
Christ in us is our deification.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons
I still think the bottom-line is that this subject is (sorta like my dad would say - like trying to corner jello) a mystery.
But Lee gained his power by revealing mysteries. In fact, that's what the recovery was all about : Lee revealing mysteries, that have been hidden from all, until the great Lee came along. To bad we can't kiss his feet. Oh, are they still doing that ... in their spirits now?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons
Yes, it probably is too far to say we become God ...
Ya think!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons
, but God is the ultimate giver! "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when he is revealed, we will be like him; for we will see him just as he is." My my - what is this!!??
Now that sounds like divine induced theosis. That happens "when he is revealed."

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons
I think what He is doing is and will be an entirely new creation and critter (as a brother I know likes to say) - God's masterpiece!
"The hope of glory."
08-01-2018 08:10 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Then Lee's Recovery movement is superfluous. The EOC has had it since the beginning. Lee recovered nothing.

Your verse support is weak. Can you point me to where Jesus teaches theosis? Seems if it's such an important doctrine Jesus would have taught it.
Some other verses that speak of this mystery would be in John 17, right? The Lord has much praying to the Father about our oneness with the Triune God and God's glory being given to believers.

Verse 21:"That they all may be one, even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us . . ."

Verse 22: "And the glory you have given Me I have given to them . . ."

One might also look to Romans 8 verses 9-11. Seems like lots of blending of God & man there (dare I say "mingling"?).

And as Paul says in Colossians 1:27 about this great mystery" "Christ in you, the hope of glory."

I still think the bottom-line is that this subject is (sorta like my dad would say - like trying to corner jello) a mystery. As is written, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man, what God has prepared for those that love Him."

Yes, it probably is too far to say we become God, but then God is the ultimate giver! "Beloved, now we are children of God, and it is not yet revealed what we will be. But we know that, when He is revealed, we will be like Him; for we will see him just as He is." My my - what is this!!??

I think what He is doing is and will be an entirely new creation and critter (as a brother I know likes to say) - God's masterpiece!
08-01-2018 07:40 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Ok Mr E., I'm only going to do this one more time. Your posts are becoming very repetitive and decidedly unresponsive to the legitimate concerns and contentions of other posters. I will give you one more time to directly respond. One more time I will point out to you and the readers/lurkers that Witness Lee plainly and clearly taught that we "BECOME God in life and nature". Now, just like Witness Lee, you have failed to show how this teaching is scriptural, or how it can be accepted as falling within the bounds of orthodoxy. Again, you have not addressed the salient concerns regarding the word "Become". Please don't be like Witness Lee whose answer to these kind of questions and concerns was "because I said so", or "well, that guy over there taught something like this and you don't call him heretical!". That will not cut it here on this forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The simplest passages I can think of are these ones:
Quote:
2 Peter 1:4 shows that it is God's will for us to participate in the divine nature.
To participate in the divine nature is NOT to BECOME God in life and nature.
Quote:
Romans 8:29 shows the goal of salvation to be conformed to the image of Christ and share in God's family as Jesus's brother.
To be conformed to the image of Christ and share in God's family as Jesus's brother is NOT to BECOME God in life and nature
Quote:
Hebrews 2 and Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
To not conform to the pattern of this world and be transformed by the renewing of your mind is NOT to BECOME God in life and nature.
-
08-01-2018 07:30 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Fair enough.

The simplest passages I can think of are these ones:

2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

2 Peter 1:4 shows that it is God's will for us to participate in the divine nature.

Romans 8:29 shows the goal of salvation to be conformed to the image of Christ and share in God's family as Jesus's brother.

2 Peter 1:4 and Romans 8:29 is basically theosis. The gospel is about bringing many sons to glory.

John 3:16 has been interpreted by many that salvation is to not perish (in hell) and live forever (in heaven).

In contrast, the early church seems to have seen salvation in light of 2 Peter 1:4 and Romans 8:28. The EOC seems to have retained this early church tradition of keeping theosis as the focus. If that is what the early church believed, then the apostle Paul must have contained theosis as part of his gospel such as - Hebrews 2 and Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
Then Lee's Recovery movement is superfluous. The EOC has had it since the beginning. Lee recovered nothing.

Your verse support is weak. Can you point me to where Jesus teaches theosis? Seems if it's such an important doctrine Jesus would have taught it.
07-31-2018 04:31 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Yeah, yer right . . . sorta. It was just all this discussion - back and forth and forth and back - it all kinda got lost in the sauce for me and I was hoping to get it distilled down into something, sorta, kinda, basically ineligible.

What I'm realizing these days is - if it ain't simple to grasp, it probably aint the Lord.
Fair enough.

The simplest passages I can think of are these ones:

2 Peter 1:4 Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.

Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.

2 Peter 1:4 shows that it is God's will for us to participate in the divine nature.

Romans 8:29 shows the goal of salvation to be conformed to the image of Christ and share in God's family as Jesus's brother.

2 Peter 1:4 and Romans 8:29 is basically theosis. The gospel is about bringing many sons to glory.

John 3:16 has been interpreted by many that salvation is to not perish (in hell) and live forever (in heaven).

In contrast, the early church seems to have seen salvation in light of 2 Peter 1:4 and Romans 8:28. The EOC seems to have retained this early church tradition of keeping theosis as the focus. If that is what the early church believed, then the apostle Paul must have contained theosis as part of his gospel such as - Hebrews 2 and Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
07-31-2018 04:26 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Yeah, yer right . . . sorta. It was just all this discussion - back and forth and forth and back - it all kinda got lost in the sauce for me and I was hoping to get it distilled down into something, sorta, kinda, basically ineligible.

What I'm realizing these days is - if it ain't simple to grasp, it probably aint the Lord.
07-31-2018 04:05 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Upon reading this (with a fresh, morning mind), I see one thing missing. One little thing. Oh what could it be - SCRIPTURE!

When asked to present a concise statement of what we believe, I think it behooves us to give that answer, from scripture, and do it in such a way as to not muddy it in a whole bunch of "they said" speak. Short. Living. To the point. (I heard that somewhere before . . .)
You have asked for Scripture before. In my post #294 I gave Scripture and you were the only one to respond to that in a neutral way. I have been using Scripture more than anyone, and there is even more Scripture in the links from Piper and Blackwell that I have referenced. Everything comes back to the early church's understanding of Psalm 82 and when Jesus said "ye are gods".

I am not going to continue summarizing my posts if people are lazy. Everyone is capable of doing their own research. When you write many posts and do in-depth research as I have, continuing to ask for summaries and scripture is bordering on rudeness.

It can easily be seen that most people's posts here are not using Scripture but opinions.

For example, UntoHim warned about listening to Anthanasius and quoted Galatians 1:8, but all of the theologians like Piper and Blackwell would be guilty of that - Piper even thanked Anthanasius in a way which is more prayer-like than not.

Galatians 1:8 mentions gospels contrary to that which Paul preached. So far, my research into the early church beliefs has found that the early church gospel included theosis. And that is why the defenders of the Trinity like Athanasius believed in it.
So perhaps it is the modern day gospel with the goal of only getting to Heaven which is the "other gospel" contrary to Paul's.
07-31-2018 07:33 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Upon reading this (with a fresh, morning mind), I see one thing missing. One little thing. Oh what could it be - SCRIPTURE!

When asked to present a concise statement of what we believe, I think it behooves us to give that answer, from scripture, and do it in such a way as to not muddy it in a whole bunch of "they said" speak. Short. Living. To the point. (I heard that somewhere before . . .)
07-31-2018 07:08 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
"Theosis" or "Divination", like any doctrine or teaching, is only an orthodox doctrine if it is taught and believed within the confines of the Word of God. The Word of God does NOT teach or even imply that we are BECOMING GOD IN LIFE AND NATURE. It simply does not. To quote a real apostle and the greatest theologian to ever live..."But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8) So if we are not to listen to an angel from heaven, what shall we say about Anthanasius, or any of the church Fathers or any mere man? Take care, lest you find yourself in the realm of the accursed.
Paul never claimed that he became God in life and nature. Neither did he claim that for any of his converts.

And Anthanasius got fired, and banished, numerous times. He never became God in life and nature either.

So far, no one has become God in life and nature, except those buying into Witness Lee, and then only in their imaginations ... not in their life and nature.

Theosis is a pipe dream, dreamed up by imperial Christians, seeking imperial power over the church. History teaches us what that became. Lee copied that system, as pope Lee ... he too wanted to use theosis to empower himself ... and it worked. Not on me.

Such claptrap works only on the ignorant ... and beguiled fanatics ; oh, and those that like funny hats.
07-30-2018 10:16 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

To clarify the reason I quote theologians like Blackwell and Piper is not because I think they are teaching exactly what Lee is teaching, but because they are so accommodating of the idea of theosis and do not discount it.

If the idea was so wrong, we should expect them to be denying it, calling it a heresy or error, and showing how it came from paganism or some other heretical source. However, they explain how it comes from the Psalms and words of Jesus Himself and was existing in the early church.

I was expecting them to say something like CARM does about it. A website like CARM (https://carm.org/what-is-theosis) says this:

False religions sometimes teach that we can become godlike and even gods.

Blackwell on the other hand is not shy to call Christians gods, and says:
believers are adopted and become gods by grace.

We begin to look so much like our immortal and holy God that we too might be called gods. Thus, Emerson may have been onto something when he said, “A man is a god in ruins.”

According to CARM, then, Blackwell might be teaching a "false religion".

CARM also says:

In addition, CARM does not support the Eastern Orthodox Church and considers it to contain serious errors. We strongly recommend that the Eastern Orthodox Church, like the Roman Catholic Church, be avoided.

In contrast, Blackwell and Piper do not use such strong language, and even explain the doctrine in terms of Protestant understanding (sanctification, or glorification).

The authors at CARM are not genuine, bonafide theologians, and their view might reflect the view of the average evangelical. However the genuine bonafide theologians speak of theosis in a way that we could even say is an endorsement. As Blackwell wrote , "The idea is virtually unknown among Protestants".
07-30-2018 10:07 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
What happened to the one paragraph? Guess you couldn't condense this into a concise thought, but thanks for responding at least.

Oh well, I'll read this tomorrow when my brain is fresher . . .
I condensed to one paragraph per topic.
07-30-2018 09:53 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
"Theosis" or "Divination", like any doctrine or teaching, is only an orthodox doctrine if it is taught and believed within the confines of the Word of God. The Word of God does NOT teach or even imply that we are BECOMING GOD IN LIFE AND NATURE. It simply does not. To quote a real apostle and the greatest theologian to ever live..."But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8) So if we are not to listen to an angel from heaven, what shall we say about Anthanasius, or any of the church Fathers or any mere man? Take care, lest you find yourself in the realm of the accursed.
Psalm 82 does not say that WE ARE BECOMING GOD IN LIFE AND NATURE. It says no such thing. You can quote church fathers, commentators, Nee, Lee, Martin Luther or Martin Luther King...is says no such things.
I am talking about the exegesis. I said that's how the early church interpreted it. The early church interpreted this passage in terms of us becoming gods or sons of God.

To support this, here are quotes from the Blackwell article I gave in an earlier post:

the idea arose from early Christian readings of the Bible. Our earliest evidence of believers being called gods actually goes back to the lips of Jesus in John 10:34 when he quotes from Psalm 82:6, which reads: “I said, ‘You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.’” The church has followed Jesus in this interpretive stream, although they have spent more time exploring this passage in view of wider biblical contexts than focusing on Jesus’ use of it in the Gospel of John. With this, two primary exegetical themes come out of their readings of Psalm 82: (1) gods are immortals and (2) sons of God are gods.

two primary exegetical themes come out of their readings of Psalm 82: (1) gods are immortals and (2) sons of God are gods.

To be a son of God, then, means being a god, in some sense.

So according to the theologian Blackwell, the early church Christians referred to themselves as gods. This would explain why so many early church fathers talk about "becoming God" and early church Christians would not had a problem with it unlike so many evangelicals today have.

He does say that becoming God is metaphorical, but explains his meaning of the term "become God" as to become part of God himself, the Trinity. Of course, Lee would agree with this as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Wow, this is getting old. John Piper does not teach that WE ARE BECOMING GOD IN LIFE AND NATURE. He teaches no such thing. If he did, he would be the laughing stock of the Christian community. (Like Witness Lee already is to a great extant.)
I never said he did teach that. Rather, I said that he does not say Athanasius is a heretic or his doctrine. Instead, he praises him. In fact, Piper tries to bridge the doctrine with evangelicalism by comparing it to the doctrine of "glorification".

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Many? What many? I've never heard anyone teach that John 3:16 is the goal of salvation, and neither have you. There is no such teaching in evangelical/orthodox Christianity.The rest of your post is simply an argument from silence at best, and really is nothing more that flat out circular reasoning, and I don't have the time or patients for such nonsense tonight.
-
I can quote numerous Christian websites that state eternal life is the goal of salvation. This is from bible study.org and note the part I highlighted in bold.

http://www.biblestudy.org/bible-stud...salvation.html

Each believer is promised that he or she, after living a faithful life to the Father, will be resurrected from dead and given an eternal life full of love and purpose. God personally promises that those who overcome shall be given ALL things. Even more amazing is that God will consider those who are saved as part of his family (Revelation 21:7)! This is the ultimate goal of salvation (Revelation 20:6).
07-30-2018 09:08 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Theosis is an orthodox doctrine
"Theosis" or "Divination", like any doctrine or teaching, is only an orthodox doctrine if it is taught and believed within the confines of the Word of God. The Word of God does NOT teach or even imply that we are BECOMING GOD IN LIFE AND NATURE. It simply does not. To quote a real apostle and the greatest theologian to ever live..."But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed." (Galatians 1:8) So if we are not to listen to an angel from heaven, what shall we say about Anthanasius, or any of the church Fathers or any mere man? Take care, lest you find yourself in the realm of the accursed.

Quote:
The historians and theologians can help us understand the early church perspective and they say that the interpretation of Psalm 82 was that it is God's will for humanity to become divinized. People who say it "is not in the bible" say that because they are reading the bible with a modern perspective.
Psalm 82 does not say that WE ARE BECOMING GOD IN LIFE AND NATURE. It says no such thing. You can quote church fathers, commentators, Nee, Lee, Martin Luther or Martin Luther King...it says no such things.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
As I have shown by referencing his article, theologians like Piper do not deny the doctrine or declare the early church father Athanasius to have heretical views, rather, they praise him and equate the doctrine with their evangelical understanding of "glorification".
Wow, this is getting old. John Piper does not teach that WE ARE BECOMING GOD IN LIFE AND NATURE. He teaches no such thing. If he did, he would be the laughing stock of the Christian community. (Like Witness Lee already is to a great extant.)

Quote:
Despite the claims of many, John 3:16 is not the goal of salvation, but the means to that goal.
Many? What many? I've never heard anyone teach that John 3:16 is the goal of salvation, and neither have you. There is no such teaching in evangelical/orthodox Christianity.The rest of your post is simply an argument from silence at best, and really is nothing more that flat out circular reasoning, and I don't have the time or patients for such nonsense tonight.
-
07-30-2018 09:05 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

What happened to the one paragraph? Guess you couldn't condense this into a concise thought, but thanks for responding at least.

Oh well, I'll read this tomorrow when my brain is fresher . . .
07-30-2018 05:40 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
The theosis topic. There have been pages and pages of replies and counter-replies that have been hard (at least for me) to follow. Hoping to get something concise I can grasp more easily. Thanks.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
So Evengelical - can you summarize your particular perspective of this topic in a short to medium paragraph?
On the Orthodoxy of the Doctrine:

Theosis is an orthodox doctrine, being found in the early writings of the church such as Athanasius and others, and evolving from the Bible itself, as Protestant historians and theologians can confirm.

On the Scriptural support for the Doctrine:

The historians and theologians can help us understand the early church perspective and they say that the interpretation of Psalm 82 was that it is God's will for humanity to become divinized. People who say it "is not in the bible" say that because they are reading the bible with a modern perspective.

On the acceptance of the doctrine in Christianity:
As I have shown by referencing his article, theologians like Piper do not deny the doctrine or declare the early church father Athanasius to have heretical views, rather, they praise him and equate the doctrine with their evangelical understanding of "glorification". Athanasius is a beloved figure in all major branches of Christianity. To declare him a heretic would also be to declare his views about the Trinity as being heretical, when he was a key figure in the defense of the Trinity.

In actuality, Protestantism has no clear doctrine of theosis like found in the Orthodox church or in the recovery. It was a doctrine that was believed by Luther and Calvin to a degree, but then lost or ignored by later adherents, until today when some of the most diluted salvation messages are about getting past the pearly gates of heaven. Over time, the salvation message became about justification, rather than theosis, and so the original goal of salvation was lost. Despite the claims of many, John 3:16 is not the goal of salvation, but the means to that goal. The EOC I believe still retain the original meaning and goal of salvation in their ideas about theosis, whereas the Catholic church and its protestant daughters lost it.

What is heretical and what is orthodox:

There are only two possible ways that this doctrine could be heretical:
1) if it confuses human and Divine natures by stating they become a third human-divine nature.
2) if it states that humanity becomes divinity in the sense of becoming part of the Trinity/Godhead, God's own Person.


Was Lee's doctrine heretical or othodox?:

Given these two conditions for orthodoxy, it can easily be proven that Lee's thinking was orthodox:

Lee believed that we "become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead".
Lee wrote "“Nevertheless, we must know that we do not share God's Person and cannot be worshipped".

What real heretics say about it

Mormons believe that man becomes gods in themselves, and ruling their own planets, without any qualification of what that means or meeting the two conditions for orthodoxy I mentioned before. Their doctrine is truly a heresy because they believe in some third and distinct human-divine nature.
07-30-2018 04:27 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Which particular topic did you have in mind?
The theosis topic.

There have been pages and pages of replies and counter-replies that have been hard (at least for me) to follow. Hoping to get something concise I can grasp more easily. Thanks.
07-30-2018 04:10 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
So Evengelical - can you summarize your particular perspective of this topic in a short to medium paragraph?
Which particular topic did you have in mind?
07-30-2018 11:31 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

So Evengelical - can you summarize your particular perspective of this topic in a short to medium paragraph?
07-29-2018 02:43 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

This is a really silly argument because Athanasius used the term "become God" so perhaps Lee was being consistent with that?:

Athanasius said:

"For the Son of God became man so that we might become God."

So it was Athanasius who first knowingly, intentionally, deliberately used a specific word/term that has huge, far-reaching theological implications.

Clement of Alexandria, Theophilus of Antioch, Hippolytus of Rome, Gregory of Nazianzus and others also used the term "become".

Westminster Dictionary of Christian Theology also says: It is possible for man to become like God, to become deified, to become god by grace.

So maybe you should take it up with historians and early church fathers and the theologians about the use of the term, because the term is ubiquitous in Christianity.

In your previous post you interpreted "become" as two Divine lifes and natures, which amounts to saying there are two God's. That is your interpretation that there are two God's, not mine or Lee's or Athanasiu's. I don't know any Christian who would entertain the thought that there are two God's. Instead perhaps there are different meanings of the word "become", but only one life and nature.
07-28-2018 08:09 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Please tell us about the "life and nature" (of God) that we "become" that is apart from the "life and nature" (of God) that we do "not become". According to Witness Lee (and now you) God has two sets of lifes and natures - one that we become and one that we do not become. Again, feel free to use Lee as much as you want (and you're going to have to use Lee because nobody else teaches anything close)
Mr E.
Your two posts do not even begin to address the question at hand. Your posts conveniently left out the operative word - BECOME. To partake is not to become. To share is not to become. Witness Lee said WE BECOME GOD IN LIFE AND NATURE.

Witness Lee, knowingly, intentionally, deliberately used a specific word/term that has huge, far-reaching theological implications. Of course, as has been duly noted, Witness Lee was no theologian. He really had no business delving into such theological matters. And the more that he tried to explain away his blunders, the more he dug himself into a deeper hole. Now his followers are left to follow the same pattern - Dig and dig until you confuse the matter so badly that it becomes just plain silly.

-
07-28-2018 06:11 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

So in a paragraph or less, can someone summarize what this whole discussion was really about, bottom-line? (be a good "attorney" and do a very brief synopsis of both sides)

The shorter the better . . . (and if this can't be succinctly done, I don't think it's worth knowing)

As radio personality Dennis Prager says, "Clarity is better than agreement."

Thanks!
07-28-2018 06:31 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

If only it were true that, theosis were true. Then there might be hope for bro Hank.
07-28-2018 03:33 AM
Kevin
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Hank Hanegraaff, Walter Martin's Greedy Judas, the Fake Bible Answer Man
07-27-2018 09:34 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Now some more formal definitions of life and nature. These are partly dictionary definitions and paraphrases of Lee's ministry.

Life
  • Life - life is the ability to live.
  • God's life - His ability to live and exist as God.
  • Human life - the ability of a human to live and exist as a human.

Example:

"God's life given to us" = "His ability to live forever given to us" = "Eternal life".


Nature
  • Nature - the quality
  • Quality - the totality of features and characteristics
  • God's nature - the totality of God's features and characteristics.
  • God's qualities - love, light, life, righteousness, oneness etc.

Examples:

"Partake of God's life" means:
  • To receive the ability to live forever

"Partake of God's nature" means:
  • To receive God's qualities including love, light life, righteousness etc.

With these definitions, we can see how we may share God's life and nature but not in the Godhead:

- God's life and nature in the Godhead is His own that no one else but a person of the Trinity may have.
- God's life and nature that He shares with us is the ability to live forever and His qualities that He gives us.

Comparing these two statements we can see that there are not two divine lives and natures but one divine life and nature.

- The ability to live forever is the same ability God has Himself - after giving us His ability to live, it does not become a different ability, that can exist apart from God.
- The nature that He gives us is the same nature that He Himself has - after giving us His nature it does not become a third nature, which is a confusion between man and God or a third nature.

The previous two statements are paraphrases of the iron in fire or tea-water, or Moses's burning bush analogies.

Sidenote:
Evangelical preachers think that the ability to live and have God's nature constitutes God performing improvements on the human condition, leading to a third nature and third life which if we take to its logical conclusion means it is able to exist and function apart from God (if it wants to). Using the iron-fire analogy this would be like the iron becoming a third substance - steel, which remains as steel when the fire is put out. In contrast, the doctrine of theosis is about human's partaking of God's life and nature without producing a third substance - if the fire would be removed from the iron, the iron is still iron, no steel is produced.

For anyone not familiar with the analogy, the iron represents humanity, the fire represents God. Iron becoming fire is heretical because it implies man becoming God in the Trinity/Godhead. Likewise - fire becoming iron, is heretical as it implies God in His person becoming man. Iron when heated, being indistinguishable from fire, however, is not a heretical belief, as long as the iron and the fire does not stop being iron and fire. Iron and fire becoming a third substance, steel, is a heretical belief because it implies a confusion between man and God. The iron and fire analogy was very helpful to me to understand the concepts and know when something is heretical and when it is not.
07-27-2018 09:07 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Ok, let me try this one again. This is an open book test my brother! Please feel free to quote Witness Lee in your answer.
Please tell us about the "life and nature" (of God) that we "become" that is apart from the "life and nature" (of God) that we do "not become". According to Witness Lee (and now you) God has two sets of lifes and natures - one that we become and one that we do not become. Again, feel free to use Lee as much as you want (and you're going to have to use Lee because nobody else teaches anything close)
-
Now I can answer the question.

In Genesis we see that God gave life and His nature to His creation - He created Adam in His own image. This is also spoken of in Romans 1:20:

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

So there is a thing called the life and nature of God in His creation, eve the life God gives us as human beings (and first Adam) and the life God gives us as believers.

We partake of the life and nature of God that is not in the Godhead/Trinity, the one He gives to His creation. In other words, we share His life and nature but not His personality -we retain our own personality.

Then there is the life and nature of God in the Trinity, and we could call this God's personality or person.

Lee wrote "“Nevertheless, we must know that we do not share God's Person and cannot be worshipped"

In a follow up post I will go into a more formal definition of life and nature.
07-27-2018 08:26 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Well, the grain of wheat that fell into the ground to die, brought forth many grains. They were all of the same life and nature, right? (in response, please be gentle on my simple mind . . .)
I like the life and nature of wheat metaphor. Except in the theme of theosis, the wheat has its life and nature but it's not enough. It needs an additive ; a divine life and nature is needed.

Does that actually happen -- the slow process of deification -- or the gradual infusion of God's life and nature -- over time? That's the critical question. Does it actually happen?
07-27-2018 03:57 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Just wanted you to know I am not ignoring your question and look forward to a meaningful dialogue on it.
That's great Drake, I'm looking forward to the meaningful dialogue. Maybe you could team up with Mr. E and you guys can make it a "tag team".
Three rounds...winner takes all!

-
07-27-2018 03:16 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I'm keenly interested in the two lives and two natures of God too. But actually, if each of us become God in life and nature, there may be as many as a billion lives and natures, plus the life and nature of God. Lives and natures here. Lives and natures there. Lives and natures everywhere. Sounds sorta like pantheism. But add God and it's panentheism.

And I guess Evangelical is out of pocket too.
Well, the grain of wheat that fell into the ground to die, brought forth many grains. They were all of the same life and nature, right? (in response, please be gentle on my simple mind . . .)
07-27-2018 03:05 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
And, to all parties on this particular discussion, I hope it is simple enough for me to understand!
I'm keenly interested in the two lives and two natures of God too. But actually, if each of us become God in life and nature, there may be as many as a billion lives and natures, plus the life and nature of God. Lives and natures here. Lives and natures there. Lives and natures everywhere. Sounds sorta like pantheism. But add God and it's panentheism.

And I guess Evangelical is out of pocket too.
07-27-2018 02:50 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Hi UntoHim,

I have been out of pocket since you posted this question. I read it and have been meaning to respond to it because I believe it is perhaps the most relevant and insightful question posed in this forum for a long time.

I am coming up for air soon and will respond shortly. Just wanted you to know I am not ignoring your question and look forward to a meaningful dialogue on it.

Thanks
Drake
And, to all parties on this particular discussion, I hope it is simple enough for me to understand!
07-27-2018 02:27 PM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Please explain to us about the two lives and two natures of God. Actually you really only need to tell us about the life and nature of God that is separate from his being, from his Godhead (that is, the life and nature that we become apart from his being and Godhead) It would be super cool if you could use some verses in the New Testament to clarify.
Hi UntoHim,

I have been out of pocket since you posted this question. I read it and have been meaning to respond to it because I believe it is perhaps the most relevant and insightful question posed in this forum for a long time.

I am coming up for air soon and will respond shortly. Just wanted you to know I am not ignoring your question and look forward to a meaningful dialogue on it.

Thanks
Drake
07-26-2018 03:34 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
But the Greek authors didn't. They didn't use caps. 'Cept they weren't saying God. They were saying theos.
yes, and theos means God.
07-26-2018 02:25 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I should have used capital G yes to write -

As we can see, most people do not have a good reason why Lee's views on salvation and becoming God are heretical.

I am not aware of any rule that we must use capital G.

The psalms uses little g and so did Witness Lee sometimes in his books.

Since there is only one God, and "God" is not God's name, if we say god or God it does not matter. Jews have rules about these things.
But the Greek authors didn't. They didn't use caps. 'Cept they weren't saying God. They were saying theos.
07-25-2018 04:23 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
[COLOR="Navy"]Mr. E., why did you just use a small "g" instead of a Capitol "G" like your One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age uses? Are you backing down a little bit on this? You better hope someone from Anaheim does't see this....if it gets back to your elders you're going to be in some hot water!-
I should have used capital G yes to write -

As we can see, most people do not have a good reason why Lee's views on salvation and becoming God are heretical.

I am not aware of any rule that we must use capital G.

The psalms uses little g and so did Witness Lee sometimes in his books.

Since there is only one God, and "God" is not God's name, if we say god or God it does not matter. Jews have rules about these things.



Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
[COLOR="Navy"]
So you're going to keep insisting that "theosis" or "divination" equals "glorification"? Your Acting God never made this correlation, so I don't understand why you insist on this obvious blunder. No, Blackwell didn't say this and neither did Piper. (and neither did Matt Slick in the reference you gave us) You are apparently not used to a careful reading of the views of educated, genuine and professional theologians (and who could blame a follower of Witness Lee for this).
Piper did indeed equate them in his article:

What becomes clear when all is taken into account is that Athanasius is pressing on a reality in the Scriptures that we today usually call “glorification”

Glorification (in Western terminology), or deification (according to the East)


Reading this in plain English, it says:

The process of transformation is a reality - it's called glorification in the West, and deification/theosis in the East.

Piper is equating them and putting the differences down to a different in terminology:
What becomes clear when all is taken into account is that Athanasius is pressing on a reality in the Scriptures that we today usually call “glorification” but is using the terminology of 2 Peter 1:4 and Romans 8:29, “Those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.” He is pressing the destiny and the glory of being a brother of the second person of the Trinity, and “sharing in his nature.”47



But I know there is a difference, and here is where I disagree with Piper (and agree with Lee) - I wrote a post about it earlier, and wrote:

What evangelicals and the EOC both share in common is that there will be a process of transformation. The disagreement lies in what is the purpose of that transformation (to be like God or to be free from a sin nature?), how it comes about (a life-long process of cooperation with God?, or a one-off future event?).


Piper's article does two things:
a) shows the idea of deification is a biblical reality, and not such a heresy as some say it is. So it is incorrect to say "it isn't in the bible", if theologians like Piper endorse it.
b) Praises Augustine. Praise for Augustine and the doctrine of becoming God amounts to endorsement of Orthodox beliefs. Piper seems to endorse the beliefs and then equate them to glorification.

I disagree with Piper that it is the same as glorification, I posted about this before. What is remarkable to me is how positive Piper is towards Augustine and the general idea of transformation to become like God.

Piper writes:

My present understanding would go like this: the ultimate end of creation is neither being nor seeing, but delighting and displaying.


So the goal of salvation is to delight and display God. Where have I heard that before? That's right, Witness Lee.

"delight and display" = "enjoy and express".

The goal of salvation is to enjoy and express God. Or "We were created by God as a tripartite man with a spirit, a soul, and a body for us to contain, enjoy, and express God"

So Piper and Witness Lee and the EOC basically agree. They all see something more to salvation than merely getting to heaven when we die or escaping hell. They affirm what Athanasius taught, and do not see him as a man who was orthodox most of the time (on the Trinity, etc) but heretical at other times (with becoming God).


Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
[COLOR="Navy"]
Ok, let me try this one again. This is an open book test my brother! Please feel free to quote Witness Lee in your answer.
Please tell us about the "life and nature" (of God) that we "become" that is apart from the "life and nature" (of God) that we do "not become". According to Witness Lee (and now you) God has two sets of lifes and natures - one that we become and one that we do not become. Again, feel free to use Lee as much as you want (and you're going to have to use Lee because nobody else teaches anything close)
When I get more time I will elaborate on this, and I don't think you will be disappointed


Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

Sorry, but asking questions for clarifications of one's beliefs is not an ad hominem. (Neither is asking for somebody to clarify their beliefs regarding the undisputed leader of a movement...but I'll let you slide on that one for now).

-
Yes but you attached that to my credibility or not, which is ad hominem, or literally "arguing to the human".
07-25-2018 04:02 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Mr. E., why did you just use a small "g" instead of a Capitol "G" like your One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age uses? Are you backing down a little bit on this? You better hope someone from Anaheim does't see this....if it gets back to your elders you're going to be in some hot water!

So you're going to keep insisting that "theosis" or "divination" equals "glorification"? Your Acting God never made this correlation, so I don't understand why you insist on this obvious blunder. No, Blackwell didn't say this and neither did Piper. (and neither did Matt Slick in the reference you gave us) You are apparently not used to a careful reading of the views of educated, genuine and professional theologians (and who could blame a follower of Witness Lee for this).

Ok, let me try this one again. This is an open book test my brother! Please feel free to quote Witness Lee in your answer.
Please tell us about the "life and nature" (of God) that we "become" that is apart from the "life and nature" (of God) that we do "not become". According to Witness Lee (and now you) God has two sets of lifes and natures - one that we become and one that we do not become. Again, feel free to use Lee as much as you want (and you're going to have to use Lee because nobody else teaches anything close)

Sorry, but asking questions for clarifications of one's beliefs is not an ad hominem. (Neither is asking for somebody to clarify their beliefs regarding the undisputed leader of a movement...but I'll let you slide on that one for now).

-
07-25-2018 03:14 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

As we can see, most people do not have a good reason why Lee's views on salvation and becoming god are heretical.

The only reasons offered so far are:
- "it's not in the bible" - knowledgeably theologians like Blackwell, Piper and others would disagree, they explain the teaching in a historical, positive and biblical way.
- "something about Lee not calling himself an apostle blah blah" - All of the reasons do not hinge upon what Lee actually wrote or said or was qualified, but upon irrelevant "Ad hominem" arguments, such as my credibility or my ability to use Google.

Furthermore, they do not have a good case to declare the orthodox views of salvation and deification as heretical, given that it is so entrenched in Christianity even in Protestantism (the Reformers believed in it, and it is said to be called "glorification" according to Piper). In Protestantism the idea is still there, somewhere, but has been overlooked and replaced with focusing mostly upon justification and the goal to be holy and without sin.

They are not aware of or deliberately ignore the wealth of material out there by scholars like Piper and Blackwell, in order to present Lee as a heretic, not realizing that they are arguing against a belief that the disciples of the disciples of the apostles held - that salvation is to become united with God. Lee himself said nothing that others have not said before, namely, early church fathers, the Reformers, and the beloved CS Lewis.

In fact, it can be shown that Lee's view of salvation is almost identical to the teachings of the Orthodox church:

The goal of salvation according to Orthodoxy is (from https://carm.org/what-is-theosis )

Such, according to the teaching of the Orthodox Church, is the final goal at which every Christian must aim: to become god, to attain theosis, ‘deification’ or ‘divinization’. For Orthodoxy our salvation and redemption mean our deification."


Lee also viewed deification as our salvation and redemption:

“If God is still God, and I am still I, then I have not been saved yet! " ~ Witness Lee
07-25-2018 02:03 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
My point is simple. We are always in need of something or someone outside of ourselves, or outside of our immediately sphere of influence, or even outside of our immediate experience or knowledge of the Scriptures, to give us perspective. Our individual understanding and discernment can be, at times, somewhat myopic and misguided. We may very well be "competent in the Scriptures" and even "fervent in spirit", but still be in need of someone to "explain the way of God more accurately".

It seems to me that Witness Lee was a man who desperately needed someone(s) to explain the way of God more accurately to him. History tells us that many faithful ones attempted to do just that...people from within the LC movement, and even some from without the LC movement. Lee refused such correction/fellowship at every turn. Instead of being humble like Apollos, he ignored such ones coming to him (if they were lucky) and more often he would viciously attack and defame the character of the ones from within the LC movement, and as for the ones from outside the movement, well, they received much harsher treatment from Witness.
You bet and good example (regarding Apollos)! We certainly all need clarifying fellowship and also the scriptures to show us/confirm what the Anointing is telling us. While the Anointing telling me at that young age, "I is dead," was quite rudimentary, the scripture and fellowship on this subject these last 40+ years have been more than a little enhancing to that speaking!

I read an account of how TA Sparks and WL had fellowship regarding the so-called "Ground of Oneness" back in the 1960s. Sparks shared about how it would be erroneous and unprofitable to go down that road and hang the movement's hat on. In the first meeting WL seemed to agree, but went back to his previous thinking some time afterward and stuck with it when getting with Sparks a second time. (These days I appreciate and enjoy Sparks' writings much, much more.)
07-25-2018 01:15 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
I have had things spoken directly to me by the Anointing that I'd never heard before...I had little idea what the ramifications were, and knew no supporting scriptures - just the speaking within, which was so very clear. This really backs up the word in 1 John 2:27: "the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you."
Your point and example here is valid and is well-taken Son to Glory! However, I must tell you that the point/example you give is not necessarily related to or analogous to the point I was making in my last post. It does remind me, though, of something that happened in Acts 18:
Now a Jew named Apollos, a native of Alexandria, came to Ephesus. He was an eloquent man, competent in the Scriptures. He had been instructed in the way of the Lord. And being fervent in spirit, he spoke and taught accurately the things concerning Jesus, though he knew only the baptism of John. He began to speak boldly in the synagogue, but when Priscilla and Aquila heard him, they took him aside and explained to him the way of God more accurately.

I think there is little doubt that Apollos was under "the anointing", which caused him to be "fervent in spirit" and even "speak and teach accurately the things concerning Jesus". Yet, Priscilla (..gasp...a sister!) and Aquila still went to him to "explain to him the way of God more accurately". I guess that Apollos could have puffed out his chest and rebuked them, proclaiming that he was already "competent in the Scriptures" and "had been instructed in the way of the Lord". (I suppose he could have also rebuked Priscilla for having the gall to presume that a woman could teach a man "more accurately")

My point is simple. We are always in need of something or someone outside of ourselves, or outside of our immediately sphere of influence, or even outside of our immediate experience or knowledge of the Scriptures, to give us perspective. Our individual understanding and discernment can be, at times, somewhat myopic and misguided. We may very well be "competent in the Scriptures" and even "fervent in spirit", but still be in need of someone to "explain the way of God more accurately".

It seems to me that Witness Lee was a man who desperately needed someone(s) to explain the way of God more accurately to him. History tells us that many faithful ones attempted to do just that...people from within the LC movement, and even some from without the LC movement. Lee refused such correction/fellowship at every turn. Instead of being humble like Apollos, he ignored such ones coming to him (if they were lucky) and more often he would viciously attack and defame the character of the ones from within the LC movement, and as for the ones from outside the movement, well, they received much harsher treatment from Witness.

And now the "Blended Brothers" have taken on the same attitude as Witness Lee. In fact, the entire Local Church movement is saturated and polluted with this kind of arrogant and haughty attitude.

Ok, end of rant. It just breaks my heart to see such a large lot of God's people carried away from the truth. Undoubtedly, undeniably there is some "accurate speaking and teaching" from the ministry of Witness Lee, but there is also a desperate need for more accuracy, and even more for a large dose of humility. God have mercy.
-
07-25-2018 10:31 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Well my brother, the only reason you know that our inheritance is in Christ is that someone taught you about this truth. Yes, you may have read that for yourself in the Bible, but for the truth to become "reality" to you (reality being a secondary meaning of ἀλήθεια Aletheia) there needs to be some expounding and expanding upon this simple yet profound truth.

So let us celebrate! Let us also be men and women of discernment. We can do both at the same time, I believe.[/COLOR]
-
Ahhh - the "Wise as serpents yet gentle as doves" thing . . . Sure and amen.

I don't know that I agree with you completely on the first paragraph. I have had things spoken directly to me by the Anointing that I'd never heard before. For instance, I was saved at a pretty young age and never spent much time in the Bible then. But when I was 18 I had a miraculous spiritual and physical renewing that came with healing inside and out. At that time the words, "I is dead" kept bubbling up inside me. I had little idea what the ramifications were, and knew no supporting scriptures - just the speaking within, which was so very clear. This really backs up the word in 1 John 2:27: "the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you."
07-25-2018 10:05 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
So again, what is the point of the discussion? You think one way about our destiny and I think another way - WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!?
Actually most of the discussion lately on this thread has little to do with our destiny per se, but more on the here and now, and how the teachings and practices we imbibe and practice have great effect on ourselves and those around us.

And then there is this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
So why do I bring all this up (again)? I bring it up because Witness Lee and his teachings and the practices he established and/or promoted are still being extolled as "God's move on earth" and "THE Lord's Recovery". Lee, to this very day, is still being extolled and promoted as "The One Minister with the One Ministry for The Age". To this very day, Lee is being extolled and promoted as the only person on earth who spoke as God's oracle. And the worse thing is that these are not "optional" beliefs for LC members. Those who disagree are shunned at best, and usually made so uncomfortable they simply disappear. Again, your experience, my experience is not relevant to the facts.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
THE BOTTOM_LINE IS: Our inheritance in Christ is "Joy unspeakable and full of glory and the half has never yet been told!" Let's celebrate!!!
Well my brother, the only reason you know that our inheritance is in Christ is that someone taught you about this truth. Yes, you may have read that for yourself in the Bible, but for the truth to become "reality" to you (reality being a secondary meaning of ἀλήθεια Aletheia) there needs to be some expounding and expanding upon this simple yet profound truth.

And speaking of truth...the simple truth is that there are many preachers and teachers, prophets and apostles, out there telling us that they have a word of truth for us, for the church, for the Body of Christ. Some are legitimate, some of only partially legitimate, and others are frauds- imposters-charlatans. The Bible refers to these people as false prophets, false apostles and sheep in wolves clothing.

If every one of us were merely "celebrating" 24X7 (and we will be one day) and there was nobody watching out for the false teachings of the false prophets and the false apostles, then we would not be celebrating for very long - or at the least our celebration would not be in the truth.

So let us celebrate! Let us also be men and women of discernment. We can do both at the same time, I believe.

-
07-25-2018 09:13 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Here are some verses from Daily Light July 27th (somehow I got a little ahead in my daily reading):
Quote:
"He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation." "Whom He foreknew, He also predestinated us to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers." (Colossians 1:14-15; Romans 8:29)
And I would also add:
Quote:
"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit." (John 12:24)
And this:
Quote:
"The glory which You have given Me I have given to them . . . " " . . . having brought many sons to glory . . ." (John 17:22; Hebrews 2:10)
Call me dense (it's OK if you do), but I guess I miss the point of this whole discussion. These verses show that God's intention and work toward us (His "masterpiece" as per Ephesians 2:10) is higher than any of us could know. ("Eye has not seen nor ear heard nor has is come up in the heart of man, what God has in store for them that love Him." 1st Cor. 2:9)

So again, what is the point of the discussion? You think one way about our destiny and I think another way - WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES IT MAKE!? It's a little like children on the playground arguing about who can make the best mud pie, when a vacation on the beach awaits them (shades of CS Lewis).
Yes, like this -->

THE BOTTOM_LINE IS: Our inheritance in Christ is "Joy unspeakable and full of glory and the half has never yet been told!" Let's celebrate!!!
07-23-2018 02:55 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Bro Drake, thanks for this attempt to explain the mechanics of theosis, and how we become godmen. Becoming God sounds important. Let me try to understand?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
The divine uncreated life of God.. Every born again believer has it. At the moment we believe we receive it first into our spirit. That is regeneration.
No, no. I was told that when I accepted Jesus as my Lord and savior, he came into my heart.

It wasn't until I bumped into the local church that I learned that that was wrong. They showed me the diagram of the tripartite man, so called. That showed, from 1st Thess, spirit, soul, and body, with the spirit at our core. They said that when I accepted Jesus that he came into my spirit. For years I thought he was in my heart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake
Our spirit experiences union with God.. theosis.
Sounds more like henosis. But I won't quibble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake
Then through the course of our human life, the Lord in our spirit moves into all our heart and soul... our mind. emotion, and will. This happens step by step, daily in all our circumstances and situations providing we cooperate with Him. When Paul says be transformed by the renewing of the mind this is what he is referring to. This life long process is theosis, divination of the soul. Then, in an instant, when the Lord returns , the body of every believer is transfigured into an eternal body like unto His own. This the final step of theosis is the redemption of our body.

The first and last step, regeneration of our spirit and the transfiguration of our body are instantaneous. The transformation of our soul is where the struggle occurs. Since God does not force His will on mans will it is up to each individual to choose God. We love many things but God desires we love Him first and foremost and above all. We think about many things but God desires we set our mind in the things of God and upon His Spirit. In this way, we will experience the salvation of our soul in this life.
Interesting. With our free will we can accept Jesus and instantly he comes into our spirit. But we can't use the same free will to accept him into our heart, mind, will, and emotions, and have it/him instantly.

Doesn't this hermeneutic, of slow drip deification, coming as far as I know, from Nee and Lee, make salvation based upon works?

Hey, I feel like I've been slowly deified, over the years. But it might just be age, and the loss of youthful vigor.

As long as those that have spent more time being deified don't claim that it means they wield God's authority, and that they speak for God, theosis is fine with me. In fact, I think it's pretty cool. If only ... I could use my free will to asked the Lord to instantly deify this lousy body, I'd be peachy keen with it.

Obviously I'm just as disappointed as Paul, concerning seeing the deification of living bodies. But also, I don't see real convincing evidence of slow moving deification.

As I've stated, none of those Evangelical has cited as evidence of theosis, ever became any different than any other human primate.

Moreover, how well we know the Bible, tho a good thing, and know about it, nor how much we know the history of Christianity, and knowing about things like theosis, does any of it constitute deification.
07-23-2018 07:59 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Are you really going to dispute that the common belief in Christianity is when you die you go to heaven and will live there forever?
First of all, I apologize for being belligerent. You're right, it doesn't help. So let me take a couple of deep breaths here....ah, that's better.

Again...once again Drake...Please explain how you know so much about "the common belief in Christianity." How many Christian churches (who could be considered at least nominally evangelical/orthodox) have you visited over the past few years? We already know that you are not the typical Local Churcher...you know that your hair won't catch on fire when you visit a non-Local Church fellowship...so take a few minutes and tell us about what is preached and taught in these churches.

Ok, another couple of deep breaths....

Since Mr. E., refuses to answer this most salient question, I'll try you.

Please explain to us about the two lives and two natures of God. Actually you really only need to tell us about the life and nature of God that is separate from his being, from his Godhead (that is, the life and nature that we become apart from his being and Godhead) It would be super cool if you could use some verses in the New Testament to clarify.

Quote:
If the church life you describe was my experience then I probably would have left too. It’s not. Once you accept that your blood pressure will become more manageable.
Well Drake you have spent a lot of time telling us what was NOT your experience, but not very much about what was your experience. Of course one's experience is by definition subjective. I have almost never spoke about my personal experience, which was, for the most part, positive. I find it much more profitable for all concerned to stick to the concrete - the teachings of Witness Lee, the practices either established or promoted by Lee and the history of the LC movement...the good, the bad and the ugly.

For example, your "experience" may not have included running around a college campus and proclaiming "I'm a baby god!" But the fact is that is exactly what happened. Your experience may not have included "we're Witness Lee tape recorders!" But the fact is that is exactly what happened. Your experience may not have included telling some unbeliever that if he "calls Oh, Lord Jesus" several times he will be saved. But the fact is that is exactly what happened. I was in Orange County California back in the day when this nonsense happened on a regular basis. This was not thousands of miles away from Anaheim, away from the eyes and ears of Witness Lee. In fact, Lee promoted these kind of aberrational teachings.

So you can forget about subjective experience. It is actually not relevant to the facts of history. You have your experience. I have mine. But none of that changes what Witness Lee taught and the practices he promoted. Our personal experience doesn't change all the sordid history of promoting evil men, and placing innocent and vulnerable women in harms way. Our personal experience doesn't change the damage done to family relationships, marriages and young people.

So why do I bring all this up (again)? I bring it up because Witness Lee and his teachings and the practices he established and/or promoted are still being extolled as "God's move on earth" and "THE Lord's Recovery". Lee, to this very day, is still being extolled and promoted as "The One Minister with the One Ministry for The Age". To this very day, Lee is being extolled and promoted as the only person on earth who spoke as God's oracle. And the worse thing is that these are not "optional" beliefs for LC members. Those who disagree are shunned at best, and usually made so uncomfortable they simply disappear. Again, your experience, my experience is not relevant to the facts.
07-23-2018 03:49 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Oh darn! And I thought we were getting there. So we're back at it again. What does God's life mean?
The divine uncreated life of God..

Every born again believer has it. At the moment we believe we receive it first into our spirit. That is regeneration. Our spirit experiences union with God.. theosis. Then through the course of our human life, the Lord in our spirit moves into all our heart and soul... our mind. emotion, and will. This happens step by step, daily in all our circumstances and situations providing we cooperate with Him. When Paul says be transformed by the renewing of the mind this is what he is referring to. This life long process is theosis, divination of the soul. Then, in an instant, when the Lord returns , the body of every believer is transfigured into an eternal body like unto His own. This the final step of theosis is the redemption of our body.

The first and last step, regeneration of our spirit and the transfiguration of our body are instantaneous. The transformation of our soul is where the struggle occurs. Since God does not force His will on mans will it is up to each individual to choose God. We love many things but God desires we love Him first and foremost and above all. We think about many things but God desires we set our mind in the things of God and upon His Spirit. In this way, we will experience the salvation of our soul in this life.

Drake
07-22-2018 09:10 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Not mood lifter... God’s life.
Oh darn! And I thought we were getting there. So we're back at it again. What does God's life mean?
07-22-2018 08:31 PM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
[COLOR="Navy"]
"The common gospel in Christianity"? There you go again. Drake, how would you know what "the common gospel in Christianity" is? You are in the Local Church of Witness Lee...one of the most isolated and insular Christian sects around. Have you been cheating and going to meetings/services of those mooing cows in poor, poor Christianity? If you have, I'd suggest you avoid the ones who are not preaching/teaching a biblical Gospel.
-
UntoHim,

Are you really going to dispute that the common belief in Christianity is when you die you go to heaven and will live there forever?

Seriously, if you think it is something different then explain it.

And please stop ranting and raving about who I am supposed to avoid. That was your church life experience, not mine. If you are unclear about my experience then reread my testimony. You are trying to pigeonhole your opponent into your canned concept so you can frame your argument around that. You are doing the same with Evangelical. Also, you seem to be under the mistaken belief the being belligerent strengthens your argument. It really doesn’t.

If the church life you describe was my experience then I probably would have left too. It’s not. Once you accept that your blood pressure will become more manageable.

Drake
07-22-2018 08:30 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I've made my views on Lee clear in many posts.
Nice dodge. Not quite as smooth as Drake's have been over the years...but can't blame you for tryin. So it's an "ad hominem" for me to request to tell us who Witness Lee is to you? Why are you so afraid to tell us, Mr. E.? Please take me up on my offer. I will readily admit what I think about John Piper praying to Athanasius if you fess up and tell us about who Witness Lee is to you. More to the point...do you subscribe to the OFFICIAL recognition by the OFFICIAL LEADERS OF THE LOCAL CHURCH (Blended Brothers et al) that Witness Lee is THE ONE MINISTER WITH THE ONE MINISTRY FOR THE AGE? DO YOU AGREE THAT HE WAS THE ONLY PERSON SPEAKING AS GOD'S ORACLE ON EARTH SINCE 1945? These are yes or no.

Quote:
You are talking as if you know what you are talking about and saying how John Piper is a real theologian and all, but you haven't even read his article. What is the use of knowing who the theologians are if you don't know what they are saying?
My man, I've forgotten more about what John Piper has taught than you will ever know. (same thing with Witness Lee...while you were wallowing around in poor, poor Christianity I was sitting in one of those hard plastic chairs in Anaheim for 30 2+hour messages for 10 days twice a year for MANY YEARS. You are clueless. Well meaning and probably well intentioned...but clueless. Please go and tell your elder how much you have been reading John Piper. He will rebuke you and make you shout out "Ooooh Loooorrrrrdddd Jeeeesssuuuss" 100 times. Go for it...might do you some good anyhow.

Mr. E. Again. You have ABSOLUTELY NO CREDIBILITY until you tell us who Witness Lee is to you. An "apostle" you say? Do you know that Witness Lee NEVER ONE TIME HERE IN AMERICA CLAIMED TO BE AN APOSTLE OF ANY KIND? You do know that Witness Lee swore under oath (under penalty of perjury) that he did not consider himself an apostle and that he asked others to not consider him an apostle..You do know that, don't your? Do you know that he publicly rebuked people (more than one time) for calling him an "apostle"? Of course you don't know this because you're clueless. You don't know anything about the man accept what people have told you and the extremely edited messages and books you have read.

Mr. E., if you would stop googling and start facing up to the realities of the false teachings of Witness Lee for about 5 minutes you would really be better off...and so would my blood pressure...but that's another story.
07-22-2018 08:17 PM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Wow bro Drake, thanks for further definition of what it means to be a godman. You make it sound like it's not what the word godman is pictured at first glace ; like a God Man image. Your definition sounds like it's a mood lifter, with better life habits.

I'm for that brother. But is that what Athanasius meant? is that what Lee meant?
Not mood lifter... God’s life.
07-22-2018 08:01 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Who are you talking about?
Witness Lee
07-22-2018 08:00 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Even though Piper equates "glorification" in the West with theosis in the East, I think there are differences that he does not elaborate on but probably could.

The EOC views it as a transformative process which comes by union/cooperation with God:

Theosis, or deification, is a transformative process whose aim is likeness to or union with God, as taught by the Eastern Orthodox Church and Eastern Catholic Churches. ... It is considered achievable only through a synergy (or cooperation) between human activity and God's uncreated energies (or operations).

Evangelicals however view glorification as removal of sin and the sin nature, and it is not a process but a future event. I will quote gotquestions because they usually reflect the view of a majority of evangelicals:

From https://www.gotquestions.org/glorification.html

The short answer is that “glorification” is God's final removal of sin from the life of the saints (i.e., everyone who is saved) in the eternal state (Romans 8:18; 2 Corinthians 4:17). At Christ’s coming, the glory of God (Romans 5:2)—His honor, praise, majesty, and holiness—will be realized in us; instead of being mortals burdened with sin nature

As indicated by the gotquestions explanation of glorification, most evangelicals do not see glorification as the goal of salvation. They see the goal as to be "free from sin" and glorification is a way to achieve that.

What evangelicals and the EOC both share in common is that there will be a process of transformation. The disagreement lies in what is the purpose of that transformation (to be like God or to be free from a sin nature?), how it comes about (a life-long process of cooperation with God?, or a one-off future event?).
07-22-2018 07:57 PM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I've made my views on Lee clear in many posts. I think anyone who starts hundreds of churches would be an apostle to be able to do that.
Who are you talking about?
07-22-2018 07:55 PM
Unregistered
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
So "theosis" = "gorification", Mr E.? Really? I hope you don't quit your day job for being a wanna-be-theologian (like your acting god Witness Lee) because you and yours are going to be homeless and starve to death if you do. Seriously, my man, you're clueless. You wouldn't know orthodox, evangelical theology if it came up and bit you on the nose. You only know what you google - and you're not very good at that...so hang on to your hat my brother.
No, UntoHim.
E is not a wanna-be-theologian.

Some one is a budding higher echelon LSM blended.
Wonder whether he has a day job.
Proving himself in this forum for his place and position among the 'gods'.
07-22-2018 07:31 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
If you admit that you you believe that Witness Lee was the only person on earth speaking as God's oracle (since 1945) and that he is "The One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age" and that "the process of sanctification is only taking place in the Local Church of Witness Lee" (per Benson Phillips, the president of LSM) then I will concede that John Piper was giving a prayer to "St. Athanasius".

Man Up or shut up. Or are you like most Local Churchers who are all bark and no bite? You play like you are a man of your convictions...but you always back away when it comes to showing your real convictions. Bring it on. Tell me..tell us, about who Witness Lee is to you. I'll tell you who John Piper, who Billy Graham, who any man on earth is to me. Don't be shy. Don't be coy. Tell us who Witness Lee is to you. If you won't tell us this then you have nothing to say to us. Your credibility is null and void. You are here claiming to be a member of the Local Church (and by extension a follower of the person and work of Witness Lee)...so tell us about your convictions regarding Witness Lee. Tell us about your convictions regarding his teachings. Was he lying or telling the truth when he swore under other in a legal deposition that "he does not consider himself to be an apostle, and he told others to not consider him an apostle"?
-
I've made my views on Lee clear in many posts. I think anyone who starts hundreds of churches would be an apostle to be able to do that.

But given that most of your post is ad hominem it is time to quote Drake again:

Evangelical is making a very compelling case and I am reading his explanation with great interest. Anytime you see those personal insults toward him then it is apparent they have lost the argument, or are losing it quickly, so they resort to ad hominem attacks to supplement weak arguments. Then it’s time to pause and consider what he is saying that has left them flummoxed.
07-22-2018 07:17 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
So "theosis" = "gorification", Mr E.? Really? I hope you don't quit your day job for being a wanna-be-theologian (like your acting god Witness Lee) because you and yours are going to be homeless and starve to death if you do. Seriously, my man, you're clueless. You wouldn't know orthodox, evangelical theology if it came up and bit you on the nose. You only know what you google - and you're not very good at that...so hang on to your hat my brother.
I'm not trying to be a theologian, but at least I'm reading their articles and quoting them - I'm just paraphrasing the John Piper article where it says:

What becomes clear when all is taken into account is that Athanasius is pressing on a reality in the Scriptures that we today usually call “glorification”

Glorification (in Western terminology), or deification (according to the East)

He loves the doctrine of deification or theosis, who knew, that evangelicals have been teaching it all along! This is that ground-breaking moment when you realize John Piper is in "the recovery" and bringing back the early church beliefs.

You are talking as if you know what you are talking about and saying how John Piper is a real theologian and all, but you haven't even read his article. What is the use of knowing who the theologians are if you don't know what they are saying?
07-22-2018 06:56 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Piper is supportive of the doctrine of theosis, and explains how evangelicals/protestants indeed do believe in it, they just call it by another name "glorification".
So "theosis" = "gorification", Mr E.? Really? I hope you don't quit your day job for being a wanna-be-theologian (like your acting god Witness Lee) because you and yours are going to be homeless and starve to death if you do. Seriously, my man, you're clueless. You wouldn't know orthodox, evangelical theology if it came up and bit you on the nose. You only know what you google - and you're not very good at that...so hang on to your hat my brother.

Quote:
But it is notable how Piper does not flat out reject the doctrine, or the historical orthodoxy of it. He is so smitten by it that he throws in a prayer to St Athanasius as well
If you admit that you you believe that Witness Lee was the only person on earth speaking as God's oracle (since 1945) and that he is "The One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age" and that "the process of sanctification is only taking place in the Local Church of Witness Lee" (per Benson Phillips, the president of LSM) then I will concede that John Piper was giving a prayer to "St. Athanasius".

Man Up or shut up. Or are you like most Local Churchers who are all bark and no bite? You play like you are a man of your convictions...but you always back away when it comes to showing your real convictions. Bring it on. Tell me..tell us, about who Witness Lee is to you. I'll tell you who John Piper, who Billy Graham, who any man on earth is to me. Don't be shy. Don't be coy. Tell us who Witness Lee is to you. If you won't tell us this then you have nothing to say to us. Your credibility is null and void. You are here claiming to be a member of the Local Church (and by extension a follower of the person and work of Witness Lee)...so tell us about your convictions regarding Witness Lee. Tell us about your convictions regarding his teachings. Was he lying or telling the truth when he swore under other in a legal deposition that "he does not consider himself to be an apostle, and he told others to not consider him an apostle"?
-
07-22-2018 02:20 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Mr. E.,
Please tell us about the God who we become "in life and nature". I really would like to know about this God. Seriously. This particular life and nature is apparently apart from his "being and person". According to you and Witness Lee, God has two lifes and two natures - one life and nature that we become, and one life and nature that we do not become. If this nonsense sounds familiar, it's because Witness Lee made a habit out of teaching unbiblical and illogical stuff. Lee also had at least two Jesus(es)....One that rose from the dead and is at the right hand of the Father, and one that "became the life-giving Spirit". Oh, and let's not forget about the two Fathers - One Jesus who is called the Father, and another Father that was on the cross with Jesus.


As far as using the writings of C.S. Lewis to confirm the orthodoxy of Witness Lee's unbiblical/heretical teachings...well let's just go to another genuine, bonafide theologian, Dr. John Piper, for some assistance, shall we?
"Lewis is not a writer to which we should turn for growth in a careful biblical understanding of Christian doctrine. There is almost no passage of Scripture on which I would turn to Lewis for exegetical illumination. … His value is not in his biblical exegesis. Lewis is not the kind of writer who provides substance for a pastor’s sermons."
excerpt from http://equip.sbts.edu

Actually Mr E., you are missing something very crucial when it comes to considering whether a teaching is biblical or unbiblical, orthodox or heretical. What you don't seem to understand is that an unbiblical/heretical statement/declaration/teaching is unbiblical/heretical no matter who states it, declares it or teaches it. Orthodoxy does not ultimately reside with the teacher(s), it always resides with God himself and his living and abiding Word. I understand that this might be a difficult concept for you to grasp, for you are used to your guru being referred to as "the acting god", "the deputy authority", "even if he's wrong, he's right!" "The One Minister with The One Ministry for the Age"...etc, etc..
-
You are forgetting that I used John Piper to support Lee in my earlier post. So trying to discredit CS Lewis does not work. Piper, Blackwell, CS Lewis, all match with Lee's doctrine, I could quote any of them.

To some CS Lewis is the greatest theologian ever and to others, like Piper I guess he is not. But like CS Lewis, Piper is supportive of the doctrine of theosis, and explains how evangelicals/protestants indeed do believe in it, they just call it by another name "glorification". With that, Blackwell seems to disagree, mentioning how it is virtually unknown. I see Piper's point about glorification but in essence the doctrine is different - evangelicals see it as a legal contract and something we get because of that contract, and even see it as the end goal of sanctification/holiness - but the actual doctrine of theosis is about a process involving the person of God Himself (as the Spirit) and being transformed into His image. So Piper is just trying to be friendly to Orthodox beliefs in my view, and make evangelicalism match up with Orthodoxy. But it is notable how Piper does not flat out reject the doctrine, or the historical orthodoxy of it. He is so smitten by it that he throws in a prayer to St Athanasius as well.

At this point in time Piper's credibility itself is in question as he has written a prayer to St Athanasius. I'm just interpreting the plain English words he wrote down as you are of Lee. To me there is no reason why one should thank a dead person as if they are standing in front of them and then follow it up by "in Jesus name, Amen". That's a prayer, you are just unwilling to see and admit that it is because of your anti-Lee bias. It's perfectly acceptable to say a respected theologian such as Piper made a mistake in writing a prayer of thanks to Athanasius. I can tell that Piper misspoke because I noticed no one has tried to defend him or qualify his statements for him. Even you didn't, you simply called into question my ability to read English.

I appreciate your take on Orthodoxy as "God Himself and His Word", I tend to agree, and have shown how God's divinity and the Psalm 82 support the doctrine of theosis, but I take a more pragmatic view what talking about particular doctrines. Orthodoxy in practice is defined relative to whichever group is making the claim of Orthodoxy or heresy. For this reason the teacher/person making the claim of Orthodoxy must be evaluated relative to other teachers. This is how the doctrine of the Trinity won over the doctrine of Arianism. It's why heresy to a Catholic and heresy to a Protestant are different things.
07-22-2018 02:15 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
UntoHim, Don't forget this post by the E-man which should be considered as the bedrock of whatever is put forth by the E: So, he relies on "Straw-man's" (?), if you don't like it it's your own immaturity, respect is not important to him..." So, we really can't expect much from such a one, can we?
Well respect is earned, not given, especially since others in this forum have said similar things to me, for example Igzy wrote in this thread:

"As for your weird and unbiblical obsession with names, whatever. Grow up. Get a life. Do something that shows you have some sense. "

And people were mocking my testimony, calling it a joke, and you did call me a troll, numerous times. So don't talk to me about "mutual respect" if you can't show respect yourself.


This only proves what Drake wrote:

Evangelical is making a very compelling case and I am reading his explanation with great interest. Anytime you see those personal insults toward him then it is apparent they have lost the argument, or are losing it quickly, so they resort to ad hominem attacks to supplement weak arguments. Then it’s time to pause and consider what he is saying that has left them flummoxed.

I was being pragmatic, that straw-mans are expected in this sort of discussion, they are everywhere, in the media, and even in formal debates. I try to address the straw man argument with facts and move on rather than worry about who said what to whom.

However as this post shows some people just want to make it personal.

The "bedrock" I have put forth is credible bible scholars and theologians.
07-22-2018 02:00 PM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Really Drake? So you're like Witness Lee who had the pulse of EVERY CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND MINISTRY THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH? You get to tell us what "encapsulates popular gospel concepts"? Please tell us a little more about your omniscient, omnipresent super powers! Inquiring minds want to know!
Lee and company constantly used the worst event or superstition in Christianity to characterize the whole. It's basic textbook prejudice.

But, wait. Drake then screams foul when I discuss actual leadership tactics at LSM -- including money scams, molesting the sisters, deceptive coverups, smear campaigns against whistle-blowers, unending lawsuits, quarantines, etc.

But when did I ever characterize the whole LCM (with all of the LC's and members) by these detailed corruptions inside the walls of LSM headquarters.
07-22-2018 11:38 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Bro awareness,

Not sure what you prayed for exactly concerning being like those in the NT. The living of a Godman is not a life of extraordinary events .....but rather an extraordinary Life lived in the context of human events.

An example of this not in the NT is Blandina, a young slave sister martyred for her faith who never denied the Lord in spite of the situation. There were no miracles performed unless you consider her remaining steadfast under those circumstances a miracle. Hers was a Godman living... and a Godman dying.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blandina

Yet, not every human event entails martyrdom. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling the Apostle charges us.... a daily salvation from whatever human life presents to us empowered by the indwelling resurrected Life of God. A demonstration that His grace is sufficient. That is the Godman living..

Drake
Wow bro Drake, thanks for further definition of what it means to be a godman. You make it sound like it's not what the word godman is pictured at first glace ; like a God Man image. Your definition sounds like it's a mood lifter, with better life habits.

I'm for that brother. But is that what Athanasius meant? is that what Lee meant?
07-22-2018 09:17 AM
Nell
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Actually Mr E., you are missing something very crucial when it comes to considering whether a teaching is biblical or unbiblical, orthodox or heretical. What you don't seem to understand is that an unbiblical/heretical statement/declaration/teaching is unbiblical/heretical no matter who states it, declares it or teaches it. Orthodoxy does not ultimately reside with the teacher(s), it always resides with God himself and his living and abiding Word. I understand that this might be a difficult concept for you to grasp, for you are used to your guru being referred to as "the acting god", "the deputy authority", "even if he's wrong, he's right!" "The One Minister with The One Ministry for the Age"...etc, etc.. -
UntoHim,

Don't forget this post by the E-man which should be considered as the bedrock of whatever is put forth by the E:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
.... Straw-man's are part and parcel of this sort of discussion - grow up and get over it. I'm not asking for respect, I'm questioning why ... .
So, he relies on "Straw-man's" (?), if you don't like it it's your own immaturity, respect is not important to him..." So, we really can't expect much from such a one, can we?

Nell
07-22-2018 07:58 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
The first day in heaven jingle encapsulates popular gospel concepts
Really Drake? So you're like Witness Lee who had the pulse of EVERY CHRISTIAN CHURCH AND MINISTRY THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE EARTH? You get to tell us what "encapsulates popular gospel concepts"? Please tell us a little more about your omniscient, omnipresent super powers! Inquiring minds want to know!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Ran out of meaningful things to say?
Well, at least he had something meaningful to say in the first place.
Quote:
Let’s go back to where you jumped in. You murmured about the “higher gospel” and then quoted a song that explained the concept. I responded with the common gospel in Christianity and quoted a song that explained the concept.
"The common gospel in Christianity"? There you go again. Drake, how would you know what "the common gospel in Christianity" is? You are in the Local Church of Witness Lee...one of the most isolated and insular Christian sects around. Have you been cheating and going to meetings/services of those mooing cows in poor, poor Christianity? If you have, I'd suggest you avoid the ones who are not preaching/teaching a biblical Gospel.
-
07-22-2018 07:10 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The strawman people are throwing around here is that Lee taught we become God's being/person/member of the Trinity/Godhead.
Mr. E.,
Please tell us about the God who we become "in life and nature". I really would like to know about this God. Seriously. This particular life and nature is apparently apart from his "being and person". According to you and Witness Lee, God has two lifes and two natures - one life and nature that we become, and one life and nature that we do not become. If this nonsense sounds familiar, it's because Witness Lee made a habit out of teaching unbiblical and illogical stuff. Lee also had at least two Jesus(es)....One that rose from the dead and is at the right hand of the Father, and one that "became the life-giving Spirit". Oh, and let's not forget about the two Fathers - One Jesus who is called the Father, and another Father that was on the cross with Jesus.


As far as using the writings of C.S. Lewis to confirm the orthodoxy of Witness Lee's unbiblical/heretical teachings...well let's just go to another genuine, bonafide theologian, Dr. John Piper, for some assistance, shall we?
"Lewis is not a writer to which we should turn for growth in a careful biblical understanding of Christian doctrine. There is almost no passage of Scripture on which I would turn to Lewis for exegetical illumination. … His value is not in his biblical exegesis. Lewis is not the kind of writer who provides substance for a pastor’s sermons."
excerpt from http://equip.sbts.edu

Actually Mr E., you are missing something very crucial when it comes to considering whether a teaching is biblical or unbiblical, orthodox or heretical. What you don't seem to understand is that an unbiblical/heretical statement/declaration/teaching is unbiblical/heretical no matter who states it, declares it or teaches it. Orthodoxy does not ultimately reside with the teacher(s), it always resides with God himself and his living and abiding Word. I understand that this might be a difficult concept for you to grasp, for you are used to your guru being referred to as "the acting god", "the deputy authority", "even if he's wrong, he's right!" "The One Minister with The One Ministry for the Age"...etc, etc..
-
07-22-2018 06:25 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Let's not sell those short in the NT that performed miracles. If I could heal people, just by my shadow passing over them, I think most, even atheists, would have to consider that I was a form of a god. And if I could forgive sins. Also if I could see into the future.

Are such behaviors characteristic of godmen? Sign me up. But again, in those regards, Lee didn't cut the mustard, and the big talker wasn't a godman. If he didn't make it, do you and I ever have a chance?

And if we can't reach the NT standard, then what's the point of becoming a godman?

I remember in the LC, I felt that I fell so short, because I wasn't like those in the NT. I remember literally praying my guts out because I wasn't like them, to the point of constantly having a knot in my stomach. I really really wanted to be a godman like them.

I finally concluded that God wanted those godmen back then, but ain't doing that today. Even The Recovery didn't recover that ... and won't.
Bro awareness,

Not sure what you prayed for exactly concerning being like those in the NT. The living of a Godman is not a life of extraordinary events .....but rather an extraordinary Life lived in the context of human events.

An example of this not in the NT is Blandina, a young slave sister martyred for her faith who never denied the Lord in spite of the situation. There were no miracles performed unless you consider her remaining steadfast under those circumstances a miracle. Hers was a Godman living... and a Godman dying.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blandina

Yet, not every human event entails martyrdom. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling the Apostle charges us.... a daily salvation from whatever human life presents to us empowered by the indwelling resurrected Life of God. A demonstration that His grace is sufficient. That is the Godman living..

Drake
07-22-2018 05:43 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
I'm not impressed with the likes of you.

More strawman
Ran out of meaningful things to say? So unlike you Kevin, but understandable .

Let’s go back to where you jumped in. You murmured about the “higher gospel” and then quoted a song that explained the concept. I responded with the common gospel in Christianity and quoted a song that explained the concept. That is not a straw man, it is like for like. I quoted one song, but there are many many that convey the same concept. If you don’t like the format then you’ve only yourself to blame... it is yours.

Drake
07-21-2018 10:03 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Here are a few quotes from CS Lewis about becoming God:

He said (in the Bible) that we were 'gods' and He is going to make good His words. If we let Him—for we can prevent Him, if we choose—He will make the feeblest and filthiest of us into a God

"It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest most uninteresting person you can talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship… There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilizations - these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit.”

Many Christians are fine with CS Lewis and don't regard him as a heretic. Here is some praise heaped upon him by gotquestions:

https://www.gotquestions.org/C-S-Lewis.html

"C. S. Lewis is often described as one of the greatest Christian apologists of the twentieth century."

"C. S. Lewis stands as a shining example of the influence a Christian can have in both the university and popular culture. "

"As an apologist and writer, C. S. Lewis was exemplary, and his books are among the most useful ever written"

Yet he never qualified well his statements about being God (capital G too) and most evangelicals forget or ignore he believed or wrote that at all, because evangelicals don't really care about heresy, they care about being popular and relevant.

Yet Lee is treated with disdain despite many pages of material qualifying his statements, and flat out denials that deification means we become God Himself. If this is not hypocrisy I don't know what is. It is also hypocritical to give John Piper a free pass when it is clear that he wrote a prayer of thanks to the most graceful Saint Athanasius, and forgot to thank Jesus at all - "Thank you, Athanasius. And thank you, Father. And thank you, Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen."
07-21-2018 09:57 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
I'm not impressed with the likes of you.

More strawman
The strawman people are throwing around here is that Lee taught we become God's being/person/member of the Trinity/Godhead. There is pages of material on the web and numerous quotes by Lee to qualify his statements. The attitude towards Lee therefore is called "unrighteous judgement".
07-21-2018 09:48 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
How's this about theosis? :

"It is true that its natural being, though thus transformed, is as distinct from the Being of God as it was before". - St. John of the Cross

There's a realist fer ya ... and an honest Catholic priest.
"distinct from the Being of God " = "but not in the Godhead"

Some quotes from Lee that agree :

"Only God is God, only God has the nature of God, and only God is transcendent and distinctive; therefore, only God is divine."

"Because we partake of the divine nature, it can rightly be said that we are divine. However, this definitely does not mean that we are evolving into God "


We can see that Lee uses the term "being divine" to not mean "being God Himself" but as partaking of the divine nature.
07-21-2018 09:36 PM
Kevin
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
The first day in heaven jingle encapsulates popular gospel concepts , Kevin. There's your false gospel.

Drake
I'm not impressed with the likes of you.

More strawman
07-21-2018 07:04 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Brother John So, the excommunicated LC co-worker in Germany, who was also related to W. Lee by marriage, wrote a paper titled "I MYSELF ALSO AM A MAN" in 1994.
How's this about theosis? :

"It is true that its natural being, though thus transformed, is as distinct from the Being of God as it was before". - St. John of the Cross

There's a realist fer ya ... and an honest Catholic priest.
07-21-2018 06:18 PM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Funny Drake. You LCers are always make strawmen on Christianity generally, yet you believe in a false gospel.
The first day in heaven jingle encapsulates popular gospel concepts , Kevin. There's your false gospel.

Drake
07-21-2018 05:10 PM
Kevin
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
What could be higher?

When we believe we get fire insurance, then when we die we all go to heaven, meet and get passed St. Peter at the pearly gates, get a pair of wings, become angels, get a new mansion next door to Jesus, and walk on streets of gold?

“I had a dream, I must confess, I hated to awake
He dreamt he was an angel at the great pearly gates
Saint Peter said "Well hello there, where have you been?
We've got your mansion ready so come right in."
And then he ranged for an angel to act as a guide
He spread his wings a time or two and learned how to fly

Well it's a great, great morning
Your first day in Heaven
When you're strolling down the golden avenue
There are mansions left and right
And you're thrilled at every sight
And the saints are always smiling saying "How do you do?"
Oh it's a great, great morning
You're first day in Heaven
When you realize your worrying day are through
You'll be glad you were not idle
Took time to read your bible
It's a great morning
A great morning
What a happy day”

Gaither Vocal Band “ First Day in Heaven”


Drake
Funny Drake. You LCers are always make strawmen on Christianity generally, yet you believe in a false gospel.
07-21-2018 03:33 PM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by A little brother View Post
Good point. In Acts 14, when the people in Lystra thought Barnabas and Paul were gods and wanted to worship them, why didn't they take the opportunity to preach the high peak truth? - "You people are wrong. You should not worship me. But you are half right. We are no Zeus or Hermes, but we are men becoming God in live and in nature but not in the Godhead."

Instead, their reply was "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like feeling as you, and announce the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and the sea and all things in them;..." (Acts 14:15)
Brother John So, the excommunicated LC co-worker in Germany, who was also related to W. Lee by marriage, wrote a paper titled "I MYSELF ALSO AM A MAN" in 1994.
07-21-2018 11:13 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
This is a quick note about the biblical meaning of "milk" and "meat", because the use of the terms by some here is not correct.

Milk means the basic elementary teachings of Christianity, first learnt by new believers. Gospel of justification, for example.

Meat means the deeper spiritual truths (more solid, complete and deeper spiritual doctrines of the Gospel). Gospel of glorification or theosis, for example, as it is the more complete gospel.

These definitions are straight from the Greek, explained here:

http://www.biblestudy.org/question/w...the-bible.html

If you are a new believer, then milk is good for you. If you are a long time believer, then you probably should not talk about "going back to milk" as it implies immaturity. The Bible encourages us to leave the elementary things and go onwards.
Okay and thanks. Yes, that would probably be the specific and correct usage of the term "milk" as it relates to real scriptural knowledge. So maybe it's just better to drop the "milk" and say "the pure word" to denote its difference from men's thoughts. (i.e., going to the pure word first rather than men's commentaries)

And, as stated earlier, we also must be careful when using the term "meat" as it pertains to the divine revelation. Because too often that can be used almost as a "I am of Christ" sort of thing, such as "We have the real meat and you don't!" In that case, all one has is dead, puffed-up knowledge - I speak from good experience, having gone after saints many times with this non-building-up-in-love, rotting knowledge "meat!"
07-21-2018 09:03 AM
A little brother
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Let's not sell those short in the NT that performed miracles. If I could heal people, just by my shadow passing over them, I think most, even atheists, would have to consider that I was a form of a god.
Good point. In Acts 14, when the people in Lystra thought Barnabas and Paul were gods and wanted to worship them, why didn't they take the opportunity to preach the high peak truth? - "You people are wrong. You should not worship me. But you are half right. We are no Zeus or Hermes, but we are men becoming God in live and in nature but not in the Godhead."

Instead, their reply was "Men, why are you doing these things? We also are men of like feeling as you, and announce the gospel to you that you should turn from these vain things to the living God, who made heaven and earth and the sea and all things in them;..." (Acts 14:15)
07-21-2018 08:02 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Awareness,

No human being dead or alive will satisfy the question for you.

Therefore, I think the NT writers and those they wrote about, like Stephen in Acts, are the best examples of “true Godmen”. Just stick with those as your examples to follow. Look no further.

Drake
Let's not sell those short in the NT that performed miracles. If I could heal people, just by my shadow passing over them, I think most, even atheists, would have to consider that I was a form of a god. And if I could forgive sins. Also if I could see into the future.

Are such behaviors characteristic of godmen? Sign me up. But again, in those regards, Lee didn't cut the mustard, and the big talker wasn't a godman. If he didn't make it, do you and I ever have a chance?

And if we can't reach the NT standard, then what's the point of becoming a godman?

I remember in the LC, I felt that I fell so short, because I wasn't like those in the NT. I remember literally praying my guts out because I wasn't like them, to the point of constantly having a knot in my stomach. I really really wanted to be a godman like them.

I finally concluded that God wanted those godmen back then, but ain't doing that today. Even The Recovery didn't recover that ... and won't.
07-21-2018 07:47 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I still want to know what a true godman, if such exists, is. How is he or she different from non-godmen?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
No human being dead or alive will satisfy the question for you.
Probably a real strong indication that something is not biblical, at least not in the way it is being taught.
-
07-20-2018 09:42 PM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I still want to know what a true godman, if such exists, is. How is he or she different from non-godmen? .
Awareness,

No human being dead or alive will satisfy the question for you.

Therefore, I think the NT writers and those they wrote about, like Stephen in Acts, are the best examples of “true Godmen”. Just stick with those as your examples to follow. Look no further.

Drake
07-20-2018 09:27 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim
So if Lee was a non-theologian (wow, big revelation there, bro!) then why are you comparing and contrasting his teachings with a genuine, bonafide theologian like Blackwell? It begs the question...why do you believe that Witness Lee is The One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age? Why do you believe that Lee was the only person on earth speaking as God's oracle?
-
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvanG
When we get to the heart of the matter, theologians confirm what Lee taught. They also confirm that the doctrine of theosis is orthodox and historical.
If we really get down to it, Dr. Blackwell would be a scholar for Lee to learn from, and reference. But Lee, a self professed history buff, wouldn't cite sources from poor, poor, poor, Christianity, specially if they were more knowledgeable than him.

And yes, the idea of theosis has been around a long time. In fact, much longer than Christianity. Apotheosis goes back to at least ancient Greek philosophy. In fact, we get these terms, theosis and apotheosis, from the Greeks ; as well as the name for God, theos, with no capitalizing, whether little god, as in 'know ye not that ye are gods,' or speaking of the Father God.

Witness Lee did not cook up the idea of God in life and nature, 'cept to word it that specific way.

So this idea of theosis has been around a long long time. But in all of history there's been only one to achieve it, according to the NT. Not even Paul achieved it.

But then we haven't clearly defined what it means to become G(g)od. In life and nature says nothing. All we've clarified so far is that it's not in the trinity, worship worthy, or in the Godhead. I think that's called negative theology.

I still want to know what a true godman, if such exists, is. How is he or she different from non-godmen?

Do they love their neighbors more? If so, given that Lee didn't display much love for his neighbors, specially Christian neighbors, and even good brothers in his own group, Lee never came close to being a godman. He just talked the talk.
07-20-2018 08:30 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

This is a quick note about the biblical meaning of "milk" and "meat", because the use of the terms by some here is not correct.

Milk means the basic elementary teachings of Christianity, first learnt by new believers. Gospel of justification, for example.

Meat means the deeper spiritual truths (more solid, complete and deeper spiritual doctrines of the Gospel). Gospel of glorification or theosis, for example, as it is the more complete gospel.

These definitions are straight from the Greek, explained here:

http://www.biblestudy.org/question/w...the-bible.html

If you are a new believer, then milk is good for you. If you are a long time believer, then you probably should not talk about "going back to milk" as it implies immaturity. The Bible encourages us to leave the elementary things and go onwards.
07-20-2018 08:14 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Well, that is progress.

It is having the life of God in our spirit, soul, and body.

Drake
Truth is the experience of union with God is a most joyful experience. And the truth is for me is that I can have more of a profound experience of union with God, in the woods, on my back, watching the stars move by in the tree tops, or just sitting out back staring into a star filled sky at night, than I ever had in local church meetings, conferences, or any church meeting for that matter.

And it is said that the end result of henosis is deification. So for me, the possibly of deification, is greater in the woods, than in Witness Lee's meetings, and/or conferences ... including the FTT ... or any church meeting, except maybe in the silent meetings of the Quakers.

Shouting for God and Jesus indicates a desperate distance from union with God.
07-20-2018 07:52 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
We should seriously consider Lee's "highest gospel" in light of Paul's admonitions in the scripture.

For if someone comes and proclaims a Jesus other than the One we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the One you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it way too easily. -- II Cor 11.4

But even if we or an angel out of heaven should preach a gospel to you contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed! -- Gal 1.8

Here we must ask how this "highest gospel" is used in the LC's and what is the fruit of this alternate gospel. Having lived in the LC's for decades, I am well aware that her members pride themselves in their different gospel, to them a better gospel. In their hearts and in their speaking, they condemn other Christians for their "low gospel." I have seen LC members, especially the younger set, who may not even be saved, yet have been convinced that they are part of God's elite and exclusive church club.

In character and action they bear little difference from the Judaizers and Pharisees of old.
The article by Blackwell shows that the gospel in the early church was the high gospel (of theosis) Lee taught and is "is virtually unknown among Protestants":

The idea is virtually unknown among Protestants; but the goal of salvation described in terms of “theosis” or “deification” is at the heart of Eastern Orthodox theology, as inherited by Byzantine and Greek patristic theologians. We might say that theosis is to the Orthodox as justification is to the Protestant.

"virtually unknown among Protestants" could be interpreted to mean "they don't know the full or high gospel", even though it is in the Bible.

The Bible confirms that theosis/glorification is the goal of salvation:

Romans 8:30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.

Since glorification appears last in the list, it is the goal of salvation. This is in contrast to many evangelicals who say being saved from sins/hell, or getting to heaven is the goal of salvation. The Protestant gospel stops at justification (or holiness/sanctification, sometimes) however, so falls short of the full, complete, or "high gospel". If something falls short of something it is correct to call that thing "low" or "lower".
07-20-2018 07:39 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Mr E., the more you try to convince us that Lee's teachings are saying the same thing as Blackwell's, the deeper hole you dig for yourself. (and you've got a long ways to go, my friend, to get to the bottom of the bottomless pit of Lee's unbiblical teachings) Blackwell is NOT using "but not in the Godhead" as a proviso to mitigate or soften an unbiblical or heretical statement, such as "We are becoming God in life and nature". Blackwell doesn't have to use any provisos, caveats or stipulations because he doesn't make any unbiblical or heretical statements to begin with.
Lee believed that we "become God in life and nature but not in the Godhead". That is possibly the most correct way to say it when we compare with the many early church references that I gave. None of them are shy to use capital G like Blackwell is, and none saw it as "only a metaphor" either. They did not qualify their statements either with "but not in the God-head". So the teachings of early church fathers or CS Lewis are more likely to be misinterpreted than Lee's ever will be.

Blackwell stated that we do not become God by nature (meaning part of the Trinity), but he did refer to becoming god (little g). This could be misinterpreted - little g can imply a third substance, i.e. God, man, and "gods", like the many gods of Egypt or India. There is no such thing as little g 'god', there is God, there is man, that's all, there is no half man half God demi-god like the Greek gods.

The term God-man that Lee introduced makes it much clearer, that it is the joining of God and man.

Both of these statements by Lee and Blackwell are equivalent. They both use the word nature but they do not use the word in the same way. When Lee says "God in nature" he is referring to partaking of God's nature. When Blackwell says "God by nature" he is referring to being a member of the Trinity. This is obvious to anyone who can speak and read English.



Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

So if Lee was a non-theologian (wow, big revelation there, bro!) then why are you comparing and contrasting his teachings with a genuine, bonafide theologian like Blackwell? It begs the question...why do you believe that Witness Lee is The One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age? Why do you believe that Lee was the only person on earth speaking as God's oracle?

-
When we get to the heart of the matter, theologians confirm what Lee taught. They also confirm that the doctrine of theosis is orthodox and historical.

Blackwell shows that theosis is an orthodox, not heretical doctrine. Most protestants don't know about it, and their gospel of justification is different to what the early church taught and believed - it is missing the goal/purpose of salvation.
07-20-2018 11:42 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Hey, we're on our way to defining what it means to become god. Now we know it doesn't mean becoming the trinity, or being worshiped. And oh ... not in the godhead. Our definition is short. I still don't know what it means to become god.

Maybe we're confusing theosis with henosis.

Well, that is progress.

It is having the life of God in our spirit, soul, and body.

Drake
07-20-2018 11:09 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Hey, we're on our way to defining what it means to become god. Now we know it doesn't mean becoming the trinity, or being worshiped. And oh ... not in the godhead. Our definition is short. I still don't know what it means to become god.

Maybe we're confusing theosis with henosis.
07-20-2018 09:24 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Gaither Vocal Band “ First Day in Heaven”
Not sure what this has to do with the "Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox"...but thanks for the reference anyway.

Thankfully, neither Bill Gaither nor his "followers" (nor anyone else that I know of) consider him to be the One Music Minister with the One Music Ministry for the Age. No one is forcing anyone to listen to ONLY HIS MUSIC, and to totally and fully imbibe the lyrics of his songs. Neither have I have heard brother Gaither use any pathetic epithets like "poor, poor Christian musicians". Neither have I heard Bill Gaither declare "when we come to any city we are the only legitimate Gospel singers in that city!...all others are little daughters of the Great Musician Whore!"

-
07-20-2018 09:12 AM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Why so enamored with theosis? Seriously, why could this be considered as the highest gospel?
We should seriously consider Lee's "highest gospel" in light of Paul's admonitions in the scripture.

For if someone comes and proclaims a Jesus other than the One we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit than the One you received, or a different gospel than the one you accepted, you put up with it way too easily. -- II Cor 11.4

But even if we or an angel out of heaven should preach a gospel to you contrary to what we proclaimed to you, let him be accursed! -- Gal 1.8

Here we must ask how this "highest gospel" is used in the LC's and what is the fruit of this alternate gospel. Having lived in the LC's for decades, I am well aware that her members pride themselves in their different gospel, to them a better gospel. In their hearts and in their speaking, they condemn other Christians for their "low gospel." I have seen LC members, especially the younger set, who may not even be saved, yet have been convinced that they are part of God's elite and exclusive church club.

In character and action they bear little difference from the Judaizers and Pharisees of old.
07-20-2018 08:11 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I find nothing in Blackwell's article that contradicts Lee. Although they both use terms slightly differently they both agree that to become God is not to become part of the Trinity or an object of worship. Given that is the case, I don't know why people have an issue with what Lee teaches and not the early church fathers, or CS Lewis and many others.
Mr E., the more you try to convince us that Lee's teachings are saying the same thing as Blackwell's, the deeper hole you dig for yourself. (and you've got a long ways to go, my friend, to get to the bottom of the bottomless pit of Lee's unbiblical teachings) Blackwell is NOT using "but not in the Godhead" as a proviso to mitigate or soften an unbiblical or heretical statement, such as "We are becoming God in life and nature". Blackwell doesn't have to use any provisos, caveats or stipulations because he doesn't make any unbiblical or heretical statements to begin with.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In this respect, Lee a "non-theologian", thought of something that Blackwell didn't, which shows innovation and that could have earned him an academic publication.

So if Lee was a non-theologian (wow, big revelation there, bro!) then why are you comparing and contrasting his teachings with a genuine, bonafide theologian like Blackwell? It begs the question...why do you believe that Witness Lee is The One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age? Why do you believe that Lee was the only person on earth speaking as God's oracle?

-
07-20-2018 06:56 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
First and foremost, the word. The word is pure milk. It is also bread. It is also solid food.

Witness Lee's footnotes and commentaries can be helpful and enlightening, but they should not be considered the substantial "meat" over the insubstantial "milk" of the word. This is an error.

However, at this point I personally cannot discount WL's footnotes and comments entirely. He did get some things correct, and there is some light there. In one meeting we had a new one ask about WL and the use of his materials in the LCs. Another new one who had more experience in life answered according to his own experience which was that he treated WN/WL's books as meat and bones (metaphorically, and in no relation to the "meat" I used earlier in this post). Whatever he received helpful he treated as meat and took in, and the rest that didn't help him or he didn't quite agree with, he simply discarded as bones, not something he should swallow, and moved on.

Similarly, he treated many other Bible commentaries in the same way, and was thus able to receive much more encouragement and light than if he had restricted himself to just the exposition of one man.
This nails it I think. I like not treating any man's comments as the "meat & bones" but rather the Bible itself! (and, as stated, WL certainly did have some light, to which we are thankful)

And now (after partaking of the pure milk of the word):
Quote:
. . . thanks be to God . . . you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed Romans 6:17
It is God who places members in the body as HE sees fit - and we need ALL members (whatever groups they have been committed to).
07-20-2018 06:40 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Why so enamored with theosis? Seriously, why could this be considered as the highest gospel?
God’s eternal economy
Is to make man the same as He is
In life and nature,
But not in the Godhead
And to make Himself one with man
And man one with Him
Thus to be enlarged and expanded in His expression
That all His divine, that all His divine
Attributes may be expressed in human virtues.
What could be higher?

When we believe we get fire insurance, then when we die we all go to heaven, meet and get passed St. Peter at the pearly gates, get a pair of wings, become angels, get a new mansion next door to Jesus, and walk on streets of gold?

“I had a dream, I must confess, I hated to awake
He dreamt he was an angel at the great pearly gates
Saint Peter said "Well hello there, where have you been?
We've got your mansion ready so come right in."
And then he ranged for an angel to act as a guide
He spread his wings a time or two and learned how to fly

Well it's a great, great morning
Your first day in Heaven
When you're strolling down the golden avenue
There are mansions left and right
And you're thrilled at every sight
And the saints are always smiling saying "How do you do?"
Oh it's a great, great morning
You're first day in Heaven
When you realize your worrying day are through
You'll be glad you were not idle
Took time to read your bible
It's a great morning
A great morning
What a happy day”

Gaither Vocal Band “ First Day in Heaven”


Drake
07-20-2018 05:36 AM
Kevin
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Why so enamored with theosis? Seriously, why could this be considered as the highest gospel?
God’s eternal economy
Is to make man the same as He is
In life and nature,
But not in the Godhead
And to make Himself one with man
And man one with Him
Thus to be enlarged and expanded in His expression
That all His divine, that all His divine
Attributes may be expressed in human virtues.
07-19-2018 11:27 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Let's take a more complete look at Blackwell's introductory paragraph:

Describing salvation as theosis always means that humans are set in distinction to the one who is truly God. Therefore, Christian deification is always metaphorical—believers don’t literally become God (as a member of the Trinity). With this in mind, why even use the language becoming gods if it sounds so heretical? If believers don’t become God, what do they become?

I will break it down line by line and then explain other sentences about the metaphor:

Describing salvation as theosis always means that humans are set in distinction to the one who is truly God.

- in other words, there is a difference between creatures becoming God and God who is God.

Therefore, Christian deification is always metaphorical—believers don’t literally become God (as a member of the Trinity).

- what is metaphorical is that Christians become God as a member of the Trinity. Becoming God (by grace) however is not metaphorical. If it were, then everything Blackwell wrote about becoming gods by grace would not be true. And what Athanasius wrote "become God" would not be true either. Blackwell is not denying that theosis is true, he is setting boundaries between orthodoxy and heresy.


With this in mind, why even use the language becoming gods if it sounds so heretical?


- UntoHim before made some silly point about capitalization before. Here Blackwell is saying "becoming gods" sounds heretical. So if "becoming gods" and "becoming God" both sound heretical, the "little g and big G rule" doesn't really matter does it? The early church fathers and CS Lewis don't care about this silly rule either.


If believers don’t become God, what do they become?

- Here Blackwell seems to be using the term God to refer to the Trinity. "believes don't become God" must mean we don't become part of the Trinity, as Blackwell already made that point earlier.


Thus, we look so much like God that we might (metaphorically) be called gods.

- Lee also says this in "The Organic Union in God's Relationship with Man". He mentions how we look like God just as a photograph of a person looks like that person.

I personally don't like Blackwell's use of the term "be called gods" (little g) because it implies we are gods in ourselves (like ten thousand god's of Egypt). It is better to say "be called God" because then it is clear we are saying we look like the one true God.


This metaphor illustrates theosis: just as the iron does not cease to be iron, humans do not cease to be humans. - Lee does not believe humans cease to be humans, either. Even "more fully human" is a phrase I have heard before in the recovery.


Similarily, in the process of deification believers are united to God and become like him, experiencing his life and holiness. - Lee already says something like this but calls it the "organic union".

I find nothing in Blackwell's article that contradicts Lee. Although they both use terms slightly differently they both agree that to become God is not to become part of the Trinity or an object of worship. Given that is the case, I don't know why people have an issue with what Lee teaches and not the early church fathers, or CS Lewis and many others.
07-19-2018 10:59 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Also, note how Blackwell ALWAYS uses a small "g" when taking about believers being "god". Conversely, it should be noticed how Witness Lee always used a capital "G" when talking about believers being "God". This is the difference between an educated, trained and biblically precise theologian, and a man like Witness Lee who thought that God has somehow granted him special privileges to just makeup stuff out of the blue. Even his super-mentor, Watchman Nee, never taught anything like Lee did in this matter.
-
If you think the use of capitalization is the difference between a theologian and a non-theologian then you have a lot to learn.

A listing of many quotes by church fathers and others shows that some use the capital G and others use small g. I think CS Lewis uses capital G as well. Here is the wiki link, we may count how many use G and how many use g. Either are used.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Divinization_(Christian)

I find it is typical to say "become God" and to say "becoming gods" (presumably because there is only one God). "gods" should not be capitalized because there is only one God. So there is no fixed rule about the capitalization. God or god does not matter, as long as we understand "become God" does not mean become part of the Trinity/Godhead. Witness Lee clarifies the meaning "but not in the Godhead", so it is just as orthodox as Athanasius or CS Lewis.

It is factually wrong to say Lee never uses small g:

we, who are the children of God, are men becoming gods. The children of God are gods. ~ The Issue of Christ Being Glorified by the Father with the Divine Glory

To help avoid confusion, Lee introduced the term God-man. This avoids confusion over use of the term and we don't have to worry about capitalization of g or G. In this respect, Lee a non-theologian, thought of something that Blackwell didn't, which shows innovation and that could have earned him an academic publication.
07-19-2018 10:35 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Here's the part you left out (intentionally or not):
So although theosis depicts the reality of a stage in salvation, it is a metaphor in that believers are only adopted as gods by grace. Furthermore, it is through this adoption that believers are literally transformed into the image of Christ.
The way you are underlining it is wrong (there is no comma between "only adopted as gods" and "by grace"), so you get the wrong understanding. Note that he does talk about theosis as a reality and a literal transformation.

It helps to read the whole paragraph to get the proper sense of what he is saying:

In distinction to the Son who is God by nature (together with the Father and the Spirit), believers are adopted and become gods by grace. - Blackwell is contrasting being God by nature (being part of the Trinity, with the Father and the Spirit), with becoming God/gods by grace.


Believers are active participants in the process of salvation, but they only receive salvation through grace.
- we cannot become God by our own effort.

Because they are gods by grace, as opposed to nature, they cannot create salvation themselves. - saying the same thing.

The life they experience is not their own; they are sharing the life of God. - in other words, we are different to Christ who is a member of the Trinity and incarnated.


In other words, believers do not become a member of the Trinity—that is, they do not become God by nature. - here Blackwell states clearly what he means by "become God by nature". It is about being a member of the Trinity.


So although theosis depicts the reality of a stage in salvation, it is a metaphor in that believers are only adopted as gods by grace.

The metaphor here refers to "adopted... by grace". There is no comma there, so the metaphor is not, as you claim, the part which says "only adopted as gods".

That it is the "adopted.. by grace" which is the metaphor is confirmed by the next sentence where he talks about a literal transformation through the adoption:

Furthermore, it is through this adoption that believers are literally transformed into the image of Christ.

In summary, where Blackwell says that we become gods by grace and not by nature (not by being part of the Trinity of our own efforts or in ourselves), is saying the same thing as Lee does when he says "becoming God but not part of the God-head".
07-19-2018 10:02 PM
Trapped
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

First and foremost, the word. The word is pure milk. It is also bread. It is also solid food.

Witness Lee's footnotes and commentaries can be helpful and enlightening, but they should not be considered the substantial "meat" over the insubstantial "milk" of the word. This is an error.

However, at this point I personally cannot discount WL's footnotes and comments entirely. He did get some things correct, and there is some light there. In one meeting we had a new one ask about WL and the use of his materials in the LCs. Another new one who had more experience in life answered according to his own experience which was that he treated WN/WL's books as meat and bones (metaphorically, and in no relation to the "meat" I used earlier in this post). Whatever he received helpful he treated as meat and took in, and the rest that didn't help him or he didn't quite agree with, he simply discarded as bones, not something he should swallow, and moved on.

Similarly, he treated many other Bible commentaries in the same way, and was thus able to receive much more encouragement and light than if he had restricted himself to just the exposition of one man.

Witness Lee especially, his style of expounding does very little for me personally. It is very hard for me to relate to it, but that does not mean that I am lacking somehow or unwilling or in darkness or whatever. I have always mostly hit my head against it my whole life, no matter how much I read or tried.

For example, I've been struggling hard with forgiving some saints recently who really gutted me and then lied to me, and then continued to do so knowing what they were doing and not caring ONE BIT how they were affecting me. From WL I would get, "The root of our unwillingness to forgive others lies in our dispositional anger. Every man has a disposition that makes it easy for him to be offended, especially by his wife. The reason there are so many separations and divorces is that the women complain and that the men find it difficult to forgive. I advise the sisters not to complain and the brothers not to be offended." "Seventy times seven means that we must forgive others an unlimited number of times."

Well, that's nice, Witness. Thanks for your inspired advice not to be offended. I'm still struggling.

Then I was listening to Christian radio today......non-WL inspired songs! Tenth Avenue North's song "Losing" came on and nailed it. Spoke right to me. Said exactly what I was feeling, exactly how worn out my heart was by their months upon months of disregard, exactly the despair that I was the one losing and I was wrestling so hard with being in that position when I never thought these saints would be the ones to put me there. It didn't blame my disposition, it didn't tell me "I must" do something. It met me right where I was, on the floor really grasping to forgive these ones.

"I can't believe what she said
I can't believe what he did
Oh, don't they know it's wrong
Don't they know it's wrong

Maybe there's something I missed
How could they treat me like this?
It's wearing out my heart
The way they disregard

This is love or this is hate
We all have the choice to make

Oh, Father won't you forgive them
They don't know what they've been doing
Oh, Father give me grace to forgive them
'Cause I feel like the one losing

Well it's only the dead that can live
But still I wrestle with this
To lose the pain that's mine
Seventy times seven times
'Cause Lord it doesn't feel right
For me to turn a blind eye
Though I guess it's not that much
When I think of what You've done"
07-19-2018 09:36 PM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
... after first milking the word.)
I don’t think I’ve heard it ever expressed exactly that way.....

07-19-2018 08:13 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Blackwell here defines what he means by God by nature:
In other words, believers do not become a member of the Trinity—that is, they do not become God by nature.
So Blackwell's meaning of "God by nature" is to be a member of the Trinity.
No, Mr. E. you're pretty clueless on what Blackwell meant. Well, you're either clueless, or trying to be clever by only quoting the part that seems to agree with Witness Lee's unorthodox, unbiblical teaching regarding this matter. (for your sake I'm going to assume it's the former not the later)

Here's the part you left out (intentionally or not):

So although theosis depicts the reality of a stage in salvation,it is a metaphor in that believers are only adopted as gods by grace. Furthermore, it is through this adoption that believers are literally transformed into the image of Christ.

Opps! There's that word "metaphor" used again. (Witness Lee was famous for using metaphors when he should have gone with the literal, and using the literal with he should have employed the metaphor.) Also, note how Blackwell ALWAYS uses a small "g" when taking about believers being "god". Conversely, it should be noticed how Witness Lee always used a capital "G" when talking about believers being "God". This is the difference between an educated, trained and biblically precise theologian, and a man like Witness Lee who thought that God has somehow granted him special privileges to just makeup stuff out of the blue. Even his super-mentor, Watchman Nee, never taught anything like Lee did in this matter.
Quote:
I understand that Lee as a non-theologian may use words loosely which have a precise definition in academia, and these may seem to contradict if we compare them side by side.
So how did a "non-theologian" become the SOLE THEOLOGIAN of an entire Christian movement? How is it that a man "may use words loosely" but still be considered THE ONLY PERSON ON EARTH SPEAKING AS GOD'S ORACLE ON EARTH since 1945?
-
07-19-2018 04:54 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Reasonable, except your last point.... ..
I didn't think I used the word "ditched" but I went back and looked at that post and sure enough I used the word after all. "Ditched" maybe was too strong, as I did also say that we go back and look at commentaries after first milking the word.

Certainly agree regarding needing all the body. And as Ohio alluded to, this comes from all directions in the body! When I was in the LC (and for some time afterwards) I didn't believe that to be true. But since then I have gained Christ and light from members in many denominations and groups! (just as the Lord talks about there being "overcomers" in the various Revelation churches . . .) Sure, each group has it's "warts" (including the LC) and one has to look past all that to find the real food and nuggets. (and admittedly it is VERY hard to find in some groups)
07-19-2018 04:06 PM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
That whole notion is anti-Body of Christ. There are different versions of it in various circles. The Body of Christ and its building up needs every member and every member to function according to their measure. Every member has a personal time with the Lord in the Word one-on-one and every member honors and takes the supply from the other members especially the joints of the rich supply, the gifts given by Christ to the Body.

Drake
But, Drake, do you really need "every member" when you condemn 99% of Christians outside TLR and quarantine 25% of those inside TLR?
07-19-2018 10:59 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Thanks for the clarification. My point was not that we don't look at any "footnotes or commentaries" at all, but more about looking to the word first. The thing about looking at some other persons word first is that it can then easily influence how we frame and see something. (After consulting the scripture and Him in a prayerful way 1st, then look at various commentaries, etc.)

And Evangelical, there is nothing wrong with the "pure milk of the word!" I understand what you are saying about going on from milk to meat and all. But too often what is meant by meat is perhaps just some dead knowledge which kills and is devoid of love. Personally, whenever the Lord has shown me something in the word, I get excited and also a little puffed-up that I have seen some lofty thing. Then I try to convey it to others usually in a prideful way (sorry, that's my immaturity in Christ). This is not love; it is knowledge, which fails (inverse - love doesn't fail). So because of this, I'm actually learning that I'd rather experience love than knowledge. If it comes down to the priority between love, pure milk and meaty knowledge - knowledge is (dead) last! We must ask ourselves: "Is what I'm doing and conveying to others really building them up in love?" Meaty dead knowledge is by far well down the building-up list (somewhere between wood & stubble), and is really just a form of entertainment in my estimation.

And Ohio I agree with what you asked/stated:
Reasonable, except your last point....

God works through the Body. We each are but a single member of the Body. Are you all the hearing? Is another member an ear in the Body perhaps more so than you might be.... your hearing is limited.... so is mine.

However, I did not say not look at the Word.... first is already past unless you mean first thing every morning. I said there is a time for personal time in the Word...... but what you said was ditching... ("ditching" implies tossing it like trash that you never expect to use again)

get rid of; give up.
"it crossed her mind to ditch her shoes and run"
synonyms:throw out, throw away, discard, get rid of, dispose of, do away with, deep-six, shed; abandon, drop, shelve, scrap, jettison, throw on the scrapheap;
informaldump, junk, chuck, pull the plug on, trash
"she ditched her old curtains"

So, my response was to that definition. Had you said " I like to read the Word, muse on it, pray over it, and let the Lord speak to me, before I read what others have to say on that verse.... then I would have said "Amen".

This concept of me and the pure word was expressed before you were born with this cowboy tune "Me and Jesus got our own thing going.. and we don't need nobody to tell us what's its all about".

That whole notion is anti-Body of Christ. There are different versions of it in various circles. The Body of Christ and its building up needs every member and every member to function according to their measure. Every member has a personal time with the Lord in the Word one-on-one and every member honors and takes the supply from the other members especially the joints of the rich supply, the gifts given by Christ to the Body.

Drake
07-19-2018 09:52 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Sure StG,

Me with my Bible soaking up the pure milk of the word is not the complete NT revelation to build up the Body of Christ according to Ephesians 4. The building up of the Body of Christ has an arrangement (gifts given) accomplished by Christ in His resurrection, ascension, and enthronement. The gifts in v11 become enablers according to their function to build the Body. They do not build the Body directly but enable others to build the Body.... (e.g. you, me). If I were to ditch ALL footnotes and commentaries then I also ditch the NT arrangement to build the Body of Christ and cut myself off from the very supply that will build the Body of Christ through the gifts given by Christ.

It sounds spiritual to say we are only going to take in the pure milk of the Word without any teaching of man to influence our thinking but God uses man exactly in that capacity through the gifts He gave to the Body for its building up. There is a time for the sweetness of feeding on the milk of the Word with the Lord one on one but that does not replace the rich supply from the banquet going on in the Body. After all, it’s there for a reason.

Thx
Drake
Thanks for the clarification. My point was not that we don't look at any "footnotes or commentaries" at all, but more about looking to the word first. The thing about looking at some other persons word first is that it can then easily influence how we frame and see something. (After consulting the scripture and Him in a prayerful way 1st, then look at various commentaries, etc.)

And Evangelical, there is nothing wrong with the "pure milk of the word!" I understand what you are saying about going on from milk to meat and all. But too often what is meant by meat is perhaps just some dead knowledge which kills and is devoid of love. Personally, whenever the Lord has shown me something in the word, I get excited and also a little puffed-up that I have seen some lofty thing. Then I try to convey it to others usually in a prideful way (sorry, that's my immaturity in Christ). This is not love; it is knowledge, which fails (inverse - love doesn't fail). So because of this, I'm actually learning that I'd rather experience love than knowledge. If it comes down to the priority between love, pure milk and meaty knowledge - knowledge is (dead) last! We must ask ourselves: "Is what I'm doing and conveying to others really building them up in love?" Meaty dead knowledge is by far well down the building-up list (somewhere between wood & stubble), and is really just a form of entertainment in my estimation.

And Ohio I agree with what you asked/stated:
Quote:
Have not LSM LC's ditched "ALL footnotes and commentaries" except those sanctioned in the Rec. Version and the HWfMR?
07-19-2018 08:23 AM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
If I were to ditch ALL footnotes and commentaries then I also ditch the NT arrangement to build the Body of Christ and cut myself off from the very supply that will build the Body of Christ through the gifts given by Christ.
Couple points here.

Firstly, Drake, is it not hypocritical to ascribe to a policy which condemns the writings of all gifts from the Head to His body, except for Nee, Lee, and the Blended We? Have not LSM LC's ditched "ALL footnotes and commentaries" except those sanctioned in the Rec. Version and the HWfMR?

Secondly, does not the church which is His body consider the writings of scripture alone as "The Holy Word of God," so that it alone could be considered the source of the "pure milk of the word"?

To receive the ministry of the "post-apostolic-age" apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers (the Ephesians 4.11 "gifts") as the "pure milk of the word" is frighteningly dangerous. That alone is the defining characteristic of 2 millennia of cults and aberrant sects.
07-19-2018 06:05 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Please clarify what you are referring to.
Sure StG,

Me with my Bible soaking up the pure milk of the word is not the complete NT revelation to build up the Body of Christ according to Ephesians 4. The building up of the Body of Christ has an arrangement (gifts given) accomplished by Christ in His resurrection, ascension, and enthronement. The gifts in v11 become enablers according to their function to build the Body. They do not build the Body directly but enable others to build the Body.... (e.g. you, me). If I were to ditch ALL footnotes and commentaries then I also ditch the NT arrangement to build the Body of Christ and cut myself off from the very supply that will build the Body of Christ through the gifts given by Christ.

It sounds spiritual to say we are only going to take in the pure milk of the Word without any teaching of man to influence our thinking but God uses man exactly in that capacity through the gifts He gave to the Body for its building up. There is a time for the sweetness of feeding on the milk of the Word with the Lord one on one but that does not replace the rich supply from the banquet going on in the Body. After all, it’s there for a reason.

Thx
Drake
07-18-2018 08:21 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Post #325 by me you responded to: So in these matters (as in everything) it is important not to add anything to scripture or take anything away. That's why, these days, many of us have ditched the footnotes and commentaries, and just look to the pure milk of the word. (that doesn't mean we never look at men's writings on subjects, but 1st desire the pure milk)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
All good until the very last point.

There is a reason why God gives gifts to the Body.

Drake
Please clarify what you are referring to.
07-18-2018 08:13 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Oh Drake, there you go again!

What is a "faulty" human? And how many times do I have to ask you to define "mistake?"

Do any of us really think that God would uses a "faulty" minister who appoints his son to rule with a rod of iron? Who protects his son when he molests the female staff. Who destroys the reputations of any who protest? And then God decides it's time to unveil the highest truths of the universe thru this "faulty" minister after all the "naysayers" are cast out, slandered, and quarantined?

Is that what you believe? Is that really how "God's Economy" works?
Good points bro Ohio. If God's economy produces followers that aren't really much different than nonfollowers, then what's the point of theosis?

If their theosis is just teachings, and different rituals -- ways of meetings -- then their theosis is just a claim and a platitude.

I just don't buy it.

I remember sitting in a conference where Lee stated that just by sitting in the conference we were being transformed into the image of Christ. That's all it took.

All it took to be transformed was listening to Lee speak. I guess he considered his speaking was like Jesus breathing on his disciples in John 20 ... I don't know ...

... but it wasn't so.

I was there, and sat thru all the meetings, soaked in his every word, wrote them down, and reviewed them in between.

Was I transformed? If I was I couldn't tell it. I did gain a bunch of teachings. Was that deification? What's deification like anyways?

Exactly what is it like to be God in life and nature? Are all bad thoughts gone? Is sinning gone? Is life perfect ; no bad things happen? Does it endow with the ability to see into the future? Does it mean there's access to privileged truths or revelations?

To put it simply, what's the gain in becoming God in life and nature? Can someone tell me? Then we'll talk about how to get there ... if it's possible, that is ... and more effective than listening to Lee.
07-18-2018 07:28 PM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Thanks bro Drake. I went back to those two posts, and found no clarity. So let me ask. Those you listed from the Bible, Moses, David, Peter, Bathsheba, et al, were they according to scripture deified?
The NT opened the path of divinization of humanity. However, I do not dismiss that ultimately all of God’s people will be divinized as the New Jerusalem depicts.

Drake
07-18-2018 06:35 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Hi awareness
Post 314 and 316 explain my viiew of the process of deification according to the biblical revelation.
Thanks bro Drake. I went back to those two posts, and found no clarity. So let me ask. Those you listed from the Bible, Moses, David, Peter, Bathsheba, et al, were they according to scripture deified?
07-18-2018 05:25 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Mr E, have you read today's "Witness Wednesday" quote?
"Since we are born of God..ARE WE NOT GOD?"
"we may say and even we should say that we are God in life and nature but not in the Godhead.


Again, compare and contrast with Blackwell (a bonafide theologian)
In distinction to the Son who is God by nature (together with the Father and the Spirit), believers are adopted and become gods by grace. Believers are active participants in the process of salvation, but they only receive salvation through grace. Because they are gods by grace, as opposed to nature, they cannot create salvation themselves. The life they experience is not their own; they are sharing the life of God.

If you'll stop pray-reading Witness Lee for a few minutes and just read (prayerfully or not) Blackwell, you will see the blatant contradiction in Lee. One guy is giving us the evangelical, orthodox understanding/teaching, and the other guy is giving us his unorthodox, unbiblical, make-it-up-as-you-go-along "theology".
-
Had you taken the time to read the whole article by Blackwell, you would find that your accusations are baseless. It does not matter how good your theologians are if you cannot read and interpret them properly.

Blackwell here defines what he means by God by nature:

In other words, believers do not become a member of the Trinity—that is, they do not become God by nature.

In distinction to the Son who is God by nature (together with the Father and the Spirit), believers are adopted and become gods by grace.


So Blackwell's meaning of "God by nature" is to be a member of the Trinity.

It is well known that Lee said "God in life and nature but not in the Godhead".

So Blackwell and Lee are not contradictory. I prefer Lee's definition because the term Godhead is actually found in the Bible, but the term Trinity is not.

If we take the time to understand what they both mean by the word "nature" we will see they are talking about different things. Blackwell is only making the point that no one apart from Christ is incarnated or will become an incarnated being like Christ and a member of the Trinity.

Lee is talking about the inward nature and in a way which fits with the orthodox interpretation. That is, we partake of the nature of God like a metal sword (humanity) being forged in fire (divinity). The metal sword of itself is not divine (we are not divine in our created nature, as Blackwell is saying), but it does become divine in a sense when the metal undergoes a process of change, when it is heated by fire, glowing red hot. Instead of metal, Lee used the burning bush analogy if I remember correctly.


As already shown, Blackwell is clearly using the term "God by nature" to refer to being a part of the Trinity. Now let's look at what else Blackwell is saying:


"Because they are gods by grace, as opposed to nature, they cannot create salvation themselves."


Lee is implicated as a heretic if any of these statements hold true. So let's test that:

Does Lee believe we are gods by nature (where nature in this sense means being a part of the Trinity) - No!

Does Lee believe we "create salvation ourselves? - No!

I see nothing here in Blackwell that contradicts Lee.

I understand that Lee as a non-theologian may use words loosely which have a precise definition in academia, and these may seem to contradict if we compare them side by side. But consider the intent behind the words and consider what Lee is not saying. He is not saying we can "create salvation ourselves and become gods by created nature". He is not saying we become part of the Godhead or Trinity.
07-18-2018 04:36 PM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Now I see. I think. Basically you are pointing out that all men that God uses are faulty.

But the question wasn't, God using men. The question is deification. And if deified men are as faulty as every one else, what's the point of deification?

Maybe I don't understand your definition of deification. Please define it for this dummy. Tell me, for example, the fruit of it.

Hi awareness

Post 314 and 316 explain my viiew of the process of deification according to the biblical revelation.

Thx
Drake
07-18-2018 04:30 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Nice try but its not contradicting anything because he is only making the point that we are sons of God by faith. Jesus was the son of God by birth.
Mr E, have you read today's "Witness Wednesday" quote?
"Since we are born of God..ARE WE NOT GOD?"
"we may say and even we should say that we are God in life and nature but not in the Godhead.


Again, compare and contrast with Blackwell (a bonafide theologian)
In distinction to the Son who is God by nature (together with the Father and the Spirit), believers are adopted and become gods by grace. Believers are active participants in the process of salvation, but they only receive salvation through grace. Because they are gods by grace, as opposed to nature, they cannot create salvation themselves. The life they experience is not their own; they are sharing the life of God.

If you'll stop pray-reading Witness Lee for a few minutes and just read (prayerfully or not) Blackwell, you will see the blatant contradiction in Lee. One guy is giving us the evangelical, orthodox understanding/teaching, and the other guy is giving us his unorthodox, unbiblical, make-it-up-as-you-go-along "theology".
-
07-18-2018 04:03 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I thought it was clear but I'll accommodate because maybe my speaking was faulty or maybe your hearing is faulty.

God's truth is not faulty and every man is.

You seem to be making the faulty argument that because God's servant's are faulty then you dismiss the truth. The truth is not made void by man' faults.

The good land was taken in spite of the fact that Moses could not enter because he was faulty.

The truth revealed to Peter (thou art the Christ) is not void just because Peter was a faulty apostle ("Get behind me Satan").

David was a faulty man but his offspring with the faulty Bathsheba was Solomon who built the Temple.

The biblical list goes on.

Now, bring it down to us. You are a faulty man and yet you would have us entertain your ideas even knowing that you are faulty. You don't eliminate yourself from advising others even though you know your ideas are faulty.

Everyone is faulty.... that has zero to do with whether faulty men, now possessing God's life, are being deified!

Drake
Now I see. I think. Basically you are pointing out that all men that God uses are faulty.

But the question wasn't, God using men. The question is deification. And if deified men are as faulty as every one else, what's the point of deification?

Maybe I don't understand your definition of deification. Please define it for this dummy. Tell me, for example, the fruit of it.
07-18-2018 03:21 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
All good until the very last point.

There is a reason why God gives gifts to the Body.

Drake
I agree. The pure milk of the word is still milk not meat. Hebrews 5:12. What many people dont know is that Theosis or glorification was only an elementary truth for early Christians akin to how justification is an elementary truth today. In other words peoples doctrine is even more elementary than in Paul's time.

Well in 2000 years it seems Christianity has gone backwards not forwards. This stuff was elementary and foundational doctrine in the early church but apparently still well known in theology and Lees footnotes.
07-18-2018 03:14 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
That walks a fine line. When the word "adoption" is used, it conjures up bringing someone into your family who does not actually share your life, which is an extremely shallow view of what Christ did as the One Grain falling into the ground to bring forth many grains.

But then at the end of the above quote, he says, "The life they experience is not their own; they are sharing the life of God. That is a very interesting way to put it! It seems to me to be an accurate way of saying this - we did not create this life and in no way are we responsible for giving it . . . only receiving it.

But we are a new creation in Christ - a wholly new critter that has never been in the universe before (as a folksy brother I know likes to say). The old nature in Adam has been done away with and we've been given this new nature, a new man created in His image. "Eye has not seen!"

So this is a good discussion and I think I'm a little clearer. I think we can say that we are destined by God as something new, remarkable, astounding and wonderful --- we even receive His glory! But of the Godhead we do not become.

Is it good enough then to just leave it at that and not try to figure out the proverbial number of angels dancing on a pinhead?
(after all - knowledge is failing big time)
You have read this as I have that is saying we become sons of God or gods by faith and His Spirit not that we are ever going to be incarnated like Christ having both natures in our very being.

Lee never said we become god apart from Christ.
07-18-2018 03:01 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Interesting that Mr E. would use Ben Blackwell's little "Shortread" as some sort of confirmation or proof text for Witness Lee's unbiblical teaching. But since he mentioned Blackwell, let's see how an actual, bonafied, professionally trained theologian handles such advanced concepts:

Describing salvation as theosis always means that humans are set in distinction to the one who is truly God. Therefore, Christian deification is always metaphorical

To be a son of God, then, means being a god, in some sense. These interpreters knew that God did not have numerous children by nature (this status is reserved for his only-begotten Son). Reading this passage within the biblical narrative, they affirmed that these gods were children in a different wayby adoption and by grace.

In distinction to the Son who is God by nature (together with the Father and the Spirit), believers are adopted and become gods by grace. Believers are active participants in the process of salvation, but they only receive salvation through grace. Because they are gods by grace, as opposed to nature, they cannot create salvation themselves. The life they experience is not their own; they are sharing the life of God.
(all emphasis mine)

Notice how Blackwell is careful to point out that the biblical concept of divinization (theosis) is "ALWAYS METAPHORICAL". Notice his precise language of "Because they are gods by grace, AS OPPOSED TO NATURE". Compare and contrast this precise and accurate exposition to Witness Lee's sloppy and confusing development of this advanced concept. Again, Lee had no business getting into such theological matters as theosis. He was totally unqualified.
-
Nice try but its not contradicting anything because he is only making the point that we are sons of God by faith. Jesus was the son of God by birth.

The term born again is always metaphorical as well. The reality is that the Spirit joins our spirit.

We are gods by grace. We are not literally born a son of God like the incarnate Christ. That is all he is saying. We will never have both divine and human essence as Christ has, we are only human partaking of the divine nature.

In spirit however it is not metaphorical..it is reality. The born again experience is not a metaphor in spirit.
07-18-2018 01:37 PM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
For the moment, lets say your premise is accurate.

What does that tell us? That because God uses "faulty humans" the truth is void? nay, nay.

You're a faulty human... but that doesn't stop you from rendering your faulty advice, offering faulty opinions, and living a faulty life. If being a flawless human is the criteria for being used by God then there is only One who fits that bill. Therefore, with that logic no one should say anything about anything or about anyone.

But things don't work that way in God's economy. God uses faulty humans and it doesn't change that he used faulty humans to author the Bible. God reveals His will to faulty humans but that does not make His will or the things He reveals are not void.

Drake
Oh Drake, there you go again!

What is a "faulty" human? And how many times do I have to ask you to define "mistake?"

Do any of us really think that God would uses a "faulty" minister who appoints his son to rule with a rod of iron? Who protects his son when he molests the female staff. Who destroys the reputations of any who protest? And then God decides it's time to unveil the highest truths of the universe thru this "faulty" minister after all the "naysayers" are cast out, slandered, and quarantined?

Is that what you believe? Is that really how "God's Economy" works?
07-18-2018 12:50 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

-
...and there is also a reason that God has given gifts of discernment to the Body as well. This is why the apostle John, in his first epistle, implored his followers to
"believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God."(4:1) Later, in Revelation, a similar admonition was given: "but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false."(2:2)

This is why I keep reminding us about the problems and dangers of holding out any one man to be "the One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age", or "God's Oracle on earth", or "Acting god"....once this kind of authority and adoration is bestowed upon any man, he (and by extension his teachings) becomes virtually unassailable, which in our context here would be synonymous with virtually infallible, and the Body of Christ (individual members, churches or the Body at large) is denied and deprived of any and all discernment regarding such a man.

So when it comes to such an impactful teaching such as theosis or divination, we should...no...we must "consider the source". Does this person(s) have the qualifications, education and track record of teaching in a fundamentally biblical, orthodox and sound manner?.....
....to quote our friend Drake here....nay, nay.
07-18-2018 10:40 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
That is what I'm seeing too! And to paraphrase a brother I meet with, I don't think I want that much responsibility (i.e., being part of the Godhead)!

Another brother just reminded me of the old book, "The God-Men" that got the LC all stirred up back in the late 70s (I think). I guess even back then there were plenty of accusations along those lines.

I think bottom-line it is a mystery much like trying to figure out the Triune God. I believe our future is much higher and brighter that any of us have come close to knowing, and I think it is foolish talk if anyone says they knows for sure exactly what that entails!

So in these matters (as in everything) it is important not to add anything to scripture or take anything away. That's why, these days, many of us have ditched the footnotes and commentaries, and just look to the pure milk of the word. (that doesn't mean we never look at men's writings on subjects, but 1st desire the pure milk)
All good until the very last point.

There is a reason why God gives gifts to the Body.

Drake
07-18-2018 10:38 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Not sure what you are trying to say. Could you please re-say it in a different way?
I thought it was clear but I'll accommodate because maybe my speaking was faulty or maybe your hearing is faulty.

God's truth is not faulty and every man is.

You seem to be making the faulty argument that because God's servant's are faulty then you dismiss the truth. The truth is not made void by man' faults.

The good land was taken in spite of the fact that Moses could not enter because he was faulty.

The truth revealed to Peter (thou art the Christ) is not void just because Peter was a faulty apostle ("Get behind me Satan").

David was a faulty man but his offspring with the faulty Bathsheba was Solomon who built the Temple.

The biblical list goes on.

Now, bring it down to us. You are a faulty man and yet you would have us entertain your ideas even knowing that you are faulty. You don't eliminate yourself from advising others even though you know your ideas are faulty.

Everyone is faulty.... that has zero to do with whether faulty men, now possessing God's life, are being deified!

Drake
07-18-2018 10:29 AM
least
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
But we are a new creation in Christ - a wholly new critter that has never been in the universe before (as a folksy brother I know likes to say). The old nature in Adam has been done away with and we've been given this new nature, a new man created in His image. "Eye has not seen!"
bingo!

NEW CREATION.

-
knowledge fails, love endures. God is love.
07-18-2018 09:52 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Blackwell View Post
Describing salvation as theosis always means that humans are set in distinction to the one who is truly God. Therefore, Christian deification is always metaphorical
To be a son of God, then, means being a god, in some sense. These interpreters knew that God did not have numerous children by nature (this status is reserved for his only-begotten Son). Reading this passage within the biblical narrative, they affirmed that these gods were children in a different wayby adoption and by grace.
In distinction to the Son who is God by nature (together with the Father and the Spirit), believers are adopted and become gods by grace. Believers are active participants in the process of salvation, but they only receive salvation through grace. Because they are gods by grace, as opposed to nature, they cannot create salvation themselves. The life they experience is not their own; they are sharing the life of God.
(all emphasis mine)
That walks a fine line. When the word "adoption" is used, it conjures up bringing someone into your family who does not actually share your life, which is an extremely shallow view of what Christ did as the One Grain falling into the ground to bring forth many grains.

But then at the end of the above quote, he says, "The life they experience is not their own; they are sharing the life of God. That is a very interesting way to put it! It seems to me to be an accurate way of saying this - we did not create this life and in no way are we responsible for giving it . . . only receiving it.

But we are a new creation in Christ - a wholly new critter that has never been in the universe before (as a folksy brother I know likes to say). The old nature in Adam has been done away with and we've been given this new nature, a new man created in His image. "Eye has not seen!"

So this is a good discussion and I think I'm a little clearer. I think we can say that we are destined by God as something new, remarkable, astounding and wonderful --- we even receive His glory! But of the Godhead we do not become.

Is it good enough then to just leave it at that and not try to figure out the proverbial number of angels dancing on a pinhead?
(after all - knowledge is failing big time)
07-18-2018 09:42 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
For the moment, lets say your premise is accurate. What does that tell us? That because God uses "faulty humans" the truth is void?
Not sure what you are trying to say. Could you please re-say it in a different way?

And another Hank aside. Hank is hungry. I got another invite in email from him, offering another book. He's now selling Intelligent Design (he must be one of those deified faulty humans I think you are talking about) :
https://www.equip.org/product/cri-re...ion-resources/
07-18-2018 09:32 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
StG,

The line is the Godhead. We believers never become God in the Godhead in spite of misunderstandings, sometimes purposeful, in this forum.

The part where people start to toss their cookies is concerning the salvation of the soul in this life. They do not see or refuse to see that there is a process of transformation going on in the believers where the life in our regenerated spirit is moving into our mind, emotion, and will. Daily, providing we cooperate with Him. Here and now. That is theosis of our very being becoming God in life and nature but not in the Godhead. Therein lies the rub for most.
Drake
That is what I'm seeing too! And to paraphrase a brother I meet with, I don't think I want that much responsibility (i.e., being part of the Godhead)!

Another brother just reminded me of the old book, "The God-Men" that got the LC all stirred up back in the late 70s (I think). I guess even back then there were plenty of accusations along those lines.

I think bottom-line it is a mystery much like trying to figure out the Triune God. I believe our future is much higher and brighter that any of us have come close to knowing, and I think it is foolish talk if anyone says they knows for sure exactly what that entails!

So in these matters (as in everything) it is important not to add anything to scripture or take anything away. That's why, these days, many of us have ditched the footnotes and commentaries, and just look to the pure milk of the word. (that doesn't mean we never look at men's writings on subjects, but 1st desire the pure milk)
07-18-2018 08:26 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Down thru the years I've known big talkers ; those that can talk a good game but can't play it worth a darn.

Athanasius, Ben Blackwell, CS Lewis, Carl Mosser, Witness Lee, and a host of LCer's, talk theosis, deification, divinization, becoming God in life and nature but not in Godhead, but there's no evidence that any of them are or were anything but faulty humans.
For the moment, lets say your premise is accurate.

What does that tell us? That because God uses "faulty humans" the truth is void?

nay, nay.

You're a faulty human... but that doesn't stop you from rendering your faulty advice, offering faulty opinions, and living a faulty life. If being a flawless human is the criteria for being used by God then there is only One who fits that bill. Therefore, with that logic no one should say anything about anything or about anyone.

But things don't work that way in God's economy. God uses faulty humans and it doesn't change that he used faulty humans to author the Bible. God reveals His will to faulty humans but that does not make His will or the things He reveals are not void.

Drake
07-18-2018 08:09 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
.... but because Brother Lee said it, then no matter how many qualifiers he adds (“but not in the Godhead”) many in this forum will say it must be wrong even if the Bible clearly reveals it!
Maybe that's because Witness Lee is infamous for teaching things that are not clearly revealed in the bible. But this doesn't stop many of his followers extolling him as the only person who spoke as God's oracle on earth. The simple truth is that to Local Churchers, if Lee taught something it was to be considered "recovered truth" or a "high peak truth", even if it was not clearly revealed in the Bible. Oh, they will use the bible...twist and contort it beyond recognition...until it seems to say what Lee is saying. Lee did this while he was alive, and now his followers do this for him in absentia.

Look, this matter of "theosis" or "divinization" is involving heavy-duty, deep theology. Witness Lee, and those "trained" by him, have no business telling us what is and what is not orthodox, biblically sound teaching in this matter. Lee spent his career telling anybody who would listen that professional theologians are all washed up....he called their seminaries "cemeteries". He called them "blind, mooing cows". (but his followers have instituted a number of faux seminaries...but that's ok because when they do it they call them "trainings")

Interesting that Mr E. would use Ben Blackwell's little "Shortread" as some sort of confirmation or proof text for Witness Lee's unbiblical teaching. But since he mentioned Blackwell, let's see how an actual, bonafied, professionally trained theologian handles such advanced concepts:


Describing salvation as theosis always means that humans are set in distinction to the one who is truly God. Therefore, Christian deification is always metaphorical

To be a son of God, then, means being a god, in some sense. These interpreters knew that God did not have numerous children by nature (this status is reserved for his only-begotten Son). Reading this passage within the biblical narrative, they affirmed that these gods were children in a different wayby adoption and by grace.

In distinction to the Son who is God by nature (together with the Father and the Spirit), believers are adopted and become gods by grace. Believers are active participants in the process of salvation, but they only receive salvation through grace. Because they are gods by grace, as opposed to nature, they cannot create salvation themselves. The life they experience is not their own; they are sharing the life of God.
(all emphasis mine)

Notice how Blackwell is careful to point out that the biblical concept of divinization (theosis) is "ALWAYS METAPHORICAL". Notice his precise language of "Because they are gods by grace, AS OPPOSED TO NATURE". Compare and contrast this precise and accurate exposition to Witness Lee's sloppy and confusing development of this advanced concept. Again, Lee had no business getting into such theological matters as theosis. He was totally unqualified.
-
07-18-2018 08:00 AM
A little brother
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
good catch. "Becoming God in life and nature but not in the Godhead" is more accurate and better.
Clever answer. I almost convinced myself you typed your true belief unintentionally. Just my wishful thinking perhaps.

Anyway, I thank God that when I tried to search what is the exact wordings of WL, the following link popped up and now I know what we believed Athanasius wrote ("become God") could just be mistranslation.

https://www.catholic.com/magazine/pr...on/are-we-gods

Where the English translation says, quoting St. Athanasius of Alexandria in the fourth century, “For the son of God became man so that we might become God,” the official Latin text reads, Ipse siquidem homo factus est, ut nos dii efficeremur. Literal translation: “For the Son of God became man so that we might be made gods.” The Latin term dii translated “God” in the English translation of the Catechism is nominative plural and is not capitalized. Unfortunately, the English translation of the official Latin text gets it wrong. “God” should be “gods.”

Part of the problem here may well go back to the original Greek of St. Athanasius from which the Catechism quotes. The literal translation of the text from St. Athanasius that the Catechism quotes is, “For he was made man in order that we might be deified.” The Greek verb theopoiethomen is where the problem lies. This is a compound of two Greek words that mean god and to make. So one could see how a translator could translate it as “might be made God.”
07-18-2018 08:00 AM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Down thru the years I've known big talkers ; those that can talk a good game but can't play it worth a darn.

Athanasius, Ben Blackwell, CS Lewis, Carl Mosser, Witness Lee, and a host of LCer's, talk theosis, deification, divinization, becoming God in life and nature but not in Godhead, but there's no evidence that any of them are or were anything but faulty humans.

Witness Lee for example had many many years to become God in life and nature but could still lie and cheat the saints out of money, put his unregenerate son in charge, castigate good brothers and sisters in the Lord, and condemn all other Christians. If that's what it means to be God in life and nature then I've been God pretty much all my sinful life.
Me too. Not sure if I should laugh or cry.

Compare this to the Apostle Paul -- who still confessed to be the chief of sinners -- until the end.

And Jesus who called Himself "Son of Man" rather than going about proclaiming Himself to be Son of God, God Himself, baby God, God in life and nature, etc. We know who He was thru His life and work.
07-18-2018 07:41 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by A little brother View Post
Drake, did you intentionally change WL's "become God" to "becoming one with God"? Why the change?
good catch.

"Becoming God in life and nature but not in the Godhead" is more accurate and better.

Thanks
Drake
07-18-2018 07:14 AM
A little brother
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Right,

Terms also can be a stumbling block. Union with God, theosis, divinization, becoming one with God, or deification, all mean the same thing but the last term causes the most reaction because it seems to suggest becoming an object of worship which we never do because worship is only reserved for the Godhead....at least to the Christian. I prefer the descriptors “becoming one with God in life and nature but not in the Godhead” or “divinization “...... but because Brother Lee said it, then no matter how many qualifiers he adds (“but not in the Godhead”) many in this forum will say it must be wrong even if the Bible clearly reveals it!

Drake
Drake, did you intentionally change WL's "become God" to "becoming one with God"? Why the change?
07-18-2018 06:57 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
And that's because the Bible does NOT clearly reveal it!

If divination was so "clearly revealed," then why was WL against it for 60 years?

Why did it take the coverup of scandals caused by his own son Phillip to "clearly reveal" this great "high peak" pseudo-truth?
Down thru the years I've known big talkers ; those that can talk a good game but can't play it worth a darn.

Athanasius, Ben Blackwell, CS Lewis, Carl Mosser, Witness Lee, and a host of LCer's, talk theosis, deification, divinization, becoming God in life and nature but not in Godhead, but there's no evidence that any of them are or were anything but faulty humans.

Witness Lee for example had many many years to become God in life and nature but could still lie and cheat the saints out of money, put his unregenerate son in charge, castigate good brothers and sisters in the Lord, and condemn all other Christians. If that's what it means to be God in life and nature then I've been God pretty much all my sinful life.

And I'll bet that Watchman Nee was God in life and nature while he cheated with his company, cheated in taxes, visited brothels, and raped sisters.

And that's why I like theosis, and prolly why Hank likes it : it makes us something we're not ... and oh, it sounds good ... but is nothing but wishful thinking, and too good to be true.
07-18-2018 05:26 AM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Right,

Terms also can be a stumbling block. Union with God, theosis, divinization, becoming one with God, or deification, all mean the same thing but the last term causes the most reaction because it seems to suggest becoming an object of worship which we never do because worship is only reserved for the Godhead....at least to the Christian. I prefer the descriptors “becoming one with God in life and nature but not in the Godhead” or “divinization “...... but because Brother Lee said it, then no matter how many qualifiers he adds (“but not in the Godhead”) many in this forum will say it must be wrong even if the Bible clearly reveals it!

Drake
And that's because the Bible does NOT clearly reveal it!

If divination was so "clearly revealed," then why was WL against it for 60 years?

Why did it take the coverup of scandals caused by his own son Phillip to "clearly reveal" this great "high peak" pseudo-truth?
07-18-2018 03:54 AM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
An interesting article I came across is written by Ben Blackwell
Assistant Professor of Theology, Houston Baptist University.

He basically affirms everything I have been saying about Protestants/evangelicals and the biblical origins of theosis in this article:

https://cct.biola.edu/man-god-ruins-...ian-tradition/

In my previous posts I made two points based on Psalm 82:
a) Gods are immortal - in Psalm 82 we see immortality. This was the early church's interpretation of Psalm 82.
b) Sons of God are gods - if we call ourselves "sons of God" we are really calling ourselves gods.

He writes:
With this, two primary exegetical themes come out of their readings of Psalm 82: (1) gods are immortals and (2) sons of God are gods.

He also agrees with what I have been saying about evangelicals not knowing about these matters:

Christian theologians have long discussed “theosis” (literally, “becoming a god”) as a final stage of salvation, when human beings have real union with God. The idea is virtually unknown among Protestants
Right,

Terms also can be a stumbling block. Union with God, theosis, divinization, becoming one with God, or deification, all mean the same thing but the last term causes the most reaction because it seems to suggest becoming an object of worship which we never do because worship is only reserved for the Godhead....at least to the Christian. I prefer the descriptors “becoming one with God in life and nature but not in the Godhead” or “divinization “...... but because Brother Lee said it, then no matter how many qualifiers he adds (“but not in the Godhead”) many in this forum will say it must be wrong even if the Bible clearly reveals it!

Drake
07-18-2018 01:52 AM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
StG,

The line is the Godhead. We believers never become God in the Godhead in spite of misunderstandings, sometimes purposeful, in this forum.

So, i believe many, maybe most, in this forum agree that we are united to God in our spirit when we are regenerated. He who is joined to the Lord is one S/spirit. That is theosis of our spirit. In our past.

Same for the ultimate consummation, the redemption and transfiguration of our bodies for we know we will be just like Him, for we shall see Him as He is in a glorified body. Theosis of our bodies. In the future. Most agree, probably, with that.

The part where people start to toss their cookies is concerning the salvation of the soul in this life. They do not see or refuse to see that there is a process of transformation going on in the believers where the life in our regenerated spirit is moving into our mind, emotion, and will. Daily, providing we cooperate with Him. Here and now. That is theosis of our very being becoming God in life and nature but not in the Godhead. Therein lies the rub for most.

Evangelical is making a very compelling case and I am reading his explanation with great interest. Anytime you see those personal insults toward him then it is apparent they have lost the argument, or are losing it quickly, so they resort to ad hominem attacks to supplement weak arguments. Then it’s time to pause and consider what he is saying that has left them flummoxed.

Drake

An interesting article I came across is written by Ben Blackwell
Assistant Professor of Theology, Houston Baptist University.

He basically affirms everything I have been saying about Protestants/evangelicals and the biblical origins of theosis in this article:

https://cct.biola.edu/man-god-ruins-...ian-tradition/

In my previous posts I made two points based on Psalm 82:
a) Gods are immortal - in Psalm 82 we see immortality. This was the early church's interpretation of Psalm 82.
b) Sons of God are gods - if we call ourselves "sons of God" we are really calling ourselves gods.

He writes:With this, two primary exegetical themes come out of their readings of Psalm 82: (1) gods are immortals and (2) sons of God are gods.[/I]

He also agrees with what I have been saying about evangelicals not knowing about these matters:

Christian theologians have long discussed “theosis” (literally, “becoming a god”) as a final stage of salvation, when human beings have real union with God. The idea is virtually unknown among Protestants
07-17-2018 07:33 PM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
So I think what Evangelical said about us being sons of God bares some further looking into. Are we sons? Sure, as too many scriptures say this.

How about God's glory (a question I believe no one has addressed)? Does He give us that? A king gives his children his glory. Colossians 1:27 says, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Christ is in us, as too many verses state. For instance: "When it pleased God to reveal His Son in me."

If you go to Romans 8 you see that the Triune God is in us (vs 10-11), Father, Son & Spirit.

Ephesians tells us we are the temple, a dwelling place of God in Spirit. Do these verses say we become God? Not exactly. But elsewhere in Ephesians it talks about the riches of His inheritance in the saints.

Why is He our Father? Because He loves us and wants us as His family.

Again, regarding the glory question, John 17 has Jesus praying that "the glory you have given Me, I have given them." And then all the talk about "You in Me and I in them, that they may be one in Us."

"As He is so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17) Another thing Evangelical said had to do with Jesus being the prototype (the 2nd man & Last Adam). As a Man, He was nothing short of all we were supposed to be, right? He said, "He that has seen Me has seen the Father." Jesus came to introduce the world to the Father. Why the word "Father?" He wants many sons brought to glory!

So where do you draw the line considering these things?
StG,

The line is the Godhead. We believers never become God in the Godhead in spite of misunderstandings, sometimes purposeful, in this forum.

So, i believe many, maybe most, in this forum agree that we are united to God in our spirit when we are regenerated. He who is joined to the Lord is one S/spirit. That is theosis of our spirit. In our past.

Same for the ultimate consummation, the redemption and transfiguration of our bodies for we know we will be just like Him, for we shall see Him as He is in a glorified body. Theosis of our bodies. In the future. Most agree, probably, with that.

The part where people start to toss their cookies is concerning the salvation of the soul in this life. They do not see or refuse to see that there is a process of transformation going on in the believers where the life in our regenerated spirit is moving into our mind, emotion, and will. Daily, providing we cooperate with Him. Here and now. That is theosis of our very being becoming God in life and nature but not in the Godhead. Therein lies the rub for most.

Evangelical is making a very compelling case and I am reading his explanation with great interest. Anytime you see those personal insults toward him then it is apparent they have lost the argument, or are losing it quickly, so they resort to ad hominem attacks to supplement weak arguments. Then it’s time to pause and consider what he is saying that has left them flummoxed.

Drake
07-17-2018 07:10 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

My English is fine I think, how about your English? Whether it is verbally spoken or in written form it looks like a prayer to me "Thank you, Athanasius. And thank you, Father.". He is thanking him for "a grace the magnitude of which our minds can never fully grasp". I thought that thanks should be directed to Jesus.

I am fairly sure if I wrote "thankyou Witness Lee, and thankyou Father in Jesus name amen" you would say I was praying to Witness Lee.

It seems to be a prayer to Heaven, where Athanasius and the Father are. It should say "thankyou Father for Athanasius", or "we should be thankful to Athanasius". But the address of Athanasius as "thankyou Athanasius" followed by "in the name of Jesus, amen" is a prayer. A person does not normally direct a "thankyou" like that to someone who is dead - he is addressing Athanasius directly. I don't know John Piper, what his background is, whether he is partial to prayers to dead Saints in heaven. I am aware that some protestants do pray to the Saints, Episcopalians/Anglicans can sometimes. Whether a regular habit or a slip or the tongue, maybe he is a secret Orthodox like Hank and we may soon see him join the church as well.
07-17-2018 06:59 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Mr E, you really can't be that dense, can you?. I mean, you seem to understand the English language fairly well. Why do you blurt out such outrageous garbage? John Piper is one of the most respected and renowned Christians teachers and theologians in the world. He is also one of the most humble and modest men of God of his stature that you will ever find. Compare and contrast this with your guru/apostle/minister of the age/acting god Witness Lee. Most people have never heard of the man, and the few that have, overwhelmingly have a negative impression of him.

You still can't give us a plausible, coherent answer why Hank Hanegraaff completely rejected the ministry and teachings of Witness Lee in favor of a religious sect that is closer to "the Great Whore of Babylon" than even her little daughters - all the protestant churches. Hank spend SIX LONG YEARS in close study and fellowship with the Local Church. He traveled around and was given the royal treatment and the right hand of fellowship by the Blended Brothers et al. And how did he repay them? He ran right into the arms of the Great Whore instead of becoming the crown jewel of the Lord's Recovery. He would have become a movement superstar. They would have carried him around on their shoulders and loudly proclaim that this was proof positive that the Local Church of Witness Lee is "orthodox".

So Mr E, instead spewing forth garbage about John Piper praying to Athanasius why don't you address the issue at hand.

-
07-17-2018 06:28 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
So where do you draw the line considering these things?
It's a hard line to draw. First, there's the sons of God in Genesis and Job.

And then Jesus says in Matthew "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called sons of God.
07-17-2018 06:09 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

And I don't see any evidence that Athanasius became God of any sort. So if EO is thanking Athanasius they're thanking someone that said, "do as I say, not as I do ... or rather, don't do."
07-17-2018 05:56 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Of course Jesus. But I like your take on theosis. Essentially, we don't do a thing. It's vouchsafed grace. And we're all little gods even if we don't know a thing about theosis. The fruit will speak for it.

Hey on a side note. I just got an email from Hank. Because I'm such a great supporter, he says, he offered me a copy of a new book :

“This is a new challenge from a different breed of critics who are using their instant credibility and insider’s knowledge of theology, the Bible, church history, even apologetics, to debunk the faith they once believed and promoted. They have taken aim at the foundations of Christianity, including God, the Scriptures, miracles and the supernatural, and Christianity’s perceived inherent prohibition on free inquiry.”
—from Why People Stop Believing,
by Paul Chamberlain


I took his offer, but stopped at : "Your Donation Amount ( $ )"

I've never donated, and have shown no support for CRI ever, except for being on his email list.

Why do people stop believing? Maybe because Christianity has become about money, like Hank wants in this email.

Methinks our brother Hank is in need of theosis. Maybe he received the Spirit, but it looks like he's not living by it.

And that puts the EO on the spot. Just how does joining the EO deify new members? It's not likely to be accomplish there by calling on the Lord and pray-reading. They must have more tried and true methods.

Do we have any members out here that left the LC and joined the Eastern Orthodox? who might be able to give us an inside take?
The EO probably acquires divinity by praying to Saint Athanasius, John Piper seems to have found this secret as well when he prayed:

Thank you, Athanasius. And thank you, Father. And thank you, Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

It's the Holy Trinity of divinity - Athanasius, the Father and the Holy Spirit.

I would prefer calling on the name of the Lord than praying to Athanasius.
07-17-2018 05:45 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Pretty good Mr E. This is a biblical understanding/presentation. So why go beyond this? Why jump from "possess the divinity" (a biblical concept backed by "partakers of the divine nature" as taught in 2 Peter 1:4) to "becoming the divinity" as taught by Witness Lee? There is always an abject danger in going beyond what is written. In the case of the Local Church, it issued in the craziness of a bunch of gullible young Christians running around proclaiming "Hallelujah, I'm a baby God!" Of course it got even worse (and who could think that was even possible?) when those same people ran around shouting "Praise the Lord, I'm a Witness Lee tape recorder!"
I am not sure how Lee went "beyond this", I never got the sense that he did.

Lee defines "becoming divine" as receiving another life through regeneration, which is added to our natural life. That sounds like partaking of the divine nature to me.

Lee no where teaches that the human essence becomes divine which would be heresy. Humanity stays humanity, and divinity stays divinity.
As long as human atom particles stay human and God particles (pun intended) stay God, there is no heresy.

And even though Lee believed in man becoming God, unlike John Piper, I don't know that Lee ever prayed to Saint Athanasius to thank him for it.

Here is an ultimate hypocrisy:

Evangelicals love Athanasius and CS Lewis too much to call them absolute heretics about "man becoming God" and Athanasius never explained himself fully by what he meant by that. Yet they will criticize Lee for every little suggestion that "man becomes God" when there are pages of material written to clarify the intended meaning that removes any doubt about it.
07-17-2018 05:23 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Evan, I really wish you take some time to study Paul's use of the Greek word "huiothesia." W. Lee has long used this one truth to condemn all Christians and to exalt his own ministry. We have discussed this repeatedly on the forum, but unfortunately you are so imbibed with Lee-isms that you can no longer hear.

This word huiothesia is unique to Paul, and it emphasizes the legal rights of sons as heirs to our Heavenly Father. Sorry if this is too complicated for you, since you refuse to explore the depths of the riches here. (Rom 11.33-36) Without the Spirit of God inspiring the apostle Paul to "adopt" (pun intended) this unique word, our understanding of the new birth at our regeneration would be extremely limited.

Instead you prefer to run around proclaiming yourself a "baby god," all the while condemning the rest of the body of Christ for reducing their status to the "mere signing of a legal adoption agreement" and worse. Do you really think that your arrogant attitude towards the truths of scripture and the condemnation of all other children of God will help you grow to become a full-grown son, qualifying as a legal heir to all God's wealth?

The following quotation from the above link manifests some of the riches of Christ in Paul's ministry. (Yet completely missed by W. Lee.)
The simple reason why the "Roman law" interpretation is wrong (if taken as fact), is that we are not adopted under Roman law and neither has God ever been bound by Roman law. Gentiles especially.

This misunderstanding I believe is because people confuse a fact with the Roman adoption law analogy Paul was making.

The fact is that we are born of incorruptible seed (1 Pet. 1:23).

This misunderstanding is shown in the article I posted previously which says:

"Adoption is a legal act of God on our behalf"

So God, the one who makes the law, had to "do a legal act", doesn't really make sense considering that God is the ultimate authority, not someone bound by Roman adoption law.

Secondly, "adoption.. on our behalf" doesn't make much sense either, because it implies that we had to adopt ourselves?

The blessings of adoption are correct, but people have mistakenly taken the analogy of adoption and misapplied it as fact, suggesting, as that article above does, that God "had to do some legal things on our behalf". God was not doing anything legal - the reality is that believers are reborn (born again) of incorruptable seed by the Holy Spirit, making them sons of God in spiritual reality not merely as an agreement under law.
07-17-2018 05:01 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

I wrote previously:

Yet it seems that only evangelicals believe that we become sons of God yet don't actually look like sons of God. "we are not really sons but adopted sons merely" they say....
Sonship is something more than is believed by most evangelicals today (as a mere signing of a legal adoption agreement to declare we are sons).


UntoHim claimed I don't know about evangelical teaching but I can find many printed examples of evangelical teaching that emphasize the legal adoption:

http://www.teachingtheword.org/apps/...&columnid=5774


Believers Are Legally Adopted

So how is it that we are adopted by God? How has it come about, and what does it involve?

Adoption is a legal act of God on our behalf


In the same way, adoption is legal language in Scripture.

And adoption as a son in Roman law was something very specific. Adoption as a son in Roman law meant that you had the right to the name and the citizenship of the person who adopted you, and the right to inherit his property.


It's all about legal, legal, Roman law this, Roman law that. Who knew, that God was bound to obey Roman adoption law? God did a "legal act on our behalf", as if He is somehow bound by the Roman law at the time.

There is no mention of deification, which goes hand in hand with adoption, because it is the purpose of adoption.

In other words, evangelicals believe they are legally adopted, but they don't believe they have the inheritance of deification - there is no mention of it. Piper tried to explain how deification is what the evangelicals call glorification, but to be evangelicals don't really mention glorification much either.

This is like believing in the act of marriage as signing a legal document, but not believing in the consummation of marriage. The whole purpose of marriage is consummation, and the purpose of salvation is deification.

A proper understanding of adoption as sons is that it is the Holy Spirit who adopts us as sons and also deifies us (call it glorification if you will), and not some legal agreement from Roman law whiuch God had to perform some "legal act" on our behalf. There is no mention of the Holy Spirit in the article I posted above. A mainstream evangelical understanding of salvation is that the legal adoption is God's real purpose, and the "glorification" is a nice blessing in the end. In contrast, the early church believed that adoption and deification went hand in hand and adoption was for the purpose of the deification/glorification.
07-17-2018 02:26 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

So I think what Evangelical said about us being sons of God bares some further looking into. Are we sons? Sure, as too many scriptures say this.

How about God's glory (a question I believe no one has addressed)? Does He give us that? A king gives his children his glory. Colossians 1:27 says, "Christ in you, the hope of glory." Christ is in us, as too many verses state. For instance: "When it pleased God to reveal His Son in me."

If you go to Romans 8 you see that the Triune God is in us (vs 10-11), Father, Son & Spirit.

Ephesians tells us we are the temple, a dwelling place of God in Spirit. Do these verses say we become God? Not exactly. But elsewhere in Ephesians it talks about the riches of His inheritance in the saints.

Why is He our Father? Because He loves us and wants us as His family.

Again, regarding the glory question, John 17 has Jesus praying that "the glory you have given Me, I have given them." And then all the talk about "You in Me and I in them, that they may be one in Us."

"As He is so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17) Another thing Evangelical said had to do with Jesus being the prototype (the 2nd man & Last Adam). As a Man, He was nothing short of all we were supposed to be, right? He said, "He that has seen Me has seen the Father." Jesus came to introduce the world to the Father. Why the word "Father?" He wants many sons brought to glory!

So where do you draw the line considering these things?
07-17-2018 01:45 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I'll bite.

The no brainer answer is Jesus.... He is the Firstborn among many brethren.

Yet, I am sure you mean who besides Him. Clearly, every regenerated born again believer joined to the Lord is one S/spirit.... therefore, theosis, union with God, has transpired in every spirit regenerated by the Spirit of God.

Drake
Of course Jesus. But I like your take on theosis. Essentially, we don't do a thing. It's vouchsafed grace. And we're all little gods even if we don't know a thing about theosis. The fruit will speak for it.

Hey on a side note. I just got an email from Hank. Because I'm such a great supporter, he says, he offered me a copy of a new book :

“This is a new challenge from a different breed of critics who are using their instant credibility and insider’s knowledge of theology, the Bible, church history, even apologetics, to debunk the faith they once believed and promoted. They have taken aim at the foundations of Christianity, including God, the Scriptures, miracles and the supernatural, and Christianity’s perceived inherent prohibition on free inquiry.”
—from Why People Stop Believing,
by Paul Chamberlain


I took his offer, but stopped at : "Your Donation Amount ( $ )"

I've never donated, and have shown no support for CRI ever, except for being on his email list.

Why do people stop believing? Maybe because Christianity has become about money, like Hank wants in this email.

Methinks our brother Hank is in need of theosis. Maybe he received the Spirit, but it looks like he's not living by it.

And that puts the EO on the spot. Just how does joining the EO deify new members? It's not likely to be accomplish there by calling on the Lord and pray-reading. They must have more tried and true methods.

Do we have any members out here that left the LC and joined the Eastern Orthodox? who might be able to give us an inside take?
07-17-2018 12:28 PM
Drake
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Okay. Amendment to my post #299 : Can we name one?
I'll bite.

The no brainer answer is Jesus.... He is the Firstborn among many brethren.

Yet, I am sure you mean who besides Him. Clearly, every regenerated born again believer joined to the Lord is one S/spirit.... therefore, theosis, union with God, has transpired in every spirit regenerated by the Spirit of God.

Drake
07-17-2018 08:53 AM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It seems that Paul also implies it in Ephesians 1 when he talks about sonship. I think it is implied in Ephesians 1 where Paul teaches us about sonship with an inheritance. Sonship is something more than is believed by most evangelicals today (as a mere signing of a legal adoption agreement to declare we are sons).
Evan, I really wish you take some time to study Paul's use of the Greek word "huiothesia." W. Lee has long used this one truth to condemn all Christians and to exalt his own ministry. We have discussed this repeatedly on the forum, but unfortunately you are so imbibed with Lee-isms that you can no longer hear.

This word huiothesia is unique to Paul, and it emphasizes the legal rights of sons as heirs to our Heavenly Father. Sorry if this is too complicated for you, since you refuse to explore the depths of the riches here. (Rom 11.33-36) Without the Spirit of God inspiring the apostle Paul to "adopt" (pun intended) this unique word, our understanding of the new birth at our regeneration would be extremely limited.

Instead you prefer to run around proclaiming yourself a "baby god," all the while condemning the rest of the body of Christ for reducing their status to the "mere signing of a legal adoption agreement" and worse. Do you really think that your arrogant attitude towards the truths of scripture and the condemnation of all other children of God will help you grow to become a full-grown son, qualifying as a legal heir to all God's wealth?

The following quotation from the above link manifests some of the riches of Christ in Paul's ministry. (Yet completely missed by W. Lee.)
Quote:
“Adoption” clearly indicates that a Christian is a member of God’s family. In the Roman culture, the adopted son or daughter had four major changes: a change of family, a change of name, a change of home, and a change of responsibilities. Most importantly, by using the word “adoption,” God emphasizes that salvation is permanent for the Christian, which is why it appears only in the Church Epistles. Some versions translate huiothesia as “sonship,” but we believe that is not as good as “adoption.” While it is true that someone adopted into the family attains sonship (the status of a son), “adoption” is more accurate to the Greek meaning of the word, and it correctly expresses the fact that the adopted child is permanently placed in the family.

Birth seems so much more desirable than adoption that it is fair to ask why God would even use “adoption.” The answer is that the Romans recognized that when a baby was born, “you got what you got,” whether you liked it or not. This would include the sex of the child, birthmarks, etc. Thus, according to Roman law, a naturally born baby could be disowned from the family. However, people adopting a child knew exactly what they were getting, and no one adopted a child unless that specific child was wanted as a family member, so according to law an adopted child could not be disowned. He or she was permanently added to the family. Many early believers were Roman citizens, and using the word “adoption” was one of God’s ways to let the Church know that He chose the children brought into His family, and they could not be taken from it. The Roman historian William M. Ramsay writes:
“The Roman-Syrian Law-Book…where a formerly prevalent Greek law had persisted under the Roman Empire—well illustrates this passage of the Epistle. It actually lays down the principle that a man can never put away an adopted son, and that he cannot put away a real son without good ground. It is remarkable that the adopted son should have a stronger position than the son by birth, yet it was so.”
07-17-2018 07:34 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Okay. Amendment to my post #299 : Can we name one?
07-17-2018 07:20 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The reason I believe is, that if we believe in the full divinity of Christ, and if we believe in the sonship Paul talks about through Christ, then the sons of God (believers) should also possess the divinity.
Pretty good Mr E. This is a biblical understanding/presentation. So why go beyond this? Why jump from "possess the divinity" (a biblical concept backed by "partakers of the divine nature" as taught in 2 Peter 1:4) to "becoming the divinity" as taught by Witness Lee? There is always an abject danger in going beyond what is written. In the case of the Local Church, it issued in the craziness of a bunch of gullible young Christians running around proclaiming "Hallelujah, I'm a baby God!" Of course it got even worse (and who could think that was even possible?) when those same people ran around shouting "Praise the Lord, I'm a Witness Lee tape recorder!"

Quote:
Yet it seems that only evangelicals believe that we become sons of God yet don't actually look like sons of God. "we are not really sons but adopted sons merely" they say....
Sonship is something more than is believed by most evangelicals today (as a mere signing of a legal adoption agreement to declare we are sons).
Mr E. you are clueless on what is taught in the majority of evangelical/orthodox churches. I know this because most of your posts show that your knowledge/understanding comes from Google, and not from your personal study and observation. What evangelical/orthodox Christians teach that "we are not really sons but adopted sons merely"? This kind of nonsense comes straight from the mouth of Witness Lee, who was decidedly ignorant of what is actually taught and believed in mainstream Christianity. Lee was too busy calling his brothers and sisters in Christ "Christless", "mooing cows" and "daughters of the great whore" to take a few minutes and actually know for a fact what is taught and believed.

The bottom line question/contention has been brought forth by Nell and some others. "SHOW ME! SHOW ME YOU'RE BECOMING GOD BY YOUR WORDS AND ACTIONS." If this kind of teaching is biblical and healthy, surely the main purveyor of it, after 60-70 years, should have become something very close to becoming "God in life and nature". So let's put the life and times of Witness Lee to the eyes, ears and nose test, shall we? On second thought, I don't have the time right now to give even a partial list of all the evidence. Actually, many of the threads and posts on this forum cover this evidence in vivid detail. If Witness Lee's teaching was biblical we wouldn't be here in this forum today...we would all be too busy expressing the life and nature that we had become, now wouldn't we?
-
07-17-2018 07:02 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Know ye not that ye are gods. Deification isn't necessary. We're already gods, all of us, even those stiff-necked Pharisees.

But okay. Some argue for deification. So just who has been deified? Can we name some?
07-17-2018 06:22 AM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Jews have a different interpretation - Anyhow.
The opinions of early church fathers were quite different ...
So when Witness Lee writes ...
For this reason I believe ...
And this is a more accurate interpretation ...
Because we are interpreting it as an ancient Christian might have.
So there you have it folks ... if you squeeze real hard ... find the interpretation you like ... get a bigger shoehorn ... locate some church "father" to authenticate ... push, push, push ... digging on-line for a source to confirm ... throw in a WL quote to persuade the faithful ... and voila ... you have it! All LC'ers become God!

And what to make of poor, poor, Christianity? Hopeless and helpless, degraded and denominated, stuck in the rut of the low gospel of His love displayed on the cross.
07-17-2018 05:19 AM
Nell
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
...For this reason I believe Psalm 82:6-7 is about immortality of the believers, and this is a more accurate interpretation because we are interpreting it as an ancient Christian might have.
Again I ask: If you won't be a god until after you die, how can you 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4 refers to "gods" who are living and acting as a judge or someone with some authority over others.

Living men are being given specific details on what to do with the authority or oversight given them on a case by case basis: defend the poor and fatherless; do justice to the afflicted and needy; deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.

Do these simple instructions need "interpretation" or some kind of parsing by...anyone? Can we not simply read and obey? 16 All scripture is inspired by God and is[a] useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NRSV) I understand this and I'm not "god" either. I didn't have to die to understand these scriptures.

Witness Lee spent his career making people dependent on himself for "interpretation" of Scripture, rather than dependent on God Himself. Add Lee to the list of "church fathers" with a leaky interpretation of Scripture that complicates the simple Word of God.

...
07-16-2018 10:13 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Jews have a different interpretation - that it refers to angels in God's court and not human judges at all. Anyhow.

The opinions of early church fathers were quite different. They say that "sons of the most high" referred to Christians, the church. These men lived about the same time the New Testament was written or soon after. They were not only important theologians in Christian orthodoxy but revered as Saints in early church councils. They are credited for defending the Christian faith against heresies (Arianism etc). In regards to the Trinity and the canon of scripture which we take for granted today, they were regarded as representing the majority of orthodox Christian opinion at the time.

Even though gotquestions is often a reliable resource, I believe the journal article by the baptist Professor Carl Mosser carries more weight. It shows that the more formal doctrine of theosis in the EOC comes from what was a common interpretation of Psalm 82 at the time, rather than some vain imagination or heresy of the early fathers.

So when Witness Lee writes about the purpose of salvation being to "become god" he is not too far off the mark, his view is in alignment with the "earliest extant interpretations of Psalm 82".

For this reason I believe Psalm 82:6-7 is about immortality of the believers, and this is a more accurate interpretation because we are interpreting it as an ancient Christian might have.
07-16-2018 09:16 PM
Nell
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Scripture defines a god as one who is immortal in Psalm 82:6-7. It also describes a god as one who is a son of the most high.

Why do people take issue with men calling themselves god, if they call themselves sons of God? Does not the warning that they shall "die like men" apply both to "god" as it does to "children of God" in Psalm 82:6-7?
So I guess that's a "no." You, Evangelical, have not become "a god." And, Scripture doesn't define a god as one who is immortal in Psalm 82:6-7. The word “immortal” does not appear in the entire chapter of Psalm 82. Oops!

Psalm 82 King James Version (KJV)
82 God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.
2 How long will ye judge unjustly, and accept the persons of the wicked? Selah.
3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy.
4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked.
5 They know not, neither will they understand; they walk on in darkness: all the foundations of the earth are out of course.
6 I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.
7 But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes.
8 Arise, O God, judge the earth: for thou shalt inherit all nations.


But it does beg the question: If you won't be a god until after you die, how can you 3 Defend the poor and fatherless: do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked. Psalm 82:3-4 refers to "gods" who are living and acting as a judge or someone with some authority over others.

Consider this opinion:
“The whole point of Psalm 82 is that earthly judges must act with impartiality and true justice, because even judges must stand someday before the Judge. Verses 6 and 7 warn human magistrates that they, too, must be judged: “I said, `You are gods; you are all sons of the Most High.' But you will die like mere men; you will fall like every other ruler.” This passage is saying that God has appointed men to positions of authority in which they are considered as gods among the people. They are to remember that, even though they are representing God in this world, they are mortal and must eventually give an account to God for how they used that authority.” https://www.gotquestions.org/you-are-gods.html

This opinion actually fits the context of Psalm 82 as an appointed judge who represents God in this world. They are not immortal but absolutely mortal.
07-16-2018 08:39 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
SCRIPTURES FOLKS - GIVE US SCRIPTURES regarding theosis - not what some other man has thought about it!!! <not Trump thumbs LOL
And here's a question - does God ever share His glory with us?
Psalm 82:6-7 shows that children of God can be considered god because we can see that verse 6 uses the term "gods" and "children of God" together.

John 10:34-36 Jesus shows the correct interpretation of Psalm 82:6-7 - that it is not wrong to say we are god if we say we are sons of God. Jesus used it to refute the claim that he was blaspheming.

If some want to interpret Psalm 82:6-7 as a warning/judgement on any who want to be god, then they must equally apply this rule to the other part of verse 6 which refers to "sons of the most high" or rendered as "children of God" in some translations.

In other words, it is hypocritical to criticize those who say we are or become god, if they themselves think they are children of God. According to the Jews and Jesus's statements in John 10:34-36, it is saying pretty much the same thing.

Today evangelicals like to use Psalm 82:6-7 as a warning, supposing that it means we cannot be god. However if we do some research into how the early church interpreted this passage, and in light of Jesus's words in John 10, we can find that it does not have a negative meaning.

See this journal article (THE EARLIEST PATRISTIC INTERPRETATIONS OF PSALM 82, JEWISH ANTECEDENTS, AND THE ORIGIN OF CHRISTIAN DEIFICATION
Carl Mosser
The Journal of Theological Studies
NEW SERIES, Vol. 56, No. 1 (APRIL 2005), pp. 30-74):

http://www.jstor.org/stable/23969235


close examination of the earliest extant interpretations of Psalm 82 in Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Clement of Alexandria demonstrates that the chief significance of the psalm was its declaration of divine sonship. The psalm was understood to predict distinctive aspects of Pauline and Johannine soteriology. Moreover, patristic interpretations adapted antecedent traditions that read Ps. 82:1, 6—7 as summarizing salvation history from Adam's fall to the eschatological restoration of the immortality and glory he lost

The author is professor of Christian theology at Gateway Seminary (Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary).
07-16-2018 08:35 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
But, are you God? Have you “become”? Yes or no? Not hard questions.
Anyone’s definition? Do you speak for everyone? Even Hollywood!!?? Wow! You might be god.
So...details are irrelevant when you don’t have any. Got it. To become something... anything ... you need to ...know how...? Otherwise, what you’re preaching is empty words. “Poof!” You’re god! Or, “Poof! You’re a heretic!”
Scripture defines a god as one who is immortal in Psalm 82:6-7. It also describes a god as one who is a son of the most high.

Why do people take issue with men calling themselves god, if they call themselves sons of God? Does not the warning that they shall "die like men" apply both to "god" as it does to "children of God" in Psalm 82:6-7?
07-16-2018 08:20 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

SCRIPTURES FOLKS - GIVE US SCRIPTURES regarding theosis - not what some other man has thought about it!!! <not Trump thumbs LOL
And here's a question - does God ever share His glory with us?
07-16-2018 08:20 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It's true that many church fathers had peculiar beliefs. Collectively however they paint a picture that the doctrine of theosis or "man becoming god" was not so heretical as many today say it is.
When has man never wanted to be God? Adam and Eve became "as one of us." If we inherit their sin, then we also inherit that.

So why try to be what we already are? What, if we call on Jesus enough does it 'call' away our flesh?

And I don't think that many today think it's heretical as much as they think it's not possible.

But not Hank. He converted for deification -- or maybe he just likes silly hats. Either way, I wouldn't trust any answer from the Answer Man ... even if he comes back a Christian mystic ... in fact, specially if he comes back, or turns into, a mystic.

But to be fair. Hank's battle with cancer may be behind his conversion. It sure would scare the beejeebies out of me. I'd prolly be inclined towards the most assured Orthodoxy, like the EO, too. That is if I feared death. Cancer can hit any of us at any time, regardless of age. It can kill the body.

So let's say deification is possible. If cancer kills the body and we're only partially deified, do we only get a partially immortalized body?

Just wondering why the push to become deified? And if it's maybe just an illusion, a mirage in this bleak desert of a world, beyond the reach of anything except the imagination.
07-16-2018 07:53 PM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It's true that many church fathers had peculiar beliefs. Collectively however they paint a picture that the doctrine of theosis or "man becoming god" was not so heretical as many today say it is.
There is no "painted picture" of man becoming God. All sorts of ancients were "picking and choosing" what they wanted to "paint" with from the writings of the Church Fathers.

The RCC picked up on what they preferred and what did that give us? They built their Papal hierarchy using the writings of the church "father" Ignatius rather than the writings of scripture.

Evangelical, what then is our standard? What is our "constitution?" What is the basis of the truths we hold dear? If the writings of the church fathers rises to the level of scripture, then all sorts of heresy will ensue.

Why is it when the church somewhere or sometime falls into layers of tradition, losing sight of the truths, longing to return to the simplicity of Christ, they ALWAYS go back to the Bible. Whether during the Restoration, or the Reformation, or the Recovery, or the Pentecostal, or the Charismatic, etc. movement, each initiated by the Spirit of God, the Spirit NEVER directs these saints to return to the "church fathers?"
07-16-2018 07:53 PM
Nell
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Paul wrote we don't really know what we shall become, there is still some mystery about it.

We get new glorified bodies like Jesus's, that are immortal. That's a "god" by anyone's definition (especially Hollywood's). To me it means partaking of God's divine nature. Anyway I see these questions as irrelevant details to the purpose of salvation just as calvinism vs arminism is irrelevant to salvation.
But, are you God? Have you “become”? Yes or no? Not hard questions.

Anyone’s definition? Do you speak for everyone? Even Hollywood!!?? Wow! You might be god.

So...details are irrelevant when you don’t have any. Got it. To become something... anything ... you need to ...know how...? Otherwise, what you’re preaching is empty words. “Poof!” You’re god! Or, “Poof! You’re a heretic!”


.
07-16-2018 07:47 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Church fathers - okay, fine to review - but we need specific scripture! (I can think of a few NT passages that would seem to support moving the needle toward the god end of the spectrum, but I wonder what others might reference. . .)
07-16-2018 07:12 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

John Piper seems partial to the teaching, he explains it in terms of glorification, and I suppose he must, so that he does not draw fire from fellow evangelicals, but neither does he discount it and neither does he try to discredit early church fathers like Athanasius (like Ohio has):

Finally, we must not assume that old books, which say some startling things, are necessarily wrong, but may in fact have something glorious to teach us that we never dreamed

Athanasius has helped me go deeper here by unsettling me.

His language of deification forces me to think more deeply and worship more profoundly

I am thankful to God that I did not run away from the word “deification” in Athanasius. There is here “a grace the magnitude of which our minds can never fully grasp.”49 Thank you, Athanasius. And thank you, Father. And thank you, Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

https://www.desiringgod.org/messages...ng-for-our-all

I don't know if it is poor editing or intentional, but what surprised me was his last sentence which seems as if he is praying to Athanasius to thank him.

Piper's words reflects the problem that many evangelicals face - an apparent inner conflict over accepting Athanasius sometimes but not at other times. A hesitation to accept the early fathers with open arms, even though they stand upon and declare the orthodoxy of their doctrines, established centuries ago. Athanasius is too orthodox and important to all Christians to be declared an absolute heretic, so Piper must somehow explain Athanasius in light of evangelical doctrine. Which is a shame, because it should be the other way around - evangelical doctrine should be willing to adapt to the wisdom of the early church theologians, to bring it back in line with what almost all Christians believed in the past, including Luther and Calvin, and CS Lewis.
07-16-2018 07:02 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
These same church "fathers" gave us monasticism, the distorted oneness of the RCC, and the bishopric hierarchy of Popes, who then plunged the Western world into the Dark Ages. All I am saying here is that the teachings of the church fathers must be carefully examined against the scriptures.

How can you, as did W. Lee, discredit and dismiss the book of James, numerous Psalms and Proverbs, and then tell us to accept theosis, the teaching that man becomes God/god? What good fruit has ever come out of this aberrant teaching? The love of God exhibited on the cross of Christ is the highest gospel mankind will ever need.

I find it highly suspicious that W. Lee introduced these so-called "high peak" teachings when he did, since the motive was to divert everyone's attention from the failures of the "new way" and those serious scandals taking place in his ministry, especially the abuse and molesting of sisters by his son Philip Lee. Ever hear of "Wagging The Dog?"

It's true that many church fathers had peculiar beliefs. Collectively however they paint a picture that the doctrine of theosis or "man becoming god" was not so heretical as many today say it is.
07-16-2018 06:52 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Hey, E—
Are you God? Or, are you god? If not, why not? What will it take to put you over the line? When will you become g/God? How will it happen? Will you have to die first?
We need details. I can’t find anything in the Bible that explains how Evangelical is going to become g/God. There’s nothing about ANYONE who actually became g/God. Or is that new?
Paul wrote we don't really know what we shall become, there is still some mystery about it.

We get new glorified bodies like Jesus's, that are immortal. That's a "god" by anyone's definition (especially Hollywood's). To me it means partaking of God's divine nature. Anyway I see these questions as irrelevant details to the purpose of salvation just as calvinism vs arminism is irrelevant to salvation.
07-16-2018 06:46 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The greatest theologian in church history was the apostle Paul. Would he not have included this teaching under the anointing Spirit if it were true?
The same argument could be applied to the Trinity couldn't it? It is significant that the same people who confirmed the doctrine of the Trinity also believed in theosis. Very hard to argue against, without weakening our belief in the orthodoxy of the Trinity. There is actually a good chance Athanasius would have declared you to be a heretic if you don't believe in it.

Those who believed in the full divinity of Christ in opposition to the Arian heresy such as Athanasius, also believed in the purpose of God to "make men God". Basil the Great and Gregory also and other early church people of note.

The reason I believe is, that if we believe in the full divinity of Christ, and if we believe in the sonship Paul talks about through Christ, then the sons of God (believers) should also possess the divinity. Yet it seems that only evangelicals believe that we become sons of God yet don't actually look like sons of God. "we are not really sons but adopted sons merely" they say. Their presentation of salvation is to escape a scary place called hell rather than to obtain an inheritance of being conformed to Christ's image. First they have to make people afraid of hell, and then preach the gospel so they are drawn to it through fear.

In Romans 8:29 it is clear that being conformed to Christ's image is the goal of salvation. Now since Christ is God, we may say that the goal of salvation is to be conformed to the image of God.

The other clear link is 2 Peter 1:3–4 as well.

It seems that Paul also implies it in Ephesians 1 when he talks about sonship. I think it is implied in Ephesians 1 where Paul teaches us about sonship with an inheritance. Sonship is something more than is believed by most evangelicals today (as a mere signing of a legal adoption agreement to declare we are sons).

Paul also talks about being filled with the fullness of God in Ephesians 3:19.

I think if we look hard enough and keep an open mind we can see that the beliefs of the early church fathers are not in contradiction with the apostles. If we think they are, then it raises doubts about the orthodoxy of the Trinity doctrine as well and even the Creeds such as the Athanasius creed (if we value them, many churches do).
07-16-2018 06:41 PM
Nell
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Hey, E—

Are you God? Or, are you god? If not, why not? What will it take to put you over the line? When will you become g/God? How will it happen? Will you have to die first?

We need details. I can’t find anything in the Bible that explains how Evangelical is going to become g/God. There’s nothing about ANYONE who actually became g/God. Or is that new?

.
07-16-2018 04:39 PM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
There are two main ideas found in the early church:
1. Jesus died so that man can become God
2. Even if man did not sin, Jesus still would have died for the purpose of making men God.
The greatest theologian in church history was the apostle Paul.

Would he not have included this teaching under the anointing Spirit if it were true?
07-16-2018 04:35 PM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Actually a number of early church fathers mentioned it, including those close to the disciples of the apostles.

Do we really think if it was so heretical they would have talked about it in such a candid way? I don't. In fact, during the time when the Trinity was defined and real heretics were hunted down and killed, no one thought to mention the "heresy" of theosis/man becoming God. The simple reason is it was not a heresy.

I wonder what Jesus thinks every time a key teaching and blessing of God is called a heresy by those who know no better. It might remind us of the Sadducee who denied the resurrection.
These same church "fathers" gave us monasticism, the distorted oneness of the RCC, and the bishopric hierarchy of Popes, who then plunged the Western world into the Dark Ages. All I am saying here is that the teachings of the church fathers must be carefully examined against the scriptures.

How can you, as did W. Lee, discredit and dismiss the book of James, numerous Psalms and Proverbs, and then tell us to accept theosis, the teaching that man becomes God/god? What good fruit has ever come out of this aberrant teaching? The love of God exhibited on the cross of Christ is the highest gospel mankind will ever need.

I find it highly suspicious that W. Lee introduced these so-called "high peak" teachings when he did, since the motive was to divert everyone's attention from the failures of the "new way" and those serious scandals taking place in his ministry, especially the abuse and molesting of sisters by his son Philip Lee. Ever hear of "Wagging The Dog?"
07-16-2018 04:28 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Wow, I think theosis has became one of the tenets of the Christian Faith.
The historical evidence is overwhelming that deification was a fundamental aspect of the doctrine of salvation in the time of the early church. Those who defined the Trinity against heresies all believed in it. We may say that salvation without deification is not really salvation at all, to emphasize the important that it held in the early church.
07-16-2018 04:25 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Certain individuals would like to make the claim that theosis is a heretical teaching. This is not the case. In fact I can show that even the reformer's Calvin and Luther believed in it.

If we look into the early church teachings, it becomes very clear that deification was a fundamental aspect of the doctrine of salvation.

I will start with a quote from Calvin:

Let us then mark, that the end of the gospel is, to render us eventually conformable to God, and, if we may so speak, to deify us. (Commentary 2 Peter 1:4)

This is taken from "The Institutes of the Christian Religion" by John Calvin.

Now I know that Calvin qualifies the term later, and its meaning is not quite the same as that used in the EOC, but so does Witness Lee. So why is Lee called a heretic and not Calvin?

Using published literature, I can also show that Lee's teachings are more Orthodox about theosis than many evangelicals (who deny theosis).

There are two main ideas found in the early church:
1. Jesus died so that man can become God
2. Even if man did not sin, Jesus still would have died for the purpose of making men God.

These ideas were never declared heretical by anyone. Even the reformers, Luther, Calvin and others did not say they were heretical.

Luther and Calvin both affirm the teaching of Athanasius or something very similar to it.

Gregory of Nazianzus was one of three Cappadocian Fathers who were instrumental in helping define the doctrine of the Trinity against heresies.

He wrote:

While His inferior Nature, the Humanity, became God, because it was united to God, and became One Person because the Higher Nature prevailed in order that I too might be made God so far as He is made Man.
07-16-2018 03:05 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Yet not a single verse to support such a teaching.

All they got are a few lines from Athanasius.
Actually a number of early church fathers mentioned it, including those close to the disciples of the apostles.

Do we really think if it was so heretical they would have talked about it in such a candid way? I don't. In fact, during the time when the Trinity was defined and real heretics were hunted down and killed, no one thought to mention the "heresy" of theosis/man becoming God. The simple reason is it was not a heresy.

I wonder what Jesus thinks every time a key teaching and blessing of God is called a heresy by those who know no better. It might remind us of the Sadducee who denied the resurrection.
07-16-2018 11:29 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Do we think Nee taught theosis? And who might be the big promoters of that be?

And does anyone really know what we shall be (as the scripture sayeth - "Eye has not seen nor ear hear nor has it come up in the heart of man . . .")?
07-15-2018 12:57 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Hank has gone to the EO to become God. What will he be like when he comes back? Will he no longer be The Bible Answer Man? Will he perchance be The God Answer Man?

Basically, I guess, if you're gonna go for Orthodoxy, skip Witness Lee and go to The Father of Orthodoxy, Athanasius_of_Alexandria. You know, who quipped, "He was made human so that he might make us gods," way back in the 4th century, when Christianity was made the state religion.

Christians were becoming gods alright. And like Witness Lee became obsessed with having the authority of God.

Maybe Hank will come back with that authority.

Thanks for heading us off at the pass bro Untohim.
07-15-2018 11:15 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Actually, Witness Lee did something much worse than simply crossing over the line - he tried to move the line itself....and then claim to anyone who would listen "this is the line of orthodoxy...all you poor, poor Christians have been getting it all wrong for over 2,000 years. The line is actually not there...it is over here, where I say it is!" Of course Lee was not the only one who tried to pull a fast one on us gullible American Christians...but he is the one we are all most familiar with. I only mention this to head certain people off at the pass before they cry out "that guy over there said something just like that!" or "that guy over there taught the exact same thing and you didn't call him a heretic!". So, don't say I didn't warn you....wait for it....here it comes...
-
07-15-2018 08:32 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

So do Nee's teachings promote theosis (I guess I've learned a new word)?

My thinking is that most of us (i.e., Christians) don't have much of a revelation of who we really have been made in Christ. Most Christian speakings I have an opportunity to listen to on radio or TV are more concerned with the redemption aspect of the good news, and then what we must do afterward - but they preach it mostly in an Old Covenant way. It is rare when one of these ones will expound well on "what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints."

There is so, so much more to be seen in scripture regarding who we really are in Him! My current understanding of this revelation in scripture is we are being made one in life and nature with God (e.g., John 17), but that we do not become part of the omnipotent Godhead, right?

But from what I've read on here, many think WL crossed over that line - is that correct?
07-15-2018 07:16 AM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
As much as people would like to think that Hank chose the EOC to "get away from" the local churches, that is probably not the case. He chose the EOC because of Watchman Nee's teachings and a desire to be made God. For this reason a better question to ask is why did he not stay in evangelicalism? (because they don't teach about becoming God).
Oh! So Hank thinks the EO is better at theosis than the local church. And when has Hank not been wrong?
07-15-2018 05:06 AM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Wow, I think theosis has became one of the tenets of the Christian Faith.
Yet not a single verse to support such a teaching.

All they got are a few lines from Athanasius.
07-15-2018 02:31 AM
Kevin
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
(because they don't teach about becoming God).
Wow, I think theosis has became one of the tenets of the Christian Faith.
07-14-2018 09:57 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

As much as people would like to think that Hank chose the EOC to "get away from" the local churches, that is probably not the case. He chose the EOC because of Watchman Nee's teachings and a desire to be made God. For this reason a better question to ask is why did he not stay in evangelicalism? (because they don't teach about becoming God).
07-14-2018 08:15 PM
awareness
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox!

CRI can't claim to be against Christian cults any longer, if Hank is their example.

First they said that Lee's local church was a cult. Then they said they were wrong. Then Hank joins another cult.

CRI is now actually cult friendly.
07-14-2018 03:29 PM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

So they are not going to the FTT because they care too much about their appearance . That says more about them than the training doesn't it?
07-14-2018 01:11 PM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Mr. E. Why do you think Hank Hanegraaff turned to the Orthodox Church instead of The Local Church of Witness Lee?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It sounds like a cry for help to me. He saw the outward traditions as more attractive I would say. The local churches were probably not old fashioned enough and he never experienced turning to his spirit for himself....If he knew what it meant to touch his spirit and worship God in spirit and truth, then he would not need to search for these traditional experiences.
Outward traditions? Almost nobody has more outward traditions than the Local Church of Witness Lee. - 7 feasts, trainings, conferences, prophesying meetings, morning watch, Calling on the Lord, Pray Reading....the list goes on! "Old fashioned" you say? Heck, the Local Church is not much behind the Amish in the old fashioned category. I mean, the colorless garb that they make the FTTer's wear makes some of the Mormons look kinda hip Seriously, we've just recently heard from someone that says that one of the big reasons they are not going to attend the FTT is because of the drab uniform.

So Hank was among you guys for 6 long years and didn't know how to touch his spirit? Really? This sounds more like a problem with the teachers more than the student. Well maybe if Hanegraaff had spent more time learning the Local Church lingo and traditions instead writing amicus briefs and publishing driveling, pathetic retractions, he would be standing, pumping his first and calling "OOOOOHHHH, LLLOOOOORRRRRD, JEEEEEESUS as I write this post.

-
07-14-2018 10:35 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
There was a parallel movement in the US at the same time as the Recovery Movement among the Plymouth Brethren in England, and subsequently with Nee in China, and Lee in the US.

It was called the Restoration Movement and resulted in the Churches of Christ. There are many similarities. Both have long made claims of superiority as to the rest of the body of Christ, both judging the failures of the whole, and exalting themselves as uniquely superior. We could say the same of the Reformation Movement.

Yes indeed many traditions were shed and hearts returned again to His word and to Him as their first love. No doubt every one of these were a move of the Spirit of God. Yet over time all have merely created new traditions, settled into the old ways, and once again became puffed up by their achievements. This pattern usually only takes one generation, and future generations merely cling to their unique teachings and uplift their founder as special in the body.
The Restoration Movement came out of the 2nd Great Awakening in the early 1800s. A couple other groups came out besides the "Church of Christ," but they are the biggest by far.

And what you said (bolded above) I think is very true! In reading church history, that is what seems to happen. Basically, unless we humans are having a fresh experience and seeing of Christ, we will just resort to forms and symbols - and especially the next gen. It could be argued that the so called "Pilgrim Church" (I prefer "Primitive Church" so as to avoid confusion), as expounded on by Broadbent in his excellent account of the same name, had a superior longevity than all the formalized groups. These ones (called by various names - or no names - over 1500+ years) focused on Christ and His word. Period.

And we're getting to see what happens when the focus is not on Christ and His word firsthand in the LC!
07-14-2018 08:42 AM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The EOC are focused on the indwelling Christ and the inner life I believe and in that way they are very similar to Nee and Lee's teachings. At least they hold onto a more mystical interpretation of the Scripture than Catholic and Protestant. But they do have many outward rituals as well, which seems contradictory, but I think they ascribe some sort of mysticism to the outward things as well.
The EOC has wrongly followed the Mosaic pattern of types, shadows, and figures. For example, the clothing of priests in Judaism is highly significant, down to the color, material, and weave of each piece. The same is true of the EOC, and its Ukrainian, Russian, Serbian, and Greek branches, etc.

The New Testament will have none of this. Whether a N.T. minister wears floor length robes, a custom Italian Ermenegildo Zegna, or faded Levi jeans means nothing at all. Not one single N.T. verse supports the use of symbolic clothing. These are all traditions which have becoming binding ordinances, none of which finds support in the New Covenant. The Mosaic pattern of types, shadows, and figures all pointed to Christ and were fulfilled by Him.

Why? Because Christ has come! He has fulfilled the Law! The days of "mystical interpretation" of Christian services should not exist. They ended with His incarnation. We now speak and teach and testify and worship in plain words about the reality, who is Christ our Lord.
07-14-2018 08:22 AM
Ohio
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin View Post
Sorry, but you're not the so-called "Lord's Recovery". You've never recovered anything except copy-cat.
There was a parallel movement in the US at the same time as the Recovery Movement among the Plymouth Brethren in England, and subsequently with Nee in China, and Lee in the US.

It was called the Restoration Movement and resulted in the Churches of Christ. There are many similarities. Both have long made claims of superiority as to the rest of the body of Christ, both judging the failures of the whole, and exalting themselves as uniquely superior. We could say the same of the Reformation Movement.

Yes indeed many traditions were shed and hearts returned again to His word and to Him as their first love. No doubt every one of these were a move of the Spirit of God. Yet over time all have merely created new traditions, settled into the old ways, and once again became puffed up by their achievements. This pattern usually only takes one generation, and future generations merely cling to their unique teachings and uplift their founder as special in the body.
07-14-2018 06:52 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The EOC are focused on the indwelling Christ and the inner life I believe and in that way they are very similar to Nee and Lee's teachings. At least they hold onto a more mystical interpretation of the Scripture than Catholic and Protestant. But they do have many outward rituals as well, which seems contradictory, but I think they ascribe some sort of mysticism to the outward things as well.
Really!? I never would have thought that. So you say they lean more toward the "Christian mystical" (which usually means a focus on the indwelling Christ)? I always thought they were just sort of the eastern version of the Roman Catholics . . .
07-14-2018 05:22 AM
Kevin
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It sounds like a cry for help to me. He saw the outward traditions as more attractive I would say. The local churches were probably not old fashioned enough and he never experienced turning to his spirit for himself. He has joined many other Christians who are going through a process called re-traditionalization, of leaving modern churches for old ones. Personally I think they are searching for God and expect to find Him in a liturgical experience. If he knew what it meant to touch his spirit and worship God in spirit and truth, then he would not need to search for these traditional experiences.
Sorry, but you're not the so-called "Lord's Recovery". You've never recovered anything except copy-cat.

Witness Lee was a heretic.
07-14-2018 03:47 AM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
In reading through a lot of this old thread, it is most curious why bro Hank would choose EOC!..
The EOC are focused on the indwelling Christ and the inner life I believe and in that way they are very similar to Nee and Lee's teachings. At least they hold onto a more mystical interpretation of the Scripture than Catholic and Protestant. But they do have many outward rituals as well, which seems contradictory, but I think they ascribe some sort of mysticism to the outward things as well.
07-14-2018 03:29 AM
Evangelical
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Mr. E. Why do you think Hank Hanegraaff turned to the Orthodox Church instead of The Local Church of Witness Lee?..
It sounds like a cry for help to me. He saw the outward traditions as more attractive I would say. The local churches were probably not old fashioned enough and he never experienced turning to his spirit for himself. He has joined many other Christians who are going through a process called re-traditionalization, of leaving modern churches for old ones. Personally I think they are searching for God and expect to find Him in a liturgical experience. If he knew what it meant to touch his spirit and worship God in spirit and truth, then he would not need to search for these traditional experiences.
07-13-2018 12:27 PM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

I mentioned to a brother about this thread. He was in Elden Hall early on and stuck with the LC for almost 10 years I think. Before that, he was a S. Baptist minister. Here's what he said regarding Hank going to the EOC.
Quote:
I am slightly familiar with the "answer man thingie", not sure I ever heard it tho. So he went with the Eastern Orthodox, huh? Well, strange as it may seem to you, it is not that really strange to me. When we "bailed" [from the LC] in 1975 (October), give me some more time, and I think I could give you the hours and minutes, of my withdrawal. LOL

We were SO OUT, not sure you can get More out than we were. We got involved with a large evangelistic/charismatic church right after that. The church was full of both. A really great time. The pastor had been an AG credentialed guy, Got his doctorate in Scotland, got out of the Air Force, came to Abq, to start a new church. However, cause he did have AG approval to start on, they "jerked" his credentials. Well, what is a pastor, without credentials?

At that time there was a rather large movement among many groups come into a "one-ness". Even had that in its name. Pastor Ron was heavily involved with the group. He even signed up to become certified as a priest in the Episcopal church, and went thru the whole process becoming a deacon, and moving on up to full ordination. Which he did, and because he was in the process, he was limited by their discipline to perform a lot of ministerial functions, so this is where I came in. I preached for him, and led communion, which was the greatest expression of communion we had ever experienced.

That church was a salvation for our kids, we could have fully lost them has we remained in the LC.

We got involved with some 'retreats" and functions of that order, and were high as a hog. I knew I was headed back to the pastorate. I taught an adult class there, which became about the largest in the church. It didn't start out that way. During the coffee time, a few guys and I were out on the patio, and I was sharing somethings with them, and we were out there past the time SS was happening.

The pastor happened to come outside,and see us, and said, We will have to find a room for you guys to meet in, they found a small room, which we outfilled the first Sunday, then a larger room that we totally filled, then the largest room outside the sanctuary and the dining hall to meet in and we filled that too.

We had Sandia (Los Alamos) corporation engineers, lawyers, and doctors, could not round up any Indian Chief tho as hard as we might try. (you know: Dr's, lawyers, and Indian chiefs) Maybe you are too young.

Anyway, I did not have any problems at all at that time with Liturgical thingies. I even wore a robe for a wedding. How about that? I guess with Hank and me, we were trying to get as far away as we could from the LC.
Now, in all fairness, as he said he really doesn't know much about Hank. But I find it interesting that he said he didn't have any issues with many of the outward things! And he also said they were trying to get as far away from the LC as they could. (I don't know that this would be my reaction, but that was his.)

So what do you think the Lord cherishes the most? Hearts that are toward him, or having the right way of meeting?
07-13-2018 11:33 AM
Sons to Glory!
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

In reading through a lot of this old thread, it is most curious why bro Hank would choose EOC! Personally, if I had a choice between only the LC and the EOC, I would certainly have to pick the LC! To me, there is much more reality of the indwelling Christ, which I consider to be the central part of the New Covenant, in the LC than in the EOC. But, I have to admit, I really don't know a whole bunch about the EOC - maybe I should try it out!

Jus' kidding!

I believe that without the experience of the indwelling Christ, all Christians are doing is something of a different version of Judaism/outward law keeping. To me, this is the biggest lack in a Christian's experience (including me) and the teaching in Christendom - that is, not hearing and knowing His Son in reality, who is now the Spirit dwelling in His believers and not something outward. On the spectrum of listening to His speaking/prompting/leading within and total outward following, I think the EOC is far to the latter extreme. Am I wrong?

But some do like the more outward, physical structure to help them with the unseen faith thing . . .
07-13-2018 08:42 AM
UntoHim
Re: Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Mr. E. Why do you think Hank Hanegraaff turned to the Orthodox Church instead of The Local Church of Witness Lee? He studied and actually participated in meetings/conferences of The Local Church for about 6 years, and as far as is publicly known, he never did a formal study or participated in the Orthodox Church for even 6 days. So why did he choose the Orthodox Church as a closer "expression of New Testament Christianity" than The Local Church? If, as Minoru Chen boasted, Hank's contact with the Local Church was "a life changing experience", why didn't he jump headfirst into "the glorious Church Life"? Instead, he chose to give the rest of his life to something closely related to "The Great Whore of Babylon"?
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07-12-2018 09:35 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

I wouldn't trust anything written by someone who believes Hank and Witness Lee are damned:

If Hanegraaff and the others involved at CRI honestly believe that Witness Lee and Living Stream Ministries teach “sound orthodoxy” then they are just as damned as Lee.

This guy is an example of someone who has turned away from correct view that justification is a person, which the apostles believed, not caring for a particular theology, Calvinist, reformed, or otherwise, and have instead trusted in their so-called "orthodox sound doctrine" for salvation.

These people claim to live by sola fide (faith alone) but in actuality it is a complex web of doctrines and interpretations of the bible dating from around 500 years ago (not the time of the apostles) by which they measure, judge and condemn all others. And their condemnation at the time 500 years ago involved burning at the stake or other forms of execution of people they perceived to be heretics.

As Luther wrote:

If we punish thieves with the yoke, highwaymen with the sword, and heretics with fire, why do we not rather assault these monsters of perdition, these cardinals, these popes, and the whole swarm of the Roman Sodom, who corrupt youth and the Church of God? Why do we not rather assault them with arms and wash our hands in their blood?
07-11-2018 11:25 PM
Kevin
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

The Impact of the Living Stream Ministries Cult on Hank Hanegraaff
08-18-2017 05:40 AM
aron
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
The e-mail response .. was to say they had investigated TLR, sent me a link to the article everyone already saw, and say the case was closed. Then he asked for a donation to CRI.
The CRI was a cash cow for Hank, that was pretty obvious. As a public non-profit the records were open, and Hank's expense accounts were lavish. And his wife was on the payroll for like $150K from what I remember (Hank got something like $400K annually, plus 2 new Lexus, plus exclusive golf club membership, plus free housing, etc).

And he left behind a trail of former employees who went on record saying that they were overworked, had their intellectual property (writing) stolen, and were underpaid. It didn't look like a Christian organization in the slightest. And yet this was the supposed watchdog of Protestant orthodoxy? Did we come to this?

TLR's critiques of "fallen Christianity" are often on the mark, or at least with some basis. But if you put the same measure on them they fail utterly. And their getting approved by CRI is like a government getting recognized by North Korea. So what.
08-17-2017 09:05 PM
JJ
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Back to Hank Hanegraff. I wish him no ill, and am praying for him too.

My one experience with Hanegraff's CRI was an e-mail to ask if the brothers from TLR ever apologized or expressed regret for suing CRI. The e-mail response from one CRI's "researchers" was to say they had investigated TLR, sent me a link to the article everyone already saw, and say the case was closed. Then he asked for a donation to CRI. Kinda turned me off.
08-13-2017 06:54 PM
JJ
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

I'm not sure how this thread evolved into a discussion of "The Trinity". Boy if we figure out how to explain that we will have solved a 2000+ year mystery!

I'll resist the temptation and appreciate that through Christ we have been given access to the Father through the Spirit and come forward to the throne of grace!
08-13-2017 05:38 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Silly duck-duck, I don't have to pray-read John 16 to see that Jesus speaks of the father, son, and helper.

But maybe if I pray-read it long enough I'll see the Trinitarian Creeds in there.

I'm just wondering why Jesus failed to spell out those creeds right then and there, so we wouldn't have to wait hundreds of years to finally get it.

Pray-read? You're a funny brother Untohim. That's a method of seeing things in scripture that aren't there. And it wasn't even mentioned in the creeds ... that also saw things that aren't there.

And the words Bible (book) and canon are extra-Biblical ... like trinity.
And when Paul wrote his letters, they too were "extra-biblical", until they were accepted as biblical.

At that time there was no such thing as "solo scriptura". There was scripture, there was oral tradition, there was life experiences. So they sought to redefine God's nature according to their experience of Christ and the Spirit. It was never borne from a "sola scriptura" reading of the Old Testament, which clearly says "God is One".

The ante-Nicene Fathers provide support for the Trinity so it is correct and is also biblical.

However they do not go into such detail that would provide support or denial of the finer aspects such as the relationship between the three persons. It is these finer aspects which are extra-biblical, the ones that say Jesus is not the Father and Jesus is not the Son. Such doctrines were formulated much later when the Church sought to refine the doctrine against new heresies. It was important for them to clearly delineate between the three persons for the sake of the particular heresies which arose.

However the bible alone never explains in great detail whether Jesus is the Father or not, and in fact a plain literal reading of Isaiah and other verses we would conclude that Jesus is the Father and Jesus became the Spirit. That's what the bible plainly says, in English and in Greek or Hebrew. There is nothing in the original text to say "Jesus is like a father", and "Jesus became only like the Spirit but not actually the Spirit". If Jesus is not the Father then Immanuel, "God with us" cannot be true. Jesus would be called "like God with us".

I think it is kind of sad to see Christians scratching their head, confused about who the Spirit is, when the bible clearly says the Spirit is Jesus. So they pray and talk to someone they call Jesus, but the Spirit is treated as another different person.

I think that reading Scripture alone, we might even conclude that there are four or five persons of the Trinity, as a fourth possible person, the Word, is seen in John chapter 1. Those who don't know that the Word is Christ, could wrongly say that the Word is the fourth person.

In any case, I don't see much biblical support for the idea that God will judge anyone for incorrectly defining his true nature. I feel the most honest interpretation is one which declares that it is an unknowable mystery however our experience tells us that as far as we know, God is a Trinity. And in 2000 years time will God reveal himself again and we have to think of another person? I don't think so, but that is what happened between the Old and the New Testaments when God who was One became , or was revealed, rather, to us as both One and Three.
08-12-2017 08:55 AM
awareness
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Silly duck-duck, I don't have to pray-read John 16 to see that Jesus speaks of the father, son, and helper.

But maybe if I pray-read it long enough I'll see the Trinitarian Creeds in there.

I'm just wondering why Jesus failed to spell out those creeds right then and there, so we wouldn't have to wait hundreds of years to finally get it.

Pray-read? You're a funny brother Untohim. That's a method of seeing things in scripture that aren't there. And it wasn't even mentioned in the creeds ... that also saw things that aren't there.

And the words Bible (book) and canon are extra-Biblical ... like trinity.
08-11-2017 03:08 PM
UntoHim
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Silly goose, the word "Bible" is not in the Bible either! The word "theology" is the not in the Bible either. The word "canon" is not in the Bible either. Does this mean that none of these things existed before the actual terms themselves were coined by mere men? Surely a deep thinker like you could not believe such a thing! Maybe on Fridays you do?

Again, the actual word, term or notion of "the trinity" may have been coined and/or enunciated at a later date by us puny-minded, insignificant conglomeration of dust and DNA, but as I said, The Lord Jesus clearly "revealed" the Trinity in the Gospel of John chapter 16. Take a couple of minutes out of your busy day and Pray-Read this masterpiece from the Master Himself. It's all there for you my dear friend. (pray)Read it and reap.

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08-11-2017 01:10 PM
awareness
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Well thanks bro for that theology/church history lesson. I can never hear it enough.

But still, in no place in the New Testament record is there a well spelled out, clearly defined, teaching or doctrine of or on the trinity. And I don't need to tell you, oh great theologian/church historian, that the word trinity appears nowhere in the NT. It wasn't introduced until the late 2nd c. (conceived as : God, Logos, Sophia.) And the theology of the trinity, as we know it today, didn't take shape until the late 4th c.

But we understand why it took so long to develop : it's a mystery. And it doesn't add up mathematically. 3 doesn't = 1, and 1 doesn't = 3.

Consequently it heats up the wiring in my brain when I try to add it up. Subsequently the trinity blows my mind.

Thank God the Spirit searches the deep things of God - I Cor. 2:10

It just didn't reveal the deep things of the trinity until the RCC came into power ... so it appears. Maybe the RCC didn't get everything wrong. Then again, maybe it did. Maybe it took Christianity completely off its rocker.

To the point that Witness Lee modeled his Recovery movement after it. Lee also liked to play word games with the trinity -- like, Christ is the Father, and the Spirit, and the son, all rolled up in one. If that doesn't blow a 50amp fuse in your brain, nothing will. It's like telling me I can fill a 5 gallon bucket with 100% oil, and 100% water.
08-11-2017 08:50 AM
UntoHim
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Silly man, Jesus Christ was actually the first trinitarian. He was constantly speaking of "the Father", "my Father", "our Father", and of course the trinity is fully "revealed" in John 16 when He speaks of "The Spirit of Truth". As for the apostle Paul, well he is considered to be "the father of trinitarian theology". My man, if would would spend more time reading Romans than Bart Ehrman, you wouldn't be making such absurd statements in the first place. Not to mention you might just pick up some vital truths to rattle around in that noggin of yours.

The so-called church fathers did not "invent" the trinity or trinitarian theology, they only became the defenders and apologists of what was clearly related in the ministry and teachings of Jesus Christ and the original scripture writing apostles in the New Testament.

There's your free theology/church history lesson for the day my dear friend. Now go and sin no more!
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08-11-2017 07:07 AM
awareness
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical quotes
The Church teaches us that although there is only one God, yet, somehow, there are three Persons in God.
Yes, the church thaught the trinity. Cuz it wasn't taught by Jesus, Paul, or in New Testament times. It was a later term and invention. And now it's widely accepted dogma. It's one thing Christians have in common ... and we can pretty much thank the RCC for it.
08-10-2017 08:38 PM
Freedom
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
According to past discussions on here, I thought all the denominations were not so divided? I thought that it shouldn't matter whether he heads an evangelical organization or not? Aren't they all the one body?

At least this is what some members on here have tried to convince me about. This example shows otherwise.
Nice try, but you’re comparing apples and oranges. Groups like the EOC and RCC each lay claim to be the one true church:
Quote:
The Roman Catholic Church, the Orthodox Church, the Oriental Orthodox communion and the Assyrian Church of the East each understands itself as the one and only original church.

Mainstream Protestants regard all Christians as members of the Christian Church; this belief is sometimes referred to by the theological term, "invisible church".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_true_church
Between protestant Christianity as a whole, and the groups noted above, it is impossible to achieve any type of meaningful unity. There are fundamental differences in belief. You already know this. I don’t need to list all the things that protestants reject. At a very basic level, this is one of the things that unifies protestant Christianity despite all the doctrinal disagreements. As far as I'm concerned division over doctrine is minor. Division over claims to be the one true church is major.

I’m not out to criticize the EOC or RCC, as I believe that those who are part of such groups are earnest in the pursuit of principles that they believe in. At the same time, however, those principles don’t reflect what groups like Hank’s listeners would believe in. So yet again, I pose the question - why should they be accepting of his sudden change? If he wants to be EO, then he should start a ministry defending EO views, not continue to purport to speak on behalf of a demographic that he no longer supports.
08-10-2017 04:44 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Actually, while your statement is true, that is the same as saying "The red crayon is the green crayon. You can't get more crayon than that."

Jesus is God, but Jesus is not the Father. I am an American, but I am not Ohio (who is also American).

The problem is that Lee violates one of the foundational errors of logic. The parts of a set are not each the other parts of the set. Neither is the set simply one of the parts.
This is the theological construct that Lee sets out to violate. The Trinity is a unity, but that does not confound the persons such that the Son is the Father or the Spirit. But as God they are a single, unified One.
It's funny that you appeal to logic to explain the Trinity, which indicates you don't truly understand the Trinity at all. Those who say the Trinity is logical have likely become tritheist or unitarian. There is no possible logic that could deal with the case of God being both one and three at the same time, much less try to establish, as you have by logic, the intricacies between the 3 Persons.

The classical viewpoint is that the Trinity is a mystery, it is not logical at all.

This mystery is typically expressed in this way:

Perhaps the deepest, the most profound of all mysteries is the mystery of the Trinity. The Church teaches us that although there is only one God, yet, somehow, there are three Persons in God.

https://www.ewtn.com/faith/teachings/goda22.htm
08-10-2017 04:41 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I don't see the problem with the backlash against Hank's sudden change. There is no reason why all his listeners should have to treat his conversion to EO like it's not a big deal.

The issue here isn't simply that he converted to EO - that itself is his own choice. If he wants to take that path, he has every right to do so, and I wish him well in his journey. The real issue, however, is that he continues to head an evangelical apologetics organization. It seems he wishes to keep a foot in both camps, even though there are fundamental principles that are contradictory.
According to past discussions on here, I thought all the denominations were not so divided? I thought that it shouldn't matter whether he heads an evangelical organization or not? Aren't they all the one body?

At least this is what some members on here have tried to convince me about. This example shows otherwise.
08-10-2017 04:19 PM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Jesus is God, but Jesus is not the Father. I am an American, but I am not Ohio (who is also American).
I am a native American. I was born here!
08-10-2017 02:25 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
So what is it Mr moderator? On the one hand you condemn Lee for saying Jesus is the Father and you can't get much more "Jesus is God" than that.
Actually, while your statement is true, that is the same as saying "The red crayon is the green crayon. You can't get more crayon than that."

Jesus is God, but Jesus is not the Father. I am an American, but I am not Ohio (who is also American).

The problem is that Lee violates one of the foundational errors of logic. The parts of a set are not each the other parts of the set. Neither is the set simply one of the parts.
Quote:
That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Unity; Neither confounding the Persons; nor dividing the Essence.
This is the theological construct that Lee sets out to violate. The Trinity is a unity, but that does not confound the persons such that the Son is the Father or the Spirit. But as God they are a single, unified One.
08-10-2017 09:42 AM
Freedom
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Is this the kind of unity that people on this forum keep telling me exists between denominations?

But some evangelical hard-liners weren’t buying it. They seized on, for example, the Orthodox Christian traditions of asking saints to intercede with God and using icons, or holy images, of Christ, Mary and the saints for meditation and learning.

Perhaps if he had joined the local churches instead of Orthodox he would not have gotten this sort of backlash.
I don't see the problem with the backlash against Hank's sudden change. There is no reason why all his listeners should have to treat his conversion to EO like it's not a big deal.

The issue here isn't simply that he converted to EO - that itself is his own choice. If he wants to take that path, he has every right to do so, and I wish him well in his journey. The real issue, however, is that he continues to head an evangelical apologetics organization. It seems he wishes to keep a foot in both camps, even though there are fundamental principles that are contradictory.
08-10-2017 08:03 AM
awareness
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Perhaps if he had joined the local churches instead of Orthodox he would not have gotten this sort of backlash.
Yeah, he could follow pope Lee.
08-09-2017 08:56 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!


Is this the kind of unity that people on this forum keep telling me exists between denominations?

But some evangelical hard-liners weren’t buying it. They seized on, for example, the Orthodox Christian traditions of asking saints to intercede with God and using icons, or holy images, of Christ, Mary and the saints for meditation and learning.

Perhaps if he had joined the local churches instead of Orthodox he would not have gotten this sort of backlash.
08-09-2017 08:49 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
I wonder how many LC members know that Chris Wilde is "Director of Communications" for LSM/Local Churches?

Kind of sad that Hank Hanegraaff is still perpetuating the abject myth that he, or anyone else, with CRI did any "extensive research" into what is actually taught and practiced in the Local Church of Witness Lee. Hank still continues to insist that the authors of Open-Letter.Org "misrepresented Witness Lee" and "took everything quoted out of context". NOTHING in this open letter quotes Witness Lee out of context. The simple truth is that a false teaching is a false teaching no matter what "context" it is quoted within. And a heretical teaching is a heretical teaching no matter what context it is quoted within. False and heretical teachers have been using so called provisos and conditional statements for centuries (re: "but not in the Godhead"), but they never even begin to mitigate the blatant falseness and heresy on which many of Witness Lee's teachings are based upon.

If a man teaches that "Jesus was divine but he was not God" (common heresy taught among many Christian and non-Christian sects and cults) but with the next breath contends that "Jesus was God, but not in the sense as taught by today's Christians"...the one who states such things should be considered as a false teacher at best, and most likely is a heretic who is to be avoided at all costs.

Such is the case with many of the teachings and practices established by Witness Lee and his followers. May God have mercy.[/COLOR]
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So what is it Mr moderator? On the one hand you condemn Lee for saying Jesus is the Father and you can't get much more "Jesus is God" than that.

On the other hand you say Lee was a heretic because Lee said "Jesus was not God" but I don't think he ever said that.

You will find that when Lee is taken into context He teaches Jesus is both fully God and fully man, and Lee teaches that Jesus is God to a fuller degree than most denominations who relegate Him to the "second person" of the Trinity. He goes so far as to say that Jesus is the Father.
08-08-2017 07:51 PM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Miami Herald: "How a photo of radio’s ‘Bible Answer Man’ in church lost him thousands of listeners"
08-08-2017 07:42 PM
awareness
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
That is an article that I came across a while back. There are a lot of things about Hank that don't add up. I didn't listen to the recording, but at the linked site for the recording, there are some headings to various parts of the recording. One of which is "The revolutionary impact the Lord’s recovery has had on Hank personally as well as the ministry of CRI." If the LC impact on Hank and the CRI was so 'revolutionary', then why didn't Hank join the LC? It is pretty obvious that the CRI's interaction with the LC goes beyond a simple defense of the LC. It is more like a promotion, and where there are promotions, there is usually money involved.
Well he's still pedaling. I got an email today at 5:30ct. He's pushing his new book "Muslim." You can pre-order it for $24.99, called a "donation," must have learned this tax dodge from LSM.

And I noticed clicking links that he keeps pushing "We Were Wrong."

I don't know about Hank, but something seems not quite right. I don't wish him ill, I'm just not buying it ... literally. I haven't ever spent a dime on anything Hank. But that doesn't stop him from thanking me for all my donations, over and over, while asking for more and more. Hank is unquestionably into mammon. And it removes all credibility of CRI, as an objective "research" organization. It's a far cry from the CRI Christian countercult movement started by Walter Martin.
08-08-2017 07:40 PM
Freedom
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
I wonder how many LC members know that Chris Wilde is "Director of Communications" for LSM/Local Churches?

Kind of sad that Hank Hanegraaff is still perpetuating the abject myth that he, or anyone else, with CRI did any "extensive research" into what is actually taught and practiced in the Local Church of Witness Lee. Hank still continues to insist that the authors of Open-Letter.Org "misrepresented Witness Lee" and "took everything quoted out of context". NOTHING in this open letter quotes Witness Lee out of context. The simple truth is that a false teaching is a false teaching no matter what "context" it is quoted within. And a heretical teaching is a heretical teaching no matter what context it is quoted within. False and heretical teachers have been using so call provisos and conditional statements for centuries (re: "but not in the Godhead"), but they never even begin to mitigate the blatant falseness and heresy on which many of Witness Lee's teachings are based upon.
It’s sad to think how blissfully unaware all those in the LCM are to the rampant deception that is going on. Back in the 70’s when the LCM was brought under scrutiny by the counter-cult movement, there was a very distinctive PR campaign that stemmed directly from WL. It involved arrogance and combativeness. At no time was there any attempt to deal with anything tactfully, nor was there the humility to retract any questionable teachings. Needless to say, the negative reputation the LCM gained for itself was entirely their own doing.

Fast-forward to when the CRI shocked everyone with their inexplicable reversal in position on the LCM. In attempt to justify this reversal, they said things such as "we discovered that we had been profoundly mistaken about some of their teachings." To those in the LC, such statements might have come across as expressions of humility on the part of the CRI, however, what the CRI failed to do was to actually explain the exact reasons for the sudden change. They called their own credibility into question. In saying “we were wrong,” the burden of proof now lies with them to demonstrate why their current ‘research’ can be trusted.

That self-created lack of credibility on the part of the CRI is the first piece of the puzzle that doesn’t fit. The second is the change in behavior on the part of the LSM and the local churches. Now they have a paid PR person. LC leaders who have interacted with Hank and the CRI play stupid acting like all past conflict was all just a big misunderstanding. Most importantly, all of this ‘change’ on the part of the LCM didn’t involve in any kind of admission reform on their part. If they know that their past approach was wrong, then why don’t they admit to that? LCers need to be asking themselves these kinds of questions.
08-08-2017 10:37 AM
countmeworthy
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I don't trust Hank. I'm on his email list. And it's money, money, money.

I know I'll likely be hated on for this, but something smells fishy. It wouldn't surprise me if Hank was suddenly healed, and theosis gets the credit, and Hank again will write something like "Lee WAS Right : about mingling and becoming god-men."

Now I don't know this, and I hate to cast dispersion's on a sick man, but I just don't trust Hank. Money, money, money.

And all I see from theosis is a propensity to wearing funny hats. There's been no Jesus since Jesus.
I don't like Hank either.. he is 'intellectual' and not spiritual imho. But that's not why I don't like him. He has always come across as a 'know it all' and I don't like 'know it alls'. I hope he recovers though.
08-08-2017 09:45 AM
Freedom
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
I don't trust Hank. I'm on his email list. And it's money, money, money.

I know I'll likely be hated on for this, but something smells fishy. It wouldn't surprise me if Hank was suddenly healed, and theosis gets the credit, and Hank again will write something like "Lee WAS Right : about mingling and becoming god-men."

Now I don't know this, and I hate to cast dispersion's on a sick man, but I just don't trust Hank. Money, money, money.

And all I see from theosis is a propensity to wearing funny hats. There's been no Jesus since Jesus.
Quote:
One item she was particularly concerned about was CRI's paying $66,000 in July 2002 for a blue Lexus sc, purchased for Hanegraaff's use. That same year former employees said a lull in giving resulted in layoffs at the $9.3 million ministry.
http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/...gust/6.19.html
That is an article that I came across a while back. There are a lot of things about Hank that don't add up. I didn't listen to the recording, but at the linked site for the recording, there are some headings to various parts of the recording. One of which is "The revolutionary impact the Lord’s recovery has had on Hank personally as well as the ministry of CRI." If the LC impact on Hank and the CRI was so 'revolutionary', then why didn't Hank join the LC? It is pretty obvious that the CRI's interaction with the LC goes beyond a simple defense of the LC. It is more like a promotion, and where there are promotions, there is usually money involved.
08-08-2017 09:05 AM
awareness
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Quote:
The revolutionary impact the Lord’s recovery has had on Hank personally as well as the ministry of CRI
I don't trust Hank. I'm on his email list. And it's money, money, money.

I know I'll likely be hated on for this, but something smells fishy. It wouldn't surprise me if Hank was suddenly healed, and theosis gets the credit, and Hank again will write something like "Lee WAS Right : about mingling and becoming god-men."

Now I don't know this, and I hate to cast dispersion's on a sick man, but I just don't trust Hank. Money, money, money.

And all I see from theosis is a propensity to wearing funny hats. There's been no Jesus since Jesus.
08-07-2017 10:02 PM
UntoHim
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

I wonder how many LC members know that Chris Wilde is "Director of Communications" for LSM/Local Churches?

Kind of sad that Hank Hanegraaff is still perpetuating the abject myth that he, or anyone else, with CRI did any "extensive research" into what is actually taught and practiced in the Local Church of Witness Lee. Hank still continues to insist that the authors of Open-Letter.Org "misrepresented Witness Lee" and "took everything quoted out of context". NOTHING in this open letter quotes Witness Lee out of context. The simple truth is that a false teaching is a false teaching no matter what "context" it is quoted within. And a heretical teaching is a heretical teaching no matter what context it is quoted within. False and heretical teachers have been using so called provisos and conditional statements for centuries (re: "but not in the Godhead"), but they never even begin to mitigate the blatant falseness and heresy on which many of Witness Lee's teachings are based upon.

If a man teaches that "Jesus was divine but he was not God" (common heresy taught among many Christian and non-Christian sects and cults) but with the next breath contends that "Jesus was God, but not in the sense as taught by today's Christians"...the one who states such things should be considered as a false teacher at best, and most likely is a heretic who is to be avoided at all costs.

Such is the case with many of the teachings and practices established by Witness Lee and his followers. May God have mercy.
08-07-2017 07:30 PM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Hank Hanegraaff's most recent defense of the Local Church.
05-18-2017 07:43 AM
InChristAlone
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Is he healed yet? Did the prayer work? Lets pray it everyday.push.
Thank you, Evangelical. Prayer is not a magic spell. So, you don't need to follow the pattern. You can use your own words. Pure heart and sincere petition matter more than any formula.

Besides, it is God Who works miracles, not our prayers. And we always pray "Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven..."

We don't know God's will for brother Hank, should he leave this earth or stay more. What we can do is just to keep on praying for his health, keeping in mind: "Thy will be done".

God bless.
05-18-2017 04:53 AM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Is he healed yet? Did the prayer work? Lets pray it everyday.push.
05-17-2017 06:34 AM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

http://www.christianpost.com/news/bi...e-body-183721/

Update since InChristAlone entry. Continue to pray for brother Hank.
05-11-2017 05:54 PM
HERn
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by InChristAlone View Post
Brothers, I am sorry for interrupting your discussion, but I think the news headline is related to the thread:

Hank Hanegraaff Reveals He Has Rare Form of Cancer, Reads Orthodox Prayer Surrendering to God

http://www.christianpost.com/news/ha...ng-god-183034/

Brothers, if you want, maybe we could just stop for a moment and pray for brother Hank (Hendrik). Thank you.

Heavenly Father, physician of our souls and bodies, Who have sent Your only-begotten Son and our Lord Jesus Christ to heal every sickness and infirmity, visit and heal also Your servant Hendrik from all physical and spiritual ailments through the grace of Your Christ. Grant him patience in this sickness, strength of body and spirit, and recovery of health. Lord, You have taught us through Your word to pray for each other that we may be healed. I pray, heal Your servant Hendrik and grant to him the gift of complete health. For You are the source of healing and to You I give glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

God bless.
Good prayer ICA, thanks.
05-10-2017 09:55 PM
InChristAlone
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Brothers, I am sorry for interrupting your discussion, but I think the news headline is related to the thread:

Hank Hanegraaff Reveals He Has Rare Form of Cancer, Reads Orthodox Prayer Surrendering to God

http://www.christianpost.com/news/ha...ng-god-183034/

Brothers, if you want, maybe we could just stop for a moment and pray for brother Hank (Hendrik). Thank you.

Heavenly Father, physician of our souls and bodies, Who have sent Your only-begotten Son and our Lord Jesus Christ to heal every sickness and infirmity, visit and heal also Your servant Hendrik from all physical and spiritual ailments through the grace of Your Christ. Grant him patience in this sickness, strength of body and spirit, and recovery of health. Lord, You have taught us through Your word to pray for each other that we may be healed. I pray, heal Your servant Hendrik and grant to him the gift of complete health. For You are the source of healing and to You I give glory, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen.

God bless.
05-10-2017 04:21 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You and others want to start with the null hypothesis of "Denominations are okay" and expect me to prove that denominations are not okay.
I simply start with the null hypothesis that how churches gather and whether there is anything that groups some of them for various reasons is not defined, therefore as long as you can find nothing that is specifically wrong with one group, one assembly, etc., you cannot simply invalidate them because they meet in a particular way that does not comply with a rule that you cannot establish as being there.

I do not suppose that the variety of groups is exactly what was in mind (other than by knowledge of what would be) in the time frame of Christ and the Apostles. Yet at this point, I am compelled to generally meet with those that are "more right" as I understand it than others. Yet in saying that, I do not invalidate those others.

Your group has done no differently — with one exception. You have tried to prop-up a hollow doctrine that makes you "right" no matter how wrong you are. You have devised a system that allows for 1) serious offenses by leadership without consequence, 2) teachings that are questionable at best to be required understanding of everyone all coupled with 3) the edict that they can only meet with you and be a valid church.

Somehow it does not work.

And it presumes that the direction and control exercised by the LSM somehow is to be ignored in the landscape of "denominations." A very "iron skillet calling the copper kettle black." We at least acknowledge that we have differences, but recognize that those do not invalidate what makes us one. And as a result we undertake much as "one" not matter how much you repeat the empty claims that "ecumenicalism is false" or anything remotely like that.

Your whole "null hypothesis" discussion is a way to hide your unwillingness to actually engage in discussion about what might be wrong. I once believed that one church per city, identified by the name "church in [city]" was actually taught in the Bible. But eventually I began to see that it was never there. And that the way we were taught to believe it was to ignore what was actually there and accept that it "simply meant" whatever. And because we were enamored with the speaker, we simply accepted that without any test of veracity.

And, BTW, null hypothesis testing is not always appropriate. You cannot null hypothesis the meaning of a particular word into #2 in Websters v #15. It takes knowledge, skill, and sometimes enough "art" to think beyond bare words. To bring in context, culture, history, etc.

And that is exactly how you got "Christ became the Holy Spirit." The context was eliminated from sight. Words were (very) incorrectly declared to have only one possible meaning. Once you accepted that, it was easy to see that Jesus was simply now the Holy Spirit. But take a better look at the words and the context, and you could never get there. The only part of the Trinity mentioned in that verse or several on either side was Christ. The Holy Spirit was not discussed, or even mentioned. No way to get to that error of theology.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Everyone has bias, even you. The thing is, Wallace is an expert in New Testament Greek, so his bias is more likely to be correct than Janes, yours or mine.
But the questions mainly were about Hebrew texts. But even that was not really about the translation. And what was from Greek was not really about the Greek, but what it means. And when part of what it means is flavored by the "origin" assumption that Genesis 3 cursed woman with man, then there is reason to be skeptical of where anyone is making that particular logic go.

You are ignoring that, like the decades that debates about slavery, then the equality of various kinds of humans (specifically black humans) went throughout much of the Western world stood up against the writings of many of the most revered theologians of the day and days before. There is, by definition, a requirement to restart all of the thinking. That does not mean that we cannot get to the answer we already have. But when the writing you refer to does not address the new complaints other than to point to tradition and how it has always been understood, there is evidence that there is no engagement of the new problem. It is like Paul coming to Jerusalem to complain about the Judaizers and the response is "we are Jews and this is what we have believed for 1,500 years. What makes you think that you can even question it? Why should we give it the time of day?"

And even if Wallace has never been challenged with the new discussion, therefore we can't blame him, then we can blame you because you are simply repeating the old line without even acknowledgement of the question raised against that line of thinking other than to willfully dismiss it because "that is the way it has always been."

That's just the way it is.
Some things will never change.
That's just the way it is.
Ah, but don't you believe it . . .

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In the discussions I recall some were saying "the English is wrong, only the original Greek is correct and God's Word". That's when I thought to check what a Greek scholar has to say about this. To my surprise they did not agree with Jane's view.
And once again, I have not claimed that the English is wrong, or materially so. Rather that we choose to misread and misunderstand.

I wrote a little piece on the word "cool" several years ago. In it in noted that in popular usage (unrelated to temperatures) it can mean anything from "wow, that's great," to ""I can live with that." So we both hear the same thing and you say "cool" and I say "cool" but we didn't necessarily say the same thing. You thought it was great and I acknowledged that I could live with it. Now most of the words we are talking about are not like that. But they too often do carry more than a single, obvious meaning. And even in the context of scripture there is seldom some single "theological" way to understand it. But often there has come to be a default understanding that people think of that way. But it doesn't make it right. Just popular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
My version of unity is the same as yours - it is Christ. I am not arguing for unity in any other person than Christ. To say otherwise is a strawman. However we disagree on what this looks like practically. You may see it expressed in hundreds of denominations doing and saying different things, doctrines and practices (views on baptism, tongue speaking etc). I see it expressed in one actual church (not de-name-iation) per city as the bible reveals.
And it is your claim that there is a "must" written into the Bible concerning the "practicality" that you still cannot establish. Just say that it is.

And we know why it is claimed. Nee wanted an indigenous church that did not answer to a European or American headquarters. He wanted it to be exclusively Chinese. And based on his progressive revelation (sort of like Mohammed's) he eventually was the "headquarters." And now that indigenous Chinese church is being propagated around the world, answering to a displaced headquarters that is in Anaheim.

Another denomination. I don't say yours should simply disappear. It can go on like all the others before it. But it cannot claim special status as a non-denomination and be taken seriously.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
In context, this topic was about supporting and caring for non-Christian widows. Does it mean we have to take care of any and all widows? The bible answer is no (1 Tim 5:3, 5:9, 11-13). Young widows are to find a husband, and widows who have family who can support them don't get church help. In Acts 9:39 the widows are the widows of the church or closely associated with the church.
I do not disagree that there was specific call to care for the widows within the church. It is clearly understood that you don't care for strangers when you are not caring for your own. But there was also always the care for the "sojourner among you." Alms for the poor. Not restricted to only the Jews (then the Christians). These did not get set aside because of the specific command to care for your own.

Even your pull from Pulpit commentary comments that "Dorcas's almsdeeds would naturally have for their first object the widows of her own communion." Surely your community comes first. But not exclusively. Pulpit did not eliminate the "second" and beyond. Just stated and order of service.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Those who believe in the "social gospel" or the "social Jesus" and expect the church to take care of every widow in the city from anyone up to the widows of suicide bombers in the name of "love and charity" don't like to hear this because they have no interest in the church, but the bible teaches that the family and the church takes priority, and as they say "charity begins at home".
Surely there are some who think that that is their primary charge. But there is a social gospel that does not deserve your "scare quotes." It is the one that is stated in the OT and the gospels. And acknowledged by even your own favorite, Pulpit commentary.

And when your leadership mocks any social gospel as the "social gospel," they mock the command of Christ because God's commands are Christ's commands. That is what is wrong with your attitude toward this issue. It is not that you think that any so-called social gospel is secondary to caring for those within the church. It is that you think so poorly of it that you despise it and mock those who do it by pointing to the fact that they cannot take care of every need that exists. Well duh!! Who said we could. But the dishonor is in failing to act, not in acting and failing to succeed.
05-10-2017 02:40 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
As long as you begin with the unproved — such as:
  • God's economy is simply God dispensing himself into man
  • An assembly must be associated with a city and there can be only one assembly/church for that city having a single, lock-step set of elders.
  • Christ became the life-giving Spirit, therefore became the Holy Spirit.
  • There is only one ministry in each age and in this age it was from Lee and is now what is being propagated by the so-called local churches
And so on.

If you eliminate those false axioms, your logic fails.
You and others want to start with the null hypothesis of "Denominations are okay" and expect me to prove that denominations are not okay. Yes denominations are the commonly accepted view today but biblically and historically speaking (e.g. early church history, church fathers, Catholic/Orthodox) they are not. The concept of hundreds of different denominations is a relatively new thing (500 years) when considering the
history of the church (2000 years).

Therefore the null hypothesis is that there should be one church (not a denomination/sect) and it is your job to disprove that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Your hypothesis testing is pointless if you start with an unproven that is not to be tested.

And turning it into a disproof of the null hypothesis is not very important when it is a matter of reading words that are clear. It is then clear that there are various legitimate ways to understand words due to more than one acceptable definition, which then potentially paints more than one picture with the totality of the words provided, the answer is not simply tradition v another view. When there is evidence that the tradition itself creates a bias in favor of the inquisitors, then there is a serious question as to whether they are truly able to see beyond that bias.

And if you recall, in the particular discussion, I had problem with both Wallace and Jane (and her source, whatever that writer's name was). Both had a bias that, when read their way created an understanding that was flawed. Jane's that woman was not expelled from the Garden and Wallace's that woman was prescriptively cursed to be dominated by man.
Everyone has bias, even you. The thing is, Wallace is an expert in New Testament Greek, so his bias is more likely to be correct than Janes, yours or mine.

In the discussions I recall some were saying "the English is wrong, only the original Greek is correct and God's Word". That's when I thought to check what a Greek scholar has to say about this. To my surprise they did not agree with Jane's view. Because they are biased? No, because they have studied the Greek language for decades and know what they are talking about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And in the context of this particular thread, the onus is on you to actually prove your positions. you have made may statements concerning how you think it is, but not supported it. You dismiss anything that is not unity on your terms, but cannot provide evidence that your version of unity is what the Bible is talking about. But I clearly point out that unity is in Christ, not anything else. If you want my evidence, I can provide it.
My version of unity is the same as yours - it is Christ. I am not arguing for unity in any other person than Christ. To say otherwise is a strawman. However we disagree on what this looks like practically. You may see it expressed in hundreds of denominations doing and saying different things, doctrines and practices (views on baptism, tongue speaking etc). I see it expressed in one actual church (not de-name-iation) per city as the bible reveals.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You said that the bible does not support the care for the widow and orphan, but I can support it if you really want me to. But you cannot support the dismissal of that command other than to point to something that Paul said, probably out of context.
In context, this topic was about supporting and caring for non-Christian widows. Does it mean we have to take care of any and all widows? The bible answer is no (1 Tim 5:3, 5:9, 11-13). Young widows are to find a husband, and widows who have family who can support them don't get church help. In Acts 9:39 the widows are the widows of the church or closely associated with the church.

Pulpit commentary says:

Verse 39. - And for then, A.V.; and when for when, A.V. All the widows. The article may denote all the widows for whom Dorcas had made garments, which the middle voice (ἐπιδεικνύμεναι), found only here, indicates perhaps that they had on them at the time. But it is quite as probable that αἱ χῆραι means the Church widows, as in Acts 6:1 and 1 Timothy 5:9, and that we have here an indication that the model of the Jerusalem Church was followed in all the daughter Churches. Dorcas's almsdeeds would naturally have for their first object the widows of her own communion. As naturally would they all come to meet the apostle at her house.

Those who believe in the "social gospel" or the "social Jesus" and expect the church to take care of every widow in the city from anyone up to the widows of suicide bombers in the name of "love and charity" don't like to hear this because they have no interest in the church, but the bible teaches that the family and the church takes priority, and as they say "charity begins at home".
05-10-2017 12:21 PM
leastofthese
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

OBW - I hesitate to write this, and this may be against forum protocol...but I actually want to thank you again for your thoughtful response.
05-10-2017 08:48 AM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
All my previous discussions on female preachers involving Wallace did not rely upon the writings of Nee or Lee.
You either misunderstand, or want to change the subject. I was talking about discussions of doctrine in general. That you didn't mention things taught by Nee or Lee in the proximity of anything written by Wallace in the discussion about women is irrelevant. I was talking about relying on anything they say for any purpose whatsoever. Their teachings are the great unknown as far as this forum is concerned, therefore are not authoritative in any way, but rather are the subject of significant scrutiny.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You have it backwards I'm afraid. My approach is mathematically and theoretically sound.
As long as you begin with the unproved — such as:
  • God's economy is simply God dispensing himself into man
  • An assembly must be associated with a city and there can be only one assembly/church for that city having a single, lock-step set of elders.
  • Christ became the life-giving Spirit, therefore became the Holy Spirit.
  • There is only one ministry in each age and in this age it was from Lee and is now what is being propagated by the so-called local churches
And so on.

If you eliminate those false axioms, your logic fails.

Your hypothesis testing is pointless if you start with an unproven that is not to be tested.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The commonly accepted fact in the discussions involving Wallace was my view, the traditional view, Wallace's view, that Jane and you all were trying to argue against. Therefore it was up to Jane, you and others to reject, or disprove this null hypothesis.
And turning it into a disproof of the null hypothesis is not very important when it is a matter of reading words that are clear. It is then clear that there are various legitimate ways to understand words due to more than one acceptable definition, which then potentially paints more than one picture with the totality of the words provided, the answer is not simply tradition v another view. When there is evidence that the tradition itself creates a bias in favor of the inquisitors, then there is a serious question as to whether they are truly able to see beyond that bias.

And if you recall, in the particular discussion, I had problem with both Wallace and Jane (and her source, whatever that writer's name was). Both had a bias that, when read their way created an understanding that was flawed. Jane's that woman was not expelled from the Garden and Wallace's that woman was prescriptively cursed to be dominated by man.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The view that all the bible translations are wrong, and the majority of male theologians, is NOT the "commonly accepted view", therefore the onus is upon you to disprove my view.
First, I never made that claim. In fact, when reading Genesis, I had no problem with the text of any particular version that I can recall now. (Maybe there is one or two that were extreme in forcing the patriarchal view . . . I can't recall.) It was in what it meant that we had differences. There is no "disprove my view" to be had. But in the way it is worded, there is the ability to disprove that it was strictly one way because of any claim of preference of translation.

I think this may have been where I got into the discussion of the meaning of the Greek word "zoe." it is clear that zoe is more than just physical life or psychological life. But it is more clearly the sum total of all that is life, including quality of life, and that when viewed as a totality, a better life could be called "more zoe" in modern-ish lingo. And clearly the life that God supplies would be the "most zoe" that we could have. But that does not make God's life "simply zoe." Or more typically (in Lee's terminology) "zoe" is not "simply" God's life. That is a gross misrepresentation of the meaning of the word.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If I said "aliens exist", then the onus would be upon me to disprove you, because aliens existing is not a commonly accepted view. But in this case, Jane/you/etc were the ones that believes in the "aliens" (the uncommon view that the bible translations are wrong), so the onus was upon you to disprove me.
And in the context of this particular thread, the onus is on you to actually prove your positions. you have made may statements concerning how you think it is, but not supported it. You dismiss anything that is not unity on your terms, but cannot provide evidence that your version of unity is what the Bible is talking about. But I clearly point out that unity is in Christ, not anything else. If you want my evidence, I can provide it.

You said that the bible does not support the care for the widow and orphan, but I can support it if you really want me to. But you cannot support the dismissal of that command other than to point to something that Paul said, probably out of context.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
A person not searching for the truth would do what you are doing - discount or distrust theologians, bible commentaries, etc and provide little by way of theological counter-argument.
Actually, a person searching for the truth must start with the presumption that nothing is so sound as to be accepted without scrutiny. I do not distrust scholars. But I am willing to look at the scripture and challenge their thoughts. Make them say more than "this is the way we've been taught to think about this." When you realize that there are several schools of thought on a number of topics, there is no reason to believe that any of them have a lock on the correct thinking in all cases. Therefore even the Catholics have some things better than the guys at DTS. And I go with the guys at DTS probably 99.44% of the time. But I argue with the DTS professor that teaches the class I attend most Sundays on certain things. Not in a major way. But I am not cowed to simply tow the DTS line on theology.

And they don't know it, but I am not a very good Dispensationalist.
05-09-2017 06:22 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
The problem is that you have understood the process of coming to "truth" incorrectly. You do not have the luxury of simply starting with the claim that what you say is right and must be defeated. Instead, unless you are quite clear that it is just an opinion and not clear doctrine, you must prove that it is what you claim.

I have no requirement upon me to disprove something that I have not seen evidence that it is true. The requirement is on you to make the theological, scriptural, logical, etc. argument, including evidence that does not rely on the writings of Nee or Lee. (Their words are similarly subject to being proved, therefore they do not mean anything on their own.)
OBW,

All my previous discussions on female preachers involving Wallace did not rely upon the writings of Nee or Lee. I have made it my practice for a while now that I don't quote Nee or Lee, but seek freely available theological resources. Wallace was one of them.

You have it backwards I'm afraid. My approach is mathematically and theoretically sound.

In statistical hypothesis testing, the null hypothesis, H0 is the commonly accepted view; it is the opposite of the alternate hypothesis. The task is to reject, nullify or disprove the null hypothesis.

The commonly accepted fact in the discussions involving Wallace was my view, the traditional view, Wallace's view, that Jane and you all were trying to argue against. Therefore it was up to Jane, you and others to reject, or disprove this null hypothesis.

The view that all the bible translations are wrong, and the majority of male theologians, is NOT the "commonly accepted view", therefore the onus is upon you to disprove my view.

If I said "aliens exist", then the onus would be upon me to disprove you, because aliens existing is not a commonly accepted view. But in this case, Jane/you/etc were the ones that believes in the "aliens" (the uncommon view that the bible translations are wrong), so the onus was upon you to disprove me.

On the subject of denominations, the commonly accepted view, is that there were no denominations in the bible. Therefore, it is up to you to disprove me that denominations are okay, by providing a bible verse or theological resource that says denominations existed in the early church.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You recently claimed that I dismissed "even Wallace." But you are looking back into a topic that is potentially a landmine of biased history that none of us can see through. Therefore, just like the long arduous fight to turn the God-fearing from slave-owners into slave-freers, there is no such thing as finding a prior statement by anyone on the subject and presuming that they are not simply stuck in the old bias. In that context I must have more than a repetition of the tired arguments put forth over the centuries by men who have benefitted from a patriarchal view of everything.
In the previous discussion you made clear that you distrusted theologians in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
There is significant evidence that you are not engaged in a search for the truth. My evidence is that you make statements without support but clamor for everyone else's support. That shows that you have already concluded that you are right. What I think that you will see is that the only "right" that the rest of us are claiming is that it is not so dogmatic and is based on something simpler. Like love your neighbor as yourself. Or obey the commands of Christ. Oneness — which has become a hot topic in the midst of a discussion of Hank — is not based on a formula other than our common faith in Christ. And if you think there is more to it than that, or that we don't have a "common faith" then there is much to worry about concerning your positions relative to what I see in the scripture.
In previous discussions I quoted from theological resources extensively. My approach is logical, factual, what anyone searching for the truth would do.

A person not searching for the truth would do what you are doing - discount or distrust theologians, bible commentaries, etc and provide little by way of theological counter-argument.

So it was a renowned theologian (Wallace) versus Jane. You could have backed up Jane with a reputable theologian. She quoted a pastor who happens to agree with her views, but is in no way a theologian or expert in Greek.
05-09-2017 04:35 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I don't have a problem with that, if you do or don't use scripture, your posts are very well thought out and good, but I don't think you are discussing with me on the basis of a theological argument, as leastofthese implied. I would feel more "held accountable to" scripture if there was some solid theological argument that proves me wrong.
The problem is that you have understood the process of coming to "truth" incorrectly. You do not have the luxury of simply starting with the claim that what you say is right and must be defeated. Instead, unless you are quite clear that it is just an opinion and not clear doctrine, you must prove that it is what you claim.

I have no requirement upon me to disprove something that I have not seen evidence that it is true. The requirement is on you to make the theological, scriptural, logical, etc. argument, including evidence that does not rely on the writings of Nee or Lee. (Their words are similarly subject to being proved, therefore they do not mean anything on their own.)

You recently claimed that I dismissed "even Wallace." But you are looking back into a topic that is potentially a landmine of biased history that none of us can see through. Therefore, just like the long arduous fight to turn the God-fearing from slave-owners into slave-freers, there is no such thing as finding a prior statement by anyone on the subject and presuming that they are not simply stuck in the old bias. In that context I must have more than a repetition of the tired arguments put forth over the centuries by men who have benefitted from a patriarchal view of everything.

There is significant evidence that you are not engaged in a search for the truth. My evidence is that you make statements without support but clamor for everyone else's support. That shows that you have already concluded that you are right. What I think that you will see is that the only "right" that the rest of us are claiming is that it is not so dogmatic and is based on something simpler. Like love your neighbor as yourself. Or obey the commands of Christ. Oneness — which has become a hot topic in the midst of a discussion of Hank — is not based on a formula other than our common faith in Christ. And if you think there is more to it than that, or that we don't have a "common faith" then there is much to worry about concerning your positions relative to what I see in the scripture.
05-09-2017 11:34 AM
Terry
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
We were clearly told that any doubts or concerns was the work of the evil one.

I find it funny that my Dad often said that if they had called Lee an apostle back then in the early/mid 70s, he would have walked out in a heartbeat. But my remembrance is that calling Nee and Lee apostles was almost commonplace at that time. Just not in a grand way. Part of that "dance around the well" kind of thing. Redefine apostle to be anyone "sent." Then declare that they were sent. Yep. They are apostles. Just under a slightly different definition. But the status remained while the definition changed until they were THE apostles for their "ages."

It should have disturbed our spirits. Or our "Berean" sense of searching the scriptures to verify. But we were warned off of those activities.
Yeah, that's what was said or at least implied. If brothers and sisters have doubts and concerns, it's because they're being poisoned and not something the responsible ones need to account of. I've heard it time and time again.

Regarding apostle status. I've never heard this spoken of Watchman Nee, but as a fact in the early-mid 80's as a high school brother, my serving one would say Brother Lee is like a modern day apostle Paul.
05-08-2017 06:16 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You don't actually use that much scripture. You hint that there is scripture for your most important points, but the scripture you provide does not actually support it.
I don't have a problem with that, if you do or don't use scripture, your posts are very well thought out and good, but I don't think you are discussing with me on the basis of a theological argument, as leastofthese implied. I would feel more "held accountable to" scripture if there was some solid theological argument that proves me wrong.
05-08-2017 03:26 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I'm sure others have shared similar experiences. Wanting to receive fellowship coming from the brothers. Any reservations one might have is due to one's self lacking absoluteness instead of there might be substance to one's reservations.
In hind sight you can say your spirit was inwardly disturbed, but lacking any reasonable explanation at the time.
We were clearly told that any doubts or concerns was the work of the evil one.

I have to say that after over a year of exposure to the "mysticism" and apparent spirituality of Nee, when someone said they were part of a group that was following one of Nee's closest coworkers, we came without much thought about it.

But the thing about it is that because Nee's teaching had such a naturally spiritual ring to it, and then so did so much of Lee's (at the time) it was too easy to get swept into their snare. Or more accurately, get put in their pot when the fire was off. "The water's fine!"

Then the burner was lit. But we didn't notice.

I find it funny that my Dad often said that if they had called Lee an apostle back then in the early/mid 70s, he would have walked out in a heartbeat. But my remembrance is that calling Nee and Lee apostles was almost commonplace at that time. Just not in a grand way. Part of that "dance around the well" kind of thing. Redefine apostle to be anyone "sent." Then declare that they were sent. Yep. They are apostles. Just under a slightly different definition. But the status remained while the definition changed until they were THE apostles for their "ages."

It should have disturbed our spirits. Or our "Berean" sense of searching the scriptures to verify. But we were warned off of those activities.
05-08-2017 11:54 AM
Terry
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I know that in my days in the LRC, I was never skeptical of what was told to me by Lee or his underlings. I simply took what he said as if it was coming from the oracle of God. Just ignored any warnings going off inside.
I'm sure others have shared similar experiences. Wanting to receive fellowship coming from the brothers. Any reservations one might have is due to one's self lacking absoluteness instead of there might be substance to one's reservations.
In hind sight you can say your spirit was inwardly disturbed, but lacking any reasonable explanation at the time.
05-08-2017 09:18 AM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It's interesting that you are speaking on behalf of these "20-40 readers".

"what these readers already clearly see for themselves." that's a presumptuous statement if I ever saw one.

OBW is holding me accountable to scripture? He rarely uses scripture and you would find it difficult to find the last post where he refers to scripture. And don't quote a theologian, they are all wrong especially Wallace.
You don't actually use that much scripture. You hint that there is scripture for your most important points, but the scripture you provide does not actually support it.

And I provide a lot of scripture. I write the words from scripture a lot. Just don't always dig around to find the reference. I presume that you know what I am talking about. I also see this kind of thing in the NT a lot. Sure some of it needs a reference. But some of it is well known. But they only occasionally even say who said it in the OT.

If I say "whoever believes in me shall not perish," I think you know what I am talking about. And if I start asking whether it would mean differently if it read (whever believed in me . . ." I think you would understand. we may not agree on exactly what answering the question means, but there would be no question.

Some like to litter their posts with scripture. They quote long sections but never provide any analysis of what it is in those verses that is supposed to mean any particular thing. They can claim to quote a lot of scripture but don't really use much of it at all.

What is wrong with the posts I write? Do you have a problem with the positions that I take? Is it because you would prefer a different position? If so, can you provide a reason for one? Or find evidence that there is a problem with mine? The study of the Bible is not simply a study finding the answer. It is finding the way to live and think so that what is not in scripture can be dealt with. But while there are often "obvious" choices related to what is not prescribed, it is not always so.

But your little sect is built upon prescribing everything that can be imagined to be thought of. Yet the scriptural basis for much of it is tenuous to non-existent.

But scripture does talk about oneness and unity. And it never uses the boundary of a city as the basis for either. And it is not so simply accomplished that it really didn't need prayer bye Jesus. Or a comment about "arriving" at unity. It is not fixed by simply joining the LRC where you will have a different set of doctrines and forms to learn and live by — often so exacting that you could be excommunicated for failing at one of them.
05-08-2017 09:03 AM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You have mistakenly assumed that just because the bible is silent about these church things it means we are free to do as we please and there are no rules.
I would not agree. There are many rules. But the naming convention for a church was not one of them. Neither was the "boundary" for an assembly.

I would counter by saying that just because you would like for there to be a rule does not mean that an observation can become the rule you seek.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I don't know what sort of reason you think Drake and I would have for wanting them to follow us. We get no benefit from that.
I would agree that you get no benefit from that. At least not personally. But your leaders do. They believe that the turn of people to their rules means a turn of people to their other doctrines. They think that because they were there first, they control the outcomes of all others who might eventually agree with them

But actually you do get a benefit, though you may not realize it. If everyone starts to come your way, you find that you were right to be so dogmatic and are justified in your sense of spiritual superiority. I believe that this may actually blind you to what is wrong with your positions. If you hare wrong, then you have to consider what else you might have been taught incorrectly. Many here have been through that. Some come out thinking that it is just about throwing off the bad leadership of the BBs. But almost all slowly realize that it is much more than that. It is a litany of both small and large errors in teaching that rob us of real Christian fellowship, perspective, obedience, and living.

I know that in my days in the LRC, I was never skeptical of what was told to me by Lee or his underlings. I simply took what he said as if it was coming from the oracle of God. Just ignored any warnings going off inside.

Lee explained a lot by saying "this is simply that" or telling a good-sounding story as if it is better than scripture. I don't buy that anymore.
05-07-2017 12:52 AM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
Thanks for your posts OBW.

I've typically see 20-40 people viewing this forum at any given time. To a casual reader Evan-gelical is his own worst enemy. Thanks for attempting to hold him accountable to scripture, reason, and logic... but I am afraid it could be a lost cause. Your posts continue to highlight what these readers already clearly see for themselves. It is interesting to see someone so passionate about condemning Christians that he clearly knows so little about.

Col 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
It's interesting that you are speaking on behalf of these "20-40 readers".

"what these readers already clearly see for themselves." that's a presumptuous statement if I ever saw one.

OBW is holding me accountable to scripture? He rarely uses scripture and you would find it difficult to find the last post where he refers to scripture. And don't quote a theologian, they are all wrong especially Wallace.
05-06-2017 08:05 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
We all believe we are one with all of the believers. That is very easy to say. Even Catholics can say that. The difference is we see that we are not practically one with all of the believers. Denominations do not see they are not practically one.
The Bible speaks of spiritual oneness. Jesus prayed for this oneness, "that they all may be one." The Apostles, especially Paul, spoke of this oneness, "tll we all arrive at the oneness of the faith." These lofty and noble prayers speak to all the children of God.

When it came down to "practical" oneness, however, the specific instructions of the Bible always came down to our "oneness" with our Lord and the person besides us. But the tone of the message was not one of uniformity, or just common purpose, it was love. Hence the instructions of Jesus Himself to love God and love our neighbor. Being one with God and man can thus be translated into loving God and loving our neighbor.

Exclusive systems like the LCM always seem to purge love from their brand of oneness. Not being content with spiritual oneness, they endlessly claim to be seeking something more practical. In their attempt to be one, they miss the single most important ingredient of all. In doing so, they actually mutate oneness into something foreign to scripture, a deformed oneness, like a sledgehammer only good for demolition and not for construction, or as the Bible says, "building up." Hence, without genuine love for God and their neighbors, their leadership can heartlessly condemn both insiders and outsiders whose visible display of practical oneness is found wanting.

By nature these legalistic systems always produce the exact opposite of stated effect. Instead of oneness, we witness man-pleasing systems where members must constantly prove their oneness by overt acts approved by headquarters. Instead of living a secret life approved by our Heavenly Father, we see constant rivalries, back-biting, and jockeying for self gains. Instead of abiding in the Lord with the goal to please only Him, the members become constantly concerned with their attendance locally, regionally, and nationally at all available happenings.

In my study of church history, deformed oneness was one of the most destructive ingredients ever. Once love is removed, almost anything can be justified in the name of oneness, as history has proven. Whether Judaism, the RCC, the Exclusive Brethren, or TLR, the zeal for oneness simply disguises the real heart of their leadership. Thus public zeal for oneness is only a coverup for leadership's lust for power, for lording it over others, for ruling God's people like the Gentile dictators do.
05-06-2017 06:48 AM
leastofthese
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
This is the common view among the various groups, not the exception as you would like to claim.

And your solution is for everyone else to admit they are wrong and come to you.
Thanks for your posts OBW.

I've typically see 20-40 people viewing this forum at any given time. To a casual reader Evan-gelical is his own worst enemy. Thanks for attempting to hold him accountable to scripture, reason, and logic... but I am afraid it could be a lost cause. Your posts continue to highlight what these readers already clearly see for themselves. It is interesting to see someone so passionate about condemning Christians that he clearly knows so little about.

Col 3:14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.
05-05-2017 09:29 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
There is actually nothing in what I said to which "That's because . . ." could be a response.

That is your typical MO. You ignore what is posted and respond to the question you wish had been asked.

But if there was going to be such a problem with denominations (and God surely knew what was coming) you would expect there to have been some kind of statement(s) that actually addressed the situation. No matter how you phrase it, Paul did not address the current situation. He did not define what should be the name. He did not say that this is how you gather. He only said that separating because of differences in favorite teacher was a problem. And it was only a problem because it was clear that they could not get along with each other. They were openly antagonistic with each other. Can you actually say that the various groups that you so despise are openly antagonistic with each other? (And one or two examples using other small exclusivist groups, or pointing to errors of the past cannot be painted onto the whole that is mostly not like that.
God knowing what was coming is an interesting way to put it. Could it also mean God knew the Roman Catholic church was coming and prepared Luther 1500 years later? But we find nothing in the bible about the Reformation.

I don't think the groups I despise are openly antagonistic with each other. Although they used to be, not only antagonistic, but at war. So, given that they are not antagonistic, why do they continue to promote their existence.

You have mistakenly assumed that just because the bible is silent about these church things it means we are free to do as we please and there are no rules.

Commonly held views in Christianity today such as "pray about which church to go to", "go to a church that suits you", cannot be found in the bible. Not because there were no way to do it, but because they were no alternatives than to meet with "the church" in "the city". If you were a Gentile there was not even a "gentile church" that you could go to. There was no "jew church" and "gentile church", there was just "the church".

The bible is silent about these church things because there was no need to think about or consider "how to do it" because there were no denominations. It was just done, in a particular way that everyone agreed to.

Whether it was about female preachers or whether they should meet on a Sunday or a Friday, there was a consistency that united them all together.

This consistency is indicated by "as in all the churches":
1 Cor 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.

Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and Anglican all believe that the early churches were consistent and things were done in a certain way. This is why they maintain this consistency today. There is also the backing of early church historians and theologians (I have quoted Wallace in previous discussions) on this.

The mistake of the house church movement, baptists, and community churches, is to think that everything can be done independently of other churches and in a way that they think is best for them.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
But I know what the deal is with you and Drake (who has been rather quiet lately). It is not that there is division, but that it is not following you. You presume that there is a magic formula that makes every theological error go away. And while the whole of Christianity (except you) agrees on the core of the faith, you declare that they are right but incomplete. And the missing ingredient is "ground." You think that ground will make all things right. That the errors in theology will simply go away because you are "on the ground." Of course, you don't think that they will be simply ignored, but rather it will be shown that your theology (all of it) is correct sufficiently to be the one that all must follow.
I don't know what sort of reason you think Drake and I would have for wanting them to follow us. We get no benefit from that.

What do you mean by "the whole of Christianity (except you) agrees on the core of the faith"? I would say the core of the faith is Christ and we agree on that. I think you show a deep misunderstanding of what the Recovery/local churches are about if you think this is about theological error. "the ground" is a simple way to say that Christians of the one locality should meet with other Christians in the same locality because they are in the locality and not because of other reasons like baptist doing a better church service or Pentecostals allowing tongue worship and hand waving. Or, on topic - because of a belief that they are the continued unbroken line since the apostles. In fact the Orthodox priests today really do wear either simple black or highly decorated and adorned flower pots on their heads, just like the 12 disciples did. Insert verse about men with head coverings in church here.
05-05-2017 10:07 AM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
That's because denominations didn't exist then. The bible did not have to address the situation of two different denominations in the one street. But based upon what Paul wrote against divisions and factions, he would never have approved of today's situation. The likelihood of there being some constraints on the meeting is much higher than being no constraints at all. Your version of unconstrained meeting is a kind of lawlessness - meeting however we wish to. Bible says that God is not a God of chaos or confusion.
There is actually nothing in what I said to which "That's because . . ." could be a response.

That is your typical MO. You ignore what is posted and respond to the question you wish had been asked.

But if there was going to be such a problem with denominations (and God surely knew what was coming) you would expect there to have been some kind of statement(s) that actually addressed the situation. No matter how you phrase it, Paul did not address the current situation. He did not define what should be the name. He did not say that this is how you gather. He only said that separating because of differences in favorite teacher was a problem. And it was only a problem because it was clear that they could not get along with each other. They were openly antagonistic with each other. Can you actually say that the various groups that you so despise are openly antagonistic with each other? (And one or two examples using other small exclusivist groups, or pointing to errors of the past cannot be painted onto the whole that is mostly not like that. There is a Reformed (Presbyterian) writer who recently included the following in a blog post:

Quote:
As a Presbyterian, I think Baptists and Methodists and Pentecostals are wrong about some important things, but deviating from Westminster Confession of Faith does not make you another Arius or Pelagius. A false teacher or a wolf is someone who snatches up sheep (John 10:12), draws disciples away from the gospel (Acts 20:28), opposes the truth (2 Tim. 3:8), and leads people to make shipwreck of the faith and embrace ungodliness (1 Tim. 1:19-20; 2 Tim. 2:16-17).
This is the common view among the various groups, not the exception as you would like to claim.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
We all believe we are one with all of the believers. That is very easy to say. Even Catholics can say that. The difference is we see that we are not practically one with all of the believers. Denominations do not see they are not practically one. Is a solution for us to disperse and join our closest denomination, or Catholic church? Of course not. And on any given Sunday, is an Anglican priest going to decide to bring all of his church to join the Lutherans or the baptists? I have never heard of that happening.
And your solution is for everyone else to admit they are wrong and come to you.

And you are clearly not going to disperse and join any of the larger assemblies in your area because they don't believe as you do.

As Igzy has stated, you think that the problem is denominations. The denominations do not separate us. Rather they allow us to meet together with a consistent core of theology that understands that what makes it different from the next nearest one is not the core of the faith, but something else. We join with those of similar thoughts on these particular theological issues but recognize that there is a higher reality in which we are not divided.

- - - -

But I know what the deal is with you and Drake (who has been rather quiet lately). It is not that there is division, but that it is not following you. You presume that there is a magic formula that makes every theological error go away. And while the whole of Christianity (except you) agrees on the core of the faith, you declare that they are right but incomplete. And the missing ingredient is "ground." You think that ground will make all things right. That the errors in theology will simply go away because you are "on the ground." Of course, you don't think that they will be simply ignored, but rather it will be shown that your theology (all of it) is correct sufficiently to be the one that all must follow.

And as I keep pointing out (and you conveniently ignore) the history of the LRC is not one of working to get theology right, but digging in your heels and even excluding your own members who do not quietly go along. In my days since first becoming acquainted with the LRC, I know of cases whether they went to a new city, found a group meeting in the way Nee taught. But after a little bit of time, since the group would not accept that Witness Lee's fellowship was superior to some other, they separated from that original group, moved to the next city (two adjacent cities) and started their own group. If you say they didn't violate the one church per city "edict," then you would be technically correct. But they despised such a church in one city because those people did not prefer Lee as the primary teaching source. So they moved to the next city and started a different group.

It would seem to me that while the edict declared by Nee and Lee was not violated, the one that Paul declared was. They divided over teachers while maintaining proper status on the unstated (in the Bible) "rule" of one-church-per-city.

There is the heart of your doctrine of the ground.
05-04-2017 03:35 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Only someone with a penchant for defining a "must" would answer in this way.

Should Hank have prayed? Are you sure that he did not? Are you sure that his sense of the leading of the Holy Spirit was not to do exactly what he did?

And what if the closest assembly is (fill in the blank with the group you most do not want to meet with)?

You only have these problems when you think there is only one way to do it but the Bible makes no such statement and provides no way for it to happen. So you see problems where there are none. At least not in terms of anything the Bible says.
That's because denominations didn't exist then. The bible did not have to address the situation of two different denominations in the one street. But based upon what Paul wrote against divisions and factions, he would never have approved of today's situation. The likelihood of there being some constraints on the meeting is much higher than being no constraints at all. Your version of unconstrained meeting is a kind of lawlessness - meeting however we wish to. Bible says that God is not a God of chaos or confusion.



Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
There just isn't much real division among the various Christian groups. Unlike the division that the LRC insists is between themselves and everyone else. The problem is that the division that you see is what you want to see. It is hard to discuss something that you say exists when most involved in all those groups that you claim are so divided don't see it. And what they do see they do not see as division. They gladly accept that they are one with all of the Christians. Even you. You just dismiss them (and me with them).

You still have not made the case that there is some kind of division other than claiming that they don't meet as the "church in [city]" which would mean under your leadership in every city where such a formula-driven church exists.
We all believe we are one with all of the believers. That is very easy to say. Even Catholics can say that. The difference is we see that we are not practically one with all of the believers. Denominations do not see they are not practically one. Is a solution for us to disperse and join our closest denomination, or Catholic church? Of course not. And on any given Sunday, is an Anglican priest going to decide to bring all of his church to join the Lutherans or the baptists? I have never heard of that happening.
05-04-2017 03:23 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Anyway, on topic, for some reason Hank decided to reject your idea of there being no genuine church . . . .
Strawman.

The problem is not whether there is a genuine church. It is whether a church can be other than genuine. If it is a church, it should be genuine. If it is not a church, then it is making no claim of being a church. My point is not that we accept churches that are not genuine. It is that you claim that most of the churches that are genuine are not because of your divisiveness.

A Buddhist temple does not claim to be a church. A Mason's lodge does not claim to be a church. A mosque does not claim to be a church. (We won't get into the LDS and JWs. They do claim to be a church and we tend to think otherwise.)

And just because ole Hank decided to join with another group that thinks theirs is the genuine and others are not does not make your claim to the same status any more real.
05-04-2017 03:17 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Are you saying that Hank should have just met with his closest group of Christians rather than join the Orthodox?

Another view says Hank should have prayed and asked the Spirit about where he should meet.

Is it possible that after praying , God would say "just meet with the group of Christians closest to you".
Only someone with a penchant for defining a "must" would answer in this way.

Should Hank have prayed? Are you sure that he did not? Are you sure that his sense of the leading of the Holy Spirit was not to do exactly what he did?

And what if the closest assembly is (fill in the blank with the group you most do not want to meet with)?

You only have these problems when you think there is only one way to do it but the Bible makes no such statement and provides no way for it to happen. So you see problems where there are none. At least not in terms of anything the Bible says.

There just isn't much real division among the various Christian groups. Unlike the division that the LRC insists is between themselves and everyone else. The problem is that the division that you see is what you want to see. It is hard to discuss something that you say exists when most involved in all those groups that you claim are so divided don't see it. And what they do see they do not see as division. They gladly accept that they are one with all of the Christians. Even you. You just dismiss them (and me with them).

You still have not made the case that there is some kind of division other than claiming that they don't meet as the "church in [city]" which would mean under your leadership in every city where such a formula-driven church exists.
05-03-2017 07:17 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Does an exemption negate the rule? Did not the Lord Jesus pray all night before selecting the twelve, and one of them betrayed Him?

Do we have to discuss gays? Do you know how many LC gays are still in the closet?

Anyways, this conversation is going no where.
The difference is Jesus did not start a denomination to cater for the needs of Judas Iscariot. If Judas Iscariot had started his own denomination, I am sure it would not have been recognized as a church by Jesus and the disciples. Anyway, back on topic - Greek Orthodox church. What's up with that? Don't they know the bible says "there is no Jew or Greek". Hank has gone from being the "bible answer man" to the "church tradition answer man". The way things are going with gays and women priests in evangelical churches, I think I would join the Greek Orthodox too.

I don't think the Orthodox church even can be considered a true church by your standards of a church needing to preach the gospel:

"Many years of missionary work in Eastern Europe and Russia have led me to conclude that the gospel is not often proclaimed in the Orthodox Church. Church services are ritualistic exercises that focus on the icons and the sacraments," Dr. D. Trent Hyatt wrote in a chapter for Answers in Genesis' World Religions and Cults book series.
Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/bi...fe3aYOk4uZg.99
05-03-2017 06:54 PM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The conditions you put on a meeting were them having a born again leader and actively preaching the gospel of salvation. These conditions are not satisfied by a number of denominations I can think of. You know it's even possible for an atheist to get a theological qualification and lead a church. Relevant article here:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-church-canada

I note this statement:

A progressive Christian denomination that began ordaining women in Canada 80 years ago and for decades has allowed openly gay men and women to lead ministries, the church has been left questioning its boundaries.

This is my point exactly .Where do we draw the boundaries? You seem to have drawn the boundary at having a born again leader and preaching the gospel. Others may just be happy having a born again leader. Others may not see having a born again leader as necessary, as long as they are theologically trained and qualified to hand out communion bread and wine - as long as they are caring and loving and can visit the sick in hospital, conduct marriages and funeral services. And they all think they are "meeting in Christ's name" too. 80% of the church may be genuine believers, who knows.

My point all along is that this way of thinking is wrong, this system is broken. Getting rid of the clergy-laity distinction would resolve this problem immediately. Pastor is gay or atheist? One way to solve this is just get rid of the pastor position, let every member function. No theological qualification required for handling the bread and wine, just being a believer in Christ is enough.

In Christianity the general trend away from God has been progressing since the New Testament times. First it was denominationalism to split the church, then the ordination of women, then the acceptance of gay marriage and next will be the rejection of God completely by acceptance of atheist church leaders.
Does an exemption negate the rule? Did not the Lord Jesus pray all night before selecting the twelve, and one of them betrayed Him?

Do we have to discuss gays? Do you know how many LC gays are still in the closet?

Anyways, this conversation is going no where.
05-03-2017 05:06 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
They may be called a church, and that's why many Christians refer to themselves as "evangelical," including you.

What conditions have I put on a meeting? Other than we must gather in His name?

I can't answer for anything Hank has done.
The conditions you put on a meeting were them having a born again leader and actively preaching the gospel of salvation. These conditions are not satisfied by a number of denominations I can think of. You know it's even possible for an atheist to get a theological qualification and lead a church. Relevant article here:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-church-canada

I note this statement:

A progressive Christian denomination that began ordaining women in Canada 80 years ago and for decades has allowed openly gay men and women to lead ministries, the church has been left questioning its boundaries.

This is my point exactly .Where do we draw the boundaries? You seem to have drawn the boundary at having a born again leader and preaching the gospel. Others may just be happy having a born again leader. Others may not see having a born again leader as necessary, as long as they are theologically trained and qualified to hand out communion bread and wine - as long as they are caring and loving and can visit the sick in hospital, conduct marriages and funeral services. And they all think they are "meeting in Christ's name" too. 80% of the church may be genuine believers, who knows.

My point all along is that this way of thinking is wrong, this system is broken. Getting rid of the clergy-laity distinction would resolve this problem immediately. Pastor is gay or atheist? One way to solve this is just get rid of the pastor position, let every member function. No theological qualification required for handling the bread and wine, just being a believer in Christ is enough.

In Christianity the general trend away from God has been progressing since the New Testament times. First it was denominationalism to split the church, then the ordination of women, then the acceptance of gay marriage and next will be the rejection of God completely by acceptance of atheist church leaders.
05-03-2017 04:48 PM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I understand, and somewhat agree a genuine church should be like that .But you've put some conditions on the meeting that others may not agree with. For example, one could say that any gathering of Christians is the church, and we just have to accept that not all of them will preach the gospel and the leaders may not be born again Christians (tares or, wolves, as they may be). But they are still the church and we should still meet with them. In fact I used to meet like this a long time ago. Is it right to partake of communion from someone, a pastor, or priest, who is not even a born again believer. I see many issues with the way church is done, not just the denominational names, but the insistence of a single qualified person (e.g. Priest) delivering the bread and wine, who may not be born again themselves. On topic - Hank has joined this kind of church, a church where the priest who gives him the bread and wine every Sunday may not be born again himself. In fact, Orthodox don't even know who is saved and who is not. That's why I say his "rejection of the LC" was actually more of a rejection of evangelicalism itself. According to the article in the OP, this is a problem that evangelicals are pondering over. How can a 30-year evangelical just join the Orthodox church?
They may be called a church, and that's why many Christians refer to themselves as "evangelical," including you.

What conditions have I put on a meeting? Other than we must gather in His name?

I can't answer for anything Hank has done.
05-03-2017 04:31 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I defined "evangelical congregation" as a church where the gospel of salvation was actively preached, and the leaders were born again Christians.

That's not to say that some members or attendants were not yet saved.

I exclude non-evangelicals like the Catholic church I grew up in, which during all my years there, I never heard the gospel of salvation.

And, no, I don't do the same thing you do. My heart is enlarged to receive all believers, including you. And I don't play your word games.
I understand, and somewhat agree a genuine church should be like that .But you've put some conditions on the meeting that others may not agree with. For example, one could say that any gathering of Christians is the church, and we just have to accept that not all of them will preach the gospel and the leaders may not be born again Christians (tares or, wolves, as they may be). But they are still the church and we should still meet with them. In fact I used to meet like this a long time ago. Is it right to partake of communion from someone, a pastor, or priest, who is not even a born again believer. I see many issues with the way church is done, not just the denominational names, but the insistence of a single qualified person (e.g. Priest) delivering the bread and wine, who may not be born again themselves. On topic - Hank has joined this kind of church, a church where the priest who gives him the bread and wine every Sunday may not be born again himself. In fact, Orthodox don't even know who is saved and who is not. That's why I say his "rejection of the LC" was actually more of a rejection of evangelicalism itself. According to the article in the OP, this is a problem that evangelicals are pondering over. How can a 30-year evangelical just join the Orthodox church?
05-03-2017 04:09 PM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
By saying "evangelical congregation" you exclude non-evangelicals. So you do the same thing you say we do. nice.
I defined "evangelical congregation" as a church where the gospel of salvation was actively preached, and the leaders were born again Christians.

That's not to say that some members or attendants were not yet saved.

I exclude non-evangelicals like the Catholic church I grew up in, which during all my years there, I never heard the gospel of salvation.

And, no, I don't do the same thing you do. My heart is enlarged to receive all believers, including you. And I don't play your word games.
05-03-2017 03:49 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And here is the fatal flaw in your argument.

"genuine church"

There is no such construct in the scripture. It is a strawman created by Nee and Lee so that they could knock everyone else down while they prop themselves up. Sort of like those cardboard people in the fake Rock Ridge in Blazing Saddles.

Church is church. It is the collection of the people of Christ, who are the body of Christ. Any attempt to decimate this into a subset that is "genuine" and the rest who are not would appear to be unsupported in any context and actually contrary to the call that we be one.

Yes, I know that the oneness is spiritual and not necessarily "practical" in every way, but if the practical is overtly divided, then there is a problem.

And stating that some churches are genuine and others are not is clearly the kind of practical division that should be verboten. The kinds of "division" that you point to with respect to all the others are of many magnitudes less in effect (if any at all) because it does not presume something so extreme as "genuine" v "not genuine." They do not deny that the church is the church — something that you do.

And what is really funny is that you don't even claim to be separating over doctrines. You do it over nothing. Nothing that is stated in scripture, that is.

Anyway, on topic, for some reason Hank decided to reject your idea of there being no genuine church, and decided to join a church which thinks itself to be the genuine church in the city. If you are evangelical protestant this must be "embarrassing for you that Hank rejected your idea of church" (I'm joking).

Your view of no genuine church just doesn't make common sense to me. Because when you say there is no such thing as a genuine church, you are also saying there is no such thing as a false church.
For example, if I go to the Catholic church, am I meeting with the church? And if I attend a LGBT church, of which a percentage are not living an immoral lifestyle, but the pastor is possibly LGBT, am I also meeting with the church? If I forget their denominational label which classes them as an LGBT church, and see them just as a meeting of Christians, there is still the matter of the pastor holding a communion service of which I would be obliged to partake of if I attend there. Perhaps if there was no denominational name and the pastor resigned from his position, this might be an acceptable fellowship. But I think most people would have an issue with saying that a church with a gay married pastor holding communion services can be "the church".

Suppose there is a church on the street named "LGBT church". 99% of the congregation is not LGBT but supports it, and the male pastor is married to a man. There are some churches like this existing (although that 99% figure is possibly exaggerated). Most bible believing Christians would say this is not a genuine church. But according to you it is "the church" because there is no such thing as a genuine church. My point is there must be some defining rules of meeting otherwise this sort of situation can arise. Furthermore, if this church was in your street, you would be obliged to attend it because it is the closest gathering of Christians to you. And if you choose not to attend it but travel to attend a church on the other side of town, aren't you being divisive and sectarian? Aren't you saying "this gathering of believers closest to me is not good enough for me to fellowship with"?.
05-03-2017 03:47 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
They didn't. They just met. But that does not define a rule of meeting. When the city was large, they appear to have met in different places at the same time. You don't know anything else about how they met because it does not tell you. The words that Nee and Lee turned into doctrinal hay do not answer the questions. The errant boys claim they do. But their claim is one of many ways the passages could be understood. Without something to make it simply one way or the other, there is no doctrine to be found in it.
Are you saying that Hank should have just met with his closest group of Christians rather than join the Orthodox?

Another view says Hank should have prayed and asked the Spirit about where he should meet.

Is it possible that after praying , God would say "just meet with the group of Christians closest to you".
05-03-2017 03:13 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
That's right.

Every evangelical congregation is the church, including some LC's (at least those in the GLA).

But you have been talking about THE ONE TRUE CHURCH, which is like Paul said, "THE CHURCH, which is His body."

Try to understand the difference
By saying "evangelical congregation" you exclude non-evangelicals. So you do the same thing you say we do. nice.
05-03-2017 12:53 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
How did they decide where to meet in the bible?
They didn't. They just met. But that does not define a rule of meeting. When the city was large, they appear to have met in different places at the same time. You don't know anything else about how they met because it does not tell you. The words that Nee and Lee turned into doctrinal hay do not answer the questions. The errant boys claim they do. But their claim is one of many ways the passages could be understood. Without something to make it simply one way or the other, there is no doctrine to be found in it.
05-03-2017 12:47 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
There was no doubt an address and everyone (including the persecutors) knew where "the church" was.
You presume much to say "an" address" and that everyone knew where it was. You forget about "greet so-and-so and the church that meets in their house." If "church" meant what you think it does, then that statement could not exist in any of Paul's letters.
05-03-2017 12:43 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
That is only if our original position, was to be in the genuine church, as the Corinthians were.
And here is the fatal flaw in your argument.

"genuine church"

There is no such construct in the scripture. It is a strawman created by Nee and Lee so that they could knock everyone else down while they prop themselves up. Sort of like those cardboard people in the fake Rock Ridge in Blazing Saddles.

Church is church. It is the collection of the people of Christ, who are the body of Christ. Any attempt to decimate this into a subset that is "genuine" and the rest who are not would appear to be unsupported in any context and actually contrary to the call that we be one.

Yes, I know that the oneness is spiritual and not necessarily "practical" in every way, but if the practical is overtly divided, then there is a problem.

And stating that some churches are genuine and others are not is clearly the kind of practical division that should be verboten. The kinds of "division" that you point to with respect to all the others are of many magnitudes less in effect (if any at all) because it does not presume something so extreme as "genuine" v "not genuine." They do not deny that the church is the church — something that you do.

And what is really funny is that you don't even claim to be separating over doctrines. You do it over nothing. Nothing that is stated in scripture, that is.
05-03-2017 11:28 AM
Terry
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
I was asking from LSM perspective, I'm sure you have the answer.

The LSM perspective and the Biblical perspective are two very different concepts.
From the LSM perspective, you drive to the nearest locality. Suppose you live in Yakima, WA you'll have to drive nearly 45 minutes to Prosser or Tri-Cities for LSM affiliated fellowship unless you decide to stay home for fellowship instead of meeting with a local assembly.
Certainly there are other parts of the United States with similar circumstances. In the past it was even more extreme due to fewer localities.
In the mid-80's when I was a teen, there was only one locality in Southern California counties of Riverside and San Bernardino. It was common for ones to leave their local communities to drive 30 minutes or more for a LDM.
05-03-2017 08:30 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Could someone please point me to the starting point where this thread could be split off? I do under stand that some of the matters being discussed are loosely related to the "the Bible Answer Man" converting to the Eastern Orthodox Church, but for the sake of our readers let's try to tighten this thread up.

Thanks.

-
Sorry bro.

Posts #167-#170, and #175 onward should be "The One True Church" thread
05-03-2017 06:51 AM
UntoHim
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Could someone please point me to the starting point where this thread could be split off? I do under stand that some of the matters being discussed are loosely related to the "the Bible Answer Man" converting to the Eastern Orthodox Church, but for the sake of our readers let's try to tighten this thread up.

Thanks.

-
05-03-2017 06:18 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
I was asking from LSM perspective, I'm sure you have the answer.

The LSM perspective and the Biblical perspective are two very different concepts.
Evangelical is willfully blind to many discussions we have already had.

1. Apostle Paul wrote to "all who are in Rome" (Rom. 1.7), but later in the book he greets Prisca and Aquila and THE CHURCH in their house. (16.3,5) These verses show that there is no ONE TRUE CHURCH meeting as he supposes in every city. According to him then, Prisca and Aquila's house must be THE ONE TRUE CHURCH, but the rest of the believers in Rome, many of whom were mentioned by name in ch. 16, are not THE CHURCH.

2. Apostle Paul wrote to "the saints in Colosse" (Col. 1.2) yet also sends his greetings to "THE CHURCH in the home of Nymphas." (4.15) If Nymphas house church is the ONE TRUE CHURCH in Colosse, then Paul does not consider all "the saints in Colosse" to be a part of THE CHURCH. One can see the Pandora's box of biblical difficulties he opens up with his insistence on THE ONE TRUE CHURCH having one and only one address in every city in which to meet.
05-03-2017 05:34 AM
leastofthese
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
How did they decide where to meet in the bible?
I was asking from LSM perspective, I'm sure you have the answer.

The LSM perspective and the Biblical perspective are two very different concepts.
05-03-2017 02:46 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Your interpretation of single congregations being part of the one true church implies those congregations are sub-groups or sects of the one true church.

I think in the bible each church is expressed as being "the church", not "part of" it.

e.g. The church in Corinth
The church in Ephesus

I can't find anything in my bible talking about "part of the church..." in Corinth etc.
That's right.

Every evangelical congregation is the church, including some LC's (at least those in the GLA).

But you have been talking about THE ONE TRUE CHURCH, which is like Paul said, "THE CHURCH, which is His body."

Try to understand the difference
05-02-2017 08:44 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
No single congregation is THE ONE TRUE CHURCH.

There was no doubt an address? To the one true church? The one seated in the heavenlies with Christ? Seriously?
Your interpretation of single congregations being part of the one true church implies those congregations are sub-groups or sects of the one true church.

I think in the bible each church is expressed as being "the church", not "part of" it.

e.g. The church in Corinth
The church in Ephesus

I can't find anything in my bible talking about "part of the church..." in Corinth etc.
05-02-2017 08:28 PM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
How did they decide where to meet in the bible?
Probably they met with the one who preached the gospel to them.

Or perhaps they lost their faith and met with the Judaizers who came to town causing trouble, kind of like how LSM/DCP does it.
05-02-2017 08:26 PM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Why do you say that congregations are "part of" the one true church? Why not say they are the one true church?

In the bible the church was all the regenerated believers living on the Earth. It (as in the assembly of people) were practical and visible. There was no doubt an address and everyone (including the persecutors) knew where "the church" was.
No single congregation is THE ONE TRUE CHURCH.

There was no doubt an address? To the one true church? The one seated in the heavenlies with Christ? Seriously?
05-02-2017 08:02 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The new believer should pray and follow the Lord. That is how the Spirit led me and countless others. Our Heavenly Father will direct his path to a congregation, part of the one true church.

It is your LC "vision" which is theoretical. Your leaders preach oneness more than any other, yet are more stubborn, proud, arrogant, and divisive than any others. They are modern day Pharisees, whose teachings are filled with leaven.

The "one true church" is the spiritual body of Christ, composed of His own children meeting in numerous places. Your vision of the "one true church" is a building with an address and a website linking them with dead ministers. When looking for the "one true church," one desires to find a living minister, One who has risen from the dead, a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God.
Why do you say that congregations are "part of" the one true church? Why not say they are the one true church?

In the bible the church was all the regenerated believers living on the Earth. It (as in the assembly of people) were practical and visible. There was no doubt an address and everyone (including the persecutors) knew where "the church" was.
05-02-2017 07:49 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
And if a LSM church doesn't exist in an area, how does one know where to meet? If it does exist but people don't know about the "Church in XYZ" how does one know where to meet? The churches in cities I've visited don't make their presence known outside of the college campus - I assume this is similar worldwide?
How did they decide where to meet in the bible?
05-02-2017 07:20 PM
leastofthese
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
More or less. Locality as the ground is another way to say "not history, Peter, doctrines, practices etc". It means we should meet together on a regular basis because we live near each other in the same locality.
And if a LSM church doesn't exist in an area, how does one know where to meet? If it does exist but people don't know about the "Church in XYZ" how does one know where to meet? The churches in cities I've visited don't make their presence known outside of the college campus - I assume this is similar worldwide?
05-02-2017 06:13 PM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Yes I know that, but that's the theoretical one true church that does not exist in practice. Suppose there is a person who has just converted to Christianity. He wants to meet with the "one true church" in the city. Where should he meet?

Evangelicals cannot really answer that sort of practical question because their concept of one true church in the city is theoretical and expected to be fulfilled in practice in a future time when Christ returns.
The new believer should pray and follow the Lord. That is how the Spirit led me and countless others. Our Heavenly Father will direct his path to a congregation, part of the one true church.

It is your LC "vision" which is theoretical. Your leaders preach oneness more than any other, yet are more stubborn, proud, arrogant, and divisive than any others. They are modern day Pharisees, whose teachings are filled with leaven.

The "one true church" is the spiritual body of Christ, composed of His own children meeting in numerous places. Your vision of the "one true church" is a building with an address and a website linking them with dead ministers. When looking for the "one true church," one desires to find a living minister, One who has risen from the dead, a merciful and faithful High Priest in things pertaining to God.
05-02-2017 05:54 PM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Sorry Koinonia. I posted #166 below to Evangelical about his off topic discussion. He responded with #167. I responded your post to clarify what Hankie did. Again, sorry for the confusion. I didn't intend to argue with you but Evangelical. My bad.

Nell
Got it. Thank you for clarifying.
05-02-2017 05:52 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
No. This is what it's about: Hankie played the LC. He took the money and ran. He could have joined First Baptist Dallas and the embarrassment to the LC would be the same. Maybe the LSM will file a lawsuit against Hankie to get their money back.

You can talk about the Eastern Orthodox, etc., all you want but you should do that on another thread. You've created yet another strawman.

Hankie beat the LSM at their own game and THAT's the topic.

Nell
Nell, read the title of this thread carefully. It's about Hank's conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy. My posts about Eastern Orthodoxy and views of church vs sect have been more on topic than yours because my posts are not about some imagined and invented embarrassment to the local churches. "Hankie beating the LSM at their own game" is your strawman and no evidence has been provided of this in the OP. This is not about the LC but about Hank rejecting evangelical Protestantism. This is more an embarrassment to evangelical Protestantism than to us.

Read the link in the OP again. This topic should be about the content of that link. It says nothing about the LC. You think it's about Hank playing the LC, and causing embarrassment to the LC.

Hank converted from evangelical Protestantism to Orthodox. He did not convert from LC to Orthodox. I don't recall him ever "converting" to us.

I quote from the article linked in the OP (emphasis mine):

Hanegraaff’s conversion to Eastern Orthodoxy should not be viewed as a mere isolated occurrence. There has been a definite trend for the past few decades of a growing number of American evangelical Protestants converting to either Catholicism or Orthodoxy.

Hanegraaff’s defection from evangelicalism after three decades as an influential evangelical teacher is likely to have damaging repercussions for years to come. Those of us who remain convinced evangelicals need to answer this and other challenges by speaking the truth in love.

Hanks' conversion is a challenge to evangelicals. It is not a challenge to the LC. This is about a three-decade evangelical teacher converting to Orthodoxy. It was not a three-decade LC member converting to Orthodoxy.

This is yet another example of members of this forum finding anything on the internet that could be perceived to be against the local churches, and creating a "mud pie" out of it to sling in the local churches direction.
05-02-2017 05:41 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
So the Catholics point to Peter as the ground for the true church, right? And the Orthodox because they have held true to the practices, traditions, and teachings of the apostles? And the LSM because Witness Lee recovered a divine revelation from God on the importance of the ground of oneness manifested through a ministry in Anaheim?
More or less. Locality as the ground is another way to say "not history, Peter, doctrines, practices etc". It means we should meet together on a regular basis because we live near each other in the same locality.
05-02-2017 05:31 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Of course evangelicals consider there is one true church in every city.

They also consider there is only one true church in every state.

In every country too ... Composed of all the true, believing, born again, blood washed, children of God.

What's scary are the LC demands that only LSM books are read, only LSM trainings are legit and required, only LSM appointed elders must rule this church in every city, only LSM ...
Yes I know that, but that's the theoretical one true church that does not exist in practice. Suppose there is a person who has just converted to Christianity. He wants to meet with the "one true church" in the city. Where should he meet?

If he asks an evangelical person they might say "there is a good baptist church on 32nd street, I think that will suit you". And the person asks them "is this the one true church in the city?" and the evangelical person would normally say no, right? They might explain how denominations are a present reality until Christ returns.

Evangelicals cannot really answer that sort of practical question because their concept of one true church in the city is theoretical and expected to be fulfilled in practice in a future time when Christ returns.
05-02-2017 04:07 PM
Nell
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Nell, why are you arguing with me?
Sorry Koinonia. I posted #166 below to Evangelical about his off topic discussion. He responded with #167. I responded your post to clarify what Hankie did. Again, sorry for the confusion. I didn't intend to argue with you but Evangelical. My bad.

Nell
05-02-2017 01:08 PM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell View Post
No. This is what it's about: Hankie played the LC. He took the money and ran. He could have joined First Baptist Dallas and the embarrassment to the LC would be the same. Maybe the LSM will file a lawsuit against Hankie to get their money back.

You can talk about the Eastern Orthodox, etc., all you want but you should do that on another thread. You've created yet another strawman.

Hankie beat the LSM at their own game and THAT's the topic.

Nell
Nell, why are you arguing with me?
05-02-2017 11:36 AM
Terry
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
And the LSM because Witness Lee recovered a divine revelation from God on the importance of the ground of oneness manifested through a ministry in Anaheim?
In the 80's and 90's there were subtleties what the ground was. Then just over ten years ago it became transparent due to Great Lakes area turmoil. It did matter if a locality chose not to choose sides in the Titus versus Blendeds tug of war. If you as a local church chose not to emphasize LSM fellowship, you were deemed as a local church "needing to be replastered". To choose Christ alone was not an option. That showed what the ground is.
05-02-2017 09:44 AM
Nell
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
I don't belong to any group. But even if I did, it wouldn't matter to me.

LC coworkers invested a ton of effort and resource into actively wooing Hanegraaff for years, wining and dining him, jetting him all over the world visiting churches in China, Taiwan, Korea, Europe, and around the US, giving him reserved seating at conferences and trainings (even joining coworkers meetings), instructing members to pray for him and his dwindling radio ministry, coaching him in theosis.

And after all that, Hanegraaff rejects the LC and joins Eastern Orthodoxy. That's embarrassing.
No. This is what it's about: Hankie played the LC. He took the money and ran. He could have joined First Baptist Dallas and the embarrassment to the LC would be the same. Maybe the LSM will file a lawsuit against Hankie to get their money back.

You can talk about the Eastern Orthodox, etc., all you want but you should do that on another thread. You've created yet another strawman.

Hankie beat the LSM at their own game and THAT's the topic.

Nell
05-02-2017 07:50 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
So the Catholics point to Peter as the ground for the true church, right? And the Orthodox because they have held true to the practices, traditions, and teachings of the apostles? And the LSM because Witness Lee recovered a divine revelation from God on the importance of the ground of oneness manifested through a ministry in Anaheim?
He who has ears to hear, let him hear that the ground of the true church is the crucified and resurrected Christ.

And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build My church, and the forces of Hades will not overpower it. -- Mt 16.18

Therefore, as you have received Christ Jesus the Lord, walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, overflowing with gratitude. -- Col 2.6-7


As the temple building, the true church is build upon Christ our solid Rock foundation.

As a living organism, the true church is rooted in Christ our fertile ground.

For those LC'ers who reject the scriptures, Paul has an admonishing word in the following verse:

Take heed lest any one makes spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. -- Col 2.8

Note that the "one church one city" model is from the traditions of men, introduced initially by W. Nee, and perpetuated by W. Lee and the Blendeds, in order to take you captive as their "spoils."
05-02-2017 06:46 AM
leastofthese
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If we both lived in Corinth, I would be in the "church in Corinth" and you would be in whatever denomination you want to be in. Paul's instructions are for me to avoid becoming like you. Paul's instructions are not for you to avoid becoming like me, because I am already in the "church in Corinth". If I am already in the church in Corinth then for you, as a person in a sect, to say I am "striking against unity in Christ" is silly.
So the Catholics point to Peter as the ground for the true church, right? And the Orthodox because they have held true to the practices, traditions, and teachings of the apostles? And the LSM because Witness Lee recovered a divine revelation from God on the importance of the ground of oneness manifested through a ministry in Anaheim?
05-02-2017 05:22 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I think the biggest problem that evangelical protestants struggle with on this issue is considering there could be one true church in the city. Any group that claims itself to be THE church in the city is automatically given cult status. The internet is full of "is Catholic a cult, is Orthodox a cult" questions on protestant websites. Any group which is against the status quo, even if they have existed for thousands of years, is questioned. This is because evangelical protestants consider the many divisions to be a normal situation. When according to the bible and church history, it is quite abnormal.
Of course evangelicals consider there is one true church in every city.

They also consider there is only one true church in every state.

In every country too ... Composed of all the true, believing, born again, blood washed, children of God.

What's scary are the LC demands that only LSM books are read, only LSM trainings are legit and required, only LSM appointed elders must rule this church in every city, only LSM ...
05-01-2017 11:25 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

I think it's related to the topic because Hank has joined a church (Orthodox) which considers all other churches to be sects and believes itself to be the only true church in the city. Some have gone so far as to say that the Orthodox church is a cult.

I pointed out the irony here, that while people are proudly saying that Hank did not join the LRC. Let me remind everyone that the church he joined considers the church you belong to not to be a real church. Furthermore, they doubt your eternal salvation unless you are part of the church. This is something the LR never does because we believe in salvation by faith alone.

So I think a discussion about the difference between sects and churches is relevant. I presented the LR view which is based upon the bible and what it reveals about the locality. The Orthodox view is based upon church tradition - Catholic too. The prevailing view on here seems to be that all groups of Christians meeting together are churches. So any Christians who get together and read the bible together can be considered a church.

I think the biggest problem that evangelical protestants struggle with on this issue is considering there could be one true church in the city. Any group that claims itself to be THE church in the city is automatically given cult status. The internet is full of "is Catholic a cult, is Orthodox a cult" questions on protestant websites. Any group which is against the status quo, even if they have existed for thousands of years, is questioned. This is because evangelical protestants consider the many divisions to be a normal situation. When according to the bible and church history, it is quite abnormal.
05-01-2017 08:00 PM
Nell
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

What does this discussion have to do with the Bible Answer Man's Conversion?

05-01-2017 03:01 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
The fact that you can point to something that has an all-or-nothing aspect of being together or being separate does not mean that the actual situation corresponds to your example. If we are talking about how well a married couple that is not divorced gets along, there is a broad range to be considered, all the way down to "don't even live in the same house in the same country" status while still married. And until they get a divorce, they are married no matter how dire it may seem.

Now don't go trying to make hay out of my reference to the situation being "dire." That is a reference to the situation of a married couple. The fact that you can find a correspondence at all between denominations and a married couple does not mean that all factors are the same. Just the one you bring up to make a comparison.

But actually, the only thing I need to show about marriage is that it is not simply "married and everything is good" v "divorced and everything is in the crapper." Your use of marriage as a metaphor presumes that only the all or nothing could be compared when actually, if it is an anyway a true metaphor, it is almost certainly an analysis of the most perfect marriage v the worst you can find that has not divorced.

Otherwise the claim of scripture that unity is in Christ is made into a lie.

The fact that you can make an example that has the appearance of dealing with the issue at hand does not mean you have succeeded in doing so.

Just like you failure in the marriage metaphor, you fail in that there are many things that differ among the people of the body of Christ and they do not have to actually meet together for those differences to be absolved. The wall is torn down between Jew and Gentile, but not all gentiles have Jews in their assemblies nor do all Jewish assemblies have Gentiles. The orange juice and the apple juice have not mixed.

And even where they do "mix," it is not in the way of mixing orange juice and apple juice. Once you do that there is no way to separate them, but the individuals remain individuals. They can move to another location. They can discover that someone they know is at a different assembly and join there. Or they could discover that the assembly they are part of is allowing Jezebel to teach deep things of Satan and move to another nearby assembly.

Under the mixing of juices metaphor, there is no more orange juice and there is no more apple juice. Just a mixture that cannot be pulled back apart.

Show me how, other than by games of semantics, you are not denigrating them individually?

You assert that anyone that speaks against the LRC is an "opposer." You assert that ones who were among you that start to have questions or doubts are "poison." And when the majority from within your own group cease to order LSM materials and they don't center their meetings upon those materials, you separate and start a new group with a slightly altered name (and in some cases sue to gain rights to the name).

Under those conditions, how are we to understand anything said against those of us, separately or as a groups, who do not adhere to you understanding of scripture as being about anything less than the people?

And that brings up the unstated-but-always-present doctrine of dirt. You talk as if there is something making you right for separating yet another time rather than working for the true unity. You ignore that oneness of the body is in Christ. It is not in assembly, affiliation, leadership, or anything else. So using difference in assembly, affiliation, leadership, or anything else to declare an assembly a sect rather than a church is to declare the church to be a sect. If the church is a sect, then what are you? Must not be either church or sect. Something else? Something not really Christian?

I would not say that to be true. But if I didn't realize that real Christians are capable of turning against the universal oneness of the body of Christ over stupid things, I would have to accept that you are not Christian.

As for your doctrine of the ground, it is properly mocked as a faux doctrine. The moniker "doctrine of dirt" is not a slam against Christ because he created no such doctrine. You toss it around as if it is simply true. And when we actually discuss it, you point to a couple of passages that could be read that way, but only as a possible understanding that would need more support. But you turn it into a must that is never stated in such a way and then charge everyone else with being a sect because they/we do not see it your way. So it is safe to say that your entire foundation is a "remote chance that it is actually true but never actually stated" doctrine that, coupled with a misreading of Paul's comments in 1 Cor 1 - 4, creates a situation under which your position has a remote chance of being true. But even if it were, to take the position of separating from those others because of your rule and then calling them a sect is to do exactly what Paul was admonishing the Corinthians against.

We are one in:

Christ, not race
Christ, not gender
Christ, not nationality
Christ, not age
Christ, not assembly
Christ, not position on Calvinism v Arminianism
Christ, not immersion v sprinkling
Christ, not commonality of doctrine

And if the basis of unity is not assembly or doctrine, then whether they have a name or disagree on some peripheral doctrines does not change anything. We are one.

And until you find something that allows you to reverse anything into unity on a basis other than Christ, when you call any assembly a sect, you willfully strike out against the unity in Christ. You make a mockery of any claim you have to unity with anyone but yourselves.

"But even if it were, to take the position of separating from those others because of your rule and then calling them a sect is to do exactly what Paul was admonishing the Corinthians against."

That is only if our original position, was to be in the genuine church, as the Corinthians were. This statement of yours is fine but only if we are in the genuine church to begin with. Apply this statement to someone in the JW church for example,and it doesn't make sense.

If we both lived in Corinth, I would be in the "church in Corinth" and you would be in whatever denomination you want to be in. Paul's instructions are for me to avoid becoming like you. Paul's instructions are not for you to avoid becoming like me, because I am already in the "church in Corinth". If I am already in the church in Corinth then for you, as a person in a sect, to say I am "striking against unity in Christ" is silly. It is as if Martin Luther, once separated from the Catholic church, told the Pope they are "striking against unity" when they ask Luther to come back. But in this instance, we are not talking about the Roman Catholic church, but the genuine church in the locality.

Many things in the Christian life are binary things. Heaven/Hell, Saved/unsaved, born again/not born again. It is the same with church, we're either in oneness or we ain't.

I don't know what is the rule you are using to determine "more" divided versus "less" divided. For example, is two denominations that meet together once a month more divided than a denomination that meets together every week? What if those two denominations are Catholic and Mormon, versus Baptist and Presbyterian.. are two denominations more or less divided than each other? "more" or "less" divided is entirely up to your subjective interpretation. For example, are two churches, Catholic and Protestant, that meet together every week more in unity than two churches of the same denomination separated by a 5 hours drive?

The denomination might say they are in unity and in one with each other because they have the same beliefs and belong to the same organization. The Catholic and Protestant might say they are divided by their 500 year history, even though they meet together they don't feel the oneness.

Just because a divorced mom and a dad might get together for the sake of their children's birthdays does not mean they are "less divided" than a divorced couple that never sees each other.

I believe that if a person truly had their identity in Christ and believed in the universal oneness they would not be offended when something negative is said about their denomination. If they are offended this indicates that their identity is in their denomination and not in Christ.

It is contradictory to talk about the unity in Christ and then categorize believers as "more divided" or "less divided". Believers are either meeting together as universal members of the body of Christ or they are meeting as subgroup or sect of that universality. There is no grey area of being "more divided" versus "less divided". The bible never talks this way. The bible never praises one group for being less divided than another. Paul simply says "i hear there are factions among you" (1 Cor 11:18). It does not matter if those factions are within a single house church, or whether the factions are meeting in places separated by a 1 hour drive, it's still a division.

The term sect in itself is not a negative term, it means a cut or division.
Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and probably Anglican/Lutheran too don't see themselves as sects, but represent the whole universal body. So the situation is one of multiple groups representing the universal body which is a situation of confusion. Then there are groups which see themselves as only "one of many" churches. They see themselves as sub-groups, so they are a sub-group, or a sect.
05-01-2017 12:05 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I think any rational and logical person would question your claim "of less divided" versus "more divided". To say a couple is "less divorced" than another couple just doesn't make logical sense. It also doesn't make sense to say a couple is "more married" than another couple. A couple is either divorced or married - it's a binary thing. Similarly two churches are either divided or not. Your idea that denominations are "less divided than us" is not something a rational and logical person would say.
The fact that you can point to something that has an all-or-nothing aspect of being together or being separate does not mean that the actual situation corresponds to your example. If we are talking about how well a married couple that is not divorced gets along, there is a broad range to be considered, all the way down to "don't even live in the same house in the same country" status while still married. And until they get a divorce, they are married no matter how dire it may seem.

Now don't go trying to make hay out of my reference to the situation being "dire." That is a reference to the situation of a married couple. The fact that you can find a correspondence at all between denominations and a married couple does not mean that all factors are the same. Just the one you bring up to make a comparison.

But actually, the only thing I need to show about marriage is that it is not simply "married and everything is good" v "divorced and everything is in the crapper." Your use of marriage as a metaphor presumes that only the all or nothing could be compared when actually, if it is an anyway a true metaphor, it is almost certainly an analysis of the most perfect marriage v the worst you can find that has not divorced.

Otherwise the claim of scripture that unity is in Christ is made into a lie.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
To drive my point home - if I mix orange juice and apple juice, they are mixed, and if I don't, they are divided. There is no such thing as the two juices being "more or less divided". One would not say that combining 10% orange juice and 90% apple juice makes the orange juice "more divided" than "50% orange and 50% apple juice". They are either mixed together, or they are separated.
The fact that you can make an example that has the appearance of dealing with the issue at hand does not mean you have succeeded in doing so.

Just like you failure in the marriage metaphor, you fail in that there are many things that differ among the people of the body of Christ and they do not have to actually meet together for those differences to be absolved. The wall is torn down between Jew and Gentile, but not all gentiles have Jews in their assemblies nor do all Jewish assemblies have Gentiles. The orange juice and the apple juice have not mixed.

And even where they do "mix," it is not in the way of mixing orange juice and apple juice. Once you do that there is no way to separate them, but the individuals remain individuals. They can move to another location. They can discover that someone they know is at a different assembly and join there. Or they could discover that the assembly they are part of is allowing Jezebel to teach deep things of Satan and move to another nearby assembly.

Under the mixing of juices metaphor, there is no more orange juice and there is no more apple juice. Just a mixture that cannot be pulled back apart.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If I say "such and such a church is not a church but a sect" you will say I am "denigrating the majority of the people of Christ". By saying this you, not me, have coupled their identity in Christ with the church/denomination/sect they are part of.
Show me how, other than by games of semantics, you are not denigrating them individually?

You assert that anyone that speaks against the LRC is an "opposer." You assert that ones who were among you that start to have questions or doubts are "poison." And when the majority from within your own group cease to order LSM materials and they don't center their meetings upon those materials, you separate and start a new group with a slightly altered name (and in some cases sue to gain rights to the name).

Under those conditions, how are we to understand anything said against those of us, separately or as a groups, who do not adhere to you understanding of scripture as being about anything less than the people?

And that brings up the unstated-but-always-present doctrine of dirt. You talk as if there is something making you right for separating yet another time rather than working for the true unity. You ignore that oneness of the body is in Christ. It is not in assembly, affiliation, leadership, or anything else. So using difference in assembly, affiliation, leadership, or anything else to declare an assembly a sect rather than a church is to declare the church to be a sect. If the church is a sect, then what are you? Must not be either church or sect. Something else? Something not really Christian?

I would not say that to be true. But if I didn't realize that real Christians are capable of turning against the universal oneness of the body of Christ over stupid things, I would have to accept that you are not Christian.

As for your doctrine of the ground, it is properly mocked as a faux doctrine. The moniker "doctrine of dirt" is not a slam against Christ because he created no such doctrine. You toss it around as if it is simply true. And when we actually discuss it, you point to a couple of passages that could be read that way, but only as a possible understanding that would need more support. But you turn it into a must that is never stated in such a way and then charge everyone else with being a sect because they/we do not see it your way. So it is safe to say that your entire foundation is a "remote chance that it is actually true but never actually stated" doctrine that, coupled with a misreading of Paul's comments in 1 Cor 1 - 4, creates a situation under which your position has a remote chance of being true. But even if it were, to take the position of separating from those others because of your rule and then calling them a sect is to do exactly what Paul was admonishing the Corinthians against.

We are one in:

Christ, not race
Christ, not gender
Christ, not nationality
Christ, not age
Christ, not assembly
Christ, not position on Calvinism v Arminianism
Christ, not immersion v sprinkling
Christ, not commonality of doctrine

And if the basis of unity is not assembly or doctrine, then whether they have a name or disagree on some peripheral doctrines does not change anything. We are one.

And until you find something that allows you to reverse anything into unity on a basis other than Christ, when you call any assembly a sect, you willfully strike out against the unity in Christ. You make a mockery of any claim you have to unity with anyone but yourselves.
04-28-2017 04:44 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And it is clear that your goal is the invalidation of everyone that is not you so you don't have anyone that you consider worthy to challenge your non-starter teachings. So that you can be the unique move of God with no challenger or other participants. So that you can enjoy the superiority of pedigree that Lee said dirt would provide.

I tire of showing how less divided Christianity is from each other than you are from all of them. You point at a hint of division and lay nuclear charges in a fault line so that you will be fully separated from them. You ignore that the charge to unity was not in meeting place or doctrinal preference of the elders. It was "in Christ." So either you have started a fight with those who are "in Christ" and are willfully dividing from them in the most extreme way, or you are declaring that they are not in Christ so that you can do it without dividing. And if they are not in Christ, then there is no reason to talk about their sins of division because they are not Christian.

Do you dare go there? Or do you admit that you are denigrating the majority of the people of Christ while waiving a wand over yourself to keep from being seen as the divisive sect that you are.

I think any rational and logical person would question your claim "of less divided" versus "more divided". To say a couple is "less divorced" than another couple just doesn't make logical sense. It also doesn't make sense to say a couple is "more married" than another couple. A couple is either divorced or married - it's a binary thing. Similarly two churches are either divided or not. Your idea that denominations are "less divided than us" is not something a rational and logical person would say.

To drive my point home - if I mix orange juice and apple juice, they are mixed, and if I don't, they are divided. There is no such thing as the two juices being "more or less divided". One would not say that combining 10% orange juice and 90% apple juice makes the orange juice "more divided" than "50% orange and 50% apple juice". They are either mixed together, or they are separated.

There is also a contradiction in your arguments.

If I say "such and such a church is not a church but a sect" you will say I am "denigrating the majority of the people of Christ". By saying this you, not me, have coupled their identity in Christ with the church/denomination/sect they are part of. Essentially you are saying if I "attack" the denomination I am "attacking" them. This somewhat contradicts your statement that a "charge to unity was not in a meeting place or doctrinal preference". That is my argument all along - and why denominations are not simply "two different meeting places" but cuts/sects/divisions in the body.

On the other hand, if I point out that baptist and presbyterian on the same street are a division, you will argue that they are all "one in Christ" - their denomination does not divide them. This is only true in a theoretical spiritual church which does not exist in practice on the earth. This is as "head in the clouds" view of denominations.

Hopefully you can see the contradiction in your argument.

Which is it? You cannot have it both ways. A person cannot be identified by their denomination on the one hand, (for which you say I denigrate the individuals in Christ), and not identified by their denomination on the other (when you say they are not a division).

There are only two possible coherent arguments you could make.
1) Any statement against a denomination is a statement against the individuals in that denomination - and yes two different churches on a street are a division - a baptist Christian is different from a Presbyterian Christian.

2) A persons identity in Christ is independent of the denomination which they attend, so an attack on a denomination is not an attack on the individual person in Christ - and no, two different churches on a street are not a division - baptist and presbyterian are just two different assemblies of people in Christ.
04-28-2017 07:21 AM
UntoHim
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Evangelical. leastofthese and others.
Sorry for the recent confusion on this thread. I think it was probably an editing error on my part. Anyway, I have reconstructed the original postings by myself and Evangelical the best I can at this point. I will respond to Evangelical when I get a chance later today.


Quote from Evangelical
Quote:
This is a statement that to be a born again Christian is not enough. All of these denominations violate the principle of being a member of the church only by being born again. That is why they are sects, not churches.
Quote from UntoHim
If what you say is true, then the Local Church of Witness Lee violates this principle tenfold more than any Christian denomination that I know of.

Quote from Evangelical:
Quote:
Many denominations require membership - Hank had to go through a lengthy conversion process to join the Orthodox. We don't, you just have to be a born again believer in Christ. Your "violation tenfold" idea is just wrong. Why don't you join a Orthodox church and see how long it takes you to be accepted as a member, if they will accept you at all. Then come back and try to tell me that it is a "ten fold violation".
Quote from UntoHim
You do realize that the president of your religious sect (Benson Phillips) has stated that the process of sanctification only takes place in the Local Church of Witness Lee?

Quote from Benson Phillips
"In any case, do not leave the Lord’s recovery. I can assure you that if you go away from the Lord’s recovery, you will have no way for the process of sanctification to go forward within you. Instead, you will just enter into a bankrupt situation. I know of no one who has left the Lord’s recovery and today is a great spiritual person on the earth. The sanctification process is carried out in the Lord’s recovery"
(The Ministry Magazine Vol. 8, No. 1 Page 189, first paragraph)


Quote from UntoHim
Doesn't sound like Mr. Ben thinks that "only being born again" is good enough, now does it? Of course we all know very well where brother Phillips got this absurd notion, now don't we? If Witness Lee believed that "only being born again" was good enough, he wouldn't have spend 50+ years trying to convince his captive audience otherwise.

Quote from Evngelical:
Quote:
I can't address this if you don't understand the difference between being born again and sanctification.
04-28-2017 06:45 AM
leastofthese
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

[QUOTE=Evangelical;59260]Many denominations require membership - Hank had to go through a lengthy conversion process to join the Orthodox. We don't, you just have to be a born again believer in Christ. Your "violation tenfold" idea is just wrong. Why don't you join a Orthodox church and see how long it takes you to be accepted as a member, if they will accept you at all. Then come back and try to tell me that it is a "ten fold violation".

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
You do realize that the president of your religious sect (Benson Phillips) has stated that the process of sanctification only takes place in the Local Church of Witness Lee?[/COLOR]



I can't address this if you don't understand the difference between being born again and sanctification.

Why are you using my name to quote things I didn't write?

Either way - why use "many denominations do XYZ" to illustrate your point? The Orthodox Church does this or that - SO Witness Lee was clearly right.

All of these arguments aren't predicated on the idea "denominations must be right - they are THE WAY!"
04-28-2017 05:56 AM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Your Christ is unity idea is a fantasy, a theory, an idea that renders Paul's words against divisions and factions of no meaning and no applicability today. You might be able to be taken seriously if there were only 2 or 3 denominations. But hundreds? You are not in reality, your head is in the clouds - "love and peace, man" - you been smoking that denominational dope again? Practically we see "Christ is our unity" is not displayed much at all. We may as well say "Shoes are our unity" because every Christian wears shoes. Christ is our unity but don't let that stop the Presbyterians requiring a membership agreement before they extend the hand of fellowship to you - or the Orthodox requiring a lengthy "conversion" process. According to you these are all just like little house assemblies on the street like in New testament times - isn't the fellowship so sweet and lovely? Roll back 500 years, I wonder if you could say that "Christ is our unity" nonsense while you were being tied to the stake by Catholics for being Protestant. Or being tied to the stake by Anglicans for being a Baptist.
And it is clear that your goal is the invalidation of everyone that is not you so you don't have anyone that you consider worthy to challenge your non-starter teachings. So that you can be the unique move of God with no challenger or other participants. So that you can enjoy the superiority of pedigree that Lee said dirt would provide.

I tire of showing how less divided Christianity is from each other than you are from all of them. You point at a hint of division and lay nuclear charges in a fault line so that you will be fully separated from them. You ignore that the charge to unity was not in meeting place or doctrinal preference of the elders. It was "in Christ." So either you have started a fight with those who are "in Christ" and are willfully dividing from them in the most extreme way, or you are declaring that they are not in Christ so that you can do it without dividing. And if they are not in Christ, then there is no reason to talk about their sins of division because they are not Christian.

Do you dare go there? Or do you admit that you are denigrating the majority of the people of Christ while waiving a wand over yourself to keep from being seen as the divisive sect that you are.
04-27-2017 10:31 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And what is the thing that is similar? Christ. Christ is our unity. Not peripheral doctrine, name, or leader. Only those who want to be separated end out separated of their own volition.

Like the LRC.

There is no magic doctrine that overcomes the fact that it is not dirt or MOTA that makes us one. Only Christ. And if Christ is not divided, we are not divided. Therefore the only division is in the imagination of those who can't accept that Christ is the only unifying factor.
Your Christ is unity idea is a fantasy, a theory, an idea that renders Paul's words against divisions and factions of no meaning and no applicability today. You might be able to be taken seriously if there were only 2 or 3 denominations. But hundreds? You are not in reality, your head is in the clouds - "love and peace, man" - you been smoking that denominational dope again? Practically we see "Christ is our unity" is not displayed much at all. We may as well say "Shoes are our unity" because every Christian wears shoes. Christ is our unity but don't let that stop the Presbyterians requiring a membership agreement before they extend the hand of fellowship to you - or the Orthodox requiring a lengthy "conversion" process. According to you these are all just like little house assemblies on the street like in New testament times - isn't the fellowship so sweet and lovely? Roll back 500 years, I wonder if you could say that "Christ is our unity" nonsense while you were being tied to the stake by Catholics for being Protestant. Or being tied to the stake by Anglicans for being a Baptist. See

https://www.wayoflife.org/database/p...secutions.html
04-27-2017 10:21 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And that is the crux of the matter. You call churches sects because they are not your group and do not follow your doctrines.

You therefore take the word at is most simplistic. Like taking the word heresy at its most simplistic. I"f you disagree with me you are a heretic."

Just throwing your words around like you do makes it clear that you are not able to actually discuss anything. You spout your garbage, declare that it is true, and ignore everything else.

You use non-scripture to actually support your positions. It is hard to call your use of scripture as much more than litter because there is often a lot of it, but it does not truly support anything you are talking about. Just has some words that you declare mean more or other than what is clearly there and move on as if your point is made and accepted.

It is hard to see scripture abused so constantly. And harder to accept that the ones doing it are trying to convince everyone else that they are the only right ones around.

If you think I am trying to drive you away, you are wrong. I am trying to shock you into some even slight realization that your closed system needs review from the inside. The way you support (or more truly fail to support) your positions is evidence that you have no idea what is being said. You repeat the pre-packaged drivel with gusto but cannot actually discuss what it says or how it is supported. Just say it is so.
I call them sects because they do not fit what the bible says about churches:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/denominations

The Catholic encyclopedia also calls and considers them to be sects. history can be useful sometimes!

The continued lack of use of scripture by you on this topic to either refute what I say, or present your own view is noticeable. And yes, scripture should be accompanied by non-scripture like theological resources and bible commentaries. It was you people who said Witness Lee was not a theologian. But you don't use the theologians yourselves.
04-27-2017 10:11 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What you call churches and I call sects.
And that is the crux of the matter. You call churches sects because they are not your group and do not follow your doctrines.

You therefore take the word at is most simplistic. Like taking the word heresy at its most simplistic. I"f you disagree with me you are a heretic."

Just throwing your words around like you do makes it clear that you are not able to actually discuss anything. You spout your garbage, declare that it is true, and ignore everything else.

You use non-scripture to actually support your positions. It is hard to call your use of scripture as much more than litter because there is often a lot of it, but it does not truly support anything you are talking about. Just has some words that you declare mean more or other than what is clearly there and move on as if your point is made and accepted.

It is hard to see scripture abused so constantly. And harder to accept that the ones doing it are trying to convince everyone else that they are the only right ones around.

If you think I am trying to drive you away, you are wrong. I am trying to shock you into some even slight realization that your closed system needs review from the inside. The way you support (or more truly fail to support) your positions is evidence that you have no idea what is being said. You repeat the pre-packaged drivel with gusto but cannot actually discuss what it says or how it is supported. Just say it is so.
04-27-2017 10:00 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You can call it anything you want. But it does not make it not a church. A church is an assembly. It is not the whole universal body of Christ. And there is no boundary in which only one church can exist, therefore no matter how many groups (assemblies) you have to use as a practical matter, that is the number of churches. Your desire to change the nature of those words is cute, but not found in scripture.

You want to argue about what allows two groups/assemblies to meet next door to each other, yet you cannot provide even one verse that indicates they cannot. If there are no available commercial buildings and a lot of Christians are available to meet in a small area, then house churches would appear to be the way. If they move from house to house, there is reasonable chance that they could end up in two houses next door to each other. And too many in either to meet in only one. So it stands. Where is the verse that denies that outcome.

And what if the two groups don't simply agree on everything? What if forcing one to join with the other would cause friction that didn't need to exist. Not that they don't like each other or think the other is invalid. Just something that creates a bad atmosphere. You would insist that they have to meet together as one group anyway. So then who decides which way they will meet? You?

Find a verse to answer these issues. And find even one that gives you the right to declare all the others wrong and you right, therefore authorized to hurl the satanic insults to the body of Christ (and the majority of the body of Christ). I dare say that the Bible provides no such comfort for you. No verses to quote because they aren't there. The Bible never contemplates such a thing, except when it comments on those who would lord it over the flock. Who create burdens that they cannot bear themselves.
If the situation of denominations today is not parties and factions that Paul wrote about, then I don't know what is.

I don't think I need to post yet again the verses about having no divisions in the body.
But if you want a full list they are here:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/denominations

It's sort of cute that you're trying to portray long-standing differences in the body of Christ as simply different assemblies on a street. It is a well known fact for anyone in denominations that red tape, memberships, loyalties, and yes, disagreements, make it much more than simply just multiple assemblies like in New Testament times.

For a person who is a member of the universal body of Christ by virtue of their faith and being born again, it is insulting that the Presbyterian church says they cannot be a church member if they want to also be a member of the baptist church down the street. Or a pastor who wishes to minister in all of the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist and Anglican church only to be rejected because they are not ordained in one or the other. This is a characteristic of a sect, not a genuine new testament biblical church.
04-27-2017 09:19 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
OBW, we meet separately for obvious practical reason. There is no problem with groups meeting separately within a city. But we do not consider each meeting within the city to be different churches like baptist and presbyterian (or any denomination) do. That is why we call them meetings. My question is about why two so-called churches (baptist and Presbyterian) can meet right next door to each other and what is the biblical precedent for doing that.
You can call it anything you want. But it does not make it not a church. A church is an assembly. It is not the whole universal body of Christ. And there is no boundary in which only one church can exist, therefore no matter how many groups (assemblies) you have to use as a practical matter, that is the number of churches. Your desire to change the nature of those words is cute, but not found in scripture.

You want to argue about what allows two groups/assemblies to meet next door to each other, yet you cannot provide even one verse that indicates they cannot. If there are no available commercial buildings and a lot of Christians are available to meet in a small area, then house churches would appear to be the way. If they move from house to house, there is reasonable chance that they could end up in two houses next door to each other. And too many in either to meet in only one. So it stands. Where is the verse that denies that outcome.

And what if the two groups don't simply agree on everything? What if forcing one to join with the other would cause friction that didn't need to exist. Not that they don't like each other or think the other is invalid. Just something that creates a bad atmosphere. You would insist that they have to meet together as one group anyway. So then who decides which way they will meet? You?

Find a verse to answer these issues. And find even one that gives you the right to declare all the others wrong and you right, therefore authorized to hurl the satanic insults to the body of Christ (and the majority of the body of Christ). I dare say that the Bible provides no such comfort for you. No verses to quote because they aren't there. The Bible never contemplates such a thing, except when it comments on those who would lord it over the flock. Who create burdens that they cannot bear themselves.
04-27-2017 06:27 PM
leastofthese
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I talk to your comment. Your view presents a common view that may be held by many people (more than just yourself). So I address that.
But that's not my view, that's why I was confused. I can't speak to whether it is a common view or not.

As I said, I'm OK with the LSM denominations opening churches - it's a free country.
04-27-2017 06:12 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
I'm a little confused about how the forum works. If you quote me are you talking to me or to my comment?

I think it's fine for the LSM, JW's, Mormons, Catholics, whoever to start a church wherever they would like - its a free country, I don't have to like it. But that's a whole different discussion on a point that I've never made.

There is no biblical precedent for churches in localities, as you argue.

One could argue that denominations are wrong (I would somewhat fall into that camp - but nowhere to the extent of the LSM - again a different discussion), but the LSM is the purest form of a denomination I've ever seen.
I talk to your comment. Your view presents a common view that may be held by many people (more than just yourself). So I address that.

It is the same for me. Whenever I post anything about LSM the replies I get are as if I run LSM and am Witness Lee himself.

You raise an interesting point I have not considered - "Denominations of the purest form". I would argue that the existence of a denomination is conditioned not upon what they do but what they are, how they are setup and what they represent and stand for.

It is possible for a genuine church to have 90% fornicators as members - it is possibly if the state of the church is not so good. Paul addressed these kind of genuine churches. It is possible for a sect or division to have no fornicators as members - it is easy to do, just ban anyone from your church who is not a fornicator. I hope you see my point. People are characterizing who is a church and who is not based upon the quality of their practice or teaching. Not based upon the fact they stand for a particular "flavor" and do not see themselves as representing the whole body, but only part of it.

That is, a group is not a denomination just because it has an "all welcome" sign on the front. It is a denomination because it does not believe itself to be the local expression of the universal church in the city. In other words, it admits that they are only "one of many churches" in the city. By saying that, they are really admitting that they are "one of many sects" within the one church.

If this was biblical then the version of Last Supper / Lord's table in the bible would be one of Jesus setting up multiple meetings to cater for the different needs of his disciples. One Last Supper at 9 am to cater to Peter and John's belief that the wine turns into the blood of Christ, and the next at 10 am to cater for Andrew and Matthew who believes the wine is just a symbol, and the Last Supper meeting at 11 am to cater for Judas Iscariot who believes communion is not necessary at all.
04-27-2017 06:09 PM
leastofthese
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
It is the practice of evangelical ministries and missions today to preach the gospel and establish churches in places where a Roman Catholic church has existed for centuries. This is more of less a statement that evangelical Protestantism rejects the (works-based) gospel that the Roman Catholics preach, and also believes that the RC church is unsuitable for a born again (by faith alone not works) Christian to fellowship in. This is also a statement that the RC church in the city does not represent all the Christians in the city.

If you stand for and with these ministries and churches and are not Catholic, then you cannot blame us for starting a new church in a city, without sounding a little hypocritical.

Many towns and cities had a Roman Catholic church in them first. In LA I believe the first church was a Roman Catholic church.

People should take a look at their own "log in their eye" -the existence of so many denominations that followed the Catholic churches.

You can't have it both ways. You can't on the one hand claim that the Roman Catholic church is representing the universal body of Christ, and support the starting of a new church because we don't believe the Roman Catholic church.

So I'm wondering why people on this forum take issue with us starting our own church in a city. I would say that we have the most biblical precedent to do so (No one yet has offered any biblical support about why the baptist and Presbyterians should be separated.)

Our biblical precedent is the biblical pattern of churches in localities, that (all) denominations are wrong and we are called out of Babylon.We have a much stronger biblical reason for establishing a new church in the city than many denominations which establish a new church for trivial reasons (such as methods of baptism or beliefs about the bread and wine).
I'm a little confused about how the forum works. If you quote me are you talking to me or to my comment?

I think it's fine for the LSM, JW's, Mormons, Catholics, whoever to start a church wherever they would like - its a free country, I don't have to like it. But that's a whole different discussion on a point that I've never made.

There is no biblical precedent for churches in localities, as you argue.

One could argue that denominations are wrong (I would somewhat fall into that camp - but nowhere to the extent of the LSM - again a different discussion), but the LSM is the purest form of a denomination I've ever seen.
04-27-2017 06:02 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
We will bother when you can show us why the LRC meets separately.

As for your "first must be the only one" rhetoric, you deny that there are reasons that people meet together beyond that they are simply Christian. We meet to learn more about Christ. And to learn more about how we are to live as a result of being Christ followers created to bear his image. What would you do if you discovered that your group was not doing a good job in the teaching/learning realm? The first thing you would do is bring it up for discussion. And that is exactly what Martin Luther did. But rather than engage in a serious discussion, he was told to drop it. When he did not simply drop it, he was threatened with respect to his very life. At that point, the only options are 3: 1) capitulate and ignore the problems; 2) stand your ground and die; 3) stand your ground but allow the protection of others as you begin to engage in the discussions that you believe are needed.

And the while we point to the RCC/Lutheran split as a unique event and the splits between Protestants as something different, it is really the same thing. Someone discovers something that he believes is worthy of discussion and study but the system denies them that opportunity. And rather than just letting it go, they step out to do the study anyway and are ousted. So they start a new group. And the result has been a tendency for each group to not simply add something worthwhile to the overall teachings of an otherwise good group, but often a willful cutting off of something that remains worthwhile. And the lack of willingness to engage has allowed errant thinking to go unchecked because once they were their own group, it is harder to point to their errors from the outside.

The LRC is among that latest in this alleged flood of splinters.

But the splintering is less real that it seems. The claim that there are something like 30k+ different churches is based on the fact that everyone does not register with the IRS as a §501(c)(3) organization as simply a location of a denomination. But that does not make each one doctrinally separate from all others. Or separate by stance from all others. It is a fiction created by tax laws. I have attended two different Bible churches. But there is no way to say that Bible churches are a denomination. There is no headquarters. And no one is defining their doctrines on all things for them. They don't agree with each other on every issue. Yet they consider each other such group part of a loose collection of similars. And they do not consider that it is a closed group. They also consider those of very different positions and even denominations to be part of that same collection of similars.

And what is the thing that is similar? Christ. Christ is our unity. Not peripheral doctrine, name, or leader. Only those who want to be separated end out separated of their own volition.

Like the LRC.

There is no magic doctrine that overcomes the fact that it is not dirt or MOTA that makes us one. Only Christ. And if Christ is not divided, we are not divided. Therefore the only division is in the imagination of those who can't accept that Christ is the only unifying factor.
OBW, we meet separately for obvious practical reason. There is no problem with groups meeting separately within a city. But we do not consider each meeting within the city to be different churches like baptist and presbyterian (or any denomination) do. That is why we call them meetings. My question is about why two so-called churches (baptist and Presbyterian) can meet right next door to each other and what is the biblical precedent for doing that. Why the pastor of one church cannot work in the other church. Why in many cases a presbyterian church will not allow you to become a member if you want to remain a member of another church? If these were simply expressions of the universal body of Christ then these constraints and limitations should not exist. In bible times I am sure that a member of one household meeting in Corinth could travel and be considered a member in another household meeting in Corinth. If Paul wanted to minister today in presbyterian churches first he would have to become a member and get ordained in the presbyterian church.

Please note the clear difference here:
We do not call and setup each meeting within a city as a church
We do not set up our own "church organization"
We do not ordain and hire pastors/priests and allow them only to work/minister in the church organization we have created.
We do not build up and expand an individual meeting group over the whole world (e.g. a presbyterian church in every city).

It must be embarrassing for you that you cannot provide a bible verse to answer my question. A few days have passed now.

Any seeking ones reading this thread may realize there is no biblical support for the division between Baptists and Presbyterians. If we "pull on this thread" a little more we will see there is no biblical support for the difference between Lutheran and Anglican either. We all know the Lutheran church was created for good reason - rejection of the Catholic church and her false teachings. We all should know that the Anglican church was created because of a King's lust. There is no good biblical reason why the Anglican church was created.
04-27-2017 05:41 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
The LC's have all sorts of meetings, in which they regularly meet separately -- they have their workers' meetings, children's meetings, elders' meetings, middle-aged meetings, Chinese speaking meetings, young people's meetings, college age meetings, sisters' meetings, HS and JH meetings, Spanish language meetings, deacons' meetings, etc. etc. -- and nearly all of these have no scriptural support.

Obviously both the Baptist and the Presbyterian meetings are designed to meet certain needs of certain ones in the body of Christ.

But Evangelical only can justify "LSM-approved" gatherings. Anything and everything else he must condemn.
LSM does it -- good!
Others do it -- bad!
This does not really answer the question.

Your comeback at how LSM has different meetings has nothing to do with the topic here.

Note that I am talking about different churches here.. baptist versus presbyterian. What you call churches and I call sects. We are not talking about children's meetings versus adult meeting's.

If the baptist and presbyterian would redefine themselves as "meetings" and not churches then perhaps you have a valid point and my argument is for nothing. But until then, if you wish to be taken seriously as bible following Christians, then the onus is on you to provide biblical support for the different organizations that you call churches.

Remember, I'm the one "following Witness Lee and the LC" so the onus is on you to provide support for what you believe in from the Bible alone. I think you should answer this according to the Bible not for my sake but for the sake of seekers who may be reading this thread.

If you really are a bible follower and know your bible, you should be able to come up with a better reason than "people have different needs".

That's a reason but it's not an answer to my question:

no one here so far has been able to provide a verse from the Bible justifying why the Baptist and Presbyterian denominations meet separately.

"Obviously both the Baptist and the Presbyterian meetings are designed to meet certain needs of certain ones in the body of Christ. "

I will accept your reason as valid and truthful, but it lacks the biblical support.

Please provide a verse from the Bible that says "meetings are designed to meet certain needs of certain ones in the body of Christ."

If you cannot provide a verse then it will reveal who is following the Bible and who is not.

I am not interested in what man has to say about this, I want to know what biblical support there is for the Baptist and Presbyterians not meeting together.
04-27-2017 05:36 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
Being connected to a church - Wouldn't that depend on the city/town/village? Also the individual/family's situation? The prompting of the Spirit?

Heaven forbid there was no LSM denomination church in ones city - THEN what would they do? Can you even have a LSM church in a town? Because then it wouldn't follow the "Church in City" framework? Would they need to move? So many questions! Why didn't someone clearly lay out these rules in scripture since it's of such importance?
It is the practice of evangelical ministries and missions today to preach the gospel and establish churches in places where a Roman Catholic church has existed for centuries. This is more of less a statement that evangelical Protestantism rejects the (works-based) gospel that the Roman Catholics preach, and also believes that the RC church is unsuitable for a born again (by faith alone not works) Christian to fellowship in. This is also a statement that the RC church in the city does not represent all the Christians in the city.

If you stand for and with these ministries and churches and are not Catholic, then you cannot blame us for starting a new church in a city, without sounding a little hypocritical.

Many towns and cities had a Roman Catholic church in them first. In LA I believe the first church was a Roman Catholic church.

People should take a look at their own "log in their eye" -the existence of so many denominations that followed the Catholic churches.

You can't have it both ways. You can't on the one hand claim that the Roman Catholic church is representing the universal body of Christ, and support the starting of a new church because we don't believe the Roman Catholic church.

So I'm wondering why people on this forum take issue with us starting our own church in a city. I would say that we have the most biblical precedent to do so (No one yet has offered any biblical support about why the baptist and Presbyterians should be separated.)

Our biblical precedent is the biblical pattern of churches in localities, that (all) denominations are wrong and we are called out of Babylon.We have a much stronger biblical reason for establishing a new church in the city than many denominations which establish a new church for trivial reasons (such as methods of baptism or beliefs about the bread and wine).
04-27-2017 01:54 PM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Roman Catholic = "assembly of genuine born again children of God" ? If so, why do they setup another church, why not join them? Before you criticize the LRC for "placing extra-biblical demands" I want to know why evangelical protestant denominations setup a new church in a place where a Roman Catholic church has existed first (and is this not itself an "extra-biblical demand").

Regarding "Biblical demands" - no one here so far has been able to provide a verse from the Bible justifying why the Baptist and Presbyterian denominations meet separately.
The LC's have all sorts of meetings, in which they regularly meet separately -- they have their workers' meetings, children's meetings, elders' meetings, middle-aged meetings, Chinese speaking meetings, young people's meetings, college age meetings, sisters' meetings, HS and JH meetings, Spanish language meetings, deacons' meetings, etc. etc. -- and nearly all of these have no scriptural support.

Obviously both the Baptist and the Presbyterian meetings are designed to meet certain needs of certain ones in the body of Christ.

But Evangelical only can justify "LSM-approved" gatherings. Anything and everything else he must condemn.
LSM does it -- good!
Others do it -- bad!
04-27-2017 11:48 AM
Terry
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post

Heaven forbid there was no LSM denomination church in ones city - THEN what would they do? Can you even have a LSM church in a town? Because then it wouldn't follow the "Church in City" framework? Would they need to move? So many questions! Why didn't someone clearly lay out these rules in scripture since it's of such importance?
That happened back in the 90's where I was meeting at the time. A number of brothers and sisters would make the 10-15 minute drive from where I know live to meet with that locality until there was "fellowship" to "take the ground" in my town. having lived here for nearly 20 years, I can assure you there are a number of assemblies to meet with if one wants to meet locally. If it's "the ministry" that's the issue rather than meeting locally, let's be honest and call it what it is and that's ministry churches.
It's been mentioned before on this forum during the GLA turmoil when certain localities made the decision they weren't going to be taking the LSM publications corporately though wouldn't discourage anyone from taking the ministry privately, that's when the blendeds saw a need for those localities to be "replastered" (a reference to Leviticus 14).
04-27-2017 07:33 AM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Roman Catholic = "assembly of genuine born again children of God" ? If so, why do they setup another church, why not join them? Before you criticize the LRC for "placing extra-biblical demands" I want to know why evangelical protestant denominations setup a new church in a place where a Roman Catholic church has existed first (and is this not itself an "extra-biblical demand").

Regarding "Biblical demands" - no one here so far has been able to provide a verse from the Bible justifying why the Baptist and Presbyterian denominations meet separately.
We will bother when you can show us why the LRC meets separately.

As for your "first must be the only one" rhetoric, you deny that there are reasons that people meet together beyond that they are simply Christian. We meet to learn more about Christ. And to learn more about how we are to live as a result of being Christ followers created to bear his image. What would you do if you discovered that your group was not doing a good job in the teaching/learning realm? The first thing you would do is bring it up for discussion. And that is exactly what Martin Luther did. But rather than engage in a serious discussion, he was told to drop it. When he did not simply drop it, he was threatened with respect to his very life. At that point, the only options are 3: 1) capitulate and ignore the problems; 2) stand your ground and die; 3) stand your ground but allow the protection of others as you begin to engage in the discussions that you believe are needed.

And the while we point to the RCC/Lutheran split as a unique event and the splits between Protestants as something different, it is really the same thing. Someone discovers something that he believes is worthy of discussion and study but the system denies them that opportunity. And rather than just letting it go, they step out to do the study anyway and are ousted. So they start a new group. And the result has been a tendency for each group to not simply add something worthwhile to the overall teachings of an otherwise good group, but often a willful cutting off of something that remains worthwhile. And the lack of willingness to engage has allowed errant thinking to go unchecked because once they were their own group, it is harder to point to their errors from the outside.

The LRC is among that latest in this alleged flood of splinters.

But the splintering is less real that it seems. The claim that there are something like 30k+ different churches is based on the fact that everyone does not register with the IRS as a §501(c)(3) organization as simply a location of a denomination. But that does not make each one doctrinally separate from all others. Or separate by stance from all others. It is a fiction created by tax laws. I have attended two different Bible churches. But there is no way to say that Bible churches are a denomination. There is no headquarters. And no one is defining their doctrines on all things for them. They don't agree with each other on every issue. Yet they consider each other such group part of a loose collection of similars. And they do not consider that it is a closed group. They also consider those of very different positions and even denominations to be part of that same collection of similars.

And what is the thing that is similar? Christ. Christ is our unity. Not peripheral doctrine, name, or leader. Only those who want to be separated end out separated of their own volition.

Like the LRC.

There is no magic doctrine that overcomes the fact that it is not dirt or MOTA that makes us one. Only Christ. And if Christ is not divided, we are not divided. Therefore the only division is in the imagination of those who can't accept that Christ is the only unifying factor.
04-27-2017 07:09 AM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The fact that a new convert has to "choose a group", such as "your group" or "another group" after becoming a believer demonstrates the issue here. That is, being a born again believer and member of the universal body of Christ is not enough to grant a person connectivity with the whole body of Christ.
Another strawman.

Even you admit that they need to join with Christians. And it is preferable that they are joined at least somewhat regularly with a constant group of other Christians. Not because they are better or the result of a careful choice, but because they are the ones you regularly meet with.

You miss that even in a large city with the LRC present, if there was enough members of your group, you would end up meeting in more than one place. and possibly never all together in a single place. While I do not deny that meeting at all is the most that you can get out of "do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together," it is equally true that this passage does not define who you assemble with other than others of the same status as Christians. But that cannot be used to state that it must mean that you join with all Christians because that is physically impossible in a city as large as Dallas, or even Austin — how small do you think you have to go before just the Christians in that city could easily meet as a single unit (assembly)?

If you are reading into this that the assembly must be connected with other assemblies of like thinking, then you are mistaken. There is no such statement. And if you are thinking that all in a single city must be in one assembly, you are similarly mistaken. Neither is even hinted at.

Being a born again believer and a member of the universal body of Christ must be sufficient to grant them connectivity to the whole body of Christ. Unless someone else cuts them off. Unless some group declares that they cannot be connected with us as the body of Christ because they don't come our way. And that is what you do in spades. Cut everyone else off. They (including us here on this forum) do not state that the LRC and its members are not part of the body of Christ. We declare that the LRC's caustic rhetoric concerning everyone that is not part of their group is both poisoning its own members and establishing a wedge in the body that is of their own making.

The fact of any division at the extremes that you claim to exist can only be found due to your own excision of most of the body of Christ. You don't just not need a small toe, you don't need anything but a head. But that head does not appear to be Christ, but Witness Lee.
04-27-2017 06:48 AM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Is it not the situation that if any place already has a Catholic church an evangelical protestant denomination will set one up as well? Evangelicals do not recognize the Catholic church as " the church in the city" so they start their own. If you are protestant you cannot talk about our view of Rome being "perverted" without an element of hypocrisy. For example, if Roman Catholicism is "the church" in the city, then why do protestants bother starting a church there? Why not just join them?
I do not talk about the RCC as being perverted. So don't talk to me about that. I recognize that, like your group, the RCC has a view that they are the true church. But not at the extreme that you do. They do not deny the others the status as "church." They have used terms like "wounded" or "damaged." But not "perverted."

And if you want to argue about any place that already has a Catholic church, then you are in no better place. Even if there is not a Catholic church, there is already some church. Unless you go to a city that is so small that all of its inhabitants go to church in one or more nearby cities, there is no opening to claim that you are the first church there, therefore the "proper" church.

But by your own words, you declare that the brand and "distinctives" (as the Baptists call it) is important. If the RCC is first, then they are first. If you a first, then you are first. And according to you, no matter how large a city may be, and how many assemblies would be required to reasonably care for the whole of the flock in any particular city, you would claim that one brand must be the only thing present.

And of course, it must be yours.

Your declaration that the denominations are so much opposed to each other and denying each other proper status within the church is not true. Instead it is a casting of your own position onto everyone else as if they are as sectarian as you are.

But as an example, I listened to a podcast for several years that was hosted by four men who were leaders of two different churches (assemblies). One was Pentecostal/charismatic while the other was a nondescript community church most likely in the general leaning of what is known as a Bible church. They spoke on theology of all sorts of issues. And they did not agree on everything. But they did not consider the other reprobate or perverted. Nor did they consider the other's group to be a "damaged" assembly. They would encourage any Christian to join with either. And with groups other than those two. They recognized that not everyone agreed on everything. And they acknowledged the basis on which various beliefs were held. In each case they may agree or have reason to think that something else was of more importance in deciding the issue, but despite that they did not consider the other "not church" or a poor representation of the body of Christ.

These are the kinds of people that I see all the time. Pastors that meet with other pastors. Not just for some kind of false show, but because they recognize that none of them have a corner on truth beyond the basics of the redemptive work of Christ.

But your group is different. It refuses to accept that the basics are what hold us together despite other differences. You demand that other things be agreed upon as well. You make outward declarations that there is no set of doctrines you have to believe, but the truth is that to remain, you will eventually discover that there is a set of very detailed doctrines that must be agreed with, or at least kept silent about. There is no open discussion. Just like here, you don't actually engage in discussion about the substance of your positions. You simply state that they are (and use stories that fit your premise presuming that stories are proof of truth) and demand that everyone bow in awe to them. There is no other way to state it. You don't have evidence that your ways are truly prescribed as doctrine that must be followed. Like sock puppets, they are not real people, but lifeless socks that someone else's hand is making them act alive, and their voice is making it seem that they are talking.
04-27-2017 06:30 AM
leastofthese
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I can re-phrase my question, it does not change my point:

If one wishes to be "connected with the church" the next question is "which gathering in His name, declaring His witness, and having His presence, and the power to bind and loose on earth what had already been done in heaven"?
Being connected to a church - Wouldn't that depend on the city/town/village? Also the individual/family's situation? The prompting of the Spirit?

Heaven forbid there was no LSM denomination church in ones city - THEN what would they do? Can you even have a LSM church in a town? Because then it wouldn't follow the "Church in City" framework? Would they need to move? So many questions! Why didn't someone clearly lay out these rules in scripture since it's of such importance?
04-27-2017 04:49 AM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
In the question, the LSM LC assumes meaning. Church, here, means standing religious body. But Jesus didn't teach on this, but on being gathered in His name, and declaring His witness, and having His presence, and the power to bind and loose on earth what had already been done in heaven.

Instead, the LSM LC way is to look disdainfully at their fellows. But the only ones Jesus had contempt for were empty, religious know-it-alls.
I can re-phrase my question, it does not change my point:

If one wishes to be "connected with the church" the next question is "which gathering in His name, declaring His witness, and having His presence, and the power to bind and loose on earth what had already been done in heaven"?
04-27-2017 02:44 AM
aron
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
If one wishes to be "connected with the church" the next question is "which church"?

In the bible this was not the situation of having to choose a church. They simply joined "the church" in the city..
In the question, the LSM LC assumes meaning. Church, here, means standing religious body. But Jesus didn't teach on this, but on being gathered in His name, and declaring His witness, and having His presence, and the power to bind and loose on earth what had already been done in heaven.

Instead, the LSM LC way is to look disdainfully at their fellows. But the only ones Jesus had contempt for were empty, religious know-it-alls.
04-26-2017 09:52 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This is a mischaracterization. Evangelical Protestants would only require that there be an assembly of genuine born again children of God.

You, however, place extra-Biblical demands on other congregations which you yourself cannot meet. Then you claim "the ground." What a joke.
Roman Catholic = "assembly of genuine born again children of God" ? If so, why do they setup another church, why not join them? Before you criticize the LRC for "placing extra-biblical demands" I want to know why evangelical protestant denominations setup a new church in a place where a Roman Catholic church has existed first (and is this not itself an "extra-biblical demand").

Regarding "Biblical demands" - no one here so far has been able to provide a verse from the Bible justifying why the Baptist and Presbyterian denominations meet separately.
04-26-2017 03:11 PM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Is it not the situation that if any place already has a Catholic church an evangelical protestant denomination will set one up as well? Evangelicals do not recognize the Catholic church as " the church in the city" so they start their own. If you are protestant you cannot talk about our view of Rome being "perverted" without an element of hypocrisy. For example, if Roman Catholicism is "the church" in the city, then why do protestants bother starting a church there? Why not just join them?
This is a mischaracterization. Evangelical Protestants would only require that there be an assembly of genuine born again children of God.

You, however, place extra-Biblical demands on other congregations which you yourself cannot meet. Then you claim "the ground." What a joke.
04-26-2017 03:00 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And at that, you have included the LRC as merely a sect because they do not carry any special status that excludes them from any of what you have stated. Your claim of special status is not founded on anything any more substantial than the RCC's claim that their pope links back to Peter and therefore has the keys of the kingdom.

And you distill the differences down to how they baptize. But if baptism is everything, then the Baptists were around practicing full immersion before the LRC came along practicing the same. I will use your own rhetoric on you to point out that despite the fact that you claim no set doctrines or practices ("No doctrines or forms that you have to learn to come and meet with us. Just . . . .") yet you do practice in certain ways. You would only immerse. Yet since the Baptists were around before you, why did you start a different group that opposes them. (Yes, you oppose them because you argue against their very legitimacy, not just think differently.)

You are not open to all believers. you are only truly open to those who will come to you. Who will agree to set aside other teachers and only learn from Lee (and a little of Nee). And who, to the extent that they can't quite do it all, will at least keep their disagreements about any of it quiet.

Otherwise it is the door.


There is a big difference between disagreement on issues and ideas and disagreement on who is actually in the church. And if you dare to say that we are all in the church, then when any of us get together to meet, we are the church no matter how much you don't like something about our positions on certain issues and ideas.

If there is a problem in the unity of the church, it is much greater when observed from the perspective of the LRC v everyone else. The 50,000 ft. view of Christianity as a whole looks more like a continent with cities and states while the LRC appears as an island with gunboats surrounding it. Why is that? Because you insist that it is so. You are so closed to everyone else (despite rhetoric about unity) that you put up a wall of partition. You declare that everything on your side of the wall is church and everything on the other side is sect.

And you think that if you just talk to the people individually you can persuade them. But what if the organizations do not come to you, but the mass of people who are in them and they collectively do not agree with you. What do you do then? It would no longer be about denominations. Your boogeyman would have been destroyed. I can assure you that I do not speak from the perspective of one denomination and not the others. We agree that when someone is saved they should become connected with the church. And not just my church. We would welcome them. But it is more important that they know Christ and connect with Christians than that they join my group.

How's that for your divisiveness claim??
The fact that a new convert has to "choose a group", such as "your group" or "another group" after becoming a believer demonstrates the issue here. That is, being a born again believer and member of the universal body of Christ is not enough to grant a person connectivity with the whole body of Christ. The reason for that is denominations which create cuts or divisions in the body which simply did not exist in the new testament church.

You are pretending that denominations in a city are merely different groups of believers that see differently on a few things, which I know not to be the case at all.

If one wishes to be "connected with the church" the next question is "which church"?

In the bible this was not the situation of having to choose a church. They simply joined "the church" in the city.

In the denominational world, a person who wants to meet simply on the basis of them being a born again believer and living in a particular locality and being member of the universal body, does not have anywhere to go unless they choose the particular "type" of group that they want to join.
04-26-2017 02:50 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
With respect to the question about there being a church in Los Angeles prior to Lee coming to meet with a few there, Drake has the following declaration:
And there, folks, is the evidence that if there is a sect to be discussed, it is the LRC. They think that the church does not exist in a location no matter how many Christians meet in one or more groups because none of them are meeting according to their formula. They misconstrue the word "church" as being a special term restricted to only those who follow their rules. Any other Christians who meet together are not church.

I read the same kind of nonsense on facebook a few years ago when someone declared that with the "taking of the ground" in Rome, there was finally a church in the city for the first time in centuries.

That is exactly the kind of perverted mindset that has been drummed into the psyche of otherwise good Christian people. People who hear about garlic rooms but do not realize that the only one near them is within the walls in which they meet.
Is it not the situation that if any place already has a Catholic church an evangelical protestant denomination will set one up as well? Evangelicals do not recognize the Catholic church as " the church in the city" so they start their own. If you are protestant you cannot talk about our view of Rome being "perverted" without an element of hypocrisy. For example, if Roman Catholicism is "the church" in the city, then why do protestants bother starting a church there? Why not just join them?
04-26-2017 12:45 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

With respect to the question about there being a church in Los Angeles prior to Lee coming to meet with a few there, Drake has the following declaration:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
No.

Drake
And there, folks, is the evidence that if there is a sect to be discussed, it is the LRC. They think that the church does not exist in a location no matter how many Christians meet in one or more groups because none of them are meeting according to their formula. They misconstrue the word "church" as being a special term restricted to only those who follow their rules. Any other Christians who meet together are not church.

I read the same kind of nonsense on facebook a few years ago when someone declared that with the "taking of the ground" in Rome, there was finally a church in the city for the first time in centuries.

That is exactly the kind of perverted mindset that has been drummed into the psyche of otherwise good Christian people. People who hear about garlic rooms but do not realize that the only one near them is within the walls in which they meet.
04-26-2017 12:37 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
You are talking about sects, not churches. For example the baptist sect is strict in its belief and practice on full immersion baptism, the Presbyterian sect is less so. Both sects are so similar they should have joined years ago - if they truly believed in the oneness of the body. Even though you say they recognize each other as part of the body of Christ, that is only in theory, not in practice.
And at that, you have included the LRC as merely a sect because they do not carry any special status that excludes them from any of what you have stated. Your claim of special status is not founded on anything any more substantial than the RCC's claim that their pope links back to Peter and therefore has the keys of the kingdom.

And you distill the differences down to how they baptize. But if baptism is everything, then the Baptists were around practicing full immersion before the LRC came along practicing the same. I will use your own rhetoric on you to point out that despite the fact that you claim no set doctrines or practices ("No doctrines or forms that you have to learn to come and meet with us. Just . . . .") yet you do practice in certain ways. You would only immerse. Yet since the Baptists were around before you, why did you start a different group that opposes them. (Yes, you oppose them because you argue against their very legitimacy, not just think differently.)

You are not open to all believers. you are only truly open to those who will come to you. Who will agree to set aside other teachers and only learn from Lee (and a little of Nee). And who, to the extent that they can't quite do it all, will at least keep their disagreements about any of it quiet.

Otherwise it is the door.


There is a big difference between disagreement on issues and ideas and disagreement on who is actually in the church. And if you dare to say that we are all in the church, then when any of us get together to meet, we are the church no matter how much you don't like something about our positions on certain issues and ideas.

If there is a problem in the unity of the church, it is much greater when observed from the perspective of the LRC v everyone else. The 50,000 ft. view of Christianity as a whole looks more like a continent with cities and states while the LRC appears as an island with gunboats surrounding it. Why is that? Because you insist that it is so. You are so closed to everyone else (despite rhetoric about unity) that you put up a wall of partition. You declare that everything on your side of the wall is church and everything on the other side is sect.

And you think that if you just talk to the people individually you can persuade them. But what if the organizations do not come to you, but the mass of people who are in them and they collectively do not agree with you. What do you do then? It would no longer be about denominations. Your boogeyman would have been destroyed. I can assure you that I do not speak from the perspective of one denomination and not the others. We agree that when someone is saved they should become connected with the church. And not just my church. We would welcome them. But it is more important that they know Christ and connect with Christians than that they join my group.

How's that for your divisiveness claim??
04-26-2017 09:58 AM
Ohio
Re: The First Church in LA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
I agree, but for a different reason. I think most Christ followers wouldn't even understand this question and would have difficulty trying to follow your logic (without the context of the LSM). The concept of one church per city is not biblical, nor expressed throughout Christian history as a model that the world must follow to be in good standing with our Lord. If any lurkers (kind of makes you sound scary ) are reading these posts, it may be helpful to read "The Genuine Ground of Oneness" http://www.ministrybooks.org/alphabetical.cfm?s=G

In this publication Lee lays out his "divine revelation" from God in regards to the Local Church. When I read this I see points that I agree with regarding denominations or church practice, but that doesn't mean that Lee's ultimate conclusion is correct. Many of the same points he makes are also used to advocate for a non-denominational church. For example:

Before you came into the church life, you may have traveled from one denomination to another. You went from place to place to satisfy your own desires or taste.

This may be true for some - but this doesn't mean that Lee's ultimate conclusion is correct. "Look at them, they're not perfect, MY way is perfect." Funny enough, we talked about this specific concept in the LC too, a preference to choose one meeting hall over another to satisfy own desires or tastes. We didn't discuss it as a bad thing, but just a reality.
The irony of Lee's ministry is that his own teachings indict him and his ministry more than others. No LC ever matched his so-called "vision." He himself broke all of his own rules of ministry.

The real deception in the LC's is thinking that Lee, LSM, and the LC's are somehow better simply because they condemn all others.

It is the Phallacy of the Farisees.
04-26-2017 09:16 AM
leastofthese
Re: The First Church in LA?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I don't know many bible believing Christians who would say this was "the church in LA". [/url]
I agree, but for a different reason. I think most Christ followers wouldn't even understand this question and would have difficulty trying to follow your logic (without the context of the LSM). The concept of one church per city is not biblical, nor expressed throughout Christian history as a model that the world must follow to be in good standing with our Lord. If any lurkers (kind of makes you sound scary ) are reading these posts, it may be helpful to read "The Genuine Ground of Oneness" http://www.ministrybooks.org/alphabetical.cfm?s=G

In this publication Lee lays out his "divine revelation" from God in regards to the Local Church. When I read this I see points that I agree with regarding denominations or church practice, but that doesn't mean that Lee's ultimate conclusion is correct. Many of the same points he makes are also used to advocate for a non-denominational church. For example:

Before you came into the church life, you may have traveled from one denomination to another. You went from place to place to satisfy your own desires or taste.

This may be true for some - but this doesn't mean that Lee's ultimate conclusion is correct. "Look at them, they're not perfect, MY way is perfect." Funny enough, we talked about this specific concept in the LC too, a preference to choose one meeting hall over another to satisfy own desires or tastes. We didn't discuss it as a bad thing, but just a reality.
04-26-2017 07:12 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Here's a question - where did the preaching of the gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch, arguably good, become the 'abomination' the Abyssinian Orthodox Church? Where did Luther promulgating justification by faith become the harlot "Lutheranism"? If not at the beginning, where?

If there is indeed a slippery slope to doom, how is the LSM LC so sure it's not well on the way, or over the edge? What gives them their bland assurance, beyond Lee's repeated assurances?
Every single church ever existent has the possibility to slide the slippery slope downward. Can you possibly know every storm or trial coming your way? What about your church's next generation? Add a 100 generations???

Have you ever been to the Recovery's legendary beginning church in the ole US of A -- the wonderful and glorious Elden Hall? Where is that today? Even by 1974, before the "move" to Anaheim, Elden Hall was dying a slow death, hence Lee told Rutledge he needed a new start.

If that can be publicly blamed on LA crime, migrations out of SoCal, or the fictitious proposal that the saints were no longer absolutely one with the ministry, then consider an infinite possibility of other scenarios that might cause any church to slide down the slippery slope. Start with all the recorded cases in Asia Minor, add the death of a beloved minister, perhaps an earthquake, a flood, some economic crisis, perhaps a drought, a civil war, persecution by the authorities, etc. The list of potential dangers is endless. Does even one 1st century church exist today?

My point is simple -- even once living churches come and go all the time. Perhaps the dead organizational ones live longer. Does anyone really believe that a standing order with LSM perpetuates immortality?
04-26-2017 03:14 AM
aron
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I have hundreds of posts he and Evan refuse to address.
Here's a question - where did the preaching of the gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch, arguably good, become the 'abomination' the Abyssinian Orthodox Church? Where did Luther promulgating justification by faith become the harlot "Lutheranism"? If not at the beginning, where?

If there is indeed a slippery slope to doom, how is the LSM LC so sure it's not well on the way, or over the edge? What gives them their bland assurance, beyond Lee's repeated assurances?
04-26-2017 02:51 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Drake, I already told you:



I still hope you will address my post 122.
I have hundreds of posts he and Evan refuse to address.
04-25-2017 09:41 PM
Evangelical
The First Church in LA?

Based upon Ohio's definition of the church as "The church is spiritual, composed of believers, those born of God to be children of God.", I went on a search to find which was the first genuine local expression of the universal church in LA that fits this definition? I tried to answer my own question "Which church was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?".

The first historical church in LA was a Roman Catholic church (there are two I think). I don't know many bible believing Christians who would say this was "the church in LA". It was the first Roman Catholic sect in LA, but not the genuine local expression of the universal church - it is not for those who are simply born again by faith, but for those who subscribe to Catholicism.

Then we come to the the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles founded in 1867. Today it practices gay marriage. I don't know many bible believing Christians who would say this is "the church in LA". This was the first Protestant congregational sect in LA, but still not the genuine local expression of the universal church.

There is the Angelus temple built in 1922 - "Angelus Temple was built in 1922 under the direction of Aimee Semple McPherson, who was the founder of the denomination, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel" http://www.10best.com/destinations/c...oric-churches/

This is not the genuine local church but a denomination of "International Church of the Foursquare Gospel".

I am still trying to find that genuine church that calls itself "the church in LA". We don't find it until we come to Witness Lee..Christians began meeting as the church in Los Angeles in 1962 http://www.churchinlosangeles.org/
04-25-2017 09:00 PM
Evangelical
Responses to the "church in LA" question.

It was asked whether there was a church in LA before Witness Lee. This question can be answered in different ways depending upon the context.

As Ohio rightly stated
"The church is spiritual, composed of believers, those born of God to be children of God. When these ones gather, it is the church, and He is in their midst."

and Drake stated
"the answer is that every christian in Los Angeles is a member of the church in Los Angeles regardless of where they attend and where they go."

This church is the universal church, the one that we are always apart of, 24/7 whether we "go to church" on Sunday or not. This is sometimes referred to as the universal body of Christ.

In this sense, the answer to the question of a church in LA is yes - there was a church in LA before Witness Lee.

But when we come to the practicality of it all, the Sunday church meetings, it is a different story. The practical expression of the church in a city should be simply "composed of believers, those born of God to be children of God". The local expression of the church should match the universal church definition.

If there was no practical local expression of the universal church before Lee then the answer is "no, there was no (practical) church in LA before Witness Lee.

It is easy to show that a denominational gathering in a city is not a local expression of the universal church - a gathering of Lutherans in one city and gathering of Lutherans in another city, are expressions not of the universal church but of those who adhere to Lutheranism. They do not define a gathering of simply "those born of God to be children of God".

However when a Christian goes to a baptist church because they agree with baptism by full immersion, and a Presbyterian goes to Presbyterian because that is all they have ever known, we have the situation of denominations. A denomination is a sect which means a cut, or divide in the body of Christ. Strictly speaking, a cut, or divide in the universal body of Christ, is not a church but a sect.

The reason why many people believe any denomination/sect is entitled to recognition as a church is explained by the following statement:

There is a "tendency of the modern non-Catholic world to consider all the various forms of Christianity as the embodiment of revealed truths and as equally entitled to recognition." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13674a.htm

This is the reason many Protestants consider that any denomination that teaches the bible is a church. In other words, if you have a gathering of believers in your city and they teach/preach the bible then they are entitled to be a church according to this thinking. The problem is a church may preach and teach the bible but also be part of the gay church alliance. Clearly, a gathering of believers which supports homosexuality should not be considered a church. This situation is possible if sects are wrongly defined as churches.

If a person believes that any gathering in a city is a church then the answer to the question is "yes there was a church in LA before Witness Lee". This thinking is flawed however, because hypothetically speaking, a LGBT church could have been meeting in the city before Lee came, and no bible believing Christians would accept that a LGBT church is a genuine church.

However if we consider that all denominations in the city before Witness Lee were not churches, but sects, then the answer is "no, there was no church in LA before Witness Lee, only sects/divisions/denominations of various names, doctrines and practices".
04-25-2017 07:02 PM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Drake, I already told you:

Quote:
And, no, I would not agree with cutting off someone or refusing to fellowship with him for using LSM material.
I still hope you will address my post 122.
04-25-2017 06:07 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Drake, history shows that the "cutting off" is almost always in the opposite direction. That is exactly the point I am making.

And, no, I would not agree with cutting off someone or refusing to fellowship with him for using LSM material.
Ok Koinonia

What do you mean almost always?

Drake
04-25-2017 05:12 PM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Koinonia,

Not take it seriously? You do realize that Dan got cut off from the tribes permanently in Revelation.

Do you think any of those "local churches" you listed should cut anyone off or refuse to fellowship with them because they use LSM material?

Drake
Drake, history shows that the "cutting off" is almost always in the opposite direction. That is exactly the point I am making.

And, no, I would not agree with cutting off someone or refusing to fellowship with him for using LSM material.
04-25-2017 04:02 PM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Koinonia,

Not take it seriously? You do realize that Dan got cut off from the tribes permanently in Revelation.

Do you think any of those "local churches" you listed should cut anyone off or refuse to fellowship with them because they use LSM material?

Drake
Drake, I understand that honesty is not your strong suit.

But when, oh when, did anyone or any church get "cut off" for using LSM's material?

The "CUTTING OFF" has only gone one way. Only Witness Lee and now the Chief Blended has ever "CUT OFF" any brother, any church, or any region of churches.
04-25-2017 03:49 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Drake, I did read your answer and found it difficult to take seriously. I understand the premise of your argument about Dan/the altar/Jerusalem/etc. in the context of denominations vs. the LC. But I was asking about the divisions that occur within the LC. You have numerous cities all over the world with multiple local churches (e.g. -- Toronto, New York, Stuttgart, Accra, Singapore, Manila, Quezon City, Sydney, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Sao Paulo, Pittsburgh, Paris, Berlin, Montreal, Columbus, Indianapolis, etc., etc.) and numerous cities all over the world with (presumably) singular local churches that do not follow LSM (e.g. - Moses Lake, Scottsdale, Westminster, Cleveland, Neuchatel, Rosemead, Fountain Valley, etc.).

In all of these cases, the dividing line is the ministry of Witness Lee. So, is following Witness Lee the equivalent of returning to Jerusalem?

Koinonia,

Not take it seriously? You do realize that Dan got cut off from the tribes permanently in Revelation.

Do you think any of those "local churches" you listed should cut anyone off or refuse to fellowship with them because they use LSM material?

Drake
04-25-2017 02:25 PM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Koinonia,

You asked me a question in #90. That is what I am referring to. I am starting to get the impression that you are not taking this discussion seriously. Again, was that a rhetorical question on your part? If not, then what do you offer as a scriptural alternative to my response?

Drake
Drake, I did read your answer and found it difficult to take seriously. I understand the premise of your argument about Dan/the altar/Jerusalem/etc. in the context of denominations vs. the LC. But I was asking about the divisions that occur within the LC. You have numerous cities all over the world with multiple local churches (e.g. -- Toronto, New York, Stuttgart, Accra, Singapore, Manila, Quezon City, Sydney, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Sao Paulo, Pittsburgh, Paris, Berlin, Montreal, Columbus, Indianapolis, etc., etc.) and numerous cities all over the world with (presumably) singular local churches that do not follow LSM (e.g. - Moses Lake, Scottsdale, Westminster, Cleveland, Neuchatel, Rosemead, Fountain Valley, etc.).

In all of these cases, the dividing line is the ministry of Witness Lee. So, is following Witness Lee the equivalent of returning to Jerusalem?
04-25-2017 01:48 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
I did not ask the question. UntoHim did.

Also, when UntoHim asked you a follow-up question: "Pray-tell, why did the appearance of Witness Lee bring about the first 'church in Los Angeles'?" you answered with a bullet list of historical events, appearing to accept the premise of the inquiry.

My view is that "the church in Los Angeles" may be defined as the part of the Lord's people located in that city; in other words--a spiritual reality composed of all the believers there. It has nothing in particular to do with Witness Lee (beyond the fact that he was a believer).
Koinonia,

You asked me a question in #90. That is what I am referring to. I am starting to get the impression that you are not taking this discussion seriously. Again, was that a rhetorical question on your part? If not, then what do you offer as a scriptural alternative to my response?

Drake
04-25-2017 01:44 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
My question was worded rather awkwardly.

Nevertheless, I think Drake or anyone else could simply have answered "no, there was not a church in Los Angeles", or "yes, there was a church in Los Angeles". Of course being the smart fellow that he is, he took advantage. Good for him.

I'll repeat:

Originally Posted by UntoHim
Everything that Drake has posted here sounds and smells EXACTLY like how a "denominational" church starts. They gather in the Lord's Name, ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF MERE MEN. In the case that Drake is explaining the mere men were Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. You see there already existed "the church life" in LA. There were already true Christian believers breaking bread in LA. Sorry but "a hunger for a deeper enjoyment" is a totally subjective thing and does NOT define what is and what is not "the church in Los Angeles".


Maybe Drake or Evangelical could address what I have posted above. Feel free to correct my grammar or oddly phrased questions as you feel necessary.
-
UntoHim,

First off, I am not playing word games or trying to take advantage. Your response to me was stated in such a way that it was clear you wanted a binary answer. You were at the moment the forums Lt. Daniel Kaffee ready to take mean ol' Jessup down. "Yes or no" means don't mess with you. Any attempt to tamper with the question would have been met with the usual howls of disapproval. You know exactly what I mean.

Yet, your question above asks "what is and what is not "the church in Los Angeles"... but you realize that is not the question you asked me in your oddly worded question.... rather, you asked "why".. so there again I attempted to answer the question "why?". I gave you a reasoned response to "why" but I could have just said "because God willed it!" or "who can tell of His mysterious ways?".

So to answer your "what is or what is not".. the answer is that every christian in Los Angeles is a member of the church in Los Angeles regardless of where they attend and where they go. Yet that is not the complete story is it? If we left it there we would not be here. Do you want to talk about that or is it easier to just dismiss it as a 3000 year old example from the Old Testament which has no bearing?

Please enlighten us who met in Los Angeles on the basis of the unity of believers as the church separate from the confluence of people and events I mentioned. Every denomination breaks bread so apparently there is more to it than that.

Drake
04-25-2017 01:14 PM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Koinonia,

There is no word play..... when someone demands a yes or no answer I try to accommodate if I can.

"Yes, there was no church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee" is the opposite of "No, there was no church..... etc." ZNP interpreted the question the same as I did.

You read it the way you expected it.. that is confirmation bias. Had I said Yes your response would have been the same. You would have rent your sackcloth and cried "ridiculous!" Because you already are biased you take new information like my "no" or my "exactly" and rush to condemn.

Now, how about you? I put some serious thought into the question you asked and you have not responded. I do not care how you respond frankly, but you do yourself no favors by ignoring it. Was it a rhetorical question on your part? Or did you really want to know my POV?

Drake
I did not ask the question. UntoHim did.

Also, when UntoHim asked you a follow-up question: "Pray-tell, why did the appearance of Witness Lee bring about the first 'church in Los Angeles'?" you answered with a bullet list of historical events, appearing to accept the premise of the inquiry.

My view is that "the church in Los Angeles" may be defined as the part of the Lord's people located in that city; in other words--a spiritual reality composed of all the believers there. It has nothing in particular to do with Witness Lee (beyond the fact that he was a believer).
04-25-2017 01:05 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Drake, you do yourself no favors with the snarky word game. The question was phrased: "Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?"

Double negative or not, your answer "No" would/could rightfully be interpreted as "No, There was no church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee."

In any event, then, what was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?
Koinonia,

There is no word play..... when someone demands a yes or no answer I try to accommodate if I can.

"Yes, there was no church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee" is the opposite of "No, there was no church..... etc." ZNP interpreted the question the same as I did.

You read it the way you expected it.. that is confirmation bias. Had I said Yes your response would have been the same. You would have rent your sackcloth and cried "ridiculous!". Because you already are biased you take new information like my "no" or my "exactly" and rush to condemn.

Now, how about you? I put some serious thought into the question you asked and you have not responded. I do not care how you respond frankly, but you do yourself no favors by ignoring it. Was it a rhetorical question on your part? Or did you really want to know my POV? If you really wanted to know then explain why you agree or disagree with it.

Drake
04-25-2017 11:09 AM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Exactly.

Drake
Drake, you do yourself no favors with the snarky word game. The question was phrased: "Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?"

Double negative or not, your answer "No" would/could rightfully be interpreted as "No, There was no church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee."

In any event, then, what was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?
04-25-2017 11:02 AM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I also would answer no.

Now if you asked "was there a church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee? Then I would answer yes.
Exactly.

Drake
04-25-2017 10:45 AM
UntoHim
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

My question was worded rather awkwardly.

Nevertheless, I think Drake or anyone else could simply have answered "no, there was not a church in Los Angeles", or "yes, there was a church in Los Angeles". Of course being the smart fellow that he is, he took advantage. Good for him.

I'll repeat:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Everything that Drake has posted here sounds and smells EXACTLY like how a "denominational" church starts. They gather in the Lord's Name, ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF MERE MEN. In the case that Drake is explaining the mere men were Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. You see there already existed "the church life" in LA. There were already true Christian believers breaking bread in LA. Sorry but "a hunger for a deeper enjoyment" is a totally subjective thing and does NOT define what is and what is not "the church in Los Angeles".
Maybe Drake or Evangelical could address what I have posted above. Feel free to correct my grammar or oddly phrased questions as you feel necessary.
-
04-25-2017 09:55 AM
ZNPaaneah
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
That was then this is now. You're the one who brought up "behaving like Dan", NOT Koinonia, NOT me, NOT anyone else.

Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?

Watch this folks.

-
I also would answer no.

Now if you asked "was there a church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee? Then I would answer yes.
04-25-2017 08:20 AM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Ah, I was actually hoping Drake was going to answer this with what Nee and Lee clearly and strongly taught - that "the church" in any given city is actually a composition of ALL TRUE BELIEVERS in that given city. So the church in Los Angeles existed from the first day that a number (whichever number, presumable "two or three") gathered in the Lord's Name. Obviously Ohio is tracking with me in this same direction.



Everything that Drake has posted here sounds and smells EXACTLY like how a "denominational" church starts. They gather in the Lord's Name, ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF MERE MEN. In the case that Drake is explaining the mere men were Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. You see there already existed "the church life" in LA. There were already true Christian believers breaking bread in LA. Sorry but "a hunger for a deeper enjoyment" is a totally subjective thing and does NOT define what is and what is not "the church in Los Angeles".

Care to try again?

-
A do over? For me?

Yet, I did answer your question the way you had hoped I would. Put my answer in front of your question as a single sentence. Admittedly, it is a question worded in the negative, and oddly phrased, and you demanded a binary answer so I gave it to you just as you requested. Did my best with what I had to work with.

Drake
04-25-2017 08:20 AM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
You are experiencing confirmation bias.

Read the question.

Drake
The question was: "Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?"

And you answered: "No."
04-25-2017 07:54 AM
UntoHim
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Which church was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?
Ah, I was actually hoping Drake was going to answer this with what Nee and Lee clearly and strongly taught - that "the church" in any given city is actually a composition of ALL TRUE BELIEVERS in that given city. So the church in Los Angeles existed from the first day that a number (whichever number, presumable "two or three") gathered in the Lord's Name. Obviously Ohio is tracking with me in this same direction.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
Why you ask. Well, it was a confluence of people and events leading up to that:
- Brother Lee spoke at Westmoreland Chapel and fellowshiped with them a few times between 1958 and 1962,
- Samuel Chang moved to LA in 1959 and spoke about Watchman Nee and the church,
- Some believers from Westmoreland developed a hunger for a deeper enjoyment and to experience the church life,
- in May 1962 they broke bread in Los Angeles,
Everything that Drake has posted here sounds and smells EXACTLY like how a "denominational" church starts. They gather in the Lord's Name, ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF MERE MEN. In the case that Drake is explaining the mere men were Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. You see there already existed "the church life" in LA. There were already true Christian believers breaking bread in LA. Sorry but "a hunger for a deeper enjoyment" is a totally subjective thing and does NOT define what is and what is not "the church in Los Angeles".

Care to try again?

-
04-25-2017 06:54 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Perhaps we can ask you the same question but from the other side:

Which church was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?
The church is spiritual, composed of believers, those born of God to be children of God. When these ones gather, it is the church, and He is in their midst.

Contrary to LC opinion, that the proper name outside your meeting place alone defines the church. Sorry but that is an OT thought, one of physical or material descriptions, and not a spiritual reality, pleasing to God.

The LC doesn't like to admit that they also have tares in their midst, just like other congregations, and this problem is growing.
04-25-2017 06:39 AM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
That was then this is now. You're the one who brought up "behaving like Dan", NOT Koinonia, NOT me, NOT anyone else.

Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?

Watch this folks.

-
Perhaps we can ask you the same question but from the other side:

Which church was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?
04-25-2017 06:37 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post


"But the primary problem is that you find the existence of 10 assemblies v 1 assembly to be a problem. Ignoring the extremist position of a very large number of very small groups, none of actual the assemblies (forget the forced shrinkage) that are in a general area think of themselves as the only proper church and the others as not church. (Always liked the old joke about the Church of Christ thinking that only they would be in heaven.) No. They recognize that the others are also part of the universal body of Christ. They disagree over points of doctrine or practice, but do not invalidate the others because of those differences."


You are talking about sects, not churches. For example the baptist sect is strict in its belief and practice on full immersion baptism, the Presbyterian sect is less so. Both sects are so similar they should have joined years ago - if they truly believed in the oneness of the body. Even though you say they recognize each other as part of the body of Christ, that is only in theory, not in practice.

You cannot provide one bible verse that justifies the division between Baptists and Presbyterians. Neither can Ohio. This shows that your view is unbiblical and wrong. The division was caused by man, not God.

I don't find it ridiculous at all, it is indeed a possibility under your definition of church, that a city have no net growth in the number of Christians and yet the number of denominations grows until there is only 1 person in each church/denomination. However under my definition of church, it is not possible for there to be a church of one person unless there is only 1 Christian in the whole city.
If you study Corinthians, the divisions were more on a personal level, member versus member, eye versus hand, that any differences between churches. Look at the striking differences between the seven Asian churches. Many had more differences than today's church groupings.

But you love to apply your franchise model on all others in order to discredit them all, hiding behind false standards in order to cover up your own corruption. So who will God be pleased with? Who gives glory to God, and who brings shame to His name?
04-25-2017 06:25 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
No.

Drake
It doesn't get any more divisive, arrogant, and condemning than that.
04-25-2017 05:22 AM
leastofthese
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
You are experiencing confirmation bias.

Read the question.

Drake
Could you help define how you read the question?
04-24-2017 09:12 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Wow, how completely ridiculous.
You are experiencing confirmation bias.

Read the question.

Drake
04-24-2017 08:51 PM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
No.

Drake
Wow, how completely ridiculous.
04-24-2017 08:31 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Thank you kind sir!

I take back the presumptuous "watch this folks" blast. That was not fair to you nor to the rest of the onlookers.

Pray-tell, why did the appearance of Witness Lee bring about the first "church in Los Angeles"?

-
No problem. You seemed excited but it happens.

Why you ask. Well, it was a confluence of people and events leading up to that:

- Brother Lee spoke at Westmoreland Chapel and fellowshiped with them a few times between 1958 and 1962,

- Samuel Chang moved to LA in 1959 and spoke about Watchman Nee and the church,

- Some believers from Westmoreland developed a hunger for a deeper enjoyment and to experience the church life,

- in May 1962 they broke bread in Los Angeles,

- A few months later Brother Lee gave a series of messages in Los Angeles.

- Brother Lee decided to stay in the USA as he felt the Lord's leading.

- It took off from there in the surrounding areas of LA.

Drake
04-24-2017 07:42 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And we will stop there because the example is just too ridiculous to be worthy of supporting a doctrinal error.

Why the divisions? Because we don't agree on everything. Just like you don't. You are deluded into thinking that naming yourself on a magical formula gives you the standing to dismiss everyone else while deriding anyone else that might do the same thing to you or any other. There is no passage, paragraph or even verse (other than taken out of context) that grants special privilege to certain Christians because they got the name right or presume a certain boundary for the inclusion of Christians in their assembly.

As for your example of a city with 1,000 Christians . . . .

The first problem is that there is no church of 1. But even shrinking it in such a manner to 5 is to use a fantasy as your basis for truth.

The second problem is that an example of this kind is does not address the causes of the problem (even if you stop at 10 people per group).

But the primary problem is that you find the existence of 10 assemblies v 1 assembly to be a problem. Ignoring the extremist position of a very large number of very small groups, none of actual the assemblies (forget the forced shrinkage) that are in a general area think of themselves as the only proper church and the others as not church. (Always liked the old joke about the Church of Christ thinking that only they would be in heaven.) No. They recognize that the others are also part of the universal body of Christ. They disagree over points of doctrine or practice, but do not invalidate the others because of those differences.

And your little, new-kid-on-the-block group is really no different than the others. With one serious exception. You actually think that you have the standing to invalidate all the others. To demand that they come your way.

That your discovery of dirt means that they all have to come your way no matter how laughable so many of your doctrinal positions are. And how egregiously you disdain everyone else for not joining with you. (They don't do that. Only the "we are the true church" types do those things.)

You like what ifs. So I'll do one.

What if it actually happened. If everyone somehow got the idea that all in a city (or in a subset of a city that provided no more than a reasonable number meeting on one place) joined into one assembly.

You don't want what you would get. You would cease to be the ones in charge. You would first have to browbeat everyone into submission. And if that didn't work, you would have to rely on your headquarters in Anaheim to keep the influx of new people who disagree about Witness Lee from voting out the elders who want to run the show. You might not get some of your favorite doctrines. Christ would no longer be simply the Holy Spirit because too many true theologians of upright character would not tolerate such nonsense to be taught from the assembly that they attend.

Why would this be the likely outcome? Because to get your "everyone meeting together on the ground" you also would have to force them to accept so many horrible doctrines. And everyone would also have to desire to learn from Lee rather than the host of teachers available outside.

But it wouldn't happen. You might get a lot of people idealizing over the notion that all meeting together would be so "spiritual." But once you start tossing Lee and his doctrines into the mix, it would end.

Now the speck that is currently the LRC is the minority within the beast they created. No one reading HWFMR in the meetings. Most of the "open-mic" time eliminated because there is some concern that just anyone saying just anything could cause many to think that the group (and the Bible) agreed.

So what would you do?

Probably leave and start your own group that kept Lee as the MOTA, and was busy declaring all those in that one big church as "degraded Christianity" and your new splinter group as "God's unique move on the earth."

I can assure you that just getting the few that are regulars with the two assemblies that I have met with over the past 30 years in the DFW area would empty out the LSM bookstores, and end HWFMR, and errant doctrines like Christ became the Holy Spirit in the area. This would not be a matter of being mean. It would be the result of the local conference of spiritual leaders that would discuss and pray and declare that "it seems good to us and the Holy Spirit." It would end. Not more denigrating those who aren't meeting with us as "mooing cows" or the Whore of Babylon. No more teaching that the uniqueness of the Trinity is virtually irrelevant and Christ is just the Holy Spirit.

And if you think that appealing to Anaheim would help, I fear that Anaheim might itself be buried under a similar sea of change of direction.

In short, your fantasy that all the Christians in the world could leave the denominations and just meet as the church in their cities would look anything like the LRC or hold to any its doctrines would collapse. It would be like the Road Runner cartoon where the coyote goes into a large pipe which keeps getting smaller and smaller, then when he lets himself out of a faucet, is only 4 inches tall and grabs the Road Runner by the leg, but then holds up a sign that says "Now I've got him what do I do with him?" The answer is obvious. "Nothing." Because you don't have either the force of numbers or the force of spiritual right to run anything that you are not allowed to run by the group.

And I can assure you that nothing of consequence that comes from Lee would remain.

- - - -

Might a meeting with a lot of people who have different doctrinal leanings be a desirable thing? Actually, yes. But because of what it is, it simply would not look like any of the groups. And it would be unable to force strict following of a single teaching source. It might not always do the Lord's table in the form that you like, or that I like. (Actually, I like several different ways. And the LRC's way is not out of the question — just not some special, unique, and only way.)


"But the primary problem is that you find the existence of 10 assemblies v 1 assembly to be a problem. Ignoring the extremist position of a very large number of very small groups, none of actual the assemblies (forget the forced shrinkage) that are in a general area think of themselves as the only proper church and the others as not church. (Always liked the old joke about the Church of Christ thinking that only they would be in heaven.) No. They recognize that the others are also part of the universal body of Christ. They disagree over points of doctrine or practice, but do not invalidate the others because of those differences."


You are talking about sects, not churches. For example the baptist sect is strict in its belief and practice on full immersion baptism, the Presbyterian sect is less so. Both sects are so similar they should have joined years ago - if they truly believed in the oneness of the body. Even though you say they recognize each other as part of the body of Christ, that is only in theory, not in practice.

"But it wouldn't happen. You might get a lot of people idealizing over the notion that all meeting together would be so "spiritual." But once you start tossing Lee and his doctrines into the mix, it would end."

Why would it end once Lee was put into the mix? That's like saying the early churches would end once the New Testament (of which almost 50% is written by Paul) was created.



You cannot provide one bible verse that justifies the division between Baptists and Presbyterians. Neither can Ohio. This shows that your view is unbiblical and wrong. The division was caused by man, not God.

I don't find it ridiculous at all, it is indeed a possibility under your definition of church, that a city have no net growth in the number of Christians and yet the number of denominations grows until there is only 1 person in each church/denomination. However under my definition of church, it is not possible for there to be a church of one person unless there is only 1 Christian in the whole city.
04-24-2017 07:31 PM
UntoHim
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Thank you kind sir!

I take back the presumptuous "watch this folks" blast. That was not fair to you nor to the rest of the onlookers.

Pray-tell, why did the appearance of Witness Lee bring about the first "church in Los Angeles"?

-
04-24-2017 06:57 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
That was then this is now. You're the one who brought up "behaving like Dan", NOT Koinonia, NOT me, NOT anyone else.

Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?

Watch this folks.

-
No.

Drake
04-24-2017 05:33 PM
UntoHim
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

That was then this is now. You're the one who brought up "behaving like Dan", NOT Koinonia, NOT me, NOT anyone else.

Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?

Watch this folks.

-
04-24-2017 05:27 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Sorry Drake, but this is 2017 and not 1017 BC. Your "behaving like Dan" Local Church of Witness Lee lingo is about 3,000 years out of date. But then again, you don't give a flying flip about anything the Old OR New Testament teaches or says if it doesn't jibe with what Witness Lee taught.

Witness Lee came to our fair shores and "set up something else" BIG TIME. He set up "the church in Los Angeles" even though the church in Los Angeles had already existed for decades upon decades. But that's ok with you because he was Witness Lee. That's ok with you because you believe he was the only one speaking as God's oracle since 1945.

Now your buddy (or maybe former buddy) The Bible Answer Man has converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church. If "We Were Wrong" was so true why didn't he become a follower of Witness Lee? Why didn't he bow down with a candle in his hand and pray-read a line or two from HWMR?

Inquiring Minds Want To Know!

-
UntoHim,

I already offered my POV about that earlier in "the Hankster" post #29.

Drake
04-24-2017 05:19 PM
UntoHim
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Sorry Drake, but this is 2017 and not 1017 BC. Your "behaving like Dan" Local Church of Witness Lee lingo is about 3,000 years out of date. But then again, you don't give a flying flip about anything the Old OR New Testament teaches or says if it doesn't jibe with what Witness Lee taught.

Witness Lee came to our fair shores and "set up something else" BIG TIME. He set up "the church in Los Angeles" even though the church in Los Angeles had already existed for decades upon decades. But that's ok with you because he was Witness Lee. That's ok with you because you believe he was the only one speaking as God's oracle since 1945.

Now your buddy (or maybe former buddy) The Bible Answer Man has converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church. If "We Were Wrong" was so true why didn't he become a follower of Witness Lee? Why didn't he bow down with a candle in his hand and pray-read a line or two from HWMR?

Inquiring Minds Want To Know!

-
04-24-2017 05:00 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Drake)" Of course, they [denominations] stand for something unique. Ask them!"

OBW) "As does your group."

Yes! Of course!

What exactly do Baptist's stand for? Baptism! Is baptism scriptural? Yes. Should we get baptized when we believe? Of course. Should we separate ourselves from other believers because they don't baptize or because they baptize differently? Nay, nay. Yet, that is exactly the situation today in the Baptists denominations genre.

Drake
04-24-2017 04:35 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Drake, what do you think is the difference between this and the kind of divisions that occur within the LC?
Koinonia,

I am glad you asked.

There was a similar situation in the Old Testament among the children of Israel. A division among that nation that was very much related to the basis of their worship of Jehovah, its place to be specific. There arose two worship centers, one in Jerusalem and one in Dan. One was ordained by God, the other was not. They both were dedicated to Jehovah. Which one was right?

The king over the northern kingdom had evil intentions yet his arguments were compelling and convinced the people to not go to the place God ordained. After all, right there in their own back yard they could worship and sacrifice to Jehovah. Why make any effort to journey to the proper place of worship and the trip was long and so far away?

Yet God never recognized the altar in Dan as legitimate because it did not follow the prescribed pattern given on the mountain. It sounded right in their ears but it was not on the right ground, the place ordained by God. Were the people in Jerusalem better than the people in Dan? No. Were they smarter? No. Perfect and without failure? No. The only difference between the children of Israel in Jerusalem and those in Dan was the place of worship ordained by God. Being in the right place was everything and their offerings and sacrifices were accepted by God for that reason.

You may apply this in two ways. First, the obvious. The basis for Christian worship is the oneness found only in Christ and the visible expression of that oneness displayed as believers dropping differences and meeting together in unity in whatever place they live. That is their testimony before God and man. That is why OBW's promotion of divisions among believers and his derision of the unity of the believers as the basis for meeting together (what he fondly refers to as the "doctrine of dirt") is untenable and completely out of the pale of orthodoxy. Denominations exist in the principle of Dan. Everything needed for the worship of God is right here in Dan.

Second, applied more to your question is that any leader who does his own thing apart from the fellowship is behaving like Dan. Setting up something else. A ministry that is for the unity of the believers cannot be considered in rebellion like Dan. A leader who establishes churches according to the New Testament pattern is emulating those who worshiped in Jerusalem. Were mistakes made in Jerusalem? Absolutely. Faults, sins, issues, were still inherent in those who worshiped in Jerusalem. But they were in the right place according to the pattern He mandated. A leader that does his own thing is building an altar in Dan. That is the difference in my view. I speak for myself only.

No doubt the folks in the lush gardens of Dan derided those who worshiped in Jerusalem. How dare you tell us our place of worship is wrong! What do you mean that only Jehovah can be worshiped where you attend! Who do you think you are claiming to be God's special people? So are we! You are no better than us and, oh by the way, you teach a doctrine of dirt! Our springs of water are proof that God blesses us as compared to your rocky outcrop!

Drake
04-24-2017 03:49 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Yes, you can find a case where there was discussion of a merger and the truth always is that people are the problem. Just like the people who are running your show. How could you pretend to take on an entire assembly of say, 1,000 who suddenly came your way?

First, it would only happen if much more than the doctrine of dirt was what was being agreed on. You will find that your mantra that dirt solves everything is just a pretty mannequin propped-up in front of a junk yard of bad doctrines. You will never find any significant persons who will be fooled by the doctrine of dirt. It has too many leeches hanging onto it. The claim that it is spiritually preferable is shown to be the lie that it is when the baggage that comes with it is seen.

You tell me how just agreeing to meet at the church in Dallas will solve your problems with those who currently are not meeting with you. It will not do it because it is a fantasy that God is actually for your errant doctrines and will just fix it all if they only see the ground.

Make you a deal. Start really dealing with the teachings that are so far from scripture that they can hardly be called Christian, and I will discuss the unity that you think is found only within your doors.

OBW,

For arguments sake, let's just yield to the power of your logic: the "doctrine of dirt" argument trumps all and the local churches are irrelevant now.

Now, that does not explain why denominations are set up, propped up, and continue to exist. They exist because they stand for something unique. The scenario you describe where different denominations come together for some reason is merely a shaking of hands over the walls. There is still a wall. And if you like walls between believers then you should have more walls. In your world of denominations and division among Christians the more the better. Build those divisions up! Find more things to divide us, they are good!

That is why your position on denominations does not square with scripture. There is simply no justification for division. The denominations and the sustaining organizations you describe simply do not exist in scripture. There were divisions in Corinth that Paul chastised them for, and yet they pale in comparison to the organized fortresses of division that now exist. The divisions in Christianity are monstrosities! Call them what they are!

Drake
04-24-2017 03:46 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
OBM"Only people assemble. And there would be no excommunication of a member of an SBC for meeting, even somewhat regularly, with and AOG assembly. And doubtful that such would happen for an RCC member also meeting with any of the others."

OBW, its about the denomination as an entity. It is not about individual members going here or there. That is not a problem... usually.

If the denomination does not stand for something unique then why do they exist as a separate entity?

Of course, they stand for something unique. Ask them!
As does your group. Your claim that the LRC is not a denomination is made a lie by the control from a headquarters in Anaheim. And it has even violated your own rules by declaring that it is, collectively, The Local Churches. They go to court in this collective name. And they rely on support of lawyers from Anaheim to fight their legal battles to extract property from the people who have continued to meet in that property, relying on evidence that the collection of groups is grounds for these that no longer join with them losing their property.

Either the church with no name and no headquarters exists and has its "say 'Amen' if you agree to go on as we did last year" business meetings, or it has a strict rule about who is in charge no matter what the people there say. Either it has its own property and cannot be sued as long as the membership says "amen" to whatever they say "amen" to, or it is a denomination, even having a name. "The Church in Dallas" is part of the denomination "The Local Churches" with headquarters on La Palma in Anaheim. Same for the Church in Seattle, in New York, in Miami, and even in Anaheim. They are not separate assemblies that choose to gather, but rather dependent assemblies who cannot choose otherwise.
04-24-2017 03:28 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

OBM"Only people assemble. And there would be no excommunication of a member of an SBC for meeting, even somewhat regularly, with and AOG assembly. And doubtful that such would happen for an RCC member also meeting with any of the others."

OBW, its about the denomination as an entity. It is not about individual members going here or there. That is not a problem... usually.

If the denomination does not stand for something unique then why do they exist as a separate entity?

Of course, they stand for something unique. Ask them!

Drake
04-24-2017 02:36 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I will give you one other example: the Pentecostal Holiness, the Assembly of God, and the Church of God denominations are very close in beliefs. The first two are for all intents and purposes identical with no daylight between them. For years they talked of merging.... "no need to have two denominations when there is no difference between us" was the thought. They talked but they did not merge and decided their assemblies should not to meet together because other things came in... conference headquarters, leadership positions, revenue streams, who gets to call the shots, logistics, etc.
Yes, you can find a case where there was discussion of a merger and the truth always is that people are the problem. Just like the people who are running your show. How could you pretend to take on an entire assembly of say, 1,000 who suddenly came your way?

First, it would only happen if much more than the doctrine of dirt was what was being agreed on. You will find that your mantra that dirt solves everything is just a pretty mannequin propped-up in front of a junk yard of bad doctrines. You will never find any significant persons who will be fooled by the doctrine of dirt. It has too many leeches hanging onto it. The claim that it is spiritually preferable is shown to be the lie that it is when the baggage that comes with it is seen.

You tell me how just agreeing to meet at the church in Dallas will solve your problems with those who currently are not meeting with you. It will not do it because it is a fantasy that God is actually for your errant doctrines and will just fix it all if they only see the ground.

Make you a deal. Start really dealing with the teachings that are so far from scripture that they can hardly be called Christian, and I will discuss the unity that you think is found only within your doors.
04-24-2017 02:30 PM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
I will give you one other example: the Pentecostal Holiness, the Assembly of God, and the Church of God denominations are very close in beliefs. The first two are for all intents and purposes identical with no daylight between them. For years they talked of merging.... "no need to have two denominations when there is no difference between us" was the thought. They talked but they did not merge and decided their assemblies should not to meet together because other things came in... conference headquarters, leadership positions, revenue streams, who gets to call the shots, logistics, etc.

That is the reality.... just call denominations for what they are.. they are divisions, organized that way by design. If after properly identifying them for what they are you still believe that denominations are right then do as Evangelical has suggested: Create more denominations and build the walls higher! At least then, you would be consistent. You do not have a scriptural leg to stand on by trying to equate a denomination as a member of a body. That is wrong in so many ways.

Drake
Drake, what do you think is the difference between this and the kind of divisions that occur within the LC?
04-24-2017 02:26 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
A SBC church cannot freely meet with an Assembly of God.... if they value their membership in the SBC conference.
First, assemblies do not, by definition, meet with assemblies. But they do join together in many things without any consideration that it is the dreaded SBD, AOG, MSP, Anglicans, Lutherans, etc. (or gasp, the RCC) that are either behind it or also engaged. You are claiming false restrictions on the practice of faith by so many. They are not so restricted as you claim. That is simply a lie.

Only people assemble. And there would be no excommunication of a member of an SBC for meeting, even somewhat regularly, with and AOG assembly. And doubtful that such would happen for an RCC member also meeting with any of the others.

You have made a false statement.

Your analogy of a pastor taking his congregation to a different assembly presumes that the pastor dictates all things about his congregation.

But it might surprise you to know that there are times all over our area in which pastors who are part of different groups preach at the assemblies of other groups. Presbyterians at Bible churches. Baptists at Presbyterian. Free group preachers of Arminian doctrine preaching at assemblies of Calvinist doctrine. Even an Anglican greeted openly as guest preacher at the assembly I meet with (very non-Anglican). And it is not just for show.

No, I doubt that your elders were invited to speak anywhere else under these situations. But that is probably because they are not part of the family of churches whose leaders join together regularly to discuss their differences, and their heart for Christ and the communities in which they meet and their prayers for each other and for the spread of the gospel. Instead, you elders are closed. They meet only with themselves and do only what Anaheim allows.

They ought to join with them. They might learn that the lies spread by Lee and now the BBs about the sectarianism of Christianity is a fabrication.
04-24-2017 02:05 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

OBW, "Your example of the SBC is one of the more foolish. There isn't even any control by the Conference on its members. They are free to join or leave as they see fit. They don't even fit the definition of a denomination as you would have it."

OBW, the members can come an go as they please. We are discussing a denomination as an entity.

A SBC church cannot freely meet with an Assembly of God.... if they value their membership in the SBC conference. And if some zealous pastor wants to bolt because he spoke in tongues one night and take his SBC congregation with him to the nearest Pentecostal church he will find that contractually he cannot and the conference will send in a new pastor, approved by the conference of course. Every denomination is organized that way to a lesser or greater degree. There are many things in play: Belief system, Revenue intake, Control of Tangible Assets (like the property, buildings, and buses, etc.).

I have been involved in the organizational workings of denominational churches and their conferences so I am aware firsthand of the conversations associated with them.

I will give you one other example: the Pentecostal Holiness, the Assembly of God, and the Church of God denominations are very close in beliefs. The first two are for all intents and purposes identical with no daylight between them. For years they talked of merging.... "no need to have two denominations when there is no difference between us" was the thought. They talked but they did not merge and decided their assemblies should not to meet together because other things came in... conference headquarters, leadership positions, revenue streams, who gets to call the shots, logistics, etc.

That is the reality.... just call denominations for what they are.. they are divisions, organized that way by design. If after properly identifying them for what they are you still believe that denominations are right then do as Evangelical has suggested: Create more denominations and build the walls higher! At least then, you would be consistent. You do not have a scriptural leg to stand on by trying to equate a denomination as a member of a body. That is wrong in so many ways.

Drake
04-24-2017 01:41 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I agree that Christians need each other. So why the divisions/denominations? That is a much stronger argument for my view than yours.

I am sure that Paul was not thinking about denominations when he wrote about the different parts of the body. Your fault, for misapplying the verse out of context.

I can easily show that my view is logical and yours is not.

Imagine there is a city with 1000 Christians. . . .
And we will stop there because the example is just too ridiculous to be worthy of supporting a doctrinal error.

Why the divisions? Because we don't agree on everything. Just like you don't. You are deluded into thinking that naming yourself on a magical formula gives you the standing to dismiss everyone else while deriding anyone else that might do the same thing to you or any other. There is no passage, paragraph or even verse (other than taken out of context) that grants special privilege to certain Christians because they got the name right or presume a certain boundary for the inclusion of Christians in their assembly.

As for your example of a city with 1,000 Christians . . . .

The first problem is that there is no church of 1. But even shrinking it in such a manner to 5 is to use a fantasy as your basis for truth.

The second problem is that an example of this kind is does not address the causes of the problem (even if you stop at 10 people per group).

But the primary problem is that you find the existence of 10 assemblies v 1 assembly to be a problem. Ignoring the extremist position of a very large number of very small groups, none of actual the assemblies (forget the forced shrinkage) that are in a general area think of themselves as the only proper church and the others as not church. (Always liked the old joke about the Church of Christ thinking that only they would be in heaven.) No. They recognize that the others are also part of the universal body of Christ. They disagree over points of doctrine or practice, but do not invalidate the others because of those differences.

And your little, new-kid-on-the-block group is really no different than the others. With one serious exception. You actually think that you have the standing to invalidate all the others. To demand that they come your way.

That your discovery of dirt means that they all have to come your way no matter how laughable so many of your doctrinal positions are. And how egregiously you disdain everyone else for not joining with you. (They don't do that. Only the "we are the true church" types do those things.)

You like what ifs. So I'll do one.

What if it actually happened. If everyone somehow got the idea that all in a city (or in a subset of a city that provided no more than a reasonable number meeting on one place) joined into one assembly.

You don't want what you would get. You would cease to be the ones in charge. You would first have to browbeat everyone into submission. And if that didn't work, you would have to rely on your headquarters in Anaheim to keep the influx of new people who disagree about Witness Lee from voting out the elders who want to run the show. You might not get some of your favorite doctrines. Christ would no longer be simply the Holy Spirit because too many true theologians of upright character would not tolerate such nonsense to be taught from the assembly that they attend.

Why would this be the likely outcome? Because to get your "everyone meeting together on the ground" you also would have to force them to accept so many horrible doctrines. And everyone would also have to desire to learn from Lee rather than the host of teachers available outside.

But it wouldn't happen. You might get a lot of people idealizing over the notion that all meeting together would be so "spiritual." But once you start tossing Lee and his doctrines into the mix, it would end.

Now the speck that is currently the LRC is the minority within the beast they created. No one reading HWFMR in the meetings. Most of the "open-mic" time eliminated because there is some concern that just anyone saying just anything could cause many to think that the group (and the Bible) agreed.

So what would you do?

Probably leave and start your own group that kept Lee as the MOTA, and was busy declaring all those in that one big church as "degraded Christianity" and your new splinter group as "God's unique move on the earth."

I can assure you that just getting the few that are regulars with the two assemblies that I have met with over the past 30 years in the DFW area would empty out the LSM bookstores, and end HWFMR, and errant doctrines like Christ became the Holy Spirit in the area. This would not be a matter of being mean. It would be the result of the local conference of spiritual leaders that would discuss and pray and declare that "it seems good to us and the Holy Spirit." It would end. Not more denigrating those who aren't meeting with us as "mooing cows" or the Whore of Babylon. No more teaching that the uniqueness of the Trinity is virtually irrelevant and Christ is just the Holy Spirit.

And if you think that appealing to Anaheim would help, I fear that Anaheim might itself be buried under a similar sea of change of direction.

In short, your fantasy that all the Christians in the world could leave the denominations and just meet as the church in their cities would look anything like the LRC or hold to any its doctrines would collapse. It would be like the Road Runner cartoon where the coyote goes into a large pipe which keeps getting smaller and smaller, then when he lets himself out of a faucet, is only 4 inches tall and grabs the Road Runner by the leg, but then holds up a sign that says "Now I've got him what do I do with him?" The answer is obvious. "Nothing." Because you don't have either the force of numbers or the force of spiritual right to run anything that you are not allowed to run by the group.

And I can assure you that nothing of consequence that comes from Lee would remain.

- - - -

Might a meeting with a lot of people who have different doctrinal leanings be a desirable thing? Actually, yes. But because of what it is, it simply would not look like any of the groups. And it would be unable to force strict following of a single teaching source. It might not always do the Lord's table in the form that you like, or that I like. (Actually, I like several different ways. And the LRC's way is not out of the question — just not some special, unique, and only way.)
04-24-2017 12:16 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
OBW"You are straining at the analogy while missing the point. Paul used the analogy of a body with constituent parts (hand, foot, head, eyes, etc.) to demonstrate that we need each other. When you argue that it does not apply to groups of Christians relative to other groups of Christians is to insist that it may not be OK to belittle or dismiss a single member, but doing it wholesale to an entire group is OK."

but, but, but OBW,

It is not the local churches that divide the christians.... it is the denominations that in practice own they do not need EACH OTHER!
Talk about getting lost in semantics. In the way of functioning, you are no less saying that about any other — if anyone says it in a way that is as egregious as you claim.

So if you also don't need them, then what makes your group more precious? I know! It's the holy water sprinkled over your no-name name formula of saying you don't divide as you dismiss everyone else!

You can't claim that one of the latest groups to come along and separate from everyone else is not the one dividing the Christians — if they really are as divided as you claim. Of course, that is the whole thing. You argue that they are more divided than they are. Your claim that they don't need the others is derived from what? Your opinion? I have not seen anything anywhere (including posted here) that makes your claim meaningful. And if you choose to return with some quote from someone, then you are just grandstanding. But even if you succeed in finding such a statement, I suspect that it will be little more than an opinion by a person. Not a statement made by an entire group.

Your example of the SBC is one of the more foolish. There isn't even any control by the Conference on its members. They are free to join or leave as they see fit. They don't even fit the definition of a denomination as you would have it.
04-23-2017 04:46 PM
Terry
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
During my time in the LC I was told about a situation like this somewhere in the South - Tennessee? Texas? I don't remember. The point of the story was that the LSM elders actually do care about the ground of oneness - so if another local church started before the LSM denomination church, that non-LSM church would rightfully lay claim to that ground. As it turns out, that local church WAS established before the LSM church in that city, so the elders stepped in to merge the churches.

To no ones surprise, these two churches didn't merge - as the story goes
that church ultimately didn't want to merge (wonder why?)

For this reason the LSM church was able to claim the true ground of oneness (in their world) and it stands so today.
The ground of oneness is according to a ministry. That's what makes them ministry churches. Many assemblies can say we meet according to the ground. Question is, what is the ground?
I know of two assemblies in Accra that met according to the ground. One is pro-LSM and the other is non-LSM.
Same can be said about other places.
Why don't assemblies in the same locality don't want to merge? I'm sure one of the issues that comes up is the matter of leadership and submitting to leadership. As well as what is the focus of the assembly?
04-23-2017 09:00 AM
leastofthese
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Let me ask you a simple question which I know you cannot answer -- why are there now numerous cities with multiple LC's? Many cities now have two, three, and even four churches all claiming to be the true LC, standing on the ground of oneness, and having nearly identical teachings and history, yet have no fellowship with one another.
During my time in the LC I was told about a situation like this somewhere in the South - Tennessee? Texas? I don't remember. The point of the story was that the LSM elders actually do care about the ground of oneness - so if another local church started before the LSM denomination church, that non-LSM church would rightfully lay claim to that ground. As it turns out, that local church WAS established before the LSM church in that city, so the elders stepped in to merge the churches.

To no ones surprise, these two churches didn't merge - as the story goes
that church ultimately didn't want to merge (wonder why?)

For this reason the LSM church was able to claim the true ground of oneness (in their world) and it stands so today.

I'm sure certain members can come and try to poke holes, delegitimize, make accusations, to try and hang me from the rafters, but this was my experience and what I was told by a leading brother. Simple as that.
04-23-2017 05:06 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
As Drake alluded to, the denominations themselves, even their very existence, divides them. They invalidate themselves, when they stray from the New Testament way.

I can ask you a simple question which I know you cannot answer - give us one good bible verse that gives a biblical reason why the Baptist and Presbyterian churches should not be one church. Is the Bible their basis for division or is it something else?
Let me ask you a simple question which I know you cannot answer -- why are there now numerous cities with multiple LC's? Many cities now have two, three, and even four churches all claiming to be the true LC, standing on the ground of oneness, and having nearly identical teachings and history, yet have no fellowship with one another. The Baptist and Presbyterian churches in the same city have far less animus, and far more fellowship, than any of these LC's, yet you readily condemn them, when they should be condemning you, but they don't.
04-23-2017 04:50 AM
Ohio
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Drake View Post
OBW"You are straining at the analogy while missing the point. Paul used the analogy of a body with constituent parts (hand, foot, head, eyes, etc.) to demonstrate that we need each other. When you argue that it does not apply to groups of Christians relative to other groups of Christians is to insist that it may not be OK to belittle or dismiss a single member, but doing it wholesale to an entire group is OK."

but, but, but OBW,

It is not the local churches that divide the christians.... it is the denominations that in practice own they do not need EACH OTHER!

Drake
Drake, Drake, Drake,

Can't you, for just one second, remember your own sordid history as you lecture others on the body of Christ, and the needing of other believers?

When the Lee family got caught up in scandal after scandal, from Taipei payoffs to Daystar Motorhomes to molesting the volunteer sisters, did LSM ever get quarantined? Yet LSM so easily cut off whole regions of churches over frivolous meany details like playing drums, writing books, and preferring clean sheets. The Corinthian believers may have lost sight that they needed every finger and toe, but your leadership at LSM was willing to perform hari kari and spill out all the guts from their own "body" at that farcical Whistler kangaroo court.

By what authority can you judge whole denominations for their names? Take a step back and consider the attitude of your own leaders. Your own leadership in Anaheim has proven over and over that "in practice" you don't need any one else, except, of course, good lawyers and "cooperative" judges.
04-22-2017 10:02 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You are straining at the analogy while missing the point. Paul used the analogy of a body with constituent parts (hand, foot, head, eyes, etc.) to demonstrate that we need each other. When you argue that it does not apply to groups of Christians relative to other groups of Christians is to insist that it may not be OK to belittle or dismiss a single member, but doing it wholesale to an entire group is OK.
I agree that Christians need each other. So why the divisions/denominations? That is a much stronger argument for my view than yours.


Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
So cutting of a single member is a travesty that Paul spoke against, but if you can do it on a grand scale, like spiritual genocide, it is entirely OK. Arguing that the hand/foot/finger/head analogy does not properly fit is far from Carte Blanche to engage in such genocide. I was hoping that you had better reasoning skills than a 7th grader that might not even be able to grasp the idea as a person as being represented by a foot. Instead, you are unable to take an example that we understand and broaden it, even if it does not seem to fit because of the nature of the words.

You seem OK with the idea that the one body might have multiple feet, hands, etc. Even many more than the typical number in a real body. You don't have fits over the idea that an assembly might have 50 people that could all be referenced as hands. Yet you get your mind blown at the slightly errant use of the analogy when applied on a grander scale because it implied that a particular assembly might just be feet, or one foot. Pull your head out! Accept the limitations of the analogy and work with it. So an assembly is not simply a foot. But it is a collection of hands, feet, eyes, ears, and on and on, that is part of the body of Christ.
I am sure that Paul was not thinking about denominations when he wrote about the different parts of the body. Your fault, for misapplying the verse out of context.

I can easily show that my view is logical and yours is not.

Imagine there is a city with 1000 Christians. We believe it is one church with 1000 Christians. That number can grow as more people are converted.

With your view, suppose there are 10 denominations and exactly 100 people in each denomination. You would say there are 10 churches in the city. Assume the number of denominations grows, up to 20 denominations, but the number of Christians remains the same at 1000. There are now 20 churches with 50 in each church.

Take it to the limit - it is possible to have 1000 churches with 1 person in each church. That 1 person in each church is likely to be the pastor of each church, waiting for his church to grow in numbers so he can preach to some congregation and a conduct a church service. It might seem an unlikely, even silly, suggesting to contemplate - but the fact is that your definition of church allows for such a possibility, and mine does not. Therefore my definition is superior and yours is logically flawed.

Which of these two views are better representing the body of Christ that Paul talked about? Is it 1000 churches with 1 person in each church? Or is it 1 church of 1000.

Your view cannot handle the extreme cases - unlikely to happen, but possible.

Your view must also, by default, accept the LGBT churches, for example, as being a different "part of the body".


Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
In other words, you are looking for reasons to invalidate Christians. Lots of them. In fact, most of them. They don't follow the teachings of your taste, which come from a very singular and certain teacher. His name adorns your bookshelves. Yet you think that you do not violate Paul's admonition of being too much for one teacher. (One which does not invalidate you or your group, but points to an error that needs correction.)
As Drake alluded to, the denominations themselves, even their very existence, divides them. They invalidate themselves, when they stray from the New Testament way.

I can ask you a simple question which I know you cannot answer - give us one good bible verse that gives a biblical reason why the Baptist and Presbyterian churches should not be one church. Is the Bible their basis for division or is it something else?
04-21-2017 01:45 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

OBW"You are straining at the analogy while missing the point. Paul used the analogy of a body with constituent parts (hand, foot, head, eyes, etc.) to demonstrate that we need each other. When you argue that it does not apply to groups of Christians relative to other groups of Christians is to insist that it may not be OK to belittle or dismiss a single member, but doing it wholesale to an entire group is OK."

but, but, but OBW,

It is not the local churches that divide the christians.... it is the denominations that in practice own they do not need EACH OTHER!

Ask the Southern Baptist Conference if they need the Pentecostal (Assemblies of God) conference to function.... they don't. Pick any two denominations, same thing. That is precisely the reason they exist independently, meet independently, manage independently. They would apply the members of the body verses to themselves in practice, not to each other... else, how could they continue to remain separated?

Drake
04-21-2017 12:59 PM
Terry
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
My follow on question to that would be "Which part and how many parts are there?". We then get to the point of the matter which is they believe there are many churches , and not "one church" as the bible teaches. That is because they are sects (groups within a group) and not "the church", as Christ said he will build "my church" (not churches).
I prefer to use the word "assemblies" rather than "churches". As we know there is one church, but many assemblies.
Talking about part or parts, when a pastor I knew refers to the local Body of Christ, he was referring to Christians living in Renton, Wa where this assembly meets locally. For any Christian that considered themselves part of the Body of Christ, they were welcome to meet.
04-21-2017 12:10 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
I do not see anything in Scripture which indicates that a group of Christians i.e. a denomination is a "hand" or a "foot". A view which says this denomination over here is a foot and this one over here is a hand is incorrect.
You are straining at the analogy while missing the point. Paul used the analogy of a body with constituent parts (hand, foot, head, eyes, etc.) to demonstrate that we need each other. When you argue that it does not apply to groups of Christians relative to other groups of Christians is to insist that it may not be OK to belittle or dismiss a single member, but doing it wholesale to an entire group is OK.

So cutting of a single member is a travesty that Paul spoke against, but if you can do it on a grand scale, like spiritual genocide, it is entirely OK. Arguing that the hand/foot/finger/head analogy does not properly fit is far from Carte Blanche to engage in such genocide. I was hoping that you had better reasoning skills than a 7th grader that might not even be able to grasp the idea as a person as being represented by a foot. Instead, you are unable to take an example that we understand and broaden it, even if it does not seem to fit because of the nature of the words.

You seem OK with the idea that the one body might have multiple feet, hands, etc. Even many more than the typical number in a real body. You don't have fits over the idea that an assembly might have 50 people that could all be referenced as hands. Yet you get your mind blown at the slightly errant use of the analogy when applied on a grander scale because it implied that a particular assembly might just be feet, or one foot. Pull your head out! Accept the limitations of the analogy and work with it. So an assembly is not simply a foot. But it is a collection of hands, feet, eyes, ears, and on and on, that is part of the body of Christ.

And you are willing to just throw them all into the trash because they do not follow your formula for naming churches. Or eating/not eating meat offered to idols. Or allowing a woman to speak in a church.

In other words, you are looking for reasons to invalidate Christians. Lots of them. In fact, most of them. They don't follow the teachings of your taste, which come from a very singular and certain teacher. His name adorns your bookshelves. Yet you think that you do not violate Paul's admonition of being too much for one teacher. (One which does not invalidate you or your group, but points to an error that needs correction.)
04-20-2017 03:14 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You would that all the body be a head. Or a hand. Or a foot.

We are the body, and members in particular.

But you would prefer to marginalize all who are not you. Make them of no importance. Cut of a toe. Or a finger. Or even an ear.

Maim the body for the sake of unity.
I do not see anything in Scripture which indicates that a group of Christians i.e. a denomination is a "hand" or a "foot". A view which says this denomination over here is a foot and this one over here is a hand is incorrect.
04-20-2017 12:57 PM
OBW
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
My follow on question to that would be "Which part and how many parts are there?". We then get to the point of the matter which is they believe there are many churches , and not "one church" as the bible teaches. That is because they are sects (groups within a group) and not "the church", as Christ said he will build "my church" (not churches).
You would that all the body be a head. Or a hand. Or a foot.

We are the body, and members in particular.

But you would prefer to marginalize all who are not you. Make them of no importance. Cut of a toe. Or a finger. Or even an ear.

Maim the body for the sake of unity.
04-20-2017 12:31 PM
Terry
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
You cannot condemn me for belonging to a group, and then condemn me for not belong to a group.
Belonging to a group implies being rooted in one place. We should be those always looking to where the Lord may lead. In His sovereignty one door may close and another door opens.
04-20-2017 12:25 PM
Terry
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
How does the "contrarian ones" sound?
That sounds more acceptable than opposer. Just the term opposer gives the impression of someone disagreeing 100% which I believe is not an accurate description.
04-19-2017 07:45 PM
Drake
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
No, but what I have heard is saying they're part of the local Body of Christ.
The Body of Christ is universal, spanning space and time. The churches are local.

Those who use the term "local Body of Christ" want it both ways: They are leveraging the fact that they are members of the universal Body of Christ and apply it to their division, the very divisions that separate its members.

Drake
04-19-2017 03:34 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
No, but what I have heard is saying they're part of the local Body of Christ.
My follow on question to that would be "Which part and how many parts are there?". We then get to the point of the matter which is they believe there are many churches , and not "one church" as the bible teaches. That is because they are sects (groups within a group) and not "the church", as Christ said he will build "my church" (not churches).
04-19-2017 12:38 PM
Terry
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
An interesting question to ask pastors or priests of churches is "are you the true and genuine local church in the city as per the bible". If they are, they should have no problem saying they are.
No, but what I have heard is saying they're part of the local Body of Christ.
04-19-2017 12:36 PM
Terry
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Evangelical, you cannot rightfully take "the church in Los Angeles" as your definition because you are not the definition of the church in Los Angeles. You are only a part of it.
It appears more appropriate to say an assembly that takes the name as "the church in Los Angeles" is not the same as expressing of the church in Los Angeles. Calling yourselves the church in Los Angeles or the church in Bellevue is just taking a name to register by.
04-19-2017 06:44 AM
Igzy
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Of course the bible allows house churches. We, meet in houses, to an outsider, we are sometimes considered a "house church".
Paul wasn't an outsider, and yet he still recognized the house church. He did not make it clear that the house church and the local church were the same thing. You are stretching the limits of plausibility, so it's clear your definition is what it is because you have a predisposition to believe in locality, which is circular reasoning. The fact is another interpretation is reasonable. And that interpretation is that house churches are valid boundaries of churches.

If the church in the house were the same as the church in the city Paul would never have worded his references the way he did. If you wrote a letter to the church in the whole city, and the church in the house were the same thing, you would not have written along with other greetings, "greet the church in Joe's house." You would have said something like "greet the rest of the church, including those which meet at Joe's house." If you believed that the only valid church was the local church you would not have referred to houses churches in the manner Paul did--on four different occasions. That is, not if you wanted the matter of locality to be clear, and manifestly Paul didn't seem to care about that.

Some say local churches, some say houses churches too. Neither interpretation is completely verifiable. Both are reasonable in their own way, but neither is a clear winner. If the Lord wanted us to be sure that only local churches are valid he never would have allowed houses churches to be mentioned in the way they were, and he also would have made it more clear that local churches are the only option. But he left the door open to believe that house churches were valid. He must have had a reason. And it seems to me one reason must be to tell us "Don't be contentious about how others meet because you cannot be sure that you are completely right." In other words, he leaves doors open precisely because he doesn't want us to act like you and the LCM do about these matters.

If there are two or more reasonable interpretations of something in the Bible then his command to "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" should prevail. You have no right to push locality the way to do given the uncertainty of the issue. You proclaim you have certainty when reasonable minds realize you can't have it. The net result is your contentious attitude about the situation, and your unreasonable insistence on things you cannot be certain of. That's the reason the attitude of the LCM is such an issue. (And this is an example of how the pressure in the LCM to conform to an idea pushes them to be unreasonable.)

Yes, you can make a case for local churches. But that case does not win hands down. There are other reasonable interpretations. Given that you should respect them. But you don't. That's the problem.

I'm not saying your interpretation is wrong (I think it is, but that's not my point). I'm saying given the uncertainty of the matter you have no right to expect others to embrace it, and in doing so you violate tenets of oneness which are deeper and more important that just being "practically one."
04-18-2017 10:02 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
Evangelical, you cannot rightfully take "the church in Los Angeles" as your definition because you are not the definition of the church in Los Angeles. You are only a part of it.
An "assembly in a house in Los Angeles" is the same as "an assembly in Los Angeles". According to the New Testament, an assembly in a house or in a locality is the right definition of a church.
04-18-2017 08:38 PM
Koinonia
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
Of course the bible allows house churches. We, meet in houses, to an outsider, we are sometimes considered a "house church". But we do not let the house define us, but the locality. Just like Paul never writes a letter to "all the house churches in Corinth", but to the "church in Corinth". We see ourselves as one church. You are focusing on the nitty gritty about house churches to ignore the greater obvious - churches are defined by locality.

It is not correct to say they are different, and rather illogical. For example, take this verse:

Col 4:15 Salute the brothers which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

You seem to be read this as though the church in Laodicea and the church in Nymphas's house are different churches.

But Ellicott's commentary says "He is obviously a man of importance, a centre of Church life, in the Christian community at Laodicea."

So the church in Nymphas's house is part of the church in Laodicea. We should not count them as two churches, but the one and same church in Laodicea.

Going to Revelation, we see the church in Laodicea mentioned.
Revelation 3 "To the Church in Laodicea " Is the church in Nymphas's house mentioned? Not at all. Revelation is silent about house churches.
Evangelical, you cannot rightfully take "the church in Los Angeles" as your definition because you are not the definition of the church in Los Angeles. You are only a part of it.
04-18-2017 07:20 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Now you are tap dancing on very thin ice. First you said the Bible did not reference any church except by city. I gave you four examples that proved that claim was false, so you try to change the focus.

It is not any more true to say the church in the house is the same as the church in the city as it is to say the church in the city is the same as the universal church. Yes, they are the same in nature, but they are different.

The Bible plainly allows church in houses. Given that there are usually more than one house per city this make it reasonable to claim that there can be more than one church in a city. (Don't get me wrong, there is still the church in the city, but there is also the church in the house and they are not made up of exactly the same group of people.)

House churches place reasonable doubt on your claims. To insist on locality in the light of them show you to be in the realm of fanaticism.

As for your weird and unbiblical obsession with names, whatever. Grow up. Get a life. Do something that shows you have some sense.

You've been shown twice tonight to not know what your talking about. Maybe you should take a break.
Of course the bible allows house churches. We, meet in houses, to an outsider, we are sometimes considered a "house church". But we do not let the house define us, but the locality. Just like Paul never writes a letter to "all the house churches in Corinth", but to the "church in Corinth". We see ourselves as one church. You are focusing on the nitty gritty about house churches to ignore the greater obvious - churches are defined by locality.

It is not correct to say they are different, and rather illogical. For example, take this verse:

Col 4:15 Salute the brothers which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

You seem to be read this as though the church in Laodicea and the church in Nymphas's house are different churches.

But Ellicott's commentary says "He is obviously a man of importance, a centre of Church life, in the Christian community at Laodicea."

So the church in Nymphas's house is part of the church in Laodicea. We should not count them as two churches, but the one and same church in Laodicea.

Going to Revelation, we see the church in Laodicea mentioned.
Revelation 3 "To the Church in Laodicea " Is the church in Nymphas's house mentioned? Not at all. Revelation is silent about house churches.
04-18-2017 07:05 PM
Igzy
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
What is clear to me that there is no denominational names given to the house churches. Paul does not even say "the house church of...". It is the "church in the household of...". It's both, actually. The church in the household of such and such must reside in some locality. They are the church in the locality and also the church in the house.

In the Recovery, we sometimes refer to the church, or meeting, in such a such a person's house. Yet we believe we are all part of the one same church in the city. A church in a house is also a locality church.

What we cannot find, I believe, is any example of a church being larger than a city.
Now you are tap dancing on very thin ice. First you said the Bible did not reference any church except by city. I gave you four examples that proved that claim was false, so now you try to change the focus.

It is not any more true to say the church in the house is the same as the church in the city as it is to say the church in the city is the same as the universal church. Yes, they are the same in nature, but they are different.

The Bible plainly allows churches based on the boundaries of houses. Given that there are usually more than one house per city this makes it reasonable to claim that there can be more than one church in a city. (Don't get me wrong, there is still the church in the city, but there is also the church in the house and they are not made up of exactly the same group of people.)

House churches place reasonable doubt on your claims. To insist on locality in the light of them shows you to be in the realm of fanaticism.

As for your weird and unbiblical obsession with names, whatever. Grow up. Get a life. Do something that shows you have some sense.

You've been shown twice tonight to not know what your talking about. Maybe you should take a break.
04-18-2017 06:56 PM
Evangelical
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Except for the church in Philemon's house (Phi 1:2), the church in Aquila and Priscilla's house (1 Cor 16:19), the church in Nympha's house (Col 4:15) and again the church at Aquila and Priscilla's house (Rom 16:5). There were not referred to by city, but by the tenants of the house they met in. So your above claim is FLAT FALSE.

Again, there is no compelling reason to believe these house churches were actually local churches, that is unless you are trying to push that doctrine, which Lee was and you are. Note Aquila and Priscilla had a church in their house in Corinth and also at their house in Rome. Do you really think Paul would refer to two different local churches by the names of the same two people that happened to house each? That doesn't make sense. Just look at the wording. Paul in Romans' greets a bunch of saints. And then greets the church in Aquila's and Priscilla's house. It doesn't make sense from context and wording that the church in their house corresponded to the whole church in Rome. Paul greeted more people than could fit in the house of two itinerant missionaries, and there had to be many more saints in the church. How could the whole church meet there?

No, the only safe bet is that local churches and house churches were different. House churches blow a gaping hole in your insistence on local churches. Any fair-minded person can see that. Their existence should temper your boldness. The fact it doesn't is evidence of fanaticism and unreasonable, divisive dogma.
What is clear to me is that there is no denominational names given to those house churches. Paul does not even say "the house church of..." The church in the household of such and such must reside in some locality. They are the church in the locality and also the church in the house.

In the Recovery, we sometimes refer to the church, or meeting, in such a such a person's house. Yet we believe we are all part of the one same church in the city. A church in a house is also a locality church.

What we cannot find, I believe, is any example of a church being larger than a city. When referring to more than one locality, scripture reverts to the plural word - churches. This rules out the idea of a church encompassing a number of localities, as most denominations do.
04-18-2017 06:46 PM
Igzy
Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
The bible refers to all churches by their locality. There is no case of the church being referred to by anything other. This is biblical support.
Except for the church in Philemon's house (Phi 1:2), the church in Aquila and Priscilla's house (1 Cor 16:19), the church in Nympha's house (Col 4:15) and again the church at Aquila and Priscilla's house (Rom 16:5). There were referred to not by city, but by the tenants of the house they met in. So your above claim is FLAT FALSE.

Again, there is no compelling reason to believe these house churches were actually local churches, that is unless you are trying to push that doctrine, which Lee was and you are. Note Aquila and Priscilla had a church in their house in Corinth and also at their house in Rome. Do you really think Paul would refer to two different local churches by the names of the same two people that happened to house each? That doesn't make sense. Just look at the wording. Paul in Romans greets a bunch of saints. And then greets the church in Aquila's and Priscilla's house. It doesn't make sense from context and wording that the church in their house corresponded to the whole church in Rome. Paul greeted more people than could fit in the house of two itinerant missionaries, and there had to be many more saints in the church. How could the whole church meet there?

No, the only safe bet is that local churches and house churches were different. House churches blow a gaping hole in your insistence on local churches. Any fair-minded person can see that. Their existence should temper your boldness. The f