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Old 09-04-2016, 06:21 PM   #2
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: Nees local church

It seems to me that Nee was much more 'mild' in his approach to the teaching of locality than Lee was. In fact, certain groups who spawned from Nee (but didn't work much with Lee) have never proceeded to practice locality as taught by Lee. One such group is those who have worked with Stephen Kaung.

Below, I have re-posted a quick transcription of an audio recording of Stephen Kaung that I did on another thread. Those who were associated with Kaung were also those who were meeting apart from any denominations. Even early on, those associated with WL tried to infiltrate and take over, using the matter of the ground of locality as a sort of 'wedge' to divide to the two groups. Kaung had also been under Nee's ministry in China. Therefore, there was really no reason the two men couldn't have worked together. But it seems WL was intent on being a one man show. These considerations regarding practice are also a big reason why I call into question the legitimacy of the ground of locality.

Even if we throw all consideration of the doctrinal validity of this teaching out the window, there is still the question of how it could actually be practiced and work out without any problems. How would such a teaching to be played out? What if two groups both claim to be the church in X? It's actually a valid concern. Back in the old days especially, LC meeting halls didn't have any identification on them. So unless someone was previously associated with Lee's ministry, they would have no idea that there was a group in their city practicing the "ground of locality." Another group could form without knowing the first existed. As far as I am concerned, such things are important considerations concerning a practice application of what Nee/Lee taught. Below is what Kaung said along with the corresponding links:
While we were there meeting together [in New York], we invited Brother Lee to come visit us once a year, because we had been working together for many years. I knew him in 1933 when he first came and joined Watchman Nee. I was in college then, and he helped me a lot. After I joined with Brother Nee in 1935, we worked together in China. Afterwards, I was in the Philippines, he was in Taiwan. After I came to this country, he came. As a matter of fact, it was New York that helped to get him his permanent residency. We had been working for so many years.

Unfortunately there was some misunderstanding. There were rumors around, but the main point was, we began to have different ideas about the church.

When he [Lee] came to New York, he told me, “You have to call yourselves the church in New York”. I said “No. We cannot do that, because we are only about 200 people, and there are so many of God's people in New York. How can we claim that we are the church in New York? We have to testify for the local church, but we cannot claim ourselves as being the local church.” He said “If you don’t claim you are the church, then there is no church.”

So he tried to take over. I knew what he was doing, but we still invited him to come. I remember the last time we invited him.

I told the brothers who were with me: “If we send a letter to invite him to come, we cannot limit him as to what he can talk about. We want to respect him as a servant of the Lord.”

Even though I knew what he would be speaking, if we invited him we would invite him with an open heart. We sent a letter to him. What I know is that Brother Lee had a meeting with the brothers and sisters in Los Angeles. I was told that he showed the letter to them and asked whether or not he should come. They told him if he was invited, he should go.

He came, and he not only came himself, but he brought a number of people with him. I know he intended to take over that meeting. Thank God that at that time, the brothers were really one with me. When he came with a group of people, they started a meeting before every meeting. We allowed them to do that until the time we were scheduled to meet. Then we started our meeting. No matter what he spoke, the brothers were still in agreement with me. So that was the situation at that time.

By the way, I had a long talk with Brother Lee. I told him that there are rumors around. I told him "If you think I have something against you, tell me. If you have something against me, tell me too. We shouldn't let anything come in between us."

Well, he told me two things. I won't tell you the details. It was really a misunderstanding, so I explained to him. He finally said "Alright, there is nothing between you and me, but on the point of the church, we cannot agree." So that is the way that we departed.

In 1972, I moved to Washington D.C. During that period, he tried to work upon the brothers in New York, so he finally took over. That was the meeting in Jamaica [Queens, NY]. When this happened, I was in Washington DC. A few brothers and sisters felt uneasy about it, so they left, and we began to come together for prayer.

Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
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