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Old 01-08-2018, 12:39 PM   #14
Freedom
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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: Claim of Watchman Nee Leadership Practice in China?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
It was already actively practiced for many decades by the Exclusive Brethren. Nee was able to read extensively of all the doctrinal nuances of this doctrine, and more importantly, learn of the endless failures and divisions it caused. Nee himself was even excommunicated by the Brethren for breaking one of their trivial rules, yet he knew he would be, because for sure he had read the tragic stories of George Muller and Dr. Edward Cronin.

So I agree with Freedom's assertion that both Nee and Lee mischaracterized their original intentions by claiming to originate strictly "local" churches, the so-called Antioch model, without centralized controls, completely autonomous, without headquarters, ruled by local elders, etc. Later they would introduce stringent controls to takeover these churches, according to the Jerusalem model, with local elders reporting to workers from headquarters, and with centralized ministry and structure. Those who resisted would be expelled. These were their many "storms."

The Brethren began this way. Mainland China began this way. Taiwan began this way. The USA began this way. All started out local, and all soon became highly structured, and btw, not much different from Rome's model.
Sectarianism is the fruit (practice) that originated from what the Brethren taught. Nee himself even became a victim of it. It seems, however, that he never made the correlation between their teaching and practice.

I think that over the course of time, the Brethren ran into a lot of issues over the question of what type of relationship should exist between the local assemblies. Ironically though, had they ever existed solely as local assemblies, that would have never been an issue to begin with. It was only an issue because they existed as an informal (or formal) network of churches. The LCM likewise ran into the same issue. There was the teaching of localism, but the practice was something contradictory.

I don’t see any issue if an individual church wants to declare itself to be non-denominational and free of outside control. The notion of localism, however, becomes suspect when it is taught or practiced on a larger scale, such as within a network of churches, because there is an inherent conflict of interest at play. If a network of churches declares itself to practice localism then I would expect them to be readily willing to accept all kinds of differences between the churches. More than likely though, the assertion of practicing localism would be false and the network of churches would be a group where each church had rescinded some amount of autonomy.
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