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Old 04-19-2018, 12:56 AM   #100
kumbaya
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Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 247
Default Re: Deceptions on Campus

Quote:
Originally Posted by Evangelical View Post
We cannot really separate the matter of names from the matter of denominations versus the local church because this is what is causing the confusion.

You may see the local church as any member from any denomination participating. I disagree. If a presbyterian participates, it is the presbyterian church, not the local church, participating. If a student asks that person "which church should I go to", that presbyterian may say "you can come to mine if you like". So a student would be "recruited" to presbyterianism. Very unlikely that the presbyterian volunteer would suggest a student go to a Catholic church I think. Thus proving they are not about "building up the Body" but evangelicalism.

Clearly, the group which represents evangelicalism is only a part of the body (what about pentecostals and Catholics etc?).

The only group which represents the local church as a whole is Christians on campus. For this reason it is valid for them to be named as simply Christians. The moment the name "evangelical" or "Witness Lee" is added to the name, it becomes a denominational group.

In the minds of the local church members, there is no such thing as "the church of Witness Lee", or "the Local Church" (in capital letters), and "Living Stream Ministry" is the ministry and not the church. So by not naming the group as anything other than "Christians on campus" they are being true to their beliefs and therefore the claims of deception are unfounded. I do not believe that the local church members believe themselves to be part of a denomination called "the church of Witness Lee". For this reason you cannot claim deception.

What is more like deception, is individuals who attend a certain denomination of their choice every Sunday, pretending to be "just Christians" or "just evangelical Christians" on campus. The leader may be presbyterian, the lead missionary may be a baptist, and maybe another is a pentecostal. They do not reveal their true denominational affiliation to the students, knowing well, that they are devoted to a denomination in their heart and on a Sunday. This is entirely different to the local churches, who do not believe they are a denomination of any kind. This confusion is evident when students are converted to "Christianity", only to be faced with the tough decision of "which church should I attend this Sunday", then, they realize that Christianity is really divided into many different groups.

Also, it may vary from campus to campus, but I think there are more volunteers from the local churches involved than full timers. It costs a lot of money to support full timers and it is better to get volunteers (including student volunteers) to devote their weekends of after work hours than full timers.
I don't see this as a matter of what groups are a denomination or not! How is that an issue related this topic?

Every group has to have a name, legally, to own property and employ people. This thread is titled "deceptions on campus" and one of the deceptions the LC uses is employing people that sometimes call themselves a different name (CoC) when on college campuses other than the name of the group they're a part of and that employs them (the LC). Every denomination or non-denominational group has to have a name. The difference in what groups are denominations or not doesn't apply because they all have names and the issue we're discussing is how the LC uses a different name when they're on the college campuses. There is a name for the group that owns the CoC house and employs the CoC employees, that are also full-timers for the local church, and the name isn't "Christians on campus!" its "The Local Church in <blank>."

Aside from your point about a Presbyterian not inviting someone to a Catholic Church not making sense due to the issue of Catholics not teaching a "saved by grace and grace alone" doctrine essential to the Christian faith (they believe there are works required as well for most), your argument truly doesn't make any sense with better examples! Even if you used a different example like "a Presbyterian wouldn't invite someone to a Baptist church," while probably true- that absolutely doesn't mean they're about "building up evangelism" instead of building up the body of Christ! You're saying it proves this, but how? Yes, they probably want to gain a member for their church, which every group does, but they're still essentially helping to increase the body of Christ. Evangelism isn't something that is "built up" by inviting someone to your church at all! That's just pure and simple inviting someone to church! I don't see how someone inviting another to their Christian meeting, denomination or not, proves they're not concerned with building up the body of Christ, but instead concerned with building up evangelicalism. You keep saying these actions prove this, but again-how? It's natural to invite someone to the place you know and are familiar with. Your judgement of that group being a "denomination" is a result of your "us vs. them" indoctrination and having an unbalanced viewpoint of the one church/one city doctrine being taken to an extreme. In practices, the local church mirrors that of a sectarian group- which is more divisive and elitist than most denominations! Yet, you think by insisting that you don't have a name, even though in practice you're just the same as other denominations (if not worse), that makes some kind of difference! A group is defined by its practices, not it's name! The local church is practicing all the things denominations do but their ridiculous claim to "not have a name" somehow proves to them that they're different. It reminds me of the book, "The Emperor's New Clothes!" You keep saying that people from denominations are just promoting evangelism by inviting people to their church instead focusing on building up the body of Christ. That also doesn't make sense bc Evangelism is a movement accepted by most Protestant groups, possibly all, so I don't see how inviting someone to a church you prefer is "building up evangelism!" Ha! If anything, sending someone to a different Protestant church would be more along the lines of "promoting evangelism!"

This isn't really the issue but your understanding of what evangelism is and how it relates to the Body is seriously flawed. My last response covered how your idea that evangelism "represents" just a portion of the body of Christ is pretty skewed. Not judging you, I'm not an expert but you really don't know what you're talking about and its obvious. Evangelicals don't "represent" anybody more than the rest, and are absolutely interested in increasing the whole body of Christ, which can include members of the Catholic Church that are saved on their own accord, despite what the Catholic Church teaches. Do you understand the difference in Protestantism and the Catholisism? The Catholic church does not teach that you are saved by being "born again" in the way we understand it. They believe that God's grace alone is not sufficient for salvation but requires works and there's a whole complicated process that honestly, I don't know a whole lot about. Either way- it's a legitimate argument that the Catholic Church, as a whole, has some serious differences in the fundamentals of the faith and while there are definitely saved believers in the church- you won't see an Evangelical speaking in that congregation. More likely bc it would never be allowed! So, I don't know why you're trying to figure out what groups Evangelicals represent and which ones they don't in the body of Christ. I don't understand your point to that argument but I'm guessing it's some justification for the relationship between Evangelicals and denominations and the LC and CoC. This got way off topic but there was a lot to address! For example...

This statement you've made has issues....

"The only group which represents the local church as a whole is Christians on campus. For this reason it is valid for them to be named as simply Christians. The moment the name "evangelical" or "Witness Lee" is added to the name, it becomes a denominational group."

Why do you think the only group that represents the local church is Christians on campus? The group that represents the local church is called, "The church is <blank> locality." That's what's on their signs, their mail, their tax forms, property records, and the paychecks for their employees.

It's crazy to me that you can't recognize that they have a name. They LEGALLY HAVE TO HAVE A NAME to exist, doing the things they're doing. I understand the reasons that you don't want to have a name (you feel like it makes you a denomination even though no one cares about that except ppl in the LC) but you can't have an organization that owns property, employs people, and takes peoples money without paying taxes, WITHOUT A NAME!!! Sorry, this is just a humorous issue for me bc it's not the first time I've discussed this and the response is always the same- complete insistence that they have no name. Except on their sign of course. Oh, and with the IRS, and with their realtors and banks. They can have a name then, but bc having a name allegedly makes you a denomination- they become very clear after "taking care of business matters" that they do NOT have a name!!

Now, I'm not saying they have to be called, "the Church of WL" or the "LSM church," but in a practical way, LSM essentially controls all the churches with monetary requirements and other expectations so if you HAD to pick a name, it seems "Living Stream Ministry Church" would be the most accurate-especially due to the churches requirement to buy and sell LSM material exclusively.

But, I know that would upset you and my friends and family to be called that so fine- don't call yourself that. But don't deny the name each local church LEGALLY has. You're so caught up in lofty doctrine and legalism about names you can't acknowledge that each locality already has a name recognized by the government! I would say that's a pretty good argument for having a name when your government recognizes you as "said name". The idea of not having a name is so ridiculous and doesn't work in the real world. I think God will give some grace on this and you won't be condemned for having a name and becoming *gasp* a DENOMINATION. LC people are so indoctrinated that this is so evil- it's just a knee jerk response when someone says that word. Even being considered as "non-denominational" is below them. Get over it peeps, they're just words. No one cares what your name is but in the real world, groups have names!! It reminds me of when the artist Prince changed his name to a symbol with no name. So, people had to call him, "the artist formally known as Prince." That essentially become his new name, in practice, bc there was no option to address him with his name being a symbol other than "the artist formerly known as Prince!" This is how I view the LC- switching between a name when required to legally and then a symbol that is ridiculous and others having to name them to address the normal issues every Christian group experiences. You have no right to be offended by whatever name people call you when you've insisted that you have no name! Luckily, that can all be avoided bc lo and behold, according to our government- they have a name (sshhh! just like denominations do!) Frankly, by not naming themselves- the legality that they had to pick a name probably saved them! I'm sure they would have been labeled as the "WL church" (even more than they are now!) or something along those lines!

Also, in regards to this comment,

"I do not believe that the local church members believe themselves to be part of a denomination called "the church of Witness Lee". For this reason you cannot claim deception."

You can claim deception bc according to the US government, they have a name. They should use that name instead of CoC. Also, I never said they believe themselves to be part of a denomination called, "The church of Witness Lee." You can claim they're using deception by calling themselves CoC when they already have a name that's recognized by the government, which unfortunately has a bad reputation (hence the deception). Do you really think the local church would call themselves CoC if they weren't such a controversial group? You'll probably say yes, you follow blindly.

This comment you made still manages to surprise me even though I've heard this nonsense before....

You said...


"What is more like deception, is individuals who attend a certain denomination of their choice every Sunday, pretending to be "just Christians" or "just evangelical Christians" on campus. The leader may be presbyterian, the lead missionary may be a baptist, and maybe another is a pentecostal. They do not reveal their true denominational affiliation to the students, knowing well, that they are devoted to a denomination in their heart and on a Sunday. This is entirely different to the local churches, who do not believe they are a denomination of any kind. This confusion is evident when students are converted to "Christianity", only to be faced with the tough decision of "which church should I attend this Sunday", then, they realize that Christianity is really divided into many different groups."

I didn't realize that Christians were embarrassed of the denomination they're affiliated with! Do you realize this isn't true?? Only people in the LC can say this bc you've been so indoctrinated against denominations. They are NOT embarrassed by their denomination NOR do they hide their denominational affiliation to students. It's ironic, bc this is something cults do, but not denominations! Earlier today, I found a link to all the Christian clubs on the campus I live by. More than half listed their associated Christian group on the list. For many of the other ones, I just had to click on the link to their webpage to find out their Christian groups affiliation. I truly feel bad that you are so misguided by the local church! NO ONE except the local church views denomination affiliation as something to "hide" or be embarrassed about. I really hope you can begin to see this. I also feel you're projecting your ideas about denominations on how someone "feels devoted to that denomination in their heart." That's completely ridiculous. I'm not saying some old-schoolers aren't like that but the trend now with Christian congregations is absolutely NON-DENOMINATIONAL and denominations left and right are dropping those affiliations and standing on a unified simple doctrine for accepting other believers! Some are doing now what the local church claims to do (yet doesn't) and "stand on the ground of oneness," perhaps in different words but essentially doing the same thing by being open to accepting all believers and taking communion with them. Christians are realizing more and more that denominations (although not evil) aren't helping bring Christians together. Pretty soon the local church is going to see a true expression of the Body of Christ coming together- from the former denominations!!I truly believe this and I also believe the Lord's Recovery will go even more off course with what the Bible teaches. They've been on a scary path and it's not getting better!

With your last point, yes- there are more members of the LC that are college age than full-timers, running CoC- although not by much! Why pay a full-timer to do it when a college age person will do it for free, right?
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