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Oh Lord, Where Do We Go From Here? Current and former members (and anyone in between!)... tell us what is on your mind and in your heart.

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Old 10-06-2018, 10:49 AM   #1
Trapped
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Default Blending

I was thinking about the word "blended" as used by Lee in the recovery version in 1 Cor. 12:24 the other day. ("...But God has blended the body together....")

Does anyone know anything about the Greek word behind it and if there is a solid reason for why Lee chose to use "blended" (besides misapplying it in the churches)? On biblehub.com, it presents a long list of translated versions of that verse, and besides a simple "put", the two most common translations for "blended" are "composed" and "tempered", both of which make way more sense to me since the surrounding verses in that passage are a comparison to a physical body. (How can an individual physical body be "blended"?!)

By contrast, when you "temper" something, you "mix it with some balancing quality or substance so as to avoid anything extreme". This fits in much better with the context of the surrounding verses which talk about comely members having no need, and less honorable, uncomely members being given more abundant honor.....this is the "tempering" (rather than a "blending") so that the lacking uncomely members are made less extreme and are brought in balance with the comely members.

Obviously the LC's fly the blending banner pretty high, "it's good to get blended with you brothers", "we are going to blend with another locality next week", "blend all our differences away", "blend all our peculiarities away", etc.... but to use the word in that way is much, much different than what is described in 1 Cor. 12:23-25, which is much more about the care and lovingkindness toward uncomely members than anything about just gathering together with people you don't normally see, or about removing individual differences.

On the other hand, is there the genuine thought of "blending" elsewhere in the Bible when talking about the many grains becoming one loaf? Or 1 Cor. 5:7a "...that you may be a new lump", Lee uses that verse to say that the grains have to be ground into fine flour (i.e. broken, i.e. blended) before we can become a loaf, etc.... Is the thought of "blending" here legit, or is the metaphor just taken too far?

I want to throw out any misapplication of the word (as I think occurred in 1 Cor. 12:24), but don't want to throw it out where it may be legitimate.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:36 PM   #2
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Default Re: Blending

Blended with what? That is the question.
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Old 10-06-2018, 12:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Blending

I don’t know about the meaning of the Greek word translated as blending in the verse cited to start this thread. But the sentence it is used in says that God has done it. So why do we think we should be trying so hard to “blend”? That’s another silly thing Lee had us working hard at that God had already done for us. When I let go of that teaching I was really freed to enjoy what God had already done to “blend” me into His body. Praise Him!
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Old 10-06-2018, 01:31 PM   #4
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I don’t know about the meaning of the Greek word translated as blending in the verse cited to start this thread.
It's used only twice in the NT. Again in Hebrews 4:2, where it's translated "united" "mixed" & "coupled."
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Old 10-06-2018, 02:23 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I was thinking about the word "blended" as used by Lee in the recovery version in 1 Cor. 12:24 the other day. ("...But God has blended the body together....")

Does anyone know anything about the Greek word behind it and if there is a solid reason for why Lee chose to use "blended" (besides misapplying it in the churches)?
The application and understanding of this word has to be viewed in context with what was happening at LSM both publicly and behind the scenes.

First, let's get into Paul's use of the word. His thought here was "many members, but one body." There is no mention of "many churches, but one body," or the prevailing thought -- "many churches but one ministry." Ugh!

The context of this word in the epistle to Corinth addressed the attitude of members towards one another, specifically the attitudes towards those members who are not comely, whom we don't like, who may be a pain in the neck, who may be vastly different with diverse gifts and shortcomings, etc. How does Paul address this problem? He tells us that we need these members, that God has also placed them in the body, that "God has tempered the body together giving more honor to those that lack," and that the members should love one another. Chapter 13 provides excellent descriptions of love, starting out, "Love is patient, love is kind ..."

Vine's defines this Greek word "sunkerannumi" to mix or blend together, of the combining of the members of the human body into an organic structure, as illustrative of the members of a local church in I Cor 12.24. Strong's defines as "commingle, i.e. to combine or assimilate -- mix with, temper together." This very positive work of God in His body should affect all of us in our attitudes toward one another.

Back to my initial comment. W. Lee used this word "blending," not to encourage love, acceptance, and longsuffering among the members in the body of Christ, but to exact human methods to negate differences and opinions among the members. By removing our liberties in the Spirit, Lee attempted to facilitate his own brand of "oneness" with himself as the head, calling that blending. His own son Philip, as "Office Manager" at LSM, used heavy-handed techniques to beat elders and workers around the globe into subjection, calling that blending. Lee also eliminated the ministries of the gifted members in all the churches, demanding only his material to be taught in all the churches, calling that blending.
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:21 PM   #6
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The context of this word in the epistle to Corinth addressed the attitude of members towards one another, specifically the attitudes towards those members who are not comely, whom we don't like, who may be a pain in the neck, who may be vastly different with diverse gifts and shortcomings, etc. How does Paul address this problem? He tells us that we need these members, that God has also placed them in the body, that "God has tempered or "blended" the body together giving more honor to those that lack," and that the members should love one another. Chapter 13 provides excellent descriptions of love, starting out, "Love is patient, love is kind ..."
Compare God's work of "blending" in the body of Christ with W. Lee's goals of "blending" for the recovery:
  • God intended via blending the more abundant honor be given to those members that lack, those members which are less comely
  • Lee intended via blending that all honor be given to the ministry of Lee at LSM
What a contrast! What a distortion of truth! What a failure here by Lee.
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Old 10-06-2018, 08:49 PM   #7
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The origin of the use of the term might be interesting. Of course, the word "blended" was not used until after Witness Lee's death in 1997 when the big question was "who's in charge"? The answer seemed to be something like "a group of responsible brothers will 'coordinate' leadership." I thought (right or wrong) that being "Scriptural" was secondary. They needed somebody to be in charge, an heir to the throne. The MOTA was dead. There was no "oracle/speaking". What to do?

No problem. Everything he said had been recorded and mostly reduced to print. Of course, this isn't the same as fresh, up-to-date speaking. Fresh, up-to-date is over. We've heard it all.

Think about the problem they faced. For decades they had touted the "up to date speaking from the throne". WLee had "the annointing". Now what? What happens to the "up to date speaking"? Where was "the annointing"? These are two claims that couldn't be passed down to anyone. You either had the "up to date..." or you didn't. You either had "the annointing" (from the throne) or you didn't. When the "Minister of the Age" died, would it not be logical to assume that the "age" was over?

They had to come up with a successor and there was no MOTA.v2

Enter "the blended brothers".

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Old 10-06-2018, 09:15 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Nell View Post

Enter "the blended brothers".

Nell
What are the chances that the blendeds fall on their sword and pursue the Lord and His Spirit rather than Witness Lee?

The LSM movement is fruitless and dying - the answer on how to move forward should be obvious. Can we pray that the hearts of these guys can be moved in such a way that the the gospel of Christ can be praised and lived out rather than the words and wishes of a dead man?
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:17 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Nell View Post
The origin of the use of the term might be interesting. Of course, the word "blended" was not used until after Witness Lee's death in 1997 when the big question was "who's in charge"?
Really?

I heard about blending and blended brothers much earlier while Lee was still alive.
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Old 10-06-2018, 09:44 PM   #10
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Really?

I heard about blending and blended brothers much earlier while Lee was still alive.
I don’t recall an “official” leadership group until after he was gone, and they wouldn’t be specific about who was a member of the group. That could be just me.
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Old 10-06-2018, 10:09 PM   #11
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I don’t recall an “official” leadership group until after he was gone, and they wouldn’t be specific about who was a member of the group. That could be just me.
The official leadership group needed public declarations from Lee himself while he was yet alive, else they were all vain.
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:10 AM   #12
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The official leadership group needed public declarations from Lee himself while he was yet alive, else they were all vain.
I guess he sprinkled his holy water before he died.
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Old 10-07-2018, 04:48 AM   #13
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I don’t recall an “official” leadership group until after he was gone, and they wouldn’t be specific about who was a member of the group. That could be just me.
You are correct about the identities of the official "Blended" membership club. We in the Midwest tried to find out who was in the club, and more specifically, if Titus Chu was a chartered member or not. Apparently he was not.
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Old 10-07-2018, 10:27 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
What are the chances that the blendeds fall on their sword and pursue the Lord and His Spirit rather than Witness Lee?

The LSM movement is fruitless and dying - the answer on how to move forward should be obvious. Can we pray that the hearts of these guys can be moved in such a way that the the gospel of Christ can be praised and lived out rather than the words and wishes of a dead man?
A resounding YESS!!! Even though I am far removed from the LC/LSM.. I have a soft spot for the brethren I was once connected to. They helped me grow in the Lord and in His Word. Helped me to lean on the Holy Spirit in my spirit.
That was back in the day.. in the mid 70s.
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Old 10-07-2018, 12:39 PM   #15
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A resounding YESS!!! Even though I am far removed from the LC/LSM.. I have a soft spot for the brethren I was once connected to. They helped me grow in the Lord and in His Word. Helped me to lean on the Holy Spirit in my spirit.
That was back in the day.. in the mid 70s.
And I learned about the Tripartite Man :

Check this out at Wiki. Nee and Lee are in a long list of supporters of the tripartite man :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tripartite_(theology)
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Old 10-07-2018, 02:30 PM   #16
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And I learned about the Tripartite Man :

Check this out at Wiki. Nee and Lee are in a long list of supporters of the tripartite man :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tripartite_(theology)
That was my first interaction with “fellowship” at the LSM churches. A fulll time brother repeating his schpeal on tripartite man - doing what a good full timer would do, diagrams and all. I could tell he was frustrated that I wasn’t in awe by the teaching. I’m sure he thought this was a “gem” that only Witness Lee and his group had thought about.

I don’t know if this frustration led him to talk about calling on the Lord or that was just the next chapter in the full time playbook - but he talked about how calling on the Lord while driving put him in a trance like state that produced the sensation that he was flying.

I had already experienced the Lord in my life and knew Him... much different from learning something in an Anaheim meeting room.
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Old 10-07-2018, 02:50 PM   #17
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Okay, for example, in "Raising Up the Next Generation for the Church Life", Lee says:

"God has blended the Body together (1 Cor. 12:24).The word blended also means adjusted, harmonized, tempered, and mingled. God has blended the Body, adjusted the Body, harmonized the Body, tempered the Body, and mingled the Body. The Greek word for blended implies the losing of distinctions. One brother's distinction may be quickness, and another's may be slowness. But in the Body life the slowness disappears and the quickness is taken away. All such distinctions are gone."

So here he claims the Greek word implies the losing of distinctions. How is it possible for someone who doesn't know Greek to know if that is true or if Lee is just saying whatever he wants to say?
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:30 PM   #18
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Okay, for example, in "Raising Up the Next Generation for the Church Life", Lee says:

"God has blended the Body together (1 Cor. 12:24).The word blended also means adjusted, harmonized, tempered, and mingled. God has blended the Body, adjusted the Body, harmonized the Body, tempered the Body, and mingled the Body. The Greek word for blended implies the losing of distinctions. One brother's distinction may be quickness, and another's may be slowness. But in the Body life the slowness disappears and the quickness is taken away. All such distinctions are gone."

So here he claims the Greek word implies the losing of distinctions. How is it possible for someone who doesn't know Greek to know if that is true or if Lee is just saying whatever he wants to say?
The word blended and Lee's description seems accurate to me:

Gill's commentary says:

but God hath tempered the body together; he hath composed it in such a forth, constituted it in such an order, mixed and united all its parts in such a manner, as that they are all beneficial to each other

The NET bible says:

"but our presentable members do not need this. Instead, God has blended together the body, giving greater honor to the lesser member,"

https://biblehub.com/lexicon/1_corinthians/12-24.htm

That blending leads to loss of distinctions is just common sense. If you blend anything together the components lose their individual distinctiveness. Rich or poor, English speaking or Chinese, when everyone comes together in Christ and speaks Christ, the differences in wealth or language of individuals becomes less distinctive.

As a related side note - Lee's use of the terms blended or mingled were not introduced by him - many references to these terms can be found in Christianity, so it is not that Lee invented anything new, but that Christianity in general is in ignorance of what is written in their own theological literature.
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Old 10-07-2018, 06:34 PM   #19
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Okay, for example, in "Raising Up the Next Generation for the Church Life", Lee says:

"God has blended the Body together (1 Cor. 12:24).The word blended also means adjusted, harmonized, tempered, and mingled. God has blended the Body, adjusted the Body, harmonized the Body, tempered the Body, and mingled the Body. The Greek word for blended implies the losing of distinctions. One brother's distinction may be quickness, and another's may be slowness. But in the Body life the slowness disappears and the quickness is taken away. All such distinctions are gone."

So here he claims the Greek word implies the losing of distinctions. How is it possible for someone who doesn't know Greek to know if that is true or if Lee is just saying whatever he wants to say?
Obviously W. Lee was not doing a word study here, but when ministering in the church, much leeway should be afforded to him.

That being said, if God made both brothers, and placed both in the body, then both should be a blessing. There should not be some "ideal speed" that all the brothers strive for. But why should all such "speed distinctions" need to be all gone? Shall the hands say to the feet, "why do you walk so fast?"

It takes a longer period of time to ascertain Lee's real intentions for "blending." Why must all my distinctions be eliminated? Why are all distinctions bad except for those in charge at LSM? Why are all LC distinctions bad?
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Old 10-07-2018, 08:00 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by awareness View Post
And I learned about the Tripartite Man :

Check this out at Wiki. Nee and Lee are in a long list of supporters of the tripartite man :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tripartite_(theology)
I am not bothered by the doctrine of the tripartite man. It is biblical. Many believers understand this doctrine..not fully.. and I have never heard it explained in depth as I did when I was in the LC in the 70s.

I pray all the time for the LORD to renew my MIND! Romans 12:2 My mind tends to go into la la land, land of the world.. not the land filled with milk and honey.

Sometimes I feel far away from the Lord and thus I pray Psalm 51:10

I once heard a bible teacher not affiliated with Nee or Lee or the LC/LSM describe the tripartite man this way: I am a spirit. I have a soul and I live in a body.

You may not agree with it..or like it. That's ok. As I have stated many a time, not everything taught in the LC especially in the 70s was baaaad. I had a great teacher/mentor in John Smith who is now absent from the body and present with the LORD.
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Old 10-08-2018, 01:54 PM   #21
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The application and understanding of this word has to be viewed in context with what was happening at LSM both publicly and behind the scenes.

First, let's get into Paul's use of the word. His thought here was "many members, but one body." There is no mention of "many churches, but one body," or the prevailing thought -- "many churches but one ministry." Ugh!

The context of this word in the epistle to Corinth addressed the attitude of members towards one another, specifically the attitudes towards those members who are not comely, whom we don't like, who may be a pain in the neck, who may be vastly different with diverse gifts and shortcomings, etc. How does Paul address this problem? He tells us that we need these members, that God has also placed them in the body, that "God has tempered the body together giving more honor to those that lack," and that the members should love one another. Chapter 13 provides excellent descriptions of love, starting out, "Love is patient, love is kind ..."

Vine's defines this Greek word "sunkerannumi" to mix or blend together, of the combining of the members of the human body into an organic structure, as illustrative of the members of a local church in I Cor 12.24. Strong's defines as "commingle, i.e. to combine or assimilate -- mix with, temper together." This very positive work of God in His body should affect all of us in our attitudes toward one another.

Back to my initial comment. W. Lee used this word "blending," not to encourage love, acceptance, and longsuffering among the members in the body of Christ, but to exact human methods to negate differences and opinions among the members. By removing our liberties in the Spirit, Lee attempted to facilitate his own brand of "oneness" with himself as the head, calling that blending. His own son Philip, as "Office Manager" at LSM, used heavy-handed techniques to beat elders and workers around the globe into subjection, calling that blending. Lee also eliminated the ministries of the gifted members in all the churches, demanding only his material to be taught in all the churches, calling that blending.
Good observations, Ohio. It has been said before (correctly) on this site that some willingness on Lee’s part to be blended more with his coworkers who saw and tried to help him see and deal with his own shortcomings would have been helpful to him and the rest of Christ’s body.

My disappointment in seeing so many loveless divisions among TLR leaders is one of the factors in my leaving TLR (and posting what I saw on these boards).
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Old 10-09-2018, 09:12 PM   #22
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That blending leads to loss of distinctions is just common sense. If you blend anything together the components lose their individual distinctiveness. Rich or poor, English speaking or Chinese, when everyone comes together in Christ and speaks Christ, the differences in wealth or language of individuals becomes less distinctive.

I disagree completely. The preceding verses in the chapter describe a whole slew of distinctions (gifts, ministries, operations, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, operations of works of power, prophecy, discerning of spirits, various kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues), followed by the repeated statement "yet the same Spirit/Lord/God". Verse 11 even says "But the one and the same Spirit operates all these things, distributing to each one even as He purposes", referring the distinctions mentioned in the verses before it!!

The whole point is that there are distinctions, YET THE SAME SPIRIT. There is nothing about losing distinctions. I'll say it again - there is nothing there about losing distinctions.

We can even see thus - as the passage then turns to compare to a physical body, how is it remotely possible for different members of a physical body (the eye, the ear, the hand, the foot) to lose their distinctiveness? It is impossible! This passage, or even just verse 24, is not about losing distinctions, no sir, no how. It is all about, as Ohio and others have said, giving honor to the less comely members and how to give more abundant honor to those weaker around us.

JJ's comment about the fact that God has blended the body together was also so phenomenal:
1. Who has done it? God!
2. What has He done? Blended/put together/composed/tempered the body!
3. Has He already done it? Yep! The verse says so.
4. Does the verse say we need to do it? Nope!

So all the talk in the LCs about needing to blend actually misses the whole point. God has done the blending already SO THAT the weaker/uncomely ones would be taken care of. In the LCs you can "blend with the brothers" or "go on blending trips" and accomplish absolutely zero of what the verse is about. You can "blend with the bros" but there be no care for weaker members. You can "go on blending trips" but never cloak any uncomely member with more honor. We don't need "to blend" - God has done that. We need to care for those whom God has placed around us.

Amazing!
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:04 AM   #23
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Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
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Old 10-10-2018, 01:37 AM   #24
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The losing of distinctions in the LCM has gone way beyond to outward conformities or simply as WL tape recorders.
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Old 10-10-2018, 03:44 AM   #25
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So all the talk in the LCs about needing to blend actually misses the whole point. God has done the blending already SO THAT the weaker/uncomely ones would be taken care of. In the LCs you can "blend with the brothers" or "go on blending trips" and accomplish absolutely zero of what the verse is about. You can "blend with the bros" but there be no care for weaker members. You can "go on blending trips" but never cloak any uncomely member with more honor. We don't need "to blend" - God has done that. We need to care for those whom God has placed around us.
In my experience in LSM church they cared little for covering the uncomely ones but for the so-called good building material.

If there are no distinctions then why is Paul referring to gentile churches in Romans 16:4? If there is neither male or female why is he telling husbands to love wives?

"Everyone must be the same" in LSM is code for, "Everyone must be the same as Witness Lee".
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Old 10-10-2018, 05:00 AM   #26
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Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.

Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
Evangelical, you need to "Get out of your mind, and turn to your spirit."
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:24 PM   #27
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Evangelical, you need to "Get out of your mind, and turn to your spirit."
I think that's the point - in the Spirit there is no distinctions.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:25 PM   #28
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I disagree completely. The preceding verses in the chapter describe a whole slew of distinctions (gifts, ministries, operations, word of wisdom, word of knowledge, faith, gifts of healing, operations of works of power, prophecy, discerning of spirits, various kinds of tongues, interpretation of tongues), followed by the repeated statement "yet the same Spirit/Lord/God". Verse 11 even says "But the one and the same Spirit operates all these things, distributing to each one even as He purposes", referring the distinctions mentioned in the verses before it!!

The whole point is that there are distinctions, YET THE SAME SPIRIT. There is nothing about losing distinctions. I'll say it again - there is nothing there about losing distinctions.

We can even see thus - as the passage then turns to compare to a physical body, how is it remotely possible for different members of a physical body (the eye, the ear, the hand, the foot) to lose their distinctiveness? It is impossible! This passage, or even just verse 24, is not about losing distinctions, no sir, no how. It is all about, as Ohio and others have said, giving honor to the less comely members and how to give more abundant honor to those weaker around us.

JJ's comment about the fact that God has blended the body together was also so phenomenal:
1. Who has done it? God!
2. What has He done? Blended/put together/composed/tempered the body!
3. Has He already done it? Yep! The verse says so.
4. Does the verse say we need to do it? Nope!

So all the talk in the LCs about needing to blend actually misses the whole point. God has done the blending already SO THAT the weaker/uncomely ones would be taken care of. In the LCs you can "blend with the brothers" or "go on blending trips" and accomplish absolutely zero of what the verse is about. You can "blend with the bros" but there be no care for weaker members. You can "go on blending trips" but never cloak any uncomely member with more honor. We don't need "to blend" - God has done that. We need to care for those whom God has placed around us.

Amazing!
The gifts are operations of the same and one Spirit so it is strange for you to argue that they are distinct from one another.

As a practical example, there is little difference between gift of healing/miracles and gift of faith, or gift of tongues and gift of interpretation. Gift of teaching and gift of prophecy are also closely related. Discernment and word of knowledge is also very similar. They are all just operations of the one and same Spirit so this is an example of no distinctions.
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Old 10-10-2018, 06:46 PM   #29
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I think some people including Trapped have missed the point about blending.

Blending is just a fancy word used in the recovery for fellowship. But blending means something spiritually deeper because of the unity we have in Christ. In modern useage, the word fellowship has been hijacked to refer to any social gathering of Christians.

1 Cor. 12:24 gives us a reason for blending, for fellowship. God has blended us together spiritually in Christ (Gal 3:28), and for this reason we should blend together practically.

Given that the words blending and fellowship can be used interchangeably, this is Trapped's statement about not needing blending if you replace the word blend/ing with fellowship/ing (in bold).


So all the talk in the LCs about needing to fellowship actually misses the whole point. God has done the fellowshipping already SO THAT the weaker/uncomely ones would be taken care of. In the LCs you can "fellowship with the brothers" or "go on fellowshipping trips" and accomplish absolutely zero of what the verse is about. You can "fellowship with the bros" but there be no care for weaker members. You can "go on fellowshipping trips" but never cloak any uncomely member with more honor. We don't need "to fellowship " - God has done that. We need to care for those whom God has placed around us.

Now his paragraph does not make much sense. I don't think that Paul intended 1 Cor. 12:24 to mean that God has done the fellowshipping for us, so we don't have to. And caring for weaker members is done through fellowship.
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Old 10-11-2018, 03:23 AM   #30
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I think that's the point - in the Spirit there is no distinctions.
If there are no distinctions in the Spirit, then why did Paul, writing according to the Spirit, write of "gentile churches" in Romans 16:4? Why did he tell husbands to love their wives if there is no male or female? Why did he tell slaves to obey their masters if there is no slave or free?

And for that matter, the LSM contradict themselves by making distinctions. In the FTTA our trainer told us to avoid widows and orphans and spend our time recruiting Caucasian college students.
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Old 10-11-2018, 04:55 AM   #31
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If there are no distinctions in the Spirit, then why did Paul, writing according to the Spirit, write of "gentile churches" in Romans 16:4? Why did he tell husbands to love their wives if there is no male or female? Why did he tell slaves to obey their masters if there is no slave or free?
And for that matter, the LSM contradict themselves by making distinctions. In the FTTA our trainer told us to avoid widows and orphans and spend our time recruiting Caucasian college students.
It's a fine argument in the proper context - I used that one in discussion about the role of women in the church, if you recall, however, I don't think Lee had in mind to "blend away our gender" or blend away church authority or family structures.

The salvation of unsaved ones on campus surely rates higher priority than caring for the physical needs of widows and orphans of which there are plenty of charities willing and able to help. Even the apostle Paul prioritized preaching over baptism.
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Old 10-11-2018, 06:22 AM   #32
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It's a fine argument in the proper context - I used that one in discussion about the role of women in the church, if you recall, however, I don't think Lee had in mind to "blend away our gender" or blend away church authority or family structures.
Don't be so sure about that. You never saw his glowing glee looking out from the podium and only seeing a sea of white shirts and blue jackets.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:03 AM   #33
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By contrast, when you "temper" something, you "mix it with some balancing quality or substance so as to avoid anything extreme". This fits in much better with the context of the surrounding verses which talk about comely members having no need, and less honorable, uncomely members being given more abundant honor.....this is the "tempering" (rather than a "blending") so that the lacking uncomely members are made less extreme and are brought in balance with the comely members.
Thanks Trapped. This is a much more biblically coherent interpretation/understanding of this vital and crucial biblical concept then the one put forth by Witness Lee or the Blended Brothers. Lee very rarely used context, or I should say, proper and comprehensive context, when it came to a teaching that touched upon the relationship between church leadership and those who they were leading (aka the flock). In this case, Lee had a huge conflict of interest - if he interpreted these passages in their proper context, he would had to admit that he himself was in desperate need of tempering and balance by the other members of the Body. Witness Lee could never accept, much, much less fully embrace this notion because he would have had to admit that his person and work - his absolute authority and infallible ministry - were indeed in desperate need of tempering and balance.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:34 AM   #34
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By contrast, when you "temper" something, you "mix it with some balancing quality or substance so as to avoid anything extreme". This fits in much better with the context of the surrounding verses which talk about comely members having no need, and less honorable, uncomely members being given more abundant honor.....this is the "tempering" (rather than a "blending") so that the lacking uncomely members are made less extreme and are brought in balance with the comely members.
Could not we also say that "the comely members are made less extreme and are brought in balance with the uncomely members?"

Far too often, especially as with the LCM, it is the "comely" gifted members that need real tempering. It is they who have become the source of problems and divisions, causing the children of God to follow them and not the Lord. (Acts 20.30) This was all too evident with W. Lee. He even solicited rivalries among his lieutenants -- think how much trouble that caused the body of Christ?

The Apostle Paul, however, was keenly aware of these dangers, and thus became a great pattern for the church and healthy ministers. Did he not receive a thorn in the flesh to prevent him from being puffed up? (2 C 12.7) He only used his authority for building up. (2 C 10.8)
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Old 10-11-2018, 10:49 PM   #35
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Gal 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him.
Oh for heaven's sake.....

Romans 10:12 is just saying that the Lord doesn't discriminate ..... whoever calls on Him, whether Jew or Greek, receives the same Lord. And it takes the same thing - calling on Him - for both of them for the Lord to bestow His riches upon them. It certainly doesn't mean all their distinctiveness has disappeared or has been/will be blended away. Don't add to a verse what isn't there!

E.g. If I own a restaurant and I say there is no distinction between red-shirt and green-shirt wearers who walk up, and that all will receive food if they say my name at the door, it certainly doesn't mean once they walk through the doors their red shirt and green shirted distinctions will disappear or be blended away......

Galatians 3:28 is clearly naming three very significant divisions/disparities/inequities in society - social class, slavery, and gender - and yet we are all one in Christ. "The same Lord" as mentioned in 1 Cor. 12:24! But obviously, EvanG, there are other distinctions among persons besides these three mentioned, and there still is in no way an implication that all these many other, varied, wide-ranging distinctions are to be "blended away".

Edit to say this: Yes, there is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female. I am not dismissing or belittling that for it is so wonderful. But these distinctions mentioned in Galatians 3:28 are different from the ones mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 and do not negate them.
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Old 10-11-2018, 11:10 PM   #36
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The gifts are operations of the same and one Spirit so it is strange for you to argue that they are distinct from one another.
As a practical example, there is little difference between gift of healing/miracles and gift of faith, or gift of tongues and gift of interpretation. Gift of teaching and gift of prophecy are also closely related. Discernment and word of knowledge is also very similar. They are all just operations of the one and same Spirit so this is an example of no distinctions.
I am not the one arguing they are distinct, the apostle Paul laid them out very clearly as being distinct by literally using the word "distinctions" over and over and over.

Secondly, the individual distinctions named are themselves composed of a variety of distinct things. For example, for the first one named (distinctions of gifts) brother Lee's footnote says this refers to "the abilities or capacities for service." Do you not believe that these abilities/capacities for service are themselves varied and distinct? Just think of the many areas for service in a local church - are they not varied and distinct one from the other? Or in your locality are the ones on bookroom service then called to turn around and seal the new meeting hall parking lot asphalt....since there is no distinction in gifts?

Brother Nee has this to say: "A gift is the skill of a person. A ministry is the work of a person, and an operation or function is the result of a person's work. For example, in a construction company, there may be concrete workers, stone masons, and carpenters. The three kinds of craftsmen each have their own skill. Actually, there are different skills just among carpenters. Some are good at floor work, and others specialize in making windows or doors. These different skills are like the different gifts mentioned in the Bible. Every servant of God has a certain kind of skill derived from his gift. The gifts are given by the Holy Spirit. There are distinctions of gifts, but the same Spirit. Everyone has his own gift, but all these gifts must be under the control of the Spirit (v. 11)." (CWWN)

Does the Spirit only operate in one way? No. The Spirit operates in a variety of ways. Thus, the one and same Spirit can have a variety of operations that are distinct. You so neatly grouped together a few that are related (but still distinct), but are you really trying to tell me that there is little difference between someone having a gift of healing and another having a gift of interpretation of tongues? The point of the passage is that there is a variety of distinctions YET THE ONE AND SAME SPIRIT. It is amazing!
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Old 10-12-2018, 12:18 AM   #37
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UntoHim and Ohio,

I certainly had a similar thought while reading 1 Cor. 12 in considering whether the tempering applies to the comely members too, but in that chapter alone I could not find backup for it to my satisfaction (I'm open to hear otherwise, however). I think that is just because of the particular focus of the passage though, and I do agree that the "tempering down" of, let's call them, "overly-comely members" is addressed in other verses elsewhere.

I would "temper" my statement above like this though: for the ones who are sources of problems and divisions, for the ones who are puffed up, who solicit rivalries, and abuse absolute authority.......they may seem like or pass themselves off as the "comely" ones on high, but in reality they are among the truly uncomely, aren't they?

That's an interesting question that I hadn't thought of until now.....what do "comely" and "uncomely" really mean? I can think of some fellow brothers and sisters who really rub me the wrong way and give me unnecessary attitude at every turn, and internally I gleefully label them "uncomely", but I wonder what Paul had in mind here? Maybe there is no objective comeliness, but those around us are just comely/uncomely in each of our individual estimations.....i.e. the same one person who may seem uncomely to you may seem comely to another, and in this way every member receives some honor in some way. I'm not sure if that's what is meant......just thinking out loud.
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Old 10-12-2018, 04:23 AM   #38
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UntoHim and Ohio,

I certainly had a similar thought while reading 1 Cor. 12 in considering whether the tempering applies to the comely members too, but in that chapter alone I could not find backup for it to my satisfaction (I'm open to hear otherwise, however). I think that is just because of the particular focus of the passage though, and I do agree that the "tempering down" of, let's call them, "overly-comely members" is addressed in other verses elsewhere.

I would "temper" my statement above like this though: for the ones who are sources of problems and divisions, for the ones who are puffed up, who solicit rivalries, and abuse absolute authority.......they may seem like or pass themselves off as the "comely" ones on high, but in reality they are among the truly uncomely, aren't they?

That's an interesting question that I hadn't thought of until now.....what do "comely" and "uncomely" really mean? I can think of some fellow brothers and sisters who really rub me the wrong way and give me unnecessary attitude at every turn, and internally I gleefully label them "uncomely", but I wonder what Paul had in mind here? Maybe there is no objective comeliness, but those around us are just comely/uncomely in each of our individual estimations.....i.e. the same one person who may seem uncomely to you may seem comely to another, and in this way every member receives some honor in some way. I'm not sure if that's what is meant......just thinking out loud.
Good points, Trapped.

The "comeliness" of each member is basically derived from the attitudes of the other saints, either favorable or unfavorable. Paul attempted to address both due to the problem which existed in Corinth. To the same degree both also existed in the LCM. Many have noted LSM's obsession with only "good material" on the campuses whereas the uncomely weak and infirm are totally neglected -- "don't waste your time."

The normal reaction of the LC reader is to consider which member differs from them and decide that some "blending" is required, as if that will expedite oneness and brotherly love in the church life. For sure God desires to give more abundant honor to those which lack, but a far greater source of trouble can be found in the subsequent verse. (I Cor 12.25) Here Paul identifies a source of division in the church by admonishing them to have the same care for one another.

Starting in Texas circa 1980, following the "Max rebellion," a movement grew to "honor" W. Lee, as if he were the victim in that whole fiasco. The LC members were constantly exhorted to "give back" to the ministry as if the entire body of Christ were forever indebted to W. Lee. This devotion was un-tempered by scripture or even reason, resulting in special love for the Lee family at the expense of all others. If the same care for one another in the body of Christ prevents division, obviously having extraordinarily special care for certain ministers will facilitate division, which is exactly what has happened. Regularly.

Remember how this epistle began? (1.12) Each one identified with a specific minister, and they were divided as a result. This is one area where LC adherents are totally blinded instead of blended. They somehow think that these verses never apply to them unless they actually say "I am of Lee." The so-called "New Way" of the 80's aligned those who were "absolutely one with Lee" against those who merely appreciated his teachings. Fights ensued. Changing the wording did not change the reality, nor the result, which was more divisions in the body.
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Old 10-12-2018, 06:33 AM   #39
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The book of Acts presents an example of an uncomely member being blended. The apostle Paul is shipwrecked as a criminal in chains. A venomous snake bites him and everyone assumes he is a criminal that God has judged. They avoid him, he is "an uncomely member". But then he shows no effect of the snake and their opinion changes, they bring him to their homes where he prays for healing, people are healed, and now he is fully blended into the community. They all work together to help him and all with him to continue on their journey.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:11 PM   #40
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Good points, Trapped.

The "comeliness" of each member is basically derived from the attitudes of the other saints, either favorable or unfavorable. Paul attempted to address both due to the problem which existed in Corinth. To the same degree both also existed in the LCM. Many have noted LSM's obsession with only "good material" on the campuses whereas the uncomely weak and infirm are totally neglected -- "don't waste your time."

The normal reaction of the LC reader is to consider which member differs from them and decide that some "blending" is required, as if that will expedite oneness and brotherly love in the church life. For sure God desires to give more abundant honor to those which lack, but a far greater source of trouble can be found in the subsequent verse. (I Cor 12.25) Here Paul identifies a source of division in the church by admonishing them to have the same care for one another.

Starting in Texas circa 1980, following the "Max rebellion," a movement grew to "honor" W. Lee, as if he were the victim in that whole fiasco. The LC members were constantly exhorted to "give back" to the ministry as if the entire body of Christ were forever indebted to W. Lee. This devotion was un-tempered by scripture or even reason, resulting in special love for the Lee family at the expense of all others. If the same care for one another in the body of Christ prevents division, obviously having extraordinarily special care for certain ministers will facilitate division, which is exactly what has happened. Regularly.

Remember how this epistle began? (1.12) Each one identified with a specific minister, and they were divided as a result. This is one area where LC adherents are totally blinded instead of blended. They somehow think that these verses never apply to them unless they actually say "I am of Lee." The so-called "New Way" of the 80's aligned those who were "absolutely one with Lee" against those who merely appreciated his teachings. Fights ensued. Changing the wording did not change the reality, nor the result, which was more divisions in the body.

Okay, I see now. It's not so much that the comely ones need to be "brought down", which in my mind was sort of a "take them down a notch" kind of thing. It's more like you said in verse 25 about having the same care for all the members, and that if we have extraordinarily special care (or, say, constant, ongoing, unceasing extraordinarily special care) for some then that will cause division. Which as you said, and as many of us have seen, has happened.
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Old 10-12-2018, 11:26 PM   #41
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The salvation of unsaved ones on campus surely rates higher priority than caring for the physical needs of widows and orphans of which there are plenty of charities willing and able to help. Even the apostle Paul prioritized preaching over baptism.

Jesus spent his earthly ministry BOTH proclaiming the gospel of the kingdom AND taking care of the physical needs of those he met. In Matthew 10 He sends out his disciples telling them to proclaim the kingdom of the heavens as well as to heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, and cast out demons.

Matthew 4:23 - Jesus proclaimed in the synagogues AND healed every disease and sickness.

The Scripture is repeatedly clear that Jesus cares both for people's eternal needs as well as their immediate physical needs. If this is how Jesus spent the 1000+ days of His earthly ministry (before going to the cross), surely we should too.
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