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Old 05-24-2014, 10:08 AM   #1
Freedom
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Default Ambition vs selfish ambition

I would like to have a discussion on the subject of ambition as it pertains to the LC. In the LC, every time I hear the word "ambition" it is always used in an extremely negative context. However, the word ambition does necessarily have a negative connotation. Ambition can be a bad thing, and the Bible does speak out about selfish ambition.

What bothers me is that in the LC, taking any kind of initiative can be considered as ambitious. In life, taking initiative is necessary. If someone doesn't have intitiate, determination and a goal, they will never get anywhere. That is what it means to have ambition.

In my own life I have my interests and goals, I also have selfish interests and goals as well. I don't think for a minute that I can't be ambitious in a selfish way. The problem with the LC is that any ambition is discouraged and any kind of ambition is considered to be selfish. I think that the real reason for this is because they don't want anyone to rise up that can challenge their leadership.

The effect of the LC teaching is that everyone is afraid to take initiative. I can't even count the times I have heard brothers complain that the saints are too "passive". It makes me laugh because the reason for everyone being passive is so obvious. I would like to hear others thoughts on this. Obviously it's not a clear cut issue. There's a fine line between ambition and selfish ambition. I just feel that most of the time, ambition is not a bad thing, even then, we are only human.
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Old 05-25-2014, 05:05 AM   #2
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Default Re: Ambition vs selfish ambition

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Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I would like to have a discussion on the subject of ambition as it pertains to the LC. In the LC, every time I hear the word "ambition" it is always used in an extremely negative context. However, the word ambition does necessarily have a negative connotation. Ambition can be a bad thing, and the Bible does speak out about selfish ambition.

What bothers me is that in the LC, taking any kind of initiative can be considered as ambitious. In life, taking initiative is necessary. If someone doesn't have intitiate, determination and a goal, they will never get anywhere. That is what it means to have ambition.

In my own life I have my interests and goals, I also have selfish interests and goals as well. I don't think for a minute that I can't be ambitious in a selfish way. The problem with the LC is that any ambition is discouraged and any kind of ambition is considered to be selfish. I think that the real reason for this is because they don't want anyone to rise up that can challenge their leadership.

The effect of the LC teaching is that everyone is afraid to take initiative. I can't even count the times I have heard brothers complain that the saints are too "passive". It makes me laugh because the reason for everyone being passive is so obvious. I would like to hear others thoughts on this. Obviously it's not a clear cut issue. There's a fine line between ambition and selfish ambition. I just feel that most of the time, ambition is not a bad thing, even then, we are only human.
Great point Freedom!

Ambition has long been used as the BOGEY MAN of the local church. Notice that it is nothing that you or I can actually "see" in another person, and only the LC leaders can see it. They have become like gods who alone can "know hearts." The rest of us "blind" mooing cows must trust their judgment, as they proceed to quarantine the prophets which God sends to them, via their Kangaroo Court smear campaigns and political back-stabbing innuendo.

The secondary effect is to neutralize our God-given right and privilege to follow The Lord directly. They instill gross fear in every member that they too might be "ambitious" and become "rebellious," thus committing "unforgivable" sins. Via this unseen BOGEY MAN, LSM exercises immense control over her adherents.
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Old 05-25-2014, 08:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Ambition vs selfish ambition

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Ambition has long been used as the BOGEY MAN of the local church.
That's because ambition might indicate independent thinking. And that's dangerous to the ministry and its leader.

But ambition to conform to the ministry and leader was desired. That was good ambition.

The truth is we were expected to be smitten and bewitched by that little chinaman, and his ministry. And if we weren't, if we indeed were thinking for ourselves, then something had to be wrong, and of course thinking for yourself is a selfish action so, it had to be selfish ambition.

A pronounced characteristic of cults is the control of minds. If your mind is captured, if you allow others to do your thinking, then the charge of ambition is a shepherd's staff, driving you back into the realm of mind control, to only ambition of allegiance to the ministry and leader.

And WHAM! back into being smitten and bewitched. Ambition was/is a mind control stick.
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Old 05-25-2014, 06:58 PM   #4
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Every man is said to have his peculiar ambition. Whether it be true or not, I can say for one that I have no other so great as that of being truly esteemed of my fellow men, by rendering myself worthy of their esteem. How far I shall succeed in gratifying this ambition, is yet to be developed. I am young and unknown to many of you. I was born and have ever remained in the most humble walks of life. I have no wealthy or popular relations to recommend me. My case is thrown exclusively upon the independent voters of this county, and if elected they will have conferred a favor upon me, for which I shall be unremitting in my labors to compensate. But if the good people in their wisdom shall see fit to keep me in the back ground, I have been too familiar with disappointments to be very much chagrined.

Your friend and fellow-citizen,
A. Lincoln
New Salem, March 9, 1832.

(Abraham Lincoln was 23 years old at this point)
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Old 05-26-2014, 10:06 AM   #5
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Default Re: Ambition vs selfish ambition

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I would like to have a discussion on the subject of ambition as it pertains to the LC. In the LC, every time I hear the word "ambition" it is always used in an extremely negative context. However, the word ambition does necessarily have a negative connotation. Ambition can be a bad thing, and the Bible does speak out about selfish ambition.

What bothers me is that in the LC, taking any kind of initiative can be considered as ambitious. In life, taking initiative is necessary. If someone doesn't have intitiate, determination and a goal, they will never get anywhere. That is what it means to have ambition.
Two references I see as Ambition versus Selfish ambition can be seen in the gospels and in 3 John.

Diotrephes is an example of selfish ambition while Jesus' example of serving is an example of ambition. While the disciples were arguing who's first among them, Jesus served them by washing their feet.
There's nothing negative about a brother's ambition to minister Christ, but to be the leader of a worldwide ministry; that is selfish ambition.

In the Local church culture whenever a decision is made that circumvents 'fellowship" that is seen as being independent and "ambitious". Lack of transparency seen in the turmoils of the late's 80's and in 2004-2006 is a clear indication of selfish ambition.

"The book The Fermentation of the Present Rebellion includes my spoken messages, but its content was edited afterward by me personally. I have carefully checked all the facts and have tried my best to be accurate, to be without any mistakes." Witness Lee 4/18/90

It's been said of John Ingalls, John So, and many other brothers who have since been "quarantined" as being rebellious and ambitious. That was just a cop-out why they should be rejected. Rather it was their lack of selfish ambition they sought fellowship with their peers and with Witness Lee.
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:14 PM   #6
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In the Local church culture whenever a decision is made that circumvents 'fellowship" that is seen as being independent and "ambitious".
I think that sums it up well. I think a lot of people in the LC are afraid to make even small decisions without "fellowship" in matters related to the LC.

There are certain areas of service I have been involved in and all too often things related to that particular service get overlooked, don't get done, and goals that are set never get met. The reason this happens is that those involved with a particular service don't want to take any initiative. This includes me. The minute someone steps out onto the forefront, they are a target that might be label as ambitious or "independent".

In my mind it is all so ridiculous. It feels like in so many situations, it's a whole act people put on to appear as non ambitious as possible.
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Old 05-29-2014, 11:51 AM   #7
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It feels like in so many situations, it's a whole act people put on to appear as non ambitious as possible.
It's play acting. Effort to put on the appearance of being humble and non-ambitious when that is not the case. Starts at top of the LSM hierarchy and has a trickle down effect. I've heard as much in messages given at regional conferences.
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Old 05-29-2014, 06:03 PM   #8
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It's play acting. Effort to put on the appearance of being humble and non-ambitious when that is not the case. Starts at top of the LSM hierarchy and has a trickle down effect. I've heard as much in messages given at regional conferences.
I don't think that there are too many in the LC that have any "selfish" ambition, but I have seen it here and there. For those who really do have an ambition of some sort in the LC, the way to go about gaining what they want is to act as "humble" and non-ambitious as possible. I can see it from a mile away when someone is pretending to be someone they're not.

It would really benefit the LC if everyone could just be themselves. Of course, that isn't ever going to happen, but nonetheless, I see so much nonsense when it comes to everyone having to act a certain way.
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Old 05-31-2014, 08:10 PM   #9
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It would really benefit the LC if everyone could just be themselves. Of course, that isn't ever going to happen, but nonetheless, I see so much nonsense when it comes to everyone having to act a certain way.
Yes it would. I see this as a wider scale problem in the local churches than ambition versus selfish ambition. Very few I have known are the same person away from the meetings than they exhibit in the meetings. There is a problem with being transparent because there is a fear of man of being set aside from being genuine and sincere that could be received as being politically incorrect.
As a result brothers and sisters need to conduct themselves in a manner that is politically correct. There's a type of conditioning how to respond and how to react. Say you like contemporary Christian music, the conditioned response is to say it's worldly. Say you get help from other ministers and ministries (especially on topic related to marriage and family), keep those books out of the living room bookcase and only keep publications of Nee and Lee in your living room bookcase.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:10 PM   #10
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Yes it would. I see this as a wider scale problem in the local churches than ambition versus selfish ambition. Very few I have known are the same person away from the meetings than they exhibit in the meetings. There is a problem with being transparent because there is a fear of man of being set aside from being genuine and sincere that could be received as being politically incorrect.
As a result brothers and sisters need to conduct themselves in a manner that is politically correct. There's a type of conditioning how to respond and how to react. Say you like contemporary Christian music, the conditioned response is to say it's worldly. Say you get help from other ministers and ministries (especially on topic related to marriage and family), keep those books out of the living room bookcase and only keep publications of Nee and Lee in your living room bookcase.
As someone who is still in the LC, I often consider what my "exit strategy" will be when I decide that it's definitely time to leave. One of the first things that came to my mind is that if I stopped being "political" and spoke my mind, that might get me kicked out. Obviously I wouldn't want to do anything that would purposely get anyone angry or upset, but the whole issue of being political really bothers me. The thing that I want to do is to stop being political without doing it out of spite or just for the sake of getting myself kicked out.
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Old 06-01-2014, 03:52 PM   #11
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As someone who is still in the LC, I often consider what my "exit strategy" will be when I decide that it's definitely time to leave. One of the first things that came to my mind is that if I stopped being "political" and spoke my mind, that might get me kicked out. Obviously I wouldn't want to do anything that would purposely get anyone angry or upset, but the whole issue of being political really bothers me. The thing that I want to do is to stop being political without doing it out of spite or just for the sake of getting myself kicked out.
Whether you quietly walk out or get kicked out it's still gonna hurt like the loss of a loved one.

Just get it over with.
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Old 06-04-2014, 12:00 PM   #12
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Obviously I wouldn't want to do anything that would purposely get anyone angry or upset, but the whole issue of being political really bothers me. The thing that I want to do is to stop being political without doing it out of spite or just for the sake of getting myself kicked out.
it shouldn't be a fine line to tread, but that's the reality. One aspect of the local church culture is to "be one with the brothers". It's inferred to be one with the brothers means the blended brothers and local elders; the deputy authorities and delegated authorities. So in application it's expected to be partial towards them and to be partial the result is being political.
Within the last decade there's been examples of localities that weren't partial and didn't play politics. When the quarantine of Titus Chu and his co-workers was issued, there were localities who considered Titus a non-issue and were not partial. In the local churches, often the behavior is in terms of "Us and Them". If you churches are not for our quarantine, you must be against us and for them. When really these localities were not for either party, but for Christ.
The dilemma many face is how not to be political without becoming a brother or sister no longer welcome for fellowship with and in the local churches?
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Old 06-10-2014, 05:01 AM   #13
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I would like to have a discussion on the subject of ambition as it pertains to the LC. In the LC, every time I hear the word "ambition" it is always used in an extremely negative context. However, the word ambition does necessarily have a negative connotation.
Jesus spoke about those who would be "...great in the kingdom of God" in Matt 20:26, 23:11, Luke 22:26, Mark 10:46... and the gospel parables portray some having authority over 10 cities, some over 5 cities. And there are likewise five-talented ones and one-talented ones. Being ambitious is not bad: Paul wrote, "I labored more than all of them", and how "star differed from star in glory" (1 Cor 15:41). Likewise I think Jesus mentioned "the violent ones" who will enter the kingdom, taking it by force. In the OT, King David had his mighty men. Etc. So if you want to succeed here you need to be very ambitious! The gospel caveat, however, is not to be ambitious "like the Gentiles", i.e. outwardly, or in the material realm. Rather be ambitious to seek after your place within the heavenly kingdom, and do this with all your heart and soul and strength. Seek to serve rather than to be served. Know that it's truly better to give than to receive.

But using ''ambition'' in LC terminology is not referential to the kingdom of heaven but rather the organization, and in this context it's clearly negative. To want to become a "big cheese" in LC organizational structure is strictly forbidden. The current Maximum Brother tells you where you belong in the hierarchy (which of course doesn't exist). Remember, it was God Himself who picked Witness Lee. LSM parlance is, "God raised up Witness Lee." Lee succeeded Nee with the ministry of the age, not because of any ambition, but because God put him there. See the difference? No? Well then, you lack vision, and you need revelation.

Just understand there's a difference, okay? God raised up Witness Lee to be His oracle. Other ministers got elevated position and prominence because of ambition. See? No? Then what is the matter with you?

And so on: Witness Lee's ministry raised up hundreds of Local Churches, but others draw men after themselves. WL was a seer of the divine revelation, but other ministers function according to fallen human concepts. (Even the authors of the Bible, if not squared with WL's "economy", wrote according to fallen human concepts!) Witness Lee corrects the sheep, while other ministers mistreat them. WL feeds us the "pure word", and manna from heaven, while others can only share a corrupted and leavened mixture. Witness Lee shepherds us, others merely lead us astray. And so on. It almost seems as if God were a respecter of persons, after all! Maybe that is one of the benefits of being on the "local ground".
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