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Old 06-09-2018, 01:26 PM   #1
Sons to Glory!
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Default If you were in Scottsdale would you take the Table..

This is more of a hypothetical question I'm posing, because I wonder if some on here would not perhaps take the table with us and/or meet with us.

I'm supposing that believers that wouldn't enjoy the Lord's table with us might have two reasons:
1. They might not want to have anything to do with a group who has some "background" or any vague resemblance to the LC

2. They might say we were just another division because we are not on the genuine ground of oneness


So here's a brief history and description - at least what I know of it - regarding the "Scottsdale Church" (that's what's on the sign out front. Not sure, but the official legal name may still be "The Church in Scottsdale" if that makes any difference). The group formed up in the Seattle area in (I believe) the early 1980s and Bill Freeman was a key person. In the mid to late 1980s the group broke from the central control of the Church in Anaheim and many felt of the Lord to move down to Scottsdale, AZ.

There was a robust number of around 200 saints (a rough guess, maybe more with the campus fellowship) in Scottsdale until 1998, when Bill & Patsy Freeman left the group. A number left with the Freemans. I started meeting regularly here about that time.

For me these have been the very best two decades of my Christian life by far! The group here is very open to all other believers. There is no official affiliation with any group, yet we enjoy fellowship with everyone. There is no one person we look to for ministry and a wide variety of authors (including Nee and on occasion even WL), speakers, song writers, etc. that are shared between us - if there is something genuinely of Christ, we want it!

The meetings have an open format similar to the LC, but no restrictions are placed on what can be shared whatsoever. If someone has a fresh experience of Christ, an insight or even a problem they need prayer for, they are free to share. (The singing and expression of the love of Christ is awesome!) Legalism is very actively suppressed (since many have felt its sting over the years) - I marvel at the freedom in Christ that we have.

Personally, I see this group as having all the upside of things that were promoted by "The Recovery" and none of the downsides!

So again, if you were in the area, would you come and enjoy the Lord with us and take the Lord's table with us? (all are certainly welcome)
And please, I would also appreciate an explanation of why or why not.


Quote:
In whom all the building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord. In whom you are also being built together into a dwelling place of God in spirit. Ephesians 2:21-22
Thanks!
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Old 06-09-2018, 03:47 PM   #2
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Default Re: If you were in Scottsdale would you take the Table with us?

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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
So again, if you were in the area, would you come and enjoy the Lord with us and take the Lord's table with us? (all are certainly welcome)
And please, I would also appreciate an explanation of why or why not.[/b]
I probably haven't read all of your posts, but from what I have - it sounds like a great little community there. I'm not in the Scottsdale area, but if I ever head that way I'll reach out and would love to visit!
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Old 06-09-2018, 04:02 PM   #3
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Default Re: If you were in Scottsdale would you take the Table with us?

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I probably haven't read all of your posts, but from what I have - it sounds like a great little community there. I'm not in the Scottsdale area, but if I ever head that way I'll reach out and would love to visit!
Awesome! So nothing I wrote scared you off, eh?
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Old 06-09-2018, 07:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: If you were in Scottsdale would you take the Table with us?

I surely will. (if am in the area)

Because you welcome me. I go as a believer in Jesus. I am saved and baptised. Born again child of God. I am a member of the body of Christ.
And because of what you describe of yourself and and your gathering (church). You are also saved in Jesus Christ and are members of the body of Christ.

Your two reasons for believers who wouldn't join you are the same for ppl who distant me.

God bless.
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Old 06-10-2018, 05:58 AM   #5
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Default Re: If you were in Scottsdale would you take the Table with us?

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Awesome! So nothing I wrote scared you off, eh?
Was there something in particular you thought would be scary? Haha
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:32 PM   #6
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Default Re: If you were in Scottsdale would you take the Table with us?

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I surely will. (if am in the area)

Because you welcome me. I go as a believer in Jesus. I am saved and baptised. Born again child of God. I am a member of the body of Christ.
And because of what you describe of yourself and and your gathering (church). You are also saved in Jesus Christ and are members of the body of Christ.

Your two reasons for believers who wouldn't join you are the same for ppl who distant me.

God bless.
-
Thanks least - that should be the only basis, as far as I'm concerned (and the ones I meet with).
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: If you were in Scottsdale would you take the Table with us?

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Was there something in particular you thought would be scary? Haha
And that's what I wondered. I wondered if some would be scared off because of the (long ago) LC connection and also the unfortunate Freeman thing from 20 years ago. And I wondered if ones who still meet with the LC would be scared off for some doctrinal reason.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:44 PM   #8
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Default Re: practicing the early church life

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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
This is more of a hypothetical question I'm posing, because I wonder if some on here would not perhaps take the table with us and/or meet with us.

I'm supposing that believers that wouldn't enjoy the Lord's table with us might have two reasons:

1. They might not want to have anything to do with a group who has some "background" or any vague resemblance to the LC

2. They might say we were just another division because we are not on the genuine ground of oneness


So here's a brief history and description - at least what I know of it - regarding the "Scottsdale Church" (that's what's on the sign out front. Not sure, but the official legal name may still be "The Church in Scottsdale" if that makes any difference). The group formed up in the Seattle area in (I believe) the early 1980s and Bill Freeman was a key person. In the mid to late 1980s the group broke from the central control of the Church in Anaheim and many felt of the Lord to move down to Scottsdale, AZ.

There was a robust number of around 200 saints (a rough guess, maybe more with the campus fellowship) in Scottsdale until 1998, when Bill & Patsy Freeman left the group. A number left with the Freemans. I started meeting regularly here about that time.

For me these have been the very best two decades of my Christian life by far! The group here is very open to all other believers. There is no official affiliation with any group, yet we enjoy fellowship with everyone. There is no one person we look to for ministry and a wide variety of authors (including Nee and on occasion even WL), speakers, song writers, etc. that are shared between us - if there is something genuinely of Christ, we want it!

The meetings have an open format similar to the LC, but no restrictions are placed on what can be shared whatsoever. If someone has a fresh experience of Christ, an insight or even a problem they need prayer for, they are free to share. (The singing and expression of the love of Christ is awesome!) Legalism is very actively suppressed (since many have felt its sting over the years) - I marvel at the freedom in Christ that we have.

Personally, I see this group as having all the upside of things that were promoted by "The Recovery" and none of the downsides!

So again, if you were in the area, would you come and enjoy the Lord with us and take the Lord's table with us? (all are certainly welcome)
And please, I would also appreciate an explanation of why or why not.

Thanks!
Hi Sons of Glory,

This sounds like what Brother Lee described in 1963 in messages he gave in the church in Los Angeles when the brothers were encouraged to visit other places and join them in practice of the oneness in the Body of Christ.

Also, in Texas Don Rutledge and Benson Phillips practiced this way, with no expectation to get others to meet with them.


Witness Lee 1963:
"I believe in unity, but I do not believe in uniformity. Perhaps the saints in the church in Los Angeles meet in one way, and the saints in other localities meet in other ways. Do not try to make every place the same in everything. One local church may practice in one way, and another may practice in another way, yet they are still one. They are in the oneness, the unity. All these things seem complicated, but actually it is quite simple. In the early days, the Christians were very simple. They had no forms, no organization, no division, no regulations, etc. But they had the living Spirit within them. Wherever they went, they just gathered together to worship the Lord according to the leading of the Holy Spirit within them.

"Today we should also make everything simple. Wherever we go and wherever we are, we have to be one with the other saints. In any place you should not separate yourself from other saints. As long as they are not divisive, you have to join them and be one with them. We may say that we are free, that we are not denominational, and that we are not sectarian, yet we are separated and would not come together as the one expression of the Body of Christ in this one city. This shows that we are wrong, and this is a real test to us, proving that we still have something that is not of the Lord. If we are really for the Lord and are absolutely of the Lord, we will come together in our locality as the one expression of the one Body of Christ. There is no reason and no right for anyone to keep his group separated from others. This is the test. (The Life and Way to Practice the Church Life,p.105-107)

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Old 06-13-2018, 09:43 AM   #9
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Default Re: practicing the early church life

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"Today we should also make everything simple. Wherever we go and wherever we are, we have to be one with the other saints. In any place you should not separate yourself from other saints. As long as they are not divisive, you have to join them and be one with them. We may say that we are free, that we are not denominational, and that we are not sectarian, yet we are separated and would not come together as the one expression of the Body of Christ in this one city. This shows that we are wrong, and this is a real test to us, proving that we still have something that is not of the Lord. If we are really for the Lord and are absolutely of the Lord, we will come together in our locality as the one expression of the one Body of Christ. There is no reason and no right for anyone to keep his group separated from others. This is the test. (The Life and Way to Practice the Church Life,p.105-107)
wow Wow WOW!!! Hoot there it is! My my my Thanks for that WL quote from 1963 - This is what was there originally with the early LC bros and what I now experience in Scottsdale today.

Now that I think about it, I can't recall anyone speaking a message here - in 20 years - regarding the so-called "ground of locality." As I think I said, the sign out front says "Scottsdale Church," but there is very little attention paid to that - the issue just doesn't come up! And because the issue never comes up, that never becomes a point of potential divisiveness. (It actually used to say "A meeting place for the Scottsdale Church," but a leading brother was inspired one night about 10 years ago to tear off everything accept "Scottsdale Church" . . . I'm not sure exactly why. Maybe he thought the extra words sounded a little divisive.)
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Old 06-24-2018, 05:37 PM   #10
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Question Re: Would a LC saint take the Table with us?

I was hoping for more answers to this thread (thanks to those who did answer), so I want to direct this question to current LC saints: Would you take the table with us here in Scottsdale, since our legal name is "The Church in Scottsdale" and why or why not?

FYI - I know of a brother who gathers with us here in Scottsdale, whose father routinely meets with the LC in another state. When his father visits here he will come to gatherings, but he will not take the table with us. I think the reason he stated was something about "violating the oneness." I'm hoping someone could explain further what this means, as it doesn't make sense to me . . .
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Old 06-25-2018, 11:37 AM   #11
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Default Re: Would a LC saint take the Table with us?

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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
I was hoping for more answers to this thread (thanks to those who did answer), so I want to direct this question to current LC saints: Would you take the table with us here in Scottsdale, since our legal name is "The Church in Scottsdale" and why or why not?

FYI - I know of a brother who gathers with us here in Scottsdale, whose father routinely meets with the LC in another state. When his father visits here he will come to gatherings, but he will not take the table with us. I think the reason he stated was something about "violating the oneness." I'm hoping someone could explain further what this means, as it doesn't make sense to me . . .
There are many sad stories like this /showing the delusion and deviation in the Ministry Churches of Witness Lee. They left the vision but publish the teaching.


Excerpt from Speaking the Truth in Love
by J. Ingalls

"...Brother Lee heard me out, but it seemed that he was merely tolerating me and what I had to say. He had little to say in response. It was not encouraging. At the end of the time I remarked that unless he would have some change it would be difficult for the churches to go on. This was now the twelfth session that I had with Brother Lee since December 12th, 1987, either individually or with others.

It was about this time that Brother Lee notified us that he had discharged Philip Lee from the management of the Living Stream Office, stating that it was a very hard step for him to take.

Summer Training and Elders’ Meetings in Anaheim July 1988

The summer training began in Anaheim on June 29th and covered the first part of Leviticus. Godfred had no heart to attend the training, I attended part time mornings, and Al Knoch attended full time. We were troubled by the way Brother Lee used some of the messages to deal with the present situation. He was obviously preoccupied by it. This was the last training of Brother Lee’s that I ever was to attend. Following the training Brother Lee called for two elders’ meetings to be held on Saturday morning, July 9th. There were approximately four hundred elders and learning elders present. Brother Lee gave two messages: in the first he spoke on God’s administration and addressed the matters of "autonomy" and "federation". This was a very clear reference to the things I had spoken regarding the local administration of the churches, warning against the dangers of church affiliation or federation, which lead to central control and denominationalism. Brother Lee believed strongly that my stress on local administration would lead to the independence of all the local churches. As a matter of fact, I never once in all my speaking used the word "autonomy." But in Brother Lee’s own publication, The Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches, the word "autonomy" is used positively two times. I believe Brother Lee felt that, by my speaking, his concept of all the local churches moving and acting as one body under his leadership was threatened. Therefore, he fought against the imagined devil, autonomy, in every conference of his for months to come, referring to it as a wind of teaching brought in by the sleight of men to fabricate a system of error. The word "federation," which I did indeed use, offended him greatly. He believed I was classifying all the local churches under his leadership as a federation, whereas he insisted they were the "organic Body of Christ." He began to use the word "organic" frequently. I wish the churches were so organic. We were witnessing so much that was absolutely inorganic among the churches, things that were rather
organizational and exhibiting signs of a hierarchy
, for example in the FTTT. Therefore, I warned the saints against a kind of federation. Actually, I used the word "affiliation" much more, which is a milder form of federation, but nonetheless fraught with perils. The local churches had surely become an affiliation.

We had seen that in church history, whenever the Lord had raised up groups of His people for His testimony, they had persistently degraded into denominations; and the first two signs of this degradation were unfailingly: 1) the affiliating of the groups under a central leadership; 2) the establishing of a central training center, where their full-time workers could be educated and equipped to serve in their sphere of fellowship. When these two steps had eventualized, they were well on their way to becoming just another denomination, however advanced in the knowledge of truth they were. It was more than obvious that we in the local churches had taken those identical steps and were going down the same road. Should we remain silent?

In his second message of the elders’ meetings, Brother Lee spoke concerning our going on. After all our sessions and hours of fellowship with Brother Lee, we had hoped that he would take steps to clear up a number of things publicly. This was surely an excellent opportunity, a perfect forum, and an appropriate time. He did give a few principles for our going on which would be helpful if practiced. He did say, "It is altogether wise and profitable that we do not expect all the churches to be the same," and, "Do not talk about who is for this or who is for that…We should not label ourselves or label others." We were thankful to hear these comments and urgings. But we were deeply disappointed that he did not go much further. What he should have cleared up he covered up, e.g., problems regarding the LSM office and the FTTT training in Taipei. We hoped he would have repented for some things that had caused many problems, not just for allowing saints from the U.S. to attend the training in Taiwan. We surely would have respected him had he done this, and the situation could have been altogether different than it turned out.

At the close of Brother Lee’s second message, Dick Taylor (of Long Beach) and Frank Scavo (of Irvine) asked questions which Brother Lee attempted to answer. Dick’s question was quite appropriate and fit our situation. It was as follows: "Many times you reach a point in your experience where you have genuine concerns. How can you fellowship about these concerns without being considered as negative and thereby causing another problem? This is a concern to me and this is related to the freedom of seeking the Lord and the truth." In Brother Lee’s response he said that if you have a genuine concern for anyone in regard to the Lord’s recovery you should go to him alone without talking to anyone else. Any "pre-talk", he said, opens the door for the devil to come in. Now this may be true in many cases, but in our history of contacting Brother Lee over our concerns we felt we could not and should not do that. Since the issues were so momentous we needed fellowship for a clearer understanding and preparation for visiting him. In fact, Brother Lee and brothers around him have also had a lot of consultation among themselves regarding concerns for other brothers before going to them. I know because I myself participated in such discussions.

Brother Lee’s attitude while speaking was gentle and persuasive; he was seeking in this way to reconcile all the brothers and to set a course that would calm any fears or anxieties and eliminate any problems. Many were very happy with his fellowship; I was not at all happy or at peace.

During these elders’ meetings I sat next to an elder who had spoken with me a few times previously and was very sympathetic with our concerns, having much the same concerns himself. We agreed to meet together for some fellowship that evening over dinner. This we did, and as we ate we conversed about Brother Lee’s messages that day and their impact on the situation in general. The brother felt happy and said to me, "John , I think this is the best we can expect from Brother Lee. Be thankful." I tried to be; I tried to take his view. But in the depths of my being there was a nagging disappointment. Nothing had been dealt with. No wrongs had been righted.
The root was not touched. The question loomed before us, What shall we do now? I knew I had to be true to my conscience and the truth I had seen.
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Old 06-25-2018, 12:25 PM   #12
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Default Re: Would a LC saint take the Table with us?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post

Excerpt from Speaking the Truth in Love
by J. Ingalls -- Summer Training and Elders’ Meetings in Anaheim July 1988

The summer training began in Anaheim on June 29th and covered the first part of Leviticus . . . Following the training Brother Lee called for two elders’ meetings to be held on Saturday morning, July 9th. There were approximately four hundred elders and learning elders present. Brother Lee gave two messages: in the first he spoke on God’s administration and addressed the matters of "autonomy" and "federation". This was a very clear reference to the things I had spoken regarding the local administration of the churches, warning against the dangers of church affiliation or federation, which lead to central control and denominationalism. Brother Lee believed strongly that my stress on local administration would lead to the independence of all the local churches. As a matter of fact, I never once in all my speaking used the word "autonomy." But in Brother Lee’s own publication, The Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches, the word "autonomy" is used positively two times.

I believe Brother Lee felt that, by my speaking, his concept of all the local churches moving and acting as one body under his leadership was threatened. Therefore, he fought against the imagined devil, autonomy, in every conference of his for months to come, referring to it as a wind of teaching brought in by the sleight of men to fabricate a system of error. The word "federation," which I did indeed use, offended him greatly. He believed I was classifying all the local churches under his leadership as a federation, whereas he insisted they were the "organic Body of Christ." He began to use the word "organic" frequently. I wish the churches were so organic. We were witnessing so much that was absolutely inorganic among the churches, things that were rather organizational and exhibiting signs of a hierarchy, for example in the FTTT. Therefore, I warned the saints against a kind of federation. Actually, I used the word "affiliation" much more, which is a milder form of federation, but nonetheless fraught with perils. The local churches had surely become an affiliation.

We had seen that in church history, whenever the Lord had raised up groups of His people for His testimony, they had persistently degraded into denominations; and the first two signs of this degradation were unfailingly: 1) the affiliating of the groups under a central leadership; 2) the establishing of a central training center, where their full-time workers could be educated and equipped to serve in their sphere of fellowship. When these two steps had eventualized, they were well on their way to becoming just another denomination, however advanced in the knowledge of truth they were. It was more than obvious that we in the local churches had taken those identical steps and were going down the same road. Should we remain silent?
Wow! I believe I read John's book many years ago, but don't specifically remember this part - I think it was just all too overwhelming to me at the time. (I spoke to John on the phone too.)

I am thankful to the Lord on a personal note as well, and a little amazed at His timing concerning our family. That summer was the exact same time the Lord gave me a job in the middle of the California desert, and we moved away from the Columbus fellowship. It is yet another example of Him preserving me in an outward way! (arranging situations so we didn't get sucked in to harmful things) As things in TLR were quickly sliding toward denominationalism, He simultaneously got us the heck out of "Dodge." My my my. This occurred at exactly the same time as this huge elders meeting, in the summer of 1988. My spirit is amazed at His timing!

This may be about the same time the saints, who would eventually move to Scottsdale, parted with the central authority. I will have to ask.
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Old 06-25-2018, 01:45 PM   #13
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Default Re: Would a LC saint take the Table with us?

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I was hoping for more answers to this thread (thanks to those who did answer), so I want to direct this question to current LC saints: Would you take the table with us here in Scottsdale, since our legal name is "The Church in Scottsdale" and why or why not?
StG,

If you were truly meeting on the ground of oneness then I would.

However, taking the name of the church in ..... alone is not meaningful as there is more to oneness than the name. Not taking the name is meaningful as it indicates meeting on a different ground. Yet, I have not followed Brother Bill since he left the Lord's recovery so frankly I do not know on what ground he established the churches under his direction.

However, I do remember his hearty laugh and I enjoyed that he ministered Christ to me. (I also got a kick that he like to mention (hint hint) that his favorite ice cream was Pralines n Cream.)

Anyway, the table is a serious matter so I would not find fault with anyone who was not willing to take it. It is a matter of conscience.

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Old 06-25-2018, 03:41 PM   #14
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However, taking the name of the church in ..... alone is not meaningful as there is more to oneness than the name. Not taking the name is meaningful as it indicates meeting on a different ground. Yet, I have not followed Brother Bill since he left the Lord's recovery so frankly I do not know on what ground he established the churches under his direction.
Per StG - The church is not dedicated to the reading of Witness Lee. So I don't think they'd be considered acceptable for members of the LSM churches. Am I getting that wrong?
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Old 06-25-2018, 03:58 PM   #15
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Default Re: Would a LC saint take the Table with us?

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Per StG - The church is not dedicated to the reading of Witness Lee. So I don't think they'd be considered acceptable for members of the LSM churches. Am I getting that wrong?
Yes, you can pretty much read whoever author you want here - hopefully it's edifying and centered on Christ!

So does that exclude us in Scottsdale?
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:24 PM   #16
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Default Re: Would a LC saint take the Table with us?

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Yes, you can pretty much read whoever author you want here - hopefully it's edifying and centered on Christ!

So does that exclude us in Scottsdale?
Nope.

LofT is reading my post through the filter of his worldview.

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Old 06-25-2018, 04:54 PM   #17
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Default Re: Would a LC saint take the Table with us?

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Nope.

LofT is reading my post through the filter of his worldview.

Drake
Thanks! So perhaps it's not a dogmatic thing with those in TLR. So the brother I wrote of earlier who was in TLR elsewhere and wouldn't take the table here because he said it would "violate the oneness" . . . Are you saying it's a matter of individual conscience and not a specific LC teaching?

(and again we have nothing formal to do with the LC or the authority thereof - unless you count being one in Spirit . . .)
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Old 06-25-2018, 04:54 PM   #18
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Default Re: practicing the early church life - Nee - Further talks

In Watchman Nee’s Further Talks on the Church Life (1948-1951), he shares at the end of his ministry, and according to experience and observation,

“We must realize that where there is not the Holy Spirit, there is not the church. The church is absolutely not Witness Lee, Chang Yu-zhi, nor Yu Cheng-hwa; the church must only be the Holy Spirit. In other words, the church from beginning to end can only have one authority, one power, and one life, which is the Holy Spirit.” (p. 11, soft cover)

“Regardless of what kind of position a brother may have, whether he be an overseer, an apostle or a deacon, whenever he establishes or manifests his own authority, he loses and ruins the whole ground of the church. The whole ground of the church is established upon the authority of the Holy Spirit. Whenever His authority is offended, the authority of the church is gone.” P. 14, soft cover)

“Whenever the Holy Spirit cannot move, whenever the individuals stand out, it means there is some problem and the church is damaged so that it can no longer be called a church.

“Today there is so much of man’s opinion, man’s decision, man’s methods, man’s organization, man’s name, and man’s tradition in the groups that call upon the name of the Lord. I do not wish to say more about this. From the beginning to the end since we were called out by the Lord, there is a fundamental ground – that is we must obey and establish the authority of the Holy Spirit in the church and destroy our own authority.
(P. 16-17)
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:11 PM   #19
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Default Re:Ministry Churches

http://lordsrecovery.us/uploads/3/4/...rychurches.pdf

"In conjunction with their concept that they are the true church on a proper ground of oneness, possessing and ministering the “up-to-date speaking” of the Lord, the blended co-workers (Brother We) assert that they are the global authority over “the local churches”, having received the mantle personally from Brother Lee. However, when the blending brothers took the unprecedented step in “the Lord’s recovery” to draw a line in the sand with the One Publication Proclamation, the Body of Christ reacted and a big turmoil ensued.
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Old 06-25-2018, 05:16 PM   #20
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Nope.

LofT is reading my post through the filter of his worldview.

Drake
Not my worldview, but my experience. Each “Local Church” in the “oneness” I’ve visited or know of first hand have followed the writings of Witness Lee, no doubt about that. I could go take a picture of the literature in the church book room, their Bibles , and the hymn books as my proof (or would that still be in my filter?)

Drake, since I’m so out of whack here, please set me straight. What is a locality that doesn’t dedicate their church to the writings of Witness Lee? I don’t need an exhaustive list, one name is fine.

**edits for mistypes on new iPhone
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Old 06-25-2018, 08:27 PM   #21
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Thanks! So perhaps it's not a dogmatic thing with those in TLR. So the brother I wrote of earlier who was in TLR elsewhere and wouldn't take the table here because he said it would "violate the oneness" . . . Are you saying it's a matter of individual conscience and not a specific LC teaching?

(and again we have nothing formal to do with the LC or the authority thereof - unless you count being one in Spirit . . .)
STG,

Paul indicated we should consider and examine when partaking the table. If someone does not want to then you should receive him anyway. He has his reasons.

Brother Lee taught that whenever we go someplace we should blend in and to the extent afforded we should do as they do. If they speak in tongues learn to speak in tongues. If they roll on the floor, learn to roll on the floor.

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Old 06-25-2018, 08:35 PM   #22
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Not my worldview, but my experience. Each “Local Church” in the “oneness” I’ve visited or know of first hand have followed the writings of Witness Lee, no doubt about that. I could go take a picture of the literature in the church book room, their Bibles , and the hymn books as my proof (or would that still be in my filter?)

Drake, since I’m so out of whack here, please set me straight. What is a locality that doesn’t dedicate their church to the writings of Witness Lee? I don’t need an exhaustive list, one name is fine.

**edits for mistypes on new iPhone
The out of whack part is the ministry is for the churches NOT that a church dedicated to the writings of Witness Lee. So, not one but all of them that I know of or ever been a part of.

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Old 06-25-2018, 10:32 PM   #23
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The out of whack part is the ministry is for the churches NOT that a church dedicated to the writings of Witness Lee. So, not one but all of them that I know of or ever been a part of.

Drake
Yes, the ministry should be for the churches.

What is a locality in which Witness Lee (and Nee)'s books are NOT the primary ones read from, referenced, or sold?

Whether it be The Holy Word for Morning Revival, another ministry book by Lee/Nee, or the Recovery Version of the Bible (translated and footnoted by Lee)?
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Old 06-26-2018, 05:05 AM   #24
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The out of whack part is the ministry is for the churches NOT that a church dedicated to the writings of Witness Lee. So, not one but all of them that I know of or ever been a part of.

Drake
So all the churches in the “oneness” are dedicated to the work of Witness Lee, but for the churches - not for the sake of Witness Lee?
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Old 06-26-2018, 05:58 AM   #25
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So all the churches in the “oneness” are dedicated to the work of Witness Lee, but for the churches - not for the sake of Witness Lee?
That’s incoherent.

Not interested in unraveling your knotted logic.

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Old 06-26-2018, 06:08 AM   #26
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Yes, the ministry should be for the churches.

What is a locality in which Witness Lee (and Nee)'s books are NOT the primary ones read from, referenced, or sold?

Whether it be The Holy Word for Morning Revival, another ministry book by Lee/Nee, or the Recovery Version of the Bible (translated and footnoted by Lee)?
Trapped,

If none, how does that unprove the ministry is for the churches?

Drake
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:28 AM   #27
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Trapped,

If none, how does that unprove the ministry is for the churches?

Drake

Drake,

I made no such connection, claim, or implication that implied any disproving that the ministry is for the churches. That was not in my mind at all. My first sentence was simply agreeing with you that the ministry should be for the churches. Agreed.

My second sentence was a return to LofT's original question/line of thought. I was not drawing any connection, conclusion, or claim between the first and second sentence. If it helps, you can add the phrase "Back to the original thought" before my question to help make a distinction, because that was my intention when I wrote it.

Based on your initial response of "If none...", should I infer that your answer to the standalone question of "What is a locality in which Witness Lee (and Nee)'s books are NOT the primary ones read from, referenced, or sold?" is "none"?
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:41 AM   #28
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Drake,

I made no such connection, claim, or implication that implied any disproving that the ministry is for the churches. That was not in my mind at all. My first sentence was simply agreeing with you that the ministry should be for the churches. Agreed.

My second sentence was a return to LofT's original question/line of thought. I was not drawing any connection, conclusion, or claim between the first and second sentence. If it helps, you can add the phrase "Back to the original thought" before my question to help make a distinction, because that was my intention when I wrote it.

Based on your initial response of "If none...", should I infer that your answer to the standalone question of "What is a locality in which Witness Lee (and Nee)'s books are NOT the primary ones read from, referenced, or sold?" is "none"?
Fair enough Trapped.

I have not been in every local church and Sons To Glory would argue the church in Scottsdale is one example. So I cannot say with 100% certainty worldwide. However, speaking from my own experience in those churches or localities that I have lived or visited I can say none.... for sure.

Why?

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Old 06-26-2018, 07:43 AM   #29
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Default Re: Would a LC saint take the Table with us?

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Not my worldview, but my experience. Each “Local Church” in the “oneness” I’ve visited or know of first hand have followed the writings of Witness Lee, no doubt about that. I could go take a picture of the literature in the church book room, their Bibles , and the hymn books as my proof (or would that still be in my filter?)

Drake, since I’m so out of whack here, please set me straight. What is a locality that doesn’t dedicate their church to the writings of Witness Lee? I don’t need an exhaustive list, one name is fine.

**edits for mistypes on new iPhone
Midwest LC's were all undermined by LSM operatives for NOT using the writings of W. Lee. Not using Lee's writings is justification for lawsuits.

Not my worldview, just my experience.
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:45 AM   #30
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STG,

Paul indicated we should consider and examine when partaking the table. If someone does not want to then you should receive him anyway. He has his reasons.

Brother Lee taught that whenever we go someplace we should blend in and to the extent afforded we should do as they do. If they speak in tongues learn to speak in tongues. If they roll on the floor, learn to roll on the floor.

Drake
W. Lee may have taught this years ago, but neither he nor his Blendeds ever practiced it.
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Old 06-26-2018, 07:55 AM   #31
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The out of whack part is the ministry is for the churches NOT that a church dedicated to the writings of Witness Lee.

Drake
This cutesy saying is designed to disarm the conscience of the saints. It has no more validity your saying that you become god.

Furthermore, the false and distorted "oneness" in the LCM is a guise of divisiveness. They use their ministry and claims of oneness to divide and destroy LC's.
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Old 06-26-2018, 08:01 AM   #32
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Fair enough Trapped.

I have not been in every local church and Sons To Glory would argue the church in Scottsdale is one example. So I cannot say with 100% certainty worldwide. However, speaking from my own experience in those churches or localities that I have lived or visited I can say none.... for sure.

Why?

Drake
The church in Scottsdale was born out of Bill Freeman's excommunication by Lee.

Does the church in Scottsdale have any fellowship with the adjacent church in Phoenix? Can they come to your meetings and break bread? And vice versa?

If Phoenix and Scottsdale began to fellowship, would not Blendeds from HQ be sent to stop it?
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Old 06-26-2018, 09:34 AM   #33
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The church in Scottsdale was born out of Bill Freeman's excommunication by Lee.

Does the church in Scottsdale have any fellowship with the adjacent church in Phoenix? Can they come to your meetings and break bread? And vice versa?

If Phoenix and Scottsdale began to fellowship, would not Blendeds from HQ be sent to stop it?
There is very limited interaction between Scottsdale and Phoenix . . . very limited. At least that's my impression. I went to a gathering there many years ago and I believe one or two leading bros here have some occasional contact, albeit I think very, very infrequently.

As far as taking the table in Scottsdale, if a person has been born again with the new life & nature of Christ, they are certainly welcome here to sup with us! (Therefore this certainly includes the saints who meet as the LC in Phoenix.) In fact, I do wish they would come fellowship and take the table with us! This would make my spirit joyful, just as when any new ones join us!

Not sure about the vice versa, but I hope so.

FYI - I plan to ask a brother at the Thursday brothers' breakfast about some things related to SC background, and some of these things we've been discussing.

("Until we all arrive at the unity of the faith . . . a full-grown man" Eph 4:13 In reality - in spirit - we are all one and that is just the fact. I believe one day soon the oneness may be manifested very quickly. The Lord can do this - change hearts & minds of saints instantly. We saw after 9/11 how fast all the divides came down in the secular world. If something major happened in the spiritual realm and we all got really serious with God, I believe Christians would drop all the silly things that separate us in a heartbeat.)
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Old 06-26-2018, 11:20 AM   #34
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There is very limited interaction between Scottsdale and Phoenix . . . very limited. At least that's my impression. I went to a gathering there many years ago and I believe one or two leading bros here have some occasional contact, albeit I think very, very infrequently.

As far as taking the table in Scottsdale, if a person has been born again with the new life & nature of Christ, they are certainly welcome here to sup with us! (Therefore this certainly includes the saints who meet as the LC in Phoenix.) In fact, I do wish they would come fellowship and take the table with us! This would make my spirit joyful, just as when any new ones join us!

Not sure about the vice versa, but I hope so.

FYI - I plan to ask a brother at the Thursday brothers' breakfast about some things related to SC background, and some of these things we've been discussing.

("Until we all arrive at the unity of the faith . . . a full-grown man" Eph 4:13 In reality - in spirit - we are all one and that is just the fact. I believe one day soon the oneness may be manifested very quickly. The Lord can do this - change hearts & minds of saints instantly. We saw after 9/11 how fast all the divides came down in the secular world. If something major happened in the spiritual realm and we all got really serious with God, I believe Christians would drop all the silly things that separate us in a heartbeat.)

StG, Do it. Its right next door. Just go over, take a brother with you, take a seat on the front row, break bread, and stand up and share whatever you have been enjoying of the Lord at the appropriate moment. Let us know what happens.

Here I think your guileless and right heart is manifested. I believe also that the spiritual realm is where the front line of the battle is enjoined. We don't see it physically but how much would christians still hold onto if they could see it with their own eyes.

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Old 06-26-2018, 12:55 PM   #35
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Default Re: Would a LC saint take the Table with us?

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StG, Do it. Its right next door. Just go over, take a brother with you, take a seat on the front row, break bread, and stand up and share whatever you have been enjoying of the Lord at the appropriate moment. Let us know what happens.

Here I think your guileless and right heart is manifested. I believe also that the spiritual realm is where the front line of the battle is enjoined. We don't see it physically but how much would christians still hold onto if they could see it with their own eyes.

Drake
I appreciate that! I must admit, however, that when I'm home, I just miss the sharing by the various brothers on Sunday to much! When traveling that's not an issue, and my desire to be with saints has me going to various types of fellowships - usually what is closest. But as said before, I do plan to speak with one brother Thursday who is probably the most connected with our LC brothers. Perhaps the Lord will lead us to do as you suggest!
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Old 06-26-2018, 02:56 PM   #36
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StG, Do it. Its right next door. Just go over, take a brother with you, take a seat on the front row, break bread, and stand up and share whatever you have been enjoying of the Lord at the appropriate moment. Let us know what happens.

Here I think your guileless and right heart is manifested. I believe also that the spiritual realm is where the front line of the battle is enjoined. We don't see it physically but how much would christians still hold onto if they could see it with their own eyes.

Drake


"The call of 'men' to join with Gideon during the new way unwittingly helped create a church of Gideon and his 300 men, as oneness in the Local Churches with a man and a ministry prevailed to become the very oneness of the church."


http://lordsrecovery.us/uploads/3/4/...dhis300men.pdf


The Church of Gideon and His 300 Men

EXAMPLES

Church in Moses Lake

A brother from the church in Moses Lake, which is no longer associated with LSM, went to visit the church in Ephrata nearby. He was told when he got there he could not meet with them because he was “not one with the ministry”.

Church in Bellevue

An elder stood up in the meeting in Bellevue and declared that if “anyone is not here for Witness Lee and his ministry, he might as well not be here”.

Church in San Diego

At a home meeting in San Diego an elder stated “I don’t want to waste time talking to someone who is not for the ministry”.

There are too many testimonies like these, showing that our practice in the Local Churches may not be according to Christ alone as “the common center of all the churches”, but rather as Nee warned about, “a company of believers that has a leader, a doctrine, an experience, a creed, or an organization as their center of fellowship, who “will find that that center becomes the center, and it is that center by which they determine who belongs to
them and who does not” (The Normal Christian Church Life, p. 184, Nee)

http://lordsrecovery.us/uploads/3/4/...dhis300men.pdf

The Church of Gideon and His 300 Men
S. I. Sept 2014
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Old 06-26-2018, 04:26 PM   #37
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That’s incoherent.

Not interested in unraveling your knotted logic.

Thanks
Drake
I know - I was trying to decipher your statement.
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:19 AM   #38
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Default Re: If you were in Scottsdale would you take the Table with us?

OMG - I'm on a grade school playground!
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Old 06-27-2018, 10:53 AM   #39
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I was hoping for more answers to this thread (thanks to those who did answer), so I want to direct this question to current LC saints: Would you take the table with us here in Scottsdale, since our legal name is "The Church in Scottsdale" and why or why not?

FYI - I know of a brother who gathers with us here in Scottsdale, whose father routinely meets with the LC in another state. When his father visits here he will come to gatherings, but he will not take the table with us. I think the reason he stated was something about "violating the oneness." I'm hoping someone could explain further what this means, as it doesn't make sense to me . . .
Describing Division


Albert Knoch and John Ingalls Resign From Eldership March 19, 1989

On Tuesday, March 14, 1989, Godfred, Al, and I had fellowship and prayer during the morning and then lunch together. It was a memorable time, a decisive time. I expressed strongly to the brothers my feeling concerning the futility and dishonesty of playing the role of elder in Anaheim any longer. It was hypocritical to go on in that status feeling as we did with strong conviction that we were in a system. [/B]Moreover, we were totally incapable of changing the course of the church or of practicing a generality with the saints where all were free to follow their own conscience. These considerations dictated that we should resign. Both Godfred and Al agreed. Of course, Godfred had already resigned and withdrawn from the eldership on November 13, 1988, about four months earlier, but he was still concerned for Al and me. We fellowshipped about this matter and felt very clear that we should take the step and resign. I proposed that we wait to announce this to the saints until I would return from a trip to Europe planned for the end of March, but both Godfred and Al urged that we should do it immediately. We decided then to make a statement to this effect in the coming Lord’s Day morning meeting, giving the reasons for it.

This was a critical and momentous decision for us. I had been an elder in the church in Los Angeles for twelve years and in the church in Anaheim for fifteen years, during all this time closely associated with Brother Witness Lee. This decision would change the course of our lives and of the church, but we believed it was of the Lord.


On Friday evening, March 17th, Al and I met with the other elders, Minoru Chen and Philip Lin, and announced to them our intention to withdraw from the eldership, giving them some explanation. They received it and urged us to notify Brother Lee immediately. This we intended to do, and did so by letter the next day.

Thus on the Lord’s Day morning, March 19th, I rose at the close of the meeting and announced our decision to withdraw from the eldership of the church. I made a few introductory remarks, saying that "I began to realize that our practices have differed and deviated from our vision. Our vision was the same, our teaching was mostly the same, the truth is always the same, but our practice has really differed." I included a statement that the nature of what we called the Lord’s recovery had changed, and then spoke in a number of points the reasons and basis for our decision to withdraw. I did this briefly without much elaboration, speaking for twenty-two minutes. I record here in abridged form the salient points.

1. There has been a change in emphasis to the building up of the work or the ministry more than the local churches. The ministry has been promoted, exalted, and built up, and the churches have suffered greatly in the process.

2. There had been a great effort and promotion to unite the saints and the churches around a certain leader and organization.

3. There has been much pressure with full expectation that all the saints and the churches will conform to the burden of the ministry and be identical with one another in full uniformity of practice to carry it out.

4. In February 1986 we had signed a letter along with 417 other elders agreeing that we would be identical with all the churches, that we would follow the ministry absolutely, and that we realized Brother Lee’s leading was indispensable to our oneness. Since these matters were not in agreement with the Word of God, we greatly regretted that we had subscribed to them, and I stated publicly that I would retract my signature.

5. There has been an emphasis, at least in practice, on a centralization of the churches and the work.

6. There has been a pervasive control exercised over the church, not so much directly, but very much indirectly, which makes it difficult to go on by getting our leading directly from the Lord.

7. Church history reveals that denominations have begun with the affiliation of groups of saints under one leadership followed by the commencement of a training center. We were also going that way.

8. I greatly appreciate Brother Lee’s portion, but he has been exalted and honored above what is written, according to 1 Corinthians 4:6.

9. Brother Lee and his ministry have been made a great issue and factor of division among us.

10. Our going on and our relationship with the saints and with the church is made to depend on our relationship with Brother Lee. When this is done the ground of oneness is replaced with something else.

11. We have applied the teaching concerning the ground of oneness in a divisive and sectarian way, so that we divide ourselves from other Christians. This is due to an improper attitude and application of the truth. In the local churches we have become narrow and small as manifested in our attitude toward other Christians and in our reception of other saints.

12. Our attitude toward other Christians is one of belittling them and thinking we’re superior. What we need is the reality of oneness, not just the teaching or slogan.
13. The Lord told us in His Word to go forth to Him outside the camp. The Lord is still calling His sheep out of every fold and every camp so that there can be one flock with one shepherd.

14. Our oneness should be as large as the whole Body of Christ. Any oneness that is smaller than this we should leave and not keep.

15. We should all go directly to the Lord for His leading in the church in order to have a local administration, at the same time maintaining a proper fellowship with other saints and other churches. At this point I quoted some sentences from a pamphlet entitled The Beliefs and Practices of the Local Church, published by the Living Stream Ministry. One sentence reads: "In all administrative affairs, the local churches are autonomous and locally governed."

16. There has been an over-stressing and distortion of the teaching concerning deputy authority, which has caused the saints to be fearful to follow their conscience, to be one with their spirit, and sometimes to speak their genuine concerns.

17. There has been too much emphasizing of methods more than the inner anointing, and external big success more than the experience of the inner life.

18. We have no problem with the matters of the "new way". We wanted to make that clear. Actually these things are not new.


In conclusion I said, "Based on the above points, we feel we must withdraw from the eldership. We are not able to lead you in this way, nor are we able to lead you out of this way. Many of you feel strongly that you would like to take a certain direction, and as elders we cannot lead you in that direction…. We really love you in the Lord. The Lord knows that. We care for you, and we wish you all the very best in the Lord. You are in our prayers. You will always be in our prayers. We ask you to pray for us too. Pray for Brother Al and me. If we’ve offended any of you saints, we ask you to please forgive us. We surely never intended to offend any one of you. We still like to keep our fellowship with you all as fellow-members of the Body of Christ."

Al Knoch then rose and spoke for eleven minutes, giving a very genuine and touching statement regarding his inner feeling about the eldership. I will just quote briefly here. He began: "I am so thankful that John could share those points, because I could not do it so clearly. I hold the same concerns…. These were the same concerns we presented to Brother Lee in all our times with him. So he knows all of these things already, and he has considered them….As elders in the recovery we do have a problem with many of our practices, and there’s no way we could in a good conscience continue on in the position without the reality. How can we lead you? We can’t lead in that way, and yet the recovery is going that way.

"So we brothers feel…it’s good for us, it’s good for you, and it’s good for the Lord that we withdraw at this time. The reason we didn’t withdraw sooner, though we were clear to withdraw last December, is that we felt the need to stand here for these very concerns for a while longer to see what could be done, and to see how the saints would respond to this kind of stand. But the more we have done this, the more clear we have become that there will not be any change at this time in the way the recovery is going."

The saints, generally speaking, listened well, only interrupting once. The Lord’s presence and strengthening were with us. Minoru Chen closed the meeting, saying that we all must realize that the points I had made were an expression of my own personal view. He made a special point of controverting my assertion that the nature of the recovery had changed. He said that the nature of the recovery had indeed not changed. That was his view.
I also resigned by letter from the board of directors and the presidency of the corporation. A great step had been taken and a turn made.

The next day I left with my wife for Europe, where I rested, while visiting and fellowshipping with a number of churches. Upon returning to Anaheim on May 2nd I was not led of the Lord to return to the meetings on Ball Road, where I had met with the saints for fifteen years, and where I had resigned from the eldership on March 19th. I continued to gather with saints for the Lord’s Table in one of the couple’s homes, where I had been meeting for some time prior to resigning.


New Elders Appointed To Replace Knoch and Ingalls April 2, 1989

On the Lord’s Day, April 2nd, at the end of the meeting, Minoru Chen stood and read a letter addressed to the saints from Brother Lee in Taiwan, appointing two brothers to replace Al and me in the eldership. They were Eugene Gruhler, who was brought from Denver, and Francis Ball, who was transferred from San Gabriel. These brothers had been elders in Anaheim some years previously. They were both present in the meeting as Minoru read Brother Lee’s letter.

In the letter Brother Lee acknowledged that he had received our letter notifying him of our resignation, and had also heard of its accomplishment. He remarked, "I am very sorry for the two brothers that their course in following the Lord would have such an issue." He went on to say that he was very much concerned for the eldership in the church in Anaheim, and that he had felt led of the Lord to ask Eugene Gruhler and Francis Ball to "reassume their eldership in Anaheim in meeting the urgent need there…." Later in the year we heard that six more elders had been appointed by Brother Lee to the eldership in Anaheim, making a total of ten. Thus our eldership had been replaced, revised, and greatly enlarged in number.
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Old 06-27-2018, 02:55 PM   #40
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Default Re: If you were in Scottsdale would you take the Table with us?

Indiana - that was an interesting read from bro Ingalls! Reminds me of the proverbial thesis posting by Luther . . . What is your point with it? That is, how does it address taking the table in Scottsdale?
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Old 06-27-2018, 08:19 PM   #41
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I was hoping for more answers to this thread (thanks to those who did answer), so I want to direct this question to current LC saints: Would you take the table with us here in Scottsdale, since our legal name is "The Church in Scottsdale" and why or why not?

FYI - I know of a brother who gathers with us here in Scottsdale, whose father routinely meets with the LC in another state. When his father visits here he will come to gatherings, but he will not take the table with us. I think the reason he stated was something about "violating the oneness." I'm hoping someone could explain further what this means, as it doesn't make sense to me . . .
You asked the ALL-IMPORTANT QUESTION about who would take the table with you in Scottsdale. It's NOT those who chose to "range themselves around a gifted leader" in a universal movement for oneness with a man and a ministry. Witness Lee became a factor of oneness and of division in the churches; and that brother's father was swept away with them to the ground they hold today. It is a special ground, but not the Body ground, which they once had when blessings did abound.

Agreement to follow Witness Lee in the New Way

"Dear Brother Lee. After hearing your fellowship in this elders’ training, we all agree to have a new start in the Lord’s recovery. For this, we all agree to be in one accord and to carry out this new move of the Lord solely through prayer, the Spirit, and the Word. We further agree to practice the recovery one in: teaching, practice, thinking, speaking, essence, appearance, and expression.

We repudiate all differences among the churches, and all indifference toward the ministry office, and the other churches. We agree that the church in our place be identical with all the local churches throughout the earth.

We also agree to follow your leading as the one who has brought us God’s New Testament economy and has led us into its practice. We agree that this leading is indispensable to our oneness and acknowledge the one trumpet in the Lord’s ministry and the one wise
master builder among us...." (1986 letter from 417 elders, intl elders' conf.)
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Old 06-28-2018, 09:58 AM   #42
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You asked the ALL-IMPORTANT QUESTION about who would take the table with you in Scottsdale. It's NOT those who chose to "range themselves around a gifted leader" in a universal movement for oneness with a man and a ministry. Witness Lee became a factor of oneness and of division in the churches; and that brother's father was swept away with them to the ground they hold today. It is a special ground, but not the Body ground, which they once had when blessings did abound.

Agreement to follow Witness Lee in the New Way

"Dear Brother Lee. After hearing your fellowship in this elders’ training, we all agree to have a new start in the Lord’s recovery. For this, we all agree to be in one accord and to carry out this new move of the Lord solely through prayer, the Spirit, and the Word. We further agree to practice the recovery one in: teaching, practice, thinking, speaking, essence, appearance, and expression.

We repudiate all differences among the churches, and all indifference toward the ministry office, and the other churches. We agree that the church in our place be identical with all the local churches throughout the earth.

We also agree to follow your leading as the one who has brought us God’s New Testament economy and has led us into its practice. We agree that this leading is indispensable to our oneness and acknowledge the one trumpet in the Lord’s ministry and the one wise
master builder among us...." (1986 letter from 417 elders, intl elders' conf.)
OK - thanks! That makes it very clear, doesn't it!?

The coordination of man often just kills the Spirit's moving!! I've seen this in various ways big and small. One little instance that brought this home to me, and I truly marveled at it: A brother and I were asked to share a summary of a NT book, after the ekklesia here had spent several weeks going through it. I kept trying to get with the other brother to coordinate our messages, but it just never happened over the course of a couple weeks. He was busy or I was . . . this thing would pop up or some other thing . . . we just couldn't seem to coordinate.

So the Sunday we were supposed to share I just have to give it to Him (what a concept, right?!). We both had our time sharing, not having much of a clue what the other one would discuss. And guess what? IT WAS GLORIOUS! The Spirit spoke through both of us in the most remarkable way, which was PERFECTLY coordinated. It was really edifying to the body. We never could have orchestrated that, and I was convinced - He knows far, far better how to do things. (FYI - I do a fair amount of public speaking for a living, and know the importance of being prepared, so this lesson was something of a tough one for me - i.e., not preparing so much and letting Him do it!)

But He won't force us. If we say, "We've got this and can coordinate blah blah blah," He will simply let us as if to say, "It's your decision to handle it yourself and I will honor that. Let's see how it all works out."

That applies to the small things and the big things. He will let us do it if we insist.
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Old 06-29-2018, 06:32 PM   #43
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The church in Scottsdale was born out of Bill Freeman's excommunication by Lee.

Does the church in Scottsdale have any fellowship with the adjacent church in Phoenix? Can they come to your meetings and break bread? And vice versa?

If Phoenix and Scottsdale began to fellowship, would not Blendeds from HQ be sent to stop it?
That last one is a very interesting question! So what's your thought Drake & Evangelical?

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Old 07-04-2018, 07:20 AM   #44
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I was hoping for more answers to this thread (thanks to those who did answer), so I want to direct this question to current LC saints: Would you take the table with us here in Scottsdale, since our legal name is "The Church in Scottsdale" and why or why not?

FYI - I know of a brother who gathers with us here in Scottsdale, whose father routinely meets with the LC in another state. When his father visits here he will come to gatherings, but he will not take the table with us. I think the reason he stated was something about "violating the oneness." I'm hoping someone could explain further what this means, as it doesn't make sense to me . . .
Best way I can explain is ones meeting with the local churches believe they're meeting in oneness and everyone else is meeting divisively. May come and meet, but to take communion would be considered partaking of division.
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Old 07-04-2018, 09:41 AM   #45
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Best way I can explain is ones meeting with the local churches believe they're meeting in oneness and everyone else is meeting divisively. May come and meet, but to take communion would be considered partaking of division.
Are you with the LC now, Terry? I was curious about this matter since we in Scottsdale don't take any names (legal name is, "The Church in Scottsdale") and it would seem therefore, for all LC intentions, we should not be a division. Is then the reason a LC saint wouldn't take the table with us here in Scottsdale, only because we are not now "officially" affiliated with the LC?
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:33 AM   #46
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Are you with the LC now, Terry? I was curious about this matter since we in Scottsdale don't take any names (legal name is, "The Church in Scottsdale") and it would seem therefore, for all LC intentions, we should not be a division. Is then the reason a LC saint wouldn't take the table with us here in Scottsdale, only because we are not now "officially" affiliated with the LC?
I am not. It's not about what name is being taken than it is about the assembly you meet with. Do they have a relationship with LSM? If not, they meet in division because of not meeting on the proper ground.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:37 AM   #47
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Is then the reason a LC saint wouldn't take the table with us here in Scottsdale, only because we are not now "officially" affiliated with the LC?
I would even say even to basics of meeting house to house. If the home meetings is not based on LSM publications, the fellowship is considered illegitimate. Thus no interest to meet with a non-LSM home meeting. This isn't based on opinion, but rather personal experience.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:54 AM   #48
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I am not. It's not about what name is being taken than it is about the assembly you meet with. Do they have a relationship with LSM? If not, they meet in division because of not meeting on the proper ground.
Let me see if I understand - so this doesn't actually apply to you now because you don't meet with the LC, right? I think you are saying someone with the LC would not take the table with us because we are not affiliated with LSM . . . is that correct?
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Old 07-05-2018, 10:37 PM   #49
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Are you with the LC now, Terry? I was curious about this matter since we in Scottsdale don't take any names (legal name is, "The Church in Scottsdale") and it would seem therefore, for all LC intentions, we should not be a division. Is then the reason a LC saint wouldn't take the table with us here in Scottsdale, only because we are not now "officially" affiliated with the LC?
Depends who has the genuine lampstand so I don't think a local church member would take the table with another group if they are not genuine lampstand. If God told your leader to start the lampstand in the city then we should fellowship there so it depends if you have the lampstand or not?

A feature of a genuine lampstand is that each lampstand is identical in appearance. Can we say that the Church in Scottsdale is of the same appearance and same shining as other local churches? What is the dominant expression of the church, is it evangelical, free/brethren, pentecostal, liturgical ? etc. Does it consider itself the genuine church in the city?

One question - do you consider "the Church in Scottsdale" to be "the genuine church in the city"?: Or do you see it as just one of many genuine churches in the city. If it's like this it not shining the same light as other local churches.
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Old 07-05-2018, 11:53 PM   #50
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A feature of a genuine lampstand is that each lampstand is identical in appearance. Can we say that the Church in Scottsdale is of the same appearance and same shining as other local churches? What is the dominant expression of the church, is it evangelical, free/brethren, pentecostal, liturgical ? etc. Does it consider itself the genuine church in the city?
Can you provide some more concrete examples or definitions of "same appearance and same shining"? This is an important topic and I think it would help to make sure there is a common understanding of what the terms being used mean practically, rather than floating around in the undefined, nebulous realm of metaphorical terminology. When we talk about different groups of people in different cities "having the same appearance" or "the same shining", can you flesh out a little further what that actually means or how it is practically worked out? It would help me. Thanks.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:52 AM   #51
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Can you provide some more concrete examples or definitions of "same appearance and same shining"? This is an important topic and I think it would help to make sure there is a common understanding of what the terms being used mean practically, rather than floating around in the undefined, nebulous realm of metaphorical terminology. When we talk about different groups of people in different cities "having the same appearance" or "the same shining", can you flesh out a little further what that actually means or how it is practically worked out? It would help me. Thanks.
Ditto! I wondered the same thing. Evangelical.
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:13 AM   #52
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Let me see if I understand - so this doesn't actually apply to you now because you don't meet with the LC, right? I think you are saying someone with the LC would not take the table with us because we are not affiliated with LSM . . . is that correct?
Not everyone meeting in the local churches may feel this way, but ones I have spoken to would abstain from taking the table.
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:23 AM   #53
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Default The Ministry Becomes the Lampstand

Agree or disagree see the following thread started by Indiana

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=3710
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Old 07-06-2018, 11:27 AM   #54
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Can you provide some more concrete examples or definitions of "same appearance and same shining"? This is an important topic and I think it would help to make sure there is a common understanding of what the terms being used mean practically, rather than floating around in the undefined, nebulous realm of metaphorical terminology. When we talk about different groups of people in different cities "having the same appearance" or "the same shining", can you flesh out a little further what that actually means or how it is practically worked out? It would help me. Thanks.
A bigger question is can there be "same appearance and same shining" without Living Stream Ministry influences?
If the answer is yes, I say amen.
If the answer is no, then I say what we have are ministry churches.
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:46 PM   #55
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Can you provide some more concrete examples or definitions of "same appearance and same shining"? This is an important topic and I think it would help to make sure there is a common understanding of what the terms being used mean practically, rather than floating around in the undefined, nebulous realm of metaphorical terminology. When we talk about different groups of people in different cities "having the same appearance" or "the same shining", can you flesh out a little further what that actually means or how it is practically worked out? It would help me. Thanks.

Does it consider itself the genuine church in the city or but one of many genuine churches (including denominations etc) ? If not, it is not of the same appearance and shining as other local churches which do. In other words, is it the genuine church in the city or is it one sect of many in the city?

That's why I asked Sons to Glory if they consider their church "the church in the city" as per "the church in Corinth, the church in Ephesus etc", or only "a church in the city" (one of many in the city). If it is only "a church in the city" then they cannot claim to be the one lampstand in the one city, but their lampstand would be smaller than that so would not have the same shining.

Whether or not the Lord's table is genuine or a sectarian Table is the key difference. The name doesn't matter if the identity is sectarian.
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Old 07-06-2018, 04:59 PM   #56
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Does it consider itself the genuine church in the city or but one of many genuine churches (including denominations etc) ?
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That's why I asked Sons to Glory if they consider their church "the church in the city" as per "the church in Corinth, the church in Ephesus etc", or only "a church in the city" (one of many in the city)

So the requirement to be a genuine church is just to consider yourself the church in that city?
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Old 07-06-2018, 05:00 PM   #57
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Does it consider itself the genuine church in the city or but one of many genuine churches (including denominations etc) ? If not, it is not of the same appearance and shining as other local churches which do.

This does not provide any useful information as to what "same appearance and shining" means.
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:41 PM   #58
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This does not provide any useful information as to what "same appearance and shining" means.
Appearance - what it looks like - a denomination or a genuine city church?
Shining - what is it expressing - denominationalism or oneness?
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Old 07-06-2018, 06:42 PM   #59
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So the requirement to be a genuine church is just to consider yourself the church in that city?
It is one requirement surely. Why would a genuine church not consider itself to be the church in the city?
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:02 PM   #60
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Appearance - what it looks like - a denomination or a genuine city church?

Can you describe what a genuine city church looks like?
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:18 PM   #61
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It is one requirement surely. Why would a genuine church not consider itself to be the church in the city?

I don't know of one church that exists in a city that doesn't consider themselves to be the church in that city. Your issue seems to be with a church recognizing that other gatherings in that city are also the church, is that accurate?

Are you saying that the LC's are genuine because:
1. They consider themselves to be genuine and
2. They deem the other churches not genuine?

And that the other churches are not genuine because:
1. They consider themselves to be genuine but
2. They also consider the other churches to be genuine?
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Old 07-06-2018, 07:57 PM   #62
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Yes a genuine church would recognize that it is the genuine church and others are not genuine churches but sects. In the Bible there are only churches and sects. There is no such thing as "other churches in the city". If a church refers to "other churches in the city" it proves that the church itself is a sect, not a church. If a woman refers to other women besides herself that are in a relationship to the same man, it proves she is not his genuine wife.

It would be strange to read in Paul's letter to the Corinthian church, for example, that there is "the church in Corinth" but there is also some gathering of believers within Corinth who also claim to be genuine. Similarly it would be strange to read about multiple genuine churches within the one city in Revelation - no where does Jesus refer to the churches (plural) in any city.

I am waiting to hear from Sons to Glory about whether their church is a church or a sect. If it's a church then there is no reason not to have the Lord's Table there, but if a sect then there is a reason.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:16 PM   #63
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If you have two gatherings in a city, both of which consider themselves to be the genuine church and all other gatherings in that city NOT the genuine church, which one is the genuine church (regardless of what they think of themselves)?
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:21 PM   #64
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Depends who has the genuine lampstand so I don't think a local church member would take the table with another group if they are not genuine lampstand. If God told your leader to start the lampstand in the city then we should fellowship there so it depends if you have the lampstand or not?

A feature of a genuine lampstand is that each lampstand is identical in appearance. Can we say that the Church in Scottsdale is of the same appearance and same shining as other local churches? What is the dominant expression of the church, is it evangelical, free/brethren, pentecostal, liturgical ? etc. Does it consider itself the genuine church in the city?

One question - do you consider "the Church in Scottsdale" to be "the genuine church in the city"?: Or do you see it as just one of many genuine churches in the city. If it's like this it not shining the same light as other local churches.
I left LSM and their LC's because there was no more shining. No more gold.

Israel also claimed to have the only golden lampstand in their temple, and the Lord Jesus left them with their house desolate.

Exclusive claims mean nothing to God. You can talk all day about who has the "genuine lampstand," and you have nothing more than talk, but nothing real.

If you don't have enough love to break bread with the church in Scottsdale, then you have nothing. You are sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. Without love, the LSM is nothing.
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Old 07-06-2018, 08:24 PM   #65
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So the requirement to be a genuine church is just to consider yourself the church in that city?
Exactly.

Just puff yourself up. Condemn all others. And claim to be something.

That is the very definition of Pride and arrogance.
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Old 07-07-2018, 03:31 PM   #66
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If you have two gatherings in a city, both of which consider themselves to be the genuine church and all other gatherings in that city NOT the genuine church, which one is the genuine church (regardless of what they think of themselves)?
I think we can tell by knowing which was there first. So which one was there first? The church established by Witness Lee or the church which Sons to Glory now claims is the genuine church in the city? which seems more like a faction of the original church established.

If someone leaves a group and then creates their own group, can they really claim to be the genuine first church in the city?

There are only a few possibilities here:
*all the groups that say they are churches are genuine churches. Unlikely given that any sect who claims to be a church is then automatically one just because they say they are.
* a genuine church is one which is the first following the biblical pattern of one church per city is the genuine church - most likely in my opinion.
*a church which splinters from the genuine church of one church per city is the genuine church - unlikely given that it is an off-shoot. The bible is silent about churches splintering and the one which splinters being called genuine. I believe the correct term for that is a sect or faction.
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Old 07-07-2018, 04:25 PM   #67
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In my question I did not refer to Scottsdale. I am not talking about "Witness Lee's groups" or "StG's group". We are talking about the principles of determining a genuine church. Human names do not play a factor in determining the genuineness of a church.

I am speaking of a situation where two different groups that have no connection or offshooting one from another, who completely independently from each other, both consider themselves the genuine church in that city and believe all other gatherings are NOT the genuine church. In that case, which one is the genuine church? Are you saying it is just who claimed dibbsies first? If so, what if they were established at the same time? Which one, regardless of what they think about themselves, is truly the genuine church?
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Old 07-07-2018, 04:39 PM   #68
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I think we can tell by knowing which was there first. So which one was there first? The church established by Witness Lee or the church which Sons to Glory now claims is the genuine church in the city? which seems more like a faction of the original church established.
Additionally, what is the responsibility of a group who wants to begin what they consider "the" genuine church in a city, regarding due diligence to find out if there are any other groups in that city who already are "the" genuine church?

How do you come to, for example, a large city like Los Angeles or New York City and determine from the hundreds, probably thousands, of gatherings there whether one of them is the genuine church in that city already (or any city)? I know you will set aside any denomination, but there are still many, many gatherings of believers not connected to denominations.
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Old 07-07-2018, 04:51 PM   #69
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Default Re: Would a LC saint take the Table with us?

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*a church which splinters from the genuine church of one church per city is the genuine church - unlikely given that it is an off-shoot. The bible is silent about churches splintering and the one which splinters being called genuine. I believe the correct term for that is a sect or faction.
LSM divided every church in the Midwest, with splinter groups in each city now favorable to them.

Yet LSM considers only these splinter groups to be genuine because only they use LSM's books.
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Old 07-08-2018, 03:57 PM   #70
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I am waiting to hear from Sons to Glory about whether their church is a church or a sect. If it's a church then there is no reason not to have the Lord's Table there, but if a sect then there is a reason.
Greetings from 7,000 up, in our trailer, in Ridgway Colorado, where we're on a couple week vacation from the 110+ degrees in Scottsdale! I see this thread/question gained a little traction whilst we've been traveling . . .

When I get some time to muse more about this question, I intend to answer it. Thanks for your patience.
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Old 07-08-2018, 04:17 PM   #71
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Does it consider itself the genuine church in the city or but one of many genuine churches (including denominations etc)?
Did the 'ekklesia' of Acts 19:41 which was dismissed by the town clerk consider itself to the the "genuine church in the city" in Ephesus? Did the 'ekklesia' that Paul wrote greeting to in Romans 16:5 consider itself the "genuine church in that city"? If so, why didn't Paul call it as such?

We tend to read a 19th and 20th-century meaning back on a 1st- and 2nd-century text, and these are the kinds of presuppositions we need hold in order to ask the kind of questions we're asking.

I'd say, rather, that a "genuine church" doesn't consider whether it's the "genuine church" or not, simply because it has neither time nor inclination for such fancies. Instead it's focused on Jesus Christ, as Lord, Saviour, and Ruler of the kings of the earth. There's nothing else to consider. Everything else that comes into being comes from this one singularity (Heb 1:2; John 1:3). There's no need for our divided attention. Focus on "the one thing" and everything else is taken care of (Luke 10:42). Focus on anything else and the subtle one has room for his machinations. The "house of mirrors" begins - what is 'genuine' and 'proper' and so forth.

The Body doesn't focus on the Body - it's focused on the Head. The Bride doesn't consider itself but the Bridegroom. The only reality is in Jesus Christ, nothing else; nothing else is worth even considering.

There's no "ground" nor "ministry" nor "present truth" nor "present move" nor anything else. Jesus is the Minister of the Age. Jesus is the Faithful Witness. There is no other. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews said, "We see Jesus" (2:8). When you see Jesus there's nothing else.
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:27 PM   #72
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:29 PM   #73
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In my question I did not refer to Scottsdale. I am not talking about "Witness Lee's groups" or "StG's group". We are talking about the principles of determining a genuine church. Human names do not play a factor in determining the genuineness of a church.

I am speaking of a situation where two different groups that have no connection or offshooting one from another, who completely independently from each other, both consider themselves the genuine church in that city and believe all other gatherings are NOT the genuine church. In that case, which one is the genuine church? Are you saying it is just who claimed dibbsies first? If so, what if they were established at the same time? Which one, regardless of what they think about themselves, is truly the genuine church?
If two groups of believers are completely independent and started at the same time and did not genuinely know about the other ones existing, then both are gatherings of the one genuine church in the city I would think.
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Old 07-08-2018, 05:40 PM   #74
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Did the 'ekklesia' of Acts 19:41 which was dismissed by the town clerk consider itself to the the "genuine church in the city" in Ephesus? Did the 'ekklesia' that Paul wrote greeting to in Romans 16:5 consider itself the "genuine church in that city"? If so, why didn't Paul call it as such?
It's very simple - Paul does not use the language "genuine church" because there was not such thing as a "false church" at the time.

To be strictly biblical there are only churches and sects. Just as there are only believers and nonbelievers. The term "genuine believer" is a bit of an oxymoron, so is the term "genuine church". But because everyone thinks a building with a "yada yada church" sign on the front is a real church, I must make the distinction between current practice and the bible by using the word "genuine". Especially considering that a number of these churches are controlled by lesbians.

But now we have the situation where any group of believers can claim to be a church. Most Christians cannot discern the difference between a church (genuine) and a sect. This is because they don't have a solid biblical definition of what a church is. Some say there is no definition but there is if we look hard enough - if they want to say that they should cut out and keep only the red letters in their bible if they only want to follow the prescriptive parts.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:05 PM   #75
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For confirmation of my points, look up the words "true church" or "recovered church" or "genuine church" and see how many unique hits you get. How many have fallen for this fatuous nonsense. Either God raised Jesus from the dead, or no. Either we believe, or no. Only Jesus Christ is real and genuine and true. The rest is presumption.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:20 PM   #76
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For confirmation of my points, look up the words "true church" or "recovered church" or "genuine church" and see how many unique hits you get. How many have fallen for this fatuous nonsense. Either God raised Jesus from the dead, or no. Either we believe, or no. Only Jesus Christ is real and genuine and true. The rest is presumption.
Paul's letters to the churches are not pointless. For example, his instructions to the Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians and Timothy, are mostly practical and little to do with the resurrection or simple faith in Christ. You sound like one of those people who think church is watching a TV program from the comfort of your living room, and you have all the spiritual sounding justification to go along with it. But it's all in your head, it's not practical, you can't have a practical church based only on the resurrection and belief, just as we cannot have a bible that only includes the gospel of Matthew. We must have, at bare minimum, the Lord's Table, as even the Lord commanded it, yet you call this "presumption". Then we have the matter of elders, apostles, prophecy, baptism, food and seating arrangements to take care of. Parking ones car (or donkey, in ancient times), also important.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:51 PM   #77
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. . a number of these churches are controlled by lesbians. . . any group of believers can claim to be a church. Most Christians cannot discern the difference between a church (genuine) and a sect.
By the same token why don't you disqualify Nee for consorting spiritually with Fishbacher, Penn-Lewis et al? I've never seen such selective discernment as comes out of the LC.
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Old 07-08-2018, 06:54 PM   #78
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It's very simple - Paul does not use the language "genuine church" because there was not such thing as a "false church" at the time.
It's very simple - Jesus used the words "my ekklesia" because there were ekklesia not of Jesus. Like the one dismissed by the Ephesian town clerk in Acts 19:41. There were lots of ekklesia. All were genuine, by your term. But not all were of Jesus. Nor were any perforce delimited by city boundaries.
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Old 07-08-2018, 07:03 PM   #79
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Then we have the matter of elders, apostles, prophecy, baptism, food and seating arrangements to take care of. Parking ones car (or donkey, in ancient times), also important.
I thought Christ was all in all? You have to leave Christ to park your car?
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:41 PM   #80
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I thought Christ was all in all? You have to leave Christ to park your car?
What about drive-thru church?
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:42 PM   #81
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It's very simple - Jesus used the words "my ekklesia" because there were ekklesia not of Jesus. Like the one dismissed by the Ephesian town clerk in Acts 19:41. There were lots of ekklesia. All were genuine, by your term. But not all were of Jesus. Nor were any perforce delimited by city boundaries.
ekklesia not of Jesus means churches not of Jesus? can you give examples of who these ekklesia were of?
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:47 PM   #82
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Did the 'ekklesia' of Acts 19:41 which was dismissed by the town clerk consider itself to the the "genuine church in the city" in Ephesus? Did the 'ekklesia' that Paul wrote greeting to in Romans 16:5 consider itself the "genuine church in that city"? If so, why didn't Paul call it as such?

We tend to read a 19th and 20th-century meaning back on a 1st- and 2nd-century text, and these are the kinds of presuppositions we need hold in order to ask the kind of questions we're asking.

I'd say, rather, that a "genuine church" doesn't consider whether it's the "genuine church" or not, simply because it has neither time nor inclination for such fancies. Instead it's focused on Jesus Christ, as Lord, Saviour, and Ruler of the kings of the earth. There's nothing else to consider. Everything else that comes into being comes from this one singularity (Heb 1:2; John 1:3). There's no need for our divided attention. Focus on "the one thing" and everything else is taken care of (Luke 10:42). Focus on anything else and the subtle one has room for his machinations. The "house of mirrors" begins - what is 'genuine' and 'proper' and so forth.

The Body doesn't focus on the Body - it's focused on the Head. The Bride doesn't consider itself but the Bridegroom. The only reality is in Jesus Christ, nothing else; nothing else is worth even considering.

There's no "ground" nor "ministry" nor "present truth" nor "present move" nor anything else. Jesus is the Minister of the Age. Jesus is the Faithful Witness. There is no other. The writer of the epistle to the Hebrews said, "We see Jesus" (2:8). When you see Jesus there's nothing else.
Perhaps the very best thing I've read concerning this whole conversation!
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Old 07-08-2018, 08:57 PM   #83
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Default Re: If you were in Scottsdale would you take the Table with us?

So Evangelical asked me a question about whether the Scottsdale Church was THE CHURCH IN SCOTTSDALE or a sect. I went for a walk and asked the Lord about how to answer. I had some things I thought were fairly logical in mind, but when I came back I read the below post I referenced by Aron and realized - THAT'S IT!

It is just plain silly to get all caught up in this is a church or that isn't a church or this one's a sect, etc. Dare I say that it's childish and is just knowledge that will fail!? Well, I believe it is.

Brothers, the Lord said they will know us by our love, not about our great teachings! Right? And, again, the great teachings of knowledge will fail - even the good ones. Paul said this, right? Anything else sort of falls into a "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" thing - this will not testify to the world anything (other than old man Adam).

As Aron said, when we're focused on this sort of childish thing, we're not focused on pursuing Christ. No, we're not.

Please go back an read Aron's post (post #71), slowly. (What we're going around and around about here isn't it!)
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:08 PM   #84
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So Evangelical asked me a question about whether the Scottsdale Church was THE CHURCH IN SCOTTSDALE or a sect. I went for a walk and asked the Lord about how to answer. I had some things I thought were fairly logical in mind, but when I came back I read the below post I referenced by Aron and realized - THAT'S IT!

It is just plain silly to get all caught up in this is a church or that isn't a church or this one's a sect, etc. Dare I say that it's childish and is just knowledge that will fail!? Well, I believe it is.

Brothers, the Lord said they will know us by our love, not about our great teachings! Right? And, again, the great teaching will fail. Paul said this, right? Anything else sort of falls into a "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" thing - this will not testify to the world anything (other than old man Adam).

As Aron said, when we're focused on this sort of thing, we're not focused on pursuing Christ. No, we're not.

Just please go back an read Aron's post again post #71), slowly. What we're going around and around about here isn't it!
-
Agree.
I was waiting too for how StG answer E's question.
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Old 07-08-2018, 09:09 PM   #85
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So Evangelical asked me a question about whether the Scottsdale Church was THE CHURCH IN SCOTTSDALE or a sect. I went for a walk and asked the Lord about how to answer. I had some things I thought were fairly logical in mind, but when I came back I read the below post I referenced by Aron and realized - THAT'S IT!

It is just plain silly to get all caught up in this is a church or that isn't a church or this one's a sect, etc. Dare I say that it's childish and is just knowledge that will fail!? Well, I believe it is.

Brothers, the Lord said they will know us by our love, not about our great teachings! Right? And, again, the great teachings of knowledge will fail - even the good ones. Paul said this, right? Anything else sort of falls into a "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?" thing - this will not testify to the world anything (other than old man Adam).

As Aron said, when we're focused on this sort of childish thing, we're not focused on pursuing Christ. No, we're not.

Just please go back an read Aron's post (post #71), slowly. (What we're going around and around about here isn't it!)
I am sure everyone loves Jesus, everyone says that. Suppose a man has a genuine wife and 4 mistresses. Your answer is equivalent to saying that it does not matter which is the genuine wife and which is the mistress because they all love the same man very much.

If there is no reason to not meet with other assemblies, then isn't it divisive for the church in Scottsdale to meet independently of other churches? Why not just meet with the baptists or the Lutherans? Doesn't this send a message or testimony of division to the world?

For me it's very simple. Is your gathering the original church in Scottsdale or is it a church which came from the original one?
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:21 AM   #86
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ekklesia not of Jesus means churches not of Jesus? can you give examples of who these ekklesia were of?
I've already given you a NT 'ekklesia' not of Jesus in Acts 19:41. The word was in common use, and predated the gospels. It's not like Jesus invented it wholecloth in Matthew 16.

But if you want to condemn others for what you yourself practice, then you simply re-label and call it a "meeting" or "assembly".
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:54 AM   #87
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If two groups of believers are completely independent and started at the same time and did not genuinely know about the other ones existing, then both are gatherings of the one genuine church in the city I would think.
Now you are shuffling words around - "groups" and "churches" and "gatherings". The word "church" by definition means a gathering.

Peter the illiterate fisherman and Paul the sophisticated urban Pharisee preached the same gospel in the book of Acts, that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Everything we do and speak and live is either a furtherance of this testimony or a distraction from it; this applies both as individuals and when collectively assembled together. As Stg has said, it's a message wholly centered on redeeming love. The Son loved the Father and obeyed, and the Father loved the Son and raised him to glory. There is nothing else.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:52 PM   #88
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I've already given you a NT 'ekklesia' not of Jesus in Acts 19:41. The word was in common use, and predated the gospels. It's not like Jesus invented it wholecloth in Matthew 16.

But if you want to condemn others for what you yourself practice, then you simply re-label and call it a "meeting" or "assembly".
In Acts 19:41 it is rendered "legal assembly" and is clearly not the same thing as the assembly of believers.

I am using the term as it is used in Christian theology so maybe it's time you modernized your definitions:

https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecclesia_(Church)

Ecclesia (or Ekklesia) in Christian theology means both: a particular body of faithful people, and the whole body of the faithful. Latin ecclesia, from Greek ekklesia had an original meaning of "assembly, congregation, council", literally "convocation".

If you want to talk about "ekklesia not of Jesus" then you are really talking about an unrelated matter, about any gathering of people.

On this topic we are talking about "ekklesia of Jesus" and "ekklesia of sects/denominations", and the legal ekklesia in Acts 19:41 has no relation to this topic.
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Old 07-09-2018, 02:58 PM   #89
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Now you are shuffling words around - "groups" and "churches" and "gatherings". The word "church" by definition means a gathering.

Peter the illiterate fisherman and Paul the sophisticated urban Pharisee preached the same gospel in the book of Acts, that God had raised Jesus from the dead. Everything we do and speak and live is either a furtherance of this testimony or a distraction from it; this applies both as individuals and when collectively assembled together. As Stg has said, it's a message wholly centered on redeeming love. The Son loved the Father and obeyed, and the Father loved the Son and raised him to glory. There is nothing else.
You are describing the gospel here and not discussing on topic. Gospel preaching is not for the church it's for outsiders who need to be saved. There is no verse in scripture which shows an evangelist being sent to a church to evangelize a church - if a church needs evangelizing it is not a church at all. You are getting confused just as you are confused over the meaning of ekklesia. The topic is church, and specifically, how do we observe the Lord's Table? In this sense, there is something else, it's called the Lord's Table, and Jesus asked us to observe it, and many think it is okay to observe it however we please. These same sort of people observe the Lord's birthday however they please, on a date which is not his real one, and in a way which celebrates other things, pagan things, at the same time. Their love for the Lord is shown by the disregard they have for his wishes in the matter, and it seems okay for them to observe the Lord's Table in front of a television, with a hamburger and a beer, because they love Jesus. And if there is two or three of them, a family, gathered in front of the television, it is, by definition a church (two or three gathered together), and must have a lampstand. Until we come to Revelation, the light of God's Word, which reveals that one church in each city each has only one lamp stand. Therefore, a simple gathering of two or three believers in front of the television, cannot be a church by biblical definition.
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Old 07-09-2018, 03:11 PM   #90
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I am sure everyone loves Jesus, everyone says that. Suppose a man has a genuine wife and 4 mistresses. Your answer is equivalent to saying that it does not matter which is the genuine wife and which is the mistress because they all love the same man very much.

If there is no reason to not meet with other assemblies, then isn't it divisive for the church in Scottsdale to meet independently of other churches? Why not just meet with the baptists or the Lutherans? Doesn't this send a message or testimony of division to the world?

For me it's very simple. Is your gathering the original church in Scottsdale or is it a church which came from the original one?
I believe you missed the point, which is, when measured against what matters, this knowledge (ground of oneness doctrine) is pointless. Sounds nice and tickles the ear just fine . . . We do meet with those from all kinds of Christian gatherings, and are learning to appreciate Christ in all of His children and build upon this in His love. (can't build-up the ekklesia with knowledge - which will fail)

As far as your last question, I am not aware of any others before Scottsdale Church who were here claiming they were the "Church in Scottsdale." In that respect, as our legal name states, we are unique. Does that answer your question?
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Old 07-09-2018, 08:12 PM   #91
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Some points for all sides here, from The Normal Christian Church Life, Watchman Nee (sorry it is long.....if it is too long feel free to delete the post or tell me a better way to present it):

SEVEN FORBIDDEN GROUNDS OF DIVISION

(3)NON-SECTARIANISM. Some Christians think they know better than to say, “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos.” They say, “I am of Christ.” Such Christians despise the others as sectarian, and on that ground start another community. Their attitude is—“You are sectarian; I am non-sectarian. You are hero worshippers; we worship the Lord alone.”

But God’s Word condemns not only those who say, “I am of Cephas,” “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos.” It just as definitely and just as clearly denounces those who say, “I am of Christ.” It is not wrong to consider oneself as belonging only to Christ; it is right and even essential. Nor is it wrong to repudiate all schism among the children of God; it is highly commendable. God does not condemn this class of Christians for either of these two things; He condemns them for the very sin they condemn in others—their sectarianism. As a protest against division among the children of God, many believers seek to divide those who do not divide from those who do, and never dream that they themselves are divisive! Their ground of division may be more plausible than that of others who divide on the ground of doctrinal differences, or personal preference for certain leaders, but the fact remains that they are dividing the children of God. Even while they repudiate schism elsewhere, they are schismatic themselves.

When you say, “I am of Christ,” do you mean to say others are not? It is perfectly legitimate for you to say, “I am of Christ,” if your remark merely implies to whom you belong; but if it implies, “I am not sectarian; I stand quite differently from you sectarians,” then it is making a difference between you and other Christians. The very thought of distinguishing between the children of God has its springs in the carnal nature of man, and is sectarian. If we look on other believers as sectarian and consider ourselves to be non-sectarian, we are immediately differentiating between God’s people and thereby manifesting a divisive spirit even in the very act of condemning division. No matter by what means we distinguish between the members of God’s family—even if it be on the pretext of Christ Himself—we are guilty of schism in the Body.

What then is right? All exclusiveness is wrong. All inclusiveness (of true children of God) is right. Denominations are not scriptural, and we ought to have no part in them, but if we adopt an attitude of criticism and think, “They are denominational; I am undenominational. They belong to sects; I belong to Christ alone”—such differentiating is definitely sectarian.
Yes, praise God I am of Christ, but my fellowship is not merely with those who say, “I am of Christ,” but with all who are of Christ. What is of vital importance is not the confession, but the fact. Although these other believers say they are of Paul, of Cephas, and of Apollos, yet in fact they are of Christ. I do not so much mind what they say, but I very much mind what they are. I do not inquire whether they are denominational or undenominational, sectarian or unsectarian; I only inquire, “Are they of Christ?” If they are of Christ, then they are my brethren.

Our personal standing should be undenominational, but the basis of our fellowship is not undenominationalism. We ourselves should be non-sectarian, but we dare not insist on non-sectarianism as a condition of fellowship. Our only ground of fellowship is Christ. Our fellowship must be with all the believers in a locality, not merely with all the unsectarian believers in that locality. They may make denominational differences, but we must not make undenominational requirements. We dare not differentiate between ourselves and them, because they differentiate between themselves and others. They are the children of God, and because they make distinctions between themselves and other children of God, they do not on that account cease to be the children of God. Their denominationalism or sectarianism will mean that severe limitations are imposed upon the Lord as to His purpose and mind for them, and this will mean that they will never go beyond a certain measure of spiritual growth and fullness. Blessing there may be, but fullness of divine purpose never.

All believers living in the same locality belong to the same church. This is an unchanging principle. We dare not alter “all the believers in a locality” to “all the undenominational believers in a locality.” If we make undenominationalism or unsectarianism the boundary of our church, instead of locality, then we lose our local standing as a church and become a sect. It is not a denominational church, nor an interdenominational church, nor even an undenominational church we are after, but a local church. The difference between a local church and an undenominational church is as vast as the difference between heaven and earth. A local church is undenominational, but an undenominational church is denominational. “The church in Corinth” is scriptural, but “the church of all those who say, ‘I am of Christ’ in Corinth” is unscriptural. Our work is positive and constructive, not negative and destructive. We are out to establish churches, not to destroy denominations. Human nature is prone to go to extremes; it is so easy for us either to be undenominational ourselves and demand undenominationalism of others, or else to tolerate denominationalism in others and gradually become denominational ourselves. We ourselves must be undenominational, but we must not demand undenominationalism of other Christians as the basis of our fellowship.

Therefore, if we come to a place where Christ is not named, we must preach the gospel, win men to the Lord, and found a local church. If we come to a place where there are already Christians, but on various grounds these believers separate themselves into denominational “churches,” our task is just the same as in the other place—we must preach the gospel, lead men to the Lord, and form them into a church on the scriptural ground of locality. All the while we must maintain an attitude of inclusiveness, not exclusiveness, towards those believers who are in different sects, for they, as we, are children of God, and they live in the same locality; therefore, they belong to the same church as we do. For ourselves, we cannot join any sect or remain in one, for our church connection can only be on local ground, but in regard to others we must not make leaving a sect the condition of fellowship with those believers who are in a sect. That will make undenominationalism our church ground, instead of locality. Let us be clear on this point, that an undenominational church is not a local church. There is a vast difference between the two. A local church is undenominational, and it is positive and inclusive; but an undenominational church is not a local church, and it is negative and exclusive.

Let us be clear as to our position. We are not out to establish undenominational churches, but local churches. We are seeking to do a positive work. If believers can be led to see what a local church is—the expression of the Body of Christ in a locality—they will certainly not remain in any sect. On the other hand, it is possible for them to see all the evils of sectarianism, and leave them, without knowing what a local church is. We must help those, to whom God has been pleased to use us, to understand clearly the truth regarding local churches, and not to lay emphasis on the question of denominations. They must realize that whenever they use the term “we” in relation to the children of God, they must include all the children of God, not merely those who are meeting with them. If when we say “our brethren,” we do not include all the children of God, but only those who continually meet with us, then we are schismatic.

I do not condone sectarianism, and I do not believe we should belong to any sect, but it is not our business to get people to leave them. If we make it our chief concern to lead people to a real knowledge of the Lord and the power of His cross, then they will gladly abandon themselves to Him, and will learn to walk in the Spirit, repudiating the things of the flesh. We shall find there will be no need to stress the question of denominations, for the Spirit Himself will enlighten them. If a believer has not learned the way of the cross and the walk in the Spirit, what is gained by his coming out of a sect?

(4)DOCTRINAL DIFFERENCES. In the Greek the word rendered “heresies” in Galatians 5:20 [KJV] does not necessarily convey the thought of error, but rather of division on the ground of doctrine. The Interlinear New Testament translates it as “sects,” while Darby in his New Translation renders it “schools of opinion.” The whole thought here is not of the difference between truth and error, but of division based upon doctrine. My teaching may be right or it may be wrong, but if I make it a cause of division, then I am guilty of the “heresy” spoken of here.

God forbids any division on doctrinal grounds. Some believe that rapture is pre-tribulation; others, that it is post- tribulation. Some believe that all the saints will enter the kingdom; others believe that only a section will enter. Some believe that baptism is by immersion; others, that is by sprinkling. Some believe that supernatural manifestations are a necessary accompaniment to the baptism in the Holy Spirit, while others do not. None of these doctrinal views constitute a scriptural basis for separating the children of God. Though some may be right and others wrong, God does not sanction any division on account of difference as to such beliefs.1 If a group of believers split off from a local church in their zeal for certain teaching according to the Word of God, the new “church” they establish may have more scriptural teaching, but it could never be a scriptural church. To bring error into a church is carnal, but to divide a church on account of error may also be carnal. It is carnality that so often destroys the oneness of the church in any place.

If we wish to maintain a scriptural position, then we must see to it that the churches we found in various places only represent localities, not doctrines. If our “church” is not separated from other children of God on the ground of locality alone, but stands for the propagation of some particular doctrine, then we are decidedly a sect, however true to the Word of God our teaching may be. The purpose of God is that a church should represent the children of God in a locality, not represent some specific truth there. A church of God in any place comprises all the children of God in that place, not merely those who hold the same doctrinal views.
Should we arrive at a place where a church has already been established on clear local ground, and discover that its members hold views which we consider unscriptural, or that they consider the views we hold as unscriptural, if we then refuse to recognize them as the church of God in that locality and withdraw from fellowship, we are divisive. The question is not whether they agree with our presentation of truth, but whether they are standing on clear church ground.

If our hearts are set to preserve the local character of the churches of God, we cannot fail to come up against problems in our work. Unless the cross operates mightily, what endless possibilities of friction there will be if we include in one church all the believers in the locality with all their varying views. How the flesh would like just to include those holding the same views, and to exclude all whose views differ from ours. To have constant and close association with people whose interpretation of Scripture does not tally with ours, is hard for the flesh, but good for the spirit. God does not use division to solve the problem; He uses the cross. He would have us submit to the cross, so that through the very difficulties of the situation, the meekness and patience and love of Christ may be deeply wrought into our lives. Under the circumstances, if we do not know the cross, we shall probably argue, lose our temper, and finally go our own way. We may have right views, but God is giving us an opportunity to display a right attitude; we may believe aright, but God is testing us to see if we love aright. It is easy to have a mind well stored with scriptural teaching, and a heart devoid of true love. Those who differ from us will be a means in God’s hand to test whether we have spiritual experience, or only scriptural knowledge, to test whether the truths we proclaim are a matter of life to us, or mere theory.

Romans 14 shows us how to deal with those whose views differ from ours. What would we do if in our church there were vegetarians and Sabbatarians? Why, we should consider it almost intolerable if in the same church some of the believers kept the Lord’s Day and others the Sabbath, and some ate meat freely, while others were strict vegetarians. That was exactly the situation Paul was facing. Let us note his conclusions. “Now him who is weak in faith receive, but not for the purpose of passing judgment on his considerations” (v. 1). “Who are you who judge another’s household servant? To his own master he stands or falls; and he will be made to stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand” (v. 4). “Therefore let us judge one another no longer, but rather judge this: not to put a stumbling block or cause of falling before your brother” (v. 13). Oh, for Christian tolerance! Oh, for largeness of heart! Alas! that many of God’s children are so zealous for their pet doctrines that they immediately label as heretics, and treat accordingly, all whose interpretation of Scripture differs from theirs. God would have us walk in love toward all who hold views contrary to those views that are dear to us (v. 15).

This does not mean that all the members of a church can hold whatever views they please, but it does mean that the solution to the problem of doctrinal differences does not lie in forming separate parties according to the different views held, but in walking in love toward those whose outlook differs from ours. By patient teaching we may yet be able to help all to “the oneness of the faith” (Eph. 4:13). As we wait patiently on the Lord, He may grant grace to the others to change their views, or He may grant us grace to see that we are not such good teachers as we thought we were. Nothing so tests the spirituality of a teacher as opposition to his teaching.

The teachers must learn humility, but so must all the other believers. When they recognize their position in the Body, they will know that it is not given to everyone to determine matters of doctrine. They must learn to submit to those who have been equipped of God for the specific ministry of teaching His people. Spiritual gifts and spiritual experience are necessary for spiritual teaching; consequently not everyone can teach.

“Make my joy full, that you think the same thing, having the same love, joined in soul, thinking the one thing, doing nothing by way of selfish ambition nor by way of vainglory, but in lowliness of mind considering one another more excellent than yourselves; not regarding each his own virtues, but each the virtues of others also” (Phil. 2:2-4). When the churches have laid to heart what Paul wrote to the church in Philippi, then it will be perfectly possible to have only one church in one locality with no friction whatever among its many members.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:26 AM   #92
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from The Normal Christian Church Life, Watchman Nee:

SEVEN FORBIDDEN GROUNDS OF DIVISION

(3)NON-SECTARIANISM. Some Christians think they know better than to say, “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos.” They say, “I am of Christ.” Such Christians despise the others as sectarian, and on that ground start another community. Their attitude is—“You are sectarian; I am non-sectarian. You are hero worshippers; we worship the Lord alone.”

But God’s Word condemns not only those who say, “I am of Cephas,” “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos.” It just as definitely and just as clearly denounces those who say, “I am of Christ.” It is not wrong to consider oneself as belonging only to Christ; it is right and even essential. Nor is it wrong to repudiate all schism among the children of God; it is highly commendable. God does not condemn this class of Christians for either of these two things; He condemns them for the very sin they condemn in others—their sectarianism. As a protest against division among the children of God, many believers seek to divide those who do not divide from those who do, and never dream that they themselves are divisive! Their ground of division may be more plausible than that of others who divide on the ground of doctrinal differences, or personal preference for certain leaders, but the fact remains that they are dividing the children of God. Even while they repudiate schism elsewhere, they are schismatic themselves.

When you say, “I am of Christ,” [or "We are on the ground of oneness"] do you mean to say others are not? It is perfectly legitimate for you to say, “I am of Christ,” if your remark merely implies to whom you belong; but if it implies, “I am not sectarian; I stand quite differently from you sectarians,” then it is making a difference between you and other Christians. The very thought of distinguishing between the children of God has its springs in the carnal nature of man, and is sectarian. If we look on other believers as sectarian and consider ourselves to be non-sectarian, we are immediately differentiating between God’s people and thereby manifesting a divisive spirit even in the very act of condemning division. No matter by what means we distinguish between the members of God’s family—even if it be on the pretext of Christ Himself—we are guilty of schism in the Body.

What then is right? All exclusiveness is wrong. All inclusiveness (of true children of God) is right. Denominations are not scriptural, and we ought to have no part in them, but if we adopt an attitude of criticism and think, “They are denominational; I am undenominational. They belong to sects; I belong to Christ alone”—such differentiating is definitely sectarian. Yes, praise God I am of Christ, but my fellowship is not merely with those who say, “I am of Christ,” but with all who are of Christ. [Fellowship here would also pertain to the table, right?] All the while we must maintain an attitude of inclusiveness, not exclusiveness, towards those believers who are in different sects, for they, as we, are children of God, and they live in the same locality; therefore, they belong to the same church as we do. For ourselves, we cannot join any sect or remain in one, for our church connection can only be on local ground, but in regard to others we must not make leaving a sect the condition of fellowship with those believers who are in a sect. That will make undenominationalism our church ground, instead of locality. Let us be clear on this point, that an undenominational church is not a local church. There is a vast difference between the two. A local church is undenominational, and it is positive and inclusive; but an undenominational church is not a local church, and it is negative and exclusive.



(4)DOCTRINAL DIFFERENCES. In the Greek the word rendered “heresies” in Galatians 5:20 [KJV] does not necessarily convey the thought of error, but rather of division on the ground of doctrine. The Interlinear New Testament translates it as “sects,” while Darby in his New Translation renders it “schools of opinion.” The whole thought here is not of the difference between truth and error, but of division based upon doctrine. My teaching may be right or it may be wrong, but if I make it a cause of division, then I am guilty of the “heresy” spoken of here.


Should we arrive at a place where a church has already been established on clear local ground, and discover that its members hold views which we consider unscriptural, or that they consider the views we hold as unscriptural, if we then refuse to recognize them as the church of God in that locality and withdraw from fellowship, we are divisive. The question is not whether they agree with our presentation of truth, but whether they are standing on clear church ground.
WOW! Thanks for posting that. I was going to just quote a couple lines out of Nee's writing, but there was just so much that applies!

What has come to me these days is there should be two basic tests of what we are doing:
1. Does it help us to genuinely know the Lord within?
2. Does it help build up others in love?

Of course, these just follow the two greatest commandments - Love God & love others.

As Nee much more eloquently points out, if any teaching/doctrine goes against these principles, it is not of Him and is causing a division. The ones who proclaimed "I am of Christ!" had a haughty spirit. Just substitute (above), "We are on the ground of oneness!" for "I am of Christ!" and see how well it fits!
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Old 07-10-2018, 04:27 PM   #93
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I don't think Nee had in mind the teaching about "the ground of oneness causing division". Afterall it was Nee who gave us that teaching, so why would he? The passages by Nee have been misinterpreted by some here and applied to the local churches.

If we could consider these parts which seems to have been deliberately ignored:

A local church is undenominational, and it is positive and inclusive; but an undenominational church is not a local church, and it is negative and exclusive.


To say this another way:

Local churches (on the ground of oneness) are, by definition, positive and inclusive. .

The context is clearly non-denominational churches, not the local churches. Nee is saying that a nondenominational church, a church which stands apart from all others and is for "Jesus only", is still negative and exclusive if it does not have the locality as the ground of oneness.

Nee also says:

It is not wrong to consider oneself as belonging only to Christ; it is right and even essential. Nor is it wrong to repudiate all schism among the children of God;

It is not wrong for the local churches to stand upon the locality, nor is it wrong to repudiate all schisms.

People on this forum many times have not merely disagreed with the teachings of Nee/Lee , they have disagreed when local church members attempt to point out the schisms and divisions, by claiming that it does not matter and it is a trivial thing.
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Old 07-10-2018, 05:16 PM   #94
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First of all, I knew that each “side” would see different things from this passage before I posted it, but I think there are good points for both sides to consider.

Regarding Evangelical’s response, Nee clearly is referring to the local churches in many parts of the excerpt. Who else is the “we” in underline below referring to?

“If we look on other believers as sectarian and consider ourselves to be non-sectarian, we are immediately differentiating between God’s people and thereby manifesting a divisive spirit even in the very act of condemning division. No matter by what means we distinguish between the members of God’s family—even if it be on the pretext of Christ Himself—we are guilty of schism in the Body.”

“Denominations are not scriptural, and we ought to have no part in them, but if we adopt an attitude of criticism and think, “They are denominational; I am undenominational. They belong to sects; I belong to Christ alone”—such differentiating is definitely sectarian.”

I actually think this might be what I was looking for regarding this topic. Nee’s speaking was clear, positive, and inclusive but very cautionary about our attitude of others and our criticism of others. But Lee took that exact attitude of criticism! What else can you describe “poor, poor Christianity” as?

Nee seemed to ride the line of being doctrinally clear without allowing that to become a division, but Lee somehow turned it in a way that made it divisive/sectarian.

Additionally this bombshell: “If when we say “our brethren,” we do not include all the children of God, but only those who continually meet with us, then we are schismatic.” THIS DESCRIBES THE LOCAL CHURCHES TO A TEE!!!!!!!!!!! There it is! WOW. WOW. I missed that sentence the first time around but what a sentence!! The LC use of the phrase “the Body” overwhelmingly refers to just the saints in the LCs.
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Old 07-10-2018, 06:44 PM   #95
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First of all, I knew that each “side” would see different things from this passage before I posted it, but I think there are good points for both sides to consider.

Regarding Evangelical’s response, Nee clearly is referring to the local churches in many parts of the excerpt. Who else is the “we” in underline below referring to?

“If we look on other believers as sectarian and consider ourselves to be non-sectarian, we are immediately differentiating between God’s people and thereby manifesting a divisive spirit even in the very act of condemning division. No matter by what means we distinguish between the members of God’s family—even if it be on the pretext of Christ Himself—we are guilty of schism in the Body.”

“Denominations are not scriptural, and we ought to have no part in them, but if we adopt an attitude of criticism and think, “They are denominational; I am undenominational. They belong to sects; I belong to Christ alone”—such differentiating is definitely sectarian.”

I actually think this might be what I was looking for regarding this topic. Nee’s speaking was clear, positive, and inclusive but very cautionary about our attitude of others and our criticism of others. But Lee took that exact attitude of criticism! What else can you describe “poor, poor Christianity” as?

Nee seemed to ride the line of being doctrinally clear without allowing that to become a division, but Lee somehow turned it in a way that made it divisive/sectarian.

Additionally this bombshell: “If when we say “our brethren,” we do not include all the children of God, but only those who continually meet with us, then we are schismatic.” THIS DESCRIBES THE LOCAL CHURCHES TO A TEE!!!!!!!!!!! There it is! WOW. WOW. I missed that sentence the first time around but what a sentence!! The LC use of the phrase “the Body” overwhelmingly refers to just the saints in the LCs.
There are two ways to be divisive - one in practice, and one in attitude. Here Nee is addressing a divisive attitude, for the "we" i.e. those in the local church. But no where does he condone division in practice, and even himself defines the differences between a genuine local church and sects. When reading or quoting the words of anyone, it's important to see where they are coming from. Nee comes from the view that the local church is the genuine church. Nee was for the idea that the local church, one church per city is the genuine church, and everything he wrote is in that context. Similarly, if Nee was a Catholic, then anything he wrote about sectarianism and division would be with respect to the view that the Catholic church is the true church.
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Old 07-10-2018, 08:45 PM   #96
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There are two ways to be divisive - one in practice, and one in attitude. Here Nee is addressing a divisive attitude, for the "we" i.e. those in the local church. But no where does he condone division in practice, and even himself defines the differences between a genuine local church and sects. When reading or quoting the words of anyone, it's important to see where they are coming from. Nee comes from the view that the local church is the genuine church. Nee was for the idea that the local church, one church per city is the genuine church, and everything he wrote is in that context. Similarly, if Nee was a Catholic, then anything he wrote about sectarianism and division would be with respect to the view that the Catholic church is the true church.

Yes, I understood all that very clearly.

My point was that the local churches fit Nee's description of those who have been/become divisive in attitude and scope. The fact that he uses the word "we" to refer to the local churches indicates that this very attitude is something that can happen in the LCs ("if we do xyz.....we are guilty") and should be guarded against. Lee/the brothers did not guard against that and instead, from what I have seen, exacerbated it.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:16 AM   #97
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Evangelical - I don't know if you saw this from a few posts back. It was regarding the question you had asked: "For me it's very simple. Is your gathering the original church in Scottsdale or is it a church which came from the original one?"

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As far as your last question, I am not aware of any others before Scottsdale Church who were here claiming they were the "Church in Scottsdale." In that respect, as our legal name states, we are unique. Does that answer your question?
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Old 07-11-2018, 03:13 PM   #98
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Evangelical - I don't know if you saw this from a few posts back. It was regarding the question you had asked: "For me it's very simple. Is your gathering the original church in Scottsdale or is it a church which came from the original one?"
As I understand it, your church was started by Bill Freeman while he created his own little faction out of the recovery with "his followers", and moved to Scottsdale. Doesn't really matter now how it started. Now let's say you're the church in the city, so you got a lampstand, you got it all going on! Hopefully all those denominations get brought down and everyone joins your (i.e. the local) church (I'm paraphrasing Nee here). That's why you meet separately from the other churches, right? Because if not, you're quoting of Nee is in vain I'm afraid, there is some responsibility with being the local church in the city.

In other words I hope it goes beyond being merely a "better version of "The Recovery"", like you said in your first post. I hope you see the meaning and value of the lampstand in the city according to Nee or Lee, and live up to that calling.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:04 PM   #99
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Now let's say you're the church in the city, so you got a lampstand, you got it all going on! Hopefully all those denominations get brought down and everyone joins your (i.e. the local) church (I'm paraphrasing Nee here). That's why you meet separately from the other churches, right? Because if not, you're quoting of Nee is in vain I'm afraid, there is some responsibility with being the local church in the city.

In other words I hope it goes beyond being merely a "better version of "The Recovery"", like you said in your first post. I hope you see the meaning and value of the lampstand in the city according to Nee or Lee, and live up to that calling.
Without addressing all your statements here, it's a somewhat fair synopsis I suppose (although no one is actively trying to bring any other group "down").

So here's the main point/original question from the first post which started this thread:
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If you were in the area, would you come and enjoy the Lord with us and take the Lord's table with us? (all are certainly welcome)
And please, I would also appreciate an explanation of why or why not.
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:15 PM   #100
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Without addressing all your statements here, it's a somewhat fair synopsis I suppose (although no one is actively trying to bring any other group "down").

So here's the main point/original question from the first post which started this thread:
Then I probably would, you know?
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Old 07-11-2018, 09:22 PM   #101
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Then I probably would, you know?
Awesome & HALLELUJAH - You are most welcome to take the Lord's table here and to enjoy Christ with us!
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Old 07-15-2018, 07:53 AM   #102
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As I understand it, your church was started by Bill Freeman while he created his own little faction out of the recovery with "his followers", and moved to Scottsdale. Doesn't really matter now how it started. Now let's say you're the church in the city, so you got a lampstand, you got it all going on! Hopefully all those denominations get brought down and everyone joins your (i.e. the local) church (I'm paraphrasing Nee here). That's why you meet separately from the other churches, right? Because if not, you're quoting of Nee is in vain I'm afraid, there is some responsibility with being the local church in the city.

In other words I hope it goes beyond being merely a "better version of "The Recovery"", like you said in your first post. I hope you see the meaning and value of the lampstand in the city according to Nee or Lee, and live up to that calling.
StG,

Per your inquiry I would refer you back to #34.

We often focus on the mechanics of the teaching and practice of the ground of the church in a city ... but we have to consider whether our teaching and practice issues from the authority of the Holy Spirit as well. Local churches are the reprint of the Spirit therefore there is a fellowship among the churches in the larger reality... the One Body of Christ. When I have lived in places where there are many local churches in close proximity to each other there is a sweet fellowship between them that opens the aperture to experiences of the One Body. So there is not only the ground but the fellowship as Brother Evangelical describes above. Only one way to test that.

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Old 07-15-2018, 08:19 AM   #103
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StG,

Per your inquiry I would refer you back to #34.

We often focus on the mechanics of the teaching and practice of the ground of the church in a city ... but we have to consider whether our teaching and practice issues from the authority of the Holy Spirit as well. Local churches are the reprint of the Spirit therefore there is a fellowship among the churches in the larger reality... the One Body of Christ. When I have lived in places where there are many local churches in close proximity to each other there is a sweet fellowship between them that opens the aperture to experiences of the One Body. So there is not only the ground but the fellowship as Brother Evangelical describes above. Only one way to test that.

Drake
Thanks for the reply. And post #34 of yours suggests going to a gathering with the ones who meet as the Church in Phoenix. I am certainly open and will mention it to one of the brothers who I think has had some recent contact. We may be lead of Him to go over and share Christ with those saints!

(BTW - Right now we are traveling a few weeks in the aforementioned RV up in Colorado, and unfortunately we keep having to break camp on Sundays to travel to our next destination - just how it's all working out. Therefore I haven't, and won't, be able to gather with any LC - or other saints - up here on Sundays!)

So, Drake, the original question and purpose of this thread was, "If you were in Scottsdale, would you take the table and enjoy Christ with us?"
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Old 07-15-2018, 09:23 AM   #104
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Thanks for the reply. And post #34 of yours suggests going to a gathering with the ones who meet as the Church in Phoenix. I am certainly open and will mention it to one of the brothers who I think has had some recent contact. We may be lead of Him to go over and share Christ with those saints!

(BTW - Right now we are traveling a few weeks in the aforementioned RV up in Colorado, and unfortunately we keep having to break camp on Sundays to travel to our next destination - just how it's all working out. Therefore I haven't, and won't, be able to gather with any LC - or other saints - up here on Sundays!)

So, Drake, the original question and purpose of this thread was, "If you were in Scottsdale, would you take the table and enjoy Christ with us?"
StG

Colorado? Sounds like fun.... but weren’t they having fires in the state? Are you far enough away? Durango was in the news and some roads were closed?

I still don’t know enough about Scottsdale Church to say for sure that I would break bread. When I visit community churches I am before the Lord not to engage in anything that would offend His headship or the authority of the Holy Spirit. Breaking bread is a serious matter and that is why I said before that a believer examines and judges carefully in that and should not be criticized for choosing not to partake of it.

Denominations build walls between Christians. As long as denominations stand the wall stands and the best that can be achieved is shaking hands over the walls. You or I may jump the wall, have a meeting, but when we leave we jump back over the wall and the wall still stands. However, perhaps the Scottsdale Church has built a wall of its own. I don’t know for sure.... but maybe your wall is built on the border of Scottsdale, that is, you will not have fellowship with other like-minded local churches such as the church in a Phoenix right next door.

Had you asked would I be willing to meet with you in Scottsdale or in the Scottsdale Church I would have said yes for sure, no doubt. But you asked specifically about breaking bread which is a serious matter.... so, I still do not know.

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Old 07-15-2018, 10:58 AM   #105
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Had you asked would I be willing to meet with you in Scottsdale or in the Scottsdale Church I would have said yes for sure, no doubt. But you asked specifically about breaking bread which is a serious matter.... so, I still do not know.
Yes, a very serious matter indeed. And that is why it is a very serious thing for a Christian (or group of Christians) to refuse to take the table with another Christian (or group of Christians) for purely sectarian reasons. In the case of the Local Church of Witness Lee, fellowship at the table is refused because of non-essential, non-biblical ecclesiastical reasons - aka: "you don't do church like us and so we will not have the table with you". The clear implication of this kind of sectarian stand is that "because you do not meet under our strict, narrow interpretation of a few descriptive verses we do not consider you worthy of breaking bread with". In actuality, of course, the real reason is that "you do not accept the person and work of Witness Lee - you do not accept him as the One Minister with the One Ministry for the Age, therefore you are unqualified and unworthy for us to break bread with".

This kind of sectarian (and some would say cultic) attitude/stand is exemplified by the words and actions of the Blended Brothers. To put a finer point on this, who could ever forget the ominous declaration by LSM President and Most Blended of Blendeds, Benson Phillips, "the process of sanctification is only taking place in the Lord's Recovery" (close paraphrase). So it's no wonder the average rank&file LC member refuses to take the Lord's table outside the doors of a LC meeting hall. After all, who wants to break bread with an unsanctified person or church....surely the Lord wouldn't want us to do that...now would he?
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:11 AM   #106
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UntoHim,

Sanctification is a separate topic. Has no relevance in this discussion.

Your characterization must be referring to someone else you were thinking of.

Does not apply to me.

Thx
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:19 AM   #107
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I still don’t know enough about Scottsdale Church to say for sure that I would break bread. When I visit community churches I am before the Lord not to engage in anything that would offend His headship or the authority of the Holy Spirit. Breaking bread is a serious matter and that is why I said before that a believer examines and judges carefully in that and should not be criticized for choosing not to partake of it.
Drake, the scripture admonishes us to examine ourselves, and not to examine others, and to "prove ourselves" so that we do not partake of His table in an "unworthy manner." (I Cor 11.27-29)

Yet you still promote false un-biblical standards on all other congregations, such as the Church in Scottsdale, as if you are the Lord passing sentence on the hearts of all God's children who gather in His name to break bread. You judge them on their name (calling them instead "Scottsdale Church"), and their origins (former LC minister Bill Freeman), and their lack of association with LSM (as if some registration with a publisher somehow legitimizes them.)

Yet when you have witnessed all the corruption and unrighteousness at LSM headquarters, you have no thought to judge them. So many scripture stood ready to convict them, yet you can only find excuses for them based on abstruse readings of exclusive doctrines. You regularly dismiss the plain words of scripture for your obscure esoteric principles nobody else even has heard about.

Reminds me of the Lord's rebuke to the Pharisees, "Woe to you hypocrites, you pay tithes on mint, spices, and herbs, yet you pass by justice and the love of God." (Luke 11.42)
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Old 07-15-2018, 11:47 AM   #108
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We often focus on the mechanics of the teaching and practice of the ground of the church in a city ... but we have to consider whether our teaching and practice issues from the authority of the Holy Spirit as well. Local churches are the reprint of the Spirit therefore there is a fellowship among the churches in the larger reality... the One Body of Christ.
Regarding the fellowship you describe, I think the issue in this case would not be whether the church in Scottsdale would participate in fellowship with the nearby local churches, but whether the nearby local churches would participate in the fellowship if the church in Scottsdale was involved.

I am not aware of any LSM/WL related local church that deigns to fellowship with another legitimate but non-LSM local church that does not base its fellowship on WL's material or speaking. I have heard plenty of times descriptions from co-workers about this concept of the "standing" of proximate local churches....they dance around it with fancy phrases ("in the central lane of the recovery" is one exact phrase I've heard, for example) but come on......what that really means is "with the Witness Lee program"!!!

I have also lived in places where there are local churches in close proximity to each other, or local churches that sprang up in nearby cities from the natural growth of a local church.....and in over 5 years there has not been one single blending meeting together of those local churches in neighboring cities. If that is a requirement you place on the legitimacy of the local churches then many of the local churches do not meet that requirement!

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Old 07-15-2018, 01:25 PM   #109
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Default Re: If you were in Scottsdale would you take the Table..

Nearly every city in the Midwest now has two LC's, one with LSM and one not with LSM. They are composed of saints who once loved and met with each other. The only difference between them is the materials they read.
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Old 07-15-2018, 08:36 PM   #110
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Regarding the fellowship you describe, I think the issue in this case would not be whether the church in Scottsdale would participate in fellowship with the nearby local churches, but whether the nearby local churches would participate in the fellowship if the church in Scottsdale was involved.!
Ok. Fair question.

StG, how would you feel about opening this up with your elders?

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Old 07-16-2018, 11:25 AM   #111
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Ok. Fair question.

StG, how would you feel about opening this up with your elders?

Drake
The brother I spoke about, who has had some contact with LCers over the years (his dad is in the LC now), is a leading one in Scottsdale. I do intend to fellowship with him when we return to Arizona. So we'll see!
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Old 07-16-2018, 12:01 PM   #112
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Regarding the fellowship you describe, I think the issue in this case would not be whether the church in Scottsdale would participate in fellowship with the nearby local churches, but whether the nearby local churches would participate in the fellowship if the church in Scottsdale was involved.

I am not aware of any LSM/WL related local church that deigns to fellowship with another legitimate but non-LSM local church that does not base its fellowship on WL's material or speaking. I have heard plenty of times descriptions from co-workers about this concept of the "standing" of proximate local churches....they dance around it with fancy phrases ("in the central lane of the recovery" is one exact phrase I've heard, for example) but come on......what that really means is "with the Witness Lee program"!!!
I will use Moses Lake, Washington as a frame of reference. Broke with LSM in 1986, but still consider themselves a local church. When I was meeting with the church in Bellevue in the 1990's once of the elders when asked about Moses Lake used the term "rebel church". Since then different cities in Washington state have taken the ground. Those in closer proximity to Moses Lake are Ephrata and Yakima. Along the lines of Trapped post regarding Scottsdale, it comes down to what would the nearby local churches do?
After all it takes two.
Just as would the Church in Ephrata be open to fellowship with the Church in Moses Lake, would the Church in Phoenix be open to the Church in Scottsdale?
Have attitudes changed towards ones who have parted ways with LSM?
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Old 07-16-2018, 07:36 PM   #113
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Have attitudes changed towards ones who have parted ways with LSM?
Now that's the question! (Division is all really a bunch of non-essential silliness, isn't it!?)
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Old 07-17-2018, 11:32 AM   #114
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Now that's the question! (Division is all really a bunch of non-essential silliness, isn't it!?)
It's like a pyramid. In practice if attitudes change it begins with the blended co-workers. Cascades down to local elders and maybe then to congregations of each locality.
This is due in part to the blended co-workers equaling the feeling of the body. Whatever the co-workers may say, that's received as "feeling of the body". Agree or disagree, elders feel to honor the feeling of the body as expressed through the blended brothers.
Whether the elders from the church in Phoenix choose to fellowship with the Church in Scottsdale, it becomes a matter of "honoring feeling of the body". (i.e. what does Anaheim say?)
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Old 07-17-2018, 10:30 PM   #115
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It's like a pyramid. In practice if attitudes change it begins with the blended co-workers. Cascades down to local elders and maybe then to congregations of each locality.
This is due in part to the blended co-workers equaling the feeling of the body. Whatever the co-workers may say, that's received as "feeling of the body". Agree or disagree, elders feel to honor the feeling of the body as expressed through the blended brothers.
Whether the elders from the church in Phoenix choose to fellowship with the Church in Scottsdale, it becomes a matter of "honoring feeling of the body". (i.e. what does Anaheim say?)
Well, at risk of speaking out of turn, I think it has been tried before to no avail, or at the least, not much. That is, SC brothers were open to starting some LC fellowship, but not much happened. Again, I just vaguely remember hearing something along those lines, so I may not be entirely accurate (and am conveying this from 3rd hand recollection).

But withersoever the Lord leads!
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