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Old 08-30-2015, 07:17 AM   #1
aron
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Default Fooling the gate-keepers

I'm interested in how a group, or a minister leading the group, gets to put their teachings past the gate-keepers of orthodoxy.

"Evil men have crept into our assembly unawares..." e.g. Jude 1:4

Now, Christ was arguably the most 'orthodox', who didn't overturn the law, but brought it back to the beginning, as it were. And I use Christ as the paradigmatic challenge to orthodoxy, the classic case as it were.

"Unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood..."; or "The Scriptures say, 'Do X', but I say, 'Do Y'..."; or "Destroy this temple in three days and I will raise it up"... the gospels are full of provocative statements which challenge long-held belief. When the scribes brought up Moses, Jesus effectively said that He trumped Moses, because He was before Moses and therefore Moses was referencing Him. Wisdom, as it were, had now assumed corporeal or fleshly form, and could be consulted, not instead of scripture, but as the true arbiter of scripture.

And thus it continued. Arianism and the Nicene Creed, The Great Schism of 1054, the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century, and onwards.
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Old 08-30-2015, 01:44 PM   #2
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Default Re: Fooling the gate-keepers

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I'm interested in how a group, or a minister leading the group, gets to put their teachings past the gate-keepers of orthodoxy.

"Evil men have crept into our assembly unawares..." e.g. Jude 1:4
So how does Satan cloak himself as an angel of light, and begin to teach and preach in the assembly?

First, the purveyor of non-orthodox novelty will attempt to isolate the sheep. The purveyor of the so-called new light will constantly reinforce the idea that everyone else is wrong, in darkness, is ignorant or confused, as opposed to we few who carry the special teaching. The teacher is therefore insulated from critical inquiry and examination. Only the initiates have the so-called sight to see the special revelation.

Second, the purveyor of non-orthodox novelty will tell the hearers that they are going back to some pre-corruption time, where rules were irrelevant. Like the Children of God cult teaching free love. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Family_International Before the fall, said CoG teacher David Berg, men and women were naked and not ashamed. Now, the teacher says, we're back (restored) at that special time, before corruption had touched humanity. Everything is peace, joy, love, and communality. In the LC, hundreds of years of church history could be ignored or by-passed, because we're back to a supposedly pre-corrupted church. Except for the special 'restoration' narrative, all Christian experience was suspect; it was 'degraded' with only the 'purified' narrative allowed into discourse.

Third, the purveyor of non-orthodox novelty will focus on sensory experiences versus 'dead letters'. The Bible can be explained away, if necessary. According to WL, a lot of it is "fallen men's concepts"; only WL with his special sight could sort the proverbial wheat from chaff. And anything that doesn't sit well with the fallen soul is then accused of bearing a "different flavor" than that found in the LC church. Any charismatic experience, while not necessarily non-orthodox in itself, can open the way to rampant subjectivism, in which one's feelings become the guide. And LC experience, while missing the speakings in tongues and 'works of power', is nonetheless clearly charismatic with the incessant chanting and shouting leading to overwhelming stimulus, and dull repetition leading to mental numbness.

In all three ways, the ordinary 'checks and balances' of safekeeping of the flock are circumvented.

Others?
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Old 08-30-2015, 02:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Fooling the gate-keepers

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I'm interested in how a group, or a minister leading the group, gets to put their teachings past the gate-keepers of orthodoxy.

"Evil men have crept into our assembly unawares..." e.g. Jude 1:4
Do they get past the gate-keepers of orthodoxy? Or do they dismiss them as those that have crept in unawares? And then tap into hope, that they can get us back to before the gate-keepers crept in.

You know. Cuz Witness Lee did this by dismissing Christianity as Christless. And it was our hope that made us accept it so easily.

So in the end it's disappointment with the status quo gate-keeping orthodoxy that allows such groups and ministers to get past them.

Like so many disenfranchised Christians that came into the LC in its early days of development here in America.

Some out here have gone back into these rusty old gates.
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Old 08-30-2015, 03:13 PM   #4
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So in the end it's disappointment with the status quo gate-keeping orthodoxy that allows such groups and ministers to get past them.

Like so many disenfranchised Christians that came into the LC in its early days of development here in America.
There is always a tension between those who defend the orthodoxy and those who think independently, anew, and afresh. Ideally the two work together, and don't get divorced. The tension then births creativity and orthodox novelty - "What God puts together, let none tear asunder..."
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Old 08-30-2015, 08:53 PM   #5
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There is always a tension between those who defend the orthodoxy and those who think independently
The history of "The Orthodoxy" makes me cringe. That's because it's been so hard headed in the face of facts, and has been proven wrong by science over and over again. Orthodoxy means "right belief" which by its very nature resists change.

What "The Orthodoxy" is has changed thru the Christian centuries, but whatever form it's taken it's always been a big drag on science and change, and persecutors of those that differ from their "right belief."

However, the current The Orthodoxy has been burned by science so many times that it now seeks to get in front of science, such as the recent encyclical on climate change.

But in religious matters The Orthodoxy is still the same bull-headed bunch they've always been. They alone have the "right beliefs."

In that regard Witness Lee had his own orthodoxy. Cuz only he had the "right beliefs," and all the rest of Christianity did not. And you were not allowed to remain in his movement unless you held his right beliefs.

But his orthodoxy was outside traditional orthodoxy, and many, maybe only some in the end, left Lee's orthodoxy to go back to the long standing tried and true orthodoxy.

But some that have left Lee's orthodoxy, that I know personally, including myself, have left orthodoxy altogether.

Now I and they cringe at the idea of orthodoxy, but any tension because of it is only on the part of the orthodox.
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Old 08-31-2015, 06:01 AM   #6
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Default Re: Fooling the gate-keepers

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The history of "The Orthodoxy" makes me cringe. That's because it's been so hard headed in the face of facts, and has been proven wrong by science over and over again. Orthodoxy means "right belief" which by its very nature resists change.

... in religious matters The Orthodoxy is still the same bull-headed bunch they've always been. They alone have the "right beliefs."
I understand your criticism, but I still maintain that the gate-keepers are the necessary link to history. Yes, they are reactive, and yes they are often wrong, but without them, we'd be lost to our imagination. Watchman Nee got caught by a bad idea, and it infected Witness Lee and many others. The arbiters of Orthodoxy are the defensive line against those infections.

The purveyors of non-orthodox novelty typically use a "poison pill" to get by the gate-keepers. Something that will allow the idea to survive past the critical point of scrutiny, and be accepted as valid, i.e. part of the divine revelation. In other words, the non-orthodox revelation contains within itself a code which separates itself from examination. In the case of Nee and the "local ground", the idea was to separate from "fallen" and "degraded" Christianity; thus the recipients of the idea were divorced from the protection of the gate-keepers and now could be led astray. The idea of a local ground for the assembly became the vector to separate the sheep, and once separated, the purveyors of non-orthodox novelty could then reverse field, declare the "Jerusalem principle", that all assemblies must report to HQ, with Witness Lee later declaring that all assemblies must be "exactly identical"... the local ground idea was the means whereby the sheep could be separated and then abused.

The gate-keepers are the followers of Jesus, who like the writer of the epistle to the Hebrews left the camp (13:13) of those who wouldn't accept Jesus as the Messiah. Jesus presented a novel interpretation of the scriptures, that He Himself was the promised Messiah, who would not only rescue the Jews but would gather into one all who would believe into His name. The gate-keepers are necessary to maintain this new camp of Jesus. They are the arbiters of what is "in" and what is "out". If you don't heed them, you will find yourself a Mormon, with a Mormon wife and Mormon kids and a Mormon church life and a Mormon-related job. Once the red flags start waving frantically in your head, it's too late. You got sucked in. (Or some other group - I just use Mormons as my non-orthodox poster child).
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Old 08-31-2015, 10:02 AM   #7
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Default Re: Fooling the gate-keepers

Bro aron,

The orthodoxy knocked out adoptionism, docetism, and many other heresies. Even burning many at the stake.

But long ago the orthodoxy lost its power. Else they would have burned Nee & Lee at the stake ... and us too. All of our tootsies would be toast.

The head of that orthodoxy has no power today, except to go around saying silly things, and loving everybody ... trying to act like Jesus.
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Old 08-31-2015, 12:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Fooling the gate-keepers

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Now, Christ was arguably the most 'orthodox', who didn't overturn the law, but brought it back to the beginning, as it were. And I use Christ as the paradigmatic challenge to orthodoxy, the classic case as it were.
Excellent theme for a thread here on LCD! So much to discuss. I'll just try to chew off just a little bit here.

I actually think that there isn't much of an argument when it comes to "Christ being the most orthodox" - and in fact the Person and work of Christ, aka The Gospel, should be the very standard of orthodoxy for any Christian. And this is exactly what the original apostles and even the earliest Church fathers fought for. Paul was the strongest. He boldly proclaimed to the Galatians "But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed."(Gal 1:8). "Accursed" was one of the strongest words in the Jewish parlance of the day.

Sometimes I think it's easy to forget that the Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes were considered the most "orthodox of orthodox" in Jesus' day. Yet he really hammered them again and again - calling them "hypocrites", "blind leading the blind", "brood of vipers", "white washed tombs" to name just a few.

I think it would be a gross understatement to claim that these Pharisees, Sadducees and Scribes were simply "following the letter of the Law" but not necessarily "the spirit of the Law", however, it does kind of hit the point I really wanted to make. In Matthew 12 the Pharisees thought they had Jesus cornered when they pointed out that his disciples were harvesting the grain and eating, which was technically "doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath". (vr 2) Jesus immediately goes into a monologue which includes an example of technical Law-breaking by Jews when "on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless?". (vr 5) But the main thrust of Jesus' teaching came with "I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.” (vrs 6-8)

So much to consider here in verses 6-8! Back to the Person and work of Jesus Christ. The Gospel. Nothing was more important or represented orthodoxy more than the Temple. Yet Jesus was pointing out the fact that his Person (as the lord of the Sabbath) was literally "greater than the Temple." This had to blow the minds of these poor, poor Law-keepers! (made em pretty mad too) The quoting of Hosea 6:6 "I desire mercy, and not sacrifice", especially as predicated with "if you had know what this means", gets to the heart of the matter. Firstly, that the Law, or more specifically, the keeping of the Law, was never to be "The God of Israel", rather their God was Jehovah, Adonai, the Great I Am, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, and even the instituting One of the Sabbath. And as God's Son, Jesus was indeed "the lord of the Sabbath". God's Person and work, especially and specifically in the Person and work of Jesus Christ, trumps everything and everyone. Later in the chapter Jesus said "something greater than Jonah is here" (vr 41) and then "something greater than Solomon is here." (vr 42)

Finally, to the matter of "I desire mercy and not sacrifice". At some point the God ordained sacrifices and services had become so mundane, ritualistic and meaningless that God himself proclaimed "Bring no more vain offerings; incense is an abomination to me. New moon and Sabbath and the calling of convocations— I cannot endure iniquity and solemn assembly. Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates; they have become a burden to me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands, I will hide my eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not listen; your hands are full of blood." (Isaiah 1:16) How very tragic and sad that all these things established by God became something "my soul hates, they have become a burden to me". This is what happens when man takes something God ordained, God sanctioned and God blessed and turns it all into man-made religious drudgery. And what got sacrificed the most? Mercy - The knowledge, appreciation and even awe at the love, grace and mercy of God. Then in turn God's people turned away from giving this love, grace and mercy to their fellow man, especially to those who needed it the most - the poor, the week, the widow, the fatherless, the homeless, the shunned of society, the incarcerated. By the time the first century hit, the supposed standard bearers of God's Word, and by extension God ordained orthodoxy, had become the most loveless, graceless and unmerciful characters around. So much so that they didn't even recognize God's Son, the promised Messiah and Savior, when he stood right before them.

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And thus it continued. Arianism and the Nicene Creed, The Great Schism of 1054, the Protestant Reformation of the 16th Century, and onwards.
Yes, unfortunately, ignorant and sinful man has made his ugly and unholy mark on the other God ordained, God sanctioned and God blessed institution - The Church of Jesus Christ. And this is the biggest reason we are all here on this forum today. Yet we can still thank and praise him for establishing a true orthodox among his people - albeit as flawed, weak, misused and abused as it may be - at least it's still living, breathing and speaking to him who has an ear to hear.

**Sorry for the insufferably long post, but I think I'll use the Mark Twain defense: “I didn't have time to write a short letter, so I wrote a long one instead.”

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Old 08-31-2015, 03:27 PM   #9
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The history of "The Orthodoxy" makes me cringe. . . . and has been proven wrong by science over and over again.

. . . .

However, the current The Orthodoxy has been burned by science so many times . . . .
While I understand your concerns relating to things that have proved to be wrong according to science, those are not the aspects of orthodoxy that have been where the wolves we have dealt with have led us astray.

Ground, economy, authority, THE ministry, the nature of the trinity, the destiny of man, the meaning of letters to churches, and so on.

We were never really engaged in the aspects of theology that insists science is wrong.

Instead, we were told that orthodoxy relating to true aspects of the faith were wrong and that endless genealogies instead proved the superiority of a current teacher.
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Old 08-31-2015, 11:38 PM   #10
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Default Re: Fooling the gate-keepers

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I'm interested in how a group, or a minister leading the group, gets to put their teachings past the gate-keepers of orthodoxy.
Who are the "gate-keepers of orthodoxy"? Who is "keeping the gate"? What gate?

Orthodoxy: (of a person or their views, especially religious or political ones, or other beliefs or practices) conforming to what is generally or traditionally accepted as right or true; established and approved.

Why look to the traditions of fallen men and their "general" acceptance of truth? Why not make "truth" your standard? In other words, the better question is "how does a minister leading a group 'get to' put his teachings past the truth in God's word?"

The simple answer? Sin. Genesis 3 tells the story. God's enemy, Satan, deceived the man and woman, he was cursed by God and his demise under the heal of the woman was foretold. From that day forward, Satan has worked to further deceive mankind in his hatred of God and man...knowing his time is limited.

Satan's hatred is illustrated in Luke 22:31-32: And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: ...

Yes. "Evil men have crept into our assembly unawares..." Jude 1:4
BUT these evil men are not the enemy: Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Perhaps your gatekeepers are keeping the wrong gate.

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Old 09-01-2015, 05:33 AM   #11
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I actually think that there isn't much of an argument when it comes to "Christ being the most orthodox" - and in fact the Person and work of Christ, aka The Gospel, should be the very standard of orthodoxy for any Christian. And this is exactly what the original apostles and even the earliest Church fathers fought for.
This is my baseline, my standard. Christ challenged prevailing and entrenched notions of what God was doing, or could do. "Search the scriptures; and see that no prophet arises out of Galilee". Yet Galilee of the gentiles (Matt 4:14; cf Isa 9:1,2) was indeed so honored. Orthodoxy, or what was established under common consent, was overturned as thoroughly as the money-changers' tables in the temple court.

And the key to my understanding of Christ's orthodoxy is that God raised Him from the dead. Christ and the Pharisees were at logger-heads - what was real and true? If the Pharisees were raised to eternal glory instead of Jesus, they'd have won the argument, no? If neither was raised, we'd have to say it was inconclusive, a draw. But Christ alone was raised to glory, God furnishing proof to all that this was the truth, the way, and the life.

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Originally Posted by Acts 17:31
For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead."
If Christ had missed on any point, God would have left Him in the grave. But Christ was perfect, pure, spotless in every regard. Every thought, utterance, act was fully in accord with the Father's will. Thus, Christ is the standard of orthodoxy itself.

Every other truth derives its basis from this, and every teaching that distracts and stumbles us from this truth is to be rejected. Ideas of a "proper church life on local ground" is a proposed truth which should be vetted carefully by all concerned, lest by being ensnared with other teachings, they get entangled again.
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Old 09-01-2015, 05:54 AM   #12
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...the better question is "how does a minister leading a group 'get to' put his teachings past the truth in God's word?"

The simple answer? Sin. Genesis 3 tells the story...
True. I concede this. Yet my argument on this forum all along is that bad ideas lead to bad behavior, unrelieved. If we have good ideas, we will still occasionally misbehave, but we'll confess, repent, and learn. If we have bad ideas we'll allow bad behaviors to continue. We'll adopt sayings like, "We don't care about right and wrong." Or, "Maximum Brother - even if he's wrong he's right". We'll think that sin must be covered, ignored. ''The Hive must go on'' becomes our controlling programme.

"I'm proud to be an ostrich with my head stuck in the sand". In other words, I am blind. My discernment is gone.

"God doesn't see any iniquity in Israel." Oh, really? Tell that to the prophet John, on Patmos. He didn't see any iniquity in the seven churches in Asia?

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Perhaps your gatekeepers are keeping the wrong gate.
I was deliberately vague, and general, about the disposition of my gate-keepers and the proverbial gates. They could be cult-watchers like Walter Martin. Or Paul, in the assembly in Antioch, remonstrating with Peter in front of everyone (see Galatians 2). Or your own conscience, and discernment: when the FTTA trainer told us, point-blank, "don't waste your time" with the poor and the widows, but go for the Caucasian college students, a red flag popped up. But I repressed it, because I was already "sold out for the church life". Even when the church life was wrong (i.e. it contravened scripture, either in letter or in spirit) it was right. Why? Because I agreed that it was always right. I'd allowed a bad idea to take root and command the internal conversation in my head. This distorted my discernment.
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Old 09-01-2015, 10:36 AM   #13
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But long ago the orthodoxy lost its power.
Not so. Look what the "cult watcher" books did to the LC recruiting efforts.

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Eugene, Oregon -- June 20, 2007 -- On June 18, 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court brought an end to The Local Church’s six-year, $136 million legal battle against Harvest House Publishers and authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon.

The Local Church was appealing a January 2006 Texas appellate court ruling in favor of Harvest House. After the appellate decision, The Local Church requested a rehearing, which was denied. The Texas Supreme Court also rejected the case twice.

The Local Church complained that the Encyclopedia of Cults and New Religions defamed them by accusing them (and all the other groups in the book) of crimes such as murder, rape, and drug smuggling.

The Texas appellate court ruled that “nothing in the book singles out The [Local] Church as having committed [those actions].” The U.S. Supreme Court’s denial of The Local Church’s petition means the Texas appellate ruling is upheld.
Likewise, the LSM's recent efforts to move heaven and earth (literally) to get Hank Hanegraaf's seal of approval.

The last thing that LSM wants to do is look like one of the "daughters of the harlot"... it's okay if everyone else is; in fact that's the "ground" of the group - that they're the only legitimate Christian assembly. But if you question them, they bristle, and brandish their orthodoxy card. "We want it to be known by all that the Christians in the local churches are absolute for the common faith and are the most orthodox of Christians." -- Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches, 1978. They are the "most orthodox of all"; didn't you know that? The number one thing you must always do to fool the gate-keeper of orthodoxy, is don't tell them that you're not orthodox! Instead, you must tell them that you're "most orthodox"!! Never go to the gate-keeper and tell them, "We are a deviant sect, narrow, factious, quarrelsome, opinionated, judgmental, and controlling. Please join us - it'll be fun!" No, it's all about aspiring to orthodoxy, legitimacy, normality. Once you are in, however, then you get the special sauce.
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Old 09-01-2015, 11:55 AM   #14
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But if you question them, they bristle, and brandish their orthodoxy card. "We want it to be known by all that the Christians in the local churches are absolute for the common faith and are the most orthodox of Christians." -- Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches, 1978. They are the "most orthodox of all"; didn't you know that? The number one thing you must always do to fool the gate-keeper of orthodoxy, is don't tell them that you're not orthodox! Instead, you must tell them that you're "most orthodox"!! Never go to the gate-keeper and tell them, "We are a deviant sect, narrow, factious, quarrelsome, opinionated, judgmental, and controlling. Please join us - it'll be fun!" No, it's all about aspiring to orthodoxy, legitimacy, normality. Once you are in, however, then you get the special sauce.
Lee created a fundamental problem for the LC. He wanted to challenge orthodoxy - characterizing it as worthless. He also wanted to attack other Christians, yet he burdened everyone with having an increase, and put forth the notion that massive amounts of people would join the LC eventually.

Because Lee really got everyone into the "religion killed Jesus" mindset, the rejection of orthodoxy was an easy sell for him. When I saw recently on this forum the story about everyone marching around the Moody Bible Institute as if it were Jericho, I really came to realize just how opposed to anything "religious" LCers really were.

As the years went by and the cult label was applied, I think the desire to appear to be "orthodox" became a big concern for the LC. If nothing else, they wanted an increase, and they needed a way to settle people's well-founded concerns about what kind of group the LC really was. So LCers thus found themselves confronted with a different kind of "dox" - a paradox. How can they claim orthodoxy without retracting Lee's teachings? Statements bashing Christians, statement like "the traditional explanation of the Trinity is grossly inadequacy..." all raise red flags, as they should.

LCers had to resort to unscrupulous methods to attempt to improve their reputation. What group claiming orthodoxy besides the LC would engage in lawsuit after lawsuit? Why is the CRI one of the lone supporters of the LC? LCers rely on controlling the flow of information so that they can present their group as orthodox to uninformed people. Once new members are convinced of the LC being a legitimate religious organization, then the unorthodox teachings and behaviors can begin to work their magic.
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Old 09-01-2015, 01:55 PM   #15
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Perhaps your gatekeepers are keeping the wrong gate.

Nell
Good point Nell. In John 10 Jesus says he is the gate. Perhaps the gatekeepers are keeping from that gate.
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Old 09-01-2015, 04:36 PM   #16
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In John 10 Jesus says he is the gate. Perhaps the gatekeepers are keeping from that gate.
Perhaps the gatekeepers are pointing to the gate. "To all who wish to enter into eternal life, this is the way."

Likewise, thieves, robbers, and wolves are turned away. Or they should be. See e.g. Rev 22:15.
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Old 09-01-2015, 09:20 PM   #17
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Default Re: Fooling the gate-keepers

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Originally Posted by aron View Post
Perhaps the gatekeepers are pointing to the gate. "To all who wish to enter into eternal life, this is the way."
Then they're not gate keepers they are gate pointers.
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Old 09-03-2015, 05:57 AM   #18
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Default Re: Fooling the gate-keepers

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Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Then they're not gate keepers they are gate pointers.
Jesus is the gate. He is the way out of darkness, and His light shines back to the light of the Father of glory. Our job, once we receive Him, is to be "heralds" who declare Him to others. Paul said that he was "a herald and an apostle and a teacher". (2 Tim 1:11). But we all are, I believe. There are professional evangelists like Billy Graham, pointing to the Gate of Heaven, but we all are, to some degree.

And we all are Gate-keepers, as well. We all are to exercise discernment, as to what we let in. There are some like Walter Martin who take it upon themselves to professionally examine and declare who is "in" and who is "out", but we all do it, every day. We all are amateur gate-keepers. What we let in, becomes what we declare. If a person, or an assembly lets in bad teachings, then the person or assembly presents bad teachings to the world. Don't you think Satan would love to distort the testimony? I do.

My theme on this forum for probably 2 years now has been that Jesus is the One who kept Himself pure, and that we the impure and unclean have the way back to the Father through a revelation of this One, who He is and what He did. And yes we are to conduct ourselves in imitation of this One whom we confess. Even if our imitation is poor, we are to try.

The drum I've been beating for 2 yrs is that one of the main predictions about this One was that He was to be the spotless pure Lamb of God (1 Pet. 1:19; cf Lev. 1:10). Jesus exercised His Gate-Keeping function perfectly, without failure. He never got fooled. Satan continually tried to cut deals with Him, and was rejected every time. We who try to follow should pay attention to this, I think.
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Originally Posted by Psalm 18
He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
17 He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
18 They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
but the Lord was my support.
19 He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

20 The Lord has dealt with me according to my righteousness;
according to the cleanness of my hands he has rewarded me.
21 For I have kept the ways of the Lord;
I am not guilty of turning from my God.
22 All his laws are before me;
I have not turned away from his decrees.
23 I have been blameless before him
and have kept myself from sin.
24 The Lord has rewarded me according to my righteousness,
according to the cleanness of my hands in his sight.
I don't have WL's teachings on the Psalms in front of me, so I can't say what he taught about this passage from Psalm 18 in particular. But I do know that WL repeatedly said that these words (the Psalms) were vain, because nobody is clean before God. Wrong. Jesus Christ is clean before God. Our faith is not in ourselves, but in Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all and God blessed forever, amen. I feel like if you don't get this basic stuff you will invariably mis-aim, if you try to be a teacher in the church. Eventually you'll teach stuff that merely distracts and stumbles people from the revelation of Jesus Christ. And we all as gate-keepers should exercise discernment, to reject such speaking, and not to pass it along so that it can stumble others.
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Old 12-21-2015, 10:01 AM   #19
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Default Re: Fooling the gate-keepers

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We are gate-keepers of the faith; we're to exercise discernment, as to what we let in. There are some like Walter Martin who take it upon themselves to professionally examine and declare who is "in" and who is "out", but we all do it, every day... What we let in, becomes what we declare. If a person, or an assembly lets in bad teachings, then the person or assembly presents bad teachings to the world. Don't you think Satan would love to distort the testimony? I do.

Jesus is the One who kept Himself pure, and that we the impure and unclean have the way back to the Father through a revelation of this One, who He is and what He did. And yes we are to conduct ourselves in imitation of this One whom we confess. Even if our imitation is poor, we are to try...
Jesus is the gate, the doorway back to the path leading to the Father's house. He is the way home.

And we are to exercise discernment as to what is "of Christ" and what is not. And we can either pay attention to either one of two things: our situation or our purpose. Our situation changes; our purpose is unchangeable. "I came to do Thy will/behold in the roll of the book it is written concerning Me."

and "Whom shall I send/and who will go for us?" "Here I am/Send Me".

Now, arguably Jesus fulfilled these words, and we the sinners were distracted, reacted to our situation, and failed. Yes, but in Jesus Christ we're re-invited to God's purpose. As those now "in Christ" we again find the meaning of our human life, and this meaning is God's will for us. Look how many times Jesus continually referenced obedience to the Father's will as His motive force. I won't list them all; you can look them up. They're there.

But the enemy fools us by getting us to accept something other than God's purpose for us. New believers are especially susceptible. Like infants that catch cold with every germ coming along; they haven't built up a natural defense system. So we accept our situation as if it were reality, and allow it to shape us, and our responses.

As a pliable "new one" in the LC, it was one-stop shopping. Just do whatever the Maximum brother presented this week. One didn't have to think, and puzzle out purpose. Witness Lee already figured it out! How convenient. Just accept his will as your own.

Secondly, a newbie gets "warm fuzzies" like crazy coming in and starting the LC dance. In the Podunk Community Church, I was lucky to get a handshake from the pastor on the way out the door. In the LC I had people putting everything at my feet: where to live, work, what to do, who to hang around with, what to think, what to say. There were no "blank spots" or unknowns in scripture. Lee had figured it all out. How simple and easy.

And, notably, the shouting and arm-waving got me all excited, and surely that was being in spirit - right!? "Cry out and shout/O inhabitant of Zion" and "Therefore with joy draw water from the well of salvation/Call upon His name" etc. It was all so clear! Open my mouth, and exercise my human spirit on the local ground!

The new believer bites the worm, and unwittingly lets in a hook, a counterfeit. And the program starts to work within. "We must be one with our brother" etc.

By contrast, finding God's will for you, i.e. your purpose, may take a long time, and with uncomfortable spots along the way. But God has a plan for you. God is a businessman, and He's very particular. You were designed for a particular purpose. Just like an eye, a hand, a toe; you have a specific function. Not the one-size-fits-all "God's economy". You are, arguably, unique. God made you that way. It is for a purpose. Did you ever wonder what that was?
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