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Old 04-27-2016, 11:03 AM   #1
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Default Denominations — Really Bad?

I wasn't sure where this would fit, so put it here in Orthopraxy. This is mostly about how we practice our faith, though the theology (therefore Orthodoxy) is included.

This will be in two parts. This post will somewhat setup where I am coming from. The next will ask the question.

- - - -

One of the things that has struck me in the past few years is that despite the place the RCC eventually went, they were not just a fixed dogma for centuries. Mary worship is not found all the way to the beginning. And the Immaculate Conception is relatively recent. (I guess this will be the proof that what I am about to say doesn't always work.) The reason that it went on as it had with only the one split (being mostly over where the center of church authority would be found) was that there was a constant process of study, question, debate, etc., that resulted in changes over time. Even many of the issues that Martin Luther complained about (and that the RCC was unwilling to even discuss at the time) have since changed.

With the split-off of the Germans (Lutherans) and then others, there would seem to now be the opportunity to reinvigorate that dialog and deal with issues at least a little more currently. But the history has instead been parting of the ways after parting of the ways. After an early round of settling doctrine for any new group, they basically closed off.

Yet by the 1800s, the number of truly different groups was really fairly small. It took the education of the masses and the Jesus People movement to really stir things up. The number of truly independent assemblies that had no real connection with anyone else skyrocketed from that time until now. Everyone is busy being their own theologian and taking exception with everyone else. Add to that the ever-shrinking attention span of people and there is no stomach for real deliberation on any issue.

I keep seeing a kind of paradox lately where so many want to go it on their own, or at least be free to find what suits them. That is what many of us did back in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. But the paradox is that it is mostly the fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants theology of people who do their own interpretation and study and end up either joining or creating extreme sects (moving into the realm of cult).

It may be that letting the trained theologians who rely on a long tradition of teaching and understanding be the ones who spend more time (than we want to wait) just considering a question that might move some aspect of practice from its mooring to a different place rather than someone excitedly declaring something different and a bunch of people being caught-up in the new and starting a new group.

I know that it was all new in the 1st century AD. Now the only thing that is truly new is not what is true, but the realization that it is true. What is new is that someone moves from disbelief to belief. Other than that, it really is sound and old.

And at some level, me being responsible for feeding myself and doing my own interpretation is just an invitation for another sect/cult. Or dissatisfaction while staying the course of the old ways. Maybe letting the church be heavily responsible for what I "eat" and what my children learn (in terms of theology, not in terms of my example for them — which I was not very good at) is a better way.

Not saying we don't read the Bible for ourselves. Or have realization of possible interpretations. But maybe what we are reading should be more in what is suggested from the last sermon, of found in a regular daily lectionary. Bible studies should not be presumed to be for me to find something special that I see, but rather to realize what is known to be there. When we think we see something new, our "ahas" maybe should be checked with others in our Christian communities rather than just kept as "my gift from God." (It might or might not be. Keeping it to yourself provides no check. Just spreading it like doctrine is fodder for a new split.)

Of course working within your Christian community only works if those communities are prepared to be a sounding board and to actually engage in questions rather than just dispense answers. Otherwise they just become enclosed within their own dogma. Much like the LCM, even if less dogmatically so.

I have many questions. I do see things. (Obviously I had to if I was ever going to mover beyond what Lee and the LCM gave me.) Some that would be problematic if my assembly of choice is too set in its ways to at least engage in the question and some dialog. And my questions would get me booted out of the LCM. But I am satisfied with my assembly even if the answers to my questions don't go where I think they could/should. And I am willing to be shown the error in where I think it might go (or at least think I am).
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Old 04-27-2016, 11:50 AM   #2
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Default Re: Denominations — Really Bad?

If you haven't figured out the gist of the question, it is whether denominations are really bad. But it is not that simple.

Might denominations be closer to a practice and belief in sound Christian faith than free groups?
Might the strong connection of the defined group provide a better shield against the whims of lone thinkers (like me)?

And I ask this question as a member of an assembly that is not tied to a denomination. That being said, they are strongly affiliated with others of the same movement and with the schools of theology that they mostly rely on for their preachers and teaching. I will admit that I am not convinced on all of their positions. Very dispensational and I am not so dispensationally predisposed.

And every assembly does not agree with every other assembly on every issue. But they do not condemn those that disagree. I was for quite some time a member of one of these assemblies, then for reasons having nothing to do with liking or disliking them, am at another within the same group. There is a particular point on which the two do not agree. And I tend to agree more with the one where I am no longer a member.

I went through that because I am thinking for myself whether the looser group of an affiliated but not wholly-joined denomination achieves what I am seeking.

And that is a more sound base of theology than one guy and his Bible leading a house church. Or even three or four guys and their Bibles leading a small gathering in a room at a community center.

You realize that the LCM started with a single college-aged kid who started publishing his own theological newspaper (within about 2 years of salvation), then a major book in his twenties. That drew a lot of followers who were then anxious to follow this apparently brilliant man.

Even my fairly untrained mind can see huge holes in his theological ship. But there was something new that captured the minds of the people of the 1920s and 1930s in China.

And, like a lot of other Jesus People stuff in the 60s, throwing that kid's stuff into the mix in America was really new. And appealing. Some of the followers found better alternatives than the LCM, but for most of us here, it was the LCM.

But we spent too many years hearing that denominations were the harlot daughters of the Whore of Babylon. And while we dumped Lee (and hopefully Nee), we have tended to like the idea of bad denominations. And of me and my Bible. We like to think that we receive a lot of special, private inspiration from God if we worship in a small house group. Inspiration we would not get if we were merely members at some Baptist, Presbyterian, Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ, Reformed, Congregational, Methodist, Lutheran, Anglican, (and so on) church. But despite the relatively constant state of doctrine and belief in those places, is that really bad? Is the state of Christian understanding so poor that we think constant, solid, and even old is the wrong way?

Not suggesting that any of these are perfect or that there is nothing new. But despite that song with each verse ending "the Lord has yet more light and truth to break forth from his Word," the light and truth that needs to spring forth is not mostly something new, but the realization of what has clearly been seen there before but not realized by us. I would suggest that the totality of truth that the Baptists and Lutherans have in their arsenals will not be entirely appreciated by hardly any person within their lifetime. It will be springing forth for each of us over our lives.

But we think it is about brand new, never been seen stuff.

I mentioned in my last post that I have questions. Some of which might not go over well with some people. But my questions have ceased to be about brand new revelation, but rather the tendency for us to lose sight of the steady pathway set before us. We rush to go on a missions trip. We celebrate the outwardly spiritual acts of some. And in doing that, we denigrate the constantly faithful living of those who never went on a missions trip. Or went to seminary. Or joined a team going door-to-door preaching the gospel. The church is full of people who are humble in their faith. Who hunger and thirst for righteousness. Who love their neighbor as themselves. But we celebrate those who are the missionaries. Or have achievements in the "spiritual" realm.

I wonder why we worship God by singing a lot of songs that center on me. Surely part of the worship should include some thankfulness for what has been done for me/us. And some repentance for my failures. But the center should be Christ. Not even a lot about my life with some thanks to Christ thrown into the chorus. There is a place for "me" songs. That mostly should not be worship.

But when it comes to my theological base, even with my small disagreements, I am happy to be part of a group that has at least a reasonable base of thought that is greater than itself and maybe one or two more nearby assemblies. I would feel rather naked in a truly free group.

And I know that means that the relatively new denomination that is known as the Local Churches (specifically those affiliated with the LSM) would seem to be better off than a free group. But that is not the case. As I mentioned, they were started by a single person without any real training and grew into the thing that it is today. They may be a denomination now, but that does not give them legitimacy.

- - - - -

Have you actually considered whether there is a basis for dissing denominations? If so, where do you fall on the following continuum:

  • Still sold on the evils of denominations?
  • Ambivalent?
  • Jettisoned the whole idea of denominations as simply non-biblical?
I welcome thoughts.
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Old 04-27-2016, 03:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Denominations — Really Bad?

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I am satisfied with my assembly even if the answers to my questions don't go where I think they could/should. And I am willing to be shown the error in where I think it might go (or at least think I am).
This captures my position at present. I think differently from others, but I am fine with others, where they are, and am willing to get light from them. Even though there is some basis for my thoughts (both scriptural and exegetical commentary), I'm still a seeking person. The basis of my revelation today is my willingness to let go of yesterday's revelation, or at least have it severely pruned within the flock (scripture + exegetical discussion).

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Have you actually considered whether there is a basis for dissing denominations? If so, where do you fall on the following continuum:
  • Still sold on the evils of denominations?
  • Ambivalent?
  • Jettisoned the whole idea of denominations as simply non-biblical?
I welcome thoughts.
There is no Jew nor Greek. There is no Baptist nor Presbyterian. We are all one in Christ, regardless of the "ground" you meet on. Not everyone sees it, but I must see it: if they see Jesus Christ, by faith, then the command is clearly, "Receive them."

So I respect all, receive all. Some of the more flaky ones I typically avoid, or say "Hi nice to see you" and move on. And I still will call the apostate ones for what they are. The Heavens Gate "Jesus is coming on a flying saucer" types. Abomination - goodbye.

Other than that, whatever. I guess, then I'm ambivalent. Neither for nor against.

Lastly, it is the scholars that I really respect today. The ones who put in the time, in the trenches. I respect Pastor Bob, but if he's smart he's listening to the scholars. His own personal revelation doesn't weigh as much as the larger discussion going on within the community of scholarship. There are a few "lone voices" out there who have such basis for their ideational output that the scholars take them into consideration. But the vast majority are working within institutional frameworks.
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Old 04-27-2016, 09:04 PM   #4
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Default Re: Denominations — Really Bad?

There are two ways to look at it. One, as you suggest, denominations are good because at least you know what you are getting when you go there. It’s sort of like wanting a hamburger and seeing a McDonald’s and a Burger King. You know what you are getting when you go to either one. At McDonald’s you will get McDonalds-ish hamburgers and at Burger King you will get Burger King-ish hamburgers. The certainties outweigh the possibilities. But suppose you drive by a restaurant whose sign just says “Hamburgers.” What are you getting? Hamburgers, yes. But what kind? What are their characteristics? The possibilities outweigh the certainties.

The word “denomination” means “having a name” and the LC tries to get a lot of distance out of this by saying they don’t have a name. But in fact a denomination is just an identifiable brand of Christianity. The name identifies the brand, but the important thing is not the name, but the brand. So there is no doubt the LC is a denomination, as it is a very distinct brand. They like to think their defining characteristic is “Christ.” But actually their defining characteristic is Witness Lee-ish Christianity.

On the other hand, the advantage of non-denominational churches, though not always, is that the brand is less distinct. And so the possibilities are more varied for what you can get and do there. Whereas with a denomination the possibilities are more limited, because the brand is more defined.

So like branded hamburger restaurants, denominations serve a purpose. You know what you are getting when you go there. Whereas, when you go to a non-denominational church, you may not know what to expect.

Alas even a simple presentation may not guarantee a less distinctive approach--as in the case of the LC, where a façade of benign generality hides the fact of rigid specificity.

So, no, I don't think denominations are "bad." I do think some can get so distinctive that they are intolerable for some believers. That's why I like simpler churches. But that's my taste. I shouldn't insist on it.
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Old 04-28-2016, 01:38 PM   #5
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Default Re: Denominations — Really Bad?

I hear you both and generally agree. I guess the questions were more for myself than anyone else. Or more for the consideration by those who may have no desire to actually respond.

And that is the fate of many of my thread starts. It interests me, but is not necessarily a page turner for others. I don't care if it collects followers or participants as long as it makes people think. Or someone.

As for the comment about variety v a more certain environment, with the variety of church types that are represented by denominations, it is at least more varied than McD, BK, Wendy's, JitB, INnOut, (and Whataburger for the Texas locals). Of course, if you asked me what I wanted, the somewhat Frankenstein-ish thing I would put together might surprise some (including my wife).

. . . . If only my current assembly would make the necessary changes . . . .

But I still think I would rather remain within something at least as strongly cohesive as the Bible Church movement, even though not a denomination in the truest sense. Why? Because I think it represents my core and peripheral beliefs best, and provides a solid framework for sound theology, teaching, practice, etc.
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Old 04-28-2016, 03:31 PM   #6
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Default Re: Denominations — Really Bad?

At present, I have no problem with denominations or the fact that they exist. In the LC, they will readily criticize denominations for "taking a name", but a name represents nothing more than a means of identification. By analogy from the tech world, there are two ways to go to the google website. You can either memorize the IP address of google.com (216.58.216.14), or just simply type "google.com". In the world of computers, names save us from having to memorize IP addresses. Suffice to say, names are a matter of convenience. All Christian groups have beliefs that they can be distinguished by. If a group takes a name of "Baptist", it allows people to readily identify what that group believes. Other groups don't choose to do that, and it's not a problem, it just means people might have to inquire as to what a group believes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy
The word “denomination” means “having a name” and the LC tries to get a lot of distance out of this by saying they don’t have a name. But in fact a denomination is just an identifiable brand of Christianity. The name identifies the brand, but the important thing is not the name, but the brand. So there is no doubt the LC is a denomination, as it is a very distinct brand. They like to think their defining characteristic is “Christ.” But actually their defining characteristic is Witness Lee-ish Christianity
Ultimately, all groups are "branded" what they believe. This is as true for the LC as it is for any denomination. The explicit claim that group is "nameless" is about as ridiculous as if someone claimed that a Ford with the emblem removed is no longer a Ford. In the same way that Methodists are distinguished by what they believe, the LC is distinguished by their own set of beliefs. The names, or lack thereof do not ultimately factor into the equation. Maybe I've gone overboard on the analogies, but suffice to say, I can't see what the big deal about "names" really is.
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Old 04-28-2016, 08:37 PM   #7
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At present, I have no problem with denominations or the fact that they exist. In the LC, they will readily criticize denominations for "taking a name", but a name represents nothing more than a means of identification. By analogy from the tech world, there are two ways to go to the google website. You can either memorize the IP address of google.com (216.58.216.14), or just simply type "google.com". In the world of computers, names save us from having to memorize IP addresses. Suffice to say, names are a matter of convenience. All Christian groups have beliefs that they can be distinguished by. If a group takes a name of "Baptist", it allows people to readily identify what that group believes. Other groups don't choose to do that, and it's not a problem, it just means people might have to inquire as to what a group believes.
Ultimately, all groups are "branded" what they believe. This is as true for the LC as it is for any denomination. The explicit claim that group is "nameless" is about as ridiculous as if someone claimed that a Ford with the emblem removed is no longer a Ford. In the same way that Methodists are distinguished by what they believe, the LC is distinguished by their own set of beliefs. The names, or lack thereof do not ultimately factor into the equation. Maybe I've gone overboard on the analogies, but suffice to say, I can't see what the big deal about "names" really is.
It's a good analogy Freedom. Really IP addresses is comparable to physical addresses. Given I have seen churches occupy the same address, but not taking the same name. That is rare.
I've seen in the local churches brothers that came out of different sects and denominations. You can take the brothers out of the sects and denominations, but you can't take the sects and denominations out of the brother. Take Watchman Nee and Witness Lee for example. They were influenced by their time with Exclusive Brethren and took many of those teachings and practices to what is now known as the Lord's Recovery.
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Old 04-29-2016, 10:40 AM   #8
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Default Re: Denominations — Really Bad?

For there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognized.
1 Corinthians 11:19 (ESV)

It's quite interesting the diversity of translations we see with this Greek word αἵρεσις hairesis (from which we get the anglicized "Heresy") Most of us are probably familiar with KJV's transliteration of "For there must be also heresies among you" and the NASB and ESV "For there must also be factions among you", however there are a number of other equally accurate (in my opinion) translations as well - "Divisions" (NLT), "Differences" (NIV) and "Divisions" (NET). There is equal diversity with this Greek phrase δόκιμος dokimos - γίνομαι ginomai - φανερός phaneros - - - "which are approved may be made manifest" (KJV), that you who have God’s approval will be recognized!" (NLT) "so that those of you who are approved may be evident." (NET) "that the approved may become manifest among you." (Darby).

There is little doubt that by the time the apostle Paul penned 1 Corinthians that there were significant divergences in teaching and practice among Christians, even, apparently, within the church in Corinth itself. However, there is also little doubt that Paul did not consider this divergence as a negative thing, but actually as something positive and necessary for the good of the church. I don't think it's too much of a stretch to think of today's situation as any different, accept for the fact that we have had about 2,000 years for the divergences to multiply exponentially.

This, of course, is not a blanket acceptance, much less approval, by me of all the denominations within Christianity, only a recognition of the principle (for lack of better term) that we see the apostle Paul give forth to the Corinthians in the 1st century. Conversely, I no longer subscribe to Witness Lee's blanket condemnation of "poor, poor Christianity".
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:29 AM   #9
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we have had about 2,000 years for the divergences to multiply exponentially.
Yes that's the word. Multiply. Not divide. And there's more than one Christian meeting going in New York City. What a concept.

And where did the name "Christian" come from? People needed to identify those following Jesus Christ. Another shocker.

Conversely, look at the machinations needed to avoid "taking a name". Take the "Chinese-speaking meeting", for example. Who speaks Chinese? The Chinese! But don't say the "Chinese meeting" because that would be secratian division along ethnic lines, and there are no longer Jews nor Greeks nor Chinese. So we can't say that!

How about "the brother of 3 capital letters, the first of which is round in shape"? Um, how about OBW instead. Yes it's a name; given so that I may distinguish one poster from another. It's okay. Really. No, really; it's okay.
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Old 04-29-2016, 11:39 AM   #10
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Default Re: Denominations — Really Bad?

Could it be we're all denominated and the local churches are no exception? When it comes down to it, where we choose to meet or not meet is a matter of choice.
Question, what is the basis of the choosing?
Is it based on a particular brand (Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran, etc)?
Is it based upon a particular minister? (Rick Warren, Greg Laurie, etc)
Is it based upon language?
Is it based upon affiliation with a ministry? (local churches preference of LSM, TC, DYL, etc)
How divided are we really when it comes to receiving other brothers and sisters?
I'd say denominations isn't the problem, it's our heart in receiving brothers and sisters.
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Old 04-29-2016, 06:41 PM   #11
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How about "the brother of 3 capital letters, the first of which is round in shape"? Um, how about OBW instead. Yes it's a name; given so that I may distinguish one poster from another. It's okay. Really. No, really; it's okay.
Now we know why LC posters on this forum like to post as unregistered... They don't want to take a name.
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Old 04-30-2016, 01:35 AM   #12
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Now we know why LC posters on this forum like to post as unregistered... They don't want to take a name.
It's against their religion!
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Old 04-30-2016, 02:53 AM   #13
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How divided are we really when it comes to receiving other brothers and sisters?
I'd say denominations isn't the problem, it's our heart in receiving brothers and sisters.
Reminds me of Jesus noting the ones who were scrupulous about outward purity and cleanliness. Actually they were the most Biblical, since both the divine command for purity and the practice handed down (i.e. 'closely following the apostles') was for this very thing. They could cite Moses in everything they did. Every cup and every laver had precedent.

But Jesus said the problem was inward, not to be solved by obeying forms or practices. Having the right name, up to and including "only the name of Jesus", doesn't make your heart right in the matter of receiving others. In fact, scrupulously insisting on the right name might eventually become a cloak for having all sorts of heart issues.
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Old 04-30-2016, 11:57 AM   #14
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Reminds me of Jesus noting the ones who were scrupulous about outward purity and cleanliness. Actually they were the most Biblical, since both the divine command for purity and the practice handed down (i.e. 'closely following the apostles') was for this very thing. They could cite Moses in everything they did. Every cup and every laver had precedent.

But Jesus said the problem was inward, not to be solved by obeying forms or practices. Having the right name, up to and including "only the name of Jesus", doesn't make your heart right in the matter of receiving others. In fact, scrupulously insisting on the right name might eventually become a cloak for having all sorts of heart issues.
Well said. Thankfully, God sees the heart. No fooling Him.

On this thread (yes, OBW we are interested too, thanks for starting it): My thoughts are that God is not stopped by our "names". Christ is building His church in spite of the gates of Hades always being open against it, and "the walls" we Christians throw up to divide ourselves from others.

I've seen the same Christ who appeared to the very human and fallible disciples in the enclosed room, and the Holy Spirit who was breathed into and poured out upon them, do those very same things whenever any group of believers come together in His name (in spite of the name of their church). As long as a group of believers turn their hearts to the Lord, open His word, and pray from a pure heart, His blessings pour out.

What does stop God's blessings are: taking or giving His place to others as head of the church, living in and promoting fornication or other sins, idol worship (worshipping the works of men's hands), and true division (not receiving other believers for fellowship or meetings because of a preference for certain ministers). Failing to deal with these things, by confessing ones' sins and asking forgiveness ultimately leads to God's judgement. Thus, we are charged to examine ourselves before we take the bread and cup in an unworthy manner.
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Old 05-01-2016, 06:50 AM   #15
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The LC argument for not taking a name is sometimes illustrated with the fact of a wife taking her husband's name. But though a wife takes her husband's last name, she doesn't drop her first name, neither does he. It is necessary for identification.

Sure, we need to know that the name we are called by is the Lord's, but having a "first name" for ease of identification, like Creekside Community Church, I seriously do not believe offends the Lord. Now, if a church went around beating their chests and proclaiming the greatness of "the mighty name of Creekside," well, then you'd have a problem--sort of like the one the LCM has.

But simply having a name, or not having one, does not make you any better or worse. Certainly the Lord does not prefer not having a name and actually being divisive, as the LCM is, to having a name and not being divisive, as most non-denominational churches are.

Again, the LCM is all about control and pretending to own the rights to everything. *yawn*
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Old 05-01-2016, 08:02 AM   #16
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What happens when you're one meeting with the local churches, you're out in public and happen to cross paths with a former lcer known to be negative?
What do you do pretend you don't recognize him or her?
Turn around and walk the other way?
Is this having a right heart? Of course in the local churches, we've heard the catch phrases attached to those considered negative; leprosy, poisonous, etc. It's all part of the boogeyman the LSM system has created.
Even Christians you know that have never met with the Local Churches, you don't want to do what's considered "shaking hands over the fence".

Consider this following passage from G.H. Lang's The Churches of God pages 12-13:

It is evident that each local assembly was intended to be self-contained. This was essential, especially considering that under ancient conditions of travel and life much and prolonged isolation was often inevitable. The church of God is verily a unity, but its unity is that of an organism rather than an organization. Each Christian was to exhibit this unity by a life of pure love towards each other believer; and the connexion of all with a local assembly afforded a corporate sphere for its manifestation.
I once met in the street a godly and beloved clergyman, a neighbor. He presently said, “I was passing your place on Sunday, and, by the by, to what denomination do you belong?” I replied, “Did you not look at the notice board as you went by?” “Yes,” he said, “I did, but I could not see there anything about it.” “That,” I answered, “indicates to what denomination we belong.” Smiling, he said, “I see! But are there no other folk who believe as you do?” “Yes,” said I, “I thank God that there are very many such.” “Well,” he inquired, “why do you no affiliate with them?” “Can you,” I asked, “give any Scripture which suggests that it is the mind of God that we should do so?” “Yes,” he replied, “the passage, ‘giving diligence to keep the unity of the Spirit’ (Eph 4:3).” “But what is the unity of the Spirit?” I asked next. “Well,” said he—“Yes, yes; hem! Well, how would you define it?” And I said, “First of all the unity of the Spirit is a spiritual unity, and not an external organization. You and I meet here in the street; we know and love each other as brethren in Christ; we say a few words to cheer each other on life’s way; and that is one example of what I understand by the keeping the unity of the Spirit.”


I would say when we allow names of where we meet to divide us, the unity of the Spirit is lost.
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Old 05-05-2016, 08:07 AM   #17
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Right. There are two "oneness's" described in Ephesians. And, neither is oneness of teaching. The first is oneness of the Spirit, which we have already and should diligently work to keep as we bear one another in love, keeping the peace of Christ. The other is oneness of the faith and full knowledge of Christ, which we grow into through the headship of Christ and his working through his many members to build up the church in love to glorify God.

The manifestation of true oneness is that we all with one voice proclaim the wonderfulness of Jesus our Lord and of God our Father (not the wonderfulness of our favorite minister or ministry of Christ, nor the wonderfulness of "our church").
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Old 05-05-2016, 09:27 AM   #18
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Right. There are two "oneness's" described in Ephesians. And, neither is oneness of teaching. The first is oneness of the Spirit, which we have already and should diligently work to keep as we bear one another in love, keeping the peace of Christ. The other is oneness of the faith and full knowledge of Christ, which we grow into through the headship of Christ and his working through his many members to build up the church in love to glorify God.

The manifestation of true oneness is that we all with one voice proclaim the wonderfulness of Jesus our Lord and of God our Father (not the wonderfulness of our favorite minister or ministry of Christ, nor the wonderfulness of "our church").
Great points, JJ.
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Old 05-07-2016, 05:49 AM   #19
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The LC argument for not taking a name is sometimes illustrated with the fact of a wife taking her husband's name. But though a wife takes her husband's last name, she doesn't drop her first name, neither does he. It is necessary for identification.

Sure, we need to know that the name we are called by is the Lord's, but having a "first name" for ease of identification, like Creekside Community Church, I seriously do not believe offends the Lord. Now, if a church went around beating their chests and proclaiming the greatness of "the mighty name of Creekside," well, then you'd have a problem--sort of like the one the LCM has.

But simply having a name, or not having one, does not make you any better or worse. Certainly the Lord does not prefer not having a name and actually being divisive, as the LCM is, to having a name and not being divisive, as most non-denominational churches are.

Again, the LCM is all about control and pretending to own the rights to everything. *yawn*
I don't know about your logic. It seems to fly in the face of what was going on with the early church up until the Church of Rome started to dominate many aspects of Christian thinking. Also, 1 Cor 1:12 --- how do you reconcile this statement: 'Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ."' Aren't you saying, "I am of Creekside"? How much love is there between the SBC and the AOG? They have their own history and development--they will never reconcile. Then you have the 7th Day Adventists and the Church of Christ etc. You draw the line along doctrinal positions with everyone quoting their own Biblical scriptures. I thought I had a good understanding of the Biblical positions when I left the LC but many of them have been unearthed.
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Old 05-07-2016, 07:31 AM   #20
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I don't know about your logic. It seems to fly in the face of what was going on with the early church up until the Church of Rome started to dominate many aspects of Christian thinking. Also, 1 Cor 1:12 --- how do you reconcile this statement: 'Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ."' Aren't you saying, "I am of Creekside"? How much love is there between the SBC and the AOG? They have their own history and development--they will never reconcile. Then you have the 7th Day Adventists and the Church of Christ etc. You draw the line along doctrinal positions with everyone quoting their own Biblical scriptures. I thought I had a good understanding of the Biblical positions when I left the LC but many of them have been unearthed.
Lee made names the spiritual bogeyman, and then equated all names with division. Then he went ten steps further by condemning all nameless (free) Christian groups as the ncestuous children of Lot. Talk about intellectual dishonesty. Taking a name is horrible, but not taking one is far worse.

Then we need to discuss the hypocrisy of all the names (LSM DCP BFA FTTA FTTT) surrounding his ministry, none of which is in the Bible. But apparently those are OK.
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Old 05-07-2016, 12:22 PM   #21
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Lee made names the spiritual bogeyman, and then equated all names with division. Then he went ten steps further by condemning all nameless (free) Christian groups as the ncestuous children of Lot. Talk about intellectual dishonesty. Taking a name is horrible, but not taking one is far worse.

Then we need to discuss the hypocrisy of all the names (LSM DCP BFA FTTA FTTT) surrounding his ministry, none of which is in the Bible. But apparently those are OK.
You make an excellent point about the LC and how WL characterized everyone else but himself. I am just wondering about the alternatives with some Biblical and historical perspective. It seems that we come up with various reasons (excuses?) to justify all the different names of denominations, groups, upstarts, churches, ministries, etc and then throw them all under one cloak of "Christ" or "fundamental Christianity" etc when that doesn't seem to be what the NT is saying. How is this clarified?
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Old 05-07-2016, 01:30 PM   #22
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You make an excellent point about the LC and how WL characterized everyone else but himself. I am just wondering about the alternatives with some Biblical and historical perspective. It seems that we come up with various reasons (excuses?) to justify all the different names of denominations, groups, upstarts, churches, ministries, etc and then throw them all under one cloak of "Christ" or "fundamental Christianity" etc when that doesn't seem to be what the NT is saying. How is this clarified?
Why are you worried about it?
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Old 05-07-2016, 01:34 PM   #23
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Also, 1 Cor 1:12 --- how do you reconcile this statement: 'Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ."'
Mention this verse in LC circles and the understanding is it applies to everyone except those in the recovery.
If someone did understand what was being implied, they would be aghast. "How dare you suggest we are of Lee! You are misunderstanding." Easy to say.
Even within the LSM affiliated local churches, there is always the temptation to fall into the trap of "I of Paul" and "I of Apollos". In the LSM/LC context it may be, "I of Ron Kangas" or "I of James Lee". When Ron is speaking at a conference, one may attend to hear what he has to share, but if James Lee is speaking at the next meeting, the feeling may be "if Ron isn't speaking, I'm not going to attend".
It's a matter of preference. Preferring one brother's speaking over another. Within our own community church, a few years ago we hosted visitors from Hawaii. They appreciated the speaking of our resident retired pastor over the speaking of the regular pastor. It was then I realized even within a church it's easy to fall into the trap "I of Paul" or "I of Apollos".
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Old 05-07-2016, 03:54 PM   #24
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You make an excellent point about the LC and how WL characterized everyone else but himself. I am just wondering about the alternatives with some Biblical and historical perspective. It seems that we come up with various reasons (excuses?) to justify all the different names of denominations, groups, upstarts, churches, ministries, etc and then throw them all under one cloak of "Christ" or "fundamental Christianity" etc when that doesn't seem to be what the NT is saying. How is this clarified?
I don't think that in a post-LC world, anyone here is 'excusing' demoninations. Rather the existance of denominations is accepted as an inevitable fact of life, a problem which is no one's responsibility to solve.

Our responsibility is to endevour to keep the unity of the Spirit. And the word 'endevour' implies that there may be failure here and there. If we do fail, all is not lost.

So my point is simply that the alternative to division is a personal responsibility in getting along with others, both Christians and non-Christians alike.
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Old 05-09-2016, 04:52 AM   #25
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I don't know about your logic. It seems to fly in the face of what was going on with the early church up until the Church of Rome started to dominate many aspects of Christian thinking. Also, 1 Cor 1:12 --- how do you reconcile this statement: 'Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, "I am of Paul," and "I of Apollos," and "I of Cephas," and "I of Christ."' Aren't you saying, "I am of Creekside"? How much love is there between the SBC and the AOG? They have their own history and development--they will never reconcile. Then you have the 7th Day Adventists and the Church of Christ etc. You draw the line along doctrinal positions with everyone quoting their own Biblical scriptures. I thought I had a good understanding of the Biblical positions when I left the LC but many of them have been unearthed.
There is much more to Paul's statement about names in 1 Cor. 1 than just the names. Those names were a sort of battle cry in a "we're right and you're wrong" or "our teacher of choice is superior to yours" war. They were unwilling to get along even within a single assembly.

The names Paul was talking about were much more than identifiers so they could find the right phone number in their Yellow Pages directory. They were declarations of their rightness and the error of the others.

Creekside is a differentiator, but not in the way of the names in Corinth. To insist that the two are simply identical is to fail to read the narrative of the situation in Corinth. While there is almost always a level of "like" with respect to the group that you do associate with, the "dislike" with respect to others is much less, or not really there. We may have concluded that this is the one for me, but in saying that we often have not precluded all others as deficient and in error, or not worthy of our participation.

I honestly believe that much of the denominations within Christianity get along better than a single assembly in Corinth did within its own membership. There is clearly something different at work in Corinth than in today's Christianity. Not saying there is none of that happening. But when so many include prayers for the whole of the body of Christ without thinking, or eve saying, that means to drop any differences and come to them (and not the other way around) there is clearly a difference.

We have been told by Lee that it was simply about the names and even though we may now reject Lee, we continue to accept his bias and error without any real consideration. I have concluded that with the amount of misrepresentation of the scripture — both overall and in 1 Cor and this issue in specific — I cannot accept anything that I have not found to be taught by a significant group of others in the same manner that he did.
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Old 05-09-2016, 07:11 AM   #26
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Aren't you saying, "I am of Creekside"?
There is nothing wrong with a certain amount of identification and even healthy pride in one's membership to a particular group. Even the LC members of the "Church in Wherever" take pride in their home church. That's normal human nature. What's the alternative? To be indifferent? To be apologetic?

The problem comes in when you start thinking that you are better than everyone else, that everyone else is wrong and needs to be like you, or that everyone needs to join you. The LC did all three to the nth degree.

But saying "I'm of Creekside" can be simply telling others where you meet. There's a world of difference. So it all depends on what you mean when you say it.

Paul is clearly addressing divisive attitudes, not names, because he even condemns those who say "I am of Christ." Is it wrong to say "I'm of Christ"? Not usually. But when you say it in a way that suggests others aren't of Christ it's a problem. Unfortunately, the LC did this, too.
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Old 05-10-2016, 10:43 PM   #27
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The problem comes in when you start thinking that you are better than everyone else, that everyone else is wrong and needs to be like you, or that everyone needs to join you. The LC did all three to the nth degree.

But saying "I'm of Creekside" can be simply telling others where you meet. There's a world of difference. So it all depends on what you mean when you say it.

Paul is clearly addressing divisive attitudes, not names, because he even condemns those who say "I am of Christ." Is it wrong to say "I'm of Christ"? Not usually. But when you say it in a way that suggests others aren't of Christ it's a problem. Unfortunately, the LC did this, too.
Agreed that it is more than names that are being addressed. Paul takes the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians to address the divisions, then comes back to it for part of the 12th chapter as well.

As I reread those sections of 1 Cor. it is clear he is addressing immature believers who had become arrogant and boastful in their fleshly knowledge, even full of jealousy and strife, and were lining up behind "their apostle", even Christ himself, to exclude others, saying "we don't need you" if you follow another apostle. They were also giving the wrong type of position and credit to the apostles, who were simply servants of God and stewards of His mysteries. God deserved all credit for anything good going on among the believers or the apostles, and their boast should be in the Lord and his cross.

Hopefully we aren't doing the same. All I can say is I was once part of group that had many of these things going on, so I had to exit it, as the Lord on the throne in the heavens and within me couldn't abide it.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:24 AM   #28
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"Until we all arrive at the oneness"

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Agreed that it is more than names that are being addressed. Paul takes the first four chapters of 1 Corinthians to address the divisions, then comes back to it for part of the 12th chapter as well.
Yes there is more than names being addressed. "Paul" is a name. "Corinth" is a name. Names are inevitable. "Meeting Hall Six of the Church in Taipei" is a name. "The college-age meeting on Tuesday nights at Sister Won's house" is a name.

So to condemn others for what you yourself inevitably must do (protesting all the while that you don't want to, but are forced to) is rank hypocrisy, in my view. Yes denominations are wrong but so are you and I. Only God is good. Any name is a delimitation of God's kingdom and is at best temporary and approximate. Yet we need names just like we need words. Witness Lee condemned the Baptists for being named according to practice (i.e. baptism), but then approvingly cited mainland Chinese Christian groups who were also being named according to practice (i.e. shouting).

Watchman Nee is a name, and isn't wrong per se. "The Local Church in Des Moines, Iowa, Lovers of Jesus affiliated with the ministries of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee" isn't wrong per se; what's wrong is saying that while roundly condemning everyone else for "taking a name." Did Watchman Nee rise from the dead? So why follow him? Why take (affiliate with) his name? These local church groups might as well put out a big six-foot high sign saying "The Li-ite Church" because that's what they are. Why not be upfront and take the name? "Affiliated with" means "of", just like the Antioch believers were called "Christianos" at in Acts 11:26 because they'd affiliated themselves with the name of Jesus Christ.

Back to JJ's point. There is more than just names that are being addressed in Paul's epistle. Lust, pride, greed, selfishness, separatism, exclusivism, judgmentalism, even arrogance. The issue of names just becomes a vehicle for this unclean spirit(s) to work -- "I am not of you; I am of this" -- Christian believers, distracted, begin to seek to delineate themselves at the expense of other believers, and to use names, positions, and theology to do it.

Anyway, I was thinking about a recent post by a "man becoming God" apologist who used Ephesians 4:13 "...until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (NIV). The poster was saying that "the fullness of Christ" showed that "we all" become God.

But how can a ministry that roundly condemns every other ministry as hopelessly deficient, dark, fallen, devilish and satanic ever reach unity in the faith? This ministry predicates Christian unity on either a) The Lord coming in a flash of light and scooping up the ministry's acolytes into glory, and leaving "fallen Christianity" to wail and gnash teeth in darkness, or b) "fallen Christianity" to come groveling and admit that it's all true; that they are devilish and satanic and only God's Present Oracle has the light. Absent either one of those scenarios, how can we all come to the unity of the faith, and the mature knowledge of the Son of God, when one continually condemns every other "poor" and "useless" Christian worker and group? Otherwise, the "we all" of Ephesians 4:13 only pertains to those following this particular ministry and minister. And that's sectarianism defined; sectarian to the nth degree, to the max.

Solving the problem of names won't do it; no, there's something else that's being addressed here.
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Old 05-13-2016, 06:44 AM   #29
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Default Until we all arrive at the oneness, Part 2

Part two of the previous post:

How can we all arrive at the oneness, when we all have different names, "Bob, Mike, Joe, Susie", different races, education, culture, geographical location, history, predispositions etc? By becoming clones of The Minister of the Age?

No. God loved us, and sent His Son, who Himself loved us so much, being filled with the Fathers love "He loved us to the uttermost" (John 13:1) that he laid down His life for His friends. Now, how are we to treat each other? Does "Anglican" matter, in this context?

I'll leave it there. If you don't get what I'm saying, then it's not something that I can explain.
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Old 05-13-2016, 11:15 AM   #30
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"Until we all arrive at the oneness"
Ephesians 4:13 "...until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (NIV).
"the whole measure of the fullness of Christ"..?...?..

I wonder what it 'really' means? ..Can you please tell?
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Old 05-13-2016, 01:38 PM   #31
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"the whole measure of the fullness of Christ"..?...?..

I wonder what it 'really' means? ..Can you please tell?
I suspect that if you get the "we all reach" part, you won't wonder any more about the second part, the "measure of the fullness" part.
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Old 05-13-2016, 05:42 PM   #32
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But how can a ministry that roundly condemns every other ministry as hopelessly deficient, dark, fallen, devilish and satanic ever reach unity in the faith? This ministry predicates Christian unity on either a) The Lord coming in a flash of light and scooping up the ministry's acolytes into glory, and leaving "fallen Christianity" to wail and gnash teeth in darkness, or b) "fallen Christianity" to come groveling and admit that it's all true; that they are devilish and satanic and only God's Present Oracle has the light. Absent either one of those scenarios, how can we all come to the unity of the faith, and the mature knowledge of the Son of God, when one continually condemns every other "poor" and "useless" Christian worker and group? Otherwise, the "we all" of Ephesians 4:13 only pertains to those following this particular ministry and minister. And that's sectarianism defined; sectarian to the nth degree, to the max.
But a man named Ananias, with his wife Sapphira, sold a piece of property, and kept back some of the price for himself, with his wife’s full knowledge, and bringing a portion of it, he laid it at the apostles’ feet.
Acts 5:1-2

It's what I call conditional sectarianism. If you examine political parties, generally within each party there's a certain element of unity. Same can be said for LSM fellowship. The verse in Luke 6:32 identifies the LSM/LC culture in "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. " It is this political party atmosphere where they love those who love them. The condition of receiving is based on where you're oriented towards the ministry LSM publishes with LSM publications being primary factor of receiving.
Why I quoted Acts 5:1-2 the same principle of these verses is found in LSM fellowship. There's a view they're the body of Christ. Ones outside LSM fellowship are outside the Body. It's part of the Body being passed as the whole Body of Christ. Sad thing this many on the local churches buy into this concept. Yet it's this narrow concept that at best draws the sectarian label.
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Old 05-14-2016, 07:33 PM   #33
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I suspect that if you get the "we all reach" part, you won't wonder any more about the second part, the "measure of the fullness" part.
Oh, yes, I think I see what you're driving at!

The "measure of the fullness of Christ" is the measure of how we love our neighbor and treat one another! So, that's what it means to be "filled" with (i.e. full of) the "measure of the Christ"; and, "we all" need to reach this goal in the unity of the faith...So, it doesn't mean to 'become God', does it?

It means to be "filled with love"...wow...I get it!

. . .tell me I get it! . . .

(are you sure you're not the Mota, aron?...double wow!)

...
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Old 05-15-2016, 11:56 AM   #34
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Oh, yes, I think I see what you're driving at!

The "measure of the fullness of Christ" ... means to be "filled with love"...wow...I get it!
The groups that divide according to doctrine, but don't take a name, may hold forth regarding the measure of the fullness of Christ, but their holding forth doesn't mean anything. The Lee-ites and Chu-ites and Dong-ites (and that's what they are) may convince themselves of the nature of reality as they define it, but their behavior is testimony, or anti-testimony, because "we all" means what, in this context of not receiving one another (or anyone else, for that matter)? In this context, "fullness" means what? My thought was to say, how can you have one, without the other?

Btw, it's pretty clear I'm not the Mota. Jesus is. Always is, always will be. But thanks anyway.
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Old 05-16-2016, 08:50 AM   #35
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Going with the discussion on the "measure of the stature . . ." I note that last night we were reading a little from 1 Kings 8 and when we got to verse 61 it says the following:
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And may your hearts be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.
I think that being fully committed to the Lord is a lot like arriving at the measure of the stature . . . . We use the term but seldom really understand it as something tangible and real. Instead we treat it as an undefined "spiritual" thing that we "do" without having anything to actually do. In other words, we claim it as a fact but have no idea what it really is.

In the case of 1 Kings, the verse tells us what it is. It is to live (by His decrees) and obey (His commands). It is not to go to better meetings. It is not to speak with the tongues of the best theologians (or Pentecostal practitioners). It is not to have better doctrines or say it with better words.

It is to live by the decrees and obey the commands.

I would say "not really that hard" except that Lee would have us think that it was impossible. But while it is no cake walk, it is not impossible, but is instead imperative.
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Old 05-16-2016, 10:43 AM   #36
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Default Re: Denominations — Really Bad?

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Going with the discussion on the "measure of the stature . . ." I note that last night we were reading a little from 1 Kings 8 and when we got to verse 61 it says the following:
I think that being fully committed to the Lord is a lot like arriving at the measure of the stature . . . . We use the term but seldom really understand it as something tangible and real. Instead we treat it as an undefined "spiritual" thing that we "do" without having anything to actually do. In other words, we claim it as a fact but have no idea what it really is.

In the case of 1 Kings, the verse tells us what it is. It is to live (by His decrees) and obey (His commands). It is not to go to better meetings. It is not to speak with the tongues of the best theologians (or Pentecostal practitioners). It is not to have better doctrines or say it with better words.

It is to live by the decrees and obey the commands.

I would say "not really that hard" except that Lee would have us think that it was impossible. But while it is no cake walk, it is not impossible, but is instead imperative.

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Old 05-16-2016, 11:04 AM   #37
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Default Re: Until we all arrive at the oneness

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The Lee-ites and Chu-ites and Dong-ites (and that's what they are) may convince themselves of the nature of reality as they define it, but their behavior is testimony, or anti-testimony, because "we all" means what, in this context of not receiving one another (or anyone else, for that matter)?
Once a group or denomination expels one of their own, having no legitimate scriptural basis whatsoever, their so-called testimony of "oneness" means nothing. How can you expect to have real and genuine fellowship with other Christians who are only 30-40-50-60-70% the same as you in teachings and practices, after you expel one of your own who is 99.9% the same as you? All of their "oneness" talk is bogus.

The Blendeds expelled Titus Chu for printing his own books in competition with their own printing presses. God forbid! Then, after the dust settled, Titus Chu basically expeled John Myer for "wanting to be a pastor." God forbid! No scriptures required, just an edict from headquarters, and all the other loyal minions dutifully fall in line.

Talk about creating a bogeyman to spook the faithful! In Titus Chu land, I have witnessed blatant adulterers welcomed back, without repentance, with open arms to the Lord's Table meetings, but how dare a gifted brother aspire to oversight, (I Timothy 3.1) and thus "want to be a pastor." It's the unforgiveable sin! Better to be a thief, a liar, greedy, without natural affection, blinded with pride, etc. (II Timothy 3) than to be a "pastor" under Titus Chu.

Now, with attitudes like that running wild, how dare they judge others for being divided, and claim to stand on the "ground of oneness."
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Old 05-17-2016, 06:16 AM   #38
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Default Re: Denominations — Really Bad?

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We use the term but seldom really understand it as something tangible and real. . . we claim it as a fact but have no idea what it really is.
And this goes right back to the issue of names, or lack thereof. What importance names may actually have on the ground is long gone in the fixation on simply "getting the name issue right." As if that would somehow magically issue in reality, and "God's blessing" and outpoured Spirit.

And this also goes to another point, on another thread running concurrently, about the idea of deification, which is why I dragged it over here in the first place. Deification in Lee's hands became the equivalent of Little Jack Horner, sitting in a corner and pulling out a Christmas plum. "Oh, what a good boy am I!" he exclaimed. Or in this case, "What fine 'high peak' theology I've developed!" But all of it completely divorced from any actuality on the ground. So the argument was irrelevant.

Which brings us to a peril of the Greek Fathers, including Athanasius, but also in my eyes ones like Origen and Clement of Alexandria. Nigel Tomes never goes into this; unfortunately probably neither he nor any of us here are capable of treating the subject adequately. But a few words nonetheless - they were thinkers and good ones, and were well versed in the Hebrew texts, the Greek Septuagint, all the classical philosophies of the day, and were determined to bring them together in a magisterium which would roll over the thinking world.

Some of it's quite impressive, and much is arguably even good, i.e. providing explanatory power for what happened on the ground there, with Jesus the Galilean. But none of it replaces the need to obey God, to take care of our living, and succor those who are unable to meet God's demand. Because that's what Jesus did for us, and what He charged the disciples to do. Yes there is teaching, thinking and exposition, but that is at best the handmaiden to good works. In the case of Lee it entirely supplanted them.

So we have powerful and carefully argued broadsides on nomenclature, and theology, and eschatology, etc etc, and little if any reality. Apart from reality (works, continually done - 'abide in the vine', don't just occasionally visit), the superposition of Greek philosophical thought on Hebrew religious tradition is a false trail. And it's also a cautionary tale for us here, who type forth ideas and critiques of ideas (and behaviors).
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Old 05-18-2016, 06:54 AM   #39
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Default Re: Denominations — Really Bad?

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It may be that letting the trained theologians who rely on a long tradition of teaching and understanding be the ones who spend more time (than we want to wait) just considering a question that might move some aspect of practice from its mooring to a different place rather than someone excitedly declaring something different and a bunch of people being caught-up in the new and starting a new group.

I know that it was all new in the 1st century AD. Now the only thing that is truly new is not what is true, but the realization that it is true. What is new is that someone moves from disbelief to belief. Other than that, it really is sound and old.
The trained theologians are learning, right in front of us. They are studying, making points, opening their ideas to critique. They are learning from each other; it’s so gratifying for me, to see one scholar admit to learning from another. Look at any good paper, and it has dozens of citations. The better books have hundreds. There’s a large quantity of wisdom collected there, which usually is associated with institutions, but which spills over the institutional walls. Catholics learn from Orthodox scholars, Anglican from Baptist. It is true community, and it is exciting to read and take part in, as a layperson, from a distance. "The unfolding of your word brings light/it brings understanding to the simple." To be in a place where the word is unfolding among the collective is precious, indeed.
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It Of course working within your Christian community only works if those communities are prepared to be a sounding board and to actually engage in questions rather than just dispense answers. Otherwise they just become enclosed within their own dogma. Much like the LCM, even if less dogmatically so.

I have many questions. I do see things. (Obviously I had to if I was ever going to move beyond what Lee and the LCM gave me.) Some that would be problematic if my assembly of choice is too set in its ways to at least engage in the question and some dialog. And my questions would get me booted out of the LCM. But I am satisfied with my assembly even if the answers to my questions don't go where I think they could/should. And I am willing to be shown the error in where I think it might go (or at least think I am).
Again, the Christian community isn't limited to your local assembly. What I find is that I can access the resources of the larger Christian community, and bring them to my local congregation. If the point is well made, elsewhere, I should be able to make it locally, in a manner that my neighbor can apprehend. And if the point is made sufficiently, to me, then I should be able to make it sufficiently, to my neighbor.

And that which I find that I can't make sufficiently to the satisfaction of my neighbor I keep to myself, at least for now, until I figure out how to present it in a mutually beneficial way. "That which you have seen today; don't share it with anyone until the Son of Man is risen from the dead." Sometimes the Lord wants to share something with you, for your living, not for you to make a proclamation to tickle the ears of others. See Matt 17:9
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