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Old 04-10-2017, 04:06 PM   #1
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Default The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Since Hank Hanegraff once traveled the world with blended co-workers, this may be newsworthy to some of you http://www.religiousresearcher.org/2...ern-orthodoxy/
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Old 04-10-2017, 04:30 PM   #2
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Default The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

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Since Hank Hanegraff once traveled the world with blended co-workers, this may be newsworthy to some of you http://www.religiousresearcher.org/2...ern-orthodoxy/
Terry, this is absolutely remarkable. I am sure that Hank Hanegraaff's LSM buddies are in a tailspin over this.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:04 PM   #3
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Terry, this is absolutely remarkable. I am sure that Hank Hanegraaff's LSM buddies are in a tailspin over this.
The blendeds once portrayed Hank as one who was gradually aligning with the LC. A move to to Orthodox Church is far removed from anything related to the LC.
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Old 04-10-2017, 05:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

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The blendeds once portrayed Hank as one who was gradually aligning with the LC. A move to to Orthodox Church is far removed from anything related to the LC.
I was in a home meeting (2009) one of the elders was speaking reverently of Hank as if he's an honorary blended. While talking of hank's traveling to the far east with blended co-workers, everyone was on the edge of their seats.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

A couple of years ago, family members told me that Hank Hanegraaff was writing a book about his experience with the LC. I did some digging online and came across this, apparently never published but scheduled for publication in August 2015: The Authentic Christian Life: Moving from Doctrine to True Intimacy with God.

Quote:
Simultaneously released in China and the United States, this revolutionary book brings into view a fresh expression of authentic New Testament Christianity, unencumbered by westernized cultural trappings. The Authentic Christian Life lovingly moves us from doctrine to intimacy with the living God.

Drawing from multiple experiences with persecuted Christians in China, Hanegraaff radically rethinks what it means to live the authentic Christian life. Inspired by Watchman Nee's classic, multi-million bestseller, The Normal Christian Life (1957).
It is interesting that this was never published, particularly in light of Hanegraaff's conversion to Orthodoxy. And no matter what LC leaders might say, Hanegraaff's converting to Orthodoxy is a conscience rejection of the LC.
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Old 04-10-2017, 06:25 PM   #6
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

This website posts the following interesting update:

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Update 4/10/17. On his radio broadcast the day after his chrismation, Hank responded to a caller regarding his conversion. Basically he said that he has been attending an Orthodox church for over two years, based on an experience many years ago while in China, where he saw simple people living the Christian life in an enviable way. This led him to study Watchman Nee and what he wrote on the subject of theosis, which since then has deepened his love for Christ. And to prove he is still a Christian, he recite the entire Nicene Creed. Regarding his ministry he also said that he will continue to promote mere Christianity, based on this Creed, which is a principle of C.S. Lewis, just as he always has.
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Old 04-10-2017, 07:09 PM   #7
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

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The blendeds once portrayed Hank as one who was gradually aligning with the LC. A move to to Orthodox Church is far removed from anything related to the LC.
I'm always amazed by who the LC courts as "experts." Apparently this has now come full circle, since nearly all the early LC opposers from the Spiritual Counterfeits Project (Jack Sparks, Neil Duddy, Peter Gillquist, Brooks Alexander, Ronald Enroth, etc.) also converted to Orthodoxy.

There's something about researching the LC that does strange things to people.
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Old 04-11-2017, 07:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Update 4/10/17. On his radio broadcast the day after his chrismation, Hank responded to a caller regarding his conversion. Basically he said that he has been attending an Orthodox church for over two years, based on an experience many years ago while in China, where he saw simple people living the Christian life in an enviable way. This led him to study Watchman Nee and what he wrote on the subject of theosis, which since then has deepened his love for Christ. And to prove he is still a Christian, he recite the entire Nicene Creed. Regarding his ministry he also said that he will continue to promote mere Christianity, based on this Creed, which is a principle of C.S. Lewis, just as he always has.
Like Ohio mentioned, it seems that something about Hank's interaction with the LC resulted in a dramatic shift in his views. Interestingly, this shift was not towards the LC, but towards something more 'structured'.

According to the quote, Hank likes the concept of theosis. Of course, this is a teaching/idea that LCers would love to lay claim to, so it begs the question of why he would find the concept more desirable as it is understood in a non-LC group. The irony of it all is just so striking.
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Old 04-11-2017, 02:25 PM   #9
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

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Simultaneously released in China and the United States, this revolutionary book brings into view a fresh expression of authentic New Testament Christianity, unencumbered by westernized cultural trappings. The Authentic Christian Life lovingly moves us from doctrine to intimacy with the living God.

Drawing from multiple experiences with persecuted Christians in China, Hanegraaff radically rethinks what it means to live the authentic Christian life. Inspired by Watchman Nee's classic, multi-million bestseller, The Normal Christian Life (1957).
As I mentioned in my previous post, it seems that something about Hank's interaction with the LC resulted in a dramatic shift in his views. Apparently, he was affected by what he saw in China. So just exactly what did he see in China? My guess is that he saw (or felt a sense of guilt for) something related to the persecution that LC members had to endure. Based on what was written in the CRI journal on the LCM, it seems the CRI equated the "persecuted church" with being a 'purer' form of Christianity than the various expressions seen in places like America.

It is, of course, a big fallacy for anyone to assume that enduring persecution validates what a group believes. But it's exactly what the Hank/CRI did in attempt support/defend the LCM. Don't get my wrong, I don't intend to make light of what people have had to suffer, but to throw persecution into the equation is deceptive and misdirects focus from the real issues. Whether or not a group of Christians has been persecuted plays no part in assessing the validity or accuracy of what they believe/practice.

The LCM in China has been characterized by Hank as a group who is "unencumbered by westernized cultural trappings," as if such a characteristic actually means anything. Notice how nothing is mentioned about easternized cultural trappings. Obviously groups in America like the LCM are nowhere near as common as groups that actually formed here, but just because they don't have western roots doesn't mean that they exist as groups without any kind of cultural element to them. There are plenty of groups that formed in the absence of western culture, such as groups like the Eastern Orthodox Church which Hank recently joined.
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Old 04-11-2017, 05:56 PM   #10
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Default Re: Christian Research Institute - Hank Hanegraaff

Hank joining the Eastern Orthodox church says a lot about the state of degraded Christianity.
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:25 PM   #11
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Hank joining the Eastern Orthodox church says a lot about the state of degraded Christianity.
And just what state is that? Hank's decision is only notable because he purports to be an evangelical Christian apologist. If he doesn't identify as an evangelical Christian then he has no place speaking on the behalf of evangelical Christians.

Personally, I don't care what group he associates with. We have a poster here who is Orthodox. It doesn't bother me one bit.

The issue with Hank is that he was lauded as an evangelical Christian who was willing to speak on behalf of the LC. Now it is questionable as to whether or not he ever sought to represent the views of evangelical Christians. If an Orthodox Christian or a Catholic were to affirm the views of the LC or WL, it really isn't saying anything. WL's strongest criticism was reserved for such groups. Do you not see the irony in this?
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Old 04-11-2017, 06:27 PM   #12
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Default The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

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Hank joining the Eastern Orthodox church says a lot about the state of degraded Christianity.
Hanegraaff's joining the Eastern Orthodox Church says a lot about the state of the LC. Because given Hanegraaff's intimate involvement with the LC, his joining the Orthodoxy is essentially a rejection of it.
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Old 04-11-2017, 09:02 PM   #13
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Default The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

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Hank joining the Eastern Orthodox church says a lot about the state of degraded Christianity.
Hank flip-flopping on LSM says a lot about the state of the degraded Recovery.
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Old 04-12-2017, 09:28 AM   #14
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Default The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

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Hank joining the Eastern Orthodox church says a lot about the state of degraded Christianity.
You might as well have said that the hail storm we experienced early Tuesday morning says a lot about the state of the Trump administration.

The fact is that there have been changes of affiliation of significant persons over time and they do not mean anything other than a perception of something that cannot simply be boiled down to anything as simplistic as "degraded Christianity." But if you think that is a reason to change to the EOC, then why aren't you moving? I have enough experience with the LRC to say with confidence that there is much degradation there. I would say that this is evidence that it is simply part of Christianity. But I do not think that Christianity is really so degraded as the LRC thinks.

In fact, significantly less. Or more truly, not really much degraded. It is still the church and to speak in such a negative way about it says more about the one speaking than it does about the church.
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Old 04-12-2017, 11:05 AM   #15
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And just what state is that? Hank's decision is only notable because he purports to be an evangelical Christian apologist. If he doesn't identify as an evangelical Christian then he has no place speaking on the behalf of evangelical Christians.
IIRC we had a forum poster who once worked with Hank Hanegraaff.

Anybody remember the thread?
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:00 AM   #16
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Default The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

On p.30 of the "We were wrong" issue, CRI says the LC ecclesiology is intensely local, rejecting any ecclesiastical interference from outside the city, much less the country.

How can a supposed watcher of the flock be any more obtuse? In the LC tight operational control is a hallmark. In my region we tried to give a conference on one of WL's books but Anaheim said it was the wrong one. "Just re-speak the latest conference", we were told. And they sent out a couple of brothers to help us. Then we got dunned for their plane fare.

The CRI may feign stupidity but I'm sure the Communists are well aware of the outside control by the LC over their membership.
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Old 04-13-2017, 03:08 AM   #17
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Hank flip-flopping on LSM says a lot about the state of the degraded Recovery.
I think they could care less who Hank joins, as long as they have stacks of "We were wrong" essays piled in the back room. The LC doesn't really care who wrote it, as long as they have an "orthodox evangelical" membership card.

The LC has a dilemma with the rest of the flock, which impinges on their recruiting efforts, and they solve it with the same "box-shuffling" compartmentalised reality as with the issue of women. They have one box that says, "Watchman Nee was taught by women" and another that says "We as followers of Watchman Nee don't allow women to teach." The trick is, just don't open both boxes at the same time.

Likewise, they can say, "Joe Smith of XYZ Seminary is part of the Great Abomination" and, "Joe Smith of XYZ Seminary accepts us as card-carrying, legitimate evangelical Christian expression." Just don't say both statements together, as that might produce some cognitive dissonance.

But you can see why they hold both positions: each is helpful to recruiting. Just don't pay attention to the contradiction.
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:32 AM   #18
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I think they could care less who Hank joins, as long as they have stacks of "We were wrong" essays piled in the back room. The LC doesn't really care who wrote it, as long as they have an "orthodox evangelical" membership card.
I think the issue the LCM is going to have to deal with sometime down the road is the fact that Hank has stated that he joined the EOC as a result of his experiences in China. So while I think it's true that they don't necessarily care who he associates with, he has now made the claim that his interaction with the LC led him to non-LC group. Certainly, the blendeds couldn't be too happy about that, especially since I recall one of them stating that Hank was starting to "see God's economy."

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Likewise, they can say, "Joe Smith of XYZ Seminary is part of the Great Abomination" and, "Joe Smith of XYZ Seminary accepts us as card-carrying, legitimate evangelical Christian expression." Just don't say both statements together, as that might produce some cognitive dissonance.

But you can see why they hold both positions: each is helpful to recruiting. Just don't pay attention to the contradiction.
I don't recall if WL ever made specific mention of the EOC, but I have no doubt he would have put it in the same category as the RCC. Seemingly, Hank is unaware or chooses to ignore some of WL's harsh statements made towards groups like what he is now a part of. Why would Hank choose to be supportive of someone who viscously attacked such Christian groups? That is why I don't think Hank is someone to be taken seriously.

Taking a step back, I think a lot of the issue arises from how the blendeds have attempted to defend WL's teaching of deification. Why do they so adamantly defend his teaching? It's mainly for the simple reason of it being something that WL taught. But this is exactly what puts them in the awkward position of having to point to groups like the EOC and RCC in order to show 'precedent' for what WL taught (even though I'm sure there is a vast difference between the EO teaching of Theosis and what WL taught).

Consider Hank though, his full-time job is apologetics. Obviously, people like him are not the type who are likely to be attracted to home-grown theology. Yet whatever happened through his interaction with the LCM was enough to have a significant effect on his views. So I think this created a dilemma for him. He didn't want to join the LCM like his colleague Paul Young did. Rather, he probably wanted something more 'structured', and thus for whatever reason moved in the direction of the EOC.

What is so striking is that he so easily viewed the EOC as a viable and natural alternative to the LCM. I don't think that would be the choice for most who leave the LCM, but we can't forget that Hank is apparently completely sold on WL's teaching of deification. So perhaps he wanted a group that embraces a similar teaching, but is interested in supporting and talking about the teaching instead of telling people not to "get in their mind about it." In the LC, people are taught to embrace various teachings for the sole reason of it being something that WL taught. They are not given an actual reason as to why the teaching would be helpful or worth discussing.
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Old 04-13-2017, 07:25 PM   #19
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Hanegraaff's joining the Eastern Orthodox Church says a lot about the state of the LC. Because given Hanegraaff's intimate involvement with the LC, his joining the Orthodoxy is essentially a rejection of it.
I'm wondering if the Hankster is going to submit to the One Publication Edict of the Eastern Orthodox Church, as issued by their Pope (they call him Patriarch) I am quite certain that another "We Were Wrong" paper is forthcoming from CRI, except this time it we be a driveling, sniveling, kowtowing admission that they were so wrong about that bastion of "authentic Christian expression", the Eastern Orthodox Church!

No worries for the rank and file Local Churchers. They will hear NOTHING of this affair...unless of course they wonder over to our little popcorn stand here. One can only hope and pray.

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Old 04-14-2017, 02:03 PM   #20
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It is still the church and to speak in such a negative way about it says more about the one speaking than it does about the church.
I'd looked at the recent forum thread on Spurgeon putting a curse on the denominations. Specifically he said "a plague on denominationalism". But apparently we have to wait a week to comment so I'l just post here.

First off, the "denominations" didn't exist for the first 1,500 years of Christianity. There were no Lutherans before Luther. So did Luther err? Was "justification by faith" a rebellion against God-established order. Hardly, we'd say. So why bash his followers for taking a name? "We're the church who follows Luther's teachings on justification, but we don't have a name"? Would that help?

No, I think the person putting a plague on denominations just wants to bash his fellows, who conveniently provide an easy target. But they are the church of Jesus. So why not receive them as God has done, in Christ Jesus? Why put a plague upon them? Does this really please the Father? I personally don't think so.

And for all its faults, which perhaps are many, the Eastern Orthodox stands as a continuous testimony of Jesus Christ. How many cults has the EO spawned? Not many, that I can think of. Can the church that followed Luther, Spurgeon included, make such a claim?

And the Abbyssinean (Ethiopian) Orthodox Church, and the Armenian Orthodox Church and many others who trace their spiritual lineage to the first centuries. . . easy enough to judge them. But why judge the church of Jesus?

No, we are called to bless, to bless and not to curse.

On a mostly un-related note, the analysis of the LSM LC by the CRI was abysmal; it gives "shallow" a new standard... but if Hank Hanegraaff aka the Bible Answer Man wants to join the Eastern Orthodox as part of his spiritual journey why not. I don't see the two issues as related. So let's bless his journey.

But his writing is poor. (That is not a curse but a simple assessment.) He & Gretchen Passantino lack critical thinking skills. Perhaps they've been fuddled by funding issues. . . if you look at his lifestyle (lavish) and his writing (marginal to poor), well what can I say?

Too much of the talk is on the church and not Christ, and too much of what we call "Christ" is unrelated to scripture's portrayal. Look at the LSM LC "Christ" - doesn't care for the poor, doesn't care for basics of human rightness or righteousness ("we don't care about right and wrong"), doesn't care for one's neighbors but "the church", spends considerable time bashing "Christianity", hides its cultural lenses as if they were "transformed" away magically, doesn't respect scripture (calling it "fallen human concepts"), is proud, won't learn from anyone or humble itself before its fellows.
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Old 04-14-2017, 03:52 PM   #21
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Consider Hank though, his full-time job is apologetic. Obviously, people like him are not the type who are likely to be attracted to home-grown theology. Yet whatever happened through his interaction with the LCM was enough to have a significant effect on his views. So I think this created a dilemma for him. He didn't want to join the LCM like his colleague Paul Young did. Rather, he probably wanted something more 'structured', and thus for whatever reason moved in the direction of the EOC.
Two things characterize the LSM LC: ignorance and fervor. And that seems to be amplified on both counts in China. Probably that did have an effect on him.

Maybe the EOC gave him an opportunity to be more fervent, without the ignorance.

When I say ignorance I mean this: the RCC split off from the EOC and largely lost the Fathers. Martin Luther broke off from the RCC and got separated further still from the historical church. So the Calvinist/Lutheran "me and my Bible" became a cover for "me and my concepts, with the Bible in an occasional supporting role". Witness Lee is my star example -- concepts galore. We should give it a name: "The Church of Witness Lee's Home-made Theology". Let people know what is really inside.

But Hank liked the enthusiasm. So he looked for something to get enthusiastic about.
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Old 04-14-2017, 04:37 PM   #22
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But Hank liked the enthusiasm. So he looked for something to get enthusiastic about.
I toured a Greek Orthodox Church a couple years back. It was a great educational experience for someone like me who might be otherwise ignorant to what such groups believe and practice.

What I discovered is that they are well aware of the criticism that gets directed at them for things like the usage of icons or the veneration of Mary. And they are quite willing to explain their views and answer questions. To say they are an enthusiastic bunch would be an understatement.

The LCM is also a group full of enthusiasm. But they feel that they are entitled to exist in a realm free of being questioned or having to explain their views. As such, when the enthusiasm is always accompanied by an evasiveness to questions, it acts as a people deterrent.

So I don't really blame Hank for choosing the EOC over the LC. Decisions like that are basically inevitable as long as the LC chooses to act the way it does.
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:12 AM   #23
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People here may or may not realise that joining the EOC is a big commitment. It's not like choosing to visit a different church every Sunday. There is a process of conversion. It's almost like joining a different religion entirely.

Conversion to the Orthodox Church from another Christian denomination, or from a non-Christian Faith or from a background of no religious practice is a very serious matter both for the Orthodox Church and for the person seeking to convert to Orthodoxy. It is, essentially, a lifetime mutual commitment.

https://www.greekorthodox.org.au/?page_id=3875

So when you say he has "rejected the LC", he has also rejected whatever Christian/evangelical/open/free group you belong to as well.
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:13 AM   #24
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I'd looked at the recent forum thread on Spurgeon putting a curse on the denominations. Specifically he said "a plague on denominationalism". But apparently we have to wait a week to comment so I'l just post here.

First off, the "denominations" didn't exist for the first 1,500 years of Christianity. There were no Lutherans before Luther. So did Luther err? Was "justification by faith" a rebellion against God-established order. Hardly, we'd say. So why bash his followers for taking a name? "We're the church who follows Luther's teachings on justification, but we don't have a name"? Would that help?
This statement is a little misleading, eh?

Church history tells us of believers all over the civilized world assembling together for worship and fellowship outside of the RCC.

Eg the Waldensians were named (at least by historians) after Peter Waldo.
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Old 04-15-2017, 05:32 AM   #25
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Maybe the EOC gave him an opportunity to be more fervent, without the ignorance.

When I say ignorance I mean this: the RCC split off from the EOC and largely lost the Fathers. Martin Luther broke off from the RCC and got separated further still from the historical church. So the Calvinist/Lutheran "me and my Bible" became a cover for "me and my concepts ...
I'm not understanding this. It seems like you are lamenting some lost connection to the primitive church. Having studied the history of the Papal church, I can see little that resembled the N.T. Wycliffe, Hus, Luther, and others nobly tried to reform the organized church, but theologically went back to the scriptures as their starting point. By their time, Rome had lost all connection with it, except for the monk scribes transcribing the Latin.
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Old 04-15-2017, 08:05 AM   #26
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So when you say he has "rejected the LC", he has also rejected whatever Christian/evangelical/open/free group you belong to as well.
I don't belong to any group. But even if I did, it wouldn't matter to me.

LC coworkers invested a ton of effort and resource into actively wooing Hanegraaff for years, wining and dining him, jetting him all over the world visiting churches in China, Taiwan, Korea, Europe, and around the US, giving him reserved seating at conferences and trainings (even joining coworkers meetings), instructing members to pray for him and his dwindling radio ministry, coaching him in theosis.

And after all that, Hanegraaff rejects the LC and joins Eastern Orthodoxy. That's embarrassing.
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Old 04-15-2017, 09:29 AM   #27
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Default Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

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Just finished listening to both portions on the Bible Answer Man. What a snow job. Take Hank H. around the world. Wine and dine him. Let him speak in your meetings and even speak about quoting the Bible. Get two hours of HH helping you sell your package.

Behind the screens, quarantine Titus for speaking differently and promoting the Bible. Use lawyers, lawsuits and courts to drive out the believers you do not feel are one with the program. Publicly talk about the seeking of oneness with all the believers.

After what I have passed through this was utterly revolting. I do not like smiley faces; but, if I had one puking I would use it. Sorry for my graphic frankness.
I found a smiley for Norm --
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LC coworkers invested a ton of effort and resource into actively wooing Hanegraaff for years, wining and dining him, jetting him all over the world visiting churches in China, Taiwan, Korea, Europe, and around the US, giving him reserved seating at conferences and trainings (even joining coworkers meetings), instructing members to pray for him and his dwindling radio ministry, coaching him in theosis.

And after all that, Hanegraaff rejects the LC and joins Eastern Orthodoxy. That's embarrassing.
I found it quite interesting to read both Norm's and Koinonia's accounts of how LSM solicited ole Hankygraft's glowing endorsement of their ministry. For the right price, one can buy most anything.
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Old 04-15-2017, 11:05 AM   #28
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Default Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

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I found it quite interesting to read both Norm's and Koinonia's accounts of how LSM solicited ole Hankygraft's glowing endorsement of their ministry. For the right price, one can buy most anything.
Isn't money quite the common denominator when it comes to Living Stream Ministry? It's been speculated for years for CRI to come out with the "We Were Wrong Article", there was a dollar figure attached to influence CRI to write such an article.
Now with Hank's conversion, the attitude may be "there's nothing to see here." To ask any questions, "you're on the wrong tree". Why Hank didn't become a LC member, "he didn't have the vision". That's usually the attitude for anyone who meets, but doesn't remain in the local churches.
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Old 04-15-2017, 02:47 PM   #29
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I don't belong to any group. But even if I did, it wouldn't matter to me.

LC coworkers invested a ton of effort and resource into actively wooing Hanegraaff for years, wining and dining him, jetting him all over the world visiting churches in China, Taiwan, Korea, Europe, and around the US, giving him reserved seating at conferences and trainings (even joining coworkers meetings), instructing members to pray for him and his dwindling radio ministry, coaching him in theosis.

And after all that, Hanegraaff rejects the LC and joins Eastern Orthodoxy. That's embarrassing.
Koinonia,

Have you not read "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together"?

How do you square your not belonging to the apostles exhortation?

Now in regard to the Hankster.... you are assuming that introducing him, Eliott, Getchen, and CRI staff to the local churches was for the purpose of having them join. Not so. As one of the leading christian apologists organizations and one whose voice reaches around the world including to China, where the government uses anything to justify persecution of believers, the objective was due diligence to provide Hank and staff with a first person experience to the practises and teachings in the local churches. He did and the result was the article "We Were Wrong".

I know that irks you but, Hank never said he would join the Lord's Recovery, nor did say he agreed with all the teachings either. What he said was the previous objections were misunderstandings and running a more thorough review including one of the original researchers (Gretchen) they determined they were wrong about the teachings of the local churches CRI previously labeled heretical and the ministry and the teachings do fall within the pale of Christian orthodoxy and the believers should be embraced as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Fact is, short of Hank joining this forum and engaging in the unbridled attacking of Witness Lee, nothing he would do could ever quench the insatiable appetite for accusing and slandering those believers in the local churches. And of course you justify in your head that attacking the messenger is also fair game. Yet, I don't think Hank really cares what this forum thinks. Rather, your assertions serve one purpose, they simply reinforce the beliefs you already own.

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Old 04-15-2017, 09:46 PM   #30
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Koinonia,

Have you not read "forsake not the assembling of yourselves together"?

How do you square your not belonging to the apostles exhortation?
I do not forsake assembling together with other believers.

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Now in regard to the Hankster.... you are assuming that introducing him, Eliott, Getchen, and CRI staff to the local churches was for the purpose of having them join. Not so. As one of the leading christian apologists organizations and one whose voice reaches around the world including to China, where the government uses anything to justify persecution of believers, the objective was due diligence to provide Hank and staff with a first person experience to the practises and teachings in the local churches. He did and the result was the article "We Were Wrong".

I know that irks you but, Hank never said he would join the Lord's Recovery, nor did say he agreed with all the teachings either. What he said was the previous objections were misunderstandings and running a more thorough review including one of the original researchers (Gretchen) they determined they were wrong about the teachings of the local churches CRI previously labeled heretical and the ministry and the teachings do fall within the pale of Christian orthodoxy and the believers should be embraced as fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

Fact is, short of Hank joining this forum and engaging in the unbridled attacking of Witness Lee, nothing he would do could ever quench the insatiable appetite for accusing and slandering those believers in the local churches. And of course you justify in your head that attacking the messenger is also fair game. Yet, I don't think Hank really cares what this forum thinks. Rather, your assertions serve one purpose, they simply reinforce the beliefs you already own.

Drake
Drake, you make a lot of assumptions about me. You do not know anything about me, with whom I meet, or what "irks" me, or what is in my head. With respect, you seem to be completely ignorant of the endless courting and wooing of Hank Hanegraaff by LC coworkers (taking place until very recently). It had nothing to do with "We Were Wrong" because it lasted for years beyond the publication of "We Were Wrong."

And do you actually believe that it is "attacking the messenger" to discuss Hanegraaff's rejecting the LC to join Eastern Orthodoxy? It has always been a tenuous position for the LC to hang so much of their defense before evangelicals on Hanegraaff's position. It is even more tenuous now that Hanegraaff has left evangelicalism to join Eastern Orthodoxy. Does that not cause you to question his credibility as an apologist at all? And how ironic that Hanegraaff credits his joining Eastern Orthodoxy to his contact with the LC (what he terms "the progeny of Watchman Nee").
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Old 04-16-2017, 12:37 AM   #31
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I don't belong to any group. But even if I did, it wouldn't matter to me.

LC coworkers invested a ton of effort and resource into actively wooing Hanegraaff for years, wining and dining him, jetting him all over the world visiting churches in China, Taiwan, Korea, Europe, and around the US, giving him reserved seating at conferences and trainings (even joining coworkers meetings), instructing members to pray for him and his dwindling radio ministry, coaching him in theosis.

And after all that, Hanegraaff rejects the LC and joins Eastern Orthodoxy. That's embarrassing.
A Christian who does not belong to any group? Interesting.
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Old 04-16-2017, 02:22 AM   #32
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I do not forsake assembling together with other believers.



Drake, you make a lot of assumptions about me. You do not know anything about me, with whom I meet, or what "irks" me, or what is in my head. With respect, you seem to be completely ignorant of the endless courting and wooing of Hank Hanegraaff by LC coworkers (taking place until very recently). It had nothing to do with "We Were Wrong" because it lasted for years beyond the publication of "We Were Wrong."

And do you actually believe that it is "attacking the messenger" to discuss Hanegraaff's rejecting the LC to join Eastern Orthodoxy? It has always been a tenuous position for the LC to hang so much of their defense before evangelicals on Hanegraaff's position. It is even more tenuous now that Hanegraaff has left evangelicalism to join Eastern Orthodoxy. Does that not cause you to question his credibility as an apologist at all? And how ironic that Hanegraaff credits his joining Eastern Orthodoxy to his contact with the LC (what he terms "the progeny of Watchman Nee").
Well Koinonia,

Since you don't belong to any group, apparently you are some sort of free Lancer when it comes to assembling together. As such, why do you really care where Hank settles his roots?

You don't.

Therefore, you are simply using Hank's "conversion" as an occasion to ding the local churches. Else you are just engaging in gossip and being a busybody.

Hank's assessment of the local churches has not changed. He has not rejected the local churches in favor of EOC. You are trying to make it sound as an either or decision or a cause and effect. That is a fake news story.

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Old 04-16-2017, 05:38 AM   #33
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Default Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to Eastern Orthodox Church!

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Well Koinonia,

Since you don't belong to any group, apparently you are some sort of free Lancer when it comes to assembling together. As such, why do you really care where Hank settles his roots?

You don't.

Therefore, you are simply using Hank's "conversion" as an occasion to ding the local churches. Else you are just engaging in gossip and being a busybody.

Hank's assessment of the local churches has not changed. He has not rejected the local churches in favor of EOC. You are trying to make it sound as an either or decision or a cause and effect. That is a fake news story.

Drake
HankyGraft's assessment of LSM's teachings have nothing to do with the Biblical evaluations of a mature Evangelical teacher.

Follow the money Drake!

And now it is you who are "shooting the messenger" because Koinonia is part of the organic body of Christ, and not some organization. Oh the irony! Isn't it great to be a part of LSM? You get to have it both ways. Why? Because Lee did.

The first evangelical "expert" you employed was a vampire expert, the latest one is now with the Eastern Orthodox. Perhaps you should to a better job vetting your "experts."
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:43 AM   #34
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A Christian who does not belong to any group? Interesting.
What Drake and Evangelical fail to remember is that under the premises by which most Christians are said to "belong" to any group, they also belong to no group because they do not have any formal membership. Just those who come and meet with them.

I think they would have a difficult time carrying on one of their business meetings if there was suddenly an influx of "outsiders" who were clearly Christian such that the majority of Christians present might not simply agree to carry on in the manner that they have been. That is the way they did them in Dallas years ago. Just a quick business meeting at the end of a regular church meeting in which they ask that everyone who votes to carry on the manner that they have been to say "Amen."

What if more would not say "amen" than those who do? They have no basis for exclusion of them and therefore would loose their control.

Unless they have gotten wise and now also have formal membership.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:50 PM   #35
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HankyGraft's assessment of LSM's teachings have nothing to do with the Biblical evaluations of a mature Evangelical teacher.

Follow the money Drake!

And now it is you who are "shooting the messenger" because Koinonia is part of the organic body of Christ, and not some organization. Oh the irony! Isn't it great to be a part of LSM? You get to have it both ways. Why? Because Lee did.

The first evangelical "expert" you employed was a vampire expert, the latest one is now with the Eastern Orthodox. Perhaps you should to a better job vetting your "experts."

Not in his capacity as a vampire expert. This vampire expert was an ordained Priest in the Methodist church. They did not seem to have a problem with him. Anyway, vampire experts were reputable members society in the middle ages, even up until the late 1800's. There services were consulted whenever the village or town thought that a vampire might be responsible for sickness or death.
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Old 04-17-2017, 07:55 PM   #36
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What Drake and Evangelical fail to remember is that under the premises by which most Christians are said to "belong" to any group, they also belong to no group because they do not have any formal membership. Just those who come and meet with them.

I think they would have a difficult time carrying on one of their business meetings if there was suddenly an influx of "outsiders" who were clearly Christian such that the majority of Christians present might not simply agree to carry on in the manner that they have been. That is the way they did them in Dallas years ago. Just a quick business meeting at the end of a regular church meeting in which they ask that everyone who votes to carry on the manner that they have been to say "Amen."

What if more would not say "amen" than those who do? They have no basis for exclusion of them and therefore would loose their control.

Unless they have gotten wise and now also have formal membership.
I don't know what is so hard about this to understand, why it has to be so complicated. If a person says "I have no group" it means "I am not meeting anywhere".
If a person says "I have no job" it means they are not working anywhere. If a person says "I have no school" it means they are not going to school.

Let me illustrate what many Christians are like. They say "I have no church, but I am part of the invisible church, the body of Christ".

This is like saying:

"I have no job, but I am part of the invisible workforce".
"I have no school, but I am part of the invisible school".
"I have no wife, but I have an invisible wife".

We can see how the logical absurdity of these statements extends to the church as well.

For us, we interpret "I have no group" to mean "I am not meeting anywhere". That is the correct and proper way to interpret it. Remember that in the local churches we do not see a distinction between visible and invisible church. There is no such thing as an invisible church. That's like saying there is a visible marriage and an invisible marriage. There is no such thing as an invisible marriage. There are many that believe that the real church is invisible and the visible church (even ours, who claim to be the visible church, not a visible sect or visible cult) is not the real church.

There was a time when everyone went to church on Sunday, hundred years ago perhaps. Now, the majority of Christians are living in a delusion of being part of the invisible church while not meeting anywhere in a practical way. I believe the statement "I have no group" is related to this false doctrine. They have the church in theory but not in practice.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:13 PM   #37
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There is one thing that the opposers may wish to acknowledge:
Until Hank makes a statement of how "we (in the LC) are wrong", no one here can say that he has rejected the LC.

Some posters here are erroneously assuming that Hank chose the EOC over the LC or that he rejected one in favor of the other. This is based upon a strawman argument that Hank had a binary choice. That is was one or the other, and that choice of one is mutually exclusive of the other.

It could be said that Hank rejected Protestantism and Catholicism as well. Hank may have chosen the EOC for a variety of reasons. He may or may not have done it out of rejection of the LC. In as much it was a rejection of the LC, it was also a rejection of Protestantism or Catholicism. He may have joined the EOC without rejecting anyone at all.

There are many who meet in denominations yet still follow the ministry of Nee/Lee. They also may meet and fellowship with the LC on an adhoc basis.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:22 PM   #38
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There is one thing that the opposers may wish to acknowledge:
What's an "opposer?" Oh, yeah. That's another circa-1976 Witness Lee term. Glad to see you are growing.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:26 PM   #39
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What's an "opposer?" Oh, yeah. That's another circa-1976 Witness Lee term. Glad to see you are growing.
What term would you prefer that I use?
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:42 PM   #40
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What term would you prefer that I use?
How about "people who disagree with me who may in fact be correct," perhaps shortened to "those who disagree with me."

But "opposers" is one-dimensional and demeaning and intentionally so. Lee was nothing if not someone who understood how to manipulate with words.
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Old 04-17-2017, 08:44 PM   #41
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There are many who meet in denominations yet still follow the ministry of Nee/Lee. They also may meet and fellowship with the LC on an adhoc basis.
Or Non-Denominations. Yes, I know some who fit that description.
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:00 AM   #42
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How about "people who disagree with me who may in fact be correct," perhaps shortened to "those who disagree with me."

But "opposers" is one-dimensional and demeaning and intentionally so. Lee was nothing if not someone who understood how to manipulate with words.
Can't I use the word opposer to mean "someone who disagrees with me"?
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:50 AM   #43
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Can't I use the word opposer to mean "someone who disagrees with me"?
Do what you want.

I just get tired of people parroting Lee's speech patterns and thinking it makes them sound profound.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:23 AM   #44
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The LSM denomination church in my city talked to me about old Hank like he was the end all, be all of Christian teaching and doctrine.

I've never heard of him during my time in the non-denominational churches.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:23 AM   #45
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I don't know what is so hard about this to understand, why it has to be so complicated. If a person says "I have no group" it means "I am not meeting anywhere".
If a person says "I have no job" it means they are not working anywhere. If a person says "I have no school" it means they are not going to school.

Let me illustrate what many Christians are like. They say "I have no church, but I am part of the invisible church, the body of Christ".

This is like saying:

"I have no job, but I am part of the invisible workforce".
"I have no school, but I am part of the invisible school".
"I have no wife, but I have an invisible wife".

We can see how the logical absurdity of these statements extends to the church as well.

For us, we interpret "I have no group" to mean "I am not meeting anywhere". That is the correct and proper way to interpret it. Remember that in the local churches we do not see a distinction between visible and invisible church. There is no such thing as an invisible church. That's like saying there is a visible marriage and an invisible marriage. There is no such thing as an invisible marriage. There are many that believe that the real church is invisible and the visible church (even ours, who claim to be the visible church, not a visible sect or visible cult) is not the real church.

There was a time when everyone went to church on Sunday, hundred years ago perhaps. Now, the majority of Christians are living in a delusion of being part of the invisible church while not meeting anywhere in a practical way. I believe the statement "I have no group" is related to this false doctrine. They have the church in theory but not in practice.
Evangelical and Drake,

You cannot have it both ways. You cannot condemn me for belonging to a group, and then condemn me for not belong to a group.

I have fellowship with believers regularly (almost daily) face-to-face and by other means. What is it that you expect of me?
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:24 AM   #46
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The LSM denomination church in my city talked to me about old Hank like he was the end all, be all of Christian teaching and doctrine.
This sounds right. But I wonder how they will report it now?
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:45 AM   #47
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I don't know what is so hard about this to understand, why it has to be so complicated. If a person says "I have no group" it means "I am not meeting anywhere".
Actually, he did not (that I recall) say "I have no group" but rather "I belong to no group."

There is a difference. All that means is that he is not bound by some kind of external sign (like "membership") to a particular group. In some churches, the membership is many times greater than the participation. There are also groups where many participate in material ways that have never become members. And many of those are not just making it easy to leave. They are just being part of the church without the stipulation of membership.

That is all that "not belonging to a group" means to me. but I suspect that he still considers himself part of some group and they consider him part of it as well. Probably at least as much if not more than the people who continue to hang on around the LRC. But not because they have been scared into thinking that there is no other place to go.
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:56 AM   #48
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Can't I use the word opposer to mean "someone who disagrees with me"?
Only if your thinking is a one-dimensional as to presume that disagreement means to be adverse to you personally. That disagreement means only to attack and cannot mean to persuade.

And only if you think that you and your opinions cannot be separated. And only if you are so sure of your opinions as the "gospel truth" that you cannot fathom that they might be incorrect and worthy of reconsidering.

I did not get to this place in my thinking by presuming that my thoughts were simply correct and that anyone who suggests disagreement is personally attacking me and the "truth" which I always hold to.

And don't come back with a "you seem so sure of yourself" argument. I am only sure that we are not really so sure about so many things outside of the fact that Jesus is God, come in the flesh, born of Mary, crucified by man, died, buried, resurrected, and now seated at the right hand of the Father. That belief in him is salvation. (But belief is more than mental assent.)
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:35 PM   #49
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The LSM denomination church in my city talked to me about old Hank like he was the end all, be all of Christian teaching and doctrine.

I've never heard of him during my time in the non-denominational churches.
Likewise in Washington state. In home meetings, the glowing comments of Hank was with the same measure of respect and awe presently lauded upon the blendeds.
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Old 04-18-2017, 12:44 PM   #50
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How about "people who disagree with me who may in fact be correct," perhaps shortened to "those who disagree with me."

But "opposers" is one-dimensional and demeaning and intentionally so. Lee was nothing if not someone who understood how to manipulate with words.

Or those with a contrary view. In my mind to use contrary is a more acceptable description than to use opposer.
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Old 04-18-2017, 02:58 PM   #51
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Evangelical and Drake,

You cannot have it both ways. You cannot condemn me for belonging to a group, and then condemn me for not belong to a group.

I have fellowship with believers regularly (almost daily) face-to-face and by other means. What is it that you expect of me?
Sorry Koinonia, I posed my question to ask for clarification, not to condemn you. If one lived in Paul's time, in the New Testament, in the city of Corinth, they might say "I have a group, it's called the church in Corinth".
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:02 PM   #52
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Or those with a contrary view. In my mind to use contrary is a more acceptable description than to use opposer.
How does the "contrarian ones" sound?
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Old 04-18-2017, 03:27 PM   #53
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Sorry Koinonia, I posed my question to ask for clarification, not to condemn you. If one lived in Paul's time, in the New Testament, in the city of Corinth, they might say "I have a group, it's called the church in Corinth".
Evangelical,

Witness Lee rightly taught that the church in Corinth is all the believers in Corinth, and that all believers in Corinth constitute the church in Corinth. I agree with this. When Witness Lee first came to this country, there was no thought about putting this name ("the church in Los Angeles") onto a building. For how can one call his group "the church in Los Angeles"? That is totally absurd. At most, you can claim to represent the church in Los Angeles. But realizing that all believers in a given city are the church in that city and claiming that your group is the church in that city are completely different propositions.

As for your assertion that a Corinthian believer would claim the church in Corinth as his "group"--the example does not apply. There is a difference between saying 2000 years ago, "I have a group, the church" and saying in 2017, "My group is the church."
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Old 04-18-2017, 04:49 PM   #54
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Evangelical,

Witness Lee rightly taught that the church in Corinth is all the believers in Corinth, and that all believers in Corinth constitute the church in Corinth. I agree with this. When Witness Lee first came to this country, there was no thought about putting this name ("the church in Los Angeles") onto a building. For how can one call his group "the church in Los Angeles"? That is totally absurd. At most, you can claim to represent the church in Los Angeles. But realizing that all believers in a given city are the church in that city and claiming that your group is the church in that city are completely different propositions.

As for your assertion that a Corinthian believer would claim the church in Corinth as his "group"--the example does not apply. There is a difference between saying 2000 years ago, "I have a group, the church" and saying in 2017, "My group is the church."
Koinonia, in the local churches I have met in various homes and meeting halls within the same city. And each place refers to themselves as "the church in Los Angeles". It is correct for them to say that because that is what they are, according to the view that "all believers in Corinth constitute the church in Corinth". It is right for all and any believers in a city to say they are part of the church in that city. But then whether or not they are in the church practically or only in theory is another matter. Any church which calls itself "the church in Corinth" within that city is rightfully the church in that city.
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:52 PM   #55
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Koinonia, in the local churches I have met in various homes and meeting halls within the same city. And each place refers to themselves as "the church in Los Angeles". It is correct for them to say that because that is what they are, according to the view that "all believers in Corinth constitute the church in Corinth". It is right for all and any believers in a city to say they are part of the church in that city. But then whether or not they are in the church practically or only in theory is another matter. Any church which calls itself "the church in Corinth" within that city is rightfully the church in that city.
I have met in a lot of churches which do not follow your doctrine of names. The Holy Spirit's presence is just as real there and sometimes more so that some LCM meetings I've been to. There is no practical evidence to support your assertion that groups that name themselves a certain way are more churches that others. And there is no biblical doctrine to support this either.

I honestly do not see what you hope to gain by this tedious and closed-minded insistence of this silly doctrine. The LCM movement has been around for over half a century, crowing about the local ground. It had its chance to prove the viability of its claims and it has failed--miserably. Its doctrines have produced division after division. In doing so it has wrecked the spiritual lives of many. Yet you continue on to champion it.

You guys had your chance. Now you are just making noise and being nuisances. You know the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting different results. Why don't you try something different? Repeating Witness Lee hasn't worked. Maybe something else will. At least you might spare us all the hell of boring us to death.

As Billy Hoyle said, "You're not getting to me, you're just making my eardrums hurt."
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Old 04-18-2017, 05:57 PM   #56
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I have met in a lot of churches which do not follow your doctrine of names. The Holy Spirit's presence is just as real there and sometimes more so that some LCM meetings I've been to. There is no practical evidence to support your assertion that groups that name themselves a certain way are more churches that others. And there is no biblical doctrine to support this either.

I honestly do not see what you hope to gain by this tedious and closed-minded insistence of this silly doctrine. The LCM movement has been around for over half a century, crowing about the local ground. It had its chance to prove the viability of its claims and it has failed--miserably. Its doctrines have produced division after division. In doing so it has wrecked the spiritual lives of many. Yet you continue on to champion it.

You guys had your chance. Now you are just making noise and being nuisances. You know the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing and expecting different results. Why don't you try something different? Repeating Witness Lee hasn't worked. Maybe something else will. At least you might spare us all the hell of boring us to death..
I think the "silly doctrine" has merit as long as you and others can provide no better alternatives. But I think your subjective viewpoint is the worst, and I would prefer Westboro Baptist to your view because I can go into any Buddhist temple and "feel" the "Holy Spirit". It's there, that's why people are hooked on those religions, or are you really that naive? With these churches you are visiting, how do I know that your "feeling the Holy Spirit" is not a demon tickling your nose or giving you a back rub?

Defining a church based upon the subjective interpretation of who feels the Holy Spirit's presence and who doesn't, is not reliable. Firstly, can the Spirit's presence be felt? and if so, how do we know it is the Holy spirit, and how much of it depends upon ourselves, or even a counterfeit feeling given by a demon?

Our definition of church is absolute, objective, and has strong biblical support. We can point to our church and say that is "the church", regardless of how people are feeling, or what name or doctrine we identify with.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:11 PM   #57
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Defining a church based upon the subjective interpretation of who feels the Holy Spirit's presence and who doesn't, is not reliable. Firstly, can the Spirit's presence be felt? and if so, how do we know it is the Holy spirit, and how much of it depends upon ourselves, or even a counterfeit feeling given by a demon?

Our definition of church is absolute, objective, and has strong biblical support. We can point to our church and say that is "the church", regardless of how people are feeling, or what name or doctrine we identify with.
Wait a minute. Hold on. Didn't Witness Lee claim time and again that the "rich experience of the Spirit" in the local churches validated his claims about its special standing?

Sure he did. Over and over and over. Get your facts straight, Evangelical. You don't even jibe with the guy you claim to follow.

And basing on one's fellowship on the presence of God in one's experience is a lot better than basing it on some lame-brain definition of the church that isn't even biblical, repeated by a guy who doesn't even know what his MOTA actually said.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:19 PM   #58
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Wait a minute. Hold on. Didn't Witness Lee claim time and again that the "rich experience of the Spirit" in the local churches validated his claims about its special standing?

Sure he did. Over and over and over. Get your fact straight, Evangelical. You don't even jibe with the guy you claim to follow.

And basing on one's fellowship on the presence of God in one's experience is a lot better than basing it on some lame-brain definition of the church that isn't even biblical, repeated by a guy who doesn't even know what his MOTA actually said.
The bible shows objectivity and subjectivity together, in right proportion. You seem to be rejecting objectivity. I'm not discounting a degree of subjectivity and I think Lee's words should be read in the wider context of his objective views. It would be shortsighted of you to claim that I don't "jibe with the guy" based upon my one post. I believe both objectivity and subjectivity is important. But you would be wrong that it is "not biblical" because the locality churches in the bible are plain to see. Even if we do not agree on what that locality should look like, the locality is plain to see nonetheless. I mean, relatively speaking, there is more evidence in the bible for churches in localities (not named by anything other) than the "born again experience" doctrine, which is a doctrine based upon a very short dialogue between Christ and one man.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:23 PM   #59
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I'm not discounting a degree of subjectivity and I think Lee's words should be read in the wider context of his objective views. I believe both objectivity and subjectivity is important. But you would be wrong that it is "not biblical" because the locality churches in the bible are plain to see. Even if we do not agree on what that locality should look like, the locality is plain to see nonetheless.
Local churches are biblical. What is not biblical is the way you apply the idea. The Bible also supports house churches. And there is no reason, other that a desire to insist on local churches, to claim those house churches were actually local churches.

Further there is no prescription for local churches in the Bible. But in your insistence on them you run roughshod over other doctrines that the Bible does plainly prescribe, such as allowing people to be fully persuaded in their own minds. You have no right to insist on things the Bible does not insist on. And it most plainly does NOT insist on local churches.

Sorry, the Bible just does NOT support your beliefs like you wish it did. Your claims are false and non-biblical and, ironically, divisive. Unity around the LCM's warped local ground doctrine will not reflect the unity of the Spirit, but a false unity of man's mistaken and divisive doctrines.

In the end all it does is make you proudly think you are right and, along with that, predictable division. It has produced no unity whatsoever.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:26 PM   #60
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Koinonia, in the local churches I have met in various homes and meeting halls within the same city. And each place refers to themselves as "the church in Los Angeles". It is correct for them to say that because that is what they are, according to the view that "all believers in Corinth constitute the church in Corinth". It is right for all and any believers in a city to say they are part of the church in that city. But then whether or not they are in the church practically or only in theory is another matter. Any church which calls itself "the church in Corinth" within that city is rightfully the church in that city.
Can one call themselves "the church in _____". Is it meeting practically? I beg to differ. Where I live there could be an assembly of 30-40 calling themselves the Church in _____ in a city of 50,000+. Is that all the Christians in the city that can meet practically as the church? The answer is no.
I was in a home meeting. I wanted to invite a Christian family to the home meeting. I checked with the host and I was told "we don't have enough room". Several months later there's another family that's in the ministry. There's room for them. Hmmm!
Let's have another example. A brother from the Church in Moses Lake wanted to meet with the Church in Ephrata. He wasn't welcome because the locality he's from (Moses Lake) isn't in the ministry.
What do we have here? A case of the ministry becoming the lampstand.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:27 PM   #61
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Local churches are biblical. What is not biblical is the way you apply the idea. The Bible also supports house churches. And there is no reason, other that a desire to insist on local churches, to claim those house churches were actually local churches.

Further there is no prescription for local churches in the Bible. But in your insistence on them you run roughshod over other doctrines that the Bible does plainly prescribe, such as allowing people to be fully persuaded in their own minds. You have no right to insist on things the Bible does not insist on. And it most plainly does NOT insist on local churches.

Sorry, the Bible just does NOT support your beliefs like you wish they did. Your claims are false and non-biblical.
We apply it in the same way that Paul did. We call a church by its locality name, nothing else. All of his letters are addressed to localities, not denominations. Paul would never write a letter to a denomination, or a sect, that bore "another name". The bible refers to all churches by their locality. Paul's letters, Revelation, that's biblical. There is no case of the church being referred to by anything other. This is biblical support. But I suppose people will continue to justify their definition of church according to their own experience, fuzzy feelings, spine chills, or whatever. But they won't be able to differentiate between the words church, sect, and cult ,because they don't have a clear understanding of what the church is. Eventually they will end up meeting in an LGBT church just because they feel the Spirit there. Maybe they sympathize with its doctrines, I don't know. But our definition of such a church can protect against this happening, because it is not based upon feeling, doctrine, or quality.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:34 PM   #62
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Can one call themselves "the church in _____". Is it meeting practically? I beg to differ. Where I live there could be an assembly of 30-40 calling themselves the Church in _____ in a city of 50,000+. Is that all the Christians in the city that can meet practically as the church? The answer is no.
I was in a home meeting. I wanted to invite a Christian family to the home meeting. I checked with the host and I was told "we don't have enough room". Several months later there's another family that's in the ministry. There's room for them. Hmmm!
Let's have another example. A brother from the Church in Moses Lake wanted to meet with the Church in Ephrata. He wasn't welcome because the locality he's from (Moses Lake) isn't in the ministry.
What do we have here? A case of the ministry becoming the lampstand.
That doesn't change the definition of church. It does not mean the Roman Catholics are right, they are the true church in the city, or that all or none of the churches in the city are "the church".

I think it is easy for Christians to say they (wherever they meet) are a church, but hard for them to say what or who is not a church.

An interesting question to ask pastors or priests of churches is "are you the true and genuine local church in the city as per the bible". If they are, they should have no problem saying they are.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:46 PM   #63
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The bible refers to all churches by their locality. There is no case of the church being referred to by anything other. This is biblical support.
Except for the church in Philemon's house (Phi 1:2), the church in Aquila and Priscilla's house (1 Cor 16:19), the church in Nympha's house (Col 4:15) and again the church at Aquila and Priscilla's house (Rom 16:5). There were referred to not by city, but by the tenants of the house they met in. So your above claim is FLAT FALSE.

Again, there is no compelling reason to believe these house churches were actually local churches, that is unless you are trying to push that doctrine, which Lee was and you are. Note Aquila and Priscilla had a church in their house in Corinth and also at their house in Rome. Do you really think Paul would refer to two different local churches by the names of the same two people that happened to house each? That doesn't make sense. Just look at the wording. Paul in Romans greets a bunch of saints. And then greets the church in Aquila's and Priscilla's house. It doesn't make sense from context and wording that the church in their house corresponded to the whole church in Rome. Paul greeted more people than could fit in the house of two itinerant missionaries, and there had to be many more saints in the church. How could the whole church meet there?

No, the only safe bet is that local churches and house churches were different. House churches blow a gaping hole in your insistence on local churches. Any fair-minded person can see that. Their existence should temper your boldness. The fact it doesn't is evidence of fanaticism and unreasonable, divisive dogma.
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Old 04-18-2017, 06:56 PM   #64
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Except for the church in Philemon's house (Phi 1:2), the church in Aquila and Priscilla's house (1 Cor 16:19), the church in Nympha's house (Col 4:15) and again the church at Aquila and Priscilla's house (Rom 16:5). There were not referred to by city, but by the tenants of the house they met in. So your above claim is FLAT FALSE.

Again, there is no compelling reason to believe these house churches were actually local churches, that is unless you are trying to push that doctrine, which Lee was and you are. Note Aquila and Priscilla had a church in their house in Corinth and also at their house in Rome. Do you really think Paul would refer to two different local churches by the names of the same two people that happened to house each? That doesn't make sense. Just look at the wording. Paul in Romans' greets a bunch of saints. And then greets the church in Aquila's and Priscilla's house. It doesn't make sense from context and wording that the church in their house corresponded to the whole church in Rome. Paul greeted more people than could fit in the house of two itinerant missionaries, and there had to be many more saints in the church. How could the whole church meet there?

No, the only safe bet is that local churches and house churches were different. House churches blow a gaping hole in your insistence on local churches. Any fair-minded person can see that. Their existence should temper your boldness. The fact it doesn't is evidence of fanaticism and unreasonable, divisive dogma.
What is clear to me is that there is no denominational names given to those house churches. Paul does not even say "the house church of..." The church in the household of such and such must reside in some locality. They are the church in the locality and also the church in the house.

In the Recovery, we sometimes refer to the church, or meeting, in such a such a person's house. Yet we believe we are all part of the one same church in the city. A church in a house is also a locality church.

What we cannot find, I believe, is any example of a church being larger than a city. When referring to more than one locality, scripture reverts to the plural word - churches. This rules out the idea of a church encompassing a number of localities, as most denominations do.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:05 PM   #65
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What is clear to me that there is no denominational names given to the house churches. Paul does not even say "the house church of...". It is the "church in the household of...". It's both, actually. The church in the household of such and such must reside in some locality. They are the church in the locality and also the church in the house.

In the Recovery, we sometimes refer to the church, or meeting, in such a such a person's house. Yet we believe we are all part of the one same church in the city. A church in a house is also a locality church.

What we cannot find, I believe, is any example of a church being larger than a city.
Now you are tap dancing on very thin ice. First you said the Bible did not reference any church except by city. I gave you four examples that proved that claim was false, so now you try to change the focus.

It is not any more true to say the church in the house is the same as the church in the city as it is to say the church in the city is the same as the universal church. Yes, they are the same in nature, but they are different.

The Bible plainly allows churches based on the boundaries of houses. Given that there are usually more than one house per city this makes it reasonable to claim that there can be more than one church in a city. (Don't get me wrong, there is still the church in the city, but there is also the church in the house and they are not made up of exactly the same group of people.)

House churches place reasonable doubt on your claims. To insist on locality in the light of them shows you to be in the realm of fanaticism.

As for your weird and unbiblical obsession with names, whatever. Grow up. Get a life. Do something that shows you have some sense.

You've been shown twice tonight to not know what your talking about. Maybe you should take a break.
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Old 04-18-2017, 07:20 PM   #66
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Now you are tap dancing on very thin ice. First you said the Bible did not reference any church except by city. I gave you four examples that proved that claim was false, so you try to change the focus.

It is not any more true to say the church in the house is the same as the church in the city as it is to say the church in the city is the same as the universal church. Yes, they are the same in nature, but they are different.

The Bible plainly allows church in houses. Given that there are usually more than one house per city this make it reasonable to claim that there can be more than one church in a city. (Don't get me wrong, there is still the church in the city, but there is also the church in the house and they are not made up of exactly the same group of people.)

House churches place reasonable doubt on your claims. To insist on locality in the light of them show you to be in the realm of fanaticism.

As for your weird and unbiblical obsession with names, whatever. Grow up. Get a life. Do something that shows you have some sense.

You've been shown twice tonight to not know what your talking about. Maybe you should take a break.
Of course the bible allows house churches. We, meet in houses, to an outsider, we are sometimes considered a "house church". But we do not let the house define us, but the locality. Just like Paul never writes a letter to "all the house churches in Corinth", but to the "church in Corinth". We see ourselves as one church. You are focusing on the nitty gritty about house churches to ignore the greater obvious - churches are defined by locality.

It is not correct to say they are different, and rather illogical. For example, take this verse:

Col 4:15 Salute the brothers which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

You seem to be read this as though the church in Laodicea and the church in Nymphas's house are different churches.

But Ellicott's commentary says "He is obviously a man of importance, a centre of Church life, in the Christian community at Laodicea."

So the church in Nymphas's house is part of the church in Laodicea. We should not count them as two churches, but the one and same church in Laodicea.

Going to Revelation, we see the church in Laodicea mentioned.
Revelation 3 "To the Church in Laodicea " Is the church in Nymphas's house mentioned? Not at all. Revelation is silent about house churches.
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Old 04-18-2017, 08:38 PM   #67
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Of course the bible allows house churches. We, meet in houses, to an outsider, we are sometimes considered a "house church". But we do not let the house define us, but the locality. Just like Paul never writes a letter to "all the house churches in Corinth", but to the "church in Corinth". We see ourselves as one church. You are focusing on the nitty gritty about house churches to ignore the greater obvious - churches are defined by locality.

It is not correct to say they are different, and rather illogical. For example, take this verse:

Col 4:15 Salute the brothers which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house.

You seem to be read this as though the church in Laodicea and the church in Nymphas's house are different churches.

But Ellicott's commentary says "He is obviously a man of importance, a centre of Church life, in the Christian community at Laodicea."

So the church in Nymphas's house is part of the church in Laodicea. We should not count them as two churches, but the one and same church in Laodicea.

Going to Revelation, we see the church in Laodicea mentioned.
Revelation 3 "To the Church in Laodicea " Is the church in Nymphas's house mentioned? Not at all. Revelation is silent about house churches.
Evangelical, you cannot rightfully take "the church in Los Angeles" as your definition because you are not the definition of the church in Los Angeles. You are only a part of it.
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Old 04-18-2017, 10:02 PM   #68
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Evangelical, you cannot rightfully take "the church in Los Angeles" as your definition because you are not the definition of the church in Los Angeles. You are only a part of it.
An "assembly in a house in Los Angeles" is the same as "an assembly in Los Angeles". According to the New Testament, an assembly in a house or in a locality is the right definition of a church.
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Old 04-19-2017, 06:44 AM   #69
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Of course the bible allows house churches. We, meet in houses, to an outsider, we are sometimes considered a "house church".
Paul wasn't an outsider, and yet he still recognized the house church. He did not make it clear that the house church and the local church were the same thing. You are stretching the limits of plausibility, so it's clear your definition is what it is because you have a predisposition to believe in locality, which is circular reasoning. The fact is another interpretation is reasonable. And that interpretation is that house churches are valid boundaries of churches.

If the church in the house were the same as the church in the city Paul would never have worded his references the way he did. If you wrote a letter to the church in the whole city, and the church in the house were the same thing, you would not have written along with other greetings, "greet the church in Joe's house." You would have said something like "greet the rest of the church, including those which meet at Joe's house." If you believed that the only valid church was the local church you would not have referred to houses churches in the manner Paul did--on four different occasions. That is, not if you wanted the matter of locality to be clear, and manifestly Paul didn't seem to care about that.

Some say local churches, some say houses churches too. Neither interpretation is completely verifiable. Both are reasonable in their own way, but neither is a clear winner. If the Lord wanted us to be sure that only local churches are valid he never would have allowed houses churches to be mentioned in the way they were, and he also would have made it more clear that local churches are the only option. But he left the door open to believe that house churches were valid. He must have had a reason. And it seems to me one reason must be to tell us "Don't be contentious about how others meet because you cannot be sure that you are completely right." In other words, he leaves doors open precisely because he doesn't want us to act like you and the LCM do about these matters.

If there are two or more reasonable interpretations of something in the Bible then his command to "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" should prevail. You have no right to push locality the way to do given the uncertainty of the issue. You proclaim you have certainty when reasonable minds realize you can't have it. The net result is your contentious attitude about the situation, and your unreasonable insistence on things you cannot be certain of. That's the reason the attitude of the LCM is such an issue. (And this is an example of how the pressure in the LCM to conform to an idea pushes them to be unreasonable.)

Yes, you can make a case for local churches. But that case does not win hands down. There are other reasonable interpretations. Given that you should respect them. But you don't. That's the problem.

I'm not saying your interpretation is wrong (I think it is, but that's not my point). I'm saying given the uncertainty of the matter you have no right to expect others to embrace it, and in doing so you violate tenets of oneness which are deeper and more important that just being "practically one."
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:36 PM   #70
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Evangelical, you cannot rightfully take "the church in Los Angeles" as your definition because you are not the definition of the church in Los Angeles. You are only a part of it.
It appears more appropriate to say an assembly that takes the name as "the church in Los Angeles" is not the same as expressing of the church in Los Angeles. Calling yourselves the church in Los Angeles or the church in Bellevue is just taking a name to register by.
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Old 04-19-2017, 12:38 PM   #71
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An interesting question to ask pastors or priests of churches is "are you the true and genuine local church in the city as per the bible". If they are, they should have no problem saying they are.
No, but what I have heard is saying they're part of the local Body of Christ.
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Old 04-19-2017, 03:34 PM   #72
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No, but what I have heard is saying they're part of the local Body of Christ.
My follow on question to that would be "Which part and how many parts are there?". We then get to the point of the matter which is they believe there are many churches , and not "one church" as the bible teaches. That is because they are sects (groups within a group) and not "the church", as Christ said he will build "my church" (not churches).
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Old 04-19-2017, 07:45 PM   #73
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No, but what I have heard is saying they're part of the local Body of Christ.
The Body of Christ is universal, spanning space and time. The churches are local.

Those who use the term "local Body of Christ" want it both ways: They are leveraging the fact that they are members of the universal Body of Christ and apply it to their division, the very divisions that separate its members.

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Old 04-20-2017, 12:25 PM   #74
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How does the "contrarian ones" sound?
That sounds more acceptable than opposer. Just the term opposer gives the impression of someone disagreeing 100% which I believe is not an accurate description.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:31 PM   #75
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You cannot condemn me for belonging to a group, and then condemn me for not belong to a group.
Belonging to a group implies being rooted in one place. We should be those always looking to where the Lord may lead. In His sovereignty one door may close and another door opens.
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Old 04-20-2017, 12:57 PM   #76
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My follow on question to that would be "Which part and how many parts are there?". We then get to the point of the matter which is they believe there are many churches , and not "one church" as the bible teaches. That is because they are sects (groups within a group) and not "the church", as Christ said he will build "my church" (not churches).
You would that all the body be a head. Or a hand. Or a foot.

We are the body, and members in particular.

But you would prefer to marginalize all who are not you. Make them of no importance. Cut of a toe. Or a finger. Or even an ear.

Maim the body for the sake of unity.
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Old 04-20-2017, 03:14 PM   #77
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You would that all the body be a head. Or a hand. Or a foot.

We are the body, and members in particular.

But you would prefer to marginalize all who are not you. Make them of no importance. Cut of a toe. Or a finger. Or even an ear.

Maim the body for the sake of unity.
I do not see anything in Scripture which indicates that a group of Christians i.e. a denomination is a "hand" or a "foot". A view which says this denomination over here is a foot and this one over here is a hand is incorrect.
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:10 PM   #78
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I do not see anything in Scripture which indicates that a group of Christians i.e. a denomination is a "hand" or a "foot". A view which says this denomination over here is a foot and this one over here is a hand is incorrect.
You are straining at the analogy while missing the point. Paul used the analogy of a body with constituent parts (hand, foot, head, eyes, etc.) to demonstrate that we need each other. When you argue that it does not apply to groups of Christians relative to other groups of Christians is to insist that it may not be OK to belittle or dismiss a single member, but doing it wholesale to an entire group is OK.

So cutting of a single member is a travesty that Paul spoke against, but if you can do it on a grand scale, like spiritual genocide, it is entirely OK. Arguing that the hand/foot/finger/head analogy does not properly fit is far from Carte Blanche to engage in such genocide. I was hoping that you had better reasoning skills than a 7th grader that might not even be able to grasp the idea as a person as being represented by a foot. Instead, you are unable to take an example that we understand and broaden it, even if it does not seem to fit because of the nature of the words.

You seem OK with the idea that the one body might have multiple feet, hands, etc. Even many more than the typical number in a real body. You don't have fits over the idea that an assembly might have 50 people that could all be referenced as hands. Yet you get your mind blown at the slightly errant use of the analogy when applied on a grander scale because it implied that a particular assembly might just be feet, or one foot. Pull your head out! Accept the limitations of the analogy and work with it. So an assembly is not simply a foot. But it is a collection of hands, feet, eyes, ears, and on and on, that is part of the body of Christ.

And you are willing to just throw them all into the trash because they do not follow your formula for naming churches. Or eating/not eating meat offered to idols. Or allowing a woman to speak in a church.

In other words, you are looking for reasons to invalidate Christians. Lots of them. In fact, most of them. They don't follow the teachings of your taste, which come from a very singular and certain teacher. His name adorns your bookshelves. Yet you think that you do not violate Paul's admonition of being too much for one teacher. (One which does not invalidate you or your group, but points to an error that needs correction.)
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Old 04-21-2017, 12:59 PM   #79
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My follow on question to that would be "Which part and how many parts are there?". We then get to the point of the matter which is they believe there are many churches , and not "one church" as the bible teaches. That is because they are sects (groups within a group) and not "the church", as Christ said he will build "my church" (not churches).
I prefer to use the word "assemblies" rather than "churches". As we know there is one church, but many assemblies.
Talking about part or parts, when a pastor I knew refers to the local Body of Christ, he was referring to Christians living in Renton, Wa where this assembly meets locally. For any Christian that considered themselves part of the Body of Christ, they were welcome to meet.
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Old 04-21-2017, 01:45 PM   #80
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OBW"You are straining at the analogy while missing the point. Paul used the analogy of a body with constituent parts (hand, foot, head, eyes, etc.) to demonstrate that we need each other. When you argue that it does not apply to groups of Christians relative to other groups of Christians is to insist that it may not be OK to belittle or dismiss a single member, but doing it wholesale to an entire group is OK."

but, but, but OBW,

It is not the local churches that divide the christians.... it is the denominations that in practice own they do not need EACH OTHER!

Ask the Southern Baptist Conference if they need the Pentecostal (Assemblies of God) conference to function.... they don't. Pick any two denominations, same thing. That is precisely the reason they exist independently, meet independently, manage independently. They would apply the members of the body verses to themselves in practice, not to each other... else, how could they continue to remain separated?

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Old 04-22-2017, 10:02 PM   #81
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You are straining at the analogy while missing the point. Paul used the analogy of a body with constituent parts (hand, foot, head, eyes, etc.) to demonstrate that we need each other. When you argue that it does not apply to groups of Christians relative to other groups of Christians is to insist that it may not be OK to belittle or dismiss a single member, but doing it wholesale to an entire group is OK.
I agree that Christians need each other. So why the divisions/denominations? That is a much stronger argument for my view than yours.


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So cutting of a single member is a travesty that Paul spoke against, but if you can do it on a grand scale, like spiritual genocide, it is entirely OK. Arguing that the hand/foot/finger/head analogy does not properly fit is far from Carte Blanche to engage in such genocide. I was hoping that you had better reasoning skills than a 7th grader that might not even be able to grasp the idea as a person as being represented by a foot. Instead, you are unable to take an example that we understand and broaden it, even if it does not seem to fit because of the nature of the words.

You seem OK with the idea that the one body might have multiple feet, hands, etc. Even many more than the typical number in a real body. You don't have fits over the idea that an assembly might have 50 people that could all be referenced as hands. Yet you get your mind blown at the slightly errant use of the analogy when applied on a grander scale because it implied that a particular assembly might just be feet, or one foot. Pull your head out! Accept the limitations of the analogy and work with it. So an assembly is not simply a foot. But it is a collection of hands, feet, eyes, ears, and on and on, that is part of the body of Christ.
I am sure that Paul was not thinking about denominations when he wrote about the different parts of the body. Your fault, for misapplying the verse out of context.

I can easily show that my view is logical and yours is not.

Imagine there is a city with 1000 Christians. We believe it is one church with 1000 Christians. That number can grow as more people are converted.

With your view, suppose there are 10 denominations and exactly 100 people in each denomination. You would say there are 10 churches in the city. Assume the number of denominations grows, up to 20 denominations, but the number of Christians remains the same at 1000. There are now 20 churches with 50 in each church.

Take it to the limit - it is possible to have 1000 churches with 1 person in each church. That 1 person in each church is likely to be the pastor of each church, waiting for his church to grow in numbers so he can preach to some congregation and a conduct a church service. It might seem an unlikely, even silly, suggesting to contemplate - but the fact is that your definition of church allows for such a possibility, and mine does not. Therefore my definition is superior and yours is logically flawed.

Which of these two views are better representing the body of Christ that Paul talked about? Is it 1000 churches with 1 person in each church? Or is it 1 church of 1000.

Your view cannot handle the extreme cases - unlikely to happen, but possible.

Your view must also, by default, accept the LGBT churches, for example, as being a different "part of the body".


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In other words, you are looking for reasons to invalidate Christians. Lots of them. In fact, most of them. They don't follow the teachings of your taste, which come from a very singular and certain teacher. His name adorns your bookshelves. Yet you think that you do not violate Paul's admonition of being too much for one teacher. (One which does not invalidate you or your group, but points to an error that needs correction.)
As Drake alluded to, the denominations themselves, even their very existence, divides them. They invalidate themselves, when they stray from the New Testament way.

I can ask you a simple question which I know you cannot answer - give us one good bible verse that gives a biblical reason why the Baptist and Presbyterian churches should not be one church. Is the Bible their basis for division or is it something else?
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Old 04-23-2017, 04:50 AM   #82
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OBW"You are straining at the analogy while missing the point. Paul used the analogy of a body with constituent parts (hand, foot, head, eyes, etc.) to demonstrate that we need each other. When you argue that it does not apply to groups of Christians relative to other groups of Christians is to insist that it may not be OK to belittle or dismiss a single member, but doing it wholesale to an entire group is OK."

but, but, but OBW,

It is not the local churches that divide the christians.... it is the denominations that in practice own they do not need EACH OTHER!

Drake
Drake, Drake, Drake,

Can't you, for just one second, remember your own sordid history as you lecture others on the body of Christ, and the needing of other believers?

When the Lee family got caught up in scandal after scandal, from Taipei payoffs to Daystar Motorhomes to molesting the volunteer sisters, did LSM ever get quarantined? Yet LSM so easily cut off whole regions of churches over frivolous meany details like playing drums, writing books, and preferring clean sheets. The Corinthian believers may have lost sight that they needed every finger and toe, but your leadership at LSM was willing to perform hari kari and spill out all the guts from their own "body" at that farcical Whistler kangaroo court.

By what authority can you judge whole denominations for their names? Take a step back and consider the attitude of your own leaders. Your own leadership in Anaheim has proven over and over that "in practice" you don't need any one else, except, of course, good lawyers and "cooperative" judges.
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Old 04-23-2017, 05:06 AM   #83
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As Drake alluded to, the denominations themselves, even their very existence, divides them. They invalidate themselves, when they stray from the New Testament way.

I can ask you a simple question which I know you cannot answer - give us one good bible verse that gives a biblical reason why the Baptist and Presbyterian churches should not be one church. Is the Bible their basis for division or is it something else?
Let me ask you a simple question which I know you cannot answer -- why are there now numerous cities with multiple LC's? Many cities now have two, three, and even four churches all claiming to be the true LC, standing on the ground of oneness, and having nearly identical teachings and history, yet have no fellowship with one another. The Baptist and Presbyterian churches in the same city have far less animus, and far more fellowship, than any of these LC's, yet you readily condemn them, when they should be condemning you, but they don't.
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Old 04-23-2017, 09:00 AM   #84
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Let me ask you a simple question which I know you cannot answer -- why are there now numerous cities with multiple LC's? Many cities now have two, three, and even four churches all claiming to be the true LC, standing on the ground of oneness, and having nearly identical teachings and history, yet have no fellowship with one another.
During my time in the LC I was told about a situation like this somewhere in the South - Tennessee? Texas? I don't remember. The point of the story was that the LSM elders actually do care about the ground of oneness - so if another local church started before the LSM denomination church, that non-LSM church would rightfully lay claim to that ground. As it turns out, that local church WAS established before the LSM church in that city, so the elders stepped in to merge the churches.

To no ones surprise, these two churches didn't merge - as the story goes
that church ultimately didn't want to merge (wonder why?)

For this reason the LSM church was able to claim the true ground of oneness (in their world) and it stands so today.

I'm sure certain members can come and try to poke holes, delegitimize, make accusations, to try and hang me from the rafters, but this was my experience and what I was told by a leading brother. Simple as that.
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Old 04-23-2017, 04:46 PM   #85
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During my time in the LC I was told about a situation like this somewhere in the South - Tennessee? Texas? I don't remember. The point of the story was that the LSM elders actually do care about the ground of oneness - so if another local church started before the LSM denomination church, that non-LSM church would rightfully lay claim to that ground. As it turns out, that local church WAS established before the LSM church in that city, so the elders stepped in to merge the churches.

To no ones surprise, these two churches didn't merge - as the story goes
that church ultimately didn't want to merge (wonder why?)

For this reason the LSM church was able to claim the true ground of oneness (in their world) and it stands so today.
The ground of oneness is according to a ministry. That's what makes them ministry churches. Many assemblies can say we meet according to the ground. Question is, what is the ground?
I know of two assemblies in Accra that met according to the ground. One is pro-LSM and the other is non-LSM.
Same can be said about other places.
Why don't assemblies in the same locality don't want to merge? I'm sure one of the issues that comes up is the matter of leadership and submitting to leadership. As well as what is the focus of the assembly?
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Old 04-24-2017, 12:16 PM   #86
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OBW"You are straining at the analogy while missing the point. Paul used the analogy of a body with constituent parts (hand, foot, head, eyes, etc.) to demonstrate that we need each other. When you argue that it does not apply to groups of Christians relative to other groups of Christians is to insist that it may not be OK to belittle or dismiss a single member, but doing it wholesale to an entire group is OK."

but, but, but OBW,

It is not the local churches that divide the christians.... it is the denominations that in practice own they do not need EACH OTHER!
Talk about getting lost in semantics. In the way of functioning, you are no less saying that about any other — if anyone says it in a way that is as egregious as you claim.

So if you also don't need them, then what makes your group more precious? I know! It's the holy water sprinkled over your no-name name formula of saying you don't divide as you dismiss everyone else!

You can't claim that one of the latest groups to come along and separate from everyone else is not the one dividing the Christians — if they really are as divided as you claim. Of course, that is the whole thing. You argue that they are more divided than they are. Your claim that they don't need the others is derived from what? Your opinion? I have not seen anything anywhere (including posted here) that makes your claim meaningful. And if you choose to return with some quote from someone, then you are just grandstanding. But even if you succeed in finding such a statement, I suspect that it will be little more than an opinion by a person. Not a statement made by an entire group.

Your example of the SBC is one of the more foolish. There isn't even any control by the Conference on its members. They are free to join or leave as they see fit. They don't even fit the definition of a denomination as you would have it.
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Old 04-24-2017, 01:41 PM   #87
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I agree that Christians need each other. So why the divisions/denominations? That is a much stronger argument for my view than yours.

I am sure that Paul was not thinking about denominations when he wrote about the different parts of the body. Your fault, for misapplying the verse out of context.

I can easily show that my view is logical and yours is not.

Imagine there is a city with 1000 Christians. . . .
And we will stop there because the example is just too ridiculous to be worthy of supporting a doctrinal error.

Why the divisions? Because we don't agree on everything. Just like you don't. You are deluded into thinking that naming yourself on a magical formula gives you the standing to dismiss everyone else while deriding anyone else that might do the same thing to you or any other. There is no passage, paragraph or even verse (other than taken out of context) that grants special privilege to certain Christians because they got the name right or presume a certain boundary for the inclusion of Christians in their assembly.

As for your example of a city with 1,000 Christians . . . .

The first problem is that there is no church of 1. But even shrinking it in such a manner to 5 is to use a fantasy as your basis for truth.

The second problem is that an example of this kind is does not address the causes of the problem (even if you stop at 10 people per group).

But the primary problem is that you find the existence of 10 assemblies v 1 assembly to be a problem. Ignoring the extremist position of a very large number of very small groups, none of actual the assemblies (forget the forced shrinkage) that are in a general area think of themselves as the only proper church and the others as not church. (Always liked the old joke about the Church of Christ thinking that only they would be in heaven.) No. They recognize that the others are also part of the universal body of Christ. They disagree over points of doctrine or practice, but do not invalidate the others because of those differences.

And your little, new-kid-on-the-block group is really no different than the others. With one serious exception. You actually think that you have the standing to invalidate all the others. To demand that they come your way.

That your discovery of dirt means that they all have to come your way no matter how laughable so many of your doctrinal positions are. And how egregiously you disdain everyone else for not joining with you. (They don't do that. Only the "we are the true church" types do those things.)

You like what ifs. So I'll do one.

What if it actually happened. If everyone somehow got the idea that all in a city (or in a subset of a city that provided no more than a reasonable number meeting on one place) joined into one assembly.

You don't want what you would get. You would cease to be the ones in charge. You would first have to browbeat everyone into submission. And if that didn't work, you would have to rely on your headquarters in Anaheim to keep the influx of new people who disagree about Witness Lee from voting out the elders who want to run the show. You might not get some of your favorite doctrines. Christ would no longer be simply the Holy Spirit because too many true theologians of upright character would not tolerate such nonsense to be taught from the assembly that they attend.

Why would this be the likely outcome? Because to get your "everyone meeting together on the ground" you also would have to force them to accept so many horrible doctrines. And everyone would also have to desire to learn from Lee rather than the host of teachers available outside.

But it wouldn't happen. You might get a lot of people idealizing over the notion that all meeting together would be so "spiritual." But once you start tossing Lee and his doctrines into the mix, it would end.

Now the speck that is currently the LRC is the minority within the beast they created. No one reading HWFMR in the meetings. Most of the "open-mic" time eliminated because there is some concern that just anyone saying just anything could cause many to think that the group (and the Bible) agreed.

So what would you do?

Probably leave and start your own group that kept Lee as the MOTA, and was busy declaring all those in that one big church as "degraded Christianity" and your new splinter group as "God's unique move on the earth."

I can assure you that just getting the few that are regulars with the two assemblies that I have met with over the past 30 years in the DFW area would empty out the LSM bookstores, and end HWFMR, and errant doctrines like Christ became the Holy Spirit in the area. This would not be a matter of being mean. It would be the result of the local conference of spiritual leaders that would discuss and pray and declare that "it seems good to us and the Holy Spirit." It would end. Not more denigrating those who aren't meeting with us as "mooing cows" or the Whore of Babylon. No more teaching that the uniqueness of the Trinity is virtually irrelevant and Christ is just the Holy Spirit.

And if you think that appealing to Anaheim would help, I fear that Anaheim might itself be buried under a similar sea of change of direction.

In short, your fantasy that all the Christians in the world could leave the denominations and just meet as the church in their cities would look anything like the LRC or hold to any its doctrines would collapse. It would be like the Road Runner cartoon where the coyote goes into a large pipe which keeps getting smaller and smaller, then when he lets himself out of a faucet, is only 4 inches tall and grabs the Road Runner by the leg, but then holds up a sign that says "Now I've got him what do I do with him?" The answer is obvious. "Nothing." Because you don't have either the force of numbers or the force of spiritual right to run anything that you are not allowed to run by the group.

And I can assure you that nothing of consequence that comes from Lee would remain.

- - - -

Might a meeting with a lot of people who have different doctrinal leanings be a desirable thing? Actually, yes. But because of what it is, it simply would not look like any of the groups. And it would be unable to force strict following of a single teaching source. It might not always do the Lord's table in the form that you like, or that I like. (Actually, I like several different ways. And the LRC's way is not out of the question — just not some special, unique, and only way.)
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Old 04-24-2017, 02:05 PM   #88
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OBW, "Your example of the SBC is one of the more foolish. There isn't even any control by the Conference on its members. They are free to join or leave as they see fit. They don't even fit the definition of a denomination as you would have it."

OBW, the members can come an go as they please. We are discussing a denomination as an entity.

A SBC church cannot freely meet with an Assembly of God.... if they value their membership in the SBC conference. And if some zealous pastor wants to bolt because he spoke in tongues one night and take his SBC congregation with him to the nearest Pentecostal church he will find that contractually he cannot and the conference will send in a new pastor, approved by the conference of course. Every denomination is organized that way to a lesser or greater degree. There are many things in play: Belief system, Revenue intake, Control of Tangible Assets (like the property, buildings, and buses, etc.).

I have been involved in the organizational workings of denominational churches and their conferences so I am aware firsthand of the conversations associated with them.

I will give you one other example: the Pentecostal Holiness, the Assembly of God, and the Church of God denominations are very close in beliefs. The first two are for all intents and purposes identical with no daylight between them. For years they talked of merging.... "no need to have two denominations when there is no difference between us" was the thought. They talked but they did not merge and decided their assemblies should not to meet together because other things came in... conference headquarters, leadership positions, revenue streams, who gets to call the shots, logistics, etc.

That is the reality.... just call denominations for what they are.. they are divisions, organized that way by design. If after properly identifying them for what they are you still believe that denominations are right then do as Evangelical has suggested: Create more denominations and build the walls higher! At least then, you would be consistent. You do not have a scriptural leg to stand on by trying to equate a denomination as a member of a body. That is wrong in so many ways.

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Old 04-24-2017, 02:26 PM   #89
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A SBC church cannot freely meet with an Assembly of God.... if they value their membership in the SBC conference.
First, assemblies do not, by definition, meet with assemblies. But they do join together in many things without any consideration that it is the dreaded SBD, AOG, MSP, Anglicans, Lutherans, etc. (or gasp, the RCC) that are either behind it or also engaged. You are claiming false restrictions on the practice of faith by so many. They are not so restricted as you claim. That is simply a lie.

Only people assemble. And there would be no excommunication of a member of an SBC for meeting, even somewhat regularly, with and AOG assembly. And doubtful that such would happen for an RCC member also meeting with any of the others.

You have made a false statement.

Your analogy of a pastor taking his congregation to a different assembly presumes that the pastor dictates all things about his congregation.

But it might surprise you to know that there are times all over our area in which pastors who are part of different groups preach at the assemblies of other groups. Presbyterians at Bible churches. Baptists at Presbyterian. Free group preachers of Arminian doctrine preaching at assemblies of Calvinist doctrine. Even an Anglican greeted openly as guest preacher at the assembly I meet with (very non-Anglican). And it is not just for show.

No, I doubt that your elders were invited to speak anywhere else under these situations. But that is probably because they are not part of the family of churches whose leaders join together regularly to discuss their differences, and their heart for Christ and the communities in which they meet and their prayers for each other and for the spread of the gospel. Instead, you elders are closed. They meet only with themselves and do only what Anaheim allows.

They ought to join with them. They might learn that the lies spread by Lee and now the BBs about the sectarianism of Christianity is a fabrication.
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Old 04-24-2017, 02:30 PM   #90
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I will give you one other example: the Pentecostal Holiness, the Assembly of God, and the Church of God denominations are very close in beliefs. The first two are for all intents and purposes identical with no daylight between them. For years they talked of merging.... "no need to have two denominations when there is no difference between us" was the thought. They talked but they did not merge and decided their assemblies should not to meet together because other things came in... conference headquarters, leadership positions, revenue streams, who gets to call the shots, logistics, etc.

That is the reality.... just call denominations for what they are.. they are divisions, organized that way by design. If after properly identifying them for what they are you still believe that denominations are right then do as Evangelical has suggested: Create more denominations and build the walls higher! At least then, you would be consistent. You do not have a scriptural leg to stand on by trying to equate a denomination as a member of a body. That is wrong in so many ways.

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Drake, what do you think is the difference between this and the kind of divisions that occur within the LC?
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Old 04-24-2017, 02:36 PM   #91
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I will give you one other example: the Pentecostal Holiness, the Assembly of God, and the Church of God denominations are very close in beliefs. The first two are for all intents and purposes identical with no daylight between them. For years they talked of merging.... "no need to have two denominations when there is no difference between us" was the thought. They talked but they did not merge and decided their assemblies should not to meet together because other things came in... conference headquarters, leadership positions, revenue streams, who gets to call the shots, logistics, etc.
Yes, you can find a case where there was discussion of a merger and the truth always is that people are the problem. Just like the people who are running your show. How could you pretend to take on an entire assembly of say, 1,000 who suddenly came your way?

First, it would only happen if much more than the doctrine of dirt was what was being agreed on. You will find that your mantra that dirt solves everything is just a pretty mannequin propped-up in front of a junk yard of bad doctrines. You will never find any significant persons who will be fooled by the doctrine of dirt. It has too many leeches hanging onto it. The claim that it is spiritually preferable is shown to be the lie that it is when the baggage that comes with it is seen.

You tell me how just agreeing to meet at the church in Dallas will solve your problems with those who currently are not meeting with you. It will not do it because it is a fantasy that God is actually for your errant doctrines and will just fix it all if they only see the ground.

Make you a deal. Start really dealing with the teachings that are so far from scripture that they can hardly be called Christian, and I will discuss the unity that you think is found only within your doors.
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Old 04-24-2017, 03:28 PM   #92
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OBM"Only people assemble. And there would be no excommunication of a member of an SBC for meeting, even somewhat regularly, with and AOG assembly. And doubtful that such would happen for an RCC member also meeting with any of the others."

OBW, its about the denomination as an entity. It is not about individual members going here or there. That is not a problem... usually.

If the denomination does not stand for something unique then why do they exist as a separate entity?

Of course, they stand for something unique. Ask them!

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Old 04-24-2017, 03:46 PM   #93
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OBM"Only people assemble. And there would be no excommunication of a member of an SBC for meeting, even somewhat regularly, with and AOG assembly. And doubtful that such would happen for an RCC member also meeting with any of the others."

OBW, its about the denomination as an entity. It is not about individual members going here or there. That is not a problem... usually.

If the denomination does not stand for something unique then why do they exist as a separate entity?

Of course, they stand for something unique. Ask them!
As does your group. Your claim that the LRC is not a denomination is made a lie by the control from a headquarters in Anaheim. And it has even violated your own rules by declaring that it is, collectively, The Local Churches. They go to court in this collective name. And they rely on support of lawyers from Anaheim to fight their legal battles to extract property from the people who have continued to meet in that property, relying on evidence that the collection of groups is grounds for these that no longer join with them losing their property.

Either the church with no name and no headquarters exists and has its "say 'Amen' if you agree to go on as we did last year" business meetings, or it has a strict rule about who is in charge no matter what the people there say. Either it has its own property and cannot be sued as long as the membership says "amen" to whatever they say "amen" to, or it is a denomination, even having a name. "The Church in Dallas" is part of the denomination "The Local Churches" with headquarters on La Palma in Anaheim. Same for the Church in Seattle, in New York, in Miami, and even in Anaheim. They are not separate assemblies that choose to gather, but rather dependent assemblies who cannot choose otherwise.
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Old 04-24-2017, 03:49 PM   #94
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Yes, you can find a case where there was discussion of a merger and the truth always is that people are the problem. Just like the people who are running your show. How could you pretend to take on an entire assembly of say, 1,000 who suddenly came your way?

First, it would only happen if much more than the doctrine of dirt was what was being agreed on. You will find that your mantra that dirt solves everything is just a pretty mannequin propped-up in front of a junk yard of bad doctrines. You will never find any significant persons who will be fooled by the doctrine of dirt. It has too many leeches hanging onto it. The claim that it is spiritually preferable is shown to be the lie that it is when the baggage that comes with it is seen.

You tell me how just agreeing to meet at the church in Dallas will solve your problems with those who currently are not meeting with you. It will not do it because it is a fantasy that God is actually for your errant doctrines and will just fix it all if they only see the ground.

Make you a deal. Start really dealing with the teachings that are so far from scripture that they can hardly be called Christian, and I will discuss the unity that you think is found only within your doors.

OBW,

For arguments sake, let's just yield to the power of your logic: the "doctrine of dirt" argument trumps all and the local churches are irrelevant now.

Now, that does not explain why denominations are set up, propped up, and continue to exist. They exist because they stand for something unique. The scenario you describe where different denominations come together for some reason is merely a shaking of hands over the walls. There is still a wall. And if you like walls between believers then you should have more walls. In your world of denominations and division among Christians the more the better. Build those divisions up! Find more things to divide us, they are good!

That is why your position on denominations does not square with scripture. There is simply no justification for division. The denominations and the sustaining organizations you describe simply do not exist in scripture. There were divisions in Corinth that Paul chastised them for, and yet they pale in comparison to the organized fortresses of division that now exist. The divisions in Christianity are monstrosities! Call them what they are!

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Old 04-24-2017, 04:35 PM   #95
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Drake, what do you think is the difference between this and the kind of divisions that occur within the LC?
Koinonia,

I am glad you asked.

There was a similar situation in the Old Testament among the children of Israel. A division among that nation that was very much related to the basis of their worship of Jehovah, its place to be specific. There arose two worship centers, one in Jerusalem and one in Dan. One was ordained by God, the other was not. They both were dedicated to Jehovah. Which one was right?

The king over the northern kingdom had evil intentions yet his arguments were compelling and convinced the people to not go to the place God ordained. After all, right there in their own back yard they could worship and sacrifice to Jehovah. Why make any effort to journey to the proper place of worship and the trip was long and so far away?

Yet God never recognized the altar in Dan as legitimate because it did not follow the prescribed pattern given on the mountain. It sounded right in their ears but it was not on the right ground, the place ordained by God. Were the people in Jerusalem better than the people in Dan? No. Were they smarter? No. Perfect and without failure? No. The only difference between the children of Israel in Jerusalem and those in Dan was the place of worship ordained by God. Being in the right place was everything and their offerings and sacrifices were accepted by God for that reason.

You may apply this in two ways. First, the obvious. The basis for Christian worship is the oneness found only in Christ and the visible expression of that oneness displayed as believers dropping differences and meeting together in unity in whatever place they live. That is their testimony before God and man. That is why OBW's promotion of divisions among believers and his derision of the unity of the believers as the basis for meeting together (what he fondly refers to as the "doctrine of dirt") is untenable and completely out of the pale of orthodoxy. Denominations exist in the principle of Dan. Everything needed for the worship of God is right here in Dan.

Second, applied more to your question is that any leader who does his own thing apart from the fellowship is behaving like Dan. Setting up something else. A ministry that is for the unity of the believers cannot be considered in rebellion like Dan. A leader who establishes churches according to the New Testament pattern is emulating those who worshiped in Jerusalem. Were mistakes made in Jerusalem? Absolutely. Faults, sins, issues, were still inherent in those who worshiped in Jerusalem. But they were in the right place according to the pattern He mandated. A leader that does his own thing is building an altar in Dan. That is the difference in my view. I speak for myself only.

No doubt the folks in the lush gardens of Dan derided those who worshiped in Jerusalem. How dare you tell us our place of worship is wrong! What do you mean that only Jehovah can be worshiped where you attend! Who do you think you are claiming to be God's special people? So are we! You are no better than us and, oh by the way, you teach a doctrine of dirt! Our springs of water are proof that God blesses us as compared to your rocky outcrop!

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Old 04-24-2017, 05:00 PM   #96
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Drake)" Of course, they [denominations] stand for something unique. Ask them!"

OBW) "As does your group."

Yes! Of course!

What exactly do Baptist's stand for? Baptism! Is baptism scriptural? Yes. Should we get baptized when we believe? Of course. Should we separate ourselves from other believers because they don't baptize or because they baptize differently? Nay, nay. Yet, that is exactly the situation today in the Baptists denominations genre.

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Old 04-24-2017, 05:19 PM   #97
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Sorry Drake, but this is 2017 and not 1017 BC. Your "behaving like Dan" Local Church of Witness Lee lingo is about 3,000 years out of date. But then again, you don't give a flying flip about anything the Old OR New Testament teaches or says if it doesn't jibe with what Witness Lee taught.

Witness Lee came to our fair shores and "set up something else" BIG TIME. He set up "the church in Los Angeles" even though the church in Los Angeles had already existed for decades upon decades. But that's ok with you because he was Witness Lee. That's ok with you because you believe he was the only one speaking as God's oracle since 1945.

Now your buddy (or maybe former buddy) The Bible Answer Man has converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church. If "We Were Wrong" was so true why didn't he become a follower of Witness Lee? Why didn't he bow down with a candle in his hand and pray-read a line or two from HWMR?

Inquiring Minds Want To Know!

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Old 04-24-2017, 05:27 PM   #98
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Sorry Drake, but this is 2017 and not 1017 BC. Your "behaving like Dan" Local Church of Witness Lee lingo is about 3,000 years out of date. But then again, you don't give a flying flip about anything the Old OR New Testament teaches or says if it doesn't jibe with what Witness Lee taught.

Witness Lee came to our fair shores and "set up something else" BIG TIME. He set up "the church in Los Angeles" even though the church in Los Angeles had already existed for decades upon decades. But that's ok with you because he was Witness Lee. That's ok with you because you believe he was the only one speaking as God's oracle since 1945.

Now your buddy (or maybe former buddy) The Bible Answer Man has converted to the Eastern Orthodox Church. If "We Were Wrong" was so true why didn't he become a follower of Witness Lee? Why didn't he bow down with a candle in his hand and pray-read a line or two from HWMR?

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UntoHim,

I already offered my POV about that earlier in "the Hankster" post #29.

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Old 04-24-2017, 05:33 PM   #99
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That was then this is now. You're the one who brought up "behaving like Dan", NOT Koinonia, NOT me, NOT anyone else.

Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?

Watch this folks.

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Old 04-24-2017, 06:57 PM   #100
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That was then this is now. You're the one who brought up "behaving like Dan", NOT Koinonia, NOT me, NOT anyone else.

Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?

Watch this folks.

-
No.

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Old 04-24-2017, 07:31 PM   #101
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Thank you kind sir!

I take back the presumptuous "watch this folks" blast. That was not fair to you nor to the rest of the onlookers.

Pray-tell, why did the appearance of Witness Lee bring about the first "church in Los Angeles"?

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Old 04-24-2017, 07:42 PM   #102
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And we will stop there because the example is just too ridiculous to be worthy of supporting a doctrinal error.

Why the divisions? Because we don't agree on everything. Just like you don't. You are deluded into thinking that naming yourself on a magical formula gives you the standing to dismiss everyone else while deriding anyone else that might do the same thing to you or any other. There is no passage, paragraph or even verse (other than taken out of context) that grants special privilege to certain Christians because they got the name right or presume a certain boundary for the inclusion of Christians in their assembly.

As for your example of a city with 1,000 Christians . . . .

The first problem is that there is no church of 1. But even shrinking it in such a manner to 5 is to use a fantasy as your basis for truth.

The second problem is that an example of this kind is does not address the causes of the problem (even if you stop at 10 people per group).

But the primary problem is that you find the existence of 10 assemblies v 1 assembly to be a problem. Ignoring the extremist position of a very large number of very small groups, none of actual the assemblies (forget the forced shrinkage) that are in a general area think of themselves as the only proper church and the others as not church. (Always liked the old joke about the Church of Christ thinking that only they would be in heaven.) No. They recognize that the others are also part of the universal body of Christ. They disagree over points of doctrine or practice, but do not invalidate the others because of those differences.

And your little, new-kid-on-the-block group is really no different than the others. With one serious exception. You actually think that you have the standing to invalidate all the others. To demand that they come your way.

That your discovery of dirt means that they all have to come your way no matter how laughable so many of your doctrinal positions are. And how egregiously you disdain everyone else for not joining with you. (They don't do that. Only the "we are the true church" types do those things.)

You like what ifs. So I'll do one.

What if it actually happened. If everyone somehow got the idea that all in a city (or in a subset of a city that provided no more than a reasonable number meeting on one place) joined into one assembly.

You don't want what you would get. You would cease to be the ones in charge. You would first have to browbeat everyone into submission. And if that didn't work, you would have to rely on your headquarters in Anaheim to keep the influx of new people who disagree about Witness Lee from voting out the elders who want to run the show. You might not get some of your favorite doctrines. Christ would no longer be simply the Holy Spirit because too many true theologians of upright character would not tolerate such nonsense to be taught from the assembly that they attend.

Why would this be the likely outcome? Because to get your "everyone meeting together on the ground" you also would have to force them to accept so many horrible doctrines. And everyone would also have to desire to learn from Lee rather than the host of teachers available outside.

But it wouldn't happen. You might get a lot of people idealizing over the notion that all meeting together would be so "spiritual." But once you start tossing Lee and his doctrines into the mix, it would end.

Now the speck that is currently the LRC is the minority within the beast they created. No one reading HWFMR in the meetings. Most of the "open-mic" time eliminated because there is some concern that just anyone saying just anything could cause many to think that the group (and the Bible) agreed.

So what would you do?

Probably leave and start your own group that kept Lee as the MOTA, and was busy declaring all those in that one big church as "degraded Christianity" and your new splinter group as "God's unique move on the earth."

I can assure you that just getting the few that are regulars with the two assemblies that I have met with over the past 30 years in the DFW area would empty out the LSM bookstores, and end HWFMR, and errant doctrines like Christ became the Holy Spirit in the area. This would not be a matter of being mean. It would be the result of the local conference of spiritual leaders that would discuss and pray and declare that "it seems good to us and the Holy Spirit." It would end. Not more denigrating those who aren't meeting with us as "mooing cows" or the Whore of Babylon. No more teaching that the uniqueness of the Trinity is virtually irrelevant and Christ is just the Holy Spirit.

And if you think that appealing to Anaheim would help, I fear that Anaheim might itself be buried under a similar sea of change of direction.

In short, your fantasy that all the Christians in the world could leave the denominations and just meet as the church in their cities would look anything like the LRC or hold to any its doctrines would collapse. It would be like the Road Runner cartoon where the coyote goes into a large pipe which keeps getting smaller and smaller, then when he lets himself out of a faucet, is only 4 inches tall and grabs the Road Runner by the leg, but then holds up a sign that says "Now I've got him what do I do with him?" The answer is obvious. "Nothing." Because you don't have either the force of numbers or the force of spiritual right to run anything that you are not allowed to run by the group.

And I can assure you that nothing of consequence that comes from Lee would remain.

- - - -

Might a meeting with a lot of people who have different doctrinal leanings be a desirable thing? Actually, yes. But because of what it is, it simply would not look like any of the groups. And it would be unable to force strict following of a single teaching source. It might not always do the Lord's table in the form that you like, or that I like. (Actually, I like several different ways. And the LRC's way is not out of the question — just not some special, unique, and only way.)


"But the primary problem is that you find the existence of 10 assemblies v 1 assembly to be a problem. Ignoring the extremist position of a very large number of very small groups, none of actual the assemblies (forget the forced shrinkage) that are in a general area think of themselves as the only proper church and the others as not church. (Always liked the old joke about the Church of Christ thinking that only they would be in heaven.) No. They recognize that the others are also part of the universal body of Christ. They disagree over points of doctrine or practice, but do not invalidate the others because of those differences."


You are talking about sects, not churches. For example the baptist sect is strict in its belief and practice on full immersion baptism, the Presbyterian sect is less so. Both sects are so similar they should have joined years ago - if they truly believed in the oneness of the body. Even though you say they recognize each other as part of the body of Christ, that is only in theory, not in practice.

"But it wouldn't happen. You might get a lot of people idealizing over the notion that all meeting together would be so "spiritual." But once you start tossing Lee and his doctrines into the mix, it would end."

Why would it end once Lee was put into the mix? That's like saying the early churches would end once the New Testament (of which almost 50% is written by Paul) was created.



You cannot provide one bible verse that justifies the division between Baptists and Presbyterians. Neither can Ohio. This shows that your view is unbiblical and wrong. The division was caused by man, not God.

I don't find it ridiculous at all, it is indeed a possibility under your definition of church, that a city have no net growth in the number of Christians and yet the number of denominations grows until there is only 1 person in each church/denomination. However under my definition of church, it is not possible for there to be a church of one person unless there is only 1 Christian in the whole city.
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Old 04-24-2017, 08:31 PM   #103
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Thank you kind sir!

I take back the presumptuous "watch this folks" blast. That was not fair to you nor to the rest of the onlookers.

Pray-tell, why did the appearance of Witness Lee bring about the first "church in Los Angeles"?

-
No problem. You seemed excited but it happens.

Why you ask. Well, it was a confluence of people and events leading up to that:

- Brother Lee spoke at Westmoreland Chapel and fellowshiped with them a few times between 1958 and 1962,

- Samuel Chang moved to LA in 1959 and spoke about Watchman Nee and the church,

- Some believers from Westmoreland developed a hunger for a deeper enjoyment and to experience the church life,

- in May 1962 they broke bread in Los Angeles,

- A few months later Brother Lee gave a series of messages in Los Angeles.

- Brother Lee decided to stay in the USA as he felt the Lord's leading.

- It took off from there in the surrounding areas of LA.

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Old 04-24-2017, 08:51 PM   #104
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No.

Drake
Wow, how completely ridiculous.
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Old 04-24-2017, 09:12 PM   #105
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Wow, how completely ridiculous.
You are experiencing confirmation bias.

Read the question.

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Old 04-25-2017, 05:22 AM   #106
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You are experiencing confirmation bias.

Read the question.

Drake
Could you help define how you read the question?
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:25 AM   #107
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No.

Drake
It doesn't get any more divisive, arrogant, and condemning than that.
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:37 AM   #108
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"But the primary problem is that you find the existence of 10 assemblies v 1 assembly to be a problem. Ignoring the extremist position of a very large number of very small groups, none of actual the assemblies (forget the forced shrinkage) that are in a general area think of themselves as the only proper church and the others as not church. (Always liked the old joke about the Church of Christ thinking that only they would be in heaven.) No. They recognize that the others are also part of the universal body of Christ. They disagree over points of doctrine or practice, but do not invalidate the others because of those differences."


You are talking about sects, not churches. For example the baptist sect is strict in its belief and practice on full immersion baptism, the Presbyterian sect is less so. Both sects are so similar they should have joined years ago - if they truly believed in the oneness of the body. Even though you say they recognize each other as part of the body of Christ, that is only in theory, not in practice.

You cannot provide one bible verse that justifies the division between Baptists and Presbyterians. Neither can Ohio. This shows that your view is unbiblical and wrong. The division was caused by man, not God.

I don't find it ridiculous at all, it is indeed a possibility under your definition of church, that a city have no net growth in the number of Christians and yet the number of denominations grows until there is only 1 person in each church/denomination. However under my definition of church, it is not possible for there to be a church of one person unless there is only 1 Christian in the whole city.
If you study Corinthians, the divisions were more on a personal level, member versus member, eye versus hand, that any differences between churches. Look at the striking differences between the seven Asian churches. Many had more differences than today's church groupings.

But you love to apply your franchise model on all others in order to discredit them all, hiding behind false standards in order to cover up your own corruption. So who will God be pleased with? Who gives glory to God, and who brings shame to His name?
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:39 AM   #109
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That was then this is now. You're the one who brought up "behaving like Dan", NOT Koinonia, NOT me, NOT anyone else.

Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?

Watch this folks.

-
Perhaps we can ask you the same question but from the other side:

Which church was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:54 AM   #110
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Perhaps we can ask you the same question but from the other side:

Which church was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?
The church is spiritual, composed of believers, those born of God to be children of God. When these ones gather, it is the church, and He is in their midst.

Contrary to LC opinion, that the proper name outside your meeting place alone defines the church. Sorry but that is an OT thought, one of physical or material descriptions, and not a spiritual reality, pleasing to God.

The LC doesn't like to admit that they also have tares in their midst, just like other congregations, and this problem is growing.
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Old 04-25-2017, 07:54 AM   #111
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Which church was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?
Ah, I was actually hoping Drake was going to answer this with what Nee and Lee clearly and strongly taught - that "the church" in any given city is actually a composition of ALL TRUE BELIEVERS in that given city. So the church in Los Angeles existed from the first day that a number (whichever number, presumable "two or three") gathered in the Lord's Name. Obviously Ohio is tracking with me in this same direction.

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Why you ask. Well, it was a confluence of people and events leading up to that:
- Brother Lee spoke at Westmoreland Chapel and fellowshiped with them a few times between 1958 and 1962,
- Samuel Chang moved to LA in 1959 and spoke about Watchman Nee and the church,
- Some believers from Westmoreland developed a hunger for a deeper enjoyment and to experience the church life,
- in May 1962 they broke bread in Los Angeles,
Everything that Drake has posted here sounds and smells EXACTLY like how a "denominational" church starts. They gather in the Lord's Name, ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF MERE MEN. In the case that Drake is explaining the mere men were Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. You see there already existed "the church life" in LA. There were already true Christian believers breaking bread in LA. Sorry but "a hunger for a deeper enjoyment" is a totally subjective thing and does NOT define what is and what is not "the church in Los Angeles".

Care to try again?

-
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:20 AM   #112
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You are experiencing confirmation bias.

Read the question.

Drake
The question was: "Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?"

And you answered: "No."
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Old 04-25-2017, 08:20 AM   #113
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Ah, I was actually hoping Drake was going to answer this with what Nee and Lee clearly and strongly taught - that "the church" in any given city is actually a composition of ALL TRUE BELIEVERS in that given city. So the church in Los Angeles existed from the first day that a number (whichever number, presumable "two or three") gathered in the Lord's Name. Obviously Ohio is tracking with me in this same direction.



Everything that Drake has posted here sounds and smells EXACTLY like how a "denominational" church starts. They gather in the Lord's Name, ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF MERE MEN. In the case that Drake is explaining the mere men were Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. You see there already existed "the church life" in LA. There were already true Christian believers breaking bread in LA. Sorry but "a hunger for a deeper enjoyment" is a totally subjective thing and does NOT define what is and what is not "the church in Los Angeles".

Care to try again?

-
A do over? For me?

Yet, I did answer your question the way you had hoped I would. Put my answer in front of your question as a single sentence. Admittedly, it is a question worded in the negative, and oddly phrased, and you demanded a binary answer so I gave it to you just as you requested. Did my best with what I had to work with.

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Old 04-25-2017, 09:55 AM   #114
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That was then this is now. You're the one who brought up "behaving like Dan", NOT Koinonia, NOT me, NOT anyone else.

Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?

Watch this folks.

-
I also would answer no.

Now if you asked "was there a church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee? Then I would answer yes.
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Old 04-25-2017, 10:45 AM   #115
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My question was worded rather awkwardly.

Nevertheless, I think Drake or anyone else could simply have answered "no, there was not a church in Los Angeles", or "yes, there was a church in Los Angeles". Of course being the smart fellow that he is, he took advantage. Good for him.

I'll repeat:

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Everything that Drake has posted here sounds and smells EXACTLY like how a "denominational" church starts. They gather in the Lord's Name, ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF MERE MEN. In the case that Drake is explaining the mere men were Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. You see there already existed "the church life" in LA. There were already true Christian believers breaking bread in LA. Sorry but "a hunger for a deeper enjoyment" is a totally subjective thing and does NOT define what is and what is not "the church in Los Angeles".
Maybe Drake or Evangelical could address what I have posted above. Feel free to correct my grammar or oddly phrased questions as you feel necessary.
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Old 04-25-2017, 11:02 AM   #116
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I also would answer no.

Now if you asked "was there a church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee? Then I would answer yes.
Exactly.

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Old 04-25-2017, 11:09 AM   #117
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Exactly.

Drake
Drake, you do yourself no favors with the snarky word game. The question was phrased: "Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?"

Double negative or not, your answer "No" would/could rightfully be interpreted as "No, There was no church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee."

In any event, then, what was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:05 PM   #118
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Drake, you do yourself no favors with the snarky word game. The question was phrased: "Was there NO CHURCH IN LOS ANGELES before Witness Lee? Yes or No?"

Double negative or not, your answer "No" would/could rightfully be interpreted as "No, There was no church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee."

In any event, then, what was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?
Koinonia,

There is no word play..... when someone demands a yes or no answer I try to accommodate if I can.

"Yes, there was no church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee" is the opposite of "No, there was no church..... etc." ZNP interpreted the question the same as I did.

You read it the way you expected it.. that is confirmation bias. Had I said Yes your response would have been the same. You would have rent your sackcloth and cried "ridiculous!". Because you already are biased you take new information like my "no" or my "exactly" and rush to condemn.

Now, how about you? I put some serious thought into the question you asked and you have not responded. I do not care how you respond frankly, but you do yourself no favors by ignoring it. Was it a rhetorical question on your part? Or did you really want to know my POV? If you really wanted to know then explain why you agree or disagree with it.

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Old 04-25-2017, 01:14 PM   #119
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Koinonia,

There is no word play..... when someone demands a yes or no answer I try to accommodate if I can.

"Yes, there was no church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee" is the opposite of "No, there was no church..... etc." ZNP interpreted the question the same as I did.

You read it the way you expected it.. that is confirmation bias. Had I said Yes your response would have been the same. You would have rent your sackcloth and cried "ridiculous!" Because you already are biased you take new information like my "no" or my "exactly" and rush to condemn.

Now, how about you? I put some serious thought into the question you asked and you have not responded. I do not care how you respond frankly, but you do yourself no favors by ignoring it. Was it a rhetorical question on your part? Or did you really want to know my POV?

Drake
I did not ask the question. UntoHim did.

Also, when UntoHim asked you a follow-up question: "Pray-tell, why did the appearance of Witness Lee bring about the first 'church in Los Angeles'?" you answered with a bullet list of historical events, appearing to accept the premise of the inquiry.

My view is that "the church in Los Angeles" may be defined as the part of the Lord's people located in that city; in other words--a spiritual reality composed of all the believers there. It has nothing in particular to do with Witness Lee (beyond the fact that he was a believer).
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Old 04-25-2017, 01:44 PM   #120
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My question was worded rather awkwardly.

Nevertheless, I think Drake or anyone else could simply have answered "no, there was not a church in Los Angeles", or "yes, there was a church in Los Angeles". Of course being the smart fellow that he is, he took advantage. Good for him.

I'll repeat:

Originally Posted by UntoHim
Everything that Drake has posted here sounds and smells EXACTLY like how a "denominational" church starts. They gather in the Lord's Name, ACCORDING TO THE TEACHINGS AND INTERPRETATIONS OF MERE MEN. In the case that Drake is explaining the mere men were Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. You see there already existed "the church life" in LA. There were already true Christian believers breaking bread in LA. Sorry but "a hunger for a deeper enjoyment" is a totally subjective thing and does NOT define what is and what is not "the church in Los Angeles".


Maybe Drake or Evangelical could address what I have posted above. Feel free to correct my grammar or oddly phrased questions as you feel necessary.
-
UntoHim,

First off, I am not playing word games or trying to take advantage. Your response to me was stated in such a way that it was clear you wanted a binary answer. You were at the moment the forums Lt. Daniel Kaffee ready to take mean ol' Jessup down. "Yes or no" means don't mess with you. Any attempt to tamper with the question would have been met with the usual howls of disapproval. You know exactly what I mean.

Yet, your question above asks "what is and what is not "the church in Los Angeles"... but you realize that is not the question you asked me in your oddly worded question.... rather, you asked "why".. so there again I attempted to answer the question "why?". I gave you a reasoned response to "why" but I could have just said "because God willed it!" or "who can tell of His mysterious ways?".

So to answer your "what is or what is not".. the answer is that every christian in Los Angeles is a member of the church in Los Angeles regardless of where they attend and where they go. Yet that is not the complete story is it? If we left it there we would not be here. Do you want to talk about that or is it easier to just dismiss it as a 3000 year old example from the Old Testament which has no bearing?

Please enlighten us who met in Los Angeles on the basis of the unity of believers as the church separate from the confluence of people and events I mentioned. Every denomination breaks bread so apparently there is more to it than that.

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Old 04-25-2017, 01:48 PM   #121
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I did not ask the question. UntoHim did.

Also, when UntoHim asked you a follow-up question: "Pray-tell, why did the appearance of Witness Lee bring about the first 'church in Los Angeles'?" you answered with a bullet list of historical events, appearing to accept the premise of the inquiry.

My view is that "the church in Los Angeles" may be defined as the part of the Lord's people located in that city; in other words--a spiritual reality composed of all the believers there. It has nothing in particular to do with Witness Lee (beyond the fact that he was a believer).
Koinonia,

You asked me a question in #90. That is what I am referring to. I am starting to get the impression that you are not taking this discussion seriously. Again, was that a rhetorical question on your part? If not, then what do you offer as a scriptural alternative to my response?

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Old 04-25-2017, 02:25 PM   #122
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Koinonia,

You asked me a question in #90. That is what I am referring to. I am starting to get the impression that you are not taking this discussion seriously. Again, was that a rhetorical question on your part? If not, then what do you offer as a scriptural alternative to my response?

Drake
Drake, I did read your answer and found it difficult to take seriously. I understand the premise of your argument about Dan/the altar/Jerusalem/etc. in the context of denominations vs. the LC. But I was asking about the divisions that occur within the LC. You have numerous cities all over the world with multiple local churches (e.g. -- Toronto, New York, Stuttgart, Accra, Singapore, Manila, Quezon City, Sydney, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Sao Paulo, Pittsburgh, Paris, Berlin, Montreal, Columbus, Indianapolis, etc., etc.) and numerous cities all over the world with (presumably) singular local churches that do not follow LSM (e.g. - Moses Lake, Scottsdale, Westminster, Cleveland, Neuchatel, Rosemead, Fountain Valley, etc.).

In all of these cases, the dividing line is the ministry of Witness Lee. So, is following Witness Lee the equivalent of returning to Jerusalem?
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Old 04-25-2017, 03:49 PM   #123
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Drake, I did read your answer and found it difficult to take seriously. I understand the premise of your argument about Dan/the altar/Jerusalem/etc. in the context of denominations vs. the LC. But I was asking about the divisions that occur within the LC. You have numerous cities all over the world with multiple local churches (e.g. -- Toronto, New York, Stuttgart, Accra, Singapore, Manila, Quezon City, Sydney, Houston, Dallas, Chicago, Sao Paulo, Pittsburgh, Paris, Berlin, Montreal, Columbus, Indianapolis, etc., etc.) and numerous cities all over the world with (presumably) singular local churches that do not follow LSM (e.g. - Moses Lake, Scottsdale, Westminster, Cleveland, Neuchatel, Rosemead, Fountain Valley, etc.).

In all of these cases, the dividing line is the ministry of Witness Lee. So, is following Witness Lee the equivalent of returning to Jerusalem?

Koinonia,

Not take it seriously? You do realize that Dan got cut off from the tribes permanently in Revelation.

Do you think any of those "local churches" you listed should cut anyone off or refuse to fellowship with them because they use LSM material?

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Old 04-25-2017, 04:02 PM   #124
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Koinonia,

Not take it seriously? You do realize that Dan got cut off from the tribes permanently in Revelation.

Do you think any of those "local churches" you listed should cut anyone off or refuse to fellowship with them because they use LSM material?

Drake
Drake, I understand that honesty is not your strong suit.

But when, oh when, did anyone or any church get "cut off" for using LSM's material?

The "CUTTING OFF" has only gone one way. Only Witness Lee and now the Chief Blended has ever "CUT OFF" any brother, any church, or any region of churches.
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Old 04-25-2017, 05:12 PM   #125
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Koinonia,

Not take it seriously? You do realize that Dan got cut off from the tribes permanently in Revelation.

Do you think any of those "local churches" you listed should cut anyone off or refuse to fellowship with them because they use LSM material?

Drake
Drake, history shows that the "cutting off" is almost always in the opposite direction. That is exactly the point I am making.

And, no, I would not agree with cutting off someone or refusing to fellowship with him for using LSM material.
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Old 04-25-2017, 06:07 PM   #126
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Drake, history shows that the "cutting off" is almost always in the opposite direction. That is exactly the point I am making.

And, no, I would not agree with cutting off someone or refusing to fellowship with him for using LSM material.
Ok Koinonia

What do you mean almost always?

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Old 04-25-2017, 07:02 PM   #127
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Drake, I already told you:

Quote:
And, no, I would not agree with cutting off someone or refusing to fellowship with him for using LSM material.
I still hope you will address my post 122.
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:00 PM   #128
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Default Responses to the "church in LA" question.

It was asked whether there was a church in LA before Witness Lee. This question can be answered in different ways depending upon the context.

As Ohio rightly stated
"The church is spiritual, composed of believers, those born of God to be children of God. When these ones gather, it is the church, and He is in their midst."

and Drake stated
"the answer is that every christian in Los Angeles is a member of the church in Los Angeles regardless of where they attend and where they go."

This church is the universal church, the one that we are always apart of, 24/7 whether we "go to church" on Sunday or not. This is sometimes referred to as the universal body of Christ.

In this sense, the answer to the question of a church in LA is yes - there was a church in LA before Witness Lee.

But when we come to the practicality of it all, the Sunday church meetings, it is a different story. The practical expression of the church in a city should be simply "composed of believers, those born of God to be children of God". The local expression of the church should match the universal church definition.

If there was no practical local expression of the universal church before Lee then the answer is "no, there was no (practical) church in LA before Witness Lee.

It is easy to show that a denominational gathering in a city is not a local expression of the universal church - a gathering of Lutherans in one city and gathering of Lutherans in another city, are expressions not of the universal church but of those who adhere to Lutheranism. They do not define a gathering of simply "those born of God to be children of God".

However when a Christian goes to a baptist church because they agree with baptism by full immersion, and a Presbyterian goes to Presbyterian because that is all they have ever known, we have the situation of denominations. A denomination is a sect which means a cut, or divide in the body of Christ. Strictly speaking, a cut, or divide in the universal body of Christ, is not a church but a sect.

The reason why many people believe any denomination/sect is entitled to recognition as a church is explained by the following statement:

There is a "tendency of the modern non-Catholic world to consider all the various forms of Christianity as the embodiment of revealed truths and as equally entitled to recognition." http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/13674a.htm

This is the reason many Protestants consider that any denomination that teaches the bible is a church. In other words, if you have a gathering of believers in your city and they teach/preach the bible then they are entitled to be a church according to this thinking. The problem is a church may preach and teach the bible but also be part of the gay church alliance. Clearly, a gathering of believers which supports homosexuality should not be considered a church. This situation is possible if sects are wrongly defined as churches.

If a person believes that any gathering in a city is a church then the answer to the question is "yes there was a church in LA before Witness Lee". This thinking is flawed however, because hypothetically speaking, a LGBT church could have been meeting in the city before Lee came, and no bible believing Christians would accept that a LGBT church is a genuine church.

However if we consider that all denominations in the city before Witness Lee were not churches, but sects, then the answer is "no, there was no church in LA before Witness Lee, only sects/divisions/denominations of various names, doctrines and practices".
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Old 04-25-2017, 09:41 PM   #129
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Default The First Church in LA?

Based upon Ohio's definition of the church as "The church is spiritual, composed of believers, those born of God to be children of God.", I went on a search to find which was the first genuine local expression of the universal church in LA that fits this definition? I tried to answer my own question "Which church was the church in Los Angeles before Witness Lee?".

The first historical church in LA was a Roman Catholic church (there are two I think). I don't know many bible believing Christians who would say this was "the church in LA". It was the first Roman Catholic sect in LA, but not the genuine local expression of the universal church - it is not for those who are simply born again by faith, but for those who subscribe to Catholicism.

Then we come to the the First Congregational Church of Los Angeles founded in 1867. Today it practices gay marriage. I don't know many bible believing Christians who would say this is "the church in LA". This was the first Protestant congregational sect in LA, but still not the genuine local expression of the universal church.

There is the Angelus temple built in 1922 - "Angelus Temple was built in 1922 under the direction of Aimee Semple McPherson, who was the founder of the denomination, International Church of the Foursquare Gospel" http://www.10best.com/destinations/c...oric-churches/

This is not the genuine local church but a denomination of "International Church of the Foursquare Gospel".

I am still trying to find that genuine church that calls itself "the church in LA". We don't find it until we come to Witness Lee..Christians began meeting as the church in Los Angeles in 1962 http://www.churchinlosangeles.org/
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:51 AM   #130
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Drake, I already told you:



I still hope you will address my post 122.
I have hundreds of posts he and Evan refuse to address.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:14 AM   #131
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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I have hundreds of posts he and Evan refuse to address.
Here's a question - where did the preaching of the gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch, arguably good, become the 'abomination' the Abyssinian Orthodox Church? Where did Luther promulgating justification by faith become the harlot "Lutheranism"? If not at the beginning, where?

If there is indeed a slippery slope to doom, how is the LSM LC so sure it's not well on the way, or over the edge? What gives them their bland assurance, beyond Lee's repeated assurances?
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Old 04-26-2017, 07:12 AM   #132
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Here's a question - where did the preaching of the gospel to an Ethiopian eunuch, arguably good, become the 'abomination' the Abyssinian Orthodox Church? Where did Luther promulgating justification by faith become the harlot "Lutheranism"? If not at the beginning, where?

If there is indeed a slippery slope to doom, how is the LSM LC so sure it's not well on the way, or over the edge? What gives them their bland assurance, beyond Lee's repeated assurances?
Every single church ever existent has the possibility to slide the slippery slope downward. Can you possibly know every storm or trial coming your way? What about your church's next generation? Add a 100 generations???

Have you ever been to the Recovery's legendary beginning church in the ole US of A -- the wonderful and glorious Elden Hall? Where is that today? Even by 1974, before the "move" to Anaheim, Elden Hall was dying a slow death, hence Lee told Rutledge he needed a new start.

If that can be publicly blamed on LA crime, migrations out of SoCal, or the fictitious proposal that the saints were no longer absolutely one with the ministry, then consider an infinite possibility of other scenarios that might cause any church to slide down the slippery slope. Start with all the recorded cases in Asia Minor, add the death of a beloved minister, perhaps an earthquake, a flood, some economic crisis, perhaps a drought, a civil war, persecution by the authorities, etc. The list of potential dangers is endless. Does even one 1st century church exist today?

My point is simple -- even once living churches come and go all the time. Perhaps the dead organizational ones live longer. Does anyone really believe that a standing order with LSM perpetuates immortality?
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:16 AM   #133
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I don't know many bible believing Christians who would say this was "the church in LA". [/url]
I agree, but for a different reason. I think most Christ followers wouldn't even understand this question and would have difficulty trying to follow your logic (without the context of the LSM). The concept of one church per city is not biblical, nor expressed throughout Christian history as a model that the world must follow to be in good standing with our Lord. If any lurkers (kind of makes you sound scary ) are reading these posts, it may be helpful to read "The Genuine Ground of Oneness" http://www.ministrybooks.org/alphabetical.cfm?s=G

In this publication Lee lays out his "divine revelation" from God in regards to the Local Church. When I read this I see points that I agree with regarding denominations or church practice, but that doesn't mean that Lee's ultimate conclusion is correct. Many of the same points he makes are also used to advocate for a non-denominational church. For example:

Before you came into the church life, you may have traveled from one denomination to another. You went from place to place to satisfy your own desires or taste.

This may be true for some - but this doesn't mean that Lee's ultimate conclusion is correct. "Look at them, they're not perfect, MY way is perfect." Funny enough, we talked about this specific concept in the LC too, a preference to choose one meeting hall over another to satisfy own desires or tastes. We didn't discuss it as a bad thing, but just a reality.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:58 AM   #134
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I agree, but for a different reason. I think most Christ followers wouldn't even understand this question and would have difficulty trying to follow your logic (without the context of the LSM). The concept of one church per city is not biblical, nor expressed throughout Christian history as a model that the world must follow to be in good standing with our Lord. If any lurkers (kind of makes you sound scary ) are reading these posts, it may be helpful to read "The Genuine Ground of Oneness" http://www.ministrybooks.org/alphabetical.cfm?s=G

In this publication Lee lays out his "divine revelation" from God in regards to the Local Church. When I read this I see points that I agree with regarding denominations or church practice, but that doesn't mean that Lee's ultimate conclusion is correct. Many of the same points he makes are also used to advocate for a non-denominational church. For example:

Before you came into the church life, you may have traveled from one denomination to another. You went from place to place to satisfy your own desires or taste.

This may be true for some - but this doesn't mean that Lee's ultimate conclusion is correct. "Look at them, they're not perfect, MY way is perfect." Funny enough, we talked about this specific concept in the LC too, a preference to choose one meeting hall over another to satisfy own desires or tastes. We didn't discuss it as a bad thing, but just a reality.
The irony of Lee's ministry is that his own teachings indict him and his ministry more than others. No LC ever matched his so-called "vision." He himself broke all of his own rules of ministry.

The real deception in the LC's is thinking that Lee, LSM, and the LC's are somehow better simply because they condemn all others.

It is the Phallacy of the Farisees.
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:37 PM   #135
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You are talking about sects, not churches. For example the baptist sect is strict in its belief and practice on full immersion baptism, the Presbyterian sect is less so. Both sects are so similar they should have joined years ago - if they truly believed in the oneness of the body. Even though you say they recognize each other as part of the body of Christ, that is only in theory, not in practice.
And at that, you have included the LRC as merely a sect because they do not carry any special status that excludes them from any of what you have stated. Your claim of special status is not founded on anything any more substantial than the RCC's claim that their pope links back to Peter and therefore has the keys of the kingdom.

And you distill the differences down to how they baptize. But if baptism is everything, then the Baptists were around practicing full immersion before the LRC came along practicing the same. I will use your own rhetoric on you to point out that despite the fact that you claim no set doctrines or practices ("No doctrines or forms that you have to learn to come and meet with us. Just . . . .") yet you do practice in certain ways. You would only immerse. Yet since the Baptists were around before you, why did you start a different group that opposes them. (Yes, you oppose them because you argue against their very legitimacy, not just think differently.)

You are not open to all believers. you are only truly open to those who will come to you. Who will agree to set aside other teachers and only learn from Lee (and a little of Nee). And who, to the extent that they can't quite do it all, will at least keep their disagreements about any of it quiet.

Otherwise it is the door.


There is a big difference between disagreement on issues and ideas and disagreement on who is actually in the church. And if you dare to say that we are all in the church, then when any of us get together to meet, we are the church no matter how much you don't like something about our positions on certain issues and ideas.

If there is a problem in the unity of the church, it is much greater when observed from the perspective of the LRC v everyone else. The 50,000 ft. view of Christianity as a whole looks more like a continent with cities and states while the LRC appears as an island with gunboats surrounding it. Why is that? Because you insist that it is so. You are so closed to everyone else (despite rhetoric about unity) that you put up a wall of partition. You declare that everything on your side of the wall is church and everything on the other side is sect.

And you think that if you just talk to the people individually you can persuade them. But what if the organizations do not come to you, but the mass of people who are in them and they collectively do not agree with you. What do you do then? It would no longer be about denominations. Your boogeyman would have been destroyed. I can assure you that I do not speak from the perspective of one denomination and not the others. We agree that when someone is saved they should become connected with the church. And not just my church. We would welcome them. But it is more important that they know Christ and connect with Christians than that they join my group.

How's that for your divisiveness claim??
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Old 04-26-2017, 12:45 PM   #136
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With respect to the question about there being a church in Los Angeles prior to Lee coming to meet with a few there, Drake has the following declaration:
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No.

Drake
And there, folks, is the evidence that if there is a sect to be discussed, it is the LRC. They think that the church does not exist in a location no matter how many Christians meet in one or more groups because none of them are meeting according to their formula. They misconstrue the word "church" as being a special term restricted to only those who follow their rules. Any other Christians who meet together are not church.

I read the same kind of nonsense on facebook a few years ago when someone declared that with the "taking of the ground" in Rome, there was finally a church in the city for the first time in centuries.

That is exactly the kind of perverted mindset that has been drummed into the psyche of otherwise good Christian people. People who hear about garlic rooms but do not realize that the only one near them is within the walls in which they meet.
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Old 04-26-2017, 02:50 PM   #137
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With respect to the question about there being a church in Los Angeles prior to Lee coming to meet with a few there, Drake has the following declaration:
And there, folks, is the evidence that if there is a sect to be discussed, it is the LRC. They think that the church does not exist in a location no matter how many Christians meet in one or more groups because none of them are meeting according to their formula. They misconstrue the word "church" as being a special term restricted to only those who follow their rules. Any other Christians who meet together are not church.

I read the same kind of nonsense on facebook a few years ago when someone declared that with the "taking of the ground" in Rome, there was finally a church in the city for the first time in centuries.

That is exactly the kind of perverted mindset that has been drummed into the psyche of otherwise good Christian people. People who hear about garlic rooms but do not realize that the only one near them is within the walls in which they meet.
Is it not the situation that if any place already has a Catholic church an evangelical protestant denomination will set one up as well? Evangelicals do not recognize the Catholic church as " the church in the city" so they start their own. If you are protestant you cannot talk about our view of Rome being "perverted" without an element of hypocrisy. For example, if Roman Catholicism is "the church" in the city, then why do protestants bother starting a church there? Why not just join them?
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:00 PM   #138
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And at that, you have included the LRC as merely a sect because they do not carry any special status that excludes them from any of what you have stated. Your claim of special status is not founded on anything any more substantial than the RCC's claim that their pope links back to Peter and therefore has the keys of the kingdom.

And you distill the differences down to how they baptize. But if baptism is everything, then the Baptists were around practicing full immersion before the LRC came along practicing the same. I will use your own rhetoric on you to point out that despite the fact that you claim no set doctrines or practices ("No doctrines or forms that you have to learn to come and meet with us. Just . . . .") yet you do practice in certain ways. You would only immerse. Yet since the Baptists were around before you, why did you start a different group that opposes them. (Yes, you oppose them because you argue against their very legitimacy, not just think differently.)

You are not open to all believers. you are only truly open to those who will come to you. Who will agree to set aside other teachers and only learn from Lee (and a little of Nee). And who, to the extent that they can't quite do it all, will at least keep their disagreements about any of it quiet.

Otherwise it is the door.


There is a big difference between disagreement on issues and ideas and disagreement on who is actually in the church. And if you dare to say that we are all in the church, then when any of us get together to meet, we are the church no matter how much you don't like something about our positions on certain issues and ideas.

If there is a problem in the unity of the church, it is much greater when observed from the perspective of the LRC v everyone else. The 50,000 ft. view of Christianity as a whole looks more like a continent with cities and states while the LRC appears as an island with gunboats surrounding it. Why is that? Because you insist that it is so. You are so closed to everyone else (despite rhetoric about unity) that you put up a wall of partition. You declare that everything on your side of the wall is church and everything on the other side is sect.

And you think that if you just talk to the people individually you can persuade them. But what if the organizations do not come to you, but the mass of people who are in them and they collectively do not agree with you. What do you do then? It would no longer be about denominations. Your boogeyman would have been destroyed. I can assure you that I do not speak from the perspective of one denomination and not the others. We agree that when someone is saved they should become connected with the church. And not just my church. We would welcome them. But it is more important that they know Christ and connect with Christians than that they join my group.

How's that for your divisiveness claim??
The fact that a new convert has to "choose a group", such as "your group" or "another group" after becoming a believer demonstrates the issue here. That is, being a born again believer and member of the universal body of Christ is not enough to grant a person connectivity with the whole body of Christ. The reason for that is denominations which create cuts or divisions in the body which simply did not exist in the new testament church.

You are pretending that denominations in a city are merely different groups of believers that see differently on a few things, which I know not to be the case at all.

If one wishes to be "connected with the church" the next question is "which church"?

In the bible this was not the situation of having to choose a church. They simply joined "the church" in the city.

In the denominational world, a person who wants to meet simply on the basis of them being a born again believer and living in a particular locality and being member of the universal body, does not have anywhere to go unless they choose the particular "type" of group that they want to join.
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Old 04-26-2017, 03:11 PM   #139
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Is it not the situation that if any place already has a Catholic church an evangelical protestant denomination will set one up as well? Evangelicals do not recognize the Catholic church as " the church in the city" so they start their own. If you are protestant you cannot talk about our view of Rome being "perverted" without an element of hypocrisy. For example, if Roman Catholicism is "the church" in the city, then why do protestants bother starting a church there? Why not just join them?
This is a mischaracterization. Evangelical Protestants would only require that there be an assembly of genuine born again children of God.

You, however, place extra-Biblical demands on other congregations which you yourself cannot meet. Then you claim "the ground." What a joke.
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Old 04-26-2017, 09:52 PM   #140
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This is a mischaracterization. Evangelical Protestants would only require that there be an assembly of genuine born again children of God.

You, however, place extra-Biblical demands on other congregations which you yourself cannot meet. Then you claim "the ground." What a joke.
Roman Catholic = "assembly of genuine born again children of God" ? If so, why do they setup another church, why not join them? Before you criticize the LRC for "placing extra-biblical demands" I want to know why evangelical protestant denominations setup a new church in a place where a Roman Catholic church has existed first (and is this not itself an "extra-biblical demand").

Regarding "Biblical demands" - no one here so far has been able to provide a verse from the Bible justifying why the Baptist and Presbyterian denominations meet separately.
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Old 04-27-2017, 02:44 AM   #141
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If one wishes to be "connected with the church" the next question is "which church"?

In the bible this was not the situation of having to choose a church. They simply joined "the church" in the city..
In the question, the LSM LC assumes meaning. Church, here, means standing religious body. But Jesus didn't teach on this, but on being gathered in His name, and declaring His witness, and having His presence, and the power to bind and loose on earth what had already been done in heaven.

Instead, the LSM LC way is to look disdainfully at their fellows. But the only ones Jesus had contempt for were empty, religious know-it-alls.
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Old 04-27-2017, 04:49 AM   #142
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In the question, the LSM LC assumes meaning. Church, here, means standing religious body. But Jesus didn't teach on this, but on being gathered in His name, and declaring His witness, and having His presence, and the power to bind and loose on earth what had already been done in heaven.

Instead, the LSM LC way is to look disdainfully at their fellows. But the only ones Jesus had contempt for were empty, religious know-it-alls.
I can re-phrase my question, it does not change my point:

If one wishes to be "connected with the church" the next question is "which gathering in His name, declaring His witness, and having His presence, and the power to bind and loose on earth what had already been done in heaven"?
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:30 AM   #143
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I can re-phrase my question, it does not change my point:

If one wishes to be "connected with the church" the next question is "which gathering in His name, declaring His witness, and having His presence, and the power to bind and loose on earth what had already been done in heaven"?
Being connected to a church - Wouldn't that depend on the city/town/village? Also the individual/family's situation? The prompting of the Spirit?

Heaven forbid there was no LSM denomination church in ones city - THEN what would they do? Can you even have a LSM church in a town? Because then it wouldn't follow the "Church in City" framework? Would they need to move? So many questions! Why didn't someone clearly lay out these rules in scripture since it's of such importance?
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:48 AM   #144
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Is it not the situation that if any place already has a Catholic church an evangelical protestant denomination will set one up as well? Evangelicals do not recognize the Catholic church as " the church in the city" so they start their own. If you are protestant you cannot talk about our view of Rome being "perverted" without an element of hypocrisy. For example, if Roman Catholicism is "the church" in the city, then why do protestants bother starting a church there? Why not just join them?
I do not talk about the RCC as being perverted. So don't talk to me about that. I recognize that, like your group, the RCC has a view that they are the true church. But not at the extreme that you do. They do not deny the others the status as "church." They have used terms like "wounded" or "damaged." But not "perverted."

And if you want to argue about any place that already has a Catholic church, then you are in no better place. Even if there is not a Catholic church, there is already some church. Unless you go to a city that is so small that all of its inhabitants go to church in one or more nearby cities, there is no opening to claim that you are the first church there, therefore the "proper" church.

But by your own words, you declare that the brand and "distinctives" (as the Baptists call it) is important. If the RCC is first, then they are first. If you a first, then you are first. And according to you, no matter how large a city may be, and how many assemblies would be required to reasonably care for the whole of the flock in any particular city, you would claim that one brand must be the only thing present.

And of course, it must be yours.

Your declaration that the denominations are so much opposed to each other and denying each other proper status within the church is not true. Instead it is a casting of your own position onto everyone else as if they are as sectarian as you are.

But as an example, I listened to a podcast for several years that was hosted by four men who were leaders of two different churches (assemblies). One was Pentecostal/charismatic while the other was a nondescript community church most likely in the general leaning of what is known as a Bible church. They spoke on theology of all sorts of issues. And they did not agree on everything. But they did not consider the other reprobate or perverted. Nor did they consider the other's group to be a "damaged" assembly. They would encourage any Christian to join with either. And with groups other than those two. They recognized that not everyone agreed on everything. And they acknowledged the basis on which various beliefs were held. In each case they may agree or have reason to think that something else was of more importance in deciding the issue, but despite that they did not consider the other "not church" or a poor representation of the body of Christ.

These are the kinds of people that I see all the time. Pastors that meet with other pastors. Not just for some kind of false show, but because they recognize that none of them have a corner on truth beyond the basics of the redemptive work of Christ.

But your group is different. It refuses to accept that the basics are what hold us together despite other differences. You demand that other things be agreed upon as well. You make outward declarations that there is no set of doctrines you have to believe, but the truth is that to remain, you will eventually discover that there is a set of very detailed doctrines that must be agreed with, or at least kept silent about. There is no open discussion. Just like here, you don't actually engage in discussion about the substance of your positions. You simply state that they are (and use stories that fit your premise presuming that stories are proof of truth) and demand that everyone bow in awe to them. There is no other way to state it. You don't have evidence that your ways are truly prescribed as doctrine that must be followed. Like sock puppets, they are not real people, but lifeless socks that someone else's hand is making them act alive, and their voice is making it seem that they are talking.
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:09 AM   #145
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The fact that a new convert has to "choose a group", such as "your group" or "another group" after becoming a believer demonstrates the issue here. That is, being a born again believer and member of the universal body of Christ is not enough to grant a person connectivity with the whole body of Christ.
Another strawman.

Even you admit that they need to join with Christians. And it is preferable that they are joined at least somewhat regularly with a constant group of other Christians. Not because they are better or the result of a careful choice, but because they are the ones you regularly meet with.

You miss that even in a large city with the LRC present, if there was enough members of your group, you would end up meeting in more than one place. and possibly never all together in a single place. While I do not deny that meeting at all is the most that you can get out of "do not forsake the assembling of yourselves together," it is equally true that this passage does not define who you assemble with other than others of the same status as Christians. But that cannot be used to state that it must mean that you join with all Christians because that is physically impossible in a city as large as Dallas, or even Austin — how small do you think you have to go before just the Christians in that city could easily meet as a single unit (assembly)?

If you are reading into this that the assembly must be connected with other assemblies of like thinking, then you are mistaken. There is no such statement. And if you are thinking that all in a single city must be in one assembly, you are similarly mistaken. Neither is even hinted at.

Being a born again believer and a member of the universal body of Christ must be sufficient to grant them connectivity to the whole body of Christ. Unless someone else cuts them off. Unless some group declares that they cannot be connected with us as the body of Christ because they don't come our way. And that is what you do in spades. Cut everyone else off. They (including us here on this forum) do not state that the LRC and its members are not part of the body of Christ. We declare that the LRC's caustic rhetoric concerning everyone that is not part of their group is both poisoning its own members and establishing a wedge in the body that is of their own making.

The fact of any division at the extremes that you claim to exist can only be found due to your own excision of most of the body of Christ. You don't just not need a small toe, you don't need anything but a head. But that head does not appear to be Christ, but Witness Lee.
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Old 04-27-2017, 07:33 AM   #146
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Roman Catholic = "assembly of genuine born again children of God" ? If so, why do they setup another church, why not join them? Before you criticize the LRC for "placing extra-biblical demands" I want to know why evangelical protestant denominations setup a new church in a place where a Roman Catholic church has existed first (and is this not itself an "extra-biblical demand").

Regarding "Biblical demands" - no one here so far has been able to provide a verse from the Bible justifying why the Baptist and Presbyterian denominations meet separately.
We will bother when you can show us why the LRC meets separately.

As for your "first must be the only one" rhetoric, you deny that there are reasons that people meet together beyond that they are simply Christian. We meet to learn more about Christ. And to learn more about how we are to live as a result of being Christ followers created to bear his image. What would you do if you discovered that your group was not doing a good job in the teaching/learning realm? The first thing you would do is bring it up for discussion. And that is exactly what Martin Luther did. But rather than engage in a serious discussion, he was told to drop it. When he did not simply drop it, he was threatened with respect to his very life. At that point, the only options are 3: 1) capitulate and ignore the problems; 2) stand your ground and die; 3) stand your ground but allow the protection of others as you begin to engage in the discussions that you believe are needed.

And the while we point to the RCC/Lutheran split as a unique event and the splits between Protestants as something different, it is really the same thing. Someone discovers something that he believes is worthy of discussion and study but the system denies them that opportunity. And rather than just letting it go, they step out to do the study anyway and are ousted. So they start a new group. And the result has been a tendency for each group to not simply add something worthwhile to the overall teachings of an otherwise good group, but often a willful cutting off of something that remains worthwhile. And the lack of willingness to engage has allowed errant thinking to go unchecked because once they were their own group, it is harder to point to their errors from the outside.

The LRC is among that latest in this alleged flood of splinters.

But the splintering is less real that it seems. The claim that there are something like 30k+ different churches is based on the fact that everyone does not register with the IRS as a §501(c)(3) organization as simply a location of a denomination. But that does not make each one doctrinally separate from all others. Or separate by stance from all others. It is a fiction created by tax laws. I have attended two different Bible churches. But there is no way to say that Bible churches are a denomination. There is no headquarters. And no one is defining their doctrines on all things for them. They don't agree with each other on every issue. Yet they consider each other such group part of a loose collection of similars. And they do not consider that it is a closed group. They also consider those of very different positions and even denominations to be part of that same collection of similars.

And what is the thing that is similar? Christ. Christ is our unity. Not peripheral doctrine, name, or leader. Only those who want to be separated end out separated of their own volition.

Like the LRC.

There is no magic doctrine that overcomes the fact that it is not dirt or MOTA that makes us one. Only Christ. And if Christ is not divided, we are not divided. Therefore the only division is in the imagination of those who can't accept that Christ is the only unifying factor.
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Old 04-27-2017, 11:48 AM   #147
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Heaven forbid there was no LSM denomination church in ones city - THEN what would they do? Can you even have a LSM church in a town? Because then it wouldn't follow the "Church in City" framework? Would they need to move? So many questions! Why didn't someone clearly lay out these rules in scripture since it's of such importance?
That happened back in the 90's where I was meeting at the time. A number of brothers and sisters would make the 10-15 minute drive from where I know live to meet with that locality until there was "fellowship" to "take the ground" in my town. having lived here for nearly 20 years, I can assure you there are a number of assemblies to meet with if one wants to meet locally. If it's "the ministry" that's the issue rather than meeting locally, let's be honest and call it what it is and that's ministry churches.
It's been mentioned before on this forum during the GLA turmoil when certain localities made the decision they weren't going to be taking the LSM publications corporately though wouldn't discourage anyone from taking the ministry privately, that's when the blendeds saw a need for those localities to be "replastered" (a reference to Leviticus 14).
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Old 04-27-2017, 01:54 PM   #148
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Roman Catholic = "assembly of genuine born again children of God" ? If so, why do they setup another church, why not join them? Before you criticize the LRC for "placing extra-biblical demands" I want to know why evangelical protestant denominations setup a new church in a place where a Roman Catholic church has existed first (and is this not itself an "extra-biblical demand").

Regarding "Biblical demands" - no one here so far has been able to provide a verse from the Bible justifying why the Baptist and Presbyterian denominations meet separately.
The LC's have all sorts of meetings, in which they regularly meet separately -- they have their workers' meetings, children's meetings, elders' meetings, middle-aged meetings, Chinese speaking meetings, young people's meetings, college age meetings, sisters' meetings, HS and JH meetings, Spanish language meetings, deacons' meetings, etc. etc. -- and nearly all of these have no scriptural support.

Obviously both the Baptist and the Presbyterian meetings are designed to meet certain needs of certain ones in the body of Christ.

But Evangelical only can justify "LSM-approved" gatherings. Anything and everything else he must condemn.
LSM does it -- good!
Others do it -- bad!
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Old 04-27-2017, 05:36 PM   #149
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Being connected to a church - Wouldn't that depend on the city/town/village? Also the individual/family's situation? The prompting of the Spirit?

Heaven forbid there was no LSM denomination church in ones city - THEN what would they do? Can you even have a LSM church in a town? Because then it wouldn't follow the "Church in City" framework? Would they need to move? So many questions! Why didn't someone clearly lay out these rules in scripture since it's of such importance?
It is the practice of evangelical ministries and missions today to preach the gospel and establish churches in places where a Roman Catholic church has existed for centuries. This is more of less a statement that evangelical Protestantism rejects the (works-based) gospel that the Roman Catholics preach, and also believes that the RC church is unsuitable for a born again (by faith alone not works) Christian to fellowship in. This is also a statement that the RC church in the city does not represent all the Christians in the city.

If you stand for and with these ministries and churches and are not Catholic, then you cannot blame us for starting a new church in a city, without sounding a little hypocritical.

Many towns and cities had a Roman Catholic church in them first. In LA I believe the first church was a Roman Catholic church.

People should take a look at their own "log in their eye" -the existence of so many denominations that followed the Catholic churches.

You can't have it both ways. You can't on the one hand claim that the Roman Catholic church is representing the universal body of Christ, and support the starting of a new church because we don't believe the Roman Catholic church.

So I'm wondering why people on this forum take issue with us starting our own church in a city. I would say that we have the most biblical precedent to do so (No one yet has offered any biblical support about why the baptist and Presbyterians should be separated.)

Our biblical precedent is the biblical pattern of churches in localities, that (all) denominations are wrong and we are called out of Babylon.We have a much stronger biblical reason for establishing a new church in the city than many denominations which establish a new church for trivial reasons (such as methods of baptism or beliefs about the bread and wine).
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Old 04-27-2017, 05:41 PM   #150
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The LC's have all sorts of meetings, in which they regularly meet separately -- they have their workers' meetings, children's meetings, elders' meetings, middle-aged meetings, Chinese speaking meetings, young people's meetings, college age meetings, sisters' meetings, HS and JH meetings, Spanish language meetings, deacons' meetings, etc. etc. -- and nearly all of these have no scriptural support.

Obviously both the Baptist and the Presbyterian meetings are designed to meet certain needs of certain ones in the body of Christ.

But Evangelical only can justify "LSM-approved" gatherings. Anything and everything else he must condemn.
LSM does it -- good!
Others do it -- bad!
This does not really answer the question.

Your comeback at how LSM has different meetings has nothing to do with the topic here.

Note that I am talking about different churches here.. baptist versus presbyterian. What you call churches and I call sects. We are not talking about children's meetings versus adult meeting's.

If the baptist and presbyterian would redefine themselves as "meetings" and not churches then perhaps you have a valid point and my argument is for nothing. But until then, if you wish to be taken seriously as bible following Christians, then the onus is on you to provide biblical support for the different organizations that you call churches.

Remember, I'm the one "following Witness Lee and the LC" so the onus is on you to provide support for what you believe in from the Bible alone. I think you should answer this according to the Bible not for my sake but for the sake of seekers who may be reading this thread.

If you really are a bible follower and know your bible, you should be able to come up with a better reason than "people have different needs".

That's a reason but it's not an answer to my question:

no one here so far has been able to provide a verse from the Bible justifying why the Baptist and Presbyterian denominations meet separately.

"Obviously both the Baptist and the Presbyterian meetings are designed to meet certain needs of certain ones in the body of Christ. "

I will accept your reason as valid and truthful, but it lacks the biblical support.

Please provide a verse from the Bible that says "meetings are designed to meet certain needs of certain ones in the body of Christ."

If you cannot provide a verse then it will reveal who is following the Bible and who is not.

I am not interested in what man has to say about this, I want to know what biblical support there is for the Baptist and Presbyterians not meeting together.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:02 PM   #151
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We will bother when you can show us why the LRC meets separately.

As for your "first must be the only one" rhetoric, you deny that there are reasons that people meet together beyond that they are simply Christian. We meet to learn more about Christ. And to learn more about how we are to live as a result of being Christ followers created to bear his image. What would you do if you discovered that your group was not doing a good job in the teaching/learning realm? The first thing you would do is bring it up for discussion. And that is exactly what Martin Luther did. But rather than engage in a serious discussion, he was told to drop it. When he did not simply drop it, he was threatened with respect to his very life. At that point, the only options are 3: 1) capitulate and ignore the problems; 2) stand your ground and die; 3) stand your ground but allow the protection of others as you begin to engage in the discussions that you believe are needed.

And the while we point to the RCC/Lutheran split as a unique event and the splits between Protestants as something different, it is really the same thing. Someone discovers something that he believes is worthy of discussion and study but the system denies them that opportunity. And rather than just letting it go, they step out to do the study anyway and are ousted. So they start a new group. And the result has been a tendency for each group to not simply add something worthwhile to the overall teachings of an otherwise good group, but often a willful cutting off of something that remains worthwhile. And the lack of willingness to engage has allowed errant thinking to go unchecked because once they were their own group, it is harder to point to their errors from the outside.

The LRC is among that latest in this alleged flood of splinters.

But the splintering is less real that it seems. The claim that there are something like 30k+ different churches is based on the fact that everyone does not register with the IRS as a §501(c)(3) organization as simply a location of a denomination. But that does not make each one doctrinally separate from all others. Or separate by stance from all others. It is a fiction created by tax laws. I have attended two different Bible churches. But there is no way to say that Bible churches are a denomination. There is no headquarters. And no one is defining their doctrines on all things for them. They don't agree with each other on every issue. Yet they consider each other such group part of a loose collection of similars. And they do not consider that it is a closed group. They also consider those of very different positions and even denominations to be part of that same collection of similars.

And what is the thing that is similar? Christ. Christ is our unity. Not peripheral doctrine, name, or leader. Only those who want to be separated end out separated of their own volition.

Like the LRC.

There is no magic doctrine that overcomes the fact that it is not dirt or MOTA that makes us one. Only Christ. And if Christ is not divided, we are not divided. Therefore the only division is in the imagination of those who can't accept that Christ is the only unifying factor.
OBW, we meet separately for obvious practical reason. There is no problem with groups meeting separately within a city. But we do not consider each meeting within the city to be different churches like baptist and presbyterian (or any denomination) do. That is why we call them meetings. My question is about why two so-called churches (baptist and Presbyterian) can meet right next door to each other and what is the biblical precedent for doing that. Why the pastor of one church cannot work in the other church. Why in many cases a presbyterian church will not allow you to become a member if you want to remain a member of another church? If these were simply expressions of the universal body of Christ then these constraints and limitations should not exist. In bible times I am sure that a member of one household meeting in Corinth could travel and be considered a member in another household meeting in Corinth. If Paul wanted to minister today in presbyterian churches first he would have to become a member and get ordained in the presbyterian church.

Please note the clear difference here:
We do not call and setup each meeting within a city as a church
We do not set up our own "church organization"
We do not ordain and hire pastors/priests and allow them only to work/minister in the church organization we have created.
We do not build up and expand an individual meeting group over the whole world (e.g. a presbyterian church in every city).

It must be embarrassing for you that you cannot provide a bible verse to answer my question. A few days have passed now.

Any seeking ones reading this thread may realize there is no biblical support for the division between Baptists and Presbyterians. If we "pull on this thread" a little more we will see there is no biblical support for the difference between Lutheran and Anglican either. We all know the Lutheran church was created for good reason - rejection of the Catholic church and her false teachings. We all should know that the Anglican church was created because of a King's lust. There is no good biblical reason why the Anglican church was created.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:09 PM   #152
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It is the practice of evangelical ministries and missions today to preach the gospel and establish churches in places where a Roman Catholic church has existed for centuries. This is more of less a statement that evangelical Protestantism rejects the (works-based) gospel that the Roman Catholics preach, and also believes that the RC church is unsuitable for a born again (by faith alone not works) Christian to fellowship in. This is also a statement that the RC church in the city does not represent all the Christians in the city.

If you stand for and with these ministries and churches and are not Catholic, then you cannot blame us for starting a new church in a city, without sounding a little hypocritical.

Many towns and cities had a Roman Catholic church in them first. In LA I believe the first church was a Roman Catholic church.

People should take a look at their own "log in their eye" -the existence of so many denominations that followed the Catholic churches.

You can't have it both ways. You can't on the one hand claim that the Roman Catholic church is representing the universal body of Christ, and support the starting of a new church because we don't believe the Roman Catholic church.

So I'm wondering why people on this forum take issue with us starting our own church in a city. I would say that we have the most biblical precedent to do so (No one yet has offered any biblical support about why the baptist and Presbyterians should be separated.)

Our biblical precedent is the biblical pattern of churches in localities, that (all) denominations are wrong and we are called out of Babylon.We have a much stronger biblical reason for establishing a new church in the city than many denominations which establish a new church for trivial reasons (such as methods of baptism or beliefs about the bread and wine).
I'm a little confused about how the forum works. If you quote me are you talking to me or to my comment?

I think it's fine for the LSM, JW's, Mormons, Catholics, whoever to start a church wherever they would like - its a free country, I don't have to like it. But that's a whole different discussion on a point that I've never made.

There is no biblical precedent for churches in localities, as you argue.

One could argue that denominations are wrong (I would somewhat fall into that camp - but nowhere to the extent of the LSM - again a different discussion), but the LSM is the purest form of a denomination I've ever seen.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:12 PM   #153
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I'm a little confused about how the forum works. If you quote me are you talking to me or to my comment?

I think it's fine for the LSM, JW's, Mormons, Catholics, whoever to start a church wherever they would like - its a free country, I don't have to like it. But that's a whole different discussion on a point that I've never made.

There is no biblical precedent for churches in localities, as you argue.

One could argue that denominations are wrong (I would somewhat fall into that camp - but nowhere to the extent of the LSM - again a different discussion), but the LSM is the purest form of a denomination I've ever seen.
I talk to your comment. Your view presents a common view that may be held by many people (more than just yourself). So I address that.

It is the same for me. Whenever I post anything about LSM the replies I get are as if I run LSM and am Witness Lee himself.

You raise an interesting point I have not considered - "Denominations of the purest form". I would argue that the existence of a denomination is conditioned not upon what they do but what they are, how they are setup and what they represent and stand for.

It is possible for a genuine church to have 90% fornicators as members - it is possibly if the state of the church is not so good. Paul addressed these kind of genuine churches. It is possible for a sect or division to have no fornicators as members - it is easy to do, just ban anyone from your church who is not a fornicator. I hope you see my point. People are characterizing who is a church and who is not based upon the quality of their practice or teaching. Not based upon the fact they stand for a particular "flavor" and do not see themselves as representing the whole body, but only part of it.

That is, a group is not a denomination just because it has an "all welcome" sign on the front. It is a denomination because it does not believe itself to be the local expression of the universal church in the city. In other words, it admits that they are only "one of many churches" in the city. By saying that, they are really admitting that they are "one of many sects" within the one church.

If this was biblical then the version of Last Supper / Lord's table in the bible would be one of Jesus setting up multiple meetings to cater for the different needs of his disciples. One Last Supper at 9 am to cater to Peter and John's belief that the wine turns into the blood of Christ, and the next at 10 am to cater for Andrew and Matthew who believes the wine is just a symbol, and the Last Supper meeting at 11 am to cater for Judas Iscariot who believes communion is not necessary at all.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:27 PM   #154
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I talk to your comment. Your view presents a common view that may be held by many people (more than just yourself). So I address that.
But that's not my view, that's why I was confused. I can't speak to whether it is a common view or not.

As I said, I'm OK with the LSM denominations opening churches - it's a free country.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:19 PM   #155
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OBW, we meet separately for obvious practical reason. There is no problem with groups meeting separately within a city. But we do not consider each meeting within the city to be different churches like baptist and presbyterian (or any denomination) do. That is why we call them meetings. My question is about why two so-called churches (baptist and Presbyterian) can meet right next door to each other and what is the biblical precedent for doing that.
You can call it anything you want. But it does not make it not a church. A church is an assembly. It is not the whole universal body of Christ. And there is no boundary in which only one church can exist, therefore no matter how many groups (assemblies) you have to use as a practical matter, that is the number of churches. Your desire to change the nature of those words is cute, but not found in scripture.

You want to argue about what allows two groups/assemblies to meet next door to each other, yet you cannot provide even one verse that indicates they cannot. If there are no available commercial buildings and a lot of Christians are available to meet in a small area, then house churches would appear to be the way. If they move from house to house, there is reasonable chance that they could end up in two houses next door to each other. And too many in either to meet in only one. So it stands. Where is the verse that denies that outcome.

And what if the two groups don't simply agree on everything? What if forcing one to join with the other would cause friction that didn't need to exist. Not that they don't like each other or think the other is invalid. Just something that creates a bad atmosphere. You would insist that they have to meet together as one group anyway. So then who decides which way they will meet? You?

Find a verse to answer these issues. And find even one that gives you the right to declare all the others wrong and you right, therefore authorized to hurl the satanic insults to the body of Christ (and the majority of the body of Christ). I dare say that the Bible provides no such comfort for you. No verses to quote because they aren't there. The Bible never contemplates such a thing, except when it comments on those who would lord it over the flock. Who create burdens that they cannot bear themselves.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:00 PM   #156
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You can call it anything you want. But it does not make it not a church. A church is an assembly. It is not the whole universal body of Christ. And there is no boundary in which only one church can exist, therefore no matter how many groups (assemblies) you have to use as a practical matter, that is the number of churches. Your desire to change the nature of those words is cute, but not found in scripture.

You want to argue about what allows two groups/assemblies to meet next door to each other, yet you cannot provide even one verse that indicates they cannot. If there are no available commercial buildings and a lot of Christians are available to meet in a small area, then house churches would appear to be the way. If they move from house to house, there is reasonable chance that they could end up in two houses next door to each other. And too many in either to meet in only one. So it stands. Where is the verse that denies that outcome.

And what if the two groups don't simply agree on everything? What if forcing one to join with the other would cause friction that didn't need to exist. Not that they don't like each other or think the other is invalid. Just something that creates a bad atmosphere. You would insist that they have to meet together as one group anyway. So then who decides which way they will meet? You?

Find a verse to answer these issues. And find even one that gives you the right to declare all the others wrong and you right, therefore authorized to hurl the satanic insults to the body of Christ (and the majority of the body of Christ). I dare say that the Bible provides no such comfort for you. No verses to quote because they aren't there. The Bible never contemplates such a thing, except when it comments on those who would lord it over the flock. Who create burdens that they cannot bear themselves.
If the situation of denominations today is not parties and factions that Paul wrote about, then I don't know what is.

I don't think I need to post yet again the verses about having no divisions in the body.
But if you want a full list they are here:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/denominations

It's sort of cute that you're trying to portray long-standing differences in the body of Christ as simply different assemblies on a street. It is a well known fact for anyone in denominations that red tape, memberships, loyalties, and yes, disagreements, make it much more than simply just multiple assemblies like in New Testament times.

For a person who is a member of the universal body of Christ by virtue of their faith and being born again, it is insulting that the Presbyterian church says they cannot be a church member if they want to also be a member of the baptist church down the street. Or a pastor who wishes to minister in all of the Lutheran, Presbyterian, Baptist and Anglican church only to be rejected because they are not ordained in one or the other. This is a characteristic of a sect, not a genuine new testament biblical church.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:11 PM   #157
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What you call churches and I call sects.
And that is the crux of the matter. You call churches sects because they are not your group and do not follow your doctrines.

You therefore take the word at is most simplistic. Like taking the word heresy at its most simplistic. I"f you disagree with me you are a heretic."

Just throwing your words around like you do makes it clear that you are not able to actually discuss anything. You spout your garbage, declare that it is true, and ignore everything else.

You use non-scripture to actually support your positions. It is hard to call your use of scripture as much more than litter because there is often a lot of it, but it does not truly support anything you are talking about. Just has some words that you declare mean more or other than what is clearly there and move on as if your point is made and accepted.

It is hard to see scripture abused so constantly. And harder to accept that the ones doing it are trying to convince everyone else that they are the only right ones around.

If you think I am trying to drive you away, you are wrong. I am trying to shock you into some even slight realization that your closed system needs review from the inside. The way you support (or more truly fail to support) your positions is evidence that you have no idea what is being said. You repeat the pre-packaged drivel with gusto but cannot actually discuss what it says or how it is supported. Just say it is so.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:21 PM   #158
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And that is the crux of the matter. You call churches sects because they are not your group and do not follow your doctrines.

You therefore take the word at is most simplistic. Like taking the word heresy at its most simplistic. I"f you disagree with me you are a heretic."

Just throwing your words around like you do makes it clear that you are not able to actually discuss anything. You spout your garbage, declare that it is true, and ignore everything else.

You use non-scripture to actually support your positions. It is hard to call your use of scripture as much more than litter because there is often a lot of it, but it does not truly support anything you are talking about. Just has some words that you declare mean more or other than what is clearly there and move on as if your point is made and accepted.

It is hard to see scripture abused so constantly. And harder to accept that the ones doing it are trying to convince everyone else that they are the only right ones around.

If you think I am trying to drive you away, you are wrong. I am trying to shock you into some even slight realization that your closed system needs review from the inside. The way you support (or more truly fail to support) your positions is evidence that you have no idea what is being said. You repeat the pre-packaged drivel with gusto but cannot actually discuss what it says or how it is supported. Just say it is so.
I call them sects because they do not fit what the bible says about churches:
https://www.openbible.info/topics/denominations

The Catholic encyclopedia also calls and considers them to be sects. history can be useful sometimes!

The continued lack of use of scripture by you on this topic to either refute what I say, or present your own view is noticeable. And yes, scripture should be accompanied by non-scripture like theological resources and bible commentaries. It was you people who said Witness Lee was not a theologian. But you don't use the theologians yourselves.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:31 PM   #159
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And what is the thing that is similar? Christ. Christ is our unity. Not peripheral doctrine, name, or leader. Only those who want to be separated end out separated of their own volition.

Like the LRC.

There is no magic doctrine that overcomes the fact that it is not dirt or MOTA that makes us one. Only Christ. And if Christ is not divided, we are not divided. Therefore the only division is in the imagination of those who can't accept that Christ is the only unifying factor.
Your Christ is unity idea is a fantasy, a theory, an idea that renders Paul's words against divisions and factions of no meaning and no applicability today. You might be able to be taken seriously if there were only 2 or 3 denominations. But hundreds? You are not in reality, your head is in the clouds - "love and peace, man" - you been smoking that denominational dope again? Practically we see "Christ is our unity" is not displayed much at all. We may as well say "Shoes are our unity" because every Christian wears shoes. Christ is our unity but don't let that stop the Presbyterians requiring a membership agreement before they extend the hand of fellowship to you - or the Orthodox requiring a lengthy "conversion" process. According to you these are all just like little house assemblies on the street like in New testament times - isn't the fellowship so sweet and lovely? Roll back 500 years, I wonder if you could say that "Christ is our unity" nonsense while you were being tied to the stake by Catholics for being Protestant. Or being tied to the stake by Anglicans for being a Baptist. See

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Old 04-28-2017, 05:56 AM   #160
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Your Christ is unity idea is a fantasy, a theory, an idea that renders Paul's words against divisions and factions of no meaning and no applicability today. You might be able to be taken seriously if there were only 2 or 3 denominations. But hundreds? You are not in reality, your head is in the clouds - "love and peace, man" - you been smoking that denominational dope again? Practically we see "Christ is our unity" is not displayed much at all. We may as well say "Shoes are our unity" because every Christian wears shoes. Christ is our unity but don't let that stop the Presbyterians requiring a membership agreement before they extend the hand of fellowship to you - or the Orthodox requiring a lengthy "conversion" process. According to you these are all just like little house assemblies on the street like in New testament times - isn't the fellowship so sweet and lovely? Roll back 500 years, I wonder if you could say that "Christ is our unity" nonsense while you were being tied to the stake by Catholics for being Protestant. Or being tied to the stake by Anglicans for being a Baptist.
And it is clear that your goal is the invalidation of everyone that is not you so you don't have anyone that you consider worthy to challenge your non-starter teachings. So that you can be the unique move of God with no challenger or other participants. So that you can enjoy the superiority of pedigree that Lee said dirt would provide.

I tire of showing how less divided Christianity is from each other than you are from all of them. You point at a hint of division and lay nuclear charges in a fault line so that you will be fully separated from them. You ignore that the charge to unity was not in meeting place or doctrinal preference of the elders. It was "in Christ." So either you have started a fight with those who are "in Christ" and are willfully dividing from them in the most extreme way, or you are declaring that they are not in Christ so that you can do it without dividing. And if they are not in Christ, then there is no reason to talk about their sins of division because they are not Christian.

Do you dare go there? Or do you admit that you are denigrating the majority of the people of Christ while waiving a wand over yourself to keep from being seen as the divisive sect that you are.
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Old 04-28-2017, 06:45 AM   #161
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[QUOTE=Evangelical;59260]Many denominations require membership - Hank had to go through a lengthy conversion process to join the Orthodox. We don't, you just have to be a born again believer in Christ. Your "violation tenfold" idea is just wrong. Why don't you join a Orthodox church and see how long it takes you to be accepted as a member, if they will accept you at all. Then come back and try to tell me that it is a "ten fold violation".

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Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
You do realize that the president of your religious sect (Benson Phillips) has stated that the process of sanctification only takes place in the Local Church of Witness Lee?[/COLOR]



I can't address this if you don't understand the difference between being born again and sanctification.

Why are you using my name to quote things I didn't write?

Either way - why use "many denominations do XYZ" to illustrate your point? The Orthodox Church does this or that - SO Witness Lee was clearly right.

All of these arguments aren't predicated on the idea "denominations must be right - they are THE WAY!"
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Old 04-28-2017, 07:21 AM   #162
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Evangelical. leastofthese and others.
Sorry for the recent confusion on this thread. I think it was probably an editing error on my part. Anyway, I have reconstructed the original postings by myself and Evangelical the best I can at this point. I will respond to Evangelical when I get a chance later today.


Quote from Evangelical
Quote:
This is a statement that to be a born again Christian is not enough. All of these denominations violate the principle of being a member of the church only by being born again. That is why they are sects, not churches.
Quote from UntoHim
If what you say is true, then the Local Church of Witness Lee violates this principle tenfold more than any Christian denomination that I know of.

Quote from Evangelical:
Quote:
Many denominations require membership - Hank had to go through a lengthy conversion process to join the Orthodox. We don't, you just have to be a born again believer in Christ. Your "violation tenfold" idea is just wrong. Why don't you join a Orthodox church and see how long it takes you to be accepted as a member, if they will accept you at all. Then come back and try to tell me that it is a "ten fold violation".
Quote from UntoHim
You do realize that the president of your religious sect (Benson Phillips) has stated that the process of sanctification only takes place in the Local Church of Witness Lee?

Quote from Benson Phillips
"In any case, do not leave the Lord’s recovery. I can assure you that if you go away from the Lord’s recovery, you will have no way for the process of sanctification to go forward within you. Instead, you will just enter into a bankrupt situation. I know of no one who has left the Lord’s recovery and today is a great spiritual person on the earth. The sanctification process is carried out in the Lord’s recovery"
(The Ministry Magazine Vol. 8, No. 1 Page 189, first paragraph)


Quote from UntoHim
Doesn't sound like Mr. Ben thinks that "only being born again" is good enough, now does it? Of course we all know very well where brother Phillips got this absurd notion, now don't we? If Witness Lee believed that "only being born again" was good enough, he wouldn't have spend 50+ years trying to convince his captive audience otherwise.

Quote from Evngelical:
Quote:
I can't address this if you don't understand the difference between being born again and sanctification.
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Old 04-28-2017, 04:44 PM   #163
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And it is clear that your goal is the invalidation of everyone that is not you so you don't have anyone that you consider worthy to challenge your non-starter teachings. So that you can be the unique move of God with no challenger or other participants. So that you can enjoy the superiority of pedigree that Lee said dirt would provide.

I tire of showing how less divided Christianity is from each other than you are from all of them. You point at a hint of division and lay nuclear charges in a fault line so that you will be fully separated from them. You ignore that the charge to unity was not in meeting place or doctrinal preference of the elders. It was "in Christ." So either you have started a fight with those who are "in Christ" and are willfully dividing from them in the most extreme way, or you are declaring that they are not in Christ so that you can do it without dividing. And if they are not in Christ, then there is no reason to talk about their sins of division because they are not Christian.

Do you dare go there? Or do you admit that you are denigrating the majority of the people of Christ while waiving a wand over yourself to keep from being seen as the divisive sect that you are.

I think any rational and logical person would question your claim "of less divided" versus "more divided". To say a couple is "less divorced" than another couple just doesn't make logical sense. It also doesn't make sense to say a couple is "more married" than another couple. A couple is either divorced or married - it's a binary thing. Similarly two churches are either divided or not. Your idea that denominations are "less divided than us" is not something a rational and logical person would say.

To drive my point home - if I mix orange juice and apple juice, they are mixed, and if I don't, they are divided. There is no such thing as the two juices being "more or less divided". One would not say that combining 10% orange juice and 90% apple juice makes the orange juice "more divided" than "50% orange and 50% apple juice". They are either mixed together, or they are separated.

There is also a contradiction in your arguments.

If I say "such and such a church is not a church but a sect" you will say I am "denigrating the majority of the people of Christ". By saying this you, not me, have coupled their identity in Christ with the church/denomination/sect they are part of. Essentially you are saying if I "attack" the denomination I am "attacking" them. This somewhat contradicts your statement that a "charge to unity was not in a meeting place or doctrinal preference". That is my argument all along - and why denominations are not simply "two different meeting places" but cuts/sects/divisions in the body.

On the other hand, if I point out that baptist and presbyterian on the same street are a division, you will argue that they are all "one in Christ" - their denomination does not divide them. This is only true in a theoretical spiritual church which does not exist in practice on the earth. This is as "head in the clouds" view of denominations.

Hopefully you can see the contradiction in your argument.

Which is it? You cannot have it both ways. A person cannot be identified by their denomination on the one hand, (for which you say I denigrate the individuals in Christ), and not identified by their denomination on the other (when you say they are not a division).

There are only two possible coherent arguments you could make.
1) Any statement against a denomination is a statement against the individuals in that denomination - and yes two different churches on a street are a division - a baptist Christian is different from a Presbyterian Christian.

2) A persons identity in Christ is independent of the denomination which they attend, so an attack on a denomination is not an attack on the individual person in Christ - and no, two different churches on a street are not a division - baptist and presbyterian are just two different assemblies of people in Christ.
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:05 PM   #164
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I think any rational and logical person would question your claim "of less divided" versus "more divided". To say a couple is "less divorced" than another couple just doesn't make logical sense. It also doesn't make sense to say a couple is "more married" than another couple. A couple is either divorced or married - it's a binary thing. Similarly two churches are either divided or not. Your idea that denominations are "less divided than us" is not something a rational and logical person would say.
The fact that you can point to something that has an all-or-nothing aspect of being together or being separate does not mean that the actual situation corresponds to your example. If we are talking about how well a married couple that is not divorced gets along, there is a broad range to be considered, all the way down to "don't even live in the same house in the same country" status while still married. And until they get a divorce, they are married no matter how dire it may seem.

Now don't go trying to make hay out of my reference to the situation being "dire." That is a reference to the situation of a married couple. The fact that you can find a correspondence at all between denominations and a married couple does not mean that all factors are the same. Just the one you bring up to make a comparison.

But actually, the only thing I need to show about marriage is that it is not simply "married and everything is good" v "divorced and everything is in the crapper." Your use of marriage as a metaphor presumes that only the all or nothing could be compared when actually, if it is an anyway a true metaphor, it is almost certainly an analysis of the most perfect marriage v the worst you can find that has not divorced.

Otherwise the claim of scripture that unity is in Christ is made into a lie.

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To drive my point home - if I mix orange juice and apple juice, they are mixed, and if I don't, they are divided. There is no such thing as the two juices being "more or less divided". One would not say that combining 10% orange juice and 90% apple juice makes the orange juice "more divided" than "50% orange and 50% apple juice". They are either mixed together, or they are separated.
The fact that you can make an example that has the appearance of dealing with the issue at hand does not mean you have succeeded in doing so.

Just like you failure in the marriage metaphor, you fail in that there are many things that differ among the people of the body of Christ and they do not have to actually meet together for those differences to be absolved. The wall is torn down between Jew and Gentile, but not all gentiles have Jews in their assemblies nor do all Jewish assemblies have Gentiles. The orange juice and the apple juice have not mixed.

And even where they do "mix," it is not in the way of mixing orange juice and apple juice. Once you do that there is no way to separate them, but the individuals remain individuals. They can move to another location. They can discover that someone they know is at a different assembly and join there. Or they could discover that the assembly they are part of is allowing Jezebel to teach deep things of Satan and move to another nearby assembly.

Under the mixing of juices metaphor, there is no more orange juice and there is no more apple juice. Just a mixture that cannot be pulled back apart.

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If I say "such and such a church is not a church but a sect" you will say I am "denigrating the majority of the people of Christ". By saying this you, not me, have coupled their identity in Christ with the church/denomination/sect they are part of.
Show me how, other than by games of semantics, you are not denigrating them individually?

You assert that anyone that speaks against the LRC is an "opposer." You assert that ones who were among you that start to have questions or doubts are "poison." And when the majority from within your own group cease to order LSM materials and they don't center their meetings upon those materials, you separate and start a new group with a slightly altered name (and in some cases sue to gain rights to the name).

Under those conditions, how are we to understand anything said against those of us, separately or as a groups, who do not adhere to you understanding of scripture as being about anything less than the people?

And that brings up the unstated-but-always-present doctrine of dirt. You talk as if there is something making you right for separating yet another time rather than working for the true unity. You ignore that oneness of the body is in Christ. It is not in assembly, affiliation, leadership, or anything else. So using difference in assembly, affiliation, leadership, or anything else to declare an assembly a sect rather than a church is to declare the church to be a sect. If the church is a sect, then what are you? Must not be either church or sect. Something else? Something not really Christian?

I would not say that to be true. But if I didn't realize that real Christians are capable of turning against the universal oneness of the body of Christ over stupid things, I would have to accept that you are not Christian.

As for your doctrine of the ground, it is properly mocked as a faux doctrine. The moniker "doctrine of dirt" is not a slam against Christ because he created no such doctrine. You toss it around as if it is simply true. And when we actually discuss it, you point to a couple of passages that could be read that way, but only as a possible understanding that would need more support. But you turn it into a must that is never stated in such a way and then charge everyone else with being a sect because they/we do not see it your way. So it is safe to say that your entire foundation is a "remote chance that it is actually true but never actually stated" doctrine that, coupled with a misreading of Paul's comments in 1 Cor 1 - 4, creates a situation under which your position has a remote chance of being true. But even if it were, to take the position of separating from those others because of your rule and then calling them a sect is to do exactly what Paul was admonishing the Corinthians against.

We are one in:

Christ, not race
Christ, not gender
Christ, not nationality
Christ, not age
Christ, not assembly
Christ, not position on Calvinism v Arminianism
Christ, not immersion v sprinkling
Christ, not commonality of doctrine

And if the basis of unity is not assembly or doctrine, then whether they have a name or disagree on some peripheral doctrines does not change anything. We are one.

And until you find something that allows you to reverse anything into unity on a basis other than Christ, when you call any assembly a sect, you willfully strike out against the unity in Christ. You make a mockery of any claim you have to unity with anyone but yourselves.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:01 PM   #165
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The fact that you can point to something that has an all-or-nothing aspect of being together or being separate does not mean that the actual situation corresponds to your example. If we are talking about how well a married couple that is not divorced gets along, there is a broad range to be considered, all the way down to "don't even live in the same house in the same country" status while still married. And until they get a divorce, they are married no matter how dire it may seem.

Now don't go trying to make hay out of my reference to the situation being "dire." That is a reference to the situation of a married couple. The fact that you can find a correspondence at all between denominations and a married couple does not mean that all factors are the same. Just the one you bring up to make a comparison.

But actually, the only thing I need to show about marriage is that it is not simply "married and everything is good" v "divorced and everything is in the crapper." Your use of marriage as a metaphor presumes that only the all or nothing could be compared when actually, if it is an anyway a true metaphor, it is almost certainly an analysis of the most perfect marriage v the worst you can find that has not divorced.

Otherwise the claim of scripture that unity is in Christ is made into a lie.

The fact that you can make an example that has the appearance of dealing with the issue at hand does not mean you have succeeded in doing so.

Just like you failure in the marriage metaphor, you fail in that there are many things that differ among the people of the body of Christ and they do not have to actually meet together for those differences to be absolved. The wall is torn down between Jew and Gentile, but not all gentiles have Jews in their assemblies nor do all Jewish assemblies have Gentiles. The orange juice and the apple juice have not mixed.

And even where they do "mix," it is not in the way of mixing orange juice and apple juice. Once you do that there is no way to separate them, but the individuals remain individuals. They can move to another location. They can discover that someone they know is at a different assembly and join there. Or they could discover that the assembly they are part of is allowing Jezebel to teach deep things of Satan and move to another nearby assembly.

Under the mixing of juices metaphor, there is no more orange juice and there is no more apple juice. Just a mixture that cannot be pulled back apart.

Show me how, other than by games of semantics, you are not denigrating them individually?

You assert that anyone that speaks against the LRC is an "opposer." You assert that ones who were among you that start to have questions or doubts are "poison." And when the majority from within your own group cease to order LSM materials and they don't center their meetings upon those materials, you separate and start a new group with a slightly altered name (and in some cases sue to gain rights to the name).

Under those conditions, how are we to understand anything said against those of us, separately or as a groups, who do not adhere to you understanding of scripture as being about anything less than the people?

And that brings up the unstated-but-always-present doctrine of dirt. You talk as if there is something making you right for separating yet another time rather than working for the true unity. You ignore that oneness of the body is in Christ. It is not in assembly, affiliation, leadership, or anything else. So using difference in assembly, affiliation, leadership, or anything else to declare an assembly a sect rather than a church is to declare the church to be a sect. If the church is a sect, then what are you? Must not be either church or sect. Something else? Something not really Christian?

I would not say that to be true. But if I didn't realize that real Christians are capable of turning against the universal oneness of the body of Christ over stupid things, I would have to accept that you are not Christian.

As for your doctrine of the ground, it is properly mocked as a faux doctrine. The moniker "doctrine of dirt" is not a slam against Christ because he created no such doctrine. You toss it around as if it is simply true. And when we actually discuss it, you point to a couple of passages that could be read that way, but only as a possible understanding that would need more support. But you turn it into a must that is never stated in such a way and then charge everyone else with being a sect because they/we do not see it your way. So it is safe to say that your entire foundation is a "remote chance that it is actually true but never actually stated" doctrine that, coupled with a misreading of Paul's comments in 1 Cor 1 - 4, creates a situation under which your position has a remote chance of being true. But even if it were, to take the position of separating from those others because of your rule and then calling them a sect is to do exactly what Paul was admonishing the Corinthians against.

We are one in:

Christ, not race
Christ, not gender
Christ, not nationality
Christ, not age
Christ, not assembly
Christ, not position on Calvinism v Arminianism
Christ, not immersion v sprinkling
Christ, not commonality of doctrine

And if the basis of unity is not assembly or doctrine, then whether they have a name or disagree on some peripheral doctrines does not change anything. We are one.

And until you find something that allows you to reverse anything into unity on a basis other than Christ, when you call any assembly a sect, you willfully strike out against the unity in Christ. You make a mockery of any claim you have to unity with anyone but yourselves.

"But even if it were, to take the position of separating from those others because of your rule and then calling them a sect is to do exactly what Paul was admonishing the Corinthians against."

That is only if our original position, was to be in the genuine church, as the Corinthians were. This statement of yours is fine but only if we are in the genuine church to begin with. Apply this statement to someone in the JW church for example,and it doesn't make sense.

If we both lived in Corinth, I would be in the "church in Corinth" and you would be in whatever denomination you want to be in. Paul's instructions are for me to avoid becoming like you. Paul's instructions are not for you to avoid becoming like me, because I am already in the "church in Corinth". If I am already in the church in Corinth then for you, as a person in a sect, to say I am "striking against unity in Christ" is silly. It is as if Martin Luther, once separated from the Catholic church, told the Pope they are "striking against unity" when they ask Luther to come back. But in this instance, we are not talking about the Roman Catholic church, but the genuine church in the locality.

Many things in the Christian life are binary things. Heaven/Hell, Saved/unsaved, born again/not born again. It is the same with church, we're either in oneness or we ain't.

I don't know what is the rule you are using to determine "more" divided versus "less" divided. For example, is two denominations that meet together once a month more divided than a denomination that meets together every week? What if those two denominations are Catholic and Mormon, versus Baptist and Presbyterian.. are two denominations more or less divided than each other? "more" or "less" divided is entirely up to your subjective interpretation. For example, are two churches, Catholic and Protestant, that meet together every week more in unity than two churches of the same denomination separated by a 5 hours drive?

The denomination might say they are in unity and in one with each other because they have the same beliefs and belong to the same organization. The Catholic and Protestant might say they are divided by their 500 year history, even though they meet together they don't feel the oneness.

Just because a divorced mom and a dad might get together for the sake of their children's birthdays does not mean they are "less divided" than a divorced couple that never sees each other.

I believe that if a person truly had their identity in Christ and believed in the universal oneness they would not be offended when something negative is said about their denomination. If they are offended this indicates that their identity is in their denomination and not in Christ.

It is contradictory to talk about the unity in Christ and then categorize believers as "more divided" or "less divided". Believers are either meeting together as universal members of the body of Christ or they are meeting as subgroup or sect of that universality. There is no grey area of being "more divided" versus "less divided". The bible never talks this way. The bible never praises one group for being less divided than another. Paul simply says "i hear there are factions among you" (1 Cor 11:18). It does not matter if those factions are within a single house church, or whether the factions are meeting in places separated by a 1 hour drive, it's still a division.

The term sect in itself is not a negative term, it means a cut or division.
Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and probably Anglican/Lutheran too don't see themselves as sects, but represent the whole universal body. So the situation is one of multiple groups representing the universal body which is a situation of confusion. Then there are groups which see themselves as only "one of many" churches. They see themselves as sub-groups, so they are a sub-group, or a sect.
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Old 05-01-2017, 08:00 PM   #166
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What does this discussion have to do with the Bible Answer Man's Conversion?

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Old 05-01-2017, 11:25 PM   #167
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I think it's related to the topic because Hank has joined a church (Orthodox) which considers all other churches to be sects and believes itself to be the only true church in the city. Some have gone so far as to say that the Orthodox church is a cult.

I pointed out the irony here, that while people are proudly saying that Hank did not join the LRC. Let me remind everyone that the church he joined considers the church you belong to not to be a real church. Furthermore, they doubt your eternal salvation unless you are part of the church. This is something the LR never does because we believe in salvation by faith alone.

So I think a discussion about the difference between sects and churches is relevant. I presented the LR view which is based upon the bible and what it reveals about the locality. The Orthodox view is based upon church tradition - Catholic too. The prevailing view on here seems to be that all groups of Christians meeting together are churches. So any Christians who get together and read the bible together can be considered a church.

I think the biggest problem that evangelical protestants struggle with on this issue is considering there could be one true church in the city. Any group that claims itself to be THE church in the city is automatically given cult status. The internet is full of "is Catholic a cult, is Orthodox a cult" questions on protestant websites. Any group which is against the status quo, even if they have existed for thousands of years, is questioned. This is because evangelical protestants consider the many divisions to be a normal situation. When according to the bible and church history, it is quite abnormal.
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Old 05-02-2017, 05:22 AM   #168
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I think the biggest problem that evangelical protestants struggle with on this issue is considering there could be one true church in the city. Any group that claims itself to be THE church in the city is automatically given cult status. The internet is full of "is Catholic a cult, is Orthodox a cult" questions on protestant websites. Any group which is against the status quo, even if they have existed for thousands of years, is questioned. This is because evangelical protestants consider the many divisions to be a normal situation. When according to the bible and church history, it is quite abnormal.
Of course evangelicals consider there is one true church in every city.

They also consider there is only one true church in every state.

In every country too ... Composed of all the true, believing, born again, blood washed, children of God.

What's scary are the LC demands that only LSM books are read, only LSM trainings are legit and required, only LSM appointed elders must rule this church in every city, only LSM ...
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:46 AM   #169
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If we both lived in Corinth, I would be in the "church in Corinth" and you would be in whatever denomination you want to be in. Paul's instructions are for me to avoid becoming like you. Paul's instructions are not for you to avoid becoming like me, because I am already in the "church in Corinth". If I am already in the church in Corinth then for you, as a person in a sect, to say I am "striking against unity in Christ" is silly.
So the Catholics point to Peter as the ground for the true church, right? And the Orthodox because they have held true to the practices, traditions, and teachings of the apostles? And the LSM because Witness Lee recovered a divine revelation from God on the importance of the ground of oneness manifested through a ministry in Anaheim?
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:50 AM   #170
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