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Glorious Church Life! Discussions regarding the beginnings of the Local Church in the USA/North America. Emphasis on the 60s and 70s.

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Old 08-09-2018, 04:48 PM   #1
leastofthese
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Default Grace, mercy, humility

Can someone point me to any work of Witness Lee or LSM approved literature that shows Lee demonstrating grace/mercy/humility towards other believers who don't accept his authoritarian, all inclusive interpretation of scripture or share his point of view of the Christian life? Or a piece of work where he actively demonstrates that he doesn't hold an unquestionable understanding of a specific truth?

I want to be clear, I'm not stating they don't exist, I'd like some reference points for a discussion outside of this forum.

Thanks!

LoT
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Old 08-11-2018, 09:51 AM   #2
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Default Re: Grace, mercy, humility

This isn't a very strong one but in the "One Publication" letter (an authoritarian document if I've ever seen one), there is this paragraph:

"Finally, all the churches and saints everywhere must understand that the matter of one publication is not a matter of the common faith but something related to the one ministry in the Lord’s recovery. The ministry is the sounding of the trumpet among us in the Lord’s recovery, and there should be no uncertain sounding of this trumpet, as Brother Lee has mentioned on a number of occasions. However, the one publication should not become the basis of our accepting or rejecting any persons in the communion of faith or in the fellowship of the churches; it should not be insisted on as an item of the faith. If any are not inclined to be restricted in one publication, these ones are still our brothers; they are still in the genuine local churches."

I know many (including me) could dissect this paragraph in terms of what has actually been practiced, or in the "on the other hand" view of what the rest of the document says, but I don't intend that this thread go down that path since that's not what you're asking (another thread on the "One Publication" could work for those purposes though).

I'll keep looking in Lee's actual ministry for anything.

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Old 08-11-2018, 11:26 AM   #3
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Default Re: Grace, mercy, humility

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Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
Can someone point me to any work of Witness Lee or LSM approved literature that shows Lee demonstrating grace/mercy/humility towards other believers who don't accept his authoritarian, all inclusive interpretation of scripture or share his point of view of the Christian life? Or a piece of work where he actively demonstrates that he doesn't hold an unquestionable understanding of a specific truth?

I want to be clear, I'm not stating they don't exist, I'd like some reference points for a discussion outside of this forum.

Thanks!

LoT
Lee's early ministry was far more gracious and accommodating.

The one book that comes to mind is The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life based on messages given in 1971.

Anything published by Stream Publishers, rather than Living Stream Ministry, is more apt to demonstrate mercy and grace to other believers.
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Grace, mercy, humility

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Lee's early ministry was far more gracious and accommodating.

The one book that comes to mind is The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life based on messages given in 1971.

Anything published by Stream Publishers, rather than Living Stream Ministry, is more apt to demonstrate mercy and grace to other believers.
Yes, that simple book was one I got more light from than perhaps anything else by WL. I remember being blessed right out of my socks (major bubbling enjoyment!) over reading that book! The basic idea is to not hold the unessential matters of the faith in such high regard as to then cause separation and division. The basics of the faith we must hold dear, but all else we can be flexible in, so as not to stumble our brother and hurt the oneness of the faith. One of the very best WL writings in my humble estimation.

I was fellowshipping with a brother yesterday after Thursday breakfast. We agreed that the oneness is displayed by the one loaf represented at the Lord's Table - everyone is welcome and comes to partake of the feast of Christ with one another. Oneness is not through the agreement on any doctrine or teaching, no matter how high and correct that teaching appears to be. (eventually it - a high teaching or whatever - will be manifested as something replacing Christ as the foundation - it's fruit will stinketh)

If I recall correctly, and I looked at that book just recently, the so-called "Ground of Oneness" (one church one city) was not held up as an essential matter of the faith that we must be firm on with one another.
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Old 08-17-2018, 06:45 PM   #5
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Yes, that simple book was one I got more light from than perhaps anything else by WL. I remember being blessed right out of my socks (major bubbling enjoyment!) over reading that book! The basic idea is to not hold the unessential matters of the faith in such high regard as to then cause separation and division. The basics of the faith we must hold dear, but all else we can be flexible in, so as not to stumble our brother and hurt the oneness of the faith. One of the very best WL writings in my humble estimation.

I was fellowshipping with a brother yesterday after Thursday breakfast. We agreed that the oneness is displayed by the one loaf represented at the Lord's Table - everyone is welcome and comes to partake of the feast of Christ with one another. Oneness is not through the agreement on any doctrine or teaching, no matter how high and correct that teaching appears to be. (eventually it - a high teaching or whatever - will be manifested as something replacing Christ as the foundation - it's fruit will stinketh)

If I recall correctly, and I looked at that book just recently, the so-called "Ground of Oneness" (one church one city) was not held up as an essential matter of the faith that we must be firm on with one another.
“This does not mean, however, that a real believer in Christ who does not agree with one city, one church is not saved. He or she is saved, but there is something lacking, not for salvation but for the proper church life.”

The problem, however, is that when we visit another local church, we may tell the saints there that the practice in the local church where we are is the right way. We may try to make the church in another city like the church in our place. We should not do this. We should never say that the way in our church is the normal way. It is absolutely not right to correct others like this. Your way might be the worst. But even if it is the best, there is no need for you to try to convince others to take it. To try to convince others of your way will only cause division. If you think that your way is the best and it indeed is the best, others will see it and will learn of it. If others do not care to learn of it, that is up to them.

Now let us consider a further point. Suppose a local church stresses the oneness, the unity. It stresses one city, one church all the time. One city, one church even becomes the church’s slogan. As a result, some of the saints become dissenting, even undermining the church by going from member to member and saying, “This is really too much. The church here is a one city, one church sect. It is a local- church sect.” If this is the case, Romans 16:17 has to be applied to the dissenting saints. This is the same in principle as with our Christian faith when we say that the Bible is God’s Word, divinely inspired word by word. Regardless of how much we say this, it does not mean that we overemphasize it. Day by day we may say this, yet still we are not overemphasizing it, because this is something specific in our Christian faith. But suppose someone says, “Only say that the word of the Bible is inspired by God. Do not emphasize word by word. Just take the Bible in a general way. The Bible is good, but probably some of the verses, at least some of the words, are not inspired by God. Some are only spoken by the writers themselves.” In such a case we must apply Romans 16:17.
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Old 08-20-2018, 11:29 AM   #6
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Default Re: Grace, mercy, humility

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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Yes, that simple book was one I got more light from than perhaps anything else by WL. I remember being blessed right out of my socks (major bubbling enjoyment!) over reading that book! The basic idea is to not hold the unessential matters of the faith in such high regard as to then cause separation and division. The basics of the faith we must hold dear, but all else we can be flexible in, so as not to stumble our brother and hurt the oneness of the faith. One of the very best WL writings in my humble estimation.
I would agree Sons to Glory. One of the best of Witness Lee writings, but it leaves a hollow and sad feeling knowing no matter how good the teaching is as demonstrated in the writings, the practices is not there.
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:00 PM   #7
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Default Re: Grace, mercy, humility

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Now let us consider a further point. Suppose a local church stresses the oneness, the unity. It stresses one city, one church all the time. One city, one church even becomes the church’s slogan. As a result, some of the saints become dissenting, even undermining the church by going from member to member and saying, “This is really too much. The church here is a one city, one church sect. It is a local- church sect.” If this is the case, Romans 16:17 has to be applied to the dissenting saints. This is the same in principle as with our Christian faith when we say that the Bible is God’s Word, divinely inspired word by word. Regardless of how much we say this, it does not mean that we overemphasize it. Day by day we may say this, yet still we are not overemphasizing it, because this is something specific in our Christian faith. But suppose someone says, “Only say that the word of the Bible is inspired by God. Do not emphasize word by word. Just take the Bible in a general way. The Bible is good, but probably some of the verses, at least some of the words, are not inspired by God. Some are only spoken by the writers themselves.” In such a case we must apply Romans 16:17.
So here is Romans 16:17-18
Quote:
I urge you, brothers and sisters, to watch out for those who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teaching you have learned. Keep away from them. 18 For such people are not serving our Lord Christ, but their own appetites. By smooth talk and flattery they deceive the minds of naive people.
So where do these "dissenting" ones go? Is there then the "Church in (Wherever) of the Dissenting Ones" formed? I dunno - just asking . . . (seems above my current pay grade)
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:02 PM   #8
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Default Re: Grace, mercy, humility

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I would agree Sons to Glory. One of the best of Witness Lee writings, but it leaves a hollow and sad feeling knowing no matter how good the teaching is as demonstrated in the writings, the practices is not there.
Yes, it is a most supreme irony!
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Old 08-20-2018, 12:39 PM   #9
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Default Re: Grace, mercy, humility

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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Yes, that simple book was one I got more light from than perhaps anything else by WL. I remember being blessed right out of my socks (major bubbling enjoyment!) over reading that book!
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Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I would agree Sons to Glory. One of the best of Witness Lee writings, but it leaves a hollow and sad feeling knowing no matter how good the teaching is as demonstrated in the writings, the practice is not there.
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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Yes, it is a most supreme irony!
So this is why many of us have been so hard on WL's practices -- because he KNEW the proper and healthy teachings of the N.T. -- yet he decided that his own personal ministry business trumped the scripture and the needs of the saints. As a result, there have been a long trail of victims ... decades long.
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