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Old 02-25-2019, 06:31 PM   #1
Trapped
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Default Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

Quote from Lee’s ministry:

"Verse 12 says, "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is the Christ" (Gk.). In this verse Paul brings in the concept that Christ is the Body. You may be familiar with the fact that in verse 12 we see the Body-Christ, the corporate Christ, not the individual Christ. Yes, we are the corporate Christ. However, if we are dumb when we gather together in the meetings, Christ has no way to come forth. He cannot come forth when we are silent. But when we are spiritual, speaking and functioning in the meetings, Christ comes out. When you speak for Christ, Christ comes forth in your speaking. If we all speak forth Christ, then the corporate Christ, the Body-Christ, will come forth. This is Christ as the Body. In order to have the Body-Christ, we all need to speak."

Lee makes a leap here that I just don't see, although maybe it is legitimate, in which case I welcome an explanation. I don't read 1 Cor. 12:12 and get the concept that "Christ is the Body". I read it and get that many members of the human body are one, and in like manner all the members of Christ's Body are one, including with Christ Himself, the Head.

Using a term like “the corporate Christ” or “the Body-Christ” seems unnecessary and like they could easily lead to a misunderstanding of the concept. It’s as if we are Christ without Him, or as if there are two Christs......the Head-Christ and the Body-Christ, or Christ and the corporate Christ. We have the Biblical phrase “the Body of Christ".......why torque it into “the Body-Christ”??

The verse, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” does come to mind, when of course in reality Saul was persecuting the believers, the Body. In the LC this was always explained as persecuting the believers is persecuting the Lord Himself, with the example given that if someone punches your arm, you don’t say “Ow, why did you punch my arm?” you say “Ow, why did you punch ME?”

But other Bible commentaries on this verse say things like “Christ speaks of Himself as persecuted by Saul, because ‘in all the affliction of his people he is afflicted’ (Isaiah 63:9), and ‘whoso toucheth them, toucheth the apple of his eye’ (Zechariah 2:8).” This kind of explanation seems to me to provide one healthy degree of removal......kind of emphasizing how great the Lord’s love is for us that persecuting us is like persecuting Him, rather than, essentially, we = Christ.

Another thought is that in the analogy, where punching my arm is punching ME, and that my body = ME, well.......our body ISN’T actually us. Our body just “houses” us. What is “us” continues on after death and ever after the body has decayed away. So in that sense, it’s like the body is what contains and carries out the functions of us, and in the same way the Body is what contains and carries out the functions of Christ, and in this way persecuting the Body is persecuting Christ, but the body doesn’t EQUAL Christ. After all, how could Christ marry Christ?

I may be off here and am happy to be enlightened. Maybe this is mysterious and has to remain that way. Just thinking out loud mostly.
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Old 02-25-2019, 07:20 PM   #2
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

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Another thought is that in the analogy, where punching my arm is punching ME, and that my body = ME, well.......our body ISN’T actually us. Our body just “houses” us. What is “us” continues on after death and ever after the body has decayed away. So in that sense, it’s like the body is what contains and carries out the functions of us, and in the same way the Body is what contains and carries out the functions of Christ, and in this way persecuting the Body is persecuting Christ, but the body doesn’t EQUAL Christ. After all, how could Christ marry Christ?
Just another way Lee was in error. This belongs in Lee's list of strikeouts. Of course the Body isn't Christ, anymore than we are becoming God. It's another example of how if Lee had allowed his teaching to get vetted by the Body () this kind of nonsense would have been filtered out. But he was too proud for that. No one could tell him anything and he wouldn't listen to anybody.

Whenever he said the Body is Christ or the Church is Christ, that was just a pretext to teaching we should submit to the Church or Body like we submit to Christ, which was one more nail in the coffin of control. Lee was all about getting people in bondage to the Church, that is, his church. The more bondage the better as far as he was concerned. But since he was the MOTA, he was above it all. We minions, however, were expected to be.

Actually, he wanted everyone to be in bondage to him, so it's probably more accurate to say he thought he was the Church.
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

On the "why do you persecute me" thing......I think the explanation is much more simple than Lee's "believers = Christ". In Acts 26:9 Paul says, "I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth."

It's just that the Lord knew what was in Saul's heart which is why He had grounds to ask why he was persecuting Him, because that really was Saul's motivation. Really, Saul WAS opposing Jesus. But Jesus isn't around to directly oppose. So he takes it out on Jesus's followers. He is persecuting Jesus, that's his driving force, but the only way he can practically do it is to inflict harm upon Christians. Like if someone was so angry at a former spouse they murdered their children......the ex-spouse could still ask "why did you do this to me?" even though the act was on someone else. It doesn't mean the children ARE the parent.

Sorry for the graphic example, but ahhhhhhhhh it is so wonderful to be able to pause at things that I have a hard time swallowing but never knew why, and actually figure out what's wrong with it.

"Strikeouts" also deal a big blow to the concept of this stuff being "the ministry of the age". Where are the "strikeouts" in the Bible (the real ministry of the age)?? They aren't there. But Lee's stuff has many. It is not "the" ministry. It's just one fallen man's ministry.

Man is it a lonely journey discovering this stuff surrounded by people who continually claim "it's all in the ministry!" "All our help can be found in the ministry!"
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:18 PM   #4
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

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On the "why do you persecute me" thing......I think the explanation is much more simple than Lee's "believers = Christ".
I was deceived by this a long time, thinking that Christ is the body, and they are inseparable. It can almost make one a slave of the system. If Christ is the body, then one can serve hours on end thinking that the Lord is being served and is pleased. In the end, however, one becomes married to the church, and has neither the Lord nor a family.

All the serving to the church robs one of Christ, of one's personal relationship with Him. One is also robbed of one's family, since emdless hours were invested serving the church. Neither the Lord is pleased, nor is your wife happy. The bosses on top actually have an easier life than their lieutenants beneath them saddled with all the work.
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:43 PM   #5
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

It's false christ. I read Lee's message for a long time. First, I was convinced that we were corporate Christ and we were Christ like Him. But Lord Jesus exposes me and Lee's teaching by confirming that Lee preached false Christs:

At that time if anyone says to you, Behold here is the Christ! Or, here! Do not believe it.
For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders so as to lead astray, if possible even the chosen.
Behold, I have told you beforehand.
Therefore if they say to you, Behold, He is in wilderness, do not go forth; Behold, He is in the inner room, do not believe it.

(Matthew 24:23-26)


Lord Jesus's warning is precious. He enlightens me and brings me back to Him and saves me from Lee's false Christs.
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Old 02-25-2019, 09:59 PM   #6
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

In Matthew 25:40,45, Jesus says the "least of these" are "him" also. So does that mean each of us are Christ too in the way the Body is supposed to be Christ according to Lee? If so, does that mean people need to serve me night and day and neglect their families to do so. I don't recall that teaching by Lee.

Clearly the Bible uses metaphors and the like, and each one has to be interpreted in the context of the whole Bible. When Jesus said you did to me, he meant that figuratively. He meant that he takes personally how we treat others. To take it to mean that the Church really is Christ so we need to be at the meeting hall night and day is just missing it.

This is why you need a guiding principle to interpret everything. And the best one is in 1 Cor 13. Without love nothing means anything. Love what? A great ministry? The institution of the Church? The Recovery? No. We are to love God and love people. These are first and second commandments. If you interpret every verse from the standpoint that God loves us and loves people and we are to love God and people as well, it's hard to go too far wrong.
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Old 02-26-2019, 02:41 AM   #7
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

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On the "why do you persecute me" thing......I think the explanation is much more simple than Lee's "believers = Christ". In Acts 26:9 Paul says, "I too was convinced that I ought to do all that was possible to oppose the name of Jesus of Nazareth."

It's just that the Lord knew what was in Saul's heart which is why He had grounds to ask why he was persecuting Him, because that really was Saul's motivation. Really, Saul WAS opposing Jesus. But Jesus isn't around to directly oppose. So he takes it out on Jesus's followers.
The principle of agency was widely understood and used by the writers of the NT, and it keeps us from conflating things that we shouldn't. The servant is the extension of the master. The emissary is the extension of the far-off king, and speaks for him. But the servant is not the master, nor the emissary the king. Yet the emissary can rightly say, "When you see me, you see the king", and the servant, "When I speak, the master speaks." Early NT readers would have understood this.

For example, see the message from the centurion to Jesus. The centurion represented, even personified, Caesar's will to the those under him. He was, "a man under authority" (Luke 7:8). Yet the centurion was not Caesar, ontologically speaking. One doesn't need an advanced degree to get this. Most of the audience would have been clear about what was being communicated, and what was not.
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Old 02-27-2019, 12:28 AM   #8
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"Verse 12 says, "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is the Christ" (Gk.). In this verse Paul brings in the concept that Christ is the Body."
To me this verse is saying as the body is one and has many members, so also Christ has a body which has many members yet is one body.

There may be other verses that support "Christ is the Body", but this verse doesn't do it for me.

What about this verse: "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

Christ IS ALL and in all. How do we interpret "Christ is all" in this case then?

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Old 02-27-2019, 05:17 AM   #9
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To me this verse is saying as the body is one and has many members, so also Christ has a body which has many members yet is one body.

There may be other verses that support "Christ is the Body", but this verse doesn't do it for me.

What about this verse: "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

Christ IS ALL and in all. How do we interpret "Christ is all" in this case then?

Trapped
If there are no more gentiles, then why does Paul write of "churches of the gentiles" in Roman's 16:4? If there is no more male or female, why does he then ask women to be quiet in church? If there is no longer slave or free, why does he advise slaves to obey their masters?

The danger is that we read too much into the "neither" of something and the "all" of something else. Paul's looking at our primary identification, our allegiance, our value sets. In these, Christ should supersede all. It doesnt mean that the other things no longer categorically exist, or that one category has swallowed all. In our behaviours, yes, we should "act as if" Christ were all in all. But as an ontological matter it makes no sense.

Paul said, Greeks love wisdom. Clearly they can love wisdom too much, and overthink the process.

One of my primary touchstones is Dorcas/Tabitha. Nothing is said of her theology, but of her good works, and the tears of the widows. So there is clear evidence of the love of Christ out-poured. Really, there is nothing else. To me, this is the "Christ as all and in all." If you get this, you get everything.

"Who is that servant, when the Master comes, he finds them so doing? Truly I tell you, the Master will place them over the whole house." The "so doing" here is not holding forth on declensions of Greek verbs but rendering real, practical care to those who cannot repay you in this age. This is love. This is what Christ did for us, and what he as the Master of the house expects of us.

Philosophical speculations are only the handmaiden to love and good works.
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Old 02-28-2019, 06:32 AM   #10
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

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To me this verse is saying as the body is one and has many members, so also Christ has a body which has many members yet is one body.

There may be other verses that support "Christ is the Body", but this verse doesn't do it for me.

What about this verse: "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

Christ IS ALL and in all. How do we interpret "Christ is all" in this case then?

Trapped
Below is a link to a Greek inter linear of 1 Cor 12. Read verse 12 and look for “The Christ”:https://biblehub.com/interlinear/1_corinthians/12.htm.

Right, there is no “The”, as Lee states.
The inter linear translation says “so also (is) Christ”, skipping “ho” because while it often is translated “which, what, or that”, none of those make any sense in English. “So also is which Christ”, “So also which Christ”, “so also is what Christ”, “so also what Christ, “so also is that Christ”, “so also that Christ”?
None of those translations make sense, so most English translations skip it, but also don’t add “The”, rather “is”: “So also is Christ”.
OK, so I’ve proved I’m not a Greek scholar.
The point is “The Christ” is an invention of Lee. So, let’s stop taking his word as “gospel”, and read scripture in various translations to “fact check”. When we do it just isn’t so.
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:19 AM   #11
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

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What about this verse: "Where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncircumcision, Barbarian, Scythian, bond nor free: but Christ is all, and in all."

Christ IS ALL and in all. How do we interpret "Christ is all" in this case then?
It's in reference to the diverse types of people. So it's saying Christ is the all-important thing among these different people, and which makes them one.

Don't get tangled up in the metaphysics of Christ being "all." What it means is he is far and away the most important thing.
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:33 AM   #12
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

We used to hear so often from Lee and the Blendeds just how much our individual or private decisions affected "The Body," and how much the individual LC's affected "The Body."

These teachings were 99% self-serving and manipulative. We were both individually and collectively robbed of our right and our responsibility to follow Jesus, the Head of the body, directly without an intermediary. Thus Lee kept us in fear, into believing that offending "The Body" was far more serious than offending "The Head." Actually, by keeping us in fear of offending "The Body," he in reality kept us obeying him, thus usurping the rightful place of Jesus, our ascended Head.

As others have said, "Any teaching taken to the extreme, can beome a falsehood."
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Old 02-28-2019, 07:48 AM   #13
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The point is “The Christ” is an invention of Lee...
The "Body-Christ" is a fabrication, getting us to kow-tow to "the ministry of the age", which was the vehicle for the interests of a minister, his immediate family, and his non-profit publishing house (plus associated for-profit subsidiaries [Phosphorous, Daystar &c]). The "Body-Christ" was a lever to manipulate the gullible.
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Old 04-08-2019, 03:16 PM   #14
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

In saying Lee has gone too far, we run the risk of falling into the old “dirty bathwater = dirty baby” syndrome and perhaps run too far the other way. In rejecting the organic aspect of the church’s union with Christ (i.e., the church is Christ) we then run the risk of thinking of the church as a mere organization, which is way too far low a perspective.

It is impossible to make the argument that the church isn’t filled with the Spirit and life of Christ, because I can find many verses that say this. His purpose was to become one with us, and bring this oneness into the Father. The whole John 17 discourse is too high, wonderful and mysterious to say this isn’t an organic/life union!

Is Christ not in us? Did Saul not get the answer directly from the Lord that he was persecuting the Lord Himself when he attacked the believers? Are we not told in Ephesians that we are to be filled with all the fullness of God? Is the body a separate entity from the Head?

I welcome a dialogue if anyone wants to explore the myriad of verses that speak of this great mystery – Christ and the church. In doing so, I think we all may see that our vision of the church is far too low and shallow . . .
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Old 04-08-2019, 03:26 PM   #15
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In saying Lee has gone too far, we run the risk of falling into the old “dirty bathwater = dirty baby” syndrome and perhaps run too far the other way. In rejecting the organic aspect of the church’s union with Christ (i.e., the church is Christ) we then run the risk of thinking of the church as a mere organization, which is way too far low a perspective.

It is impossible to make the argument that the church isn’t filled with the Spirit and life of Christ, because I can find many verses that say this. His purpose was to become one with us, and bring this oneness into the Father. The whole John 17 discourse is too high, wonderful and mysterious to say this isn’t an organic/life union!

Is Christ not in us? Did Saul not get the answer directly from the Lord that he was persecuting the Lord Himself when he attacked the believers? Are we not told in Ephesians that we are to be filled with all the fullness of God? Is the body a separate entity from the Head?

I welcome a dialogue if anyone wants to explore the myriad of verses that speak of this great mystery – Christ and the church. In doing so, I think we all may see that our vision of the church is far too low and shallow . . .

The body is not a separate (I would say separated is a good word here) entity from the head, but even given that, no one would say that the body IS the head, though. The body and the head are two separate things, not in that they are separated, but they are two distinct things that are not equal to each other or interchangeable.

I agree that there is a high, mysterious relationship going on between the Lord and His body, He wants to be in us and us in Him, but the very fact that one can be in the other means they aren't each other. To say the son is the father and the son is the spirit and the body is christ.....it leaves too much of a blurred stroganoff of entities that ends up being meaningless.

Just my opinion. Don't have time to get into verses at the moment.
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Old 04-08-2019, 04:41 PM   #16
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In saying Lee has gone too far, we run the risk of falling into the old “dirty bathwater = dirty baby” syndrome and perhaps run too far the other way. In rejecting the organic aspect of the church’s union with Christ (i.e., the church is Christ) we then run the risk of thinking of the church as a mere organization, which is way too far low a perspective.

It is impossible to make the argument that the church isn’t filled with the Spirit and life of Christ, because I can find many verses that say this. His purpose was to become one with us, and bring this oneness into the Father. The whole John 17 discourse is too high, wonderful and mysterious to say this isn’t an organic/life union!

Is Christ not in us? Did Saul not get the answer directly from the Lord that he was persecuting the Lord Himself when he attacked the believers? Are we not told in Ephesians that we are to be filled with all the fullness of God? Is the body a separate entity from the Head?

I welcome a dialogue if anyone wants to explore the myriad of verses that speak of this great mystery – Christ and the church. In doing so, I think we all may see that our vision of the church is far too low and shallow . . .
Of course we agree with what you wrote here. But Lee went a step further, discussing the "sense of the body, or the feeling of the body." This is dangerous, and 100% dirty bathwater. I'll explain.

When elders prayed and had leading from the Lord for their church, LSM would often overrule claiming that only they know, "the feeling of the body." Elders who insisted they were following the Head, were then marginalized and shamed from the podium. LSM would pull out some quote from Nee, "when there are differences of interpretation, someone is not holding the Head." Obviously that was not the Blendeds. LSM thus has powerful manipulative tactics to lord it over the LC's. Think "group-think."

Hence the endless talk about the "Body-Christ," which only the Blendeds could possibly know.
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Old 04-08-2019, 05:57 PM   #17
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Hence the endless talk about the "Body-Christ," which only the Blendeds could possibly know.
I've said it over and over. It's all about control. It's all about power. It's all about intimidation.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:38 AM   #18
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Of course we agree with what you wrote here. But Lee went a step further, discussing the "sense of the body, or the feeling of the body." This is dangerous, and 100% dirty bathwater. I'll explain.

When elders prayed and had leading from the Lord for their church, LSM would often overrule claiming that only they know, "the feeling of the body." Elders who insisted they were following the Head, were then marginalized and shamed from the podium. LSM would pull out some quote from Nee, "when there are differences of interpretation, someone is not holding the Head." Obviously that was not the Blendeds. LSM thus has powerful manipulative tactics to lord it over the LC's. Think "group-think."

Hence the endless talk about the "Body-Christ," which only the Blendeds could possibly know.
And this business, that you wrote about here, would be going too far, resulting in a weird tangent! Thanks for the clarification.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:04 AM   #19
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The problem with most LR teachings about the corporate Christian life is that they are based on fundamentally wrongheaded views of authority.

If you ever get that feeling that you are "doomed" because you must go along with the Church or Body and have no choice, rest assured this is not the Lord. The Church has no such ultimate authority.

If God himself is telling you to do something, you should do it. But if the Church or Body is, you have discretion of conscience. This by definition must be true, because only our conscience or spirit would tell us to go along with the Church, so it must also be respected when it has a problem with doing so. Therefore, personal discretion must always be valid.

Now, if what we are talking about is a practical issue that affects the rights of a particular Christian group--for example, if they tell you to not speak during certain parts of a meeting, or to not park your car in certain areas on their property--that's different. Certainly they are within their purview on those kinds of issues.

But if they are saying things like: don't participate on Internet sites that discuss our group in any negative fashion, or don't watch sports on TV, or don't leave our group or you'll leave God--all those kinds of things are way out of line.

Within these general parameters, we cooperate and feel the leading of the Spirit in corporate life--in churches, ministries and other Christian groups. But we always have ultimate discretion of conscience on any "Body" issues.

If the group you meet with does not feel that way, consider it a red flag that you should find other fellowship.

In general, besides common sense practical issues, Christian groups only have as much authority over us as we choose to give them. Ultimately, ANY authority they have over us is based on our VOLUNTARY decision to lend it to them, and which we can rescind at any time based solely on our conscience and personal leading from the Lord. Period.

Thus, most LR talk about things like "the feeling of the Body" are irrelevant and meaningless bloviating.
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:36 AM   #20
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

Again, ironically, no "recovery" of truth ever would have occurred if the Christians used to recover it had observed the LR principle of following "the feeling of the Body." By definition, recovery requires pushing against the status quo, going against the conventional wisdom, rocking the boat. So to call the Local Church Movement "the Recovery" is really a contradiction, and what should be to them an embarrassing hypocrisy.

As I've satirized in the MOTA comics, before Nee and Lee came along, "the recovery" was just God inspiring various people in various places to see more and more from the Bible. When Nee, and especially when Lee, came along, the idea was transmuted by them into a movement which they controlled. But in doing so it lost its ability to recover anything, because it totally squelches that which is essential to recovery, the freedom to disagree--to the extreme that they now can't even bring themselves to disagree with a dead man.

So "the Recovery" is not at all a valid name for the movement. It should more accurately be called "the Conformity."
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:58 AM   #21
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When the disciples gathered to decide "the feeling in the Body" it was in mutuality. There was "much discussion", in Acts 15:7; yes there was divergence of opinion (some of the church were believing Pharisees [v.5]), but everyone got to talk. Nobody got shamed for being "divisive" or "twisted" or "darkened" or "ambitious". In the LC by contrast we had an Oriental Satrap who decided the "feeling in the Body" by fiat. It was always, and I stress always, presented as a done deal. God has spoken through our brother the humble bondslave. End of discussion.

In the Church our Head, is Jesus. Only the Head knows the Body. The rest of us, all the rest of us, should look to one another for mutual guidance, support, comfort, and encouragement. There's no one Grand Poobah of the Church except Jesus Christ. He alone is beyond the veil.

The Body-Christ is this week's ministry pitch, brought by the same folks who felt that Witness Lee was the Fourth of the Trinity (I heard that floated, once).
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:28 AM   #22
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Good thoughts Aron & Igzy! When anything supplants the speaking of the Anointing within, it becomes a man-made attempt at authority. In my thinking, three things need to line-up: the Anointing, the Word and fellowship (and sometimes outward circumstances). Does that sound right?

Any centralized authority (other than Christ) tends to dampen this, to the point that the "Church" becomes the main speaking to follow. The biggest example is, of course, the Church in Rome. But this is just man's natural tendency to move away from faith to what he can see. The so called "Recovery" is no exception (even though they profusely pointed it out elsewhere).
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:39 AM   #23
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The LR authority model is a web which really victimizes everyone in the movement, including the leaders. They are all ensnared by it, and all suffer by it. Oh, they wax noble about "the cross" and "faithfulness" and "the vision," but really they all secretly chafe under the oppressing yoke Nee and Lee affixed upon them.

This authority model is now running on autopilot, like a mindless machine. It controls them all and no one dare defy it. Only Lee's disembodied words speak, and they speak the same thing, over and over, mindlessly, without context, without discretion, without regard, without room for improvement.

As in the Star Trek episode "Return of the Archons," the LR is being run by an unattended computer, which none can control, and none dare turn off. Lee/Landru speaks from the grave, ever-reassuring, ever-dominating, ever selling hopelessness as hope.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...VhVQ0J6OHlBTjA
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:41 AM   #24
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So I'm reading a book by Bill Freeman called, "The Church is Christ." It was written in 1993 from messages Bill gave, partially as a reaction to the LC taking other Christians to court. One of the main points is that since the church is constituted with Christ and is His body on the earth, we should not be suing other believers. This is what the world does, but the deeper truth is we are all one spirit with the Lord and with other believers and should not be doing such carnal things. To involve another believer in Caesar's legal system is wrong, a poor testimony of the one life, and is not an outflow of God's love through us.

Bill outlines a myriad of scripture showing that the church is not a human organization, but an organism of the Lord's life (a true "mystery"). (Does the left foot sue the right hand because it doesn't like the way the hand is scratching it?)

So, as per the title of Bill's book, is it wrong to say that the church is Christ? If so, please quote specific scriptures to support this.
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Old 04-09-2019, 11:55 AM   #25
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Good thoughts Aron & Igzy! When anything supplants the speaking of the Anointing within, it becomes a man-made attempt at authority. In my thinking, three things need to line-up: the Anointing, the Word and fellowship (and sometimes outward circumstances). Does that sound right?
More or less. Just realize that sometimes the Lord's leading is going to contradict so-called "fellowship." As I've said, no advancement could ever occur if we all simply followed each other around in circles. Wise brothers will eventually defer to your inner leading. Foolish brothers will try to impose their opinion/religion on you.
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Old 04-09-2019, 12:26 PM   #26
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More or less. Just realize that sometimes the Lord's leading is going to contradict so-called "fellowship." As I've said, no advancement could ever occur if we all simply followed each other around in circles. Wise brothers will eventually defer to your inner leading. Foolish brothers will try to impose their opinion/religion on you.
Yes. I've sorta come to a 2 out of 3 rule, if it comes to that - with the Anointing and Word taking the higher priority.
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Old 04-09-2019, 02:03 PM   #27
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So I'm reading a book by Bill Freeman called, "The Church is Christ." It was written in 1993 from messages Bill gave, partially as a reaction to the LC taking other Christians to court. One of the main points is that since the church is constituted with Christ and is His body on the earth, we should not be suing other believers. This is what the world does, but the deeper truth is we are all one spirit with the Lord and with other believers and should not be doing such carnal things. To involve another believer in Caesar's legal system is wrong, a poor testimony of the one life, and is not an outflow of God's love through us.

Bill outlines a myriad of scripture showing that the church is not a human organization, but an organism of the Lord's life (a true "mystery"). (Does the left foot sue the right hand because it doesn't like the way the hand is scratching it?)

So, as per the title of Bill's book, is it wrong to say that the church is Christ? If so, please quote specific scriptures to support this.
It's like the verse that says, "IF any man is in Christ, he is a new creation."

Any time we say "the Church is Christ," what do we do about failures? And sin? Are they also Christ? What happens when leaders are not "in Christ?"

Man should never be elevated above other men to the point that they are above accountability.

I grew up being indoctrinated that Peter was the first Pope, the vicar of Christ, who had the keys of the Kingdom. Yet when he came to Antioch, he was rebuked by Paul over eating food. Had he not seen the great vision about eating food?
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:00 PM   #28
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The LR authority model is a web which really victimizes everyone in the movement, including the leaders. They are all ensnared by it, and all suffer by it. Oh, they wax noble about "the cross" and "faithfulness" and "the vision," but really they all secretly chafe under the oppressing yoke Nee and Lee affixed upon them.

This authority model is now running on autopilot, like a mindless machine. It controls them all and no one dare defy it. Only Lee's disembodied words speak, and they speak the same thing, over and over, mindlessly, without context, without discretion, without regard, without room for improvement.

As in the Star Trek episode "Return of the Archons," the LR is being run by an unattended computer, which none can control, and none dare turn off. Lee/Landru speaks from the grave, ever-reassuring, ever-dominating, ever selling hopelessness as hope.

https://drive.google.com/open?id=0Bx...VhVQ0J6OHlBTjA
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Old 04-09-2019, 09:18 PM   #29
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It's like the verse that says, "IF any man is in Christ, he is a new creation."

Any time we say "the Church is Christ," what do we do about failures? And sin? Are they also Christ? What happens when leaders are not "in Christ?"

Man should never be elevated above other men to the point that they are above accountability.

I grew up being indoctrinated that Peter was the first Pope, the vicar of Christ, who had the keys of the Kingdom. Yet when he came to Antioch, he was rebuked by Paul over eating food. Had he not seen the great vision about eating food?
I once bought so fully into “the church is Christ” that I lost track of who the head is and that we are His body. While Jesus asked Saul why he was persecuting Him, and we know he was wreaking havoc on the church, he was also blaspheming Jesus Christ while he was doing it. And, After describing members of the human body and how they relate, then saying “So also Christ”, scripture doesn’t say “the church is Christ”, it does say the many members are out from Christ. It is always dangerous to add to or take away from scripture. It says exactly what it says for good reason.
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Old 04-10-2019, 02:46 AM   #30
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...per the title of Bill's book, is it wrong to say that the church is Christ? If so, please quote specific scriptures to support this.
The title does not use scripture but logic. The Body has a life, and a Head, and a Person, all of which are Christ. Ergo, the Body is Christ.

So I will use logic to refute it. The Body has many members, therefore the many members are Christ. And since I quarreled with my wife yesterday, Christ is a sinner.

It just doesn't stand up. I put it with the "Jesus is the Father" and "Mary is the Mother of God" arguments. Nice try but no dice.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:40 AM   #31
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The problem with saying the Church is Christ is deciding what exactly that implies and what its limits are. No one really knows, so it is ripe for misunderstanding and abuse.

I don't see that the teaching serves any purpose, other than to make us feel about ourselves "more highly than we ought to think" and to subjugate us to a human organization as to Christ.

When the LR talks about the Church, they are not talking about anyone but themselves. So to them, "the Church is Christ" means the Recovery is Christ. Since LSM runs the Recovery, that means LSM is Christ. And since the LSM leaders boil down to a handful of people, effectively they and they alone are Christ. Dare you defy Christ? That's what they want you to fear. The net result is there is now a large group of people who are restricting themselves to the teachings of a long-dead, imperfect Bible teacher as if his words were the Bible itself. That's the fruit. By their fruit you will know them.

If there is an interpretation which is not clearly stated in the Bible, and it can be seen to be problematic, it should be avoided. That's just common sense. This goes for "becoming God," "ground of locality," "minister of the age," "the Lord's Recovery," and "the Church is Christ," among others.

If the teaching can be damaging and the Bible doesn't clearly state it, why go there? "Bruther Lee said" or "Bill Freeman said" don't cut it.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:03 AM   #32
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If the teaching can be damaging and the Bible doesn't clearly state it, why go there? "Bruther Lee said" or "Bill Freeman said" don't cut it.
Bill Freeman (like every other brother who has been quarantined from the LR) was a staunch defender of W. Lee. Many things he taught were edifying, but when he says "the church is Christ," he is going beyond what has been written, and his teaching can be used to abuse others.
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Old 04-10-2019, 08:17 AM   #33
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Everyone has to see that the LR teachings have been systematically developed to subjugate people to their particular organization and leaders. They are not a coincidence

Whether that was done consciously from the very beginning or not is hard to say, but it didn't just "work out that way." The whole system is optimized to limit choice and instill subservience to the organization. To this end the LR created and features a set of fundamentally distinctive but warped teachings to support and enforce this control. As I've said these include, "ground of locality," "Lord's Recovery", "minister of the age," "deputy authority," "Church is Christ," "one ministry," "one flow from the throne," "one move of God," etc.

Other minor teachings also serve this attempt to characterize themselves as the one true way, e.g. "man-child," "144,000," "outside the camp," "Jerusalem vs Babylon." The list is practically endless and it all serves one purpose, "We are IT and you better SUBMIT. or else!"
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:39 AM   #34
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LR teachings generally fall into four categories:
  • Those that genuinely edify.

  • Those that are used to make them seem special.

  • Those that are used to discredit other groups or people.

  • Those that are used to control people.
Whenever you hear or read any of the LR's teachings, ask yourself the following: How does this teaching lift them up, put down others, or exert control over people. If it does none of those, it might, MIGHT, be healthy. But otherwise it most likely should be trashed.
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Old 04-10-2019, 09:51 AM   #35
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Bill Freeman (like every other brother who has been quarantined from the LR) was a staunch defender of W. Lee. Many things he taught were edifying, but when he says "the church is Christ," he is going beyond what has been written, and his teaching can be used to abuse others.
This seems like a vacuous statement - couldn't that be said of about anyone's teachings? I did not know Bill personally, but I can say everything I've been exposed to from him has led me into a fresher relationship with Christ and richer fellowship. Of course, he had his foibles too, to be sure. As I stated in a earlier post, this book (The Church is Christ) was written largely as a response to why believers shouldn't take other believers to court - would you call that being a "staunch defender of WL?"

And regarding the church, what is it and how is it produced?
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Old 04-10-2019, 10:59 AM   #36
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This seems like a vacuous statement - couldn't that be said of about anyone's teachings? I did not know Bill personally, but I can say everything I've been exposed to from him has led me into a fresher relationship with Christ and richer fellowship. Of course, he had his foibles too, to be sure. As I stated in a earlier post, this book (The Church is Christ) was written largely as a response to why believers shouldn't take other believers to court - would you call that being a "staunch defender of WL?"

And regarding the church, what is it and how is it produced?
It isn't necessary to say the Church is Christ to make the case that we shouldn't take other believers to court. Like Ohio said, it goes beyond what is written and manifestly can be misused, so why use it?

You are falling for typical mistake. "I got something good from so-and-so so I should trust what he says about everything." That's not very wise. Whatever good they did, Bill Freeman and his wife were controllers like Lee. We have witnesses to that.

As to what the Church is and how it is produced, this is something you surely already know. I don't understand why you are asking the question. Are you making a rhetorical point?
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:31 AM   #37
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This seems like a vacuous statement - couldn't that be said of about anyone's teachings? I did not know Bill personally, but I can say everything I've been exposed to from him has led me into a fresher relationship with Christ and richer fellowship. Of course, he had his foibles too, to be sure. As I stated in a earlier post, this book (The Church is Christ) was written largely as a response to why believers shouldn't take other believers to court - would you call that being a "staunch defender of WL?"

And regarding the church, what is it and how is it produced?
Bill Freeman was a co-plaintiff with Lee and LSM for the "God-man" lawsuit. Glad to see Bill changed his ways on lawsuits against other Christians.

The biggest complaint I (and many others) have with Bill Freeman was concerning his wife Patsy. She arranged, manipulated, and destroyed many marriages and families. Was her version of "church" really Christ? Hardly.

No doubt Brother Bill was a gifted teacher of the word, but he allowed his wife to destroy much of what he had built up in every church he was a part of. I have met Bill, and still hold him in high regard, but regardless of what he has written, I Timothy 3.4-5 et. al. basically disqualifies him and what he has accomplished.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:45 AM   #38
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See my comments.
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It isn't necessary to say the Church is Christ to make the case that we shouldn't take other believers to court. Like Ohio said, it goes beyond what is written and manifestly can be misused, so why use it? I think the point the book is making is if our realization is that other believers are truly of Christ, then it would be much more difficult to beat them up and otherwise seek to do damage to them. And I, too, have a very cautious approach to extra-biblical phrases, but extra-biblical phrases get used all the time (you could probably think of several offhand . . .). I'm not saying they are necessarily right, but they're also not necessarily wrong either.

You are falling for typical mistake. "I got something good from so-and-so so I should trust what he says about everything." That's not very wise. Whatever good they did, Bill Freeman and his wife were controllers like Lee. We have witnesses to that. May I respectfully say that this is a strawman? I certainly don't think one equals or results in the other. I don't necessarily or automatically agree with something ANYONE says all the time (my experience in the LC helped teach me that!). Why? Because we're currently humans with a fallen flesh.

As to what the Church is and how it is produced, this is something you surely already know. I don't understand why you are asking the question. Are you making a rhetorical point? It's in the title of this discussion, so I thought it might be a good point to make.
I certainly understand the abuses that can often result when the church as an infallible ORGANIZATION is promoted (i.e., Rome Church, denominations, LC, and about any other human produced gathering). But the ekklesia is something very high and mysterious, purchased by the blood of Christ, and is produced and is being built by God. (Colossians 1:27 is better translated, "Christ in you-all.") So He is in us as the called-out gathering. "As He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17) The One Grain died to produce many grains - us! Again, the point is if we really had the heavenly vision of what and who the church is, we wouldn't take other members of the one body to court.
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Old 04-10-2019, 11:50 AM   #39
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Bill Freeman was a co-plaintiff with Lee and LSM for the "God-man" lawsuit. Glad to see Bill changed his ways on lawsuits against other Christians.

The biggest complaint I (and many others) have with Bill Freeman was concerning his wife Patsy. She arranged, manipulated, and destroyed many marriages and families. Was her version of "church" really Christ? Hardly.

No doubt Brother Bill was a gifted teacher of the word, but he allowed his wife to destroy much of what he had built up in every church he was a part of. I have met Bill, and still hold him in high regard, but regardless of what he has written, I Timothy 3.4-5 et. al. basically disqualifies him and what he has accomplished.
Yes, I am close to brothers whose marriages were either destroyed or seriously hurt by Patsy. You can certainly "disqualify" Bill for that, but the aforementioned brothers don't, and neither do I. We're not sticking our head in the sand - very aware of what happened - but . . . onward with Christ and His forgiveness we go!
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Old 04-10-2019, 12:00 PM   #40
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Yes, I am close to brothers whose marriages were either destroyed or seriously hurt by Patsy. You can certainly "disqualify" Bill for that, but the aforementioned brothers don't, and neither do I. We're not sticking our head in the sand - very aware of what happened - but . . . onward with Christ and His forgiveness we go!

Amen and amen!
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Old 04-10-2019, 01:10 PM   #41
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The ekklesia is something very high and mysterious, purchased by the blood of Christ, and is produced and is being built by God. (Colossians 1:27 is better translated, "Christ in you-all.") So He is in us as the called-out gathering. "As He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17) The One Grain died to produce many grains - us! Again, the point is if we really had the heavenly vision of what and who the church is, we wouldn't take other members of the one body to court.
My thought is, if we look at Jesus, then we are the church. If we look at the church, we are either in, or perilously close to ruin. It's the equivalent to Peter looking down as he walked toward Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. Love God and Love your neighbour and Jesus will build his ekklesia.

If we gaze at Christ we get transformed, "beholding and reflecting as a mirror we are all changed into the same likeness, from glory to glory", and if we gaze at the church we are in peril of becoming mystery babylon. The enemy's ability to enchant us with fanciful notions is almost limitless.

I'm quite interested in Christ's corporate expression, which is why my attention remains fixed on Christ. "Until we all arrive..."
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Old 04-10-2019, 03:27 PM   #42
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My thought is, if we look at Jesus, then we are the church. If we look at the church, we are either in, or perilously close to ruin. It's the equivalent to Peter looking down as he walked toward Jesus on the Sea of Galilee. Love God and Love your neighbour and Jesus will build his ekklesia.

If we gaze at Christ we get transformed, "beholding and reflecting as a mirror we are all changed into the same likeness, from glory to glory", and if we gaze at the church we are in peril of becoming mystery babylon. The enemy's ability to enchant us with fanciful notions is almost limitless.

I'm quite interested in Christ's corporate expression, which is why my attention remains fixed on Christ. "Until we all arrive..."
Exactly! Not long ago I was lamenting to a bro about how messed-up the church looks. He pointed out that I was right - that's how it looks. But he said how it is, from the heavenly perspective, is everything is just right! That got me seeing that yes, it is all good. "I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH!" Is Christ deficient? Is He unable? Did He not know exactly what He was getting Himself into (literally)? Me thinkest not!
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:01 PM   #43
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See my comments.

Originally Posted by Igzy
It isn't necessary to say the Church is Christ to make the case that we shouldn't take other believers to court. Like Ohio said, it goes beyond what is written and manifestly can be misused, so why use it? I think the point the book is making is if our realization is that other believers are truly of Christ, then it would be much more difficult to beat them up and otherwise seek to do damage to them. And I, too, have a very cautious approach to extra-biblical phrases, but extra-biblical phrases get used all the time (you could probably think of several offhand . . .). I'm not saying they are necessarily right, but they're also not necessarily wrong either.

You are falling for typical mistake. "I got something good from so-and-so so I should trust what he says about everything." That's not very wise. Whatever good they did, Bill Freeman and his wife were controllers like Lee. We have witnesses to that. May I respectfully say that this is a strawman? I certainly don't think one equals or results in the other. I don't necessarily or automatically agree with something ANYONE says all the time (my experience in the LC helped teach me that!). Why? Because we're currently humans with a fallen flesh.

I certainly understand the abuses that can often result when the church as an infallible ORGANIZATION is promoted (i.e., Rome Church, denominations, LC, and about any other human produced gathering). But the ekklesia is something very high and mysterious, purchased by the blood of Christ, and is produced and is being built by God. (Colossians 1:27 is better translated, "Christ in you-all.") So He is in us as the called-out gathering. "As He is, so are we in this world." (1 John 4:17) The One Grain died to produce many grains - us! Again, the point is if we really had the heavenly vision of what and who the church is, we wouldn't take other members of the one body to court.

I don't want to make this about you or me or Bill Freeman, but let me just make clear that I don't mind extra-biblical phrases unless they lead to dangerous conclusions, and I think "the Church is Christ" does, for reasons I've stated--specifically that it leads to manipulation. As to the relevance of pointing out the failures of Bill Freeman, the reason I did that was because he liked the phrase "the Church is Christ" and he was one who manipulated people or at least allowed it. So I see a potential connection there.

You have to realize that my pet peeve about the "Recovery" is the way it controls and manipulates people. I see that as almost the whole problem with it. As I've said, take away that and you have some nice, quirky Christians who dress badly. So please forgive me hammering that point, but that is my whole reason for being here.

Actually, I don't see that saying "the Church is Christ" really helps people not abuse members because the LR says it and they abuse. In fact, it may make things worse, because instead of establishing that members have value in themselves before God as his precious creations and objects of redemption, it suggest they only have value when they "are Christ."

In short, saying "the Church is Christ" depersonalizes people out the equation. It makes us less important, not more important. It says love the Church because it is Christ, not because it is made up of people he loved and died for. This is typical LR error.

Just learn to love people like he does and you'll be fine. You shouldn't need a reason to value people other than that he values them.

Of course, Jesus said whatever we do to "the least of these" we do to "him." So there is that side to it. But I don't think that statement is literal, I think he is saying he takes personally what we do to those he loves.
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Old 04-10-2019, 04:22 PM   #44
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Exactly! Not long ago I was lamenting to a bro about how messed-up the church looks. He pointed out that I was right - that's how it looks. But he said how it is, from the heavenly perspective, is everything is just right! That got me seeing that yes, it is all good. "I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH!" Is Christ deficient? Is He unable? Did He not know exactly what He was getting Himself into (literally)? Me thinkest not!
W. Lee loved to have "overcomers" fill his trainings so he could boast of smiling faces in blue jackets and white shirts/blouses.

But that's not the "church." That's organization. Not even the Twelve, hand-picked by Jesus, looked so orderly. How about the lovely choirs standing behind ministers in mega-churches? Yup, almost perfection. So, why can't my church ever get it right?

Perhaps we are not looking with the right set of eyes.

During the Dark Ages, the "perfect-looking" church of Rome could boast of gothic cathedrals and colorfully-robed attendants, priests, altar boys, and choirs. Compare that to the peasant Albigensian believers hiding out in mountain hamlets.

I was an altar boy for four years. Just put on that full length black cassock robe with pressed white surplice, and even I cleaned up rather well. Give me a few canned Latin responses and a bell, and I appeared almost holy. Almost. That my friends are "nice, quirky Christians who dress badly."
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Old 04-10-2019, 05:47 PM   #45
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Actually, I don't see that saying "the Church is Christ" really helps people not abuse members because the LR says it and they abuse. In fact, it may make things worse, because instead of establishing that members have value in themselves before God as his precious creations and objects of redemption, it suggest they only have value when they "are Christ."

In short, saying "the Church is Christ" depersonalizes people out the equation. It makes us less important, not more important. It says love the Church because it is Christ, not because it is made up of people he loved and died for. This is typical LR error.

YESSSSSSSSS

One Christian apologist said it well (paraphrase): Every person, whether they believe in God or not, is created in the image of God and therefore has infinite value and inherent worth.

Remember, God loved us even BEFORE we were saved. He doesn't love us because we are saved and are now Christ. He loved us so much He saved us.

I was struck that this is why He emphasizes so much how we treat each other. Not calling each other raca, leaving your gift at the altar to go and reconcile before actually offering your gift, clothing uncomely members with honor, being meek, patient, kind, forgiving, etc. It is an affront to God when we mistreat people because you are mistreating someone that God has made in His own image.
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Old 04-10-2019, 06:22 PM   #46
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YESSSSSSSSS

One Christian apologist said it well (paraphrase): Every person, whether they believe in God or not, is created in the image of God and therefore has infinite value and inherent worth.

Remember, God loved us even BEFORE we were saved. He doesn't love us because we are saved and are now Christ. He loved us so much He saved us.

I was struck that this is why He emphasizes so much how we treat each other. Not calling each other raca, leaving your gift at the altar to go and reconcile before actually offering your gift, clothing uncomely members with honor, being meek, patient, kind, forgiving, etc. It is an affront to God when we mistreat people because you are mistreating someone that God has made in His own image.
I'm old enough to have been in trainings in Anaheim with Witness Lee Live!

I remember he regularly discouraged close relationships, labeling them "natural." At one point he flatly stated "no affection," meaning we weren't to have any warm, human feelings for each other.

Judges, can I get a ruling on this?

There are four basic relevant Greek words for love.
  • Storge - Affection, as affection for a child or pet or something else you value, such as music or a hobby.
  • Phileo - Brotherly love. The love you have for family members or friends.
  • Agape - Unconditional love. Loving others because they have value in themselves. Sacrificial love.
  • Eros - Romantic/sexual love. Although highly valued by us, there is an element of getting something from the other in this love. This word is actually never used in the Bible.
Romans 12:10 says "love one another tenderly with brotherly affection." The Greek there actually combines the words phileo and storge into a unique term, "brotherly affection."

So much for Lee's baseless and damaging "no affection" teaching.

Lee clearly tried to break down personal, human relationships so that group relationships would take precedence. This is a tactic of all abusive religious groups. Contrary to his error, we are to value and even have affection for each other.
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Old 04-10-2019, 07:09 PM   #47
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I'm old enough to have been in trainings in Anaheim with Witness Lee Live!

I remember he regularly discouraged close relationships, labeling them "natural." At one point he flatly stated "no affection," meaning we weren't to have any warm, human feelings for each other.

Judges, can I get a ruling on this?

There are four basic relevant Greek words for love.
  • Storge - Affection, as affection for a child or pet or something else you value, such as music or a hobby.
  • Phileo - Brotherly love. The love you have for family members or friends.
  • Agape - Unconditional love. Loving others because they have value in themselves. Sacrificial love.
  • Eros - Romantic/sexual love. Although highly valued by us, there is an element of getting something from the other in this love. This word is actually never used in the Bible.
Romans 12:10 says "love one another tenderly with brotherly affection." The Greek there actually combines the words phileo and storge into a unique term, "brotherly affection."

So much for Lee's baseless and damaging "no affection" teaching.

Lee clearly tried to break down personal, human relationships so that group relationships would take precedence. This is a tactic of all abusive religious groups. Contrary to his error, we are to value and even have affection for each other.
In his last known letter, Paul describes Christians in the last days using the expression "without natural affection." -- 2 Timothy 3.1-5

This verse caused me to reject Lee's teaching about "natural affection." I knew a new parent in the LC who actually felt guilty about loving his newborn too much.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:56 AM   #48
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Of course, Jesus said whatever we do to "the least of these" we do to "him." So there is that side to it. But I don't think that statement is literal, I think he is saying he takes personally what we do to those he loves.
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It is an affront to God when we mistreat people because you are mistreating someone that God has made in His own image.
My analogy is that saying you love God but disrespect His children is like saying you respect Joe Smith down the street but you despise his wife, his parents, his cousins, his friends, his kids and his dog. Well how much do you really like the guy? Not much, it seems.

As you interact with his family you're touching him by proxy, because they're his close extension. But "Joe" and "his wife" are not the same thing. For that matter, didn't Paul call Onesimus "my very heart" in the epistle to Philemon? And nobody got confused by that, did they, and tried to conceptually fuse two distinct things? Illustrations serve a purpose but they can be misused to infer what was not meant.

On a related note, I found it odd that Witness Lee respected Luther but despised Lutherans. He held up Wesley as a hero of the faith, but said the Methodists were Harlot Babylon. How much did he really like Luther and Wesley, then? Just like "the Church", the figures "Luther" and "Wesley" were props, or constructed figments, in the Grand Narrative of the Seer of the Divine Revelation.
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:17 AM   #49
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W. Lee loved to have "overcomers" fill his trainings so he could boast of smiling faces in blue jackets and white shirts/blouses.

But that's not the "church." That's organization. Not even the Twelve, hand-picked by Jesus, looked so orderly. How about the lovely choirs standing behind ministers in mega-churches? Yup, almost perfection. So, why can't my church ever get it right?

Perhaps we are not looking with the right set of eyes.

During the Dark Ages, the "perfect-looking" church of Rome could boast of gothic cathedrals and colorfully-robed attendants, priests, altar boys, and choirs. Compare that to the peasant Albigensian believers hiding out in mountain hamlets.

I was an altar boy for four years. Just put on that full length black cassock robe with pressed white surplice, and even I cleaned up rather well. Give me a few canned Latin responses and a bell, and I appeared almost holy. Almost. That my friends are "nice, quirky Christians who dress badly."
Hallelujah He has taken us beyond all that!
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Old 04-11-2019, 09:28 AM   #50
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I don't want to make this about you or me or Bill Freeman, but let me just make clear that I don't mind extra-biblical phrases unless they lead to dangerous conclusions, and I think "the Church is Christ" does, for reasons I've stated--specifically that it leads to manipulation. As to the relevance of pointing out the failures of Bill Freeman, the reason I did that was because he liked the phrase "the Church is Christ" and he was one who manipulated people or at least allowed it. So I see a potential connection there.

You have to realize that my pet peeve about the "Recovery" is the way it controls and manipulates people. I see that as almost the whole problem with it. As I've said, take away that and you have some nice, quirky Christians who dress badly. So please forgive me hammering that point, but that is my whole reason for being here.

Actually, I don't see that saying "the Church is Christ" really helps people not abuse members because the LR says it and they abuse. In fact, it may make things worse, because instead of establishing that members have value in themselves before God as his precious creations and objects of redemption, it suggest they only have value when they "are Christ."

In short, saying "the Church is Christ" depersonalizes people out the equation. It makes us less important, not more important. It says love the Church because it is Christ, not because it is made up of people he loved and died for. This is typical LR error.

Just learn to love people like he does and you'll be fine. You shouldn't need a reason to value people other than that he values them.

Of course, Jesus said whatever we do to "the least of these" we do to "him." So there is that side to it. But I don't think that statement is literal, I think he is saying he takes personally what we do to those he loves.
I can appreciate that. In our gathering we don't dwell much on the negative taint of the LC (it seems so long ago to most of us - and yes, the Lord is still healing some of that in some of us), so I don't think my reading of this book (The Church is Christ) is clouded very much with that kind of thing.

Here's an interesting thing to consider - in 1st Corinthians chapter one, Paul is exhorting them regarding divisions. He concludes this thought by asking, "Is Christ divided?" It strikes me as very interesting . . . he is referring to the believers as the church, but he does not ask, "Is the church divided?" No, he asks is Christ divided?

Anyway, there are a ton of passages that equate Christ with His called-out gathering, but I understand how you think this is abused by some - however, it certainly does not negate the truth of the heavenly vision!
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:05 AM   #51
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Anyway, there are a ton of passages that equate Christ with His called-out gathering, but I understand how you think this is abused by some - however, it certainly does not negate the truth of the heavenly vision!
Just take care not to take it too far. The Bible equates husband and wife, but that doesn't mean the wife is the husband in the way some want to believe the Church is Christ. Be careful not to read something into it that really isn't there just for the sake of some metaphysical wowie-kazowies.
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Old 04-11-2019, 11:55 AM   #52
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Just take care not to take it too far. The Bible equates husband and wife, but that doesn't mean the wife is the husband in the way some want to believe the Church is Christ. Be careful not to read something into it that really isn't there just for the sake of some metaphysical wowie-kazowies.
Good point - husband and wife are one, yet individuals. The picture of oneness is the triune God (one of those extra-biblical terms). If one reads John 17 they can really get confused exactly where the lines of demarcation are (vs 21-23): "that all of them may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I am in You. May they also be in Us . . . I have given them the glory You gave Me, so that they may be one as We are one. I in them and You in Me—that they may be perfectly united . . ."

So what did you think of this from my previous post: Here's an interesting thing to consider - in 1st Corinthians chapter one, Paul is exhorting them regarding divisions. He concludes this thought by asking, "Is Christ divided?" It strikes me as very interesting . . . he is referring to the believers as the church, but he does not ask, "Is the church divided?" No, he asks is Christ divided?
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:18 PM   #53
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So what did you think of this from my previous post: Here's an interesting thing to consider - in 1st Corinthians chapter one, Paul is exhorting them regarding divisions. He concludes this thought by asking, "Is Christ divided?" It strikes me as very interesting . . . he is referring to the believers as the church, but he does not ask, "Is the church divided?" No, he asks is Christ divided?
Imagine a football team having a players-only meeting in which they are trying to address the problem of some players not giving it their all and quitting during games.

One of the team captains stands in front of the team and shouts the rhetorical question, "Is Coach a quitter?!"

Now, he doesn't mean the team is the coach. He means the team should reflect the coach.

Likewise, Paul was saying that Christ is not divided in himself, so we should not reflect division either. He didn't mean we are Christ.
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Old 04-11-2019, 12:51 PM   #54
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Imagine a football team having a players-only meeting in which they are trying to address the problem of some players not giving it their all and quitting during games.

One of the team captains stands in front of the team and shouts the rhetorical question, "Is Coach a quitter?!"

Now, he doesn't mean the team is the coach. He means the team should reflect the coach.

Likewise, Paul was saying that Christ is not divided in himself, so we should not reflect division either. He didn't mean we are Christ.
Okay. How about this one in Acts 9: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” 5“Who are You, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied.… (the football analogy could possibly be applied here too, I guess.)

But what about the phrase "In Christ" which appears nearly 100 times in the NT - what is the significance of the Holy Spirit using this so many times? Could the football team say, "We're in coach?"
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:18 PM   #55
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what about the phrase "In Christ" which appears nearly 100 times in the NT - what is the significance of the Holy Spirit using this so many times?
The problem with this phrase is that those who use it (not the NT writers but the followers) may or may not be "in Christ", and the using doesn't make the reality. Those who say "we are the church" may be the Synagogue of Satan, and those who don't say anything of the sort may be the "church".

People being hearers of the word (and even speakers) are different from the doers of the word. Not that saying "in Christ" isn't true or real, but saying it doesn't make you "it". Mouthing platitudes does not equate to reality.

Now I base this on 2 verses. One where Jesus said, "I was sick and you cared for me" etc. Jesus is sick? I thought he was in glory?!? But his members are sick. They are lonely. They are hurting. They are in prison. And when Jesus sees them, he says, "This is me". So as you treat them, you treat him. But saying, "Be warm and be filled" as you walk by on your way to your church meeting doesn't mean you are in the reality, and are "dispensing" reality to them. So are you in Christ? I dunno. But I daresay that mouthing phrases doesn't do it.

Then, when Dorcas was helping the widows, she was helping Christ. She was "in Christ". But there is no record of her saying anything at all. No evidence of the phraseology she used. But it says she was full of good deeds toward others. This is the ticket to Jesus, helping others. Of course she had faith, but not just faith but a living that followed.

So "in Christ" may be true and real, and I daresay it is. But "in Christ" of itself is only words. Does your living reflect it? Does mine? What words we use hardly matter compared to what we do. And I speak for myself. All my posts mean very little in the scheme of things. All they really mean is that I'm not so easily caught by persuasive speakers as I once was. It's not hearing words that saves. Only Jesus saves. And the saving is in the doing. Confessing is good, necessary even. But living shows the confessing is real.
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Old 04-11-2019, 02:53 PM   #56
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Okay. How about this one in Acts 9: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” 5“Who are You, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied.… (the football analogy could possibly be applied here too, I guess.)

But what about the phrase "In Christ" which appears nearly 100 times in the NT - what is the significance of the Holy Spirit using this so many times? Could the football team say, "We're in coach?"
When the Bible says we are "in Christ" it means we are identified with him. What he has accomplished is now ours.

When the Bible says what is done to us is done to Christ it means he identifies with us. He takes personally what happens to us.

It's all about relationships. It isn't about literally being "in" something or being someone. Focusing too much on the metaphysics of it can totally miss the point.

I used to get all caught in how I could live, yet not I, but Christ. We don't have to figure it out. I live now because Christ lives in me. He is my life. I don't need to imagine I've vanished or something. That's taking the whole thing too far by getting caught up in the literal words, and thereby actually missing the reality of it.
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Old 04-11-2019, 04:03 PM   #57
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Sons to Glory,

I apologize if my dismissals of your proposals have been too curt, even denunciations. Antagonism has never suited me well. If my responses have seemed adversarial I apologize.

I think that "in Christ" and "in the Body (which is Christ)" are not untrue, but they simply have no meaning in and of themselves, and should not be held as if they did.

Let me illustrate by two examples. There may be a Bible expositor who puts out a book on "being in Christ", or holds a conference with many messages on the subject. Hundreds or thousands gather, and buy the books, and claim enlightenment. Then the minister appoints his non-spiritual son as office manager, which son begins horribly abusing church members. The minister says, ''This is a personal affair" and, "My ministry is my business", and stonewalls. Now, is that minister "in Christ"? I don't know, but the teachings clearly mean nothing. They may in fact be a smokescreen for evil. "I don't care about right and wrong, I just care about being 'in Christ.'"

Now suppose there's another person who struggles all his life with his moods, or his behaviour. Being a Christian, this just makes him feel guilty and frustrated. What is he missing? Then one day he gets a revelation that he's "in Christ", and struggling to be good or to resist sin is already over! Christ has won, and in his victory placed this failed but now redeemed sinner "in Himself", so that all the believer needs to do is enjoy the clear fact of his transfer from one realm to another.

From that moment of revelation on, the believer experiences a new dimension of living. The awareness and appreciation of "being in Christ" makes all the difference to him.

Now, my point is this: one could have just as easily found some other biblical truth to afford some transformative release from darkness. It is wonderful, what happened, but that doesn't mean that "in Christ" has some necessary wider scope. It could just as well be justification, or righteousness or holiness or the resurrection from the dead. Sons of God. A nation of priests and kings. Wonderful. But not necessary in the same scope as a universal crucial truth.

We don't know Dorcas' conceptual schema, but we know what she did, and what happened. And we know some ask, "When did this occur" and they are told, "When you did it to the least of these." Their schema needs adjusting but their behaviours are acceptable.
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Old 04-12-2019, 03:00 AM   #58
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Thanks for your replies, Igzy and Aron. According to the light each of us has been given - whatever being "in Christ" means, may we just enjoy this fact! I just want to behave as a humble sheep in His pasture (John 10:9) & not get all wrapped-around-the-axle about anything . . .
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Old 04-13-2019, 01:27 AM   #59
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

Very interesting conversation on the Body of Christ.I know it's not a good practice to use words and phrases that are not in the Bible.because it leads to error and confusion. We only need the word of God and the words that are in it,and then we are doing good if we can just scratch the surface of the magnitude of the revelation contained in it of God and His eternal counsels and purpose concerning Christ and the Church which is His Body.

We must pray for a spirit of wisdom and revelation to see. And our mind should be renewed by the Holy Spirit or we may have the tendency to explain things away with our mind. Eph.5:32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church. Eph.1:22-23 And has put all things under his feet,and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,which is his body,the fulness of him that filleth all in all. One thing I've enjoyed seeing about the Church is when Christ says to Peter Matt. 16:18 And I say also unto thee,that thou art Peter,and upon this rock I will build my church;and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And then in 1 cor. 3:10-17 here Paul says that he is the wise masterbuilder,and that he has laid the foundation,and others build thereon. And that Christ is the only foundation. And then warns to every man to take heed how he builds. The recommended materials are gold silver and precious stones,but many will and have built with wood hay and stubble,some will have a reward and some will suffer loss,for the Day will declare it. So in Matthew Christ builds His Church and it is perfect,the gates of hell cannot prevail against it. It's built by Christ with living stones as Peter's epistle also speaks of. But in 1 Cor. 3 what Paul is saying has to do with man's responsibility to build something.

And that is where failure can come in, when the Lord let's man have some responsibility in the work. Everything God ever set up new with man has always ended in failure when man has had some responsibility in it. The only exception is The Second Man The Last Adam The Lord from Heaven Jesus Christ He never fails Amen! Adam failed in Eden,Noah planted a vineyard and got drunk,the children of Israel failed at Sinai with the golden calf,and the Church as set up by Christ on the day of Pentecost perfect and glorious,after a relatively short time because of failure in responsibility by men,the outward form of the Church went into ruin as Church history shows,and Gods word also predicted. But Christ throughout all these centuries has been building His Church and will present it to Himself a Glorious Church without spot or wrinkle regardless of all of our failures. Christ is going to have a perfect Bride.There is a spiritual reality of the Church that Christ builds Himself that has never suffered ruin or decay,and it will be that Glorious Bride at the wedding feast of The Lamb. And that Holy Temple In the Lord.
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Old 04-13-2019, 12:45 PM   #60
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Okay. How about this one in Acts 9: “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute Me?” 5“Who are You, Lord?” Saul asked. “I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting,” He replied.… (the football analogy could possibly be applied here too, I guess.)"
Have you considered 1 Timothy 1:13
https://biblehub.com/blb/1_timothy/1.htm

In his own words Saul was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent. We lock in on him persecuting the church as if that was his only offense to Christ.

There is something very mysterious about Christ that involves the church who are members of His body. I too am in awe and wonder about this and appreciate
it’s reality and practicality. So, I don’t want to take that away or play it down.
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Old 04-18-2019, 12:29 PM   #61
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

I read this recently. What do you think about it?
Quote:
The church - Christ's Person and work

"And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head
over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him
who fills all in all."
EPHESIANS 1:22-23

The church is not an entity separate from the Person and work of
Christ. We should not think of the church as something
different from His Person and work. The church is a description of
Christ with the fullness of His Person in His Body resulting in' a
testimony of all that He has accomplished in His work to produce us
as His expression. So the church is simply a manifestation, an
extension, of Christ's Person and Christ's work.

Coming from various backgrounds, we may have different ideas
of what "church" means. The church is a building, or the church is
an assembly of people, or the church is what we experienced for
years and maybe were disappointed with. "Church" could mean
many different things to us. But we need to see a simple and clear
revelation of the church - it is nothing less and nothing more than
the Person and the work of Christ embodied and expressed through
His people. This is the way we need to consider the church.

Properly speaking, the church is an extension of Christ's Person
and His work. When the Bible says that we are His Body, it adds,
"the fullness of Him who is filling all in all." This is how we are
Christ's extension. It is by His filling us. As we are being filled,
there is an expression of all His riches. Look at His Person, look
at His work. Then you know the church. The church is simply Christ
Himself and all that He is dispensed into all of us, with all the riches
of His Person and His work flowing from each one of us to express
His' fullness. What a marvelous realization of what the church is.
It is just Christ and more of Christ filling all His organic members.
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Old 04-18-2019, 02:02 PM   #62
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

Interesting piece Sons to Glory. For the sake of clarity, could you please cite the source of this quote?

There is some good stuff in here, but I must tell you there are some things to be cautious of as well. I'll just touch upon a few of them:


Quote:
to produce us as His expression.
I do not believe that "produce" is a biblical word. Of course I'm probably a little jaded from Witness Lee's use of this term. Maybe this person is using it in a larger context that is not apparent in what you have posted.

Quote:
So the church is simply a manifestation, an extension..
Well, the church is not "simply" anything. This church is a great mystery (Eph 5:32), and as such, she cannot be summed up in such a shorthand fashion. I'm not saying that there is no truth in saying the church is a manifestation or even extension of the Person and work of Christ, only that it is incomplete.

Quote:
But we need to see a simple and clear revelation of the church - it is nothing less and nothing more than the Person and the work of Christ embodied and expressed through His people.
There's that word "simple" again. Then this person goes from the frying pan to the fire with "clear revelation of the church". When someone tells me that they have "a clear revelation" of anything, my antenna goes up, and I wait for what comes next - is it some newfangled, "recovered truth" or "original teaching in the New Testament" that we all have been missing for 2,000 years? Sorry, been there, done that. Bought the T-shirt. Fool me once.....

Quote:
Properly speaking
Proper to who? So we are left to assume that much of the speaking we've been hearing for years is somehow "improper"? Has this person submitted his "proper speaking" to other members of the Body of Christ for some kind of peer review? I noticed that this person is not quoting from any other source. That is cause for caution, and even for worry as far as I'm concerned.

Quote:
The church is simply Christ Himself and all that He is dispensed into all of us
There's another unbiblical word: "dispensed". I'm not saying that the word dispensed is heretical per se, but it certainly is not within the bounds of orthodox teaching, at least within the greater protestant church. Maybe one could take this concept from the Eastern Orthodox teachings?
-
***It just occurred to me, Sons to Glory, that the author of this little piece might be you! If that's the case, I don't mean to be overly critical or come across with a harsh spirit. But since you asked "what do you think".
-
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:23 AM   #63
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

Thanks for responding, UntoHim! I will tell you I am not the author of this (but actually am a little flattered that you might think that! - is that a fleshly thought? )

You keyed in on certain extra-biblical words, and I am sympathetic to that. These kinds of words can lead us into areas we shouldn't go. And I too, had a little similar reaction when it said, "properly speaking" - it really doesn't add anything that useful and seems more an attempted support of an opinion.

But with that said, I still enjoyed the piece. I am of the mind that the ekklesia is so much more than we realize. I think there is a special attack of Satan - probably his main attack - to keep us from seeing who we really are in Him. The life, authority and power given to the "church" (a poor anglo substitute word for the "called-out gathering" in my opinion) is unprecedented in the history of the universe. It is a new creation never seen before. Truly a great mystery.

One thing bro Lee did was to promote a high vision of the church, in the face of a much widespread degradated view of it. (I likely will catch flack for saying that, but so what) But then he, of course, went too far and developed a prideful, elitist, and fleshly attitude which caused separation in the body - an attitude that still continues in the LC. Did Lee cross the line on how much we are made partakers of the divine nature? Maybe, but here again I don't really care to pursue hashing-out the sins of WL at this point in my life. I don't read much of Lee's stuff anymore, but if someone presents something of his (it happens on rare occasions) that my spirit can say "amen" to, then wonderful!

Anyway, I didn't really mean to get into a WL discussion here, and have no stomach for that. My cardinal rule these days is this: If something helps me have a fresher new covenant relationship with Christ and other believers, then I'm all for it. And if it's anything else, the Anointing lets me know. (BTW - the writing I quoted is not from WL either.)
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:43 AM   #64
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

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One thing bro Lee did was to promote a high vision of the church, in the face of a much widespread degradated view of it. (I likely will catch flack for saying that, but so what)
Oh my!

If WL really had a "high vision of the church," then how could he allow his sons and his businesses to cause so much pain and damage to the church?

The Pharisees and Jewish leaders of their day also held a "high vision" of God's word, God's people, God's Temple, and the promised Messiah. It would be absolutely impossible for them to collude with the evil Romans to commit a public crime of murder on their Passover. Right?

Oops. What day is today?
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Old 04-19-2019, 10:00 AM   #65
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It is a mystery, isn't it bro Ohio!? And how could I have an incredible, lofty, supernatural experience of Christ one day, then go out and do shameful things I knew I shouldn't a couple days later? (hint - it's called the fallen flesh)
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Old 04-19-2019, 06:53 PM   #66
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

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It is a mystery, isn't it bro Ohio!? And how could I have an incredible, lofty, supernatural experience of Christ one day, then go out and do shameful things I knew I shouldn't a couple days later? (hint - it's called the fallen flesh)
The Bible exhorts us to "test all things," and to "prove the will of God."

Hence, some of the "incredible, lofty, supernatural" talks, are merely that, and not the genuine "experience of Christ."

This forum has numerous examples of this.
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Old 04-19-2019, 09:50 PM   #67
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I'm missing your point here, Ohio. Can you please restate?
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Old 04-20-2019, 01:07 AM   #68
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

Head of the body https://stempublishing.com/authors/F..._Christ12.html
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Old 04-20-2019, 04:37 AM   #69
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Default Re: Christ is the Body, "the Body-Christ"

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Quote from Lee’s ministry:
"Verse 12 says, "For as the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body, being many, are one body: so also is the Christ" (Gk.). In this verse Paul brings in the concept that Christ is the Body. You may be familiar with the fact that in verse 12 we see the Body-Christ, the corporate Christ, not the individual Christ. Yes, we are the corporate Christ. However, if we are dumb when we gather together in the meetings, Christ has no way to come forth. He cannot come forth when we are silent. But when we are spiritual, speaking and functioning in the meetings, Christ comes out. When you speak for Christ, Christ comes forth in your speaking. If we all speak forth Christ, then the corporate Christ, the Body-Christ, will come forth. This is Christ as the Body. In order to have the Body-Christ, we all need to speak."
As far I have a quick search on 1 Corinthians 12:12 and Acts 9:4 from some good commentaries. I know of no theologian or pastor who has used that interpretation before. I guess it's more on an Eastern Orthodox leaning.

by-Verse Commentary 1 Corinthians 12:12
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Old 04-20-2019, 07:49 AM   #70
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I'm missing your point here, Ohio. Can you please restate?
Can you clarify this post?
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Old 04-21-2019, 08:18 AM   #71
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It is a mystery, isn't it bro Ohio!? And how could I have an incredible, lofty, supernatural experience of Christ one day, then go out and do shameful things I knew I shouldn't a couple days later? (hint - it's called the fallen flesh)
That's better than burning testimonies in the meetings while abusing young daughters at home, like one brother in the c. in Ft. Lauderdale, that was revealed by the daughters when grown up. And I really liked the brother.

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
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Old 04-21-2019, 02:07 PM   #72
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That's better than burning testimonies in the meetings while abusing young daughters at home, like one brother in the c. in Ft. Lauderdale, that was revealed by the daughters when grown up. And I really liked the brother.

Rom 7:24 O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?
Bro Awareness Great must be the darkness of doing that while
declaring the wonderfulness of Christ and the church. Was he ever
Called to account for this?
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