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Old 06-05-2015, 05:21 AM   #1
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Default The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity

There is a new thread on Deputy Authority that speaks of elders putting people out of the church for not toeing the line and keeping any questions or doubts to themselves. We talk about the abusive leadership. The dogma and exclusivity. The wholesale disregard for significant portions of the scripture, whether it is James, the Psalms, even Jesus words concerning obedience. And on and on it goes.

And it has bothered me why highly educated people put up with it. While we have noted that the system naturally attracts some who are weak minded, there are an uncanny number of highly intelligent people who do not just stand up and declare it all to be ridiculous and walk out with a number of others in their wake.

But these are not where my thinking began. It began with the ground of the church. Actually, not even there, but with the prayer by Jesus that we would be one. It began to bother me that as important as being one is, it was essentially not taught directly by Christ. Instead it was prayed that we would become one.

Then along came Witness Lee who declared that being one was easy. You can just meet together “on the ground” and all would be well. Drop names and the blessing of God would flow. No need to arrive at the unity of the faith. Just arrive at the meeting hall of those in your city that “meet on the ground.”

Then attribute everything positive to the fact of the ground. And declare everything that is negative to the attack of the evil one. Convince them (once upon a time that included us) that it was the ground that provided all the benefits. Once you are fully indoctrinated with the ground — that magical, no effort ground — then you will tolerate a lot of problems to keep your place on the ground.

You will tolerate deputy authority. You will tolerate the trite “it doesn’t mean that” or “that is not according to God’s economy” because failing to go along could separate you from the ground.

And without the ground, there is no unity. There is no oneness.

And the thing that Jesus had to pray for on our behalf was finally made easy by a Chinese minister almost 20 centuries later when he figured out what Jesus could have taught in just a few words back in about 29 A.D.

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Old 06-05-2015, 06:01 AM   #2
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Default Re: The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity

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Once you're fully indoctrinated with the ground — that magical, no effort ground — then you will tolerate a lot of problems to keep your place on the ground.
The magical, no effort ground has been accompanied by unrelieved turmoil since Day 1. The remnant of the "Blended" today who are congratulating themselves on remaining on this ground might ask themselves, Where is the peace?

If God has to continually send fire upon the ground to purify it, how magical is it, really?

To me it's like someone saying, "If everybody would just do what I say, then there would be peace." The guy doesn't know what the word "peace" means. He doesn't have a clue.
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:23 AM   #3
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Default Re: The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity

"One church in a city" only becomes a problem when you start trying to organize it under one leader or group of leaders. Note that "being one on the ground" in the LCM always boiled down to doing what the elders said. So "the ground" was really a mechanism for empowering elders.

The weak point was always the question of who gets to decide who are the elders. In the LCM's case it was always just their little sandbox, so who cared? But when you start scaling the model to include everyone in city (which the LCM said the model was always supposed to accommodate) who the leaders are and and who decides becomes a BIG problem, and the whole thing falls apart because it just becomes a game of king of the hill.

No. Real peace between Christians, the kind that begins to manifest the oneness the Lord prayed for, is not the result of cheap methods or simple ideas. It was bought with a dear price and requires a complex set of relationships between many parties, all of whom are letting the peace of Christ rule in their hearts. No power plays, no claims of rightful status, no shoving. Just the amazing result of Christ working in all of us.
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Old 06-05-2015, 07:45 AM   #4
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No. Real peace between Christians, the kind that begins to manifest the oneness the Lord prayed for, is not the result of cheap methods or simple ideas. It was bought with a dear price and requires a complex set of relationships between many parties, all of whom are letting the peace of Christ rule in their hearts. No power plays, no claims of rightful status, no shoving. Just the amazing result of Christ working in all of us.
Good point. Lee thought he had developed the formula to organize oneness, but the end result was just division. One way I really began to see past the ground of oneness/locality was to see several small LC's in big cities meeting in a home with 10 or so members. They claim they are the only ones meeting on the ground. They presume that they are the only people who are "one" in that city. It's just absurd. Less that 1% of the population in the city thinks they are occupying the proper ground that makes everyone one.

If nothing else, if those in the LC think that they are expressing oneness or are meeting on the correct "ground", they should be doing something positive that demonstrates why their way is correct. Obviously, they can't really do that, but it just goes to show that their hypocrites. If the LCM as a whole or a certain church thinks they have a special oneness, why are they hiding in a homes or in a meeting hall with no name? I guarantee there are LC's out there that no one would even know existed unless they were connected to the LSM church network. It contradicts the very notion of "the ground".
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Old 06-05-2015, 10:37 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity

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"One church in a city" only becomes a problem when you start trying to organize it under one leader or group of leaders. Note that "being one on the ground" in the LCM always boiled down to doing what the elders said. So "the ground" was really a mechanism for empowering elders.

The weak point was always the question of who gets to decide who are the elders. In the LCM's case it was always just their little sandbox, so who cared? But when you start scaling the model to include everyone in city (which the LCM said the model was always supposed to accommodate) who the leaders are and and who decides becomes a BIG problem, and the whole thing falls apart because it just becomes a game of king of the hill.

No. Real peace between Christians, the kind that begins to manifest the oneness the Lord prayed for, is not the result of cheap methods or simple ideas. It was bought with a dear price and requires a complex set of relationships between many parties, all of whom are letting the peace of Christ rule in their hearts. No power plays, no claims of rightful status, no shoving. Just the amazing result of Christ working in all of us.
I understand your points. And I do not disagree.

But I think you are missing my point. Oneness, or unity, is not the most talked-about think the the NT. And Jesus did not really say much about it at all besides in that prayer where he asked the Father that they would be one as they are one. If it was really as simply as just dropping names and meeting under one set of elders within one city, that would have been easy to say. Not really that hard to do and therefore little need to pray about it.

But instead we rock along for centuries being totally divided (according to those who say that unity is the primary thing) and it is simply fixed by being "on the ground." The problem is declared without actually establishing that there is the problem that is claimed. And the solution is provided. Just drop names, have one set of elders for one city, and you are one.

(Well, you also have to follow the teachings of the one who brought you the fix. Call it a payment for services rendered. And since it is owned by the group, it is intellectual property that you must pay for every year into perpetuity. How? By coming to the trainings. Buying the books. Refusing to buy anyone else's books.)

How is it that Lee figured out how to guarantee the Lord's blessing when even the Lord himself had to pray for it. And then years later Paul makes a comment like "until we all arrive a the unity of the faith." How difficult can it be to arrive if all you have to do is meet on Meandering Way, or Windswept, or Ball Road (those would be Dallas, Houston, Anaheim) and you have arrived?

There is nothing in the ground. There is even nothing in the call to all meet together unless you are willing to meet other than in the way that you choose. The scriptures do not choose ground, music style, format of worship, type and arrangement of chairs, even the delineation of where there are elders over an assembly that covers greater or less than an entire city.

It has a nice sound to it. But any gathering will eventually come to believe in a certain way. And if there had not been Lee behind the "ground" then someone else's staff would have shepherded us in a different direction. We may not have been as dogmatic about ours v theirs (and that is a good thing) but it would not have created automatic unity. Except maybe among those inside the walls of that assembly, or of those connected assemblies.

Jesus prayed we would be one. Lee substituted ground as proof of oneness and then lashed-out at all who did not come and join. Proof of the folly of the ground. Just one more reason to divide. And be dogmatic about it.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:00 PM   #6
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Default Re: The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity

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Jesus prayed we would be one. Lee substituted ground as proof of oneness and then lashed-out at all who did not come and join. Proof of the folly of the ground. Just one more reason to divide. And be dogmatic about it.
Suppose you live in Austin, Texas and there's going to be a city-wide prayer. All the different non-denominational and denominational churches would be one.....that is except for one church whose stance is only they are on the proper ground.
Is that not division? There's an opportunity to declare as Christians in a city we would all be one and there would be no division among us. Yet the matter of the ground becomes divisive.
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Old 06-05-2015, 12:03 PM   #7
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Default Re: The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity

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But instead we rock along for centuries being totally divided (according to those who say that unity is the primary thing) and it is simply fixed by being "on the ground."
I have said repeatedly that distorted oneness is perhaps the most evil invention devised by God's enemy. Something which sounds so good, so noble, and so spiritual gets distorted into a weapon for God's enemy to destroy God's people. Think about the Catholic system for almost 2,000 years. Built on oneness. For centuries oneness was used to silence those who spoke for God. For centuries oneness was used to justify murders, inquisitions, and worse. For centuries oneness was used to introduce idolatry, Mary worship, and worse.

If Catholic oneness was so good, then why would anyone want to leave it. If "hopelessly divided" Protestantism was so bad, then why have the genuine children of God risked martyrdom to obtain it's liberties of the Spirit. It's kind of like the old saying about Communism and its iron curtain -- tear down the wall and see which way the people go.

John Darby hijacked the helm of the Plymouth Brethren movement. They began with a common interest in Biblical prophecy, and then were greatly used by God to mine deeper into the scriptures, and ride the British empire with the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Darby then used distorted oneness to bring the movement back into the bondage of Rome. Some have said he became a far worse pope than the one in Rome he condemned his whole life.

Lee picked up on Darby's tenets and his updated vision of distorted oneness. Lee knew how to have it both ways. He would start out in a new place like the "open brethren," allowing the liberty of the Spirit to bear fruit. Then his exclusive brethren distorted oneness would take over bringing all his adherents into subjection.
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Old 06-06-2015, 01:35 PM   #8
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John Darby hijacked the helm of the Plymouth Brethren movement. They began with a common interest in Biblical prophecy, and then were greatly used by God to mine deeper into the scriptures, and ride the British empire with the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Darby then used distorted oneness to bring the movement back into the bondage of Rome. Some have said he became a far worse pope than the one in Rome he condemned his whole life.

Lee picked up on Darby's tenets and his updated vision of distorted oneness. Lee knew how to have it both ways. He would start out in a new place like the "open brethren," allowing the liberty of the Spirit to bear fruit. Then his exclusive brethren distorted oneness would take over bringing all his adherents into subjection.
Lee's concept of oneness used to seem so reasonable to me. Lee made it a black and white issue to where where there is either oneness or division, you can't have both. Of course, any notion of there some form of absolute "oneness" among human beings is completely absurd, it will never happen. There will always be divergent opinions, dissension, disagreement, etc. Lee thought that he could avoid all that by create a system in which people simply submitted to him, agreed to use his ministry exclusively, and all the sudden they would all be "one".

It might have appeared to work when no one stood up to challenge Lee's system, but once people began doing that, it really exposed the situation for what it really was: oneness through uniformity.
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Old 06-06-2015, 09:10 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity

OBW,

I wonder what would happen if we let all the "church talk" just ... go away, and concentrate on Jesus only? I heard Benson say once, early on in Houston, "If we concentrate on Jesus, the church will come out. If we concentrate on "the church", nothing will come out." I don't believe I heard him say this more than once. If he did, this was a short-lived notion.

For all that has transpired since that statement was made, it would appear that this is exactly what has happened.

What do you think?

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Old 06-08-2015, 05:53 PM   #10
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I understand your points. And I do not disagree.

But I think you are missing my point. Oneness, or unity, is not the most talked-about think the the NT. And Jesus did not really say much about it at all besides in that prayer where he asked the Father that they would be one as they are one.
Oneness is like holiness. We are all holy and we are one. We just need to walk in those realities. The problem with the LCM was they tried to define oneness so specifically that their oneness became divisive.

Remember how they'd use the term "practical oneness?" "Practical oneness" sounded so no-nonsense. "Practical oneness" meant practically definable oneness, which led to enforceable oneness, which led to, of all things, divisive oneness, also known as exclusiveness.

The Bible does emphasize oneness, but not as the supreme virtue. Paul talked about being like-minded and so forth. But to me he was talking about getting along well enough to not tear each other down and to get things done. If we are constantly at odds nothing gets accomplished and the testimony suffers. But the LCM elevated oneness to such a lofy ideal that they practically discounted the blessed service of those Christians they saw as not being "one." Like I said, divisive oneness--"oneness" that produced the very problems that Paul's exhortations to unity were intended to avoid.
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Old 06-09-2015, 03:37 AM   #11
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OBW,

I wonder what would happen if we let all the "church talk" just ... go away, and concentrate on Jesus only? I heard Benson say once, early on in Houston, "If we concentrate on Jesus, the church will come out. If we concentrate on "the church", nothing will come out." I don't believe I heard him say this more than once. If he did, this was a short-lived notion.

For all that has transpired since that statement was made, it would appear that this is exactly what has happened.

What do you think?

Nell
I think Benson's statement is indicative of the transition that occurred in the LC. Young people were caught by the lofty ideals that accompany "Jesus only." Eventually, however, all the trappings they initially abhorred, consume them in their old age.
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Old 06-09-2015, 04:50 AM   #12
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I think Benson's statement is indicative of the transition that occurred in the LC. Young people were caught by the lofty ideals that accompany "Jesus only."
I remember the song, "Just by calling, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, every moment each day..." At first it was all, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus. But in retrospect that was the hook to get us, and separate us from "Babylon", which supposedly had all kinds of things besides "Jesus only": customs, traditions, teachings of men, parties, factions, and ministries. So there we were on the supposedly pure ground, just calling "Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, every moment each day." Calling on the Lord out of a pure heart.

But then we were distracted to focus on the church itself. First was its local aspect. How to meet. How to shepherd. How to prophecy. How to function in the meetings. And so forth. Then came The Body of Christ. The New Jerusalem. Which in turn needed the Rich Ministry of God's Apostle, with all its Recovered Truths. We got all sorts of hifalutin terms: Processed, and Consummated, Intrinsic, Metabolic, Crystallization. So it wasn't about Jesus; it was rather the old "bait and switch" tactic. BP said it was about Jesus only, until his Big Boss in Anaheim said it was about something else. Then BP changed his tune, and quick. Gotta be one with the Boss.

It seems to me that we got mesmerized by a man. The Local Churchers were ultimately "of Lee" much more than the Methodists were "of Wesley" or the Lutherans "of Luther". But his "ministry" had us so tightly in its grip that we couldn't, or wouldn't see it.

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Eventually, however, all the trappings they initially abhorred, consume them in their old age.
Well the trappings aren't too bad if you get to be one of the Top Dogs. The Small Potatoes I feel bad for - they once sought for Jesus but instead they got WL, the Local Church, and the Living Stream Ministry.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:17 AM   #13
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Default Re: The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity

Like a lot of things, we see problems and have a good idea where to attribute the blame. Or at least have a good idea what isn't working.

For example, if the goal is oneness but what you see is some kind of internal oneness yet openly divisive relative to others, then there is something wrong. It might be your basis for oneness is flawed, and it might be something else that is creating the problems.

If we always look at outward signs, we will be able to see the flaws in the people who are trying to practice whatever it is they do.

I would suggest that either ignoring or completely dismissing the righteousness aspects of the gospel and of Jesus' teachings will result in the kinds of problems that the LCM has. Even will usher in the ridiculous — like deputy authority. But we don't have to wait for fruit to see that the ground is bad. Don't even have to argue whether the discoveries of the words "church in" juxtaposed to the names of cities was descriptive or prescriptive. Or more rightly, a view of the church from God's perspective and not from the perspective of separate assemblies.

Instead, the fact that Jesus only mentions it as a prayer, wanting it to become real. And Paul describes it as something that we will arrive at (and that it will be "until," therefore not instantaneous). Given that, it is fanciful that 1,900+ years later someone could come along and simply say "just drop the names and meet as the church in a city" would fix it all. If it was really that easy, then Jesus could have started one of his discourses with a brief prayer to the Father that we would be one, then set out to describe how easy it was to accomplish.

And if it really was that easy, then there would be no need to excommunicate people for thinking differently about things. Or for writing materials to help the "parishioners" with their daily living. If it is so simple, then it should be simple.

The problem is that the ground is an external fix for an internal problem. And by declaring it to be the cure, it causes things that are not really the problem to be seen as the whole of it. The problem with oneness is not that we believe differently on some things. It is that we don't understand the real call to life in Christ here on earth. So we focus our attention on things that do not matter. Like whether you use the right words to describe the Trinity. Or revere the Lord's table in the preferred manner, either making too much or too little of it. Or believe in grace so sufficiently that you never "work," or alternately believe in the need to work to be the person who lives as the Lord commanded and don't seem to appreciate grace sufficiently. If we understood the Christian life, we would be one even though we do not see everything in the same way. We would not spend our time pointing at people who experience their Christianity differently than I do and wondering whether they are really saved.

But that comes from within. It does not come from a formula waved over a sign outside a building. A formula that makes everything that happens inside of no consequence because it is all blessed by the faux oneness. The oneness of secular boundaries. Of dirt. Of insistence.
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Old 06-09-2015, 05:50 AM   #14
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Don't even have to argue whether the discoveries of the words "church in" juxtaposed to the names of cities was descriptive or prescriptive. ... it is fanciful that 1,900+ years later someone could come along and simply say "just drop the names and meet as the church in a city" would fix it all...
If the words "the church in" would fix the problems of division by ushering us to the ground of unity, and bring the promised blessing of oneness, then why did the seven Asian churches in Revs 2 and 3, each with their "the church in" titles, have so many problems?

Oh, because they weren't identical, according to WL. You not only need the generic local church name, but then you have to be absolutely identical (see his RecV footnotes for discussion) for the blessing.

So if we all took WL's prescribed name, and did exactly what he told us, then we could be one. Golly gee, why didn't I see that - we waited 1,900 years for God to raise up WL and make us all one.
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Old 06-10-2015, 05:05 AM   #15
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...either ignoring or completely dismissing the righteousness aspects of the gospel and of Jesus' teachings will result in the kinds of problems that the LCM has.
I noted something of this in WL's study of the Psalms. The psalmist declared the blessing accorded to a righteous man, and WL replied that such a man doesn't exist. But WL's reply ignored the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, who's arguably the focus of scripture (not us, sorry). And our imputed righteousness of faith in Jesus Christ (see e.g. Paul on Abraham believing God in Gal 3:6 and Rom 4:3) needs some sweat and elbow grease behind it. Without works it is indeed dead; James was right. Jesus is righteous, and He said, "Follow Me. Obey My commands, even as I obey the Father."

Instead, in the LC we were then given an "outward righteousness", i.e. "the ground", which somehow sanctified all our activities of prayer and fellowship, and made us "intrinsically one" and thus receptacles of the blessing poured out from heaven. Maturity, growth, transformation, fruit-bearing, building up all followed magically. All done without any need for outward righteousness.

The narrative that I sense in the gospels is different: it is rather that we are to struggle to enter the kingdom, which includes outward imitation of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which outward imitation is admittedly abject failure. The big "but" here, to our failures, is twofold: first is that if we're merciful to others' feeble attempts to manifest God, then God will be merciful towards our own; and second is that at some point in the struggle God will send the Paraclete to come alongside, and the Holy Spirit will do what we cannot. But we have to endure. "Wait in Jerusalem for the coming Spirit, and you will be endued with power from on high." He didn't say if it would take 10 days or 10 years. Just wait; watch and pray. God will come. But you must, by faith, endure.

All of this, naturally, is extrinsic to the "ground", which is rather a distraction and a false trail.

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The problem is that the ground is an external fix for an internal problem. And by declaring it to be the cure, it causes things that are not really the problem to be seen as the whole of it.
Yes. I see it as a big fat distraction to the important things that we should be paying close attention to.

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But that comes from within. It does not come from a formula waved over a sign outside a building. A formula that makes everything that happens inside of no consequence because it is all blessed by the faux oneness. The oneness of secular boundaries. Of dirt. Of insistence.
The problem comes from within: the sin that lies within, and is tied to our sinful nature, causes sinful behaviors. This idea seems readily agreed upon by all the Christian faithful as a basic spiritual fact. Likewise, the solution is also arguably within: faith in our hearts, the faith in Christ and of Christ, causes us to attempt to modify our behavior, and follow Him. Paul wrote, "Imitate me, just as you see me imitating Him." And this attempt is not vain, though the devil would tell us so.

Quote:
"Let us not weary of doing good." Gal 6:9

"so that you will not grow weary and lose heart" Heb 12:3

"You have persevered and have endured hardships for my name, and have not grown weary." Rev 2:3
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Old 06-10-2015, 12:58 PM   #16
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I noted something of this in WL's study of the Psalms. The psalmist declared the blessing accorded to a righteous man, and WL replied that such a man doesn't exist. But WL's reply ignored the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, who's arguably the focus of scripture (not us, sorry). And our imputed righteousness of faith in Jesus Christ (see e.g. Paul on Abraham believing God in Gal 3:6 and Rom 4:3) needs some sweat and elbow grease behind it. Without works it is indeed dead; James was right. Jesus is righteous, and He said, "Follow Me. Obey My commands, even as I obey the Father."
In the spirit of Luke 6 regarding the LC view of works, what benefit is it to me?
It's okay to be involved with works even if there's nothing outwardly to gain from it.
Just the view of the gospel. If someone cannot be gained for the local church, they're a waste of time.
In shepherding, if a brother, sister, or couple aren't positive for the ministry, spending time to shepherd them isn't profitable.
Nearly 10 years ago, there was a sister moving from Redlands, Ca to San Antonio, Texas. Just because she wasn't meeting with the local churches, there weren't any Local church brothers willing to help her load up for the move.
Since this thread is about "The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity", I will add this; it's easy to have unity when you exclude all those who disagree with you.
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:41 AM   #17
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I noted something of this in WL's study of the Psalms. The psalmist declared the blessing accorded to a righteous man, and WL replied that such a man doesn't exist. But WL's reply ignored the Son of Man, Jesus Christ, who's arguably the focus of scripture (not us, sorry). And our imputed righteousness of faith in Jesus Christ (see e.g. Paul on Abraham believing God in Gal 3:6 and Rom 4:3) needs some sweat and elbow grease behind it. Without works it is indeed dead; James was right. Jesus is righteous, and He said, "Follow Me. Obey My commands, even as I obey the Father."

Instead, in the LC we were then given an "outward righteousness", i.e. "the ground", which somehow sanctified all our activities of prayer and fellowship, and made us "intrinsically one" and thus receptacles of the blessing poured out from heaven. Maturity, growth, transformation, fruit-bearing, building up all followed magically. All done without any need for outward righteousness.

The narrative that I sense in the gospels is different: it is rather that we are to struggle to enter the kingdom, which includes outward imitation of the righteousness of Jesus Christ, which outward imitation is admittedly abject failure. The big "but" here, to our failures, is twofold: first is that if we're merciful to others' feeble attempts to manifest God, then God will be merciful towards our own; and second is that at some point in the struggle God will send the Paraclete to come alongside, and the Holy Spirit will do what we cannot. But we have to endure. "Wait in Jerusalem for the coming Spirit, and you will be endued with power from on high." He didn't say if it would take 10 days or 10 years. Just wait; watch and pray. God will come. But you must, by faith, endure.

All of this, naturally, is extrinsic to the "ground", which is rather a distraction and a false trail.

Yes. I see it as a big fat distraction to the important things that we should be paying close attention to.

The problem comes from within: the sin that lies within, and is tied to our sinful nature, causes sinful behaviors. This idea seems readily agreed upon by all the Christian faithful as a basic spiritual fact. Likewise, the solution is also arguably within: faith in our hearts, the faith in Christ and of Christ, causes us to attempt to modify our behavior, and follow Him. Paul wrote, "Imitate me, just as you see me imitating Him." And this attempt is not vain, though the devil would tell us so.
aron,

I think that viewing all references to a "righteous man" as only applying to Jesus is to miss the transformation of our being. The sanctification that occurs from faith and obedience. No, we will never be fully righteous. But Jesus does change lives. Not just take them over and become the one doing it. We may not have the power in ourselves for change, but with his strength and power, we can become, not just act as a sock puppet for Jesus to do whatever.

The notion that we never do any of it reminds me of the part early in Men in Black where they interview the woman whose husband was taken over by the "bug." She referred to what looked like her husband as someone else "in an Edgar suit" or something like that. We don't just become prosthetic masks for Christ to put on and be the better us. We are called to change. And become the righteous man. We are called to be the image bearers that we were in the start.

But with that start, you are right that we are to struggle to enter the kingdom. But at the same time we should live as if we are in the kingdom. There is an aspect of the kingdom that is to come. But there is an aspect that is already here. And it is in the church. Not the organization or the assembly, but the people of God. In that sense, there is a church in the city, and in the nation, and in the gathering of two or three. And it is expressed in each individual life. Each individual changed life. Each life which, though still flawed, is becoming righteous.

Seems that this is yet another "fix" of Lee's. You don't become righteous. You just allow Christ to be righteous in you. Then, if you aren't righteous at the moment, it is not because you failed, but because Christ wasn't doing it in you yet. It isn't your fault that you didn't even try. And you can not try with impunity because that is "God's economy." (You may need to read that one a few times to get it. I did not say you cannot try, but that you can not try.)
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Old 06-11-2015, 04:44 AM   #18
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Default Re: The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity

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In the spirit of Luke 6 regarding the LC view of works, what benefit is it to me?
It's okay to be involved with works even if there's nothing outwardly to gain from it.
Just the view of the gospel. If someone cannot be gained for the local church, they're a waste of time.
In shepherding, if a brother, sister, or couple aren't positive for the ministry, spending time to shepherd them isn't profitable.
Nearly 10 years ago, there was a sister moving from Redlands, Ca to San Antonio, Texas. Just because she wasn't meeting with the local churches, there weren't any Local church brothers willing to help her load up for the move.
Since this thread is about "The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity", I will add this; it's easy to have unity when you exclude all those who disagree with you.
It is clear from these examples that they don't consider themselves one with Christian brothers and sisters within the same city. So the ground must really be of no consequence. They really require that you com to their meetings, sing their songs, read their books, and eat their bread and drink their wine.
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Old 06-11-2015, 05:59 AM   #19
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Default Re: The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity

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Since this thread is about "The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity", I will add this; it's easy to have unity when you exclude all those who disagree with you.
So well said Terry ... and so precisely descriptive of what LSM is all about.
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Old 06-11-2015, 10:06 AM   #20
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Default Re: The Ground — Lee's Answer to Jesus' Prayer for Unity

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aron,

I think that viewing all references to a "righteous man" as only applying to Jesus is to miss the transformation of our being.
My method is to overstate my point, and oversimplify it. In actuality the phrase "only Jesus is the righteous One" has to have qualifiers. Jesus fulfilled the premise in full, and now we are to follow Him. So the "assembly of the righteous" in the end of Psalm 1 isn't a mis-print. Yes, that's supposed to be us, and that (to me) syncs quite well with the NT.

WL essentially said, "there is no righteous man" and moved on. That was what I was objecting to. But I didn't mean for my blunt statements to be dogmatic formulations.
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