Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Writings of Former Members > Writings and Concerns of Steve Isitt

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-20-2015, 02:02 PM   #1
Indiana
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 534
Default Ministry Churches

The reason I address the Local Church leaders today is because of their belief that they are the New Testament recovered church, expressed in many localities in the U. S. and around the world. Yet, there are important discrepancies in their belief that rightfully ought to be brought to their attention and to that of the Christian public. In this writing I will address their inability to receive believers according to Christ alone.

After over fifty years in the U. S., they still have the teaching that they are on a ground of oneness with all believers in their localities; but in practice they unwittingly separate themselves from those who do not meet with them. This is due to their strict adherence to a man and a ministry. Their teaching that they have THE MINISTRY of the age accentuates the demarcation. And their one publication policy completes the death knell to their claim to church authenticity. They are, in fact, ministry churches of the first degree, not local churches. Their One Publication Proclamation seals their Distinction and makes official what they have become over the years - a sect.


www.twoturmoils.com/ministrychurches.pdf
Indiana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2015, 06:32 PM   #2
Unregistered
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Be accurate: 'Lee-WeBB' ministry churches. Unique. Exclusive. SECT.
.
  Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2015, 06:49 PM   #3
InOmnibusCaritas
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Posts: 56
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Yes, yes, and yes!
InOmnibusCaritas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-20-2015, 07:27 PM   #4
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
The reason I address the Local Church leaders today is because of their belief that they are the New Testament recovered church, expressed in many localities in the U. S. and around the world. Yet, there are important discrepancies in their belief that rightfully ought to be brought to their attention and to that of the Christian public. In this writing I will address their inability to receive believers according to Christ alone.
Thank you brother Steve for taking the time to write on this subject. This document provides numerous examples of why the local churches are indeed “ministry churches”. If the BBs feel that this isn’t the case, then why do they remain silent? Perhaps they will always be that way, however, I don’t think the effort is in vain. I think these types of writings are an invaluable source to both current and ex-LC members. The Christian public also needs a way to determine what really is going on in the LC, lest they be deceived.

The LC has a history of withholding information from members. I highly doubt many current members have even read the writings produced in the wake of the quarantine that happened 10 years ago. Events such as the “One Publication” proclamation served to set a distinctive new path forward for the LC. To those in the LC, some might not have thought there was anything the least bit unusual about the “One Publication”. I feel that the LC is now more sectarian than what I’ve seen in the past. Ironically, they’ve managed to gain the support of an outside group (CRI) who go as far to call them “an exemplary group of Christians”. The information presented to LC members is completely contradictory to the facts that have been documented by many ex-members.

Because those in the LC talk so much about “oneness”, it is not too difficult for an outsider or new comer to get the impression that they demonstrate oneness. A lot of things about the LC might lead to that conclusion: not taking a name, everyone uses the same Bible, everyone is reading the same ministry material, there are no dissenting opinions that are expressed, and the list could go on. Some of these things might seem admirable, but someone only has to realize that such practices are not optional. That changes everything. The forced “oneness” that is displayed in the LC is nothing admirable. This is something that the BB’s need to answer to. They continually speak about oneness, but practice sectarianism. It’s hard to understand how they’ve been able to get always with it for so long. I am glad that those who have felt convicted to do so have taken it upon themselves to call the BB’s out on these issues.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2015, 06:25 AM   #5
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
After over fifty years in the U. S., they still have the teaching that they are on a ground of oneness with all believers in their localities; but in practice they unwittingly separate themselves from those who do not meet with them. This is due to their strict adherence to a man and a ministry. Their teaching that they have THE MINISTRY of the age accentuates the demarcation. And their one publication policy completes the death knell to their claim to church authenticity. They are, in fact, ministry churches of the first degree, not local churches.
There is practice/teaching the ground of oneness with them has a corresponding reality to the Word. In order to have a ground of oneness with the local churches, your fellowship must be according to the ministry LSM publishes.

Apart from the LSM publications, there is no basis for fellowship. Because of local churches reliance on LSM publications, local churches have in fact become ministry churches.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2015, 11:58 AM   #6
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
There is practice/teaching the ground of oneness with them has a corresponding reality to the Word. In order to have a ground of oneness with the local churches, your fellowship must be according to the ministry LSM publishes.

Apart from the LSM publications, there is no basis for fellowship. Because of local churches reliance on LSM publications, local churches have in fact become ministry churches.
My impression is that LC leadership doesn't necessarily deny that they are "ministry churches", however, they would take great offense if makes that claim about any LC. The way that I have seen them sidestep the issue is by taking about how "rich" Lee's ministry is, and saying that the saints feel that it is the only ministry worth using. It's a poor excuse for the real issue at hand. When the "One Publication" proclamation was made, I remember the BBs said something about how the saints knew that Lee's ministry had the right "flavor" and all other ministries (especially those that had co-existed in the LC) didn't have the right "flavor".

It's interesting to consider whether or not the exclusive use of Lee's ministry was really something that all the saints in the LC felt best about. If you took a vote, I don't know if that's what everyone really would have asked for, but I'm inclined to believe that most in the LC would go along with whatever is pushed by LC leadership. If the BB's were to start promoting a non-LSM ministry, those in the LC would probably go along with it. From the days before Lee's ministry was used exclusively, I've noticed that there is a common set of non-LSM books that many who were around in those days have. No doubt, those books were suggested reading material at a certain point in time. Therefore, I think it's deceptive for the BB's to simplify the issue by saying that Lee's ministry is the only ministry the saints feel good about.

Finally, if those in the LCM don't like the label "ministry churches", then the following questions need to be answered: 1) Why are there no recognized "local churches" that don't use Lee's ministry? and 2) Why has the LCM ceased to recognize certain churches that have stopped using Lee's ministry? The answers are clear, however, I have never heard those in the LCM give good answers to these types of questions. That is because they can't. They know the truth, but the promotion of a man and a ministry is more important.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2015, 01:47 PM   #7
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 9,577
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
When the "One Publication" proclamation was made, I remember the BBs said something about how the saints knew that Lee's ministry had the right "flavor" and all other ministries (especially those that had co-existed in the LC) didn't have the right "flavor".
Both Lee and the Blendeds, publicly and privately, sowed seeds of suspicion into all the saints concerning every other ministry except their own. They would say that the "ministry of life has a unique taste." They used this to drive a wedge between their ministry and that of Titus Chu and Dong Yu Lan in Brazil. LSM spent years actively cultivating their own unique "flavor."

It's all so subjective. I could say unreservedly that Witness Lee "tasted differently" than Ron Kangas who "tasted differently" than Dick Taylor. But isn't that exactly the kind of "corrupt communication" that Paul warned us about in Ephesians 4.29? For a ministry that champions the so-called "oneness of the faith," their behavior borders the despicable, and "grieves the Holy Spirit of God." (Ephesians 4.30)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
It's interesting to consider whether or not the exclusive use of Lee's ministry was really something that all the saints in the LC felt best about. If you took a vote, I don't know if that's what everyone really would have asked for, but I'm inclined to believe that most in the LC would go along with whatever is pushed by LC leadership.
Many sisters, extending back years before the "One Pub Bull" was announced by the Blindeds, secretly went to other ministries like Focus on the Family and Joyce Meyers. They knew that LSM could not provide specific Christian counseling for their family's needs.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
They know the truth, but the promotion of a man and a ministry is more important.
I used to think that LCers knew "the truth," but actually most only know obscure doctrines, and lots of them.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2015, 02:09 PM   #8
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,931
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

This whole "ministry church" issue is quite novel to me since I left in the middle of 1987, and if there was any such thing then it was masked enough that I did not notice it as I was phasing out.

It seems that the idea that a church, or even group of churches might like to have some "editorial control" over what is taught is not entirely ridiculous. But the extreme narrowness of source for the LCM is definitely beyond what seems reasonable. They have effectively rejected all writings of all Christian sources other than the Bible, Lee, and some Nee. And after they finish interpreting the Bible, I'm not sure how much of that is left. (After you supposedly glean only the best from all others and then reject everything else they wrote, it is hard to say that you are standing on the shoulders of the people that you are effectively dismissing as deficient.)

But what stands out to me more than anything about this is that the way that they are "ministry churches" is the very thing that establishes the denomination that they claim not to be. When a central office sends out a schedule of what will be taught each week, even dictating the song (now typically only one song, not two or more) that will be sung, then the denomination is established. Some have declared that the Lord's table is still just a local meeting that is free to be observed as the members will. But the time allotted for that has in many cases been shortened (by edict) so that another ministry station ("MS") meeting can occur. In fact, if you look at the meetings of any particular church that remains loyal to the LSM, how many meetings each week are under the rule of the LSM and how many are local?

Maybe the local assembly has the right to choose to sing more songs, but simply don't because they trust their Anaheim leaders. And maybe they don't have to give over as many meetings to the MS model.

But what happens if a particular church should actually start to ignore one of the MS times and just have their own meeting. Or sing a couple more songs and have less time for the pre-packaged MS meeting. What would happen to the leadership of that assembly?

I'm sure that the canned answer would be that they are free to do just that, but that none have cared to do other than the "suggested" formats. That makes it virtually impossible to truly determine the truth. If none will act differently (probably because they are so steeped in a theology in which oneness is about looking identical), then we will never know if they could actually get by without consequence. They will just declare that none want to even if the truth is that none dare to.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-21-2015, 02:45 PM   #9
HERn
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 692
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

I think the experiment has been conducted and the conclusion reached. Just look at what happened to the GLA local churches after they dared mix LSM material and speakers with non-LSM material and speakers. Many got their "local church" franchises pulled or cancelled.
HERn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2015, 05:11 AM   #10
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,931
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
I think the experiment has been conducted and the conclusion reached. Just look at what happened to the GLA local churches after they dared mix LSM material and speakers with non-LSM material and speakers. Many got their "local church" franchises pulled or cancelled.
Maybe and maybe not. There is a difference there. In the GLA, they didn't just fail to be as strong in following. They followed someone who openly bucked the system, including publishing his own materials.

If instead you follow the LSM, just not quite "all in," that is different. Not saying the outcome wouldn't be the same. But are there examples of "loyal" LSM churches that are not by-the-book loyal? Maybe there are. Anaheim has to consider how petty the difference can be and still have their followers buy into another mass excommunication.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2015, 06:33 AM   #11
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 9,577
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
I think the experiment has been conducted and the conclusion reached. Just look at what happened to the GLA local churches after they dared mix LSM material and speakers with non-LSM material and speakers. Many got their "local church" franchises pulled or cancelled.
This was just one of many symptoms, but the real "disease" that got Titus Chu quarantine was his threat to the Blinded power struggle. Word on the streets in SE Asia was a growing groundswell of "Nee-Lee-Chu" for King of the Recovery. As pathetic as that sounds, it scared the Blendeds into action. None of them were willing or qualified to relocate to Cleveburg.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2015, 11:56 AM   #12
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
Finally, if those in the LCM don't like the label "ministry churches", then the following questions need to be answered: 1) Why are there no recognized "local churches" that don't use Lee's ministry? and 2) Why has the LCM ceased to recognize certain churches that have stopped using Lee's ministry? The answers are clear, however, I have never heard those in the LCM give good answers to these types of questions. That is because they can't. They know the truth, but the promotion of a man and a ministry is more important.
My sense is the leadership wants it both ways. They want the "local church" label, but using anything aprt from Lee's ministry is non-negotiable. As a disclaimer in advance

When I was a single brother in the mid-90's I had asked a Bellevue elder what about the Church in Moses Lake? Years later I learned it's elders walked out of the April 1986 Elders Conference and Moses Lake subsequently disassociated with LSM, but the response from this Bellevue elder was, "they're a rebel church".
That sums up why there are no localities recognized by LSM that don't use LSM publications.
The following quote attributed to the late elder RW appears to be truthful, but brothers don't wish to acknowledge:

"If you're not here for Brother Lee and his ministry, then you might as well not be here."
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2015, 07:05 PM   #13
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
My sense is the leadership wants it both ways. They want the "local church" label, but using anything aprt from Lee's ministry is non-negotiable. As a disclaimer in advance

When I was a single brother in the mid-90's I had asked a Bellevue elder what about the Church in Moses Lake? Years later I learned it's elders walked out of the April 1986 Elders Conference and Moses Lake subsequently disassociated with LSM, but the response from this Bellevue elder was, "they're a rebel church".
That sums up why there are no localities recognized by LSM that don't use LSM publications.
The following quote attributed to the late elder RW appears to be truthful, but brothers don't wish to acknowledge:

"If you're not here for Brother Lee and his ministry, then you might as well not be here."
I agree, LC leadership want things both ways. They want the designation of being “local churches” in the sense that they claim they have recovered the New Testament church, but they also feel that they are obligated to practice it according to Lee’s ministry.
I will repost something that UntoHim just posted in a different thread, because I think it fits in well here:
Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim
Many of us former Local Churchers (me included), have to one degree or another, talked ourselves into believing that theology/teaching/doctrine can actually be separated and/or removed from our experience and practice. I think this faulty, and potentially dangerous, understanding came from Witness Lee himself, who was constantly emphasizing experience and practice (Calling on the Lord, Pray-Reading, going to meetings, etc) over against traditional notions of studying, contemplation and meditation on God's Word. If we had been doing the later we wouldn't have swallowed wholesale all the bad theology, and in turn we wouldn't see all the bad fruit of the aberrant and harmful practices.
I think this highlights the problem at hand. Nee taught something about the Church, and he may have had some valid points. Lee was concerned with putting it into practice. Somewhere along the way, things went awry and the end result was that the practice did not match the teaching. I’m not here to say whether Nee and Lee’s teachings were right or wrong, but I think it’s important for those in the LC to realize that their current practice does not match the teachings of Nee or early-Lee. It’s a dangerous position to be in, for them to not realize what they really are. They are so convinced that their supposed “vision” is what makes them who they are, that they completely ignore the aspect of their actual practice.

Both Nee and Lee spoke against churches being “for the ministry”, and I know that one of Lee’s criticisms of TAS was that he had a ministry center. Lee eventually went down that same path. The LCM has stayed on that path, and a few years ago they finished their Ministry Conference Center aka “Building 8”. Again, the LCM can’t see that they have become the very thing that their leaders have spoken out against. I suspect that many LC members would also speak against local churches being "for the ministry" (not realizing that's exactly what is going on). The LCM argument is that they aren't "ministry churches", they just seek want to use the "ministry of the age" and they don't have time for anything else. Members actually believe this. I did at one point. It's all really sad, because the facts speak for themselves. Those in the LCM are in complete denial.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2015, 07:43 PM   #14
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 9,577
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post

Both Nee and Lee spoke against churches being “for the ministry”, and I know that one of Lee’s criticisms of TAS was that he had a ministry center. Lee eventually went down that same path. The LCM has stayed on that path, and a few years ago they finished their Ministry Conference Center aka “Building 8”. Again, the LCM can’t see that they have become the very thing that their leaders have spoken out against. I suspect that many LC members would also speak against local churches being "for the ministry" (not realizing that's exactly what is going on). The LCM argument is that they aren't "ministry churches", they just seek want to use the "ministry of the age" and they don't have time for anything else. Members actually believe this. I did at one point. It's all really sad, because the facts speak for themselves. Those in the LCM are in complete denial.
In Lee-land doublespeak, they can "speak things into existence." Such it was with the saying, "the churches are not for the ministry, rather the ministry is for the churches." I heard this repeatedly for decades. It took me a long time to step back and look at the facts. It wasn't that way in the beginning, but fact is the LC's existed only to serve LSM.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-22-2015, 08:17 PM   #15
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
In Lee-land doublespeak, they can "speak things into existence." Such it was with the saying, "the churches are not for the ministry, rather the ministry is for the churches." I heard this repeatedly for decades. It took me a long time to step back and look at the facts. It wasn't that way in the beginning, but fact is the LC's existed only to serve LSM.
IF the churches are not for the ministry, rather the ministry is for the churches, there would not be any need to cut off fellowship with churches that elected not to take the ministry LSM publishes.
Since actions taken of local churches exist only to serve LSM, that exposes these churches as ministry churches.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2015, 09:35 AM   #16
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
IF the churches are not for the ministry, rather the ministry is for the churches, there would not be any need to cut off fellowship with churches that elected not to take the ministry LSM publishes.
Since actions taken of local churches exist only to serve LSM, that exposes these churches as ministry churches.
I think that in a certain respect the local churches were always "ministry churches" right from the very get-go. From what I understand of the beginnings of the LCM in the US, it seems that churches that were considered "local churches" always had some connection to Lee and his ministry. In other words, I don't know that there was ever a "local church" that formed in the absence of Lee, without his hand being involved, and that functioned without utilizing at least some of his ministry. I'm sure it's possible that there were churches in those days that didn't rely too much on his ministry, but I have to wonder, did a single "local church" ever form without Lee's knowledge or doing? The whole history of the LCM points to Lee being the one who organized the movement. He called for the migrations, he appointed elders, he visited churches. Thus, it's hard for me to believe that there were every any "local churches" that were autonomous in the sense that they could form and function without any relationship with Lee, yet still have fellowship with those churches that did have a relationship with Lee.

To me, it seems that the what distinctly made the local churches become "ministry churches" is when the ability to function autonomously without having to answer to Lee or the ministry office was taken away. Thus what you could call "ministry churches lite" became blatantly obvious "ministry churches".

I'm not trying to say that there is no need for LC leaders admit what the local churches really are. What I'm saying is that it's quite possible that they were always headed down this path, even though things didn't look that way at first. If Lee's model of local churches could have been implementation without having to use only his ministry, without having to answer to a ministry office, and without forcing "oneness" through manipulation, the LCM might actually have something positive to show for it all. I think this is a big reason that Lee's ministry hasn't gained any respect from the outside. His teachings may have sounded positive, however, the reality is that the local churches take only one ministry and they are sectarian to the point that they can't accept those who don't appreciate Lee's ministry. Sad to say, this is the outcome of Lee's "experiment".
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2015, 12:46 PM   #17
Lisbon
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 117
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I think that in a certain respect the local churches were always "ministry churches" right from the very get-go. From what I understand of the beginnings of the LCM in the US, it seems that churches that were considered "local churches" always had some connection to Lee and his ministry. In other words, I don't know that there was ever a "local church" that formed in the absence of Lee, without his hand being involved, and that functioned without utilizing at least some of his ministry. I'm sure it's possible that there were churches in those days that didn't rely too much on his ministry, but I have to wonder, did a single "local church" ever form without Lee's knowledge or doing? The whole history of the LCM points to Lee being the one who organized the movement. He called for the migrations, he appointed elders, he visited churches. Thus, it's hard for me to believe that there were every any "local churches" that were autonomous in the sense that they could form and function without any relationship with Lee, yet still have fellowship with those churches that did have a relationship with Lee.

To me, it seems that the what distinctly made the local churches become "ministry churches" is when the ability to function autonomously without having to answer to Lee or the ministry office was taken away. Thus what you could call "ministry churches lite" became blatantly obvious "ministry churches".

I'm not trying to say that there is no need for LC leaders admit what the local churches really are. What I'm saying is that it's quite possible that they were always headed down this path, even though things didn't look that way at first. If Lee's model of local churches could have been implementation without having to use only his ministry, without having to answer to a ministry office, and without forcing "oneness" through manipulation, the LCM might actually have something positive to show for it all. I think this is a big reason that Lee's ministry hasn't gained any respect from the outside. His teachings may have sounded positive, however, the reality is that the local churches take only one ministry and they are sectarian to the point that they can't accept those who don't appreciate Lee's ministry. Sad to say, this is the outcome of Lee's "experiment".
Recently I read a book by WL in 1993 in which he insisted there was no control, no insistence on following him etc etc. Of course this is just a crock of you know what. The contract 150 plus elders signed in the late 80's clearly shows where the control is exerted. I'm pretty sure DR and maybe a few others balked at such a contract and I don't think I ever heard how it came out. Also I'm pretty sure this contract was heavily promoted by BP and RG. This talking out of both sides of the mouth is a most repulsive side of Lee and caroberated by men like BP, RG, RK, and others. Did they really think we were crazy, imbicils, six year olds? Maybe we were.
Lisbon
Lisbon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2015, 06:53 PM   #18
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lisbon View Post
This talking out of both sides of the mouth is a most repulsive side of Lee and caroberated by men like BP, RG, RK, and others. Did they really think we were crazy, imbicils, six year olds? Maybe we were.
Lisbon
I think even now, these ones think they can sell a lie and pass it off as truth. When confronted, there's no response.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2015, 07:04 PM   #19
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I think that in a certain respect the local churches were always "ministry churches" right from the very get-go.
To me, it seems that the what distinctly made the local churches become "ministry churches" is when the ability to function autonomously without having to answer to Lee or the ministry office was taken away. Thus what you could call "ministry churches lite" became blatantly obvious "ministry churches".
I don't know, but speaking from experience you had speaking from the Bible versus speaking from a LSM publication (post 1990).
In my time in the 1980's as a teenage brother, the local church environment was conducive for inviting friends. By the 1990's,you would have second thoughts of inviting friends to a Lord's Day meeting. I had even heard instances where the brothers didn't want "new ones" coming to the Lord's Day meeting as their first meeting.
If a local church meeting isn't conducive for a visiting brother and sister, doesn't that tell you the local churches have become narrower than they used to be?
Because if you don't share the same vision as LSM publications espouses, you're going to sense a lack in care, and you're not going to last long.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-23-2015, 07:08 PM   #20
HERn
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 692
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I don't know, but speaking from experience you had speaking from the Bible versus speaking from a LSM publication (post 1990).
In my time in the 1980's as a teenage brother, the local church environment was conducive for inviting friends. By the 1990's,you would have second thoughts of inviting friends to a Lord's Day meeting. I had even heard instances where the brothers didn't want "new ones" coming to the Lord's Day meeting as their first meeting.
If a local church meeting isn't conducive for a visiting brother and sister, doesn't that tell you the local churches have become narrower than they used to be?
Because if you don't share the same vision as LSM publications espouses, you're going to sense a lack in care, and you're not going to last long.
In my last locality they had separate meetings for the newly recruited freshmen students for several weeks at the beginning of the semester.
HERn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2015, 07:38 AM   #21
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I don't know, but speaking from experience you had speaking from the Bible versus speaking from a LSM publication (post 1990).
In my time in the 1980's as a teenage brother, the local church environment was conducive for inviting friends. By the 1990's,you would have second thoughts of inviting friends to a Lord's Day meeting. I had even heard instances where the brothers didn't want "new ones" coming to the Lord's Day meeting as their first meeting.
If a local church meeting isn't conducive for a visiting brother and sister, doesn't that tell you the local churches have become narrower than they used to be?
Because if you don't share the same vision as LSM publications espouses, you're going to sense a lack in care, and you're not going to last long.
I think there is truth to both points of view. My problem is that I was just a kid in the 80’s, so my whole LC experience is based on an environment that was after the LCM had taken its most significant change of direction. I don’t know how things really were “back in the day”. Based on what happened in 2005 with the “One Publication”, I realized that the blendeds just put into writing an unspoken policy that most everyone followed with the exception of the GL area.

I’m inclined to think the same about what happened in the 80’s. Even though WL’s ministry may have taken a back seat in some churches, most would have already been “ministry churches” in some respects for such a change of direction to fly. In other words, if there was no particular underlying loyalty to Lee and LSM, how could something like that letter that everyone signed in 1986 every have happened?

I agree that the LC atmosphere when I was growing up was not conducive to inviting friends. I’ve seen things change in that respect in recent years, however. The way they operate now is to hide who they really are, until newcomers are ready. They don’t want newcomers to realize that they are churches associated with a man and a ministry. I’ve said before, when people ask who or what churches LC members are associated with, a response that I have heard is “we are Christians of various backgrounds”.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2015, 11:41 AM   #22
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I’ve said before, when people ask who or what churches LC members are associated with, a response that I have heard is “we are Christians of various backgrounds”.
There's some truth to that. Ones I've known in the local churches have come from Baptist, Catholic, Mennonite, and Jehovah Witness backgrounds. With it, they bring into the local churches baggage from those backgrounds. A Mennonite may tend to be strong against having a television in their home. A JW may tend not to celebrate their children's birthdays, and so on.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2015, 11:50 AM   #23
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
Based on what happened in 2005 with the “One Publication”, I realized that the blendeds just put into writing an unspoken policy that most everyone followed with the exception of the GL area.
I believe what the blendeds resurrected with "One Publication", Witness Lee initially spoke in the mid-1980's as a subtle shot directed at Bill Freeman. Much like the former Soviet republic's "Pravda", Witness Lee wanted there to be only one source of ministry publication received by the Local Churches. As Witness often said of himself, he's done the research, he has all the facts. No one needs to read writings of other ministers because he (Witness Lee) has gleaned all there is to glean from their writings.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2015, 02:56 PM   #24
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,070
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
The way they operate now is to hide who they really are, until newcomers are ready. They don’t want newcomers to realize that they are churches associated with a man and a ministry. I’ve said before, when people ask who or what churches LC members are associated with, a response that I have heard is “we are Christians of various backgrounds”.
Step one: "We are Christians", etc. "We are lovers of the Lord Jesus Christ".

Step two: make connections. Build bridges. Get them to open their situation. "We are here for you." Get them to see the church as their home. Get them to make an emotional commitment to the collective.

Step three: make them aware of the rich ministry of Witness Lee. Make them see that everything else is deficient. Only Lee has the riches.

Also offer them housing, jobs, and potential spouses. Get them intertwined. People are social creatures, so make LC life their society. One-stop shopping. You don't even have to think! It's already been done for you.

So Jesus Christ is for the church, and the church is for the ministry. It's not complicated -- it's really a straightforward proposition.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-24-2015, 06:53 PM   #25
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I believe what the blendeds resurrected with "One Publication", Witness Lee initially spoke in the mid-1980's as a subtle shot directed at Bill Freeman. Much like the former Soviet republic's "Pravda", Witness Lee wanted there to be only one source of ministry publication received by the Local Churches. As Witness often said of himself, he's done the research, he has all the facts. No one needs to read writings of other ministers because he (Witness Lee) has gleaned all there is to glean from their writings.
Since I spent my whole life in the LCM, the use of a single ministry never struck me as odd. I firmly believed that Lee had “gleaned” all there is from other ministries. The fact that I was involved in a group of “ministry churches” was of little concern to me. In fact, I think I kind of liked it in a way, because I felt I could go to any LC and know what to expect. It’s the same thing with going to any restaurant franchise, you know exactly what to expect, you know what will be on the menu.

What eventually became the biggest point of concern to me, was not the general use of Lee’s ministry, but the fact that Lee was a “paper pope”. LC leaders have gone far beyond just using Lee’s ministry as the singular ministry that everyone appreciates. They now actually consult his ministry for direction and to make and justify decisions. One example that comes to mind is the FTT extension center in Boston. The justification the brothers gave for starting it is because it was Brother Lee’s “burden” to have something like that in Boston. Well, the problem is that saints have to donate and support such an endeavor and the only justification for it is “brother Lee wanted…” In my mind, it’s just completely absurd. If Lee was still alive, I could maybe understand it. Given the fact that he’s dead, why are they still trying to do what he wanted?!?!?!?? You would think they would at least have the common sense to make reasonable decisions without saying “Brother Lee wanted…” or “if Brother Lee were here he would….”

I noticed this same phenomenon at a local level, and that’s where it really affected me the most. It got to the point where most everything being done activity-wise (gospel preaching, campus work, etc.) became a matter of consulting Lee’s ministry for direction and to determine what to do. For example if we were going to do something related to the gospel, we would read Lee’s ministry on how to preach the gospel the “correct” way. Same thing with the campus work or anything else. When saints were apathetic towards the “church life”, the brothers would try to get them in vital groups. Every action that was taken was rationalized according to something Lee said. That is what really got to me after a while. Like I said, I could understand everyone having a deep, common appreciation for Lee’s ministry. My problem was that it was used as the basis to address any situation or activity in the present, it became really weird. Lee was neither alive, nor was there any reason to completely ignore the actual situation by reading some ministry excerpt.

Another issue that arose out of all of this was that most of Lee’s ministry that currently serves as the LCM “paper pope” is straight out of the “New Way” portion of his ministry. LC leadership is constantly busy implementing and re-implementing things like shepherding, door-knocking, vital groups, home meetings, PSRP, etc. It’s a never ending process. History shows exactly how much of an enormous failure the New Way actually was. In spite of this, when something fails, leadership will attempt to implement it with a different spin. The truth of the matter is, LC leadership cannot drop their obsession with Lee, nor can they envision a LC environment that doesn’t involve following his ministry to a ‘T’. The possibility of Lee’s ministry being wrong in any way is altogether out of the question. When it comes to practices, the failures are always blamed on the members. When it comes to Lee’s teachings, they are viewed as something that will meet everyone’s needs at the exact same time. It’s hard to understand what keeps people going so long in that environment.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2015, 07:17 AM   #26
Igzy
Member
 
Igzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,554
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
The truth of the matter is, LC leadership cannot drop their obsession with Lee, nor can they envision a LC environment that doesn’t involve following his ministry to a ‘T’. The possibility of Lee’s ministry being wrong in any way is altogether out of the question
In my opinion, the better the ministry the more it tends to produce leaders. By this measure Lee's is near the bottom because all it produces is followers. As a matter of fact, Lee's ministry is geared to not produce leaders, but rather to punish anyone who tries to take things to the next level. This places Lee's ministry as possibly one of the worst of all time. All it can produce in the end is stagnation.

God doesn't need followers, he needs leaders. Rick Warren has a great ministry. I always feel challenged to lead when I hear or read it. I never feel like it's about him.

Lee had some good things. But they were so mixed with garbage that his ministry can't be taken directly without risking being affected by the negative. Add that he insisted that nothing he taught was erroneous and even that it was an error not to embrace everything he taught or to mix in anything else, he should be avoided. Only an expert could safely traverse Lee's ministry without getting infected with the junk.

As I've said, the bits and pieces of Lee's ministry that God wants to become popular will do so. But it will happen indirectly. Lee as a whole is DOA and will remain that way. It's sad, but he did it to himself. I'm not sure what is sadder, the way Lee destroyed his own legacy, or the way his followers sit around wasting their lives waiting for his comeback.
__________________
Courage is not the absence of fear. It's doing the right thing in the face of fear.
Igzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-25-2015, 09:11 AM   #27
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 9,577
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
In my opinion, the better the ministry the more it tends to produce leaders. By this measure Lee's is near the bottom because all it produces is followers. As a matter of fact, Lee's ministry is geared to not produce leaders, but rather to punish anyone who tries to take things to the next level. This places Lee's ministry as possibly one of the worst of all time. All it can produce in the end is stagnation.
Things were not always this way. In the early days scores of leaders flourished in the LC's. The spread of the LC's was never thru Lee directly, but thru the numerous gifted brothers, most of them now long gone, who were affiliated with the movement.

It was a combination of things, such as the lust for power and the love of the glory of men, which has drug the program into stagnation and obscurity. Who wants to be a "Witness Lee tape recorder?" Lee's heart grew smaller over the years, and in the end was not big enough to allow anything more than teams of cheerleaders. How sad!

I watched Titus Chu follow the same course. He would take full credit for "raising up" numerous gifted brothers like Nigel Tomes, John Myer, Phil Comfort, Chuck Debelek, and even "Toledo" Tom McNaughton, but due to Lee's same love of power and recognition, held these brothers in subjection "under his thumb" until they basically "had enough of it" and left.

These are not true leaders, but insecure men who are threatened by peers. They refused to be "moderated" by others whom God had placed at their side. They talked about there being "no hierarchy" in the body of Christ, but that presupposed that all brothers would submit to them unreservedly.

Today there are NO remaining leaders in the LC's or at LSM. No one knows how to follow the Lord and serve Him. No one has a real ministry. All they can do is read Lee's books, promote another dead teaching and failed practice, demand their loyal adherents to rally around, and then repeat the cycle at the next "feast."
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2015, 05:33 AM   #28
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,931
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
God doesn't need followers, he needs leaders.
You aren't saying that the message of Jesus is intended to turn every follower into one of the 11 are you? Or that everything that about leadership is ultimately for every one of us? This is not what I read in the Bible. There is leadership and there are followers. If there are no followers, there is no need for leaders. So declaring there is no need for followers seems rather empty.

And being a follower rather than a leader should not be a deficient position.

Seems that maybe the errant leadership of Lee with the resulting deficient leadership of the BBs is causing us to either reject all leadership (and not be part of any regular assembly of more than 2 or 3 people) or think that we should all be leaders. The former seems to mostly neglect assembling while the latter either over states the status of each of us, or ignores the variety of gifts in the body.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2015, 05:44 AM   #29
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 9,577
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You aren't saying that the message of Jesus is intended to turn every follower into one of the 11 are you? Or that everything that about leadership is ultimately for every one of us? This is not what I read in the Bible. There is leadership and there are followers. If there are no followers, there is no need for leaders. So declaring there is no need for followers seems rather empty.
Leadership is by degree. We obviously won't become apostles like the initial ones, but doesn't every family need a leader? He who leads a Bible study at work may still be a follower of church pastors and elders.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2015, 07:03 AM   #30
Igzy
Member
 
Igzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,554
Default Re: MINISTRY CHURCHES

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You aren't saying that the message of Jesus is intended to turn every follower into one of the 11 are you? Or that everything that about leadership is ultimately for every one of us?
No, and I think that was clear from the context. The LCM is all about following--following Lee from the top down. There are no true leaders. True leaders would have pushed for reform long ago. My comments were in regard to the LCM. We are all to follow sometimes and to lead sometimes (Eph 5:21). In the LCM they only follow, but even then it's the wrong kind of following. This is all the fruit of Lee's ministry.

Note, there were some true leaders who pushed for reform, but they were all kicked out. Now only the blind followers are left. These followers need to become leaders in some sense. That was my point.
__________________
Courage is not the absence of fear. It's doing the right thing in the face of fear.
Igzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2015, 12:26 PM   #31
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,070
Default The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
... about 10-12 years ago, "it" all hit the fan. I was badly beaten up by my leader in a fit of rage. LSM was breathing out threatenings toward TC and the GLA. A close friend was brutally shamed by TC, leaving the full-time work completely. Then I read Thread of Gold and Speaking the Truth in Love. My eyes opened to the abuse I'd witnessed for 30 years...
I wanted to bring Ohio's comment over here, and try to re-visit a statement I'd made recently, about how to communicate with people sucked fully into this mind-set. (It may deserve its own thread but I've started enough already).

My question was, How to show love to people in a system that doesn't know love? Love is patient, love is kind, love doesn't boast, doesn't show favoritism, it doesn't seek its own things but seeks the things of others. We were in a system in which you got 'love' according to your place in the program. The leech cried, "give, give", and people themselves were expendable. This is a system that only seeks its own things, and doesn't care about the things of others. So, how to respond in love?

Now, back to this thread: the point was made earlier that in the LC, Jesus Christ really only has utility to draw people to the church, and the church's usefulness is only to get people oriented to the ministry. These are indeed ministry churches. Any doubt about this was resolved with the "One Trumpet" edict. The LC is here for the one ministry, period. It was thereby formalized, what any discerning person would have known for the past 30 years by hard experience.

So, how to respond in love? Ohio had spoken of the prophet sent by God, speaking words of truth to the collective body of faith. I tried to hone in on that by saying we need to speak words of revelation - our God is a God of unfolding revelation. It pleases Him to reveal His Son in us and to us (Gal 1:16), and then through us. And I argue that this revelation occurs within the larger conversation occurring within the universal body of the Christian faith. And this revelation is unfolding.

WN and WL rejected that larger conversation, even though they claimed to "closely follow" it. They merely looked back, took what was useful for own their ministry, and discarded the rest. But they arguably discarded the most crucial thing: openness to God's present speaking in the flock. I was so conditioned reflexively to orient toward the ministry of WL, and so closed to anything else, that for years post-LC I couldn't hear anything in Christian meetings because my "ministry filter" was tuned up so high. All I could hear in my head was, "that's not God's economy, that's not God's economy, that's not God's economy" over and over again. It took a long time to begin to listen for God's speaking, when I was talking to people, or reading, or listening to messages. But eventually I got it and I knew it was God; it was the same Spirit that I confessed the name of Jesus Christ to, all those years ago. The unfolding revelation had returned!

So to conclude, I repeat my earlier comments, that we're not here to slag anyone, but to speak words of life to one another. It's happening in Christianity. Yes there's tons of detritus and junk, but believe it or not, people are being inspired, and they are listening to the ancient guides, and to what God is speaking. To me it might be a word from a psalm, to you it might be a word from an epistle, to another something from a prophet. God is speaking, and His revelation of Jesus Christ now unfolds among us. God's word is entirely dynamic. It's not at all static. It lives and operates, it moves and acts. And I believe that today it can be heard operating within the sound of "many waters" (Rev 14:2, 1:15, cf Ezek 43:2). A nearly countless multitude on earth is hearing and responding to the voice from the throne in heaven. This is truly the sound out of heaven.

The abuse that Ohio received and witnessed, and so many others have testified to, flows from a lack of basic and essential revelation. And by cutting themselves off from the life-flow of fellowship in the Body of Christ, the Lee-ites and LC'ers have resorted to ever-more marginal revelations to feed on.

To hear what God is speaking today, it is not easy to discern, but it's eminently worth pursuing. If we pursue God's revelation within the larger fellowship of which we're a part, we'll have something profitable to speak to the LC, as to all the rest. We'll truly be able to minister in season and out of season. Because God is speaking. The Spirit is indeed speaking to the churches, all of them, and blessed are those who have ears to hear.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-26-2015, 06:17 PM   #32
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I wanted to bring Ohio's comment over here, and try to re-visit a statement I'd made recently, about how to communicate with people sucked fully into this mind-set. (It may deserve its own thread but I've started enough already).

aron
, I will start a new thread a little later regarding communicating with and showing love to those in the LCM, because that is something that I certainly would also like to discuss as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
WN and WL rejected that larger conversation, even though they claimed to "closely follow" it. They merely looked back, took what was useful for own their ministry, and discarded the rest. But they arguably discarded the most crucial thing: openness to God's present speaking in the flock. I was so conditioned reflexively to orient toward the ministry of WL, and so closed to anything else, that for years post-LC I couldn't hear anything in Christian meetings because my "ministry filter" was tuned up so high. All I could hear in my head was, "that's not God's economy, that's not God's economy, that's not God's economy" over and over again. It took a long time to begin to listen for God's speaking, when I was talking to people, or reading, or listening to messages. But eventually I got it and I knew it was God; it was the same Spirit that I confessed the name of Jesus Christ to, all those years ago. The unfolding revelation had returned!

So to conclude, I repeat my earlier comments, that we're not here to slag anyone, but to speak words of life to one another. It's happening in Christianity. Yes there's tons of detritus and junk, but believe it or not, people are being inspired, and they are listening to the ancient guides, and to what God is speaking. To me it might be a word from a psalm, to you it might be a word from an epistle, to another something from a prophet. God is speaking, and His revelation of Jesus Christ now unfolds among us. God's word is entirely dynamic. It's not at all static. It lives and operates, it moves and acts. And I believe that today it can be heard operating within the sound of "many waters" (Rev 14:2, 1:15, cf Ezek 43:2). A nearly countless multitude on earth is hearing and responding to the voice from the throne in heaven. This is truly the sound out of heaven.

The abuse that Ohio received and witnessed, and so many others have testified to, flows from a lack of basic and essential revelation. And by cutting themselves off from the life-flow of fellowship in the Body of Christ, the Lee-ites and LC'ers have resorted to ever-more marginal revelations to feed on.

To hear what God is speaking today, it is not easy to discern, but it's eminently worth pursuing. If we pursue God's revelation within the larger fellowship of which we're a part, we'll have something profitable to speak to the LC, as to all the rest. We'll truly be able to minister in season and out of season. Because God is speaking. The Spirit is indeed speaking to the churches, all of them, and blessed are those who have ears to hear.
While Lee was alive, his ministry was dynamic, and it might have been possible for them to be in line with something that God was speaking. After he died, his ministry became static. Obviously, the blendeds completely reject this notion. They have even gone so far as to label their speaking as the “up-to-date” speaking, giving LCers the notion that their regurgitation of Lee’s speaking is something that God is currently speaking. In my mind, this is where the real danger lies in the local churches being “ministry churches”. They believe that they have “seen it all”. Simply put, they believe that Lee’s static ministry encompasses God’s present speaking, and thus they have closed the door to ministries that may really be God’s present speaking.

There are many in the LCM who are hurting. I’ve seen them left and right. I was like that too. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I did everything right according to Lee’s ministry, yet I was left in a state of failure and despair. Lee’s ministry is full of empty promises like: “If you do X, you will experience Y”. Things never seemed to work that way. Moreover, I was around those trying to re-implement practices of the “New Way” which were destined to fail. When I considered that my discouragement was related to this “ministry of the age” which I was so zealous about, I knew something had to be wrong. Had I continued down that path of trying to follow the ministry “absolutely”, who knows what state I would be in. To me, the issue is not just a matter of people using a single ministry. Other churches do that too. The real issue is when a ministry that cannot meet everyone’s needs is labeled as “the ministry of the age”, it can lead to some really tragic situations. Members are destined to become depressed, discouraged, disillusioned, angry, spiteful, etc. LCM history itself attest to that. I have to wonder, what is the real fruit of Lee’s “ministry of the age”?
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 12:09 PM   #33
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
While Lee was alive, his ministry was dynamic, and it might have been possible for them to be in line with something that God was speaking. After he died, his ministry became static. Obviously, the blendeds completely reject this notion. They have even gone so far as to label their speaking as the “up-to-date” speaking, giving LCers the notion that their regurgitation of Lee’s speaking is something that God is currently speaking. In my mind, this is where the real danger lies in the local churches being “ministry churches”. They believe that they have “seen it all”. Simply put, they believe that Lee’s static ministry encompasses God’s present speaking, and thus they have closed the door to ministries that may really be God’s present speaking.
While Lee was alive it was normal to hear "Brother Lee said......" related to a brother's/sister's prophesying. After Lee's death, then the same trend was happening, my sense was "what! Lee's dead."
Now the blended brothers/coworkers tend to say the ministry is the New Testament Ministry. When I suggested there are other ministries that minister the New Testament Ministry, the brother's response was "Where!".
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-27-2015, 09:35 PM   #34
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
While Lee was alive it was normal to hear "Brother Lee said......" related to a brother's/sister's prophesying. After Lee's death, then the same trend was happening, my sense was "what! Lee's dead."
Now the blended brothers/coworkers tend to say the ministry is the New Testament Ministry. When I suggested there are other ministries that minister the New Testament Ministry, the brother's response was "Where!".
When the exclusive use of Lee's ministry is called into question, it seems fairly standard for the brothers to sidestep the issue by imply that no other ministry offers what Lee had to offer. How would anyone know that? The fact is, they don't. Have they read enough ministries to make that determination? I think you would be hard pressed to find any LCer besides old-timers that have read anything but Lee.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2015, 05:37 AM   #35
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,070
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Now the blended brothers/coworkers tend to say the ministry is the New Testament Ministry. When I suggested there are other ministries that minister the New Testament Ministry, the brother's response was "Where!".
This is a conditioned response. The reality is that the ministry of the New Testament is occurring all around us. It may be a story by one, a psalm or a hymn by another, a word of encouragement by someone else.

But WL's acolytes are strongly conditioned not to see this. In essence, they are "betrothed" to the ministry of WL, and are not allowed to turn anywhere else. Thus, their efforts are expended not to see Jesus Christ in Scripture, but to see WL's output as the "High Peak" of God's revelation to man. And yes this included the Jesus Christ of Scripture, but was crowded full of so many "extras" that Jesus Christ nearly got pushed out the door.

Now it's possible to de-condition oneself, and/or re-condition oneself, and to see anew what the Spirit is speaking to the churches, but one certainly has to go "against the tide", to quote Angus Kinnear. And it would be quite a challenge indeed for a collective LC assembly to tap into the New Testament ministry occurring around them. But it's been done and it can be done again.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2015, 09:07 AM   #36
Igzy
Member
 
Igzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,554
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Now the blended brothers/coworkers tend to say the ministry is the New Testament Ministry. When I suggested there are other ministries that minister the New Testament Ministry, the brother's response was "Where!".
It's a circular argument. To them, Lee's ministry equals the New Testament Ministry. Since no one else gives Lee a thought of course the so-called "New Testament Ministry" isn't found anywhere else.

I would simply say the Lee's ministry is not the New Testament Ministry. There are many ministries that sum up the NT better than Lee did.
__________________
Courage is not the absence of fear. It's doing the right thing in the face of fear.
Igzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2015, 09:21 AM   #37
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 9,577
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
It's a circular argument. To them, Lee's ministry equals the New Testament Ministry. Since no one else gives Lee a thought of course the so-called "New Testament Ministry" isn't found anywhere else.

I would simply say the Lee's ministry is not the New Testament Ministry. There any many ministries that sum up the NT better than Lee did.
Lee convinced us all that he was the "last man standing." All others were hopelessly divided and part of poor, poor Christianity. Back in China in Nee's day, he developed a system that condemned all denominations as the daughters of the great harlot. Lee came to the US during the Jesus people movement, and had to then condemn all "free groups" as the incestuous and illegitimate daughters of Lot.

Regardless of what the Lord has done or will do, Lee has a condemnation for it. He will find a way to classify them as someone's "daughters." He has to, because he alone is the 'acting god,' the consummate MOTA, God's unique oracle to close the age. Or so he told us.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2015, 12:44 PM   #38
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
This is a conditioned response. The reality is that the ministry of the New Testament is occurring all around us. It may be a story by one, a psalm or a hymn by another, a word of encouragement by someone else.

But WL's acolytes are strongly conditioned not to see this. In essence, they are "betrothed" to the ministry of WL, and are not allowed to turn anywhere else. Thus, their efforts are expended not to see Jesus Christ in Scripture, but to see WL's output as the "High Peak" of God's revelation to man. And yes this included the Jesus Christ of Scripture, but was crowded full of so many "extras" that Jesus Christ nearly got pushed out the door.
It's really trying to make a preference stand as a fact. I'm many have heard at one time or another in the local churches hear Billy Graham being denigrated for an apparent lack. Graham's spiritual gift over his life has been evangelism.
One could also hear contemporary Christian music being belittled due to once again preference. To the hymn composer, the words were God-inspired. In the local churches, one would rather hear a hymn about the corporate church or promoting localism.
Yes the New Testament Ministry is occurring all around us, but not always according to personal preferences.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2015, 12:54 PM   #39
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
When the exclusive use of Lee's ministry is called into question, it seems fairly standard for the brothers to sidestep the issue by imply that no other ministry offers what Lee had to offer. How would anyone know that? The fact is, they don't. Have they read enough ministries to make that determination? I think you would be hard pressed to find any LCer besides old-timers that have read anything but Lee.
Same argument can be used concerning "meeting on the ground...". My question is obviously, what is the basis of the ground? For one to say we are meeting on the ground of oneness in a given city. Before taking a name as "The Church in _____", has there been an exhaustive study concerning all churches in a given city to see if there's any meeting on the ground of oneness? Of course not. There's an unwillingness to meet with any church that 's not taking the ministry of Lee/Nee. That's why these local churches are in effect ministry churches.
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2015, 03:30 PM   #40
Indiana
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 534
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Same argument can be used concerning "meeting on the ground...". My question is obviously, what is the basis of the ground? For one to say we are meeting on the ground of oneness in a given city. Before taking a name as "The Church in _____", has there been an exhaustive study concerning all churches in a given city to see if there's any meeting on the ground of oneness? Of course not. There's an unwillingness to meet with any church that 's not taking the ministry of Lee/Nee. That's why these local churches are in effect ministry churches.

The quote above does address a problem, a discrepancy. There is no willingness of the ministry churches of "the Lord's recovery" today to meet with any group of believers who will not line up with the "minister of the age" with the "ministry of the age", although the heart of such a group is for the oneness of the Body in their city, or place.
Indiana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2015, 03:58 PM   #41
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default A Failure to Communicate

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
There is no willingness of the ministry churches of "the Lord's recovery" today to meet with any group of believers who will not line up with the "minister of the age" with the "ministry of the age", although the heart of such a group is for the oneness of the Body in their city, or place.
For those meeting in the local churches affiliated with LSM, if LSM publications is essential for fellowship, there will be a failure to communicate in regards to brothers and sisters not meeting with LSM affiliated local churches.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2015, 06:54 PM   #42
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 6,034
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
The quote above does address a problem, a discrepancy. There is no willingness of the ministry churches of "the Lord's recovery" today to meet with any group of believers who will not line up with the "minister of the age" with the "ministry of the age", although the heart of such a group is for the oneness of the Body in their city, or place.
When 5 localities converged on Ft. Lauderdale in the 70s Bob Mumford had declared the ground as the Church in Ft. Lauderdale. That was considered a problem, and elders met with Mumford.

But instead of us meeting with those that were the church in Ft Lauderdale, who weren't of Lee, we declared we were the church in Ft. Lauderdale. Making two churches in Ft. Laud. One of Mumford and the other of Lee.

Proving that we were not meeting on the ground of oneness, except oneness with Lee's ministry.

It was hypocrisies such as that, that kept sticking their ugly heads up, that became the problem that got me driven out of the C. in Ft. Lauderdale, and from Lee's ministry. But, the goods news, it caused me to develop critical thinking.
__________________
There's enough religion in the world for people to hate each other. But not enough for people to love each other. There's a serpent in every paradise. Trusting in God is easy. It's trusting in man that requires a lot of faith.
Judaism is Satanic Catholicism is demonic and Christianity is christless - Witness Lee.
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2015, 07:10 PM   #43
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 9,577
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
When 5 localities converged on Ft. Lauderdale in the 70s Bob Mumford had declared the ground as the Church in Ft. Lauderdale. That was considered a problem, and elders met with Mumford.

But instead of us meeting with those that were the church in Ft Lauderdale, who weren't of Lee, we declared we were the church in Ft. Lauderdale. Making two churches in Ft. Laud. One of Mumford and the other of Lee.

Proving that we were not meeting on the ground of oneness, except oneness with Lee's ministry.
Many bros were attracted to Lee after reading Nee's TNCCL, thinking that Lee actually adhered to those principles. Little did they know that Nee himself had abandoned those tenets after his ministry resumed in 1948.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2015, 07:41 PM   #44
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Many bros were attracted to Lee after reading Nee's TNCCL, thinking that Lee actually adhered to those principles. Little did they know that Nee himself had abandoned those tenets after his ministry resumed in 1948.
A while back when I read Herald Hsu's testimony, I came across a poem that W. Nee supposedly wrote in the early 50's (before being imprisoned?):
He (not Locality) is most dear to me, The loveliest of all;
One whom my soul does seek, One whom I ever call.
He (not Locality) is my aid, in need, My help, in helpless hours;
Most precious at all times, Most faithful at all hours.
He (not Locality) is my endless joy, Changeless as years go by;
He (not Locality) is most dear to me, No greater love have I.

Regardless of Nee's final views on locality, I don't think he emphasized it in the way the LC would like everyone to believe. After all, Lee was the only one of Nee's disciples who really went around promoting it.
__________________
Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-16-2015, 07:56 PM   #45
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 6,034
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Many bros were attracted to Lee after reading Nee's TNCCL, thinking that Lee actually adhered to those principles. Little did they know that Nee himself had abandoned those tenets after his ministry resumed in 1948.
Right. But it was from reading Nee's NCCL that was my standard for seeing Lee's hypocrisy.
__________________
There's enough religion in the world for people to hate each other. But not enough for people to love each other. There's a serpent in every paradise. Trusting in God is easy. It's trusting in man that requires a lot of faith.
Judaism is Satanic Catholicism is demonic and Christianity is christless - Witness Lee.
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 01:25 AM   #46
Indiana
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 534
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Many bros were attracted to Lee after reading Nee's TNCCL, thinking that Lee actually adhered to those principles. Little did they know that Nee himself had abandoned those tenets after his ministry resumed in 1948.
Right, Ohio; after Nee resumed his ministry there was a significant change, wasn't there; but why weren't we taught this in the churches?
Indiana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 01:32 AM   #47
Indiana
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 534
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
Regardless of Nee's final views on locality, I don't think he emphasized it in the way the LC would like everyone to believe. After all, Lee was the only one of Nee's disciples who really went around promoting it.

I think that Freedom's word here is has much merit.
Indiana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 04:34 AM   #48
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,931
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Because the "new rules" were the ones they wanted to uphold, not the old. They talked of the old, but demanded the new. They spoke of oneness on ground but demanded oneness of minister and ministry.

But one of the most serious flaws of the LCM is that they see the oneness of the church as something other than Christ. Ground and even minister and ministry are other than Christ. That is why denominations are more one with other denominations than the LCM is with anyone, even the splinters within their own sect.

With some exceptions, the denominations do not consider each other to be non-churches or just barely marginal. They may hold to different understanding of certain doctrinal issues, but confess to the same Lord and God and therefore recognize the thing that makes them one.

In the meantime, the LCM has changed the ground rules and made what isn't even a point of doctrine into the thing that either unites or divides, therefore there can never be any kind of oneness with them because they refuse all who do not drop everything and meet with them. There is no ground in the Bible. Just the foundation. And it is Christ. It is not cities, dirt, or any other natural or human construct.

If cities are the ground of the church, then it is bound to the whims and dictates of humans — often unregenerate humans — who declare the boundaries of their cities. If it is Christ, then there is no boundary of a church. Any assembly is a fluid as those who meet. And when Christians meet as church, there is church. (I do not subscribe to the minimalist view that an impromptu meeting of 2 or 3 Christians is automatically church, though it can be. There is more to the assembly than just gathering.)
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 11:34 AM   #49
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
[/I]Regardless of Nee's final views on locality, I don't think he emphasized it in the way the LC would like everyone to believe. After all, Lee was the only one of Nee's disciples who really went around promoting it.
[/FONT]
Isn't it ironic Lee's view on ground parallels that of the Exclusive Brethren? Other than Lee and Nee, I don't know if any of their coworkers also came out of the brethren.
That could explain why none of the other coworkers didn't emphasize the ground doctrine.
That's because the ground doctrine is baggage Nee and Lee brought with them from time meeting with the Exclusive Brethren.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 11:36 AM   #50
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Right. But it was from reading Nee's NCCL that was my standard for seeing Lee's hypocrisy.
Same here. It was the summer of 1996 riding the bus from Seattle to Bellevue reading NCCL how I saw Nee's ministry was a stark contrast to LSM and it's federation of churches.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 12:19 PM   #51
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 9,577
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
Isn't it ironic Lee's view on ground parallels that of the Exclusive Brethren? Other than Lee and Nee, I don't know if any of their coworkers also came out of the brethren.
That could explain why none of the other coworkers didn't emphasize the ground doctrine.
That's because the ground doctrine is baggage Nee and Lee brought with them from time meeting with the Exclusive Brethren.
The "open" Brethren favored a oneness similar to that which was promoted in Nee's and Lee's early ministries (at least in the USA.)

The "exclusive" Brethren favored a oneness similar to that which was promoted by Nee and Lee in their later years.

As OBW said ...
Quote:
Because the "new rules" were the ones they wanted to uphold, not the old. They talked of the old, but demanded the new. They spoke of oneness on ground but demanded oneness of minister and ministry.
Simply hypocrisy and deception. They traded their status as ministers for fleshly power and filthy lucre.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 12:33 PM   #52
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 9,577
Default Re: The unfolding revelation, part 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Right. But it was from reading Nee's NCCL that was my standard for seeing Lee's hypocrisy.
Back in 2003, Titus Chu instructed all the GLA leaders to read thru Nee's TNCCL, so that we all would understand how far off the Blindeds had become. For some of us this kind of back-fired, because we saw how far off Lee and Chu were too. Later on I would learn that Nee chucked his own governing principles too.

"Old way" prolly will be always better than the "new way."
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 06:33 PM   #53
HERn
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 692
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Thanks OBW! That statement is so true!

"But one of the most serious flaws of the LCM is that they see the oneness of the church as something other than Christ."
__________________
Christ cares for all His sheep in whatever group.
HERn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 07:00 PM   #54
Indiana
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 534
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Because the "new rules" were the ones they wanted to uphold, not the old. They talked of the old, but demanded the new. They spoke of oneness on ground but demanded oneness of minister and ministry.

But one of the most serious flaws of the LCM is that they see the oneness of the church as something other than Christ. Ground and even minister and ministry are other than Christ. ....

THE GROUND OF THE CHURCH
booklet by Witness Lee (1960s)

The Teaching
"For the church life, there are two main and basic aspects. We must be thoroughly clear about these, for without them we have no reality of the church life. The first is that Christ Himself is the life, the content, and everything in the church. It is absolutely not a matter of forms, doctrines, or certain kinds of expressions. Those who are really in the church life are those who are experiencing Christ as their very life day by day. Christ is everything to them; therefore, Christ is their life and content whenever they come together. The practice of the church life is a life of Christ and a life with Christ as everything.

The second main aspect of the church life is that of the standing or the ground of the church. This term, the church ground, was first used by Brother Watchman Nee in 1937. Before 1937, we never heard or saw this term, and the matter of the ground of the church, as far as we have been able to determine, was not known."

http://twoturmoils.com/GroundoftheChurch.pdf

"They spoke of oneness on ground but demanded oneness of minister and ministry." _OBW
Indiana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 08:03 PM   #55
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,349
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
The second main aspect of the church life is that of the standing or the ground of the church. This term, the church ground, was first used by Brother Watchman Nee in 1937. Before 1937, we never heard or saw this term, and the matter of the ground of the church, as far as we have been able to determine, was not known.
So let me get this right. The "ground of the church" is something biblical and God ordained, but it was "never known" for the first 1900+ years of church history? This kind of reminds me of Witness Lee's claim to have "invented the term experiencing Christ". (per many witnesses at the elders conference in 1988). Of course the understatement of understatements that stands out is "AS FAR AS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DETERMINE". Here we are, over 50 years of the Local Church movement in America, and these dear Christians have formed a full-blown denomination (complete with it's own faux seminary - the Full-Time Training), and everything is based upon "as far as we have been able to determine".
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2015, 09:08 PM   #56
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Indiana View Post
The second main aspect of the church life is that of the standing or the ground of the church. This term, the church ground, was first used by Brother Watchman Nee in 1937. Before 1937, we never heard or saw this term, and the matter of the ground of the church, as far as we have been able to determine, was not known."
This is where people should have been wary in regards to quickly accepting the ground of locality as a legitimate teaching. Instead of Nee and Lee being excited that they had discovered a seemingly new doctrine, they would have been wise to ask the question, “If this is legitimate, then why hasn’t anyone else noticed it?” (Lee really should have asked himself that before every new teaching he decided to introduce)

Despite Lee feeling that “the ground” had Biblical basis, I think it served a more important purpose for him. It allowed him to organize all the while claiming that the LC’s didn’t have any “human organization”. Everyone was told organization was solely based on the practicality of geographic location. I’m sure it sounded like a good proposition to those who were fed up with structure and organization of traditional denominations, so it wasn’t all that hard to get people to buy into it.

As I said earlier in this thread, Lee’s ministry was always the basis of the local churches to some extent or another. Local churches were always “ministry churches”. Maybe the degree how ministry-centric churches were varied over the years, but right from the get-go, affiliation with his ministry was necessary to be considered a genuine local church. Most LC’s today don’t actually even strictly follow “the ground” doctrine. Many LC's meet sub-locally (in districts). Some will cross over into a neighboring city to meet with the LC there instead of the one in their city. There’s an enormous amount of hypocrisy considering that “the ground” is their prized doctrine.
__________________
Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 04:14 AM   #57
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,070
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
So let me get this right. The "ground of the church" is something biblical and God ordained, but it was "never known" for the first 1900+ years of church history? ... the understatement of understatements that stands out is "AS FAR AS WE HAVE BEEN ABLE TO DETERMINE". Here we are, over 50 years of the Local Church movement in America, and these dear Christians have formed a full-blown denomination (complete with it's own faux seminary - the Full-Time Training), and everything is based upon "as far as we have been able to determine".
As I mentioned on this forum previously, one could make the case for the "one church per city" model in existence with the Puritans on New England's "virgin soil". Like Calvin's Geneva in Europe, wherever the Protestants triumphed, they brooked no competition. If you were not "in the church life", you were expelled or even killed (e.g. the fate of Anabaptists, Quakers, and other groups).

How is this different from the Nee model of 1937? Not sure, except it clearly didn't come from China's "virgin soil" and is therefore disqualified?... other than that, Nee's 1937 church model looks like a splinter sect, among the dozens or even hundreds of Protestant splinters, basing its existence on the declaration that it's not a splinter. Talk about majoring in the minors.

Oh, and btw, the RCC before the Protestants also had the "one church per city" rule. The RCC certainly wasn't a splinter sect (tho the Greek Orthodox & Syrian Orthodox & Russian Orthodox would disagree!) It was all about the one holy catholic apostolic church back then. Funny how we seem to come full circle. Our logic leads us round and round, like a dog chasing its own tail.

Anyway, with the "as far as we have been able to determine" clause, it doesn't appear to me that they looked very far, or very diligently.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 08:38 AM   #58
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 3,931
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
The second main aspect of the church life is that of the standing or the ground of the church. This term, the church ground, was first used by Brother Watchman Nee in 1937. Before 1937, we never heard or saw this term, and the matter of the ground of the church, as far as we have been able to determine, was not known."
While I agree that much of Protestantism has, at least for a time, been just as dogmatic that their sect was THE CHURCH and none else were, in each case, it was something different that was brought forward as the key to being in or out. Each key tends to be something not considered before — at least in that way.

And as I have said before, if it is something new in a religion that is grounded in something that was established centuries earlier, it is suspect. It should never be accepted simply because it sounds good or it is packaged with a great experience.

And there we go again with the problems surrounding experience. We learned how to spot experience in the LCM. It taught us to thrive on experience. To let the thrill of experience be tied to the understanding of truth with the result that we were fed untruth tied to experience and now have a hard time rejecting it.

I am beginning to think that that little story about Hunky and Dory in the Land of Food was misdirecting us. Yes, there is a verse or two that can be seen as directing us toward the bodily function of chewing as the way to take in God. But even that is metaphorical. When you then take that little bit out of the whole of the scripture — 66 books, many more chapters and a year of reading — and declare that it is the key to life, or what it is all about, then follow it with dismissal of things that are said many more times and with many more clear and straightforward words, then it is obvious that there was a ring in our nose and we were led where we should not want to go.

Every time we try to hold onto something special from the LCM, we give the novel and new power over the scripture that is solid, old, and sound. I'm not even sure that what we were taught about calling on the Lord is that sound. It was used more like an incantation that was designed to make us feel better immediately. Yes, God can do that for us. But were we just doing it for ourselves? It is clear that a room full of LCM leaders in Whistler, BC did just that in the middle of an unrighteous shellacking of one of their own for "sins" that didn't exist. And they felt better after that and could go on to throw more coal on the fire, tar into the pot, and gather more feathers. Do you think that someone who really called on the Lord could do that? I think they should have had their consciences pricked strongly if they really did. They should have felt worse, not better as they went back to their unrighteous lynching.

So, no matter how you feel when you do it, is it simply true that it really is "calling on the Lord"? Or is it saying words that we have tied to a better feeling? That evokes positive memories and emotions?

Can it be too minimalist to really be what we think it is?

Or is it only real if we are really trying to connect with God and not just do that thing we do when we feel down, bad, depressed, etc.? When we need a pick-me-up and there is no caffeine around?
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 08:41 AM   #59
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 9,577
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Oh, and btw, the RCC before the Protestants also had the "one church per city" rule. The RCC certainly wasn't a splinter sect (tho the Greek Orthodox & Syrian Orthodox & Russian Orthodox would disagree!) It was all about the one holy catholic apostolic church back then. Funny how we seem to come full circle. Our logic leads us round and round, like a dog chasing its own tail.

Anyway, with the "as far as we have been able to determine" clause, it doesn't appear to me that they looked very far, or very diligently.
They did not even diligently search the scriptures. Except for Revelation, the bulk of the NT does not support Nee's model.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!

.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 07:14 PM   #60
HERn
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 692
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
They did not even diligently search the scriptures. Except for Revelation, the bulk of the NT does not support Nee's model.
Nee, Lee, and the blendeds don't need the bible, they just need verses taken out of context processed through the sausage machine known as God's economy. Good thing that Nee and Lee saw God's economy or God would have never had thought of it.
__________________
Christ cares for all His sheep in whatever group.
HERn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2015, 09:44 PM   #61
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
They did not even diligently search the scriptures. Except for Revelation, the bulk of the NT does not support Nee's model.
It's interesting how Nee got away with promoting this teaching. There are definitely verses where churches are referred to by their city, but the big problem is that this isn't done consistently. The glaring example that comes to mind is the house churches mentioned in the NT. I don't think Nee/Lee ever addressed this properly in the context of their teaching.

I was looking into this earlier, and I found the following statement Lee made regarding the house churches:
Quote:
Today, however, so-called churches are designated by a street or an avenue. Some might say, “In the Bible there are no street churches, but there are house churches.” Concerning house churches or home churches we need to be careful. Yes, the New Testament does mention the church in the house of certain saints (Rom. 16:5a; Col. 4:15-16). If we read the New Testament carefully, we will see that in these cases the church in the house was the same in limit as the church in the city. In other words, the limit of the house church was equal to the city. The church in that house was the church in that locality, in that city...

Witness Lee, The Heavenly Vision
I notice that Lee made the assumption that the house churches could be automatically equated with being the church in that city. I see house churches as distinct assemblies because they are addressed as such. I would also turn around Lee's words and say that if we read the NT carefully, without bias, it isn't completely clear what house churches had any city-wide affiliation.

In Paul's epistle to Philemon, it was addressed to: Philemon... and to the church in your house. If we are to accept what Lee says, that the house church equals the city church, then why didn't Paul instead address the letter to: Philemon... and to the church in Colosse?

Better, yet, why didn't Paul request that his letter to Philemon and the house church be read in Laodicea just like he requested in his epistle to the Colossians? I see lots of problems with the kinds of assumptions Lee made. The exceptions to his teaching should have warranted a decent explanation at the very least, not just a few sentences claiming that the exceptions don't matter if we study the Bible carefully.
__________________
Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2015, 12:01 PM   #62
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I notice that Lee made the assumption that the house churches could be automatically equated with being the church in that city. I see house churches as distinct assemblies because they are addressed as such. I would also turn around Lee's words and say that if we read the NT carefully, without bias, it isn't completely clear what house churches had any city-wide affiliation.

In Paul's epistle to Philemon, it was addressed to: Philemon... and to the church in your house. If we are to accept what Lee says, that the house church equals the city church, then why didn't Paul instead address the letter to: Philemon... and to the church in Colosse?

Better, yet, why didn't Paul request that his letter to Philemon and the house church be read in Laodicea just like he requested in his epistle to the Colossians? I see lots of problems with the kinds of assumptions Lee made. The exceptions to his teaching should have warranted a decent explanation at the very least, not just a few sentences claiming that the exceptions don't matter if we study the Bible carefully.
When I was meeting with the local churches, Philemon was nothing more than a footnote.
Seriously, could it be that Philemon doesn't fit into LSM theology which is why little attention is given this book?
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2016, 04:27 PM   #63
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry View Post
When I was meeting with the local churches, Philemon was nothing more than a footnote.
Seriously, could it be that Philemon doesn't fit into LSM theology which is why little attention is given this book?

For me, Paul’s Epistle to Philemon is a glaring exception to the supposed ‘pattern’ in the NT that LCers would point to, in attempt to claim that churches are always referred to by the city in which they are located it. I’ve heard LCers make this claim on numerous occasions. It is false. Either they aren’t willing to admit the exceptions to their ‘rule’, or it is a claim that is being made in ignorance.

The following is a quote that was brought to my attention:
Quote:
The real situation today is that almost no Christians take care of the standing. Most only care for the condition. Why do Christians like to join a particular group? It is because those in it are spiritual, or their meetings are good. However, we have to realize that the standing is much more important that the condition.

Witness Lee, The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life, Pg 41
I was considering just what is so appealing about the ground of locality teaching to LCers. It seems that a big part of it might be this notion that they have the “proper standing” (which they think no one else has).

My experience in the LC has left me with a big realization about the ground of locality. It has become a complete joke. Not that it wasn't so already, but besides the doctrinal aspects of the teaching, the contradictions regarding the practice of the teaching are just too obvious. Some members will regularly meet in a LC located in a city that they don’t live in. Members get offended and meet with a neighboring LC. Some LC’s meet “sub locally” (in districts). Basically, the whole notion and practice of the ground is nominal. They claim to adhere to locality, but in reality, they have thoroughly deviated from it. They will rationalize this deviation in all kinds of ways. I’m not saying that they need to start to practice locality correctly, I’m just saying that if it’s so important to them, it is quite hypocritical that they won’t/can’t practice it true to what was taught.

I know that I’m rambling a bit here, but what I am getting to is this: in the quote that I posted, WL stated that ‘standing’ is more important that ‘condition’. The implication of this is that as long as you have the proper 'standing', then everything goes. Members everywhere were taught to believe that because they were practicing locality, everything else would be fine and work itself out. This allowed WL to do questionable things, to allow questionable people to run his ministry office and none of this was supposed to be viewed a problem. This also meant that no one would dare speak up or leave, or else they risk losing the “proper standing” of being in the local church.

I believe that this is a trap for current members. My experience was that my LC was constantly declining in condition. I know other members who have felt that way too. In spite of this, no one speaks up. Why is this? Are they really that afraid of the confrontation that might follow, or they just couldn’t handle possibly being kicked out, thus being forced to meet somewhere not practicing WL’s ground of locality? I'm afraid that for many, the answer might be the latter. Some members are so thoroughly convinced that the only correct standing is that of locality, that they might be willing to tolerate an unreasonable amount of nonsense for the sake of locality.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2016, 08:17 PM   #64
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
My experience in the LC has left me with a big realization about the ground of locality. It has become a complete joke. Not that it wasn't so already, but besides the doctrinal aspects of the teaching, the contradictions regarding the practice of the teaching are just too obvious.
The Local churches call themselves local churches, but in reality and practice they are ministry churches. Content is strictly from Living Stream Ministry. It's not for all believers. Only those who have a taste for the ministry Living Stream publishes will meet with the local churches.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2016, 09:26 PM   #65
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,349
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I believe that this is a trap for current members. My experience was that my LC was constantly declining in condition. I know other members who have felt that way too. In spite of this, no one speaks up. Why is this? Are they really that afraid of the confrontation that might follow, or they just couldn’t handle possibly being kicked out, thus being forced to meet somewhere not practicing WL’s ground of locality? I'm afraid that for many, the answer might be the latter. Some members are so thoroughly convinced that the only correct standing is that of locality, that they might be willing to tolerate an unreasonable amount of nonsense for the sake of locality.
Nearly every Christian Church/Church group releases their membership numbers. The Local Church of Witness Lee never has, at least here in America. It's almost like a state secret at this point. The reason is obvious. Despite their best efforts over the past 20-30 years, the membership growth of natural born, non-Asian members in America is pathetic. Most longstanding Local Churches in America have dwindled in size. When is the last time you heard of an American Local Church expanding to another location because of natural growth? If God actually cared about "locality" (aka the doctrine of dirt) would he not at least bless it a little?
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jude 24)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-17-2016, 09:44 PM   #66
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Nearly every Christian Church/Church group releases their membership numbers. The Local Church of Witness Lee never has, at least here in America. It's almost like a state secret at this point. The reason is obvious. Despite their best efforts over the past 20-30 years, the membership growth of natural born, non-Asian members in America is pathetic. Most longstanding Local Churches in America have dwindled in size. When is the last time you heard of an American Local Church expanding to another location because of natural growth? If God actually cared about "locality" (aka the doctrine of dirt) would he not at least bless it a little?
It seems that for the current LC, 'standing' has also become an excuse for lack of increase or having any noticable influence in the larger Christian community.

They knowingly admit that other Christians are doing more dynamic things, but they claim their standing according to locality is more meaningful or important than all of that.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-18-2016, 11:57 AM   #67
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post

Nearly every Christian Church/Church group releases their membership numbers. The Local Church of Witness Lee never has, at least here in America. It's almost like a state secret at this point. The reason is obvious. Despite their best efforts over the past 20-30 years, the membership growth of natural born, non-Asian members in America is pathetic. Most longstanding Local Churches in America have dwindled in size. When is the last time you heard of an American Local Church expanding to another location because of natural growth? If God actually cared about "locality" (aka the doctrine of dirt) would he not at least bless it a little?
In my estimation the diminishing membership growth of natural born non-Asian members is directly tied to the late 80's turmoil and leading coworkers and elders unwilling to address unrighteousness.

Usually creation of new local churches is at the cost of another locality losing members. When Renton took the ground, it was at the expense of Bellevue and Seattle losing members in order for Renton to take the ground. Let's call it what it is, ministry churches. Given where I live in Renton, there are easily 3 if not more non-denominational churches within a mile or two that have existed for years prior to "taking the ground".
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2016, 09:57 AM   #68
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,070
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
My experience in the LC has left me with a big realization about the ground of locality. It has become a complete joke. Not that it wasn't so already, but besides the doctrinal aspects of the teaching, the contradictions regarding the practice of the teaching are just too obvious. Some members will regularly meet in a LC located in a city that they don’t live in. Members get offended and meet with a neighboring LC. Some LC’s meet “sub locally” (in districts). Basically, the whole notion and practice of the ground is nominal. They claim to adhere to locality, but in reality, they have thoroughly deviated from it. They will rationalize this deviation in all kinds of ways...

... WL stated that ‘standing’ is more important that ‘condition’. The implication of this is that as long as you have the proper 'standing', then everything goes. Members everywhere were taught to believe that because they were practicing locality, everything else would be fine and work itself out. This allowed WL to do questionable things, to allow questionable people to run his ministry office and none of this was supposed to be viewed a problem. This also meant that no one would dare speak up or leave, or else they risk losing the “proper standing” of being in the local church.

I believe that this is a trap for current members. My experience was that my LC was constantly declining in condition. I know other members who have felt that way too. In spite of this, no one speaks up. Why is this? Are they really that afraid of the confrontation that might follow, or they just couldn’t handle possibly being kicked out, thus being forced to meet somewhere not practicing WL’s ground of locality? I'm afraid that for many, the answer might be the latter. Some members are so thoroughly convinced that the only correct standing is that of locality, that they might be willing to tolerate an unreasonable amount of nonsense for the sake of locality.
A couple of comments on the disconnect which follows placing the basis of the existence of your Christian fellowship upon a nebulous 'ground' that risks being continually redefined by leadership.

First is that the condition, so-called, of the non LC churches is incessantly harped upon. I left the LC, went back to Christianity, and couldn't stop the constant critical thoughts in my head: every Christian meeting, I found the doctrine deficient (no God's economy?@!), or the singing horrible, or the preacher ignorant, or the congregation lethargic, or whatever. I couldn't get past the condition, so-called, to see that God loves these people. It took me years to humble myself and realize that my doctrines didn't make me, or anyone, more special in God's eyes. Can you get through 3 LC meetings without someone bringing up the poor condition of fallen Christianity? I doubt it.

Yet when considering the deficiencies of the LC, suddenly we're told that God sees no wrong. Hypocrisy.

The second point, going toward what Freedom writes of above, is the image of LC churches "taking the ground", but the actuality was not in the city but in the suburbs. Nobody wanted to send their kids to inner-city schools, so "taking the cities of the earth" meant setting up shop in the more hospitable suburbs, and giving the "church in ..." some obscure name that nobody has heard of. The Church in Dun Loring? What's that? What that is, is that nobody wanted to go to Baltimore, or Washington DC. They just wanted to pretend to take the cities of the earth.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2016, 10:50 AM   #69
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
A couple of comments on the disconnect which follows placing the basis of the existence of your Christian fellowship upon a nebulous 'ground' that risks being continually redefined by leadership.

First is that the condition, so-called, of the non LC churches is incessantly harped upon. I left the LC, went back to Christianity, and couldn't stop the constant critical thoughts in my head: every Christian meeting, I found the doctrine deficient (no God's economy?@!), or the singing horrible, or the preacher ignorant, or the congregation lethargic, or whatever. I couldn't get past the condition, so-called, to see that God loves these people. It took me years to humble myself and realize that my doctrines didn't make me, or anyone, more special in God's eyes. Can you get through 3 LC meetings without someone bringing up the poor condition of fallen Christianity? I doubt it.

Yet when considering the deficiencies of the LC, suddenly we're told that God sees no wrong. Hypocrisy.
On the subject of condition, there is a great amount of irony with the view that WL pushed. There was no end to his criticism of the 'fallen' condition of all Christians outside the LC. In other parts of his ministry, he made statements characterizing condition as being unimportant. If he truly believed the latter, then there would have been no reason for him to criticize the perceived condition of other churches.

I would say that the real issue at hand has always the condition of the LC. No doubt, the LCM is promoted as having a pristine condition, being a 'recovery' of sorts. The reality, however, is that condition has really declined, with there being large discrepancies between the reality of the situation and the official view that is promoted.

When members become disillusioned, they might start looking elsewhere. What if they noticed other churches outside the LC that are thriving, or that they all have various ministries for all needs/age-groups. What if they noticed all the churches that have a sizable increase or that have devout and enthusiastic members. That all would puts a cloud of suspicion on the LC, because how could something that claims to be a recovery maintain such a poor condition? It is inevitable that members will notice the condition of other Christians from time to time. Lest they begin to consider the shortcomings of the LC, WL quietly instilled the notion that their "standing on the ground" was more important than anything else.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-19-2016, 11:53 AM   #70
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post

First is that the condition, so-called, of the non LC churches is incessantly harped upon. I left the LC, went back to Christianity, and couldn't stop the constant critical thoughts in my head: every Christian meeting, I found the doctrine deficient (no God's economy?@!), or the singing horrible, or the preacher ignorant, or the congregation lethargic, or whatever. I couldn't get past the condition, so-called, to see that God loves these people. It took me years to humble myself and realize that my doctrines didn't make me, or anyone, more special in God's eyes. Can you get through 3 LC meetings without someone bringing up the poor condition of fallen Christianity? I doubt it.
I had a different experience. It was more like a breath of fresh air. No more paranoia if I had a different perspective than the pastor. Imagine that, a churchlife where it's okay to disagree. No more peer pressure driving the churchlife. No means no.
I would also ask Aron, in the local church can one get through three meetings without someone putting down non-LC churches?
In my past visits to local churches, can't even get through one meeting without someone using prophesying time to put down non-LC churches.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2016, 10:02 AM   #71
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,070
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
They did not even diligently search the scriptures. Except for Revelation, the bulk of the NT does not support Nee's model.
Even in Revelation, we have an example of how quickly Nee & Lee could induce us to look away from scripture to their "local church model." Notice how in Revelations 2 and 3, the epistles are directed not to the church in Smyrna or Pergamos, but to the angel of the church in Smyrna or Pergamos. Lee said, "Pay no attention to the angel. That's just a messenger." Okay, but Jesus did pay attention to the angel; He directed his epistle to the angel.

But we don't care about that, right? We only care for the normal local church of Nee's model. So whatever is in scripture that doesn't align, just ignore it.

Even more pernicious, is that what is in scripture, and is covered and included in the normal local church model of Nee and Lee, is merely there to direct you into their local church system. Jesus Himself is only there to get us to church. And once in church, the focus is clearly placed on church, not on Jesus.

I was in a coffee shop the other day and there were two earnest young men, Bibles prominently open to one of Paul's epistles, praying fervently. I let them finish, and went over and introduced myself. It turns out one of them was the equivalent of a LC "full-timer", who was financially supported (and of course directed, or controlled) by the mother church. The other was a young college student, who was the "mark"; the worker's job was to draw the other one into the church fold.

I think it was the Church of Christ. The worker said they don't take a name, but meet as the church in that city. Denominations are wrong, divisive, and unbiblical, he said... In our discussion I mentioned something of music and the worker said that they don't use instruments there, because it isn't in the NT.

And so on. No openness, or friendliness. Just get on board or get out. So I moved on. Paul's epistle lay there, open on the table, merely useful as a means to convince the mark that the Church of Christ was the True Church. As I said, Jesus Himself was merely there to point toward the Church of Christ. I'm not kidding; Jesus' purpose was merely as the entry point to the church. From then on it becomes church, church, church.

Contrast that to what we see in the gospels. Jesus focuses on Himself! He is the way! Look at the Bible study he conducted in the book of Luke. He opened the scriptures to show them concerning Himself! He is the fulfillment of prophecy, the One whom the Father has chosen. (24:27). Then the two brothers rushed back to Jerusalem, and told the rest - yes the church was there, but the focus of the church was Jesus. Groups like the Church of Christ and the LC have instead made their focus on the church.

And I believe that this focus has produced a distorted, "fun-house mirror" effect. The church looks away from Jesus, and at the church, through this distorted lens, and it just gets weirder and weirder. Truth leaves. Love leaves. The conscience is ignored. Now the obsession is "building the body" and "being one with the brothers" and so forth.

And, as the title of this thread suggests, the obsession is on the ministry and the ministry churches, so-called. Jesus is a bit player in the drama, merely there to usher you into the supposedly normal church life as presented by Nee, Lee et al.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2016, 11:12 AM   #72
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I think it was the Church of Christ. The worker said they don't take a name, but meet as the church in that city. Denominations are wrong, divisive, and unbiblical, he said... In our discussion I mentioned something of music and the worker said that they don't use instruments there, because it isn't in the NT.

And so on. No openness, or friendliness. Just get on board or get out. So I moved on. Paul's epistle lay there, open on the table, merely useful as a means to convince the mark that the Church of Christ was the True Church. As I said, Jesus Himself was merely there to point toward the Church of Christ. I'm not kidding; Jesus' purpose was merely as the entry point to the church. From then on it becomes church, church, church.
Any group that takes a definitive standing according to a particular practice risks becoming an exclusive group. Wasn't this is the exact issue that WN/WL noticed once upon a time and had hoped to avoid? Did they not see the inevitable fate in insisting upon a new practice in attempt to remedy the problems created by insisting on other practices?

It needs no saying that if a practice is insisted upon, the attitude will probably gravitate towards that of "my way or the highway". How sad it is that those in the LC would divide with other Christians over a practice that they believe is able to produce 'oneness'.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2016, 11:38 AM   #73
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
It needs no saying that if a practice is insisted upon, the attitude will probably gravitate towards that of "my way or the highway". How sad it is that those in the LC would divide with other Christians over a practice that they believe is able to produce 'oneness'.
The matter of oneness is a heart matter. If a brother or sister desires oneness, there would be no issue of practices, ministries, etc.
When in the local churches there's insistence of using a publication as the means to produce oneness, that produces division and not oneness. As a result the only thing that differentiates local churches from Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, etc is their unique doctrine that promotes oneness within their own denomination.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2016, 11:45 AM   #74
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,445
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
First is that the condition, so-called, of the non LC churches is incessantly harped upon. I left the LC, went back to Christianity, and couldn't stop the constant critical thoughts in my head: every Christian meeting, I found the doctrine deficient (no God's economy?@!), or the singing horrible, or the preacher ignorant, or the congregation lethargic, or whatever. I couldn't get past the condition, so-called, to see that God loves these people. It took me years to humble myself and realize that my doctrines didn't make me, or anyone, more special in God's eyes. Can you get through 3 LC meetings without someone bringing up the poor condition of fallen Christianity? I doubt it.
Coming back to the issue of condition, I see condition as a gauge by which we should evaluate ourselves and whatever group with whom we are associated with. An evaluation of external groups when there is no preexisting relationship is not particularly relevant. Unfortunately, in the LC, the evaluation is always focused these external entities, not the LC itself as it really should be.

In the LC, we were taught to ignore our own condition (however good or bad it really was), and to criticize the condition of other groups. When WL proclaimed that "Christendom has become an organ of Satan", upon what basis was that assertion made? We can reasonably assume that it had nothing to do with his interaction (or lack thereof) with other outside Christians. That was just a generalization that he wanted to make. In essence, 'Christianity' became a straw man that had a perceived 'poor' condition. The LC perception of Christianity that I received makes anything LC-related look good in comparison to the view presented of "degraded Christianity".

Somehow we all got it ingrained that teachings/practices not found in the LC are fallen and degraded. It is so easy to look at Christian groups with this mindset. I find myself doing this all the time and have to stop myself. As an analogy, I heard a LC brother state that Christian rock music is incompatible with the Holy Spirit. This is a common LC notion. I held this view for a long time. It seemed so reasonable. The only problem is that I never considered such statements as being mere assertions. It just seemed reasonable, and it followed that Christians who practiced certain things must be in a 'fallen' state.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-20-2016, 05:35 PM   #75
HERn
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Posts: 692
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
Coming back to the issue of condition, I see condition as a gauge by which we should evaluate ourselves and whatever group with whom we are associated with. An evaluation of external groups when there is no preexisting relationship is not particularly relevant. Unfortunately, in the LC, the evaluation is always focused these external entities, not the LC itself as it really should be.

In the LC, we were taught to ignore our own condition (however good or bad it really was), and to criticize the condition of other groups. When WL proclaimed that "Christendom has become an organ of Satan", upon what basis was that assertion made? We can reasonably assume that it had nothing to do with his interaction (or lack thereof) with other outside Christians. That was just a generalization that he wanted to make. In essence, 'Christianity' became a straw man that had a perceived 'poor' condition. The LC perception of Christianity that I received makes anything LC-related look good in comparison to the view presented of "degraded Christianity".

Somehow we all got it ingrained that teachings/practices not found in the LC are fallen and degraded. It is so easy to look at Christian groups with this mindset. I find myself doing this all the time and have to stop myself. As an analogy, I heard a LC brother state that Christian rock music is incompatible with the Holy Spirit. This is a common LC notion. I held this view for a long time. It seemed so reasonable. The only problem is that I never considered such statements as being mere assertions. It just seemed reasonable, and it followed that Christians who practiced certain things must be in a 'fallen' state.
I think the LSM LC blindeds have become Protestant Catholics in that they both think the condition of the church or the priest (elder) does not matters as much as the ground of the church or the authority of the priest (elder) that position represents. But, there at least two places in Paul's writing where the condition of the man matters a great deal before he is appointed an elder.
__________________
Christ cares for all His sheep in whatever group.

Last edited by HERn; 01-20-2016 at 05:38 PM. Reason: Fact checking
HERn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 04:37 PM   #76
Indiana
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Posts: 534
Default Re: "True Church" without the True Church Life

Ron Kangas did have a humble moment, admitting during a conference that he longed for the true church life and, adding a little levity, said he hoped his wife would not let the blending brothers know his true feeling. (2010, Seattle)

http://www.twoturmoils.com/TrueChurc...ChurchLife.pdf
Indiana is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-22-2016, 05:26 PM   #77
Terry
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Renton, Washington
Posts: 3,173
Default Re: Ministry Churches

Quote:
Originally Posted by HERn View Post
But, there at least two places in Paul's writing where the condition of the man matters a great deal before he is appointed an elder.
As we know in the local churches, a man's condition is secondary and a man's loyalty is primary. A brother can testify/prophesy occasionally and after having done this for 25, 30 years his loyalty has given him credit to merit appointment as an elder regardless of his character or his condition.
In my opinion brothers who exhibit a short temper, insensitivity, etc does not prove to be character traits of someone who should be an elder. In the local churches, it doesn't matter. Just be absolute for the ministry and loyal to the system. If one is ambitious and follow these two rules, he can become an elder.
__________________
"Even a neutral has a right to take account of facts, even a neutral cannot be asked to close his mind or close his conscience."- Franklin D. Roosevelt
Terry is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 12:57 PM.


3.8.9