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Old 06-03-2014, 04:51 AM   #1
aron
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Default Melodyland and the Trinity

ANSWERS TO THE BIBLE ANSWER MAN - CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH

"This book is the republication of a series of articles first published in The Orange County Register on October 8 and 15, 1977. They were answers to an attack made by Walter Martin, who called himself “the Bible Answer Man.” Martin made this attack against Witness Lee and “the Local Church” in a lecture given at Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, California on October 2, 1977. The tape of that lecture, entitled Witness Lee and the Local Church, is still in circulation today. This book again publishes the answers to that tape."

"Before the events of 1977, those in the local churches had already made several attempts to correct the errors of the CRI authors. This was done both in person and in writing. In each case the response was confrontational arrogance that eliminated any true fellowship or even proper discussion. Thus, a pattern developed of attacking while ignoring the protests from the churches that what CRI circulated did not reflect what the churches really believed.

In early 1977 Walter Martin was publicly confronted by representatives of the local churches. They again insisted that the CRI statements did not reflect the churches’ beliefs and offered to discuss the problems with him. Martin issued an apology to Witness Lee and suspended all CRI writings concerning Witness Lee and “the Local Church” until such discussion could take place. Based upon that apology and the suspending of the tracts, Witness Lee met with Walter Martin in February 1977.

The two agreed to stop all publications until Martin could come to an adequate understanding of the true beliefs of the local churches, through mutual fellowship. Martin was offered complete cooperation for his research. That agreement was broken about a week later when one of Martin’s research associates resumed the attack upon the churches through letters from CRI. Witness Lee insisted that the agreement could be continued only if Martin dealt with the infractions. Martin answered in the old CRI mode—by renewing the attack. Of course, Martin ignored the fact that the research which he agreed should be done had, in fact, never been done.

Martin’s response to the canceled agreement was the source of the meeting at Melodyland and the tape that is still sold today by CRI. Martin admitted on the tape that he relied mainly upon his youthful assistants. He repeated their old accusations, which by then had already been refuted. He endorsed a book, The Mindbenders, that proved to be so blatantly biased and false that it was later retracted with apology by its publisher. Martin’s tape displayed a lack of understanding of the Bible, theology, and church history. At the same time, it was steeped in the sarcastic arrogance that was Martin’s trademark."

Dan Towle
Anaheim, California
March 1994
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Old 06-03-2014, 04:52 AM   #2
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Default Re: Melodyland and the Trinity

A STATEMENT BY WITNESS LEE


It is very sad and shameful that Christian brothers have been continually fighting one against another through the centuries. It is mainly because their understanding of the Bible differs; they have different views and are on different levels. The reasons for this are three.

1.The Bible, being the revelation of God, is extremely profound. On its surface are the plain doctrines, but in its depth are the deep and vital truths. It is easy to know the doctrines of the Bible, but more grace is required to realize the deeper truths revealed in the Bible concerning God’s eternal purpose. For example, John 1:29 tells us that the Lord Jesus died on the cross as the Lamb of God to bear our sins that we may be redeemed. All real Christians know this. But the same Gospel, chapter twelve, verse 24, reveals that the Lord died also as a grain of wheat, falling into the ground to release His life, that He might be multiplied into many grains for the formation of His Body, which is the church. It seems that the speaker at Melodyland has not seen this truth, because he has accused us of being heretical concerning this matter. Actually, it is not that we are heretical, but that he has not seen this deep thing of God (1 Cor. 2:10).

Another example: First Timothy 3:15 says that the church is the house of the living God and the pillar and ground of the truth. But the very next verse, verse 16, reveals that the church is also the mystery of godliness, that is, God was manifest in the flesh. The church is not only the house of God, the pillar and ground of the truth, but also the manifestation of God in the flesh. The context of this verse confirms this. This is also a deep truth, for which we are condemned by the speaker. Again, it seems that he is short of sight in this matter.

2.The truths in the Bible are often of two aspects, the objective and the subjective. The subjective aspect is mainly for our experience. For example, on one hand Christ today is in the heavens, but on the other hand Christ today is also in us, and His being in us is that we may experience Him as life and the life supply. Since He is the very embodiment of God, and since we have Him within us as our life, we partake of the divine nature of God. This subjective truth was also objected to by the speaker, because he simply did not see it.

Another example: The Holy Trinity not only has the side of three, but also the side of one. On one hand our Triune God is three, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, but on the other hand He is one, the unique God. This is clearly and fully revealed in the Holy Word. But sorry to say, the speaker, standing unbalanced on the side of three, fights against the side of one. Although he says that God is one, the oneness in his concept is a corporate oneness, not the individual oneness of our unique God, because he does not believe the pure word in Isaiah 9:6 and 1 Corinthians 15:45.

3.The divine revelation was fully completed when the book of Revelation was written to the churches. But not long after that, the church began to lose sight of God’s open revelation and deviate from the central line of His perfect Word. Thus, the Bible became a veiled book until the time of reformation, when Martin Luther was raised up by the Lord to begin the recovery of the lost truths. Luther, by returning to the Bible from the deviated historic church, discovered the truth of justification by faith among the lost truths. However, that was just the beginning of the Lord’s recovery. Thence, through the past five centuries, the Lord has continually carried on His recovery through many different channels. How we thank the Lord for those channels! But there has always been a sad story accompanying each step of the Lord’s recovery. Nearly every time a lost truth was recovered by some new channels, the old channels fought against the newly discovered truth, and even fought against the channels used by the Lord to recover that truth. In principle, it is the same today.

I was born, raised up, and educated in Christianity. From my youth I have been taught with Bible stories and many teachings of the Bible. After I was saved, I sat at the feet of the great Brethren teachers, listening to hundreds of their messages concerning the Bible. Later I was helped by reading the inner-life books, such as the books by Madame Guyon, Andrew Murray, and Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis. After that, I was also involved in the Pentecostal movement. Then the Lord showed us from His Word a number of lost truths, such as the multiplication, the enlargement, of the unlimited Christ, the corporate Christ, the church being the manifestation of God in the flesh, the proper unity of the Body of Christ, the practical expression of the church, and other items.

Because these truths are new to some dear Christian brothers, they consider them as heresies, as teachings which are not according to the Bible. Then they fight against these newly recovered truths under the excuse of contending for the faith once delivered to the saints. Sometimes these Christian brothers have gone so far that they have even fought their battle by building up false accusations according to their erroneous or inadequate understanding of the Bible. Actually, these newly recovered truths are absolutely scriptural. To see these truths requires that the veil of traditional concepts held by the so-called historic church be taken away, and that the Lord’s people come back to the pure Word of God in His Holy Writings. We, in the Lord’s recovery, following the footsteps of Martin Luther, only care for the pure Word, not for any traditional concept of the historic church. These three reasons are just brief principles.

Lastly, I would like to say a word from my heart. We Christian brothers may hold different opinions concerning certain truths and may argue over them one with another. But let us do it in a spirit and on a level that are worthy of a saint in Christ. The truths of the Bible are holy. We do not believe that any mocking, ridiculing, or despising is the way for a saint to contend for the holy truths of our Holy God. It is a solemn thing to deal with the Word of God. We may edify others; we may also destroy others. We must always remind ourselves that whatever we say and do will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ when He comes back. May the Lord’s grace be with us all!
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:16 AM   #3
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"Martin’s response to the canceled agreement was the source of the meeting at Melodyland and the tape that is still sold today by CRI. Martin admitted on the tape that he relied mainly upon his youthful assistants. He repeated their old accusations, which by then had already been refuted. He endorsed a book, The Mindbenders, that proved to be so blatantly biased and false that it was later retracted with apology by its publisher. Martin’s tape displayed a lack of understanding of the Bible, theology, and church history. At the same time, it was steeped in the sarcastic arrogance that was Martin’s trademark."
I remember reading this when I was a rabid disciple of Lee. It bothered me, because the language was so stilted. Everything written by anyone but Lee was an "attack" or an "accusation". The other writers were called ignorant, arrogant, and so forth.

But they weren't rapists or devil worshipers. They were Christians who were supposedly "persecuting" Lee for his stand on the truth of the Bible. The whole thing bothered me. Weren't we all supposed to love and receive one another? Why the fighting? What truth? I never got it. I still don't.

Do my posts fall into the same trap? I hope not. I suspect they sometimes do. I said ("accused"!! "attacked"!!) that Lee produced half-baked theology recently; perhaps mine is only quarter-baked. Perhaps Lee is three-quarters baked. So I shouldn't judge lest I be judged, right?

Well, yes, I agree. But at the same time creating "new truths" out of the Bible, or recovering old truths if you will, that alienate both myself and my hearers from other believers is a serious thing. Believe me, I do come up with all sorts of ideas! In fact, one could argue that every preacher at the podium on Sunday morning has to come up with "treasures old and new". But does our biblical exposition create turmoil in the flock, with the kind of results of Lee and Melodyland? I think this is a stumbling. Hopefully my writings are not as divisive as Lee's were. I would hate to think that I was the true heir of the ministry of Witness Lee.

My current contention with the ministry of Witness Lee is really over this: that he put out "recovered truths" which not only alienated him and the rest of his disciples from the larger Christian conversation (which fact alone I found hard to stomach), it even alienated him, and us, from the Word itself. Lee's "recovered truths" necessitated that whole swaths of scripture which he couldn't line up with his exposition got re-labeled as "natural" and "fallen". Scripture was no longer revelatory, if Lee couldn't use it to support his theology; rather it was merely the concepts of sinful men who were ignorantly and vainly groping for God. Nothing there that pointed to the coming Christ. Sorry, folks, keep moving on to the high peaks of Lee's exposition.

Where did Jesus, or Paul, or John, tell us that only some of scripture was God-breathed? That only some of scripture was revelatory, and some was instead a spiritual dead end? To follow Lee, my Bible got stranger and stranger. Instead of the Bible revealing Christ, now Lee became the mediator of a new covenant, in which his "revelation" or "vision" became the controlling factor.

And as recently pointed out on this forum, even the scriptures that Lee did use, often had to be radically divorced from the original context of the message, in order for them to "work" or "speak" as he intended (needed) them to.
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Old 06-03-2014, 05:35 AM   #4
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A STATEMENT BY WITNESS LEE

It is very sad and shameful that Christian brothers have been continually fighting one against another through the centuries. It is mainly because their understanding of the Bible differs; they have different views and are on different levels... The Bible, being the revelation of God, is extremely profound. On its surface are the plain doctrines, but in its depth are the deep and vital truths. It is easy to know the doctrines of the Bible, but more grace is required to realize the deeper truths revealed in the Bible concerning God’s eternal purpose.
Okay, which "vital truths" are worth fighting each other over? Or, which "deep truths" necessitate rejecting the validity of portions of the Bible in order to preserve themselves? Is there some "deep level" of understanding in which we can then hold up one brief passage as the "pure word" and drop the rest? What kind of revelation is that?

Believe me, I love deep truths. Do I live them? Perhaps not. But without vision there is no chance to live anything. I love getting vision from the Scriptures. But Jesus taught "Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Not just the words which we can arrange into our current message, which is conveniently printed and for sale.

What kind of a truth, now packaged and sold, brings discord not only among men, but within the text itself?

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The Holy Trinity not only has the side of three, but also the side of one. On one hand our Triune God is three, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit, but on the other hand He is one, the unique God. This is clearly and fully revealed in the Holy Word. But sorry to say, the speaker, standing unbalanced on the side of three, fights against the side of one. Although he says that God is one, the oneness in his concept is a corporate oneness, not the individual oneness of our unique God, because he does not believe the pure word in Isaiah 9:6 and 1 Corinthians 15:45.
The scriptures used to support Lee's "recovered truths" are called "the pure word", but the scriptures that he can't line up are called "fallen" and "natural". I say that is wrong; dead wrong.

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The divine revelation was fully completed when the book of Revelation was written to the churches. But not long after that, the church began to lose sight of God’s open revelation and deviate from the central line of His perfect Word. Thus, the Bible became a veiled book until the time of reformation, when Martin Luther was raised up by the Lord to begin the recovery of the lost truths. Luther, by returning to the Bible from the deviated historic church, discovered the truth of justification by faith among the lost truths. However, that was just the beginning of the Lord’s recovery. Thence, through the past five centuries, the Lord has continually carried on His recovery through many different channels. How we thank the Lord for those channels! But there has always been a sad story accompanying each step of the Lord’s recovery. Nearly every time a lost truth was recovered by some new channels, the old channels fought against the newly discovered truth, and even fought against the channels used by the Lord to recover that truth. In principle, it is the same today.
Whatever Lee does or says is in the "recovery of truth", and whatever anyone else does is "deviation from truth"... got it? You really do need a revelation, and a vision, to follow this ministry. Otherwise you might begin to think, and start to consider, and we all know where that leads, right? Tree of Knowledge. The serpent asked questions. Bad move. Don't question. Only Luther, Darby, Nee and Lee could ask questions.

If Luther or Nee or Lee asked questions that was a recovery of the truth. If you or I were to ask questions that was being independent, divisive, and deviant. This was an intrinsic and essential part of the message that Lee continually spoke to us. Whatever he was teaching, this point would be integrated into it.
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The truths of the Bible are holy. We do not believe that any mocking, ridiculing, or despising is the way for a saint to contend for the holy truths of our Holy God. It is a solemn thing to deal with the Word of God. We may edify others; we may also destroy others. We must always remind ourselves that whatever we say and do will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ when He comes back. May the Lord’s grace be with us all!
If Lee does it then it is called correcting, rebuking, and edifying. If anyone else does it, then it is called mocking, ridiculing, and despising. Got that?
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:30 AM   #5
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A STATEMENT BY WITNESS LEE

Lastly, I would like to say a word from my heart. We Christian brothers may hold different opinions concerning certain truths and may argue over them one with another. But let us do it in a spirit and on a level that are worthy of a saint in Christ. The truths of the Bible are holy. We do not believe that any mocking, ridiculing, or despising is the way for a saint to contend for the holy truths of our Holy God. It is a solemn thing to deal with the Word of God. We may edify others; we may also destroy others. We must always remind ourselves that whatever we say and do will be judged at the judgment seat of Christ when He comes back. May the Lord’s grace be with us all!
I learned to mock, ridicule, and despise other Christians and their diverse practices by watching Witness Lee. Who is he to tell us not to do it?
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Old 06-03-2014, 06:37 AM   #6
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A STATEMENT BY WITNESS LEE

I was born, raised up, and educated in Christianity. From my youth I have been taught with Bible stories and many teachings of the Bible. After I was saved, I sat at the feet of the great Brethren teachers, listening to hundreds of their messages concerning the Bible. Later I was helped by reading the inner-life books, such as the books by Madame Guyon, Andrew Murray, and Mrs. Jessie Penn-Lewis. After that, I was also involved in the Pentecostal movement. Then the Lord showed us from His Word a number of lost truths, such as the multiplication, the enlargement, of the unlimited Christ, the corporate Christ, the church being the manifestation of God in the flesh, the proper unity of the Body of Christ, the practical expression of the church, and other items.
Now this I agree with!

In this age of calculators and computers, multiplication is a lost truth!

Quick test -- how much is 14 times 16?

If you didn't know the answer in 2.24 seconds, it just proves that multiplication is a lost truth!

Witness Lee was right!

We need a recovery of the lost truth of multiplication.


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Old 06-03-2014, 07:47 AM   #7
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Now this I agree with!

In this age of calculators and computers, multiplication is a lost truth!

Quick test -- how much is 14 times 16?

If you didn't know the answer in 2.24 seconds, it just proves that multiplication is a lost truth!

Witness Lee was right!

We need a recovery of the lost truth of multiplication.


Forget multiplication. I can't even add : 3=1.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:35 AM   #8
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Aron,

I don't think it was Lee's teachings that were the problem (in general). What makes the LRC a cult is the practices ... such as deputy/delegated authority. So, Martin was looking in the wrong place to find a cult there.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:20 AM   #9
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Actually Dr. Martin, and other apologists and critics, could only look at what they could see - which at the time were the writings in the form of books, booklets and tracts etc. Obviously many people were also aware of the Local Church's aggressive attitude and behavior towards other Christian groups. Not many people were aware of, much less able to directly observe, so many of the aberrational teachings and practices that took place behind the closed doors of the LC meeting halls.

Around this time (circa 1978) the LC released a booklet entitled "Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches". Much of what was presented in this booklet was a highly sanitized version of what was commonly taught and practiced in the movement. For example, under the Q & A section one of the posed questions was "Who is your leader?". The answer given:
"Our unique leader is Christ. We have no official, permanent, organized human leadership. Furthermore, there is no hierarchy of any kind and no worldwide leader. We regard no person as infallible, and we do not follow anyone blindly."

Not many years later...."even if Witness Lee is wrong he is right!" and bold claims from church leaders that entire churches "owed their existence to Witness Lee" and that Lee was an apostle of the first order, just like the apostle Paul. Even worse things were said.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:28 AM   #10
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Around this time (circa 1978) the LC released a booklet entitled "Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches". Much of what was presented in this booklet was a highly sanitized version: "Our unique leader is Christ... there is no hierarchy of any kind..."
Oh my Gawwwd... or as they say, "Oh Lord Jeeeeeezusss..."

No hierarchy? Whaaaaat? This is one of the most rigidly hierarchical groups I've ever seen. The Maximum Leader is "acting God", okay? Can you connect the dots here?

Wow. Mind-blowing.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:34 AM   #11
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Witness Lee was right!

We need a recovery of the lost truth of multiplication.
I guess this is one of the benefits of "the recovered ground": when the Living Streamers have multiple meetings on one "locality" it is called multiplication. As in "Meeting Hall A" and "Meeting Hall B", or "the Chinese-speaking meeting" and "the college-age meeting" and "the Tuesday night vital home group meeting in Jon Smith's house". So that's good. But when someone not affiliated to LSM has multiple meetings in a locality that is called division. And that, of course, is bad.

So it's really simple. Just remember that when the LSM'ers do it they call it multiplication, and when anyone else does it they call it division. The nice thing about words is they can mean whatever people want them to mean.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:36 AM   #12
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Oh my Gawwwd... or as they say, "Oh Lord Jeeeeeezusss..."

No hierarchy? Whaaaaat? This is one of the most rigidly hierarchical groups I've ever seen. The Maximum Leader is "acting God", okay? Can you connect the dots here?

Wow. Mind-blowing.
When Watchman Nee told Witness Lee "Christians lie" methinks he was talking about Witness Lee.
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Old 06-03-2014, 09:54 AM   #13
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Over the last few years I began to see things in the Bible I never had considered before. Why does it say this here, or use this particular phraseology? Why did Jesus teach that there? Slowly, with occasional "revelations", a story began to emerge, a "meta-story" if you will, which began to make sense of it all. It was really amazing; it was like the Bible was "talking" to me. The Word actually was coming alive. It's like I began to perceive things on a deeper, unseen, 'spiritual' level. The physical was still there, but behind it was the world of the spirit(s), if you will.

And yesterday, for example, I was telling someone about how Jesus quoted Psalm 82, where it said, "I said, You are gods", to those who were confronting Him. Now, we all know that God is one, and that there are not multiple Gods. So why did Jesus quote that? I told my friend that there was likely a shared understanding of Psalm 82, and that Jesus expected some level of familiarity with it among the listening audience. There was a message there, beyond the snippet of "I said, you are gods". The Psalm 82 text can be interpreted several ways, on several levels, and depending on what level you see it will give different meaning to the story in John chapter 10. To my friend I was sharing one of the more physical levels, or readings, of this scene.

Okay, now on to my point. First, there is no guarantee my "meta-story", with its dependent reading of a fairly poetical or stylized narrative in Psalm 82, is objectively right. It is just something that I am currently reading into, or onto, the text. And there's no guarantee that even if my "vision" or "revelation" were correct on some objective level (i.e. 'many scholars take this position'), that I live anywhere near the spiritual reality of what I am beginning to see in these stories. And lastly, why should I fight with someone over my so-called "truths"? What kind of truth would that be if I began to call everyone else ignorant, blind, and dark who didn't agree with my vision? What kind of truth is that? Just exactly what would I have recovered, in that case?
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Old 06-03-2014, 11:55 AM   #14
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Oh my Gawwwd... or as they say, "Oh Lord Jeeeeeezusss..."

No hierarchy? Whaaaaat? This is one of the most rigidly hierarchical groups I've ever seen. The Maximum Leader is "acting God", okay? Can you connect the dots here?

Wow. Mind-blowing.
No hierarchy? Right! You won't find the term hierarchy being used, but you will hear the phrase "giving fellowship" which is hierarchy in action.

A question I did ask within the last 4-5 years ago to then responsible brother (who is now an elder) "Would brother _____ (a former elder) be received in our locality?"
His response is "the brothers need to fellowship with the blending brothers."

That's indicative of a hierarchy. Of a locality answering to a brother or brothers.
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Old 06-03-2014, 12:05 PM   #15
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This thread is giving me serious flashbacks as I not only attended the Melodyland meeting, but had met privately with Robert and Gretchen Passantino who were Dr. Martin's research associates the day before the meeting.
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Old 06-03-2014, 01:04 PM   #16
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Around this time (circa 1978) the LC released a booklet entitled "Beliefs and Practices of the Local Churches". Much of what was presented in this booklet was a highly sanitized version of what was commonly taught and practiced in the movement.
Interestingly, the GLA re-released that booklet about the time of the Quarantine of TC to show the hypocrisy and aberrations of the Blendeds. Those who decided to open their eyes all the way happened to see hypocrisy and aberrations of Witness Lee too.
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Old 06-03-2014, 03:17 PM   #17
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Reading through the opening posts by aron (thanks for them), I was immediately reminded of a comment from a couple of Bible and church historians in a podcast just a couple of days ago. They noted that Protestants (of whom they both were squarely a part) see themselves as linked to the time from Christ through about Augustine, then jumping over everything until Luther. The fact is that, even with the introduction of various significant problems in the church, heavily beginning with the crusades, and other things, on up to the indulgences that Luther fought against, the history of what we now call the RCC is our history. Significant amounts of our theology came from that gap.

The point of this was not another plug for including the RCC in the Christian fold more firmly, but to note that despite the Protestant/Eastern/RCC rifts, there is a core of truth that is quite large. And it does not arrive at the place where a small, one-person-led group with novel theology is likely to be right while the 2,000 years of history has been wrong. No matter how fragmented we are on certain things, there is a large body of common ground that is traceable back through history to the source (the Bible). Some kind of "I've got the new and improved decoder ring" theology is just not worth its weight in raw sewage.

And, as I recall reading from sources outside the LRC, the fact that Martin and company went back to their warnings (attacks) is that this was just an early example of the times when the LRC/LSM confronted those who opposed them with agreements to play nice and give access, but there was actually no such access given, and since the evidence otherwise available left them (CRI and others) with what they had already discovered, they just went back to it. The LRC's claim that it was simply Martin who reneged is probably a bit of a falsehood. History is full of similar confrontations. The LSM publicly says "let's play nice" and then privately says "or we will sue." Since most of their opponents are not denominations, but much smaller non-profits that not much more than break even, just the process of discovery will cripple them while the LRC/LSM just keeps on grinding it out. That is how they "beat" Thomas Nelson and the guy that wrote The God Men.
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:45 PM   #18
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The LRC's claim that it was simply Martin who reneged is probably a bit of a falsehood. History is full of similar confrontations. The LSM publicly says "let's play nice" and then privately says "or we will sue." Since most of their opponents are not denominations, but much smaller non-profits that not much more than break even, just the process of discovery will cripple them while the LRC/LSM just keeps on grinding it out. That is how they "beat" Thomas Nelson and the guy that wrote The God Men.
It's called attrition. When LSM has more resources than their opposition, all that's really needed is to out spend them until they have no more sources to continue. I believe this is the approach that was taken with Harvest House. Thinking the same tactic would hold true. At what cost of the brothers and sisters money was given to a lawsuit? Six million?
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:49 PM   #19
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Interestingly, the GLA re-released that booklet about the time of the Quarantine of TC to show the hypocrisy and aberrations of the Blendeds. Those who decided to open their eyes all the way happened to see hypocrisy and aberrations of Witness Lee too.
Wasn't it the same Beliefs and Practices book the now former Anaheim elders (John, Godfred, and Al) spoke on August 28, 1988 when the 16 points was delivered?
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Old 06-03-2014, 08:54 PM   #20
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ANSWERS TO THE BIBLE ANSWER MAN - CONTENDING FOR THE FAITH

"This book is the republication of a series of articles first published in The Orange County Register on October 8 and 15, 1977. They were answers to an attack made by Walter Martin, who called himself “the Bible Answer Man.” Martin made this attack against Witness Lee and “the Local Church” in a lecture given at Melodyland Christian Center in Anaheim, California on October 2, 1977. The tape of that lecture, entitled Witness Lee and the Local Church, is still in circulation today. This book again publishes the answers to that tape."

"Before the events of 1977, those in the local churches had already made several attempts to correct the errors of the CRI authors. This was done both in person and in writing. In each case the response was confrontational arrogance that eliminated any true fellowship or even proper discussion. Thus, a pattern developed of attacking while ignoring the protests from the churches that what CRI circulated did not reflect what the churches really believed.

In early 1977 Walter Martin was publicly confronted by representatives of the local churches. They again insisted that the CRI statements did not reflect the churches’ beliefs and offered to discuss the problems with him. Martin issued an apology to Witness Lee and suspended all CRI writings concerning Witness Lee and “the Local Church” until such discussion could take place. Based upon that apology and the suspending of the tracts, Witness Lee met with Walter Martin in February 1977.

The two agreed to stop all publications until Martin could come to an adequate understanding of the true beliefs of the local churches, through mutual fellowship. Martin was offered complete cooperation for his research. That agreement was broken about a week later when one of Martin’s research associates resumed the attack upon the churches through letters from CRI. Witness Lee insisted that the agreement could be continued only if Martin dealt with the infractions. Martin answered in the old CRI mode—by renewing the attack. Of course, Martin ignored the fact that the research which he agreed should be done had, in fact, never been done.

Martin’s response to the canceled agreement was the source of the meeting at Melodyland and the tape that is still sold today by CRI. Martin admitted on the tape that he relied mainly upon his youthful assistants. He repeated their old accusations, which by then had already been refuted. He endorsed a book, The Mindbenders, that proved to be so blatantly biased and false that it was later retracted with apology by its publisher. Martin’s tape displayed a lack of understanding of the Bible, theology, and church history. At the same time, it was steeped in the sarcastic arrogance that was Martin’s trademark."

Dan Towle
Anaheim, California
March 1994
The portion I have placed in bold, didn't this get repeated in 2003-4 when some of the blended brothers disregarded agreements made in the Phoenix Accord?
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:13 AM   #21
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The portion I have placed in bold, didn't this get repeated in 2003-4 when some of the blended brothers disregarded agreements made in the Phoenix Accord?
Yeah, "adequate understandings of true beliefs"... now that's a moving target, isn't it?
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:26 AM   #22
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No matter how fragmented we are on certain things, there is a large body of common ground that is traceable back through history to the source (the Bible). Some kind of "I've got the new and improved decoder ring" theology is just not worth its weight in raw sewage.
I learned this one the hard way. And I try to hold it fast today, as I feel that I paid a high price for this understanding.

There are a lot of places where Paul or John might be writing to the saints about the faith once delivered to all, and certain things in those writings might have been commonly understood through much discussion, and not self-evidently true to the saints of the 18th, 19th, or 21st centuries. There were written documents, now lost, and of course oral transmission. As well as simply the "zeitgeist" (i.e. the spirit or trend of the time), much of which is subsequently unavailable.

At best, we can trace back through history to the source, as OBW put it, and look for consensus opinions within the expressions of the opinion-holders. From there, of course, God gives us free rein, because we do have our own minds and we should use them. I do speculate and hypothesize, and have posted here, on many of my speculations and understandings as they evolve.

But where O where is the ground for my speculations, ideas, interpretations, hermeneutics, theology, story-telling, or what-have-you to separate me and/or my hearers from the flock? Where? What so-called truth that operates thus can be said to be for the building up? I don't care if it's a new truth, a recovered truth, a deep truth, a high peak truth, a biblically-based truth, or whatever; if it stumbles people it's not worth... well, what OBW said.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:41 AM   #23
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Yeah, "adequate understandings of true beliefs"... now that's a moving target, isn't it?
http://www.concernedbrothers.com/Pho...Commentary.pdf

"1. In whatever fellowship we have, we should exercise forbearance, love, meekness, and
forgiveness as we work through problems that confront us.
2. In all of our speaking-privately, publicly, and globally-we should refrain from indictments and
innuendos.

3. At all times we should find ways to keep open lines of fellowship among the brothers.
4. We should let go of the negative and, in turn, emphasize the positive.
5. Direct communication is imperative in all our relationships.
6. We should look for resolution of problems through constant, personal, face-to-face fellowship.
7. We should try not to misunderstand one another but to understand by giving each other the
benefit of the doubt.
8. We should endeavor to help the saints and those with whom we serve to keep the oneness of the
Spirit and to speak well of all the churches, saints, elders, and co-workers."

I emphasize point number two as in principle it relates to this thread on Melodyland.
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Old 06-04-2014, 11:45 AM   #24
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This thread is giving me serious flashbacks as I not only attended the Melodyland meeting, but had met privately with Robert and Gretchen Passantino who were Dr. Martin's research associates the day before the meeting.
'
Elden1971, do you have any insight in regard to Gretchen Passantino's turn in support of the local churches? Meaning the research she did with her husband, was it a product of thorough research or was it based on assumptions and incomplete information?
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Old 06-04-2014, 01:32 PM   #25
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http://www.concernedbrothers.com/Pho...Commentary.pdf

"1. In whatever fellowship we have, we should exercise forbearance, love, meekness, and
forgiveness as we work through problems that confront us.
2. In all of our speaking-privately, publicly, and globally-we should refrain from indictments and
innuendos.

3. At all times we should find ways to keep open lines of fellowship among the brothers.
4. We should let go of the negative and, in turn, emphasize the positive.
5. Direct communication is imperative in all our relationships.
6. We should look for resolution of problems through constant, personal, face-to-face fellowship.
7. We should try not to misunderstand one another but to understand by giving each other the
benefit of the doubt.
8. We should endeavor to help the saints and those with whom we serve to keep the oneness of the
Spirit and to speak well of all the churches, saints, elders, and co-workers."

I emphasize point number two as in principle it relates to this thread on Melodyland.
When I read this Phoenix Accord years ago, it sounded like a school teacher writing rules on the blackboard for naughty children. And to think that these rules were adopted by "mature" ministers attempting to get along without killing each other.

This accord helped me to realize that LC oneness and the ministry of reconciliation, so emphasized by Lee for decades, was all just a farce, and the real issue at hand was two ministry camps fighting for control of the LC's.
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Old 06-05-2014, 12:01 PM   #26
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When I read this Phoenix Accord years ago, it sounded like a school teacher writing rules on the blackboard for naughty children. And to think that these rules were adopted by "mature" ministers attempting to get along without killing each other.

This accord helped me to realize that LC oneness and the ministry of reconciliation, so emphasized by Lee for decades, was all just a farce, and the real issue at hand was two ministry camps fighting for control of the LC's.
What ministry of reconciliation? History has proven when leaders lose favor with Witness Lee and currently with the blended brothers, there is no possibility of reconciling the brothers, but with God reconciliation is possible.
The accord to me makes it much more apparent the LC oneness is not based on Jesus Christ, but based on oneness in a man's ministry. You might be told the LC oneness is according to John 17:21. If that was the case, there would have been no need for a Phoenix Accord. If that was the case former members, former elders, and former co-workers would be warmly welcomed back.
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Old 06-09-2014, 05:56 AM   #27
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Thread progress so far:

The last man Adam became a life giving "x" ...

And the Trinity = x.
I am quoting from another thread but wanted to post here. We are presenting, ostensibly, truth from the Word; the scholar in question, like WL or the Bible Answer Man, is supposed to be teaching something of enduring and encompassing value. If the scholars are engaged in disputes over meanings of words then I don't see much profit except to lawyers and certain publishing houses who cater to those with "itching ears" to hear of scandal and conflict. And the same applies to posting here on this forum, and elsewhere.

If a person comes into your meeting, looking for inspiration and truth, and to escape from the bondage of Satan, and we want to boil the idea of God down to "x" for them, then we should keep it simple. What truth encompasses the whole of scriptures? Maybe something like "love one another". Or "believe into Jesus Christ and be saved." This kind of command arguably pervades the whole story. I don't give that as the definitive answer here, but rather as what our message, and our answer, might reasonably look like.

But if our supposedly distilled truth is that God became flesh who became Spirit who became intensified to indwell the believer making them God in life and nature but not in the Godhead, you arguably end up cutting off a lot of scripture that you can't make conform to your theology. So instead of scripture you have your few foundational verses, and the rest is chanting/singing/praying/declaring doctrinal bullet points derived from those few verses.

Remember that song with the chorus, "Jesus is the living spirit/we must now proclaim"? That was WL's doctrine which it was expected all believers "must now proclaim" endlessly, with our testimonies, declarations, trainings, and so forth . That became our truth. We were told, Don't inquire in the pages of scripture, because WL already answered everything. We were told not to go beyond the footnotes. If there is no footnote there, or it points only to one thing, then that, for us, becomes the extent of expressed reality. We were 'encouraged' and 'fellowshipped' not to go beyond the "recovered truth". The theology in question therefore became a conceptual cage.

The seeking one in this environment is essentially forbidden from seeking. WL supposedly answered everything.

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I'm sorry to seem nitpicky, but the actual reference is 2 Corinthians 13:14, which is the verse I will be working with in this post about the Trinity.

i) In the first paragraph of the footnote, Philip Schaff is quoted, introducing the term “hypostases.”

ii) The first sentence of the second paragraph can be illustrated (albeit not perfectly) with a stream. God the Father is “the source,” the fount or origin of the stream. God the Son is “the course,” the route the stream takes, connecting the fount with the location of the drinker. God the Spirit is “the transmission,” the action of the water from the stream entering and becoming a part of the drinker when he/she drinks. Though “the source,” “the course,” and “the transmission” are three distinct “functions” of the stream, there are not three separate streams. There is only one stream with three “supporting substances.”

Hopefully the stream illustration answers the questions from post #38 by Igzy. Question 1: When you drink water from the stream, you just have one thing (water) in your system; however, that water includes “the source,” “the course,” and “the transmission.” Question 2: There isn’t really a need to “experience the distinction between” “the course” and “the transmission.” Water is water. Just enjoy slaking your thirst with it. Question 3: Just because you don’t need to “experience the distinction” doesn’t mean “the course” and “the transmission” are the same thing.
When the angel was carrying John, who was "in spirit" (Rev 17:3, 21:10), was the angel also carrying Jesus and the Father God? If so, isn't the angel part of the "course" or "transmission"? If so, why isn't the angel worshipped? Clearly when John tried to do so the angel forbade him, repeatedly (Rev 19:10, 22:9).

When Gabriel spoke to Zechariah and Mary in Luke 1, he was transmitting the command from the throne, but clearly Gabriel was not the "course of" the trinity. Etc etc; we have hundreds or thousands of instances where your formula runs aground. So to follow WL we simply hold the formula, and let go of the Bible. That is where your theology will get you.

FaithInChrist says that WL's illustrations are not perfect. I agree. Nor are mine. But my questions and tentative hypotheses, don't push a "truth" beyond that we should repent and believe, and love one another, and receive one another in the name of Christ, etc. I still have a lot of questions and my questions come from stories like Gabriel speaking to Mary, and an angel carrying the apostle John in spirit. In the Local Churches of Lee, I am told to ignore such questions because WL's theology doesn't address them. If I continue to ask, I risk being labeled "dark", "confused", or "divisive". Better to be silent, or chant the bullet point of Local Church (i.e. Living Stream Ministry) Dogma.

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"My answer is that He is the Triune God and that the Trinity is a mystery. If you can understand the Trinity and define it adequately, it is no longer a mystery. In the realm of mathematics or chemistry, things can be scientifically analyzed by the human mind. That is science, not mystery. If you can use your supposedly clever mind to understand the Triune God, He is no longer a mystery. Because none of us can understand the Trinity adequately, it remains a mystery. Do not ask me why. I do not know why. I can only say, ‘The Bible tells us so.’ Do not argue; just take the pure Word of God. […] This one unique God is Triune. I do not know how to explain this, although for many years I tried. During the past fifty years, I spent a great deal of time analyzing and trying to understand the Trinity. Since I could find no way to resolve it, I gave up long ago. I said to myself, ‘Little man, you are too small. You can never understand the Trinity adequately’”

"This matter of the Trinity has been a subject of great argument and strong disputation among Christians ever since the second century. During the last eighteen or nineteen centuries, the argument has never ceased. It has been utilized by the enemy to destroy the unity of the saints. Do not get caught in the snare of endless debate. We must come back from the traditional terms sayings, and teachings to the pure Word of God. The controversy concerning such a mystery as the Trinity is endless. Be on the alert to avoid this trap”. ~from The Truth Concerning the Trinity – Two Answers by Witness Lee (copyrighted 1976) Anaheim: Living Stream Ministry, 1994. Print.
This quote is titled "Two Answers by Witness Lee". Okay -- who was Witness Lee answering here? Was this a printed dispute over the trinity; a broadside aimed at the "Melodyland" folks? If so, who profited? The truth, so-called? Or seekers of divine reality? Or rather lawyers and publishers? WL says to come back to the "pure word", and avoid traps, but to my impression is that his theology needs to ignore much the pure word in order to maintain its coherence. You need a very small Bible.
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Old 06-09-2014, 09:53 AM   #28
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If a person comes into your church meeting, looking for inspiration and truth, and to escape from the bondage of Satan, and we want to boil the idea of God down to "x" for them, then we should keep it simple. What truth encompasses the whole of scriptures? Maybe something like "love one another". Or "believe into Jesus Christ and be saved." This kind of command arguably pervades the whole story. I don't give that as the definitive answer here, but rather as what our message, and our answer, might reasonably look like.

But if our supposedly distilled truth is that God became flesh who became Spirit who became intensified to indwell the believer making them God in life and nature but not in the Godhead, you arguably end up cutting off a lot of scripture that you can't make conform to your theology...
Since leaving the LCs I have gravitated toward the small, community "fundamentalist" churches. Usually affiliated with some larger body but largely operationally independent. I am the crusty old dude sitting in the back muttering to himself. But I receive them and they receive me, and the pastor occasionally invites me up front to pray for the offering, or some such. Or I take over the "Bible study" section for a few weeks.

If anyone asks me what my theology is, I tell them some variation of, "God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son that we might not perish but have everlasting life." Something like that. Boilerplate stuff. It's there in the Bible and most Christians seem to agree on its meaning. Plus it seems to have been put in there purposefully, to give some encapsulation to the whole story. And yes, it does say, "in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit", too (Matt 28:19, also e.g. 2 Corinthians 13:14). So I have no problem with 'formulaic' statements of the Christian faith as long as someone doesn't bash me on the head with it.

But if some intelligent, thoughtful 'seeking one' came in and said, "Who are the bene Elohim of the OT? I see you saying that God sent His only-begotten Son, yet I see repeated references to multiple, divine offspring (Genesis 6, Psalm 82). I even see Jesus quoting some of these scriptures (John 10:34). So what gives with your 'only begotten Son' business?"

As long as they weren't being quarrelsome, and seemed to be genuinely seeking, you know what I'd probably say? "I'm working on that one." Point is, I don't carry my doctrines to where I have to dismiss or ignore the scripture. If I don't understand something conceptually, that doesn't mean that I am a doomed sinner. I think that the collective witness of the church is stronger if we receive one another, and don't cross swords over things we are still working out (and yes, we are still working out stuff 2,000 years later). My individual witness is stronger if I don't pretend to be some Mr. Know-it-all with answers to every single question.

To go back to the subject of "Apologetic discussions regarding the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee", which I see helpfully displayed at the top of my computer screen, the problem of the teachings of WN & WL is that they're paradoxically too highly developed to bring along the basics like "love one another", and they are too simple to deal with all the complicated stuff in the Bible. The deep stuff. So there you are stuck in some weird limbo-land, chanting "Jesus is the living spirit/We must now proclaim", and pretending that you have arrived at some high peak of theology, at some kind of consummation of the divine revelation. That, my friends, is fantasy-land; I am looking at Melodyland versus Fantasyland. And right next to Disneyland - how appropriate.
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Old 06-09-2014, 03:46 PM   #29
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You said it well bro Aron.

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Since leaving the LCs I have gravitated toward the small, community "fundamentalist" churches. Usually affiliated with some larger body but largely operationally independent. I am the crusty old dude sitting in the back muttering to himself. But I receive them and they receive me, and the pastor occasionally invites me up front to pray for the offering, or some such. Or I take over the "Bible study" section for a few weeks.

If anyone asks me what my theology is, I tell them some variation of, "God loved us so much that He sent His only begotten Son that we might not perish but have everlasting life." Something like that. Boilerplate stuff. It's there in the Bible and most Christians seem to agree on its meaning. Plus it seems to have been put in there purposefully, to give some encapsulation to the whole story. And yes, it does say, "in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit", too (Matt 28:19, also e.g. 2 Corinthians 13:14). So I have no problem with 'formulaic' statements of the Christian faith as long as someone doesn't bash me on the head with it.

But if some intelligent, thoughtful 'seeking one' came in and said, "Who are the bene Elohim of the OT? I see you saying that God sent His only-begotten Son, yet I see repeated references to multiple, divine offspring (Genesis 6, Psalm 82). I even see Jesus quoting some of these scriptures (John 10:34). So what gives with your 'only begotten Son' business?"

As long as they weren't being quarrelsome, and seemed to be genuinely seeking, you know what I'd probably say? "I'm working on that one." Point is, I don't carry my doctrines to where I have to dismiss or ignore the scripture. If I don't understand something conceptually, that doesn't mean that I am a doomed sinner. I think that the collective witness of the church is stronger if we receive one another, and don't cross swords over things we are still working out (and yes, we are still working out stuff 2,000 years later). My individual witness is stronger if I don't pretend to be some Mr. Know-it-all with answers to every single question.

To go back to the subject of "Apologetic discussions regarding the teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee", which I see helpfully displayed at the top of my computer screen, the problem of the teachings of WN & WL is that they're paradoxically too highly developed to bring along the basics like "love one another", and they are too simple to deal with all the complicated stuff in the Bible. The deep stuff. So there you are stuck in some weird limbo-land, chanting "Jesus is the living spirit/We must now proclaim", and pretending that you have arrived at some high peak of theology, at some kind of consummation of the divine revelation. That, my friends, is fantasy-land; I am looking at Melodyland versus Fantasyland. And right next to Disneyland - how appropriate.
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:31 AM   #30
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I recently read one of the Local Church foundational verses, John 14:20 ("In that day you will know that I am in My Father and My Father is in Me and I am in you"), which becomes captive to WL's repetitive teaching on "incorporation".

Now look at the next 4 verses:

21 "Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”

22 Then Judas (not Judas Iscariot) said, “But, Lord, why do you intend to show yourself to us and not to the world?”

23 Jesus replied, “Anyone who loves me will obey my teaching. My Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.

24 Anyone who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me."

A lot of words on obedience. Verses 21, 23, and 24 all stress obedience, and keeping the commands. The only interruption is verse 22 which is a statement of incomprehension by a disciple, which is answered by Jesus with the repeated injunction, Obey, obey. If you want to see Me, obey.

Coinherence is secondary to obedience. Even Jesus, in the days of His flesh, learned obedience (See e.g. Heb. 5).

Yesterday I was talking to a Muslim. I know that Islam means "submission" so I asked him, "Do you believe in obedience to God?" And he answered, "Oh, yes." So I said, "Let me tell you about the obedient Son." I asked him if he had big brothers and sisters, and he said that he did. I said, "Remember when you were small and you saw them riding bicycles and playing games, and you wanted to follow? Well, Jesus is the obedient One. We, the disobedient ones, see Him and we see the way back to our Father God in heaven."

I didn't talk about the incarnation, or atonement; I just talked about obedience. As I said, my problem with theology in general, and LSM theology in particular, is that it's not big enough, or inclusive enough, to fully match the story we have in front of us, that of Jesus the Nazarene. It reminds me of the verse at the end of John's gospel: "Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written." Theology is good, I suppose, for the rudiments of the faith. But the "LSM v Melodyland" account is a cautionary tale; it's indicative of the scene that occurs if you grip it too tightly. You may think that your dogma has captured the Bible in toto (and thus God Himself), but the reality is that you're displaying your own captivity.
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Old 06-11-2014, 05:54 AM   #31
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Default Another example: oikētērion

Another example for me, of moving past theology. I was interested in the subject of "the fall of the angels" and was looking at the account in Jude's epistle. I noticed the word "oikētērion", which means something like "dwelling place".

And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling—these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

This word is used by Paul in 2 Cor 5:2, while he is longing to put on his heavenly body. In Lee's theology we see book after book of being incorporated into the heavenly body, but almost nothing on the problem of leaving it! And yet Jude, written to Christians, is a warning of this. So is 2 Peter. So is 1 Corinthians. So is Hebrews.

To me, this is probably a key part of the story of Jesus' redemption. There is a "going out" as well as a "coming in". But for all the ink that I see spilled, literal and virtual, on "coinherence" and "incorporation" and "mutual indwelling" and all the rest of it - I even see words like "hypostases" - dude, I am still trying to learn how to be obedient! I tried "masticating the processed Triune God", but I think that abiding in the Word is best. And if the Word goes beyond my theology, I just have to keep going; keep abiding in the Word.

Sorry for my incoherence. But I am nearly completely bewildered. Yet somehow I love it. Sometimes I feel like Peter and James and John, stunned by the cloud of glory. I don't understand the Word, but it's truly living, and operating. I love it.
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Old 06-11-2014, 07:40 AM   #32
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Default Re: Another example: oikētērion

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Coinherence is secondary to obedience. Even Jesus, in the days of His flesh, learned obedience (See e.g. Heb. 5).
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Sorry for my incoherence. But I am nearly completely bewildered. Yet somehow I love it. Sometimes I feel like Peter and James and John, stunned by the cloud of glory. I don't understand the Word, but it's truly living, and operating. I love it.
Brother Aron, I say keep writing! As a reader, it's helping me find my way back to the Father.

These last couple days have been the most bewildering days of my life. I have oscillated between pleading with God, wanting to curse God, and feeling abandoned by God. Those old LC theological teachings of blending, mingling, and incorporating can do nothing for my pained soul. Instead I am reduced to the basics of obeying God, loving God, and worshiping God. The best patterns for my journey are not the contemporary MOTAs, but Jesus His beloved Son, and a few faithful men of faith highlighted in His word.
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Old 06-11-2014, 09:21 AM   #33
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Default Re: Another example: oikētērion

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... I am reduced to the basics of obeying God, loving God, and worshiping God. The best patterns for my journey are ... Jesus His beloved Son, and a few faithful men of faith highlighted in His word.
One of my few regrets in life is when I become adversarial... if someone does the equivalent of slapping my face, or worse, I typically bristle and respond. In many of my posts I've "bristled" and "responded" to the mediocre (ill-thought out) system of theology given by Messrs Nee, Lee & Co. And I have remonstrated against the system they established which allowed this grade-school-level theology (in my opinion) to be the unquestioned law of the Local Church land. I didn't get hurt by it because I bailed pretty early in, but it doesn't take a genius to see the human damage that has ensued.

Why do I regret my remonstrations against the system of Nee & Lee? Because I fear that I myself become bitter, dark, cynical, and ill-humored. I really want to be a happy person. So to all, I apologize. I'll try to do better in the future.

On the plus side I've really enjoyed sharing some of my tentative forays in the word of God. Though I see little and obey even less, in Jesus Christ and in former rebels subdued by His Spirit who then become faithful and obedient servants of God, I find hope. And it's been fun sharing my first feeble explorations in the landscape of hope. It has not been many moons since I took off the "Lee glasses" when in the Word, even though I have years of physical removal from the LCs. That, my friends, is the power of an idea. It really is a stronghold (2 Cor 10:4).

Obviously I can say nothing salvific to someone like Ohio who finds themselves painfully "reduced"... I have no balm for the soul. But if in any way I can be a pattern, I would say: the Word is living, it is operating, and it is real. In fact nothing else, arguably, is real. Only the Word is real. That is all I can say. Peace to you and to all who read this.

p.s. and I did choose "incoherence" deliberately as a play on "coinherence", just for fun. God has coinherence, I have incoherence; I liked that.
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Old 06-11-2014, 12:14 PM   #34
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Default Re: Another example: oikētērion

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I fear that I myself become bitter, dark, cynical, and ill-humored.
Oh, don't be too hard on yourself. We all go thru such gambits.

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I really want to be a happy person.
You seem happy to me ... are you hiding unhappiness?

I, for one, have enjoyed your posts.
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Old 06-11-2014, 02:21 PM   #35
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Default Re: Another example: oikētērion

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Why do I [at least partly] regret my remonstrations against the system of Nee & Lee? Because I fear that I myself become bitter, dark, cynical, and ill-humored. I really want to be a happy person. So to all, I apologize. I'll try to do better in the future.
My repentance was for displaying a vindictive spirit... as if I were God's instrument of vengeance! That's not my role -- as a sinner redeemed by grace I'm unqualified to judge others. On that the sacred texts seem firm and clear. Ideas are one thing; we can and should test and reject those which unworthy of our Lord. But we should never lack a spirit of charity. I was worried that perhaps my writing had been occasionally (often?) missing that.
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