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Spiritual Abuse Titles Spiritual abuse is the mistreatment of a person who is in need of help, support or greater spiritual empowerment, with the result of weakening, undermining or decreasing that person's spiritual empowerment.

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Old 12-30-2011, 12:01 PM   #1
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Default Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

I don’t think so. Look at verse 4, if you don’t answer a fool according to his folly then you won’ t be like unto him. But, he will be wise in his own conceit.

So how does this apply to the LRC?

Many saw abusive acts done in the LRC but kept quiet because they didn’t want to be like the abusers. (The Meek will inherit the earth?) However the result was that the folly increased and more saints were abused. (Please note in this discussion I am using abuse to refer to the type of abuse TC dished out not PL).

I think Proverbs is very clear, if you have someone like TC you are better off not responding to the abuse lest you also become like him. However, if that does not become tenable at some point you have to rebuke him so that he will not be wise in his own conceit, though that might necessitate your exit from the LC.

Why would you be concerned with him being wise in his own conceit? One reason would be you see that he is causing damage to others. I have seen saints do this on numerous occasions (rebuke leading ones who were foolish).

Also, according to Proverbs it is wise not to rebuke a fool because if you do you will become like him. What if that is no longer an issue, what if the entire LRC has come to look like fools? What happened to those that wrote about the LRC being a cult, they got sued, dragged into ugly litigation and went bankrupt. They were fools. But what if the LRC has become a house of fools? For those who are still there it is no longer wise to not rebuke them. At that point it is time to answer the fools according to their folly.

This is what Abigail did when she kept silent while Nabal partied, but in the morning when he had his hangover she spoke. Now that the LRC has spent so much money on the lawsuits and made themselves a byword, and all the prophesies of WL being the MOTA have proved to be bogus, and the LRC is splitting apart at the seems, now is the time for Abigail to speak.
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Old 12-30-2011, 01:34 PM   #2
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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So how does this apply to the LRC?

Many saw abusive acts done in the LRC but kept quiet because they didn’t want to be like the abusers. (The Meek will inherit the earth?) However the result was that the folly increased and more saints were abused. (Please note in this discussion I am using abuse to refer to the type of abuse TC dished out not PL).

I think Proverbs is very clear, if you have someone like TC you are better off not responding to the abuse lest you also become like him. However, if that does not become tenable at some point you have to rebuke him so that he will not be wise in his own conceit, though that might necessitate your exit from the LC.

Why would you be concerned with him being wise in his own conceit? One reason would be you see that he is causing damage to others. I have seen saints do this on numerous occasions (rebuke leading ones who were foolish).
This is quite an interesting observation. My initial thought was that those who witnessed abuse kept quiet because ...
  1. They were taught that it was the "spiritual" way to perfect brothers in the recovery
  2. They were taught that the brother (either WL or TC or any others) was god's deputy authority in the church
  3. They were in fear of offending the deputy lest they receive more serious judgment, as Meriam and Ham did
  4. They were also in fear that, by opening their mouth, they would "get it" next. Fear is a powerful deterrent for sure.
I'm also surprised that 77150 would link folly with abuse. I'm not sure if any "kept silent" because they did not want to be like the abuser. Most held the abuser's power in awe. Unconsciously, many learned bad habits watching their abuse. Bullies do tend to reproduce bullies. I have seen too much of that in others and even in myself, sorry to say.


Your application of "folly" in Proverbs 26 to LC leaders is an interesting one.
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Old 12-30-2011, 02:29 PM   #3
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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This is quite an interesting observation. My initial thought was that those who witnessed abuse kept quiet because ...
  1. They were taught that it was the "spiritual" way to perfect brothers in the recovery
  2. They were taught that the brother (either WL or TC or any others) was god's deputy authority in the church
  3. They were in fear of offending the deputy lest they receive more serious judgment, as Meriam and Ham did
  4. They were also in fear that, by opening their mouth, they would "get it" next. Fear is a powerful deterrent for sure.
I'm also surprised that 77150 would link folly with abuse. I'm not sure if any "kept silent" because they did not want to be like the abuser. Most held the abuser's power in awe. Unconsciously, many learned bad habits watching their abuse. Bullies do tend to reproduce bullies. I have seen too much of that in others and even in myself, sorry to say.


Your application of "folly" in Proverbs 26 to LC leaders is an interesting one.
In my experience there was no way to confront the abusive behavior without getting bogged down in the mire. There was the teaching of deputy authority, but I never took that to mean that any elder was a "pope". On the contrary I understood that to mean that if I submitted to the Lord and had my head covered by him, then I also had His authority. So if my conscience told me to speak, and I went to the Lord, and searched diligently to make sure I wasn't being motivated by something other than the Lord, then I was fully in line with the teaching of deputy authority. I don't think I was ever in fear of offending the deputy, nor did I really fear "getting it". Probably my biggest fear was that I had been duped by the LRC.

I think if you look on the behavior from the viewpoint of eternity it is easy to see it as folly. After all, the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord.
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Old 01-01-2012, 07:20 AM   #4
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

I think we have to understand the verses before we are able to decide how to apply them. I have noted this tendency in many cases in the past. We find something we don't think we understand, make a singular suggestion, then run with it.

So let's start with the verses rather than with TC or BP or anyone else, defining them as the fool.

I will throw out a consideration. I have no clear thought that it is correct, but here goes.

Might it be that how you read "according to his folly" in the two verses is the difference? In the first instance "according to his folly" is to step down into it and join the fool and his folly while trying to answer? In the second, it is to understand and respond to the error in thinking that has led to such folly? In other words, "according to his folly" is a somewhat vague statement that could mean both something like "fall into his folly" or into his way of thinking, his error, or it could mean to analyze and respond to the error in his way of thinking that is leading to folly. One is to join the folly. The other is to dissect the folly. Yet it is the folly that is engaged in either instance — one from the inside as a participant, and the other from the outside as one with an understanding of the error.
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Old 01-01-2012, 10:50 AM   #5
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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I think we have to understand the verses before we are able to decide how to apply them. I have noted this tendency in many cases in the past. We find something we don't think we understand, make a singular suggestion, then run with it.

So let's start with the verses rather than with TC or BP or anyone else, defining them as the fool.

I will throw out a consideration. I have no clear thought that it is correct, but here goes.

Might it be that how you read "according to his folly" in the two verses is the difference? In the first instance "according to his folly" is to step down into it and join the fool and his folly while trying to answer? In the second, it is to understand and respond to the error in thinking that has led to such folly? In other words, "according to his folly" is a somewhat vague statement that could mean both something like "fall into his folly" or into his way of thinking, his error, or it could mean to analyze and respond to the error in his way of thinking that is leading to folly. One is to join the folly. The other is to dissect the folly. Yet it is the folly that is engaged in either instance — one from the inside as a participant, and the other from the outside as one with an understanding of the error.
I think this approach has merit. However, you have to realize that the writer intentionally put these two proverbs directly next to each other. It is a logical construct very similar to mathematical formula. To then come in and say that the expression "according to his folly" in one part of the construct has a different meaning from its use in the second part of the construct is a violation of basic principles. It would be viewed as being deceptive.

Instead, if we say that the world is not black and white. Situations change, circumstances change, etc. In such a world you have to do a cost benefit analysis. In one verse the writer is giving you the cost, in the other he is giving you the benefit. If the benefit outweighs the cost, then rebuke a fool. If not, don't.
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Old 01-02-2012, 06:45 AM   #6
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

The obvious question becomes this:

Since this site is rebuking the folly of WL, LSM and the LRC does it follow that this site must "be like them"?
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Old 01-02-2012, 07:53 AM   #7
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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The obvious question becomes this:

Since this site is rebuking the folly of WL, LSM and the LRC does it follow that this site must "be like them"?
The "obvious question" is not at all obvious to me.

Both your presumption and your conclusion are flawed. LSM has their issues, but "folly," as Solomon used the word, is not even on the radar.
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Old 01-02-2012, 09:27 AM   #8
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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The obvious question becomes this: Since this site is rebuking the folly of WL, LSM and the LRC does it follow that this site must "be like them"?
I'm surprised it took you all of three days to come up with this dandy. You could have saved yourself the trouble and just posted this right from the start.
Sorry to be so hard on you but you are not posting in good faith, and I'm not certain that it has ever been your intention to do so. Those who feel that the criticisms of Witness Lee and the Local Church are too harsh are free to register and participate, but they must do so in good faith. Starting a thread in a manner which appears to be in good faith, then using it to be subversive (poisoning the well) will not be allowed on this forum. And no this is not open for debate.
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Old 01-02-2012, 11:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Are we not discussing the folly of WL, LSM, and the LRC?

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The "obvious question" is not at all obvious to me.

Both your presumption and your conclusion are flawed. LSM has their issues, but "folly," as Solomon used the word, is not even on the radar.
1:1 The proverbs of Solomon are given for us to know wisdom (and the absence of wisdom – folly).

1:7 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.
1:8 My son, hear the instruction of thy father, and forsake not the law of thy mother:

WL treated WN as his spiritual father. This site has gone through WN’s teachings to show where WL contradicted, and forsoke that instruction. That would be, by definition, folly.

3:29 Devise not evil against thy neighbour, seeing he dwelleth securely by thee.
3:30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm

There is very good evidence that the so called “sisters rebellion” was devised by WL as a way of turning the attention away from the misdeeds of himself and his children. This by definition is folly.

6:16 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him:
6:17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
6:18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief,
6:19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.

By definition the “arrogance of WL” is folly. The lies and fraud of WL and his sons is folly. The damaging of names and reputations by WL was folly. Devising the “sister’s rebellion” was folly. Sowing discord among brethren was folly.

6:32 But whoso committeth adultery with a woman lacketh understanding: he that doeth it destroyeth his own soul.
6:33 A wound and dishonour shall he get; and his reproach shall not be wiped away.
6:34 For jealousy is the rage of a man: therefore he will not spare in the day of vengeance.

An apt description of PL whose behavior was, by definition, folly.

8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate.

WL’s pride by definition is folly. His arrogancy is folly. His evil way is folly. His forward mouth was folly. On this site we have rebuked all of these things. (Froward – easily irritated by unimportant things, unyielding, disobedient, I would use the term “litigious” to describe forward). You have made much of these character traits of WL on this site, hence you could lump these posts under the category “WL’s forward mouth”.

11:7 When a wicked man dieth, his expectation shall perish: and the hope of unjust men perisheth.

Compare this verse to the teaching of MOTA. How did WL’s death impact this teaching, how did it affect the hope of the BB’s and LSM?

11:9 An hypocrite with his mouth destroyeth his neighbour:

How many times on this site have we discussed how many were destroyed by WL, LSM and the LRC? You have talked about TC doing this.

11:18 The wicked worketh a deceitful work

Let’s be honest, the entire thread “Good Lee/Bad Lee” is portraying WL’s ministry as a deceitful work.

11:20 They that are of a froward heart are abomination to the LORD:

How much have we talked about WL’s propensity to sue other Christians despite the clear NT prohibition?

11:21 Though hand join in hand, the wicked shall not be unpunished:

Compare this verse with the emphasis on “being one with the ministry”. Do you think their “joining hands” to be “one with the ministry” will save them from being punished?

11:28 He that trusteth in his riches shall fall:

Compare this verse with WL, LSM and the BBs talking about what a “rich ministry” they have.

12:1b he that hateth reproof is brutish.

Remember WL’s response when JI went to him about PL?

12:5b the counsels of the wicked are deceit.

Remember the counsel RG and BP gave JI concerning the PL affair? How about the book that was written as fellowship and counsel but was really just a whitewash. This also has been a major topic on this site and it is referring to folly.

12:11b but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.

How many have wondered on this site how PL could be running LSM and how those associated with LSM would follow him.

12:18 There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health.

Doesn’t this word apply to posts you have made concerning TC?

13:1b a scorner heareth not rebuke.

Did WL ever allow himself to hear rebuke?

13:5 A righteous man hateth lying: but a wicked man is loathsome, and cometh to shame.

Didn’t the righteous elders in Anaheim resign because they hated lying, isn’t PL a loathsome man, how would you describe the elders that wrote and signed the letter apologizing to PL? This is all a major topic on this site, it is a discussion of folly and wisdom.

13:10 Only by pride cometh contention:

What about the excommunication of TC? “Sister’s rebellion”, “Max’s rebellion”, etc. These are all topics covered here and at the root it is a discussion of WL’s pride.

13:13 Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed:

If all this is true, then how can this verse not apply to WL, LSM, BBs, etc?

13:19b it is abomination to fools to depart from evil.

Now BP and RK have made it clear that it is an abomination in their mind to depart from this ministry. This has been discussed on this site. So then, does this verse call them fools?

14:3 In the mouth of the foolish is a rod of pride:

Have we applied this verse to WL and TC? So then haven’t we discussed their folly?

14:9 Fools make a mock at sin:

Didn’t WL once say that the Daystar event was when the saints lost their virginity? Hasn’t this been discussed on this site?

14:17 He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly: and a man of wicked devices is hated.

Doesn’t this verse refer to the litigious nature of the LRC? Isn’t this a topic of this site?

14:18 The simple inherit folly:

Haven’t we discussed how the saints in the LRC have been stuck with the bill for this folly, and how in some cases their meeting halls have been taken from them?

14:21 He that despiseth his neighbour sinneth: but he that hath mercy on the poor, happy is he.

Hasn’t this site discussed how the LRC has forgotten the simple things like mercy, and taking care of the poor?

16:5 Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished.

Doesn’t this describe the pride of the LRC in their “ground of oneness teaching” and also the the entire teaching of “being one with the ministry”.

16:6 By mercy and truth iniquity is purged: and by the fear of the LORD men depart from evil.

Isn’t this a common theme among the testimonies of those that have left the LRC?

16:22b but the instruction of fools is folly.

Doesn’t this verse describe some recent posts comparing WL’s ministry to that of other Christian teachers?


17:15 He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the LORD.

Surely this verse applies directly to the discussion on this site concerning Daystar, TL and PL.


19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.

Do you think that the Lord Jesus might be using this site to make sure that this verse is fulfilled?

19:27 Cease, my son, to hear the instruction that causeth to err from the words of knowledge.

Isn’t this the thesis of some, that the ministry of WL causes you to err from the words of knowledge? Wasn’t that the whole issue over the interpretation of “becoming one flesh” that the deemphasis of relationship caused the saints to err?
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Old 01-02-2012, 12:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: Are we not discussing the folly of WL, LSM, and the LRC?

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WL treated WN as his spiritual father. This site has gone through WN’s teachings to show where WL contradicted, and forsoke that instruction. That would be, by definition, folly.
How can that be by definition, folly? How can WN be his spiritual father? WL was saved for years before meeting WN. Since when does some supposed "spiritual father" take the place of our heavenly Father?

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WL treated WN as his spiritual father. This site has gone through WN’s teachings to show where WL contradicted, and forsook that instruction. That would be, by definition, folly.
I beg to differ here. This site has attempted to show where WL differed from the scriptures in his teachings and actions, many of which have damaged God's children. WN may have been a great teacher, but his teaching was never our standard. He often taught this too.

If the rest of your post expounds the scripture like this, then I really don't have time to read it all.
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Old 01-03-2012, 06:34 AM   #11
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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I think this approach has merit. However, you have to realize that the writer intentionally put these two proverbs directly next to each other. It is a logical construct very similar to mathematical formula. To then come in and say that the expression "according to his folly" in one part of the construct has a different meaning from its use in the second part of the construct is a violation of basic principles. It would be viewed as being deceptive.

Instead, if we say that the world is not black and white. Situations change, circumstances change, etc. In such a world you have to do a cost benefit analysis. In one verse the writer is giving you the cost, in the other he is giving you the benefit. If the benefit outweighs the cost, then rebuke a fool. If not, don't.
I would argue that the situation changing is just as altering to the formula as to how you read the phrase. It is quite common to hear phrases stated in different contexts and realize a different meaning from it. And to create the contexts back-to-back demonstrates that it takes more than a fool's view to deal with a fool. You can answer according to (in the manner of) his folly and join him. Or you can answer according to (with understanding of) his folly and correct him.

I am not disagreeing that what you say is not also true. But any deception would only be toward those who are not trained in wisdom. And the Proverbs are attempting to do some of that training. The one actually learning from it would stop and seek to discover the difference that makes both true while the simple would more likely just throw up their hands in despair and move on.
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Old 01-03-2012, 09:27 AM   #12
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And the Proverbs are attempting to do some of that training. The one actually learning from it would stop and seek to discover the difference that makes both true while the simple would more likely just throw up their hands in despair and move on.
Couldn't agree more.
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Old 01-03-2012, 10:29 AM   #13
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I would argue that the situation changing is just as altering to the formula as to how you read the phrase. It is quite common to hear phrases stated in different contexts and realize a different meaning from it. And to create the contexts back-to-back demonstrates that it takes more than a fool's view to deal with a fool. You can answer according to (in the manner of) his folly and join him. Or you can answer according to (with understanding of) his folly and correct him.

I am not disagreeing that what you say is not also true. But any deception would only be toward those who are not trained in wisdom. And the Proverbs are attempting to do some of that training. The one actually learning from it would stop and seek to discover the difference that makes both true while the simple would more likely just throw up their hands in despair and move on.
Let's consider an example that can help illustrate the conundrum. For the sake of argument let's say the "war on terror" was based on a terrorist attack on 9/11 that killed 2,000 innocent people.

Now some kids, motivated to fight in this "war on terror" joined the military and went to Iraq or Afghanistan, etc. Why? Because these terrorists killed innocent people and they need to be brought to justice.

However, can you guarantee that those who are fighting "the war on terror" will not themselves kill innocent civilians? Now some soldiers are not prepared for that and they come home with PTSD. You cannot rebuke terrorists without being dragged into their world. That is the price you pay.

Now in my experience this is equally true in the Christian life. Suppose you have a burden to counsel married couples. One of the couples you counsel ultimately gets divorced, leaving a broken family. Are you going to feel guilt? You might. You might think that if you had been wiser you would have helped them. These verses let you know that the cost of counseling is that some of the couples you counsel will get divorced. If you cannot handle that then don't counsel.
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Old 01-03-2012, 11:12 AM   #14
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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Let's consider an example that can help illustrate the conundrum. For the sake of argument let's say the "war on terror" was based on a terrorist attack on 9/11 that killed 2,000 innocent people.

Now some kids, motivated to fight in this "war on terror" joined the military and went to Iraq or Afghanistan, etc. Why? Because these terrorists killed innocent people and they need to be brought to justice.

However, can you guarantee that those who are fighting "the war on terror" will not themselves kill innocent civilians? Now some soldiers are not prepared for that and they come home with PTSD. You cannot rebuke terrorists without being dragged into their world. That is the price you pay.

Now in my experience this is equally true in the Christian life. Suppose you have a burden to counsel married couples. One of the couples you counsel ultimately gets divorced, leaving a broken family. Are you going to feel guilt? You might. You might think that if you had been wiser you would have helped them. These verses let you know that the cost of counseling is that some of the couples you counsel will get divorced. If you cannot handle that then don't counsel.
If the counsel is right, healthy, time-tested, and peer-approved, then he who counsels might bear some grief for the couple still breaking up, but it won't be guilt, especially not the kind of guilt young soldiers face for shooting young children.

I don't think the example is very good. Try another please.
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Old 01-03-2012, 01:05 PM   #15
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If the counsel is right, healthy, time-tested, and peer-approved, then he who counsels might bear some grief for the couple still breaking up, but it won't be guilt, especially not the kind of guilt young soldiers face for shooting young children.

I don't think the example is very good. Try another please.
The examples are meant as an illustration to explain how you could counsel both to do something and not to do something, as in the two verses in Proverbs. Would you counsel not to "fight the war on terror" because a soldier might get PTSD? Or would you counsel to "fight the war on terror" because of the need for security?

My point is that if you have to take both factors into account. Every soldier should understand the risk of innocent casualties and should decide they can live with that before enlisting to fight.

The second example shows that even in a Christian ministry there are also risks.

But since you asked for another I will provide a third. Suppose someone working with kids, say a teacher, observes signs that are a risk factor for suicide in a student. This teacher, by law, is responsible to report this. Now suppose this teacher does report this, but because of the short staff at the school that day the report is not read until the child leaves the building. If that child then goes home and commits suicide, how will that teacher feel, how will that social worker/guidance counselor feel?
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:13 PM   #16
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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Let's consider an example that can help illustrate the conundrum. For the sake of argument let's say the "war on terror" was based on a terrorist attack on 9/11 that killed 2,000 innocent people.

Now some kids, motivated to fight in this "war on terror" joined the military and went to Iraq or Afghanistan, etc. Why? Because these terrorists killed innocent people and they need to be brought to justice.

However, can you guarantee that those who are fighting "the war on terror" will not themselves kill innocent civilians? Now some soldiers are not prepared for that and they come home with PTSD. You cannot rebuke terrorists without being dragged into their world. That is the price you pay.
I would rather not get into the politics and opinions/emotions of terrorism, combating terrorism, the "just war," and other similar things.

I would suggest that war is what it is and there will be unintended casualties. And it has nothing to do with the fact that it was terrorism that brought on the war. If someone's goal is only to punish those who were responsible for the 9/11 attacks, war is essentially shooting flies with a bazooka.

Reminds of a comedy routine in which a guy takes a fictional martial arts method called Tai Kwan Leap so he could "beat people up" and "wipe the floor with bozos."

I don't think it is a very good example. Mudslinging in political debates might be easier to understand. Don't just throw mud back. You just fall into the same mud pit. But failing to answer the muddy charges is often not the best answer. The difference is in how the answer is given, not in whether there is or is not an answer.

As for marriage counseling, suffice it to say that there are too many moving parts, coupled with the fact that there are times when two people should not share the same house no matter the desire to maintain some spiritual principle. The best help may do nothing and the worst may be ignored while things turn to reconciliation. Not saying to stay out of helping marriages. Just saying that judging counseling based upon outcomes is, at best, anecdotal. And I'm not sure how to define answering "according to their folly" in that case.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:15 PM   #17
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

By the way, not disagreeing overall, just don't think the examples given fit the discussion that well. In any case, they don't give it any better meaning for me. Maybe for others.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:05 PM   #18
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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By the way, not disagreeing overall, just don't think the examples given fit the discussion that well. In any case, they don't give it any better meaning for me. Maybe for others.
OK, let me try to be a little clearer. The Cuban Missile Crisis. If JFK rebukes the Russians there is a risk of forcing a showdown that could lead to a nuclear war with Russia. If he doesn't confront them they will be "wise in their own conceit". If this is the way they behave without being "wise in their own conceit" how will they act if they think JFK is powerless? This kind of risk assessment takes place in a multitude of decisions, hence the expression "damned if you do, damned if you don't". An apt expression for 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Likewise with the LRC. Years ago some book insinuated or stated that the LRC was a cult. The LRC took them to court and sued them. The guy responsible did not have enough money to see the lawsuit to the end, so the LSM/LRC was awarded a judgment. Again, do you say the LRC is a cult and run the risk of being sued when you can't afford to fight, or do you leave them out of your list and lose credibility?

Luke
14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
14:32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

To be a disciple of the Lord requires that you do this kind of risk assessment. In other words, the Lord isn't hiding the fact that to be His disciple will cost everything you have. For example, take the elder that decided to give up his job and become "full time" when RG and BP and WL were pushing "being sold out for the Lord", need for "full timers" etc. This elder may have used this word from the Lord to say "hey, I need to forsake all if I am going to be a disciple of the Lord". However, this elder then learns, after giving up his job, that he must submit to PL, a loathsome man

So what happened? Well, this elder learned that "you have to forsake all to be a disciple of the Lord". Stand by his conscience, rebuke PL, RG, BP, WL, etal and go back out looking for a job. The Lord is faithful. Amen.
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:13 PM   #19
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I'm surprised it took you all of three days to come up with this dandy. You could have saved yourself the trouble and just posted this right from the start.
Sorry to be so hard on you but you are not posting in good faith, and I'm not certain that it has ever been your intention to do so. Those who feel that the criticisms of Witness Lee and the Local Church are too harsh are free to register and participate, but they must do so in good faith. Starting a thread in a manner which appears to be in good faith, then using it to be subversive (poisoning the well) will not be allowed on this forum. And no this is not open for debate.
I don't understand, can you expound on this?
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:28 PM   #20
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I don't understand, can you expound on this?
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The obvious question becomes this: Since this site is rebuking the folly of WL, LSM and the LRC does it follow that this site must "be like them"?
"this site must be like them"?
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:56 PM   #21
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"this site must be like them"?
Answering a question with a question is evasive and ironically calls into question whether you are answering in good faith.

You said, with certainty, "Sorry to be so hard on you but you are not posting in good faith, and I'm not certain that it has ever been your intention to do so."

My question is quite simple, what did you mean when you said "you are not posting in good faith"
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Old 01-03-2012, 04:58 PM   #22
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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So what happened? Well, this elder learned that "you have to forsake all to be a disciple of the Lord". Stand by his conscience, rebuke PL, RG, BP, WL, etal and go back out looking for a job.
Might want to find the job first.
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Old 01-03-2012, 05:49 PM   #23
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77150,
You asked me to expound and so I did. The fact that you don't like that my expounding started off with a question is your problem.

I am going to make this very simple for you. You can respond in a straightforward manner or do not respond at all. In any case you need to stop playing games and posting in bad faith. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Your opening post reflected a certain sentiment regarding happenings in the Local Church as they relate to these verses in Proverbs. I suspected that you had "something else" in mind. You really wanted to take a shot at "this site".

You waited a few days and then sprung the "obvious question" on us:

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The obvious question becomes this:
Since this site is rebuking the folly of WL, LSM and the LRC does it follow that this site must "be like them"?
What is very obvious that you have a big problem with "this site". What is obvious is that you are going out of your way to hide your concerns and criticisms behind the guise of dialog, then once you've wasted our time you spring out with sarcastic stuff like what I quote above.

Stop wasting our time. Stop posting in bad faith.
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Old 01-03-2012, 07:23 PM   #24
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77150,
You asked me to expound and so I did. The fact that you don't like that my expounding started off with a question is your problem.

I am going to make this very simple for you. You can respond in a straightforward manner or do not respond at all. In any case you need to stop playing games and posting in bad faith. Say what you mean and mean what you say.

Your opening post reflected a certain sentiment regarding happenings in the Local Church as they relate to these verses in Proverbs. I suspected that you had "something else" in mind. You really wanted to take a shot at "this site".

You waited a few days and then sprung the "obvious question" on us:



What is very obvious that you have a big problem with "this site". What is obvious is that you are going out of your way to hide your concerns and criticisms behind the guise of dialog, then once you've wasted our time you spring out with sarcastic stuff like what I quote above.

Stop wasting our time. Stop posting in bad faith.
26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

I introduced these two verses because I felt they were relevant to the LRC and LSM. I understood the actions and teachings of the LSM to be folly. If you look at verse 4 alone you might think that this word is saying that when you answer, don’t do it according to his folly. But based on the construct I don’t think that is at all what it is saying. Instead, I think it is saying what I have very clearly and plainly said, in many situations you have to do a cost / benefit analysis. If you confront someone on an issue there is a cost and a benefit. This is not unlike a general figuring out if his 10,000 men can fight against the attacking army and if not deciding the best course of action is to seek peace (the Lord’s example) or like the builder who first has to calculate the entire cost of a project to determine if he can complete the project before he starts the project. The Lord used these examples to make it clear he wanted his disciples to be well aware of the cost, that they would have to forsake all, to be His disciple.

We had a discussion with a number of back and forth posts on this concept of cost / benefit analysis and whether this is the proper interpretation for this verse. I anticipated this and therefore stopped with this first concept in my post.

Some also took issue with the idea that the topics on this forum are dealing with “folly”. This I did not anticipate. However, thankfully, it was agreed that the book of Proverbs does teach concerning wisdom and folly.

I provided a number of proverbs that I feel touch on the same issues raised here. For example, “Fools make a mock of sin”. This verse reminds me of WL’s quote concerning Daystar that “the saints had lost their virginity”. If anyone agrees that this quote of WL is mocking his sin, then you agree that Proverbs is calling WL a fool. Folly refers to the acts of a fool. In Post #9 I provided you with about 40 quotes from Proverbs that I felt could be directly linked to discussions on this forum. It is not necessary for anyone to agree with all, if you agree with some then you agree that we are discussing the “folly” of WL, PL, LSM, LRC, etc.

In that Post I said
19:5 A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape.

Do you think that the Lord Jesus might be using this site to make sure that this verse is fulfilled?

I think anyone who has read that post can see a very valid basis for me to link verses 4 and 5 in chapter 26 with wondering how to deal with LSM/LRC. Regardless of whether you agree with me, the thread and post is focused on dealing with LSM, all posts are relevant and clear.

According to your post you “suspected that I had something else in mind and wanted to take a shot at “this site”.

Why would you say this? How is saying that WL is a false witness and will not go unpunished “taking a shot at this site”?

You took issue with the question I raised “Since this site is rebuking the folly of WL, LSM and the LRC does it follow that this site must "be like them"?

The context of this statement is clearly Proverbs 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

I do not believe you understand this verse, which is why you took such great offense at the question. I am not “playing games”.

Proverbs 3:30 Strive not with a man without cause, if he have done thee no harm

This is basic wisdom. We teach this to children. However, if you look at the so called “sister’s rebellion” I would contend that WL strove with these sisters without cause and that they had done him no harm. Why would he do something so foolish? I think it was to deflect attention from his own misdeeds.

However, I haven’t done you any harm, so why are you saying that “I am playing games” and that “I am not posting in good faith”, suggesting that I was being deceitful?

Proverbs 8:13 The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogancy, and the evil way, and the froward mouth, do I hate

Again, I feel WL expressed a lot of pride and arrogancy in his ministry. I also think he was very litigious, which is how I understand the word “froward mouth”.

As we know “the fear of the Lord” is the beginning of wisdom. It is also the secret to departing from evil. So surely, as much as we condemn the pride, arrogance, evil way and litigious nature, so much the more we would hope to depart from this evil.

12:1b he that hateth reproof is brutish.

In all my experience of WL this seems to me to be the one most defining characteristic. I never saw him “reproved” but listening to him speak you realized if someone so much as looked askance he would go nuts. When I heard this I chalked this up as referring to things going on behind the scenes that I was unaware of, but if I was then I would understand. Now that I understand more I would say that WL hated reproof and was brutish. But when I speak this word I understand that I will be judged with the same judgement. That is why I asked you to explain why you reproved me. But I still don’t understand why.

13:1b a scorner heareth not rebuke
Along these lines I think this verse also applies to WL. Scorn is to express contempt or derision for. I heard WL express contempt and derision for others a lot. And sure enough, he could not or would not hear rebuke. Now surely I do not want to be like that. It is a very dangerous thing to express contempt or derision, yet how can this website speak the truth concerning LSM, WL, BBs, Whistler, etc. without doing that? Hence, in order to rebuke the scorner it will be difficult to impossible not to “also be like unto him”.

13:10 Only by pride cometh contention:

While I was in the LRC I saw a lot of contention. More than I ever saw in any Christian group. I also saw a lot of pride.

Now I stand by my words that Proverbs 26:4-5 refer to how a disciple of Christ would calculate his actions in dealing with the LRC/LSM/BBs. I don’t agree with your assessment that I have been playing games. I don’t agree with your assessment that my posts have been in bad faith. But I have reviewed these posts with this in mind. I have tried to listen to the rebuke and embrace the reproof.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:07 AM   #25
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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OK, let me try to be a little clearer. The Cuban Missile Crisis. If JFK rebukes the Russians there is a risk of forcing a showdown that could lead to a nuclear war with Russia. If he doesn't confront them they will be "wise in their own conceit". If this is the way they behave without being "wise in their own conceit" how will they act if they think JFK is powerless? This kind of risk assessment takes place in a multitude of decisions, hence the expression "damned if you do, damned if you don't". An apt expression for 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.
26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

Likewise with the LRC. Years ago some book insinuated or stated that the LRC was a cult. The LRC took them to court and sued them. The guy responsible did not have enough money to see the lawsuit to the end, so the LSM/LRC was awarded a judgment. Again, do you say the LRC is a cult and run the risk of being sued when you can't afford to fight, or do you leave them out of your list and lose credibility?

Luke
14:31 Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand?
14:32 Or else, while the other is yet a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.
14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.

To be a disciple of the Lord requires that you do this kind of risk assessment. In other words, the Lord isn't hiding the fact that to be His disciple will cost everything you have. For example, take the elder that decided to give up his job and become "full time" when RG and BP and WL were pushing "being sold out for the Lord", need for "full timers" etc. This elder may have used this word from the Lord to say "hey, I need to forsake all if I am going to be a disciple of the Lord". However, this elder then learns, after giving up his job, that he must submit to PL, a loathsome man

So what happened? Well, this elder learned that "you have to forsake all to be a disciple of the Lord". Stand by his conscience, rebuke PL, RG, BP, WL, etal and go back out looking for a job. The Lord is faithful. Amen.
Each of the examples is meaningful for what they are meaningful for. But they are not really examples of the pair of statements in Proverbs. At least not to me.

The first is quite interesting. While I think that we (the US) did the right thing in forcing the Russians back, they were responding to our similar placement of missiles far outside our borders and close to theirs. A little tit-for-tat. A game of chess.

I don't really care for a specific example of the verses. And these are not them. Each one speaks to a different scenario, and to different verses.

The verses about considering the might of an opposing king/army is not the same as answering a fool in his folly. The verses in Luke are about something different. counting the cost is different from not stooping to join a fool. Yes, knowing the cost may help you avoid being a fool, but avoiding being a fool may not "answer the fool according to his folly."

Putting the two together can be meaningful in some cases. But counting the cost is not the same as answering or not answering according to the folly of a fool. And answering or not answering is not a matter of counting the cost, although counting the cost could be relevant if the only ones to hear will be those who have no desire to listen and understand. Just continue to speak as they are, taking only their own counsel.
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Old 01-04-2012, 06:53 AM   #26
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

Now, having said what I have concerning the meaning of the verses in Proverbs (which I am not certain is entirely correct) I do see something emerging from those verses that might not have been intended.

And it relates to how we speak concerning Lee, the BBs, the teachings of the LRC and the high-handedness of everything LSM.

We rightly accuse Lee of simply lashing out at everything that does not fall in line with his teachings. And there are clearly errors in his teachings, and serious problems in the unrighteous way the Lee acted and the BBs and LSM continue to act.

But do we too often simply gnash our teeth back at them in similar fashion? And do we over-correct when we realize that others are doing that, almost falling all over ourselves to be nice?

The answer, I believe, is in more rational discourse about any issue, whether theological or practical. Don't just say something is so. Take time to establish that it is so. Don't just say it isn't so. Show how it is not so.

I am probably as bad about this in some ways as anyone else. When I said that Lee limited the understanding of many words to only a single meaning throughout scripture, that is all I said. Ohio rightly pointed out that Lee probably spent more time doing some of the kind of open discussion of alternative meanings than most others preachers. They usually take only the time to give you the answers. Lee always took more time because for every one sermon by a preacher, Lee gave several messages in a conference. But after going through those variations, he too often settled on one definition to the exclusion of the others. In the case of "economy," it was to a very narrow, peculiar definition that he insisted was the only one. In the case of "one," he insisted that it was simply an organic union. (Interesting that those two definitions go together so well.)

But the real problem here is that we too often do just like him. We quickly conclude without real consideration and go on a rampage (answering the fool as in Proverbs 26:4). Or we reject those on the rampage and fight against their position with equal lack of consideration.

Emotional responses actually are kind of like the Dark Side. They cloud our judgment by limiting our desire to investigate, consider, contemplate.

This is a board for the discussion of Lee, Nee, and the LRC. We need to do a better job of discussing them, not merely ranting or defending with incredulity.

And I now find it interesting that someone is flooding the forum with posts yet is using a temporary moniker that will have to be changed after a short time. That smacks of motives inconsistent with the purpose of the forum. I still say that it should not be an option. Unto has more reason to question that one about motives because they have already indicated that they do not intend to be permanent — just flood us and disappear. Or return shortly with a new moniker and a new style and demeanor.

And all of the possible problems may not exist for this person. But it is strongly hinted. And some indication that it is coming true.

Unto. Time to require registration.
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:59 AM   #27
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

I think I am operating on a different definition of "Wisdom and folly" than everyone else. To me the verse "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" is the key to my understanding. This takes the term "wisdom" out of a natural view of someone being "successful" and puts it into the view of eternity. In my understanding building up a "successful ministry" is folly if you are not subject to the Lord in all things. Much like the Lord's word "depart from me workers of iniquity, I never knew you".

In this same vein any work of iniquity is folly in the final analysis. So you could have a "brilliant" plan that deceives everyone but it is still folly because one day you have to appear before the Lord Jesus.

In this same vein anything that is out of pride is folly. How can you stand before the Lord in your "pride" and not feel like a total fool? Therefore any scorn directed at another person is also folly, the Lord created this person for a purpose.

My definition of folly -- anything that I do that I would be ashamed of at the Lord's coming.

Herein is the dilemma. Which is quite similar to Jesus becoming sin for us so that we could be saved from our sins. There is lots of scriptural justification to "expose the works of darkness" yet in doing so you will heap scorn on the heads of those who acted hypocritically and deceitfully. Yet the Lord has already promised that you will be judged with the same judgement with which you judge.

The way I understand this is that you have to take special care, much like a doctor who scrubs up before an operation. Every word you speak will be used to judge you.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:04 AM   #28
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21:11 When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
21:12 The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.

I think reading more details about WL, “the scorner”, helped me “the simple” to be made wise. I imagine this is the experience of many who were in or are in the LRC.

I would hope that we are “the righteous men wisely considering the house of the wicked”, but in the end it is God that overthrows the wicked for their wickedness. However, we are coworkers of God. Why would God punish the scorner in a way where the simple are not made wise? Therefore this site is critical because when God does overthrow the wicked for their wickedness everyone will know why He did it.

Finally:

21:13 Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself, but shall not be heard.

This verse reminds me of post #26 by Nell in “Mark them which cause divisions” thread.
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Old 01-04-2012, 09:58 AM   #29
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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I think I am operating on a different definition of "Wisdom and folly" than everyone else. To me the verse "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" is the key to my understanding.

My definition of folly -- anything that I do that I would be ashamed of at the Lord's coming.
77150, I for one appreciate the perspective you bring to the forum. I think it is a great addition to the mix, and don't understand the comments about posting in "bad-faith." Hopefully you can work out this apparent misunderstanding.

Having had little personal study into the book of Proverbs, I find your comments a welcome insight indeed when compared to the stale comments I usually post. I daresay that no one has yet brought this ancient book of wisdom into the context of LSM and the LC's. All "good" followers of the teachings of WL have mostly avoided this book because it was apparently "short of Christ," or so we were told.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:38 AM   #30
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77150, I daresay that no one has yet brought this ancient book of wisdom into the context of LSM and the LC's. All "good" followers of the teachings of WL have mostly avoided this book because it was apparently "short of Christ," or so we were told.
28:4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.

Would this explain a little about how RG and BP were able to work with PL and push the MOTA teaching whereas JI and others contended with WL about PL?

28:5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
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Old 01-04-2012, 10:54 AM   #31
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77150, All "good" followers of the teachings of WL have mostly avoided this book because it was apparently "short of Christ," or so we were told.
A lot of books talk about Christ, provide prophecies, types, figures, etc. This book seems to give voice to Christ talking about the things that would cause us to veer from the path.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:04 AM   #32
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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A lot of books talk about Christ, provide prophecies, types, figures, etc. This book seems to give voice to Christ talking about the things that would cause us to veer from the path.
Yeah, kind of like the book of James.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:05 AM   #33
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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28:4 They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them.

Would this explain a little about how RG and BP were able to work with PL and push the MOTA teaching whereas JI and others contended with WL about PL?

28:5 Evil men understand not judgment: but they that seek the LORD understand all things.
Yep, that explains it.
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Old 01-04-2012, 11:49 AM   #34
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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To me the verse "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom" is the key to my understanding. This takes the term "wisdom" out of a natural view of someone being "successful" and puts it into the view of eternity.
Who suggested that any kind of wisdom is related to being successful? I do not consider success when I consider wisdom. Wisdom is a clear understanding of what is correct, moral, righteous, Godly, as well as those things that are not. Wisdom is found outside of religious circles without being associated with success. It is rather associated with experience and tempering. Surely the best wisdom is from a view beyond the temporal and the here-and-now. Therefore in consideration of what is wise without regard to culture, popularity, even sect or creed.

Your definition is not faulty. But it is limiting. Wisdom is wisdom. And none can be considered all-wise, therefore we all find ourselves in places of folly at times. This is true for the Christian and the heathen alike. I will agree that wisdom from a Christian base is more consistently sound. But we view wisdom from our own perspective. So however far off we are will determine how well re recognize it when it is in front of us.

I like your verse concerning the praise of the wicked by those who forsake the law. And the teachings of Lee are pretty consistently to ignore the law. Even despise it. Only do right to the extent that it falls on you due to sufficient "dispensing." That applies to virtually everyone who follows Lee's teachings, although likely in no more egregious manner than the vehement defense of PL by WL, BP, RG, RK, etc.

On the other hand, I find that discovering verses that fit everything too often is as far as many people will take it. In other words, they show their superiority by correctly identifying the verse, but eventually do little or nothing about it. Like applauding when you hear the beginning of a favorite song at a concert. Most people are actually demonstrating (showing off) that they have figured out which song it is more than showing appreciation for the performance. In fact, better to listen and appreciate, then applaud at the end when it is artfully performed.

Don't just say they did it. Describe how they did it. To just say it, even if true, does not make the case that the verse fits.

And virtually all of the discussion and proof about anything is getting old. Someone needs to resurrect posts with Ingals' accounts. And John So's. And many others. Post some snippets from the Fermentation booklet to show how much Lee lied.

And dig through the theological faults in Lee's teachings. And Nee's for that matter.

And when all is said and done, I think I missed the reason that this thread was opened with respect to the forum's purposes. I was looking back and couldn't find anything but a brain teaser. It is probably there, but it is getting a little lengthy to read through now. Can someone make a concise description of the purpose for me? Why are we discussing it?
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Old 01-04-2012, 12:52 PM   #35
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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Who suggested that any kind of wisdom is related to being successful?
I think that might have been me.
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Old 01-04-2012, 02:32 PM   #36
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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On the other hand, I find that discovering verses that fit everything too often is as far as many people will take it. In other words, they show their superiority by correctly identifying the verse, but eventually do little or nothing about it. Like applauding when you hear the beginning of a favorite song at a concert. Most people are actually demonstrating (showing off) that they have figured out which song it is more than showing appreciation for the performance. In fact, better to listen and appreciate, then applaud at the end when it is artfully performed.
Wow! What set you off? Someone finds a helpful verse, and you go off about the last concert you went to. Better stay home and listen to the Moodies on your iPod.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:13 PM   #37
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Can someone make a concise description of the purpose for me? Why are we discussing it?
I consider this my first thread (the other thread was an answer to a question).

I registered for this forum because 21:11 When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
21:12 The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.

My first thought was “what is the worst thing that could happen as a result of posting on this forum?” I ruled out being ostracized and scorned because when I appear before the Lord will I be ashamed because I was ostracized and scorned for contending for righteousness? No, that would be a blessing and honor.

The worst thing would be something that causes me to become bankrupt in my Christian life, to be defeated as a Christian? Under what situation would I be better off just making peace with the LRC (Luke 14:28-33)? Because when I can figure out what that is I will know the enemies game plan. The answer was simple “becoming like unto them”. Romans 2:3 “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”

So, the purpose of this thread is to reduce the risk of this happening. I knew that if you all had the same fear of the Lord then we would balance one another, we would have each other’s back and we would protect one another.
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Old 01-04-2012, 04:27 PM   #38
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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I'm surprised it took you all of three days to come up with this dandy. You could have saved yourself the trouble and just posted this right from the start.


Sorry to be so hard on you but you are not posting in good faith, and I'm not certain that it has ever been your intention to do so. Those who feel that the criticisms of Witness Lee and the Local Church are too harsh are free to register and participate, but they must do so in good faith. Starting a thread in a manner which appears to be in good faith, then using it to be subversive (poisoning the well) will not be allowed on this forum. And no this is not open for debate.
Maybe I misread 77150 but asking critical questions of ourselves in the midst of critical examinations of others is worth doing. I do it all the time.

Jesus said that it is easy to be aware of the splinter in the others' eyes while missing the beam in our own. So if we perchance do espy a splinter in another's eye, is it not worth our time to ask if the same manifestation of the fall of the human race is also within us (we after all belonging to the same species), and being expressed also?

To be more precise (although this may veer from 77150's thought), if we note that Mr Lee was rather contentious and adversarial with his fellow believers; instead of being inclusive calling them "dark" and "degraded" and "Babylonian", etc, mayhaps we also are being unduly contentious with the LRC die-hards and true believers? We wave the differences high in the air while downplaying the many commonalities?

Most here would quickly reply "no"; okay, but am I "in bad faith" if I raise the question in a discussion? Because I do, occasionally, think that question.
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Old 01-04-2012, 05:07 PM   #39
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

If we agree that the verse "they that forsake the law praise the wicked, but such as keep the law contend with them" is an apt description of how RG and BP praised PL and pushed the MOTA teaching while JI etal contended with them. Then wouldn't the word in Jude warning us about men who had men's person in admiration because of advantage apply to RG, BP, EM, and RK?
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Old 01-04-2012, 07:18 PM   #40
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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To be more precise (although this may veer from 77150's thought), if we note that Mr Lee was rather contentious and adversarial with his fellow believers; instead of being inclusive calling them "dark" and "degraded" and "Babylonian", etc, mayhaps we also are being unduly contentious with the LRC die-hards and true believers? We wave the differences high in the air while downplaying the many commonalities?
Most here would quickly reply "no"; okay, but am I "in bad faith" if I raise the question in a discussion? Because I do, occasionally, think that question.
Thanks aron for this post. There are some good points you raise. "unduly contentious" is something that a forum administrator has to deal with on a daily basis. Yet, one man's unduly contentious is another man's righteous indignation. And when it comes to matters surrounding Witness Lee and The Local Church there is plenty of both to go around. You are correct about there being more waving of the differences high in the air as compared to emphasizing the many commonalities. This, I believe, is a function of the high ratio of former LC members as compared to current and recently former members. I have hoped and prayed for this ratio to be brought closer together, but so far it has not happened:verysad:

Now getting to the heart of your post.
am I "in bad faith" if I raise the question in a discussion?

The answer is absolutely, positively.....maybe, maybe not.
Let me give you a hypothetical (maybe not so hypothetical)
Let's say you have a person who enters into a conversation with you about you and your wife. The conversation (innocently enough) initiates with the subject of spousal abuse. You carry on a lengthy conversation for a considerable amount of time, both agreeing on the evils of spousal abuse. Then, out of the blue the one party inquires “so, when did you stop beating your wife?”. Even IF the one party was indeed beating their wife the other party was having the conversation in bad faith. This is to say nothing of the instance where the other party was not beating his wife at all.

Good faith is good faith. Bad faith is bad faith. Only the offending party really knows in their heart whether or not they are acting in good faith or bad faith. Unlike God, I do not have the luxury of knowing what is in somebody’s heart. I can only look on “the outward”. That is all I can judge upon, and that is all God can expect me to judge on. What God does expect of me, I believe, is to “judge with righteous judgement”. This is a hard thing for me, and I take it very seriously. Currently, I am the only person administering this forum. I have asked others to help me out with this burden but thus far have had no takers. I am not asking for the congressional medal of honor here, only for some understanding that I am just one man, with one man’s heart and mind.

All this being said, the member/poster in question has not been censored or banned in any way. I have publicly questioned their good faith in posting in a particular thread. I was asked for an explanation and I gave one (albeit not to this person’s liking). As usual with this member/poster, the retort contained too much information to discern what the retort actually was. Such is life on an internet forum I suppose.
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:32 AM   #41
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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Wow! What set you off? Someone finds a helpful verse, and you go off about the last concert you went to. Better stay home and listen to the Moodies on your iPod.
This was not about being "set off." It is an observation. A very calm one. And not making a condemnation of the particular verses being brought up.

It was a statement of a general consideration of mine that is always around. Is there any inkling of doubt that it is contrary to God's righteous law to defend a sexual predator as the organizational leader of a Christian ministry that is for all intents and purposes running a denomination? Do you need a verse to tell you that it is so? Do you feel better because someone found the verse?

Now if we were looking for the verse that would help to convince someone who knew of PL's sin yet thought that the defense of his was right, then I would hope it would help to change their mind. To bring their thinking to "wisdom" in the matter.

But the wise don't need Proverbs to make this particular judgment. If we are simply getting wowed that we found a verse that says exactly what we are facing, what is it to the wise? And I think that many of us here are at least somewhat wise. Including 77150. We didn't need a verse to get our emotions or will stirred up about PL, WL, the BBs, etc.

And we weren't bringing it to those who need to see it. Proverbs would appear to be, for all intents and purposes, a book of instruction for a somewhat young son to study and take to heart as he begins to face the world on his own. It is much more robust than "don't touch the stove! It's hot!" yet despite its length and coverage, much less that the totality of everything that will be faced. It gives wise counsel for reference until the wisdom of it is ingrained and more wisdom is gained. So, among other things, it tells him to be careful how he answers a fool. And to note that unlawful people too often defend even more unrighteousness (unlawfulness).

Our reading of it should be to learn something of wisdom that we do not already know. Picking through it to find evidence of what we already know to be true is not really helpful. Unless we are trying to find evidence of what someone else does not seem to agree to and finding a more authoritative source (scripture is hopefully considered more authoritative) is needed.

And an observation that I find in certain people who constantly quote verses in response to virtually everything. They too often are more satisfied that they have found a verse than they are desirous of being the mentor, comfort, encourager, etc., that is needed.

Once again, I am not saying that 77150 is one of those people. I actually don't see it that way. But at the same time, are we just having a Bible study centered around scriptural evidence of the errors of the LSM leadership in defending PL, or are we trying to find a way to confront those who were unlawful?

It is what I consider a legitimate "point of order" in the discussion. Where is it going? Why is it going there? Do we really care? If, so, why do we care? Is it because it is important to go there? Or is it a distraction — intentional or not?

You really need to consider that much of what I think about and post about is not about being "set off." It is simply my observations. If they do not seem to be consistent with what you think is right, take it on. Let's discuss it. Try not to let the emotions of being questioned create the presumption that I or any one else has been "set off."
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Old 01-05-2012, 05:53 AM   #42
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

The thread topic is "Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?" I wondered where it was going. Reread the opening post. It made some statements about the verses. Then a few posts later, there was much discussion about what constituted folly in Lee and his sons. And unrighteousness on the part of those who defended them, even promoted them.

Yet the thread seems to be defined as about the interaction of these two verses. There was significant discussion attempted by some on the topic, but it was quickly turned elsewhere.

So I asked what was the purpose of the thread. I would like to know what we are trying to talk about. I asked if anyone could provide a summary. This is the response.
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Originally Posted by 77150 View Post
I consider this my first thread (the other thread was an answer to a question).

I registered for this forum because 21:11 When the scorner is punished, the simple is made wise: and when the wise is instructed, he receiveth knowledge.
21:12 The righteous man wisely considereth the house of the wicked: but God overthroweth the wicked for their wickedness.

My first thought was “what is the worst thing that could happen as a result of posting on this forum?” I ruled out being ostracized and scorned because when I appear before the Lord will I be ashamed because I was ostracized and scorned for contending for righteousness? No, that would be a blessing and honor.

The worst thing would be something that causes me to become bankrupt in my Christian life, to be defeated as a Christian? Under what situation would I be better off just making peace with the LRC (Luke 14:28-33)? Because when I can figure out what that is I will know the enemies game plan. The answer was simple “becoming like unto them”. Romans 2:3 “And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?”

So, the purpose of this thread is to reduce the risk of this happening. I knew that if you all had the same fear of the Lord then we would balance one another, we would have each other’s back and we would protect one another.
If this is the purpose, then I would suggest that a careful and detailed analysis of the "topic" verses might be the place to start, continue, and end. The real question is not whether Lee and the BBs were unrighteous and unlawful in defending the sinful PL. It is whether it is a righteous thing to even take on the analysis and speak against such unrighteousness.

And if that is correct, then the topic of the thread is not "do these two verses contradict" but "should I/we be doing this."

And for those who feel the need to consider that, it is fine. For the rest, either throw in your two cents worth (that's all mine is worth) if you feel to, or refrain. For me, I at least know what it is that I am trying to discuss. This is very helpful. It only took around 40 posts to define the purpose of the thread clearly. This is probably the reason that Unto was getting so irritated. The stated purpose and the early rhetoric did not seem to be consistent with later rhetoric. It was suggesting some kind of bait and switch. You probably did not intend it that way.

Much better to be straightforward and clear about your purposes. I would have titled the thread "Why Are We Here?" or "Should We Be Here?" Then I would lay out the two verses as a great example of how there are at least two ways to be involved in this kind of endeavor. Which one are we doing? Is it profitable for us? Then idiots like OBW wouldn't constantly be getting onto the wrong points and issues.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:52 AM   #43
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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If this is the purpose, then I would suggest that a careful and detailed analysis of the "topic" verses might be the place to start, continue, and end. The real question is not whether Lee and the BBs were unrighteous and unlawful in defending the sinful PL. It is whether it is a righteous thing to even take on the analysis and speak against such unrighteousness.

And if that is correct, then the topic of the thread is not "do these two verses contradict" but "should I/we be doing this."
One post questioned the assertion that the term "folly" in the verses in question referred to the topics on this forum. The reason for Post #9 was to demonstrate that the term "folly" could reasonably be understood to refer to many of the topics, threads and posts on this forum. I provided 39 examples, but logically it is not necessary for you to agree with all 39, as long as you agreed that one verse was a valid reference you then agreed with the premise.

However, the response to that Post was that they were not willing to read the post because they disagreed with the validity of the first reference. Therefore I peppered verse references on a one on one basis. The purpose was merely to make the point that the term "folly" as applied to many of these actions and sins is valid.
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Old 01-05-2012, 06:57 AM   #44
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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But the wise don't need Proverbs to make this particular judgment. If we are simply getting wowed that we found a verse that says exactly what we are facing, what is it to the wise?

And we weren't bringing it to those who need to see it.
OBW, I find it difficult to grasp your logic. 77150, obviously a former member, studies Proverbs and finds helpful scripture to apply to our discussions. I think it's great, and it has stirred my interest in further study. You, however, are piqued into critical action. I appreciate his study and perspective. You, however, are disturbed that someone might be "wowed?" If he/she is, is that so bad?

"What is that to the wise?" Are you now so "wise" that scripture no longer benefits you? I hope I never get that wise. Are you only referring to yourself here?

And your next complaint is that the poster brought it to this forum, but not "to those who need to see it." Are you serious? Do you know every reader here, and who needs what? Could not the same thing be said about your posts? How do you know the poster has not taken this verse to others "who need to see it."

I really think you unnecessarily nit-pick for reasons I'll never understand.
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Old 01-05-2012, 07:56 AM   #45
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OBW, I find it difficult to grasp your logic. 77150, obviously a former member, studies Proverbs and finds helpful scripture to apply to our discussions. I think it's great, and it has stirred my interest in further study. You, however, are piqued into critical action. I appreciate his study and perspective. You, however, are disturbed that someone might be "wowed?" If he/she is, is that so bad?

"What is that to the wise?" Are you now so "wise" that scripture no longer benefits you? I hope I never get that wise. Are you only referring to yourself here?

And your next complaint is that the poster brought it to this forum, but not "to those who need to see it." Are you serious? Do you know every reader here, and who needs what? Could not the same thing be said about your posts? How do you know the poster has not taken this verse to others "who need to see it."

I really think you unnecessarily nit-pick for reasons I'll never understand.
First, I think you will see that I was never specifically attacking any specific use of verses. And I went out of my way to say that I did not intend to declare that 77150 was simply doing this.

But at the same time, I was noting something that was once noted for my and others benefit (elsewhere) that sometimes displaying a lot of knowledge about something, such as being among the first to recognize a song, or always being able to bring a verse from memory, or at least quickly find it because you know it is there, or that you can do a concordance look-up on a topic, etc., that is not really helpful to a discussion. I would say that anyone who does not understand that defending the unrighteous is itself contrary to righteousness needs the verse. Those that do have no requirement for someone to find it in the rulebook for them. If that wasn't patently obvious without the verse, then you need it. And there are some in the LRC that need it. But do you really think that what they did is now more clearly wrong and against God's moral and righteous requirements on us from finding that verse? I could be wrong, but I doubt it.

Now if someone is reading that has never considered that this verse directly opposes Lee's claim that right and wrong don't matter, then it is worthwhile. And surely there are always some who are lurking about.

But at the same time, we can easily be lulled into a sense of self-righteousness because we have the right verse at the right time. I wasn't trying to shut it off. But just offering a reason to think about why we do anything. Is it for the purpose of the forum, or for our own private building of esteem.

And if you read my post to 77150 about the purpose of the thread, you might understand that there seemed (to me) to be an almost constant dissonance between what was at any moment under discussion, the topic stated at the beginning (in the title), the lack of direction in the first post, and the purpose of the forum. His response did clarify. But until that clarification came, the constant jump from one set of verses to another had me wondering what was going on.

And in a few cases, a verse was quoted and the application to the errors/ways of Lee, the BBs and the LSM did not seem to fit. But I get attacked for nit-picking if I ask what it is about. Which starts to say to me that if you agree with me, then I am great. And if you do not, then I must be "set off" and "nit-picking." I'm much more even and middle-of-the-road than that. Read what I say. Don't assume emotions. Don't assume beyond what I write. I write this way about everything. And I don't have to be "set-off" to do it. Just see something that I think I have something to add for consideration. Consider it. Then accept or reject. Either is actually fine. Forget what you think are my motives. Consider what I said. When someone first suggested to me that clapping at the beginning of a song was more about me than the band, I thought it was ridiculous. But over time, as I considered it, I began to realize that it was at least too often true.

We learn nothing by rapid rejection of alternate considerations. And us old dogs can still learn new tricks.
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Old 01-17-2012, 11:51 AM   #46
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.

26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.

I don’t think so. Look at verse 4, if you don’t answer a fool according to his folly then you won’ t be like unto him. But, he will be wise in his own conceit.

So how does this apply to the LRC?

Many saw abusive acts done in the LRC but kept quiet because they didn’t want to be like the abusers. (The Meek will inherit the earth?) However the result was that the folly increased and more saints were abused. (Please note in this discussion I am using abuse to refer to the type of abuse TC dished out not PL).

I think Proverbs is very clear, if you have someone like TC you are better off not responding to the abuse lest you also become like him. However, if that does not become tenable at some point you have to rebuke him so that he will not be wise in his own conceit, though that might necessitate your exit from the LC.

Why would you be concerned with him being wise in his own conceit? One reason would be you see that he is causing damage to others. I have seen saints do this on numerous occasions (rebuke leading ones who were foolish).

Also, according to Proverbs it is wise not to rebuke a fool because if you do you will become like him. What if that is no longer an issue, what if the entire LRC has come to look like fools? What happened to those that wrote about the LRC being a cult, they got sued, dragged into ugly litigation and went bankrupt. They were fools. But what if the LRC has become a house of fools? For those who are still there it is no longer wise to not rebuke them. At that point it is time to answer the fools according to their folly.

This is what Abigail did when she kept silent while Nabal partied, but in the morning when he had his hangover she spoke. Now that the LRC has spent so much money on the lawsuits and made themselves a byword, and all the prophesies of WL being the MOTA have proved to be bogus, and the LRC is splitting apart at the seems, now is the time for Abigail to speak.
If we agree that the behavior of WL, LSM and the BBs can be characterized by the term "folly" in Proverbs 26 then we can all agree that verses 4 and 5 refer to how to respond to their folly.

At some point you may have taken the route "not to answer a fool according to his folly" but I would argue that this strategy is no longer tenable.

Can you stay quiet while saints are being defrauded?
Can you stay quiet while all manner of evil is being said of saints falsely?
Can you stay quiet while elders bow down and apologize to the workers of iniquity?
Can you stay quiet while you see the hypocrisy of WL and LSM in the "Fermentation of the Present Rebellion" in which they cast those who stood up to sin as being rebellious?
Can you stay quiet while the LSM devours meeting halls belonging to the saints?
Can you stay quiet while LSM extorts the churches to subscribe to their books and services or else suffer the same fate as TC?
If you stay quiet does that mean that you also will be held accountable for their sins?
At some point you have to decide will you bend your knee to the Lord and proclaim that Jesus is Lord, or will you bow down to the LSM and BBs.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:19 PM   #47
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If we agree that the behavior of WL, LSM and the BBs can be characterized by the term "folly" in Proverbs 26 then we can all agree that verses 4 and 5 refer to how to respond to their folly.

At some point you may have taken the route "not to answer a fool according to his folly" but I would argue that this strategy is no longer tenable.
While I agree with you overall, the real question is "to whom are we actually responding?" In other words, are we responding to the LSM, the BBs, etc.? Or are we making response for the consumption of others who are affected by the positions that they take, either as members of the LRC or as those harmed?

The reason I ask is that I have noted in a different place that there are some for whom responding to their folly is never the wise choice because they so clearly are not thinking and reasoning in a clear manner, therefore anything directed at them in any way outside of agreement is meaningless to them. On the other hand, there is a chance that others who may be swayed by the rhetoric of the fool's folly have enough rational capacity to recognize sound words.

So responding to the fool may constantly be contraindicated in some cases, yet, if done with wisdom, of great value to others. I do not believe that it is possible to let an "untenable" position force you into the error of responding in a manner that violates v 4 without providing the sound response required of v 5. And when the fool will remain in his arrogance and pride, no response is capable of refusing him his self-declared rightness.

I am not saying that there is no way to respond to the BBs relative to these verses. I am just suggesting that it could be true. I am aware of another person (in another context) that is clearly in that position. The only reason to even respond occasionally is to make it clear to the lurkers that their near insanity is not accepted as true. It makes no impact on the fool who is the subject of the response.

And so, with that, I have forced these two verses to remain as opposites with no clear answer to how to use them. It takes wisdom.

And I pray that we have the wisdom it would take to respond to some of the fool's folly that we are faced with.
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Old 01-17-2012, 12:29 PM   #48
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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While I agree with you overall, the real question is "to whom are we actually responding?" In other words, are we responding to the LSM, the BBs, etc.? Or are we making response for the consumption of others who are affected by the positions that they take, either as members of the LRC or as those harmed?.
Leaving the LRC is a response. I see no reason to direct the response specifically to the LSM, BBs, etc.

However, if you remain in the LRC I think it is imperative that you make a clear testimony that you do not condone or agree with their sins. Otherwise, your silence allows them to continue and I believe you will be held accountable.

So you may have had absolutely nothing to do with Daystar, yet you continue to uphold LSM as a NT Ministry. That to me is an insult and slap in the face of those defrauded by them and you will be held accountable for that.

Or, if you know that JI, JF, and BM were standing up for righteousness sake and as a result were scorned and persecuted by WL how can you in good faith close your eyes to that. At the very least you should object to the book "the Fermentation of the Present Rebellion" being sold in your locality. Otherwise you also take part in their sins and hypocrisy by distributing the lie.

How can you not be offended at the letter of apology to PL? If you are, then how could you allow one of the brothers who signed that letter to conduct a training of saints that you or members of your church attend. Your action makes you one with their sin.

Their are other possible responses, but I think the ones I have mentioned should act as a reasonable guide.
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Old 01-21-2012, 10:43 AM   #49
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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This is quite an interesting observation. My initial thought was that those who witnessed abuse kept quiet because ...
  1. They were taught that it was the "spiritual" way to perfect brothers in the recovery
  2. They were taught that the brother (either WL or TC or any others) was god's deputy authority in the church
  3. They were in fear of offending the deputy lest they receive more serious judgment, as Meriam and Ham did
  4. They were also in fear that, by opening their mouth, they would "get it" next. Fear is a powerful deterrent for sure.
I'm also surprised that 77150 would link folly with abuse. I'm not sure if any "kept silent" because they did not want to be like the abuser. Most held the abuser's power in awe. Unconsciously, many learned bad habits watching their abuse. Bullies do tend to reproduce bullies. I have seen too much of that in others and even in myself, sorry to say.


Your application of "folly" in Proverbs 26 to LC leaders is an interesting one.
My thoughts was primarily based on:
the teaching of deputy authority
the fear of being marked as divisive for responding
to take abuse is to take the cross

Going off topic for a moment based on the premise all elders are deputy authority. How did they get to be elders? As I've stated on other threads my oberservation of a local church elder is not much different than an elder from a non-local church. That being they embrace responsibility and it takes endurance and commitment to that particular assembly before being chosen as an elder. Differences I see for example in a non-lc church you don't know who the elders are until their oversight is required. Whereas in the local church, for the most part they are easily identified.
Where I see the local church elder being different than any non-local church elder is in the ability to move their eldership from city to city. For example from Los Angeles to Detroit or from Anaheim to Denver.
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Old 01-21-2012, 11:25 AM   #50
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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Having had little personal study into the book of Proverbs, I find your comments a welcome insight indeed when compared to the stale comments I usually post. I daresay that no one has yet brought this ancient book of wisdom into the context of LSM and the LC's. All "good" followers of the teachings of WL have mostly avoided this book because it was apparently "short of Christ," or so we were told.
Ohio, not just in Proverbs but you could make the case for James, Luke chapter 6, Matthew 23, Jeremiah 23, 1 Corinthians 13, Isaiah 5, etc. Portions of the Bible that touch our conscience and cause us to be introspective. If you recall the Song of Songs training, one of the points I recall was against being introspective. Why is that? What is wrong with introspection? Is it because with introspection there is the consideration "you could be wrong"? With these portions of the Bible I've mentioned, it's not a positive or an affirming word you and I have been used to hearing from the ministry.
Which brings me to my next point.
As I see from "the ministry"
A positive word = Christ
An adjusting word = short of Christ
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Old 04-14-2012, 08:42 PM   #51
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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Originally Posted by Terry View Post
My thoughts was primarily based on:
the teaching of deputy authority
the fear of being marked as divisive for responding
to take abuse is to take the cross

Going off topic for a moment based on the premise all elders are deputy authority. How did they get to be elders? As I've stated on other threads my oberservation of a local church elder is not much different than an elder from a non-local church. That being they embrace responsibility and it takes endurance and commitment to that particular assembly before being chosen as an elder. Differences I see for example in a non-lc church you don't know who the elders are until their oversight is required. Whereas in the local church, for the most part they are easily identified.
Where I see the local church elder being different than any non-local church elder is in the ability to move their eldership from city to city. For example from Los Angeles to Detroit or from Anaheim to Denver.
I found it very interesting that the story of Nabal and Abigail seems to be quite applicable to this, in which case it isn't off topic since it was the example used in the first post.

Nabal is of Caleb's house, no doubt a very highly respected name at the time. He was also quite wealthy. He rebukes David and his men saying "there are many men that break away from their masters", clearly in contrast to the teaching on deputy authority. No doubt for someone churlish like Nabal the teaching of "Deputy authority" was a great comfort, it justified his being someone that, as his own servants said "is such a son of belial that no man can talk to him". That is one version of the teaching of deputy authority and it is clearly a despicable teaching.

Another version is that of Abigail, who said " the LORD will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the LORD, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days." Fighting the battles of the Lord supersedes any "deputy authority" likewise, having "evil found within thee" would void any so called service to the Lord. So with this, those who claim deputy authority can do so, not based on their lineage going back to Caleb, but to actually fighting the Lord's battles themselves. However, if you find evil within them, say false accusations, or a false measure, or a deceitful way, etc. then that would void any claim they would have to "fighting the Lord's battles" much like Saul's claim was voided by the bleating of the sheep.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:57 AM   #52
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Default Re: Does Proverbs 26:4 contradict verse 5?

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Ohio, not just in Proverbs but you could make the case for James, Luke chapter 6, Matthew 23, Jeremiah 23, 1 Corinthians 13, Isaiah 5, etc. Portions of the Bible that touch our conscience and cause us to be introspective. If you recall the Song of Songs training, one of the points I recall was against being introspective. Why is that?

What is wrong with introspection? Is it because with introspection there is the consideration "you could be wrong"? With these portions of the Bible I've mentioned, it's not a positive or an affirming word you and I have been used to hearing from the ministry.
Introspection is a "reflective looking inward, an examination of one's own thoughts and feelings." Apparently this was quite dangerous for those who became adherents of the ministry in the LC's. I personally was publicly told by TC that I was too "introspective." Many others were too. What does that even mean? In an environment which revered TC and WL as being able to "see what the rest of us cannot see," this kind of diagnosis can hold great power over people.

Which brings us back to a point I have repeatedly made. Real shepherds, having a word from the Lord, will fellowship privately for the edification and profit of the hearer. Controlling and abusive leaders, however, will use public gatherings to discredit the members in front of their peers. The judgment of "introspection" was used to undermine one's own sense of perspective and place it into the hands of another. Thus great power is wielded by those who supposedly are able to provide recondite diagnoses upon their followers.
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