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Introductions and Testimonies Please tell everybody something about yourself. Tell us a little. Tell us a lot. Its up to you!

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Old 10-16-2014, 04:55 PM   #1
Olvin
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Default My Testimony: Olvin

I came into the LC in Cleveland a couple of months before the 82 winter training, it changed my christian life, which even up to that point was quit given by His grace. I am quit confident that I had read the Bible more than most of the young brothers in the LC, and yet none could convince me that mans salvation was secure; during the Peter training I got perfectly clear, and my brother, our brother Lee was not even discussing our eternal salvation. I and 40 other brothers were in the first one year full time traing TC held in Cleveland, it was the most profitable year of my life to date. I learned to how to study, how to share, how to discern. John Ingles taught church history, out from which came the Fristfruit series; this more than anything opened my eyes to how the Lord is building His Church, His Kingdom in spite of the frailty, the weakness, the stubbornness and sinfulness of His vessels.

I don't think there are many who have suffered more indignities than myself in the local church. Still I challenge all who post here to do this: take your biblical understanding; subtract all the revelation you have received from "the ministry" and consider what you are left with. Can you minister life with that? Do you still see God's purpose, do you yet know the mystery of the human life? I doubt.

Now before you assume that I am definding anything or one, I'll tell you I was excommunicated by TC. I said and wrote some of the same things I am reading on here. First I complained to brother WL about TC lording it over the flock. Then I learned that brother Lee, when confronted with his error only defended himself in his free book defending all the allegations brought himself. I knew then, as devastated as I was, that though I could no longer sit under this type leadership. What I didn't know then, was that most brothers can't separate the work The Lord does through man from the man. So I could find no brothers who were like minded according to the recovered truth (I assume you understand) who were willing to meet apart from LMS.

There is so much I could say, sooo much... but we must get on with it. We should not think these things strange. We have the bible, we have church history,and we also have a promise "I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail...
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Old 10-16-2014, 07:26 PM   #2
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I came into the LC in Cleveland a couple of months before the 82 winter training...
Olvin thanks for posting.

I think I was there in the Cleveland upstairs meeting room when you got the boot from Titus.

Unfortunately no one stood with you to challenge his abuse. I just watched in awe, with "fear and trembling," yet never hearing what your "crime" was.

I remember your love for the Lord, His people, and the gospel. We never received an explanation for why Titus kicked you out of the meeting. No one dared to challenge his authority, even when brothers were being hurt and the church was suffering loss. Titus was able to act without anyone balancing his decisions.

Could you share more details? It helps others to understand what happened to the local churches, why "something so good turned out so bad."
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Old 10-17-2014, 11:24 AM   #3
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Default Re: My Testimony: Olvin

olvin,
Thanks for being the first one to take me up on my challenge for all the people who have never posted to come out of the shadows and post on the open forum. Your post encouraged me to keep my challenge up there for another period of time.

Wow, you went over TC's head directly to Witness Lee? Man that must have taken some incredible instestinal fortitude! So I take it from your post that, after all this time, you have never found any place to fellowship with other Christians?
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Old 10-17-2014, 12:10 PM   #4
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I came into the LC in Cleveland a couple of months before the 82 winter training, it changed my christian life, which even up to that point was quit given by His grace. I am quit confident that I had read the Bible more than most of the young brothers in the LC, and yet none could convince me that mans salvation was secure; during the Peter training I got perfectly clear, and my brother, our brother Lee was not even discussing our eternal salvation. I and 40 other brothers were in the first one year full time traing TC held in Cleveland, it was the most profitable year of my life to date. I learned to how to study, how to share, how to discern. John Ingles taught church history, out from which came the Fristfruit series; this more than anything opened my eyes to how the Lord is building His Church, His Kingdom in spite of the frailty, the weakness, the stubbornness and sinfulness of His vessels.

I don't think there are many who have suffered more indignities than myself in the local church. Still I challenge all who post here to do this: take your biblical understanding; subtract all the revelation you have received from "the ministry" and consider what you are left with. Can you minister life with that? Do you still see God's purpose, do you yet know the mystery of the human life? I doubt.
Thanks for sharing your testimony Olvin. I left long before you came went into the LC...before there was an FTT. I had never even heard of TC until I started hanging out in this forum.

Don't hang out here too much anymore. It's hard to connect with people here. Everyone is at a very different place in their spiritual journey. But it is hard to get the memories of the LC out of me because like you, my short time there was the most profitable time of my life. My time there taught me to ground myself in the Word of God. The Holy Spirit and the fellowship of the saints opened the eyes of my understanding. I may not have known it back in the day but I know it now.

It was my spiritual foundation. After I left, I wallowed in the valley of the shadow of death and wandered in the wilderness for many a year. But those were learning experiences as well.

What I learned in the LC about God's Spirit living in our spirit, about the depths of the riches of the LORD, about living a sanctified life, about the Power of the Blood of the Lamb, about dying to self, about fellowshipping with the Body of Christ, has been super helpful to my existence and survival to this day. Grant it, the Holy Spirit is the ONE Who gives me/us the Insight, Understanding, Strength and Ability to overcome but had I not learned these principles back in the day, I don't know how strong I would be today. The Holy Spirit has taught me so much more since then. The LC was like spiritual grade school and high school for me. I did very well. But to really grow and mature, I had to go to Holy Spirit University. And He is not there. I haven't always done too well in my spiritual exams and have repeated a few classes a couple of times. But it has been well worth repeating the Holy Spirit lessons of Life so that I could move up to the next level.

When I have shared my testimony with my childhood friends, they tell me that there was something special during my time in the LC and are glad I was there !! LOL !!! But overall, my time in the LC was a positive one, unlike many of the people here. It is not like that anymore. I have no regrets in having left. The LC taught me to follow the SPIRIT in my spirit and I DID. He led me in...and HE LED ME OUT. Glory to Almighty God, El SHADDAI.

OLVIN:May you continue to grow strong in the Power and Might in the Lord Jesus by the Holy Spirit of Father God Yahweh. May the Peace of God which surpasses all understanding guide your spirit and your mind in all Truth, blessing you with Wisdom and Revelation beyond your imagination. May the LORD envelop you with His Love and cover you under the shadow of His Wings. May He shower and bless you with supernatural Favor and Grace all the days of your life in the Mighty Name of Jesus, in the Mighty Name of El Shaddai and in the Mighty Name of His Holy Spirit, the Ruach Ha Kodesh. Make it so Lord Jesus. Make it so. AMEN.

Carol
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Old 10-19-2014, 07:06 PM   #5
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Still I challenge all who post here to do this: take your biblical understanding; subtract all the revelation you have received from "the ministry" and consider what you are left with. Can you minister life with that? Do you still see God's purpose, do you yet know the mystery of the human life? I doubt.
Hi Olvin,

I don't post here much anymore, but every now and then someone like you comes along and I feel the Lord wants me to post.

Let me put this as plainly as I can, and please don't be offended, but here's the thing:

You don't know what you are talking about.

There is plenty of revelation in the Church outside of Lee's ministry. In fact, there is better revelation. The sooner you figure that out, the better off you will be.

The fact is this: It's you who don't know God's purpose. It's you who don't know the mystery of human life. You think you do, but you don't. If you still hold onto what Lee taught about those things, you have some impressive-sounding doctrines which miss the mark by a wide margin, and the proof is the divisiveness of the local church spirit. Does it make sense that the LC really has all this "revelation" if it is as screwed up as it is? How could that be? The fact is, they don't. They have high-sounding doctrines which misrepresent God, his nature and his purpose. The sooner you figure that out, the better--for yourself and those you influence.
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Old 10-20-2014, 04:00 PM   #6
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Brother Igzy, One thing I do know is: if it is your desire to have fellowship with a brother you probably should not start off by telling them they don't know what they are talking about, that they don't know the purpose God or the mystery of human life.

I have not suggested that you don't know these things, my simple challenge was that apart from what you have learned from the ministry - do you know them. Now maybe you were confused with the term "the ministry" if you think it means LSM then you don't get it. If you understand that it refers to all those faithful men and women who throughout history have contended for the faith, and have pointed us to the person and work of Christ, then you would be quit presumptuous to exclude WL.

I believe that "it IS God's eternal purpose to have a group of people created in is image and likeness to be filled with Him as life to express Him and represent Him." You say this is "high-sounding doctrine that misrepresents God". I have shared the simple truth with grade school children. Were we not made in his image and after His likeness? Is this not for the purpose of expressing Him and representing Him? Is not taking Him in as food (life) a major theme from Genesis to Revelation. I hope I don't need to share verses to prove I know what I'm talking about. And brother, the human life will remain a mystery unless man understands he was made to be filled with the life of God. Now there is very little that is high sounding about that. Do you eat and drink the Lord by reading and prayer? All who eat me shall live because me... unless you eat... you have no life. What a simple word, not high sounding at all. Do you have something a little more down to earth to minister by way of "doctrine" than this.

Brother the reason we have the saying of throwing out the baby with the bathwater is because thats what we do. A sister told me long ago, when it comes to receiving a person's ministry: we must learn to eat the melon and spit out the seeds. Brother the Church is the most precious item the universe (now thats high-sounding), but we should never confuse it with the congregation. History has proven to us that saints used greatly by God have wavered, and stumbled, and fallen. Most of the great reformers got stuck on some point of doctrine or practice, thus all the divisions today; you should know these thing if you are posting here. Why should we expect different from our contemporaries? Jesus warned that: some would come in their own name and we would hear them, but He coming in the name of His father, they would not hear.

I honor Brother Lee, and the work the Lord has done through him. I never considered him the oracle of the the Lord as some were foolishly proclaiming, but when God was speaking through him, God was speaking through him. It is more often the spirit of cowardliness among the brothers that give the Diotrephes in our mist the power to frustrate the Lord's work. When we know in whom we believe are persuaded the He is able to keep that which we have committed to Him, an thus refuse to let any person have preeminence over us, we will give the Lord a way advance.

Brother the Lord is a light before our feet and a light unto our paths, but that doesn't mean we don't have to look down. We are all in the race, some will stumble, some will fall, some will drop the baton, but others will pick it up and continue, believing that I is a noble thing to contend for the faith once handed down. I believe that He will bring us all on to perfection, but we must be willing to be brought on...As for those that are influenced by me, I pray that whatever of Christ has been formed in me would be manifest in my living and speaking.

One final question: what is this mark that I have missed by a large margin?
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Old 10-20-2014, 05:30 PM   #7
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Brother Igzy, One thing I do know is: if it is your desire to have fellowship with a brother you probably should not start off by telling them they don't know what they are talking about, that they don't know the purpose God or the mystery of human life.
It's too bad this thread became confrontational at the onset.

Brother Olvin, this really is your own thread to provide your introduction and testimony.

While I think Igzy's post was like one of those "ice baths" in the news, his insights usually are quite informative.
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Old 10-20-2014, 06:04 PM   #8
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Maybe it was my oversight, but I seemed to have missed his insight in our first encounter.
I pray we would treasure hearing it is the unraveling of mysteries.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:57 AM   #9
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I challenge all who post here to do this: take your biblical understanding; subtract all the revelation you have received from "the ministry" and consider what you are left with. Can you minister life with that? Do you still see God's purpose, do you yet know the mystery of the human life? I doubt.
Olvin:

Yours is a voice of reason. I am on record as having said that I did not reject Witness Lee and the Local Church primarily because of the teachings but because of the practices. It was all the lying, all the misrepresentation, all the abuse of power, all the wasteful expenditure … I can continue but I stop here.

The general conduct of Witness Lee and those with whom he had surrounded himself unfortunately far outweighs the benefits of his speaking ministry; you just spontaneously developed an aversion to anything Witness Lee. Yet, it is impossible to try and altogether remove what had been deposited of the Lord into your being.

Your only choice was to balance that with God's Word and eventually you were restored unto the Lord. You had to trust Him to remove the dross from your being and to preserve whatever was pure and from Him.

Delight yourself in the good, acceptable and perfect will of God.

Last edited by Friedel; 10-21-2014 at 02:59 AM. Reason: Typo
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:16 PM   #10
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I appreciate that Friedel, but let me say that we don't have to lay aside the word of truth we have received, it is the gospel of our salvation, Eph.1:13. I was thinking brother how the Lord spoke to the church in Ephesus; the thing he had against them was that they had left their first love. This is a verse that has spoken to me again and again over the years. We have not forsaking the object of our love - Christ but the depth, the intensity, the passion of it. I believe it is mainly because of the disappoint we experienced with those who we at some point found to be false. It becomes hard to separate the person from the work that the Lord is doing in them; and of course there should be no separation between the two.

We begin to consider, as we should, God's word in light of those who speak it. I know this is a verse that has been used too often to justify those fleshly ministers of the gospel, yet if Christ is indeed preached we have reason to rejoice! 1Thes.2:13 reminds us that when we first received the word we received it not as the word of man but as it is in truth the word of God that effectually worked in us. If this was our experience that, while we were under the speaking of those in the LC's, the word had its work in us, we must guard that good deposit.

I recall David's sin's of adultery, murder, of numbering the people even against the good advice of Joab; Peter's hypocrisy in withdrawing from the gentiles to please men after receiving a vision and making clear to all the brothers that God had granted the gentiles repentance unto life Acts 11. We understand Paul shaved his head and took a vow and paid for three other brothers to do the same contrary to what he had taught, and even after having rebuked Peter for his misstep.

I understand a lot of ugly things have transpired in the LRC's, but a lot of life and truth has been ministered also. We should not sacrifice the truth on the alter of perfection. If we are looking for sinless perfection in the ministers of the gospel we must begin with the saint in the mirror. I used to run a lot when I was younger. When running with group it is good to pace yourself with a runner of you caliber, you may be the person setting the pace, but if that lead runner you are following pulls a hamstring and sits at the side of the road you don't stop and do the same, you either take the lead or follow behind another pace setter. We all have a responsibility to finish the course, to run with endurance the race set before us, not looking at the brother who stumbled (we pray his recovery) but away unto Jesus the beginner and finisher of our race (faith) our joy and crown. I for one can never again RUN with the LRC's as they stand today, but if truth be the "baton" I will continue to pass it to any who are willing to receive it.
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:25 PM   #11
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Please forgive my ignorance, very rarely do I enter group discussions online.
I received a pop-up from someone recommending a book which I inadvertently
deleted. Whoever you are please repost, and thanks
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Old 10-21-2014, 12:56 PM   #12
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Brother Igzy, One thing I do know is: if it is your desire to have fellowship with a brother you probably should not start off by telling them they don't know what they are talking about, that they don't know the purpose God or the mystery of human life.
I'm saying if you still revere Lee's vision of things, then you have more to learn than you know. I hope you learn it, because the reality is better than what he taught. Much better.

Quote:
I have not suggested that you don't know these things, my simple challenge was that apart from what you have learned from the ministry - do you know them.
Yes, I do. And I had to unlearn much of what Lee taught about it to actually get it right. I never truly understood what God's purpose is when I only had Lee's teachings.

Quote:
Now maybe you were confused with the term "the ministry" if you think it means LSM then you don't get it. If you understand that it refers to all those faithful men and women who throughout history have contended for the faith, and have pointed us to the person and work of Christ, then you would be quit presumptuous to exclude WL.
The term "the ministry" is confusing and should be dropped. Lee abused it. It has a superiority connotation, especially when used in discussions involving him. But, regardless, the Bible doesn't talk in terms of "the ministry." The Bible says there are "many minstries." So talking about "the ministry" is really a form of exclusivism.

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I believe that "it IS God's eternal purpose to have a group of people created in is image and likeness to be filled with Him as life to express Him and represent Him."
The problem isn't the words. The problem is how you understand them. The words are a shell. It's what you see when you hear them that matters. I don't have a problem with the words; I have a problem with what they mean to the LC.

Let me put it this way: The LC likes to talk about "expressing God." But that's nothing unique to them. All Christians know we need to express God. They might term it differently, but they mean the same thing. The problem with LCers is they congratulate themselves for saying it "right", but have not gotten around to actually doing it. In the meantime, a lot of other Christians whom LCers dismiss as not knowing God's purpose are actually expressing God. I think that's pretty ironic.

Quote:
One final question: what is this mark that I have missed by a large margin?
The mark of the first and second commandments, which Lee replaced with his economy. The mark of genuine humility, sacrifice, and service, which are all too rare in those who follow Lee. You are not really expressing God if you don't have those things.

Olvin, forgive me for "jumping" on you. But I was being honest. I think you are more ignorant than you know. I think you need to get out and realize that the essence of God's purpose, not in Lee's terms, but the genuine essence of it, is being realized in a lot of places. And that is much more important that getting the terminology right.

If you think God's purpose is best summed-up in Lee's phraseology, then I'm afraid all you really have is a phrase. You haven't really experienced the reality as much as you might think. Sorry, I've seen it in myself and in too many others. Cold water? Yes, I guess. Loving water? That too.
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Old 10-21-2014, 01:36 PM   #13
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Olvin,

It might be that Igzy's response to you here within your testimony was a poor choice of venue, but that does not make it incorrect.

And (this will sound funny to many coming from me) it may have been too blunt to achieve what he intended, but that does not make it incorrect.

Maybe the thing to do is to depersonalize the comments and read them again in terms of the things that you have been taught to believe for many years. To let his comments point to the ways that "the ministry" has hidden error behind a smokescreen of rhetoric that is actually not Christian and is in direct contradiction to the Bible that you have been taught you are following.

I have had a recent discussion with someone else concerning what I perceive as a system of error within the teachings of both Nee and Lee. It is a complex combination of real truth, highly charged terminology, special meanings for certain words (a private lexicon — that makes conversation with other Christians quite difficult), bandwagon thinking, an elevated status for "the ministry" so that we would not question or challenge things that should have set off significant red flags. All with the goal of placing Nee, then Lee, at the pinnacle of the local churches so that we would make such declarations that "even if he's wrong, he's right."

You may think you don't believe that. And you are probably being honest about it. But as you begin to peel away the errors, at some point, you will being to feel (as I have often felt) that you have been sold a bill of goods and didn't even realize it. No matter whether you think you are dumping everything Lee all at once or over time, you will find years later that some particular thing is still hanging on, and when you recognize it for what it is, your first thought will be "how could I have ever believed that." The answer is that we bought it one little bit hidden in an apparently healthy meal after another such meal. Eventually, we thought the Spam was Del Frisco steak and the jelly caviar. The garlic room that supposedly had Christianity befuddled was really right there in the meeting hall in "fill in the city name."

Let the bluntness of Igzy's words go on by you. Somehow we managed to switch roles this one time. I'm sure that neither of us will let it happen again.
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Old 10-21-2014, 02:30 PM   #14
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The term "the ministry" is confusing and should be dropped. Lee abused it. It has a superiority connotation, especially when used in discussions involving him. But, regardless, the Bible doesn't talk in terms of "the ministry." The Bible says there are "many minstries." So talking about "the ministry" is really a form of exclusivism.
Not so.

These statements have no basis in the Bible. "Ministry" is used often in the New Testament and Paul even said to the Romans, "I magnify my ministry" (Romans 11:3). To Timothy he wrote: "Fulfill your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:5).

Just because Witness Lee abused this word and made it exclusive, as if it belonged to him alone, does not invalidate it so that it should be scrapped.

"Ministry" carries within itself the sense of "serving" and that should be our goal.

We should never allow our disdain of Witness Lee's contemptible acts of lying, misrepresentation, etc. to want to delete words from the Bible. That is not for us to decide. If God put them there, who am I to touch them?
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Old 10-21-2014, 03:22 PM   #15
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Not so.

These statements have no basis in the Bible. "Ministry" is used often in the New Testament and Paul even said to the Romans, "I magnify my ministry" (Romans 11:3). To Timothy he wrote: "Fulfill your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:5).

Just because Witness Lee abused this word and made it exclusive, as if it belonged to him alone, does not invalidate it so that it should be scrapped.

"Ministry" carries within itself the sense of "serving" and that should be our goal.

We should never allow our disdain of Witness Lee's contemptible acts of lying, misrepresentation, etc. to want to delete words from the Bible. That is not for us to decide. If God put them there, who am I to touch them?
I think you missed the point. It is not that the word "ministry" is missing from the Bible. It is that there virtually no comment on ministry outside of the peculiar ministry than any particular person has.

It surely is important that the ministry that anyone claims to have is soundly within the charge for those who are called to minister. But nothing other than being within that rather large scope is distinctly defined as "the ministry" in the way that Lee talked of it. And the way he talked of it was to assert that his ministry was "the ministry" and that all others qualified as "so-called ministries" and were off the mark of "God's economy."

(I know that putting God's economy in quotes may be controversial, but it is not because God does not have an economy, but because what Lee called God's economy does not resemble anything that I can find as the logical content of such an economy.)

"The ministry" is to go forth to disciple, baptize, and teach (to obey). That is the way that Jesus put it. Paul repackaged it into functions of apostles, prophets, evangelists, shepherds, and teachers (quite reasonable coming from the person who inroduced the idea of gifts given to the body as needed). But the content really did not change. Paul spent a lot of time teaching them to obey. He sent several letters to point out where they were not obedient. And before that, he had come through as an apostle and evangelist, being specifically sent by God to bring the good news to the people.

You are right that ministry brings the meaning of serving. And it should be the goal of everyone who has a ministry. And at some level, we all have a ministry. Not like Paul. Or like any number of modern "ministers" of our day. We mostly have "one talent" ministries. And that's all we have been asked to do.

And that one talent ministry does not need to be entirely on board with any particular man's ministry, whether Lee's or anyone else's. Just consistent with the message of Christ.
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Old 10-21-2014, 06:08 PM   #16
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Couple comments here for the benefit of the "new guy" ...

The Great Lakes Area Local Churches are a kind of "Witness Lee Lite." In many regards, much to Titus Chu's credit, GLA LC's never saw the insidious extremes which prevailed in other parts of the country. It's kind of like a multi-car pileup on the freeway, with the first few drivers getting whiplash and face burns from airbags and the last few drivers just jamming the brakes and saying, "boy was I lucky."

The GLA LC's thus received a "sanitized" version of LSM from a distance, while other places witnessed and lived thru the extremes first hand. Thus the perceptions of LSM differ. For example, those ex-members on the forum will readily call the Recovery a "cult," while those within the GLA are reluctant to do so. There are (or were) many gifted shepherds in the GLA LC's who struggled to keep their churches in the reality of Christ, rather than to become along with their saints merely mindless ministry sycophants.

Many forum participants take a no-nonsense approach to numerous topics about Witness Lee which is a little unsettling to new posters. Personally I have many friends and family who were (or still are) in the Recovery. Many don't want to hear what really happened in Anaheim. Even those who have left don't want to hear derogatory comments about any of Lee's teachings.

I have always felt that teachings are secondary to the lives of the saints. Serious concerns relate to how people were treated. The kingdom of God is firstly righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. LC leaders felt they were above the law, and covered their unrighteousness. Consequently many were hurt. All the best teachings in the world cannot replace righteousness, honesty, and integrity in our leaders.
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Old 10-21-2014, 07:23 PM   #17
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Couple comments here for the benefit of the "new guy"
Glad somebody seeks a benefit for bro Olvin. Some must know who he is, and so have reason unknown to the rest of us, for pouncing on him ... like they think he's been sent ... and didn't just come on his own to LCD.

All I can see is that he's come on his own. So I put myself in his shoes, and think back to how it was when I was at his stage of coming out of the local church.

If I'm seeing correctly we should be gentle toward our new brother.

If incorrectly, I got some pretty big rugs I could pull out from under him.

Until otherwise, I like our new brother. Even if he's in the LC, and likes Witness Lee.

And ... methinks this concern about "ministry" is a red herring. When the real problem, the thing that make's Lee's movement a cult is: The practice of Deputy And Delegated Authority.
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Old 10-21-2014, 08:53 PM   #18
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I'm saying if you still revere Lee's vision of things, then you have more to learn than you know. I hope you learn it, because the reality is better than what he taught. Much better....
Brother why not fear for all the millions of God's people who are being fleeced everyday by those hawking the gospel. Brother the Spirit bears witness with my spirit, what you think, which to me you don't do enough of, especially before you speak, does not mean much too me. You need to learn what it means to have your speech seasoned so that grace might come forth to minister. As for cold water, don't worry, I didn't get wet at all.

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Please forgive my ignorance, very rarely do I enter group discussions online.
I received a pop-up from someone recommending a book which I inadvertently
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:26 AM   #19
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Not so.

These statements have no basis in the Bible. "Ministry" is used often in the New Testament and Paul even said to the Romans, "I magnify my ministry" (Romans 11:3). To Timothy he wrote: "Fulfill your ministry" (2 Timothy 4:5).

Just because Witness Lee abused this word and made it exclusive, as if it belonged to him alone, does not invalidate it so that it should be scrapped.

"Ministry" carries within itself the sense of "serving" and that should be our goal.

We should never allow our disdain of Witness Lee's contemptible acts of lying, misrepresentation, etc. to want to delete words from the Bible. That is not for us to decide. If God put them there, who am I to touch them?
Friedel, As OBW said, you missed the point. It's not the word "ministry" I object to. It's the phrase "THE ministry," implying the one-and-only ministry" which can somehow be possessed by a subset of special ministers. This idea is not biblical.

Referring to the ministry you follow as "the ministry" is simply a glorified way of saying "I have the correct doctrines and you don't." It's just a more clever way of doing it.
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Old 10-22-2014, 08:50 AM   #20
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Brother why not fear for all the millions of God's people who are being fleeced everyday by those hawking the gospel.
Who said I didn't? The spell of Leeism is more insidious, however. It's a harder spell to break. And people who are being pushed into buying LSM materials under dire warnings of not being able to overcome are being fleeced too. And that attitude started with Lee.

Besides, one tends to have an interest in things one has been burned by.

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Brother the Spirit bears witness with my spirit, what you think, which to me you don't do enough of, especially before you speak, does not mean much too me. You need to learn what it means to have your speech seasoned so that grace might come forth to minister. As for cold water, don't worry, I didn't get wet at all.
Okay, now we're even. If I was offensive, I apologize. I was more irritated by the fact that you are still buying the company line than by you yourself.

Let's move on with the discussion. I'll say it again. Lee distorted God's purpose. There are better definitions of it than he gave. Lee impersonalized it by making it all about a metabolic process. But exactly how the Spirit transforms us is speculative. What's important is that the transformation is based on obedience in a personal relationship with God in the context of being a servant to him and others. It's about God changing your character more than him changing your "nature" (whatever that means.) Whether you nature has been changed, who can say? That's abstract. But people can tell if your character has been changed.

So in my mind, Lee missed the point. He tried to make God's purpose impersonal. His relationships with others were impersonal, and his relationship with God seemed impersonal, too. It was all about processes and flows and natures and life. It wasn't about persons and relating. Which TOTALLY misses the point.

So my point is the idea that Lee stated the mystery of human life better than anyone is, in my opinion, gravely mistaken. And an evidence is the fruits of his ministry--a divisive, exclusive sect.

Here's the thing. What's more important, being a church that has the reality of living in God's purpose, or one that enunciates the definition of God's purpose the "best?" I think it's the former. And if it is, there are lots of places doing it better than the LC, properly expressed "mysteries of human life" notwithstanding. Words are after all, just words.
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Old 10-22-2014, 09:07 AM   #21
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Let the bluntness of Igzy's words go on by you. Somehow we managed to switch roles this one time. I'm sure that neither of us will let it happen again.


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Old 10-22-2014, 11:35 AM   #22
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I'm saying if you still revere Lee's vision of things, then you have more to learn than you know. I hope you learn it, because the reality is better than what he taught. Much better
If by revere you mean to hold as holy or sacrosanct, no. I your mean to honor and respect yes. Let me be clear, and the brothers that know me from Cleveland, Lorain, and Elyria can attest to this; I never preached the ground and objected vehemently when this became the word of intro to new ones. I did not agree with the one publication, nor the mandate to read the WL's messages in our meetings. It was always clear to me that God was moving among His people everywhere. I could only be were I was at that time, and I am thankful that He took me that way. Remember His sheep go in and out and find pasture. You need to learn how to eat fish without chocking on the bones!

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Yes, I do. And I had to unlearn much of what Lee taught about it to actually get it right. I never truly understood what God's purpose is when I only had Lee's teachings.
You had to unlearning his teaching on full salvation: regeneration, sanctification, transformation, confirmation, glorification. Now you have them right? Please enlighten me - please.

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The term "the ministry" is confusing and should be dropped. Lee abused it. It has a superiority connotation, especially when used in discussions involving him. But, regardless, the Bible doesn't talk in terms of "the ministry." The Bible says there are "many minstries." So talking about "the ministry" is really a form of exclusivism.
As I stated before, just because you are confused about the terms does not mean all are. The bible uses the term "this ministry" "the ministry" referring to a unique ministry, excluding all those void of life. Read your bible more brother. 2Cor. 3:9, 4:1, 5:18, Acts 1:17 an more.

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The problem isn't the words. The problem is how you understand them. The words are a shell. It's what you see when you hear them that matters. I don't have a problem with the words; I have a problem with what they mean to the LC.
Yes brother, but how we understand is in control of the Holy Spirit wouldn't you agree. 1Cor.2:13 says Paul taught combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. The natural man cannot receive the things of the spirit they are foolish to him even offensive. Recall John 6:63. Does eating and drinking the Lord, one of WL's favorite topics yet offend you?

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Let me put it this way: The LC likes to talk about "expressing God." But that's nothing unique to them. All Christians know we need to express God. They might term it differently, but they mean the same thing. The problem with LCers is they congratulate themselves for saying it "right", but have not gotten around to actually doing it. In the meantime, a lot of other Christians whom LCers dismiss as not knowing God's purpose are actually expressing God. I think that's pretty ironic.
When I was a child we had an ice box in which we keep pop, which we drank sitting on a couch watching TV. 'You' may have had a refrigerator in which you keep soda or soft drinks, while sitting on a sofa watching the television set. I would never consider that you thought you we right and I wrong in using different terms. We both would have a cold drink, a soft seat, and a diversion. Maybe congratulations are in order for using the most syllables. I am not as confident as you that All christians know they need to express God, but what I am confident of is: that almost all christians care less about what LCers think about them than you do.

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The mark of the first and second commandments, which Lee replaced with his economy. The mark of genuine humility, sacrifice, and service, which are all too rare in those who follow Lee. You are not really expressing God if you don't have those things.
Do you refer to loving God and neighbor being replaced by being filled with God and ministering God's life to others. Six in one hand half-a-dozen in the other, if you can count.

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Olvin, forgive me for "jumping" on you. But I was being honest. I think you are more ignorant than you know. I think you need to get out and realize that the essence of God's purpose, not in Lee's terms, but the genuine essence of it, is being realized in a lot of places. And that is much more important that getting the terminology right.
Igzy, you ask for forgiveness while in the same breath calling me MORE ignorant than I (even) know. Brother you need to stay IN and realize your speech needs to be seasoned that you may minister grace. Brother it appears that you have been confused, befuddled, and dumbfounded, in respect to all the nonsense that went on in the LCs, this does not mean that everyone else was.

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If you think God's purpose is best summed-up in Lee's phraseology, then I'm afraid all you really have is a phrase. You haven't really experienced the reality as much as you might think. Sorry, I've seen it in myself and in too many others. Cold water? Yes, I guess. Loving water? That too.
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Old 10-22-2014, 01:59 PM   #23
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Igzy, you ask for forgiveness while in the same breath calling me MORE ignorant than I (even) know.
Sorry, but it is not a necessarily a sin to call someone ignorant. And I don't accept your definition of graciousness. There are plenty of examples of strong language in the Bible in service of the truth. Methinks you doth protest too much.

You are the one who came on here and made the basic claim that we all know the meaning of life because of Witness Lee. I mean, come on bro. You really mean you don't realize what a whopper that is? Puh-leeze.
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Old 10-22-2014, 02:26 PM   #24
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Here's what you said, Olvin.

"Still I challenge all who post here to do this: take your biblical understanding; subtract all the revelation you have received from "the ministry" and consider what you are left with. Can you minister life with that? Do you still see God's purpose, do you yet know the mystery of the human life? I doubt."

Now, I guarantee everyone here thought that by "the ministry" you meant Lee's ministry. And if you didn't, well, it's just unreasonable to expect anyone here to have realized that. The whole point of your post seems to be to defend what you got from Lee, to say that without it you would have next to nothing.

Was that not what you were doing? By "the ministry" did you mean general Biblical truth? If so, how did you expect us to know that, given the forum you are posting on, and the history of the phrase "the ministry" among such a culture? And especially since you put the phrase in quotes. It doesn't add up.

My point was that you don't need Lee to get "the ministry" if that's what you insist on calling truth. If your point was that we wouldn't have the truth unless we had the truth, that's seems a moot point to make.

So it still seems you were saying that we'd be nowhere without Lee. Which is hogwash.
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Old 10-22-2014, 04:56 PM   #25
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Here's what you said, Olvin.




"Still I challenge all who post here to do this: take your biblical understanding; subtract all the revelation you have received from "the ministry" and consider what you are left with. Can you minister life with that? Do you still see God's purpose, do you yet know the mystery of the human life? I doubt."[/QUOTE]





Now, I guarantee everyone here thought that by "the ministry" you meant Lee's ministry. And if you didn't, well, it's just unreasonable to expect anyone here to have realized that. The whole point of your post seems to be to defend what you got from Lee, to say that without it you would have next to nothing.





OLVIN: Brother I did mean "the ministry" which includes the ministry of WL, and it is his portion that I am referring to (I assumed thats why YOU put it in quotes); that which came through him, a continuation of all those that preceded him. Are you getting this. You spend more time defending yourself than listening. Let me make myself clear when (I) say - ministry I am referring to the contents of the faith. I am not speaking about practices beyond that.
Igzy, why don't you answer some of the straight forward questions I asked of you, then maybe I will understand you more. Otherwise with you its endless quarreling to no profit, which I have no more time for.







So it still seems you were saying that we'd be nowhere without Lee. Which is hogwash.[/QUOTE]
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Old 10-22-2014, 06:38 PM   #26
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Brother I did mean "the ministry" which includes the ministry of WL, and it is his portion that I am referring to (I assumed thats why YOU put it in quotes); that which came through him, a continuation of all those that preceded him. Are you getting this. You spend more time defending yourself than listening. Let me make myself clear when (I) say - ministry I am referring to the contents of the faith. I am not speaking about practices beyond that..
Alright then, simply a misunderstanding. Most LCers when they speak of "the ministry" are speaking of Lee's ministry. Very few people I know of use the term in the way you do. So it's confusing.

But if "the ministry" is general then your initial point was moot. If ministry simply means the ongoing revelation of God through all his ministers, then I don't understand why you asked what have we have received beyond that, because by simple definition there is nothing else.

But it's not like you can ascribe that ministry to anyone special. It comes from God. Neither do I think we can categorize ministers that easily and say "these are part of the ministry and these aren't." Sometime Lee was part of it, and sometimes he wasn't. Sometimes I am and sometimes I'm not. Same with you, I'll wager.

So I hope you can see why I thought you were talking about Lee only, Lee ever, Lee all in all. Aside from that I still don't understand what your initial point was. I think everyone here thought you were lifting up Lee.

Why don't I answer those questions you asked? Because there are too many of them. Ask me one question and I'll answer it. Although try not to make them of the "are you still beating your wife" category.
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Old 10-23-2014, 04:38 AM   #27
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Alright then, simply a misunderstanding... Very few people I know of use the term in the way you do. So it's confusing.
If we today are so easily confused about the usage, and meaning, of a word like "ministry", then how much more so if we see something like "Peter's angel" in Acts 12, or "The Spirit not yet [given]" in John 7, or the imagery to the seven churches in Asia in Revs 2 & 3, or the Great Angel of the OT. To declare a word or phrase's meaning because it fits our preconceived notions, when we have almost no idea of the shared understandings, several thousand years ago, between the writer and readers, seems presumptuous.

Beware of teachers who confidently proclaim that they have the definitive understanding, and "this means that", simply because it fits their scheme which they peddle for fun and profit. It's a confidence game and they're selling themselves and their assurance, above any objective, realized "truth", including Jesus Christ Himself. If they can convince their hearer that they are sure, this reassures and calms (read: stupefies) the mark, who then takes shelter under their ministration, even if it has little bearing on the text at hand. Thus we hear, "Our brother" told us this, or that, so relax and assume that we now have reality firmly in our sights. Beware: it's a perilous journey, and these are the hidden reefs we were warned against.
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Old 10-23-2014, 06:27 AM   #28
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I came into the LC in Cleveland a couple of months before the 82 winter training, it changed my christian life, which even up to that point was quit given by His grace. I am quit confident that I had read the Bible more than most of the young brothers in the LC, and yet none could convince me that mans salvation was secure; during the Peter training I got perfectly clear, and my brother, our brother Lee was not even discussing our eternal salvation. I and 40 other brothers were in the first one year full time traing TC held in Cleveland, it was the most profitable year of my life to date. I learned to how to study, how to share, how to discern. John Ingles taught church history, out from which came the Fristfruit series; this more than anything opened my eyes to how the Lord is building His Church, His Kingdom in spite of the frailty, the weakness, the stubbornness and sinfulness of His vessels.

I don't think there are many who have suffered more indignities than myself in the local church. Still I challenge all who post here to do this: take your biblical understanding; subtract all the revelation you have received from "the ministry" and consider what you are left with. Can you minister life with that? Do you still see God's purpose, do you yet know the mystery of the human life? I doubt.

Now before you assume that I am definding anything or one, I'll tell you I was excommunicated by TC. I said and wrote some of the same things I am reading on here. First I complained to brother WL about TC lording it over the flock. Then I learned that brother Lee, when confronted with his error only defended himself in his free book defending all the allegations brought himself. I knew then, as devastated as I was, that though I could no longer sit under this type leadership. What I didn't know then, was that most brothers can't separate the work The Lord does through man from the man. So I could find no brothers who were like minded according to the recovered truth (I assume you understand) who were willing to meet apart from LMS.

There is so much I could say, sooo much... but we must get on with it. We should not think these things strange. We have the bible, we have church history,and we also have a promise "I will build my church and the gates of hell shall not prevail...

Hear hear! Yes! We have the Bible, we HAVE THE CHURCH! Yes we do! That is, if we respect and know and BELIEVE the Bible, we do! And we have His promises! I receive them ALL. He is faithful who has promised. No one else can say that. But we stand on His Word!
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Old 10-23-2014, 11:27 AM   #29
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Alright then, simply a misunderstanding. Most LCers when they speak of "the ministry" are speaking of Lee's ministry. Very few people I know of use the term in the way you do. So it's confusing.

Olvin: I love this saying, and believe it applies at least to you Igzy; "It is hard to get someone to understand the truth when their livelihood depends on them not understanding it" since this seems your life mission to date, to lambast the ministry of WL.
You are confused because you don't study to show yourself approved. You presume to talk about spiritual things yet you don't refer to scripture. You criticize WL for using terms like nature and metabolic saying; "there are better
definitions than he gave". Like? The scripture says; we have been made partakers of the divine NATURE in Peter. Romans 5 reminds us that we were made i.e. constituted sinners (use your Strong,s concordance if you own one) , thats WAS our nature. FYI thats what it means to be born again, we get a new life. Every life has it's own nature, God's is holy, ours was sinful - remember.
You will need your Strong's for this one too; 1Cor.15 and Romans 8 uses the word transformation i.e. metamorphoo - get it. But of course you have a better definition. You say "it's more about God changing your charACTOR".
I know you will hate this because it was taught to me by TC. He said you can tame a horse, even make him to dance, but you can't make a horse a dancer.
Get someone to explain that one to you.



But if "the ministry" is general then your initial point was moot. If ministry simply means the ongoing revelation of God through all his ministers, then I don't understand why you asked what have we have received beyond that, because by simple definition there is nothing else.


Olvin: Brother am glad the early church fathers did not have your "simple definition"; remember the line in Luther's hymn " the Lord has much more light and truth to break forth from His Word"




But it's not like you can ascribe that ministry to anyone special. It comes from God. Neither do I think we can categorize ministers that easily and say "these are part of the ministry and these aren't." Sometime Lee was part of it, and sometimes he wasn't. Sometimes I am and sometimes I'm not. Same with you, I'll wager.



Olvin: Have you ever heard the name Polycarp, or Justin Martyr, or Irenaus, or Origen, Tertullian, Augustine, these and many more all of which were 1000 years before the reformers. I don't need to give a short list of them; do I?
You have to read a little church history to know these things. Pilgrim's Church, and Miller's Church History is someplace you should start if your are really concerned about understanding the ministry. We CAN ascribe that ministry to everyone special, WL included. These were all faithful men not perfect men.
Do you understand the difference?





I think everyone here thought you were lifting up Lee.




Olvin: I was lifting up Lee, along with all those other faithful men to whom the word was committed, who were able to teach others also. Are you clear now?
And just like those mentioned and unmentioned, most, most at some point became a factor of division, and scandal, even the cause of death for many precious saints.



Why don't I answer those questions you asked? Because there are too many of them. Ask me one question and I'll answer it. Although try not to make them of the "are you still beating your wife" category.



Olvin: Igzy, make it easy on yourself pick any two of the "many" I posed that had to do with scripture.




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Old 10-23-2014, 12:48 PM   #30
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I don't think there are many who have suffered more indignities than myself in the local church. Still I challenge all who post here to do this: take your biblical understanding; subtract all the revelation you have received from "the ministry" and consider what you are left with. Can you minister life with that? Do you still see God's purpose, do you yet know the mystery of the human life? I doubt.
Olvin, this paragraph from your testimony kind of sums up the controversy we face on this forum. From one point of view, we had many experiences of Christ with the brothers, and learned so much about the Bible. From another point of view, the leaders abused lots of dear saints and hid their unrighteousness from sight. I definitely understand both sides of this debate because I was active in the churchlife for 3 decades, migrating twice to start new churches. I could go on and on about all the good ... and all the bad ...

Igzy and others on this forum no longer place a high value on all the Bible doctrine we have learned in the LC. They tend to focus on the Lord's commands to "love God and love your neighbor." When it comes to how the leaders in the LC's treated the saints, they are a dismal failure, as evidenced by your own testimony. "Greater love has no man than this, than we lay down our life ..." was grossly absent in LC leaders. Paul's pattern of being with the saints, as recorded in numerous books of the New Testament, was not practiced by LC leaders. It is impossible to find one verse in the Bible that can justify both W. Lee's and T. Chu's practice of publicly shaming the brothers.

I have on many occasions noted on this forum how many beloved gifted brothers who departed after enduring Titus Chu's constant abuses. Both churches I helped to start were nearly destroyed by this. You yourself have tasted this fiery trial which never should have happened. And why did it happen? Because both Titus and Lee loved to be first, lording it over the churches. They used public shaming to maintain their power base. As a result, brothers were forced to choose between being man-pleasers or being faithful to God and their conscience. They left because they chose God over man.

So we can debate all day about which point of view we like to have. Personally I treasure all my experience of Christ and everything healthy I have learned from LC teachers. The Lord warned the disciples, however, to "beware of the leaven of the Pharisees," and I too have been forced to discard many LC teachings as lousy leaven. I have also discarded all of Lee's views on church history as being seriously self-serving. I could go on and on, but the point is that LC leaders took advantage of the trust we placed in them, and never took responsibility for their failures.

The Apostle Paul warned those from Ephesus that this would happen in Acts 20.28-30, "And take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among whom the Holy Spirit has placed you as overseers to shepherd the church of God, which He obtained thru His own blood; I know after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; And from among you yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverted things to draw away the disciples after themselves."

Lee and Chu taught many "perverted things to draw us after themselves," and not after Christ. They surely loved the glory of men. All the glory had to go their way, rather than to God's only Son. Isn't our Heavenly Father jealous over His Son? Jesus warned the Pharisees, "How can you believe when you love the glory of man, more than the glory of God?" LC leaders were filled with the doctrines on faith, but did not possess the real thing, otherwise why would they have to resort to constant lawsuits?
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Old 10-23-2014, 08:11 PM   #31
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Olvin, this paragraph from your testimony kind of sums up the controversy we face on this forum. From one point of view, we had many experiences of Christ with the brothers, and learned so much about the Bible. From another point of view, the leaders abused lots of dear saints and hid their unrighteousness from sight. I definitely understand both sides of this debate because I was active in the churchlife for 3 decades, migrating twice to start new churches. I could go on and on about all the good ... and all the bad ...
Ohio, I am thankful for your spirit (can I say that here?;-) You are so correct, we had many experiences of Christ and learned so much about the Bible.These are the things that constitute our faith; our experiences of Christ and knowledge of His word, no matter whose ministry we received them under. We cannot discount the sovereignty of God in our lives, and we surely don't want to be a cause of stumbling for others, by causing them to doubt their experiences of Christ and trust in the word which God has caused to shape their faith.

While I was in the LC, Cleve., Lorain, and Elyria,(the latter two, like you, I labored to initiate) I pushed back hard against the so called delegated authority, always reminding them that God's throne, the highest authority, is established upon righteousness; that eating and drinking Christ was great but the kingdom was not that, it was righteousness... first. We belong to the One who told use that we would we would experience fiery trials, and not to think it strange as though some strange thing were happening to us. We don't get to chose the fire we pass through, we would never chose fire; still the trying of our faith - which is more precious than gold- the trying of our faith is more precious than what we think most precious.

One story in scripture (and there are many) of overcoming the trauma of unrighteousness inflicted by leaders and or brothers is in Saul's jealous pursuit of David. David finds himself in a cave with 400 of the distressed, indebted, and discontented, all pursued by KING Saul. Some writers say 15 to 20 years David spent fleeing Saul's insane, murderous, rampage. Those with David thought him mad for not killing Saul when he could have. These men had become effected by David's heart; his heart to trust God changed their hearts. When word of the king and his son's death came, all the men that were with David, all being pursued by Saul their brother their king; all tore their clothes morned and wept 2Sam.1. Then David's song for Saul and Jonathan which he said was to be taught to the children, shows that David was a man who came to understand the grace and mercy of a sovereign Lord. I encourage those who post here - take a fresh look that scripture.

Brother, you know God's people have a history of being traumatized by those who speak in his name. Still like Paul, pressed down beyond measure even despairing of life, but believing God can raise the dead; we, his brothers have the same spirit of faith.

Brothers this will most likely be my last post here; I pray you all keep yourselves in the love of Christ. Peace!
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Old 10-23-2014, 10:15 PM   #32
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Olvin: Igzy, make it easy on yourself pick any two of the "many" I posed that had to do with scripture.

Okay, two things.

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Does eating and drinking the Lord, one of WL's favorite topics yet offend you?
Not unless it depersonalizes our relationship with God, turning God into more substance than Person. When that happens I think it's being taken too far, and I think Lee did that more often than not.

Otherwise, no, it doesn't offend me in general. It's scriptural.

One.

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Like? The scripture says; we have been made partakers of the divine NATURE in Peter.
It does say that. My belief is that Lee's interpretation of that went too far, and read all kinds of things into it that weren't really there. Again, I think he depersonalized God and our relationship with him, turning it into more of a process than an intimate knowing between conscious beings.

The Bible says that eternal life is knowing God. My long experience tells me I can't gain transformation by bypassing an intimate relationship with God and just imbibe his "life" and "nature." I think that way of looking at things is a mistake and I cannot see that the Bible has that perspective. To know God you have relate to God, I mean the Holy Spirit. And before all the Holy Spirit is a Person, with a mind, an opinion, an attitude and a character. All the metaphors for the Spirit--water, breath, even life--are characteristics of God's PERSON. So the less you know the Person, the less you have those things.

Lee said that Christ is life, and He is. But he also taught that knowing Christ as life and Christ as "our person" are two distinct things. I think that is nonsense. If Christ himself is life then if you know life you know him and vice versa. And if you cannot simultaneously know Christ the Person and not have him as your person. It's funny the way LCers talk about "knowing life" as if it is somehow different from knowing Christ. But it can't be. This is what I mean when I say they depersonalize our relationship with Christ. They turned "life" into something that was almost just some kind of force or energy, like they were getting the benefits of God without having to deal with his person. Can't do it and it's a mistake to want to.

Sure, the Bible uses the word "metamorphosis." But the fact is we don't know exactly how the Spirit changes us. We do know that the Spirit leads us and we are to obey. I believe real transformation happens in those acts of obedience to Him, because that is my experience. I didn't experience much change simply by "eating and drinking." It really came when I realized God wants to change the way I think about things and how I react to things. And like it or not, changes of those kind require decisions to do things in certain ways. You can call that "acting" if you want. I call it obedience.

The issue is not whether you are acting or not acting, the issue is whether you are walking in obedience to the Holy Spirit. And in my experience sometimes he tells me to act. Sometimes God tells me to act happy to see someone that I'm not really happy to see. He tells me to love people I really don't want to love. And guess what? Like C.S. Lewis said, the more you act like you love someone, the more you start to genuinely love them. I believe it's part of the way God created us to work. Imagine that.

So your mocking of the word character by spelling it "charACTOR" is pretty short-sighted. I'm reminded of the true story of the elder who came home from a meeting to the sight of his sick wife washing the dishes. He went upstairs and didn't help her. Later, when their marriage was falling apart, she asked him why he didn't help her that night. He said he wasn't sure doing so was "of life." It probably would have been better for that elder if he had just "acted" like helping his wife was "of life," because God commands us to cherish our wives, even when we don't feel like it, and when we don't feel like it we should act like we do anyway because that's what a cherishing person does! Get it? He doesn't wait around for "life" to "transform" him. It's just that kind of nonsensical ungodly behavior that Lee's ministry often led to.

So I genuinely think that a lot Lee's ministry led us away from knowing God and into some kind of pseudo spiritual "inner life" experience that was not of God. Now I believe that God is known inwardly, as the Holy Spirit. I just think that Lee focused so much on his carefully constructed "inner life" theology that he missed the point, which was to know God. I think all his errors spring from that.

And I don't believe that anyone who truly knows God would abuse authority the way Lee and Titus and all those guys did. I've had the privilege to get to know some very godly men since I left the LC, and one thing they all have in common is they respect the authority of the Holy Spirit in each person. They would never presume to usurp it the way LC leadership does.

Two.

Okay, I've done what you asked. Trust me, Olvin, I know the Bible and Church history. Just because I don't interpret it as you do doesn't mean I don't.

I don't hate Lee and it is not my mission in life to lambaste him. My mission in life is to help people know God. And in my experience and observation, many of Lee's teachings are actually a hindrance to that. I'm sorry if that offends you, but if your main perspective on Christian truth is still Lee's version then you only see one side of the story. I see your perspective, because I've lived it, and I see the one I have now. You only see your perspective.

You don't have to agree with me, but I'm satisfied that my conclusions line up with the Bible, and they also match my experience.
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Old 10-24-2014, 12:07 AM   #33
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Olvin:

You stuck to what you believe. I admire you for that.

I wish you well in your further endeavors to spread the Word of Life.

Last edited by Friedel; 10-24-2014 at 12:09 AM. Reason: Wrong choice of words
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Old 10-24-2014, 04:47 AM   #34
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Olvin:

You stuck to what you believe. I admire you for that.

I wish you well in your further endeavors to spread the Word of Life.
I agree. I like people who have the courage of their convictions. It is too, too easy to be what we think the group consensus is looking for.
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Old 10-24-2014, 07:20 AM   #35
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I have not suggested that you don't know these things, my simple challenge was that apart from what you have learned from the ministry - do you know them. Now maybe you were confused with the term "the ministry" if you think it means LSM then you don't get it. If you understand that it refers to all those faithful men and women who throughout history have contended for the faith, and have pointed us to the person and work of Christ, then you would be quit presumptuous to exclude WL.
From that perspective, it would be quite presumptuous to exclude just about any church pastor. Almost all of them point to the person and work of Christ. So this is a huge group you are talking about.

But though Lee might be in that huge, general group. He is also in a special, less illustrious category. He's in that category of teachers that had a lot of potential, then went way off the deep end. So I don't think you can just throw him in with those of "the ministry" and be done with it. Doing that is a disservice to those who might be misled by him. Although he preached Christ and many of his teachings are mainstream, there is a thread of error which runs through his entire ministry which, ultimately, I think, disqualifies him from recommendation. When you simply say he was part of "the ministry" you in my opinion are negligent not to point out his misleading proprietary teachings (which he himself said were more or less unique to him) which treat God as more substance and process than someone who is conscious and personal, a subtle but serious error that leads people into extreme subjectivity and sets them up for group manipulation.

Again, to speak of "life" and "nature" is not wrong, per se. It's just way overemphasized and skewed in Lee's case. Yes, the Bible speaks much of "life." Zoe-life. But I think the Lee/LC interpretation of what "life" means is skewed. It turns God into something too general and vague and impersonal.

Take for example, the idea of "the sense of life." Lee's invention. Now, it's not wrong, it's what it leaves out that's dangerous. And what it leaves out is that you are dealing with a Person, not a feeling. This allows the "sense" to become so subjective that it becomes indistinguishable from other sensibilities and the opinion of the group. So then all someone has to do is say they "sense death" in someone else and that person becomes a leper. But many times the "sense of death" is just an emotional reaction based on culture, not the Spirit. You see this over and over in the LC.

An example is your reaction to me. Right off the bat, you judged my "spirit." I've noticed that LCers do this a lot. They are extremely subjective. They decide someone doesn't have the right attitude "in life" and then dismiss them. LCers are extremely difficult to reason with, because they tend to judge you for being "dead" or of a "negative spirit" if you have the wrong doctrines or express things in a manner they narrowly find objectionable. Which gives them the excuse, in their minds, to dismiss you without having to really think about or even clarify what you said.

Witness Lee is a tough nut to crack because he did say many good and inspiring things, and he also said a lot of flat-out destructive things. Because of this he invokes strong feelings on both sides, and strong feelings of ambivalence in the more thoughtful. Ultimately he created a lot of sheer confusion, and confusion is of the devil, not God.
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Old 10-24-2014, 07:56 AM   #36
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Here's another question about Witness Lee as a minister to be revered and honored. If he really was such a great minister, then how did he go so far off the reservation? Either he didn't go off, and we are in error, or he never was that great of a minister in the first place.

As I said, you probably have strong feelings one way or the other.

I think Lee's help for us came down to one thing. He taught us that Christ is to be experienced personally. You can pretty much throw the rest out and you will still be left with the majority of the help he gave. He got the details of it mostly wrong in his effort to uniquely codify the "inner life," and eventually became misleading. But he did teach us that Christ is to be experienced by us directly. For that much I am grateful.

But much of the rest... eh.

Like I said, ambivalence among the thoughtful.
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Old 10-24-2014, 10:55 AM   #37
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Here's another question about Witness Lee as a minister to be revered and honored. If he really was such a great minister, then how did he go so far off the reservation? Either he didn't go off, and we are in error, or he never was that great of a minister in the first place.
I could summarize the answer to this question in 3 parts:
  1. Lee thought more highly of himself than he ought, almost to the point of megalomania. He convinced his minions that he was the acting god, the oracle, the minister of the age, today's apostle Paul, the deputy authority of God, etc. Pride preceded the fall, as they say.
  2. Lee forgot how to treat others. He condemned all outsiders, and abused many insiders. He could preach love, but practiced the ministry of condemnation. His lawsuits and threats of lawsuits numbered into the dozens. He had no peers, and could not work along side anyone.
  3. Lee was unrighteous, and covered his unrighteousness instead of repenting and trusting God. Lee "stoned" all the prophets God sent to him, smeared their reputations, branded them rebellious lepers, and accused them of a conspiratorial coup d'etat. He put his profligate sons, Phillip and Timothy, over God and his people.
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Old 10-24-2014, 05:46 PM   #38
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You don't know what you are talking about.
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The fact is this: It's you who don't know God's purpose. It's you who don't know the mystery of human life. You think you do, but you don't.
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Right off the bat, you judged my "spirit."
Right Igzy. How could Olvin possibly judge your spirit when you were obviously attempting to have an open and free exchange of ideas with the guy? Clearly he didn't appreciate your tender and caring spirit. Shame on him. What an ingrate.
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Old 10-24-2014, 09:32 PM   #39
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From another point of view, the leaders abused lots of dear saints and hid their unrighteousness from sight.
In public, the leaders can be quite positive. If you attempt to touch or expose their unrighteousness, this is when brothers and sisters may be set aside if they attempt to "tell it to the church". Whether you use the term delegated or deputy authority, the result is the same; spiritual abuse.
Instead of using the principle Matthew 18, the easy and expedient approach is to use the authority to set ones aside who oppose unrighteousness.
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Old 10-26-2014, 07:00 AM   #40
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Right Igzy. How could Olvin possibly judge your spirit when you were obviously attempting to have an open and free exchange of ideas with the guy? Clearly he didn't appreciate your tender and caring spirit. Shame on him. What an ingrate.

I couldn't resist saying, and not for my sake as much as his, - thank you!http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ilies/wink.gif
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:39 AM   #41
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I learned to how to study, how to share, how to discern. John Ingles taught church history, out from which came the Fristfruit series; this more than anything opened my eyes to how the Lord is building His Church, His Kingdom in spite of the frailty, the weakness, the stubbornness and sinfulness of His vessels.
Hey saints, just wanted to correct something. Please forgive me but I made a mistake; it was not John Ingles, but Jim Ritsky who taught church history during that training. I think the spelling is right, maybe not.
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Old 10-27-2014, 09:08 AM   #42
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Right Igzy. How could Olvin possibly judge your spirit when you were obviously attempting to have an open and free exchange of ideas with the guy? Clearly he didn't appreciate your tender and caring spirit. Shame on him. What an ingrate.
I never judged Olvin's character, just his comprehension of facts and reality. He's the one who took that as an excuse to judge my character.

And he continued to judge and take a sarcastic and dismissive tone after I apologized. He asked me to answer his questions (two of them), then he didn't respond after I took the time to do it, which seems rude for rudeness sake. And when all was said and done he has insulted me much more than I did him. And I'm the bad guy? I guess two wrongs make a right? Or perhaps I need to do penance or something?

What's the answer here moving forward?
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Old 10-27-2014, 09:19 AM   #43
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I never judged Olvin's character, just his comprehension of facts and reality. He's the one who took that as an excuse to judge my character.

And he continued to judge and take a sarcastic and dismissive tone after I apologized. He asked me to answer his questions (two of them), then he didn't respond after I took the time to do it, which seems rude for rudeness sake. And when all was said and done he has insulted me much more than I did him. And I'm the bad guy? I guess two wrongs make a right? Or perhaps I need to do penance or something?

What's the answer here moving forward?
Good question, bro. I suppose it is Olvin's place to answer it. Perhaps the goal could be better mutual understanding. Hopefully.
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Old 10-27-2014, 02:55 PM   #44
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Hey saints, just wanted to correct something. Please forgive me but I made a mistake; it was not John Ingles, but Jim Ritsky who taught church history during that training. I think the spelling is right, maybe not.
Actually Reetzke, but that's only because I got a church directory, and a family member who married into his family.
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Old 10-27-2014, 03:00 PM   #45
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Or perhaps I need to do penance or something?

What's the answer here moving forward?
And for your penance, say one "Act of Contrition," ten "Our Fathers," ten "Hail Mary's," and ten "Glory Be's."

Sorry, but I was just re-living my old Catholic days, after courageously ventering into that dark confessional.
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Old 10-27-2014, 07:01 PM   #46
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Okay, two things. Not unless it depersonalizes our relationship with God, turning God into more substance than Person. When that happens I think it's being taken too far, and I think Lee did that more often than not.
You then would also have to say the Jesus was taking it too far. He referred to Himself as bread 12 times in John, HE said, "unless we eat and drink Him we have no life", HE said, "all who thirst come to Him and drink", HE breathed the Holy Spirit into the disciples, HE said, "He would be a well in us springing up..." I think its not taken far enough, and I think Jesus did that more often than not.

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Otherwise, no, it doesn't offend me in general. It's scriptural.
One.
It does say that. My belief is that Lee's interpretation of that went too far, and read all kinds of things into it that weren't really there. Again, I think he depersonalized God and our relationship with him, turning it into more of a process than an intimate knowing between conscious beings.

The Bible says that eternal life is knowing God. My long experience tells me I can't gain transformation by bypassing an intimate relationship with God and just imbibe his "life" and "nature." I think that way of looking at things is a mistake and I cannot see that the Bible has that perspective. To know God you have relate to God, I mean the Holy Spirit. And before all the Holy Spirit is a Person, with a mind, an opinion, an attitude and a character. All the metaphors for the Spirit--water, breath, even life--are characteristics of God's PERSON. So the less you know the Person, the less you have those things.
Yes, Jesus in scripture says that: "you search (and research) the scripture for in them- you think- you have eternal life". They testify of Him. "Yet refuse to come to me that you may have life". How do you come to Him? He says: come eat the bread life, and come drink the water of life. This is by no means "bypassing and intimate relationship" but pursuing and developing one based on the way the One who loves us has spoken to us. I'd rather learn His love language than yours.

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Lee said that Christ is life, and He is. But he also taught that knowing Christ as life and Christ as "our person" are two distinct things. I think that is nonsense. If Christ himself is life then if you know life you know him and vice versa. And if you cannot simultaneously know Christ the Person and not have him as your person. It's funny the way LCers talk about "knowing life" as if it is somehow different from knowing Christ. But it can't be. This is what I mean when I say they depersonalize our relationship with Christ. They turned "life" into something that was almost just some kind of force or energy, like they were getting the benefits of God without having to deal with his person. Can't do it and it's a mistake to want to.
You contradict yourself, first you categorize "even life as a metaphor, a characteristic of God", then you say, "if you know life you know God and vice versa". So all those who take the Lord at HIS word to eat, drink, and breath Him for life, according to you have His person also? So to me it boils down to your way (whatever that is) or His. I think I'll go with His.
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Sure, the Bible uses the word "metamorphosis." But the fact is we don't know exactly how the Spirit changes us. We do know that the Spirit leads us and we are to obey. I believe real transformation happens in those acts of obedience to Him, because that is my experience. I didn't experience much change simply by "eating and drinking." It really came when I realized God wants to change the way I think about things and how I react to things. And like it or not, changes of those kind require decisions to do things in certain ways. You can call that "acting" if you want. I call it obedience.
Think about this as you are thinking about obedience. Scripture says: But thou, son of man, HEAR WHAT I SAY UNTO THE, be not thou rebellious like that rebellious house: open thy mouth and EAT that which I give the. Ezekiel 2:8.
Hungry yet? I am.
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The issue is not whether you are acting or not acting, the issue is whether you are walking in obedience to the Holy Spirit. And in my experience sometimes he tells me to act. Sometimes God tells me to act happy to see someone that I'm not really happy to see. He tells me to love people I really don't want to love. And guess what? Like C.S. Lewis said, the more you act like you love someone, the more you start to genuinely love them. I believe it's part of the way God created us to work. Imagine that.
God NEVER tells us to act; He tell us to deny ourselves, to take up our cross and follow Him. Replace the word "act" with deny yourself and I fully agree. Thats the way God works!

Quote:
So your mocking of the word character by spelling it "charACTOR" is pretty short-sighted. I'm reminded of the true story of the elder who came home from a meeting to the sight of his sick wife washing the dishes. He went upstairs and didn't help her. Later, when their marriage was falling apart, she asked him why he didn't help her that night. He said he wasn't sure doing so was "of life." It probably would have been better for that elder if he had just "acted" like helping his wife was "of life," because God commands us to cherish our wives, even when we don't feel like it, and when we don't feel like it we should act like we do anyway because that's what a cherishing person does! Get it? He doesn't wait around for "life" to "transform" him. It's just that kind of nonsensical ungodly behavior that Lee's ministry often led to.
You blame a grown man's selfish behavior on Bro.Lee? When all is said and done we all will give account. Strange how that works. God gave us all the Bible and the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into all reality. Yet somehow you seem to have laid this responsibility for the saints in the LCs on one man.
Some saints never mature no matter how old they are or what type of position they hold, elder or otherwise.

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So I genuinely think that a lot Lee's ministry led us away from knowing God and into some kind of pseudo spiritual "inner life" experience that was not of God. Now I believe that God is known inwardly, as the Holy Spirit. I just think that Lee focused so much on his carefully constructed "inner life" theology that he missed the point, which was to know God. I think all his errors spring from that.
Well, WL surely made some very serious mistakes, but where all his errors spring from were not all errors. He labored with the talent given to him by the Lord. I am not ashamed to say that my book shelves are lined with the fruit of his labor.

Quote:
And I don't believe that anyone who truly knows God would abuse authority the way Lee and Titus and all those guys did. I've had the privilege to get to know some very godly men since I left the LC, and one thing they all have in common is they respect the authority of the Holy Spirit in each person. They would never presume to usurp it the way LC leadership does.
Brother, let me say from experience you never know what a man will do other than sin, even "godly" men.

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Two.

Okay, I've done what you asked. Trust me, Olvin, I know the Bible and Church history. Just because I don't interpret it as you do doesn't mean I don't.

I don't hate Lee and it is not my mission in life to lambaste him. My mission in life is to help people know God. And in my experience and observation, many of Lee's teachings are actually a hindrance to that. I'm sorry if that offends you, but if your main perspective on Christian truth is still Lee's version then you only see one side of the story. I see your perspective, because I've lived it, and I see the one I have now. You only see your perspective.
Let me say after much reflection, it is you ALSO Igzy, who are actually in serious danger of being a hindrance. There are many many saints who are seeking encouragement, comfort and direction because of the pain they experienced leaving the LCs. Even children of abusive parents need to be able to salvage childhood joys. Abusive parents my have taken there children on wonderful vacations, celebrated all the special days of the year, the home movies may not show one hint of the abuse. Parents who punch, and slap their children may also have read them bed time stories and taught them to ride a bike or swim. No counselor would ever suggest that the children reject or try to forget all those normal, pleasant, childhood memories because of the horrific ones. Even the counselor knows that is something for the child to reconcile within themselves. Brother what I see you doing in this forum causing saints to question the faithfulness of God in their lives. Do you believe that all things work together for good? Do you believe that his word will no return void. Do you believe that we have an anointing and no need to be taught. But the anointing that is in us is true and is no lie...?
My point is Igzy: You only have YOUR perspective, you still presume to see mine. I was abused, but in my LC family as well as many who post here, there were many wonderful times had with brothers and sisters. I can separate the good from the bad, the ugly from the glorious.

Quote:
I have said in a number of ways that at some point you must be able to separate the man from his work. Only in the person of Christ can perfection be found. Consider this verse: John2:25 'because he needed not that any one should bear witness concerning man; for he himself knew what was in man.

You don't have to agree with me, but I'm satisfied that my conclusions line up with the Bible, and they also match my experience.
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Old 10-28-2014, 07:41 AM   #47
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Default Please review YouTube video on how to post quotes in Vbulletin

To Orin and anybody else interested:
Please review YouTube video on how to post quotes in Vbulletin

I think this will end up saving you some time and frustration when providing and answering multiple quotes on the forum.

Thanks!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nrqLv__bFzk
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:32 AM   #48
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My thanks to UntoHim for the how to post, and my apologies to all those who had to decipher my post.
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:20 AM   #49
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You then would also have to say the Jesus was taking it too far. He referred to Himself as bread 12 times in John, HE said, "unless we eat and drink Him we have no life", HE said, "all who thirst come to Him and drink", HE breathed the Holy Spirit into the disciples, HE said, "He would be a well in us springing up..." I think its not taken far enough, and I think Jesus did that more often than not.
Not necessarily, because you don't have to conclude that Jesus' statements mean we should commoditize Him the way Lee did. Jesus certainly used these pictures to point out how we could experience him. I'm not saying he didn't say these things, I'm just saying that the way the LC chose to think about them is not healthy. They depersonalize our relationship with the Lord so much that it becomes no more about relating to him as a Person, but imbibing stuff. And that's not what God intended, in my opinion.


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Yes, Jesus in scripture says that: "you search (and research) the scripture for in them- you think- you have eternal life". They testify of Him. "Yet refuse to come to me that you may have life". How do you come to Him? He says: come eat the bread life, and come drink the water of life. This is by no means "bypassing and intimate relationship" but pursuing and developing one based on the way the One who loves us has spoken to us. I'd rather learn His love language than yours.
Again nothing wrong with eating and drinking. But if that's all you have, if you are not actually get to know him, then you don't really know life, because eternal life is knowing him. Are you getting to know him, is the question.

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You contradict yourself, first you categorize "even life as a metaphor, a characteristic of God", then you say, "if you know life you know God and vice versa". So all those who take the Lord at HIS word to eat, drink, and breath Him for life, according to you have His person also? So to me it boils down to your way (whatever that is) or His. I think I'll go with His.
When I say even life is a metaphor, I mean that all things divine, even life, are expressions of God's Person. Our life and nature are different, more basic, than our person. But his life and nature are just his person. It all begins and ends with his conscious personality, his mind, emotion and will. You can't get his life or nature without getting his person. And if you get his person, you are getting his life and nature. In my experience the LC had this thought that you could get his life without getting his person. No, you can't.

I think my way is his, properly interpreted. I don't think the LC really wanted people to develop their own relationships with God. I think they wanted a kind of mindless experience by which they could exercise group control. I'm not saying your experience is mindless. I'm saying what I was taught in the LC was pretty mindless.

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God NEVER tells us to act; He tell us to deny ourselves, to take up our cross and follow Him. Replace the word "act" with deny yourself and I fully agree. Thats the way God works!
Sorry, I believe that is imbalanced. There are all kinds of commandments, Old and New, which require action. Repenting is action. When I say act I don't mean being pretentious, but I do mean sometimes we have to step out and try to do things that we don't think we can do, and in fact it does often start out with a little "pretending." A simple example is just being nice to someone we can't stand. That requires an initial act of faith. Sure we need grace too, but we don't wait around for grace to fall on us before we are nice. We just obey God's commandment to be kind and tender, even when we don't feel like it. Sometimes it requires, initially at least, acting. That's just our experience.

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You blame a grown man's selfish behavior on Bro.Lee? When all is said and done we all will give account. Strange how that works. God gave us all the Bible and the Holy Spirit to lead us and guide us into all reality. Yet somehow you seem to have laid this responsibility for the saints in the LCs on one man. Some saints never mature no matter how old they are or what type of position they hold, elder or otherwise.
I'm saying that your prescription that we never need to act ultimately leads to these kinds of experiences. Either you are completely transformed, or you sometimes need to "act" to fulfill God's commandments. This brother thought he shouldn't do that, and the result was he offended his wife. Let's be clear: the brother didn't leave his wife with the dishes because he hated her. He left her because he thought by doing so he might be more spiritual. And that idea came straight from Lee's teaching. Now, when I act in faith and fellowship with God, my experience is God's grace rushes in to empower me to fulfill his commandments in a life-filled way. But if I just waited around for grace to fall on me to do what I should I wouldn't even get out of bed to go to work half the time.

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Well, WL surely made some very serious mistakes, but where all his errors spring from were not all errors. He labored with the talent given to him by the Lord. I am not ashamed to say that my book shelves are lined with the fruit of his labor.
I don't mind if you appreciate Lee. But if you think he is at the front rank of those ministering the truth I think that is a big mistake. This goes back to your original assertion, which was basically that your view of the purpose of life culminated in Lee's characteristic synopsis. My point is that "express God by being filled with his life and nature" has a big, big hole in it. And the hole is that it doesn't mention knowing God's person, and it doesn't mention obedience to the personal conscious leading of a Person. Lee's life-and-nature model leaves too much to spontaneity and unconsciousness. I.e. we eat and transformation happens. In my experience, eating leads to being more aware of God's presence, which causes me to be more aware of his personal leading, which (hopefully) leads to CONSCIOUS obedience, and it's in that obedience that transformation really happens.

I don't think transformation is about getting your "nature" magically changed. Nowhere does the Bible actually say that. There may be something like that going on, but the Bible doesn't tell us to focus on that. Transformation, in my experience, is about God teaching you, through his personal leading to think, feel and act in a completely different way. Transformation happens with the renewing of our minds (Romans 12:2), that is learning to think differently. Now it is a learning that we could not get without the Spirit teaching us, but it is still a conscious learning. It's not just an unconscious changing of our "nature."

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Brother, let me say from experience you never know what a man will do other than sin, even "godly" men.
Fair enough.

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Let me say after much reflection, it is you ALSO Igzy, who are actually in serious danger of being a hindrance. There are many many saints who are seeking encouragement, comfort and direction because of the pain they experienced leaving the LCs. Even children of abusive parents need to be able to salvage childhood joys. Abusive parents my have taken there children on wonderful vacations, celebrated all the special days of the year, the home movies may not show one hint of the abuse. Parents who punch, and slap their children may also have read them bed time stories and taught them to ride a bike or swim. No counselor would ever suggest that the children reject or try to forget all those normal, pleasant, childhood memories because of the horrific ones. Even the counselor knows that is something for the child to reconcile within themselves. Brother what I see you doing in this forum causing saints to question the faithfulness of God in their lives. Do you believe that all things work together for good? Do you believe that his word will no return void. Do you believe that we have an anointing and no need to be taught. But the anointing that is in us is true and is no lie...?
My point is Igzy: You only have YOUR perspective, you still presume to see mine. I was abused, but in my LC family as well as many who post here, there were many wonderful times had with brothers and sisters. I can separate the good from the bad, the ugly from the glorious.
I can appreciate that, and I can take that word. I don't want people to lose faith in their genuine experiences of God. I want them to have the freedom to question any teacher. And LCers are taught to feel guilty about questioning Lee. And that, Olvin is a doctrine of demons. There is just no other way to put it.

We've come full circle. My initial objection was that you said we could not know the meaning of life without "the ministry" and the best definition of that meaning was Lee's version. This showed me that you were still influenced to think you had to revere Lee. There is a seed in what he put in us that causes us to feel distress when we consider doubting him. That is of the devil.

Please read and pray over 1 Corinthians 3. My thought is that the whole chapter is about one main point: Don't revere and lift up leaders. The "standards of this age," the "foolishness" Paul is talking about is the practice of believing you have to identify yourself with the best human leader and then wear that identification like a badge of honor.

Everyone has their job. Teachers teach. Our job is not to revere them, our job is to decide whether or not they are worth listening to. Good teachers just echo what God is already saying to us. All things are ours. It's all for us. And we are all us, even the teachers.
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Old 10-28-2014, 03:55 PM   #50
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God NEVER tells us to act; He tell us to deny ourselves, to take up our cross and follow Him. Replace the word "act" with deny yourself and I fully agree. Thats the way God works!
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Originally Posted by Igzy
Sorry, I believe that is imbalanced. There are all kinds of commandments, Old and New, which require action. Repenting is action. When I say act I don't mean being pretentious, but I do mean sometimes we have to step out and try to do things that we don't think we can do, and in fact it does often start out with a little "pretending." A simple example is just being nice to someone we can't stand. That requires an initial act of faith. Sure we need grace too, but we don't wait around for grace to fall on us before we are nice. We just obey God's commandment to be kind and tender, even when we don't feel like it. Sometimes it requires, initially at least, acting. That's just our experience.
While I have stated that inside of Olvin's testimony is not the place to have this discussion, it is continuing, so that is the place to join.

Igzy has said it correctly. There is definite requirement to act. Even clearly stated in the NT. Even after the resurrection.

And denying ourselves is an action. We don't do it because we feel like it. We don't do it because it naturally flows from us.

The fact that Jesus, then Peter, James, John, Paul, and others made mention of action is because we need to hear it said. If it really did simply come from enough time in the word, and enough time in "the ministry," then Jesus would only need to say "read the scripture more," and "listen to your teachers more" (which would have been the Pharisees pre-Jesus, then Jesus, then the Apostles, then the others that followed on).



There would be no need to even mention how we ought to act if it was only going to come from getting a lot of dispensing. If that was the case, then the only two things would need to be said:
  1. Get a lot of dispensing.
  2. Those who are not doing have not gotten their dispensing.
And I do not see either of those in the Bible.

And let's see you deny yourself without doing anything. Without taking action. If you don't take action, it is pretty clear that you have not denied yourself.
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Old 10-28-2014, 08:37 PM   #51
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.

Igzy has said it correctly. There is definite requirement to act. Even clearly stated in the NT. Even after the resurrection.



Olvin: OBW, Igzy, I hope you brothers are just ignorant not unrighteous in your fellowship. You misrepresent my words because you don't want to deal with the uncomplicated truth in them; and I understand that. Man has a hard time admitting he is wrong, most cannot even concede to making a mistake. It is pride that goes before the fall. You cannot find one instance in ALL my endeavoring to fellowship with you where I suggested that we should not "act" in the sense of taking action, or being doers. Jesus called the religious ones "actors on the stage of life". Do you expect anyone who reads this to take you
seriously when you play with the truth like some sport, just something to win at?
You used the term "act like" in the sense of performance when quoting C.S.Lewis because you know thats the way I referred to it. You pretend to be so concerned about meaning then hide from my OBVIOUS meaning. You accused me of using the word - charACTOR in a "mocking way. Anyone seeing this word would not think I - we - were referring to someone DOING goods works. AND this is mocking: You would spell that trACTOR.
I stated that Jesus NEVER told us to "act" but to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. Now it be would clear to most, even most young christians that following the Lord is tantamount to WWJD. That's: what would Jesus do, the operative word being do.
I hope that others reading this post would go back and read from the beginning
to see how you- Igzy- are an evader of the truth. You say a lot, with very little scripture to back what you say. It will be impossible for you to every help anyone spiritually, or see any more spiritually until you forgive. But you will argue that with simply truth also. So in the meantime, before you try to get the splinter out of your brother's eye...
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:46 AM   #52
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.

Igzy has said it correctly. There is definite requirement to act. Even clearly stated in the NT. Even after the resurrection.

Olvin: OBW, Igzy, I hope you brothers are just ignorant not unrighteous in your fellowship. You misrepresent my words because you don't want to deal with the uncomplicated truth in them; and I understand that. Man has a hard time admitting he is wrong, most cannot even concede to making a mistake. It is pride that goes before the fall. You cannot find one instance in ALL my endeavoring to fellowship with you where I suggested that we should not "act" in the sense of taking action, or being doers. Jesus called the religious ones "actors on the stage of life". Do you expect anyone who reads this to take you
seriously when you play with the truth like some sport, just something to win at?
You used the term "act like" in the sense of performance when quoting C.S.Lewis because you know thats the way I referred to it. You pretend to be so concerned about meaning then hide from my OBVIOUS meaning. You accused me of using the word - charACTOR in a "mocking way. Anyone seeing this word would not think I - we - were referring to someone DOING goods works. AND this is mocking: You would spell that trACTOR.
I stated that Jesus NEVER told us to "act" but to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. Now it be would clear to most, even most young christians that following the Lord is tantamount to WWJD. That's: what would Jesus do, the operative word being do.
I hope that others reading this post would go back and read from the beginning
to see how you- Igzy- are an evader of the truth. You say a lot, with very little scripture to back what you say. It will be impossible for you to every help anyone spiritually, or see any more spiritually until you forgive. But you will argue that with simply truth also. So in the meantime, before you try to get the splinter out of your brother's eye...
I can't speak for Igzy, but wrapping me into a group that has allegedly mocked you by saying things like "charACTOR," etc., just is not true. I believe that I have restricted my speaking to my understanding of the teachings we have been given through Lee, and my understanding of those in the context of a different view.

My intent is that we would all be constantly reviewing our understanding of things. Not because I think it is all wrong, but that to the extent that we are settled, we are not open to the realization that we could be wrong. I have been wrong. And at this point I think that there are some things that I am holding to that I am beginning to feel a little uncertain about. Like a rug is getting pulled out from under me. But I am less concerned about that than I was 30 years ago. I have come to realize that a whole lot of what we think of as truth is extrapolations and is not actually provided as important truth (if it is true at all).

I am not necessarily an ambassador for my positions. Rather for a way of thinking that reduces the cause for disagreement. My positions may not currently be your positions. But I am less concerned about that than I am that we realize that our positions are too often not really important. I only fight with the positions that I cannot find support for and that are held by its adherents in a "my way of the highway" kind of position. And, unfortunately, that is the general position of Lee and the churches that follow him (dead or alive). It is difficult to have fellowship with people who go back to their little group and refer to you as mooing cows. And it is difficult to deal with people who seem to see their way out of it, but bring virtually everything about it with them. That is like a Lee-less Local Church. Same underpinning, just don't like the person of Lee. Or his big bullies (the blended brothers).

On that last one, maybe what we need for them is a really large, industrial-strength blender. That would fix it all.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:43 AM   #53
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I appreciate that Friedel, but let me say that we don't have to lay aside the word of truth we have received, it is the gospel of our salvation, Eph.1:13. I was thinking brother how the Lord spoke to the church in Ephesus; the thing he had against them was that they had left their first love. This is a verse that has spoken to me again and again over the years. We have not forsaking the object of our love - Christ but the depth, the intensity, the passion of it. I believe it is mainly because of the disappoint we experienced with those who we at some point found to be false. It becomes hard to separate the person from the work that the Lord is doing in them; and of course there should be no separation between the two.

We begin to consider, as we should, God's word in light of those who speak it. I know this is a verse that has been used too often to justify those fleshly ministers of the gospel, yet if Christ is indeed preached we have reason to rejoice! 1Thes.2:13 reminds us that when we first received the word we received it not as the word of man but as it is in truth the word of God that effectually worked in us. If this was our experience that, while we were under the speaking of those in the LC's, the word had its work in us, we must guard that good deposit.

I recall David's sin's of adultery, murder, of numbering the people even against the good advice of Joab; Peter's hypocrisy in withdrawing from the gentiles to please men after receiving a vision and making clear to all the brothers that God had granted the gentiles repentance unto life Acts 11. We understand Paul shaved his head and took a vow and paid for three other brothers to do the same contrary to what he had taught, and even after having rebuked Peter for his misstep.

I understand a lot of ugly things have transpired in the LRC's, but a lot of life and truth has been ministered also. We should not sacrifice the truth on the alter of perfection. If we are looking for sinless perfection in the ministers of the gospel we must begin with the saint in the mirror. I used to run a lot when I was younger. When running with group it is good to pace yourself with a runner of you caliber, you may be the person setting the pace, but if that lead runner you are following pulls a hamstring and sits at the side of the road you don't stop and do the same, you either take the lead or follow behind another pace setter. We all have a responsibility to finish the course, to run with endurance the race set before us, not looking at the brother who stumbled (we pray his recovery) but away unto Jesus the beginner and finisher of our race (faith) our joy and crown. I for one can never again RUN with the LRC's as they stand today, but if truth be the "baton" I will continue to pass it to any who are willing to receive it.
...hear, hear...
I like your Boston marathon metaphor. My question is after having ran with the LRC, and left, whom do you run with afterwards, with whom do you pace yourself, having exited the LRC. There are many instances on this forum where I've read of ex-LRC'ers who have been 'unable', though 'not unwilling' to join with other Christians in fellowship and it has sometimes taken years for them to resume this kind of contact...and yet, as we know, we 'should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is'...You speak of 'a goodly deposit' in our being as a benefit of having sat at the feet of WL, but does this 'deposit' then turn into 'a poison' upon leaving. Because it seems to me that this poison is a very real, very clear, and very present difficulty with many brothers; and it takes anything but a short while to detox or recover from its effects...have you experienced this? What could be the explanation of this? Why is it that if one moves from one denomination to another in 'bad ole Christianity', it is not attended by this kind of difficulty? Can you offer any helpful insight into this, brother Olvin? Perhaps it may help us gain a further understanding into the nature of the far-reaching effects of involvement with the LRC. We may find that perhaps it is not a difficulty at all, but a preservation!
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:10 AM   #54
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...hear, hear...
I like your Boston marathon metaphor. My question is after having ran with the LRC, and left, whom do you run with afterwards, with whom do you pace yourself, having exited the LRC. There are many instances on this forum where I've read of ex-LRC'ers who have been 'unable', though 'not unwilling' to join with other Christians in fellowship and it has sometimes taken years for them to resume this kind of contact...and yet, as we know, we 'should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is'...You speak of 'a goodly deposit' in our being as a benefit of having sat at the feet of WL, but does this 'deposit' then turn into 'a poison' upon leaving. Because it seems to me that this poison is a very real, very clear, and very present difficulty with many brothers; and it takes anything but a short while to detox or recover from its effects...have you experienced this? What could be the explanation of this? Why is it that if one moves from one denomination to another in 'bad ole Christianity', it is not attended by this kind of difficulty? Can you offer any helpful insight into this, brother Olvin? Perhaps it may help us gain a further understanding into the nature of the far-reaching effects of involvement with the LRC. We may find that perhaps it is not a difficulty at all, but a preservation!
We all have had to pass thru a time of "detox" from the "poisons" of Lee's ministry. The problem we all have faced is due to the insidious leaven which Lee has hidden into his teachings. The Jews at the time of Christ faced this same difficulty after meeting Jesus. They knew in their hearts that Jesus was the promised Messiah, yet the leaven of the Pharisees gripped them in fear at the thought of leaving the safety of the "pen." The gospels record the stories of many such cases.

Witness Lee knew what he was doing when he hid his leaven into all the teachings he took from past ministers of God. One distinct characteristic of his leaven was the wholesale condemnation on all things Christian. He knew that this would serve to "wreck" us in our attempts to merge into the greater body of Christ. He constantly elevated every part of his ministry to some "God-ordained" status, as if his ways or practices were any better than the multitude of other "ways" employed by other Christians.

Lee loved to compare the "best" of his ministry with the failings of other ministers, all the while hiding his own corruptions behind a cadre of "enforcers." Let's compare apples with apples, and we will all be shocked at how much financial corruption existed with all the hard-earned offerings of the saints -- millions of dollars spent on legal fees, bankrupt business plans, and the profligate lifestyles of the Lee family.

Even though I learned many good Bible teachings from Lee, I no longer credit him. Didn't he just pass on much of it from past men of God? "Standing on their shoulders" really meant re-teaching from their books, often without providing credits. Every minister has "plagiarized" the Bible, so that's not the point, but rather we should never have been taught to boast in man, or elevate his ministry, but to boast in God, and God alone. Lee became who he was in the recovery simply because he was able to employ talented lackeys who uplifted him above all. And it all started with Phillip Lee's ingenious idea to charge a "donation" to hear his Daddy speak.
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:42 AM   #55
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You speak of 'a goodly deposit' in our being as a benefit of having sat at the feet of WL, but does this 'deposit' then turn into 'a poison' upon leaving. Because it seems to me that this poison is a very real, very clear, and very present difficulty with many brothers; and it takes anything but a short while to detox or recover from its effects...have you experienced this?
Yes I did. In spades. It took 3 yrs of intense mind deprogramming for me to get free of the grip of Lee's kool-aid ... and even after decades there's still traces of it sloshing around, as evidenced by my presence here. I'm still getting free. Some out here will prolly think "too free." Hey, I've still got traces of Southern Baptist kool-aid sloshing around in there. It's all hanging onto me like barnacles, sucking on me. It's not healthy. It makes me crazy. The local church has made many crazy. Walk out. Shake it off. The world, and God, will be better off ... and you'll eventually be happier for it.
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Old 10-29-2014, 09:16 AM   #56
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I can't speak for Igzy, but wrapping me into a group that has allegedly mocked you by saying things like "charACTOR," etc., just is not true. I believe that I have restricted my speaking to my understanding of the teachings we have been given through Lee, and my understanding of those in the context of a different view.
OBM, you wrapped yourself with Igzy, defending a position which evidently you had not done to diligence to investigate. It was Igzy, who accused me of mockingly him by using the word charACTOR, if you would slow down and ACTually read the post. Furthermore when I suggested that others go back and read the post from the beginning I made it clear that it was- Igzy - I was referring to, so as to avoid the very thing your are accusing me of. Still you prove my point of not wanting to deal with the uncomplicated truth; truth which in this particular instance had to do with "acting" or "denying of the self". Why don't you just defend the stand you took with Igzy over that point, since I have cleared up the charges you leveled against me?
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:09 AM   #57
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Yes I did. In spades. It took 3 yrs of intense mind deprogramming for me to get free of the grip of Lee's kool-aid ... and even after decades there's still traces of it sloshing around, as evidenced by my presence here. I'm still getting free. Some out here will prolly think "too free." Hey, I've still got traces of Southern Baptist kool-aid sloshing around in there. It's all hanging onto me like barnacles, sucking on me. It's not healthy. It makes me crazy. The local church has made many crazy. Walk out. Shake it off. The world, and God, will be better off ... and you'll eventually be happier for it.
Thank you for your sharing, Awarness. Much appreciated. But perhaps you could be a little bit more penetrating in your analysis of what happened to you and try to get to the heart of the issue. This was the deeper aim of my post and my question towards brother Olvin. I want to prod this animal and see what it is made up of, instead of just calling it, 'bad dog, bad dog...sit!'. Is there something sinister, for example, and spiritually insidious, going on? Can the workings and stratagems of Satan be discerned in these experiences? If so, what is the nature of the foothold that he was afforded? To what extent is the LRC complicit in this? Could all those misguided prayers (called 'maledictions' in my dictionary) offered up to God that He might harm, or bring misfortune upon, brother so-and-so or sister so-and-so to bring them back to the local church have inadvertently lent themselves instead to blind partnership with the goals and objectives of Beelzebub? Has the church, by exalting a flawed individual, or by mindless chanting (called 'calling'), or by discouraging critical thought, etc, etc, unwittingly compromised itself to the possible degree that Satan may have set up camp right in the very midst of it?...and so on..

I think these are very interesting questions. We like to focus are vitriol on the visible, on flesh and blood, on the people that we can see and touch, and hold and listen to; and we single them out as the source and cause of our past ills and aches. Whereas we forget, almost conveniently, that there is an unseen world of malevolent spirits driven by such wickedness and fueled with such maliciousness -so much so that any charges we may level at those in the LC who have hurt us would pale into brilliant, white light when set against the purposes and intentions of these-, beings of such power and intelligence operating and pulling the strings -where they can- behind the scenes in every area of human life...both within the church and without. It is possible that the answers to these questions might provide useful solutions for guarding against attack from the "real enemy!" I think we tend to overlook and ignore the very real spiritual angle in our analyses of all that is wrong with the LC's, and thus mis-aim, not fighting the good fight, wrestling against flesh and blood, instead of "wrestling against principalities, against powers...against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places"...Perhaps Witness Lee's greatest trespass against the LC, and perhaps his greatest oversight, was to cultivate a devil-may-care, out-of-balance attitude in the minds of his followers that almost completely dismissed the supernatural and its role in our lives...maybe that's why it's such a great tug-of-war to get plugged back into the genuine Body having exodus-ed one tiny, but exalted sub-division of it.

...It's spiritual, folks!
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:26 AM   #58
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OBM, you wrapped yourself with Igzy, defending a position which evidently you had not done to diligence to investigate. It was Igzy, who accused me of mockingly him by using the word charACTOR, if you would slow down and ACTually read the post. Furthermore when I suggested that others go back and read the post from the beginning I made it clear that it was- Igzy - I was referring to, so as to avoid the very thing your are accusing me of. Still you prove my point of not wanting to deal with the uncomplicated truth; truth which in this particular instance had to do with "acting" or "denying of the self". Why don't you just defend the stand you took with Igzy over that point, since I have cleared up the charges you leveled against me?
I took the position that I took, not the position that someone else took. I agree with the general thought that we must act. And further, that even denying yourself is an act.

I did not assert that Igzy did not make the reference to you concerning "charACTOR," and the others. I did not make that and therefore you lumping me in with that is not correct.

And it seems to me that I dealt quite directly with the so-called "uncomplicated truth" that you mention. I did not stand with all of anything. I very specifically laid out what I see as the truth in the scripture. Yes, there are one or two references to denying the self. But there are many references to doing according to righteousness, and the law. Even a sort of "ramp-up the rules" in Matthew 5. If you think that none of these stand as a requirement to act, then how does one reference rise so high to be followed while many are ignored?

And you still have not addressed how you deny yourself without taking some kind of action. I did not specifically say that you have to do that, but since you declare that I have not addressed your position, I think you should at least address mine and not something I did not say. I have addressed your position. It is steeped in the leaven that Ohio talked about. It is mired in the kind of thinking that runs parallel to "don't worry about right or wrong, only the spirit." You come by that naturally because you spent years learning it. I did too. I was there. I know where you are coming from. I am not ignorant of the teachings that are provided in the so-called Local Churches.

But if denying does not entail action, then it is not truly denying anything. Denying one's self is to take action to stop the things of the flesh. It is not to take in more dispensing in the expectation that the flesh will one day just disappear.

You have ignored what I actually said and instead argued that I am just part of someone else's argument. That is a form of strawman argument. Ignore the argument actually made and restate it as one that you think you can defeat. At some level, I don't mind. I will just assume that you didn't understand and will approach it from a different angle.

But if you want to accuse me of something that someone else did, you will have to find more than the fact that I agreed with a particular point they made that was not the thing you are now complaining about.

And if you want to defend denying yourself as something that is opposed to taking action, then please tell us where this comes from. I have no basis for understanding it in that manner. I can only see it in terms that would require a kind of action to be effective. If you disagree, can you find a basis for your position? I am open to look at it, so don't just dismiss us and refuse to provide your answer.
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Old 10-29-2014, 05:43 PM   #59
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...hear, hear...
I like your Boston marathon metaphor. My question is after having ran with the LRC, and left, whom do you run with afterwards, with whom do you pace yourself, having exited the LRC. There are many instances on this forum where I've read of ex-LRC'ers who have been 'unable', though 'not unwilling' to join with other Christians in fellowship and it has sometimes taken years for them to resume this kind of contact...and yet, as we know, we 'should not forsake the assembling of ourselves together as the manner of some is'...You speak of 'a goodly deposit' in our being as a benefit of having sat at the feet of WL, but does this 'deposit' then turn into 'a poison' upon leaving. Because it seems to me that this poison is a very real, very clear, and very present difficulty with many brothers; and it takes anything but a short while to detox or recover from its effects...have you experienced this? What could be the explanation of this? Why is it that if one moves from one denomination to another in 'bad ole Christianity', it is not attended by this kind of difficulty? Can you offer any helpful insight into this, brother Olvin? Perhaps it may help us gain a further understanding into the nature of the far-reaching effects of involvement with the LRC. We may find that perhaps it is not a difficulty at all, but a preservation!
Unregistered, 2Tim2:22 says: in the Aramaic Bible in Plain English Escape from all lust of youth and run after righteousness, faith, love, and peace, in company with those others who call on he Lord out of a pure heart.
Thank God for those others. Unreg, the LC was not my first rodeo nor my last. That is not something to boast in. We are the family God because we are born of Him and share His life; we are of the household of faith, we share the like precious faith, the one faith, there should be no reason that we should not be able to meet with any in our family who are running after those treasures of righteousness, faith, love, and peace. This is what I sought to do.
I have meet and formed relationships with many of my brothers and sisters in Christ outside the LC's. We were strangers, unfamiliar with one another, simply because we had not met. Don't misunderstand not all family reunions evolve into enduring relationships but what they should do is establish the realization that others share the same DNA as you.
The Lord allowed me the privilege of meeting with a few groups over the years.
Some became fearful when they heard my wife and I had been in the LC, but the Lord did not allow that to distort the relationship which was built upon those precious things we were running after. Then I wet with groups who could care less about WL or the LC's who genuinely love me and my family but were running after what I considered fell into the category of youthful lust (prosperity). I am bold to say these teachings are from the seducing spirits and are doctrines of demons. Those brothers I still love and have found away to disagree strongly with and still have fellowship. And more than a few have dropped that way based upon my opening the word to them. Now they care for their aging parents, or some needy families with their "tithe". I told them God would not be mad if they took care of people in need with their tithe. It just made sense to them.
I meet with a pastor at my place of work, we have had fellowshipped for the past two years at lunch. He has been to seminary and has a firm grasp of scripture. He has become a precious brother to me, and I believe I to him.
I speak out of what I am constituted with; some on this forum might say polluted with and need detoxing from. But this brother and I enjoy each others portion of Christ. I speak with the vocabulary I understand. I have no need to regurgitate WL teachings. God's word has always been and will be what I give others, but I would be remiss not to credit the ministry that was continued and advanced be it "stolen" or otherwise from WL.
Brother, when I first left the LC I felt at times belittled, betrayed, befuddled and bewildered by the way brothers chose a practice over a relationship. I could have said to more than a few: you may have 1000 instructors... but one father, I begot you though the word of truth. Still they stood with the powers that were.
I can say with all my heart I never felt poisoned or the need for a detox.
I am confident what I pass on to others by way of truth will only encourage them. Ours is the God of all encouragement and we are to encourage others with same encouragement we receive from Him. Ours is the ministry of reconciliation; we will never fulfill this ministry with bitterness, hatred, and strife in our hearts.
Why does it seem easy for christians to move from place to place with little difficulty?
Just like it's easy for a man to leave his family in this climate of easy no fault divorce.
He has not seen the family according to the heart of God. He dose not consider
the debilitating consequences of his neglect and abandonment to his own psyche needless to say that of his spouse and children. He has little realization of the detriment on society by his choice. Absent fathers are one of the single most contributing factors to poverty in any community. Maybe that is way the church is so spiritually poor, too many broken vows.
I said all that to say we in the LC's were taught that Oneness was paramount.
That the body was not to be divided, that denominations were in fact denominations; granted so are the LC's.
I'll be bold to say the Lord never allowed me to confuse the practice with the truth. So today I am still in the race by his mercy, still with the need and grace to lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily besets.

Peace
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:03 PM   #60
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And you still have not addressed how you deny yourself without taking some kind of action. I did not specifically say that you have to do that, but since you declare that I have not addressed your position, I think you should at least address mine and not something I did not say. I have addressed your position. It is steeped in the leaven that Ohio talked about. It is mired in the kind of thinking that runs parallel to "don't worry about right or wrong, only the spirit." You come by that naturally because you spent years learning it. I did too. I was there. I know where you are coming from. I am not ignorant of the teachings that are provided in the so-called Local Churches.

You need to go back and carefully read our exchange I am through quibbling with you OBM
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:09 PM   #61
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Olvin,
Thanks for hangin in there, my brother. This forum needs people like you!
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Old 10-30-2014, 05:13 AM   #62
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You need to go back and carefully read our exchange I am through quibbling with you OBM
I've read everything. You have been busy repeating the substitutions that you learned from Lee. All the way back where you declared "ministering Christ" to be the equivalent of loving your neighbor. That sounds spiritual, but it is a far cry from being a singular substitute. The only way it could be is if it is understood to include things like treating the people you come in contact with respect, even if you have no opportunity to say a word about Christ. Include caring for the widow and orphan — their physical needs, not just their spiritual ones. Include being righteous with the sinners that you have to work with and share the road with. And on and on. Many actions that do not "minister Christ" — unless you redefine that phrase to mean live your entire life in a righteous manner with respect to God and every man.

And you need to recall that carefully reading some of your earlier posts was more than a difficult thing to do. Quotes from others intertwined with your own without break or identifier.

But what I see in your responses on virtually every topic is a position that repeats the things that Lee has said but does not have any idea how to show them as actually coming from the scripture. That means you are not speaking from knowledge of any kind, but are simply repeating what you have been taught. And what you have been taught is not really found in the scripture. Lee convinced us that it was, but upon closer inspection, there is too often nothing there that looks anything like what he said. And so, as is too often the case, you refuse to actually take a closer look at the "riches" that you think you are bringing from Lee's teaching.

In an earlier post your said
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Man has a hard time admitting he is wrong, most cannot even concede to making a mistake. It is pride that goes before the fall.
Be certain that almost everyone here went through this. I spent years thinking that there was some chasm between the reasons that we left the LRC and the teachings that I still thought were so much higher than what I was hearing out in Christianity. But one day I realized that one of the big teachings was simply not what we had been told. And with that discovery, I became skeptical concerning the others and began to look more closely. I found that too many of the peculiar teachings of Lee were not really found in the Bible.

I discovered that being in the LRC was a mistake. A really big one. I cannot even convince myself that the "better" early days were really any better. Just not as aware of the nonsense that I was being fed. I have admitted that I was wrong. And most who you are pointing your "Man has a hard time admitting he is wrong" at have.

Have you?
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:17 AM   #63
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Olvin, if you want to quote someone, click the quote button and you will be able to remove the stuff you don't want to quote and keep the stuff you do want to.


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Olvin: OBW, Igzy, I hope you brothers are just ignorant not unrighteous in your fellowship. You misrepresent my words because you don't want to deal with the uncomplicated truth in them; and I understand that.
Olvin, Perhaps you need to do a better job of explaining what you mean, rather than accusing people of evading the truth for not reacting to your words the way you want. It's pretty arrogant to call what you write "the truth" when you don't even take the care to write in proper sentences.

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Do you expect anyone who reads this to take you seriously when you play with the truth like some sport, just something to win at?
No, I don't expect that. But you are not the keeper of the "truth," my friend. Your interpretation of the Bible is not necessarily the truth. All we know for sure is it's how you view things. But it's typical of LCers to be intolerant and dismissive of those who see things differently than them. This is probably because you don't have an appreciation for the fact that truth doesn't begin and end with what you consider "the ministry." There is a lot of genuine ministry that you are not aware of. You might consider doing your homework.


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I stated that Jesus NEVER told us to "act" but to deny ourselves and take up our cross and follow Him. Now it be would clear to most, even most young christians that following the Lord is tantamount to WWJD. That's: what would Jesus do, the operative word being do.
Jesus did tell us to deny ourselves. But by stating that you are actually making my point rather that disproving it. Why? Because by definition denying yourself means doing something that you don't want to do or that doesn't come naturally. It means going against the grain of what seems natural. By definition that's acting.

Denying yourself doesn't only mean "turning to the spirit." It means taking specific action, to love, to serve, to speak, when our flesh doesn't want to, which is most of the time. In order to take action that we don't want to take, there is by definition a certain in-faith acting out of behavior that we wouldn't have chosen if we'd had the choice. God gave all of us the ability to act, to assume behavior. Some are so good at this that they can make a living at it. This ability allows us to behave properly when God's commands meet with opportunity and the grace of God. When that time comes, God expects us to step up and do the job, not say "I can't" or "It doesn't feel spontaneous so it can't be the Spirit."

You don't think Christian speakers, even Lee, aren't acting when they give messages? You think they are being totally spontaneous? Of course they are acting, at least to some degree. That doesn't mean they aren't being sincere, it just means sometimes our actions are less than spontaneous. But that's not a sin. It's just the way things are.

The fact is God gave us two things: His commandments and his Spirit. We need both. The middle connecting point between these is our deciding to do what God commands us to do in the power of the Spirit. Whether you like it or not, that's acting. We decide how to behave and we act that way. The Spirit leads and empowers us, so much so that following him feels very natural and spontaneous. But the idea that if action is not spontaneous then we don't need to take it denies the commandments of God. Jesus never said, "Disciple the nations if it feels spontaneous to do it." He just said do it. Sorry, but your "uncomplicated truth" is an oversimplification.

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I hope that others reading this post would go back and read from the beginning to see how you- Igzy- are an evader of the truth. You say a lot, with very little scripture to back what you say.
So now I'm an "evader of the truth?" Really now? Because I disagree with you on some things? That's thinking pretty highly of your own opinion, I'd say. Such ad hominem attacks are reminiscent of Witness Lee's character assassinations of others. You've even mimicked his clunky English.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:31 AM   #64
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I discovered that being in the LRC was a mistake. A really big one. I cannot even convince myself that the "better" early days were really any better. Just not as aware of the nonsense that I was being fed. I have admitted that I was wrong. And most who you are pointing your "Man has a hard time admitting he is wrong" at have. Have you?

How long has it been brother, 20 - 30 years ago since you left the LC and you still have not recovered? Seems your God has forsaken you. Or could it be He has somewhat to do with our spiritual journey? And OBW, you still quibble. Brother go in peace -- please.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:45 AM   #65
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How long has it been brother, 20 - 30 years ago since you left the LC and you still have not recovered? Seems your God has forsaken you. Or could it be He has somewhat to do with our spiritual journey? And OBW, you still quibble. Brother go in peace -- please.
Olvin, if you heard of a woman who, 20 years after being raped, was still going around working and speaking to help others, would you accuse her of not having recovered?

Really, brother. Get a clue.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:03 AM   #66
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How long has it been brother, 20 - 30 years ago since you left the LC and you still have not recovered? Seems your God has forsaken you. Or could it be He has somewhat to do with our spiritual journey? And OBW, you still quibble. Brother go in peace -- please.
I can't speak for OBW, but I think he is saying he has recovered. And the way he recovered was by dumping some of Lee's teachings. And he feels so strongly about that he feels to tell others about it. He still has family in the LC, so he still has a great deal of personal interest in it.

But that rubs you the wrong way. Why? Because you still cling to Lee, even though you cannot justify the ill-effects of much of his ministry, other than to philosophize about it.

But listen up. Some people have never recovered. Some people were left so devastated by Lee and LC that they have little walk with the Lord now. I guess you blame that on them. Is it all their fault? Quench the smoking flax? Break the bruised reed?
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:07 AM   #67
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How long has it been brother, 20 - 30 years ago since you left the LC and you still have not recovered? Seems your God has forsaken you. Or could it be He has somewhat to do with our spiritual journey? And OBW, you still quibble. Brother go in peace -- please.
I do not quibble. But you consistently read my post and respond to it as if I said something else.

I never said I had not recovered. That is your slander. Or maybe it is just your misunderstanding.

What I said was that I went for many years without realizing the errors in thinking about the things of God and the Bible that were attributable to the teaching we received in the LRC. I had mostly eliminated the whole "degraded Christianity" nonsense, but still thought there were these "higher" truths that so many just didn't seem to see.

But that ended several years ago. And if you agree that we need to recover from the LRC, then maybe the best thing to do is to quit quibbling over the way things are said to you and listen to those who have already been through the detox. Who have realized that the only garlic room anywhere near us in our lives has been Lee and the LRC. Sometimes it takes a long time to get rid of the stench in your nostrils and the longing for the leeks and garlic of Egypt. And the LRC is a kind of Egypt. It is not the Good Land as was heralded by Lee.

You are correct to assert that Lee spoke a lot of plain, ordinary Christina truths. But when they are part of the hook to get you to buy into the errors that followed, they become unwilling participants in a system of error. So pointing to the fact of actual truth does not make anything about Lee acceptable. It should make us fear taking anything from him at all. Every actual truth potentially has an error clinging to it that we unwittingly retain with the truth. It would be better to throw your entire library of Nee and Lee into the garbage and re-find the actual truth somewhere else than to retain it thinking that you are capable of discerning the difference. Most of us are not. When I just read Lee, it is not easy to see it. Sometimes you have to look several times before you realize the error that is tagging along.

And for that reason, I only read his works when it is relevant to seeing the errors that he taught. Otherwise I choose to find my truth elsewhere.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:13 AM   #68
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I've read everything. You have been busy repeating the substitutions that you learned from Lee. All the way back where you declared "ministering Christ" to be the equivalent of loving your neighbor. That sounds spiritual, but it is a far cry from being a singular substitute.

But what I see in your responses on virtually every topic is a position that repeats the things that Lee has said but does not have any idea how to show them as actually coming from the scripture. That means you are not speaking from knowledge of any kind, but are simply repeating what you have been taught. And what you have been taught is not really found in the scripture. Lee convinced us that it was, but upon closer inspection, there is too often nothing there that looks anything like what he said.

I discovered that being in the LRC was a mistake. A really big one. I cannot even convince myself that the "better" early days were really any better. Just not as aware of the nonsense that I was being fed.
I consider Olvin's first post, his testimony, one of the most significant posts ever on this forum. Why? Because he testified and proved that there is the definite possibility of a fulfilling spiritual life after the Local Church, still using Witness Lee's sizable volume of books.

Unless I am mistaken, never before did anyone dare state that after leaving the Local Church. My considered conclusion was that it is impossible to function as a Christian after the Local Church and the only option is to be cynical, bitter, angry and a skeptic. Until Olvin came and said he still reads Witness Lee's books but he does not meet with the Local Church. Suddenly, here was a voice of reason.

Nevertheless, he was met with a choir of protest:
"That is impossible to do. How can you still enjoy the ministry of Witness Lee; how can you even read it? He was a charlatan and a fraud. He abused the truths of the Bible and made up his own doctrine. He invented phrases and teachings that are unbiblical. He damaged the lives of many people through his cronies and crowd of yes-men. He sacrificed some of his closest former coworkers so that he could create hi own empire. You cannot pretend that you still find something of note in his books. How are you supposed to deny yourself? It appears only once or twice in the Bible." And more more things.
Personally, I do not anymore read anything written or spoken by Witness Lee. I do not use his Bible. I am not in fellowship with any Local Church. However, I cannot deny that through his speaking I did find much spiritual help.

Take the matter of denying yourself, picking up you cross daily and following the Lord Jesus. To deny yourself is to make a deliberate decision to do one thing the Holy Spirit shows you to do as opposed to doing something else that He tells you not to do. It is not rocket science.

Olvin might be speaking things he has learnt in his spirit but since he had heard it from Witness Lee, it is not automatically invalidated. He finds it real and he has the right to say what his experience is. That I appreciate. He also has the right defend himself against anyone attacking this. That he has done with aplomb.

Am I now going to start reading Witness Lee? Definitely not. But I can never deny that through speaking something of Christ was deposited in my being. (See Galatians 2:20 before attacking me on this statement.)

Let us be fair and allow Olvin to share the Lord with whomever he crosses paths. He is not advocating a wholesale return to Witness Lee.

Was it a mistake to be in the Local Church and for so long? (Twenty three years, in my case.) I honestly do not know. Only the Lord knows.

Last edited by Friedel; 10-30-2014 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Added something.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:36 AM   #69
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I consider Olvin's first post, his testimony, one of the most significant posts ever on this forum. Why? Because he testified and proved that there is the definite possibility of a fulfilling spiritual life after the Local Church, still using Witness Lee's sizable volume of books.

Unless I am mistaken, never before did anyone dare state that after leaving the Local Church. My considered conclusion was that it is impossible to function as a Christian after the Local Church and the only option is to be cynical, bitter, angry and a skeptic. Until Olvin came and said he still reads Witness Lee's books but he does not meet with the Local Church. Suddenly, here was a voice of reason.

...

Let us be fair and allow Olvin to share the Lord with whomever he crosses paths. He is not advocating a wholesale return to Witness Lee.

Was it a mistake to be in the Local Church and for so long? (Twenty three years, in my case.) I honestly do not know. Only the Lord knows.

Friedel,

I appreciate your perspective, but it's mistaken on several levels. First, where did you get the idea that no one is going on with the Lord here? I didn't really start growing as a Christian until I dumped many of the LC ideas. I have a very rich Christian life. And I'm really a very nice guy. To quote one of my favorite lines, If I had any friends, they'd tell you what a nice guy I am.

Maybe you are talking about going on with the Lord while still reading Witness Lee. Okay, well, I'm not sure why such an experience is really necessary, but that's not the problem here either.

The problem I had with Olvin is he suggested that none of us would know the purpose of life without Lee's ministry. He backpedaled on that and said he didn't just mean Lee but all "the ministry." But clearly his point was that Lee unveiled "the mystery of life" to us, he even quoted Lee's word-for-word definition of the purpose of life as his belief.

Well, my point is whether Lee did that or not we could have gotten it elsewhere and, more than that, we could have gotten a better version of it. Lee's version leaves out a lot as I explained.

I reacted strongly, mostly because I grow tired of the attitude of LCers, that they are so much more enlightened than everyone else. That attitude is deception. I just wanted to nip it in the bud.

My registration from Olvin's reactions is that it is he that is the intolerant one. He accused me, among other things, of being a conscious "evader of the truth." All I said to him is he didn't know the whole truth in the first place. I didn't accuse him of evading it, just not being aware of it.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:44 AM   #70
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So now I'm an "evader of the truth?" Really now? Because I disagree with you on some things? That's thinking pretty highly of your own opinion, I'd say. Such ad hominem attacks are reminiscent of Witness Lee's character assassinations of others. You've even mimicked his clunky English.
The scripture says: Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; in malice be children but, in understanding be mature.

I, that's me, in my own personal opinion, which I have the God given right to, think you need to grow-up. How's that for your clunky?

Igzy, have a nice conflict -- I mean life.
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Old 10-30-2014, 08:57 AM   #71
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The scripture says: Brethren, do not be children in your thinking; in malice be children but, in understanding be mature.

I, that's me, in my own personal opinion, which I have the God given right to, think you need to grow-up. How's that for your clunky?

Igzy, have a nice conflict -- I mean life.
You're the one who's been malicious, Olvin.

And I am having a nice life. Thank you for wishing it for me. I wish the same for you.
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:02 AM   #72
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BTW, Olvin. I see why you got kicked out of the LC. You don't take nuthin' from nobody. And for that, I commend you, brother. Sorry, we got off on a bad foot. That's mostly my fault. But I mean it when I say you are mistaken that you would not know the meaning of life without Lee.
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Old 10-30-2014, 10:54 AM   #73
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I can't speak for OBW, but I think he is saying he has recovered. And the way he recovered was by dumping some of Lee's teachings. And he feels so strongly about that he feels to tell others about it.

But that rubs you the wrong way. Why? Because you still cling to Lee, even though you cannot justify the ill-effects of much of his ministry, other than to philosophize about it.
Isn't all this talk about Lee's teachings and dumping them a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater? For example, I am no longer involved with the LC but when I read the open letter by over seventy evangelical scholars and ministry leaders to the LSM back in 2007 in which they charged LSM, among many other charges, of holding to a teaching by Witness Lee in which he claimed that the nature of God was such that:

"The Son is called the Father; so the Son must be the Father. We must realize this fact. There are some who say that He is called the Father, but He is not really the Father. But how could He be called the Father and yet not be the Father?... In the place where no man can approach Him (I Tim. 6:16), God is the Father. When He comes forth to manifest Himself, He is the Son. So, a Son is given, yet His name is called 'The everlasting Father.' This very Son who has been given to us is the very Father."

I'm sorry, but I just cannot find the problem with this. Evidently, this is an issue with the rest of all Christianity. I, however, just do not see it! And I think I can argue convincingly out of the scriptures in support of this position. Have I been poisoned so much so that I can't even tell that what I consider to be a basic tenet of the faith, as simple kindergarten stuff, is in actuality a fabrication of Witness Lee?

Somebody help?
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:00 PM   #74
Mephibosheth2
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I wonder if anyone remembers an issue of the Christian Research Institute journal with the headline "We Were Wrong" emblazoned across its December 2009 issue? In it there was an apology extended to the LC system for criticizing the teachings of Witness Lee without proper deployment of the essential principles of genuine apologetics. Previously, the very same publication had held up the same LC teachings to scathing attack and ridicule.

So, my question is, if now there is no or little tension between the LC and more conventional evangelical thought, is it wise, then, does it make any rational sense, to throw away everything that Witness Lee wrote and taught? That notwithstanding, there are some problems with a few of the pivotal teachings (pivotal for the LC) like the 'one church, one city', and 'calling' and 'the Jerusalem principle', and 'the deputy authority', etc, but isn't the majority of what came out of his ministry of any merit whatsoever? Is it not a classic case of 'cutting off your nose to spite your face' when you burn all his literature and dismiss him as a buffoon? Is it not possible that the Lord who 'works all things together' may have used our sojourn in the LC to bring about radical shifts in our thinking and approach to the Scriptures. I for one can attest that I was released from the first floor, and went on to the second floor, and even on to the third floor, though I saw that the fourth through to the eightieth floor were just a fiction and a staircase that led, instead, down to the basement. But I remain convinced that there have to be other more solid edifices out there and I am looking for them.

And is it truly wise to disregard as nonsense even his most basic insights into the 'inner life'? How can one possibly hope to understand -much less apply- the full ramifications of 'denying oneself' in complete isolation of some of the most basic underpinnings of the teaching on the inner life as I have witnessed on this thread and elsewhere? Is Witness Lee's teaching on the 'organic union' with Christ really totally rubbish? Does nobody here have this experience? Can no balance be struck? Doesn't such an attitude open one up to a return to 'dead works' and 'salvation by works' knowingly or unknowingly?

Somebody posted on this thread how it is impossible to accurately discern and dissect WL's writings and detect his cultural bias, or separate his high-flown personal and political opinions from sound biblical exegesis. I vehemently disagree. That has not been my experience. Quite the opposite.

...
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Old 10-30-2014, 12:10 PM   #75
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Somebody posted on this thread how it is impossible to accurately discern and dissect WL's writings and detect his cultural bias, or separate his high-flown personal and political opinions from sound biblical exegesis. I vehemently disagree. That has not been my experience. Quite the opposite.

...
Hi Mephi,

Please clarify. What, exactly, do you disagree with? I want to be sure I understand before I put by foo... I mean, before I speak.
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Old 10-30-2014, 01:33 PM   #76
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I wonder if anyone remembers an issue of the Christian Research Institute journal with the headline "We Were Wrong" emblazoned across its December 2009 issue?

I remember that article but the CRI was wrong in the beginning and they were wrong then. I don't give much credence to their writings and neither did the LC if you recall, until the CRI changed their minds.

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...
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does it make any rational sense, to throw away everything that Witness Lee wrote and taught?
There was a book written in 1972, "The Ecclesiology of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee" by James Mo-Oi Cheung which provides a considerable amount of information of the history of the Little Flock under Nee and the transition to Lee. Certainly we would all disagree with some of the things written but what was clear...Witness Lee and company were heretical in transition...what I mean by that is they would propagate certain doctrines which were not scriptural and then change them as they were exposed. There were also a considerable number of problems with his teachings before he even stepped on US soil.

Cheung writes, "As Watchman Nee has become the symbol of unity in earlier days, Witness Lee has become the symbol of controversy and disunity." (p. 153) The Rev. Elisha Wu wrote, "The Little Flock Engages in the Struggle to Correct Heresy". Chan Tse Shin wrote, "An Open Letter to the Saints of the Assembly in Hong Kong....in the past decade Witness Lee and those who follow him have deviated substantially from the true light we saw and the spiritual path on which we walked....Their teachings have ...now become...heresies. They not only embrace these heretical ideas themselves but also effectively persuade the saints everywhere to accept them." (p. 156) There was a long list of "alleged" heresies of WL compared to what Nee taught as the true light in separate columns.

I have an old paper which was circulated, 1977, titled "The Response of Witness Lee & Local Churches To a Recent Meeting Held at Melodyland"
The articles included are as follows with the authors:
1. The Truth Concerning Witness Lee by Max Rapoport
2. The Truth Concerning the Local Church Not Being a Cult by John Rapp (Student at Melodyland School of Theology)
3. The Truth Concerning the Church by John Ingalls
4. The Truth Concerning Denominations by John H. Smith
5. The Truth Concerning the Historic Christian Church by Gene Ford
6. The Truth Concerning the Trinity by Bill Freeman
7. The Truth Concerning the Mingling by Bill Freeman
8. The Truth Concerning the Nature of Man by Ron Kangas
9. The Truth Concerning God Coming into Man by Ron Kangas
10. The Truth Concerning God Manifest in the Flesh by John Ingalls
11. The Truth Concerning the Study of the Bible by Bill Duane (Dallas Theological Seminary)
12. The Truth Concerning Pray-reading by David Matteson (Dallas Theological Seminary)
13. The Truth Concerning the Release of the Spirit by James A. Barber

Eugene C. Gruhler wrote an Introduction stating, "The teaching and person of Witness Lee were attacked and misrepresented..."

Francis Ball wrote the Conclusion ending with the statement, "Where today can one find a life and ministry so fruitful as this?


Guess what, many of these individuals were expunged from the LC and the problem with the doctrine of the Trinity and Mingling were nothing new among other issues.

This is just my opinion but I always thought that Angus Kinnear's translated books were far better of Nee than the ones translated from Hong Kong. It was WN NCL that got me hooked. I wonder if we didn't have Kinnear how the books would have looked and appealed to us or impacted the US.

My point in all of this is that you need to test whatever you have learned because WL and his cohorts have been like chameleons throughout the years and have changed their doctrines to meet rising criticism. Part of the problem for them is a result of WL's wide use of allegory to interpret scripture. "Spiritual" allegorism gives you the "feeling" that you have special "inner" knowledge that other Christians don't have and a feeling of being deeper and more spiritual than others. As far as I am concerned over time (not at once because I don't know if any of us could take it) dump all of it because I really don't know how you separate it out even though you said,
"how it is impossible to accurately discern and dissect WL's writings..That has not been my experience. Quite the opposite. ". Blessed are the meek. Okay you are a better person than I. Peace be with you.. Just my opinion bro. pray about it!
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:17 PM   #77
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Hi Mephi,

Please clarify. What, exactly, do you disagree with? I want to be sure I understand before I put by foo... I mean, before I speak.
I disagree with the assertion (I can't remember who stated it) that when it comes to Lee's ministry, it is well nigh impossible to separate, generally speaking, the chaff from the wheat. I contend that it is possible. It all comes down to the kind of glasses you're wearing to use to read him. These glasses are now available. They were not available even ten years ago. The sanitized version of Witness Lee -and indeed, Watchman Nee- has now dissipated into the air. We now see WL as he truly is...or was...warts and all...and it is this knowledge that those who are astute enough to do so can use to unmask him and unravel his so-called high teachings.

We can use that information to properly discern his writings in much the same way a university professor would, say for example, study the US Constitution. Let's take the second amendment as a case in point. It is generally accepted that it is the inalienable right of all Americans to bear arms (provided they are not barred from doing so as provided by law, as in the case of mental incapacity, for example, or in the case of a criminal record). As such millions upon millions of Americans have taken full advantage of this provision in the constitution in order to arm themselves, sometimes just adequately enough to protect themselves and their families; but sometimes needlessly and to the teeth. There are some who cannot see the logic in letting assault weapons of the most frightful and lethal capabilities be bought and sold on every street corner like so many bags of potatos. The result has been clear for all to see. Sandy Hook and Columbine come to mind, not to mention the violent drug and gang cultures in the inner cities. Now, isn't it folly to think that the second amendment has not played at least a minor role in this? And that, some would say, is an understatement.

Then there are those to whom the second amendment makes perfect sense. It is logical. If I am threatened in my own home by a gun-toting thief, then surely I must have recourse to an equal and opposite means of defending myself. They argue. There are of course, other reasons, put forward in defense of gun ownership. These gun owners would appeal to the founding fathers as the enduring founts of wisdom who guaranteed them their right. And they would be correct. The 'founding fathers' did indeed establish it, and they did indeed guarantee it. And as such -and now I'm just beginning to make my point, Igzy- the second amendment has assumed proportions similar to those of the Scriptures, usurping them even. In effect, the second amendment, owing to a powerful gun lobby, is now almost absolute, unchallengeable, and indisputable.

But what happens when we whip out our 'glasses'? How does the second amendment fare when we adjust the tint of our lenses to allow for the glare? Let us read the second amendment as framed by the founding fathers and find out:

"a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed [upon]"

I am reasonably confident that I don't need to teach you history, Igzy, but it is clear and evident that at the time that this document was worded, the founding fathers could not have imagined or envisioned the United States as it is today. The backdrop, as you must know, is the one of the war of independence against Britain which ended in 1776. Small bands of colonial settlers (farmers, blacksmiths, merchants, etc) organized into 'militias' and 'bearing arms' against his awful majesty, the king, were mainly to be given the credit for prevailing successfully against the formidable British Empire. They were applauded for this. It was only natural that a recognition of the pivotal role that the militias played in the fight for independence should be reflected in the constitution in order to safeguard the new state against future tyranny. To the minds of George Washington, et al, any possible future conflict would look very much like what they had just passed through. And who can blame them? But to us living in the present day, any idea of organizing into bands of armed militia to say, for example, defy and rise up against President Obama because of his 'tyrannical healthcare policies' and his 'wicked liberal views' appears simply ludicrous! In view, therefore, of the strict context in which the second amendment was conceived and penned down, one would have to unhappily conclude, that applied today, it is superfluous and unnecessary (Disclaimer: this may not be my own view, but it is certainly the view of many who stand opposed to the questionable right to bear arms).

That all said and done, my concern is not with guns and assault rifles, as you may have guessed. It is with Witness Lee and his ministry. We now have a context, -that has taken shape as never before- through which we can divine most of what motivated and drove him to write some of his teachings. There also seems to be now, possibly facilitated by the internet, a more frank and free discussion of who the man really was. This can serve to greatly inform anybody seeking to fathom his views. A quick look at Chinese culture, for example, especially as it stood in the first half of the 20th century -his formative years- not as it is today, can serve adequately to explain his dislike of confrontation, or his constant harping on about 'opinions', or even his unwillingness to deal with PL. We sometimes like to tear this man apart, but forget that after all he was Chinese. He was not an American. But this is all relatively common wisdom now. However, the principle I have outlined above can be used and applied universally, and especially in regard to taking apart his writings and spewing out the bones. I have noticed lately, when I'm perusing through his footnotes, how frequently -astonishingly so- he qualifies some interpretation of his of Scripture by phrases like 'this could mean' or 'this may signify' or 'surely this is'...etc...really..check it out. This had entirely escaped my notice before.

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Old 10-30-2014, 03:30 PM   #78
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There was a book written in 1972, "The Ecclesiology of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee" by James Mo-Oi Cheung which provides a considerable amount of information of the history of the Little Flock under Nee and the transition to Lee. Certainly we would all disagree with some of the things written but what was clear...Witness Lee and company were heretical in transition...what I mean by that is they would propagate certain doctrines which were not scriptural and then change them as they were exposed. There were also a considerable number of problems with his teachings before he even stepped on US soil.

Cheung writes, "As Watchman Nee has become the symbol of unity in earlier days, Witness Lee has become the symbol of controversy and disunity." (p. 153) The Rev. Elisha Wu wrote, "The Little Flock Engages in the Struggle to Correct Heresy". Chan Tse Shin wrote, "An Open Letter to the Saints of the Assembly in Hong Kong....in the past decade Witness Lee and those who follow him have deviated substantially from the true light we saw and the spiritual path on which we walked....Their teachings have ...now become...heresies. They not only embrace these heretical ideas themselves but also effectively persuade the saints everywhere to accept them." (p. 156) There was a long list of "alleged" heresies of WL compared to what Nee taught as the true light in separate columns.
This is the first time I've heard of a Chinese brother coming out openly and criticizing either Witness Lee or Watchman Nee, and that in 1972! Of course, there is the notable exception of Dr. Lily Hsu. I was of the view that the Chinese considered it bad form to point fingers at elders and notable people, and such. How can I get my hands on this book? What a good ole surprise...

...yes, and I will pray about it...I doubt that I am better than you, though, bro...I'm Mephibosheth, don't you know?...
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:35 PM   #79
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I wonder if anyone remembers an issue of the Christian Research Institute journal with the headline "We Were Wrong" emblazoned across its December 2009 issue?
By the way Mephi & Dave, we covered the CRI issue back when all the LCers were proudly buying up all the copies of it. Can we say filthy lucre.
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:37 PM   #80
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I disagree with the assertion (I can't remember who stated it) that when it comes to Lee's ministry ... Let's take the second amendment as a case in point ...
After the rant about guns, I'm not sure where I stand with Witness Lee.

Reminds me of a blog by one professor Tomes.


And another comes to mind.
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Old 10-30-2014, 03:55 PM   #81
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By the way Mephi & Dave, we covered the CRI issue back when all the LCers were proudly buying up all the copies of it. Can we say filthy lucre.
In can recall being in home meetings during this time where the local elder would comment how Hank would tour China with several blended brothers or the CRI issues We Were Wrong would be prominently displayed on the living room coffee tables.
Come to think of it, would be timely for LSM/DCP to come up with their own publication "We Were Wrong".
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Old 10-30-2014, 04:31 PM   #82
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This is the first time I've heard of a Chinese brother coming out openly and criticizing either Witness Lee or Watchman Nee, and that in 1972! Of course, there is the notable exception of Dr. Lily Hsu. I was of the view that the Chinese considered it bad form to point fingers at elders and notable people, and such. How can I get my hands on this book? What a good ole surprise...

...yes, and I will pray about it...I doubt that I am better than you, though, bro...I'm Mephibosheth, don't you know?...
This is a link to it online but it doesn't include the appendix which extends it from 153 pages to 175 pages. http://books.google.com/books/about/...d=Ak-NGQAACAAJ As you can see the Christian Literature Crusade published it but not sure why. It talks extensively about the practices which were going on then when they were in China and Taiwan and the differences between Nee and Lee after he was sent to Taiwan. I can't remember how I obtained the appendix which is a separate copy but whoever gave me the appendix wrote all kinds of sarcastic statements against it in pencil. Maybe that is why the Chinese brothers were reluctant to say anything out of fear of being rebuffed or worse.

I like your name...it's impressive. Honestly, you have nothing to fear from my name. If you can't attain a copy of the book and you want it maybe we can work something out. Take care bro.
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:09 PM   #83
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Friedel, Where did you get the idea that no one is going on with the Lord here? I didn't really start growing as a Christian until I dumped many of the LC ideas. I have a very rich Christian life. And I'm really a very nice guy. To quote one of my favorite lines, If I had any friends, they'd tell you what a nice guy I am.
Igzy, Igzy … From one nice guy to another. I never said that no one is going on here and I included myself in the mix. As a matter of fact my words were:
"My considered conclusion was that it is impossible to function as a Christian after the Local Church and the only option is to be cynical, bitter, angry and a skeptic."
It was a summary of how I perceived some who participate here, according to their own testimonies. I did not ascribe any feelings and/or spiritual conditions to anyone in particular. Most certainly I did not condemn or judge anyone. (I used to be very angry but by the Lord's mercy it is now in my past.)
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:18 PM   #84
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The sanitized version of Witness Lee -and indeed, Watchman Nee- has now dissipated into the air. We now see WL as he truly is...or was...warts and all...and it is this knowledge that those who are astute enough to do so can use to unmask him and unravel his so-called high teachings.
Why, o, why did Witness Lee always clear his throat with the mic on?
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Old 10-30-2014, 11:29 PM   #85
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Isn't all this talk about Lee's teachings and dumping them a case of throwing out the baby with the bathwater? For example, I am no longer involved with the LC but when I read the open letter by over seventy evangelical scholars and ministry leaders to the LSM back in 2007 in which they charged LSM, among many other charges, of holding to a teaching by Witness Lee in which he claimed that the nature of God was such that:

"The Son is called the Father; so the Son must be the Father. We must realize this fact. There are some who say that He is called the Father, but He is not really the Father. But how could He be called the Father and yet not be the Father?... In the place where no man can approach Him (I Tim. 6:16), God is the Father. When He comes forth to manifest Himself, He is the Son. So, a Son is given, yet His name is called 'The everlasting Father.' This very Son who has been given to us is the very Father."

I'm sorry, but I just cannot find the problem with this. Evidently, this is an issue with the rest of all Christianity. I, however, just do not see it! And I think I can argue convincingly out of the scriptures in support of this position. Have I been poisoned so much so that I can't even tell that what I consider to be a basic tenet of the faith, as simple kindergarten stuff, is in actuality a fabrication of Witness Lee?

Somebody help?
Personally, I agree wholeheartedly with you. To me it also makes sense from the Word.
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Old 10-31-2014, 12:25 AM   #86
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After the rant about guns, I'm not sure where I stand with Witness Lee.
Rant?...rant?...you do me an unkindness, good sir...recant...recant...

Rant = 'an angry outburst'; 'a rage'; 'an emotionally-fueled tirade'

..nothing could be further from the truth in saying that I was 'ranting'...

But admittedly, I do accept that my post was a little too long in the tooth, but when I start banging away on my keyboard...well...anyway, I desired to offer a vivid illustration of the crucial importance of considering 'context' when deciphering historical documents, or for that matter, expositions of scripture, whether those expositions be penned by Paul, Josephus, Luther, Wesley, Darby, or, indeed, Nee and Lee. And I did mention that my concern was not with 'guns', except by way of example, for I could have chosen any number of issues to serve to state my case e.g. Wade vs Roe, or the Jim Crow laws, or the history of universal adult suffrage, or...snap!..while we're at, why not Obamacare...et cetera, et cetera...

I find I am forced to repeat myself...please recall...that I wrote:

"That all said and done, my concern is not with guns and assault rifles, as you may have guessed. It is with Witness Lee and his ministry. We now have a context, -that has taken shape as never before- through which we can divine most of what motivated and drove him to write some of his teachings. There also seems to be now, possibly facilitated by the internet, a more frank and free discussion of who the man really was. This can serve to greatly inform anybody seeking to fathom his views"...



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Old 10-31-2014, 12:42 AM   #87
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There was a book written in 1972, "The Ecclesiology of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee" by James Mo-Oi Cheung which provides a considerable amount of information of the history of the Little Flock under Nee and the transition to Lee. Certainly we would all disagree with some of the things written but what was clear...Witness Lee and company were heretical in transition...what I mean by that is they would propagate certain doctrines which were not scriptural and then change them as they were exposed. There were also a considerable number of problems with his teachings before he even stepped on US soil.

Cheung writes, "As Watchman Nee has become the symbol of unity in earlier days, Witness Lee has become the symbol of controversy and disunity." (p. 153) The Rev. Elisha Wu wrote, "The Little Flock Engages in the Struggle to Correct Heresy". Chan Tse Shin wrote, "An Open Letter to the Saints of the Assembly in Hong Kong....in the past decade Witness Lee and those who follow him have deviated substantially from the true light we saw and the spiritual path on which we walked....Their teachings have ...now become...heresies. They not only embrace these heretical ideas themselves but also effectively persuade the saints everywhere to accept them." (p. 156) There was a long list of "alleged" heresies of WL compared to what Nee taught as the true light in separate columns.
I thought you might find this interesting:

1973 - Christian Literature Crusade

Alleged inaccuracies in The Ecclesiology of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee by James Mo-Oi Cheung resulted in threats of legal action against Christian Literature Crusade by the Local Church. The book alleged that Witness Lee, among other things, taught heresy. Christian Literature Crusade recalled the book, apologized to Witness Lee, and agreed not to publish a revised edition.3 Interviews with the author and the publisher disclosed that the retraction was issued in the face of threatened legal action by Local Church officials and was not based solely upon the contents of the book. Their retraction, included as an appendix in the book, Understanding Watchman Nee by Dana Roberts (Logos), read as follows:
TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN:
Following publication of the book THE ECCLESIOLOGY OF WATCHMAN NEE AND WITNESS LEE by James Mo-Oi Cheung, we received personal visits and letters from associates of Witness Lee who asserted that he does not hold or teach some of the views that were attributed to him in the book. Accordingly, C.L.C. [Christian Literature Crusade] as publisher has taken the following actions:

1) Eight days after the book was first offered for sale, we removed the appendix in toto and rebound the remaining stock because of material in the appendix that we could not substantiate in light of the new information. 2) In mid-February we stopped all further sale of the book when it was brought to our attention that material which we could not substantiate was present in the body of the book as well. 3) We wrote a letter of apology to Mr. Witness Lee regarding imputations of heresy, etc., that the book contained. 4) We suspended publication of a revised and corrected edition of the book. 5) We issued a recall, for full credit, of all copies of the book sold. 6) We agreed that C.L.C. would not publish a revised edition of the book.

We feel that we owe all parties interested in this publication a fuller explanation of the reasons for the actions detailed above. The following statement is intended to be the vehicle by which the author and publisher acknowledge that items in the areas mentioned below should not, for lack of supporting evidence, have appeared in the book. At the same time we do not mean to suggest that all believers would agree to all the teachings of Witness Lee and his associates. Assertions by associates of Witness Lee that the book misrepresents him with respect to doctrine fall in these general areas:

1) Imputations of heresy to Witness Lee specifically in reference to his views on the blood of Jesus and the person and nature of Jesus Christ. 2) The claim that in matters of doctrine Witness Lee differs substantially from the views of Watchman Nee (differences are evidently much narrower than suggested by the book). 3) The inference that Witness Lee resorts to deliberate "twisting of Scripture" or "misuse of the Word." 4) The allegation that Witness Lee holds to a strict "baptismal regeneration" view of baptism.
In addition, the authorship of the book THE GLORIOUS CHURCH was incorrectly attributed to Witness Lee, whereas the author was in fact Watchman Nee. We want it to be known that it is not our policy to disseminate material concerning any person or persons that is known to be inaccurate. We sincerely regret feelings of offense created by the publication of this book, as well as any inconvenience caused by it subsequent recall and termination.

Sincerely in Christ, CHRISTIAN LITERATURE CRUSADE
A. Donald Fredlund Publications Secretary
James Mo-Oi Cheung Author
April 19, 1973
Source: Cult Awareness and Information Library. It is quite a treasure trove. This is page 2 of 15. Read it all.
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Old 10-31-2014, 01:13 AM   #88
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Why, o, why did Witness Lee always clear his throat with the mic on?
It is well known that 'clearing the throat' was a common and powerful intimidation tactic used widely during the Cultural Revolution. It was favored as an effective tool in prizing the truth from suspected Kuomintang sympathizers and other enemies of the state by Chinese Communist Party interrogators. It was usually employed just before particularly cruel and rigorous examinations of prisoners. Nee, believed to have been a major-general in Chang-kai-chek's army, must have been subjected to endless sessions of relentless 'throat-clearing' after his arrest and during his interrogations; and hence his famous admissions of guilt during his trial. Witness Lee's later widespread use of this method of 'clearing the throat' was deliberate and calculated, and served to completely subjugate the impressionable minds of those in the LC at the time...as history can firmly attest.



...and if you have believed everything I've just told you then that means when I cleared my throat earlier it must have had some kind of effect on you...
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:05 AM   #89
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I thought you might find this interesting:

1973 - Christian Literature Crusade

Alleged inaccuracies in The Ecclesiology of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee by James Mo-Oi Cheung resulted in threats of legal action against Christian Literature Crusade by the Local Church..... Interviews with the author and the publisher disclosed that the retraction was issued in the face of threatened legal action by Local Church officials and was not based solely upon the contents of the book. Their retraction, included as an appendix in the book, Understanding Watchman Nee by Dana Roberts (Logos), ...:
Please note that the "retraction was NOT based solely upon the contents of the book" and as I noted, "Certainly we would all disagree with some of the things written" and there are some exaggerations, at least, from my perspective. Common sense would need to be used in reading any thing of this nature. However, because of the nature of the LC in threatening legal action every time someone writes something against them I'll refrain from sharing any more from the book. Anyway, it has some remarkable history that I couldn't find anywhere else about Nee, his family, churches in China etc.

I'm sure the CLC nor Cheung wanted to spend time in court over the book which was based on letters and documents from China and, thus, probably difficult to clarify especially back in 1973. The book is well footnoted with a bibliography and includes the quotes from various leaders from China and Taiwan who probably did not want to get into the middle of any legal action.

Note that Dana Roberts was involved in the Appendix and has written a couple of books which are on Amazon, "Secrets of Watchman Nee (A Spirit-Filled Classic)" and "Understanding Watchman Nee". He was also involved in the writing of Lily Hsu's book about Nee which is where I first heard of him. I don't know much about him but he has been attacked at not even being a Christian etc. by the followers of Nee. Maybe he has been discussed elsewhere on the forum.
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Old 10-31-2014, 04:13 AM   #90
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Rant?...rant?...you do me an unkindness, good sir...recant...recant...

Rant = 'an angry outburst'; 'a rage'; 'an emotionally-fueled tirade'

..nothing could be further from the truth in saying that I was 'ranting'...

But admittedly, I do accept that my post was a little too long in the tooth, but when I start banging away on my keyboard...well...
Sorry ... So sorry ... I recant about your rant.

Your long tooth must have struck a nerve in my neck. ... I get a little antsy when people start taking away my right to own guns ... Even though I don't own any.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:46 AM   #91
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Maybe he [Dana Roberts] has been discussed elsewhere on the forum.
Yes, on the "My Unforgettable Memories: Watchman Nee and Shanghai Local Church - Dr. Hsu" thread.
http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...ead.php?t=3489

But UntoHim put a damper on discussing Dana .. for unknown reasons ... since the thread is on Lily's book and he's one of the credited authors.
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Old 10-31-2014, 06:58 AM   #92
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We now have a context, -that has taken shape as never before- through which we can divine most of what motivated and drove him to write some of his teachings. There also seems to be now, possibly facilitated by the internet, a more frank and free discussion of who the man really was. This can serve to greatly inform anybody seeking to fathom his views. A quick look at Chinese culture, for example, especially as it stood in the first half of the 20th century -his formative years- not as it is today, can serve adequately to explain his dislike of confrontation, or his constant harping on about 'opinions', or even his unwillingness to deal with PL. We sometimes like to tear this man apart, but forget that after all he was Chinese. He was not an American. But this is all relatively common wisdom now.
Agreed. The context of the original needs to be considered; what might it have meant to the writers, and readers, versus what we might want it to mean today? Don't asssume that the two are so closely aligned as you wish they were.

Case in point: Ecclesia. It seems to escape the "one church per city" folks that the word 'ecclesia' didn't originally mean 'church'. It was extant long before the gospels were spoken, and later written down. It was in the LXX OT, i.e. "in the ecclesia I [Jesus] will sing praises to You [the Father]". What did it mean, before the word 'church' came in to existence? Nee didn't seem to consider this much, perhaps because he had a theme to push and this analysis wouldn't help his cause. What if 'ecclesia' meant something like 'gathering', or 'assembly'? Then you could perforce have multiple meetings in one urban area. Why, wherever two or three were gathered, Christ promised to be there!

But, this wasn't helpful to break free of the Western yoke. Nee was operating in a cultural milieu just a few years removed from the Boxer Rebellion, remember. So the post-Protestant, Bretheren-influenced "church" notion drove the Little Flock to segregate itself. Naturally this was attractive, and was supposedly "blessed" by God in China in the 1920s and 30s; and later Taiwan in the 1950s. But it cannot be overstated that this 20th century meaning might have been quite different from what it meant in the first century CE. We ignored this possibility, to our peril. We got stuck in our current meanings, and were left to wonder why our current experience seemed so different from the scriptures, no matter how much the LSM cheerleaders tried to get us to look away from the obvious.

For a second example, look at the derivation of Lee's teachings, and the ideas he came up with and pushed from the dias. Again, notice how his interpretive focus would nicely align with whatever "move" in the churches he was trying to foster, or suppress. So when the saints were eagerly singing Psalm music that came from the dreaded "denominations" he began to strongly and repeatedly deride the singing of Psalms, saying that they were mostly "low" and "natural" and full of "fallen concepts". Instead, he recommended singing Ephesians and Philippians; you know, the so-called "heart of the divine revelation". No mention that in Ephesians, as elsewhere (i.e. Colossians) Paul had written to the saints to sing the Psalms! (Nor was this idea of a "low" or "natural" OT text alonside a supposedly "revelatory" one ever mentioned in NT exegeses). So you had a teaching that was arguably derived to meet a "current need" in the U.S. "Lord's Recovery" churches in the early 1970s, but to do this, the original word was stripped of all textual and/or comparative understanding. The word now meant whatever we wanted and needed it to mean at that moment. Which is understandable; we all do this. The problem was that it was sold to us as something entirely different. And therein lies the problem.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:09 AM   #93
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But UntoHim put a damper on discussing Dana .. for unknown reasons ... since the thread is on Lily's book and he's one of the credited authors.
Nah, I clearly gave the reasons and you know it Harold. The thread was about the testimony of Dr. Hsu - She is the author of the book, not Dana Roberts. Some people on the thread were using Roberts as a way to divert attention away from the main theme of the thread. It's that simple.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:26 AM   #94
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Nah, I clearly gave the reasons and you know it Harold. The thread was about the testimony of Dr. Hsu - She is the author of the book, not Dana Roberts. Some people on the thread were using Roberts as a way to divert attention away from the main theme of the thread. It's that simple.
Yes, it got crazy on that thread, thanks to Andrew Kelly. Thanks for not giving into Kelly ... still, Dana is on the cover of the book.
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Old 10-31-2014, 07:31 AM   #95
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Mephi (I can call you Mephi, can't I?),

That a highly cognizant and experienced Christian like yourself can separate the wheat from the chaff in Witness Lee's teaching is not the only issue.

Another question is what about that Christian who finds one of Lee's titles like "The Mystery of Human Life" (one of Olvin's favs no doubt) or some other grandiose thing on Amazon.com and says to herself, "Oooh, he's going to tell me what life is all about!" So she orders it and reads it, and while Lee is telling her the mystery of her life he also injects "Oh, by the way, you need to join one of my churches and major in my ministry and submit yourself to the 'unique leadership' and reject 'Christianity' and burn your past or you won't be an overcomer and blah, blah, blah."

What about those people? Do they have the discernment? Thousands and thousands of people sidetracked by the LC say "no."

I'm not saying never read Lee. I'm saying you need to be careful when doing so. Reading Lee is like jumping off a cliff in a wingsuit. Lots of thrills but lots of risks.
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Old 10-31-2014, 09:28 AM   #96
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Mephi (I can call you Mephi, can't I?),

That a highly cognizant and experienced Christian like yourself can separate the wheat from the chaff in Witness Lee's teaching is not the only issue.

Another question is what about that Christian who finds one of Lee's titles like "The Mystery of Human Life" (one of Olvin's favs no doubt) or some other grandiose thing on Amazon.com and says to herself, "Oooh, he's going to tell me what life is all about!" So she orders it and reads it and while Lee is telling her the mystery of her life he also injects "Oh, by the way, you need to join one of my churches and major in my ministry and submit yourself to the 'unique leadership' and reject 'Christianity' and burn your past or you won't be an overcomer and blah, blah, blah."

What about those people? Do they have the discernment? Thousands and thousands of people sidetracked by the LC say "no."

I'm not saying never read Lee. I'm saying you need to be careful when doing so. Reading Lee is like jumping off a cliff in a wingsuit. Lots of thrills but lots of risks.
...yes, Igzy, you may call me Mephi...or, if you like, Meph (it has a hard, ungirlish edge to it that appeals to me)

I get the point you've made above. It's true, thousands stand in danger of getting sidetracked...but at the end of the day, how much of it all is really down to good, old-fashioned commonsense? It is actually more common than you might think. Actually, my educated guess would be that many more countless thousands have exercised their commonsense in relation to things spiritual than the thousands who haven't; sometimes to their profit, but sometimes to their loss (one doesn't enter the kingdom of God through their commonsense). How else would you explain the fact that the LC simply does not have the numbers that would justify either the high output of its printing presses at LSM, or the aggressive and relentless pushes onto campuses around the country, and just about basically all of its overall expenditure on evangelism in general...Ethiopia seems to be an exception.

A case in point: many years ago I was in a certain city in Africa. A locality had just sprung up. But many, many of the believers in that city refused to join that church. And the reasons they gave, though wide and varied, all reflected an 'uncommon' capacity for commonsense. Unfortunately, however, a good number of these believers, having seen through the LC, sometimes end up, if you will, running from one wolf to the next wolf and are, instead, routinely hoodwinked by unscrupulous pastors. Religion is, after all, an opiate; it drugs the masses; and oftentimes one's smarts serve as no insulation whatsoever. Any believer, young or old, should know that, and be wary. The key is the Spirit.

p.s. ..."highly cognizant"?...I laugh out loud...I hardly think so...
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Old 10-31-2014, 10:36 AM   #97
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It's true, thousands stand in danger of getting sidetracked...but at the end of the day, how much of it all is really down to good, old-fashioned commonsense? It is actually more common than you might think. Actually, my educated guess would be that many more countless thousands have exercised their commonsense in relation to things spiritual than the thousands who haven't; sometimes to their profit, but sometimes to their loss (one doesn't enter the kingdom of God through their commonsense).
I almost replied when you first brought this up. Your original comment seemed to be pointing at something that I have often said here.

At some level, it is reasonable to suggest that common sense will help you get through a book by Nee or Lee without becoming ensnared in the nonsense. But at the same time, a lot of people with really good common sense bought into it all for some period of time. And some still do.

And maybe getting rid of the really big stuff is good enough. But maybe not. The number of apparently innocuous things taught, like "just turn to your spirit" seem so harmless. And because of the words used, it is hard to say anything negative against it. But it is not my spirit that is the source of right and wrong. (And if there is a real issue with right and wrong, good and evil, that goes back to the fall, it is not that we ate the wrong tree, but that we took the responsibility of defining good and evil for ourselves rather than relying on God's definitions.) And while we refer to our spirit as regenerated, it is not God, or Christ, and is therefore not the correct source of revelation. In fact, what does it mean to "turn to your spirit"? To figure out how you "feel" about something? To pray? To say some words (even good words, like "Oh, Lord Jesus")?

Our concern here is not so much those who have never been hooked by Nee's and Lee's teachings. With a few exceptions related to a few of Nee's writings, no one is going to read either other them unless they join with the LRC. And those are the ones we are concerned with. They have already had a large helping of LRC Kool-aid. Their eyes begin with a fog in front of them. Their nostrils think the smell is normal but it is garlic.

And we were all there. The difficult thing is that there are little bits of nonsense stuck onto so much otherwise sound teaching. Human nature related to unlearning error was researched a little in recent years. What was discovered was that if something was learned in a vacuum and the result was that the meaning was not what should have been taught, when the context is introduced and the error becomes evident, over half hang onto the error as if it is still just as true as they thought before. In effect, we are prone to believing what we have already come to believe even when it is found to be wrong.

And while eliminating the tagalongs does not eliminate all of this kind of continued error, it at least helps. If you go in knowing that you are going to see something different, then there is a chance that you might see something differently. But as long as you keep looking in the same places, you will have little chance of finding something different.

And for that reason, I always suggest that you at least put your LSM library in boxes in the attic and don't get them out until you think you really understand things clearly without it. (Then it is probably better to just put it out with the recycling.)
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Old 11-01-2014, 03:00 AM   #98
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My point in all of this is that you need to test whatever you have learned because WL and his cohorts have been like chameleons throughout the years and have changed their doctrines to meet rising criticism. Part of the problem for them is a result of WL's wide use of allegory to interpret scripture. "Spiritual" allegorism gives you the "feeling" that you have special "inner" knowledge that other Christians don't have and a feeling of being deeper and more spiritual than others.
Dave, let me give an example of the type of thing (I think) you're talking about. I grew up believing that gophers are a biblical metaphor for ambition. I believed this because Witness Lee taught it.

I just looked up "gopher" in the concordance at biblegateway.com. There is only one mention of the word "gopher" in the Bible. And it's not even about gophers. It's Genesis 6:14, where God commands Noah to make an ark of "gopher wood." Got the same result for several translations (including KJV, ASV, Darby, etc.). A few versions don't contain any mention of the word "gopher" at all (NIV, for instance, translates the verse as "cypress word," with a footnote on "cypress" indicating that the meaning of the Hebrew word is unclear.)

If I'm wrong, or if I'm missing something, someone please correct me. Because as far as I can tell, the teaching concerning "the gopher of ambition," that I learned from the ministry of Witness Lee, is not based on the Bible. Because gophers aren't in the Bible.

Should I be surprised? Does this even matter?
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Old 11-01-2014, 04:16 AM   #99
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Dave, let me give an example of the type of thing (I think) you're talking about. I grew up believing that gophers are a biblical metaphor for ambition. I believed this because Witness Lee taught it.

If I'm wrong, or if I'm missing something, someone please correct me. Because as far as I can tell, the teaching concerning "the gopher of ambition," that I learned from the ministry of Witness Lee, is not based on the Bible. Because gophers aren't in the Bible.
At times Witness Lee did have a mischievous sense of humor. Speaking of "gophers" (small burrowing rodents with pouches on the outside of their cheeks; also small sand tortoises) referred to some unseen destruction to your spiritual life caused by harboring something or some thought you might have considered innocent. He was speaking figuratively of these little fellas.

He also liked saying someone is "more holy than (Sister) Theresa". He was just being facetious.

None of this was doctrine, just a figure of speech. At least, I did not perceive it to be doctrinal teaching but just a lighthearted way of driving home a point … warning against ambition that could hurt others, not to think more highly of yourself than of others, etc. …

Last edited by Friedel; 11-01-2014 at 05:08 AM. Reason: Added something
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Old 11-01-2014, 05:49 AM   #100
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If I'm wrong, or if I'm missing something, someone please correct me. Because as far as I can tell, the teaching concerning "the gopher of ambition," that I learned from the ministry of Witness Lee, is not based on the Bible. Because gophers aren't in the Bible.

Should I be surprised? Does this even matter?
The gopher illustration is rather humorous. I have no idea where WL obtained that phrase or illustration either. It is the hidden meaning in the Bible of words, phrases or stories that WL utilized to explain the Bible.
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At times Witness Lee did have a mischievous sense of humor. He also liked saying someone is "more holy than (Sister) Theresa". He was just being facetious.

None of this was doctrine. At least, I did not perceive it to be doctrinal teaching but just a lighthearted way of driving home a point … warning against ambition that could hurt others, not to think more highly of yourself than of others, etc. …
It wasn’t necessarily about doctrine. Pray-reading wasn’t doctrine. Repeating over and over Oh Lord Jesus wasn’t doctrine. This was just eating, drinking and breathing Jesus (Allegorical/Spiritual). Was the concept of the “local church” ground doctrine? This is not a foundational doctrine but you might say that the ground of the city is doctrine and literal whereas I could say it is allegory and spiritual and would include all of the Christians in that city. Lee states, “Day by day he [the Christian] eats and drinks Christ. Christ is gradually digested by him and mingled with him so that he and Christ become one. (WL, The All-Inclusive Spirit of Christ p. 189) Doctrinal or Spiritual (Allegorical)? The Priesthood? Doctrinal or Spiritual (allegorical) The Tabernacle? Doctrinal or Spiritual (Allegorical).

Lee states, “…Matthew 28:19 says that we are to baptize people in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Spirit. There are three persons, but only one name. It is not in the names of the Father, the Son and the Spirit but in the name. The father in the home, the professor in the university, and the doctor in the hospital are also three persons with one name.” (WL The Practical Expression of the Church, p.7) This illustration of the father, professor and the doctor to illustrate the Trinity is called “modalism” and it is what WL got into trouble with at one point but he denied it. Anyway, this is allegory and in this case it is doctrine, foundational Christian doctrine which is being upended.
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Old 11-01-2014, 06:11 AM   #101
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The gopher illustration is rather humorous. I have no idea where WL obtained that phrase or illustration either. It is the hidden meaning in the Bible of words, phrases or stories that WL utilized to explain the Bible..
There is nothing wrong with using our own personal homilies to illustrate spiritual principles we see in the Bible. Preachers and pastors do it on Sunday morning from the pulpit: they use their own "parables" to illustrate themes and narratives found within the text.

But Lee's homilies became substitutes for scriptures, and common sense. Our thinking was reduced to WWBLS? What would Brother Lee say? If he talked about gophers, so did we.

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The It wasn’t necessarily about doctrine. Pray-reading wasn’t doctrine. Repeating over and over Oh Lord Jesus wasn’t doctrine. This was just eating, drinking and breathing Jesus (Allegorical/Spiritual).
Again, nothing wrong with that, per se. Is there a problem with praying? With declaring the name of Jesus? No. "Eating by reading, drinking by prayer" was in a song I remember. Nothing wrong with reading the Bible or praying.

But in the Local Churches Lee's homilies became our sole channel of reality, with no substitutes accepted. So if the apostle Paul recommended, twice, "eating and drinking by singing the Psalms", and Lee wasn't interested, then neither were we. Lee's homilies supervened the Bible itself. So eating, drinking, breathing Jesus became what Lee told us it was, no more or less. Lee's folk homilies replaced the Bible.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:06 AM   #102
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There is nothing wrong with using our own personal homilies to illustrate spiritual principles we see in the Bible. Preachers and pastors do it on Sunday morning from the pulpit: they use their own "parables" to illustrate themes and narratives found within the text.

But Lee's homilies became substitutes for scriptures, and common sense. Our thinking was reduced to WWBLS? What would Brother Lee say? If he talked about gophers, so did we.



Again, nothing wrong with that, per se. Is there a problem with praying? With declaring the name of Jesus? No. "Eating by reading, drinking by prayer" was in a song I remember. Nothing wrong with reading the Bible or praying.

But in the Local Churches Lee's homilies became our sole channel of reality, with no substitutes accepted. So if the apostle Paul recommended, twice, "eating and drinking by singing the Psalms", and Lee wasn't interested, then neither were we. Lee's homilies supervened the Bible itself. So eating, drinking, breathing Jesus became what Lee told us it was, no more or less. Lee's folk homilies replaced the Bible.
And not only our sole channel of reality, it often replaced reality. (Sounds like and Adam Savage line from Mythbusters).

Pray-reading, while ostensibly spiritual and even scriptural, was a practice that too often divorced the words from their context. I so often gripe about the common practice (not even just in the LRC) of reading the Bible as a collection of disconnected fortune cookies arranged in such a way that there is a cover story that really doesn't mean anything. Instead, the meaning is in the context-less fortune cookies. Add pray-reading (the LRC version as described in that little booklet) to the mix and even the words of the verse get disconnected. They cease to be even the context-less sentence that is the fortune cookie. Now the whole thing is a blank. It is wrapped in emotional "spirituality" but has lost its solid meaning. Now the suggestion that it means something other than what the actual construct of words means can be made. And it is so divorced from the context that anything beyond the little fortune cookie will never be considered.

It is almost as if we had the words so thoroughly disjointed that we could put then into a boiling pot, and out would come something new and amazing. Like a golden calf.

I have no problem with praying over and with scripture. But "I. Oh, Lord. I am. oh Lord Jesus. I. Amen. I. I. Amen Amen, Oh Lord Jesus . . ." is too easily a variant on sitting in a yoga position humming "om." Your mind becomes disconnected from rational thoughts. Not always. But it becomes more about our experience of emotions than a meaningful prayer with the scripture as the base.

I know that it is difficult to think that anything can be said negatively about including the words "Lord Jesus" in something. But I honestly think that those can become no more meaningful words than the excited declaration "Jesus Christ" when some heathen gets startled or their toe stepped on. And in this particular case, it too easily becomes part of Lee's system of error. Use truth and a kind of prayer to disconnect the follower from their discernment. Anything that works.

And someone will complain that they have had such wonderful times with God through pray-reading. And I did not say that pray-reading was simply wrong or not Christian. I said that it is easily an emotional distraction from the truth and potentially a way to manipulate the mind by disconnecting more than verses from context, but the words of verses from each other.
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:43 AM   #103
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There is nothing wrong with using our own personal homilies to illustrate spiritual principles we see in the Bible. Preachers and pastors do it on Sunday morning from the pulpit: they use their own "parables" to illustrate themes and narratives found within the text.

But Lee's homilies became substitutes for scriptures, and common sense. Our thinking was reduced to WWBLS? What would Brother Lee say? If he talked about gophers, so did we.

Again, nothing wrong with that, per se. Is there a problem with praying? With declaring the name of Jesus? No. "Eating by reading, drinking by prayer" was in a song I remember. Nothing wrong with reading the Bible or praying.

But in the Local Churches Lee's homilies became our sole channel of reality, with no substitutes accepted. So if the apostle Paul recommended, twice, "eating and drinking by singing the Psalms", and Lee wasn't interested, then neither were we. Lee's homilies supervened the Bible itself. So eating, drinking, breathing Jesus became what Lee told us it was, no more or less. Lee's folk homilies replaced the Bible.
You took what I said a step further for additional clarification. Good job!
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:49 AM   #104
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And not only our sole channel of reality, it often replaced reality. (Sounds like and Adam Savage line from Mythbusters).

Pray-reading, while ostensibly spiritual and even scriptural, was a practice that too often divorced the words from their context. I so often gripe about the common practice (not even just in the LRC) of reading the Bible as a collection of disconnected fortune cookies arranged in such a way that there is a cover story that really doesn't mean anything. Instead, the meaning is in the context-less fortune cookies. Add pray-reading (the LRC version as described in that little booklet) to the mix and even the words of the verse get disconnected. They cease to be even the context-less sentence that is the fortune cookie. Now the whole thing is a blank. It is wrapped in emotional "spirituality" but has lost its solid meaning. Now the suggestion that it means something other than what the actual construct of words means can be made. And it is so divorced from the context that anything beyond the little fortune cookie will never be considered.

It is almost as if we had the words so thoroughly disjointed that we could put then into a boiling pot, and out would come something new and amazing. Like a golden calf.

I have no problem with praying over and with scripture. But "I. Oh, Lord. I am. oh Lord Jesus. I. Amen. I. I. Amen Amen, Oh Lord Jesus . . ." is too easily a variant on sitting in a yoga position humming "om." Your mind becomes disconnected from rational thoughts. Not always. But it becomes more about our experience of emotions than a meaningful prayer with the scripture as the base.

I know that it is difficult to think that anything can be said negatively about including the words "Lord Jesus" in something. But I honestly think that those can become no more meaningful words than the excited declaration "Jesus Christ" when some heathen gets startled or their toe stepped on. And in this particular case, it too easily becomes part of Lee's system of error. Use truth and a kind of prayer to disconnect the follower from their discernment. Anything that works.

And someone will complain that they have had such wonderful times with God through pray-reading. And I did not say that pray-reading was simply wrong or not Christian. I said that it is easily an emotional distraction from the truth and potentially a way to manipulate the mind by disconnecting more than verses from context, but the words of verses from each other.
Further clarification. Great stuff! I would think that extends to primarily reading Life Studies and the trainings that go on where you lose touch with Christian spiritual reality and live in the WL world reality where it is difficult to extract oneself.
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Old 11-01-2014, 09:00 AM   #105
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I grew up believing that gophers are a biblical metaphor for ambition. I believed this because Witness Lee taught it.

If I'm wrong, or if I'm missing something, someone please correct me. Because as far as I can tell, the teaching concerning "the gopher of ambition," that I learned from the ministry of Witness Lee, is not based on the Bible. Because gophers aren't in the Bible.

Should I be surprised? Does this even matter?
It does matter! Not whether metaphors are employed or gophers or used to make a point. Every minister has the liberty to do this.

But why did Lee do this. Was there some subtlety hidden from us? Was it all just wise advice from an elderly minister? Or was Lee actually "priming us" for the time when his little gopher story would be really needed to deflect the bright light from his own unrighteous doings. Lee was seasoned and well equipped to handle the storms created by his own undoing.

Thus Lee used ambition as one of the "seven deadly sins" in the recovery. Any brother who speaks his conscience, standing up for righteousness, and is anointed by God as a prophet to the Recovery, could be easily branded as "ambitious" by Lee and his cronies. Every brother was thus labeled "ambitious" before he was to be quarantined. How convenient!

How very expedient for Lee to judge a brother's heart for ambition! How could the brother defend himself? How could he say, "I never did that, I never said that," when he was being accused of some obscure "rottenness" in his heart. How could a brother prove what was in or not in his heart? But now the whole Recovery is looking at him with suspicious judging eyes -- "Brother so-n-so is ambitious! We could never have seen it, but Brother Lee can 'see things we cannot.'" Thus Lee was now our "god," since only he could know what's in man's heart and pronounce judgment.

To be a normal man, or a normal brother, is to be ambitious. Should we all be un-opinionated, robotic, couch potatoes, I mean "yellow-chair-potatoes." Obviously Lee excelled in ambition. So only he was entitled to such a virtue? Paul praised those who were ambitious to please the Lord, or to have oversight in the church of God. But Lee used this gopher to "shoot the messengers." Attack the accuser so that he is silenced, and the "light shining in a dark place" is now extinguished.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:18 AM   #106
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It does matter! Not whether metaphors are employed or gophers or used to make a point. Every minister has the liberty to do this.

But why did Lee do this. Was there some subtlety hidden from us? Was it all just wise advice from an elderly minister? Or was Lee actually "priming us" for the time when his little gopher story would be really needed to deflect the bright light from his own unrighteous doings. Lee was seasoned and well equipped to handle the storms created by his own undoing.

Thus Lee used ambition as one of the "seven deadly sins" in the recovery. Any brother who speaks his conscience, standing up for righteousness, and is anointed by God as a prophet to the Recovery, could be easily branded as "ambitious" by Lee and his cronies. Every brother was thus labeled "ambitious" before he was to be quarantined. How convenient!

How very expedient for Lee to judge a brother's heart for ambition! How could the brother defend himself? How could he say, "I never did that, I never said that," when he was being accused of some obscure "rottenness" in his heart. How could a brother prove what was in or not in his heart? But now the whole Recovery is looking at him with suspicious judging eyes -- "Brother so-n-so is ambitious! We could never have seen it, but Brother Lee can 'see things we cannot.'" Thus Lee was now our "god," since only he could know what's in man's heart and pronounce judgment.

To be a normal man, or a normal brother, is to be ambitious. Should we all be un-opinionated, robotic, couch potatoes, I mean "yellow-chair-potatoes." Obviously Lee excelled in ambition. So only he was entitled to such a virtue? Paul praised those who were ambitious to please the Lord, or to have oversight in the church of God. But Lee used this gopher to "shoot the messengers." Attack the accuser so that he is silenced, and the "light shining in a dark place" is now extinguished.
This word AMBITION is used to imply a brother is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Within the LC culture it's used as a wildcard whenever a whistleblower is to be silenced. Just use the word "ambitious" and it's expected to mean this brother or sister is seeking a following.
Within the context of society, nearly everyone has ambition for marriage and a family life.
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Old 11-01-2014, 10:34 AM   #107
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Dave, let me give an example of the type of thing (I think) you're talking about. I grew up believing that gophers are a biblical metaphor for ambition. I believed this because Witness Lee taught it.

I just looked up "gopher" in the concordance at biblegateway.com. There is only one mention of the word "gopher" in the Bible. And it's not even about gophers. It's Genesis 6:14, where God commands Noah to make an ark of "gopher wood." Got the same result for several translations (including KJV, ASV, Darby, etc.). A few versions don't contain any mention of the word "gopher" at all (NIV, for instance, translates the verse as "cypress word," with a footnote on "cypress" indicating that the meaning of the Hebrew word is unclear.)

If I'm wrong, or if I'm missing something, someone please correct me. Because as far as I can tell, the teaching concerning "the gopher of ambition," that I learned from the ministry of Witness Lee, is not based on the Bible. Because gophers aren't in the Bible.

Should I be surprised? Does this even matter?
Methinks perchance you failed to look up gopher in the Urban Dictionary:

Quote:
"n. A low-ranking employee who is made to do the bidding of their superiors. So-called because they are often running around doing various small tasks."
So Lee's speaking on the gopher was doublespeak ... cuz he really wanted all of us to be gophers.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:05 AM   #108
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Methinks perchance you failed to look up gopher in the Urban Dictionary:
Quote:
"n. A low-ranking employee who is made to do the bidding of their superiors. So-called because they are often running around doing various small tasks."
So Lee's speaking on the gopher was doublespeak ... cuz he really wanted all of us to be gophers.
awareness, I see where you are going with this but exactly how does that tie into "ambition" if being a gopher (go for) means running around doing someone else's bidding. Wouldn't he be encouraging us to be gophers in your definition rather than using it as an example of "ambition" or something bad? Or are you suggesting that he wanted us to be ambitious? That's not the impression I received from rayliotta.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:18 AM   #109
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Just use the word "ambitious" and it's expected to mean this brother or sister is seeking a following.
And that's what Mel Porter opened with, on the infamous, to me anyway, day Mel told me I had to take his personality as my own.

He said: "There are 2 churches here in Ft. Lauderdale. I'm the leader of one and you're the leader of the other."

That blew my mind right at the start. All I could say was, "I'm not leading anyone." But Mel insisted that I was. I had to be ambitious. That's why I had to go. Cuz as Mel told me, from that point on if "I even needed to blow my nose I had to ask him which side first." That's how ambition is dealt with in the LRC; make everyone kowtow.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:30 AM   #110
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This word AMBITION is used to imply a brother is a wolf in sheep's clothing. Within the LC culture it's used as a wildcard whenever a whistleblower is to be silenced. Just use the word "ambitious" and it's expected to mean this brother or sister is seeking a following.
Within the context of society, nearly everyone has ambition for marriage and a family life.
In Acts 20.28-30, the Apostle Paul laid out two supremely imminent dangers to the church -- the first was "fierce wolves in sheep's clothing," and the second was "men among yourselves rising up, speaking perverted things, and drawing the disciples after themselves."

When the saints hear Lee speaking of ambitious ones, they think "wolves in sheep's clothing," but even more insidious was what Lee did, "rising up, speaking perverted things, and drawing the disciples after themselves." This is exactly what happened to the Recovery way back in the 60's. What was a move of the Spirit of God, Lee took credit for, thus elevating himself as the "source of all blessing," and drew men to himself.
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Old 11-01-2014, 11:36 AM   #111
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Methinks perchance you failed to look up gopher in the Urban Dictionary:

So Lee's speaking on the gopher was doublespeak ... cuz he really wanted all of us to be gophers.
I used to be a "gopher" in my Dad's construction business back in the late 60's.

It really meant "go-fer" this or "go-fer" that.

And when I moved too slowly, they would say to me, "Nickel holding up a Dollar."

Those were the days my friend ...
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Old 11-01-2014, 04:02 PM   #112
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It does matter! Not whether metaphors are employed or gophers or used to make a point. Every minister has the liberty to do this.

But why did Lee do this. Was there some subtlety hidden from us? Was it all just wise advice from an elderly minister? Or was Lee actually "priming us" for the time when his little gopher story would be really needed to deflect the bright light from his own unrighteous doings. Lee was seasoned and well equipped to handle the storms created by his own undoing.

Thus Lee used ambition as one of the "seven deadly sins" in the recovery. Any brother who speaks his conscience, standing up for righteousness, and is anointed by God as a prophet to the Recovery, could be easily branded as "ambitious" by Lee and his cronies. Every brother was thus labeled "ambitious" before he was to be quarantined. How convenient!

How very expedient for Lee to judge a brother's heart for ambition! How could the brother defend himself? How could he say, "I never did that, I never said that," when he was being accused of some obscure "rottenness" in his heart. How could a brother prove what was in or not in his heart? But now the whole Recovery is looking at him with suspicious judging eyes -- "Brother so-n-so is ambitious! We could never have seen it, but Brother Lee can 'see things we cannot.'" Thus Lee was now our "god," since only he could know what's in man's heart and pronounce judgment.

To be a normal man, or a normal brother, is to be ambitious. Should we all be un-opinionated, robotic, couch potatoes, I mean "yellow-chair-potatoes." Obviously Lee excelled in ambition. So only he was entitled to such a virtue? Paul praised those who were ambitious to please the Lord, or to have oversight in the church of God. But Lee used this gopher to "shoot the messengers." Attack the accuser so that he is silenced, and the "light shining in a dark place" is now extinguished.
I always considered WL's metaphors to be very peculiar. Not because he didn't have the right to create his own metaphors, but how they are used. Gophers are synonymous with ambition. Why? No one knows. (A metaphor that is overused to the point where it makes me cringe is that of the "oyster" in regards to his teaching on transformation. )

Here is the thing: once WL spoke something, people were destined to repeat it. I guess he got us all thinking that we have the "gopher" of ambition in us. It sounds unsettling, and I think it keeps everyone from taking initiative.

These metaphors do stick and I think that helps everyone associate subjects in the Bible with his teachings.
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Old 11-01-2014, 04:48 PM   #113
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The gopher illustration is rather humorous. I have no idea where WL obtained that phrase or illustration either. It is the hidden meaning in the Bible of words, phrases or stories that WL utilized to explain the Bible.

It wasn’t necessarily about doctrine. Pray-reading wasn’t doctrine. Repeating over and over Oh Lord Jesus wasn’t doctrine. This was just eating, drinking and breathing Jesus (Allegorical/Spiritual). Was the concept of the “local church” ground doctrine? This is not a foundational doctrine but you might say that the ground of the city is doctrine and literal whereas I could say it is allegory and spiritual and would include all of the Christians in that city. Lee states, “Day by day he [the Christian] eats and drinks Christ. Christ is gradually digested by him and mingled with him so that he and Christ become one. (WL, The All-Inclusive Spirit of Christ p. 189) Doctrinal or Spiritual (Allegorical)? The Priesthood? Doctrinal or Spiritual (allegorical) The Tabernacle? Doctrinal or Spiritual (Allegorical).
Perhaps it's all doctrine, and none of it's doctrine, all at the same time.

As a junior high school kid, I heard that Witness Lee was the Minister of the Age. I heard that kind of a lot. And I read Life-Study messages in which Witness Lee allegorized the minute details of which parts of which animals were considered "clean" and "unclean" in the Old Testament, and the measurements of this type of wood, and that type of gold, in the tabernacle, et cetera, et cetera, with all the minutiae endowed with a particular, spiritual significance...

So then I learned about the gopher of ambition, and next thing you know, there's yet another "Biblical type" in my head. Er, I mean, my spirit. Yeah, in my spirit. That's right. (Remember the doctrine of concentric circles? Wait, what? I'm getting dizzy... )

But then, I think I know where Witness Lee got the gopher metaphor. I think he was on a plane. Watching Caddyshack. Without the audio. Because he didn't want to buy the headphones.
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Old 11-01-2014, 05:00 PM   #114
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Perhaps it's all doctrine, and none of it's doctrine, all at the same time.

As a junior high school kid, I heard that Witness Lee was the Minister of the Age. I heard that kind of a lot. And I read Life-Study messages in which Witness Lee allegorized the minute details of which parts of which animals were considered "clean" and "unclean" in the Old Testament, and the measurements of this type of wood, and that type of gold, in the tabernacle, et cetera, et cetera, with all the minutiae endowed with a particular, spiritual significance...

So then I learned about the gopher of ambition, and next thing you know, there's yet another "Biblical type" in my head. Er, I mean, my spirit. Yeah, in my spirit. That's right. (Remember the doctrine of concentric circles? Wait, what? I'm getting dizzy... )

But then, I think I know where Witness Lee got the gopher metaphor. I think he was on a plane. Watching Caddyshack. Without the audio. Because he didn't want to buy the headphones.
You might be right about Caddyshack. I just don't know how he came up with the fact that the gopher was ambitious in that movie but without headphones he could have reached any conclusion.

3 circles. I drew that for many people and either brought them into the church or to Jesus esp in Santa Cruz. The details of the tabernacle...when I left the LC I started going to an AOG church and after a few months the pastor asked me if I would teach adult Sunday School. I said yes and went home and built a tabernacle in the wilderness out of felt and balsam wood. I used it to teach the adult sunday school class and it seemingly went quite well but in the end I couldn't go on simply because it didn't connect. I was talking allegorically trying to spiritualize it based on what we had learned from WL and other authors (F.W. Grant) to make it relevant and I am sure they may have been impressed but I didn't think it was connecting. I left. In a practical way I don't think in the environment of the LC it didn't connect either.
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Old 11-01-2014, 05:37 PM   #115
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You might be right about Caddyshack. I just don't know how he came up with the fact that the gopher was ambitious in that movie but without headphones he could have reached any conclusion.


Well these little guys are obviously up to some kind of mischief. And if you look really hard, you should be able to discern the ambition. I mean, look into his eyes. Can't you just see the gopher's ambition?

You do see it, don't you?
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Old 11-01-2014, 07:55 PM   #116
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I always considered WL's metaphors to be very peculiar. Not because he didn't have the right to create his own metaphors, but how they are used. Gophers are synonymous with ambition. Why? No one knows. (A metaphor that is overused to the point where it makes me cringe is that of the "oyster" in regards to his teaching on transformation. )

Here is the thing: once WL spoke something, people were destined to repeat it. I guess he got us all thinking that we have the "gopher" of ambition in us. It sounds unsettling, and I think it keeps everyone from taking initiative.

These metaphors do stick and I think that helps everyone associate subjects in the Bible with his teachings.
I seem to remember he had gophers tunneling in his yard, which were nearly impossible to get rid of.
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Old 11-02-2014, 12:55 AM   #117
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I seem to remember he had gophers tunneling in his yard, which were nearly impossible to get rid of.
Ditto.....
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Old 11-02-2014, 12:44 PM   #118
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And that's what Mel Porter opened with, on the infamous, to me anyway, day Mel told me I had to take his personality as my own.

He said: "There are 2 churches here in Ft. Lauderdale. I'm the leader of one and you're the leader of the other."

That blew my mind right at the start. All I could say was, "I'm not leading anyone." But Mel insisted that I was. I had to be ambitious. That's why I had to go. Cuz as Mel told me, from that point on if "I even needed to blow my nose I had to ask him which side first." That's how ambition is dealt with in the LRC; make everyone kowtow.
This experience of awareness strikes me as any disagreement with an elder/worker equates to ambition. The only way to go on is bite your tongue from express any opinion different from brothers maximum.
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