Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Alternative Views - Click Here to Start New Thread

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-12-2019, 11:28 AM   #1
RambleOn
Member
 
RambleOn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 23
Default Moved from main page: Greetings from RambleOn

Hello,

I've been a long-time lurker, but I think now is the time to register and join in the conversation. I am a born-and-raised "church kid" in the LC, but I no longer meet, though most of my family still does. This forum has been of immense benefit to me, as I have been able to learn about my personal heritage without the fog of euphemism and vague pseudo-spiritual obfuscation. So thank you to all posters and admins of this site.

I don't feel as though I have much to add, but I would like the option of engaging the community from time to time.
RambleOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2019, 11:39 AM   #2
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,681
Default Re: Greetings

Quote:
Originally Posted by RambleOn View Post
Hello,

I've been a long-time lurker, but I think now is the time to register and join in the conversation. I am a born-and-raised "church kid" in the LC, but I no longer meet, though most of my family still does. This forum has been of immense benefit to me, as I have been able to learn about my personal heritage without the fog of euphemism and vague pseudo-spiritual obfuscation. So thank you to all posters and admins of this site.

I don't feel as though I have much to add, but I would like the option of engaging the community from time to time.
Welcome to the forum, RambleOn!

"Without the fog of euphemism and vague pseudo-spiritual obfuscation," -- so well said.

Sounds like you have a lot to add here.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2019, 11:55 AM   #3
RambleOn
Member
 
RambleOn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 23
Default Re: Greetings

Ohio,

Thank you for the warm welcome!

I should drop the pretense - if you get me started on this subject I will talk your ear off, ask anyone who knows me personally. What I mean to say is this - as someone who no longer believes, I have less interest than I used to in whether the ministry of WL/BBs is better or worse than the rest of poor, degraded christianity. At this point in my life, I'm just as interested in debating which unicorn is best. So I'm not in the position to add much to probably the majority of the discussions that take place here. That said, I am forever connected to the local churches to a certain extent, and so on a personal level I am naturally going to have some things to say.
RambleOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2019, 12:57 PM   #4
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,681
Default Re: Greetings

Quote:
Originally Posted by RambleOn View Post
Ohio,

Thank you for the warm welcome!

I should drop the pretense - if you get me started on this subject I will talk your ear off, ask anyone who knows me personally. What I mean to say is this - as someone who no longer believes, I have less interest than I used to in whether the ministry of WL/BBs is better or worse than the rest of poor, degraded christianity. At this point in my life, I'm just as interested in debating which unicorn is best. So I'm not in the position to add much to probably the majority of the discussions that take place here. That said, I am forever connected to the local churches to a certain extent, and so on a personal level I am naturally going to have some things to say.

RambleOn, it is with sadness only that I hear of one more LCer who leaves that program without faith in our Lord. For sure, you are not alone. And, btw, Christianity is not as poor and degraded as we were always told. There are some precious gems out there. I can only hope that one day God's love will reach you without all the fear, the legalism, and the baggage of the past.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2019, 01:24 PM   #5
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,835
Default Re: Greetings

I have long felt that everyone's voice is as important to them as mine is to me. And so I welcome every testimony. Every perspective has the potential to add value to the discussion. Welcome RambleOn!
Quote:
Originally Posted by RambleOn
I don't feel as though I have much to add, but I would like the option of engaging the community from time to time.
To me, Christianity is a community of people who believe that God's love has reached them in the Spirit of Jesus Christ. If you engage this online forum I hope you sense some of that, whatever your position on things.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2019, 01:39 PM   #6
RambleOn
Member
 
RambleOn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 23
Default Re: Greetings

I hope so too. I meant the "poor degraded" purely sarcastically. I am open to the idea that there is a creator, but I'm not at all convinced that the story in the Bible is more believable than anything else. Burden of proof being what it is, I simply can't say for sure whether there is a creator and if he or it is anything like what is described in the Bible. I feel like all the reasons I have for believing that particular story are accidents of birth and culture. Had I been born in Iran those reasons would likely make me a Shiite Muslim, and had I been born in India I would most likely be a Hindu. At this point, I feel I am more than willing to accept Christ, but I'm going to need an unmistakably genuine experience (which btw I would have sworn I had when I was a teenager, perhaps I did, hard to say now). But whatever experiences I had before, I can't help but chalk up to my own suggestibility and desire to see the emperor's clothes. Of course I may simply be blinded or veiled or whatever you want to say, but that's the most reasonable position I feel I can take. If God wants to reach me he knows how.
RambleOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-12-2019, 10:13 PM   #7
RambleOn
Member
 
RambleOn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 23
Default Re: Greetings

Aron,

Thank you for the welcome. I have read so many posts here over the past few years, I feel as though I know some of you more active members. It feels strange to actually say hello. Looking forward to future discussions!
RambleOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 12:03 AM   #8
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 355
Default Re: Greetings

RambleOn,

Welcome! As a fellow church kid, any experiences or thoughts other church kids have are fascinating to me, and are often helpful and clarifying. I have two ears and am happy to have one of them talked off whenever the whim might hit you.

I understand your statement about where you are born largely determining what you believe. I think that's a concept that every person, including professing Christians, should work through to their own personal conclusion, particularly if what they believe IS from the sphere they were born into.

I also understand the chasm between getting to a belief in a creator versus the leap to believing that that creator is not only the God of the Bible but also the Jesus of the Bible too.

For me personally, the absolute mind-blowing level of intricacy at every single possible level of creation (from 3.1 billion letters of DNA coding for life in every single cell, up through everything in life, nature, and the world around us, up to the mysteries of the infinite universe) essentially gives me no choice but to admit that there is a creator....some creator.....God.....whoever that is. For myself, I just cannot deny it. I can get to this "deistic worldview" without much struggle, although I know even then there are plenty of things to contend with to get there.

But to jump from that to a "theistic worldview" with the assurance that that God is a God who cares and who is intimately involved in my life and to whom I matter, and to say that that God is the God of the Bible and is also Jesus - I certainly understand a roadblock and your feeling like "he knows where I am if he wants to show up". I get it. As a church kid, I get it. I get it, I get it, I get it. You are not alone. I am still wrestling myself with this. The best thing I can say from my own experience is to go visit other non local church churches. Go visit 10 different churches in 10 weeks. Walk in, sit in the back row, don't talk to anyone if you don't want to. Just watch and listen. I felt like I heard about the God and Jesus of the Bible for the first time as I walked into other non-LC churches, and he is an arresting person. Somehow the ability for God to be grossly misrepresented to church kids is absolutely rampant in the local church. I basically grew up hating God while in the church because of how he and his heart for me was presented to me. To be honest, I still don't think he cares about me or wants me to be happy, but as I've heard about him in other churches, for the first time I have a little hope that he intends to show me otherwise.

My intention is not to try to convince you of anything or tell you what to do or think. All I mean to say is we are glad you're here, I understand where you are coming from, and I'm just passing along some of the thought processes and actions I took as I contended with some similar things.

Trapped
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 02:21 AM   #9
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,835
Default Re: Greetings

I was born into the Protestant cultural milieu, and at a young age found myself in a Baptist pew with a stark choice: repent and believe into Jesus Christ or be damned for all eternity. Naturally, I chose Christ. The preaching from the pulpit was solemn, awesome, terrifying. So I repented and confessed. And I've dealt with the consequences of that decision ever since.

At one point, feeling a gap between what "should be" as scripture presented and prescribed and what was actually seen, I began casting about, and found myself in the Local Church (LC) of Witness Lee. I was happy as everything seemed so biblical, but after several years of intense participation I was bothered by the avaricious money-grubbing going on, and the overt push for "good building materials", i.e. Caucasian college students. The thing about the LC is that they weren't coy - sooner or later someone would set you straight as to what it was all about. In my case, it was a trainer from FTTA: "Don't waste your time" on the poor, the sick, the frail outcasts, the widows. I remonstrated to his face before everyone, quoting scripture that strongly indicated otherwise. My view was that "the whole Bible" (to use WL's phrase) shows that when we give a feast, aka the ''glorious church life'', we should invite those who can't repay us in this age, and our reward in the next age is great. I saw this in type in the OT, and plainly in Jesus' teaching and practice, and in the Acts and epistles. I was clear.

So I had a bit of an indestructible vision inside me, and eventually quit in frustration. At that time I knew nothing of Daystar or Timothy Lee, or "Philip Lee is the Office". I just left. I still held the ministry and life of WL in the highest regard, and frequently consulted my LSM library. But for me reality was out on the streets helping people, not sitting in chairs week after week with the same few faces, congratulating ourselves on arriving on the local ground.

And since leaving I've continued to struggle, with both my life and faith. At one point (+/- 2 yr) I was effectively agnostic. Gradually I began to return to the notion of God, but on new terms, and with new eyes. Not the ones supplied me by someone's ministry but with the eyes that God gave me. But I get it - when the LC rug gets pulled out from under you there's often nothing left to stand on. I was there.

My only bit of advice - read widely. Read books that challenge you, then read books that challenge those books. Develop a healthy respect for the breadth of human opinion (you don't get that in the LC!).

A few years post-LC, I read Charles Darwin's "On the Origin of Species". What a masterpiece of argumentation. Not only did he carefully lay out his intellectual position, and all his observations, but then he went over all the weaknesses and gaps in his argument, addressing each one. He didnt say anyone's heart was dark, who might see otherwise than he did. He showed respect for alternate positions.

In short, I began to learn how to think, by watching others who were doing so. This forum likewise has been an education of sorts. Even though I consider myself a card-carrying Christian confessor, my views are often strongly held and may not sync with others'. But surprise surprise - if I show respect for people's opinions then they show respect for mine. Funny how that works.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 08:55 PM   #10
RambleOn
Member
 
RambleOn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 23
Default Re: Greetings

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
For me personally, the absolute mind-blowing level of intricacy at every single possible level of creation (from 3.1 billion letters of DNA coding for life in every single cell, up through everything in life, nature, and the world around us, up to the mysteries of the infinite universe) essentially gives me no choice but to admit that there is a creator....some creator.....God.....whoever that is. For myself, I just cannot deny it. I can get to this "deistic worldview" without much struggle, although I know even then there are plenty of things to contend with to get there.
I agree with all of this, perhaps not so strongly that I have no choice but to believe in an intelligent creator, but certainly I admit that a moment's reflection at almost any aspect of existence causes awe and wonder, and even terror at the idea that all this is here, and I'm here, yet somehow there's nothing beneath it (it's not turtles all the way down, that's for sure). It seems like more of a stretch to make that argument than to simply admit that, even if we don't know who or what is behind everything, there's gotta be something.

That said, like most people who dabble in atheism or agnosticism, I've read Hitchens and Dawkins, and I'm familiar with some of their main arguments. Citing the odds against something happening ex post facto as proof that there must have been divine intervention at play is a simple trick. Witness Lee, if I'm not mistaken, used the example of throwing a few hundred chairs into a room with the lights out, then turning the lights on to find the chairs lined up perfectly for a Lord's Day meeting, as an analogy to believing that creation is a product of chance. Dawkins' famous response to that type of argument, as many here are probably aware, is his "Mount Improbable" metaphor, which describes a very tall mountain with a sheer cliff face and no obvious way to scale it. However, the backside of the mountain has a very long, gradual slope all the way up to the summit. This is Dawkins' way of explaining how the ridiculous complexity of, say, the human brain, does not necessarily have to be the product of an intelligent creator, but is instead the product of small, incremental changes over eons.

Point being, I am open to the Deistic perspective, certainly. I don't think it is unreasonable to look around and conclude that there is simply too much here to deny the likelihood of a higher power. But, like you said, it's a pretty big leap from that to simply agreeing that therefore the Noah's Ark story is literally true, for example.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
But to jump from that to a "theistic worldview" with the assurance that that God is a God who cares and who is intimately involved in my life and to whom I matter, and to say that that God is the God of the Bible and is also Jesus - I certainly understand a roadblock and your feeling like "he knows where I am if he wants to show up". I get it. As a church kid, I get it. I get it, I get it, I get it. You are not alone. I am still wrestling myself with this. The best thing I can say from my own experience is to go visit other non local church churches. Go visit 10 different churches in 10 weeks. Walk in, sit in the back row, don't talk to anyone if you don't want to. Just watch and listen. I felt like I heard about the God and Jesus of the Bible for the first time as I walked into other non-LC churches, and he is an arresting person. Somehow the ability for God to be grossly misrepresented to church kids is absolutely rampant in the local church. I basically grew up hating God while in the church because of how he and his heart for me was presented to me. To be honest, I still don't think he cares about me or wants me to be happy, but as I've heard about him in other churches, for the first time I have a little hope that he intends to show me otherwise.
I have been wanting to do this more and more over the past few years. It's been a solid 5 years since I've felt any emotional connection to the LCs or "The" "Ministry", and during that time, I've been content with simply ignoring everything having to do with God. And to an extent I am still content with that. A mantra I've attempted to live by is Nathaniel Branden's quote "Nobody is coming to save you." Because whether or not that is objectively true, I feel that by believing in God, at least in the way I did, I allowed myself to abdicate responsibility. You know, trust and obey for there's no other way. If you feel that your purpose in life is to be an overcomer, and the method for doing that is understood to be "staying in the diamond lane of the church life" (a Minoru-ism), and the only real end of a human life is to be useful to God ... you can see how at a certain point the locus of control is somewhere else. Not saying that's the experience of everyone who believes in God, but I just felt like I had no control, and more importantly I didn't know how to simply stand up and become an adult while believing there's this whole invisible realm of spirits and angels and demons and "the enemy" and God fighting over me for some reason, and yet God is omniscient so he knows exactly what I'm going to do, and yet he's omnipotent so he's in total control. So why should I do anything...

ANYWAY, after several years of living my life with the slogan "Nobody is coming to save you", that my life is my own responsibility and no one else's, I feel much more comfortable with the idea of once again studying the Bible from at least a metaphorical perspective. Not to say there definitely isn't literal truth, but I'm going to need the scales to fall from my eyes before I just believe in the virgin birth again. Until that happens, I think it's probably good to look at the Bible and allow it to remind you that, for example, it's as though there were a judgmental father watching over you at all times, and either punishing or rewarding you for your actions, whether that's literally true or not. Because even if there is no God the Father (or Santa), your actions are being tallied by everyone around you implicitly or explicitly. Some people call it karma, others call it cosmic justice, but eventually we are all brought to account for how we act in life. That's a good lesson to keep in mind, I think. Or, the Garden of Eden is an allegory for growing up and leaving the paradise of childhood. It's tragic, but we need to leave the innocence of Mom and Dad's house if we ever want to become Christ, the full grown man, which requires us to pass through the chaos of death before we can establish order in our lives. Jungian, Joseph Campbelly stuff like that. If I were to find a church that allowed me to basically attend and interpret things for myself in that way, I would be much more likely to get something out of it (even if LCers would call it satanic, probably).

- RambleOn
RambleOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-13-2019, 09:39 PM   #11
RambleOn
Member
 
RambleOn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 23
Default Re: Greetings

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post

At one point, feeling a gap between what "should be" as scripture presented and prescribed and what was actually seen, I began casting about, and found myself in the Local Church (LC) of Witness Lee. I was happy as everything seemed so biblical, but after several years of intense participation I was bothered by the avaricious money-grubbing going on, and the overt push for "good building materials", i.e. Caucasian college students. The thing about the LC is that they weren't coy - sooner or later someone would set you straight as to what it was all about. In my case, it was a trainer from FTTA: "Don't waste your time" on the poor, the sick, the frail outcasts, the widows. I remonstrated to his face before everyone, quoting scripture that strongly indicated otherwise. My view was that "the whole Bible" (to use WL's phrase) shows that when we give a feast, aka the ''glorious church life'', we should invite those who can't repay us in this age, and our reward in the next age is great. I saw this in type in the OT, and plainly in Jesus' teaching and practice, and in the Acts and epistles. I was clear.
So much of this resonates with me. I live in a city that is primarily caucasian and black, yet the LC here is like 80 percent Chinese. As far as I've heard, they don't use the term "good building materials" openly, but they talk a lot about "gaining typical Americans." Same idea though. And the thing about not wasting time on people who aren't going to be a return on your investment, it's always bugged me. Just as one example, the only time I've ever heard the Brothers coordinate on things like donating to disaster relief is if like a major earthquake hits a city where saints live. Despite the fact that the ground of oneness is supposed to imply that every christian is in the Body, even if they happen to be meeting on something other than the ground of oneness. So no talk of marshaling the saints' resources to give to Haiti after their hurricane. On a smaller scale, never anything having to do with homeless outreach or anything like that. I know as Christians each of us is free and even perhaps obligated to individually care for those around us, but it really struck me as odd how insulated things are in those terms.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post

And since leaving I've continued to struggle, with both my life and faith. At one point (+/- 2 yr) I was effectively agnostic. Gradually I began to return to the notion of God, but on new terms, and with new eyes. Not the ones supplied me by someone's ministry but with the eyes that God gave me. But I get it - when the LC rug gets pulled out from under you there's often nothing left to stand on. I was there.
Yup, pretty much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post

My only bit of advice - read widely. Read books that challenge you, then read books that challenge those books. Develop a healthy respect for the breadth of human opinion (you don't get that in the LC!).
This is great advice, glad to hear it. I would be interested to discuss that in more depth. I read a lot, especially over the past 1-2 years, but it's difficult to find people who have this in common with me. Either they are friends of mine who still meet or they have never met and don't know what a Witness Lee is. If there are certain books that you felt benefited you at various points in your journey, I would like to read them.
RambleOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2019, 02:19 AM   #12
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,835
Default Re: Greetings

Quote:
Originally Posted by RambleOn View Post
If there are certain books that you felt benefited you at various points in your journey, I would like to read them.
One that quickly comes to mind is Daniel Boyarin's "Border Lines", about how early Christian polemicists (e.g., the "Church Fathers") essentially invented something called "Judaism" as a kind of intellectual foil for their own ideas. Boyarin says that the the non-Christian Hebrews never saw themselves the way they were being characterized in the writings of the Jesus-followers - think Justin's "Dialogue with Trypho the Jew" for example - but began to react against these polemics and began to form their variant(s) of "Judaism" at least partly in response.

Christians were explaining to themselves and outsiders what they were, which also entailed saying what they were not, but Judaism as portrayed by Christianity was a kind of distortion or caricature. Eventually, those who initially embraced Jesus and followed his message and proclaimed him to to world, the observant Jews, were expelled from their own assembly!

That Jesus' early followers were observant Jews:

Acts 22:12,13 "A man named Ananias came to see me. He was a devout observer of the law and highly respected by all the Jews living there. He stood beside me and said, ‘Brother Saul, receive your sight!’ And at that very moment I was able to see him."

Acts 10:14 "Surely not, Lord!" Peter replied. "I have never eaten anything impure or unclean."

Perhaps I'm mis-reading Boyarin to suit myself, but my question is, how did a movement that was 100% Jewish become so antagonistic to its founders' faith? Remember that Peter didn't visit the gentile Cornelius (Acts 10) for perhaps several years after Pentecost. I'm not advocating a return to the law - the Acts 15 conference resolved that, for me. But whence the (Protestant) holocaust and (Catholic) inquisition? This probably isn't coincidental... something went horribly wrong early in the process, whatever one's thoughts of the NT, either as objective history or as biased and self-selective historiography.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2019, 06:04 AM   #13
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Greetings

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Perhaps I'm mis-reading Boyarin to suit myself, but my question is, how did a movement that was 100% Jewish become so antagonistic to its founders' faith? Remember that Peter didn't visit the gentile Cornelius (Acts 10) for perhaps several years after Pentecost. I'm not advocating a return to the law - the Acts 15 conference resolved that, for me. But whence the (Protestant) holocaust and (Catholic) inquisition? This probably isn't coincidental... something went horribly wrong early in the process, whatever one's thoughts of the NT, either as objective history or as biased and self-selective historiography.
I think the issue is that the redeemed are not the transformed. They come into the assembly with all their preconceptions, biases and prejudices. As the church was swamped with Gentiles, far outnumbering jewish converts these biases got written in. Just like today, why do we have "black churches" and "white churches" and "asian churches" etc?
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2019, 07:06 AM   #14
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,835
Default Re: Greetings

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
As the church was swamped with Gentiles, far outnumbering Jewish converts these biases got written in.
Yes, bias got written is as "truth". When you look at it, there were going to be challenges, that one religion which prided itself on separatism, being a holy people, suddenly invited all the barbarians in. Now, how does that people define itself? If everyone else (Gentiles) doesn't have to keep the law, do they? And if not, are they even Jewish?

I think an uneasy peace was kept until the Bar Kochba revolt, at which point the Jewish Christian believers were essentially removed from any locus of power and within a few centuries disappeared forever. Boyarin's point is that the Gentile "Church Fathers" had bias, and codified it. The centuries of antagonism and oppression that followed had a base. Martin Luther wasn't the first anti-Semitic Christian apologist.

But the NT was written (other than Luke) by law-keeping Jews, with the perspective that this entails. Even though Paul was writing to Gentiles as the apostle to the Gentiles, he was still an observant Jew. He speeches before the Sanhedrin, to Festus and Felix, make this clear. Yet this perspective was entirely lost in the ensuing centuries, and with an enormous loss of meaning. I suspect it's not unrelated to the state of the Christian polity today.

I'll put it this way, if the Christian Church effectively dissolved itself over the meaning of the (Greek) word "nature" (the Chalcedon Schism in the 5th century), then the apostle's warning that the Gentiles seek wisdom (1 Cor 1:22) was well-founded. Abstractions and definitions eventually conquered love. I'm not saying that the Jews would have saved them at Chalcedon. But the Jews were gone, and the Gentiles turned on each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
Just like today, why do we have "black churches" and "white churches" and "asian churches" etc?
Absolutely. The LC is almost entirely Asian in some places. I put below a link to an Australian website of one of the LC spin-offs. Part of the site had pages that welcomed the new members. And the lists of names, spread over various months, were entirely Chinese. Why? Because their cultural biases tell them that the LC system is "normal". So they come in and other cultures find other churches.

http://christiansinsydney.org/?p=2647

Look at the section where it says, "Pray for the new believers". You see that eventually culture triumphs. And places where they say "We have no culture" (i.e. the LC), the culture triumphs most solidly, because nobody questions it.

Boyarin's gift to me, was that he stepped back and looked at the effect of bias being written in. And we don't typically question it, because, "Justin Martyr said this", or "Augustine said that" or "Irenaeus said that" or "Cyril said that". But we should examine it to see how well it lines up with Jesus.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2019, 07:58 AM   #15
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 7,125
Default Re: Greetings

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Yes, bias got written is as "truth". When you look at it, there were going to be challenges, that one religion which prided itself on separatism, being a holy people, suddenly invited all the barbarians in. Now, how does that people define itself? If everyone else (Gentiles) doesn't have to keep the law, do they? And if not, are they even Jewish?
We view the "division" and bias as negative. However, fleshly worldly people almost always have these built in because in a sinful world they are valid strategies for survival.

Think about the LC. What were the first groups to separate -- Europe, Africa and South America. When the situation is fleshly with bias and injustice it is better for all that they separate.

Also, consider the church in Philadelphia -- church of brotherly love. Why is that the distinguishing characteristic of this church? They have overcome these biases, to do that there must be a good degree of transformation, and the promise is that "they will not have to go out again". So having a church with biases is common, being led to leave such a situation is a prerequisite for finding the church in Philadelphia.

These biases are really the fertile ground in which the "MOTA" doctrine will grow. People are looking for the "best" the "elite" group. Their biases blind them to seeing Philadelphia. So these biases protect the church in Philadelphia from unwanted attention of the fleshly and worldly, while at the same time they protect these worldly cultic groups from growing too big.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2019, 08:53 AM   #16
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 11,681
Default Re: Greetings

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
I think the issue is that the redeemed are not the transformed. They come into the assembly with all their preconceptions, biases and prejudices. As the church was swamped with Gentiles, far outnumbering jewish converts, these biases got written in. Just like today, why do we have "black churches" and "white churches" and "asian churches" etc?
I no longer hold the view that the "early church" set the standard, and all subsequent church history is degraded or failing or sub-standard. Yes, the writers in the early church produced the scriptures, but when we examine the background of these writings, these churches were no better or no worse than today. In fact, I think the tendency to view any standards for homogeneity in church history as flawed.

The Spirit of God and the word of God alone course through every church in this age. These alone are the gospel and are adaptable to every culture on earth. I once read the story of "Bruchko," a young man who brought the gospel to the Andes Motilone Indians of Columbia. The breakthrough came about when they realized Jesus "walked their trails." As only the Spirit of God could do, this isolated, violent, illiterate, backward tribe was introduced to the Savior. As soon as their "walk their trails" culture was cracked open, the whole tribe believed. Compare this story to LSM's quest for "good material" using only Lee's "high peak" ministry. Most of us lie somewhere between these two extremes.

For example, having spent a fair amount of time in "black" churches, one quickly realizes the importance of music. The deep, spiritual poetry of Western Christian classics just won't work in their culture. They need drums. They love to dance. Music has to be felt. The ordinances of worship music handed down by LSM will never work. This also highlights the failure of the one city one church. Does anyone really believe that an international multi-cultural city like New York can ever be properly served by the teachings, practices, music, etc. mandated by a publisher in SoCal? Or even by one group of elders?

Hence, our limitation is our sight and what we know. We impose them on others. The Spirit of God knows no such limitations. The Spirit alone knows the things of God and the things of man. The greatest missionaries in church history have been those who somehow reduced themselves to the moving of the Spirit.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2019, 09:52 AM   #17
RambleOn
Member
 
RambleOn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2019
Posts: 23
Default Re: Moved from main page: Greetings from RambleOn

Aron,

I have Border Lines added to my Goodreads shelf. I'll post my thoughts when I get around to reading it. Thank you for the recommendation; it sounds interesting.
RambleOn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-14-2019, 09:53 AM   #18
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 4,835
Default Re: Greetings

Quote:
Originally Posted by RambleOn View Post
It's tragic, but we need to leave the innocence of Mom and Dad's house if we ever want to become Christ, the full grown man, which requires us to pass through the chaos of death before we can establish order in our lives. Jungian, Joseph Campbelly stuff like that. If I were to find a church that allowed me to basically attend and interpret things for myself in that way, I would be much more likely to get something out of it (even if LCers would call it satanic, probably).
Ultimately we are each responsible for our own journey. I am not an extension of Witness Lee's spiritual journey. My journey is my own. Even though many in the LC would say similar things, they "restrict" themselves (their word) to one ministerial output and prove otherwise. And the fire-breathers announce, "I am not ashamed to say that I followed a man".

'Christianos' means by definition of that Christ [Yeshua of Galilee], an extension of that person... his follower, servant, disciple, slave even. I get that, with Jesus. I signed on and I'm in. But not John Calvin, John Nelson Darby, Watchman Nee or Witness Lee.

The open letter to the Saints in the Lord's Recovery just posted here made a similar point: why get to think critically in all areas except in the ministerial output of Witness Lee? Why can't we critique this author? Why does this author get held to a different standard? Aren't we being, in fact, respecters of persons in this regard? Jesus I get - God raised him to glory. Witness Lee's grave is with us to this day. Why exalt such persons? It makes no sense whatsoever.

James 1:1 James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes scattered among the nations:
Greetings.

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Christ Jesus, called to be an apostle and set apart for the gospel of God—

Nobody else gets this kind of abject deference. When we begin to treat our fellow sinners as exalted men, we act like the fallen barbarians and invite corruption. And look what has happened - corruption. What a surprise.

One of the defenders of LSM on this forum put it just that way - "You don't get to critique Jesus." My reply was, "Witness Lee is not Jesus".
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may post attachments
You may edit your posts

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



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 05:13 PM.


3.8.9