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Old 04-12-2015, 08:09 AM   #1
UntoHim
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Default The Gospel Versus "God's Economy"

For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ. For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough.
2 Corinthians 11:2-4

Nothing could be more serious than a Christian group or Christian teacher to teach/preach what the apostle Paul dubbed "another Jesus" and "another Gospel". The stakes couldn't be higher - the very salvation of those who would imbibe such doctrines, and the Church's "sincere and pure devotion to Christ". It is clear that to Paul another Jesus was another Gospel, and another Gospel was another Jesus. The Gospel is not just the good news about Jesus, the Gospel's very content and constitution is the wonderful Person and finished work of Jesus Christ. What other good news has "the power of God"? (for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes Rom 1:16) Although the main items of the Gospel can be found in the words of the Lord Jesus himself as recorded in the four Gospels, we do see a further development in the Acts of the Apostles and in the epistles of Paul, Peter and John, and it is in the interpretation of these epistles that we see Witness Lee's departure from the historic Christian Gospel.

Please take note that I have placed this thread within the "Apologetic Discussions" forum board. Let's all try to do our best to keep the name-calling and emotional appeals out of the conversation as much as possible. If a particular teaching of Lee comes under attack, and one feels it necessary to come on the defense of Lee and his teachings, please do your best to keep your arguments within the bounds of a biblically based apologetic discussion.
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Old 04-13-2015, 11:39 AM   #2
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

I think I started on the idea of the incessant drumming of a "New Christ" in the LC veering dangerously toward a "different Christ" which Paul warned against. My argument was primarily twofold: first was from Amcasci's testimony where he got excited for Jesus, almost went into the "Children of God" cult, then ended up in the Local Church of Witness Lee. Basically he was young and enthusiastic and naive. His title of his essay was "Zealous and misled" and I felt that the zeal of the impressionable new ones might lead them to be taken by "different Christ" than the ones the apostles preached.

I showed a quote from the LSM on the Wiki "Local Church Controversies" where they essentially blamed the "cult" label on the post-Jonestown hysteria. WL was putting out "new and fresh" Christ and it got lumped in with the cults. I made the point that the reason WL got a following in the Jesus Movement days was because he was pushing something new, which was attractive, and the reason he got called cultic ten years later was because he was pushing something new, which now wasn't socially popular. The cultural pendulum had swung and Lee and Company were on the wrong side of it.

Then I switched gears and asked if Christ got old somewhere, that He had to become new? Was this a mis-reading of the NT accounts? Were perhaps we, the Old Creation, supposed to become new? Christ became flesh on our behalf, and as such was the Last Adam, and took oldness to the cross, but once crucified did it have to happen again and again?

Or was the "new Christ" of WL just a re-labeling that would make the Madison Avenue merchandizers envious?

But really I was just thinking aloud. I tend to paint in broad brush strokes conceptually, and by the time you get to poking my ideas publicly they often deflate. So I'm not on record as accusing WL of selling a "different Christ" but rather that there's danger, and we should examine his "new Christ" paradigm carefully.

And lastly I noted that the "new and fresh" Christ in the LCs didn't seem to care about the poor, and tolerated the elevating of persons above the flock, with the attendant lording over, and seemed to be pretty tolerant of public abuses by leadership (who were today's "Moses" and "Noah" and got a special pass, it seemed). So there was some grist for the mill.

But I'm not sure if I started anything positive. It's like the "cult" thing, it seems to have such a large subjective element involved in the evaluation that arguing for one side or another might be fruitless contention. So I apologize if I seemed to be taking a definitive side. I was just presenting an argument for public evaluation.
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Old 04-13-2015, 12:09 PM   #3
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

Yes...no doubt in my mind that Lee preached another Jesus. Galatians is indeed central in this discussion. What was the heresy? It was that the obedient life, suffering and death of Jesus is necessary but is only the jumping off point for bigger things. It is not enough to trust in Him alone, you must add something to this Jesus in order to be a first class Christian. In the Galaian context it was that one must also become a Jew to be a first class Christian. A gentile converted by Paul needed to become complete by being Jewish. Lee and so many others in holiness and deeper life mode see the work of Jesus as a necessary jumping off point to something greater. In Lees case it is the local ground, membership in the local church, and thus being an overcomer. In holiness movements it is to be "sanctified" which is taught to be something different from being justified in christ. In Pentecostalism it is speaking in tongues and on it goes. It is the Roman Catholic error all over again. Christ plus something else equals a higher level of Christianity. The rest of us are just "saved" but we will suffer the loss of the 1000 year millieniel thing.

The result guilt, arrogance, sectarianism...those who buy into this two tiered faith will always be in doubt about where they stand with christ. It is hard work being an overcomer. You will always wonder if I deed you are an overcomer even if you are in the movement.

Those of us who are only "saved" must do our 1000 year purgatory.

Again I say it is Rome all over again. In roman theology Christs work takes away original sin and now that you are back to a neutral condition , except for a little concupiscence, you must work together with Christ to be justified. Since you will not likely make it, there is purgatory as an ironic safety net.
This is another Jesus just as Lee has another Jesus. Anyone can be saved but only the few, the brave and the local church adherents will be in the

Let me add that if you do not hear from me for a bit it is because I am about to depart for Amsterdam and Paris.


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Old 04-13-2015, 12:58 PM   #4
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

Then it happened that as Jesus was reclining at the table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were dining with Jesus and His disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to His disciples, “Why is your Teacher eating with the tax collectors and sinners?” But when Jesus heard this, He said, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,’ for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:10-13

The local churches practice a different gospel than what's seen in this passage of Matthew 9:10-13. Generally viewed and termed as "good material", attention and efforts are labored on college campuses. One of the goals is to attract college students and eventually sent them as college graduates to FTTA.
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Old 04-13-2015, 07:56 PM   #5
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

I have mixed feelings on the issue, and I see valid points to both sides. If nothing else, certainly feel that the LCM as a whole is treading in dangerous waters.

The whole idea that they have a distinction between the "low gospel" and the "high gospel" is a big red flag to me. Also, as Terry mentioned, the practice of trying to determine who is the "good material" is contrary to the gospel that Jesus taught and has always been a bit disturbing to me.

The reason that I don't say with certainty that I think the LC teaches another gospel, is because I believe at heart those in the LC are willing to teach the basic gospel to an unbeliever. A lot of what goes on seems situation dependent.

I was involved once in a home meeting that didn't have any of the "good material" type, and that was a positive experience. There were several who were brought to the Lord in that through that home meeting.

With some of the campus work activities that I was involved in, I saw a number of examples of exclusiveness that served as proof in my mind that they weren't concerned with just teaching just the gospel. There were politics at play. There were not-so-hidden agendas that were being carried out. I have mentioned how I was at Bible studies where brothers used the time to try to get newcomers to use the RcV Bible, and it wasn't always clear if some of these newcomers were even saved. Why wasn't this time used to introduce them to the gospel instead?

Another situation I recall is when a college-aged boyfriend/girlfriend couple came to a meeting and out of the blue a brother told them they were best off "dropping the relationship" so they could focus their hearts on the Lord. They never came back . Anyways, from what I've seen, many opportunities where the gospel could have been preached we're ruined by these ideas that other things were necessary, like getting people to use a certain Bible or meddling in someones private life. I don't know how common some of these notions are, but I've seen enough indication that there are many in the LC who are not satisfied with simply introducing someone to the gospel.
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Old 04-14-2015, 03:40 AM   #6
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

I find no evidence that Lee taught a gospel that is different from the one taught in Galatians.

The "high gospel" vs "low gospel" seems to, despite unusual lingo, fits very well into Paul's presentation of the gospel in Romans which climates in Rom. 8 (esp. v. 29 -- being conformed to the image of the Firstborn Son of God).

The 1,000 years outer darkness, which admittedly is thinly supported but arguably admissible soterio-eschatology, has nothing to do with Lee's presentation of the gospel. People are generally quite charitable on what is acceptable eschatology.

If there is one problem with Lee's presentation of the gospel, it is what is known as "easy-believism". In my locality, the baptism candidates are not asked to renounce their sins nor profess Jesus as Lord and Saviour. They were only tested on whether they call, "O Lord Jesus".

The other things that are brought up in this thread e.g., localism, is irrelevant to Lee's presentation of the gospel. Even LSM has to agree that Titus Chu is a regenerated child of God and will end up in the New Jerusalem.

Interpretations on rewards and punishments and their gradations that don't tantamount to eternal perdition are fair game in all evangelical factions of Christianity.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

Here's one of my posts from the Arthur M. Casci testimony thread:

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Here's the song I was thinking of earlier:

1. O Lord since time began
You've had one aim, one goal.
Your purpose will and plan
Is centered 'round all man.

New, new, new, Your goal is so new.
Take us Lord possess us to be channels for You.

2. You love to call the young
To carry out Your move,
To leave the old behind,
To have a change in mind.

New, new, new, Your move is so new,
We will be the people with this age-turning view.

3. Don't let us settle down,
Be occupied or set.
But living, open, new,
Fresh, empty, young in You!

New, new, new, Your life is so new,
You're the living One we wholly give ourselves to.

4. You long that Christ Himself,
Be known and realized,
Experienced, expressed,
In a full and living way.

New, new, new, our Christ is so new,
We are here for nothing on this earth but for You.


When did Christ become so old, that He had to become so new?

And if this "new Christ" doesn't care about the poor, the sick, and the weak then He's perhaps a "different Christ", which Paul warned us about. If this was a Christ that said to the rich man "You sit here" and to the poor man, "You sit over there, under my footstool", then this was a different Christ that James 2:1-4 warned about. If this was a new Christ where we elevated men and made distinctions among ourselves, and then ignored righteousness when our "Moses" and "Noah" were found with feet of clay like the rest, what Christ is this? All the excitement and shouting cannot cover a lack of discernment.

Just some things to think about. I'm not trying to present anything definitive here. Just thinking aloud. Asking questions.
I introduced the question if the incessant drumming of a "new Christ" had in fact brought the LCs a "different Christ", which Paul and others had warned about. After some consideration I'd probably say no, it's not a different Christ or a different gospel. But it doesn't overturn the thought that the "cult watchers" deservedly made hay of WL continually preaching a novel Christ. At some point they lumped him in with the wackos like Jim Jones. Even though that was probably unfair, he brought it on by continually saying how new and fresh his gospel was, and how stale and old everyone else's was.

But in reality it was anything but new and fresh, all the re-packaging and re-branding efforts notwithstanding. I say this because I remember the looks on the faces of the LC faithful as the latest "flow" came out of Anaheim. They were the faces of a dispirited people. All the novelty and joy had been sucked away by a ministry and an organization which was anything but new.

WL made a big deal of saying how different his gospel was. But he tried to have it both ways, because he said that WN had read every good Christian book and sorted the wheat from the chaff, and thus had handed the "recovery" a pure gospel which was following the footsteps of the apostles. So WL claimed the LC gospel was fully rooted in the ancient ways, contrary to "Christianity" which had deviated. The problem with this is that it's pure hubris to think that you have read everything worth reading, and have definitively sorted the "kernel" from the "husk", as WL claimed. This was simply a dodge to wave in front of the simple-minded, to be able to simultaneously ignore ancient Christianity while claiming to "closely follow" it. In fact the "new Christ" WL continually trumpeted veered continually from both the spirit and the letter of the gospel.
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Old 04-14-2015, 06:52 AM   #8
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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Originally Posted by InOmnibusCaritas View Post
I find no evidence that Lee taught a gospel that is different from the one taught in Galatians.

The "high gospel" vs "low gospel" seems to, despite unusual lingo, fits very well into Paul's presentation of the gospel in Romans which climates in Rom. 8 (esp. v. 29 -- being conformed to the image of the Firstborn Son of God).

Please explain "high gospel" and "low gospel". These are not familiar to me.

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Old 04-14-2015, 07:14 AM   #9
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

Let me rearrange some of aron's latest post (which was repeating some of an earlier post by Amcasci??)
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Originally Posted by aron View Post
question: if the incessant drumming of a "new Christ" had in fact brought the LCs a "different Christ", which Paul and others had warned about.

. . . .

WL made a big deal of saying how different his gospel was. But he tried to have it both ways, because he said that WN had read every good Christian book and sorted the wheat from the chaff, and thus had handed the "recovery" a pure gospel which was following the footsteps of the apostles. So WL claimed the LC gospel was fully rooted in the ancient ways, contrary to "Christianity" which had deviated.

. . . .

I remember the looks on the faces of the LC faithful as the latest "flow" came out of Anaheim. They were the faces of a dispirited people. All the novelty and joy had been sucked away by a ministry and an organization which was anything but new.
If Lee really had gleaned all the best that was available so as to devise this "new" gospel, coupled with the fat that Lee was supposed to be the one with a direct line to God, then why was there ever any need for the kind of changes in "flow" that were so severe that it shook the very foundations of all that even Lee had been teaching prior to the new flow?

Must be his line was not so direct and his gleaning not so successful.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:17 AM   #10
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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Please explain "high gospel" and "low gospel". These are not familiar to me.
Someone will do better, but the low gospel was essentially salvation while the high gospel was the church life. And not just life as a member of the body of Christ, but the life according to the ways of Lee, the LSM and the LCM. Essentially about how we have better meetings and a better lexicon. Probably a lot of other ways it was said, but that pretty much sums it up.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:46 AM   #11
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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I find no evidence that Lee taught a gospel that is different from the one taught in Galatians.
Except for:

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

I can't speak for you, of course, but I can speak for my self and others that I know, that have left the LC, and I and them agree that we were bewitched by Lee.
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Old 04-14-2015, 08:54 AM   #12
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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Someone will do better, but the low gospel was essentially salvation while the high gospel was the church life. And not just life as a member of the body of Christ, but the life according to the ways of Lee, the LSM and the LCM. Essentially about how we have better meetings and a better lexicon. Probably a lot of other ways it was said, but that pretty much sums it up.
Ok...that makes sense and that is precisely what I was getting at in my post on this subject. Preaching another Christ does not meanin denying the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. It means, "yes, I believe in this jesus but if you want to be a first class christian you need....Judaism, Romanism, Leeism and on it goes. Two tiered christianity is preaching another jesus. There is only one kind of christian, a sinner who is saved by grace alone, through faith alone in christ alone.

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Old 04-14-2015, 09:28 AM   #13
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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There is only one kind of christian, a sinner who is saved by grace alone, through faith alone in Christ alone.
Aren't you covering both the Catholic (in Christ alone) and Protestant (through faith alone) views here?

Is there then only "one kind of christian" combining the two?

In my mind, rallying behind a leader, whether Luther, Darby, Calvin, or Lee, is little difference other than time. The "dangers" seem to diminish as the years go by. In other words, following Luther back in the day labeled you a heretic of the worst sort, but today Lutherans are accepted as orthodox and benign main-streamers. Perhaps being Lee-ites will one day bring about the same responses.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:02 AM   #14
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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There is only one kind of christian, a sinner who is saved by grace alone, through faith alone in christ alone.
And that is true . . . as far as it goes. But there are Christians who rest on that fact and basically coast the rest of the way (or at least think that is what they are doing).

I have been thinking concerning the way that "saved by grace" thing is so often taught (though not so much by your branch or Christianity). That is that the emphasis is placed so strongly on the event of "coming to faith" that everything else is nearly ignored. If coming to faith is all there is, then where is the salvation that is worked out with fear and trembling? I did not see it in the LCM (despite the tendency of some of the rhetoric to keep us in fear — fear of failing that paralyzed so many). And while I think I see some of it in the mainstream of evangelicalism, so many of them are set on the idea that it is all simply by grace alone in Christ alone. But Paul said that grace teaches us to obey. It is not only something that provides benefits for which we do nothing. It is the means by which we learn how to do something.

And so many of Paul's writings to the various churches was to get them off of their hind quarters and do what they were supposed to do, whether rejecting the need for OT rituals for salvation, common respect for all believers no matter what heritage or caste, how they treat each other in meetings, what kind of meat they eat, etc. They had to work out how they lived the life that was out of their salvation rather than out of their natural inclinations (or more correctly failings).

The thing that moves us from death to life is a sacrifice that we cannot accomplish. But we must have faith and that does take our will. And your tradition within Christianity primarily teaches a learned salvation. One that is gradual. It begins with someone committing a child to Christ in baptism. (This is not popular among most evangelicals, mostly because they understand baptism in terms of personal decision and testimony — something that can not happen with the baptism of an infant). Then they learn. And at some age, they begin to officially learn the catechism. At the end of it, they are in some way said to be a believer, or confirmed into the church, or something like that. Is that 100% true in all cases? Probably not. But many do come to believe in Christ through all of that. And without any "event" to point to.

But the point in all of that is to show that the new believer has done a lot. But the one thing they have not done is save them self. They cannot save them self. They can come to believe in the One who can save them, and who then will and does save them.

So the question is, did they do any "work" to get there? I would say "yes." But did that work save them? The clear answer is "no." Salvation is only through the death of Christ who paid the final price for our sin. Yet the application of that price to our sin is predicated upon our faith. And faith is more than mental. It is action. We don't believe if we don't live as if we believe.

For that reason, I am actually quite encouraged concerning the salvation of many who have not been raised within evangelicalism's penchant for crisis/event salvation that makes it so cerebral (and sometimes close to meaningless). It may create more emotional events, but does not necessarily get to the real core of the "new believer." Oddly, I am still unlikely to change my affiliation any time soon. At this age, comfort has value and I still find Christ to be strongly proclaimed in a regular and meaningful way. Having said that, I now have the priviledge of worshipping again with an older relative who has moved from the place this forum discusses. So change, even in old age, is not out of the question.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:03 AM   #15
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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Aren't you covering both the Catholic (in Christ alone) and Protestant (through faith alone) views here?

Is there then only "one kind of christian" combining the two?

In my mind, rallying behind a leader, whether Luther, Darby, Calvin, or Lee, is little difference other than time. The "dangers" seem to diminish as the years go by. In other words, following Luther back in the day labeled you a heretic of the worst sort, but today Lutherans are accepted as orthodox and benign main-streamers. Perhaps being Lee-ites will one day bring about the same responses.
Dear mr. Ohio, I believe it will take us a while to get on the same page. My impression is we are talking past each other. I am attempting to focus on Galatians where Paul battled the judaizers who created the two tiered system demanding that the gentile converts become Jews in order to be first tier Christians. so, today when a teacher adds to the Christ who alone justifies the sinner that is another Christ.
When I say there is one kind of christian I am attempting to think in Galatianese, Pauline and not referring to denominations. I hope this helps. It will take much time for you and I to have the same lexicon and in fact we may never have it.

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Old 04-14-2015, 10:23 AM   #16
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Ok...that makes sense and that is precisely what I was getting at in my post on this subject. Preaching another Christ does not meanin denying the suffering, death and resurrection of Jesus. It means, "yes, I believe in this jesus but if you want to be a first class christian you need....Judaism, Romanism, Leeism and on it goes. Two tiered christianity is preaching another jesus. There is only one kind of christian, a sinner who is saved by grace alone, through faith alone in christ alone.
OBW completely misrepresented Lee's high gospel vs. low gospel. The "low gospel" is believe in Jesus and you'll go to heaven. The "high gospel" is as taught in the conference "God's Complete Salvation" (circa 1995-6), and transcribed into a book by the same name. Link to diagramme: http://www.godssalvation.org/diagram/index.html
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:26 AM   #17
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Dear mr. Ohio, I believe it will take us a while to get on the same page. My impression is we are talking past each other. I am attempting to focus on Galatians where Paul battled the judaizers who created the two tiered system demanding that the gentile converts become Jews in order to be first tier Christians. so, today when a teacher adds to the Christ who alone justifies the sinner that is another Christ.

When I say there is one kind of christian I am attempting to think in Galatianese, Pauline and not referring to denominations. I hope this helps. It will take much time for you and I to have the same lexicon and in fact we may never have it.

Art
Please show what else Witness Lee taught as necessary to salvation from hell other than faith in Jesus Christ? I want quotes, books, etc. Not caricatures or secondary issues.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:29 AM   #18
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Except for:

Gal 3:1 O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you, that ye should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ hath been evidently set forth, crucified among you?

I can't speak for you, of course, but I can speak for my self and others that I know, that have left the LC, and I and them agree that we were bewitched by Lee.
Lee bewitched you into believing that there are other criteria to being saved other than placing faith in Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sins?
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:39 AM   #19
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In my mind, rallying behind a leader, whether Luther, Darby, Calvin, or Lee, is little difference other than time. The "dangers" seem to diminish as the years go by. In other words, following Luther back in the day labeled you a heretic of the worst sort, but today Lutherans are accepted as orthodox and benign main-streamers. Perhaps being Lee-ites will one day bring about the same responses.
I can only say "maybe." And that would be only if they excise some of their exclusivist teachings, one of the primary ones being the belief that there is some "ground of the church," coupled with the teaching that theirs is it and all others are not.

Yes, the Lutherans were heretics of their day. But their heresy was not something driving them to the margins, but back to the center. Groups that have "heresies" that drive them to the margin may eventually get left alone, but they are at the same time not considered among the mainstream of Christianity. Neither orthodox nor benign. Just off the radar because their novelty has lost its allure and few worry about them stepping out to capture more for their cause. They tend to exist on those born into the system.

In other words, don't look to the Lutherans for the parallels. Look at the followers of Herbert Armstrong. At the Seventh Day Adventists. In other words, at the groups that remain at the fringes generations after their start. Or that are marginal, but less so now because they began to moderate later-on.

Luther, Darby, Calvin, and Lee are not "little different." Luther and Calvin are clearly in a different category than Darby and Lee. Darby is problematic because so much of the Fundamentalist/Evangelical sides of things rely on his teachings. But ultimately he painted himself and his group out of the mainstream. Other than claiming a genealogy that ties through Luther and Darby, and using a fair bit of Darby's teachings, Lee stands pretty much alone. The only thing in common is that Lee was the leader of renown for the group. That is not really much "in common."
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:59 AM   #20
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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Please show what else Witness Lee taught as necessary to salvation from hell other than faith in Jesus Christ? I want quotes, books, etc. Not caricatures or secondary issues.
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Lee bewitched you into believing that there are other criteria to being saved other than placing faith in Jesus Christ who was crucified for our sins?
In the book of Galatians, Paul used the phrase "different gospel" (Gal 1.6) in relation to Judaizers who made a show of the gentile converts by insisting that they be circumcised, celebrate the Jewish holidays, etc. which brought them under the bondage of the law. To the Corinthians, Paul spoke of "another Jesus, whom he did not preach," (II Cor 11.4)

Before we categorically apply this same judgment used by Paul on the LC's, i.e. "let them be accursed" (Gal 1.8-9), can we please provide some definitive evidence, as InOmnibusCaritas has requested, supporting your case? No doubt, Lee and LSM had issues, but this claim was never one of them.

One verse which we have not discussed much on this forum, and which may have significance, is Paul's word in II Cor 11.13, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transfiguring themselves into apostles of Christ."
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Old 04-14-2015, 11:05 AM   #21
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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Dear mr. Ohio, I believe it will take us a while to get on the same page. My impression is we are talking past each other.

I am attempting to focus on Galatians where Paul battled the judaizers who created the two tiered system demanding that the gentile converts become Jews in order to be first tier Christians. so, today when a teacher adds to the Christ who alone justifies the si. ER that is another Christ.

When I say there is one kind of christian I am attempting to think in Galatianese, Pauline and not referring to denominations. I hope this helps. It will take much time for you and I to have the same lexicon and in fact we may never have it.

Art
You have done well to highlight the issues we have with semantics Art. I never intended to talk past you, rather comment on what you said. I too have been hoping for the same lexicon to be used, and of course, it is a needed objective, but even with my dear wife I am often not on the "same page."
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:06 PM   #22
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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The whole idea that they have a distinction between the "low gospel" and the "high gospel" is a big red flag to me. Also, as Terry mentioned, the practice of trying to determine who is the "good material" is contrary to the gospel that Jesus taught and has always been a bit disturbing to me.

The reason that I don't say with certainty that I think the LC teaches another gospel, is because I believe at heart those in the LC are willing to teach the basic gospel to an unbeliever. A lot of what goes on seems situation dependent.
I would say if pressed in the local churches, the gospel we see in the New Testament is taught, however practices indicate having distinctions and preferences.
As a result it's the ones seeking higher education are the ones sought after in the campus gospel work. Ones who forego a college education aren't seen as "good material" and as a result are often neglected.
Why is it college students are deemed "good material"?
Is it potential of higher income translates to more giving for the ministry?
Is it higher education equates to better grasp of the "high gospel" and thus embracing the vision Witness Lee's ministry has been promoting?
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Old 04-14-2015, 01:56 PM   #23
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I would say if pressed in the local churches, the gospel we see in the New Testament is taught, however practices indicate having distinctions and preferences.
As a result it's the ones seeking higher education are the ones sought after in the campus gospel work. Ones who forego a college education aren't seen as "good material" and as a result are often neglected.
Why is it college students are deemed "good material"?
Is it potential of higher income translates to more giving for the ministry?
Is it higher education equates to better grasp of the "high gospel" and thus embracing the vision Witness Lee's ministry has been promoting?
Maybe it is a quest for a form of legitimacy through the association with and acceptance by college-educated people.
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Old 04-14-2015, 02:16 PM   #24
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In my mind, rallying behind a leader, whether Luther, Darby, Calvin, or Lee, is little difference other than time. The "dangers" seem to diminish as the years go by. In other words, following Luther back in the day labeled you a heretic of the worst sort, but today Lutherans are accepted as orthodox and benign main-streamers. Perhaps being Lee-ites will one day bring about the same responses.
Some really good responses here! So many I'll have to take them one by one!

Ohio makes a good point about how certain teachers and teachings are viewed as heretical in their day, but eventually make their way into the mainstream of what is considered orthodox. Of course we may want to look at just who was calling Luther a heretic, and why they were calling him a heretic. Luther's accusers and detractors were the Pope, his learned archbishops and clerics, and none other than the Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire - none of which anybody could even faintly claim were the strong promoters of or even defenders of the Gospel of Jesus Christ or the central truths found in the New Testament. Just why they were after Luther is quite a bit more involved and complicated, but it was not for his preaching of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ, or even for teaching any of the central truths found in the NT per se, but mostly for his decrying of the rampant hypocrisy among the Catholic clergy.

So, over the years, who have been the most vocal and harshest accusers and detractors of Witness Lee/LSM/LC? Well, it has undeniably been a mixed bag, and to just name them all, much less get into the distracting and fruitless business of critiquing the critics, would be a worthless time drain and would inevitably take us away from the question at hand. I would, however, at the risk of being Captain Obvious, point out that comparing Witness Lee to Luther, Calvin or even Darby, in any sense of comparison I could imagine, is just about the biggest apple to oranges correlation I've heard in a while. We've just seen the likes of who was calling Luther (and Calvin) heretical, and I don't think any Christian apologists were calling Darby a heretic. Furthermore, the view of the vast majority of orthodox, evangelical Christians hasn't really changed much over the centuries. Luther and Calvin are still regarded as pillars of the Christian reformation, and Darby was more known for calling other people heretics than being called one himself.


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Perhaps being Lee-ites will one day bring about the same responses.
Maybe from highly compromised "apologists" like Hank Hanegraaff, but I doubt you will hear anything like "we were wrong" from the likes of the 75 Christian scholars and ministry leaders from seven nations who signed the Open Letter at http://www.open-letter.org/- most of them have probably seen and heard too much about what Witness Lee actually taught to swallow the "but we are actually just misunderstood orthodox Christians" ruse.
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Old 04-14-2015, 07:22 PM   #25
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Please show what else Witness Lee taught as necessary to salvation from hell other than faith in Jesus Christ? I want quotes, books, etc. Not caricatures or secondary issues.
Ok, InOmnibusCaritas, I'm going to have to ask you to give the other new guy a little slack here. I don't know if you caught Amcasci's first number of posts, but he has been away from the Local Church for over 40 years, so exact page and paragraph quotes for are going to be a little hard for him to produce. Also you may want to appreciate the fact that Art was in the Local Church at a vastly different time and place than you. If you read my opening post, I did request that we all stay away from such caricatures and secondary issues, and I don't see where Art has intentionally stepped out of bounds in this regard.

Anyway, he is apparently on vacation so let's let him enjoy it without having to worry about playing defense until he gets back home.
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Old 04-14-2015, 10:48 PM   #26
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Ok, InOmnibusCaritas, I'm going to have to ask you to give the other new guy a little slack here. I don't know if you caught Amcasci's first number of posts, but he has been away from the Local Church for over 40 years, so exact page and paragraph quotes for are going to be a little hard for him to produce. Also you may want to appreciate the fact that Art was in the Local Church at a vastly different time and place than you. If you read my opening post, I did request that we all stay away from such caricatures and secondary issues, and I don't see where Art has intentionally stepped out of bounds in this regard.

Anyway, he is apparently on vacation so let's let him enjoy it without having to worry about playing defense until he gets back home.
My apologies to Art.

I would like to redirect everyone back to the original question:

"Does the Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?"

UntoHim thinks so. He writes, "it is in the interpretation of these epistles that we see Witness Lee's departure from the historic Christian Gospel."

Believing in the Gospel is results in one being saved.
Departure from the "historic Christian Gospel" results in one in danger of being unsaved.

This question is for ALL THE MARBLES and trumps every other thread in this forum.

So far, I'm reading that:
1) "In Lees case it is the local ground, membership in the local church, and thus being an overcomer." (Amcasi)
Lee never claims that membership in LCs is precondition for being an overcomer - thus the point of his interpretation of the 7 churches in Rev. 2-3. Lee believed that Ephesus, Smyrna, and Pergamum refer to ages up to perhaps the Great Schism. The existing ones are Thyatira (Lee: Roman Catholicism), Sardis (Lee: Protestantism), Philadelphia (Lee: Recovery), and Laodicea (Lee: post-Recovery??). Although Lee believed that the Philadelphians stood the best chance of overcoming, he concedes that overcomers are called from all 7 churches. At any rate, the ground of locality is secondary when it comes to salvation.

2) "The local churches practice a different gospel than what's seen in this passage of Matthew 9:10-13. Generally viewed and termed as "good material", attention and efforts are labored on college campuses. One of the goals is to attract college students and eventually sent them as college graduates to FTTA" (Terry).
Targeting college campuses is always a good strategy for any Christian group. Again, this has nothing to do with the content of the gospel.

3) "I don't know how common some of these notions are, but I've seen enough indication that there are many in the LC who are not satisfied with simply introducing someone to the gospel." (Freedom)
I suppose that's not my LC experience but let's say this is more often than not the case. This is still not a departure from the gospel. If one doesn't use the RcV, at most they'll say you don't have an accurate Bible (though they can't pinpoint why) or that you need to read the footnotes because they provide the best interpretation of scripture. But they will not dispute whether you are saved. They will not put RcV and knowledge of the "high gospel" as a necessity for salvation. These are all post-salvation stuff.

4) "I can't speak for you, of course, but I can speak for my self and others that I know, that have left the LC, and I and them agree that we were bewitched by Lee." (Awareness)
Awareness was referring to Gal. 3:1. It is true that we have all been under Lee's spell, subscribing only to his interpretation of scripture, many of which is suspect. But Paul was talking about the gospel -- the Judaizers were telling the Galatians that, "No, faith in Jesus Christ crucified is not good enough. You also need to be circumcised in order to be part of God's covenant people". What are criteria other than the gospel did Witness Lee imposed on us in order to be God's people?

5) "Maybe from highly compromised "apologists" like Hank Hanegraaff, but I doubt you will hear anything like "we were wrong" from the likes of the 75 Christian scholars and ministry leaders from seven nations who signed the Open Letter at http://www.open-letter.org/- most of them have probably seen and heard too much about what Witness Lee actually taught to swallow the "but we are actually just misunderstood orthodox Christians" ruse."
I wonder whether the 75 Christian scholars will be so quick to denounce Lee for preaching a different gospel. They would have left LCs alone had LC/LSM not sued Harvest House and instead speak well of denominations.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:58 AM   #27
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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4) "I can't speak for you, of course, but I can speak for my self and others that I know, that have left the LC, and I and them agree that we were bewitched by Lee." (Awareness)

Awareness was referring to Gal. 3:1. It is true that we have all been under Lee's spell, subscribing only to his interpretation of scripture, many of which is suspect. But Paul was talking about the gospel -- the Judaizers were telling the Galatians that, "No, faith in Jesus Christ crucified is not good enough. You also need to be circumcised in order to be part of God's covenant people". What are criteria other than the gospel did Witness Lee imposed on us in order to be God's people?
But was Paul just referring to salvation alone in the epistle to the Galatians? Or was there a "high" gospel (to the Jews) and a "low" gospel (to the gentiles), and likewise a marginally-covenanted people (gentiles) and a fully-covenanted people (Jews) emerging? Was there in fact a sort of de facto tiered gospel going forth, that Paul struggled to combat? We know there's one gospel, and that to sinners. But in those days with the clear delineation of separation of peoples, ingrained deeply in centuries of teaching, culture and practice, there was a challenge for the Good News of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Look at Peter in Acts 10, after the resurrection, in reply to the voice from heaven, that had told him to "arise, slay and eat". Peter exclaimed, "By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean." Gentiles were unholy and unclean. This was a Jesus follower speaking! That "unclean" was gone with the blood of Christ, but the centuries of deeply ingrained Jewish practices struggled with that. So in those first decades, a new gospel arose, one with tiers of covenanted people: those who kept the law and those who didn't. Both were saved as we understand the word. But one had a "higher calling" as God's originally covenanted people. (I note that some Evangelicals still consider Jews as special, even after the blood of Christ).

So perhaps InOmnibusCaritas is oversimplifying. And perhaps Lee offered a "new Christ" with a "new covenant" of the local ground, which made you the equivalent of the law-keeping Christian Jews of the early NT era. Lee used to say, "Of all creatures, it is best to be a man because we are made in God's image. And of all men, it is best to be Christian because we receive God's life and nature. And of all Christians it is best to be on the local ground because we receive God's blessing."

So Lee was selling a supposedly higher gospel, which delineated he and his followers from "darkened" and "fallen" Christianity, which was called "demonic" etc. This "tiered Christianity" alone is a borderline bewitching, if not fully so. Salvation aside, it is a perversion of the gospel, just as keeping the law made the Jews somehow "special Christians" in Paul's era. "Being saved is of course good, but being saved and "special sauce #1" is the best"

(Please note that this is an argument that I am making for consideration's sake. I have no emotional attachment to the idea, and may abandon it or modify it. I'm just considering how Paul's Galatian warning may be applicable in the Christian faith and polity today, specifically with the LC case).
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Old 04-15-2015, 07:50 AM   #28
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

Something to keep in mind in this discussion is that it is the teacher of the different christ who is anathema. While it is an argument from silence the implication is the teacher not the receiver is the one in trouble.

I don't know that anyone owes me an apology but I appreciate the thought. I think I need to listen more at this point. you folks are way more familiar with Lee and LC than I. I do love Galatians and have taught it a number of times over the years

Art
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:21 AM   #29
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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In the book of Galatians, Paul used the phrase "different gospel" (Gal 1.6) in relation to Judaizers who made a show of the gentile converts by insisting that they be circumcised, celebrate the Jewish holidays, etc. which brought them under the bondage of the law. To the Corinthians, Paul spoke of "another Jesus, whom he did not preach," (II Cor 11.4)

Before we categorically apply this same judgment used by Paul on the LC's, i.e. "let them be accursed" (Gal 1.8-9), can we please provide some definitive evidence, as InOmnibusCaritas has requested, supporting your case? No doubt, Lee and LSM had issues, but this claim was never one of them.

One verse which we have not discussed much on this forum, and which may have significance, is Paul's word in II Cor 11.13, "For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transfiguring themselves into apostles of Christ."
These verses in II Corinthians Chapter 11 have me rethinking the our "query" into what Lee preached and who Lee was. The sections in red are troublesomely representative of Lee ...

Quote:
1 Would that ye could bear with me in a little foolishness: but indeed ye do bear with me.
2 For I am jealous over you with a godly jealousy: for I espoused you to one husband, that I might present you as a pure virgin to Christ.
3
But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness, your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity and the purity that is toward Christ.
4 For if he that comes preaches another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or if ye receive a different spirit, which ye did not receive, or a different gospel, which ye did not accept, ye do well to bear with him.
5 For I reckon that I am not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.
6 But though I be rude in speech, yet am I not in knowledge; nay, in every way have we made this manifest unto you in all things.
7 Or did I commit a sin in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I preached to you the gospel of God for nought?
8 I robbed other churches, taking wages of them that I might minister unto you;
9 and when I was present with you and was in want, I was not a burden on any man; for the brethren, when they came from Macedonia, supplied the measure of my want; and in everything I kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.
10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this glorying in the regions of Achaia.
11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knows.
12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from those who desire an opportunity to be regarded just as we are in the matter about which they are boasting.
13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, fashioning themselves into apostles of Christ.

14 And no marvel; for even Satan fashioned himself into an angel of light.
15 It is no great thing therefore if his ministers also fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works.
16 I say again, let no man think me foolish; but if ye do, yet as foolish receive me, that I also may glory a little.
17 That which I speak, I speak not after the Lord, but as in foolishness, in this confidence of glorying.
18 Seeing that many glory after the flesh, I will glory also.
19 For ye bear with the foolish gladly, being wise yourselves .
20 For you bear with a man, though he brings you into bondage, if he devours you, if he takes you captive , if he exalts himself, if he smites you on the face.
What is so troublesome here is Lee's obsession to be elevated to the status of apostle on par with Paul, yet has brought us into bondage, and has smitten many a brother in the process.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:27 AM   #30
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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So Lee was selling a supposedly higher gospel, which delineated he and his followers from "darkened" and "fallen" Christianity, which was called "demonic" etc. This "tiered Christianity" alone is a borderline bewitching, if not fully so. Salvation aside, it is a perversion of the gospel, just as keeping the law made the Jews somehow "special Christians" in Paul's era. "Being saved is of course good, but being saved and "special sauce #1" is the best"
For me this is little different than those who sell tongues and the gifts as a higher blessing. Isn't this also borderline bewitching?

I keep trying to hold Lee to the same standard as other ministers. If what he did was common place, I hate to justify it, but we have to at least be fair.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:27 AM   #31
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For me this is little different than those who sell tongues and the gifts as a higher blessing. Isn't this also borderline bewitching?
Yep, I think it is, but let's stick with the teachings/practices established by Witness Lee. Lee didn't teach that such things were a higher blessing so let's leave this one alone.

Quote:
I keep trying to hold Lee to the same standard as other ministers. If what he did was common place, I hate to justify it, but we have to at least be fair.
Let's be fair to the Word of God first, then maybe we can get into being fair to anything or anyone else....fair enough? Not much of what Witness Lee taught was common place, and this is why he is not accepted as a orthodox Christian teacher except among his followers.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:44 AM   #32
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But was Paul just referring to salvation alone in the epistle to the Galatians? Or was there a "high" gospel (to the Jews) and a "low" gospel (to the gentiles), and likewise a marginally-covenanted people (gentiles) and a fully-covenanted people (Jews) emerging? Was there in fact a sort of de facto tiered gospel going forth, that Paul struggled to combat? We know there's one gospel, and that to sinners. But in those days with the clear delineation of separation of peoples, ingrained deeply in centuries of teaching, culture and practice, there was a challenge for the Good News of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.

Look at Peter in Acts 10, after the resurrection, in reply to the voice from heaven, that had told him to "arise, slay and eat". Peter exclaimed, "By no means, Lord, for I have never eaten anything unholy and unclean." Gentiles were unholy and unclean. This was a Jesus follower speaking! That "unclean" was gone with the blood of Christ, but the centuries of deeply ingrained Jewish practices struggled with that. So in those first decades, a new gospel arose, one with tiers of covenanted people: those who kept the law and those who didn't. Both were saved as we understand the word. But one had a "higher calling" as God's originally covenanted people. (I note that some Evangelicals still consider Jews as special, even after the blood of Christ).

So perhaps InOmnibusCaritas is oversimplifying. And perhaps Lee offered a "new Christ" with a "new covenant" of the local ground, which made you the equivalent of the law-keeping Christian Jews of the early NT era. Lee used to say, "Of all creatures, it is best to be a man because we are made in God's image. And of all men, it is best to be Christian because we receive God's life and nature. And of all Christians it is best to be on the local ground because we receive God's blessing."

So Lee was selling a supposedly higher gospel, which delineated he and his followers from "darkened" and "fallen" Christianity, which was called "demonic" etc. This "tiered Christianity" alone is a borderline bewitching, if not fully so. Salvation aside, it is a perversion of the gospel, just as keeping the law made the Jews somehow "special Christians" in Paul's era. "Being saved is of course good, but being saved and "special sauce #1" is the best"

(Please note that this is an argument that I am making for consideration's sake. I have no emotional attachment to the idea, and may abandon it or modify it. I'm just considering how Paul's Galatian warning may be applicable in the Christian faith and polity today, specifically with the LC case).
Yes, Paul was referring to salvation.

The Judaizers' teaching can be found in Acts 15:1, "But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, 'Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.'"

Paul's intimation of his journey to Jerusalem in Gal. 2:1-10 makes it clear that Acts 15 backgrounds Galatians.

The Judaizers weren't saying, "Being saved is of course good, but being saved and special sauce #1 is the best". They were saying, unless you have special sauce #1, you cannot be saved. This is ANOTHER GOSPEL.

For Judaizers there are no tiered Christianity - it's Jesus + circumcision or nothing. You cannot be saved!

While Lee has many faults as evidenced by many testimonies in this forum, preaching another gospel and deserving anathema goes way too far. There is a thread somewhere in this forum where I said we must be careful and very, very slow to say Lee preached another gospel because that is anathema -- you are saying that Lee is going to hell. Someone replied, "No, I don't mean Lee is going to hell". That's news to me. Everything I've read on anathema tells me it means exactly that. The NIV even translates it as "let him be eternally condemned!"
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:47 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
Yep, I think it is, but let's stick with the teachings/practices established by Witness Lee. Lee didn't teach that such things were a higher blessing so let's leave this one alone.

Let's be fair to the Word of God first, then maybe we can get into being fair to anything or anyone else....fair enough? Not much of what Witness Lee taught was common place, and this is why he is not accepted as a orthodox Christian teacher except among his followers.
We can agree to disagree on some points, but it sounds like you are disagreeing with my points to give Lee a fair hearing amongst peers.

Or am I misreading you?

Lee taught tons of things which are orthodox. Whether it was original to him is besides the point, for which minister after the Apostles is original anyways? He went thru the N.T. almost verse by verse. If I throw it all out, without testing each point, I run into the same danger as those who have left the faith. Whether Lee is accepted or not has to do with his "extras," which the Lord called leaven.
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Old 04-15-2015, 09:56 AM   #34
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These verses in II Corinthians Chapter 11 have me rethinking the our "query" into what Lee preached and who Lee was. The sections in red are troublesomely representative of Lee ...

[2 Cor. 11:1-20]

What is so troublesome here is Lee's obsession to be elevated to the status of apostle on par with Paul, yet has brought us into bondage, and has smitten many a brother in the process.
All the words in red that you ascribe to Lee is predicated on verse 4, "For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough."

The words in red are only applicable (false apostle, serpent, etc) if indeed Lee actually preached another Jesus or a different gospel. So unless you have already concluded that Lee preached a false gospel, you cannot so readily apply those verses to him.

I am not a Lee apologist so I'm open to examine his presentation of the gospel. I am prepared to pronounce anathema on Lee when there is evidence that he preached a different gospel (and held on too -- we all have our off moments) than the apostolic one. Until then, I will continue to see him and LSM as brothers in Christ whom I will break bread with (if they will break bread with me - I doubt it) and fully expect to enjoy their company in the new heavens and new earth.
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Old 04-15-2015, 10:04 AM   #35
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All the words in red that you ascribe to Lee is predicated on verse 4, "For if someone comes and proclaims another Jesus than the one we proclaimed, or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received, or if you accept a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it readily enough."

The words in red are only applicable (false apostle, serpent, etc) if indeed Lee actually preached another Jesus or a different gospel. So unless you have already concluded that Lee preached a false gospel, you cannot so readily apply those verses to him.

I am not a Lee apologist so I'm open to examine his presentation of the gospel. I am prepared to pronounce anathema on Lee when there is evidence that he preached a different gospel (and held on too -- we all have our off moments) than the apostolic one. Until then, I will continue to see him and LSM as brothers in Christ whom I will break bread with (if they will break bread with me - I doubt it) and fully expect to enjoy their company in the new heavens and new earth.
I am looking into what you term "predicated" in your post. If that is true, then I agree with you. But if Lee's self-exaltation also contributed, then I am willing to reconsider my views, though I (and now you) have been in the minority here for a long time.
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:17 PM   #36
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Yes, Paul was referring to salvation.

The Judaizers' teaching can be found in Acts 15:1, "But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, 'Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.'"

Paul's intimation of his journey to Jerusalem in Gal. 2:1-10 makes it clear that Acts 15 backgrounds Galatians.

The Judaizers weren't saying, "Being saved is of course good, but being saved and special sauce #1 is the best". They were saying, unless you have special sauce #1, you cannot be saved. This is ANOTHER GOSPEL.

For Judaizers there are no tiered Christianity - it's Jesus + circumcision or nothing. You cannot be saved!
Thanks for taking the time and effort to carefully address my remarks. I'm content to let the question drop as resolved. But I do think WL's "new, new, new" mantra was an opening for dangerous forces, which may have seemed "fresh" initially but eventually led to imbalance, and lawsuits with the cult-watchers. As I said, WL claimed to be fully grounded in historical, orthodox Christianity through WN's extensive reading. But there's a tad of hubris in such a statement, and pride comes before the fall. And there was a fall.

On the idea of "tiered Christianity", WL had a habit of saying that not many Christians know this or that, or have experienced some aspect of the rich Christ. So while I don't think it cost him or his listeners their eternal salvation before God (if we can in any way understand the term, and we should, or at least should try) I do think it cost him, and them. Jesus taught that those who elevate themselves will be thrown down. The first will be last. Maybe not to eternal perdition, but there is a loss. Those who claim they are "rich" are really poor (Google "the rich ministry of Witness Lee" and see how many hits you get), and those who claim to be great in the kingdom of God will be the least. Notice that Jesus doesn't say, "Those who claim to be great won't get in", but that they will be the least. And Jesus told the Pharisees, "The harlots and sinners will get into the kingdom before you", He didn't say that the Pharisees wouldn't ever get in. Just that they tried to be the first and best but were thereby the least and the worst.

The LC's had a phrase: "God's best". I heard it in some of the songs. It wasn't clear if it was to some aspect of Jesus' salvation, which I can understand (we can make value judgments there) or to our experience of that salvation, or to our group itself. Certainly we talked about ourselves as if we were the latest and greatest. And I think that entails loss. Not of salvation but of the true enjoyment of salvation. Because if you think that you are something, on this side of the Bema (the Judgment Seat), you risk unpleasant surprise. Either way God will surprise you. God apparently likes to surprise people.

Isaiah 2:9-11 "So the common man has been humbled And the man of importance has been abased, But do not forgive them. Enter the rock and hide in the dust From the terror of the LORD and from the splendor of His majesty. The proud look of man will be abased And the loftiness of man will be humbled, And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.…"
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Old 04-15-2015, 12:52 PM   #37
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2)

Targeting college campuses is always a good strategy for any Christian group. Again, this has nothing to do with the content of the gospel.
But it is coupled with open criticism of any kind of benevolence to the elderly, homeless, etc., therefore is part of a larger context.

Just sending people to college campuses to preach the gospel is not a problem. But to say that it is a waste of time to go trying to pursue others (in so many words) and to ignore what the Bible calls "justice" gives it that larger context in which there is a general error in emphasis.

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5)

I wonder whether the 75 Christian scholars will be so quick to denounce Lee for preaching a different gospel. They would have left LCs alone had LC/LSM not sued Harvest House and instead speak well of denominations.
Since the text is a little terse here, I am not sure what you are saying. But if you are suggesting that the 75 scholars would have left the LCM alone if they had not sued Harvest House and made such a huge fuss about the evils of denominations, you are probably right. Just like they mostly leave a lot of even more truly heretical groups alone outside of their internal teaching and preaching. Groups like even the JWs.

But since the LCM was busy making a spectacle of itself in the public eye through its lawsuits and openly critical remarks concerning things that are generally considered either benign or truly correct, they did speak up. They did not choose to dig into more of the LCM's errors than was thrust in front of them by the LCM, so a "different gospel" was not on the table. Not sure how they would have responded on that issue. I personally know one of the 75 and am sure that he would not have been flippant with the charge, so if it does not fit, he would have withheld his signature.
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Old 04-15-2015, 01:02 PM   #38
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We can agree to disagree on some points, but it sounds like you are disagreeing with my points to give Lee a fair hearing amongst peers.

Or am I misreading you?

Lee taught tons of things which are orthodox. Whether it was original to him is besides the point, for which minister after the Apostles is original anyways? He went thru the N.T. almost verse by verse. If I throw it all out, without testing each point, I run into the same danger as those who have left the faith. Whether Lee is accepted or not has to do with his "extras," which the Lord called leaven.
And you are correct here. Lee could never have gotten the leaven past us if he did not start with some good orthodoxy.

But when it comes to the idea of simply tossing Lee and his teachings aside, the way I think of it is not to throw everything out and start over. But whenever I am faced with teaching post-LCM that does not square with something I think is right and I note that its source is in my LCM past, I start with the rejection of the Lee/LCM teaching and make it prove itself as true.

I know that I have made a lot of statements to the effect of throwing everything from Lee out. But it was really meant to imply that anytime there is a potential conflict, I presume that the non-Lee source is correct until I re-investigate and prove Lee correct.

And so far I don't think that I can remember finding Lee correct over anything that I am now learning outside the LCM.
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Old 04-15-2015, 06:38 PM   #39
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Let's be fair to the Word of God first, then maybe we can get into being fair to anything or anyone else....fair enough? Not much of what Witness Lee taught was common place, and this is why he is not accepted as a orthodox Christian teacher except among his followers.

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We can agree to disagree on some points, but it sounds like you are disagreeing with my points to give Lee a fair hearing amongst peers.
Well, it's a little late for us to give Lee a fair hearing, the man's been dead for about 18 years. Seriously though, if there is a hearing to be heard, as far as this forum is concerned, it should be based upon two main items: One would be what is in print - and for this we only have the publishing arm of the Local Church of Witness Lee to rely on. (While voluminous, many of Lee's more controversial speakings have been softened or edited out altogether) The other would be the recollections and notes of those of us who sat at his feet for hundreds upon hundreds of messages. (whether in person or video tape)

Quote:
Lee taught tons of things which are orthodox. Whether it was original to him is besides the point, for which minister after the Apostles is original anyways? He went thru the N.T. almost verse by verse. If I throw it all out, without testing each point, I run into the same danger as those who have left the faith. Whether Lee is accepted or not has to do with his "extras," which the Lord called leaven.
In regards to "peers", well Witness Lee didn't have any peers and this is one of the problems. If by peers you mean other Christian teachers of his era, well we just haven't a lot to compare him to. There just weren't a lot of other guys running around telling his followers he was the only one speaking as God's oracle ON EARTH since 1945. I don't know of any other Christian teacher who declared that "Christianity is Christless". So I'm sorry to tell you that Lee is out alone on an island of his own making, and this is the Witness Lee we are left to deal with, and not simply the one who "taught tons of things which are orthodox".

Quote:
without testing each point
Agreed. So let's start with the one that I have brought out here in this thread without trying to torpedo it before it gets out of the harbor. Notice the title of the thread is NOT a declaration, it is a question. You may think it is rhetorical on my part, but it really isn't. This doesn't mean that I don't have my own answers ready and rarin to go, but so far I've seen nothing but a lot of retorts to some arguments and conclusions that I have never even made yet! I don't mind being on the defensive, after all I'm the one who started the thread, but let's try to have some reasonable back and forth before the nuclear option is exercised, ok? I mean, how in the world can we "agree to disagree" when we haven't even established what it is we disagree on.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:19 PM   #40
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I am looking into what you term "predicated" in your post. If that is true, then I agree with you. But if Lee's self-exaltation also contributed, then I am willing to reconsider my views, though I (and now you) have been in the minority here for a long time.
Anytime you think of yourself as God's deputy or anything like that, you're in big, big trouble. So, yes, I agree with you. But this thread is whether Lee preached a different gospel. My answer to that is no. The burden of proof is on those who argues for the affirmative.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:31 PM   #41
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Thanks for taking the time and effort to carefully address my remarks. I'm content to let the question drop as resolved. But I do think WL's "new, new, new" mantra was an opening for dangerous forces, which may have seemed "fresh" initially but eventually led to imbalance, and lawsuits with the cult-watchers. As I said, WL claimed to be fully grounded in historical, orthodox Christianity through WN's extensive reading. But there's a tad of hubris in such a statement, and pride comes before the fall. And there was a fall.

On the idea of "tiered Christianity", WL had a habit of saying that not many Christians know this or that, or have experienced some aspect of the rich Christ. So while I don't think it cost him or his listeners their eternal salvation before God (if we can in any way understand the term, and we should, or at least should try) I do think it cost him, and them. Jesus taught that those who elevate themselves will be thrown down. The first will be last. Maybe not to eternal perdition, but there is a loss. Those who claim they are "rich" are really poor (Google "the rich ministry of Witness Lee" and see how many hits you get), and those who claim to be great in the kingdom of God will be the least. Notice that Jesus doesn't say, "Those who claim to be great won't get in", but that they will be the least. And Jesus told the Pharisees, "The harlots and sinners will get into the kingdom before you", He didn't say that the Pharisees wouldn't ever get in. Just that they tried to be the first and best but were thereby the least and the worst.

The LC's had a phrase: "God's best". I heard it in some of the songs. It wasn't clear if it was to some aspect of Jesus' salvation, which I can understand (we can make value judgments there) or to our experience of that salvation, or to our group itself. Certainly we talked about ourselves as if we were the latest and greatest. And I think that entails loss. Not of salvation but of the true enjoyment of salvation. Because if you think that you are something, on this side of the Bema (the Judgment Seat), you risk unpleasant surprise. Either way God will surprise you. God apparently likes to surprise people.

Isaiah 2:9-11 "So the common man has been humbled And the man of importance has been abased, But do not forgive them. Enter the rock and hide in the dust From the terror of the LORD and from the splendor of His majesty. The proud look of man will be abased And the loftiness of man will be humbled, And the LORD alone will be exalted in that day.…"
Yes, I think so too and I'm worried sick for the people I know including my family members who are still in the system. My mom is the most humble woman I know and she tries her best to be charitable to "other Christians" but even she cannot but betray the subtle air of superiority that LSM tries so hard to inculcate. Modern-day gnosticism.

So, I agree that LC teaches a tiered-Christianity. In any outreach event, it's normal to categorise people this way:

1) Brothers and sisters in the Lord's recovery
2) Christians in denominations
3) Gospel friends

Of course, all denominations categorise people that way but no. 1 and no. 2 are organisational categories in the Methodist church that I'm ministering. In LCs, these are not just organisational, these are qualitative categories.

I've heard this repeatedly, "As a creature, it's best to be human. As a human, it's best to be Christian. As a Christian, it's best to be a Christian in the Lord's recovery."

Having said all these, LC still doesn't preach another gospel.
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Old 04-15-2015, 08:51 PM   #42
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But it is coupled with open criticism of any kind of benevolence to the elderly, homeless, etc., therefore is part of a larger context.

Just sending people to college campuses to preach the gospel is not a problem. But to say that it is a waste of time to go trying to pursue others (in so many words) and to ignore what the Bible calls "justice" gives it that larger context in which there is a general error in emphasis.
I've not personally heard any denigration towards preaching the gospel to the elderly and the homeless but I agree that the focus is on the campuses. For example, my LC creates "brothers' houses" and "sisters' houses" for campus students but never for the elderly and homeless.

Alas, truth be told, it's a survival strategy for many evangelical churches. It is true that LCs, or at least the LCs that I know, do not in general fulfil the sadiq/sedeqah (justice/righteousness) corollary of the gospel, the same can be said of many, many evangelical and fundamentalist churches. If we are unprepared to accuse these of preaching another gospel, we must also be slow in affirming that LC teaches a different gospel.


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Since the text is a little terse here, I am not sure what you are saying. But if you are suggesting that the 75 scholars would have left the LCM alone if they had not sued Harvest House and made such a huge fuss about the evils of denominations, you are probably right. Just like they mostly leave a lot of even more truly heretical groups alone outside of their internal teaching and preaching. Groups like even the JWs.

But since the LCM was busy making a spectacle of itself in the public eye through its lawsuits and openly critical remarks concerning things that are generally considered either benign or truly correct, they did speak up. They did not choose to dig into more of the LCM's errors than was thrust in front of them by the LCM, so a "different gospel" was not on the table. Not sure how they would have responded on that issue. I personally know one of the 75 and am sure that he would not have been flippant with the charge, so if it does not fit, he would have withheld his signature.
If I have the eminence, these lawsuits alone will have resulted in me putting my signature to the open letter. So I'm all for that. My guess is that many of these scholars have not done anything more than a cursory reading of Lee. But I digress.

So we have to investigate what doctrines they dispute and whether, if they correctly represented Lee's teachings, those misaimed doctrines constitute teaching a different gospel. A fine point on the Trinity (I wonder if anyone ever gets the Trinity right) and another one on anthropology and hamartiology. OK. What will really be teaching another gospel, I suppose, is if some of what Jim Moran said were true. Then LC is a cult.
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Old 04-15-2015, 11:56 PM   #43
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Even though my own experiences aren't indicative of anything, I want to discuss them for a moment. First of all, I spent the better part of my life questioning the salvation and sincerity of Christians outside the LC, and especially those in the RCC. Second of all, I have always had the fear that if I didn't live my life according the LC standards, "outer darkness" was imminent. Such notions didn't come out of nowhere. Whether or not these are common held beliefs in the LC, I don’t know. Regardless, when I come to this issue of whether Lee and the LCM teach another gospel, I have to consider how I viewed things throughout my LC experience.

I don’t have a definite position as to whether the Lee did or the LCM does teach another gospel, but what I want to do here is to address some of the things that could lead me to believe that they teach another gospel.

The following are points of concern to me that come to mind about the gospel that Lee taught:
Lee consistently de-emphasized salvation as an event and overemphasized salvation as a process.
Lee instilled doubt as to what kind of gospel “other” Christians believe in.

Lee’s teaching on “God’s full salvation” is a subject in and of itself, but one concept that got ingrained in me was that initial salvation is somewhat insignificant. The thing that is important to those in the LC is reaching “full salvation”. I feel that there is danger to the notion that initial salvation is in any way insignificant. Now, it’s not for me to say how many in the LC actually feel that is the case, but it’s certainly a view I’ve encountered.

Regarding Lee’s teaching on the “low” and “high” gospel, I found some quotes that are insightful into his views. I don’t think that these quotes lead to any particular conclusion, however, I can see an argument being made either way. First of all, Lee did admit that the gospel Christians preach is the gospel:
Quote:
We should not preach the shallow gospel that Christianity preaches... Although this is the gospel, it is a low gospel...

A Deeper Study of the Divine Dispensing, ch 2, pp. 29-30
It’s good that Lee admits that the gospel that Christians preach is the gospel, however he is quick to qualify it as a “shallow” or “low” gospel. He says “we should not preach the shallow gospel”. I would ask the question, what about the “shallow gospel” should we not preach? If Lee really did have something better than just the plain ol’ gospel, wouldn’t an understanding of the basic of the gospel still be necessary? Not according to Lee. That is of concern to me, because if the basic message of the gospel is neglected, then it makes me wonder what Lee thinks should be preached? Is he saying to skip over the fundamentals completely, or just to de-emphasize them?

Here is another quote of Lee on the “low gospel”:
Quote:
However, most Christians today preach a low gospel, telling others, "You have no peace or joy, and you will perish in hell, but God loves you and has been merciful to you. Now you must believe in Him to have peace and joy to go to heaven." This is today's poor, low gospel, a gospel without any glory.

A General Sketch of the New Testament in the Light of Christ and the Church, ch 1, p. 8
Here Lee calls the “low gospel” a “poor gospel”. The word poor can be defined as: of a low or inferior standard or quality. Is this how Lee really intended to describe the gospel that all Christians believe in? An “inferior” gospel? A “low quality” gospel? This is opposite to how Paul describes the gospel in 1 Tim 1:1, where calls it “the glorious gospel”. Lee, on the other hand, essentially says that the gospel Christians believe in is “a gospel without any glory”. Obviously, the implication is that only the “high gospel” that Lee teaches is a glorious gospel.

Here Lee uses a different adjective to describe the “low gospel”:
Quote:
and we will not speak the superficial and low gospel, but we will be able to speak God's economy, which is mysterious and high.

Being Up-to-date for the Rebuilding of the Temple, ch 13, p. 148
The fact that Lee describes what he calls the “low gospel” as being superficial is concerning to me. Superficial can be taken to be meant “shallow”, but another definition is as follows: appearing to be true or real only until examined more closely. This brings up the question, did Lee really view the “low gospel” as something shallow, or did he possibly see it as something along the lines of a fake/false gospel? His statement could be taken either way, especially by someone like me who wasn’t there to understand the context in which it was spoken. At any rate, to imply that anyone who isn’t in the LC is following or hearing a “superficial” gospel should be a point of concern. The word superficial has strong implications.

Finally, here is one last quote of Lee on the “low gospel”:
Quote:
Today the educational standard in Taiwan is high. If you preach the gospel only of going to heaven and not going to hell, people will not be interested. This kind of preaching can frighten the very old and the very young. In this age you cannot preach this kind of low gospel. This does not mean that the Bible does not speak of heaven and hell, but that people today do not need this...

The Full Knowledge of the Word of God, ch1, p. 13
Here Lee says the “low gospel” may frighten certain people (?!?!?) and he also says that “In this age you cannot preach this kind of low gospel… people do not need this”. Did he intend to say that people only need his version of the gospel? His statement can be taken to mean that he thought preaching the basic gospel is unnecessary, or not something people really need. Also, the way Lee classifies the gospel that other Christians preach is an oversimplification of the gospel that other Christians preach. He think that other Christians are only concerned with heaven and hell. That is absolutely a false statement. This leads to the question of what exactly he feels is “better” than the gospel that all Christians accept? Is it his teaching on God’s economy? Is it what he calls “God’s full salvation”? There are a lot of unanswered questions.

My main concern is whether or not Lee really felt that his "high gospel" was necessary to really have a genuine form of salvation. Obviously, each of these statements was spoken in a different context which I do not fully understand. I don't want to come to any hasty conclusions, but I do feel that any of these statements that Lee made should be cause for concern as to what he actually believed was the gospel.
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Old 04-16-2015, 01:56 AM   #44
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Now that is some eye opening stuff! It not only sounds like "another gospel" it sounds a bit like Gnosticism and of course only Lee's teaching can initiate you into the realm of the true gospel.
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:52 AM   #45
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Yes, thank you, Freedom. Finally we have something central to this topic to really chew on

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The following are points of concern to me that come to mind about the gospel that Lee taught:
Lee consistently de-emphasized salvation as an event and overemphasized salvation as a process.
Lee instilled doubt as to what kind of gospel “other” Christians believe in.
I think what is in view here is "God's Complete Salvation", which is an update on "God's Full Salvation". Let's discuss this in detail.

"Salvation as an event" and "salvation as a process" will be what Witness Lee calls "judicial redemption" and "organic salvation" respectively. "Judicial redemption" is Lee's equivalent to "penal substitution atonement" (PSA) and does not require more elaboration.

"Organic salvation" consists of the following steps or groups of steps:
  1. Regeneration (the end result of judicial redemption)
  2. Renewing of the mind
  3. Sanctification
  4. Transformation
  5. Conformation
  6. Glorification

Renewing, sanctification, and transformation concern the soul and happens concurrently.

I'm not quite sure even after reading Lee what he understands as conformation ontologically. At any rate, the Bible verse used to underpin this step is Rom. 8:29. I suppose what he meant is that renewing, sanctification, and transformation results in being conformed to the image of Christ.

Glorification is for the physical body when the Lord comes back as per 1 Cor. 15.

This process is "organic" in terms of growth towards maturity.

Stripped down, this model is not very different from the very, very, very standard Western model of regeneration --> sanctification --> glorification. All that Lee did was to split sanctification into three aspects and have them merged into conformation before glorification on that day.

What Lee did was to accuse Christianity of having abandoned the full truth of salvation and dumbed it down to "going to heaven/hell". To a large extent Lee was correct, especially given the televangelism of the 80s. So Lee said he "recovered" God's complete salvation although the truth is that it was never really lost but only very few people have access to it. The man in the pew doesn't know it. All he knows is that he believes in Jesus and is waiting to go to heaven. This, Lee calls the "low gospel". Thus, Lee was simply parroting the millennia old "deification (or, glorification) is the goal of soteriology".

All over evangelical Christianity, people are now talking about what happens after initial redemption.

A lay thought can be found here: http://www.relevantmagazine.com/god/...-not-a-formula

A recent PhD thesis:
http://etheses.dur.ac.uk/219/1/BCB_C...nal.pdf?DDD32+

This is actually state-of-the-art contemporary discourse in certain quarters of evangelical Christianity. I was actually encouraged by a couple of lecturers who knew my LC background to do my post-graduate studies on deification as the goal of soteriology from a Johannine perspective but I am not all that interested in that topic. What I'm saying is: this is quite standard and not all that revolutionary. No scholars will bat an eye.
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Old 04-16-2015, 06:32 AM   #46
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For me this is little different than those who sell tongues and the gifts as a higher blessing. Isn't this also borderline bewitching?
My Pentecostal preacher friend calls this The Full Gospel. He was saved in the church in Santa Cruz, but now says Witness Lee didn't preach the full gospel.

But then, he says all churches that do not teach and practice the gifts are not full gospel churches.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:15 AM   #47
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But then, he says all churches that do not teach and practice the gifts are not full gospel churches.
The problem with labeling everyone else as "different", i.e. defective, incomplete, lacking, "poor", etc is that you risk being the worst of all. I think the "full gospel" includes not judging others, not comparing oneself, not pointing out others' faults, and in being magnanimous (accepting and generous) toward all, if possible.

The one who says, "Everyone is divisive but me!" is probably the most divisive of all. While LCs are peculiar, so are many of us. They're not preaching a "different gospel" or presenting a "different Jesus."
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:36 AM   #48
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My Pentecostal preacher friend calls this The Full Gospel. He was saved in the church in Santa Cruz, but now says Witness Lee didn't preach the full gospel.

But then, he says all churches that do not teach and practice the gifts are not full gospel churches.
It's OK if he does that, but not Lee.
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Old 04-16-2015, 02:00 PM   #49
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My Pentecostal preacher friend calls this The Full Gospel. He was saved in the church in Santa Cruz, but now says Witness Lee didn't preach the full gospel.
But then, he says all churches that do not teach and practice the gifts are not full gospel churches.

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Originally Posted by Ohio
It's OK if he does that, but not Lee.
But it does speak to the fact that today many have different ideas of what the gospel is.

I posit that, if we use 2 Cor 11:4 to determine what a different Jesus, spirit, and gospel are, we aren't going to be able to put our finger on it, so to speak, and so can't determine if Lee brought another Jesus or gospel.

2Co 11:4 For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.

First, Paul speaks of others coming to the Corinthians preaching another Jesus ; a Jesus Paul & Timothy didn't preach to them. Of course the Corinthians knew what Jesus Paul was talking about, that was originally preached to them. They were there, when they preached it to them. But we weren't there, and we prolly have no possibility of ever knowing what Jesus Paul preached to the Corinthians, before writing this letter to them.

Same with the "another spirit." We don't know what spirit they originally "received," and can't possibly ever know.

And also it's the same for "another gospel." We can't know what gospel the Corinthians originally "accepted." That preaching, or preaching's, we have no record of.

We weren't there, and as far as we know the Jesus, spirit. and gospel, Paul was speaking of was never recorded. At least his earlier preaching, prior to this letter to the Corinthians, is not recorded in our canon of scripture.

So how can we ever hope to determine if Witness Lee preached another Jesus, spirit and/or gospel?
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Old 04-16-2015, 08:42 PM   #50
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But it does speak to the fact that today many have different ideas of what the gospel is.



First, Paul speaks of others coming to the Corinthians preaching another Jesus ; a Jesus Paul & Timothy didn't preach to them. Of course the Corinthians knew what Jesus Paul was talking about, that was originally preached to them. They were there, when they preached it to them. But we weren't there, and we prolly have no possibility of ever knowing what Jesus Paul preached to the Corinthians, before writing this letter to them.

Same with the "another spirit." We don't know what spirit they originally "received," and can't possibly ever know.

And also it's the same for "another gospel." We can't know what gospel the Corinthians originally "accepted." That preaching, or preaching's, we have no record of.

We weren't there, and as far as we know the Jesus, spirit. and gospel, Paul was speaking of was never recorded. At least his earlier preaching, prior to this letter to the Corinthians, is not recorded in our canon of scripture.

So how can we ever hope to determine if Witness Lee preached another Jesus, spirit and/or gospel?
Me. Awareness,
You have your epistemological knickers in a twist. If what you say is true we cannot know ANYTHING for sure about our Lord because we were not there! Wow...do you indeed mean to say this? Try 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 in regard to what Paul preached to the Corinthians.
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Old 04-16-2015, 09:46 PM   #51
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Try 1 Corinthians 15:1-8 in regard to what Paul preached to the Corinthians.
Same deal:

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you

We weren't there for that preaching ... we don't have any record of it ... it's lost to us.

The best that we can hope to do to possibly determined what he preached to the Corinthians is to read writings that were written earlier, like Galatians and 1 Thessalonians. Which is what we end up doing.

So I'm taking bro Art that that is what you are doing, when trying to figure if Lee brought a different gospel. But we can't know it if we just use 2 Cor 11:4. Sorry.
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Old 04-17-2015, 01:27 AM   #52
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Same deal:

1Co 15:1 Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
1Co 15:2 By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you

We weren't there for that preaching ... we don't have any record of it ... it's lost to us.

The best that we can hope to do to possibly determined what he preached to the Corinthians is to read writings that were written earlier, like Galatians and 1 Thessalonians. Which is what we end up doing.

So I'm taking bro Art that that is what you are doing, when trying to figure if Lee brought a different gospel. But we can't know it if we just use 2 Cor 11:4. Sorry.
Again I say that if your approach is accepted there nothing we can know for sure. Read the rest of the verses that I cited. In those verses he plainly says what he preached to them. Obviously not every last word of what he said but surely an accurate summary. "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and was raised on the third day according g to the scriptures." I believe it is a safe conclusion that the scripture he refers to is Isaiah 53 and perhaps the Levitical system which speak to christ's death for sins. Not only so but by the time Paul wrote this epistle he. Was likely familiar with the Apostles and their eyewitness accounts of Jesus.

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Old 04-17-2015, 05:18 AM   #53
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In those verses he plainly says what he preached to them. Obviously not every last word of what he said but surely an accurate summary. "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and was raised on the third day according g to the scriptures." I believe it is a safe conclusion that the scripture he refers to is Isaiah 53 and perhaps the Levitical system which speak to christ's death for sins. Not only so but by the time Paul wrote this epistle he. Was likely familiar with the Apostles and their eyewitness accounts of Jesus.
And Paul had his own personal record-keeper, in Luke the physician. Some of Paul's gospel speeches are recorded essentially verbatim in the book of Acts. So we have a good idea of the gospel which Paul preached.
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Old 04-17-2015, 07:27 AM   #54
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The following respond to a comment by awareness passed on from a Pentecostal pastor.
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The problem with labeling everyone else as "different", i.e. defective, incomplete, lacking, "poor", etc is that you risk being the worst of all. I think the "full gospel" includes not judging others, not comparing oneself, not pointing out others' faults, and in being magnanimous (accepting and generous) toward all, if possible.

The one who says, "Everyone is divisive but me!" is probably the most divisive of all. While LCs are peculiar, so are many of us. They're not preaching a "different gospel" or presenting a "different Jesus."
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It's OK if he does that, but not Lee.
And both are correct in their assessment of the charge being laid at the feet of Lee.

So, as has been asked elsewhere, what is "the same" to begin with. How much wiggle room is there within "the same," and what, even if somewhat different, is still "the same."

It is clear that almost every group latches onto certain aspects of the details surrounding Christ and the gospel at the expense of others. There may or may not be true problems in that, but at least they are talking about the same person and the same basic message. I believe that when Paul starts talking about "different" he does not mean just that they are emphasizing different things that are true, but emphasizing things that are not true. The gospel is by faith alone in Christ alone and accomplished by the once-for-all death on the cross, not by any of our works.

So for the Galatians to assert that they needed to do anything other than have faith is another gospel. Now as long as faith is included, it is not as if they were denying others the opportunity to salvation. But they did give salvation many more hurdles than is actually required. Will someone who gets circumcised and also has faith in Christ be denied salvation? Of course not. But will some balk at the prospect of being a convert if they have to do this thing? Therein is the problem. It is not that they are not becoming Christian, but that they are not preaching and living the true gospel. The gospel of salvation by grace, and of changed lives through that faith.

When I think of the kind of "different gospel" that Lee taught, it does not rise to a non-Christian gospel. And the Christ they preached was not a different person. Just not the whole person. When the teachings of Christ that called for obedience, justice, righteousness, etc., are set aside in favor of waiting for enough dispensing, and the requirements concerning the law are simply abolished, then the Christ I see preached is missing arms and legs. He needs no action. Just basking in the dispensing. It sounds nice. It makes us feel better. But it is not the gospel. And it is not "the Christ."

So if we teach a Christ/gospel that easily ignores the very commandment of Christ and of the scripture, how are we to assess that?

Do not sue your brother. But if we first send them our demands, since we are "the church" they have been served and we can treat them as heathen and sinners.
Do not do as the Pharisees do, demanding the best seats at the table. Seems that these are exactly the things taught by Deputy Authority.
Do not think more highly of yourselves than you ought. Yet we thought we were the highest.
You have everything you need for godliness. But instead we were taught that you shouldn't even bother trying to reckon yourself dead to sin.
I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. But they spend most of their time looking for the already-saved who are on the college campuses because they are "good material."

Can you name more? Each one of these is not decisive in itself. But there is a pattern of setting aside the clear command of Christ for something else.

No. They are not teaching that Christ is not God, or the brother of Lucifer. But they gut so many parts of who he is and what he teaches.

And when Paul talked about a different Christ, was he talking about something that literally denied the faith, or that gutted important parts of its impact? No, Lee was not teaching a Christ so different that he is not the Christ of the Bible. But he was teaching enough difference that the life we were called to was literally denied as the truth in some cases. I know that Yoda's "there is no try" is a popular mantra these days. But that is not what the Bible says. It tells us to do, and supplies the pardon if we fail. So there must be try. If it is "do or do not" then there would be no requirement for grace after salvation. Well, not entirely, because those who "do not" will surely need grace. But this notion that we are not to try, therefore if you consider that you might not succeed you should not try, then you are shrinking back from trying. But that is precisely what Lee taught.

If we are only talking about the "onset" of salvation, Lee did not teach a different gospel. But after that, his gospel was very different. And as for Christ, he taught a Christ that denied his own requirement to live a higher law than the 10 commandments.

It was still the Christ of the Bible — but gutted of important teaching. At some level, a "different Christ."

I don't know how else to say it.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:16 AM   #55
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Again I say that if your approach is accepted there nothing we can know for sure. Read the rest of the verses that I cited. In those verses he plainly says what he preached to them. Obviously not every last word of what he said but surely an accurate summary. "Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures and was raised on the third day according g to the scriptures." I believe it is a safe conclusion that the scripture he refers to is Isaiah 53 and perhaps the Levitical system which speak to christ's death for sins. Not only so but by the time Paul wrote this epistle he. Was likely familiar with the Apostles and their eyewitness accounts of Jesus.

Art
Bro Art, if we're gonna argue over all the preaching that went on back then, that hasn't come down to us, we'll obviously be arguing until the cows come home, and we'll never come to certainty. Just one example will suffice, the apostle Barnabas. Half of the New Testament is by the apostle Paul, but nothing from Barnabas. All of that is lost to us. And according to Acts Barnabas was an apostle.

However we're talking about Witness Lee and what he brought to us. And we can use the two letters of Paul to the Corinthians to help us determine that.

Just two examples in his letters to the Corinthians determines that Lee brought the church of Corinth to us: sexual immorality (1 Cor. 5) and bringing lawsuits to unbelieving secular courts (1 Cor. 6). And both Paul condemned.

So we can safely say Lee brought us the church in Corinth, in all its ugly glory.

Was that the different Jesus, spirit, and gospel, Paul was referring to in 2 Cor. 11:4? If so, Lee brought us something different than the gospel Paul preached.

Thanks for your response Art.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:21 AM   #56
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So I'm taking bro Art that that is what you are doing, when trying to figure if Lee brought a different gospel. But we can't know it if we just use 2 Cor 11:4. Sorry.
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Not only so but by the time Paul wrote this epistle he was likely familiar with the Apostles and their eyewitness accounts of Jesus.
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And Paul had his own personal record-keeper, in Luke the physician. Some of Paul's gospel speeches are recorded essentially verbatim in the book of Acts. So we have a good idea of the gospel which Paul preached.
Sorry Harold, your contention that we can't know the Gospel that Paul preached in not only nonsense, it is off topic. The question at hand is does the LC teach/preach another Gospel....the fact that there was a Gospel that was preached, and we know what that Gospel was, is not up for debate on this thread. Take your arguments over to Alt Views where they belong....or I'll do it for you.
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Old 04-17-2015, 10:48 AM   #57
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And Paul had his own personal record-keeper, in Luke the physician. Some of Paul's gospel speeches are recorded essentially verbatim in the book of Acts. So we have a good idea of the gospel which Paul preached.
I guess I dare not say the LC preaches another gospel but...

When our young graduates of FTT go to campuses on our payroll, they make appointments and start trying to make LCers of those whom they contact. They maintain they are not an outreach of the LC but are merely Christians on Campus. The Lord said they that be whole need not a physician but they that are sick. I think it is quite clear to us all they do not look for the sick but for the promising ones to gain. Sin is not a problem in the LC. Lest you think I am guessing about the payroll, I passed out checks for quite some time in my past.

They are selling WL even though dead for if they win, he is the one they must worship in reality. You don't need to confess your sins to be a LCer just call on the Lord. The same is true of baptism, just call on the Lord. Believe me I am not averse to calling on the Lord, but... Admittedly I only really know the DFW area.

I don't know what the Mormons preach but I'm fairly sure they teach high morality, good family life, and maybe the Tabernacle Choir before Joseph Smith. I for one really like the choir. I didn't hear WL was an apostle til after a year in. Had I heard it at first I would never come back.

A different gospel? Yes. I think they preach a different gospel. Sorry
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Old 04-17-2015, 03:57 PM   #58
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Okay, I'll go along with UntoHim and assume that we know the Jesus, spirit, and gospel, Paul was speaking of.

But if the good news Jesus brought is what Witness Lee produced then what Jesus expected of his followers has no attraction whatsoever, except for fanatics that want to be mindless.

Just stop and think about it. If the gospel Jesus brought meant that His followers gave their whole life to following one man, and going to meeting after meeting, and conference after conference, and training after training, and consuming books from just a couple of authors, and spending hours watching videos of the leading man, and if He expected His followers to go around calling "Oh Lord Jesus," and praying a book, all the time; and not caring for the poor, sick, outcasts, and the like, then I don't know if the gospel Jesus and Paul brought were the good news God intended.

Is all that what Jesus intended for His followers? Is that it? Is that the good news? Is that THE gospel?

It was certainly the gospel Lee brought. But is it a different Jesus, spirit, and gospel Jesus came to bring? If so Lee brought us a different Jesus and a different gospel.

Who would want it but crazy people. Of which I once was. But no more. Amen.
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Old 04-17-2015, 08:12 PM   #59
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I agree with Lisbon. To those in the LC, the whole goal of their “preaching the gospel” is to proselytize people. This is fairly evident, and I think those in the LC are the only ones who would really deny this. I don’t believe that the act of proselytizing automatically means that they preach another gospel, I think it means that they are more likely to preach another gospel. To be fair, many other groups are concerned with do this too, so it isn’t indicative of anything in particular.

When it comes the various LC “outreach” groups (Christians on Campus, BFA, etc.), the goal is always the same, to recruit new LC members. The common goal is obvious to anyone who knows anything about these groups. The problem that I see is that sometimes they make recruitment a bigger concern rather than actually preaching the gospel. I have seen situations where this is so much so, that preaching the gospel is hardly a concern at all.

An example that comes to mind is when a few of us were trying to invite someone to a home meeting. This person didn’t seem comfortable with the idea and asked if it was okay to come on Sunday instead. As per LC policy, “new ones” are not really supposed to come to a Lord’s Table meeting for their first meeting, so we told him “no”. This didn’t go over well, and eventually we said he could come to a meeting on Sunday. By that time it was too late, it was already a lost cause. The whole issue was pure politics, us trying to do things the “right” way, and we were trying to maximize his potential as an LC recruit, by starting him in the “shallow end”. I later realized that in all this I had never concerned myself with whether he was even saved or not. Obviously preaching the gospel should have been a primary concern, but it wasn’t, it had become the least important issue of all.
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Old 04-18-2015, 03:35 AM   #60
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Looking at the replies in this thread, I realise we have to take a step backwards on this one. We have to define the gospel. All over this thread, we have people talking about target audience, outreach strategy, and corollaries of the gospel (e.g., social concerns). We even have a contributor who doesn't think we can ever know the gospel that Paul preached!

Let's not put the cart before the horse. Let's first define the gospel preached by the apostle before we determine whether Lee measured up to it.

May I request that we all read the following articles before continuing this discussion:

Definition of the gospel: https://bible.org/article/what-gospel
God's plan of salvation: https://bible.org/article/gods-plan-salvation
The Roman Road (presentation of the gospel): http://www.gotquestions.org/Romans-road-salvation.html

Let's see if we can all agree these are the tenets of the gospel before moving on to whether LC preached a different one.
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:06 AM   #61
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Let's not put the cart before the horse. Let's first define the gospel preached by the apostle before we determine whether Lee measured up to it.
Finally InOmnibusCaritas gets it. We have to first define what the gospel is before we can determine if Lee brought a different Jesus and or gospel.

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We even have a contributor who doesn't think we can ever know the gospel that Paul preached!
I was merely pointing out that 2 Cor. 11:4, the verse were we get "different Jesus, different gospel" from, reveals that Paul preached to the Corinthians sermons that didn't come down to us. This shouldn't be a surprise. Obviously there was way more preaching going on back then that didn't come down to us and that we don't have in our canon. The canon even attests to this, in the GOSPEL according to John:

Joh_21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.


The gospel was, or is, the real Jesus, not a contrived Jesus.

Paul was our earliest contributor to the books of the New Testament. And already, just a few decades after Jesus went on vacation to His Father, Paul tells us of different Jesus's (sic) and gospels.

What were these different Jesus's and gospels? And if they came along so early in primitive Christianity what are they today?

Today we have more than 33,000 different Christian sects. Are there really 33,000 different Jesus's and gospels?

The would mean that Lee brought us just one different one among many. Will the real Jesus and real gospel please stand up?

Personally I favor the OSAS gospel .... it's my only hope.

Thanks InOmnibusCaritas ....
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Old 04-18-2015, 07:08 AM   #62
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Default Re: Does The Local Church Teach/Preach Another Gospel and Another Jesus?

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May I request that we all read the following articles before continuing this discussion:

Definition of the gospel: https://bible.org/article/what-gospel
God's plan of salvation: https://bible.org/article/gods-plan-salvation
The Roman Road (presentation of the gospel): http://www.gotquestions.org/Romans-road-salvation.html
Seems interesting to me that the first link opens "gospel" up to much more than "salvation by grace through faith" then the other two pretty much shrink it back down to just that.

While the first is not so thorough in its discussion of all the aspects of the gospel, it does make one thing clear, and that is that the gospel was very full and robust at a point that there was no death, burial, and resurrection to believe in. While those are now surely included, it seems that limiting the term "gospel" to the telling of the plan of salvation is a product of Protestantism. We may have steered the ship away from some rocks over they years, but at some level we have steered it toward a different reef. This is especially true of the portion of Christianity that focuses on line-in-the-sand conversion. In other words, most of evangelicalism and fundamentalism (which is generally a subset of evangelicalism). We have spent the last 20 or so years trying to get all the peripheral theology figured out down to the way to describe and practice communion (the Lord's table) and still don't all agree on all aspects of even that one thing.

But we have simultaneously dismissed much of what is the gospel from mind as we distill it down to death, burial, and resurrection. Seems that the gospel really begins by being the gospel of the kingdom. Something that is appealing. Something that was well-defined and there to be preached prior to there being a death, burial, or resurrection to preach. Something that is out of reach because "my life" is not like that. So it is my desire to follow Jesus. To be obedient to the living that he commanded. To have the attributes that warrant being among the "blessed are the . . . ." And when we read right after those blesseds, we see that there is a law of righteousness that is higher than the one written down in the OT. It means living much better than just not stealing or murdering. That is where it becomes clear that we need something beyond us. We need sacrifice that sets aside God's wrath. We need the life that is raised in newness. We need access to the throne of God.

The gospel draws us in. It then shows us how we are not up to the task of living it. Then it shows us the way through the sacrifice of Christ and the help of the Spirit. Then we return to the part that drew us in as the instruction for our new life.

At the very least, it is in the refusal of there being any more law to obey, or command to obey anything, that Lee's gospel is different. No, his "how to be saved" may not be flawed, but that is not THE gospel. It is just part of it. Lee was fairly good on this part. But he essentially reject other parts.

I think we can eventually come to see that as a "different gospel." And if that different gospel is the one that Lee says Christ laid out, then he is talking about a "different Christ." At least at some level.
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Old 04-18-2015, 08:13 AM   #63
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Finally InOmnibusCaritas gets it. We have to first define what the gospel is before we can determine if Lee brought a different Jesus and or gospel.
Good point Harold. But we are going to be using the Gospel according to the New Testament and not external sources or non-canonical writings, except where they may confirm or clarify what is presented to us in the NT. OBW is correct is pointing out that the Gospel is more than just "death, burial, and resurrection"...and I would point out that the Gospel is at least these items, or should I say nothing less than these items. Maybe we could start with coming up with what could be considered as "the irreducible Gospel", and then work our way out from there.

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I was merely pointing out that 2 Cor. 11:4, the verse were we get "different Jesus, different gospel" from, reveals that Paul preached to the Corinthians sermons that didn't come down to us.
Sure they came down to us Harold. We have the 4 Gospels, we have Paul's other writings and we have the writings of Peter, John, James and Jude. Why must you speculate that there was some other major aspects of the Gospel or significant Christian doctrine that have been lost to us? There is no good reason for your speculation and it will take us down all sorts of rabbit holes. We have enough on our plate just defining the Gospel without all the what ifs.

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This shouldn't be a surprise. Obviously there was way more preaching going on back then that didn't come down to us and that we don't have in our canon. The canon even attests to this, in the GOSPEL according to John:

Joh_21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written. Amen.
So, what's your point, and how does this affect our ability to establish the Gospel as it was related to us in the canon of the New Testament?

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The gospel was, or is, the real Jesus, not a contrived Jesus.
Excellent! I knew you had it in you Harold! So let's dig into the Gospel that God has graciously and mercifully presented to us in his Holy Word!

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What were these different Jesus's and gospels? And if they came along so early in primitive Christianity what are they today?
Good question, and the answer to these questions may very well help us sharpen up our understanding and comprehension of the genuine Gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't think we have to go very far from the original apostles and followers of Jesus (the New Testament era) to see that the battle for the genuine Gospel had already begun. Many, if not most, of the earliest writings of the earliest "Church fathers" were polemic and apologetic in nature because of the perversions of the Gospel that had already proliferated the Church. We may want to put off delving into these writings until we have established the basics first.
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Old 04-19-2015, 06:22 AM   #64
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I note that in my last post, I made reference to "20 year" getting the peripherals of theology right. I meant "200 years."
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:09 AM   #65
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I note that in my last post, I made reference to "20 year" getting the peripherals of theology right. I meant "200 years."
20 yrs, 200 yrs, 2000 yrs. Even the Greek manuscripts disagree, in Luke. concerning the Lord's Table. So there's been disagreement over the Lord's Supper for a long long time. Looking back, over Christian history, disagreements seem to be the Christian way.

Why do you think I'm so disagreeable? I'm being a good Christian.
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:52 AM   #66
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Ok Harold, thanks for that informative piece of info, now why don't you be a good forum member and stay on topic.
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Old 04-19-2015, 09:45 AM   #67
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Seems that the gospel really begins by being the gospel of the kingdom. Something that is appealing. Something that was well-defined and there to be preached prior to there being a death, burial, or resurrection to preach.
This is a really, really good place to start. The Lord Jesus taught and preached more about the Kingdom of God than any other subject. The Kingdom of God had been established in the heavens since eternity past, yet even God's people, the Jews, had a very incomplete and significantly warped view of God's Kingdom. By the time of Jesus' day, they had apparently taken on the understanding that the Messiah would actually establish a visible, physical Kingdom on earth. (and he will at the second coming, but this future establishment of the Kingdom on earth is out of our purview for the moment.)
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Old 04-19-2015, 12:06 PM   #68
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This is a really, really good place to start. The Lord Jesus taught and preached more about the Kingdom of God than any other subject.
Okay, if the kingdom of God is the gospel, or an aspect of it, then Witness didn't Teach/Preach Another Gospel.

Witness Lee didn't have that problem. Just one sample:

"Therefore, according to the Scriptures, the kingdom of god stretches from eternity to eternity, without beginning and without ending. It is very wide in its scope. The kingdom of the heavens, which has a beginning and an ending, is a part of the kingdom of god, but its scope is narrower. Before the kingdom of the heavens began, there was already the kingdom of god. After the kingdom of the heavens ends, the kingdom of god will continue to exist for eternity. During the time of the kingdom of the heavens, the kingdom of the heavens is the kingdom of god. Therefore, sometimes the kingdom of the heavens is also called the kingdom of god."
~ Witness Lee, The Kingdom, Chapter 47, Section 6
http://www.ministrybooks.org/SearchM...?id=22870AD52E

And bro UntoHim, sorry for getting off topic with that silly info. Maybe I can redeem myself.

This thread may not be for me. I didn't leave, or get pushed out of, the local church because Lee taught another gospel. I didn't see him as straying from THE GOSPEL.

In fact, if I think back to those days, if you had asked me about Lee's gospel, coming out of Southern Baptist indoctrination, I would have told you that Witness Lee's gospel was better ; that the SBC was actually a different gospel ... and Lee had the right one ... recovered by finally coming back to one church one city ... the way it was in the days of Acts.

So far the kingdom of God question is not the reason Lee taught another gospel. So if Lee did preach another gospel it wasn't because Lee didn't preach The Kingdom.

It's not settled that Lee taught another gospel. We're still fumbling with this topic. I don't think he did. What Lee taught and preached wasn't the problem ... as far as I saw.
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Old 04-19-2015, 04:25 PM   #69
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What Lee taught and preached wasn't the problem ... as far as I saw.
Excluding "God made man to make man god in life and nature, but not in the god-head", I would say yes Awareness, but the problem was in the practices.
In the local churches it is easy to teach and say we love and receive all believers, but that is not the practice.
In most Washington state localities it's well-known "Indiana" is not welcome to meet with any LSM ministry church.
Just as Friedel posted on another thread http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...read.php?t=537 on post #42, how many brothers and sisters would be welcome who reject the quarantines 1990-present time?
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Old 04-19-2015, 08:37 PM   #70
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Excluding "God made man to make man god in life and nature, but not in the god-head", I would say yes Awareness, but the problem was in the practices.
In the local churches it is easy to teach and say we love and receive all believers, but that is not the practice.
In most Washington state localities it's well-known "Indiana" is not welcome to meet with any LSM ministry church.
Just as Friedel posted on another thread http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...read.php?t=537 on post #42, how many brothers and sisters would be welcome who reject the quarantines 1990-present time?
I am full agreement that there are big problems in regards to LC practices. My view is that this is mostly a result of who Lee was and also due to the notion that Lee must be followed blindly. It's bad enough that Lee made reckless statements, but Lee was also quite contradictory throughout his ministry. To anyone who tries to understand LC teachings based solely on what Lee spoke, well good luck with that. I think that LC practices have to be considered with a certain amount of weight.

Like I said in my last post, I don't know that doctrinally speaking there is anything fundamentally wrong in the gospel that the LC preaches/teaches, however, the way that it is practiced definitely raises concern in my mind. When it comes to the whole issue of rejecting anyone but the "good material", I have to ask: what kind of gospel are they preaching? Of course, such a practice is a generalization of a LC practice, but these are important things to consider.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:26 AM   #71
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This is a really, really good place to start. The Lord Jesus taught and preached more about the Kingdom of God than any other subject. The Kingdom of God had been established in the heavens since eternity past, yet even God's people, the Jews, had a very incomplete and significantly warped view of God's Kingdom. By the time of Jesus' day, they had apparently taken on the understanding that the Messiah would actually establish a visible, physical Kingdom on earth. (and he will at the second coming, but this future establishment of the Kingdom on earth is out of our purview for the moment.)
What you say is correct. But the kingdom that Christ preached that was NOT the earthly kingdom that the Jews were looking for seems to be the one that Jesus spent a significant portion of his time preaching. Yes, he also preached about the return of the king in several ways. But in almost all cases, it was tied to something about how the "kingdom people" were living, or were supposed to be living.

Now.

In a few cases, there is something mentioned like a reward, or a banquet, or a wedding, or such, but the emphasis is about this life, not the details of the reward (of any type).

Yet so many Christians, including the LCM, are so enamored by what we get as a reward, but so often see something not written as the key to getting that reward.

And the ways that we think we get the reward are numerous. Do a lot of personal evangelism. Hold to the teaching of the ground as we attempt to do no "works" but instead just soak up dispensing. Stand firm against those really bad sinners, like homosexuals or abortionists. Go on a summer mission trip each year. And so on.

But there is almost no one talking about hungering and thirsting for righteousness, or living a kingdom life now (unless they are talking about acting as if they are one of those in the throne room in Revelation just constantly falling on their faces saying "holy, holy, holy, is the Lord . . . ."). Not saying we should never do that. But that is not the life lived "in the light" so that others can see. It is not the city on a hill. Those are what happens when the Christians live righteous and just lives, and are one with each other even when they don't agree on everything.

And that last one is the toughest because it is clear that we are focusing on things other than the core of our faith when we disagree so strongly that we speak against our brothers. That does not mean that we do not have disagreements, or that we do not engage in discussion, and even debate, to persuade one another. But it should not keep us from displaying our oneness. The only sign of disunity should be with respect to those who do not truly believe. And even there it is difficult to say how open to the world our differences should be. Maybe in some cases it should be open. But only where the Christ (if that name is even used) is truly different. Like putting a Mercedes hood ornament on a home made skateboard and calling it reliable interstate transportation.

Yes, the ultimate kingdom is yet to come. But our real concern, living, and even preaching should be primarily about the one we live in today. It was and still is the main thing that was preached. It was the call for us to bear the image of God — or Christ the visible God — here on earth, not just to seek to be ready for the kingdom in the heavens. That activity too often does not seem to affect our current lives. It seems that getting ready for the kingdom to come at the expense of this one is the reason that people seem to like our Christ, but not so much the Christians he seems to gather.

Otherwise, God made man in his image to be on the earth so they could mess it all up and he could take the good ones back to heaven where he already has an army of followers.

Yes, that future kingdom is described as coming back down to earth. But it is also already here. But while we like to call it the hidden kingdom and the future one a visible kingdom, this one should be quite visible. It should be a shining light in a dark world, and a city set on a hill. Neither of those are invisible. Just not the only kingdom to see.

And the truth is that the kingdom of the world is quite visible. How visible is the kingdom of God? Not invisible. But also often not looking much like the kingdom of God. Not looking so bright. Oh, we like to put ourselves on a hill as we live and act in ways that we should be ashamed of.

Maybe that thread about the wakeup call was misguided in some ways. But repenting is something that we all could use some more of. And I am not pointing fingers. I don't find myself to be any better. But the goal is not special status for some kingdom of the world, but that we would shine a little brighter and find our "city" set a little higher.
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Old 04-20-2015, 06:45 AM   #72
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Stand firm against those really bad sinners, like homosexuals or abortionists...
This one really gets me. Yes, God doesn't approve of homosexuality. It arguably is abhorrent sin. Likewise with fornication, destroying viable babies while in the womb, etc. But everybody is a sinner! Everyone! This whole planet is constituted with sinners! So to curl the lip at some special "despicable" class of sinners is to fall into the same trap the religionists did in Jesus' day. He went to the ones that nobody else would dare to go to. He brought God to the truly Godless.

And He was able to do it, because His living was proper. He actually "lived God" every moment of every day. Even with the worst, scummiest people imaginable. And they, recognizing their need, and yes, their sin, turned and repented in the face of God (in the face of Jesus Christ - same thing).

WL made a career of judging people. He essentially based his ministry on it. Only the sainted MB and WN were exempt from his scrutiny, and criticism. Everyone else was under the gun. So why should we fall into the same trap? Why judge? Where is the profit?

The whole "The Son is the Father" thing I disagree with. And basically this was the hinge of his ministry, the so-called "economy of God". God got processed, and so forth. It was error after error. I was there for some of it; I saw the saints look glazed and confused as WL trotted out the latest revelation. Then someone would stand up and start screaming the latest buzz-words and the party was on - who could scream loudest and most often?

But back to my point - I also commit error. Maybe scores of them. And so did everyone else, pretty much. So why cut hairs?

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And that last one is the toughest because it is clear that we are focusing on things other than the core of our faith when we disagree so strongly that we speak against our brothers. That does not mean that we do not have disagreements, or that we do not engage in discussion, and even debate, to persuade one another. But it should not keep us from displaying our oneness. The only sign of disunity should be with respect to those who do not truly believe. And even there it is difficult to say how open to the world our differences should be. Maybe in some cases it should be open. But only where the Christ (if that name is even used) is truly different. Like putting a Mercedes hood ornament on a home made skateboard and calling it reliable interstate transportation.

Yes, the ultimate kingdom is yet to come. But our real concern, living, and even preaching should be primarily about the one we live in today. It was and still is the main thing that was preached. It was the call for us to bear the image of God — or Christ the visible God — here on earth, not just to seek to be ready for the kingdom in the heavens. .
Amen.

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Yes, that future kingdom is described as coming back down to earth. But it is also already here. But while we like to call it the hidden kingdom and the future one a visible kingdom, this one should be quite visible. It should be a shining light in a dark world, and a city set on a hill. Neither of those are invisible. Just not the only kingdom to see.

And the truth is that the kingdom of the world is quite visible. How visible is the kingdom of God? Not invisible. But also often not looking much like the kingdom of God. Not looking so bright...
Amen, brother. Here on the forum we don't see the living. Just some discussion about the living. Hopefully some of the living trickles in, however. Not judging, not condemning. Receiving everyone, quick to hear, slow to speak, etc. I know I am as guilty as any. But on a discussion forum we should be very slow to judge. Because we don't see much. Just some talk about seeing. Not the same thing. The seeing is in the living.
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Old 04-20-2015, 08:48 AM   #73
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But there is almost no one talking about hungering and thirsting for righteousness, or living a kingdom life now (unless they are talking about acting as if they are one of those in the throne room in Revelation just constantly falling on their faces saying "holy, holy, holy, is the Lord . . . ."). Not saying we should never do that. But that is not the life lived "in the light" so that others can see. It is not the city on a hill. Those are what happens when the Christians live righteous and just lives, and are one with each other even when they don't agree on everything.

Yes, the ultimate kingdom is yet to come. But our real concern, living, and even preaching should be primarily about the one we live in today. It was and still is the main thing that was preached. It was the call for us to bear the image of God — or Christ the visible God — here on earth, not just to seek to be ready for the kingdom in the heavens. That activity too often does not seem to affect our current lives. It seems that getting ready for the kingdom to come at the expense of this one is the reason that people seem to like our Christ, but not so much the Christians he seems to gather.
Good stuff Mike. My home church just got through with a 1 year + study of "The Sermon on the Mount", and I feel like we just scratched the surface. One major thing that I think kind of dovetails into what your have brought forth is illustrated in "The Beatitudes" - a call to action NOW, a call to "represent" (for lack of better word) ourselves as Kingdom people - - with the certain promise of a future reward. This does correspond to the oft used "already/yet to come" nature of our salvation, transformation and glorification illustrated most completely by the apostle Paul.

Blessed are...
....the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.
....those who mourn: for they will be comforted.
....the meek: for they will inherit the earth.
....those who hunger and thirst for righteousness: for they will be filled.
....the merciful: for they will be shown mercy.
....the pure in heart: for they will see God.
....the peacemakers: for they will be called children of God.

These are all attributes of the true and original God-Man, Jesus Christ. As a human being, he exemplified how we are to be acting towards our fellow man as a representative of the King. "Pray in this way, Your Kingdom come Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven". God's Kingdom is firmly established in the heavens, yet it is his holy mandate that his will should be done - should be fully accomplished - here on earth. As I see it, not until his will is fully accomplished will the Kingdom fully come to earth. In the end, Christ will indeed subdue all things under him, even death with be subdued, but to some degree his Kingdom must come to earth - he must subdue and reign among a people whom he has called and chosen. This is what the age is all about, and this is the beginning of the Gospel.


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But there is almost no one talking about hungering and thirsting for righteousness, or living a kingdom life now.
I wouldn't be so sure of this Mike. I just explained how my home church got through with a marathon study of The Sermon on the Mount. The two teaching Pastors are in their mid to late 30s, and are part of a large and burgeoning move among young pastors, teachers and scholars who are emphasizing the very things you have spoken of. These young brothers are coming from almost every branch and flavor of Christianity. Most of this is emerging from what some might consider the reformed tradition, but it is also emerging from other traditions and lines as well. God is on the move! His will WILL be done.
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Old 04-20-2015, 09:36 AM   #74
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Unto,

I have been noting for a year or so that we are so prone to celebrating the exceptional. But the exceptionalism is in religious activities. How they take roles in worship or teaching Sunday School. How they go out and preach the gospel on a campus, on the job, door-to-door, or even in remote and dangerous areas of the world.

And we tell everyone that this is what we need to be doing.

So the average Joe (or Jane) in the seats on Sunday becomes an afterthought. Or is looked-down on as just a hanging on. You aren't really engaged in the kingdom if you are not doing these things.

Yet when Jesus taught there on that mountainside, he was mostly interested in how the people lived, not how they worshipped or the rhetoric they used in proselytizing. There are some parts that talk about prayer. And about what really matters. And while not part of that particular sermon, there are some who wax poetic about the pearl of great price. Yet if I look at that in the context of the whole of Jesus teaching, the pearl is more likely in being righteous, just, honest, and in harmony with the people around you than just in some esoteric future kingdom. It seems that the "word" that Jesus had been teaching — the word that was sown earlier in Matt 13, was about the kingdom which is so significantly laid out in Matt 5 – 7. So that is more likely the content of the kingdom that is likened to a pearl that a merchant would go to such great lengths to obtain.

We don't seem to think much of that. We would rather turn our noses up at sinners and refuse them cakes (since they are sinners). Not very harmonious. Not much of a pearl there.

I know there is a lot of push-back lately against the idea of "love the sinner but hate the sin." Maybe it is because we are incapable of truly loving sinners when we are focused on their sin. Maybe that should be God's job. Not saying that we should always be silent about sin. But the way we are not silent should even be punctuated with love. Let God convict them of sin. Let the word go out and let God convict.

And writing that was very convicting. It is like a light went off on something that I hold to so strongly that maybe needs some adjustment. Or even serious rework.
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Old 04-29-2015, 10:29 AM   #75
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Unto,

I have been noting for a year or so that we are so prone to celebrating the exceptional. But the exceptionalism is in religious activities. How they take roles in worship or teaching Sunday School. How they go out and preach the gospel on a campus, on the job, door-to-door, or even in remote and dangerous areas of the world.

And we tell everyone that this is what we need to be doing.

So the average Joe (or Jane) in the seats on Sunday becomes an afterthought. Or is looked-down on as just a hanging on. You aren't really engaged in the kingdom if you are not doing these things.

Yet when Jesus taught there on that mountainside, he was mostly interested in how the people lived, not how they worshipped or the rhetoric they used in proselytizing. There are some parts that talk about prayer. And about what really matters. And while not part of that particular sermon, there are some who wax poetic about the pearl of great price. Yet if I look at that in the context of the whole of Jesus teaching, the pearl is more likely in being righteous, just, honest, and in harmony with the people around you than just in some esoteric future kingdom. It seems that the "word" that Jesus had been teaching — the word that was sown earlier in Matt 13, was about the kingdom which is so significantly laid out in Matt 5 – 7. So that is more likely the content of the kingdom that is likened to a pearl that a merchant would go to such great lengths to obtain.

We don't seem to think much of that. We would rather turn our noses up at sinners and refuse them cakes (since they are sinners). Not very harmonious. Not much of a pearl there.

I know there is a lot of push-back lately against the idea of "love the sinner but hate the sin." Maybe it is because we are incapable of truly loving sinners when we are focused on their sin. Maybe that should be God's job. Not saying that we should always be silent about sin. But the way we are not silent should even be punctuated with love. Let God convict them of sin. Let the word go out and let God convict.

And writing that was very convicting. It is like a light went off on something that I hold to so strongly that maybe needs some adjustment. Or even serious rework.
Dear OBW,
You have hit an important point. It is the "ordinary" that needs emphasis in our time and not the exceptional. It is the exception for people to be in full time church work, going door to door, etc. The norm is found in "vocation" which Paul teaches plainly but so often ignored by Evangelicals who want to exalt "full timers' and "missionaries". Those are important but what about the ordinary work of doing your vocation with thanksgiving as unto the Lord. How about husbands loving their wives and raising their children. How about citizens honoring the government, how about children honoring and obeying their parents, how about youth respecting their elders. Most of us live very ordinary lives and do ordinary things because that is where we have been placed. Too many moan and wonder what the will of the Lord is for their life instead of saying, "where I am right now and what I am doing right now (assuming it is godly) is the will of God even it is cleaning toilets." Doing all that we do with thanksgiving in our hearts is the teaching of Scripture and not pining to be the "elder", the "burning one", "the full timer" and on it goes. QUIT EXALTING THE EXCEPTIONAL.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:47 AM   #76
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Dear OBW,
You have hit an important point. It is the "ordinary" that needs emphasis in our time and not the exceptional. It is the exception for people to be in full time church work, going door to door, etc. The norm is found in "vocation" which Paul teaches plainly but so often ignored by Evangelicals who want to exalt "full timers' and "missionaries". Those are important but what about the ordinary work of doing your vocation with thanksgiving as unto the Lord. How about husbands loving their wives and raising their children. How about citizens honoring the government, how about children honoring and obeying their parents, how about youth respecting their elders. Most of us live very ordinary lives and do ordinary things because that is where we have been placed. Too many moan and wonder what the will of the Lord is for their life instead of saying, "where I am right now and what I am doing right now (assuming it is godly) is the will of God even it is cleaning toilets." Doing all that we do with thanksgiving in our hearts is the teaching of Scripture and not pining to be the "elder", the "burning one", "the full timer" and on it goes. QUIT EXALTING THE EXCEPTIONAL.
"Where I am right now is the will of the Lord." I believe this is extremely true. And mostly because I believe that where we are, what job we have, even what wife/husband we marry, are too often not things to which God attaches an aspect of his will other than that we will live in concert with his general will within each of those.

In other words, seeking out something called "the will of God" for self-fulfilling evidence that I should be right here at this time v somewhere else is a kind of superstition.

But what I do with my living where I am right now is always part of his will. He wills that I live in obedience to his commands and teachings wherever I am. He is concerned that we do that in two ways. One is that we live in unity with each other within the broad Christian fellowship. And he is concerned that we live in a manner that is humble, righteous, just, etc., and that reflects love for others that is the same as our love for ourselves in all our actions and interactions. Even how we drive our cars, rush to be first in some line (or more rightly, don't), point out the error that is in our favor at the checkout stand, And so on. I don't need some special revelation to live this way. Just knowing the truth and having the desire to follow and obey the One who saved me from the ultimate consequences of my sins should be enough. I don't even need some lengthy "quiet time" each day before I engage in these activities. As Peter said, I have everything I need to do it.

This is our spiritual sacrifice of worship, not "preaching the gospel." It is in treating the coworker who is living with his/her girlfriend/boyfriend the same as I do the part-time preacher. Or the gay guy. Or the jerk that just created havoc on the road. (And maybe some remorse for the attitude that starts with the presumption that the person was a jerk.) Maybe I will actually get the opportunity to "preach the gospel" to one of these. But maybe not. I should be the same in either case.

I just confronted someone a few days ago for seeming to put forward an attitude that we do our "justice" with strings attached — if there is no clear possibility for the eventual preaching of the gospel, we should reconsider that aspect of justice as not worthy. That is a failure to love neighbor as self.

My attitude should not be altered by the "quality of the material."

Or the racial, ethnic, national etc., background of anyone.
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Old 04-29-2015, 11:56 AM   #77
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But what I do with my living where I am right now is always part of his will.
The lie I remember being sold is that what I do with my living is secondary to where I do it, i.e. "on the ground" or not. And it deteriorated from there.

And you couldn't really love your neighbor "where they are right now" because, yep, they're not yet on the ground. Gotta get'em on that ground. And it deteriorated from there.
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Old 04-29-2015, 12:43 PM   #78
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The lie I remember being sold is that what I do with my living is secondary to where I do it, i.e. "on the ground" or not. And it deteriorated from there.

And you couldn't really love your neighbor "where they are right now" because, yep, they're not yet on the ground. Gotta get'em on that ground. And it deteriorated from there.
The lie that I was constantly sold in the LC is that an "abnormal" way of living is what constitutes "the normal Christian life". The LC is so caught up in their hyper-spirituality that they have completely neglected anything "normal" about life. There will always be people out there who are highly active and can devote all their to church service or ministry, but these kinds of people are the exception. It is unreasonable to expect everyone to live this way. When the expectation is placed upon the masses in the LC to live this way, it should be concerning. Are people who can't live up to this standard subtly rejected and ignored? Are they not considered to be "good material". I've seen so many drop out of the LC along the way, simply because they felt that they weren't good enough.

It is simply not reasonable to expect everyone to attend meetings every night of the week. I especially feel sorry for those who are just starting out with their families that succumb to this expectation. It is guaranteed to create a situation where children resent their parents because their parents seemingly care more about going to meetings more than the needs of the family. I have even heard it said that it's not worth worrying to much about family needs, that will all work itself out if you're faithful to give yourself to the "church life". I have seen marriages strained as a result of one party who is too "given" to participating in the LC. If the LC doesn't have the ability to help people even at this basic level of normal situations in life, then I'm not sure how they're really helping people at all.
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Old 04-29-2015, 02:02 PM   #79
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The lie that I was constantly sold in the LC is that an "abnormal" way of living is what constitutes "the normal Christian life". The LC is so caught up in their hyper-spirituality that they have completely neglected anything "normal" about life. There will always be people out there who are highly active and can devote all their to church service or ministry, but these kinds of people are the exception. It is unreasonable to expect everyone to live this way. When the expectation is placed upon the masses in the LC to live this way, it should be concerning. Are people who can't live up to this standard subtly rejected and ignored? Are they not considered to be "good material". I've seen so many drop out of the LC along the way, simply because they felt that they weren't good enough.

It is simply not reasonable to expect everyone to attend meetings every night of the week. I especially feel sorry for those who are just starting out with their families that succumb to this expectation. It is guaranteed to create a situation where children resent their parents because their parents seemingly care more about going to meetings more than the needs of the family. I have even heard it said that it's not worth worrying to much about family needs, that will all work itself out if you're faithful to give yourself to the "church life". I have seen marriages strained as a result of one party who is too "given" to participating in the LC. If the LC doesn't have the ability to help people even at this basic level of normal situations in life, then I'm not sure how they're really helping people at all.
I've said it before. Is the local church life what Jesus pictured for his followers?
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Old 04-29-2015, 03:30 PM   #80
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It is simply not reasonable to expect everyone to attend meetings every night of the week.
I know someone will misunderstand me for saying this, but if you look back to the OT, "meetings" were not such a regular thing. They didn't even start out as weekly. You only had to rest on the Sabbath and keep it holy. Regular meetings came later (I believe it was during or after Babylon when the synagogues came to be).

And it seems that the more often people meet, the more importance they place on the meetings until meetings eventually become the Christian life. At that point everything else is only barely tolerated as necessary so that you have time and strength to go to meetings.

Within the last year or so I read where someone suggested that the Christian life is primarily lived outside of Christian meetings. Meetings are for Christians, not Christians for the meetings. (Sound vaguely familiar?)
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Old 04-29-2015, 05:26 PM   #81
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I know someone will misunderstand me for saying this, but if you look back to the OT, "meetings" were not such a regular thing. They didn't even start out as weekly. You only had to rest on the Sabbath and keep it holy. Regular meetings came later (I believe it was during or after Babylon when the synagogues came to be).

And it seems that the more often people meet, the more importance they place on the meetings until meetings eventually become the Christian life. At that point everything else is only barely tolerated as necessary so that you have time and strength to go to meetings.

Within the last year or so I read where someone suggested that the Christian life is primarily lived outside of Christian meetings. Meetings are for Christians, not Christians for the meetings. (Sound vaguely familiar?)
I'm not one of those who really has a position on what would be a "normal" amount of meetings, I just know how much is too much. The even bigger concern I have is what are these LC meetings accomplishing? I would say that if LCers had meetings every night of the week and it resulted in a positive impact on people's lives in a practical way, then it wouldn't be so bad. What makes it so bad is that LCers are giving up all their time for something that is unlikely to provide any measurable benefit. Meetings may meet the social needs of individuals on a short term basis, but over the long term, I can't think of much benefit that I gained from the numerous meetings that I attended.

I've sat through so many pointless and boring meetings. Not all LC meetings were that way, but it seemed like boring meetings were the rule, not the exception. What was a big point of frustration to me was that some of these meetings could have been perfect opportunities for something positive. Instead, they were put to waste. For example, most prayer meetings I went to involved spending more time praying for things like Europe or DCP litigation than actual local needs. Meetings that were supposed to be specifically for fellowship or coordination were used instead to read a ministry excerpt that provided the "fellowship". I was okay with all this, because I didn't know any better.

As a whole, I believe that the LCM has the obligation to not take advantage of the young and zealous. People like me would go to every meeting that they were asked to go to. For what? It's hard to say, but somewhere a long the way I got the idea of the Christian walk being something "cooperate". I don't claim for a second that there isn't that aspect, but the problem is that the LC qualifies this "cooperate" aspect by demanding meeting attendance. This results in neglecting a personal walk with the Lord. When it comes down to it and you consider all these "new ones" that the LC has in their arms, does the LC not have the responsibility to relay to them that being a Christian involves more that going to meetings? At one point, I seriously believed that going to meetings was what it meant to be a Christian, and it was a defining attribute of Christians. That attitude then instills doubt as to whether those who don't meet are really "genuine" Christians or not.
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:53 AM   #82
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I'm not one of those who really has a position on what would be a "normal" amount of meetings, I just know how much is too much.
Overall, I agree. But even among the old folks where I am now, they are having quandaries over the lack of a Sunday evening service and the end of Wednesday services. Some still have things for kids on Wednesdays, plus choir practice and things like that (if they still have a choir). But it is mostly down to one large meeting a week. Plus small groups for some.

And I am not sure that this is a bad thing.

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The even bigger concern I have is what are these LC meetings accomplishing?
I think the biggest impact is isolation from everyone else in the world. Not just physically, but also in isolationist teachings.

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. . . somewhere a long the way I got the idea of the Christian walk being something "cooperate".
And there surely is a "corporate" aspect in which we "cooperate." But this is mostly about the unity that Jesus talked about. And it was supposed to be visible to the world, not hidden behind walls where there is no visibility into the Christian life, and where the rhetoric is about how "we" are not like those other poor Christians who we are not going to cooperate with or do corporate things.
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Old 04-30-2015, 06:39 AM   #83
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People like me would go to every meeting that they were asked to go to. For what? It's hard to say,
Don't forget the "positional sanctification" part. Just going to meetings made you more holy. Didn't you hear that? Listening to appeals for money to support the latest European work or Anaheim campus building, calls to migrate, pondering what WL said in a footnote about Ephesians 2 all made you more holy. Doesn't matter if it was boring or contradictory.

I remember WL saying that you could come to the meeting, sit in the back and doze off, wake up at the end and go home and you would be more holy than when you came in. How is this different than the RCC? In the LC, the meetings and the ministry became our new holy sacraments.
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Old 04-30-2015, 12:08 PM   #84
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How is this different than the RCC?
No matter what you think about the RCC theology, at least they don't pretend that sleeping through it all will help you. It is a collection of actions, prayers, recitations, etc., that you get invovled with.

Reminds me of one of those lines in the "Lutheran Satire" series of videos on YouTube where the Evangelical guy ("EG") says "The Bible doesn’t say you should pray written prayers," to which the Lutheran preachers responds "Right, except for the Lord’s prayer and the entire book of Psalms, just to name 151 examples to the contrary off the top of my head."

Funny how anyone could get the notion that sleeping through any meeting could be better than being engaged in such a participatory kind of meeting. Doesn't matter how poor the kind of participation may be. Unless it is simply not instructive in the Christian life or is theologically meaningless, essentially not being in a meeting could never be better.
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Old 04-30-2015, 02:15 PM   #85
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I'm not one of those who really has a position on what would be a "normal" amount of meetings,
I was talking to a brother this morning. He was reminding me of how it was back in the 70s. In those days if you missed one meeting your givenness and devotion to Christ and the Church was called into question. And meetings were serious business. The more meetings you attended indicated the measure of your Spirituality. Those burning for the Lord wouldn't ever think of missing a meeting.

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I just know how much is too much. The even bigger concern I have is what are these LC meetings accomplishing? I would say that if LCers had meetings every night of the week and it resulted in a positive impact on people's lives in a practical way, then it wouldn't be so bad. What makes it so bad is that LCers are giving up all their time for something that is unlikely to provide any measurable benefit. Meetings may meet the social needs of individuals on a short term basis, but over the long term, I can't think of much benefit that I gained from the numerous meetings that I attended.
That paragraph packs a punch, and says volumes. I remember a conference in Anaheim. I don't remember which one. It doesn't matter. But I heard Witness Lee say, with my own ears, that if we just came and sat in the conference we would receive Christ poured into us ; that it would transform us.

Well where is all that transformation today? All those meetings, all those conferences, all that calling-on-the-name, all that pray-reading, all the EATING AND EATING of Jesus?

Look at me. You haven't seen it all. But if you've been around you've seen enough.

Have I been transformed?
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Old 04-30-2015, 05:28 PM   #86
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I was talking to a brother this morning. He was reminding me of how it was back in the 70s. In those days if you missed one meeting your givenness and devotion to Christ and the Church was called into question. And meetings were serious business. The more meetings you attended indicated the measure of your Spirituality. Those burning for the Lord wouldn't ever think of missing a meeting.
I remember missing one meeting.

I was in the churchlife less than a year, living in the brothers' house, and someone found out I was an electrical designer. So I was "drafted" to help with the plans for the new expansion of the meeting hall. Working overtime at my day job, making all the meetings and service groups, and being drafted to draft drawings, left me with more work than hours in the week, so I decided to miss the weekly cross-town gathering in Willoughby to meet my deadline for drafting the meeting hall.

It was a common practice among the more zealous young people to promote "functioning of all the members" during the testimony time period, and a few of my close "friends" proclaimed from the front row, "brother Ohio has a testimony!" Silence. A few hundred people looking over their shoulders for me.

Dead silence. Where in the world is brother Ohio? I was an instant sensation. Or so I was told. Everybody in regional Cleveland knew that I had just missed the corporate get together on Sunday night. Was Ohio backsliding? We thought he was such a "good" brother. The Triune God was gathering all His people together to speak to them. How could I miss the meeting?

All kinds of folks came to visit me after the meeting. There I was up in the attic of the brothers' house making drawings for the church. Fortunately for me I had a pretty good excuse.
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Old 05-02-2015, 06:38 PM   #87
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Overall, I agree. But even among the old folks where I am now, they are having quandaries over the lack of a Sunday evening service and the end of Wednesday services. Some still have things for kids on Wednesdays, plus choir practice and things like that (if they still have a choir). But it is mostly down to one large meeting a week. Plus small groups for some.

And I am not sure that this is a bad thing.
Fewer meetings is probably not bad at all. The impression that I get is right from the very start, those in the LC had the notion that they somehow had to demonstrate their zeal for the Lord by going above and beyond. Part of that meant spending a large amount of time in meetings. I've heard the implication that one meeting a week is for those in denominations. Once Lee got everyone convinced about how bad denominations were, all he had to say was that to attend one meeting a week was something of the denominations and that would result in LC members attending lots of meetings to prove their worthiness.

The way I see it is that part of the problem with Lee is that he though it was his mission to reinvent the wheel. There are reasons why most churches do things a certain way, and because Lee rejected all that, he never came to see that his methods weren't going to work so well. I think that most non-LC churches put serious consideration as to what kind of capacity members have in terms of the number of meetings per week. I'm sure that they also put thought into meeting length and time management, neither of which those in the LC seem to be particularly good at. Perhaps if Lee hadn't been so quick to reject and criticize, he could have learned what works and what doesn't. IMO, attending one meeting a week has nothing to do with how sincere a Christian is. It's a matter of it not being practice to go to a meeting every night of the week, and that's especially true for families with children.
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Old 11-30-2018, 11:15 PM   #88
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There have been times when I have gotten with other adult "church kids" who are struggling and are very stunted in their human growth. In conversation I could see so plainly how much they were still wrestling to keep or throw off all the things that, from my view had seemed so real to them as kids, but what I found out later was largely an act throughout their childhood. Oftentimes as the oldest person in those gatherings, I've felt pretty acutely the burden of responsibility to have some sort of answer, helpful insight, or explanation for them, but always came up shamefully short.

I think a lot about what to say to the church kids my age, who are struggling as adults to make sense of what they grew up in and who are trying to live normal adult lives under that weight, whenever I see them next. Sometimes as I'm driving I "practice explain" to them (to myself alone in the car) some realizations I've had so hopefully it comes out more smoothly when I do have the chance to talk to them in person.

I was fumbling around recently, trying to verbalize to myself what is so different about what I have been hearing through various non-LC messages recently, and what came out of my mouth was, "It's like.....it's like......they're talking about a different Jesus than what we were taught growing up."

Growing up in the LC produced for me these kinds of concepts about God:
1. He is not for me; He is against me
2. He doesn't want me to enjoy anything in life
3. He is going to force me to marry someone I don't want to marry (why would God ever want me to be happily married?)
4. He just wants to crush me
5. Don't enjoy anything or get excited about anything or He will take it away from you
6. If you backslide or don't pursue Him He may send a mack truck through a red light to t-bone you to get your attention
7. He is happy when I suffer or am sad because that breaks me

No joke. I am not the only one who grew up like this.

Fast forward to the non-LC messages I am hearing.....and the Jesus they are talking about is a person who:
1. Cares for my physical needs
2. Really cares about even the small things in my life
3. Wants to heal me
4. Wants to release me from what is oppressing me
5. Takes the time to leave the crowds and tend to me
6. Is for me; not against me
7. Washes His disciples' feet just hours before going to the cross to die for the sins of MANKIND and commands them and us to do the same to others; to love one another
8. Is meek
9. Wants blessing and happiness for me (not monetarily or in physical belongings, but in contentment through obeying His commandments)

etc....

I mean, hearing about THAT guy growing up in the LC's would have meant a completely different life, path, outlook, mental state, life trajectory, everything for me.

I know this is anecdotal, but it is, much to my utter depression, absolutely my experience in the local church. This is from "growing up in God's best", and being "in the center of God's move on the earth". I was cheated out of years and years of a happier life, and moreover I was cheated out of years of a positive relationship with the Lord.

I know there are ministry quotes you can point to that may contradict the negative concepts I grew up with, but just because the words are in print in a book somewhere doesn't mean that's what is being taught, communicated, and presented to the bright-eyed impressionable young people that don't know any better, whose eyes get duller and duller as they are wrung dry.

So my conclusion, just based on my experience, is yes, the local churches (or at least some) do teach a different Jesus.
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Old 12-01-2018, 12:04 PM   #89
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I'm not one of those who really has a position on what would be a "normal" amount of meetings, I just know how much is too much. The even bigger concern I have is what are these LC meetings accomplishing? I would say that if LCers had meetings every night of the week and it resulted in a positive impact on people's lives in a practical way, then it wouldn't be so bad. What makes it so bad is that LCers are giving up all their time for something that is unlikely to provide any measurable benefit. Meetings may meet the social needs of individuals on a short term basis, but over the long term, I can't think of much benefit that I gained from the numerous meetings that I attended.

I've sat through so many pointless and boring meetings. Not all LC meetings were that way, but it seemed like boring meetings were the rule, not the exception. What was a big point of frustration to me was that some of these meetings could have been perfect opportunities for something positive. Instead, they were put to waste. For example, most prayer meetings I went to involved spending more time praying for things like Europe or DCP litigation than actual local needs. Meetings that were supposed to be specifically for fellowship or coordination were used instead to read a ministry excerpt that provided the "fellowship". I was okay with all this, because I didn't know any better.

As a whole, I believe that the LCM has the obligation to not take advantage of the young and zealous. People like me would go to every meeting that they were asked to go to. For what? It's hard to say, but somewhere a long the way I got the idea of the Christian walk being something "cooperate". I don't claim for a second that there isn't that aspect, but the problem is that the LC qualifies this "cooperate" aspect by demanding meeting attendance. This results in neglecting a personal walk with the Lord. When it comes down to it and you consider all these "new ones" that the LC has in their arms, does the LC not have the responsibility to relay to them that being a Christian involves more that going to meetings? At one point, I seriously believed that going to meetings was what it meant to be a Christian, and it was a defining attribute of Christians. That attitude then instills doubt as to whether those who don't meet are really "genuine" Christians or not.
This quote is worth bringing forward. What is "normal" in the LC? Meetings, meetings, meetings, even if not accompanied by a commensurate level of personal transformation. And if no transformation, or precious little, where is the promise of transfiguration, and glorification? It is theology.

Eventually the "young ones" and "new ones" see through the charade, and leave. But what then? Where is the Jesus they were promised? Is he really 'out there, somewhere'?
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my conclusion, just based on my experience, is yes, the local churches (or at least some) do teach a different Jesus.
I can't point anyone to the Jesus that is out there, but I will offer a few clues, and say that there is a promise, and a command: "Seek and ye shall find". So by all means, seek.

The problem with the Jesus of the LC is that it is the same Jesus of the Protestant fold: one that was developed in opposition to the (admittedly degraded and darkened) status quo. Luther found the Jesus that brought justification through faith, not by works. "It is by grace we are saved. . ." Okay, fine, but Jesus is not 'justification' nor 'grace'. Those are ideas, concepts, abstract principles. There's still a person 'somewhere out there'. Do you get my point?

The gentile Martin Luther developed a thoroughly gentile idea of salvation based on the ministry to the gentiles as presented by Paul. Romans wasn't 'wrong' per se, far from it, but it was written by a Jew, to 1st-century Roman gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah, reconciling them to God through faith in this Messiah.

What happened centuries later is that the ideas there were plucked out of context to meet the need of a German monk who was trying to get out of the RCC. And ideas do have power. Clearly. And they can be related to the truth. Clearly. But they are not Jesus.
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Old 12-01-2018, 05:47 PM   #90
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Growing up in the LC produced for me these kinds of concepts about God:
1. He is not for me; He is against me
2. He doesn't want me to enjoy anything in life
3. He is going to force me to marry someone I don't want to marry (why would God ever want me to be happily married?)
4. He just wants to crush me
5. Don't enjoy anything or get excited about anything or He will take it away from you
6. If you backslide or don't pursue Him He may send a mack truck through a red light to t-bone you to get your attention
7. He is happy when I suffer or am sad because that breaks me
Except for #3, this is exactly how I felt growing up in the Catholic Church.

During my upbringing nobody I knew even knew God.
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Old 12-02-2018, 04:54 PM   #91
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The gentile Martin Luther developed a thoroughly gentile idea of salvation based on the ministry to the gentiles as presented by Paul. Romans wasn't 'wrong' per se, far from it, but it was written by a Jew, to 1st-century Roman gentile believers in the Jewish Messiah, reconciling them to God through faith in this Messiah.

What happened centuries later is that the ideas there were plucked out of context to meet the need of a German monk who was trying to get out of the RCC. And ideas do have power. Clearly. And they can be related to the truth. Clearly. But they are not Jesus.
Justification by faith is a good idea. It has power and truth. But it is not Jesus.

Paul was a missionary to the gentiles.

That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. ~Rom 15:16

For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles. ~Gal 2:8

Paul's ministry was to present the Jewish Man Jesus as Jewish Messiah to the gentiles as Saviour. Salvation is in this name, there is no other.

But Jesus was a Jewish man. He was King of the Jews (Matt 2:2); King of Israel (Jo 1:49). He always was, always will be. If we don't know him as this, we don't know him as he is.
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Old 12-02-2018, 05:13 PM   #92
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Justification by faith is a good idea. It has power and truth. But it is not Jesus.

Paul was a missionary to the gentiles.

That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost. ~Rom 15:16

For he that wrought effectually in Peter to the apostleship of the circumcision, the same was mighty in me toward the Gentiles. ~Gal 2:8

Paul's ministry was to present the Jewish Man Jesus as Jewish Messiah to the gentiles as Saviour. Salvation is in this name, there is no other.

But Jesus was a Jewish man. He was King of the Jews (Matt 2:2); King of Israel (Jo 1:49). He always was, always will be. If we don't know him as this, we don't know him as he is.
VERY WELL WRITTEN AND EXPRESSED Aron! THANKS!
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Old 12-03-2018, 04:02 AM   #93
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VERY WELL WRITTEN AND EXPRESSED
Thanks for the affirmation and kindness. I have a problem with overstatement, so will try to limit this to 2 points. The first is from Revelation 22: "I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star."

Why did Jesus send his angel to testify to John for the churches? Where's the processed Triune God indwelling John to be his life and his everything? It seems the Jesus of John's revelation was not the one extracted by the gentile (European, Protestant) church from Paul's epistles.

Second, from John 1: "Now this was John's testimony when the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem sent priests and Levites to ask him who he was. He did not fail to confess, but confessed freely, 'I am not the Messiah.' They asked him, 'Then who are you? Are you Elijah?' He said, 'I am not.' 'Are you the Prophet?' He answered, 'No.'" (NIV)

My point here is that there was already a conversation on the ground as the gospel narrative began to unfold, and its context was an entirely Jewish one. There was already assumed and shared meaning, to both the writers and readers of the initial texts. And the context was of an occupied Judea, under Roman (gentile) rule. Where was the promised (Jewish) Messiah?

By the time of the Reformation, of course, all that assumed meaning, not clearly delineated in text, was long gone. So Luther and Calvin were able to extract salvation through faith, but not much more (but hallelujah for that). Likewise the Brethren with "types and figures". Each generation finds the Christ it needs. Guyon and Fenelon with their "spiritual torrents"; the Pentecostals &c. The Protestants rightly rejected the RCC clutter, but in its place was a gaping hole in which they were free to place all their culturally-derived meanings. Lee laughed at Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, but he did the same exact thing. He just disguised it better, and most of us didn't notice, immersed and enthralled as we were.

Again, Paul wasn't wrong; no far from it. But to extract a Hellenist or European or Chinese or American "Christ" from Paul, and miss the thoroughly and completely Jewish man Jesus (I mean this in a literal sense) from the NT/OT/Second Temple backdrop is to miss half the story. You're trying to run the race on one leg.

The only problem Paul had with the Jerusalem church is that they tried to impose their 'Jewishness' on gentile converts. (I'm being vague, as the record is scanty - think, say, circumcision). Other than that their experiences were entirely genuine, and proper, and normal (to crib Witness Lee's phraseology) and were foundational for ours which were to follow. Think about it - the first gentiles didn't show up until Acts 11! What does that tell you?
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Old 12-03-2018, 07:26 AM   #94
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The only problem Paul had with the Jerusalem church, that I can see, is when they tried to impose 'Jewishness' on gentile converts. (I'm being vague, as the record is scanty - think, circumcision). Other than that their experiences were entirely genuine, and foundational for ours. Think about it - the first gentiles didn't show up until Acts 11! What does that tell you?
Since exiting the LC's, I have often been surrounded by Messianic Jews. They long to introduce O.T. customs into the church, convinced of a great deficiency in the church. Having spent my Christian life in extremely "pro-Israel, anti-Jewish" Protestant customs, I find this somewhat alarming. Should we celebrate the Sabbath, should we live according to the Torah, and is the Feast of Tabernacles for the church? It seems that both Messianic and the Pentecostal Christians have opened the door wide to OT practices.

Yes indeed, the Gospel, the Good News, came to the Jews first. Paul practiced this in every town. (Rom 1.16) Yet when Jesus was anointed by the Spirit of God (Luke 4.16-18) in His hometown Synagogue, his kinfolk attempted to murder Him for mentioning that God had healed the Gentiles, "But I tell you in truth ..." (Luke 4.25-30) Obviously this topic is more complicated than initially thought.

What exactly does it mean to preach "another" Jesus or "another" Gospel?

Paul said this to both the Galatians (1.7-9) and the Corinthians (2 C. 11.4). Since Paul mentioned "accursed," it seems quite serious. When asked about Paul's harsh comments sprinkled throughout the book of Galatians, one Messianic Jew replied, "Why are you reading someone else's mail?" Huh? Interesting reply, since Protestantism was largely built on Romans and Galatians. To which someone might reply, "Why are Christians reading Jewish mail?" I have long been under the guiding principle that the OT is "for" the church, but the NT is "to" the church. Huge difference folks, but is that really true? If my old Messianic brother is right, then there no longer is "another" gospel.

I think the jury is still out on whether the LC's have "another Gospel." During my time in the Ohio LC's, I would say definitely not. Abusive at times, yes, but another gospel, no. Yet, from the stories I have read from other LC regions, it seems so. During the highly structured and regimented "New Way" of the '80's, the provocative comment was made, "we could hire the Gentiles to go door-knocking for us." LSM has so legalized and "ordinanced" life in the LC's, who needs real faith anymore?
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Old 12-03-2018, 09:57 AM   #95
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I think the jury is still out on whether the LC's have "another Gospel." During my time in the Ohio LC's, I would say definitely not. Abusive at times, yes, but another gospel, no. Yet, from the stories I have read from other LC regions, it seems so. During the highly structured and regimented "New Way" of the '80's, the provocative comment was made, "we could hire the Gentiles to go door-knocking for us." LSM has so legalized and "ordinanced" life in the LC's, who needs real faith anymore?
It eventually dawned on me. Was the LC church life the way the early Acts church Christians lived? Were they going to meetings every day, going to conferences and training's?

I don't know if it's a different gospel, but it was/is something different than what Paul, and the early church, were practicing.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:11 AM   #96
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It eventually dawned on me. Was the LC church life the way the early Acts church Christians lived? Were they going to meetings every day, going to conferences and training's?

I don't know if it's a different gospel, but it was/is something different than what Paul, and the early church, were practicing.
If the Lord directs the church to meet daily, that is fine with me. This happened in the early church ...

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Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
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Old 12-03-2018, 10:31 AM   #97
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If the Lord directs the church to meet daily, that is fine with me. This happened in the early church ...
That's great. But your quote doesn't say anything about FTT's :

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Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.
And you forgot the previous verses :

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And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.
And all that believed were together, and had all things common;
And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.
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Old 12-04-2018, 07:21 AM   #98
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Yes...no doubt in my mind that Lee preached another Jesus. Galatians is indeed central in this discussion. What was the heresy? It was that the obedient life, suffering and death of Jesus is necessary but is only the jumping off point for bigger things. It is not enough to trust in Him alone, you must add something to this Jesus in order to be a first class Christian. In the Galaian context it was that one must also become a Jew to be a first class Christian. A gentile converted by Paul needed to become complete by being Jewish. Lee and so many others in holiness and deeper life mode see the work of Jesus as a necessary jumping off point to something greater. In Lees case it is the local ground, membership in the local church, and thus being an overcomer. In holiness movements it is to be "sanctified" which is taught to be something different from being justified in christ. In Pentecostalism it is speaking in tongues and on it goes. It is the Roman Catholic error all over again. Christ plus something else equals a higher level of Christianity. The rest of us are just "saved" but we will suffer the loss of the 1000 year millennial thing.

The result guilt, arrogance, sectarianism...those who buy into this two tiered faith will always be in doubt about where they stand with christ. It is hard work being an overcomer. You will always wonder if indeed you're an overcomer even if you're in the movement.

Those of us who are only "saved" must do our 1000 year purgatory.

Again I say it is Rome all over again. In roman theology Christs work takes away original sin and now that you are back to a neutral condition, except for a little concupiscence, you must work together with Christ to be justified. Since you will not likely make it, there is purgatory as an ironic safety net.
This is another Jesus just as Lee has another Jesus. Anyone can be saved but only the few, the brave and the local church adherents will be in ..
This is worth bringing forward, because Amcasci is referencing the argument for being "God's best" that I see Trapped mentioning.
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I know this is anecdotal, but it is, much to my utter depression, absolutely my experience in the local church. This is from "growing up in God's best", and being "in the center of God's move on the earth". I was cheated out of years and years of a happier life, and moreover I was cheated out of years of a positive relationship with the Lord.
The case against the gospel of Nee & Lee, in this vein, is twofold: first that one must add some extra "holiness" to make it. So you get a two-tiered system, of 'overcomers' and the 'just Christian' folks who only sit quietly in the pew and hear defective "low gospel" messages on Sunday morning. In this case Nee was affected by Keswick and the continental mysticism; through Nee, we got a mystical, subjective Christ. But this subjectivism was probably heavily distorted by the fallen human soul. (I think the operative question is - how deeply? How to measure how deeply? Can only God make this assessment, ultimately?)

Second issue, and related, is that Jesus taught that you should take the least place, and consider yourself "less than" your peers; let God elevate you in due time. Don't be presumptuous for some pride of place that sin may yet defeat you.

Consider, for example, the supposed "apostle of the age" who put his admittedly nonspiritual son in charge of the ministry business affairs, who ran the local churches with an iron fist, and when wrong-doing was discovered, it was covered over and involved parties and witnesses were either whitewashed, shipped out of town, or black-balled and expelled - so the fruit of this teaching is seen, with pride of place giving way to egregious ongoing sins. The subjective "holiness" folks ironically get the least transformation (at least that is what it looks like from the outside)

Lee, who took care to call Christianity "deformed" and "darkened" and "satanic" and "Christless" - and of course he and the Little Flock/Local Church were not - now gets lumped in with the "different gospel" folks - the pseudo Christian groups like the JWs and LDS and SDA. Whether or not this is objectively provable or not, I think that's what we see Amcasci presenting.(And it's behind the complaint against Nee & Lee on the Faith Saves website that recently Ohio queried about. . . about where Nee went to Keswick with Miss Fischbacher).
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Old 12-04-2018, 10:44 AM   #99
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The different gospel charge against Lee is the fact that Lee went by the New Testament books, while the early original gospel didn't.
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Old 12-04-2018, 11:01 AM   #100
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The different gospel charge against Lee is the fact that Lee went by the New Testament books, while the early original gospel didn't.
In the original gospel, if we're to believe Acts 3, Peter and John went up to the temple for daily prayer (ostensibly they didn't know that God had given up on the physical temple). And they healed a man there, a Jew (since Peter & John were good Jews who didn't talk to gentiles), and preached the gospel afterward to the crowd, and thousands got saved (Acts 4:4), all law-keeping Jews (who hadn't yet read the NT, because the NT books hadn't been written).

In Acts 22:12 Paul said that he was baptized by a law-keeping Jew, and we wonder if Paul had forgotten his own admonitions - or hadn't he written them yet? - that law-keeping was in vain, and grace now ruled.

Yet Peter healed the man. So go figure. The fruit reveals the tree. Doesn't it?

Acts 2:16 "By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus’ name and the faith that comes through him that has completely healed him, as you can all see."
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Old 12-04-2018, 01:36 PM   #101
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Since exiting the LC's, I have often been surrounded by Messianic Jews. They long to introduce O.T. customs into the church, convinced of a great deficiency in the church. Having spent my Christian life in extremely "pro-Israel, anti-Jewish" Protestant customs, I find this somewhat alarming.
Perhaps I turned the conversation wrong by mentioning it at all; my point was larger than simply that the fact that I never heard of the "Jewishness" of the characters of the NT; especially the King of the Jews, while with either the Baptists or the LC. A bigger point is that every one of us has a part to see of this Jesus. My sight may include some aspect like what I covered; someone else has another part. ZNP is covering the blessings in the Torah; ViW has a blog on the psalms... only then can we see the "real Jesus" begin emerge. If we restrict it to "one vision per age", with only one witness per age and everyone else supposed to "get in line", then our Christ will be so much the poorer. That is what I felt Trapped was alluding to: a generation of "church kids" who never found their own voice or vision, who were force-fed Witness Lee's So-Subjective Christ. Yes, but it was his Christ, not theirs.

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Should we celebrate the Sabbath, should we live according to the Torah, and is the Feast of Tabernacles for the church? It seems that both Messianic and the Pentecostal Christians have opened the door wide to OT practices.
I daresay that I never meant to suggest anything like this in my writings. The Acts 15 conference settled this kind of issue forever. The Jews cannot force the gentiles to keep the law. It is written.
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Old 12-04-2018, 02:00 PM   #102
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I daresay that I never meant to suggest anything like this in my writings. The Acts 15 conference settled this kind of issue forever. The Jews cannot force the gentiles to keep the law. It is written.
I didn't post to challenge you, but to voice a troubling issue for some, post LC, which I have faced relevant to the thread topic.
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Old 12-04-2018, 03:20 PM   #103
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I didn't post to challenge you, but to voice a troubling issue for some, post LC, which I have faced relevant to the thread topic.
It speaks to the theme of how quickly another Jesus can show up. Acts 15 seems so decisive to most of us, yet for a few it's easily side-stepped. That goes for a lot of things. But there is strength in numbers; in the "many waters" spoken of by the prophet. Strength, and safety.
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Old 12-04-2018, 05:04 PM   #104
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It speaks to the theme of how quickly another Jesus can show up. Acts 15 seems so decisive to most of us, yet for a few it's easily side-stepped. That goes for a lot of things. But there is strength in numbers; in the "many waters" spoken of by the prophet. Strength, and safety.
Interesting . . . I spent my time in the LC's convinced that there was "error in numbers," and being part of Gideon's Army assured us of safety.
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Old 12-04-2018, 09:25 PM   #105
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I think I'm gonna cut Lee a little slack here, at least as far as 'another Jesus" goes.

What I see in the New Testament is, the church between Jesus and Paul being Jewish, and then with Paul gentile. And their Jesus's weren't the same.

Early church history reveals there were lots of different kinds of Christians, as the movement developed. I read of one early group that only had one book about Jesus, and it was a Gnostic book, I think the gospel of the Hebrews, or some such. But they had Jesus. Isn't the Jesus of the gospel sort of like that? Wasn't He kinda-sorta inclusive?

All I can say is the Jesus I've grown up with, I think I can safely say, isn't the Jesus James the brother of Jesus conceptualized. Likely James cited daily Saddur, which I guess was a kind of Jewish Life-Study. Tho I doubt a Lee Life Study could hardly compare. Was the Jesus of James the original touchstone and standard by which any different Jesus would be measured by?

At any rate, Jame's conception of Jesus certainly wasn't the one I grew up with, nor the one I had in the local church.

The trouble with Lee's Jesus was that he was trying to make it mine. And we shouldn't take someone else's Jesus. Yours isn't mine. Mine isn't yours.

I think this has been framed as something like, 'One Jesus, many Christ's.'
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:29 AM   #106
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Interesting . . . I spent my time in the LC's convinced that there was "error in numbers,"
If so, then why did Nee need 3,000 'spiritual classics' to understand the Bible? Why was numbers a strength and safety for Nee, but with you or I it would only engender confusion? Face it people, we wuz robbed - our spiritual rights were taken from us by a con artist.
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Old 12-05-2018, 03:44 AM   #107
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What I see in the New Testament is, the church between Jesus and Paul being Jewish, and then with Paul gentile. And their Jesus's weren't the same.
Let me make an analogy here. Suppose I want to learn about Fred Smith, what he was like. Suppose I say, "Well, I surely want to interview his neighbour. They lived next door for years. But I won't ask his child, because the boy was young, and he's obviously biased." Does that make any sense?

Surely the neighbour and the boy have unique views, but of the same man.

Paul was clearly necessary; without Paul, you and I would not be writing about James, here. Christianity would have died when Jerusalem was destroyed.

And to simplify the Jerusalem/Jewish wing of the church as "James" oversimplifies to an extreme. As I said, Peter and John were law-keeping Jews. And I see no evidence that John ever stopped. And Paul said in Acts 22 that he was baptized by a law-keeping Jew.

If we want to simplify, let's say that, "Love fulfills the law"; beyond that, I think all voices should be heard. It's the sound of many waters. God did it, to His glory and honour. The spiritual crime of Lee is that he only wanted to hear his own voice. And he convinced us this was necessary. "To avoid confusion."
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Old 12-05-2018, 06:12 AM   #108
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If so, then why did Nee need 3,000 'spiritual classics' to understand the Bible? Why was numbers a strength and safety for Nee, but with you or I it would only engender confusion? Face it people, we wuz robbed - our spiritual rights were taken from us by a con artist.
Fortunately for us in the Midwest, we did not subscribe to "only Lee." Maybe we did not have 3,000 classics, but we had at least two, Chu and Lee. Having two, opened the door for three, and four . . .

As I have mentioned before, the Midwest had "another Lee," and that prolly saved us from having "another Jesus." The Midwest subscribed to an "early-Lee," which corresponded to earlier books put out by LSM. After Lee passed, TC had all the FTers compile pertinent Lee quotes on the ministry, the work, etc. because they so greatly differed from Later-Lee and the Blendeds.

It was a total waste of time. The Blendeds rejected reason. Their own books. Scripture too. The time had come to amputate the Midwest.

Anyone who has seen the famed "Phoenix Accord" from 2002, could see disaster on the horizon. The signatories were all the key players in Cleveland and Anaheim. Supposedly it was an Acts 15 summit. Of sorts. Actually it read more like a punishment assignment for naughty school children to write. In effect, "We agree to play nice with each other. We will nicely discuss our differences. We will not bad-mouth one another. We will not call each other names." Quite embarrassing on face value. Like the Acts 15 accord, it accomplished little.
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Old 12-05-2018, 07:01 AM   #109
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The spiritual crime of Lee is that he only wanted to hear his own voice. And he convinced us this was necessary. "To avoid confusion."
I love this.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:26 AM   #110
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These terms "another Gospel" and "another Jesus" are kind of like the explosively controversial term "cult".... They can and actually often do mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Now this is all well and good for the term cult, but to be frank with all of you, the terms another Gospel and another Jesus should not be "moving targets". To say "another Gospel" is an absolute truth-statement. To say "another Jesus" is an absolute truth-statement. These were not given as "truth-suggestions" or "truth-options" by the apostle Paul. There was no room for negotiations when it came to the Gospel or to the Person and work of the Lord Jesus. Paul was absolute, non-negotiable, immobile and inflexible when it came to the truth of the Gospel. I'm sure we are all familiar with the passage that tells us about how Paul confronted a senior apostle, Peter, for not being "in step with the truth of the gospel"(Galatians 2:14)

So how are we to be sure when it might be appropriate to tag a Christian group as a "cult"? Who has the qualifications, right and privilege of declaring that a person or persons are preaching and teaching another Gospel or another Jesus? Pretty difficult questions, to be sure. But I must tell you all that we should be able and willing to answer these questions as best we can. For decades Witness Lee railed upon his brothers and sisters in Christ for being "poor", "blind", "degraded" and even "christless". Can there be any doubt that Lee was at least implicitly, if not explicitly, making a claim that "poor, poor Christianity" was preaching another Gospel and another Jesus? I believe that it is now abundantly clear that Witness Lee made these claims as a distraction and diversion to draw his own followers' attention, hearts and minds away from the fact that it was he that was preaching and teaching another gospel and another Jesus.

I think it is now clear (or should be clear) to many of us that the teaching of "God's economy" is indeed another gospel, and the teaching of "the processed triune God" is indeed another Jesus. I think it is fair and appropriate for us to ask: what are the fruits of these two teachings? What kind of people have these two teachings produced? As a longtime former Local Church member I can tell you what these teachings produced in me, and many of the followers of Witness Lee I observed, knew well and even lived with for years. We were not humbled by any of these supposed "recovered truths". We were proud, haughty and conceited, and even worse, decidedly ignorant of what God was doing for, in and among the other Christians around the world in general, and among other Christians in our various localities specifically. Of course I have painted with a fairly broad brush here...time and space restrict me for the time being, however, I hope others can fill in the blanks for me over a period of time, right here on this thread.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:48 AM   #111
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An excellent and eloquent message indeed, UntoHim.

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Old 12-05-2018, 11:50 AM   #112
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If we want to simplify, let's say that, "Love fulfills the law"; beyond that, I think all voices should be heard. It's the sound of many waters. God did it, to His glory and honour. The spiritual crime of Lee is that he only wanted to hear his own voice. And he convinced us this was necessary. "To avoid confusion."
Well it's okay if he preaches another Jesus. As I pointed out, there's many Jesus's. Just don't push it on me. ; then Lee would be violating my sovereign relationship with Christ.

But ... unless I missed something ... we still haven't figured if Lee taught another gospel. Cuz even early on, in the history of Christianity, there's been other gospels ; early on, besides salvation by grace, there were, for example, salvation by following the law, and salvation by gnosis. There were actually early Christian groups that held to a different gospel other than grace. Didn't Paul have problems with some of them? That's how early other gospels sprang up.

Lee certainly didn't teach the latter two, law and gnosis. So if Lee taught another gospel, what was it? And what was the original genuine gospel, to measure it by?
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Old 12-05-2018, 12:03 PM   #113
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I hope others can fill in the blanks for me over a period of time, right here on this thread.
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Me too UntoHim. And thanks for pointing out Lee's 'other gospel' of, God's Economy, and the processed triune God. In truth, Lee's 'high peak's' were mostly another extra-Biblical gospel.
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Old 12-05-2018, 09:16 PM   #114
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Default the "processed" God

Is the idea of a "processed" Triune God found elsewhere in Christianity?

I was reading in an LC ministry book recently and this phrase, "...God Himself [was] processed to be the life-giving Spirit" struck me.

God was processed. The processed Triune God.

I understand that God "went through a process" on earth. I am fine with that. But to say that "God was processed" hits me with a clang.

We can easily say "I am going through the process to apply to the army". Or "I am going through the process to become a lawyer." But no one in their right mind would ever then say, "I was processed to be a lawyer. I am a processed lawyer."

Is this another weird Lee-ism not found elsewhere? I did a google search for "the processed God" and all results relevant to the meaning of that phrase came back LSM-related. Is there some benefit to presenting God in this way?

I can't explain it but it's such an odd structure that it depersonalizes God for me. "God was processed" somehow removes God's participation in the process and makes it seem like some independent process was applied to him, like processed ham on a conveyor belt, rather than His being an active participant? I don't know. Hoping for others' input.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:32 AM   #115
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Trapped,

Are you hung up on the concept or the term that encapsulates the concept?

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Old 12-06-2018, 03:59 AM   #116
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God was processed. The processed Triune God.

I understand that God "went through a process" on earth. I am fine with that. But to say that "God was processed" hits me with a clang.
I think I get your point, or something of it; like a depersonalised commodity getting abstracted, like traders talk of goods on the stock exchange; like "monies" or "soybean futures". However much the LC waves its orthodoxy card, they've left us with a cardboard-tasting sandwich. It doesn't satisfy.

Coming from Protestant background, I liked reading Nee but didn't enjoy Lee as much. His language was stilted to me, and I watched as this stilted language became codified and canonical - see, "The Collected Works of Witness Lee", vols 1-148. As if some peculiar and idiosyncratic phraseology could convey holiness. Just read the outline 3 times. Or 6, or. . .

But I put up with it because I was "on the local ground", and this decidedly non-local author apparently came with the local ground.
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Old 12-06-2018, 04:03 AM   #117
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Is this another weird Lee-ism not found elsewhere? I did a google search for "the processed God" and all results relevant to the meaning of that phrase came back LSM-related. Is there some benefit to presenting God in this way?
Yes, it is a weird Lee-ism not found elsewhere. And yes, it does depersonalize God. Lee also used his theology to depersonalize our relationship with a loving Savior and our heavenly Father.

Lee used his theology, with phrases like this and "God's Economy," to convince all his followers that he alone was the MOTA, and that all Christianity was hopelessly flawed and defective. This "new theology" has become a source of great pride for LC folk, as Lee taught them to boast in their exclusive terminology.

Discard both the concept and the term which encapsulates the concept. Neither is biblical. Neither has value.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:07 AM   #118
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Trapped,

Are you hung up on the concept or the term that encapsulates the concept?

Drake
How 'bout some input bro Drake, concerning putting God thru a processor.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:51 AM   #119
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Is the idea of a "processed" Triune God found elsewhere in Christianity?
Yes, many Christian groups teach about incarnation, human living, resurrection and ascension in this way.

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I was reading in an LC ministry book recently and this phrase, "...God Himself [was] processed to be the life-giving Spirit" struck me.

God was processed. The processed Triune God.

I understand that God "went through a process" on earth. I am fine with that. But to say that "God was processed" hits me with a clang.
WL's MO, trying to convert standard Christian teachings into ones that slap you in the face and then pretend that it is some great revelation on his part that has never been revealed before.

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We can easily say "I am going through the process to apply to the army". Or "I am going through the process to become a lawyer." But no one in their right mind would ever then say, "I was processed to be a lawyer. I am a processed lawyer."
Are you saying WL was not in his right mind? WL wanted to differentiate himself from all other Christian teachers. That supports the whole MOTA, one publication, and there is no other light elsewhere themes he was always using.

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Is this another weird Lee-ism not found elsewhere? I did a google search for "the processed God" and all results relevant to the meaning of that phrase came back LSM-related. Is there some benefit to presenting God in this way?
Ten thousand believers who think you are the only one with a vision of God's plan. All of whom will spend $100+ on LSM books, trainings, and translations.

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I can't explain it but it's such an odd structure that it depersonalizes God for me. "God was processed" somehow removes God's participation in the process and makes it seem like some independent process was applied to him, like processed ham on a conveyor belt, rather than His being an active participant? I don't know. Hoping for others' input.
Not that odd. Perhaps he couldn't sleep, turned on late night TV and saw an add for a food processor and then the light bulb went off. "I too could be a salesman". English was not his first language so probably copied much of the salesman's pitch changing a few key terms.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:12 AM   #120
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Default Re: Merged Thread: The Gospel Vs "God's Economy"

In Acts 2:32 Peter says, "God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.".

We may say that Peter witnessed a 'process'. But when I read Peter's story, I see the focus on a person: "this Jesus". The Jesus Peter knew. The person Peter was with, whom Peter loved. This Jesus was still alive and very much with Peter, not through theology but through presence.

The danger on considering the abstract, "God's economy" view is that at some point we lose the presence of person. This is suggested as well by the many young ones who "can't make it", who are told they are now defective. The "subjective Christ" of the ministry zealots doesn't work for them; it just doesn't, sorry. So are they the failures, here? They have just as much right to their own subjective impressions of what the 'processed God' does for them, as what it did for their parents. And these young ones have spoken with their feet, and have left.

To me this is the clearly evident fruit - many cast off, disillusioned, frustrated young people. They got an idea, an ideology, but unless they give themselves to promote the ministry the warm fuzzies die away alarmingly fast. When they were young, 8, 10, 14 years old, they did what they were told. They went to the meetings and went through the motions. But nothing came. Eventually the ministry demands and the perceived pay-offs didn't match, so they left.

At the Lord's Table meeting, they heard, "Ohhh Loooord Jeeeezusss… we just care about youuuuu! We just love youuuuuu!", but when the meeting is over they heard talk about the ministry and "the Lord's move" and "building the Body" (of ministry acolytes) and so forth. The young ones see the disconnect, the hypocrisy 24/7. So they bail. . . all the orthodoxy props don't hold it up. To them, it's an empty lifeless shell.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:30 AM   #121
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How 'bout some input bro Drake, concerning putting God thru a processor.

Happy to bro awareness... once I understand where Trapped is hung up... concept or terms.



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Old 12-06-2018, 10:23 AM   #122
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Happy to bro awareness... once I understand where Trapped is hung up... concept or terms.
Waiting with bated breath ... on the edge of my seat. Stop being slippery.
You could comment on both.
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Old 12-06-2018, 10:35 AM   #123
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Waiting with bated breath ... on the edge of my seat. Stop being slippery.
You could comment on both.
Ready to answer either or both... let's see what Trapped prefers.

...and may I suggest you stop being so impatiently demanding.... or are you going somewhere and need the information right away?

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Old 12-06-2018, 10:47 AM   #124
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..and may I suggest you stop being so impatiently demanding.... or are you going somewhere and need the information right away?

Drake
In other words, give the DCP Misinformation Team a chance to convene and come up with something plausible. . .

And maybe someone can tell us why concepts and terms fail to hold the young ones, who leave in droves? Many of them spent years in indoctrination camps, aka Young Peoples Summer School of Truth, but it wasn't enough apparently. All those terms and concepts. . .
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:00 AM   #125
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In Acts 2:32 Peter says, "God has raised this Jesus to life, and we are all witnesses of it.".

We may say that Peter witnessed a 'process'. But when I read Peter's story, I see the focus on a person: "this Jesus". The Jesus Peter knew. The person Peter was with, whom Peter loved.
Why is it dangerous to look at the word from a different angle? It seems to me the biggest danger is telling people how not to read the Bible and what the Bible does not say.

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The danger on considering the abstract, "God's economy" view is that at some point we lose the person. This is suggested as well by the many young ones who "can't make it", who are told they are now defective. The "subjective Christ" of the ministry zealots doesn't work for them; it just doesn't, sorry. So are they the failures, here? They have just as much right to their own subjective impressions of what the 'processed God' does for them, as what it did for their parents. And these young ones have spoken with their feet, and have left.
I don't see the connection. In every Christian group of any size (tens of thousands or more) there will be young people who "can't make it" yet many of those other groups don't have this teaching. I think it is a very big stretch to say that this teaching results in losing view of the person of Jesus, etc.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:03 AM   #126
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Ready to answer either or both... let's see what Trapped prefers.

...and may I suggest you stop being so impatiently demanding.... or are you going somewhere and need the information right away?

Drake
Perhaps you can respond to this quote from Trapped:

I can't explain it but it's such an odd structure that it depersonalizes God for me. "God was processed" somehow removes God's participation in the process and makes it seem like some independent process was applied to him, like processed ham on a conveyor belt, rather than His being an active participant? I don't know. Hoping for others' input.

I agree that often the description was similar to God being "processed" like a cook was preparing Him for our consumption. Yet unless there is another God than the one we received there can't be a "cook" that prepared God or "processed" God for mass consumption. That inferred presence of another God may be what is most jarring about this teaching, which Trapped described as being hit with a "clang".
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:20 AM   #127
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Default Re: Merged Thread: The Gospel Vs "God's Economy"

Drake, in my post I said "I understand that God "went through a process" on earth. I am fine with that. But to say that "God was processed" hits me with a clang."

I have an issue with the term "the processed God" or the phrase that "God was processed", not the facts that God did pass through what can be described as the "process" of incarnation, human living, death, resurrection, etc.

I think ZNPaaneah said at least a part of my hangup well......."being processed" implies an external source or input or "processor". Someone may say, "well the Son was sent by the Father so there is the "external" source", but sending someone isn't the same as processing them.

To use analogies (that Drake knows I don't like using, but this is a simple one I think), just like to become a lawyer, you go through certain experiences (studying, passing the bar exam, etc), but no one has "processed" you to become a lawyer, or would ever say that. Even if you could do some linguistic gymnastics to show that grammatically it's technically okay to say someone is now a "processed lawyer", what benefit does it serve to say it that way and how does that help?

Edit to add: I think somehow it takes away from what God went through....it removes the "active" sense of everything He endured and experienced for us. Still trying to sort out the clang.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:08 PM   #128
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Ready to answer either or both... let's see what Trapped prefers.

...and may I suggest you stop being so impatiently demanding.... or are you going somewhere and need the information right away?

Drake
I'm pretty sure I've got processed food in my pantry and frig. So I really really really want to know about a processed god.

My cousin once brought God in a Mason jar to his Baptist church. Does a processed god come vacuum packed?

That to me is this silly idea of a processed god. Maybe it's the way it sounds that hits my funny bone.

But I remember the days when I first heard it, and it sounded very profound. I should have busted out laughing way back then.

But cult members can't see they are in a cult, and so buy into anything spoken by their cult leader. And, sorry to say, I'm guilty of doing that.

But I never could -- wasn't able -- to buy into the notion of a processed god. A god that can be processed isn't a God to me. I'm not a fan of silly depictions of God. Stop bringing down God by saying he could be processed.

But you guys are smarter than me. I'm sure y'all can make me understand, what I don't understand. Maybe I need to go thru a process.

Y'all make it sound important, whether processed or not, so I wait with bated breath.

It's a compliment bro. I know you're in there, and so understand the processed God better than outsiders.

So I expect you to inform and entertain me. I'm actually hoping for more belly laughs. But y'all are prolly way too serious to provide, 'cept by accident.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:41 PM   #129
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Drake, in my post I said "I understand that God "went through a process" on earth. I am fine with that. But to say that "God was processed" hits me with a clang."

I have an issue with the term "the processed God" or the phrase that "God was processed", not the facts that God did pass through what can be described as the "process" of incarnation, human living, death, resurrection, etc.

I think ZNPaaneah said at least a part of my hangup well......."being processed" implies an external source or input or "processor". Someone may say, "well the Son was sent by the Father so there is the "external" source", but sending someone isn't the same as processing them.

To use analogies (that Drake knows I don't like using, but this is a simple one I think), just like to become a lawyer, you go through certain experiences (studying, passing the bar exam, etc), but no one has "processed" you to become a lawyer, or would ever say that. Even if you could do some linguistic gymnastics to show that grammatically it's technically okay to say someone is now a "processed lawyer", what benefit does it serve to say it that way and how does that help?

Edit to add: I think somehow it takes away from what God went through....it removes the "active" sense of everything He endured and experienced for us. Still trying to sort out the clang.
Ok.. thanks for the clarification. So, the term "processed" is the objection not the concept. Very well.

I'll concur that the term is unusual and therefore provokes your attention.. as it did mine when I first heard it and apparently also did you. The other term Brother Lee used to describe the same thing but did not invent is "Economical Trinity" .... maybe you prefer that term?

Yet, the most important thing for any conversation about the Trinity/Triune God is to make a distinction between the being of God .... and.. the activity of God the Father, Son, and Spirit in the works of creation and complete salvation. So, what God is vs. what God does is important to distinguish and emphasize no matter what term is used. I think "processed" causes one to think about it, and then having considered the intent and meaning of the term to then rightly categorize the topic into His activity without much deliberation vs what He is. It worked for me, but it doesn't for you... in any case, we agree that God did go through a series processes to complete His redemption and complete salvation.

Still, some who do not take the time to think it through will continue to conflate the aspects of the Trinity and that will erroneously lead to inaccurate charges of modalism.. for instance. Yet, that is a topic for another day.

thanks
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:48 PM   #130
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Default Re: the "processed" God

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I Stop bringing down God by saying he could be processed.
Brother awareness,

You'll need to take that up with the NT authors.

John 1:1 "The Word became flesh...

I Corinthians 14:45 "The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit"

Use whatever description and term you prefer but these are divine facts that you should regard soberly.

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Old 12-06-2018, 01:01 PM   #131
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Default Re: the "processed" God

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Brother awareness,

You'll need to take that up with the NT authors.

John 1:1 "The Word became flesh...

I Corinthians 14:45 "The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit"

Use whatever description and term you prefer but these are divine facts that you should regard soberly.

Drake
Divine facts brought in by NT authors:

Paul: "That makes us all liars because we said that God raised Christ from the dead. But God did not raise Christ from the dead if the dead do not come to life again."

"God raised Christ from the dead"

Peter: "But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him."

It says, "God raised him (Christ)" not "God was processed". You can have your logic trains, creating your concepts and terms; I'll have the Bible's terminology. But thanks, nonetheless. I'll stick with "God raised him from the dead". Don't need a special vision to get it. Either it happened or it didn't. I believe it did.
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Why is it dangerous to look at the word from a different angle?
No danger whatsoever. I have already said, that without Paul, we'd likely not be discussing Peter or James. Christianity would have ended as a going concern when Jerusalem fell.

What I am warning against is extracting "concepts", which concepts then can be read back upon the rest of the text, suborning it to say what it is not saying. Even if one can't mush the Bible down to fit one's preconceived boxes, one then can dismiss it as either "low" or "fallen human concepts". Which I never saw the NT authors doing. Jesus said, "Scripture must be fulfilled"; he didn't say, "Scripture that alludes to high peaks must be fulfilled, the rest is low concepts and can be safely ignored or dismissed as soon as the Deputy God arrives twenty centuries hence, with the right decoder ring".
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:20 PM   #132
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Default Re: the "processed" God

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I'll stick with "God raised him from the dead". Don't need a special vision to get it. Either it happened or it didn't. I believe it did.
Well, I believe it too aron... but there is a very big difference between what transpired in Christ's resurrection and that of others who were resurrected in the NT.

Christ's resurrection entails more than just God having raised Him from the dead. That is why "became" is used for the divine processes... so, its the "became" that is relevant. Something changed... a marvelous thing. What could it be?

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Old 12-06-2018, 01:26 PM   #133
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Default Re: the "processed" God

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Use whatever description and term you prefer but these are divine facts that you should regard soberly.
Drake, Drake, Drake....You know very well that Witness Lee did not allow for "whatever description and term you prefer". No sir. You had to use HIS PERSONAL INTERPRETIVE TERMS, AND HIS ONLY. This is part of what the One Publication is all about. Lee's terms and interpretations were to be considered as "recovered truth". All other terms and interpretations were to be considered as "fallen" "dead interpretations of man" etc, etc, etc.
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Old 12-06-2018, 02:29 PM   #134
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Default Re: Merged Thread: The Gospel Vs "God's Economy"

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Ok.. thanks for the clarification. So, the term "processed" is the objection not the concept. Very well.

I'll concur that the term is unusual and therefore provokes your attention.. as it did mine when I first heard it and apparently also did you. The other term Brother Lee used to describe the same thing but did not invent is "Economical Trinity" .... maybe you prefer that term?

Yet, the most important thing for any conversation about the Trinity/Triune God is to make a distinction between the being of God .... and.. the activity of God the Father, Son, and Spirit in the works of creation and complete salvation. So, what God is vs. what God does is important to distinguish and emphasize no matter what term is used. I think "processed" causes one to think about it, and then having considered the intent and meaning of the term to then rightly categorize the topic into His activity without much deliberation vs what He is. It worked for me, but it doesn't for you... in any case, we agree that God did go through a series processes to complete His redemption and complete salvation.

Still, some who do not take the time to think it through will continue to conflate the aspects of the Trinity and that will erroneously lead to inaccurate charges of modalism.. for instance. Yet, that is a topic for another day.

thanks
Drake
Even those who apply the terms "economical" and "essential" Trinity, delineating between what God does and who He is, will not accept Lee's nonsense about the "Processed Triune God."

Witness Lee's footloose theology here invites criticisms of "modalism" from serious scholars, which he then used with his followers to claim persecution.

Why not adhere to the language of the New Testament and the church? Is that not sufficient? Why risk having one's ministry passing away into oblivion?
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:31 PM   #135
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Default Re: the "processed" God

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Brother awareness,

You'll need to take that up with the NT authors.

John 1:1 "The Word became flesh...

I Corinthians 14:45 "The last Adam became a life-giving Spirit"

Use whatever description and term you prefer but these are divine facts that you should regard soberly.

Drake
That's the processed triune God? No wonder Lee's accused of modalism ; God went thru modes in His processing ; first God, then flesh, then spirit ; three modes of processing.

Thanks for pointing that out. But how come neither Paul nor John, explained the processed God?

In fact, I searched the whole Bible, in several translations, for the word "processed" and found nada. I did find it in the NET Bible, but only in a section title.

In other words, the processed God is never mentioned in the entire Bible. It was a Lee invention, and is therefore unquestionably extra-Biblical.
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Old 12-06-2018, 06:41 PM   #136
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Default Re: Merged Thread: The Gospel Vs "God's Economy"

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nnnnnn no.

Not modes... that is what I meant by some confusing the essential with the economical... and that is the very reason it is so important to put a very firm descriptor (e.g. processed or economical) on what is being referred to... in this case the economical aspect of the Triune God.

If you think the Triune God changed in His essence, or the ontological Trinity, in the becomings (John 1:14 and 1 Cor 15:45) then that would be a heresy... modalism to be precise... the orthodox prescription is to distinguish the two as Brother Lee did.

Rejecting those two becomings is to reject the plain revelation of God's Word.. no one should do that either. They're there for a reason.

Yet, can't stop you bro from insisting on not making the distinction but I will offer you my service to point it out.

Perhaps this explanation from R.C. Sproul will help explain it...

https://www.ligonier.org/blog/whats-...nomic-trinity/

... and as long as you understand and agree with Sproul's explanation then you are within the pale of orthodoxy and it does not matter what terms you prefer to use...

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Old 12-06-2018, 06:43 PM   #137
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Default Re: the "processed" God

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That's the processed triune God? No wonder Lee's accused of modalism ; God went thru modes in His processing ; first God, then flesh, then spirit ; three modes of processing.

Thanks for pointing that out. But how come neither Paul nor John, explained the processed God?

In fact, I searched the whole Bible, in several translations, for the word "processed" and found nada. I did find it in the NET Bible, but only in a section title.

In other words, the processed God is never mentioned in the entire Bible. It was a Lee invention, and is therefore unquestionably extra-Biblical.
The difference between "became" and "processed" is that the term processed implies a process was done on you by an external agent.

processed -- perform a series of mechanical or chemical operations on (something) in order to change or preserve it.

Became does not have that inferred meaning.

Galatians warns of anyone who preaches or teaches another Jesus other than the one we have heard. Regardless of whether or not that was the intent it demonstrates the danger involved in going outside of the NT language as Ohio has pointed out.

When you say "became" everyone familiar with the fellowship of the apostles will be familiar with this. When you say "processed" you bring in your own term, leaving the fellowship of the apostles, with implied meanings that have the potential to lead astray.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:12 PM   #138
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Still, some who do not take the time to think it through will continue to conflate the aspects of the Trinity and that will erroneously lead to inaccurate charges of modalism.. for instance. Yet, that is a topic for another day.

thanks
Drake

Is there a thread here that gets into the Trinity? Lee's view on "the Father is the Son", etc.....and there only being "one person" of the Trinity is of interest to me.

I know many Christian groups have issues with Lee's statements like (emphasis mine): "The Father, the Son, and the Spirit are not three separate persons or three Gods; they are one God, one reality, one person."

I also know many have issues with Lee's use of the phrase "successive steps" and the modalistic implications, although I don't believe he meant that modalistic thought implied but just used an astronomically poor choice of words.

Anyway, if someone knows of a thread on this, please point me to it! Thanks.
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Old 12-06-2018, 07:18 PM   #139
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The difference between "became" and "processed" is that the term processed implies a process was done on you by an external agent.

processed -- perform a series of mechanical or chemical operations on (something) in order to change or preserve it.

Became does not have that inferred meaning.

Galatians warns of anyone who preaches or teaches another Jesus other than the one we have heard. Regardless of whether or not that was the intent it demonstrates the danger involved in going outside of the NT language as Ohio has pointed out.

When you say "became" everyone familiar with the fellowship of the apostles will be familiar with this. When you say "processed" you bring in your own term, leaving the fellowship of the apostles, with implied meanings that have the potential to lead astray.

Right. I think the best example I can come up with is a caterpillar. A caterpillar becomes a butterfly. It goes through a process to become a butterfly.

We don't say the caterpillar was processed, and it is not "a processed and consummated butterfly".

I think an additional component of my clang is that "processed" is a word that is typically applied to a dead or inanimate object. Where else do you hear the word "processed" (in that grammatical form) as applied to a human or any living creature?
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:25 PM   #140
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Where else do you hear the word "processed" (in that grammatical form) as applied to a human or any living creature?
I think I get what you are saying Trapped, but SPAM® comes to mind. It's processed creature, I think. They say it's got pork in it.

Whatever it is, can you imagine God getting processed like SPAM®. Why would we attribute that to God? That God was put thru a meat grinder, or some sort, is laughable.

Methinks the LC will die if they can't laugh at themselves, and at Lee. I mean : C'mon ... he was just a man. And it turns out, that one way or another, hither or thither, some times at least, all we human beings are laughable. Why should Lee be different? He was just being Lee the entertainer when he cooked up the notion of a processed God. He was just being cute. And that's laughable. Lee the comedian.
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Old 12-06-2018, 08:34 PM   #141
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The difference between "became" and "processed" is that the term processed implies a process was done on you by an external agent..
ZNP

I’m not totally convinced of your construct but for the moment let’s explore it.

Therefore using the construct the scriptural example of an external agent working on a human to cause a change in the human would be incarnation.... apart from the womb a baby cannot develop. John 1:14

That is a process.

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Old 12-06-2018, 08:38 PM   #142
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Methinks the LC will die if they can't laugh at themselves, and at Lee. I mean : C'mon ... he was just a man. And it turns out, that one way or another, hither or thither, some times at least, all we human beings are laughable. Why should Lee be different? He was just being Lee the entertainer when he cooked up the notion of a processed God. He was just being cute. And that's laughable. Lee the comedian.
Laughing at Lee is a big “No-No” in the LSM churches. No wonder you got the boot.

The first rule in the LSM, don’t question Lee. Questioning Lee is antithetical to the recovery. That should be the first red flag.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:13 PM   #143
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Laughing at Lee is a big “No-No” in the LSM churches. No wonder you got the boot.

The first rule in the LSM, don’t question Lee. Questioning Lee is antithetical to the recovery. That should be the first red flag.
LofT,

Do you have any substantive contribution to this topic? Or just a typical drive by shooting...

Just sayin....

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Old 12-06-2018, 09:20 PM   #144
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Right. I think the best example I can come up with is a caterpillar.
Trapped,

I like analogies as you know but in this case no need for one like a caterpilker because the example the Bible provides is incarnation... prenatal development is the process of the Word becoming flesh. John 1:14

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Old 12-06-2018, 09:33 PM   #145
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I think an additional component of my clang is that "processed" is a word that is typically applied to a dead or inanimate object. Where else do you hear the word "processed" (in that grammatical form) as applied to a human or any living creature?
If the pig dies and is processed into spam to become our food, is that the same as Jesus dies and is processed to become the Bread of Life?

And to think that I swallowed this processed stuff for decades in the LC. Today, Lee's selection of the words "processed" Triune God sounds hideous.
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Old 12-06-2018, 09:51 PM   #146
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Trapped,

I like analogies as you know but in this case no need for one like a caterpilker because the example the Bible provides is incarnation... prenatal development is the process of the Word becoming flesh. John 1:14

Drake

Oh for sure, again, I'm not disputing that God went through a process or that there was a process. I'm just trying to come up with other things that go through a process to show that no one would typically describe those similar things as "[noun] is processed" either.

Going through a process doesn't mean you've been processed. There is a whole process you have to go through to buy and sell a house, but no one "is processed" because of it. But that's a little external to the human being, and a caterpillar is the only thing I could think of (without spending more time on it) where the creature itself goes through a process and becomes something different.
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Old 12-06-2018, 11:35 PM   #147
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Oh for sure, again, I'm not disputing that God went through a process or that there was a process. I'm just trying to come up with other things that go through a process to show that no one would typically describe those similar things as "[noun] is processed" either.

Going through a process doesn't mean you've been processed. There is a whole process you have to go through to buy and sell a house, but no one "is processed" because of it. But that's a little external to the human being, and a caterpillar is the only thing I could think of (without spending more time on it) where the creature itself goes through a process and becomes something different.
I understand that you are focusing on the term.... I was responding to ZNPs definition that process implies an external agent working on something... using that definition it describes incarnation perfectly. Prenatal development is a process and is so described.

Yet, I don’t agree with your statement that “going through a process doesn’t mean you’ve been processed”. Of course you have! Going through a divorce means you are divorced. Going through bankruptcy means you end up bankrupt. Going through training means you are trained.

However, your argument is a fallacy. If your objection is that we don’t call caterpillars processed then I would argue we are not talking about a bug.... something we can observe, understand, and express easily with common terms. Rather, we are describing God, and not just God the Creator, but the Triune God who has essence and activity. We are attempting to describe a difference between what God is and what He does without confounding the two. I’m glad you are not in the camp of those who disregard the divine revelation showing God went through a process. I’m glad you have clarity about what Brother Lee actually taught and not carelessly leveling false charges of the heresy of modalism.. However, your objection is the use of an expression to describe something profound. It’s not a term that is normally used to describe the economical Trinity... an accepted theological term. Yet, no one I know says “ this morning I was talking to the economical Trinity and...” .

Therefore, yours is a non- sequitor argument... you find fault when the term (processed) is used to describe Gods doings and your argument, by comparison, has to do with everyday language used to describe a bug. There are many disciplines that use expressions that we don’t use in our everyday speak. That is why I said to use incarnation in this instance... no need for an analogy,

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Old 12-07-2018, 01:15 AM   #148
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The first rule in the LSM, don’t question Lee. Questioning Lee is antithetical to the recovery. .
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Do you have any substantive contribution to this topic? Or just a typical drive by shooting...
I think this is relative to the conversation. Questioning Lee is essential to the recovery's survival. People can't do it in person, and so are forced to do so online. Thus, this forum and this thread. None of this questioning can be done live in the LC. One is called "negative" and "rebellious" and given the boot.
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Old 12-07-2018, 01:40 AM   #149
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Well, I believe it too aron... but there is a very big difference between what transpired in Christ's resurrection and that of others who were resurrected in the NT.

Christ's resurrection entails more than just God having raised Him from the dead. That is why "became" is used for the divine processes... so, its the "became" that is relevant.
We have a dilemma, then: my Bible says God raised Jesus from the dead, and your Bible says God [the Word] became flesh and this God [incarnated Word as Last Adam] became the Life-Giving Spirit. And you then surmise that this Life-Giving Spirit “became” seven-fold intensified. The Bible doesn’t say “God became intensified”, and one strains to understand the “intensified” God (God wasn’t intense in Exodus?); nonetheless your logic train demands it. Okay. What to do?

I see three options, here. First option is what I call the “Two Bibles” option. You have “your” Bible with “your” verses, and I have mine. You recite “your” special verses, and I recite mine. We both tacitly ignore the other one’s verses. Believe it or not, I see this occasionally: I'll cite the “wrong” verses to a dogmatist, and they'll just stare blankly ahead, and not respond.

Another option is to relegate some of the Bible to “lesser” status; you know, “fallen” and “natural” and such. The so-called “low gospel”. That way one can at least acknowledge its existence, while still treating it as irrelevant, meanwhile adamantly waving one’s “proof text” verses, which “show” that such-and-such is so-and-so. One has their "high peak theology" which is "clearly shown" by a few key verses (even parts of verses[!!]) and what scripture can't be aligned gets dismissed as irrelevant to the conversation. Unimportant and ignored.

My option is to try to reconcile it all. The whole thing. I believe that the writers and compilers of the NT thought the whole of scripture was revelatory, and contained a seamless reality. “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” “All scripture is God-breathed….” Etc.

So I see God acting in the Bible through agents, intermediaries, who are God from an operational perspective. One place, the scripture says the Angel of the Lord spoke to Moses, and elsewhere that God spoke to Moses. Manoah and his wife saw the Angel of the Lord; they also saw God. God said, “I will go before you” in Exodus; also God said, “I will send My Angel before you”. Same thing. You continually see "God" and "God's agent" used interchangeably.

No one has ever seen God (John 1:18a), yet through the Special Intermediary one may operationally see God(John 1:18b). God says to Moses, “I will make you (Moses) God to them”. (Exod 7:1) When Pharaoh sees Moses, he operationally, or economically, sees God. Moses is, economically-speaking, God; not essentially of course, but from a “practical” or job-carrying out perspective one may say that “Moses is God”. The idea of agency is rife in the NT, look how many parables Jesus taught on "masters" and "servants". There is the Sender and the Sent One. "God loved us so much that He sent His Only Begotten Son", and "The Father has sent me" (John 20:21; 17:18 etc).

The Roman Centurion therefore told Jesus, “I also am a man under authority” (Matt 8:9; Luke 7:8); as such, the Centurion spoke to others and Caesar spoke through him - “I tell this one, ‘go’, and he goes; and this one ‘come here’, and he comes over…” Just as Jesus said, “When you see me you see the Father”, so the Centurion could say, “When you see me, you see Caesar”. Because Centurion was a man under Caesar’s will, and carrying out Caesar’s desire. Centurion was Caesar personified, made flesh operationally. When the servants saw Centurion, and heard his voice, they obeyed as if Caesar himself were there, speaking. (Note that Jesus marveled at ''such faith").

Jesus is both First Born of Creation (Col 1:15) and the One through whom God created all things (Eph 3:9; Col 1:16; cf Heb 1:2; John 1:3).

Thus also is with God: no one has ever seen God, yet God can be seen through His intermediaries. So angels, for example, are interchangeable with God from an operational perspective. The Angel told Philip to go down the South Road out of Jerusalem to preach the gospel; the Holy Spirit told Stephen to run up to the Ethiopian chariot. Which was it? Economically, it was the same thing. (Acts 8:26,29)

So “God made Jesus both Lord and Christ” (Acts 2:36)… not “God ‘became’ Lord and Christ”. Yet Jesus could say, “When you see me, you see the Father”, just as Moses could say to Pharaoh, “When you see me, you see the LORD”. In other words, "I [Jesus the Messiah or Special Covenanted Agent] come to do Your [God the Father] will, O God; behold in the scroll of the book it is written concerning me [the Obedient Sent Agent]" (Heb 10:9; Psa 40:8). And conversely, Jesus could say, “You [believers] shall be one [economically], just as I am one [economically] with the Father”. I and Ohio are one economically, not essentially.

I think Witness Lee got it backwards: Jesus is economically, or operationally God, but not essentially the Father. Lee said Jesus was essentially the Father but operationally a man Jesus. I think he got it backwards. The Centurion was operationally Caesar; Moses was operationally the LORD, or God (to Pharaoh). But they were not essentially the same as the sender. Likewise, I'm operationally one with Ohio and awareness and ZNP, not essentially one.

Paul, even, as a Sent One (apostle) of Jesus Christ was from an operational point of view, to the Galatian believers, Christ Himself. Paul was the Emissary of Christ to them: "and even though my illness was a trial to you, you did not treat me with contempt or scorn. Instead, you welcomed me as if I were an angel of God, as if I were Christ Jesus himself." We should all receive one another this way; even the "lowest" among us, should be "covered with grace and glory" (cf 1 Cor 12:23); as Christ himself. . ."No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us." (1 John 4:12)

Sorry for the length, but we're talking "God's economy" here.
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Something changed... a marvelous thing. What could it be?

Drake
God didn't change. God is the same forever. (Heb 1:12; 13:8) Jesus is still King of the Jews, and King of Israel. He is still both Lord and Christ. Still Saviour of the world. Still the Name above every name.

James wrote, "With God, there is no variability; no shadow cast by turning." I believe that he means, with God there is no change. It is we who change, and thus God may appear differently. "To to pure You appear pure, to the perverse You appear distorted." But God is never distorted. I believe first-century Jews, who composed the NT, thought this way. But some of them believed into the resurrection of Jesus from among the dead, and to those God gave the authority to become the children of God. It was centuries later that the mental gymnastics were required to become a believer. And I see the "processed God" as exemplar.
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:53 AM   #150
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Default Re: Merged Thread: The Gospel Vs "God's Economy"

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Thank you aron.

I agree with a lot of what you say in this post. Some I don’t to be sure, but before drilling down on your thoughtful treatise please advise whether you agree with R.C Sprouts point of view concerning the differences between the ontological and economical Trinity. If you differ with his point of view, please explain precisely where and why.

Thanks again,
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:54 AM   #151
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ZNP

I’m not totally convinced of your construct but for the moment let’s explore it.

Therefore using the construct the scriptural example of an external agent working on a human to cause a change in the human would be incarnation.... apart from the womb a baby cannot develop. John 1:14

That is a process.

Drake
Yes there are many processes that apply equally to us and Jesus. To say that Jesus experienced them all is fair. However, to say a baby "became" fully developed in the womb is also very understandable.

My point is simply that the apostles used the term "became" not "processed". There are other terms they didn't use which we use today, so that alone is not an error, but it does raise the very reasonable question -- why? What are you adding, or revealing with this term? Since the derivation is from the term "became" what was missing from the word became?
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Old 12-07-2018, 05:59 AM   #152
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Trapped,

I like analogies as you know but in this case no need for one like a caterpilker because the example the Bible provides is incarnation... prenatal development is the process of the Word becoming flesh. John 1:14

Drake
I agree that for the sake of argument we should focus on this analogy, it is relevant, it is scriptural, and it is the basis for WL's doctrine.

Who would say "the baby was processed in the womb"? That sounds like the Spam joke that Awareness is making, that brings to mind German concentration camps which may be the source of the "clang" that Trapped brought up, it explains the issues many of us have with the term and why I say this was the MO of WL.

Instead, the term "developed" seems to hit on a real mystery. How could God, become a man that was an infant and needed to "develop"? Also the term "develop" does not leave the fellowship of the apostles as the gospel says "And the child grew and waxed strong, filled with wisdom, and God's grace was upon him."
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:07 AM   #153
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We have a dilemma, then: my Bible says God raised Jesus from the dead, and your Bible says God [the Word] became flesh and this God [incarnated Word as Last Adam] became the Life-Giving Spirit. And you then surmise that this Life-Giving Spirit “became” seven-fold intensified. The Bible doesn’t say “God became intensified”, and one strains to understand the “intensified” God (God wasn’t intense in Exodus?); nonetheless your logic train demands it. Okay. What to do?

I see three options, here.
I see a fourth option. When Edison invented the lightbulb did he invent a single bulb, a dim bulb, an intense bulb, a lamp with seven bulbs, etc? Does this really have to be either/or? Wasn't a lamp with seven bulbs one of the original options?

If the church is a lamp set on a hill, why wouldn't seven churches in seven localities be a lamp stand with seven bulbs?

If we are the light of the world, then why wouldn't this light become more and more intense as the church grows?

Jesus grew in strength and grace, why wouldn't the church also grow in strength and grace?
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:30 AM   #154
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Yes there are many processes that apply equally to us and Jesus. To say that Jesus experienced them all is fair. However, to say a baby "became" fully developed in the womb is also very understandable.

My point is simply that the apostles used the term "became" not "processed". There are other terms they didn't use which we use today, so that alone is not an error, but it does raise the very reasonable question -- why? What are you adding, or revealing with this term? Since the derivation is from the term "became" what was missing from the word became?
ZNP

The term “processed” adds clarity that what is being referred to is related to what God does and not what God is. The Bible says that the Word became flesh and the last Adam became a life giving Spirit… Not God became flesh and God became a life giving Spirit even though Christ is God. Orthodoxy says that the two becomings of Christ are economical not an essential becoming in the Godhead therefore it is prudent to add clarification using our modern terminology to describe it. For me whenever I hear the term the processed Triune God I immediately think of the steps related to His actions upon and with His creation.....incarnation, human living, crucifixion, resurrection, ascension, enthronement, and becoming the Firstborn among many brothers. Meanwhile, I also am assured by explaining God in this way that I, and any of my hearers, am not referring to what the Godhead is in essence. The term “processed Triune God” distinguishes what we are talking about from what we are not talking about concerning God.

That does not mean that purposefully or through careless neglect some people wont still misunderstand but that does not relieve us of our responsibility to provide as much clarity as possible about what we mean

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Old 12-07-2018, 06:31 AM   #155
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Yes there are many processes that apply equally to us and Jesus. To say that Jesus experienced them all is fair. However, to say a baby "became" fully developed in the womb is also very understandable.
My point is simply that the apostles used the term "became" not "processed". There are other terms they didn't use which we use today, so that alone is not an error, but it does raise the very reasonable question -- why? What are you adding, or revealing with this term? Since the derivation is from the term "became" what was missing from the word became?
This highlights the point many have with the phrase "processed God." Why is Drake so compelled to endorse Lee's additions to the Biblical record? It quickly becomes obvious that Lee did not do this to further the truth, but to be different -- to set himself apart, at least in the eyes of his beholders.

Lee also used his specialized (and highly questionable) terminology to condemn all others, "poor, poor, Christianity does not see that God is processed." Who would build their ministry on such a basis? Neither Luther, nor Darby, nor Nee did this.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:39 AM   #156
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The term “processed” adds clarity that what is being referred to is related to what God does and not what God is.
Another Biblical analogy is the transformation of precious stones. Transformation is another Biblical term, and does not carry the industrial and technological connotations that processed carries. Transformation does not change the intrinsic nature of the stone, the molecules are unchanged, rather the crystal structure is what is being changed. So there is a very clear distinction between the intrinsic and economical. In order for a stone to be transformed there are processes that are required and interestingly they are usually not what people associate with Diamonds which are not one of the precious stones in the NJ. So the term transformation includes the notion of various processes being applied, yet the focus is on the becoming of the stone the change that takes place.

However, when I hear the term "processed" the idea that the intrinsic nature of the food has not been changed is totally not there. On the contrary the act of processing food changes it intrinsically.

So then, if taught as you have done I don't see this term as an error, but simply a less expressive term than those used by the apostles.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:41 AM   #157
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Lee also used his specialized (and highly questionable) terminology to condemn all others, "poor, poor, Christianity does not see that God is processed." Who would build their ministry on such a basis? Neither Luther, nor Darby, nor Nee did this.
"The all inclusive processed triune God" is certainly the biggest example of this that I can remember.
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Old 12-07-2018, 06:45 AM   #158
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Who would say "the baby was processed in the womb"?
Medical professionals who deal with the topic.

“Prenatal development (from Latin natalis, meaning 'relating to birth') is the process in which an embryo and later fetus develops during gestation. Prenatal development starts with fertilization, the first stage in embryogenesis which continues in fetal development until birth.”

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Old 12-07-2018, 06:58 AM   #159
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Medical professionals who deal with the topic.

“Prenatal development (from Latin natalis, meaning 'relating to birth') is the process in which an embryo and later fetus develops during gestation. Prenatal development starts with fertilization, the first stage in embryogenesis which continues in fetal development until birth.”

Drake
They didn't, they used the term "prenatal development". No one on this thread has expressed an issue with saying that being incarnated, crucified, resurrected and ascended are "processes" that Jesus went through. But with people we don't say they have been processed like in a factory, we say they grew, they developed, they matured.

I have already pointed out that incarnation, human development and transformation of precious stones all involve processes, yet we don't refer to these items as being "processed" but rather "developed", "transformed" and "became".

Again, I do not see this term as being "heretical" rather I feel it reveals WL's MO of trying to be different as a pretense to having special light. Also, I don't give him a pass because English was not his native language. He was very arrogant, boasting how all these native born speakers didn't pick this up, and he was notorious for not listening to others cautions and hesitations. So he fully owned this, he was warned and instead of being humble he chose rather to insult any and all who disagreed with him.
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:16 AM   #160
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Another Biblical analogy is the transformation of precious stones. Transformation is another Biblical term, and does not carry the industrial and technological connotations that processed carries. Transformation does not change the intrinsic nature of the stone, the molecules are unchanged, rather the crystal structure is what is being changed. So there is a very clear distinction between the intrinsic and economical. In order for a stone to be transformed there are processes that are required and interestingly they are usually not what people associate with Diamonds which are not one of the precious stones in the NJ. So the term transformation includes the notion of various processes being applied, yet the focus is on the becoming of the stone the change that takes place.

However, when I hear the term "processed" the idea that the intrinsic nature of the food has not been changed is totally not there. On the contrary the act of processing food changes it intrinsically.

So then, if taught as you have done I don't see this term as an error, but simply a less expressive term than those used by the apostles.
Precious stones are a good analogy for believers as the material for Gods building but I don’t see it’s application when distinguishing between the essential and economical Trinity.

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Old 12-07-2018, 07:38 AM   #161
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I see a fourth option. When Edison invented the lightbulb did he invent a single bulb, a dim bulb, an intense bulb, a lamp with seven bulbs, etc?
There were seven bulbs in Exodus when God told Moses, "See that you build everything according to the Vision shown you on the Holy Mountain." If God needed seven bulbs, they were there already.

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"Then make its seven lamps and set them up on it so that they light the space in front of it.
This would have been plain to any first-century reader. Our theology, created centuries later, required us to see "the intensified third of the Trinity". Huh?

This is what I meant by the gymnastics later needed. Lee was the master of this. "This means that". . . as soon as you start tugging on the threads of his fabric it unravels right in front of us.. but we're trained, "Never tug on those threads, there!" So instead of questioning the hermeneutics, we do gyrations to stay inside them. And don't look at the "wrong" verses! Then it really becomes troubling.

So in my local church we were told, "Don't think". We were told it would just make us confused. "Don't be hardened, just be simple, drop your concepts..." Yet all I see in Lee's teachings are concepts. Most of them barely supportable, if at all.

I also have concepts, and opinions. But suppose I started a website and chased off any who didn't agree with my every "jot and tittle"?

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One notable action which Lee and LSM has taken is to remove and neutralize the gifted members of the body from ministering according to the anointing Spirit. The list of gifted and fruitful ministers around the globe, who once labored to establish churches, and have been expelled by Lee/LSM is just incredible. This forum is filled with their accounts. They were used by Lee, then were discarded. None of them ever parted peacefully. They were always nasty "divorces." Why would Lee/LSM do this? What was there motive? Just to remove "any individual distinctiveness" from the churches?
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Old 12-07-2018, 07:41 AM   #162
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"The all inclusive processed triune God" is certainly the biggest example of this that I can remember.
Consummated! ZNP! You forgot the "and consummated" part!
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:03 AM   #163
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ZNP

I’m not totally convinced of your construct but for the moment let’s explore it.

Therefore using the construct the scriptural example of an external agent working on a human to cause a change in the human would be incarnation.... apart from the womb a baby cannot develop. John 1:14

That is a process.

Drake
Hey, you're right. I never looked at that 'construct' like that before ; we're all processed. Maybe that's why the LC is like vacuum packaging ; a bubble to live in, that keeps us away from contaminants in the world?'

I make light. But now bro Drake I understand why you asked Trapped : the concept or the term?

And now you're working on the term. Are you thinking that if we can confirm a 'process,' we can then confirm Lee's processed God?
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Old 12-07-2018, 08:12 AM   #164
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Hey, you're right. I never looked at that 'construct' like that before ; we're all processed. Maybe that's why the LC is like vacuum packaging ; a bubble to live in, that keeps us away from contaminants in the world?
I hate to encourage him, but that was funny.
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