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Apologetic discussions Apologetic Discussions Regarding the Teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee

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Old 10-18-2019, 09:24 PM   #1
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Default One City One Church, any of the Church Fathers Practice it?

I think many members of the LC didn't use their brain enough when they're taught of certain doctrine. I no longer see the one city one church as truth when I use my basic logic. I accepted it back then not because I was convinced but because I was taught like that, that's what I know about Christianity from a non Christian background. Think about it, how many scholar or believers in this world? They don't see the ground of oneness yet watchman saw it, the Lord have revealed to him. How strange, sounds like Joseph Smith experience?

The LC are locked within their own thing, since they're so proud of themselves, it's a closed and self serving system. They say they practice open fellowship, says if 10 brothers gatherd, they will make a conclusion or agreement by majority vote, but obviously they're not open up that fellowship to the rest of the body. Their oneness is practiced within themselves, strange nobody raise the issue. Because I think no one dare to raise the issue, otherwise you'll be quarantine for speaking the truth or be label as rebellion. How does this kind of environment is encouraging? The damage done to the people within is not a small matter. It fooled people and caused them to lost the blessing from being able to love other Christian who's not in their group.
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Old 10-19-2019, 08:38 AM   #2
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Default Re: One City One Church, any of the Church Fathers Practice it?

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I think many members of the LC didn't use their brain enough when they're taught of certain doctrine. I no longer see the one city one church as truth when I use my basic logic. I accepted it back then not because I was convinced but because I was taught like that, that's what I know about Christianity from a non Christian background. Think about it, how many scholar or believers in this world? They don't see the ground of oneness yet watchman saw it, the Lord have revealed to him. How strange, sounds like Joseph Smith experience?
It's actually quite a bit like the Joseph Smith experience. A man gets a revelation, then followers gathering round validates the revelation, then that validation of dedicated adherents becomes the selling point. And nobody really looks back and asks, but is the revelation itself true? They just see the mass of followers and suppose that it must be valid.

In the case of Nee, "one city one church" was a convenient way to shed China of foreign influence. The hated "running dogs of the West" could be dismissed in toto. The Local Church with Local (Chinese) oversight became the basis of the Normal Christian Church Life as Nee saw it. It's simplicity became its selling point, and they came in by the thousands. That coming in validated Nee as the Minister of the Age, and he could then reverse field and cancel the idea of local autonomy in his new "centralisation revelation" which was the Jerusalem Principle. All the local churches should report to the center. Naturally Nee was at the pinnacle of the HQ.

But in the New Testament, you had multiple 'ekklesia' per city. Each gathering of two or three was an 'ekklesia'. Paul's epistle to the Romans shows them meeting in the homes - obviously there is more than one house in Rome. Acts 17:41 has the public official dismissing the 'ekklesia' - clearly there were meetings or gatherings which were not of Jesus.

But none of this mattered in 1928 China. They had a way to separate themselves from foreign domination. So One City One Church it was.

There is another parallel with Joseph Smith: today, Mormons are questioning why he had to "seal" 14 year-old girls among his 27 wives. And so forth: people are thinking about what happened - did it make sense? Was there self-interest involved? Was what happened really in accord with New Testament principles as laid out by Jesus and the apostles? Likewise in the LC, the behaviours of Nee and Lee and their followers in the One Church One City paradigm are beginning to get openly re-assessed by formerly passive and docile church members.
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Old 10-19-2019, 11:09 AM   #3
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Default Re: One City One Church, any of the Church Fathers Practice it?

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I think many members of the LC didn't use their brain enough when they're taught of certain doctrine. I no longer see the one city one church as truth when I use my basic logic. I accepted it back then not because I was convinced but because I was taught like that, that's what I know about Christianity from a non Christian background. Think about it, how many scholar or believers in this world?
Chan, welcome to the forum! Please consider registering and sharing more.

Here is a link to a forum post written by an anonymous poster, a former leader in the Recovery. His thoughtful study of "one city, one church" has been a help to many.
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Old 10-19-2019, 04:47 PM   #4
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Default Re: One City One Church, any of the Church Fathers Practice it?

I am one with all believers in this city, county, state, country and world - not because I declare it - but because there is one Spirit in us, in the one body of Christ!
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Old 12-21-2019, 09:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: One City One Church, any of the Church Fathers Practice it?

Yeah, this idea is not expressed in the church fathers. I've read about 50 volumes now over many years and that idea is not expressed. Even as far back as the time of Polycarp, there would be many churches in a given city for the simple reason that there were far too many christians to meet in one location.
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Old 12-22-2019, 05:55 AM   #6
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Default Re: One City One Church, any of the Church Fathers Practice it?

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I think many members of the LC didn't use their brain enough when they're taught of certain doctrine. I no longer see the one city one church as truth when I use my basic logic. I accepted it back then not because I was convinced but because I was taught like that, that's what I know about Christianity from a non Christian background. Think about it, how many scholar or believers in this world? They don't see the ground of oneness yet watchman saw it, the Lord have revealed to him. How strange, sounds like Joseph Smith experience?

The LC are locked within their own thing, since they're so proud of themselves, it's a closed and self serving system. They say they practice open fellowship, says if 10 brothers gatherd, they will make a conclusion or agreement by majority vote, but obviously they're not open up that fellowship to the rest of the body. Their oneness is practiced within themselves, strange nobody raise the issue. Because I think no one dare to raise the issue, otherwise you'll be quarantine for speaking the truth or be label as rebellion. How does this kind of environment is encouraging? The damage done to the people within is not a small matter. It fooled people and caused them to lost the blessing from being able to love other Christian who's not in their group.
The extreme practice of one city one church (OCOC) was developed by Darby and adopted by Nee. It is strictly a mechanism of control. There are no spiritual truths or "vision" surrounding it. Paul's heavenly vision on the road to Damascus was to take the gospel to the Gentiles, but Darby/Nee/Lee used their "vision" of the church to control the Gentiles, and to rule over them.

The tragic story of old beloved Dr. Cronin opened my eyes concerning this teaching. Cronin was one of the original Brethren back in the days of Lady Powerscourt and the prophetic gatherings she held, which were the origins of the Brethren in Dublin. It was ANGroves, George Muller's father in law, who originally linked the English and Irish Brethren. Cronin then accompanied Groves on missionary journeys to Iraq and SW Asia.

As the story goes, late in life, while Darby was on his deathbed, the old Doctor Cronin broke bread with some seeking Christians in a small town. Cronin dared not introduce them to an established Brethren assembly in town, since they were consumed with legalistic infighting. But true to form, the Brethren practice was to totally disregard the "condition" of recognized assemblies in fabor of their proper "standing." Sounds a lot like WL, eh?

Movement headquarters at the Park Street assembly in London -- the forerunner to today's LC version of a "non-controlling" center of operation in Anaheim -- discovered the dastardly violation of Brethren "principles." They promptly excommunicated the old loving doctor. His crime was violation of the OCOC dogma. Since Darby was in his final days, headquarters exerted its power and quickly moved to make an example of Cronin.

The faithful doctor, a lifelong Brethren from their inception ~1827 to 1881 -- more than five decades -- was summarily thrown under the bus. He was heart broken. He was guilty of following the Spirit to care for new believers, breaking bread with them. Such was the sentence for those who chose love over law, liberty over legality. The famous Brethren teacher WmKelly -- perhaps Darby's most accomplished student -- who had compiled all of Darby's writings, rejected the harsh sentence on Cronin. Others followed.

Darby, on his death bed, could have stopped the expulsion, but that would signal the absurdity of the established OCOC dogma. It had become the rock on which they were built. This flawed dogma had been cast in stone for 34 years since the Muller excommunication, which split the movement into Exclusives and Open Brethren. To the rank and file, OCOC was their very ecclesiastical identity, perhaps exceeding even the Lord's work on the cross. There was no turning back now. Resigned, Darby said, "if it is the Lord's will."

The Kelly-Lowe split took the entire European continent with them. This tragic story would be repeated again. And again. It was a purity test for the movement. And there were many others to come.
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Old 12-22-2019, 05:57 AM   #7
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Default Re: One City One Church, any of the Church Fathers Practice it?

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Yeah, this idea is not expressed in the church fathers. I've read about 50 volumes now over many years and that idea is not expressed. Even as far back as the time of Polycarp, there would be many churches in a given city for the simple reason that there were far too many christians to meet in one location.
Thanks for your diligent study, Acolyte4236.
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Old 12-22-2019, 08:24 AM   #8
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Default Re: One City One Church, any of the Church Fathers Practice it?

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Yeah, this idea is not expressed in the church fathers. I've read about 50 volumes now over many years and that idea is not expressed. Even as far back as the time of Polycarp, there would be many churches in a given city for the simple reason that there were far too many christians to meet in one location.
What I think is unfortunate is that groups still call themselves different names. These days I largely overlook any group name and just focus on fellowshipping Christ. In Him we are one, through the One Spirit.

But who am I to say - maybe in the kingdom we'll have the "1st Lutheran Church of the Illustrious Underwater Basket Weavers," et. al.
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Old 12-22-2019, 07:26 PM   #9
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Default Re: One City One Church, any of the Church Fathers Practice it?

Well I find the different names quite helpful. I learned over the years to always ask a very simple question. "What church do you go to?" If someone says they are Presbyterian for example, I have a pretty good idea of their theological background. I know what I am getting.

If I get evasive answers like the ones the LC, The Assembly, Boston Church of Christ, et al, give, well then I know there is a problem right off the bat. It lets me know what I am dealing with right from the start.
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Old 12-22-2019, 09:03 PM   #10
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Default Re: One City One Church, any of the Church Fathers Practice it?

To me, that is focusing on some doctrinal footing for fellowship, and often highlights some point we might not agree on right from the start . . . rather than the one Spirit we share.
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:22 AM   #11
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Well, the same faith seems to be the appropriate basis for it. Appeals to the Spirit are subjective and do no work. Besides, both in the NT and the early church and identity of faith was required for communion, which is the biblical mark and criteria of unity.

Ive learned over many years that many sects and groups make appeals to emotions claiming the Spirit while trying to ignore their doctrinal distinctives or historical origins.
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Old 12-26-2019, 10:42 AM   #12
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Default Re: One City One Church, any of the Church Fathers Practice it?

To be clear, it is the Spirit of Christ ---> so the focus on Christ alone is what I was referring to.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:38 PM   #13
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To be clear, it is the Spirit of Christ ---> so the focus on Christ alone is what I was referring to.
Well an appeal to the Spirit apart from the Incarnate Christ leads to Docetism as well is decoupling spiritual claims from historical veracity. If a group has a recent historical footprint, there is a reason for it and a reason why they have to ignore history or rewrite it.
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Old 12-30-2019, 12:46 PM   #14
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Well an appeal to the Spirit apart from the Incarnate Christ leads to Docetism as well is decoupling spiritual claims from historical veracity. If a group has a recent historical footprint, there is a reason for it and a reason why they have to ignore history or rewrite it.
Eh? (I went to public schrools, so please keep it simple . . .)
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Old 12-30-2019, 01:24 PM   #15
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Eh? (I went to public schrools, so please keep it simple . . .)
I went to public schools also.
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Old 12-30-2019, 02:51 PM   #16
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I went to public schools also.
We'll try not to hold that against you!
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