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Old 01-24-2012, 08:19 PM   #1
Terry
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Default Reconciliation in the Local Churches?

I know we've often heard how the Church life in the local churches was somehow the Lord's best. How can we as Christians claim to be in the New Testament Ministry, Minstry of the Age, etc when there is no urgency, no desire, and very little love for reconciliation among the brothers and sisters?
I read an article tonight concerning Microsoft's Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs of Apple. These two men were rivals and at times friends, but at the end their relationship was reconciled.

"Gates also reflected on the passing of Steve Jobs. Weeks before the Apple founder died, Gates paid an unannounced visit to the home of his sometime friend and longtime rival.

"He and I always enjoyed talking. He would throw some things out, you know, some stimulating things. We'd talk about the other companies that have come along. We talked about our families and how lucky we'd both been in terms of the women we married. It was great relaxed conversation.
"

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/newsmake...235256838.html

God knows if these two men had a relationship with Him. If you speculate they don't know the Lord, what does it say when unbelievers have a better grasp what reconciliation means that Christians should know and should practice? Going as far back as the so-called "Sister's Rebellion", these brothers and sisters aren't getting any younger. Most of these dear brothers and sisters are into their 70's and 80's. How much time is left? How long are brothers and sisters going to cling onto perceived wrongdoings that happened decades ago and not sense the urgency to be reconciled to one another?
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Old 01-25-2012, 10:41 AM   #2
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Default Re: Reconciliation in the Local Churches?

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I know we've often heard how the Church life in the local churches was somehow the Lord's best. How can we as Christians claim to be in the New Testament Ministry, Minstry of the Age, etc when there is no urgency, no desire, and very little love for reconciliation among the brothers and sisters?
...
How long are brothers and sisters going to cling onto perceived wrongdoings that happened decades ago and not sense the urgency to be reconciled to one another?
Just so it gets said, TF, we as Christians have no business claiming to be anything, other than a child of the King. As long as "we" think more highly of ourselves than we ought, we will continue to look down on others with condescension, antagonism, judgmental disdain and other devilish attitudes, and we will remain steeped in the sin of unforgiveness and disobedience.

I have recently come to believe that the biggest problem among Christians today is that they/we no longer believe the Bible, we no longer fear God, and we believe that the "rules have changed".

People do not reconcile, because they are disobedient. They believe that Matt. 18 doesn't apply to them, and they have little or no fear that they will be held accountable for their sin.

This year I was in a conversation among a group of ten or so former LC members. The conversation was quite heated at times because the topic was about receiving a brother who had been caught in blatant, gross sin. The topic of "divorce" came up, because that was also an issue.

A sister eventually stated loudly, with passion, "well, everybody gets divorced"!

I guess that statement rocked my world. In her mind divorce is OK now, because "everybody does it". There are a lot of terribly sad things that may happen that lead to divorce, some beyond your control. But when Christians use the "everybody does it" excuse, the fear of God is not there, the authority of His word is not respected or believed, and obedience is irrelevant.

Well, TF, probably not the answer you were expecting.

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Old 01-25-2012, 10:50 AM   #3
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Default Re: Reconciliation in the Local Churches?

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The topic of "divorce" came up, because that was also an issue.

A sister eventually stated loudly, with passion, "well, everybody gets divorced"!

I guess that statement rocked my world. In her mind divorce is OK now, because "everybody does it". There are a lot of terribly sad things that may happen that lead to divorce, some beyond your control. But when Christians use the "everybody does it" excuse, the fear of God is not there, the authority of His word is not respected or believed, and obedience is irrelevant.

Well, TF, probably not the answer you were expecting.
Nell, when one gets into the matter of divorce I have two questions do pose:
1. Do you consider marriage a contract or a covenant?
2. Apart from adultery, should one get divorced do you still treat marriage as a covenant and never remarry?


Right it wasn't the answer I was expecting, but a response I value. I suppose when it comes to reconciliation between believers, the question to be asked, where is your conscience? Do you have love the other party?
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:03 AM   #4
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Default Re: Reconciliation in the Local Churches?

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Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I know we've often heard how the Church life in the local churches was somehow the Lord's best. How can we as Christians claim to be in the New Testament Ministry, Minstry of the Age, etc when there is no urgency, no desire, and very little love for reconciliation among the brothers and sisters?
I read an article tonight concerning Microsoft's Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs of Apple. These two men were rivals and at times friends, but at the end their relationship was reconciled.

"Gates also reflected on the passing of Steve Jobs. Weeks before the Apple founder died, Gates paid an unannounced visit to the home of his sometime friend and longtime rival.

"He and I always enjoyed talking. He would throw some things out, you know, some stimulating things. We'd talk about the other companies that have come along. We talked about our families and how lucky we'd both been in terms of the women we married. It was great relaxed conversation.
"

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/newsmake...235256838.html

God knows if these two men had a relationship with Him. If you speculate they don't know the Lord, what does it say when unbelievers have a better grasp what reconciliation means that Christians should know and should practice? Going as far back as the so-called "Sister's Rebellion", these brothers and sisters aren't getting any younger. Most of these dear brothers and sisters are into their 70's and 80's. How much time is left? How long are brothers and sisters going to cling onto perceived wrongdoings that happened decades ago and not sense the urgency to be reconciled to one another?
These two would never have reconciled if Microsoft had quarantined Jobs and Apple for violating their "one publication policy" concerning software.

Think about how much "confusion" this has caused "the body" of computer users. Back in those early days, using a "mouse" to double-click icons was worst than playing electric guitars and drums. Remembering the "good old days" of MS-DOS is like reminiscing about Elden Hall.
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Old 01-25-2012, 11:07 AM   #5
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Default Re: Reconciliation in the Local Churches?

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Nell, when one gets into the matter of divorce I have two questions do pose:
1. Do you consider marriage a contract or a covenant?
2. Apart from adultery, should one get divorced do you still treat marriage as a covenant and never remarry?


Right it wasn't the answer I was expecting, but a response I value. I suppose when it comes to reconciliation between believers, the question to be asked, where is your conscience? Do you have love the other party?
1. I consider marriage to be exactly what the Bible says it is.
2. Whatever you do, must be done in obedience to your Father.

Sorry. There is no blanket answer to these kinds of questions. I can't tell you how to live your life. If I try...don't listen to me!

Fear God. Obey His commands. Seek His counsel. Confess your sins. Whatever is of God will be clean. He has not changed.

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Old 01-25-2012, 01:18 PM   #6
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1. I consider marriage to be exactly what the Bible says it is.
2. Whatever you do, must be done in obedience to your Father.
I am clear concerning marriage. My question was raised to whomever the reader might be.
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Old 01-26-2012, 11:29 AM   #7
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I am clear concerning marriage. My question was raised to whomever the reader might be.
Sorry TF, I didn't mean to lecture you.

I just think the words need to be said. I'm guilty of searching for ways to circumvent obedience to God's word, in favor of "figuring out" a way that "seems right" or that "leans toward my own understanding". Or worse, I didn't want someone to think poorly of me, so I made a choice to minimize God and his word, thereby excusing my own selfishly motivated wilful disobedience.

There are questions we don't have to ask when the clear answer is in the Bible. I also remember asking my mother questions, and often she would say "let your conscience be your guide" I hated that!

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Old 01-26-2012, 06:03 PM   #8
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There are questions we don't have to ask when the clear answer is in the Bible.
Yes and it would also imply reading the Bible.
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Old 02-01-2012, 09:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Reconciliation in the Local Churches?

Someone once was a witness to a heated discussion between Witness Lee and a brother who disagreed with him - no doubt, a brother who was eventually "quarantined." Both were reported to have made the following statement concerning their respective positions: "I can take that to the throne."

So you see, the problem with the LSM brothers, and frankly, with some who splintered off from LSM, is that they know very little of the Throne. Otherwise, they could never make such an audacious claim. The throne eventually will bring all of us to our knees, with nary a thought of raising one eye to make a point. Oh, that we would let the Throne do it's work while we are still on this side.

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Old 02-05-2012, 06:09 AM   #10
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Default Re: Reconciliation in the Local Churches?

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...Witness Lee and a brother who disagreed with him ... were reported to have made the following statement concerning their respective positions: "I can take that to the throne."

...they know very little of the Throne. Otherwise, they could never make such an audacious claim. The throne eventually will bring all of us to our knees...
This reminds me of Matthew chapter 5: "leave your gift at the altar (Throne) and go and be reconciled with your brother. Then, when you have reconciled, you can come and offer your gift."

My experience is that we are more prone to remember and apply "...let him be to you like the Gentile" in Matthew chapter 18, than we are to remember "...first be reconciled with your brother in "Matthew chapter 5.

And I suspect we at least subconsciously place stipulations upon any potential reconciliation such that "our brother" needs to confess that his are the "wrongs" and ours the "rights" before the healing can begin, and we agree to restore him from "among the Gentiles". The idea that perhaps we ourselves might be also partly in error is less dwelt upon than the immutable fixation on the error(s) of the other party. Jesus was surely right when He noted that we can see the splinter in the other's eye before we can see the beam in our own.

A subset of this idea is that the only theological & practical convictions we should carry "to the Throne" are those agreed upon by all of the common faith. It is not called the common faith for nothing (e.g. see Jude v.3). Any teachings, high peak or otherwise, which lead to unresolveable disputations must be let go before the Throne, in order to hold onto our brothers. Our brothers and sisters should be more dear to us than our theology, teachings, and practices.
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Old 06-29-2016, 04:46 PM   #11
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Default Re: Reconciliation in the Local Churches?

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God knows if [Steve Jobs and Bill Gates] had a relationship with Him. If you speculate they don't know the Lord, what does it say when unbelievers have a better grasp what reconciliation means that Christians should know and should practice? Going as far back as the so-called "Sister's Rebellion", these brothers and sisters aren't getting any younger. Most of these dear brothers and sisters are into their 70's and 80's. How much time is left? How long are brothers and sisters going to cling onto perceived wrongdoings that happened decades ago and not sense the urgency to be reconciled to one another?
Fifty to one hundred years after John Darby excommunicated George Muller for accepting members of the Plymouth assembly (who had been associated with the excommunicated Benjamin Newton) into the Bethesda Chapel, exclusives were still demanding that all new members and all member churches condemn Muller unequivocally. Members who were not even born yet in those days of their first split had to "take a definite stand on Muller" before they could be received to break bread in an exclusive assembly.

The last meeting between Darby and Muller has been the subject of Brethren controversy for nearly two centuries, with neither side budging from their sworn allegiance. Darby and Muller both went to their graves without reconciliation. Muller stated what happened in no uncertain terms, and then let the matter sit. Darby and his supporters, however, have another version to tell.
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Old 06-29-2016, 09:23 PM   #12
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Default Re: Reconciliation in the Local Churches?

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Originally Posted by Terry View Post
I know we've often heard how the Church life in the local churches was somehow the Lord's best. How can we as Christians claim to be in the New Testament Ministry, Minstry of the Age, etc when there is no urgency, no desire, and very little love for reconciliation among the brothers and sisters?
I read an article tonight concerning Microsoft's Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs of Apple. These two men were rivals and at times friends, but at the end their relationship was reconciled.

"Gates also reflected on the passing of Steve Jobs. Weeks before the Apple founder died, Gates paid an unannounced visit to the home of his sometime friend and longtime rival.

"He and I always enjoyed talking. He would throw some things out, you know, some stimulating things. We'd talk about the other companies that have come along. We talked about our families and how lucky we'd both been in terms of the women we married. It was great relaxed conversation.
"

http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/newsmake...235256838.html

God knows if these two men had a relationship with Him. If you speculate they don't know the Lord, what does it say when unbelievers have a better grasp what reconciliation means that Christians should know and should practice? Going as far back as the so-called "Sister's Rebellion", these brothers and sisters aren't getting any younger. Most of these dear brothers and sisters are into their 70's and 80's. How much time is left? How long are brothers and sisters going to cling onto perceived wrongdoings that happened decades ago and not sense the urgency to be reconciled to one another?
Good points, Terry, and others on this thread.

I've found its worse than not seeking reconciliation in the LC.... its not being willing to even talk about problems. I once had a very difficult time understanding why an elder who had been a real shepherd to me, had been told by four elders representing Witness Lee while he was in Taiwan to move to another locality for "retraining" by one of the four who shortly after left TLR. And the leader of the four also left TLR a year later. Yet the matter was never reviewed. I tried many times, with all of the brothers involved and Witness Lee. But, no one would talk about it.

I have found it much easier to talk about items of disagreement with saints in two other churches I've been involved with since I left TLR... and reach understanding with reconciliation.
How can we claim to be built with others, when we can't even talk?
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Old 06-30-2016, 05:31 AM   #13
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. . . no one would talk about it.
It seems as if the central conceit, the focus and main selling point, of the whole operation is that God raised up an Ascended Master in these last days. Then when the world collapsed and caught fire, the Ascended Master sent his One True Acolyte to foreign shores to carry The Message. This Acolyte became the new Ascended Master, God's Oracle. Everything the AM said was enlightened. He could tell one brother to buy a used car, because that brother loved shiny new things. He'd then tell another brother to buy a new car, because that second brother was always tinkering on his old jalopies and didn't have time for the Church Life.

So the AM could say anything, and it was enlightening, pruning you and purifying the dross. He could tell you, "Good morning", and it was unlike any Good morning you'd ever heard; it was like God spoke from heaven. Clearly, the fast track to the top was to come under the AM; not like in poor Religion where they just sat and heard sermons about the Great Bye-and-Bye. No; under the AM you got Heaven streamed into you like a radio broadcast, painting your soul, until like the AM you were a transcendent person. The theme of the Message wasn't the Local Ground or God's Economy or the Body or Consummated New Jerusalem; no the focus was whatever the AM wanted to talk about today. Everything he said was carefully edited and packaged with shiny labels and sold by the Ministry Office.

Just carry around the Rainbow Booklet with the AM's words, and you'll attract seekers, they said. Just pray over the outlines, bullet points, and recite the words of his hymns, buy HWMR, wall posters, CDs, coffee mugs and t-shirts with AM sayings, and you'll be sanctified. The rarefied air of heaven will settle around you, and pull you higher and higher.

Now, what happens when this narrative bumps into reality existing on the ground? What happens when the AM suddenly seems like maybe he's actually a schmuck like you and me, only one with a good scam going? How to address this?

Answer: you can't. The whole thing is based on transmission and maintenance of unchallenged assumptions, taken as the building stones of reality itself, and if you begin to question, to think, to probe, and to discuss (!!!!!) the fact, let's say, that the AM's stooges were bilking people and railroading witnesses, then you're out like trout. If those assumptions ever get exposed then whole enterprise is threatened.

The rich man told Jesus that he'd repaid people fourfold, what had been taken wrongly. Jesus answered that today salvation had come to his house (Luke 19:9). Ministry apologists instead told people that WL was heartbroken that "God blew on" his motor home manufacturing enterprise and it failed, but why not just consider their erstwhile investment as a donation? Case closed. Life savings? Gone. Don't wanna talk about it. Let's move on to today's message. Now, were we talking about Life, or Truth? I forget.

Anyone who persists in examining the whys and wherefores, even the simple facts of what occurred, is viewed as enlightenment's opposer and is thrust away. How to reconcile within such a system? It seems that one can only expose the scam for what it is.
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Old 06-30-2016, 12:09 PM   #14
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I've found its worse than not seeking reconciliation in the LC.... its not being willing to even talk about problems.
Ever hear of the saying "elephant in the room"?

From Wikipedia "Elephant in the room" or Elephant in the living room" is an English metaphorical idiom for an obvious truth than is going unaddressed. The idiomatic expression also applies to an obvious problem or risk no one wants to discuss."

This is what the current status of the local churches is. A sort of dancing around the elephant in order to avoid the issues at hand. The "obvious problem or risk" is Witness Lee/Blended brothers could be wrong.

It's been a good 6-7 years since I had a dialog with a Puget Sound area elder. Regarding matters of the past even when provided documents, "feeling to honor the feeling of the Body" or any perceived misrepresentations is imagination.
Regardless how an elder, any brother, any sister, coworker, etc may feel in their conscience, they must operate LSM leadership is proper, unbiased, impartial, and above reproach just as Pi=3.14.........
To discuss LC problems, matters, issues, etc if it portrays LSM leadership unfavorably is to risk collapse of their religious and social environment as they know it.
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