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Oh Lord, Where Do We Go From Here? Current and former members (and anyone in between!)... tell us what is on your mind and in your heart.

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Old 01-19-2014, 09:52 AM   #1
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Default How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

Jesus said a lot of hard things few people in this world could ever really obey. He told the rich ruler to sell everything and come follow him. He told us that if we try to even save our life in this age we'll lose the life we have in eternity. He said whoever is not willing to bear the same cross he did is not worthy of me. He said whoever looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery.

Someone who is able to follow these commands flawlessly doesn't need Jesus because he probably already is Jesus.

Rather than feeling shame for not being able to follow these commandments they should instead convict us to humble ourselves in repentance every day. We all fall short of Jesus in many ways but we don't have to feel shame because Jesus bore all our shame on the cross.

Instead we should cry out to the Lord: Jesus! I want to obey your commands but I can't! My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak! Give me grace Lord, work on my heart! Jesus set such a high standard for us because he wants us to be desperate for him everyday, to be poor in spirit. Probably the only thing that could prevent us from spending eternity with him is a proud heart that's not willing to humble itself and seek God's grace in desperation. This is why Jesus said the prostitutes and tax collectors who were desperate for his grace would enter heaven, but the Pharisees who didn't need Jesus would be shut out.

The mistake of the rich ruler who wanted to follow Jesus but turned away in sadness after asking to sell everything was not that he did not obey Jesus but simply that he gave up. If he really desired the Messiah despite his love of his riches, he would have got down on his knees and cried "Lord I want to sell everything to follow you but I can't! My flesh is weak! Help me Lord so I can follow you!" This would have given Jesus something to work with, and it's likely Jesus would have helped him in the same way he responded to the father who cried "I believe! Help my unbelief!" When the disciples were unable to cast out the demon from his boy.

Jesus commands should be viewed as goal posts for us to strive to. They are opportunities for us to allow God to work on our heart so we can become more like him. If you asked me to do things I'm doing now in ministry two years ago I would have been easily stumbled. But because I realize how much I fall short everyday since I feared him, I allowed him to work on my heart by asking for his grace daily. I think this is the secret to grow quickly in the Christian life and become useful to the master. As Paul said not that I am perfected but I strive to obtain it.

This could also explain why Jesus appears so angry with Laodicea in Revelation 3. Being lukewarm communicates to God that we have no need for him. This would never make sense for anyone, not even the most spiritual Christian living today because we all fall short of Jesus, yet Jesus expects us to be perfect as he is.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:54 AM   #2
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Default Re: How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

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He said whoever is not willing to bear the same cross he did is not worthy of me.
I think this is a misrepresentation of the passage. I believe that he said "take up his cross," meaning the metaphorical cross that is presented to each believer. That is not an insignificant thing. But it is not the same cross that Jesus bore.

To read that as a command for us to take up His cross, besides being a grammatical misreading, would seem to be a commandment to be our own savior. Jesus declared that we could not take the cup he was required to take. Yet you seem to argue in favor of doing it anyway.
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Old 01-20-2014, 08:32 AM   #3
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Default Re: How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

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Jesus said a lot of hard things few people in this world could ever really obey. He told the rich ruler to sell everything and come follow him. He told us that if we try to even save our life in this age we'll lose the life we have in eternity. He said whoever is not willing to bear the same cross he did is not worthy of me. He said whoever looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery.

Someone who is able to follow these commands flawlessly doesn't need Jesus because he probably already is Jesus.
And we can't be Jesus. Jesus also said to love our neighbors, and even our enemies. Something that goes totally against selfish human nature. Society since has never lived up to such love. And prolly not us, individually as Christians, live up to that love. Do we love Satan? Do we pray for him ... for those that persecute us ... as Jesus instructed?

Quote:
Rather than feeling shame for not being able to follow these commandments they should instead convict us to humble ourselves in repentance every day. We all fall short of Jesus in many ways but we don't have to feel shame because Jesus bore all our shame on the cross.
So I'm wrong for feeling shame? How can I not feel shameful about my self?

Quote:
Instead we should cry out to the Lord: Jesus! I want to obey your commands but I can't! My spirit is willing but my flesh is weak!
I learned long ago that if salvation depends on me it's not gonna happen. I guess for that reason I feel lucky to have grown up with free grace. I've never once doubted my salvation. Even during my sowing of wild oats days. I was saved at 8, and taught once saved always saved. Why should I doubt God? I've worked the hell out of my salvation. And even that I'm a failure at ... the local church burned me out of working ... out of self effort.

We are but worms, maggots (Job 25:6). How can we please God without God's supernatural power vouchsafed to us?
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Old 01-20-2014, 09:10 AM   #4
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Default Re: How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

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And we can't be Jesus. Jesus also said to love our neighbors, and even our enemies. Something that goes totally against selfish human nature. Society since has never lived up to such love. And prolly not us, individually as Christians, live up to that love. Do we love Satan? Do we pray for him ... for those that persecute us ... as Jesus instructed?
Stephen was able to pray for his enemies as he was being stoned in the same way Jesus did. If you read the story of his martyrdom it follows an arc similar to Jesus because he had no qualms confronting the Jews of their hypocrisy. He was matured to the point where it actually seemed Jesus was living inside of and through him.

My church teaches us to pray and forgive our enemies. People seem to actually do it and receive a lot of healing. I had trouble forgiving one older sister who had really hurt me in the LCs. I couldn't forgive her right away but I just forced myself to pray for her and ask for The Lord to help me. Overtime the more I prayed the more my heart softened and the feelings of bitterness slowly lifted. Finally I became free. I never knew this sort of thing was possible until I tried it and witnessed how it had healed many of those around me at church. Nowadays I just try to forgive quickly because I know of the light and freedom it brings me which I cherish much more than the feelings of revenge and bitterness I used to have.

The reason we see so little of this in the world despite one quarter being Christians is because there is a lot of flavorless salt out there. But there are many stories where the love of Jesus living inside folks have transformed entire communities if you look for them.

We don't pray for satan because John said we should not pray for sin that leads to death. Satan's death in the lake of fire is already sealed in revelation so there's no point praying for him. However God is delaying his return because he's waiting for those he chose to come to full repentance. Our human enemies still have a chance of repenting and obtaining salvation through Jesus.

Quote:

So I'm wrong for feeling shame? How can I not feel shameful about my self?
I guess it depends on what type of grief we're talking about. There is a type of grief that is unhealthy like the one Judas had which drove him to suicide. Jesus is able to remove our shame by showing us he loves us and wants every bit to be with us despite our past failures. Satan tricks us into thinking God is ashamed of us and only wants to punish us. Instead to me he is more like a misunderstood being whose holiness cannot be controlled and hates sin yet he still wants every bit to be with our unfaithful selves. He's made provisions for his holy nature to withstand our sin by providing a covering once we humble our hearts in repentance just as he provided a covering for Adam and Eve once they realized their sin. The reason we shouldn't continue in shame is how God sees us and how we see him is the only thing that matters.

Quote:
I learned long ago that if salvation depends on me it's not gonna happen. I guess for that reason I feel lucky to have grown up with free grace. I've never once doubted my salvation. Even during my sowing of wild oats days. I was saved at 8, and taught once saved always saved. Why should I doubt God? I've worked the hell out of my salvation. And even that I'm a failure at ... the local church burned me out of working ... out of self effort.

We are but worms, maggots (Job 25:6). How can we please God without God's supernatural power vouchsafed to us?
From my experience it's possible to strive for holiness and die to our flesh more and more each day if we come to The Lord everyday in repentance. Knowing how weak we are is a big step, it allows us to beg God to grant us more of his grace and to satisfy us with his presence so that we lust after him and not after the things of this world. I never knew it was possible either until I met Christians who actually seemed like Jesus after I left the LCs in how much love and forgiveness they had. I wanted what they had because deep down I suspected it was worth more than the wealth of warren buffet. It gave me hope that it was possible so I gave it a try.

I thought I was born again my whole life but now I believe I was only a new creation after I came to fully rend my heart to Jesus in full surrender despite "believing" in him all my life. I asked Jesus to help me make him my Lord in every area of my life. I wanted him to be my Lord but knew my flesh was weak so I asked for his help daily. I am a totally different person compared to before then. The rest of my life before that you could barely distinguish me from my non Christian friends. Now everyone knows me as that crazy Christian dude.
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Old 01-20-2014, 11:30 PM   #5
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Default Re: How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

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I think this is a misrepresentation of the passage. I believe that he said "take up his cross," meaning the metaphorical cross that is presented to each believer. That is not an insignificant thing. But it is not the same cross that Jesus bore.

To read that as a command for us to take up His cross, besides being a grammatical misreading, would seem to be a commandment to be our own savior. Jesus declared that we could not take the cup he was required to take. Yet you seem to argue in favor of doing it anyway.
You're right I was hasty in writing that, I just wrote all the text from memory because I was doing it on my iPad sorry. We all have different ways of dying to ourselves because we have different idols we tend to place before God. Some are tempted to love their children more than God or their careers etc. We all have to open up our hearts to God and allow his love to take deep roots in us so we can place his will first in everything out of our worship for him.
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:20 AM   #6
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Some are tempted to love their children more than God . . .
Right now I'm friends with a sister from the Church of Christ, who ruined her family, and caused much dysfunction, because she made her family second fiddle to God. The fruit of doing that is causing real pain and tragedy right now. It's heart breaking. I pray for them all the time.

We must not forget that, to love Jesus, we are to do that by, loving "the least of these."
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Old 01-21-2014, 08:32 AM   #7
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Reply to bearbear 222

Even though so much older, I really liked bearbear's experience with the sister he couldn't stand.
Several years ago a brother offended me in a financial way, one or two thousand dollars. If it had been five or ten, no problem. But we all have our limits as to what is important. I went to him and explained the problem and he said he was sorry and that was all. That wasn't good enough for two thousand dollars. So I carried a bad feeling for him for I don't know how long, maybe a few years. That was certainly not good for me and now in retrospect it wasn't good for him. Finally the Lord got through to me and I forgave him. Never said a word to him. Itwas my problem not his. When I forgave him the clouds were rolled away. Sort of a miracle, almost instantaneously. By the way this forgiveness didn't involve him outwardly. I never said a word to him. That was sort of glorious!

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Old 01-21-2014, 09:22 AM   #8
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Right now I'm friends with a sister from the Church of Christ, who ruined her family, and caused much dysfunction, because she made her family second fiddle to God. The fruit of doing that is causing real pain and tragedy right now. It's heart breaking. I pray for them all the time.

We must not forget that, to love Jesus, we are to do that by, loving "the least of these."
That is a critical distinction to make. Sometimes we fall into thinking we put God first when we are really putting the idol of our Christian ministry first. God's will is that we would love our family. Maybe this is why so many got burned after giving up so much to serve in the LCs because Lee molded people to serve his ministry rather than loving God and walking in our identity as children of God. Just look at how folks in LRC are trained to preach the gospel, it's more of a sales pitch for a persons ministry than it is of Jesus.

The more we love God the more we receive his love which will allow us to love our family more. It's a tragedy many pastors and ministry leaders focus their love on churches but their own children will be without love. This is a story that is heard too often we also serve God by serving our family with love. Whoever does not provide for his family is worse than an unbeliever (1 Tim 5:8). The greatest thing we can provide our family is love.

Here's a song that sings on how when we love God(not necessarily doing "stuff" for him but giving our heart to him) we will love our family more:

http://youtu.be/t4_sfgjRcfI
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Old 01-21-2014, 09:48 AM   #9
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Right now I'm friends with a sister from the Church of Christ, who ruined her family, and caused much dysfunction, because she made her family second fiddle to God.
The pain, suffering and "dysfunction" inflicted by this person upon her family is not a matter of making "her family second fiddle to God", rather it is a matter of sin, and more importantly a matter of ignorance of the knowledge of God and His Word. The apostle Paul describes this best when talking about some of the Jews in his day: "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness".(Romans 10:2,3)

This dear sister is firstly ignorant of the knowledge of God and His Word. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the teachings of the Lord Jesus or in the writings of the Apostles that teaches us to make our family second fiddle to God. This kind of attitude is absolutely and totally from the fleshly mind and deceitful heart of manmade religion, which is decidedly "ignorant of the righteousness of God". This sister is apparently under the influence of some who would lift one single statement out of the many teachings of Jesus that says "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his..wife and children.. he cannot be my disciple", and use it for their own wicked and selfish purposes. This teaching comes within a larger context in the Gospels and cannot be taken literally anymore than when Jesus said "if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out".

This is yet another reason why it is urgently important that the false teachings and harmful practices of Nee and Lee be exposed...many of them lead people away from the righteousness of God, and in fact lead them to "establish their own" brand of false righteousness. We see the end result in the establishment of the movement we know as The Local Church/Lord's Recovery, which is established upon the person and work of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, both of whom who were decidedly ignorant of the righteousness of God and sought to establish a movement based upon their own person and work.


***Just saw bearbears' post.... pretty much hits the same point!
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Old 01-21-2014, 10:30 AM   #10
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The pain, suffering and "dysfunction" inflicted by this person upon her family is not a matter of making "her family second fiddle to God", rather it is a matter of sin, and more importantly a matter of ignorance of the knowledge of God and His Word. The apostle Paul describes this best when talking about some of the Jews in his day: "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness".(Romans 10:2,3)

This dear sister is firstly ignorant of the knowledge of God and His Word. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the teachings of the Lord Jesus or in the writings of the Apostles that teaches us to make our family second fiddle to God. This kind of attitude is absolutely and totally from the fleshly mind and deceitful heart of manmade religion, which is decidedly "ignorant of the righteousness of God". This sister is apparently under the influence of some who would lift one single statement out of the many teachings of Jesus that says "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his..wife and children.. he cannot be my disciple", and use it for their own wicked and selfish purposes. This teaching comes within a larger context in the Gospels and cannot be taken literally anymore than when Jesus said "if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out".

This is yet another reason why it is urgently important that the false teachings and harmful practices of Nee and Lee be exposed...many of them lead people away from the righteousness of God, and in fact lead them to "establish their own" brand of false righteousness. We see the end result in the establishment of the movement we know as The Local Church/Lord's Recovery, which is established upon the person and work of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, both of whom who were decidedly ignorant of the righteousness of God and sought to establish a movement based upon their own person and work.


***Just saw bearbears' post.... pretty much hits the same point!
This is something my brother and I experienced growing up. My dad loved us but he was deceived by the LRC system to put his Christian ministry first in terms of time. We saw very little of him growing up and the little times we did see him he was stressed out and tired from all the debacles involved with being a full timer in LRC. I always thought it ironic he spent so much time teaching bible to others, but I never got any teaching from him myself.

Now I've come to realize how awesome my Dad really is after forgiving him a few years ago. Satan and the LRC system which was holding him back were the ones to blame not my Dad and certainly not God.

Our own personal Christian ministries includes loving our wife and children first, even above those in the church. We have a unique kind of love in our family that only we can give. No one can love our spouse like we can. No one can love our children like a parent can. We have a unique duty to love our family.

Our families are a portrait of what God desires. God the Father wants us to be his children, he also wants us to be a bride for his only begotten son Jesus. That sounds like a family to me! Perhaps Satan's goal is to destroy the family because it reminds him of what God desires and he won't hesitate to use the "church" to do so. Isn't Satan tricky? Surely he is prowling around like a lion seeking someone to devour. Without God's word and his Spirit which leads us to all truth we are like fish in a barrel waiting for Satan to slaughter us.

So I think we should still put God first, but this doesn't mean putting our family second to our ministry of those in churches. Putting God first also means putting family first.

For example if someone held a knife to your throat and asked you to denounce Christ or your children would be killed, we should not renounce our faith. If our children are martyred we'll see them in heaven so we have nothing to worry about by holding on to our faith. However if we try to save their life and ours at the cost of denying Jesus, Christ said he'll deny us before the Father if we deny him so it's a serious thing. Jesus gave us the greatest gift we could ever receive, the gift of eternal life, it's something not even our most loved ones could do for us so we should still love Jesus with all our heart.

The context of placing our families as an idol before God is if we put our trust, hope and love in them apart from God. Your life is driven by who you give your heart to. If you give your heart solely to your family and not God, everything you do will be for love of family. However if we love God with all our heart, we'll also be loving our family out of our love for God because God loves our family even more than we do. So in fact we'll be loving our family more in the latter case because we'll have God's agape love abiding in us, and not our human selfish love.
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:08 AM   #11
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You appear contradictory. Help me understand.

So when you wrote:

Quote:
Some are tempted to love their children more than God
You weren't being critical of these hypothetical 'some?'
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:19 AM   #12
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You appear contradictory. Help me understand.

So when you wrote:



You weren't being critical of these hypothetical 'some?'
The context of placing our families as an idol before God is if we put our trust, hope and love in them apart from God. Your life is driven by who you give your heart to. If you give your heart solely to your family and not God, everything you do will be for love of family. However if we love God with all our heart, we'll also be loving our family out of our love for God because God loves our family even more than we do. So in fact we'll be loving our family more in the latter case because we'll have God's agape love abiding in us, and not our human selfish love. We'll be loving our family out of our love for God because that's what God desires.

For example we may become very critical of our spouse's flaws after living with them for a while. But if we have God's love abiding in us through our love of him we'll come to see them the way God does and come to appreciate the qualities that God loves about them. So instead of judging our spouse we'll love them the way God loves them which goes beyond any earthly love.

The more I study God's word the more I come to appreciate and become fearful of the nuance required not to get stumbled. This nuance can only come by the Spirit of God who guides us to all truth.

This is probably why Satan couldn't understand that killing Jesus was the worst thing he could ever do even though he probably had the whole bible at the time memorized and was probably the smartest being in existence apart from God and those who abide in him and his words which give us Godly wisdom. Satan was trolled by God to kill Jesus. God is the Master Troller of all who rely on worldly wisdom.

1 Corinthians 2:7-8
But we impart a secret and hidden wisdom of God, which God decreed before the ages for our glory. None of the rulers of this age understood this, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

1 Corinthians 3:19
For the wisdom of this world is folly with God. For it is written, “He catches the wise in their craftiness,” (MASTER TROLLER ALERT HERE)
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Old 01-21-2014, 11:58 AM   #13
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I just realized a clear picture of this in the OT is found in the story of Abraham and Isaac.

Abraham could have put his trust in Isaac. After all God promised that his seed and promised inheritance would come through Isaac.

But then God told Abraham to kill Isaac, which must have been a real head scratcher for the father of faith.

Fortunately he made the right choice and put his trust in Jehovah and not Isaac. Abraham actually believed and trusted God had the power to resurrect Isaac, so he went along with it. After all, that Sarah and him could have conceived a child at such an old age must have been such an astonishing miracle for him, so maybe it's not too surprising Abraham was willing to have such bold faith in God. This assurance for his faith was gifted to him by God.

By sparing Isaac and providing the sacrifice himself, God showed that he wasn't some sadistic monster who wants us to kill our children to show our love for our Creator. He just wants to make sure we give our heart to him for our own good, because that's the only way we can come to truly love those around us.

Yet this is what many Christians unknowingly end up doing. They "kill" their children by lavishing the love they deserve on their church ministry thinking that God is pleased with their self sacrifice when that was never God's will to begin with.

Hebrews 11
17 By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, 18 of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” 19 He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:00 PM   #14
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The context of placing our families as an idol before God is if we put our trust, hope and love in them apart from God. Your life is driven by who you give your heart to. If you give your heart solely to your family and not God, everything you do will be for love of family. However if we love God with all our heart, we'll also be loving our family out of our love for God because God loves our family even more than we do. So in fact we'll be loving our family more in the latter case because we'll have God's agape love abiding in us, and not our human selfish love.
In relation to this sister the above is just hypothetical abstraction that didn't and isn't working out as expected in your post. For her, loving God with all her heart did not fill her with agape love for her family. Instead, it worked out that she became judging of her family, for not living up to her Godly expectations of righteousness.

And it's not that she was closed to God's agape love. Quite the opposite. She seeks it like few Christians that I've known. It just didn't work out as you paint it with Bible verses.
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:07 PM   #15
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Great post Untohim ... a little reaching into the personal experiences of this sister, with some projection present (that can't be helped) but point taken.

And pointing out "the knowledge of God" brings sober balance to this matter of loving God and family.

Thanks Untohim, for bringing in these sober thoughts, and needed balance, on the matter.

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Originally Posted by UntoHim View Post
The pain, suffering and "dysfunction" inflicted by this person upon her family is not a matter of making "her family second fiddle to God", rather it is a matter of sin, and more importantly a matter of ignorance of the knowledge of God and His Word. The apostle Paul describes this best when talking about some of the Jews in his day: "For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness of God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness".(Romans 10:2,3)

This dear sister is firstly ignorant of the knowledge of God and His Word. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in the teachings of the Lord Jesus or in the writings of the Apostles that teaches us to make our family second fiddle to God. This kind of attitude is absolutely and totally from the fleshly mind and deceitful heart of manmade religion, which is decidedly "ignorant of the righteousness of God". This sister is apparently under the influence of some who would lift one single statement out of the many teachings of Jesus that says "If anyone comes to me and does not hate his..wife and children.. he cannot be my disciple", and use it for their own wicked and selfish purposes. This teaching comes within a larger context in the Gospels and cannot be taken literally anymore than when Jesus said "if your eye causes you to sin, gouge it out".

This is yet another reason why it is urgently important that the false teachings and harmful practices of Nee and Lee be exposed...many of them lead people away from the righteousness of God, and in fact lead them to "establish their own" brand of false righteousness. We see the end result in the establishment of the movement we know as The Local Church/Lord's Recovery, which is established upon the person and work of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee, both of whom who were decidedly ignorant of the righteousness of God and sought to establish a movement based upon their own person and work.


***Just saw bearbears' post.... pretty much hits the same point!
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Old 01-21-2014, 12:26 PM   #16
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In relation to this sister the above is just hypothetical abstraction that didn't and isn't working out as expected in your post. For her, loving God with all her heart did not fill her with agape love for her family. Instead, it worked out that she became judging of her family, for not living up to her Godly expectations of righteousness.

And it's not that she was closed to God's agape love. Quite the opposite. She seeks it like few Christians that I've known. It just didn't work out as you paint it with Bible verses.
It's likely the Pharisees also thought they loved God rightly. They devoted themselves to prayer, fasting and other Godly works. They also became self-righteous and readily judged other sinners for not conforming to their standard. I guess the Christian life has all sorts of pitfalls. In saying this I'm speaking to myself especially and I'm very sorry for stumbling any of you in the past.

I think that's why Jesus said we have to live on *every* word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. We need humility and the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27) and his Spirit, otherwise we'll easily become deceived by the adversary.

In regards to abstraction, I've seen it work for myself. I've come to love others I never loved before after loving God by which God revealed his love to me of others. I see the beauty in even the poor and homeless because I know God sees something beautiful in them when I used to ignore them in the past.

Maybe the sister loves God more than all of us but she was deceived by Satan into thinking God wanted her to show her love by pouring her life into church ministry, when it's God's desire that she love her family foremost. I guess it's a reminder to humble ourselves and check in with God everyday if we are living according to his desire. A good realization to come to!
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:01 PM   #17
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Default Re: How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

1 Timothy 3:1-7
The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church?

God's word does compel us to take care of our family first before the church. Yet it also tells us to love God first with all our heart.

By this verse alone, Witness Lee should have never been in charge of a Christian movement let alone serve as an elder. LRC's fall into self-deception can't be blamed on God because they didn't adhere to God's whole counsel in matters like this, rather they were relying on the counsel of a mortal, elderly Chinese man whose wisdom gave us "The New Way", something that seems like it was birthed more out of Satan than it does God.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

God is love ....

And since you love everything to align with the Bible here's a verse fer ya:

1Jn_4:20 Whoever says, "I love God," but hates another believer is a liar. People who don't love other believers, whom they have seen, can't love God, whom they have not seen.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:16 PM   #19
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God is love ....

And since you love everything to align with the Bible here's a verse fer ya:

1Jn_4:20 Whoever says, "I love God," but hates another believer is a liar. People who don't love other believers, whom they have seen, can't love God, whom they have not seen.
Amen Brother! I was gonna quote 1 John 4 too when you said this

1 John 4:7-12
Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love. In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:30 PM   #20
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Default Re: How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

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So I think we should still put God first, but this doesn't mean putting our family second to our ministry of those in churches. Putting God first also means putting family first.
After we stopped meeting with the LC, we began visiting other local congregations. I'll never forget the time the minister shared, "we put God first, then our family, then the church and our jobs." It was like scales falling from my eyes. Decades of time in the LC's had twisted up my priorities.

bearbear, I had been indoctrinated from my earliest days in the Recovery, much like your own father, that Christ and the church was first. Period. Without compromise. Without explanation. Without apology. Translated into English that means the church is first.

For the first time in my life I began to understand the ramifications of such a teaching. Firstly, my relationship with God was sacrificed by endless hours of serving the church, always believing that was acceptable to the Lord, but inwardly wondering if He was truly pleased. Secondly, my family relationships all suffered. Seriously suffered, and many have never recovered.

There you have it folks. By placing "Christ and the church" first in your heart and life you end up with neither Christ nor a family. I was not alone. Who could not look around and see the condition of our families? The many programs passed down from our leaders were not good for their own families, but surely were saddled on ours. Without healthy relationships with the Lord and His word, it's no wonder that Anaheim and Cleveland leaders could get away with all that they did.

One thing that helped to eventually deliver me from Witness Lee & LSM's grip was their gradual transition from being church-centered to ministry-centered.
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Old 01-21-2014, 01:37 PM   #21
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Default Re: How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

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By this verse alone, Witness Lee should have never been in charge of a Christian movement let alone serve as an elder. LRC's fall into self-deception can't be blamed on God because they didn't adhere to God's whole counsel in matters like this, rather they were relying on the counsel of a mortal, elderly Chinese man whose wisdom gave us "The New Way", something that seems like it was birthed more out of Satan than it does God.
As I was exiting the LC's, I read Steve Isitt's paper "In The Wake of The New Way." For the first time in my adult life I realized the serious need to soberly evaluate the ministry we receive from. Until then, I had never even considered that Witness Lee ought to be held accountable.
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Old 01-21-2014, 02:13 PM   #22
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After we stopped meeting with the LC, we began visiting other local congregations. I'll never forget the time the minister shared, "we put God first, then our family, then the church and our jobs." It was like scales falling from my eyes. Decades of time in the LC's had twisted up my priorities.

bearbear, I had been indoctrinated from my earliest days in the Recovery, much like your own father, that Christ and the church was first. Period. Without compromise. Without explanation. Without apology. Translated into English that means the church is first.

For the first time in my life I began to understand the ramifications of such a teaching. Firstly, my relationship with God was sacrificed by endless hours of serving the church, always believing that was acceptable to the Lord, but inwardly wondering if He was truly pleased. Secondly, my family relationships all suffered. Seriously suffered, and many have never recovered.

There you have it folks. By placing "Christ and the church" first in your heart and life you end up with neither Christ nor a family. I was not alone. Who could not look around and see the condition of our families? The many programs passed down from our leaders were not good for their own families, but surely were saddled on ours. Without healthy relationships with the Lord and His word, it's no wonder that Anaheim and Cleveland leaders could get away with all that they did.

One thing that helped to eventually deliver me from Witness Lee & LSM's grip was their gradual transition from being church-centered to ministry-centered.
Thanks for that perspective. Sometimes my brother and I struggled to relate with my Dad growing up.

Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy but Jesus came to give life and give it abundantly!

While Satan is good at destroying our relationships, perhaps God allows this because Jesus is be able to restore them to a place where they were better than before if we have faith in Him. I guess it's a reminder for me to not give up hope that the damage the LRC system caused in my family will be healed and restored by our Saviour. It is an opportunity for us to have faith in God so he can display his glory through healing and restoration like he did with Job just as Job had faith in God (despite him questioning God's reasons for allowing bad things to happen to him).

John 9:3
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
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Old 01-21-2014, 06:29 PM   #23
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Default Re: How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

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Reply to bearbear 222

Even though so much older, I really liked bearbear's experience with the sister he couldn't stand.
Several years ago a brother offended me in a financial way, one or two thousand dollars. If it had been five or ten, no problem. But we all have our limits as to what is important. I went to him and explained the problem and he said he was sorry and that was all. That wasn't good enough for two thousand dollars. So I carried a bad feeling for him for I don't know how long, maybe a few years. That was certainly not good for me and now in retrospect it wasn't good for him. Finally the Lord got through to me and I forgave him. Never said a word to him. Itwas my problem not his. When I forgave him the clouds were rolled away. Sort of a miracle, almost instantaneously. By the way this forgiveness didn't involve him outwardly. I never said a word to him. That was sort of glorious!

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Excellent experience. It is something that is hard for us, but is a must to move forward.

There have been times in the past that some asserted that forgiveness was only warranted when the other confessed their sin, or asked for forgiveness. It is probably true that we don't need to tell them about it, but it is a cancer for us if we don't deal with our side of the equation. No matter what is happening on the other side of the hurt.
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Old 01-26-2014, 02:53 PM   #24
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Default Re: How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

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While Satan is good at destroying our relationships, perhaps God allows this because Jesus is be able to restore them to a place where they were better than before if we have faith in Him. I guess it's a reminder for me to not give up hope that the damage the LRC system caused in my family will be healed and restored by our Saviour. It is an opportunity for us to have faith in God so he can display his glory through healing and restoration like he did with Job just as Job had faith in God (despite him questioning God's reasons for allowing bad things to happen to him).

John 9:3
“Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.”
This is the truth. My husband and I have been re-learning how to relate to/love one another after 25 years of LC marriage and finally getting away from it. Jesus has been and is being glorified as we make the necessary changes and grow up into Him.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:25 AM   #25
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Default Re: How to take Jesus at his word and not be stumbled.

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But because I realize how much I fall short everyday since I feared him, I allowed him to work on my heart by asking for his grace daily. I think this is the secret to grow quickly in the Christian life and become useful to the master. As Paul said not that I am perfected but I strive to obtain it.
This is quite deserving to be given further diggings to spring up more truth that will truly nourish our souls in reaching the entrance of the gate of the kingdom of heaven. Would you be able to give more detail on how do you allow Jesus to work in your heart and how does Jesus respond to you in return? How does Jesus interact with you on this? And how sure are you that Jesus is the one responding to your call?
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