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Old 11-08-2017, 02:34 PM   #1
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Default Why Everyone Else is a Denomination

I thought this post by Terry in the other thread should be addressed:

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I have heard no sound argument to refute why everyone else is a denomination, but not the local churches. Exact as the local churches speak, there are many fellowship of churches that regard as everyone else as denominations but not themselves. You have Exclusive Brethren, Iglesia Ni Christo, International Church of Christ, etc.
Rebuttals please.
Let's go back to basics, the very word denomination itself. The word denomination comes from root word "to name", it really means de-name-iation. As soon as a group names itself, it becomes a de-name-iation. That's the difference.

Now someone might say, "it's just a name, sticks and stones", but consider, that to name something is to classify something according to that name.

For example, I have a bag of apples. 5 are green and 10 are red. I name them the bag of "green apples" and "red apples". When I look at the bag I no longer see them as apples, I see their color. The next thing I do is to separate them into separate bags, and label one bag "green apples", and the other "red apples". I divided the apples and it started with me naming them according to their color.

To classify means:

arrange (a group of people or things) in classes or categories according to shared qualities or characteristics.


To classify things means to divide them into groups or types so that things with similar characteristics are in the same group. (https://www.collinsdictionary.com/di...glish/classify).

Names by themselves, they are just names. But a name is a classification according to some characteristics. And a classification is a division.

See the problem with names now? And everyone knows that names matter for babies and marriages, but how come Christians think they don't matter for churches?

Clearly, a denomination has to do with names, or classifying believers, that invariably leads to their division.

What is the Biblical proof that naming or classifying the church is wrong?

Actually, it is okay to name or classify the church, otherwise how could we refer to anyone? But the only classification that the Bible gives a church is its locality eg Corinth and refers to the Christians in that place by their locality name e.g. "the Corinthians". So this is not a matter of right or wrong, but whether we want to use the biblical naming system or a man-made naming system?

Bible - no record of the apostles e.g. Paul ever addressing a church by a name other than locality. Could he have? Sure. Did he? No. Why? Because there's only one church, naming groups of believers by their nonessential characteristics didn't make much sense. Naming a church according to their particular heresy or failure didn't make much sense either.

History - all "denominations" in the early church were heretics. eg Judaizers, gnostics etc.
A good overview of denominations through the ages here:
http://www.astudyofdenominations.com/overview/

This idea of naming the church has resulted in other concepts which are not found in the Bible:

"Finding a (good, suitable, pentecostal, friendly, biblical (insert any other de-name-iating characteristics here) ) church"

Ecumenism - different denominations coming together to pretend they are not denominations. The next Sunday, go back to de-name-iating themselves.
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Why Everyone Else is a Denomination

Evangelical, if it is so important to you, then--okay, we will let you say that you are not a denomination. But you are a sect (the sect of Witness Lee). And that has nothing to do with your name (or no-name).
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:44 PM   #3
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Default Re: Why Everyone Else is a Denomination

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Evangelical, if it is so important to you, then--okay, we will let you say that you are not a denomination. But you are a sect (the sect of Witness Lee). And that has nothing to do with your name (or no-name).
The way this works Koinonia is that whenever you call a group a sect, you by implication must believe in a true church that a sect is "cut" from. So when you say we are a sect, you are either saying your denomination or group is the true church, or some other group. Can you name a group that are not a sect then? Is it Catholics?
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:48 PM   #4
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Default Re: Why Everyone Else is a Denomination

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"Finding a (good, suitable, pentecostal, friendly, biblical (insert any other de-name-iating characteristics here) ) church"

Ecumenism - different denominations coming together to pretend they are not denominations. The next Sunday, go back to de-name-iating themselves.
So you're trying to sell us on the fact that The Lord's Recovery, AKA, the Local Church, AKA The Church in XYZ, AKA Living Stream Ministry is not a naming characteristic both in practice and in theory?
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Old 11-08-2017, 03:51 PM   #5
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Default Re: Why Everyone Else is a Denomination

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Now it's you I don't understand. It was a simple honest request. But I guess you are right, I can pretty much guess at what he's driving at.

So if he doesn't want to explain himself fully, I guess this thread is pointless.

Hey brother Blended Brother (no ad hom intended, and you know that - Untohim isn't informed), bring it down to AltVs, and finish your OP there. Then we can really have at it.
The OP is finished.

You might have missed the point, but if a group names itself it is technically a denomination by its true and absolute definition.

This was in response to What are "exclusive Brethren, Iglesia Ni Christo, International Church of Christ"

The absolute meanings of denomination, sect, church, bishop etc have been lost. Many think a group is a denomination because it has a number of definable characteristics, none of which relate to the meaning of the word itself -de-name-iate.

You see, Koinonia called us a sect, and they used the term in a relative way, without reference to a "true church". So it has little meaning other than to indicate Koionia's opinion. If they were Catholic however, and said we are a sect, then it would be more meaningful because I know it means we are not part of Catholicism. I would then consider whether Catholicism is something I would want to be part of, or not.

Koinonia could answer my question by saying what denomination (if any) they meet with. Then I might consider whether their denomination is the true church, and if it is, then they might be correct that we are a sect.

This is why I asked them to name a group that are not a sect, so we can make that assessment in an absolute way. A sect by definition must be in relation to something else.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:03 PM   #6
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So you're trying to sell us on the fact that The Lord's Recovery, AKA, the Local Church, AKA The Church in XYZ, AKA Living Stream Ministry is not a naming characteristic both in practice and in theory?

It's not a problem to name the church if it is the locality. That is the only truly scriptural approved naming convention, there is no other.

In referring to the church they are descriptions, not names. It is what it is, not what it is called. There is no denomination called "the Local Churches", it is "the local churches". I would call my wife, "wife", not "Wife".

Ministries can have a name just like people and objects can have names. No issue with Living Stream Ministries.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:11 PM   #7
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It's not a problem to name the church if it is the locality. That is the only truly scriptural approved naming convention, there is no other.

In referring to the church they are descriptions, not names. It is what it is, not what it is called. There is no denomination called "the Local Churches", it is "the local churches". I would call my wife, "wife", not "Wife".

Ministries can have a name just like people and objects can have names. No issue with Living Stream Ministries.
For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate with your self imposed "biblical naming convention", but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:19 PM   #8
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For you clean the outside of the cup and the plate with your self imposed "biblical naming convention", but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. You blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and the plate, that the outside also may be clean.
The biblical naming convention is biblical nonetheless, I have seen no arguments ever in support of naming the church and I haven't even seen anyone try to use the bible to argue for naming the church which is well and good because I don't think such an argument can be sensibly made. Most Christians I think agree denominations are a less than ideal situation, or a temporary way to keep the peace until Christ returns. But it doesn't explain why they have to have different names. Because to name is to classify, and to classify is to divide. Naming seems to make the problem worse, not better. For example if I had a family of children and I named one big ears Freddy and big nose Tommy, I think it would divide those brothers based upon their physical features and they would probably argue and fight and call each other names.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:27 PM   #9
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The biblical naming convention is biblical nonetheless, I have seen no arguments ever in support of naming the church and I haven't even seen anyone try to use the bible to argue for naming the church which is well and good because I don't think such an argument can be sensibly made. Most Christians I think agree denominations are a less than ideal situation, or a temporary way to keep the peace until Christ returns. But it doesn't explain why they have to have different names. Because to name is to classify, and to classify is to divide. Naming seems to make the problem worse, not better. For example if I had a family of children and I named one big ears Freddy and big nose Tommy, I think it would divide those brothers based upon their physical features and they would probably argue and fight and call each other names.
I agree with you for the most part. But, yet, I fear you don't understand.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:28 PM   #10
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The way this works Koinonia is that whenever you call a group a sect, you by implication must believe in a true church that a sect is "cut" from. So when you say we are a sect, you are either saying your denomination or group is the true church, or some other group. Can you name a group that are not a sect then? Is it Catholics?
Bingo! The "true church" is not a group. The "true church" is the only church there is--the church that Jesus is building, the Body of Christ. I suppose that anything smaller would be a sect. So, your group, the Witness Lee group, would certainly qualify.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:30 PM   #11
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It's not a problem to name the church if it is the locality. That is the only truly scriptural approved naming convention, there is no other.

In referring to the church they are descriptions, not names. It is what it is, not what it is called. There is no denomination called "the Local Churches", it is "the local churches". I would call my wife, "wife", not "Wife".

Ministries can have a name just like people and objects can have names. No issue with Living Stream Ministries.
But the description "the church in X" refers to all the believers in X, not to your group.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:32 PM   #12
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I agree with you for the most part. But, yet, I fear you don't understand.
Hypocrisy would come under the condition of the church. I hoped to avoid discussion about church condition which should have no bearing on how the church is named. I see this because based upon the bible, churches had their fair share of hypocrites, but their locality name remained the same.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:33 PM   #13
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But the description "the church in X" refers to all the believers in X, not to your group.
I agree and that's what we try for to include all believers in the city.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:35 PM   #14
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I agree and that's what we try for to include all believers in the city.
And how do you go about doing that?
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:37 PM   #15
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Bingo! The "true church" is not a group. The "true church" is the only church there is--the church that Jesus is building, the Body of Christ. I suppose that anything smaller would be a sect. So, your group, the Witness Lee group, would certainly qualify.
Well spiritually, everyone believes that about the true church, even Catholics, but I'm talking practically. Practically is much trickier, because it involves real people with problems.

And every other group? Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist etc. Are you consistent with this belief that the true church is not a group? Or your particular denomination or fellowship?

Just asking because each person on here has a different view. You could be baptist and telling me we're a sect because we are not baptist, or a sect because we are not Catholic. How can I know that?

Some see all denominations as genuine local expressions. If so, then we are not a sect either.

One fellow is Orthodox and we all know what they believe - they are the true church.

Some might see non-denom fellowships or house churches as genuine local expressions, if so, we may or may not be a sect.

If you think baptist is the only true church, well then we're a sect I guess.

That's why I prefer absolute definitions. What is the absolute definition of the church, and then what is the absolute definition of a sect?
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:38 PM   #16
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And how do you go about doing that?
By inviting them to our fellowship of course.

If we are the ones that believe all believers in the city are the genuine church then logically we should increase our fellowship.

If you are going to say we are exclusive or something and never fellowship with anyone else, why would we attend a church that does not believe all believers in the city are the genuine church? what does increasing the size of a church that does not believe "all believers in the city" achieve?
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:41 PM   #17
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Well spiritually, everyone believes that about the true church, even Catholics, but I'm talking practically.

And every other group? Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist etc. Are you consistent with this belief? Or your particular denomination or fellowship?

Just asking because each person on here has a different view. You could be baptist and telling me we're a sect because we are not baptist, or not a sect because we are not Catholic.

Some see all denominations as genuine local expressions.

One fellow is Orthodox and we all know what they believe.

Some might see non-denom fellowships or house churches as genuine local expressions.
I personally do not belong to any denomination. I also no longer subscribe to "one true church"-ism. For any group to claim to be the "true church" is at best myopic, at worst blasphemous.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:44 PM   #18
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By inviting them to our fellowship of course.

If we are the ones that believe all believers in the city are the genuine church then logically we should increase our fellowship.

If you are going to say we are exclusive or something and never fellowship with anyone else, why would we attend a church that does not believe all believers in the city are the genuine church? what does increasing the size of a church that does not believe "all believers in the city" achieve?
So, you will fellowship with anyone as long as they meet with you? Is that the qualification for being "the genuine church"?

Again, Evangelical, "the church in X" is all the believers in X, not your group. They are not the same thing. You keep equating the two, but they will never be the same thing.
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Old 11-08-2017, 04:59 PM   #19
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So, you will fellowship with anyone as long as they meet with you? Is that the qualification for being "the genuine church"?

Again, Evangelical, "the church in X" is all the believers in X, not your group. They are not the same thing. You keep equating the two, but they will never be the same thing.
I don't think it matters where we meet. We go to people's homes and public places too. The point is, we would not attend a denomination that will only build up their denomination wouldn't it? And would we achieve fellowship if we just sit idly in the pews watching the service with everyone else?

If all believers are genuinely the church in X, then how can we realize a practical assembly? By going to their denomination? I don't think that will work, we are just increasing their denomination.

But if they all came and met with us, then that would be a practical assembly of the church in X wouldn't it? Because we are "the church in X".

Suppose every group did not invite others to their group, how can a practical assembly of all believers in the city be achieved?
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Old 11-08-2017, 05:01 PM   #20
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I personally do not belong to any denomination. I also no longer subscribe to "one true church"-ism. For any group to claim to be the "true church" is at best myopic, at worst blasphemous.
What about a group of true believers without a name. Is that a true church or not?
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Old 11-08-2017, 05:44 PM   #21
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I don't think it matters where we meet. We go to people's homes and public places too. The point is, we would not attend a denomination that will only build up their denomination wouldn't it? And would we achieve fellowship if we just sit idly in the pews watching the service with everyone else?
Who is we?

Who is everyone else?

I'm concerned for you Evangelical
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Old 11-08-2017, 05:59 PM   #22
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Who is we?

Who is everyone else?

I'm concerned for you Evangelical
Everyone else would be denominations.
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Old 11-08-2017, 06:19 PM   #23
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I don't think it matters where we meet. We go to people's homes and public places too. The point is, we would not attend a denomination that will only build up their denomination wouldn't it? And would we achieve fellowship if we just sit idly in the pews watching the service with everyone else?
Who is "we"? Once again, you have turned all of the believers into a "we" that equals your group. That is sectarian.

Quote:
If all believers are genuinely the church in X, then how can we realize a practical assembly? By going to their denomination? I don't think that will work, we are just increasing their denomination.
All believers are genuinely "the church in X." Not "if."

Quote:
But if they all came and met with us, then that would be a practical assembly of the church in X wouldn't it? Because we are "the church in X".

Suppose every group did not invite others to their group, how can a practical assembly of all believers in the city be achieved?
Evangelical, you (your group) are not "the church in X." You are a part of the church in X. Just like everyone else.
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Old 11-08-2017, 07:14 PM   #24
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Everyone else would be denominations.
So I'm a denomination?

Who does this sound like?

Someone who is so focused on proving how right they are, how great their group is, and telling everyone else how wrong they are and how bad their group is that they miss the Gospel and Jesus entirely...even when He is right in their face.

Sounds like a Pharisee.
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Old 11-08-2017, 07:52 PM   #25
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Who is "we"? Once again, you have turned all of the believers into a "we" that equals your group. That is sectarian.



All believers are genuinely "the church in X." Not "if."



Evangelical, you (your group) are not "the church in X." You are a part of the church in X. Just like everyone else.
1 John 2:19 refers to "us". Is that sectarian?:

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.


Yes we are part of the church in X. I agree all believers are the church in X.
"We" refers to us who meet as the church in X. "They" who are not "we" refer to those who meet not as the church in X but as the denomination in X.

All believers in the city are the church in X. We believe that and meet as such. But not all come to our Lord's table meeting that so that makes them a "they" and us a "we".
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:12 PM   #26
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1 John 2:19 refers to "us". Is that sectarian?:

1 John 2:19 They went out from us, but they did not really belong to us. For if they had belonged to us, they would have remained with us; but their going showed that none of them belonged to us.
So, you are the "us" in 1 John 2:19?


Quote:
Yes we are part of the church in X. I agree all believers are the church in X.
"We" refers to us who meet as the church in X. "They" who are not "we" refer to those who meet not as the church in X but as the denomination in X.

All believers in the city are the church in X. We believe that and meet as such. But not all come to our Lord's table meeting that so that makes them a "they" and us a "we".
Sectarian. Your spirit is sectarian, so it doesn't matter what your name is.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:15 PM   #27
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So, you are the "us" in 1 John 2:19?

Sectarian. Your spirit is sectarian, so it doesn't matter what your name is.
Why can't we be the us in 1 John 2:19?

Sectarian with respect to what visible church? Catholics said Protestants were sectarian and Protestants with other protestants, and so on. Let's stick to the absolute definitions. Without these solid definitions everything is relative. With respect to the church in X, who is sectarian? Those who meet as the church in X, or those who meet by some other name?
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:36 PM   #28
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Why can't we be the us in 1 John 2:19?
You can call yourself whatever you want. That doesn't mean that anyone else needs to buy into it.

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Sectarian with respect to what visible church? I think a sectarian person is someone who attends a denomination because by definition a denomination is a sect. You see, denominations will spin this around and say anyone who does not agree with them is a sect. Catholics did that with Protestants and Protestants with other protestants, and so on. Let's stick to the absolute definitions. Without these solid definitions everything is relative.
Evangelical, you are just the same as everyone else. The Catholics and Protestants you talk about are sectarian, but you are worse. Not only are you sectarian, you are judgmental. You want to make it technical, but it is a heart-matter.
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Old 11-08-2017, 08:42 PM   #29
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You can call yourself whatever you want. That doesn't mean that anyone else needs to buy into it.
According to 1 John 2:19 it seems acceptable to refer to believers as "us" and "they" or "them". If not, why not?

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Evangelical, you are just the same as everyone else. The Catholics and Protestants you talk about are sectarian, but you are worse. Not only are you sectarian, you are judgmental. You want to make it technical, but it is a heart-matter.
If Catholics, Protestants, and us who stand for the church in the city are sectarian and we are worse, then I'm wondering which church is not sectarian?

Which church or churches is the visible expression of the church in X?

Three choices really
1) Every church
2) No church
3) some church
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:01 PM   #30
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According to 1 John 2:19 it seems acceptable to refer to believers as "us" and "they" or "them". If not, why not?
Read your Bible (in context). John is talking about "antichrists" (1 John 2:18). It has nothing to do with your "us" vs "them." That you equate this distinction with believers not meeting with your group is arrogant beyond belief.

Quote:
If Catholics, Protestants, and us who stand for the church in the city are sectarian and we are worse, then I'm wondering which church is not sectarian?

Which church or churches is the visible expression of the church in X?

Three choices really
1) Every church
2) No church
3) some church
The church is believers. You should know this. Every time you make a distinction between yourself ("us") and any other genuine believers ("them") you are sectarian.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:10 PM   #31
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Us-vs-them is the definition of sectarianism.
The verse appears to be referring to certain ones who left the faith. That you equate this distinction with believers not meeting with your group is arrogant beyond belief.
The NLT version says it plainly:

These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.


Is that being sectarian? Do we really know they were unbelievers (it doesn't explicitly say). It seems to refer to those who disagreed with the apostle's teachings or held some aberrant views.


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The church is believers. You should know this. Every time you make a distinction between yourself ("us") and any other genuine believe ("them") you are sectarian.
So Luther was sectarian, and Calvin, and everyone else? It seems like you are not standing for anything that could represent the true visible church in X.

It is almost saying that if we pretend that we are all in the same church, we are not sectarian, but if we point out the fact that we are not all in the same church, we are sectarian.

I thought it should be, if we are in a sect, we are sectarian, if we are in the true church, we are not.
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:12 PM   #32
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The NLT version says it plainly:
These people left our churches, but they never really belonged with us; otherwise they would have stayed with us. When they left, it proved that they did not belong with us.

Is that being sectarian?
Evangelical, you are embarrassing yourself. In this section John is referring to "antichrists" (see verse 2:18). Why are you equating this to people that do not meet with your group?

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So Luther was sectarian, and Calvin, and everyone else?

If we pretend that we are all in the same church, we are not sectarian, but if we point out the fact that we are not all in the same church, we are sectarian.

I thought it should be, if we are in a sect, we are sectarian, if we are in the true church, we are not.
Your group is not the "true church."
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:30 PM   #33
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Evangelical, you are embarrassing yourself. In this section John is referring to "antichrists" (see verse 2:18). Why are you equating this to people that do not meet with your group?
I think it does not matter who they were or why they left. It's basically saying, "people left our church, since they left it proves they never really belonged". John refers to "us and them".

Suppose these people were not anti-christ but wanted to leave to start their own denomination according to their own preference, would not John say the same thing?

I think John, being the last apostle/disciple alive at the time, would not have included as "us" any who did not stay with the apostle's teaching. To leave John's teaching and John's fellowship was like leaving Christ.



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Your group is not the "true church."
OK. So what do we have to be like to be the true church?
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Old 11-08-2017, 09:55 PM   #34
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I think it does not matter who they were or why they left. It's basically saying, "people left our church, since they left it proves they never really belonged". John refers to "us and them".

Suppose these people were not anti-christ but wanted to leave to start their own denomination according to their own preference, would not John say the same thing?

I think John, being the last apostle/disciple alive at the time, would not have included as "us" any who did not stay with the apostle's teaching. To leave John's teaching and John's fellowship was like leaving Christ.
Again, you are equating your Witness Lee group with the universal church.

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OK. So what do we have to be like to be the true church?
You can't "do" anything. Are you a believer, Evangelical? Then, you are part of the church.
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Old 11-09-2017, 11:47 AM   #35
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and they used the term in a relative way, without reference to a "true church". So it has little meaning other than to indicate Koionia's opinion.
Thanks for more information on your OP.

It could be that none of the many sects, including yours, is the true church. Besides, no one knows what the truth church is. But everybody thinks theirs is the true church.

And even in my area there's many nondenominational churches, that take no name. But even tho they are nondenominational they are still a Christian sect.

Bro EvanG, I think it's a matter of from where you are looking. If you are looking from the inside it's easy not to see all the sects, especially your own. But looking from the outside it's easy to see all the sects, including the sect of Lee's local church.

And yes, local churcher's think theirs is the one and only true church ... just like all the other Christian sects.
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Old 11-09-2017, 01:44 PM   #36
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Before I'm able to reply to any posts on this thread, I'll just say there are examples of localities that have divided over the issue of ministry. Whether it was not taking Witness Lee's ministry or over the issue of not going along with Titus Chu's quarantine.
Local assemblies can agree on the doctrine of locality, but whether to take this brother's ministry or that brother's ministry, or just to take no ministry at all and just be a Bible teaching assembly divides brothers and sisters.
I've seen it in different places. You can live in central Washington where there is no local church. Options are either 1. Meet at home by yourselves. 2. Drive to the nearest locality 45-60 minutes away. 3 Find a non-LSM affiliated church in the town you live in to fellowship with.
If you live somewhere more remote such as the island of Maui. The nearest LSM-affiliated church would be in Honolulu which would require a flight. Sure there is a non-LSM affiliated church in Kihei, but that's not an option for ones who will only restrict Christian fellowship according to LSM publications. Thus the only recourse is to meet in the home. True story.
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Old 11-09-2017, 06:23 PM   #37
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And yes, local churcher's think theirs is the one and only true church ... just like all the other Christian sects.
The local church is a cult, not a sect, right?

Either way, you say that all other Christian sects think they are the one and only true church... I haven't found that to be true. I have never attended a church/fellowship that believed they were the only true church/fellowship until the LSM churches. As I've stated before, I've moved around quite a bit and spent much time overseas and travelled throughout the US... but that is just my experience.


I'm glad that Evangelical started this thread, Koinonia is right, he has embarrassed himself. Hopefully this moves us to pray for Evangelical, that he may find strength and rest in Christ.
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Old 11-09-2017, 07:08 PM   #38
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I have never attended a church/fellowship that believed they were the only true church/fellowship until the LSM churches.
I was raised Catholic and as a child I was told over and over, the Catholic church was the one true church. My parents initially 'freaked out' when I got saved in 1975. They did not want me to join a different denomination. I was a Catholic they kept telling me. Eventually they came to terms and were ok I was a born again Christian.

Many denominations are slowly returning to the RCC btw.

Is the RCC a Christian church? Depends who you ask and how they respond I suppose.
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Old 11-09-2017, 08:20 PM   #39
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I was raised Catholic and as a child I was told over and over, the Catholic church was the one true church. My parents initially 'freaked out' when I got saved in 1975. They did not want me to join a different denomination. I was a Catholic they kept telling me. Eventually they came to terms and were ok I was a born again Christian.

Many denominations are slowly returning to the RCC btw.

Is the RCC a Christian church? Depends who you ask and how they respond I suppose.
Yes, the Mormons also believe they are the true and living church.

Which denominations are returning to the RCC?
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Old 11-11-2017, 05:03 PM   #40
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Again, you are equating your Witness Lee group with the universal church.
Our "group" is the local visible expression of the universal church that is why we take no name as God did not name the church.

What other groups in your city do you think are local visible expressions of the universal church that also do not take any name?


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You can't "do" anything. Are you a believer, Evangelical? Then, you are part of the church.
You are talking about the invisible aspects I am talking about the practical aspects. How can we be the true church practically? You said before we are not the true church. I think you are meaning in the practical sense because you believe that believers are part of the true church, and we are believers. So I'm asking how can we be in a practical way? What do we have to do or be like to be the true practical church in the city? The Catholic and Orthodox are already doing what they believe they have to do to be the true practical church in the city, and we are as well, but which one is the right approach?
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Old 11-11-2017, 05:14 PM   #41
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The local church is a cult, not a sect, right?

Either way, you say that all other Christian sects think they are the one and only true church... I haven't found that to be true. I have never attended a church/fellowship that believed they were the only true church/fellowship until the LSM churches. As I've stated before, I've moved around quite a bit and spent much time overseas and travelled throughout the US... but that is just my experience.


I'm glad that Evangelical started this thread, Koinonia is right, he has embarrassed himself. Hopefully this moves us to pray for Evangelical, that he may find strength and rest in Christ.
What about Catholic, Orthodox? The biggest churches around think they are the only true church and have so for some time now (hundreds of years).
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Old 11-11-2017, 06:29 PM   #42
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Our "group" is the local visible expression of the universal church that is why we take no name as God did not name the church.
No, it's not.

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What other groups in your city do you think are local visible expressions of the universal church that also do not take any name?
All believers constitute the church.




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You are talking about the invisible aspects I am talking about the practical aspects. How can we be the true church practically? You said before we are not the true church. I think you are meaning in the practical sense because you believe that believers are part of the true church, and we are believers. So I'm asking how can we be in a practical way? What do we have to do or be like to be the true practical church in the city? The Catholic and Orthodox are already doing what they believe they have to do to be the true practical church in the city, and we are as well, but which one is the right approach?
Evangelical, it is a heart-matter. You can talk all you want about "the practical aspects," but as long as your heart is proud, sectarian, and judgmental, it doesn't matter what you think your name is.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:05 PM   #43
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No, it's not.
Ok then which group or groups are the local visible expression of the universal church? 3 choices as I see it are - all (all and any gathering of believers is valid, no matter what they teach or do), some (e.g. any group in particular), none (i.e. doesn't exist today, will exist again at the Lord's return, I believe Spurgeon believed in this).

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All believers constitute the church.
Agree. The universal church includes all believers. What about the local?

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Evangelical, it is a heart-matter. You can talk all you want about "the practical aspects," but as long as your heart is proud, sectarian, and judgmental, it doesn't matter what you think your name is.
So whether or not a group is a true local church (true expression of the universal church) depends on their condition?

I think it is the other way around. The churches mentioned in Revelation had problems, but were still referred to as churches in the city.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:22 PM   #44
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Ok then which group or groups are the local visible expression of the universal church? 3 choices as I see it are - all (all and any gathering of believers is valid, no matter what they teach or do), some (e.g. any group in particular), none (i.e. doesn't exist today, will exist again at the Lord's return, I believe Spurgeon believed in this).
I would say that believers constitute the "local visible expression of the universal church." I believe that seeking to be such as a group separate (or smaller than) all other believers is misguided and presumptuous.

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Agree. The universal church includes all believers. What about the local?
The local church includes all believers in that place. Even you claim to believe this.

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So whether or not a group is a true local church (true expression of the universal church) depends on their condition?

I think it is the other way around. The churches mentioned in Revelation had problems, but were still referred to as churches in the city.
There were not special groups in Revelation that constituted the "church in the city" because they had the right name (as opposed to anyone else without the right name). So, it is wrong to equate the situation of Revelation to the situation of today.

Besides, you have other requirements for being "the church in the city" in addition to having the right name. The whole discussion is a distraction from your actual practice. In your actual practice, what you consider the local churches are a network of people and congregations that follow Witness Lee. I do not believe you would consider a group outside of your network a "genuine local church" even if it did have the right name.
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Old 11-11-2017, 08:36 PM   #45
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Besides, you have other requirements for being "the church in the city" in addition to having the right name. The whole discussion is a distraction from your actual practice. In your actual practice, what you consider the local churches are a network of people and congregations that follow Witness Lee. I do not believe you would consider a group outside of your network a "genuine local church" even if it did have the right name.
Koinonia, there are numerous testimonies over the years to support this.

Fact is, LSM could care less what your name is. It's just a ruse to condemn outsiders.
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:15 PM   #46
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I would say that believers constitute the "local visible expression of the universal church." I believe that seeking to be such as a group separate (or smaller than) all other believers is misguided and presumptuous.
This characterizes the denominations doesn't it? Every group established under some denominational name seeks to be smaller than all other believers in the city. A group which refers to itself by the locality would be seeking to be a group which includes all believers in the locality and encourages others to join.

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The local church includes all believers in that place. Even you claim to believe this.
Yes

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There were not special groups in Revelation that constituted the "church in the city" because they had the right name (as opposed to anyone else without the right name). So, it is wrong to equate the situation of Revelation to the situation of today.
Suppose at that time, a group separated from the church in the city and decided to call themselves Lutheran and another Baptist. Would not the remaining church in the city be justified in calling itself the true local expression? Or would it have to consider the Lutheran and Baptist churches genuine local expressions as well?
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Old 11-11-2017, 09:25 PM   #47
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This characterizes the denominations doesn't it? Every group established under some denominational name seeks to be smaller than all other believers in the city. A group which refers to itself by the locality would be seeking to be a group which includes all believers in the locality and encourages others to join.
You are the same. You do the same thing. You start something and then expect other people to join you.

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Suppose at that time, a group separated from the church in the city and decided to call themselves Lutheran and another Baptist. Would not the remaining church in the city be justified in calling itself the true local expression? Or would it have to consider the Lutheran and Baptist churches genuine local expressions as well?
All of this is outward and artificial. Even you claim to believe that the church in a city is all the believers in that city. Yet you keep talking about wanting to be "the true local expression." Evangelical, be content to be a child of God and a brother to all of your other brothers and sisters--wherever they meet. That would make the Lord happy.
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Old 11-11-2017, 10:08 PM   #48
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You are the same. You do the same thing. You start something and then expect other people to join you.
In the early church, when a new convert was made.. where did they expect them to meet/fellowship? Did the apostles expect new converts to join their churches?


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All of this is outward and artificial. Even you claim to believe that the church in a city is all the believers in that city. Yet you keep talking about wanting to be "the true local expression." Evangelical, be content to be a child of God and a brother to all of your other brothers and sisters--wherever they meet. That would make the Lord happy.
I am not sure what is outward and artificial about actually trying to be the church in the locality, and if we try to be such, why would we not encourage others to join us?

You seem to be saying that there is no true local expressions or that all groups meeting every Sunday are such an expression?
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Old 11-12-2017, 08:51 AM   #49
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In the early church, when a new convert was made.. where did they expect them to meet/fellowship? Did the apostles expect new converts to join their churches?
There was probably no alternative. That's what makes the current discussion irrelevant.

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I am not sure what is outward and artificial about actually trying to be the church in the locality, and if we try to be such, why would we not encourage others to join us?
You don't need to "try to be" something. You either are, or you're not. And your group does not equal "the church." You are taking a spiritual principle and applying it narrowly. Your group and "the church" are not the same thing.

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You seem to be saying that there is no true local expressions or that all groups meeting every Sunday are such an expression?
If there even is such a thing ("true local expression"), I'll let God take care of it. It is the height of presumption to claim such a designation for oneself. I'm sure the Lord is not happy with it.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:08 PM   #50
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There was probably no alternative. That's what makes the current discussion irrelevant.
Isn't the very existence of alternatives against the concept of oneness?


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You don't need to "try to be" something. You either are, or you're not. And your group does not equal "the church." You are taking a spiritual principle and applying it narrowly. Your group and "the church" are not the same thing.
As believers we are "the church" are we not? For example, if our bodies were cut into 4 parts and sent to different places, they would still be "us".. Similarly, one group here and one group there are all the church. But dename-iations are really taking away the focus that we are all the church.

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If there even is such a thing ("true local expression"), I'll let God take care of it. It is the height of presumption to claim such a designation for oneself. I'm sure the Lord is not happy with it.
You are saying it is presumptions to claim to be the true local expression and on the other hand you say the church is believers. But if we are believers are we not also the true local expression?
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:12 PM   #51
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Isn't the very existence of alternatives against the concept of oneness?
Yes, but yours is just another alternative. Yours is the Witness Lee alternative.

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As believers we are "the church" are we not? For example, if our bodies were cut into 4 parts and sent to different places, they would still be "us".. Similarly, one group here and one group there are all the church. But dename-iations are really taking away the focus that we are all the church.
Yes, as believers we are "the church." But "the church" is not your group.

Quote:
You are saying it is presumptions to claim to be the true local expression and on the other hand you say the church is believers. But if we are believers are we not also the true local expression?
If there is even such a thing as "the true local expression," you can only be a part of it. Because you are a part of the church. Your group cannot be "the church" because "the church" is not your group.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:15 PM   #52
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Yes, but yours is just another alternative. Yours is the Witness Lee alternative.
So if we drop Witness Lee do we stop being an alternative? How can we be the non-alternative genuine expression?

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Yes, as believers we are "the church." But "the church" is not your group.
That's right, we say all believers everywhere is the church. It's like the moon in different places, only one moon but many expressions of the moon.

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If there is even such a thing as "the true local expression," you can only be a part of it. Because you are a part of the church. Your group cannot be "the church" because "the church" is not your group.
In the sense of the moon we can be. For example, I see the moon in London and I say that is the moon in London. I see the moon in New York and I say that is the moon in New York. We don't say "part of the moon in London", so we don't say "part of the church" in London. Just "the church in London" is sufficient.
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Old 11-12-2017, 09:27 PM   #53
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So if we drop Witness Lee do we stop being an alternative? How can we be the non-alternative genuine expression?
No, if you drop Witness Lee, you get quarantined.

But, to be serious--I don't know the answer to your question. Why do you care so much, why do you have to be special? Do you think that being the "non-alternative genuine expression" is a healthy preoccupation?

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That's right, we say all believers everywhere is the church. It's like the moon in different places, only one moon but many expressions of the moon.

In the sense of the moon we can be. For example, I see the moon in London and I say that is the moon in London. I see the moon in New York and I say that is the moon in New York. We don't say "part of the moon in London", so we don't say "part of the church" in London. Just "the church in London" is sufficient.
That's a cute analogy, Evangelical, but it doesn't fit. Because--again--"the church" does not refer to your group. Your group and "the church" are not the same.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:26 PM   #54
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-1

Koinonia >”No, if you drop Witness Lee, you get quarantined”

No. However, if you try to get others to follow your own or another ministry then you probably will get quarantined....

... and besides, if you drop the ministry then you have effectively quarantined yourself, so what’s the issue since everybody is in agreement?

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Old 11-12-2017, 10:30 PM   #55
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-1

Koinonia >”No, if you drop Witness Lee, you get quarantined”

No. However, if you try to get others to follow your own or another ministry then you probably will get quarantined....

... and besides, if you drop the ministry then you have effectively quarantined yourself, so what’s the issue since everybody is in agreement?

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This is what makes your group a sect.
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Old 11-12-2017, 10:50 PM   #56
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This is what makes your group a sect.
If that is your criteria for a sect then Paul established a sect. We, therefore, are in good company.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:36 AM   #57
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As believers we are "the church" are we not? For example, if our bodies were cut into 4 parts and sent to different places, they would still be "us".. Similarly, one group here and one group there are all the church.

But dename-iations are really taking away the focus that we are all the church.
What really robs you of "the focus that you are the church," is not some name, but the constant assaults on the body of Christ from the podium.

Here I am very serious.

Remember I am not some outsider, but I was there zealously for 30 years, in the trainings twice a year, speaking in every local gathering, and I can testify that what damages the vision, the focus, of the church was not diverse names, but the constant diet of condescending condemnation towards all Christians and all churches outside the "recovery."

LSM's ministry of condemnation continually builds and fortifies the walls around their camp, causing all of her adherents "vision stigmatization" concerning the church.
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:45 AM   #58
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So if we drop Witness Lee do we stop being an alternative? How can we be the non-alternative genuine expression?

That's right, we say all believers everywhere is the church. It's like the moon in different places, only one moon but many expressions of the moon.

In the sense of the moon we can be. For example, I see the moon in London and I say that is the moon in London. I see the moon in New York and I say that is the moon in New York. We don't say "part of the moon in London", so we don't say "part of the church" in London. Just "the church in London" is sufficient.
Are there also many "expressions" of Christ in different places?

Using your well-worn and idiotic metaphor, are there not also many "expressions" of the church from every home?
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Old 11-13-2017, 02:49 AM   #59
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No, if you drop Witness Lee, you get quarantined.
Since the Apostle Paul was also "quarantined" by headquarters in Jerusalem, then We are also in good company!
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:49 AM   #60
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If that is your criteria for a sect then Paul established a sect. We, therefore, are in good company.
Drake, your point seems to be based on two bizarre assumptions: that Witness Lee is equal to Paul, and that the Local Church is equal to the church of the New Testament. But nearly 100% of Christians find reason to believe either.
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Old 11-13-2017, 08:58 AM   #61
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Drake, your point seems to be based on two bizarre assumptions: that Witness Lee is equal to Paul, and that the Local Church is equal to the church of the New Testament. But nearly 100% of Christians find reason to believe either.
Koinonia,

First no. Second .. very close... the differences are the fullness of divisions are now whereas then they were in their infancy and a definition clarification.... the local churches are equal to the local churches in the New Testament in terms of basis of meeting,

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Old 11-13-2017, 09:15 AM   #62
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Koinonia,

First no. Second .. very close... the differences are the fullness of divisions are now whereas then they were in their infancy and the local churches are equal to the local churches in the New Testament in terms of basis of meeting,

Drake
Drake, unfortunately this is not the case. As you yourself suggested in #54, an additional basis for meeting in the Local Church is submission to Witness Lee and his ministry. And that negates whatever basis you believe your group shares in common with the church of the New Testament.
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Old 11-13-2017, 09:26 AM   #63
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Drake, unfortunately this is not the case. As you yourself suggested in #54, an additional basis for meeting in the Local Church is submission to Witness Lee and his ministry. And that negates whatever basis you believe your group shares in common with the church of the New Testament.
Nay, nay.

I did not suggest an additional basis for meeting in the local churches (not "Local Church") is submission to Witness Lee and his ministry.

I don't mind being in disgreement with you but I do mind if you don't state the disagreement accurately.

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Old 11-13-2017, 09:48 AM   #64
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Nay, nay.

I did not suggest an additional basis for meeting in the local churches (not "Local Church") is submission to Witness Lee and his ministry.

I don't mind being in disgreement with you but I do mind if you don't state the disagreement accurately.

Drake
Then, an additional basis for meeting in "the local churches" is submission to Witness Lee and his ministry. And that negates whatever basis you believe your group shares in common with the church of the New Testament. The point still stands.
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Old 11-13-2017, 10:07 AM   #65
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Then, an additional basis for meeting in "the local churches" is submission to Witness Lee and his ministry. And that negates whatever basis you believe your group shares in common with the church of the New Testament. The point still stands.
Still nay nay... and throw in another nay for good measure. It appears that either you have convinced yourself of this "submission to Witness Lee" doctrine or you know better and are hoping to convince others.

In any case, I never suggested it..... Read what I said, and agree or disagree but don't change it to fit your narrative.

Also, you neglected the defintion clarification I offered ... not "the church of the New Testament" ..... Rather the churches in the New Testament. I am endeavoring to find common ground for a conversation with you but your propensity to rush to judgement renders you unwilling or unable to do that.

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Old 11-13-2017, 10:34 AM   #66
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Still nay nay... and throw in another nay for good measure. It appears that either you have convinced yourself of this "submission to Witness Lee" doctrine or you know better and are hoping to convince others.
Nay, nay is correct.

Drake, either you are really not active in the LC's for the last 40 years as you claim to have been, or you know better and are just hoping to convince others.

Which is it?

Years ago I migrated to help startup two new LC's in the GLA. Ten years ago I watched operatives from LSM sent by your Blended Leaders cause insurrections (aka divisions) in both of these LC's over the ministry of Witness Lee.

In one LC, LSM trainers taught the saints to groan out loud and mutter "Oooooh Loooooord Jeeeeeesus" during the time of ministry after the Lord's Table because the HWFMR was not consulted instead of the Bible. Quite distasteful! In the other LC, several sisters were instructed to rise and just walk out in protest when the HWFMR was not used in the meeting.

Neither set of elders were faulted in any way acc. to the scriptures. There was one dividing issue, and only one -- the demand to exclusively use the writings of Witness Lee in the church meetings. No other request was made. Both times outside operatives from LSM instigated disrespectful and rebellious attitudes in the LC's which were designed to undermine the authority of established elderships.

Pathetic!

All of your cheap talk about oneness and the ground of oneness means nothing when it comes to the ministry of Witness Lee and the use and purchase of only his books.
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Old 11-13-2017, 01:56 PM   #67
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Still nay nay... and throw in another nay for good measure. It appears that either you have convinced yourself of this "submission to Witness Lee" doctrine or you know better and are hoping to convince others.

In any case, I never suggested it..... Read what I said, and agree or disagree but don't change it to fit your narrative.

Also, you neglected the defintion clarification I offered ... not "the church of the New Testament" ..... Rather the churches in the New Testament. I am endeavoring to find common ground for a conversation with you but your propensity to rush to judgement renders you unwilling or unable to do that.

Drake
Drake, in #54, you justified the concept of quarantine for Christians who choose to "drop the ministry." What you said was clear. Everything else is a word dance. Again, this makes the ministry of Witness Lee an additional (sectarian) basis of meeting.
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Old 11-13-2017, 03:38 PM   #68
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Nay, nay is correct.

Drake, either you are really not active in the LC's for the last 40 years as you claim to have been, or you know better and are just hoping to convince others.
Ohio - I know you are more familiar than me, but could it be he is not in the US?

We may never know, he refuses to say where he is from. Understandably so... the churches of Witness Lee don't much like this kind of stuff. One may even say it would go against the concept of submitting to Witness Lee and his ministry.
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Old 11-14-2017, 12:30 AM   #69
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Drake, in #54, you justified the concept of quarantine for Christians who choose to "drop the ministry." What you said was clear. Everything else is a word dance. Again, this makes the ministry of Witness Lee an additional (sectarian) basis of meeting.
Not at all. You want to believe I believe what you want me to believe. It’s more convenient for you that way.

Either that or you just have church, churches, ministry, all tangled up in your understanding.

How about this for you and me.... you believe whatever you like about what I believe however mistaken it may be... and if you ever want to understand what I believe feel free to ask me in the form of a question. I will leave that door ajar for you but in the meantime you can continue to be a fake news anchor without my help.

Thanks
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Old 11-14-2017, 06:41 AM   #70
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-1

Thanks
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