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Old 10-18-2017, 09:03 AM   #1
Gideon7
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Default Smoking Gun?

Hello everyone- I hope we are all walking close to Christ today- knowing Him and making Him known- what an adventure and honor! I'm really not sure if this is the best spot for this post- please forgive me if it isn't. I already gave a rather un-brief intro of myself, so I will try not to repeat much of it here. But I would like some responses concerning specifics from your experience in the LC. In essence I guess I’m looking for a possible “smoking gun”.

I’ve spent some time reading what various people claim about the LC- mostly from ex-LCers and "cult specialists". I’ve read about things such as authoritarianism, false teaching, didn’t help save someone’s marriage, RV companies, numerous lawsuits, power struggles, "brainwashing", WL’s reprobate kids, numerous allegations concerning LSM- the list could go on and on it seems... And as is usually the case- there are numerous claims and counter claims. As I wasn’t present when any of this happened I essentially have to take someone’s word for it, “ask, seek, and knock”- and pray the Holy Spirit will give me wisdom. I really don’t want to invest my time in a group that is off concerning some of the basic doctrines/practices of the faith- and when there’s this much "smoke", there tends to be a fire somewhere…

With this in mind, I'm wondering if some of you ex-LCers might share your biggest complaint/grudge/issue/false-teaching/heresy/etc… you personally found in relation to the LC. If you could only pick one- what would it be? That would really help me know some things to look for.

And it appears there are some current LCers around here as well? I would appreciate it if you would maybe share the main reason you choose to stay in the LC given this (apparently) lengthy list of “smoking guns”. It certainly at least appears there are myriad reasons to have some serious questions concerning the LC.

A very big thx again for your responses! Please know this means a lot to my wife and I as we try to dig through the details of a complicated group and see what’s really at the bottom of it all- I sincerely hope it’s the one true God and His word, but…?
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Smoking Gun?

For me it would be this: in the LC, you will be taught that there is little to no profit in reading any Christian material besides that published by LSM. Members are actively discouraged from doing so, and other members will not receive it if you share anything that originates from other material.
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Old 10-18-2017, 09:40 AM   #3
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Default Re: Smoking Gun?

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Originally Posted by Gideon7 View Post
Hello everyone- I hope we are all walking close to Christ today- knowing Him and making Him known- what an adventure and honor! I'm really not sure if this is the best spot for this post- please forgive me if it isn't. I already gave a rather un-brief intro of myself, so I will try not to repeat much of it here. But I would like some responses concerning specifics from your experience in the LC. In essence I guess I’m looking for a possible “smoking gun”.
I'm not sure if there was only one puff of smoke or many more, but this is what completely change my attitude and removed all my respect for Witness Lee, his successors the "Blendeds," and Living Stream Ministry.

Back in the late 1980's, numerous events occurred including a serious upheaval in the LC's, which was afterwards characterized by Lee as a conspiratorial rebellion, a literal coup d'taut. Supposedly leaders from Anaheim and around the globe conspired together to overthrow Lee's ministry. We all believed this account for many years. Then I came across an online book called Speaking The Truth in Love, written by a well-respected and spiritual brother named John Ingalls, who was one of the original founders of the LC movement in the US. John had helped translate the first recovery version, and he also helped compile the hymnal. This brother had a heart as pure as the driven snow. We all loved him. He just recently passed away.

His account explained so many unanswered questions and rumors surrounding those years of turmoil. Witness Lee had placed his reprobate son Philip in charge of his ministry in Anaheim, while he was in Taiwan. The man was abusive, by all accounts unsaved, hot tempered, and molested the female staff. More than once he was caught with women on the ministry property. This was a pattern with a long hidden history dating back to China.

John Ingalls documented his numerous attempts to get Witness Lee to remove his profligate son and to protect the saints. Read his account. The mounting concerns from like-minded men of God around the globe was never a "rebellion" but a response to bullying, abuse, and fleshly activity by the new "Office Manager" Philip Lee, changing the very nature of the ministry. Instead of taking action to protect the saints, Witness Lee rounded up all of his most zealous followers to attack these "whistleblowers," whose only crime was to speak their conscience on behalf of God, righteousness, and His children. Meetings were held, lies were spoken, books were written, it was all pretty ugly. Many leaders were excommunicated and branded rebels, lepers, and worse.

The smoke from this gun can be described as the "poison" which LSM fears most. I hope my brief description of events helped to explain some of what caused me to walk away after 30 years actively serving in the LC's.
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Old 10-18-2017, 11:26 AM   #4
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Default Re: Smoking Gun?

For me, it was the 'brainwashing' there was nothing out there in 'Christianity'. We were not 'allowed' (more like an unspoken rule) to read anything outside the LSM/LC.. that includes different translations of the bible, unless it was in the bookstore like Foxe's book of martyrs and Miller's church history.

I have heard the blended brothers sometimes NOW refer to the Amplified bible. If that's the case, then the brethren can follow the bouncing ball and do the same. There are some localities that have more 'freedom' than others I understand. And in each locality there will be some 'rebels'. Some localities have genuine close fellowship and understand each other well. Some localities were/are more rigid.

That said, I can tell you that Nee and Lee's teachings did in the lonnnnnng run make me realize through the scriptures and the HOLY SPIRIT, that the 'church' is not a denomination. It is true there were no denominations or 'non denominations' when the Holy Spirit fell on the apostles and the disciples and the church was birthed in Acts.

They got that part right. And yet, they became one themselves! Go figure!

Now many people here have been attending a denomination for a long time and are happy there. I have no qualms with their decisions. If that's where the Lord has them, so be it.

My experience was I attended several denominations: Messianic Jew, Baptist, John Hagee's cornerstone 'church' and another 'charismatic' church. I learned much from the pastors of these churches but I never had the close fellowship I had in the LC when I was there.

Little by little, I met like minded people and even if we are not always on the same page it's OK! We are not going to 'quarantine' or excommunicate each other! Our allegiance and fellowship first and foremost is with our Creator and Savior, Jesus, His Holy Spirit and Father God.

The LC was the foundation of my faith and growing in Christ. But my season there ended..as did my season with the denominations.

It has not been an easy trek. Yet no doubt GOD IS FAITHFUL. He is our Shepherd. He leads us to still waters and His Goodness and Mercy follows us all the days of our lives. Glory and Praise to His Holy Name.
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Old 10-18-2017, 01:04 PM   #5
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Default Re: Smoking Gun?

I left on good terms, and occasionally visited. My own gripe was twofold: first that they said to ignore the people Jesus ministered to - the poor, the sick, the weak and the weary - and went for the "good building material", i.e. naive college students, who would get good jobs and buy ministry publications and recruit others to buy ministry publications.

Second was that we were "the Body" and "just Christians" but seemed to spend an inordinate amount of time pooh-poohing everyone else in "the Body" but us. We were "the church in Smithville" but wouldn't visit anyone else in Smithville but required that they sat at our Lord's Table. The hypocrisy of it became too much, and I tired of sitting in the same chairs looking at the same faces saying the same things.

So I left.

But only later I learned of Philip Lee and the "storms" and "turmoils" and "rebellions" that Ohio alluded to. Never even heard of John Ingalls, except that his name was in the front of some older LSM publications. Never heard of John So or Max Rappoport or Sal Benoit or Bill Mallon or so many other "rebels" who walked away.

But everyone has faults, right? So I became more critical, but not "negative" in the true sense, not an "opposer", though I would occasionally be critical, which was dangerous enough to the programme zealots.

My smoking gun became this: when I read the footnotes to the RecV in the Psalms and realized that probably 70% of the verses were panned by LSM as "fallen" or "natural concepts" or "mixed". This completely flies in the face of NT reception of scripture.

Look at Peter's speech in Acts 2. Did he say, "David was just in his natural mind, supposing that God would help him, a sinner."? No, Peter said that David was a prophet and was not speaking concerning himself but of the seed that was to come.

Again and again the NT indicates that the writers and speakers of the books were looking to scripture as indicative of the coming Messiah. Some might be arguably not - the repentant Psalm 51 or some of the more vitriolic "imprecative" psalms come to mind (though even these have NT echoes if you look) - but the LSM version of the Psalms goes far beyond that.

Jesus said, "David was in spirit" writing about Him. Nowhere does He, or Paul, or the gospel writers say that this was limited to the 40 explicit citations. Yet LSM either sees "NT believers enjoying grace" in the Psalms, or David/Asaph/&c expressing "natural" or "mixed" sentiments.

When I saw that I also "rebelled" against this ministry, and its franchise churches. Nice people, but very, very misled.
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Old 10-18-2017, 03:24 PM   #6
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Default Re: Smoking Gun?

I just want to send out a quick thx for the replies thus far- would love more. I also want to say I'm honored that y'all would share some of your story with me- I don't take it lightly or for granted. I realize there must be some deeeeeep thoughts/feelings/memories/hurts/frustrations/regrets/etc hanging around in some of those stories. I realize many have only shared the abbreviated version- May God's grace truly heal and restore as really only He can!
It seems to me that unlike some of the pretty clear "cults"- JW/LDS/etc...- LC just doesn't seem to have the verifiable clear cut one/couple/few teachings/practices that you can point at, stand up, and scream "Aha- Got ya- there it is!" Frustrating... And just to clarify- I don't think I currently see LC as a cult- possibly some cult-like tendencies- but I personally can't go far enough yet to label it a cult- perhaps some of you see it differently?
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:24 PM   #7
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Default Re: Smoking Gun?

Interestingly, the word cult is not in the Bible.

Strictly speaking, JW, LDS and every denomination is a sect because it is a "cut"(i.e. sect) in the Body. Cults are those groups like the KKK etc.
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Old 10-18-2017, 04:29 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gideon7 View Post
I just want to send out a quick thx for the replies thus far- would love more. I also want to say I'm honored that y'all would share some of your story with me- I don't take it lightly or for granted. I realize there must be some deeeeeep thoughts/feelings/memories/hurts/frustrations/regrets/etc hanging around in some of those stories. I realize many have only shared the abbreviated version- May God's grace truly heal and restore as really only He can!
It seems to me that unlike some of the pretty clear "cults"- JW/LDS/etc...- LC just doesn't seem to have the verifiable clear cut one/couple/few teachings/practices that you can point at, stand up, and scream "Aha- Got ya- there it is!" Frustrating... And just to clarify- I don't think I currently see LC as a cult- possibly some cult-like tendencies- but I personally can't go far enough yet to label it a cult- perhaps some of you see it differently?
Witness Lee liked to say provocative things, that stretched the limits of orthodoxy. But then he'd explain what it meant, and he was always (so he argued) firmly within the orthodox camp.

I don't know if this was deliberate, but it allowed him to be two things simultaneously: "different" and "the same".

He wanted to be different because he needed to distinguish himself from the rest. He'd often say, "Nobody has seen this but us". Or, "Nobody else teaches this". This way he could hold the sheep in his pen. Everyone else, it seemed, was deficient, often hopelessly so. Only Nee & Lee had the up-to-date light; everyone else was passe.

But he also had to be "the most orthodox", as he'd put it. He'd lay out his bona fides repeatedly. He trafficked in the legitimacy of Wesley, Luther, Calvin et al. (But somehow current followers of Wesley/Luther/Calvin were totally in the dark. ??)

The other thing is, a lot of his more inflammatory statements got edited out, and never published. The oral messages were "polished" in LSM/lc lingo. So the stuff that was really 'out there' often never saw the general public.

Provoke and then deny, over and over again. Lee didn't care if he argued continually, and had to explain himself yet again; as long as he was kept the center of it all, it was A-ok. . . this m.o. kept him right in the center of (a small) public consciousness.
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Old 10-18-2017, 05:05 PM   #9
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LSM/lc have tried to stay right on the limits of orthodoxy, where they can be the same as everyone else, but different, too.

But if you want to see LSM/lc & Lee off the rails, look up the truly cultic off-shoots in the PRC. They went in aggressively in 1979, when China opened to the west. Within 15 years they had millions of acolytes, it seemed.

Read about the Eastern Lightning, an LSM/lc sect. Or the Lord Changshou Shouters, or the Three Grades of Servants. If you read the ELrecruiters guide, readily available, it's lifted right out of the LSM/lc playbook. Just not as subtle - it's quite forthright.

Quite the eye-opener.
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Old 10-18-2017, 06:06 PM   #10
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LSM/lc have tried to stay right on the limits of orthodoxy, where they can be the same as everyone else, but different, too.

But if you want to see LSM/lc & Lee off the rails, look up the truly cultic off-shoots in the PRC. They went in aggressively in 1979, when China opened to the west. Within 15 years they had millions of acolytes, it seemed.

Read about the Eastern Lightning, an LSM/lc sect. Or the Lord Changshou Shouters, or the Three Grades of Servants. If you read the ELrecruiters guide, readily available, it's lifted right out of the LSM/lc playbook. Just not as subtle - it's quite forthright.

Quite the eye-opener.
LSM/LC cannot be blamed for Eastern Lightning just as the apostles cannot be blamed for Gnosticism which arose out of the teachings of Paul and John.


Within early Christianity, the teachings of Paul and John may have been a starting point for Gnostic ideas, with a growing emphasis on the opposition between flesh and spirit, the value of charisma, and the disqualification of the Jewish law. The mortal body belonged to the world of the archons, and only the spirit or soul could be saved. The term gnostikos may have acquired a deeper significance here

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosti...istian_origins
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Old 10-19-2017, 02:44 AM   #11
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LSM/LC cannot be blamed for Eastern Lightning just as the apostles cannot be blamed for Gnosticism which arose out of the teachings of Paul and John.
I agree with the above. I don't see a "smoking gun" per se (i.e. direct causative effect), but thought there were interesting aspects in common. And your comparison is apt, as I've often felt John was creating a firewall against Gnosticism, not inviting it.

In retrospect, the LSM/lc would have done better with firewalls, themselves. They went into an isolated populace with slogans inviting subjectivism over objective truth. "The age of the Word is over; it is now the age of the Spirit". Just shout yourselves inti foment and you are "in S/spirit" and "in God". When people began to have completely heterodox dreams and visions there was no stopping them. Subjectivity uber alles.

And the recruiting methods are pretty much identical; the EL is less subtle, which makes it so informative. Deception: "We are just Christans." Hide affiliation, at first. Find commonalities and build relational bridges. Then, dependency and isolationism: "We alone have the truth. All others are in darkness." Secrecy. Paranoia. Tight operational control.

My message here is that we can see a warning in this. Mysticism can lead to manipulation and slavery worse than "dead letters" even.
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Old 10-19-2017, 03:51 AM   #12
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Aron>""The age of the Word is over; it is now the age of the Spirit""

What? I never heard this from Brother Lee nor anything like it. His life's work was completely centered on Life studies of the Bible followed by Crystallizations of the books of the Bible.

Aron, since you put that in quotes, meaning it is an exact statement, please provide the reference so we can read it in context.

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Old 10-19-2017, 06:49 AM   #13
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Aron>""The age of the Word is over; it is now the age of the Spirit""

What? I never heard this from Brother Lee nor anything like it. His life's work was completely centered on Life studies of the Bible followed by Crystallizations of the books of the Bible.

Aron, since you put that in quotes, meaning it is an exact statement, please provide the reference so we can read it in context.

Drake
I've heard talk like that too.

Just because LSM won't put that in their books, doesn't mean it is not said publicly.

But for context, oftentimes John 5.39 would be twisted and used as a springboard for dumb comments such as the one aron provided.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:50 AM   #14
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What? I never heard this from Brother Lee nor anything like it.
Well then you wen't listening very well.

Did you ever hear Witness Lee say that "the process of sanctification" is only taking place in the Local Church? Did you ever hear him say "if you go away from" the Local Church of Witness Lee you will never be "a great spiritual person", but instead be spiritually "bankrupt"? Well these cult-like declarations came from none other than Mr. Benson Phillips, the President of LSM and undisputed most blended of the Blended Brothers. So where did brother Phillips come up with such absurd notions? He didn't just dream up this garbage from the words of John MacArthur, Billy Graham or R.C. Sproul, now did he? No, he was a devout follower and intense listener to the words of Witness Lee. When I read this scary damnation from Phillips it didn't surprise me one bit. I sat at the feet of Witness Lee for about 2 decades and heard him speak hundreds upon hundreds of "messages" IN PERSON, AND NOT THE EDITED VIDEOS/AUDIOS/PUBLICATIONS. What Phillips said is in perfect alignment with the teachings of Witness Lee, and so are the things aron has recently pointed out.

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Old 10-19-2017, 08:06 AM   #15
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LSM/LC cannot be blamed for Eastern Lightning just as the apostles cannot be blamed for Gnosticism which arose out of the teachings of Paul and John.
This comment has no historical basis.

Gnosticism and endless Greek philosophies existed long before the Apostles.

Read the story about Paul's first visit to Athens, Greece in Acts 17.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:14 AM   #16
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A very big thx again for your responses! Please know this means a lot to my wife and I as we try to dig through the details of a complicated group and see what’s really at the bottom of it all- I sincerely hope it’s the one true God and His word, but…?
Gideon7, this forum has had LSM advocates like Drake and Evangelical for years.

Keep reading, and you will see first hand all the diverse tactics they will use to dismiss legitimate concerns and discredit those who voice their concerns. It's kind of like watching our political news each night.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:48 AM   #17
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Ohio- thx for the heads up. And thx again to all the other input. Honestly- I appreciate hearing both sides. I have only had good to very good experiences at the LC- admittedly only about half dozen visits so far. I almost wonder if it might be as others have said- they don't have issues with the people in LC- but the leadership? (But I must keep in mind- those "leaders" came from within LC most likely...) The few folks I've gotten to know seem to sincerely love Christ and His word- joyful, thankful, faithful, reasonably healthy doctrine, etc...
I am pondering- WL died about 2 decades ago- his seemingly authoritarian church politics happened before that- I believe his apparently un-Godly sons are even passed? (I know nothing of the "Blended Brothers"- and who is/was "GLA" btw?) I don't see any recent claims about scandalous RV money schemes, sexual assault, people/churches getting quarantined/excommunicated... I'm trying to give the benefit of the doubt here- but perhaps positive changes have come about in the last 20+ years? That's a loooong time... just wondering? I'm not trying to pull this post in a different direction- I think I might start a new thread somewhere else about "what changes have come since WL passed?" Sorry- new to this...
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:42 AM   #18
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Ohio- thx for the heads up. And thx again to all the other input. Honestly- I appreciate hearing both sides. I have only had good to very good experiences at the LC- admittedly only about half dozen visits so far. I almost wonder if it might be as others have said- they don't have issues with the people in LC- but the leadership? (But I must keep in mind- those "leaders" came from within LC most likely...) The few folks I've gotten to know seem to sincerely love Christ and His word- joyful, thankful, faithful, reasonably healthy doctrine, etc...
I am pondering- WL died about 2 decades ago- his seemingly authoritarian church politics happened before that- I believe his apparently un-Godly sons are even passed? (I know nothing of the "Blended Brothers"- and who is/was "GLA" btw?) I don't see any recent claims about scandalous RV money schemes, sexual assault, people/churches getting quarantined/excommunicated... I'm trying to give the benefit of the doubt here- but perhaps positive changes have come about in the last 20+ years? That's a loooong time... just wondering? I'm not trying to pull this post in a different direction- I think I might start a new thread somewhere else about "what changes have come since WL passed?" Sorry- new to this...
Sorry about abbreviations. GLA is th Great Lakes Area, with a regional leader in Cleveland named Titus Chu.

Yes, Lee's sons are now also passed.

Current leader/President is Benson Philips. His abusive style is on full display (as "Dan Williams") if you would read the first chap of former member Jane Anderson in her book Thread of Gold. Philips is a brutal, ambitious man who would "eliminate" anyone who got in his way, including Titus Chu, who was excommunicated 10 years ago, which divided all the LC's I knew in the GLA. He also excommunicated all of Brazil ~2010 because they had their own printing presses, and stopped buying books from LSM. Remember the saying "power corrupts?"

And, yes, many, many precious saints are there, with too many abusive leaders, especially at LSM, with a smile on their face and a knife in their hand. The "Blended Brothers" are the leaders at LSM who give conferences and trainings.

And DCP is the "Defense and Confirmation Project" which is little more than the legal arm of LSM ready to sue any publisher who speaks up. They are doing their best to shut down this website.

When I left, I reminisced my many years there, putting together all my stories with a few other brothers I knew and discovered online, and then I got hit with the awful conclusion one day that this program turns beloved brothers into bullies. I saw this on a local, regional, and national level. It was systemic. The leadership style draws on elements from Chinese culture and the military. The established hierarchy is often maintained by regular "dress-downs," public shaming and humiliations of leaders, none of which you will witness while just meeting house to house.
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Old 10-19-2017, 11:26 AM   #19
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Aron>""The age of the Word is over; it is now the age of the Spirit""

What? I never heard this from Brother Lee nor anything like it. His life's work was completely centered on Life studies of the Bible followed by Crystallizations of the books of the Bible.

Aron, since you put that in quotes, meaning it is an exact statement, please provide the reference so we can read it in context.

Drake
Drake,

Did you ever hear this one: "The age of spiritual giants is over; it is now the age of the small potatoes"? We heard that in 1997 when Witness Lee passed on. Why does an age pass when a Christian minister dies? What Bible verse comes to mind here, if any?

And it probably never got published in the LSM/lc. . . . don't want to make a paper trail. A 'smoking gun'.

Regarding the quote you wanted, it's from

https://www.chinasource.org/resource...deas-come-from

And I think I read it elsewhere also. There are several books on contemporary Christian experience in China, and Watchman Nee & Witness Lee obviously loom large. There's quite a bit of data if you are interested.

One book is called "Redeemed by Fire" and another book is called "China's Christian Millions". There are easily a half-dozen books like this.
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Old 10-19-2017, 01:20 PM   #20
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Gideon7,

Here are some links which are very informative regarding the LC/LSM's attitude toward other Christians as well as the efforts of other Christians to address issues with them.

Questions and Answers about The Local Church’s Lawsuit Against Harvest House Publishers and Authors John Ankerberg and John Weldon
LINK: Harvest House Lawsuit
This was appealed all the way to the US Supreme Court, but the Supremes refused to hear it.

More than 70 evangelical Christian scholars and ministry leaders from seven nations have signed an unprecedented open letter to the leadership of the “local churches” and Living Stream Ministry.
LINK: 70 Evangelicals Open Letter to LC

Christian Research Institute - We Were Wrong! (Walter Martin wrote a book (The New Cults) and Lee was in it. Lee either threatened or actually filed a lawsuit. CRI was once critical of Lee, under the original Bible Answer Man, Walter Martin. Bible Answer Man's replacement was Hank Haanegraaff who was unrighteous in his takeover of Martin's ministry after his death. Benson Phillips, et al, wined and dined Hank, including a visit to China. As a result, Haanegraaff was flipped by the LSM. These links contain the story and its rebuttal.)

A statement from Walter Martin's family:
LINK: Walter Martin Family

LINK: We Were Wrong!

Responses to "We Were Wrong!"
LINK: Geisler-Rhodes Response
LINK: Jane Anderson Response

As for the enjoyment, etc., you're experiencing now in the LC meetings, I once heard Ray Graver ("Blended") say "There's a hook inside that bait!" In hindsight, pretty scary.

Nell
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:05 PM   #21
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I really don’t want to invest my time in a group that is off concerning some of the basic doctrines/practices of the faith- and when there’s this much "smoke", there tends to be a fire somewhere…
The next "training" in Anaheim is probably coming up over Christmas break. You should attend and see it all for yourself. Make sure to take good notes and ask questions in the breakout groups. Your smoking gun is the Living Stream Ministry.

You mentioned in another post "I plan to talk with maybe 3 key people- elders or whoever." I did this as well. As another poster mentioned, it depends on how connected your locality is to the LSM. My locality was one of the top dogs in the pecking order, very well versed in steering conversations with college students. What you'll find over time that the rehearsed and memorized responses do not always match with reality. The funny thing is everyone knows it, but refuses to talk about it.

For example: A member of Witness Lee's church may reject my comment that my old locality was a top dog - that... on the contrary... there is no hierarchical structure within the LSM (and may provide bible verses that point to WHY that is the case). But the sad truth (as you'll find) is that there is a hierarchy. Not only within the localities, but across the country (and I assume the world - but can't say first hand).

My locality was a top dog, I ran in the circle with the top dogs. They would never admit to it... I mean... why give up the perks?

What would you say if I told you I loved the new church I'm attending. We all pay for a weekly flyer written by a fallen man. On Sundays (eehm, the Lord's Day) We get together and use his words as an outline to then talk about this guy's writings. We read scripture, but only scripture that was translated by this dude... but actually we focus mostly on his commentary (eehm, footnotes). After that we sing songs that were written by this same guy (well maybe only 90% were written by him) so the rest are approved by him. Yeah this dude has somewhat of a shady track record, but he did a lot of good too. Out of all of his writings he mentions one time that he isn't always right (Life Study Genesis Message 88 - using this as a warning to "spies") but overall it is clear that he is always right, in fact, he is was the minister of the age - like Paul or Luther. Seeking any truth outside of his ministry means that you're being "negative" and may be "poisoned".

Go and see it for yourself my friend
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:27 PM   #22
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This comment has no historical basis.

Gnosticism and endless Greek philosophies existed long before the Apostles.

Read the story about Paul's first visit to Athens, Greece in Acts 17.
Note that the context is within early Christianity, not the idea of gnosticism in general. And gnosticism further found its foothold in Christianity when certain early church Bishops started to follow it.

If it has no historical basis, why did I get it from Wikipedia which cites this source?

Magris, Aldo (2005), "Gnosticism: Gnosticism from its origins to the Middle Ages (further considerations)", in Jones, Lindsay, MacMillan Encyclopdia of Religion, MacMillan


Just another one of your uneducated and ill-informed remarks.
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:34 PM   #23
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Gideon7, this forum has had LSM advocates like Drake and Evangelical for years.

Keep reading, and you will see first hand all the diverse tactics they will use to dismiss legitimate concerns and discredit those who voice their concerns. It's kind of like watching our political news each night.
Again Ohio writes a remark with no substance.
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:44 PM   #24
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Well then you wen't listening very well.

Did you ever hear Witness Lee say that "the process of sanctification" is only taking place in the Local Church? Did you ever hear him say "if you go away from" the Local Church of Witness Lee you will never be "a great spiritual person", but instead be spiritually "bankrupt"? Well these cult-like declarations came from none other than Mr. Benson Phillips, the President of LSM and undisputed most blended of the Blended Brothers. So where did brother Phillip come up with such absurd notions? He didn't just dream up this garbage from the words of John MacArthur, Billy Graham or R.C. Sproul, now did he? No, he was a devout follower and intense listener to the words of Witness Lee. When I read this scary damnation from Phillips it didn't surprise me one bit. I sat at the feet of Witness Lee for about 2 decades and heard him speak hundreds upon hundreds of "messages" IN PERSON, AND NOT THE EDITED VIDEOS/AUDIOS/PUBLICATIONS. What Phillips said is in perfect alignment with the teachings of Witness Lee, and so are the things aron has recently pointed out.

-
I believe Drake asked for a quote where Lee said "The age of the Word is over". Where's the quote? Are you saying that you personally heard Lee say this?

I believe some forum members took it from here and similar spurious Chinese websites:

http://www.xjshzzj.cn/en/h-nd-1577.html

Do we really think that Lee would say the age of the Word is over after having written so much on the Word even a new bible version?

Doctrinally speaking it is the Eastern Lightning who might say the Spirit replaces the Word as they don't regard the Bible, and for this reason this quote is most likely from them, not Lee.
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:56 PM   #25
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Drake,

Did you ever hear this one: "The age of spiritual giants is over; it is now the age of the small potatoes"? We heard that in 1997 when Witness Lee passed on. Why does an age pass when a Christian minister dies? What Bible verse comes to mind here, if any?

And it probably never got published in the LSM/lc. . . . don't want to make a paper trail. A 'smoking gun'.

Regarding the quote you wanted, it's from

https://www.chinasource.org/resource...deas-come-from

And I think I read it elsewhere also. There are several books on contemporary Christian experience in China, and Watchman Nee & Witness Lee obviously loom large. There's quite a bit of data if you are interested.

One book is called "Redeemed by Fire" and another book is called "China's Christian Millions". There are easily a half-dozen books like this.
This is the only source:

Leung Ka-lun 梁家麟, Gaige kaifang yilai de Zhongguo nongcun jiaohui 改革開放以來的中國農村教會 [The Rural Churches of Mainland China Since 1978] (English title provided on copyright page) Jidujiao yu Zhongguo wenhua yanjiu congshu 基督教與中國文化研究叢書 [Christianity and Chinese culture research series] 4 (Hong Kong: Alliance Bible Seminary, 1999), 168, 168n36.


Lee never said that the age of the Word was over in the USA or wrote it down anywhere.

I did hear him or someone say that this is the age of the small potatos (actually, the mashed potatos) so that one is probably correct.
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:07 PM   #26
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LeastOfThese- thx for the input- I'll keep some of that in mind- much appreciated!
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:17 PM   #27
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Drake,

Did you ever hear this one: "The age of spiritual giants is over; it is now the age of the small potatoes"? We heard that in 1997 when Witness Lee passed on. Why does an age pass when a Christian minister dies? What Bible verse comes to mind here, if any?

And it probably never got published in the LSM/lc. . . . don't want to make a paper trail. A 'smoking gun'.

Regarding the quote you wanted, it's from

https://www.chinasource.org/resource...deas-come-from

And I think I read it elsewhere also. There are several books on contemporary Christian experience in China, and Watchman Nee & Witness Lee obviously loom large. There's quite a bit of data if you are interested.

One book is called "Redeemed by Fire" and another book is called "China's Christian Millions". There are easily a half-dozen books like this.
Aron,

That reference is less credible than your unsubstantiated quote.... unsubstantiated on top of unsubstantiated.

Please provide the pointer to the quote of Witness Lee where he allegedly said "The age of the Word is over, it is now the age of the Spirit"

You quoted, so where is it?

Not, he said things like that, not he probably said something like that. Not statements about potatoes or giants. Not quoting someone who said he said it. Not you think you heard it somewhere.

Where?

Drake
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:36 PM   #28
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LOT>"My locality was a top dog, I ran in the circle with the top dogs. They would never admit to it... I mean... why give up the perks?"

Perks?

Not in this life...

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Old 10-19-2017, 08:08 PM   #29
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LOT>"My locality was a top dog, I ran in the circle with the top dogs. They would never admit to it... I mean... why give up the perks?"

Perks?

Not in this life...

Drake
Ha. I've always pictured you as older...maybe not.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:26 PM   #30
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Ha. I've always pictured you as older...maybe not.
Well, I'm fighting it yet I'm no spring duckling.

There are no perks. You must be thinking of Osteen.

The Lord knows and will reward the sacrifice.

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Old 10-19-2017, 09:34 PM   #31
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Aron,

That reference is less credible than your unsubstantiated quote.... unsubstantiated on top of unsubstantiated.

Drake

If a Chinese village said it's true then it must be true!
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Old 10-19-2017, 09:56 PM   #32
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The interesting thing is that the Evangelicals who signed the open letter are hypocrites for writing against what Lee said about Roman Catholicism etc but themselves believing that Roman Catholics are not saved.

One of them, Norman L. Geisler, writes

So, invite a Catholic to your Bible study or church. There is a good possibility that they will get saved! They have a least been pre-evangelized by Roman Catholicism to believe in God, miracles, Christ, His death and resurrection.

http://normangeisler.com/roman-catho...g-catholicism/

So we can see that Norman believes Catholics are not saved, and whatever they do believe in about God and Christ is only pre to being fully or properly saved like Evangelicals are.

It is a common belief in Evangelicism that Catholics are not saved and that those who follow the Catholic gospel are not saved. So how can they disagree with Lee that Catholicism is not a legitimate church?

So they are hypocrites for condemning what Lee wrote against Catholicism, while themselves believing that Catholics are not saved ( and Lee did make clear there are saved Catholics and was speaking only of the Organization when he said "in every denomination, including the Roman Catholic Church, there are real, saved Christians. They are God's people belonging to the Lord. ").
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:32 AM   #33
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If a Chinese village said it's true then it must be true!
Is that where Princess Leia is from?

There is a pattern emerging here!

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Old 10-20-2017, 02:51 AM   #34
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Do we really think that Lee would say the age of the Word is over after having written so much on the Word even a new bible version?
.
The question here is not what we think about Lee, but what did we hear and see him say.

And yes, Lee spoke extensively, often elevating his writings above scripture. Were you at the meeting where Francis Ball, one of the Blendeds, called the completion of Lee's Life Studies the interpreted word of God ?
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Old 10-20-2017, 02:57 AM   #35
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Lee never said that the age of the Word was over in the USA or wrote it down anywhere.
.
How would you know what Lee said in every meeting in the USA? Were you there in every one?

You now live in Australasia, I doubt if you ever heard Lee speak live.

Have you ever compared some of his live "off-script" messages with what his editors put in the book?
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Old 10-20-2017, 03:25 AM   #36
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Is that where Princess Leia is from?

There is a pattern emerging here!

Drake
Sorry that my citation lacked the rigour you require.

Let me ask you a question: did you ever hear the phrase "go after the good building material" in the LSM/lc?

And if so, where is this printed in one of Lee's books?

And how does this square with Jesus' command to help those who cannot repay you in this age?

Sorry if I struggle to unwrap the enigma of the LSM/lc. But I heard FTTA trainer Paul Hon tell us, point-blank, not to waste our time. And I do appreciate his frankness. It helped me understand what sort of spirit I was facing.

I pointed to China because: 1 we see Lee's operatives unfettered by Western cultural considerations; and 2 because the activities of EL and other cults throw sharp relief upon the more nuanced (read: deniable) activities elsewhere.
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Old 10-20-2017, 04:51 AM   #37
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How would you know what Lee said in every meeting in the USA? Were you there in every one?

You now live in Australasia, I doubt if you ever heard Lee speak live.

Have you ever compared some of his live "off-script" messages with what his editors put in the book?
I could ask you the same thing how do you know that he said the "age of the Word is over", just because Aron quoted some Chinese villager?

Believe me in my role I have heard many a message. Enough to never heard the phrase "age of the Word is over" but I already said before I heard the potato one so that is accurate. But it is not right to claim Lee said things he did not say. I am very well informed with what was said and what was not said. And remember I can always ask the brothers if in doubt. But as you are disconnected who knows whether what you claim to have heard 30 years ago is accurate? As one ages the mind plays tricks, we recall things as we think we remember not as they actually were.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:21 AM   #38
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-2

Aron>"Sorry that my citation lacked the rigour you require."

This isn't about me, Aron.

Why did you elect to use "quotes" about something Brother Lee supposedly said when you had no reference? Yet, you knew while doing it that you also were quoting another unsubstantiated statement but you presented it here as if it were fact.

Frankly, Aron, I am very concerned that a brother would do such a thing to anyone much more that a brother would do that to another brother. We are not worldly people like those who create fake news about something the president said when he did not.. You are a brother, I am a brother, and Witness Lee is a brother. Or do you not also see it that way?

Look, I am not saying we cannot or should not disagree. Nor am I saying we should not disagree sharply. I am saying that the integrity of your argument matters, else where is your testimony? Don't make stuff up. Don't say Witness Lee said this or that when he did not. Can you not find enough substantive material to disagree with in the thousands of messages readily available online and searchable with key phrases at lsm.org? Or is there no "smoking gun" there and therefore you use resort to fake news out of some obscure place in China?

Exactly, what do you hope to gain by doing that?

Drake
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:34 AM   #39
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Evangelical>"I could ask you the same thing how do you know that he said the "age of the Word is over", just because Aron quoted some Chinese villager?"

Sadly, this has become standard operating procedure in this forum as it has in American politics. Same pattern. Some political hack makes a claim and it becomes theatre for a week with calls for impeachment. It's an ugly side of humanity and it is alarming that it is so readily accepted in a forum of believers.

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Old 10-20-2017, 06:09 AM   #40
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-2

Aron>"Sorry that my citation lacked the rigour you require."

This isn't about me, Aron.

Why did you elect to use "quotes" about something Brother Lee supposedly said when you had no reference? Yet, you knew while doing it that you also were quoting another unsubstantiated statement but you presented it here as if it were fact.

Frankly, Aron, I am very concerned that a brother would do such a thing to anyone much more that a brother would do that to another brother. We are not worldly people like those who create fake news about something the president said when he did not.. You are a brother, I am a brother, and Witness Lee is a brother. Or do you not also see it that way?

Look, I am not saying we cannot or should not disagree. Nor am I saying we should not disagree sharply. I am saying that the integrity of your argument matters, else where is your testimony? Don't make stuff up. Don't say Witness Lee said this or that when he did not. Can you not find enough substantive material to disagree with in the thousands of messages readily available online and searchable with key phrases at lsm.org? Or is there no "smoking gun" there and therefore you use resort to fake news out of some obscure place in China?

Exactly, what do you hope to gain by doing that?

Drake
I have read "China's Christian Millions" by Tony Lambert. But when I tried to cite it on Google books, it gave me only snippet views.

Same thing with "Redeemed by Fire" by Xi Lian and "A New History of Christianity in China" by Daniel H. Bays.

And I don't see you or anyone going through them, point-by-point, and discrediting them, so I'll assume they have some value in current discourse.

I read that the LSM operatives flooded the Chinese countryside with millions of tracts. Slogans like "The age of the word is over, it is the age of the Spirit". Sorry if I don't have sound recordings and video recordings. I gave you one quote by William Bennett who seemed to have more than a passing interest & abilities. The man evidently read Chinese and had hold of some documents. But no go, huh? Okay. Fine.

But do you think LSM/lc operatives would use tracts and slogans that were not approved by HQ? Doubtful. Tight operational control is the watchword, there. I was in the system and I know. People don't ad-lib much under Witness Lee. We were told to be "tape recorders" in the training sessions. The RecV footnotes in Revelations 2 and 3 say that every lc has to be "absolutely identical" with "no differences whatsoever". So when a tract got sent out, it was approved and even directed by HQ. This I believe.

So, sorry again for the lack of rigour. I was in the system, and know it as: Provoke and deny. Equivocate it away.

I notice you don't answer my questions about "good building material". Did you ever hear that phrase in the LSM/lc? And if so, where is it in a written speech by Witness Lee? And if not, why not? And what is the biblical basis?

And, how do we know that Witness Lee was a "spiritual giant"? Did you also hear that phrase? Where is it printed, then? What objective basis do we have? 200 books by a man who owned his own printing presses? Messages given? Churches started? Acolytes? We could call any number of Christian leaders or pseudo-Christian leaders "great" on any objective measure.

This shows me that not everything spoken from the podium got printed. So, sorry.
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:14 AM   #41
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Let me ask you a question: did you ever hear the phrase "go after the good building aterial" in the LSM/lc?

And if so, where is this printed in one of Lee's books?
Fair question.

I never heard Brother Lee say that. On the contrary, I was with a group of brothers in a meeting with Brother Lee many years ago and something similar came up. The idea about reaching professors on campus, big fish. His response was along the lines of it being better to pray and not move to quickly. I felt the Lords enlightening from that and had the sense that though the idea had made sense yet it was in the wrong realm.

So, no, I never read that in any of his books, never heard it in any messages, nor did I expect to.

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Old 10-20-2017, 06:18 AM   #42
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I could ask you the same thing how do you know that he said the "age of the Word is over", just because Aron quoted some Chinese villager?
When many witnesses, including foreign news, repeat the same lines, we must do our due diligence to go back to the source, which was W. Lee. Aron's quote from China merely showed how widespread Lee's saying was.

Just because you cringe and squirm today at these ludicrous claims by W. Lee (and this forum is filled with many more), clamoring for written evidence on official LSM stationary, does not negate the fact that they were said, and heard, and repeated. LSM's hefty editorial staff cannot sanitize Lee's every word from the podium.

Lee and his followers loved to talk about "THE VISION," as if the LC "vision" was identical to Saul/Paul's vision on the road to Damascus. The Apostle Paul, au contraire, backed up his vision with a conscience void of offense, which he constantly exercised before God and man. (Acts 23.1, 24.16, 26.19)

What W. Lee did to John Ingalls et. al., who were simply exercising their own conscience before God and man, was deplorable. He threw them all under the bus in order to protect his degenerate son, his own reputation, and his ministry. The events surrounding that time of trial were a test to manifest what his ministry was really all about. Both Lee, his son, and his Blendeds got exposed for their self-serving works of the flesh. Nearly all of the things mentioned in Galatians 5.19-21 were on display there. Paul's conclusion? "Those who practice these things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:22 AM   #43
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Frankly, Aron, I am very concerned that a brother would do such a thing to anyone much more that a brother would do that to another brother. We are not worldly people like those who create fake news about something the president said when he did not.. You are a brother, I am a brother, and Witness Lee is a brother. Or do you not also see it that way?
How I wish you would be as concerned about all those who have been hurt by W. Lee and his cadre, and not live in denial of the things so many ex-members have seen and heard and experienced.
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:28 AM   #44
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Aron>"This shows me that not everything spoken from the podium got printed. So, sorry."

Of course not. Not everyone articulates like Charles Stanley but I imagine even his messages would go through final edits.

Your argument is not logical. It makes no sense that if Brother Lee wanted to influence those following his ministry that he would omit the very thing he wants to influence. Do you think that a conversation about good building material is more controversial than the deification of man or eating Jesus! Was he a man who ran from controversial teachings? Isn't this forum created because he did not? Therefore, there is no reason whatsoever for him to run from a conversation about good building material. Your suggestion that he edited out those things and why they are not there is not logical.

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Old 10-20-2017, 06:45 AM   #45
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Fair question.

I never heard Brother Lee say that. On the contrary, I was with a group of brothers in a meeting with Brother Lee many years ago and something similar came up. The idea about reaching professors on campus, big fish. His response was along the lines of it being better to pray and not move to quickly. I felt the Lords enlightening from that and had the sense that though the idea had made sense yet it was in the wrong realm.

So, no, I never read that in any of his books, never heard it in any messages, nor did I expect to.

Drake
This was and is taught and practiced all the time. College students, "typical Americans," middle/upper-class people, etc., are "good material." Go after those people. We are not here for "good works." Witness Lee and other LC leaders place high value on the outward appearance of success and prosperity.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:32 AM   #46
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This was and is taught and practiced all the time. College students, "typical Americans," middle/upper-class people, etc., are "good material." Go after those people. We are not here for "good works." Witness Lee and other LC leaders place high value on the outward appearance of success and prosperity.
Thanks, Koinonia. To be honest, I never heard these specific comments either. I was never involved with LSM's college work.

But, just because I never heard them, does not mean they are not true. This just exposes the dismissive attitudes of LSM's supporters towards current and former members. I'm sure ones like Drake and Evangelical would also deny some of the horror stories the GLA LC's endured at the hands of LSM operatives during and after the Quarantines.

But what troubles ex-members the most is the arrogant attitude towards any and all who would speak of their abuses. I too used to do this while still active in the LC's. It was a "protect the ministry at all cost" mode that was instilled into us for decades. For many of us it took the internet to compile all these stories together so that denial was no longer an option.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:33 AM   #47
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This was and is taught and practiced all the time. College students, "typical Americans," middle/upper-class people, etc., are "good material." Go after those people. We are not here for "good works." Witness Lee and other LC leaders place high value on the outward appearance of success and prosperity.
Paul Hon, in an Anaheim meeting of perhaps 200+ "college-age" trainees, pointed to one male who looked like a spitting image of LA Dodger pitcher Orel Hershiser. "This is what we want", he said.

Point-blank. Now, was Paul Hon "going rogue", or was this simply what was being said from the podium, minus the spiritual trappings? Obviously I think he was following his leader. "Closely following", in LSM/lc parlance.

This of course is my subjective assessment, and is open to question. And I do believe that this stuff never got printed, and cannot be sourced back to Lee, and thus isn't a "smoking gun". But for those of us who were there, that's the way it was.

Again, back to China. William Bennett, whom I cited for my quote, seems credible. The LSM/lc apologists on this forum dismiss his source as some "Chinese villager". But my question is: if you are interested in what the LSM/lc did in China to be able to claim some tens of millions of adherents by the mid-'90s (some of us heard Lee speak this [no, I doubt it ever got printed])?

Did they actually send out millions of tracts with simplistic and borderline-orthodox slogans? What did they say?

Did this quote come from the EL and not the LSM/lc? In other words was Bennet mistaken?

My question is, if you can't trust some "Chinese villager", then who can you trust? Witness Lee? Ha! The Communist Government? Ha! So I'll take the people like William Bennet, and the books I cited, because that's the best source I have.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:22 AM   #48
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I’m gaining much from the discussion everyone- thx for all the input. I realize I’m a newbie here and I hope this doesn’t come across as rude- but I’d really like to hear from Drake and Evangelical specifically here. (And any other current LC supporters- I think I’m correct in believing they are pro-WN/WL/LSM/LC? Please forgive me if I’m misunderstanding…).
My original post requested any sort of “smoking gun”- why folks left the LC… OR reasons from LC adherents “if you would maybe share the main reason you choose to stay in the LC given this (apparently) lengthy list of “smoking guns”. It certainly at least appears there are myriad reasons to have some serious questions concerning the LC.”

I’m really not trying to be sarcastic/divisive here- but if I was invited to “church XYZ” down the street, but found out they had a fraction of the controversy/complaints/lawsuits/sexual abuse allegations/power struggles/borderline false teaching/authoritarian practices/divisions/etc… that seem pretty well founded concerning the LC (*I’m sure some would argue this… but there’s plenty of LC “smoke”)- I’m pretty sure I’d not bother visiting. I’ve been quite involved in different types of Christian ministries for over 25 years- they admittedly all have their issues- but I’d say the LC/WN/WL/LSM seems to have a longer list than most.

But perhaps I’m really missing something? So I politely and sincerely ask- how do you overlook all these things? Some of them seem quite serious- are ALL of these accusations unfounded from your perspective? What is SO special about WN/WL/LC/LSM that it’s worth taking so much negative with the positive? It seems most Christian teachers/preachers/leaders down through the centuries have their pros and cons- I’m not grasping what makes the LC SO special? And for you non-LCer’s- why do/did you see folks stick with the LC- in light of all the allegations? I hope you hear my heart here- this seems to be a pretty open forum where people speak their minds- and I’m deeply curious- with so many other (apparently) healthier choices in town- why would/should someone visit the LC?
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:51 AM   #49
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But perhaps I’m really missing something? So I politely and sincerely ask- how do you overlook all these things?
Let me speak as a "younger" version of Ohio, who staunchly supported WN/WL/LSM/LC's unreservedly since the mid-70's.

I was convinced that we were the continuation of the early apostles and those throughout the centuries who were faithful to follow the Lamb where ever He went. When I read about the battles Paul faught with the Judaizers in the book of Acts, Galatians, etc., I believed that we were in the same fight. Just as "religious" Jews persecuted and killed Jesus and the apostles, they opposed all of us in the Recovery, especially our leaders WN and WL. Lee wrote a book Christ vs. Religion which we all identified with. We were with Christ and everyone else was "religion" and they were all against us.

When I heard of saints leaving, I assumed their faith was compromised, not being able to endure the fiery trials that came against us. We had a foxhole mentality. We were "Gideon's Army." We were few in number, but we were all the Lord needed. Everyone needed what we had, so why would we listen to anyone else? They needed to hear what we had to say! We were led by today's Apostle Paul, the consummate MOTA. We were in the same lineage of faithful believers that always was faithful to the death, and always persecuted by religious people, who could never be trusted.
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Old 10-20-2017, 01:11 PM   #50
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Interestingly, the word cult is not in the Bible.

Strictly speaking, JW, LDS and every denomination is a sect because it is a "cut"(i.e. sect) in the Body. Cults are those groups like the KKK etc.
Not entirely true. Yes, the word "cult" is not a Biblical term. However, "false prophet" and "the fruit of a false prophet" are very clearly NT terms.

2Peter 2:1 But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.

2 And many shall follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth shall be evil spoken of.

3 And through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.


Key terms here:

1. Privily bring in damnable heresies

2. Denying the Lord who bought them

3. Influence many to follow their pernicious ways.

4. Through covetousness shall they with feigned (fabricated) words make merchandise of you.

All four of these apply to Witness Lee.

1. A heresy is a school of thought. Clearly LSM is a school of thought. That doesn't make it "damnable". What makes it damnable is the teaching of the Ground of the church (I will go into this on point 2) and MOTA (also go into this on point 2). Both of these are damnable because they are divisive. No reasonable person would think that all Christians worldwide would recognize WN or WL as the "MOTA" or agree that WL should decide how they meet and who their elders are. Instead the real ground of oneness is the Lord's blood and the real MOTA that all Christians could be in one accord about is Jesus.

2. Both the "ground of the church" doctrine and the "MOTA" doctrines deny the Lord who bought us. According to the ground of the church their doctrine trumps the Lord's redemption in deciding which group of Christians is truly one with the Lord. Likewise the MOTA doctrine denies the Lord by taking OT typology of Jesus Christ and applying it to WN and WL.

3. PL, TL and many other practices by WL and LSM are pernicious. Lawsuits, sexual abuse, making merchandise of the saints, Daystar, etc.

4. WL's ministry is based on a fabricated story about WN being the MOTA. Had WL told the truth concerning WN's excommunication in Shanghai he could never have sold him as the "MOTA". The entire ministry is built on a fabricated story.

However, none of this answers your question about "smoking guns". I only learned of the "pernicious practices" months before I left and it was not the cause. I was in NY and the discussion was about PL in Anaheim. I didn't learn about the fabricated story until years after I had left. While in the recovery I realized that the doctrine of the Ground was flawed but had no idea that it was a "damnable heresy". As for the MOTA doctrine I ignored it, not seeing it as a damnable heresy either. As far as "denying the Lord" I would never have thought that was possible while in the Recovery. It was only years after leaving and learning about the pernicious behavior and fabricated stories that I examined these doctrines with an eye to this verse in Peter.

This is why I think James is far more useful in provoking saints to leave the sphere of a false prophet.

1. Pure religion is to care for widows and orphans. This is how we felt when we first came to the recovery but saw this concern warped into a "burden for the ministry".

2. In the recovery you are turned into a "forgetful hearer" (spectator). Prior to this I wanted to be a "doer of the word". The feeling that the recovery was a "dead end" to spiritual growth.

3. False prophets are like a "rider on a horse". New believers can't discern if they are gifted members or not. They then take charge of the church like a rudder driving the ship into the rocks. Finally, they are like a fire that burns down half the forest. We saw this with the church and Witness Lee. Numerous events like the sister's rebellion and JI were like Witness Lee driving the church into the rocks. Then when various churches left like Germany, Cleveland, etc that was burning down the forest.

These are the things everyone in the church under the influence of the false prophet can see.

One smoking gun was a lunch I had with Ray Graver and Phillip Lee. I was working in Irving on the construction site. I realized during this lunch (first time I ever met PL) that he was an evil, gluttonous man. I knew Ray Graver for years and the only explanation I could see for him overlooking the obvious was "having the faith of the Lord with respect of persons". That was a smoking gun.

During this same time, while working on the construction site Benson Phillips met with the local paper and described the Lord's recovery to them as "just another fundamental church". It became very apparent that there was a political decision made to make friends with the world. I rebuked Benson in a Lord's table meeting the day the article was published. This was a second smoking gun. The situation has become much more egregious in recent years.

JI leaving should have been the straw that broke the camel's back. Seeing WL once again drive the church onto the rocks rather than deal with sin in his own house. But it took me years before I actually learned the story on that. One of the last things I did before leaving the Recovery was to publicly rebuke LSM for tolerating PL.

What was the final straw for me was to realize the lack of concern the church had for widows, and orphans. The gospel contacts versus the children of the saints. I saw this my second year in the recovery (Houston) and it became a thorn that continually provoked me. I rebuked the elders in Texas over this. In Taipei during the FTTT I realized the gospel work was merely a marketing ploy to sell more LSM books. I was involved in a very successful campus work that brought in 18 engineering graduate students into the church. The goal had been "abiding fruit" and we had succeeded. However, instead of LSM actually being interested in fellowship about our work they just wanted to credit training books for new believers. Finally, when I returned to NY the church was virtually an apartheid system with gospel contacts being treated as untouchables and full time workers were merely nannies for children of the saints.
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:22 PM   #51
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Aron>"So I'll take the people like William Bennet, and the books I cited, because that's the best source I have."

Certainly. Quote them then. But don't quote them and say it is a quote from Witness Lee.

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Old 10-20-2017, 05:33 PM   #52
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Hi Gideon7,

Here is my testimony summary.

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...&postcount=554

Hope that link works.

Drake
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Old 10-20-2017, 05:43 PM   #53
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Aron>"So I'll take the people like William Bennet, and the books I cited, because that's the best source I have."

Certainly. Quote them then. But don't quote them and say it is a quote from Witness Lee.

Drake
I wonder if Aron or someone could explain exactly what Bennets source is and that source's credentials?
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:38 PM   #54
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I’m gaining much from the discussion everyone- thx for all the input. I realize I’m a newbie here and I hope this doesn’t come across as rude- but I’d really like to hear from Drake and Evangelical specifically here. (And any other current LC supporters- I think I’m correct in believing they are pro-WN/WL/LSM/LC? Please forgive me if I’m misunderstanding…).
My original post requested any sort of “smoking gun”- why folks left the LC… OR reasons from LC adherents “if you would maybe share the main reason you choose to stay in the LC given this (apparently) lengthy list of “smoking guns”. It certainly at least appears there are myriad reasons to have some serious questions concerning the LC.”

I’m really not trying to be sarcastic/divisive here- but if I was invited to “church XYZ” down the street, but found out they had a fraction of the controversy/complaints/lawsuits/sexual abuse allegations/power struggles/borderline false teaching/authoritarian practices/divisions/etc… that seem pretty well founded concerning the LC (*I’m sure some would argue this… but there’s plenty of LC “smoke”)- I’m pretty sure I’d not bother visiting. I’ve been quite involved in different types of Christian ministries for over 25 years- they admittedly all have their issues- but I’d say the LC/WN/WL/LSM seems to have a longer list than most.

But perhaps I’m really missing something? So I politely and sincerely ask- how do you overlook all these things? Some of them seem quite serious- are ALL of these accusations unfounded from your perspective? What is SO special about WN/WL/LC/LSM that it’s worth taking so much negative with the positive? It seems most Christian teachers/preachers/leaders down through the centuries have their pros and cons- I’m not grasping what makes the LC SO special? And for you non-LCer’s- why do/did you see folks stick with the LC- in light of all the allegations? I hope you hear my heart here- this seems to be a pretty open forum where people speak their minds- and I’m deeply curious- with so many other (apparently) healthier choices in town- why would/should someone visit the LC?
I have about 3 decades past experience with liturgical Protestant (the big ones), charismatic and pentecostal /community and SDA churches. I still fellowship with certain SDA and local church community members since leaving denominations over a decade ago (note, we say "leaving denominations" we don't say "join the LC" because in our minds there's nothing to join). For a period of a couple of years I met freely with both denominational and LC churches and I must say no voice of disapproval or dirty looks from the LC church. Many current LC members have family members who still attend other churches. I think some portray the LC as a black and white thing and it is not. There are good LC churches and bad ones. Ones that stay true to the ministry and others which compromise with the world. There is a wide variety of people not unlike any other church. I have brought friends and family members to my church and most say they love it. Some criticize it because it is not to their expectations.

Here is one thing that I see is a big advantage of the LC over others. In the early church a big part of fellowship, even the main reason for it, was enjoyment of the Lord.

This was somewhat lost during the middle ages as church became a place a person went to on a Sunday to receive some spiritual help from a qualified person, rather than a place people went to for fellowship with the Lord and others. Thus the fellowship resolved around the service, not the meeting. This concept is still seen today most strongly in the liturgical churches where the Priest is the main person to go to for anything spiritual. In parallel to this was the restriction of the Bible to the common man - only the Priest was allowed to interpret it properly. Probably at this time there were still groups (Anabaptist?) who met freely, independently of the mainstream church.

Since the Reformation has come and gone, the Bible was recovered back to the common man, but churches have still retained the concept of providing a spiritual service to spiritually desperate people who come every Sunday. Still today, what most churches do on a Sunday is called "services" because they have a pre-planned program of activities intended to render some spiritual help to the congregation, typically consisting of some worship/singing, some bible message, and some social activities. Most Christians attend church on Sunday but do not read the Bible or pray much during the week (the priest/pastors message is intended to make up for that). Also, because of the service structure, many lack the freedom for more spiritually mature members to participate freely in the service in a meaningful way (such as delivering a snippet message from the Bible). In this way, the weaker members are dependent upon the priest/pastor/service, and the stronger members are dissatisfied as they cannot exercise their spiritual gifts and callings freely because that is the job/role of the pastor/priest.

In the LC however a big advantage is the focus on the enjoyment of the Lord in a corporate way under the concept of a meeting, not a service, without predefined pastoral/priest roles that stifle individual participation. Yet conducted in an orderly and efficient way with a plurality of eldership authority structure that mirrors the early church.

Another reason the LC has an advantage is that they understand that the Spirit and Jesus is the same Person whereas the Spirit is largely unknown in other churches. Now you might be thinking "why is Evangelical now talking about the Spirit, what has that got to do with church?" the connection will become apparent in my summary.

These are the wrong concepts I've encountered in denominations:

The Spirit comes from the Word/Bible (technically, the Bible came from the Spirit)
The Spirit is a power/force (yes the Spirit is powerful but the Spirit is a person)
The Spirit makes you do crazy/silly things (some pentecostals talk about getting "drunk" or "stoned" in the Spirit) . To me this is just emotionalism/mesmerism..
The Spirit is someone else different to Jesus (hence, we can talk to Jesus and then talk to the Spirit separately). The Bible refers to the Spirit as the "Spirit of Christ" hence we can know they are the same Person - the Spirit is the presence of Christ, not the presence of some third unknown person. We in the LC understand that "in Christ" means the same thing as "in Spirit".

In summary, most other churches don't have a clear idea about who the Spirit is, and as a consequence this means their services are not "in the Spirit" or "in Christ", and the goal of church is to perform a spiritual service not fellowship/worship in the Spirit and truth. This is most strongly seen in the liturgical denominations. The LC understands both that the Spirit is Christ, hence there is no confusion, or fear, about the Spirit, and that God's intention of church is corporate fellowship in the Spirit and not performing a set of programmed services every Sunday. I think that compared to most churches, the LC prioritizes a more in depth subjective walk in Christ or in the Spirit, with much devotion /attention paid to God's Word and this is reflected in the meeting.
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Old 10-20-2017, 07:05 PM   #55
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Hi Gideon7,

Here is my testimony summary.

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...&postcount=554

Hope that link works.

Drake
Welcome Gideon7, you can also find my feedback to Drake's vision along that thread...

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...&postcount=562

I am a current member of the LC but with a different opinion. There is no doubt many brothers and sisters in LC love God. What troubles me is somehow many of them choose to know God through the teaching of one man - WL. When you read his books, regardless of his questionable theology, you should easily see there is something wrong with his heart, especially the pride. He just loved to belittle others (especially Chritianity in general) in order to elevate his "high peek truth".

So from time to time I ask irritating questions to fellow LCers in the local meetings and in this forum hopefully someday somehow, we will see how much we as a whole have gone astray from the original vision. But I am just the minority so not seeing much progress at the moment.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:30 PM   #56
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Welcome Gideon7, you can also find my feedback to Drake's vision along that thread...

http://localchurchdiscussions.com/vB...&postcount=562

I am a current member of the LC but with a different opinion. There is no doubt many brothers and sisters in LC love God. What troubles me is somehow many of them choose to know God through the teaching of one man - WL. When you read his books, regardless of his questionable theology, you should easily see there is something wrong with his heart, especially the pride. He just loved to belittle others (especially Chritianity in general) in order to elevate his "high peek truth".

So from time to time I ask irritating questions to fellow LCers in the local meetings and in this forum hopefully someday somehow, we will see how much we as a whole have gone astray from the original vision. But I am just the minority so not seeing much progress at the moment.
I have also asked irritating questions before and if you question Lee the response you will get is "who cares if Lee is wrong" or something like that.
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:41 PM   #57
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Drake- the link worked fine and thx for that. I’m sure some of those things meant a lot to you. Thx for sharing such deep and personal stuff- not taken for granted.
Having said that- I wonder if I might respectfully ask- how do you view the various allegations concerning the LC? I’m sure you are far more aware of the scope and severity of them than I. You strike me as an intelligent and logical person- I sincerely wonder how you deal with the list? For the sake of argument- let’s assume a certain percentage of them are simply not true- that still leaves some pretty significant issues sitting on the table- wouldn’t you agree?
I’m not sure anyone- least of all me- has any PRECISELY accurate list of the real issues- though some probably think they do. But, regardless of EXACTLY which issues really did/are happening- most of them are pretty serious. I’m not trying to be rude or challenge you in any disrespectful way- but any feedback here? Thx!
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Old 10-20-2017, 08:43 PM   #58
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Alb>"So from time to time I ask irritating questions to fellow LCers in the local meetings and in this forum "

A little brother,

I don't consider your questions as irritating. I just think they tend to be verbose and often condescending... though your most recent entries have been more civil.

Thanks
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:01 PM   #59
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I have also asked irritating questions before and if you question Lee the response you will get is "who cares if Lee is wrong" or something like that.
Do you mean asking the questions in your church? Can you elaborate a bit more and share what it means to you? Thanks.
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Old 10-20-2017, 09:40 PM   #60
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Do you mean asking the questions in your church? Can you elaborate a bit more and share what it means to you? Thanks.
Once there was something contradictory in one of the messages. Some were open to discuss it over lunch and others did not care if Lee was right or wrong. But this is within the realm of normal human behavior I think, as I have asked questions before in churches and people don't seem interested to discuss a matter.
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:07 PM   #61
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I have also asked irritating questions before and if you question Lee the response you will get is "who cares if Lee is wrong" or something like that.
Most likely, this is because LC members do not wish to acknowledge (with specifics) that Lee was ever wrong.
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Old 10-21-2017, 01:43 AM   #62
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Most likely, this is because LC members do not wish to acknowledge (with specifics) that Lee was ever wrong.
Well the majority of "Christians" believe the Pope is never wrong. Or ask a Benny Hinn supporter if Benny is ever wrong. You get the idea. You sound naive.
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:50 AM   #63
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Well the majority of "Christians" believe the Pope is never wrong. Or ask a Benny Hinn supporter if Benny is ever wrong. You get the idea. You sound naive.
That's right--because LC members have a cultish devotion to Witness Lee akin to hardcore Catholics' devotion to the Pope. Otherwise, they would be willing to read/watch anything other than his old messages.
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:06 AM   #64
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Well the majority of "Christians" believe the Pope is never wrong. Or ask a Benny Hinn supporter if Benny is ever wrong. You get the idea. You sound naive.
The majority of Christians? What circles do you run in man? I had never seen such an unquestioned devotion to a figure until I met the LSM. Is it idolatry? Not really my place to characterize. What would happen if Witness Lee was removed from the LSM? Would it crumble? Move to following the next guy, Kangas maybe?

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Old 10-21-2017, 06:54 AM   #65
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Once there was something contradictory in one of the messages. Some were open to discuss it over lunch and others did not care if Lee was right or wrong. But this is within the realm of normal human behavior I think, as I have asked questions before in churches and people don't seem interested to discuss a matter.
That actually bothers me most. This is not the responsiblity of just the leadership but every member to seek the truth. The LC believes it is different but it is actually not, may be worse in certain sense because it claims to have the truth. If someone spends so much time on one man's teaching and doesn't care if he was right or wrong, it is pretty scary. Or may be they just don't bother because Lee is always right.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:13 AM   #66
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Gideon>"I wonder if I might respectfully ask- how do you view the various allegations concerning the LC? .......I’m not trying to be rude or challenge you in any disrespectful way- but any feedback here? Thx!"


Certainly Gideon. That's what we are here for.

My view is this. There are three broad categories to address your question about allegations. The first is about truth, and concerns the beliefs and teachings of the local churches. The second is about life, and is closely linked to the first and concerns the practices in the local churches. The third is related to the work and the majority of the allegations in this forum are animated about this one. Even when discussing the first or second some will invariably retreat to the third.

Concerning truth. The ministry in the Lords Recovery adheres to fundamental bible teaching concerning the Person and work of Jesus Christ. There is no departure from fundamental Christianity in this regard. What began as the Lords Recovery with Martin Luther progressed to recover the truth concerning the Church and the churches, and the building of the Body of the Christ as Gods NT ministry almost a hundred years ago through Watchman Nee and after his death his coworker Witness Lee. The allegations in this category are largely misunderstandings and the primary scholarly critics upon further review retracted their allegations with the publication "We Were Wrong". Summary of the article found here: http://www.equip.org/article/we-were-wrong/

Many of the allegations in this category in this forum are blatantly false such as the recent conversation attributing the statement "The age of the Word is over, it is now the age of the Spirit"" to Brother Lee. He never said that and wouldn't given a his love and life's work with the Bible. That is one example but any desire to understand what Witness Lee taught may be found in the online publications at lsm.org

Concerning the life practices such as calling on the Lord and pray reading the Word are right out of the Bible. However, though many of us have touched the Lord in a sweet, intimate, and personal way through these life practices some just don't like them so they seek alternative explanations for them like they must be mantras and other such nonsense. Still, no one is obligated to pray read the Scripture or call on the Lord. If one doesn't like it don't do it is my opinion.

The last category is concerning the work and it is here where the fiercest allegations arise and in some cases with legitimate objections. For example, there is no question that mistakes were made when it came to Philip Lee in the management of LSM office. At minimum a workplace harassment should have been filed. If the worst allegations were verified it should have resulted In engaging law enforcement. Some here accuse me of turning a blind eye to this. I don't and never have. As serious as it was, it does not negate everything else. I am just not obsessed with it as others here are. PLs actions never defined my experience of Christ. The misstep his father made in trusting his son did not define my experience of Christ and the Church. The difference between me and others on this matter is that I processed the experience and moved on. Others never moved on and are stuck in events of decades ago. I understand many here were devastated, crushed, and disillusioned about that matter. I get that, but I only care that they are emotionally and spiritually bogged in a slough of discontent and often anger. When I read their posts I pray they will be able to climb out and be at peace with God and men, even fallen men they once put on a pedestal. Perhaps that is another difference between me and others. I never put Brother Lee on a pedestal and my expectations were moderated by the biblical record of the weaknesses and mistakes of his servants.

Other objections around the quarantine of individuals and churches need to be reviewed case by case. I also loved these brothers who were dismissed from the work but I also understand why it happened and the manner in which it went down. Others see it differently and I respect that but we just have to agree to disagree in most cases.

Sorry Gideon, this went on much longer than I intended. Hope that helps explain my views.

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Old 10-21-2017, 07:34 AM   #67
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Concerning truth. The ministry in the Lords Recovery adheres to fundamental bible teaching concerning the Person and work of Jesus Christ. There is no departure from fundamental Christianity in this regard. What began as the Lords Recovery with Martin Luther progressed to recover the truth concerning the Church and the churches ...
I would basically agree with this ...

Until the end of Witness Lee's life, that is, where he radically departed from the core teachings of both the Reformers and Watchman Nee and moved into a highly speculative and controversial arena of doctrine which he called his "High Peak" teachings.

These teachings can be summarized by the oft repeated phrase, "God became man to make man God." This teaching has no scriptural support, and must draw on verse inference only. If true, why didn't Jesus or the Apostles actually say it? Why is it that only aberrant cults, like the Mormons, promote this unorthodox teaching? Why do you think that nearly all orthodox Christian evangelical scholars have trouble with this assertion?
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Old 10-21-2017, 08:54 AM   #68
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Once there was something contradictory in one of the messages. Some were open to discuss it over lunch and others did not care if Lee was right or wrong. But this is within the realm of normal human behavior I think, as I have asked questions before in churches and people don't seem interested to discuss a matter.
Welcome to the quasi-mystical, hyper-subjective world of the LSM/lc. Some don't "have a heart" to discuss something, or "don't care" about what happened, or "don't seem interested" in it. Because they know that if they do have a heart, or do care, or do express interest, they'll be marked out. And if they persist in their interest, or attention, or caring, they'll be expelled, as being not "one" with leadership, who don't care, and are not interested, and don't have a heart.

None of this is formally explicated on paper, so as not to leave a smoking gun. But at some point you'll learn this is how it is. Someone will say, "I only care for life", which means, "I've learned to keep my mouth shut".

Every now and then someone will inadvertently spill the beans. When one son of Witness Lee was repeatedly caught, en flagrante even, the now-Blended said that he was proud to be an ostrich with his head stuck in the sand.

But usually you get mumbo-jumbo with a spiritual sheen.
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:09 AM   #69
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Drake- thx for that detailed explanation of how you view it- gives me some things to chew on… You mention that the Lord’s Recovery began with Luther. I’m certainly no world class historian, and it seems pretty obvious that Luther did indeed make a dramatic and costly stand- and things changed in the “Christian world” at large from him on. But… (and here’s where my lack of history possibly kicks in…), weren’t there groups that stayed faithful to the Word even through the dark ages? I believe the Anabaptists were one? (Maybe others?) So how would WN/WL view these faithful brethren? Were they part of the Recovery? Pre-Recovery? (It strikes me that it perhaps almost parallels OT Israel- as small as it may have been at times- there ALWAYS remained a remnant that remained faithful to God?) So the Reformation took off and grew over time- and MAAAAAAAANY Godly teachers have come and gone in the last few hundred years. WL et al would seriously claim that THE VAST MAJORITY OF TEACHERS since Luther (I believe I’ve caught wind of a small list of others that are approved by LC?) are wrong and have missed the theological boat? I’m not trying to be rude, but that seems an enormously wide-sweeping, self-serving, prideful claim to me. Only the LC has “true truth’? Only they have it right? That seems scarily elitist and unbiblical to me. (I want to clarify here- in my few visits to the LC I have not caught the slightest hint of this elitism- and the few folks I’ve gotten to know actually seem to refer to other believers as such. But it does concern me if this is truly an ongoing teaching of the LC?)

Ohio- I think I’ve seen the “God become man- man become God” stuff sorta written off as simply WL’s way of referring to “being conformed to the image of Christ”? Maybe commonly referred to as sanctification or Christian maturity? The Word obviously teaches that we are to become more like Christ. And after death what EXACTLY can we expect? “Eye has not seen…” etc… I’m DEFINITELY not saying we will “become God”- (only He is worthy of worship and is totally holy, etc…) there will always be some sort of clear distinction between God and His creation. But I wonder- were some of WL’s claims due to misunderstanding of the English language? Not trying to make excuses for him, but it just struck me- it’s hard enough at times to discuss deep theology in one’s primary language- but in a totally other language with possibly unknown nuances and cultural implications?? Plenty of room for serious misunderstandings it seems… Just a thought.
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Old 10-21-2017, 09:57 AM   #70
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Just a quick thought I wanted to share- in an effort to give credit where it is due. I've gone to maybe 5-6 Sunday meetings at the LC. I've heard here- and other places- that only LC approved "stuff" can get shared during prophecy time. There seems to be one guy who sorta opens the floor- and he very clearly mentions we are welcome to share things from the weekly readings OR... something from the Lord (or words to that effect).
Admittedly- most folks have their nice little weekly booklets and share from it when they speak- but others share something that happened- or something they felt the Lord worked in them that week- and they get "Amen" when they are done. Again- I"m just a newbie- but it seems most of the folks are focused on their walk with Christ. I'm sure most of what is uttered is WL restatements- but most folks seem sincerely intent on their walk with Christ. I just wanted to share this so I don't come off as close-minded to things or unfairly skewed against the LC. Thx
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Old 10-21-2017, 10:34 AM   #71
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You mention that the Lord’s Recovery began with Luther. I’m certainly no world class historian, and it seems pretty obvious that Luther did indeed make a dramatic and costly stand- and things changed in the “Christian world” at large from him on. But… (and here’s where my lack of history possibly kicks in…), weren’t there groups that stayed faithful to the Word even through the dark ages? I believe the Anabaptists were one? (Maybe others?) So how would WN/WL view these faithful brethren? Were they part of the Recovery? Pre-Recovery?
Sure, there were many faithful believers on the European continent, often protected in mountain hamlets, whether the Alps or the Pyrenees, through all the dark ages. Many of these children of God were persecuted unto death by Papal emissaries and corrupt rulers. Church history books tell some of their stories, though most were lost or even written by their persecutors. Here are some histories I have always recommended:
  • Milller's Church History is great, comprehensive yet without excessive detail. He identifies the "silver lining" of God's grace in true believers throughout the age of grace.
  • The Pilgrim Church by Broadbent is excellent also, less coverage, but more inspiring stories.
  • History of the Christian Church by Philip Shaff in 8 vols is the definitive work from the N.T. to the Reformation. More for reference than casual reading.
  • Foxe's Book of Martyrs. Recommended for all of us Christians who like to complain about our lives.
Btw, the "anabaptists," those who rejected infant baptism and were baptized again following their conversion by faith, were after the Reformers, including Luther. They desired to go further in the truth than the reformers were willing to go, and sadly the reformers were part of their persecutions. Not Luther's finest moment.

Though I have the highest regard for Martin Luther, despite any shortcomings by today's standards, he never should be considered a MOTA. He did not "recover" justification by faith, though he championed it to the German people. In this regard, Luther gave credit to John Huss before him, who was martyred. What differentiated Luther from prior men of God was not the truths he found in the scripture, but his protection by the German nobility from papal assassins, and Gutenberg's invention of the printing press.

After leaving the LSM/LC's, I have been forced to discard every bit of church history I learned from Witness Lee, as it was always skewed in a self-serving way to exalt him and his ministry.
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Old 10-21-2017, 10:47 AM   #72
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Just a quick thought I wanted to share- in an effort to give credit where it is due. I've gone to maybe 5-6 Sunday meetings at the LC. I've heard here- and other places- that only LC approved "stuff" can get shared during prophecy time. There seems to be one guy who sorta opens the floor- and he very clearly mentions we are welcome to share things from the weekly readings OR... something from the Lord (or words to that effect).
Admittedly- most folks have their nice little weekly booklets and share from it when they speak- but others share something that happened- or something they felt the Lord worked in them that week- and they get "Amen" when they are done. Again- I"m just a newbie- but it seems most of the folks are focused on their walk with Christ. I'm sure most of what is uttered is WL restatements- but most folks seem sincerely intent on their walk with Christ. I just wanted to share this so I don't come off as close-minded to things or unfairly skewed against the LC. Thx
In some sense, all of this is true. Most LC members love the Lord and are very well-intentioned. But try sharing something from a book or author other than WL and see what happens. As a newbie, you will probably get away with it--until you don't. Also, some of the HWMR material is innocuous, but much is silly stuff like this:
F. We need to be on the third story of the ark, under the skylight, the unique window, receiving light from the Lord through
the ministry of the age—Gen. 6:16:
1. In God’s economy and in God’s church there is only one
window, one revelation, and one vision.
2. We need to serve God according to the vision of the age,
which comes through the ministry of the age.
Did you know that the overhead window in the ark is a picture of Witness Lee's ministry? Remember--this is supposed to be your morning devotional material.
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Old 10-21-2017, 11:52 AM   #73
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In some sense, all of this is true. Most LC members love the Lord and are very well-intentioned. But try sharing someone from a book or author other than WL and see what happens. As a newbie, you will probably get away with it--until you don't. Also, some of the HWMR material is innocuous, but much is silly stuff like this:
F. We need to be on the third story of the ark, under the skylight, the unique window, receiving light from the Lord through
the ministry of the age—Gen. 6:16:
1. In God’s economy and in God’s church there is only one
window, one revelation, and one vision.
2. We need to serve God according to the vision of the age,
which comes through the ministry of the age.
Did you know that the overhead window in the ark is a picture of Witness Lee's ministry? Remember--this is supposed to be your morning devotional material.
This steady diet of daily "reinforcement," supposedly based on a careful study of scriptures, all the while "standing on the shoulders" of great men of God throughout the generations, is what blinds LC inhabitants from greener pastures.

A regularly occurring theme of members after leaving the LC program is this: "I can't believe there are so many riches of Christ, and so many dear believers in Christianity."

Read their stories.
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:28 PM   #74
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The last category is concerning the work and it is here where the fiercest allegations arise and in some cases with legitimate objections. For example, there is no question that mistakes were made when it came to Philip Lee in the management of LSM office. At minimum a workplace harassment should have been filed. If the worst allegations were verified it should have resulted In engaging law enforcement. Some here accuse me of turning a blind eye to this. I don't and never have. As serious as it was, it does not negate everything else. I am just not obsessed with it as others here are. PLs actions never defined my experience of Christ. The misstep his father made in trusting his son did not define my experience of Christ and the Church. The difference between me and others on this matter is that I processed the experience and moved on. Others never moved on and are stuck in events of decades ago. I understand many here were devastated, crushed, and disillusioned about that matter. I get that, but I only care that they are emotionally and spiritually bogged in a slough of discontent and often anger. When I read their posts I pray they will be able to climb out and be at peace with God and men, even fallen men they once put on a pedestal. Perhaps that is another difference between me and others. I never put Brother Lee on a pedestal and my expectations were moderated by the biblical record of the weaknesses and mistakes of his servants.
Wow, that was hilarious. Do you really think that you have provided the "worst case scenario"?

Let me give you my "worst case scenario".

1. Daystar was criminal. I am familiar with SEC regulations involving selling an IPO (I am a licensed stock broker). A few years back when I first came to this forum I learned about Daystar in some detail. I am no expert, others on this forum know much more than me, but I came to the conclusion that selling this investment to the saints would have involved some very serious violations of US government regulations on the sale of securities. But the evidence was clear that at the time of Daystar the pernicious behavior of PL and TL was on full display, WL was well aware of it then and certainly was aware of the legal jeopardy he was in at the conclusion of this scam. His financial survival depended on several things -- he needed the elders (Ray G and Benson P, among others) to sell the saints on eating their loss without asking to be reimbursed. Had this gone to trial WL and his sons would have had very serious legal jeopardy, worse than just going bankrupt. Second, he needed to set up the Living Stream Ministry, a new corporation, to limit the liability from Daystar. Finally, it appears based on a full view of his subsequent behavior that WL needed PL to be the president of LSM because of something (he was willing to sacrifice Max, John Ingalls, and many other saints in exchange for keeping PL as President, why?)

2. Then after setting up Living Stream Ministry PL abused a sister. She was sent to Houston. Ray G and Benson clearly knew about this. At precisely the same time that they took this sister Houston also became a branch of LSM printing LSM materials on a very small printer. I became involved in the LSM from that moment. As an eyewitness of the subsequent behavior Ray was obsessed that no brother be alone with a sister. Although this might be a general rule for the recovery I can testify that this rule was vigorously taught, repeated and enforced. I have never known anyone else in the Recovery who emphasized this rule more. In retrospect I would say that Ray was well aware of what PL had done but may have attributed it to "being tempted". He might have viewed PL as someone who was tempted to sin and not necessarily a predator. Still there is the appearance of evil, a quid pro quo, Houston covers up PL's sin and they get to become a branch of LSM.

However, this also coincided with Max's "rebellion", Sal's "rebellion", and the "Sister's rebellion". What we now know is that Max learned that PL was a sexual predator. Sal learned about fraudulent financial dealings of Daystar, etc. The Sisters rebellion was a preemptive attack by WL on them since he figured once he made Max a scapegoat that the group his wife fellowshipped with might learn about PL, so they had to be discredited.

In all of these cases Ray Graver and Benson Phillips played key roles. Benson was the one who supposedly discovered Max's rebellion. He was the one that went to Boston to deal with the chaos caused by Sal's leaving. Also Ray and Benson were the ones that accused Jane of rebellion in the contrived "sister's rebellion". Once again, not only did Houston get rewarded with the LSM branch office but LSM also decided to build a conference center in Irving Texas. Ray was the foreman. LSM also built Benson a new house in Irving. Once again, this has the appearance of evil, they were rewarded for being faithful to clean up WL's mess.

3. However, thanks to all this PL the sexual predator is able to continue as President of LSM thanks to WL getting rid of Max, Sal, and the Sisters. And thanks to Ray and Benson. John Ingalls becomes aware of further abuses. He and the Anaheim elders go to Witness Lee and ultimately are forced to resign. They are replaced by Ed Marks (Houston/Irving), Kerry Robicheaux (Houston/Irving), Ray Graver and Benson Phillips. Once again, for the third time, this has the appearance of evil. They covered their eyes, ears and mouth to the sins of PL and as a result they were rewarded by Witness Lee.
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Old 10-21-2017, 12:51 PM   #75
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In some sense, all of this is true. Most LC members love the Lord and are very well-intentioned. But try sharing someone from a book or author other than WL and see what happens. As a newbie, you will probably get away with it--until you don't.
This is well stated, and matches my experience. Get in line - stay in line. Even if you say something wildly off, you'll usually get an Amen, as long it is clear you've bought in to the tribe.

I remember the response after a brother said that he felt burdened to share Christ with others, that Witness Lee didn't matter. I was probably the only one nodding along, while the other wrang their hands, waiting for the awkwardness to end. I don't think he got any "Amens".

On a similar note, Drake mentioned "Still, no one is obligated to pray read the Scripture or call on the Lord. If one doesn't like it don't do it is my opinion."

Drakes comment is the general response you'll get if you really press into it. But practically, that doesn't tell the whole story. The brothers taught pray reading during Sunday meetings, so brothers also taught it in home meetings, then brothers practiced it during "fellowship". So while we're not "obligated" it is an expectation - if you want approval - get in line - stay in line.

One meeting a sister began to share in a Sunday meeting about how it turned her off that all the saints spoke with the same tone and cadence - as she continued, the room fell silent. I'm sure the elders shifted towards the front of their seats, while others sat by holding their breath, sheepishly waiting for it all to be over. As she continued to talk, the air cleared as the saints collectively took their much needed breath. She was OK with it! Amen, Lord Jesus! All was right again with the world and the next person could share their portion.
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Old 10-21-2017, 03:14 PM   #76
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I guess you think people take communion to get others approval too?
Pray reading and speaking is an expectation but not for the reason you said.

People who dont speak are not functioning and therefore not building up the church.

Every church has expectations and God forbid that a person has to actually do something! Whats the point of meeting if no one participates?
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Old 10-21-2017, 04:51 PM   #77
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Whatever helps you sleep at night Evan. I've sat in those chairs, the wool isn't over my eyes bro
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Old 10-21-2017, 05:17 PM   #78
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The last category is concerning the work and it is here where the fiercest allegations arise and in some cases with legitimate objections. For example, there is no question that mistakes were made when it came to Philip Lee in the management of LSM office. At minimum a workplace harassment should have been filed. If the worst allegations were verified it should have resulted In engaging law enforcement.
From those who met Philip Lee and have recorded their experiences around him, we must draw comparisons with Harvey Weinstein, recently occupying the news cycle. It was common knowledge that Philip was a hot-tempered, fleshly man, who had little respect for other people. None of this was hidden from his own father, who heard the gross stories of his behavior for decades. We don't know what was said between the two in private, but we do know that Philip was never disciplined or removed from power, rather his victims were relocated to other cities. The actions of the father could not be defined as a single "misstep," since they occurred over a lengthy period of time.

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PLs actions never defined my experience of Christ. The misstep his father made in trusting his son did not define my experience of Christ and the Church. The difference between me and others on this matter is that I processed the experience and moved on. Others never moved on and are stuck in events of decades ago.
Drake, your comment that PL's actions "did not define my experience of Christ," assumes that our cries for justice are not an experience of Christ. You also said "the difference between me and others on this matter is that I processed the experience and moved on." This indicates that you were an LSM insider, who was informed of the facts of the case, and decided they were not significant. Lucky for you. The rest of us around the globe were purposely kept in the dark from the facts, and lied to in order to coverup crimes. We never got to make that decision. Then referring to some of us, "Others never moved on and are stuck in events of decades ago." In my case, I believed these lies for 15 years, then learned the sordid details in 2005 when I exited the LC's.

Quote:
Other objections around the quarantine of individuals and churches need to be reviewed case by case. I also loved these brothers who were dismissed from the work but I also understand why it happened and the manner in which it went down. Others see it differently and I respect that but we just have to agree to disagree in most cases.
It was the public quarantines, false accusations, and smearing the reputations of godly men that troubled me the most. Lee forced everyone to publicly choose sides, with him in unrighteousness, or expelled for having a conscience. Perhaps you loved John Ingalls and others, but you never came to their aid. You assented to the allegations of a Kangaroo Court. John Ingalls and others received the same kind of "justice" as the Lord Jesus got standing before the High Priest and Pilate.
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Old 10-21-2017, 06:13 PM   #79
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I would basically agree with this ...

Until the end of Witness Lee's life, that is, where he radically departed from the core teachings of both the Reformers and Watchman Nee and moved into a highly speculative and controversial arena of doctrine which he called his "High Peak" teachings.

These teachings can be summarized by the oft repeated phrase, "God became man to make man God." This teaching has no scriptural support, and must draw on verse inference only. If true, why didn't Jesus or the Apostles actually say it? Why is it that only aberrant cults, like the Mormons, promote this unorthodox teaching? Why do you think that nearly all orthodox Christian evangelical scholars have trouble with this assertion?
Thats not true. Catholic and Orthodox believe in it and the Scripture is 2 Peter 1.4. It was also believed by Luther. The quote as stated is from the early church.
You would do yourself a favor if you spend more time checking facts before posting.
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Old 10-21-2017, 07:38 PM   #80
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I'm in
Quote:
With this in mind, I'm wondering if some of you ex-LCers might share your biggest complaint/grudge/issue/false-teaching/heresy/etc… you personally found in relation to the LC. If you could only pick one- what would it be? That would really help me know some things to look for.
I was drawn to Witness Lee's movement because I was led to believe that the local churches were a return to the original unity of all Christians. The dates of my involvement with the Local Church movement are listed on my signature line below. Initially the basis of oneness was explained as the recovery of the oneness of the Spirit by dropping all the teachings and practices that divide us and simply meeting with the Christians in the city where I lived.

What I found out again and again was that this was not the case. Witness Lee taught that "The denominational organizations have been utilized by Satan to set up his satanic system to destroy God's economy of the proper church life." (Life-Study of Genesis, Chapter 34, Section 6). If one did not conform to whatever practice Witness Lee was preaching at the time one was ostracized for being out of the "Flow".

Those that didn't believe that Witness Lee was the one true Minister of the Age were labeled as divisive and driven out of the meetings. When Witness Lee sued other Christians in court, I felt that violated I Corinthians 6:1-8. When I expressed that opinion, I was labeled as a "negative brother." My wife was called upon by the local elder to meet with him and the wives of other negative brothers and pray for [against?] me.

Finally, I witnessed that the Local Churches conducted sham business meetings where members were expected to say "Amen" to every decision that elders made. Dissenting opinions were negatively sanctioned by the group. As business meetings, these meetings were nothing more than shams conducted for the purpose of satisfying the IRS. When I saw that bogus business meetings were sanctioned by Witness Lee, I left.

So , my biggest complaint is that the Local Churches didn't keep to the unity of the Spirit that was my reason for joining in the first place. They acted like they were one in the Spirit in the beginning and they taught me how to act that way too. But, the deeper I got into it, the more complicated it became and the more I lost the simplicity I had initially in Christ. The Local Church Movement promotes a semblance of unity by reinforcing conformity and suppressing conscientious dissent. For me it was a 13 year journey with lifetime consequences. But, I'm glad I left.
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Old 10-22-2017, 03:34 AM   #81
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For Evangelical,

Your tone in your last sentence to Ohio and it's content are inappropriate and rude. There is no way that ANYONE can be aware of all the "facts" and none of us can afford to take the position of "schoolmaster" sending an inferior "student" back to the books. If you are aware of some "facts", just share them.
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:24 AM   #82
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For Evangelical,

Your tone in your last sentence to Ohio and it's content are inappropriate and rude. There is no way that ANYONE can be aware of all the "facts" and none of us can afford to take the position of "schoolmaster" sending an inferior "student" back to the books. If you are aware of some "facts", just share them.
Unreg,

So Evangelical's last sentence is inappropriate but the mocking and derision found in abundance in others posts toward him is fine with you.

I'll join you in a call for civil discourse but not with your selective outrage.

The fact is, this is less a forum about discussion of facts and often more about opinions based on others opinions. The lack of due diligence to present the facts is absolutely astounding.

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Old 10-22-2017, 09:15 AM   #83
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Gideon>" But… (and here’s where my lack of history possibly kicks in…), weren’t there groups that stayed faithful to the Word even through the dark ages? I believe the Anabaptists were one? (Maybe others?) So how would WN/WL view these faithful brethren? Were they part of the Recovery? Pre-Recovery? (It strikes me that it perhaps almost parallels OT Israel- as small as it may have been at times- there ALWAYS remained a remnant that remained faithful to God?) So the Reformation took off and grew over time- and MAAAAAAAANY Godly teachers have come and gone in the last few hundred years. WL et al would seriously claim that THE VAST MAJORITY OF TEACHERS since Luther (I believe I’ve caught wind of a small list of others that are approved by LC?) are wrong and have missed the theological boat? I’m not trying to be rude, but that seems an enormously wide-sweeping, self-serving, prideful claim to me. Only the LC has “true truth’? Only they have it right? That seems scarily elitist and unbiblical to me. (I want to clarify here- in my few visits to the LC I have not caught the slightest hint of this elitism- and the few folks I’ve gotten to know actually seem to refer to other believers as such. But it does concern me if this is truly an ongoing teaching of the LC?)"

Gideon,

There were recoveries during the dark ages before the Reformation. Yet the Reformation represented a monumental shift. Following the Reformation many servants were raised up such as the Anabaptists who stood on Luthers shoulders in that they baptized those that were justified by faith. Calvin, Wesley, the Moravian brothers, Govett, Pember, the Brethren, ... too many to enumerate here but Watchman Nee's "What Are We?" covers the flow of God's Recovery up to and including servants and events up to about a hundred years ago when he spoke it. That booklet may be found online at LSM.org under the online publications and read for free. All of those servants had their place in the history of the Lords Recovery. Far from dismissing them we all are standing on their shoulders!

We do not hold the view that only we are right theologically. It is fair to say we believe the Lord has given us a special calling. Apart from that special calling we have no reason to exist. Here is a summary from the booklet I mentioned:

"Hence, what are we doing today? We should answer as John the Baptist did that we are a voice in the wilderness (John 1:23). Our work is to sound out the call to God’s children to return to God’s central purpose, to take Christ as the center of all things, and to take His death, resurrection, and ascension as the basis of everything. This is the message of Colossians 1 and 3. We know the position of the church in the New Testament. We realize that this position is lofty and spiritual. We thank God for the help rendered to us from the Western missionaries. Yet God is showing us today that we should bring everything back to God’s central purpose. Our work today is to return to the biblical ground of the church."


What some characterize as elitist is just our commitment to follow our calling before the Lord.

Hope that helps.

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Old 10-22-2017, 11:28 AM   #84
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Unreg,

So Evangelical's last sentence is inappropriate but the mocking and derision found in abundance in others posts toward him is fine with you.

I'll join you in a call for civil discourse but not with your selective outrage.

The fact is, this is less a forum about discussion of facts and often more about opinions based on others opinions. The lack of due diligence to present the facts is absolutely astounding.

Drake
I take your point that in some cases there is a lack of due diligence. But it is an oversimplification to say this a discussion forum based simply on "opinions based on others opinions." This discussion forum is full of people's personal experiences.
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:05 PM   #85
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Thats not true. Catholic and Orthodox believe in it and the Scripture is 2 Peter 1.4. It was also believed by Luther. The quote as stated is from the early church.
You would do yourself a favor if you spend more time checking facts before posting.
Evan, long before you heard of W. LEE, I studied both the scriptures, the church fathers, and the Reformers. THE FACTS you allude to are both sparse and scarce. Years ago I did myself no favor by spending hours and days researching this subject, and that's why I posted as I did.
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Old 10-22-2017, 01:13 PM   #86
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Unreg,

So Evangelical's last sentence is inappropriate but the mocking and derision found in abundance in others posts toward him is fine with you.

I'll join you in a call for civil discourse but not with your selective outrage.

The fact is, this is less a forum about discussion of facts and often more about opinions based on others opinions. The lack of due diligence to present the facts is absolutely astounding.

Drake
I have also endured much mocking and derision from Evan G.

He is not a defenseless victim here on this forum.
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Old 10-22-2017, 04:35 PM   #87
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Thats not true. Catholic and Orthodox believe in it and the Scripture is 2 Peter 1.4. It was also believed by Luther. The quote as stated is from the early church.
1. Martin Luther also believed in transubstantiation, that the communion bread is literally the body of Christ. Do you believe that too?

2. I am not aware that Catholics believe in deification. I was raised Catholic, with 12 years parochial education, and 6 years of Latin. I never heard of the teaching while I was there. But, for that matter, I never heard the gospel either.

3. The Eastern Orthodox church does believe in deification, so you are correct on that point. One of our long time posters InChristAlone left the LC and now meets with the E.O. church.

4. 2 Peter 1.4 says that "Jesus our Lord ... has granted us great promises, that thru these we might become partakers of the divine nature." How does that mean that "we become God in nature?" We also partake of God's marvelous grace. Does that also mean "we become God in grace?" How about we become God in promises? Do we become God in love?

5. Yes, I understand the exact quote is from the early church, Athanasius to be more specific. Now, while I have great respect for Athanasius and many of the church fathers, they are not the Apostles, and they did not write the scripture. I do appreciate the creeds, and while they are all helpful, they are not scripture either.

6. When I refer to orthodox evangelical scholars I am not referring to scholars from the E.O. churches.

Conclusion: Both WN and WL repeatedly claimed to be those uniquely "returning to the pure Word of God." They boasted that even if the whole world believed something, if it were not in the Bible, they would never believe it. WN's quote here is even plastered on the LSM "Shin Gee" building in downtown Taipei.

Now why the change? Both early Lee and Nee both rejected deification. If the Lord wanted something this crucial to be believed by the church, he surely would have spelled it out for us.

Don't you think it's really amazing that the two primary teachings for which LSM condemns all of Christianity -- the ground of oneness and man becoming God -- are not even spelled out in the Bible?
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:28 PM   #88
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1. Martin Luther also believed in transubstantiation, that the communion bread is literally the body of Christ. Do you believe that too?

2. I am not aware that Catholics believe in deification. I was raised Catholic, with 12 years parochial education, and 6 years of Latin. I never heard of the teaching while I was there. But, for that matter, I never heard the gospel either.

3. The Eastern Orthodox church does believe in deification, so you are correct on that point. One of our long time posters InChristAlone left the LC and now meets with the E.O. church.

4. 2 Peter 1.4 says that "Jesus our Lord ... has granted us great promises, that thru these we might become partakers of the divine nature." How does that mean that "we become God in nature?" We also partake of God's marvelous grace. Does that also mean "we become God in grace?" How about we become God in promises? Do we become God in love?

5. Yes, I understand the exact quote is from the early church, Athanasius to be more specific. Now, while I have great respect for Athanasius and many of the church fathers, they are not the Apostles, and they did not write the scripture. I do appreciate the creeds, and while they are all helpful, they are not scripture either.

6. When I refer to orthodox evangelical scholars I am not referring to scholars from the E.O. churches.

Conclusion: Both WN and WL repeatedly claimed to be those uniquely "returning to the pure Word of God." They boasted that even if the whole world believed something, if it were not in the Bible, they would never believe it. WN's quote here is even plastered on the LSM "Shin Gee" building in downtown Taipei.

Now why the change? Both early Lee and Nee both rejected deification. If the Lord wanted something this crucial to be believed by the church, he surely would have spelled it out for us.

Don't you think it's really amazing that the two primary teachings for which LSM condemns all of Christianity -- the ground of oneness and man becoming God -- are not even spelled out in the Bible?
So we have mormons and Orthodox who promote this teaching. Do you believe Orthodox are aberrant cults too?
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:32 PM   #89
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For Evangelical,

Your tone in your last sentence to Ohio and it's content are inappropriate and rude. There is no way that ANYONE can be aware of all the "facts" and none of us can afford to take the position of "schoolmaster" sending an inferior "student" back to the books. If you are aware of some "facts", just share them.
Ohio called the local churches an "aberrant cult" like the Mormons, knowing full well the facts of this teaching existing in the early church and in Orthodoxy. I knew that Ohio wasn't posting out of ignorance, but out of deception, given that he knew already that the teaching and forms of it was existing in the early church and the Orthodox church, and any church which respects Athanasius. But he decided to claim that "only aberrant cults" like the Mormons believe in this teaching.

The facts are all over the internet about this:

St. Maximus the Confessor wrote:
A sure warrant for looking forward with hope to deification of human nature is provided by the Incarnation of God, which makes man God to the same degree as God Himself became man ... . Let us become the image of the one whole God, bearing nothing earthly in ourselves, so that we may consort with God and become gods, receiving from God our existence as gods. For it is clear that He Who became man without sin (cf. Heb. 4:15) will divinize human nature without changing it into the Divine Nature, and will raise it up for His Own sake to the same degree as He lowered Himself for man's sake. This is what St[.] Paul teaches mystically when he says, '[]that in the ages to come he might display the overflowing richness of His grace' (Eph. 2:7)[6]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theosi...stian_theology)
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Old 10-22-2017, 05:57 PM   #90
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Evan, long before you heard of W. LEE, I studied both the scriptures, the church fathers, and the Reformers. THE FACTS you allude to are both sparse and scarce. Years ago I did myself no favor by spending hours and days researching this subject, and that's why I posted as I did.
It takes a whole 5 seconds to find that not only Mormons, but also Orthodox believe it, and therefore your use of the term "only aberrant cults like Mormons" is probably not appropriate. I asked you to check your facts not because I thought you were ignorant (we've discussed this topic before, a while ago, and you seemed knowledgeable) but because I know you are not typing from ignorance, but deliberately ignoring that Orthodox believe in deification in order to make the local churches and Witness Lee look worse.

But when examined Lee's teaching is no worse than the Orthodox teaching, as unlike the Mormons, Lee qualifies his statements by saying we do not become part of the God-head. Also the teaching is found in pentecostalism and word-faith teaching, in Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paul and Jan Crouch, Fred Price, and Joyce Meyer.

So there are a whole lot of Christians believing it outside of the local churches.

Here is Benny Hinn saying "God came from heaven, became a man, made man into little gods", and "I am a God-man"

https://youtu.be/S_2A7gS5eUE

But I have yet to see you or anyone come out and say these American TV evangelists are cults?

Instead I expect a reply from you with some reference to one of the turmoils or rebellions which have nothing to do with the subject.
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:18 PM   #91
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Here is Benny Hinn saying "God came from heaven, became a man, made man into little gods", and "I am a God-man"

But I have yet to see you or anyone come out and say these American TV evangelists are cults?

Instead I expect a reply from you with some reference to one of the turmoils or rebellions which have nothing to do with the subject.
Have you studied what W. Nee and early Lee have said about becoming God?

And no, I don't get my teachings from Benny Hinn. Have you ever watched him prance around the stage knocking over people who supposedly got healed, but no one could verify it?

Actually, now that you mention it, W. Lee began teaching this "high peak" stuff during the midst of the turmoils in the late 80's-early 90's. It was quite the diversionary tactic, don't you think? Oh that's right, you weren't around in those days to know what happened.
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:29 PM   #92
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Have you studied what W. Nee and early Lee have said about becoming God?

And no, I don't get my teachings from Benny Hinn. Have you ever watched him prance around the stage knocking over people who supposedly got healed, but no one could verify it?

Actually, now that you mention it, W. Lee began teaching this "high peak" stuff during the midst of the turmoils in the late 80's-early 90's. It was quite the diversionary tactic, don't you think? Oh that's right, you weren't around in those days to know what happened.
thanks for bringing us back to topic. I'll head to bennyhinndiscussions.com to warn people about his teachings.
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Old 10-22-2017, 07:55 PM   #93
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It takes a whole 5 seconds to find that not only Mormons, but also Orthodox believe it, and therefore your use of the term "only aberrant cults like Mormons" is probably not appropriate. I asked you to check your facts not because I thought you were ignorant (we've discussed this topic before, a while ago, and you seemed knowledgeable) but because I know you are not typing from ignorance, but deliberately ignoring that Orthodox believe in deification in order to make the local churches and Witness Lee look worse.

But when examined Lee's teaching is no worse than the Orthodox teaching, as unlike the Mormons, Lee qualifies his statements by saying we do not become part of the God-head. Also the teaching is found in pentecostalism and word-faith teaching, in Creflo Dollar, Kenneth Hagin, Benny Hinn, Kenneth Copeland, Paul and Jan Crouch, Fred Price, and Joyce Meyer.

So there are a whole lot of Christians believing it outside of the local churches.

Here is Benny Hinn saying "God came from heaven, became a man, made man into little gods", and "I am a God-man"

https://youtu.be/S_2A7gS5eUE

But I have yet to see you or anyone come out and say these American TV evangelists are cults?
From what you are saying, this "truth" of man becoming god was known long long ago (Athanasius) and also currently believed by many (Mommons, Orthodox, and a whole lot of Christians). So what exactly was lost and then recovered by WL's "high peak truth"?
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Old 10-22-2017, 08:23 PM   #94
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thanks for bringing us back to topic. I'll head to bennyhinndiscussions.com to warn people about his teachings.
Sorry. I guess I felt obligated to respond to some of EvanGelical's post. My bad.

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Old 10-22-2017, 08:44 PM   #95
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Instead I expect a reply from you with some reference to one of the turmoils or rebellions which have nothing to do with the subject.
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Actually, now that you mention it, W. Lee began teaching this "high peak" stuff during the midst of the turmoils in the late 80's-early 90's. It was quite the diversionary tactic, don't you think?
The timing of Lee's recovery of high peak truths strikes me as quite suspicious.

Do you really expect us all to believe that the holy and ascended Head of the church would unveil the mystery of the ages to a solitary minister in Anaheim who had just excommunicated and slandered dozens of devoted men of God because they dared to expose the minister's abusive and molesting reprobate son whom he placed in charge of his ministry?

Is that what "becoming God" looks like?
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:15 PM   #96
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Have you studied what W. Nee and early Lee have said about becoming God?

And no, I don't get my teachings from Benny Hinn. Have you ever watched him prance around the stage knocking over people who supposedly got healed, but no one could verify it?

Actually, now that you mention it, W. Lee began teaching this "high peak" stuff during the midst of the turmoils in the late 80's-early 90's. It was quite the diversionary tactic, don't you think? Oh that's right, you weren't around in those days to know what happened.
Therein lies the hypocrisy when many Christians in evangelical, pentecostal and charimsatic circles are following Benny Hinn and others teaching the same things that Lee/Nee taught regarding man becoming God and you choose to connect the Local Churches to aberrant cults like the Mormons because you know that is an easy sell and makes it look worse than it actually is.

But an objective and fair person would consider that the doctrine is also prevalent in the word-faith movement, the Orthodox and the early church and consider that it is not a teaching confined to the Mormon church and "similar cults".
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:27 PM   #97
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From what you are saying, this "truth" of man becoming god was known long long ago (Athanasius) and also currently believed by many (Mommons, Orthodox, and a whole lot of Christians). So what exactly was lost and then recovered by WL's "high peak truth"?
That is factually correct that its a teaching that has been in Christianity for centuries and is still promoted today by TV evangelists and such. I cannot say that these were influenced by Lee/Nee as I suspect they took the teaching directly from the source (early church fathers) or from the Orthodox church. Many charismatic and pentecostal churches and individuals follow these TV evangelists and look up to them.

Given that the Orthodox church teaches it we could even say it is historically orthodox but Ohio seems to have meant "orthodox evangelical" and I don't know if that term even means anything, particularly since he and others have often rejected my "orthodox evangelical" posts taken from CARM, gotquestions.org and bible.org (Daniel Wallace etc) against their "non-orthodox evangelical" (that God did not preserve His Word into English, for example).

So Ohio was wrong on two accounts, the first being that only aberrant cults teach it, and the second that it is unorthodox, which having its origins with Athanasius it clearly is not.

I think it was recovered to the Western church (which includes Protestants and Evangelicals etc), clearly the teaching has prevailed in the East.
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:43 PM   #98
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Evangelical>"Instead I expect a reply from you with some reference to one of the turmoils or rebellions which have nothing to do with the subject"

Yep. It's coming.

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Old 10-22-2017, 09:45 PM   #99
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Evangelical>"Instead I expect a reply from you with some reference to one of the turmoils or rebellions which have nothing to do with the subject"

Yep. It's coming.

Drake
And ..... there it is.., post 95.

You know Evangelical this is the proof point to the situation I mentioned earlier. It is very difficult for a person to have rationale conversation if they have never processed an experience and allowed the Lord to heal them. So they fall back on the only thing they know. Therefore, a conversation will, most of the time, end up in the same place... PL, John Ingalls, Titus Chu.. The answer to everything. Does not matter what the topic is.

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Old 10-22-2017, 09:51 PM   #100
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I don't think many on this forum have an appreciation of just how prevalent Nee/Lee's teaching is in Christianity, or maybe Penn-Lewis.

This video is a string of word-faith teachers propagating the teaching of Christians being "God's-kind", God-men, or "little gods":

https://youtu.be/sPoQixUloZk

When Joyce Meyer says "if humans have a baby it's called "human-kind" and cattle having a baby is called "cattle kind". Then children of God are called "God-kind". " this seems like she read Lee's books.

Many sincere believers from all kinds of denominations contribute to or benefit from these word-faith evangelists so whenever their material is purchased around the world it is essentially propagation of Lee's high peak truths, (in a much more materialistic way of course).
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Old 10-22-2017, 09:56 PM   #101
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The timing of Lee's recovery of high peak truths strikes me as quite suspicious.

Do you really expect us all to believe that the holy and ascended Head of the church would unveil the mystery of the ages to a solitary minister in Anaheim who had just excommunicated and slandered dozens of devoted men of God because they dared to expose the minister's abusive and molesting reprobate son whom he placed in charge of his ministry?

Is that what "becoming God" looks like?
The timing of all these tv-evangelists revealing the teaching on "little gods" is suspicious to me. I wonder if they are on the LSM mail order too? As Bill Winston said, we need to get acquainted with our divinity
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:05 PM   #102
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The timing of all these tv-evangelists revealing the teaching on "little gods" is suspicious to me. I wonder if they are on the LSM mail order too?
Certainly Joyce Meyer read Brother Lee... even flashed a picture of him in a sermon some years back.

But you know, I could not be happier when it happens. This truths need to spread to every corner of the earth even when it's done without acknowledging the source or document. Who knows what the Lord will do and with whom?

Although, I have witnessed firsthand the effects of new wine in an old wineskin. Doesn't always work out.

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Old 10-22-2017, 10:13 PM   #103
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Certainly Joyce Meyer read Brother Lee... even flashed a picture of him in a sermon some years back.

But you know, I could not be happier when it happens. This truths need to spread to every corner of the earth even when it's done without acknowledging the source or document. Who knows what the Lord will do and with whom?

Although, I have witnessed firsthand the effects of new wine in an old wineskin. Doesn't always work out.

Drake
I'm tempted to pop that information into the Ron Kangas discussion about the MOTA and "most widely circulated" material. Joyce Meyer is huge, and generally considered one of the most stable of the tv evangelists, unlike some of the more extreme hand waving and knocking people over ones.
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:14 PM   #104
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This is for Ohio who said:

"2. I am not aware that Catholics believe in deification. I was raised Catholic, with 12 years parochial education, and 6 years of Latin. I never heard of the teaching while I was there. But, for that matter, I never heard the gospel either."


“The only-begotten Son of God, wanting to make us sharers in his divinity, assumed our nature, so that he, made man, might make men gods” (The Catechism of the Catholic Church, Second Edition, Section 2, Chapter 2, Article 3, Paragraph I, I:460),

So now it's those aberrant cults like mormons and Catholics who propagate this teaching
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:28 PM   #105
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Certainly Joyce Meyer read Brother Lee... even flashed a picture of him in a sermon some years back.

But you know, I could not be happier when it happens. This truths need to spread to every corner of the earth even when it's done without acknowledging the source or document. Who knows what the Lord will do and with whom?

Although, I have witnessed firsthand the effects of new wine in an old wineskin. Doesn't always work out.

Drake
You think the Local Church movement is a "new wineskin"?
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:29 PM   #106
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I'm tempted to pop that information into the Ron Kangas discussion about the MOTA and "most widely circulated" material. Joyce Meyer is huge, and generally considered one of the most stable of the tv evangelists, unlike some of the more extreme hand waving and knocking people over ones.
Is Meyer "in more circulation" than Witness Lee? Maybe she's the MOTA (it helps that she is actually still living)...
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Old 10-22-2017, 10:37 PM   #107
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Is Meyer "in more circulation" than Witness Lee? Maybe she's the MOTA (it helps that she is actually still living)...
If we see her putting out more one-liners from Lee and then some, then I think we'd have to consider.
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Old 10-23-2017, 01:59 AM   #108
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And ..... there it is.., post 95.

You know Evangelical this is the proof point to the situation I mentioned earlier. It is very difficult for a person to have rationale conversation if they have never processed an experience and allowed the Lord to heal them. So they fall back on the only thing they know. Therefore, a conversation will, most of the time, end up in the same place... PL, John Ingalls, Titus Chu.. The answer to everything. Does not matter what the topic is.

Drake
But ... Drake ... This is the "smoking gun" thread is it not?

You have to cut me some slack. Huh?

By your logic, since WL and the Blendeds have condemned all of Christianity their entire lives, they have "never processed the experience, or allowed the Lord to heal them."
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:03 AM   #109
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Certainly Joyce Meyer read Brother Lee... even flashed a picture of him in a sermon some years back.

But you know, I could not be happier when it happens. This truths need to spread to every corner of the earth even when it's done without acknowledging the source or document. Who knows what the Lord will do and with whom?

Although, I have witnessed firsthand the effects of new wine in an old wineskin. Doesn't always work out.

Drake
That's what quarantines are for. Eh?
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:11 AM   #110
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I'm tempted to pop that information into the Ron Kangas discussion about the MOTA and "most widely circulated" material. Joyce Meyer is huge, and generally considered one of the most stable of the tv evangelists, unlike some of the more extreme hand waving and knocking people over ones.
Perhaps Joyce Meyer or one of your other word-faith preachers also has aspirations to be the next MOTA?

Don't we now need another MOTA for the 21st century?

Perhaps Nee's and Lee's teachings will widely circulate and enable us to have a female MOTA again, and then I could complain about her husband's fancy cars and lavish lifestyle.
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Old 10-23-2017, 02:48 AM   #111
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You think the Local Church movement is a "new wineskin"?
Start a new thread if you want to discuss.
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:27 AM   #112
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The Bible repeatedly says that we are sons of God if we had believed in to Christ. Why is being a Son of God not enough? Why can we not simply say what the Bible says?

When a woman marries a man, they become one flesh according to scripture. But she does not become exactly like him. She has access to all that he has and enjoys his presence hopefully for their entire lives.

If a man has a son, that son has much of him in him. The son has his life since the Bible states clearly that it is the father who gives life. The son therefore is a partaker of his father's life. He enjoys all the rights and privileges of the household and is his heir if he dies. He is, again, the son of his father. As long as his father lives, that is his position.

The LC has stated, quite correctly, that we are never a part of the Godhead. That is good. But they would do far better by moving away from teaching that we are gods (which I believe we are not) back to what the Bible actually says, which is that we are sons of God. You have to ask yourself why it is not enough to be a son of God. In my opinion it is and I need no other terminology to describe it. In fact, I tremble at saying that I am a baby god. There is a verse in the Bible, applied to another being who decided that he should be God and share all that God has, that says: "Ye have said that ye are gods but ye shall die as men." I think I shall continue to be a son of God and feel deeply and profoundly content to be just that.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:19 AM   #113
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Certainly Joyce Meyer read Brother Lee... even flashed a picture of him in a sermon some years back.

But you know, I could not be happier when it happens. This truths need to spread to every corner of the earth even when it's done without acknowledging the source or document. Who knows what the Lord will do and with whom?

Although, I have witnessed firsthand the effects of new wine in an old wineskin. Doesn't always work out.

Drake
Yep!!
I was an usher at her conference in San Antonio around 2008 I think. She indeed flashed picture of Nee and LEE before the conference started each day. It was a 3 day conference. I was flabbergasted when I saw Lee's picture. To be sure, she had many, many pictures of old time preachers that probably made an impact on her walk.

I don't follow her but back in the day between 2005- 2011, I watched many TV evangelists. I don't anymore but I don't despise them. My season in watching them is up.
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Old 10-23-2017, 06:24 AM   #114
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If we see her putting out more one-liners from Lee and then some, then I think we'd have to consider.
This is an attempt to be humorous?

The interesting thing is, it is not far from the truth. The LSM doesn't care how much she would speak through the power of the Spirit or from scripture - but is she flowing from the head - which is Witness Lee. Even if she adopts a blind worship of Lee, SHE would eventually be put in her place...
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Old 10-23-2017, 07:26 AM   #115
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Yep!!
I was an usher at her conference in San Antonio around 2008 I think. She indeed flashed picture of Nee and LEE before the conference started each day. It was a 3 day conference. I was flabbergasted when I saw Lee's picture. To be sure, she had many, many pictures of old time preachers that probably made an impact on her walk.

I don't follow her but back in the day between 2005- 2011, I watched many TV evangelists. I don't anymore but I don't despise them. My season in watching them is up.
Thanks for the eyewitness account, CMW!

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Old 10-23-2017, 07:29 AM   #116
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This is an attempt to be humorous?

The interesting thing is, it is not far from the truth. The LSM doesn't care how much she would speak through the power of the Spirit or from scripture - but is she flowing from the head - which is Witness Lee. Even if she adopts a blind worship of Lee, SHE would eventually be put in her place...
Are you attempting a bit of humor yourself?

I hope so but even so, do not blasphemy Christ our Head.

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Old 10-23-2017, 08:18 AM   #117
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Are you attempting a bit of humor yourself?

I hope so but even so, do not blasphemy Christ our Head.

Drake
To call out the excessive adulation of Witness Lee in the LC's rather brings glory to our real Head, who is Christ the Lord.

Here are some excerpts by John Ingalls account STTIL from "my smoking gun:"
Quote:
On the Thanksgiving Day weekend of November 1988 Brother Lee, just returned from Taiwan, held a conference of five meetings in the auditorium of the Pasadena City College in California. The conference was followed by an elders’ meeting November 27th in the meeting place of the church in San Gabriel.In that meeting Brother Lee proclaimed that though he had a hall in Anaheim, he was not happy to use it (no doubt because of certain people who were in Anaheim). The brothers in the Los Angeles area invited him to have a conference and arranged the place in Pasadena. He said that when he heard that it would be in Pasadena he was happy. These people, he said, "exalt" me: I am happy to be exalted.

He referred to the title he has used for the Holy Spirit – "the all-inclusive Spirit of Christ as the consummation of the processed Triune God" – and asked who made such a title. Webster? he asked. Then he answered his own question, "That Lee! Lee has to be famous! Lee! Lee! Lee must have the credit! And if you listen to me, you do not listen to Lee, you listen to the very God in His oracle spoken by me." A little later in his message he said, "Going with God’s oracle, surely there is the deputy authority of God in this oracle. Whoever speaks for God, he surely has certain divine authority. I’m claiming this for Lee!"

Now I would ask, are these the words of a sober man, the words of a spiritual man, a man of God?
To me it is shocking to hear him speak this way, for he has indeed been used of God in the past to speak His Word. But to vindicate oneself so blatantly and boastfully indicates to me a fall. May the Lord have mercy on us all.
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Old 10-23-2017, 08:53 AM   #118
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The Bible repeatedly says that we are sons of God if we had believed in to Christ. Why is being a Son of God not enough? Why can we not simply say what the Bible says?

When a woman marries a man, they become one flesh according to scripture. But she does not become exactly like him. She has access to all that he has and enjoys his presence hopefully for their entire lives.

If a man has a son, that son has much of him in him. The son has his life since the Bible states clearly that it is the father who gives life. The son therefore is a partaker of his father's life. He enjoys all the rights and privileges of the household and is his heir if he dies. He is, again, the son of his father. As long as his father lives, that is his position.

The LC has stated, quite correctly, that we are never a part of the Godhead. That is good. But they would do far better by moving away from teaching that we are gods (which I believe we are not) back to what the Bible actually says, which is that we are sons of God. You have to ask yourself why it is not enough to be a son of God. In my opinion it is and I need no other terminology to describe it. In fact, I tremble at saying that I am a baby god. There is a verse in the Bible, applied to another being who decided that he should be God and share all that God has, that says: "Ye have said that ye are gods but ye shall die as men." I think I shall continue to be a son of God and feel deeply and profoundly content to be just that.
Unreg,

In relationship to Christ, we believers are described in many different aspects. You are correct that we are sons of God through our receiving the life and nature of God. He is the Firstborn and we are the many brothers.

Yet, the Bible also reveals that we are collectively the Body of Christ. Whereas the position of a son can still be thought of as separate from the other sons including the Firstborn even though we share His life and nature, yet being a member of a body does not allow the same latitude for separation. The members of your body are still you. If someone punches you in the arm you will say “why are you punching me?”

This is the heavenly vision that turned Saul on the road to Damascus. He was persecuting believers and the Lord said “Why are you persecuting Me?” then the Lord drove the point home by sending Saul to get healed by a little member of the Body, Ananias. By this Saul the great persecutor became Paul the lead Apostle for the universal truth of the great corporate entity of Christ and the Church.

Drake
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Old 10-23-2017, 10:13 AM   #119
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This is the heavenly vision that turned Saul on the road to Damascus. He was persecuting believers and the Lord said “Why are you persecuting Me?” then the Lord drove the point home by sending Saul to get healed by a little member of the Body, Ananias. By this Saul the great persecutor became Paul the lead Apostle for the universal truth of the great corporate entity of Christ and the Church.

Drake
Talk about a distorted interpretation of the vision Saul saw! If it was all about Saul persecuting the Jewish believers who were calling on the Lord, then why did the Lord send him to the Gentiles?

Read again about what happened in Jerusalem. (Acts 21.27 - 22.23) At the temple, all the Jews were willing to hear Paul speak of his testimony until he mentioned the Gentiles. The real "vision" Paul received from the Head was not just that believers were members of Christ, "the universal truth of the great corporate entity of Christ and the Church," but that the believing Gentile nations were now part of Christ.

This was why Paul had to suffer such great things on behalf of His name. (Acts 9.16, Gal 1.15-16, Eph 3.8)
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Old 10-23-2017, 03:23 PM   #120
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Are you attempting a bit of humor yourself?

I hope so but even so, do not blasphemy Christ our Head.

Drake

Who is "our"?

What's funny about the worship of Witness Lee?
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Old 10-23-2017, 04:03 PM   #121
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Who is "our"?
What's funny about the worship of Witness Lee?
Christ is the Head of every believer. There is no other.

Brother, do not be so careless when touching the headship of Christ.

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Old 10-23-2017, 04:16 PM   #122
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Let me ask you a question: did you ever hear the phrase "go after the good building material" in the LSM/lc?
So glad you asked! I know the question is not directed to me. But I remember very well when that phrase began to be used. It was 1977. I think it was the same time we stopped saying Sunday and had to begin using 'the Lord's day'. Sunday was a bad word. To this day, I don't know anyone who will say Sunday.

Back to good building material.. yeah.. I think that is when the gospel of Lee started going to the colleges recruiting 'good building material'.

Good thing I am no longer a part of the LC/LSM as this past weekend, beginning Thursday and ending yesterday, a group of 60 of us went to minister to prisoners incarcerated for who knows how long.

I had never been on this kind of 'mission'. But it was one of the most rewarding experiences I have ever had in Christ.

42 inmates were selected to participate in a 'Love feast' via the warden and of course (GOD behind the scenes!)

About 40 brothers in Christ took lunch and dinner to the inmates. But except for Thursday and Sunday (yesterday), the brothers befriended and ministered to the inmates from 6:30am til 7p. We women cooked lunch and dinner which included desert and home made cookies. There were 2 runs: one at 10:30am and 3:30pm. We not only prayed over the food but we prayed as the 40 guys left to minister, singing "This is the day the Lord has made". When the truck with the food would leave at 10:25 and 3:25, we also went to the truck, prayed over the food and inmates. When the guys returned at 7ishpm, we would greet them and had ice cream waiting for them. They then shared with us how it went.

There was a chapel and every 30 minutes, each of us would go into the chapel to pray for the inmates and whatever the Holy Spirit placed on their hearts to pray. Twice a day, there would sharing in the chapel too.

Before the weekend, we had meetings ahead of time. Each of us wrote 42 letters encouraging the inmates, including scriptures and prayer whatever God put on our hearts to write.

The inmates were seated around a table of 7 with a group leader. The tables were named 'Table of Paul, Peter, Luke, Mark, Matthew, John').

We did not know the name of the inmates so we had to wait until we got the list with their names. Each inmate received 42 letters, one from each of us. The letters were placed in decorated paper bags, decorated by children. Paper place mats were also decorated by children. Most had 'God loves you' or something similar. One little kid (unknown) wrote 'you better repent or you won't have any friends.) We laughed out loud and pulled it out.

The children were not from any particular one school or church.

At around 7:30pm the men would return to give us an update and many had index cards with prayer requests from the inmates. Saturday morning w

On Saturday morning we prayed over all the letters. First we called up each table and then we prayed over all the tables and letters as a unit. Each inmate also received a cross on a chain.

The inmates received their letters from us on Saturday evening.

Sunday morning they had one more home cooked meal delivered to them and since we would not be cooking dinner for them, we made hoge sandwiches for them as their dinner from us. That was so much fun.

Sunday afternoon, they had a surprising closing ceremony at the prison gym. That was the only time we were able to see the inmates. We were not allowed to talk to them or shake their hands.

We went in to the gym about an hour 1/2 before they went into the gym. There were already about 60 inmates on one side who were 'graduates' from previous years greeting us and waiting to greet the new brothers in Christ.

It was sooooo moving!! There was a small band playing Christian songs. One was hilarious! Remember 'Louie - LOU-EYE" ? They changed the words to 'PHAROE - PHAROE, oh baby, LET MY PEOPLE GO!'

When the new converts were getting ready to walk in, we began singing 'O WHEN THE SAINTS COME MARCHING IN'. When they walked in, it was so spiritually emotional.

After a brief intro, each table went up to the microphone and introduced themselves. Then whoever wanted to share could speak. So many tears were shed by the converts. Many of them said they had known God from a young age and had been church kids. They are the ones that really broke down and cried. They thanked us for the letters. They loved their place mats. Some got up and said they had forgiven their father, their mother for abandoning them. Others said they had never felt loved in their lives and they could not get over how much love was poured into them.

There were lots of hugs among the inmates, the new ones as well as hugs from those who already were walking with Jesus. Everytime someone cried, the other guys would put their arms around them and prayed quietly for them.

They were also told that while they had a great weekend, the battle was just beginning. They would be returning to their 'houses'. They were encouraged to grab hold of each other, to pray together, to fellowship together.

A few were going to be paroled soon. Oh.. and the prayer request cards they wrote to us, were mostly prayer requests for their families, not for themselves.

It does not end there because every week, one or two men go to the prison on Thursdays to visit and fellowship with them. This has been on going since 1997. Once a month, the new brothers in white are taken a dozen cookies each and a home made sandwich.

These 'missions' are held twice a year. One in October and one in March. Too hot to do in the summer.

Perhaps they are not good LSM 'building material' but God loves them too.

Hebrews 2:2-3 says:
Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it! 3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself.

The ministry is called 'Kairos' Greek for 'In God's time'.

Here is a very short video:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HoFMPG9vjx4

There are other you tubes on this ministry.
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Old 10-23-2017, 05:25 PM   #123
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The Bible repeatedly says that we are sons of God if we had believed in to Christ. Why is being a Son of God not enough? Why can we not simply say what the Bible says?

When a woman marries a man, they become one flesh according to scripture. But she does not become exactly like him. She has access to all that he has and enjoys his presence hopefully for their entire lives.

If a man has a son, that son has much of him in him. The son has his life since the Bible states clearly that it is the father who gives life. The son therefore is a partaker of his father's life. He enjoys all the rights and privileges of the household and is his heir if he dies. He is, again, the son of his father. As long as his father lives, that is his position.

The LC has stated, quite correctly, that we are never a part of the Godhead. That is good. But they would do far better by moving away from teaching that we are gods (which I believe we are not) back to what the Bible actually says, which is that we are sons of God. You have to ask yourself why it is not enough to be a son of God. In my opinion it is and I need no other terminology to describe it. In fact, I tremble at saying that I am a baby god. There is a verse in the Bible, applied to another being who decided that he should be God and share all that God has, that says: "Ye have said that ye are gods but ye shall die as men." I think I shall continue to be a son of God and feel deeply and profoundly content to be just that.
Even saying "son of God" is not acceptable to many. Even to call ourselves sons of God is a blasphemous thing to say to the Jewish mind (John 10:33-36). Jews and Muslims will kill people who say they are even sons of God, so to them we may as well call ourselves God. That's what got Jesus into trouble and why they wanted to kill Him.

I don't think Lee's intention was to make us ever more than a son of God though. The question is around the type of son we are. When we understand where Lee is coming from it makes sense. Most of (Western) Christianity thinks we are only adopted sons of God or considered to be sons of God rather than in actuality. Lee emphasized the fact that the born again experience (as it is known in Evangelical circles) makes us truly sons of God, not incarnated like Christ of course, but nonetheless more than merely being "considered" or "adopted". This teaching goes back to the early church and the Eastern church, Orthodoxy etc still retains the form of it.

Many Christians only understand being born again or saved in a legal sense of contractual exchange and obligation. Even though the spiritual reality is that their spirit is one with God, they do not consider this to be in a real sense, only metaphorical. It is for this reason that Lee emphasized the spiritual reality of the matter.

Pentecostals, as they emphasize the Spirit, tend to understand that being a son of God is more than just a consideration. However they consider this more in terms of miracles or outward acts than inner life. A key point of difference between Lee and the TV evangelists is that the TV evangelists only think in terms of miracles and power. Lee's teaching emphasizes what takes place in the heart/spirit of the believer which is more important than outward miracles. An outward miracle may work in 1 situation out of 10, but knowing we are truly sons of God gets us through the other 9 times. A person who understands only that they are adopted sons of God typically seeks God for a miracle as they are not aware of the availability of the inner life to draw upon. A person who understands only that they are adopted sons of God and rejects miracles and the Spirit has little strength to draw upon at all.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:10 PM   #124
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Even saying "son of God" is not acceptable to many. Even to call ourselves sons of God is a blasphemous thing to say to the Jewish mind (John 10:33-36). Jews and Muslims will kill people who say they are even sons of God, so to them we may as well call ourselves God. That's what got Jesus into trouble and why they wanted to kill Him.

I don't think Lee's intention was to make us ever more than a son of God though. The question is around the type of son we are. When we understand where Lee is coming from it makes sense. Most of (Western) Christianity thinks we are only adopted sons of God or considered to be sons of God rather than in actuality. ...
I don't think your statement about "Most of (Western) Christianity thinks we are only adopted sons of God." is correct though there may not be any real statistics to prove. But at least most can read the plain fact stated in 1 John 3:1 (NIV) See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

I totally agree with Unregistered. There is a fine line between "son of God" and "God but not in godhead". Putting emphasis on the later can cause lots of trouble. As an example, in the recent training outlines (ITERO Autumn 2017, Leipzig, Germany), there was a statement like:

I F 2: Even the three persons of the Godhead are for the divine purpose of having the church to fulfill God’s eternal plan through the dispensing of God in His Divine Trinity into humanity so that the church may come into existence

It shows the fine line has been crossed.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:33 PM   #125
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Alb>”I F 2: Even the three persons of the Godhead are for the divine purpose of having the church to fulfill God’s eternal plan through the dispensing of God in His Divine Trinity into humanity so that the church may come into existence

It shows the fine line has been crossed.”

A little brother,

I don’t think you understand what was meant by the statement. Did the Father, Son,and Spirit have a role in the producing the church? If you don’t think so then which of the Persons of the Godhead were involved and which were excluded? Please provide scriptural support for your position.

Thanks
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:38 PM   #126
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Alb>”I F 2: Even the three persons of the Godhead are for the divine purpose of having the church to fulfill God’s eternal plan through the dispensing of God in His Divine Trinity into humanity so that the church may come into existence

It shows the fine line has been crossed.”

A little brother,

I don’t think you understand what was meant by the statement. Did the Father, Son,and Spirit have a role in the producing the church? If you don’t think so then which of the Persons of the Godhead were involved and which were excluded? Please provide scriptural support for your position.

Thanks
Drake
Exo 3:14 And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM....

The three persons have a role in producing the church, but they do not exist "for" this purpose.
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Old 10-24-2017, 07:49 PM   #127
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Most of (Western) Christianity thinks we are only adopted sons of God or considered to be sons of God rather than in actuality. Lee emphasized the fact that the born again experience (as it is known in Evangelical circles) makes us truly sons of God.
This is the kind of gross mischaracterization of the body of Christ which so characterized Witness Lee for decades.

The truth is two-fold. John emphasizes spiritual birth and Paul emphasizes Roman legal adoptive status. These do not conflict, and Christians I have met in a multitude of churches all get it.
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Old 10-24-2017, 10:45 PM   #128
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Exo 3:14 And God said to Moses, I AM WHO I AM....

The three persons have a role in producing the church, but they do not exist "for" this purpose.
Where does it say in that statement that the three Persons of the Godhead “exist for” that purpose. They are for that purpose. Perhaps it will help if you post the relevant sections of the outline before or after.

Since God is triune then anything God does will be done in a triune way. Since the church is God’s purpose hidden in Him since eternity past then of course the three Persons of the Godhead are for that purpose and the church is produced from the interaction of all three in the Godhead.

It seems you are objecting to something so obvious and rational that I think you must be misunderstanding the statement.

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Old 10-25-2017, 12:02 AM   #129
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Where does it say in that statement that the three Persons of the Godhead “exist for” that purpose. They are for that purpose. Perhaps it will help if you post the relevant sections of the outline before or after.

Since God is triune then anything God does will be done in a triune way. Since the church is God’s purpose hidden in Him since eternity past then of course the three Persons of the Godhead are for that purpose and the church is produced from the interaction of all three in the Godhead.

It seems you are objecting to something so obvious and rational that I think you must be misunderstanding the statement.

Drake
F. The existence of the universe is according to God’s eternal purpose to have the church—Rev. 4:11; Eph. 3:9-11:
1. The full revelation of the Scriptures unveils to us that all things in the universe are for the church—v. 9.
2. Even the three persons of the Godhead are for the divine purpose of having the church to fulfill God’s eternal plan through the dispensing of God in His Divine Trinity into humanity so that the church may come into existence—1:3-23; Matt. 28:19; 16:18; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1:1.
3. The heavens, the earth, a multitude of other things, and the tripartite man are required in order that the church may exist to express God; without these things God cannot have the church in the universe to be His corporate expression—Zech. 12:1; Rev. 4:11.


If they are talking about the obvious you mentioned, don't see why they use the word "even".
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Old 10-25-2017, 01:40 AM   #130
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I don't think your statement about "Most of (Western) Christianity thinks we are only adopted sons of God." is correct though there may not be any real statistics to prove. But at least most can read the plain fact stated in 1 John 3:1 (NIV) See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

I totally agree with Unregistered. There is a fine line between "son of God" and "God but not in godhead". Putting emphasis on the later can cause lots of trouble. As an example, in the recent training outlines (ITERO Autumn 2017, Leipzig, Germany), there was a statement like:

I F 2: Even the three persons of the Godhead are for the divine purpose of having the church to fulfill God’s eternal plan through the dispensing of God in His Divine Trinity into humanity so that the church may come into existence

It shows the fine line has been crossed.
I think you've touched on another matter which is that most of Christianity believes that only the Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is in their heart and not the Father and the Son as well.
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:09 AM   #131
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I think you've touched on another matter which is that most of Christianity believes that only the Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is in their heart and not the Father and the Son as well.
Really? Did you take a poll?
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:48 AM   #132
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I think you've touched on another matter which is that most of Christianity believes that only the Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is in their heart and not the Father and the Son as well.
Truly amazing how many of Lee's factoids and mischaracterizations are just blindly espoused by his adherents.

LC leaders and posters would do well to heed a recent comment by former president George Bush:
Quote:
Too often, we judge other groups by their worst examples while judging ourselves by our best intentions – forgetting the image of God we should see in each other.
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Old 10-25-2017, 02:00 PM   #133
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F. The existence of the universe is according to God’s eternal purpose to have the church—Rev. 4:11; Eph. 3:9-11:
1. The full revelation of the Scriptures unveils to us that all things in the universe are for the church—v. 9.
2. Even the three persons of the Godhead are for the divine purpose of having the church to fulfill God’s eternal plan through the dispensing of God in His Divine Trinity into humanity so that the church may come into existence—1:3-23; Matt. 28:19; 16:18; 2 Cor. 13:14; 1:1.
3. The heavens, the earth, a multitude of other things, and the tripartite man are required in order that the church may exist to express God; without these things God cannot have the church in the universe to be His corporate expression—Zech. 12:1; Rev. 4:11.


If they are talking about the obvious you mentioned, don't see why they use the word "even".
Alb,

It is what I thought. It does not mean the Gods existence is dependent on the object of His purpose. It does mean that before creation in eternity past the Triune God had a purpose and everything that followed was related to that ... even His Triune being is for the purpose He decided on and through all three, the Father, Son,and Spirit He accomplishes His purpose.

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Old 10-25-2017, 02:07 PM   #134
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I think you've touched on another matter which is that most of Christianity believes that only the Spirit, the third person of the Trinity, is in their heart and not the Father and the Son as well.
I think that is the typical held belief. The Father is pictured on the throne in heaven, the Son will come back someday, and the Spirit is here with us now.

This general idea neglects the scriptural truth that the Spirit that indwells us is the Spirit of the glorified Jesus.

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Old 10-25-2017, 03:04 PM   #135
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Really? Did you take a poll?
Yes my own polling.
These are typical beliefs I have encountered. For myself it was the first time anyone said the Spirit is Jesus without being metaphorical. I feel that is the truth rather than a dogma from a pagan emperor hundreds of years after Christ.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:06 PM   #136
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I think that is the typical held belief. The Father is pictured on the throne in heaven, the Son will come back someday, and the Spirit is here with us now.

This general idea neglects the scriptural truth that the Spirit that indwells us is the Spirit of the glorified Jesus.

Drake
Thats right. Many even dont like to talk about the Spirit openly. Some see the Spirit only as power or force. Others who do see that the Spirit is Jesus only mean that in a metaphorical way. The "real Jesus" is in heaven they say. The Spirit is just the helper.
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Old 10-25-2017, 03:21 PM   #137
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Thats right. Many even dont like to talk about the Spirit openly. Some see the Spirit only as power or force. Others who do see that the Spirit is Jesus only mean that in a metaphorical way. The "real Jesus" is in heaven they say. The Spirit is just the helper.
Yet you all believe that Witness Lee is the "Minister of the Age."
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Old 10-25-2017, 06:39 PM   #138
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Yet you all believe that Witness Lee is the "Minister of the Age."
He surely is because he is so popular.
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Old 10-25-2017, 07:22 PM   #139
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He surely is because he is so popular.
Very few Christians have ever heard of him.

He is also dead.
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Old 10-25-2017, 09:27 PM   #140
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Very few Christians have ever heard of him.

He is also dead.
Yet still popular.
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Old 10-25-2017, 11:18 PM   #141
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Yet you all believe that Witness Lee is the "Minister of the Age."
Koinonia,

Where is the reference for the term Minister of the Age.?

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Old 10-26-2017, 04:51 AM   #142
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MOTA reference:

http://www.afaithfulword.org/article...yMinister.html
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Old 10-26-2017, 05:48 AM   #143
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Koinonia,

Where is the reference for the term Minister of the Age.?

Drake
http://www.afaithfulword.org/article....html#Minister

This may be helpful for you. I'm surprised you're not more familiar with one of the core tenants of your church. The flow comes from Witness Lee.

Are you not in the states Drake?
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:00 AM   #144
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http://www.afaithfulword.org/article....html#Minister

This may be helpful for you. I'm surprised you're not more familiar with one of the core tenants of your church. The flow comes from Witness Lee.

Are you not in the states Drake?
Thank you, leastofthese.

Drake, since you are familiar with the teachings and practices of the Local Church, I must wonder if your question is disingenuous.
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Old 10-26-2017, 06:04 AM   #145
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Very few Christians have ever heard of him.

He is also dead.
The influence of Watchman Nee is far greater than Witness Lee. Witness Lee sought to humble brag his way into influence... but outside of his circle of yes-men, he has been the opposite of popular. I have found that the leadership in my locality loved to take credit (on behalf of their leader) for different positive aspects of modern Christianity. I found/find this hilarious - but not surprising.

For example - Taking credit for the non denominational church movement. Taking credit for increased discussion in regards to the Holy Spirit in the church. Before Witness Lee it was just the nasty Pentecostals talking about the holy spirit - most people don't know that.
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:09 AM   #146
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http://www.afaithfulword.org/article....html#Minister

This may be helpful for you. I'm surprised you're not more familiar with one of the core tenants of your church. The flow comes from Witness Lee.

Are you not in the states Drake?
Drake, were you saved before coming to the LC? Did you come from a Christian family?
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Old 10-26-2017, 07:13 AM   #147
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The influence of Watchman Nee is far greater than Witness Lee. Witness Lee sought to humble brag his way into influence... but outside of his circle of yes-men, he has been the opposite of popular. I have found that the leadership in my locality loved to take credit (on behalf of their leader) for different positive aspects of modern Christianity. I found/find this hilarious - but not surprising.

For example - Taking credit for the non denominational church movement. Taking credit for increased discussion in regards to the Holy Spirit in the church. Before Witness Lee it was just the nasty Pentecostals talking about the holy spirit - most people don't know that.
LeastofThese, are you saying that every positive development in the entire body of Christ during the last 70 years should NOT be directly credited to Witness Lee, the consummate Minister of the Age?
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:24 AM   #148
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Look, WL was a stubborn man who bullied others into parroting only what HE said and doing what HE wanted to do...to whomever. He was, again, a bully, and the title MOTA certainly paved the way for his rule.

I do not believe and have never believed that he received any Revelation from the Lord to do these types of things. His behavior does not reflect the behavior of Our Lord. Our Lord would have left the ninety and nine and gone and gotten the one lost sheep. Our Lord bound up the brokenhearted and lifted their burdens. He went in search of the poor, the hurting, the damaged, and all of those that WL would refer to as poor building material. Our Lord was a man of consummate kindness and compassion who served others. It is not serving others merely to get up and speak. Serving is many actions. And these actions should be displayed in every arena in which our Lord displayed his actions of kindness and compassion.

It is supremely interesting to note that during all the time I was in the LC, I never heard one testimony of any saint receiving any kind of shepherding care for his financial needs, his physical needs, or his emotional needs from WL. No one ever repeated his many acts of kindness. They only spoke of his revelation and speaking as well as his admonishment and discipline. As they say in the secular world, not my hero.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:41 AM   #149
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The post above written by Unregistered is my personal opinion and experience only. Others have their own perspective and experience. I define a person by his/her actions and what I know to be the defining characteristics of the terms I choose.
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Old 10-26-2017, 09:48 AM   #150
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Look, WL was a stubborn man who bullied others into parroting only what HE said and doing what HE wanted to do...to whomever. He was, again, a bully, and the title MOTA certainly paved the way for his rule.

I do not believe and have never believed that he received any Revelation from the Lord to do these types of things. His behavior does not reflect the behavior of Our Lord. Our Lord would have left the ninety and nine and gone and gotten the one lost sheep. Our Lord bound up the brokenhearted and lifted their burdens. He went in search of the poor, the hurting, the damaged, and all of those that WL would refer to as poor building material. Our Lord was a man of consummate kindness and compassion who served others. It is not serving others merely to get up and speak. Serving is many actions. And these actions should be displayed in every arena in which our Lord displayed his actions of kindness and compassion.

It is supremely interesting to note that during all the time I was in the LC, I never heard one testimony of any saint receiving any kind of shepherding care for his financial needs, his physical needs, or his emotional needs from WL. No one ever repeated his many acts of kindness. They only spoke of his revelation and speaking as well as his admonishment and discipline. As they say in the secular world, not my hero.
I sure do wish you would register! It saves our Moderator the time to preview your posts.

I spent my last ten years serving as church deacon, treasurer, building manager, etc. We had a line item on our financial statements for "Needy Saints." It was always left blank. Cleveland was always beating on us to give more to their regional fund.

WL (and TC too) used their podium to regularly mantain their power base. Both practiced regular boot-camp style "dress-downs" in their elders/workers meetings. Please show me one verse in scripture to justify this management style.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:01 AM   #151
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http://www.afaithfulword.org/article....html#Minister

This may be helpful for you. I'm surprised you're not more familiar with one of the core tenants of your church. The flow comes from Witness Lee.

Are you not in the states Drake?
Thanks LofT,

Appreciate that. Rather, I am looking for references where Brother Lee specifically used the term “Minister of the Age” or the acronym MOTA. Either one will suffice.

Thanks
Drake
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:11 AM   #152
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Thanks LofT,

Appreciate that. Rather, I am looking for references where Brother Lee specifically used the term “Minister of the Age” or the acronym MOTA. Either one will suffice.

Thanks
Drake
Why? Do you not agree with the concept?
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:14 AM   #153
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Thanks LofT,

Appreciate that. Rather, I am looking for references where Brother Lee specifically used the term “Minister of the Age” or the acronym MOTA. Either one will suffice.

Thanks
Drake
Well, even if a book reference like Vision of the Age was provided, you could always claim that the editing of the book was flawed, perhaps Lee was misunderstood, or "taken out of context" -- a regular disclaimer.

Allso, take note of what Kerry Robichaux wrote here: "No unique Minister of The Age, Is That what Watchman Nee Taught? in his rebuttal to a Nigel Tomes paper.

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Old 10-26-2017, 02:01 PM   #154
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The influence of Watchman Nee is far greater than Witness Lee. Witness Lee sought to humble brag his way into influence... but outside of his circle of yes-men, he has been the opposite of popular. I have found that the leadership in my locality loved to take credit (on behalf of their leader) for different positive aspects of modern Christianity. I found/find this hilarious - but not surprising.

For example - Taking credit for the non denominational church movement. Taking credit for increased discussion in regards to the Holy Spirit in the church. Before Witness Lee it was just the nasty Pentecostals talking about the holy spirit - most people don't know that.
In what sense is the influence of Nee greater? I think yes, in some sense, Christians may have read Normal Christian Life and gained some appreciation of the tri-partite man. But not Normal Christian Church Life. I don't know of many people leaving their denominations after reading Watchman Nee, as he said the command in the Bible is to "come out". It is the same on this forum, Nee does not have much influence, because 8 out of 10 posters will disagree with me when I say "the Bible says to come out of denominations". If Nee had some influence, the number of people in agreement would be much higher.
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Old 10-26-2017, 02:52 PM   #155
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From what you are saying, this "truth" of man becoming god was known long long ago (Athanasius) and also currently believed by many (Mommons, Orthodox, and a whole lot of Christians).
Brothers, I am sorry for interrupting your conversation. I would like to clarify a few things. You know, sometimes we can use the same word but have a different understanding of it.

For example, as far as I know, Mormons teach that deification is when a man becomes God, not only obtaining the divine essence and nature but also getting his own planet where he becomes a sole Creator.

As for WL, I hope Evangelical and Drake will correct me, I know WL read the Church Fathers. But I don't remember if he distinguished between the essence of God and the uncreated energies of God. At least, I have never heard about the latter in the LRC.

Once I talked about deification with my wife who is an active member of the LRC. I can't claim that her opinion 100% represents the teaching of WL. But what I learnt is that for her, deification happens when Christ as the life-giving spirit enters those who call on His name and study the Holy Bible, "eating and drinking Christ". In other words, this is the process when human spirit mingles with divine spirit. This process of the life-giving spirit's entring into our human spirit became possible after the resurrection of Christ.

There are a couple of things that my wife was not able to explain:

1 If Christ became life-giving spirit after His resurrection, then Who had He been before that? Isn't God spirit? Hasn't He always given life, being the source of it? What is the difference in Christ's spirit before and after His resurrection?

2 What is the essence of Christ as the life-giving spirit? Is it divine? If so, how divine essence can interact with human nature, body and soul? How can human nature mingle with divine essence and "stay alive", without turning into the divine essence?

Well, my questions do not mean that WL didn't have the answers. So, please forgive my ignorance.

However, it seems to me that the Eastern Orthodox have a different understanding of deification. Let me try to explain it in my next post. (I will use my "copy and paste approach" with help of articles of archimandrite George, abbott of a monastery on Mount Athos, Greece).
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:03 PM   #156
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InChristAlone>"There are a couple of things that my wife was not able to explain:

1 If Christ became life-giving spirit after His resurrection, then Who had He been before that? Isn't God spirit? Hasn't He always given life, being the source of it? What is the difference in Christ's spirit before and after His resurrection?

2 What is the essence of Christ as the life-giving spirit? Is it divine? If so, how divine essence can interact with human nature, body and soul? How can human nature mingle with divine essence and "stay alive", without turning into the divine essence?

Well, my questions do not mean that WL didn't have the answers. So, please forgive my ignorance. "



InChristAlone,

These are very thoughtful questions and I welcome a thoughtful dialogue on them. I will wait until after your next post.

If applicable, it might be better to start a new thread but either way is fine.

thanks
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:25 PM   #157
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Thank you, Drake.
---

"According to the Eastern Orthodox Tradition, the final purpose of our life is not moral improvement but deification (greek - theosis), the full union of man with God.

God created man ‘in His image and likeness’. Having been formed ‘in His image’ (love, self-awareness, free will, creativity, etc) man is called upon to be acquire the ‘in His likeness’, in other words, deification.

Church Fathers say that God became man in order to make man a god. The full union with God, Theosis, becomes possible with the incarnation of the Divine Logos.

Adam and Eve wanted to become gods, but not in collaboration with God. They separated themselves from God, and instead of attaining deification, they attained exactly the opposite: mortality and spiritual death.

What had been made ‘in His image’ was sullied. Since the fall, man no longer has the preconditions for proceeding to deification, as he had before he sinned. Thus there is a need for a new root for humanity; a need for a new man, who will be healthy and able to redirect the freedom of man towards God.

This new root, the new man, is the God-man, Jesus Christ, the Son and Logos of God, the new Adam, who incarnates to become the new root, the new beginning, the new leaven of humanity..."
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:27 PM   #158
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..."Christ has two perfect natures: divine and human. These two perfect natures are joined ‘without change, without confusion, without separation, and without division’ in the one person of Christ, according to the definition of the Fourth Ecumenical Council at Chalcedon.

Now then, by means of the union of the two natures in the person of Christ, human nature is irrevocably united with devine nature. Because Christ is the eternal God-man. As the God-man, He ascended to heaven. As the God-man, He sits on the right hand of the Father. As the God-man, He will come to judge the world at the Second Coming. So, now, after the incarnation of the Lord – we can unite with Him and so become gods by Grace.

A union, of course, not with the Divine essence, but with the deified human nature of Christ. (BTW, after our resurrection, people will have the same deified bodies - spiritual, immortal and incorruptible. I.e. when the Eastern Orthodox read the Apostle Paul's words about life-giving spirit, they understand it not just as some spirit that gives life but deified body of Christ, the body of new Adam, first-born of the dead. It is just in the context).

The Church is the body of Christ, the real body, not a moral one. Because we are members of Christ's body, Christ's life is offered to us and it becomes our life. And thus we are enlivened, saved, and deified. We could not be deified, had Christ not made us members of His Holy body.

Man can achieve deification because God is not only essence, as the West thinks; He is also energy. If God was only essence, we could not unite with Him, could not commune with Him, because the essence of God is unapproachable for man, in accordance with: ‘Never will man see My face and live’ (Exod. 33:20) If we were able to unite with the essence of God, we too would become gods in essence.

If we grasp a bare electric wire, we will die. However, if we connect a lamp to that wire, we are illuminated. We see, enjoy, and are assisted by the energy of electric current, but we are not able to grasp its essence. Let us say that something similar happens with the uncreated energy of God.

Again, if God had only the divine essence – of which we cannot partake – and did not have His energies, He would remain a self-sufficient god, closed within himself and unable to commune with his creatures.

With these, His uncreated energies, God created the world and continues to preserve it. He is present in nature and preserves the universe with His preserving energies; He illuminates man with His illuminating energies. Finally, He deifies him with His deifying energies.

So, we unite with God through His uncreated energies, and not through His essence..."
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Old 10-26-2017, 03:29 PM   #159
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"...Western Christians do not discern between the essence and the energy of God. They say that God is only essence. Since man cannot be deified by means of divine Grace, what purpose does his life have? Only that he becomes morally better. But moral perfection is not enough for man. It is not enough for us simply to become better than before. We have as our final aim to unite with holy God Himself.

Life in Christ is not simply the moral edification of man, but deification, participation in God’s glory, and experiencing of God. This is a mystical union of God and man in the Holy Spirit.

Theosis is a process that has a few stages. And experiences of Theosis are proportional to the purity of man. The more someone is cleansed from the passions, the higher the experience he will receive from God.

With the Grace of God and within our daily struggle against our passions, with humility, repentance, prayer, observance of Gospel commandments, and partaking into the holy Mysteries, we acquire the possibility of union with Him in the present age, and in the age to come." Archimandrite George, abbott of a monastery on Mount Athos, Greece.
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God bless.
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Old 10-26-2017, 04:06 PM   #160
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Join Date: Aug 2016
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Default Re: Smoking Gun?

Quote:
Originally Posted by InChristAlone View Post
There are a couple of things that my wife was not able to explain:

1 If Christ became life-giving spirit after His resurrection, then Who had He been before that? Isn't God spirit? Hasn't He always given life, being the source of it? What is the difference in Christ's spirit before and after His resurrection?

2 What is the essence of Christ as the life-giving spirit? Is it divine? If so, how divine essence can interact with human nature, body and soul? How can human nature mingle with divine essence and "stay alive", without turning into the divine essence?
1.The difference between the Spirit of the Old Testament and the Spirit of the New Testament, or the Spirit of Christ, is that the Spirit has been infused with the human experience of Christ. In this way, the Spirit is a suitable replacement as a Comforter/Helper for Christ's physical presence. In other words, the Spirit became the Spirit of Christ, and Christ became the Spirit. I do not believe any change of essence in the Spirit or divinity took place.

To me it does not make se