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Old 10-01-2017, 04:53 PM   #1
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Default The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

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Revelation 3:1-2 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write: ‘The words of him who has the seven spirits of God and the seven stars. “‘I know your works. You have the reputation of being alive, but you are dead. Wake up, and strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have not found your works complete in the sight of my God. Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.
Since I am leaning towards to the reformed faith, it is expected I will be receiving feedbacks from LCers to point that the reformation is nothing less but a Christless sector of Christianity. How do you respond to such a mindset belief? Are they saying that Calvinists and Protestants only have the appearance of being alive but are actually dead on the inside? I don't think John Piper and Paul Washer are dead men. I am actually not sure exactly which of these characteristics it might apply to the Protestant Reformation or to Calvinism.

Are we to attribute a "spirit" to the seven churches of Revelation or necessarily compare a church today to one of the seven churches of Revelation? The seven churches described in Revelation 2-3 are seven literal churches at the time that John the apostle was writing the book of Revelation. Though they were literal churches in that time, there is also spiritual significance for churches and believers today. The LCM use the seven churches to foreshadow seven different periods in the history of the Church. The problem with this view is that each of the seven churches describes issues that could fit the Church in any time in its history. So, although there may be some truth to the seven churches representing seven eras, there is far too much speculation in this regard. I can't articulate to defend my position as a Reformed Baptist.
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Old 10-01-2017, 05:32 PM   #2
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Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

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Since I am leaning towards to the reformed faith, it is expected I will be receiving feedbacks from LCers to point that the reformation is nothing less but a Christless sector of Christianity. How do you respond to such a mindset belief? Are they saying that Calvinists and Protestants only have the appearance of being religious but are actually dead on the inside? I don't think John Piper and Paul Washer are dead men. I am actually not sure exactly which of these characteristics it might apply to the Protestant Reformation or to Calvinism.
The LCers are also products of the Reformation. How convenient for them to criticize all their brothers and sisters as "Christless." Have they met them all to make that determination?

Do they really think only LSM/LCers have Christ. How could any one with a sound, sober, and renewed mind of Christ actually believe that? Did the LSM/LC "have Christ" when they filed all those lawsuits and excommunicated all those former elders and co-workers? How about when Philip Lee ran the LSM Office and was molesting the volunteer female staffers?

Do you really think the Lord Jesus Christ purposely avoided every child of God outside the LC because they all had the wrong name on their church building?

Do you really think the Lord Jesus Christ remained with every LSM/LCer (despite their sins) because they had the right name on their church building?
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Old 10-01-2017, 07:35 PM   #3
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Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

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Since I am leaning towards to the reformed faith, it is expected I will be receiving feedbacks from LCers to point that the reformation is nothing less but a Christless sector of Christianity. How do you respond to such a mindset belief? Are they saying that Calvinists and Protestants only have the appearance of being alive but are actually dead on the inside? I don't think John Piper and Paul Washer are dead men. I am actually not sure exactly which of these characteristics it might apply to the Protestant Reformation or to Calvinism.

Are we to attribute a "spirit" to the seven churches of Revelation or necessarily compare a church today to one of the seven churches of Revelation? The seven churches described in Revelation 2-3 are seven literal churches at the time that John the apostle was writing the book of Revelation. Though they were literal churches in that time, there is also spiritual significance for churches and believers today. The LCM use the seven churches to foreshadow seven different periods in the history of the Church. The problem with this view is that each of the seven churches describes issues that could fit the Church in any time in its history. So, although there may be some truth to the seven churches representing seven eras, there is far too much speculation in this regard. I can't articulate to defend my position as a Reformed Baptist.
Reformed Baptists fit well with Andrew Miller, of Miller's Church History fame ; where Lee got the idea of relating the 7 churches in Asia to history down thru the ages.

I picked up on it while following Lee, and way back in the 1970's, when I was contesting Lee as THE Apostle/Oracle/MOTA. Even way back then I was heavily burdened to save the local church from falling into Laodicea.

I failed.

Now I see that relating the 7 churches like that is a contortion of those scriptures ... that's used to teach that "their" church is the final stage ... like Lee claimed about The Recovery.
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Old 10-02-2017, 12:22 AM   #4
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Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

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Since I am leaning towards to the reformed faith, it is expected I will be receiving feedbacks from LCers to point that the reformation is nothing less but a Christless sector of Christianity. How do you respond to such a mindset belief? Are they saying that Calvinists and Protestants only have the appearance of being alive but are actually dead on the inside? I don't think John Piper and Paul Washer are dead men. I am actually not sure exactly which of these characteristics it might apply to the Protestant Reformation or to Calvinism.

Are we to attribute a "spirit" to the seven churches of Revelation or necessarily compare a church today to one of the seven churches of Revelation? The seven churches described in Revelation 2-3 are seven literal churches at the time that John the apostle was writing the book of Revelation. Though they were literal churches in that time, there is also spiritual significance for churches and believers today. The LCM use the seven churches to foreshadow seven different periods in the history of the Church. The problem with this view is that each of the seven churches describes issues that could fit the Church in any time in its history. So, although there may be some truth to the seven churches representing seven eras, there is far too much speculation in this regard. I can't articulate to defend my position as a Reformed Baptist.
The Reformation was not Christless. The Reformation is seen as the start of the Recovery. What became Christless was the church organizations that resulted from the Reformation and satisfy Rev 3:20a. These church organizations became affiliated with the governments of the time. Today, many of these state-churches support gay marriage and such. Christless fits them well. Even though God led them out of the Roman Catholic church, they became dead themselves. For this reason God used the inner life mystics such as Madame Guyon and Brother Lawrence, Catholics, to show the Protestants the way.

This is a local church definition of Christless:

Rev 3:20a "Behold, I stand at the door and knock.”

It is referring to the church organization not the individuals within that church.

As believers, Piper and Washer would be alive in Christ.
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Old 10-02-2017, 01:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

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The Reformation was not Christless. The Reformation is seen as the start of the Recovery. What became Christless was the church organizations that resulted from the Reformation and satisfy Rev 3:20a. These church organizations became affiliated with the governments of the time. Today, many of these state-churches support gay marriage and such. Christless fits them well. Even though God led them out of the Roman Catholic church, they became dead themselves. For this reason God used the inner life mystics such as Madame Guyon and Brother Lawrence, Catholics, to show the Protestants the way.
How can Madame Guyon show Protestants the way, being a woman?

"Oh, that's experientially, not defining doctrine."

I always felt the "Recovery" narrative leaned on slender reeds; and at the end, the tale-bearer exclaimed, "Hey! Look everyone! I'm the center of the universe!!" Yes, how convenient.

My own, equally arbitrary (but I admit it) narrative of church history runs thus:

In the beginning (e.g., Pentecost in Acts 2), the Church was nearly 100% Jewish. Within a few centuries the Church was not only nearly 100% non-Jewish, but even anti-Jewish in tone (see Justin's 'Dialog with Trypho the Jew').

Not coincidentally, the Church subsequently fell into disarray over ideals like the meaning and application of the word "nature" ('ground of the church', anyone?). By 450 CE the Church had split itself apart at the Council of Chalcedon. Six regions left: the Ethiopians, the Egyptians, the Syrians, the Armenians, the Persians, and the Indian churches. Remember that at this time the Christian mission had engulfed what is today Iran, Turkey, Egypt, Libya, etc.

With the infighting and rancor, the stage was set for Islam to replace Christianity as the dominant force in the Levant. It nearly swallowed Europe at one point. (Its European resurgence bears note, today).

And so, the Recovery (or Reformation, or Restoration) narrative lurches forward, fitfully. Going back to my point about the Church vis-a-vis the Jews, our narrative has coherency and/or legitimacy only inasmuch as it doesn't try to de-legitimise all the rest. Remember, what you do to others will be done to you.
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Old 10-02-2017, 01:27 AM   #6
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Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

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What became Christless was the church organizations that resulted from the Reformation and satisfy Rev 3:20a. These church organizations became affiliated with the governments of the time. Today, many of these state-churches support gay marriage and such. Christless fits them well. Even though God led them out of the Roman Catholic church, they became dead themselves.
Evangelical. What bothers me most is the overgeneralization argument that Witness Lee made such radical and bias statements that he didn't name specific what those in the reformed churches are that he was referring to. You are implying reformed Christians who are in mainline Protestantism. There are mainline "reformed" institutional churches that are terrible and don't teach correct doctrine. You have to make the distinction that there are many, many churches out there that are reformed in theology and yet alive.

Yet LCers can't determine these distinctions instead believing that all those in the reformed faith are Christless and dead.

Quote:
In the reformed churches there is still the teaching of Balaam, the teaching of the Nicolaitans, and even to some extent the teaching of Jezebel. (General Sketch of the New Testament in the Light of Christ and the Church, A - Part 4: Revelation, Chapter 3, Section 3)
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For this reason God used the inner life mystics such as Madame Guyon and Brother Lawrence, Catholics, to show the Protestants the way.
Mysticism is not the experience of a Christian.

Evangelical:
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It is referring to the church organization not the individuals within that church.
LCers sometimes equate both. In reality, LCers are bashing Christians in Christianity! One of the reasons why I left LCM because of the using prophesying meetings as a platform to put down Christians not meeting with the Local Churches is equally divisive and offensive.

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Neither the Catholic Church, the denominations, nor the divisive and confusing free groups can do any preparation of the Bride. (Life-Study of Revelation, Chapter 51, Section 2)
Evangelical:
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As believers, Piper and Washer would be alive in Christ.
What about the other men?
R.C Sproul
John Macarthur
Voddie Baucham
James White
Alistair Begg
Todd Friel
Jeff Durbin
Steven Lawson
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Old 10-02-2017, 02:36 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

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Evangelical. What bothers me most is the overgeneralization argument that Witness Lee made such radical and bias statements that he didn't name specific what those in the reformed churches are that he was referring to. You are implying reformed Christians who are in mainline Protestantism. There are mainline "reformed" institutional churches that are terrible and don't teach correct doctrine. You have to make the distinction that there are many, many churches out there that are reformed in theology and yet alive.

Yet LCers can't determine these distinctions instead believing that all those in the reformed faith are Christless and dead.
Generally Reformed churches are more about theology than the person of Christ. For example, many believe the gifts of the Spirit ceased when the bible was written etc. Many don't acknowledge the person of the Spirit at all.

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Mysticism is not the experience of a Christian.
What experience are you referring to then? The apostles, Peter and Paul, were mystics, having dreams, visions and trances.

Quote:
What about the other men?
R.C Sproul
John Macarthur
Voddie Baucham
James White
Alistair Begg
Todd Friel
Jeff Durbin
Steven Lawson
Every believer has Christ and is going to heaven don't worry about that. Christless does not mean unsaved.
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Old 10-02-2017, 02:36 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

It's not up to LC to authoritatively determine who's alive or not. Let scripture show who's living and dead.

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Generally Reformed churches are more about theology than the person of Christ.
Many highly exalted Christ for the glory of God. Solus Christus! Think about the Puritans. I didn't come to embrace reformed theology just to be large-headed, off-balance, callous, hard and proud, but to see and savor the glory of God above all! That's what drove me into it. God-centered. But for the LC, they keep on saying, "We don't care for doctrines." Therefore, there is no need to diligently study the Word of God.

Quote:
For example, many believe the gifts of the Spirit ceased when the bible was written etc. Many don't acknowledge the person of the Spirit at all.
Most cessationists believe that God can and still does perform miracles today, but not through men and not some gibberish vain talking.

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Every believer has Christ and is going to heaven don't worry about that. Christless does not mean unsaved.
But they will take a summer class in dispensational discipline for not standing on the ground of oneness.
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Old 10-02-2017, 03:38 PM   #9
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It's not up to LC to authoritatively determine who's alive or not. Let scripture show who's living and dead.



Many highly exalted Christ for the glory of God. Solus Christus! Think about the Puritans. I didn't come to embrace reformed theology just to be large-headed, off-balance, callous, hard and proud, but to see and savor the glory of God above all! That's what drove me into it. God-centered. But for the LC, they keep on saying, "We don't care for doctrines." Therefore, there is no need to diligently study the Word of God.



Most cessationists believe that God can and still does perform miracles today, but not through men and not some gibberish vain talking.


But they will take a summer class in dispensational discipline for not standing on the ground of oneness.
Not caring for doctrines means not caring for them more than life. A classical reformer would likely go on and on about 5 point Calvinism..or osas and neglect the life of the Body.

In this way the Reformers became just like the Catholics by holding onto teachings and traditions.

One thing you can't deny because its a fact of history is that the Reformation became political and the Reformed denominations existing today are from that political upheavel. So to say they were or are Christ alone is incorrect.
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Old 10-04-2017, 01:43 PM   #10
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So I have been following this closely and I'm just going to say some things here that some people may or may not appreciate. Firstly let's start with who Christian is according to the Bible.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostles%27_Creed

The Apostles Creed is the admittance of God is Savior and Lord and truly God and his gospel testimony in its plain simplicity. It also is highlighting the importance of God's Church. The Holy Catholic Church it says. Catholic merely means Universal. So God In His Infinite Wisdom has instituted the Universal Church as the communion of Believers across the Spectrum. If anybody believes these things to be true generally speaking they will be Christian. This is a very Broad and simplistic confession.

There are some notable things that are missing from this Creed. The big one is the nature of God in three persons. This is remedied in the next confession.

https://www.crcna.org/welcome/belief...s/nicene-creed

This Creed is a little different in that it explains the nature of God the Father God the son and God the Holy Spirit as God from God, not being created but rather preexisting. But it doesn't quite spell it out.

http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The anastasian Creed is clear and concise. Any man who disagrees with these is in the deception of the devil and believing a lie.

The Christians are trinitarian, believing in God is three persons separate and Jesus Christ is one person. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin died for our sins and it through him we receive forgiveness and him alone.

Ask for anybody claiming to have an authority on Truth the only truth is the truth that Jesus Christ proclaimed, and as he said so himself he is a fulfillment of the law and Prophets. He is the Messiah that was promised in the Old Testament and witnessed by the books we now know in the Old Testament., the New Testament is the history of the Apostles Ministry and their confessions and thoughts, and are the inspired word of God. The 66 books of the Protestant Bible are held to be 100% inerrant, divinely given.

No such people who believe in Jesus and the Bible can be called christless. This is in no way Bible worship or false piety that we have confessions and creates that are based solidly in scripture and we believe the words of God's Own truth. Anybody who says otherwise himself is a heretic. Anybody who claims do you have a very specific Church or view of scripture not held by the majority of other Christians is himself a heretic. Anybody who claims to have a special Revelation from God that is not in accordance with scripture or 6 to add or remove from spiritual truth of the Bible, that was given to them and them alone is himself a heretic.

Furthermore any persons who look at the plain truth of scripture and it's clear unambiguous meanings and reject the truth for a lie are Heretics. There are people who believe in things that are not quite biblical and these beliefs are called heterodox. It is possible to believe in heterodoxy rather than Orthodoxy which is the mainstream accepted forms of belief of the Bible and its interpretation. anybody who reject God's truth for selfish reasons in plain rebellion of scripture is a heretic.
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Old 10-04-2017, 08:40 PM   #11
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So I have been following this closely and I'm just going to say some things here that some people may or may not appreciate. Firstly let's start with who Christian is according to the Bible.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostles%27_Creed

The Apostles Creed is the admittance of God is Savior and Lord and truly God and his gospel testimony in its plain simplicity. It also is highlighting the importance of God's Church. The Holy Catholic Church it says. Catholic merely means Universal. So God In His Infinite Wisdom has instituted the Universal Church as the communion of Believers across the Spectrum. If anybody believes these things to be true generally speaking they will be Christian. This is a very Broad and simplistic confession.

There are some notable things that are missing from this Creed. The big one is the nature of God in three persons. This is remedied in the next confession.

https://www.crcna.org/welcome/belief...s/nicene-creed

This Creed is a little different in that it explains the nature of God the Father God the son and God the Holy Spirit as God from God, not being created but rather preexisting. But it doesn't quite spell it out.

http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The anastasian Creed is clear and concise. Any man who disagrees with these is in the deception of the devil and believing a lie.

The Christians are trinitarian, believing in God is three persons separate and Jesus Christ is one person. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin died for our sins and it through him we receive forgiveness and him alone.

Ask for anybody claiming to have an authority on Truth the only truth is the truth that Jesus Christ proclaimed, and as he said so himself he is a fulfillment of the law and Prophets. He is the Messiah that was promised in the Old Testament and witnessed by the books we now know in the Old Testament., the New Testament is the history of the Apostles Ministry and their confessions and thoughts, and are the inspired word of God. The 66 books of the Protestant Bible are held to be 100% inerrant, divinely given.

No such people who believe in Jesus and the Bible can be called christless. This is in no way Bible worship or false piety that we have confessions and creates that are based solidly in scripture and we believe the words of God's Own truth. Anybody who says otherwise himself is a heretic. Anybody who claims do you have a very specific Church or view of scripture not held by the majority of other Christians is himself a heretic. Anybody who claims to have a special Revelation from God that is not in accordance with scripture or 6 to add or remove from spiritual truth of the Bible, that was given to them and them alone is himself a heretic.

Furthermore any persons who look at the plain truth of scripture and it's clear unambiguous meanings and reject the truth for a lie are Heretics. There are people who believe in things that are not quite biblical and these beliefs are called heterodox. It is possible to believe in heterodoxy rather than Orthodoxy which is the mainstream accepted forms of belief of the Bible and its interpretation. anybody who reject God's truth for selfish reasons in plain rebellion of scripture is a heretic.
1689er, you must be a 1689 Federalist.
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:52 AM   #12
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Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

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Jesus is the Messiah that was promised in the Old Testament and witnessed by the books we now know in the Old Testament., the New Testament is the history of the Apostles Ministry and their confessions and thoughts, and are the inspired word of God. The 66 books of the Protestant Bible are held to be 100% inerrant, divinely given.

No such people who believe in Jesus and the Bible can be called christless.
Witness Lee used inflammatory rhetoric which he could explain away if it got him into trouble (which it often did - see the history of lawsuits &c).

In this case 'christless' meant ( I think) an experience that was merely objective, outward. Though not untrue, being associated with a confession that was true (that confession being based on the scriptures), the 'chistless' person still lacked the 'rich and full' inward, subjective apprehension of the Christ in glory.

This 'so subjective' Christ cared little for the poor, who could not repay in this age, but rather cared for the "good building material", who could support the ministry. Etc. I could list many such things. This forum is full of them.

I was there and came under the thrall of that argument. But over time I began to appreciate more and more that the 'subjective Christ' proclaimed there, as being "real in me, and rich and sweet" was little like the man Jesus revealed in the gospels, explained in epistles, and pointed to in the OT.
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Old 10-05-2017, 02:56 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 1689er View Post
So I have been following this closely and I'm just going to say some things here that some people may or may not appreciate. Firstly let's start with who Christian is according to the Bible.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apostles%27_Creed

The Apostles Creed is the admittance of God is Savior and Lord and truly God and his gospel testimony in its plain simplicity. It also is highlighting the importance of God's Church. The Holy Catholic Church it says. Catholic merely means Universal. So God In His Infinite Wisdom has instituted the Universal Church as the communion of Believers across the Spectrum. If anybody believes these things to be true generally speaking they will be Christian. This is a very Broad and simplistic confession.

There are some notable things that are missing from this Creed. The big one is the nature of God in three persons. This is remedied in the next confession.

https://www.crcna.org/welcome/belief...s/nicene-creed

This Creed is a little different in that it explains the nature of God the Father God the son and God the Holy Spirit as God from God, not being created but rather preexisting. But it doesn't quite spell it out.

http://www.reformed.org/documents/index.html

The anastasian Creed is clear and concise. Any man who disagrees with these is in the deception of the devil and believing a lie.

The Christians are trinitarian, believing in God is three persons separate and Jesus Christ is one person. Jesus Christ was born of a virgin died for our sins and it through him we receive forgiveness and him alone.

Ask for anybody claiming to have an authority on Truth the only truth is the truth that Jesus Christ proclaimed, and as he said so himself he is a fulfillment of the law and Prophets. He is the Messiah that was promised in the Old Testament and witnessed by the books we now know in the Old Testament., the New Testament is the history of the Apostles Ministry and their confessions and thoughts, and are the inspired word of God. The 66 books of the Protestant Bible are held to be 100% inerrant, divinely given.

No such people who believe in Jesus and the Bible can be called christless. This is in no way Bible worship or false piety that we have confessions and creates that are based solidly in scripture and we believe the words of God's Own truth. Anybody who says otherwise himself is a heretic. Anybody who claims do you have a very specific Church or view of scripture not held by the majority of other Christians is himself a heretic. Anybody who claims to have a special Revelation from God that is not in accordance with scripture or 6 to add or remove from spiritual truth of the Bible, that was given to them and them alone is himself a heretic.

Furthermore any persons who look at the plain truth of scripture and it's clear unambiguous meanings and reject the truth for a lie are Heretics. There are people who believe in things that are not quite biblical and these beliefs are called heterodox. It is possible to believe in heterodoxy rather than Orthodoxy which is the mainstream accepted forms of belief of the Bible and its interpretation. anybody who reject God's truth for selfish reasons in plain rebellion of scripture is a heretic.

I think many Christians believe in the Creeds first and the Bible second. They presume that the Creeds are the foundation for the Christian life and the Bible, such as this poster has indicated. They think that if they believe certain things, and agree with all the Creeds, that they are not a heretic. Well I will show this view to be wrong, from the bible, towards the end of this post, and show how the Bible defines the word heretic or heresy.

There are a few things to realize about the Creeds. Firstly, at the time the Nicene Creed (AD 325) , 7 books we have in our bibles today were not Canonical. It wasn't until A.D. 397 that the Council of Carthage determined that the 7 books should be part of the Bible.

Secondly, the Creeds are a result of the pagan Emperor, Constantine, deciding about what Christians should believe about the nature of God and so forth. Protestants unquestionably accept these teachings as if they were Catholics themselves, but I think during the Reformation they had bigger things to worry about than arguing or defining the nature of God, like trying to not get caught by Catholics and making the bible available for all people.

Regarding this poster's statement that those who disagree with the "majority of other Christians"are heretics, I have these questions:

1) Roman Catholicism at 1.2 billion people, is "the majority of other Christians". Should we be Catholics?
2) The Reformation itself would not have happened if Luther, Calvin etc agreed with the majority of Christians. This definition of heresy does not seem right ot me.

The term heresy, for centuries, meant those who disagreed with the teachings of the "true church", the Roman Catholic church. In this sense, Luther, Calvin etc were considered heretics for not staying with the Catholic church's teachings.

However the term heresy was redefined by the Reformers, as this poster has also done, to mean those who disagree with the majority. In that sense, those who did not agree with Luthers teachings were called heretics. Those who disagreed with the Church of England were heretics. Those who rejected Calvin's teachings were called heretics. Obviously, the term heresy became relative to whoever laid the charge of heresy at others. So when someone says "heresy" we must ask the question - in relation to what? Common sense tells us that if God is true, never changing, and if absolute truth exists, then heresy cannot be a relative thing, there must be an absolute definition of heresy, and I will show that the bible provides an absolute definition of the word in two verses:

Galatians 5:19-21a says, "And the works of the flesh are manifest, which are fornication, uncleanness, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, angers, faction, divisions, parties, envyings, drunkenness, carousings..." The Greek word for "parties" is hairesis which literally means heresies, and means various schools of opinions, or sects.

Titus 3:10 uses the same word hairesis meaning factious man, or one who is inclined to dissension.

So we can see that according to the Bible, that 1689er 's definition of heresy, though standard in Protestantism, is wrong and not scriptural. A heretic is not one who "disagrees with the majority", but one who separates into parties, dissension, schools of opinions or sects.

So in this biblical sense, the Catholic useage of the word, as any who break away from the "true church", is more correct and biblical than the Protestant use of the word which defines it as a thing relative to the majority of opinion. This is ironic given that the Protestants claim to be "Sola Scriptura".

But actually if we go back to a time before Catholicism, when all believer in the city were considered to be "the church", and not those who held to Roman Catholic teachings or otherwise, then the true biblical definition of a heretic and heresy is clear - a heretic is one who separates into a party, sect, even a denomination. The real heretics are those who separate from "the church", and it is nothing much to do with what they believe about the nature of God and such or whether or not they agree with the majority.

What this biblical definition shows is that a person could believe in all the Creeds, yet be a heretic if they are a divisive person like described by "I follow Paul" (1 Cor 3:4). Note that I did not use the term "the true church" because it is a nonsensical argument - in God's eyes there are only two types of people - believers and unbelievers. Believers are the church, and unbelievers are not. The so-called denominational churches are more correctly, organized sects, as they are cuts/divisions in the church which did not exist in the time of the apostles.

Anyone who wishes to be a "noble berean" can search Galatians 5:19-21a and Titus 3:10 in Greek for themselves, and see the true meaning of the word heretic according to the Bible. Even if they disagree with it on the basis of its implication regarding the local church/Lee/Nee and the teachings on the one church per city, it should hopefully be clear that a heretic is not those who disagree with the majority.
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Old 10-05-2017, 04:37 AM   #14
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Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

The "true meaning" of the English word heretic is not entirely defined by its etymological source, in this case the Greek word hairesis.

There are literally millions of words in every language which become nuanced over the centuries, and may become source words for other lanuages with altered semantics. Word etymology can always be an informative starting point, but cannot overrule prevailing language semantics.

Though LSM loves to define all error in terms of so-called oneness or deviation from their ministry, the words heresy and heretic today are not at all related to ecclesiatcal unity. Rather they are they are defined by a deviation from the orthodox faith and truths of scripture. In this regard, Evangelical is correct in saying that the creeds of Christianity are not definitive to our faith, but are indeed an excellent starting point.

For example, definitive verses such as I John 4.1-3 are far more useful to the believing church to delineate heresy and heretics. Though these verses do not specifically use the word heresy, John exactly addresses heresy for the church. These verses in John are a far better working definition than the ones Evangelical quoted. All dictionaries confirm what I am saying about heresy.
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Old 10-05-2017, 08:15 AM   #15
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Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

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The "true meaning" of the English word heretic is not entirely defined by its etymological source, in this case the Greek word hairesis.

All dictionaries confirm what I am saying about heresy.
I wonder what Witness Lee's definition of 'christless' was. Did he give one? Did he have an objective referent? Or was this the "so subjective" Christ within him, and enabling him to compare his portion with others?

Jesus continually taught the disciples to take the last place. Paul confirmed this by urging us to think of others more highly.

Those who thought of themselves great on earth will not be great in heaven. Those who are great in this age will not be great in the age to come. Those who point out how 'christless' other believers are, are in danger of the same judgment on themselves.

With what you judge others, you will be judged. Lee gave free reign to his subjectivity in making such sweeping statements. I daresay it's unwise to follow.

Just my two cents.
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Old 10-05-2017, 09:23 AM   #16
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Default Re: The Church in Sardis prefigures the Protestant Reformation?

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There are literally millions of words in every language which become nuanced over the centuries, and may become source words for other lanuages with altered semantics. Word etymology can always be an informative starting point, but cannot overrule prevailing language semantics.
One common example for this is the Spanish word advertencia which means "caution or warning" in Spanish. Now if a Spanish writer used the etymological definition for this word which is derived from the English advertisement, the writer might completely misunderstand any associated dangers. Think about how different are the English words "DANGER" and "SALES AD."

Witness Lee's and Evangelical's error here expounding the word "heresy" or "heretic" is called genetic fallacy (also known as the fallacy of origins or fallacy of virtue) is a fallacy of irrelevance where a conclusion is suggested based solely on history, origin, or source rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context. The fallacy therefore fails to assess the claim on its merit. The first criterion of a good argument is that the premises must have bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim in question. Genetic accounts of an issue may be true, and they may help illuminate the reasons why the issue has assumed its present form, but they are not conclusive in determining its merits.

I should add that Lee and LSM have longed used this flawed exposition of the word "heretic" as a basis of their many excommunications over the decades, including the expulsion of Titus Chu in the GLA. Here is one such article.
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Old 10-09-2017, 02:58 AM   #17
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Since I am leaning towards to the reformed faith, it is expected I will be receiving feedbacks from LCers to point that the reformation is nothing less but a Christless sector of Christianity. How do you respond to such a mindset belief? Are they saying that Calvinists and Protestants only have the appearance of being alive but are actually dead on the inside? I don't think John Piper and Paul Washer are dead men. I am actually not sure exactly which of these characteristics it might apply to the Protestant Reformation or to Calvinism.

Are we to attribute a "spirit" to the seven churches of Revelation or necessarily compare a church today to one of the seven churches of Revelation? The seven churches described in Revelation 2-3 are seven literal churches at the time that John the apostle was writing the book of Revelation. Though they were literal churches in that time, there is also spiritual significance for churches and believers today. The LCM use the seven churches to foreshadow seven different periods in the history of the Church. The problem with this view is that each of the seven churches describes issues that could fit the Church in any time in its history. So, although there may be some truth to the seven churches representing seven eras, there is far too much speculation in this regard. I can't articulate to defend my position as a Reformed Baptist.
Is the discussion in this thread really addressing the first post?

As to the initial post -- I would respond to this mindset belief by carefully walking through the verses in Revelation 2&3. I agree with you that the issues could fit the church in any time and see them more as necessary stages to growth. One fundamental error I see in WL's doctrine is the idea that Laodicea is a fallen form of Philadelphia. Instead the key verse in that line of interpretation is where the word to Philadelphia is they will not need to go out anymore. If you look at Sardis and other churches preceding Philadelphia you can see warnings and rebukes. These warnings and rebukes continue to get worse and worse. So, in my understanding the Christian church meets a fork in the road, in each case you have those within the church being influenced by their flesh to turn it into a human organization run by men for their benefit, and you have the overcomers. Ultimately the overcomers have to leave and ultimately find themselves in Philadelphia. I see Laodicea as those who do not leave the corrupt situation, hence the Lord's word to them that He is at the door, outside. By the time you progress to Laodicea the Lord has already left.

I see these 7 churches as a process by which we are matured and perfected to exercise dominion over the world. Hence, each experience (church) is necessary for that growth and perfection. I don't see "good" churches and "bad" churches, another error in WL's interpretation. instead I see those who overcome the world and those who don't. You can't be an overcomer if you don't "overcome" hence the situations in these churches are necessary for our growth and maturity.

Finally, I think WL's brand of "Elite Christianity with a MOTA" is something we need to overcome. There are no "MOTAs" in Philadelphia, instead every single member is a pillar.
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