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Old 01-10-2018, 04:41 PM   #1
Bradley
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Default 'Ground of the Church'

One thing I was very passionate about when I was in the LC was the ground of the church. We were taught that it was the source of all blessing and had to be perfect. We were taught that the ground of locality was everything, the name was everything. Brother Lee was not the ground of the church but the ground was.

We were taught that there could be all sorts of problems in the church but as long as the ground was right, it would be okay. There could be all sorts of things going well but as long as the ground was wrong, God has forgotten you and your work is in vain.

You can imagine my surprise then when I went blending in Singapore and found myself not in 'the church in Singapore' but 'the church of God in Singapore'. Subtle difference, but I had spent two years in the training being taught how bad this is. You just can't do that, you might as well call yourselves the southern Baptists.

There was another group that was 'the church in Singapore' and they had broken off. They got to keep the name, so this group I was blending with was forced to take another name. The other group was apparently not on the 'true ground', but the 'church of God in Singapore' was. Why was that? I couldn't understand. They had the right name, so they should have the ground.

Nobody could answer my question: what is it about 'the church of God in Singapore' that gives it the proper ground despite having the wrong name, and what is it about 'the church in Singapore' that puts it off the correct ground, despite the fact that they have the right name?

Apparently, the true requirements for the ground of the church is not what the ministry teaches, i.e. having the right name, it is what the ministry specifically said was not important, i.e. loyalty to the Living Stream Ministry and the blending brothers. They teach one thing but do the other.

On that note, a full-timer brother I knew was secretly going out and fellowshipping with them, maintaining a friendship with them even though they broke off twenty or so years ago. He had to keep it a secret because they were demonised as bad guys from pretty much everyone, even though they all used to be friends in the past. Pretty sad really.

But my point is this: the people (in Anaheim) who decide which church groups are on the right ground and which are not, do not read their own books to tell them how to decide. They go with whoever invites them to come speak at conferences, and reject those who do not.

My conclusion now of course is that there is no ground, or any one true church, and that its all BS. But the hypocricy still bothers me.
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:06 PM   #2
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Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Bradley,

It is sad and understandable that it still bothers you.

But Christ did come to earth and die and save you from your sins. It happened.

Not by works, but by grace you have been saved. A gift.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you are adopted as a child of God. Heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.

This is good news!
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

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Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
One thing I was very passionate about when I was in the LC was the ground of the church. We were taught that it was the source of all blessing and had to be perfect. We were taught that the ground of locality was everything, the name was everything. Brother Lee was not the ground of the church but the ground was.

We were taught that there could be all sorts of problems in the church but as long as the ground was right, it would be okay. There could be all sorts of things going well but as long as the ground was wrong, God has forgotten you and your work is in vain.

You can imagine my surprise then when I went blending in Singapore and found myself not in 'the church in Singapore' but 'the church of God in Singapore'. Subtle difference, but I had spent two years in the training being taught how bad this is. You just can't do that, you might as well call yourselves the southern Baptists.

There was another group that was 'the church in Singapore' and they had broken off. They got to keep the name, so this group I was blending with was forced to take another name. The other group was apparently not on the 'true ground', but the 'church of God in Singapore' was. Why was that? I couldn't understand. They had the right name, so they should have the ground.

Nobody could answer my question: what is it about 'the church of God in Singapore' that gives it the proper ground despite having the wrong name, and what is it about 'the church in Singapore' that puts it off the correct ground, despite the fact that they have the right name?

Apparently, the true requirements for the ground of the church is not what the ministry teaches, i.e. having the right name, it is what the ministry specifically said was not important, i.e. loyalty to the Living Stream Ministry and the blending brothers. They teach one thing but do the other.

On that note, a full-timer brother I knew was secretly going out and fellowshipping with them, maintaining a friendship with them even though they broke off twenty or so years ago. He had to keep it a secret because they were demonised as bad guys from pretty much everyone, even though they all used to be friends in the past. Pretty sad really.

But my point is this: the people (in Anaheim) who decide which church groups are on the right ground and which are not, do not read their own books to tell them how to decide. They go with whoever invites them to come speak at conferences, and reject those who do not.

My conclusion now of course is that there is no ground, or any one true church, and that its all BS. But the hypocricy still bothers me.
This is spot on. But good luck ever getting an LC member to really address it.
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:09 PM   #4
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Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

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Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
You can imagine my surprise then when I went blending in Singapore and found myself not in 'the church in Singapore' but 'the church of God in Singapore'. Subtle difference, but I had spent two years in the training being taught how bad this is. You just can't do that, you might as well call yourselves the southern Baptists.

There was another group that was 'the church in Singapore' and they had broken off. They got to keep the name, so this group I was blending with was forced to take another name. The other group was apparently not on the 'true ground', but the 'church of God in Singapore' was. Why was that? I couldn't understand. They had the right name, so they should have the ground.

Nobody could answer my question: what is it about 'the church of God in Singapore' that gives it the proper ground despite having the wrong name, and what is it about 'the church in Singapore' that puts it off the correct ground, despite the fact that they have the right name?
This is exactly the kind of question that serves to show how ridiculous the ground of locality teaching really is. I remember hearing that there are three "church in Toronto" groups each asserting themselves to be the church in Toronto. According to the LC teaching, it creates a big problem because the teaching doesn't account for the possibility of two or more groups simultaneously calling themselves the same name.
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Old 01-10-2018, 08:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

In another thread, Drake has identified LSM as "the work of ministry." That is really LC thinking. And the reason that a church's relationship to LSM is the true basis for legitimacy in the LC--not the name.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:35 AM   #6
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Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

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My conclusion now of course is that there is no ground, or any one true church, and that its all BS. But the hypocrisy still bothers me.
Bradley, your experience has been the same as many others. For example, "the church of the Torontonians" was legitimized by LSM since the preferred name was already taken. During the Midwest quarantines, LSM operatives helped local loyalists to file lawsuits for real estate, assets, and THE NAME.

Tell me again about that church with no name filing lawsuits over names!

This is why I don't like to waste time discussing their ground of oneness teaching. They only use it to condemn all others. They never abide by these teachings themselves, but have a long history of breaking the rules.

I prefer to respond as the Lord Jesus did to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees -- expose it and rebuke it. The disciples were also greatly bothered by the Pharisee hypocrisy, but in time they got over it by spending time with Jesus.
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:43 AM   #7
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[B]This is why I don't like to waste time discussing their ground of oneness teaching. They only use it to condemn all others. They never abide by these teachings themselves, but have a long history of breaking the rules.
But that is the reason I think this teaching is the most important to talk about. It is the central pillar to the LRC sect. If it falls they fall. Without this pillar WN's claim to MOTA falls. If his claim to MOTA falls WL's claim falls. Without the "Ground of the Church" and without WN and WL as MOTA, what does the LRC have?

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked:
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Old 01-11-2018, 07:43 AM   #8
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Bradley, your experience has been the same as many others. For example, "the church of the Torontonians" was legitimized by LSM since the preferred name was already taken. During the Midwest quarantines, LSM operatives helped local loyalists to file lawsuits for real estate, assets, and THE NAME.
When "The Church of the Torontonians" stopped following LSM, they then took their current name, "The Local Church in Toronto."

It's hard to keep track...
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:04 AM   #9
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When "The Church of the Torontonians" stopped following LSM, they then took their current name, "The Local Church in Toronto."

It's hard to keep track...
Little correction here ...

Original "church in Toronto" is here. They claim to be "THE church in Toronto." Not sure of their affiliation.

IIRC, "The Church of the Torontonians" was taken back in the early 70's. That church now has the website here. They have become a truly "local" church, a community church, no longer attached to headquarters in either Anaheim or Cleveland. I would consider them one of the healthiest LC spin-offs. Nigel Tomes, who has written a number of articles on this forum, is there.

After the recent division, the LSMers took the name "the local church in Toronto." Note that their website, their sign, and their legal names don't necessarily have to coincide. They are nothing more than an LSM franchise.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:23 AM   #10
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Little correction here ...

Original "church in Toronto" is here. They claim to be "THE church in Toronto." Not sure of their affiliation.

IIRC, "The Church of the Torontonians" was taken back in the early 70's. That church now has the website here. They have become a truly "local" church, a community church, no longer attached to headquarters in either Anaheim or Cleveland. I would consider them one of the healthiest LC spin-offs. Nigel Tomes, who has written a number of articles on this forum, is there.

After the recent division, the LSMers took the name "the local church in Toronto." Note that their website, their sign, and their legal names don't necessarily have to coincide. They are nothing more than an LSM franchise.
The church in your first link is associated with John So.
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Old 01-11-2018, 11:46 AM   #11
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The church in your first link is associated with John So.
They must have connected with him in the 80's after he left LSM.
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:05 PM   #12
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Bradley,

It is sad and understandable that it still bothers you.

But Christ did come to earth and die and save you from your sins. It happened.

Not by works, but by grace you have been saved. A gift.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you are adopted as a child of God. Heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.

This is good news!
I know that, I never lost my faith
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Old 01-11-2018, 12:14 PM   #13
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But that is the reason I think this teaching is the most important to talk about. It is the central pillar to the LRC sect. If it falls they fall. Without this pillar WN's claim to MOTA falls. If his claim to MOTA falls WL's claim falls. Without the "Ground of the Church" and without WN and WL as MOTA, what does the LRC have?
Hehe I *love* this. You're quite right. The 'ground' is the one thing that makes them 'God's move' and makes everyone else irrelevant to it. When you take away the ground, what do you have?
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Old 01-11-2018, 01:18 PM   #14
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This is exactly the kind of question that serves to show how ridiculous the ground of locality teaching really is. I remember hearing that there are three "church in Toronto" groups each asserting themselves to be the church in Toronto. According to the LC teaching, it creates a big problem because the teaching doesn't account for the possibility of two or more groups simultaneously calling themselves the same name.


There are three separate local churches in Shanghai too, where I lived for three years - all of them 'faithful to the ministry', all of them inviting coworkers from overseas to hold conferences, all of them up to date with the morning revival and 7 feasts. All three of them are accepted by the global LSM as legit. But they won't meet with each other, they hardly even know each other. One group is the locals, one group is for foreigners, one group was of 'turtles' i.e. locals who had lived overseas for years (of course, through the gospel, there were locals, foreigners and turtles in every group). I went to meetings at all three: the local group was the most burning and the foreign group was the most dead but thats where the English-speaking districts were so I went out of necessity.

One brother (from the local group) told me he discovered that his next door neighbour was in the LC (a Taiwanese district in the foreign group) and they both hosted table meetings in their homes every sunday morning. He had invited him to join table meetings together for blending and the other brother had refused, as if that would be a terrible sin and he didn't have the authority to do that (though he wouldn't ask anyone who did). They basically had a 'wave at each other and say good morning' -type relationship after that and thats all.

When the local brothers expressed their concern about it to me, I contacted a well-known coworker called Paul Hon. He had already known about it for decades and basically said: "its no big deal, there's nothing you can do, if we can't fix it you can't either so forget about it and ignore it." I had the attitude that a little person can make a small difference, at least to those around him, but his attitude was pretty much "meh who cares, don't even try".

This bothered me no end because I had been taught that the proper ground is the master key to all blessing, and without it, you shouldn't even partake of the bread and wine. Here was a big time coworker telling me to forget about it and carry on like it means nothing, partake anyway. But according to the teachings, in this situation there's no blessing and the work is in vain. He didn't refute that, he just said there's nothing I can do. It was a depressing cloud hanging above my church life while I lived there.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:45 PM   #15
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There are three separate local churches in Shanghai too, where I lived for three years - all of them 'faithful to the ministry', all of them inviting coworkers from overseas to hold conferences, all of them up to date with the morning revival and 7 feasts. All three of them are accepted by the global LSM as legit. But they won't meet with each other, they hardly even know each other. One group is the locals, one group is for foreigners, one group was of 'turtles' i.e. locals who had lived overseas for years (of course, through the gospel, there were locals, foreigners and turtles in every group). I went to meetings at all three: the local group was the most burning and the foreign group was the most dead but thats where the English-speaking districts were so I went out of necessity.

This bothered me no end because I had been taught that the proper ground is the master key to all blessing, and without it, you shouldn't even partake of the bread and wine. Here was a big time coworker telling me to forget about it and carry on like it means nothing, partake anyway. But according to the teachings, in this situation there's no blessing and the work is in vain. He didn't refute that, he just said there's nothing I can do. It was a depressing cloud hanging above my church life while I lived there.
Which just proves that LSM, its workers, and its materials do nothing for the oneness of the body of Christ.

On the contrary, they have a long history of using all their resources to divide the body of Christ.

I could not believe this until I saw it first hand in the Midwest. And, Bradley, you have now seen it too with your own eyes. Seeing LSM's blatant hypocrisy freed me from all the bondage and guilt shaming that held me for decades.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:53 PM   #16
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There are three separate local churches in Shanghai too, where I lived for three years - all of them 'faithful to the ministry', all of them inviting coworkers from overseas to hold conferences, all of them up to date with the morning revival and 7 feasts.
I was unaware that there are actually instances of multiple LSM-affiliated LC's meeting in the same city. The sheer hypocrisy of it is shocking, but then again it makes sense. Affiliate oneself with the LSM and suddenly the standards change.

I grew up in a city that had no LC. Initially, we commuted over 30 miles, not just to a different city, but to a different county to meet with a LC. So much for the 'practicality' of the LC. Later on we had more LC members move nearby. But will still had to drive to a neighboring city to meet.

Eventually, we had enough living in the same city to consider "taking the ground," but it came to the attention of the elders that there were some Chinese-speaking LC members in our city who were commuting to a city where there was a large Chinese presence. They had virtually zero interaction with us, however, the elder among the Chinese felt it best to wait to "take the ground" until there was a "better testimony" in the city. To make a long story short, no official LC was ever formed in the city where I grew up.
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:13 AM   #17
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I was unaware that there are actually instances of multiple LSM-affiliated LC's meeting in the same city. The sheer hypocrisy of it is shocking, but then again it makes sense. Affiliate oneself with the LSM and suddenly the standards change.
The standard is very obvious based on the actions -- sell books. If you will buy the books from LSM you are approved, if not you aren't. The doctrine of "Ground of the Church" is designed to give LSM a monopoly and sell books. Groups are vilified, not because of their stand with the Bible but for whether or not they will buy books.

As long as the pretense that this is about some "hidden truth" that they alone have the vision of that is fine. But if push comes to shove it is all about your stance with LSM.

I learned this in the FTT in Taipei. A small group of 4 trainees (3 Americans and one local) were given the assignment to evangelize a graduate school for engineering students in Taipei (i.e. the "best building material"). At the time we had been very successful at baptizing people (one brother in our group had baptized over 400 and the local saint from Taipei had also baptized quite a few) but there was little to no abiding fruit. Our job was to change that. We did. Over the Spring semester we gained 18 brothers who we evangelized, brought into a quasi small group meeting / English class, from there to a small group meeting of the nearby meeting hall and then into the church.

One might think they would be very excited to learn what we did. We were debriefed and it became clear they simply wanted to demonstrate that our use of LSM materials was the secret. The problem was that it wasn't. The brother who had baptized over 400 would evangelize at night and direct those he talked to (and perhaps baptized) to our "English class". I was not there at night because I had to work to support myself. The next day, in the afternoon, I ran this "English class" which used many Bible stories and examples. I created all of my curriculum, did not use any LSM materials, and the class had lots of discussion. At the end of the meeting a sister would show up and she would take those interested in going to the home meeting (which included dinner). There they could discuss in a smaller setting anything. The elder and his wife were also in that meeting. The reason this worked is that the evangelizing brother would always have my English class filled with over 40 and then there would always be five or six at the least who wished to continue the discussion.

But instead LSM created some kind of booklets for new beginners -- truth lessons or outlines or something. It was a total scam. That was when I learned that the real goal behind the FTTT and push for small group meetings was to sell more books.
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Old 01-20-2018, 11:33 AM   #18
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The ground of the church is clearly the city. It is through the oneness of standing on this ground alone that we are aligned to Jerusalem. LSM is a movement! It is a living stream! The movement moves those standing on the ground off of it. The stream then carries them away. I have no issue with LSM; the Lord has allowed it. It brings understanding of obedience to the commandment to your lay your life down for the brothers AND in continued obedience, for the taking up again of that life in them! Now although I have no issue with LSM, it still presents a problem for the Church. Where the church has not dug down to solid rock through the obedience to lay your life down for the brothers, the force of LSM is greater than what the local church built there can resist. It is the proverbial house built on sand, the sand being a riverbed of the stream. The storm comes and much is lost and carried away, but revelation in the aftermath is great for some.
I am David, standing the ground of the church in Greenback in the Meeting Place State!
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Old 01-21-2018, 01:55 PM   #19
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Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

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a moderator declined to allow my post regarding the ground of the church to appear yesterday. . . Just goes to show that this place is nothing more than an echo chamber.
Not quite as extreme as the echo chamber of the LC, tho. There, we were told to be "Witness Lee tape recorders". If you want to get an ''ayyemenn" when you "function", just stand up and say, "What I enjoyed this week was..." and then read, verbatim, a quote from the ministry. Then you'll be a member in good standing in the LC.

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I am standing on the ground of the Church in Greenback in the Meeting Place State
Here's a quote from someone's experience trying to find "the ground" in Singapore.

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Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
One thing I was very passionate about when I was in the LC was the ground of the church. We were taught that it was the source of all blessing and had to be perfect. We were taught that the ground of locality was everything, the name was everything. Brother Lee was not the ground of the church but the ground was.

We were taught that there could be all sorts of problems in the church but as long as the ground was right, it would be okay. There could be all sorts of things going well but as long as the ground was wrong, God has forgotten you and your work is in vain.

You can imagine my surprise then when I went blending in Singapore and found myself not in 'the church in Singapore' but 'the church of God in Singapore'. Subtle difference, but I had spent two years in the training being taught how bad this is. You just can't do that, you might as well call yourselves the southern Baptists.

There was another group that was 'the church in Singapore' and they had broken off. They got to keep the name, so this group I was blending with was forced to take another name. The other group was apparently not on the 'true ground', but the 'church of God in Singapore' was. Why was that? I couldn't understand. They had the right name, so they should have the ground.

Nobody could answer my question: what is it about 'the church of God in Singapore' that gives it the proper ground despite having the wrong name, and what is it about 'the church in Singapore' that puts it off the correct ground, despite the fact that they have the right name?

Apparently, the true requirements for the ground of the church is not what the ministry teaches, i.e. having the right name, it is what the ministry specifically said was not important, i.e. loyalty to the Living Stream Ministry and the blending brothers. They teach one thing but do the other.

On that note, a full-timer brother I knew was secretly going out and fellowshipping with them, maintaining a friendship with them even though they broke off twenty or so years ago. He had to keep it a secret because they were demonised as bad guys from pretty much everyone, even though they all used to be friends in the past. Pretty sad really.

But my point is this: the people (in Anaheim) who decide which church groups are on the right ground and which are not, do not read their own books to tell them how to decide. They go with whoever invites them to come speak at conferences, and reject those who do not.

My conclusion now of course is that there is no ground, or any one true church, and that its all BS. But the hypocricy still bothers me.
And in Shanghai

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There are three separate local churches in Shanghai too, where I lived for three years - all of them 'faithful to the ministry', all of them inviting coworkers from overseas to hold conferences, all of them up to date with the morning revival and 7 feasts. All three of them are accepted by the global LSM as legit. But they won't meet with each other, they hardly even know each other. One group is the locals, one group is for foreigners, one group was of 'turtles' i.e. locals who had lived overseas for years (of course, through the gospel, there were locals, foreigners and turtles in every group). I went to meetings at all three: the local group was the most burning and the foreign group was the most dead but thats where the English-speaking districts were so I went out of necessity.

One brother (from the local group) told me he discovered that his next door neighbour was in the LC (a Taiwanese district in the foreign group) and they both hosted table meetings in their homes every sunday morning. He had invited him to join table meetings together for blending and the other brother had refused, as if that would be a terrible sin and he didn't have the authority to do that (though he wouldn't ask anyone who did). They basically had a 'wave at each other and say good morning' -type relationship after that and thats all.

When the local brothers expressed their concern about it to me, I contacted a well-known coworker called Paul Hon. He had already known about it for decades and basically said: "its no big deal, there's nothing you can do, if we can't fix it you can't either so forget about it and ignore it." I had the attitude that a little person can make a small difference, at least to those around him, but his attitude was pretty much "meh who cares, don't even try".

This bothered me no end because I had been taught that the proper ground is the master key to all blessing, and without it, you shouldn't even partake of the bread and wine. Here was a big time coworker telling me to forget about it and carry on like it means nothing, partake anyway. But according to the teachings, in this situation there's no blessing and the work is in vain. He didn't refute that, he just said there's nothing I can do. It was a depressing cloud hanging above my church life while I lived there.
The LC "practical oneness" seems to be slavish submission to HQ - you don't even have to be "one" with the LSM-affiliated believers in your city, as long as you are "one" with Anaheim. Just keep buying those books and tapes!
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Old 01-21-2018, 02:00 PM   #20
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The ground of the church is clearly the city. It is through the oneness of standing on this ground alone that we are aligned to Jerusalem. LSM is a movement! It is a living stream! The movement moves those standing on the ground off of it. The stream then carries them away. I have no issue with LSM; the Lord has allowed it. It brings understanding of obedience to the commandment to your lay your life down for the brothers AND in continued obedience, for the taking up again of that life in them! Now although I have no issue with LSM, it still presents a problem for the Church. Where the church has not dug down to solid rock through the obedience to lay your life down for the brothers, the force of LSM is greater than what the local church built there can resist. It is the proverbial house built on sand, the sand being a riverbed of the stream. The storm comes and much is lost and carried away, but revelation in the aftermath is great for some.
I am David, standing the ground of the church in Greenback in the Meeting Place State!
Enjoy!!!!!!!
The other thing I have against LSM is that they stop the seeking. Jesus taught, "Seek and you will find". LSM says, "Here (on the ground of the church) we have ended our search." Now you are a prisoner to the ministry. No longer a slave of the Lord, destined to search for the home above, the city that endures. Just sucked into another man-made system. If you don't seek, you won't find. Living Stream Ministry is the River Lethe, that puts people to sleep.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lethe

The River of Forgetfulness. Forget your home with the Father. Just go to the meetings and recite this week's bullet points.
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Old 01-21-2018, 03:14 PM   #21
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The ground of the church is clearly the city. It is through the oneness of standing on this ground alone that we are aligned to Jerusalem. LSM is a movement! It is a living stream! The movement moves those standing on the ground off of it. The stream then carries them away. I have no issue with LSM; the Lord has allowed it. It brings understanding of obedience to the commandment to your lay your life down for the brothers AND in continued obedience, for the taking up again of that life in them! Now although I have no issue with LSM, it still presents a problem for the Church. Where the church has not dug down to solid rock through the obedience to lay your life down for the brothers, the force of LSM is greater than what the local church built there can resist. It is the proverbial house built on sand, the sand being a riverbed of the stream. The storm comes and much is lost and carried away, but revelation in the aftermath is great for some.
I am David, standing the ground of the church in Greenback in the Meeting Place State!
Enjoy!!!!!!!

I think this is very funny. You have brightened my day, thanks. Imagine for a minute an unbeliever visits two assemblies. One keeps "the ground of the city" as a controlling doctrine. The other one has the undeniable presence of Jesus in the midst, prayers are answered, sins are dealt with, there is forgiveness of one another which also results in love of the brothers. Which one is the church that will withstand the onslaught of Satan and which is built on sand?
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Old 01-23-2018, 10:04 AM   #22
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The ground of the church is clearly the city.
"If I say it enough, it might become true."
"If I say it enough, it might become true."
"If I say it enough, it might become true." . . .

But it will not be because there is sound basis for the claim.

Reminds me of Charlie Brown wondering why his team cannot win even one baseball game when they are "so sincere."
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Old 01-23-2018, 11:36 AM   #23
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LSM is a movement!
Yes, I do agree.
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Old 01-23-2018, 01:37 PM   #24
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Yes, I do agree.
LOL me too . I find it amusing how it was the LSM that taught me the difference between God's move and a movement of man in the first place, and yet, here we are.

The devil will often condemn others for things that he is fully guilty of himself. Not just hypocrisy, but projection - as if he was getting his ideas and inspiration from within. For some reason, when an authoritative figure or group is teaching you and warning you about a certain issue, that figure or group becomes the last person you would suspect of being the thing they are warning you about. We all read the outline and listened to the message about God's Move™ vs a movement of man and assumed like unthinking sheep that the ones feeding us the message were obviously 'God's Move'.

The 'Lord's recovery' is absolutely a movement of man, organised and led by men. I wouldn't have recognised it if I hadn't actually read their books, maybe they should drink their own tea? LOL.
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Old 01-23-2018, 07:16 PM   #25
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For some reason, when an authoritative figure or group is teaching you and warning you about a certain issue, that figure or group becomes the last person you would suspect of being the thing they are warning you about. We all read the outline and listened to the message about God's Move™ vs a movement of man and assumed like unthinking sheep that the ones feeding us the message were obviously 'God's Move'.
This is very true. WL attacked and condemned a lot of things, but hardly anyone in the LCM ever dared to criticize him. In fact, I don’t think it even crossed most people’s minds that WL had any ambition or viewed himself as a “spiritual giant” – the very types of things that he warned everyone about.

LCers believe that WL was God’s “humble servant.” They feel that he saw things that others didn’t, that his ministry ‘unveiled’ something. They will thus equate following his ministry with being “God’s move.” It really is just an excuse for why they are following one man vs any other man.
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Old 01-24-2018, 04:39 AM   #26
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The devil will often condemn others for things that he is fully guilty of himself. Not just hypocrisy, but projection - as if he was getting his ideas and inspiration from within. For some reason, when an authoritative figure or group is teaching you and warning you about a certain issue, that figure or group becomes the last person you would suspect of being the thing they are warning you about.
As with all self-righteous hypocrites. Paul said they were all inexcusable in Romans 2.1: "Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things."
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Old 01-24-2018, 10:21 AM   #27
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As with all self-righteous hypocrites. Paul said they were all inexcusable in Romans 2.1: "Therefore you have no excuse, everyone of you who passes judgment, for in that which you judge another, you condemn yourself; for you who judge practice the same things."
Admittedly, there have been all kinds of movements that have involved following a man. Probably in most cases, criticism of such groups is completely warranted. What made the LCM different, and what I think kept LCers oblivious to the hypocrisy was the fact that Lee pointed to the ground to disguise the fact that everyone was following him. This construct of the ground fooled people because is something that is inanimate, something that creates the illusion of having a particular 'standing' rather than being part of just another group that was following a man.

It continues to amaze me that those who defend the LCM will not answer the basic question as to why the LCM only considers churches that follow "the ministry" aka Nee/Lee/LSM/blendeds to be genuine local churches. On the one hand, they claim to practice localism organized practically in terms of geography. On the other hand, they will insist upon allegiance with LSM. And that is what serves as evidence they are a movement that is indeed following a man.
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Old 01-29-2018, 01:39 PM   #28
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...What made the LCM different, and what I think kept LCers oblivious to the hypocrisy was the fact that Lee pointed to the ground to disguise the fact that everyone was following him. This construct of the ground fooled people...
Right. That quote they keep saying, how Lee told Nee 'even if you do something different, I will continue to take this path' - it helps everyone say 'oh we are not following Lee, we are following his vision, we would continue to follow it even if he wasn't'.

Except its one thing to say that, its another thing to do it.

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It continues to amaze me that those who defend the LCM will not answer the basic question as to why the LCM only considers churches that follow "the ministry" aka Nee/Lee/LSM/blendeds to be genuine local churches.
Just one example among many of them following the man, not the vision. His books teach very clearly not to do that kind of thing, but he did it anyway, so everyone else does too.
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Old 01-29-2018, 04:10 PM   #29
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Right. That quote they keep saying, how Lee told Nee 'even if you do something different, I will continue to take this path' - it helps everyone say 'oh we are not following Lee, we are following his vision, we would continue to follow it even if he wasn't'.

Except its one thing to say that, its another thing to do it.
Bradley, the entire late 80's turmoil in the Recovery was about this. Actually there were two parts. Firstly it was Lee and the LSM/FTT in Taipei changing the entire nature of the Recovery, breaking every rule laid down in the so-called vision book by Nee TNCCL. Secondly it was Philip Lee's abuses.

All of these brothers tried to act on the saying above, until they all eventually learned that it really was all about following a man, whether he was true to the Bible or not.
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Old 01-31-2018, 11:34 AM   #30
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It continues to amaze me that those who defend the LCM will not answer the basic question as to why the LCM only considers churches that follow "the ministry" aka Nee/Lee/LSM/blendeds to be genuine local churches. On the one hand, they claim to practice localism organized practically in terms of geography. On the other hand, they will insist upon allegiance with LSM. And that is what serves as evidence they are a movement that is indeed following a man.
Let's call it what it is.....ministry churches. To call it the ground of locality is a deception. Someone could be living in Crestline, California. There may be community churches there but none standing on the local ground. All this talk about locality, one would have to drive down highway 18 and meet with the Church in San Bernardino for the local standing.
Or what I was familiar with for a few years. Brothers and sisters meeting as the Church in Bellevue, Washington would come far and wide from Renton, Kent, Sultan, Everett, etc in order to meet "locally".
Call it localism. I call it ministry churches.
For a local church in Moses Lake that received Lee's ministry from the 1960's until 1986, how come it's no longer regarded as a local church? Everything points to receiving according to a man's ministry.
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Old 01-31-2018, 07:57 PM   #31
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As someone who grew up in the LCM, it didn't take long for me to realize how committed LCers were to the ground of locality teaching. Before I even understood what the teaching entailed, I saw the passion for the teaching and assumed it must be really important.

Maybe that is why I never questioned the fact that we had to commute 30 miles to "meet locally." I was told that all other Christians were wrong for having so many different churches, but here we were, having to travel far and wide to practice a church model that was supposed to be practical.
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Old 02-02-2018, 11:55 AM   #32
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As someone who grew up in the LCM, it didn't take long for me to realize how committed LCers were to the ground of locality teaching. Before I even understood what the teaching entailed, I saw the passion for the teaching and assumed it must be really important.

Maybe that is why I never questioned the fact that we had to commute 30 miles to "meet locally." I was told that all other Christians were wrong for having so many different churches, but here we were, having to travel far and wide to practice a church model that was supposed to be practical.
Likewise being raised in the local church, you don't realize the attitude existing until you begin meeting with Christians who don't take LSM as their ministry of choice.
When I first moved my family to Renton in 1999, we'd make the 10 mile commute to Bellevue each LDM. Not all places have the convenience of being apple to drive to your fellowship of preference.
Take a real life situation. You could be a household living on the island of Maui. There are other Christians meeting as a church (Hope Chapel) and some even in the practice of home meetings, but since they're not taking LSM publications as the basis for fellowship, you're not open to meeting with any Christian who are not like-minded.
One could read this and say, "that's their right and opinion". I'd say yes it is, but it is not isolated. The locality I grew up in Southern California there's that behavior. Same in the present city I live in there's that behavior.
Ground of the Church is LSM.
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:29 AM   #33
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The quote here was posted on the "Quips and Quotes" block of the forum, and it caught my attention:
Quote:
Heretics are not dishonest men; they are mistaken men. They have been some of the most sincere men that the Church has ever known. Their trouble was this: they evolved a theory and they were rather pleased with it; then they went back with this theory to the Bible, and they seemed to find it everywhere.
D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones
Such could be said of the foundational Recovery teaching, the acclaimed "Ground of Oneness." Lee saw it everywhere in scripture, and supposedly there it was, cause he said so. Yet the Bible never actually said it. Thus the Recovery was built upon long lost hidden secrets, kind of like the Da Vinci Code. Then one day W. Nee came along (or Robert Langdon in the movie) and unlocked the mystery of the faith, that which was missed by all men of God for centuries.
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Old 01-29-2019, 07:19 AM   #34
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The quote here was posted on the "Quips and Quotes" block of the forum, and it caught my attention:
Such could be said of the foundational Recovery teaching, the acclaimed "Ground of Oneness." Lee saw it everywhere in scripture, and supposedly there it was, cause he said so. Yet the Bible never actually said it. Thus the Recovery was built upon long lost hidden secrets, kind of like the Da Vinci Code. Then one day W. Nee came along (or Robert Langdon in the movie) and unlocked the mystery of the faith, that which was missed by all men of God for centuries.
If you notice he saw it everywhere in the typology. But there was no black and white teaching in the NT, only an inferential teaching based on two verses that had little or nothing to do with the ground but rather the appointment of elders. They also inferred it from the references to churches being singular or plural.

So yes, it seemed he saw it everywhere but anyone could discern that all of the teachings were inferred or interpreted from typology. So then, even if it were a genuine teaching the apostles kept it secret from most Christians. Why? Also, if the apostles wouldn't say this plainly, why are you, that is to leave the apostle's fellowship.

What is the temptation here that led us astray? Everyone wants a shortcut, to learn some secret no one else knows, and they want to be the "elite" Christians. Also, for those that came out of Christianity you can assume that they were not happy with where they were. This allows you to blame others for being off. If you were deceived you were a willing participant. If you deal with those temptations and humble yourself, then it is a simple matter to return to the apostle's fellowship.
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:20 AM   #35
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If you notice he saw it everywhere in the typology. But there was no black and white teaching in the NT, only an inferential teaching based on two verses that had little or nothing to do with the ground but rather the appointment of elders. They also inferred it from the references to churches being singular or plural.

So yes, it seemed he saw it everywhere but anyone could discern that all of the teachings were inferred or interpreted from typology. So then, even if it were a genuine teaching the apostles kept it secret from most Christians. Why? Also, if the apostles wouldn't say this plainly, why are you, that is to leave the apostle's fellowship.
I stayed in the LC's because the Lord brought me there. In the end I left, not because LSM was so bad, but because my LC became unbearable. It was only after I left, did I find the Berean forum, Ingalls' book, and began to "examine all things." (Rom 12.2; I Thess 5.21)


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What is the temptation here that led us astray?
The N.T. has many warnings for the believers, yet very little chastisement for those who have been deceived. In my case, I definitely trusted the brothers far more than I should have. Many took advantage of me, yet none would ever apologize for it. It took a few seriously bitter experiences to teach me that these LC leaders were often self-serving, and not to be trusted. After I left, I then realized how right I was to leave.
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Old 02-01-2019, 07:55 AM   #36
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The principle of local unity among God's people is pretty clear in the Bible, largely because the idea of unity is so clear.

The question is, How is that unity to be expressed?

The LC error was to decide (for everyone) that local unity meant one organized church in a city under one group of official elders who pretty much have absolute authority over just about everything having to do with that city church. it other words, the LC defined for everyone the idea of "practical oneness" and decided for everyone that's the way it had to be: one tightly organized group under one group of leaders, which, of course, are loyal to some central ministry.

That principle is not clear at all in the Bible.

Further, it doesn't take much reflection to see how this principle cannot work and even is destructive. Because once a group of elders gets control, there is no way for the Lord to reform them if they go off the reservation. Everyone must continue to submit to them, regardless. The only option is to leave town, which is silly.

It is easy to see how this could not possibly be God's plan. If the principle had been true, then the Catholics would have gotten control of all the city churches centuries ago and no one would have had the ground to leave them. This is the implication of the LC's teaching. If the LC says, well, yes we could have left them, then they are saying that people can leave the LC also, and the point becomes moot.

The only conclusion must be that the city church is like the universal church. Yes, it exists in reality, but we are not required to officially organize it under one official group of elders. All Christians in the city should see their common unity in that city, but smaller organized churches, as the house churches in the New Testament suggest, are allowed for practicality, flexibility, and, not the least in importance, preventing presumptive self-assumed rule by domineering leaders bent on controlling everything and everyone.

The Lord is wise.
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:06 AM   #37
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. . . once a group of elders gets control, there is no way for the Lord to reform them if they go off the reservation. Everyone must continue to submit to them, regardless. The only option is to leave town, which is silly.
While the average member of any particular assembly/group does not engage in the ongoing discussions about the doctrines and positions that cause the separation of meetings, behind the scenes there are arenas in which all of these differences are constantly being discussed in a mostly civil manner.

The exceptions are the groups that insist that only they are correct. The LC is just one of the latest in such small splinter groups. While some larger groups have been more closed than others, it is mostly small groups like the LC that truly keep to themselves and write all the others off. Like calling them all the daughters of Jezebel, or of the Whore of Babylon.

Or mooing cows. Sound Familiar anyone?
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:30 AM   #38
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Or mooing cows. Sound Familiar anyone?
Yes. 'Incestuous Moabites' comes to mind, too. Lee had such a colorful grab bag of put-downs, didn't he?

In general, though, the idea that one group gets to call itself "the church in..." and, by squatter's rights I guess, gets to consider their leaders as the default leaders of the whole city is pretty far-fetched. The idea that God is waiting for everyone to join that group is even more far-fetched.

But the LC doesn't even recognize squatter's rights, really. They've never recognized a church which called itself "the church in..." which wasn't compliant with their movement. The best they would do is come into town, tell the group it needed to align with the LC's. When the group would say "No, we don't," the LCers would then disregard them and set up their own shop. I doubt they even bother with this shallow gesture anymore.

Oneness and unity? Wonderful! As defined by the LC? Deeply flawed and dangerous.
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Old 02-01-2019, 08:56 AM   #39
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Further, it doesn't take much reflection to see how this principle cannot work and even is destructive. Because once a group of elders gets control, there is no way for the Lord to reform them if they go off the reservation. Everyone must continue to submit to them, regardless. The only option is to leave town, which is silly.
In the Midwest LC's, TC used to say, "gain one brother, and you have a church." TC needed a worker in every LC to make sure that church was loyal to TC.

Nearly all LC's had conflicts between the elders over their loyalty to HQ's. I eventually left for that very reason. Regardless of published teachings, in the LC system of leadership, the loyalty of the elders must be first to HQ's, then to the church, then to the Lord. Obviously that created serious conflicts with many elders. It explains why so many have left the program.

An independent eldership, on the other hand, serving God and serving the saints is the safest form of church shepherding. The Apostles obviously thought so. Ignatius, however, felt they needed supervision by the regional Bishop. Though I heard endless protests to hierarchy and the bishopric, careful study would always conclude that the job description of the Bishop identically matched that of LC "apostles."

This helps to explain why the "local ground of the church" was never really practiced. It could not be controlled by outside sources.
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Old 02-01-2019, 09:07 AM   #40
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The only conclusion must be that the city church is like the universal church. Yes, it exists in reality, but we are not required to officially organize it under one official group of elders. All Christians in the city should see their common unity in that city, but smaller organized churches, as the house churches in the New Testament suggest, are allowed for practicality, flexibility, and, not the least in importance, preventing presumptive self-assumed rule by domineering leaders bent on controlling everything and everyone.
Then there is the stark reality that Local Church elders really don't function anything like elders described in and modeled by the New Testament. They are actually more like branch managers of a local franchise of the Living Stream Ministry corporation. They are only allowed to serve Lee burgers, Lee fries and Lee shakes, which are all neatly wrapped and supplied by the headquarters in Anaheim. The menu is strictly dictated and sternly enforced by the members of The Board (aka The Blended Brothers).
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Old 02-06-2019, 05:29 AM   #41
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Then there is the stark reality that Local Church elders really don't function anything like elders described in and modeled by the New Testament. They are actually more like branch managers of a local franchise of the Living Stream Ministry corporation. They are only allowed to serve Lee burgers, Lee fries and Lee shakes, which are all neatly wrapped and supplied by the headquarters in Anaheim. The menu is strictly dictated and sternly enforced by the members of The Board (aka The Blended Brothers).
-
And they act more like the religious rulers that Jesus spoke against. They really do not care for the flock, but order it around and profit from it.
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Old 02-06-2019, 06:00 AM   #42
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Then there is the stark reality that Local Church elders really don't function anything like elders described in and modeled by the New Testament. They are actually more like branch managers of a local franchise of the Living Stream Ministry corporation. They are only allowed to serve Lee burgers, Lee fries and Lee shakes, which are all neatly wrapped and supplied by the headquarters in Anaheim. The menu is strictly dictated and sternly enforced by the members of The Board (aka The Blended Brothers).
-
How very true!

Careful examination of LC history shows that every so-called "storm" or supposed "rebellion" in the Recovery actually began with some elders attempting to protect the saints from Nee, Lee, and LSM.

How do you think the Great Shepherd of the flock feels when the elders He has appointed (Acts 20.28) get expelled by a ministry for protecting the very people He died for?
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Old 02-06-2019, 10:07 AM   #43
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Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

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Originally Posted by OBW View Post
And they act more like the religious rulers that Jesus spoke against. They really do not care for the flock, but order it around and profit from it.
Yeah, the Bible calls it "lording over the flock," and forbids it. 1 Pet 5:3
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:00 AM   #44
aron
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Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

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Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Original "church in Toronto" is here. They claim to be "THE church in Toronto." Not sure of their affiliation.

IIRC, "The Church of the Torontonians" was taken back in the early 70's. That church now has the website here. They have become a truly "local" church, a community church, no longer attached to headquarters in either Anaheim or Cleveland. I would consider them one of the healthiest LC spin-offs. Nigel Tomes, who has written a number of articles on this forum, is there.

After the recent division, the LSMers took the name "the local church in Toronto." Note that their website, their sign, and their legal names don't necessarily have to coincide. They are nothing more than an LSM franchise.
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Originally Posted by aron View Post
The Church in Sydney, whichever its version (affiliation), is no more a local church than the Parish of the Lady of Our Way in North Sydney or St. Peter's Presbyterian Church. And if you look at the demographic that it appeals to, and fronts, it's perhaps less a reflection of the local populace than they are. So why call it a local church? (Besides that this is its only reason to exist, of course)
The LC apologist says, "It is not a name, but a description". But that is fantasy. The term "local church" is not in any way a description of the assembled group. With them, non-local affiliation (Titus Chu, Blendeds, DYL) is paramount to identity and culture. Without this affiliation they simply don't know who they are.

But TC probably doesn't care if the Church in Sydney is 90% Chinese and quite non-reflective of the local population that it supposedly represents, as long as it's 100% submissive to his non-local ministry.

And I've no problems with the Chinese. Their culture is arguably more ancient and venerable than mine (European). I wish as well for all to be saved and come to a full knowledge of the truth. But joining a variant of the Chinese Church of Witness Lee is not the way. Jesus Christ is the way.
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