Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Orthopraxy - Christian Practice

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-31-2019, 06:48 PM   #1
Igzy
Member
 
Igzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,949
Default Lee as Lt. Colonel Nicholson

I was going to reply with this to a member who asked how to respond to one of Lee's outrageous statements, but I decided to post it publicly:


You have to understand that when it got right down to things, Lee wasn't so much interested in God's true work as he was in producing his own version of perfection.

Lee wasn't even really interested in people, except as a means of producing his vision. He was only interested in his iconic ideal of how things should be. This is why everything was expendable other than his view of things. Because in the end it wasn't about people and it wasn't even about God. It was about his beliefs.

Lee was a lot like Lt. Colonel Nicholson in the movie The Bridge on the River Kwai. Nicholson had an unrelenting ideal of how things should be, which blinded him from his true mission in the war. His singular vision led him to produce a great work, the bridge, but that work was actually antagonistic to the real work he was supposed to be doing--resisting the Japanese--to the point that his own side had to send a squad to sabotage his work.

Come to think of it, Nicholson's story is an excellent analogy of Lee. At least Nicholson's madness could be attributed to the time he spent under the hot Burma sun in his captors' "cooler." What was Lee's excuse? We will probably never know in this life.

But Lee's basic error was putting his beliefs ahead of both God and people, even if in his madness he wasn't quite aware he was doing that. Religion has a way of making people crazy.
__________________
There are three kinds of people: sheep, wolves and sheep dogs. I'm a sheep dog.

Last edited by Igzy; 01-31-2019 at 07:20 PM.
Igzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 02:59 AM   #2
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,588
Default Re: Lee as Lt. Colonel Nicholson

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
What was Lee's excuse? We will probably never know in this life.

But Lee's basic error was putting his beliefs ahead of both God and people, even if in his madness he wasn't quite aware he was doing that. Religion has a way of making people crazy.
I liked the phrase, "iconic ideal" - it illustrates the idol-building going on. Instead of a person - Jesus - as the way home to the Father, we got impersonal abstractions, one after another. I could list a half-dozen but why bother.

At the source of the error was an unexamined set of cultural filters. Watchman Nee put it best, "Whenever you enter a room, you need to figure out who is in charge." This is Chinese culture, and it permeated the group from stem to stern. This unexamined view lies at the very heart of Nee's "normal church" building scheme.

In this view there simply has to be one untouchable leader at the helm, God's oracle, deputy God, today's Moses and today's Paul.

Now, this dilemma of "who's in charge here" isn't unique to the Chinese. "And they all were arguing as to which of them was the greatest." But it's a Chinese solution to the common human dilemma. And it's completely antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.

On the cross Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them because they don't understand what they are doing." Amen.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 06:33 AM   #3
Igzy
Member
 
Igzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,949
Default Was Lee a Nut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Now, this dilemma of "who's in charge here" isn't unique to the Chinese. "And they all were arguing as to which of them was the greatest." But it's a Chinese solution to the common human dilemma. And it's completely antithetical to the teachings of Jesus.

On the cross Jesus prayed, "Father, forgive them because they don't understand what they are doing." Amen.
Perhaps the bottom line is this:

Either Lee was who he said he was, or he was evil, or he was crazy.

A lot of speculation has been made on Lee's moral condition. But maybe in the end he was just a nut. It seems that idea should be part of the discussion. I mean, who goes around suggesting and at times claiming to be "the Minister of the Age?" Even Paul consciously avoided such thinking about himself, choosing instead to speak of his revelationary experiences in the third person, as if they happened to someone else, to keep himself humble. Lee on the other hand tooted his own horn like he was the Minister of Advertising.

And who believes such a thing? Naive members might not know better, and they feel extreme pressure to not question it. But the upper level guys, the elders and Blendeds, they should know better. So they might be nuts, too.

Nuts are everywhere. I might be one. Martin Luther certainly was. He was brilliant, and greatly used to start the Reformation. But in the end he was a nut.

Anyone claiming to be the Minister of the Age just confirms he or she is crazy. It's sort of like claiming you are becoming God. if you do it, you're a nut. But, then, Lee did that, too.
__________________
There are three kinds of people: sheep, wolves and sheep dogs. I'm a sheep dog.
Igzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 06:43 AM   #4
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,588
Default Re: Was Lee a Nut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Lee on the other hand tooted his own horn like he was the Minister of Advertising.

And who believes such a thing? Naive members might not know better, and they feel extreme pressure to not question it. But the upper level guys, the elders and Blendeds, they should know better. So they might be nuts, too.
There's an assembly called the Geftakys Assembly, and ex-members have their own website discussion forum, and some of them have noted the similarities with Lee. Grandiosity, obsessive control, special key words and insider meanings, alienation, and paranoia/persecution complex. And the Geftakys were not Chinese.

But Lee caught millions in China for his schemes. So there was certainly a larger cultural resonance. And today it's predominantly the Chinese grad students on the campus who come in, along with recent immigrants. They don't see the warning signs. To them it looks "normal".

And they all simply ignore the Bible, where it doesn't align. When you show them the "much discussion" in the supposedly "normal" early church, they just change the subject and move on (Acts 15:7). It just doesn't resonate with their cultural predisposition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
At least Nicholson's madness could be attributed to the time he spent under the hot Burma sun in his captors' "cooler." What was Lee's excuse? We will probably never know in this life.
Lee's experience of the hot Burma sun was his native culture. It made him think and act the way he did. If it had been mitigated, God might have used him. But it took him over, the notion that China was "virgin soil" and somehow God, through him, carried the torch of biblical purity forward. But he was shot through with cultural concepts. And he built a house of mirrors where it all shined back at him, noting but "amens" from every corner.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 06:52 AM   #5
Igzy
Member
 
Igzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,949
Default Re: Was Lee a Nut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
There's an assembly called the Geftakys Assembly, and ex-members have their own "recovery" website forum, and some of them have noted the similarities. Grandiosity, control, and paranoia. And the Geftakys were not Chinese.

But Lee caught millions in China for his schemes. So there was certainly cultural resonance. And today it's predominantly the Chinese grad students on the campus who come in, along with recent immigrants. They don't see the warning signs. To them it looks "normal".

And they simply ignore the Bible, where it doesn't align. When you show them the "much discussion" in the supposedly "normal" early church, they just change the subject and move on (Acts 15:7). It just doesn't resonate with their cultural predisposition.
Yes, the Chinese were definitely a follow-the-leader, subsume-the-one-into-the-many culture. Which is one reason communism took them over so easily. Such a thing could never have happened in America. That's probably why the Recovery never really did that well in the USA. We value autonomy too much. As you said, they've had to bring in Asians because Americans, by and large, won't go for it.
__________________
There are three kinds of people: sheep, wolves and sheep dogs. I'm a sheep dog.
Igzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 07:06 AM   #6
Igzy
Member
 
Igzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,949
Default Re: Was Lee a Nut?

http://www.geftakysassembly.com/
"You invest heart and soul in a ministry with a unique vision, and call to seriousness. You give it your all, believing that you're serving the Lord. Maybe you notice some questionable practices or teaching. But when you begin to see how you and others are being controlled, you realize that you're ending up far from your original spiritual aspirations."

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ny...Qe_w-t-tEELT4f
__________________
There are three kinds of people: sheep, wolves and sheep dogs. I'm a sheep dog.
Igzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-01-2019, 05:34 PM   #7
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,588
Default Re: Was Lee a Nut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Yes, the Chinese were definitely a follow-the-leader, subsume-the-one-into-the-many culture. Which is one reason communism took them over so easily. Such a thing could never have happened in America. That's probably why the Recovery never really did that well in the USA. We value autonomy too much. As you said, they've had to bring in Asians because Americans, by and large, won't go for it.
But Western culture in general, and American in particular, have their own issues, some quite severe. Yet if Americans thought their culture were a divine analogue (perhaps some occasionally have) that would be crazy, no? Or as Igzy says, 'nuts'. Witness Lee, with his insistence on no culture at all, ensured that his would reign unchallenged. And we can see its fruit.

I was reading a story on the Battle of Guadalcanal, specifically the Battle of Edson's Ridge. The commanding officer, Major General Vandegrift, thought the Japanese would attack through the low areas near Henderson Field, and assigned positions of defence accordingly. The subordinate, Lt. Colonel Edson, thought the high ground more defensible, and wanted to dig in there. He and Vandegrift's second-in-command convinced the CO that Edson's men should bivouac and "rest" on the ridge. In actuality Edson was making defensive positions. Turns out the Japanese came that way, and they were able to repulse them. Holding the high ground was invaluable.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Edson%27s_Ridge

Such semi-independent, "local" thinking is a hallmark of the Americans at war. The Japanese would never question a superior. Secondly, the Japanese came in human wave assaults, even when it was clear that they were not succeeding they continued to pour men into the meat-grinder. And in Korea ten years later it was similar: the individual didn't matter as much as the Cause. Americans, by contrast, deeply value the individual.

Not that one way is superior to another, but local church "normality" is Asian. Witness Lee talking to Sal Benoit is a great example: Lee can borrow $100K from Sal and the Bostonians for his son's motor home business, but Sal can't see the books. "None of your business". Yet Sal and the Bostonians have to keep sending $$ to Anaheim for books, trainings, donations for the ministry advance, campus building projects etc. Shut up and follow the Cause. To question or challenge is "rebellion".

That's not the way they think in the US. I've written on George Washington's leadership: He gathered his generals in a tent, let them hash it out... do we attack, or do we stop and regroup? Washington had final say, but they all batted the idea around in front of him. Would Lee ever do this? Of course not! That would be a sign of weakness, in his cultural lens.

"You are in the [Chinese] army, now." When Lee wrote in the RecV footnotes that all local churches should be "absolutely identical, with no differences what soever", we all knew what it meant: absolute, thoughtless conformity with HQ, with no independent, local initiatives of the local assemblies permitted. Anything that stood out would be "ambition", the "gopher" that poked his head out of the hole. The Holy Spirit's ability to nudge you to take the south road out of Jerusalem, and run up to the Ethiopian in a chariot, and baptise him and send him on his way without calling him back to HQ for "training" - gone forever.
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 06:17 AM   #8
awareness
Moderator of Alternative Views
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 7,138
Default Re: Lee as Lt. Colonel Nicholson

Quote:
Originally Posted by Igzy View Post
Religion has a way of making people crazy.
Read my tagline. And nice to hear from you again.

Lee was hung on himself. That's why HIS beliefs were put over even God's. God does a lot of work on the earth, in people's hearts all over the globe. But Lee dismissed it over his own beliefs. It's a narcissistic disorder : I'm the center of what God is doing on the earth.
__________________

"If Christianity is going to survive in the 21st century . . . it must learn to laugh at itself." -Rene Girard
awareness is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 08:49 AM   #9
Igzy
Member
 
Igzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,949
Default Re: Was Lee a Nut?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The Holy Spirit's ability to nudge you to take the south road out of Jerusalem, and run up to the Ethiopian in a chariot, and baptise him and send him on his way without calling him back to HQ for "training" - gone forever.
Well, for them at least.

Continuing on the subject of nuttiness. If you were going to set up a business, or school, or any operation, would you put in the by-laws the following:
"Once we establish the rules and parameters of this operation, they can never be changed or questioned. We cannot adapt to new information, realizations or experiences, because we are assuming there can never be any that are relevant. If we, the founders, pass on, then these rules will be that much more set in stone and can never be questioned, forever and ever. Anyone who does question them or this resolution will themselves be put in question."
Can you imagine any operation having any long-term success with such an attitude? But that's EXACTLY the attitude of the LCs. Just nutty.
__________________
There are three kinds of people: sheep, wolves and sheep dogs. I'm a sheep dog.
Igzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 08:58 AM   #10
Igzy
Member
 
Igzy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 3,949
Default Re: Lee as Lt. Colonel Nicholson

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Read my tagline. And nice to hear from you again.

Lee was hung on himself. That's why HIS beliefs were put over even God's. God does a lot of work on the earth, in people's hearts all over the globe. But Lee dismissed it over his own beliefs. It's a narcissistic disorder : I'm the center of what God is doing on the earth.
Good to hear from you!

Yeah, The longer I go on the more I think it must have been something like that. Evil? Maybe yes, maybe no. A nut? It seems likely.

Every other leader of the "One-True-Church" in history has been a nut. Does anyone honestly think Lee was the only exception?
__________________
There are three kinds of people: sheep, wolves and sheep dogs. I'm a sheep dog.
Igzy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 09:02 AM   #11
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 678
Default Re: Lee as Lt. Colonel Nicholson

Quote:
Originally Posted by awareness View Post
Read my tagline. And nice to hear from you again.

Lee was hung on himself. That's why HIS beliefs were put over even God's. God does a lot of work on the earth, in people's hearts all over the globe. But Lee dismissed it over his own beliefs. It's a narcissistic disorder : I'm the center of what God is doing on the earth.
As proof of this I enter into evidence item A: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/1293

__________________
And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth. (John 1:14 NASB)
JJ is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 02-02-2019, 06:46 PM   #12
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wedemark, Lower Saxony
Posts: 4,588
Default Re: Lee as Lt. Colonel Nicholson

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
As proof of this I enter into evidence item A: https://www.hymnal.net/en/hymn/h/1293
Don't read too much into it. Whatever Lee was teaching on this week, that was the center of the universe. Apparently people weren't supposed to notice when it kept shifting.

Do a google search sometime: "Witness Lee center universe" and see how many unique 'centers' pop up, just on the first page of hits. It's eerie.

Here's a "truth session" advertised, on "The Cross as the Center of the Universe".

https://truthbookroom.com.sg/event/truth-seminar-3/
__________________
"Freedom is free. It's slavery that's so horribly expensive" - Colonel Templeton, ret., of the 12th Scottish Highlanders, the 'Black Fusiliers'
aron is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 11:47 AM.


3.8.9