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Old 05-25-2020, 08:53 AM   #1
HBJ
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Default The Main Problem with the Local Church

The main problem with the LC is their demeaning of other Christians. The 'Recovery" means something is wrong with everyone else. I remember a song in the supplement to the tune of Anchors Aweigh: "We're in the local church, God's chosen ground..." i.e. God does it our (the LC) way. This permeates the LC atmosphere.

Christians have a history of when they disagree, they split to form another, purer group. Even back with the Pilgrims, Roger Williams split from them and formed Rhode Island because the Pilgrims weren't pure enough. Only near the end of his life did the Lord break him and he accepted other Christians more fully.

I have met one Christian in 40 years who knows of the LC because he lived in So. Cal. His one word for the LC is "exclusive". This is sad.

I may disagree with Christians sometimes and I have theological differences, but if they name the name of Christ, I look for the Jesus in them and fellowship. The reason I left the LC is because I knew too many, Godly, loving Christians outside the LC, so I couldn't meet with the LC anymore.

Not every leading brother totally accepted the LC doctrine. When I went back East a few years ago, I went back to NYC and had a good visit. A brother asked where I fellowshipped and I told him "A Foursquare, Pentecostal church". He said that was ok and I felt nothing but the love of the Lord from Him. But with that generation passing and others more steeped in the LC way coming to power, I don't think the situation will improve.

The main prayer that we need to pray for anyone in the LC is to respect other Christians.
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:02 AM   #2
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Default Re: The main problem with the LC

I forgot to quote John 10:16:

And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

The LC needs to remember this---they Praise the Lord so much for not being like Christianity, that they forget other Christians are our siblings in Christ and are on equal footing in God's eyes!
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Old 05-25-2020, 09:56 AM   #3
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Default Re: The main problem with the LC

It's like they forget that the Spirit is the Spirit. There aren't different models or versions of the Spirit, one older, slower, inferior model that indwells those in "Christianity" and a newer, faster, superior model that indwells those in the LC. Christians outside the LC are saved by the very same Spirit they are, who works in the exact same way, speaks in the exact same way, comforts and grows in them in the exact same way.

It's never stated that way within the LC, but that's kind of what it amounts to. Although I used to have that mindset myself, I now can't understand how.

And yeah, when you encounter people who were never inside the LC but have encounters with them, and they respond with a massive eye roll and a "oh yeah, I know the LC", it means the saints in the LC are obviously representing Christ to the rest of the world pretty poorly.
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Old 05-25-2020, 10:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: The main problem with the LC

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Originally Posted by HBJ View Post
The main problem with the LC is their demeaning of other Christians. The 'Recovery" means something is wrong with everyone else. I remember a song in the supplement to the tune of Anchors Aweigh: "We're in the local church, God's chosen ground..." i.e. God does it our (the LC) way. This permeates the LC atmosphere.

Christians have a history of when they disagree, they split to form another, purer group. Even back with the Pilgrims, Roger Williams split from them and formed Rhode Island because the Pilgrims weren't pure enough. Only near the end of his life did the Lord break him and he accepted other Christians more fully.

I have met one Christian in 40 years who knows of the LC because he lived in So. Cal. His one word for the LC is "exclusive". This is sad.

I may disagree with Christians sometimes and I have theological differences, but if they name the name of Christ, I look for the Jesus in them and fellowship. The reason I left the LC is because I knew too many, Godly, loving Christians outside the LC, so I couldn't meet with the LC anymore.

Not every leading brother totally accepted the LC doctrine. When I went back East a few years ago, I went back to NYC and had a good visit. A brother asked where I fellowshipped and I told him "A Foursquare, Pentecostal church". He said that was ok and I felt nothing but the love of the Lord from Him. But with that generation passing and others more steeped in the LC way coming to power, I don't think the situation will improve.

The main prayer that we need to pray for anyone in the LC is to respect other Christians.
I think I agree with this - the main problem of the LC is demeaning other Christians. "The Lord hates division in the body" is a big mantra in The Recovery, but then the result of what gets practiced is nothing but division! This is fleshly blindness.

We all have brought up on this forum what we think are the top, big issues of the LC. The elitism thing you posted is almost always mentioned as being a top problem. In my mind, included in the top three issues is the central control of the localities and the focus on Witness Lee as the be-all, end-all Minister of the Age. (this one also goes to the elitism thing). Others on here might also put in much of Lee's teachings in the top problems. And then still others would say the abuse of power (including overlooking sins of family members) would be a top problem.

But, if you had to come down to one thing as the very top issue, the attacking and overall disrespect for other believers may truly be the biggest.

So my order of top LC problems would be:
1: Demeaning/attacking other Christians - elitism
2. Promoting Lee as the only true minister of the age
3. Overt central control
4. Abuse of power
5. Much of Lee's teachings

(most of these five issues dovetail at least some with the other problems)
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Old 05-26-2020, 06:01 PM   #5
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Default Re: The main problem with the LC

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Originally Posted by HBJ View Post
The main problem with the LC is their demeaning of other Christians. The 'Recovery" means something is wrong with everyone else. I remember a song in the supplement to the tune of Anchors Aweigh: "We're in the local church, God's chosen ground..." i.e. God does it our (the LC) way. This permeates the LC atmosphere.
Christians have a history of when they disagree, they split to form another, purer group. Even back with the Pilgrims, Roger Williams split from them and formed Rhode Island because the Pilgrims weren't pure enough. Only near the end of his life did the Lord break him and he accepted other Christians more fully.
Among all the Christian groups that have formed due to a perceived deficiency in the groups that they split off from, the LC is the only one I know of that is out there talking about how bad all the other groups are instead of focusing on who they are and what they have to offer to others.

I would like to think that the LC really does have something beneficial to offer. But when they go around belittling others in attempt to uplift their own group, it makes the whole thing seem all the more suspect. I would even say that it undermines anything that they do have to offer, because people encounter arrogance instead of assessing the LC as a group that they may want to be a part of.
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Old 05-27-2020, 05:11 AM   #6
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Default Re: The main problem with the LC

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... the saints in the LC are obviously representing Christ to the rest of the world pretty poorly.
There are a number of aspects of that representation. One is the "know-it-all" attitude, along with "we alone have the truth", which is embedded into fixations on certain verses, or parts(!!) of verses, whilst ignoring swaths of scripture as of no account, since it can't be used for the proprietary hermeneutics at the core of their know-it-all stance.

So that rubs people wrongly, as it should.

There's the "one revelation per age", which is located in one special "seer of the divine revelation", or "deputy God". Pretty questionable stuff. And if you look at Nee's reading list, he didn't ascribe to one sequential ministry per age, but picked and chose as he saw fit. Then, when he began to write, suddenly the age of picking and choosing was over. Then, 70 years later, when WL passed, the age of revelation was over and we had to gather round the Great Man's books and genuflect for the "riches" that God had blessed us with during that interregnum of blessing.

Don't you think most people would find that narrative to be creepy? It's wrong on so many levels!

But the main problem with the LC is their secrecy and deception. Let me offer two representative samples. First is a scene from the 1960s. A Chinese brother and an American brother are strolling down the street, thinking quietly. Suddenly, out of nowhere, the Chinese says to the American, "You have to watch out for Witness Lee's family". The American is startled out of his reverie... huh? Then it gets really weird. The Chinese clapps his hand over his mouth and says, "oooohh! I shouldn't have said that" and they both continue walking. Now they're quiet again, but the calm is broken, and another spirit has made itself known.

Again and again, when sin came into the LC, it got buried because of a culture of secrecy. No bad thing could ever be spoken, ever, of leadership, even when it was clearly wrong. This goes against the NT commands, both Jesus' and Paul's, and instead we heard, "Cover Drunken Noah" and so forth. We got, "I don't care about right and wrong, only for life". Really weird, non-biblical stuff. It got more and more contorted.

The difference between the LC and the Branch Davidians is that the first is Chinese and the second was American. The Chinese have a culture of covering and protection of group leadership, and the Americans have an open culture, and expose it. Sometimes the second is ugly but I prefer it to the first.

Both groups (LC and BD) are personality cults with mind control, paranoia, manipulation, and glorifying the group leader. The first now has training centres round the world and the second ended in a shootout with ATF agents. But they both glorified the Guru and hid his faults. But the LC's native culture absorbs secrecy and imbues it, whilst the BD had a culture that rejected it. So one group grew and another imploded.

Deception: Look at the proliferation of names, masking the parent organization. Bibles for America. They could care less about the Bible, or America. It's a front to get the LSM into your homes, and the LSM operatives to get your phone #. And so forth - I could name twenty LSM fronts, all pretending to be legitimate independent Christian endeavours but they're just waiting to take you captive, "inside the church life". That's all they care about, yet they won't say it. "Oh, we're just Christians". What bunk.

Secrecy and deception - those are my big 2. Unfortunately there are many issues, but those I think are the most glaring.
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Old 05-27-2020, 06:29 AM   #7
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Default Re: The main problem with the LC

To me, the "main problem" with the Local Church is ignoring what Jesus said about "the church". Firstly, he didn't say "the church". He said "my church".

Matt. 16:18 And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build MY church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

The church is HIS church, and he will build it. Not Witness Lee. Not the blendeds. Not the Baptists, not the Catholics. etc., etc., etc.,

Has Jesus called the Local Church of Witness Lee "my church"? Is Jesus building the Local Church? Is hell prevailing against the Local Church?

Benson Phillips used to say "Concentrate on Christ and the church will be built. Concentrate on the church and nothing will be built." (paraphrased) This is right...just look around and see all the "nothing" that has been "built."

I think we should get out of the way and let Jesus build his church as he has said he would. A good place to start would be to love him; love one another, feed his sheep; break bread with one another--share our meals; not forsake assembling together. In other words, stick with what we know (what's in his word); do as we are told and keep our mitts off his church.

We don't need to worry about the church. We don't need to figure out how to "do church". He's already figured it out. That's his job. Do as we are told and he will build his church. There is too much "church" talk and not enough "gospel of Jesus Christ" talk. I think this is the "main problem" with Christians in general...trying to figure out how to "do" church and get it "right".

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Old 05-27-2020, 07:21 AM   #8
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Default The Main Problem with the Local Church

Great thread with some great contributions. Thanks HBJ for starting this one.

To me, the main problem with the Local Church is that the whole thing is based upon the personal mission of a man (men) - at the onset the movement was based upon the person and work of Watchman Nee. Since Nee's demise, the LC movement has been based upon the person and work of Witness Lee.

The mission of the church is clear:
"Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned" (Mark 16:15,16) Over the history of the Christian church, the mission has not changed. As far as I know, the Lord Jesus has not returned and changed the mission. No angel from heaven has appeared and changed the mission. Even in the end days, according to Revelation, the mission will still not have changed. In fact, the mission will actually intensify - instead of of facing non-lethal persecution, the missionaries of this mission will face beheadings "for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God".

This is why the changing of, and corruption of, the genuine Gospel - "The Testimony of Jesus" - is the worst thing that can happen among those who call themselves Christians. The reason that it is the worst thing is that it hinders, and at times actually stops, the mission. The work of God is transformed into the work of man. The testimony of Jesus is turned into the testimony of Watchman Nee. The testimony of Jesus in turned into the testimony of Witness Lee. And now we see the end result before our very eyes - the testimony of Jesus has been transformed into the Local Church of Witness Lee/Living Stream/Hong Kong Book Room/Defense and Confirmation Project/Blended Brothers. May God have mercy.
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Old 05-27-2020, 09:02 AM   #9
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Default The Main Problem with the Local Church

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Originally Posted by Nell View Post
Benson Phillips used to say "Concentrate on Christ and the church will be built. Concentrate on the church and nothing will be built." (paraphrased) This is right...just look around and see all the "nothing" that has been "built."
Great quote, Nell. Someone ought to show it to the President of LSM.

The main problem with the LC is that they were never true to their mission. They are now as "local" as the church of Rome. They elevate their leader like the church of Rome. They have displaced the scripture for the teachings of men (actually that woman Jezebel) like the church of Rome.

The big question on this forum was whether WL ever was true to his stated mission, but today nothing LSM does aligns with that original mission to focus on Christ, only Christ, to gather in oneness in His name, to leave traditions and return to the pure word of God, and to testify of His name to all the nations.
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