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Old 01-09-2018, 05:30 PM   #1
leastofthese
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Default Does it even matter?

ZNPaaneah gave us a thoughtful response in the thread discussing unbiblical teachings and practices of the LC (pasted below). If we assume that Z's premise is solid - what are the implications for the "Local Churches"? If Lee's vision is not divine, if his "ministry" is not the move of God... where does that leave the "Lord's Recovery" Church movement? Where does that leave the followers of Witness Lee? Does it even matter? Is God OK with it all?

This isn't a bait or some type of rhetorical question. There are many really smart people on this forum that have probably thought through this before and can articulate themselves much better than I could.


(Quote from ZNP)
I think the obvious "unbiblical" teaching is the teaching from Witness Lee that some parts of "the word of God" are actually man's concept, imagination, or short of the vision.

I think the term "unbiblical" is too vague. Is the "Ground of the church" doctrine Biblical? Sure. They use lots of Bible verses to build this doctrine. But is it based on a sober mind view of the Bible? No.

There are black and white doctrines, those are doctrines that are plainly stated in the scriptures. These are crucial, fundamental doctrines, items of the faith that were once for all delivered to us. The "ground of the church" is not in black and white, it is inferred. Inferential teachings are derivative. It is acceptable to have an inferential teaching, but these cannot be items of the faith. You can infer 3 wise men because there were 3 gifts. But it isn't stated and it isn't an item of the faith. However, we have been redeemed by the blood of Jesus. This is stated plainly. It is an item of the faith.

One critical error made by Witness Lee is to raise inferential teachings up to items of the faith.

Then there are types and shadows. These fall into two categories, one are the types that are clearly stated to be types in the NT. David and Solomon are stated to be types of Christ. Hebrews talks about the items of the Earthly tabernacle being a shadow of things above. So if the Bible says David is a type of Christ it is quite fundamental to teach that David is a type of Christ. Types are not exact replicas. David's sin is not a type of Christ. Therein lies the danger in using types, you can over allegorize. Cult leaders like David Koresh did this. Witness Lee does this with his MOTA doctrine. The Bible clearly states that Moses is a type of Christ who is to come. You can therefore teach that Moses was the "minister of his age" just as Christ is the "minister of the age of grace". But Witness Lee over allegorizes this to have micro slices of the age each with their own "MOTA", 99% of whom have never been identified.

This danger gets amplified when you leave the types that are clearly stated in the NT to go and discover your own. No longer are you directly tied to the Bible. Witness Lee did this to the extreme. Hence Peter's warning that no scripture is of its own interpretation. The Ground of the Church doctrine is an excellent example. He takes types that are mentioned (Temple type of Church) extends this to what is not mentioned -- the ground, runs up and down the OT with this, and then with wildly ridiculous inferences ties it into the NT and then elevates it to an item of the faith.
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Old 01-09-2018, 11:35 PM   #2
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Default Re: Does it even matter?

To answer the question posed “does it matter whether “the local churches” that exclusively follows Living Stream Ministry leadership are off (with respect to doctrine, practices, and teaching concerning the nature of God based on Kevin’s thread started that led to this thread)?”

Yes it matters because many people have been damaged by it, and many more will be hurt as it crumbles and collapses. Therefore it behooves us to seek answers to help the hurt and provide rescue assistance while warning people away from it and out of it.
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Old 01-10-2018, 03:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Does it even matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
(Quote from ZNP)

This danger [of inferring 'truths'] gets amplified when you leave the types that are clearly stated in the NT to go and discover your own. No longer are you directly tied to the Bible. Witness Lee did this to the extreme. Hence Peter's warning that no scripture is of its own interpretation. The Ground of the Church doctrine is an excellent example. He takes types that are mentioned (Temple type of Church) extends this to what is not mentioned -- the ground, runs up and down the OT with this, and then with wildly ridiculous inferences ties it into the NT and then elevates it to an item of the faith.
The reference to Peter is useful: that scripture itself tells us how to view scripture, and how to derive meaning from it. I see a pattern in NT reception of the Psalms and I don't see any invititation to deviate.

Jesus said, "David was in spirit writing about me"; I don't see anywhere Jesus suggested only in this or that passage, with the rest being David entertaining fallen human concepts. Likewise, Paul calls the Psalms "the word of Christ" and encourages singing them; nowhere does he say only Psalm 16 and 2 and 8 and 110 are the word of Christ, with others being a word from David's natural human mind, wandering far from God.

If the Bible doesn't give us permission to think this way about scripture, then why take it upon ourselves? Lee seemed to find certain over-arching themes on the narrative, which themes could then be read back on the text, even to the point of dismissing those that didn't conform. But if that's where your theme takes you, I question it.

And that extends to Micah, Job, Proverbs, etc. If Lee's logic leads him to conclude that scripture is so flawed, then I question his logic. If, for example, Psalm 18's "He rescued me because He delighted in me" is dismissed simply because David sinned, then why isn't Psalm 16's "You will not let my flesh see corruption"? Same sinner wrote both verses. The NT gives us plenty of passages showing us the Father's delight in His Son. Can't we at least consider the possibility? I don't see evidence that Lee did.

This isn't to say that Psalm 18 definitively shows Christ. The NT doesn't explicitly show this, either. But neither does it give permission to dismiss it the way Lee did.

And I keep coming back to one question: how could several thousand people sit there passively while one man so brazenly overturned apostolic precedent in handling scripture? What kind of church was this?
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:59 AM   #4
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Default Re: Does it even matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
The reference to Peter is useful: that scripture itself tells us how to view scripture, and how to derive meaning from it. I see a pattern in NT reception of the Psalms and I don't see any invititation to deviate.
Great point.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Jesus said, "David was in spirit writing about me"; I don't see anywhere Jesus suggested only in this or that passage, with the rest being David entertaining fallen human concepts. Likewise, Paul calls the Psalms "the word of Christ" and encourages singing them; nowhere does he say only Psalm 16 and 2 and 8 and 110 are the word of Christ, with others being a word from David's natural human mind, wandering far from God.

If the Bible doesn't give us permission to think this way about scripture, then why take it upon ourselves? Lee seemed to find certain over-arching themes on the narrative, which themes could then be read back on the text, even to the point of dismissing those that didn't conform. But if that's where your theme takes you, I question it.
Great point, Witness Lee has no head covering on this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
And that extends to Micah, Job, Proverbs, etc. If Lee's logic leads him to conclude that scripture is so flawed, then I question his logic. If, for example, Psalm 18's "He rescued me because He delighted in me" is dismissed simply because David sinned, then why isn't Psalm 16's "You will not let my flesh see corruption"? Same sinner wrote both verses. The NT gives us plenty of passages showing us the Father's delight in His Son. Can't we at least consider the possibility? I don't see evidence that Lee did.

This isn't to say that Psalm 18 definitively shows Christ. The NT doesn't explicitly show this, either. But neither does it give permission to dismiss it the way Lee did.

And I keep coming back to one question: how could several thousand people sit there passively while one man so brazenly overturned apostolic precedent in handling scripture? What kind of church was this?
Thank you for this post.
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Old 01-10-2018, 06:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: Does it even matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
And I keep coming back to one question: how could several thousand people sit there passively while one man so brazenly overturned apostolic precedent in handling scripture? What kind of church was this?
This is an interesting question. This passive dismissal of the truth continues today. Granted... the LSM churches are a fruitless, dying, movement... but a movement nonetheless.

What are you thoughts on how (your first question)?

What are your thoughts on what (your second question)?
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Old 01-10-2018, 07:08 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
And I keep coming back to one question: how could several thousand people sit there passively while one man so brazenly overturned apostolic precedent in handling scripture? What kind of church was this?
It was not the church described in Matthew 18.
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Old 01-11-2018, 04:01 AM   #7
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Default Re: Does it even matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
This is an interesting question. This passive dismissal of the truth continues today. Granted... the LSM churches are a fruitless, dying, movement... but a movement nonetheless.

What are you thoughts on how (your first question)?

What are your thoughts on what (your second question)?
How could people sit passively while apostolic precedent was overturned in front of them? I'd say, ignorance of the apostolic pattern seen in scripture, combined with conditioning not to ever question leadership. What is this, resulting? Certainly not the "my ekklesia" spoken by Jesus in Matthew 16:18.

In Acts 15, we see a network of peers, we see "much discussion" (v. 7) before consensus is reached. The Nee model is of supreme mastership and rule by fiat. It is Exclusive Brethrenism, coloured by Continental mysticism, run through oriental despotism. And so, people are now "voting with their feet", as they say.

As I said several times before, we're all biased, at least somewhat, and driven by a combination of ignorance and cultural pre-suppositions. And Nee rightly pointed out the foibles of the Western church model imposed on Eastern soil. And the Chinese all "voted with their feet" in the 1920s and '30s, as well. But the Eastern soil wasn't 'virgin soil', at all, as Lee tried to sell it to us. The church of supreme mastership its own issues, one of which is that "who you are" is solely determined by your proximity to the Maximum Brother. Think of Mao's China, but with spiritual trappings.

By contrast the wisdom of scripture calls for "many counselors"; Proverbs says it 3 times. None of us should dominate the discussion of the assembly. There's no "super apostle". That's a human-centered model, destined to fail.
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Old 01-11-2018, 08:57 AM   #8
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Default Re: Does it even matter?

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
This is an interesting question. This passive dismissal of the truth continues today. Granted... the LSM churches are a fruitless, dying, movement... but a movement nonetheless.

What are you thoughts on how (your first question)?

What are your thoughts on what (your second question)?
First, Lee and Co. were remarkably skillful at silencing those who spoke their conscience. Lee had 50 years of doing this, and learned from the 100 years experience of the Exclusive Brethren and Nee in China.

Second, each time the men of conscience left, those who remained were the more passive compliant ones. Remember -- they were all convinced what a little old fashioned "ambition" could do to your reputation and future.
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Old 01-11-2018, 09:00 AM   #9
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The Nee model is of supreme mastership and rule by fiat. It is Exclusive Brethrenism, coloured by Continental mysticism, run through oriental despotism. And so, people are now "voting with their feet", as they say.
Remarkably concise digest as only aron could!
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Old 01-12-2018, 02:34 AM   #10
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Default How did this happen

Quote:
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how could several thousand people sit there passively while one man so brazenly overturned apostolic precedent in handling scripture? What kind of church was this?
Mark 1:1 the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Notice that at it's beginning, the gospel was not about Christ and the church, but about Jesus, that he was Messiah, Son of God, and King of Israel. There were other aspects: incarnate Word, great Shepherd, great High Priest, the Prophet, etc. But I'll focus on the simplicity of the initiation, in contrast with what followed.

Now, the 'church' made its entrance halfway thru the gospel, in Matthew 16. By divine inspiration Peter saw who Jesus was, and his anointed role. At that time there were many 'ekklesia', or temporal agglomerations of people; e.g., "And with these words he dismissed the 'ekklesia'"(Acts 17:41).

But Jesus introduced the subject as, "My 'ekklesia'"; that is, the assembly of Jesus, of those who affirm what Peter declared. This is confirmed on Pentecost, when Peter preached "this Jesus" as Lord and Christ. The focus of this ekklesia was wholly on this Jesus.

Now, what happened? How could it all get so distracted?
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Old 01-12-2018, 05:59 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Mark 1:1 the beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Notice that at it's beginning, the gospel was not about Christ and the church, but about Jesus, that he was Messiah, Son of God, and King of Israel. There were other aspects: incarnate Word, great Shepherd, great High Priest, the Prophet, etc. But I'll focus on the simplicity of the initiation, in contrast with what followed.

Now, the 'church' made its entrance halfway thru the gospel, in Matthew 16. By divine inspiration Peter saw who Jesus was, and his anointed role. At that time there were many 'ekklesia', or temporal agglomerations of people; e.g., "And with these words he dismissed the 'ekklesia'"(Acts 17:41).

But Jesus introduced the subject as, "My 'ekklesia'"; that is, the assembly of Jesus, of those who affirm what Peter declared. This is confirmed on Pentecost, when Peter preached "this Jesus" as Lord and Christ. The focus of this ekklesia was wholly on this Jesus.

Now, what happened? How could it all get so distracted?
What was worse for the saints was how Lee transitioned from "Christ and the (local) church" to "one with the ministry for the building up of the body" during the New Way.

Kind of like all those dictatorships naming their countries, "The People's Republic of ..."
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Old 01-12-2018, 06:21 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
In Acts 15, we see a network of peers, we see "much discussion" (v. 7) before consensus is reached. The Nee model is of supreme mastership and rule by fiat. It is Exclusive Brethrenism, coloured by Continental mysticism, run through oriental despotism. And so, people are now "voting with their feet", as they say.
I once read of how they had been successful at keeping the Manhattan project a secret when there were thousands and thousands of people involved. The term is "compartmentalization". Each person has a very specific job to do, is not to know what anyone else does, and this is strictly enforced (the whole security clearance idea is based on this). In this way you can limit to a handful of Phd's who actually know what is going on. Then you keep those people under constant surveillance and build a dossier against them to give you leverage. The dossier doesn't have to be true, simply believable because once you act no one will be able to discover the truth without also being painted with the paint brush of "treason" (i.e. rebellion).
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Old 01-13-2018, 08:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
How could people sit passively while apostolic precedent was overturned in front of them? I'd say, ignorance of the apostolic pattern seen in scripture, combined with conditioning not to ever question leadership. What is this, resulting? Certainly not the "my ekklesia" spoken by Jesus in Matthew 16:18.

In Acts 15, we see a network of peers, we see "much discussion" (v. 7) before consensus is reached. The Nee model is of supreme mastership and rule by fiat. It is Exclusive Brethrenism, coloured by Continental mysticism, run through oriental despotism. And so, people are now "voting with their feet", as they say.

As I said several times before, we're all biased, at least somewhat, and driven by a combination of ignorance and cultural pre-suppositions. And Nee rightly pointed out the foibles of the Western church model imposed on Eastern soil. And the Chinese all "voted with their feet" in the 1920s and '30s, as well. But the Eastern soil wasn't 'virgin soil', at all, as Lee tried to sell it to us. The church of supreme mastership its own issues, one of which is that "who you are" is solely determined by your proximity to the Maximum Brother. Think of Mao's China, but with spiritual trappings.

By contrast the wisdom of scripture calls for "many counselors"; Proverbs says it 3 times. None of us should dominate the discussion of the assembly. There's no "super apostle". That's a human-centered model, destined to fail.
Well said Aron. Scary thing is that I was one of the thousands who sat there when what are now “Life Study of the Psalms” messages were preached by Witness Lee and didn’t object. I had “been trained” not to question the maximum brother who “saw all”.

It’s so good to have been set free from that system of error.
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