Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Apologetic discussions

Apologetic discussions Apologetic Discussions Regarding the Teachings of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 12-20-2019, 09:22 AM   #1
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,167
Default The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Since SonstoGlory mentioned this book in another thread, I thought I would look into it. I am not trying to rain on anyone's consideration of what is good about Lee's teachings. But I also am not sure that just letting everyone think that what they once thought was necessarily true is really beneficial for them or anyone else. He (and others) will have to decide whether they still want to hold to what they already think. But to withhold this alternative view just because of feelings seems to put emotions over truth, or at least the search for truth.

I don’t think we should litter that other thread with a discussion of this book, so I started a new one. It may not ever really go anywhere, but I thought it would be worthwhile to at least start through a look at one of Lee’s books in 2019 rather than just point back at previous threads that are as much as 10 years old or more, or not even on this forum (going back to the old Berean forum).

(Caveat: This post is long. If you don't like long posts, read it in pieces, or just ingore this thread. I wanted to get certain things out as a start, so this is what it is.)

The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life was from messages Lee gave in 1971 — about 1-1/2 years before I heard of the LC. It begins with some statements concerning the faith. According to Lee, the faith is “composed of the beliefs concerning the Bible, God, Christ, the work of Christ, salvation, and the church.”

The Bible. He starts with three sentences concerning the Bible. Only two points:

Divinely inspired word-by-word. (“The genuine Christians do not have any doubt about this point.”)

Infallible. No qualifier(s). Not “infallible in matters of faith.” Or “infallible on the points which it is addressing” and not to side issues like alleged facts of science.

God. God is uniquely one but triune. Some believe that the Father, Son, and Spirit are separate persons and this is tritheism (never quite says it here). He uses the “spirit, soul, and body” analogy — generally understood as a poor analogy, at best.

Christ. Lee starts making more not-quite accurate statements, such as “the very God in eternity,” claims “with” the Father, is “called the Father” (referring to Isaiah). When he says “[e]ven while He was in the flesh on the earth, the Father was with Him” he is not suggesting that the Father is always there. He is taking it right up to the never-quite-stated “they are just one.” Then quickly moves on to say that as the sender and giver of the Spirit, as the last Adam he “became the life-giving Spirit.” Not just “spirit” — the essence of God as stated in John 4 — but the third of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. He even references John 4:24 to say that the triune God is “Spirit.” But “Spirit” is the name of one of the Three while “spirit” is the common nature or essence of the Three.

Now I said earlier that he “quickly moves on” to his next point. This whole section is one of his pep-talk speeches. The purpose is to make a whole lot of statements that will immediately garner a bunch of “amens.” Why? Because in the LC it is never enough to hear something true. You have to assert an enthusiastic “amen” in response. So when we can hardly get one “amen” out before he has made another such statement requiring yet another “amen,” we begin to turn off the question filter than is nagging us with that quiet “what did he just say?” as we drown it all out. If you read through his litany of attributes, you will see that it is more like a list of things to say “amen” about. Not saying that most of them are not meaningful. But the way some of them are stated are somewhat LC-speak for something that is not entirely orthodox. Yet Lee is in the middle of saying what it is what ALL GENIUNE CHRISTIANS BELIEVE.
(Let me take a moment to say that I have noted the first chapter of other of Lee’s books having these kinds of pep-talks. A litany of truths that often are not necessary, followed by the one truly questionable statement that is simply ignored in a now feverish chorus of amens. And the hook is set. You have accepted the questionable so moving on with that as a “given” is easier. I first saw this when starting through The Economy of God several years ago. And it kept popping up in others. Nee had a different approach. He would just make some bold declaration and say it was a fact. And say it enough times that unless you just outright rejected it, you would start to follow along. After all, he was accepted to be the smartest person in almost any room, so he must know what he is talking about. Then he went on as if it was settled truth. Authority and Submission begins with the declaration that where the word “power” is used, it is equivalent to “authority.” He even quoted some scripture using the change, including the ending of the Lord’s prayer. It is true that His is the authority. But it didn’t say that. And the fact that the word “power” is there does not make the claimed equivalency with authority as if stated there.

I can be generous and suggest that Lee is just trying to get his listeners/readers to understand what he believes to be true. Or I can be less generous and suggest that Lee is trying to get his listeners/readers to dismiss the obvious and follow something for which there is no real substance. I will let you decide how malicious Lee may or may not have been. But either way, the effect is the same.)
These pep talks are designed to get you tracking with him (Lee) so that once he is through, you have enthusiastically agreed with things that you might not really believe if given the time to consider and study. When the fervor of the pep-talk dies down, and even when you go home for the evening, you might find some of those questions arising. But since you were so enthusiastic to say “amen” at the time, and all those people who can’t be all wrong were also enthusiastically saying “amen,” then it must be true.

I think that this is one of the reasons that the charges against Titus Chu included the fact that he taught study of the Bible through careful reading of the scripture, and commentaries, and after that come to see that it matches the “ministry’s” teachings. They insisted that you should be taught to first be filled with the ministry, and only after that to begin to check it against the Bible and commentaries. That way the tendency to believe what you read first would come to play and any discrepancies would be passed off as the error of others, or even your own lack of ability to read the word in the Bible correctly.

In the subsection “Concerning Christ,” paragraph 8, he says, “[t]hus, in Him all the attributes of God become our virtues.” Now I will be the first to agree that much of the attributes of God are attributed (or imputed) to us. But imputation is more like a title given than fact of character. It is not a statement of practical fact. If they were actually our virtues, then we would live-out those virtues in this world, not just in some imputed, spiritual way. But they are the attributes of the one in whom we have believed and in whose likeness we are growing. We have not automatically become anything. (It is to our benefit that God sees us that way, but he also set out a course of obedience to practice those things, not just claim that we own them without outward proof.) At this point, you might say “of course, and Lee didn’t really mean it that way.” But I am not so sure.

We could continue to pick our way through the items of the faith, and we could do that if it is of interest to anyone. But it is probably a good time to stop and think about what we have gleaned from just this little bit.

This section is designed to declare that the LCs are holding to the core tenets of the Christian faith along with all “genuine Christians.” It includes all that we read above, plus much on the work of Christ, salvation, and the church (including the statement that the body of Christ is “locally one — one city, one church.” (There is a reference given (Rev 1:11) but neither this verse, nor any other, states as a matter of faith or doctrine that there is one church in any single city.)

But since not all Christians agree on all the litany of things Lee spoke (and others distilled into the book), such as Christ becoming the Spirit or there only being one church (assembly) per city (and presumably all the other “boundary of the church” rules would apply), then what is a good, Lee-following LCer supposed to think? Maybe that all those so-called Christians that are not in the LC are NOT genuine Christians. That there is something flawed in their spiritual situation that tarnishes their claim to being a Christ-follower.

We are about 3/5ths of the way through the first chapter and the questions are piling up. The next main section is “THE SPECIALITY OF THE CHURCH LIFE.” The first two sentences following that header are:
Quote:
These are the six main items of the proper Christian faith. All real Christians do not have any disputations about these items.
Lee is generous after that. He acknowledges that many do not agree with the one city – one church rule, but admits that they are saved, though lacking in “the proper church life.”

So what are the core tenets of the faith? It seems that the earliest statements of faith distilled it to the following:
• Belief in God the Father, Jesus Christ as the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit

• The death, descent into hell, resurrection and ascension of Christ

• The holiness of the Church and the communion of saints

• Christ's second coming, the Day of Judgement and salvation of the faithful
I’m sure that there are other versions with slight variations. But first, what is missing? The Bible.

The Bible. It is probably safe to assume that the finality of what is now the Christian Bible did not exist at the time of the earliest statements of faith. But even if it did, it is noteworthy as to what the Bible does NOT say about itself. It never claims to be:
• Absolutely authoritative

• Verbally inspired (word-for-word)

• Without any kind of error
The main point with all of these is that the Bible makes almost no claims about itself. It does say that it is inspired by God, but without defining how detailed the inspiration was. It is “profitable for teaching . . .,” not “your absolutely complete and inerrant compendium for all teaching . . . .”

There are other things that could be said. If you need some examples, the OT has places where there are statements concerning things like “digging brass.” Brass is not dug up like iron or copper. It is the combination of other metals that may be dug up separately. The OT makes claims concerning the complete annihilation of certain enemies, yet they seem to still be around afterward making things tough for the Israelites. Some annihilation.

The second paragraph in the section “THE SPECIALITY OF THE CHURCH LIFE,” starts with the following”
Quote:
The faith is the speciality of the church life. This is something very specific, very special. Concerning these points of our Christian faith there should be no argument. If we are going to fight for something, we have to fight for this.
Out of context, this sounds absolutely right. But when you consider some of the things that have been claimed to be part of the factual base of the things we are to fight for (and have no argument over) are a littering of things like those I have pointed out above. Ground of the church. Christ “becoming” the Spirit. We as Christians simply having Christ’s virtues. There are more, or if you go elsewhere in this book, or in others, you will find that Lee defines some of the more agreeable things in ways that would not be agreeable if stated in that manner in this section.

So . . . comments? Agreements? Disagreements? Want to continue? Want to treat it as “nothing to see here . . . move along”?
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2019, 05:05 PM   #2
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

So, Mike, thanks for starting this thread. Yes, we will see if it gets any traction . . .

But I think first, before jumping into all the details, it would be good to give the overall theme and purpose the book is conveying. What do you see is the main idea Lee is trying to present in this? (and that could be a loaded question - if you see everything of Lee's having a nefarious, underlying motivation to it)
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2019, 05:12 PM   #3
byHismercy
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 412
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Mike,

Can you first go into or expound on the reference to digging brass? I googled the term and only found one verse combining digging with brass. Understanding it is an alloy, I don't understand what we are supposed to understand from the expression, or what you believe about it....what you are conveying with it.

Apart from that, I would like to see this conversation had between you brothers and sisters. I have to disagree with StoG regarding promoting Lee writings....I mean recordings. I don't have the standing of long research or depth of study that brothers here display, I only have my experiences in the Lord, and what I believe He gifted me, a discerning of spirits.

I would NEVER promote Lee material to my children, (therefore to no one else), nor keep it in my home, just the same as I would never let the peace symbol (which is actually the cross of Christ smashed, broken, and turned upside down within a circle, which Satanists use in their rituals), or children's literature promoting witchcraft, indian`medicine', or any other false thing, or physical altars to idols.....etc abide in my home because God is a jealous God, and because I want to shut the door to our enemy, full stop. He is not allowed in my home or life.

My personal experience with `The Ministry' material was, when I discovered the uplifting of Lee, I burned all the material in my fireplace. The demon that came out of that was in my face that night and was sent away via the authority in Jesus name. I have spoken about that before here, and I appreciate so much the brothers thoughtful, well read, historical study of this group, and I also trust the Lord and what He reveals to me in spirit. One example, and what I appreciate lately, is how I was kept so much in the dark by the group, but the Lord led me slowly to light and led me out in spite of the hidden stuff, which, now aware of, I disagree with. I hope this isn't too much of a tangent.
byHismercy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2019, 08:07 PM   #4
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Mike,

I’m amazed at your statements regarding Bible inerrancy. Psalm 119:60 says “The entirety of Your words are truth”.

https://biblehub.com/psalms/119-160.htm
See also the verses in Treasury of Scripture cited here.

Here is a link to a general discussion of this topic

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm...allibility.cfm

Books have been written on this topic defending inerrancy. So I won’t attempt doing it on a discussion board.
__________________
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 12-20-2019, 08:17 PM   #5
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

https://books.google.com/books?id=tY...page&q&f=false

One of the more well known books on biblical inerrancy.

Lee Stroebel mentions interviewing the author in his book “The Case for Christ” which has a good discussion about alleged errors in the Bible.
__________________
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 12-20-2019, 08:43 PM   #6
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 433
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by byHismercy View Post
My personal experience with `The Ministry' material was, when I discovered the uplifting of Lee, I burned all the material in my fireplace. The demon that came out of that was in my face that night and was sent away via the authority in Jesus name. I have spoken about that before here, and I appreciate so much the brothers thoughtful, well read, historical study of this group, and I also trust the Lord and what He reveals to me in spirit. One example, and what I appreciate lately, is how I was kept so much in the dark by the group, but the Lord led me slowly to light and led me out in spite of the hidden stuff, which, now aware of, I disagree with. I hope this isn't too much of a tangent.
Wow! I had not read that anywhere in your posts before. Thanks for sharing that experience.
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2019, 08:44 PM   #7
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 433
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Mike,

I’m amazed at your statements regarding Bible inerrancy. Psalm 119:60 says “The entirety of Your words are truth”.

https://biblehub.com/psalms/119-160.htm
See also the verses in Treasury of Scripture cited here.

Here is a link to a general discussion of this topic

https://www.blueletterbible.org/Comm...allibility.cfm

Books have been written on this topic defending inerrancy. So I won’t attempt doing it on a discussion board.
I also have a hesitation on that too. All Scripture is God-breathed. Can God breathe errors?
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2019, 09:33 PM   #8
byHismercy
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 412
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
Wow! I had not read that anywhere in your posts before. Thanks for sharing that experience.
Yes, no problem, Trapped. All you have to do is mention Jesus the Savior in the presence of the right person (harboring the wrong demon) and you sometimes witness the switch flip. You are no longer simply talking to some person.
byHismercy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-20-2019, 09:39 PM   #9
byHismercy
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 412
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I also have a hesitation on that too. All Scripture is God-breathed. Can God breathe errors?
Amen amen He does not make mistakes. I'm still not sure what Mike is meaning, but the word about digging brass, while impossible to do with man, is possible if the Lord says so. My immediate take away from this verse is that the Lord is saying if you dig into the word, and unearth truths via the Spirit, you can get results that are like brass....a wonderfully useful and functional alloy. Something very good...
byHismercy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2019, 06:05 AM   #10
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,167
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by byHismercy View Post
Can you first go into or expound on the reference to digging brass? I googled the term and only found one verse combining digging with brass. Understanding it is an alloy, I don't understand what we are supposed to understand from the expression, or what you believe about it....what you are conveying with it.
I do not recall what version I was reading when I first came accross this years ago. It was probably when I was near 20, so 40+ years ago. It is not that it is some heinous error, but that it is a statement that on its face is not accurate. No one has a problem with it, but there are many other references that would be scientifically incorrect. You don't dig brass, but its components. The sun, moon, and stars do not move through the sky — we rotate on an axis which gives the illusion of the movement we think we see.

These are examples of places where "facts" of nature are made in the Bible that we know to be incorrect. But that is how the people of the day would understand what was going on. If God was inspiring an "inerrant" book, he would have seen to it that everything was factually accurate. He wouldn't have left so many things only partly explained, but would have fleshed them all out.

Instead, we find in the Bible stories/narratives in which we learn progressively more and more about God. It starts with one of the most compressed narratives imaginable. Creation — a grand and complex series of events — is described as a six-part play that can best be described as "summary." Only a very brief description that probably doesn' really describe any of the actual steps or actions but one — God did it. Did he only speak six times, once each day over the course of six days? Or was there something much more complex that is simplified into those 6 steps because the point was not the details of how the earth was made, but the fact that God made it? And because that was the goal, the description is far from scientifically "accurate." The earth itself constantly reveals its age as many times greater than 6,000 or so years.

Now there are clearly some miracles in the Bible that deny the ability to be scientific. And one of them could have been creating the earth in 6 literal days while hiding artifacts of billions of years for us to find. But it seems kind of capricious to have gone to all that trouble if the earth was really just brand new when Adam walked on the earth.

Then we get to the recording of battles in the OT. Was the annihilation of enemies that we know continued to exist an error of God? Or was it that men, in an era when those kinds of overstatements were the norm when writing of battle victories, wrote the words? Therefore the description is partly bravado on the part of man, not some "error" in the word-by-word dictation by God. So God didn't write everything in the Bible?

And if God was going to dictate it word-by-word, why wouldn't he write in a consistent voice and style? Why write simply for some, and in a more complex way for others (like Paul)? Peter wouldn't have written like Paul if he was the writer. But if God was really the writer, he suddenly has a much more robust language to use. But he didn't.

Instead, for the OT, we have the writings (or eventual recording of the oral stories) that men wrote/spoke after events in which they encountered God. The coming to Abraham and making a promise. The miraculous intervention in Egypt when he lied about Sarah being his sister. The saving of Jacob and his clan from the famine. The rescue from Egypt generations later. And so on. It is more difficult to discuss the prophets as it is likely that it is more than just men writing down what has happened. Yet even there, the particular words may not have been laid out, but only the sense of what was to be covered.

The NT is full of eye-witness accounts of events and statements, but even they do not simply record precisely what was said, but rather the things that impressed each of them. Consider that there are 2 different versions of the words Jesus used when telling the disciples how to pray. Is it "debts" or "trespasses?" It was only said once, but there are two different renderings. Is one "wrong" and the other "right?" In literal terms that would have to be the case. But in terms of the narrative that the two different writers were creating, they used different words — at least in Greek.

The point is that while there may be certain kinds of inconsistencies, and even errors in what is written down, the truth about God is learned a little more in each account. The first oral narratives provide grand themes, but no much details. The histories provide more, but also a lot of factual history of Israel that may not always be given in the manner that we would forensically call "facts" in this day and age. The gospels tell bits and pieces from Jesus' ministry, the most troublesome being John's gospel because it was not strictly chronological and covered many different things than what the other three did. They sometimes seem as if they are covering a different person.

Even where you think there might be something hinky in the narrative, do you learn about God? That is profitable for teaching. Probably not the part where the Israelites waxed barbaric in their description of the defeat of some enemy.

I realize that my analysis might make some question the Bible. But I don't. I just recognize the fallibilities of the writers and choose to see God revealed in the narrative.

And since there was not a complete "Bible" as we know it when Paul wrote that thing about "all scripture," why do we think that simply because it is included in the book that we call the Bible that it is all that there really is to "scripture?" Scripture is profitable for teaching. Reproof. Correction. Instruction in righteousness.

"Break their teeth in their heads" doesn't sound very instructive. But "God so loved the world" does. And the evidence of the whole of the Biblical narrative is that he does love the world.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2019, 06:12 AM   #11
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by byHismercy View Post
Amen amen He does not make mistakes. I'm still not sure what Mike is meaning, but the word about digging brass, while impossible to do with man, is possible if the Lord says so. My immediate take away from this verse is that the Lord is saying if you dig into the word, and unearth truths via the Spirit, you can get results that are like brass....a wonderfully useful and functional alloy. Something very good...
Right, brass is an alloy of elements mined from the ground (copper and zinc) that even can sometimes be found together https://uwaterloo.ca/earth-sciences-...-articles/zinc.

And, I can think of many reasons why a king and his city/state would have been wiped out completely by the children of Israel in a battle on a given day then it’s people re-emerge later from citizens not there on that day (men and even families away on business, holiday, AWOL, etc).
__________________
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 12-21-2019, 06:14 AM   #12
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,167
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
I’m amazed at your statements regarding Bible inerrancy. Psalm 119:60 says “The entirety of Your words are truth”.
You are presuming that everything that ended out between "in the Beginning" and "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus" (I left out the less clearly unique last verse) are all "words of God." But there are many words in the Bible that are not the words of God. (Note there is a difference between the "Word of God" and the "words of God.") All of the words that are given as statements of God are true. But much of the Bible is not "statements of God" unless you insist on an otherwise unstated premise that the Bible is word-by-word dictated by God. And the Bible does not say that.

But even that does not grant the words of the serpent as being "words of God." They are not God's words, but the serpent's.

Take care concerning what is actually said in any verse. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the clutches of yet another huckster like Lee.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2019, 06:44 AM   #13
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,167
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
I also have a hesitation on that too. All Scripture is God-breathed. Can God breathe errors?
What was inspired? To write from what was seen or heard? Or to write specific words that were not otherwise already in the head of the writer? Was the inspiration dictation, or just the nudging to put to writing what was there in front of them or in their minds already? Probably some combinations given the diversity of content. And I'm sure that when someone said "thus saith the Lord," that there was probably some amount of dictation involved because it was God speaking. But do you think that the scribes that chronicled the events of the times of the kings wrote down only what was dictated to them by God? Or did they chronicle the major events of those kings? Was the inspiration in the words used, or in the fact that they wrote at all?

And if it was not all "breathed" (dictated) then any errors (as we now understand them) would not be God's. So your incredulity that God might be credited with speaking an error is solely founded in the insistence that every word is dictated through the inspiration of God. That is something that even Paul did not say. He did not specify what is scripture other than to identify it with being a sound base for teaching, etc.

And if you are needing to read every fortune cookie (what you get when you rip a verse from its context) and find "truth" in it, then you need an inerrant Bible. But if the whole of the subject being written on is the point, then the specific words become less important. For example, in 1 Cor 15, Paul talks for many verses about the kind of body we will receive at the resurrection. During that discussion, he says something about the last Adam that, in context, has nothing to do with the trinity, but as a fortune cookie, was thought to be (by Lee) a declaration that Jesus became the Holy Spirit. Ignoring Lee's error, if God dictated it, why didn't he just give them a precise definition instead of talking all around it and coming to no absolute conclusion?

And why isn't the debate over Calvinism v Arminianism settled clearly? That has been a problem in the church for centuries. Surely God saw that coming. Yet there remain verses that, when viewed under either microscope, are problematic. Might it be that the parts that everyone thinks are so important are more like filler in the narrative that was really talking about something else? In other words, the particular words were not the point. Rather the thrust of the whole was it and the words used were not really that important.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2019, 06:57 AM   #14
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
You are presuming that everything that ended out between "in the Beginning" and "Amen. Come, Lord Jesus" (I left out the less clearly unique last verse) are all "words of God." But there are many words in the Bible that are not the words of God. (Note there is a difference between the "Word of God" and the "words of God.") All of the words that are given as statements of God are true. But much of the Bible is not "statements of God" unless you insist on an otherwise unstated premise that the Bible is word-by-word dictated by God. And the Bible does not say that.

But even that does not grant the words of the serpent as being "words of God." They are not God's words, but the serpent's.

Take care concerning what is actually said in any verse. Otherwise, you might find yourself in the clutches of yet another huckster like Lee.
I’m not presuming anything different than generations of Christians have regarding “the canon of scripture” being God’s words. And, if you want to take that topic on these boards.... well...really? I suspect Unto Him will move that discussion to Alternative Views. We should probably talk about your other points in the OP.
__________________
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 12-21-2019, 07:27 AM   #15
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Seems my original question got quickly lost, so I thought it beneficial to present it again:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
But I think first, before jumping into all the details, it would be good to give the overall theme and purpose the book is conveying. What do you see is the main idea Lee is trying to present in this? (and that could be a loaded question - if you see everything of Lee's having a nefarious, underlying motivation to it)
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2019, 11:11 AM   #16
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,167
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
I’m not presuming anything different than generations of Christians have regarding “the canon of scripture” being God’s words. And, if you want to take that topic on these boards.... well...really? I suspect Unto Him will move that discussion to Alternative Views. We should probably talk about your other points in the OP.
We have already had a discussion on inerrancy. Needless to say, what is inerrant if we can't agree on what it says? Or is inerrant a term to put on top of our version of what it means so we can dismiss what others think it means?

I am not trying to say that the canon of scripture is invalid. Or that what we learn of God is diminished. But at the same time, the words used are not defined (by the Bible) as being inerrant. Neither are they described as dictated word-by-word by God.

The word translated as "inspired" or "God-breathed" does not simply mean dictated. We use it to refer to varying degrees of connection between one thing and another. Like a movie "inspired by the book" which is similar to, but not exactly like the book. Or is a story that is sort of like the book but has none of the same characters. Either could be "inspired" by something.

The problem with making a general statement like "generations of Christians" is that you presume that because they may have used a common word in some part of what they said that they mean the exact same thing. Two different groups using the same flowery verbiage concerning what scripture does and doesn't say stand and call the others heretics for their differing insistence that the Bible says "X" or "Y" in a certain place. Calling the words on the page "inerrant" really does not solve anything. It just works as a club to beat others over the head with.

In other words, the claim of inerrancy is almost always associated with "my way" of understanding the words I am reading. That makes inerrancy of no practical importance. But to say that the Bible (scripture) is profitable for teaching, etc., is without controversy (ignoring skeptics and unbelievers). But we do not presume to think that our mission is to hamstring all of the heathen (what some of Jacob's sons did to a neighboring tribe). So even the declaration that scripture is profitable for teaching does not mean that everything that God's people did (and is recorded in the Bible) is profitable for teaching/imitation. What else would you do with that, unless it is not really the point of the scripture, but an account of history that reveals mankind along with the God that slowly brings them to where they needed to be for the coming of the Messiah?

It was not necessary that God dictate those words. No matter how you tell it, you get the picture. But what is important is where God fits into the story. That is what is revealed. He is not revealed in the action of hamstringing the nearby tribe. He is revealed in the whole of the process of saving them from themselves, and eventually from famine. So the fact that it became part of the oral history is "inspired" by God.

If you want a better example of the unimportance of word-by-word dictation, read the various English translations and see that you ultimately get the same information. Even the very different Message translation mostly conveys the same thing while using words and phrases so different that if you are not paying attention, you may not recognize where in the Bible you are because it doesn't sound like the KJV, NASB, NIV, etc. translation that you may be used to. But either way, there is teaching, instruction in righteousness, etc., that is profitable.

But if you are seeking the Christian equivalent of a book of incantations and magical phrases, expect to be disappointed because it is not a book of crafted words that have special powers. (please understand this as a little over-the-top) It is a book of the progressive revelation of God in his relationship with man.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2019, 01:09 PM   #17
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,167
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Look, if all anyone wants to do is try to read into my statements about the Bible something that I did not actually say, then I have to wonder whether you read the rest, or just want a straw man to beat up. I did not say the Bible is useless or that it was just made up by man. But lots of Christians over the ages have also understood it to be the writings of men of God who in their writings gave evidence of God and his intent toward Israel and toward mankind in general. They did not all believe that God wrote the words using their hands, or that they heard audible voices dictating the words. "Word-by-word" is not supported in anything that you can find in scripture. The opinions of a lot of theologians do not make it so.

But I still believe virtually everything that you do concerning what comes out of the Bible (well, unless you believe in Christ becoming the Holy Spirit or something else like that). So while I have a problem with the unsupported claims of verbal perfection and inerrancy, I get out of it what you do. So what is the problem? That I don't hold the Bible — a book, not God himself — in high enough esteem? The Word that became flesh was not the Bible. It is Christ. The written word is letters that kill.

Well . . . I guess if it is going to kill me then it should at least be inerrant.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2019, 05:32 PM   #18
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

What is this book about!? (am I transmitting here . . . ?)
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2019, 05:39 PM   #19
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
What is this book about!? (am I transmitting here . . . ?)
According to Lee: “These are things you must know to have a balanced church life”
__________________
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 12-21-2019, 05:47 PM   #20
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
According to Lee: “These are things you must know to have a balanced church life”
No chicken dinner for you!

Someone else wanna give it a try?

What is this book about!?
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-21-2019, 10:57 PM   #21
Trapped
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Posts: 433
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

OBW - I read a little bit so far. I just have some comments but they won't be a well laid out as yours, and they probably won't be as deep as yours were either. To be honest they are mostly complaints as the more time passes the harder time I have reading anything of Lee or Nee. This is just what I have the time for at present.

The first thing I noticed is the phrase "church life", which was repeated three times in the first three sentences. This is a phrase commonly used within the local churches to refer to itself (i.e. "when I touched the church life" means what would typically be stated as "when I joined ABC Church"). So immediately it seems like Lee is stating that the local churches are special because they hold a Christian faith. This is, as usual, hand-in-hand with the viewpoint in the local churches that they are "it" and are the only expression of the Body, or, excuse me, the "practical" or "proper" expression of the Body.

"God" section: I don't know what the LCs get out of using the phrase "uniquely one" to describe God. I have checked out a number of other churches' statements of faith and they just use the word "one".

His "Christ" section is incredibly difficult to read because it's a handful of words broken up by parenthetical verse references, repeated more times than I can count.

I also noticed too what you said that Lee says things like "genuine believers" or "genuine Christians". It's just another dividing, us-vs-them word.

While he does admit that some may disagree on OCOC, he then essentially calls anyone who does disagree an "improper Christian", by saying as "proper Christians" we have to believe OCOC.

Just a little further down Lee uses another phrases that chaps me, "so-called". The "so-called" Pentecostal people. There is too much haughtiness and arrogance in just the first few pages for me to stomach.

Although I just kept reading and it's interesting that in chapter 3 it gets more tolerable. He talks about the importance of accepting, for example, a Seventh Day Adventist brother comes to the LC and insists on their own keeping of the Sabbath, or accepting weaker saints who are afraid of eating food sacrificed to idols. I don't disagree there.

Sorry if this isn't the kind of response you were looking for; this is just my reaction as I read the first few pages.

StG - While I haven't read the entire book, it has come up often in conversations with LCers who do see issues in the LC. Many try to "come back" to this book as the handbook for how to fix issues and how the church "should be". Essentially the book is supposed to be what things we have to contend for in the church, i.e. what is non-negotiable, what we cannot bend on (speciality), and then what things we can accept as different one from another but do not become contentious over (generality), and then how to carry out the "proper" church life using things that we may not insist on but realize they are the "best" practically for the carrying out of the church, e.g. pray-reading, etc. (practicality).
Trapped is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 07:18 AM   #22
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
What is this book about!?
This book is an aberration by WL. Those in the Midwest tried to use this book and the handbook "Beliefs and Practices of Local Churches" to wave off attacks from Anaheim 20 years ago. They weren't buying. Only they knew the "real WL," and the Midwest must not take this book or its teachings, as they love to say "out of context."
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 07:29 AM   #23
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
This book is an aberration by WL. Those in the Midwest tried to use this book and the handbook "Beliefs and Practices of Local Churches" to wave off attacks from Anaheim 20 years ago. They weren't buying. Only they knew the "real WL," and the Midwest must not take this book or its teachings, as they love to say "out of context."
No chicken dinner for you either!
Does anyone on here actually know what this book is trying to convey?! I'm beginning to think not, as no one yet has answered the simple question: What is this book about!?

It seems that if we are discussing the book, we should know this . . . or am I somehow way off in thinking this?
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 07:36 AM   #24
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
StG - While I haven't read the entire book, it has come up often in conversations with LCers who do see issues in the LC. Many try to "come back" to this book as the handbook for how to fix issues and how the church "should be". Essentially the book is supposed to be what things we have to contend for in the church, i.e. what is non-negotiable, what we cannot bend on (speciality), and then what things we can accept as different one from another but do not become contentious over (generality), and then how to carry out the "proper" church life using things that we may not insist on but realize they are the "best" practically for the carrying out of the church, e.g. pray-reading, etc. (practicality).
Sorry, I didn't see this earlier. Yes, that is perhaps a more detailed explanation, but I think that it can be conveyed in much simpler terms.

My simple take-away from this book was this: We are all one in Christ and should not divide ourselves over things that are not essentials of the faith.
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 08:25 AM   #25
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,867
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
LEE - The Specialty, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life In reading this book with some Ohio LC bros (back in the 80s), I had perhaps the strongest bubbling-up enjoyment of the Lord I've ever had.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
My simple take-away from this book was this: We are all one in Christ and should not divide ourselves over things that are not essentials of the faith.
So the strongest bubbling-up enjoyment of the Lord you've ever had was in realizing that we are all one in Christ and should not divide over things that are not essentials of the faith? Christians have been preaching and teaching this for about 2,000 years now...and we all have seen very mixed, if not very limited, success in actually seeing these lofty propositions get expressed in our church life. In looking at the history of the Local Church of Witness Lee, is there any doubt about the mixed and limited results of Lee and his followers?

To be clear, I'm all for the bubbling-up and enjoyment of the Lord! But in my experience and observation (43+years) the teachings and practices taught and fostered by Witness Lee and his followers eventually lead to a very divisive and haughty attitude towards other Christians. And for these reasons I would not recommend this book to any young person or anyone new to the Christian faith.

Here is an excerpt from the Forward to this book written by Benson Phillips:

Quote:
When the Body of Christ is divided, it loses everything; yet it has been divided again and again, mainly due to the overemphasis of certain beliefs other than those comprising the faith. Concerning the faith we must be very specific and particular, however, concerning the other things we must follow Paul’s example and be general, never insisting that others believe as we do To possess such a spirit of generality is the generality of the church life. If we are special and insist on anything other than the common faith, the oneness will surely be damaged, and divisions will occur.
Did Witness Lee or his followers EVER practice what Benson Phillips wrote here? Talk is cheap - especially super spiritual sounding platitudes coming from people like Benson Phillips, who has never had anything good to say about anybody that doesn't sing the praises of his acting god and deputy authority, Witness Lee. The "oneness" practiced in the Local Church is a bogus oneness. They are all talk and no action.

I love you my dear brother Sons to Glory! But you can keep your chicken dinner if it means that we have to give Nee or Lee credit for practicing what they preached.

-
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 01:45 PM   #26
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Oh, I'm sorry - I forgot everything on here has to be framed in nonstop Lee bashing! Regarding everything you stated - yes - it may be that many others have preached this and Lee didn't practice it. Nonetheless, it doesn't diminish the enjoyment of the Lord (which you seemed to belittle here bro) I had while reading that book . . . does it? (I think not)

Seriously folks, this thread seems to border on Lee-aphobia or something, to the point that having a simple back & forth isn't easy. Can't we just have a discussion without instantly going from zero to 100 MPH extremes?
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 05:11 PM   #27
byHismercy
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
Location: Pacific Northwest
Posts: 412
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Oh, I'm sorry - I forgot everything on here has to be framed in nonstop Lee bashing! Regarding everything you stated - yes - it may be that many others have preached this and Lee didn't practice it. Nonetheless, it doesn't diminish the enjoyment of the Lord (which you seemed to belittle here bro) I had while reading that book . . . does it? (I think not)

Seriously folks, this thread seems to border on Lee-aphobia or something, to the point that having a simple back & forth isn't easy. Can't we just have a discussion without instantly going from zero to 100 MPH extremes?
StoG, how about simply giving credit where credit is due? I am talking about the Lord, the word, and the Holy Spirit. You are not alone when you point to a teacher, speaker, or minister and say, 'See what great truths are released and uncovered by this one!!' When it is here in the word for us all, already, delivered, breathed out by the Father. It seems like it is easy to forget the source of all truth, and who authored it originally. Why credit Lee or Nee or any other, for that matter....if it did indeed come from God, and it is the truth, and you gained something wonderful, some light from it, then praise the Lord, brother! Any light in you is via the Holy Spirit given to you. Praise the source.

I know I don't care to hear these men being uplifted, and I really really don't care for others to expect me to uplift alongside. Sorry. To God be all the glory!
byHismercy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 05:37 PM   #28
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
No chicken dinner for you either!
Does anyone on here actually know what this book is trying to convey?! I'm beginning to think not, as no one yet has answered the simple question: What is this book about!?

It seems that if we are discussing the book, we should know this . . . or am I somehow way off in thinking this?
Some how, some way, some where, way off, yes indeed.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 05:58 PM   #29
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Oh, I'm sorry - I forgot everything on here has to be framed in nonstop Lee bashing!
Sorry Sons to Glory! I thought you were going to use this book to bash the rest of us. I was confused.

I think UntoHim was right on point to mention current LSM president Benson Philip. His "Forward" in this book further states:
Quote:
Those of us who were in those meetings when these messages were released can never forget their timeliness or impact.

The vision of all these points was deeply wrought into us.
It has been said that Benson Philips incorporates the ministry, the heart, and the mind of Witness Lee. None on earth was as absolutely one with Lee as he. That's why he was appointed President and chief Blended in the Recovery.

Obviously from his Forward, Benson also "had perhaps the strongest bubbling-up enjoyment of the Lord" as you had back in 1971. That's what he said anyways. How then could Benson, with such "vision" wrought into his being, send his DCP operatives into the Midwest to lay waste all the LC's due to the young people playing electric guitars in their gatherings? And TC printing a few obscure books?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 06:10 PM   #30
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by byHismercy View Post
StoG, how about simply giving credit where credit is due? I am talking about the Lord, the word, and the Holy Spirit. You are not alone when you point to a teacher, speaker, or minister and say, 'See what great truths are released and uncovered by this one!!' When it is here in the word for us all, already, delivered, breathed out by the Father. It seems like it is easy to forget the source of all truth, and who authored it originally. Why credit Lee or Nee or any other, for that matter....if it did indeed come from God, and it is the truth, and you gained something wonderful, some light from it, then praise the Lord, brother! Any light in you is via the Holy Spirit given to you. Praise the source.

I know I don't care to hear these men being uplifted, and I really really don't care for others to expect me to uplift alongside. Sorry. To God be all the glory!
Bravo! Bravo!

Time to prayread James 1.16-17
Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers,

All good giving and every perfect gift is from above,

Coming down from the Father of lights
.

__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 06:38 PM   #31
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,867
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Seriously folks, this thread seems to border on Lee-aphobia or something, to the point that having a simple back & forth isn't easy. Can't we just have a discussion without instantly going from zero to 100 MPH extremes?
Well, Sons to Glory!, it was you who started off at about 95 MPH with your:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
I had perhaps the strongest bubbling-up enjoyment of the Lord I've ever had.
Sorry if my radar gun is a little off....but you were still way over the speed limit with your "strongest bubbling-up" blast. Can't we just have a discussion without someone giving the credit to Witness Lee for something that he had little or nothing to do with? My brother, I'm sure you really did have a bubbling-up enjoyment of the Lord. What I'm disputing is that it came from something Witness Lee spoke and got edited into a book. I think your bubbling-up enjoyment of the Lord came from the Lord himself. Thank him, praise him and give him the glory, and forget about some dude who has been discredited and debunked to the point that he does not deserve to be even mentioned as someone who was so key to your enjoyment of the Lord. Your enjoyment of the Lord (bubbling-up or not) had/has NOTHING to do with Witness Lee, or anything he ever spoke or wrote. And of this I am quite certain. If you believe otherwise, you are more than welcome to give us your testimony. Nobody can take that away from you my dear brother. And this is what this forum is all about. You have your testimony. I have my testimony. Neither is more valuable than the other. And of this I am quite certain as well.
-
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 08:15 PM   #32
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Well we're all getting a little revved-up over nothing here probably. . .

The book, standing alone on the merits of the words on the written page, is good IMHO, and I heard from the Anointing while reading it. Plain and simple. I provided no commentary other than that, regarding the author or any of his motives. Nor did I say anything remotely resembling, "I got this great bubbling-up from WL himself!" (really absurd to even think that) But I am guilty, at least, of speaking something positive about a book that was sourced in Witness Lee's speaking, on a forum that is obviously quite biased against anything of WL.

So, my endorsement regarding this one book might lead some here to say, "StG is all in the tank for WL and the LC!" We humans do seek to categorize things in the extreme.

Again, there is nothing wrong with the simple, basic theme of this book, which I'll state here again (in case anybody missed it): We are all one in Christ and should not divide ourselves over things that are not essentials of the faith.

So Ima gonna pull it out . . . . here it comes . . . . wait for it (bro Ohio loves this)

>>>>Let's move on . . . nothing to see here as far as I'm concerned!
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-22-2019, 08:51 PM   #33
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
The book, standing alone on the merits of the words on the written page, is good IMHO, and I heard from the Anointing while reading it. Plain and simple. I provided no commentary other than that, regarding the author or any of his motives.
I agree, it's a good book, most of it anyway. It was the public face of the movement. It reinforced the idealism behind the oneness of the body so often talked about in the Recovery. It's just too bad that we never saw it put into practice. Our former LC in Columbus was laid waste by these same people.

The difficulty here is in removing the context. Here's a bad analogy, on par with your "dead horse." Appreciating a few of WL's books on this forum is like finding a few healthy patients of a doctor just busted for a long list of malpractice suits. The guy didn't even have a license to practice, but someone just got overly excited because his headache is gone, and his fever broke. He feels great. Who can blame him?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2019, 02:41 AM   #34
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Trapped View Post
The first thing I noticed is the phrase "church life", which was repeated three times in the first three sentences. This is a phrase commonly used within the local churches to refer to itself (i.e. "when I touched the church life" means what would typically be stated as "when I joined ABC Church"). So immediately it seems like Lee is stating that the local churches are special because they hold a Christian faith. This is, as usual, hand-in-hand with the viewpoint in the local churches that they are "it" and are the only expression of the Body, or, excuse me, the "practical" or "proper" expression of the Body.

"God" section: I don't know what the LCs get out of using the phrase "uniquely one" to describe God. I have checked out a number of other churches' statements of faith and they just use the word "one".

His "Christ" section is incredibly difficult to read because it's a handful of words broken up by parenthetical verse references, repeated also noticed too what you said that Lee says things like "genuine believers" or "genuine Christians". It's just another dividing, us-vs-them word.

While he does admit that some may disagree on OCOC, he then essentially calls anyone who does disagree an "improper Christian", by saying as "proper Christians" we have to believe OCOC.

Just a little further down Lee uses another phrases that chaps me, "so-called". The "so-called" Pentecostal people. There is too much haughtiness and arrogance in just the first few pages for me to stomach..
Trapped,

I agree that Lee's work is shot through with a tone of judgment and sectarian division, using code words like "genuine", "proper" and whatnot to control the flock. If you look at any HWMR outline it's littered with such stock phrases, reinforcing the prior mental conditioning that what is "in" (the fabled "church life") is good and desirable, and what is "outside" is at best to be tolerated. (But the fire-breathers have permission to reject everything but the words of ministry).

Yet only Jesus is "proper" and "genuine". That is at the root of the gospel and our Christian faith. To somehow wrap ourselves in this mantle, whilst pushing others away, is self-deception. And these books strike me as such.

Again, I also am much self-deceived. But I'm not selling my books and starting training centers. I'm just pointing out why this book doesn't carry much stock with me.
__________________
"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 12-23-2019, 05:37 AM   #35
Nell
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

1 Corinthians 4:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)

7 For who regards you as superior or what sets you apart as special? What do you have that you did not receive [from another]? And if in fact you received it [from God or someone else], why do you boast as if you had not received it [but had gained it by yourself]?
Nell is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2019, 05:44 AM   #36
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I agree, it's a good book, most of it anyway. It was the public face of the movement. It reinforced the idealism behind the oneness of the body so often talked about in the Recovery. It's just too bad that we never saw it put into practice. Our former LC in Columbus was laid waste by these same people.

The difficulty here is in removing the context. Here's a bad analogy, on par with your "dead horse." Appreciating a few of WL's books on this forum is like finding a few healthy patients of a doctor just busted for a long list of malpractice suits. The guy didn't even have a license to practice, but someone just got overly excited because his headache is gone, and his fever broke. He feels great. Who can blame him?
Thanks for that - shows some good understanding! As I hope saints on here know, I am no endorser of WL. The Anointing spoke clearly and very enjoyably to me through that book. It's one of perhaps a couple top take-aways* I've had from the LC experience. The principle set out in it, of not separating from other believers because of things nonessential to the faith, is something that guides me even now. And yes, so very sad it wasn't practiced in the LC!!!

* the other big take-away from the LC was the open meeting concept - encouraging all to share Christ with one another. (alas, this practice has been subverted in the LC now with the hyper focus on all things WL)
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2019, 06:45 AM   #37
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Thanks for that - shows some good understanding! As I hope saints on here know, I am no endorser of WL. The Anointing spoke clearly and very enjoyably to me through that book. It's one of perhaps a couple top take-aways* I've had from the LC experience. The principle set out in it, of not separating from other believers because of things nonessential to the faith, is something that guides me even now. And yes, so very sad it wasn't practiced in the LC!!!

* the other big take-away from the LC was the open meeting concept - encouraging all to share Christ with one another. (alas, this practice has been subverted in the LC now with the hyper focus on all things WL)
Personally, and I have spoken to this on several occasions, I think it is positive and quite healthy to have these "takeaways" from the LC experience. Do not "all things work together for good?" One Christian counselor Gary Smalley called this practice, "treasure hunting." Should we not learn from the experiences of Bible characters such as Joseph, the son of Jacob.

To hold on to these precious experiences is actually to believe in a loving Savior. Let's give Him all the glory.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-23-2019, 06:53 AM   #38
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
To hold on to these precious experiences is actually to believe in a loving Savior. Let's give Him all the glory.
Yes and Amen!
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-25-2019, 04:07 AM   #39
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
We have already had a discussion on inerrancy. Needless to say, what is inerrant if we can't agree on what it says? Or is inerrant a term to put on top of our version of what it means so we can dismiss what others think it means?

I am not trying to say that the canon of scripture is invalid. Or that what we learn of God is diminished. But at the same time, the words used are not defined (by the Bible) as being inerrant. Neither are they described as dictated word-by-word by God.

The word translated as "inspired" or "God-breathed" does not simply mean dictated. We use it to refer to varying degrees of connection between one thing and another. Like a movie "inspired by the book" which is similar to, but not exactly like the book. Or is a story that is sort of like the book but has none of the same characters. Either could be "inspired" by something.

The problem with making a general statement like "generations of Christians" is that you presume that because they may have used a common word in some part of what they said that they mean the exact same thing. Two different groups using the same flowery verbiage concerning what scripture does and doesn't say stand and call the others heretics for their differing insistence that the Bible says "X" or "Y" in a certain place. Calling the words on the page "inerrant" really does not solve anything. It just works as a club to beat others over the head with.

In other words, the claim of inerrancy is almost always associated with "my way" of understanding the words I am reading. That makes inerrancy of no practical importance. But to say that the Bible (scripture) is profitable for teaching, etc., is without controversy (ignoring skeptics and unbelievers). But we do not presume to think that our mission is to hamstring all of the heathen (what some of Jacob's sons did to a neighboring tribe). So even the declaration that scripture is profitable for teaching does not mean that everything that God's people did (and is recorded in the Bible) is profitable for teaching/imitation. What else would you do with that, unless it is not really the point of the scripture, but an account of history that reveals mankind along with the God that slowly brings them to where they needed to be for the coming of the Messiah?

It was not necessary that God dictate those words. No matter how you tell it, you get the picture. But what is important is where God fits into the story. That is what is revealed. He is not revealed in the action of hamstringing the nearby tribe. He is revealed in the whole of the process of saving them from themselves, and eventually from famine. So the fact that it became part of the oral history is "inspired" by God.

If you want a better example of the unimportance of word-by-word dictation, read the various English translations and see that you ultimately get the same information. Even the very different Message translation mostly conveys the same thing while using words and phrases so different that if you are not paying attention, you may not recognize where in the Bible you are because it doesn't sound like the KJV, NASB, NIV, etc. translation that you may be used to. But either way, there is teaching, instruction in righteousness, etc., that is profitable.

But if you are seeking the Christian equivalent of a book of incantations and magical phrases, expect to be disappointed because it is not a book of crafted words that have special powers. (please understand this as a little over-the-top) It is a book of the progressive revelation of God in his relationship with man.
OK you don’t like the word “inerrant” and think to use a term like that is to hamstring the gentiles. Let’s use the words the Bible (Psalm 119) uses. The Bible is righteousness (or true depending on translation) and altogether faithful. Was it not inspired word for word? When I read the collection of verses the authors used to describe its origins (below) it is hard to argue otherwise. But, perhaps we should stick to using the words the verses use so we are not adding or taking away from it. The danger in going where you seem to be going (questioning the accuracy of some verses?, or am I misinterpreting what you said) is where then does one stop? Is that not opening a Pandora’s box that is kind of like what Lee did with the Psalms and James (picking parts that are “fallen human concepts from the tree of knowledge of good and evil” while others are “consistent with God’s economy and the tree of life”. Maybe doing that (cherry picking) is to hamstring the gentiles? Either way can we agree not to subtract or add to the Bible? Now here are the collection of verses and a summary:

2 Peter 1:21

https://biblehub.com/2_peter/1-21.htm see Cross References and Treasury of Scripture

Hebrews 1:1

https://biblehub.com/hebrews/1-1.htm

Psalms 119:138

https://biblehub.com/psalms/119-138.htm see Cross References and Treasury of Scripture

2 Peter 3:16

https://biblehub.com/2_peter/3-16.htm see Cross References and Treasury of Scripture.

Revelation 22:20

https://biblehub.com/revelation/22-20.htm


Summary: On many past occasions and in many different ways, God spoke to our (Hebrews’) fathers through the prophets.

No prophecy was ever brought forth by the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.

If there is a prophet among you, I, the LORD, will reveal Myself to him in a vision, I will speak to him in a dream

I (YWVH) speak with him (Moses) face to face, clearly and not in riddles; he sees the form of the LORD.

The Spirit of the LORD spoke through me (Samuel); His word was on my tongue.

The testimonies You (the Lord) have laid down are righteous and altogether faithful.

The word of the LORD came directly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the Kebar River. And there the LORD's hand was upon him (Ezekiel 1). See Cross References in Ezekiel 1:3 too regarding other times Ezekiel wrote of.

Afterward (Peter interpreted this as corresponding to the day of Pentecost): I (God) will pour out My Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.

Paul wrote his letters with the wisdom God gave him. He writes this way in all his letters, speaking in them about such matters. Some parts of his letters are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction. Therefore, beloved, since you already know these things, be on your guard so that you will not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure standing.

Adding to or taking away from the book of Revelation takes ones right to the tree of life away and all of its curses are added to him. Adding or subtracting to scripture is dangerous. I apologize for adding the word inerrant.

JJ
__________________
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 12-30-2019, 01:23 PM   #40
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Since SonstoGlory mentioned this book in another thread, I thought I would look into it. I am not trying to rain on anyone's consideration of what is good about Lee's teachings. But I also am not sure that just letting everyone think that what they once thought was necessarily true is really beneficial for them or anyone else. He (and others) will have to decide whether they still want to hold to what they already think. But to withhold this alternative view just because of feelings seems to put emotions over truth, or at least the search for truth.

I don’t think we should litter that other thread with a discussion of this book, so I started a new one. It may not ever really go anywhere, but I thought it would be worthwhile to at least start through a look at one of Lee’s books in 2019 rather than just point back at previous threads that are as much as 10 years old or more, or not even on this forum (going back to the old Berean forum).

(Caveat: This post is long. If you don't like long posts, read it in pieces, or just ingore this thread. I wanted to get certain things out as a start, so this is what it is.)

The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life was from messages Lee gave in 1971 — about 1-1/2 years before I heard of the LC. It begins with some statements concerning the faith. According to Lee, the faith is “composed of the beliefs concerning the Bible, God, Christ, the work of Christ, salvation, and the church.”
So, Mike, where do you think this thread went? You started out looking at some of the points Lee made regarding articles of the faith we should hold on to. Do you think the responses and resulting discussion were effective regarding these things you brought up?

Generally speaking, I have little desire to disseminate all the detailed particulars of what Lee stated (regarding each of the main points of the faith we should adhere to). As I tried to say (apparently not very successfully, considering the heat I got from others) was that my main take-away was that we are all one in Christ and should not divide ourselves over things that are not essentials of the faith. Yes, that is a very basic and simple concept, and that was what the Anointing was conveying to me at that time. What the Anointing was showing me about practical oneness, had nothing to do with the true condition of the LCs or its leaders . . . it was just a a simple, enjoyable truth, that the Anointing wanted to impress on my young heart at that time.

Maybe a good question for this forum might be: What do we think are the main essentials of the faith that all believers should insist upon for fellowship?
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-30-2019, 07:28 PM   #41
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
So, Mike, where do you think this thread went? You started out looking at some of the points Lee made regarding articles of the faith we should hold on to. Do you think the responses and resulting discussion were effective regarding these things you brought up?

Generally speaking, I have little desire to disseminate all the detailed particulars of what Lee stated (regarding each of the main points of the faith we should adhere to). As I tried to say (apparently not very successfully, considering the heat I got from others) was that my main take-away was that we are all one in Christ and should not divide ourselves over things that are not essentials of the faith. Yes, that is a very basic and simple concept, and that was what the Anointing was conveying to me at that time. What the Anointing was showing me about practical oneness, had nothing to do with the true condition of the LCs or its leaders . . . it was just a a simple, enjoyable truth, that the Anointing wanted to impress on my young heart at that time.

Maybe a good question for this forum might be: What do we think are the main essentials of the faith that all believers should insist upon for fellowship?
I’m glad you brought this topic up. I’ve been wrestling with that question “what is the faith?” and what I thought about Lee’s definition of it in the book discussed here. So, before my thoughts I’ve put links to the only verses in the New Testament that actually use those two words (based on look into Greek Interlinear, not Just English versions that sometimes add or delete “the” to faith.

Jude 1:3 https://biblehub.com/jude/1-3.htm

Colossians 1:4-8 https://biblehub.com/bsb/colossians/1.htm

Acts 3:16 https://biblehub.com/bsb/acts/3.htm

1 Timothy 1:19 https://biblehub.com/blb/1_timothy/1.htm

So, it seems “the faith”:
Was once delivered to the saints and is something we are urged to contend for.

Is in Christ Jesus and together with love for all saints proceeds out from the hope that is stored up for us in heaven, about which we heard in the word of truth, the gospel that came to us through faithful ministers of the gospel and is bearing fruit and growing all over the world where it has been announced.

Is about Jesus Christ, the Author of life, who was killed after being delivered to death by his own people, but God raised Him from the dead, and the apostles were witnesses of the fact. It is by faith in the name of Jesus, crippled men are made whole and strong (not by the apostles own power or holiness).

Is pretty well spelled out (as well as what it is not) in Chapter 1 of 1 Timothy. Read the whole chapter. I won’t summarize, give critical points, give conclusions, crystallize, make outlines for training, put my digest (regurg?) in a HWFMR, or well you get the point.

Again, I end up much preferring what the Bible actually says, versus what Lee says. Dump Lee’s book, it didn’t produce the fruit the apostles say the the faith does.
__________________
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 12-31-2019, 08:13 AM   #42
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
I’m glad you brought this topic up. I’ve been wrestling with that question “what is the faith?” and what I thought about Lee’s definition of it in the book discussed here. So, before my thoughts I’ve put links to the only verses in the New Testament that actually use those two words (based on look into Greek Interlinear, not Just English versions that sometimes add or delete “the” to faith.

Jude 1:3 https://biblehub.com/jude/1-3.htm

Colossians 1:4-8 https://biblehub.com/bsb/colossians/1.htm

Acts 3:16 https://biblehub.com/bsb/acts/3.htm

1 Timothy 1:19 https://biblehub.com/blb/1_timothy/1.htm

So, it seems “the faith”:
Was once delivered to the saints and is something we are urged to contend for.

Is in Christ Jesus and together with love for all saints proceeds out from the hope that is stored up for us in heaven, about which we heard in the word of truth, the gospel that came to us through faithful ministers of the gospel and is bearing fruit and growing all over the world where it has been announced.

Is about Jesus Christ, the Author of life, who was killed after being delivered to death by his own people, but God raised Him from the dead, and the apostles were witnesses of the fact. It is by faith in the name of Jesus, crippled men are made whole and strong (not by the apostles own power or holiness).

Is pretty well spelled out (as well as what it is not) in Chapter 1 of 1 Timothy. Read the whole chapter. I won’t summarize, give critical points, give conclusions, crystallize, make outlines for training, put my digest (regurg?) in a HWFMR, or well you get the point.

Again, I end up much preferring what the Bible actually says, versus what Lee says. Dump Lee’s book, it didn’t produce the fruit the apostles say the the faith does.
Not going to dump the book bro, but I understand if it's quite tainted for many. We may not agree with all the specific particulars, but the basic thought is good as far as I'm concerned. (again, very sad the overall concept wasn't practiced in the LC)

Looking through the verses you cited, including 1st Timothy 1, I see very general references to "the faith." Are there more specific things we can pick-up regarding what the faith is, and what would those references be? Perhaps I am missing something in those verses . . .

Let me take a stab at this - if someone were to ask me what I thought the essentials of the faith were, I might say the following:
  1. Jesus Christ is the Son of God; God came in the flesh
  2. He lived on earth, died on the cross and God raised Him from the dead, to live forever more
  3. On the cross God put all our sins on Christ and paid the price for us to be fully reconciled to God
  4. If a person accepts God's free gift of reconciliation in Christ, they are saved and regenerated with a new life
So how's that? Do you think there's good scriptural backing for saying these are essentials we shouldn't compromise on? I thought of various things that could be added, but I don't know I would call them "essentials of the faith."
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019, 08:54 AM   #43
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Not going to dump the book bro, but I understand if it's quite tainted for many. We may not agree with all the specific particulars, but the basic thought is good as far as I'm concerned. (again, very sad the overall concept wasn't practiced in the LC)

Looking through the verses you cited, including 1st Timothy 1, I see very general references to "the faith." Are there more specific things we can pick-up regarding what the faith is, and what would those references be? Perhaps I am missing something in those verses . . .

Let me take a stab at this - if someone were to ask me what I thought the essentials of the faith were, I might say the following:
  1. Jesus Christ is the Son of God; God came in the flesh
  2. He lived on earth, died on the cross and God raised Him from the dead, to live forever more
  3. On the cross God put all our sins on Christ and paid the price for us to be fully reconciled to God
  4. If a person accepts God's free gift of reconciliation in Christ, they are saved and regenerated with a new life
So how's that? Do you think there's good scriptural backing for saying these are essentials we shouldn't compromise on? I thought of various things that could be added, but I don't know I would call them "essentials of the faith."
To me the essentials were given by Peter publicly on Pentecost.* God raised up Jesus, of this we are witnesses. ~Acts 2:32 Either Peter's witness is lie, or it is truth. If it is truth, then everything else points to this, and derives its own measure of truth by what degree it points to that. Anything that doesn't point to that is irrelevant at best.

Let me give an example: Paul's writing to the Corinthians. There's a lot of stuff going on there that isn't befitting of Christians. Everything, however, that Paul is less-than-enamored of, is because it's detracting the believers from the path of the gospel, and it ruins this very testimony to the unbelievers. If the believers are fornicating, getting drunk and stealing, then did Christ really rise? And if he did really rise, then why are they conducting themselves so terribly?

And so forth. The focal point of scripture is the agony that Christ bore on the cross, and the glories that followed. Either it's real, or it's not. Everything else is settled by this one proposition.

*Peter's sermon in Acts 2 was repeated almost verbatim in Acts 13 by the Gamaliel-trained urban Pharisee Paul. No stronger 'amen' could be given.
__________________
"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 12-31-2019, 08:56 AM   #44
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post

Let me take a stab at this - if someone were to ask me what I thought the essentials of the faith were, I might say the following:
  1. Jesus Christ is the Son of God; God came in the flesh
  2. He lived on earth, died on the cross and God raised Him from the dead, to live forever more
  3. On the cross God put all our sins on Christ and paid the price for us to be fully reconciled to God
  4. If a person accepts God's free gift of reconciliation in Christ, they are saved and regenerated with a new life
I definitely agree with this, and I think would only preface them with "God has created all things."
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019, 09:03 AM   #45
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Ohio, you and I were writing at the same time. I would also agree with all of this as well. I just have my own, simplified and stripped-down version, which I posted. But nothing that StG! posted really conflicts with what I said, or vice versa.

There is One God and Father, who created all things and loved us so much that He sent His Only-begotten Son. I mean, either this is real, or not. The acid test is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, which proves that the italicized sentence I wrote is truth. With out the resurrection, it's just wishful thinking. It has no real motive force.
__________________
"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 12-31-2019, 09:45 AM   #46
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

I used to think believing the resurrection was the key thing too. But then a brother told me about a person he worked with who was a very intelligent PhD. This person eventually said that he believed the resurrection happened. However, the brother said, he saw no change in this one's heart, speech or anything. He just believed that the resurrection was a historical fact. So he may have believed in the fact, but this alone - without acceptance & confession - did not translate to regeneration.

Now maybe for fellowship with other believers the resurrection is paramount - is that what you're saying?
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019, 09:48 AM   #47
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I definitely agree with this, and I think would only preface them with "God has created all things."
Do you think this is a prerequisite for fellowship or to be saved?
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019, 10:19 AM   #48
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
...a brother told me about a person he worked with who was a very intelligent PhD. This person eventually said that he believed the resurrection happened. However, the brother said, he saw no change in this one's heart, speech or anything. He just believed that the resurrection was a historical fact.
Good point. So my statement, of itself, may have been inadequate. But the second and necessary part may also be in Peter's speech in Acts 2.

Verse 37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and asked Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."


Believe the gospel (of Jesus' resurrection, given by Peter in Acts 2), repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ.
__________________
"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 12-31-2019, 10:50 AM   #49
UntoHim
Grateful Servant
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 2,867
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
I used to think believing the resurrection was the key thing too.
Actually the resurrection, and most specifically, our belief in it, are one of the keys to the Gospel, at least to the apostle Paul it was. Here's some verses from 1st Corinthians 15, a chapter we should all be very familiar with:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures, (vrs 3,4 -emphasis mine)

Unfortunately for the followers of Witness Lee, he pretty much ignored the beginning of this wonderful chapter (considering it "the low gospel") and instead chose to over-emphasis the latter part, and in the process completely misinterpreted what the apostle Paul was teaching. The entire chapter is speaking of resurrection, with the bodily resurrection of our Lord being the catalyst, the initiation, the inauguration of the resurrection of those who would believe in him. Paul couldn't have been any clearer - - it wasn't about what Jesus Christ became, but rather what became of his physical body. Through the resurrection - the raising, life-giving power of the Holy Spirit - Christ gained "a spiritual body". "It is raised a spiritual body" (vr 44) If Lee is right about verse 45 saying that Jesus Christ became the Holy Spirit, then it would follow that all the believers will become life-giving S(s)pirits at the resurrection. Thankfully, Lee's crazy teachings only have an influence on that tiny little sect down the street from Disneyland.
-
__________________
Now Unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us (Ephesians 3:20)
UntoHim is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 12-31-2019, 05:39 PM   #50
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Ohio, you and I were writing at the same time. I would also agree with all of this as well. I just have my own, simplified and stripped-down version, which I posted. But nothing that StG! posted really conflicts with what I said, or vice versa.

There is One God and Father, who created all things and loved us so much that He sent His Only-begotten Son. I mean, either this is real, or not. The acid test is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, which proves that the italicized sentence I wrote is truth. With out the resurrection, it's just wishful thinking. It has no real motive force.
Evolution is the greatest hoax ever inflicted on mankind. If there is no God who created, then no incarnation, no death, no resurrection.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2020, 04:12 AM   #51
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
If there is no God who created, then no incarnation, no death, no resurrection.
God as Creator is so obvious as to not need to be stated.

"I'm now communicating to you via computer by writing in English."

Yes, we get that. Or should.

The problem with defining God is that we become creators, of our concepts. Look at Marcion: he had an evil (OT) Creator God and a good (NT) Redeeming God. What a mess.

Or Witness Lee: Jesus is God the Father.

Or Witness Lee Iteration II: "We become God, but not in the Godhead"

The Church was sundered twice over defining God: First Chalcedon on defining God's "nature" (in the 5th century several "oriental orthodox" [Syrian, Egyptian, Armenian, Ethiopian etc] churches split off) then the Great Schism in 1054 over the "sent Spirit". (Or some such. It's all so resolutely, obtusely and depressingly naiive that I can hardly crawl through it).

The goal is to love one another in deed and not in word only. Any wranglings over words and terms and concepts that distracts should be avoided. The Little Flock and Local Church are Exhibits A and B. Unfortunately there are many, many other examples should one look around.
__________________
"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 01-01-2020, 05:45 AM   #52
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
God as Creator is so obvious as to not need to be stated.

"I'm now communicating to you via computer by writing in English."

Yes, we get that. Or should.
In adding "God as Creator" I considered how Genesis and John's Gospel began with creation. Hebrews says, "to come forward must believe that He is."

There was a long period of history where you were right -- God as Creator was so obvious that mentioning it was redundant. Not so today. Accepting a Creator is the preface to any statement of the common faith.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2020, 05:59 AM   #53
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
In adding "God as Creator" I considered how Genesis and John's Gospel began with creation. Hebrews says, "to come forward must believe that He is."

There was a long period of history where you were right -- God as Creator was so obvious that mentioning it was redundant. Not so today. Accepting a Creator is the preface to any statement of the common faith.
I probably err on the side of parsimony. But I do so deliberately, knowing that I'm part of a larger discussion.
__________________
"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 01-01-2020, 07:31 AM   #54
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I probably err on the side of parsimony.
Is that some type of garnish?
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2020, 01:09 PM   #55
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Things a copied from 1 Timothy 1 that (I think) are part of the faith:

God’s stewardship, which is in faith, the goal of which love out of a pure heart, and a good conscience, and a sincere faith;

holding faith and a good conscience;

Christ Jesus our Lord came into the world to save sinners, and give them eternal life;

He is King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, and to Him goes honor and glory to the ages of the ages.

There is also a long list of things not included.
__________________
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 01-01-2020, 04:21 PM   #56
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I probably err on the side of parsimony.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Is that some type of garnish?
Sorry STG, but to really understand this word we must break it down into its components -- "parse" and "money" -- which means to separate a pile of money into various denominations.

So it sounds to me like aron just got himself a wad of cash for a New Year's bonus, and needs the rest of us to help him divvy it up.

Am I missing something?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-01-2020, 04:23 PM   #57
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Sorry STG, but to really understand this word we must break it down into its components -- "parse" and "money" -- which means to separate a pile of money into various denominations.

So it sounds to me like aron just got himself a wad of cash for a New Year's bonus, and needs the rest of us to help him divvy it up.

Am I missing something?
See - that's why we need scholars around, such as yourself, to splain these things clearly!

Aron - should we all PM you with our addresses?
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2020, 02:59 AM   #58
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
See - that's why we need scholars around, such as yourself, to splain these things clearly!

Aron - should we all PM you with our addresses?
They don't let me use highfalutin words in church so I do it here under the cloak of anonymity.

Back to the topic:

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Even where you think there might be something hinky in the narrative, do you learn about God? That is profitable for teaching. Probably not the part where the Israelites waxed barbaric in their description of the defeat of some enemy.

I realize that my analysis might make some question the Bible. But I don't. I just recognize the fallibilities of the writers and choose to see God revealed in the narrative.

And since there was not a complete "Bible" as we know it when Paul wrote that thing about "all scripture," why do we think that simply because it is included in the book that we call the Bible that it is all that there really is to "scripture?" Scripture is profitable for teaching. Reproof. Correction. Instruction in righteousness.

"Break their teeth in their heads" doesn't sound very instructive. But "God so loved the world" does. And the evidence of the whole of the Biblical narrative is that he does love the world.
Assuming God exists, which many do, even in this year 2020, we have this purported document about God, written through the hand of inspired yet fallible persons. The Bible. Two related comments.

1. What Jesus teaches is paramount. He is the Chosen Seed, the One without error. So what he says about God as revealed in the word should be examined carefully and repeatedly. That is our lodestone, "what we believe".

2. Next is what his immediate witnesses said about him, that he suffered on our behalf, and rose to glory. Either it is delusion, or outright lie (fabrication), or truth, which validates all Jesus' teachings (scriptural interpretations).
__________________
"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 01-02-2020, 08:25 AM   #59
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
In adding "God as Creator" I considered how Genesis and John's Gospel began with creation. Hebrews says, "to come forward must believe that He is."

There was a long period of history where you were right -- God as Creator was so obvious that mentioning it was redundant. Not so today. Accepting a Creator is the preface to any statement of the common faith.
So let's look at what this particular statement regarding the essentials of the faith is really about. It's concerning the things we should hold as the basics for fellowship with other Christians - not concerning unbelievers and initial salvation. Therefore, since it is concerning our fellowship with those already in the body of Christ, believing in God is fully assumed, right? At least that's my most humble opinion. (and I think this is what Lee's book was focused on)

Now if we were coming up with a statement of faith, then yes, we would say things like, "The Bible is the word of almighty God, the Creator of all."
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-02-2020, 02:08 PM   #60
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
What Jesus teaches is paramount. He is the Chosen Seed, the One without error. So what he says about God as revealed in the word should be examined carefully and repeatedly. That is our lodestone, "what we believe"..
I'd modify this: Jesus was subjective, self-oriented, using the Bible to teach about himself, and his role, v/v the Father.

Himself: "Was it not written that the Messiah must suffer, and die, and be raised to glory?" For him, to him, there was really no other subject but this. All others revolved around this momentous event: suffering, shame and death, then resurrection and glory.

And

"But how then would the Scriptures be fulfilled that say it must happen in this way?" ~Matt 26:54

And why should we hold to any other topic?

His relations v/v the Father: "I always do my Father's will"

And

"If you keep My commandments, you will remain in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments [scripture] and remain in His love"

And

"Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them."

It is all about Christ's obedience to the Father, even to death, and the Father's love raising him to glory. There really is no other subject. Every flower looks to this unique Sun. There is no other Light source. This is our commandment - to hold to this topic, resolutely, to the end.

"One Lord, one faith, one baptism." One confession and one hope.

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
Next is what his immediate witnesses said about him, that he suffered on our behalf, and rose to glory. Either it is delusion, or outright lie (fabrication), or truth, which validates all Jesus' teachings (scriptural interpretations).
Now look at other testimonies for corroborating quotes: "I [Christ] come to do thy [Father's] will; behold, in the scroll of the book [scripture] it is written concerning me" ~Heb 10:7,9; cf Psa 40:7,8

And

"Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, "I am thirsty." ~John 19:28

The only relevant topic at hand is Jesus Christ, as revealed in scripture. Not some manufactured "practicality of the church life".

Now, in this context, and only in it, consider what the Bible says about God. Take Psalm 147, for instance. "He calls each star by name, his understanding has no limit". Did Jesus believe this? He taught, "Not a sparrow falls from the sky but the Father doesn't know it. Every hair on your head is numbered." Seems like he was teaching on a parallel track.

But what we would say about God, even from the Bible, does not exist for us as ''das ding an sich", as "a-thing-in-itself", but only as how Jesus thought of it, and taught it. That only has meaning within his thought-world. And within no other. What Witness Lee taught, or thought, of itself, doesn't matter. (Or Calvin, or Luther, or...)
__________________
"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 01-03-2020, 02:42 AM   #61
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
"Was it not written that the Messiah must suffer, and die, and be raised to glory?" For him, to him, there was really no other subject but this...

And why hold to any other topic?

...Now, in this , even from the Bible, does not exist for us as ''das ding an sich", as "a-thing-in-itself", but only as how Jesus thought of it, and taught it. That only has meaning within his thought-world. And within no other. What Witness Lee taught, or thought, of itself, doesn't matter. (Or Calvin, or Luther, or...)
I'm overstating the case to make a point. But it must be made. "And when among you I determined to know nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified."

When resolutely holding this "essential" it allows one to venture further afield without becoming lost, or ensnared by someone's speculations. As an illustration, Psalm 96:5 says, "For the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens." The psalmist is looking at Israel's God JHWH versus neighbouring deities. Only one God is Creator of all and thus Lord of all. It's an interesting premise: one "national god" is the "Universal God" by saint of his cosmic position. This psalm and others, and the Prophets repeatedly allude to this, sometimes quite explicitly.

Justin Martyr taught that these "gods of the nations" were the rebellious spirits from the angelic rebellion of Genesis 6:1-4. Justin's source, 1 Enoch, isn't in the canon so we may end our discussion here. But my question is, did Jesus end the discussion here? What were his thoughts?

First, he functioned as an exorcist, a healer and demon-expeller, as did his disciples who followed. In so doing, Jesus referenced an evil spirit going out of a man, travelling through waterless places seeking rest, which aligns closely with 1 Enoch (and, notably, little else for source material besides Enoch). Same with the "great gulf over which none can pass" in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Same with Peter and James' reference to the disobedient spirits in prison. And the adamantium "gates of Hades" so prominently mentioned in the gospels, which kept the disobedient and the dead. Jude of course explicitly quotes Enoch.

So what of it, and why on this thread? First, the fallen human culture that permeates the Lord's recovery "church life". So the gods of the nations are still at work. It actually explains a lot for me. Second, this consideration is just that, and is not a precondition for fellowship. I just share what I'm seeing, but don't need to make an issue. And as I said earlier, my consideration is shaped by that of Jesus, how he used scripture. Is there anything to show his awareness & reception of scripture? Does he ever overtly reject what is written? If he doesn't, I won't.
__________________
"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 01-03-2020, 06:09 PM   #62
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I'm overstating the case to make a point. But it must be made. "And when among you I determined to know nothing except Jesus Christ, and him crucified."

When resolutely holding this "essential" it allows one to venture further afield without becoming lost, or ensnared by someone's speculations. As an illustration, Psalm 96:5 says, "For the gods of the nations are idols, but the LORD made the heavens." The psalmist is looking at Israel's God JHWH versus neighbouring deities. Only one God is Creator of all and thus Lord of all. It's an interesting premise: one "national god" is the "Universal God" by saint of his cosmic position. This psalm and others, and the Prophets repeatedly allude to this, sometimes quite explicitly.

Justin Martyr taught that these "gods of the nations" were the rebellious spirits from the angelic rebellion of Genesis 6:1-4. Justin's source, 1 Enoch, isn't in the canon so we may end our discussion here. But my question is, did Jesus end the discussion here? What were his thoughts?

First, he functioned as an exorcist, a healer and demon-expeller, as did his disciples who followed. In so doing, Jesus referenced an evil spirit going out of a man, travelling through waterless places seeking rest, which aligns closely with 1 Enoch (and, notably, little else for source material besides Enoch). Same with the "great gulf over which none can pass" in the parable of Lazarus and the rich man. Same with Peter and James' reference to the disobedient spirits in prison. And the adamantium "gates of Hades" so prominently mentioned in the gospels, which kept the disobedient and the dead. Jude of course explicitly quotes Enoch.

So what of it, and why on this thread? First, the fallen human culture that permeates the Lord's recovery "church life". So the gods of the nations are still at work. It actually explains a lot for me. Second, this consideration is just that, and is not a precondition for fellowship. I just share what I'm seeing, but don't need to make an issue. And as I said earlier, my consideration is shaped by that of Jesus, how he used scripture. Is there anything to show his awareness & reception of scripture? Does he ever overtly reject what is written? If he doesn't, I won't.
Wow, aron, I’m surprised that you of all posters would go that far (as you said afield) with the book of Enoch! Jude took the following from that book “Behold, the Lord has come amidst myriads of His holy ones, to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all the works of ungodliness which they have done in an ungodly way, and concerning all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” And it seems what he otherwise wrote was influenced by it, then in the rest of his epistle has severe warnings about those in the church who speak things about “what they do not know yet confidently assert” and do so for profit like Balaam. Paul likewise had similar counsel to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1. Lee often followed his favorite so called “great Brethren teachers” like G.H Pember and D. M. Panton in areas like this and I like other good local churches followed in many areas, perhaps too far? that most Christian teachers avoid. I don’t mind following books of canon there for a while, but an apocryphal book recognized by Roman Catholics and few others. Really. Please help me understand why that is advisable in light of the strength of Jude and Paul’s warnings. Or am I being overly careful?
__________________
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 01-04-2020, 06:20 AM   #63
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Wow, aron, I’m surprised that you of all posters would go that far (as you said afield) with the book of Enoch! Jude took the following from that book “Behold, the Lord has come amidst myriads of His holy ones, to execute judgment against all, and to convict all the ungodly concerning all the works of ungodliness which they have done in an ungodly way, and concerning all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against Him.” And it seems what he otherwise wrote was influenced by it, then in the rest of his epistle has severe warnings about those in the church who speak things about “what they do not know yet confidently assert” and do so for profit like Balaam. Paul likewise had similar counsel to Timothy in 1 Timothy 1. Lee often followed his favorite so called “great Brethren teachers” like G.H Pember and D. M. Panton in areas like this and I like other good local churches followed in many areas, perhaps too far? that most Christian teachers avoid. I don’t mind following books of canon there for a while, but an apocryphal book recognized by Roman Catholics and few others. Really. Please help me understand why that is advisable in light of the strength of Jude and Paul’s warnings. Or am I being overly careful?
The book of Enoch is not recognized by the Roman Catholics. Only by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church to my knowledge.

My question was, What did Jesus think? That is our focus. So when Jesus said, "An evil spirit flies out of a person and goes through waterless places seeking rest", we might wonder what he meant. Did he base this on some scriptural source? Did he bring some extra-biblical knowledge down from heaven, which never made it into print except in a few oblique references like this?

Many people just ignore such sayings because they don't know where to put them. With Lazarus and the rich man, same thing. Lazarus is on a pleasant place, resting, and the rich man is in torment. But a great gulf, or abyss, separates them. Where is this kind of concept from? Should we care? Do we just ignore it? Make up our own explanations based on "how it might be"? Or the "gates of Hades" - where did that come from, and why is it so prominently featured in the Revelation of Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the Living God that the Father in Heaven showed Peter (Matt 16)? Whence cometh these "gates of Hades"? Should we ignore this phrase? Pass over it without comment? Extrapolate from our own sensibilities?

My method is to look in surrounding literature. But it goes precisely to my point, which is that nothing we do should overturn our faith in Jesus as the crucified an resurrected Messiah. But it may provide clues as to how we got caught, for a while, by Witness Lee's publishing house and mind control system, both of which are aspects of the same phenomena and which phenomena may be related to the dual falls of Genesis 3 (humanity) and Genesis 6 (the 'sons of God'). Clearly the dual falls are related in Genesis, and to the flood which followed.

Now, what did Jesus think of the dual falls of Genesis 3 and 6, and the flood which followed? Did his "an unclean spirit comes out of a man, and flies about" have any relation with this narrative? I suspect yes, but if so, how?

Look at 2 Peter, for example. "For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but cast them into hell and committed them to chains of gloomy darkness to be kept until the judgment". And Jude "And the angels who did not stay within their own domain but abandoned their proper dwelling--these He has kept in eternal chains under darkness, bound for judgment on that great day." Think about the prevalent gospel concepts of "binding and loosing" in this context. This is not esoteric but related to immediate daily Christian practice. (Or, it should be.)

Now, again, to my point: "For all the gods of the nations are idols,
but the Lord made the heavens." ~Psalm 96:5

Who are "all the gods of the nations"? And is this related to the fact that many of us became effectively enslaved by a "Chinese warlord" as at least one disaffected escapee termed him? I read an article and began to wonder. It made sense to me. But --- it is not a basis of fellowship. My fellowship is based on my faith in the suffering and glorified Jesus. That is my faith, not that Psalm 96, through Justin Martyr and 1 Enoch, possibly points to the spirit of disobedience behind the LC movement. Just thinking aloud, is all.

My faith is my faith. I consider it immutable. I confessed, I repented, I was baptised. I declare Jesus as Lord. Now, my thinking... that comes and goes...

For the record, the article at hand is: "The Trickery of the Fallen Angels and the Demonic Mimesis of the Divine: Aetiology, Demonology, and Polemics in the Writings of Justin Martyr" by Annette Yoshiko Reed. Journal of Early Christian Studies. 2004;12(2):141-71. Johns Hopkins U. Press.

Quote:
Throughout his works Justin Martyr equates the "gods of the nations" with demons (Psa 96:5) and explores the various ways in which they deceptively imitate the divine in order to lead unwary humans away from belief in the one God and his Saviour Son.
When I read this, I started thinking of WL's teachings and practices which essentially became the basis of fellowship in the LC, as "deceptively imitating the divine" and leading many astray. I was there, and remember. Repetitively shouting outline and HWMR sections. It seemed godly but when I look at the fruit it's obvious it wasn't. And I also suspect the repetitive shouting caused us to overlook the clear unrighteousness and unbiblical events which were happening right in front of us.

Daystar is my Exhibit A. When the church leader (Witness Lee) takes church members $$ and invests it in a business run by his immediate family, that's a conflict of interest. Doesn't matter that the business went belly-up and the $$ disappeared. What matters is that it was set up in the first place. It should have been obvious what was happening. But people were duped, led astray. What spirit was at work, here? A spirit of deception. I think it's worth asking such questions. And looking into the Bible, specifically Jesus' teachings, for answers. But my answers are not a basis of fellowship. My answers are tentative and subject to pruning by the 'ekklesia'. Perhaps even drastic pruning.
__________________
"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 01-04-2020, 06:45 AM   #64
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Aron and JJ - I haven't been following ya-alls conversation very well. Can you please summarize and let me know how it ties into the topic at hand? Thx
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2020, 06:59 AM   #65
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Aron and JJ - I haven't been following ya-alls conversation very well. Can you please summarize and let me know how it ties into the topic at hand? Thx
See Post #63. I stated my basis of fellowship is the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. The ongoing thread's discussion was on the Bible, and how to view it, whether concepts of fallible men, divinely inspired, or a mix? My reply was asking how Jesus viewed and used scripture. Since he was the resurrected and glorified Messiah, his view might be worth considering, no? Not just that of Augustine and Luther and Billy Graham. What was Jesus' usage pattern?

Then I made an excursus, in showing how I could "venture afield" perhaps profitably, perhaps not, but still safely (not leaving fellowship) by considering how we got led astray by a "global Chinese Christian leader". Did anyone read that latest whitewash attempt? It seems that the LC is surreptitiously putting plants in academia to put out CRI-lite sociological explanations for their unorthodoxy.*

My excursus was through Psalm 96, and how Justin Martyr used 1 Enoch's riff on Genesis 6:1-4 to show how the nations are led astray, and deceived. Given the fairly frequent references in the NT (see post #63) to disobedient angels and unclean spirits causing human harm, it might be worth taking a minute to consider.

I closed the loop by saying that my considerations don't form a basis of fellowship. However one might view them, good or bad - they're merely thoughts, human thoughts. Not truths in any objective sense.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life was from messages Lee gave in 1971... It begins with some statements concerning the faith. According to Lee, the faith is “composed of the beliefs concerning the Bible, God, Christ, the work of Christ, salvation, and the church.”
Jesus had faith. "He [Messiah/Son/Christ] trusted in God [Father in heaven], let him [Father] save him [Son] now" (Matt 27; Psa 22). It is his faith that saves. Not mine. So what he thought about subjects like "the Bible" should be first considerations. This is my attempt to add value to the conversation: look at what he believed. Not what I believe, or you believe, or Witness Lee's purported "all genuine Christians" believe.

*https://www.researchgate.net/profile...c5d15bf4fc.pdf
__________________
"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 01-04-2020, 07:28 AM   #66
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default A warning

A warning. Anything that distracts us from seeing Jesus as the Christ, the Son of God, crucified and raised to glory, should be rejected as a stumbling to our path.

Revelation 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog, and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

Zechariah 12:3 On that day, when all the nations of the earth are gathered against her, I will make Jerusalem an immovable rock for all the nations. All who try to move it will injure themselves.

Matthew 21:44 "He who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces, but he on whom it falls will be crushed."

This revelation of Jesus as Christ, who willingly entered into death on our behalf, and rose as Saviour of the world, King of kings and Lord of all is obviously a stumbling to many. But it's our rock. On this rock our ekklesia's founded and grows, and this rock supports all our subsequent fellowship with one another.

Don't you think that "the gods of the nations" would be upset at the revelation of Jesus as Christ? If they couldn't oppose him with persecution, they would co-opt him by melding their own fallen devious schemes. Witness Lee made fun of Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, and rightly so. But shouldn't he get called out for his Eastern ways? Nigel Tomes wrote an article on Lee's 1980s-era version of the Great Leap Forward, how many close parallels there were to Mao's. Lee didn't stop being a Chinese when he became Christian. And Teresa Zimmerman-Liu at UCSD has also noted this. Human culture, and its influence, doesn't disappear when we say "Lord, Jesus". If we don't recognise what it is and what it can do, it can really derail our journey. It becomes a lens, or prism, through which we examine scripture to determine what is "normal" and desirable.
__________________
"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 01-04-2020, 09:25 AM   #67
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post

Lee often followed his favorite so called “great Brethren teachers” like G.H Pember and D. M. Panton in areas like this and I like other good local churches followed in many areas, perhaps too far? that most Christian teachers avoid. I don’t mind following books of canon there for a while, but an apocryphal book recognized by Roman Catholics and few others. Really. Please help me understand why that is advisable in light of the strength of Jude and Paul’s warnings. Or am I being overly careful?
FYI, Pember was with the Brethren, but Panton was not. Panton succeeded Govett at Surrey Chapel, where ME Barber was from.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2020, 09:37 AM   #68
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
FYI, Pember was with the Brethren, but Panton was not. Panton succeeded Govett at Surrey Chapel, where ME Barber was from.
I daresay these guys may have been considered cutting edge 150 years ago, or even in Nee's day. Readers in China in 1926 were surely impressed, as were a few naiive readers later in the USA, but their work is hardly pressing current discussions forward. Only the cloistered few in the "remnant" or "restored" or "recovered" churches would really focus on them, today.

I'm a self-identified "fundamentalist" in that I believe and confess that God loved the world so much - so much! - that he sent his only begotten Son. But a willful and deliberate obtuseness and enforced ignorance - see e.g., "One Publication Policy" - isn't where I'm heading.
__________________
"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 01-04-2020, 09:47 AM   #69
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by aron View Post
I daresay these guys may have been considered cutting edge 150 years ago, or even in Nee's day. Readers in China in 1926 were surely impressed, as were a few naiive readers later in the USA, but their work is hardly pressing current discussions forward. Only the cloistered few in the "remnant" or "restored" or "recovered" churches would really focus on them, today.

My opinion, nothing more.
"My opinion, nothing more." -- Interesting comment. Perhaps auditioning for a new signature line?

How should we view your previous posts?
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-04-2020, 09:48 AM   #70
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
"My opinion, nothing more." -- Interesting comment. Perhaps auditioning for a new signature line?

How should we view your previous posts?
Jesus' opinions count. Yours and mine don't count very much. Witness Lee's even less, as he insisted on primacy.
__________________
"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 01-04-2020, 09:17 PM   #71
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Thanks for the feedback and helpful corrections.

We all tried to answer “what is the faith”. Then aron started to venture into matters that lie elsewhere (generality?) but came back to what is the faith.

I have two other questions:

What about this term “speciality”. Lee says by it he means “We all must know what it is in the church life that is special” and equates that to “the faith” we are charged by the apostles to contend for.

The second question I have is “what does contend for the faith mean?”

For reference the definition of the Greek word translated as “contend” is here https://biblehub.com/greek/4866.htm.

I’m surprised by the definition that it has more of an athletic team meaning than a warfare meaning.
__________________
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 01-05-2020, 05:45 AM   #72
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
The second question I have is “what does contend for the faith mean?”

For reference the definition of the Greek word translated as “contend” is here https://biblehub.com/greek/4866.htm.

I’m surprised by the definition that it has more of an athletic team meaning than a warfare meaning.
I think your question here exposes errors in WL's ministry. He saw "contending" as a military battle, with himself as commander-in-chief fighting against all others. His way created loyal footsoldiers faithful to his program, us vs. them mentality. Thus WL regularly stated that our condition (in the faith) was far outweighed by our corporate standing (on the ground of oneness.)

Paul, however, saw this as a personal struggle, striving to remain in the faith, walking by faith, living by faith, striving for the reward. To Paul, personal faith was everything.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2020, 07:24 AM   #73
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
The second question I have is “what does contend for the faith mean?”
For reference the definition of the Greek word translated as “contend” is here https://biblehub.com/greek/4866.htm.
I’m surprised by the definition that it has more of an athletic team meaning than a warfare meaning.
As you point out, the meaning is more about an athletic competition rather than warfare. To contend is something you do in a game or a contest and is not to the point of lethal action, as warfare is.

We are to contend with those around us, being diligent that they may hear and see evidence of the faith in us, via our words and actions. We are not out to kill them, but rather to bring them to the knowledge of the Son of God, Who is life itself. So it is a friendly endeavor, as opposed to warfare - which goal is to destroy the other.
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2020, 08:45 AM   #74
aron
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Natal Transvaal
Posts: 5,086
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Paul, however, saw this as a personal struggle, striving to remain in the faith, walking by faith, living by faith, striving for the reward. To Paul, personal faith was everything.
I agree. Paul followed Jesus. We, like Paul, follow Jesus.

"There is one mediator between man and God, the man Christ Jesus"

Part of our faith is to receive one another, encourage one another, to comfort, and yes to teach. But never does that interaction transpose itself upon the other person's personal walk by faith with Jesus Christ.

In the LC the mediatory effect of the "ministry" rippled down through the "church life" distorted this walk. We got merchandised by a book publisher. See e.g., 2 Peter 2:3.
__________________
"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
Old 01-05-2020, 10:50 AM   #75
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Great insights guys, and very liberating!

Contending for the faith together with faithful saints, like an athletic competition is much more enjoyable than stabbing, shooting, or hacking each other, and has no casualties... just some sore muscles, bumps, and bruises, and maybe a sprain or fracture And you want to come back and do it again, over, and over! Maybe that’s why we “hang out” here so much? It’s really fun?
__________________
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 01-05-2020, 01:31 PM   #76
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Great insights guys, and very liberating!

Contending for the faith together with faithful saints, like an athletic competition is much more enjoyable than stabbing, shooting, or hacking each other, and has no casualties... just some sore muscles, bumps, and bruises, and maybe a sprain or fracture And you want to come back and do it again, over, and over! Maybe that’s why we “hang out” here so much? It’s really fun?
So you liken it to a contact sport (like American football) rather than a non-contact sport (tennis, baseball, etc.)?
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-05-2020, 07:14 PM   #77
JJ
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2016
Posts: 921
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
So you liken it to a contact sport (like American football) rather than a non-contact sport (tennis, baseball, etc.)?
Not necessarily. There are injuries in all sports. I was trying to be fair. Sometimes saints, however careful, thoughtful, and loving we are trying to be may unintentionally get hurt while contending for the faith. Look at how many times Paul took issue with fellow apostles (Barnabas, Peter, and James) yet they all were made better by it learned and carried on with their respective ministries without attacking each other because the enemy is not flesh and blood but the rulers, the authorities, the evil powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
__________________
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 01-05-2020, 08:28 PM   #78
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Not necessarily. There are injuries in all sports. I was trying to be fair. Sometimes saints, however careful, thoughtful, and loving we are trying to be may unintentionally get hurt while contending for the faith. Look at how many times Paul took issue with fellow apostles (Barnabas, Peter, and James) yet they all were made better by it learned and carried on with their respective ministries without attacking each other because the enemy is not flesh and blood but the rulers, the authorities, the evil powers of this world’s darkness, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Exactly. Paul did correct others, but never to exert some deputy authority over them. Rather he was helping their faith, helping them to contend for nothing else but their faith, and especially not ancient Jewish traditions. Recovery rebukes, on the other hand, are designed to elevate the leader and diminish all others, thus defining the "way of the Gentiles."
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2020, 09:48 AM   #79
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,167
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Oh, I'm sorry - I forgot everything on here has to be framed in nonstop Lee bashing! Regarding everything you stated - yes - it may be that many others have preached this and Lee didn't practice it. Nonetheless, it doesn't diminish the enjoyment of the Lord (which you seemed to belittle here bro) I had while reading that book . . . does it? (I think not)

Seriously folks, this thread seems to border on Lee-aphobia or something, to the point that having a simple back & forth isn't easy. Can't we just have a discussion without instantly going from zero to 100 MPH extremes?
Sorry for being away from the discussion — long holidays with effectively two dips into Christmas.

I must admit that my starting for this thread was partly to give some perspective to your experience of something "bubbling-up." And to demonstrate how potentially corrupt the source of your experience might have been. This doesn't make you corrupt. Rather it shows a little of the fog we all (well most of those on this forum) were under. One in which we came to have spiritual "highs" from things that might not be what we thought they were. Or were actually contrary to what the Bible teaches in some cases.

I've been out of the LRC ("Lord's Recovery Church" — not what they call it, but what it has effectively become) since August of 1987 after 14.5 years in it. (OK, that dates me, so I will be clear here — I go on Medicare next month.) For many years after 1987, I went along thinking that I had some "higher" teachings than those around me, but that other issues kept me from returning to the LRC. Then, over the course of a few months, I finally read the Godmen, and then the Thread of Gold. In the former, I saw some of the evidence of the cult-like characteristics. In the latter, I saw evidence of the abuses. And not just somewhere else, but right here in Texas.

And then I learned of a forum that discussed LRC issues (the predecessor forum in the Phillippines that covered all kinds of religious groups). That was about 2005. And bit-by-bit the remaining fog lifted. I began to see things more clearly. Eventually, unlike several others here who often talk about the positives of the LRC, I have concluded that there was really no legitimate positive to attribute to the LRC. Maybe to the people who were there, but not the LRC itself.

So when I hear/read some statement made about "bubbling-up," I have to question whether it is something truly of Christ or part of the environment of becoming excited — even sometimes euphoric — over anything that was said or read without any clear consideration of what it is that is exciting us.

Now I would agree that evidence of real oneness is something noteworthy. But when you discover that the oneness that is actually being addressed is only a closed oneness (oneness among a select few rather than the fullness of the body fo Christ) then I would have started to doubt the basis for my prior excitement.

And that is why I almost always start with skepticism about anything that continues to be remembered positively. Not because I want to pour cold water on everything, but because if you look closer, you might find that what it is you thought was positive was seriously infected with frogs an lice.

I am still a very strong believer. I admittedly do not toe every line of even the group that I meet with, but I have no real problem with them — or many/most others. But when the discussion gets into the theoretical side of things (Calvinism, eschatology, dispensationalism, etc.) I'm too often the one wondering how verse X is claimed to say something it just doesn't say. I was in a bible study last night where someone gave 5 or so verses that supported the basic Calvinist position on eternal security. But at least half of the verses don't say what they claim unless you start with the presumption that Calvinism is correct. Classic begging the question. You can't say something agrees with you because you have already asserted that its words mean differently because the premise is true. Like Lee's "God's economy" ruse to reinterpret so many things — or toss out whole sections of the Psalms, and most of James.

My journey to where I am now did not happen the day I left the LRC. It hadn't happened after 18 years. It may have happened by now (after 32 years) but I bet I still occasionally find errors in my thinking of some significance in the future.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2020, 09:58 AM   #80
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,167
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
I think your question here exposes errors in WL's ministry. He saw "contending" as a military battle, with himself as commander-in-chief fighting against all others. His way created loyal footsoldiers faithful to his program, us vs. them mentality. Thus WL regularly stated that our condition (in the faith) was far outweighed by our corporate standing (on the ground of oneness.)

Paul, however, saw this as a personal struggle, striving to remain in the faith, walking by faith, living by faith, striving for the reward. To Paul, personal faith was everything.
Very well said.

The biggest question — one that will never be answered in this age, if at all — is whether errors in direction, like the "contending" issue, were a matter of just not recognizing the clues to the base meaning, or were part of a scheme to look at things differently just to separate everyone's thinking from the way(s) they might have previously thought. And in doing that, to set himself (Lee or Nee) apart from other Christian teachers in the minds of his followers.

In hindsight, I am not entirely sure, but I lean toward believing it was some kind of intentional thing with less than charitable motives. Maybe not intending to become almost heretical on some things, but desiring to be a stumbling block. You either have to get in line or get out because uncertainty just didn't work.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-08-2020, 11:46 AM   #81
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
Very well said.

The biggest question — one that will never be answered in this age, if at all — is whether errors in direction, like the "contending" issue, were a matter of just not recognizing the clues to the base meaning, or were part of a scheme to look at things differently just to separate everyone's thinking from the way(s) they might have previously thought. And in doing that, to set himself (Lee or Nee) apart from other Christian teachers in the minds of his followers.

In hindsight, I am not entirely sure, but I lean toward believing it was some kind of intentional thing with less than charitable motives. Maybe not intending to become almost heretical on some things, but desiring to be a stumbling block. You either have to get in line or get out because uncertainty just didn't work.
I tend to believe that errors in one's youth are more accidental and forgivable, while errors when older in age, especially in the aftermath of serious times of testing, are more intentional.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2020, 07:30 AM   #82
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
I must admit that my starting for this thread was partly to give some perspective to your experience of something "bubbling-up." And to demonstrate how potentially corrupt the source of your experience might have been. This doesn't make you corrupt. Rather it shows a little of the fog we all (well most of those on this forum) were under. One in which we came to have spiritual "highs" from things that might not be what we thought they were. Or were actually contrary to what the Bible teaches in some cases.

So when I hear/read some statement made about "bubbling-up," I have to question whether it is something truly of Christ or part of the environment of becoming excited — even sometimes euphoric — over anything that was said or read without any clear consideration of what it is that is exciting us.
Ya-all can wonder . . . I am convinced it was the Anointing within "bubbling up." You cannot move me from that.

Just because it came through a book with WL's name on it, doesn't mean that the basic idea the Anointing was conveying to me was not true. That is, that we should hold to the essentials of the faith tightly and all else very loosely. This word helps me today in fellowshiping with all you-alls (I love when southerners say that!), and every other believer.

So question WL of course, but please don't disparage the Anointing with in me!
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2020, 09:41 AM   #83
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,167
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

I cannot disparage the anointing within you. But I can give you reason to consider whether what was thought to be the anointing at some previous time actually was. What you do with it is up to you.

My only warning is that just because we have some sense within an environment that is full of faux senses provided to us for the purpose of trapping us in a system of error does not mean that it is either of the Lord (anointing) or is not. Just don't fall prey to the idea that you couldn't have been fooled even if others are. Don't presume that you had to be there for some God-ordained reason and therefore have the need to justify things. I do not believe that the Bible teaches that God ordains such things. Just because we were there does not mean He ordained it.

I would gladly declare the truth that I was once a member of a group whose leadership used mind tricks to lull me into a false sense of spiritual superiority and am still recovering to some degree even after 32 years. I can point to a very few positive things that I learned while there. And to many more that I learned since by willfully seeking clarity even where it contradicted things that I had otherwise come to believe to be true.

And I can see the possibility of having a sense of the oneness of the whole body while reading SG&PotCL under the assumption that the hidden negatives were not yet visible to direct you to have a restricted oneness. But that unrestricted oneness is not what the book set out to define — rather to lay the groundwork for finding fault with other Christians.

So if you did not see those errors, then praise God for that!
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2020, 09:42 AM   #84
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,167
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

However, whether or not you had some genuine experience of God then, the book and its errors is worthy of dissection if anyone still is interested.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2020, 02:05 AM   #85
Sons to Glory!
Member
 
Sons to Glory!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Scottsdale, AZ
Posts: 1,226
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
However, whether or not you had some genuine experience of God then, the book and its errors is worthy of dissection if anyone still is interested.
For my part, I have no big interest in dissecting it piece by piece, since I know what my take-away from it was. But if others want to, I may follow along.
__________________
LC Berkeley 70s; LC Columbus OH 80s; An Ekklesia in Scottsdale 98-now
Sons to Glory! is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2020, 05:33 AM   #86
OBW
Member
 
OBW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: DFW area
Posts: 4,167
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

I just hope that no matter what kind of positives that might be found — whether directly spoken by this or other LSM books, or unintentionally as some of us heard the voice of God speaking from between the written words — that this and other discussions will continue to stand as warnings to the spiritual dangers that clinging to the teachings in them can bring. While I will continue to pray that God will find a way to slip through for all who still read them, I further pray that even more will become aware of the leaven of the LSM and move on to better pastures.
__________________
Mike
I once thought I was. . . . but I may have been mistaken — Edge (with apologies)
OBW is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-15-2020, 05:43 AM   #87
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 12,074
Default Re: The Speciality, Generality, and Practicality of the Church Life

Quote:
Originally Posted by OBW View Post
However, whether or not you had some genuine experience of God then, the book and its errors is worthy of dissection if anyone still is interested.
You would like to "dissect" his genuine experience of God?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
For my part, I have no big interest in dissecting it piece by piece, since I know what my take-away from it was. But if others want to, I may follow along.
Test all things, hold on to the good! (1 Thess 5)
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
Ohio 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 Off



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:51 AM.


3.8.9