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Old 04-13-2017, 06:35 AM   #1
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Default The Unique Move of God

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LSM and the local churches will decide for themselves. As do Baptists, Pentecostals, Catholics, and every other group that stands for a certain set of beliefs. Any group that does not filter out teachings that do not align with their calling or mission has no purpose for existing.
I totally get your point and have made it myself here in the past. What you are missing is that the LCM goes a step further (to say the least) and claims to be "THE unique move of God" in exclusion of all others, and claims all other moves are just "movements of men." Leaving aside for a moment that that they have no possible way of knowing such a thing for sure, in this day and age every group should have by now realized from history and conscience that such claims are arrogant, short-sighted and ultimately divisive.

The LCM doesn't just say "if you want to be part of us you'll do things our way," That much is reasonable. No, they go on to say "and if you don't do that you are outside of God's unique move." That is utterly unreasonable. And that goes for any subset of the Church that says that.

That is the part that makes all their insistence on conformity a damaging travesty. Sure, if I go to work for a company I need to conform to its way of doing things. But if that company claims to be the only place to work and tries to impart the fear of leaving then there is something very rotten at its core. That's the problem with the LCM.

The LCM is not the only group to embrace this error. But to my view no group embraces it as tightly and willingly and to greater damage than the LCM does.
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.

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Old 04-13-2017, 06:37 AM   #2
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Default Re: A Woman of Chayil: Far Above Rubies by Jane Carole Anderson

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Brother Lee ministered Christ, taught God's economy, God's purpose, the Church, the churches, the Bride of Christ, the Body of Christ, and all the basics of the Christian faith, salvation, redemption, the precious blood of Christ, the Spirit of Life, growth in life, consecration, transformation, glorification, the judgements, and the consumation of God in man and man in God as the New Jerusalem the universal divine human expression for eternity.
He also taught that if you weren't in his movement you were outside of God's move. He taught that if you left his ministry you could not go on with God.

That alone puts the rest of his stuff in a very bad light.

If you don't understand that you don't understand me, or many others here.
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.
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Old 04-17-2017, 09:00 PM   #3
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Default Re: A Woman of Chayil: Far Above Rubies by Jane Carole Anderson

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He also taught that if you weren't in his movement you were outside of God's move. He taught that if you left his ministry you could not go on with God.

That alone puts the rest of his stuff in a very bad light.

If you don't understand that you don't understand me, or many others here.
Drake,

I have a question: Why didn't you honestly respond to this? Why did you just ignore it?

You know that I personally heard Lee talk about how T. Austin-Sparks (!) said that he "lost the flow of life" when he told Nee that the local ground wasn't for him, and how Sparks said he "could never get it back." Do you really believe that happened?

Do you know I heard this stuff from Lee regularly. About how he knew of no one that became "a prevailing Christian" after leaving his movement. About how everyone who left the movement fell by the wayside and became useless. He said this kind of thing regularly. I'm speaking from firsthand experience. I am not lying.

This is what he taught. It wasn't just about the LCM having the right to maintain order within its ranks. I was about how Lee declared all-out war on all rivals. How he put the fear of leaving his ministry into everyone he could. How he damaged many people in his care by doing so.

You've always seemed like fairly smart guy, unlike some others around here who shall remain unnamed. How does that stuff sit with you?

What say you? I'm counting on you to be righteous. Let's hear it, brother.
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.
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Old 04-18-2017, 01:46 AM   #4
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Default Re: A Woman of Chayil: Far Above Rubies by Jane Carole Anderson

Igzy,

Sometimes I don't respond because I have no peace and the Lord prevents me. Or in some cases it is a more serious reason.

However, none of those are reasons for not responding to your post. With your post I heard the same things you did but I considered them differently or interpreted in a different way. So I simply chose not to debate your view because I understood how you might see it that way. In other words, though I don't have the same view as you do, I understand your view as plausible to you and that I probably could not offer anything to persuade you to my view.I don't differ in this case with the events you described, just your conclusion.

For instance, yes I believe the events surrounding T Austin Sparks because I have experienced a similar loss of flow of life. To me, it is not only possible, it is a certainty. Brother Lee brought this up not as self-serving as is often alleged, but as a lesson and a warning. At least, to me it is instruction and I take it from the Lord that way.

Or the usefulness before the Lord if one departs from the vision He has entrusted to him will diminish as regards to that vision. Could a person who has enjoyed the deep things of God related to, for instance, the Church and the churches leave and have a successful ministry or pastorship in the denominations? No doubt, I have seen it. Yet, are they useful to the vision that once guided and controlled them? I have not seen that at all.

Thanks for asking.

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Old 04-18-2017, 06:24 AM   #5
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Default Re: A Woman of Chayil: Far Above Rubies by Jane Carole Anderson

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Igzy,

Sometimes I don't respond because I have no peace and the Lord prevents me. Or in some cases it is a more serious reason.

However, none of those are reasons for not responding to your post. With your post I heard the same things you did but I considered them differently or interpreted in a different way. So I simply chose not to debate your view because I understood how you might see it that way. In other words, though I don't have the same view as you do, I understand your view as plausible to you and that I probably could not offer anything to persuade you to my view.I don't differ in this case with the events you described, just your conclusion.

For instance, yes I believe the events surrounding T Austin Sparks because I have experienced a similar loss of flow of life. To me, it is not only possible, it is a certainty. Brother Lee brought this up not as self-serving as is often alleged, but as a lesson and a warning. At least, to me it is instruction and I take it from the Lord that way.

Or the usefulness before the Lord if one departs from the vision He has entrusted to him will diminish as regards to that vision. Could a person who has enjoyed the deep things of God related to, for instance, the Church and the churches leave and have a successful ministry or pastorship in the denominations? No doubt, I have seen it. Yet, are they useful to the vision that once guided and controlled them? I have not seen that at all.

Thanks for asking.

Drake

Drake,

Lee wasn't talking about being useful to the vision of the LCM. He was talking about something else.

He was saying if you left the LCM you were in rebellion against God, by definition. No exceptions. I was there. I heard it myself. Benson taught it. The elders taught it.

Benson once said there was "nothing" in Christianity that can help you. Do you believe that? That is what he taught.

No offense, but it seems you must do some pretty heavy rationalizing to reconcile yourself to these kind of things. I understand you are committed to the LCM. But there has to be some place in your conscience that has a problem with this stuff.


Anyway, that is this gist of the problem with me. And that is what messed me up for so many years. As I said, if you don't understand that you don't understand why I post here. The LCM attempts to hold people there and is intolerant to any alternatives to their way. I believe that is extremely damaging. You can talk all you want to being faithful to a "vision." But why that "vision?" Is really because it is so plainly what God wants or is it because that's what you've been convinced of through fear and manipulation?

The problem with the LCM is a person cannot honestly even consider that question, because to them reconsideration is the beginning of rebellion and so is suspect in itself. It's the same mindset that prevented the callback of the bombers in the book "Fail-Safe." The pilots were so trained to carry out orders past a certain point in their flights that they ignored the pleas of their own wives to turn back, and so mistakenly obliterated Moscow.

It reaches the point where the psychological mechanisms necessary for healthy correction cannot even function because the person has been trained to be suspicious of them. That's when things get very dangerous. That's when you can be controlled and yet be convinced you are making your own decisions.

The psychological pressure for members to conform pushes them to agree with things they might otherwise disagree with. This causes them to think and argue in unreasonable and irrational ways. You see it all the time here. I know people don't necessarily agree with some of the tenets of the LCM in their hearts. But they convince themselves they do because they feel they have no choice, because they fear judgment, both from men and God for not doing so. And that expresses itself in irrational ways. Even you seem to manifest this sometimes, sorry to say.

I don't think the Lord operates that way. Certainly truth is objective. But God doesn't use peer pressure or the fear of ostracization from community to convince us (except in very extreme cases). He hand is gentle and fair. The LCM's is anything but that.
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.
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Old 04-20-2017, 07:47 PM   #6
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Default Re: A Woman of Chayil: Far Above Rubies by Jane Carole Anderson

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Perhaps you could provide UntoHim with the post # of those you consider to be relevant to your discussion.

Nell
Okay, UntoHim, could you please move posts 218, 219, 221, 222 and 223 to a new thread for Drake and I. Thanks you very much.

Thanks, Nell. Sorry for the inconvenience.
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.
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Old 04-21-2017, 09:44 AM   #7
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Default Re: The Unique Move of God

Ok guys, if you want to come up with a title for this thread let me know and I'll change it. Thanks
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Old 04-21-2017, 03:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: The Unique Move of God

Thanks Untohim.

Igzy, I will share my view of your post by section/point as I am sure you prefer it that way. Sorry, it may be longer than my usual readers digest version type post but I want to address you points thoroughly.

Drake,

Lee wasn't talking about being useful to the vision of the LCM. He was talking about something else.

The vision is the overarching driver, Igzy. It's not about something being useful to the vision, for me its about a controlling vision. So it is part of everything.

He was saying if you left the LCM you were in rebellion against God, by definition. No exceptions. I was there. I heard it myself. Benson taught it. The elders taught it.

It would be useful to see the exact quote but for sake of argument I can hear Brother Lee saying that. I can hear Benson repeating it and some elders also. Yet, this was my earlier point. If you have once seen the vision of the ground unity of the believers, the local churches as the practical expression of the universal Body of Christ, the resurrected and ascended Christ as the Head transmitting His power into the members of His Body, as the means to defeat God's enemy and bring in the kingdom of God to the earth..... then, yes, if you having seen and affirmed that, and you then go back to denominations for instance, then you are in rebellion.

Benson once said there was "nothing" in Christianity that can help you. Do you believe that? That is what he taught.

I think I heard Benson say that also. Both agree and disagree. I disagree if the person is an unbeliever or a new believer because most denominations preach the gospel and can lead a person to the Lord. A new believer also can receive help with the basics of the faith and to overcome sin and sinful habits. Can learn to become grounded in the christian truths. Some charismatic groups can also help a person to experience the gifts of the Spirit.

Yet, I agree with it in this way. If you have been in the Lord's Recovery for more than a few years then all those experiences were available to you and the controlling vision took you even farther, deeper, and higher. Having received all that and to then consider returning to denominations or Catholicism , well, then I agree that there would be nothing in Christianity that could help you beyond what you already received. Nothing there for you.

No offense, but it seems you must do some pretty heavy rationalizing to reconcile yourself to these kind of things. I understand you are committed to the LCM. But there has to be some place in your conscience that has a problem with this stuff.

No offense taken. I have zero problem with this stuff just mentioned. Reconciliation is not only not difficult, it is perfectly congruent with my understanding of the truth in the Bible, my personal experience with the Lord, and my corporate experience (practicing the body life) in the local churches.

Anyway, that is this gist of the problem with me. And that is what messed me up for so many years. As I said, if you don't understand that you don't understand why I post here.

Ok. I understand that your experience is different from mine. I am sorry it messed you up for so many years. I have heard and read about folks who had a bad experience and had I went through what they went through I might be on your side of the fence. I cannot say for sure because on the other hand, I have read in this forum the bad experience someone had and I recognize that I went through the same experience but came out on a different side than they did.

The LCM attempts to hold people there and is intolerant to any alternatives to their way. I believe that is extremely damaging. You can talk all you want to being faithful to a "vision." But why that "vision?" Is really because it is so plainly what God wants or is it because that's what you've been convinced of through fear and manipulation?

I disagree. The local churches do not attempt to hold people there. That sounds like against their will. I watched people come and go. Of course, you want to understand if there was some offense to clear it up. Of course, there is concern and calls and persuading going on. That is not holding people there. That is not damaging. Eventually, they stay or they go, its up to them. The vision I described above is a real vision, a seeing, a spiritual insight, and a life-changing must have experience. Fear, manipulation? They don't even enter the equation.

The problem with the LCM is a person cannot honestly even consider that question, because to them reconsideration is the beginning of rebellion and so is suspect in itself. It's the same mindset that prevented the callback of the bombers in the book "Fail-Safe." The pilots were so trained to carry out orders past a certain point in their flights that they ignored the pleas of their own wives to turn back, and so mistakenly obliterated Moscow.

Well, a governing vision is governing but it is not irrational, obsessive, blind, or however you wish to think of it. Reconsideration is a healthy exercise and I do it often but it always brings me back to the governing vision, sometimes adjusted with a little more clarity.

It reaches the point where the psychological mechanisms necessary for healthy correction cannot even function because the person has been trained to be suspicious of them. That's when things get very dangerous. That's when you can be controlled and yet be convinced you are making your own decisions.

Well, that can be applied to any discipline but that is not my experience and healthy correction or adjustment are a necessary iterative process.

The psychological pressure for members to conform pushes them to agree with things they might otherwise disagree with. This causes them to think and argue in unreasonable and irrational ways. You see it all the time here. I know people don't necessarily agree with some of the tenets of the LCM in their hearts. But they convince themselves they do because they feel they have no choice, because they fear judgment, both from men and God for not doing so. And that expresses itself in irrational ways. Even you seem to manifest this sometimes, sorry to say.

As to judgement, a fear of God it is a healthy thing. I probably have expressed it here because here the brazen slander, false accusations, and derision leveled against brothers and sisters in the local churches is very disturbing and often shocking. At those moments, I truly am concerned for the well-being of that person at the judgement seat of Christ. I am not familiar with the "psychological pressure to conform" you speak of.

I don't think the Lord operates that way. Certainly truth is objective. But God doesn't use peer pressure or the fear of ostracization from community to convince us (except in very extreme cases). He hand is gentle and fair. The LCM's is anything but that.

I agree the Lord is that way. My experience in the local churches is also that way.

That does not mean that once in a while a brother or a leading one will not say something that comes across as emphatic, zealous, or prescriptive. I welcome zeal but that does not mean that that particular word was for me. Everything that is stated may not be for me, or at least maybe not for me at the time I first hear it. The Lord knows what we can absorb so we just have to keep our eyes on Him. Every man is a sinner, every man needs the blood daily, every man has weaknesses and faults. Every man, no exceptions. We are all in the process, we are growing, sometimes more, sometimes less. The fear you describe is not the fear I am familiar with in the Lords' Recovery. I acknowledge that you and others may have indeed experienced something different than I did. Or based on your circumstances or who delivered the message or how it was delivered are all factors that I cannot know. Maybe expectations were set too high and when others did not live up to them their world crashed and the disappointment was to great to overcome. I cannot know that either for you or for anyone else. I can only tell you that for me, I did not have the same experience and do not recognize the local churches you describe.

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Old 04-26-2017, 07:21 PM   #9
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Default Re: The Unique Move of God

Drake,

I am so grateful to the Lord and you for your careful and thorough response. Thanks for taking the time to write with such care.

I think one of the things that separates us is that I speak of an LCM of about 30 years ago. You speak of the one of today. They are no doubt different. LCMers of my day would have never joined Facebook, had it existed. Now such a thing is pretty much accepted. Things have softened, and that's good.

Davy Crockett, a Texas hero, famously said, "Be sure you are right, then go ahead." Feeling assured makes us feel good. But regardless of your feelings of assuredness about your vision, in the final analysis you must admit that you cannot be 100% certain of its complete accuracy. That being the case, and in keeping with the humility the Lord commands us to embrace, you must defer to at least the possibility that you may be wrong about some things. And that being so, you should be more tolerant of those who disagree with you on those points that reflection says you may be overly confident in.

Take the local ground for example. The fact that the Bible does not command it is incongruous with your insistence on it. However much you think your vision of it is clear, you have to ask yourself, Why didn't the Lord specify it more clearly? I believe this: if you really pray and think about it, the only conclusion you can come to is that he wanted us to be less contentious about it.

The fact is that in his Word God is vague about some things. Why is that? I can think of two possible reasons. One is so that an anointed few can know they are right about things that others miss. Another possibility, which I favor, is that God wishes to convey deeper points about which more specificity would lead to superficial misapplications.

Take, for example, Babylon the Great. We all want to know--What is Babylon? So why didn't God just tell us? I think it is because the important point about Babylon is not what it is, but what it represents.

Babylon is about people organized in rebellion against God. In the LCM we were taught that Babylon is the Roman Catholic Church. Cut and dried. Plain and simple. And that may be true. But for some reason God didn't make that so clear. Why?--so that those of us who "know" can know we have special insight? Or was it because the important point is not the superficial specifics, but rather the deeper principles? I believe the latter. I believe this is always the reason God sometimes speaks in vague parables, figures and analogies--not to present a puzzle, but to lead us to deeper realizations.

So when you look at the local ground, what does it represent? That we all need to meet as the church in the city? Or does it represent a deeper principle about oneness? And does being contentious for the local ground represent a desire for that deeper principle of oneness? Or something else?

It's an interesting dilemma, and one which I hope is not lost on a guy as smart as you.

I hope this makes some sense.
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.

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Old 04-27-2017, 04:51 AM   #10
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He was saying if you left the LCM you were in rebellion against God, by definition. No exceptions. I was there. I heard it myself. Benson taught it. The elders taught it.

It would be useful to see the exact quote but for sake of argument I can hear Brother Lee saying that. I can hear Benson repeating it and some elders also. Yet, this was my earlier point. If you have once seen the vision of the ground unity of the believers, the local churches as the practical expression of the universal Body of Christ, the resurrected and ascended Christ as the Head transmitting His power into the members of His Body, as the means to defeat God's enemy and bring in the kingdom of God to the earth..... then, yes, if you having seen and affirmed that, and you then go back to denominations for instance, then you are in rebellion.
I was hoping we could dig down here because I would hope this is something that everyone on this forum can agree on.

1. There is a ground of unity for all believers.

I would argue that this ground of unity is the work of redemption of Jesus Christ that tore down the middle wall of partition and made us all one. I stand on the work that Jesus did and this is what makes me one. It is a blood soaked ground that is outside the camp. It is the ground where the Father offered up His Son because of His love for us that we could believe on Him and have life. It is also the ground where Christ made a peace offering for our sin of pride and rebellion.

Now I realize WL thought he was making it "practical" through his doctrine, but in my experience he was merely building a middle wall to partition himself from other Christians.

2. To me the "practical expression of the universal body" is when believers stand on this ground and allow the Lord's blood to make them one, they allow the Lord's work to tear down those walls, they allow the Lord's work to make peace, they repent of their pride and rebellion to submit to the Lord's word.

I would argue that what WL taught was the "practical expression" was merely having a child with Hagar, a child according to the flesh. You have to have faith to walk this path and it does not require faith to claim that you have a monopoly on the proper ground, that is pride and rebellion.

3. I also agree that the vision is of "the resurrected and ascended Christ as the Head". I believe that we see this worked out practically in Matt 18. Matthew 18 answers the question "who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

I asked EM why he signed the letter apologizing to PL for the discipline from the previous Anaheim elders. He said that "it made WL happy". That is not someone who is walking by this vision that Jesus is "the resurrected and ascended Christ, the head of the Body". If you see that Jesus is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven then the real question is what makes Jesus happy?

In verse 6 Jesus said that "whosoever offends one of these little ones who believe in me it were better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck". That is a very clear statement that offending little believers who believe in Jesus does not make Him happy. Making Witness Lee happy at their expense does not make Jesus happy. That letter, signed by EM, was an offense to many "little ones who believe in Jesus". Yet EM's response as well as all the elders in the church in NY is that "he doesn't want to deal with that right now". This was 20 years after the fact and they have still not dealt with this, still not accountable. This was the response from several "blended brothers", and four leaders of the LRC.

Therefore I would argue that they are the ones who have left this vision that Jesus is Lord. I would say that they are the ones who are in rebellion.
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Old 04-27-2017, 06:15 AM   #11
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Default Clarifying The Unique Move of God

Hopefully I can clarify what is meant by the unique move of God. It is a misconception that when we say "the unique move of God" we are talking about our own ministry efforts. We are not. It is possible for us not to be in the unique move of God. We devote time, prayer and attention to the matter of getting "in the flow" or "staying in the flow". Why would we do that if we thought we are automatically "in the unique move of God"?

Put simply, "the unique move of God is the ministry that God does, not ourselves". Witness Lee would probably not say it that way but that is my best understanding. In Christianity most don't have this concept - they define ministry by what they do, and not by what God does.

Let us be clear that when we say "the unique move of God" we are talking about the move of God, not the move of ourselves. The unique move of God is not of ourselves, but of God. He is the initiator and we "go with the flow". It is our aim, desire, intention and goal to get in flow with "the unique move of God".

The unique move of God is evident in this verse:
Acts 2:47 "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

It is the Lord who is moving to add to their number. This is a clear example of the unique move of God. It is something of God not ourselves, although we must cooperate with Him in it.

Contrast this statement to that of most gospel ministries which might say "And we added to our number through our gospel outreach program". This is a move of man.

Most Christians today think that God moves in a haphazard and random way. But the history of the church and the book of Acts reveals that God moves in a purposeful and intentional way. "God is a God of order". God as an intelligent Creator brings order to the chaos of the world. God does not move in a chaotic way to spread the gospel.

A side effect of denominationalism was to bring about a view in Christianity that there are multiple ministries all started by God and doing His will. This is in contrast with the bible which presents to us only one unique ministry - the ministry "of Paul", which is to minister Christ.

In addition to the "unique move" we talk about the "unique ministry" which is related to the "one Lord", "one Christ" and "one Spirit".

The sobering thought is that very few of these gospel ministries may actually be God's move, but rather, the attempts of men to please the Lord apart from the flow of the Spirit, and not in oneness with Christ. Some may say that is arrogant, but actually I'm just paraphrasing Matt 7:21 "many will say to me... Lord did I not do this.. or that".

Really when we think about it how can multiple ministries be possible if God is a God of order? On the one hand God starts a ministry that brings about baptism by full immersion, and starts another ministry that baptizes by sprinkling. One ministry that furthers the cause of the Pope and another which brings about tongue speaking and rolling on the floor in "holy laughter". How can God be the author of such contradiction and confusion? Did God raise up an apostle for the tongue speakers, and an apostle for the baptizers, and an apostle for the Papists and give each their own heavenly vision experience? Of course not.

The bible is fairly clear that there is only one unique move of God:

Acts 26:19 Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to THE heavenly vision.

Paul does not say "I was not disobedient to "a" or "my" heavenly vision".
Paul does not tell others "well I've had my heavenly vision on the road to Damascus.. have you had yours yet?"

Paul says THE heavenly vision. Paul knew that what he experienced was not just for his personal spirituality or edification, or even for his personal salvation. This vision he experienced guided his whole life and ministry from that point forward. It even touches us today - when we read the New Testament written by Paul, we are touching the one heavenly vision that Paul had.

Paul nowhere entertains the thought that others may have a different heavenly vision. He goes so far as to say "my gospel" in Romans 16:25 and other places, as if his gospel and "the gospel" are one and the same. When he says "my gospel" he does not mean there are different gospels. There is only one gospel (Gal 1:6-8). Similarly, when we say "my ministry" we should be speaking of the one unique ministry of God. This concept of one ministry is not understood by those in denominations.
When they read the bible they do not see the one ministry of God, but they see each practical aspect of the one ministry as distinct and different ministries. E.g. a "teaching ministry", "evangelism ministry", "children's ministry". They define ministry by what they do, and not by what God does (Acts 2:47).

Gill's commentary on this verse helps explain:
I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision; to Christ himself, who appeared from heaven in so much light and glory, and spoke unto him, and appointed him what he should be, and do, and declared what use he should be of: he did not disbelieve what Christ said, nor was he disobedient to the orders he gave, but immediately set about the work he called him to, without consulting flesh and blood; see Galatians 1:16.

We cannot be in the flow of God, in the "unique move of God" if we are merely carrying out the wishes of a man-made organization according to our job description or organizations "vision statement".

It is the difference between "being set apart for the work to which I have called them" (Acts 13:1-4) and "working for the Lord because I or my denomination thinks its a good thing to do". To be in the unique move of God requires the Lord's leading and our willingness and cooperation to be led.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:29 AM   #12
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To place the word "unique" into the discussion is to imply that there is something special and focused and that is not found in the whole of the moving of God on the earth. It implies that it could be only found in a certain kind of outreach to the unsaved and not in other kinds.

But the accounts given by Paul would make a lie of that kind of thinking. He took every way that he could find to his benefit. He went to some places and just made tents and preached a little as he did. In others he made more robust speeches to the people in general. In one place he found a shrine to an unknown god and made hay out of it.

And when he discovered that some were even preaching the gospel in regions that would potentially cause his present captors to possibly give him a worse time in his imprisonment, he still commended them as preaching the gospel. Even if they did it to give him problems, it was the preaching of the gospel. There was no hint that any who were converted as a result of such preaching were deficient Christians that were not truly part of the body of Christ.

The truth is that the only "unique" in God's move is that it is God that is moving, not someone else. You use the terms as a pejorative to denigrate what others are dong because you think it is not "God's move" because it is not what you are doing. That suggests that God only speaks to, and moves in an infinitesimally small part of his body to the exclusion of all others.

But Christ/God moves in his people. We are all his people. He moves in more than some singular "move of God" as if it is only door knocking and baptizing people in their bath tubs at one point in time, and going to the campuses at another. And based on current LRC rhetoric, it is currently looking only for "good material' by ignoring the highways and byways and instead seeking only university students.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:45 AM   #13
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The bible is fairly clear that there is only one unique move of God:

Acts 26:19 Therefore, King Agrippa, I was not disobedient to THE heavenly vision.
You make much more out of the article "the" than a normal person would. The heavenly vision of Paul would seem to be found initially in the vision of God telling him that he would be apostle to the Gentiles. That did not limit the breadth of how that was to occur. But it did focus Paul on a mission. His vision was of his calling. It was not of the limitation of the move of God overall, but the specific declaration of God's moving through him.

There is nothing in this verse that limits God's move to what Paul was doing. Rather it put a limit on what Paul was doing. No limit on what Peter was doing. Or John, James (either), Barnabas (and Paul refers to him positively after their parting), Mark, Timothy, or so many others.

You have a calling. It may be to preach to aborigines in some far land. Or it may be to live the righteousness of Christ in the sight of those around you in urban America. And lots of places in between. But for you or me, it is not likely both. At least not at the same time. So for yourself, you might be ablt to say that God has called you to a specific (and therefore unique from your own perspective) work. But that does not make it God's unique work.

Your whole argument in this post is based on the same kind of logic that got you the doctrine of dirt. Paul said "the heavenly vision" so you declare that there is only one such vision rather than recognize that it was Paul who saw that vision while Peter saw a different one. Yet they all work in God's move. You make universal declarations out of contextually discreet statements that do not make any kind of universal statement. It is among the core errors of both Nee and Lee. And once you make those errors and teach them, the foundation for the next teaching is flawed and therefore subject to taking you someone you shouldn't go. Like declaring that Christ is just the Holy Spirit.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:06 AM   #14
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Hopefully I can clarify what is meant by the unique move of God...
Witness Lee refers to:

unique oneness
unique body of christ
unique fellowship
unique spirit
unique flow
Unique move of the unique God for the unique accomplishment
unique blending
unique testimony

Concerning the "unique oneness" he says:

“When we say that the unique oneness of the church is expressed in the place where the saints are, we need to define what we mean by place. What is the limit of this place? The limit is not a house or a street. In the New Testament there are no street churches or avenue churches. Today, however, so-called churches are designated by a street or an avenue. Some might say, “In the Bible there are no street churches, but there are house churches.” Concerning house churches or home churches we need to be careful. Yes, the New Testament does mention the church in the house of certain saints (Rom. 16:5a; Col. 4:15-16). If we read the New Testament carefully, we will see that in these cases the church in the house was the same in limit as the church in the city. In other words, the limit of the house church was equal to the city.” Witness Lee, The Heavenly Vision, Chapter 2, Section 2)

Witness Lee's definition of the unique oneness is all about a physical place. I reject that definition. I would say the NT teaches that the unique oneness of the believers is due to the Lord's redemptive work on the cross in breaking down all the walls of partition so that the Body could be one.

If you read WL's definition it is clearly designed to build a partition. He points out that his oneness is different from the denominations, different from the Pentecostals, different from street churches and even "house" churches. Never once does he deny that all of these other groups are redeemed Christians who are standing on the Lord's redemption, yet his oneness is unique from theirs. I agree, it is unique from theirs.

I prefer the oneness from the Lord's redeeming work to the "unique oneness" of Witness Lee's partition teaching.
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Old 04-27-2017, 10:28 AM   #15
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To place the word "unique" into the discussion is to imply that there is something special and focused and that is not found in the whole of the moving of God on the earth. It implies that it could be only found in a certain kind of outreach to the unsaved and not in other kinds.
The only thing truly "unique" about Lee and TLR is their pride.

This arrogant pride is manifested in their teachings and practices. Jesus Himself identified these attitudes in Revelation 3.14-22.

In this regard their attitude is no different than the Jews' attitude, which Paul aptly addressed in certain sections of scripture like in Romans chapter 2.
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Old 04-27-2017, 05:16 PM   #16
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You make much more out of the article "the" than a normal person would. The heavenly vision of Paul would seem to be found initially in the vision of God telling him that he would be apostle to the Gentiles. That did not limit the breadth of how that was to occur. But it did focus Paul on a mission. His vision was of his calling. It was not of the limitation of the move of God overall, but the specific declaration of God's moving through him.

There is nothing in this verse that limits God's move to what Paul was doing. Rather it put a limit on what Paul was doing. No limit on what Peter was doing. Or John, James (either), Barnabas (and Paul refers to him positively after their parting), Mark, Timothy, or so many others.

You have a calling. It may be to preach to aborigines in some far land. Or it may be to live the righteousness of Christ in the sight of those around you in urban America. And lots of places in between. But for you or me, it is not likely both. At least not at the same time. So for yourself, you might be ablt to say that God has called you to a specific (and therefore unique from your own perspective) work. But that does not make it God's unique work.

Your whole argument in this post is based on the same kind of logic that got you the doctrine of dirt. Paul said "the heavenly vision" so you declare that there is only one such vision rather than recognize that it was Paul who saw that vision while Peter saw a different one. Yet they all work in God's move. You make universal declarations out of contextually discreet statements that do not make any kind of universal statement. It is among the core errors of both Nee and Lee. And once you make those errors and teach them, the foundation for the next teaching is flawed and therefore subject to taking you someone you shouldn't go. Like declaring that Christ is just the Holy Spirit.
As usual your post lacks any sort of biblical scripture or theological support. Your post seems to suggest that each of the disciples had their own little heavenly vision which by implication means they preached their own gospel as well.

Just because there are many different ways to preach the gospel does not mean there are different gospels. Similarly just because the disciples had their own visions and callings does not mean there are different visions and callings - there is only one capital V and capital C Vision and Calling. This flows from the one God and one Spirit.
The "ones" of scripture is not something denominational people easily grasp.

If you think that I say THE heavenly gospel because I focus only on those three words and assume that there is only one heavenly vision, you would be wrong. Maybe that is how you interpret the bible but I don't.

I say THE heavenly vision because I know the relationship between THE heavenly vision and THE gospel and THE crucified Christ.

The limitation here is not with me not being a "normal person". It is with you, not knowing the Scriptures. I will explain in the follow.

Paul experienced many visions in his life. As did Peter.

But THE heavenly vision was the the initial and most dramatic vision that guided Paul's whole life.

Remember that Paul's heavenly vision was an experience of THE crucified and risen Christ.

THE heavenly vision that Paul had was also when God revealed THE gospel to him:

Gal 1:12 "I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ."

There is one heavenly vision and one gospel.

Ellicotts bible commentary explains that it was at or near this heavenly vision:

The context shows that it must have been at some time either at or near the Apostle’s conversion. This would be sufficient to exclude the later revelation of 2Corinthians 12:1. But can it be the vision on the way to Damascus itself alone? At first sight it would seem as if this was too brief, and its object too special, to include the kind of “sum of Christian doctrine” of which the Apostle is speaking. But this at least contained the two main points—the Messiahship of Jesus, and faith in Jesus, from which all the rest of the Apostle’s teaching flowed naturally and logically. When once it was felt that the death of Christ upon the cross was not that of a criminal, but of the Son of God, the rest all seemed to follow. Putting this together with the sense, which we may well believe had been growing upon him, of the inefficacy of the Law, we can easily see how the idea would arise of a sacrifice superseding the Law, and in the relegation of the Law to this very secondary position the main barrier between Jew and Gentile would be removed. St. Paul himself, by laying stress upon his retreat to the deserts of Arabia, evidently implies that the gospel, as taught by him in its complete form, was the result of gradual development and prolonged reflection; but whether this is to be regarded as implicitly contained in the first revelation, or whether we are to suppose that there were successive revelations, of which there is no record in the Acts, cannot be positively determined.
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Old 04-27-2017, 08:56 PM   #17
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As usual your post lacks any sort of biblical scripture or theological support. Your post seems to suggest that each of the disciples had their own little heavenly vision which by implication means they preached their own gospel as well.

Just because there are many different ways to preach the gospel does not mean there are different gospels. Similarly just because the disciples had their own visions and callings does not mean there are different visions and callings - there is only one capital V and capital C Vision and Calling. This flows from the one God and one Spirit.
The "ones" of scripture is not something denominational people easily grasp.

If you think that I say THE heavenly gospel because I focus only on those three words and assume that there is only one heavenly vision, you would be wrong. Maybe that is how you interpret the bible but I don't.

I say THE heavenly vision because I know the relationship between THE heavenly vision and THE gospel and THE crucified Christ.

The limitation here is not with me not being a "normal person". It is with you, not knowing the Scriptures. I will explain in the follow.

Paul experienced many visions in his life. As did Peter.

But THE heavenly vision was the the initial and most dramatic vision that guided Paul's whole life.

Remember that Paul's heavenly vision was an experience of THE crucified and risen Christ.

THE heavenly vision that Paul had was also when God revealed THE gospel to him:

Gal 1:12 "I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ."

There is one heavenly vision and one gospel.

Ellicotts bible commentary explains that it was at or near this heavenly vision:

The context shows that it must have been at some time either at or near the Apostle’s conversion. This would be sufficient to exclude the later revelation of 2Corinthians 12:1. But can it be the vision on the way to Damascus itself alone? At first sight it would seem as if this was too brief, and its object too special, to include the kind of “sum of Christian doctrine” of which the Apostle is speaking. But this at least contained the two main points—the Messiahship of Jesus, and faith in Jesus, from which all the rest of the Apostle’s teaching flowed naturally and logically. When once it was felt that the death of Christ upon the cross was not that of a criminal, but of the Son of God, the rest all seemed to follow. Putting this together with the sense, which we may well believe had been growing upon him, of the inefficacy of the Law, we can easily see how the idea would arise of a sacrifice superseding the Law, and in the relegation of the Law to this very secondary position the main barrier between Jew and Gentile would be removed. St. Paul himself, by laying stress upon his retreat to the deserts of Arabia, evidently implies that the gospel, as taught by him in its complete form, was the result of gradual development and prolonged reflection; but whether this is to be regarded as implicitly contained in the first revelation, or whether we are to suppose that there were successive revelations, of which there is no record in the Acts, cannot be positively determined.
You complain about my lack of verses as if your verses actually say anything (at least that you think they say). And this particular post has only one verse/passage that also does not answer the question as to whether Paul had a vison that was unique relative to God for all persons at that time, or simply to himself and his part in the overall ministry of God. His references to that actions of others would indicate that he did not consider their preaching to be at odds with his.

But the most important point about all of this is that Paul, nor any other part of the scripture, causes either of these to clearly mean some overriding vision that controlled how God was working in everyone at that time. But it was clearly what Paul was acting according to. And since Jesus had sent the disciples into "all the world" and they did not consult with Paul before any particular one of them did whatever they did, it would be odd to think that what Paul was taught in the desert was part of some unique move of God that excluded all others, including that of the spreading of others to other places without ever seeing or hearing from Paul after the time of such teaching.

In short, Lee sought to make something he couldn't even properly define into some nebulous "Unique move of God" that precluded any Christian "move" as actually being from God unless it was aligned with Lee's. There is no construct of words, sentences, etc., found in the scripture that either declares it as so or specifically denies it (as if they were expecting the stupidity of Lee, so they commented on it negatively almost 2,000 years in advance).

In another thread you want to discuss logic yet fail miserably at understanding the meaning of simple words. When you start with a system of logic that reads like someone saying 3x > 5, therefore x =1, you establish that either you are pretty poor at logic, or you are reading from someone else that is poor at logic but presuming they are good at it without checking them out. I actually think it is at least partly the latter. You have been duped into thinking that if Lee said it, then it has to be true and you will not dare check it out because you are afraid of how wrong he might be and what that would do to you.

If you are lucky, one day you will be man enough to stand up to your fears and check Lee out without relying on what he said as the proof that he is right. I am pretty confident that if you do it that way, the walls will begin to crumble.

I don't need verses to declare that something that is not there is not there. You need to do more than refer to a vision that someone had and say it is universal and excludes anyone else from having any kind of vision that differs. You need to show how the scripture you are relying on actually creates an exclusionary aspect to Paul's vision.

And saying that Paul had a vision and it is God's unique move on the earth without finding where scripture actually says that is not proof. And just because you are not forbidden by scripture from saying such an unsubstantiated thing does not put the burden on me to prove you wrong. It is as if you are declaring that because the scripture does not say that grass cannot be purple that only purple grass will be allowed. And then declare that no one is proving from scripture that grass cannot be purple.

It doesn't prove your point. It makes you a fool. One with no ability to handle logic or scripture.
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Old 04-27-2017, 09:41 PM   #18
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Re: But the most important point about all of this is that Paul, nor any other part of the scripture, causes either of these to clearly mean some overriding vision that controlled how God was working in everyone at that time.


What your view implies is that the vision given to us by the New Testament is not enough - There is OBW's vision and Evangelical's vision etc. The New Testament is written by three people - Luke, Paul and John. We are controlled by Paul's vision every time we come to the New Testament. To "follow the bible" means to be controlled by Paul, Luke, or John's vision, which is one and the same. Everything that Paul wrote in there is coming from his heavenly vision and the gospel which God gave Him by revelation.

This gospel of Paul's we understand to be the same gospel that John and Luke and all the other disciples had.

If you don't understand that there is only one true gospel from one vision from God that controlled all of the disciples then you cannot seriously call yourself a Christian because they were all controlled by God's voice and followed Christ.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:40 AM   #19
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I was hoping we could dig down here because I would hope this is something that everyone on this forum can agree on.

1. There is a ground of unity for all believers.

I would argue that this ground of unity is the work of redemption of Jesus Christ that tore down the middle wall of partition and made us all one. I stand on the work that Jesus did and this is what makes me one. It is a blood soaked ground that is outside the camp. It is the ground where the Father offered up His Son because of His love for us that we could believe on Him and have life. It is also the ground where Christ made a peace offering for our sin of pride and rebellion.

Now I realize WL thought he was making it "practical" through his doctrine, but in my experience he was merely building a middle wall to partition himself from other Christians.

2. To me the "practical expression of the universal body" is when believers stand on this ground and allow the Lord's blood to make them one, they allow the Lord's work to tear down those walls, they allow the Lord's work to make peace, they repent of their pride and rebellion to submit to the Lord's word.

I would argue that what WL taught was the "practical expression" was merely having a child with Hagar, a child according to the flesh. You have to have faith to walk this path and it does not require faith to claim that you have a monopoly on the proper ground, that is pride and rebellion.

3. I also agree that the vision is of "the resurrected and ascended Christ as the Head". I believe that we see this worked out practically in Matt 18. Matthew 18 answers the question "who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?"

I asked EM why he signed the letter apologizing to PL for the discipline from the previous Anaheim elders. He said that "it made WL happy". That is not someone who is walking by this vision that Jesus is "the resurrected and ascended Christ, the head of the Body". If you see that Jesus is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven then the real question is what makes Jesus happy?

In verse 6 Jesus said that "whosoever offends one of these little ones who believe in me it were better for him if a millstone were hung around his neck". That is a very clear statement that offending little believers who believe in Jesus does not make Him happy. Making Witness Lee happy at their expense does not make Jesus happy. That letter, signed by EM, was an offense to many "little ones who believe in Jesus". Yet EM's response as well as all the elders in the church in NY is that "he doesn't want to deal with that right now". This was 20 years after the fact and they have still not dealt with this, still not accountable. This was the response from several "blended brothers", and four leaders of the LRC.

Therefore I would argue that they are the ones who have left this vision that Jesus is Lord. I would say that they are the ones who are in rebellion.
ZNP, I agree with your points 1, 2 and 3. Emphasis is mine.
In regard to EM's response to you in NYC, same applies to other LSM/LC leaders and none have exhibited any sense of reconciliation towards brothers and sisters they have become estranged from.
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Old 04-28-2017, 11:52 AM   #20
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ZNP, I agree with your points 1, 2 and 3. Emphasis is mine.
In regard to EM's response to you in NYC, same applies to other LSM/LC leaders and none have exhibited any sense of reconciliation towards brothers and sisters they have become estranged from.
So then according to Matt 18

9 And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

Even if you want to refer to WL as "your eye" the counsel from Jesus is to pluck him out and cast him from thee.

17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

You and I have told the church, now they should be treated as a heathen man and a publican. I no longer consider them men of God, elders, or those who deserve double honor.
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Old 04-30-2017, 07:14 AM   #21
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Hopefully I can clarify what is meant by the unique move of God. It is a misconception that when we say "the unique move of God" we are talking about our own ministry efforts. We are not. It is possible for us not to be in the unique move of God. We devote time, prayer and attention to the matter of getting "in the flow" or "staying in the flow". Why would we do that if we thought we are automatically "in the unique move of God"?

Put simply, "the unique move of God is the ministry that God does, not ourselves". Witness Lee would probably not say it that way but that is my best understanding. In Christianity most don't have this concept - they define ministry by what they do, and not by what God does.

Let us be clear that when we say "the unique move of God" we are talking about the move of God, not the move of ourselves. The unique move of God is not of ourselves, but of God. He is the initiator and we "go with the flow". It is our aim, desire, intention and goal to get in flow with "the unique move of God".

The unique move of God is evident in this verse:
Acts 2:47 "And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved."

It is the Lord who is moving to add to their number. This is a clear example of the unique move of God. It is something of God not ourselves, although we must cooperate with Him in it.

Contrast this statement to that of most gospel ministries which might say "And we added to our number through our gospel outreach program". This is a move of man.

Most Christians today think that God moves in a haphazard and random way. But the history of the church and the book of Acts reveals that God moves in a purposeful and intentional way. "God is a God of order". God as an intelligent Creator brings order to the chaos of the world. God does not move in a chaotic way to spread the gospel.
As usual, you are speaking in half-truths. Yes, God's move is of him alone--yet he uses and limits himself to imperfect people. Yes, God is not random and chaotic--yet he uses seeming random and chaotic events as opportunities to bring people to himself. Yes, there is one flow from the throne--yet that does not express itself as "one ministry" on earth--Paul said clearly there were "many ministries" (1 Cor 12:5). Yes, Paul's ministry was very important to the New Testament--yet he and the Bible never say nor imply that his ministry nor his visions supersede or even encompass all other teachings.

Evangelical, you consistently speak in half-truths, as Lee did.

And, of course, there is your reliable old saw, "most gospel ministries" and "most Christians" set up as straw men so you can knock them down, when it's plainly clear you have no idea what most Christians and ministries believe, think or do.

Christians these days are very aware that the work of God is God's work. Those in the church I meet with and the leadership there are constantly praying for God's guidance and leading. And guess what? We get it. I've never been in situation where I was so much in touch with God's practical leading of a church as I am now.

Yes, when I was in the LCM we told ourselves we were smack dab in the middle of "God's move." But why did we think that? Not so much because we sought or felt his leading, but because we thought we had all the right beliefs about everything in place--about the Christian experience, the church experience, the end times, God's economy, etc--so we must be in the right place. But in spite of that, nothing we did led to much. We just did church life year-in and year-out and bounced from thing to thing and went around in circles. There was no sense of progress. Basically we just got excited about the "revelation" from the latest Lee training for a few weeks, and then waited for the next one. From what I can tell not much has changed. It's as if the movement is stuck in a time loop, not much change, progress, growth or increase. How is that God's move?

Contrast that to my experience in the last ten years. I can definitely see the results of the Lord's guidance and leading in the church I meet with. More and more our focus has become others-centered and serving-oriented. We have branched out in our outreach. Several new churches have been planted. I myself have definitely grown and changed. Ten years ago all I had was knowledge, most of it from the LCM. Now I think I at least have a little bit of real growth and knowledge of the Lord.

It's very discouraging to hear people talking about "God's move" and instead of them talking about all the wonderful things God is doing to bring people to himself they are really just talking about how they are right and everyone else is wrong. It's sad.

LCMers talk in high-sounding phraseology, but in a very self-serving way. Take, for example, oneness. If the LCM were really as much for oneness as they claim to be there is no way they would go around with the attitudes they do about other Christians, ministries and churches. I'm sorry, but your attitude and behavior are testimonies against what you claim to have and believe. If you were really rich you'd be generously giving it away, instead of talking about how rich you are. Those who are truly rich don't talk about how stupid the poor are, they just do everything they can to help them in a spirit of support and acceptance.

Simply put, you don't do that, not the LCM in general and certainly not you here. So I'm not sure what you are more fooled about: your status or that you are fooling anyone else about it.

I can go around saying I'm a great golfer, but if I can't play the game it's just talk. The LCM can talk all they want about being for oneness and God's move. The evidence speaks otherwise.
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Old 04-30-2017, 08:40 AM   #22
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Default Re: Clarifying The Unique Move of God

This is the attitude we all, especially you-know-who, would have if we were really "rich" and really in "God's unique move."

Romans 15-1-9 verse and devotional
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Old 05-01-2017, 12:01 PM   #23
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The LCM doesn't just say "if you want to be part of us you'll do things our way," That much is reasonable. No, they go on to say "and if you don't do that you are outside of God's unique move." That is utterly unreasonable. And that goes for any subset of the Church that says that.
No wonder there's confusion when there's speaking both ways.
One leader is reputed to have said "If you're not for brother Lee and his ministry, you might as well not be here."
Another, it's best you meet with another church.
And yet another leader, "the recovery is not for everyone".
On the other hand implying if not saying:
The recovery is God's move on earth.
If you leave the recovery, you'll be spiritually bankrupt.
Which is it because you can't have it both ways.
Brothers who truly feel the recovery is God's move on earth would say the recovery is for everyone. If a leading brother can say the recovery is not for everyone, to me that's conceding local churches are really ministry churches.
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Old 05-01-2017, 03:16 PM   #24
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What many call "church plants" are more correctly "sect plants". Without making this distinction then those who believe in "many churches" in an area, must by default accept LGBT churches as being a genuine church. The word "sect" is more appropriate for a church that caters to a particular "need" or preference. It is an assembly that looks like an arm or a leg rather than the whole body. (Insert Spurgeon quote here)

A genuine church plant is starting a church where no church has existed before. In the Bible the apostles traveled to new areas and established the new believers in churches. And the term church is a group of believers meeting together on the basis of their unity in Christ, not in any other person or thing.

Most of what people call "church plants" are plants of assemblies of a different flavor to the rest. For example Pentecostal churches like to start "church plants". If there are no tongue-speaking churches in a place a pentecostal church will start a "church plant" for those who like to speak in tongues. So there is a different "sect plant" for every type of sect that cater for different people's needs.

However we do not find this situation in the bible at all even though the early church had good reason enough to do so.

If this was how it was meant to be then we would find Paul establishing different churches for the gentiles and churches for the Jews.

Instead, he writes:
Gal 3:28 "There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus"

We could continue Paul's line of thought and say

"There is neither tongue speaker nor non-tongue speaker..." you are all one in Christ.

Of course, Paul is not saying these differences do not exist. Of course we are still in our bodies, male and female, and we are either Jew or Gentile, and some of us like to speak in tongues and others do not like to speak in tongues. He is asking people to forget the differences and "clothe themselves with Christ" Galatians 3:27-29.

If everyone clothes themselves with the same clothing, which is Christ, then they all look the same. Paul also affirms that they are "baptized into Christ".

If every believer is baptized into Christ, then there is really no basis for different "sect plants" catering for different people's "needs", based upon the desire to establish a form of worship service or practice such as tongue speaking.

Regardless of our experience and how we feel, establishment of a sect plant is no more "God's unique move" than the construction of a new LGBT, JW, or Mormon church in a particular location.
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:16 AM   #25
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What many call "church plants" are more correctly "sect plants". Without making this distinction then those who believe in "many churches" in an area, must by default accept LGBT churches as being a genuine church. T
Your reasoning is very faulty. It's an example of the fallacy of the appeal to the extreme. You are saying that if we must accept all churches that claim to be churches we must accept LGBT churches. But there are other reasons to question the validity of groups. The Bible plainly tells us to not keep company with fornicators, and gay sex is plainly always fornication according to the Bible. So the reason to question the validity of LGBT churches has nothing to do with their being one of many, but that they are seated in gross sin, and so fellowship with them must be withheld. In this case "fellowship" does not mean that we can never talk to them, but that we do not confer to them the "right hand of fellowship," meaning full receiving of them.

So your argument fails that if there can be many churches that we must accept all who claim to be churches. We don't have to do that if there are aspects of the group (namely gross sin) which the Bible plainly tells us not to receive.

You seem to think that there must be a some cut-and-dried standard of what is a "church" and what isn't. But the Bible does not plainly give us that information. Nee and Lee decided that it should have and so invented standards for which the biblical argument is tenuous to say the least.

Ironically, expecting others to agree with such tenuous arguments is in DIRECT violation of the Bible's mandate to not judge matters that plainly rely on each of us to be "fully persuaded in our own mind." The local ground, the view of the LCM about God's "unique move" and other sectarian LCM beliefs are not supported enough in the Bible to permit the LCM to expect others to believe them.

Some things in the Bible are plain. Some things are not. Yes, the Bible is plain that we should be "one." But the Bible is not plain about exactly what that looks like. Clearly each of us must decide in our own conscience what oneness means. This is the only way it could be, if you think about it. Because otherwise if what oneness looks could be defined in the superficial way the LCM insists it can, then that would subject the consciences of believers to the whims of leadership about superficial matters. This would clearly tie the Lord's hands, resulting in the sclerosis you see in the LCM.

Yes, in extreme cases the church can decide to cease fellowship with individuals and groups. But plainly it is not the Lord's desire to give us a blank check to reject all those who do not measure up to our proprietary "oneness" standards which cannot be plainly and clearly understood and accepted by most Christians.

A sect is not just a distinctive group. It is a group which in general feels it should separate itself from other groups because of that distinction. In laymans's terms it is a group that in general thinks it is too good for others. And THAT is the distinction that matters. By that definition the LCM is definitely a sect, while many of the groups it considers sects are not.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:19 AM   #26
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What many call "church plants" are more correctly "sect plants". Without making this distinction then those who believe in "many churches" in an area, must by default accept LGBT churches as being a genuine church. The word "sect" is more appropriate for a church that caters to a particular "need" or preference. It is an assembly that looks like an arm or a leg rather than the whole body. (Insert Spurgeon quote here)
Church planting sectarian? I had not heard that one before.
However I would agree sect is appropriate for a church that caters to a particular "need" of preference. That would apply to LSM affiliated assemblies. Whether on Maui, Toronto, or Renton it's a preference towards a specific Christian publishers publications for fellowship. It's essentially a "closed" assembly/assemblies. Not open to fellowship apart from their preference. That's what makes this system sectarian.
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Old 05-02-2017, 11:56 AM   #27
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Some things in the Bible are plain. Some things are not. Yes, the Bible is plain that we should be "one." But the Bible is not plain about exactly what that looks like. Clearly each of us must decide in our own conscience what oneness means. This is the only way it could be, if you think about it. Because otherwise if what oneness looks could be defined in the superficial way the LCM insists it can, then that would subject the consciences of believers to the whims of leadership about superficial matters. This would clearly tie the Lord's hands, resulting in the sclerosis you see in the LCM.
As Christians we should be able to be one based on the Word of God alone.
When we start basing our oneness on affiliations through ministers and ministries we fall into the trap Paul warned about in 1 Corinthians 1:12-13.
In more recent history it's clear divisions were produced through the Brethren movement or currently with the TLR movement by lifting up men. "I of Darby" or "I of Lee".
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Old 05-02-2017, 04:46 PM   #28
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Some things in the Bible are plain. Some things are not. Yes, the Bible is plain that we should be "one." But the Bible is not plain about exactly what that looks like. Clearly each of us must decide in our own conscience what oneness means.
Looking at I Corinthians closely regarding oneness, Apostle Paul addresses member attitudes first and primarily. To Paul, oneness and divisiveness is directly related to how we treat the members all around us. Read about all the examples he uses.

Nee and Lee have twisted this all around, making the STANDARD of oneness how each member and each congregation is related to a minister at headquarters. That would be like Paul demanding that the Corinthians, Ephesians, Bereans, etc. all have the right relationship with James in Jerusalem. Sound a little ridiculous? Then just think for a moment what the Blendeds today demand of LC's and their members.

The Corinthians, in their loveless ways, pitted their allegiances to notable ministers against one another. Hence, "I am of" was a way to disagree with the other member he didn't agree with in the first place. The Corinthians also used attitudes towards food, finances, personal liberties, etc. to also combat one another. How sad it was! Paul's solution was to bring all the believers back to the cross of Christ and the love of God. There, and only there, are we truly one. Leave the cross and leave God's love, and no two members can get along any more. Forget about the "one city one church" nonsense. Have we not seen enough divisions there? Enough quarantines, back-stabbing, public slanders, and worse?

Back in 1977 as a young believer and college student in the church in Cleveland, I migrated to "take the ground" and start the so-called "church in Columbus" on the OSU campus according to W. Lee's fellowship. Today Columbus has 3 so-called LC's -- one of (Blended) Lee, one of Chu, and one (apparently) of Christ. So much for the ideals of oneness -- one church one city -- that "heavenly vision" which governed my earlier life.

Nee and Lee's oc/oc model does not produce its expected fruit because it is not of the Spirit, and not according to the scripture. Instead of oneness, it produces the exact same problems it was intended to solve in the first place. Only thru ministry deception, extensive litigation teams, and strict control of the press did the system of error continue as long as it did.
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Old 05-02-2017, 05:19 PM   #29
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Your reasoning is very faulty. It's an example of the fallacy of the appeal to the extreme. You are saying that if we must accept all churches that claim to be churches we must accept LGBT churches. But there are other reasons to question the validity of groups. The Bible plainly tells us to not keep company with fornicators, and gay sex is plainly always fornication according to the Bible. So the reason to question the validity of LGBT churches has nothing to do with their being one of many, but that they are seated in gross sin, and so fellowship with them must be withheld. In this case "fellowship" does not mean that we can never talk to them, but that we do not confer to them the "right hand of fellowship," meaning full receiving of them.
I used the extreme example to make a point. But that "LGBT church" could as well be a tongue-speaking pentecostal church which the Presbyterians might reject because they speak in tongues. In other words the acceptance for fellowship becomes very subjective based upon doctrinal matters. The basis for fellowship is not something necessarily sinful. This is why the basis for spiritual fellowship should only be Christ and the basis for practical fellowship is both Christ and the locality.

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So your argument fails that if there can be many churches that we must accept all who claim to be churches. We don't have to do that if there are aspects of the group (namely gross sin) which the Bible plainly tells us not to receive.
I agree but this does not explain why the Presbyterians do not receive the Baptists and why Lutherans do not receive Anglicans. Their differences are not due to sin but doctrinal, practical or historical preference. There is really no biblical mandate for that.

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You seem to think that there must be a some cut-and-dried standard of what is a "church" and what isn't. But the Bible does not plainly give us that information. Nee and Lee decided that it should have and so invented standards for which the biblical argument is tenuous to say the least.
The bible does not precisely define what a "born again Christian" is either. Yet the evangelical protestant community has concocted a rather precise and dogmatic definition or standard for what it means based upon a very short dialogue between Jesus and one man Nicodemus. There are various takes on "born again" in Christianity as a whole - e.g. to be born again means the resurrection (after death), it means a process over ones lifetime, or it is instantaneous as soon as one believes in Christ.


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Ironically, expecting others to agree with such tenuous arguments is in DIRECT violation of the Bible's mandate to not judge matters that plainly rely on each of us to be "fully persuaded in our own mind." The local ground, the view of the LCM about God's "unique move" and other sectarian LCM beliefs are not supported enough in the Bible to permit the LCM to expect others to believe them.
1 Corinthians 5:12 says we can judge those in the church. In particular Romans 16:17 says to mark those which cause divisions. Marking those which cause divisions can include those who plant new sects.


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Some things in the Bible are plain. Some things are not. Yes, the Bible is plain that we should be "one." But the Bible is not plain about exactly what that looks like. Clearly each of us must decide in our own conscience what oneness means. This is the only way it could be, if you think about it. Because otherwise if what oneness looks could be defined in the superficial way the LCM insists it can, then that would subject the consciences of believers to the whims of leadership about superficial matters. This would clearly tie the Lord's hands, resulting in the sclerosis you see in the LCM.
The bible defines what being "one" means in Ephesians 4:4-6, John 17:21. The "ones" in Ephesians 4:4-6 are the basis for practical oneness. Even without those precise definitions, one would think it should look something like Christ and the 12 disciples, and not like the conglomeration of denominations we see today.


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Yes, in extreme cases the church can decide to cease fellowship with individuals and groups. But plainly it is not the Lord's desire to give us a blank check to reject all those who do not measure up to our proprietary "oneness" standards which cannot be plainly and clearly understood and accepted by most Christians.

A sect is not just a distinctive group. It is a group which in general feels it should separate itself from other groups because of that distinction. In laymans's terms it is a group that in general thinks it is too good for others. And THAT is the distinction that matters. By that definition the LCM is definitely a sect, while many of the groups it considers sects are not.
Can't your definition apply to all denominations? Did not Luther separate from the Catholics because the Catholics were not good enough? By this definition the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches are sects also because they reject protestant churches that do not measure up to their standards of what is a genuine church. If we want to define church versus sect, we have to find a definition which works for all cases.
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Old 05-02-2017, 05:25 PM   #30
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Church planting sectarian? I had not heard that one before.
However I would agree sect is appropriate for a church that caters to a particular "need" of preference. That would apply to LSM affiliated assemblies. Whether on Maui, Toronto, or Renton it's a preference towards a specific Christian publishers publications for fellowship. It's essentially a "closed" assembly/assemblies. Not open to fellowship apart from their preference. That's what makes this system sectarian.
I believe in Paul's day if anyone came along and started a house assembly for Jews only or Gentiles only right next door to his planted house assembly, he would condemn it as being sectarian and divisive. Today churches are planted for far less trivial reasons than being Jewish or Gentile.
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Old 05-02-2017, 05:58 PM   #31
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I used the extreme example to make a point. But that "LGBT church" could as well be a tongue-speaking pentecostal church which the Presbyterians might reject because they speak in tongues. In other words the acceptance for fellowship becomes very subjective based upon doctrinal matters. The basis for fellowship is not something necessarily sinful. This is why the basis for spiritual fellowship should only be Christ and the basis for practical fellowship is both Christ and the locality.

I agree but this does not explain why the Presbyterians do not receive the Baptists and why Lutherans do not receive Anglicans. Their differences are not due to sin but doctrinal, practical or historical preference. There is really no biblical mandate for that.
Evangelical, instead of blaming everyone else for what they do or may not do, why don't the LC's stop rejecting other Christians and start opening their hearts to others? There are great numbers of Christians who serve in old denominations, yet the Lord is touching their hearts to reach out in love. You condemn others for what you are not doing yourselves. The LSM/LC leadership ought to start pray-reading verses like Romans 2.1-8 for themselves.
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Therefore, you have no excuse—every one who judges. For when you judge others, you condemn yourself, since you, the judge, practice the exact same things. Now we know that God's judgment against those who act like this is based on truth. So when you pass judgment on those who practice these things and then do them yourself, do you think you will escape God's judgment?

Or are you unaware of his rich kindness, forbearance, and patience, that it is God's kindness that is leading you to repent? But because of your stubborn and unrepentant heart you are reserving wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God's righteous judgment will be revealed. For he will repay everyone according to his works: eternal life to those who strive for glory, honor, and immortality by patiently doing good; but wrath and anger to the factious and disobedient to the truth, obeying unrighteousness.
For example, the church closest to me, which I have visited, is PCA (Presbyterian Church of America), yet they don't go by that name anymore, but instead call themselves the Blankville Community Church. They have made far more progress in the oneness of the faith than you have. At least they are moving forward, while you are moving backwards.
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:12 PM   #32
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Evangelical, instead of blaming everyone else for what they do or may not do, why don't the LC's stop rejecting other Christians and start opening their hearts to others? There are great numbers of Christians who serve in old denominations, yet the Lord is touching their hearts to reach out in love. You condemn others for what you are not doing yourselves. The LSM/LC leadership ought to start pray-reading verses like Romans 2.1-8 for themselves.

For example, the church closest to me, which I have visited, is PCA (Presbyterian Church of America), yet they don't go by that name anymore, but instead call themselves the Blankville Community Church. They have made far more progress in the oneness of the faith than you have. At least they are moving forward, while you are moving backwards.
Are you saying they changed their name because they rejected Presbyterianism? Or they have changed their name to cater for non-presbyterians (e.g. tongue-speakers and arm wavers).
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Old 05-02-2017, 06:22 PM   #33
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Are you saying they changed their name because they rejected Presbyterianism? Or they have changed their name to cater for non-presbyterians (e.g. tongue-speakers and arm wavers).
You mocking arm wavers? You mean like Paul said, "I would that men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands"?

You obviously got problems with saints simply following the instructions of scripture.

Can't you just accept the leading of the Spirit to reach out to the members of the community? Must you always find some evil motive?
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Old 05-02-2017, 07:11 PM   #34
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The fact is, Evangelical, you are way out of touch both with the Church and yourself.

Presbyterians, Baptists, Anglicans and most of the rest receive each other a whole lot better that you receive any of them. So I think it's a bit humorous that you talk about their not receiving each other in light of your attitude.

A lot has changed. Just about everyone these days realizes the basis for fellowship is Christ. I have met a lot of Christians. I rarely meet any who think the basis of fellowship is some doctrine. I recall, years ago, playing golf with a couple of guys who turned out to be staunch Calvinists. When they found out I didn't quite share their view of predestination they started treating me with suspicion. It was quite odd. But I experienced firsthand being around someone whose basis of fellowship was not Christ but a doctrine. And I can tell you that rarely happens to me. Almost always the Christians I meet receive me as brother in Christ and send me the message that our commonality is Christ.

I just think you simply don't know what you are talking about. You really need to get out more. You talk as if you are still locked into the view of a Witness Lee book written fifty years ago. Your suspicion of other Christians reflects poorly on you, not them.

Also, locality is most definitely not a basis of fellowship. Locality is just a reflection of the fact that we should receive and fellowship with any Christian we come in contact with. And in ancient times that was almost exclusively those in geographic proximity. We should fellowship with any Christians we meet, whether they are near or far. In this day and age, with communication and the Internet, geography plays less of an important role. And guess what, here we are in a situation where we should receive each other and who is it among us who seems most hung up on doctrines? Well, I'm afraid that would be you, my friend. And that tells me a lot.


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The bible does not precisely define what a "born again Christian" is either. Yet the evangelical protestant community has concocted a rather precise and dogmatic definition or standard for what it means based upon a very short dialogue between Jesus and one man Nicodemus.
Yes, but you are just making my point. There is general agreement about regeneration. There is very little agreement with the LCM proprietary vision of locality. That alone should tell you something.

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1 Corinthians 5:12 says we can judge those in the church. In particular Romans 16:17 says to mark those which cause divisions. Marking those which cause divisions can include those who plant new sects.
Well, I'm sure it gets your blood pumping to think about another excuse to judge other Christians, but just settle down a little, hotshot.

If your only reason for calling a group a "sect" is that they don't meet with you anymore that is not a good enough reason. God doesn't give one group the right to call another group a sect just because the other group doesn't meet with the first group anymore. God has called us to peace, and we need to respect the consciences of others. If someone chooses not to meet with you it may just be because you have a problem that bothers their conscience. What you should do is respect them and continue to reach out. Perhaps through that the Lord might teach you something.

Certainly some groups are sectarian. But just because a group doesn't meet with the LCM and comply to your view of locality does not make them sectarian. Locality as taught and practiced by the LCM is a tenuous and most likely unbiblical practice. As I've said there is not enough biblical ground for insisting on it and so doing so is actually divisive.

Again, a sect is a group with such an attitude of superiority that they think everyone needs to join them, and that no other groups are legitimate. Ironically, that describes the LCM to a "T." Claiming to be on the local ground means nothing if you don't truly embrace genuine oneness. And to my observation the LCM doesn't.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:03 PM   #35
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You mocking arm wavers? You mean like Paul said, "I would that men pray in every place, lifting up holy hands"?

You obviously got problems with saints simply following the instructions of scripture.

Can't you just accept the leading of the Spirit to reach out to the members of the community? Must you always find some evil motive?
No, Presbyterians do. I used arm wavers as one example of non-Presbyterians. The tongue speakers and arm wavers normally do not join Presbyterian churches. It's a nice gimmick to change the church name to attract non-Presbyterians. The irony is not lost on me that we in the LC are sometimes called "shouters" because we call on the name of the Lord, and a pentecostal church rock concert service at full volume and many times the decibel rating of our small gatherings, is considered normal.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:14 PM   #36
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The fact is, Evangelical, you are way out of touch both with the Church and yourself.

Presbyterians, Baptists, Anglicans and most of the rest receive each other a whole lot better that you receive any of them. So I think it's a bit humorous that you talk about their not receiving each other in light of your attitude.

A lot has changed. Just about everyone these days realizes the basis for fellowship is Christ. I have met a lot of Christians. I rarely meet any who think the basis of fellowship is some doctrine. I recall, years ago, playing golf with a couple of guys who turned out to be staunch Calvinists. When they found out I didn't quite share their view of predestination they started treating me with suspicion. It was quite odd. But I experienced firsthand being around someone whose basis of fellowship was not Christ but a doctrine. And I can tell you that rarely happens to me. Almost always the Christians I meet receive me as brother in Christ and send me the message that our commonality is Christ.

I just think you simply don't know what you are talking about. You really need to get out more. You talk as if you are still locked into the view of a Witness Lee book written fifty years ago. Your suspicion of other Christians reflects poorly on you, not them.

Also, locality is most definitely not a basis of fellowship. Locality is just a reflection of the fact that we should receive and fellowship with any Christian we come in contact with. And in ancient times that was almost exclusively those in geographic proximity. We should fellowship with any Christians we meet, whether they are near or far. In this day and age, with communication and the Internet, geography plays less of an important role. And guess what, here we are in a situation where we should receive each other and who is it among us who seems most hung up on doctrines? Well, I'm afraid that would be you, my friend. And that tells me a lot.




Yes, but you are just making my point. There is general agreement about regeneration. There is very little agreement with the LCM proprietary vision of locality. That alone should tell you something.



Well, I'm sure it gets your blood pumping to think about another excuse to judge other Christians, but just settle down a little, hotshot.

If your only reason for calling a group a "sect" is that they don't meet with you anymore that is not a good enough reason. God doesn't give one group the right to call another group a sect just because the other group doesn't meet with the first group anymore. God has called us to peace, and we need to respect the consciences of others. If someone chooses not to meet with you it may just be because you have a problem that bothers their conscience. What you should do is respect them and continue to reach out. Perhaps through that the Lord might teach you something.

Certainly some groups are sectarian. But just because a group doesn't meet with the LCM and comply to your view of locality does not make them sectarian. Locality as taught and practiced by the LCM is a tenuous and most likely unbiblical practice. As I've said there is not enough biblical ground for insisting on it and so doing so is actually divisive.

Again, a sect is a group with such an attitude of superiority that they think everyone needs to join them, and that no other groups are legitimate. Ironically, that describes the LCM to a "T." Claiming to be on the local ground means nothing if you don't truly embrace genuine oneness. And to my observation the LCM doesn't.
You have some very practical and useful suggestions for reaching out. Of course we could all do reaching out a lot better than we do. However the fact is we have nothing against reaching out, we reach out to other Christians in our daily lives and invite them to have fellowship with us. Through such encounters I have fellowshipped with people from a number of different denominations. However I do not see this personal interaction to be the same thing as oneness. It is a kind of oneness but not at the corporate level.

If the fellowship between them is one of receiving each other and oneness in Christ, then we should see that expressed in the communion service. Afterall the Lord's Table is the primary fellowshipping thing to do between Christians. It's the thing which Christ told his disciples to do on a regular basis when they meet together. So, you tell me, can an Anglican priest, being only ordained in the Anglican church, host a communion service in a baptist church? Can a baptist pastor host an Anglican communion service? If you cannot answer "yes" to that, then the fellowship you speak of is not as real as you think it is, and things have not changed much since the 50's.
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:36 PM   #37
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No, Presbyterians do. I used arm wavers as one example of non-Presbyterians. The tongue speakers and arm wavers normally do not join Presbyterian churches. It's a nice gimmick to change the church name to attract non-Presbyterians. The irony is not lost on me that we in the LC are sometimes called "shouters" because we call on the name of the Lord, and a pentecostal church rock concert service at full volume and many times the decibel rating of our small gatherings, is considered normal.
Do you mean like the "christians on campus" names the LC takes to disguise who they really are?

Oh the hypocrisy you regularly exhibit, Evangelical, as you condemn your Christian brothers!
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Old 05-02-2017, 08:38 PM   #38
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Do you mean like the "christians on campus" names the LC takes to disguise who they really are?

Oh the hypocrisy you regularly exhibit, Evangelical, as you condemn your Christian brothers!
What exactly is the hypocrisy? What did we change our name from before calling it "christians on campus" ?
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Old 05-03-2017, 02:31 AM   #39
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What exactly is the hypocrisy? What did we change our name from before calling it "christians on campus" ?
When my neighborhood PCA calls themselves the Blankville Community Church, you called it a "gimmick."

So I pointed out how all the LC's did the same thing, disguising the name of their campus group as the generic "Christians on Campus." The practice was initiated and regularly encouraged by LSM.

To condemn others and do the same thing yourselves is hypocrisy, by definition.

Romans 2.1-8 clearly states this, and says that your practice will bring God's anger and wrath.

You can read these verses in my post #31 above.
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:39 AM   #40
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Do you mean like the "christians on campus" names the LC takes to disguise who they really are?

Oh the hypocrisy you regularly exhibit, Evangelical, as you condemn your Christian brothers!
That is correct Ohio and it is an intentional disguise. There is a formula to campus outreach which slowly brings students to the LSM church and witness lee's ministry. Rule number 1 - bring to home meetings BEFORE church meetings.
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Old 05-03-2017, 05:58 AM   #41
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That is correct Ohio and it is an intentional disguise. There is a formula to campus outreach which slowly brings students to the LSM church and witness lee's ministry. Rule number 1 - bring to home meetings BEFORE church meetings.
Right, and I know all too well how things work having been there since the mid-70's, but still my point is simple: Evangelical, don't condemn others for what you also do.
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Old 05-03-2017, 11:06 AM   #42
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That is correct Ohio and it is an intentional disguise. There is a formula to campus outreach which slowly brings students to the LSM church and witness lee's ministry. Rule number 1 - bring to home meetings BEFORE church meetings.
Even for non-college brothers/sisters this is the formula. Home meetings first before being invited to LDM.
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Old 05-03-2017, 12:28 PM   #43
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A few posts had things worthy of comment.

Beginning with this response by Igzy to Evangelical.
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Your reasoning is very faulty. It's an example of the fallacy of the appeal to the extreme. You are saying that if we must accept all churches that claim to be churches we must accept LGBT churches. But there are other reasons to question the validity of groups. The Bible plainly tells us to not keep company with fornicators, and gay sex is plainly always fornication according to the Bible.
What is completely missed in this particular appeal to the extreme is that while Paul would likely treat the actual participation of someone who was openly engaging in such fornication like he did the one in Corinth, he might not simply because it was thought that they might or could. And just because they were not convinced they shouldn't, but otherwise appeared to be abstaining, what should we say to that?

Paul spent a lot of time talking about people who were "sinning so grace could abound." He did not simply say it was a false hope, but rather that we should be moving toward less and less sin. But he agreed that when there was sin, grace did abound. So do we deny that grace to someone whose besetting sin is a really big no-no like same-sex activities? And do we deny them even access to the building when they have not yet come to Christ? Do we demand that they become "saved" elsewhere before they can even come inside where we are constantly asking all other sinners to "come as they are"?

I can assure anyone that I have a lot of issues around this from both sides. I see a conundrum. I've heard some talk about this in ways that was more loving, yet it never covers everything. I am not far from being a hardliner with a realization that the hard line is probably not the way to go on much of anything.

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Church planting sectarian? I had not heard that one before.
However I would agree sect is appropriate for a church that caters to a particular "need" of preference. That would apply to LSM affiliated assemblies. Whether on Maui, Toronto, or Renton it's a preference towards a specific Christian publishers publications for fellowship.
I'm not sure that catering to a need or a preference is so bad. As someone (Igzy? Ohio?) said in another post, if my conscience is bothered about certain things (doctrine, practice, etc.) or persons, making my primary meeting group not include those things or persons is good. It allows for continued fellowship without forced contact with a problem. But that does not mean they think the others are sects or deficient. Or declare that they cannot meet together or be welcome wherever they are.

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As Christians we should be able to be one based on the Word of God alone.
When we start basing our oneness on affiliations through ministers and ministries we fall into the trap Paul warned about in 1 Corinthians 1:12-13.
I'm not even sure that oneness should be based on the Word of God alone unless you mean that the oneness/unity would be based on what the Word says it is based on — Christ. Even reading the "ones" in Ephesians can give you a wrong understanding of oneness.

"One faith" is not a reference to our particular set of doctrines, but of faith in Christ.

"One baptism" is not about who baptized you or how it was done, but that you are baptized. (And it is not simply clear that it is talking about baptism in water or in the Spirit.)

And so on.

Our oneness is truly not in city. Some live in a city that the would rather not live in. If I moved to Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, LA, Seattle, and so many other places, I might not want to be there, but find that having a job dictates it. So I surely would not want to think that my oneness with other Christians was based on the city. Other than the fact that they are nearby and I should be one with them, and recognize that in Christ I am.

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I agree but this does not explain why the Presbyterians do not receive the Baptists and why Lutherans do not receive Anglicans. Their differences are not due to sin but doctrinal, practical or historical preference. There is really no biblical mandate for that.
As someone else has asked, why do you think that they don't? On what basis do you declare that Presbyterians don't receive Baptists? They receive people from the AOG and from the LRC. I've attended Presbyterian assemblies during both sojourns.

If you mean to say that they don't just ask the Baptist group to close-up shop and join with them, that is not what we do. We don't presume that there is no reason for their assembly, but rather that there is. Just like there is reason for ours. But there is essentially no such thing as assemblies joining together. People assemble. And when they do they join together. And if their joining has the general doctrinal positions of Presbyterians, so be it. Same for the Baptists.

And there is the rub. You have problems with the fact that they understand things differently. Well, you do too. And if you suddenly had all the Presbyterians, Baptists, Anglicans, AOG, Lutherans, RCCs, EOCs, etc. in one place, that would be something. But do you think it would be simply wonderful all the time? What about those who believe that you can lose your salvation? Will they be required to stop teaching that in smaller groupings? (Don't presume that the meetings will look like LRC meetings because you are not the decider of such things when you are now the marble in the corner of the boxcar.) Will the assembly as a whole come to make certain positions the ones they allow to be taught and not others? What if the ones they latch onto aren't the ones you want? What if they don't want to have and LSM materials used in the meetings or taught?

I have asked Evangelical this many times and he has avoided the question. He is obviously convinced that the only way it works is that it works entirely his way which means that oneness only occurs on the ground of dirt, using LSM material, having a "church in [city]" sign out front, dismissing James "because of God's economy," and so on.

Good luck with that.

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1 Corinthians 5:12 says we can judge those in the church. In particular Romans 16:17 says to mark those which cause divisions. Marking those which cause divisions can include those who plant new sects.
Apparently some that cause division mark themselves and start their own group. Then they find a way to declare that everyone else is the one that is divided.

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Did not Luther separate from the Catholics because the Catholics were not good enough?
Did not the LRC separate from everyone else because they were not good enough?

I would suggest that Luther did not separate from the RCC as much as the RCC gave him a choice — drop it, run, or die. If you can't drop it for conscience, then the options are run or die.

Inquisitor: "Cake or death!"
Guy on trial: "I'll take cake."
Inquisitor: 'That's a popular option today."

OK. My "squirrel" moment is over.

You want to there to be the LRC today while you are alive, but you don't want Luther to have separated. Without that separation, you wouldn't likely be even close to having an LRC now. In fact, we might all be participants in an RCC that is still burning heretics at the stake. Or an RCC that is somewhat evangelical. (Don't want to be too evangelical because that is probably beyond what is reasonable and supportable.) Then this discussion might actually be part of the first nail in the door. Just not somewhere in Germany.
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Old 05-03-2017, 03:23 PM   #44
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When my neighborhood PCA calls themselves the Blankville Community Church, you called it a "gimmick."

So I pointed out how all the LC's did the same thing, disguising the name of their campus group as the generic "Christians on Campus." The practice was initiated and regularly encouraged by LSM.

To condemn others and do the same thing yourselves is hypocrisy, by definition.

Romans 2.1-8 clearly states this, and says that your practice will bring God's anger and wrath.

You can read these verses in my post #31 above.
It's not disguising anything because "Christians on campus" is what we are.

We did not try to hide anything because we do not see ourselves as the L S M denomination, just Christians in the city.
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Old 05-03-2017, 03:36 PM   #45
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As someone else has asked, why do you think that they don't? On what basis do you declare that Presbyterians don't receive Baptists? They receive people from the AOG and from the LRC. I've attended Presbyterian assemblies during both sojourns.

If you mean to say that they don't just ask the Baptist group to close-up shop and join with them, that is not what we do. We don't presume that there is no reason for their assembly, but rather that there is. Just like there is reason for ours. But there is essentially no such thing as assemblies joining together. People assemble. And when they do they join together. And if their joining has the general doctrinal positions of Presbyterians, so be it. Same for the Baptists.

And there is the rub. You have problems with the fact that they understand things differently. Well, you do too. And if you suddenly had all the Presbyterians, Baptists, Anglicans, AOG, Lutherans, RCCs, EOCs, etc. in one place, that would be something. But do you think it would be simply wonderful all the time? What about those who believe that you can lose your salvation? Will they be required to stop teaching that in smaller groupings? (Don't presume that the meetings will look like LRC meetings because you are not the decider of such things when you are now the marble in the corner of the boxcar.) Will the assembly as a whole come to make certain positions the ones they allow to be taught and not others? What if the ones they latch onto aren't the ones you want? What if they don't want to have and LSM materials used in the meetings or taught?

I have asked Evangelical this many times and he has avoided the question. He is obviously convinced that the only way it works is that it works entirely his way which means that oneness only occurs on the ground of dirt, using LSM material, having a "church in [city]" sign out front, dismissing James "because of God's economy," and so on.

Good luck with that.

Apparently some that cause division mark themselves and start their own group. Then they find a way to declare that everyone else is the one that is divided.

Did not the LRC separate from everyone else because they were not good enough?

I would suggest that Luther did not separate from the RCC as much as the RCC gave him a choice — drop it, run, or die. If you can't drop it for conscience, then the options are run or die.

Inquisitor: "Cake or death!"
Guy on trial: "I'll take cake."
Inquisitor: 'That's a popular option today."

OK. My "squirrel" moment is over.

You want to there to be the LRC today while you are alive, but you don't want Luther to have separated. Without that separation, you wouldn't likely be even close to having an LRC now. In fact, we might all be participants in an RCC that is still burning heretics at the stake. Or an RCC that is somewhat evangelical. (Don't want to be too evangelical because that is probably beyond what is reasonable and supportable.) Then this discussion might actually be part of the first nail in the door. Just not somewhere in Germany.

You've given me a lot to think about. I think they don't receive each other in a full way because outside of occasional get togethers, or ecumenical services as they call them, they don't hold a common Lord's Table meeting and if you are a minister in one denomination you often cannot minister in the other denomination. And while some can point to individual fellowship they have had between each other in small groups etc, well anyone can do that. Even we do that.

Here's the real rub, I have one denominational background and others in the LC have different denominational backgrounds, and others have only known the LC. Yet we can all happily meet together every Sunday for the Lord's Table meeting. We may have different opinions over salvation etc. I have yet to see such fellowship and oneness between denominations. While it could happen between like-minded denominations, it certainly does not happen between all denominations, particularly when concerning Anglican/Lutheran/Catholic/Orthodox etc.

I have been to ecumenical services before during my denominational days where first one denomination will do their bit for 30 minutes ,then another denomination will do their bit for another 30 minutes. It's not the same thing. It feels like when a divorced couple get together once a year for their son's birthday.

Your comment about Luther doesn't make sense to me because remember we consider Luther to be part of the Recovery. That was God's move. But if the RC church was a genuine church then I would consider Luther's move to be sectarian and divisive.

Regarding the LSM publications, there is no demand placed on anyone to use them although people are encouraged. What if someone wants to speak Swahili and we only offer English or Chinese. What if a Catholic or Anglican, doesn't want to use the order of service book, what if a Pentecostal doesn't want to pray in tongues, and what if a family wants to baptize their infant baby in a Baptist church. These are all practical matters that should not prevent anyone from participating in the Lord's Table.

I could go further and ask, what if a Christian does not even want to partake of the Lord's table ,sing worship songs or pray? Are you going to make a denomination to cater for their "needs" too? When you think about it, what is really so different between a denomination which caters for people's beliefs that only adults should be baptized, versus a denomination which caters for people's beliefs that we should not hold the Lord's table meeting?

We have to draw the line somewhere. But actually we don't - the core problem is that church is defined by what caters for people's needs rather than what the bible reveals church should be. This is why today we even see LGBT churches that cater for their needs.
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Old 05-03-2017, 06:44 PM   #46
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However I do not see this personal interaction to be the same thing as oneness. It is a kind of oneness but not at the corporate level.
I disagree. There is only one God and one kind of oneness--our oneness in Christ. We might experience that in different ways, but there is only one real oneness.

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Can a baptist pastor host an Anglican communion service? If you cannot answer "yes" to that, then the fellowship you speak of is not as real as you think it is, and things have not changed much since the 50's.
Well, all I can say is this kind of thing is happening more and more all the time. Things are changing and it is God's handiwork. Don't make the good the enemy of your view of perfect.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:06 PM   #47
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We have to draw the line somewhere. But actually we don't - the core problem is that church is defined by what caters for people's needs rather than what the bible reveals church should be. This is why today we even see LGBT churches that cater for their needs.
Again, you seem to think that "what the bible reveals church should be" is agreed on by everyone. It isn't and probably will never be. And you can't decide for everyone else. All you can do is take care of your own conscience, meet where and as the Lord leads you and give others the freedom to do so as well. From that place minister positively. Things generally work out better that way.

From that basis of generality, tolerance and doing one's best to get along (blessed are the peacemakers), God has a platform where he can work.

The only other option is to become the negative busybody you seem to have become. If you insist on "drawing lines" you are just going to aggravate more animosity. I'm not saying there are not times to put our feet down. But let's wait for the Lord to tell us to do so in specific, strategic situations. Otherwise you just begin to sound like the boy who cried wolf, and everybody is going to tune you out. You've been droning on ever since you got here about all the problems in Christianity. It just gets tedious after a while.

What you don't realize is you are also talking about the Church, because whether you like it or not the state of Christianity is the state of the Church. And constant harping is just discouraging.

Simply put, I suggest a more positive approach. If you still feel to be pedantic, do so more strategically, instead of constantly. Less is quite often more.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:21 PM   #48
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Again, you seem to think that "what the bible reveals church should be" is agreed on by everyone. It isn't and probably will never be. And you can't decide for everyone else. All you can do is take care of your own conscience, meet where and as the Lord leads you and give others the freedom to do so as well. From that place minister positively. Things generally work out better that way.

From that basis of generality, tolerance and doing one's best to get along (blessed are the peacemakers), God has a platform where he can work.

The only other option is to become the negative busybody you seem to have become. If you insist on "drawing lines" you are just going to aggravate more animosity. I'm not saying there are not times to put our feet down. But let's wait for the Lord to tell us to do so in specific, strategic situations. Otherwise you just begin to sound like the boy who cried wolf, and everybody is going to tune you out. You've been droning on ever since you got here about all the problems in Christianity. It just gets tedious after a while.

What you don't realize is you are also talking about the Church, because whether you like it or not the state of Christianity is the state of the Church. And constant harping is just discouraging.

Simply put, I suggest a more positive approach. If you still feel to be pedantic, do so more strategically, instead of constantly. Less is quite often more.
Would you agree with an idea that God is moving in a unique way, but we just have different opinions about what God's unique move looks like? I think we all could share our subjective positive experiences in how God is moving in our lives and the lives of others.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:40 PM   #49
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It's not disguising anything because "Christians on campus" is what we are.

We did not try to hide anything because we do not see ourselves as the L S M denomination, just Christians in the city.
Really... I mean do you really believe this? Your locality must be much different than the ones I've visited. We'll never know for sure because it isn't safe for you to disclose your location - can't let big brother know what you're up to.
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Old 05-03-2017, 07:42 PM   #50
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Really... I mean do you really believe this? Your locality must be much different than the ones I've visited. We'll never know for sure because it isn't safe for you to disclose your location - can't let big brother know what you're up to.
Are you saying that the ones you visited called themselves the "LSM church" ? You ask some Catholics are you catholic, they say yes. If you ask Presbyterians, they will say yes we're presbyterian, even if their church name is something community something. Ourselves, we don't talk like that. We say, LSM denomination?, we just Christians. If we meet other Christians, we call them brother and sister, even if they are Catholic. We have fellowship with them.
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Old 05-04-2017, 02:15 AM   #51
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By the way, people on here may talk about the decline in numbers in church attendance, but I think that is across the board of most denominations. Despite this, "Christians on campus" is very successful. Our groups are often much larger than other on-campus groups. This is because we make nurturing and nourishing students with the bible a primary focus that meets the needs of seeking students. Many other groups only offer social activities.
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Old 05-04-2017, 03:39 PM   #52
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Here's the real rub, I have one denominational background and others in the LC have different denominational backgrounds, and others have only known the LC. Yet we can all happily meet together every Sunday for the Lord's Table meeting.
Same where I meet. Everyone is not born and raised in this group and disassociating with all others.

You keep making stuff up in hopes you find something that stumps the band.

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Regarding the LSM publications, there is no demand placed on anyone to use them although people are encouraged. What if someone wants to speak Swahili and we only offer English or Chinese. What if a Catholic or Anglican, doesn't want to use the order of service book, what if a Pentecostal doesn't want to pray in tongues, and what if a family wants to baptize their infant baby in a Baptist church.
Regarding LSM publications, if there was a sudden influx of Christians that somehow decide that one church in the city, meeting on the "ground" is correct, but they have no desire for LSM materials, what are you going to do, for example here in Dallas where a few meet each week, but would essentially disappear into a sea of others if even 0.1% of the Christians in the city decided to join up. When there is no more use of LSM materials in the meetings in Dallas, what happens?

I'll tell you what happens. It already has happened in other cities where just the insiders so sufficiently stopped LSM materials and the leadership was behind it. And the LSM sent its legal team to help sue to get the property back. Back from who, you may ask? From the "church in [city]" that is still meeting there.

There is your oneness. It is shattered over LSM materials. Your mockery of suggesting that we create another group to cater to those who don't want to use LSM materials has happened. But it happened backwards. The church decided to quit the LSM materials and the few that still wanted to use the materials left and started a new group. And they sued for the building.

The mockery is that LSM reality is worse than the differences among those Christian groups that you consider to be "not genuine." Your testimony is that everything you claim about oneness is a hollow shell game that hides division on a grand scale. And the division is that you claim you can't come have the Lord's table with us but we can with you. But you won't allow it to continue if many other things are not also agreed with (if not immediately, then over time).
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Old 05-04-2017, 03:49 PM   #53
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Would you agree with an idea that God is moving in a unique way, but we just have different opinions about what God's unique move looks like? I think we all could share our subjective positive experiences in how God is moving in our lives and the lives of others.
I can't agree with that. God is moving. Period. Saying "God's unique move" suggests that there is a "God's run-of-the-mill move."

Or a faux move of God.

Your claim is that if it is grand (in your eyes) then it is God's move. And if it is not, then it is not God's move. But you don't bother to actually assess anything that could be part of God's move. You just say that yours is "God's unique" move and therefore all others are either run-of-the-mill, or shams.

But the real problem is that you think that God only works in a single "way" in outward terms. He has missionaries, then he doesn't. He moves through the RCC, then the Lutherans but no longer the RCC. Then the Calvinists but no longer the Lutherans. And so on.

But that is not a view supported by the scripture. God moves in the ways that he moves. They are designed to reach people from the slums to the penthouse. From the G8 to the poorest of the third world. From the most educated to the illiterate.

Christians on Campus and door knocking (which is probably no longer part of "God's unique move" are not all that God is doing. He is still working in soup kitchens, missionaries, people on the job following the internal leading of the Spirit, and so on.

So the only way that "The Unique Move of God" can be a valid construct is for it to mean "all that God is doing" in his multifarious ways.
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Old 05-04-2017, 03:55 PM   #54
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Same where I meet. Everyone is not born and raised in this group and disassociating with all others.

You keep making stuff up in hopes you find something that stumps the band.

Regarding LSM publications, if there was a sudden influx of Christians that somehow decide that one church in the city, meeting on the "ground" is correct, but they have no desire for LSM materials, what are you going to do, for example here in Dallas where a few meet each week, but would essentially disappear into a sea of others if even 0.1% of the Christians in the city decided to join up. When there is no more use of LSM materials in the meetings in Dallas, what happens?

I'll tell you what happens. It already has happened in other cities where just the insiders so sufficiently stopped LSM materials and the leadership was behind it. And the LSM sent its legal team to help sue to get the property back. Back from who, you may ask? From the "church in [city]" that is still meeting there.

There is your oneness. It is shattered over LSM materials. Your mockery of suggesting that we create another group to cater to those who don't want to use LSM materials has happened. But it happened backwards. The church decided to quit the LSM materials and the few that still wanted to use the materials left and started a new group. And they sued for the building.

The mockery is that LSM reality is worse than the differences among those Christian groups that you consider to be "not genuine." Your testimony is that everything you claim about oneness is a hollow shell game that hides division on a grand scale. And the division is that you claim you can't come have the Lord's table with us but we can with you. But you won't allow it to continue if many other things are not also agreed with (if not immediately, then over time).
I don't see much difference in the denominations. No pastor or priest and his congregation is going to say "today let's have the Lord's table with the recovery church". They don't even do that with each other. For starters, the pastor or priest wouldn't get his weekly pay for his Sunday service.
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Old 05-04-2017, 03:59 PM   #55
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I can't agree with that. God is moving. Period. Saying "God's unique move" suggests that there is a "God's run-of-the-mill move."

Or a faux move of God.

Your claim is that if it is grand (in your eyes) then it is God's move. And if it is not, then it is not God's move. But you don't bother to actually assess anything that could be part of God's move. You just say that yours is "God's unique" move and therefore all others are either run-of-the-mill, or shams.

But the real problem is that you think that God only works in a single "way" in outward terms. He has missionaries, then he doesn't. He moves through the RCC, then the Lutherans but no longer the RCC. Then the Calvinists but no longer the Lutherans. And so on.

But that is not a view supported by the scripture. God moves in the ways that he moves. They are designed to reach people from the slums to the penthouse. From the G8 to the poorest of the third world. From the most educated to the illiterate.

Christians on Campus and door knocking (which is probably no longer part of "God's unique move" are not all that God is doing. He is still working in soup kitchens, missionaries, people on the job following the internal leading of the Spirit, and so on.

So the only way that "The Unique Move of God" can be a valid construct is for it to mean "all that God is doing" in his multifarious ways.
In their practice, even denominations believe that God moves in one way at a time. For example, they will set up a new church in a place where there has been a Catholic church hundred of years before. A pentecostal will setup a church in an area where a baptist or methodist has been for ages. These are all statements of "God is not moving anymore with the catholics, they are too out dated, we need a new fresh move of God". They may say that God is moving with the Catholics, as you do, but their actions speak otherwise.
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Old 05-04-2017, 06:14 PM   #56
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By the way, people on here may talk about the decline in numbers in church attendance, but I think that is across the board of most denominations.
Attendence in some denominations is down, but in non-denominational community churches it is skyrocketing.

I think I showed this a while back. Or don't you remember?

This is what makes all your talk about "denominations" so out-of-touch.

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Old 05-04-2017, 07:07 PM   #57
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So the only way that "The Unique Move of God" can be a valid construct is for it to mean "all that God is doing" in his multifarious ways.
This brings to mind what always seemed so bogus about all this "unique move of God" stuff. God was and is clearly working elsewhere other that the LCM. Anyone who denies that has bigger problems than we can solve here. So how do LCMers account for God's working in other places?

So if God is working elsewhere, and he is, then the LCM cannot be uniquely God's move. Perhaps what they really meant was they were "God's best move" or "the only move that is doing it right" or something like that. They are God's "first team." The rest of us are scrubs and benchwarmers.

It was almost as if they were accusing God of compromising himself by actually doing anything or appearing anywhere other than the LCM. Of course, they'd never say that, but that's what all their talk of being the only legit venue added up to. Doesn't God know better?!

But does God work in an inferior, second-class fashion in one place while reserving his "best stuff" for another place? Sheer nonsense. God gives it his all wherever he works, or he does nothing at all. So we should praise and appreciate all he does, and not try and play any of it down.
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:12 PM   #58
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Would you agree with an idea that God is moving in a unique way, but we just have different opinions about what God's unique move looks like? I think we all could share our subjective positive experiences in how God is moving in our lives and the lives of others.
I'm not sure why you use the word "unique." Of course God is unique. There is only one of Him. And he is holy. Only he can truly carry out his work because only he completely understands it. Beyond that I'm not sure of a useful meaning for the word in this context.

Certainly there is probably a better way of doing most things. That's what growth is all about--learning the better way. But though God knows the perfect way in every situation, things are not so clear for us yet. We can come to understand certain dependable principles, but we can never quite define everything. We walk in grace, but can never have the ultimate confidence that we know all we need to know to stay there. We walk, we learn, we stumble, we start over, we reach higher ground, we fall back, we repeat.

But we never reach the place where we know everything or have the confidence to declare what everyone else needs to do. And that's a mercy, because if we ever got that confident (arrogant really) we'd be demagogues, like some in a certain "unique" movements down through history.

And, yes, I can share how God is working. He seems to be trying to get me to be less self-centered and more trusting of him and caring of others. In the end, it all seems to be about loving and trusting him more and loving our neighbors as ourselves more. I know that sounds trite, but I think we will need eternity to explore it.

There are basically three relationships: with God, with others and with ourselves. That's all there is. There is nothing else. It's all about those three things. And there it is again, that number three.
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:38 PM   #59
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Same where I meet. Everyone is not born and raised in this group and disassociating with all others.

You keep making stuff up in hopes you find something that stumps the band.

Regarding LSM publications, if there was a sudden influx of Christians that somehow decide that one church in the city, meeting on the "ground" is correct, but they have no desire for LSM materials, what are you going to do, for example here in Dallas where a few meet each week, but would essentially disappear into a sea of others if even 0.1% of the Christians in the city decided to join up. When there is no more use of LSM materials in the meetings in Dallas, what happens?

I'll tell you what happens. It already has happened in other cities where just the insiders so sufficiently stopped LSM materials and the leadership was behind it. And the LSM sent its legal team to help sue to get the property back. Back from who, you may ask? From the "church in [city]" that is still meeting there.

There is your oneness. It is shattered over LSM materials. Your mockery of suggesting that we create another group to cater to those who don't want to use LSM materials has happened. But it happened backwards. The church decided to quit the LSM materials and the few that still wanted to use the materials left and started a new group. And they sued for the building.

The mockery is that LSM reality is worse than the differences among those Christian groups that you consider to be "not genuine." Your testimony is that everything you claim about oneness is a hollow shell game that hides division on a grand scale. And the division is that you claim you can't come have the Lord's table with us but we can with you. But you won't allow it to continue if many other things are not also agreed with (if not immediately, then over time).
So well said!

This is the nasty side of LSM which evangelical and drake refuse to address.

LSM's "oneness" is no different than Rome's use of force during its power days. It's the oneness enforced by the edge of a sword.
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Old 05-04-2017, 07:43 PM   #60
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Attendence in some denominations is down, but in non-denominational community churches it is skyrocketing.

I think I showed this a while back. Or don't you remember?

This is what makes all your talk about "denominations" so out-of-touch.
So out-of-touch, and about 100 years out of date!

So much for a ministry that prides itself for up-to-date speaking.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:27 PM   #61
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Attendence in some denominations is down, but in non-denominational community churches it is skyrocketing.

I think I showed this a while back. Or don't you remember?

This is what makes all your talk about "denominations" so out-of-touch.

Wait a minute.

Those 5 lines on the bottom of a chart in a down trend just confirm my statement. Thankyou for proving me right.

Or are you saying that non-denominational community churches are a denomination?

And I think we could include ourselves in that big growing blue line. We would be considered evangelical non-denominational, although we would not call ourselves that. So, thankyou for proving me right again.

Also, I wonder if the chart is reflective of the change in denomination or is it in terms of real growth (i.e. new believers) being added. It is also not clear whether the chart is from roll numbers or actual church attendance.
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Old 05-04-2017, 11:58 PM   #62
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I'm not sure why you use the word "unique." Of course God is unique. There is only one of Him. And he is holy. Only he can truly carry out his work because only he completely understands it. Beyond that I'm not sure of a useful meaning for the word in this context.

Certainly there is probably a better way of doing most things. That's what growth is all about--learning the better way. But though God knows the perfect way in every situation, things are not so clear for us yet. We can come to understand certain dependable principles, but we can never quite define everything. We walk in grace, but can never have the ultimate confidence that we know all we need to know to stay there. We walk, we learn, we stumble, we start over, we reach higher ground, we fall back, we repeat.

But we never reach the place where we know everything or have the confidence to declare what everyone else needs to do. And that's a mercy, because if we ever got that confident (arrogant really) we'd be demagogues, like some in a certain "unique" movements down through history.

And, yes, I can share how God is working. He seems to be trying to get me to be less self-centered and more trusting of him and caring of others. In the end, it all seems to be about loving and trusting him more and loving our neighbors as ourselves more. I know that sounds trite, but I think we will need eternity to explore it.

There are basically three relationships: with God, with others and with ourselves. That's all there is. There is nothing else. It's all about those three things. And there it is again, that number three.
It means the one unique ministry the disciples had as per Acts 1:17. God established one ministry with the disciples/apostles and we believe God continues that one unique ministry today. God's unique move is what He does in relation to that.

The Seventh Day Adventists have what they call a Health Ministry. It's not unique. Nothing to do with the ministry of Acts 1:17.

We say we need the unique move of God. People in denominations say they "need revival". Aren't we really saying the same thing - that we are not satisfied with "God's move" in our day to day activities, we are seeking God and expecting Him to do more.
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Old 05-05-2017, 02:54 AM   #63
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Wait a minute.

Those 5 lines on the bottom of a chart in a down trend just confirm my statement. Thankyou for proving me right.

Or are you saying that non-denominational community churches are a denomination?

And I think we could include ourselves in that big growing blue line. We would be considered evangelical non-denominational, although we would not call ourselves that. So, thankyou for proving me right again.

Also, I wonder if the chart is reflective of the change in denomination or is it in terms of real growth (i.e. new believers) being added. It is also not clear whether the chart is from roll numbers or actual church attendance.
The was a time when the LCM show the same increases as the non-denom churches. But then they became wose of a denomination than most of the denominations.

How do you excommunicate the entire GLA and Brazil, and then still claim to be growing like the non-denoms?

Sorry, bro, but we know better.
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Old 05-05-2017, 04:47 AM   #64
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The only way you can lay claim to a "unique move of God" is if you are a mediator between man and God. Since the only mediator between man and God is Jesus, anyone who is connected with Jesus has the potential to be involved with whatever God's unique move is on earth.

As a result to claim that your group is the "unique move of God" is simply one more example of a false Christ.

If you fell for this and thought that somehow you were sitting at the head of the table in a prominent position right next to Jesus Christ, then repent and now go take your place where you belong, at the end of the table. In the final judgement there will be a whole lot of people who thought they were something, thought they were doing great works of power, and Jesus will tell them to depart from Him because they are workers of iniquity. Usurping Jesus to claim to be the unique move of God is one example of being a worker of iniquity who never knew Jesus.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:13 AM   #65
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The only way you can lay claim to a "unique move of God" is if you are a mediator between man and God. Since the only mediator between man and God is Jesus, anyone who is connected with Jesus has the potential to be involved with whatever God's unique move is on earth.

As a result to claim that your group is the "unique move of God" is simply one more example of a false Christ.

If you fell for this and thought that somehow you were sitting at the head of the table in a prominent position right next to Jesus Christ, then repent and now go take your place where you belong, at the end of the table. In the final judgement there will be a whole lot of people who thought they were something, thought they were doing great works of power, and Jesus will tell them to depart from Him because they are workers of iniquity. Usurping Jesus to claim to be the unique move of God is one example of being a worker of iniquity who never knew Jesus.
During the "turmoil" of the late 80's, I can still picture Witness Lee ranting on down in Irving, Tx, after the winter training, "this is not some piece of Christianity, a movement by man, but this is THE unique move of Processed Triune God ..."
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:25 AM   #66
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During the "turmoil" of the late 80's, I can still picture Witness Lee ranting on down in Irving, Tx, after the winter training, "this is not some piece of Christianity, a movement by man, but this is THE unique move of Processed Triune God ..."
So then he equated himself with the Processed Triune God and even if confronted would have probably justified it with some drivel about being transformed, reconstituted, etc.
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Old 05-05-2017, 07:59 AM   #67
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So then he equated himself with the Processed Triune God and even if confronted would have probably justified it with some drivel about being transformed, reconstituted, etc.
According to many accounts, Witness Lee became defensive and belligerent when confronted, unlike many men of God who were meek and humble.
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Old 05-05-2017, 08:38 AM   #68
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Wait a minute.

Those 5 lines on the bottom of a chart in a down trend just confirm my statement. Thankyou for proving me right.

Or are you saying that non-denominational community churches are a denomination?

And I think we could include ourselves in that big growing blue line. We would be considered evangelical non-denominational, although we would not call ourselves that. So, thankyou for proving me right again.

Also, I wonder if the chart is reflective of the change in denomination or is it in terms of real growth (i.e. new believers) being added. It is also not clear whether the chart is from roll numbers or actual church attendance.
Evangelical, your continued use of the word "we" is interesting. Apparently a small thing, but a subtle indicator of a sectarian mindset.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:05 PM   #69
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The only way you can lay claim to a "unique move of God" is if you are a mediator between man and God. Since the only mediator between man and God is Jesus, anyone who is connected with Jesus has the potential to be involved with whatever God's unique move is on earth.

As a result to claim that your group is the "unique move of God" is simply one more example of a false Christ.

If you fell for this and thought that somehow you were sitting at the head of the table in a prominent position right next to Jesus Christ, then repent and now go take your place where you belong, at the end of the table. In the final judgement there will be a whole lot of people who thought they were something, thought they were doing great works of power, and Jesus will tell them to depart from Him because they are workers of iniquity. Usurping Jesus to claim to be the unique move of God is one example of being a worker of iniquity who never knew Jesus.
Jesus's statements are directed at workers of lawlessness. Denominational ism is a kind of lawlessness, like the Wild West, everyone doing as they please, and calling it "God's move". In the final judgement there will be a whole lot of people who thought they were in the genuine church, to find out they were in a sect and doing sectarian, divisive and lawless things with their denomination. Plus, we don't talk about great works of power, so I don't think we fit the description. Remember, we are the ones who believe "the age of spiritual giants is over", so your "great works of power" analogy doesn't work, sorry. Sounds more like TV evangelists and prosperity preachers.
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Old 05-05-2017, 09:10 PM   #70
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Evangelical, your continued use of the word "we" is interesting. Apparently a small thing, but a subtle indicator of a sectarian mindset.
What word should I use then?
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Old 05-05-2017, 10:20 PM   #71
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What word should I use then?
It's not the word "we;" it is your use of the word.
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Old 05-05-2017, 11:32 PM   #72
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I think the bigger issue is not my use of the word "we" (that is only a distraction), but that Igzy is misrepresenting the facts or cannot interpret a simple graph (I hope he doesn't work in finance).

I think this is a major embarrassment for Igzy that he is using a chart entitled "non-denominationalism on the rise" and showing declining denominationalism to disprove my statement that denominationalism is on the decline. If anyone want to disprove my statement they have to find a chart which shows the major denominations actually increasing in number, not decreasing. A major embarrassment for me is that I cannot find a chart to disprove myself. Maybe I am right afterall.

I said...
"the decline in numbers in church attendance,....is across the board of most denominations."

The chart shows exactly that. The chart shows 5 major protestant denominations in decline. But according to Igzy this is only "some denominations are down".

Non-denominational is increasing at 428% and "other" (whatever other represents, AoG I think) at 16%. Everyone else is down.

From the full article here:
http://www.christianitytoday.com/eds...ost-recen.html

Soon, a third of all evangelicals will be nondenominational.

Despite recent data from LifeWay Research, which found most Americans are open to denomination churches, many pastors feel they can be more effective by not promoting their denominational affiliation.

- yup, it's that name/affiliation issue again, which everyone here says is unimportant, and I've been saying it is all along. The rise of non-denominationalism is a step away from de-name-iating. Pastors find it more effective probably because when you promote a particular denomination of Christianity it turns people away, it even divides.
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:36 AM   #73
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- yup, it's that name/affiliation issue again, which everyone here says is unimportant, and I've been saying it is all along. The rise of non-denominationalism is a step away from de-name-iating. Pastors find it more effective probably because when you promote a particular denomination of Christianity it turns people away, it even divides.
So, then, what is the problem?
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Old 05-06-2017, 07:39 AM   #74
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Default What is the New Testament

I am an outsider to the LC. I've attended one meeting, and believe that the NT adequately reveals what the gathering of Christ's disciples should look like, which coincidentally looks a lot like a Lord's table meeting as practiced by the Brethren and different groups (not just "The Local Church") from the Chinese movement categorically referred to as the Lord's Recovery.

I have been in multiple Bible-teaching churches over the past 35 years, usually staying in a church 5 years or more, unless we moved. I am sympathetic to your line of reasoning if I loosely paraphrase it, as the apostles' and NT disciples eyes were fixed on Christ, and had a common "vision" of the Lord's final instruction while physically on the earth (Mt 28:19,20; Mk 16:15-18) and sought to be obedient.

The following statement gives me pause though.

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[I]The New Testament is written by three people - Luke, Paul and John.
Are you suggesting that the following books aren't Scripture?

James - the half brother of Jesus
Jude
1&2 Peter
Mark - Peter's nephew, presumably recording Peter's recollections.
Hebrews - unknown, but possibly Paul
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Old 05-06-2017, 10:11 PM   #75
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when you promote a particular denomination of Christianity it turns people away, it even divides.
In relation to LC LDM this has been my point. Set aside the ministry publications and use the Bible translation of one's preference for the prophesying meeting.
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Old 05-07-2017, 12:45 AM   #76
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I am an outsider to the LC. I've attended one meeting, and believe that the NT adequately reveals what the gathering of Christ's disciples should look like, which coincidentally looks a lot like a Lord's table meeting as practiced by the Brethren and different groups (not just "The Local Church") from the Chinese movement categorically referred to as the Lord's Recovery.

I have been in multiple Bible-teaching churches over the past 35 years, usually staying in a church 5 years or more, unless we moved. I am sympathetic to your line of reasoning if I loosely paraphrase it, as the apostles' and NT disciples eyes were fixed on Christ, and had a common "vision" of the Lord's final instruction while physically on the earth (Mt 28:19,20; Mk 16:15-18) and sought to be obedient.

The following statement gives me pause though.



Are you suggesting that the following books aren't Scripture?

James - the half brother of Jesus
Jude
1&2 Peter
Mark - Peter's nephew, presumably recording Peter's recollections.
Hebrews - unknown, but possibly Paul
Good pickup. I should have said most of the NT is written by 3 people.
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Old 05-07-2017, 06:28 AM   #77
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Wait a minute.

Those 5 lines on the bottom of a chart in a down trend just confirm my statement. Thank you for proving me right.

Or are you saying that non-denominational community churches are a denomination?
No, I'm asking why you keep obsessing about denominations when its clear the Lord is moving outside the denominations in the community churches. But you act if those are an afterthought and the denominations are the major representative.

Clearly Christians are less and less interested in denominational labels. That should make you happy. But you keep acting as if nothing has changed.

The denominations are the red herring you use to bash any group other than the LCM. You obsess about them because they are an easier target for you.
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:01 AM   #78
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It means the one unique ministry the disciples had as per Acts 1:17. God established one ministry with the disciples/apostles and we believe God continues that one unique ministry today. God's unique move is what He does in relation to that.
Well, to me it's mostly just a way to bolster your claims of special status.

The LCM is basically doing nothing different than what any arrogant, self-obsessed group claiming to be the "one true way" has done. The LCM is just more creative and clever with its rationalization of it.

I don't know if you've seen this, but below is something I posted a while back. It shows how groups thinking they are special and unique is nothing new and is an error that has been repeated over and over down through history.

As I said, the LCM is more creative and clever with its rationalization of special status. Rather than say they have the "right doctrines," they say things like they are "the continuation of the one ministry." Rather than say they are the "one true church," they say they are the "proper manifestation of the church."

But it doesn't matter because the intent is the same and adds up to the same error. You want to believe you are better than everyone else to the point that you are the only valid group. You are not trying to help others get it right as much as you are trying to validate your group and discredit all others.

That's not ministry, that's self-aggrandiziation.

And as the record below shows, it is an error that has occurred many times in history--which is, ironically, more proof you are nothing special.

What's funny is that #16 sounds just like something you would say.

WHO SAID IT??
  1. “This is not just another Church. This is not just one of a family of Christian churches. This is the Church and kingdom of God, the only true Church upon the face of the earth...”
  2. "The gospel of the kingdom ceased to be proclaimed shortly after the death of the apostles. It was not preached again until ________."
  3. "_________, the one and only channel which the Lord has used in dispensing his truth."
  4. "There is one church! There is one God. There is one kingdom of God and this is it!"
  5. "The only way to follow the Lord absolutely is to go the way of _______."
  6. "This is the only way that was started by Christ."
  7. "This is God's inner circle--His very elect...we are God's only true representative on this earth.”
  8. "...we _________ are the remnant church!"
  9. “The church is careful to not be allied with other churches..."
  10. "All of the doctrines of God were restored by _________."
  11. "The true church will be a restored Church."
  12. "There is nobody else in this country that has the true gospel...There is nobody else in this entire world....There is no place to go.”
  13. “Some people say there are other fellowships that can be alright. No, there can't be! Because there is only one body..."
  14. "This is the one unique move of God on earth today."
  15. “When you walk away from ________, there is no where to walk. Walking out of the light into the darkness."
  16. "Just taking a look at the hundreds of Christian churches in existence today, it doesn't take much to notice all the disputes among beliefs, practices, doctrines, and authority that divide each denomination. It would be impossible to join all these churches, even the Protestant sects, into one church. Therefore, all of them do not make "one body without schisms". There can only be one, and I testify that the one is _________."
  1. Ezra Taft Benson, Mormon leader
  2. Jehovah's Witness Watchtower publication, 12/1/1928, pp. 363-6
  3. Jehovah's Witness Watchtower publication, 4/1/1919, p. 6414
  4. Dave Weger, International Church of Christ
  5. Witness Lee, the Lord's Recovery
  6. The Cooneyites
  7. The Philadelphia Church of God
  8. Seventh Day Adventist
  9. Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
  10. Philadelphia Church Of God
  11. Mormons
  12. Nick Young, International Church of Christ
  13. Cooneyites
  14. Witness Lee, the Lord's Recovery
  15. Nick Young, International Church of Christ
  16. Mormons

http://www.letusreason.org/cult12.htm

http://www.theholdemans.com/Compare.htm[/QUOTE]
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The two truths "obey your leaders" and "let each be fully persuaded in his own mind" cannot co-exist without the concession that (1) we need to respect those who part ways with us for reasons of conscience, and (2) the logical corollary that we must respect other gatherings in our locality.
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Old 05-07-2017, 07:53 AM   #79
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If can only tell you that for me, I did not have the same experience and do not recognize the local churches you describe.
If you are remaining in the LCM because you believe it is right for you then that's fine.

If you are remaining in the LCM because you believe it is the "one true way on earth today" then you have validated most of the complaints on this board that you claim you don't recognize--because that belief leads to all the fear, manipulation, abuse and damage that those complaints testify of.

When any subset group of the Church holds the belief that it is "one true way," abuse within that subset group is unavoidable. History cites no exceptions that I know of.

Please pray about it.
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:29 PM   #80
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Well, to me it's mostly just a way to bolster your claims of special status.

The LCM is basically doing nothing different than what any arrogant, self-obsessed group claiming to be the "one true way" has done. The LCM is just more creative and clever with its rationalization of it.

I don't know if you've seen this, but below is something I posted a while back. It shows how groups thinking they are special and unique is nothing new and is an error that has been repeated over and over down through history.

As I said, the LCM is more creative and clever with its rationalization of special status. Rather than say they have the "right doctrines," they say things like they are "the continuation of the one ministry." Rather than say they are the "one true church," they say they are the "proper manifestation of the church."

But it doesn't matter because the intent is the same and adds up to the same error. You want to believe you are better than everyone else to the point that you are the only valid group. You are not trying to help others get it right as much as you are trying to validate your group and discredit all others.

That's not ministry, that's self-aggrandiziation.

And as the record below shows, it is an error that has occurred many times in history--which is, ironically, more proof you are nothing special.

What's funny is that #16 sounds just like something you would say.

WHO SAID IT??
  1. “This is not just another Church. This is not just one of a family of Christian churches. This is the Church and kingdom of God, the only true Church upon the face of the earth...”
  2. "The gospel of the kingdom ceased to be proclaimed shortly after the death of the apostles. It was not preached again until ________."
  3. "_________, the one and only channel which the Lord has used in dispensing his truth."
  4. "There is one church! There is one God. There is one kingdom of God and this is it!"
  5. "The only way to follow the Lord absolutely is to go the way of _______."
  6. "This is the only way that was started by Christ."
  7. "This is God's inner circle--His very elect...we are God's only true representative on this earth.”
  8. "...we _________ are the remnant church!"
  9. “The church is careful to not be allied with other churches..."
  10. "All of the doctrines of God were restored by _________."
  11. "The true church will be a restored Church."
  12. "There is nobody else in this country that has the true gospel...There is nobody else in this entire world....There is no place to go.”
  13. “Some people say there are other fellowships that can be alright. No, there can't be! Because there is only one body..."
  14. "This is the one unique move of God on earth today."
  15. “When you walk away from ________, there is no where to walk. Walking out of the light into the darkness."
  16. "Just taking a look at the hundreds of Christian churches in existence today, it doesn't take much to notice all the disputes among beliefs, practices, doctrines, and authority that divide each denomination. It would be impossible to join all these churches, even the Protestant sects, into one church. Therefore, all of them do not make "one body without schisms". There can only be one, and I testify that the one is _________."
  1. Ezra Taft Benson, Mormon leader
  2. Jehovah's Witness Watchtower publication, 12/1/1928, pp. 363-6
  3. Jehovah's Witness Watchtower publication, 4/1/1919, p. 6414
  4. Dave Weger, International Church of Christ
  5. Witness Lee, the Lord's Recovery
  6. The Cooneyites
  7. The Philadelphia Church of God
  8. Seventh Day Adventist
  9. Church of God in Christ, Mennonite
  10. Philadelphia Church Of God
  11. Mormons
  12. Nick Young, International Church of Christ
  13. Cooneyites
  14. Witness Lee, the Lord's Recovery
  15. Nick Young, International Church of Christ
  16. Mormons

http://www.letusreason.org/cult12.htm

http://www.theholdemans.com/Compare.htm
__________________[/QUOTE]

You seem to take issue with any group that calls itself the one true church or one true way. However when we think about it, for hundreds of years Christians had no issue with a belief there is only one true church. Why do we take issue with this today?

I think you'll find many more quotes too from Catholic, Orthodox, Baptist (successionism), so these must also be "arrogant, self-obsessed groups". Are you willing to say that about these?

It may surprise you or others on here, that Luther wrote,"The true church must appear or be visible in the world. But it can only appear in a covering (larva), a veil, a shell, or some kind of clothes which a man can grasp, otherwise it can never be found".

The Lutheran theologian Ernst Kinder said:
"One may distinguish between an outward belonging to the church and true membership in the body of Christ-distinguish, that is, but not separate, for we possess the latter only through the former".

Luther and other Reformers were very clear on the matter of a true church versus a false church. Of course Luther had the Roman Catholic church in mind as the false church.

A view that a true church does not exist, or that it is not visible, is a false view, and possibly a result of being affected by new-age mumbo jumbo.
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Old 05-07-2017, 03:38 PM   #81
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No, I'm asking why you keep obsessing about denominations when its clear the Lord is moving outside the denominations in the community churches. But you act if those are an afterthought and the denominations are the major representative.

Clearly Christians are less and less interested in denominational labels. That should make you happy. But you keep acting as if nothing has changed.

The denominations are the red herring you use to bash any group other than the LCM. You obsess about them because they are an easier target for you.
Would you agree then that the Lord has left the denominations and is now supporting the community churches. To me this is more or less implied by your statement "the Lord is moving outside the denominations". I mean, if you point at our declining numbers as proof that the Lord's move has left us, then you must also conclude the same about the denominations. You seem to be saying that the Lord's move is now with the community churches. This is if we take the charts to imply something about where the Lord is working. That one big line bigger than all others seems to be "one unique move" to me.

I think most Christians might understand "the Lord's unique move" as Revivals. The next big revival is often seen as a "new thing" (unique?) the Lord is doing.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:05 PM   #82
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Default Re: The Unique Move of God

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You seem to take issue with any group that calls itself the one true church or one true way. However when we think about it, for hundreds of years Christians had no issue with a belief there is only one true church. Why do we take issue with this today?
And what church might that be? The church of Jesus? The church birthed by the death and resurrection of His Son?

Your (lack of) knowledge of church history duplicates that of your mentor.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:13 PM   #83
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You seem to take issue with any group that calls itself the one true church or one true way. However when we think about it, for hundreds of years Christians had no issue with a belief there is only one true church. Why do we take issue with this today?
Because when it's done in a self-serving and exclusive way it is divisive.

Everyone now knows there is one Church and we are all part of it. The problem occurs when people say their groups are valid expressions of the one Church and others are not. Doing that is divisive.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:17 PM   #84
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Would you agree then that the Lord has left the denominations and is now supporting the community churches. To me this is more or less implied by your statement "the Lord is moving outside the denominations". I mean, if you point at our declining numbers as proof that the Lord's move has left us, then you must also conclude the same about the denominations. You seem to be saying that the Lord's move is now with the community churches. This is if we take the charts to imply something about where the Lord is working. That one big line bigger than all others seems to be "one unique move" to me.

I think most Christians might understand "the Lord's unique move" as Revivals. The next big revival is often seen as a "new thing" (unique?) the Lord is doing.

I wouldn't say the Lord has left the denominations. I would just say it's clear that what is there is not totally meeting the needs of believers and seekers. Denominations are somewhat stuck in tradition and protocol, as the LCM is now as well. This limits the Lord.

People are moving to the community churches because those groups are not bound to the constricting doctrines and other limitations of more traditional denominations. I think many people are becoming uncomfortable with unnecessary distinctions as well.

But the Lord appears wherever people gather in his name, and that should be good enough for any of us.

Quote:
I think most Christians might understand "the Lord's unique move" as Revivals. The next big revival is often seen as a "new thing" (unique?) the Lord is doing.
But history has shown that once you start claiming to be the embodiment of that "new move" you are on your way to not being it. The LCM has been claiming to be the unique move of God long after whatever chance they had to carry the torch was squandered in self-absorption and antagonistic self-promotion.
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Old 05-07-2017, 04:44 PM   #85
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A view that a true church does not exist, or that it is not visible, is a false view, and possibly a result of being affected by new-age mumbo jumbo.
The true Church absolutely does exist, and it is visible. Always has been.

The Church is always visible somehow. Your error is in thinking it must be visible in some kind of cut-and-dried practical organization. There is no reason to believe this. For decades the Church in China was only visible in home churches with a few members, because that's the only thing the government allowed. But visible it was.

God is not limited by your insistence on a particular local organization of a church for the Church to be visible, or valid.

But actually now you are contradicting yourself. Because if the true Church can only be embodied in LCM-like local churches, then by that definition it was invisible for at least 1700 years. Yet you just said saying it can be invisible is a false view.

So either the Church has been visible in every century since Christ ascended, in which case localism is not necessary for a valid expression of the Church, or the Church was invisible until the Brethren and Nee came along with localism, which is to say that the Lord had no visible Church on the earth for centuries.
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:46 PM   #86
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The true Church absolutely does exist, and it is visible. Always has been.

The Church is always visible somehow. Your error is in thinking it must be visible in some kind of cut-and-dried practical organization. There is no reason to believe this. For decades the Church in China was only visible in home churches with a few members, because that's the only thing the government allowed. But visible it was.

God is not limited by your insistence on a particular local organization of a church for the Church to be visible, or valid.

But actually now you are contradicting yourself. Because if the true Church can only be embodied in LCM-like local churches, then by that definition it was invisible for at least 1700 years. Yet you just said saying it can be invisible is a false view.

So either the Church has been visible in every century since Christ ascended, in which case localism is not necessary for a valid expression of the Church, or the Church was invisible until the Brethren and Nee came along with localism, which is to say that the Lord had no visible Church on the earth for centuries.
Yes that would be a contradiction wouldn't it. Would you say that Witness Lee believed the true church was invisible for 1700 years? I think he has made reference to various denominations being part of God's unique move, or "the Recovery".
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Old 05-07-2017, 11:49 PM   #87
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I wouldn't say the Lord has left the denominations. I would just say it's clear that what is there is not totally meeting the needs of believers and seekers. Denominations are somewhat stuck in tradition and protocol, as the LCM is now as well. This limits the Lord.

People are moving to the community churches because those groups are not bound to the constricting doctrines and other limitations of more traditional denominations. I think many people are becoming uncomfortable with unnecessary distinctions as well.

But the Lord appears wherever people gather in his name, and that should be good enough for any of us.

But history has shown that once you start claiming to be the embodiment of that "new move" you are on your way to not being it. The LCM has been claiming to be the unique move of God long after whatever chance they had to carry the torch was squandered in self-absorption and antagonistic self-promotion.
We could put it down to human obstruction/failure, and the Lord has found a way to move unhindered.

You are basically saying that the new move was claimed after let's call it the "real" new move was over - or at least that period of LC history that people on here seem to recall as being mostly positive.

But then we are told that if our church is in a poor condition it is the Lord's will. A church in a poor condition does not mean it is not a true church.

So we could interpret those graphs as saying the Lord has not left the denominations at all, the condition of the church has no bearing on whether or not it is a genuine church.
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Old 05-08-2017, 05:22 AM   #88
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We could put it down to human obstruction/failure, and the Lord has found a way to move unhindered.

You are basically saying that the new move was claimed after let's call it the "real" new move was over - or at least that period of LC history that people on here seem to recall as being mostly positive.

But then we are told that if our church is in a poor condition it is the Lord's will. A church in a poor condition does not mean it is not a true church.

So we could interpret those graphs as saying the Lord has not left the denominations at all, the condition of the church has no bearing on whether or not it is a genuine church.
A true church is a hospital, there will always be the "sick" and "dying" in a genuine church and it will be full of very dangerous germs. I for one would be terrified to dig through the garbage of a hospital.

The church is not defined as being true based on the maturity of the believers.

I was recently touched by James 1:1. It seems clear to me, based on this book, that the errors made by the apostles was instrumental in their ministry.

Peter's denial helped him once he repented to stand strong in opening the kingdom to the gentiles. Paul's persecution of the Body helped him see the Body once the scales fell from his eyes. James was the head of a personality cult, bringing in the "judaizers" until the Lord appeared to him and he repented. Mark became impressed with Jesus as a slave after he ditched his responsibility with Paul.

But I didn't know how to encapsulate this idea until I read James 1:1

James, a bond servant. James had a debt, the Lord paid it and in return he was serving the Lord. This gave him the clear conscience to serve the Lord while at the same time never forgetting his past error.

I think we can all have that experience. James error didn't disqualify the church, rather it gave him a burden.

The book is written to the 12 tribes in the dispersion. Clearly that is an OT concept and indicates these ones, like James in the past, do not have a clear vision. But he refers to them as his brothers in the Lord.

This is the right attitude. They were being tried, their religion was falling apart, everything they thought they knew was coming undone, and they were being persecuted by both Jews and Romans. But James view is to count it all joy and that the rich should rejoice when they are brought low. That is a very interesting concept, Why?

The picture in James 1 is of a flower. The flower has withered and died but the seeds have been dispersed. This is why they should rejoice. They were that flower that burst and dispersed the seeds.
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Old 05-08-2017, 09:24 AM   #89
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. . . and believe that the NT adequately reveals what the gathering of Christ's disciples should look like, which coincidentally looks a lot like a Lord's table meeting as practiced by the Brethren and different groups . . .
I would say that the NT reveals enough to recognize that a Lord's table meeting under the Form that is practiced by those groups would be consistent with what is revealed. But that is very different from declaring that it is what the NT reveals.

The NT reveals no particular Form. But it reveals enough that certain Forms could be understood as meeting what is revealed. In other words, the way of "doing the table" in the Brethren, the LRC and some others is within the boundaries of what is revealed by the NT. But there is nothing which makes those "what is revealed in the NT" in such a way that they are the way it should be done.
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Old 05-08-2017, 12:24 PM   #90
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I would say that the NT reveals enough to recognize that a Lord's table meeting under the Form that is practiced by those groups would be consistent with what is revealed. But that is very different from declaring that it is what the NT reveals.

The NT reveals no particular Form. But it reveals enough that certain Forms could be understood as meeting what is revealed. In other words, the way of "doing the table" in the Brethren, the LRC and some others is within the boundaries of what is revealed by the NT. But there is nothing which makes those "what is revealed in the NT" in such a way that they are the way it should be done.
I completely agree.

This little story exposed for me the utter nonsense that the Recovery had somehow "recovered" the way to break bread ...

The sisters took turns making the bread, and one week a college sister made the bread out of whole wheat flour. It was out of convention, so my wife who was coordinating the service asked me if WHOLE WHEAT flour was OK. I said something like "it seemed good to me and the Holy Spirit." But when the leading sister in the church saw it before the meeting, she tore it up, and demanded another bread be used.

So later on I researched bleached white flour and learned that it was developed around the end of the 19th century. That was all I needed to know. For 19 centuries the church was doing the Lord's Table Meeting all wrong because they must have been using whole wheat flour.

At some point in our history, a perfectly acceptable way of making bread become THE WAY to make the bread. We had thus established the bread making ORDINANCE in the body of Christ. A way became THE WAY. This extra Biblical ordinance was thus added to our Bible. It was added to the growing list in our Official Recovery Book Of Bible Amendments. We could now feel completely justified in comdemning all others who differed from us. And we did!
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Old 05-08-2017, 07:33 PM   #91
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Default The Lord's Table and the Disciple's Meeting

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I would say that the NT reveals enough to recognize that a Lord's table meeting under the Form that is practiced by those groups would be consistent with what is revealed. But that is very different from declaring that it is what the NT reveals.

The NT reveals no particular Form. But it reveals enough that certain Forms could be understood as meeting what is revealed. In other words, the way of "doing the table" in the Brethren, the LRC and some others is within the boundaries of what is revealed by the NT. But there is nothing which makes those "what is revealed in the NT" in such a way that they are the way it should be done.
I'll stick my neck out and be more specific. i won't be able to explain it all tonight, but hit a couple of main ideas.

The doctrine of the "Perspicuity of Scripture" means that the Scripture is adequately clear.

The doctrine of the "Sufficiency of Scripture" implies that it has everything we need for life and godliness.

Another starting presupposition for me is that we as individuals are first and foremost called to be disciples of Christ, and as such have and need no intermediaries. We are priests of God. God the Holy Spirit distributes gifts as He wills, and not all have the same gifts, but all are equal in Christ - as man and woman are equal in worth - but we have differing roles in the body.

I believe that 1 Corinthians 11 - 14 provides enough breadth, context, and detail to describe what the New Testament church was as an example to future generations. These combined with 1 Timothy 3, Titus 1, Ephesians 4 and others paint a picture of the church offices of elders who shepherd the flock exercising over sight, and servants (aka deacons).

1 Corinthians 14:26-40 describes a church meeting where "all" disciples are free to speak forth what the Lord has been making real to them in their life in an orderly manner.

This is not practiced as the "main" service in any assembly that I have been a part of except an open brethren assembly that I attended more than 20 years ago. Most churches have no meeting like that at all, and most are highly planned and organized by the pastoral staff, leaving no room for the disciples to be exercised. Believers become "attendees".

While this "control" in most churches isn't cult-like in the mold of LSM that I have read here and other places, it is stifling to spiritual growth except to the naturally intelligent, who are considered spiritual.

I would like to suggest, that a Lord's table meeting where all are free to share is the "baby" that you should keep from the LC/LSM/the Lord's Recovery and throw out all of the other abusive, personality cultish stuff that is documented on this site.

Don't exchange a cultish intermediary between you and Christ for a more traditional intermediary non-cultish, but equally wrong, over planned, professional pastorate.

Some of us who have never (or in my case only once) stepped foot in an LC meeting have been deeply wounded by immoral, unscrupulous, carnal leaders in various Protestant churches including having marriages broken or teen children led astray, and not to greater commitment to Christ, but to compromised morals and moral confusion.
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Old 05-09-2017, 04:20 PM   #92
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The doctrine of the "Sufficiency of Scripture" implies that it has everything we need for life and godliness.
But having everything we need for life and godliness (a point that I constantly insist stands against Lee's "wait for the dispensing" teaching) is quite different from "spelling out" for us everything that we need.

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I believe that 1 Corinthians 11 - 14 provides enough breadth, context, and detail to describe what the New Testament church was as an example to future generations.
Actually, I think that these chapters provide a broad enough framework as to be very inexact.
  • They are written into a truly dysfunctional situation yet there is little direction beyond recognition of the variety of "gifts" that are in the body and that all are needful (don't cut off the toes as unnecessary).
  • The meeting is open, but not altogether. Oversight is required. And restraint.
  • I'll get to the "all can" in a minute.
But there is nothing in what is provided that defines how. Just gives some principles that were needed in Corinth because of their three-ring circus of competing groups and probably a lot of "show offs." A meeting with a single table and one piece of crisp unleavened bread and a single glass of wine around which a meeting begins according to a particular structure of song topics (in order), with a breaking of the bread in a particular way by two or more persons, then the passing of the elements around the room is a fully acceptable way to do it. But it is not found in 1 Corinthians or anywhere else. Neither is the typical LRC way of doing other meetings. They are not necessarily "wrong." But they are not simply "right" and especially not the "preferred" or even "only" way to do them.

The point of the Lord's table is not the form in which it is done. It is that when it is done, you remember. The Lord. His death. Those are the things specified. The rest is preferences and everyone's are not the same.
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1 Corinthians 14:26-40 describes a church meeting where "all" disciples are free to speak forth what the Lord has been making real to them in their life in an orderly manner.
First, the content of those who are described as participating as "prophets" is not defined as "what the Lord has been making real in their lives." Second, there is first a restraint to "2 or three" within which the remainder of that part of the passage refers. It does not start by saying that there should be 2 or 3 prophets, then just toss it aside and declare that "all can prophesy" meaning the entire congregation. That is a gross misunderstanding of the meaning and structure of the passage.

The passage as a whole has put a limit on certain things. It has limited the exhibition of tongues to a very little and only if someone is present to interpret it (which means someone who can understand that tongue is present). Then it gets to "prophets" and says "2 or 3." Now what is that supposed to mean if you think that the "all can prophesy" reaches beyond them to all present? It has made a mockery of Paul's opening words on that subject.

Now I am not saying that there cannot also be a third part of the meeting that in the Pentecostal circles used to be called as "testimony meeting." But that would be something other than the 2 or three who "prophesy."
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Old 05-09-2017, 05:29 PM   #93
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The doctrine of the "Sufficiency of Scripture" implies that it has everything we need for life and godliness. (SteVee)

But having everything we need for life and godliness (a point that I constantly insist stands against Lee's "wait for the dispensing" teaching) is quite different from "spelling out" for us everything that we need. (OBW)


OBW -- Why can't a verse that says we have all that we need for life and godliness be the essential basis and meaning for the "doctrine of sufficiency of Scripture"?

I believe that 1 Corinthians 11 - 14 provides enough breadth, context, and detail to describe what the New Testament church was as an example to future generations. (Stevee)

Actually, I think that these chapters provide a broad enough framework as to be very inexact.
• They are written into a truly dysfunctional situation yet there is little direction beyond recognition of the variety of "gifts" that are in the body and that all are needful (don't cut off the toes as unnecessary).
• The meeting is open, but not altogether. Oversight is required. And restraint.
• I'll get to the "all can" in a minute.
But there is nothing in what is provided that defines how. Just gives some principles that were needed in Corinth because of their three-ring circus of competing groups and probably a lot of "show offs." A meeting with a single table and one piece of crisp unleavened bread and a single glass of wine around which a meeting begins according to a particular structure of song topics (in order), with a breaking of the bread in a particular way by two or more persons, then the passing of the elements around the room is a fully acceptable way to do it. But it is not found in 1 Corinthians or anywhere else. Neither is the typical LRC way of doing other meetings. They are not necessarily "wrong." But they are not simply "right" and especially not the "preferred" or even "only" way to do them.

The point of the Lord's table is not the form in which it is done. It is that when it is done, you remember. The Lord. His death. Those are the things specified. The rest is preferences and everyone's are not the same. (OBW)



SteVee -- I do have the same feeling, except I feel it is the entire book, I would not limit it to 11-14.

OBW -- a "broad enough framework" is not contrary to what SteVee shared about having "enough breadth" to be an example for all future churches, despite the wide variation.

We can debate whether the "how" is provided. I don't disagree that it is not provided in chapter 14, but if you look at the entire book with that in mind it is there.

1 Corinthians 14:26-40 describes a church meeting where "all" disciples are free to speak forth what the Lord has been making real to them in their life in an orderly manner. (Stevee)

First, the content of those who are described as participating as "prophets" is not defined as "what the Lord has been making real in their lives." Second, there is first a restraint to "2 or three" within which the remainder of that part of the passage refers. It does not start by saying that there should be 2 or 3 prophets, then just toss it aside and declare that "all can prophesy" meaning the entire congregation. That is a gross misunderstanding of the meaning and structure of the passage.

The passage as a whole has put a limit on certain things. It has limited the exhibition of tongues to a very little and only if someone is present to interpret it (which means someone who can understand that tongue is present). Then it gets to "prophets" and says "2 or 3." Now what is that supposed to mean if you think that the "all can prophesy" reaches beyond them to all present? It has made a mockery of Paul's opening words on that subject.

Now I am not saying that there cannot also be a third part of the meeting that in the Pentecostal circles used to be called as "testimony meeting." But that would be something other than the 2 or three who "prophesy." (OBW)


SteVee -- the problem with "all are free to speak" is in the practice. This is really where OBW can make a strong case concerning the "how". For example, if you are going to use this as the model for all true churches would you then say that if all are not free to speak it is not a true church? Also, how would you define "free to speak"? Would it be in a large meeting, what if you are free to speak in smaller meetings?

OBW -- when it says "all can prophesy" I don't understand that to mean that all 100 attendees can prophesy, but rather all members of the body of Christ can (have the ability or potential to) prophesy. As a result when 2 or 3 can prophesy it doesn't mean to imply that there is an office of "prophet" who will stand up and speak every week. Rather it means that any of those attendees, at some time or other, as the Lord leads, can prophesy.
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:26 PM   #94
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But having everything we need for life and godliness (a point that I constantly insist stands against Lee's "wait for the dispensing" teaching) is quite different from "spelling out" for us everything that we need.

Actually, I think that these chapters provide a broad enough framework as to be very inexact.
  • They are written into a truly dysfunctional situation yet there is little direction beyond recognition of the variety of "gifts" that are in the body and that all are needful (don't cut off the toes as unnecessary).
  • The meeting is open, but not altogether. Oversight is required. And restraint.
  • I'll get to the "all can" in a minute.
But there is nothing in what is provided that defines how. Just gives some principles that were needed in Corinth because of their three-ring circus of competing groups and probably a lot of "show offs." A meeting with a single table and one piece of crisp unleavened bread and a single glass of wine around which a meeting begins according to a particular structure of song topics (in order), with a breaking of the bread in a particular way by two or more persons, then the passing of the elements around the room is a fully acceptable way to do it. But it is not found in 1 Corinthians or anywhere else. Neither is the typical LRC way of doing other meetings. They are not necessarily "wrong." But they are not simply "right" and especially not the "preferred" or even "only" way to do them.

The point of the Lord's table is not the form in which it is done. It is that when it is done, you remember. The Lord. His death. Those are the things specified. The rest is preferences and everyone's are not the same.
First, the content of those who are described as participating as "prophets" is not defined as "what the Lord has been making real in their lives." Second, there is first a restraint to "2 or three" within which the remainder of that part of the passage refers. It does not start by saying that there should be 2 or 3 prophets, then just toss it aside and declare that "all can prophesy" meaning the entire congregation. That is a gross misunderstanding of the meaning and structure of the passage.

The passage as a whole has put a limit on certain things. It has limited the exhibition of tongues to a very little and only if someone is present to interpret it (which means someone who can understand that tongue is present). Then it gets to "prophets" and says "2 or 3." Now what is that supposed to mean if you think that the "all can prophesy" reaches beyond them to all present? It has made a mockery of Paul's opening words on that subject.

Now I am not saying that there cannot also be a third part of the meeting that in the Pentecostal circles used to be called as "testimony meeting." But that would be something other than the 2 or three who "prophesy."
Thanks for both your content and tone. When I have time to respond in detail I will.
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:35 PM   #95
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I think the point SteVee is making is that in the "free churches", there is ample opportunity for people to prophesy if they wish to. Not so in most denominations.

In the free churches there are often long pauses and breaks in the meeting to allow the Spirit to move, so people have opportunity to speak. In denominational churches, a 10 minute break would be a disaster in terms of "running the service" and the pastor would be hurrying people up to take care of the microphone. Furthermore, in a denominational church, if one stands up during the service it would be counted as an unwanted disruption. In a pentecostal church, people cannot last 10 minutes without praying in tongues.

The liturgical denominations especially provide no opportunity. Many denominations do not even believe in prophesy (cessationists), or they believe in the version of prophesy which is more or else "fortune telling" or the sorts of prophecies that Nostradamus made.

the bible says:

1 Cor 14:1 eagerly desire gifts of the Spirit, especially prophecy.

The purpose of prophesy is to build/edify the church:

1 Cor 14:3-4
But the one who prophesies speaks to people for their strengthening, encouraging and comfort.
Anyone who speaks in a tongue edifies themselves, but the one who prophesies edifies the church.

Paul says "every one of you" should prophesy:

1 Cor 14:5 I would like every one of you to speak in tongues, but I would rather have you prophesy. The one who prophesies is greater than the one who speaks in tongues, unless someone interprets, so that the church may be edified.

Paul did not forbid them all prophesying, as long as it was done in an orderly way. The instruction of "two or three "prophesying was not to place a limit on the prophesying, but a way to limit the confusion and do things in an orderly way.

I don't know why anyone would want to limit the building and edification of the church by restricting the prophesying.

In the Recovery, not only are there breaks and opportunities to speak, but we dedicate a whole hour or more to the prophesying meeting. Denominational services which last 2 hours are padded with various performances and entertainment. They usually do not have dedicated time for prophesying.
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Old 05-09-2017, 06:59 PM   #96
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Great responses. Worthy of a thoughtful reply, and I'll try to do so later this week. One question I'll answer right away, though is your statement about "true" churches.

" For example, if you are going to use this as the model for all true churches would you then say that if all are not free to speak it is not a true church?"

If I said "true" church, I apologize. "Healthy" would be a better word.

The Lord Jesus Christ saves individuals and calls them to follow Him, and gather with others to - among many other things - encourage and be encouraged to follow Him. Careful personal Bible study with the intent of growing closer to Him in character, practice, attitude and ... (add many other descriptive phrases) is every disciples responsibility. Sharing what we learn, what sin we've been convicted of, what loving encouragement we've received from the Savior, what specific answer prayer we've received is spiritual exercise and edifies the body, encouraging other's to expect the reality of Christ in their lives.

It is easy, I might dare say normative, for church to become like a movie or concert that we attend, and afterward talk about (insert hobby, vocation or family circumstance here) without ever stirring one another up in the "most holy faith" or encouraging one another in love and good works. That isn't healthy.

In the kind of meeting I am speaking of - which is distinct from and does not replace a meeting where apostolic doctrine is taught - if the saints don't seek the Lord during the week, there is awkward silence. In fact there is a fair amount of prayerful silence as God impresses the mature and young to call for a hymn, to speak out in prayer, or to "prophesy" i.e. Speak revealed truth from the written Word of God, that has convicted or encouraged them. It is stunning, how different people - from older children to adults - can share anything from one verse, to a Two or three minute monologue, and without their corroboration, a theme arises that the Holy Spirit wants to communicate to the body. That type of interaction is spiritual exercise is as exciting as a highly specific answered prayer.

Both of you deserve a more careful Scriptural reply, not as an argument, but maybe as an iron sharpening iron exercise.

Thanks for your thoughtful responses.
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:05 PM   #97
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Yes that would be a contradiction wouldn't it. Would you say that Witness Lee believed the true church was invisible for 1700 years? I think he has made reference to various denominations being part of God's unique move, or "the Recovery".
This is where his theology was fuzzy and inconsistent.

Nee and Lee desired to define what a practical church was because they wanted to be able to claim their groups were indeed churches (and possibly so they could claim others were not). The problem is although they came up with a definition, it is not one the Bible defines, it is one manufactured by focusing on certain patterns in the Bible (local churches) and making them rules, while ignoring other patterns in the Bible (house churches, regional churches, and that the Bible does not clearly define what a "practical church" is, nor ever asks us to discern what one is).

Their advantage, if you want to call it that, is that they felt they could confidently claim their groups were churches and other groups were not. Their disadvantage was that they became strident and ultimately sectarian and even divisive.

They also became ultimately absurd. Lee probably wouldn't have said that the Church was not visible before the localism of his movement. Yet that was the upshot of his doctrines, because he claimed that the Church could only be expressed through local churches. Well, if the church can only be expressed through local churches, then that means without local church nothing of the Church could have been expressed.

So which was it? If the Church was seen before localism, then localism is not required to express the Church. But if localism is required to express the Church, then it was not seen before localism: ergo, no Church seen on earth for centuries.

This is know as reducio ad absurdum, taking an idea to its logical and absurd conclusion, and thus showing it to be most likely false.
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Old 05-10-2017, 08:18 PM   #98
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We could put it down to human obstruction/failure, and the Lord has found a way to move unhindered.

You are basically saying that the new move was claimed after let's call it the "real" new move was over - or at least that period of LC history that people on here seem to recall as being mostly positive.

But then we are told that if our church is in a poor condition it is the Lord's will. A church in a poor condition does not mean it is not a true church.

So we could interpret those graphs as saying the Lord has not left the denominations at all, the condition of the church has no bearing on whether or not it is a genuine church.
The Bible tells us to discern teachings. It tells us to discern teachers and apostles. It tells us to discern spirits.

But what's interesting is the Bible never says nor implies that we should discern what is and isn't a church. Never.

There is no place in the NT where a writer talks about a "false church." Some churches are rebuked for being in error, but no group is ever directly or indirectly said to be "false."

I would say this is more evidence that the impulse to find some standard for deciding whether a group is or isn't a "church" is completely wrong-headed, and it exposes a huge error of the Local Church Movement.

To say that this group is church because they do this and this, and another isn't because they do that and that (assuming no gross sin) is not in keeping with the Lord's heart. I believe the Lord gives us neither the wisdom nor the commission to do that. And with good reason. If he did, then the back and forth claims of "you are not a church" would be never-ending and fatal to the Lord's testimony.

Fortunately, only tiny, fringe groups make such claims now. The RCC used to do it. How did that work out for the Lord, eh?

Sure, there has to be some point where a group of so-called Christians are so off-the-mark that they become no longer a church. But long before that point most real seekers would have left anyway, because the conditions which led to that ultimate losing of the lampstand would have already become blatantly obvious.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:50 AM   #99
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The Bible tells us to discern teachings. It tells us to discern teachers and apostles. It tells us to discern spirits.

But what's interesting is the Bible never says nor implies that we should discern what is and isn't a church. Never.

There is no place in the NT where a writer talks about a "false church." Some churches are rebuked for being in error, but no group is ever directly or indirectly said to be "false."

I would say this is more evidence that the impulse to find some standard for deciding whether a group is or isn't a "church" is completely wrong-headed, and it exposes a huge error of the Local Church Movement.

To say that this group is church because they do this and this, and another isn't because they do that and that (assuming no gross sin) is not in keeping with the Lord's heart. I believe the Lord gives us neither the wisdom nor the commission to do that. And with good reason. If he did, then the back and forth claims of "you are not a church" would be never-ending and fatal to the Lord's testimony.

Fortunately, only tiny, fringe groups make such claims now. The RCC used to do it. How did that work out for the Lord, eh?

Sure, there has to be some point where a group of so-called Christians are so off-the-mark that they become no longer a church. But long before that point most real seekers would have left anyway, because the conditions which led to that ultimate losing of the lampstand would have already become blatantly obvious.
Igzy, excellent observations here.

Else Thyatira would never have received their letter.
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Old 05-11-2017, 04:57 AM   #100
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The Bible tells us to discern teachings. It tells us to discern teachers and apostles. It tells us to discern spirits.

But what's interesting is the Bible never says nor implies that we should discern what is and isn't a church. Never.

There is no place in the NT where a writer talks about a "false church." Some churches are rebuked for being in error, but no group is ever directly or indirectly said to be "false."

I would say this is more evidence that the impulse to find some standard for deciding whether a group is or isn't a "church" is completely wrong-headed, and it exposes a huge error of the Local Church Movement.

To say that this group is church because they do this and this, and another isn't because they do that and that (assuming no gross sin) is not in keeping with the Lord's heart. I believe the Lord gives us neither the wisdom nor the commission to do that. And with good reason. If he did, then the back and forth claims of "you are not a church" would be never-ending and fatal to the Lord's testimony.

Fortunately, only tiny, fringe groups make such claims now. The RCC used to do it. How did that work out for the Lord, eh?

Sure, there has to be some point where a group of so-called Christians are so off-the-mark that they become no longer a church. But long before that point most real seekers would have left anyway, because the conditions which led to that ultimate losing of the lampstand would have already become blatantly obvious.

The reason the bible does not talk about false churches is because at the time there was only one church per city.

There was only one church per town/city as even Christian evangelical websites recognize, such as gotquestions.org:

https://www.gotquestions.org/church-hopping.html

The early church consisted of small groups of Christians meeting in homes or in public places. There is no indication in Scripture that towns or cities had more than one group of believers meeting there.

So it would not make sense for Paul at the time to write about avoiding "false churches".

"Fortunately, only tiny, fringe groups make such claims now. The RCC used to do it. " - Used to?
see

https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...icism.religion
"It is nevertheless difficult to see how the title of 'Church' could possibly be attributed to [Protestant communities]

http://www.catholicherald.co.uk/comm...why-hes-wrong/
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Old 05-11-2017, 05:09 AM   #101
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The Bible tells us to discern teachings. It tells us to discern teachers and apostles. It tells us to discern spirits.

But what's interesting is the Bible never says nor implies that we should discern what is and isn't a church. Never.

There is no place in the NT where a writer talks about a "false church." Some churches are rebuked for being in error, but no group is ever directly or indirectly said to be "false."

I would say this is more evidence that the impulse to find some standard for deciding whether a group is or isn't a "church" is completely wrong-headed, and it exposes a huge error of the Local Church Movement.

To say that this group is church because they do this and this, and another isn't because they do that and that (assuming no gross sin) is not in keeping with the Lord's heart. I believe the Lord gives us neither the wisdom nor the commission to do that. And with good reason. If he did, then the back and forth claims of "you are not a church" would be never-ending and fatal to the Lord's testimony.

Fortunately, only tiny, fringe groups make such claims now. The RCC used to do it. How did that work out for the Lord, eh?

Sure, there has to be some point where a group of so-called Christians are so off-the-mark that they become no longer a church. But long before that point most real seekers would have left anyway, because the conditions which led to that ultimate losing of the lampstand would have already become blatantly obvious.
But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there shall be false teachers among you, who privily shall bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction. 2Pet 2:1

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Matt 7:15

And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. Matt 24:14

For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. Mark 13:22

For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ. 2Cor 11:13

false brethren 2Cor 11:26

And that because of false brethren unawares brought in, who came in privily to spy out our liberty which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might bring us into bondage: Gal 2:4

Yes, we are told to beware of false prophets, false teachings, false brethren, being seduced by them and being brought into bondage by them. But how?

15*Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.


It is very clear that the way to identify them, prescribed by the Lord is by their fruit.

False prophet + damnable heresy + false brethren + fruit of false prophet + bondage = false church / cult
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Old 05-11-2017, 05:10 AM   #102
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The reason the bible does not talk about false churches is because at the time there was only one church per city.
OMG, you can't make this stuff up.
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Old 05-11-2017, 05:11 AM   #103
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The reason the bible does not talk about false churches is because at the time there was only one church per city.

There was only one church per town/city as even Christian evangelical websites recognize, such as gotquestions.org:

https://www.gotquestions.org/church-hopping.html

The early church consisted of small groups of Christians meeting in homes or in public places. There is no indication in Scripture that towns or cities had more than one group of believers meeting there.
That's not true at all. Both Rome and Colosse, for example, had more than one group of believers there.

These contradictions to Lee's church model have been cited repeatedly, yet you refuse to acknowledge these Scriptures.

John's Revelation seems to imply the one church one city model, yet when we study the rest of the N.T., that theory is not supported.
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Old 05-11-2017, 06:43 AM   #104
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The reason the bible does not talk about false churches is because at the time there was only one church per city.
That is pure speculation. There were all kinds of groups back then. Where do you think all the strange writings like "The Shepherd of Hermas" and "The Gospel of Thomas" came from?

Paul said there were those who were preaching Christ to try to hurt him. He talked of the "super apostles" who obviously were in competition with him. Are you saying those apostles had no followers? Are you saying the apostles were in different groups and loyalties and the common believers were not? That makes no sense. How would you know this?

Again, it just seems you are seeing things the way you want to, without real evidence to support your conclusions.

I think it is possible that the reason Paul addressed his letters to the church in the city was not because there was only one church or group of Christians there, but because he didn't want to favor one over the other. He wanted to reach all the Christians. Sometimes he didn't even address "the church," as in Romans. There he just addressed the believers directly. He doesn't mention the "church in Rome."

In reality any group of believers is "the Church." You can't take that away from them.

And again, if you are going to base your beliefs on biblical patterns, you have to acknowledge that your practice of proclaiming who is a church and who isn't is not Biblical.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:17 AM   #105
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I think it is possible that the reason Paul addressed his letters to the church in the city was not because there was only one church or group of Christians there, but because he didn't want to favor one over the other. He wanted to reach all the Christians. Sometimes he didn't even address "the church," as in Romans. There he just addressed the believers directly. He doesn't mention the "church in Rome."
That is an interesting concept. It would suggest that although there were many different meeting halls, homes, etc that there was still a fellowship that would allow the letter to be passed from one group to the next.

I would think that the idea of a large meeting hall for a hundred or more Christians is highly unlikely in a period where there is persecution, so by necessity they had to be "underground" in houses and small gatherings.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:18 AM   #106
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The reason the bible does not talk about false churches is because at the time there was only one church per city.
And once again, the intended conclusion is provided as the evidence that it is correct. A truly circular argument. Begging of the question at its finest.

Evidence that evidence is of no importance to those who argue in that manner. That reason is left at the door with their opinions and even their brains so that they will not be hindered by thinking.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:20 AM   #107
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John's Revelation seems to imply the one church one city model, yet when we study the rest of the N.T., that theory is not supported.
But the only thing it clearly indicates is that the body of Christ was to be found in those cities. It does not define the "boundaries" of an assembly, or the manner in which it should be identified.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:30 AM   #108
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But the only thing it clearly indicates is that the body of Christ was to be found in those cities. It does not define the "boundaries" of an assembly, or the manner in which it should be identified.
If you want to infer one church per city you can make that inference, but you have to understand this is an inferred teaching and not based on the black and white word.

So whereas there is a very clear word concerning Jesus coming in the flesh, or how to have the Lord's table meeting, or about the requirement to baptize, there is no such teaching on the boundaries of the city and how they relate to church administration.

Also, you might want to rethink or restate the part about the church being identified. Each letter gives very distinct description that would identify Laodicea from Philadelphia from Ephesus. It surely does tell you how to identify them.

To infer that these seven are representative of genuine churches throughout the age is, once again, an inferred teaching that is never given in black and white. To take that inference further and say that if your gathering does not fit one of these seven models it is not a genuine church would surely be unwarranted and without any real basis.
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Old 05-11-2017, 07:57 AM   #109
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To infer that these seven are representative of genuine churches throughout the age is, once again, an inferred teaching that is never given in black and white. To take that inference further and say that if your gathering does not fit one of these seven models it is not a genuine church would surely be unwarranted and without any real basis.
One of the craziest conclusions from these theories was to assume that Philadelphia -- brotherly love -- did NOT exist as a church until the Darby Brethren came along, with their endless anf fickle divisions I should add.

This was based on their ideal that no name was the right name, thus negating all manners of evil.
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Old 05-11-2017, 09:45 AM   #110
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One of the craziest conclusions from these theories was to assume that Philadelphia -- brotherly love -- did NOT exist as a church until the Darby Brethren came along, with their endless anf fickle divisions I should add.

This was based on their ideal that no name was the right name, thus negating all manners of evil.
That is what happens when you take create teachings based on shadows, types and allegories.
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Old 05-11-2017, 10:03 AM   #111
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Also, you might want to rethink or restate the part about the church being identified. Each letter gives very distinct description that would identify Laodicea from Philadelphia from Ephesus. It surely does tell you how to identify them.
Actually, it gives a very distinct reference to the body of Christ as found in that city, the significance being that within that city there was found something noteworthy. Deeds of Nicolaitans, deep things of Satan, belief that they had the best and needed nothing, etc. And even those statements do not suppose that everyone in that city were mired in these problems. So there begins to be a question. If we understand things correctly, then the problems were not just a few on the side with issue, but more systemic problems seen in that area.

Whether it was within certain ones meeting separately from those who were noted as not going along with the error is never stated in any form. Yet you seem to talk about it as if the term church is simply synonymous with both a single assembly and the city in which that assembly is found. I find no such implication. The only reason that we ever thought it was that simple was because someone once said it was yet ever bothered to say why. I know that you do not subscribe to the inferred teaching of one church in a city, yet the rest of what you say concerning the letters in Revelation "infers" that it must be understood that way. If there is no church-city equivalence, then referring to the body of Christ (and not specific assemblies, whether singular or plural) in that city would be correct to call according to the city.

You wouldn't write to the Baptists who are in Dallas if you meant to cover all the believers. You would write to the church in Dallas (not to be confused with the group meeting on Meandering Way and using that as their name). The church in Dallas, as the body of Christ, is composed of many Christians who meet in many assemblies that have various names of all kinds. There is no conflict in this.

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To infer that these seven are representative of genuine churches . . . .
I'll stop the quote there. I do not disagree (much) with what you wrote. But this term "genuine church" is problematic. It presumes that a gathering of Christians for the purpose of teaching, worship, etc., can be "not genuine" and therefore not really church. I realize that there is a "Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" that we generally consider to not be a church because it does not hold that Jesus is God and is the source of salvation. And there a some others. But when discussing the LRC, Baptists, Methodists, AOG, Presbyterians, Lutherans, Anglicans, various other evangelical, Pentecostal or free groups, or even Catholics, if we insert "genuine" into the discussion, we are implying that some of those are not churches in the sense of assemblies collecting together the Christ-believing, Christ-following members of that body.

It is mostly brought into the conversations to differentiate and marginalize. Much like the "c" word recently discussed. "Not genuine" is an unfounded overlay onto the body of Christ that marginalizes and demeans brothers and sisters in Christ.

Jesus prayed that we would be one. Those who find ways to dismiss others are exercised to see to it that only they count and their lack of being one with others can instead be transformed into the only true oneness.
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:11 AM   #112
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I have a question for those who were or are more enveloped in "the Unique Move of God" than I ever was.

In the 70s, the 'leading brothers' were called 'elders' not pastors. Elders is an OT word.

Yet, PAUL describes certain offices in Ephesians 4:11
Prophets,
Evangelists,
Pastors,
Teachers

He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

In other letters we read about bishops (overseers) and deacons (ministers)

No blended brothers are mentioned in the scriptures though

Did Lee ever give any reason why those offices mentioned in the bible were ignored by him and possibly Nee? They ARE in the scriptures after all.

Personally, I think naming these offices invited the religious 'spirits'. The RCC has bishops as do some denominations. Pastors, prophets, evangelists and teachers. These 'offices' ended up elevating man.


2nd question
How did Lee explain the many mansions mentioned in John 14:2
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Thanks in advance
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Old 05-11-2017, 11:49 AM   #113
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2nd question
How did Lee explain the many mansions mentioned in John 14:2
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Thanks in advance
Mansions make no sense in the translation. How does the Father's house contain many "mansions?" The proper translation should be literally "places to stay", i.e. "rooms, dwelling places, abodes, resting places, habitats, lodgings, etc." The word "mansion" (and I'm not sure what this word once meant in the Shakespearean English of the early 17th century) comes from Greek "monai" which root is from Greek "mone."

The KJV translation of "mansions," or even "manor or manse," partly transliterates this Greek word into English, but wrongly connotes large, private, individual homes for each believer for the future only.

Little Kittel (p.582): "In the NT the word occurs only twice in John. In 14.2 it denotes the abiding dwelling (in contrast with our transitory earthly state) that Christ prepares for His people in His Father's house. In 14.23, however,the abode is on earth, for Christ and the Father will come to believers and make their home with them... In both of these verses, the reference is individual rather than universal or eschatological. Salvation consists of union with God and Christ through their dwelling in believers and their taking believers to dwell in them. The "mone" brings out the indestructibility of the union."

This means, in part, that our "mansion" in the Father's house is both today and forever, and is not physical, but spiritual in nature.
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Old 05-11-2017, 03:35 PM   #114
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I have a question for those who were or are more enveloped in "the Unique Move of God" than I ever was.

In the 70s, the 'leading brothers' were called 'elders' not pastors. Elders is an OT word.

Yet, PAUL describes certain offices in Ephesians 4:11
Prophets,
Evangelists,
Pastors,
Teachers

He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

In other letters we read about bishops (overseers) and deacons (ministers)

No blended brothers are mentioned in the scriptures though

Did Lee ever give any reason why those offices mentioned in the bible were ignored by him and possibly Nee? They ARE in the scriptures after all.

Personally, I think naming these offices invited the religious 'spirits'. The RCC has bishops as do some denominations. Pastors, prophets, evangelists and teachers. These 'offices' ended up elevating man.





2nd question
How did Lee explain the many mansions mentioned in John 14:2
In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Thanks in advance
In Ephesians 4:11 the grammatical construction for the word describing pastors (shepherds) and teachers are one function - those who "teach and shepherd".

So there are really 4 kinds of persons:
Apostles
Prophets,
Evangelists,
Pastors (Shepherds/Teachers)

Christianity takes it heritage from Judaism that is why the terminology "elders" for presbuteros carried over from Old testament to New Testament. In Scripture the role of presbuteros is not well defined, only defined are the episcopos and the diakonos. The presbuteros is thought to be leading men, who are spiritually older and more mature. Hence, the "leading brothers" is an appropriate term for the presbuteros. If we want to be particular about names, in the LC there are really no terms for the episcopos or the diakonos.

The view of Lee/Nee was that the offices were never intended to be official positions in the church, but a matter of function and calling. e.g. pastors are those who perform the function of shepherding and teaching. The LC sees them as functions (things people do) not as particular offices or positions to hold. The LC also believes that all believers are priests, all can prophesy, all can be an evangelist or a pastor.

The concept of particular people holding certain office or position in the church such as the Prophets of the old testament, ceased when the New Testament came about.

I see it like this. There is really only one gift God gives us- the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:13), and all gifts and functions are a result of the one gift. That is, anyone with the gift of the Spirit can operate in any of the 4 or 5 gifts as the Spirit wills. There is really no such thing in the bible of a person operating in only one of the gifts for their entire life (e.g. the apostle Paul, also functioned as a pastor, evangelist, prophet, miracle worker etc). A person who the Spirit uses to operate in one of the gifts more than others might be known or recognized according to that gift (e.g. a person who evangelizes much might be known as an evangelist, but this is not to say that the same person cannot teach in a church).

John 14:2 - many mansions or better - abodes.
The Father's house is the body of Christ, the temple, God's dwelling place. God's dwelling place is mankind, or us - Revelation 21:2..Therefore we are the many abodes of the Father/Son.

Lee/Nee did not believe that "the Father's house" or the New Jerusalem is a physical city as in a building. It is a metaphor to describe God's people. Just like the metaphor "temple" is used to describe our bodies (we are temples of the Spirit etc).
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Old 05-11-2017, 05:51 PM   #115
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That is pure speculation. There were all kinds of groups back then. Where do you think all the strange writings like "The Shepherd of Hermas" and "The Gospel of Thomas" came from?

Paul said there were those who were preaching Christ to try to hurt him. He talked of the "super apostles" who obviously were in competition with him. Are you saying those apostles had no followers? Are you saying the apostles were in different groups and loyalties and the common believers were not? That makes no sense. How would you know this?

Again, it just seems you are seeing things the way you want to, without real evidence to support your conclusions.

I think it is possible that the reason Paul addressed his letters to the church in the city was not because there was only one church or group of Christians there, but because he didn't want to favor one over the other. He wanted to reach all the Christians. Sometimes he didn't even address "the church," as in Romans. There he just addressed the believers directly. He doesn't mention the "church in Rome."

In reality any group of believers is "the Church." You can't take that away from them.

And again, if you are going to base your beliefs on biblical patterns, you have to acknowledge that your practice of proclaiming who is a church and who isn't is not Biblical.
I do not think that Paul was writing to "all kinds of groups" including the "super apostles" just in the hope that it might reach one or two genuine believers in their midst.

It seems to me that he wrote to specific households and individuals by name (see Romans 16:5), as if to single out the assemblies which he knew to be genuine assemblies. This is why Paul says greetings to this house and greetings to such and such in that house. Paul is not extending those greetings to the churches that he knows to be false.

If there was an assembly at the time lead by a "super apostle" , those who are against Paul's writings, I think it would be easy for the churches faithful to Paul to know that and avoid them. Rather than pretend they are all in unity and part of the common faith.

Writing to everyone including the churches of the super apostles and those holding erroneous beliefs just doesn't seem like a common sense thing to do. Particularly when elsewhere the bible says to avoid or have nothing to do with such people.

I find this blog to be particularly insightful by an Associate Professor in the Humanities Division at York University in Toronto
http://www.philipharland.com/Blog/20...corinth-nt-28/

Paul’s relations with various groups of Christians at Corinth had its ups and downs, but mostly downs it seems. In the time leading up to his writing of what we call 1 Corinthians (actually at least his second letter to them — see 1 Cor 5:9), there were divisions among different groups meeting in different homes, and there were also divisions between those who, in Paul’s view, thought they were superior either socially or spiritually. Some wealthier members with time for leisure were arriving early for the Lord’s supper and consuming all the better food and wine before the arrival of the lower class Christians who had to work for a living (11:17-34). Some Corinthians who felt they had a special connection with things spiritual were viewing their ability to receive divine messages in the form of seemingly nonsensical languages (“tongues”) as a sign of superiority over those who did not receive such messages (12-14). Some other Corinthians, like the woman Chloe, who was likely a leader, were concerned about the situation and communicated this to Paul by messenger (1:11).


This blog by this professor (who to my knowledge has nothing to do with Lee/Nee) seems to paint a picture like we believe - one church per city consisting of various groups who should not have de-name-iated themselves, and Paul writing to try and get them to all stay together (at least, the genuine ones, non-genuine ones ,say Gnostic groups, I doubt Paul would ask them to come together in unity).

As it implies Paul considered all of the believers in Corinth as part of the one church. No where does Paul address the various groups in a denominational way (the group of super apostle such and such). Paul was writing against divisions between different groups meeting in different homes. No one of those groups were said to be a particular denomination, they were simply different meetings of the one church in the city which did not consider themselves to be separate organizations and institutions like we see today (Catholic, Lutheran, Anglican etc).
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Old 05-12-2017, 07:50 AM   #116
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As it implies Paul considered all of the believers in Corinth as part of the one church. No where does Paul address the various groups in a denominational way (the group of super apostle such and such).
And if he were alive to today and wrote to the church in your city, he might address the letter in the same way. But in doing that, he would not be calling any particular group "the church" and the others "not the church." You say he did not address them in a denominational way. However you acknowledge that they were not all meeting together, yet were all part of the church in Corinth.

And what he described in terms of the divisions was something very acrimonious, not like the situation among the denominations today. In fact, it would appear that the group you hold so dear as the "one true church" is the one that displays the most acrimony concerning other groups, calling them harlots, mooing cows, and more. I admit that there have been individuals in years past who did things like that. But that is not the general state among churches today. It is your blindness to the forced division created by your own group as you denigrate everyone for merely "having a name."

He charged the Corinthians with having fights over which teacher each group was following. You won't find such in today's landscape. We admit that we do not see eye-to-eye on everything, but do not denigrate others for their honest stance before God.

Can you say the same about your group? The answer is "no." They not only demand that everyone follow their way (which precludes there being any other group within a city where they already are) but also that they get in line with their teachings and ways. If you say that last statement is false, then why are individuals and even entire churches excised from your numbers for such failure? While the status of the "lampstand" was threatened in a case or two, for all the failings of the churches in the cities written to in Revelation, none were referred to as "genuine," "not genuine," or "false." They were all churches.

Do you really think that the situation in the denominations today is worse than what was described in Thyatira? A place that was still represented as having a church.

In those pesky denominations, if someone is wanting to teach in a different way than what the group prefers, they don't excommunicate them. But they might suggest that they would be happier and freer to follow the Lord as they understand it if they joined group C or D. Harmony is maintained in both groups and all can follow Christ without interference. Not the same where you are. You would exile them from all fellowship (since you consider the "fellowship" of other groups to not be genuine church) for merely failing to teach your way or for writing materials not approved by your denominational headquarters.

And you cannot avoid the fact that the LRC is a denomination. Its leaders are chosen by a headquarters. They are required to have certain meetings that are directed as to all content, including which songs to sing, by that headquarters. If someone feels the urge to write something for the benefit of the people, it can only be published if that headquarters approves it. And they declare that if you are not part of them, you are effectively not in the church, but are cut off from the church.

If you want to say that denominations are all about the name, then why is the format of the name important? You claim you have no name, but there has been more than one lawsuit to retrieve the name from the existing group when they no longer followed the edicts from the headquarters. Those lawsuits cannot be claimed to be erroneous and done only by the locals because LSM and/or DCP supported their efforts. And in at least one case, when the group no longer followed the headquarters, a small minority split off and file suit to retrieve the very meeting hall property from the main group. Again, supported by the headquarters through LSM and/or DCP.

And you say it is not a denomination. Just fall on your sword and get it over with. The magical formula of the true church does not exist. The garlic room was never somewhere else, but within you own walls. It took years to get the stench off of my clothes.
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Old 05-12-2017, 11:42 AM   #117
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I don't know why anyone would want to limit the building and edification of the church by restricting the prophesying.

In the Recovery, not only are there breaks and opportunities to speak, but we dedicate a whole hour or more to the prophesying meeting. Denominational services which last 2 hours are padded with various performances and entertainment. They usually do not have dedicated time for prophesying.
There definitely should be oversight by "responsible brothers" during prophesying. Key word should be edification. If any restrictions, it should be restricting non-edifying prophesying.
When you put other Christians down, to puff up the ministry you're receiving, that's not edifying. I've seen happen too often in prophesying meetings.
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Old 05-12-2017, 03:18 PM   #118
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I don't know why anyone would want to limit the building and edification of the church by restricting the prophesying.
I cannot say that it is a bad thing to do that.

But it is not something prescribed in the scripture. So the fact that so many do not practice it is hardly unexpected. It is not the observed practice.

And it stands opposed to the limits that Paul actually put on the Corinthians concerning several practices, including "prophesying."

So, as Terry suggests, it needs oversight. And it is probably somewhat of a spiritual risk to make it such a regular and even major thing in your meetings. It is quite possible that the most significant "edifying" (meaning "building up") that is going on is the building up of personal emotions and sense of self worth (as opposed to worth in Christ) from engaging in the practice. In other words, the "edifying" may not be spiritual, but fleshly.
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Old 05-12-2017, 04:32 PM   #119
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I do not think that Paul was writing to "all kinds of groups" including the "super apostles" just in the hope that it might reach one or two genuine believers in their midst.
Paul wrote to the church in a city. By definition that means he wrote to every Christian in a city.

Exactly what that meant--whether he was writing to some "proper church" subset which represented the church (the LCM view), or to the church at large (my view)--WE CANNOT KNOW. You don't know for sure, nor do I. I have my opinion, you have yours. But that's all we have--opinions.

And since we cannot know, your and the LCM's insistence on adhering to the stricter interpretation is unreasonable, and even irrational. When you don't know for sure you must give way to the more general denominator. Anything else is sectarian and divisive.
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Old 05-12-2017, 06:33 PM   #120
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In Ephesians 4:11 the grammatical construction for the word describing pastors (shepherds) and teachers are one function - those who "teach and shepherd".

So there are really 4 kinds of persons:
Apostles
Prophets,
Evangelists,
Pastors (Shepherds/Teachers)

Christianity takes it heritage from Judaism that is why the terminology "elders" for presbuteros carried over from Old testament to New Testament.

Lee/Nee did not believe that "the Father's house" or the New Jerusalem is a physical city as in a building. It is a metaphor to describe God's people. Just like the metaphor "temple" is used to describe our bodies (we are temples of the Spirit etc).
Thanks for your comments first and foremost.
I have another question for you and everyone here. But since you specifically said Christianity takes it heritage from Judaism that is why the terminology "elders" for presbuteros carried over from Old testament to New Testament.

Do you consider the LC/LSM as part of Christianity? I ask because by and large the denominations don't have elders on the pulpit. The only religious organization that has elders is LDS. I don't know if the LC/LSM still consider the 'leading brothers' elders as they did back in the 70s but that is what the leading brothers were called: ELDERS. And yes it is taken from the OT which is curious because the LC/LSM strongly supported Paul's teachings. In Ephesians Paul does not mention Elders in describing what the Pentecostals call the '5 fold ministry'.

It is my opinion and that is all that it is, that Paul opened up a can of worms when he mentions them in 4:11
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And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
I don't understand why he had to give them titles if as you said (and I also believe btw) they are merely types of persons.

I know for sure in the 70s Lee was considered the apostle of the age.

So Lee was ok with calling himself or having others call him 'the apostle of the age' and he was ok for the leading brothers to be called 'elders' but he threw out the window the words 'pastors (shepherds), prophets, evangelists, teachers.

Food for thought. Food for thought.

Next.
If the Holy city New Jerusalem is simply a metaphor, then God sitting on a throne, a physical Kingly chair is also a metaphor. Streets of Gold is also then a metaphor. Fruit that people eat as seen in the book of Revelation are also a metaphor. The Tree of Life, the River of Life is also a metaphor by your definition. Is this correct?

On the one hand the Holy City New Jerusalem is a city with streets of gold (Revelation 21:21) and on the other hand she is the Bride of Christ.

Again.. simply food for thought.
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Old 05-12-2017, 06:37 PM   #121
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Paul wrote to the church in a city. By definition that means he wrote to every Christian in a city.

Exactly what that meant--whether he was writing to some "proper church" subset which represented the church (the LCM view), or to the church at large (my view)--WE CANNOT KNOW. You don't know for sure, nor do I. I have my opinion, you have yours. But that's all we have--opinions.

And since we cannot know, your and the LCM's insistence on adhering to the stricter interpretation is unreasonable, and even irrational. When you don't know for sure you must give way to the more general denominator. Anything else is sectarian and divisive.
Romans
7To all in Rome who are loved by God and called to be his holy people:

This is clearly the church at large.

1Corinth
2To the church of God in Corinth, to those sanctified in Christ Jesus and called to be his holy people, together with all those everywhere who call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—their Lord and ours:

Again, this is clearly the church at large.

2Corinth
To the church of God in Corinth, together with all his holy people throughout Achaia:

Perhaps this is closer to being written to some "proper church" while also being written to the "church at large".

Galatians
To the churches in Galatia:

This is the closest to being written to some "proper churches" but then it is also plural.

Ephesians
To God’s holy people in Ephesus, the faithful in Christ Jesus:

This is clearly written to the "church at large"
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:22 AM   #122
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Thanks for your comments first and foremost.
I have another question for you and everyone here. But since you specifically said Christianity takes it heritage from Judaism that is why the terminology "elders" for presbuteros carried over from Old testament to New Testament.

Do you consider the LC/LSM as part of Christianity? I ask because by and large the denominations don't have elders on the pulpit. The only religious organization that has elders is LDS. I don't know if the LC/LSM still consider the 'leading brothers' elders as they did back in the 70s but that is what the leading brothers were called: ELDERS. And yes it is taken from the OT which is curious because the LC/LSM strongly supported Paul's teachings. In Ephesians Paul does not mention Elders in describing what the Pentecostals call the '5 fold ministry'.

It is my opinion and that is all that it is, that Paul opened up a can of worms when he mentions them in 4:11
I don't understand why he had to give them titles if as you said (and I also believe btw) they are merely types of persons.

I know for sure in the 70s Lee was considered the apostle of the age.

So Lee was ok with calling himself or having others call him 'the apostle of the age' and he was ok for the leading brothers to be called 'elders' but he threw out the window the words 'pastors (shepherds), prophets, evangelists, teachers.

Food for thought. Food for thought.
At this point I should explain that the bible reveals a distinction between God's work and church administration. The '5 fold ministry' is related to God's spiritual work. A person who operates in one of the 5 fold gifts is equipped for doing God's spiritual work. Not one of those 5-fold gifts is for practical administration. That is, there is no such thing as a spiritual gift for managing finances or running a church bank account.

The role of an elder is for practical administration of the church, e.g. finances, parking spaces, helping people deal with personal problems etc. This role requires spiritual maturity - wisdom etc rather than a spiritual gift. A person may be a gifted evangelist and save many people but they may be terrible at managing finances or listening to people's problems, so they are unsuited to be an elder. 1 Tim 3:1-2 describes the requirements of an elder.

In the bible we find the apostles appointed elders in each church:
Acts 14:23 "Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church"

No where does the bible say that an apostle, pastor, prophet, evangelist or teacher was appointed in each church. This is where some "5-fold" churches which focus on appointing Apostles, Prophets etc (capital letters) as positions in the church have got it wrong.

It is possible for a person to be involved in church administration as an elder only, or God's work only (as one of the 5-fold), or both church administration and God's work. For example, Peter was an apostle and also an elder in Jerusalem. If Peter was travelling and spreading the Good Word, then he was doing God's work as an apostle/evangelist. If Peter was at home in Jerusalem, then he was dealing with the practical matters of church administration.

The "5 fold ministry" is related to God's spiritual work and the elders is related to the church administration. It is possible for a person to be involved in both, it is possible for an elder to function as a teacher "from the pulpit".

This distinction is also seen in the churhces which have both pastors adn elders - like presbyterians/baptists. Normally the elders perform church administration roles, and the pastor will perform God's Work by conducting church services, teaching, evangelism, etc. The pastor may also be an elder. Elders are normally spiritually mature and well-regarded members of the congregation, who may not have a pastoral degree or theological qualification. A pastor however must normally have a degree and qualification of some kind.

In the local churches, like the Brethren churches, we do not have pastors or pulpits, so we just have elders. If an elder teaches God's Word in the meeting, then they are functioning as teachers. If they travel and spread the gospel, they are functioning as evangelists.


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Next.
If the Holy city New Jerusalem is simply a metaphor, then God sitting on a throne, a physical Kingly chair is also a metaphor. Streets of Gold is also then a metaphor. Fruit that people eat as seen in the book of Revelation are also a metaphor. The Tree of Life, the River of Life is also a metaphor by your definition. Is this correct?

On the one hand the Holy City New Jerusalem is a city with streets of gold (Revelation 21:21) and on the other hand she is the Bride of Christ.

Again.. simply food for thought.
I believe that the New Jerusalem is symbolic for the church. The bible refers to the church as the Bride of Christ (in preparation), and it says New Jerusalem comes down like a bride prepared for her husband. So if we put two and two together, we, the church, are the New Jerusalem. The alternative viewpoint is that God has prepared a very nice physical city for His people to live in, but I consider this unlikely.

I think it is unlikely to be a physical building when considering that God did not create a house for Adam and Eve or tell Adam and Eve to build houses and cities. The description of the New Earth parallels that of the old - with the tree of life, the river, etc. In the future, when there is no more death, sin, or violence, then houses or cities for comfort and protection will not be necessary. Wherever all the people of God are gathered together in the open air, that will be the New Jerusalem. Jesus feeding the crowd of 5000 people in the open air, paints a similar picture. Jesus himself also spent a lot of time in open air spaces, with his disciples. In the Old Testament, God himself preferred to dwell in a simple tent among his people rather than a grand building. In the future New Earth there will also be no need for privacy and security, so buildings will not be necessary.
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:37 AM   #123
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Paul wrote to the church in a city. By definition that means he wrote to every Christian in a city.

Exactly what that meant--whether he was writing to some "proper church" subset which represented the church (the LCM view), or to the church at large (my view)--WE CANNOT KNOW. You don't know for sure, nor do I. I have my opinion, you have yours. But that's all we have--opinions.

And since we cannot know, your and the LCM's insistence on adhering to the stricter interpretation is unreasonable, and even irrational. When you don't know for sure you must give way to the more general denominator. Anything else is sectarian and divisive.
As Paul was an apostle called to minister to God's people then yes he wrote to every Christian in the city. But had he known of a particular false teacher for example, gnostic, or otherwise, I very much doubt he would have intended the letter for them or any group of such people (aka a wicked or pagan organization like the Roman Catholic church). I also very much doubt that Paul would have instructed a heretical sect of Christians to try and maintain unity with an orthodox sect. Paul would have followed his own advice which was to
1 Cor 5:13 "Purge the evil person from among you".

Paul's instruction to purge evil people from among them, proves that there must have been a genuine "true church" at the time. Also in John:

2 John 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:42 AM   #124
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There definitely should be oversight by "responsible brothers" during prophesying. Key word should be edification. If any restrictions, it should be restricting non-edifying prophesying.
When you put other Christians down, to puff up the ministry you're receiving, that's not edifying. I've seen happen too often in prophesying meetings.
There is oversight. Who said there wasn't? If someone is speaking too long or waffling then the leading brother will politely ask them to finish soon. If someone is speaking bad things then they will be corrected. I've seen some come to the defense of others in the meeting. Not everyone is speaking negative things.
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Old 05-13-2017, 02:51 AM   #125
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I cannot say that it is a bad thing to do that.

But it is not something prescribed in the scripture. So the fact that so many do not practice it is hardly unexpected. It is not the observed practice.

And it stands opposed to the limits that Paul actually put on the Corinthians concerning several practices, including "prophesying."

So, as Terry suggests, it needs oversight. And it is probably somewhat of a spiritual risk to make it such a regular and even major thing in your meetings. It is quite possible that the most significant "edifying" (meaning "building up") that is going on is the building up of personal emotions and sense of self worth (as opposed to worth in Christ) from engaging in the practice. In other words, the "edifying" may not be spiritual, but fleshly.
The oversight is provided by the leading brothers in many cases. Many a time a leading brother has stood up and requested that we prophesy in a certain way, or to clarify something someone has said.

Anything can be fleshly and not spiritual, I think we all know how much focus Lee put on one being in their spirit and not in their mind/flesh. So your concern is shared but also well understood and your concern sounds more like something Lee would say. If it should happen, I don't see anything wrong with building up one's emotions and sense of self-worth by sharing their experiences with others. God treasures us very highly and so I don't think self-abasement is necessarily a good thing. I still think this is a better situation than a church which muzzles its congregation. The solution to the problem of people speaking from their flesh is not to stop people from speaking. And sometimes it is not so cut and dry. For example, a person may speak something very much from Christ for 30 seconds and then at the end tell a funny joke which gets them back to the flesh. Or they may start in their flesh and then the Spirit takes over.
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Old 05-13-2017, 03:03 AM   #126
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And if he were alive to today and wrote to the church in your city, he might address the letter in the same way. But in doing that, he would not be calling any particular group "the church" and the others "not the church." You say he did not address them in a denominational way. However you acknowledge that they were not all meeting together, yet were all part of the church in Corinth.

And what he described in terms of the divisions was something very acrimonious, not like the situation among the denominations today. In fact, it would appear that the group you hold so dear as the "one true church" is the one that displays the most acrimony concerning other groups, calling them harlots, mooing cows, and more. I admit that there have been individuals in years past who did things like that. But that is not the general state among churches today. It is your blindness to the forced division created by your own group as you denigrate everyone for merely "having a name."

He charged the Corinthians with having fights over which teacher each group was following. You won't find such in today's landscape. We admit that we do not see eye-to-eye on everything, but do not denigrate others for their honest stance before God.

Can you say the same about your group? The answer is "no." They not only demand that everyone follow their way (which precludes there being any other group within a city where they already are) but also that they get in line with their teachings and ways. If you say that last statement is false, then why are individuals and even entire churches excised from your numbers for such failure? While the status of the "lampstand" was threatened in a case or two, for all the failings of the churches in the cities written to in Revelation, none were referred to as "genuine," "not genuine," or "false." They were all churches.

Do you really think that the situation in the denominations today is worse than what was described in Thyatira? A place that was still represented as having a church.

In those pesky denominations, if someone is wanting to teach in a different way than what the group prefers, they don't excommunicate them. But they might suggest that they would be happier and freer to follow the Lord as they understand it if they joined group C or D. Harmony is maintained in both groups and all can follow Christ without interference. Not the same where you are. You would exile them from all fellowship (since you consider the "fellowship" of other groups to not be genuine church) for merely failing to teach your way or for writing materials not approved by your denominational headquarters.

And you cannot avoid the fact that the LRC is a denomination. Its leaders are chosen by a headquarters. They are required to have certain meetings that are directed as to all content, including which songs to sing, by that headquarters. If someone feels the urge to write something for the benefit of the people, it can only be published if that headquarters approves it. And they declare that if you are not part of them, you are effectively not in the church, but are cut off from the church.

If you want to say that denominations are all about the name, then why is the format of the name important? You claim you have no name, but there has been more than one lawsuit to retrieve the name from the existing group when they no longer followed the edicts from the headquarters. Those lawsuits cannot be claimed to be erroneous and done only by the locals because LSM and/or DCP supported their efforts. And in at least one case, when the group no longer followed the headquarters, a small minority split off and file suit to retrieve the very meeting hall property from the main group. Again, supported by the headquarters through LSM and/or DCP.

And you say it is not a denomination. Just fall on your sword and get it over with. The magical formula of the true church does not exist. The garlic room was never somewhere else, but within you own walls. It took years to get the stench off of my clothes.

If there is no true church (batch of dough), then why does the bible warn against the leaven? (Galatians 5:9)

If there is no true church then why is Paul giving instructions to preserve it?:

1 Cor 5:13 "Purge the evil person from among you".

2 John 1:10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take them into your house or welcome them.

The denominations are like a dough which has already been leavened! We cannot remove the leaven once it is already permeated the dough! The only solution is to throw it out and start again.
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Old 05-13-2017, 06:44 AM   #127
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If there is no true church (batch of dough), then why does the bible warn against the leaven? (Galatians 5:9)

If there is no true church then why is Paul giving instructions to preserve it?:

The subject of this thread is not whether not the church can become corrupted and may need to takes steps to purify itself.

The subject of this thread is whether or not one group should consider itself the "true church" while discrediting all others, and whether or not one movement should consider itself the "unique move of God" while discrediting all others.

Let's stick to the subject.

I maintain that the LCM is grossly in error by making the above claims. The Bible records gives us no ground to decide whether some group is or is not a church. And it certainly gives no ground for a movement to consider itself the unique representatives of the unique move of God.

Check church history and find one subset of the church which claimed the above and were proven by history to be right. No. Every group which made such self-serving claims ended up either dropping them or becoming irrelevant.

What you tend to do, Evangelical, is equivocate. You go back and forth between claiming a church has become corrupt to claiming it is not a church. But clearly the Bible shows that being a church does not mean practical perfection. Thyatira was in bad shape. Yet the Lord addressed it as church. This does not mean we should be apathetic about corruption. It just means, and I'll say it again, that we should be very careful about claiming to know what are churches and what aren't.

Make the call for holiness and purity all you want. I'll back you up on that. But stop the business of claiming to know which are churches and what aren't. You don't.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:10 AM   #128
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I maintain that LCM's standards of what is a church are not intended to achieve the goal of us all being one happy family on the ground of oneness. The LCM's standards are intended to reserve for themselves alone the status of "church."

The LCM claims to want all Christians in a city to meet together in oneness. But actually they would be terrified if that actually happened. Because if all the Christians in a city joined together, the tiny minority that wished to follow Witness Lee would be swallowed up by the majority.

If 95% of the Christians decided to drop all names and just meet together and follow a coalitions of leaders it would probably look like just a typical 21st-century community church, albeit a very large one. But they most likely would not follow Witness Lee or Watchman Nee. The certainly wouldn't follow the Blended Brothers.

The tiny Lee-loyal-LCM-faction would then find an excuse to break off from the majority, concocting some excuse as to why the much larger group was "off." And it would be business as usual for them, as they resumed their song-and-dance about being the unique, proper testimony, albeit their hypocrisy would be evident to all and their journey to irrelevancy would be complete.

No, the last thing the LCM really wants is for all the Christians in cites to meet as the church in those cities.

It would mean the end of the LCM.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:23 AM   #129
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The subject of this thread is not whether not the church can become corrupted and may need to takes steps to purify itself.

The subject of this thread is whether or not one group should consider itself the "true church" while discrediting all others, and whether or not one movement should consider itself the "unique move of God" while discrediting all others.

Let's stick to the subject.

I maintain that the LCM is grossly in error by making the above claims. The Bible records gives us no ground to decide whether some group is or is not a church. And it certainly gives no ground for a movement to consider itself the unique representatives of the unique move of God.

Check church history and find one subset of the church which claimed the above and were proven by history to be right. No. Every group which made such self-serving claims ended up either dropping them or becoming irrelevant.

What you tend to do, Evangelical, is equivocate. You go back and forth between claiming a church has become corrupt to claiming it is not a church. But clearly the Bible shows that being a church does not mean practical perfection. Thyatira was in bad shape. Yet the Lord addressed it as church. This does not mean we should be apathetic about corruption. It just means, and I'll say it again, that we should be very careful about claiming to know what are churches and what aren't.

Make the call for holiness and purity all you want. I'll back you up on that. But stop the business of claiming to know which are churches and what aren't. You don't.
OK back on topic. I wish to address the part you highlighted in bold about Thyatira. What you said is my point exactly. We do not distinguish between a genuine church and a false church based upon its level of perfection. We distinguish on the basis that the Lord addressed it as a single entity and not as a collection of churches/sects/sub-groups. This is what we mean by the genuine/true church. The church in Thyatira was a genuine church. No other group in Thyatira could claim to be "the church in Thyatira" while holding onto a denominational name. Any group which wishes to identify itself as merely a sub-group of "the church" in the city is clearly a division/sect, regardless of its condition.
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Old 05-13-2017, 07:32 AM   #130
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OK back on topic. I wish to address the part you highlighted in bold about Thyatira. What you said is my point exactly. We do not distinguish between a genuine church and a false church based upon its level of perfection. We distinguish on the basis that the Lord addressed it as a single entity and not as a collection of churches. This is what we mean by the genuine/true church. Any group which wishes to identify itself as merely a sub-group of "the church" in the city is clearly a division/sect, regardless of its condition.
There is no such directive or clarity in the Bible about this matter, and there is legitimate evidence against it. Paul addressed churches in houses. Those could legitimately be viewed as subgroups of the larger church in the city.

Every practical church is a subset of the larger Church. It is not a matter of whether groups "wish" to identify themselves as subgroups, the fact is every practical group IS a subgroup, whether they wish it or not.

Your argument is circular. You begin with the assumption that the only legitimate churches are local, then proceed from there. But you don't have enough Biblical backing to even make that assumption, and so your argument collapses under its own weight. That is why no appreciable percentage of Christians take it seriously.

Simply put, reasonable doubt wrecks your case.

There is not a good enough Biblical argument for what you claim to be true. Therefore insisting on it works the opposite of what you claim to want. It works division.
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:18 AM   #131
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OK back on topic. I wish to address the part you highlighted in bold about Thyatira. What you said is my point exactly. We do not distinguish between a genuine church and a false church based upon its level of perfection. We distinguish on the basis that the Lord addressed it as a single entity and not as a collection of churches/sects/sub-groups. This is what we mean by the genuine/true church. The church in Thyatira was a genuine church. No other group in Thyatira could claim to be "the church in Thyatira" while holding onto a denominational name. Any group which wishes to identify itself as merely a sub-group of "the church" in the city is clearly a division/sect, regardless of its condition.
We have repeatedly advised you of a church in Romans (16.19) and a church in Colosse (4.15) which Paul greeted in his letters, and obviously addressed in his letter as a 'sub-group" of the one church in that respective city.

Yet you either ignore these situations or claim they do not exist.
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Old 05-13-2017, 08:25 AM   #132
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OK back on topic. I wish to address the part you highlighted in bold about Thyatira. What you said is my point exactly. We do not distinguish between a genuine church and a false church based upon its level of perfection. We distinguish on the basis that the Lord addressed it as a single entity and not as a collection of churches/sects/sub-groups. This is what we mean by the genuine/true church. The church in Thyatira was a genuine church. No other group in Thyatira could claim to be "the church in Thyatira" while holding onto a denominational name. Any group which wishes to identify itself as merely a sub-group of "the church" in the city is clearly a division/sect, regardless of its condition.
You say, "No other group in Thyatira could claim to be "the church in Thyatira" while holding onto a denominational name," but are these not two issues?

One is an unapproved name, at least by Anaheim's standards. The other is a denomination, which has the demands of a controlling headquarters.

Firstly, the Bible does not consistently use any specific name for the church, contrary to your formulae. Secondly, TLR is clearly the headquarters for every member LC around the globe. It is so disingenuous to condemn others as "illegitimate and divisive denominations" when you are no different.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:28 AM   #133
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Almost by definition, matters which we should be one on should be things that are obvious to most reasonable Christians.

Demonstrably the local ground does not meet that requirement, to say the least.

Ask yourself, if the local ground was so crucial to God's plan, why would this point be something so obscure that almost no Christians have agreed with it and something which they likely could never reach agreement on going forward?

This is one reason I say the LCM really doesn't want everyone to meet on the ground of the city. Because if they did the LCM would be over. They really just want to use the local ground as a way to claim legitimacy for themselves and deny it to others.

Imagine if a group said that to be the true church all members must wear green caps with purple and yellow slinkys hanging from them. All the members of that group wear such caps and claim that those groups that don't are not true churches.

But they have a dirty little secret. They really think that no one else will come to wear the caps, and so they will get to continue being the only ones doing things right and being the true church. Their "uniqueness" is secured, they believe.

But one day, to their shock, most of the other Christians in the city start wearing green caps with purple and yellow slinkys. The group didn't expect this, so they just up the ante. They declare that the others' caps don't have enough slinkys, or that the colors are not the right shade, or some other excuse to deny legitimacy to everyone else and reserve it for themselves.

And so it goes with the local ground, the "unique move" and the LCM. It's all just a gimmick of self-aggrandization. It's all just a game of self-delusion.
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Old 05-13-2017, 11:48 PM   #134
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There is no such directive or clarity in the Bible about this matter, and there is legitimate evidence against it. Paul addressed churches in houses. Those could legitimately be viewed as subgroups of the larger church in the city.

Every practical church is a subset of the larger Church. It is not a matter of whether groups "wish" to identify themselves as subgroups, the fact is every practical group IS a subgroup, whether they wish it or not.

Your argument is circular. You begin with the assumption that the only legitimate churches are local, then proceed from there. But you don't have enough Biblical backing to even make that assumption, and so your argument collapses under its own weight. That is why no appreciable percentage of Christians take it seriously.

Simply put, reasonable doubt wrecks your case.

There is not a good enough Biblical argument for what you claim to be true. Therefore insisting on it works the opposite of what you claim to want. It works division.
We both agree that there were sub-groups and different meeting places in each city. The difference is you see these sub-groups in a denominational way, and I see them as meetings of the one church.

The difference is a denominational church/organization is quite different from a house assembly in how and why it arranges itself.

Do you really believe that the churches in each house met because of some preference in doctrine or practice (as denominations do today)? For example, do you really believe Paul was writing to a house church of full immersion baptizers, a house of tongue-speakers, a Jewish house church, and a Gentile house church? It seems to me that he was trying to over look all and any distinctions (there is no Jew or Gentile etc, all are one in Christ), and to distinguish them by anything (names, practices, doctrines etc) would be to violate that oneness. I believe this is why Paul does not write this way:

"dear household of tongue speakers", "dear household of Jewish circumcisers", "dear household of gentiles", "dear household of Sabbath keepers"

as he would have if it was a situation like todays denominations.
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Old 05-14-2017, 01:33 AM   #135
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We both agree that there were sub-groups and different meeting places in each city. The difference is you see these sub-groups in a denominational way, and I see them as meetings of the one church.

The difference is a denominational church/organization is quite different from a house assembly in how and why it arranges itself.

Do you really believe that the churches in each house met because of some preference in doctrine or practice (as denominations do today)? For example, do you really believe Paul was writing to a house church of full immersion baptizers, a house of tongue-speakers, a Jewish house church, and a Gentile house church? It seems to me that he was trying to over look all and any distinctions (there is no Jew or Gentile etc, all are one in Christ), and to distinguish them by anything (names, practices, doctrines etc) would be to violate that oneness. I believe this is why Paul does not write this way:

"dear household of tongue speakers", "dear household of Jewish circumcisers", "dear household of gentiles", "dear household of Sabbath keepers"

as he would have if it was a situation like todays denominations.
The problem is that you equate "the one church" with your group.
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Old 05-14-2017, 04:33 AM   #136
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The problem is that you equate "the one church" with your group.
OK so if not us, which group do you suggest we equate "the one church" with? Someone has to put their hand up and say "we are the one church". The alternatives are - there is no such thing as the "one church", or that every group that calls itself Christian is the"one church". I doubt that Catholics, Orthodox, and most protestants/evangelicals would like calling every group in their locality the "one church".
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:35 AM   #137
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OK so if not us, which group do you suggest we equate "the one church" with? Someone has to put their hand up and say "we are the one church". The alternatives are - there is no such thing as the "one church", or that every group that calls itself Christian is the"one church". I doubt that Catholics, Orthodox, and most protestants/evangelicals would like calling every group in their locality the "one church".
Jesus put his hand up. This is why Paul wrote Romans to all who are loved by God. Corinthians is written to all who call on the name of the Lord. Ephesians is written to all the holy people who are faithful to the Lord Jesus Christ.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:21 AM   #138
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Do you really believe that the churches in each house met because of some preference in doctrine or practice (as denominations do today)?
I don't know. And the fact is you don't either. And your insistence that you do is, again, evidence of a sectarian attitude.

Besides, the LCM meets the way they do because of doctrinal differences as well. And the fact that you consider yourselves the only legitimate expression of the church doesn't make it so.
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:46 AM   #139
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OK so if not us, which group do you suggest we equate "the one church" with? Someone has to put their hand up and say "we are the one church". The alternatives are - there is no such thing as the "one church", or that every group that calls itself Christian is the"one church". I doubt that Catholics, Orthodox, and most protestants/evangelicals would like calling every group in their locality the "one church".
What you are is not negated by what you call yourself. And what you call yourself doesn't make you what you are.

It's simple, there is one church in the city which is comprised of smaller groups and churches, just like there is one church on earth comprised of smaller churches. On the one hand each group is "the church" and on the other they are just their group.

The LCM is "the church" but so are the community churches and other groups of Christians. On the one hand they can call themselves "the church," on the other they can can call themselves something else. There is no Biblical edict or warning that if you call yourself something else you lose your status as the church. Claiming otherwise is non-biblical.

For example, each year a family might celebrate the "Smith" reunion. But the Smiths have grown into other families by marriage. So the Joneses are there, the Johnsons are there, the Greens are there, etc. But they are all the Smith family as well.

The Church is like that. Every group is the church in the city, but on the other hand every group is only part of the church in the city. Just like every group is the universal church, but then again only part of it.

Size and name does not take away the status of being the church. We are what we are.

You seem to to think there must be one group in the city that has the overriding status of being the church over all others, or that by having some kind of name one's status as the church is diminished.

But the Bible gives us no such instruction. It is just an LCM construct. It carries no weight because it's not backed by the Bible. It's just human reasoning.

And please don't try to make the case that the LCM is more inclusive because they call themselves "the Church in ...." The LCM is more doctrinally divisive than most groups are. Any credit they might get by their naming conventions is more than eclipsed by their insistence on following Lee to a "T."
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Old 05-14-2017, 08:44 AM   #140
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I doubt that ..most protestants/evangelicals would like calling every group in their locality the "one church".
You don't get out much, do ya bro? Have you been secluded in the Local Church of Witness Lee cave for so long that you're that oblivious to what is happening outside the confines of your little sect? Do you really think the infinite God of the universe is restricting himself to your infinitesimal, insignificant religious organization? I know that you have been brainwashed to think that the vast Body of Christ is solely and completely represented by your group, and the only legitimate leaders are stationed their just off the 5 freeway on La Palma Ave, but I'm here to tell you that it just ain't so. Igzy and some others have done a good job of telling you that it just ain't so.

The title of this thread is "The Unique Move of God". So God's move is unique. Unique to what, or better yet unique to who? Is the move of God unique to any particular group of people who follow a particular man and his particular ministry? Even the apostle Paul did not claim such a privilege for himself. Neither did any of the original apostles, whose teachings we are to closely follow.

You keep insisting that "most protestants/evangelicals" are this or that, and teach this or that. You are clueless my friend. I guess I can't blame you too much, your guru was decidedly clueless and ignorant of what God was really doing to build his church. Witness Lee had zero trust in the Lord Jesus' declaration that "I WILL BUILD MY CHURCH". (Matt 16:18) Lee set out to build something alright, and unfortunately we see the results of his handiwork in your posts here on this forum.

Getting back to your quote I have cited above: Igzy has answered you well. Actually most evangelicals (even the dreaded denominations) consider every local church in their city/community as "the church" if they preach and teach the one true Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Secondary teachings and practices are just that...secondary. Those who clearly teach false doctrines that touch upon the primary, core, central teachings of the Christian faith are rightfully marked out and people are warned. I hate to break the bad news to you, Evangelical, but localism is NOT, and NEVER HAS BEEN one of the primary, core, central teachings of the Christian faith.

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Old 05-14-2017, 11:36 AM   #141
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Default Re: The Unique Move of God

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I doubt that Catholics, Orthodox, and most protestants/evangelicals would like calling every group in their locality the "one church".
I don't think any group these days except perhaps some old-style Catholics and a few fringe oddballs like the LCM have a problem calling any group in a city "the church." And for that matter they don't have a problem calling any group out in the country "the church."

But they don't do it in the exclusive way you do it. When you call a group "the church" you mean they are part of the LCM movement. When anyone else does it they mean they are part of the universal church.

Times have changed a lot. Everyone now realizes we are all part of one church. Whether that one church is measured by the city or the whole earth, it matters little. In reality we are one. And because that reality is clearer than ever, churches are cooperating and joining forces more than ever. I visit different churches a lot. I have no problem viewing them as the church nor would I think people visiting our church would have a problem either, and we get visitors all the time.

As UntoHim said, you need to get out more.

But, I'll say it again: The pretzel-logic localism constructs of the LCM are not designed to achieve universal practical oneness among all Christians. They are designed to reserve to the LCM exclusively the status of "church."

It's a more clever and sophisticated way of proclaiming themselves to be the "true church" than has been done by other chest thumpers down through history. But in essence it's no different than when the RCC does it, the ICC does it, the LDS does it or the JWs do it. It's the same error.
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Old 05-14-2017, 05:04 PM   #142
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Dear Igzy and UntoHim.

Regarding 'everyone now realizes...'...it is simply not true.

For example the orthodox fellow on here had a problem with calling other groups churches. I can quote our discussions if you like. Why do I need to get out more when you can't see the evidence right in front of you?

The views that you hold regarding the one true church including everyone who preaches the gospel is not shared by the majority of the body of Christ.
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Old 05-14-2017, 06:29 PM   #143
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Dear Igzy and UntoHim.

Regarding 'everyone now realizes...'...it is simply not true.

For example the orthodox fellow on here had a problem with calling other groups churches. I can quote our discussions if you like. Why do I need to get out more when you can't see the evidence right in front of you?

The views that you hold regarding the one true church including everyone who preaches the gospel is not shared by the majority of the body of Christ.
When they used the term "everyone" I don't think they were speaking literally... But I'm sure you already knew that. This is a good example of how you are your own worst enemy on the forum.

During my time with the LSM denomination, I interacted with people like Evangelical, and it saddened me when they constantly spoke poorly of other churches, denominations, etc... these are my brothers and sisters in Christ. Not only that, but (as I have shared) I have been blessed to live, work, and play among a diverse set of Christians - the same people that many of those in the LSM denomination write off with such bold, broad strokes.

I don't think it matters how many people, from all different walks of life, different locations around the world that you hear this from - it doesn't fit your narrative - so it must be false.

May the Lord remind us all "If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.'
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Old 05-14-2017, 07:02 PM   #144
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Dear Igzy and UntoHim.

Regarding 'everyone now realizes...'...it is simply not true.

For example the orthodox fellow on here had a problem with calling other groups churches. I can quote our discussions if you like. Why do I need to get out more when you can't see the evidence right in front of you?

The views that you hold regarding the one true church including everyone who preaches the gospel is not shared by the majority of the body of Christ.

I think I have a better feel for the attitudes and beliefs of the Church at large than the average LCMer. Your beliefs are basically in line with what Witness Lee taught 50 years ago.

Go to any Christian bookstore. Start reading the books and see how many you find where the writer advises people to join one particular denomination. It just doesn't happen that much anymore. Yes, people generally think their church preference is a good choice, that's why they go there. Duh. But I think the vast majority of serious Christians do not have divisive prejudices anymore.
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Old 05-14-2017, 09:13 PM   #145
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If you are remaining in the LCM because you believe it is right for you then that's fine.

If you are remaining in the LCM because you believe it is the "one true way on earth today" then you have validated most of the complaints on this board that you claim you don't recognize--because that belief leads to all the fear, manipulation, abuse and damage that those complaints testify of.

When any subset group of the Church holds the belief that it is "one true way," abuse within that subset group is unavoidable. History cites no exceptions that I know of.

Please pray about it.
Igzy,

Regardless of why I believe as I do, I still do not recognize the fesr, manioulation, abuse, and damage that you and others describe. It is just not my experience.

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Old 05-14-2017, 10:02 PM   #146
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I think I have a better feel for the attitudes and beliefs of the Church at large than the average LCMer. Your beliefs are basically in line with what Witness Lee taught 50 years ago.

Go to any Christian bookstore. Start reading the books and see how many you find where the writer advises people to join one particular denomination. It just doesn't happen that much anymore. Yes, people generally think their church preference is a good choice, that's why they go there. Duh. But I think the vast majority of serious Christians do not have divisive prejudices anymore.
Christian bookstores ? what about a Catholic bookstore are they now advising people to join their nearest evangelical church?

So you dont think Orthodox people are serious christians because they advise joining the orthodox church?
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:37 AM   #147
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Christian bookstores ? what about a Catholic bookstore are they now advising people to join their nearest evangelical church?

So you dont think Orthodox people are serious christians because they advise joining the orthodox church?
I'm sorry I don't get the joke.

Good grief, Evangelical. I said that people are going to recommend the church they prefer. But recommending is a far cry from telling people they will probably end up in outer darkness if they don't join your church, which is basically what the LCM does.

Please try to keep up.
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Old 05-15-2017, 05:40 AM   #148
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Igzy,

Regardless of why I believe as I do, I still do not recognize the fesr, manioulation, abuse, and damage that you and others describe. It is just not my experience.

Drake
Lucky you. But regardless this still shows you are either in denial or apathetic about the history of the movement you've given your life to. If I were you I do more homework instead putting all my chips on a bet I haven't researched.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:00 AM   #149
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Drake and Evangelical,

Please try to understand my essential point in this thread.

All the abuse in the LCM (and it did and does exist Drake) is rooted in the authoritarian nature of the movement. And the authoritarian nature of the movement is rooted in the idea that the movement is the unique move of God, the only legitimate place for Christians to experience church life. Which is a total lie.

This is why I focus my efforts on this point. Because I've lived the hell that comes with such indoctrination. It's one of the worst things a person can experience. It's he worst thing I've ever experienced. And it went on for years.

If you've ever wondered why those women in those extreme LDS groups stay there, when basically they are just sexual fodder for fanatical men that dominate them there, then you have viewed firsthand the mentality that holds a person in a group they really want to leave. It's not easy to overcome indoctrination that attaches the fear of God's punishment with leaving a group. That is Cult 101.

The Devil had a field day with many of us young ones. Remember what the Lord said about offending the little ones and about being better off drowned at the bottom of the sea with a millstone tied to your neck. He meant that. And you'd better start taking it seriously. Because somebody is going to pay for the damage that was done by this movement.
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Old 05-15-2017, 06:43 AM   #150
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Lucky you. But regardless this still shows you are either in denial or apathetic about the history of the movement you've given your life to. If I were you I do more homework instead putting all my chips on a bet I haven't researched.
Igzy,

We are well beyond the research phase. I have been living this life for decades. Any new research to consider I find right here in this forum.

But, lets take these one by one. Your first one was fear. .. of God's punishment of leaving the group.

What other fear, if any? Yours. You went to bed and woke up fearing what?

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Old 05-15-2017, 09:55 AM   #151
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Romans
1Corinth
2Corinth
Galatians
Ephesians
- - - to the "church at large"
I realize that I did not include the nuances you admit might be there. But still essentially what you said.

And I agree.

The problem I find is that when people want to read things as exclusive, then terms like "beloved" or "called by God" suddenly do not mean what you and I think they mean. So to the LRC, it doesn't matter that the "obvious" reading is against them. They will insist on their convoluted understanding of the words as being only to special Christians, not to all Christians.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:58 AM   #152
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The oversight is provided by the leading brothers in many cases. Many a time a leading brother has stood up and requested that we prophesy in a certain way, or to clarify something someone has said.

Anything can be fleshly and not spiritual, I think we all know how much focus Lee put on one being in their spirit and not in their mind/flesh. So your concern is shared but also well understood and your concern sounds more like something Lee would say. If it should happen, I don't see anything wrong with building up one's emotions and sense of self-worth by sharing their experiences with others. God treasures us very highly and so I don't think self-abasement is necessarily a good thing. I still think this is a better situation than a church which muzzles its congregation. The solution to the problem of people speaking from their flesh is not to stop people from speaking. And sometimes it is not so cut and dry. For example, a person may speak something very much from Christ for 30 seconds and then at the end tell a funny joke which gets them back to the flesh. Or they may start in their flesh and then the Spirit takes over.
Actually, as Lee taught it, there is no reasonable resemblance to what Paul taught because the core statements that there is a gift of prophesy that not all have and that 2 or three should prophesy is wiped away by misapplication of "all" in chapter 14. "All" was within a defined subset, not without bounds. The fact of oversight by the elders does not correct this.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:08 AM   #153
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We both agree that there were sub-groups and different meeting places in each city. The difference is you see these sub-groups in a denominational way, and I see them as meetings of the one church.

The difference is a denominational church/organization is quite different from a house assembly in how and why it arranges itself.
Actually, the distinction of denominationalism is one that does not exist in the scripture because it is not a basis for exclusion. You define denominationalism as if a peculiar error that is different from simply meeting separately and even differently. 1 Corinthians was a hotbed of such activity. And they were acrimonious about it. Yet you admit that they are all the church in Corinth.

I doubt that any of these called themselves "the church in" anything. They just met. As Christians meeting. Now you want a name to create division that is worse than excluding others for anything that is not meeting with you and you call them the problem. This is not about names or separate assemblies. It is about assemblies that do not fall under the control of the elders of the LRC in your city (or in mine) and not under the control of the headquarters in Anaheim.

I can assure you that the Presbyterians do not think this way. They do not invalidate every other church for simply not being under their umbrella. Neither do the Methodists, the Pentecostals, the Baptists, the Bible churches (all independent), the Anglicans, and so on. There is some question about the RCC stance, but even that one does not declare the assemblies of Protestantism as invalid and therefore not churches.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:13 AM   #154
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I realize that I did not include the nuances you admit might be there. But still essentially what you said.

And I agree.

The problem I find is that when people want to read things as exclusive, then terms like "beloved" or "called by God" suddenly do not mean what you and I think they mean. So to the LRC, it doesn't matter that the "obvious" reading is against them. They will insist on their convoluted understanding of the words as being only to special Christians, not to all Christians.
But that feeds into Igzy's complaint that "unique" move of God means that you alone are the beloved of God.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:38 AM   #155
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Igzy,

We are well beyond the research phase. I have been living this life for decades. Any new research to consider I find right here in this forum.
No offense, but you certainly are ignorant of a lot. Where are you, anyway? You couldn't be anywhere near Texas.

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But, lets take these one by one. Your first one was fear. .. of God's punishment of leaving the group.

What other fear, if any? Yours. You went to bed and woke up fearing what?
That I might have to spend two weeks locked in a room with Evangelical.

Just kidding.

Can you clarify your point or question please?
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Old 05-15-2017, 11:27 AM   #156
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But that feeds into Igzy's complaint that "unique" move of God means that you alone are the beloved of God.
I think you are getting lost in nuances or something like that. I am saying that church is church. It is not simply an assembly. Nor is it some special assembly or group of assemblies to th