Local Church Discussions  

Go Back   Local Church Discussions > Orthopraxy - Christian Practice

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-10-2018, 05:41 PM   #1
Bradley
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 42
Default 'Ground of the Church'

One thing I was very passionate about when I was in the LC was the ground of the church. We were taught that it was the source of all blessing and had to be perfect. We were taught that the ground of locality was everything, the name was everything. Brother Lee was not the ground of the church but the ground was.

We were taught that there could be all sorts of problems in the church but as long as the ground was right, it would be okay. There could be all sorts of things going well but as long as the ground was wrong, God has forgotten you and your work is in vain.

You can imagine my surprise then when I went blending in Singapore and found myself not in 'the church in Singapore' but 'the church of God in Singapore'. Subtle difference, but I had spent two years in the training being taught how bad this is. You just can't do that, you might as well call yourselves the southern Baptists.

There was another group that was 'the church in Singapore' and they had broken off. They got to keep the name, so this group I was blending with was forced to take another name. The other group was apparently not on the 'true ground', but the 'church of God in Singapore' was. Why was that? I couldn't understand. They had the right name, so they should have the ground.

Nobody could answer my question: what is it about 'the church of God in Singapore' that gives it the proper ground despite having the wrong name, and what is it about 'the church in Singapore' that puts it off the correct ground, despite the fact that they have the right name?

Apparently, the true requirements for the ground of the church is not what the ministry teaches, i.e. having the right name, it is what the ministry specifically said was not important, i.e. loyalty to the Living Stream Ministry and the blending brothers. They teach one thing but do the other.

On that note, a full-timer brother I knew was secretly going out and fellowshipping with them, maintaining a friendship with them even though they broke off twenty or so years ago. He had to keep it a secret because they were demonised as bad guys from pretty much everyone, even though they all used to be friends in the past. Pretty sad really.

But my point is this: the people (in Anaheim) who decide which church groups are on the right ground and which are not, do not read their own books to tell them how to decide. They go with whoever invites them to come speak at conferences, and reject those who do not.

My conclusion now of course is that there is no ground, or any one true church, and that its all BS. But the hypocricy still bothers me.
Bradley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2018, 06:06 PM   #2
leastofthese
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 250
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Bradley,

It is sad and understandable that it still bothers you.

But Christ did come to earth and die and save you from your sins. It happened.

Not by works, but by grace you have been saved. A gift.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you are adopted as a child of God. Heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.

This is good news!
__________________
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
leastofthese is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2018, 06:11 PM   #3
Koinonia
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 458
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
One thing I was very passionate about when I was in the LC was the ground of the church. We were taught that it was the source of all blessing and had to be perfect. We were taught that the ground of locality was everything, the name was everything. Brother Lee was not the ground of the church but the ground was.

We were taught that there could be all sorts of problems in the church but as long as the ground was right, it would be okay. There could be all sorts of things going well but as long as the ground was wrong, God has forgotten you and your work is in vain.

You can imagine my surprise then when I went blending in Singapore and found myself not in 'the church in Singapore' but 'the church of God in Singapore'. Subtle difference, but I had spent two years in the training being taught how bad this is. You just can't do that, you might as well call yourselves the southern Baptists.

There was another group that was 'the church in Singapore' and they had broken off. They got to keep the name, so this group I was blending with was forced to take another name. The other group was apparently not on the 'true ground', but the 'church of God in Singapore' was. Why was that? I couldn't understand. They had the right name, so they should have the ground.

Nobody could answer my question: what is it about 'the church of God in Singapore' that gives it the proper ground despite having the wrong name, and what is it about 'the church in Singapore' that puts it off the correct ground, despite the fact that they have the right name?

Apparently, the true requirements for the ground of the church is not what the ministry teaches, i.e. having the right name, it is what the ministry specifically said was not important, i.e. loyalty to the Living Stream Ministry and the blending brothers. They teach one thing but do the other.

On that note, a full-timer brother I knew was secretly going out and fellowshipping with them, maintaining a friendship with them even though they broke off twenty or so years ago. He had to keep it a secret because they were demonised as bad guys from pretty much everyone, even though they all used to be friends in the past. Pretty sad really.

But my point is this: the people (in Anaheim) who decide which church groups are on the right ground and which are not, do not read their own books to tell them how to decide. They go with whoever invites them to come speak at conferences, and reject those who do not.

My conclusion now of course is that there is no ground, or any one true church, and that its all BS. But the hypocricy still bothers me.
This is spot on. But good luck ever getting an LC member to really address it.
Koinonia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2018, 07:09 PM   #4
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,384
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
You can imagine my surprise then when I went blending in Singapore and found myself not in 'the church in Singapore' but 'the church of God in Singapore'. Subtle difference, but I had spent two years in the training being taught how bad this is. You just can't do that, you might as well call yourselves the southern Baptists.

There was another group that was 'the church in Singapore' and they had broken off. They got to keep the name, so this group I was blending with was forced to take another name. The other group was apparently not on the 'true ground', but the 'church of God in Singapore' was. Why was that? I couldn't understand. They had the right name, so they should have the ground.

Nobody could answer my question: what is it about 'the church of God in Singapore' that gives it the proper ground despite having the wrong name, and what is it about 'the church in Singapore' that puts it off the correct ground, despite the fact that they have the right name?
This is exactly the kind of question that serves to show how ridiculous the ground of locality teaching really is. I remember hearing that there are three "church in Toronto" groups each asserting themselves to be the church in Toronto. According to the LC teaching, it creates a big problem because the teaching doesn't account for the possibility of two or more groups simultaneously calling themselves the same name.
__________________
Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-10-2018, 09:01 PM   #5
Koinonia
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 458
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

In another thread, Drake has identified LSM as "the work of ministry." That is really LC thinking. And the reason that a church's relationship to LSM is the true basis for legitimacy in the LC--not the name.
Koinonia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 08:35 AM   #6
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 8,246
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
My conclusion now of course is that there is no ground, or any one true church, and that its all BS. But the hypocrisy still bothers me.
Bradley, your experience has been the same as many others. For example, "the church of the Torontonians" was legitimized by LSM since the preferred name was already taken. During the Midwest quarantines, LSM operatives helped local loyalists to file lawsuits for real estate, assets, and THE NAME.

Tell me again about that church with no name filing lawsuits over names!

This is why I don't like to waste time discussing their ground of oneness teaching. They only use it to condemn all others. They never abide by these teachings themselves, but have a long history of breaking the rules.

I prefer to respond as the Lord Jesus did to the hypocrisy of the Pharisees -- expose it and rebuke it. The disciples were also greatly bothered by the Pharisee hypocrisy, but in time they got over it by spending time with Jesus.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!
.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 08:43 AM   #7
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,666
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
[B]This is why I don't like to waste time discussing their ground of oneness teaching. They only use it to condemn all others. They never abide by these teachings themselves, but have a long history of breaking the rules.
But that is the reason I think this teaching is the most important to talk about. It is the central pillar to the LRC sect. If it falls they fall. Without this pillar WN's claim to MOTA falls. If his claim to MOTA falls WL's claim falls. Without the "Ground of the Church" and without WN and WL as MOTA, what does the LRC have?

17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and have gotten riches, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art the wretched one and miserable and poor and blind and naked:
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 08:43 AM   #8
Koinonia
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 458
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Bradley, your experience has been the same as many others. For example, "the church of the Torontonians" was legitimized by LSM since the preferred name was already taken. During the Midwest quarantines, LSM operatives helped local loyalists to file lawsuits for real estate, assets, and THE NAME.
When "The Church of the Torontonians" stopped following LSM, they then took their current name, "The Local Church in Toronto."

It's hard to keep track...
Koinonia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 10:04 AM   #9
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 8,246
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
When "The Church of the Torontonians" stopped following LSM, they then took their current name, "The Local Church in Toronto."

It's hard to keep track...
Little correction here ...

Original "church in Toronto" is here. They claim to be "THE church in Toronto." Not sure of their affiliation.

IIRC, "The Church of the Torontonians" was taken back in the early 70's. That church now has the website here. They have become a truly "local" church, a community church, no longer attached to headquarters in either Anaheim or Cleveland. I would consider them one of the healthiest LC spin-offs. Nigel Tomes, who has written a number of articles on this forum, is there.

After the recent division, the LSMers took the name "the local church in Toronto." Note that their website, their sign, and their legal names don't necessarily have to coincide. They are nothing more than an LSM franchise.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!
.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 12:23 PM   #10
Koinonia
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Posts: 458
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ohio View Post
Little correction here ...

Original "church in Toronto" is here. They claim to be "THE church in Toronto." Not sure of their affiliation.

IIRC, "The Church of the Torontonians" was taken back in the early 70's. That church now has the website here. They have become a truly "local" church, a community church, no longer attached to headquarters in either Anaheim or Cleveland. I would consider them one of the healthiest LC spin-offs. Nigel Tomes, who has written a number of articles on this forum, is there.

After the recent division, the LSMers took the name "the local church in Toronto." Note that their website, their sign, and their legal names don't necessarily have to coincide. They are nothing more than an LSM franchise.
The church in your first link is associated with John So.
Koinonia is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 12:46 PM   #11
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 8,246
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Koinonia View Post
The church in your first link is associated with John So.
They must have connected with him in the 80's after he left LSM.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!
.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 01:05 PM   #12
Bradley
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 42
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by leastofthese View Post
Bradley,

It is sad and understandable that it still bothers you.

But Christ did come to earth and die and save you from your sins. It happened.

Not by works, but by grace you have been saved. A gift.

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead you are adopted as a child of God. Heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ.

This is good news!
I know that, I never lost my faith
Bradley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 01:14 PM   #13
Bradley
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 42
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZNPaaneah View Post
But that is the reason I think this teaching is the most important to talk about. It is the central pillar to the LRC sect. If it falls they fall. Without this pillar WN's claim to MOTA falls. If his claim to MOTA falls WL's claim falls. Without the "Ground of the Church" and without WN and WL as MOTA, what does the LRC have?
Hehe I *love* this. You're quite right. The 'ground' is the one thing that makes them 'God's move' and makes everyone else irrelevant to it. When you take away the ground, what do you have?
Bradley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 02:18 PM   #14
Bradley
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2017
Posts: 42
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
This is exactly the kind of question that serves to show how ridiculous the ground of locality teaching really is. I remember hearing that there are three "church in Toronto" groups each asserting themselves to be the church in Toronto. According to the LC teaching, it creates a big problem because the teaching doesn't account for the possibility of two or more groups simultaneously calling themselves the same name.


There are three separate local churches in Shanghai too, where I lived for three years - all of them 'faithful to the ministry', all of them inviting coworkers from overseas to hold conferences, all of them up to date with the morning revival and 7 feasts. All three of them are accepted by the global LSM as legit. But they won't meet with each other, they hardly even know each other. One group is the locals, one group is for foreigners, one group was of 'turtles' i.e. locals who had lived overseas for years (of course, through the gospel, there were locals, foreigners and turtles in every group). I went to meetings at all three: the local group was the most burning and the foreign group was the most dead but thats where the English-speaking districts were so I went out of necessity.

One brother (from the local group) told me he discovered that his next door neighbour was in the LC (a Taiwanese district in the foreign group) and they both hosted table meetings in their homes every sunday morning. He had invited him to join table meetings together for blending and the other brother had refused, as if that would be a terrible sin and he didn't have the authority to do that (though he wouldn't ask anyone who did). They basically had a 'wave at each other and say good morning' -type relationship after that and thats all.

When the local brothers expressed their concern about it to me, I contacted a well-known coworker called Paul Hon. He had already known about it for decades and basically said: "its no big deal, there's nothing you can do, if we can't fix it you can't either so forget about it and ignore it." I had the attitude that a little person can make a small difference, at least to those around him, but his attitude was pretty much "meh who cares, don't even try".

This bothered me no end because I had been taught that the proper ground is the master key to all blessing, and without it, you shouldn't even partake of the bread and wine. Here was a big time coworker telling me to forget about it and carry on like it means nothing, partake anyway. But according to the teachings, in this situation there's no blessing and the work is in vain. He didn't refute that, he just said there's nothing I can do. It was a depressing cloud hanging above my church life while I lived there.
Bradley is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 05:45 PM   #15
Ohio
Member
 
Ohio's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Greater Ohio
Posts: 8,246
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
There are three separate local churches in Shanghai too, where I lived for three years - all of them 'faithful to the ministry', all of them inviting coworkers from overseas to hold conferences, all of them up to date with the morning revival and 7 feasts. All three of them are accepted by the global LSM as legit. But they won't meet with each other, they hardly even know each other. One group is the locals, one group is for foreigners, one group was of 'turtles' i.e. locals who had lived overseas for years (of course, through the gospel, there were locals, foreigners and turtles in every group). I went to meetings at all three: the local group was the most burning and the foreign group was the most dead but thats where the English-speaking districts were so I went out of necessity.

This bothered me no end because I had been taught that the proper ground is the master key to all blessing, and without it, you shouldn't even partake of the bread and wine. Here was a big time coworker telling me to forget about it and carry on like it means nothing, partake anyway. But according to the teachings, in this situation there's no blessing and the work is in vain. He didn't refute that, he just said there's nothing I can do. It was a depressing cloud hanging above my church life while I lived there.
Which just proves that LSM, its workers, and its materials do nothing for the oneness of the body of Christ.

On the contrary, they have a long history of using all their resources to divide the body of Christ.

I could not believe this until I saw it first hand in the Midwest. And, Bradley, you have now seen it too with your own eyes. Seeing LSM's blatant hypocrisy freed me from all the bondage and guilt shaming that held me for decades.
__________________
Ohio's motto is: With God all things are possible!
.
Keeping all my posts short, quick, living, and to the point!
.
Ohio is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2018, 10:53 PM   #16
Freedom
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 1,384
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bradley View Post
There are three separate local churches in Shanghai too, where I lived for three years - all of them 'faithful to the ministry', all of them inviting coworkers from overseas to hold conferences, all of them up to date with the morning revival and 7 feasts.
I was unaware that there are actually instances of multiple LSM-affiliated LC's meeting in the same city. The sheer hypocrisy of it is shocking, but then again it makes sense. Affiliate oneself with the LSM and suddenly the standards change.

I grew up in a city that had no LC. Initially, we commuted over 30 miles, not just to a different city, but to a different county to meet with a LC. So much for the 'practicality' of the LC. Later on we had more LC members move nearby. But will still had to drive to a neighboring city to meet.

Eventually, we had enough living in the same city to consider "taking the ground," but it came to the attention of the elders that there were some Chinese-speaking LC members in our city who were commuting to a city where there was a large Chinese presence. They had virtually zero interaction with us, however, the elder among the Chinese felt it best to wait to "take the ground" until there was a "better testimony" in the city. To make a long story short, no official LC was ever formed in the city where I grew up.
__________________
Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the Lord, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.
Freedom is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-12-2018, 06:13 AM   #17
ZNPaaneah
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 4,666
Default Re: 'Ground of the Church'

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freedom View Post
I was unaware that there are actually instances of multiple LSM-affiliated LC's meeting in the same city. The sheer hypocrisy of it is shocking, but then again it makes sense. Affiliate oneself with the LSM and suddenly the standards change.
The standard is very obvious based on the actions -- sell books. If you will buy the books from LSM you are approved, if not you aren't. The doctrine of "Ground of the Church" is designed to give LSM a monopoly and sell books. Groups are vilified, not because of their stand with the Bible but for whether or not they will buy books.

As long as the pretense that this is about some "hidden truth" that they alone have the vision of that is fine. But if push comes to shove it is all about your stance with LSM.

I learned this in the FTT in Taipei. A small group of 4 trainees (3 Americans and one local) were given the assignment to evangelize a graduate school for engineering students in Taipei (i.e. the "best building material"). At the time we had been very successful at baptizing people (one brother in our group had baptized over 400 and the local saint from Taipei had also baptized quite a few) but there was little to no abiding fruit. Our job was to change that. We did. Over the Spring semester we gained 18 brothers who we evangelized, brought into a quasi small group meeting / English class, from there to a small group meeting of the nearby meeting hall and then into the church.

One might think they would be very excited to learn what we did. We were debriefed and it became clear they simply wanted to demonstrate that our use of LSM materials was the secret. The problem was that it wasn't. The brother who had baptized over 400 would evangelize at night and direct those he talked to (and perhaps baptized) to our "English class". I was not there at night because I had to work to support myself. The next day, in the afternoon, I ran this "English class" which used many Bible stories and examples. I created all of my curriculum, did not use any LSM materials, and the class had lots of discussion. At the end of the meeting a sister would show up and she would take those interested in going to the home meeting (which included dinner). There they could discuss in a smaller setting anything. The elder and his wife were also in that meeting. The reason this worked is that the evangelizing brother would always have my English class filled with over 40 and then there would always be five or six at the least who wished to continue the discussion.

But instead LSM created some kind of booklets for new beginners -- truth lessons or outlines or something. It was a total scam. That was when I learned that the real goal behind the FTTT and push for small group meetings was to sell more books.
__________________
They shall live by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God
ZNPaaneah is online now   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
church ground, hypocrites

Thread Tools
Display Modes

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

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



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:43 PM.


3.8.9