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Oh Lord, Where Do We Go From Here? Current and former members (and anyone in between!)... tell us what is on your mind and in your heart.

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Old 05-30-2018, 04:19 PM   #1
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Default Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery?

After starting the "Recovering from the Recovery" thread, I felt compelled to start one about the good things that may have come out of it.

The thing that comes to me immediately is the functioning of every member. I must admit that when I visit other gatherings, and hear a great message, I think a HUGE opportunity is lost if there isn't some open sharing at the end. I can't tell you how much of a help this has been, and the Lord definitely speaks clearly through various members.

(The last LC I visited still sort of did this, but it was very rote, and the saints were only "allowed" to speak certain things. This was a Spirit killer. There was no fresh experience of Christ conveyed from their daily life, just something they were impressed with from (for instance) the current Life Study.)

I've also enjoyed, where I am now, that several brothers rotate in the Sunday teaching. Some time ago it was mainly just one brother sharing and it was very good. But then it was opened up to various ones to do the teaching, and things really took off!

So I know other groups before the LC had tried to break the hold of the clergy-laity system, but I give the LC credit for its current manifestation. The freedom for all the members to function is a huge thing, and I wish more would see and experience that.

Unfortunately, as we all know, this was abused by the LC leadership, and saints were not allowed the freedom they should have - in the gatherings and elsewhere.

So what's another good thing?
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:42 PM   #2
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If only one person does the speaking that is the clergy-laity system so that should be discouraged.

Another good thing is the use of the (same) Bible in the meetings, and also a very good bible that is even used outside of the recovery. In denominations I was tired of pastors uses watered down versions like "the message" and spinning that into some story about social justice or whatever feel-good message they wanted to preach.
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Old 05-30-2018, 04:51 PM   #3
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If only one person does the speaking that is the clergy-laity system so that should be discouraged.

Another good thing is the use of the (same) Bible in the meetings, and also a very good bible that is even used outside of the recovery. In denominations I was tired of pastors uses watered down versions like "the message" and spinning that into some story about social justice or whatever feel-good message they wanted to preach.
Not sure what you mean by your first statement - can you clarify?
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Old 05-30-2018, 07:26 PM   #4
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Not sure what you mean by your first statement - can you clarify?
You mentioned rote and only certain saints allowed to say certain things, that is a liturgical clergy-laity system. If only one person is speaking they have become "clergy" to the ones who don't speak who are the "laity". The clergy-laity system evolves from a majority of members not wanting or able to speak or a few members imposing rules that only one or two can speak. The format of the meetings encourages everyone to speak but if that does not happen it becomes a clergy-laity meeting.
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:16 AM   #5
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You mentioned rote and only certain saints allowed to say certain things, that is a liturgical clergy-laity system. If only one person is speaking they have become "clergy" to the ones who don't speak who are the "laity". The clergy-laity system evolves from a majority of members not wanting or able to speak or a few members imposing rules that only one or two can speak. The format of the meetings encourages everyone to speak but if that does not happen it becomes a clergy-laity meeting.
Are you defining a clergy-laity system based on a meeting format or as the practice of a church body? I guess I could google it.

I regularly participate with a group of believers from different “denominations” where we sit in a circle, break bread and people are free to share a word, hymn, song, praise, etc. This is much different than at the LSM churches, where most everyone regurgitates LSM approves materials. In an attempt for some appearance of authenticity, my LSM locality was “training” people not to read directly from the LSM material. It was too blatantly obvious what was going on and they wanted people to stick to the script, but not to directly read. This carries over into home meetings too... so sad!

They also mentioned this at the training in Anaheim, so I assume this is true throughout. Those who are skilled in regurgitating Witness Lee in their own words get extra Amen’s.
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:25 AM   #6
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Are you defining a clergy-laity system based on a meeting format or as the practice of a church body? I guess I could google it.

I regularly participate with a group of believers from different “denominations” where we sit in a circle, break bread and people are free to share a word, hymn, song, praise, etc. This is much different than at the LSM churches, where most everyone regurgitates LSM approves materials. In an attempt for some appearance of authenticity, my LSM locality was “training” people not to read directly from the LSM material. It was too blatantly obvious what was going on and they wanted people to stick to the script, but not to directly read. This carries over into home meetings too... so sad!

They also mentioned this at the training in Anaheim, so I assume this is true throughout. Those who are skilled in regurgitating Witness Lee in their own words get extra Amen’s.
This is how LSM defines oneness and the one accord -- all speak the same thing, speak the one thing, think the one thing, etc -- straight from the latest LSM book without appearing too "robotic." Yet the stated goal of the FTT's is to mass produce "Witness Lee Tape Recorders."
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Old 05-31-2018, 10:51 AM   #7
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You mentioned rote and only certain saints allowed to say certain things, that is a liturgical clergy-laity system. If only one person is speaking they have become "clergy" to the ones who don't speak who are the "laity". The clergy-laity system evolves from a majority of members not wanting or able to speak or a few members imposing rules that only one or two can speak. The format of the meetings encourages everyone to speak but if that does not happen it becomes a clergy-laity meeting.
It wasn't that only certain ones were permitted to speak, but what they spoke had some controls on it, as is being brought out on this thread.

So we know that this is another one of those things that started pretty well in the "Recovery," but then degraded.

But since this is a thread about good things that came out, I would put forth the 2nd one: The Emphasis on the Indwelling Christ. While the LC certainly didn't have the market cornered on this subject either, this was a central teaching of Nee and Lee.

(And, again, what started as a good focus of "Christ in you, the hope of glory" unfortunately devolved into the external control thing. And I should add that today 95% of the speaking I hear in Christendom still focuses on some aspect of the law. They may speak of New Testament things, but it is conveyed in an old covenant way of performance - still stuck in a Galatians type error. Most haven't learned that the Christian life is impossible to live apart from the life of Christ in them!)

But, nonetheless, I believe this focus - Christ in y-all - is the central theme to what the new covenant is about, and I think the Recovery did a lot to promote this truth.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:06 PM   #8
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You mentioned rote and only certain saints allowed to say certain things, that is a liturgical clergy-laity system. If only one person is speaking they have become "clergy" to the ones who don't speak who are the "laity". The clergy-laity system evolves from a majority of members not wanting or able to speak or a few members imposing rules that only one or two can speak. The format of the meetings encourages everyone to speak but if that does not happen it becomes a clergy-laity meeting.
Hasty generalization!

Here in Grace Baptist Church, we have cell groups where everyone has the opportunity to share from their studies and meditations on the scripture. And everyone is encouraged to evangelize the lost. You err to generalize every Christian groups with clergy-laity system!
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:21 PM   #9
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Hasty generalization!

Here in Grace Baptist Church, we have cell groups where everyone has the opportunity to share from their studies and meditations on the scripture. And everyone are encouraged to evangelize the lost. You err to generalize every Christian groups with clergy-laity system!
That's awesome!! I recognize that if a gathering is too large (e.g., at Sunday teaching time) it may not be conducive to open sharing from members. But I consider it so key that even in those situations it would be really good if at least a few were allowed to share something they were inspired by afterward.

I've sometimes heard that groups don't want to do that for fear of what someone might say or that things could "get out of control." That is always a possibility, but I have to say the benefits of the riches that come out of the members speaking, far outweighs any of the downsides. And in experiencing this kind of open meeting for perhaps 30 years, I can honestly say I could easily count on one hand the times anything got too far sideways.

But that is a big benefit of smaller meetings too. So if it, for some legitimate reason, can't be done in the large corporate gatherings, then I think there definitely needs to be small gatherings where everyone is encouraged to share real experiences of Christ.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:54 PM   #10
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Are you defining a clergy-laity system based on a meeting format or as the practice of a church body? I guess I could google it.

I regularly participate with a group of believers from different “denominations” where we sit in a circle, break bread and people are free to share a word, hymn, song, praise, etc. This is much different than at the LSM churches, where most everyone regurgitates LSM approves materials. In an attempt for some appearance of authenticity, my LSM locality was “training” people not to read directly from the LSM material. It was too blatantly obvious what was going on and they wanted people to stick to the script, but not to directly read. This carries over into home meetings too... so sad!

They also mentioned this at the training in Anaheim, so I assume this is true throughout. Those who are skilled in regurgitating Witness Lee in their own words get extra Amen’s.
I used the term system in a loose way. There is the clergy-laity system which is the official way things are ordered and structured by clergy and laity. But practice wise, some "clergy-laity" churches may not practice clergy-laity distinctions as much as others. And in the recovery a church may practice a clergy-laity distinction more than a Catholic church. This is something we need to be aware of, and it all starts with expecting only one person to speak every Sunday, or one person insisting they speak and not giving others a chance. This happens because people don't read their morning revivals and Bible at home during the week, they come to the meeting and expect others who have to fill in their knowledge gaps. This is no different really to a person in the denominations going to church on a Sunday to listen to the priest and never reading their devotionals and bible at home.
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Old 05-31-2018, 04:57 PM   #11
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Hasty generalization!

Here in Grace Baptist Church, we have cell groups where everyone has the opportunity to share from their studies and meditations on the scripture. And everyone are encouraged to evangelize the lost. You err to generalize every Christian groups with clergy-laity system!
If everyone has the opportunity to share, then that is not a clergy-laity system.

But if everyone is lazy and looks to one person in the group to do most of the speaking, essentially they look up to that person as a "clergy". That's how it starts. It parallels the situation in Israel when they wanted a king to rule over them. They basically wanted to hand over their spiritual responsibilities to others, and those who wish to control others are more than happy to oblige under the guise of them being "unable" or doing a "poor job".
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Old 05-31-2018, 05:18 PM   #12
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This happens because people don't read their morning revivals and Bible at home during the week, they come to the meeting and expect others who have to fill in their knowledge gaps. This is no different really to a person in the denominations going to church on a Sunday to listen to the priest and never reading their devotionals and bible at home.
Yes, we very much have a spectator culture... easier that way, not messy.

Evan- do you find that the majority of people in your LSM church speak mostly about the current Morning revival topic when they talk about God? Whether they’re in a meeting or otherwise? I found this to be true and it was always interesting to me. I remember talking about what God was doing in my life at a Sunday meeting (really cool things!) but it had nothing to do with the morning revival. People actually listened and were engaged rather than humming “Amen’s” at the right time. I remember feeling sad that the only great things they could think about God was what Witness Lee had told them to say that week.
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:02 PM   #13
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If everyone has the opportunity to share, then that is not a clergy-laity system.

But if everyone is lazy and looks to one person in the group to do most of the speaking, essentially they look up to that person as a "clergy". That's how it starts. It parallels the situation in Israel when they wanted a king to rule over them. They basically wanted to hand over their spiritual responsibilities to others, and those who wish to control others are more than happy to oblige under the guise of them being "unable" or doing a "poor job".
Good point. I think it may be hard to determine the exact initial cause - did the people get lazy or did someone rise up to conquer the laity? But if the people are strong in the Lord, then they will fulfill their function and there won't be an opportunity to allow someone to rise over them . . .
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Old 05-31-2018, 07:52 PM   #14
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Hasty generalization!

Here in Grace Baptist Church, we have cell groups where everyone has the opportunity to share from their studies and meditations on the scripture. And everyone are encouraged to evangelize the lost. You err to generalize every Christian groups with clergy-laity system!
I remember one Full-Timer commenting to me in private about how easy it was to be a Christian in the denominations -- only coming one hour a week to church.

It just shows you how insulated they are from any contact with the real world. All they know about other Christian churches are the cheap comments drummed into them for years. Is this not the very definition of prejudice and stereotyping?
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Old 06-01-2018, 04:52 AM   #15
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It just shows you how insulated they are from any contact with the real world. All they know about other Christian churches are the cheap comments drummed into them for years. Is this not the very definition of prejudice and stereotyping?
The “recovery” doesn’t work without condemning other Christians. It is a pillar or foundation of Lee’s ministry. They are not set apart by demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit or the works of their “ministry”, but instead, by considering themselves over Poor, Poor, Christianity. We saw Drake point to some Beyoncé service or Joel Osteen church that hosted a secular performance group - clearly insulated from reality.

This is one of the major reasons why I think the LSM will not be around for much longer. Young people are much more aware and sensitive to this type of stereotyping of groups. The information is out there for them to access and see how God is moving across the world. For some, it is fun to be a part of an exclusive group who hold all the secrets and are much more “enlightened” - but I feel that this type of thinking is much harder to find in the millennial generation.

Jonah whined to God when He spared Nineveh, His heart was hard towards these sinful people. To those in the LSM-Don’t let your heart harden towards actual believers, the sons and daughters of Christ’s Church.


Praise God that he offers His gift of salvation to all!
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:22 AM   #16
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The “recovery” doesn’t work without condemning other Christians. It is a pillar or foundation of Lee’s ministry. They are not set apart by demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit or the works of their “ministry”, but instead, by considering themselves over Poor, Poor, Christianity.
Like the school yard bully who must beat all others down so that he seems to "rise above."
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Old 06-01-2018, 07:32 AM   #17
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Okay, since this is a thread of good things to come out of the Recovery, let's get back to that!

So what about the Recovery's focus on the indwelling Christ? Again, I know they didn't invent this (since it is perhaps THE central theme of the New Covenant) and are not the only ones so focused. But, as said, 95% of what I hear out there seems to be a version of Christianity via Judaism.
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Old 06-01-2018, 07:47 AM   #18
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Okay, since this is a thread of good things to come out of the Recovery, let's get back to that!
Good luck with that.
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Old 06-01-2018, 07:58 AM   #19
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Good luck with that.
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Old 06-01-2018, 05:12 PM   #20
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Good luck with that.
I agree with Drake. It’s difficult, right? I mean on one hand everything that happens in the LSM churches isn’t all bad. But, in a way, you could say that about any group, Catholic, Mormon, Muslim, etc.

I think if you asked my mother-in-law (who’s family visited JW churches when she was young, but became a believer later in life) would say she has nothing good to say about the JW churches. This has been the sentiment for many who have grown up in the WL churches - what they’ve posted on this forum.

Now I didn’t grow up in the WL churches, thank God, but I would have to say that any positive aspect of the LC had a shadow side that outweighed the good. Fellowship of believers, organizational structure, home meetings, college outreach, etc. Witness Lee’s ministry is stale and lifeless, the church he’s created in his name is dying, and the dear brothers and sisters are confused and left alone to tackle the struggles of finding the Lord in Lee’s ministry. Putting on a smile, some makeup, reading Lee’s writings, and saying a hearty Amen isn’t feeding their souls like only Christ can.

Maybe the only good to come out of the “recovery” is the process of coming out of the “recovery” and going into recovery in the Father’s arms.
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:38 PM   #21
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The “recovery” doesn’t work without condemning other Christians. It is a pillar or foundation of Lee’s ministry. They are not set apart by demonstrating the fruit of the Spirit or the works of their “ministry”, but instead, by considering themselves over Poor, Poor, Christianity. We saw Drake point to some Beyoncé service or Joel Osteen church that hosted a secular performance group - clearly insulated from reality.
Protestantism/evangelicalism doesn't work without condemning Catholicism. And Catholicism doesn't work without condemning Judaism (see the history).
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Old 06-01-2018, 06:45 PM   #22
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Okay, since this is a thread of good things to come out of the Recovery, let's get back to that!

So what about the Recovery's focus on the indwelling Christ? Again, I know they didn't invent this (since it is perhaps THE central theme of the New Covenant) and are not the only ones so focused. But, as said, 95% of what I hear out there seems to be a version of Christianity via Judaism.
I agree that the focus on the indwelling Christ is an important recovery.
This focus has two parts:
a) Christ lives in us and not just in heaven - this helps with intimacy and relating to the Lord as one man to another.
b) the Spirit living in us is not "a different spirit" but the Lord Himself as the Spirit - this helps with understanding that the Spirit is not some mysterious or impersonal power that might either work a strange "gold dust" miracle or strike us dead any moment, but truly a Comforter. The name Jesus is truly the name of the Father, the name of the Son, and the name of the Spirit.
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Old 06-02-2018, 07:43 AM   #23
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Protestantism/evangelicalism doesn't work without condemning Catholicism. And Catholicism doesn't work without condemning Judaism (see the history).
Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

abolish - kat-al-oo'-o

From G2596 and G3089; to loosen down (disintegrate), that is, (by implication) to demolish (literally or figuratively); specifically (compare G2646) to halt for the night: - destroy, dissolve, be guest, lodge, come to nought, overthrow, throw down.

How would the Gospel not work without condemning Catholicism? What about countries where there is no Catholicism present? Is there no Christianity? I'm not sure what you're trying to communicate here Evangelical.
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:42 AM   #24
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I agree that the focus on the indwelling Christ is an important recovery.
This focus has two parts:
a) Christ lives in us and not just in heaven - this helps with intimacy and relating to the Lord as one man to another.
b) the Spirit living in us is not "a different spirit" but the Lord Himself as the Spirit - this helps with understanding that the Spirit is not some mysterious or impersonal power that might either work a strange "gold dust" miracle or strike us dead any moment, but truly a Comforter. The name Jesus is truly the name of the Father, the name of the Son, and the name of the Spirit.
Yes indeed - I do believe that this is the central point of the new covenant! Without the Lord living in and through His believers, it's just a sort of updated Judaism of performance based do's & don'ts.
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Old 06-02-2018, 09:35 AM   #25
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So what's another good thing?
I enjoyed the sharing of the members too. Until I discovered that the head elder had 14 brothers seeding the meetings. That killed the Spirit to me.

And the other important thing, or things, I learned from my LC experience is : How it shouldn't be. Like the top down authority and oracle of God thing. My advise is to run the other way from that as fast as you can. Bad, bad, bad, and not scriptural, according to Jesus in the New Testament.
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:12 PM   #26
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Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

abolish - kat-al-oo'-o

From G2596 and G3089; to loosen down (disintegrate), that is, (by implication) to demolish (literally or figuratively); specifically (compare G2646) to halt for the night: - destroy, dissolve, be guest, lodge, come to nought, overthrow, throw down.

How would the Gospel not work without condemning Catholicism? What about countries where there is no Catholicism present? Is there no Christianity? I'm not sure what you're trying to communicate here Evangelical.
Protestantism, as the name implies (to protest), does not exist without condemning (protesting against) Catholicism.

The narrative behind Protestantism is that the Roman Catholic church is not the one true church established by Christ founded on Peter the apostle. That "Catholicism is wrong" is implied every time an evangelical gives someone a gospel tract as opposed to directing them to their nearest Catholic Priest.
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Old 06-02-2018, 03:19 PM   #27
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Protestantism, as the name implies (to protest), does not exist without condemning (protesting against) Catholicism.
The narrative behind Protestantism is that the Roman Catholic church is not the one true church established by Christ founded on Peter the apostle. That "Catholicism is wrong" is implied every time an evangelical gives someone a gospel tract as opposed to directing them to their nearest Catholic Priest.
I never thought of it like that!
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Old 06-02-2018, 05:52 PM   #28
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Protestantism, as the name implies (to protest), does not exist without condemning (protesting against) Catholicism.
I don’t even know where to begin - Bro, I’m worried you’ve got your brain warped through too much Witness Lee. The Gospel of Christ and His Church don’t fit into the paradigm you’ve created. Your paradigm misses the entirety of Scripture and Jesus work on the cross. You’ve simplified a narrative to temporarily prop up your views, but its falling flat (maybe worse).
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Old 06-02-2018, 08:47 PM   #29
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It's no narrative, it's historical fact, that condemnation of Catholicism (and Jews) was a "pillar" of Luther's ministry and later the whole Reformation. Without that condemnation, the Reformation would have been a true reformation within Catholicism rather than what it became as an entity opposed to it. The "sola fide gospel" came from Luther and the Reformation. This gospel is the key point of distinction between Catholics and Protestants. The sola fide gospel would not have eventuated if Luther had not condemned the Catholic church for its gospel of good works. The positive-gospel says "we are saved by faith alone", the negative-gospel says "we are not saved by good works". Sola fide became the rallying cry of the Reformation and Lutheranism in particular, mostly as a counter-argument to the Catholic system of good works.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:59 AM   #30
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So in your narrative you extrapolate an active condemnation of the Catholic Church as a core tenant (maybe the most important?) message of the Gospel and the work of Jesus on the cross. If that line of thinking were true, the core message of an Evangelical Gospel tract (not sure why you used a Gospel tract as your example...) is a long list of condemnations rather than the reality of scriptures and the work of Jesus on the cross. Your Gospel of Lee has it backwards - so it should be no surprise that the Witness Lee churches lack fruit and are a dying apart from the tree. Our creator offers so much more, why clinch so tightly to the words of the man Witness Lee?
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Old 06-03-2018, 08:29 AM   #31
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Leastofthese & Evangelical - Seems like this is just two perspectives of the same thing. (i.e., the three blind men trying to describe an elephant parable).
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Old 06-03-2018, 04:15 PM   #32
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So in your narrative you extrapolate an active condemnation of the Catholic Church as a core tenant (maybe the most important?) message of the Gospel and the work of Jesus on the cross. If that line of thinking were true, the core message of an Evangelical Gospel tract (not sure why you used a Gospel tract as your example...) is a long list of condemnations rather than the reality of scriptures and the work of Jesus on the cross. Your Gospel of Lee has it backwards - so it should be no surprise that the Witness Lee churches lack fruit and are a dying apart from the tree. Our creator offers so much more, why clinch so tightly to the words of the man Witness Lee?
If your statement "The “recovery” doesn’t work without condemning other Christians. " is true, then the Gospel tract the recovery uses is a long list of condemnations of Christianity. The Gospel tract has never included any condemnations of Christianity, thus disproving your statement.
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Old 06-03-2018, 05:40 PM   #33
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If your statement "The “recovery” doesn’t work without condemning other Christians. " is true, then the Gospel tract the recovery uses is a long list of condemnations of Christianity. The Gospel tract has never included any condemnations of Christianity, thus disproving your statement.
Read almost any LSM document or attend almost any LSM approved meeting. You'll hear condemnation of Christians. The Christian churches that I've attended or been a part of have not made condemnation of the Catholic church the center of their messaging (actually quite far from it). The Gospel of Witness Lee is based on an active condemnation of believers.

The LSM is so whacky that without a drumbeat of how bad and scary Christianity is (those poor, poor, people) - they wouldn't be able to keep the doors open. True Christianity points to Scripture and the message of Jesus.

I saw this first hand for an entire year - the LSM propaganda machine led by elders, those deceived by FTTA, and those born into the LSM lead the charge. But I had tasted and seen the Lord - my eyes were open. I gave the LSM churches a chance to show me their light, but found that behind those doors is lifeless, full of confusion, and lacking the beauty of Christ and His Spirit. I'm not writing to convince you of anything Evangelical, I'm afraid it is beyond that point. Feel free to have the last word.
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Old 06-04-2018, 03:10 AM   #34
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Read almost any LSM document or attend almost any LSM approved meeting. You'll hear condemnation of Christians. The Christian churches that I've attended or been a part of have not made condemnation of the Catholic church the center of their messaging (actually quite far from it). The Gospel of Witness Lee is based on an active condemnation of believers.

The LSM is so whacky that without a drumbeat of how bad and scary Christianity is (those poor, poor, people) - they wouldn't be able to keep the doors open. True Christianity points to Scripture and the message of Jesus.

I saw this first hand for an entire year - the LSM propaganda machine led by elders, those deceived by FTTA, and those born into the LSM lead the charge. But I had tasted and seen the Lord - my eyes were open. I gave the LSM churches a chance to show me their light, but found that behind those doors is lifeless, full of confusion, and lacking the beauty of Christ and His Spirit. I'm not writing to convince you of anything Evangelical, I'm afraid it is beyond that point. Feel free to have the last word.
Titus Chu, regional Midwest leader, to his credit had long discarded the LC mantra of constant condemnation of Christianity. Perhaps it was a point of contention with the Blindeds worthy of excommunication?
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Old 06-04-2018, 05:23 AM   #35
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Read almost any LSM document or attend almost any LSM approved meeting. You'll hear condemnation of Christians. The Christian churches that I've attended or been a part of have not made condemnation of the Catholic church the center of their messaging (actually quite far from it). The Gospel of Witness Lee is based on an active condemnation of believers.

The LSM is so whacky that without a drumbeat of how bad and scary Christianity is (those poor, poor, people) - they wouldn't be able to keep the doors open. True Christianity points to Scripture and the message of Jesus.

I saw this first hand for an entire year - the LSM propaganda machine led by elders, those deceived by FTTA, and those born into the LSM lead the charge. But I had tasted and seen the Lord - my eyes were open. I gave the LSM churches a chance to show me their light, but found that behind those doors is lifeless, full of confusion, and lacking the beauty of Christ and His Spirit. I'm not writing to convince you of anything Evangelical, I'm afraid it is beyond that point. Feel free to have the last word.
"The Gospel of Witness Lee is based on an active condemnation of believers."

If that is true then we should be able to find condemnation of believers in a "Witness Lee Gospel tract".

There is a list of about 20 tracts here:

http://www.lsm.org/tracts.html

Here is your opportunity to prove yourself right. Please refer to which one of those gospel tracts condemns believers. "Read almost any LSM document" is true, then we should expect that "almost any" , say, 90%, of those 20 tracts should contain condemnation of believers.
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Old 06-04-2018, 06:51 AM   #36
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Question: When does trying to prove something become an accusation, and is there really a difference (some may want to debate this too!)?

So much of this forum is devoted to enumerating the sins of the Recovery. Sure, it is in the name of "getting the truth out" and perhaps some understanding and maybe healing. But at some point - what is the point? Do we just become another accuser of the brethren?

Yes, so many mistakes were made. Authority and central control (overt & covert) got out of control. Okay, fine. Where is Christ!? Is He going over and over all the finer points, ad nauseum, of our sins? No.

As for me, I feel to move on from sin consciousness . . .
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:20 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Question: When does trying to prove something become an accusation, and is there really a difference (some may want to debate this too!)?

So much of this forum is devoted to enumerating the sins of the Recovery. Sure, it is in the name of "getting the truth out" and perhaps some understanding and maybe healing. But at some point - what is the point? Do we just become another accuser of the brethren?

Yes, so many mistakes were made. Authority and central control (overt & covert) got out of control. Okay, fine. Where is Christ!? Is He going over and over all the finer points, ad nauseum, of our sins? No.

As for me, I feel to move on from sin consciousness . . .
Like I said..... good luck with that!
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:41 AM   #38
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Here are the two things we've listed so far, regarding good things to be promoted by the LC:
  1. Open meetings - encouraging all to function
  2. The Emphasis on the Indwelling Christ

So here's a third - Calling on the name of the Lord

Again, this doesn't mean the LC was necessarily the originator of the idea or practice, or that there weren't abuses and degradation from the idea. It just means that it was something they strongly promoted

"When you call you get the person of that Name!"

Calling on the name of the Lord has been something really saving in my life. Wherever I go or whatever I find myself in, I can call His name to myself or out loud. The word tells us that to breath the name of Jesus is a function of the Holy Spirit, and I am here to attest this is true! This fact is found in a number of places in the NT, Psalms and elsewhere. "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." There is no time limit and no shelf life to this.

The Lord had me out in the middle of the desert drying out for a few years. When I returned to consistent fellowship (here in Scottsdale) He showed me that while I thought I was totally in the toilet during that time, I still had not completely denied His name. That is, I would still occasionally sigh, "Lord Jesus" in a calling way to Him. He let me know that He heard me and saved me!
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Old 06-04-2018, 09:41 AM   #39
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When does trying to prove something become an accusation, and is there really a difference?
Thanks for your thoughtful post Sons to Glory! While there may be some people here "trying to prove something" (and for those who are, they are just as welcomed as anyone else) I think the majority of posters are here just wanting to come to terms with, and maybe make some sense of, all that we went through in the Local Church of Witness Lee. A side benefit, I hope and pray, is that other Forum members and lurkers may be helped by our back and forth dialogue. Healthy debate can and should be a profitable exercise for all concerned: "Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17)

I would replace your term "accusation" with another word: "try". As mature Christians we are not called to accuse, per se, but we are called to try, to test and to discern. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1) "But have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false." (Revelation 2:2)

Clearly, Witness Lee and many of the teachings and practices he established in the Local Church, have been "tried and tested", and have been found wanting at best, and in many cases found to be patently false. Witness Lee, in so many words, and in so many ways, and through so many deputies, proclaimed himself, not only "an apostle", but "The One Apostle for the age". Lee himself placed himself in the position of being tried and tested. And tried and tested he was - from those within and from those without. And just as was the case with the teachings and practices he established, Lee himself has been found wanting, and many have come to the conclusion that the man was a false apostle of sorts.

So, one may fairly ask, "Why still all the trying and testing, the man has been laid to rest for over 20 years?". My retort would be simple and short: Because the current leadership in the Local Church Movement continues to publicly insist on proclaiming and extolling the virtues of the person and work of Witness Lee. They still loudly proclaim and heartily extol (the person) Witness Lee as "The One Minister for The Age", and insist that (the work) his personal ministry - his personal interpretations - be honored and lauded as "the One Ministry for the Age". So as long as the leadership (and the vocal majority of LC members) continue on with their proclaiming and extolling, there will always be, I'm quite sure, at least a small remnant of vanquished foes who continue on with the trying and testing.


Quote:
As for me, I feel to move on from sin consciousness
As my good friend Drake likes to say: Good luck with that!

Seriously though, I only wish Witness Lee and the Blended Brothers could have come to such a crises of conscience....if they had, we wouldn't be here at this little popcorn stand today.
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Old 06-04-2018, 11:58 AM   #40
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I would replace your term "accusation" with another word: "try". As mature Christians we are not called to accuse, per se, but we are called to try, to test and to discern. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1) "But have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false." (Revelation 2:2)

Clearly, Witness Lee and many of the teachings and practices he established in the Local Church, have been "tried and tested", and have been found wanting at best, and in many cases found to be patently false. Witness Lee, in so many words, and in so many ways, and through so many deputies, proclaimed himself, not only "an apostle", but "The One Apostle for the age".
Amen to this. Paul exhorts us to "test all things, hold on to the good." (I Thess 5.21) Now dear brothers like Drake would love for us to abandon instructions such as this one, but when the children of God are hurt and stumbled, then the admonition of the scriptures should be our guide.

Here's another scripture (Proverbs 28.13) which Lee and the Blendeds should have heeded over the years:
"Whoever conceals his sins shall not prosper,
But whoever confesses and forsakes them will find mercy
."

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Old 06-04-2018, 12:06 PM   #41
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"Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another." (Proverbs 27:17)

I would replace your term "accusation" with another word: "try". As mature Christians we are not called to accuse, per se, but we are called to try, to test and to discern. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1) "But have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false." (Revelation 2:2)
Thanks for that thoughtful reply! Iron does sharpen iron. Deep calls unto deep. Spirit builds up spirit.

I'll convey some fellowship I had with a brother yesterday over lunch about this same thing. I told him about my rediscovery of this forum, after not being on here for six years (I truly forgot about this forum until someone recently sent me a link to Don Rutledge's "History" posted on here). We had a nice little chat about reviewing and analyzing all things LC online, and also about having discussions of same. He said he is aware of many such online discussions, books, etc. He said he has had many opportunities to jump in and write things to clarify, correct or update various matters, as he has been around since the very early 1970s, and has been in a position of leadership a good part of that time. He said that he could certainly write large books on the topic - as we probably all could!

But the Lord checks him each time he starts to do this and he has little appetite for it. We discussed how after reading about these things at length or being in long discussions with someone about the sins of the LC and WL, we are just deadened in spirit. (although the flesh may get all worked up)

So of course all things are lawful, but not all things are profitable for building up. Is the end result love for our brothers or a critical spirit that wants to make our point?
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Old 06-04-2018, 01:16 PM   #42
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But the Lord checks him each time he starts to do this and he has little appetite for it. We discussed how after reading about these things at length or being in long discussions with someone about the sins of the LC and WL, we are just deadened in spirit. (although the flesh may get all worked up)

So of course all things are lawful, but not all things are profitable for building up. Is the end result love for our brothers or a critical spirit that wants to make our point?
And why would the authors of the books of the N.T. (including Jesus Himself) waste so much time warning others about unruly brothers, false teachings, religious dogs, leaven and errors, false prophets, false Christs, false apostles, false teachers, Jewish celebrations, pagan idols, etc. when they could have spent all their time "caring for life?"

Didn't all this time Paul spent night and day in tears (Acts 20.31) admonishing the saints "deaden his spirit?" Especially when he warned them in 20.30 that certain evil men would "rise up speaking perverted things to draw the disciples after themselves?" When Paul cautioned all the churches in his many epistles, why didn't the Lord "check him?" You would think that Paul, the great apostle to the Gentiles, would have "no appetite" for such things, because his flesh would get all worked up?"

Makes no sense.
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Old 06-04-2018, 04:32 PM   #43
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I would replace your term "accusation" with another word: "try". As mature Christians we are not called to accuse, per se, but we are called to try, to test and to discern. "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1) "But have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false." (Revelation 2:2)
The problem I see is that the biblical tests UntoHim mentioned aren't actually used by most people, so their discernment is wrong. For example, 1 John 4:1 says to test the spirits, but verses 2 and 3 tell us how. Instead of applying such tests, this forum becomes a platform for people to share their "hunch" about Lee's ministry which is based on non-biblical tests such as the test of comparison (e.g. "Lee's calling seems like middle eastern chanting so it must be middle eastern false religion") or some subjective opinion. Hunches become facts, facts become reality, just like the old witch-hunts when they had no better way to discern whether someone was a witch or not other than to see if they floated or sunk.
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Old 06-04-2018, 05:39 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Question: When does trying to prove something become an accusation, and is there really a difference (some may want to debate this too!)?

So much of this forum is devoted to enumerating the sins of the Recovery. Sure, it is in the name of "getting the truth out" and perhaps some understanding and maybe healing. But at some point - what is the point? Do we just become another accuser of the brethren?

Yes, so many mistakes were made. Authority and central control (overt & covert) got out of control. Okay, fine. Where is Christ!? Is He going over and over all the finer points, ad nauseum, of our sins? No.

As for me, I feel to move on from sin consciousness . . .
You pose an interesting question here. Many of the long time posters could probably do a better job estimating, but many people on this forum have shared testimony of gratitude for the posters of this forum (many who started off “lurkers”).I pray that even more parents and college students have been deterred from joining the Witness Lee churches because of the truth exposed here.
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Old 06-04-2018, 07:39 PM   #45
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Question: When does trying to prove something become an accusation, and is there really a difference (some may want to debate this too!)?
The question is answered when we closely examine an overwhelming number of credible witnesses who step forward with testimony to protect the children of God from damage and expose LSM's unrighteousness.
Quote:
So much of this forum is devoted to enumerating the sins of the Recovery. Sure, it is in the name of "getting the truth out" and perhaps some understanding and maybe healing. But at some point - what is the point? Do we just become another accuser of the brethren?
The Bible has recorded the sins of many men of God "for our admonition" as the Bible informs us. We are not just "enumerating their sins," but protecting the hurt and wounded. We address past sins, covered up by LSM's leadership, because the members have been deceived.
Quote:
Yes, so many mistakes were made. Authority and central control (overt covert) got out of control. Okay, fine. Where is Christ!? Is He going over and over all the finer points, ad nauseum, of our sins? No.
Mistakes? Hey, I agree that everyone is entitled to a few "mistakes." But we are not talking about inadvertent "mistakes," but we are discussing carefully planned stratagems at LSM to deceive God's people, coverup crimes, and smear the reputations of those whose only "crime" is to speak their conscience in order to protect the children of God. Read John Ingalls book "Speaking the Truth in Love."
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Old 06-05-2018, 09:13 AM   #46
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Brothers - just calling it as I see it. Too much of a "good thing" is still too much.
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:40 AM   #47
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Brothers - just calling it as I see it. Too much of a "good thing" is still too much.
This thread is about "Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery."

Good things are of God, because only God is good. Good things produce good fruit. How then can a "good thing" be too much?

LSM has long claimed the exclusive market for all "good things" from God. We now have much time to evaluate whether all of their "good things" are really good. LSM has literally thousands of websites in cyberspace all championing these "good things," and until now no one has said that these are too much.

Or are you saying that this one solitary forum of ex-members is too much?
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Old 06-05-2018, 10:47 AM   #48
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This thread is about "Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery."

Good things are of God, because only God is good. Good things produce good fruit. How then can a "good thing" be too much?

LSM has long claimed the exclusive market for all "good things" from God. We now have much time to evaluate whether all of their "good things" are really good. LSM has literally thousands of websites in cyberspace all championing these "good things," and until now no one has said that these are too much.

Or are you saying that this one solitary forum of ex-members is too much?
Yes, maybe I lack understanding of what this forum is really about. It seems (and I could be wrong) that it exists and is slanted to bash (perhaps expose is a better word . . .) all things WL & LC.
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:14 PM   #49
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Well alrighty then . . . back to the topic. So I've listed three items I think were good things to come out of the LC hootenanny.

Anyone have something they want to say about those or add something of their own?

(I'm trying to "have good luck with that")
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Old 06-05-2018, 01:30 PM   #50
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Well alrighty then . . . back to the topic. So I've listed three items I think were good things to come out of the LC hootenanny.

Anyone have something they want to say about those or add something of their own?

(I'm trying to "have good luck with that")
Sons to Glory,

You are now enlightened.

Therefore, you might reconsider that topic in this forum as........

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Old 06-05-2018, 08:11 PM   #51
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Here are the two things we've listed so far, regarding good things to be promoted by the LC:
  1. Open meetings - encouraging all to function
  2. The Emphasis on the Indwelling Christ

So here's a third - Calling on the name of the Lord

Again, this doesn't mean the LC was necessarily the originator of the idea or practice, or that there weren't abuses and degradation from the idea. It just means that it was something they strongly promoted

"When you call you get the person of that Name!"

Calling on the name of the Lord has been something really saving in my life. Wherever I go or whatever I find myself in, I can call His name to myself or out loud. The word tells us that to breath the name of Jesus is a function of the Holy Spirit, and I am here to attest this is true! This fact is found in a number of places in the NT, Psalms and elsewhere. "Whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved." There is no time limit and no shelf life to this.

The Lord had me out in the middle of the desert drying out for a few years. When I returned to consistent fellowship (here in Scottsdale) He showed me that while I thought I was totally in the toilet during that time, I still had not completely denied His name. That is, I would still occasionally sigh, "Lord Jesus" in a calling way to Him. He let me know that He heard me and saved me!
I agree with those three things and wish they were more prevalent in Christian circles. For me learning the leading of the Holy Spirit in my human spirit. Another was relying on the written word of God in the Holy Bible as the ultimate authority of God's truth. But both of those also ultimately led me out because the Recovery replaced both with the Living Stream Ministry
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:03 AM   #52
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I agree with those three things and wish they were more prevalent in Christian circles. For me learning the leading of the Holy Spirit in my human spirit. Another was relying on the written word of God in the Holy Bible as the ultimate authority of God's truth. But both of those also ultimately led me out because the Recovery replaced both with the Living Stream Ministry
Agreed.

Yes, the human spirit is certainly a key truth. Back then (45 years ago) I wasn't aware of anyone speaking about humans having a spirit and using the word of God to show this. Twenty years ago, when I became aware that there were actually others having a genuine walk with Him apart from the LC, I saw that there were a few who spoke of our spirit.

Now I hear about our spirit a little more (on the radio & TV) and some Christian speakers do give verses which show the tripartite man. But, sorry to say, there still isn't much light regarding the actual walking in spirit and experiencing Christ through one's spirit - just usually so much OT application of new covenant truths - the main one being Christ in us! But, thanks be to God for the light that has been seen so far in Christendom regarding our human spirit!
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Old 06-06-2018, 09:30 AM   #53
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I agree with those three things and wish they were more prevalent in Christian circles. For me learning the leading of the Holy Spirit in my human spirit. Another was relying on the written word of God in the Holy Bible as the ultimate authority of God's truth. But both of those also ultimately led me out because the Recovery replaced both with the Living Stream Ministry
This is one of the most amazing things about the LC experience -- we did learn much from the Bible about following the Lord, but it was what we learned which caused us to leave the LC.

Concerning the "work of ministry," many of us were helped by Nee's book The Normal Christian Churchlife. Yet when I reread that book with the other brothers in the church, I was shocked by how far removed the practices of LSM and many LC's were from both the New Testament pattern and Nee's more detailed instructions! According to Nee's teachings, supposedly our handbook for churchlife ministry, in many regards we were worse than the denominations!

We were not the first to learn this. Many others have compared Nee's book to the practices of Lee and the Blendeds today. One story I heard was Lee's comment when confronted with these gross discrepancies -- "Don't tell me about Nee's book, I was there!"
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Old 06-06-2018, 02:16 PM   #54
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I agree with those three things and wish they were more prevalent in Christian circles. For me learning the leading of the Holy Spirit in my human spirit. Another was relying on the written word of God in the Holy Bible as the ultimate authority of God's truth. But both of those also ultimately led me out because the Recovery replaced both with the Living Stream Ministry
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This is one of the most amazing things about the LC experience -- we did learn much from the Bible about following the Lord, but it was what we learned which caused us to leave the LC.

Concerning the "work of ministry," many of us were helped by Nee's book The Normal Christian Churchlife. Yet when I reread that book with the other brothers in the church, I was shocked by how far removed the practices of LSM and many LC's were from both the New Testament pattern and Nee's more detailed instructions! According to Nee's teachings, supposedly our handbook for churchlife ministry, in many regards we were worse than the denominations!

We were not the first to learn this. Many others have compared Nee's book to the practices of Lee and the Blendeds today. One story I heard was Lee's comment when confronted with these gross discrepancies -- "Don't tell me about Nee's book, I was there!"
It is certainly a supreme irony, isn't it!? I remember in the 1980s some mussing whether or not we might ever fall into the Laodacien thing - having supposed riches (and we knew we had the riches!), yet being poor, blind and naked. We thought long and hard on it for maybe 5 seconds and said, "Nah!"
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Old 06-06-2018, 03:25 PM   #55
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It is certainly a supreme irony, isn't it!? I remember in the 1980s some mussing whether or not we might ever fall into the Laodacien thing - having supposed riches (and we knew we had the riches!), yet being poor, blind and naked. We thought long and hard on it for maybe 5 seconds and said, "Nah!"
I quit saying "Nah." I actually thought I had an obligation to save the LC from Laodicea It took a couple of years or so, then Laodicea got rid of me.
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Old 06-06-2018, 04:39 PM   #56
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It is certainly a supreme irony, isn't it!? I remember in the 1980s some mussing whether or not we might ever fall into the Laodacien thing - having supposed riches (and we knew we had the riches!), yet being poor, blind and naked. We thought long and hard on it for maybe 5 seconds and said, "Nah!"
Witness Lee himself said the LC's were Laodicea.

Thinking about it now -- why didn't Brother Lee ever take some responsibility? Every 5 or 10 years we had some major "storm" blow thru the Recovery due to some scandal at LSM -- yet instead of genuine repentance, all I ever heard was the blame game. Then another round of excommunications.
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:12 PM   #57
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Mistakes? Hey, I agree that everyone is entitled to a few "mistakes." But we are not talking about inadvertent "mistakes," but we are discussing carefully planned stratagems at LSM to deceive God's people, coverup crimes, and smear the reputations of those whose only "crime" is to speak their conscience in order to protect the children of God. Read John Ingalls book "Speaking the Truth in Love."[/COLOR]
I have his book around here somewhere I think and read it about 20 years or so ago, right around the time I started meeting in this lovely place called Scottsdale Church. I remember also talking with him via phone for a brief while about it all (I was still intensely in the throws of trying to recover from Recovery negatives then - I didn't even know what I didn't know).
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:29 PM   #58
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I didn't even know what I didn't know).
Whoa! Wow! Me too! I feel my spirit led me out of the LC. I didn't know all the reasons why. I actually knew very little.

It took me years, decades, to discover the reasons for leaving. And I'm still learning.

That line, quoted above, was deep brother. Thanks.
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:34 PM   #59
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Default Re: Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery?

So now we've listed three good things to come out of The Recovery (even though they may not have been the originator) and we've got off on a few "interesting" discussions around them . . .

Here's what we have so far:

1. Open meetings - encouraging all to function
2. The Emphasis on the Indwelling Christ
3. Calling on the name of the Lord


Here's my fourth, which may set off a real flurry of discussion:

4. Taking in the Pure Milk of the Word


I was considering this last item in my morning time today. To me drinking the pure milk of the word is about getting nourishment - not just some mental education. The Recovery wasn't the first to talk about taking the word in by prayer. And I'll certainly admit some of the corporate pray-reading times I've experienced were often quite mechanical. But I'm talking about reading a verse and then talking to the Lord about it (out loud when possible).

There are many references in scripture about engaging our mouths with the word of God. Something happens when we begin to pray, speak His word and sing out loud. It isn't about memorizing (which isn't bad) or just gaining knowledge (which isn't bad), but something that actually nourishes us and builds us up in spirit.

I am thankful for this!
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Old 06-07-2018, 12:55 PM   #60
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Whoa! Wow! Me too! I feel my spirit led me out of the LC. I didn't know all the reasons why. I actually knew very little.

It took me years, decades, to discover the reasons for leaving. And I'm still learning.

That line, quoted above, was deep brother. Thanks.
I don't think I was mature enough to know to avoid many of the things the Lord kept me from - but praise God He did!!! Just like a couple "blow-ups" that happened here in Scottsdale (20 years ago & 10 years ago) - He physically kept me from both of them! His mercy and grace.
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Old 06-07-2018, 04:54 PM   #61
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So now we've listed three good things to come out of The Recovery (even though they may not have been the originator) and we've got off on a few "interesting" discussions around them . . .

Here's what we have so far:

1. Open meetings - encouraging all to function
2. The Emphasis on the Indwelling Christ
3. Calling on the name of the Lord


Here's my fourth, which may set off a real flurry of discussion:

4. Taking in the Pure Milk of the Word


I was considering this last item in my morning time today. To me drinking the pure milk of the word is about getting nourishment - not just some mental education. The Recovery wasn't the first to talk about taking the word in by prayer. And I'll certainly admit some of the corporate pray-reading times I've experienced were often quite mechanical. But I'm talking about reading a verse and then talking to the Lord about it (out loud when possible).

There are many references in scripture about engaging our mouths with the word of God. Something happens when we begin to pray, speak His word and sing out loud. It isn't about memorizing (which isn't bad) or just gaining knowledge (which isn't bad), but something that actually nourishes us and builds us up in spirit.

I am thankful for this!
I will second pray reading the word, brother....I love praying His word to Him, aloud, declaring it wonderful, operative, light, truth, and all good things....I think the Lord loves it too. I always get enjoyment, illuminated, etc...
Faith comes by hearing, and that by the word of God....is that accurate? I believe we can even grow our own faith by reading His word aloud....me and my kids are reading through the gospel of John to each other at bedtime this month...It is blessing us all!
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Old 06-10-2018, 12:07 AM   #62
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Another good thing is the love feast although I never have seen it practiced in the same way as the early church.
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Old 06-10-2018, 02:46 PM   #63
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Another good thing is the love feast although I never have seen it practiced in the same way as the early church.
I love to eat with the whole group! How did the early church do it?
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Old 06-10-2018, 03:34 PM   #64
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I love to eat with the whole group! How did the early church do it?
It was for believers only, not unbelievers, and excess food was distributed to the poor.

But due to widespread abuse of the practice it was banned by the time of the middle ages I think.
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Old 06-12-2018, 01:56 PM   #65
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Alrighty, here's what we have thus far of good things to come out of the so called "Recovery":

1. Open meetings - encouraging all to function
2. The Emphasis on the Indwelling Christ
3. Calling on the name of the Lord
4. Taking in the Pure Milk of the Word


Now here's a 5th and perhaps final one (as I may be growing weary of all this):

One church; One city

Just speaking for myself, but while I know that this was used in a divisive way (perhaps inadvertently) by some in the LC, I think the basic principle is pretty doggone sound. For far too long it has just been accepted practice by Christians to divide and divide again, to the point that all this division just seems normal somehow. But as Paul asks, "Is Christ divided?"

And again, this "one church one city" teaching wound-up (like all teachings apart from Christ) as something that just puffed up and divided. As Paul told the Corinthians, "Some say 'I am of Paul'; some say 'I am of Cepheus', 'some say 'I am of Christ.'" The ones saying they were of Christ were doctrinally correct, but wrong in their prideful stance - which only divided them from others.

I remember reading a book I got so much enjoyment in my spirit from - and an incredible amount of grace (the most pleasurable aspect of grace - bubbling up from deep in my spirit). It was called the "Speciality, Generality & Practicality of the Church Life" by Witness Lee (1983). In fact, I can't recall being graced by any other book, apart from the Bible, more than this one! It showed how one we really are. This book talked about how to not focus on the minor doctrinal points and differences between believers - and, of course, there's a lot of them! The Lord spoke this to me in a way I could never forget --- most all Christian divisions are silly and vain works of the flesh. Lee said the only things we should hold firm to, with others, were just the key things of our faith, such as Christ's divinity; Him and His atoning work being the One Way; the Bible being the Word of God, etc. All else should be laid aside to not stumble a brother and to keep the oneness (that is, we should be very general about these noncritical things).

I just dug up my old coffee-stained copy of this book and quickly leafed through it again. I see nothing about the need to doggedly hold to a "one church - one city" doctrine as a central article of our faith. So, while I think OCOC is a sound principle illustrated in the NT, and I thank God for it, I don't think anyone should hold to it as a key article of their Christian faith - lest they cause a division by it.
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Old 06-12-2018, 03:32 PM   #66
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Alrighty, here's what we have thus far of good things to come out of the so called "Recovery":

1. Open meetings - encouraging all to function
2. The Emphasis on the Indwelling Christ
3. Calling on the name of the Lord
4. Taking in the Pure Milk of the Word


Now here's a 5th and perhaps final one (as I may be growing weary of all this):

One church; One city

Just speaking for myself, but while I know that this was used in a divisive way (perhaps inadvertently) by some in the LC, I think the basic principle is pretty doggone sound. For far too long it has just been accepted practice by Christians to divide and divide again, to the point that all this division just seems normal somehow. But as Paul asks, "Is Christ divided?"

And again, this "one church one city" teaching wound-up (like all teachings apart from Christ) as something that just puffed up and divided. As Paul told the Corinthians, "Some say 'I am of Paul'; some say 'I am of Cepheus', 'some say 'I am of Christ.'" The ones saying they were of Christ were doctrinally correct, but wrong in their prideful stance - which only divided them from others.

I remember reading a book I got so much enjoyment in my spirit from - and an incredible amount of grace (the most pleasurable aspect of grace - bubbling up from deep in my spirit). It was called the "Speciality, Generality & Practicality of the Church Life" by Witness Lee (1983). In fact, I can't recall being graced by any other book, apart from the Bible, more than this one! It showed how one we really are. This book talked about how to not focus on the minor doctrinal points and differences between believers - and, of course, there's a lot of them! The Lord spoke this to me in a way I could never forget --- most all Christian divisions are silly and vain works of the flesh. Lee said the only things we should hold firm to, with others, were just the key things of our faith, such as Christ's divinity; Him and His atoning work being the One Way; the Bible being the Word of God, etc. All else should be laid aside to not stumble a brother and to keep the oneness (that is, we should be very general about these noncritical things).

I just dug up my old coffee-stained copy of this book and quickly leafed through it again. I see nothing about the need to doggedly hold to a "one church - one city" doctrine as a central article of our faith. So, while I think OCOC is a sound principle illustrated in the NT, and I thank God for it, I don't think anyone should hold to it as a key article of their Christian faith - lest they cause a division by it.
One church per city is not meant to be a doctrine, but a reality. Insert Lee's moon analogy here. Catholic and others practice one church per city but that is different.

Does anyone know why one church per city is sound (besides it being that way in the early church)? What is the principle for it? I know the answer, but many people don't. Maybe Drake knows, Sons to Glory maybe. If you understand the principle, the one church per city idea will make sense. If you don't get the principle, it won't make sense.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:09 PM   #67
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One church per city is not meant to be a doctrine, but a reality. Insert Lee's moon analogy here. Catholic and others practice one church per city but that is different.

Does anyone know why one church per city is sound (besides it being that way in the early church)? What is the principle for it? I know the answer, but many people don't. Maybe Drake knows, Sons to Glory maybe. If you understand the principle, the one church per city idea will make sense. If you don't get the principle, it won't make sense.
Perhaps OCOC didn't start out as a doctrine, but I believe that's what it became. And at least according to the WL book I cited, he did not consider it a central article of faith, or at least at that time (1983).

And no, I'm not sure what specific principle you're referring to that it's based on - unless it's the principle of the One life in the one body.
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:17 PM   #68
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Perhaps OCOC didn't start out as a doctrine, but I believe that's what it became. And at least according to the WL book I cited, he did not consider it a central article of faith, or at least at that time (1983).

And no, I'm not sure what specific principle you're referring to that it's based on - unless it's the principle of the One life in the one body.
I see it like this - in each city, there is one church. So in practice, there should be one church, in each city.

The one body, or one loaf on the table principle, is one principle yes. But think about what one body means in practice, and how it relates to one church per city. Why is it per city, why not per one Creed or other thing?
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Old 06-12-2018, 04:23 PM   #69
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I see it like this - in each city, there is one church. So in practice, there should be one church, in each city.

The one body, or one loaf on the table principle, is one principle yes. But think about what one body means in practice, and how it relates to one church per city. Why is it per city, why not per one Creed or other thing?
I see it like that too. That's why I am free to fellowship with any one who has Christ in them, the hope of glory. As WL said in that book, just focus on the key items of the one faith and we won't get into divisive things. To me it makes no difference where they meet or what name they might happen to call themselves, because in reality we're all one bro!

Heading out the door to a baseball game and can't answer your question now. (but the answer's really simple - hint: it's the Arizona Diamondbacks)
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Old 06-12-2018, 05:45 PM   #70
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I know the answer, but many people don't. Maybe Drake knows, Sons to Glory maybe. If you understand the principle, the one church per city idea will make sense. If you don't get the principle, it won't make sense.
Loved this, had to retweet. Untohim- can we make this the featured post for Witness Wednesday?
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:48 PM   #71
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I see it like this - in each city, there is one church. So in practice, there should be one church, in each city.

The one body, or one loaf on the table principle, is one principle yes. But think about what one body means in practice, and how it relates to one church per city. Why is it per city, why not per one Creed or other thing?
O-tay, back to this.

Because everything else shifts (creeds, doctrines, people, etc.), but the church in Jerusalem is just that - simple. But then when that becomes just another doctrine (as has been discussed on here ad nauseum squared), it certainly can be just another divisive thing. Been there. Done that. Wore out and outgrew that t-shirt.

But it was still a really nice t-shirt for a time . . . but even really nice t-shirts fail (1 Cor 3:8). So I gave it up to seek the perfect thing.
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Old 06-13-2018, 01:48 PM   #72
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I remember reading a book I got so much enjoyment in my spirit from - and an incredible amount of grace (the most pleasurable aspect of grace - bubbling up from deep in my spirit). It was called the "Speciality, Generality & Practicality of the Church Life" by Witness Lee (1983). In fact, I can't recall being graced by any other book, apart from the Bible, more than this one! It showed how one we really are. This book talked about how to not focus on the minor doctrinal points and differences between believers - and, of course, there's a lot of them! The Lord spoke this to me in a way I could never forget --- most all Christian divisions are silly and vain works of the flesh. Lee said the only things we should hold firm to, with others, were just the key things of our faith, such as Christ's divinity; Him and His atoning work being the One Way; the Bible being the Word of God, etc. All else should be laid aside to not stumble a brother and to keep the oneness (that is, we should be very general about these noncritical things).

I just dug up my old coffee-stained copy of this book and quickly leafed through it again. I see nothing about the need to doggedly hold to a "one church - one city" doctrine as a central article of our faith. So, while I think OCOC is a sound principle illustrated in the NT, and I thank God for it, I don't think anyone should hold to it as a key article of their Christian faith - lest they cause a division by it.
I'm actually going to quote myself regarding this book, because it just occurred to me that this book was the first light He showed me regarding this matter. As I look back on the nearly 50 years of my Christian life, I see where He was always leading me to something and protecting and leading me away from something else. I marvel at His faithful preservation work over me, as I am certainly not smart enough to have figured these things out for myself! He gets the glory!

Through that WL book (which was pretty much all I was reading in those days + maybe a very few other "approved" authors) the Lord planted a seed in me. But after reading it, I continued to believe there was nothing of value outside the Recovery for some time. When we left Columbus OH, I had hooked up with a company that transferred me into the middle of the California Mojave Desert. I condemned myself over this, because I thought I had left God's only real move on the earth. In fact, I thought God would probably whack me good for it . . . But now I realize He put us there to dry out (that's what happens the desert) and prepare me for something new.

But for years I continued to think that the LC and its ministry were the one and only. This was until in utter despair I found myself at a Christian bookstore desperately looking for something to eat (after fasting in the desert). There were a ton of things there that were really just "junk food" Christianity or legal Christianity. It seemed as if it was all confirming what I believed was true - only the LC had the genuine article. I wandered around & around in that bookstore for over an hour, searching in despair . . . (it was a very big store)

Something said in me that I shouldn't go back to the LC, but what else was out there!? I was quite frustrated with God, and more than a little disillusioned.

But then Praise God! He led me to a book with the title, "Desiring God" by John Piper. There was something different about this book that drew me in. As I read it, words and life were leaping off the page! Could it be?! Could I have found something that was worthwhile outside of the Recovery!!?? I excitedly purchased the book and went home and started enjoying page after page over the next few weeks. This brother (Piper) had some very real and fresh experience of Christ!

Through my reading and seeking Him, my heart softened towards God. I was just starting to see what He was showing me. He then immediately led me to a group of seeking lovers of Jesus nearby, and began to show me about His love.

He is faithful!
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:18 PM   #73
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Default Re: Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery?

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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
O-tay, back to this.

Because everything else shifts (creeds, doctrines, people, etc.), but the church in Jerusalem is just that - simple. But then when that becomes just another doctrine (as has been discussed on here ad nauseum squared), it certainly can be just another divisive thing. Been there. Done that. Wore out and outgrew that t-shirt.

But it was still a really nice t-shirt for a time . . . but even really nice t-shirts fail (1 Cor 3:8). So I gave it up to seek the perfect thing.
Not quite the answer I was looking for but close because you mentioned the changeability of creeds, doctrines etc...

The reason is that for normal believers, locality is the only type of practical division which cannot be avoided. Division over anything else is avoidable (it can be changed). So naturally, Paul addresses different letters to Christians in different localities because that division is practically unavoidable.

So the reason for meeting by locality is because there is no other excuse one may give for not meeting with other believers. Now some may take this opportunity to say that those in the recovery should join a denomination but a denomination is not the default, normal, locality-grounded place for meeting but rather a faction. They are the ones who have the non-locality based excuse for not meeting with other believers.
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:20 PM   #74
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Default Re: Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery?

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So the reason for meeting by locality is because there is no other excuse one may give for not meeting with other believers. Now some may take this opportunity to say that those in the recovery should join a denomination but a denomination is not the default, normal, locality-grounded place for meeting but rather a faction. They are the ones who have the non-locality based excuse for not meeting with other believers.
Okay . . . Do you meet with other believers then, or am I misreading this?
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:37 PM   #75
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Default Re: Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery?

Okay, I've got another good thing I think that was promoted by the ol' Recovery. But first, here's what we have thus far:

1. Open meetings - encouraging all to function
2. The Emphasis on the Indwelling Christ
3. Calling on the name of the Lord
4. Taking in the Pure Milk of the Word
5. One church; One city


And, drum roll please, here's the next one I've thought of: "The Building"

There was a lot of teaching around the building aspect of God's purpose in the LC, but I must confess that I didn't start to see what it was all about until maybe 10 years ago (after leaving the Recovery). And I'd never heard much about this outside "The Recovery" or its "spin-offs" . . .that is up until yesterday when a national radio brother launched into a glorious 5 minute sharing of the dwelling place of God. It was so refreshing! He really appeared to see something and was going through all these incredible verses about the temple in both the Old and New Covenants. Wow! He talked about how we are now being built up, as living stones, into a dwelling place of God. Double WOW!

Up until that point, I don't think I'd heard this from a modern, contemporary Christian outside the greater LC circle of influence. Praise Him!

(What if the Universal Church really is like Sampson - who was pretty much in the toilet, but remembered who he was - and then finishes well!? With Sampson it happened in an instant, and his name gets added to the faithful ones in Hebrews 11.)
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:39 PM   #76
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Default Re: Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery?

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Okay . . . Do you meet with other believers then, or am I misreading this?
Define "other believers". Most people use the term to mean "different believers", where "different" refers to their denominational persuasion, but there is only one kind of believer. I use it to mean any other believer. I meet with any believer.
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Old 06-14-2018, 04:58 PM   #77
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Default Re: Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery?

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Define "other believers". Most people use the term to mean "different believers", where "different" refers to their denominational persuasion, but there is only one kind of believer. I use it to mean any other believer. I meet with any believer.
No - I meant it the way you said. (And good!)
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Old 06-22-2018, 03:02 PM   #78
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Default Re: Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery?

Here is where we are so far regarding good things the LC has promoted (again, not necessarily originated by the LC):

1. Open meetings - encouraging all to function
2. The Emphasis on the Indwelling Christ
3. Calling on the name of the Lord
4. Taking in the Pure Milk of the Word
5. One church; One city
6. The Building


So I mentioned a few posts ago where I heard a word from a radio preacher (Steve Gregg) recently who spoke a really rich word about how the church is a dwelling place of God. He gave several verses (OT & NT) regarding the building up for this purpose. I was nourished and encouraged. Years ago, while in the LC, I heard a lot about "The Building." But due to what I would call immaturity, I did not comprehend what this was about fully.

About 5 years ago I was camping in Colorado, and free from so many of the normal distractions, the Lord spoke something clearly to me. He told me that He was conveying His strongest desire in a way that we could understand, namely His Body, His Bride, and His Building. He impressed on me that there is nothing a man is more desirous of and focused on than these three things - his own body, his wife, and where he lives.

So the Lord has conveyed His heart's desire to us in a way we can easily identify with!
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Old 06-22-2018, 10:29 PM   #79
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Default Re: Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery?

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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
Here is where we are so far regarding good things the LC has promoted (again, not necessarily originated by the LC):

1. Open meetings - encouraging all to function
2. The Emphasis on the Indwelling Christ
3. Calling on the name of the Lord
4. Taking in the Pure Milk of the Word
5. One church; One city
6. The Building


So I mentioned a few posts ago where I heard a word from a radio preacher (Steve Gregg) recently who spoke a really rich word about how the church is a dwelling place of God. He gave several verses (OT & NT) regarding the building up for this purpose. I was nourished and encouraged. Years ago, while in the LC, I heard a lot about "The Building." But due to what I would call immaturity, I did not comprehend what this was about fully.

About 5 years ago I was camping in Colorado, and free from so many of the normal distractions, the Lord spoke something clearly to me. He told me that He was conveying His strongest desire in a way that we could understand, namely His Body, His Bride, and His Building. He impressed on me that there is nothing a man is more desirous of and focused on than these three things - his own body, his wife, and where he lives.

So the Lord has conveyed His heart's desire to us in a way we can easily identify with!
Yes, we heard much about building in TLR, and knew this is a matter on God’s heart. I’ve seen more practical building up among believers outside TLR in recent years and came to realize how often the word building up is associated with love. And, I think that was a missing ingredient in TLR, but see it much more talked about and practiced in community churches.
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Old Yesterday, 08:00 AM   #80
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Default Re: Some Good Things to Come Out of the Recovery?

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Yes, we heard much about building in TLR, and knew this is a matter on God’s heart. I’ve seen more practical building up among believers outside TLR in recent years and came to realize how often the word building up is associated with love. And, I think that was a missing ingredient in TLR, but see it much more talked about and practiced in community churches.
And you are exactly right, JJ! In my experience, I didn't start to see what the building meant to God, until I started to realize His love was the foundation for all He does.
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