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Old 01-04-2020, 11:54 PM   #1
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Default Bible as the Absolute Authority

One of the most important matter that the reformers brought to the protestant saints is that the believers submit to the Bible as the absolute authority. Regardless who you are, whether it's elder or newly saved one, you live your life according to the teaching of the Bible. But in the LC, many times, the saints live or are bound by the leading brothers. It is unnecessary for an elder to tell you who you should be married to etc. Many were brainwashed to think brother Lee is like a prophet, the life studies like the only explanation of the bible. This is why the LC can't work together with the rest of the body. Oh lord have mercy to lead this group back to the right path.
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Old 01-05-2020, 11:16 AM   #2
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Good word Unregistered ***35

However...

There is a danger and disconnect which can result in putting so much faith in scripture.

(Bible worship)<There's a danger in over using these two words also...

A balanced relationship with our God through both the guidance of scripture and The Holy Spirit.
The Supreme authority is and always have been Jesus. Not any local church, man or body...

May The LORD lead us ALL away from the religious spirit (Not just the LC) and back into His triumphant plan for the whosoever!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Hebrews 4:14
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Grace and Peace
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Old 01-05-2020, 07:26 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by manna-man View Post
Good word Unregistered ***35

However...

There is a danger and disconnect which can result in putting so much faith in scripture.

(Bible worship)<There's a danger in over using these two words also...

A balanced relationship with our God through both the guidance of scripture and The Holy Spirit.
The Supreme authority is and always have been Jesus. Not any local church, man or body...

May The LORD lead us ALL away from the religious spirit (Not just the LC) and back into His triumphant plan for the whosoever!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Hebrews 4:14
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Grace and Peace
Right, God has given us both His written word and His Holy Spirit to guide us https://biblehub.com/john/14-26.htm.

Too much emphasis on either one leads us away from the one who is the way, the truth, and the light. Jesus Christ.

I had many “debates” on this with a TLR supporter who hasn’t been around for a while. He was completely in the camp of the Holy Spirit plus TLR materials, and I tried to point him back to the Bible and the Holy Spirit together.
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Old 01-05-2020, 09:00 PM   #4
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Right, God has given us both His written word and His Holy Spirit to guide us https://biblehub.com/john/14-26.htm.

Too much emphasis on either one leads us away from the one who is the way, the truth, and the light. Jesus Christ.

I had many “debates” on this with a TLR supporter who hasn’t been around for a while. He was completely in the camp of the Holy Spirit plus TLR materials, and I tried to point him back to the Bible and the Holy Spirit together.
However, the leading of the Holy Spirit never conflicts with the written word.

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Old 01-06-2020, 06:26 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by JJ View Post
Right, God has given us both His written word and His Holy Spirit to guide us https://biblehub.com/john/14-26.htm.

Too much emphasis on either one leads us away from the one who is the way, the truth, and the light. Jesus Christ.

I had many “debates” on this with a TLR supporter who hasn’t been around for a while. He was completely in the camp of the Holy Spirit plus TLR materials, and I tried to point him back to the Bible and the Holy Spirit together.
Too much faith in the scripture? Are you saying God contradict himself with his own words? What do you means by being balance?
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:27 AM   #6
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However, the leading of the Holy Spirit never conflicts with the written word.

Nell
Right. That’s in the second part of John 14:26. The Holy Spirit reminds us of the things Jesus has said. Not a different gospel.
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Old 01-06-2020, 06:55 AM   #7
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Default Re: Bible as the Absolute Authority

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Originally Posted by jesusislord View Post
Too much faith in the scripture? Are you saying God contradict himself with his own words? What do you means by being balance?

Scripture says it all...

John 5:39 ►
SUM PIC XRF DEV STU
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
You study the Scriptures diligently because you think that in them you have eternal life. These are the very Scriptures that testify about me,

New Living Translation
“You search the Scriptures because you think they give you eternal life. But the Scriptures point to me!

English Standard Version
You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me,


You can know scripture but miss Him. Seek Him while He may be found....understand?

Reality vs. Shadows
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Old 01-06-2020, 11:09 AM   #8
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Default Re: Bible as the Absolute Authority

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Too much faith in the scripture? Are you saying God contradict himself with his own words? What do you means by being balance?
As others have pointed out, God has given us both His word and the Anointing to sustain us, and I would add having ongoing fellowship with others.

I see a good part of Christendom as having gone to the extreme of almost Bible worship. I can't tell you how many times I've heard things said like, "The Bible has all the answers. If you just follow its teachings you will lead a good Christian life." (Sometimes something is added like, "And be sure to go to the Lord with it" almost as an afterthought.) It is a an old covenant, legal and outward understanding of trying to live the Christian life . . .

This is really adding something to Christ alone. That is, it's saying believers should try to do something (spelled "flesh") to follow the outward letter. It looks spiritual because it's "following God's word." Galatians was written to address this. The new covenant is that God has written on our hearts and minds through the indwelling Spirit of Christ. It is God working IN us to transform us and give us the supply to do His will, not by just outwardly following the written word.

So we need BOTH the Word and the Spirit consistently - and also fellowship. (And, as others pointed out, the LC often tended to go to the other extreme.)
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Old 01-06-2020, 01:50 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
As others have pointed out, God has given us both His word and the Anointing to sustain us, and I would add having ongoing fellowship with others.

I see a good part of Christendom as having gone to the extreme of almost Bible worship. I can't tell you how many times I've heard things said like, "The Bible has all the answers. If you just follow its teachings you will lead a good Christian life." (Sometimes something is added like, "And be sure to go to the Lord with it" almost as an afterthought.) It is a an old covenant, legal and outward understanding of trying to live the Christian life . . .

This is really adding something to Christ alone. That is, it's saying believers should try to do something (spelled "flesh") to follow the outward letter. It looks spiritual because it's "following God's word." Galatians was written to address this. The new covenant is that God has written on our hearts and minds through the indwelling Spirit of Christ. It is God working IN us to transform us and give us the supply to do His will, not by just outwardly following the written word.

So we need BOTH the Word and the Spirit consistently - and also fellowship. (And, as others pointed out, the LC often tended to go to the other extreme.)
Brother StG, in love, and with appreciation for you as my brother in Christ, what the heck? This is contradicting within itself, and, has the LC taint of 'christendom' vs us who know something special....the Spirit. It is a huge assumption that those in 'christendom', when, trusting Jesus and His word, point to the scriptures as a solution for....you name it....it is a huge assumption that that is happening outside the Lords' spirit and leading, influence and teaching......how do you know? Are you the Holy Spirit? Have you searched each individual heart? Why, in 'christendom' is that precious trust then demoted to the ranks of 'flesh' 'old covenant' erroneous 'bible worship' and only 'looks spiritual'?

The Holy Spirit is living in the body, aside from the tares....each individual member planted by God Himself. Don't you think He is able to operate in every member who trusts the word to open it and look for the truth there, look for the Lord there? I do. The word is amazing. It carries out every claim God breathed there. It actually does operate! It actually does instruct! It is actually living!! It is a mystery I am only witness to, not qualified to expound upon, but brother, that view that we brought with us straight from the LC is a religious spirit. I rebuke it, in Jesus name.

Didn't the Lord ask us to hide his word in our hearts? And isn't it our lamp to our feet? If He gave it to us with so many functions, why look down on those who value it so? Because they are not.....what? Trained up in the Lee way? Educated enough on the indwelling Holy Spirit? Is this not here in the word? Do they not have access to this truth and the reality of it....in the very book they promote? You are so right about our need for the word and the Spirit, and fellowship in the body.....but your thinking of the body lacking one or more of these elements....well that would take your personal intimate fellowship with each member of Christs' body to discern. Do you know each member?

Last edited by byHismercy; 01-06-2020 at 04:00 PM. Reason: Cleaned up the language...my apologies
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:29 AM   #10
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Default Re: Bible as the Absolute Authority

With all respect due to the members of the forum, let's please revisit the original post. The topic was, as I understand it, that the scripture was being overturned by something I heard called "the interpreted word", and that interpretation being by one person alone who happened to be both author and publisher of a line of books, which publications were exclusively sold in churches affiliated with said publisher, to the point of anathamization if they did not buy and promote the publisher's materials! Now, what do you think that did to God's ability to speak to us through His word?

Let's try to stay close to the topic. Thanks.
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:08 AM   #11
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With all respect due to the members of the forum, let's please revisit the original post. The topic was, as I understand it, that the scripture was being overturned by something I heard called "the interpreted word", and that interpretation being by one person alone who happened to be both author and publisher of a line of books, which publications were exclusively sold in churches affiliated with said publisher, to the point of anathamization if they did not buy and promote the publisher's materials! Now, what do you think that did to God's ability to speak to us through His word?

Let's try to stay close to the topic. Thanks.
If ByHisMercy's post was not on topic, then what does "staying close to topic" even mean?

Let me then apologize in advance for potentially posting off topic.
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Old 01-07-2020, 06:41 AM   #12
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If ByHisMercy's post was not on topic, then what does "staying close to topic" even mean?
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One of the most important matter that the reformers brought to the protestant saints is that the believers submit to the Bible as the absolute authority. Regardless who you are, whether it's elder or newly saved one, you live your life according to the teaching of the Bible.
No, you're probably right on this. BHM seems to be supporting the original post.

In the case of the LC, we were told not to trust anything but the "interpreted word", which contradicted itself occasionally, which went against the NT reception of scripture, calling OT sections (e.g., 1/2 of the Psalms) "fallen" and so forth.

I've told this story before, what happened in the LC meeting when I quoted the "wrong verses". It didn't go over well. That section of the Bible didn't line up with the vision of the age, and should be ignored. The leaders of a group which specialized in teasing "Christ" out of the silver sockets of the ark, out of the windows in Noah's ark, suddenly didn't want to look at what the text of the Bible was saying.
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Old 01-07-2020, 07:47 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by byHismercy View Post
Brother StG, in love, and with appreciation for you as my brother in Christ, what the heck? This is contradicting within itself, and, has the LC taint of 'christendom' vs us who know something special....the Spirit. It is a huge assumption that those in 'christendom', when, trusting Jesus and His word, point to the scriptures as a solution for....you name it....it is a huge assumption that that is happening outside the Lords' spirit and leading, influence and teaching......how do you know? Are you the Holy Spirit? Have you searched each individual heart? Why, in 'christendom' is that precious trust then demoted to the ranks of 'flesh' 'old covenant' erroneous 'bible worship' and only 'looks spiritual'?
Sorry if that bothered you. It is just my observation that the fact of the indwelling Christ is not well appreciated by many I listen to on radio and TV, and in person when I visit many (but not all) other gatherings. Gosh, I certainly didn't mean it in an "us vs. them" context - God forbid, and forgive me if it came across that way.

But I stand by the observation that - it seems to me - that many are stuck in a form of Bible worship, without appreciating that without Christ's life lived out through us, we can do nothing. I truly don't mean to impugn brothers and sisters who do this. Shoot, if I could, I'd live the daily Christian life without Christ! What I mean is my flesh tries to do exactly that every day . . . but alas, the past 45 years experience is teaching me that it's all impossible without Him living through me.

A brother at my local gathering spoke something like this last Sunday (actually quoting another brother), "Religion is just trying to live the Christian life without the indwelling Christ." I think this is accurate & true. (and as mentioned, is brought out in Galatians)

As I said in the prior post, we need both the written word and the indwelling Spirit to make it all come alive. Without the Spirit, it's a dead letter - lots of good knowledge and principles, but devoid of life supply to live it out. To be sure, to focus on one without the other is an error. And at the end of my post, I did say the LC tended to focus too much on the spiritual aspect (and therefore they left the interpretation of the written word to WL).

I hope that clarifies and makes sense. (and please let me know if you still think I'm in left field somewhere . . .)
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Old 01-07-2020, 08:48 AM   #14
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James defines "religion" as what Paul would call "good works" and Jesus would call "loving your neighbor as yourself." The problem, at least to my thinking, is not so-called religion, but hypocrisy. Jesus did not condemn religion, especially that given thru Moses. Jesus rather condemned hypocrisy, unbelief, deceptions, preventing others from entering the kingdom.

"Living the Christian life without the indwelling Christ?!?"

For decades I have listened to many talk this way, and they are the most guilty. (Romans 2.1)
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Old 01-07-2020, 10:33 AM   #15
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James defines "religion" as what Paul would call "good works" and Jesus would call "loving your neighbor as yourself." The problem, at least to my thinking, is not so-called religion, but hypocrisy. Jesus did not condemn religion, especially that given thru Moses. Jesus rather condemned hypocrisy, unbelief, deceptions, preventing others from entering the kingdom.

"Living the Christian life without the indwelling Christ?!?"

For decades I have listened to many talk this way, and they are the most guilty. (Romans 2.1)
Well there ya go, Pilgrim! (trivia Q - where's that from?)

So what would you say the new covenant is about, bro?
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:13 AM   #16
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Sorry if that bothered you. It is just my observation that the fact of the indwelling Christ is not well appreciated by many I listen to on radio and TV, and in person when I visit many (but not all) other gatherings. Gosh, I certainly didn't mean it in an "us vs. them" context - God forbid, and forgive me if it came across that way.

But I stand by the observation that - it seems to me - that many are stuck in a form of Bible worship, without appreciating that without Christ's life lived out through us, we can do nothing. I truly don't mean to impugn brothers and sisters who do this. Shoot, if I could, I'd live the daily Christian life without Christ! What I mean is my flesh tries to do exactly that every day . . . but alas, the past 45 years experience is teaching me that it's all impossible without Him living through me.

A brother at my local gathering spoke something like this last Sunday (actually quoting another brother), "Religion is just trying to live the Christian life without the indwelling Christ." I think this is accurate & true. (and as mentioned, is brought out in Galatians)

As I said in the prior post, we need both the written word and the indwelling Spirit to make it all come alive. Without the Spirit, it's a dead letter - lots of good knowledge and principles, but devoid of life supply to live it out. To be sure, to focus on one without the other is an error. And at the end of my post, I did say the LC tended to focus too much on the spiritual aspect (and therefore they left the interpretation of the written word to WL).

I hope that clarifies and makes sense. (and please let me know if you still think I'm in left field somewhere . . .)
What I could have said with more grace, is, that I believe our trust in scripture is the outward manifestation of our faith in Jesus the son of God. Just like baptism. It is a visible display of our invisible faith. It is our faith in Jesus that brings us to Gods word, and our faith in Jesus that issues in trust in His word. And praise Jesus, brother.....Rom 3

(22)even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:

(23)for all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;

(24)being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus:

Maybe it was me that made the huge assumption. But we have the righteousness of God upon us, in spite of the fact we have zero righteousness in us without our faith in Christ. I am just thankful for this today. And the Holy Spirit is operating in those who believe, and that, mysteriously, partly, through His word. I mean, what mystery....Jesus Himself is the Word of God. But thank you for clarifying, brother. I think I know what you mean now.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:35 AM   #17
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Well there ya go, Pilgrim! (trivia Q - where's that from?)
Where is what from?
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:40 AM   #18
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One of the most important matter that the reformers brought to the protestant saints is that the believers submit to the Bible as the absolute authority. Regardless who you are, whether it's elder or newly saved one, you live your life according to the teaching of the Bible. But in the LC, many times, the saints live or are bound by the leading brothers. It is unnecessary for an elder to tell you who you should be married to etc. Many were brainwashed to think brother Lee is like a prophet, the life studies like the only explanation of the bible. This is why the LC can't work together with the rest of the body. Oh lord have mercy to lead this group back to the right path.
Respectfully back to the opening post, and back to the topic of arranged marriages, where do we see precedent set for such activity in scripture? The putting together of young people by the behest of the elders.....what purpose does this serve and is there ANY scriptural basis for this? I have not seen it.

When I was in the LC, sisters were sent to speak to me regarding the relationship I was in before I met my now spouse, and then afterward, again, I was 'counciled' regarding my spouse. I married him anyway. I guess you can see I didn't make a very good LCer.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:50 AM   #19
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"Well there ya go, Pilgrim!" (trivia Q - where's that from?)
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Where is what from?
FYI The quote is a paraphrase from John Wayne's character in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." (now aren't you glad you asked?)
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:46 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Sons to Glory! View Post
"Well there ya go, Pilgrim!" (trivia Q - where's that from?)

FYI The quote is a paraphrase from John Wayne's character in "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance." (now aren't you glad you asked?)

I'm just thrilled. But I always preferred East Clintwood.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:52 PM   #21
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Respectfully back to the opening post, and back to the topic of arranged marriages, where do we see precedent set for such activity in scripture? The putting together of young people by the behest of the elders.....what purpose does this serve and is there ANY scriptural basis for this? I have not seen it.

When I was in the LC, sisters were sent to speak to me regarding the relationship I was in before I met my now spouse, and then afterward, again, I was 'counciled' regarding my spouse. I married him anyway. I guess you can see I didn't make a very good LCer.
Right byHismercy, you make a lousy LCer.

My conclusion to your question is this -- those in the LC system see their controlling of others as "shepherding," especially at the conclusion of the FTT.
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Old 01-07-2020, 03:29 PM   #22
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Right byHismercy, you make a lousy LCer.

My conclusion to your question is this -- those in the LC system see their controlling of others as "shepherding," especially at the conclusion of the FTT.
Is that a cult thing? As in, if they can get you to bow down to them in such a personal, intimate, life long commitment......to even marry someone you don't love for the church, then they have your obedience in everything else.....it is a progressive system, I think. Step by step, until one trusts their leaders opinion above their own. Even trusting the leading brothers over your own council from the Lord. I remember the young sister who shepherded me into the LC in college. She was completely broken hearted because the boy she was in love with she could not marry. She was put together with a man who also just came out of the FTT. I can remember her crying with me. It was so sad. The turn around was so quick....seems like a week later she was engaged to this man I had never heard of and she acted happy about it. But looking back I am sure she was separated from her love because he wasn't in the church life. She and at least 2 other sisters I watched being married off in the same way.

I think to give your life over in the biggest commitment you will maybe ever make, if later, you discover an issue in which you have a dispute with those leaders, you would feel so foolish. You already said, in effect, they must know better than I on the matter of who I should spend the rest of my life with....
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Old 01-07-2020, 04:03 PM   #23
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No, you're probably right on this. BHM seems to be supporting the original post.

In the case of the LC, we were told not to trust anything but the "interpreted word", which contradicted itself occasionally, which went against the NT reception of scripture, calling OT sections (e.g., 1/2 of the Psalms) "fallen" and so forth.

I've told this story before, what happened in the LC meeting when I quoted the "wrong verses". It didn't go over well. That section of the Bible didn't line up with the vision of the age, and should be ignored. The leaders of a group which specialized in teasing "Christ" out of the silver sockets of the ark, out of the windows in Noah's ark, suddenly didn't want to look at what the text of the Bible was saying.
I do support the opening posters' comments. In the case of Lee, and his interpretation of scripture, I would discard it in favor of the plain word of God interpreted via the indwelling Spirit! And in conjunction with Him, if we find supportive teachings that seem to be aligned with the word and aid in understanding, that's great too. Lately I have been learning to look at scripture with a viewpoint of dispensationalism and I believe this to be so helpful. My newfound understanding is helping me a lot.
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Old 01-07-2020, 11:31 PM   #24
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Respectfully back to the opening post, and back to the topic of arranged marriages, where do we see precedent set for such activity in scripture? The putting together of young people by the behest of the elders.....what purpose does this serve and is there ANY scriptural basis for this? I have not seen it.
What about Isaac and Rebekah? Gen. 24. Arranged by their fathers, “technically” not elders in the church, but likely the misused justification for arranged marriages today.

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Old 01-08-2020, 07:40 AM   #25
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I'm just thrilled. But I always preferred East Clintwood.
And therefore we will "Endeavor to persevere" with this thread that's going who knows where . . .
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:08 AM   #26
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The whole idea as the absolute authority is somewhat ridiculous. No matter how you want to read it, it can never be seen as a concise compendium of what is absolutely THE answer to very many things. Rather, it is the revelation of the One who is the answer to everything.

Now in saying that God/Christ/the Spirit is "the answer to everything," I am not suggesting that you will find the answers to your physics homework by praying to God (not that he cannot provide the answers, but that he almost always will not). It's just that this is not what he is here for.

The problem with the bible as the absolute authority is, as suggested, that given the manner in which it is provided — stories, examples, metaphors, parables, etc. — there are not too many things on which it makes clear and unequivocal statements. Not saying that it "equivocates," but that it seldom makes its pronouncements that directly. If it were so absolute and precise, it would be too difficult to cover all it needs to without either being a library-sized encyclopedia or be woefully short on what it did cover.

And on the things it does seem to talk about, it does so in terms that are less-than direct and specific. That is part of the reason that there is even confusion on what precisely is required for salvation. In most evangelical circles (of which I am generally a part), there is a dire need for a date and time on which, in a somewhat "crisis" or decisive moment, you made a "decision" to "put your faith in Christ" (or other such terminology). And we tend to be suspicious of the salvation of those in older "traditions" who grow-up learning of God and Christ and eventually come to believe. If you ask those people when they "became a Christian," their answer is often vague or unsure because their belief is something that came to be over time, not all at once. Yet they believe, so how do you eliminate them? (BTW, when I say "unsure," I do not mean that they are not sure of their salvation, but that they cannot pinpoint a time and date of belief like an evangelical generally does.)

And all of this came from the same bible and is supported by it.

Don't get me started on predestination and the notion of absolute active sovereignty over everything v free will. Or the truth (or lack thereof) of the notion of falling away (losing salvation). I can justify both positions.

But it does record the gradual revelation of God — from creation (in a rather few vague descriptives) to the one who called Abram and eventually convinced him he would actually bear a son through his presumed-barren wife Sarah, to the one who parted the Red Sea and the River Jordan, caused a walled city to collapse, etc. And who eventually could no longer tolerate the spiritual adultery of the "chosen people" and let them suffer in Babylon, then brought them back (while still under the rule of others) to rebuild their temple.

Then came the promised savior. Not a military king, but a way (or the way) to live in the manner that had been decreed from the beginning.

A lot of good stuff for those whose desire is to believe, obey, and follow the one we call the Lord of lords. And for most of the act of belief, obedience, and following, having an opinion on predestination, when (or if) the rapture will occur, or the timespan and manner of creation, or understanding penal substitutionary atonement just isn't important. And the bible, as it is( rather than as a perfect compendium of everything), is quite profitable.

So, for an absolute authority, the Bible is actually rather poor. But as a revelation of God, it is excellent. And as a profitable source for teaching in righteousness, it is highly recommended (and with the inclusion of Paul's letters in the NT, it recommends itself).
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:27 AM   #27
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as a profitable source for teaching in righteousness, it is highly recommended (and with the inclusion of Paul's letters in the NT, it recommends itself).
Also in Psalm 19 and 119, it recommends itself. And either the words are true, or they are not.
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Old 01-08-2020, 08:47 AM   #28
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It just occurred to me (therefore it could be wrong!) that a possible problem with the "Bible as the Absolute Authority" is that the Bible says so many things that can be pointed to to apply in any situation.

I remember the illustration someone made (was it possibly Max R?) that they were sure the Bible had all the answers and God would show it to them. So they put a Bible overhead and flipped the pages to see what scripture would be presented to follow. Without looking they put their finger on a verse and it landed on Matt 27:5; "Then he went away and hanged himself!” (referring to Judas)

So this admittedly is kind of a silly illustration. But hopefully the inner Anointing with fellowship is applied before hanging oneself!
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Old 01-08-2020, 09:05 AM   #29
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It just occurred to me (therefore it could be wrong!) that a possible problem with the "Bible as the Absolute Authority" is that the Bible says so many things that can be pointed to to apply in any situation.

I remember the illustration someone made (was it possibly Max R?) that they were sure the Bible had all the answers and God would show it to them. So they put a Bible overhead and flipped the pages to see what scripture would be presented to follow. Without looking they put their finger on a verse and it landed on Matt 27:5; "Then he went away and hanged himself!” (referring to Judas)

So this admittedly is kind of a silly illustration. But hopefully the inner Anointing with fellowship is applied before hanging oneself!
I heard a similar story as a preacher joke. 1st opening "And Haman hanged himself..." 2nd opening "go and do thou likewise".
I think this was actually a George Whitington story.

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Old 01-08-2020, 09:45 AM   #30
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I heard a similar story as a preacher joke. 1st opening "And Haman hanged himself..." 2nd opening "go and do thou likewise".
I think this was actually a George Whitington story.

Nell
It would be funny except for the hundreds of times the Lord has spoken precisely to my exact situation from letting the word fall open at random and reading the first verse I see. I'm not knocking proper study of the word, though!
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Old 01-08-2020, 10:27 AM   #31
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James defines "religion" as what Paul would call "good works" and Jesus would call "loving your neighbor as yourself." The problem, at least to my thinking, is not so-called religion, but hypocrisy. Jesus did not condemn religion, especially that given thru Moses. Jesus rather condemned hypocrisy, unbelief, deceptions, preventing others from entering the kingdom.

"Living the Christian life without the indwelling Christ?!?"

For decades I have listened to many talk this way, and they are the most guilty. (Romans 2.1)
It seems like this issue boils down to an LC perspective and it, I think, is inaccurate. In the LC we were taught we had to exercise our spirit in order to join with the Holy Spirit, to mingle ourselves with God, but the way I see it now, it was all works based. Just like many things LC, works based salvation was preached against, then Lee invented his own but labeled it something else.

Scripture says he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

If we are talking about 'religion' (this is the LC/bad religion) being some kind of practicing to be a Christian without the Spirit.....the only ones able to do this would be the unregenerated. I don't believe it is possible for a born again Christian to 'practice christianity apart from the Holy Spirit'. That is a distinctly Lee teaching, and I think he used it to make his distinction between his group and the rest of the genuine body of Christ. I don't think his teaching has any validity.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:19 PM   #32
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It seems like this issue boils down to an LC perspective and it, I think, is inaccurate. In the LC we were taught we had to exercise our spirit in order to join with the Holy Spirit, to mingle ourselves with God, but the way I see it now, it was all works based. Just like many things LC, works based salvation was preached against, then Lee invented his own but labeled it something else.

Scripture says he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

If we are talking about 'religion' (this is the LC/bad religion) being some kind of practicing to be a Christian without the Spirit.....the only ones able to do this would be the unregenerated. I don't believe it is possible for a born again Christian to 'practice christianity apart from the Holy Spirit'. That is a distinctly Lee teaching, and I think he used it to make his distinction between his group and the rest of the genuine body of Christ. I don't think his teaching has any validity.
Great points here.

How does one know what is in the heart of his fellow believer? How can anyone categorically claim that others are "living the Christian life without the indwelling Spirit?" This is the kind of gross generalizations that WL built his ministry on. Today his former and current followers still think and speak this way.

How can anyone pass such judgments on others? Because one does not attend your trainings? Because one does not shout training slogans? Because one is a quiet and reserved Christian? I could go on forever here with all the criticisms which were passed on to me in the LC.

Let me get passed beloved brother STG and his loving congregation in AZ, and get to the source of this statement. How does one critique others of "living the Christian life without the indwelling Spirit" and then regularly file lawsuits against Christians? Cover up crimes of abuse and immorality in their church businesses? Train others to seek only "good material?" Deceive this "good material" of who you really are?

How can this be? What kind of indwelling spirit is that?
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:35 PM   #33
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What about Isaac and Rebekah? Gen. 24. Arranged by their fathers, “technically” not elders in the church, but likely the misused justification for arranged marriages today.

Nell
I remember talking to a Christian brother from India here studying at the University. He talked about how willing he was to trust his parents to find him a wife when he returned home. He willingly accepted this arranged marriage because of their love and wisdom for him. Obviously he was no fool. He knew 4 languages and was finishing a doctorate.

Compare this to LC arranged marriages: mostly rushed, spur-of-the-moment arrangements, good for the church, but with minimal concern for those involved. I watched too many of these. Supposedly the "cross" would fix any problems down the road.

Much to the contrary, read carefully the shepherding care of Abraham and his servant working together with the Spirit of God to find Isaac a bride. (Genesis 24)
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:35 PM   #34
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Also in Psalm 19 and 119, it recommends itself. And either the words are true, or they are not.
I always like Psalm 19.

"The heavens are telling the glory of God."

Sang that in a choir back in high school. ("The Creation" by Hyden)

So not only does the Bible reveal God, but the very heavens do the same without words. And Paul underscores this in Romans. We all know something of God because of what is seen around us. We may dismiss it as simply "
natural," but it is there.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:48 PM   #35
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How does one know what is in the heart of his fellow believer? How can anyone categorically claim that others are "living the Christian life without the indwelling Spirit?" This is the kind of gross generalizations that WL built his ministry on. Today his former and current followers still think and speak this way.
Right. One needs two faces. One for condemning a thing, the second to practice said thing under a different 'banner'.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:58 PM   #36
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Right. One needs two faces. One for condemning a thing, the second to practice said thing under a different 'banner'.
Or as James said, a "double-souled" man.
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Old 01-08-2020, 02:07 PM   #37
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I didn't mean to imply all who submit to arranged marriages are foolish. Actually, I think it could open the door for the Lord to arrange blessing on a couple....and be a wonderful marriage. I simply suspect the LC motives in their involvement. And I do think it is part of a cultic indoctrination. I think it is very possible to give so much personal power over to a group until it becomes too late, in a sense, to dispute them. One can transfer control over away from oneself until that one literally has no control over their own lives. But of course, it is an illusion. A lie the enemy got them to believe. One that the Lord could help them wash off.
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Old 01-11-2020, 02:55 AM   #38
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I think it is very possible to give so much personal power over to a group until it becomes too late, in a sense, to dispute them. One can transfer control over away from oneself until that one literally has no control over their own lives..
In the Casteel Open Letter one can see what this looks like as it plays out. The Casteels were reading the Bible, and experiencing and seeing things different from what the Bible says, but to even consciously note that discrepancy caused a reflexive response within - "I'm being negative!! No!!"

One must not, under any circumstances, question leadership. It is deeply ingrained and embedded in all the "oneness" teachings. Related, Casteel said that she started shaking and crying as she typed in search words on Google, trying to find information about this group. Again, one must never seek an alternate narrative, explanation or understanding, other than the one given by leadership.

And she clearly identified what was going on in all this: it was fear, being used to control and manipulate people. As you say, "cultic indoctrination". As adults it's bad enough. I know, I was there. But in children it's brutal. They simply have never had any other frame of reference.
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:34 AM   #39
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Can someone please summarize the discussion on this thread in the last couple days, and how that applies to the topic at hand? Thanks. (not saying it doesn't apply . . . just not sure how)
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:21 PM   #40
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Can someone please summarize the discussion on this thread in the last couple days, and how that applies to the topic at hand? Thanks. (not saying it doesn't apply . . . just not sure how)
Squirrel! Oh let’s go chase it. No, rabbit over there, let’s chase that, wait. What, we’re off topic? This is fun!
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Old 01-11-2020, 05:14 PM   #41
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Can someone please summarize the discussion on this thread in the last couple days, and how that applies to the topic at hand? Thanks. (not saying it doesn't apply . . . just not sure how)
First post said that Martin Luther recovered the authority of scripture in church, and Witness Lee and his Local Church effectively overturned that. I referenced the Jo Casteel Facebook letter to show how that played out in the LC. The Bible, i.e. the "pure word", was replaced by the "interpreted word" and any loss in meaning was collateral damage, along with our consciences, our ability to think critically, and so on. And so "interpretation" became a means of control.
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:21 AM   #42
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First post said that Martin Luther recovered the authority of scripture in church, and Witness Lee and his Local Church effectively overturned that. I referenced the Jo Casteel Facebook letter to show how that played out in the LC. The Bible, i.e. the "pure word", was replaced by the "interpreted word" and any loss in meaning was collateral damage, along with our consciences, our ability to think critically, and so on. And so "interpretation" became a means of control.
Thanks! I must admit I got a little lost in exactly where the thread had gone . . .

Yes, I would agree regarding "the interpreted word." And lets face it, this happens a lot in all of Christianity. That is, members taking what someone else has interpreted for them, to some degree or another. But the last LC gathering I participated in, maybe 10 years ago in Tacoma WA, was all about the interpreted word of Witness Lee and I saw it firsthand. It was a huge contrast to what I'd been experiencing in Scottsdale. That is, here various ones always feel completely free to openly share their fresh light & experience of the Lord that they have had throughout the week. I enjoyed the hymn singing in Tacoma and a little fellowship, but then it became very apparent that the air of WL was most pervasive and overpowering in everyone's sharing. The freedom was lost, it seemed, to share anything not according to some sort of pre-ordained WL script.

I can only speak to that experience in the Tacoma LC from 10 years ago, because that's all I personally have - haven't been to a LC meeting since. But in hearing from many on this forum, everyone says that this unhealthy focus on all things WL (instead of Christ alone) has continued - and maybe gotten worse - to this day.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:24 PM   #43
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Good word Unregistered ***35

However...

There is a danger and disconnect which can result in putting so much faith in scripture.

(Bible worship)<There's a danger in over using these two words also...

A balanced relationship with our God through both the guidance of scripture and The Holy Spirit.
The Supreme authority is and always have been Jesus. Not any local church, man or body...

May The LORD lead us ALL away from the religious spirit (Not just the LC) and back into His triumphant plan for the whosoever!

2 Timothy 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)
16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Hebrews 4:14
Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Grace and Peace
This is great for the individual-I can read the scriptures and feel the Spirit is guiding me, but when there are two, there are differences of opinion, three and some quarrel, four and sects, five and divisions, and geometrically resulting in today’s Christianity. The real question is are there some who are God given spiritual know-it-alls who should reign over the consciences of the little believers. Is it God appointed to have supreme spiritual leaders. Much, if not all of Christiandum has gone this way-the individual has to give up their “touch with the Lord” for the greater good of the whole.
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Old 01-13-2020, 01:59 PM   #44
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When I first encountered the local church in ‘74, I thought “wow, Christians meeting together apart from the nonsense, and people were free to speak what they felt were their spiritual experiences”. The elders were there so that things didn’t get too crazy, and we had fellowship with other like minded localities. Trainings were a gathering together to hear an older experienced brother share scripture. Slowly, that older brother became the benchmark for spiritual truth and authority. Some of the elders in my locality left because of this, and the others signed off the “local” for the Mr. Big rule.
One would think that the saints and elders in the locality would read the word and be guided by the Spirit to come to their senses and reject the great rule of “God’s Anointed”, but they walked away from the simplicity of meeting together as the local church, and I left because my individual conscience did not agree with the “corporate” word and spirit.

Since that time, I’ve had a hard time jumping into any Christian organization, because none seem to have the desire for that simple Christian gathering experience that I found in the early 70’s. It’s not that I’m without Christian fellowship, it’s just that the idea of turning over my conscience to an authority or organization is not there. I’m fine with reading scripture and discussing it, I’m fine with praying and seeking God’s guidance, I’m not fine with the organizations that seem to replace the “church” with their own dogmas. I would say this is a historical, major problem with the church.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:26 AM   #45
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When I first encountered the local church in ‘74, I thought “wow, Christians meeting together apart from the nonsense, and people were free to speak what they felt were their spiritual experiences”. The elders were there so that things didn’t get too crazy, and we had fellowship with other like minded localities. Trainings were a gathering together to hear an older experienced brother share scripture. Slowly, that older brother became the benchmark for spiritual truth and authority. Some of the elders in my locality left because of this, and the others signed off the “local” for the Mr. Big rule.
One would think that the saints and elders in the locality would read the word and be guided by the Spirit to come to their senses and reject the great rule of “God’s Anointed”, but they walked away from the simplicity of meeting together as the local church, and I left because my individual conscience did not agree with the “corporate” word and spirit.

Since that time, I’ve had a hard time jumping into any Christian organization, because none seem to have the desire for that simple Christian gathering experience that I found in the early 70’s. It’s not that I’m without Christian fellowship, it’s just that the idea of turning over my conscience to an authority or organization is not there. I’m fine with reading scripture and discussing it, I’m fine with praying and seeking God’s guidance, I’m not fine with the organizations that seem to replace the “church” with their own dogmas. I would say this is a historical, major problem with the church.
I think that one of the problems is that the LRC took what was being bridled by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians and reopened the spigot to create something that appeals to anyone who thinks the best meetings are a free-for-all.

Remember that in that letter, Paul pointed to the fact that "everyone has" a song, hymn, tongue, prophecy, etc., then went on to put limits on it all. Some of it was to suggest that there should be no tongue that would not be interpreted (presumably by someone who could actually understand the language — otherwise the "interpretation" could be whatever that person wanted to say no matter how unrelated to the alleged tongue it might be). The rest was to give boundaries for how many. Even to prophecying. I know we like to latch onto "all can prophecy," but Paul had already limited the number to prophesy to 2 or 3, so "all" cannot be understood as the whole congregation unless we ignore the restraint to only have 2 or 3.

But once we get the taste of popping up and saying something and getting that enthusiastic encouragement of "amen" — possibly more than once — it just "feels" like it was a spiritual thing and therefore must be supported by the Bible.
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Old 01-14-2020, 06:36 AM   #46
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Boxjobox the model of the one big cheese who has all of the spiritual insight up front by himself was never there in the first place (there was always a group of apostles with different viewpoints that when taken together with the prophetic writings of old compose the whole truth and the same is true today). One need not dismiss the whole of Christendom and avoid it. As with old times brothers and sisters with discernment are called to discern the spirits of today’s prophets, reject and walk away from the charlatans who gather sheep to feed their own greed and licentiousness and not despise the prophecies of those who with humble, selfless hearts, announce the gospel according to their God given gifts regardless of cost and are willing to work with others with different but complementing viewpoints with scripture (not their ministry or ministries) as the arbiter of truth, and God’s Holy Spirit of Truth testifies to it as well. When you have found that, it’s out there, sometimes hidden, you have found the ekklesia as God intends it. I have seen it in every city. Keep looking, it’s there. There is a One Body Life event “What does Ekklesia Look Like” near Sacramento Saturday to explore this very thing.
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:35 AM   #47
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Default Re: Bible as the Absolute Authority

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When I first encountered the local church in ‘74, I thought “wow, Christians meeting together apart from the nonsense, and people were free to speak what they felt were their spiritual experiences”. The elders were there so that things didn’t get too crazy, and we had fellowship with other like minded localities. Trainings were a gathering together to hear an older experienced brother share scripture. Slowly, that older brother became the benchmark for spiritual truth and authority. Some of the elders in my locality left because of this, and the others signed off the “local” for the Mr. Big rule.
One would think that the saints and elders in the locality would read the word and be guided by the Spirit to come to their senses and reject the great rule of “God’s Anointed”, but they walked away from the simplicity of meeting together as the local church, and I left because my individual conscience did not agree with the “corporate” word and spirit.

Since that time, I’ve had a hard time jumping into any Christian organization, because none seem to have the desire for that simple Christian gathering experience that I found in the early 70’s. It’s not that I’m without Christian fellowship, it’s just that the idea of turning over my conscience to an authority or organization is not there. I’m fine with reading scripture and discussing it, I’m fine with praying and seeking God’s guidance, I’m not fine with the organizations that seem to replace the “church” with their own dogmas. I would say this is a historical, major problem with the church.
Much my experience . . . I was even lead to my first LC gathering in 74! And I agree, I relish the open meetings with the freedom for all to participate! There are some groups out there that do this, but admittedly I haven't found many. Large gatherings may have small groups where there is better participation for each member.

Too bad the general LC practice of open/participative meetings didn't catch on much elsewhere . . . (let's see how much flack I catch for saying that on here)
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Old 01-14-2020, 07:40 AM   #48
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Boxjobox the model of the one big cheese who has all of the spiritual insight up front by himself was never there in the first place (there was always a group of apostles with different viewpoints that when taken together with the prophetic writings of old compose the whole truth and the same is true today). One need not dismiss the whole of Christendom and avoid it. As with old times brothers and sisters with discernment are called to discern the spirits of today’s prophets, reject and walk away from the charlatans who gather sheep to feed their own greed and licentiousness and not despise the prophecies of those who with humble, selfless hearts, announce the gospel according to their God given gifts regardless of cost and are willing to work with others with different but complementing viewpoints with scripture (not their ministry or ministries) as the arbiter of truth, and God’s Holy Spirit of Truth testifies to it as well. When you have found that, it’s out there, sometimes hidden, you have found the ekklesia as God intends it. I have seen it in every city. Keep looking, it’s there. There is a One Body Life event “What does Ekklesia Look Like” near Sacramento Saturday to explore this very thing.
JJ- I think you are a little "all over the map" in this response. Here we have a question of authority of the Bible, the ekklesia, keep looking, the apostles, and about two thousand years later exploring a One Body Life, and a call not to dismiss the whole of Christondum? I think your response illustrates my point.
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Old 01-14-2020, 08:11 AM   #49
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I think that one of the problems is that the LRC took what was being bridled by Paul in his letter to the Corinthians and reopened the spigot to create something that appeals to anyone who thinks the best meetings are a free-for-all.

Remember that in that letter, Paul pointed to the fact that "everyone has" a song, hymn, tongue, prophecy, etc., then went on to put limits on it all. Some of it was to suggest that there should be no tongue that would not be interpreted (presumably by someone who could actually understand the language — otherwise the "interpretation" could be whatever that person wanted to say no matter how unrelated to the alleged tongue it might be). The rest was to give boundaries for how many. Even to prophecying. I know we like to latch onto "all can prophecy," but Paul had already limited the number to prophesy to 2 or 3, so "all" cannot be understood as the whole congregation unless we ignore the restraint to only have 2 or 3.

But once we get the taste of popping up and saying something and getting that enthusiastic encouragement of "amen" — possibly more than once — it just "feels" like it was a spiritual thing and therefore must be supported by the Bible.
[

It wasn't the pop up free for all that excited me, but the meeting where fellowship, and prayer, and praise, and singing etc., included all the saints. Most current Christian gatherings are pastor driven. In the LC, it went from fellowship to LSM dogma. The content of the LC became not the fellowship of the saints, but a selling of one's soul to LSM. You might say the soul of the LC became LSM.
I value the priesthood of every believer- in modern Christian church gatherings, it's pretty much pastoral.
So, in my view, what started in the LC thing as a recovery of the priesthood of every believer- as imperfect as that may have been, was sold out to LSM.
In Christiandom, the authority of the scripture seems more like a struggle for a preeminent interpretation, and if someone can present an authoritative interpretation the scriptures become secondary to that dogma. The little Christian reading the scripture and seeking God's guidance is directly confronted with the need to join with and meet with others. How can the individual spiritual walk be joined with others, who may not see the same things. I would say this is where the need for the fruit of the Spirit comes in- love, peace, joy, patience etc. This was rejected in the "recovery" for conformity to the LSM doctrine. The authority of the scripture for the individual who could gather together with others and fellowship, was sold out for a corporate LSM dogma.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:04 AM   #50
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It wasn't the pop up free for all that excited me, but the meeting where fellowship, and prayer, and praise, and singing etc., included all the saints. Most current Christian gatherings are pastor driven. In the LC, it went from fellowship to LSM dogma. The content of the LC became not the fellowship of the saints, but a selling of one's soul to LSM. You might say the soul of the LC became LSM.
I value the priesthood of every believer- in modern Christian church gatherings, it's pretty much pastoral.
Somewhat true. And moreso in some places than in others. But the idea that we all are teachers in terms of the meetings for worship is inconsistent with the example provided. It does seem that the apostles taught (in the beginning) and then teaching was also done by elders (if we consider Paul's qualifications for elders). Not saying there is no place for the voice of the rest of us. But maybe our voice is mostly in the praise and worship of God.

And in the evangelical setting, this limited to singing (and too often songs that are more about us than God). We are more observers of others. And the amount of singing and scripture reading has been reduced further so that we can listen to a longer theological treatise that is often of little practical value other than to check off a box saying we "learned more about God." As much as we tend to dismiss the older liturgical traditions as "Christless," I wonder if we are missing something of the participation in worship beyond singing. Speaking together in almost all parts of the time of worship besides that much shorter sermon that is common there.

It is something that has seemed worthy of some further study.
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Old 01-14-2020, 09:26 AM   #51
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I think most any time the active participation of the saints can be had, it should be encouraged. Where the Lord has placed me these past 20 years has been a major blessing and a real help to me, in that there is open sharing and free fellowship. For instance, after a brother shared a really good message on Galatians 5 this Sunday (there are six bros who rotate in giving the Sunday message), various ones stood up to share what they had seen from the word. One brother in particular provided a clarifying word and hit on something that was so good, I told him afterward that I could hear a whole message on just that. This happens a lot, that is, saints sharing after the message really becomes a huge help. And rather than some rote thing, it is more like fellowship in the family.
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Old 01-15-2020, 07:56 AM   #52
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Somewhat true. And moreso in some places than in others. But the idea that we all are teachers in terms of the meetings for worship is inconsistent with the example provided. It does seem that the apostles taught (in the beginning) and then teaching was also done by elders (if we consider Paul's qualifications for elders). Not saying there is no place for the voice of the rest of us. But maybe our voice is mostly in the praise and worship of God.

And in the evangelical setting, this limited to singing (and too often songs that are more about us than God). We are more observers of others. And the amount of singing and scripture reading has been reduced further so that we can listen to a longer theological treatise that is often of little practical value other than to check off a box saying we "learned more about God." As much as we tend to dismiss the older liturgical traditions as "Christless," I wonder if we are missing something of the participation in worship beyond singing. Speaking together in almost all parts of the time of worship besides that much shorter sermon that is common there.

It is something that has seemed worthy of some further study.
I was raised a R Catholic, and have attended Lutheran "services" as well- the people sing, there are responsive prayers by the people, there is prayer for the unity of the Church, there is the Lord's table as the center of the gathering, the NT and OT are read- yes, there is something to consider and learn from the historical. Yet it is obvious that that whole liturgy was written for the masses of people who were illiterate and did not have individual bibles which they could read. For the time, I'm sure it was the best that could be done. Today, for the most part, everyone can read and have numerous translations of scripture at their fingertips. I can pull up a multitude of teachers on the internet and listen to messages on any and all bible topics. Yet, the typical modern day Christian gathering seems centered around a teacher and their teaching.
The thing that attracted me about the "recovery" was saint reading their bible, applying what they read and speaking, praying, praising, encouraging, etc., from what they got- worked the good land of their inheritance, brought their portion, and offered it up. God seemed glorified, the saints were encouraged, and there was building of God's house.
Then came the LSM takeover and the authoritative speaking of scripture that brought about fellowship, was replaced by a man's lofty teachings and then authority. All things were not the result of the individual working their inheritance and bringing their fruit, but adhering to and exalting LSM, and the lamp stand went out and it got dark!
Obviously, in the beginning, there was a need for teaching, as well as supernatural gifts apparently, but according to Paul ( Ephesians), that was to bring about the function of each member, and each member was responsible for the whole- Paul did not write his teachings to the Pastor of a church , but to all the saints.
It's amazing to me that the "recovery" sank so low and that the saints and the movers and shakers do not realize from whence they have fallen, and repent and do the first works. W. Née, whom they seem to want to stand on his shoulders, warned severely about spiritual pride. WL obviously fell off WN's shoulders, hit his head and got dillusional.
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Old 01-15-2020, 11:04 AM   #53
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The thing that attracted me about the "recovery" was saint reading their bible, applying what they read and speaking, praying, praising, encouraging, etc., from what they got- worked the good land of their inheritance, brought their portion, and offered it up.
I do not necessarily have a problem with what is effectively some kind of "testimony time." But the very pattern of the teaching Jesus, of the things he said and taught to his disciples that were different from what he taught generally to the masses leads me to think that we are misapplying the notion of the priesthood of believers when we suggest that we can all just do it and it will be wonderful.

Yes, it is appealing, especially to people who have been taught from birth that they can do anything they put their minds to. But even that notion is part of the myth of American exceptionalism. Jesus was very clear in how he taught his disciples about being a different kind of leader, not how to not have leaders. And he taught them consistent with the manner of rabbis of the day who had disciples who would become rabbis and do the same thing he did.

We think that the printing press and general literacy raises us all to the level necessary to cast off leadership and be a commune of equal input. But the evidence on that subject is that it is not true. Instead, we have more crazy interpretations every day.

There are at least two sides to this. We need those who have the interest, calling, ability, etc., to give their time to the study of the scripture to bring us what we cannot get to on our own (and help keep our individual studies on the right track) and at the same time need to be aware enough not to let charlatans say that X really means Y. That was much harder when most of us were illiterate.

But if the time of worship is to be at least partly given to whatever I and others like me find from our private time reading the word, then we need help. It may be appealing, but it does not instill in me a sense of peace or certainty.

Besides, whether in or out of the "recovery," what kind of application of the study of the scripture are we talking about? My observation seems to point to a more filled-in structure of knowledge, or something to say in a meeting, not something that applies to "ordinary" life (which appears to be what we were put here for in the first place).
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:59 AM   #54
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I do not necessarily have a problem with what is effectively some kind of "testimony time."
What you say brings us back to the authority of the scriptures, the individual, interpretation, meeting together, opinions, leadership, and absolute leadership which overrides the authority of the scripture and the conscience of the individual. The individual comes to faith as an individual usually from hearing the gospel from another individual or group of people and then there is the desire and need to fellowship and a need to be taught. But at what point does the child become an adult and think for themselves? The hardest thing in a family for parents is when the sweet youth becomes a teenager and begins to opine from their own volition! The parental authority is confronted and a dance of wills occurs for a few years until finally the youth is an adult. In the assembly of Christians there are the young, the teenagers, the adults, the elders- I'm talking spiritually, not necessarily agewise. There are the gifts of the Spirit, and probably more important the fruits of the spirit which can bind us together.
The R Catholic model which prevailed for over 1000 years was a hierarchy from the ignorant masses and the priest up to the absolute ruler, the pope. Then came the printing press and literacy and the authority of the RC system crumbled for the most part. It seems to me that that is when the "authority of the scripture" became the thing. Then came the divisions over interpretation and the authority of one leader vs another based on itheir interpretations. Every group claims "the authority of the scripture", but based on their interpretation. Most modern day Christian assemblies seem to lean on a kind of importance of scripture, a pastoral system of audience and pastoral authority to teach and interpret, and if the individual doesn't like it they can go to another little system with a different pastor or start their own. The more popular and charismatic a pastor the bigger the following. So teaching seems to be the center.
Along comes WL and introduces the concept of the LC with the mutual fellowship of the saints with elders to keep things in check- a recovery. Except, he then morphed into a pope figure with divine authority and instead of recovering the idea of the LC, turned it into his own LSM domain, not unsimilar to the mideaval RC. The recover of the LC was over and replaced with LSM, and the authority of the scripture was replaced with WL/LSM teachings.
So, what is the authority of the Bible? Does it rest on the best interpreter? Are the saints just the ignoran masses that need to be taught for their whole life?
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Old 01-16-2020, 09:17 AM   #55
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Both Peter and John spoke of the priesthood of the saints- a royal priesthood, a kingdom of priests to his God and Father. Paul, who was not a disciple of Jesus, yet called to be an apostle to the Gentiles set up the pattern of assembly which we have in his epistles. Seems to me that Ephesians gives the best view of what God did through Christ to bring about that royal priesthood and the importance of each member adding to the building up of the church. Corinthians seems to further enlighten with the backdrop of a teenage assembly that needed direction. The epistles are written to the whole church- all the saints, not to the head pastor of Corinth to get it together- I think this speaks volumes of the priesthood of the saints- but that's just my interpretation! I would say that the modern church needs "recovery". And the LC saints and elders really need to repent and return to that which was from the beginning. There is no need for LSM and LSM was an affront to a real recovery because it usurped the authority of the Bible.

Local churches- return to a common Christian bible, throw out the LSM and WL teachings recognizing that they led astray from the recovery.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:21 AM   #56
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We are all probably more than familiar with two verses that talk about the authority of the scripture 2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for instruction, for conviction, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17so that the man of God may be complete, fully equipped for every good work. and Heb 4:12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it pierces even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight; everything is uncovered and exposed before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account.

Coming to the LC in '74, My perception was that the scripture was given this authority, both in the individual and in the assembly. As time went on, this authority transferred to the WL/LSM speaking/publications. In my early times, I remember even joking with brothers about what WL would say- Don't say WL said that, say the Bible said that. But as time went on, all non LSM material disappeared and all speaking became WL/LSM. Eventually, what was profitable for teaching was only LSM. People were sized up, pierced and divided by what WL spoke.
When "the New Way" came in, the scripture became little more than a reference book. The "New Way" was a total departure from the authority of scripture to the authority of LSM. WL would speak of LSM as his ministry to "get the word of God out" , which actually was equating his words as authoritative scripture!

It is time for those who take the position of being "the Church" to examine what they really have become-subsidiaries of LSM. The term " the church in xxx" really means "LSM in xxx". I would urge those in this position to look at the history, look at from where you have fallen, return back to a common Christian bible, repent, clean house (disassociate with LSM) and return to the authority of the scripture. I remember in the early years, James Barber coming to our assembly and giving a history of the Lors's recovery. If James were alive today his historical account would have to now include how the "recovery" lost its way and degenerated into something worse than the poor, poor Christianity that was ridiculed back then.
Falling seems to be the way of man, repentance, turning from error back to God's truth is the way of real "recovery".
WL brought us the view of how to meet as the church- bravo for that, his early teachings helped guide the saints- very good, his speaking eventually overshadowed the scripture- not good!, his organization LSM took over control- very fallen!! A humble repentance, a genuine return to scripture, a rejection of the corrupting organization, can bring back the lampstands.
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Old 01-17-2020, 09:51 AM   #57
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Coming to the LC in '74, My perception was that the scripture was given this authority, both in the individual and in the assembly. As time went on, this authority transferred to the WL/LSM speaking/publications. In my early times, I remember even joking with brothers about what WL would say- Don't say WL said that, say the Bible said that. But as time went on, all non LSM material disappeared and all speaking became WL/LSM. Eventually, what was profitable for teaching was only LSM. People were sized up, pierced and divided by what WL spoke.
Yes, I had some of that experience too --> very telling, isn't it!?
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