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Old 06-27-2017, 03:25 AM   #1
aron
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Default Repetition, Ritual, Religion

I got a copy of a recent publication, a HWMR on Hebrews, and was looking at today's entry. Week 6, Day 2. It was revewing Hebrews 7:25. I noticed that in the first 4 paragraphs, he uses the word "intercession" or "intercessor" 12 times. He just keeps saying the same thing, over and over again. It's creepy. Is this some Eastern 'mantra' thing? Is he trying to get us to some altered state? I mean, I get that he wants to make a point. But 12 times? Are we really that dull?

And he uses the word 4 more times as well; 16 times total in one 'daily portion' of 9 paragraphs.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:43 AM   #2
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I got a copy of a recent publication, a HWMR on Hebrews, and was looking at today's entry. Week 6, Day 2. It was revewing Hebrews 7:25. I noticed that in the first 4 paragraphs, he uses the word "intercession" or "intercessor" 12 times. He just keeps saying the same thing, over and over again. It's creepy. Is this some Eastern 'mantra' thing? Is he trying to get us to some altered state? I mean, I get that he wants to make a point. But 12 times? Are we really that dull?

And he uses the word 4 more times as well; 16 times total in one 'daily portion' of 9 paragraphs.
If they really believed that Jesus was able to save them to the uttermost because He always lives to intercede for them, then why do they file lawsuits against all outsiders who critique them and quarantine all insiders who speak their conscience?

They have so much useless human activity. Their teachings are merely dead doctrines to them. Where is their simple trust in the great High Priest? As the song says, "trust and obey, for there's no other way."
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Old 06-27-2017, 08:41 AM   #3
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They have so much useless human activity. Their teachings are merely dead doctrines to them.
Well, yes and no. I do see your point from a both a doctrinal and experiential perspective. But my point is that repetitive chanting opens one up to spiritual forces. Yes, some of that seems quite positive, initially. What's wrong with repeating words translated from the Bible? Or repeatedly calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ?

Precisely this: that words of themselves will never save you, and are the "vain repetitions of the gentiles'' that Jesus spoke of in Matt 6:7; also that when using repetition one begins to experience a subjectively altered state where suggestions, even unspoken ones, begin to take hold, and control. Watchman Nee was called "mesmerising" by those who saw him. They say that people imitated his clicking noises when his false teeth touched. Lee learned from the master. I wonder, how many times Lee spoke the word "intercede" in the actual message cited in that HWMR? Even after "polishing" it looks weird. He just keeps saying the same thing over and over and over again.

Others noticed this trend as well. Here's a comment from a discussion board of the Geftakys Assembly, another high-demand, post-Brethren spin-off run by George Geftakys, their own special anointed brother. The thread was discussing similarities and differences between the two groups.

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Originally Posted by Assembly Board
Hi Dave K. !

You probably don't remember me, (Mark Campbell from the Valley) but I remember you from the early Fullerton Assm. days.

My recollections of you were formed by a campaign to discredit you by Assm. management and I apologize to you for my blindly accepting the smear campaign that was directed at you---- please forgive me for this.

As to Witness Lee: I often ran into members of this group at school, and at work (I worked with one of these guys at one job and also had an association via another job where they were contractors). They didn't want to talk about theology (such as their views of the Trinity) as that was disparaged as being, "in the mind." I recall Tom Mad's response to this: "are you out of yours?" ;D

I recall having to drop off some things at the work place of the contractors I mentioned above one day when about ten of them circled me and began to chant, "O' Lord Jesus", trying to get me to say that phrase so that a vacuum would be created in my heart that the Spirit could fill ???. I found out later that they based this teaching on the Rom. 10 verse re. "who confesses Jesus as Lord" will be saved.

This kind of thing seems to be heavily influenced by Eastern religious thinking, as does the other less wacko "inner life" kind of stuff that the Assm. was also into. As Tom points out, the fruit of these kind of teachings prove how close to God's will they really are--- elitist, hypocritical, inhumane, arrogant, and unreasonable!

Tom mentions that the ability to reason is what most closely demonstrates our being made in God's image, and I would agree with this. However, that intellectual ability must also be coupled with a moral sensitivity or our religion will lack God's heart.

Both of these groups, Witness Lee and the Assm., were out of sync with God not only because they had confused thinking, but because the groups were able to get members to ignore their own consciences. This led to the kind of abuses where members (like you) could get drummed out because of the false accusations they raised against them!

It was good that you had some previous Christian training and experience, but think of the many who now wander the Earth thinking they "tried that Christian thing" and as a result now have no enjoyment of God. There are those who can't step inside a church anymore as they fear what might happen to them! :'(

To me a cult is a cult (primarily) when it is more concerned with advancing the selfish interests of the leader/leaders, and the goals of the group, vs. building the faith of the individual member. Cults attempt to destroy any vestige of individual expression while true God inspired ministry seeks to "buildup" the individual believer in their faith. This is a danger any Christian group can get into and the reason Jesus, Paul, Peter, etc. constantly reminded us of this error.

This cultish attempt to violate personal boundaries can be performed while seeming to be very orthodox in ones teaching of the bible. All of the "cultishness" happens via subtle alternations and misuse of scripture--- as in: "brother, are you standing in unity with us or are you going to give place to the devil?" >

However, those that courageously challenge those who misuse authority in the church are the true servants of Jesus Christ; in a cult these will be forced out!

Good to hear from you. God bless, Mark C.
The chanting impinges on the ability to think clearly & rationally, a capacity given to us by God. This opens us up to unseen and unrecognized forces coming in, carried through the message. Then words like "oneness", "mingling", "consummation" and "processed" all get their own special subjective response. Thus it is much worse than merely dead doctrines (which would be bad enough).

"Now we only care for the Body." But we don't love our neighbour. "We only care for Good Building Material (naive college students)." But we don't care for the poor, the sick, the weak, for those who cannot repay us in this age. And so forth. Chant "Four legs good, two legs bad" often enough, and it will take on a life of it's own. But not the divine life. If you want the website the discussion was found on, it's here:

http://www.assemblyboard.com/index.p...ic=1299.0;wap2

And remember, in mainland China they didn't chant bible verses so much as Witness Lee slogans. I'm talking about hour after hour of chanting, day after day. I saw videos of this, smuggled out. No wonder it all went south so badly.
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Old 06-27-2017, 11:25 AM   #4
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At a basic level, I think WL's use of repetition could be attributed to the fact that he had a lot less to say than he would have liked anyone to believe. I remember when I was reading through the Life-Studies, time after time, I encountered passages that were essentially repeats of something I had just read. I never though much of it, and just assumed the repetition was being employed as a rhetorical device for emphasis - a minor annoyance. It would seem, however, that it would be hard for anyone to argue such was the case, because there are plenty of examples where the repetition was clearly unnecessary. Probably most LCers don’t think much of it.

That being said, I think repetition can be used to induced an 'altered' state to the extent that it is used to manipulate. I wouldn’t say it is definitely used that way 100% of the time, however, I have seen clear examples of it being used manipulatively. For example, I was in the car once with an elder, it was just the two of us. The entire drive, he wanted to call on the Lord out loud, and I really had no choice to do the same. It quickly got to the point where I felt it was awkward, but what could I do? If I told him we should stop, then I'm sure he would have found some way to criticize me. But in a situation like that, there are all kinds of conversations that could have taken place, even a 'spiritual' conversation. By being pressured to engage in a repetitive calling on the Lord, the hidden implication was that having a normal conversation, particularly small talk, was not acceptable. So it can be guaranteed that kind of repetition is used in a manipulative manner.

Just from what I've seen of WL's printed ministry, all the repetition, the emphasis of things that don't need it, it seems there is a least one noticeable side effect. That is that people who read it assume that the repetition is for their own good. They think that as "small potatoes" if they can't understand why WL spoke on a certain topic so much, then they shouldn't question it. So it serves to keep people in their place. Then people get bizarre ideas about needing to pray-read and 'digest' it, constantly trying to decipher it. It diverts attention, keeps them from moving on to more profitable things.

I watched a youtube video some time ago where one of the blendeds was telling everyone about the ‘proper’ way to read the Life-Studies. The claim was that it was necessary to find and understand WL’s ‘burden’ behind each message. Of course, if someone actually tried do that, it would be a wild goose chase, because only WL knew his ‘burden’. But again, what this does is keep everyone at the elementary school level. They read and somewhat understand WL’s words, but they never graduate to the position of being capable of scrutinizing it or looking beyond it.
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Old 06-27-2017, 03:19 PM   #5
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Precisely this: that words of themselves will never save you, and are the "vain repetitions of the gentiles'' that Jesus spoke of in Matt 6:7;
That is very interesting to read Matt 6:7. Thanks for sharing.

Also very interesting to note the differences between the King James version versus the Recovery version.

"KJV: But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."

"Recovery: And in praying do not 1babble empty words as the Gentiles do; for they suppose that in their amultiplicity of words they will be heard.

1-This does not mean that we should not repeat our prayer. The Lord repeated His prayer three times in Gethsemane (26:44), the apostle Paul prayed the same prayer three times (2 Cor. 12:8), and the great multitude in heaven praised God repeatedly with hallelujahs (Rev. 19:1-6). It means that we should not repeat empty words, words spoken in vain. "

Very scary to see the differences.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:13 PM   #6
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That is very interesting to read Matt 6:7. Thanks for sharing.

Also very interesting to note the differences between the King James version versus the Recovery version.

"KJV: But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."

"Recovery: And in praying do not 1babble empty words as the Gentiles do; for they suppose that in their amultiplicity of words they will be heard.

1-This does not mean that we should not repeat our prayer. The Lord repeated His prayer three times in Gethsemane (26:44), the apostle Paul prayed the same prayer three times (2 Cor. 12:8), and the great multitude in heaven praised God repeatedly with hallelujahs (Rev. 19:1-6). It means that we should not repeat empty words, words spoken in vain. "

Very scary to see the differences.
If you go here:

http://biblehub.com/matthew/6-7.htm


You will find that the Recovery version of this verse is virtually the same as many other versions.

ESV: “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.
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Old 06-27-2017, 04:38 PM   #7
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You're completely overlooking the the footnotes.
When you read a recovery bible those footnotes are treated the same as The Bible itself.
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:13 PM   #8
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You're completely overlooking the the footnotes.
When you read a recovery bible those footnotes are treated the same as The Bible itself.
The footnotes say the same thing as the verse.
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Old 06-27-2017, 05:25 PM   #9
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Jesus is not against repetition of the same words, but babbling:

Vincent's Word Studies

Use vain repetitions (βατταλογήσητε)
A word formed in imitation of the sound, battalogein: properly, to stammer; then to babble or prate, to repeat the same formula many times, as the worshippers of Baal and of Diana of Ephesus (1 Kings 18:26; Acts 19:34) and the Romanists with their paternosters and aves.


for they think that by their many words they will be heard


The problem is in not believing the power, or the knowledge, or the goodness of God, and resorting to methods such as vain babbling.


(Benson Commentary)
Matthew 26:39-44. For your Father knoweth what things ye have need of before you ask him — We do not pray to inform God of our wants. Omniscient as he is, he cannot be informed of any thing which he knew not before: and he is always willing to relieve them. The chief thing wanting is, a fit disposition on our part to receive his grace and blessing.


Benson's commentary (the parts in bold) reminds me of what it is said in the Recovery, that the purpose of prayer is not to have our needs met by asking God for things, but to be filled with God.
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Old 06-28-2017, 12:40 AM   #10
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Jesus is not against repetition of the same words, but babbling:

. . it is said in the Recovery, that the purpose of prayer is not to have our needs met by asking God for things, but to be filled with God.
I was praying with some Chinese LC members at one point, and was listening to the rhythm: Blah blah blah blah BLAH (Ayee- MAYYN!!) Blah blah blah blah BLAAH!! (Ayyee- MAYYN!!) Blah blah blah blah BLAAHH!! (Ayee-MAYYN!) which along with the fore-arm thrusts, produced a kind of hypnotising rhythmic quality.

Now, is this "vain babbling" or "more God"? Typically, the subjectivist LSM LC response is, "If we do it, it's not vain. When others do it, then it's vain." Can we perhaps do better than that?

The other thing I noticed about their prayers, was that I could tell the Alpha males and Beta males from the Gamma and Theta males about how they amen'ed each other. It was pretty clear to me that the call-and-response patterns had some socialization aspects as well. Who was "losing face" to whom. When you are habitually losing face to others you put yourself into submission. Again, why merely assume this is "God" and not fallen human subjugation, reinforced by centuries of culturally-derived patterns?

Now, my own response is subjective, and anecdotal. I'm not presuming objective reality. But it's worth consideration, and some scrutiny. Not just, "When we do it, then it's 'more God'".
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Old 06-28-2017, 02:45 AM   #11
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Let me rephrase the idea: Paul wrote to the Corinthians that he prayed not only with the spirit but with the mind (or, understanding). See 14:15, &c.

But Witness Lee, in his campaign of human subjugation, taught his followers to "get out of your mind" - this was the center of the LC programme, as shown by the previous quote in post #3. The repetitive chanting and shouting, the arm-waving and so forth were all part of a scheme of sensory overload in which the mark becomes susceptible to manipulation & influence. It's all about control. Christ died to set us free, but the enemy wants to put us back in slavery again.

And his campaign was successful, to look at the LSM outreach & indoctrination centres set up round the world. (One coming to a college campus near you)
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Old 06-28-2017, 02:57 AM   #12
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I was praying with some Chinese LC members at one point, and was listening to the rhythm: Blah blah blah blah BLAH (Ayee- MAYYN!!) Blah blah blah blah BLAAH!! (Ayyee- MAYYN!!) Blah blah blah blah BLAAHH!! (Ayee-MAYYN!) which along with the fore-arm thrusts, produced a kind of hypnotising rhythmic quality.

Now, is this "vain babbling" or "more God"? Typically, the subjectivist LSM LC response is, "If we do it, it's not vain. When others do it, then it's vain." Can we perhaps do better than that?
Remember the poster "Toledo?"

One time he made a public joke that "we prayed in 6.7.6.7 meter," referencing song poetry. It was poking fun at ourselves, but it had impact on many GLA brothers, including me. I then made conscious effort to move from the rhythmic "Amen" cadence to praying from the heart, slowing down and seeking the Lord.
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Old 06-28-2017, 03:23 AM   #13
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Remember the poster "Toledo?"

One time he made a public joke that "we prayed in 6.7.6.7 meter," referencing song poetry. It was poking fun at ourselves, but it had impact on many GLA brothers, including me. I then made conscious effort to move from the rhythmic "Amen" cadence to praying from the heart, slowing down and seeking the Lord.
Once leadership convinced the rank-and-file that sing-song cadence and repetitive word patterns equalled "in spirit" and "more God", then all one had to do was habitually settle into the right chair in the right building and follow along. Voila, a religion was born.

Now, in and of itself, sitting in a chair and making group noise isn't vain. Christians have been doing it as long as there were Christians and chairs. But the Lee programme said that the "eating" equaled the "filling" equaled "more God" equaled the "transformation/transfiguration/glorification"; in other words, the sing-song act, the so-called transmission, would of itself effectively constitute us God in life and nature (but not the God-head; no, that would be heretical).

And the repetition is key, because the repetition becomes the conduit sensory experience, connected to our soul/emotion response set, in which pattern we're lulled to sleep. Our conscience is then ignored, our reason over-turned. Black becomes white and "we don't care for right and wrong, only for life" yada-yada.
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Old 06-28-2017, 08:42 AM   #14
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The other thing I noticed about their prayers, was that I could tell the Alpha males and Beta males from the Gamma and Theta males about how they amen'ed each other. It was pretty clear to me that the call-and-response patterns had some socialization aspects as well. Who was "losing face" to whom. When you are habitually losing face to others you put yourself into submission. Again, why merely assume this is "God" and not fallen human subjugation, reinforced by centuries of culturally-derived patterns?
It is interesting, in the LC environment, it seems there is a constant struggle among members to earn respect and to 'prove' themselves. This can be traced back to what is at the heart of LC teachings, that being the emphasis on authority. But it isn't authority that always manifests itself in obvious ways. Sometimes it is evidenced when someone calls on the Lord in a way that is deemed to be to 'quiet', then that person gets called out in front of the group and a snide remark is made, such as "Brother, you need to exercise your spirit."

Everyone is made to believe things like a lack of volume and fist pumping is a legitimate concern, when it is really just an establishment or reinforcement of a pecking order. Whoever performs the best earns the respect of the group and becomes the alpha male. Someone who has no interest in shouting and fist pumping probably can't expect to ever be someone who is looked up to in the LC, rather they might be someone who the elders look down on.
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Old 06-28-2017, 09:11 AM   #15
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Everyone is made to believe things like a lack of volume and fist pumping is a legitimate concern, when it is really just an establishment or reinforcement of a pecking order. Whoever performs the best earns the respect of the group and becomes the alpha male..
Right. Performance is not merely self-abnegation, but socially-constructed self-abnegation such that one integrates within the group.

Go back to the first post: suppose WL gave a message where he kept saying, "He intercedes and we're saved to the uttermost", and "We're saved through His intercession", over and over. So if you take the cue and enthusiastically bawl out those two special sentences, using the same phraseology, you've integrated into the group. Do this consistently and aggressively, and you'll advance.
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:41 AM   #16
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But Witness Lee, in his campaign of human subjugation, taught his followers to "get out of your mind" - this was the center of the LC programme, as shown by the previous quote in post #3. The repetitive chanting and shouting, the arm-waving and so forth were all part of a scheme of sensory overload in which the mark becomes susceptible to manipulation & influence. It's all about control. Christ died to set us free, but the enemy wants to put us back in slavery again.
...
Right. Performance is not merely self-abnegation, but socially-constructed self-abnegation such that one integrates within the group.
In my mind, WL pulled one of the biggest cons possible. What did he do? He placed such great emphasis on the group and conformity, to the point that individuality was rejected outright. He equated excitement, zeal, and emphatic declarations as being indicators of a 'proper' environment and worship. At what expense? It required the rejection of individuality. Common sense and reason were given a back seat. Performance became key.

Here is a glimpse into the way in which WL attempted to manipulate people:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Witness Lee
None of the tourists who visit Disneyland in Anaheim are dumb. When they see all the sights that are there, they are bubbling. Once you get into Disneyland, how could you be dumb? Even the little children, who cannot speak well, will have utterance because they see so many things.

Why do the pew members in the Christian denominations sit dumbly in their pews during the Sunday eleven o'clock service? Because they are short of light and see nothing…

Life-Study of Hebrews, Msg. 2
As is evident, WL places emphasis on some type of outward manifestation of emotion (as would be found in a group setting). Sitting ‘dumbly’ in a pew is suggested to be a complete waste of time. But really, all those sitting ‘dumbly’ in pews are doing something that LCers don’t do much of. They are (hopefully) listening and contemplating what they are hearing, and most importantly -using their minds. What most people would feel to be a normal and functional environment exists in the absence of declarations, shouting, emotion, and zeal. But WL taught his followers to reject this outright. In its place he created a questionable and potentially dangerous environment which emphasized the group, conformity, and performance.
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:44 AM   #17
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I was praying with some Chinese LC members at one point, and was listening to the rhythm: Blah blah blah blah BLAH (Ayee- MAYYN!!) Blah blah blah blah BLAAH!! (Ayyee- MAYYN!!) Blah blah blah blah BLAAHH!! (Ayee-MAYYN!) which along with the fore-arm thrusts, produced a kind of hypnotising rhythmic quality.

Now, is this "vain babbling" or "more God"? Typically, the subjectivist LSM LC response is, "If we do it, it's not vain. When others do it, then it's vain." Can we perhaps do better than that?
I remember an interesting little message (testimony?) given years ago by LSM's Kerry Robichaux in the context of a WL message on Pentecostal tongue speaking. (Possibly the I Corinthians Life Study) I don't remember all of the specifics, but KR compared the repetitious sounds of Pentecostal Tongues to pagan practices incited by Kundalini spirits. I do remember that it was the most serious warning I had ever heard concerning "glossa" tongues.

I'm not saying that I buy his teaching on tongues anymore, nor that his words do not have any factual basis, because other Christian ministers have warned of this too. I'm just pointing out the irony of it all. LSM is so keen to warn their people of Christian dangers "out there" in Christendom, but legally blind to the dangers of their own promotions.

Yes, Apostle Paul spoke about saying "the Amen" in our gatherings (I Cor 14.16), but the constant, brainless drumbeat of "amen, amen, amen" was not in the mind of Paul. There were several occasions I recall over the years where someone prayed, either purposely or accidentally, something totally wrong, and the chorus still chimed the "amen" in regular cadence. I too often caught myself in a prayer meeting with my mind wandering off to solve some current work related challenge, while my mouth still droned the constant "amen."
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Old 06-28-2017, 10:16 PM   #18
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I was riding to work once with 3 sisters. They were into the "pray-reading" thing and I was sitting quietly in the back seat lost in thought or something. I just didn't join in...for no real reason that I can think of.

Soon the "prayers" for/at me started...Ooooohhhh Loooorrrddd....the oneness! The ONENESS Loooorrrrdddd! One sister in particular...pounding her fist into her hand and looking down, shaking her head...like RG did/does... Ooooohhhh Loooorrrrddd... . She just kept on and on...creeps me out thinking about it.

She didn't approve of me sitting quietly on the ride to work. She had her own "vision" of "oneness" and she was going to impose it on me in a not-so-subtle way. The more it went on, the more determined I was that I would NOT buckle to the pressure.

So this time, add to the cadence a "pray-shame" ritual.

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Old 06-29-2017, 04:44 PM   #19
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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"KJV: But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking."

. . .

This does not mean that we should not repeat our prayer. The Lord repeated His prayer three times in Gethsemane (26:44), the apostle Paul prayed the same prayer three times (2 Cor. 12:8), and the great multitude in heaven praised God repeatedly with hallelujahs (Rev. 19:1-6). It means that we should not repeat empty words, words spoken in vain."
It is not even opposing the repeating of mere words. The footnote acknowledges that Paul prayed the same thing thee times (on three different occasions, it is presumed), and Jesus did not merely repeat a few words in rapid succession.

But even that is not prohibited by the warning against vain repetition. The problem is what is being repeated and how and why it is repeated. Those scenes from Revelation have a group continually falling down and crying out "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty . . . ." Not vain. Just repeated.

And it is easy to declare that someone else's repetition is vain, but not yours (or mine). But do we know? Maybe. But maybe not.

I note that the warning was to those who would be trying to "reach God," not to observers of those people. In other words, the warning is not to me so I can judge others based on my opinion of their vanity, or lack thereof. It is to me to be ware that I do not simply mouth words over and over in hopes that they do something for me.

Same words. Different source. Different result.

At times, no matter how bad I think a lot of LRC teachings are, it is the ingrained attitude that they need to compare themselves to others in a judgmental way that seems the most insufferable. Like the Pharisee raising his voice to God to compare himself to the publican over in the corner who is honestly crying out "be merciful to me a sinner."
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Old 06-29-2017, 05:15 PM   #20
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I was riding to work once with 3 sisters. They were into the "pray-reading" thing and I was sitting quietly in the back seat lost in thought or something. I just didn't join in...for no real reason that I can think of.

Soon the "prayers" for/at me started...Ooooohhhh Loooorrrddd....the oneness! The ONENESS Loooorrrrdddd! One sister in particular...pounding her fist into her hand and looking down, shaking her head...like RG did/does... Ooooohhhh Loooorrrrddd... . She just kept on and on...creeps me out thinking about it.

She didn't approve of me sitting quietly on the ride to work. She had her own "vision" of "oneness" and she was going to impose it on me in a not-so-subtle way. The more it went on, the more determined I was that I would NOT buckle to the pressure.

So this time, add to the cadence a "pray-shame" ritual.

Nell
We had a brother with us for a while who was saved out in CA during the 70's. Walking by faith and life in general was a real struggle for him. He once told me the story of how he used to go out in a dumpster and scream out "Oh Lord Jesus," like you described, Nell. That was real to him.
He tried to get back to that experience of the Lord he had in his youth.

Who taught him that? Are there no real shepherds in that movement? Have they all been run out of town over the years by program zealots?
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Old 06-30-2017, 12:42 AM   #21
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But even that is not prohibited by the warning against vain repetition. The problem is what is being repeated and how and why it is repeated.
We have reason to be suspicious of repetition as a tool of religious inculcation leading people to vanity. Maybe yes, maybe no; but at least we should be wary.

But even more, what should we think when the pattern of repetitive chanting or declaring is accompanied by phrases like, "Be simple, don't be hardened", and "Get out of your mind", and "Drop your concepts"? We were told "Touching Jesus is all that really matters", but what happens when "touching Jesus" comes with unrelieved hostility and judgmentalism towards all one's neighbours, a controlling atmosphere in which "fellowship" is needed in all decisions of life, with sins and failures of leaders being covered up, and especially with exercise of one's God-given faculties of reason and critical thought being suppressed as dangerous independence and even rebellion against God's specially-anointed?

What are we really touching, here? It gives every appearance of a man-made programme of charismania, or sensory overload, leading to surrender of the will and the submerging of one's identity to the group. Then the subject is fully open to manipulation and control.

Here's another person's experience, recorded in 2003:

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Originally Posted by Andrew Setchell
I became a Christian while at Manchester University through Christians in a group called ‘the Local Church’.

This name comes from the teaching of ‘localism’ – the belief ‘that there is only one true representative of the Body of Christ in any city. This … is said to be the Local Church. The Local Church alone is alleged to be the true representative of the Body of Christ, and all other churches are false’.

‘The Local Church’ had bases in Manchester and elsewhere in the UK, but its main centres were in Anaheim (USA) and Taipei (Taiwan).

At that time, the movement was led by a man called Witness Lee. My experiences of the Local Church in 1986/87 may not reflect the current beliefs and practices of the movement.

I first came into contact with ‘the Local Church’ through fellow students. One of them befriended me and began to share the gospel with me.

I was attracted by the quality of this man’s life. He invited me to a meal where he and others preached the gospel to me. As a result, I repented and put my trust in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Following conversion and baptism they led me through some ‘New Life Lessons’, which helped me to grow. After some weeks, I began to attend ‘the Local Church’ meetings in Manchester and later on joined them in door-to-door evangelism.

The people I met in this group had a tremendous love for one another and were genuine, sincere and zealous for the Lord and his Word. All this impressed me as a young believer.

They also expressed their love to me in practical ways, and I developed good friendships.

The main negative experience was that they did not encourage members to read literature written by anyone other than Witness Lee. Even the Bible the group used had footnotes by Witness Lee, which were consulted when the Bible was read and studied.

I left ‘the Local Church’ in the Summer 1987 on the advice of those who were concerned about my involvement with the group. After leaving, I learnt that although some aspects of the teaching and practice of ‘the Local Church’ were biblical, some were not.

In his goodness, the Lord then led me to Bible-believing churches where, over a period of years, the errors I had learnt were corrected.

To illustrate the unbiblical nature of some aspects of ‘the Local Church’, I will focus upon... one area of practice (‘pray-reading’).

I was encouraged to ‘pray-read’ the Scriptures. This I attempted to do in my own quiet times.

The following quote from Lee will illustrate pray-reading: ‘Simply pick up the Word and pray-read a few verses in the morning and in the evening. There is no need for you to exercise your mind in order to squeeze out some utterance, and it is unnecessary to think over what you read …

‘It is better for us to close our mind! For example, in pray-reading Galatians 2:20 simply look at the printed page, which says, “I am crucified with Christ”. Then with your eyes upon the Word, and praying from deeply within, say: “Praise the Lord, I am crucified with Christ. Hallelujah! Crucified with Christ. Amen. I am. Oh, Lord, I am crucified. Praise the Lord! Crucified with Christ. Amen! I am crucified with Christ. Hallelujah! Amen!”.’

The unbiblical nature of all this is clear – such vain repetitions are condemned by our Lord (Matthew 6:7-8). ‘Pray-reading’ leads to the mind being bypassed, which is contrary to the Bible’s exhortation that we are to pray with the understanding (1 Corinthians 14:15).
https://www.evangelical-times.org/27...-local-church/
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Old 06-30-2017, 02:04 AM   #22
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We have reason to be suspicious of repetition as a tool of religious inculcation leading people to vanity. Maybe yes, maybe no; but at least we should be wary.

But even more, what should we think when the pattern of repetitive chanting or declaring is accompanied by phrases like, "Be simple, don't be hardened", and "Get out of your mind", and "Drop your concepts"? We were told "Touching Jesus is all that really matters", but what happens when "touching Jesus" comes with unrelieved hostility and judgmentalism towards all one's neighbours, a controlling atmosphere in which "fellowship" is needed in all decisions of life, with sins and failures of leaders being covered up, and especially with exercise of one's God-given faculties of reason and critical thought being suppressed as dangerous independence and even rebellion against God's specially-anointed?

What are we really touching, here? It gives every appearance of a man-made programme of charismania, or sensory overload, leading to surrender of the will and the submerging of one's identity to the group. Then the subject is fully open to manipulation and control.

Here's another person's experience, recorded in 2003:



https://www.evangelical-times.org/27...-local-church/
Vain means praying words that are useless. But praying the words of the Bible cannot be vain because the words of the Bible are not useless. It's praying God's Word and God's Word is never vain. What sort of contradiction is it to say that praying the bible is unbiblical or vain? Andrew does not know what he is talking about.
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Old 06-30-2017, 02:51 AM   #23
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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. .praying the words of the Bible cannot be vain because the words of the Bible are not useless. It's praying God's Word and God's Word is never vain. .
Two related problems with this assertion. First is that WL deliberately contravened Paul, saying not to pray with understanding but rather to cultivate sensory impression. Second is that the practice facilitated an environment in which words could mean whatever 'God's oracle' needed them to mean today. In fact, it even led to messages - many, not few - where biblical words were held as useless (labeled vain, fallen, mixed, natural &c) simply because they didn't line up with the exposition at hand.

Beyond that, a lot of what was repetitively shouted wasn't even God's word but the word of the so-called seer of the revelation. "Let's all stand and declare stanza three with an exercised spirit!!" Footnotes, outlines, message text, all called forth in the same rhythmic cadence. All with the aim of cultivating sensory impression, and losing self in the Hive-mind. It's Mesmerism writ large.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:42 AM   #24
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Vain means praying words that are useless. But praying the words of the Bible cannot be vain because the words of the Bible are not useless. It's praying God's Word and God's Word is never vain. What sort of contradiction is it to say that praying the bible is unbiblical or vain? Andrew does not know what he is talking about.
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Two related problems with this assertion. First is that WL deliberately contravened Paul, saying not to pray with understanding but rather to cultivate sensory impression. Second is that the practice facilitated an environment in which words could mean whatever 'God's oracle' needed them to mean today. In fact, it even led to messages - many, not few - where biblical words were held as useless (labeled vain, fallen, mixed, natural &c) simply because they didn't line up with the exposition at hand.

Beyond that, a lot of what was repetitively shouted wasn't even God's word but the word of the so-called seer of the revelation. "Let's all stand and declare stanza three with an exercised spirit!!" Footnotes, outlines, message text, all called forth in the same rhythmic cadence. All with the aim of cultivating sensory impression, and losing self in the Hive-mind. It's Mesmerism writ large.
aron,

Is it not true that Satan himself used Scripture to tempt Jesus in the wilderness? While the words of the Bible are neither vain nor useless, the words of the Bible can and have been used nefariously by God's enemy. This would highlight a third problem with the "Evangelical" assertions. If Satan can quote scripture, then the vain repetition of God's word is not only possible but likely. Hence the warning in Matthew 6:7 But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.

The mesmerism piece is scary. Before the hall on Ball Road was built, at least one training was held in the Anaheim Convention Center with about 3000 people in attendance. One meeting the group was chanting "Oh Lord Jesus" and the floor was literally swaying up and down. It was mesmerizing. I was caught up in that moment like everyone else, until I wasn't. I don't remember what "broke the spell" for me, but I just felt like something wasn't right. That was the first of several similar experiences. From then on, I just didn't "feel right" about the mass chanting.

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Old 06-30-2017, 05:31 AM   #25
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I don't remember what "broke the spell" for me, but I just felt like something wasn't right. That was the first of several similar experiences. From then on, I just didn't "feel right" about the mass chanting.
What "broke the spell" for me personally was watching that Whistler Kangaroo Court display of unrighteous hypocrisy on youtube. They went on for hours bringing fake charges against Titus Chu in absentia contrary to scripture, and then had a "seventh inning stretch" moment, "let's all stand and call on the Lord 5 times."

Pathetic!
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Old 06-30-2017, 06:30 AM   #26
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We have reason to be suspicious of repetition as a tool of religious inculcation leading people to vanity. Maybe yes, maybe no; but at least we should be wary.

But even more, what should we think when the pattern of repetitive chanting or declaring is accompanied by phrases like, "Be simple, don't be hardened", and "Get out of your mind", and "Drop your concepts"? We were told "Touching Jesus is all that really matters", but what happens when "touching Jesus" comes with unrelieved hostility and judgmentalism towards all one's neighbours, a controlling atmosphere in which "fellowship" is needed in all decisions of life, with sins and failures of leaders being covered up, and especially with exercise of one's God-given faculties of reason and critical thought being suppressed as dangerous independence and even rebellion against God's specially-anointed?

What are we really touching, here? It gives every appearance of a man-made programme of charismania, or sensory overload, leading to surrender of the will and the submerging of one's identity to the group. Then the subject is fully open to manipulation and control.
It is true that hollow chants in an environment of limited mental engagement is a tool for mind control or alteration. But the most sound worship of most of the history of Christianity was full of repetition. Seldom as uninterrupted as an Eastern religious chant or a rousing chorus of "Oh Lord Jesus" repeated over and over. Both have been sound and both have been hollow.

I note that Evangelical has declared just a post or two after yours that you can't pray the words of the Bible in vain. Pretty foolish. I would suggest that there are many who pray those "name it and claim it" prayers right out of the Bible. Out of context but right out of the Bible.

Rather that having a knee-jerk reaction that thinks repetition is likely to be vain or that using the words of the Bible will necessarily not be vain, we should be aware of our own hearts when we pray. When someone speaks something like "We have not loved our neighbor as ourselves" after which we declare "Christ have mercy on us," then another statement of our general tendency to sin, followed again by "Lord have mercy on us," we should not presume "vain repetition" or "hollow religion." Neither should we presume it is simply OK. The question is in the heart of the participant, not in the opinion of the observer. The observer that presumes negatively is clearly not engaged in worship of Christ, but in bickering with the household of faith.

It is probably better if we didn't worry about what we have been taught to think about any particular kind of worship and to instead be sure that when we worship we are not just going through the motions of whatever it is we do. Whether it is a centuries-old liturgy or a rousing chorus of "Oh Lord Jesus." Whether the prayers are impromptu and ad lib, or thoughtfully written down (even centuries before). If they are from the heart, it is prayer. If it is from religious duty with no heart, it is vain.

But it is wise to beware of anyone suggesting that we "clear our minds" in worship. To just repeat words (even good ones) over and over. Rather than clearing our minds, we should be setting them. We should be letting it wash over our thoughts and cares. It should be convicting us of our failures and encouraging us to walk by the Spirit.
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Old 06-30-2017, 07:52 AM   #27
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It is obviously the struggle of every child of God to keep our hearts and minds engaged in the worship of God. Jesus spoke to the Samaritan woman that His Father seeks "true worshipers who will worship in spirit and reality." God had long been bored with the rituals of Israel, "honoring with the lips, but the heart is far away." The words of Isaiah are quite telling (Is 29.13)
Quote:
And so the Lord says, “These people claim they are mine.
They honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.
And their worship of me is nothing but man-made rules learned by rote.
Isaiah's rebuke, also quoted by Jesus, starts with exclusive claims that they alone are the Lord's. I was indoctrinated by LSM for decades that they were uniquely the Lord's testimony. We convinced ourselves that we alone worshiped in spirit and reality. In this lies the sickness of prideful arrogance, not that we desired to be the Lord's or be true worshipers, but that we were instructed that we alone were the Lord's and His true worshipers.

That begun the downfall of every exclusive group, including ours. Does not pride precede the fall? Every time! So what do we do? Repent? No, of course not! Everyone else needs to repent! We are the Lord's Recovery! We keep doing what we have been doing, as pride moves our heart further away. Meanwhile the so-called "interpreted word" of the ministry replaces the actual word of God. Our worship, without spirit and reality, gets easily codified with ordinances and traditions of man.

Like the sister who tore up the Lord's Table bread because it was made with whole wheat flour and not bleached white flour. Like the elder who stopped a testimony because it did not course with HWFMR. Like the demand to call on the Lord 5 times during an exhaustive excommunication. Like the quiet worshiper who got exhorted to "exercise her spirit" to ramp up the volume. Human traditions and standards. All passed down from headquarters.
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Old 06-30-2017, 04:40 PM   #28
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It is true that hollow chants in an environment of limited mental engagement is a tool for mind control or alteration. But the most sound worship of most of the history of Christianity was full of repetition. Seldom as uninterrupted as an Eastern religious chant or a rousing chorus of "Oh Lord Jesus" repeated over and over. Both have been sound and both have been hollow.

I note that Evangelical has declared just a post or two after yours that you can't pray the words of the Bible in vain. Pretty foolish. I would suggest that there are many who pray those "name it and claim it" prayers right out of the Bible. Out of context but right out of the Bible.

Rather that having a knee-jerk reaction that thinks repetition is likely to be vain or that using the words of the Bible will necessarily not be vain, we should be aware of our own hearts when we pray. When someone speaks something like "We have not loved our neighbor as ourselves" after which we declare "Christ have mercy on us," then another statement of our general tendency to sin, followed again by "Lord have mercy on us," we should not presume "vain repetition" or "hollow religion." Neither should we presume it is simply OK. The question is in the heart of the participant, not in the opinion of the observer. The observer that presumes negatively is clearly not engaged in worship of Christ, but in bickering with the household of faith.

It is probably better if we didn't worry about what we have been taught to think about any particular kind of worship and to instead be sure that when we worship we are not just going through the motions of whatever it is we do. Whether it is a centuries-old liturgy or a rousing chorus of "Oh Lord Jesus." Whether the prayers are impromptu and ad lib, or thoughtfully written down (even centuries before). If they are from the heart, it is prayer. If it is from religious duty with no heart, it is vain.

But it is wise to beware of anyone suggesting that we "clear our minds" in worship. To just repeat words (even good ones) over and over. Rather than clearing our minds, we should be setting them. We should be letting it wash over our thoughts and cares. It should be convicting us of our failures and encouraging us to walk by the Spirit.
I was speaking of praying the words of the bible as written...and not for praying them out of context. If we pray the words of the bible as written it cannot be vain.


I also note your use of the term "religious duty" seems to contradict your stance in previous discussions on the meaning of the word religion where you indicated that religion is a positive thing. Seeing you use the word in a negative way here is surprising.
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Old 06-30-2017, 09:26 PM   #29
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I was speaking of praying the words of the bible as written...and not for praying them out of context. If we pray the words of the bible as written it cannot be vain. ...
Only God knows if a prayer is vain or not.

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Old 07-01-2017, 07:22 AM   #30
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Only God knows if a prayer is vain or not.

Nell
Yes, you are right. From our side however, we can understand a vain prayer to be one to which the Lord does not listen, and I believe Scripture reveals at least two ways that God might not hear our prayer - unbelief, or sin. Thus, to pray Scripture with a sinful heart, or an unbelieving heart, is likely to be in vain. As are, prayers of amiss, and prayers for public show.

If all these conditions are met, then praying the words of the bible as written, would not be in vain.

Actually, it is more than merely praying "from the heart" as OBW said. A person may "pray from the heart" for a million dollars, for example, and yet be asking amiss, or in vain. It may be a sincere prayer, but God does not answer prayers based upon sincerity, but based upon alignment with His will.
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:28 AM   #31
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I was speaking of praying the words of the bible as written...and not for praying them out of context. If we pray the words of the bible as written it cannot be vain.
I find this to be an interesting remark, given that earlier, when I quoted, "Every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God", you said something that not every word of the Bible came from God's mouth. Witness Lee, with his hermeneutics, got to decide which was which.

The Bible uses repetition, as well. Psalm 136 repeats "His mercy endures forever"; WL mocked those who followed such repetitive patterns. "Too low"; he did this from the dias, and none protested this nonsense. They were stupefied. Paralyzed. Mute.

It seems as though the Bible "as written" is fine as long as it lines with "the ministry" - if it doesn't then it's dismissed. Even mocked.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:08 PM   #32
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I find this to be an interesting remark, given that earlier, when I quoted, "Every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God", you said something that not every word of the Bible came from God's mouth. Witness Lee, with his hermeneutics, got to decide which was which.

The Bible uses repetition, as well. Psalm 136 repeats "His mercy endures forever"; WL mocked those who followed such repetitive patterns. "Too low"; he did this from the dias, and none protested this nonsense. They were stupefied. Paralyzed. Mute.

It seems as though the Bible "as written" is fine as long as it lines with "the ministry" - if it doesn't then it's dismissed. Even mocked.
I speak only of praying the words of the bible that make sense to do so. I thought that is common sense.

Of course, not every word in the bible is from Gods mouth. The words 'crucify him' for example are not from Gods mouth. It is not appropriate to pray read every word in the bible.
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Old 07-01-2017, 03:54 PM   #33
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I speak only of praying the words of the bible that make sense to do so. I thought that is common sense.

Of course, not every word in the bible is from Gods mouth. The words 'crucify him' for example are not from Gods mouth. It is not appropriate to pray read every word in the bible.
Ah! Common sense! What then to do when the Bible expositor's interpretive metric tells us, contrary to the clear and repeated pattern of NT reception, that whole swaths of the OT are "low", and "fallen concepts", and "mixed sentiments", and "natural" writings? And that large sections of the NT (e.g., Peter, James, Jude) are in similar straits?

In Acts 2 we see Peter standing with the eleven, saying that David, writing Psalm 16, was a prophet who knew the promise was for the Seed to come. This is part of a clear and repeated pattern of NT reception; what then to make of Psalm 18 where David says, "He rescued me because He delighted in me"? Common sense says that there's a pattern, and the One in whom God delights is the Son. See Matt 3:17; cf 2 Pet 1:17 &c

You know what Lee said? "God didn't delight in David. David was a sinner". What to do with common sense, here? Should we "just be simple, don't be hardened", and repeat "Processed! Amen, Processed" with the rest of the ministry drones? Or use our native common sense, and rehearse the word, as written, within the clear pattern of reception?
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:01 PM   #34
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I speak only of praying the words of the bible that make sense to do so. I thought that is common sense.

Of course, not every word in the bible is from Gods mouth. The words 'crucify him' for example are not from Gods mouth. It is not appropriate to pray read every word in the bible.
Evan, how do you know that these words "crucify him" are not from God's mouth?

Does not Isaiah 53 say, "He was smitten of God, and afflicted ... Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise Him, to put Him to grief, and to make His soul an offering for sin?"

You need a serious repentance about your views of scripture. That means change your way of thinking. Paul said "all scripture is God-breathed."
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:11 PM   #35
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Ah! Common sense! What then to do when the Bible expositor's interpretive metric tells us, contrary to the clear and repeated pattern of NT reception, that whole swaths of the OT are "low", and "fallen concepts", and "mixed sentiments", and "natural" writings? And that large sections of the NT (e.g., Peter, James, Jude) are in similar straits?

In Acts 2 we see Peter standing with the eleven, saying that David, writing Psalm 16, was a prophet who knew the promise was for the Seed to come. This is part of a clear and repeated pattern of NT reception; what then to make of Psalm 18 where David says, "He rescued me because He delighted in me"? Common sense says that there's a pattern, and the One in whom God delights is the Son. See Matt 3:17; cf 2 Pet 1:17 &c

You know what Lee said? "God didn't delight in David. David was a sinner". What to do with common sense, here? Should we "just be simple, don't be hardened", and repeat "Processed! Amen, Processed" with the rest of the ministry drones? Or use our native common sense, and rehearse the word, as written, within the clear pattern of reception?
I dont see how the commentary stops us pray reading the Word.

Well the old testament is but a shadow of the new. In most Christians minds it is of secondary importance to the new.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:17 PM   #36
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Evan, how do you know that these words "crucify him" are not from God's mouth?

Does not Isaiah 53 say, "He was smitten of God, and afflicted ... Yet it pleased Jehovah to bruise Him, to put Him to grief, and to make His soul an offering for sin?"

You need a serious repentance about your views of scripture. That means change your way of thinking. Paul said "all scripture is God-breathed."
The crowd were shouting crucify Him. God was not part of the crowd. Nor did God enter Judas for the betrayal. Then you believe the Father was also in the crowd shouting that. Furthermore you must believe that Satans words even Judas was inspired by God. Your view suggests a holy and perfect God was a participant in the crime. You may need to repent of saying that God did evil.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:28 PM   #37
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I dont see how the commentary stops us pray reading the Word.
Public shaming and group-think were part and parcel of the commentary. Pretty effective. Other than that though, "We are so free", as WL told Judge Seyranian.

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Well the old testament is but a shadow of the new. In most Christians minds it is of secondary importance to the new.
The NT shorn of its OT anchor is shorn of context and loses meaning. Then it's open to fill-in-the-blanks theology from every self-appointed apostle that comes along. Witness Lee was one of dozens, that I've seen.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:39 PM   #38
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Public shaming and group-think were part and parcel of the commentary. Pretty effective. Other than that though, "We are so free", as WL told Judge Seyranian.

The NT shorn of its OT anchor is shorn of context and loses meaning. Then it's open to fill-in-the-blanks theology from every self-appointed apostle that comes along. Witness Lee was one of dozens, that I've seen.
The thing is that the OT anchor was lost long ago by the shift of Christianity away from Judaism and into paganism.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:46 PM   #39
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The thing is that the OT anchor was lost long ago by the shift of Christianity away from Judaism and into paganism.
And Lee's hermeneutic recovered it? Please. How could he call China 'virgin soil' unless he was biased by ignorant self-interest & culture?

And the link is being restored, bit by bit. The Intertestamental, or Second Temple period is no longer the Great Blank Spot it once was. But you'd never know that inside the One Trumpet.
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Old 07-01-2017, 05:51 PM   #40
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And Lee's hermeneutic recovered it? Please. How could he call China 'virgin soil' unless he was biased by ignorant self-interest & culture?
What does China have to do with the old testament
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Old 07-01-2017, 06:19 PM   #41
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Yes, you are right. From our side however, we can understand a vain prayer to be one to which the Lord does not listen, and I believe Scripture reveals at least two ways that God might not hear our prayer - unbelief, or sin. Thus, to pray Scripture with a sinful heart, or an unbelieving heart, is likely to be in vain. As are, prayers of amiss, and prayers for public show.

If all these conditions are met, then praying the words of the bible as written, would not be in vain.

Actually, it is more than merely praying "from the heart" as OBW said. A person may "pray from the heart" for a million dollars, for example, and yet be asking amiss, or in vain. It may be a sincere prayer, but God does not answer prayers based upon sincerity, but based upon alignment with His will.
God is omniscient. He listens to all prayers. He hears all prayers. He hears every word we speak. God answers all prayers (yes; no; not now). God knows the thoughts and intents of all hearts. God doesn't live in a man-made box. He is the Potter. We are the clay. We don't dictate his ways to him. We don't tell him what and which prayers he answers and which he doesn't.

Exodus 33:19 ... I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

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Old 07-01-2017, 07:51 PM   #42
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The crowd were shouting crucify Him. God was not part of the crowd. Nor did God enter Judas for the betrayal. Then you believe the Father was also in the crowd shouting that. Furthermore you must believe that Satans words even Judas was inspired by God. Your view suggests a holy and perfect God was a participant in the crime. You may need to repent of saying that God did evil.
Not my words, but Isaiah's prophecy.

So Isaiah needs to repent for saying Jehovah did evil to His only begotten?

Evangelly, ever hear about the sovereignty of God?
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Old 07-01-2017, 09:14 PM   #43
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Not my words, but Isaiah's prophecy.

So Isaiah needs to repent for saying Jehovah did evil to His only begotten?

Evangelly, ever hear about the sovereignty of God?
Ohio,

Paul had some pretty strong words, too:

Romans 11:33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!
34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?
35 Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed unto him again?
36 For of him, and through him, and to him, are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.


And I like it when God told Job to "man up" and answer His questions:

38:1 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
2 “Who is this who darkens counsel with words without knowledge?
3 Get ready for a difficult task like a man; I will question you and you will inform me!
4 “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you possess understanding!


This amazing rebuke of Job continues in Job 38 through chapter 42:6.
God is who he is and we can't put him in a box. We can't presume to understand his ways.


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Old 07-01-2017, 10:02 PM   #44
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God is omniscient. He listens to all prayers. He hears all prayers. He hears every word we speak. God answers all prayers (yes; no; not now). God knows the thoughts and intents of all hearts. God doesn't live in a man-made box. He is the Potter. We are the clay. We don't dictate his ways to him. We don't tell him what and which prayers he answers and which he doesn't.

Exodus 33:19 ... I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy on whom I will shew mercy.

Nell

Psalm 66.18. Says God does not hear all prayers.
That is one of a few verses that tell us under whst circumstances God hears prayer.
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:14 PM   #45
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Not my words, but Isaiah's prophecy.

So Isaiah needs to repent for saying Jehovah did evil to His only begotten?

Evangelly, ever hear about the sovereignty of God?
The apostles blamed sinners for the crucifixion.
See Acts 2:22-23. The words crucify him came from the people not from God. So clearly they are not out of Gods mouth.
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Old 07-01-2017, 10:35 PM   #46
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Psalm 66.18. Says God does not hear all prayers.
That is one of a few verses that tell us under whst circumstances God hears prayer.
Psa. 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

It looks to me like it is the Psalmist saying "the Lord will not hear me".
It doesn't say "the Lord said he will not hear me."

Is the Psalmist offering his opinion?

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Old 07-01-2017, 11:05 PM   #47
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Psa. 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

It looks to me like it is the Psalmist saying "the Lord will not hear me".
It doesn't say "the Lord said he will not hear me."

Is the Psalmist offering his opinion?

Nell
John 9.31 says God does not hear sinners.

I think its a principle from the psalmists experience or Israels experience at the time.

Are you saying the psalmist is speaking from his natural man here? Thats a joke.

I consulted biblehub commentary and found this:

The same principle is affirmed or implied in Psalm 18:41; Psalm 34:15; Proverbs 1:28; Proverbs 15:29; Proverbs 28:9; Isaiah 15:1-9; Jeremiah 11:11; Jeremiah 14:12; Zechariah 7:13; John 9:31. It is also especially stated in Isaiah 58:3-7


Many examples of God not hearing or answering because of iniquity. Of course this does not mean God is not omniscient. He chooses not to hear.

You say..God hears all prayer and can answer no. I say God hears only prayers that are according to His will. If God says no it is because it is not in His will.

I think we believe the same but take the meaning of the word hear differently. To not hear someone can mean to not be able to hear due to deafness etc. Or it can mean being unwilling to listen and answer.

You are correct in one sense, but where you might accept Gods no and move on, I might check whether the no answer is because of some sin.
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:53 AM   #48
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What does China have to do with the old testament
Evangelical,

You sad - accurately, I think - that paganism removed the NT from its OT roots. This followed my point that such separation had led to loss of context and meaning. But what was the Little Flock of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee except British Brethrenism and a bit of Continental mysticism filtered through Confucian culture?

And what was, "Then God raised up Watchman Nee (and Witness Lee) on the virgin soil of China but pagan myth-making?
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Old 07-02-2017, 05:38 AM   #49
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And Lee's hermeneutic recovered it? Please. How could he call China 'virgin soil' unless he was biased by ignorant self-interest & culture?

And the link is being restored, bit by bit. The Intertestamental, or Second Temple period is no longer the Great Blank Spot it once was. But you'd never know that inside the One Trumpet.
Before we further with culture..

Psalm 18 doesn't say God delighted in David.
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Old 07-02-2017, 10:38 AM   #50
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Before we further with culture..

Psalm 18 doesn't say God delighted in David.
psalm 18:19?
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Old 07-02-2017, 11:41 AM   #51
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Before we further with culture..

Psalm 18 doesn't say God delighted in David.
(To self: Hmm.. what to make of such cryptic comments? Stalling for time? Dissuading discussion? Ah well. . some of my posts are probably as baffling. So show mercy and mercy will be shown. .)

Psalm 18:19b (RecV) He rescued me, for He took delight in me.

No footnote. But the footnote in v 20 (a parallel verse) says, "This is a wrong concept".

But Psalm 16's NT reception shows the pattern: David claimed God's provenance, which was not shown him but to the Seed. Peter in Acts 2 and Paul in Acts 13 both show this in some detail. As does commentary in the Epistle to the Hebrews, various quotes in the gospels &c.

So, "He [the Father] took delight in Me [the Son]" and "He [the Father] rescued Me [the Son - i.e. delivered from the pangs of death] are implied by the clear and repeated pattern of textual reception in the NT.

Yet WL never apparently even considered this. No mention is made if the Christ is here in scripture. No, it's merely sinful David and his concepts. No cross-references to the Father's delight in the Son in the gospels. And common sense, and receiving Christ as life from the Bible "as written" is where? On this thread, we were talking about repeating or rehearsing the word of scripture. Fixing into consciousness, "dwelling in us richly" and so forth. Lee dissuaded the LC parishioners here, saying scripture was "low", and "vain" and "natural concepts", and "mixed sentiments", and "wrong concepts". Instead we were encouraged to repeatedly cry, "Incarnation, inclusion, intensification!" and "Processed! Amen! Processed" and so forth. Which repetitive shouting, especially with approved intonations, heel-rocking, fore-arm thrusts, and so forth created and atmosphere of "feeling". . erm. . "God".. .? Enjoyment?

And yet the text of the "high peak epistles" of Colossians and Ephesians, as written by Paul, encouraged us to sing the Psalms?!? I consider this kind of teaching, in the face of it, to be a case of mass delusion. The Guru and the True Believers go into the ditch.
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Old 07-02-2017, 03:27 PM   #52
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Sorry, I meant there was no footnote about verse 19 that says "delighted is a wrong concept".

I think you are confused.

Verse 20 is the wrong concept that Lee is referring to:

The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands has he recompensed me.

By any Protestant sola fide view today, saying that God delights in us because of our own merits ("filthy rags") is a big no no.

Lee did not say God did not delight in David. What is the wrong concept here that Lee is referring to, is the belief that David held that God's delight was because of his own righteousness. Rather, God's delight in David was because of his heart of love and devotion towards God.
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Old 07-02-2017, 04:03 PM   #53
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Verse 19 has no footnote at all. It's surrounded by commentary panning David's erroneous concepts. Where else can one's common sense take them, here?

Suppose in Acts 2 Peter stood with the eleven, and said David had a wrong concept about his flesh not seeing corruption, that "his grave is with us today" (v.29), and then dismissed the crowd. Not a very inspiring gospel message. That's essentially what Lee did, here and pretty much everywhere he wasn't forced to acknowledge Christ from the NT reception.

God delighted in His Christ. God raised Him from the dead. Not too complicated, really. The NT re-iterates this theme continually. "He trusted in God; let Him [God] save Him [Christ] now". Why should we not see this also in Psalm 18, and elsewhere? Why couldn't we "see God's Christ, and live"? Why did Lee turn us away? Where's the NT pattern of turning away from scripture thus?? I see nothing but the opposite. "Closely following the apostles' fellowship" - hardly. I see novelty, deviation.
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Old 07-02-2017, 05:18 PM   #54
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Verse 19 has no footnote at all. It's surrounded by commentary panning David's erroneous concepts. Where else can one's common sense take them, here?

Suppose in Acts 2 Peter stood with the eleven, and said David had a wrong concept about his flesh not seeing corruption, that "his grave is with us today" (v.29), and then dismissed the crowd. Not a very inspiring gospel message. That's essentially what Lee did, here and pretty much everywhere he wasn't forced to acknowledge Christ from the NT reception.

God delighted in His Christ. God raised Him from the dead. Not too complicated, really. The NT re-iterates this theme continually. "He trusted in God; let Him [God] save Him [Christ] now". Why should we not see this also in Psalm 18, and elsewhere? Why couldn't we "see God's Christ, and live"? Why did Lee turn us away? Where's the NT pattern of turning away from scripture thus?? I see nothing but the opposite. "Closely following the apostles' fellowship" - hardly. I see novelty, deviation.
There's no footnote anywhere in the recovery version that says God did not delight in David. The footnote is for verse 20 where David thinks God recompensed him for the "cleanness of my hands".

Anyone who knows anything about David knows that he did not have "clean hands". David committed murder, adultery, and killed many people. David was not perfect, like Christ. In Psalm 51 he says "Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed". So I think Lee is correct that David talking about the "cleanness of my hands" is not in accordance with the New Testament revelation where we are saved by grace through faith, and not our own merits.
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Old 07-03-2017, 12:58 AM   #55
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There's no footnote anywhere in the recovery version that says God did not delight in David. The footnote is for verse 20 where David thinks God recompensed him for the "cleanness of my hands".

Anyone who knows anything about David knows that he did not have "clean hands". David committed murder, adultery, and killed many people. David was not perfect, like Christ. In Psalm 51 he says "Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed". So I think Lee is correct that David talking about the "cleanness of my hands" is not in accordance with the New Testament revelation where we are saved by grace through faith, and not our own merits.
If you read the footnotes in Psalm 16, Lee notes that the sentiments and experiences refer to "Christ in his human living". Why doesn't Psalm 18 also refer to "Christ in his human living"? Instead, Lee looked at David's hands, and his heart. Is that how we're saved? Looking at David and assessing his fitness? Clearly you haven't been pray-reading these verses, because the Holy Spirit hasn't yet come to fill you, and dwell in you richly, and reveal the Son. ~John 14:26 Try it sometime. Psalm 18:19 is every bit the word of Christ that Psalm 16:10 is. Or do you think a different Spirit comes when you pray-read Psalm 18? A "wrong concept" spirit?
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Old 07-03-2017, 01:35 AM   #56
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If you read the footnotes in Psalm 16, Lee notes that the sentiments and experiences refer to "Christ in his human living". Why doesn't Psalm 18 also refer to "Christ in his human living"? Instead, Lee looked at David's hands, and his heart. Is that how we're saved? Looking at David and assessing his fitness? Clearly you haven't been pray-reading these verses, because the Holy Spirit hasn't yet come to fill you, and dwell in you richly, and reveal the Son. ~John 14:26 Try it sometime. Psalm 18:19 is every bit the word of Christ that Psalm 16:10 is. Or do you think a different Spirit comes when you pray-read Psalm 18? A "wrong concept" spirit?
What about verse 20. Are we now supposed to pray read that God delights in us because of our own goodness? "Oh Lord ,like David you delight in me because of my goodness"..seems not like a prayer that the Spirit of Christ would inspire. Where is the blood of Christ and unmerited favor in this verse?
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:48 AM   #57
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What about verse 20. Are we now supposed to pray read that God delights in us because of our own goodness? "Oh Lord ,like David you delight in me because of my goodness"..seems not like a prayer that the Spirit of Christ would inspire. Where is the blood of Christ and unmerited favor in this verse?
Evangelical, I don't suppose you could be any more deliberately obtuse, could you? Did Peter say Psalm 16 was about David? Or about "the NT believer enjoying grace"? God delights in His Son. Our faith is not in ourselves, nor David, nor in the NT believer enjoying grace.

Christ is our righteousness, precisely because He did have clean hands in His human living before the Father's throne. Doesn't it strike you as odd that a Bible expositor who teased "Christ" out the silver sockets of the ark couldn't see Christ here?

I know, you'll protest, "But Christ isn't the sinful and repentant protagonist of Psalm 51. Don't read too much into the text." Yet look at the end of Psalm 51. Almost the exact words Jesus speaks to Peter. "When you turn back to God, you'll be a strengthening to the rest."

I do apologize if I've cast aspersions on the person; if Witness Lee was a failure then I moreso. But earlier we were talking about the vanity of the Gentiles, thinking that in their multiplicity of words they reached God. I can hardly think of anything more vain than expounding on the Bible and ignoring Jesus Christ. Here, it even seems the ignoring is done at some effort.
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Old 07-03-2017, 06:51 AM   #58
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Evangelical, I don't suppose you could be any more deliberately obtuse, could you? Did Peter say Psalm 16 was about David? Or about "the NT believer enjoying grace"? God delights in His Son. Our faith is not in ourselves, nor David, nor in the NT believer enjoying grace.

Christ is our righteousness, precisely because He did have clean hands in His human living before the Father's throne. Doesn't it strike you as odd that a Bible expositor who teased "Christ" out the silver sockets of the ark couldn't see Christ here?

I know, you'll protest, "But Christ isn't the sinful and repentant protagonist of Psalm 51. Don't read too much into the text." Yet look at the end of Psalm 51. Almost the exact words Jesus speaks to Peter. "When you turn back to God, you'll be a strengthening to the rest."

I do apologize if I've cast aspersions on the person; if Witness Lee was a failure then I moreso. But earlier we were talking about the vanity of the Gentiles, thinking that in their multiplicity of words they reached God. I can hardly think of anything more vain than expounding on the Bible and ignoring Jesus Christ. Here, it even seems the ignoring is done at some effort.
Perhaps it is because God did not deliver Christ from his enemies like He did with David.

So I've just been reading the book Christ and the church revealed in the psalms and Lee mentions that certain verses of psalm 18 refer to Christ there.
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Old 07-03-2017, 07:57 AM   #59
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I was speaking of praying the words of the bible as written...and not for praying them out of context. If we pray the words of the bible as written it cannot be vain.
First, out of context is often still as written. That is the reason it is so difficult to put the "name it and claim it" (or blab it and grab it) preachers out of business. And it sometimes cripples very good Christians. My cousin, the son of an evangelical preacher (well mostly so — AOG) broke his back in a bicycle accident. Because of their belief in healing as something that could be claimed (at least at some level, or by those with the right "gift") they had a hard time over the years as he has remained a paraplegic and has some ongoing health problems as a result. They are praying from the Bible. But they do not fully understand it, so they do not realize that the "promise" they have been holding onto is not quite what they think it is.

If you pray the words of so many portions that are claimed to be continual "promises," but were actually specific to Israel, you will not get what you expect. They are not entirely vain because you are praying to God. But they are vain because they are requests for what will not be granted.

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I also note your use of the term "religious duty" seems to contradict your stance in previous discussions on the meaning of the word religion where you indicated that religion is a positive thing. Seeing you use the word in a negative way here is surprising.
When I say "religious duty," I am referring to going through a motion because it was learned or seems required, but not because your heart, mind, and will are engaged (other than t do what you think is required). It does not negate my otherwise positive use of the word "religion." If you think it does, it demonstrates that you are still mired in the "one definition" world that Lee doped us all into believing. It is worse than a garlic room. More like a smoky opium den. Drugged so that fantasy and hallucination seem to be reality.

"religion" and "religious duty" are not necessarily of the same kind. If you have a duty and it is religious, it may or may not be something negative. The key is to how you engage in it. If your heart, mind, will, etc. are engaged to meet God in it, then there is nothing negative to say about it. If it is merely that thing you do occasionally because it is what you learned to do years ago and your heart is far away, then there is a problem.

Once again, "religion" — even religious duty — is not the problem. It is the participant. Your inability to see beyond the hollow rhetoric of your sect is evidence of a closed and ignorant mind.
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Old 07-03-2017, 09:34 AM   #60
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Perhaps it is because God did not deliver Christ from his enemies like He did with David..
Acts 2:24 (NIV)But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

God delivered Christ from death. This is our hope, our faith, our strength. It is the central point of the NT. Without this, what do we have? Yet Lee couldn't, or wouldn't, see it.

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So I've just been reading the book Christ and the church revealed in the psalms and Lee mentions that certain verses of psalm 18 refer to Christ there.
Well it's good that Lee found certain verses. Please bear with the rest of us if we can also find Christ in certain verses. Like having clean hands, etc. Being righteous. Being delivered from the power death.

It seems more than passing strange that Lee read Christ so broadly, liberally, and generously elsewhere, but here read Christ so narrowly. You'd think it would be the opposite, if anything. Certainly the invitation via apostolic precedent was there. But no. The apostle has spoken. No Christ in God's delight, in clean hands, in obedience. . . so then who? Nobody, says Lee. None are good. If that is so, then who died on the cross for us?
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:37 PM   #61
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Acts 2:24 (NIV)But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.

God delivered Christ from death. This is our hope, our faith, our strength. It is the central point of the NT. Without this, what do we have? Yet Lee couldn't, or wouldn't, see it.

Well it's good that Lee found certain verses. Please bear with the rest of us if we can also find Christ in certain verses. Like having clean hands, etc. Being righteous. Being delivered from the power death.

It seems more than passing strange that Lee read Christ so broadly, liberally, and generously elsewhere, but here read Christ so narrowly. You'd think it would be the opposite, if anything. Certainly the invitation via apostolic precedent was there. But no. The apostle has spoken. No Christ in God's delight, in clean hands, in obedience. . . so then who? Nobody, says Lee. None are good. If that is so, then who died on the cross for us?

Death was not the enemy David was speaking of.
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Old 07-03-2017, 02:52 PM   #62
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First, out of context is often still as written. That is the reason it is so difficult to put the "name it and claim it" (or blab it and grab it) preachers out of business. And it sometimes cripples very good Christians. My cousin, the son of an evangelical preacher (well mostly so — AOG) broke his back in a bicycle accident. Because of their belief in healing as something that could be claimed (at least at some level, or by those with the right "gift") they had a hard time over the years as he has remained a paraplegic and has some ongoing health problems as a result. They are praying from the Bible. But they do not fully understand it, so they do not realize that the "promise" they have been holding onto is not quite what they think it is.

If you pray the words of so many portions that are claimed to be continual "promises," but were actually specific to Israel, you will not get what you expect. They are not entirely vain because you are praying to God. But they are vain because they are requests for what will not be granted.

When I say "religious duty," I am referring to going through a motion because it was learned or seems required, but not because your heart, mind, and will are engaged (other than t do what you think is required). It does not negate my otherwise positive use of the word "religion." If you think it does, it demonstrates that you are still mired in the "one definition" world that Lee doped us all into believing. It is worse than a garlic room. More like a smoky opium den. Drugged so that fantasy and hallucination seem to be reality.

"religion" and "religious duty" are not necessarily of the same kind. If you have a duty and it is religious, it may or may not be something negative. The key is to how you engage in it. If your heart, mind, will, etc. are engaged to meet God in it, then there is nothing negative to say about it. If it is merely that thing you do occasionally because it is what you learned to do years ago and your heart is far away, then there is a problem.

Once again, "religion" — even religious duty — is not the problem. It is the participant. Your inability to see beyond the hollow rhetoric of your sect is evidence of a closed and ignorant mind.
I dont think Pauls prayer for healing was in vain. He was genuine to pray for healing but God had other plans.It is not a princple that we shouldn't pray for healing. Though if Paul persisted more than 3 times I think it would be vain.

We talk about the spirit vs the natural man and what you said about the heart is very similar to that. Religion is trying to be pleasing God without Christ. Your definition is missing Christ. I mean a Hindu could visit widows with their heart in it.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:23 AM   #63
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Death was not the enemy David was speaking of.
Really?!? And even where it says, "The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me" . . . you can't even take the position of the Ethiopian to Philip and ask, Was he writing concerning himself, or another (Acts 8)? Where's the examination, the consideration? Where's the careful weighing? And why was the "rich ministry of Witness Lee", such an allegorical bonanza elsewhere, such a dry hole when he came to the Psalms? Unable to see Jesus Christ when possibly portrayed in figure and type? When NT reception repeatedly gave permission (even invitation) to consider? Witness Lee never even considered, apparently. Some doctrinal wall stumbled him, apparently. He wasn't even able to look at the plain words on paper in front of his eyes. The "inner life" apparently clouded him. He didn't "get life" to look at God's word, and consider, and muse. . .
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Old 07-05-2017, 10:44 AM   #64
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I dont think Pauls prayer for healing was in vain.
And I never suggested otherwise or suggested you thought otherwise.
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He was genuine to pray for healing but God had other plans.It is not a princple that we shouldn't pray for healing. Though if Paul persisted more than 3 times I think it would be vain.
You really think that God would expect that we stop such a prayer just because of a number? Not faulting Paul. It appears that he received his answer at that point. And if he did then you are correct. But that does not mean that you or I or anyone else must expect an answer by #3 and cease or be in vain. You are trying to read into the account something that is not there. Paul indicated that he received the word that God's grace was sufficient for him. At that point, Paul took it as final. Does that mean that everyone needs to know when it is final. Or that it will be after #3 (either clearly answered or quit trying anyway).

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We talk about the spirit vs the natural man and what you said about the heart is very similar to that. Religion is trying to be pleasing God without Christ. Your definition is missing Christ. I mean a Hindu could visit widows with their heart in it.
Your response is based on the presumption that there must be the constant speaking or writing of the word/name "Christ" or it is not about Him. It is a subtle way to cast aside those who do not feel the need to constantly repeat the obvious. I am not saying that we have no need to speak or write "Christ" at any time. But once the context is formed (e.g., the discussion is about people engaged in the active worship of Christ with their whole hearts and not just doing a routine without any actual thought of Christ) then you have no basis for such a statement.

You are trying so hard to exclude as many Christians from your definition of belief in Christ, and worship of Christ. By almost any means possible. Including mischaracterizing what they say. You do this by demanding that your lexicon of terminology is the only right one, therefore what I say is rejected as "incorrect" because I do not use your lexicon.

BTW. Back in the second quote above, you sais that Paul "was genuine to pray . . . ." Do you think that genuine prayer is only prayer that is not vain? You think that someone is not genuinely praying even if it is ultimately in vain? "[G]enuine to pray" would seem to mean that it was what the prayer is actually intending to do. I assume that you really meant something else like "not in vain" or something like that. Genuine is not the opposite of "not in vain." I just think that you have a fixation on the word. Just like genuine church or genuine worship. You use the word as a qualifier intended to exclude others from what is being discussed (church, worship, prayer, etc.) But its meaning is not narrow enough for what you are trying to do. You are redefining it so that you can separate yourself from others. And that is exactly what Jesus taught us to do (NOT!).
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:02 PM   #65
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And I never suggested otherwise or suggested you thought otherwise.
You really think that God would expect that we stop such a prayer just because of a number? Not faulting Paul. It appears that he received his answer at that point. And if he did then you are correct. But that does not mean that you or I or anyone else must expect an answer by #3 and cease or be in vain. You are trying to read into the account something that is not there. Paul indicated that he received the word that God's grace was sufficient for him. At that point, Paul took it as final. Does that mean that everyone needs to know when it is final. Or that it will be after #3 (either clearly answered or quit trying anyway).
If Paul had continued asking, I'm sure God would have ignored him. Thus, it would have been vain.



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Your response is based on the presumption that there must be the constant speaking or writing of the word/name "Christ" or it is not about Him. It is a subtle way to cast aside those who do not feel the need to constantly repeat the obvious. I am not saying that we have no need to speak or write "Christ" at any time. But once the context is formed (e.g., the discussion is about people engaged in the active worship of Christ with their whole hearts and not just doing a routine without any actual thought of Christ) then you have no basis for such a statement.

You are trying so hard to exclude as many Christians from your definition of belief in Christ, and worship of Christ. By almost any means possible. Including mischaracterizing what they say. You do this by demanding that your lexicon of terminology is the only right one, therefore what I say is rejected as "incorrect" because I do not use your lexicon.
Your definition didn't seem to cover Christians doing things with their heart in it, but not for Christ. For example, Sunday church raffles. Some of the old ladies must put in a lot of effort to bake the cakes. But if it is not for Christ then does it really count?

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BTW. Back in the second quote above, you sais that Paul "was genuine to pray . . . ." Do you think that genuine prayer is only prayer that is not vain? You think that someone is not genuinely praying even if it is ultimately in vain? "[G]enuine to pray" would seem to mean that it was what the prayer is actually intending to do. I assume that you really meant something else like "not in vain" or something like that. Genuine is not the opposite of "not in vain." I just think that you have a fixation on the word. Just like genuine church or genuine worship. You use the word as a qualifier intended to exclude others from what is being discussed (church, worship, prayer, etc.) But its meaning is not narrow enough for what you are trying to do. You are redefining it so that you can separate yourself from others. And that is exactly what Jesus taught us to do (NOT!).
[/QUOTE]

To me there is only prayer that is answered (not in vain), and prayer that is not answered i.e. in vain. The word genuine is interchangeable with the word vain because vanity speaks of the result, but genuine speaks of how we pray. Without genuine prayer there can only be vain results.
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Old 07-05-2017, 09:19 PM   #66
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Really?!? And even where it says, "The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me" . . . you can't even take the position of the Ethiopian to Philip and ask, Was he writing concerning himself, or another (Acts 8)? Where's the examination, the consideration? Where's the careful weighing? And why was the "rich ministry of Witness Lee", such an allegorical bonanza elsewhere, such a dry hole when he came to the Psalms? Unable to see Jesus Christ when possibly portrayed in figure and type? When NT reception repeatedly gave permission (even invitation) to consider? Witness Lee never even considered, apparently. Some doctrinal wall stumbled him, apparently. He wasn't even able to look at the plain words on paper in front of his eyes. The "inner life" apparently clouded him. He didn't "get life" to look at God's word, and consider, and muse. . .

These passages from Psalm 18 don't seem to refer to death to me:

He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.

He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:51 AM   #67
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These passages from Psalm 18 don't seem to refer to death to me:

He shot his arrows and scattered the enemy,
with great bolts of lightning he routed them.

He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
Death is the last enemy, the great enemy of us all, including David and especially Christ. See 1 Cor 15:26. If you look at Psalm 18:3-5 this physical and spiritual fact is clearly portrayed in poetic language.

Also notable is the motif of the watery grave. In this Psalm 18 shares themes with Psalms 42 and 69. I don't think David spent much time at sea but the "drowning" theme recurs. In fact some of the literary parallels to Jonah chapter 2 are nearly impossible to miss. But other than a couple of RecV cross-references Lee's Bible managed to avoid it.

And who was it that compared being in the grave to Jonah's experience? Oh yes, Jesus did that! Wonder how He made that connection, hm?

LC'er 1: "Let's sing Psalm 18 together"
LC'er 2: "No, it's too low, and has natural concepts and mixed sentiments. Better we enjoy grace in the NT by pray-reading the high peaks of the divine revelation"
LC'er 1: "You mean like Colossians and Ephesians, both of which encourage us to sing psalms?"
LC'er 2: "Yes, exactly!"

Lee's chief failure was not his ignorance - we're all ignorant. His failure was in codifying and institutionalizing his ignorance. "You neither enter in, nor allow your disciples to enter."

And repetition and rituals were the tools of his trade. "Don't think, it will only make you confused." That's the kind of nonsense they fed us. "Get out of your mind" & so on.
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Old 07-07-2017, 03:43 PM   #68
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If Paul had continued asking, I'm sure God would have ignored him. Thus, it would have been vain.
Under the assumption that Paul received a clear answer (which he said he did) you could stretch to say you are right. But just because someone keeps on asking without receiving is not evidence that the prayer is in vain. Even Jesus commended the widow who returned day-after-day to ask the judge for justice on an issue.

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Your definition didn't seem to cover Christians doing things with their heart in it, but not for Christ. For example, Sunday church raffles. Some of the old ladies must put in a lot of effort to bake the cakes. But if it is not for Christ then does it really count?
Once again, you are stepping back from what I have repeatedly stated and spoken as if I did not. When I say "with their heart" it is within the context of the heart turned toward Christ. Seeking Christ. Your little efforts to undermine my statements are getting a little tiresome.

And are starting to read like internet trolling. Always trying to turn any conversation into something other than what it is. That is something that someone claiming to be a representative of "God's unique move on the earth that has the highest claim to oneness" should not be doing. It smacks of intentionally trying to shove people out of your way so you can have a private sandbox in which to say you are one with those you allow in.

You have two options in response.

1. Admit that you really don't understand the words that I use and start to ask for help in understanding.

2. Admit that you are intentionally being a jerk so that you can undermine others without actually dealing with the substance of the statements they make.

I suspect that it is the latter. And I suspect that you will never admit to either. Just keep up the same old trolling.

Soon, the responses to your posts will start to be "Don't Feed the Troll."

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To me there is only prayer that is answered (not in vain), and prayer that is not answered i.e. in vain. The word genuine is interchangeable with the word vain because vanity speaks of the result, but genuine speaks of how we pray. Without genuine prayer there can only be vain results.
And here we return to the story Jesus told.

Besides, on what basis do you determine that a prayer that is not answered (as of today) is or is not in vain? It is not simply by the fact that it is not answered. If that was true, then Paul would have been in vain two out of three because he didn't get an answer until the third time. And there is no metric in the Bible defining the acceptable number of times to ask before we "let it go." And there is nothing that makes the number of times the prayer is offered evidence of being vain. That is just stuff you are making up.

In the final analysis you could be right. But between here and the next age, it is not your opinion nor mine that makes anyone's prayer in vain. Especially no target number of prayers on a single topic that can be offered without answer before it becomes vain to ask again. There is no such metric. You are making stuff up whole cloth and trying to pass it off as spiritual. You can keep saying it, but there is nothing that makes what you are saying right. But you keep saying it anyway.
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Old 07-08-2017, 12:36 AM   #69
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Under the assumption that Paul received a clear answer (which he said he did) you could stretch to say you are right. But just because someone keeps on asking without receiving is not evidence that the prayer is in vain. Even Jesus commended the widow who returned day-after-day to ask the judge for justice on an issue.
Possibly, it depends on the circumstance. However the fact that Jesus nor Paul or David prayed more than 3 times is telling. Then there is the warning to not persist too much in case God gives his permissive will not his perfect will.


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Once again, you are stepping back from what I have repeatedly stated and spoken as if I did not. When I say "with their heart" it is within the context of the heart turned toward Christ. Seeking Christ. Your little efforts to undermine my statements are getting a little tiresome.
I did not get that context because you did not talk about the heart turned toward Christ as such. Your definition of religion to me seemed Christ-less in the sense that it was defined in reference to our own heart and not the object of the worship which should be Christ. Basically I think if something is for Christ it is not religion, if it is not for Christ but ourselves then it is religion.


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And are starting to read like internet trolling. Always trying to turn any conversation into something other than what it is. That is something that someone claiming to be a representative of "God's unique move on the earth that has the highest claim to oneness" should not be doing. It smacks of intentionally trying to shove people out of your way so you can have a private sandbox in which to say you are one with those you allow in.

You have two options in response.

1. Admit that you really don't understand the words that I use and start to ask for help in understanding.

2. Admit that you are intentionally being a jerk so that you can undermine others without actually dealing with the substance of the statements they make.

I suspect that it is the latter. And I suspect that you will never admit to either. Just keep up the same old trolling.

Soon, the responses to your posts will start to be "Don't Feed the Troll."
Just because the discussion naturally flows into a certain direction does not mean it is trolling.


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And here we return to the story Jesus told.

Besides, on what basis do you determine that a prayer that is not answered (as of today) is or is not in vain? It is not simply by the fact that it is not answered. If that was true, then Paul would have been in vain two out of three because he didn't get an answer until the third time. And there is no metric in the Bible defining the acceptable number of times to ask before we "let it go." And there is nothing that makes the number of times the prayer is offered evidence of being vain. That is just stuff you are making up.

In the final analysis you could be right. But between here and the next age, it is not your opinion nor mine that makes anyone's prayer in vain. Especially no target number of prayers on a single topic that can be offered without answer before it becomes vain to ask again. There is no such metric. You are making stuff up whole cloth and trying to pass it off as spiritual. You can keep saying it, but there is nothing that makes what you are saying right. But you keep saying it anyway.
The principle of three-times is well established in the Bible.

David prayed 3 times a day. Christ prayed 3 times. Paul prayed 3 times. The principle of 3 witnesses. etc.

Please see the "use of three in the bible" here:

https://bible.org/seriespage/3-use-three-bible
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Old 07-09-2017, 06:42 AM   #70
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Possibly, it depends on the circumstance. However the fact that Jesus nor Paul or David prayed more than 3 times is telling. Then there is the warning to not persist too much in case God gives his permissive will not his perfect will.
First, you attempt to make prescription out of a couple of observations. In response to your observations, it is worth noting that there are times when the Bible records things according to some numerical pattern. Like leaving out a little-known generation in some genealogy so that the groupings are exactly 7 or 10 from here to there. You make the observation that two different people many years apart prayed three times — once by counting the manner in which the events are recorded and the other by the account of the person who prayed (Paul) — but scripture makes no comment in either case concerning any significance to the three, whether immediately or later, yet you make a rule out of it.

It seems rather duplicitous to be using a lexicon in which the set patterns of a liturgy which is used as a means of being thorough in worship is dismissed as "religion" (always considered in a negative light) yet your own ways are mired in rules of "musts" that you claim separate the believers that "uniquely" follow God in the proper manner from all others. Musts like how you name your assembly. What ministry you follow. Limiting the use of terms like "saints" to less than all believers. Following a very specific, even if not written down, pattern for the Lord's table that is enforced as if written in stone.

While I do not agree with all of your "musts," to the extent that they are just yours, I have no particular complaint. But to the extent that you insist that others follow them or be considered deficient spiritually, you make yourself the very kind of "religion" that you complain of with respect to everyone else.

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I did not get that context because you did not talk about the heart turned toward Christ as such. Your definition of religion to me seemed Christ-less in the sense that it was defined in reference to our own heart and not the object of the worship which should be Christ. Basically I think if something is for Christ it is not religion, if it is not for Christ but ourselves then it is religion.
It is clear that you are looking for reasons to dismiss the practices of all Christians but your group.

And your group is following rules that are not stated in the scripture, but you not only think of them as good ideas but as articles of the faith. Then when I do not detail the meaning behind every word that I speak, you find cause to dismiss it a not being about Christ. Your little world of parsing what isn't there to create doctrine, coupled with parsing what everyone else says according the lexicon of your unfounded doctrines is worse than the kind of religion that you constantly try to limit the word to mean.

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Just because the discussion naturally flows into a certain direction does not mean it is trolling.
It is trolling when the topic is on one thing and you are constantly seeking to nit-pick the lexicon being used by others so as to create division in the body of Christ.

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The principle of three-times is well established in the Bible.

David prayed 3 times a day. Christ prayed 3 times. Paul prayed 3 times. The principle of 3 witnesses. etc.
But none of these were stated as required (other than 2 (TWO) witnesses." And none of them precluded more. Neither the practice of David, or the account Paul gave of his particular prayer defined three as a required minimum or maximum. That is an overlay added by those who need to find cause for separation from others.

That there are principles in numbers does not make them rise above their place Is the principle that God requires threes, or are there threes because repetition makes a point. And three is generally seen as intentionally repeated. But even that admission does not cause all occurrences of three to mean that some overriding principle is in play. God is three (trinity) because he is, not because there is a principle to it. But just because he is three does not make everything have to be in threes.

What about principles of 7, 10, or 12? When those are used, it is seldom to suggest that a precise number is intended, but that a principle (that has nothing to do with the actual number) is being inferred. Yet when it comes to 3, you want to insist that its principle is the number 3, not something else. That the mention of something in 3s or as happening 3 times is about the number of times rather than using the description of the thing in 3s as a sideways reference to a principle that is not about number.

I think you are getting the importance of 3 all wrong. To the extent that it is a "thing" or principle, it is not about the number. It is a stand-in for something of actual significance. The number three is not of standalone significance that I can see. It is an observation of the tendency for the writers to mention certain kinds of things in 3s. That should point to something else as the principle, not to the number 3.

. . . .

Of course, it is to be expected that the followers of Nee and Lee would be quick to find excludable fault in others. The LRC comes by this practice naturally through the following of their MOTAs who found fault in everyone outside of their own sect. I guess ground and MOTA is not enough for some. They need to add "3" to the list.
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Old 07-09-2017, 02:38 PM   #71
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First, you attempt to make prescription out of a couple of observations. In response to your observations, it is worth noting that there are times when the Bible records things according to some numerical pattern. Like leaving out a little-known generation in some genealogy so that the groupings are exactly 7 or 10 from here to there. You make the observation that two different people many years apart prayed three times — once by counting the manner in which the events are recorded and the other by the account of the person who prayed (Paul) — but scripture makes no comment in either case concerning any significance to the three, whether immediately or later, yet you make a rule out of it.
I am quoting your first paragraph but I am addressing your whole post regarding praying three times. As usual, when addressing your posts I only have to consult what bible scholars say. You may be right with your "SOLO scriptura" interpretation that "there is no rule". Yet this does not mean you are correct. In fact you are quite wrong because you have not considered the reason why Paul might have prayed three times and that this was according to a well-established principle.

This is from Barnes' Notes on the Bible 2 Corinthians 12:8 (emphasis mine)

There is some reason to suppose that the Jews were in the habit of praying three times for any important blessing or for the removal of any calamity; and Paul in this would not only conform to the usual custom, but especially he would he disposed to imitate the example of the Lord Jesus. Among the Jews three was a sacred number, and repeated instances occur where an important transaction is mentioned as having been done thrice; see Numbers 22:28; Numbers 24:10; 1 Samuel 3:8; 1 Samuel 20:41; 1 Kings 18:44; Proverbs 22:20; Jeremiah 7:4; Jeremiah 22:29; John 21:17.

I think the parallel between Jesus praying 3 times and Paul praying 3 times is well known. At least most of the bible commentaries I have consulted make reference to it. Here, Paul used the thrice-prayer principle that Christ used. God also confirms this principle as it was God who intervened after the third time and gave His response.

So consider which of these two views are most in accordance with the bible?
- praying as many times as you like, "because the bible gives no principles".
- praying three times to imitate the example of the Lord Jesus, Paul and the many other uses of the three-fold principle.
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Old 07-10-2017, 06:21 AM   #72
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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I am quoting your first paragraph but I am addressing your whole post regarding praying three times. As usual, when addressing your posts I only have to consult what bible scholars say. You may be right with your "SOLO scriptura" interpretation that "there is no rule". Yet this does not mean you are correct. In fact you are quite wrong because you have not considered the reason why Paul might have prayed three times and that this was according to a well-established principle.

This is from Barnes' Notes on the Bible 2 Corinthians 12:8 (emphasis mine)

There is some reason to suppose that the Jews were in the habit of praying three times for any important blessing or for the removal of any calamity; and Paul in this would not only conform to the usual custom, but especially he would he disposed to imitate the example of the Lord Jesus. Among the Jews three was a sacred number, and repeated instances occur where an important transaction is mentioned as having been done thrice; see Numbers 22:28; Numbers 24:10; 1 Samuel 3:8; 1 Samuel 20:41; 1 Kings 18:44; Proverbs 22:20; Jeremiah 7:4; Jeremiah 22:29; John 21:17.

I think the parallel between Jesus praying 3 times and Paul praying 3 times is well known. At least most of the bible commentaries I have consulted make reference to it. Here, Paul used the thrice-prayer principle that Christ used. God also confirms this principle as it was God who intervened after the third time and gave His response.

So consider which of these two views are most in accordance with the bible?
- praying as many times as you like, "because the bible gives no principles".
- praying three times to imitate the example of the Lord Jesus, Paul and the many other uses of the three-fold principle.
The importance of numerology to some is clearly historical. And from the Jews to this day, there are some who make a lot of significance of numbers. And in that system, the number three is one of the more important numbers.

It is clear that three is used in certain places for the purpose of making comment beyond the mere words. Daniel was recorded as praying three times, and it was because of his regularity at it that his enemies knew how to catch him praying to someone other than the king who had been conned into declaring himself as the only and highest god in the land.

To this day there is a common thought to pray at times through the day. Many of the full liturgies of the so-called "high church" include times of prayer at morning, noon, and evening. Some of the lectionaries split up the days readings for this purpose.

But despite this, no matter how strongly some Jews felt that prayer for certain things was to be prayed for three times, or the liturgies point to praying in such a full way three times in a day, there is nothing recording such a rule or requirement within the Bible. Therefore, any such rule — whether concerning prayer for particular issues or the manner in which prayer is to happen — is beyond the scope of the only absolute we have, which is the Bible.

I find it truly amazing that you argue for this as if it is recorded in the Bible, yet you so often dismiss what the Bible actually says about various things. That you make some of your hardest arguments about what you think is wrong with Christianity by reference to what they do (but do not insist upon) that is not clearly outlined in scripture, yet you are quick to use what is not in scripture as the basis for open complaint against your brothers in Christ.

There are Christian writers who believe that numbers are of no consequence at all. Others who recognize that where numbers are mentioned and fall in certain categories (3s, 7s, others, multiples of the root numbers, etc,) that the words are conveying some kind of message beyond the mere words, or the numbers indicate some kind of emphasis. For example, why write to 7 churches in Asia in a manner that makes I sound as if that is all there when when there were clearly others in the region? Do you know the reason?

There are yet other writers who are enamored with numbers. They seek to find rules of all kinds of numbers. They take those numbers to extremes of importance despite the fact that the Bible did not.

And in this case, the Bible is silent. Yes, there is reference to three concerning Daniel. Maybe David (I don't recall that one off the top of my head). Paul does mention it, but without comment concerning any significance or rules concerning the number. And the lengthy time of prayer of Jesus was broken into three segments when he went to check on the sleeping disciples, but without any comment by himself or the writers that this fulfilled some rule. No "to fulfill what was spoken of in the prophets concerning prayers . . . ."

You are fully "smoked" with the fumes of a religious system that makes much out of what is not stated and ignores too much of what is. Jesus went out to pray between their Passover meal and hiss arrest. During that time he prayed. And he got up twice to check on the disciples. then returned to his prayer. Yes, that makes his prayer into three segments. But where do any of the recordings of this indicate that a principle of prayer to either require three times, or limit to three times?

As for Paul, where does he indicate that he fulfilled some ancient rule of praying that still applied? When I think of his writings concerning eating certain meats, observing certain days, etc., it is easier to see him referring to three times of prayer as asserting to those who might have such a thought that he had met their "rules of weakness" (referring back to his statements about the "weaker ones") just to keep the naysayers from murmuring that he had failed to meet some requirement they held. The problem is that there is nothing stated in scripture that makes this a requirement.

Jesus commended for relentless prayer without giving in. But he only requires one solitary acknowledgement that he is the Christ, the Son of the living God to be saved. No three in either of those. When he did make reference to prayer, he said "when you pray." He did not add rules concerning when or how many times. Just discussed the content.

Paul did not argue for three times. He argues for continual. Not on your knees. Not necessarily just saying "O Lord Jesus" over and over.

Last, your comparison is not compelling. Neither is "in accordance with the Bible." to make such a statement about the Bible is to have found that the Bible makes a rule by which you should be in accord. Within the gospels, Matthew and Mark mention this particular prayer, but without comment. Luke and John, while speaking of the prayer in general, do not record anything in that manner. There is no rule created. I would not deny that praying more than once — at least until an answer is received — is a meaningful lesson to learn. But even that is not stated here.

Because you have not found anything except three non-specific references to three, there is nothing upon which a rule can be based. It is one thing to encourage people to pray at least three times if they are feeling they have not gotten an answer. But neither of these indicate that three was a limit and that no answer was to be inferred as "no." Paul had a word from God — "My grace is sufficient." Jesus only had that much time and he used it praying. Within all of the things that are recorded as prayed that evening, there was the one thing that was repeated for the three times. Yet, there is no comment from the gospel writers or from anyone else later to make three a rule.

For this reason, while you may think there is a compelling reason to buy into a "cut it off at three" rule, I can see evidence from the mouth of Jesus that we should persevere without thought to quitting. Based on that, where is the rule to stop at three?

It does not exist. It is yet another rule that goes beyond what is written. And the way you are wielding your so-called rule, it would seem that finding fault in the practices of other Christians is your primary goal. I find no support for your insistence and instead evidence that you seek to divide the body over nonsense.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:39 PM   #73
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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The principle of three-times is well established in the Bible.

David prayed 3 times a day. Christ prayed 3 times. Paul prayed 3 times. The principle of 3 witnesses. etc.

Please see the "use of three in the bible" here:

https://bible.org/seriespage/3-use-three-bible
If you so believe in the principle of three-times, probably you should apply the same principle to the calling on the name of the Lord.

Trying to call "Oh, Lord Jesus!" more than three times in order to turn to the spirit would be calling His name in vain.
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Old 07-11-2017, 06:58 PM   #74
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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If you so believe in the principle of three-times, probably you should apply the same principle to the calling on the name of the Lord.

Trying to call "Oh, Lord Jesus!" more than three times in order to turn to the spirit would be calling His name in vain.
We do.
Calling on the Lord 3 times is how people can be saved.

The principle also applies for God speaking to us.
See
1 Samuel 3:8.

Heres a challenge.
Try to find any prayer or habit of prayer being more than 3 times in the bible.

The problem is people want it spelled out in black and white what they can or can't do. They are ignorant of the repeated patterns and principles. They would have us believe that the fact so many are recorded as praying 3 times is due to coincidence rather than a God-inspired principle.

Can they really claim to be following the bible while ignoring the revealed patterns and praying as they think they know best?

In other cases they probably follow a biblical principle for which no clear command exists.

For example there is no rule or verse that says that Christians must meet on Sunday. But almost everyone does because this is the ancient church tradition and the principle of meeting on the day Christ rose has special significance.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:03 PM   #75
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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We do.
Calling on the Lord 3 times is how people can be saved.

The principle also applies for God speaking to us.
See
1 Samuel 3:8.
(1) Where is the proof that people has to call on the Lord 3 times to be saved?

(2) You agree those "calling on the name of the Lord 5 times", "calling on the name of the Lord 10 times" in local church meetings are all calling in vain then?
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:17 PM   #76
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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(1) Where is the proof that people has to call on the Lord 3 times to be saved?

(2) You agree those "calling on the name of the Lord 5 times", "calling on the name of the Lord 10 times" in local church meetings are all calling in vain then?
Where is the proof that Christians must meet on a Sunday? Where is the command for Christians to tithe 10%?

You probably accept many things in Christianity without questioning. Principles and practices for which no biblical command can be found. Yet in your heart you know that you do it because Christ did it and you wish to follow Him as your example.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:36 PM   #77
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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Where is the proof that Christians must meet on a Sunday? Where is the command for Christians to tithe 10%?

You probably accept many things in Christianity without questioning. Principles and practices for which no biblical command can be found. Yet in your heart you know that you do it because Christ did it and you wish to follow Him as your example.
You are evading again.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:38 PM   #78
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You are evading again.
I answered your question. Its according to the spirit of the word. Your ask for 'proof' is unfounded. You cannot give proof for many things done in Christianity.
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Old 07-11-2017, 07:48 PM   #79
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I answered your question. Its according to the spirit of the word. Your ask for 'proof' is unfounded. You cannot give proof for many things done in Christianity.
How about my second question:

(2) You agree those "calling on the name of the Lord 5 times", "calling on the name of the Lord 10 times" in local church meetings are all calling in vain then?
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Old 07-11-2017, 09:26 PM   #80
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Default The Roman Road to Salvation

Call "O Lord Jesus" 3 times to be saved?

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Calling on the Lord in v. 13 is defined in vv. 9-10.
Verse 14 clarifies that "belief" comes before "calling." Calling alone is not sufficient. Belief is necessary. Calling 3 times is not enough.

Nell
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:08 PM   #81
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Call "O Lord Jesus" 3 times to be saved?

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him.
13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.
14 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?

Calling on the Lord in v. 13 is defined in vv. 9-10.
Verse 14 clarifies that "belief" comes before "calling." Calling alone is not sufficient. Belief is necessary. Calling 3 times is not enough.

Nell

Exactly. Calling without belief would be in vain, no matter how many times it is done. Although I was once told it is impossible for an unbeliever to call on the Lord's name. This is related to the scripture which says no one can say "Jesus is Lord" except by the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3). This verse gives both the negative and positive signs of the Spirit's influence - not being able to call Jesus accursed, and being able to say "Jesus is Lord".
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Old 07-11-2017, 10:09 PM   #82
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How about my second question:

(2) You agree those "calling on the name of the Lord 5 times", "calling on the name of the Lord 10 times" in local church meetings are all calling in vain then?
It would depend on the person's heart. Generally the number of times a person feels necessary to call is related to how close they are with the Lord. I think if we averaged the number of times the Lord's name is called it would average around three times. I'm thinking I should count them next time in the meeting, it would be an interesting study. From my experience it is around three times. However calling the Lord's name is also a way to practice continual prayer. So it would be alright to call upon the Lord continually, but to ask God for something continually I think is too much.

In any case, you are mistaken if you think I or anyone else are making a religious rule about this. It is fine to pray as many times as the Lord leads or we feel necessary. No ones putting any restrictions on that. However if the Lord has already spoken as in the case of Paul at the third time, and we persist to ask, it may be considered disobedience or lack of trust. Let us not think that there are no principles in the bible, when the principle of three times is well established being seen in the life of Abraham, Jesus, Paul, Peter, David, Daniel, Samuel etc.

Do we know the difference between a principle and a religious or legal rule? A rule is something used to control, usually enforced by threat or punishment. A principle is something which guides us. Yourself and OBW don't seem to know the difference because he is arguing as if I have stipulated some rule or legal requirement, when I have only ever stated the 3-time prayer as a biblical principle and "there is no rule" is correct (see #71).

There is no rule about meeting on a Sunday or tithing either yet it is a well established principle.

In the case of Paul, he received an answer by the third time. So we could say that he might have continued praying until God answered him. However in the case of Christ, he prayed 3 times yet it is unclear that He received any answer. He stopped after the third time, indicating that praying more than that would be pushing it. I think most people would be begging and pleading with God through the night, 20, or 100 times if they knew they were to be crucified the next day. Christ stopped on the third time indicating he was following a well-established principle of prayer, or he had received an answer, for which the bible does not detail.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:17 PM   #83
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It would depend on the person's heart. Generally the number of times a person feels necessary to call is related to how close they are with the Lord. I think if we averaged the number of times the Lord's name is called it would average around three times. I'm thinking I should count them next time in the meeting, it would be an interesting study. From my experience it is around three times.
It is interesting to use your idea of dependency on the person's heart to look into the heart of WL by his recommended calling practice. The number of calls that can be done in serveral minutes were the same number of calls he needed to get closer to God.

The Spirit and the Body by Witness Lee

There are times when I have nothing to speak. However, after calling on the name of the Lord for a few minutes, I have a great deal to say.

Some meetings may be started simply by calling on the name of the Lord for several minutes.


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So it would be alright to call upon the Lord continually, but to ask God for something continually I think is too much.
Isn't call upon the Lord a form of asking God's presence? Why isn't it counted as "to ask God for something continually"?

Anyway, this time you don't have to answer my questions. I used to be frustrated. But now I am more amused looking at how your logic/mind works.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:28 PM   #84
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It is interesting to use your idea of dependency on the person's heart to look into the heart of WL by his recommended calling practice. The number of calls that can be done in serveral minutes were the same number of calls he needed to get closer to God.

The Spirit and the Body by Witness Lee

There are times when I have nothing to speak. However, after calling on the name of the Lord for a few minutes, I have a great deal to say.

Some meetings may be started simply by calling on the name of the Lord for several minutes.




Isn't call upon the Lord a form of asking God's presence? Why isn't it counted as "to ask God for something continually"?

Anyway, this time you don't have to answer my questions. I used to be frustrated. But now I am more amused looking at how your logic/mind works.

You have not considered the frequency of the calls. Calling once per minute for 3 minutes, is three calls over "a few minutes". Yet I feel that Lee said "a few minutes" for our benefit rather than his, wishing to portray himself as an average caller for the sake of the reader.

I would encourage you to read this informative article on the use of the number 3 in the bible

https://bible.org/seriespage/3-use-three-bible

In some of the above examples as well as in others the third in a series may serve both to indicate completeness and an expectation of further developments. Both intended significances are thus held in tension simultaneously.

The number three from one Jewish perspective:

http://www.betemunah.org/three.html

According to Jewish law, once something is done three times it is considered a permanent thing.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:37 PM   #85
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You have not considered the frequency of the calls. Calling once per minute for 3 minutes, is three calls over "a few minutes". Yet I feel that Lee said "a few minutes" for our benefit rather than his.
[/I]
Hey man, believe it or not, I sort of guessed you would respond this way.

So are you saying you use one whole minute to pronounce three words? Or you use 5 seconds to call once, have dead silence for 55 seconds until the next call?

Lee certainly knew the condition of the "Lord's Recovery" by recommending several minutes of calling.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:41 PM   #86
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Hey man, believe it or not, I sort of guessed you will respond this way.

So are you saying you use one whole minute to pronounce three words? Or you use 5 seconds to call once, have dead silence for 55 seconds until the next call?

Lee certainly knows the condition of the Lord's Recovery by recommending several minutes of calling.
I think silence is more likely.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:44 PM   #87
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I think silence is more likely.
Try this in your next meeting and see what happens.
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Old 07-11-2017, 11:47 PM   #88
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Try this in your next meeting and see what happens.
Nothing bad will happen I guarantee.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:19 AM   #89
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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Heres a challenge.
Try to find any prayer or habit of prayer being more than 3 times in the bible.
Every account that refers to praying three times a day. I remember Daniel. You said David, though I do not recall the reference at the moment. There are probably others.

Since they all lived more than one day, their prayers were probably too numerous to count. It was the known pattern of Daniel that got him in trouble. There is no place that indicates that their prayer for any particular thing should span only the three times in one day. Or cover only three days. Or be only 9 times or 21 times (3 times 3 or 3 times 7) or . . . .

When it comes to believing what is stated in clear words in the Bible v what might be described without any comment then making it into a rule, you seem to latch onto the latter much faster than the former. Probably some non-biblical rule that makes you slow to follow any clearly defined rule but instead seek false rules in the tea leaves. I admit that it gives the appearance of following something spiritual. But it isn't. It is just the forming of rules into bigger millstones to try to put on the lives of otherwise good Christians.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:16 AM   #90
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You're using the term rule again, when I only ever stated it as a biblical principle, and I don't recall there ever being a rule about it in the LC. I presume you know the difference between rules and principles. I think if we reject the numerology, then we've thrown away a large chunk of Divine inspiration away in my view. The numbers are important. For example, if the bible said Jesus prayed 1000 times in the Garden of Gethsemane, it implies he was really desperate for an answer. Praying once only, might imply he was not much in agony. Just by changing the number we can change the implied meaning.
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Old 07-12-2017, 05:22 PM   #91
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You're using the term rule again, when I only ever stated it as a biblical principle, and I don't recall there ever being a rule about it in the LC. I presume you know the difference between rules and principles. I think if we reject the numerology, then we've thrown away a large chunk of Divine inspiration away in my view. The numbers are important. For example, if the bible said Jesus prayed 1000 times in the Garden of Gethsemane, it implies he was really desperate for an answer. Praying once only, might imply he was not much in agony. Just by changing the number we can change the implied meaning.
I think you misunderstand the primary meaning of numerology in the Bible. It is not there as a driver of doctrine or practice, but as a means of expressing other principles — not the numbers.

For example, it has been noticed that many of the early genealogies grouped things into something like 10 generations from x to y, then 10 more form y to z. But if you look at other genealogies, there are actually more than 10 between two of the points. The general thought is that there was some kind of meaning in the number 10 to the writers (and readers) of the times for which this kind of historical account is not given in the way that we would think of giving a history in modern times.

If there is intended for the two references to Jesus' specific prayer in the garden being 3 times, it was making reference to what the number 3 was supposed to stand in for. But the meaning was not necessarily about how many times prayer was given, but a statement that it was considered thoroughly prayed, or something else. And that does not imply that everything must have been prayed thoroughly (or whatever the principle was intended to imply) just because it has been done 3 times. If that were true, then it would have been of sufficient importance to make a comment about it as something important for all prayers about anything.

I have not been much on numerology since I understand it as being not about regulating of things, but of telling something that might not otherwise be part of the narrative. So I cannot say what the number 3 is supposed to represent. But as an example, if it is primarily a umber of completion (as understood by Jews of the time) then saying that Jesus prayed a particular prayer 3 times would possible indicate that he had completed praying for it — prayed for it thoroughly. But there is nothing in that statement that means that it is three times of praying that makes it thorough or complete. It is because it is said that it was 3 times that it is saying his prayer was complete.

Why were there letter to "the seven churches in Asia"? Because there were 7 churches in Asia? Actually there were more. Given the descriptions in the seven letters, the contents could have been split up into more to arrive at a different number. And there was surely something to say about the others. But the content of the 7 was sufficient for the purposes of the writing, and the number 7 has meaning. But it is not that there are actually only 7 churches in Asia. Or that it could not have been written in a different way. There may be something within the numerological constructs for which 7 was meaningful here. It doesn't define the number of churches. It didn't define the number of possible variations on problems in the church. It tells a story in a way that meant more than the sum of its words because the number 7 was included. But that number did not change the meaning of any of the other words.

You say you have gleaned a principle from Jesus praying 3 times. If so, what is it? A principle would be like saying, "in general, where there is smoke, there is fire." But it is not a rule. Still, you would probably look for the fire if you saw smoke. But just because over the course of a very few hours Jesus prayed a certain short prayer three times, I cannot find anything that suggests that, as a principle, we should only pray for something three times. And if the result of praying more is that it is almost surely a vain prayer (which you have at least implied is the likely result) then it looks more like a rule than a principle.

The recording in scripture using the number 3 has implications about the prayer that Jesus made. But there is nothing that washes that over all prayer as a principle. You say it is a principle, but you cannot establish that it really is. You just keep repeating it as if saying it enough times will make everyone agree with you. And that if we agree, then it must be true.

But the crux of your "principle" is just one more regulation to put on people "in principle" that is beyond what the scripture reveals. It does not reveal a principle about praying 3 times for things. Rather is says that Jesus prayed three times about this one thing. Not everything he prayed for. And in disagreement with his tale about the woman returning over and over to the courts for justice. It is the lack of constancy of praying 3 times, coupled with the charge to persevere that makes the4 claim of such a principle hardly worth the effort to write it down or speak it. It is not there. Yet you are fighting for it.

And that is so much of the legacy of the LRC. Much ado about nothing.
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Old 07-12-2017, 08:04 PM   #92
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I see where you are coming from, I really do. But as soon as you take that viewpoint, I think it raises questions about other parts of the bible.
A problem with numerology as you described, is that one cannot be certain whether the number is intended to be literal or purely symbolic. To be on the safe side, I believe it is better to take it literally, and consider it to be both literal and symbolic.

For example, there is actually nothing in the bible or way to interpret the original text, to indicate that Jesus praying 3 times was purely symbolic and Jesus rising from the dead after 3 days was literal.

Do you consider Jesus rising on the thrid day to be merely an indication that Jesus had finished being dead and maybe he was actually dead for 5 days? 7 day creation - not literal 7 days but just a number to indicate God had finished creation. Maybe that was actually millions of years.
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Old 07-13-2017, 05:52 AM   #93
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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I see where you are coming from, I really do. But as soon as you take that viewpoint, I think it raises questions about other parts of the bible.
A problem with numerology as you described, is that one cannot be certain whether the number is intended to be literal or purely symbolic. To be on the safe side, I believe it is better to take it literally, and consider it to be both literal and symbolic.
And I see where you are coming from. You are presuming that God has provided this end-all compendium of ways to make him happy but veiled it in vague implications and coded messages. That his words almost always mean something not actually said. And that the words actually said are ignored because you are busy trying to find hidden meaning.

The Bible is too clear on too many things to leave the difference between proper prayer and vanity to an overlay that says because in this one case (that is numerically different from all others) Jesus prayed three times concerning this one thing, therefore we should understand it to mean we should never pray more than 3 times for anything.

Numerology, while possibly adding meaning in a few cases, is something of uncertain meaning and application. To insist that the fact of 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 144, etc. always have significant meaning is just not realistic.

But the only instructions on prayer was instruction for "when you pray," therefore something that can, and even should be the pattern for regular prayer. And it includes a regular, repeating prayer for forgiveness and to be delivered from evil. If we are eternally saved, then why the continual prayer for forgiveness? Might it be because it takes more than once, twice, even three times to deal with our need for forgiveness?

In any case, you have exhausted my will to debate this issue with you. You are clearly more worried about what you force into the text than what naturally comes from it. And at this point, I think that anyone can see through your word games. You are so concerned with what is not there that you want to push a "principle" onto others. You call it a principle, but its consequences (according to your own posts) would indicate that it is more clearly a rule in your mind. Something that you feel the need to insist upon. To me, it shows a lack of care for the real message of the gospel and of the scripture as a whole and instead seeks to make something out of it that is not actually found within its words. I believe that to be a spiritual sickness that is coupled with a spiritual blindness that is now obviously not easily cured by simply pointing back to what is actually there.

It takes prayer. And I believe it may take more than three times to cure you of it. Maybe even more than the washing seven times in the Jordan.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:09 PM   #94
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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And I see where you are coming from. You are presuming that God has provided this end-all compendium of ways to make him happy but veiled it in vague implications and coded messages. That his words almost always mean something not actually said. And that the words actually said are ignored because you are busy trying to find hidden meaning.
Vain repetition includes praying something over and over too much. We may ask, seeking guidelines, how many times is too much? and three then becomes a guiding principle. To say there is no limits, means that repetition is not a problem.

I don't believe everything has coded messages, but such use of three-time prayer cannot be coincidence. Christ's actions mean something. The fact he prayed 3 times is telling. Many things we do in Christianity are because of what Christ did rather than what He said. "Actions speak louder than words." Concerning the number 3, it is hardly hidden or difficult to figure out. The significance of numbers in the bible especially the number 3 is well known. All the scholars point to it.

You did not merely disagree with my interpretation of the number 3, you seem to denigrate the whole bible's use of numbers and almost insult the bible's Author who designed it so. The bible is a book of prophesy and I think disregarding the repeated patterns, symbols etc is not very spiritually mature.


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The Bible is too clear on too many things to leave the difference between proper prayer and vanity to an overlay that says because in this one case (that is numerically different from all others) Jesus prayed three times concerning this one thing, therefore we should understand it to mean we should never pray more than 3 times for anything.
I never put it like that and I don't think you have understood the difference between a rule and a principle. And I hope you apply the same principle of "biblical clarity" to Christmas if you or your church celebrate it.

We have recorded instances of many people including Christ praying no more than three times. We have no record anywhere in the Bible of anyone celebrating Christ's birthday. That's because we know that Jews didn't celebrate birthdays. We also know that numerology was prevalent in Judaism and likely the driving principle behind why Christ prayed 3 times only.


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Numerology, while possibly adding meaning in a few cases, is something of uncertain meaning and application. To insist that the fact of 3, 4, 7, 10, 12, 144, etc. always have significant meaning is just not realistic.

But the only instructions on prayer was instruction for "when you pray," therefore something that can, and even should be the pattern for regular prayer. And it includes a regular, repeating prayer for forgiveness and to be delivered from evil. If we are eternally saved, then why the continual prayer for forgiveness? Might it be because it takes more than once, twice, even three times to deal with our need for forgiveness?
Nice, even, whole numbers often repeated don't always have significant meaning? Jewish and Christian scholars disagree with you.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:37 AM   #95
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Default Repitition charismania, and the angel of light

Certainly the Bible contains repetitive patterns, and visions. But I note a danger in working oneself to an altered state, in LC verbiage to "exercise your spirit", in that it may lead on paths apart from the Saviour. If the fruit of such exercise is to denigrate scripture as mixed, complex, fallen and natural; to despise and ignore the poor among us in pursuit of "good building material"; to lift up fellow sinners as "deputy God"; to engage in isolationist and judgmental talk continually: these aren't marks of the Holy Spirit but rather bring to mind the apostle's warning that Satan may come as an angel of light. That warm, fuzzy feeling you got as you repetitively yelled the special words - where did it come from?

With the Toronto Blessing/Lakeland Revival/New Apostolic Reformation one saw behaviours unworthy of the name Christian, yet in the frenzy of excitement all restraint, and even common sense, was lost. The LC experience is hardly the bedlam of Lakeland but as the danger is more subtle it's perhaps even more real.
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Old 07-17-2017, 09:45 AM   #96
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Default Re: Repitition charismania, and the angel of light

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.. these aren't marks of the Holy Spirit but rather bring to mind the apostle's warning that Satan may come as an angel of light. That warm, fuzzy feeling you got as you repetitively yelled the special words - where did it come from?
Put another way, the continued LC experience eventually gives one a choice: whether to obey your feelings or the plain words of the Bible in front of you? Do you prefer more warm fuzzies, and mutual grooming ("Amen, brother!!!"), or your conscience? Will you choose the right "flavor" or 2,000 years of Christian precedence, going back to the apostolic establishment of the NT record? Do you want more "life" or do you want to discern the basics, like right from wrong?

The LC "exercise your spirit" modus leans toward the first choice in every case. Where scripture, apostolic precedent, common sense, and one's conscience diverge from the LC path, one's forced to go with the feelings. That's the peril of chasing the sensuous experience, of building on such sand.

As WL asked the Shanghai elders, "How did you feel" when you expelled WN? Didn't matter that he was sinful, or grossly sinful, or repeatedly sinful. Only mattered how they felt. That gave WL leverage. And this indicates that the path had already deviated. The die was already cast for the Little Flock/Local Church experience.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:12 AM   #97
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Default Re: Repitition charismania, and the angel of light

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Put another way, the continued LC experience eventually gives one a choice: whether to obey your feelings or the plain words of the Bible in front of you? Do you prefer more warm fuzzies, and mutual grooming ("Amen, brother!!!"), or your conscience? Will you choose the right "flavor" or 2,000 years of Christian precedence, going back to the apostolic establishment of the NT record? Do you want more "life" or do you want to discern the basics, like right from wrong?

The LC "exercise your spirit" modus leans toward the first choice in every case. Where scripture, apostolic precedent, common sense, and one's conscience diverge from the LC path, one's forced to go with the feelings. That's the peril of chasing the sensuous experience, of building on such sand.

As WL asked the Shanghai elders, "How did you feel" when you expelled WN? Didn't matter that he was sinful, or grossly sinful, or repeatedly sinful. Only mattered how they felt. That gave WL leverage. And this indicates that the path had already deviated. The die was already cast for the Little Flock/Local Church experience.
When the Shanghai elders expelled Nee, I'm sure that they didn't 'feel' happy about having to make that kind of difficult decision. This highlights a good point that aron has made. WL tricked everyone into becoming dependent on supposed feelings such as what he called the "sense of life." The problem with that is that not all decisions or situations are going to make someone feel 'peaceful'. Difficult, but necessary decisions can be quite the opposite.
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Old 07-17-2017, 10:44 AM   #98
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Default Re: Repitition charismania, and the angel of light

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When the Shanghai elders expelled Nee, I'm sure that they didn't 'feel' happy about having to make that kind of difficult decision. This highlights a good point that aron has made. WL tricked everyone into becoming dependent on supposed feelings such as what he called the "sense of life." The problem with that is that not all decisions or situations are going to make someone feel 'peaceful'. Difficult, but necessary decisions can be quite the opposite.
When I talk to Christians outside of the LC experience, I hear comments like, "that's just the right thing to do," or "that's not how things work," or other such expressions. They tend to fall back on established standards of righteousness when confronting the difficult conflicts of life. But for those still steeped in the old vernacular, that comments always seem to revert back to, "that don't give me life," or I had to follow the "peace" within.

Read John Ingalls account. How did he feeeel when he heard what was going on at LSM with Phillip Lee? He felt sick. Nauseous and disgusted, perhaps. But who cares? He was a shepherd who had to take the necessary action to protect God's children.

People like John Ingalls et. al. are dangerous to Lee's system. They can only be manipulated so far. Then they must speak their conscience. That's why they have to go.
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Old 07-17-2017, 11:49 AM   #99
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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Vain repetition includes praying something over and over too much. We may ask, seeking guidelines, how many times is too much? and three then becomes a guiding principle. To say there is no limits, means that repetition is not a problem.
And so far you have provided only two examples of particular prayers have happened 3 times without any comment on the number other than that it was recorded has happening three times yet without even a hint that the number was significant. Yet there are numerous examples of a single prayer. And a spoken commendation to someone who "prayed" over and over until an answer was received.

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I don't believe everything has coded messages, but such use of three-time prayer cannot be coincidence.
It would need more that two extremely separate times with respect to two different persons, at least one of which is known to have prayed many things without any reference to number (and likely only once in many of those cases) to arrive at something being coincidence. If every reference to Jesus praying was clearly an event in which he prayed three times about whatever it was, and then the same thing were noticed about Paul, then it would be reasonable to say that it was not a coincidence. But two independent records out of many that happen to have the same number is too contrived a view at the data to even be called coincidence. Doesn't matter whether you don't think there are coincidences. This does not rise to the level of even wondering about coincidence.

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Christ's actions mean something. The fact he prayed 3 times is telling.
Only if it is observed as a regular thing. It is not. Instead, it was a somewhat peculiar event in terms of number because there are essentially no other recordings of Jesus' prayers being 3 times concerning anything.

You are making non-events into important principles. That is way beyond what the record can support.

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You did not merely disagree with my interpretation of the number 3, you seem to denigrate the whole bible's use of numbers and almost insult the bible's Author who designed it so.
You evidently did not actually read or understand what I said. Or alternately you make more out of numbers (3 or any other) that what might legitimately be applicable.

I did not denigrate the "whole bible's usage." I challenged the kind of inferences you made from the existence of any numbers relative to what the mainstream of thought among Bible scholars is. I admit that there are some that take very seriously all kinds of numbers. Some even get into numbers beyond what are actually recorded in the Bible. But most primarily stick to metaphorical meanings overlaid. Like numbers of completeness and the like. They do not generally find numbers and presume because the number is recorded that rules (or even merely principles) that are about the number itself are presumed. Your vain attempts to discredit everyone who takes exception to your ideas is quite comical. As if we cannot see through what is either your lake of knowledge on the subject or your lack of respect for the intelligence of your readers.

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I never put it like that and I don't think you have understood the difference between a rule and a principle.
But the importance that you are placing on your alleged "principle" is too extreme to stand as a principle. It must be a rule. If violating it turns your prayer into vanity, then it is well beyond principle.

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And I hope you apply the same principle of "biblical clarity" to Christmas if you or your church celebrate it.
I hope that you apply the kind of Christian charity to any such celebration that might arise in some for observing days. Paul would have you out behind the woodshed getting an metaphorical thrashing by epistle for writing such a thing.

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We have recorded instances of many people including Christ praying no more than three times.
Many eh? start listing. Don't bother mentioning the two that are already in the discussion. I want to see "many" that you come up with.

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We have no record anywhere in the Bible of anyone celebrating Christ's birthday.
Something that, whole recorded in the gospels, was not even on the discussion radar until most of the time of the writings of the scripture had ended.

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That's because we know that Jews didn't celebrate birthdays.
Irrelevant as to whether such a practice should or should not occur. The amount of irrelevant minutia that you grasp hold of while ignoring that your positions are nothing without extreme conjecture.

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We also know that numerology was prevalent in Judaism and likely the driving principle behind why Christ prayed 3 times only.
You are using an un-established principle as the reason that what you want to turn into a principle is a principle. Classic begging the question. The student has learned well from his masters (Nee and Lee).

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Nice, even, whole numbers often repeated don't always have significant meaning?
The key phrase is "don't always. . . ." I have provided some examples where there is no stated number, but there is a clear pattern of number. But there is not understood why the number occurs that way in the particular case (at least by the writers I was reading at the time).

Further, when you say "significant meaning," it is clear that your version of "significant" is very great. So much so that the mere presence of a certain number in 2 out of many times rises to the level of a "principle" that is so significant that failure to abide by it results in serous consequence. If it were only a principle, there would be no such extreme consequence. It would be a rule to provide such consequence.

I have never said that the fact of praying 3 times has no meaning. But the meaning it has is about the particular prayer, not prayer in general. How can I say that? Because the one who is most qualified to create such principles did not follow it in the vast majority of the prayers of his that are recorded, and he commended the actions of one who went way beyond your supposed maximum as an example of how to persevere in prayer. It doesn't just put a pin-hole in your principle, it drives a Mack truck through it.
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Old 07-17-2017, 02:48 PM   #100
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And so far you have provided only two examples of particular prayers have happened 3 times without any comment on the number other than that it was recorded has happening three times yet without even a hint that the number was significant. Yet there are numerous examples of a single prayer. And a spoken commendation to someone who "prayed" over and over until an answer was received.

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I have never said that the fact of praying 3 times has no meaning. But the meaning it has is about the particular prayer, not prayer in general. How can I say that? Because the one who is most qualified to create such principles did not follow it in the vast majority of the prayers of his that are recorded, and he commended the actions of one who went way beyond your supposed maximum as an example of how to persevere in prayer. It doesn't just put a pin-hole in your principle, it drives a Mack truck through it.
The problem for your argument is that despite this parable and your assumption that persistence is more than 3 times, there are no examples of anyone praying more than three times. We can suppose then that the bible's idea of persistence is to pray three times. It is significant that the bible records, in two separate instances, people praying no more than 3 times. If the bible says that Paul prayed three times, then I believe it means Paul prayed three times. This is despite the parable of the persistent widow. If we consider the persistent widow story in light of the actual examples of continual prayer in the bible, the parable shows that while an unjust ruler may need to be begged and pleaded with numerous times, how much more will God answer by only the third time. You use the parable of the persisting widow as an example to show there are no limits on prayer, however forgetting that this was in reference to an unjust judge and not God. All examples of continual repeated prayer in the bible are limited to three times.

While you point out that I provide only two examples, this is in contrast to your zero examples of anyone praying more than three times. I gave two examples but one of those examples was Christ Himself which outweighs any number of examples I could provide. The Bible never records Christ praying more than three times, even in his most difficult hour before going to the cross. From what we know about the bible's use of numbers, the number three represents completion therefore praying three times for a matter is regarded by Christ and Paul as praying completely. I can imagine that if Paul had prayed 100 times until God answered him, it would cast doubt on his relationship with God. Likewise, if Christ had prayed more than 3 times, it would cast doubt on Christ's standing as the Son of God.

The example of "continual prayer" to an unjust judge does not so much support your view but rather highlights a flaw in your argument - this parable is a parable of contrast, and is meant to show that God is not like the unjust judge. The flaw of your argument is that it rests upon viewing God like the unjust judge, who must be begged and prayed to more than three times like the unjust ruler.

While the woman had to persist continually (possibly more than three times) for the unjust judge, this parable is not saying that God will behave like the unjust judge. The parable is telling us that if an unjust ruler will be moved by continual prayer, how much more will God be moved by praying only once, twice, or three times.

We can note that the parable does not state how many times would be regarded as persistent. Praying only three times could be considered persistent, particularly when it concerns approaching an important judge or King. It seems that Christ's and Paul's application of the parable of the persistent widow was to pray no more than three times which was deemed to be sufficient. God answered Paul after only the third time therefore we could say that God's "persistence level" is three times. If God were the unjust ruler, he would "give up" by the third time.

If the parable of the persistent widow is meant to be taken literally as an example to follow, then we should be able to find examples of Christians praying more than 3 times in the bible. Jesus commended the woman's persistence however the practical examples of "continual prayer" is only three times.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:20 PM   #101
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. . . however the practical examples of "continual prayer" is only three times.
You have an example of continual prayer that refers in any way to the number of times? You keep talking as if there is some constant set of references to prayer in terms of how many times to pray. Yet almost all the examples I can find just mention that they prayed and say nothing about the number of times anything particular was prayed for.

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I gave two examples but one of those examples was Christ Himself which outweighs any number of examples I could provide. The Bible never records Christ praying more than three times, even in his most difficult hour before going to the cross.
What you are failing to grasp is that you have one example of Christ praying three times out of many examples of Christ praying at all. And in those cases there is no mention of the number of times he prayed for any particular thing. It doesn't say is prayed only once, and it doesn't say he didn't pray more than three. It just doesn't say. That fact alone should create significant doubt that the meaning of the three was about something that the account does not indicate it is about.

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From what we know about the bible's use of numbers, the number three represents completion therefore praying three times for a matter is regarded by Christ and Paul as praying completely.
Even if I accept your overlay as having any relevance, it is only meaningful that they considered their prayers complete. There is nothing in it that suggests that more prayer could not be required in other cases, or that to pray more is to somehow run afoul of an unstated principle that puts the whole of the person's prayer in jeopardy of becoming "in vain."

Besides, when the bible uses a number like this to imply completeness, the purpose is not to make the number a rule, but to use the number to make a statement about what it is associated with. So the number 3 is associated with a particular prayer, so the number 3 is brought into the account to underscore that the prayer was somehow considered complete. But that does not cause there to be a principle that 3 prayers with respect to any particular item is "complete" and that more are vain.

And that is why I mentioned the thing about the number of persons listed in genealogies. 10 from here to there. There were actually more. But by distilling it down to 10, something was added to the discussion that was otherwise not simply in the list of names. But it doesn't mean that there are actually only 10 names between X and Y, or that it is meaningful that the number between X and Y is 10. Rather, it is like adding a statement to the discussion that really has nothing to do with the number. Rather it is implied because the number was invoked.

So in the case of Christ's prayer, the number is not intended to imply a rule (or principle) about how many times to pray, but rather to demonstrate that the actions that Jesus was about to embark on was truly the will of God because he thoroughly prayed about it as implied by the use of the number 3 in the account.

And despite your vague references to other accounts of people praying 3 times, you actually have provided nothing that was not already in discussion — the singular accounts concerning specific prayers by Jesus and Paul. You claim that there were many. You need to supply enough to establish "many."

And your insistence that the one event with Jesus is all you need, it is more than evident that it is not. There is no special rule about a single observation of Christ becoming a principle.

So either come up with them . . . .

Or admit that you can't do it.
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Old 07-17-2017, 03:59 PM   #102
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You have an example of continual prayer that refers in any way to the number of times? You keep talking as if there is some constant set of references to prayer in terms of how many times to pray. Yet almost all the examples I can find just mention that they prayed and say nothing about the number of times anything particular was prayed for.

What you are failing to grasp is that you have one example of Christ praying three times out of many examples of Christ praying at all. And in those cases there is no mention of the number of times he prayed for any particular thing. It doesn't say is prayed only once, and it doesn't say he didn't pray more than three. It just doesn't say. That fact alone should create significant doubt that the meaning of the three was about something that the account does not indicate it is about.

Even if I accept your overlay as having any relevance, it is only meaningful that they considered their prayers complete. There is nothing in it that suggests that more prayer could not be required in other cases, or that to pray more is to somehow run afoul of an unstated principle that puts the whole of the person's prayer in jeopardy of becoming "in vain."

Besides, when the bible uses a number like this to imply completeness, the purpose is not to make the number a rule, but to use the number to make a statement about what it is associated with. So the number 3 is associated with a particular prayer, so the number 3 is brought into the account to underscore that the prayer was somehow considered complete. But that does not cause there to be a principle that 3 prayers with respect to any particular item is "complete" and that more are vain.

And that is why I mentioned the thing about the number of persons listed in genealogies. 10 from here to there. There were actually more. But by distilling it down to 10, something was added to the discussion that was otherwise not simply in the list of names. But it doesn't mean that there are actually only 10 names between X and Y, or that it is meaningful that the number between X and Y is 10. Rather, it is like adding a statement to the discussion that really has nothing to do with the number. Rather it is implied because the number was invoked.

So in the case of Christ's prayer, the number is not intended to imply a rule (or principle) about how many times to pray, but rather to demonstrate that the actions that Jesus was about to embark on was truly the will of God because he thoroughly prayed about it as implied by the use of the number 3 in the account.

And despite your vague references to other accounts of people praying 3 times, you actually have provided nothing that was not already in discussion — the singular accounts concerning specific prayers by Jesus and Paul. You claim that there were many. You need to supply enough to establish "many."

And your insistence that the one event with Jesus is all you need, it is more than evident that it is not. There is no special rule about a single observation of Christ becoming a principle.

So either come up with them . . . .

Or admit that you can't do it.

Your approach to biblical exegesis is rather naive. i.e. Simply count the frequency of a matter and if it exceeds a certain number then the point is proven. Where is your threshold? If I gave 3 examples you could say I need to show 4, if I gave 10 examples you might say you need 20.

However even if I was following your approach, then the bible says that two examples are sufficient:

2 Cor 13:1 “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”

The frequency can establish things in some cases but in this case it is more about the significance of the number 3 rather than how many examples we can find of people praying more than 3 times.

It is significant that the Son of God, who gave a parable about persisting many times in prayer, prayed only three times and then stopped, surrendering to the Father's will. Having no reply to his request after the third time, Christ became certain that the Father's will was that He should go to the cross. Based upon the parable of the persistent widow, Christ should have persisted until God gave an answer. So what is so special about the number 3?

Rather than simply count the number of examples, we should consider why they prayed 3 times only. If we consider the additional information regarding their customs and principles, we will find that it weights the argument towards my view rather than yours.

Albert Barne's in his Notes on the Bible reveals that praying 3 times was a Jewish principle that Paul and Christ followed. Therefore hundreds of thousands of Jewish converts to Christianity would have prayed in like manner. Gentiles possibly as well, following Christ and Paul as their examples.

Any readers of these things at the time would have recognized the three-time prayer of Christ and Paul as meaning that the matter they prayed about was significant, and they had prayed enough. Christ praying 3 times in the disciples presence would have indicated to them that Christ was to go to the cross. Imagine if Christ had prayed 100 times, it would either make Christ appear desperate and not wanting to bow to the Father's will, or it would imply that the Father was somehow deaf to His request.

Here is what Barne's has to say:

It will be recollected that the Lord Jesus prayed three times in the garden of Gethsemane that the cup might be removed from him, Matthew 26:44. At the third time he ceased, and submitted to what was the will of God. There is some reason to suppose that the Jews were in the habit of praying three times for any important blessing or for the removal of any calamity; and Paul in this would not only conform to the usual custom, but especially he would he disposed to imitate the example of the Lord Jesus. Among the Jews three was a sacred number, and repeated instances occur where an important transaction is mentioned as having been done thrice; see Numbers 22:28; Numbers 24:10; 1 Samuel 3:8; 1 Samuel 20:41; 1 Kings 18:44; Proverbs 22:20; Jeremiah 7:4; Jeremiah 22:29; John 21:17.



This does not prove that we should be limited to exactly this number in our petitions; but it proves that there should be a limit;

The passage proves that it is right to pray earnestly and repeatedly for the removal of any calamity. The Saviour so prayed in the garden; and Paul so prayed here. Yet it also proves that there should be a limit to such prayers.


So there is sufficient evidence based upon the two examples presented, and the knowledge of Jewish customs at the time, to conclude that praying three times for a matter is a biblical principle. The bible does not teach or show prayer ad nauseam.

As your posts reveal, the original meaning and significance of the 3-time prayer of Christ and Paul is lost on a modern American audience which takes an overly SOLO scriptura approach to exegesis and merely counts the number of times a thing is mentioned as proof, without understanding the Jewish customs at the time and the significance of the number 3 to an ancient audience.
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Old 07-18-2017, 06:55 AM   #103
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2 Cor 13:1 “In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.”
Sys nothing about a specific number nor anything about prayer. It does not limit the number of witnesses

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The frequency can establish things in some cases but in this case it is more about the significance of the number 3 rather than how many examples we can find of people praying more than 3 times.
And I agree. In this case it is clearly showing that Jesus' prayer was complete in all ways. But it makes no comment on any other prayer. And it would appear that the rest of Jesus' prayers were sufficient at 1. Yet he chose to advise a form of prayer for "when you pray" that repeats the same basic prayers over and over, day after day.

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It is significant that the Son of God, who gave a parable about persisting many times in prayer, prayed only three times and then stopped, surrendering to the Father's will.
And there you have your answer. We should persist in prayer, but when the will of God is known, the purpose of prayer is over. Yet the most insidious thing about this all is that you have not said that we should pray until we get an answer, but that because it would appear that on one occasion Jesus prayed three times and had an answer, that our commendable persistence should end at three because that was all it took for Jesus.

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Having no reply to his request after the third time, Christ became certain that the Father's will was that He should go to the cross.
And in this statement you have undercut your own argument. You are saying that Jesus received no answer, but rather that he already knew God's will. If that is the case, then according to your definition of "vain repetition," Jesus engaged in vain repetition because he knew the answer and did not need to receive another, yet prayed three times anyway.

Based upon the parable of the persistent widow, Christ should have persisted until God gave an answer. So what is so special about the number 3?

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Rather than simply count the number of examples, we should consider why they prayed 3 times only. If we consider the additional information regarding their customs and principles, we will find that it weights the argument towards my view rather than yours.
And despite your commentary references, we really don't know why he prayed 3 times, or at all. Was it because his human body and all that he got at birth sought to avoid the pain? Maybe. Not unthinkable, even for the God-man. But is this the reason? Not stated.

Or it could be that it was because it was Jewish custom to pray three times for anything that was of importance. Yet there is a cloud there because it would mean that Jesus prayed three times concerning an issue that already had an answer that he knew and further knew it would not change.

But if it is about some principle that is so overarching that violating it results in vain prayer, then it 1) deserves more than a hint buried in the ancient traditions of Jews, and 2) would stand as a kind of law, the very thing that Jesus supposedly came to end (according to your teachings). And I agree that Jesus did end the law. But not the law of righteousness. Just the law or rituals. Of actions of form. That does not mean we cannot engage in ritual or form, but we must understand that they are not the reason that we worship, or pray, or arbiters of our status as sons of God. And a form such as this is not a definer of vanity without something more solid than a single hint that is so vague and not on point that it would be ignored as such by everyone until now.

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Albert Barne's in his Notes on the Bible reveals that praying 3 times was a Jewish principle that Paul and Christ followed. Therefore hundreds of thousands of Jewish converts to Christianity would have prayed in like manner. Gentiles possibly as well, following Christ and Paul as their examples.
But a claim by a modern writer about unspecified and undocumented "hundreds of thousands" of converts does not a scriptural "principle" make.

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Here is what Barne's has to say:

It will be recollected that the Lord Jesus prayed three times in the garden of Gethsemane that the cup might be removed from him, Matthew 26:44. At the third time he ceased, and submitted to what was the will of God. There is some reason to suppose that the Jews were in the habit of praying three times for any important blessing or for the removal of any calamity; and Paul in this would not only conform to the usual custom, but especially he would he disposed to imitate the example of the Lord Jesus. Among the Jews three was a sacred number, and repeated instances occur where an important transaction is mentioned as having been done thrice; see Numbers 22:28; Numbers 24:10; 1 Samuel 3:8; 1 Samuel 20:41; 1 Kings 18:44; Proverbs 22:20; Jeremiah 7:4; Jeremiah 22:29; John 21:17.

This does not prove that we should be limited to exactly this number in our petitions; but it proves that there should be a limit;

The passage proves that it is right to pray earnestly and repeatedly for the removal of any calamity. The Saviour so prayed in the garden; and Paul so prayed here. Yet it also proves that there should be a limit to such prayers.


So there is sufficient evidence based upon the two examples presented, and the knowledge of Jewish customs at the time, to conclude that praying three times for a matter is a biblical principle. The bible does not teach or show prayer ad nauseam.
Only someone set to create a sect would refer to prayer as "to sickness." Especially since the Bible makes no such statement — not even a hint.

I do note that you found a sympathetic voice in the writings of one that was party to a split in the Presbyterian church in America and because of some of the charges at that time by those he did not side with, would appear to have been part of the widening of the breach between the two.

But even taking his word as being meaningful, he did not say that three was the limit. Only that there should be a limit. And if the one praying has an answer, then it is reasonable to say that it should define the limit. But without an answer, on what do we base a limit? Even Mr. Barnes does not say it is three. You just have a bur in your saddle driving you toward reasons to reject Christians. Just as Barnes did when he joined in separating into the "New School" of American Presbyterianism.

Last. Other than claiming that some unstated (in the Bible) tradition of Jews praying no more than three times would mean that many had done it, you have said that there were many times that it happened. You said just a few posts back "We have recorded instances of many people including Christ praying no more than three times." And when you only have an account of a prayer and not its repetition, if any, you have nothing. You have no evidence of anything. And none of it supports a limit of three. Not even your commentator claims or defends a limit of three.

So, despite one commentator who was party to a somewhat acrimonious split in the church and was embittered by it, you have nothing except speculation to arrive at a weak principle of praying only three times.

Yet you persist. I will just have to assume that the other readers here as smarter than you think they are.
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Old 07-18-2017, 03:12 PM   #104
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My statement about many instances of praying no more than three times includes Daniel, David, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob praying three times daily. I believe that at times they would have prayed about the same important matter from morning to night, over the course of the day, three times. God also spoke to Samuel three or four times, and Samuel heard Him by the fourth. Three seems to be the repeated pattern in regards to prayer, in both directions of communication.

The scripture does not record that Jesus received an answer to his prayer after the third time, unlike Paul.

We can assume that God's silence on the matter after the third time is taken by Christ as an answer.

Therefore we can trust that three times is an appropriate limit to take when we do not receive an answer to prayer. But surely that can extend to 4,5,6 times, probably not 100 or 1000. There is no rule about that, it is a principle.

Your remarks about Barnes is just a diversion and not relevant to the topic at hand. His Notes on the Bible were well regarded and sold over a million copies by 1870.

I note I can find additional support in Dr Barrier who is well regarded and has credentials:

http://www.preachitteachit.org/ask-r...-stop-praying/

In some cases three times is enough. Praying any more might well be a waste of time!

I think we might do well to follow Paul’s example when he prayer for Jesus to remove the "thorn" from his flesh. Three times was enough.

I think that we might consider following Paul’s example. If we are not healed after three prayers we might assume that God has other things in mind.


In my mind, a prayer limit views God as a loving Father who not only will respond by the third time, but who we must also submit to and accept His will if we have not received an answer by some upper limit, which is possibly three, four or five, unlikely to be 100.

This is in contrast to what seems to be a common view of God in Christianity today -God is like the unjust ruler, unwilling to answer our prayers, but if we persist enough He will give us what we want.

I think the first approach is one of spiritual maturity, and the second approach is more like a child would do. I don't think God minds if we keep asking 100 times, but if He has not answered by the 100th, it is likely to be a no or a wait answer. In my experience God often answers by the third time, either a passage of scripture to mind, or a sense of peace.
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Old 07-19-2017, 02:31 PM   #105
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My statement about many instances of praying no more than three times includes Daniel, David, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob praying three times daily.
And we can see now how far from the actual topic you are going to get your "principle."

Praying three times a day is like saying "take a drive in your car tree times a day." It does not make any reference to where you drive, how far you drive, or how long you take. We are not talking about how often you pray in general, but the number of times that a particular prayer should be uttered before it should never be spoken again (or be guilty of vain repetition). Those are tow completely different topics. But I suspected this was your "many times." You just can't seem to make rational distinctions between vastly different things. You think that the fact that prayer is involved causes points in one discussion (when to pray or how often to pray) to become factors in a completely different discussion (how many times a particular prayer should be uttered before you stop). One gives an example of three 3 a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for all the years of your adult life. You have brought that "3" into a discussion that is about a total limit of times to pray for a particular item as if it has any meaning whatsoever.

And if you still think it does, then your status as a reasonable person is in serious risk of being revoked. If that is how you frame your arguments about anything, then you don't understand language, context, syntax, and logic.

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The scripture does not record that Jesus received an answer to his prayer after the third time, unlike Paul.
Do you really think that Jesus did not know the answer before he said the first word the first time? It is more likely that the prayer was spoken for the disciples to hear and eventually come to understand that what was to happen was God's will. The repeating of it 3 times was to emphasize that it was really prayed for to completion and the answer was what they would see over the coming hours.

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Therefore we can trust that three times is an appropriate limit to take when we do not receive an answer to prayer. But surely that can extend to 4,5,6 times, probably not 100 or 1000. There is no rule about that, it is a principle.
Yet you were bold to declare that opposing this "principle" would mean your prayer was in vain. Why? Because the answer was (in your mind) clearly "no" so to continue to pray about it would be (in your opinion) a meaningless prayer? On what basis do you state this? Lots of words but no reasons other than your opinions.

Opinions that do not seek the best for your fellow Christian, but stand as proof that others do not follow your opinions.

Your commentators are clearly just providing ideas, notions, and opinions. They have not found a clear word that what they say is true.

Just because you have not received what you pray for does not mean you should stop praying. Your position infers that the answer must come quickly, or that it must be manifest now, not later. While I am a little put-off by some people's constant references to "God's perfect timing," I do agree that God will do things when he decides to do them, not when we want them. He has his reasons and we may not understand them. But if what you are praying for is ultimately a "yes" but a "no" for right now, on what basis do you stop praying if you have not received some assurance of an answer? If a lack of answer is to be presumed to be "no" then you stop praying understanding your answer to be other than what it actually is. The whole "stop praying and presume your answer" kind of thinking is such a pit of error. It is like just telling someone who has lost a loved one that "God must have needed them in heaven more than we do here on earth." A pretty crappy view and explanation of God. But your "principle" is a backhanded version of just that in some cases. You have a principle that does not take into account God's desire for us to persevere. 3 times is hardly persevering. I could just be warming up on the topic in 3 times.

The person who needs a job. Pray three times and just quit praying about it, even if it takes 6 months to find the job. "I didn't need to talk to God about this more than those 3 times back last year because there is a principle according to this Evangelical fellow on the LCD discussion forum. He seems so smart about these things. Just like Nee and Lee do."

But it is more than evident that the LRC is inundated with "principles" that separate you from others yet cannot be supported as even reasonable side doctrines. This is just one more example. You want so desperately to find fault in the actions of other Christians that you insist on limits to particular prayers.

Then I think that the LRC should stop prying for increase because after this many years it is evident that it is not going to happen. . . . at least as far as your principle for prayer on a topic is concerned.

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I think the first approach is one of spiritual maturity, and the second approach is more like a child would do. I don't think God minds if we keep asking 100 times, but if He has not answered by the 100th, it is likely to be a no or a wait answer. In my experience God often answers by the third time, either a passage of scripture to mind, or a sense of peace.
Very good. Describe those who do not follow your unsupported "principle" as immature.

Well, just running around saying "Oh Lord Jesus" over and over seems to me like crank calling. You dial the number and hang up. Over and over. It is like going to see your earthly father by arriving at the house, knocking on the door, and getting back into your car and driving away. Over and over. All day long, every day. I can hear your Dad now: "I almost made it to the door before they left this time. I really wish they would stay and talk for a while. I guess they think they are getting something out of it. Not sure what it is."
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Old 07-19-2017, 06:02 PM   #106
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And we can see now how far from the actual topic you are going to get your "principle."

Praying three times a day is like saying "take a drive in your car tree times a day." It does not make any reference to where you drive, how far you drive, or how long you take. We are not talking about how often you pray in general, but the number of times that a particular prayer should be uttered before it should never be spoken again (or be guilty of vain repetition). Those are tow completely different topics. But I suspected this was your "many times." You just can't seem to make rational distinctions between vastly different things. You think that the fact that prayer is involved causes points in one discussion (when to pray or how often to pray) to become factors in a completely different discussion (how many times a particular prayer should be uttered before you stop). One gives an example of three 3 a day, 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year, for all the years of your adult life. You have brought that "3" into a discussion that is about a total limit of times to pray for a particular item as if it has any meaning whatsoever.

And if you still think it does, then your status as a reasonable person is in serious risk of being revoked. If that is how you frame your arguments about anything, then you don't understand language, context, syntax, and logic.
I can imagine that if David for example had an important matter to pray about, he would pray it in the morning, at midday, and at evening, on that same day. He prayed 3 times a day.

Therefore, we have prayer three times, about the same matter.

The bible says that Paul prayed for his matter 3 times. It does not say over what time period. Paul could have prayed for this matter, at morning, midday, and evening.

You cannot rule it out. You cannot say that David did not pray for the same thing three times on the one day.


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Do you really think that Jesus did not know the answer before he said the first word the first time? It is more likely that the prayer was spoken for the disciples to hear and eventually come to understand that what was to happen was God's will. The repeating of it 3 times was to emphasize that it was really prayed for to completion and the answer was what they would see over the coming hours.
Praying only three times has significance, whether Jesus knew the answer or not. Yet, I find it hard to believe that Jesus was merely putting on a show for his disciples. He was a great actor to be able to fake tears of blood and sweat.


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Yet you were bold to declare that opposing this "principle" would mean your prayer was in vain. Why? Because the answer was (in your mind) clearly "no" so to continue to pray about it would be (in your opinion) a meaningless prayer? On what basis do you state this? Lots of words but no reasons other than your opinions.

Opinions that do not seek the best for your fellow Christian, but stand as proof that others do not follow your opinions.

Your commentators are clearly just providing ideas, notions, and opinions. They have not found a clear word that what they say is true.
They are opinions rooted in knowledge of Jewish customs and a degree of common sense that it is possible to pray too much for something. Barnes had knowledge of Jewish customs and knew why they prayed only three times. You seem to think that biblical interpretation is about reading black and white letters on the page, what you can see, and what you can't, and not considering the customs and significance of the numbers and the context.

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Just because you have not received what you pray for does not mean you should stop praying. Your position infers that the answer must come quickly, or that it must be manifest now, not later. While I am a little put-off by some people's constant references to "God's perfect timing," I do agree that God will do things when he decides to do them, not when we want them. He has his reasons and we may not understand them. But if what you are praying for is ultimately a "yes" but a "no" for right now, on what basis do you stop praying if you have not received some assurance of an answer? If a lack of answer is to be presumed to be "no" then you stop praying understanding your answer to be other than what it actually is. The whole "stop praying and presume your answer" kind of thinking is such a pit of error. It is like just telling someone who has lost a loved one that "God must have needed them in heaven more than we do here on earth." A pretty crappy view and explanation of God. But your "principle" is a backhanded version of just that in some cases. You have a principle that does not take into account God's desire for us to persevere. 3 times is hardly persevering. I could just be warming up on the topic in 3 times.

The person who needs a job. Pray three times and just quit praying about it, even if it takes 6 months to find the job. "I didn't need to talk to God about this more than those 3 times back last year because there is a principle according to this Evangelical fellow on the LCD discussion forum. He seems so smart about these things. Just like Nee and Lee do."

The idea of God you present is a God who makes us persevere and beg until He gives us a fish. Do you really think God is going to make you persevere and work for what He wants to give you? Even if it is a loaf or a fish?

There's no rule about it, it's a principle, just pray whatever number of times you think you need or until God answers. But at some point, if God hasn't answered, we need to ask why. The parable of the unjust judge is meant to highlight the Father who will not hesitate to give good gifts to His children and will answer them speedily, rather than an unjust ruler who will wish to delay and betray.
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Old 07-20-2017, 05:36 AM   #107
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I can imagine that if David for example had an important matter to pray about, he would pray it in the morning, at midday, and at evening, on that same day. He prayed 3 times a day.
Fine. But you didn't comment on "tomorrow." And neither did the scripture.

Besides, your imagination is not basis for principles.

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You cannot rule it out. You cannot say that David did not pray for the same thing three times on the one day.
Now you are engaging in strawman arguments. I never said that David did not pray three times on one day, nor that he did not pray at all three times for any one thing. The former happened with regularity, and while we have no clear evidence of the latter, it is easily conceded as a reasonable possibility.

What is not provided for consideration in any passage concerning David is the indication that he prayed ONLY three times for any one thing. Maybe only three times on one day because that was his practice for praying in a single day. But nothing about not praying about it the next day. Or the next. You are substituting true statements about a practice that does not speak to the current dispute as if it answers that dispute when it actually provides no hint at all about an answer for it.

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I find it hard to believe that Jesus was merely putting on a show for his disciples. He was a great actor to be able to fake tears of blood and sweat.
Hard to believe? On at least one occasion he openly declared that his prayer to the Father was for the purpose of showing the disciples a truth that was (for them) to be found in the words he prayed.

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They are opinions rooted in knowledge of Jewish customs and a degree of common sense that it is possible to pray too much for something.
But they are opinions concerning limits of praying based on customs of frequency of praying.

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The idea of God you present is a God who makes us persevere and beg until He gives us a fish. Do you really think God is going to make you persevere and work for what He wants to give you? Even if it is a loaf or a fish?
Just as it was required that the heathen noble (Persian or Babylonian . . . I can't remember that detail at the moment) was required to wash in the Jordan 7 times. If 3 is the limit, then the other 4 were in vain. But without them, no healing. That casts doubt on your limit.

I have not represented a God that makes us beg. Rather, I have represented an attitude of people who are willing to pray until they have an answer. Yes or no. Not just until some arbitrary number or times has occurred.

How many times do you pray for your daily needs? Every time you pray (if you follow the example Jesus gave).

How many times do you ask for forgiveness of God and grant it to others? Every time you pray (if you follow the example Jesus gave).

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There's no rule about it, it's a principle, just pray whatever number of times you think you need or until God answers. But at some point, if God hasn't answered, we need to ask why.
You finally say something that I can agree with. In fact, this is exactly what I have been saying all along. You may argue that I never said that there could be place where you should stop. That is not true. The only thing I have been saying is that one instance that is never referred to in a manner to suggest a limit does not define that limit in terms of a hard, fast number. Rather, it is when you have the realization that your prayer has been answered. Even if that answer is "no."

You remind me of the retired military man back in the 70s going back to school for a business degree. He was taking Business Law. As we discussed one area of law, after the instructor had given an example, this guy would "what if" a slight change in the facts to see if the rule still applied. Then another. Then another. Eventually he had so changed the facts that not only was the answer different, but the area of law that applied had changed. But since the answer had changed, he smugly folded his arms and lightly smiled as his head nodded up and down and he was sure that he had found a hole in the law.

You are doing something similar. You rush in with a rule and argue it hard and fast. If the opponent does not back down, you start to wander all over the place trying to confuse the issue. Then you eventually strawman your opponent's position into something that you can argue against with a variation of his original argument and then pretend that you have won.

Actually, the only winning was the truth because you have now wandered into supporting exactly what I was arguing for from the beginning. Something actually supported by the Bible rather than mere conjecture that there is a limit of three prayers on any particular topic after which a 4th prayer becomes vain repetition. Yes, you essentially argued that at the beginning. You didn't just argue a broad principle of praying until you have an answer. Or until there is no reason to stop.

For example. I am looking for a change in employment. I have prayed about it on more than three occasions. But the environment is that jobs in my field are not a dime a dozen. They are not hanging on fruit-laden trees. But you argued so hard for a rule of three that I became a vain repeater months ago.

Do you really believe that is true? It is not as if my options are pray three times and then either keep your current job or another will eventually come. Because of the nature of things, there is simply an end coming. And unemployment is not a reasonable thing to accept as from the hand of God. That would be like asking for a fish and getting a rock or a snake.

Your reading of the Bible seems more like a Pharisee trying to find ways to snare the people into failing, or putting extreme burdens on them in terms of their practice. A millstone weight of burdens on how to pray to God. How to meet. What words to use. And on and on . . . ad nauseam.
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Old 07-20-2017, 02:57 PM   #108
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It depends on our faith level. We can be like the Centurion who said only speak the word and it will be done. Jesus did not say that our lengthy prayer over weeks, months, years, will move mountains. He did not associate great faith with lengthy prayers but short ones. God knows our needs and provides for us while we are sleeping. Prayer can become a form of procrastination. Sometimes we pray because we doubt. Prayer becomes an avenue for our thoughts rather than a genuine prayer. Eventually we have to stop praying. Sometimes the answer is already before us but we keep praying because we don't like the answer or don't trust it is the answer. There is a case to be made for less prayer, more trust and more action. I believe Elvis wrote a song about that.
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Old 07-20-2017, 03:45 PM   #109
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It is clear that your only goal is to find fault with the prayers of other Christians, and you will go to any length to do it.

But then, the whole LRC system is built on renditions of scripture designed to take it where it did not go on its own, and for the purpose of making your little sect the only "genuine" game in town.

I am genuinely not shocked at the outcome of this discussion. You are arguing a "principle" that isn't really there and are unmoved by the evidence that it is not so simple and has no scriptural support. Pretty run-of-the-mill for the LRC faithful. And for Lee. The fruit of his teachings doesn't fall far from the tree.

You can continue on if you like, but I have grown weary in the constant onslaught of flat land that you are turning into mountains. (not even molehills)
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Old 07-20-2017, 05:22 PM   #110
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If you are so concerned with what has scriptural support and what doesn't then I hope you don't celebrate Christmas or Easter which is neither prescriptively or descriptively found in the bible.
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Old 07-20-2017, 07:07 PM   #111
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Neither were synagogues. But Jesus himself attended them and honored their practices.
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Old 07-20-2017, 08:14 PM   #112
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Neither were synagogues. But Jesus himself attended them and honored their practices.
That's because Jesus was a Jew.
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Old 07-21-2017, 04:30 AM   #113
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That's because Jesus was a Jew.
Paul rejected Judaism completely, yet the first place he visited in every city was the Synagogue.
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Old 07-21-2017, 05:28 AM   #114
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If you are so concerned with what has scriptural support and what doesn't then I hope you don't celebrate Christmas or Easter which is neither prescriptively or descriptively found in the bible.
You point to the voluntary celebration of an event on some day as a problem when even Paul does not chastise for the celebration of days. Then you insist upon principles that are based on opinions about what is not stated in the scripture.

If you can't see the difference, you are clearly the one blinded. Many voluntarily celebrate actual events recorded in the Bible. You despise that. But you insist on opinions derived from things not said in scripture.

In fact, some of your most important "spiritual" distinctives are not from what is in the scripture, but from what is insisted to be hiding between the lines.

Jesus is the Holy Spirit.
God's economy is a definable thing to be taught and can be used to ignore the actual meaning of scripture.
You should only pray for something 3 times or your prayer becomes vain repetition.
A church is defined by the city in which it is found, meaning that there can only be one church in a city. Not spiritually one, but actually one, meeting at a particular place and using a particular name. Any other assembly is not a "genuine" church.

As for things neither prescriptively nor descriptively found in scripture, most of modern life is not found in scripture. Yet it tells us how to live within that life no matter how it looks. Yet your "God's economy" teaching can insist that a believer refrain from doing what is right (accord to the righteous law of God) because you have not received enough "dispensing" of God to do it. Don't bother reckoning yourself dead to sin. It is too hard. Or so said Lee. Wait until the righteousness just naturally flows from you.

It sounds so spiritual. But it is not. It is evil wrapped in a faux spirituality.
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Old 07-21-2017, 06:20 AM   #115
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That's because Jesus was a Jew.
Well, I celebrate Christmas because I'm a Christian. Duh!
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Old 07-21-2017, 04:22 PM   #116
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It sounds so spiritual. But it is not. It is evil wrapped in a faux spirituality.
It's a mindless religion repeated mindlessly because Lee was the authority and it is wrong to contradict him.

Rather than admit that they dare not contradict him and that their imitation of him is mindless and obsequious, they insist on pretending that their thinking is reasonable and defensible. Yet again and again they are confronted with arguments strongly suggesting they should reconsider. But they don't because for them it is not a matter of truly considering the way most people measure consideration. It's a matter that Lee stated things, therefore they are true, unquestionable and to be defended with all the power of one's life. And that is the only thing they consider.

See more under definitions of "mindless fanaticism."

It's what makes these discussions, in the end, boring.
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Old 07-21-2017, 04:24 PM   #117
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Well, I celebrate Christmas because I'm a Christian. Duh!
But unlike attending synagogues, celebrating Christmas is not in the bible. The principle of praying 3 times is more biblical than Christmas.
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Old 07-21-2017, 04:33 PM   #118
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You point to the voluntary celebration of an event on some day as a problem when even Paul does not chastise for the celebration of days. Then you insist upon principles that are based on opinions about what is not stated in the scripture.

If you can't see the difference, you are clearly the one blinded. Many voluntarily celebrate actual events recorded in the Bible. You despise that. But you insist on opinions derived from things not said in scripture.
Christmas is derived from opinions and things not said in scripture, plus some pagan trimmings. 25th December is not even Christ's real birthday but an opinion about when it should be celebrated.

What's the best example you can give from the bible about Christmas? The three wise men. A descriptive matter. And the rest? decorated trees etc.. European paganism.

Yet on the matter of praying three times, it is descriptively a recurrent pattern, and has theological support (Barnes) who knew about ancient Jewish principles and customs.

Praying three times is rooted in Judaism, Christmas is rooted in paganism.
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Old 07-21-2017, 04:39 PM   #119
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But unlike attending synagogues, celebrating Christmas is not in the bible. The principle of praying 3 times is more biblical than Christmas.
So you don't believe in the virgin birth of Jesus?

Instead you prefer vain babbling?
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Old 07-22-2017, 06:58 AM   #120
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But unlike attending synagogues, celebrating Christmas is not in the bible. The principle of praying 3 times is more biblical than Christmas.
Synagogues are not mentioned in the Old Testament, when the Jews started practicing them they were their own invention.

The same with Christmas.

The point is not that Christmas is equivalent to synagogues. The point is your idea that for something to be an acceptable practice it must be mentioned in the Bible is false. Synagogues were not mandated by God in his word, yet Jesus honored their usage.

Note, I'm not necessarily defending Christmas, though I could. I'm saying your argument that Christmas is not valid because it is not in the Bible is itself invalid. The example of synagogues proves that.
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Old 07-22-2017, 07:14 AM   #121
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Synagogues are not mentioned in the Old Testament, when the Jews started practicing them they were their own invention.

The same with Christmas.

The point is not that Christmas is equivalent to synagogues. The point is your idea that for something to be an acceptable practice it must be mentioned in the Bible is false. Synagogues were not mandated by God in his word, yet Jesus honored their usage.

Note, I'm not necessarily defending Christmas, though I could. I'm saying your argument that Christmas is not valid because it is not in the Bible is itself invalid. The example of synagogues proves that.
The Exclusive Brethren became famous (infamous?) for their unrelenting assaults on all of Christendom regarding the celebrations of Christmas and Easter. Nee and Lee followed their lead. So now in TLR the only "legitimate" holiday is Chinese New Year, which Lee officially endorsed by establishing one of LSM's Seven Annual Feasts on this day. Yet the pagan traditions surrounding Christmas pale in comparison to those of Chinese New Year. Anyone else notice the irony here?
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Old 07-22-2017, 05:04 PM   #122
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Synagogues are not mentioned in the Old Testament, when the Jews started practicing them they were their own invention.

The same with Christmas.

The point is not that Christmas is equivalent to synagogues. The point is your idea that for something to be an acceptable practice it must be mentioned in the Bible is false. Synagogues were not mandated by God in his word, yet Jesus honored their usage.

Note, I'm not necessarily defending Christmas, though I could. I'm saying your argument that Christmas is not valid because it is not in the Bible is itself invalid. The example of synagogues proves that.
I see the point. My point was that Christmas being a holy day and a mass was mandatory to celebrate for hundreds of years. Yet some take issue with optional principles clearly seen in scripture and Jewish tradition.
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Old 07-23-2017, 04:55 AM   #123
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But unlike attending synagogues, celebrating Christmas is not in the bible. The principle of praying 3 times is more biblical than Christmas.
Driving a car is not in the Bible.

Your measure of what should NOT be done has no yardstick. Instead, it is left to be declared right or wrong based on what. Your opinion? If the Bible is silent on it, then it has nothing to say on it.

The practice of praying is in the Bible. Therefore it speaks in some ways on the subject. The celebration of any particular day is not in the Bible, therefore it is saying nothing about it.

But in the third chapter of the second book of Lee, Christmas is declared to be demonic and should therefore be shunned, and even spoken against as a "principle," if not a rule about proper Christian practice.

Thus sayeth the Lee.

And you are dense enough to think it is spiritual and continue to repeat his nonsense.
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Old 07-23-2017, 03:53 PM   #124
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Driving a car is not in the Bible.

Your measure of what should NOT be done has no yardstick. Instead, it is left to be declared right or wrong based on what. Your opinion? If the Bible is silent on it, then it has nothing to say on it.

The practice of praying is in the Bible. Therefore it speaks in some ways on the subject. The celebration of any particular day is not in the Bible, therefore it is saying nothing about it.

But in the third chapter of the second book of Lee, Christmas is declared to be demonic and should therefore be shunned, and even spoken against as a "principle," if not a rule about proper Christian practice.

Thus sayeth the Lee.

And you are dense enough to think it is spiritual and continue to repeat his nonsense.
Driving a car is not a spiritual matter though.

In the year 300 or something, people thought it would be a good idea, an opinion, to celebrate Christ's birthday. Furthermore, it became a mandatory celebration for all faithful Catholics. Therefore it was an unbiblical opinion that Christ's birthday should be celebrated. The bible never says it, Christ never commanded it.

The only reason society and Protestant churches celebrates Christmas today is because of these origins rooted in Catholic opinion.

If a person had only a bible I doubt they could obtain enough knowledge to determine that they should celebrate Christ's birthday on 25th December, they could not even know when Christ's birthday was, the bible is silent on the matter.

We discussed vain prayer. Now this is about vain customs.

Jeremiah 10:3-4 3 For the customs of the people are vain: for one cutteth a tree out of the forest, the work of the hands of the workman, with the axe.

So we have a vain custom rooted in opinion in Christmas. I wonder why an opinion about Christmas is okay to have, which was once mandatory to celebrate for hundreds of years, but an opinion about praying three times is not, which is not mandatory but a principle.
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Old 07-24-2017, 05:44 AM   #125
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Driving a car is not a spiritual matter though.
So you are saying that there must be a specific reference to something spiritual in the Bible or it is forbidden?

How about:
  • A minister of the age?
  • Any basis for dismissing the content of scripture?
  • A specific formula for the practice of communion (the Lord's table)?
  • Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit?
Seems that you only apply your rules (aka principles) when it can be leveled against someone else.
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Old 07-25-2017, 05:19 AM   #126
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So you are saying that there must be a specific reference to something spiritual in the Bible or it is forbidden?

How about:
  • A minister of the age?
  • Any basis for dismissing the content of scripture?
  • A specific formula for the practice of communion (the Lord's table)?
  • Jesus Christ is the Holy Spirit?
Seems that you only apply your rules (aka principles) when it can be leveled against someone else.
My point was...why would we care about whether driving a car is in the bible when it has no bearing on our spiritual life. All those things you mentioned are in the bible.
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Old 07-25-2017, 10:19 AM   #127
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My point was...why would we care about whether driving a car is in the bible when it has no bearing on our spiritual life. All those things you mentioned are in the bible.
You think that deriving a car has no bearing on your spiritual life? That is one of the reasons that the LRC's condition is rather poor. They have a spirituality that does not include anything of ordinary life.

Driving your car — when that is what you are doing — is intricately engaged with your spirituality or lack thereof. If you are driving like Dale Earnhardt Jr at Datona while on the city streets, then your spirituality is in need of serious help. I provide an extreme example, but it shows the serious issue of dismissing things from modern ordinary life when considering things as "spiritual" or "secular." For the Christian, there should be no such thing a secular.

But my point on the questions you managed to completely miss. If there is something that is clearly stated in a somewhat prescriptive way yet is surrounded (within all scripture, not just the immediate verses) by contrary examples, then it should be evident that there was a particular need in a particular instance for something to help that situation.

If you have a ship that is leaning hard to port, you would try to move as much movable load to the starboard side to help bring it more upright. But if it is upright, moving everything to starboard would cause it to lean to starboard. Since there are multiple examples of women with prominent roles that would even include teaching (in at least one instance), it would seem that a strong word (from the same writer that mentions the others without correction) to avoid women in leadership was something other than a clear, prescriptive word for all times and all places.

And when you have to force interpretation upon many events or persons over the Bible and over history to patch together a "minister of the age" rule, you are beyond the pale of something that could be accepted as a clearly biblical teaching. Yet you hold to it like it is of utmost importance.

Yet if someone prays more than 3 times for a particular thing — an action that is never spoken against in the Bible, and indirectly commended therein — you are arguing for a "principle" (that is treated more like a rule) that at 3 times you should just stop.

I agree, theoretically, that stopping at 3 times could demonstrate great faith. It also could demonstrate that the person is fatalist and gives up at about 3 because they have been argued into the belief that they should get an answer by the third time and therefore just assume the answer is "no" and go on in defeat. But I also agree that continuing demonstrates a desire to seek the will, aid, etc., of God and should be commended by us just as much as it was by Christ.
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Old 07-25-2017, 07:36 PM   #128
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You think that deriving a car has no bearing on your spiritual life? That is one of the reasons that the LRC's condition is rather poor. They have a spirituality that does not include anything of ordinary life.

Driving your car — when that is what you are doing — is intricately engaged with your spirituality or lack thereof. If you are driving like Dale Earnhardt Jr at Datona while on the city streets, then your spirituality is in need of serious help. I provide an extreme example, but it shows the serious issue of dismissing things from modern ordinary life when considering things as "spiritual" or "secular." For the Christian, there should be no such thing a secular.
I see your point. However, if I like driving fast, then it could be considered redeeming the time. ==

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But my point on the questions you managed to completely miss. If there is something that is clearly stated in a somewhat prescriptive way yet is surrounded (within all scripture, not just the immediate verses) by contrary examples, then it should be evident that there was a particular need in a particular instance for something to help that situation.

If you have a ship that is leaning hard to port, you would try to move as much movable load to the starboard side to help bring it more upright. But if it is upright, moving everything to starboard would cause it to lean to starboard. Since there are multiple examples of women with prominent roles that would even include teaching (in at least one instance), it would seem that a strong word (from the same writer that mentions the others without correction) to avoid women in leadership was something other than a clear, prescriptive word for all times and all places.

It's not a matter of simply finding descriptive contradictions to the prescriptive instructions and that then proves it is local. We have to consider the scope of the "surrounding passages" we wish to include. We have to consider the weight of those prescriptive or descriptive examples themselves and what is actually said.

For example, Jesus doing something, as a descriptive example carries much more weight than a commoner doing it. Old Testament prescriptive passages carry less weight than descriptive New Testament ones. For example, the Old Testament says to stone adulterers. The descriptive example of Jesus forgiving an adulterous woman shows us that it is not God's will to stone adulterers. If this example was not in our bibles, and had it not been exampled to us by Christ Himself but someone lesser, probably we would believe in stoning adulterers as much as Jews did and Muslims do. There is no prescriptive passage that tells us adulterers are not to be stoned.

On the matter of female leadership in the New Testament, we would have to extend that scope to the Old Testament examples eg Deborah , to have much effect.

Are there really multiple examples of women with prominent roles in the New Testament? Well not really actually. We find none of these prominent roles being a leader or elder of a church that requires holding authority over men in a teaching role.

How do we determine what are "surrounding passages" and which are not? We have extended it to the whole bible and so we are probably thinking of the Old Testament examples. Such prominent examples eg Deborah etc are from the Old Testament, and it is unclear how Old Testament prophetesses translate to the New Testament church, if at all.

Furthermore, we should consider that the examples given in the Old Testament of female leaders are few and far between, and possibly during a time when male leadership was inadequate or lacking. These are the other matters we should consider.

I could easily argue, that the descriptive passage about Phoebe being a deacon in Romans 16:1 is to be dismissed on the basis of the "surrounding verses" that are prescriptive passages concerning deacons being men, being husbands of one wife in 1 Tim 3:8-10.

Or do we say that the descriptive mention of Phoebe disproves the prescriptive passages in 1 Tim 3:8-10? We might settle for a view that 1 Tim 3:8-10 is not meant universally, as you have.

Where it becomes confusing is that not all things addressing local issues are meant to apply only locally. A clear example is Paul's instructions to the Galatians regarding salvation by faith. It was a local issue that the believers turned back to the law, yet it was a universal truth that Paul applied as remedy. How much harder would it be to prove salvation by faith alone if not for the book of Galatians? And if the only book we had on the matter of faith was the book of James, we would probably all be Catholics and reject sola fide outright.

But what weights it towards a universal viewpoint on women, is the content of what Paul says and the matter he is addressing. Firstly, the reference to the Creation order and fall of man is universal language.

Secondly, the Creation order is used to counter the false teaching of the ascetics in Ephesus at the time, that matters like sex, food, and male/female distinctions no longer mattered. Just as in Galatians, Paul was applying a universal truth to remedy a local matter.


Paul was imposing a universal custom, onto the Ephesian church.
He had done likewise in Corinthians on the matter of head coverings, facing similar problems to those in Ephesus. This time, Paul says 1 Cor 11: 16 If anyone wants to be contentious about this, we have no other practice—nor do the churches of God.

What weights it also towards the view of universal application is that the main Orthodox viewpoint held in Christianity for centuries is that Paul's words have universal application.

There were no men on the Nicene council, and the men who defined for us the New Testament Canon, the Nicene Creed, and the doctrine of the Trinity also believed in the universal applicability of restricted female leadership. I think it unlikely that they were all lacking revelation from the Spirit on the matter.
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Old 07-25-2017, 08:58 PM   #129
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..and the men who defined for us the New Testament Canon, the Nicene Creed, and the doctrine of the Trinity also believed in the universal applicability of restricted female leadership. I think it unlikely that they were all lacking revelation from the Spirit on the matter.
First of all, your one apostle with the one ministry for the age didn't think "the men who divined for us the New Testament Canon" got it totally right. Witness Lee clearly and strongly proclaimed that the James was "devoid of the divine revelation". Lee very rarely mentioned the Nicene Creed, and when he did it was almost always in a negative light. And as to "the doctrine of the Trinity"...Brother Lee claimed that the "the traditional teachings regarding the Trinity border on tritheism" (phrs)...so anything you say after knowing these facts makes your words pretty hollow.

All this being said, your babel about "also believed in the universal applicability of restricted female leadership", if it wasn't so knee-slapping funny, would be kind of sad and pathetic. But since I'm a look-on-the-brighter-side kind of fellow...I'll just stick with the "knee-slapping funny". My friend, this is 2017, not 1017. Women can actually think for themselves, and even act upon those convictions if they feel it necessary to protect and honor themselves or anyone they feel needs protecting and honoring. Hey, they can even drive alone in their own car...imagine that!

If you don't think that this gives them the ability to assume certain leadership positions in the church or in the Body of Christ in general then you need to go back to 1017 where you belong.

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Old 07-25-2017, 09:48 PM   #130
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You are justifying it on the basis of modern society and culture, not the bible. Your remarks have only reinforced my conviction that the argument for female leaders in the church is not well supported by the bible, if at all. My view is well supported by the experts, including everyone's favorite John Piper who you like to quote sometimes on this forum.
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Old 07-26-2017, 04:59 AM   #131
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You are justifying it on the basis of modern society and culture, not the bible. Your remarks have only reinforced my conviction that the argument for female leaders in the church is not well supported by the bible, if at all. My view is well supported by the experts, including everyone's favorite John Piper who you like to quote sometimes on this forum.
Have you ever considered that Paul's views on women's roles in the church, like the matter of head-covering, were a safeguard to them because of first century cultural views?
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Old 07-26-2017, 03:29 PM   #132
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Have you ever considered that Paul's views on women's roles in the church, like the matter of head-covering, were a safeguard to them because of first century cultural views?
I am open to God changing His mind for modern times, as I believe in continuing revelation, however if we restrict ourselves to what only the bible says, and consider that Paul's reasoning for it is based upon timeless truths, I think it unlikely to be only for the first century. If we consider the Greek text, the reasons Paul gives for it (none of which are about safeguards, except perhaps with regard to angels) and how it was actually practiced in the early church and still practiced until the 20th Century, it seems undeniably relevant for today. Consider that Paul only appeals to the functional hierarchy within the Trinity and between man and woman, the creation of man, angels, nature, and the universal church.

The key is 1 Corinthians 11:2 and the Greek translation of two words, the one for ordinances and the one for delivered:

Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you. (KJV)

The Greek word paradosis for traditions/ordinances is a strong word, the same word being found in 2 Thess 2:15 concerning the gospel, and 2 Thess 3:6 where Paul commands to keep away from those not holding to the traditions.

The verb delivered, paradidómi, is also a strong word. When Paul says "..I delivered (paradidómi) them to you", this is on the level of doctrinal importance, not optional preference.

It is the same word Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 15:3:

1 Corinthians 15:3 For I delivered (paradidómi) unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;

Because of this, the matter is on the level of orthopraxy, and not an optional custom. Verse 2 governs the rest of the chapter, where what follows in verses 3,4,5 etc regarding head coverings are those traditions/ordinances spoken of in verse 2.

We then come to 1 Corinthians 11:16 in which Paul says the churches have no other custom, clearly showing that his instructions are observed by all the churches. Because it was on the level of orthopraxy as seen by verse 2, Paul could appeal to the fact that most of the other churches were following it in verse 16.

We then see in verses 3-9 that Paul bases this instruction on the (functional, not ontological) hierarchy within the Trinity - God the head of Christ, Christ the head of man, and man the head of the woman:

1 Cor 11:3 But I want you to understand that Christ is the head of every man, and the man is the head of a woman, and God is the head of Christ.


and on Creation -

1 Corinthians 11:8-9 For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man.

And Paul makes clear that these are the reasons for it:

1 Cor 11:10 - That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head,

Paul mentions nothing about safeguarding women or any other cultural or particular circumstance at the time.

Then we see how the early church practiced it. I think the historical evidence points to the fact that it was observed in the church well into the middle ages and later, which also indicates a "first century only" view is incorrect. If it were only a first century thing, we might expect to see women throwing off their head coverings shortly thereafter. Head covering was practiced by most Christian women until the 20th Century:


Earle, Alice Morse (1903). Two Centuries of Costume in America, Vol. 2 (1620–1820). The Macmillan Company. p. 582. “One singular thing may be noted in this history, – that with all the vagaries of fashion, woman has never violated the Biblical law that bade her cover her head. She has never gone to church services bareheaded.”
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:55 AM   #133
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IWe have to consider the scope of the "surrounding passages" we wish to include. We have to consider the weight of those prescriptive or descriptive examples themselves and what is actually said.
I think this says enough. When you are seeking the truth, what you do or do not include is not based on a wish or a desire. It is not based on the expectation of a particular outcome, or merely the desire to avoid a particular outcome.

Instead, it is based on the analysis of all relevant information and evidence. If there is found to be cause to classify some of the apparent evidence as not relevant, then that is fine. But the reason that is not relevant is not that you want (or wish) there to be a different result that the evidence stands in the way of.

Sort of like Nee in Further Talks. He effectively dismisses the house churches as relevant to the discussion because at face value they would contradict the one-city-one-church rule. But until you weigh all the evidence, there is no rule to apply. But he had a rule he wanted and he could not dismiss this contrary evidence without declaring that since it violated the rule, it must mean something else. But that proves that he had a bias in favor of the rule such that he used an as-yet un-established rule to dismiss any evidence that would cause it to fail to become the rule.

Begging the question. Using a rule to shut out evidence that the rule is invalid.

So you can't just include or exclude evidence because you don't like what it does to your expected outcome. You have to deal with it head-on.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:28 AM   #134
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Sort of like Nee in Further Talks. He effectively dismisses the house churches as relevant to the discussion because at face value they would contradict the one-city-one-church rule. But until you weigh all the evidence, there is no rule to apply. But he had a rule he wanted and he could not dismiss this contrary evidence without declaring that since it violated the rule, it must mean something else. But that proves that he had a bias in favor of the rule such that he used an as-yet un-established rule to dismiss any evidence that would cause it to fail to become the rule.
Well said. A little wordy, but like I said, "well said."
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:20 PM   #135
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I think this says enough. When you are seeking the truth, what you do or do not include is not based on a wish or a desire. It is not based on the expectation of a particular outcome, or merely the desire to avoid a particular outcome.

So you can't just include or exclude evidence because you don't like what it does to your expected outcome. You have to deal with it head-on.
Same can be applied to deputy authority doctrine. Noah is used a core component of the teaching. King/Prophet relationship of Saul/Samuel and David/Nathan debunks the deputy authority teaching. Biblical excerpts used in deputy authority doctrine only uses those excerpts that support the notion.

Similar, same approach can be used in HWFMR by carefully selecting texts from Lee's ministry that supports HWFMR. If there's something in Lee's ministry that makes the brothers uncomfortable, it's ignored. Several such are:

"Now we realize that every local church must be a police station and that every saint must be a policeman. Many have been reluctant to act as policemen for fear they might cause trouble. If someone claims to be for the ministry and yet goes about stealing and deceiving, we need to fulfill our function as policemen by checking him out according to the truth... If we see evil deeds but do not function as policemen, then we are not practicing the truth... Someone has even said that we should care only for the Spirit, not for principles. How subtle! ...If we all had practiced the truth, certain sayings and practices would have been questioned a long time ago." Truth Messages Chapter 1 Section 2

"Concerning the appointment and qualification of co-workers and elders, we can view this from two angles. On the one hand, we should follow the Scriptures. On the other hand, based on our long-term history, we know that some of our co-workers have been harmed because there has been no evaluation of their service. Today in various big companies and government organizations there are examinations with grades. Even diplomatic officials must take examinations... I absolutely believe that if we had systematically evaluated the co-workers in Taiwan over the past thirty years, the co-workers would have been more fruitful than they are today. The same applies to the elders... In the Bible we cannot find any length of time for the service of an elder. According to our understanding, it seems as if an elder should serve his whole life, like a justice on the Supreme Court. If an elder is constantly learning and making progress and is truly an elder among the saints, this is all right. But if one has been an elder for twenty or thirty years, and the church under his management is only mediocre, this proves that the time has come for him to voluntarily yield his position to someone who is younger but more qualified and experienced... In this way the churches can have a new beginning and a new hope." Crucial Words of Leading in the Lord's Recovery, Book 1: The Vision and Definite Steps for the Practice of the New Way, Chapter 6, Section 5
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Old 07-27-2017, 12:53 PM   #136
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Same can be applied to deputy authority doctrine. Noah is used a core component of the teaching. King/Prophet relationship of Saul/Samuel and David/Nathan debunks the deputy authority teaching. Biblical excerpts used in deputy authority doctrine only uses those excerpts that support the notion.
These are great point, Terry. They topple the entire deputy authority doctrine. No one is above the law! All leaders are held accountable. Except Lee and sons.

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"Now we realize that every local church must be a police station and that every saint must be a policeman. Many have been reluctant to act as policemen for fear they might cause trouble. If someone claims to be for the ministry and yet goes about stealing and deceiving, we need to fulfill our function as policemen by checking him out according to the truth... If we see evil deeds but do not function as policemen, then we are not practicing the truth... Someone has even said that we should care only for the Spirit, not for principles. How subtle! ... If we all had practiced the truth, certain sayings and practices would have been questioned a long time ago." Truth Messages Chapter 1 Section 2
I have always found this word by WL to be extremely disingenuous. This was spoken in the aftermath of the late 70's Max "storm," a debacle aka the "young Galilean" move to the campuses. I lived through that, and much has been posted about it on this forum.

Yes, Max did some destructive things, and he repented for them, but never forget that Lee put him up to it. Lee sent Max out from Anaheim to shake up the LC's, loose the young people from their local church eldership, and then relocate them to LSM training grounds, such as in Boston and in SoCal, to be Lee's own personal foot soldiers. When things all went south, Lee threw Max under the bus in order to save his own pristine image in TLR. Max also got branded for attempting to protect the volunteer sisters at LSM from the predator Phillip Lee. Apparently Max was the only one with the guts to confront Phillip.

Did Lee take any responsibility for that whole calamity? Absolutely not! Read what he said above. He blamed all the saints for what happened with Max. He blamed us all for not being proper "policemen" for the truth. Did Lee learn anything from all the suffering and loss among the "little ones" and local churches? No. Absolutely not! He kept his profligate Phillip in charge of LSM, and after things calmed down, they continued the same abuses under the guise of a "new way." History tells us that all those who attempted to stand for the truth as proper "policemen" were then branded rebellious lepers and quarantined.
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Old 07-27-2017, 02:31 PM   #137
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I think this says enough. When you are seeking the truth, what you do or do not include is not based on a wish or a desire. It is not based on the expectation of a particular outcome, or merely the desire to avoid a particular outcome.

Instead, it is based on the analysis of all relevant information and evidence. If there is found to be cause to classify some of the apparent evidence as not relevant, then that is fine. But the reason that is not relevant is not that you want (or wish) there to be a different result that the evidence stands in the way of.

Sort of like Nee in Further Talks. He effectively dismisses the house churches as relevant to the discussion because at face value they would contradict the one-city-one-church rule. But until you weigh all the evidence, there is no rule to apply. But he had a rule he wanted and he could not dismiss this contrary evidence without declaring that since it violated the rule, it must mean something else. But that proves that he had a bias in favor of the rule such that he used an as-yet un-established rule to dismiss any evidence that would cause it to fail to become the rule.

Begging the question. Using a rule to shut out evidence that the rule is invalid.

So you can't just include or exclude evidence because you don't like what it does to your expected outcome. You have to deal with it head-on.
I was talking about classifying or weighting the evidence. For example, we would classify the example of Deborah as belonging to the Old Testament period and not necessarily applying to the church. Just as we do with circumcision, keeping the Sabbath, making sacrifices etc. Yet Deborah is one of only a few clear examples of a female leader people can point to, as there is no real female leader equivalent in the New Testament. So we cannot overlay the descriptive examples of Deborah and then disregard the prescriptive words of Paul.

I don't think you are qualified to talk about "analyzing all relevant information and evidence". I have presented the evidence from Greek NT experts like Wallace who analyze the original Greek word for word, yet you soundly rejected it. Bible commentaries from serious NT scholars, and you reject it. Anyone who rejects what the serious NT scholars have to say is not being like a noble Berean.

Over the past few days I have studied Bushnell's God's Word to Women to consider what she has to say regarding the interpretation of the Greek NT. I found that her arguments are not based upon the Greek word for word analysis like Wallace does. Her arguments are mostly based upon cultural and historical claims. In fact she even goes so far as to claim that what Paul wrote is the exact opposite of what most scholars think. Although she is said to be an expert in Greek and Hebrew, she does not employ sound hermeneutics that would grant her any sort of credibility in modern day theological schools. For example she has not considered the employment and usage of the words paradosis and paradidómi by Paul which indicates a strong command rather than an optional preference. She latches onto individual verses, and jumps here and there, throwing in a good measure of historical or cultural evidence that supports her claims, which in itself is disputable. Greek NT experts like Wallace analyze the original Greek text as it stands, and form their conclusions based upon that alone.This is what I have done in my previous post about 1 Corinthians 11.
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Old 07-27-2017, 03:41 PM   #138
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Yet Deborah is one of only a few clear examples of a female leader people can point to, as there is no real female leader equivalent in the New Testament.
Well none of the Old Testament leaders had an equivalent in the New Testament. None - NOT ONE - of the original apostles, or even Paul, equated their status to that of an Old Testament leader. Your point is moot. There were many women throughout the New Testament that could be considered leaders. Many of them were married and seemed to have joint leadership with their husbands. You're always whining and crying about the influence of culture. But just like Witness Lee, you're a really poor historian. You pick and choose which parts of a culture you want to recognize as legitimate.

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Anyone who rejects what the serious NT scholars have to say is not being like a noble Berean.
Then Witness Lee was among the worst noble Bereans that ever lived.

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Although she is said to be an expert in Greek and Hebrew, she does not employ sound hermeneutics that would grant her any sort of credibility in modern day theological schools
Since when does a follower of Witness Lee give a rip about "sound hermeneutics" or "modern day theological schools"? You follow the only person who spoke as Gods oracle since 1945, right? The next time I hear one of the Blended Brothers mention sound hermeneutics or modern day theological schools will be the first time.
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Old 07-27-2017, 04:51 PM   #139
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Well none of the Old Testament leaders had an equivalent in the New Testament. None - NOT ONE - of the original apostles, or even Paul, equated their status to that of an Old Testament leader. Your point is moot.
...

Were they leaders in the sense of elders or those with teaching authority? Were they leaders in their own right and not under the covering or by the side of their husbands?

Examples of women leading with their husbands or by their husbands side could be considered them leading under the covering of their husband.

Where are the examples of women, even single women, leading a church in their own capacity like men? This was related to the question posed by the newcomer to the forum which led to the thread on the Role of Women, where she asked whether females are leaders in the Recovery on their own spiritual capacity? Well the answer is no, but the Greek NT experts seem to agree, as well as the Orthodox and Catholics traditions if we should believe them.

I don't know what following Lee has to do with interpreting the bible from the Greek or consulting Greek NT experts on the matter. These are, Lee-independent sources I am quoting. They should be your sources of proof and example, not mine, if Lee was so wrong about this. If truth is standalone and to be found, then surely my approach is valid, regardless of whether or not I follow Lee. It seems you are blindly taking the words of Bushnell or Jane for granted without critical evaluation by the Greek NT experts. If the truth rests upon sound interpretation of the Greek NT then surely this is the approach one should take. I mean, this is the argument made by Jane/Bushnell in their case, that the bible translations are wrong, that only the Greek NT is to be trusted. Yet the Greek NT experts like Wallace disagree. Even John Piper disagrees, who is yet to be enlightened and blessed by the Holy Spirit. How is that?

All this confirms to me that it is hard to arrive at the truth. The eye of a needle, the narrow gate, cannot be proved by Greek NT alone or history/culture, one weighs the other to his or her own advantage.
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Old 07-27-2017, 09:37 PM   #140
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I don't think you are qualified to talk about "analyzing all relevant information and evidence". I have presented the evidence from Greek NT experts like Wallace who analyze the original Greek word for word, yet you soundly rejected it. Bible commentaries from serious NT scholars, and you reject it. Anyone who rejects what the serious NT scholars have to say is not being like a noble Berean.
Analyzing a particular passage word for word (assuming that is the preferred way to do it in all cases) does not dispose of all others. So you take a closer look at the verses you like and — consistent with what I have said — one account may support the fact that the particular passage says one thing. But that does not mean that it disposes of any other passage that speaks on the same issue. There are reasons to speak one way in one place and another in a different place.

Why does one account say "forgive us our debts" while another says "trespasses"? It's not just a matter of a different English word. The Greek is also different. Yet Jesus did not say both. So how do you justify the difference in wording? The answer is probably found in the overall thrust of one gospel v that of the other gospel. Neither is "wrong." But neither is singularly "right" to the exclusion of the other. Both are correct spiritually. Yet despite the one time it was spoken by Jesus, two writers recorded it differently.

Or the kingdom of God v the kingdom of Heaven. Not the same word. But in the places where they are writing the same account, the writers differed in their record.

In our case, the situation is similar, but not the same. There is a place where Paul says that a woman should not teach. Yet he comments positively about Apollos being taught by the husband-wife team of Aquilla and Priscilla. Not just one or the other.

And a deacon (or deaconess) was a leader in the church. Not an elder. But still a leader. Leading in their service to the church.

But you latch onto things like "first mention." Adam is recorded as being created before Eve, so he is superior and to be in the lead over the woman.

Where does it say that?

Your whole approach to the Bible is about rules and acrimony. No wonder your group is languishing. And it stands as peculiarly odd for a group that declares that they are no longer under the law. You are busy making more and more laws for the purpose of putting people under bondage (even if only in your own eyes). Reminds me of the Jewish rule about meat lasagna. Can't cook it in your kitchen or eat it because there is meat and cheese, a milk product, cooked together. Seems that it was an extension from "seething a kid in its mother's milk." The rabbi who came up with that one didn't ting his wife had enough rules to worry about.
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Old 07-28-2017, 01:16 AM   #141
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Probably when we speak of leaders, we think of elders with teaching authority. Those of equal importance to Paul, James, John, the 12 disciples. In the Recovery, there are women who take the lead in service, or teaching the children, and prophesying in the meeting. No official position of course, but performing the same sort of role as that claimed of Phoebe the "deaconess". The one and only example I believe of a possible deaconess. There are very few solid examples of female leaders in the New Testament. We might be able to find some if you look at the early Christian writings. The situation is so desperate for NT examples, that I've found websites even using the example of the Samaritan woman at the well being a "leader" because she told others about Christ.

Paul gives his reasoning in 1 Timothy 2:13, describing the functional subordination between the man and woman because of the order of creation, after describing it within the Trinity.

The big problem for you, Bushnell, Jane, Nell, whoever ascribe to the egalitarian viewpoints, is that I can quote Orthodox and Catholics, Evangelical sources that affirm that females should not be leaders in the church. On this topic you can't claim our position is that of an insignificant little sect as was claimed on the matter of the Trinity. Rather this is a situation of role reversal, where it is yourselves in the minority against the weight of majority Christian opinion and you would experience that if you ever had to participate in a serious evangelical, Orthodox or Catholic bible discussion forum. That is if you were allowed to join in the first place given the viewpoint that the English bible contains serious translation errors. Many would not tolerate the idea that God could not have preserved the translation of His Word into English.
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Old 07-28-2017, 10:04 AM   #142
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And you can probably quote Orthodox, Catholic, and Evangelical sources that have declared slavery to be an acceptable construct because God, the overall author of the Bible, did not deny it, but provided guidelines on how to treat your slaves.

It is the vey existence of these statements that makes any absolute declarations to be less than compelling. Especially when there are examples that are provided in which the rules you seek to create were set aside.

And you like to point out that Deborah was an OT example. But the problem with that kind of approach is that in the whole of the Bible, there is no example that I can come up with where what was acceptable in this kind of area was further limited rather than either held in place or made more general in the NT. You are admitting that God used more than one woman in the OT as the ultimate leader, then arguing that it is now made impossible in the NT.

And you want to argue that because you think that God would not put a woman to the level of a Paul, James, or John that a woman cannot be at any level of leadership. Given that the one specific forbidding of the woman to teach had a context and that the same person who wrote that one commended another for her teaching with respect to a man who was then seen as among the significant leaders, You appear to be using a simplistic definition of leadership for your purposes.

There are many who have determined that a woman can teach, preach in the church in general. But a number of those still have not concluded that a woman can be among the elders. But others have. Do you think that God is judging the assemblies who have allowed a woman to preach, or even to be an elder, when the church is otherwise a healthy assembly of believers?

In my life, going back to high school days, I have seen and heard women preach, both in person and in other ways. Do I think that everything they said was completely right and anointed? Surely not. But no more so than that of the men I have heard. Including men that I have reason to accept as being solid, well-studied and well-prayed men of God.

I have heard women preach who have never made the kinds of spiritual gaffs that Lee did. They did not go to great efforts to distort the meaning of scripture in the way he did.

And that is one of the most telling things. You and your group are so strong to oppose the leading of a woman because she "might" be more easily deceived when there is a large body of evidence that the one you hang your hopes on was either constantly deceived or was willfully deceitful.

Take your pick. (And I know you will pick neither because you have been deceived by a master deceiver.)
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:20 PM   #143
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I dont think Christianity has ever officially endorsed slavery so don't see the relevance.

I note that your argument for women is based on capability or custom than the Bible.

Now on topics like the local church in the city I was told numerous times that my descriptive examples were not prescriptive so they do not mean we should follow one church per city.

On the topic of women the example of Deborah and others are descriptive and yet Pauls prescriptive commands deny female leadership. To me if you want to be consistent in your application of the prescriptive vs descriptive passages you should also deny the old testament descriptions and just follow Pauls commands which the Greek NT scholars tell us are weighty.

I am saying the old testament examples are stronger than the new testament ones. Still in themselves are not on equal footing with male examples. Deborah is what..one of only 12 or so Judges of Israel. An exception perhaps not a rule. And her role as a Prophetess was moreso an intermediary between God and the people than a leader. God was their leader.
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Old 07-31-2017, 05:18 AM   #144
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On the topic of women the example of Deborah and others are descriptive and yet Pauls prescriptive commands deny female leadership. To me if you want to be consistent in your application of the prescriptive vs descriptive passages you should also deny the old testament descriptions and just follow Pauls commands which the Greek NT scholars tell us are weighty.
The problem with your take on the OT descriptives are that you omit a huge part of the description. The OT description is not simply an account of a woman rising up without being stuck dead by God for daring to stand against a rule, but God raised her up. She wasn't just the preacher in some assembly installed by the members or a denominational board. God did it.

Then you say that Paul prescribed. Yes he did. In a particular instance. And yet his own descriptions stand in sharp contrast to that prescription. Therefore it is safe to assume that the prescription was for a case of sickness rather than a rule to apply in all times.

As for your claim the "the Greek NT scholars" tell us that Paul's commands are weighty, have you considered that the correct statement is "SOME Greek NT scholars" consider Paul's commands weighty (in the manner that you seek to infer them). The fact that there are significant Greek and other NT scholars who do not find Paul's command on this to be understood as universally applicable.

You do not seek truth. You seek confirmation of the position you want to take. My position is no longer like yours because I was exposed to the evidence that the "prescriptions" you assert were not intended as universal and permanent. Because of that, my position has changed.
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Old 07-31-2017, 08:52 PM   #145
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The problem with your take on the OT descriptives are that you omit a huge part of the description. The OT description is not simply an account of a woman rising up without being stuck dead by God for daring to stand against a rule, but God raised her up. She wasn't just the preacher in some assembly installed by the members or a denominational board. God did it.
If you want to say that the description should be considered more weighty because "God did it", then please also consider that the early church was structured as one church per city because that is how "God wanted it". The early church structure was not simply done that way because of man's will, but God's.

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Then you say that Paul prescribed. Yes he did. In a particular instance. And yet his own descriptions stand in sharp contrast to that prescription. Therefore it is safe to assume that the prescription was for a case of sickness rather than a rule to apply in all times.
I would not say it is safe to assume at all, given that this view is not held by all major denominations - Catholic, Orthodox etc. The ones that keep careful records of early church tradition and history, and who have never changed their position on the matter of female leadership in the church.


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As for your claim the "the Greek NT scholars" tell us that Paul's commands are weighty, have you considered that the correct statement is "SOME Greek NT scholars" consider Paul's commands weighty (in the manner that you seek to infer them). The fact that there are significant Greek and other NT scholars who do not find Paul's command on this to be understood as universally applicable.
Let's hear it then, name these scholars, one will do. Let's compare their view against Wallace's for example, and see on what basis they claim Paul's command was not universally applicable. Not only Evangelicals like Wallace, but they are also up against the weight of Catholic and Orthodox scholars on this matter.

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You do not seek truth. You seek confirmation of the position you want to take. My position is no longer like yours because I was exposed to the evidence that the "prescriptions" you assert were not intended as universal and permanent. Because of that, my position has changed.
If it's the Greek scholar you mentioned previously, then I would be interested to consider it.
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Old 08-01-2017, 05:04 AM   #146
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If you want to say that the description should be considered more weighty because "God did it", then please also consider that the early church was structured as one church per city because that is how "God wanted it". The early church structure was not simply done that way because of man's will, but God's.
There is actually nothing that makes the LRC formula true in the scripture as written. Despite the general reference to the church in a particular city in a few places, it is also evidence that there was more than one "church" in some of those and no evidence that they adhered to a single eldership.

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I would not say it is safe to assume at all, given that this view is not held by all major denominations - Catholic, Orthodox etc. The ones that keep careful records of early church tradition and history, and who have never changed their position on the matter of female leadership in the church.
Funny that you are quick to point to the position of some groups that follow your position despite otherwise declaring them to be Babylon the great or the harlot daughters of her.

Note that some groups declare that their ministers should not marry. And that you should pray to saints so that your prayers are heard in heaven. While I do not consider any of these, or the LRC, to not be true churches, I also do not consider any of them to be obvious choices for seeking out doctrinal truth. I don't use the fact that the LRC supports something I believe as proof of my position because that gives support to what I do not believe from them. But I accept that underneath is the correct gospel that Jesus Christ is the one sacrifice for sin, therefore I do not deny any of them the status as church.

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Let's hear it then, name these scholars, one will do. Let's compare their view against Wallace's for example, and see on what basis they claim Paul's command was not universally applicable. Not only Evangelicals like Wallace, but they are also up against the weight of Catholic and Orthodox scholars on this matter.
I have read from the discussions on this issue, and heard live discussion on it by a collection of theologians, including language scholars, that covered the topic quite well. Each discussion includes well-reasoned analysis of the language and the context and concludes that the particular passages that seem to provide a rule are context-bound. As for a name, I can only recall one of them at the moment because I sort of know the person. Fanning. A professor of biblical languages, now retired, I believe.
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Old 08-01-2017, 06:02 PM   #147
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There is actually nothing that makes the LRC formula true in the scripture as written. Despite the general reference to the church in a particular city in a few places, it is also evidence that there was more than one "church" in some of those and no evidence that they adhered to a single eldership.
These two topics have certain parallels. The view on women has limited Scriptural or historical support, as does the view on how the early church was structured. My views are both Scriptural and historical in the majority.

So I think the best chance you have of making a rational argument on this matter is to declare that God changed His mind with the times and we don't have to do things as done in the past or as done in the Bible.

That is more or less implied I think in these arguments because even the Moderator stepped in once and effectively said how women can do many things now, this is not the middle ages, why can't women be leaders in the church too?



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Funny that you are quick to point to the position of some groups that follow your position despite otherwise declaring them to be Babylon the great or the harlot daughters of her.

Note that some groups declare that their ministers should not marry. And that you should pray to saints so that your prayers are heard in heaven. While I do not consider any of these, or the LRC, to not be true churches, I also do not consider any of them to be obvious choices for seeking out doctrinal truth. I don't use the fact that the LRC supports something I believe as proof of my position because that gives support to what I do not believe from them. But I accept that underneath is the correct gospel that Jesus Christ is the one sacrifice for sin, therefore I do not deny any of them the status as church.
They became Babylon but were not always so, otherwise we would reject the Trinity and the New Testament Canon as well wouldn't we? To consider all the evidence to me that is the bible, plus history, and some of the best records we have of church history are maintained by the Catholic and Orthodox churches. So I use them as examples of history not for establishing any sort of doctrine.

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I have read from the discussions on this issue, and heard live discussion on it by a collection of theologians, including language scholars, that covered the topic quite well. Each discussion includes well-reasoned analysis of the language and the context and concludes that the particular passages that seem to provide a rule are context-bound. As for a name, I can only recall one of them at the moment because I sort of know the person. Fanning. A professor of biblical languages, now retired, I believe.
Is it this person? they don't seem retired, so maybe not:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buist_M._Fanning
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Old 08-02-2017, 05:43 AM   #148
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That would be the person. It has been some years and I had heard he retired. Might have been mixing two different people. And because of the time, I couldn't remember his first name.

The odd thing is that the ones who write are not necessarily so special in themselves. They write based on what was written before and what is the general thought from those within which they came to understand. All are part of the process of influencing the writing, but only a few actually write. That does not make them necessarily a fount of wisdom, rather a note-taker for the group that might attain to that name as a collective. And it seems that those of the past wrote with more certainty than many who write today. Those in the past thought their "revelation" was singular and God-ordained. But as more and more have taken exception (with humility) in subsequent times, the only ones who declare their positions to be infallible are those who hold to the old lines.

You say that they church has never held in favor of slavery (in a previous post). But that is exactly what happened in America. And that holding prevails to this day with variations. From it arises the KKK, who uses Romans 12:1-2 as part of their initiation rituals. You can dismiss them as "not a church" all you want. It was from the teachings of many churches that it arose, not just the secular absconding with the verses to give an aura of spirituality to their evil.

While there is much to hold to within the scripture, when your positions effectively stand opposed to "love your neighbor as yourself" then you really need to rethink your positions.

The real kicker to me is that virtually all of your positions are about adherence to protocols that you consider immutable. And when you think about it, protocols are what the kind of religion that your group so strongly objects to is all about. Getting the protocols right. A series of read-between-the-lines rules. Rules that are called principles, but that bring dire consequences if not followed closely.

I thought that part of your dogma was that Christ abolished the law. Yet here you are adding to the commands about forms and protocols.
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Old 08-02-2017, 08:53 PM   #149
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That would be the person. It has been some years and I had heard he retired. Might have been mixing two different people. And because of the time, I couldn't remember his first name.

The odd thing is that the ones who write are not necessarily so special in themselves. They write based on what was written before and what is the general thought from those within which they came to understand. All are part of the process of influencing the writing, but only a few actually write. That does not make them necessarily a fount of wisdom, rather a note-taker for the group that might attain to that name as a collective. And it seems that those of the past wrote with more certainty than many who write today. Those in the past thought their "revelation" was singular and God-ordained. But as more and more have taken exception (with humility) in subsequent times, the only ones who declare their positions to be infallible are those who hold to the old lines.

He seems to be or have been a colleague of Wallace's, so this will be interesting if they have different views on this.

Wallace has analyzed the Greek words word for word in the context of how those Greek words are typically used. This requires someone who knows the language and its meaning, as we know translation is not just a simple matter of translating individual words but understanding the intention and meaning of the whole passage. He is also able to see the intended meaning of the passages while the rest of us are blinded by the artificial insertion of chapter and verse numberings which can distort the meaning. He is not merely copying what others have said.


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You say that they church has never held in favor of slavery (in a previous post). But that is exactly what happened in America. And that holding prevails to this day with variations. From it arises the KKK, who uses Romans 12:1-2 as part of their initiation rituals. You can dismiss them as "not a church" all you want. It was from the teachings of many churches that it arose, not just the secular absconding with the verses to give an aura of spirituality to their evil.
Sounds like a good topic to get into more, but I hardly think women not being leaders in the church is on the same level as slavery.


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While there is much to hold to within the scripture, when your positions effectively stand opposed to "love your neighbor as yourself" then you really need to rethink your positions.
I hope you aren't going to use the old "it's unloving to forbid women from being leaders". That's the same sort of argument pro-gay marriage people use.

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The real kicker to me is that virtually all of your positions are about adherence to protocols that you consider immutable. And when you think about it, protocols are what the kind of religion that your group so strongly objects to is all about. Getting the protocols right. A series of read-between-the-lines rules. Rules that are called principles, but that bring dire consequences if not followed closely.

I thought that part of your dogma was that Christ abolished the law. Yet here you are adding to the commands about forms and protocols.
I don't see it as adding commands, but preventing the removal of them. Consider that the church of all persuasions has forbid female leaders for centuries, the Catholic/Orthodox will tell you that. So it is not about adding anything but preventing the removal of something important. As we know, the bible says the general trend from the bible age to modern times would get worse, not better. So this matter is likely part of the last days degradation rather than improvement.
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Old 08-03-2017, 12:10 PM   #150
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Default Re: Repetition, Ritual, Religion

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The real kicker to me is that virtually all of your positions are about adherence to protocols that you consider immutable. And when you think about it, protocols are what the kind of religion that your group so strongly objects to is all about. Getting the protocols right. A series of read-between-the-lines rules. Rules that are called principles, but that bring dire consequences if not followed closely.

I thought that part of your dogma was that Christ abolished the law. Yet here you are adding to the commands about forms and protocols.
What are some of these protocols?
  • Submission to authority?
  • Blind obedience?
  • fellowship for college?
  • fellowship for who to date/court?
  • fellowship for career?
I'm sure there are many more such as where to live. I'm not making this stuff up, I've heard it all. So many more guidelines, protocols, etc that's expected to be adhered to.
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:04 PM   #151
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He seems to be or have been a colleague of Wallace's, so this will be interesting if they have different views on this.

Wallace has analyzed the Greek words word for word in the context of how those Greek words are typically used. . . .
I suggest that as a professor of biblical languages and author, that it is doubtful that his analysis would be any less stringent, yet he has continued to be part of a church (assembly) that put the whole issue to 18 months of scrutiny and concluded that women would be permitted to preach.

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Sounds like a good topic to get into more, but I hardly think women not being leaders in the church is on the same level as slavery.
Pretty dense response. The comment was to show that what is in the Bible and what people have concluded that it is saying is not always completely agreed upon, or even understood in the majority view at all times in history. And if you are simply relying on history, how well do we really know the history of Christian thought concerning what passages mean beyond the last 300 or 400 years? Plus, we have so much more from the recent times anyway, so we often give it a greater weight just because there is a lot of it.

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I hope you aren't going to use the old "it's unloving to forbid women from being leaders". That's the same sort of argument pro-gay marriage people use.
I would make no such argument. And it is difficult to see your bringing LGBT arguments into this as more than a way to assert that the women's issue is settled without proving it to be so.

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I don't see it as adding commands, but preventing the removal of them. Consider that the church of all persuasions has forbid female leaders for centuries, the Catholic/Orthodox will tell you that. So it is not about adding anything but preventing the removal of something important. As we know, the bible says the general trend from the bible age to modern times would get worse, not better. So this matter is likely part of the last days degradation rather than improvement.
This from someone within a group that declares that Christ abolished the law.

But since I do not believe that either, I will deal with your position. The fact that it has been settled by the EO/RCC and some others that women should not preach or teach is not the same as determining that the Bible really says it as a rule without exception. It is clearly seen as a rule for one or two certain situations. Yet there is the actual raising up of women to lead by God himself, and the positive commendation of women in a role of teaching men in at least one case by Paul with respect to one particular woman. No comment that he was waiving the "women can't teach" rule to allow for it or refrain from opening up the guns of righteous indignation for what happened.

With that, you are hard pressed to create a rule for all times out of one specific forbiddance in a place where the pagan culture had women as the priests. Probably were having trouble in the church there because women still presumed that they should be in the lead. Rather than try to figure out how to allow for those truly qualified to lead and teach, Paul just squashed it altogether.

You can't prove that this was a correct understanding. Neither can you prove that it is not. The record is too limited to be clear either way. And if it is that unclear, then is cannot establish a rule. One that made God into the first violator of the rule.

But it is easy to find that the ones who would lose an absolute position of authority would insist upon spreading any hint of correctness all over the place to maintain their place. It is, unfortunately, human nature.

And, as Ohio keeps pointing out, what happened to no male of female in Christ? Was that just hollow rhetoric to toss aside when the rubber really hit the road?
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Old 08-03-2017, 02:12 PM   #152
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What are some of these protocols?
  • Submission to authority?
  • Blind obedience?
  • fellowship for college?
  • fellowship for who to date/court?
  • fellowship for career?
I'm sure there are many more such as where to live. I'm not making this stuff up, I've heard it all. So many more guidelines, protocols, etc that's expected to be adhered to.
Before I add to the list of LRC protocols (part if which is their liturgy), I will say that having protocols is not necessarily a bad thing. The point is what they are about and why/how you adhere to them.

Here are some more:
  • How to name your assembly
  • What ministry materials you can read
  • What kind of flour to use for the Lord's table bread
  • The order in which the songs must be sung
  • What words to use for various things so that your language is "better"
And so on.
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Old 08-03-2017, 05:49 PM   #153
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I suggest that as a professor of biblical languages and author, that it is doubtful that his analysis would be any less stringent, yet he has continued to be part of a church (assembly) that put the whole issue to 18 months of scrutiny and concluded that women would be permitted to preach.
So far we only have your suggestions. So far we only have your word that he disagreed with Wallace on this matter. Where is his analysis? You have not provided any, and I cannot easily find any (I will keep looking however).

Professors study different things in different levels of detail, he may not have gone into this as much as Wallace, despite having similar credentials. It would need to be word for word analysis of the Greek text like Wallace has done. It would need to be a fundamental disagreement on the meaning and use of the Greek words.

By the way, Wallace seems to support gender equality, but his professionalism and expertise as a scholar means he declares that the matters of head coverings and male headship are authoritative for all time based upon the interpretation of the Greek NT. And I thought following the Bible, that is, the original bible, the Greek NT, is what Christians are supposed to do. At least, that's what Jane/Bushnell want us to do.

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Pretty dense response. The comment was to show that what is in the Bible and what people have concluded that it is saying is not always completely agreed upon, or even understood in the majority view at all times in history. And if you are simply relying on history, how well do we really know the history of Christian thought concerning what passages mean beyond the last 300 or 400 years? Plus, we have so much more from the recent times anyway, so we often give it a greater weight just because there is a lot of it.
There is a view that the apostle Paul and the bible approve of slavery, and that this was overturned in modern times. You seemed be making that connection.



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But since I do not believe that either, I will deal with your position. The fact that it has been settled by the EO/RCC and some others that women should not preach or teach is not the same as determining that the Bible really says it as a rule without exception. It is clearly seen as a rule for one or two certain situations. Yet there is the actual raising up of women to lead by God himself, and the positive commendation of women in a role of teaching men in at least one case by Paul with respect to one particular woman. No comment that he was waiving the "women can't teach" rule to allow for it or refrain from opening up the guns of righteous indignation for what happened.
Do you have examples of God raising up women to lead the church in the New Testament or early church? Not women leading the practical service, but actual leaders, in a teaching role over men.

Not one or two obscure examples, who are then claimed to be "leading the church" just because they are women mentioned. For example I found a website claiming that the Samaritan woman discussing worship with Christ is an example of women teaching men and of "female leadership" . Egalitarians will spin any verse mentioning a female into an example of female leadership.


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And, as Ohio keeps pointing out, what happened to no male of female in Christ? Was that just hollow rhetoric to toss aside when the rubber really hit the road?

Wallace has addressed people like Professor Ohio here:

https://bible.org/seriespage/2-women-leadership


The method of egalitarians when it comes to Gal 3:28 is important to understand. First, they assume that it speaks about functional social roles more than ontological salvific roles, and thus the text which articulates so important a truth about salvataion (viz., that we all come to Christ by faith, that no one starts out better than anyone else) is evacuated of its meaning. Let me repeat a refrain you will see often in this essay: one of the surest signs we have that a viewpoint is wrong is when a great truth of scripture is twisted or destroyed for the sake of that lesser viewpoint.


Noted church historian Harold O. J. Brown points out, in his article, “The New Testament Against Itself: 1 Timothy 2:9-15 and the ‘Breakthrough’ of Galatians 3:28,”3 that the various passages that are now interpreted a certain way by egalitarians were never read that way until fairly recently:

For about eighteen centuries, 1 Timothy 2:12, as well as 1 Corinthians 14:34 and related texts, was assumed to have a clear and self-evident meaning. Then, rather abruptly, some, hardly a quarter century ago, began to “discover” a different meaning in the apostle’s words.

Even more to the point, S. Lewis Johnson, Jr., argues, “Never could the Apostle Paul have envisioned the place of Galatians 3:28 in contemporary evangelical literature. The issues of sexual equality and societal roles in modern society, however, have done what Paul could not have imagined.”5 After a brief examination of patristic comments on this passage, from Ignatius to Augustine, and then on to Luther and Calvin, Johnson notes: “From this brief survey it appears that none of the major teachers in the history of the church thought Galatians 3:28 abolished the male-female role distinction in marriage or the church.”6


I notice that Wallace has drawn the connection between sexuality and gender equality, as I also have sometimes. This verse is also used for transgender people or whoever wants to make their gender distinction disappear.
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Old 08-03-2017, 07:45 PM   #154
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And, as Ohio keeps pointing out, what happened to no male of female in Christ? Was that just hollow rhetoric to toss aside when the rubber really hit the road?
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Wallace has addressed people like Professor Ohio here:

https://bible.org/seriespage/2-women-leadership
Who is this liberal Ohio professor who says there are no more males and females? Another academic obsessed with bathrooms.
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Old 08-04-2017, 06:15 AM   #155
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It would need to be word for word analysis of the Greek text like Wallace has done.
Really? The only sure way to determine the meaning of a phrase in another language is to analyze each word independently, drive a stake in the ground as to which meaning you think is more likely, then deal with the terse reading it creates, stir it around, and out comes a golden calf.

Credentials are really not that meaningful beyond the base theological education. If we are relying on the determination of a person rather than a collective, then the fact of an alphabet soup of credentials does not mean much. The real question is how the analysis is undertaken. If it starts with the presumption that past determinations were correct, then there is a tendency to push the analysis that way — deliberately or not.

For example, I know a group that is led, theologically, by an untrained person who makes some pretty crazy declarations about what must be. When he read this one verse, he found a term and insisted that its meaning had to be one way and made a marginally heretical teaching out of it. This despite the fact that 1) the word does not have to have one specific meaning, and 2) the context demonstrates that the meaning of the verse does not have anything to do with the topic that this leader forced it to support.

As for Dr. Fanning, I recall that his task in the 18 month study was to amass all the evidence, analysis, writings, etc., that supported the status quo then make and defend all the arguments for it that he could until either he carried the argument or it failed to carry. Not just in numbers "voting" for or against, but in rational conclusions based on the available facts. This was not simply a determination by Dr. Fanning or any other scholar. The overall panel of persons that took it on included several seminary professors of significant stature, along with other seminary-trained persons, and some who were not seminary-trained, but well trained in the kind of study involved.

And before you make statements about the non-seminary trained, it should be pointed out that keeping the discussion entirely within a narrow field of knowledge would be prone to perpetuating "religious" constructs that are so often built and then relied upon despite lack of scriptural support. I have noted that there is a tendency to presume definitions for certain words that really have little support, but have been accepted as the theological meaning. Sort of like declaring that zoe simply means "God's life." Not true. It would have been used in a manner that was understood at the time, and the altered meaning was not included in some writing of the time, therefore not likely understood other than in the normal ways. Yet people like Lee insist upon a peculiarly religious meaning that, while not incorrect, would not have been understood in that way at the time. There are many others. And they persist to this day because someone declared it to be so centuries ago.

Credentials or not, it takes a group, not a well-credentialed scholar and author, to analyze these issues. A group of well-trained persons is preferred to a singular scholar of high credentials. No matter how "peer-reviewed" his work may have been, it was ultimately his. And it is but one such work.

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By the way, Wallace seems to support gender equality, but his professionalism and expertise as a scholar means he declares that the matters of head coverings and male headship are authoritative for all time based upon the interpretation of the Greek NT.
You are going to argue for head coverings now? According to this little bit, they are a timeless requirement. Even the LRC doesn't hardly do that anymore.


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There is a view that the apostle Paul and the bible approve of slavery, and that this was overturned in modern times. You seemed be making that connection.
I do not make any such claim. Rather I note that, just like personal sanctification, mankind has been allowed to progress. The very underpinnings of the little said about slavery made it temporary except where the slave chose to stay. And the few references to it in the NT did not comment on the "righteousness" of the Roman system of slavery. As is an undercurrent in another discussion, it would appear that God is more interested in having us come to realize the truly righteous ways in many cases rather than just make more and more edicts. Like "don't have slaves" is not in the Bible. But it eventually becomes evident that treating and loving others as yourself is difficult when you own them and treat them like furniture.

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Do you have examples of God raising up women to lead the church in the New Testament or early church?